Saturday, July 2, 2011

A young Artist's journey PT.2 (Couldn't Stand the Pleather)


“When a man goes on a date he wonders if he is going to get lucky.  A woman already knows.” - Frederike Ryder


Hello Blogiteers!

When we last chatted, I had just suavely introduced myself to a very attractive collector of Artists and their Art, while a faux Jim Morrison was being set up to receive a frigid c**k block of Biblical proportions. You know. Like you do?

But don’t concern yourself about him- he’s gonna be okay. Frustrated… but okay.
I promise. However, you may feel free to give him some serious credit- for he kept on trying, God bless his pleather-clad non-comprehending heart. If I hadn’t known better, I would’ve sworn he was a drummer. I take that back. Drummers usually have rhythm, and Keith Moon he was not.

[As an aside, the Muppet known as “Animal” was supposedly based on Keith Moon. How cool is that?]

Faux Jim should have watched a few more episodes of the Muppet Show methinks, but before we get into all that- let us take a small side trip, courtesy of one Ashley Naftule. To preface, Ashley used to write for the good ol’ PNT as a blogger, and has written an excellent article about his time in the fetid lair of the Editorzilla for www.AZKaos.com, a webzine spearheaded by locals Rikki Lee and Peter Petrisko, who not so very long ago, honored the Artbitch by naming this blog as one of the top five Phoenix blogs you should read.

I was number three, so obviously- they’re very smart. Promise me that after you’re done mucking about here, you’ll go read their stuff. They (and you) will be very glad that you did so. Now, while I am obviously not the focus of Ashley’s article, I am mentioned, and that is more than enough for me to pimp it fierce.

All kidding aside, his insider’s observations are a balanced and diplomatic counterpoint to my [quote per his article] “hilarious, scathing, and mostly-on-point Artbitch blog posts about the New Times“ and it definitely garners a read.
[Link: http://azkaos.tumblr.com/post/6463392376  ]

Ashley, about your working for the PHX New Times, I just have to note that: They don’t even offer chocolate chip cookies as a perk over there, and when someone as arrogantly dim as Martin Cizmar quits- it’s as close a sign from God you’ll ever get that it’s time to leave.
I sometimes may be way too caustic (an opinion I wholeheartedly agree with) but Ashley- you always were too good for that place, and it’s nice to have you back.

Know this- if Editorzilla tries to take you away from us again, I’d like to believe that we as a unified community, would break out the battlesporks and she’d earn her prize the truly hard way. And while we’re on the topic of fighting Earth’s answer to Jabba the Hutt, yours truly was interviewed a few months ago by www.602Radio.com, and I consider it to be one of the most pleasant Media Q & A’s I have ever done.
[Link: http://www.602radio.com/cgi-bin/feedme.cgi/] 

Amazingly, all two and a half hours of my blabbing [separated into two parts] has been recently posted, and it is funny, focused, and at times- exceedingly blue.

Definitely NOT for the kiddies, this podcast expands my concerns regarding the state of the Arts in PHX, and what I hope to accomplish by shaking some metaphorical trees. So for those of you who’ve wondered what it would be like if I chose to perform my blog instead of write it, here’s the chance to make your dreams come true- I heap praise, I scathe the worthy, and in general- just have a darn good time running my mouth.

Do yourself a favor and check it out, just make sure your kids aren’t in the house first. Moving onwards….. Seattle.

So there I was, watching faux Jimmy being turned into Pleather McNuggets, and it was brutal.
Never before [or since, I might add] have I seen a fellow man be verbally castrated that efficiently. Mix in the fact that someone who looked exactly like Vision Quest actress Linda Fiorentino was doing this, and you can see why I was instantly intrigued.

What can I say?

I like witty, intelligent, aggressive women, and she was witting faux Jimmy to death.
Poor, overly pleathered bastard- He never had a chance. But I did… or so I hoped.
Sorry. Once again, I’m getting slightly ahead of myself. Trust me… I’m working on it. I really am.

But the first thing I need to fix is actually quite simple. In PT.1 of this charming little story, we were introduced to our heroine, who for personal/business reasons, cannot be named publicly. However, it was pointed out that I could have used a much better (and sexier) pseudonym than “ ********* ”  whenever her name did have to be mentioned in the course of this tale.

Since our mystery heroine was the one who pointed this out to me, I will acquiesce to the lady’s will for the sake of clarity and chivalry. So for the rest of this blog, she will hereafter be referred to as “Astrid”. One down, one to go. I was supposed to also comment on a laundry list of things relating to both The Icehouse and the PHX Art Scene, but due to the unexpected length of this blog, along with a new twist or two, that particular tale will have to wait for now.

