Friday, December 29, 2006

Return from Oz (part 1)

Photo by Carrie Thomas

I hadn't slept all night when I arrived at LaGuardia Airport at 5am to catch my 7am flight to Kansas City. I arrived 2 hours before the scheduled departure, thinking it would be enough time to make it through security.

I hadn't counted on the fact that coils of people in snakelike lines had wrapped their way around the check-in area and that these people were all waiting for self-check-in.

Self-Check-in by the way is an aspect of airline travel disguised as a means of conveniently and efficiently checking in that is actually just a means of getting around hiring and paying competent, knowledgeable employees to interact with people. God forbid.

I unfortunately had luggage to check. This meant that after self-check-in, I had to fight my way into an angry crowd of people who might as well have been lepers begging for Jesus action. Instead they were all intently focused on one Indian woman with a baby voice who was whispering people's names for the tags that go on their luggage. Of course people were screaming at her to speak louder which just made it harder to hear her inaudible mumblings which could have been "Johnson" or "German" or "Sherman" for that matter.

There were two other women behind the counter typing. What they were typing? Who knows. People were yelling at the two women in outrage of the fact that the only person calling names was our baby voiced Indian woman, god bless her poor ragged soul.

At this moment of sleep deprived confusion, my cellphone rang with a call from my mother. I pick up the phone and very abruptly tell her that I can't talk, I can't hear her over the yelling and that I will have to call her back.

After finally getting my luggage tag, paying $25 because my bag is too heavy and then hauling my own fricking bag to the x-ray area, because apparently I'm a part-time employee for American Airlines, I was ready to get into a 2nd line for security.

This is the only time in my life that I thank god for being born without any pigment to my skin because let's face it, they aren't butt searching blond boys. If you think for a second there isn't racial profiling in our nation's airports, then think again. If your skin is a shade shy of beige, they'll snap on a latex glove and bend your black ass over so fast, you'll be whistling dixie and wondering where your false tooth went before you know what hit ya.

After 2 hours of torturous waiting,herding, prodding, and the always lovely searching of my personal belongings, I was given the privilege of getting onto a crowded plane bound for Kansas City. I call my mother who is now crying because I apparently bit her head off.

This is the beginning of my wondrous Christmas journey to Kansas.
(to be continued)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa Baby

Photo byCarrie Thomas

Every year I usually do some sort of holiday performance. This year I sang a song the last two nights to start off Hedda Lettuce's Christmas Show.
On the opening night of the show, I sat on a bench at the west 4th street subway station waiting for the train and listening to Eartha Kitt's rendition of Santa Baby. The next thing I knew someone was behind me whispering into my ear... "It's a small world"

I turned around and felt the blood rush from my head to my stomach. It was my stalker. I will not go into detail as to how this made me feel as it is possible he may read this. I will merely say that the encounter involved my ipod headphones being violently and painfully ripped out of my ears.

After escaping the subway and thinking I could leave the incident behind, I stood at soundcheck unable to remember any of the words to Santa Baby. This is not like me. I instead started the show with Little Altar Boy, my mother's favorite song off The Carpenter's Christmas album.

Last night I am pleased to say that I sang Santa Baby flawlessly,unhindered by the violent subway encounter.
It was a triumph over the power that this man tries to weild. Fear can be a potent weapon. I choose to not give him that power. A soon to be issued restraining order is an equally powerful tool in the battle for self preservation.

Though it has been a rather violent week with fire and stalkers, I feel so blessed this holiday season. I have been given a loving family and a great group of supportive friends. I look to the New Year with anticipation and excitement. Most of all though, I look forward to baking chocolate chip cookies, pouring a tall glass of milk and falling asleep by the fireplace in hopes of catching a glimpse of a fat brightly dressed man who is the ultimate symbol of american greed and commercialism.
As the change drawers in cash registers across the nation jingle like so many bells, I hold my breath, light the yulelog and softly say...

Hurry Down the chimney.....tonight

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Photo of Robert German going up in flames courtesy of Carrie Thomas

Yes Virginia,

I did catch on fire.
In response to the "outpouring of concern" I have compiled this frequently asked questions section.
By outpouring of concern I mean 2 emails which were more mildly curious than concerned, but
let's humor my inflated delusions of self worth.


Q: Were you burned?
A: First of all, I was not burned. Thank you baby Jesus.

Q: How did you catch on Fire?
A: There were tea candles on a table at waist level. I leaned back and the highly flamable lining of my cordaroy jacket lit up like a hannuka candle.

Q: Were you outraged by the party host's response to the situation?
A: I am constantly and consistently outraged by the lack of compasion many fully functioning human beings exhibit. Yes. Thank you for asking.

Q: Has there been any kind of apology?
A: Yes, in fact I received a very nice apologetic phone call two days after the event ,and the party host offered to replace my jacket. This 360 degree turn in attitude is appreciated but so confusing to my little head which had settled into a state of justifiable outrage. Is it two days late and $300 short? Probably not, I'm going to go with the baby jesus and embrace forgiveness and the new distressed jacket that I'm passing off as a bohemian fashion statement. Though I kind of smell like burnt hair now.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stop Drop and Roll

Photo by the extraordinary Carrie Thomas

I must have been on fire for a while before i realized what was happening. First of all, when you catch on fire all logic goes out the window. Somewhere in the back of my head was a hippie kindergarten teacher yelling Stop drop and roll. Instead, I casually placed my drink on the table and turned back to look at the flames. It was like it was happening to someone else.

People began beating at my jacket to try and stop the fire. A girl actually yelled "Stop, Drop and roll." I squatted on the floor and threw my jacket off. people began stomping on it to put out the last of the flames. My first thought was that I hoped they weren't stomping on my ipod. I picked up my jacket and stared at the holes and the charred bits of cordaroy, less concerned about my own life or well being than i was with the amount of money that I had spent on the jacket. My mother always used to say that we just can't have nice things. As usual, she was right.

The host of the party came over as I was surveying the wreckage, not to make sure I was ok, but rather to make it clear that he would not be reimbursing me for the damage to my jacket. I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself, but instead smiled and said. "Oh, I know. Don't worry about it."

My brush with fire became an anecdote that propelled the momentum for the rest of the party. By the way, for those of you who decided to use every form of the word flame...flaming...flamer....Yes, I appreciate your creativity. You are so cleavor, I can barely contain myself. Bruce Springstein's "I'm on fire" started playing on repeat in my head.

I was unable to stop drop and roll my way to silence on that one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wisdom from the Homeless (trash talk #1)

Photo by Carrie Thomas

"All this pushin' and shovin'. Just can't tollerate it, no sir. What is this? Rush hour? Can't say I agree with it, all this rushin'. If it ain't huggin', I don't want anything to do with it."

-wise words from a homeless man on the 2 train in brooklyn at 8:45am.

And now a word from our sponsor

Without shameless begging, independent musicians would surely starve.