Sunrise as seen biking to work along Lake Shore Drive bike trail off Diversey Harbor approx 635 AM Wed May 15, 2013
This ends what may be my longest self imposed writing block in years. Life has been exciting and full of activity, but it was also activity that I embarked on while in great pain. At times I was able to hide it, other times numb and mask it via too much alcohol, but most of the time it was to intense to cover up, and that’s what my co workers and some of my friends have seen. From the first weekend of this past February up till last week I was just about prepared to accept that I was going to have to live the life of a near cripple. I was learning to live with it 24-7.There have been injuries where I have had no choice but to deal with the pain, however this was much different, it impaired walking, standing up, sleeping, and walking stairs up or down was just about the most difficult part of the ordeal. For months getting into and out of a car or taxi cab was a feat of incredible strain and effort, and still over the months of suffering, and having the questions hovering around in my mind about my kidneys, none of it prevented me from keeping a commitment to a friend. I still went out, I still walked from point A to point B, I was dedicated to carry heavy loads of my laundry 4 blocks to and from the laundromat and still do my shopping on foot. They say you can’t keep a good man down, well baby, it looks like despite my rock n roll bad boy reputation, I’m sorry to say, I’m a good man.
What I haven’t done was update this diary and I am here to do that today.
My sciatica, it seems to be wearing away, for now. I will continue the painful and expensive treatments periodically and continue my exercises but for now I am able to ride my bike and that is something 2 weeks ago was all but a little dream for ol worn out AZ. Not one to take this for granted, I will take full advantage as the timing could not be better.
This weekend I have a full plate unlike I’ve had in months and it looks to stay that way for about a month. My 2013 calendar is filling up all the way into September now with the announcement of Riot Fest where I’ll be able to see Motorhead outside for the first time since 1997.
Tomorrow after work and a hair appointment I shall venture once again to The Zhou B Art Center 1029 West 35th Street Chicago and join the usual suspects Saint Vincent and Saint David. for an evening of cultured shenanigans. I’m not sure if I’ll stop at Holiday Club for my obligatory cocktail from Caitlin or not but I do not intend to do a whole lot of anything that involves being out of mi Casa Diablo after midnight.
Saturday if I can get laundry and groceries taken care of early enough, or whether or not I do I’m meeting my friend Tom at the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square to see Iron Man 3 again. He hasn’t seen it and I promised I’d go along. Tom has been ill the last few years after retiring from teaching, he has only been doing taxes and this past season will be his last as my CPA. We’ll certainly have a drink or 2 and maybe a bite to eat at Carola’s Hansa Clipper 4659 N Lincoln Ave (at Leland Ave) before going separate ways and me getting a decent night of sleep. A good night of sleep that will end at 5 AM Sunday morning.
At 7 AM I am meeting (Fizz) Ed Kowolski, my side kick and best friend from the 80;s downtown near my office for breakfast as he gets in from Elgin where he’s staying with family over the weekend for a big chef convention going on over at McCormick Place. I’ve seen Ed only one time since 1990 and it was 2 years ago this month and we caught up, BBQ’d, went to see burlesque and a country/blues band, BBQ’d and had some ice cold beer. Ed is now the Man B Que organizer for the Columbus Ohio chapter. At 10 AM we’ll take the train to Mount Prospect where we’ll meet up with Newbomb Turk himself, Bob Fucking Hoeksema, who it seems like I haven’t seen since 1990 though it’s only been a year.
Then we’re off to Volo Auto Museum!
Established in 1960 by the Grams family, the Volo Auto Museum collector car dealerships draws international attention to the beautiful country village of Volo, Illinois. With over 300 classic, antique, muscle and Hollywood cars on display and for sale, they are rated #2 auto museum in the world. See the George Barris TV and Movie car collection, Military Museum, auto attractions and so much more. Plus nearly all of our cars are for sale! The Volo Auto Museum was constructed from a Dairy Farm, built back in 1848 and has been deemed haunted by the Discovery Channel. The Volo Auto Museum, 50 miles northwest of Chicago, is open year round.