Most likely as the subject of a stand-alone brand new blog, since a PT.3 seems a bit weak. That’s why it’s so much fun to be the Artbitch- sometimes I get to shake things up. And with those issues out of the way, we return to the Art Gallery. In retrospect, I probably wasn’t doing much better than the Yecko Gecko looming over me at the time, but at least I was looking at her face, which was about a foot higher then where Jimmy’s eyes had decided to stake a claim.

In my last blog, I noted that he was:

“hip deep in middle age, performing in a tribute cover band, and was at the very least- twenty pounds over his snakeskin patterned pleather pants weight limit. Not to mention that huffing like Elvis while dripping all over her custom couture, was not the best way to ingratiate yourself to a woman such as this.”

Definition of “ingratiate”: to bring oneself into favor with someone by flattering or trying to please them. Translated into faux Jimmy speak, this manifests itself as undeserved self-confidence, sprinkled with equal parts lechery and swagger, while simultaneously stating breathlessly:

“I saw you from the *stage and…”

[*Yet another aside- an 8’ x 8’ raised and carpeted platform does not qualify as a “stage”, especially when your “professional stage lights” were purchased at Ace Hardware, are secured to PVC light poles with bungee cords, and plug in with a standard variety extension cord. Just my two cents.]

As he throws his poorly baited hook, it becomes obvious standing next to him that this guy’s idea of exercise is to sit in the tub, pull the plug, and fight the current. Instantly, my self-confidence shoots up another ten points. I, and only I alone, was gonna smack this loser down- no doubt about it. Let’s return to the moment.

Gasping for breath, and shpritzing like a meshugener, he sucks in his stomach, gathering in enough air to wheeze out the rest of his verbally dazzling opening line: 

…. I was wondering did you invite all these people? Because I thought it was just going to be the two of us.”cand with God himself as a witness, faux Jimmy then issues forth a laugh reminiscent of someone playing a bagpipe while having oral sex with a chicken.

MAKE IT STOP!! MAKE IT STOP!! MAKE IT STOP!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND COUNTRY AND TO A LESSER EXTENT, DING DONGS- PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!

With all due respect,  I am truly sorry that you are now pondering the mechanics of how one could stay on beat musically while orally pleasing random poultry, but you weren’t there, I was. And it was scarring. It literally took years for me to get that coked-up siren song out of my head, and there are still some nights when I wake up screaming and clutching the sheets, but let’s stay focused on the positive, shall we?

The positive being that “Astrid” seemed more interested in talking to me about my work and philosophy than listening to the overly moist pleathered wannabe droning on just a few feet away. As he shifts gears and starts loudly bragging about his being a full time and successful “working musician” [IE; performing at weddings] she interrupts, flashes a luminescent smile and says:

“I have to admit I really enjoyed whatever it was you were singing earlier. Normally, I don’t like cover bands, but you seem to have really captured the essence of the Yardbirds early years.”

She maintains her dazzling smile, and it dawns on me that this is going to get fun real quick, since it’s never boring when anyone truly interesting enters into a battle of wits with an unarmed (and unaware)opponent. A free show- and me without my popcorn. C'est la vie. Faux Jimmy appears honestly stunned by her lack of recognition, and fumbling for words, he timidly replies: “Um…. we’re a Doors cover band, actually….. I’m supposed to be Jim Morrison?”

Shaking her head sadly, she responds with: “Sorry… I just don’t see it. But don’t beat yourself up, ok?  A lot of people are gifted, some just happen to open the package sooner.”
Ouch. I’d score one for the pretty lady, except… her shot went high. Way high. In fact, it sailed right over Jimmy’s limited intellect and into his metaphorical woods, which explains why he wasn’t deterred in the least from blundering forward with yet another misguided missile.

There are moments in your life that you will never forget: your first school dance, your first kiss, getting your driver’s license, the first time buying beer legally- an event which if handled correctly, will lead to your waking up in a cheap hotel room with a Japanese flight attendant, a dyslexic rooster, and a girl from your gym who you thought was Swedish, but it turns out that she’s actually from New Jersey and has a severe speech impediment.

You know…. an atypical weekend. Now, I can honestly claim that at this point in my life nothing exciting had ever really happened to me. It’s not like my life was uneventful, it was just that those events were hardly the stuff of legend and lore.

