Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Negotiating with The Green Card Cupid

I'm trying to manifest a green card for real, and one for John. The thing that I wanted on the playa was to spontaneously receive one.

As it turned out, I saw my opportunity, but I did have to ask for it. Actually, I had to negotiate for it :)

Me: Hey, I need a Green Card!

Green Card Cupid: "are you looking to marry an American for a green card"

me: "well, I'd prefer a different option...it's not out of the question but I'm already married and I don't want to get divorced"

GCC: "well, I don't think I can find anyone who wants to marry someone who's already married"

Me: "c'mon - Polyandry - it's not unheard of"

GCC: "well, you can fill out the form, I guess"

me: "look, strictly for voodoo purposes I would love it if you would take a picture of me with your Green Card form. It would help me a lot"


So there you have it, sometimes if you want it bad enough ya gotta ask for it directly.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

the Burning Man Diva - self care or bust.

So last week I was at the Burning Man festival in Nevada - six days of art, community, consciousness, and dust in the Black Rock Desert. Here are some pictures.

It was a really interesting place to be - one of the central tenets of this festival is "radical self-reliance" - ie the old "go do this thing for me" routine just ain't gonna wash.

And speaking of "ain't gonna wash" ... the showers were few and far between and delicious when they happened. (I recall a wonderful hour spend bathing my friend C., who looks like a kind of sporty-spice Adonis, on a shower pedestal with no curtains. This community shower thing was turning out to be kind of a plus.)

Anyway, I wanted to write about the redefinition of self-care and self awareness that happened to me out there. The relationship between my mind and my body was basically overturned. In the hierarchy of Cass' life, the brain usually takes the dominant position. I don't know about you, but I'm often able to override my body when my body says "it's time to nap" or " hey, I need food" or "lady, put that coffee pot DOWN." Because sometimes ya just have to push on through, get the job done, persevere. But not out there. Because when you're in the middle of the desert, you have to listen to your body. If you try to hit the override button out there, your body just goes "oh, yeah?" and boom! there you are on your ass, crying like a baby over nothing. You don't really need a hug. You just need electrolytes.

So I took on a lot of responsibility for my first year at the Burn. And when I wasn't doing what I had committed to do, the focus really became about self-care. Here's the thing - I'm a total glamarama diva type but I've never had a pedicure or a manicure. (I told this to my diva New Yorker friend Birgitta and she looked at me and just said. "What? Can I touch you?") But out there, in the dust, you feel like every bit of moisture is being sucked out of your skin - your hands and arms feel papery and soft, and other parts get all angry and chafed. You have to take care of yourself - and I don't mean in that "chamomile tea and yoga" kind of way, I mean in the "put some cream on that or it's gonna fall off" kind of way.

It was thus that I discovered the joy of the foot massage and pedicure. Soft socks at night. Clean socks three times a day. And Anti Monkey Butt powder. Yeah, I ain't too proud to admit it. We liked saying Monkey Butt so much that we actually used it a little more than was strictly necessary. It sounds so corny, so Oprah, but I actually learned how important it was to literally take care of myself.

And I put lots and lots of blue glittery eyeshadow on people. And I played Peep Show Mini Golg and rode the Soul Train.

It was a fantastic experience and I look forward to next year already.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, this photo is how Divas live on the Playa. Well, Divas who can't afford an RV.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Power in the Paint Box.

Went shopping with my tomboy-ish friend yesterday. She has a mohawk and perfect skin and huge blue eyes and the college degree I never earned. She's a beautiful, spirited, sexy woman, and she wants to learn more about the makeup.

I love makeup. You can't take it too seriously, it's just paint. But it's so much fun to paint on a personality and act like a hottie.

I want to get one thing straight right off the bat - You can't actually paint on a personality. No amount of makeup is going to compensate for a genuine smile and a big honkin' donkey laugh. Take Julia Roberts - Great actor, I'm sure she's a nice person, but let's objectify her for a second: she's not pretty in the traditional sense (whatever that means!), and she kind of walks like a dude. What makes her charming? Her smile. Her laugh. She's radiant. She's powerful. That's beauty.

So let's assume you've got a personality already.

The Power in the Paint Box is like using psychedelic drugs: it really just magnifies what's already there. Makeup is like the paint that you use to augment the aspects of your personality that you're playing with in that moment.

I wear makeup because I think it looks great. I want to look on the outside the way I feel on the inside. And sometimes I feel like a tranny. What?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Randy Jones, Village Person.

Last night I was playing on The Queen of Hearts harbor cruise for our friend Daniel Nardiccio. Daniel is a wonderful guy and he's got a lot of interesting friends. One of whom is Randy Jones, the original cowboy from The Village People. He's got a lot of other talents and credits, but seriously... The. Village. People. I had an amazing walk through the Lower East Side with Randy last night and I want to share it with you...

Have you ever done something amusing, like, at a party or a show? Have you ever had a bunch of people who want you to do that thing again and again? Have you ever felt depressed or worn down by that, thinking "not this again"? I would imagine that Randy Jones might be tired of the Y.M.C.A.

But you know what? If he ever was, he's made his peace with it. Randy Jones seems like one happy dude. The man is a shining example of what I'd like to be as an entertainer. He's happy he gets to do what he does for a living. He's gracious and welcoming of all the attention. He's grateful for the good vibes that come his way. He gives this big, shiny smile and a "Hi!" to everyone on the street who makes eye contact. He knows Dolly Parton and Freddie Mercury and he showed me pictures of his garden.