Nonetheless, honestly, you know we’re going for the Batman exhibit www.volocars.com/attractions-hollywood.htm#sthash.zFoYhs2Z.dpbs
When we’re done there Turk has promised me the best hot wings in the region at Gators Wing Shack Grill & Pizzeria www.gatorswingshack.com and when that’s done it’s Ed and I back to the city and mi Casa Diablo.
Monday after work Ed is meeting me at the Davis and we’ll take in the new Star trek movie. Fizz mentioned how the last time we saw a film together was Batman in 1989. Then we’ll grill a late dinner, something exotic from Genes Sausage Shop 4750 N Lincoln Ave Chicago www.genessausageshop.com and in the morning I’m off to work and he’s off to his home, and wife in Columbus Ohio.
Last weekend I was overdue for a lil Alex time. I had an agenda and managed to adhere to it only going off course in the early evening Saturday in Lincoln Square which is more often than no the case when I am there. Friday after work I hobbled down Jackson Blvd to Barnes & Noble where I had intended to purchase “Waiting to Be Heard” by Amanda Knox and “The Doors: Unhinged (Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial)” by John Densmore. The Densmore book has garnished a decent amount of press since it was released last month yet B&N did not have it in stock or on order. They suggested Amazon. For fucks sake, the competition, why didn’t they just tell me to go to Barbara’s Books or Books A Million? I did pick up the Amanda Knox book, Shania Twain’s autobiography and the Steve O autobiography, and wasted no time at all getting into the Knox memoir.
Once home I pondered getting a drink but nixed the thought and caught whatever was on TV and hit the hay pretty early, 9 PM would be my guess. I was still in pain and exhausted from my work week. I slept in till 730 which is a pretty big deal for me.
Saturday morning was a very productive morning. Did laundry, dropped off dry cleaning, bought tamales while doing laundry, which were 6 for $5 but the young Hispanic gent gave me 7 for $5. The jalapeno and cheese were by far the best for my tastes. Then I picked up groceries and then bought a bike rack, head lamp, tire pump, and a storage pack for the handle bars, as well as sports socks and vitamins at Target came home, changed and was out the door to Lincoln Square to see Iron Man 3.
After I purchased my ticket I browsed Laurie’s Planet of Sound where I almost bought a bootleg DVD of 4 of Warhol’s silent films, but opted not due to not knowing the quality. Of course as if by nature I popped into Carolas Hansa Clipper where I ordered a double shot of Jack on the rocks and entertained myself with the company of three native Irish folk, in a German pub who were as jolly as can be. An old Russian man made small talk and I was off to what would be what i consider the best of all 3 Iron Man films, mostly becasue it focused more on Tony and less on the suit. I could not have been more thrilled with the entire flick.
I returned to Carolas Hansa Clipper where I was intent on one drink but ended up having fun and sat at a table with my new friends Sergio and Jacquelyne Garcia after we met as I was putting songs on the jukebox. She is a Chicagoan he is from Spain and the couple hours we chatted before I went home were great conversation. We’ve since stayed in touch.
As usual I learned that for some reason these days I tend to have a lot of fun and make new friends and acquaintances when I fly solo. This night would prove to be no exception and Hansa Clipper is certainly a good place to do so.
Sunday Mothers Day, a day I either need to be occupied or alone. This time I chose self imposed isolation.
This is not for the reason people think, and that is that my mother passed away several years ago, it is something I will discuss with people if it comes up or there is reason to discuss. I never really knew her. For whatever reason be it what she told me or what my father and led me to believe I don’t really know, but it would be a long time before I’d see her after I turned 5 years old. I carried memories and all through my life, especially the years that my father and first step mother divorced always wanted to find her. A young man has a right to know his mother, especially being he remembered her from his very early years. I was that young man. When I turned 16 and got my drivers permit I had my birth certificate for the first time to do so. This was 1981 and there was no internet but we did have 411 directory information. I tracked down a lady with her same last name, this would be my aunt Jeannie, a lady that would later become not only a very close family member for the half of my family I never knew, but also a best friend. She was also a lesbian and a woman that opened my eyes to a world deemed immoral and wrong by my upbringing, my fathers side of the family. In retrospect I remember my father always referring to her as “that old dyke”.
