Heathers!

It’s sort of a shame that it’s taken me so long to write about this. You see, I have a dirty little secret. A fantastically gorgeous and fierce dirty little secret. I’m addicted to “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. And “Drag U.” And, I would imagine, any other show that eventually decides to be created under the RuPaul moniker as well.

click for Drag Race’s facebook page

I’m not alone in my fantastically gorgeous and fierce dirty little secret either. No, in fact, some friends and I created a secret group on facebook to celebrate our addiction. Our group’s name? Why “Heathers,” of course. Now, I’m not going to explain the significance of this name, as I would first have to go into detail about one of the finest movies Christian Slater and the 80’s ever gave us, and I would then have to delve deeply into Drag Race’s third season to make you understand. It’s a lot to go through just to explain a fantastically gorgeous and fierce secret group’s name, and I’ve no patience for the task. So if you want to know why we called ourselves that, you’ll just have to do the legwork yourself.

Other than the name, the membership, and the dirty little secret, our group is otherwise pretty nondescript. There are both men and women, both gay and straight. We’re stretched all across the continental U.S., and (at least one) who lives overseas. Strange word, “overseas.” I much prefer “abroad,” but I didn’t want you to think I was making a drag pun by using it. We all have work-a-day normal lives and to my knowledge, none of us has any sort of super human powers (one member does have a sock fetish, but I don’t think that counts). In short, we’re just an average bunch of folk who all know good taste when we see it. We were formed on the “you tell two friends, and so on, and so on…” type of mentality, and as a result, there’s many in the group who I’ve never actually met. Possibly some of us are even drag queens ourselves, but I am not. Not because I wouldn’t, but rather, because I really couldn’t (let’s just say that, dressing as Jackie O one Halloween, there were multiple people who felt the need to tell me just how lucky I was to have not have been born a woman).

As you can imagine, we like to get all catty about the shows, and – depending on how much vodka has been consumed – usually have a window of at least several “spoiler” hours set aside before we start dishing about whichever last episode aired. Some of us are quite vocal about the whole thing *raising my hand* and others are almost completely silent. We gab, not only about Drag Race, but other gay-related items as well. “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” other drag performers, “Project Runway,” (Saint) Tim Gunn, disco videos and George Takei (because it so IS OK, to be Takei!) have all been topics on our wall. In fact, when we first started our fantastically gorgeous and fierce secret group, the page’s picture was one of Bebe Neuwirth, looking all badass sexy, in a mustache of course.

In the world of secret facebook groups, I’m sure we’re only one of several devoted to “Drag Race” – heck, maybe even you’re a member of one as well? – and I’m sure that we’re not adding anything substantial to the human experience through our shared fandom. But then again, it can’t all be about adding to the human experience, now can it? Sometimes it just has to be about feeling gorgeous. Fierce even. I think – and I’m being very aware that by speaking for them all, I could very well be doing them all a great disservice – that we like RuPaul’s shows because the contestants live a sort of gorgeous that we, for whatever reason, can not. I mean, there’s also the entertainment value of each performer as well (what? Never been to a drag show? Well then, get out of your Puritanical panties and go see one. Now! Trust me when I say that you will NOT be disappointed). One of my favorites – Pandora Boxx – used to live up in my neck of the woods, but upon becoming famous, decided to “Go West” (again, if you don’t get the reference and/or don’t find yourself singing a certain Village People song right now, then I’ve hardly the time or inclination to explain it to you). She’s not a fave of mine because of her geographical kinship however, but rather because she’s funny, smart and sassy. True, she is also a “he,” but when she’s dolled up, she’s a cutey to boot. And oh, her wardrobe is to die for. I mean, assuming you like big hats with model trains running around them. I think it was trains. It could’ve been Matchbox cars though. Or maybe something else. Hey, cut me some slack. There’s a lot of “stuff” involved with drag outfits, OK? I can’t be expected to remember every detail.

Anywho. I’m sure I had a point to all this, but it has plumb run straight out of my head just now. Oh yes!  My point was simply this. RuPaul, her drag judges, drag professors and drag contestants all provide us with a little bit of gorgeous. A little bit of fierce. They all have the creativity, uniqueness, nerve and talent (again, look it up) to provide a bit of catty, yet positive, entertainment in an otherwise gloomy world. In short, in between a steady stream of drinking plain old tap water, they provide a cool refreshing sip of fruit punch. Those of us in Heathers appreciate that, and felt strongly enough to create a fantastically gorgeous and fierce secret group to celebrate it.  And it could be said, that by allowing us a little corner of our lives to not add anything substantial to the human experience, Ru’s girls are doing just that.

