The Wonderhussy Paradox

It’s the Wonderhussy Paradox: if I have enough time to update my blog, it means I’m not doing anything interesting. And if I’m doing interesting stuff…that means I don’t have time to update my blog!!! ARRRGH!

I was planning to update around Thanksgiving. I had SUCH a crazy-busy month of October, running on the hamster wheel of life, trying to make enough money to pay off my debts (which I have whittled down to $3500 :-D) that I allowed myself to take an ENTIRE week off for the holiday. I went to visit my mom and family up in the hippie forests of Northern California, and did not wear makeup or change out of my pajamas for seven straight days. Plenty of time to update…but nothing to write about.

Before I went out there, my face had broken out really badly — due to either stress, or to the wig and makeup I wear for my gig at the nightclub (go-go dancing for 4 hours in all that crap will really work up a pore-clogging sweat). So I scheduled a chemical peel for the day before I left — those peels always make my face blister up and flake off in a most unbecoming way, but since I was going to be holed up in a cabin in the woods anyway, who cares?! I went over to see this aesthetician I know who used to be an Oakland Raiders cheerleader, and she dutifully burned the fuck out of my poor skin so that it was weeping pus and whatnot. GROSS! This was the morning before my flight to San Francisco, so I kinda had to wear at least SOME makeup so as not to gross out my fellow passengers.

Then, to make matters worse, in the middle of all this I had a plumbing disaster. My kitchen faucet had a slow drip, so I thought I’d be all badass and fix it myself. I looked it up on YouTube, and some slack-jawed halfwit at Lowe’s gave me shitty advice as to the parts I needed…but it turned into a HUGE clusterfuck. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I was up til 2am the night before my flight, bawling my eyes out because now the water supply lines were leaking steadily. There was no way I could go out of town for a week with that mess — and I could hardly turn off the water main and leave my poor roommate with no water. I ended up having to get up at 7am and shell out $250 to a fucking plumber to come and replace my entire faucet. FUCK!

So after the plumber came, I did my face-burning thing and then some friends dropped me at the airport around 3pm, in plenty of time for my 5pm flight. Now, my mom just moved up to the redwood forest, so it’s a lot harder to fly to visit her — used to, she lived in San Jose, and it was an easy 80-minute Southwest flight to her doorstep. Now I had to fly to SFO, and the cheapest flight I could find was on Virgin America, which fucking SUCKS ASS compared to Southwest because I forgot they charge you $25 extra for your baggage!! If I would have factored that in, the Southwest flight was probably cheaper!!! AND I would at least get frequent flyer miles. I love Southwest — Herb Kelleher would kick that pansy Richard Branson’s ass ANY day of the week.

Aside from all that, the flight was 2 hours late, and then when it FINALLY took off, we had to turn right around and land again because one of the doors wasn’t closed properly. ARRRRGH!! So by the time I got to SFO it was 10pm, and now I had to take a 2-hour shuttle bus ride up to the Sonoma County Airport, which is 20 min from my mom’s house (I didn’t want to make her drive all the way to San Fran to get me, because I know she hates driving in the city…and it was too expensive to fly direct from Vegas to Sonoma). SOOOO….by the time I got to her house it was 1:30am. It took me almost 11 hours to get there — I might as well have fucking DRIVEN!!! Seriously. ARRRRGHH!!! FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!!!!!

So, you can see why I didn’t update my blog — it was all just pissing and moaning about boring stuff like plumbing and travel. Lame!

So anyhoo, I sat around in my pajamas and pus all week, then came back to Vegas and jumped right back into the fray. I’ve been working soooo much lately it makes my head spin, but I feel obligated to take most every gig that comes down the pike, because as a freelancer, you never know when shit is gonna dry up. So I feel like I gotta sock it all away while I can…ya know?

