Archive for February, 2013

Detox and Self Control

February 18, 2013

Yesterday, I attended a baby shower, and despite the cranked heat, I didn’t remove my hoodie because I was wearing ill-fitting clothes underneath. This morning, I avoided looking at myself in the mirror after my shower. Last night, I found a dozen pictures at my Gramma’s from Summer 2011 where I look positively beer-bloated, tired and pasty, as I do now. She doesn’t know it yet, but I removed them from her album and threw them away, I’m so mortified by my appearance.

Last year, I quit drinkiing from August until Christmas day, losing 10-15 pounds with little effort. I was quite active, taking pole dancing classes and figure skating, healthy habits that were enabled by being away from nightclubs and booze. My drug of choice is high calorie, and I’m not one of those alcoholics who has no appetite. I hate lying to my Dad’s side of the family about drinking and I was honest with my Mom’s side over Christmas. But I know myself best, and all one has to do to know whether I’m on or off the wagon is compare how I look now to how I looked at Thanksgiving 2011. I’m easily 15 lbs heavier with huge bags under my eyes, dehydrated drab skin and no glow or shine to my skin or hair. I quite frank;ly look like shit if I don’t pile on Sally Hansen spray tan, makeup, 8″ heels and tone everything down with flattering strip club lighting.

My weight, health and appearance are out of hand. Instead of being the one aspect of my life I sieze control over, to counteract the tough aspectss I can’t control (my brain’s chemistry, losing my mom), it’s yet another facet of my day to day life that is thoroughly out of control.  Now that I’ve quit my club, I have a little time to detox and prioritize self care. I can’t be a full time dieter, exerciser and detoxer for long, as I’ve already made far less money than anticipated so far in 2013. But I think I need to cut myself some slack and allow a solid 1.5-2 weeks of nothing but healthy eating, a regular sleep schedule, tons of fresh air, sunlight and walking and no cigarettes. Working at a New Orleans club has turned me into a vampire with a depleted immune system and a dehydrated, malnourished, yet bloated appearance. I’m quite frankly disgusted with myself.

I heard from my Dad for the first time since last Christmas (he led to my falling off the wagon last yeaer, though I can’t blame anyone but myself.) He wants to get together soon and resume talking, keeping it light and seeing where it goes. I don’t feel ready, though, and might postpone our get-together now set for this weekend. I want to look and feel better before seeing him (in my neverending vain quest to please.)

I’m quite dissapointed in myself and I’m seriously thinking about leaving New Orleans early. I can work private parties in Boston and New York City, which will allow me more time for self care than a full time strip club schedule. Being in the Northeast will allow me the comforts of having more close friends and family members around, so I’m motivated to stay on track, and feel more supported. Plus, my friend up here is trying to help me land technical writing jobs, which are not possible to work remotely. I think it’s time for a mother-fucking change. I’m thoroughly displeased with my work life and personal life. And I’m sick of lying to people all the time. It’d be nice to reach a place where I can be happy with my career choices and my lifestyle.

Fuck it Friday

February 15, 2013

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So, it’s been a productive Friday.

I decided to cut ties with the marine this morning. He’s dumped, but doesn’t know it yet, since I took the middle school approach of unfriending him and deleting our text and call history.

I was assigned to yet another day shift at work and there was only one other girl. After my fourth stage set where one couple and a few young guys just stared without tipping, I beelined to the dressing room, shoved my shit in a Mardi Gras tote bag and peaced out with all of $3. The poor DJ; he’s sweet and I would’ve liked to at least tip him out.

I’ve long suspected my club used my alleged solicitation behavior as an excuse or catalyst to demote me to day shift since most girls in their right mind have no desire to work them and aren’t exceedingly good sports like me;

I’ve been their day shift bitch before, broke free from it and got sucked back in. Girls are dropping like flies at my club and I can see why. They basically took thousands upon thousands out of my wallet by demoting me (“temporarily”) right before the Super Bowl and are still trying to keep me trapped in day shifts and swing shifts only.

Yet, I’ve stayed several times to work night shift when they were short on girls, or, in the case of last Saturday, when there’s a FUCKING SHOOTING RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR CLUB AND NO NIGHT SHIFT GIRLS ARE ABLE TO GET PAST NOPD YELLOW TAPE TO GET TO WORK.

I’ve been a good sport time and time again, I endured a horrendously slow January waiting for the Super Bowl payoff. I’ve helped them out, stayed loyal, not fucked with hard drugs and not prostituted in VIP or even used the least bit solicitary language to sell private rooms. And they return that by screwing me out of my Super Bowl and Mardi Gras money. They are having enough trouble retaining staff, they should try and be reasonable to girls like me who stay pretty sober, never miss shifts and don’t complain.

