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All over the world, except maybe in the Far East, people are getting ready for, well, IT. The Big Bang called New Year’s Eve, where we do solemnly swear, that next year, this time, we WILL, by George, really, truly – do, be. be, do, go, live, love, learn. It’s never too late and you’re not dead yet, right?

Well, at least not until the far side of midnight, and all that wine and champagne has turned into whine and remorse of the “I so did not…” – variety.

Uh – yes. You did. If you haven’t yet, then you very likely will. In this part of the world, people are getting ready for parties everywhere, dressing to the nines to impress friends of friends who will probably hurl down your LBD later, in either a figurative or a literal sense.

I’ve known New Year’s parties that came close to ending in divorce, and even a few that did. I’ve certainly been to a few parties, back in my wilder days, where the hostess was hellbent on showing off her Hostess With The Mostest skills, the kind that involved linen napkins, fondues and four sets of silverware, and that’s just the dinner.

Naturally, a situation like that brought out my loutish post-punk tendencies. A few friends and I gave each other incredulous looks and decided that New Year’s was emphatically not the time to play at being Grown-Up and Civilized. It went quite a bit like this:

Eff off, Elsa Maxwell! We shall be loud and obnoxious and sing ALL the words to Bohemian Rhapsody! Hanging halfway out a fifth-floor window and at the top of our lungs! We shall play air guitar on expensive white wool sofa cushions, and since they’re expensive – and white – then wtf – let them drink Merlot! We shall make X-rated lesbian seduction scenes at midnight, while our boyfriends look on in awe and glee, and the uptight “grown-up” girlie wannabes look on in horror. We shall drink all the host’s single malt Scotch and breathe things like “you know, that wound-up bitch has got to be the lousiest lay on two continents. I’m only two floors below, you know…” into his disbelieving ear.

Precisely how that New Year’s Eve party ended is a little foggy in my memory, Harsh words were exchanged at around 4 AM, I believe. It was a good five years before I was on speaking terms with the hostess again.

That I considered that particular party to be among the best ever in says something, but I’m not sure I like it.

But this year, this time, this one will be different. No more wild New Year’s parties for me. Not with Damien the Sequel around to hit me with Major Remorse tomorrow morning. The following two words shall never be mentioned the same sentence – children and hangovers.

But hey – it’s New Year’s. Time to party like it’s almost 2009. Time to party, because something tells me we’ll soon have a worldwide hangover of epic proportions and several years’ severity on our hands. And since it’s all downhill from here anyway, we might as well have fun while we can.

Tomorrow will be a different world. Tomorrow will be another day. Tomorrow, lest we forget, it will be –

Bloody January again.

Love the ones you’re with, for tomorrow we’ll be dead and not on our feet, because the floor won’t stop moving.

Tomorrow you will find me, wrapped around the street lamp on the corner of Remorse St and Repent Ave. I’ll be the one with confetti in my hair, mascara under my eyes, and Charmin under my heels. I’ll be repenting all that Primitivo, and I’ll be remorseful that I’ll be one year closer to my final curtain, and that means I’ll have one year less to love you all as you deserve.

You may forgive me in a few days, especially if I don’t spill the Primitivo on your white woolen sofa.

Happy New Year’s!

I have always ascribed to the notion that having only one vice was for wimps. Why have only one when you can have ten? Twenty? Hell, have an entire rehab center catalog! Vices are nice. They have been my friends for a long, long time. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I have been forced to give most of them up, and not just for Lent.

Among the ones I no longer have: recreational drugs, splatter movies, Lycra, sparkly or black lipstick and Bananarama. It hurt to see them go. I’d love to give up casual sex, but I’m still not entirely convinced it’s not possible. I’ll let you know.

Among the ones I still have: pop astrology, chick-lit (due to an appalling lack of estrogen in my life), chocolate in any form except Hershey’s and the kind with built-in booze, books in general, French cosmetics, literary erotica, Irish whiskey, Burgundy, Champagne, Armagnac, Calvados, testosterone bombs with or without tattoos and long hair, bands so obscure they’re only known in two villages in Slovenia, and – perfume.

