Wow, talk about a shitty Xmas! I was sick as fuck the whole time, and my dog died. Could this be divine retribution for all my anti-Jebus atheist talk? It’d be just like that bearded fucker to celebrate his “birthday” by smiting a poor rescue mutt with liver cancer, all to prove a point to a godless heathen libertine. Either way, Jebus….I don’t give a fuck and I’m STILL an atheist!
Seriously, it all began right before Xmas, as I fell ill with a nasty ear infection due to my nightly earplug-wearing. The infection spread all through my head , and next thing you know I had a miserable cold…just in time for my 9-hour drive to CA for the holidays.
Whatevs; I was on top of it. Thanks to a doctor friend, I had some eardrops prescribed to me, and I stopped every few hours on my drive to put them in, requiring me to park at various truck stops so I could tilt my head to the side for 5 minutes and let them soak in. Alas, no trucker rapists tried to molest me as I did so…so I was unable to use Li’l Castrater (my pocketknife that is cunningly concealed in a fake lipstick tube).
But also, the night before I left Vegas I noticed that my poor little dog was all bloated and swollen up. I asked my roommate to keep an eye on him, and went on my way. I got to my sister’s house in San Jose and passed out cold, trying to sleep off my illness…but alas, I was woken at an ungodly hour by my veterinarian, informing me that they had to drain 2 liters of fluid from my dog’s abdomen, and that it was going to cost me $765.
I had to get up anyway, because I had a photo shoot booked about an hour away, in Alameda…so I somehow sacked up, spackled on some makeup, and cruised up to this guy’s house where the shoot was to be held. He turned out to be a super-cool dude, and I really enjoyed meeting him and shooting with him…but I was so fucking sick the whole time, it was hard to get into it. My eyes and nose were running like faucets, and I was freezing fucking cold, being as I was naked…but what are ya gonna do?! It’s not like a model can “call in sick” or anything — you just have to sack the fuck up and do your thing! So I did.
Then I went back to my sister’s house, like, “YES! Finally, I can zonk the fuck out for 12 hours.” I ate a pot brownie and drank a quart of NyQuil, then passed out into blissful slumber…until I was woken, again at an ungodly hour, by the veterinarian…who had even worse news this time! My dog had a tumor on his liver!!
Now, I rescued that poor little fucker from the pound back in ’08, and had by this point given him 5.5 extra years of comfort, food and the good life. Plus, I was already facing a $765 bill just for diagnosing him…was I really supposed to cough up more cash to put him through an operation…or chemo…or whatever??? It’s a DOG!!!
Thankfully, the vet said the dog seemed fine now that they had drained that fluid out of him….and they were sending him home, and I should just “keep an eye on him,” because he would swell up again sooner or later, at which time I could have him drained again…although the drainings would become more and more frequent. I figured the poor little fucker would be OK for at least another month or so, and I knew my roommate would take good care of him…so I tried to just go about my business getting well and enjoying the holidays with my family.
So, I tried. I smoked a lot of weed and drank a lot of wine, and just barely managed to squelch the voices in my head that were admonishing me to go home and be with my dog. My roommate was feeding him cheeseburgers and fried eggs all day, every day, so I guess he was OK. Meanwhile, I was high as a kite jamming to WAR with my family (we had a kind of makeshift drum circle with homemade instruments one night, playing along to some amazing old WAR videos on YouTube) (WAR is the most awesome band, ever).
Another night, we had this crazy costume party where we each had to dress up as something we hate — it was done Secret-Santa-style, where another family member assigned your costume. I had to be that fucking annoying “Bliss Dance” statue from Burning Man (!$@%$#&%!!!!), and my bro had to be Kim Kardashian. Another family member had to be a drug test lab tech, and this family member also happened to have just gotten their medical card in CA…so they brought plenty of weed for
everyone!!! The weed was dosed out in those little pill boxes old people use…awesome! This family member also had some real at-home drug test kits with them, so we tried those out to see if they were accurate. Another family member, who has done lots of drugs recently, tested it out…and I am sad to report, those at-home kits are inaccurate (or at least they don’t test for hallucinogens, which is what the other family member has been into lately). Anyway, it was a fun diversion from the pain and misery of life.