Two years later when I turned 18 and half way to finishing my senior year of High School, my aunt found my mother living in Texas and that Christmas we’d reunite at my aunts home in Columbus Ohio. it was awkward but at the time I thought anything had to be better than the option of my father, a thought I would later learn the hard way was wrong. That holiday while I was away my father would marry his third wife, a young woman only two years older than myself. When you’re and 18 year old high school rock star wanna be, that can be a little awkward. At least for me it was. My newly discovered mother invited me to come to Dallas and live with her after graduation and I happily accepted.
That lasted 3 months and she kicked me out. That was the summer of 1983 and the next and last time I’d ever see her was the summer of 1990 when she humiliated me in front of my then girlfriend Jill who would a few years later go on to be porn star Christina Angel. My mother was drunk and very mean to me the entire weekend and when I did not show up at the airport to see her off my Aunt Jeannie told her “don’t be surprised if he never speaks to you again.”
Oct. 2005 putting my mothers ashes at the Airport Mesa Vortex Sedona AZ
It would be 2003 before we’d reconnect and we spoke just about every Sunday for 18 months. She was pretty much sober, alone, older and had lost everything due to drinking. Her high rolling days at the jazz clubs of North Dallas were long gone. She’d burned through 8 marriages and enough DUI’s to land her ass in jail and now with no drivers license. She was now living in a trailer in the middle of Florida, alone and working the bar at a local country club. Then in the summer of 2004 I got a call, she was dying, and I of all people was next of kin, and it was my decision whether or not to pull the plug. Doctors called me day and night and I was doing a lot of shows with Ministry that summer and had booked a flight to go down to Florida and make that call, one I would not do over the phone, and I spent the weekend with Bob Hoeksema and was to fly out the next day. By the time I got home from Bob’s she gave me the one gift that mattered since birth, she passed away and I would not have to make that call on her life support.
When I got to Florida I went to the funeral home, made arrangements to have her cremated, took care of her property and returned home where her remains would be sent to me though the mail. That was a hard part, you cannot legally fly with human remains.
A year later I would take her remains out to Sedona and spread them at the Airport Mesa Vortex, which is my favorite spot in the lower 48, so far. I felt good about what I had done, mainly becasue I didn’t have to as I hardly knew the woman at all. If not, her body may very well have remained unclaimed.
It is not her that dampens my emotions on Mothers Day, but the woman that raised me from 6 yrs old to 14 who I called Mom, who would go on to eventually turn her back on me and betray me in my late teens. She would now in my life be reduced to a spoiled, selfish self centered person who never really got over the fact that I wanted to find my birth mother, and what may very well be the biggest reason there is such a strain between my father and I.
That short paragraph may be the only time I’ve mentioned her in any of my professional or personal writing other than my pending memoirs, ‘Hope Resides in the Unsatisfied Mind.” That is all she will ever get.
I do have to give her credit for one thing though, giving birth to my brother Blue, my blood and my best friend.
I spent the morning preparing my healthy lunch for the work week, working on my bicycle, and my plats outside and before I knew it, it as only noon. I went out and bought myself a platter of sushi and watched Wolverine, Two Mules For Sister Sarah, and Gangs of New York. I took one phone call and it was from Morgan Russell, and we chatted maybe half and hour. Back. Get it. I didn’t even think of it and as we hung up she told me she wanted to call because she knew it’d be a little sentimental for me this day, not her words, but it meant a lot. Yeah, I must have let her in at some point, I guess I had to let someone in.
I was in bed by 9, the next morning at 5 AM and I’d be biking to work.
The first of the month would bring First Friday at the MCA and I was worked up for it. As usual when I need to be somewhere on a Friday night the weather is either windy or rainy, this Friday it’d be both which meant BAD ALEX HAIR and I was tired of dressing nice and doing these events looking less that what I want so I found a hair salon in the west loop and a lady named Antonia and she did a bang up job on my hair which took about an hour, maybe more. (tomorrow I’m doing the Zou B Art Gallery and the weather calls for rain so she’ll see me again after work)
When I got to the MCA it was the “usual suspects” and Kimmy, I ate some food before ordering cocktails and we went about our usual business looking at art, meeting people and posing for photos. It was a good time as usual and I bought some coasters and “The Little Big Book of Breasts” and ordered another, ‘The Big Book of Butts”. David and I stayed around a bit and then he gave me a lift home.
