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.
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!
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?!
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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!
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??
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-über-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!!!!
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
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!!!
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??!”
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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:
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:
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 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.
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!!
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