Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Random Things I Remember From 20+ Years Ago

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Yesterday I wrote my blog post on Ryan and The Smashing Pumpkins. I'm going to keep the teen-dream alive.

I sent Ryan a text asking him what else I should post about, he gave me a few ideas, but said, "just write random stuff, you'll remember things I can't." I decided bullet pointing highlights would be best.  I will leave out how we broke up, because that is a story all on its own.

Here are just some bits and pieces from "My John Hughes Life" (which was the name of my former blog).

How I Met Ryan
  • I always had a big crush on Ryan, in my mind's eye, I can still see him walking through the cafeteria at Niles West wearing his Vision Street Wear Tshirt with his long, blonde hair
  • My sophomore year, Ryan was dating Kim R. (though he will tell you he wasn't)
  • A bunch of us kids were at the beach in Evanston drinking on the rocks - there were dozens of us
  • I was 16, intoxicated, and I had just thrown up in a dumpster behind the gas station when Ryan and Kim pulled up  
  • I saw him and walked over to the drivers side window, spoke to Ryan for a few minutes, and then stuck my head in the car and made out with Ryan - while Kim was sitting in the passenger seat
  • Ryan kissed me back, puke breath and all, we started dating shortly thereafter
  • I could also be making this story up, but I know for certain that I threw up in a dumpster that night from drinking too much vodka

"Partying" with The Vandals 
  • One summer we all went to see The Vandals
  • All of Ryan's friends were out of their minds with excitement, I was clueless
  • After the show, we hung out back by the tour busses (probably tour van) hoping to meet The Vandals, I just stood there
  • We met them and then ended up inviting them back to Ryan's friend Batman's apartment (Batman was his nickname, I'm guessing because he always wore the 18 hole, blue, lace-up doc martens)
  • The Vandals were straight edge, so when I say "Partying", I really mean we just ate Doritos and drank pop in Batman's basement apartment with The Vandals
  • I missed my curfew that night and my dad almost killed Ryan

Speaking of my Dad
  • When I met Ryan, he had shoulder length, silver hair - he would bleach the color out of his hair and put old-lady blue dye in it to get it silver
  • The first time I brought Ryan home to meet my parents, Ryan was wearing ripped jeans
  • My dad gave him the "once-over" and asked, "Are you poor?"  
  • Confused, Ryan answered, "No."
  • My dad replied, "Then where are the rest of your pants?" 
  • I was mortified

Ryan Likes Cars.... Leyla Does Not
  • When I met Ryan, he drove a silver Nissan 
  • I think in 2 years he had 3 or 4 cars
  • Ryan drove like a maniac and it would make me mental
  • We were coming back from the auto show, I'm sure Ryan was fired up from looking at cars
  • He was driving so fast on Lake Shore Drive, in order to avoid a serious collision, he had to drive between two cars - it was a tight squeeze
  • How we made it out alive, no clue

Ryan's Best Friend Hated Me (all of his friends hated me)
  • Ryan's best friend Chris, who is a girl, hated me and the feeling was mutual
  • Chris was dating a guy named Ryan (I think) who worked at 99th Floor on Halsted
  • Chris's boyfriend was the jealous type and a big a-hole
  • I decided I was mad at Chris for something, so I picked up the phone and I called her boyfriend at work
  • I then told him, to "Keep his girlfriend away from my boyfriend" insinuating that there was something going on, but knowing full well there was not
  • That following Saturday night, at Medusa's, Chris walks up to me on the dance floor and punches me
  • I had it coming, but if I could go back in time, I'd do it all over again

The Beach!!!
  • Most of my memories of Ryan are from summer, but we lived in Chicago
  • Dempster Beach and drinking on the rocks
  • Lighthouse Beach and drinking on the rocks
  • Ryan and his friends setting skating on the platform between Oak Street Beach and North Avenue beach (where everyone now roller blades)

  • Probably '88 or '89 GWAR played at The Cubby Bear
  • No one really knew anything about this band, or what to expect, but all of Ryan's friends wanted to go
  • (Let's keep one thing in perspective here, I was a Duran Duran, Cure and Depeche Mode fan, which made girls like me fodder for the likes of GWAR fans)
  • I recall a plastic head spinning from the ceiling of The Cubby Bear and fake blood shooting through the audience, and machetes, and machine guns, and masks, it was outrageous
  • That night, even the skin heads were not too keen on approaching the stage
  • We saw GWAR the following summer when the returned to Chicago

