Hello and welcome to the officially completed
1998 log book!
Daddy may have promised not to get drunk this Christmas, Sister Spit may have promised more prompt log entries, but in the end everybody does the best they can, n'est pas? Through repeated van trouble (it's fixed for real this time!), sweltering heat, relentless paparazzi and a beer or two the girls made it through the rain and found themselves respected by myriad poetry-guzzling ladies across the land. Following is the closest you'll get to 'Real World'-type coverage of the summer's escapades. (Is it gross that I even brought MTV into this conversation?)
Love You, Always Have, Tara, web derelict esq.
the entries are now going to be listed chronologically so it's actually like finding someone's diary and reading it. Do you feel dirty?
DAY ONE - FIVE, Santa Cruz to Las Vegas -- Tara Jepsen
DAY ONE -- Santa Cruz
I took off the first day of the '98 tour with a vanload of girls, although not the Sister Spit crew. I had talked with the Spit ladies about being a groupie for the first few days of the tour and sweetened the deal with several pounds of coffee. They accepted. I was the Wooderson (Dazed and Confused) character, having completed last year's tour and now coming back to throw keggers for the freshmen. The Turnbuckles' band, Alien Rowboat, was following the tour through to Las Vegas and they said I could perch my buns on a crate in their van. Im agine my elation at getting out of the City for a few days, time to let the birds out of my head.
The first show out of San Francisco was in Santa Cruz at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. I arrived to reports from Sini and Michelle that the van had been having a barbecue without their permission and they were trying to figure out where exactly the smell was coming from. The Kuumbwa is a beautiful space which mainly caters to jazz events, and is situated between other Santa Cruz standby's, the Bagelry and the Poet and Patriot bar. I found myself a little aimless. When I don't know what to do with myself I find a task. This keeps my little mind busy and other people benefit from my squishy efforts. Sini asked me to videotape the show and the activity around the perimeter so I interviewed and did my best Hard Copy-inspired journalism. The performance went beautifully, I was blown away by how tight the show was and how entertaining every performer was. Buy Tampax tampons, they're the tampon-ingest! (I got this flash of being paid to say how great the tour was to rope people into coming to the shows and getting free samples from the Road Show's new fiscal sponsor, Tampax.) Anyway, the Sisters drove on to L.A. after the show--but only after a fabulous meal at the SATURN CAFE, best veggie burgers in town! Official Tampax products on-site!--and the van carted them down to Silver Lake, home of Luis Bauz and his very cute apartment.
DAY TWO -- Venice Beach
I followed the next day with Alien Rowboat and we met up with the Spit at Beyond Baroque, a fabulous literary archive and book store in Venice Beach. Everyone wandered about and I chatted with the amazing and lovely Ellyn Maybe, poet extraordinaire, who works at Beyond Baroque.
The show began around 8:30. The Turnbuckles performed outside with their trapeze suspended from a gorgeous, sprawling Magnolia tree. Their performance commenced around dusk and with Alien Rowboat strumming and humming in the background it was a visual tampax masterpiece. The rest of the show took place in the indoor theatre, once again stunning performances from all involved. Lynn Breedlove conducted an on-the-spot sanity assessment of herself based on her gender identification, using the archaic guidelines of some psychological association sponsored by o.b. tampons. Enough with that joke, it was funny yesterday when I was tapping away doubled over with cramps. Shar read a dirty piece from her Starphkr (star-fucker) 'zine, chronicling her sexual exploits with choice members of the band Aerosmith. I giggled and squirmed in my seat as I took in all the older literary-types sharing this saucy moment. (Upon re-reading this I realize that I have stereotyped both "literary types" and "older" people as stuffy, non-sexual ding-a-lings. That, like many things, is unfair.) That night we all split between three or four boarding houses. I stayed in Santa Monica with a few of the ladies.
DAY THREE -- LA / West Hollywood
The following day we hooked up with the notorious Alien Rowboat who played on the Venice Boardwalk under sunny skies. I bought a new pair of rock star sunglasses, a harbinger of the night to come. I also watched those guys who paint cosmic landscapes with spray paint, a couple dinner plates and some surprising smudging techniques. I love that stuff.
After a few hours we headed for Little Frida's where a Sister Spit open mike was to take place. Several girls from the tour performed, as well as a potent country-type number from a girl named Heather who is one of the Murmurs (last seen in these parts at San Francisco gayrod pride.). I read a little excerpt from a haunting story about a yoga retreat.
After towering whiskey sours at a bar across the street we headed off to Meow Mix where Shar's girlfriend Jackie's band the Hail Mary's was playing. Upon walking in I spotted Jenny Shimizu lolling about, what would L.A. be without a page out of Vogue passing me by? I ordered a Budweiser and surveyed the crowd. Many fancy and attractive ladies. I went into the dance emporium to bust a move, trying to guzzle my beer so as to avoid dancing-with-beer-in-hand. The music was thumping and I swung my hips around in a sultry and sophisticated rhythm matching that of the music. I made little guns with my hands, shot them in the air and bit my lower lip. Hot blooded, check it and see. A few boys were cutting a rug next to me with a rude and audacious attitude. They were super-styley seventies-types and I made every effort not to throw blows.