Back at Casa Diablo there as a little drama but nothing my take no shit manner for once couldn’t take care of and I was out of the house Saturday AM, shopped for clown make up, food, and ran errands all afternoon. When I came home I started to do some cleaning, well, my condition would not permit it so I called my maid Missi and she was there in an hour and 4 hours (back) later my home looked amazing. I hugged her good bye as this would be the last time I’d ever see her as her and her man are moving away and I started to think about how hard it would be to replace her.
It was early to bed as I had a lot to do the next morning as Sunday afternoon would bring the long awaited, CLOWN BBQ!
Dave arrived just after 1PM and I had just finished all of the prep work on the food and he did my make up which took about an hour. Paul arrived next Dav’es date Katie, then Kimmy, then Vincent and Nora and Thomas came make up already done and rode the CTA from Rosemont full of rowdy Cubs fans. The booze took hold as I began to BBQ, the neighbors enjoyed the show and we enjoyed giving it to them. It was all that I hoped it would be and I had lots of leftover food and drink. The house, it was fine. All of the plates and cups were disposable and all I had to clean were utensils. Performers certainly make for better house guests than main-streamers for sure.
I woke up with clown make up on my pillows.
Friday April 26 I had been invited and put on the guest list for Reggies Rock Club A C2E2 After Hours event: Skeletor’s Evil Plan! Complete with Aliens, Time travel, Fire, Damsels in distress, Resurrection, Metal mayhem, Villainy, and special guest- Kitty Zombie! but first I would venture to Chinatown and grabbed drink and some food at the new Lao Ma La at 2017 S Wells St (in Chinatown Square)
Lao Ma La, a corner refuge of hot pots, spicy chicken giblets and kung pao shrimp, mini wok filled with sizzling pork intestine, small clay hot pots filled with a fiery broth and anything from grilled shrimp to pork balls. There are copious amounts of chilies are stuffed into every dish here, but the spice level nevertheless remains manageable. In fact, you might even find yourself wanting for more punch. If that’s the case, order the “House Special Spicy Boiled Fish,” a dish that pops with the fire of dried chilies and those awesome namesake peppercorns.
I ordered up a drink at the bar and also some pork kidneys, and three skewers, pork, chicken and shrimp before heading out to have my hair styled. Yes, it was Friday and the wind was angry as usual dear reader. I returned had one more cocktail and the walked over to Reggie’s where I sat and made a friend at the bar while waiting on my friend Karen. Where there’s Karen, there’s Jack Daniels, and this would be no different. We were cocked and loaded in no time. She gave me lift home, stayed over and went and played a gig with her new band. She just moved back and already has a steady and paying bass gig.
That’s pretty much it up to the minute. The severe pain has subsided though there is lingering soreness that returns from time to time and when I need to lift my leg to get on or off my bike. The results from my blood tests for my kidneys were not reassuring at all, next I go back for ultrasound to diagnose this mass on my right kidney, and unless its imperative I’ll put off any surgery till after Labor Day. As I mentioned my calendar is filling up and I am intent on enjoying this summer. Last summer when we lost Jamie Duffy in June it pretty much ended summer for most of us.
With that said, lets celebrate living! Wanna join me? – AZ
When I biked home from work this evening I had a message from this certain dating site I’ve been on. I got one similar to it last night and I have to say it’s nice to finally after all the months of being on and off this thing that there are rare instances that some women are able to look past the image and see the real me.
You fascinate….you clearly know yourself well and know your way around scenes you enjoy. You resonate as intelligent, leaning toward darker things and unafraid to taste all that life has to offer…would that you lived closer than Chicago. In spite of the distance, I would love to open a conversation…one can never meet too many intriguing people. I am Julie and would love to hear from you…
There is a woman, a musician, singer song writer who connected with me last night. I’m pondering inviting her out to meet me at Zou B tomorrow evening. Lets see if first that I can convince her that I really really do not enjoy communicating by text. I’d sooner send smoke signals.
By the way, I’m working on something pretty big, my one MK ULTRA production of the summer featuring Porn’s Punk Princess and her friends. Stay tuned!