Thursday, March 23, 2006

it's the little things...

...that make you smile. Like the homeless guy behind the gas station dumpster, flipping through his salvaged porno magazine. I have rarely seen a happier man.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

models wanted

OMG, guys, I totally forgot to tell you -- I'm going to be a model!!! How exciting is that !?!?! This guy came into the club Saturday and he's a fashion designer and photographer and he totally wants me to model for him! I told him my commercial rate is $300 an hour, but he told me he'd "take care of" me, so that's good, right? Then he bought two dances from me and tried to talk me into a retroactive 2-4-1 special. He showed me some pictures of his other models and they were kind of out-of-focus, but maybe that's cuz they were just polaroid??!? Anyway, his other models looked really happy. They had some white powder on their faces, though...WTF...LOL! I can't believe a professional model wouldn't even do a mirror check before a shoot, but whatever! So anyway, he told me has tons of contacts in the industry, so I guess I'm on my way to a whole new career!

Anyway, so some of you are probably wondering right now, "How can I become a professional model, just like Grace?" Answer: It's easy! People will just walk up to you and offer to make you a star! But before you get started, you might want to read my Guide to Totally Becoming a Professional Model.

1. ALWAYS work with professionals. How do you know if people are professionals or not? Just ask them! They will be happy to tell you!

2. NEVER work without a contract that spells out how you will be compensated for your time and who will own the rights to your pictures. You wouldn't those pictures to wind up being passed around in a titty bar by some wrinkly old perv, would you?!? If you can't get a contract, at least make sure your photographer promises to "take care of you" and "make sure you have a really good time."

3. LOOK YOUR BEST!! I know this one seems obvious, but sometimes being alone in a basement with some rabid little prick and his cheap camera can make you tense...remember, nobody likes a Frowny-Face! If you can't relax, be sure to ask for "a little something to pick you up." Any good photographer will know exactly what to give you.

4. You'll be dealing with Business People, so don't stress it if they try to cheat you out of money in the first fifteen minutes of knowing you... That's just good business!! Would you trust your career in the hands of someone who didn't?!?

5. DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF! Today's world of professional modeling is more competetive than ever! To gain an edge and land the big jobs, you're going to have to show you have some "range"... so don't shy away from something like a "dual anal-penetration scene" just because you've never heard of it before.

6. Folks in what I like to call "the industry" look different from you and me. What looks to you like a ratty polo shirt with gross sweat stains under the arms could be haute couture, so don't judge a book by it's cover!!

7. Finally, most importantly: DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. In fact, give as little thought to what you're doing as possible. After it's over, bury it deep, deep down in your psyche and just hope those pictures don't surface during something important like a job interview or a custody hearing.

So now you know how to Make It Big and Keep It Real in the exciting, ever-changing world of modeling! Good luck, and DON'T FORGET TO SMILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

save a horse

The rodeo's in town. Yee-haw. I'd forgotten all about this until I got to work Friday morning and noticed first an unprecedented number of cars in the parking lot, then a full-size chuck wagon pulled up by the front door and a milling crowd of cowboy hats. Everybody had hats -- the waitresses, the bartenders, the fat manager with the Brooklyn accent. Everybody.

I didn't get the memo about dressing for a hoe-down, which I suppose is what happens when you skip out of work for two weeks running. The girls who went overboard with the cowboy thing looked dumb. My favorite was the girl who wore a tight white wife-beater (no bra), a jailable pair of cut-off Daisy Dukes, and clear heels. It would have been better if she's been barefoot, but the club has rules. I wore my regular outfit with a black dress, and got a rake-over from the shift manager (who is moving further and further from the ranks of my favorite people) about how he would normally send home any girl who didn't dress to theme, but OK, just this one time, I could stay.

This is a regular technique of his, and one I find particularly chafing. Always he has to make a big deal out of how he's letting me get away with something, and I owe him a really big favor. (Translation: tip me extra.) I wish he'd just say yes or no, but of course, he has a living to make, too, and a large part of that living is chiseling anything extra he can get out of the dancers. I do give him credit for using guilt and wheedling, rather than straight intimidation and extortion, as some manager do.

Anyway, so the customer base also contained a high proportion of hats. That part was fine with me, though. I like dancing for cowboys. They tend to be loud, emotional, bawdy, and fun. Some have the initial guardedness common to self-identified blue-collar guys (although don't be fooled: the 'humble cowboy' schtick is a lifestyle choice that many go to considerable expense to maintain. Anybody who spends $300-1200 for a hat can afford a dance or two.) Once you're in under a cowboy's guard, though, they warm up fast. I was lucky to stumble early on a dude who looked like Marlboro Man and who was not merely a wearer of expensive hats, but also maker and salesman of a succesful line of custom cowboy boots. Boot Man was looking for a sweet old-fashioned girl to get sentimental about, and Grace the Small-town Homecoming Queen just so happens to be one of my rotating cast of optional personalities, readily availabe for a fee to be negotiated on purchase.