My main gig lately has been go-go dancing at the nightclub. (As you may recall, I got a fabulous gig as a wacky costumed dancer at a bizarre new performance-art club here in town.) On the surface, it sounds easy enough: go in, get dressed up, and dance for 4 hours. But the reality of it is INTENSE! Here’s my routine:

Around 10pm I head over to this 24-hour Starbucks on Paradise Rd., where all the Somali cabbies hang out, and get an eggnog latte (I am addicted to this seasonal delight, and need the caffeine to get me going this late at night). Then I cruise over to the casino, dump Bailey’s into my coffee, and proceed to apply my white pancake makeup, false eyelashes and black lipstick. Then I strap myself into my costume and dancing boots (I used to wear high heels, but found them way too torturous to dance in for 4 hours, so instead I covered my Burning Man clodhoppers with the sleeves of an old white lace shirt), and then I don my mighty pink Afro wig and adorn it with flowers, pearls, LED lights and feather dusters. I perch a small black veiled hat atop the whole thing, grab my white lace fan, and head out to the dancefloor around 11pm. I spend the next 4 hours alternating between 40-minute dance-a-thons and 20-minute champagne-swill-a-thons, until finally at 3am I take everything off, drive home, have a bite (dancing for 4 hours burns around 45,000 calories, so I’m usually STARVING), hose off in the shower, and then pass out around 5am. I don’t wake up until around 1pm the next day. The glamorous life!!

I’m not complaining, though –this is definitely one of the most fabulous gigs I’ve ever had, and it pays well and the management are pretty cool. The guy who owns the club is kinda high-strung, but I can understand, since I’m sure it’s nerve-wracking to open an edgy, artsy new club in a hopelessly mainstream town like Vegas…and he definitely put some major coin into the place. But overall, the place is packed every night and people seem to love it…so I think he’s doing A-OK!

Now, meanwhile, I’ve been on hiatus from my souvenir photographer gig because they were re-doing the theater for a new show that just rolled into town. This new headliner is a favorite of the hayseed-and-Copenhagen crowd, so of course they planned it out so that her debut would fall right during rodeo season (we have a huge rodeo here in Vegas in December, with somewhere around 50,000 attendees…due to commence in about a week’s time, yee haw). We’ll call this sassy brunette cow-babe Shenanny Twang. Anyway, they spent all of November rehearsing her show, so I didn’t have to work that gig, and was able to focus on my go-go shtick.

But Shennany Twang’s show opened Dec. 1st, so I had to make a decision: quit the nightclub? Quit the souvenir photo gig? Or try to do BOTH at the same time? Now, the nightclub pays pretty well…but one never knows how long these things will last, ya know? Meanwhile, I’ve been doing the souvenir photo gig for TWELVE YEARS (!!), but it’s been going down the toilet since the advent of the iPhone. Still, it’s a fairly steady income stream — err, trickle — although 90% of the time I make more money at the nightclub. What to do?

Since I’m a broke-ass fool and a glutton for punishment, I went with c), Try to do both at the same time. So thrice a week (thank Dog the club is only open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), my schedule is this:

Drive to the photo gig at 5:30pm, huff down some “food” in the employee cafeteria to sustain me throughout my long night, and photograph hillbillies all the live-long night until the show starts. Then, while I’m waiting for the show to let out, I apply half my makeup — obviously I can’t sell my photos in whiteface and black lipstick, so I just do the false lashes and part of the eye makeup. Once I’ve finished selling my photos, I haul ass down to the photo lab, do my paperwork as fast as possible, hand over my money and then take off. A quick pit stop in the employee cafeteria for some coffee, then I race across the Strip to the casino where the nightclub is, dump Baileys into the coffee, chug it, and follow the rest of the procedure described above. By the end of the night, I’m EXHAUSTED!!!

Still, I’d rather do this insane hustle instead of work a boring-ass desk job…ya know?! And anyway, it’s only for a little while. As mentioned, my debts will be paid off soon ($3500 is all I need)….but even aside from that, I will literally be forced to quit one job or the other by New Year’s Eve. Why, you ask? Well, one stipulation of the photo gig is that EVERY EMPLOYEE MUST WORK NEW YEAR’S EVE, NO MATTER WHAT! This is supposedly the biggest photo-selling day of the year, but in my twelve years, I can tell you that it’s all hype. I’ve never made much more than $200 on a New Year’s Eve in my entire twelve years — big fuckin’ deal! They just don’t want to let anyone have the night off, is all…because then EVERYONE would want it off.

