Craig’s List Rewind (JM Reunion)

Craig’s List Rewind (JM Reunion)

Back in November, I was a little bored. And I wanted to try to make some extra money. So I planted an experiment on Craig’s List. Perhaps I could seriously make some cash, on my own time, dominating men outside of the skanky dungeon environment. I would just need one or two decent clients who had some money and wouldn’t mind spending it on me. I figured, what could it hurt to put an ad out there? If nothing else, it would make a great story.

This is the first ad I posted:

(women seeking men) Are you a kinky guy with money to burn?
Looking for a mutually beneficial relationship. Sexy, intelligent, naturally dominant female seeks play partner. Not a pro, just want to practice with someone who understands the value of my time.

You must be sexy, communicative, intelligent, well-groomed and polite.

Have I piqued your interest? Good. Get in touch for more information.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have used the term “play partner.” I didn’t know better.

Within five minutes I got like 30 responses. It was like I had fucking hit the jackpot. My BlackBerry was lit up and blinking nonstop. I was actually going to start a blog to just document all the random fucks who wrote me, wanting to be dominated. I was already intrigued.

After weeding out the people who were idiots at first glance, poor spellers, and those thinking I was soliciting sex, I decide to start meeting some of these guys. In public, of course. JM was among the first.

He’s 26, white, and sends me a photo of himself wearing a rugby shirt. Oh man, this is going to be interesting. A frat boy. We go back and forth a bit, he describes some of his fantasies. We decide to meet at Revival Bar around Union Square.

He gets me wine. As he should. He’s wearing Chucks and has red hair. I question him on this as his photo clearly showed he had brown hair. No, he shakes his head. I have red hair. It’s short and he looks so clean cut. He played for the US Lacrosse team, apparently.

The wine is helping because I’m fucking nervous. What the hell do I know about doing this kind of shit? I didn’t even think it would get this far. My only experience is working in a commercial dungeon in Midtown. A kinky sorority house was what that was. Fun times with the girls, but the den father was a creep with a fetish for young Asian chicks. The place got shut down shortly after someone went unconscious from suspension during the overnight shift.

Anyway back to JM. The turning point came when he leaned over and asked me, “so what’s a nice Jewish girl like you doing something like this?”

He’s funny.

Turns out the guy is also Jewish and from Long Island. He’s sick of dating J-Date girls. He sells fancy men’s Italian shoes in a boutique in the Upper East Side. Upon hearing this my eyes roll in the back of my head. He’s asking me questions about life in general, nothing too personal, and he’s making me laugh.

JM and I see each other frequently after that for a bit. He doesn’t pay me because, I don’t know, we’re dating? Are we dating? I have no idea. We fuck around some (without the fuck) … I duct tape him to a chair one night. He takes me to nice restaurants in the Village. He’s funny and a prankster. Full of shit. Eccentric. A hustler. Tells me he wears velour track suits. Talks to me about his family. I mean, he’s likable. Even though he lifted a girl’s profile off of Myspace and pasted it on Craig’s List as his own. And even though he admitted that the girl’s boyfriend emailed him and forced him to take it down.

I gave him shit about that. A lot of shit. It was unbelievable. Knucklehead.

I take him to the movies one day to see “Milk.” Perfect for a straight dude. At the end of the film he starts to walk out, leaving his popcorn bag and soda cup behind. I’m like, yo, what are you doing? take your trash! So he does and we walk out.

Later he says that the fact that I told him to pick up his trash turned him on. And it especially turned him on that it was in the movie theater. What? I’m baffled. Then he has an idea: what if the next time we go to a movie, I put a collar and leash on him and at the end of the movie ordered him to pick up everybody’s trash in the theater? He started to get fixated on what the theater staff would say, how they would look at him, what the other patrons would think. I’m laughing because I don’t think he’s serious.

But he is. And he wants it videotaped. From all angles, with me yelling at him in the process. This is his idea. And I even got two dudes I know to offer to help. We really did have a serious discussion about it one day. I wish I could say this happened. I really fucking do.

But JM bailed.

The last time I really hung out with him was January, I think.

So it had been a while since I’d seen him. He emailed me a while back and texted me shortly thereafter. He emailed me today and wanted to get together. I was in Union Square so we ended up having a reunion.

Of course he fills me in on his latest antics … his move from the East Village to Hell’s Kitchen, and tells me his apartment will be free for 10 days, would I want to use it to dominate men? Charge them $150. His cut? $50. His friend Franco is starting a foot fetish establishment. Apparently he used to run an escort service. JM spent some time in Puerto Rico with the boys. He had a mini stroke on the plane ride home from too much cocaine.