Later, the Plumber stopped by to talk about Sun Tzu's "Art of War."

So a good time was had by all, but sadly it wasn't one of my better weekends moneywise. C. points out that if I am serious about stripping as a career, I have to work more than two days a week. I know that's right, it's just the details that have to be ironed out. Like, when would I get my other two jobs done? Also, definitely need to sample the waters up at the club I visited the other week. I'd like to think that my steadily declining income has something to do with the club I'm at, which, quite honestly, is going to hell in a handbasket, Theme Days and all.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

enough already

Dear Grace,
Nobody gives two hoots about your health problems, your romantic troubles, or your relationships with your elderly relatives. When are you going to take your shirt off again?
The 256 Mysterious People Who Have Viewed Your Blogger Profile But Never Comment on Any of Your Posts

Dear Mysterious People,
Take heart. Unless I am still seeing spots in front of my eyes, I will work this weekend. All the old regulars we know and love will be e-mailed and invited. I may even drop a line to our new best friend, Mr. Red Tie, who has been e-mailing incessantly, but will probably turn out to be more trouble than he's worth. Hilarity will no doubt ensue!!

bloodless in florida

Did you miss me? I missed you. I thought of you often last week while I was visiting my Grammy down in Gainesville, FL, land of Grammies. A word about Gainesville: in a post-appocolyptic tomorrow, the swamp would swallow this cozy university town in about six weeks. It's a classic little suburban hell of a town, city-planned to death in a grid of subdivision after subdivision, shopping strip after shopping strip. At the same time, the place is over-run with skinks, geckos, ibis, herons, snapping turtles, anhanga, and gators. The spanish moss grows long and gothic on anything that stands still. There is a constant sense of the swamp waiting to close in. And more power to it, as far as I'm concerned.

Grams is a health nut and nature lover, with prodigious energy for an eighty-six year old, so we did a lot of hiking through the swamps, in between little old lady activities like getting our hair done and watching PBS. She's always been about the closest thing I have to an Adult Role Model, even more so now that I'm older and we can talk like grown-ups. This visit she filled in the rough sketch I have of her life, and the more I know the more intriguing it is. Like me, she grew up on a farm, and like me, she couldn't wait to get the hell out.

Only, this being rural Michigan in the 1930s, her way out was to get married and move to town and have four babies. Suburban housewifery is probably not the career path life she would have chosen for herself if she'd had many other options, but she soldiered through the Eisenhower era, got her youngest son into high school, and then ditched the whole scene, drove out to Berkley, and got involved in yoga and meditation, right at the height of the flower power movement. Her kids thought she was abandoning them and her husband thought she was in a cult, but she stayed out there for a year until she "got her mind clear" she sez. She did come home eventually, but she stayed involved and interested in all sorts of arcane material. Over the years, she's studied or practiced ayurveda, paganism, tarot reading, energy healing, magnet therapy, and on and on and on. She's crazy as a shit-house rat, and a class act, to boot.

While I was down there, the symptoms of anemia finally got too loud to ignore any longer. My red blood cell count is, like, four. Dizziness, weakness, bruising, fainting, and my two favorite symptoms: forgetfullness and irritability. It's hard to remember your grocery list, let alone keep your tool cool, when there's no oxygen in your brain. On the plus side, maybe this explains why I've been a grouchy retard for the last two weeks. I'd love to think the problem was mineral imbalance, not deep personal unworthiness. Four tablespoons of molasses in the morning will not cure deep personal unworthiness. Also, on the plus side, lots of babying from Grams -- nasty iron tonic drinks and enforced naps in the afternoons. Used to chap my fanny when she did this stuff to me as a kid, but now it's sort of a luxury.

Speaking of my stupidity and irritability, C. missed me terribly and is overjoyed that I am home, so I guess he loves me again. He didn't even mind that I gave him a flight arrival time five hours too early -- 3's look a lot like 8's when you're suffering from a slow, biochemical asphyxiation. Four or five days of no aerobic excercize (uses up the RBC's -- too much gym time is prob'ly the problem in the first place), eating mad ammounts of spinach and drinking nasty tonic will have my mind back in steel-trap form. Thanks Grams. Thanks C. And thank you, dear Internet. I really did miss you, you know.