That last is a biggie. It’s a good thing I don’t own a credit card, since I know exactly how I’d spend $10000 – in ten minutes or less. Much of that would be blown on perfume. Not just any ol’ Walgreen’s special offer, either. Like I’ve said before. if it ain’t made by Florentine nuns according to a recipe they made up for Catherine de Medici, forget it. If you can only buy it in one store in the planet, and that’s in Paris, I’ll want it. I’ll not only want it, I’ll want to asphyxiate everyone else with it, too.

It goes without saying that my idea of a living nightmare would be perfume allergy. But it hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not too worried. My dead mother exposed me to so much of the stuff growing up, I’m probably immune for life.

Now, let’s face it, people. In this day and age of excessive personal hygiene, perfume these days, as opposed to, say, 250 years ago, is about one of two things. You can be out to put yourself into a particular mood or mindset. I have one perfume in my personal hall of fame that landed me not one, but two jobs, I’m sure of it. Or else you’re basically looking for that elusive Holy Grail of the perfume world known as:

Sex in a Bottle

This is where it gets interesting, because one woman’s Obsession is another woman’s Poison. (And both are on my all-time barf-list, along with another Eighties stinkaroo, namely Giorgio). What we want to do, at least in our twenties, is to knock down the guys – or gals, depending on your perspective – like so many bowling pins, in one nice and elegant strike. We’re all on the prowl for something besides a plastic razor that not only will bring out our Inner Goddess, it will make the opposite sex positively swoon with lust.

And ladies – or gents, or something else entirely, I’m openminded – let’s face it – it ain’t happening, because Nature in her infinite wisdom has with a few notable exceptions given the male gender the olfactory abilities of a woolly mammoth with a bad headcold. Sock it to ’em with a heady floral, and it’s “nice”. Soak yourself in a skanky Oriental scent, , such as Shalimar, or something a bit more unusual, like Cabochard, and it’s “sexy”. Which is rather disheartenening. You just blew your rent money on Absolute Essence of Afrodite, and you want a bit more appreciation than just – “nice”. You want “please, let me rip off your lingerie with my teeth before I die of longing and a permanent hard-on”, is what you want.

Back in my bad-girl days in my late teens and early twenties, I wore one perfume that divided my male friends like the Berlin Wall. They would either head in my direction like so many brain-hungry starved zombies, or they would run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. It was what is known today as an all-time classic, beloved by Gothaholics on at least two continents: Narcisse Noir, by Caron. And you’ve likely never heard about it, because this is not something you’d find on sale at your local CVS. My mother wore it, but not for long, because I stole it. So did Anais Nin, and I figured, if it worked for her…

Today, I can’t stand it. It’s stunning, but polecat-in-heat is not an aura I need to project any more. I’m past 35, so I’m not even projecting. Me, I slide across the floor every day, and count myself lucky if anyone notices. If they’re under 40 with a pulse, they’ve made my day. If they’re under 30, they’ve made my year.

But now, I think I’ve finally figured it out. Ladies, save your pennies – or your rent checks. If you want to amp up the sex appeal, if you want to turn that pathetic couch potato who’s buried himself alive with his Playstation into the Towering Inferno of Rampant Lust, if you want to have him rip off everything Victoria never did keep secret, forget the esoteric essences of Afrodite. Throw those costly Carons right out the window. Chanel will go out of business because of this. You will never need Calvin or Ralph again. Armani will never decode it.

Not so long ago, one rather occult French perfume company launched a perfume that was supposed to be Sex in a Bottle. It was even called – in French, when anything sounds better – Magnificent Secretions. (Trust the French). If you ever had a Night to Remember, the kind where you leave in the morning, still in your silk and heels, trailing stray dogs and strange men and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi fishy aroma – that’s pretty much it.

