Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tattoo or Not Tattoo


I got a gig getting paid to write. This has been a dream of mine and I am so happy about it. When my first paycheck came I decided to save my writing money and use it towards something special. After brief consideration I decided that I would use the cash to get my tattoos removed.

Alas, my tattoos, boring old things from decades past….let me tell you about them. My first was a snake on my ankle that forms the first letter of the word “Love.” The “o” is a spade. I designed it myself. I got it, still in my teens, with Matt Zombie from legend Mike Perfetto in a basement in Brooklyn. It cost $5. Matt paid for it.

My second was a small cave painting style running panther on my forearm done by yet another New York City legend Michael McCabe. The graphic was carved into a knife that my father had given me. It turns out it is the logo of a german knife company, so yes, I have a logo on me.

My third was a small heart on my wrist with the “eternity” symbol above it, ala “love forever”, also by Mike McCabe. I felt sick to my stomach when I got home and looked under the bandage.

My fourth and 5th, by legend Dan Higgs, were a classic rose and then a classic “sailor’s grave” style storm at sea inside a heart. I designed the concept of the latter, leaving out the sinking ship that a traditional “sailor’s grave” tattoo would have and just having a raging storm in my heart.

My 6th, also by Dan, was a small pair of birds on my right hand. Probably my favorite.

My last tattoo was another traditional one, a black panther head over a banner that read “Mi Vida Loca”, by someone I realized I did not really like as he tattooed me. I forget his name. I got it with the intention that I was going to own and accept my whole crazy story, my life, with all of its magic and its tragedy.

That was partially true. I was certainly into the traditional work but I also got it because a girl I was jealous of had those words on her arm minus the panther. She had a baby with a rock star and was hanging around my boyfriend who was in the process of breaking up with me. As soon as I got home from the shop, I knew that getting the tattoo was a mistake and I knew it was the last one I would ever get. It wasn’t a mistake because it was a reaction to a girl. It was a mistake because on some level I had outgrown the sentiment, the needing to permanently mark myself to somehow “own” my story, during the very process of getting the tattoo.

The thing about my tattoos is that they are such a misrepresentation of who I am. They are a loud billboard for someone I once was light years ago (remember?), a part of me, and that is it. I have no desire to hide away my past, obviously, i write about it all the time, but i have no need to be stuck there either. So why keep them?

Yet, I must admit I am ambivalent about getting them removed. The process hurts and costs money, so I really need to be invested in removing them to go ahead and do it, yes? And I must not be all that invested because I have yet to take the plunge. Maybe I would move faster if money was not an issue and I did not have a list of things I would also like to spend my writing money on.

Additionally, I am not in any pain here, and pain is the motivator, right? I have lived with my tattoos for decades, they are part of me, I like them, I like how I look. My husband likes them. They do not compromise my life in any way. If I wind up not removing them I will still be a happy old lady. And If they were gone I would certainly miss them on occasion the way you might miss and old friend who went a separate way. But I am just not invested in them, not invested in keeping them. The bottom line is that tattoos can be attractive and so can green glitter eye shadow. I just do not necessarily feel like wearing green glitter eye shadow everyday.

In the end I wound up buying a pair of Marc Jacobs couture shoes with the writing money and my pal Dani suggested I write this story for my blog. More to be revealed…until next time,,,xh

this song kills me every time....ah life

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the white ford bronco 19 years ago today...

19 years ago today

Oh, thank the lord I survived my misspent youth and am alive and here and not in jail. 19 years ago today I made a decision to stop doing crime. Mainly one big crime that was my actual occupation at the time. It was not in the sex industry so use your imagination…

So I did this thing twice a week for years and it was great actually and then I decided to stop for my own well-being. I no longer needed to live in the underground and in constant risk. I had gotten great parental guidance from people who were not my parents. I was on a path of enlightenment and once you get on that path the universe provides for you everything you need, that which you had never gotten. I was mentored by the universe, woken up, and I was ready to stop. I picked a date.

Alas, a few moths before I had been working and had had a close call with the law, which was partially why I decided to stop. But even more so was the awakening of my very self, a self who was not the bad ass I pretended to be. I did not ever want to be restrained by a law officer, at someone’s mercy, or locked up. I was way too fragile.

As the date approached, I grew excited about moving on and anxious about fulfilling the last few commitments. Finally, I had only one more day to do the job and then I would be free forever unless something bad happened on that last day, as is the case in every film of this genre, yes? I was a mess that last morning, but I proceeded with the plan for financial reasons. No one was going to come get me if I didn’t show up, but I wanted the cash. So I was invested, just like in the movies.

Part of coming from a really messed up home is that you see you life as futureless so you are not invested in anyway in your future or your value. I was that person and now I was starting to see my self as valuable and as having a future and it was scary to be straddling two worlds, an old familiar one and tiny new, and fragile, emerging one.

