OH SHIT FIRST BLOG IN NEARLY A YEAR!!!

•January 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Why, what could have ever happened over the last year to cause me to neglect you? And what could have happened to make me write again? Well, I’d like to say it is as simple as having lost and subsequently found my inspiration. But, dear reader, I think we all know it was way more complicated than that.

But you don’t come here for serious shit, do you? You come for the fluff. Well, I am bringing the fluff today, kids. I came to share some pretties. On January second, my constant bff and fabulous companion Stephanie took me on another one of our famous photo adventures. For nearly as long as we have been friends, one of our favorite things to do together is to spend a day shooting awesome photos. We usually have cocktail as well, but that kind of goes without saying, right? Anyway, we really captured some magic this time. Steph is a genius.

The second pretty I have for you is my brand-spanking-new tattoo. I had 12 already, but they were all smallish and hidden from the world. Well, yesterday when I left Lone Wolf in Franklin, lucky number thirteen was proudly emblazoned on my arm for all to admire. Will Bledsoe, a dear soul to me for a decade now, created the artwork from a necklace that Stephanie gave me for Christmas. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. I am really excited to go back in 3 weeks for shading and color. THANKS WILL!

New Year, Bish.

•January 8, 2010 • 1 Comment

I know, I know. . .  I’ve been away so long you thought I’d never come back. Sorry about that. You know how “The Holidaze” are. I spent most of my Xmas weekend with my hand over my left eye in terrible agony because running eyeball first into lamps is just something I had to try. I also spent a lot of time pondering how the F@CK David Bowie and Bing Crosby ended up in a recording studio together.

In addition to the regular stuff, I decided that just because I don’t do the Jesus thing doesn’t mean that I have to be miserable for the whole month of December. Christmas and everything it represents (except for the idea of getting gifts on someone else’s birthday) kind of makes me nuts. I don’t know that I’ve ever believed in the Christian version of things my whole life. I did a pretty good job faking it as a kid, but somewhere deep down I knew that the idea of “God” offered me no comfort. In fact, I distinctly remember finding it pretty comforting that I was smarter than everyone who DID believe that stuff. Don’t worry, my pedestal is a lonely place.

(Illustration by Danny Hellman)

Anyway, my point is, I sort of “reclaimed” Christmas this year. My manfriend and I exchanged inappropriate gifts; I got him a copy of Religulous and he found me the antique German straight razor of my dreams. I drank microwaved sake out of coffee cups and declared Inglorious Bastards my favorite holiday movie, and I had a sex dream about Clark W. Griswold. Sorry. My new comfort is in knowing that I can effectively shut out the rest of the world and enjoy my friends and family on my own terms.

I also had, what I believe to be, the most successful New Year’s Eve experience of my entire adult life. I say adult life because nothing will ever beat the skating rink NYE bashes of old. This year, however, I stayed out of the bars. Manfriend threw a little bathtub bonfire shindig in the backyard. I drank a bottle of champagne before midnight and one after midnight. I was in bed by 3. The hangover the next day was also monumental.

Today, there is ice on the streets so I’ve taken a sneaux day. I have Blue Moon beer and obligatory oranges. I have have poppin-fresh canned cinnamon rolls. I have toilet paper. I have a very hyper German shepherd. I have plans to level my WoW character to 20.

Life is good.

A long, rambling story about bicycles

•December 4, 2009 • 5 Comments

Back in the Spring, I decided that my ass had gotten soft and my legs had gotten jiggly. I further concluded that this was a “bad” thing. My Friend Ryan O’Rear told me I should get a bike. I figured this sounded like a prudent course of action since YMCA memberships are expensive and I’m not a “reasonable”candidate for a gastric bypass. So, I posted a Craig’s List ad that said something along the lines of “Wanted- Ugly 5 speed road bike- I will not pay more than $100.”

I got a response almost immediately from a woman named Kim in Spring Hill. She had gotten a new, lighter bike and needed to just get her old bike out of her garage. Now, here’s something you may not know about me. I lack any and all sense of “delay of gratification.” If someone asked me if I wanted $100 now or $1000 in 20 minutes, I’d have a hard time not walking away right then with a crisp new Benjamin. I told the lady with the bike that I wanted to come get it immediately. Unfortunately, though, she was about to leave to go out of town and no one would be home to show me the bike or receive the money until Sunday.

