Since getting back from my trip to Deep Creek Hot Springs, I’ve been in a real funk. That was such a totally charmed trip in every respect; regular, workaday life couldn’t possibly compete. When I got home, there was hot sauce all over the carpet from my roommate feeding my dog birria, I had a mountain of laundry, and because it’s summertime in Vegas, the house was hot as hell. I’ll tell you, I was ready to sell it all, buy a van, and take off into the sunset!!!
My ever-practical nature kicked in, though, and I scrubbed the carpet, washed the laundry and settled back into my usual routine. But after spending all that time in the beauty of nature and then at the beach, Vegas seemed gross and dirty.
To make matters worse, it was EDC week — that’s the Electric Daisy Carnival, the ginormous rave they hold every year out at the Speedway. Something like 100,000 ravers drive up from So Cal for this event each June. Every hotel on the Strip is clogged with ding-a-lings in muffin-topped tutus, and traffic is a clusterfuck. I tried to avoid the Strip during the siege, but you couldn’t get away from ’em — the rich ones hire helicopters to ferry them back and forth to the racetrack (which is pretty far north of town), so even the fuckin’ sky was abuzz with whirring choppers full of blissed-out e-tards blathering platitudes about PLUR. The city was literally under attack on all fronts, like Da Nang in ’75…if the VietCong had been made up of chubby, scantily-clad suburbanites with terrible taste in music.
Thankfully, I didn’t have much time to fret over it, though, because I had work booked pretty much every single day until my next adventure (I’m driving down to Baja California, Mexico tomorrow morning…YEE HAW!!! Sun, sand, booze and caftans!). So I tried to just concentrate on making money. First on the docket was the ever-fabulous, always amusing Licensing Expo.
As I’ve written before, the Licensing Expo is a show focused on any and all brands/characters/personalities that are available to be licensed out and used to sell everything from bookbags to buttplugs. You may recall that last year, even Pope Francis had a booth — come to find out, you can license the Pope’s name and image to sell shit. Wow. Anyway, there’s always a huge demand for actors to wear various mascot costumes and walk around the show floor as Garfield, Pac-Man, Cookie Monster, etc.
This year I really lucked out and got an awesome costume — a fairly popular character that people really responded to, and the costume itself was pretty comfortable. As a bonus, DreamWorks Studios had just licensed the character to make some shitty new CGI movie, so I got to hobnob and pose for photos with the likes of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Lassie (yes, a live collie dog…which must have been totally drugged up, as it didn’t even blink when I lumbered over to stand beside it in my giant, maniacally grinning outfit). It was truly thrilling, let me tell you!
Even better, during my breaks I got to walk around and schmooze with all kinds of other fabulous characters — WWE wrestlers, Harajuku girls and even Internet sensation Grumpy Cat! (I have no idea who that even is, but it was really popular — some live cat, also drugged to high heaven, no doubt, that happened to have been born with a grumpy-looking face, and which just sat there looking grumpy while people lined up around the block to take a photo with it. WEIRD!)
Anyway, the Licensing Show was cool because being in a mascot costume all day meant I didn’t have to look particularly good, face-wise…which was lucky, since my face was all broken out from the stress and excitement of my Deep Creek trip. But before you know it, the Licensing Expo was over and it was time to work the Beauty Show! Ruh-roh!!
Oh well, nothing to do but spackle on a shit-ton of makeup and get to it! I was working for the same client I worked for last year, a manufacturer of high-end über-industrial-strength eye-makeup products with real staying power. I’ve worked a billion tradeshows in my day, and have promoted a billion dumb-ass products that are complete bullshit but which I have to pretend to get behind — well, I’m here to tell you, Blinc eye makeup is one product I really CAN endorse! In particular their “brow mousse,” which is a product for filling in/drawing on eyebrows: I can personally attest to the fact that Blinc Brow Mousse is not only waterproof — it’s also Burning Man-proof, mascot costume proof…and mudwrestling-proof!! It’s true — every time I wrestle, I wear Blinc Brow Mousse so that my eyebrows don’t come off either in the “mud” or in the shower afterward (we have to go back out and mingle with the crowd after showering, so you still have to look good).
Anyway, working the Beauty Show is always a riot because women are such easily hypnotized dingbats when it comes to beauty products, you can pretty much spew any line of b.s. at them and they stand transfixed as if it were the Sermon on the Mount: “This product will not smudge, clump, flake or run.” “I’ll take fifty!! Do you accept food stamps?” I didn’t even have to mention the mudwrestling — this shit sold itself!!