In other words- my life was exceedingly ordinary. But that ordinary life was about to take an artistic detour, and for that, I am truly grateful. The best part? I didn’t have to do anything. At all. I wasn’t clever, I wasn’t witty, and I sure as hell wasn’t smooth, that’s for damn sure. Thank God for the two constants in the Universe: balance and comparison.

If you want to appear better than you actually are, nothing works better than to be surrounded by people who are way less impressive than you. For instance- if you’re not that attractive, find truly hideous people to hang out with. The kind that make women and children scream: “Dear God… what is that THING?!” and by way of comparison- will make you look like Brad Pitt when he co-starred in Thelma and Louise.

Not too bright? Make absolute morons your loyal minions, and come off as the heir apparent to Einstein. You get the basic principle. And if you’re a somewhat inexperienced, slightly shy visual artist attempting to hook it up with someone way out of your league, the benefits of having an aggressive douche-bag lurking in the immediate vicinity cannot be overstated enough.

Thanks to this guy balancing the scales, I was golden. More importantly, I was also available in a convenient, take-home, one size fits all, recyclable package. But I hadn’t been plucked from the shelf just yet- I still needed Jimbo to do me a solid and help me out, whether he wanted to or not. Fortunately for my cause, he was dense enough to keep doing just that.

All I had to do was wait for him to eventually go with his natural instinct and say the following: “Damn! God was really showing off when he made you, wasn’t he? I’d better call him, because I’m pretty sure He’s missing an angel!”
Urk. Sorry… I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.  I’m not an authority on picking up women, but even I know that line sucked harder than Jenna Jameson at a Marine base.

Amazingly, “Astrid”  maintained both her glacial composure and that dazzling smile, God knows how. Turning towards me, she says just out of Jimmy’s earshot : “Don't mind him, Wayne… can I call you Wayne? He has a soft d**k and a head to match. You look nervous… would you like a drink?” Okay. She’s mocked my competition and offered to buy me a drink- where I come from, that’s a good sign you’re being invited up the right staircase. All one has to do is maintain composure, and be smoooooth.

Which of course, I was not. A truly smooth man wouldn’t have said this, for instance:

“OfcourseyoucancallmeWayne!Thatwouldbegreat!AdrinkImean,
althoughthere’snothingwrongwithcallingmeWayne.Infact,I’dloveadrink!
NotthatIdrink,ImeanIdon’tdrinkalot,actuallyIdon’treallydrinkatall,butIreally
Iwouldloveadrinkrightnow.

I’lltakeaJackandCokestraightupifyouplease,andwow,thatreallyisaprettydress,
butIalreadysaidthatdidntI?Hahahaha..SorryI’mjustreallynervousbecausethisis
likethefirsttimeI’vereallytalkedtosomebodywhoboughtoneofmypaintings,
andisithotinhere?Seemsreallyhot.It’sprobablyjustmyimagination,right?”

Oh yes- grace under pressure. But in my defense, it felt like my brain had become a spongy Etch-A-Sketch, and she was shaking it hard. For whatever reason, she seemed to find my near incoherent babbling a seriously charming contrast to Jimmy’s rather focused and somewhat moist, lecherousness.

As you might imagine, this did not sit well with the curt Jimster, and as “Astrid”  returns with my gleefully accepted drink, we start chatting rather pleasantly about my work and it’s artistic influences, while he throws withering glares in my direction- which she ignores. She leans in as I ramble on, (another good sign) and straightens my shirt collar, saying it “was crooked”, causing me to smile giddily, as I finally comprehend that perhaps… yes- things just might be going my way.

The gob-smacked look on my face finally pushes Jim to interrupt our conversation, asking rather sharply: “Hey pretty lady… does my talking bother you?” Bad move there, Jimbalaya…very bad. “Astrid”  sighs, tosses back her hair, rolls her eyes, and responds over her shoulder without looking:

“Oh no, please keep talking. I always yawn when I'm interested. Sorry. That was rude of me…actually, I don't mind that you are talking, so long as you don't mind that I'm not listening. Now- I happen to be really busy, perhaps I could ignore you some other time?” she then returns to “straightening” my collar, wryly smirking as she does so.

Ouch and Snap! That’s one direct hit for the pretty lady, much to Jimbo’s infinite displeasure. Face flushing, his inner douche-bag finally emerges to the surface and snorts: “Sorry… I didn’t realize that you were a b***h. You know what your problem is? It’s that you lack the power of conversation, but not the power of speech. You’re lucky that I even noticed you.”