Alas the dancing was soon over as the club was closing so we filed outside like good cattle. Some white girl was yelling racial slurs at this girl standing next to me so I turned to her and asked her what the deal was. The girl, who I'll call Valerie, said there had been some jockeying for space while in the disco and now this girl was assuming Valerie was Latina and was yelling things like "hablas espanol" and "la escuela" and random Spanish like that at her. Valerie was yelling back at this strange girl and talking to me and then a cabriolet pulled up and she left.
We stayed in L.A. again that night at Shoshana's sister's house in Venice.
DAY FOUR - Las Vegas
We left for Vegas in the morning. After being on the road for a minute the temperature gauge flew north and steam was pouring out of the hood. We pulled over and discovered the fan belt had busted and thank the gay goddess for those call boxes on the side of the road. Being fourth of July and all no garages were open so we ended up at a Pep Boys looking for parts and someone to work on the van. No one inside could help us, Pep Boys policy, so some guy called a mechanic friend of his to help us out. A small group of us split off for lattes and Taco Bell. The guy who came to help us, Rafael, was wonderful, he worked on the van for an hour, explained everything he was doing, and only wanted fifteen dollars. Sini and Michelle gave him thirty and Beth handed him a Sister Spit chap book. He had relatives in Daly City and wanted to know how to get ahold of Sister Spit if he was ever in the Bay Area so one of the girls gave him her number. We were on the road again. I think we drove for about ten minutes this time, maybe five, and the van was screwy again. We pulled over and noticed one of the hoses was busted and coolant was once again leaking everywhere. Someone decided we should trim the hose and just get a new clamp, so we asked at a gas station and they would not sell us one, they said the clamps were locked away in the garage. One of the girls smelled a rat so with a little verbal abuse we took off and looked for a more accommodating garage. We ended up in Culver City at a Chevron with a guy who said he could help us when he was done knitting hot pads or something, he couldn't help us right away so we parked by a dumpster under a tree. Soon the tour hairdresser, Shoshana, started working her magic. Sini had glamorous yellow hair piled high on her head, I had little red sprinklers, Beth was a prom queen, and on and on. Michelle busted out her make-up and she and Shar commandeered the make-up part of the show. I felt like I had the older sister I always wanted so badly. Photo and video documentation commenced. We had many senior pictures and frolicking-on-the-set shots. Finally the guy was emotionally ready to work on the van so we relocated in front of the station. We kept noticing cars pulling up at the semafores and the people inside them pointing at us. We pointed and laughed back at them, or maybe just I did.
Michelle said we needed names like the Spice girls so we were reborn with names like "Prom Spit" "Bubble Gum Spit" and the like. Time was crawling on and we realized that the chances of arriving in Las Vegas in time for the open mike were slim. We finally got back on the highway and cruised along for a good couple hours until we noticed the temperature gauge climbing again. We pulled off in Barstow looking for a Chevy's where we could get margaritas. Alas, no Chevy's, so we ended up in the lounge of a Holiday Inn drinking margaritas and eating deep-fried snacks. Bloat me another jalapeno popper, would you? The fabulous bartender, Teresa, got an earful of all our worst blow job stories and other savory details of our lives. She told us she had grandchildren with brightly colored hair like some of us.
We got on the road again and headed toward Vegas with renewed determination, that is until we saw the Bun Boy glowing off the highway. We had to stop. We pulled off, fueled up, and visited the general store. I bought new flip-flops. We witnessed the largest thermometer in the world, I think it said something like 110 degrees, and Michelle and I got our picture taken in front of all the bright red lights. Someone got the idea that we should film a soap opera so we chose our set in front of the Bun Boy motel. Sini was filming. Michelle and I would be fighting co-stars, Shar was the director, Beth and Shoshana were wanna-be actors, and Sash was a crazed man obsessed with Michelle. The drama unfolded and last I knew Sash was chasing Michelle with a knife, I was puking in the bushes due to my previously unrevealed pregnancy (Shar's idea) and Shoshanna and Beth were posing for the camera. Out of nowhere an uninvited actor from the Bun Boy came out and told us we had to leave because we were not staying at the Bun Boy. Fine then. We hit the road.
We finally arrived in Vegas at 9:30, pooped. We went directly to the cafe where the open mike had taken place that night. We met the glamorous and ever-resourceful David Figler outside. He is Sister Spit's Las Vegas promoter. He escorted us in and introduced everyone to the owner who treated us to amazing food and drink. A huge relief after all the van action. We went from there to the Peppermill, a seventies-style (that infernal era again) lounge on the main strip. We all ordered drinks as big as our collective head. I had a bloody Mary with a salad on top. We sat in a sunken area with seats around a little pool that had flames shooting out of spigots in the middle.
Finally at three in the morning we headed back to the Spit ladies' hotel room, which was off the strip. We herded up to the room and next thing you know, Sini has her tenth wind and wants to go down gambling. Shoshana was the only one with the stamina so they sallied off down stairs. What follows I only understand as it has been told to me. Apparently the ladies arrived at the slots, lit two cigarettes each and ordered two scotch-and-waters each. Sini turned to Shoshana and said We're gonna win. They slotted away, and at one point Sini ran off to the can, probably all that scotch was shooting through her system. Upon returning she noticed Shoshana on the ground upset and shaking her head and hands. Sini worriedly shouted What's the matter? And Shoshana, "I won." She had one thousand quarters pour out of the slot machine at her. Not long after, the siren over Sini's head started wailing and lo and behold she had won about seven hundred quarters. What extraordinary luck. I vaguely remember them returning to the room and saying something about winning although I was so cozy in the corner it wasn't until morning that I learned clearly of their victory.