Can I get an “Amen” up in here?

•••

PS – the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag U is on TONIGHT! Find Logo TV on your local listings, and give it a watch. Assuming that you know good taste when you see it, you’ll be glad you did!

What Could Have Been…

Was the title of the mix listened to on my most recent solitary sojourn.

You see, somewhere along the “for me” series creation cycle, I had discovered something. I discovered that I seemed to always have a theme for each mix. This then led me to discover a second something. I discovered that I had a whole grab bag’s worth of earworm gems that I wanted to share. But a great number of them were of the type that I would ever never ever be able to create an entire mix for. So I created an alternate mix. A mix about all the themes I would never ever never be able to mix.

What? It made sense at the time.

As a result, this mix is most likely the one that would have the smallest number of fans. And if the disc were to be viewed as a city, it would be one in which you firmly rolled up the windows until such time as you had escaped its outermost limits. You see, in this “ville,” Matisyhu lives side-by-side with Devo (both representative of the “cover songs that were better than the originals” mix, that was never to be produced). Both Greg Kihn and The Kinks share space with the likes of The Sisters Of Mercy and Mission Of Burma. That’s right, I did say Greg Kihn just now. I told ya, this one gets scary.

OK, t, so what’s the deal with this mix then? Did it make you all weepy, teach you some grand lesson, or bring some sort of spiritual elephant into to full view? Well, no, no, and no. And I’m not including an easy-to-read track list this time either (but for those of you dying to know, the Mission Of Burma song was “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”). No, very much like the Gay-ties mix, this one really only served to provide me with a nice soundtrack, on an easy yet overly sweaty, evening solitary stroll. A soundtrack that is as weird as it was soothing.

You see we start the mix with Fred Rogers, singing his beloved theme song. Asking the question that I still – after all these years – wish I could answer in the affirmative. Yes Fred, yes! Yes I will be glad to be your neighbor Fred! Even if I’m far too big to fit on the trolley to the neighborhood of Make-Believe, I would be honored to be your neighbor! From there we jump right into “Tenderness” by General Public. Seems right, right? Happy meets happy. Nice. This is followed up by The Housemartins smelling winter, and then it dips pretty dramatically. For you see, it’s immediately after the stink of winter being acknowledged, that Mission Of Burma goes reaching for their revolver, followed by The London Suede prattling off about Animal Nitrate. Now, if you know the London Suede, you know that following them, the mix can go anywhere but up. Definitely not up. So that is of course right when Mr. Kihn makes his appearance.

Now don’t worry, I won’t verbally bully you through the entire track list in this fashion. I just wanted you to hopefully get an idea as to this mix’s schizophrenia. It’s unwillingness to stick to one thing for any length of time.

I suppose if I had to declare a life lesson to this particular mix – for those of you who wish that this post would hurry up and result in one already – it would be this: on the whole, when you look at it, you wouldn’t think that you were looking at much. Again, I can’t imagine that there’d be too many fans of this mix, based solely on the diverse amount of artists and styles represented. To my knowledge, even K-Tel never pulled a stunt like this. I mean, beside myself, who else here enjoys both The Scorpions and The Timelords? (Go ahead, click on the link – you’ll be forever glad you did!) Who else could get down to both “Yakety Sax” (yes, the Benny Hill theme song) and “Native Love” (yes, the song by Divine)? As a totality, it’s one big hot mess. See? A lot like life sometimes. That being said, when you look at the pieces of the whole, each individual song, you can see that you’re holding in your hands something that’s pretty damned awesome. You can hear that you’ve got within this mix, joy and anger, love and hate, tears and laughter. You’ve got life. Not as a package deal, but in each and every track. It’s beauty can’t necessarily be seen when looking at it as a whole, but rather, only when looking at each element individually. Only when focusing on each moment. So, if you put a gun to my head demanding the life lesson, my immediate response might be “now why’d you go and do that???” But my stating that I could see the connection between the mix and life in this fashion, would quickly follow that. It’s the moments that count, not the overall package. It’s the quality of the time you have, versus the length, that’s the thing.