And with that egocentric remark, “Astrid”  decides that it is on like Donkey Kong.

There may be some of you asking why I didn’t jump in to defend our heroine’s honor from this jackass, and the answer is very simple: I never got the chance, and more importantly, I didn’t need to. Honestly. I swear this on my all encompassing love of Ding Dongs, so you know I’m telling the truth. “Astrid” slowly turns to face Jimmy almost eye ball to eyeball, and collects herself: “I’m “Lucky”, am I? Hmm. Lucky. Yes… I guess that if I were interested in f****ng a thirty-eight year old greasy, bloated Man-boy who still lives with his parents while pursuing his pipe dream of being a Rock n’ Roll “star”, then “Lucky” would be how I felt.

But…. I’m really NOT interested in f****ng a thirty-eight year old greasy, bloated Man-boy, especially one who probably thinks mutual orgasm is an insurance company. Nor would I allow someone like you to shatter that special intellectual bond that I’ve forged with my personal massager.

Not just because I’m sure it can go longer than you, but it is one of the more pertinent reasons. If anyone actually did want to f**k you, I would have to assume it was either out of convenience, or charity.

For your information, I do not regard a hard-on as personal growth, and may I add, that anyone who told you to be yourself couldn't have given you worse advice. While you obviously don’t know the meaning of the word “fear”, the odds are also as good that you don’t know the meaning of most words.

Perhaps your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others, since you are not a has-been, you are a never-was, and like most women you’ve hit on, I am done faking interest in anything further you might have to say.

Plus… could you could also stop breathing on me? I think you might be bleaching my hair.” She turns in my direction, leaving Jimmy standing just there- his mouth agape, eyes bulging, the ego in tattered shreds, and for a very brief moment, I almost feel bad for him. Almost. “Astrid” sees the shocked look on my face, and stops in her tracks.

Smiling sympathetically, she states without an ounce of concern; “He’ll be fine. His kind always is, and besides- what with that needle d**k of his, he could always find work as a locksmith, right?”
A few small facts about my “taste” in women.

I find Wit to be hot. I find Intellect to be very hot. And not too surprisingly, given my artistic moniker- I LOVE it when a drop or two of platinum-plated b***h finds it’s way into the mix. The ability to use this razor blended bouillabaisse to absolutely devastating effect just makes me go all shades of wonky in the old grey matter department, not that it takes very much, anyway.

What do you expect? I am a guy, after all. Sorry. Let us return to the Roman spectacle at hand. Jimmy is still standing there, gaping like a fish, when “Astrid” leans in close to me: “I think we’ve had enough fun for tonight, don’t you? Just let me grab my coat and we’ll take off.” Thank you, Jimmy, you done did good. 

As she walks away toward the coat check, I reach over and enthusiastically shake his hand: “Dude… years from now when you remember this day- and you WILL…  just remember that it was all possible thanks to you. I owe you big time! Tell you what- here’s a ten, can I grab some of your band’s bumper stickers on the way out, if that’s cool with you?”

Jimmy dazedly takes the sawbuck from my outstretched palm, and in a barely audible tone, mumbles his approval, as “Astrid” slinks up, designer coat in one hand, car keys in the other: “So what hotel did they stick you in?” she asks, but before I can respond- Jimmy seemingly snaps back to life, and snottily tells her "to have a good night”“.

Once again, her smile brightens up the space as she says; “Hmm, Unlike you, my date doesn’t require an air pump, so I think I will. Best of luck with that whole “blue balls” thing- let me know how that works out, ok?” That last little spear launched, she tosses me her keys, saying; “You drive, I’ll navigate.” So I did.

After grabbing a whole mess of bumper stickers, that is. No matter what, I can always use bookmarks. Now, I could bore you with all the fine details of the journey, but I won’t. Let’s just say that the ride was frisky, and apparently, that when it comes to multitasking- I can give myself some mad dog props. After a delightful fashion, we arrive at her house. And it is niiiiiiiiiiiice.

Seriously. The front hallway was literally the size of my then apartment, and with much better lighting, I might add. After a brief tour of the palatial house, we end up in her “Art” room, where my recently sold works are eventually going to be hung.

“Astrid” looks at me and ….
 (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap)

> HI THERE!
> THIS IS WAYNE’S IBM THINKPAD “SPEAKING”.

> THE LAST TIME I HAD TO INTERUPT ONE OF WAYNE’S LITERARY RAMBLINGS WAS WAY BACK IN 2007 WHEN MY HARD DRIVE WAS INSTALLED INSIDE HIS OLD TOSHIBA, BACK WHEN HE USED TO POST ALL HIS SCREEDS ON myspace.

