All right, time to put alllllll this negativity and nonsense behind me. So I lost my house and then was gouged out of $2,500 by my unemployed leech roommate…big deal! I get knocked down, but I get up again…you’re never gonna keep me down!!! Still, I’m posting this one last photo that was taken of me back in October, when a visiting photographer who was doing a story on foreclosures in Vegas interviewed me for this AWESOMELY depressing slideshow: http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/foreclosures-las-vegas-reno. Check it out! There is a voiceover by me, swearing like a sailor, that really adds to the depressing, Diane Arbus-y vibe. I’m glad to have gotten some photographic mementos of that whole fiasco…I had planned on asking one of my photographer friends to come over and document my actual move for posterity’s sake, but I was just too busy weeping and being gouged by my bitch-ass loser roommates…but these awsome Magnum pics will do!
Aaaaanyhoo, I finally got all moved into my new place, when the shit hit the fan AGAIN! I called the DMV to have my address changed on my license…and come to find out, my license was REVOKED! Dog knows HOW long I’ve been driving around like this — I had a DUI back in August 2010, for which my license was suspended for 90 days and the whole rigamarole. I paid the fines, attended the classes, learned my lesson and bought a Breathalyzer (which was stolen from my truck in January)…but apparently, my attorney neglected to mention the little fact that I was supposed to RE-APPLY for a driver’s license after all was said and done!
So now I had to go to the DMV and re-take the whole fuckin’ test — the written AND the driving parts! I passed the written part easily — I studied the handbook for a few hours and was good to go. So they gave me an appointment for a drive test on Monday morning at 11:30. I gathered up all my papers related to my DUI, including my new insurance statement, my birth certificate and my Social Security card, and had them in a folder on the the kitchen counter, ready to go.
My friend Guy agreed to give me a ride over there, and he came over to my house around 10:45 before I was ready. I tried to hurry, but my face was all puffy and weird from this eyelid rash I had, so it took me FOREVER to get my makeup right, and I couldn’t concentrate because I felt bad making him wait. We ended up running out the door around 11:15, which was fine because the DMV is just around the corner from my new place. But I was supposed to BE there at 11:15 (you have to arrive 15 minutes early), so by the time we got there it was like 11:25, and I had to RUN inside.
Just as I was getting out of the truck…I realized I had left my folder at home on my kitchen counter. FUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!! I really needed to get my license THAT DAY — I had a MILLION things to do, and needed to be able to drive. My friend graciously agreed to race back to my house and get the stuff while I tried to stall the DMV people…while I RAN inside to check in for my appointment. The lady at the counter glared at the clock, which read 11:24, but begrudgingly let me check in anyway: “I need to see your registration and proof of insurance.”
DOUBLE FUCK! I had left them in the truck! “Let me go get them!” I shouted over my shoulder, racing out the door, hoping to catch my friend before he had left the parking lot. Miraculously, he hadn’t left yet (he wasn’t used to driving my truck, and didn’t know the neighborhood at all) so I ran up to him, banging on the window, til he opened the passenger door. I grabbed the stuff from the glove box and admonished him to “PLEASE HURRY!!!!! The stuff is in a yellow folder on my kitchen counter!!” Nevermind the fact that he had only been to my new place ONCE, and had no idea how to get there….I was banking on the fact that I’d be able to stall the DMV long enough for him to find it and hurry back.
So I dragged ass, getting back to the counter by 11:29, and handed the lady my stuff. She gave me a baleful glare and checked me in, then gave me a vision test…which I took S…L…O…W…L…Y: “Uhhhhhh……siiiiiiiix………eiiiiiiiiight…….fiiiiiiiiiive……threeeee……….” They must have thought I was half blind, but I got a perfect score anyway, and she told me to have a seat and they would call me.
Perfect! Anytime you have to wait at the DMV, it takes FOREVER…so I figured I was gold. Not this time!! The drive test instructor was already standing there, waiting. Before he could say anything, I asked if I could use the restroom first, thinking to stall some more. The instructor very begrudgingly agreed, if I “hurried,” but I went in and pretended to have diahhrea/cramps/nerves and dragged my ass as long as possible in that bathroom. It was really gross because this is the most ghetto DMV in Vegas and it was literally OVERFLOWING with the unwashed masses spilling out in the streets, screaming at their babies, smacking their snot-stained toddlers and all being yelled at in turn by security guards. In other words…hell on Earth!
Still, I loitered around in the bathroom as long as possible with my “nervous diahhrea/vomiting” and then trudged slowly back over to the drive test instructor. In the bathroom, I had called my friend and he said he wasn’t even at my house yet….so I figured I had to somehow stall waaaaay longer. This I accomplished by talking up a blue streak: as I approached the crusty old ex-military hawk assigned to me, I launched into a chattering monologue about how nervous I was, and how I couldn’t believe how nervous I was! I mean, I’ve been driving for twelve years — you wouldn’t expect me to be so nervous! I milked a few more precious minutes thusly as the crusty old General stared at me in grouchy bemusement, but I thought I saw him “smising” (that’s when you “smile” with your eyes only…great word, huh?) and finally he interrupted me: “OK, let’s go out to your vehicle.”
