The Goddess vs. the Grape

This week, I got an exciting new gig as a model for…one of the Internet’s oldest foot fetish websites! I’m particularly stoked about this gig because a) it’s ongoing — they shoot twice a month, every month and b) it’s EASY! All I did was pose for a series of still photos, pretending to kick another chick’s ass, and then making her worship my feet (i.e. suck my toes and lick my soles, etc.). Easy! Because I was new, they didn’t make me do any of the toe-sucking…just the ass-kicking. But next month, I’ll probably have to do both :-/ Still….I’ll gladly suck a freshly-washed toe or two if it means being able to eventually quit my job.

Because, you see, that’s my plan. Lately it seems like my dumb-ass job has been getting in the way of all kinds of fun stuff I want to do, namely travel, party and booze — so I’ve formulated a plan to permanently ditch the rat race in favor of going full-bore Bohemian. It’s a Five-Point Plan:

1. Get rid of my house                                   I’ve been working on a loan modification on my fabulous estate for THREE YEARS, and I’ve finally come to the reluctant realization that it’s not worth it. I don’t want to be chained to a mortgage, even on a badass house like mine 🙁 I have a mediation hearing tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens…


2. Move into a shitty apartment                This part sucks, because I really don’t want to live cheek-to-jowl with hookers and crackheads…but I have no choice. I have to wait 6 months after surrendering my old house before I can buy a new one.

3. Buy a cheap shitbox in downtown Vegas   Anyone who’s read this blog knows how much I love downtown Vegas, so I might as well live closer to the action. Once I quit my job, I won’t even need to acknowledge the lame-ass tired old douchefest known as the Strip…except for the occasional mushroom-fueled nighttime barhopping foray!


4. Buy a new trailer                                           My pop-up camper has served me well through 2 Burning Mans, but if I’m serious about becoming a traveling gypsy, I need an upgrade. With a Casita or Scamp fiberglass trailer, I can go anywhere, and make money modeling along the way! I can’t afford not to buy one!

5. QUIT MY JOB                                               The only bummer about this is, I won’t have health insurance. Because some jackass psychiatrist diagnosed me as bipolar, it counts as a pre-existing condition that prevents me from buying personal coverage…but I figure by eliminating the SHIT and TORTURE I endure on a nightly basis, I won’t need a doctor anymore, anyway! I can scare up enough cash to finance my adventures by modeling and doing assorted gigs around town.

So anyhoo, look out: the adventures of Wonderhussy will only get better over the next year! Meanwhile, I tried to distract myself from my current shitty situation by keeping busy as follows:

After my Footmode shoot, I went down to check out the monthly Wonderground event over at the Olive Mediterranean restaurant. Wonderground is sort of a Happening involving artists, dancers and magicians, plus lots of food and booze. It’s good times! I’ve met a lot of cool people there, and have even been bodypainted at the event a time or two (as in the pic at left, when I was painted by Suzanne Lugano for a benefit they did for Japanese tsunami victims).

Anyhoo, everyone at Wonderground was all a-buzz talking about the upcoming annual Bonedance ritual out at this fertility temple in the desert. I remember wanting to go last year, but was unsure as to whether or not I’d be welcome — it’s a real ceremony, with no booze or electronic music, for people who identify as Goddess-worshippers, Wiccans and whatnot (they make up a sizeable percentage of the Wonderground crew). I realized how serious they were about it at the annual Witches’ & Wizards’ Ball last year — the annual W&W Ball is also held at the Olive, the day after the October Wonderground. I looooove a good costume party, so last year I went with some friends and dressed as Glinda the Good Witch, since I didn’t have a regular witch costume (shocking, I know). Well, imagine my embarrassment when I arrived at the party to find that it wasn’t that kind of witches’ & wizards’ ball…it was full of people who seriously believe themselves to be witches and wizards!! Can we say faux pas??

So anyhoo, I decided that this year, I must attend the Bonedance…Wiccan or no, booze or no. One of my photographer friends gave me the info, and after work on Saturday night I raced out to the desert to join in the revelry. IT………WAS…….AWESOME!

