The Goombah Squad and Lesbian Prom

 

The other night at work, as I photographed the 100,000th quivering Quebecois quaking with desire beside that godawful Sally Dingdong mannequin, I finally snapped. “THIS LEVEL OF HUBRIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO GO UNCHECKED!!!!” I screeched, wild-eyed and hanging on to sanity by the barest of threads. I grabbed my phone, called in my goombah squad and we took the fuckin’ thing out to the desert, where it will never traumatize another Vegas showgoer. You can thank me later!

After bashing in the mannequin’s face with a baseball bat and then unceremoniously burying it in a pit north of town, I ran off down the road with an American flag waving behind me: “FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST! THANK DOG ALMIGHTY, I HAVE FINALLY DRIVEN THE FRENCH FROM NEVADA!”

Then I woke up 🙁

Actually, I’ve  been TRYING to have wacky adventures lately, but it’s tough because I am also in the middle of a big ole fucked-up mess that I can’t talk about. Nothing life-threatening, but a mess nonetheless that’s been taking up pretty much every waking moment of my life since around Christmas. I left the lesbians in those hot springs and basically dove straight into a pit of shit, in which I’ve been struggling/wallowing/scuba diving for the last 4 weeks. If I could only TALK about it, I’d feel better…but this is one of those rare things in my life that must wait to be shared.

In the meantime, I just sorta hung around Vegas, photographing tourists at the show and doing odd modeling gigs on the side. I did a few scavenger hunts, and then a photographer friend of mine came to town and hired me for two days of shooting out in the desert. Always good times!

 

This photographer had a really cool idea for a sort of prom-night shoot out in the desert. He had me rent a tux for one of my model girlfriends and then we all drove out to a secret location and shot this sort of surreal sequence he’d dreamed up. The weather actually cooperated, so it was around 65 degrees and mostly sunny that day…a bonus for me, as he also shot some nudes of me, and it’s never fun to sit around naked outside when it’s cold!

I posted a fake lesbian-wedding announcement on my Facebook page, just to see how many I could fool…but the only comment I really got was, “Black dress! How edgy!” (Really……do you expect me to qualify for a WHITE one?! I’m so sooty with sin that black is the only color I could wear without the church being smitten by a wrath-infused lightning bolt thrown by the hand of Jebus.)

Anyhoo, we shot all afternoon and it was a great day. The photographer was a guy I shot with once back at that nude ghost town thing I did last July. At the time, I had gotten the impression that he and his wife (a fellow model) were swingers…but now I think they’re just cool people. I felt bad, because the poor guy had booked three or four other models for shoots while he was in town…and they ALL FLAKED!

I just don’t get it, girls — this is a really nice, classy guy who is willing to PAY YOU for modeling…and you flake?! Must be nice to have that kind of financial freedom. I hear this over and over from photographers — models are soooo flaky, that even with a paid assignment half the time they’re no-shows. WEIRD!

Not me. I’m a pro! Even though I woke up at 7AM (!!!that’s my only beef with this photog; he insisted on an 8:30am call time) the next morning to a blustery, rainy day with winds up to 60mph…I still plastered on makeup and readied myself for a FREEZING shoot up on Mount Charleston. Thankfully, the other model flaked (another one!), so the photog decided to bail on the mountain and just shoot arty stuff in his hotel room. Muuuuuuch easier!

Meanwhile, speaking of modeling, I got embroiled in a holy mess with one of my good photographer friends. This is the first guy I really shot with, and I was the first model HE had really shot with one-on-one , so we kinda bonded. I have modeled for him many, many times for FREE — we were both learning, you know? He very graciously gave me a Nikon D-80 for my time, which was really generous of him (at the time he was flying high financially…one of those guys who decides to become a photographer, then goes out and buys every piece of expensive gear he can find….in the intervening few years, he ended up filing BK and is basically destitute, to hear him talk). And he paid me twice for shoots (once up at Zion, when he literally threw the money at me across the table because he was grumpy that our shoot hadn’t gone well…he’s a grumpy kinda guy, but I learned to just kinda take it with a grain of salt, because otherwise he’s pretty cool).

Anyhoo, a lot of models around town (and photogs, too) can’t handle this guy’s personality, but I am a pretty passive person and can take quite a bit of verbal abuse. Besides, like I told you this guy can be suuuuper cool, and takes great photos, too. But he definitely has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to models — he’s been flaked on a time or ten, so it’s understandable to an extent. But one of his beefs is that models are the only ones benefiting from photography — we use the pics to get work at conventions and whatnot, but meanwhile the photogs hardly ever get ANY work. It’s true, too — there are something like 10 photographers to every person in Vegas, and you can’t expect there to be enough weddings and Valentine’s boudoir shoots for ALL of them to make a living.

My personal belief is that Model Mayhem (the site we all use, a photography networking site) is basically for amateurs. A photographer can find amateur models (like myself) on there, as opposed to going to an agency and hiring Gisele Bundchen for $30,000 a day. Meanwhile, a model can get good quality photos for free, by collaborating with the photographers on the site…but you ain’t gonna get discovered by Francesco Scavullo or anything.

Basically, neither party is gonna make much money off Model Mayhem. But at least with modeling, you can make SOME money posing for hobbyists and the occasional traveling photog who actually knows what he’s doing. I do a fair amount of shoots, but realistically I probably only make around $3000 a year from modeling. The rest comes from writing, shooting fetish videos, dumbass promotions…and photographing creepy mannequins. The fact of the matter is, I am NOT Gisele Bundchen…but I feel like I’m a great value for what I do charge.

I tried to explain to my photog friend that his customer base shouldn’t be models — I’ve seen a lot of guys get into shooting so they can charge models for headshots and whatnot. In my experience, most models don’t pay…there’s too much TF (trade) work out there. If they DO pay, it’s usually to an established guy who’s often on retainer with an agency. IMO, my photog friend’s REAL customer base is civilians, so to speak — non-models who just want glamour shots, family portraits, pet photos, boudoir pics, etc. This might sound piss poor, but again — MY customer base isn’t professional fashion photographers, either! You don’t hear me sitting around bitching that Helmut Newton won’t pay me… I just sack up and eat a jar of pickles, or whatever whoever’s paying me wants me to do (as in the pic below…do you really think Cindy Crawford would do this shit?!).

It’s a contentious subject with many photographers, and my friend was bent out of shape over it…plus, his dire financial situation has doubtless been bothering him, so he was extra-grumpy. On top of it all, he found some bozo using one of his pics of me to sell comic books online, and he got in a royal tizzy over it. (The pic has since been taken down due to his lawsuit threats.) He let me know in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that any and all photos he’s taken of me belong to HIM, and I can only use them for self-promotional purposes. Indeed, he always had me sign a “Limited-Use Agreement” release, but my dumb ass assumed that if MY usage rights were limited, then so were his. Apparently not — he told me that his release provides for HIM to do whatever he wants with the pics, but I can’t.

My understanding of this was all wrong. I thought that if a photographer PAID me, I relinquished rights. Likewise, if I were to pay a photographer, then I would have the rights. I assumed that in a collaboration scenario, where both parties are working for free, then both parties have the same rights. WRONG!!!

Several photographers told me that no matter what, THE PHOTOGRAPHER HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT to the photo. So unless I get photographers to sign off the rights to me, I can never, ever make any money off my photos. D’OH!!!!!