Alas, life was waiting for me when the buzz wore off. The day before I was to head back to Vegas, I had another photo shoot at a hotel in Milpitas…and just as I finished, my roommate messaged me that the dog was doing really poorly, and I’d likely have to euthanize him as soon as I got home. Damn!!!!!
Meanwhile, that night I also had a date planned with this guy who went to my high school back in the day. I never knew this guy — he was a couple years ahead of me — but he’s been on my jock on Facebook lately, badgering me for a date, so I went out with him back when I was out there for Thanksgiving, and he seemed cool, so I had agreed to meet up with him again. We went out for dinner and drinks, and I’m afraid I wasn’t very good company because I was inexplicably morose about my dog!
I say inexplicably because I’ve always had a weird relationship with the dog. I adopted him back when I was living with this other guy, and the dog bonded to the guy more than to me. Meanwhile, the guy and I broke up shortly after getting the dog…so the guy moved out, and left me and the dog sort of eyeballing each other warily. “You’re stuck with me now, fucker,” I remember telling him (yes, I talked to him all the time like a real person).
This was also the time my whole financial shit-storm started — that same guy had also left me with a $340,000 mortgage, which I had to figure out a way to deal with. I went through all kinds of headaches and misery with asshole bankers, shady lawyers and FUCKING WEIRDO roommates, and I used to come home from work every night and just weep. Meanwhile, at the first sign of tears, my asshole little dog would turn tail and leave the room – every time. So I didn’t have that great a relationship with him.
But, apparently, I did have some kind of feelings for him…because I was pretty worried about the little fucker, and couldn’t wait to get home to him. I left CA on the 28th, intending to leave bright and early so as to spend some extra hours with the dog before putting him down. But meanwhile, the guy I went out with the night before wanted me to stop by and kiss him before I left — we hadn’t kissed on either of our dates, and I guess he was bummed that he hadn’t made a move, so I told him to meet me at the gas station on my way out of town and I’d kiss him before I left. Totally rom-com — I kissed him at the gas station, then floored it down I-5 toward Vegas.
Meanwhile, I always stop off in Bakersfield to see my one friend, Dr. Zhivago, who lives there — since Bakersburg is halfway between the Bay Area and Vegas, it makes a nice stopping-off point. We always go to the Elephant Bar for dinner, and last time I was there we met this awesome nutty drunken Scotsman, who in the interim had become pretty good friends with Dr. Zhivago, since they’re both Elephant Bar regulars who enjoy commiserating about life in godforsaken Bakersburg. Well this time, we hadn’t heard from the Scotsman for quite awhile…but halfway through dinner he came stumbling in, all stubble-faced and looking pretty grim, and he ordered a club soda — very unusual for him. It transpired that he’d just gotten out of jail for his fourth DUI (!!!)…so he was in a pretty miserable mood, too. Come to find out, he’d been sleeping off his drunk in his car on the side of the road the night before, when a cop busted him — you can still get a DUI, just for being in your car with the keys in arm’s reach!!! FUCK! All in all, we made a pretty grim bunch. I guess it was a shitty Christmas for a lot of people.
Anyhoo, after dinner I raced home the rest of the 4.5 hours, and found my poor bloated dog all doped up on pain meds, but looking semi-coherent and not totally miserable. I pet him a little and gave him another painkiller, then went to bed. I knew I’d have to take him in to be euthanized in the morning, so I got hiiiiiigh as fuck to distract myself from the heartache. I was secretly hoping he would last another day or two, since I wanted to have him taxidermied — I’d called a local taxidermist on the way to Vegas, and they had quoted me $900 (!!!!!!!) to have him fully stuffed and mounted. Well, I can’t afford that, so I asked how much for a shoulder mount (you know, where it’s just the head mounted on a plaque), and they said that for whatever reason, they don’t do shoulder mounts for pets. So then I asked how much it would be just to have his hide tanned, and made into a little rug (he had a really nice coat of fur)…but the lady said she wasn’t sure of the price, and wouldn’t be able to tell me til Monday, when she was back in the office. So I was hoping my dog would make it to at least Monday, so I could maybe at least do that.
