Sunday, September 28, 2008


Not the moron in the White House, but the glossy monthly magazine from Women's Wear Daily.

In the last three weeks I have been to the hospital three times (plus a fourth to fill out some forms and pick up prescriptions). I have had a blood transfusion and minor surgery. Over the next three months I will be preparing for surgery again.

I have been recovering very slowly. If I wasn't so grateful to be alive I would be writhing from the tedium of not having the energy to do anything but sleep, lie on the couch staring at the ceiling or the television. (How many times can one view Law & Order repeats without permanent damage?)

I plan to write more about my experiences with illness and hospitals and doctors, and vampirism, given that I now have the blood of other people in my veins, but I can never write about anything until I have fully processed the experience. And I am still experiencing illness, albeit from the end of the of it- recuperation and recovery, that is.

I have had some energy to read and I have been renewing my love for fashion magazines. I am a Vogue girl mostly, but I often lean toward the more "arty" or "European" feel of Harper's Bazaar. I also like American Elle. (And you can't tear me away from the lurid Cosmopolitan, although I won't consciously seek it out or buy a copy.)

W I like mostly because of it's large format. The content is very fashionable, regardless of the subject or subtext of the photo session. Even without seeing the contac sheets or having inside information, you know that given the same shoot, Vogue would have chosen "prettier" pics, Bazaar the more surreal. But I love looking through W. Every issue is a treat, even if I don't like the season's designs or fabrics. (Not the case with this issue I should add.)

"Love/Hate" (pages 230-251) is stunning. I would wear all of the clothes differently, but having them presented so dramatically really makes one wishful to the point of angst. And the archetypal story is fascinating. We femme's really have "come along way, baby!"

It used to be feminist activists would say that using the female form and sexy looking females was degrading to women. The thinking of the movement was that porn and sexually appealing advertising would disappear. Now we are understanding that women can make a lot of money exploiting men's "little" brain.

Now he is suffering for his weakness at the hands of these uber-coiffed, endowment earning, metal and beaded armour laden lovelies.

Modern woman is a fierce, independently wealthy, stylish, dragon lady. She will take man's eye out with those nails, claw him into submission while having a cool cocktail, and put her emasculating footdown while he tries to relax by the pool, or pull him in it while she floats in perfectly groomed style and metallic casing.

Her softer (blonde) side, will use him as a fantasy soapy fantasy, drain him of pleasure in the hothouse, until she is able to coax him (after her dark alter-ego confronts) into the labrythine gardens. There he is straddled, subdued, and and buried under or transformed into a trunk.

Only the pompoadour's height and dissarray speaks of this secret.

I love the silver leggings in this feature. A truly breathtaking dress is Oscar de la Renta's green sorceress gown on page 262. I will dream of this dress tonight.

The only other thing I have to say is: Sorry, Kristin McMenamy looks like a TS. But it made the photo of D&G dress on 299 work all the better (it's mislabeled on the W website). And page 303 latex naughties. (I'd put a sheer lace skirt or dress of any style over the briefs and bra, and do boots instead of mules. I'd wear those gloves from the Love/Hate shoot and antique earrings and a cameo or antique brooch on a ribbon around my neck. )


Saturday, September 06, 2008


I walked down Hollywood boulevard the other day, from Vine all the way past Highland.

I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19. But before that, when I was 13 I ran away from home and came out to Orange County. I often describe this portion of my life as "Breakfast with Travis Bickle."

One of the reasons I disliked the movie Pretty Woman so much was that it was almost verbatim the daydream I had when I ran away. I was going to be walking down Hollywood boulevard and Richard Gere was going to see me and fall in love with me and whisk me away to his castle in the sky, or Beverly Hills. (And my fantasy was Richard Gere exactly, because of his role in American Gigilo.)

But the reality is much more Robert deNiro in Taxi Driver. And Jodie Foster is well represented in reality, with Julie Roberts the fantasy that keeps her enchanted and trapped. (One thing I struggle with is releasing my inner Iris -Foster's character- and her influence over my life.)

But even the Jodie Foster's don't inhabit Hollywood boulevard. You can buy a street girl's wardrobe on HollyStarFucker Boulevard, but you won't find the street girl herself for another mile or so down Highland, at Santa Monica.

Hollywood Boulevard is comatose. Gentrification has created a strange dead zone from Vine to Las Palmas. The paraphenalia and the wig and stripper shoe and slutty lingerie boutiques are neglected and deserted. Half the sidewalks are covered in construction scaffolding. The greasy pizza places are disappearing.

So were all the squats in abandoned derelict buildings, and the ignored spaces that street people inhabit. Even the new condos and Frederick's new location weren't enough. I was nostalgic for the sleazy enterprises that used to feed off the tourists and the commuter gatherings waiting at the bus stops.

(So, perhaps the subway may have something to do with the change?)

Highland was hopping with tourists that had come all the way to California to sit at a Starbucks and shop at a Skecher's. I was torn between pride that finally Hollywood Boulevard was getting some attention and renovation, and the feeling that soon we would be living in a world so homogenized you would not be able to tell one city from the next.

I passed several ghosts, including a little girl from the mid-west 29 years ago. And, at the corner of Las Palmas, not too far from the Scientologists, I saw a greatly aged Travis Bickle, pausing to light a cigarette.

He nodded at me absently when we made eye contact, and then seeing me truly, stared surprised, that our paths should ever cross again.

I wanted to tell him that he was not a saviour, and that he did not rescue me. He was going to snap in the middle of someone's scenario, and that mine had just been the best for him. A scenario where he was a vigilante hero, instead of a psychopathic assasin.

I wanted him to know that I knew. That I was on to him.

But instead I stopped and said hi, and asked him to meet me at Denny's for breakfast one morning soon. We both knew that we would never see each other again, but it was the right way to end things, to pretend that we would.