Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Fair Lady.

People, I am overwhelmed. I must let it out. I have things to say. Feelings to admit. Special feelings, for a special lady. A special lady named Lady Gaga.

Even though I've gone about six years without network cable (not out of principal, mind you, but because I am broke and busy), and even though I only listen to the same scratched-up CDs over and over again in my car, an outside voice eventually came through to me, through shopping mall speakers and episodes of the Office. The voice said "Just dance. It'll be okay."

I agreed. I danced. And you know what? It was okay.

In March of 2009, I googled this voice and discovered that it belonged to Ms. Gaga. Normally, I don't care enough about musicians to delve deeper, unless a guitarist is particularly attractive. At which point I surf for a good photo of him in leather pants and make him my desktop wallpaper. But Gaga inexplicably sank all these little glittery hooks into me and I continued my search. At first, I was wary of her excessive use of the color taupe. But other recurring elements had me YouTubing like mad. What's with the lightning bolt? How about that fingers-around-the-eye hand move she keeps doing? What IS a disco stick? There are two Great Danes in every video. What does all of this mean?!?! 

After further mesmerized, uneducated research, I decided that Ms. Gaga was an admirable person since she writes/plays/designs/conceptualizes most of her own material (even to an apathetic, passive music enjoyer like myself, that shit is impressive). But that isn't what made me fall in love. Lady Gaga knew what she wanted early on in life. She took on crappy waitressing jobs to make time for her art. Now she designs pantless outfits with moving parts and sings shamelessly about masochism. She hops from boyfriend to girlfriend and scoffs when interviewers ask her if she wants kids. My heart was sold. I clean toilets five days a week so that I'll have brain-power left at the end of the day to do what I really love. I would projectile-vomit my own uterus if it were humanly possible. And we all know by now that I detest wearing pants. So this information excited me.

I felt like an impressionable nine-year-old at a school motivational assembly. I've never had a proper celebrity role model. When asked "Who would you want to meet?" and all that BS growing up, I always had some cop-out answer like Jesus or Ghandi. Jesus and Ghandi are both great and all, and I want to mitigate suffering as much as the next guy, but I also want to write a popular fantasy series and bask in the delight of my reader base. I want it. I want it bad. And suddenly here before me is this woman, born on this earth only two weeks before me, who got what she wanted and who is not apologizing to anyone. And you can just tell, when fire shoots out of her metal bra or when she is man-handling some latex slave backup dancer, that she is fucking loving it. She is in love with her awesome self. And more of us should be.

So now, when I get a form rejection letter or I consider that it might take ten years and twenty re-writes to ever get published, I say to myself, "Tom, would Lady Gaga be laying here in bed, listening to the Postal Service and eating cookie dough in the dark and feeling sorry for herself? No. No she would not. She would get up, put on her pantless space-suit, and grab this situation by the balls, and she would cover anyone who stood in her way with fake blood. Now get the hell up and make your shit happen."

Someday I'd like to thank the Lady in person for this real and pure impact she's unknowingly made. I would also love to wrestle with her in jello or take her shoe shopping, but I like to keep my goals broad and attainable. Other aspirations must remain fantasies. Like the one where Lady GaGa rides up in platinum armor atop a rhinestone-studded horse, bitch-slaps me over the saddle, and takes me back to her dark, eerie, neon-streaked kingdom, where she loves me forever and makes me the chief mistress of her man stable. 

Because you KNOW Lady Gaga's kingdom would so totally have a man stable. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pinch me. (No really, I like it.)

Six months is a long time to hold the pause button. Half a year of awesome is starting to spill out of my ears; I don't even know what to say. So let me focus this revival post (hopefully the first of a nice, regular flow) on an excellent starter-topic: My neighborhood. 

Capitol Hill, Seattle. For a not-quite-published pomosexual closet-masochist coffee addict with a limited income, this place is heaven on earth. Sweet lord, it just overflows with goodness --wide-open, no questions asked, ever accepting goodness. You should have to win a lottery to live here. It's sinful. Close your eyes. You are about to begin another day in this place...

