Wednesday, September 12, 2012


There are so many things in flux in my life.  Too many.  I feel overwhelmed to be honest.  When I feel overwhelmed, I sit on the floor with my face in my hands and refuse to do anything.

Well, metaphorically speaking.

Truthfully, I back away for a bit and sort of ignore things.  It's terrible, I know, but eventually I get back to life and fix it all.  Right now there are things I need to do and things I long to do.  I wasn't really sure what the longing was for until I meditated: What am I wanting? 

I want to dance.

I want a dress - a red dress, a sexy red dress - that moves with every shake of my hips.  I want Spanish guitar and percussion.  I want hair down to my ass.  I want to feel every bit of air and energy surrounding me.  I want a dark room and hardwood floors so that the echo of my shoes becomes part of the music.  I want to feel that thrill, that passion, that dance used to bring me.

I need it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

RIP Mike

The first time I met Mike Responts, I showed up at the studio in painted, ratty sweats and an old baseball cap.  I was there at midnight to talk about a fundraiser for Team in Training.  I stayed and talked politics until 2:00.  The other guests were drunken barflies who had nicknames based on Jersey Shore stars.  Mike hit on all of them, but I could tell he was irritated, too.  It was comical.  I had a great time.

I guested on his show a handful of times after that, all of them in pajamas.  He would hit on every woman in the place, but never hit on me.  We would bicker and banter and push each other.  It was good stuff.

Months later, he called and asked me to co-host his new time slot.  I said yes and headed down to chat with him.

"Holy shit!" was the first thing out of his mouth when he saw me. 


"I didn't realize you were hot.  I mean, I thought you might have potential, but you were always in that gigantic New York sweatshirt and that nasty Yankees cap."

"Thanks, I think."

"This is great!  No, I mean it.  We'll stick your headshot on the one-sheet, and I'll have another hot sidekick.  Yes, this is so great."  He loved talking about how I was an undercover hottie on his show.  Because of his love for strippers, I was never really sure how to take this new monikor...

It was never really our show, either.  600 Pounds of Ugly was always Mike's.  He would prep me for the show with links and soundbytes - all of it controversial.  I would argue that he was stretching the truth.  He would say, "Fantastic! Save it for the show."  We argued a lot and had a great time with Nick, the sound board guy.  The dynamic between the three of us was electric at times. 

On one of our last shows together, before the station pulled us, Mike said this to me, "You know the only thing preventing you from ruling the world?  A sense of entitlement.  You're smart,  you're hot, people like you.  You need to develop a sense of entitlement.  DEMAND things.  I'm a piece of shit -  no, seriously, people barely put up with me - but I make demands and I get what I want.  You could be something really big in the world.  You just have to believe it yourself."

I'm still letting those words sink in.  Mike never let me squirm away from his crass compliments.  "Just nod, GiGi.  Agree with me on this shit.  Argue with me on everything else, but I am the only man on this planet that has never lied to you.  I swear, I never will."

You were a better man than you let on, Mike Responts.  You taught me a lot.  Tell Joe hello for me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

scent of a woman

Had a conversation yesterday that made me realize that the only constant of my adult life is my perfume - Pleasures by Estee Lauder.  I've worn it for nearly twenty years.

I've tried other scents; I didn't feel like me. 

I know Pleasures isn't sophisticated like Chanel #5 or trendy like any by Calvin Klein, but it's the one that has seen me through two broken marriages, one pregnancy, numerous jobs, many visits with my mother, and once got me a free tow.  The driver checked my car insurance, told me the tow wasn't covered, sniffed the air around me, and said, "Um, I swear I'm not hitting on you, but you smell really nice."  He was so embarrassed, he didn't charge me, and even gave me a ride home after dropping my car at the mechanic's.

When I picked it, I didn't think it would become some sort of signature, I just liked that it wasn't too fruity, too flowery, or too Avon lady.  I was beyond the raspberry-scented lotion phase of junior high (and...I didn't want to smell like a stripper...).  I wanted something to make me feel like a grown up.

Nearly every day, someone tells me I smell nice.  One client said his wife was upset when he went home smelling of it after hugging me.  She came to his next appointment.  I made sure to hug her as well. 

It's an amazing thing, how a scent can trigger a memory.  How it can be comforting, alarming, arousing.  How it can become so much a part of you that the cost no longer matters.  Small luxuries and all that.  I was holding my bottle this morning and thinking I needed to start setting aside the money to replace it.  My mind wandered to a time when Rhiannon will choose something for herself.  It was a sweet thought, sharing some sort of rite of passage with her.  I won't rush the time by, but I'll look forward to it.