This sucks for many reasons, mostly because I’m a broke hack who needs cash. I don’t mind shooting with photogs who PAY me — I will gladly pose nude for you all day long, and happily surrender all rights to you if I am being PAID. But if I’m donating my time (not just shooting time — an average of 2 hours prep, plus travel time, makeup and hair costs, countless hours at the gym and use of my extensive wardrobe)…I feel like it’s kind of assy to insist that I can’t use the pics for anything more than posting on my MM page and here. It truly sucks that I have sooooo many bad-ass photos, but I can’t do anything with them 🙁

Since I can’t afford to pay photogs, I guess my only option is to figure out a way to do self-portraits — like Cindy Sherman. Then I own everything about the G.D. image. My other option is to collaborate with an individual photographer, and come out with a calendar or book or something of pics taken by him alone. Then we can split the proceeds. I’ve actually discussed this with my friend Randy, a/k/a Shutterbug-Studio…and we’re planning to do it! I’d also like to do one with my friend Michael Maze. So watch out…..you never know!

BURGLED! Plus gross endometrium pics!

Well, hell week is over. And it really was hell week – especially because at the end of it all, my truck was broken into, and the fruits of the entire fuckin’ week were stolen 🙁

As mentioned last week, CES was in town (the Consumer Electronics Show, a/k/a NerdCon 2012). This show has been coming to Vegas for over 30 years, and it’s the biggest trade show of the year – just about every bimbo in Vegas gets a gig working in one booth or another. As previously mentioned, I despise working trade shows, and the last couple of years I bailed on CES in favor of working the Adult Expo, which is held the same weekend and is way more fun.

This year, however, they scheduled the Adult Expo for the following weekend…so I was free to pimp myself out at CES L I really didn’t want to, but I need the cash pretty bad, so I took a gig working for a high-end audio company. I got the job through a photographer I once shot with, who was friends with these guys and arranged for me to work their exhibit.

The good news was, the high-end audio exhibits weren’t in the main convention center (which was a total zoo and a parking nightmare) but in some suites up at the Venetian. So instead of battling traffic, I was able to cruise right in every morning and head up to the 30th floor with relative ease. The bad news was, I was stuck standing in the hallway on the 30th floor…ALL DAY LONG, for 4 days. BOOOO-RING!

I was supposed to greet all the conference attendees as they walked by, and lure them into our suite with the promise of hearing some “really great tube audio.” WTF?! Tube Which? I had no idea what I was talking about, but over the course of the show I learned more about audio than I ever wanted to know. Apparently there are two types of amplifiers, tube and solid state (transistor)…and any audiophile worth his salt prefers the sound of the former to the latter. Trouble is, most equipment nowadays uses solid state technology, and tube amp systems are really expensive and pretty much the exclusive domain of audio snobs and old-time fanboys – which is what I dealt with all week. You know that nerdy comic book store guy on the Simpsons?! That’s the kind of guy who came to this part of the show.

The client had requested that I dress business-sexy, so I’d gone to the mall and bought a few things in preparation – but then at the last minute I was told to channel Pippa Middleton, of all people, from the royal wedding (for those of you with a life, Pippa is the sister of Kate Middleton, who just married Prince William, and at their wedding she wore a very prim-yet-form-fitting dress that accentuated her “perfect” ass, and it was all over the tabloids for some dumb reason): “What was right about her dress? Nothing. What was wrong about her dress? Everything!”

Using these inexact guidelines, I cobbled together a few sexy-yet-classy-ish outfits, and was thusly positioned in front of the suite to lure in passing audio geeks. It was pretty easy work, since many of these guys had probably never spoken to a woman, and a simple, “Hey, come here” worked wonders on their submissive psyches.  Or maybe they were just genuinely intrigued by my promise of “high-end tube audio that sounds amazing!” Either way, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

The company I was working for designs super-duper –mega-high-end tube audio gear; so high-end that the system they were displaying at the show cost something like $60,000! They make a $25,000 turntable, for Chrissake. Everything was designed by the founder, a kooky eccentric Englishman who has done audio systems for many British rock stars. This guy was a NUT! Super-tall, super-skinny, balding and liver-spotted, with a wispy gray Amish-style beard and the finest decaying English grill I’ve ever seen. He was/is SUPER smart and SUPER eccentric, and he was one of those really smart, kooky types who just don’t give a fuck. Apparently he’s a legend in the audio biz, so all week long star-struck apostles would stop by to shake his hand and kiss his ass. Meanwhile he stood around picking his nose without a care in the world, politely thanking them but not really giving a shit. He was AWESOME!

Anyhoo, I posted up outside the door to the suite allllll weeeeeek loooooong, until I thought surely my brain would atrophy and my feet would fall off from standing in high heels all day, every day. Even worse, my hours were 10am-6pm, and then I had to be at my photographer job across the street at another hotel by 6:15. I had to literally RUN down 30 flights of stairs to the casino level, then dodge and weave, Frogger-style, through hordes of conventioneers and drunks in the casino to the parking garage, then speed around the back way to Caesars Palace, where I then had to run down to THAT basement, get changed into my uniform, and go back up to work taking photos til 11pm. IT. WAS. EXHAUSTING!

To make matters worse, my sister was in town for the same convention (she has a legit job working for a tech company that exhibits at CES every year), and her husband came along because he’s never been to Vegas, so they wanted to hang out. At the same time, these crazy girlfriends of mine from Arkansas were also here for another show (they sell stun guns and bear spray, and were exhibiting at a hunting show that came in after CES), and they wanted to go out as well. And at the SAME time, a Spanish photographer friend had invited us all to dinner and a nightclub with him and his Swedish colleagues – but he wasn’t able to get dinner reservations until 10PM!!! So even though by Friday I was basically dead on my feet (seriously, I almost physically couldn’t get out of bed by Friday morning), I had to sack up, put on my happy face, and go party.

I finished the convention at 4pm on Friday, then met up with my sis and brother-in-law for some drinks and chit-chat over at the Cosmopolitan. They left to go to a show around 9pm, and I sort of hung around until 10pm, when I met up with the Spaniard, the Swedes and the Arkansawyers at TAO, this trendy, douchey Asian restaurant back at the Venetian. Everyone hit it off swimmingly, a good time was had by all, and afterward we all went over to one of the douchebaggiest nighclubs of them all, XS at the Wynn.

Now, as you probably know by now, I despise nightclubs. XS is a particular non-favorite, because they’re such exceptional assholes over there – the door staff is insufferably rude, the drink prices are exceptionally extortionary, and the clientele consists of hordes of desperate white guys hitting on whorey Asian girls. Before you accuse me of being racist, I’m just stating a fact: at least 70% of that club’s client base is Asian girls…and on this night, they were all wearing identical skintight bebe dresses, barefooted and sloppy drunk. Asian, white, whatever — I despise that club not for its clientele so much as its staff and its lameness. One time they yelled at us for even standing in front of the nightclub, as we dithered over whether or not we should pay the $20 cover to go in (I’m a walking vagina – you should be paying me to go into your club, assholes ! You’re just using me to attract guys anyway!!!). “You can’t stand here,” they told us – so we left. Fuck you, XS!