DAY FIVE - Las Vegas
The next day I spent by the pool at the hotel. Most girls spent at least a little time by the pool, under partially cloudy skies and warm air. It was probably the coolest day Las Vegas saw all summer, lucky for us. The day wore on and ultimately everyone met at the hotel buffet for some pre-show nourishment. The show that night was to take place at the self-proclaimed 'Happiest Place on Earth', the Double Down Saloon. Last year's show at the Double Down was chaos and ass juice and the Ass Juice Girl (for those of you who don't know, Ass Juice is the house drink whose recipe is not revealed, only hinted at by the cryptic sign with a big dripping butt drawn on it and listed price of $3 a shot). When the show began at the Double Down that night the first thing Sini and Michelle did was ask if Ass Juice Girl was indeed in the crowd, which she wasn't, although we were assured that she was on her way. The place was packed but there was still room for Sister Spit's sassiest fan in Las Vegas. Once again, thrilling performances by all the ladies. I could have gone on and watched them for weeks. Michelle invited me to read a little something in this show which was so nice and I loved every minute of it. The crowd was fantastic. After the show everyone hung out and caroused and chatted and Alien Rowboat played more music outside. Inspired by their revelry I later ran through "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' "(originally by Journey, duh) with Mr. Figler and Sash. What could be better.
And I must report to you that this was my last night with the Spitting Sisters. I had private and tearful good-byes with each and every one of the ladies and then sped off in a light blue Toyota truck with a cohort. I have not talked to any of them since, but I have heard that there has been more van trouble. I think of the girls often and fondly, as our five days together constituted one of the best vacations I've had in recent memory.
DAY TWENTY, in the van on the way to Charlottesville -- Michelle Tea
I am so sorry we haven't been able to get stuff to you regularly, it's just been crazy in so many different ways, breakdowns, coma-inducing heat, and general disorganization. But I just ate some sugar and feel inspired to interview some of the ladies in the van right now about their Sister Spit experience, so here goes . . .
As I type this we are barreling through the intensly hot & muggy freeways of Virginia, hoping we won't be late to our open mic in Charlottesville. Ida, Lynn, and Ida's big white Wagoneer Stella were left back in Ashville North Carolina this morning when Ida's gas tank sprung a rather big leak. They could be an hour behin us, or they could be sitting stressed out in an auto shop somewhere, we do not know. Beth has flown back to San Francisco to be a maid of honor in her best friend from 2nd grade's wedding so if you thought you had a Lisick sighting back in the city you were not hallucinating. OH! Some guy placed a men-seeking-women personal ad in the SF Weekly with the headline 'Seeking Beth Lisick-esque girl', can you deal with her celebrity or what. Sini, Miranda and Alessandra are in the Toyota pickup behind us, and I am here in the blue van where I am feeling inspired to interview some of the ladies. To my left is sweaty Shoshana, sprawled out on a heap of sleeping bags and backpacks.
S: Are you ready for me?
M: Is there anything special you want to talk about?
S: I want to talk about when I won in Las Vegas, and about everyone on coke in Ashville.
M: OK start with Vegas.
S: In Vegas I won $250 on the slot machines. Sini and I went to gamble at 4:00am, she left to go pee and all of asudden the lights started flashing and quarters started falling out. I must've looked really horrified because the 2 old ladies next to me were trying to calm me down. They kept saying "It's all right sweetie, it's OK". I was cowering over the machine and holding onto it and freaking out. And at that moment I really didn't want to win the money. I hated the flashing lights and I wanted it to all go away. The change-cart lady came over and added more quarters to the machine and it kept pouring out for ever and ever, then Sini came back and she ran over and said "What's wrong?!" because she thought someone had punched me in the head. Then she saw the quarters and then we started laughing. But then New Orleans stole my wallet so I actually didn't come out with anymore money in the end.
M: That is so sad. We have to stop now because the laptop is dimming.
S: Wait I wanted to talk about when I kissed a girl that looked like Barbie in Atlanta. She was scary.
M: Quick what about her.
S: Oh she looked like Barbie and she was wearing lots of makeup and her lips tasted like perfume and it was gross.
NEXT TIME . . . cocaine in Ashville!
DAY THIRTY (or so) back in NYC -- Stanya Kahn
The girls have left NY and are somewhere near P town I imagine. i had to leave the tour in NYC, where i live. I am having a minute to write, on the road again, on my own, on a train, and so here goes, something for the sister spit site....
