I’ve got a couple online friends whom I email and talk about music. One of them recently mentioned Frank Zappa’s 1979 album, “Joe’s Garage.” I remember my brother owned the album back when we were in high school. I remember seeing it propped up by his desk and I know I heard it but it didn’t make much impression at the time. I was probably listening to KISS, who I haven’t listened to in decades – but they sure seemed great when I was fourteen!
I’ve always been aware of Frank Zappa and admired him in a vague way (cool guy, iconoclast, super talented) but I’ve never really known his music. So I’m happy to say I’m really enjoying this album, which I’ve been listening to lately while editing pics. To me Zappa always seemed like one of those “musicians’ musicians” who was genius-level talented but hard to connect with, at least for me. Good stuff and worth the time. Strange album with some super catchy songs- and that title track just makes me happy!
When I moved back to Los Angeles from Denver last January I wasn’t sure if I was making the right move but I knew I had to give it a try. I originally left L.A. in 2010 because I was really just sick of the stress and congestion of the city. Granted, my last living situation was not that good, living in a bad neighborhood in Hollywood, so after eight years of that it was pretty easy to leave for the peace and quiet of Colorado. But when this chance to come back and live in the Valley came along it just made sense. I love and miss Colorado but for what I’m doing right now it’s probably better to be here in Southern California. And thankfully the move turned out to be surprisingly easy. I jettisoned a lot of my old belongings and within a few weeks it felt like it was back to normal. It’s strange; I really had expected the 2010’s to be my “Colorado years” – Funny how things turn out.
Of course, now I’m a little shocked that we’re already heading into 2013, but I feel optimistic about it. The upcoming ten-year anniversary of the website is exciting and I fully intend to keep the site going for a good long time, but still it’s tough to imagine what things will look like another ten years into the future (assuming I’m still around, which I’m certainly planning to be.) But when I look back in ten-year chunks at the past decades and see how different each one has been it just shows that making an accurate predication about the future is really a long shot. It just seems there are always those unforeseens. Plans turn out differently, we’re certain of a relationship that suddenly ends, we think we’re on a clear path and it turns sharply. So although I’m an optimist, I’m also something of a reluctant optimist for I have too much awareness of how things inevitably change and, sadly, decay – the unavoidable truth of time marching onward and all that comes with that – things I think about way more than I should.
But it’s been an interesting year. I love being back in L.A. even though it can still be a royal pain in the ass to live in this city. My end-of-the-year musings always wind up turning a little (or a lot) melancholy so I’ll just wrap this up here. In any case, here’s wishing all the best to everyone in the new year, and of course lots more bondage fun and games for everyone in the year, and years, ahead…
I haven’t been blogging much lately, so it’s probably time for some more pictures of Katy Perry in latex, of which she really likes (also quite fond of President Obama). She looks fantastic, of course, and is just as beautiful in non-latex on that Elle cover. Oh, yes, she’s also a very good singer…
When I heard earlier this year that Ian Anderson was going to go out touring and play the entire Thick as a Brick album with back-up musicians for its fortieth anniversary, I knew I’d have to go. So being a good sport, my friend Kim agreed to be dragged along the other night to the Long Beach Performing Arts Center for yet another Jethro Tull concert, even though he’s not really into their music. We were in guy mode and didn’t see any crossdressers this time (unlike the 2009 show). I had a great time and was amazed to hear how practically note-for-note they played that entire classic album, which Ian has always claimed was originally meant to be a parody of the progressive rock scene of its day. I remember hearing it when I was about ten years old and immediately thinking, “What is this?” and I was hooked, even though at that age I had no idea what the album was really about – still don’t but it’s held up amazingly well over the years.
Earlier this year, Ian also released a sequel, Thick as a Brick 2, which I immediately thought was a really bad idea. But after listening to it a few times it does have a few very strong tunes and overall holds up okay even though it can’t possible match the original album from ’72. After the intermission they played the entire follow-up album and did the inevitable encore with “Locomotive Breath” from the Aqualung album. All in all, it was a great show though the energy of the audience seemed a little dampened. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably keep going to Ian’s shows for as long as he keeps cranking it out.