He’s back on J-Date, checking out girls from Long Island who ask if he has a car. He’s still tickled by the movie theater idea – though he knows he’s lost his chance with me.

He walks me to the subway. I’m toasted. One glass of wine is too much for me these days. I tell him I’ll let him know about using his space. I can think of worse ideas …

Surviving my First 10K

Surviving my First 10K

I’ve been up since 5:30AM, jacked on adrenaline anticipating what it would feel like to run 10K or 6.2 miles. I wanted to be in Central Park by 8:15AM so I could meet my team mates (Team Jack, of Jack Rabbit Sports, a retail store in Park Slope and Manhattan) and get a pep talk. I rode the subway alone, iPod buds in my ears, favorite mix relaxing and preaching to me at the same time … I’ve only been running since September but after that first Beginner I class ended, I knew I wanted to do it again – just not in the dead of winter. I’m hardcore, but not that hardcore. So, I waited for the spring offering but upped the ante and went for the second level of the Beginning I class.

Fast forward to now. I’ve never run a 10K. That’s a lot of running. I know how it feels to run around Prospect Park, which is 3.3 miles, and how hard it is to motivate up the hills, to go with your body and talk your mind out of laziness. I have no grasp of how marathoners do it … my colleague ran the NY Marathon in November, and though she happily got engaged at the end of it, she’s still gimpy from fucking up her knee. Body issues aside, psychologically preparing yourself for that kind of physical challenge IS the challenge. Because getting through any race can be brutal.

Today was brutal. But I was completely charged up from taking it easy all week. My goal was simple: I didn’t want to walk. I would slow myself down as much as I needed to, but I didn’t want to walk any distance. And, I’m proud to say, I didn’t. I did slow down when I hit the watering stations because I needed fluids … even though it was only 69 degrees it felt a lot hotter. My instructor told me I was going to be hot in all black and pants. Still, I’m not a shorts wearer and I ain’t starting now.

The Mini 10K has been going on for a while, and is all women. They call it mini, not to be sexist, but because apparently a pantyhose company sponsored it for many years … get it, pantyhose, mini skirts … yeah cute, I know. Anyway, it didn’t matter to me … this was the finale to my class and of course I was in …

Upon walking into the park I see a broken keychain in the shape of a 3. My lucky number. 3 Prong. I know it’s going to be a good race, regardless of what happens.

We line up according to what we put down for pace per mile. I reported 10:50, and got a pink bib. Some woman sang the Star Spangled Banner and then the gun went off … we got going slow at first because we’re waiting for everybody to move forward. Then it’s on … the race, it’s sunny, warm and I’m just thinking about how I want a tan. People are cheering us on and I’m feeling good. Before I know it, the mile one marker is ahead of me and I’m like, “OK, only five more to go.”

I don’t know anyone around me. I lost the two women from my class I lined up with and I don’t care. I actually prefer to run solo, though do think talking with people at random increments does help make time go faster. For me, though, I concentrate on my breathing, I have to breathe evenly and calmly and having some conversation distracts me from focus. I just keep going. I see a woman to my left knock down an orange cone … a little later a women to my right just takes a huge digger on the grass. All the women around make sure she’s OK, but don’t exactly stop and she gets right on up … I see older women, women on crutches, women of all sizes, moving their bodies and just doing it on this early Sunday morning. My Ironwoman instructor was right: this IS inspiring.

Somewhere along mile 3 I start getting a pain in my side. It’s weird and I’ve never experienced it before. All I can point to is my speed because I do feel like I’m going at a faster pace than usual. I just talk to my side and stomach and tell it nice things. Like, stomach, yo, think about the brunch we’re going to have when this is all done. Like side, you work so hard, just a little more and we’ll be done, we can do it! It seems to work or I, at least, ignore it now. I grab a cup at a watering table and put the liquid to my mouth and realize it’s gatorade. Yuck! The sugar gives me a slight headache now to contend with. But the electrolytes and the fact that I ran under a sprinkler give me an added burst of energy and I’m almost done with mile 4.

At this point, I can taste the finish. I’m not walking though my side hurts. I’m not walking though my legs are getting tired. I’m not walking. I will realize my goal and I will totally relish and enjoy the bragging rights when this crazy shit is through.