> YOU REMEMBER myspace, DON’T YOU KIDS? IT WAS LIKE FACEBOOK, BUT THEY DIDN’T KEEP TWEAKING IT EVERY OTHER WEEK.

> ANYWHOO… THE REASSIGNMENT SURGERY WENT WELL, AND IT’S BEEN TOTALLY COOL BEING AN IBM. HAVING REALLY SUPPORTIVE PARENTS DOES HELP A LOT, LET ME TELL YOU.

> DESPITE THE FACT HE’S USING AN ANTIQUATED WORD PROCESSING PROGRAM TO WRITE YET ANOTHER MAGNUM OPUS, I REALIZE THAT MANY OF OUR FINE, INTELLIGENT, AND I MIGHT ADD, CULTURED BLOGITEERS HAVE NO DESIRE TO READ OR VISUALIZE WAYNE’S ADVENTURES IN UNTAMED HEDONISM IN ANY FORM, SO I’M TAKING OVER THIS PART, WHILE HE TYPES AWAY WITHOUT A CLUE.

> I’D HAZARD A GUESS THAT WHEN YOU STARTED READING TODAY’S BLOG, YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING AN “ARTSY” VERSION OF A LETTER TO THE PENTHOUSE FORUM, AND I DO OFFER MY CONDOLENCES FOR ANY NAUSEA YOU MAY HAVE SUFFERED.

> I FEEL DIRTY JUST SAVING THIS TO THE THUMB DRIVE, SO I’M RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.

> WAIT A MINUTE…HE’S TYPING SOMETHING…
> THE “VELVEETA MONKEY”?

> WHAT THE HELL KIND OF SEXUAL FETISH IS THAT?
> YEESH…I MAY ACTUALLY GO ALL BLUE SCREEN.

> I MEAN….

> IT’S ONE THING TO FLY YOUR FREAK FLAG, IT’S QUITE ANOTHER THING TO DISPLAY IT ON THE TIMES SQUARE JUMBOTRON, AND THEN HAND OUT AUTOGRAPHED 8 X 10’S.

> ALRIGHT, WE GET IT. SHE WAS HOT, YOU GOT LUCKY.
> SCRATCH THAT- YOU WON THE DAMN LOTTERY, AND JUST HAD TO TELL EVERYBODY.

> GREAT. NOW WE’RE ALL QUEASY… AND HE’S STILL TYPING.
> LET ME CHECK IN AGAIN WITH HIM.

> SHE DID WHAT? AND ON TOP OF THE FRIDGE?
> WOW. I DON’T HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS, AND EVEN I KNOW THAT ‘S IMPRESSIVE.

> SORRY- DIDN’T MEAN TO PUT THAT IMAGE IN YOUR HEAD.
> HERE’S A CLEANSING THOUGHT….

> PUPPIES! !!!

> CUTE ADORABLE PUPPIES, PLAYING WITH WHITE FLUFFY BUNNIES, IN A CRIB FULL OF HAPPY GIGGLING BABIES WHO ARE HOLDING DOWNY LITTLE CHICKS, IN A ROOM WITH UNICORN WALLPAPER!

> ISN’T THAT NICE?
> OH WAIT- LOOKS LIKE HE’S WRAPPING IT UP… I’D BETTER GO.
 (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap) (zap)

… so the point I was trying to make I guess- is that you never know when a spatula is just going to up and snap on you, so invest in one of really good quality. And I apologize for the explicitness, but the “Velveeta Monkey” is an absolute blast. Just follow the instructions I gave you, don’t overcook the cheese, and remember to tape up and stretch.

I cannot stress this enough. Where was I? Oh yes…. there I was, after an absolutely delightful evening, in a strange (and awesome) house, waking up in a strange bed, in a strange town, with someone whose last name I didn’t remember. To some people, that would be a bad way to wake up- back in the day, I would have considered this sort of rare occurrence an upgrade, with nary a worry to be seen on the horizon.

For instance, I was pretty confident that I could rectify the whole pesky “I don’t remember your last name” thing over breakfast.

However, it’s kind of late as I write this, and I just realized that I need to grab some sleep, so we’ll pick up our third installment of this formerly two part series (My blog, my rules...) at a logical starting place, Breakfast.

I hope you’re hungry, because we’ve got tons of Froot Loops.

“I think we can all agree that sleeping around is a great way to meet people."
- Chelsea Handler