A Flip Collective Field Trip: The Consequences of Not Giving Two F$cks

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Head on over to Flip Collective, where you’ll two ways to experience Zen. Hint: One is a lot more fun than the other. Excerpt below

There is a Zen-like quality to not giving a shit about anything. I usually feel this way right after I leave Bikram yoga, when the sweat and the heat and the humidity have hammered me into submission, quelled all the frothing angst that usually develops over the course of a day. Concerns about how I’m not booking modeling jobs (going broke) or how my insurance is charging me $2,000 for routine lab work (also, going broke) or how that guy still doesn’t – and will likely never – love me (dying of loneliness).

Read more.

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The Cult of Ugly. Field Trip.

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One more way to get into my brain. If you’re the TUMBLR type, follow my other blog, The Cult of Ugly, for new music and some inspirational images. Sometimes, if I’m feeling cheeky, I’ll write a story.
(Photo courtesy of Vogue Japan)
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The Four Season of Michael James: Excerpt, April 2011

The following is an excerpt from a finished book that I may or may not eventually publish,The Four Seasons of Michael James. For now, I’ll be periodically dropping bits and pieces here. 

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I meet Nicolas in the basement of a silent restaurant. He’s sitting in the bar already, wearing his blue corduroy suit and leather wingtips, a half-finished flute of champagne resting on the bar in front of him. I order one too, remembering all the glasses of the stuff I drank in that short time with Michael, too drunk on pink champagne, him peeling off my dress in his Paris hotel room when I was too intoxicated to move.

The room is dead quiet. We sit there, drinking, waiting for the basement to fill up with bodies and the live jazz to start. The topic of the rich old man who I have just agreed to go out with comes up.

“Should I show you a picture?” I ask squeamishly.

Nicolas looks at me, already disapproving. He takes a sip of his drink.

“Should I show you?” I repeat, my face contorted as though anticipating a punch.

The picture stares back at me from my phone. The man in question wears an iridescent blue blazer over a Pee Wee Herman tee shirt. On his head is a baseball cap, the word “Cock” embroidered next to a rooster. He’s older than my mom… much older than my mom. I debate handing it over to Nicolas.

I am not going to go out with this person.  Really.  Really?

Compulsively, I thrust the phone into his hands and wait for the response. Nicolas looks at me, and repeats what I have already said in my head, a reverberating echo of doubt and judgment. “Really?” he says. “Really?” He looks up from my phone, a pair of 1970s reading glasses perched above his nose, reiterating his disdain. “You’re not actually going to do this.”

Darren has already asked me out for drinks. I haven’t said no.

I grab the phone out of his hands and look down at Darren’s face. There is nothing about that first night I met him that solicits any amount of spark. If I never speak to him again, I will likely survive. I’m not currently struck with longing or lust or any of those things that eventually make me crazy, and perhaps that’s why I am toying with the idea of even going out with him. In the past, all of those childish cues that I looked for – the racing heart, the sweaty palms, the wanting of my mouth on their mouth before we had even exchanged names – had led me so disastrously astray. So, really, why not try something new? Plenty of damage had been done following my heart. How much damage could be done if I went the complete opposite direction?

I don’t trust sparks anymore. Michael James was a spark. Michael James was an inferno.

“I don’t know,” I mumble, pausing to assess him further and analyze my own resistance. That jacket. That damn blue blazer. The “Cock” hat. Jesus Christ. I heave the heavy sigh of a prisoner resigning themselves to the end, in that moment before they take the first bite of their Last Meal. I’m on Love’s Death Row. The end is nigh.

“I’m going to do it,” I say. “I’m going to do it.” I say the words firmly in an attempt to convince myself I actually want to. Inside, I feel my heart groan under the pressure of my own insistence to not be me. I wonder what I will do, how far I will go astray for the sake of changing a formula that I now see as intrinsically fallible – not only fallible, but grossly misleading. There has to be some middle ground, and in there sensible reason and mutual affection sit, waiting for me.