Dreaming about pregnancy, again (because everyone you know, male or female, is pregnant), you awake. For a moment, you panic. But you are not pregnant. Which is awesome.

Instead you are lying in a totally warm, not-too-hot place (all Seattle apartments are cozy-warm and not-too-hot-warm, except for Mr. Binder's condo, which is sweltering). The beaming, glorious sun has been beaten bloody and left to die behind a thick wall of clouds, and that's nice. Morning doesn't hurt your eyes here. There is an ungodly loud sound outside, but you like that, too. It's the recycling truck, which sounds like a giant ostrich giving birth when it backs up, but that's okay. Recycling is a good thing, you remind yourself.

You are likely naked. You walk to the kitchen (or you walk home, and if that is the case, you should put clothes on first, unless it is a special holiday). You listen to NPR and make coffee in a french press and then guzzle it. You check your email with free, abundant, stolen wireless, lace up your shoes, and drive to work. Remember, the sun is not in your eyes. To the West and to the East, pointy mountain peaks are covered in snow, but it's a pleasant 55 degrees outside. Jacket weather. 

Work is an empty house. You scrub. You buff the stainless steel appliances and vacuum and sneeze at the dog hair. No one bothers you. You get the sense that your motions are useful and good. Someone will later appreciate the shiny floor. They will smell all the clean when they get home, like in those Febreeze commercials, and their evening will be better and lighter because of you. You play with the dog, which is adorable and does not slobber. Then you drive to the home of your boss, a stout, no-bull elderly lesbian, to pick up your paycheck. Did I mention it is almost Christmas? She gives you a bag of cookies and laughs and says that they're Gingerbread Dykes. Merry Christmas.

You can tell you are on Capitol Hill again at the Olive Way stoplight because every man you see is tall and handsome and possesses a faux-hawk. Unless he happens to be black. Then, he is bald. The good kind of bald. The sexy kind of bald. Everyone is dressed like they're going to a concert, and so no one in particular looks like they're trying too hard, and so you don't feel like you'll attract too much attention by wearing whatever the hell you want. A dwarf on a scooter with a pipe in his mouth whizzes by on the cross-walk. You've seen him before. You've also seen Link, the Link from Zelda, complete with tights. He is standing outside the cupcake shop. He is eating a cupcake. On the corner, a middle-aged bi-racial gay couple kisses with complete sweetness in the broad (but muted) daylight, and an angel gets its wings. You are home.

You are home, and it's only 1pm. You take a nap, eat something that involves avocados, shower, call your mom. You throw some library books into your bag and walk to the park, the one with all the trees that are effortlessly sit-able. You sit in one and read, because the ground and the park benches are slightly wet. Or you maybe you go sit in a cafe for awhile with your laptop, where you will have no choice but to order something with an Italian name (drip does not exist here). Or maybe you go to the gym, and maybe you will be on the treadmill directly across from that awesome plump woman with the ipod, who swings wildly on the elliptical while lip-syncing to music only she can hear, tossing her butt-length gray hair with so much sass. You love this woman. You love her so, so much.

And then a friend calls. You argue for ten minutes about which Thai place to go to, because there are so many, all good, all reasonably priced, all within walking distance. And after all this  delicious food and this delicious company, the options are endless. A burlesque show. A quiet bubble bath. A free art gallery. A play. A disco full of queens and people who can dance without pressing their penises all over you. A frisbee game. An S&M session. A walk on a pebbly beach. Parcheesi.

And as you walk on to any one of these things, it is raining. But not really. It's more of a mist. You don't need an umbrella. You don't even need to close your eyes. Everything is lush and nothing seems threatening, not even the occasional cat-call. The men here don't shout "Ow, mama!" or "Hey girl, turn that thing around!". They just speak loudly, and smile sincerely, and say things like "May I please say that you are gorgeous?" or "You look so nice. I hope you're having a great day." 

And you say back, "I am, thank you. I really am." You feel all giddy after that, and it's still 8pm with the rest of the evening is still wide open ahead of you, and you know how you will be when it ends: Warm and not-too-hot. Probably naked. Unquestionably, unabashedly happy.