First of all, it’s at this kooky little fertility shrine way out in the desert north of Vegas, out in the middle of nowhere. The only thing nearby is Creech Air Force Base, a/k/a the place Sgt. Peanut blows people up with remote-controlled airplanes. It’s about an hour out of Vegas, so it was almost midnight by the time I made it out there…but I was totally glad I made the trip! In addition to their “no alcohol” policy (WTF!!!), they also had a “no photos” policy. If there’s one thing I HATE more than a “no alcohol” policy, it’s a “no photos” policy. FYI guys: at my house — and indeed anywhere else I happen to be — booze and photos are ENCOURAGED! Nay, MANDATED!

Anyhoo, I didn’t want to piss off any witches, so I didn’t take photos of the action…except from a respectful distance.  I’m including a few daytime pics I took once on a Harley ride with Muscles Manischewitz, so you can see what it looks like (it’s TOTALLY badass!), but try and imagine how DOUBLE-badass it was at night, under a million bazillion stars, lit only by firelight. Truly magical! Because I wasn’t able to take pics,

you’ll have to use your imagination — like the old days. But it’s worth it, I promise!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I brought along my drum just in case they had some tribal beats going on. And just in case I had misunderstood the booze policy, I brought a flask of wine. Having learned my lesson at last year’s W&W Ball, I dressed in a sort of neo-tribal Burning-Man-meets-Mexican-Funeral ensemble… but it was pretty cold out that night, so I also rummaged through my closet for my witchiest-looking hoodie…which was this:

I got it from a hippie nutcase I worked for one year at MAGIC (the fashion tradeshow)…he had a line of funky hippie clothes and he let me buy what I wanted from him at wholesale. I bought this hoodie in both red and black, and thought nothing of wearing it around town until one of my friends asked me if I was in the Klan. WHAT??! Nooooo! I never thought of it as a Klan thing — it looks like a Wizard hat to me. Does the KKK have the exclusive rights to pointy headgear? I mean, it’s BLACK, for Pete’s sake — if anything, it’s the ANTI-Klan! But my friend made me paranoid — I don’t want to piss off any black people, so nowadays when I wear it, I kind of bend the top point over — TOTALLY LAME, but less offensive, I guess. What do you think, reader??

So anyhoo, I donned my carefully bent hoodie, hid my wine flask in my bag and grabbed my drum…and headed out to the desert. Like I said, I was kinda hesitant…but as soon as I saw all the cars and tents camped out near the temple, saw the glow of a bonfire through the trees, and heard the sound of drumming, I knew I’d made the right call! I crunched up the gravel path and entered through a sort of canopied gate-type structure they’d erected, where a wizard waved a handful of smoldering sage across my body to sort of bless me or anoint me or whatever. I crossed through the gateway and found myself in an open area before the temple, where a hundred or more people were chanting and dancing counterclockwise around a huge bonfire, while a group of drummers beat a furious tribal tattoo off to one side. I joined the drummers and proceeded to BEAT the FUCK out of my drum — I loooooooooooooove me a drum circle, and this was one of the all-time best! They had all these drums and gongs and weird percussion instruments laid out for everyone to share, and it was REALLY cool. The only thing that would have made it even cooler is if I’d had a buzz…but as it was, I only managed a few furtive swigs from my flask 🙁 Hardly enough to get a good buzz going!

Behind us was the temple itself, which had another, more contemplative fire going inside where you could just sit and be mellow and reflect on the Goddess and the Blood of Your Ancestors and whatnot. About 100 feet away there was a secondary fire area, where witches and wizards were gathered to nosh on Doritos and drink water ($@%*#^!!!!).

Then, off to one side there was also this amazing beautiful red pavilion with an altar inside, where you could write messages to the departed on pieces of red fabric (I left a message for my dad). All in all it was a very serious affair, not really a party but not really somber, either.

