Death Valley Nut Kicker and Published Authoress!

In keeping with the work-adventure-work rotation I’ve established lately, ever since returning from my last trip I’ve been hustling non-stop. The minute my flight from Arkansas touched down, I went over to the MGM to do a gig…and I’ve been busting my ass ever since!!! Gotta sock away enough cash to cover my next jaunt, in late November ūüôā

Goddess Collective models me, Jill V and Jessica Dawn W
Goddess Collective models me, Jill V and Jessica Dawn W

Most of my work lately has been outdoor photo shoots, since the weather is PERFECT this time of year for rolling around naked in the desert. I’ve been driving out to remote corners of the valley with various and sundry photographers, twice with a fellow member of my nude modeling troupe, the Goddesss Collective. Us Goddess Collectivists look out for one another, and try to share the wealth when it comes to photo shoots…so if a photographer wants to shoot more than one model, we always refer them to another member of the group, since we all work well together and have what it takes when it comes to art nudes. I did a couple shoots with fellow Goddess Jessica recently, and it was great!

Tarantula!!
Tarantula!!

At one of our outdoor shoots, we were way out in the desert shooting in some old abandoned buildings. The photographer kept telling us to be careful of splinters and snakes and whatnot, and I stupidly bragged that in all my days of outdoor shooting, I was lucky enough to have never seen a rattlesnake or scorpion or anything like that. Well, wouldn’t you know it…not five seconds later, a GINORMOUS tarantula came lumbering along into the shot!!! EEEK!!! The photographer scooped it up with a piece of wood and threw it way out back into the desert, but after that I was a bit apprehensive. I mean, I know tarantulas aren’t poisonous or anything…but they’re still pretty creepy!!

Worse, I wasn’t the only model to see a tarantula lately — come to find out it’s migration season for tarantulas, and one photographer I know saw an entire FLOCK of them crossing the desert floor near Valley of Fire!! I looked them up on Wikipedia, and it’s actually really sad: the male tarantula spends its entire life in a burrow underground, only emerging at the very end to mate. He crawls out of his hole and methodically prowls across the desert in search of a female, and then after they mate, he dies. I feel like there’s some kind of metaphor there, LOL. In any event, I’m surprised I never saw any before this — I’ve been shooting in the desert for about 5 years now.

Me in action at a photo shoot, taken by my fellow Goddess Collective member Jessica
Me in action at a photo shoot, taken by my fellow Goddess Collective member Jessica

Thankfully, not ALL my recent shoots were outdoors — I did another shoot at the Paris hotel that was tarantula-free. Now, in the amateur modeling industry we have this term “GWC” which stands for “Guy With Camera;” it’s a derogatory term used to describe amateur photographers who don’t know their ass from their elbow, but have a camera and just want to photograph naked chicks. Many self-important models refuse to shoot with GWCs, but guess what? I’m no diva, and I have no illusions about what I do: I’m an amateur model, not Heidi Freaking Klum!!! So where the hell would I get off refusing to shoot with a GWC? Besides, their money is as green as anyone’s, and at the end of the day I’m modeling to pay my bills….not get famous. Get over yourselves, girls!!!

selfie from the same photo shoot as above. This was 2 days after I ate all that food at the Arkansas State Fair!
selfie from the same photo shoot as above. This was 2 days after I ate all that food at the Arkansas State Fair!

Anyhoo, I’m¬†so¬†unpretentious (some might say cavalier) about my modeling that last week, I even shot with a GWOC — that’s a Guy Without a Camera! This man I’ve known for years wanted to do a photo shoot, but doesn’t have decent equipment, so I let him use my Nikon D80. I shot with him a couple years ago and did the same thing. ¬†I don’t give a fuck!!! He’s a nice man and he pays my rate, so what’s the fuss?¬†He rented a really nice room at the Paris (I think it was called a Red Room or something, and I definitely recommend them for shooting, as it was really nice and fairly cheap), and we had a very pleasant, enjoyable shoot. And there were no tarantulas!

Dante's View, Death Valley National Park
Dante’s View, Death Valley National Park

Then it was on to the granddaddy of all photo shoots: a three day odyssey into the farthest reaches of Death Valley!! This was an amazing photo shoot because it allowed me to make money¬†while¬†having an adventure — although I’m here to tell you, I really earned every penny the photographer paid me. This was a guy I had shot with back in March, and at that shoot we clicked so well that he booked me waaaay ahead of time for this Death Valley excursion. The plan was for me to pick him up at the airport on Thursday, then drive us out to Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley so that we could begin our shooting at sunrise on Friday.

Sunrise?!?!?!?!?!
Sunrise?!?!?!?!?!

Well, with a life like mine nothing ever goes according to plan: Thursday turned out to be an¬†exceptionally busy day for me, so we had to sort of go with the flow. As it happened, that was the day of a Vegas Valley Book Festival event requiring my attendance — I wrote a piece for this anthology they just published, so I was supposed to do a live reading and book signing that night at the Clark County Library. So the photographer and I worked it out that I would pick him up at the airport, bring him with me to the book signing at 7pm, and then leave immediately thereafter at 9pm and head straight to Stovepipe Wells. It’s a three-hour drive, which meant we wouldn’t get in til after midnight….and then I had to be up at 5am to prepare for our sunrise shoot, so I was in for a world of hurt. But I was up to the challenge!

So here’s how my Thursday went: at 12am (midnight the night before) I did a podcast interview at a local rock radio station, then went straight home to bed so I could be up at 8am for a radio interview on the local NPR affiliate. There, I read an excerpt from my anthology contribution, all about my shitty experiences as a camera girl. The interview went well (much better than last time I was on that station, when I brought in two of my dominatrix pals who were terrible¬†on the air).

The City of Las Vegas BETTER thank me for all I do!!!
The City of Las Vegas BETTER thank me for all I do!!!

Then I went home, ran five miles, wrote my column for CityLife, and headed over to this park near my house for the dedication ceremony of this new playground they just built. I knew they were giving a plaque to my neighbor, who is the president of the neighborhood association…but I didn’t realize I’d be getting a certificate of thanks myself, from the City of Las Vegas, for my tireless work as secretary of the Huntridge Neighborhood Association!! LMFAO!!!! I rolled in wearing slutty pink hot shorts and a tank top, then ended up having to pose for photos with our City Councilman and Congresswoman Dina Titus. Yikes!! Fortunately for me, our neighborhood is RIFE with opportunists and publicity whores who literally elbowed me out of the way for the ribbon-cutting pic, so I was sort of shunted off to the side anyway, to lurk in the shadows in all my whorey glory. But still!

Blathering at the Vegas Valley Book Festival
Blathering at the Vegas Valley Book Festival

After receiving my accolades, I ran home to pack for my Death Valley trip, with barely enough time to grab a spinach wrap from Sunrise Coffee for dinner, stuffing it in my face while racing madly to the airport to pick up the photographer, before heading to the library for the book signing. The photographer sat in the audience taking photos while a panel of local authors all blathered on and on about “progress,” which was the theme of the anthology, and I sat there tapping my toe impatiently waiting for the green light so I could haul ass to Death Valley and maybe get a few hours sleep. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book signing and stuff — it was¬†really¬†cool to meet people who read my column, and they all had nothing but kind things to say about it. Plus, I met a few guys who are into the local literary scene, and they invited me to contribute to their literary ‘zine, so that was super cool. For so many years I sat around lamenting the lack of culture in Vegas — well, it has arrived ūüôā

Our motel room in Stovepipe Wells
Our motel room in Stovepipe Wells

Anyhoo, the second the last book was signed, I hightailed it out of there. But first, the photographer was hungry so we had to stop at In-N-Out Burger…and then, the traffic was¬†so fucking miserable¬†getting out of Vegas (it was Halloween weekend, plus there was a huge rodeo event in town and a giant music festival going on at the same time…so traffic was¬†horrendous). So by the time we got to our motel in Stovepipe Wells, it was well after midnight and I was freaking¬†exhausted.¬†I set my alarm for 5am, popped an Ambien, and passed the fuck out.

on location in Death Valley
on location in Death Valley

Now, I had never done a multi-day photo shoot for pay before, so I wasn’t sure how it worked. My usual rate for a full day shoot (8 hours) is $500, but I cut a deal with this photographer: $1,000 for three days. It seemed fair, but I ended up working¬†way¬†more than eight hours a day. The actual¬†shooting¬†time was well within 8 hours, but I also had to drive us around from location to location, so I was pretty much working in one capacity or another from 6am-8pm, which is a 14 hour day. Also, the photographer wanted to document “A Day in the Life of Wonderhussy,” so he was constantly shooting candids of me as I went about my business — even poking his camera in my face at 5am (!!!!!!!!!!) as I was brushing my teeth, looking like a total disaster. I let him do it, though, because I’m all about radical transparency…and the truth is, I don’t wake up looking so glamorous.

Watching the sunrise...a rare sight for a night owl like me!
Watching the sunrise…a rare sight for a night owl like me!

Anyway, I guess I’m not really complaining — the photographer was¬†really nice, and paid for gas, meals and lodging (we shared a motel room with two beds). It just made me realize, that in future, if I do a multi-day photo shoot like this, I should lay some ground rules so that I have plenty of time to rest. They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason, ya know!!!¬†Also, I’m not sure I’ll ever volunteer to do the driving again, either — that was a lot of wear and tear on my truck, especially considering the washboard dirt roads we had to travel on much of the time.

But all that being said….it was an¬†amazing¬†photo shoot, and I¬†definitely¬†recommend bringing a model out there! There is no shortage of¬†amazing¬†locations, and most of them are remote enough that you don’t have to worry too much about being spotted. We were there on a Friday/Saturday, so it was pretty crowded…but even still, were able to shoot virtually unmolested. Ideally, I’d recommend doing it during the week…but if you’re unable, you can still get good stuff if you just go off the beaten path a bit. Also, October appears to be the optimal time of year to shoot — daytime temps were in the 80s-90s, so it was fairly comfortable for both me and the photographer. November, February, March and April would also probably be good months to shoot there.

The Mesquite sand dunes stretch on forever
The Mesquite sand dunes stretch on forever

Our itinerary covered most of the popular areas: we started on the Mesquite sand dunes at sunrise, shooting until it started to get too hot, at which time we headed out to Ubehebe Crater and then the next location, the Racetrack Playa, which was a loooooong drive to get to — we purposely timed it so that we’d arrive by golden hour.

