09 November 2012


There’s a duo of elderly homeless men (formerly a trio, which has me wondering the whereabouts of the third member) that parades through subway cars singing old-timey songs. They've been doing this for years, marching between passengers, stomping their feet, jingling their change cups, and waving their canes (if this sounds depressing, imagine watching it in person). They always end with the phrase, “Smile, it won’t hurt your face!”

I’ve had this sentiment pointed at me several times in my life, usually by complete strangers. I’ve always wondered the psychology behind people who momentarily invade the lives of others to tell them to “smile.”  Why? What does it matter to them how my face looks? Have I somehow affected their day if I crack a (disingenuous) smile at their request?

Who are these “Smile Nazis” demanding others unfamiliar to them to show their teeth? I imagine them to be sunny, glass-half-full-types. (Maybe not the subway singers. Obviously their glasses are half-empty or else they wouldn’t be performing for spare change).

So maybe they’re lonely souls reaching out for any form of human interaction. If this is true, I strongly advise them to alter their approach. Brooding, stone-faced strangers are not the people to start a conversation with. Especially not me. 


Well, smiling may not actually hurt my face...it just might cause me to hurt yours. 


07 November 2012

She's Baaa-aaack!

After a long break from Hijack the Jukebox, I'm resurrecting the blog. I have lots of stories needing to be told and opinions to share. I will post more frequently on a variety of topics and look forward to reading comments!

Also, don't forget to check out my other blog, Shut Up & Dance, which features photos of the worst dance costumes ever. I'm looking for more submissions, so please view the blog for contact information. Show the world your horrendous costume!

                                                                            - That Girl

22 January 2009


A while back I went to a party and reconnected with old friends, one of whom is a new mom, having birthed a baby last summer. Our group was busy catching up when the new momma said, “Oh, I want to have two or three kids,” to which I absently replied, “Why?” My incredulity was met with quizzical stares, then, “Why wouldn’t I want to have more kids?!?” Apparently my gut reaction was not the appropriate response.

I quickly backpedaled, citing the mess of childbirth as the cause of my uncensored outburst. But the reply was, “That’s only part of it!” Of course that’s only part of it. Nine months of acting as a pod (entrapment) is prologue to actual birth (painful and graphic) and the next chapter of life (eighteen years of debtors’ prison). Are those incentives to squeeze another human out from one’s loins? Not in my opinion. But I couldn’t say all that. I was alone in a group of women on the mom-track, finding myself on the flipside of what society deems normal and expected, quietly opposing the “miracle of life.”

I can’t say I believe the whole thing is a “miracle” anyway. Getting pregnant seems easy and common – pretty much any menstruating lady and fertile man can make it happen. So how’s making a baby a “miracle”??? You know what really is the “miracle”? NOT getting pregnant. Remaining childless is pretty extraordinary given our social norms, don’t you think?

So next time I’m in a group discussing the assumed path our lives are supposed to follow, I have three choices: remain silent about my views on birthin’ babies, respond "inappropriately" and go on the defensive, or declare myself the walking miracle that I am.

I think I’m going with option #3.

22 December 2008


I saw Adrian Grenier (star of HBO's "Entourage") Saturday night at a small hole-in-the-wall bar on the Lower East Side. Can I write: HOT? No, actually not. Adrian, I recognized at first, as a Wereman. Yes, he was so hairy I thought he was a guy in werewolf costume. More "fur" than a Monchichi doll. All I could see were the apples of his cheeks and a bit of forehead. I was literally terrified when I glanced over and caught him looking at me, smiling beautifully (that's right, he and I made eye contact. And he had a gorgeous grin. And there was no one behind me except a mirror...so who else could he be looking at? Uh, ok, yeah, maybe he was admiring his hair.).

In any case, as soon as our eyes met, I looked away, unnerved by his facial hair. In fact, it didn't click who he was until I thought about it. Adrian Grenier. He reminded me more of that optical illusion of Jesus that you stare at, then when you shut your eyes, you see the inverse burned into your retinas. Frightening, right?**

I will never look at Adrian the same way again. I can't possibly see him as anything else. My retinas, my mind's eye, have been branded and scarred with how he appeared to me that midnight hour last Saturday: a mutant, hairy, Monchichi WereJesus, in the name of Adrian Grenier.