Speaking of mud wrestling, I also did that one night during the Licensing Expo — which was a bit of a jam, since rasslin’ goes til 1am and I had to be back in my mascot suit at 9:30am. Also, despite my best and most thorough efforts at cleaning every last bit of “mud” out of my crevices, the distinct aroma of chocolate pudding filled the head of my mascot costume the next day, making me slightly nauseous. But wrestling is so much fun, I can’t complain — this time, a woman won the bidding war to be my towel boy (girl), so that was novel. Alas, I was defeated (again) by Little Red Riding Hood, who is one bad bitch…but everyone had a great time, and I made some extra money for my adventure fund, so it was all good!
I also found time to squeeze in one final gig — an art-nude photo shoot, out at one of my favorite locations in the desert near Searchlight. This was with a photographer I’d shot with last year, a really classy guy who shoots artsy black-and-whites and who, unlike other photographers, isn’t constantly trying to get me to spread my vagina open. (I’m serious — on something like 65% of my shoots, the photographer never stops trying to get me to spread my legs just a liiiiittle wider, past my clearly stated comfort level. I’m actually thinking of taking a cue from one of my favorite fulltime traveling art models on Model Mayhem, and purposely growing my bush out super big and thick, so that my vag won’t show no matter what cockamamie pose the photographer wants to put me in! I’m sure I’d lose a few bookings because of the bush, but…..do I really need money that bad, that I should subject myself to constant battles with perverts? I haven’t decided yet….stay tuned!)
Anyhoo, everything was going swimmingly at this shoot — cool photographer, no vag shots, weather not too hot, acne well-concealed — until it happened: for the first time in six years of outdoor nude modeling, I was busted by Johnny Law!!
Now, I’ve been run out of Valley of Fire, Ash Meadows and Red Rock for being nude — but it was always just park rangers bawling me out, not actual police. Well, this time, none other than a Nevada State Trooper pulled over, hiked across the desert, and proceeded to lecture the photographer and I on the indecency of what we were doing. Thankfully, the photographer is from the South, and laid on the drawl real thick: “We apologize, Officer…we’ll be on our way.” And to his credit, the cop was pretty cool (he was young, maybe early 30s, if that), and left us with this parting shot: “Well, hopefully they come out good.” Wink!
But I mean, really — aren’t there much worse things going on out there to worry about than two people shooting art nudes in an old building?! Shouldn’t you be busting a meth lab or something?!? The irony is, if I’d been out there shooting up tin cans or something, I’d probably have been fine. In this fucked-up culture, guns are OK but female nipples are destructive as hell! Check out this meme I made for Facebook — I think it makes the point pretty well. (Note: I am well aware that is an AR-15, not an AK-47…I just figured it reads better this way, since no one but gun nuts and humorless pedants know what an AR-15 is.)
ANYhoo, the photographer and I were forced to cut our shoot short, get back in the car and drive back into steaming, stinking, raver-ridden Vegas…where we shot the remainder of the two hours in his room at the LaQuinta Express on Tropicana. The whole hotel smelled like pot smoke and was crawling with tutus — in fact, coming back over the mountain into town, we noticed a thick, gray miasma hung over the entire city. I thought it was smog, but the photographer joked that it was probably a cloud of pot smoke…and I think he was right!!! Those fuckin’ ravers obliterated the city!!! It was insane.
So anyway, I basically hustled my ass off all week, and through it all I was experiencing no small degree of discomfort: I don’t know if it was the Bikram yoga I did last week, or the sitting around in hot spring water, the sweaty-ass mascot costume or the pudding wrestling….but somehow, I picked up a nasty-ass yeast infection!!! I’m inclined to blame the hot springs — you may recall that I was on my period, wearing a tampon, the dangling string of which probably acted like the wick on an oil lamp, sucking up murky hot spring water and filling my nether regions with questionable water. Yuck!!!!!
Either way, it took three seperate doctor’s visits for them to diagnose me — I kept telling them I suspected a yeast infection, but for some reason they were loath to give me a pelvic exam and be done with it. I wanted to be sure I was ok before heading to Baja — the last thing I want is to end up in some janky Mexican clinic, ya know?! But the first guy just thought I just had jock itch, and prescribed an ointment. The second lady thought I was ovulating, and made me feel like a hypochondriac. Only when I went back to the first guy again, and insisted that I had yeasty symptoms, did he prescribe a Diflucan — but again, without doing a pelvic exam. He basically just took my word for it!!
I mean, srsly — what’s a bitch gotta do to get a pelvic exam in this town?! It’s not like I like having my hoo-ha cranked open and probed, but if it saves time (you saw how busy I was this week; it’s not like I had time for three doctor’s appointments) I’m all for it!
And don’t think the irony in all this was lost on me, by the way: I spend all my photo shoots trying to stop men from looking into my vagina. But when I actually want a man to look in there…he won’t.
This world is all kinds of fucked up!!