The Racetrack Playa is that famous dry lake bed you always see photos of, where these giant rocks mysteriously move on

What? Why? How?!
What? Why? How?!

their own somehow, leaving trails on the hard-packed lakebed surface. I’d always wanted to go there, but never had the right opportunity — they say the road is¬†terrible, 27 miles of washboardy dirt and gravel littered with¬†sharp rocks that will bust a tire in no time, and there’s no cell reception so you can’t even call for a tow. 4-wheel drive vehicles with high-clearance are strongly recommended…but I figured that if my Ford Ranger had been able to make the 50-mile dirt road to Saline Valley hot springs, it could handle this piddly Racetrack Road. I was packing two cans of Fix-A-Flat, plenty of water, and repair tools…so I figured I’d just drive slo-o-o-o-owly and surely, about 5-10mph the entire way, and it would be OK.

I left a Wonderhussy sticker on one of the teakettles to the left of the samovar!
I left a Wonderhussy sticker on one of the teakettles to the left of the samovar!

As it turned out, I was fine — but they aren’t kidding; that road really¬†is¬†intense! It took about 3 hours each way, and it was a real study in patience, since there’s no radio reception out there either, and the scenery is fairly monotonous. The only roadside attraction is Teakettle Junction, about 3/4 of the way there, which is another shitty dirt road leading off to nowhere that is inexplicably marked with a bunch of teakettles hung there by various passers-by. (I guess if you have a REALLY badass Jeep, you can take the Teakettle Junction road all the way to Saline Valley hot springs. Bucketlist!!!!!)

But once you get to the Racetrack, it’s¬†totally worth it — that place is¬†magical!!! I don’t know or really care what makes the rocks move, I just know that it’s the most photogenic playa I’ve ever seen, perfectly flat and honey-combed with crack marks, and the most beautiful golden color. We were there around 3-5pm, and it was perfect — gorgeous light, and virtually deserted. What few people were there didn’t bother us, as the playa is 2.5 miles long and plenty big enough for everyone to enjoy, naked or not. We shot there til sunset and had a great time!

Devil's Golf Course at sunrise
Devil’s Golf Course at sunrise

After that, it was another 3 hours back to the pavement, and then another hour back to Stovepipe Wells, where we had a surprisingly good dinner in the restaurant there and then I passed out around 9pm. I got the feeling the photographer was disappointed I passed out so early, but come on!!! I was¬†exhausted¬†from modeling and driving all day! Besides, I had to be up at 5am¬†again for another sunrise shoot, this time at Devil’s Golf Course.

 

Rhyolite, pic by Irisphoto
Rhyolite, pic by Irisphoto

So the next day, our itinerary was Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater Basin (lowest point in the Western Hemisphere), then Scotty’s Castle and Rhyolite. I don’t recommend Scotty’s Castle as a shooting location — there’s really nowhere private to shoot, but we were pretty much just killing time waiting for golden hour, which we wanted to spend at Rhyolite. As for Rhyolite itself, it’s a cool old ghost town near Beatty, but I definitely don’t recommend shooting there on a Saturday — there were¬†way too many people around to get many good shots. Still, we managed to sneak in a few. But if you’re looking to shoot in a ghost town, you can’t do better than Gold Point. Hands down, that’s the best ghost town for nude (or even clothed) photo shoots.

After Rhyolite, we headed back into Vegas. The plan was for me to drop the photographer off at Mandalay Bay, then pick him up at sunrise again for the 3rd day of the shoot, which was to be in the desert around Vegas. We also planned to have dinner at Mandalay…but due to the rodeo, Halloween and all the other shit going on in town that weekend, the traffic was¬†so miserable¬†that I was literally unable to find a parking spot! If you’ve ever seen the ginormous fucking parking garage at Mandalay Bay, you’ll know that’s a strong statement — the place was chock-a-fucking-block with rednecks and morons there for the bull riding finals. I circled around inside the garage for awhile before giving up, heading home and passing out…cursing Vegas the entire way. It was a real shocker to go from the quiet desolation of Death Valley to the madness of Vegas, let me tell you.

At El Dorado dry lake bed, pic by Irisphoto
At El Dorado dry lake bed, pic by Irisphoto

The next day I had to get up at 5am¬†one last time, picked up the photographer, and headed out to the desert outside town for a last day of shooting. We hit up the El Dorado dry lake bed, the Boulder City Railroad Museum, the Hoover Dam and Techatticup Junction at Nelson’s Landing. The latter is this amazing¬†little fake ghost town about an hour outside Vegas, with an astonishingly cool collection of junk on hand that is¬†perfect for photo shoots — there were several going on that day, in fact. Alas, they don’t allow nude photography out there — if they did, I’d have the Goddess Collective host an all-day seminar there, and it would be¬†awesome. There is so much cool stuff to shoot with out there, from rusted out old airplanes to gutted pianos and busted TV sets — it’s a photographer’s paradise!!

Roadside brothel photo op!!!
Roadside brothel photo op!!!

Lastly, right before I dropped him off at the airport, the photographer had one last shot he wanted to get: me in the aisle of a Wal-Mart, flashing my twat at him. So we stopped off at a Wal-Mart near the airport, went in through the side entrance by the automotive stuff, found a deserted aisle, and got the shot before hustling out of there. Let it never be said I’m not classy.

So anyhoo, after all that I was¬†exhausted¬†and wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed for 3 days straight — but alas, that was the last night of the big Life Is Beautiful festival they were having in downtown Vegas…and how could I miss out on that?

In case you haven’t heard, downtown Vegas has undergone a real transformation over the last few years — a bevy of young hipster-types came in and took over, routing out all the gross crackheads, homeless people and unpretentious types so they could put in coffee houses and chi-chi lounges and whatnot. It’s taken awhile to get the whole scene together, but everything was readied in time for this weekend’s festival, which was like the debut of the New Downtown Vegas. Something like 20,000 people came to the festival each night, from all around the country, and it was a pretty legit party featuring performances by Beck, the Killers and Imagine Dragons among many others. In addition to that, all the old crack motels had been converted into art galleries, and gourmet food vendors lined the streets.

Crashing the Life is Beautiful festival
Crashing the Life is Beautiful festival

It was a pretty pretentious scene for me, and since tickets were upwards of $100 I had decided to skip it. Ironically, I had appeared in the commercial for the festival…but they only paid me $50, with no free ticket, so I was doubly sour about the whole affair. However…..I do love sneaking into events for free (like I did at the Electric Daisy Carnival), so in the back of my mind I was kind of wondering if I should try. So even though I was exhausted from my Death Valley trip… when a visiting photographer friend from Montreal called to invite me to meet him downtown for a drink…I couldn’t resist saddling up my bike and heading down to see if we could crash the festival.

It turned out to be astonishingly easy — we just stood by one of the exits, asking people as they left if they needed their wristbands. It wasn’t long before some kids offered us theirs, which I cut off their wrists using my trusty lipstick knife — and then, even better, some random passing venture capitalist gave my friend a free, unused VIP wristband!! After getting in, we milked that VIP wristband for free wine alllll night long in one of the VIP hospitality areas — sweet! We didn’t bother watching any of the lame-ass acts…we were more interested in just hanging out and soaking up the scene…for free!¬†We got high with some frat kids from Arizona, ate some shitty nachos, and just kinda bummed around looking at all the annoying festival chicks until we got bored and dipped out.

All in all, the festival was OK…but it did have a pretty elitist vibe to it, seeing as they had blocked off a bunch of city streets that were now impassable unless you spent $100+ on a ticket. The whole thing was encircled by a big cyclone fence, right in the middle of a blue-collar, blighted part of town…which seemed to be very symbolic of the whole New Downtown movement: crackheads on the outside, watching the kids frolic on the inside. Just like with the new Downtown scene, anyone is welcome to join in the party…if they can afford it. Hmm.

StoopidVegas.com
StoopidVegas.com

Speaking of downtown Vegas, I also spent a recent evening hanging out on the Fremont Street Experience, interviewing random crackheads and party whores for StoopidVegas.com, this new website I’m partnered with. StoopidVegas is basically a clearinghouse for photos and video of dumbass locals and tourists doing dumbass shit on the Vegas Strip and on Fremont Street, so my friend and I went down there one night to try and get some new footage, by interviewing random street performers and promoters and whatnot. Fun! As you can see with this tragic guy dressed as Elmo, it’s a really shitty scene…and must be shared!!!

Santa!!
Santa!!

Anyhoo, there’s not much I love more than talking to random Vegas freaks and street performers, so look for more coming soon. While I was down there, I also learned some astonishing news: one of my all-time favorite street freaks, this piss-stained old wino who dresses up as Santa Claus for beer money, has disappeared!! Word on the street is, he’s wanted for a felony, so he’s on the lam. WOW!!! I can’t think of many cooler things than a piss-stained wino Santa on the lam…can you???¬†Run, Santa — I hope they¬†never¬†find you!! Actually….I hope¬†I find you, on camera for StoopidVegas! That would totally be the scoop of the decade!

Then another night, I rode my bike down to Fremont Street again, for this pub crawl with a friend of mine, who is without a doubt one of the BIGGEST NERDS ON THE PLANET. He’s a math genius who sort of resembles a heavyset Steve Buscemi, if Steve Buscemi was an alcoholic who slept in a ditch, and he loves Dungeons & Dragons, video poker and Canadian prog-rock masters Rush. Enough said!!! This is the guy who roped me into helping me clean out his storage unit, because he supposedly had a photo of Ms. Cashman fucking a bulldog in there somewhere. Well, I helped him clean out the damn storage…but there was no bulldog pic to be found.

Icelandic geeks on the prowl. Lock up your calculators!!
Icelandic geeks on the prowl. Lock up your calculators!!