My life, much like this mix, is a grab bag of moments. A cornucopia of memories and events, of all different makes and types. If I look at them as a whole, I could be tempted to say that there was more bad than good – especially considering I was proof-reading this while being stuck in an airport for twelve hours, for a flight was eventually cancelled any way. If I look at them as a whole, I might even be tempted to say that it’s simply a jumbled up mess of things (ideas, stuff, songs, whatever) that is somewhat of a wreck – however – when looked at individually, each is quite beautiful unto itself. Unique even. Good.

My life is good. That’s the moral for this story kids. It’s up, down, all over the place and sometimes even requires a bit of Greg Kihn, but overall it is good. The “What Could Have Been…” mix didn’t teach me that, but it does represent the idea nicely.

So, what track from the mix will we end this post with? I was sorely tempted to make use of Pat Boone’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” (representative of the “cover songs that should have NEVER been made” mix that was never to be produced), and I was also toying with using the “Wonder Woman” theme song as well (season two, of course). But as I’m assuming most of you have heard the second, and none of you would enjoy the first, I’m instead ending this with the one track that can simply NOT be played without me and the two younger of my three children performing an impromptu air-band rock concert.

A song by The New York Dolls of course, which immediately follows Pink’s “U & Ur Hand,” and is the second to last track on the mix (here’s the last). And, much like it can be with our jumbled up mess of a life, I hope you enjoy it!

Oh, who am I kidding?

I can’t leave like this. Sorry Pink. Here, here’s “U & Ur Hand” to boot…

Briefly…

Thanks to Kat, I now have a new band to check out.

Yippee, new bands!

Also, here’s this week’s 100 Word Song.

And, since Kat’s site is called “Sassy Irish Lassie,” here’s a picture of Shane Macgowan’s teeth.

Adventures In Paradise

You know, you’ve been pretty jaded this week.

I know, I know. I’m just feeling selfish I guess, put upon.

Yeah, well you had better shake it off pally. It’s not exactly like you’ve got it bad or anything.

From the outside, I get what you’re saying. But sometimes, from deep within, it does feel that bad. Sometimes, it feels like dying. I feel lost, and ashamed of myself for being so.

So, basically what you’re telling me then, is that you’re having for yourself a pity party?

I suppose.

But didn’t your dad always tell you to just “walk it off?”

Well, yeah. But that response seems too car-blanche. Far too easy.

Because it is.

So what’s the answer then?

You know the answer. You’ve had it in your noodle the whole while. You’ve even offered it as advise to others who have been in pain. “When you can walk it off, do. But when you can’t, rest up first. Have yourself a good cry. Get well. And then walk.”

So you didn’t have that meeting that you were so cock-sure would change your life. So what? So you don’t understand why the meeting was scheduled in the first place, had J.C. truly had your back. Again, so what? Remember when you used to read to your children? They didn’t know what the words were, but you did. And even though they couldn’t read along, they still cuddled up close to you, they trusted you. And the story was still told. So now you once again find yourself illiterate to Life’s ways. Big whoop. Just sit in J.C.’s lap, let him read to you.

It’s that easy?

Of course it’s that easy. And that’s precisely why it’s so damned hard.

It is hard. Impossible at times.

Can I do this?

You have been all along. Just because you’re not listening doesn’t mean he’s not reading – the story is told, with or without your active participation. Dude, it’s just life. You’re not the first, and you’re not the last (and if I might add, you’re for damned sure not the prettiest!) to go through it. So, buck up lil’ pony, and walk it off. Or rest until you can. You know, your mom has had some pretty cool catch phrases as well…

You’re talking about her infamous “this too shall pass,” I would assume?

Yep. And yes, it will. In the end, it all will. In the end your career will have been just that. Just something you did to fill the hours and pay the bills, a mere footnote on your resume for Life Eternal. In the end, C’s health will be no better or worse for all your fretting. And your life together will not benefit from your inability to be patient and/or simply roll with the punches. In the end every last person you’ve lost along the way will be found again. In the end, J. C. will close the book – only to open a new one – and hopefully you’ll have learned to read at least a couple of the words by then, you know?

Yeah, I know.

Good. Now, do something for me. Do something different this week. I know you usually like to write in silence. I know you feel as if it makes you a stronger writer (trust me kid, it don’t). But just this once, write while you’re burning some of your old crappy vinyl over to MP3 instead. For this post, plug in your earphones, and write while the docile tones of your “South Sea Island Music” box set laps up against your brain. Do it, and see if you can’t end this week on a high note, OK?