In between bouts of drumming, I joined the caped masses in circling the bonfire, chanting and singing stuff like “Die to be Reborn!” and “I am Bones, I am Fire!” (Not exact quotes, but you get the idea: Manson Family meets Bilbo Baggins.) Every once in a while the chanting would stop and random revelers would extemporaneously spout stream-of-consciousness gibberish about the Goddess, the Fire, and the Spirits. One fur-clad reveler with the light of either religious ecstasy or insanity in his eyes told a sort of rambling, Castaneda-esque fable that reminded me of the Boring Prophet from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and various Priestess-type women got up and sang/chanted prayers and the like.

Then, this old couple came out who were like the Elders of the local Witches and Wizards: a ginormous woman swaddled in quilts watched through glowing, narrowed eyes as her husband, a wizened old man with a long white beard, skull-printed fleece jammie pants and a glowing LED wizard’s staff, came forward to address the gathering. He waved a little book around and gave an impassioned incantation about Samhain and the Blood of our Ancestors, then flicked the book open so that it belched flames!!! Dramatic!!!!

After awhile the Wizard Elder went back and changed into one of those one-piece skeleton bodysuit costumes, and then danced around the fire waving around a huge scythe (I’m pretty sure it was the same man; I saw tie-dye and long grey hair peeking out the back of his bodysuit). Meanwhile, at least a hundred other people danced around in their furry, sequined, mirrored, feathered tribal best, and it was FABULOUS! The only downside was that one of the Steampunk-infused Priestesses kept yelling at the drummers that we weren’t drumming appropriately lugubriously…apparently she wanted something more funereal and dirge-like to accompany her Goddess-droning.

After about 3 hours I started to get cold (even my witchy hoodie wasn’t enough) and tired of all the spiritual mumbo-jumbo, so I packed up my stuff and drove home for a 4am glass of wine. So sue me — I prefer to worship the grape, not the Goddess. But all in all it was a FANTASTIC time, and I definitely plan on going again next year. I guess the real point of it is to drum and chant til sunrise…and it would have felt more healing and therapeutic if I’d done so, but I had no idea, and came underprepared. Next year for sure!!!

So after Bonedance, I pretty much slept all day and then went in to work Captain Fantastic’s last show of the year — his engagement is over, so now I’m looking at four weeks of a performer I’ll call Mullet McWartface — a gravelly-voiced legendary Scots womanizer who is popular with cougars and various other know-nothing Baby-Boomers. Seriously, where the fuck do they drag all these old zombies out of?! It’s ridiculous!

In between Captain Fantastic and Mullet McWartface, we had one solitary night of REAL music in the showroom — none other than Paul Simon came in to do a concert! I’m a huuuuge Paul Simon fan, so even though I knew I wouldn’t make any money off that room full of musty old Prius-driving intellectuals, I was totally stoked. I figured I could do like I did when Bob Dylan and Captain Fantastic first played, and find someone with an extra ticket who would let me sit with them (that’s how I met my friend J.R….at the Bob Dylan show). Accordingly, I loitered around the front orchestra section, chatting up single people and hoping for an invite that never came. Thankfully, one of my usher friends hooked it up for me and I was able to sit in one of the box seats, sandwiched between two grumping and grousing old couples, and watch the entire show. My friend even gave me a free drink ticket for a glass of wine, so it was allll good…and the show was great! I just loooove Paul Simon, but even better was watching the crowd: a room full of old white people getting down. I was particularly enamored of one portly, bearded old man, who looked to be a cardiologist or surgeon in real life, who’d had a few to drink and was jamming in the aisles to “Cecilia.” Too cute!!

So anyhoo, now I gotta go and get ready for my date tonight…I’m meeting up with a kook who used to work in the photo lab with me about 10 years ago. He was the manager, and he was one of those people who’s always full of these amazing, unbelievable stories that you just figure are B.S…but then improbably turn out to be true! Like he was always bragging about how he used to be a concert violinist, blah blah blah….until one night I came in and he was playing the violin (beautifully, I might add) in the squalor of the photo lab in the basement at the MGM Grand. We’ll see if any of his other stories are true…..