That’s taking a literal interpretation too far. Really. We’re women. We’re not stupid. We’re certainly not so stupid we’ll pay over 100 € for a bottle of liquid dirty underwear.

Well, maybe if we’re French.

So, you’re still looking for Love Potion nr. 11, since numbers 1 through 9 didn’t quite work out, and no. 10 was already trademarked? Have I got news for you! You’ll thank me later. Really, you will.

No. According to all the recent studies of males ranging from their twenties to their sixties, the ultimate, the complete, the non-plus-ultra nasal turn-on of all time is – drumroll, please!

Bacon.

I know, That sucks if you’re a vegan. I’m not, and know only devoted carnivores, and even a band called Carnivore, but that’s a blog for another day.

That’s right. Get yourself to your local supermarket, invest in the best smoked pork belly you can afford. Fry it up. If that hasn’t brought out the Number of the Beast by then, well hey – rub it all over your pulse points.

Some time later, when the couch potato has returned to what passes for reality, he might, if he knows what’s good for him, ask you what you’re wearing – apart from a tattered and battered body by Victoria/La Perla/Dior/H&M.

You can look up at him with dewy eyes in postcoital bliss and say, in your best breathy voice:

“Love Potion no. 11”.

All’s fair in love and war.

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It finally arrived, the day my now four-year-old son was waiting for, the day he was allowed to rip apart paper, eat all the vanilla cookies he wanted and stay up until his brain overloaded. (He did.)

So many presents, cookies and piles of wrapping paper later, the living room behind me looks like an ad for Thomas the Tank Engine wall-to-wall merchandising. Now of course, I’ll be spending whatever’s left over from writing the end of Chapter Four (teenage lust, watchdogs, herring, storm and shipwreck), finishing this blog (wait for it), baking cardamom cinnamon rolls just because I can and it’s Christmas, damn it, and that’s what elastic yoga pant waistbands are for (edible porn), working my way through an obscene pile of dishes and changing DVDs of – yupp, you guessed it, Thomas again, in several incarnations, I’ll also be fixing train tracks, just because Thomas, or Gordon, or James or Percy were being naughty.

While they are being naughty, I shall be very, very nice. I shall think only kind thoughts of my fellow humans – in general. I shall think only good things about the specific ones I love. My Resident Buttkicker in all his orange-furry, 6’5 1/2″ glory, who treated me with a present of his own – a documentary about Joy Division, which was nothing less than miraculous. Damien the Sequel, who went from terror to terrific in these past few months, and who turned four three days ago. My sister, brother-in-law and niece, who came by to inhale cookies, exchange presents and cheer up one decembrally depressed sister. One exceedingly complicated Pisces, who plays possum, GTA 4 and won’t answer my emails. I suspect I know why, but he’s not telling and I won’t ask since he won’t tell, even if I’ve told him that’s what friends are for, you know.. One rather less-complicated Scorpio, but then again, never underestimate a Scorpio. I love them both to bits of distraction, and if they didn’t know it before, they certainly do now.

I send out my love to friends far away – the ones I left behind in NM and CO, the ones I’ve found online. One friend, a lovely dude in IN, sent me an alternate Christmas Carol short story, proving that miracles great and small can be found in the most unlikely places – my inbox, for instance.

My pathetic gratitude to the bands that kept the Dood happy this past year, and not one of them was in the Billboard Top Ten! I vow that I shall change my iPod playlists more often in the coming year – just to stir things up a little.

And more bathos to those readers I do have, especially if you comment!

I also vow to extend my esoteric collection of perfumes to include something really stunning that noone else is wearing, just to prove I haven’t lost it – yet. To the males of the species – you have been warned. Love Potion No. 9 has nothing on me.

I might even, since it is Xmas, after all, thank my mother-in-law for giving me a tunic top only a Pucci-plastered hippopotamus could love. It will be a smash hit at my local Salvation Army. Whoever finally gets it will be burning retinas up and down the length of the Cimbric Cherssonese. It certainly put the “hip” in hippopotamus.