Kinky Kollege – Like I mentioned in the last post I’m also going to the Kinky Kollege convention in Chicago this weekend to help my friend who’s speaking there. I had two shoots in just the last few days so I’m frantically trying to pack today and keep my bags under 50 pounds (not easy!) I’m way behind on email again so I apologize for anyone who’s waiting to hear from me. Hopefully I can catch up on things after Halloween. Have a fun one if you’re going out dressed!
There’s been lots of chatter online about Lady Gaga’s performance as her male alter-ego Jo Calderone on the recent MTV Video Music Awards. As usual, I’m way behind the curve, but if you haven’t see it, her performance here is pretty darn amazing and she throws herself into it completely.
I recently saw this cover for the album “Colonia” from the indie band A Camp (apparently a side project from the lead singer of The Cardigans, Nina Persson). I have no flippin’ idea what’s going on in this picture but it vaguely turns me on. Is her hair being styled? And what’s with the big sheet and the glass jar? I’m puzzled but intrigued, as it all seems slightly dangerous, though maybe I’m reading something into it that isn’t there. If there were duct tape involved, I’d be swooning. Anyway, their song, “Here Are Many Wild Animals,” is also pretty catchy (neat montage of “women in film” that someone put together too).
As I wrote on a post a while back, I was a big “Tull” fan way back in High School, and recently I saw that they were going to perform here in Denver for the 40th anniversary of their “Aqualung” album. So my sister in law agreed to go with me and we had a great time last night seeing them at Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is one of the most spectacular places in Colorado. It was a great show and though age has taken its inevitable toll, they still majorly rocked out. I was of course in guy mode but I’ve always thought it would be something to go dressed to a rock concert. Maybe one of these days for the right show. Still, it was a fun time, and Kansas was the opening act, who were also quite good, though their guitar player looked like grandpa. Gotta love those old rockers!
I was reading something about glam-rock star Marc Bolan of T-Rex, who died back in ’77, just days before his thirtieth birthday in a car crash. And that led me to a link for the good ol’ Death Clock website. I’d forgotten all about this website but I really enjoy it! The concept is so wicked. You type in some details about yourself and it tells you statistically when you may expect to die. There are also settings for a normal, optimistic, or pessimistic reading, which slant the numbers. The normal reading gives me about 25 years, though on the pessimistic setting I’ve only got ten (damn, that’s soon!) There’s also a sadistic setting, but you don’t really want to go there. The optimistic setting puts me way into my nineties, which is so far away that it’s almost not worth considering. I am a bit death-obsessed, I’ll admit, so I LOVE this kind of thing. Here’s to many more good and active years ahead for us all (uh, as long as we can avoid exterminating ourselves as a species on our little planet). As the Brits say, Cheers!
After a sleep-deprived night I’m sitting here again in DIA, waiting on my flight to L.A. It’ll be nice to see old friends again though I wish it were under happier circumstances.
Been listening to: Since I’m heading back again it seemed appropriate last night to listen to The Thrills’ excellent album “So Much for the City.” I remember back in 2003 when it came out and there was all kinds of talk on the radio about these Irish guys who sang songs about California and had the jangly-guitar sounds and harmonies of surf music. They were gonna be huge! And then they released a couple more albums, which were good but never really re-captured the excitement of their first effort, and they’ve since been pretty quiet since 2007. Big Sur was one of their best songs. Ah, so young and full of promise. I miss those days…
We had a wonderful turnout at the Club Fantasy party last night – well over 30 people with a lot of play going on. It was really nice to see so many friends and meet some nice new people too. Then today I went with a good friend to a “corset tea” salon at the Hollywood and Highland Center and met some more nice people, including a charming lady whom I had the pleasure of sitting next to. The great thing about being in Hollywood and walking around crossdressed is that no one bats an eye, except for maybe the tourists, in which case I’m just playing my role in the ongoing freak show. That’s certainly one thing I miss about L.A.
Been listening to: I recently heard “Ghost of Love” again, from David Lynch’s super-bizarre “Inland Empire,” back in 2006. The hypnotic thing’s been going through my mind since. David Lynch even does the singing (what can’t he do?), though his voice is so heavily processed that I wasn’t sure if it was a man or a woman when I first heard it.