Tonight – here, in this absurdly quiet restaurant filled with badly dressed tourists – I resign myself to a new plan. Branch out. Say yes. Do terrible things. Get over Michael James.

Nicolas rolls his eyes under thick glass and flags the bartender for another drink.

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Pack your bags. We’ve got another one.

So many field trips as of late! I feel like the middleman for other websites now. Guess that’s a good thing? Head on over to Lady Clever, where I’ll be delivering two articles per week on various topics. We’ve got some backlog to work through, all of which you can find below.

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We’ve got my predictions for Oscar hits and misses up right now. Click here to read.

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Or you can read my piece “On the Sidelines: New York Fashion Week” by clicking here.

 

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Or read this piece, “The $3000 Question,” where I lament not wanting to spend a month’s rent on a handbag.

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The $4.99 Field Trip

 

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Alright beloved freeloaders, it’s time to cough up a tiny bit of cash if you know what’s good for you. We’ve just published our…fourth? third?…issue of CARTEL and the annoying writer-ish part of us requires that we harbor some sick desire that you read it. It’s available on Amazon for the bargain price of $4.99. The work is good. Scout’s honor. Click here to purchase.

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Field Trip! (Of the Flip Collective variety)

 

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Click through image above to read my piece on Flip Collective this week, “Killers Drink Coke.” If you’re too lazy to scroll up, you can click here, too. Excerpt below:

Late last year, I stumbled upon an article titled “Last Meals Before Execution,” featuring, as one might suspect, a slideshow of death row prisoners and their last meal requests, a priceless receipt of unparalleled morbidity courtesy of US taxpayers. It is most likely I was rerouted to such a fine piece of literature after looking for one too many recipes for kale online – perhaps the universe’s way of telling me my skinny ass could go to hell, but that I had to have a cheeseburger first…

 

 

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Red Radio Flyer Field Trip

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Last week I did an interview with DJ Margaret for “Biology of the Blog” on BreakThru Radio. It’s up now on their website where you can stream it and listen to my obnoxious voice (as opposed to reading obnoxious words). Click through the image above or here to listen.

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Social Vampire Diaries: New Year’s Eve

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The club is pitch black. Shapes and forms move around anonymously, highlighted only by a thin, inconsequential haze. Todd finds a person he knows, some skinny gay kid who works as a promoter. Names are exchanged. I shake this lithe thing’s hand. I can’t hear or see him.

“What’s his name?” I shout into Todd’s ear.

“Wilhelm,” he says. “WILL-HELM.”

I’m pretty sure this kid’s name is just Will, and he is probably from Idaho, where everyone he’s known since diapers refers to him as “Billy.” Just another twenty-something who moved to New York City to be fashionable and fabulous and knew what bait would make people buy in. You have to make the people here articulate you, the essence of you – the way you dress, the way you do your hair, your name. You must be memorable, like some character from Party Monster, lest you fade into an incurable anonymity. It’s not Will. No, not pedestrian Will. It’s Wilhelm. The annoying correction makes it memorable in a place where you forget 99% of everyone you meet.

Next to Wilhelm is a shorter, jumpy little kid who looks like one of the backup dancers in Madonna’s Truth or Dare documentary. He’s got holes in his shirt and a sweater wrapped around his waist, sort of like how Brantley looked when I first met him, only less wholesome. The drug dealer, not the drug doer. He aims his chin north and whispers something into Todd’s ear. I catch enough to know that it pertains to drugs.

I trail behind the hulking mass that is Todd Jenner, snaking through the crowd under a black ceiling and a shining disco ball. I sit down and hold court on the top of a vinyl booth, tucking myself away from the swoozy, boozy masses. And for the next two hours, I’ll stay mostly here. This is the type of place where you get your wallet yanked out of your purse and you walk home in the freezing cold with no jacket because someone stole that, too.