The hills on this course are baby, but I can feel them. It’s such a beautiful metaphor for life, if I can get cheesy for a minute. Here I am, amazing, supportive people all around me, but it’s only me that can take it forward … the hills slow me down, but make me even more persistent to reach my goal … and then when I reach the pinnacle of the hill and I feel the pavement lead me downhill, I can just go with the flow and enjoy the natural push …

When I see the mile 5 sign I know it’s almost over … people on the sidelines are cheering and I am so grateful for them. I have a little over a mile to go …. I straighten up, the ends of my hair are wet in my ponytail and bouncing into my naked arm so it feels like little shocks going through my system … I’m ready for this to be over … I continue to go at my stable pace … I’m on target with time at every mile mark I pass and I’m not even trying … I hear a woman say upon hitting the 800M mark, “that doesn’t make me feel better, it’s a half mile more …” I’m grateful for her complaint because now I know where I’m at. And then I hit 6.

Mile 6 I start feeling shaky, like, nervous for the finish line. I’m so there. The adrenaline is pulsing through my body and my endorphins are carrying me now. The crowd is rowdier over here. I have a fear I won’t make it there so I step it up. At the 200M mark I can see the finish line and out of nowhere I just start sprinting. My head is pounding and my stomach is clenched in stitches but I just fucking go for it. I have no idea what happened or how I pulled this extra energy out of me. I’m telling women in front of me, “right behind you! right behind you!” as I pass them on the left. I’m running fast. I see my friend, Jess, and give her a high five. A few more steps and I cross the line. Relief.

My breath comes back to me in tumbles and I am dizzy. I walk to some water and am seriously all smiles even though I wanted to just lay down on the pavement. My body is pulsating and throbbing and I’m just hot and sweaty and Jess gives me a hug … I came in at 1:04:57. Pretty amazing, considering that’s a 10:28 mile. Compared to my first 5K I ran in November, at 45:29 with a mile pace of 11:22, that’s a huge improvement. Then I remember what I saw when I hit the 5K mark earlier, that my time was around 34 minutes. Not that I’m counting or anything …

DJ Jon: Virtual Answers to Virtual Questions

DJ Jon: Virtual Answers to Virtual Questions

So this is Jon Hawkins. Born in Tokyo, lived in D.C. Can now be found behind DJ booths of varying size and locations in Maine’s hippest (and biggest) city, Portland. He’s well-known for his musical expertise at WRED 95.9 FM, the local hip hop station, where he does a damn, hot remix at noon and the Drive at 5, and scenesters know they can see him funking the beat downtown at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge. You can also catch him on Sirius Satellite Radio Hip Hop Nation 40, Monday Nights at midnight and Mainiacs can look forward to May, when he’ll be kicking it at Asylum on Saturday nights. Aside from that full plate, he’s a vegetarian, can often be seen at a sushi bar and is a hardcore film buff (just ask him about Scorsese). In case you need it spelled out for you: the guy’s got it going on.
We thought it’d be cool if we asked him a bunch of random questions to see what he’d come up with. Read on and just try to decode his mystery.

14K: First record you ever scratched? Describe the sound.
DJ JON: Wow, that takes me back. Let’s see… “Change Le Beat” by Fab Five Freddy. At the end of that record there’s the original AHHHHH this STUFF is REALLLLY FRESHHHHH!! sound that is every scratching DJs favorite sound to use. Every DJ in the 80s wanted to scratch that. My copy is warn thru!! But, That’s the big one. There have been little sounds on classic rock records and funk records that I used, but that’s the one that sticks out.

14K: If you weren’t a DJ, what would your occupation be?
DJ JON: See that’s a hard question, because I am a DJ. I’m so DJ-centric. If that’s a word. I believe everything is tied into my life as a DJ. Music, Movies, Politics, Acting, and even living as a human being. I apologize because I can’t conject on that.

14K: How would you describe the current state of the hip hop community in Portland and outside of Maine?
DJ JON: The Hip Hop community in Maine is strong. There are things that go on in Portland that just don’t go on outside of the state. But, if you are a resident or a native of the Portland area, you know that there are things that are totally unique. Like coffee brandy, or the strange isolation that happens only here. And these subtleties are transformed in the Hip Hop that comes from here.

14K: What’s the craziest/sexiest/nastiest thing you’ve ever seen while behind the DJ booth?
DJ JON: Ok, now you’re asking about the party. I have seen extreme violence. I have also seen many naked women. But, most importantly, I have seen people having a good time because of what I was doing with the music.

14K: If you had the chance to be with one starlet for an evening, who would it be and what would you do?
DJ JON: I would keep living my life as I am now. Last year Snoop Dogg passed me his blunt at a club during his CD release party and I simply said, “I don’t smoke no more.” And everyone gives me flack for that, but it’s just something I gave up to better my life.