Another thing you should know about me is that I am VERY persuasive. So, I basically tried to convince this person I’ve never met to just leave the bike outside her house where I could find it and try it out. If I liked it, I was to leave the money under her doormat. Did i think this would work? REALLY? Yes. Did it work? IT SURE DID.

She emailed me directions to her house and at 6 pm that day, I met up with Ryan, and we hopped in my truck, headed for Spring Hill or bust. As we worked our way through one of the many, many nearly identical subdivisions that we dubbed “Saturntowns”, we planned our hopeful ride for the next day and cheerfully discussed Greenways and Knog Frogs. We found the lady’s house with no trouble and the bike was there as promised.

First examination revealed that the seat was not attached to the bike, but Ryan was able to put it back on with no trouble  and I was soon doing circles in the cul de sac. Kim had attached a note explaining that it was a Kmart brand Gold Cup racing bike from the 70s’. There were a few nicks and scratches on the frame but the tires were in good shape and the brakes worked so I left her the $65 we agreed upon and headed back to Nashville. On my first ride that night, I named the bike RuPaul, because it was a men’s bike but very clearly “a lady.” The next day I found the perfect handlebar tape, and her signature look was born.

Pretty smoking hot, huh? I was so proud of that crazy grip tape that I had Halcyon (bike shop of preference for myself and Mr. O’Rear) order me another box for when the first round wore out. I removed all of the stock decals from RuPaul and then started agonizing about what kind of stickers she should wear. I didn’t feel like buying any, so I dug up my last Buddy Christ sticker and put it on the seat tube. RuPaul was officially the only drag queen bike in town that was representing for Jesus (in a strictly comical sense).

Then one day, Ryan called and told me that he had found a seat that matched my grip tape. After some discussion, I eventually let him talk me into letting him buy it for me. It seems like RuPaul’s look really became complete that day. I wish I had a better picture.

Over the course of the summer, I managed to lose 30 disgusting pounds pushing around town with RuPaul. I took a lot of little short trips around the East Side but I also ventured far and wide. Sometimes I rode from my house in East Nashville, all the way to the Belmont neighborhood, then down into Sylvan park, occasionally venturing back up the hill on Charlotte and over to Elliston place to have a treat at the Gold Rush or all the way over to Melrose on 8th for a game of pool. The rides home were always difficult for me. Woodland street seems flat in a car, but when you’ve pedaled 25 miles already that day, the small inclines on that street look like MOUNTAINS. I rode the home stretch with tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. As time passed and the more we rode together, Ryan kind of became something of a bike sherpa to me.

He taught me how to adjust brakes and derailleurs and seats. He taught me how to keep pushing even when you’re going down a hill, so you can keep your momentum for going up the next hill. He taught me that the ride home drunk is easier because you’re drunk so it hurts less (until the next day). And most importantly, he never made fun of that silly looking headband I insisted on wearing to keep the sweat out of my eyes.

For my birthday (August 21st if you’ve got your calendar handy and want to add it), my freind Eryk Datura gave me a gift certificate to Halcyon. As soon as I opened it, the thing immediately began to burn a hole in my pocket, so the next day I got up and spent it on a new rack and fenders. It was like bedecking Rupaul with shiny, chrome jewelry.

(Yes that’s Ryan holding RuPaul up for her photo shoot.)

With the addition of a rack, I had a place to put my new Coach bag! YAYYYYYYYYYYY! And the fenders meant I could ride in the rain without getting that awesome stripe of wet on my ass. I tried to ride pretty much anywhere within a reasonable distance from my house when weather permitted. I had a couple of near-death brushes with cars, but no broken bones and no stitches. My horribly bruised legs looked so fantastic to me that the 6 inch long cut-off shorts I made in June had become 2 inches long by September.

As the weather got cooler, my rides naturally became less frequent, and a terrible thing happened the week before Thanksgiving. Sometime during that week, a currently unidentified BASTARD pried the lock off of RuPauls’ apartment (the shed in my backyard) and STOLE HER away into the night, along with my roomie’s awesome vintage Puch road bike, her parent’s mountain bikes, and a crap-ton of tools. I’m not sure what night it happened because the thieves carefully put the lock and hardware back in place so that from 10 feet away, the shed looked normal.

