Talking Soaps from my Soap Box

I spent my evening watching the Italian soap opera Vivere, because my 87-year-old grandma loves it. She watches it more than she watches church on TV, and she watches church a lot. Anyway, soap operas somehow make more sense in Italian, just like real operas do. Maybe it’s because Italians are so naturally over-the-top dramatic and easily excitable, but the long stares into each other’s eyes, the gut wrenching passion and the extended make out sessions they show on Vivere are sort of par for the course in Italy. And they do it with such intensity, such sincerity, that you really do believe it. In real life too. Even my jaded ass fell for more than one Italian heartthrob’s lustful gazes, passionate come-ons, and romantic promises when I was there nearly nine years ago. That might have been because I was 18 though. We’ll see.

But I digress… back to Italians and their cheesy soap operas. They seem to eat corny second-rate TV up like it’s warm Nutella on a cold day. In any language, soap operas are the TV equivalent to really bad romance novels. Escapism… everyone indulges in it in some way.

Enjoy this exquisite clip from Vivere. Collars up!

 

The Pickle Jar

My mom is visiting. She asked me if I had any milk before she got here, and I said no, so she brought some. In a pickle jar.

With all this talk about recycling and being green – how many people do you know who would thoroughly clean a pickle jar in order to transport milk in it? It’s not so much being green in her case as it is being unable to waste anything that could potentially be consumed, like good milk. Apparently being poor at some point during one’s life gives you this trait. It’s not a bad one to have.

I draw the line at saving leftover toast, though.

Lady Love

I’ve been throwing around a lot of man-love on this blog lately, so it’s about time I featured a woman. I found this fine lady while packing and she’s bound to get lost in the move, so I thought I’d post her. The sketch is a replica of da Vinci’s St. Anne sketch, which I drew for an art history class a few years back… it’s not the best, but I think there’s something lovely and haunting about all the women da Vinci captures. I found a photo of his original sketch (right) and now I’m wondering how the hell I passed that class with my horrible rendering. His is so soft and intricate. Mine is not. It looks as though I gave my Anne a trashy Madonna-mole on her right cheek. Read into that what you will.

This post was really just a means to distract myself so I don’t have to pack. . .

Hova and Rubin

My Vincent Gallo post reminded me that he and Jay-Z, who is my favorite, have a very close friend in common – producer Rick Rubin.

Arguably one of the most influential producers of our time, Rubin started out as the original DJ for the Beastie Boys, later cofounded Def Jam records with Russell Simmons, and is now the cohead of Columbia Records.

I wanted to talk more about Jay-Z, but he deserves a longer post and I don’t have time so for now, I’ll post a video.

Vinny Gallo and Rubin both appeared in Jay-Z’s 99 Problems video, below. Rubin’s the one who looks like the long lost third member of ZZ Top.

Gallo

Vincent Gallo

What can I say, I love the weird. And no matter which way you slice it, Vincent Gallo is a strange, beautiful bird. Check out his self run website, and under merchandise, he promotes personal services like selling his own sperm for a million dollars a pop (haha) or his personal escort services, which will cost you $50,000 per evening. He’s that crazy brilliant lunatic artist that every era needs. Gallo’s pretty talented, too.

He’s a director, actor, screenwriter, painter, musician, photographer, motorcycle racer and breakdancer, among other things.  He has modeled in recent ad campaigns for H & M and Belvedere Vodka and he recently starred in the Francis Ford Coppola directed film Teatro. Gallo’s movie The Brown Bunny sparked a feud between him and Roger Ebert, who called the film ‘the worst in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.’ Also in that film, Gallo gets an on-camera, close up blow-job from Chloe Sevigny. For real.

‘Prince Vince,’ as he used to like to be called, clashes and wars with most of the people he works with because of his crazy italian temper. He once referred to Christina Ricci, who he directed in Buffalo 66, as a cunt. He’s also a political conservative who considers himself a ‘very conservative radical.”

He’s got a face like a scary-ass Roman god and a seriously warped mind…

and I think he’s kinda hot.

I’m Goin’ Down

After four days in the city, my friend Sara and I have just about given up on having a good time here. There is a disconnect that neither one of us can pinpoint. We want to love it, but we are loosing faith. We’ve done touristy things like visiting museums and shopping in trendy areas, but there were no sparks. Well, a few little ones, but none big enough to change our opinion of the city. So on our last night in town, we decide to have a great time, come hell or high water.

We walk down the street, and the wine from supper warms our bellies and clouds our heads nicely. Every block or so, we pass a teenager sitting on the sidewalk, leaned up against a building, a hat full of coins and pocket lint pushed forward in the way of our walking path. They stare up at us with their young innocent faces and politely ask, “can you spare some change, Miss?”