OK. I will.

And hey, thanks.

My pleasure. You and I are the bestest of friends, you know. And it does my heart good to see you smiling. I love you man.

I love you too.

Good. Remember that.

A screw in the mix

Previously… – or – The whole mess till now…

The red “hair” wasn’t so much a biological memory, as it was in remembrance of the red hood that he had dawned, all those human years ago, when first he agreed to serve Beelzebub.

Beelzebub, that fat, lazy, stupid old demon. He had thought that he’d beat the man with the red hair, but he had thought oh so very wrong. True, the man had been young enough to believe that Satan would actually deliver on his end of the bargain – that being providing him with eternal life – but he wasn’t so naive as to think that there wouldn’t be a screw at least somewhere in the mix.  The screw in this case was that eternal life only came after death. A bit of a pisser, but for the man with the red hair, more of a barrier than a obstacle.

No, not the kind of eternal life he had imagined at all, this death. But he was above Satan. Hell, he was above God even. And Satan had provided him with a very long life. A long life he spent in study. A long life that he had spent plotting. A life, long enough for him to discover that there could actually be a second type of eternal life. One that even that moron of a devil didn’t recognize. He lived his long life maliciously, and his eventual death – brought about by slowly burning in that old wooden chair – didn’t surprise him a bit. Hell, by the time it occurred, it almost seemed like part of the plan. Not Satan’s, but his. As a result of his studies, he knew that Satan was not yet seated upon his “throne.” No, that wouldn’t occur until the end of days, and the man with the red hair planned on being in his new kingdom – the kingdom of his making – well before that took place. He would never need to deliver on his end of the half-witted bargain. He would never need to do any bidding whatsoever for that piece of shit devil. He would never be imprisoned like all the rest. He was almost there. Almost free. All he needed now was Clive. As through him, the man with the red hair could finally speak his new existence into reality. He would once and for all become alive. Real. For his was the kingdom. And the power. And the glory.

The stage was set. He could feel it. Much like the mighty oak, insistently chiseled in a specific place, he was certain that Clive would fall in exactly the direction he needed him to. And he was certain that Douglas would be similarly positioned as well, becoming crushed in the process. That was always their way, wasn’t it? Dying for their friends in an effort to save them. A salvation that wouldn’t come, not this time. The man with the red hair didn’t need Douglas to die in order for his plan to come alive, but he did relish in the anticipation of watching it occur. This Tia however, was new to the mix. Unanticipated. And unanticipated was not good. It gave the man pause. What was her game? How did she fit in? She didn’t feel like the others. No, in her was something that was, well, different. In her was something that unnerved the man with the red hair. He had been watching closely over the weeks as she became closer and closer with Clive. She was friendly with Douglas as well, but in Clive she had a special bond. She had almost given him something to believe in. A scenario that would be worse yet, should Clive ever figure out that that “something” was himself. This made the man with the red hair nervous. And he was not prone to being so. He had worked far too hard at creating Clive, and he would be damned – quite literally so – if this didn’t work.

He seethed. His plan had to work. It simply had too. Remembering that there was nothing anymore for him to slam his fist against – nor, in fact an actual fist for him to slam it with in the first –  he instead twirled in his rage. Spinning in ever expanding circles to release his anger. An anger that seemed to have no end. An anger that seemed to only grow the more it was dispelled. The man with the red hair remembered that sloppy devil mentioning something to him at some point, something about an “abundance” that he would be blessed with. Sadly, he had been young. And not paying very close attention. After he had heard what he wanted, he naturally assumed that the abundance spoke of was a life eternal. Perhaps now, he realized, it was something else…

None the matter. Plans were in place. Clive was ripe for the taking. Or at least would be soon. Very soon. The man with the red hair decided it might be time to “drop in” and see how far along he was. Clive’s father had proven to be a false hope for the most part, a reminder that if you wanted something done right, you needed to do it yourself. The man with the red hair would not make the same mistake. He would not let emotions get in the way. He would go to Clive, disconnect him from this Tia bitch, and tighten the screws even further. The prize was his, his to take. The Mercy seat was once again burning. But this time, burning for him, and he’d be godammend if he didn’t take it. For his was the kingdom. And the power. And the glory. Forever, and ever, amen.

© t – 2o12