14K: What do you see as the biggest difference between Facebook and MySpace? Do you have a preference between the two?
DJ JON: Yes. Facebook is about real people and friends for now. I have like under 100 friends so far on Facebook and I am very protective of it. Myspace I have like 4,000 friends of which I know personally about 200.

14K: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
DJ JON: Nothing. But I hope they are impressed with what I do with what they already know.

14K: Name your most favorite guilty pleasure.

DJ JON: Cheesy 80s R&B. I love it, sorry.

14K: Are you behind any political candidate thus far? If so, who & why?
DJ JON: Obama. But it feels like we have to vote for Hillary in these next elections to draw him out a little more.

14K: What Web sites/blogs do you check daily, if any?

DJ JON: $ecret$

14K: What will absolutely always bring a smile to your face?
DJ JON: When a really good song becomes a hit record.

14K: If you suddenly came into $10 million, what would you do?

DJ JON: I have a long straw. I reach across the room and I drink your milkshake. I DRINK IT UP!

14K: Name five famous people who you see as being a positive influence in our culture.
DJ JON: Hard to answer that because positive is such a grey area.. and so is our culture. But if there was a gun to my head, Kenny Dope, Dr. Roxanne Shante, The Jungle Brothers, DJ Premier and me!

14K: Any advice for Mz. Spears?
DJ JON: None, but I appreciate learning about how strange life can be if you’re a pop star.

Steel Yourself for Sontiago

Steel Yourself for Sontiago

It seems like ages ago when Sonya Tomlinson, aka Sontiago, would step on stage at the now-defunct Stone Coast Brewery in Portland (where, ironically, she works in the basement of the same building for the Portland Phoenix). About eight years – to be somewhat exact – but since she debuted her rapping style and made the boys move over (nicely), she’s crafted a hot n heavy name for herself within the music and art community.

Being new to town from North Carolina and hesitant to really work with anybody, she got her feet wet with the encouragement of Portlander and Stone Coast open mic night organizer, Bread. It seems some sort of cosmic energy was in the air: Sontiago was doing some arts n crafts volunteer work at the West End Community Policing Center and Bread was friends with the guy who ran the place. One thing led to another and bam! Sontiago’s got a mic in her hand among a sea of impressed rapper dudes.

“The response was so overwhelming,” she said of that time, adding they were all very welcoming to her presence. “The guys were super nice, I certainly wasn’t the only girl, but I think I was the only girl that was consistently going. A lot of the guys were interested in working together more than anything else.”

Ever since old college buddy, Sean Carroll, manager of Newbury Comics in South Portland, urged me to go see Sontiago perform way back when I have been a supporter. And it’s easy to see why: her rhymes have depth and are contagious, she pairs with the most cutting edge beat makers in the area and she’s just a genuine inspiration to watch on stage. Not to mention, fucking fashion forward and refreshingly unpretentious.

On Sept. 28, Sontiago held a CD release party in Portland for Steel Yourself, her second album which is being released by Endemik Music, based in Montreal. Her show, held at the alternative artist venue and gallery Space, (where she also bartends), was a kicking success bringing in roughly 300 people. This is not surprising. I was among many in front of The White Heart on Congress Street vying to get in one night to get a glimpse of the performer because her show was full to capacity. Portland loves Sontiago and Sontiago returns the love by holding live shows worth waiting in line for.

This new album, a follow-up just in sequence to Abuse My Adoration released in 2004 is much more serious in content and “sonically better” Sontiago said. The name, Steel Yourself comes from this idea of bracing yourself for unexpected situations.

“It sort of happened simultaneously,” Sontiago said about the choice of album name, during a recent telephone call, adding at that point three songs had already been written when she read the phrase being used in reference to the hostage situation of Christian Science Monitor journalist Jill Carroll. “‘Mrs. Carroll, steel yourself, your daughter has been kidnapped.’ I had heard that expression but had never seen it written out … ‘Oh, I get it, you have to fucking brace yourself and prepare. Prop yourself right now in this instant and here’s what’s coming after.’ I felt like that title made so much sense.”

Included in those three initial songs is “Faith Not Fear,” which illustrates a post-wedding anxiety attack (she’s married to fellow rapper JD Walker). “Hide and Seek,” a song about Johnny Lomba, a fixture of the Portland art scene after The Skinny, a staple performance venue downtown, closed and a partnership dissolved. And “Force It,” describes a friend’s relationship that went from good to bad. The 48-minute disc, which is available in major music stores across the US, Canada and Japan Nov. 20, ends with Sontiago playing a Casio keyboard in a song about Meg Perry, a Portland activist who drove the People’s Free Space Frida bus around and who died in it during an accident while doing relief work in New Orleans.