Meanwhile, I’m sure the club will want me to work New Year’s — and THEY actually pay EXTRA for working holidays! So I’m hardly going to blow THEM off. I thought about trying to do both, as I have been…but there’s no way I could do it on New Year’s, since they close off the Strip, and the two hotels are on opposite sides. I couldn’t get from one to the other in time 🙁

So…I have to make my final decision soon.  Honestly, it seems like a no-brainer…but I have this weird, co-dependent relationship with my photo job. I’ve been doing it since I moved to town, twelve freaking years ago…I basically grew up there! For some reason I’m finding it hard to quit. But, quit I must…but I’m waiting until the last possible moment to do so, since you never know what’ll happen with this nightclub!

Anyway, in between all THAT hustle and bustle, I got a THIRD job (!!) — as a columnist for CityLife, one of our alt-weeklies here in Vegas. Thankfully, I only have to come up with stuff every two weeks –so that gives me a bit of a break. I spent much of my Thanksgiving vacation holed up in my mom’s guest bedroom with my laptop, trying to come up with a clever name for the column…which is to focus on my fabulous, action-packed life. I came up with a long list, my personal favorite being The Bomb Vivant, but the editor shortlisted three others: 25/7,  Viva Everything! and La Vie Gonzeaux. I did a quick poll on Facebook, and NObody got the “Gonzeaux” reference, so that was out. We ended up going with Viva Everything!, since that’s a pretty apt motto for my life. So, look for that every two weeks at Yay!!

They also set me up with their staff photographer, to take a byline photo. Unfortunately I was PMSing like a madwoman the day of our shoot, and didn’t have time to really plan out a reasonable “byline-ish” ensemble to wear…I just threw a bunch of wacky crap in a bag and raced over there. The photographer ended up being a SUPER-COOL old-school hippie guy with whom I got along SWIMMINGLY, so I’m sure I’ll be collaborating with him again at some point in the future. Anyway, we got a bunch of awesome photos and submitted them all to the editor…who chose a sassy sort of All-American one (you can see it at their website, link above). I like it okayyyyy….but my favorite was the showgirl/Elvis sunglasses/cigarette one to the left. Oh, well!

So, now I have three motherfucking jobs, and not a moment to myself. I did manage to eke out a few spare moments to go see the abysmal new Cirque show, Zarkana, with my friend Fabian. We both fell asleep — it was THAT BAD. NOT recommended! Twee, pretentious crap — even by Cirque standards. No storyline, nothing new, just a bunch of Frenchified acro-bots and precious jibber-jabber — in other words, worse than anything I’ve ever been subjected to in my LIFE! And I thought the previous show, Viva Elvis!, was bad!!!

Another night, I set aside a few hours to check out the new ice-skating rink at the Cosmopolitan. The local Yelp! crew was having a party there, so I invited my girlfriend Trixxie as my date, and readied myself for a night of boozy cocoa and hijinks. The skating setup there is BAD ASS — fire pits to warm yourself, a reasonable-sized (real) ice rink, and lots of cozy seating to enjoy your boozy cocoa. But no sooner had I strapped on my skates and done a few rounds, than Trixxie called with an emergency — her car had broken down on the freeway! So it was Wonderhussy to the Rescue — I abandoned my ice-larks at once, and went to help her out. It was the least I could do, as it was she who bailed me out of jail when I got a DUI back in 2010.