The road now is like a squirreled scrap of ribbon behind me so every small piece could be knotted and hanging in a random spot but that's ok cuz on the Ramblin Road Show everyone's hair's a mess and a nest and a home and really just a wrap of faith and a little sleep if you were lucky. and like a wheel of fortune though, there was a girl on every spot of the hoop holding a place for what needed to be done. See, at 3 am maybe Allessandra had the map and rock and roll Miranda had the wheel and Sini had the wheel and Sash had the co- pilot seat, the stories and songs, Shar would step out at the station with her lipstick fresh in tact and that was nice, you know, for everyone, morale and things, and Shoshana would be stocking up on chocolate treats to climb in back, put up her feet and write road poems like she was feeding the scribe furies, kept 'em fed for all of us and Michelle who doesn't drive, was drivin' 'em home anyhow with her wits and wit working over time for the late night stay awake crew, staving off crashes with smashing stories, and lynnee circled the vehicles at every stop pouring hot coffee and just for the goddammn love and heck of it, reminding people of how great they were, an angel swaggering around a parking lot at 4 am saying Yer a genius! and yer a genius! and you and you... then she'd whip out a tincture and get it under your tongue, herbal martinis for good measure, relax, she's a doctor. ok no problem. lucky the hunkiest dog around guarded Ida's trusty Stella-car, and when sleep threatened to shut us down in the middle of the desert outside Vegas one long night Stanya and Ida sang til they were hoarse Ramblin Man, Jolene, Sweet Chariot, you name it. At that point you don't need to know someone, just know how to be with a someone and to be a someone for an other someone. and so on. light the driver's cigarette in the hot desert wind. And then you'd catch sight of another one of the other cars.. maybe two great puffs in the back of the truck, Carina and Chuletta laying low in the love nest, or Beth's long legs dangling out of the van side door, open outside a bar like a big mouth laughing cuz she is so fuckin hilarious and always steppin out really. at every town the lady knew how to step into the night and get herself a good time.
In fact this was one heroic rambling family that, like a pack of wiley coyotes, always found their way to water, or beer, what have you. Who found our way like birds in brambles cuz you know it wasn't easy. No it wasn't easy. It was hot and long and hungry and full. It was a fine cracked complicated ceramic metal rubber and feather walking lady all mixed matched classes, issues, cultures, spirits, sensitivities, tones of voice and ways of mapping, laughing, eating, sleeping, and keeping track or not. This was this family which was a like a complicated lady. Or a tiny town. In a van. Always having at least each other, which turned out to be a very lucky and lovely thing, really. And that's not even the shows.
I myself was delirious for pretty much everyone of 'em... could only lie on a pool table or bathroom floor before hand, trying to cool down, cat nap away in ten minutes 6 hours under the hood of the broken van and a chronic insomnia that followed me the whole way. I would just lie there, threadbare and barely there until it was SHOWTIME! Then everyone would just kick in and start to rock. I mean every night. Sometimes with no sleep at all, no stopping. No showers, no panties, you know just get up there and be fabulous. Everyshow everyshow. The shows were the thing, see. The reason for the push in the first place. For me, the big release. No matter how rough the road, I could count on an electric release everynight with the work on the stage. What a roughshod blessing. Rusty medicine I wouldn't trade for anything. Like the accidental coven, a little ragg-ed and a little ravishing, we'd polish into town and get the righteous groove on. I even made sure to go to most of the open mics, cuz at a certain point it was survival not to stop. Keep taking the scratchy tincture of pushing open the creative crate everynight. An only salvation really. If I had to choose between the van or the alchemy of a wreck (me) under the bright lights... well... cyber transfusion, you know, get a synapse refueling at the local stage. So raw, pretty much had to make up half the story every night... unnerved and a little broken, i found scraps to wear along the way and improvised. Lied. Hallucinated.. Everyone just got better and better. The ladies loved it everywhere. We were a lucky hot dog. Everyone got funnier and angrier and hotter and sexier and smarter and sweatier. And then you know, we make it to NYC. And Sini got all her writing ripped off out of the van in Philly the night before and right there at Meow Mix, she remembered Circus Girl, she trusted herself to do it and it was so triumphant and rock and roll with no paper and just her heart you know, walking the high wire, she was walking the highwire, bare souls. Made me proud. And Michelle busted out with this incredible story about finding her absent father at a truck stop, unaware and off guard, in classsic Michelle style, with that sassy toss away teenage mix of non-chalance and complete enthusiasm, sharp words and writing webbed with vulnerability sneaky and quiet like a trick. And then Sini told a crazy story about her dad the cop busting Sini the teen lyp-synch queen. and these two tour leaders, rolling together like two gold coins, stood shimmering in the bold glow they deserve, embodying their own version of little momma and little daddy despite the falling short of the real deal dads and moms and it was a sublime time in the big city of lights.
The tour of charms and curses with enough magic and beer to get us all through. The Turnbuckles blessed everynight- fairy-like and forlorn. and Chuletta and Lucky held the animal ground like only dogs can do, wedging an opening in everyones heart right when it was needed.
Oh does this sound really sentimental now? Aw hell, i guess dont care. Shoot, I got greased up to my elbows in that van and i gotta send prayers out into the world that those girls are gonna make it to Chicago and then home without too much trouble.
I barely know what happened. Like a dry, speedy tumbleweed I rolled through that tour without stopping. A little manic and awake and so i'm still picking stickers out of my hair and scratching my head. Hey where'd everyone go?
It was a dream. A band of messy angels took me dancing and there were snacks and glowing eyes and hearty haunches, butts and boots as good as they come and some damn fine poetry...
then i woke up. Even though i never went to sleep....
DAY THIRTY-two ? (or so), in the van on the way to Conneticut -- Michelle Tea
Hello from the newly fixed-up blue van! After 4 weeks of cross-country breakdowns, we have been assured by a Brooklyn mechanic named Vinnie that we will never overheat again, and knock on fake wood panaling, we haven't. Sheila, the little van that could, is finally cool as a cucumber. So, we're on our way out of New York, heading towards Connecticut, a place we have never performed & have no idea what to expect. I'm sweating in the bucket seats, and in front of me is Sini behind the wheel & Beth Lisick riding bitch. Let's see if they're feeling chatty. Oh, incidentally, we just backed into a telephone booth at a gas station in Brooklyn.
Michelle: Are you guys feeling chatty? Can I interview you?
Beth: I don't know how chatty I'm feeling, actually.
(I think there is some van tension about the phone booth hit & run)
Michelle: So you guys want me to go away?
Beth: No . . . no . . .so, are you going to ask questions?
Michelle: Yeah, um, is there anything special you'd like to talk about?
Beth: You know when you drink one beer, at like 1:00 in the afternoon?
Sini: Let's talk about the jackass to my right honking.
Michelle: Yeah the honking in New York is such a big problem that they hung up sign saying $350 fine if you honk.
Beth: I know, I saw that! Scoot over, big guy!
(people around us are driving like maniacs)
Michelle: OK, what did you guys think of New York?
Beth: New York was probably the most relaxing part of the whole tour.
Sini: It was for me as well, though I kept trying to think about van stuff that needed to get done, and where everyone was. I stayed in an airconditioned house, I didn't really go out.
Beth: It's so great the van works!
Michelle: What was your mechanic like?
Sini: His name was Vinnie. Nice Italian guy.He said "I probably don't have to say this, but yous don't look like you're from around here."
Beth: And he ended up knowing Sini's relatives in Chicago!
Michelle: That's weird.
Sini: I tried to explain to him what kind tour we were, and said spoken word trapeze performance, and he looked at me like I was talking another language. So I said, 'A circus of sorts.' And then when he was done fixing the van - charging us very little money, fixing some things for free - he said "You and your circus, yous are gonna be fine! You ain't overheatin no more!'
Michelle: Praise Vinnie! We should have an altar of him on our dash.
Sini: He said, "Good thing you stopped in Brooklyn"
Michelle: That's the truth, Ruth.
(OK, since these guys had such nice, calming experiences in NYC, let's go interview the maniacs lounging in the ambient chill sauna at the back of the van- Lynn Breedlove, Shoshana von Blanckensee, our heckler pal Sash and her special friend Mason)
Michelle: OK, who was the biggest maniac in New York?
Sash: Um, I don't know. We were pretty big maniacs in New York. Lynnie was a maniac. Beth was so drunk she couldn't read her pieces -
Beth:IT WAS A STUNT! IT WAS A STUNT!
Michelle: Beth, what happened at the Meow Mix reading?
Beth: Well I haven't had to go last before. And it was so crowded in there, I happened to be standing next to the bar. So by the time I got up on stage I'd had a lot of beer, and, uh, Sini fell off the stage trying to fetch me. That was nice that you were thinking about me, Sini.
Michelle: The Meow Mix show was so crowded performers had to stand on kegs and scale a wall to climb on & off the stage. The floor was packed with girls.
Beth: So, I started a piece and forgot my lines-
Michelle: Which never happens!
Beth: - so I mounted the chair and just changed text and started a new piece in the middle of the one I forgot the lines to. The crowd responded to me reaching out to them. Going last on a night like that, that PACKED, IN A BAR, it's rough.
Michelle: Anything else about the New York shows?
Sini: How'd you like being a Turnbuckle, Beth?
( oh yeah, last night at our open mic in Brooklyn we all picked EACH OTHER'S names from a hat and read each other's work! Sini was fabulously sweet as Shoshana in a black slip, Stanya was a maniac, shrieking Beth Lisick, Miranda was a psychotic, bouncing Stanya, Shoshana was a glorious diva Shar, teaching the girls to fuck in her new $10 red velvet NYC stilettos; Shar was a big mouthed Sini with her hair twisted into the trademark 'do; Lynnee was Michelle Tea with pigtails, clippies, a slip and even the glasses, reading like a Valley Girl even though, um, Michelle is from Boston, hmmmm. . . , shy, quiet Turnbuckle Alessandra was Lynn Breedlove with latex pants, baseball hat& sunglasses and a great big schlong hanging out of her pants, which Lynn got on her knees and gave a great big slobbery blow job to! Oh, the sister spit girls have been waiting to see Lynn on her knees for states and states! And Michelle & Beth donned shimmery sequined costumes, choreographed some low-tech acorobatics about 5 minutes before the show, and were the Turnbuckles, tumbling, climbing on each other, and Beth even did a handstand! Today Michelle is very sore from tumbling on the hard Brooklyn pavement.)
Beth: I liked the part where I took off my shorts and everyone cheered.
Michelle: Girls are really supportive of the performers taking off their clothes.
Beth: Was there one point when you were on my back and you thought you were going to fall over and hit the wall? I thought it was ironic that it was me and Michelle, the two who have the least amount of control.
Michelle: It's so true. Have you done a lot of acorobatics?
Beth: When I was a kid I was a gymnist.
Michelle: Wow, did you compete?
Beth: Uh-huh. But all that fell by the wayside.
Michelle: What happened?
Beth: I don't know . . . .where did I go wrong? Maybe I'm going to get it back, maybe the universe is telling me . . .
Michelle: Are you hungover?
Beth: No, actually I'm not.
(Back to the kids in the sweat lodge)
Sash: Are you doing the website right now?
Michelle: Yeah say something interesting.
Sash: New York was exciting but, I don't know, we drank too much. I'm looking forward to collegiate Connecticut.
Michelle: Yeah, they just keep serving drinks forever in New York.
Sash: Many of us got to stay in upper upper west/east side penthouses with snooty doorman and wet bars. And Lynnie won a hundred dollars.
Michelle: Lynnie how'd you win money in New York?
(Lynnie is sleeping)
Sash: She won the contest for the dirtiest act, she beat the boy who stuck the beer bottle up his ass and then drank it!
Michelle: What den of perversion was holding such a contest?
Sash: At Foxy, a club where they hand out Foxy dollars for you to pay each other for doing foxy little acts. Like blow jobs, eating ass.
Michelle: Oh my that is disgusting. What did Lynn do to win?
Sash: Lynnie got her dick sucked by 4 people - Sash, Mason, Jason and some other girl in a red dress. To "Slip It In" by Black Flag. It's Justin Bond's club.
(Justin Bond - fabulous drag queen who moved from San Francisco to NYC and promptly got a gig at Madonna's birthday party and got in a big righteous fight with a homophobic rap dude. We heart her!)
Sash: OH! - Shotgunning beers!
Sash: On our first morning in New York, after coffee and bagels, Mason and I shotgunned Budweisers in your sisters kitchen! And the rest of New York is a blur.
Michelle: My poor sister. Her whole house is a calm and cool-colored tribute to Martha Stewart via KMart. It seems blasphemous to shotgun a beer in her tiny chalky-blue kitchen. And what is "shotgun"?
Sash: You poke a hole in the beer, and then you open it and chug out of the hole. It's a race.
Michelle: To see who finishes first?
Michelle: Why would you do this?
Sash: It gets you drunk faster.
Mason: You can drink a whole 16 ouncer in 10 seconds. Or less.
Michelle: Did anyone see anyone famous in New York?
Mason: Laura saw Steve Busceme with his kids and wife. She said the wife was very beautiful.
Michelle: Oh my god, and we were forced to watch Steve Buscemi for 3 hours while our van was broke down in Las Vegas and we were trapped in the Texas casino and went to the movies there and all that was playing was Armeggedon and it sucked so hard, it was impossibly bad, the father-daughter sexual tension between Liv Tyler & Bruce Willis was so boring, I can't beleive they're still making movies with the dead mother, psychotically overprotective father, gorgeous mother-replacement daughter nuclear family, snore snore. At least Bruce Willis dies. And the Aerosmith soundtrack! A treat for sure but come on, his daughter is the starlette of the whole disaster.
Sash: Ali read with us! She lost all her money in Vegas and had to end her road trip.
(It is true! Ali Liebegott, poetic genius of the 1997 Roadshow, embarked upon a solo journey across america, to help her write her epic poem about lonliness. But in Vegas she lost it all at the Blackjack table and came home a broken gambler but now she has really good stories. She knocked the house down at Meow Mix, and we begged and pleaded for her to jump back in the van but she resisted and we are all sad.)
Michelle: Anything else?
Sash: If anyone in San Francisco wants to swing by our house and tell the people staying there to quiet down . . .oh god, what is happening to our house? We're partiers but we do it responsibly.
M: Responsible partying. We all keep using 'Party' as a verb, it's really wrong.
(Lynnee wakes up!)
Lynn: Man I partied so hearty in New York . . . you fuckers drank my fucking water, you suck! Shut up!
Michelle: How did you party in NYC?
Lynn: First thing we did was go to the Barcelona industrial street theater compant at Lincoln Center. It's brilliant. Than Squeezebox! Cherie Vine and CoCo Peru sang Sex Pistols covers, it's a drag queen punk rock club! Then we went to 7A and had dinner. What else did we do? Bought many fasionable Trash & Vaudeville punk rock items . . .shiny pants, tiny t-shirts, big hipster rings. Went to Foxy, got a blow job. Everyone went to Coney Island but me cuz I got lost on the subway. Went shopping some more. Went to Jackie B's, it's a drag show. Um, Shosh what else did we do? Shosh got sick.
Michelle: From drinking?
Shosh: No, I haven't had a drink in so long!
L: Went to Stingy Lulu's and got served horrid food by gorgeous trannies.
Sash: And then we went to the Blue & The Gold!
Michelle: What's that?
Sash: My favorite bar in New York City! It's a little cave with beers for $2.50 where I always make a friend.
Lynn: Stanya showed me the disintigrating piers in Brooklyn and gave me a tattoo.
(Stanya, our sadly no longer with the tour tattooist, gave Lynn a hand made needle tattoo of a psycho looking stick figure with an anarchy sign & bloody knife that says 'Trust me I'm a doctor')
Lynn: Hung out with Mistress Formika til 3am in a tiny crowded smoky bar with everyone dancing to really bad French lounge music from the 60's. Which I think is the latest thing in New York. Everyone sang along as if they knew the words but they didn't, it was in French and they were making it up. Oh! Went to Yonah Schimmel's Kinishes for blintzes at the crack of dawn. This is a ritual I do every time I visit New York. Also Russ And Daughters, I bought smoked fish bagels and cream cheese. They have a million different kinds of fish, they're really rude to you because you have colored hair but you don't care because it's so brilliant.
Michelle: DON'T loose that fish bagel in the van somewhere . . .
Lynn: Yeah, I'm eating it right now.
(Oh the girls in the car behind us tit flashed us so now Sash & Mason are are mooning them. Actually, a little simulated sex theater has been being performed in the back window this whole time, I had no idea with my head in the computer! Now the trucker next to us wants to know where we're going & keeps giving thumbs up signs oh no another road boyfriend . . . )
Beth: He wants to party! "Come with me", that's what he said! He looks so scary!
Sash: I was telling the story about trying to find a bar in Barstow.
Sini: Beth hopped out of the van and said "Hey you guys, Do you know where Chevy's is, or where we can get some frozen drinks and appetizers?"
Michelle: This is a big documentation of our drinking.
Lynn: Then tell them how I kept up with y'all motherfuckers til 6:30 in the morning! Did you tell them about New Orleans yet? I HAVE TO PEE!!!!!! I got punk rock points for staying up with with the punk rock party animals at the Hideout, I put like 20 punk rock songs in the jukebox for a buck! Every single song on the Decline of Western Civilization soundtrack, attacked all the boys made them kiss us for points and suck our beer bottles!
Michelle: What do you mean by points?
Lynn: What I have to explain the whole point game now? One point for a kiss, 2 points for feelin' up or down the skins, 3 points for sex, penetration of any orifice is included in the defination of sex. Unless it's performance. Which means I got 3 points for making a boy suck my beer bottle. On his knees. He was a big faggot. AND you dragged that same fag in the bathroom for a kiss and I went in, i opened the door to see him on his knees pulling up your skirt and you were fighting with him saying "No no no" pulling your skirt down. You gave up 3 points for integrity. Cuz you only get points with people you like but I get points with anyone because I'm a slut and I don't care. Then at 6:30 am we went for beignets and coffee and I kept up with you guys who were drinking by drinking coca colas all night.
Michelle: You were drinking hot sauce, straight out of the bottle!
Sash: OK, Etch-Sketch story! We went to a bar where there was legos and all kinds of toys, and Carina created a masterpiece on the Etch-A-Sketch while i got really drunk and talked to a psychic. She couldn't let go of the masterpiece, so she brought the Etch-A-Sketch (hearafter reffered to as EAS) to the next bar. When we walked in this guy was sitting at the bar, and with much righteousness accused Carina of stealing the EAS from The Hi-Ho! Which she righteously denied.
Lynn: She was a big liar.
(Not only have we lost our fabulous, irreplaceable Stanya to her life back in Brooklyn, but the lovely Carina, my dance partner, Pamela Anderson to Shoshana's Tommy Lee, has also left us, for a family reunion in Europe of all things. We miss both our curly-haired ladies dearly)
Sash: So he got up & grabbed the EAS and shook out the picture! This is where the brilliant Stanya stepped in and shook the boy's head as if it were an EAS with an ugly, ugly picture! And then later she came up and pretended to be so drunk she came up and drooled all over the EAS and slopped it around. So then there was some more spitting, la la la, and the boy stands up in front of me - mistake #1. And hawks a big loogie on the SisterSpit girls, collectively. At which point I hit him in the head, and he spun around and then turned back around and apologized and sat back down. With a moment to recover he decided he wanted to fight and stood back up again and Sini jumped in and pointed out that there were12 girls over there who were already drunk and would fucking kill him. So he sat down.
Lynn: Proving once again that if you're going to start a fight make sure you have 12 pals with you.
Michelle: Do you think violence solves problems, Sash?
Lynn: Yes, Sash believes it solves problems and I do too even though I got my ass kicked - I pushed some old drunk guy who was bothering me a lot, and then I turned around thinking this was the ultimate punk rock kind of thing, which it was. And then he swatted me on the back of my head, made me see stars. Then I kept swinging and missing, and nobody else was there to help me, and I kicked him in his balls AND HE SAID"That didn't hurt". Cuz he was too drunk for anything to hurt. And the parking lot attendant had to rescue me and I wrote the whole thing into my novel but I changed so that girls came and saved me and they were totally bad-ass kung-fu. And when I saw the parking lot attendant guy later on at the strip club he said I needed to write that the way it exactly happened, with him in it, so then I realized that he was not part of my revolution anymore because he didn't get it. So I promised him I'd write him in the novel, but I'm not. Cuz it's a given that boys should save girls - let girls spread raw chick power propaganda so that someday girls can always save girls. Next time I won't turn my back. And Ida taught me how to fight! Even a skinny 98 pound weakling can do it.
Michelle: What do you do?
Lynn: I wrote it into the novel. So if you want to find out you have to read the book.
