Archive for February, 2013

Chinese Take Out

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

me in wand and wings

A random chick asked me to share a two-bedroom bungalow half a block from the beach on a Venice walk street.  The year was 1979.  There wasn’t much else going on.  I was living in my friend’s kitchen that had I converted to a very small bedroom by simply hanging a Japanese print curtain next to the refrigerator.  It was pretty ghetto.  But it was easy reaching from my bed for a can of Tab, and I had a six-pack-a-day habit.  Anyway, I can’t resist the beach, so I said yes.  Problem was, I didn’t know this girl all that well.  And soon learned there would be no chicks staying-up-all-night-in-PJ’s laughing.  Turns out, she was a full-blown groupie.  And an alcoholic.  She spent her nights at a recording studio with some band that shared her in the late night hours.  Most of her days were spent cleaning the recording studio.  Not for money, just because she was a fan.  My roommate was never home to pay her rent on time.  And if she were home, she would start a fight to get out of paying the rent.  Fun times.

I would spend hours listening to a new artist, Elvis Costello, and the song, “Watching the Detectives,” which I would play along with on my drum practice pad outside on the patio.  It was a sorry little existence.  I never felt safe alone at night, and I was pretty sure my big cat Cosmo, who went missing for hours at a time, had joined a gang.  Some nights, I would go with my friend Pam to little bars and joints on the strand, Cosmo trailing behind us.  Cosmo wore a scarf the way dogs did in that era, which means I put the scarf on him.  He didn’t wake up in the morning and say, “Hey, I think I’ll sport this great red scarf today.”  Cosmo would wait outside those little bars for us and then follow me home.  By the way, I never drank, so I’m not sure what we were even doing in those joints.  Something to get us out of the house, I guess.   Most days I wore stars on my face.  Sometimes I carried a wand.  A combination of vintage and punk clothes was my wardrobe.  I was very colorful.  Speaking of colorful, the roomie once told me this story.  Actually I had heard this story for years, I just didn’t know I was now living with a “famous” person.  Or is infamous the better word. (more…)

Arranged Marriages

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013


You’ve heard it, opposites attract.  My parents were just about the most opposite you could find.  And, I never even thought about that until just now, while sitting down to write about their relationship.  Your parents are the only parents you have, so you don’t stop to think, “What did they see in each other?”

My mother was quiet, elegant and intelligent.  My father was loud, lovable and crass.   Taste was not exactly his strong suit except, of course, his great taste in women.

They met at a party.  He saw this stunning, very young, exotic looking woman modern-dancing.  Alone.  Seductively.   Twenty years older, he was intrigued.

Cliff Notes to get you up to speed:  They dated.  He knocked her up.  He said he didn’t want kids.  She was set to have an abortion.  Her family strong-armed him or he had a change of heart.  Or both.  She had their first child, my brother Alan but first they had a quickie wedding.  In Vegas, where else?  First meal in their home together, my mother cooked.  My father complained about the way she made the eggs.  She threw the whole pan of eggs at him.  Two years after the first child, she was pregnant with me.  I was a teeny tiny thing.  Still am.  She had taken the drug DES which would later be known to cause cervical cancer in the daughters of women who took it to prevent miscarriage. (more…)