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What's New 1/20/08

Fuck!......It's been eons since I've updated this page.  At this point it is probably futile to document everything that's happened since August 2006, but what da hell, I'll take a stab at it anyway.  I did not retire from the burlesque troupe after Hana Lulu because I thought up a new act that I just had to perform, but more on that later because I didn't get it together until Februrary of 2007.  At the end of August in 2006, we jaunted off to Los Angeles to see the first ever United States performance of our favorite Austrailian punk band from the 70's, RADIO BIRDMAN!  They kicked off a small U.S. tour at The Wiltern with Charley Horse, Burning Brides and The Bell Rays opening, it was a really great night for rock and fuckin' roll, motherfucker!  The Bell Rays played one of thee most intense sets I've ever seen.  I got great photos as the lighting in The Wiltern is a photographer's dream.  Radio Birdman tore it up playing all the old faves and lots of songs from the new record, which is freakin' fabulous by the way.  They may be physically aged, but god damn if they don't freakin' rock out like it was 1977.  We were so happy.  We even ran into Frank Meyer, from The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, after the show and he gave us a CD of The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs' last live performance (which we were at).  While we were munching out at Denny's, I read the liner notes and saw we got a shout-out from Dino thanking "The Bombshelters"; it warmed the cockles of our hearts.


In September, The Brian Jonestown Massacre played at Plush here in Tucson.  I've actually lost count of how many times I've seen them, but it doesn't matter because they are amazing and I will never miss one of their shows if I can help it.  This particular night was a "school" night (we had to work the next morning), so no booze for me.  But, it didn't matter because they played for 2 and a half hours and I was into every minute of it.  Anton is a freakin' genius as far as I'm concerned and he was on fire this night; I could've watched him for another 2 hours if it wasn't for the huge, drunken crowd squishing me against the stage and the fact that it was closing time.  They are the real deal, check 'em out if you can.

At the end of September, Leslie Hall came to El-Change-O in Bisbee, AZ.  Check out her website to fully understand this crazy performance artist from Ames, Iowa.  We towed "Bottle of Doom" to Bisbee to escort Leslie into town with an Art Car Parade.  Kate's "Love 23" and Gretchen's "Lion Car" were among the parade Art Car vehicles.  Leslie adored her unannounced escort.  Gretchen lent me a gem sweater and I even entered the Leslie Hall Look-a-Like contest later in the evening, but was beat by Reverend Chili and her sister JenSue from San Diego; they had Leslie down!  Much fun was had that evening and we even partied in Leslie's dressing room afterwards.

October was rather mellow and we were able to finally accomplish one of our New Year's resolutions by riding the trolley from 4th Avenue to University Ave.  It was fun, I want to do it again!  We started off at Hotel Congress for the last of Clinton's Bloody Marys.  Clinton was a master at making bloody marys and we were very sad to see him go.  We walked to 4th Avenue to catch our trolley outside of O'Malley's.  That day they broke out the vintage Dutch trolley and I was amused by the foreign signs inside the carriage.  When we disembarked, we went to the new Irish pub and had some fine beers.  The food was ehh, but we managed to drink the afternoon away with those yummy beers. 

November 1st, we were on a plane headed for Gatwick Airport, London.  We were celebrating our 5th Anniversary late because in May we did The Houston Art Car Parade.  We spent the first week exploring London and then we spent a second week exploring the English countryside, ending up in Brecon, Wales.  Some of my favorite things in London were drinking beer on the tube on Guy Fawke's Night.  We never did find out if this was legal, but nobody seemed to care on the holiday.  My other favorite thing about London was the street food.  We saw The Datsuns at the legendary Electric Ballroom in Camden and afterwards, we stopped at a street vendor where we purchased extremely tasty falafel and chicken tandoori baguette sandwiches that we ate on the tube while heading back to our flat.  Another time, we stopped at Victoria Station and got some pasties.  Pasties are hot pastry pockets stuffed with ingredients like stilton cheese & steak or mushrooms & cheese.  SO GOOD!  I  also wish we could've spent more time in Camden as this seemed to be the most rock 'n roll part of London.   We visited many old rock 'n roll sites in the very touristy part of London, but most of them are not there anymore; usually replaced by some extremely touristy pub or shoppe.  But, it was worth it to imagine how it must've been in the 60's and 70's.  In Brighton, I got 2 nautical stars tattooed on my inner fore arms by Paula Converse at In 2 U Tattoo.  They came out really good; she does amazing line work.  Wales was a really cool country too and we ran into some really friendly folks at The Sarah Siddons Pub, in the small town of Brecon, who wound up buying us whiskey and told us stories of the magic mushrooms in the hills of Brecon Beacons.

Back in the U.S. in December, we took yet another holiday at Cochise Stronghold near Sunsites.  We were booked into the authentic tipi, but since there were no other guests that weekend, they upgraded us to the guesthouse.  This was really nice since it was freakin' freezing and the floors of the guesthouse were heated.  It was quite the relaxing get-a-way since it is out in the middle of nowhere and there really was nothing else to do but RELAX!  Then, it was time for our annual tree-trimming party, which was a blast per usual.  The holidays blew by and we opted not to do a fucking thing for New Year's as we were exhausted.