So there – love a little – or a lot, or way too much. Eat too much. Live – far too much. Have another. It’s Christmas.

Your favorite gothadelic cynic shall return. As soon as the elastic waistband gives out!

In general, I’m a Pollyanna teddybear who is a diehard believer in live-and-let-live. People do what people do – and – whatever, dude. Just don’t try to ram your brand of bs down my throat.

But sometimes, especially after about 14 hours of sleep in the last 24, something gets my inner goat. Or my inner Id. That is – the Dood bangs his boots down on the floor with a mighty crash and screams louder than even Angus Young could:

“You’ve got to be (insert expletive) KIDDING me!!!”

And here it is, in all its Technicolor glory, the source of my outrage:

http://digg.com/people/Fathers_pledge_to_protect_daughters_purity_PHOTOS”>

Apparently, dads in Colorado Springs haul their prepubescent daughters, decked out in virginal white (that’s important) AND gray eyeshadow, off to a fancy ball at the swanky Broadmore Hotel and make a covenant – to protect their daughters’ “purity”, and have them sign a contract that they will remain virgins until their wedding nights.

To top it all off, they do this at an age where those girls have no idea what they’re signing off on. I’m not even sure some of them can spell “virginity.”, never mind explain the concept.

After their moment of virginal glory and adoration, these girls go back home, still confused and elated, and play with their Bratz.

“And remember, sweetheart”, you can almost hear one of these paragon Daddies say a few years down the line, “it’s YOUR job to say no! Men can’t help it! Really, they can’t! But if that gets too hard, you let DADDY know, and I’ll take care of it!”

Damn straight he will, by hauling his errant teenaged daughter off to the toolshed to teach her the true and proper meaning of “virginity”.

Please, somebody, pinch me, hard. I may have slept so much I feel like Rip Van Winkle after last night, but yesterday WAS still the 21st century, right?

I’m the mother of a teenaged daughter. I know, both from personal experience and the curse of a good memory, as well as that jailbait candy I brought into this world, just how hard and how hot those cherries can burn. Cats in heat have nothing on these young ladies, and in an age where sex is seen as The Ultimate Commodity, it’s only getting worse.

But having girls as young as 8 or 10 or 12 sign a non-legal contract stating they’ll save IT for their wedding night, to keep it SACRED, right, so that SEX gets put into its PROPER place – marriage, is beyond outrage. And you will always, but always live happily ever after and your marriage bed will always be a bower of wedded bliss. Personally approved by God, who, lest we forget, is the Biggest, Baddest Daddy of all.

How those poor girls are going to manage that on no experience, presumably being married off to other virgins without experience, is just one of those contradictions these fellas never bother explaining. Just as they never bother explaining business conventiions and national church association meetings that involve prostitutes of both sexes and all sexual persuasions and any manner of debauchery.

But then again, that’s OK – they’re men. They can’t help it. Really, they can’t. It’s all Eve’s fault, anyway. Eve and her countless descendant daughters, whose appealing features, babysoft skin and rampant sexuality turn men into the slavering, drooling dogs they are.

Amazing. In an age where women have made quite a few strides in several right directions, when we bleeding-heart liberal sluts of the world have managed to kid ourselves into thinking that we can explore our sexuality in any way we see fit, Xtian right-wingers hit their daughters over the head with a fact they have no basis for understanding. Their sexuality needs controlling. By their Dads, if they can’t manage it themselves, and how would they know at age 10?

A thought that makes this slut’s blood run ice-cold.

I’ve made a covenant with my own teenaged daughter. Not to save it for her wedding night in exchange for some utopian bliss that will likely never happen. But to realize that she’s going to have to deal with the most important fact of womanhood of all:

We’ve Got It. They Want It.

Therein lies the true source of women’s power, and that’s what you’re going to have to learn, darling. That means you should get yourself out there, once YOU can feel you can handle it, and be as slutty and as sexual as you want or need, but be responsible. Protect yourself against the nasties of sexual consequences. Have fun, because it IS – fun. And extend your middle finger to anyone – male or female – who dares to get in your way.