People with red, vacant eyes pass us, wearing dirty clothes. Some walk right into us. They don’t see us, I guess.

“Where the hell are we?” Sara says. I shrug. Our excitement for a fun night is slowly fading.

Across the street from us is a bar with a huge line up out front, but clubbing seems too exhausting at this point. Sara spots a pub with a garage door-style front opening and a small fence out front. “Let’s go there,” she says. It’s a bit of a drive, with graffiti on the walls and a strange smell, but a lovable dive.

We order drinks from the friendly waitress and she tells us that if we want to have more than one drink, we have to order food too. It’s the law. “What is with this city?” I say. We both order the mini burgers, because we’ll definitely be having more than one drink.

The front of the pub is completely open and exposed to the street outside, save for a mini fence separating sidewalk from pub, so Sara smokes her cigarettes on the sidewalk while I stand at the red fence, chatting with her. We have a perfect view of the drug addicts that stroll by. So many of them. Too many of them. Too skinny, too dirty, too messed up, too sad.

When my food comes, I look at it and think, this is stupid. I’m already full. I couldn’t sit there and stuff my already stuffed face when there are starving, emaciated people walking by right in front of me.

So I get up with my three burgers and stand outside of the little fence. A man walks by. He is tall and his chest concave. He wears a faded baseball hat, with bits of wet greasy hair poking through the front and sides. His body is a bony hanger for this clothes. His blue flannel shirt hangs off of him and his tattered undershirt is stained with sweat, grease, and who knows what else. He smells like a sewer.

Do you want my burger?” I ask him. He stops walking and takes the burger from me. Stepping to the side, he inhales it in two bites. So I give him another, and then another. He hardly chews and swallows hard after each bite.

As he eats, I think: I wish I could feed you everyday. I hope this gives a bit of nourishment to your ravaged body. I know you’ll be doing drugs again soon, I know. But for now, I hope the burgers fill you.

I went back into the bar, shoulders slouched and shaking my head.

“Awe, that was nice,” Sara says to me. “This city is bringing me down,” I say back.

I sit down next to her and we sip our drinks.

Then,

a guitar lick blasts from the speakers.

and the sound of a tambourine.

and a pounding snare drum.

I smile happily at Sara.

We sit in the car outside your house, while…

She looks at me, confused

I can feel the heat coming ’round…

“BRUCE!” I say.

I go to put my arm around you…and you give me a look like I’m way out of bounds, well…

We both start shimmying in our seats.

You let out one of your bored sighs, well lately when I look into your eyes…

We’re up off our stools, shaking it in the middle of the smelly little bar.

I’m goin’ down, down, down, down…

I’m goin’ down, down, down, down…

I’m goin’ down, down, down, down…

I’m goin’ down, down, down, down.

Thanks for the kickstart, Boss.

Three. Hot. Cops.

Sometimes I get in the habit of not following a set schedule. This can mean I’m up when I should be down, and I’m down when I should be up. I stayed up much too late last night working on an article, and also getting distracted by the evil demon that is my adult ADD (which is the fancy medical name I’ve given to my short attention span coupled with the lure of the internet…). So I went to bed late. Like 3 a.m. late. When 8 a.m. rolled around, I turned my back to that bitch and kept right on sleeping. But 10 a.m. is a much more forgiving hour, and so when I woke up to find her staring me in the face, I figured, ok 10 a.m., I’ll get up.

Sometimes I wear cute PJ sets to bed. They come in fun colours, have animals on them, and are oh so cozy. Last night was not one of those times. Last night I decided to wear my old pink lamb covered PJ bottoms with an old hair dye stain on them with an oversized black t-shirt that says “soup feels good” across the chest. I also had my retainer in and my hair was a dirty, oily, tangled mess.

Too add a bit of streetcred to my ballin look, I also have a gross red scab across my cheek from a hot iron burn I gave myself a few days ago. This is why I don’t ever use the damn thing. Why does it get so hot?

Overall – I looked disheveled. A “rag-a-muffin,” my mom would say.

But I wasn’t concerned about that. Why would I be? I’d shower eventually. For now,  I was going to be checking my emails and going about my business for the day.

Five minutes into my delayed morning routine: BAM, BAM, BAM!

My front door.

What kind of asshole would bang on a door that loudly? I thought to my thinking self. I got up and looked through the peep-hole, but there was no one there.

Strange.

I opened the door to see if I could catch some pesky little kids playing Nicky Nicky nine doors. I used to do it too you little shits, don’t worry. As I stuck my head out of the doorway, I was not met with the scamper of children running down the hall. In fact, it was the opposite. Standing at my door, two on one side and one on the other were: 3 HOT COPS.