Anyhoo, apparently this guy is into playing an MMORPG (online role-playing game for superdorks) called EVE Online, and it just so happened that all the EVE bigwigs were in town for some kind of conference, and were having a pub crawl. My friend asked me to be his date, to get in good with the higher-ups and possibly score a job with them in their home country of Iceland. So it was that I found myself downtown at Commonwealth, making merry with 150 Icelandic superdorks and an open bar. NICE! I guess my hard work paid off, because my friend said he now has a standing offer to move to Iceland…which is cool for him, but a bummer for me, since I have two other SUPER ULTRA DORK-ASS pals that I have long wanted to get him in the same room with, just to see what would happen. Their combined nerdiness would be so intense, I bet the universe would implode!!! But now we may never know ūüôĀ

Why didn't anyone tell me my fly was down?! My furry pink dick is sticking out!
Why didn’t anyone tell me my fly was down?! My furry pink dick is sticking out!

But speaking of pub crawls, all of that was nothing compared to the big social event of the season: the semi-annual Blinking Man bicycle pub crawl!! For this event, something like 300 wackos strung flashing, blinking lights on their bikes and then rode around from bar to bar in downtown Vegas, drinking and carousing and generally just having an amazing time. I suited up in a costume and rode around all night with some of my neighbors, and it really was amazing.  As

The amazing Boris on his fire-breathing seahorse bike!
The amazing Boris on his fire-breathing seahorse bike!

big of an elitist hipster as it makes me, I really do love living downtown. There’s always¬†something¬†going on!

Anyhoo, on to the salacious shit you come here to read: I also did a lot of fetish work the last couple of weeks. One afternoon I did a ball-busting shoot at the MGM Grand, where I kicked this poor guy in the nuts repeatedly for around 90 minutes straight. Ouch!! They had me put on all these different outfits like the Farmer’s Daughter, Bitchy Schoolgirl and Dominatrix…but the scenario was always the same: me kicking him in the balls, over and over. The way this particular website pays was interesting: they offer $20 for a five-minute ball-busting clip; $25 if the guy’s balls are out in the open air. So I ended up making $165…which means yes, I kicked his bare sac for one of the clips. Ewwwww!

The guy himself was super cool, though. By day he’s a pilot for a major airline, but by night he gets off having his balls kicked by random women. He said it was something to do with the adrenaline rush he experiences after the pain subsides…idk. I asked him if he wasn’t afraid that someone would see his videos and then recognize him one day on one of his flights, but he said not really — and even if they did, he wouldn’t really get in trouble, since one of the other pilots at his airline also has a Clips4Sale fetish site featuring stewardesses getting jizzed on!!! Shit, I had¬†no idea¬†the airline industry was so rife with perverts!!! No wonder flying anywhere is such a hassle — they’re probably all in the cockpit blowing each other!!!!

the Cannigals script
the Cannigals script

Then another day I did a shoot for this¬†amazing¬†site, Cannigals.com. The Cannigals are just what they sound like: gals who are cannibals!!!! Their videos all feature beautiful young naked chicks being basted and roasted for the enjoyment of the Cannigals, and I was their latest victim. A friend of mine had shot with them a month or two ago, and she referred me. I went over to their house at the appointed hour, and sat around waiting for them to get their shit together. They had built this really elaborate set, purporting to be a witches’ den, and they even had a professional videographer and a lighting assistant and a script and everything.

It was pretty cool, except the videographer (being a professional) took everything¬†so¬†seriously that it took¬†freaking forever¬†to shoot the slightest scene!! We had to do multiple takes, from multiple angles…all for a freaking 15-minute fetish clip, LOL! I was told it would be a 2-hour shoot, but by the 2nd hour we hadn’t progressed much beyond the main witch looking me up and down, pinching my ass and saying how tasty I looked. Meanwhile, I had places to be later that night (this was the night of my podcast interview), so I had to give them a little goose to get them going.

After that, they hurried along with the rest of the scene, ripping off my dress, tying me up, and then covering me in oil and honey before stuffing an apple in my mouth and putting me in their “oven” to cook me. Yay!!! The second filming was finished, I jumped in the shower, rinsed off all the oil and honey, and got the fuck out of there. To their credit, they paid me an extra bonus for being there so long…and I gotta say, I would¬†definitely¬†shoot with them again, especially if I didn’t have anywhere else to be that night. Fun gals!

weird still life in a truckbed outside the studio
weird still life in a truckbed outside the studio

Finally, one last thing I did was help a friend find new on-air talent for his sex toy network — he basically runs a sort of QVC/HSN for dildos and dongs, so that “nice” suburban moms can buy sex toys from the privacy and comfort of their own home! I think it’s a genius idea, and would totally be on-air talent myself…except that he wants women with medical credentials, to lend an air of legitimacy to his show.

I met this guy randomly, in a very unorthodox way (regular readers of this blog may recall just how I met him, but I’m not repeating it here). He’s a real character, the stereotypical fast-talking Jewish Hollywood TV producer — he used to write for shows like “Diff’rent Strokes…” but now he’s selling some¬†really different strokes, LOL.¬†He just moved his base of operations from L.A. to Vegas, and he hired me as a sort of liaison/assistant to help him find talent. Well, with my massive database of wacky Facebook friends and acquaintances, I was able to hook him up with credentialed talent in no time…and I got to sit in on the interviews, watching the whole process.¬†Fascinating!!!

Ain't NOBODY got time for that! Pic by Larry Hoth
Ain’t NOBODY got time for that! Pic by Larry Hoth

He also has a warehouse full of dildos, dongs and whatnot in the back behind the studio, and offered to let me take whatever I wanted home with me…but the astonishing truth is that I have a very low libido, and don’t really have need for that shit. I’m too busy being roasted and basted and running around the desert naked, kicking pilots in the nuts, to have time to sit around and masturbate. My low libido makes me marvel all the more at all the weird, kinky fetish stuff I do…like, I can’t get over the lengths to which people (mainly men) will go to get their rocks off. I’d rather just drink a glass of wine and interview scuzzy street performers, personally…but whatever!! Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks……right?!?!¬†God love them and their insatiable sex drives — they pay my bills!

And finally, speaking of masturbation, it reminds me of this book I read, written by one of my Facebook friends, prominently featuring male masturbation: Gripped, by Jason Donnelly. It’s sort of a page-turner/thriller about a guy addicted to jerking off into socks, whose life is transformed by a strange DVD that shows up on his doorstep. I was oddly, grossly fascinated by its descriptions of compulsive male masturbatory habits, but I guess that’s just how it is with dudes: they have to empty their balls out a few times a day or they’ll explode, or something.¬†God, that would suck!!!!!!¬† Once again, I am reminded of¬†how¬†glad I am that I’m not a man.¬†Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!¬†Still, it’s a fascinating book and a real page turner, so here’s the Amazon link if you want to download it (I read it on my phone, LOL).

Oh, and FINALLY finally, I should mention that I’ll be serving as one of the celebrity judges at this year’s Las Vegas Halloween Parade on Thursday night!! As you may recall, I attended this parade the last couple of years, and it really is one of the best parties around — like Mardi Gras and Burning Man all rolled into one, with art cars and mutant vehicles from Burning Man all rolling down Fremont Street, with the Dancetronauts bringing up the rear in their spaceship with the 100,000-watt sound system. A huge block party/rave follows the parade, and if the last two years were any indication, it’s sure to be an amazing¬†party.¬†It’s THE best place to be on Halloween night, so come on down and by judged by me! I promise I’ll go easy on ya ūüôā

 

Red State Blue State

I have my finger in the anus -- I mean on the pulse -- of America!
I have my finger in the anus — I mean on the pulse — of America!

In these politically-charged, anti-Obammycare times, when so many are antagonistic to the point of shutting down the dang guv’ment, I thought it might be an insightful exercise to travel to both sides of the country to see what’s really going on. Like Diane Sawyer!

First, I ventured deep into solid Blue State commieland (northern California)…and the following week, I went down into the Heartland‚ĄĘ to Arkansas. What did I discover? PLENTY!

My first stop was northern California. I drove up there from Vegas (a 9-hour

Believe it or not, this is a scene from Blue State California! Aside from the LA/San Fran areas, most of inland and rural CA is pretty conservative
Believe it or not, this is a scene from Blue State California! Aside from the LA/San Fran areas, most of inland and rural CA is pretty conservative

jaunt) to attend the social event of the year: the annual forest rave birthday bash of electronic music pioneer Goa Gil! I went up a few days early to stay in San Francisco with my special friend from Burning Man, Zen, who lives right in the geographical center of the city near the legendary Haight-Ashbury area. Talk about Blue State — this was as commie as you can get, this side of Cuba!

While I was in San Fran, I booked a nudie photo shoot with a traveling businessman at the Fisherman’s Wharf Hilton, to cover

The new LED lights on the Bay Bridge, as seen while snarfing artisanal cheese and crusty bread with Zen on the waterfront
The new LED lights on the Bay Bridge, as seen while snarfing artisanal cheese and crusty bread with Zen on the waterfront

my gas money. Let me tell you something…I have a pretty good sense of direction, but driving around that city (San Francisco) is¬†baffling. I can’t seem to grasp the layout — the streets all go willy-nilly in every direction; not like Vegas, where due to our stolid Mormon founding, the streets are laid out in a very orderly east-west, north-south grid. It’s kinda depressing, in a way — it’s almost¬†impossible¬†to get lost in Vegas. All you have to do is look up, and either the Stratosphere Tower or the Luxor’s laser beam will orient you.

another wristband for the collection
another wristband for the collection

After attending to business, and bumming around the city for a few days, it was time to head for the hills and attend Goa Gil’s birthday bash. Here’s a quick refresher, in case you forgot: at Burning Man, all my Israeli campmates were telling me about these legendary rave/birthday parties in the forest, where this ancient DJ named Gil from Goa, India spins psytrance music for up to 30 hours straight, while hordes of Israelis, Russians and hippies eat acid and dance like mad people in a sort of transcendent state of mindlessness! When they told me about it, I knew I¬†had¬†to go…and by Golly, I made good on my promise ūüôā

the beauty!!
the beauty!!

Goa Gil is an internationally famous psytrance DJ who does shows all over the world, but he comes back to Nor Cal twice a year for these birthday parties/raves that are always held in different remote locations, far away from the prying eyes of Johnny Law — places where a man can eat acid and spin brain-breakingly loud psytrance for up to 30 hours at a time, ya know? This particular party — his 62nd birthday — was held at a breathtakingly¬†beautiful site in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee, a few hours northeast of San Francisco.

making dinner
making dinner

Goa Gil’s birthday set traditionally starts at sundown on Saturday, and he spins until sundown Sunday — or until he runs out of acid!!! Accordingly, Zen and I left San Francisco late Saturday morning, arriving in the Tahoe forest around 3pm…just in time to set up camp and make dinner before Gil started.