So speaking of the shooting, which was quite jarring to hear about and fortunately not witness, I texted the marine boy when it happened:

Him: How’s work.

Me: Well….there was just a shooting out front.

Him: Oh, damn!

Me: Yeah, I’m off at 11, don’t feel too safe about leaving, the street’s a shit-show.

Him: NO REPLY

Half the security guys and DJ’s at most strip clubs are ex-Marines and they all concurred he should have offered to come get me. Duh. Marine or not. Be a fucking man.

Yesterday being Valentine’s, I stayed at the guy’s house all day while he worked, marathoning Generation Kill (which is amazing, by the way) and picking up his dog’s poop when she decided to drop a deuce on the carpet right in front of me. What do I get?

He comes home, basically ignores me, starts doing his Mandarin Rosetta Stone and giving me a headache with his stupid pronunciation drills, continues to play on Facebook, and makes no offer to cook dinner.

He didn’t come home bearing gifT of any sort. I’m not a shallow girl who wants roses, jewels etc….but given his limited military budget, would a fucking $4 Russell Stover chocolate box be so bad? All I wanted was an acknowledgement; a small gesture

He always cooks, and I offer to buy the ingredients, yet last night I could barely convince him to go to the grocery store. When I finally did, he said he wanted fruit and French Toast for dinner; yeah that shit’s cute at breakfast, but I have little sweet tooth and guys who are into sweets turn me off (it’s a mental thing since my Dad never eats dessert and nobody in my family is huge on it. Main courses are so much better!)

So, talk about a clean slate. I wanted to quit the job before, right when they fucked me on Super Bowl, but the other clubs had done all their temp hiring and I felt trapped.

All of January sucked after New Year’s, so I didn’t have the freedom to say “fuck it” and storm off. Not that I did today, either. But I have guaranteed work in NYC, a promising lead at another club and, worse comes to worse, I’ll work at a lower caliber club for a few weeks to maintain cash flow.

I have to make some concessions until I figure out a new club here on Bourbon or up in NYC (still too chilly up there!) I can do private party stripping through an agency in NYC that I worked for over the summer. It’s more pressure to do more shit than at a topless club, but at least it’s safe, as the owner screens clients.

I’ve also resorted to resuming contact with a Sugar Daddy in NYC and our schedules mesh next week, so that’s some money in my pocket. It seems like all leads point to NYC, but I’ll try Bourbon first. Tomorrow, I have vacation for a week, so I can digest my options. I wouldn’t mind if my club crawled back to me offering a better schedule, considering they are desperate for girls.

I’m bummed out the marine didn’t act like a gentleman last night. There had been red flags and he was a pussy for a marine anyway, not my type lookswise (I prefer dark hair), and basically too country white trash for my tastes. I’m somewhat moderate, politically speaking, and part of that’s rebellion against my bleeding heart liberal past and surroundings growing up, but part of it is just how I am. Still, an elitist side comes out in me when I watch someone fumble to find the right vocabulary word during conversation. When someone so fucking pro second ammendent, yee-haw and gun-toting can’t offer me a sense of protection following live gunfire by my job.

Oh, Roommates….

February 9, 2013

I toss and turn from the heat in my apartment, but the location is unbeatable. I make a lot of concessions because it’s my friend whose name is actually on the lease and I’m sort of a paying guest in his domain. The biggest compromise is the temperature of the unit, which we have control over, unlike some of those Manhattan, auto-radiated residences with windows that are sealed shut. I’m from the Northeast, where everyone’s buried in snow! I don’t believe in running the heat in the upper 70’s, even 80’s, when it’s T-shirt wheather outside.

Oh, and by the way, this Curb Your Enthusiasm bit came back onto my radar because the suspected former LAPD killer on the loose gave it a shout-out in his manifesto:

“Larry David, I agree. 72-82 degrees is way to hot in a residence. 68 degrees is perfect.”

Terry Francona and Finally Realizing My Club Sucks

February 7, 2013

I’ve seen two Terry Francona doppelgangers at work this week, and as a Bostonian Masshole Red Sox fanatic, I can tell the differences between a lookalike and the real deal.

The first time I saw what appeared to be the beloved former Red Sox manager, I was chatting with a group of Boston guys and they tried to claim their friend was Francona, which I called bullshit on.