On the morning of November the 22nd, I went outside to wake RuPaul up for a ride I had planned with my reporter friend, Dan Potter. When I got to the shed and saw that the lock and latch had been pried away and forced back into place, my unseasonably warm November morning turned very cold. I opened the shed, foolishly hoping that RuPaul would be right there in her place, but she was gone. After much screaming of four letter words and “WHYYY GOD!!!”, I called the cops and filed a report. The detective that came to the house to talk to me was really nice and offered what hope he could. Apparently they do find a lot of bikes a few months after they’re stolen, once they show up in the pawn shops.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost hope. I put a lot of love in that bike. RuPaul was my Tranny Queen. I just don’t really have a lot of faith in humanity when it comes to her safe return. I’ve been having terrible nightmares that someone will “go through with the surgery” and turn my good ole 10 speed into a fixie. It makes me shudder. That’s why, when Lindsey (aforementioned roomie) told me I was entitled to a chunk of the check she was getting from her homeowner’s insurance, I immediately started shopping for a new ride to fill the hole in my heart. A few days later, I found Hedwig.

Hedwig is a 1976 Schwinn Collegiate. I bought her from a nice fella in Old Hickory. I didn’t even get his name. I fell in love with this bike as soon as I saw her on CL, so I called the seller, told him I wanted her, and drove out to pick her up. Stephanie rode with me for safety’s sake and on the way there she asked me if I was going to actually buy it or not. I tried to act like I wasn’t sure, but I’d pretty much made up my mind.

When I pulled into the driveway of Hedwig’s soon-to-be former home, my new bicycle was sitting in the middle of the patio waiting for me. I knew immediately that she had been taken pretty good care of. Despite the age of the bike, the paint job was in fairly good shape with minimal rust on the chrome parts. The guy whose name I never bothered to ask for told me to feel free to take her for a spin. Admittedly, I had trouble riding Hedwig at first because of her handlebars.

Rupaul had regular drop style handlebars, whereas Hedwig is sporting a style known as townie, tourist, upright or North Road handlebars. I nearly ate shit in my first turn, but after a 90 second ride around the block to assure that the brakes worked and that I could shift into all 5 gears without difficulty, I eagerly paid the man his money and drove away grinning.  The next stop was Lowe’s, where Stephanie waited in the truck while I bought the mother of all bike locks.

That’s an 8 foot long, 8 mm chain that wraps around my wait 2 times, secured by a nearly uncuttable Master Lock. On the way home, we stopped for (several) celebratory margaritas and I had no worries about locking my new treasure to the bench outside the restaurant because I knew she was secured by about 15 pounds of chains. As soon as I got stationary for a little while, I texted Ryan and he helped me decide to call her Hedwig, and the rest is history in the making.

I’ve not had the chance to really take Hedwig to the limit yet. I need to adjust her brakes a little bit and get some new lights, so I’m wary of getting her too far from home. I can already tell I’m going to love the big, springy touring seat and she’ll be a better workout to get into and out of the house too, because Hedwig weighs about 10 pounds more than RuPaul did. It is my understanding that if I remove Hedwig’s fenders and chain guard, the bike becomes surprisingly lighter but I’m hesitant to strip her of her accoutrements. Right now she’s all original right down to the handlebar grips. I’m looking forward to getting to know Hedwig and so far I am very pleased, but I will never forget RuPaul. If you’re out there girl, come home! There’s room for 2 blue bikes in my heart!

What’s on my mind?

•November 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There is one answer that is always correct.

Shoes.  No, really. For serious. I can’t get enough shoes. I guess I’m a shoe addict.

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(above: some fabulous Chanel thing from this year I think.)

This causes a few problems in my life. For starters I only have 2 feet. This has always pissed me off because sometimes I want to wear more than 1 pair. And wearing 1 each of 2 different pairs never works unless they’re Chuck Taylors (I have 6 pairs of them) because you will fall down a lot. But the most major issue that arises from my love of footwear is BEING BROKE. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent $70 of the remaining $100 in my bank account on a pair of black platforms. A much more common problem, though, is that every once in a while a designer will come out with a shoe that was OBVIOUSLY designed just for me- as if they had my size 9.5 B in mind while creating the shoe. How is this a problem? 9 times out of ten, this dream shoe is prohibitively priced. Exhibit A: The NIB Sam Edelman Balenciaga Zoe Harness Boot.