Tom's Place, Cheese Fries, The Nissan and Some, Poor, Unlucky Bastard
  • In '89, we had "Off Campus" at our high school, which meant, if you had a car, you could go off campus for lunch
  • Ryan, Jenny, Mike, Greg and I would eat lunch together most days
  • Tom's Place, was a greek diner a few blocks from school, this was our lunch place of choice
  • We were kids, so we ordered burgers and cheese fries
  • At the end of each meal, we would all take our leftover cheese fries and put them into one container
  • We would then top those leftover cheese fries with a ton of ketchup
  • Next, we would pile into Ryan's car and drive REALLY, REALLY FAST
  • One person (we'd all take turns, as this was a great honor), would have the cheese fries in one hand and lean as far out the car window as possible
  • Then we would whip the ketchup-y cheese fries onto some poor, unlucky bastard's car
  • Cheese fries and ketchup all over the car parked in front of their little, suburban home
  • It was great fun, we loved Tom's Place

Marlboro Reds and Roses
  • Ryan graduated in '88 and I graduated in '90
  • Ryan went to community college while I was still in high school
  • He would often drive to my high school, pick me up and take me to lunch
  • Each time he picked me up for lunch, he brought me a rose and a pack of Marlboro reds (the brand I smoked in high school) from the 7-11 down the street
  • That 7-11 rose and pack of cigarettes always put a smile on my face, in fact, I still think its sweet (but I no longer smoke)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

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I always thought "Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness" was the best name for an album.

I can't sleep, I woke up about 4:36 this morning. I am restless and being plagued by stress fueled, random thoughts in the days leading up to the social media scavenger hunt I am organizing that will take place on 9/10/11.

Somewhere through the tossing and turning, The Smashing Pumpkins entered my head... well actually the words, "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" were going through my head. I am not sure what thought brought me to the Smashing Pumpkins but I figured, good subject to blog about at 6:00 a.m.

Take a trip with me back to 1989

That is me and my high school boyfriend (Ryan). Ryan and I spent about 99% of our time together between 1988 and 1990 and about 85% of that time was spent going to rock shows. Sometimes together, and many times separately, and wherever they would let us in, I was only 16 or 17. Ryan played bass (I hope this is correct, I will forward this post to Ryan and he can comment with his corrections) and was very much a music fan. And I was very much into declaring my independence from Ryan - so even if I liked the same thing as him, I couldn't possibly admit it; why we went to shows separately.

This picture KILLS me! He's so cute. 

Back to the Smashing Pumpkins.  My junior year summer, 1989, I was sitting at my friend Lori's kitchen, thumbing through The Reader to see who was playing.  I saw an ad for a band called The Smashing Pumpkins. It sounded interesting enough, and it was an all ages show on a Wednesday night at the Metro (back then Wednesday nights were 3 bands for $6). I could easily have these details wrong, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that it was my junior year summer.

I can't tell you who I went to see The Smashing Pumpkins with that summer, but it was not Ryan. I remember coming home and calling him -- Or maybe he even picked me up, since I didn't have a car. I probably made him drive me to/from The Metro, but not come with me. This would not be unheard of, Ryan drove me every where, ask him, he'll tell you it's true.  In any case, I remember telling him about this incredible band I just saw and that WE HAD to go see them together, however, I do not think we ever saw The Smashing Pumpkins together.

That Smashing Pumpkins show in 1989 was one of the first few shows they ever played, and we all know what ended up happening a few years later, they got huge. I stayed a fan, and probably saw The Smashing Pumpkins a 5-10 more times over the years, but never in a venue larger than The Aragon Ballroom (unless I saw them at Lollapalooza one year, which is entirely possible.)

And, by the way, Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness is NOT my favorite Smashing Pumpkins album. Gish would be my favorite album, but it can't be, because Gish was my college boyfriend, Jeff's, favorite album and I can't have the same favorite Smashing Pumpkins album as Jeff. Siamese Dream is my favorite Smashing Pumpkins album, it is mostly a timing thing, 1993 was a significant year.