Yesterday, however, I was primping in the dressing room when my female manager came in and said:

” (Bartender from Rhode Island) is freaking out like a little boy cause there’s a celebrity here. He told me to tell you, Marissa….his name’s….Terry Francona?”

Of course, all the other girls were like, “who?” while I, on the other hand, got giddy, raced to lock my locker and bolted onto the floor as fast as my strapless 8″ heels could carry me.

I couldn’t wait to give him a hug thanking him for the Red Sox heyday memories and let him know I’ve started to read his new memoir “The Red Sox Years.”

I flashed a smile at the bartender, saying “are you serious right now?” and the moment I got within five feet, I could tell it was a moustached, Joe Shmo version,.

“No, I’m not serious,” said the bartender, “but he looks like him, right?”

Who gives a shit. Man, I’m so gullible.

We don’t get nearly enough celebs at my club. Not that all pro athletes and celebs tip well or make good customers, but I think it’s a reflection that my club isn’t that great and, after recent setbacks with my schedule, I’m super eager to move on.

I went to Rick’s Cabaret with a friend last night and scanning the crowd, I thought, “holy crap, this looks like the easiest group of guys to work ever!” All middle aged and white collar.

My club is too much like a glorified bar where customers aren’t pressured enough to spend, like at Rick’s. I realized I’ve settled for a club where I can’t maximize my potential, like I did as a newbie stripper, working at Scandals in Queens (don’t work there, trust me!)

I’m all but good to go starting at Rick’s Sporting Saloon, which will make good training grounds to groom my hustle and ultimately transfer to Rick’s Cabaret.

I’ve let self-consciousness about my age and weight hold me back, but spending a long time at Rick’s Cabaret yesterday demonstrated that some thickness wasn’t a big problem and a mature age wasn’t a big setback either, considering their relatively old clientele. Being black, however…..appears to be a difficult hurtle.

My friend from Penthouse, a club that prefers skinny-minnies, said, “Rick’s knows how to provide a diverse crop of girls; there’s no set type” That is NOT the case in Manhattan, where it’s all anorexic Russians, but it certainly was here in New Orleans.

The house fees at Rick’s are not bad at all. It’s free if you start by 3PM and considering my current club has a swing shift, I’m used to that start time. It only goes up to $100 if you start post-midnight. Not bad for a far superior club, considering most girls have the sense to get there before midnight.

They have $20 table dances with no touching allowed and $60 private dances upstairs; I love the option of having a very accessible price point, and a “get what you pay for” higher price point. The girls keep all $20 of the table dances and $50 out of $60 on privates. Not bad at all! And the VIP’s according to my Penthouse friends, are much better money.

Penthouse short sells themselves on VIP’s, offering a 20 minute option for $150ish and charging only $550 for a full hour. At Ricks, the girls get $800 per hour to themselves; way less of a raw deal than my club or Penthouse.

I’m excited to move on soon! I’m also excited for my brief trip to NYC, Boston, and possibly Houston,. coming up, which is why I might postpone Ricks’ Sporting Saloon until I get back and have full time availability.

 

Med Head

February 6, 2013

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First, fuck the Super Bowl. It’s a sore subject. The actual game day, I only made $700 and the crowd sucked. The previous two days, I was relegated to day shift and my damn body failed to have adequate energy to stay on for night shift, losing me thousands of dollars. They sold 30 VIP rooms Friday night and I was originally scheduled that shift until I got in trouble. I figure my mental and physical well being should take priority over money, but the timing really sucked and my impulsive decision to blatantly leave with a customer and expect my managers to magically understand it was nothing solicitary kicked my ass. I was at the point of crying, trying to find coke for energy, and yelling at people out of frustration.

I contributed to aTimes Picayune piece about the Super Bowl as an interviewee using “Autumn” as my name, so check it out!

I also finally contributed to the stellar collaborative sex worker blog “Tits & Sass” here, something I’ve meant to do for over a year.

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t stick strictly to the topic of stripping here. I think mental health and substance abuse issues go hand in hand with sex work, anyhow, but it’s funny how evident my bipolarity is, seeing as my posts are mostly suicidal or euphoric in tone without much in between.

I was happy to hear about Roberrt De Niro showing his emotional side to Katie Couric while discussing Silver Linings Playbook (minute 29 of the video.)

I made it clear to my family (the ones I speak with) that I was eager to see that movie the minute I saw the trailer. Of course, after viewing, my Gramma and cousin looked to me in that cautiously awkward way to ask if I thought it was “accurate.”

Sure. They portray Pat as a bit precious and infantile, allowing for comic relief, but as the film’s actors and director say to Couric, it’s a movie that starts a conversation about mental health that can whittle away at stigma. The interviewees speak openly about being “close” to bipolar people, but only Ted Kennedy’s son admits openly to his diagnosis.