The Bieber: Is it wrong that I kind of want to see the upcoming Justin Bieber movie?
I’m not real crazy about shopping but do a fair amount of it to get new outfits for taking pictures and going out. For more fetish-ey kinds of things I often just buy online, which has its own hassles with returning things that don’t fit, but I also go shopping locally at places like Ross, Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory and even Target occasionally. And like I’ve mentioned before, even after all these years, I’ll sometimes get insecure about being a guy looking at women’s clothes. I was talking to another CD the other day who said the same thing. He was planning to go out shopping in guy mode, made it into the store, and then lost his nerve and turned around and just kept walking. I’m sure many of us could relate, as it is often considered a bit odd, or at least unusual, to see a man browsing in the women’s department, whereas the reverse is no big deal at all.
To be honest, I’ve done it so much that I usually do pretty well but if I feel at all nervous it’s usually worse in the first ten minutes. Once I find an item that’s a possibility that usually relaxes me and I just focus on the hunt and get into it. Or if there’s a good song on the Muzak – I heard Macy Gray this afternoon – that can often put me at ease. But starting out can sometimes be slightly uncomfortable, especially since I’m sort of a nervous type to begin with. I know a few other CDs who have this relaxed confidence about them and who never seem to get rattled – yeah, that’s never been me. I’ve also known one or two who have an almost defiant quality to going out, and that’s something I also hope to avoid as it just comes off as angry and as if they have a chip on their shoulder (which, well, they seem to).
Of course, like so many things in life, it’s all a mental game. Most people really don’t care and if they notice or wonder about me at all it’s probably just a passing thought about the tall guy with shaggy hair over there looking at dresses. Then there’s also the whole question of going out shopping while dressed, which is something that I’ve never really enjoyed that much, as I feel like it draws even more attention to me than if I’m just some dude, and ironically enough, for someone who has lots of bondage pictures of themselves online, I don’t really enjoy being a center of attention when I’m out and about. I know other CDs who swear by shopping while dressed and say that’s definitely the way to go. In fact there’s a local CD and her wife who have suggested I should go with them, so I might try it again at some point.
So again, the real challenge is just in that space between my ears. Maybe I just need a nice prescription for some Xanax.
These pictures of Katy Perry in the rubber dress that she wore at her recent Times Square performance have been posted a lot already but I figured they were good for another look, plus a few others with some nice outfits. She looks fantastic, and it’s a look that very few could pull off (I know I couldn’t!) I know her music often gets dismissed as fluff but she does have some super-catchy tunes.
I ordered some photo prints from snapfish the other day and a couple days later got this nice email offer for a little Sandra scrapbook. I checked out the sample pages online and apparently someone (probably being paid minimum wage) put a lot of effort into laying out the pictures, as they appeared to be placed almost by theme. I’m almost tempted to buy it – they did a really nice job! I especially like the email they sent me though, with the nice juxtaposition between my bondage pictures up top and the nice mother and child below. It’s just very very wrong.
Also Been listening to: Lily Allen’s The Fear. Crazy chick and “so f***ing fantastic.” Love that accent!
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done any blogging and I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been so busy having fun, but actually I’ve just been wracking my brain to think of something to write about. With all that activity from my recent L.A. trip things have been a lot quieter by comparison back in Colorado. I did have a really fun shoot the other day with AmberKatt, sort of an end of the year theme to it where I’m reflecting on the tough year that it’s been (not really that tough) and then being interrupted by an intruder with a roll of duct tape (and that tape was tight!) Here are a couple preview shots below, with the full set going up in a couple weeks.
Tomorrow night I am going out with some TG girls from a local Meetup group that could be interesting. We’ll be having dinner at Hamburger Mary’s and then heading off to Tracks, Denver’s biggest gay dance club, which I’ve yet to visit. I always hate walking into a group of new people – I think I’ll know at least one other girl – but I’m hoping for the best.
Random Justin Bieber Observations: When I see all the posters and notebooks with his pictures on them I wonder if this stuff will be worth something in twenty years, or is it just junk (not that I’m going to start collecting any of it). But you wonder. I also wonder if his stratospheric success is going to mess him up as an adult in another five or ten years, with the inevitable “Whatever happened to…?” Anyway, I don’t even like his music, but whatever “it” is, he’s got it in spades. And I still think he would make an incredible chick.