What a genuine character. What a joy. I am blessed.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Diva plus Jackasses = awesome.

Love this video of Gladys Night with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. as the Pips.

Two of my big giant crushes! I'll give you a hint: It's not Gladys Knight or Ben Stiller.

I love Jack Black. I love him so much. Check him out in this video: He's totally committed to being a jackass. He doesn't waver for a second. Stiller is doing his patented "insecure cute guy" schtick and Downey is just... being a fuckin' hottie. (Love his timing on the last chorus exit) And Jack. Jack is being a wiener.

I would jump all over Jack Black in a hot second. It's the eyes. (picture unicorns and rainbows in a teenager's diary here) ... He has magic in his eyes. . . He sometimes has the appearance of someone who is totally committed, totally enthusiastic, totally involved, like he's enjoying what he's doing and he's not too cool to show it. And he can sing. He chews the scenery when he acts, he's sometimes way too over-the-top, he sings like a demon, and he's got economy-sized charisma. And that makes Jack Black my first honoree in the Uncommon Diva hall of fame.
More to follow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Opinions: When you're Strong but Wrong.

The other day I commented on a video by the gals at Jezebel. I called the advice that the woman gave "shady". And it was.* And I've been reading their blog ever since. And it's awesome. It's all "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion without airbrushing". It's also well written, empowered, and funny.

So in my opining on her comment I disparaged a writer that is everything that I admire in women: opinionated, smart, empowered but not too serious, funny, fashionable, and outspoken.

And that's just the thing: I like people with opinions. I like having opinions. I like sharing my opinions. And sometimes I am wrong. If you're going to have strong opinions it's good to be ok with being wrong once in a while :)

*She said it was easier to take the pain of high heels if you were a little bit drunk, just like anal sex. I couldn't resist the opportunity to note that that's a BAD attitude. If you have to get drunk to get over the pain of taking it in the ass, you're doing it wrong. If you have to get drunk to admit to wanting it in the ass, well, that's more like it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roll Yer own Pasties

Reprinted from my sex column, Organ Grinder. More oldies here.

Has anyone noticed there's been an explosion of Burlesque dancers in Vancouver? Is anyone else sitting in the audience saying, "Man; I could do that way better than her. Eh, honey?" (Whereupon your honey is obliged to say "What? Oh, yeah, you'd be really good." but you notice she never peels her eyes away from the stage.) Well, I have news for you, people: you probably can't strip any better than the pros. Stripping (and especially burlesque) is a high art, possibly the highest of the "low" arts, and it takes real practice and discipline. You have to engage the audience with a saucy combination of virtue, modesty, and slow-burning lust. You need the dexterity to undo vintage garters with one hand while holding your boobs modestly and trying not to topple out of the oversized champagne glass. You have no idea how much those feather fans weigh. I am utterly serious.

Pasties, pasties, pasties …..You know what you find if you look up "pasties" on the internet? A whole bunch of recipes for meat pies. That's right. "A flaky crust holds chunks of fresh beef, pork, potatoes, carrots, onions, and spices" Good luck sticking a pair of those to your tits.
Now, because I believe in the ritual power of burlesque, I offer you the best encouragement I can: Cass King's Top Secret Pasty Recipe. You need a base, some hot glue, and some strip sequins (the kind that come on a string). Tassels are optional.

Note: the term is "sequins", not "sequences" for fuck sake. It's best to get that straight if you want any kind of service from the button fairies.

Cut a circle out of cardboard or a sturdy fabric like canvas or better yet, heavy buckram (a hat-making fabric) Split the circle half way and overlap the edges to make a small cone. Don't be afraid to experiment with the size, shape, and the angle of the cone. You could make the edges square or star shaped. (My advice is to look up Fredericks of Hollywood, and just STAY AWAY from any of the design ideas you find there.) So you have glued the cut edge of your cone down in a satisfactory manner. Now start at the tip and glue down your sequins a half inch at a time… run a strip of glue along the base, press the sequin string side down. Unless you have extraordinarily large nipples, this should not take you more than fifteen minutes a piece. You can stitch the tassels on when you're done. Voila! You are a burlesque queen. Have a little pasty party. Invite the boys to make some for themselves, if you like. Pasty appreciation should never be limited by predetermined gender identity.

One last suggestion: use eyelash glue (which is liquid latex) to attach them. But don't just fill the thing with glue and slap it on. You will wind up flaunting your naked areolas and that, my friends, would make you indecently attired. At the risk of being trite: who thought up that stupid distinction? "Young lady, that little pink nipple of yours is obscene, you can't go out flaunting that in public (even though it looks pretty much like mine.) Here, slap some bright pink sequins it. That's so much more decent." Jeez.

Anyway, the secret to attaching your pasties is this: Spread a thin ring of glue around your nipple. Allow it to dry. Spread a slightly heavier ring of glue around the inside of the pasty. Allow it to dry just enough to be tacky. (Whether tasseled pasties are tacky to begin with is a subject I'll leave up to you to discuss with your loved ones.) Now, press the pasty firmly to the already dried ring of glue on your boob. Hold for several minutes. Release. There, now, do you feel good? Excellent. Now make sure your pasties are firmly attached by jumping up and down with your arms over your head. See if you can get that propeller thing going. Very good. Now run out and show your roommates. Shake your tits around and dance the Charleston. It's not indecent! You're wearing homemade pasties!