it's been an interesting summer stretch of life, lately.
little, yellow, different, better.
it's been a dirty sort of summer, busy.
yesterday was a post-party-at-the-house-day and i took a full day off.
it RAINED like in the bible and got black at 3 o'clock in the daytime.
i leaned out the window for a while. my favorite weather, all hot and
dark and windy and stormy.
i feel more alive than usual. i fear getting back on the road will
kill that. we're getting ready.
the parties here used to be epic - hundreds of guests
every floor of the house brimming with weirdness and color and light
the garden all lit up and tramply.
i used to run the show like a madwoman, then i stopped.
this time mali was running the show and blasting around dealing with
the guests, the drinks, the PA, the performers, the list at the door,
the performing herself, slamming that piano and being a rock star
within her own outdoor homegrown nightclub
- i miss and don't miss that feeling, i feel it on tour all the time
and never want to feel it at home anymore.
the guests are all old acquaintances but i never want to chat, because
chatting is exhausting, only talking is good, and it's hard to talk at
a party. i spent most of the party in my apartment and down the street
getting food. i have become party-phobic, unless i'm a stranger.
(i did bust out the ukulele, but i gave it to michael to play. the
neighborhood kids were all peeking at our party from across the
street, about a dozen of them.
they are probably scared shitless of our house. they're all black and
hispanic and we're all hippie honkies. one mom was with them and i
invited them, all of them, to come into the garden. they all freaked
out, as if i were inviting them into the land of OZ, and told me that
they call our house and garden "the jungle". i am glad we're part of
people's childhoods. we played rihanna's "umbrella", for ukulele and
voice, and they all clapped and sang along. steven grabbed the garden
hose and sprayed everyone at the end. we jammed. i took the uke,
michael took the drums that had been set up from the last band, the
kids screamed and ran around = heaven.)
the night i met brian, it was halloween, a rager. we were talking,
four of us, on the stairs outside my apartment. brian was quiet, there
was me, i was loud, there was a bass player named plamen and there was
scott roi, the guitarist. plamen and scott were both drunk (especially
scott) and i must have been, too, and deluded, because i thought i had
finally found the members of what would be my band. they had all just
seen me play and were excited to all get together and jam. brian hung
back and observed. he left his number. so did plamen. so did scott. i
called them all. i kept that piece of brown bag paper, with all their
numbers, for a long time.
scott roi and i got together a few days later at pan9 and ended up
just drinking, i think.
i visited plamen in his apartment the next week. he had taken my demo
recording of half jack and turned it into a dance remix with no vocals.
i never called him back.
brian and i got together a week later and became a band.
scott roi, i just found out, died three days ago. after pan9 burned
down in boston, he moved to the west coast. apparently he'd been out
of rehab for a week, had been stone cold sober and gone swimming, took
a dive from a trellis and broke his neck. pope says: "maybe god goes:
well done on the rehab stint. your work here is done. now when you
come around the next time you won't have to deal with all this extra
every time i lie still for a photograph somewhere filthy and wet, and
i've been doing a lot of that lately, i wonder if i'll get a disease.
mike penta used to say, taking his hyper-active very-gesticulative
stance: "amanda palmer? amanda palmer. ok. wait, ok. amanda palmer is.
a. DIRTY. girl."
and he didn't mean foulmouthed. he meant dirty, like, unwashed.
unkempt. brian commented recently that i should shower more.
am i dirty or just busy?
i feel like i'm just busy.
i know when i'm busy, i get dirty, i lose things, i lose track, things
get really fucked up.
case in point:
there were these few days around the boston pops when everything went
to hell in a goddamn handbasket.
i did a week of preparation up to the pops, had a day off to pack,
then had to fly to europe for a week of press.
i didn't face the reckoning until i came home form europe a week
later, but i could re-trace the mind-losing.
i didn't pay attention to anything but what was right in front of my
face, and i was even missing that. i lost a lot of details.
in the space of just a 24 hours i managed to:
-leave my bicycle unlocked outside the house, resulting in it getting
stolen, third one gone this year
-lose most of my clothes from the pops, which took me two weeks to
fully recover upon returning
-get two parking tickets
-totally forget to take my menstrual sponge out
these things had varying degrees of impact on my life.
the bike was a tough & guilty one, since it was a loving hand-me-down
from my parents, who took pity on me after my last one was stolen.