Aaaaaanyhoo, I was dragged back into this shithole last Friday, and it was OK at first – the Swedes had a table, so at least we were able to sit down. Sit?! I was basically forced into Party Mode, since I had to make sure my Arkansas girls were having fun, and the Swedes were having fun, and the Spaniard was having fun, and everyone was having FUNFUNFUN!  So even though it felt as though my feet were about to rot off at the ankle from fatigue and edema, I made myself get up on the table and dance, dance, dance on this lame stripper pole they had up there, just to set the mood and show everyone how much FUN I was having!

Meanwhile, I had to be up at 6:30am the next morning to meet these electricians I’d hired to do some work for me, so I was miserable. I just wanted to GO HOME TO BED! But every time I tried to leave, my one girlfriend started sulking, “Come on!! STAY! All you have to do is take photos tomorrow, big deal!” So I gritted my teeth and stayed — I felt obligated to party hearty. I hate that about myself – I’m a fucking people pleaser, even when it’s to the detriment of my health!

Finally, around 3am I had had ENOUGH, and left, despite the pleading and whining of my girlfriend. They ended up staying out til 6:30am, swilling Dom Perignon and shoving Adderall pills into the face of one of the poor Swedes. Listen people, I FUCKING LIVE HERE! DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK I WANT TO BE PARTY TO YOUR DESPERATE EXCESSES?!?!?!?! (Well, sometimes, maybe… 🙂

So I dragged myself home and was unable to sleep as I awaited the electricians – who STOOD ME UP ANYWAY!!!!! Apparently they were sick, but the dispatcher forgot to call and tell me they weren’t coming. So I got up early for nothing L

Meanwhile through all this, I’m still on pins and needles waiting for my fucking bank to approve my short sale, so I can get the fuck out of my house! I found a new place to live (hence the electricians), but I don’t really wanna move until I’m free and clear of the other place. So it’s been a VERY stressful few weeks, and I haven’t been able to sleep for shit. My eyes are so swollen, wrinkly and puckered up they look like two assholes, and my face broke out like a 13-year old. It’s bad. I have never lived through a period like this.

THEN, to make matters worse, I was ROBBED! This was the icing on the cake, and I’ll admit I sobbed like a little bitch when it happened – it was the final straw, and it was too much to handle.

I had been out running errands all day, preparing for my eventual move, and I ended up having to go straight to work from there. I had a bunch of crap I was carrying around with me, so before I went in to work I cleaned out my bag and left some stuff in my truck, rather than carry it around with me all night. I took out my sweaty gym shoes and socks, stuffed them in a cardboard box on my passenger seat,  and also left behind an old notebook I had rubber-banded together with some receipts and stuff. Then I went in to work.

That night it was a special benefit show to raise money for Sickle Cell Anemia research, so the show started and hour late and I didn’t get out til midnight. When I went out to my truck in the parking garage, I found that someone had broken in and stolen my stuff!!!

Now, if you’ve ever seen the Caesars Palace parking garage, you know that it’s ginormous and nasty. Other garages, like those of the Wynn, Bellagio, and other upscale properties get regularly power-washed, and are policed or patrolled. Well, I don’t think the Caesars garage has ever been power-washed — the floors are filthy, coated in piss, vomit, motor oil and amniotic fluids. There have been shootings in there, and I’m sure more than one baby has been conceived within its hallowed confines. Nevertheless, I’ve been parking there for 8 years without incident, so I never really think twice about it.

But this night, some FUCKING ASSWAD had gotten into my truck (due to my insane stress levels, I must have left the door unlocked – or maybe they jimmied it open, I don’t know; there was no damage). At first, all I found missing was my Breathalyzer (which cost $300, dammit!!!! I bought it because I got a DUI last year, and I’m not taking any chances) and this old 1940s Samsonite overnight case I carry around in my truck with spare panties, bikini, flip-flops, etc. Whatever – I was pissed about the Breathalyzer, but could definitely live without the suitcase.

But then I realized my notebook was missing, too – and then it hit me. I had over $1100 in cash in that fucking notebook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’d stashed all the money I’d earned working all those miserable gigs all week in between the pages, because I hadn’t had time to get to the bank yet. I NEVER carry that much cash around with me, but if I do, I keep it on my person – I certainly don’t leave it in my car. But I’ve been so tired and stressed lately, I forgot – and some fucking asshole took advantage of me and STOLE IT ALL L L L

So I basically worked my fucking feet down to the nubs all week for nothing.  It’s allllllllllll gone.

I broke down weeping, from fatigue, desperation, sadness and hopelessness. Will I ever get ahead in this fucked-up world?! I drove around the parking garage in a panic, tears streaming down my face as I searched all the trash cans and dumpsters in the area. My hope was that, once they’d seen there was nothing but dirty old clothes in the suitcase, maybe they’d chucked it along with the beat-up old rubber-banded notebook.

No such luck. I looked ALL OVER the place, even across the street and in the alley by the train tracks – nothing. I went back and filed an incident report with Caesars security, but they were no help – of course there were no security cameras in that shitty garage. It was hopeless.

The next day I woke up with my eyes so swollen shut from crying, I looked like I had Down’s Syndrome. Still, I glopped on some makeup and went down to the police station to report the burglary…just in case they find something out. I doubt it, but whatever. I’m supposed to call back in ten days and follow up, but I’m sure nothing will come of it. I’ll never get my Breathalyzer or my money back, and that’s a sad fuckin’ fact.

My only hope is that at least the stolen money went to a good cause – maybe someone needed to feed their kids or something. Probably not, though – I’ll bet it was some half-witted cholo thug who used it to buy Playstation games, weed and Olde Engligh. ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I ever find out who did this, I am going to tie the motherfucker down and FLAY HIS BALLS. I will peel back the delicate skin on the nutsack, pin it to his groin like I’m dissecting a frog in high school biology class, then go in with an X-acto knife and carve the Ten Commandments into his gonads. I realize his testes will be far too small to contain all this text, and will probably get shredded like carnitas in the process, so when that happens I’ll scoop the mess out, mush it up like pate and spread it on toast…and make him eat it! Then I’ll stuff decaying dollar-store tuna fish into the empty cavities, sew him back up, tie him to a tree and call in a pack of hungry pit bulls to finish him off.

Fucker!

The worst part is, last week as I was rushing around town running moving-related errands, some old lady ran right into the side of my truck! I roll around in a beat-up old landscaping truck, which is already so banged up and dented that I don’t really care if I hit something or someone hits me. I got out of my truck, assessed the damage, and waved her away: “Don’t worry about it! Just do a good deed for someone else down the road. And maybe I’ll get some good karma from this.”

HAH! There’s no fuckin’ thing as karma…it’s just a crutch, to help people get through the misery of our nasty, brutish and short lives…somewhat akin to the whole Christian thing about the meek and the poor. IT’S ALL BULLSHIT, PEOPLE – fed to you by your oppressive overlords, so you won’t complain while they’re fucking your wife and taking the food from your children’s mouths. They promise you a bullshit afterlife, or a divine system of checks and balances that is TOTALLY FAKE. Wake up! I’m an atheist myself, but I still live my life by the Golden Rule: treat others as you’d be treated. I do this not because I’m afraid I’ll roast in hell or end up reincarnated as a turd…I do it because that’s how I roll. I don’t need an excuse…I’m just good for goodness’s sake. Which is more than I can say for the half-baked twat who broke into my truck – I’m willing to bet it was a gang banger or some other superstitious thug who doubtless considers himself a believer. The irony!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaanyhoo, I’m trying to get over it, because a) I have no choice, b) I have another busy week ahead. I was supposed to work the Adult Expo, but that fell through — a friend of mine (well OK, really a half-assed lounge singer/jackass/ne’er-do-well who’s been storing shit in my garage for YEARS without paying me more than $20, and who had the BALLS to write on my garage door “KEEP DOOR LOCKED” [I had a habit of leaving my side door unlocked, since I store nothing of value in there, and apparently he didn’t like that, since he has all this extremely valuable CRAP in there like papers and 1980s Dave Coulier-type shirts])…anyway, THAT guy called me a few weeks ago saying he was hired by some “big time” porn producer from L.A. to film some kind of stupid amateur webcam stuff, and the guy needed a couple girls to walk around the Expo handing out fliers. Because I know a lot of models, my friend asked if I could round up a few more girls to submit to his “big time porn producer” so he could pick who he liked. Well, he ended up picking some of my referrals…and not me!!!! WTF! He’ll be fucking sorry when those beat-up hags roll in. Caveat Emptor, douchebag!

It doesn’t matter anyway – I’m already booked for photo shoots on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday I have another gig anyway. So fuck it! I’ll make that stolen $1100 back in no time…without the help of an unemployed asshole in an Uncle Joey shirt.

One last thing: through all this, to make matters worse, I was on my period! I was bitching about having to hide my tampon string for a nude photo shoot, when one of my friends suggested I try the Instead cup – a little plastic cup you jam up your junk to catch the effluvia sloughing off the walls of your uterus. It can be worn up to 12 hours, and most are washable and re-usable. And to think, all this time I’ve been stuffing a piece of cotton bleached with carcinogens up there… these cups are supposedly made of medical-grade silicone, so they are a safe alternative.

I had some free samples from last year’s Adult Expo, but I’d been too weirded out to try them until now. The ones I got are called Instead SoftCups, and they are designed to be worn during sex, so that porn stars don’t have to take time off when they’re on their periods. I guess it fits up under your cervix, out of harm’s way even when a 15” cock is ramming your innards like a chocolate molcajete. Nice!

In the interest of science, I tried one out the second day of my period. And I’m here to tell you: it works exactly as advertised! I didn’t try the sex part (I haven’t had sex since the Sgt. Peanut fiasco back in September), but I wore it all day, for around 12 hours, and it was great. Very easy to insert, and no mess to remove…although it was kinda weird having to reach up inside my vagina to fish it out. But definitely doable – the samples I had were meant to be disposable, so I plan to go online and get a Luna Cup or one of the reusable brands. Let’s hear it for innovation!!!!!!!!!!

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Booth Babe Season and Crazy Corporate Shenanigans

I don’t have a whole lot  to report, because I’ve been sick with a cold and have had to stay home and lay low, instead of running around the sewers naked in the middle of the night, like last week (could there be a correlation?). But speaking of that, here are a few awesome pics from the shoot.

Vagina Dentata, baby!!! This was SO worth getting sick over 🙂 I love the way she painted my Yoni to look like the vicious, cock-biting monster it truly is. Uh oh, my secret’s out — there goes my sex life! Anyway, this was the first time I’ve had my clitoris painted…and
I must say, it was interesting!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyhoo, the fun and games are all over — this past week was all about packing for my move (boo!), and the upcoming week’s all about work. Aside from my souvenir photography gig, next week I am also working as a booth hostess for some super-high-end audio company (they sell a $25,000 turntable, LOL) at my most loathed of all conventions, CES (that’s the Consumer Electronics Show, for those of you who actually have a life).

I despise working conventions. If you’ve never been to one, it’s basically a cavernous room, chilled to about minus 25 degress Celsius, blasted with harsh fluorescent light and lined with temporary booths staffed by Willy Loman types desperately hawking some shitty product or service to the hordes of badge-wearing industry-folk ambling blindly up and and down the aisles. DEPRESSING!

Sometime in the last 30 or 40 years, some genius came up with the idea of hiring hot gash to stand in front of his booth, thus attracting ten times more bored convention-goers than his cheap Chinese widgets would on their own. An industry model was born, and now you can’t hardly go to a trade show without being accosted by all manner of bleach-brained bimbos in slutty businesswoman costumes at every corner. It’s ridiculous!

I lived in Vegas for 6 years before I worked up the balls to try my hand at being a “booth model.” Before that, I assumed that to be a “model,” one had to be tall, big-titted and drop-dead gorgeous. I didn’t realize that any half-baked hag with a vagina and a waist-cincher could do it! I swear, some of the girls I’ve worked with at these things were beasts (externally…internally, they were almost ALL beasts). I myself only get booked for about one out of 5 shows I apply for…so I have to wonder how these nasty-ass ho’s are getting these gigs. I assume they have expertly PhotoShopped pictures (most of the hiring is done through agencies, based off photos). Caveat Emptor, convention clients! Meet your model in person before hiring!!!

To be a convention model/booth babe/tradeshow hostess, you need 3 things: the aforementioned flattering headshot, a slutty business costume, and a high tolerance for drudgery, sexual harassment and bullshit. If you’re still with me, your next step is to sign up with as many local modeling agencies as possible — here in Vegas, all agency contracts are non-exclusive, meaning you can sign on with as many as you wish. Sometimes a certain agency has the contract for an entire show — meaning that all models hired must come from their books…which is good news for D-listers like me, who finally get some scrapings after the agency exhausts their A-roster. But usually, it’s a free-for-all.

If you don’t feel like joining an agency (they negotiate your breaks and pay, but they also sometimes take 10-20% of your day rate), you can freelance. I’ve gotten quite a few gigs on craigslist, One Model Place and Model Mayhem. When craigslist first launched in Vegas, no one really used it, so there was virtually no competition for gigs. But now, everyone goes on craigslist…and it’s driven down the rates! All your average douche-kit wholesaler need do is post a semi-literate ad on craigslist offering $10 an hour “plus free lunch,” and his inbox will be flooded within 24 hours with photos of scraggly-extensioned, orange-complected whores, all vying for his magnificent paycheck. PLEASE!

It’s really funny what these bargain-basement A-holes ask for, too: “MUST BE BILINGUAL IN FRENCH AND KAZAKH, 7’5″ OR TALLER WITH A MINIMUM GGG CUP. $9 per hour plus free gropes.” Seriously! I wonder who these idiots end up hiring. $9/hour?!

Now, I know it sounds exceedingly petulant to grip about making $9/hour when there are Chinese peasants making 1000 iPods a day for 33cents.  But let’s just consider the market here. First of all, I know exhibitors at these expos are shelling out beaucoup bucks already — the convention hall charges them for everything from floor space to carpet to chairs and even the wastebasket. But hiring a booth model actually SAVES them money, because now they have to pay to fly one less employee out, pay for one less hotel room, etc. So you wouldn’t think they’d begrudge paying a little more than minimum wage — especially when they’re demanding “model” looks.