Been listening to: Wow, “Fuck You” (I just like typing that) by the fabulous Cee Lo Green is really catchy – and what a fun video!
I had a delightful time in L.A. and hope to be back in the springtime, if not before. I had several photoshoots and even shot with two cute new girls, Nina and Kaitlynn, who’ll be appearing on the site in the weeks ahead. Last night I went to the Threshold Munch and had a really nice time dining with friends from the club. It’s funny, now that I no longer live in L.A. I sure do appreciate it a lot more, though the place can still be a hassle at times. I could almost picture living here again someday though it’s really the kind of big city where you’d want to be making a six figure income to really make it work. All in all though the visit was a total success and far more enjoyable than I expected. My friend has a pleasant house in the Valley in a good neighborhood, which made it very comfortable and easy. I tend to spend most of my time in the San Fernando Valley, where the clubs I like are located, and although some parts of the Valley can be pretty tired and sketchy it’s generally a bit nicer than where I used to live in L.A. proper.
So I’m just hanging out at the airport, and when I get home it’s back to the computer and editing some new pictures and videos, and a real winter coming up just around the corner.
I was reading about the experimental musician who slowed down Justin Bieber’s “U Smile” by 800 percent and made this dramatic heavenly chorus. It is pretty amazing and it’s over a half hour long. I feel calmer just listening to a couple minutes of it!
By the way, I do think Justin would make a fantastic looking girl with that shockingly young face of his. Heck, he almost looks like one without even trying.
This song from Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #1 – (Tunnels ), is about six years old, but I remember the first time I heard it on the radio and had one of those “stop in my tracks” moments. I just heard it again recently and it brought tears to my eyes (in a good way), which happens almost every time I hear it. Arcade Fire rocks!
I was listening to This American Life on NPR the other day and they wrapped up with this tune, “Animal,” from Miike Snow (you can stream it on their MySpace page). Man, that thing is catchy – it’s driving me crazy running through my head! Of course, there’s that line, “Am I free or am I tied up?”
I was out shopping at “Out of the Closet,” the gayest thrift store in L.A., and heard Ladytron’s “Destroy Everything You Touch” on the radio. It’s a couple years old but I always like it when I hear it, with that New Wave-ish sound and sort of blank sounding but sexy singing. I have no idea what it means but it’s pretty catchy (is it about sex or revenge? – heck, I don’t know). Also don’t know what all the snow is in this YouTube video but the girls are kind of cute in a gothic sort of way around the midpoint.
Oh, and I got a couple new skirts and also found a navy blue stewardess dress that fits pretty well, so hopefully I’ll have a fun new set of pictures in the coming weeks or months (it sometimes takes a while before they go online!)
The other night my friend Kim and I went to hear Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull in an acoustic concert here in L.A. Way back in my high school days I was a big Jethro Tull fan, back when they were in their prime (yeah, I’m that old), and I saw them a couple times in Denver in the late 70s, when they were awesome. Friday night’s concert was very good, though also a little bittersweet to see the inevitable passage of time. Ian Anderson’s voice is just a shadow of what it used to be, but he can still really rock out on the flute and acoustic guitar. There were about six other backup musician with him – not the usual Tull lineup, though their drummer did sit in on the bongos for a few tunes. The set list included some surprisingly obscure tunes. I’m not a “super fan,” like some of the people at the show who were just in heaven, but I’m pretty familiar with a lot of their stuff, so it was surprising to hear some “B” tracks that never even made it onto an album. They also played some compositions from some of the backup musicians, including a young woman on viola who was really amazing and quite cute too.
Kim and I didn’t dress for the concert, but ironically enough there were two crossdressers in the seats directly in front of us, so maybe we should have. It could have been the tranny corner. In any case, it was a fun show and definitely colored with nostalgia for me and reminders of one’s mortality and the relentless march of time. One thing that didn’t change, though, is they finished up with interesting and energetic acoustic versions of “Aqualung” and “Locomotive Breath,” which are the tunes they almost always wind up their shows with. And for a 62 year old guy they really rocked.
Sandra Gibbons talks about what's happening in her world, both bondage related and not