Last week, I was on Twitter, and Tera Patrick, the porn star, was Tweeting that she never had a diagnosis or took meds for mental health issues. However, I read her book Sinner Takes All, which says otherwise. In fact, I read the opening of the book, when she’s being admitted to a psych ward, while being admitted to a psych ward. It was somewhat beautiful timing. In the book, she says she was diagnosed as bipolar and felt, at the time, like the diagnosis explained a lot. She didn’t go into detail about medication, but said she spent a long time in AA, eventually settling into a healthy relationship with moderate drinking. I respect that and she has fun rants on Twitter if you follow her (very fan friendly); I just think she’s going back on her word (due to stigma?)

Living a life free of meds is great and I struggle with people wanting me to “comply” to medication regimens I’m not a fan of, namely, my stepmom, who is a nurse, and very brainwashed by the medical system.

My new, soon to be former, shrink in Boston, doesn’t like the three drugs I take; Lamictal (which I admit doesn’t do shit), Klonopin and Trazodone. She wants me on all the zombie, fat people pills like Depakote, Seroquel and Lithium. And it ain’t gonna happen. Sorry.

I heard Dave Grohl talked shit about Britney Spears for being a zombie on Chelsea Lately and thought, “dude, you dealt with Kurt Cobain; you should understand that Britney, like him, is dealing with some shit, and much like court-ordered AA meeting attendance, she can regain control of her life by taking whatever meds are making her the bloated zombie she’s become.” People think pills are the be-all, end-all and I can all but guarantee Britney will enjoy making her own decisions and expanded custody rights if she is arbitrarily compliant. My foreign friends find American pill culture shockingly overzealous. They don’t pump high schoolers full of ADHD stimulants to boost their numbers overseas and parents will reconsider sending their kids abroad if access to ADHD treatment is too limited. Just look at private school review boards; whether or not ADD treatment is available is among the five first things listed about a school.

 

In other news, I’ve resorted to signing up for Sugar Daddy websites. I really don’t want to go down the sex for money road, but my strategy is to arrange dinner and drink dates under the conditions they have to bring me a gift or money instead of getting the “free trial” date. I’ve tried those sites before, and you mainly get cheap hooker lookers. It’s hard to ask for money without either putting out or meeting face to face first, so wish me luck! Most of those dudes want a freebie first date, but if I’m selling TIME, which is legal (not sex) I should be compensated!

**PS, pardon the errors contained in this post; my crappy computer, combined with an awkward new WordPress format are trying my patience.

Deja Vu and Moving Forward

February 1, 2013

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I need to nip my unraveling toward a nervous breakdown in the bud until February 18th, once Mardi Gras and my Houston trip for NBA All-Star Weekend are through with.

I’m pumped for Houston, not only because I can get a bus there for $8-$25, but my friend, who works in sports, is expensing a room I can share, so my overhead will be nil, and New Orleans will have that post Mardi Gras lull anyway, before things pick up in March.

I went out with my new Italian friend Wednesday night and yesterday I had to hit the social security office first thing in the morning, to get a card for a sedond job, followed by day shift.

I’m losing so much fucking money on this day shift prison sentence, guys. It’s killing me. I was so tired from going out the previous evening, I scrapped my plans to audition at the other club after finishing my shift, so hopefully I get in there tonight.

Yesterday, I stupidly let customers buy me 3-4 “tall” Vodka Red Bulls, after consuming vodka red bulls and hurricanes the previous evening, so I found myslef suddently jittery combined with crashing and burning at the same time. I was dying for food and my go-to cheap place (coincidentally called Deja Vu), had a never-ending busy signal. My face looked so pallid and tired, I lacked the energy and confidence to audition at the other spot under the circumstances. Hopefully that spot works out tonight, or my club lets me stay late after finishing dayshift (say 9, 10, midnight.)

The big money descending on the crescent city is palpable. I had majority $10 and $20 tips on stage, with a few fives, and barely any singles. I felt so crummy, I puked up some vodka red bull and could barely choke down a sleep-inducing Klonopin, let alone solid food) I passed over 24 hours without eating and after a nice night’s sleep and a little food, I’m feeling better about working today. Iwas so wiped yesterday, I forgot to cash in the $600 VIP room voucher I had from New Year’s at the end of the shift.