So, what is an appropriate wage? The average is between $250-400 for an 8 hour day. At least, that used to be the average before the cheapasses and dumbasses on Craigslist fucked it up for everyone. Now you see plenty of ads offering $100 or $125/8 hours. But most respectable agencies pay in the $250-400 range. And clients, if you’re THAT fuckin’ cheap…Sapphire strip club offers FREE booth models (seriously, they send over some of their dancers in “businesswear” to work your booth — for FREE! But again, Caveat Emptor…there’s a reason those strip clubs aren’t lit with bright fluorescent lights).

For this upcoming CES, I got the gig through a photographer I shot with once, and it’s paying only $200/day. Weak! I almost turned it down, because I can make that flashing my beaver for 2 hours, and have a lot more fun. But I’m kinda hard up for money right now, so I said yes. I’ll be sorry I did when I’m getting up at 6am every day next week! Bah!!!

It’s not just the getting up early, it’s the freezing your tits off because it’s 40 degrees in there and you’re wearing little more than a pinstriped thong. It’s the draining effect of standing on your feet under fluorescent lights all day, listening to dead-eyed salarymen bleat corporate-speak platitudes…and then having to smile and respond wittily to their half-baked come-ons. And it’s having to do all this in HIGH HEELS! Did I mention these shows run for 8 or 9 HOURS?!

Now to be fair, there were one or two shows I worked that were pretty sweet. One CES I worked for Netgear, and they let me wear a little Netgear sweater and sit on my fat ass behind a little Netgear desk all day. Another year I worked the Nightclub & Bar show for some media company, but all we did was cruise around and get free samples of booze all day, every day. But the best was this one time I worked the Adult Entertainment Expo.

The AEE (or porn convention, as it’s more commonly called) is usually held at the same time as CES, so that all the tech dorks can sneak a peek before going back home to Mommy, Junior and Little Susie. For the last two years, I bailed on CES in favor of AEE (this year for some reason, they moved AEE to the weekend following CES…so I can work both). Anyhoo, the first year I worked AEE I got the gig on craigslist — it was for Christian Audigier Condoms — a line of ultra-premium condoms made from the finest Malaysian latex (come to find out, there really is a latex tree, and it grows best in Malaysia). The guy running the company was a Beverly Hills rich kid stoner who basically just licensed the Christian Audigier name — the condoms had nothing to do with Ed Hardy or anything.

The Beverly Hills Stoner (or BHS) wasn’t even really interested in selling condoms — I think he just started the company to get booth space at the porn show. What he was REALLY interested in was this screenplay he was writing, which he kept in one of those old-time composition books. I peeked in it once when he went to the bathroom, and it was excruciating! Anyway, I think he hired me because of my ass — he was obsessed with asses, and every afternoon after we got high we would go over to the Elegant Angel booth to stare at Alexis Texas, the ginormous-assed porn star who was signing autographs over there. Yes that’s right, I said after we got high — every afternoon, after lunch, he would invite me out behind the convention center to smoke a joint. We’d be standing there on the corner of Koval Lane and Sands Ave, puffing away, me in a bikini and platforms. Nice! Who was watching over the booth during all this, you ask? Why, Mom and Dad, of course — inexplicably, his ancient Jewish Mother and Father had come along to the show, and were constantly fussing with him.

When not getting high on the streetcorner, my job duties were limited to lying on this bed they had set up in the booth, and posing for photos with showgoers. Every once in awhile, if I wanted to, I could hand out some condom samples and tell people about how ultra-premium the Malaysian latex was…but it wasn’t really necessary. Now, THAT was a sweet gig! The BHS even introduced me to Larry Flynt, plus I got my photo taken with Evan Stone and Corey Feldman. Gooooooooooood times.

That was one of the best shows I ever worked…well OK, it was pretty much the ONLY show I ever worked that was awesome. The rest of ’em were more or less interminable days of TORTURE (as I’m sure this upcoming week will be)! Thus, I present for your reading pleasure…

My Top Five Worst Tradeshow Gigs:

1. First place goes to the first trade show I ever worked, a scrapbooking convention (basically, a show for matrons and other Michaels craft store denizens). This was before I realized I could be a booth “model,” so I was just hired as a regular sales assistant for $125/day by this little old Jewish couple from Yonkers. They were very nice, but bickered constantly and the show was super boring.

2. One of the first tradeshows I booked as a booth model was the Waste Expo. Everyone who’s ANYONE in the garbage industry goes to this show, and I had a gig working for a dumpster manufacturer. They had hired me and this other chick to run this cheesy putting challenge they’d set up in their booth, and the other chick was scandalous. She was kinda homely and on the wrong side of 40, so I think she was extra flirtatious to make up for it — any time a guy came up to try the putting challenge, she would grab his club and back her ass up into his crotch to demonstrate how he should be holding it. Then she’d run over to the end of the putting green: “Now put your ball in the little hole between my legs!” Yuk, HYUK! The Waste people ate it up, though, and she even scored us each a $100 tip, by giving the dumpster manufacturer a sob story about how the “agency” takes 20% of our pay…boo hoo hoo…

3. Speaking of scandalous, the SEMA (auto accesories) show is always a good one for slutty models. The convention authority supposedly has a code of conduct when it comes to models’ outfits at shows, but apparently their standards are lax — one year, a floormat manufacturer had his models dressed in nothing more than two floormats and some string! I was fortunate enough to have scored a classy gig, doing product demos for this crazy German inwentor who lived in a Bavarian castle, where he dreamed up this light-up LED gear shift knob that uses an accelerometer to show you what gear you’re in. The had a sample gear shift mounted on a pedestal, and my job was to demo it all day long by shifting. After a few hours of my deft maneuvering, one of the guys in the booth across the aisle came over: “Honey, you’re killin’ us!” Yuk, HYUK!

3. Another year, I worked the auto show for this WEIRD company that had to sit me down over breakfast at the Cheesecake Factory to explain what they did — it was that complicated. To this day, I don’t really get it — they “provide solutions for problematic excess inventory,” but I was NOT under any circumstances to say “barter…” although it sounded to me like that’s exactly what they did. I guess they would buy a bunch of out-of-season panties from Victoria’s Secret, then trade them to some guy wanting to unload 50,000 floppy disks of the Oregon Trail. Something like that! Anyhoo, the gig was suuuuuuper boring because they left me alone all day long, every day. If anyone came by, I was to tell them “We Provide Solutions For Problematic Excess Inventory” and then give them a pen, stress ball, or other promotional tchotchke. (Speaking of that, I *HATE* when people are greedy at trade shows, and run around collecting as much free shit as they can…they always try to be sneaky, and get more than one: “Could I git one for my cousin, too?” “Have to get one for BOTH kids, you know…Dad can’t just bring home one, or it’ll be ugly!” I always lie and make up some excuse why I’m so sorry, but I can’t…it drives me NUTS!

Anyway, back to the Auto Show…it was so boring, that the highlight of the show was when this creepy member of the Saudi Automotive Industry Delegation showed up and spent an hour trying to convince me to come to Saudi Arabia sometime. Yeah, RIGHT! Do I LQQK like I’d fit in in Saudi Arabia?!?!?!?!?!?!

4. Another shitty show I worked was a convenience store owners’ powwow. Basically, all these awful “food” vendors were there passing out free samples of their nasty-ass crap: corn dogs, 5-Hour Energy drinks, etc. The bad part wasn’t the work itself (I was playing the Peanut M&M for M&M Mars…so I was inside a costume, out of harm’s way)…it was the food, which I was soooo bored that I ate at least one of everything there. Hot dogs, corn dogs, Twizzlers, Slim Jims, nachos, Twinkies…ugh, I get sick even remembering it. The name of that show shoulda been CancerCon!!