After all, that’s the very idea at the heart of this whole issue, isn’t it: the threat of the independant-minded, sexually liberated woman. All those Xtian men will be shot in the balls by their own hypocrisy.

Oh, the horror!

Better just to give their daughters their personal cross to bear.


So, man – tell me all about it. Is it all it’s cracked up to be, parked on a cloud with your notebook and a pen? Does that get too boring, and if it does, do you hang out with your buddies, Janis, Jimi, Keith, Jon and that outrageous Texan called Dimebag? A word of advice, Jim – watch out for Lane. The man has issues. Issues, man, I’m telling you. Kurt, I think, you could relate to. If he has any head left by now, that is.

I think about the jam sessions you guys must have, and jealous is NOT the word. One day, Dionysus. But not any time soon. I have stuff to do, man. Loads of – stuff. Pestering the blogosphere is just one of them.

I wonder if you ever think about the havoc you wrought and the wrecks you left in your wake when you left. Dude, it hasn’t ever been quite the same since, and I was a baby when it happened. They don’t make gods quite like they used to, although you have a few contenders down here, you know, the guys who thought you were such an inspiration they riffled through your image wardrobe and stole what they could find; your outrage, your irony and your diabolical way with words.

Oh, yeah. Your ability to get up in front of a mike on a stage and just – slay ’em. Because you did. You and your bandmates took out all that fluffy-bunny love-peace-and-understanding navel lint and shot it – on stage and on albums – to the sky.

“Embrace the dark!” You nearly said. “Follow it to where it leads you!” And so we, they – hell, everybody! did, and some still do, and gotta say it, even without those Mayan prophecies, the world is still a darker – and more interesting place.

Because you showed us the way that music, the music that isn’t just another kind of background noise, but the vibrations that take you up and out and away from yourself, can transform you, can redeem you, can change your mind, your outlook and your soul – for ever. And nothing at all will ever be quite the same, be quite so innocent, quite so carefree again. And it’s cool, man, really. Not all of us were like you – born old souls, with the shadow of a god perched on his shoulder. Some of us are just plain garden-variety human, pathetic in our limitations, humble in our aspirations.

But we have music, and we have words and we have your words. At least, we have that.

Thanks, man, Appreciate it. You have no idea how much.

So happy fucking birthday, JIm Morrison. I look out on a dismal December sky, and for reasons I’m not sure I understand, I think of you and all those other long-gone guys and remember some lines from a poet you must know. He shared your predilection for divine madness, or diabolical inspiration. He would have dug you, I think. Or vice versa. And like you, he left this world too soon.

“WE are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.”

Eat cake. Have fun. Happy Birthday.


I have this old, old friend, who has been my faithful, loyal friend since about the time that puberty hit me with a sledgehammer, or was that a pickaxe in the forehead?

This is the dood (I won’t call him “dude” – that’s way too laid-back surfer, stoner Californian for this one) who loves nothing better than to stir up the maximum amount of trouble with the minimum amount of effort. A bit like the Norse god Loke, but Loke belongs to someone else, and that someone isn’t me.

He is very faithful. I call him “he”, but the fact is, he’ll happily change gender every once in a while just to trip me up. In other words, I never, ever, know what to expect – except the unexpected.

And he never, ever leaves. He’s been freeloading, drinking my booze, eating my secret stash of chocolate in fits of pique or blues, urging me to indulge my taste for perfume handmade by Florentine nuns in 12th-century convents, when I have bills to pay. This is the one who will shout out at inappropriate moments – “So, where’s the coke, man? Let’s party like it’s 1989!”

Freud knew this guy, and called him Id. Dood – or Id – is the guy who made me steal bikes at 3 AM, so I didn’t have to walk home in the rain. Dood loves very loud music, especially if it’s live, and over the years, it’s only gotten louder. So much so, that now, I have tinnitus from all those ruinous rock concerts in stadiums, in bars, on beaches and in small confined smoky venues that were just big enough for some really sick Marshall amps.

