Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Drag Queen, the dead body and vouging

It sounds like a great way to start a movie.

A man dies in woman's clothes on a Sunday. In 1993, AIDS was more common in the obituary. Weeks pass and a friend is selling off some old clothes when she discovers a green plaid bag that is too heavy to lift, too overstuffed to find the zipper. With a pair of scissors, the bag is opened to find a rotting, half mummified corpse. It may have been there for decades. Why would Dorian Corey have a dead body with a bullet hole in it's head in a trunk in her New York apartment?

Dorian Corey was a drag queen, performer and one of the stars of Paris is Burning. (Which was a introduction to many on the newest dance crazy of "Voguing") His given name was Fredrick Legg and he was born in Buffalo. She moved to the city, became Dorian, rocked the drag scene for over a decade and then, sadly,  Dorian died at age 56 due to complications from AIDS. A tragically common way things ended in the mid-90s. Only this time, she left something behind. Or, I should say, someone.

According to the New York Magazine article from 1995, Robert Worely, the man in the suitcase, was last seen by his family in 1968. He was convicted of rape and assault in 1963. And sometime between then and 1993, he wound up in Corey's bag. The body was wrapped not unlike a mummy: layers and layers of fabric, tape, plastic, etc. When unwrapping, small things were found in between the layers. Rings and paper but most interesting, a flip top beer can. Not made since the seventies. Therefore, the coroner suggested he'd probably been there since 1980 or before.

Can you imagine having a body in your house for 15 years or longer? You're doing laundry or watching tv when that suitcase catches your eye. You know what it is and what it could mean for you if anyone found out...

Robert's brother Fred wasn't surprised when the reporter told him that he may have had a relationship with a girlfriend who happened to be a man. He also wasn't surprised that he was murdered either. "...we figured something had befallen him" (I imagine not many things must bother Fred.) Robert Worely was buried in potter's field.

No one will really know what happened to Robert except Robert and Dorian and they're both gone. So we're left with bits of their lives, photos and this strange story.

For more, check out the whole article in the New York Mag -
Or these NSFW but amazing photos of Dorian and others who were on the scene in the 90's-

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Little Something for the Ladies


Since 50/50 comes out on DVD today I would give you some amazing Joseph Gordon-Levitt hotness. Why do I love him so much? It could be the film Brick, 10 Things I Hate About You or maybe just that adorable crooked smile. Regardless, he's tasty and I can't wait to see him in the new Batman flick.

I'd like to send a big thank you to GQ for, well, for everything. I'm forever in your debt for these pictures. Hallelujah.

Check out the full article and MORE photos at GQ's site.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

High School Hell

I am a hopeless awkward nerd.

I was when I was younger, I am now and I imagine I will always be that way. But let me explain how I've come to this statement.

I just finished reading The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins after hearing a piece on NPR about it. In a nut shell, it tells the stories of 7 young people, how they deal with being different and how the school administration, their friends, their parents and even they themselves can make it better or worse. She also throws in some pop psychology for good measure, showing how kids who are considered the "cafeteria fringe" often thrive after high school for the exact same reasons they were persecuted. (What she calls Quirk Theory.)

What it doesn't talk about is the kids that couldn't overcome, like a 80's teen movie. Kids who never "got the girl", who showed the bully up or sang on a parade float. For every kid that thrived, there are 30 more who never got to shine. They couldn't break free of their station, couldn't escape the bullying, couldn't make new friends and didn't end the book, I mean high school, with an up-beat final thought. And because sometimes, the "real world" is just as cliquey, cruel and bullyish as high school. (Hello corporate America!) But that's a whole other blog...

I know I ran out the front doors screaming "FREEEEEDOOOOOM" on my last day. The blue face paint and kilt were probably overkill but what can I say? I was young and impulsive. Part of me (the selfish 16 year old me) wanted to yell at this book, "What about me?! I was tortured and bullied and hated life! Where's my Quirk Theory?!"

I don't want to come off as bitter (cause who wants to do that, right?) but this book, and any discussion of that time, really brought back some painful and icky feelings I had forgot about. The girls behind me who liked to pull out my hair a few strands at a time.The group of boys who poured coke in my backpack. The football guys who left their soup in my lunch chair (and the subsequent cleaning/drying in the girls bathroom, standing in my underwear under the hand dryer).  Lunch in the bathroom so I wouldn't have to walk into the lunch room anymore. Name calling, gossip and flat out insults where just another day among the four thousand other kids in my high school. I won't even get into the spitting incident...

"Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self" by Joseph Galliano offers that opportunity to offer advice to my high school self. Or my injured inner teen. Or maybe actual kids out there. I won't get too personal but I would do things differently. You can survive without these "friends" who aren't really your friends. You can have a real life that has nothing to do with school. You can be free. School is just a place to get you to the next step, something more important.

In the end, the non-thriving geek was not really what the book was about. I'd love to read one that was. I wish I could do it again. At the very least, I wish I could tell kids that the 4-7 years of hell you have to endure feels like a lifetime but trust me, there's so much more. Even the time outside of school, after school, weekends, vacations, that is your real life. The moments when you are thrust into this twisted sociological experiment called high school isn't the only time you exist. Your social and academic life in high school don't validate your existence. The more you live outside school, the more you are you and there is opportunity to be happy and fulfilled.