I felt entirely too self-loathing yesterday, because I was looking less than 100% and making less than 100% of my earning potential on the shift. It’s bad enough I’m working under a temporay demotion to days shifts, but I need to make the best of it. The better I behave and more I earn, the more likely they’ll work with me on letting me stay late into night shift territory, or getting me back on night shifts sooner rather than later. I’m upset with myself over my misbehavior. I never used to be friends with the strippers and now I’m always going out too late. The marine I’m dating is a nice calming presence, despite my afforementioned fear of his guns, because he lives a tamer lifestyle and we just lounge around, cook and watch movies together; nothing wild.

When he picked me up yesterday, I told him I wasn’t feeling too good in my own head and that being mad at myself was culminating with the depression of consuming high alcohol volume, while suffering financially at work and shooting myself in the foot. I told him I had some weariness about his superfluous guns and asked him just to stay with me and hold me; to talk and keep the conversation light until I dozed off (at 8:30PM!) so I didn’t have to be in my own head. I didn’t force him to lock his guns away, but after two long conversations with friends, I’ve been thinking, “what is he trying to prove or compensate for with all these guns?” I realize some people collect them and that having more than one gun serves different purposes (ie something small you can carry discretely, versus a hunting rifle.) But it’s reminiscent of the big car syndrome, like he’s trying to be more of a man.

I’d rather he had a proper security system, actually locked his back door (yeah he leaves it unlocked, even though he has an arsenal of self defense, what the fuck is that?) and maybe got a guard dog. My other friend with guns has two pit bulls, so they could attack and disable an intruder without guns having to enter the picture.

In any case, I’m looking to cut back on drinking, make sure I eat and sleep a sound amount (fresh, quality food whenever possible) and just take it down a notch. Yesterday, I was falling to pieces and just wanted to say “fuck stripping!” but the timing is not conducive to that. I have to plug on and take care of myself well enoughto make it through this busy few weeks coming up. Then I’ll probably cut back to three shifts a week and focus my energy elsewhere. As long as I pay off my IRS tab by my March 5 due date, my cost of living overhead is low enough to cut myself a break. I’ve gotten too caught up in the stripper lifestyle, and I might try and work private parties instead (shorter hours, fewer co-workers trying to party, but raunchier expectations than in my club.)

I’m going to try giving up booze for Lent. Beyond Lent we’ll see. The whole AA meeting, “30 day-3 month chip” lame crap is not my preference, but I’d like to look at it as a weight loss and overall well being thing for the short term. Long term, I will need to address my drinking problems and whether I realistically can be a “social drinker” or “moderate drinker” without getting out of hand now and then.

I feel a million times better than yesterday, but yesterday, my depressed, exhausted feelings were further exacerbated by the above average propositioning. This group of big money Italians from New York, and their non-Italian friend kept bragging, indiscretely that they were connected and he couldn’t be “made” himself, due to his heritage. He further claimed he was “on the other side,” as a cop, but I know he’s on BOTH sides by the wad of $800, give or take, he was flashing around.

He kept saying I should hang out at the house they rented together, all fifteen husky, mobbed-up, ones of them. Eek, no thanks. Their most socially inept friend stepped in and proceeded to give me the worst “pitch” on why we should hang out. He literally said, “we’re not chop you up into bits kinda guys. None of us has been convicted of a violent crime in six years.” Wow, what a deal-sealer, sign me up! Between him and some other guys, I got this bad feeling in my gut.

Feeling sketched out combined with my depressed state made me so uneasy. I’m exctied for the money coming my way this weekend (even if I lose night shift money and don’t get hired at the other club.) But I just have this icky feeling, knowing with this huge event will come a couple casualties, how many of those are strippers or prostitutes, versus tourist civilians or whatever remains to be seen, but I hate knowing that trouble is in the air. Hopefully I get cheerful and peppy later and just have fun with it. With the extra dough I’ll be making, I don’t mind asking my door guys to walk me all the way home, even though it’s a bit further than the average walk they give us.

There are tons of New Yorkers around, not just Baltimore and San Francisco, and a coupole sweet Brooklynite Italians from Bensonhurst tipping us $20’s just ’cause, made up for their sketchy Bay Ridge Brooklyn counterparts. This one fucking waitress is pissing me off, though. She actively sits and flirts with the custtomers and sells lots of dances. She’s not only cutting into our earnings, but she’s lowring the support staff’s tip-outs and, asa girl who waitresses by day, strips by night, she’s explicitly managing to have it both ways, which is pretty obnoxious. She carries herself around like she’s hot shit and too cool for the rest of us and, fortunately for me, the door guy said he’s going to talk to management about how she’s digging into our earnings and fucking him out of tipout.