January of 2007 was when we finally were able to continue our tradition of The Annual Girl's Night Out in Tombstone that we postponed because of my trip to England and other schedulling conflicts.  We had 14 girls that night plus Miss Brewer Brown and we whooped it up in the "Town Too Tough To Die" even though it was below freezing temperatures!  It actually snowed in Tucson when we got back.  In February, I performed for the last time with Black Cherry Burlesque as Velvet Nirvana.   I danced to "Spooky" by Dusty Springfield and did a magic act where I removed my bra without removing my clothes!  I decided choregraphing my numbers, making my costumes and rehearsing took too much time away from what I really wanted to do; make black velvet paintings.  We continue to attend and enjoy Black Cherry Burlesque at The Surly Wench Pub whenever we can.  We highly recommend the VIP seats!  A week or so after that, The Dust Devil, Women's Flat Track Derby Association's Western Conference, was held here in Tucson at Blade World.  We were the guest DJ's and had an up-front view of the action albeit it was difficult trying to watch the game and spin CD's at the same time.  Seattle's Rat City defeated Tucson's Saddletramps, but that's ok, because that meant Tucson was still going to The Nationals in Austin, TX in Septemember.


For St. Patrick's Day, I planned a trip to Philly to visit my old friend, Christine and her brand new baby, Grainger.  I flew into Baltimore to stay with Jackie and then we drove to Philly the next day.  It rained mixed with snow the whole day and by the time we got to Northeast Philly 4 hours later, there was six inches of snow on the ground.  On St. Patrick's Day, Jackie and I ventured into the freezing cold about 50 feet to the nearest neighborhood bar and had some St. Patrick's Day fun.  The day I left we were able to go to South Street and I had a martini at Dirty Frank's then we drove back to Baltimore on a beautiful sunny day.

April 2007, we finally were able to make it to The Pimp and Ho Ball in Bisbee.  Our friend Jason hosts this annual party, but usually we were not able to make it.  This year we could and I got all ho'd up in my orange polyester pant suit and blonde afro.  I had some pasties that Desiree D'Amour had made me for a group number that I was in, so I wore those underneath my costume.  Later in the evening, Juliet helped me strip out of my jumpsuit and I was twirling my pasties delighting the crowd at Hot Licks Saloon.  What a night!

In May, Jackie came out for her annual visit for my birthday and we decided to take a road-trip to Flagstaff, Petrified Forest, Holbrook, Patagonia and then finally, Bisbee, Arizona.  That was a good birthday vacation.  We ran off to vistit The Holbrook House in July, then The Kihls had a harvest Pagan Party at their house in Bisbee at the beginning of August.  We camped out in their backyard with about 8 other parties of people but it rained all day and we were pretty much flooded out.  Our tent was completely soaked and so were our pillows and sleeping bags.  But after a case of beer between Don and I, it didn't make too much of a difference.  At the end of August I went to Santa Monica, CA for work related business, but I didn't like the area I was in.  There wasn't any funky places, it was mostly touristy stuff.  I was mistaken for a paparazzi, however, while I was photographing things and the guy even hit on me.  The fancy hotel was quite fun though and my last night I had dinner in The Penthouse Restaurant on the 17th Floor with some of my fellow trainees.  That was amazing!  And, my boss even paid for it!

In September, we decided to have a "private fucking party" for Juliet's birthday at The Valley Ho in Phoenix.  The Valley Ho is a vintage hotel that has been remodelled, but has stayed true to it's 60's ultra-modern decor.  We were treated like royalty there and had a lovely dinner at the adjacent Trader Vic's.  Afterwards, we partied in the hot tub next to the martini olive-shaped pool.  I highly recommend staying at The Valley Ho, you'll feel like you're one of the Rat Pack!