So there I was finishing up my job and on the radio came news about the white Ford Bronco being chased at low speed while OJ lay in the back seat with a gun to his head. Lots of drama, and no if it was about me, but maybe there was something symbolic about it. Trying to get away with something that was hopeless…

Letting go of your badass persona is a process and not a very sexy one. Mine would shed in layers over years, this was just the start. It is still shedding today, yes? But despite the discomfort or unattractiveness of being a beginner, I will say that it is great to start that process, wherever you are. It is life changing and will lead you home to your free beautiful self if you dare to go down that life changing road.

The day ended uneventfully, as did the Bronco chase, and I rarely look back.

I write about that misspent youth and my transformation all the time, so I didn’t fill in a lot of details here. Here is more if you want it
http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2013/04/wow-universe.html
http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2012/11/allen-ginsberg-said-inside-skull-vast.html


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

rockages

Rockages

When I was in sixth grade I send away for a pair of tickets to the “Rock n Roll Flea Market”, an event held at the Hotel Diplomat on 43rd street near Broadway. At the time the only option was to put cash in an envelope and mail it to an address listed in an advertisement. It worked. My tickets came back to me via that same mail system.

I waited impatiently for the day to arrive when I could go check out this event I read about and bought tickets to. I really did not know what to expect, I just wanted to be there. When the saturday in spring that I had been waiting for finally arrived, my dear father drove me to the event and spent the day with me. Ah, little did I know about parents making sacrifices for their children.

The event was mainly vendors selling records and artifacts, buttons, and promo items in a big ballroom. I bought lots of buttons and what not with the few dollars I had to spend. I spent the afternoon walking down each isle, pouring over each item at every booth and I was heaven. I wanted it all. I was determined to live the rock and roll lifestyle and this was only the beginning. In a few short years I would find out about hardcore and being right there in the midst of it, but for the time being I was still taking stabs at the arena rock world of the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.

The best part of the event was this room where they showed films. This was MTV, which later became You Tube, of that era. There was no place to see music videos at that time. Maybe Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert or The Midnight Special showed a few videos or film clips every Saturday night but where else? I did not know of any other avenue to see this rare and beautiful art form, other than at clubs, which I was still a year away from going to.

I was stopped in my tracks when I went into that room. People were smoking pot and drinking and it was dark but on the shanty little screen a projection glowed like an angel. The black and white grainy old film showed a hand on a guitar hitting 4 chords then it cut to the bongos…a beautiful blonde guy in shades and a suit sang into the mike while girls in the audience screamed… it was The Yardbirds doing “For Your Love.” Oh man, clip after clip blew me away. I could have stayed there for hours but my dear father was ready to go, so I reluctantly left with images that were burned into my head forever. I went back the next year and brought friends and soon outgrew the event for better, realer things, but I will always treasure being that kid who saw an ad and got the tickets and ventured into the unknown…. Thanks dad.

Friday, June 7, 2013

how far from the tree does an apple fall?


My daughter is crazy for musicians, help! Yes, I have a musical past, I’ve been writing songs since I was in kindergarten. I released a few cds and spend a large part of my misspent youth staying up all night, seeing live music, dating musician, djing and playing live myself. My commitment to music was an entire lifestyle which I lived for decades. And while all that is a part of me, it does not define me at all. I do not live a music lifestyle anymore. I do not want to, am not interested in it in that way anymore.

As a parent, I have little interest in having my daughter like a certain kind of music or express herself in any particular way, or even like music at all. I never pushed my taste in music on her or dressed her in “rock” clothes. Someone gave us a Blondie onesie when she was newborn and we wore it a few times. We also received a skull and cross bones tee shirt, which I never put her in, because it just didn’t feel appropriate. When she was 2 1/2 she found the skull shirt and loved it because she is big fan of day of the dead and skeletons. She wore it all the time for a period. That was about it.

I have always played her music that I liked and also looked for bearable music for children. There are some good cds out there. We listened to Elizabeth Mitchell many times, which included a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On.” Pretty cool, but never my daughter’s favorite on the cd. I let her make choices about what she likes and I respect them. She went through a period of appreciating poppy new wave type stuff like Blondie and Elvis Costello and even my band Fur, but then she out grew it. Currently and for a while she has been really into latin music. She loves Ritchie Valens, Trini Lopez and many local folksy central ameican/latin cowboy bands that we catch at various los angeles events like day of the dead. She also likes the Beatles, as does many 3 year olds, Neil Young, and a few other interesting artists.

My daughter turned her nanny on to Trini.
For her 3rd birthday, she received from her nanny, who also happens to be a film director, a copy of a Trini Lopez album on vinyl, not unlike the one I had at 5, which I played all the time. I got mine from my parent’s limited record collection.