The way it works is, they set up a DJ booth and dance floor in a little clearing, and then you just find a place to set up camp nearby — you’re probably going to be dancing your balls off all night, so you only need a small pile of fur to collapse on for a few hours anyway. We went as far from the dancefloor as possible, way up on this bluff behind the rest of the party, to try and get a little peace and quiet in case we felt like resting at any time during Gil’s marathon set. But as I was soon to find out, it was a fool’s errand!!!

psytrance baby
psytrance baby

After setting up camp, a bunch of Zen’s friends from the Bay Area joined us, and we made a fire and had a big old communal hippie potluck dinner. Several of the group were Japanese — apparently psytrance is huge in Japan, so much so that this one couple even brought their adorable 10-month-old baby with them. And this wasn’t even baby’s first Gil party — it was her¬†second, so she knew what was up. They even had these adorable little baby-sized protective headphones for her to wear, to protect her delicate baby eardrums from the¬†relentlessly pounding¬†psytrance (if you’ve never heard psytrance, look it up on Pandora or see below to understand what I mean).

 

alien music wafted through the gloaming forest
alien music wafted through the gloaming forest

As we were having dinner, the sun started to go down, and Gil’s wife Ariane played a short set. Ariane is better known as an accomplished djembe player, but she also DJs a bit, and she played this amazing sort of ethereal warm-up music that echoed through the forest like the sound of that alien spaceship from Close Encounters. It was really cool, and got my blood pumping for the main event — I couldn’t¬†wait¬†for the legendary Goa Gil to start! Maaan, I was gonna party¬†allllll niiiiiiiiight!!!!

After downing a handful of mushrooms for dessert, I suited up in my colorful psychedelic caftan (that dress was born for this rave; I might as well retire it now, because it totally served its purpose there) and headed down to the dancefloor area to see Gil come on. It was astonishing!!!

Goa Gil's DJ booth/shrine
Goa Gil’s DJ booth/shrine

First of all, keep in mind that this was this crazy fucker’s 62nd birthday party — he’s no spring chicken! But his legions of devoted followers assembled this huge beautiful canopy over his DJ platform, with an elaborate and well-provisioned shrine in front featuring flowers, crystals, Buddha statues, an abalone-shell waterfall, jugs of coconut water and assorted other hippie accouterments. It was amazing!

But the most amazing¬†thing was when he actually started playing his set. All this peace-n-love hippie-dippie iconography, all the beautiful flowers and crystals and shit — and when his music came on, it was like the sound of meth-addled cops pounding on the door of a bank vault with diamond jackhammers!!! To me, it sounded angry and relentless — this music gets up to 200 beats per minute, and it just sounds terrifying and angry to me. Listen for yourself:

So there’s this furiously pounding, blasting beat echoing through the forest, and everyone starts to “dance.” By “dance,” I mean sort of jerk around in a trance — that’s what these kids do; it’s really like they’re in some kind of whirling-dervish-esque altered state of consciousness! I can’t be absolutely certain, but from what I witnessed I’d hazard to say 99% of all attendees were high on¬†something, most likely acid, shrooms or molly — and that¬†most definitely¬†includes Gil; there’s no way he could keep spinning for 30 hours straight without it! I was told he has assistants who feed him doses as he goes along, every few hours, to keep him going. Gotta keep the engine oiled, ya know?

special psytrance makeup
special psytrance makeup

Anyhoo, it was really cold up in that forest — we were at something like 7,000 feet elevation, so it got down to around 29 degrees that night. But I had on a furry hat and gloves and a coat, plus a bellyful of wine and mushrooms, so I was just fine, sort of jerk-dancing in a trance of my own among the throngs of Russians and Israelis and leftover flower children. My intent was to dance, dance, dance until sunrise, at which time I’d sneak back to camp for a few hours’ sleep.

However,¬†my partner in crime has this weird reaction to mushrooms where they make him sleepy¬†— so after about an hour, he said he was going to lie down in the tent for awhile. I danced alone for a bit…but I have a severe¬†sleep fetish, and my thoughts kept straying to the warm, cozy confines of the tent — we had a fur rug and stuff in there, so it sounded pretty nice to just lay down for awhile and warm up. D’OH! I crawled into the tent and under the blankets…and I didn’t get out for almost 12 hours!!! Some fuckin’ party animal, eh???

Goa Gil cranking away
Goa Gil cranking away

That’s not to say I¬†slept,¬†mind you —¬†you try sleeping when there’s 200bpm psytrance pounding through the night air like an atomic bomb blast, vibrating the very ground beneath you!! Even though our camp was as far as possible from the dance area, and even though I had in my trusty earplugs, it was still¬†so loud¬†you could feel your liver rattling — all night long!!!

Finally, around 10am I gave up and crawled out of the tent, a raging headache pounding in perfect time with the music — that crazy old fucker Gil was still banging away at it!! I don’t know how he does it. It’s truly astonishing — and amazing!

The dancefloor
The dancefloor

After 10 cups of coffee and another hippie potluck breakfast with my awesome campmates, I felt hale and hearty enough to venture back down to the dancefloor for some more rug-cutting. Things were¬†exactly¬†as I’d left them — Gil soldiering on in the DJ booth, the crowd of blissed-out Israelis and Russians still trancing away like no time had passed. AMAZING! Even more amazing, every once in a while Gil would pick up his little pocket camera and take photos of people in the crowd dancing — he really keeps an eye on his audience, and will sometimes alter his set to play specifically to a particular person in the crowd, matching their energy.

Gil's private potty
Gil’s private potty

Meanwhile, Gil¬†is¬†a human being with a bladder…so they had this awesome private port-a-potty set up for him, right behind his DJ booth. I guess during his marathon 30-hour sets, he’ll sometimes start up a track and then dip out for a sec to take a pee. LOL! Must be nice to be him — the¬†other¬†port-a-potties, the ones for us hoi polloi, were¬†absolutely filthy. Worse than Burning Man, and even worse than the Electric Daisy Carnival! I guess it’s all the drugs — whatever it is, these raver kids are¬†fucking animals¬†in the bathroom :-/

Om
Om

Anyhoo, after dancing awhile and taking photos of the crazy scene, Zen and I hiked down to this¬†beautiful river/creek thing nearby, and hung out on the banks communing with nature and just being mellow. Even at this distance, however, you could faintly hear — and¬†feel —¬†the pounding music coming through the trees. It was crazy! The water was too cold to really swim in, so we just kinda hiked around and then got lost on our way back, ending up having to hack through dense manzanita stands, cutting the fuck out of our shins in the process :-/ Remember, all this time I was hiking in a psychedelic caftan and flip-flops!!

Listen fuckers, how would YOU look after a night like that?!?!
Listen fuckers, how would YOU look after a night like that?!?!

By the time we made it back, we were wore the fuck out! But I had this awesome bottle of champagne someone had given me on the last day of Burning Man, so we drank that along with some fresh strawberries one of our campmates had brought, and then we crawled in Zen’s hammock and I got high as a kite and we passed out. That’s the way to go! Pounding psytrance in the background or no, it was a great nap…and after it got dark, we packed up camp and said our goodbyes and headed back toward San Francisco. And all this time…Gil was still playing!! I think he ended up DJing for something like 26 hours straight this time — not bad for a 62-year-old!!! In fact, I’d say it’s AMAZING!!!

I love this fucking caftan so much!!
I love this fucking caftan so much!!

The next morning, I left San Francisco to visit my mom, up in wine country in Sonoma County. Along the way, I stopped at several thrift stores in search of new psychedelic caftans — they are my preferred mode of dress, and I just thought I’d look around for backups, in the inevitable event that my current¬†beloved caftan wears out. Knock wood, I’ve had it for about 15 years (and it originally cost 25 cents!)…but I know it won’t last forever ūüôĀ

Alas, however, I had no luck finding a new caftan, though I looked in San Francisco, San Rafael, Petaluma and Santa Rosa. I¬†did¬†have some luck finding random cool stuff at the Goodwill Outlet in Santa Rosa — it’s one of those places where they just chuck a bunch of unwanted shit from other Goodwills into these huge bins, and you paw through them for treasures, paying something like $5 per pound. Regardless of what it is — $5 per pound.¬†Amazing!!! I found some really cool shit there…but no caftan ūüôĀ

Awesome statue in Petaluma honoring Bill Soberanes, the world's #1 People-Meeter
Awesome statue in Petaluma honoring Bill Soberanes, accomplished arm-wrestler and the world’s #1 People-Meeter

Anyhoo, after that I journeyed up into the hills to my mom’s cozy little cabin, where I spent a couple days chilling in the forest, recouping my sleep and just being mellow. One day we went for a road trip all through the beautiful, funky little towns of Sonoma county: Sebastopol, Occidental, Petaluma…it’s¬†amazingly beautiful, artsy hippie country! It was also harvest season, so all the big trucks were rumbling down the little country roads, picking up loads of grapes from the vineyards to make delicious, life-affirming wine. YUM! I love it up there, especially in fall. I need to spend more time there, for sure!

After a few days in Sonoma, I headed back down toward Vegas. I made a very bourgeois stop at an Ikea store (we have none in Vegas, and I needed a cheap dresser), then headed south through the wastelands of central California, back down toward the desert. That’s real cowtown/no-man’s-land out there…but sad to say they still have better radio stations than we do here in Vegas!! This one in particular is¬†amazing — King’s Radio, 103.3, which plays all fabulous oldies like Perry Como and Frankie Laine and shit. If you happen to find yourself driving down I-5 in central California, between Fresno and Bakersfield…check it out!

a truck stop outside Bakersburg, CA
a truck stop outside Bakersburg, CA

Speaking of Bakersburg, I stopped off for dinner with my friend Dr. Zhivago, who lives there, and enjoyed a glass of wine or two and a delightful meal at the local Elephant Bar before cruising back on through the desert to Vegas. I got into town around 1am, and passed out, exhausted!