5. I worked the shoe show a couple of times for this *W*E*I*R*D* company out of Miami that made a sneaker with an implanted tracking device, so that you could keep track of your kids and demented parents. As a bonus, if you were kidnapped or got lost, all you had to do was push the panic button on the side, and the 911 call center was alerted. The shoes were overpriced and clearly a novelty, yet the company staff was overflowing with thug-glam Miamians in expensive clothes, all bitching about one another behind everyone’s backs. I personally think it was all a front for some shady drug operation…they couldn’t possibly have been real!

Anyhoo, that’s why I hate working conventions….but as you can see, they’re also kinda interesting and fun, in weird ways. Also, the bonus with the bigger shows like CES is that among the 100,000 or so attendees will be many amateur photographers…I’ve already been hit up several times on my Model Mayhem page by guys wanting to shoot during CES week. Unfortunately I’m already working day and night, so I had to turn some of them down…but I did find time to squeeze in one quickie earlier today at the Cosmopolitan.

The photographer was a guy I’ve shot with many times — a businessman from California who got tired of the corporate life and took a year’s hiatus to travel the world, photographing beautiful women. His little hiatus cost him $150,000 (he is very lavish — he pays very generously and provides luxury lingerie for the models), plus he got tangled up with one of his models (who was 20, and he’s 60)…so now his break’s over and he’s had to go back to work. He and a colleague shot me up in their CEO’s suite; the CEO hadn’t arrived yet, but everything was set up for a week of meetings — banners and signage and crap. Very depressing! My friend is still a baller, and ordered up champagne for the shoot…so I was basically lounging around on the balcony, in the sun (it was beautiful weather today), swilling champers…and getting paid for it. Life’s a bitch!

Then they wanted to play a trick on the CEO, who is apparently a very handsome but very shy Swede. I guess one time in Stockholm the three of them shared a prostitute, and the CEO went last and made an unholy mess. As revenge, they paid me $20 for a pair of my panties and left it hidden in the pillows on his bed. They also had me smear a little lipstick on his pillow for good measure!. Those craaaaaaaaaaaaazy corporate hijinks… It makes me SO GLAD I don’t work in an office, bottling up my inner freak until it’s packed so tightly it comes exploding out on every business trip! For me, every is Shenanigans Day…and that’s the way I likes it!

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Auld Lang Syne and Vagina Dentata

Thank Dog 2011 is FINALLY over. It was pretty much the most trying year of my life, which you probably already know, but here’s a brief recap.

It started out exceptionally well — amazingly so, actually, with a miraculous development along the lines of Deus ex Machina. I haven’t written about this before, so let me fill you in.

When I bought my insanely underwater house, I was dating/semi-engaged to a longtime boyfriend. We had been together about 2.5 years, but once we got the house we totally drifted apart. As previously mentioned, he was much younger than me — and MUCH squarer. In fact, he was PROUD of the fact that he liked Stove Top stuffing, baseball, and Velveeta-coated everything. Bleh! But we got along OK, until moving into the house, at which time we started drifting apart.

It wasn’t a super-dramatic split; we both just realized we were too different. He wanted a PTA mom for his future brood of Little-League-playing kids; I wanted to run around nude, smoking, cursing and blaspheming. Ya know, the usual differences! So we decided to break up, and that’s when the shit hit the fan. Because the mortgage was all in my name, he left me with an insanely underwater $340,000 mortgage, which in the interim has mysteriously ballooned to $375,000, despite my having diligently dumped in $125,000 (those crazy banks and their wacky exotic loans).

But I didn’t really get too pissed about that. Sure, it was a huge stress and it gave me a 2-year+ bout of insomnia…but what REALLY stung was what he told me the day the movers came to take away half our furniture. Come to find out, he had this weird rash on his hand, and when he went in to get it checked out…it turned out he had herpes!

He told me I’d better go get checked, too…so I did, although I resented every minute of it as an asinine waste of time, as I had never had any herpes symptoms. I figured he’d gotten it from his new girlfriend (he hooked up right away after we split). But I went to get tested anyway, just to be sure.

I swear, I have never been so nervous in my life!! For some reason it took several days for them to get the results, and all I remember is going to work, coming home and drinking giant glasses of Grand Marnier and smoking bowlsful of marijuana to dull my nerves. Mysteriously, even through all this, I slept very well (my insomnia didn’t kick in for another year, oddly.)

Finally the clinic called me to say they had my results — but I had to go in in person; they couldn’t tell me over the phone. Uh oh. I had to go straight to one of those corporate scavenger hunt gigs after the doctor — so I brought along a mini airplane bottle of Grand Marnier to chug in the parking lot if the results were bad. That way, I could at least get through my day.

Sure as sugar, the lady doctor sat me down and handed me a paper with my test results: positive. WTF!!! I knew it… just my shitty luck to have contracted an incurable STD, and not even know it. Come to find out, many people carry the herpes virus without ever exhibiting any symptoms; if your immune system is strong enough, it just sort of cruises around your bloodstream, waiting to infect others. You can still pass it on to a partner, without even knowing you have it — and that’s how it gets spread so widely. Most people don’t even know they’re doing it!

So now I was stuck with a soul-crushing mortgage AND an incurable disease. Fuck! I’m a MASTER at compartmentalization and dealing with shit, so I just crumpled up the paper with my results, shoved it in my purse, thanked the doc and went out to my truck to down that lifesaving mini of Grand Marnier. Then I drove up to Red Rock Hotel for the scavenger hunt, trying not to weep. But the bitch of it was, this was one of those scavenger hunts where I play the Bawling Bride — I was supposed to play the role of a jilted bride who has been left at the altar. The role called for me to wear a wedding dress and fake-sob, as though my heart was broken. Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to pretend-cry when you’re actually in imminent danger of breaking down into legit sobs…but if you have, you know it’s TOUGH.

Somehow, I made it through the game and then had to go to work right afterwards, taking photos at the Bette Midler show of all things. That show was heinous misery every single night of its existence — talk about a shitty, cheap, miserable old crowd! I think there must have been a Miami Beach shuttle, busing in cranky old yentas and their browbeaten, grouchy old husbands night after night. It was a nightmare, but especially so on this night. I somehow made it through the evening, then FINALLY got to go home and bawl my eyes out…which I did every single night for around a month.

Then, I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it — as I always do. (This is what pisses me off about my boss at the photo company telling me I’m “negative.” If he knew half the shit I’ve been through, yet never missed a night of work…he might shut his ass-kissing piehole for 2 fucking seconds to give me an ounce of credit. Anyhoo, I got on with my life — I started nude and fetish modeling to bring in extra cash, I got some EXTREMELY DISTURBING, CREEPY HILLBILLY ROOMMATES (remind me to blog about them sometime — they were a fucking freakshow!), and I started dating again.

The easiest way for me to date while harboring a dark secret was just to bring the secret out into the light — so on all my dating profiles, I put my herpetic status on BLAST. Something like, “Well, I have herpes…if you can deal with that, read on.” Fortunately, my exceptional hotness canceled out the herpes for most guys, and I had a successful dating life for the next couple of years. After awhile, it even stopped being an issue! Although it was still an awkward bitch explaining my status to partners I met out and about (as opposed to on the dating sites, where they’d already read about my secret).