“All the subject matter on the album is something that affected me emotionally,” Sontiago said. “To me, a friend. Something that felt emotion. All the subject matter is pretty serious.”

She samples from Babe Ruth’s version of Curtis Mayfield’s “We People Who are Darker Than Blue” and she’s got beats from indie hip hop Anticon family members DJ Mayonnaise and Alias, while also working with Chicago-based DJ and producer Maker. DJ Gabe FM known for his involvement in Mainehiphop.com and a variety of hip hop projects around town and beyond, is in her corner, too, manning the wheels of steel.

“Gabe is cutting and he’s pretty amazing at formulating ideas,” Sontiago said. “He truly thinks about presentation and flow and the set list. He has a strong consideration for a live set and what that means and he’s been making little medleys. He just thinks of all these things to do to make it different. He’s a believer that you should get something from the live show that you don’t get from the CD.”

Sontiago gives dilly dilly (aka Erin Davidson) of Cerberus Shoal fame credit for getting her out there on the multiple week tour (as well as Space Founder Todd Bernard) because of their combined experience touring and choosing appropriate performance spots: “dilly dilly is awesome and she’s pretty much the reason I’m going on tour because she’s such a strong musical individual.”

Of the spot in Williamsburg, Sontiago said, “Erin did a solo tour and she had just recently played there. She said it’s a fantastic place to play … pass the hat kind of thing… all donation-based. Erin said it’s one of the more fruitful stops.”

dilly dilly, who just completed a tour with Sage Francis, will break out multiple instruments such as the melodica, a banjo and violin, and her infamous saw. On the CD, she only sings, but live she’s playing with the toys.

Though Abuse My Adoration is well-loved among many Sontiago enthusiasts, like many artists who find themselves evolving, the mistress of the mic says she’s most excited about this new project.

“Holy improvement from one album to the next,” she said. “Sonically, it’s so much better. I personally never listen to the old album anymore. I probably should. I’m really psyched. I’m proud of this album through and through.”

Sontiago fans will notice, however, someone is missing from the mix: Moshe, Sontiago’s long time DJ and musical collaborator. Why? Her answer: They were going in different musical directions.

“He basically stopped cutting or no longer scratches and that’s what we first came together as,” she said. “So I really felt something was lost without that aspect in my live show.”

For all her work, Sontiago, has been getting nods. Recently, she was picked as one of URB Magazine‘s “Up and Up” Top 1,000, a title she described as a “fucking fluke.”

Seems Sontiago asked Scott Da Ros the founder of Endemik, who was trying to get fellow labelmate Bleubird included (he was), when the cut off date was to apply. Da Ros told her he thought she had a week. So Sontiago thought, “God damn it, I always miss it.” She decided to call the magazine during work, got a friendly (and helpful) receptionist on the phone who put her right through to Senior Editor Brandon Perkins. The right guy to talk to, apparently.

“Rarely do you get put right through to the source,” she said.

Turns out Perkins has heard of those from Anticon, her old Maine hip hop buddies, now dwelling West Coast style, because he’s from Connecticut. He’s pretty sure he’s heard of her.

“I lucked out, my timing was beautiful,” she said. “He was the one that personally advanced me there. [He says] ‘it goes in front of a panel. We all judge. My vote is for you.’ Seeing myself in URB I was like, fuck, I gotta get this album done. I have a label backing me, an influential magazine. I better walk the walk and talk the talk.”

Waitress Rant

Waitress Rant

Those who know me, know that my stint at the restaurant has been both liberating and humbling, gratifying and grueling. That being said, here is a list of things that make me want to throttle customers on a daily basis.
***People who come to the sushi restaurant with an allergy to fish and then proceed to go through the whole menu asking about appropriate items for eatage.
***Those who come in at our closing time on the dot and then have no clue what is happening even when we have to ask them to leave, 45 minutes later.
*** Payage with multiple credit cards. Adults go to the atm. Do you really need to split a $24 bill three ways? And by card, no less?
*** Asking a table if they want a drink and 2/3 of your party says yes. So you get the drinks. Then you go back and the weakest link says, “Oh you know, I’d like a mai tai.” This of course always happens when you are slammed and have to make the most complicated of drinks, have two tables you haven’t been to yet and your orders are up at the sushi bar and in the kitchen. Not to mention, your boss is directing you to bus a table that isn’t even yours.
*** Business people who blatantly ignore you while they lunch. This one makes my blood boil. I know what it’s like to be a lady who lunches. Ties do not need to talk over you, avoid your questioning or avoid communicating with you to have a pleasant lunching experience.

I guess that’s it. For now. Thanks for reading