*Turns out, my reaction was in the minority. The entire population of the bar seemed to shift to his end after he appeared. Even my group's Birthday Girl and her friend bravely chatted him up. And he was nice. Bought them drinks, too! Very sweet. Adorable. Kind, mutant, hairy, Monchichi WereJesus.

08 December 2008


I recently sent a text message to a friend after learning his grandfather had passed away. It read: "Sorry to hear about your grandad. My amenkamads to you and the family."

That's the last time I use T9 to quick-write a text. My "condolences", aka "amenkamads" (thank you, LG), were definitely not delivered as intended...but I have a feeling my friend, who is Methodist or Lutheran or Quaker, may regard "amenkamads" as a mysterious Catholic saying conveying comfort. So all is good.

Oh wait, sorry, the true point of this post is that when presented with a life issue so significant, I should actually pick up the phone and speak voice to voice/mail...or proofread.

12 October 2008


Santos Party House
100 Lafayette St

New York City

I thought that I would tease readers and never post anything about music or music-making machines such as jukeboxes. But I’ve decided it’s no longer fun to tease. I am not a tease, as of now. Last night I went to a show at Santos Party House (Andrew WK’s venue). It’s small—two floors— but clean, unpretentious (read: you can wear sneakers, a sombrero, whatever), inexpensive (‘cept for that night’s cover of $20), and doesn’t smell. In fact, it smelled like lemon-fresh Pledge for most of the night. Very refreshing!

I was there to watch a friend’s favorite DJ spin. I wasn’t sure what to expect…was it a concert where the audience would stand and stare at the stage? Or would the audience dance and ignore the DJ? And I found it’s a mix of both. At about midnight, my friends and I headed upstairs to see the main event, DJ Z-Trip, but he wasn’t on yet. People were standing in a circle, bopping their heads to another DJ. At first it felt like an eighth grade dance when no one wants to start the dancing and everyone just stands there waiting. But then in succession, young men dressed as hipsters or in hoodies hopped into the middle of the dance floor and threw down some moves. Some raved, some skanked, some did a bit of breaking. I think in their minds they were rockin’ it like America’s Best Dance Crew, but...they weren't quite that good. I totally give them props for the courage to get out there solo and try. At one point, I even had the urge to break into the circle and do The Running Man or Roger Rabbit, but I realized it may come off as poking fun of them, when I really meant to make fun of myself (all right, all right, and them, too). (Side note: I’ve decided I'm going to practice my pop-n-lock skillz for the future should I get the chance to partake in a dance off).

As the crowd was getting pumped for DJ Z-Trip, the circle soon filled with everyone dancing and jumping and gyrating and just partying like it's a house party. Then an older gentleman, with gray hair, a gray beard, and 70’s polyester T-shirt started trippin’ to the tunes, right in front of me. It was odd at first, and a bit creepy. I couldn’t look him in the eye for fear he would dance with me (weirdoes tend to gravitate towards me—see July '08 posting: “The Triumph Room”). I just couldn’t risk or tolerate it tonight. In fact, he was near me and my friends for so long, a guy leaned over and asked if we had brought our grandfather. I joked that the elderly man must think this is the original Studio 54…but he was having a great time and it was kind of awe-inspiring. One day I’d like to be 70 and partying like it was 2008, just like this guy (well, for him it was 1968).

At 1am, DJ Z-Trip finally took the stage. I have never seen a DJ scratch, spin, and mix like this before. He’s not your average club DJ. He’s an artist, an architect, a genius at blending opposites. He juxtaposes dialogue, tells a story, and takes us on a journey during his non-stop three and a half hour set. DJ Z-Trip doesn’t just spin records for us; he spins and journeys with us.

DJ Z-Trip dropped beats that had us booty-shakin' to “Walk the Line,” jumping to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” dancing to “Jump! Jump!” He transported us back only a couple days, then 1992 and even further, when allegedly, our “parents were f*ing to this song.” (I’ve never heard the song before, but according to the roar of cheers and applause, many of the people there were conceived during that piece of music. I’ve never thought about my conception, and never want to).