THAT one was a loving hand-me-down form my sister after the one BEFORE
that got stolen....my whole family might has well just save up a pool
of money to have my legs amputated and buy me a nice electric scooter
that i cannot possibly lose...though i'm sure i'd find a way. i'd
probably absent-mindedly roll off and and away from it while thinking
about something else and have to rely on the kindness of some stranger
to carry my confused torso to safety after i'd been lying in the
middle of a busy street for some time, musing about car tires,
acoustics and weather.
the sponge thing: not so good.
this same thing happened to me when i was a teenager. one of my wise
feminine elders had tipped me off to the two-tampon trick when your
flow is heavy and you're bleeding on your sheets every night.
great trick, but when i forgot to extract tampon number two, things
got ugly. i think a week went by. my vagina discharged a foul-smelling
complaint and i troddled my 14-year self down to the gynecologist, who
poked around and said: "hm.....amanda, did you know this was in here?"
i must have given her a guilty, somewhat bashful stare as she dangled
the evidence before my face. the tampon looked like a small, brown,
rotting little mouse.
i was slightly grossed out but barely phased, probably walked home via
candy castle to buy myself a celebratory root beer or watermelon slush
for a dollar, and had forgotten about the whole thing by the time i
got home a half hour later, happy and whole again. but this i do
remember: i told my mother in the upstairs hallway of the house...."i
went to the gynecologist, mom, and i had left a tampon in for like a
week. she took it out. all good!" she looked at me in horror and then
she held me in the tightest embrace i think she'd ever held me in. she
said "my baby" a few times and it was then that i realized my
situation might have been fatal. that moment brought me closer to her,
because i realized, in a concrete way, that she really loved me and
would be stricken with grief if i died.
i've always considered myself immune to fatal disaster, while yet
being so prone to the smaller ones....sort of inured to the simple
rules of the universe (stand under falling piano = probably will get
crushed.......wait really? MAYBE. but MAYBE FUCKING NOT!!!!!
haaaaaaaa. see? special.)
so where my mind was when i left the menstrual sponge in? i don't know.
packing for europe, probably. being in love and having sex, which
pushed the sponge farther from sight and mind.
sponge-o-mercial: ladies, the menstrual sponge is great. i have
recommended it many times in the past.
it's ecologically friendly and easy to use. but it HAS NO STRING. just
warning you. it's easier to forget about.
anyway, i started feeling odd when i was in london. i got headachy and
i awoke with my vagina complainy one morning, my last day in europe.
i thought: this is familiar. oh, good god. did i leave the sponge in?
so i investigated, there in the k west hotel.
there is something very sort of unsexy and almost heartbreaking about
sitting on a fancy little leather cube seat in the k west hotel (where
the hippest of the business travelers and rock stars stay and party -
they have a sign in the fancy bathroom saying please don't flush
EARPLUGS....i'm sure pete doherty and kate moss have had sex in that
room at least once) all alone and trying to see if i had maybe left
something in my vagina the week before.
i would really not be surprised if half the female readers of this
blog (over the age of 25, at least) have had to do this. this also
happens with condoms. they slip, they jam, they hide and they must be
fished out in a very clinical and usually desperate struggle. chances
are if you've lost a condom up there, getting the condom out is NOT
the only thing that's fucking troubling you.
love can be ugly.
my vagina is long. that is, literally. if women could boast in inches,
(but for some weird reason, we don't do that? i wish i could've pulled
that fact out in the locker room or slumber party...."dude. no way,
i'm like, 7 inches. check this out. hand me that curling iron/stick of
incense/scale ruler/zucchini, i'll prove it")
this is NOT from overuse, you cunts. i was born with it. every
gynecologist has commented from day one. it's not unhealthy and it's
not irregular. it's just free to be the way it be.
anyway, there i was in the fancy k west hotel, fishing around with my
fingers for some possible feminine archives. but i didn't find
anything. so i let myself off the hook and chalked up my complainy
vagina to jetlag and stress.
max came to the hotel to visit and i tortured him all day, after i'd
shared my complainy vagina story (sans details, he's a delicate
creature), by saying VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA every few hours and making
him shake his thin delicate hands in horror near his ears saying STOP
STOP STOP AAAGHGHGGH. but i think he sort of liked it. max played me a
wonderful song of the accordion. he's been accepted into an art
university in england. we miss him here. he'll be at the london show,
no doubt. if you see him, say VAGINA.
me & max in the k west. we traded:
he agreed to be photographed with
no mustache if i did no eyebrows.
self-portait the night before:
i flew home on an afternoon flight from london and i lay there in bed,
wondering if i was maybe dying.
i resolved to do the adult thing, get up, and go to the emergency room.
i reasoned: if i waited until morning and went to my regular doctor,
and it ended up i WAS dying, i'd feel damn foolish. and to clarify
things, i checked my bathroom and there was no sponge to be found.
this means there was only one other place it could be, and that place
was my vagina.
so at around two or three in the morning, i troddled my 32-year old
self down to the emergency room, which is only a few blocks away,
which is nice, and michael came with me, and we walked by a car parked
outside the emergency room doors with all the window-glass shot in and
shattered, and cops all around. when i got in to see the doctor, they
told me that a lot of kids have been getting shot lately and driving
themselves to the hospital. most of them are 15, 16. she looked sad.
she told me she was glad she grabbed my case because dudes don't
understand. i told her how much i appreciated the fact that she was
about to go hunting in my vagina for a sponge and she said:
"girl...you would't BELIEVE the shit i see in here every night. this
is NOTHING." apparently she has a constant influx of fretting female
patients, delicate anatomies overflowing with tampons, condoms,
sponges, diaphragms, GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE but if you're wondering where
that odd sock or spare fountain pen has wandered off to...check your
girlfriend. you never know what you may find up there, according to
((ahh, my whole house & film crew is downstairs on the stoop. we
wrapped our last video today. they're all drinking. i'm trying not
too. they're singing along to regina spektor. a few minutes ago it was
queen. i love my house.))
so this kindly gal whipped out the speculum and said, yes indeed, she
could spy a foreign object back in there, and she tried to yank it out
with a pair of tweezers, but the sponge just kept tearing.
i told her that this was common for the sponge - they are organic
matter, plant matter (or are sponges animal matter? aren't they alive
at some point?) and do tend to break down after a while. (note for you
ladies, i swap the sponge out after it shows even the slightest signs
of wear. one does not want unwanted sea life hanging out in there. i
know this sounds hypocritical at this point, but i'm JUST SAYING. ok.)
so, after the inevitable comment about my well-endowed womanhood, she
tries a pair of forceps, and those don't do the trick either. at this
point i must look nervous, because she says: "oh don't you worry,
we're gonna get this sucker out. but i might have to leave you here
while I go get a longer pair of forceps. do you want to hang out with
the speculum in or do you want me to take it out?"
at this point i'd like to mention that giving birth must be an
extremely protracted version of this with a lot more gore and pain but
slightly less embarrassment.
i don't know if i'd be excited to go through that. if i ever do, i
promise you a blow-by-blow. anyway.
i told her she could just leave the speculum in and i'd hang, yo. fo
shizzle. the emergency room was an all-purpose one, and there was -
quite mystifyingly - a TV mounted to the wall, pointed right at my
vulnerable little body. i wondered why it was there. did they often
leave people there, bleeding and oozing after knife and gun fights to
bear their fates while watching Gilligan's Island re-runs? how crass.