At the end of September and beginning October, we went on a Texas Vacation starting off in Austin to watch The WFTDA National Championships.  What an amazing weekend of roller derby!  The excitement was incredible as the number 4 ranked seed, TheKansas City Warriors, came from behind to win the championships.  We lost our voices from screaming so much.  Tucson was eliminated early, but it was still amazing to watch Kansas City win game after game on their way to the top.  Roller Derby is much more exciting than football.  We will be going to The Nationals in 2008 in Portland, Oregon.  After the championships in Austin, we hit the road and visited my favorite Aunt and Uncle just outside of Corpus Christi.  I was amazed at the all the oil rigs and refineries, but we still had an amazing time.  My Uncle took us to Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico, a nature preserve and state park, which is very ironic as there is so much pollution washed up on the beach.  We did find a bamboo tree root covered in barnacles that we dubbed "The Thing From the Briney Deep".  It smelled to high heaven, so when we got it back to my Aunt and Uncle's house, we soaked it in bleach and then dried it in the sun for two days.  When it came time for us to head to Houston, we wrapped it in heavy plastic and duct taped it closed.  It still smelled so when we got to Austin again, where we visited George and Vicki, we kept it outside under the front fender of our car outside our hotel room.  It totally looked like a body part or something and I was awakened at 4 a.m. Sunday morning to drunken dudes trying to figure out what the hell it was.  I heard one of them say they thought it was a dead cat!  I woke Don up and he chased them away explaining that it was, in fact, a piece of driftwood.  We had a great time in Austin with George and Vicki though.  They took us to The Austin Museum of Modern Art where they were exhibiting and selling art created by prisoners to raise money to send books to the prisoners.  Then we went to the gallery associated with The Continental Club.  On the 3rd floor they have a ping pong table where we played a no-holds barred game of ping pong, even using the walls as a way to bounce the ball.  Then on the second floor, there was an amazing jazz band playing with a Hammond B3 organ player.  We had a really great time and bought many cool things while shopping on Congress St. earlier in the day.  Don even scored a really cool, authentic black fez with rhinestones and everything!


A week later, we were in Douglas, Arizona for Art Car Fest.  Harrod Blank has a new Art Car Museum in Douglas called Rancho del Arte.  We brought "Bottle of Doom" down to participate in the festivities and had a really great time hanging out with the Art Car people.  Harrod is an amazing man and I can't wait until his museum is complete.   I'm getting really tired of typing so I think I'm going to have to speed it up here.  December 1st, I was part of a group showing at Kate Pearson's Art Gallery in Bisbee; it was called "Art Mart".  I even sold one of my pieces!  I also exhibited my first black velvet painting.  It was very exciting.  On the 15th we had our annual tree trimming party and then we went to Bisbee for New Year's as El-Change-O was putting on an amazing show.  They had The Apocolypse Theater, The Mission Creeps and Flam Chen doing an aerial balloon peformance.  We decided to go down to Bisbee a day early, so we had time to just do whatever we felt like.  We hiked up to the cross on Sunday, then we headed over to City Park to see the afternoon, kiddie version of the Flam Chen performance.  We saw Shawnee on the way to the park, and he asked us if we would like to volunteer to blow up the 8 foot balloons for the evening's Flam Chen Luna Moth performance.  We said, "why not?" and spent the next two and a half hours blowing up 8 balloons with a cannister of helium each.  We were interviewed by The Bisbee Daily News and wound up in the paper on New Year's Day.  I was quite proud to be able to make the Luna Moth performance happen.  That night we watched the bands, marched in the parade, saw The Luna Moth peformance and partied until closing at The Stock Exchange.  Jenna and Larry made us breakfast the next morning, then they hosted a party at their house.  I wasn't that hungover on New Year's Day, so I had no reason not to drink that Bloody Mary and many glasses of champagne.  I was hurtin' the next day in work, but an amazing time and a very happy New Year's.


On January 5th, we drove up to Phoenix to present my "Hill Bill" at the Hillary Clinton Arizona Campaign Headquarters.  Gretchen, owner of El-Change-O, has inspired me to create Hillary Clinton artwork.  "No More White Men in The White House!".  I am more inspired than ever to break the glass ceiling and finally get a woman elected as president of the United States of America, motherfucker!  That was it for my energy though, my body was like, "F U", and I felt a cold coming on as we drove back from Phoenix. 

So, tonight, we just got back from Roper Lake State Park outside of Safford, Arizona.  We spent last night at a cabin on the lake and it was awesome.  We had dinner at Chalo's and then drinks at Chalo's Rock 'N Jock.  By the time we made it back to the cabin, I pretty much passed out right away, much to mine and Don's chagrin.  It was so freakin' cute and I would love to go back there again.  The cabins are made of logs and, fortunately, are heated.  The birds there were amazing.  At sunset, flocks of different ones descend into the cattails to have dinner.  The sounds of them flying and chirping were beautiful.


I'm starting Painting II this Wednesday, January 22nd and then we're off to the Fiji Islands for my 40th Birthday in May.  I've started my second black velvet painting of Joan Jett and if it turns out, I hope it will be hanging in The Surley Wench Pub by Autumn 2008.  We are also going to Portland, Oregon for The WFTDA Championships in November 2008 and also hopefully visiting Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.  I've never been north of San Francisco, so I'm very excited to explore this part of the U.S. and Canada.  Maybe we'll never come back! 

Keep watchin' "Wiggin' Out with The Bombshelters" on Tucson Public Access and check out myspace.com/wigginout, myspace.com/bombshelter, myspace.com/rollerderbyrocks_tucson, and myspace.com/bombshelterart.  I do cringe at the fact that I am such a "MySpacer", but at this point, it's too hard to take all of that down and do it over on a cooler web hosting site.  I put a lot of work into those freakin' pages! 

Ok, I hope you've made it this far.  Happy 2008 and don't forget.........JANUARY 20, 2009, BABY!.......vote for Hillary in 2008!

Cheers big ears,

The Bombshelters