10.10.18–The Ivy Room, Albany, CA (Screaming Females, Kitten Forever, Street Eaters.)

Woke up somewhere near the later side of noon, in one of my favorite beds. The charm of this bed is that—aside from the giant window that looks out over the street—it’s titled at a decline of about 3 degrees. That means when “the big one” happens and I’m asleep, theres a very good chance that the foundation will collapse forward and I’ll fall through a giant ass window onto the street.

I try not to think of “the big one” when I’m in The Bay, because it feels inevitable; it’s going to happen at some point and it’ll be completely out of my control. How do you even prepare for that, you don’t—it happens when you’re not expecting it—and when it does, you’ll be far away from your bug out bag. What’s a bug out bag anyway? Its a bag with your survival gear should you wake up in “The Road” some day, right? What do you put in your bug out bag? I reckon I wouldn’t last long in the post apocalypse. First off, I’m too pretty. Secondly, I’m weak. Third, I have no discernible skill set that I can use for trade (“Uh I could manage your schedule of finding huts to hide in and decimated houses to ransack?”) so I feel like whatever bug-out bag I craft will last me a week, tops. On top of that, I am a compulsive over packer, so one bug out bag won’t be enough. I’d need one and a half to two bug out bags in order to survive…even though carrying two bags leaves me at a disadvantage when it comes to protecting myself. I can’t grab my knife if I have two bug out bags. But do I really need two bags? Okay lets see: knife; water jug (or bottle? Christ I’m gonna last a maximum of eight minutes in the post-apocalypse.) pistol, even though I won’t know how to fire it, a lighter, a flashlight, a journal, a breathing mask, a watch(? Will time even matter in the post apocalypse?) What else?? A raincoat? All the weed I have? A hitachi magic wand (who’s gonna screw in the post apocalypse?!) I’m stumped and I’ll be dead quick.

Today though, I am alive…somehow. Today the band has a radio interview at KLAX, but my presence is not needed, even though I double check with the band in advance. I do consider trying to prank the radio station.
“Let’s go to the phones, caller you’re on the air with Screaming Females”

“Yes hello, my name is Elton Mortimer Van Boyce, I’m an oil tycoon. I happened to find myself at your show last night. It was a fantastic show, but I couldn’t help notice the dashing, alluring figure hawking your wares and recordings from the merchandise table. Can you tell me more about this person?”

No dice; instead I stay in bed until the last possible minute for the bed is serene and secure. Wash up, throw a egg and bagel down the gullet and I head on over to the Ivy Room. The band arrives shortly thereafter. If I’m not with them, I’m determined to get to the venue before them. I’m also thoroughly convinced they hate my guts and are going to fire me. Irrational fears, but my MO is often “everyone hates my guts” so why wouldn’t they fire me? At least I’m home right? I’m not doin that Mustaine one-way-bus-ticket home move. One way bus to california from NJ, that’s what he was given after Metallica booted him, right? Wow, no wonder he’s such a bitter man.

I drove by the Ivy Room a couple weeks ago, but have never stopped in. There’s a sign that says “A woman owned establishment.” I like that; bar/cocktail culture is so dominated by males, it’s always a heartwarming experience to be in an environment that isn’t that. There are some bars I’d work at again in a heartbeat, but while waiting for the band, overhearing this one customer talk aggressively towards his friends and say gnarly shit to a room of four is enough to keep from the stick for another 10 years. It’s good money, it’s real good money, but its an unhealthy life. Dracula lifestyle, constantly on the verge of violence, and the same goddamn story from your regulars. Its a joyless gig, even if you love running a party like I do.

I’m not fired, but I am fried Nevertheless, I push forth and get my merch set up. The area is small, and I imagine there’s going to be a lot of awkward rotating in and out of the merch area. The band wants indian food, but I drift off for a burg and soda pop. I need something greasy and bad to coat this hangover. Cherry soda is a good coat for it. I try not to mess with too many sodas, but sometimes man—a cane sugar coke with mexican food, or a cherry soda with theater popcorn—it’s a nectar from the gawds.

Time was my hangover cure all would be some aspirin and this cran raspberry juice from the Hannaford in Plattsburgh, cut with some soda water. Two big glasses of that and I’d be good for a while. I’m rarely a fall down drunk. I know my limit, I know when to go home. If I’m out to lunch, I am well within the confines of whatever shelter I have. Working around alcohol, alcoholics, drunks, and tipplers for so many years, you see behavior that you wouldn’t wanna be caught dead replicating. Plus, it’s a sprint, not a race. If you’re trying to shut the city down, you wanna see some sunrise. Drink your water, EQ your crossfade, stretch it out baby.