But I couldn’t rest too long, because I only had one day to get things cleaned up and ready to go for my next trip. I spent the day cleaning house, doing laundry and hitting the gym, and then on Friday I dragged my ass up at 4am (!!!!) to make a 6am flight to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit my friend from middle school, who lives there now. Yeeeeeeee haw! Excuse me, I mean “Wooooooooooooo Pig! Soooo-eee!” (As they say in Arkansas, referring to their college football team, the Razorbacks. And I mean everyone¬†says it…including the entire airplane¬†I flew in on, in unison, when egged on by the flight attendant. FREAKY!!)

Fabulous old bath house
Fabulous old bath house

Now, I’d already been out to visit my friend in Little Rock once before — on that visit, we went to Memphis and visited Graceland and all that — but this time, she had something different in store! She picked me up at the airport and we headed straight out to Hot Springs, the little town in the foothills of the Ozarks where she grew up.¬†Fabulous!!

Back in the day (the 20s, 30s, 40s, etc) Hot Springs was THE place to go for a mineral bath — in those days, they really

The Arlington...right out of The Shining!!!
The Arlington…right out of The Shining!!!

believed in the curative properties of the natural hot springs waters, so all the rich society people and mobsters and stuff would go down there for a soak. They built all these amazing majestic hotels and bathhouses, but over the years the place has sort of fallen into genteel disrepair, crumbling in a very Southern, Blanche DuBois kind of way. But some of the grand old hotels are still open, and we checked into this one awesomely creepy, decrepit old Grande Dame called The Arlington. Fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ambiance is everything at the Arlington
Ambiance is everything at the Arlington

After dinner at this little Ecuadorian place, and drinks at a few local hotspots (including the fabulous lobby bar of the Arlington, where a bitter drunken redneck cussed out my friend for not accepting his offer of a tequila shot), we passed out for the night so we could be up in time to hit the Arlington’s Bath House — which was WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the MOST AMAZING PLACES I’ve ever been!

Now, I’m used to these ultra-pretentious

Southern ladies being attended to
Southern ladies being attended to

Vegas spas, with their Koi ponds and eucalyptus buttplugs and whatnot. This was nothing like that. This was an¬†old school bath house,¬†which means it was crusty, decrepit and basically resembled nothing so much as a 1940s insane asylum — white tiles with dirty grout, rusty appliances, threadbare towels and creepy cracked white leatherette upholstery on the chaises. Like I said, fabulous.

Basically, you pay $30 to go in, strip naked, and get scrubbed down by one of

Cleanliness is next to godliness!
Cleanliness is next to godliness!

the ginormous attendants (they look more like hospital orderlies, adding to the asylum vibe). They put you in a decrepit old whirlpool bathtub full of hot mineral water, leave you there for an hour, then come in and scrub your naked body with a loofah. It’s¬†totally¬†Scarlett O’Hara meets Nurse Ratched.

Then they wrap you in hot towels and leave you to lay on a chaise for another hour, shvitzing out all your toxins in the company of various other Southern ladies, which is a real hoot in itself. I mean, this place was so weird! I loved it!

 

wrapped in hot threadbare towels
not sure what THIS tub was for! Yikes!!!
not sure what THIS tub was for! Yikes!!!

 

 

 

 

Look at these pictures! This definitely ain’t no Vegas spa, that’s for sure…it really was like being a patient in an insane asylum.

Ahhh...so much better!
¬†Ahhh…so much better!

 

Now, I’m a bona-fide hot springs nut (as you know), but I don’t know about any curative properties or anything like that. But I did feel hydrated and revitalized after the morning’s soak, and was ready to take on the world…starting with Little Rock, Arkansas! But before we left Hot Springs, there was one last stop to make at the gift shop across the street….

We'll cut your balls off!
We’ll cut your balls off!

 

That’s right — at LONG LAST, I was finally able to get my hands on one of those fabulous little knives cunningly disguised as lipstick containers!!! I saw one in a documentary about lady truck drivers once, and have wanted one ever since. Finally, a weapon to take along on those desert photo shoots with strange men!

the view from my deck at my friend's house
the view from my deck at my friend’s house

Now we drove back to Little Rock, to my friend’s beautiful new house on the shores of this little lake right in the middle of town. It was so beautiful and so peaceful, and I had my own little guest apartment downstairs with a private deck looking out over the astonishingly beautiful lake. What a great setup! After resting up awhile, we went out for dinner and drinks at some bars in downtown Little Rock, including this one awesome one I remember from last time, that has an

piana bar
piana bar

amazing white trash piano bar upstairs, and a slightly ghetto hip-hop club down in the basement. Hmmm! I remember last time (2010), there was this big blonde pig-faced sow celebrating a bachelorette party upstairs….and guess what; this time there was the same exact thing going on! Ahh, the Circle of Life. Sows keep breeding, boars keep rutting… Woooooooooooo Pig, soooooooo-eeeee indeed!!!

Running along the River Trail
Running along the River Trail

The next morning, my girlfriend dragged my ass down to this gorgeous trail system along the river banks for a punishing 6-mile run. She’s into marathoning and whatnot, and I’m into not being a lardass….and besides, we planned to check out the State Fair that night, so we needed to burn some major calories! But it was really cool to see how many people were out and about, running and biking and enjoying the beautiful fall weather (everywhere I went this month — San Francisco, Sonoma, Vegas and Arkansas — the weather was¬†gorgeous, leading me to surmise that October is the best weather month everywhere). One has these preconceived notions of the South being nothing but lardasses in trailer parks, and it simply isn’t so. Arkansas has astonishing¬†natural beauty.

Fried everything!
Fried everything!

Anyhoo, it was a GOOD FUCKIN’ THING I ran those six miles, because I¬†totally lost control at the Fair that night. I was on my period, but I really can’t explain my behavior — I just went batshit crazy, and ate every fattening thing in sight. Blechhhh!

At first, I was wandering around in a state of amusement, like, “Ahahaha, how funny…deep fried Jell-O.” But next thing you know, I was sidling up to the counter and ordering chicken & waffles on a stick, chili cheese fries, corn dogs and MUCH, MUCH more. BLURRRRRGGHHHHH!! It was like some primal instinct took over, and made me order that stuff. And¬†I ate it all!!!!!!!!!

Bleeeuuuurrrgggghhhhhh
Bleeeuuuurrrgggghhhhhh

I swear, I don’t know what came over me. I don’t even remember much of what went on at the fair, because I was in a food coma. I know that my friends went on a bunch of rides, but I’m a pussy about that kinda stuff so I waited on the ground, people-watching, while they rode. I should have gone with them, in retrospect…if only to puke up all the¬†crap¬†in my stomach!! I probably would have felt a lot better in the morning, that’s for sure.

Gasbagging
Gasbagging

It wasn’t all just fried foods and carnival rides, though — there was also a bunch of agricultural 4-H stuff, and all these informational exhibits telling you how bad abortion is (they had little rubber fetuses showing you fetal development at various stages of pregnancy), how great Jesus is, and how important agriculture is. This shit was my favorite part of the whole fair!!! I even ran into one of the readers of this blog, working at a Tuff Shed exhibit! You just never know where you’ll run into likeminded souls…..

Trick or Teat!
Trick or Teat!

Anyway, all this reminded me of how I NEED to get my ass out to the Clark County Fair one of these days (Vegas is in Clark County). The fairgrounds are in Logandale, about an hour north of Vegas, and I bet it’s amazing¬†out there — totally removed from the whole Sin City shtick. I guess it’s like that anywhere — once you get out of the city and into the boondocks, shit changes, and the next thing you know you’re listening to country music and muddin’ in an F-150 in the middle of a wheatfield. It’s like that on the outskirts of Vegas, and even once you get far enough outside the Bay Area. In fact, one of the best redneck rodeos I ever went to was in San Francisco — folks came from all the little inland towns around, and it was amazing.

Urrrp. WHY??
Urrrp. WHY??

Aaaaaanyway, the next morning I woke up feeling like the fucking Hindenburg blimp, but somehow strapped myself into my jeans and boarded a flight back to Vegas. Only, it was more like a bus trip, ’cause this fucking plane kept stopping in every podunk town along the way!! First we had to land in Dallas, then in Lubbock. WTF!!! I can’t complain though, because it was a free ticket given me by my generous, fabulous girlfriend. And, I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine to see Lubbock, TX — if only through the window of a Southwest jet. It was everything I expected it to be — and it only whetted my appetite for another adventure I want to embark on: a road trip tour of TEXAS!!! Once I get my little Scamp or Casita trailer, I plan to cruise around the Lone Star State, from Amarillo to Houston, from Texarkana to Odessa, leaving Wonderhussy stickers on every oil derrick and electric chair I pass by!! Who’s with me?????

Leaving my mark at a biker bar in Arkansas
Leaving my mark at a biker bar in Arkansas

Speaking of new adventures, for the past few months I’ve fallen into this great pattern of traveling/having adventures, then coming home and working for a while to make money to fund my next trip. In fact, the minute I touched down in Vegas, I was off to the MGM Grand to play a role in a scavenger hunt. The money I earned doing that paid for my parking at the airport, and even covered my food bill at the State Fair (ughhh). So that’s my plan for the next month or so — I have another California road trip planned for mid/late November, so until then you’ll find me knocking around Vegas, hustling and kicking guys in the balls and whatnot, socking away the cash for my next big adventure ūüôā

P.S. for MANY more photos from my Goa Gil Rave trip, click here. 

For MANY more photos from my Arkansas Odyssey, click here.

 

 

 

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Nevada

A NV medical marijuana card looks just like a driver's license
A NV medical marijuana card looks just like a driver’s license. Not sure why I blacked out the “MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT” header.

I’ve had a Nevada medical marijuana card since 2010, and people are always asking me how they can get one, too. There are already several sites out there explaining the process, and really all it takes is a quick Google search…but why refer people to some other asshole’s page when I can drive traffic here?! So, here’s my advice if you want to obtain a medical MJ card in the state of NV:

First of all, decide if you really need/want a card. It’s GREAT to be legal, and not have to hide your pot-smoking…but keep in mind that Nevada is an at-will employment state, so your employer can basically terminate you for any reason they want — which includes failing a drug test, even if it’s technically your legal medicine. (I know it’s bullshit, and seems like discrimination to me…but I’m not sure what your legal grounds would be in that scenario. Fortunately for me, I’m self-employed and don’t have to give a fuck!!! But if you’re unfortunate enough to work for some asshole, be advised.)

Also, child services or whatever might have something to say about you using your meds around your kids…I haven’t heard of anyone being hassled over that, but it might be an issue for any of you parents out there. Additionally, anyone with a commercial driver’s license in ineligible, as is anyone with a prior drug conviction.

Also keep in mind that the way you can use your medicine will be strictly regulated; you can only use it at home, basically. You can’t transport it across state lines, so forget about using your meds while traveling. And you’re not allowed to use in public — like at parties, concerts, etc. It’s¬†medicine,¬†fool! You can still get a ticket for using it recreationally.

Finally, be advised that it’s kinda hard to get medicine in Vegas; the dispensaries were all shut down due to their existing in a sort of legal limbo, and until the lawmakers get that straightened out, the only way to get your meds is to grow it yourself (you can grow seven plants with a MMJ card, 3 of which can be mature at one time) or to order it from a delivery service. The delivery service is convenient, but they tack on a $5 delivery fee plus tip to the already high prices: expect to pay around $50-$60 for 1/8oz. (plus tip/fees). *NOTE: this is all supposedly changing in 2014…they finally passed a bill to allow dispensaries to operate…so we’ll see how that goes.

After considering all that, if you still feel it’s worth it to have a card (as I do…I LOVE being able to tout my potsmoking to the world), then here’s how you go about it.

First off, Nevada only approves the use of marijuana to treat four conditions…so you have to decide which of the four you’re suffering from: AIDS, cancer, glaucoma… or everyone’s favorite catch-all, ¬†“Any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition that produces: cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures or severe nausea or pain.” In case you can’t decipher that last part…it basically means you’re suffering pain due to any medical condition. That could be anything from migraines to menstrual cramps to weltschmerz. So, it’s fairly easy for most people to identify a qualifying condition. (My own condition is insomnia…which, if I don’t sleep, gives me terrible headaches. But smoking or eating marijuana helps immeasurably!)

Once you’ve figured that out, go ahead and¬†order an application from the¬†Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. You just need to write them a letter explaining your interest in obtaining a medical card application, and enclose a check or money order in the amount of $50 to submit with your request. In other words…it costs $50 just to get the freakin’ application.

They say you’ll get your application packet in 14-21 days. I’m pretty sure it took less than a month to get mine, so I guess they’re not lying. Once you get it in the mail, you’ll find it’s a packet of various forms that need filling out, each of which will cost you more money.

  1. You have to be fingerprinted, which depending on where you go costs around $20-$25.
  2. You need a physician’s recommendation. I have been using the office of Kathleen Smith at Ultimate U Medical; she’s a legit doctor who charges about $100 for an office visit. I have also used the services of¬†Dr. Reefer; they are under new management, and have nothing to do with the original guy (who was way ahead of his time, and ran into legal trouble). Dr. Reefer’s office will, in fact, take care of the whole application process for you, from start to finish, for a very small premium — including fingerprinting, notarizing, and filing.
  3. Lastly, you need to have two forms notarized, which is usually around $5 per form.

Once you have all your forms completed and notarized, now you get to submit your completed packet to the Nevada State Health Division, along with another payment of $150. (NOTE: this fee is supposedly being cut in half in 2014, so after Jan. 1 the fee will only be $75.)

Now you have to wait. It can take quite some time for the state to approve your application…I think it took them a couple months for my first one. If they deny you, you’re out the initial $185 (what you spent on the app, doctor, etc)…but in my experience I don’t think they deny many people. As long as you don’t hold a Commercial Driver’s License or have any drug convictions, you’ll probably be OK.

Once you finally do receive your letter of approval, now you have to go to the DMV to get your actual card. But don’t worry!!! You have a¬†medical condition¬†— they give you a handicap pass, and you get to go to the front of the line ūüôā Damn straight, after paying all that cash!!!

The cost at the DMV for the actual card is around $12. They give you a temporary permit until the actual card is mailed to you (takes a week or so). And then, you’re legal! But at what cost?! Let’s do a quick cost/benefit analysis:

Total cost of card: $50 application + $100 doctor’s visit + $10 notary fees + $25 fingerprint services + $150 state fee + $12 DMV fee = $347.

That $347 is only for one year. When your card expires, you have to do it all over again, except the initial application fee and the fingerprinting. So you’re looking at around $280/year just to stay legal.

For that $280, you have the privilege of paying $60 for 1/8oz. of delivery-service weed…or of growing your own medicine, 3 plants at a time. Either way, I ask myself every year if it’s really worth it. For me personally it probably isn’t — I have lots of friends who sell pot, and I could buy it from them for cheaper anyway. And because I mostly use my meds at home, in bed, I’m not really at risk of getting busted. I can’t take it with me when traveling, anyway….so really, what’s the point?!

At one time, I felt that by getting my card and advertising my status as a medical patient, I was helping make the idea of medical marijuana more commonplace and acceptable…and hopefully paving the way for the eventual legalization of pot smoking in NV. But now, I feel like the only thing I’m really doing by getting a card is lining the state’s pockets. Fuckers!

Anyway, keep all this in mind…and good luck!

 

 

 

 

Beating Up a Photographer For Fun and Profit

Some pics from Sturgis are still trickling in!
Some pics from Sturgis are still trickling in!

Just the other week, I was bitching about how I’ve never in my life had a birthday party. Or any party, for that matter — not even as a little kid! I¬†go¬†to a lot of¬†other¬†people’s parties, but for some reason I’ve never been the recipient or hostess of one. Part of this is due to the fact that despite my posturing, I have weirdly low self-esteem, and am afraid that if I ever¬†did¬†throw a party…no one would show up. Lame!

Well, this year, I got what I asked for…and just as I’d always feared, it wasn’t pretty :-/ In fact, it was one of the most awkward and miserable nights of my life!!! A¬†total fail!!!

It started on my actual birthday, Sunday…which I spent in bed, on the treadmill and at my computer, updating this blog. Just another day, etc. etc. etc! Well, my friend Fabian called me to see what I was doing the following night. I had sort of planned to go to the grand opening of this swanky new pizza joint, but he convinced me not to go, offering to take me to dinner instead.

Now, Fabian runs a company that sets up elaborate pranks on people — LasVegasTheGame.com¬†(site not fully up yet, but bound to be AMAZING when finished. They’re who I pissed on that mook for). Anyway, Fabian told me that — SURPRISE — my nutty roommate was planning a surprise party for me that night…but he (Fabian) had the feeling it wasn’t going to turn out very good, due to poor planning. My roommate had called Fabian up for help planning it, but Fabian was too busy with work, and so he had the feeling it wasn’t really going to pan out. At least Fabian thought to save me from some of the humiliation by a) warning me what was about to happen, and b) having me prank my own party in a sort of meta-prank.

awkwardness
awkwardness

I was¬†so glad Fabian told me about the “surprise” party, because I had to be up at 4am the next day for a sunrise photo shoot, and I didn’t want to get embroiled in some all-night shenanigans. His proposed prank would solve my dilemma, allowing me to leave early — his idea was that his own roommate, this blonde chick named Sarah, would be at the bar with one of those fake beer bottles made of easily-breakable sugar glass. I would get into some sort of altercation with her, she would hit me over the head with the bottle, and I would slap a palmful of fake blood onto my temple and run out screaming — thus creating a dramatic scene at my own party, and leaving everyone wondering!!!!

I was still really nervous about the whole thing, because I had this awful feeling no one would show up. I mean, I have over 2,000 Facebook friends, but half of them aren’t in Vegas…and the other half are from disparate fields of the community and there’s no way my roommate would have known how to invite them all short of posting on my page…which would have ruined the surprise. He really only knows the Burning Man side of me anyway, so I figured he’d probably just hit up some of my Burning Man friends…most of whom aren’t real “friend”-friends, anyway.¬†You know what I mean!

ummmm...
ummmm…

So I was¬†really glad Fabian blew the surprise, and clued me in…and I got even gladder as the night went on. We went to dinner, and the plan was for him to take me “for a nightcap” to the Atomic Liquors bar on Fremont Street, at 9pm, when everyone would surprise me. But at 8:55 my roommate called him to say that Atomic is¬†closed¬†on Mondays…so they were going to a different bar instead. D’oh!!

After plans were reshuffled, we waited an extra 15 minutes and then headed to the new bar, which was Artifice, in the Arts District. I had a real stomachache at this point, since my roommate had told Fabian there were only 3 people with him…how embarrassing.¬†I just wanted to get this whole fucking charade over with so I could go home and get to bed — remember, I had to be up at¬†4am!!!

Well, we got to Artifice and who should be standing in the window but my roommate! I had to act “surprised” to see him, since I¬†never see him out and about, let alone at that bar…but when I tried to say something to him, he turned and ran away!! Way to keep your cool! So I went into the bar all “befuddled” and “wondering why” my roommate was there, and….surprise! There really were three people there, waiting for me. Awww!

Not to disparage those three people — I thank you all heartily for bothering to show up — but it was just¬†miserably depressing. We were pretty much the only people in the bar, so it was even more awkward — and they¬†had all signed a card, leaving room for others to sign…but there were no others,¬†so most of the card is creepily blank. My rooommate, bless his soul, had gotten me a peanut butter pie, so my one friend sang Happy Birthday in Spanish, we had some pie…and it was just suicidal.

Then, to make matters worse, after about 5 minutes and before we could even do the beer bottle prank, my roommate left!! Apparently he had some place to be, and couldn’t stay. WTF! Now it was¬†really¬†awkward, since I could tell the others wanted to leave, and I myself had to get up at 4am so I¬†really¬†wanted to leave. But I felt like I had to hang around at least 45 minutes or so…ya know?!

I pied a lesbian...right in the face!
I pied a lesbian…right in the face!

Meanwhile, there were a few belligerent lesbians at the bar (sitting next to Sarah with the fake beer bottle), and one of them stole my phone and wouldn’t give it back unless I bought everyone drinks. WTF!!!¬†Worst. Birthday. Ever!!!¬†Mysteriously, a cream pie appeared on top of my phone…and knowing Fabian, I surmised he must have had some kind of meta-meta-prank planned on me…so, worried that he (or someone else) was going to pie me in the face with it, I went ahead and threw it in the face of the lesbian, took my phone back, and rode my bike home.

SAD!

photo by Randy Fosth/ Shutterbug Studio
photo by Randy Fosth/ Shutterbug Studio

After the fact, my roommate informed me that he’d invited “all” my friends…but since only 3 showed up, I guess that says it all. It was a really sobering, miserable night, and I just wanted to go home and bawl my eyes out…but I couldn’t, as I had that fucking sunrise photo shoot the next morning and I had to look bright-eyed and chipper. Sigh!

Aaaaaaaaanyhoo, as with all life’s disappointments and humiliations, I turned to work to distract me. I got up at 4am, and drove for an hour way out to the northwest shore of Lake Mead to meet this photographer I was shooting with. This guy likes to take advantage of that sweet early-morning and late-afternoon light, so he had hired me for a half-day shoot, but split in two: I was to shoot with him for two hours at sunrise, and then two again at sunset. Before you go getting any ideas,¬†it was a one-time thing!!¬†I won’t do that again, since it was a total of 4 hours of driving, $60 in gas, and a huge pain in the ass. (To his credit, the very kind photographer did offer to let me stay at his hotel in Overton, and spend the time between shoots lounging by the pool…but I had too much stuff to do, so I demurred in favor of driving back and forth like an idiot all day).

As big a pain in the ass as it was, it¬†was¬†super beautiful to be out in the desert that early in the morning, and seeing the sunrise was a real treat. But if you ask me…..sunset is just as beautiful as sunrise!!!!!¬†I *HATE* getting up that early!!

Pic by Randy Fosth/Shutterbug Studio
Pic by Randy Fosth/Shutterbug Studio

Thankfully, my next few shoots were much easier. A few days later I did a shoot at the creepy, dumpy, down-at-heels Clarion (which used to be the Greek Isles, which used to be the Debbie Reynolds Hotel). It was a very straightforward nude shoot with a photographer I’ve shot with before, and to make things even better he had brought these things called Pose Cards with him. ALL photographers should have these things, I swear — they’re little playing card-type things with drawings of various classical art poses on them, so the model can just copy the card without the photographer trying to explain what he wants. SO MUCH EASIER!! The shoot went by in a flash, thanks to those helpful little cards.

Jill V and I, shot by Bill M.
Jill V and I, shot by Bill M.

The next shoot I did was even easier. This other nude model I know, Jill V., started a little group of local nude models called the Goddess Collective. There are about 5 or 6 of us, and the idea is for us to market ourselves as a group, for seminars or photoshoots or whatever we can round up. That Jill is a hustler, I’ll giver her that — modeling is all she does, full-time. She lives part-time in Vancouver, and part-time here in the desert…and travels around all over the place the rest of the time, shooting with all and sundry. Here’s a link to her Model Mayhem profile¬†(warning: her grammar/communication skills are not up to par…but she’s a smart chick in general).

Anyhoo, Jill had arranged a shoot for me and her and another member of the Goddess Collective, this girl named Jessica. We all went out to the desert with this awesome ex-rock photographer dude from Nashville, and he shot a bunch of stills and video of us frolicking around in white gossamer goddess-y shit, acting goddess-like. It was a riot!! Jill plans to use the photos and video to market our upcoming photography workshop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico…she met some rich dude at a hotel pool one day, who said we can use his estate for a photo workshop this December. So if you’re interested in shooting a group of models down in Mexico, stay tuned for more details coming soon.

Anyway, I did a second shoot with that same photographer the following day, and it was fantastic. Such a nice man, and he seemed quite pleased with my performance. Yay, me! The only downside was, the shoot was at Planet Hollywood, and I¬†fucking hate¬†that hotel! I get lost in there¬†every single time¬†I go there…and I’ve been going there for 10 years already. The design sucks ass!

pic by HerFlexAppeal.com
pic by HerFlexAppeal.com

But¬†all those fun photo shoots were¬†nothing¬†compared to this one mega-doozy I did. Jill V. hooked it up again — some guy had messaged her wanting to do a muscle-fetish photo shoot (the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding expo was in town, and a lot of muscle freaks follow it like a traveling circus). Well, Jill has more of a lithe dancer’s body, not so much muscle tone…so she referred me, since I lift weights regularly and have decent biceps and whatnot. Thanks, Jill! ūüôā

HerFlexAppeal.com
HerFlexAppeal.com

So this guy called me up to tell me about the shoot, which was for this muscle fetish website he was planning to launch. Not only would he be taking stills of me flexing and whatnot…he also needed girls to talk “dirty” for his webcam and phone-sex chatline. Only it’s not what you’re thinking — you don’t talk about sex, you talk about how¬†strong¬†you are, and how you could¬†crush¬†the guy on the other end of the line. I was a little hesitant, since as previously mentioned I lack the necessary gravitas for stuff like that (I’d start laughing for sure). But he kept going on and on, asking what I would say if he did this, or that, and what would I do if he said this, or that…and after a few minutes I could clearly see he was trying to provoke me into talking “dirty” to him, for free!! I was in a real fucking hurry, as usual, trying to get to my naked sushi modeling gig, so I just told him what he wanted to hear (“I’d fucking crush your neck between my thighs til your head popped like a grape!!!!!!!!”) and went about my business, never expecting to hear from him again. Every once in awhile I get taken by a pervy jackass like that…it’s just part and parcel of being a fetish model, ya know?

But apparently he really liked what he heard, because he did end up booking me for a 2-hour shoot the following week: one hour of stills, and one of P.O.V. video, of me telling the camera how I’m gonna crush “you” with my steely thighs, etc. OK, whatever…cash is King!

So I went over to his suite at the Rumor Boutique Hotel and we did our thing. For the first hour, Jill V. was there as well, since he had hired her to show him how to set up the lighting (she also knows a lot about lighting, FYI). But after the stills were shot, Jill took off and left me and the guy together. Ruh-roh!!!

As promised, we shot some P.O.V. video of me talking to the camera, telling it what I was gonna do to it. Then we had to break, while he demonstrated some of the scissor holds I was to use…conveniently¬†using him as a demo model for me to practice on!! I guess he got all riled up showing me the various positions, because after the second hour he was all sweaty and flustered and asked if he could ask a special favor of me: for $50, would I beat the living shit out of him for 15 minutes??

one of the selfies he made me send him
one of the selfies he made me send him

WOULD I?????!!!!!!!¬†Boy, and HOW! He set up his video camera on a tripod and laid on the bed, while I proceeded to choke, strangle, scissor, punch and kick him —¬†hard¬†— until I myself was totally winded and sweaty: “This is for WASTING my TIME on the PHONE the other day!!!!! You fucking asshole!!!!!!” I’m here to tell you, I work out a¬†lot, but there’s no workout to compare to beating someone up! I was completely¬†exhausted¬†afterward!!!!

The only freaky part was, he wanted me to step on his throat and shit…but told me to ignore him if he begged me to stop — that was all part of the fantasy, you see. But he didn’t want a safe word, either (you know, a secret word that when uttered, immediately puts a halt to the proceedings) — a safe word was just as big of a buzzkill. I was like, “No way am I choking you out without¬†some kind of safe word — what if I kill you??” So he finally agreed to suck my toes if he was really ready to tap out — supposedly he hates feet, and to suck my toes would be a supremely distasteful humiliation for him.¬†OR SO HE CLAIMED.¬†Hmmmm…..

Well, suffice it to say he ended up sucking all my toes — at once! After the buzzer went off at the end of the 15 minutes, he was all flushed and exhilarated, like a true perv: “Wow, at first I was really aroused…but after a few minutes it was just too painful and the arousal stopped!”And it was true, he was a complete gentleman throughout, and never sported wood or anything like that. Oddly, he was totally happy with that turn of events, and even asked if he could call me next time he was in town. Shit, I guess I better beef up my fighting skills by then — I mean, I was totally knackered after that fifteen minutes.

Anyway, that was just another day in the life for me. Another day, another photo shoot. I’ve been doing so many photo shoots lately, in fact, that my pictures are popping up all¬†over¬†the place — sometimes to my annoyance! Listen to¬†this¬†shit:

A couple years back, I made a showgirl costume so that I could hire myself out to parties and events and shit, or maybe just go busk on the Strip and make a few bucks, ya know? Well, I needed some photos in the costume to market myself, so I hit up a friend with a studio, who is widely known to sell his photos to stock photo agencies. (Stock photos are royalty-free photos you can download for a nominal fee, and legally use as you like.)

Now, normally this guy pays his models (knowing he’ll¬†make money on the back end, since he gets a commission every time someone downloads one of his stock photos)…but for some reason he didn’t offer to pay me, and my dumb ass signed his release anyway. D’oh!! Apparently, that series of photos is really popular, and he even told me once that I shouldn’t be surprised if I see one on a billboard some day…because someone downloads one of them¬†every single day. Wow!

Aaaaaaanyoo…that “some day” is now here. I haven’t seen my pic on a billboard yet, but a friend in London snapped this pic from Leicester Square, where my ass is being used to pimp some stupid casino (I thought it was a brothel at first, because of the “Over 18’s Only” sign, haha). WTF!!! [pics removed at photographer’s request]

Then, another friend saw my pic on the website of this stupid fucking game show (a show, incidentally, for which I auditioned but wasn’t cast…grrr). Willya just look at that? Hey, at least I beat out a Vegas buffet…as if¬†that’s¬†any consolation! In any event, WHO KNOWS where my pic will pop up next?? Keep your eyes peeled, and be sure to snap a pic and send it my way if you do see me somewhere. It’s like a giant game of “Where’s Wonderhussy?!” Arrrgh.

Now speaking of Wonderhussy, at the same time that the Olympia bodybuilding competition was in town, it was also the week of the big Comic-Con Cosplay shindig at the Riviera. ComicCon is basically where all the¬†super-√ľber-fucking-dorks who are obsessed with Marvel comics and shit¬†come out to party in their finest superhero costumes (cosplay being shorthand for “play”ing in “cos”tumes. OY, VEY IZ MIR!!!!

Fuck You All!!!
Fuck You All!!!

Well, it just so happened that Jill V. and Jessica (from the Goddess Collective) were being bodypainted for this reality show (the same one I was painted for the other week, in fact…I’m the one who hooked them up with the gig! The Goddess Collective is a two-way street; all about sharing work, ya know?). Anyway, the reality show did a tie-in episode with the ComicCon dorks, and I can’t give too many details away, but they needed cosplay people to come down to this nightclub and hang out in the audience for this one scene where Jill and Jessica were painted up all badass.