But in the morning, the poor dog was looking pretty bad. He was all swole up, and couldn’t even control his pee leaking onto the carpet So pretty much as soon as I woke up, I gave him another painkiller, put on his leash, and loaded him into my truck for the last ride of his life The irony of it all was, I was bawling my eyes out, but trying not to, since I knew how much the dog hated it when I cried. So I tried to be cool for his sake, since he couldn’t escape my truck, and I wanted his last moments of life to be as misery-free as possible.
It took about 15 minutes to get to the vet, and then I let him sort of sniff around outside for awhile…the poor little fucker didn’t suspect a thing! But I just wanted to get it over with, ya know? So I finally took him in, and started bawling all over again. They give you the option of either being with the pet when they euthanize it, or letting them do it themselves…but it’s $4 cheaper to be with the pet, and I’m a cheap ass, so I said I’d be there with him when they did it. I was really torn, because like I said the dog hated it when I cried, and I didn’t want his last moments on Earth to be even more miserable for him…but it just seemed like it would be too cold-blooded to leave him there alone to be killed, so I went in with him.
OMG it was the saddest thing I have ever done. I don’t know how these vets do it — the guy who did my dog was young, and adorable, and so nice about it…but jebus christ I would bawl my eyes out every day if I had to do that job! Thank dog there’s people in this world like him, who can handle shit like this. He let me pet the dog while he injected him with a muscle relaxer first, to chill him out. The poor little guy went limp, and his legs collapsed, and his eyes closed, and I kept petting him while the doctor administered the second shot, which was to stop his heart. He died pretty quick, and then the doctor gave him a third shot, which he didn’t exactly tell me what it was for but I’m really curious…and then that was it. I asked the doctor if I could take a photo of the dog, like one of those creepy old Victorian death portraits they used to take of babies and whatnot….and here it is:
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! I still bawl my eyes out every time I look at that pic. My biggest regret is that was too big a cheapass to have him taxidermied….he was so cute!
After that, I paid up another $113 and went out to my truck to bawl some more. To make matters worse, I was expecting my period any day…so the tears were extra-copious. I bawled on and off all the rest of the next two days, which I spent cleaning my house and grounds to try and take my mind off it. I guess I liked that poor little fucker more than I let on R.I.P., Stubby!
Then, of course, it was New Year’s Eve — party tiiiiiime!! What the fuck! I’ve always hated New Year’s Eve, and I really didn’t feel like partying at all…but this was the first New Year’s Eve since I moved to Vegas that I didn’t have to work, so I felt obligated to go out and par-taaaay. Ugh. I had two choices: an acquaintance had invited me to a “psychedelic” New Year’s party at some random Burning Man acid-eater’s “mansion,” so I could go out there and trip on mushrooms all night in the company of strangers……or, my attorney had invited me to a small gathering downtown. I ended up choosing to party with my attorney, and it was cool because we spent most of the night at one of my all-time favorite bars, Atomic Liquors, eating mushrooms and hanging out with the most amazing assortment of characters there (yes I ate mushrooms with my attorney…it was very “Fear and Loathing”). I met the most amazingly cool German man at the bar, and ended up having a pretty good time, after all. Best of all, Atomic Liquors is close enough to my house that I was able to walk home at 1:30am, and not worry about a(nother) DUI…unlike that poor Scotsman in Bakersfield :-/
The second I got home my period started, so I pretty much stayed in bed all day, except I did get up around 10am to ride my bike over and get my truck, since I had left it parked in uncertain circumstances downtown. But I went straight back to bed, and slept until 5pm or so, at which time I had to get up for my first gig of the New Year…shooting strip-poker videos at the Luxor, for some fantasy gambling website. I spackled on my happy face and took care o’business, and then went straight back home to bed…but after that, I was pretty much back on the hamster wheel.