Anyhoo, I went about my life and was hired by the local paper to write for this new Guide to Adult Vegas they were launching, called AfterDarkVegas (lame name, and everything else about the site was hopelessly clunky and lame. I’ll blog more about that some other time, too). Basically, I was supposed to cruise around town checking out the naughty stuff, then blog about it. It was AWESOME, except for the fact that our local paper is CRAZY conservative, and they were soooo uncomfortable with the subject matter that it was really hard to write compelling content that also passed muster with their Mormon Censor. The only reason I even got hired was, at the time the publisher was a forward-thinking Libertarian with a pervy streak. He saw some videos I did where I drunkenly and half-nakedly impersonated Sarah Palin, and that did it. (Well, that and the fact that I inadvertently flashed everyone in corporate at one of our meetings…the slit on my “sexy business” skirt split, and my luscious ass was hanging out for all to see.)

Anyhoo, this pervy Libertarian was ousted after I’d been working there 6 months, and a new, ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE publisher took over…and the first thing he did was put the kibosh on AfterDarkVegas. I was bummed, but also secretly relieved — they had me do all this cockamamie busywork all week, which no one even bothered to read, so what the fuck was the point?! Anything I wrote that WAS interesting ended up being edited to death by my conservative overlords. So I was actually GLAD to be done with it.

After getting the news, I went home and made a big bonfire in my backyard, to burn all my business cards and paperwork and whatnot. While I was at it, I figured I should clean out my other files, as welll — I’m one of those anal packrats who saves copies of every electric bill they’ve ever gotten. As I was going through my files, I found the folder marked “herpes.” (Yes, I’m THAT anal.)

“Well gee, I won’t be needing THIS anymore,” I muttered, wondering why the hell I kept the test results in the first place. I smoothed them out (remember, I had crumpled ’em up angrily upon receipt) and read them over for the first time — and it WASN’T EVEN MY RESULTS! The wrong date of birth was printed at the top!! Due to a paperwork mixup, the doctor had given me a faulty diagnosis of herpes.

“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.” In the intervening 2 years, I had banged several herpetic guys — one in particular with out a condom (we were together for a year, and figured since we both had it, why bother?) many, many times. The cruel irony of it all was, I may not have been herpetic when initially tested — but I sure as sugar probably was by now! ARRRRGH!

Strangely, I found the whole thing kind of funny. I guess I was so used to the fact that I had herpes, that it didn’t even bother me anymore (really, it’s a bullshit “disease,” and half the country has it anyway with no ill effects other than unnecessary shame). But I went in to get re-tested, anyway…and sure enough, I was negative. All this time I wasted bawling my eyes out and feeling sorry for myself — for naught! If I had ONLY read the test results in the first place, none of this would have happened…but you know, I was so upset at the initial doctor’s appointment, I was in no state to read that shit. Can you blame me?

One thing I realized after all this was, electronic health records might be the wave of the future…but in this instance, I was REALLY glad to have a paper copy. And I was REALLY glad to be a packrat — if I’d thrown those results away, I would likely have gone for the REST OF MY LIFE believing I had herpes. Weird! Lesson learned: always double-check and verify test results. Ya heard?!

This was all in January 2011 — as mentioned, this year started out FABULOUS. But it went straight to hell after that. My dad killed himself by jumping in front of a train, I lost my 3-year battle to keep my house, my insomnia kicked in FIERCELY and as a result, I was diagnosed as bipolar by a jackass psychiatrist who talked to me for 5 MINUTES — and in that 5 minutes effectively destroyed my chances of ever getting individual health insurance. Because I was diagnosed bipolar (even though he qualified it as “mild” Type II), I have a pre-existing condition, and was denied by several carriers 🙁 My insurance agent told me I’d likely never be insurable unless I paid out the ass.

So I spent most of 2011 in a state of agony — my boss wanted to fire me for being negative, but I couldn’t quit or get fired because then I’d lose my insurance, so I had to suck up and kiss ass and toe the line against my will just to keep the shitty fucking insurance that had led to my misdiagnoses in the first place! Also, for most of the year I was under the misguided impression that I’d work things out with my bank, and get to keep my house — so I figured I needed to keep a steady job to prove my stability to them.

ALL.

FOR.

NOTHING.

What a shitty fucking waste of a year. In retrospect, I wish I would have short sold my house right away, bailed on my job, and run away to join the circus. But, I didn’t….so here I am. 2012 can ONLY be better!

Anyhoo, that was my 2011. It ended even worse than it started, with me short selling my house for peanuts, and being forced to pack up and get out at the bank’s convenience. As I write this, I’m STILL sitting around on pins and needles, waiting for those crooked fucking assholes to say Yea or Nay to the deal. If they let it go through, and waive the remainder of my debt, I’m free. If they don’t….I’m fucked again, plain and simple. Meanwhile, I’m living with half my shit packed up, not sure when I’ll have to leave. It’s a really shitty way to live — no wonder I can’t sleep!

Thankfully, a friend came through with a new place for me to live — a really cute little 1940s bungalow near downtown Vegas. I’m planning to move ASAP — and then GET ON with my life!

In the meantime, I tried to enjoy my miserable Christmas. My mom has been having a really bad year, too — she was laid off a couple years ago, and has been trying to find work ever since, to no avail. She’s eating through her savings, and just had to dip into her 401(k). I feel awful for her, because there’s nothing I can do — I can’t even offer to let her move in with me, because my own living situation is so precarious!

With all this shit going on, we decided not to have Christmas at my mom’s house, because it’s too fucking depressing. Instead, my awesome grandma let us borrow the family vacation condo up at Lake Tahoe, so we all rendez-voused up there for the holiday. The rest of my family drove up from the Bay Area, and I drove up from Vegas — a 7-hour drive through the middle of nothing, just like going to Burning Man! It was really cool, though. My grandma’s condo is really nice and cozy, so we sat around cussing and drinking and playing games for 3 days. It kinda sucked because my sister just had RK surgery on her eyes, so we had to keep the lights dimmed and she had to wear big sunglasses and hide her head under a blanket most of the time…but we still had some fun. Because half of us are broke, we decided not to give gifts this year…but I cheated, and got everyone gag gifts anyway: I went to my favorite Halloween store and bought seven kooky hats, all representing various personality types, and wrapped them all identically. Then I had everyone pick one and open it on Christmas Eve, which was a riot! My mom picked the St Patty’s hat (ALKIE!), my brother’s girlfriend picked the witch hat (BITCH!), my brother-in-law picked the mini top hat (DIVA!) and my sister drew the jester’s hat (TRICKSTER!). I myself ended up with a furry rabbit hat (FURRY! EEK!)…all in all, it was gooood times.

We walked over to the casinos in Stateline (the little town on the CA/NV border on the south shore of Lake Tahoe), and took a walk around the lake one day. But after three days, they all had to go back home…so I got back in my truck and headed back south, back into the midst of all my shit and troubles. I figured since I didn’t have to be at work til Wednesday night, I might as well take my time going home, and stop at some hot springs. There are a ton of natural hot springs in the Eastern Sierra along U.S. 395, so I stopped at the ones south of Bridgeport, called Travertine. They were awesome!