Other bands I saw without Ryan in the late 80s at The Metro: 
Nirvana (another 3 bands for $6 show)
Skinny Puppy
Red Hot Chili Peppers (pre Mother's Milk)

It's fine because he saw Jane's Addictions in the summer of 1988 without me, and, he saw GG Allin at Medusa's without me too. Even though I could not care less about GG Allin, I would just like those bragging rights.

** Oh, Ryan... Remind me to tell you about when I saw Einstürzende Neubauten at The Metro. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kate Moss and Her Men.

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I am mildly obsessed with Kate Moss and I find her taste in men quite agreeable.  

I spent my childhood preoccupied (to say the least) with popular culture. My first musical purchase was when I was 8 or 9, it was a 45 of The Rolling Stones "Start Me Up". When other girls were reading Sweet Valley High Books, I was reading Vogue. Before junior high was over, I had seen every movie Andy Warhol made. And, my first trip overseas, without my parents, was to Paris was when I was 18.

My obsession with fashion can be blamed on my mother (and my grandmother). My grandmother was a dress maker and my mom was her protege. My pre-occupation with music, art, travel, culture and everything else - well, I am unsure where all that came from, maybe because I am foreign? I certainly was not raised near people who bothered with those sorts of things. We can put it in the words of Gaga, I was born this way.

My favorite model growing up was Linda Evangelista. I was drawn her sharp features, her cold, glamorous glare, her androgyny, and her chameleon-like abilities to transform into almost anyone or anything. When I looked at pictures of Linda Evangelista, I saw: elegance, confidence, adaptability, accomplishment, sex, glamour and power. She was what a woman should be in every sense. She was gorgeous, womanly, and not meek. And she was not skinny (well, she was skinny but not waif-like thin), she was a woman.

Linda Evangelista was an icon of beauty, she was a brunette, she was bold, she had strength, she had sass, and, most importantly, she was timeless. She represented everything that I believed femininity to be, until I first saw Kate Moss.

My first encounter with Kate Moss was in 1992 when I was a sophomore in college living in a tiny apartment on Rawlings Street in Carbondale, Il. I picked up my Rolling Stone magazine and there she was, in a white bikini with every single bone in her body exposed. She was thin, she was frail, but she was hardly what anyone would describe as meek. From the very fist time I laid eyes on Kate Moss I saw something I had never seen in any other model, and, I could not quite place it. When you looked at her images, it was almost as if she was keeping a secret that you could never know.

When I look at photos of Kate Moss, what draws me most to her likeness is her ability to capture the dichotomy between: good and evil, sex and innocence, youthfulness and used up, or strung out and fresh as a daisy. And, I don't even think she tries.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss Photos Danziger project

Kate and her men.
My mild obsession with Kate Moss remained constant over the years. Therefore, it should not be too much of a surprise that I also find her choice in men to be of great interest. I mean, not because she is beautiful, but because she is interesting (or at least that is the assumption I've chosen to make).

Let us go down a list of men who have appeared in the life of Kate Moss and my thoughts on each man.

Johnny Depp
This just goes without saying. There are no words, he is Johnny Depp. Like most women, I would sell my soul to the devil, in exchange for five minutes with this man. (Take note, his current baby-mama, Vanessa Paradis, resembles Kate Moss.)


Jefferson Hack
Kate Moss's baby-daddy. Jefferson Hack is the man who fathered Kate Moss's daughter Lila Grace. I had not heard of this Jefferson Hack prior to investigating the Men of Kate for this blog post. And, although he may not be the most handsome man, I certainly see something I like, he bears a resemblance someone I casually dated for a while. He is the editor for Dazed & Confused and has contributed to some other magazines. When I see read "co-founder and editor of a fashion / arts magazine" I quickly translate that to "broke mooch who likes to hang out with cool people."

Jefferson Hack seems to wear a lot of the same style, gray suit. I'm not saying he wouldn't win me over, in fact, he's probably quite the charmer. Those broke mooches usually are...and I fall for it every time.

Spike Jonze x Dazed Party

Peter Doherty
My absolute favorite ex-boyfriend of Kate Moss, the vocalist and guitar player for the band Babyshambles. To me, he is tragic, yet beautiful. Reminds me of someone I once knew. When he and Kate were dating, he was young, on drugs and they were deliciously reckless. She is older and has the money, he was simply left behind to manage a horrible drug addiction on his own. If you google his name, you will see articles titled "Peter Doherty Drops Bag of Heroin in Courtroom." Make no mistake, this is not what turned me off, it was his weight gain that turned me off. I like really skinny guys.