Thankfully, 2014 has been pretty busy for me thus far — I’ve worked almost every day, which has been good for taking my mind off my dog-related sadness. In addition to the fantasy poker shoot, I also did another art-nude shoot in a Go Suite at the Flamingo (the photographer read this blog and took my advice…and boy did he love that room!)…and then I did not one, but two shoots with balloons!
The first balloon shoot I did was a pretty straightforward cheesecake-type glamour shoot, except at the end I noticed my tampon string was hanging out, so I decided to tie a balloon to it for laffs. Yuk Yuk! Goooooooood times. The second balloon shoot was for a balloon-popping fetish site, so this time I had to sit on balloons and pop them with my ass, all while talking to the camera about how much I love popping balloons with my ass. This was a custom clip, requested by a fan (I think they call them “‘looners”), so there was very specific dialogue I had to recite — interesting!! It went OK, except I got a bunch of painful welts on my inner thighs from the balloons popping — I’d have to say balloon-popping is not one of my favorite fetishes, for this reason. But it really wasn’t that bad, considering. I’d still rather have inner-thigh-welts than have to kiss the ass of some pathetic middle-manager at a miserable desk job, 5 days a week from 8-5. YA HEARD???!
Then after that, the same guy paid me to wash my hair while he filmed me doing it, so I made a few more bucks doing something I was already gonna do anyway, LOL. Gotta love the fetish world…ya know?!! Dog?? What dog?!?!?
Then another night, I was hired to model at this group shoot/photo party they recently started up at a local studio, which was really pretty cool — they have 6 or 7 different backdrops, several models, and then a bunch of photographers pay to come in and shoot photos of the girls, using the studio’s lighting equipment. Really fun! There’s music, and an open bar, and snacks, and it turned out to be really amazing. Except I didn’t realize there were going to be other models there, so I rolled in at the last minute, strode into the studio and tore my clothes off, like, “Let’s shoot!!” Meanwhile, I was the only nude model there, but there were 6 or 7 other clothed models standing by looking at me very askance, like, “Who the hell is this hussy?!” Haven’t you girls heard??? It’s Wonderhussy, bitches!!!
Seriously though, it was amateur hour with some of them other models — these were PG-style Model Mayhem girls who thought they knew what was up. One of the organizers was filming some footage to use for promotional purposes, and this one hag with stringy blond hair and jailhouse tattoos was all, “I can’t be in any videos unless you clear it with my manager.” Bitch, please! What does your manager have to say about those nappy-ass brown roots??! Tell your manager to send your ass to Supercuts!!!
For reals though, it was a pretty cool set-up, although I only got paid $100 for 3 hours of shooting with every Tom, Dick and Harry who had signed up for the party. I didn’t think that was fair, considering the other models got the same amount and didn’t have to get naked. I guess the idea was, the photographers were supposed to tip out the models….but nobody tipped me, so I just got the hell out of there. Oh, well! It was still fun and easy, and I’d still do it again. Check it out, if you get the chance…they have these parties every few weeks: http://www.vegasphoto.org/
Aaaaanyhoo, after all that grief and hustling, I thought I should take a night off, so I went out with a visiting journalist friend from New York. This guy gets all the hookups, and this time he invited me to accompany him to this far-out new “social experiment” called Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at the Cosmopolitan, which I guess he was writing a piece on because the PR people really laid it on thick for us. PR snowjob or not, though, that place is super fucking cool!!!!
It’s kind of the same vibe as The Act nightclub, where I used to work — dark burlesque/creepy/sophisticated/cabaret, with all these amazingly decorated little rooms, with weird performers doing weird shit in every corner as you sip $16 craft cocktails (that are, admittedly, amazing) and eat “updated” versions of classic, old-school Vegas fare like rack of lamb and beef Wellington. Three times a night, they put on an actual show, with acrobats and shit, but you have to buy special tickets for that in addition to dinner and drinks. And then after the last show, the showroom turns into a nightclub…and you can par-taaaaaay late into the night!
Since my friend was being so heavily schmoozed, everything was comped, and it was fabulous. I had brought some weed with me, so we had gotten high first on the balcony of his suite, and when we went downstairs to dinner it was amazing!!! I mean, AMAZING. Like being at Burning Man, with all these different rooms and performers and weird music and weird art everywhere — they have a whole Hieronymous Bosch mural in the dining room and everything.