Now, when I go to hot springs, I prefer to bathe Au Naturel. I’m a fuckin’ hippie, OK?! But I also don’t like offending people, so I brought along my emergency bikini just in case (I keep an old bikini in my truck for just these kinds of situations). When I rolled up to the springs (very conveniently located right off the 395), there was a young couple hanging out, and they were wearing bathing trunks. So I suited up and joined them, but they left shortly thereafter anyway and three lesbians showed up, and immediately started stripping.

Now, you might think this sounds like the intro to a spicy porno movie… but you couldn’t be farther from the truth! First of all, these were REAL LIFE lesbians — not the fake-ass fantasy shit you see on TV. Secondly, ALL FOUR OF US had fur bikinis thicker than anything Jantzen ever dreamed of… and hairy armpits, too (I hadn’t shaved my bush since Burning Man in late August, and my armpits since about November)(it was for ART’S SAKE, you haters!).

Anyhoos, IT WAS FABULOUS! We all sat there together stewing our pubes in hot mineral water, chatting amiably and comfortably like the witches of MacBeth, not having to worry about judgmental guys coming in and laughing at our hairy privates. Vegas can really warp a person’s perspective vis-a-vis body image — I had almost come to believe that all women have giant plastic tits, fish lips and baby-bald labia. Not so! I think I might be a nascent lesbian — or maybe just a plain old-fashioned man-hater, I’m not sure. Either way, it was very relaxing.

But I had 6 more hours to drive, so I reluctantly dried myself off and got back in my truck after an hour or so. Boo! Then I drove back to Vegas, and faced my troubles again. Double boo!!!

Thankfully, some of my nutty artist friends came calling, and distracted me from my misery: a bodypainter friend asked if I’d be interested in doing a creepy, post-apocalyptic photo shoot down in the storm drain tunnels underneath Vegas. WOULD I?!?!?! You bet! The only caveat was, I had to shave all my pubes and pits…but it was OK, because it was totally worth shaving for: she painted JAGGEDY TEETH on my labia, and gave my vagina a monster face. VAGINA DENTATA, BABY!!!

I went over to her house around 7:30pm on Thursday night, and she spent two and a half hours painting me. Then we drove down to the this parking lot near the Rio, which is where the storm drains open up, and met the photographers, so that we could all hike down into the tunnels together.

A word about these tunnels: people LIVE in them! They run for miles and miles underneath Vegas, and their purpose is to channel rainwater to the lake whenever we get monsoonal flash-floods in the summer. The rest of the year, they’re dry and empty…and make cozy dwellings for the homeless! I actually went out once with a guy who wrote a whole book about them, which was fascinating…he explored them for miles and miles, interviewing all the creepy subterranean dwellers he came upon. I’ve been DYING to go down and check them out for myself…but I’m too big of a puss to do it alone.

Thankfully, my kooky art pals were all about it, so we hiked down into this gully, towing a giant wagonload of photo equipment with us, and made our way into one of the tunnels by the light of an oil lantern (seriously…it was like Dungeons & Dragons!). This was around 11pm, so it was pitch black. Worse, it was FREEZING fucking cold, but since I was all painted up I couldn’t really wear clothes — the bodypainter (Suzanne Lugano) loaned me a little satin robe to sort of cover up in, but it offered little protection from the elements. But I’m a BAD ASS, so I soldiered on anyway.

The two photographers had brought a propane heater and a boombox, so once we got to a good spot, about 1/8 mile into the tunnel, we set up camp, with music, heat, lights and fun. It was just like Burning Man! Apparently, the photographers (Flash Adams and Derek from Get Back the Love) had done some exploring the previous day, and had followed the tunnel all the way under the freeway, under the Strip, and came out near the Imperial Palace — where they tripped some kind of security alarm and had to run back! But in the course of their exploration, they found the perfect spot, with all kinds of super-colorful graffiti…which is where we shot. It took 45 miserable minutes to set up their lights, but then we banged out the shot in 30 minutes, and I was out of there by 1am. Nice! I don’t have many of the photos yet, but I’ve added a couple so you can see what it was like…i.e. how AWESOME it was!

Anyhoo, after that excitement, I returned to the drudgery of packing and moving. And then it was New Year’s Eve, my most loathed of all holidays. Why do I hate it? Well, for starters, it attracts somewhere around 100,000 drunken idiots to the Strip, which they proceed to bury in a river of piss and vomit in short order, before turning to drunken violence and thuggery. But the REAL reason I hate it is, the photo company makes us work EVERY SINGLE YEAR, no matter what. If you try to call out, you’re fired — because supposedly, NYE is a magical night when everyone buys photos, and they can’t afford to miss any of the business.

HAH! They filled my head with this crap back in 2000 when I first started, and I was sooooo excited: “I can’t wait for New Year’s! That’s the night they tell me I’ll make a million dollars!” My green ass was practically salivating at the thought…until I went in to work it, and found out that it’s NO DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER NIGHT, no matter what the corporate line is. I have worked 11 New Year’s Eves in Vegas, and I can unequivocally state that this is the truth. Whoever says otherwise is a delusional company man, and needs to put down The Secret and pick up a bottle of Common Sense. Bullshit! Nonetheless, they insist on their Draconian NYE policy…so I found myself once again schlepping in to work the dreaded Sally Dingdong show.

Just to be clear, we can all figure out who I’m talking about when I say Sally Dingdong…RIGHT?! I thought it was a pretty obvious pseudonym, but comments on my Facebook page have proved otherwise. Suffice it to say that Sally Dingdong is a sappy Quebecoise banshee, and her fans are THE. MOST. PATHETIC. SAD. SACKS. YOU. HAVE. EVER. SEEN. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about her and her schlocky music that attracts the saddest members of society — the ugly, the crippled, the deformed and the unloveable. You know that Morrissey song “November Spawned a Monster”?! I think he was describing her fans!!! It’s incomprehensible to me, since her lyrics are totally sterile and banal, and she doesn’t even write her own stuff so how can she really mean what she’s singing?! The biggest laff is that during her show, she does a cover of Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen,” and prefaces it by reciting some rehearsed pabulum about knowing exactly what it feels like to be an ugly duckling. Talk about pandering! This skinny bitch was a superstar from the time she was 14 — when was she ever an unloved ugly duckling?! I wish her fans would wake the fuck up!

ANYHOO, I suffered through a miserable night of that shit, tempered only by a few furtive swigs of champagne in a back room of the photo lab. When I got off work at 10:30, I *briefly* considered going out to the Strip to join the melee (in fact, my bodypainter friend and her crew of goddess-worshiping hippies were having a drum circle right out front of where I work)…but my existential malaise got the better of me, and I ended up choosing to get the fuck out of the parking garage while I still could (after midnight it’s a DISASTER, and can take over an hour to exit). I went home to the house that isn’t even mine anymore, lit up my bong, and got high as a kite with my dog for company. I even kissed him at midnight (no tongue, you pervs). That’s the other thing I hate about NYE — I never have anyone to kiss. Arrgh!

So anyhoo, that was my SHIT-ASS 2011. I started out 2012 OK, by driving out to update my fetish website with some new breath holding videos earlier today…and now I’m in the thick of moving. I may not be able to update for awhile, so be patient!

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