Everyone here tonight is some caricature, a sitcom version of what Manhattan is supposed to be like. I’m sitting next to some balding models-and-bottles guy who looks like an investment banker even though he probably isn’t, given the fact that it’s New Year’s Eve and this place didn’t charge a cover. All the real investment bankers are either on yachts in St. Barts or standing in the middle of the Boom Boom Room wearing suits and ties, wishing they were in St. Barts. The children and the cheapos are here tonight, ringing in 2013 in a veritable ghost town.

“You got any coke?” David asks — quiet, meek little David, with his awe-shucks grin and his apple cheeks, those tufts of toe-head blonde. No one in this city has been spared the need to go go go, to talk too much, go out too much, see and be seen until seven in the morning.

“No,” I say, but to indicate that I’m not judgmental, I offer up would-be alternatives: “I don’t think Todd has any either.” And then David disappears for an extended period of time, maybe an hour.

Carrie Who Hates Me is standing in the center of the dance floor, coming in and out of the light as it switches from pitch black to dusty azure. Her hair hangs into her eyes like a well-groomed sheepdog, grazing her eyelashes nearly to the point of voluntary, fashionable blindness. Pretty soon she will need someone to guide her around, pull on her skin-tight designer jeans, thread her little arms through the sleeves of a leather jacket. Carrie taps away on her iPhone, its glowing screen lighting her up from below, while the floor of bodies moves around her.

Todd dances near the DJ booth – if you can call the person clicking the mouse on his MacBook Pro a DJ.

David eventually returns. He leans over in front of me while the boy in the ripped shirt from earlier tells him he has “really, really amazing coke tonight,” as though coke is some kind of fine delicacy that the chef changes on a whim, which I guess isn’t far from the truth. For me, though, this is not a selling point. For me, this brings to mind the people who are actually making the coke, cutting the coke. I imagine how it gets here on boats, smuggled in bags, skated through security to land here, of all places, on some black dance floor in New York City to assist the tired masses – the masochists who live in this place and feel the need to milk it dry, ring that towel until there’s nothing left, get out every last drop of it.

David leaves with the drugs and the Fairy Drug Dealer sits next to me counting money in a plastic sandwich bag procured from Drug Deal No. 2, an exchange that happened with models-and-bottles guy and a girl with bleached blonde hair who looked like some extra from that first scene in Blade, where those ‘90s vampires danced around to rave music in a basement, waited for the blood to start spraying from the fire sprinklers overhead.

“Do you know what time it is?” the Fairy Drug Dealer asks.

“1:44,” I say.

“I’ve got to go to work,” he tells me, though I don’t know to what end.

“Where are you working?” I ask. Obviously simply selling blow isn’t paying all of the bills. Maybe it’s more of a recreational thing, a hobby of sorts.

“We’re doing an after-party.”

“Oh, really? Where?” This is merely a routine line of questioning, a common courtesy in continuing a conversation, not an eager plea for an invitation.

“Oh, just, like, the Lower East Side.”

“Yeah? Where at?” My journalistic tendencies for probing often mislead people into thinking I give a shit.

“I really can’t say. I mean, if you’re with Wilhelm or Blaze or Frankie you’re good. But otherwise… I can’t really tell you.”

AWWWWW, SHIT. JUST GOT BURNED BY A TWO-YEAR-OLD.

“I was just asking,” I lobby back. “I don’t really care.”

“You really shouldn’t,” Fairy Drug Dealer says, putting emphasis on the “really” in a way that is patronizing and condescending, as in you “reeeeaaallllllyyy should because this is the coolest party ever and I’m the coolest person ever but don’t go home and slit your wrists over it, Party Girl. One day you’ll be as cool as us. Don’t worry.” And then he leaps off of the banquet and flits away, disappearing into the dark. This is why old people stop going to clubs – little shitheads like this that still live for after parties and boring conversations with half-developed retards with fake names and iPhones.

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