I drove her home and hung out at her place, bullshitting with her until it was time for me to go into the nightclub and dance. I wore my skating outfit in to work, which included a big, fluffy fur babushka-type hat (WTF else would you wear ice-skating in Vegas?!). So, on my way home after my shift, I put the hat back on and headed to my car. When I got home, I had a Tweet waiting for me from none other than the fabulous Las Vegas Courtesan, a local escort who blogs about her fantastically interesting adventures — anonymously, of course, since she’s an escort, and thus afoul of the law. Like mine, her blog is sprinkled with salacious nude photos…but she’s always careful not to show her face in any of them, so you can’t tell what she looks like. Scandalous!! Anyway, she Tweeted that she had just seen me walking to my car, and that she wanted my hat! Ha!!!!! Soooooo frustrating to know that I had walked right by her, and hadn’t known it! But sooooo fabulous….I LOVE that kind of intrigue!

So anyway, aside from a misspent night at a shitty show and a derailed attempt at ice fun, I haven’t had much time for extra-curricular activities lately. It gets dark so freaking early now, that by the time I get my ass out of bed after one of my nightclub shifts, I only have a few hours of daylight left in which to maneuver. It took me TWO DAYS to put up my Christmas lights, but I finally finished, and my house looks great. I even went out and bought a tree — a white plastic one, in the finest Atheist tradition — and went balls-out decorating my house for the holiday. I’ve never been one to decorate in the past, but I was reading my blog entry from this time last year, when I was in the process of losing my old house, and it made me realize how lucky I am and how I should really get in the spirit of things. Last year, I remember driving around just bawling to the Christmas music on the radio, looking at all the cozy houses all lit up and stuff, when I was losing mine. Last year this time was VERY rough for me. But this year, it’s great!

But in between all the working and decorating, there really wasn’t much time for fun. But a girl has to have SOME hi-jinks, or life isn’t worth living!! I had to SQUEEZE in a quickie photo shoot with my friend Randy Shutterbug-Studio one evening right before work — I got to his house at 4:30, shot for an hour, and then high-tailed it across town to get to work in time. But I’d forgotten that the damn Las Vegas Marathon was that night, and the whole fucking Strip was closed down!!! So I had to race around the back roads, desperately cutting off cabbies and narrowly avoiding jaywalking lard-asses, trying to get to work. I ended up being 30 minutes late, even after all that. Jeez!! No WONDER I can’t sleep!! I’m constantly racing around town, trying to get to/from one gig or another. I need a chauffeur — and a helicopter!!!

Thankfully, I was able to cross one stupid thing off my list. I’d always been curious about being a Suicide Girls model — basically it’s some website where alternative models make money posting nudie pics, so I thought I’d be good for it, even though I don’t have any tattoos or anything. They approved my application, but when I read the rules for photo submissions I wanted to PUKE!!! Basically, they want you to submit “tasteful” nude photo sets…that are quirky and alternative, but only as THEY define quirky and alternative. It’s OK not to have tattoos or piercings, but it’s NOT OK to wear anything “old-timey burlesque,” “stripper shoes,” “fishnets,” anything “metallic/sparkly” or “top hats…” and NO WIGS!!!

WTF! So it’s OK to have blue dreadlocks and a brass buttplug in your earlobe, but no wigs?!?! Get outta here! Apparently it’s one of those sites where unless it was crocheted by a Chilean Etsy merchant, you can’t wear it. LAME! I hate that kind of hipster shtick. Suicide Girls is lame as fuck, and I refuse to be party to a buzz-killing empire like that. I wadded up my application and threw it in the trash at once (well, ok, it was online…so I just closed the browser window. But still).

Anyhoo, I don’t have time to be fucking around with that jive, anyway. I’m too busy! Speaking of which….I’ve wallowed in this mire of masturbatory self-pity long enough. Tomorrow’s another BUSY FUCKING DAY — gotta go!


**Note on the photos: all the black-and-whites here are unedited proofs from a shoot I did with Doug Doyle at the Cosmopolitan back in November. Unedited or no, they’re pretty badass!  And the color ones (with the exception of the snapshots, and the one in the blonde Afro) are from my fabulous byline photo session with Jeferson Applegate.

ALSO!! If you want a 2013 Wonderhussy nudie calendar, my friend SW Images has one for sale on his blog, Makes a great XXXmas gift!

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