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JUST LOOK AT THEM! They seem to be screaming “PUNKROCKBETH!” at the top of their little lungs. They’re everything I want from a shoe. They’re black. The hardware is silver, not gold or brass. They have a covered platform and a wedge style heel, but with juuuuuuuuuuuust enough heel definition that I could still hook them over the bottom of a barstool and not let my feet dangle. The harness embellishment is totally removable, so these boots can go from tough and industrial looking to sleek and modern within seconds. They’re like 2 years old so one would assume that you could find them or a reasonable knock off pair on eBay for like $100, right? WRONG! So wrong! The cheapest eBay listing I’ve found for them is still $685!!!!!! That’s 1 month rent for me! Yet still, literally every day, I Google these boots in hopes of finding them or something similar in my meager $100 price range. I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found out Victoria’s Secret made a knock off pair for $149, but they sold out nearly overnight and now the f@cking knockoffs are reselling for $300. I guess I’ll just have to wait 20 years and find them in a Salvation Army store.

There are other really good examples of this phenomenon. Take for instance the Christian Louboutin Nitoinimoi Bandage Ankle Boot:

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They also come in black and gray (I LOVE the gray) but don’t you think the blue ones are just to DIE for? How much, you ask? The cheapest price I’ve found on these is $515. I know. It is nearly soul crushing. I just keep imagining myself in Louboutin Bandage Boots and an Herve Leger Bandage Dress:

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Where does my obsession with exorbitantly priced shoes come from?    My mom loves shoes, but has never owned a pair that cost more than $100 so that couldn’t be the root of the issue. My Gi-Gi (mom’s mom) has tiny little feet so starting in the fourth grade, I was clicking around her house in gold stilettos with topaz rhinestones. But I guess it started with dance classes as a little girl. There was something so magical about pointe shoes to me. Even after I was old enough to dance in them, and subsequently found out how NOT fun they could be for your feet, I still thought of them as something otherworldly and special. Maybe that’s why I want a pair of these Louboutins so badly:

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What’s my point, or dare you say, pointe? Simple. No one I know actually knows how to make shoes. That’s why I am beginning a quest. I want to learn to MAKE SHOES. I know that shoes are not actually made by elves, so there is no reason why I can’t learn to craft footwear. I haven’t done a TON of research yet, but let’s just say that the irons are in the fire and it won’t be long until I’m making my own knockoffs, bishes.

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I want to live in Plato’s Atlantis

•November 11, 2009 • 5 Comments

I’m involved in an ongoing discussion about Lady Gaga with Stephanie, my BFFF (best f@cking friend forever pictured up top, on the left). Stephanie is not thrilled at or convinced of Gaga’s brilliance. I assume it has something to do with auto-tune and MTV, but I honestly don’t know because I’m too busy trying to figure out how I can get away with wearing asymmetrical leotards in public. Say what you want about Lady Gaga, but she made the right choice when she wrapped herself in Alexander McQueen’s rather luxurious coattails. I’ve always been a fan of his work, but his current collection is a nod to Plato’s descriptions of the lost city of Atlantis. I realize I’m not the only person out there who is psyched and talking about this collection, and I don’t think I have anything new to add to the discussion.

That isn’t going to stop me from talking about it.

For the less adventurous fashion lover out there, this collection may be a little weird, scary, and Geiger-esque. I’ve seen some bloggers refer to it as grotesque, and to quote one brilliant wordsmith, “Ew.” I personally think it is one of the most gorgeous and interesting collections in nearly 10 years, and not just because I’m a sucker for a peplum. And anyone who can’t at least appreciate this collection as a work of art, needs to just quit taking about fashion.

The prints!

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WANT!

Alexander McQueen RTW Spring 2010

The accessories!

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The prosthetic alien makeup!

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In all honesty, I may be somewhat biased when it comes to McQueen. He was discovered by Isabella Blow (a personal fashion hero) and he so willingly panders to my favorite features of fashion (exaggerated and architectural waistlines and shoulders and clompy shoes).

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But can you deny the brilliance of this luggage?
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(all pictures lovingly stolen from style.com. go visit their sponsors or something.)

INSPIRATION

•November 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Inspiration comes from all kinds of places. A lot of what I write about here will be things that inspire me in one way or another.

Thank you, Eric, for inspiring me to DO SOMETHING instead of just talking about it all the time.