Because of that Dood, I’ve gone over to the dark side. Good music – and my taste runs the gamut from AC/DC to ZZ Top, and from Alban to Wagner – is good music, but because of that constant ringing in my ears, it has to be LOUD. And it has to say something – to the Dood, otherwise he starts calling me a wimpy candy-assed pop-loving slutbunny. Now, slutbunny, I can handle. “Nothing wrong,” as my dead mother used to say, “with being a slut. Just make sure you enjoy it!” Candy-assed is a compliment. It sounds edible. I don’t know many women who’d object to tooth marks in their posteriors, if they were hot and bothered – slutbunnies. But pop-loving??? Wimpy???

Over my dead candy ass!

So, if it ain’t about the darker, danker recesses of the mind, if there are no monsters and dragons and vampiric Liliths and the long-haired tattooed barbarian alpha testosterone bombs who wail about them – I ain’t interested. Or should I say, the Dood goes cold.

He’s got other things on his conscience. “You got cleavage! You know how many women in California pay for boobs like that? So w-t-f are you waiting for? Show those puppies off, girlie!” So I would, and in those smoky dives on smoky nights, the Dood would turn to the testosterone bombs standing at the bar and say:

“So whddaya think, fellas? Nice set of jugs?”

And there I’d be, in all my dolled-up D-cup glory, drooled over by testosterone bombs who normally wouldn’t give me the time of day on a Wednesday afternoon. Drooled over at a distance, mind you – something fatal must have happened the minute I opened my mouth. I don’t look THAT good in dim lighting.

Or else it was the handmade convent juice. On nights like these, I usually went home alone.

If the Slutbunny didn’t get at me first, heavily urged by Dood. “C’mon, it’s just ONE shot of tequila. Just ONE you can handle, right?”

And somewhere after the seventh, or eighth, a testosterone bomb would be handling me. Or the nice set of jugs that came with it.

Next day, the bomb would have turned into a toad with troglodyte conversation.

How rock and roll is that?

Now that I’m old enough to see “that certain age” in the distance – you know, the one where no one wants to do you to the background tones of “Thunderstruck” any more, standing up against the wall trying to plaster you to the wallpaper with a little help from Vlad the Impaler and his main speech implement down your tonsils – Dood still delivers. You see, he knows that secret about women over the age of 35.

It’s all true.

All the time.

So, Dood makes me look at those luscious, lecherous 20-somethings and think…”Hmmm.”

I have my iPod. It’ll have to do.

And my imagination.

And a Dood that never leaves.

Very! – rock’n’roll.


Usually, I never paint myself in shades of blue. I’m the original idiot optimist and bouncing fractal-colored happy beach ball babe. Well, hey – c’mon, you only live once and you’ll be dead a long time, right? So screw it all – the bills, the responsibilities, the whole sorry excuse for existence we call life – and have a good time. Just call me Pollyanna. I cheer people up, I tell stupid jokes, I try to accentuate the positive in everything for the few who deserve it. So long as I get to decide who deserves it.

But since the arrival of the Day-Glo green elephant (with the black and purple pulsing polka dots), I’ve been turning an alarming shade of indigo. It ain’t what I did, or didn’t, and it ain’t what happened, or didn’t.

It ain’t even the why, the were or the who.

It’s the Day-Glo green elephant that refuses to move, stonewalling me whenever I try to gather up the courage to shoo it out of the room so I can talk to one of my best friends again like I was able to a week ago. It won’t go away. From the way that elephant fans its ears irritably and shakes its head, it’s all, and always, my fault.

So, I keep banging my head against the side of a green elephant, and on the other side, I see a friend who’d like to say – something, and he can’t, because the elephant got his tongue.

Or maybe I’m just deluding myself and denial really is:

a) a river in Egypt
b) a South Carolina metal band or
c) The Great Green Elephant.

And meanwhile, I’m turning navy-blue.

I wish it were – a river in Egypt.