Thomm Quackenbush, author

Vickie Fernandez and Angela Lovell breakin' the law at Bitching and Moaning Magazine's Anti-Bridal party.

A Month in the Life of a Fabulous Bag Lady

Who says being homeless isn't glamorous? Couch-surfing builds character and gives you the freedom to embark upon oodles of shenanigans. My brazen astrological character defamations got me booted out of Sin City and I found myself on crack-pipe-suicide watch in New England. Unfortunately my reputation of "Thief" preceded me and once again, like Romeo from Verona, I was banished, though not for stealing boyfriend or money off bar, but rather for my pilferage of tampons.

With a vengeance I was back in the New York groove, and in desperate need of a toxin-free meal. THE BEST VEGAN RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD AWARD GOES TO: Kate's Joint (58 Avenue B.) Kate's is the perfect spot for surveillance of tattooed rockstars-in-the-making and finger lickin' fakin' bacon. The entire menu is loaded with healthfully scrumptious meat-free fuel. For nine bucks you can get your non-lactose brunch on while enjoying an ipod mix of everything from The Jackson Five to Led Zeppelin.

Suffering from a swollen lymph node, most likely caused by painfully enduring a Stained and Three Doors Down Concert, my lump and I trundle up to the theatre district for a free viewing of Lennon at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street.) I found myself suffering an anxiety attack when the cast jumped into the audience handing out daisies and encouraging everyone to sing along with "Give Peace A Chance." I gave peace a chance, though I did take pleasure in the all-girl version of The Beatles as a band. Shamelessly, I fell asleep during the fifteen-minute solo of "Woman is The Nigger of the World." As with even the best things in life, bad theater should always be free.

Not even shelter relocation can stop this icon-in-the-making from getting her story. In platforms and up-do, unfazed by my leopard bags (comparable in weight to that of five circus midgets) I strut on down to Whiskey Ward (121 Essex) for a magazine launch party celebrating Bitching and Moaning - A magazine that you'll never spot a Paris Hilton greasespot reading. Trixie, the magazine's leading lady, suggests that post-riches we go in halves on the ownership of a man ranch. For now I saddle up a stool in this lower eastside saloon as eager literary types offer up running tabs to keep my interest lubricated enough to disregard their bad beer breath. In addition to the barrel and jug décor, you will find the lovely Maya Goddess serving up a remarkable list of single malt bourbons, scotches and drink specials including a call liquor shot with your choice of beer.

Nothing raises this mischievous girl's spirits like nearly nude punkrock go-go boys. When I'm suffering from the mean reds I march right on down to Opaline (85 Avenue A.) The music is a delectable mix of old school punk rock and sweet, sweet 80's. The crowd is a dancing mix of two parts scenester, three parts faux-hawk punk, with a splash of dirty rocker. The drinks are reasonably priced and the bathrooms are shellacked with comics for your dropped-drawer reading pleasure.

After a long day of text messaging with a manic-depressive rockstar, who shall remain nameless, my frustrated head was in need of a laugh. There isn't a better two drink minimum porthole to chuckles like New York's City's Premiere Comedy Club (236 West 78th St.) where one can often catch the lovely Angela Lovell reading tarot cards for eager, undersexed commuters. This landmark has been the stomping ground for comic geniuses from the likes of Chris Rock to Jerry Seinfeld. That night's amateur showcase fell short as the real show was taking place at the front bar where Tracy Morgan (SNL) professed his undying no-condom lovin' to our good friend, Bonnie. Not a fan of Brian Fellow's Safari Planet, Bonnie gently turned down his invitation to procreate. There may never bee a little Rakim Morgan Koo, but Tracy certainly spiced up an otherwise dull night.

These days I'm sharing a futon with a pit bull named Francis. It's no wonder I wake each day with my eyes-swollen shut due to allergies. One bottle of drops and eight Diet Cokes later I put on my rock-a-billy-punk best and squint down to McNally Robinson Book Store (50 Prince St.) for an in-store reading of tarot reader/writer, Angela Lovell, and her controversially non-fiction essay in BITE Magazine. This independent shop originated in Canada and possesses a clean, friendly, Kanook vibe. The cafe serves tasty desserts and a wide range of teas and coffees but it wasn't the hot cocoa that was steaming up the windows that night - It was my best friend telling a tale involving a vagina dress and the time she floated naked in a girl's aquarium for a quick hundred bucks.

My eye still red and pussy, I swallow Benadryl like Chiclets and join my friends in a club-hopping extravaganza. Before we carry out our quest for fun we pause for Korean dinner at Kori (253 Church St.). The food is authentic yet a bit under-spiced to cater to the sensitive palates of the Tribecca neighborhood clientele. Bonnie Koo, the ex mother-to-be of Tracy Morgan's lovechild, calls the food "American Korean," and lacking. As resident Krasian, Bonnie would know.

I haven't been to the Knitting Factory (74 Leonard St.) since my teeth were covered in metal brackets. The band playing that evening (if you could call them a "band") consisted of a shirtless punk who should never have released from his cage to access an amplification system, alongside a meek dwarfish girl playing drums in leg warmers. They weren't even ambitious enough to set up on the stage but "played" in darkness in the middle of the room. The soul-piercing feedback sent my entourage, which included singer, songwriter, DJ extraordinaire, and clearly a man we'd have preferred on mic, Q*Ball, screaming into the muggy August night. (Catch Q*Ball 10/8 at The Wicked Monk in Brooklyn!)

Deaf and a bit buzzed we decide to infiltrate the velvet rope security at the illustrious yet ostentatious restaurant/bar Ono (18 9th Ave.) Decorated in silk shades hanging from high ceilings that serve to flatter the faces of over-made Barbie and Ken doll replicas in girly polka-dot button-down shirts (the Kens, that is.) After an hour of overpriced drinks and terrible dance music I wanted nothing more than to fling my torso through the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the bamboo-filled outdoor garden. The closest thing to a celebrity in attendance was Jai from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy who shot me a "Girl, you are so fierce!" look of approval. I wanted to beg him, "Take me away from this madness... And straighten my hair!"

Though this cruel summer has beaten me down to my Chuck Taylors, I have the most spectacular life a bed-less, allergy-ridden girl could ever hope for. Sure I've run out of money, perfume and even clean underpants, but this rock-n-roll goddess possesses the Eye of the Tiger. Next month I'll be sharing cigarettes and Diet Coke with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance and rolling in Billy Joel lawsuit wampum. My future's so bright I gotta wear cateye rhinestone shades!

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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