We stayed until about 3:30am, when he finished his set with the subtly manipulated “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It seemed heartfelt and genuine, a thank you from DJ Z-Trip, but I’m not a fan of Queen so I was hoping for something more gripping, powerful, fun, or just unique. Maybe some hardcore Memphis rap mixed with Connie Francis? All in all, an incredible show that 21+ (and +++++) could dance their asses off to. And you know I’m notorious for avoiding obscene cover charges, but the $20 I shelled out was worth every penny. If DJ Z-Trip is playing at a venue near you, definitely go, and you may just catch me doing the Robo Cop in the middle of a dance circle.


15 September 2008


Pandora, at The Box
189 Chrystie Street
New York City

Pandora is a burlesque show straight from the bowels hell. It’s not “hot” in the “sexy” sense. It’s raunchy. Naughty. It attempts to be artistic. But it’s more like live amateur porn bordering on comedy.

I’ve described the truly bizarre events to friends and received a myriad of reactions, the most stunning being, “Next time you go, let me know. ___ and I want to see it.” This reaction came (separately) from two married women, which gave me an unwanted glimpse into their private bedroom lives. What also bewildered me was the “Next time,” phrase. After everything I told them, in a tone of disbelief and disdain, they thought I would go again???

From the spectators to the performers, Pandora’s a self-contained freak-show hidden on a less-traveled street of New York City. The club-goers are the wealthiest young people in the city, dropping $1500+drinks to sit in the sweatfest of a balcony. They are rich, they are wild, they have no boundaries, and they won’t think twice about disrobing in public.*

As for the people putting on the show, the talent’s the level of a high school Gifted and Talented Showcase. Maybe they’re a little more limber…and willing (or allowed) to show their naughty bits. That’s not to say there aren’t memorable performances. The image of a drag queen revealing his wing-wang and then her boobies is burned in my mind’s eye forever. Oh, yeah, and then him/her reaching between his/her legs to pull a brown-stained lower arm, presumably out of his/her poop-covered ass. That I won’t soon forget.

Then there’re the two leather-pant acrobats who did some Cirque du Soleil type spins and flips over the audience, then humped each other off stage like frogs. Felt tacked on.

Another acrobat flipped vertically in the air and ended upside down dangling by his feet. As if his act wasn’t exciting enough he pushed his pants to his knees and his peepee flung out.

The last act features the Porcelain Twins, who I don’t believe are actually related. The girls do look very much alike but they partake in things that family don’t do unless there’s some sick shit going on. The only way to describe this act is like this: first, the “Twins” undress each other and blow cigarette smoke on each other's naked bodies. There appears to be some (simulated?) oral sex. Then one girl spits on the other girl’s coochie. A dildo is pulled out of the girl who was spit on (I assume it was inserted at the point I turned away in astonishment). Then the spitter spits on her own self and puts the previously used dildo inside of her own cooch. Then she reaches over and picks up something that looks like a light bulb. She puts it in her mouth, then the other girl rolls over…and at that point, I figured I knew where the “light bulb” was going, so I called it a night. If the above description is a bit hard to follow, just know a lot of spitting and sticking objects into orifices happened.

So, am I really alone with my “never again” attitude? Are you as enticed to see Pandora as those two married ladies? I’m telling you, my descriptions are as “erotic” as the performances...I’ve painted the pictures accurately…it's like you've been there now...which, come to think of it, technically means you owe me $1500…plus drinks.

*"No boundaries" case in point: My “entourage” included a friend’s cousin's young, rich client (follow?). The client brought his girlfriend who appeared to be about 15 years old and she literally skipped down the block in a tennis skirt and flip flips, jumping up to touch the Walk signs on every corner. The client drank very much. He danced. Ignored his girlfriend. Rubbed my friend’s butt. Told me I had “tremendous breasts.” I told him to take off his shirt and wave it over the balcony. He did. I told him to take off his belt and taunt the crowd below with it. He obliged. I told him to take off his pants…and his jeans hit the floor.