the television was looping a long infomercial about a magically modern
steam-powered hair-straightener called - i kid you not - the
MAXIGLIDE. it's weird when someone leaves you in a cold bright room
in the middle of the night with an infomercial for a hair straightener
called the MAXIGLIDE pointed at your open vagina. frustrated young
performance artists could go to second-rate art school for years and
not come up with anything half this good for their senior installation
a very short trip to the internet to find a picture for y'all of the
MAXIGLIDE just told me that YOU TOO can watch this fucking
and the fact that this infomercial has 9,000 hits scares the shit out
WHO WATCHES INFOMERCIALS ON THEIR COMPUTER?
i am scared to know.
the comments might tell you.
you "hear" how about trying it and then complaining cuz people who are
complaining are complaining cuz the are doing something wrong. I got
mine two years ago and my hair are better than ever.
me and my mom have superrr curly hair and when it dries it gets curly
puffy and frizzy. this thing SAVED my life when i was in 6th grade!!!
it works sooo great:)
Do they pay the model more to keep smiling? :D
ok so wow im like so confused...ive seen like 50 people saying it
works great, 50 saying its ok, and 50 saying its complete trash. whats
true??? my hair is only a little bit wavy, but REALLY REALLY frizz. im
talking more frizz than hair. if u dont recommend this one, can
someone tell me another one that works???
SO true. I bought this maxiglide, and let me tell you: I was saving up
FOREVER to get it! You have NO IDEA how hard I worked to get this.
When I finally did, I was SOO upset because it smelled REALLY BAD, it
stunk up my house and my hair, and ripped out lots of hair too. I'd
like to smack that Max guy for ripping me off :(
I ordered my one and a half inch MaxiGlide (the MP package) last week
and I'm waiting for mine.
This is a great styling tool.
I can't wait to get my new one. I'm giving my "old" one to my niece
but I'mma tell her to take care of it like I have.
(this last comment posted from "StillAVirgin"....at least as of two
i can only assume that these 74 comments mean that women are now using
youtube as a discussion forum much like the hen and bridge parties of
i'd like to point out that this greasy "max" character in the video
seems like a total clown, the barbie models make me sadder than ever
(i kept wondering - weren't we all buying HOME PERM kits in the
eighties? the poor women back then with straight hair were all
manically rushing to the drugstore in droves to buy Ogilve Home Perm,
shamed to death of their limp, straight locks - WTF?)... but if you
really want to feel a TRULY surreal feeling while watching this
infomercial, put that shit on dull screen, strip down from the waist
down and point your vagina at your computer. guaranteed: it will make
you feel WEIRD.
she finally came back with the long forceps, yanked the thing out
(this time, it did not resemble a dead rodent, it looked exactly like
it looked when i put it in. i love the sponge. i almost saved it for
my collector friend steven but she threw it away before i had a chance
to ask. he was mildly disappointed. he has an entire mason jar of
toenail clippings from all his ex-girlfriends) and i walked home,
happy and whole again.
who killed amanda palmer INDEED. it was the SPONNNNNNNNNNGE.
a word, ladies: don't forget when something's up there. that shit
and if you want a sponge: www.jadeandpearl.com (click on feminine
in less gruesome news.
the videos are done being filmed and they are KILLER.
killer. killer. "runs in the family" is getting released next week, on
tuesday if things go according to plan.
astronaut and ampersand have been getting rave comments and i'm really
really very proud.
pope and i made these videos with a laughably small budget, we filed
at my house, my old high school and my folks house, we used for props
and costumes what we had lying around - and they came out fucking
the intro, which has an excerpt from "another year" (the last song on
the record), is up too.
part 1 (intro):
part 2 (astronaut):
part 3 (ampersand):
there are 8 parts total.
we're going to be screening them in boston this weekend, the whole
shebang (25th and 26th...and almost sold out: www.brattlefilm.org) and
we're thinking of maybe screening the whole series in new york in
august, somewhere small like joe's pub with someone bad-ass playing MC. it'll
be like a little fuck the back row reunion.
i'm back to cleaning my apartment.