The best and most surreal part of the evening was, since my friend was being so heavily schmoozed, we were accompanied all night by a boozy PR lady from the hotel, and one of the owner/managers of the club — a smart young hipster-type in a velveteen jacket and Morrissey glasses, with the most astonishingly earnest stream of P.R.B.S. flowing effortlessly from his mouth all night long. I don’t mean to make him sound insincere or lame — he was amazing in that he was totally earnest about every overblown adjective he used, and in addition to that he had the most amazing vocabulary of anyone I’ve ever met! He was incredible and enviable, to me, because he had that one thing I’ve always lacked – gravitas. Words like “mixologist,” “craft bitters” and “ice chef” rolled effortlessly and completely irony-free off his gilded tongue, and with every word he spoke I found myself more and more spellbound, as if caught up in his magical web of public relations.
Now, it’s true that Rose.Rabbit.Lie. is twee and pretentious to a fault (hello! Excessively dramatic punctuation!) — but somehow, that’s part of its charm. It’s also not for the feint of wallet– those fabulous craft cocktails will set you back $16 or more apiece…but astonishingly, it’s worth it! They were some of the best drinks I’ve ever tasted — and I’ve tasted ‘em all! I supposed it helps that they’re heavy into the bitters thing over there, and use my all-time favorite spirit Campari liberally (I had a cocktail containing Campari jelly!!! YUM!)…but even aside from the drinks, the ambiance and atmosphere are totally worth ponying up the cash for. Besides, the drinks really are that fabulous — the aforementioned ice chef is responsible for carving giant chunks of ice into various shapes, like diamonds (!!!), that sit so prettily in your drink you wish they’d never melt.
After drinks in the fabulously-appointed “study,” we went onto dinner in the dining room…which was a succession of small plates featuring updated old-school Vegas food, as previously mentioned. Our gracious host ordered a huge feast of just about one of everything, and it was truly exceptional in the details — the menus are sealed with wax (so you can keep yours as a souvenir, as they make new ones daily), plus there are all manner of weird tableware accouterments like animal-shaped silverware-rests, filigreed forks and swan-shaped pewter sea-salt dishes with tiny spoons. Basically, this place is Burning Man for the 1% Foodie. Be warned!
After stuffing ourselves with foie gras, caviar, lobster and champagne, our host next escorted us into the showroom, where we watched the last of the three nightly performances of Vegas Nocturne — basically, an Absinthe-style sort of burlesque carnival running about an hour in length, after which the showroom turned into a nightclub, and a Sexy Lady DJ came out and played club music while everyone danced. Maybe I’m just jaded, or maybe it’s just that I’m not a club person, but I found the whole showroom component of the evening boring. The show itself was nothing you can’t see elsewhere, and I just felt it wasn’t cool/creative/freaky enough to live up to the rest of the place.
Personally, if I were to return to Rose.Rabbit.Lie., I would dress to the nines and spend the whole night in the Study having cocktails, with maybe a few small bites here and there to soak up all that Campari. Our host mentioned something about the study having an old-fashioned record player with records that can be played at will by guests, so I think it would be much more fun to just get genteelly sloshed in there while doing the Charleston to Al Jolson or some such, late into the wee hours. Smoking weed was great, and mushrooms would also greatly enhance the experience. Overall, as pretentious and expensive as it is, I have to wholeheartedly recommend Rose.Rabbit.Lie. as one of my favorite new places to party — I’ve already made plans, in fact, to come back with some friends next month! See you there…..
Oh and P.S., I almost forgot I also spent one fabulously sunny day out at the all-natural Tecopa Hot Springs on the eastern edge of Death Valley, with a bunch of fun hippies I know from around town. On my previous trips to Tecopa, I always soaked in the developed hot springs (where you have to pay)…but this time, the hippies and I soaked FOR FREE in the FABULOUS hot mudhole outside of town. It was a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to go back and do it again!!! It’s fairly clean, for a mudhole, and you could have a bad ass campfire and night soak. Who’s in?!?!?!?!