DAY THIRTY-three ? (or so), Hartford, CT -- Michelle Tea
OK I'm in the van & the sun has just gone down in Hartford, Connecticut where we were supposed to have a show but the promoter lady, who was very nice and was suffering from bronchitis so we have infinite sympathy but there was nobody in Hartford that knew a thing about our show, a sinister media backout with nothing in any of the papers and no flyers anywhere, so even though the place was cheerfully decorated in giant rainbows (gay center) and had a piano and A place for the turnbuckles to rig their trapeze, we decided to save some dignity and abandon the show. Everyone was hungry, and Ida is actually very sick with a wicked fever, so we needed food, and I (MIchelle!) found a coupon for 10 free buffalo wings at Hooters which was exciting because all tour long Beth Lisick wanted to eat at a Hooters, but Shar was not able to psychicly deal with a Hooters (totally understandable) and suggested Papa Gino's for pizza beer & jukebox but all girls recently sick insisted on healthy food so we found this quaint little place and had stuff like sweet potato enchiladas, and hung out front smoking drinking whiskey cokes (not everyone!) and smelling the cute smelly herb garden of lemon balm oregeno basil and other stinky green stuff. Then, all wound up with thwarted performance energy (I was going to debut the blue feather boa Shar charged for me on her maxxed on credit card in New Orleans!) we had a spontaneous Turnbuckles Circus School For Wayward Girls on the wide strip of grass on the side of the road. Everyone marveled at Shoshana's incredible strength as Alessandra, then Sini, climbed up and stood on her shoulders!Shosh looked really scared but it was great! Lots of cartwheels and round offs and those impressive diving tumblesaults by girls who know how to do shit like that. I demonstrated my pathetic cartwheel attempts, and got to tumble beneath this human bridge made out of 3 back- bending girls, and then Sini insisted on dragging a blanket out of the car so everyone could toss me up in the air on it like a beach ball, or like the girl at the Chicaogo Lollapalooza in 1994 who got her necked snapped like that. So I was scared but it was actually really fun & I wasn't flung so high. Now we're on the road to Providence hoping for a better show. We'll play there tomorrow night, but sleep tonight in the theater, Fort Thunder, I heard it's right next door to a Dunkin' Donuts which is very exciting. More soon I promise!
LAST SHOWS IN CHICAGO
Dig if you will a picture of my excitement at seeing the last sister spit shows in Chicago. After traversing the space between California and Chicago in my friend Cari Paul's super-reliable Toyota snow shoe, we arrived the night of the show at Thurston's which I believe was the tenth of August. The first thing I saw upon approach was Sini Anderson's rear end, meaning her back too as she dug around in the back of the beautiful blue Chevy van. We embraced and made out for a while. Just kidding. Her mom , who I absolutely adore, walked up and showed off her new tattoo and super-short hairdo. She is one sassy lady. Michelle came out and we embraced and made out for a while. Again. I was so excited to see the ladies. They definitely had an air of road-weariness and bonding and shared history. I first sat down with Shoshana for a midwestern-sized whiskey sour. That means big. She reported stories of debauchery and sexiness in Atlanta and an overall heightened sauciness while on the road. I felt longing for sauciness in my everyday life. Mine's broken. After talking to Shosh I found Ida and laid my head on her bosom. Ah, comfort. Then Beth and Lynn and Shar came around and there was a lot of embracing and making out. Finally Michelle and Sini hit the stage upstairs for the last show of the tour. I believe Michelle went first, she was fantastic. Ida read an amazing piece about being punk rock and brawling when she was in high school. The girl was sassy and stage savvy after six weeks on the road. I was impressed. I read third or fourth I think, busting out a familiar number about a yoga retreat. See beginning of tour log for additional references. Lynn read a nasty little number from her novel in which she gets that infamous blow-job from a boy in the audience. She asked me to help her out by calling her on her cell phone in the middle of the beejay and acting like her mother, just for grins. This went off without a hitch. Sini wrapped up the night with a powerhouse version of her cruising in a supermarket piece, she was in her hometown after all. The piece was especially potent as it referred to her mother in the seventies, which we could compare to the nineties model sitting with us in the audience. Sini did a lot of checking in with her mom throughout the night as so many girls were reading dirty stories, especially that Shar with her sex talk. Shar read one of my favorite pieces about having sex in her first house in San Francisco while her housemates had sex too. That is my oafish description. Anyhoo, Shoshana and Beth were also positively arresting, and Sash made her brief-but-powerful appearances as the Vanna White model for each girl's chap book. The evening closed and Ida left with her big dog too to drive back to California. After the requisite dicking around we headed to some gay bar that I really think was called The Closet, some place where Sini used to hang out when she lived in Chicago. I got food with Beth and we ate by some video machines with pictures of women with big boobs on them, I think they were for video poker.
So two nights later was the open mike at the O'Bar. I arrived just a hair late and already the room was packed to the gills. I plopped my buns down next to Anderson and Shoshana to watch the local talent. I wish I remembered some names because there was a lot of great work. Unfortunately I only remember what people look like. That is not helpful here. I remember one girl named Mars was great. A lot of girls told very personal stories, incredibly brave and raw moments to behold. I am blown away by girls who get on-stage and unleash painful personal histories, it's inspiring and a reminder to do the hard stuff too, writing funny shit can be such a brilliant escape for me. There was a group of girls sitting in the audience who would let out a high-pitched whoop every time a new girl got up, I felt like I was in a Saturday Night Live skit or something, except no funny plot just this over-the-top enthusiastic screeching when someone would get up to read. Shoshana did an impersonation of Tommy Lee talking about Pamela that I found most enjoyable. She had apparently been working on this for a while, I think since New York or something. After a couple hours the show was over. I chatted with some lovely ladies and now I have a new e-mail buddy. No kidding. Upstairs I met the owner of the bar, Troy, who seemed like a really great guy, very supportive of the performance business. He is some sort of assistant to Carol Moseley-Braun.
We all filed outside and the girls loaded up in the van. I would be staying in Chicago a few more days to hang out with an old friend and get a stomach flu. The Spit ladies wearily headed out that night for highway 80 and California.