Now, I had just spent the night in the desert at these hot springs (more on which below), so I was pretty tired and kinda beat-up looking. Still, I rallied and

they never really work out that way...
they never really work out that way…

went into my dressing room to see what kind of amazing cosplay getup I could put together. One of my readers had just sent me this amazing Anime-style Wonder Woman costume, so I tried that on first…but unfortunately, it was one of those deals where it looked cool in the photo on the box, but in reality it didn’t really look or fit that good.

Not to worry — I’ve got mad skills! I used the breastplate from the Wonder Woman costume, along with some Viking accessories and this rabbit fur bikini a photographer once made me for a “One Million B.C.” photo shoot, and cobbled together a sort of warrior princess getup. Then I headed down to the nightclub to hang out with all the other super-duper Cosplay dorks…which was a really trying experience, let me tell you!!!

CosPlay!!!
CosPlay!!!

For the show, the conceit was that they needed some of us to participate in a costume contest, and stand before three judges who were supposedly big-time models in the Cosplay community. Pssssshhhht! A lardier-assed bunch of self-important moo-cows I never saw!! This one chick in a Red Sonja outfit was like the ringleader, and I guess she was kind of a bitch, because she really pissed off this mousy little wench in a Commie SuperGirl outfit — when the Commie Girl went onstage, Red Sonja sneered “Nice hat…did you get it at Party City??!”

Oh, shit!! CosPlay Eiffel Tower!!!
Oh, shit!! CosPlay Eiffel Tower!!!

OMG!!! If there are two words that are anathema to a real Cosplayer, they’re “Party City” — this little Commie wench went¬†batshit insane at the insinuation, lividly informing me that she got the hat “IN FUCKING RUSSIA!!!!”¬†Apparently it was an authentic Soviet officer’s hat (big fuckin’ deal; even I have one of those), and she didn’t take kindly to the insult. Worse, I guess Red Sonja used to be married to the Commie Girl’s husband, so there was some backstory drama there, too. Whatever!!! Cosplayer drama…is there anything sadder/more amusing? Not really!!

Anyway, when it was my turn to go onstage I managed to turn it into a great opportunity for self-promotion: again, I can’t give away too many details, but when they asked who I was supposed to be, I said I was my own creation —¬†WONDERHUSSY!!! I even turned around and twerked a little in my rabbit-fur micro-miniskirt for the overheated crowd of Cosplayers — it was great!! I hope they leave it all in the final cut — be sure to tune into SyFy later this month for the show, which is called Naked Vegas.

tipis at Bailey's Hot Springs
tipis at Bailey’s Hot Springs

So, anyhoo — as mentioned above, I had just spent the night at some hotsprings north of town, just outside Beatty. Some Burning Man friends from town had planned a little campout there, so I met them out there Thursday evening after I got off my shift at the Gaming Expo, where I was pouring samples of Wolfgang Puck table wines for convention-goers (what, you thought all I did was beat up photographers?!).

These hot springs were¬†amazing!!!¬†It’s a

In my fur womb
In my fur womb

little RV park/campground off the side of U.S. 95 just north of Beatty called Bailey’s Hot Springs, and they are fantastic. For more photos and info, see my Facebook album. They have two tipis for rent, so my friends all rented one and we hung out all night drinking and smoking and carrying on in a most enjoyable manner. I set up my own little tent nearby, with a thick Flokati rug (thank you, Grandma!!!) inside like a fur womb, ’cause it was really chilly out there! I also brought my special vanity blanket that my friend Steve White made for me, with my own nude image woven into it — super cool, but alas not warm enough for that biting desert wind. I almost froze my ass off that night!! I needed about 3 more Flokati rugs and I would have been OK.

Ahhhhhhhhhh...Alkali!
Ahhhhhhhhhh…Alkali!

Anyway, we all soaked in the hot springs, which are really nice but enclosed in sort of bathhouse-type structures. I personally prefer a canopy of stars when I soak in a hot springs, so in the morning, when everyone else went back to Vegas, I went on ahead north another hour, to these hotsprings I had read about near Goldfield, called Alkali hot springs. Now,¬†those¬†were amazing!!! Super-remote, out in the middle of nowhere…and almost totally natural (they did put a sort of concrete bench and lining in one of them, which was nice…cuz who likes to sit in the muck?! Not me!). There are photos of those in my Facebook album,¬†as well.

I hung out and soaked there for quite awhile, then drove back through Goldfield (an¬†amazing¬†artists’-colony-type desert town that I need to visit at length ASAP) and back to Vegas, so I could go to that cosplay party. What a looooong day! But I still hadn’t had enough hot springs action yet.

one of the pools at Goldstrike hotsprings
one of the pools at Goldstrike hotsprings

Another day, my friend Fabian and I hiked down to the Goldstrike hot springs — again!! I¬†just did that hike a couple weeks ago, but he had never been, and I really didn’t feel like running my usual 5 miles, so I went back with him. The hike was uneventful, and pretty much the same as last time, except….this¬†time, we noticed this weird mossy shit growing on the walls of the the canyon near the springs.

This mossy shit is really thick and puffy,

moss vagina
moss vagina

but¬†dense…and because warm hot springs water is constantly flowing down over it, it’s completely slimy and firm and warm, and really resembles nothing so much as inner vaginal tissue!!! When you poke your finger into it, it even kinda looks¬†like a vagina, LOL! Hey — don’t be grossed out; what’s so gross about a life-giving vagina?!

Anyway, if you’re every lonely and hard-up (haha), I recommend hiking down into Goldstrike Canyon, finding a nice mossy wall, and going to town. There’s hardly ever anyone around down there on weekdays…so no one would know.

 

Now, speaking¬†of vaginae,¬†there is one final thing I need to tell you about here, and that is my medical bill from my stupid fucking transvaginal probe back in August!!! That’s right, the emergency room at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, CA¬†finally¬†sent me a bill for the services rendered:

1269045_710375792323415_926587917_o

W!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! F!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And this is with insurance!!!!!

No wonder our healthcare system is so fucked up — these insurance assholes have everything all fucked up. Let’s break this shit down line by line: $107 for pharmacy?? I didn’t even¬†go¬†to a pharmacy; they wrote me a prescription, but I never filled it. Nor did they administer¬†any¬†drugs to me while in their care. I can only assume by “pharmacy” they meant the two liters of IV fluid they gave me…and is saline water really $53.50 per liter?!

Next, laboratory: all they did in the lab was give me a pregnancy test — they didn’t draw blood or do a Pap smear or anything. They tested my fucking piss, is all — $212.18 for a fuckin’ pee test?!! SINCE WHEN?! Get an EPT already, motherfuckers!!!!

Now we come to “Other Imaging Services;” i.e., the infamous transvaginal probe. Well, I haven’t priced TVPs lately, so for all I know they¬†are really expensive. I mean, a nurse had to put a condom on a vacuum cleaner attachment and shove it all the way up to my lungs, so I guess that’s pretty costly…right?! It took all of 20 minutes, so $80/minute seems fair to me…..right?!?!?!?!?

Now on to the actual cost of being in the emergency room: $1972.45.¬†REALLY?!¬†Some kid took my name, printed me out a bracelet, and put it on my wrist. Another chick took my blood pressure a few times, and a third guy kept layering me with warm blankets. A doctor came in and asked me a few questions…..and that was it. $1,972?????! REALLY? FOR WHAT?!

Finally, “Drugs Requiring Specific Identification.” I guess they mean the¬†Aleve¬†he prescribed me as a painkiller — OK, so they were 800mg, but still. I never even¬†filled¬†the fucking prescription! You’re really gonna charge me $350 for¬†writing a prescription for Aleve???!!!!!¬†

Then there’s the delightful discount they gave the fine people at my insurance company (if I hadn’t had insurance, my cost would be even higher), and then the two grand my insurer choked up. And finally…..my balance due:

$1,524.87.

HOLY FUCK!

they have us by the balls
they have us by the balls

These fuckers really have us by the balls. I¬†know¬†those canny fuckers at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, CA inflated their prices, knowing that my insurance would pick up part of the tab. Otherwise, how in the name of Jesus Christ do you charge $350 for writing a¬†prescription?¬†And $107 for 2 liters of saline water? And $212 for a pregnancy test?! They¬†have¬†to be gouging Anthem Blue Cross…and by turns, gouging me ūüôĀ It’s a fucked-up system that’s rotten to the core. Taking advantage of people when they’re down is so completely fucked up that I don’t even know what to say.

Having a doctor or two as friends, I do sort of see it from their side: because of all the sue-happy assholes in this country, malpractice insurance is so fucking sky-high that they have no choice¬†but¬†to gouge people, just to make ends meet. So I’m adding lawyers to my shitlist, too. Basically…we’re¬†all¬†fucked.

Of course I called Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, CA to see if they could help me out at all…and come to find out I have two options: if I pay everything up front, I get a 10% discount. Or, I can make interest-free monthly payments for as little as $75/month, for the next 2 years. Hmmmmmm!!! Doesn’t sound like I have much choice at all, does it?!!

The¬†worst¬†part is, I was¬†honest¬†when I went in, and despite the fact that I had no ID on me, I gave them my real name and info. D’OH!!!!¬†I should have lied, and said my name was Rosa Hernandez or Roni Paul or some shit, and I would have gotten off scot-free! Damn me and my honest nature.

this pic has nothing to do with anything
this pic has nothing to do with anything

Well, all this being said….I hate the system, but I am¬†still¬†signing up for Obamacare as soon as I get a free minute — just to support the cause. I¬†know¬†Obamacare does nothing to attack the root cause of our problems — the insurance industry — but guess what?! It’s a start, and I have faith that it will eventually snowball into something more meaningful. So, fuck all you haters. The reality is, if you’re lucky enough to get insurance through your employer, you don’t realize how fucking good you have it. Those of us who have to pay for our own individual plans get shanked every time. I pay $175/month, every month, and I still¬†end up with a huge bill like this. I feel like I was raped¬†twice — first by the transvaginal probe, then by the insurance company!!!

It fucking sucks.

Anyway, enough bitching. I have to get up and drive to San Francisco in the morning, for my next adventure…..so better wrap this up now. Good night & see you next time!!