“Uhhhhh………….sure!” I led him outside, spewing forth a nonstop stream of chatter and funny stories, pausing every few feet to stop and touch his arm to make a point, just to buy more time. I led him to the back parking lot, where I pretended to “look around” for my truck (which I knew damn well wasn’t there). “Hmmmm! Maybe it’s in the front, after all…I’m sorry!” So now I led him BACK out to the front, still chattering and trying to distract him from the fact that my car was nowhere in sight. This went on for several minutes: “Gosh, I don’t see it anywhere….I wonder where he is! Let me call him and find out!”
General McCrusty was really glaring at me now as I called my friend: “Hey, where ya at?” He told me he had the stuff and was headed back, about 5 minutes away. If I could just stall them a few more minutes, I was golden! But the General’s patience was wearing thin. “Where is he?!?!?” he demanded. “Uhhhhh….sorry, I felt bad for imposing on him to give me a ride here, and he needed cigarettes so I told him to go ahead and run to 7-Eleven real quick while I was waiting for you. He should be back any minute! He had a nicotine fit…ya know????”
“7-Eleven?!?!” the General said suspiciously. “That’s pretty far from here.” “Oh, uhhh, well maybe not 7-eleven…Idk, whatever the little quickie mart over there is,” I bluffed. That was not enough for the General: “Well, you had an 11:30 appointment and it’s now 11:45, and we have no vehicle. This is a BIG PROBLEM!”
“Ummmmmmm….” Fortunately, at that very moment, my friend screeched into the parking lot: “Wahoooooo!!! THERE HE IS!”
Whew — talk about a close call. The General grumpily followed me to the truck, and checked my turn signals and all that crap before getting in and sitting beside me in stoic, crusty silence. Awkward!! He made me parallel park, which I suck at (who the fuck parallel parks in Vegas?! It’s the land of free parking and free valet!!!), so I failed that part miserably. Then he had me drive around the neighborhood, which I did VERRRRRY CAUTIOUSLY, keeping my hands on 10 and 2 on the wheel, stopping at every stop sign and keeping below the speed limit. In other words…nothing like how I usually drive. And STILL, the fucker failed me!!!!
The reason he gave was that I did not stop fully at a stop sign — which is an automatic fail!!! Bullshit — I STOPPED at every fuckin’ stop sign there was; I’m not that stupid! I think he was just pissed at me for stalling him so long, and therefore was extra critical of me: he said I stopped too close to the intersection, whereas I SHOULD have stopped 5 feet before the actual sign. WHAT-THE-FUCK-EVER, ASSHOLE!
So I slumped back into the DMV and made another appointment for Wednesday morning. Fuck!!! I had such an insanely busy week, I really didn’t have time for all this. But to thank my friend for his crazy efforts, I took him to lunch at a trendy new restaurant in downtown Vegas called Le Thai. All the hipsters drool over it, and it does have a cool atmo…but it’s no better or worse, food-wise, than any other Thai restaurant, IMO. I ordered the “Red, Yellow and Green” curry in honor of my failed drive test, and soldiered on with my life.
My new roommate took me back to the DMV on Wednesday, and I made sure to get there 15 minutes early, with all the needed documents. Whew! They assigned me a different instructor this time — a younger male. Score!! I passed with no further ado, and got a new license at last. FINALLY!!!
Now, while all this was going on, MORE shit hit the fan!! Right after I found out my license had been revoked, I get a call from my boss at the souvenir photo company: “We need you to come in right away.” Oh shit…NOW what?! I’m always getting into trouble there for my “negative attitude” and “inappropriate behavior,” so I figured I was about to be fired. The manager of our photo lab was sent to jail for a week or two for failing to pay HIS DUI fine, so in the meantime they got this other little prick to be the interim manager, and he HATES me. I figured he must have complained about me, and now I was about to lose my job. WHATEVER! I was actually OK with that, except for the fact that I have an upcoming gynecology appointment and my Pap smears always come back abnormal, and I have to have follow-up stuff donw…and if I lose my insurance, I might not be able to afford it. I don’t want to die of cervical cancer — but I can’t get private insurance on account of this jackass psychiatrist who diagnosed me bipolar (because I was upset over losing my house!), and now i have a pre-existing condition >:-(
Anyhoo, I didn’t want to drive over there on a revoked license, so I tried to get my boss to just tell me on the phone or via email…but he refused. I asked if it could wait til Monday (thinking by then I’d have a license again), but he said it was a MAJOR crisis and they needed to see me ASAP! FUCK!!!!! Well, now I was really curious, so I sarcastically told him I’d “get a ride over there,” and drove over myself, verrrrrrrrrrrrry cautiously, to see what they had to say.