I’m not overstating their attractiveness. I’m fickle when it comes to hot cop fantasies. They were gorgeous – like if Charlie’s Angels were dudes.

THIS is the approximate hotness of the cops in question.

And I wasn’t wearing  bra.

I also hadn’t brushed my teeth yet, and yet, there was a large toothpaste stain in the middle of t-shirt.

When they started talking to me, all “Sorry Miss” and “we’re responding to a call about your alarm,” I turned into an unresponsive and then babbling fool. I wanted to kick myself for my lack of recovery ability in the situation. I could not pull it together.

I then tried to pretend I was sick as they questioned me, but I couldn’t lie properly. Not to such hot cops. So they looked at me suspiciously and I looked back afraid.

As for why they were there, it wasn’t because I’m the next Nancy Botwin, although I sort of love her life. Apparently, an alarm signal from my apartment was sent to the cops. Hot Cop # 1 – the dark haired one – soon got a call confirming it was a false alarm and so after I assured them I was fine (although I was clearly having a panic attack) the three hottest men I’ve ever seen left my doorway.

False alarm for them, maybe. My ego is a divine mess. Never again will I sit around in my PJs thinking I’m safe working from home.

I’m living life Nonna Ciccone styles from now on. Just like when she tells you to wear clean underwear everyday (that she’ll iron for you if you let her), when God gives you the ability to wake up, you gotta get up, brush your goddamn teeth, shower if you have to, change your clothes, and do what you’ve got to do.

It was like showing up to prom in torn jeans and a hoodie.

I feel like I should pray the rosary or something.

Coffee Shop Break Up

A couple sits at a table inside a trendy coffee shop. It’s late evening.  The man looks to be in his late twenties. He’s average looking and has a steady, seriousness to his face. His eyes are small and deep and almond-shaped, and his hair is light brown and messy. He wears an argyle sweater over a blue button down shirt and khaki trousers. His shoes are brown leather. His brown leather messenger bag is slung over the back of his chair. This chair he uses as a two-legged barcalounger – he balances on the back two legs and rocks back and forth, sometimes coming down on all four legs with a thud. But he keeps doing it. His legs are on either side of the largely airborne chair. He has a near empty coffee in a to go cup which he is picking up by the lid and hitting onto the table as he rocks up and down in the chair. Repeatedly. Obnoxiously.

The woman with him seems to be the same age as him. She looks troubled and contemplative and like she might fly away if a strong breeze blew in. She wears dark jeans and an army green utilitarian style jacket with a bright purple scarf. She hunches over the table, holding her arms gently in her lap like they are made of porcelain.  She lifts her eyes, not her head, to meet his. Her face is young and beautiful, but also very tired looking and solemn. Her eyes are red behind a thin veil of tears that she hasn’t let escape down her face yet.

“So I think this is for the best,” the man says. “We fight too much anyway.” He rests both of his arms on the backs of the two chairs that flank him. He casually drinks down the rest of his coffee and then SLAMS the cup down one final time on the table. Although his body seems calm, his eyes skittishly dance around the large coffee shop, examining every person in it. The girl has held her gaze on him for the entire time, head still down. She flicks old red nail polish off of her fingers underneath the table. “Ok. Alright,” she says quietly. The man robotically sets his chair back to its intended position on the floor and puts his right hand on the woman’s back, in between her shoulder blades. She squirms a bit in her chair as he does. Her shoulders rise to her ears and her torso bends to the right, away from him, while her neck and head strain to the left, like they want to lean on his shoulder, but can’t reach it. She’s going in two ways at once; torn between being comforted and being repulsed. But her hands remain delicately in her lap.

She looks up at him – she lifts her whole face now – she has released the tears from her eyes and they stream down her face. Her voice trembles and she shakes her head in agonizing disappointment, as she says: “Well, I guess I’ll see ya around then.” He tries to hug her but she is stiff and un-huggable. Her hands don’t leave her lap. Slowly, she gets up. Her hands are suddenly freed from her lap, and her long, thin fingers gracefully lift her purse off the chair beside her.  She tiptoes over his leg, which is outstretched and blocking the way out of the coffee shop. He doesn’t move it for her. She walks swiftly to the door and glances back at him as she opens it. She looks like a person who is going to be so much happier without him. Not yet, because now her face reads pain and sadness, but very soon. The man is still looking all around the coffee shop, but he’s not looking at her. He pulls out his cell phone and flips it open. He glances at it for a few seconds and then flips it closed. He picks up the newspaper beside him and begins scanning it, flipping through the pages. The door closes with a SLAM. She flits down the sidewalk and out of sight. He glances up at the door. He let her leave; now she’s all gone.