Trust me. I survived and so can you.

Check out this great and humorous article about one girl's fight with her bully:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let me make this clear: I hate Celine Dion.

And that movie was pure cheese. But this is not as lame as you think...

On April 14 of this year, it will be th 100th aniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Don't start retching yet... we all know the basics. Water tight compartments, big egos and one big chunk of ice. And we have all probably seen the movie. (and if you haven't, you'll have a chance again when Cameron re-releases in April, just in case he didn't get you the first time...)

According to Nick Barratt's Lost Voices from the Titanic, there were 2201 people on board that night and only 711 made it home. If you were on the ship, you had the best chances of making it out alive if you were a first or second class child. Worst chances if you were third class adult male. 

There were three ships built under the same contract: Titanic, Britannic and Olympic were all to be built one right after another in similar fashions. All are gone now. Obviously the Titanic sunk, the Britannic was hit by a torpedo by an enemy sub during WW1 and the Olympic had 24 years on the ocean before it was scraped for metal. (Not that the Olympic had a quiet life at all: crashes, mutiny and and more than one rescue mission.) The closest thing you can get to any of these ships (namely a "Titanic" type experience) would be to travel to the White Swan Hotel in Northumberland, England. When the Olympic was being scraped, they also sold of entire rooms, to which the White Swan bought the paneling, fixtures, etc from the first class louge, as well as one of the grand staircases. Since both the Olympic and Titanic were built with practically the same plans only a year or so apart, one could sit in that room in Northumberland and imagine life on the Titanic, for a breif moment.

In the interest of interest (and moving forward in a positive direction) I'm planning a super fun and geeky event that I'm really excited about and I had to share. To observe this moment in history (yay history!) I'm throwing a dinner party. I'm a girl that loves her theme parties and even more when history is involved. When recovering wreckage, 2 menus were found. One from 2nd class, another from 1st. So I will be cooking several courses from the 1st class restaurant. (That night, there were over 12 courses but I'll only serve about 6 or 7.)

I'm making decorations and I'll be searching for period music of the time. I'll also be playing the movie! (NOT the 1997 film, not that it doesn't have it's place. I'll be showing 1958's A Night To Remember based on Walter Lord's book. Yay for a night without Celine Dion!)

Pictures will be posted as I prepare invites and props, and of course the meal, so stay tuned!

*Geeky squeal*

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Hard Day and a Dark Hole.

Today is hard.

Some days are easier. I can hop out of bed, go to the gym, run errands, apply for work, clean the house. I can't seem to do that today.

I'm a bit pathetic at the moment. Curled up in front of my computer, under the covers. I am with out a job or income besides being able to sell things online and at consignment stores. The house is a mess. I've gained weight and I hate the way I look right now. I wish I were smaller. My husband, at his gratifying and well paying job, is sexually unsatisfied with me. My parents feel neglected. My friends move on without me. I'm alone here, under the covers.

Unemployed friends and acquiescence were with me once, part of the disenfranchised and unpaid looking for work here and there. It was our little club where we could support each other, laugh at terrible interview stories and the desperate search for the silliest jobs.. But now, I look around the club house and find I'm all alone and so scared of more failure.

Why won't anyone hire me? I've spent hours on my resume, given it to no less than 7 people to review. I desperately try to speak to a person, get an interview, even to just look someone in the eye, proof to myself that I've made it to this step, that someone has noticed me.

I feel this physical hurt through me. I grit my teeth and rub my legs, like I can somehow push the sad out through my toes. Wouldn't that be good?

I make no money, therefore I have no worth.
I have no career, therefore I am of no concern.
If I were on ebay, no one would bid.
If I were at a swap meet, I'd be in the free pile.

Why can't I just be happy? Why can't I just paint and sew and not feel a crushing guilt of being without a 'path'? Is it true I can't be an artist unless I can live off my earnings? I feel it must be true. I watch the credits at the end of a movie, the long list of names; they all have careers. All my facebook friends update about how they hate their jobs. Someone had to assemble this computer, sell it, ship it. All those people were paid to do that. The garbage man outside my window. The person who designed these sheets. Every building full of people working on something.

I miss my brother. I feel like he would understand. I imagine it in my head: He sees me struggling, sad and he would come over to see me, pizza and video games in hand and we would spend the rest of the day talking, stuffing our faces and killing zombies. Then we would drive in his car and get dinner and he would tell me that it's just a rough patch and it would be ok. He would help me find something, somehow.

I'm going to allow myself a shower to feel all this. About 30 minutes to feel bad, cry and hate myself. Then I'm getting up, getting dressed, putting on makeup and going out into the world, looking good so no one will know. (Because as much as I hope someone will notice, I hope even more that they don't.) I'll feel better later, when I get over myself, when I realize there are people starving, people that have cancer, people who suffer while I lie here warm, under 300 count covers.

I have to reference one of my favorite people here, because I think she nailed it on the head. It makes me feel not so bad and made me smile.

Deep breath. Here I go.