What it turned out to be was HILARIOUS, in a sad way. Apparently, there’s this new steakhouse in town at one of the hotels, and I had taken my friend there for dinner a few weeks ago. They treated us VERY poorly, despite it being a $350 dinner, and the staff was so rude/inept that I wrote a very scathing review on yelp.com to assuage my humiliation (I really was super humiliated by the way they treated me).
Well, my boss, and his boss, and the wife of the guy who owns the photo company were all there…and they asked if I would please take down this review. It seems they are trying to get into the good graces of that restaurant, so they can send photographers in there to shoot photos of the diners, and they don’t want anything negative out there that could be traced back to their company. Because I had mentioned in the review that I worked in the showroom near that restaurant, my bosses figured the steakhouse people might put two and two together and figure out it was a photo lab employee — and then out of spite, they wouldn’t allow photographers in the restaurant.
SRSLY! They even said that if I didn’t remove the review, they might lose their operations at the ENTIRE HOTEL, and “You wouldn’t want to hurt the company like that, would you???”
I found it ludicrous that a single, honest review of my dining experience at a pretentious, overpriced steakhouse (that already had several similar bad reviews posted) would sink the “entire company…” and I said as much. But they just kept “asking” me if I would just please take it down.
“What if I just remove the line about working in the showroom?”
“We’d prefer if you just took the whole thing down.”
“So, you;re saying if I don’t remove the review, I’m fired?”
“No no no! We can’t do that legally — we’re just asking you to take it down.
“And if I don’t?”
“We’ll keep asking you to.”
HAH! I could see I was fucked, so I VERY BEGRUDGINGLY agreed to go home and censor myself for the sake of their bottom line. Furthermore, they told me that I was not to write any negative reviews of ANY property/venue/show/restaurant that they have operations at!!! Seriously?!?!?!? I like warning people about shitty shows and shitty service! But I don’t like dying of cervical cancer, either — so what’s an outspoken girl to do??? ADVICE, PLEASE!!!
I saved the bad steakhouse review in a Word doc, so I can re-post it in the event that they finally fire me or I quit — I’m putting that shit RIGHT BACK UP! I don’t care what anyone says — that steakhouse SUCKS ASS and no one but an uncultured rube would subject himself to dining there. Fuck ‘em!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhh!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, I had all this other crazy shit going on — the local Burning Man community had this HUGE party planned for the Burnal Equinox (the half-way point between Burning Man 2011 and 2012), and I had volunteered to be a cast member in this revue they had planned, plus also to help design a costume for this 20-foot tall wooden effigy of a showgirl they had built to burn at the end of the performance. Fun — but a LOT of work, and kinda stressful. We had all these rehearsals, and it was really time consuming.
Meanwhile, some German friends were in town and wanted to meet up, so I had to hang with them one night. We went to the Cosmopolitan for drinks, but I had to leave around 11 to pick up another friend from the airport. On the way out, I noticed that the front window of the Cosmopolitan had been changed — it used to be a really expensive modern art design furniture store, but now it was this thing called the Pop-Up Wedding Chapel — where for $80, you get a really cool fake Vegas wedding ceremony, complete with a minister, ceremony, two toy rings, two cans of champagne and a photo booth strip. FUN! For an extra $150, they’ll even make it legally binding!! Meanwhile, since it’s in the front window of the Cosmopolitan, right on the Strip, anyone walking past can stop in and sit down to watch — they have pews, just like a real wedding chapel!!! The night I was there, this super cute black couple was getting married — legally — and all these random passers-by had stopped to watch and take photos. It was so surreal — but so cool!
I immediately put out the call on Facebook: “WHO WANTS TO GET MARRIED?!?!?!” I thought it would be a RIOT to have a big fake wedding ceremony — since I doubt I’ll ever marry for reals, I thought it would be a fun party. But I got too many responses, and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings…so I didn’t go through with it. And now, the chapel is closed — it was just a temporary thing. But so cool — I hope they bring it back!! I’ll totally go over there all the time for a free show!!!
Anyhoo, I picked up my other friend at the airport — this chick I know who’s a full-time traveling nude model. She’s super cool, so I had her stay over at my new place, and she told me all about this creeeeeeeeeeeepy website she had just shot for out in Oregon, where they guy pays you to play dead. I checked the site, and it’s photos and videos of models pretending to be dead, while men give them fake autopsies and otherwise manhandle them. I found it far too creepy for even me — although I’d love a free trip to Oregon, and the money for shooting, I gotta draw the line somewhere. I won’t post the link here, to preserve the guy’s privacy..but it was CREEPY SHIT. I’m trying to cultivate some standards here — another photographer just contacted me about a bondage shoot, and I turned that down, too. I don’t want to shoot anything demeaning or objectifying women like that! A lot of my pics are already borderline…I don’t want to go any farther!!!
Anyhoo, the rest of my week was TOTALLY DEVOTED to preparing for the Vegas Burning Man extravaganza…which turned out to be SUPER AWESOME and TOTALLY WORTH ALL THE EFFORT! I am going to stop here, and write about that in a seperate blog…because it was SOOOO AWESOME, it deserves its own thing. Watch for that coming sooooooooon!!!