I decided to wear my toucan t-shirt with black jeans, a raspberry hoodie, and my commuter jacket with the panthers “no justice no peace” flag on it. I like having different flags on the back. I never pocket flag because those flags were always for blowing my nose into, and really I’d rather you ask “What (I) flag for.” But the big flag, the one on the back jacket, I’ll let you know where it’s coming from. The neighborhood I live and work in is where the panthers got started. I sewed that on, what…the beginning of the year? I think while watching the Royal Rumble with Jes. Must’ve been. It came from Philadelphia Print Works, a social justice heritage brand and screen printing workshop. It’s pretty absurd that I rarely talk about the days colors in these posts, and maybe I should do that more often. Your colors are your coat of arms, right? Johnny Cash was the man in black, Alice Coltrane often had beautiful sun and earth tones in all of her threads. There’s colors and there’s uniforms. I try to go for the least gender defining things possible in the uniforms, essentially dressing the same as a cute femme could dress, least in my mind. I’ve been trying to tuck my shirt into the pants a la my friend Grace, because she ultimately has the coolest style. “Girls Hate Cops” look, what a look.

Street Eaters were tight; the trio set up with Steve-O on guitar is really feeling more formed here than the Arcata show, or maybe I have a better understanding of what’s going on after taking it in a second time. The lad really adds a heavy dollop of controlled chaos to the sonic power of John and Meg. If anything, it gives John a little more room to not sweat separating himself into two tones, and really sink into the groove. Tight band. I’m bummed I’m gonna miss em at the Filmore, opening for Jawbreaker. Are there any more bands left to reunite? Like, ABBA are gonna play Coachella for a whale of a purse, and Grant Harts dead so, we good right? But it’s okay, everyone do whatcha gotta do with your band. How many final shows did The Ramones do? Like five tours, you go get your bread.

My sweet boo came to the show, immediately had a panic attack, threw up, got accosted by the bar owner, and spent most of the night in the jazzwagon until it was decided they should go home. Sucks.

Kitten Forever slam dunked another set. The bar and the live room are sort of separated by half a wall from the dancefloor; as such, there’s a CC feed from the stage on the TV’s above the bar. However, every now and then it would go out of sync by about 20 seconds, which made for a visually disorienting/amusing time. All eyes were on the band though, and the crowd ate it up. I love telling people “you’re in for a treat” if they haven’t seen em before. Screaming Females were also on fire. I’d say they are all feeling well centered and together, and that’s how it’s been seen we set out from NJ a little more than a week ago; all systems go, another hot blast of mighty rock fury from “those nice young people from New Brunswick.”

I had a “super dope exchange” (those quotation marks mean “dismissive jerk off hand motion”) with two drunk people that made massively inappropriate assumptions about myself and my gender for no other reason than I look like the way I do, and how I’m built, and how my voice sounds; they took all that in and wanted to fight. Some of the language they used can be really harmful to those out there that aren’t certain of where they stand on the gender spectrum. It left me feeling really crummy and defeated; I communicated with them calmly from my end, and gave them space to do what they wanted to in reason (because they’re drunk, because I can handle a drunk like no other) but they just wanted to fight and I wasn’t having that. Thankfully, Cheyenne was by my side—because we were having a quiet conversation when one of these drunk people came up and accused me of being angry. I wasn’t angry. I was just fine. I was minding my own business. Cheyenne called them out for using “TERFY” (look it up, read up, I’m not your teacher) language and excused us from their scene. I felt awful and embarrassed.

I don’t know what my gender is; I know what I was born with, but I also know what I’ve responded to emotionally in my life, and it’s never been masculine. At times it’s taken the shape of a masculine presentation, but its by no means ever been full masculine. I’ve always felt safest with the girls, the other women. I would love nothing more than to be a lil more slender, a lil more androgynous, a little more confusing, but I have only what was given to me—a stupid lookin “man” bag for flesh. Readin this book I’ve been readin, I feel for what the main character Paul has going on. I long for their ability to shift and shape their body to whatever they want it to be, to experience the wide range of looks, feelings, sensations. I wish I could have that. I wish my facial hair never grew back again. I wish my face was a little more defined. I just wish I could confuse the squares a little bit more. But I also carry these feelings that trans women (particularly QTPOC) are subject harassment and abuse and death at a much higher rate than I ever will be. I’m a mess of feelings on gender, because I tend to only date gay gals, and get read as a gal by a bunch of close friends, but I look—-like *this.* The moral of the story is: please don’t assume a persons gender by their presentation; and trans identifying people that live out loud with it are the strongest people in the world.

I loaded out, saw a crush, we chatted for a second. Then i drove to a donut spot that was recommended to me, went to boo’s place, and fell asleep at the foot of their bed recounting the night.