Anyway, she recently found a Serge Gainsbourg CD that I had never played for her. She was attracted to the cover and stared at the photos of Serge in the Booklet for quite a while before demanding I play the cd. She sat rapt listening for over 20 minutes, until dinner was served. Luckily “Je t’aime… moi non plus” was the last song on the cd so we never got to it. After dinner she told me she was bringing the cd to school and so the next day I had to warn the teacher that not all the kids would like it and to skip the last song.

The funniest thing was that after school that day we had a long play date where the cd once again came and by the time we got home my daughter was exhausted and melted down on the side walk by our back door. I had to restrain her flailing body to get her in the house as she ripped off articles of clothes and screamed and cried. I hurriedly brought in her stroller and all the rest of her stuff. A bit later in the evening I looked out the back door to double check that I had brought in everything. And lo and behold, 2 lone items were left behind. There on the side walk, like foreshadowing in a horror film, was the Serge Gainsbourg cd half covered by a pair of underwear. God help us all.

Anyway, there is this one god awful Strawberry Shortcake CD that someone gave to us that is too wretched to ever listen to, hideous syrupy pretend baby vocals and vulgar synthesizers. It is unbearable. My daughter sometimes gets away with listening to it in her father’s car, but luckily I do not have a cd player in mine. So 2 days after the whole Serge Gainsbourg thing she brought the Strawberry Shortcake cd to me and said, “I am bringing this to school. I love it.” We brought it. I really can’t stand that cd but I felt gratitude for it, because it showed me that she is just a silly child who loves French playboy musician and cartoon characters alike, great music and terrible music without judgment.


how far from the tree does an apple fall?


My daughter is crazy for musicians, help! Yes, I have a musical past, I’ve been writing songs since I was in kindergarten. I released a few cds and spend a large part of my misspent youth staying up all night, seeing live music, dating musician, djing and playing live myself. My commitment to music was an entire lifestyle which I lived for decades. And while all that is a part of me, it does not define me at all. I do not live a music lifestyle anymore. I do not want to, am not interested in it in that way anymore.

As a parent, I have little interest in having my daughter like a certain kind of music or express herself in any particular way, or even like music at all. I never pushed my taste in music on her or dressed her in “rock” clothes. Someone gave us a Blondie onesie when she was newborn and we wore it a few times. We also received a skull and cross bones tee shirt, which I never put her in, because it just didn’t feel appropriate. When she was 2 1/2 she found the skull shirt and loved it because she is big fan of day of the dead and skeletons. She wore it all the time for a period. That was about it.

I have always played her music that I liked and also looked for bearable music for children. There are some good cds out there. We listened to Elizabeth Mitchell many times, which included a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On.” Pretty cool, but never my daughter’s favorite on the cd. I let her make choices about what she likes and I respect them. She went through a period of appreciating poppy new wave type stuff like Blondie and Elvis Costello and even my band Fur, but then she out grew it. Currently and for a while she has been really into latin music. She loves Ritchie Valens, Trini Lopez and many local folksy central ameican/latin cowboy bands that we catch at various los angeles events like day of the dead. She also likes the Beatles, as does many 3 year olds, Neil Young, and a few other interesting artists.

My daughter turned her nanny on to Trini.
For her 3rd birthday, she received from her nanny, who also happens to be a film director, a copy of a Trini Lopez album on vinyl, not unlike the one I had at 5, which I played all the time. I got mine from my parent’s limited record collection.

Anyway, she recently found a Serge Gainsbourg CD that I had never played for her. She was attracted to the cover and stared at the photos of Serge in the Booklet for quite a while before demanding I play the cd. She sat rapt listening for over 20 minutes, until dinner was served. Luckily “Je t’aime… moi non plus” was the last song on the cd so we never got to it. After dinner she told me she was bringing the cd to school and so the next day I had to warn the teacher that not all the kids would like it and to skip the last song.

The funniest thing was that after school that day we had a long play date where the cd once again came and by the time we got home my daughter was exhausted and melted down on the side walk by our back door. I had to restrain her flailing body to get her in the house as she ripped off articles of clothes and screamed and cried. I hurriedly brought in her stroller and all the rest of her stuff. A bit later in the evening I looked out the back door to double check that I had brought in everything. And lo and behold, 2 lone items were left behind. There on the side walk, like foreshadowing in a horror film, was the Serge Gainsbourg cd half covered by a pair of underwear. God help us all.

Anyway, there is this one god awful Strawberry Shortcake CD that someone gave to us that is too wretched to ever listen to, hideous syrupy pretend baby vocals and vulgar synthesizers. It is unbearable. My daughter sometimes gets away with listening to it in her father’s car, but luckily I do not have a cd player in mine. So 2 days after the whole Serge Gainsbourg thing she brought the Strawberry Shortcake cd to me and said, “I am bringing this to school. I love it.” We brought it. I really can’t stand that cd but I felt gratitude for it, because it showed me that she is just a silly child who loves French playboy musician and cartoon characters alike, great music and terrible music without judgment.