He looks so good in this picture. I can look at this all night.

peter doherty

Jamie Hince
This is the man who Kate Moss recently married... and I think she picked the best option. I am not too familiar with Jamie Hince, I am familiar with his band, The Kills. Considering I'm not 20, I don't care who sings the songs I like, I just want the to sing them. While reading through his wiki and other sources, I feel like this Jamie Hince is pretty awesome. He is a solid musician who sites Patti Smith as an influence, anyone who sites Patti Smith as an influence (for anything) is OK in my book.

Hince is probably the least attractive of the Men of Kate, which also leads me to believe that this may be the real thing. Hince is older, he is 43 (ish), but age appropriate for the 37 year old Kate. I am really liking Jamie Hince... I am feeling it.

Too bad he just looks meh on stage.

and more Jamie Hince

But check out Jamie Hince on his wedding day. He looks sharp and they look fantastic together. She may be small and strong, but he seems like a more than adequate, and impressive match for Kate.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kim Kardashian's Wedding, Keeping Up With the Kardashian's

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Kim Kardashian's wedding is occupying my brain space at this late hour.

It is after 2AM. I have not gone to bed yet, instead, I worked all night on my upcoming social media scavenger hunt in Chicago - aka @dtdash. Absolutely no relation to Dash - the store owned by the Kardashian sisters in Miami and New York. 

What brings me to this topic, The Kardashians, at an hour where I should be asleep? Well, first of all, the lovely Ms. Kim Kardashian was recently married and the news is all over the extravaganza.

But the main reason is, I wanted you to find this blog post as you search for photos of Kim Kardashian's wedding, and read about why I like the Kardashians. Even though all my friends on Twitter complain about how stupid The Kardashians are, and despite the fact that I am an intelligent person, I do enjoy the show Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Reasons for liking the Kardashians:

  1. The Karashians are really funny. I watch the show when I happen to catch it, but when I do, I am generally surprised at how much they make me laugh. And I usually end up watching two or three episodes back to back. Khloe, or whatever the big Kardashian's name is, she is really the funny one. But she has to be funny, when you look like you ate one of your sisters, you better be really funny.  And she is.  In fact, regardless of the fact that she is giant (in comparison to the other siblings), Khloe is my favorite sister and the one I'd most likely hang with. 
  2. The Kardashians really like each other.  With the exception of the scary-fame-monster-mom Kris, the rest of the family genuinely seems like a loving unit. I have a special place in my heart for loving families, even if they are Reality TV families. I even like freaky, plastic surgery face Bruce Jenner.
  3. The Kardashians are great when you want to be brain dead.  I am self-employed, I own a small event and social media marketing company in Chicago, and I work a lot. When I am not working, I occupy my brain with two things: 1) Real News. Not the 10 O'Clock bull crap, but real news, like world news or The Economist. 2) Total Crap. I mean, total crap. When I am thinking, I need to be on point. When I am not thinking, I want to sit in front of the television and watch Hollywood sisters get Xrays of their butt so prove to the world they don't have butt-implants. It is the same reason I loved Jackass when it was on MTV, because it was frivolous.  I like to veg out to shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians. 
  4. Scott Disick. I love Scott Disick - let me tell you, the Walking Stick episode sealed the deal for me. I love Scott. That. Is. All. 

Unlike many others, I do believe the Kardashians deserve to be famous. That is my (now) 3:21AM revelation to you. I don't think most people realize how hard it is to be captivating, not everyone can do it. Try it, and see what happens, you'll probably be really boring. I mean, think about how many of you have an abandoned blog out there because no one read it. Yeah, you say you didn't have time, but if 1000s of people read it each month, you'd find the time. Now think about how stupid YOUR show would be if you had one. And with this new outlook, go watch an episode of the Kardashians and tell me that Khloe, trying to be sexy, in a leopard dress isn't entertaining. It is, it just is. 

In the words of some random person on Twitter -- "Haters are really admirers, who can't understand why everyone loves you." Don't be a Kardashian hater. 

And please know that, as you're reading this (I scheduled it to go out around your lunch time), I will be dying 100,000 deaths -  as I am living off 3 hours of sleep.  

While you're at it, check out my other posts here: