Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh Boo-Hoo Little Model Girl....

The more I read back into my old travel journals from my modeling days, the more I tend to shake my head at myself and wonder why or how on earth I could possibly have found anything to wax and wane discontent about. I was living "pura vida" in every sense of the only real responsibilities besides making sure my student loans were getting paid, were to figure out where I was gonna travel to next, and to remain looking somewhat pleasing to the photographic lenses. But apparently I was dealing with some inner nostalgic turmoil at the time because during Season 2 in South Beach I came up with this pity soiree:


I have recently come to the conclusion and am coming to terms with the fact that you cannot relive the magic of a moment. You cannot go back to a place and expect everything to be as you left it. The memories you have made will forever be memories.

I have experienced so many amazing moments in 2000 with my first season in Miami and my unforgettable 4 months in Milan. I need to learn to appreciate those memories I made rather than wallow in the melancholy and deep nostalgia that always seem to ensue whenever I look at pictures or hear a song that reminds me of Milan or Miami last season.

I lived to the fullest extent possible for 8 straight months, experienced and did things the majority of people can only dream about, if even that. I thank God for all those blessings, yet a sadness still fills me, perhaps because I so badly want to go back & relive but I know I can't. What am I doing? I'm surrounded by friends here, making new memories every day. Why the torment? Do I need more out of life? The perpetual soul search is my curse.


Oh, have mercy. Poor, little model girl.....I mean, I know those feelings that I wrote about at the time were genuine. I was tormented obviously. But come on. When I look back at those days it was all glitz, fun, and travel....oh I miss it. I was surrounded by my best friends! What on earth was I whining about! Here I sit in Portland in gloomy-ass weather with only 2 people I can call close friends in town...both of which I rarely see because we are all so busy and are MOMS which is the BUSIEST CRAZIEST job ever. *Sigh* I really had nothing to complain about in retrospect. But, then again, when you have the kind of life that I did then, you kinda have to find something to cry about otherwise it would all seem too good to be true.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Busy Girl

Yep...I've been absent again. My new agency in Portland has been keeping me busy with pre-holiday fashion shows so I am too tired and outta time to stop in and continue with my chronicles for now. I mean, have mercy, I haven't even set up Christmas cards or bought gifts yet! But give me another week and I'll be back to posting those good ol' "middle model" stories.

And if you are just now stopping by and are a P.O.L. virgin.....dig back into my archives so you can start reading my memoirs from the beginning....this crazy blog will make much more sense that way! (I still have people asking if I am currently in South Beach...and although I would love the answer to be a resounding "yes", this girl is now a mom of two and not going away for long seasons bookings, yes, seasons, not so much.)

Baci a tutti!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stock Photography Made Me Famous

Well, kinda....

One of the bookings I got on this particular season in Miami was for an international stock photography giant. I shot for two days with the team in locations ranging from hotel lobbies, to all white seamless sets and tropical Floridian beaches. Some shots were solo and some in groups or with a guy and all were pretty fresh, fun.....the typical "Look at me, I looooove being alive!" kind of stuff. Cheese, and well, I can do cheese.

For industry outsiders, I have to explain what stock photography is. Stock is when a series of different people, locations, items, stills, etc, are shot and them put up for sale for clients of major and minor companies alike to choose from. In essence, these companies/clients can browse through the on-line catalogs of any number of stock photography companies to choose and purchase a shot that best sells their product, be it a rose petal with an artfully placed drop of dew on it, or a couple jumping in the air while eating a slice of pizza. This type of shot saves companies tons of money since they don't have to pay for an entire photoshoot themselves. Stock works great for the clients but for the models....well.....the money is nice for the amount of work you do, but when you start seeing yourself everywhere you start adding up what you could have potentially made had you been hired for each and every client that is using your images. And that can get depressing.

So, back to my story....I shot my ass off, had a blast, got paid and that was that. Or so I thought. Starting at about 6 months after I did this shoot up until about a year ago I started getting phone calls and emails from family & friends all over the world telling me that they had seen me on billboards, magazines, store window displays, brochures and magazine ads. When describing what I was doing in these shots (and I even got some sent to me by a couple of friends) I knew instantly that these ads had all been bought from the stock compilation that I had shot.

I was seen on billboards for Spain's Tourism Board in Amsterdam, billboards in the Canary Islands for a resort, had a huge window display on the East Coast for Sprint PCS, ended up on the cover of a Circuit City weekly flyer as well as a flyer for Adelphia Cable (which I believe is now part of Comcast, holy monopoly) had large ads up in most major American airports for a Caribbean tourism campaign, appeared on a billboard in Mexico for God knows what (my friend was driving back to California from Tijuana and saw my billboard) and even ended up in a half page ad at the back of Cosmopolitan magazine for ...oh God, I can't believe I am gonna divulge this to the world.....KY Jelly. Yeah....that one was mortifying beyonds words. There I was shooting on a beach with a male model, super cheesy smiles plastered on our faces.....little did we know we would end up in an ad for a personal lubricant. Have mercy.

So, yeah, with the amount of billboards and ads I got out of this job I should technically be both rich and famous. But, alas, it was just stock....and therefore I just got my normal day rate and the titillation of hearing a friend halfway across the world tell me she had just seen me on a huge billboard. *sigh*

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Hilfiger Show Casting

A few weeks into season, I was called to go on what sounded like a really good, not-to-miss casting. I was told that I was to meet at the penthouse suite of one of the beach's luxe high rise buildings for a "Hilfiger Show Casting". Okay, cool.

Being as I am not the de rigeour 5'9" for fashion shows, I was beside myself at having been requested for this casting. For non industry folk let me explain a little bit...castings come in two flavors....request and cattle call. Request castings entail your agency presenting a package of comps to a client out of which the client chooses exactly who they want to see, tossing the rest of the cards into a dumpster, yadda yadda....cattle calls are when a client really has no idea what they are looking for and see everyone in town. Then there are go-sees, etc. but I won't bore you with all those details. So, anyways, this was a request casting and of course for Hilfiger so I sure as hell was not going to miss it.

I show up at the casting where there's a group of about 20 other girls and quickly realize that no one is taking the time to look at our books, polaroid us, nothing. We kind of hang around this amazing apartment, taking in the views, shooting the Scheiss. Then a couple of men walk in the room, start conversing about nothing in particular, one of the men being Tommy Hilfiger's nephew or son or something like that...can't quite remember. He had the total rockstar outfit and demeanor although to this day I have yet to hear that he is or was involved in any kind of real musical endeavor...

After about 15-20 minutes one of the other models asked if they wanted to take one of her comp cards. She had to leave to go to another appointment, at which time one of the men said that he wanted to take down our names and numbers to be invited to a party later that week. Okay, WHAT? So...this casting, although attended by one of the members of the Hilfiger clan was not a casting for a Hilfiger show...rather we were kind of putting on the show by just being there. So weird. I never said anything to my agency. It wasn't a creepy vibe just totally random and (oh god, I think his name was Michael) young Hilfiger dude was actually really nice so we hung out for a few more minutes then all egressed back to our ever important lives on the beach.

Never a dull moment.

The only good thing I got from this casting was this breathtaking panoramic view of SoBe:

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Vodka, Jell-O and Charlie's Angels

One of my most memorable nights that season in Miami was the night Kari, Amber and I morphed into Charlie's Angels for no apparent reason.

Ned and Paul were out either partying or working or playing volleyball and us girls were left alone in the apartment. For some reason there just happened to be a box of strawberry Jell-O in the kitchen and a bottle of raspberry flavored vodka in the freezer and we had no plans for the evening. Kari and I mixed the two and let it do its thing in the fridge in a huge Pyrex bowl.

Amber, being the responsible one and also not having been fully introduced into the madness that had become "normal" to Kari and I, had already showered, put on her pj's and was ready for a comfortable night hanging out at home watching the thimble sized TV we had in the bedroom. The TV in the living room, which was an awesome faux wood encased floor relic only got one or two we were relegated to watching all TV, and rented movies on a 12 inch screen. By the time Amber was fully in relaxation mode, Kari and I pulled the bowl of sinful delight from the fridge and pranced around the living/dining room with it as if it were mana or some other such nectar of the gods. Amber was in trouble and she knew it.

(Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble....a witch's brew being presented to Amber.....and have mercy....I look like the Joker with Beethoven's haircut in this shot....)
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So, wet hair, pj's and all she was coerced into sitting at the dining room table with us as we spoonful by spoonful emptied the entire bowl of vodka jello. You can imagine that by this time we are all warm & fuzzy and ready to be anywhere but in the confines of the apartment. It being a Wednesday night we knew that there would be a great party down the street at the club formerly known as Bar Room and most, if not all, our friends would be there. So we ran to the the closet to get ready and...somehow....ended up all wearing the exact same outfit. Black turtlenecks, jeans and sneakers. Obviously the vodka was telling us that this was the cool thing to do.

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At one point, one of us called Jean Paul, or maybe he called us and we invited him to join us. While waiting for him to get there so that we could go out Kari starting busting out break dance moves that will make her go down in history as America's Next Top B-Girl Model while Amber and I cranked the music and pulled our best Naomi Campbell runway impersonations. At one point, we broke out our cameras and started taking pictures of ourselves as Charlie's Angels. Poses, faces, everything. Next thing we know, JP is at the door completely sober and taking in all this girly mayhem....much to his delight. At one point we started doing jumping jacks (FULLY clothed, thank you very much) and comparing bra strength notes....why? Blame it on inebriation....thank God JP was such a cool guy.....and thank God this was before the advent of YouTube and video cameras hidden in cell phones. Have mercy.

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(Kari bustin' a move.)
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(JP sneaking in some glutes...Amber and I had no idea he did this until we developed the film. Durrty boy!)
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So we leave, or should I say hang on JP and stumble, out of the building and walk down the street to the club. On the way some college guys in a convertible yell out props to JP for having three hot chicks hanging on him. The boy is pimp, and the fact that he was Charlie to our Angels fit him like a snug wet T-shirt. The rest of the night was a blur after we were let in past the throngs of tourists and locals trying to get in and through the velvet ropes to our tables in the VIP were then top model, Tonga was hanging out looking dreadlocked and unhappy. I know we danced. A lot. Probably reliqoured ourselves and danced some more. Then back home for general pukeage and room spins. God, I hated the room spins.....

I've never again touched jello shots since that night, nor have I pretended to be a Charlie's Angel while going out. It all seems so terribly, mortifyingly embarrassing now.....but back then, in the good ol' rockstar model days it was just another night. And fun. So very, very fun.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Schizo Modeling

After a few days of acclimating to our new home (which in South Beach means going out, sunbathing, and people watching) for a few days we all took off to meet up with our respective agencies. When I walked into the Elite offices I was greeted by everyone at the booking table and given a bear hug by Cap, the director. I loved Cap. She was a no holds barred, mama bear type. If she loved you she would tell you so and if you pissed her off, same deal.

Well, after Cap and the other bookers decided on a new comp for me for the season, she turned to me and sized me up sighing "if only you were 5'9" " (believe me, that was my wish too) and then with a pat on the butt told me I was getting too skinny and to stop losing weight and get a tan. Okay, cool. That was not going to be a problem. Good food is everywhere in Miami and I was gonna partake of it with relish. Sunbathing being added to my "to do" list was also not going to be a problem. But her comment was hilarious in that just a couple of months prior I was booted out of the Land of the Rising Sun for being too corpulent...and I was actually a few pounds lighter when I was in Tokyo!

So let's do a quick recap on my thus far schizo modeling experiences:

1. Taiwan season 1 : Skin too dark. Hair not short enough...please make more funky-style.
2. Osaka: Skin too dark. Hair too short, but okay. Too skinny for some clients.
3. Miami season 1 at Karin Model Mgmt.: Too pale, get a tan. Cut hair shorter. At Elite Model Mgmt.: Nice skin tone, grow your hair out please.
4. Milan (official) season 1: Hips are fine but don't gain any weight. Un tan bellissimo! Grow your hair out very long. With long hair you will work every day. (I worked 3-4 times a week with short hair, thank you.)
5.Tokyo: Too fat, go home.
6. Miami season 2: Get a tan, don't lose any more weight! (No mention about the hair this time, but I was bound & determined to grow it out and was praying they wouldn't book me for Schwarzkopf again this season.)

Yeah....and I couldn't wait to hear what the next market I was going to after Miami was going to want me to look like.

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the just sucks when the beholders all want you to look different.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Travel Journal Exhibitionism

And even though I was fully submerged into the magic of what was life as a traveling fashion model....apparently I was still very much on a soul search. Here's an entry from my travel journal from Miami Season 2:


I keep thinking how funny it is that I haven't written sooner. I've been in South Beach for a little over 2 weeks now. The paradise I've been dreaming of returning to for the past 8 I'm back and I can't help but feel unsettled. The apartment is nice, I love my roommates...Kari, Ned, Amber and little family. I've shot 2 editorials for Spanish Maxim and the cover of Irish Tattler. Three jobs in week and half, not bad, but as always, I am allowing myself to worry too, work, castings, the usual.

I'm really thinking about changing my life plan in the next 12 months. Living out of a suitcase is growing far too difficult for me. I love traveling, but I am feeling the need to establish some sort of permanence in my life. I want to travel for one more year then move back to LA where I can work and live....the best of both worlds. And maybe then I'll find my other half.

(I then commence to wax & wane poetic about how ready I am to fall in love but don't want to get hurt and haven't found anyone...yadda yadda yadda...won't bore you to tears with the mushy girly bullshit.)

And then at the end of the entry I had these two quotes which I am totally diggin on again now that I've rediscovered them:

"So, every time 'they' tell you all the logical reasons why things can't be done, remember all the times 'they' have been wrong." -Bank of America commercial

"I'm never alone/I'm alone all the time" -Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'll Be Right Back!!

I just realized I haven't posted here in some weeks....dealing with some pretty bad teething by part of my baby girl (which has meant absolutely NO sleep for me) and also writing several articles for a couple of online fashion mags....anyways, busy busy busy.....

But I'll be back this week with more memoirs.....stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Five Models in One Big Bed

Before I go on with the great adventures, bookings and happenings in general that occured during this particular season in Miami, I must first describe to you the apartment that we were gonna call home for the next four months.

The month before we all converged on South Beach, I managed to track down a somewhat verklempt Long Island expat that was working as a realtor in Miami Beach. She secured a one bedroom in the Decoplage for me at a very decent rate and the keys were to be held at the concierge's desk to await our arrival. She insisted that the unit had two queen sized beds in the bedroom and two sleeper sofas in the living room. This would be perfect for the 5 of us, being models we were used to living like sardines in a can. Great, no sweat, that was easy.

When we got to SoBe and entered our apartment we were pleasantly surprised at how clean, airy and large it was for a one bedroom. We had a balcony with a great view of the beach and ocean and it was furnished with everything we would need....but upon closer inspection we discovered that the two "sleeper sofas" were actually minuscule love seats and the queen beds in the bedroom were actually full sized.

Now, this normally wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that we were co-eding this cohabitation and since all relationships were to that point completely platonic this was proving to be kinda awkward. And since we were all taller than the national average, sleeping on a love seat was just not gonna happen unless we wanted our legs dangling perilously over the armrests. So what did we do? What any self-possesed group of young pretty people would do....we pushed the two fulls together in the bedroom and somehow voted one of us to be the poor bastard left sleeping in the crack (one bed was slightly higher than the other so this made the crack all the more comfortable...ha!).

Our first night there we arrived home after romping with celebs with beverages in hand and all five of us, two boys and three girls, dropped onto that makeshift raft of a bed and promptly passed out. No orgy ensued, nothing like that at all. Innocent and sweet we were. I know this sounds like fodder for some porn extravaganza but it truly was not.

I must point out that when there are FIVE of you in this type of sleeping accomodation being thin and/or attractive in no way means you have more room or are more comfortable. With five peeps in one bed you are gonna inadvertently end up listening to someone's nose whistle, snoring, or mumbling all night long.....or get rudely woken from a deep slumber by your bedmates RLS, flatulence or pool of drool that has somehow waterfalled off of their pillow and started lagooning right next to your face. But I must admit, all things considered, this would be the first and last time I would share a bed with 4 such gorgeous people at the same time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

They Like Booty in South Beach

So, my ass was too Cuban for Tokyo, I went back to Portland where I shot an Intel commercial and a campaign for Brooks running shoes, packed my bags, got on a plane with Amber, got fed processed meat sticks, felt my eyes sting and water from the violently explosive flatulence of the guy sitting in the row in front of ours, arrived in Miami where booty is appreciated, had Jean-Paul meet us curbside, drove to our apartment at the Decoplage, met up with Ned, Paul and Kari...this was a very "Real World" a la MTV moment....and so Season Two in South Beach had begun.

That night we fought off all vestiges of tiredness and managed to go out. We partied with Rupert Everett at Touch, and kicked it at 320 with Rod Stewart, Sting, and one of us managed to drop a glass of alchohol on the floor (I think it was a gin & tonic) breaking it and splashing Kid Rock as he was exiting the building.

Yeah, once upon a time this was my life......

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More on Tokyo and the Pity Party that Ensued

Ah, yes....nothing like a little body image dilemma when you're a model......words from my travel journal (aka an invitation to my pity party)...


Sitting in Narita. This is all so fucking surreal. I have spent 7 days in Tokyo and now I am going back home. Total mind fuck. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. I had a great time with Debbie and Michelle yesterday. We walked the grounds of the Imperial Palace, rode the subways, got lost, went shopping at Harajaku and partied at Gas Panic and Lexington Queen with two of the boys from N'SYNC, experienced a minor earthquake this morning and now my trip is over. Whirlwind? I'm going home.

I really like Tokyo. It's a pristine city, beautiful in its modernity, full of brilliant and positive energy. The people are so nice. I'm glad I got to come even if for such a short amount of time. I just wish I could've stayed longer, to experience this place if nothing else. I amstill angry, sad, shocked about getting sent home without being given any benefit of the doubt. I feel insulted and hurt and cand see a serious body and food image issue starting to form in my psyche.

As soon as I found out I was leaving I binged on crazy amounts of food both healthy and not. And now I feel disgusting and fat. I'm paranoid to go to Q6 when I get back and have them think of me as fat and gross. I don't want to end up with some sick obsession. Why the hell did this happen?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tokyo & My Big Cuban Ass

My summer in Portland ended, I packed my bags, kissed my cats good-bye and headed back to the Land of the Rising Sun. I was high with wanderlust and ready to get on with my traveling....maybe a little too high. I got to Tokyo, fell in love with the city instantly, moved into my little high rise apartment with an incredible view of Roppongi, and met my roommate, yet another sweet as sugar Canadian girl. What could possibly go wrong? Well....let my journal entry answer that question for ya...


I am going home on Sunday. I was told by the agency that I am "too fat" to work in Tokyo. What the fuck? Me, fat. That's a first. I just wish I could've laughed when my booker measured my ass and told me that I had "too many butts". Yeah, I have an ass and they want me to remove it? My booker took me out for a drink to break the news to me. He said that I would never work in Tokyo unless I could lose 2 inches on my butt and hips in one week. I was reeling. I measured in at 34.5 inches. Totally normal, totally regulation measurement for the biz. I could lose half an inch easy......but TWO? In ONE week? So I'm going home. Oh my God. I haven't had 33 inch hips since before I hit puberty. Oh my God.

I didn't sleep last night, having been in total shock. So much bullshit and I lost a really good booking at home to be here. But I have to look at the bright side of this. I got a free side trip to Tokyo. Now I can say I've been here. Tomorrow I'll explore the city and then I'll go home.

This is why girls go anorexic. Now I know.


That night I did what any good little model would do.......I went to Gas Panic and Lexington Queen and drank my huge Cuban ass off and got to watch Justin Timberlake making out with three rather young Brazilian models in the VIP of Lex. Arigato my friends......

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Of Hiking in the Moonlight & Crushing on Fashion Editors...

I have to say that the best job I've shot in Portland (fashion-wise) was for Ministry Magazine out of London that summer. The photographer happened to have grown up in Oregon and wanted to shoot a story up on Mt. Hood. I booked the job and this is how it went:


I worked Friday & Saturday with an amazing team. Finally, a real editorial shoot in Portland. We shot in the wilderness of Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge. Truly stunning. On Friday we finished so late that we ended up hiking down the mountain by the light of the moon. It was both terrifying and beautiful. The fashion editor of the magazine is only 22 and hilarious. He drove out to location with me in my car and had me in stitches the entire time. At one point we pulled over so that he could take a picture of a morbidly obese family to show his co-workers in London what an "American family" really looks like. He wants me to come to London.....I think I'm smitten.

(and then for some reason I tacked this quote to the end of the entry...)

"Close your eyes, that is the difference. Sometimes you can't believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel."

A shot from the editorial (yes, those were Burberry stilettos and everyone was freaking out that they would get wet in the stream...all this as I attempted to look like a fabulous wood nymph while balancing on 3 inch heels on a slippery, lichen covered rock. I love fashion.)

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Portland Fashion

So, I won't bore you with the rest of the details about my summer back in P-town, but here are a few examples of some of the work I did while back in Portland and Seattle. There really is a little market here, and I got lucky in that I got to work with some really great photographer's on jobs that were not locally-based....

Seattle Bride beauty editorial:

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Evolition Hair Design campaign (aka the Cracked Out Geisha shoot)

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Hiroshi shoot

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experimental Portland test

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Taipei or Tokyo? Tokyo or Taipei?

Because nothing inspires journal entries as much as anxiety and depression (with rockstardom coming in at a close second) the so-called summer of my discontent inspired these:


I have such an amazing life! All I have to do is pick up the phone, tell my agencies where I want to go, & the next thing I know, I'm off, all expenses paid. This morning I talked to Heather. I turned down a contract in Tokyo with Folio to go back to Taipei, but I truly believe that was the wisest decision. I know I'll work in Taipei, I have my old clients there already, whereas Tokyo could be more of a gamble. In Taipei I'll get more editorial tears and get to room with Kari! I can't wait! I am so excited to go back to Taiwan & share the experiene with by best friend!

As for now, I have 4 weeks left in Portland. I have so much to do to get ready!!


Small worry. Taipei is worried about my hair. They don't like that it's still so short, they think I will work more if my hair is longer. This wasn't an issue when I was there last time! What the hell? Anyways, the verdict will be in tomorrow. Do I go to Taipei or to Tokyo? I know I'll do well in either market.....I just need to get there.


I am seriously going insane. I sit in my apartment alone all day reading or watching TV. My social life has gone from amazing the past 8 months to nonexistant now. I love my apartment, I love my cats, but I can't deal with how limited my interraction with other people has become. I can't deal with not knowing where I am going in 3 weeks. Still no word from Taipei about my hair & my contract. I'm losing it! I am missing my Milan posse so much right now.


I've been confirmed for Tokyo!!!!!! I leave August 20th or 21st. Thank you, God!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Beginning of the Summer of My Discontent...

So after this incredible year of traveling, modeling, making incredible friends and living like a veritable rockstar, I found myself back in Portland. In a way, it was good to be back. I thought a break from the "jet set" lifestyle would do me good and i could get back into reality, even though I was really kinda liking my alternate reality.

I rented a studio apartment in Portland's trendy Knob Hill neighborhood, two blocks away from NW 23rd Ave., and right behind Trader Joe's....this was good. It may not have been an ocean view apartment on South Beach or a flat in Milan, but it would do....and if you know about Trader Joe's, then you know what I mean. My apartment was, to date, one of my favorite places I've ever lived in. The building was built in 1929 and the management kept the place spotless and beautifully detailed with its original floors and tile work. It had a really great energy, a view of the woodsy West Hills, and was my tiny little haven where I spent hours reading and emailing my friends who were, as they are now, spread all over the world.

Coming back to Portland with a book full of Taiwanese, Miami and Milanese tears and tests, meant that my local agency and Seattle agency were going to be able to start lining up good bookings for me. I had a new comp made and I spent the next few months working for clients like Nike, the Bon Marche, Nordstrom, Meier & Frank, Fred Meyer, Brooks Athletics and other smaller clients. To make time pass in between bookings, and because I really had no friends left in town, I got a job at Urban Outfitters that I could walk to from my apartment. It was a fun environment to work in, my co-workers were great, and I got a discount on clothes....what more could a girl want?!

Besides being travel & friend sick, things were good. I was keeping busy and waiting to hear from my agency in Vancouver BC about when and where I would be going next. I was either headed back to Taipei or going to Tokyo. And while I was happy to go to either or both, finding out which one was gonna be "it" was a big deal. If I was getting a contract to Taipei, I'd have to go through the visa process in Seattle again, which is NOT fun.....basically you have to apply for a tourist visa and you work there illegaly, but the embassy in Seattle is super and I mean SUPER suspicious (at least it was then) and the thought of going through that process again was enough to give me heart palpitations.....and if I was going to Tokyo then I would have to make sure that I did not gain another quarter of a centimeter on my hips which were still at 34 1/2 inches. Hey....I had just come back from 8 months of eating Cuban food and Italian's a miracle my WAIST wasn't 34 1/2 inches!

So the waiting game had begun.....and so had the summer of my discontent.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reminder Reminder Reminder, Yes!

Wow. With that last post I made on here I realized that almost to the date my original journal entry was 6 years ago! Crazy. No wonder I feel like a wrinkled old geriatric prune.

If you are checking in for the very first time and allowing the Peacock to pluck your virginity.....this blog is my memoir.....accounts of my days on the road as a model. So for this to make any sense you gotta start at the beginning....archives are at the right somewhere....knock yourselves out!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Milan Travel Journal Part 7


I'm on a plane back to the States. Mixed emotions. In a way I'm excited to go home, chill out, detox, make some money, make my body healthy again. But the most overpowering emotion is one of sadness. How do I keep myself from crying as I write this on a plane full of strangers?

My last few days in Milan I walked around in a daze. I was weighed down both body & soul with a sense of sadness that I could not shake. Then last night we all sat in Kari's room with only the soft glow of candles to allow us to see each other. We listened to sad music and bore our souls. This was good-bye.

Be strong, Morayma. I am leaving Milan...the city that became my home, that I know now better than I know Portland or LA. So beautiful it has become to me, so full of wonderful memories and the best of friends I have ever had. The best. Ned, Kari, Isaak, TIm, Paul, JP, Jackie, Sam, Mike, Muffin, Jeremy, Kerry, Jakob, Jonny, Jason, Eva, Fabienne, Sorrell...I can't imagine my life without them. My posse. My crew. I just pain at the thought of not seeing them everyday, this circle of friends.....


On a plane from Miami to Chicago now after my layover, and then back to Portland. So funny being back in the States. Nice in a way although I miss Milan & my friends insanely. I talked to Fabienne and Isaak yesterday from the aiport at DC. Kari wasn't home so Fabienne answered and then passed the phone to Isaak. They sounded so happy, and we joked for a few minutes before I had to board. Things are gonne be fine. I'll see these guys is good!

Being in Miami yesterday made me so excited for my season coming up in 3 1/2 months. I have a strong feeling that everyone will be there again. I know that Cormac and Neil will be back as well......Neil assured me of that over lunch at Principe di Savoia in Milan when he was passing through on business. Now I just need to convince everyone else to show up.....I already know Kari and Jackie will be game! JP will be there......We are going to have the most amazing season of our lives!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ciao Bella Italia

Leaving Milan, and Italy in general proved to be an assault on my senses. Not only was I missing people that I adored and who were the tightest knit friends I had ever had, but that city & that country had become something of an obsession to me....and still is.

The art, the architecture, food, language, hospitality, joie d'vivre, atmosphere, scenery, EVERYTHING about Italy was so beautiful, so completely and utterly pleasure filled, that coming back to the States with its depraved, boring, Puritanical esthetics, just made me nothing short of clinically depressed. Gone were the stately, ancient buildings, the hustle & bustle of the people who even when fighting sounded lyrical and operatic. Gone was the TRUE and most delicious cuisine of that nation....Pizza Hut be banned, and gone was the pure essence of living life to the fullest the Italians seem to have the ability to do from birth. La Dolce Vita indeed. It exists and I got a dose of it, enough to carry me through to another season, but not enough to keep me truly sated.

I think that the minute I got on my US bound flight at Malpensa Airport I started going through withdrawals. If nothing else I should have been in the fetal position in the plane bathroom withdrawing from my cold turkey sobering up from my gelato addiction. All I would have with me, to sustain me until the next time I was back in that blessed nation, would be my journal entries and my pictures. Memories and nothing more. Memories of the lazy days at the Parco, of the crazy nights at the clubs, of the endless castings, fun-filled bookings, of running into friends all over the city, being called "bella" carina" and any number of other terms of endearment that Italians are so fluent in.

Memories of things that could only and would only happen in a place like Milan, like when my friend Domenico, who I have known since we were both in diapers, and who had moved back to Italy when we were still kids, came to visit me and took me out to Mexican only to get stranded after a late meal with no taxis or public transportation running. We had to walk several miles down cobblestoned streets to get back to my apartment and I remember he must have though I was mad because of how fast I was walking....a complaint all of my friends have always had......I walk like a grayhound on meth....always have, don't know why....and how I felt even even worse because I couldn't let him upstairs into the apartment because my roommate was having "issues" and would have beheaded me for bringing over a guest. Crazy, beautiful memories.

And my friends......oh my friends. How on earth was I gonna go back to the States and then Tokyo without them? I was just gonna have to find out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Hope Karma Bites Her Hard

My last week in Milan, Eva (my roommate), was summoned to Paris by her agency and was promptly replaced by an uber-bitch that had flown in from New York but was originally from Sweden. This humongous, Amazon of a woman went through my fridge and kitchen shelves the minute she got there and removed anything she deemed "unhealthy" without my permission or knowledge.

Gone was my overpriced jar of peanut butter, my coconut chocolates, Nutella and a few other items only to be replaced by some nasty barnacle looking crap and wheatgrass. This chick was obviously some health nazi of epic proportions. I bit my tongue since I wasn't planning to be at the apartment much my last week there....I had places to go and friends to hang out with after all.

The next thing I know, she moves one of her friends into the apartment without the agency's consent (or mine for that matter!). Her friend was another model who had been kicked out of her agency, Pepea Model Management, and rather than hit the airport she decided it would be a good idea to move in with us. This girl lay on the couch every minute I was home and never once asked if she could make room for me to sit and watch TV or read a book. She was obviously depressed at having been exiled from her agency and was such a source of bad energy in that tiny place that I really ended up only going home for showers and to catch a few hours of sleep at night. The Swedish bitch never once apologized or asked if it was cool that her friend stay with us, and since she was easily 6 feet tall and one of those "fit" swimwear/sportswear models who would have easily been able to snap my neck with her thumb & forefinger, I seethed inside & once again said nada.

On my last night in Milan, I hung out with all of my friends until dawn making it home at 4 am. I planned to shower and get 2 hours of rest before I would have to head to the airport and back to the States with my heavy heart in tow. I have to admit that I pride myself in the fact that I have always been a good & considerate roommate. I was quiet as a mouse when I got home, grabbed my stuff, took my shower, stepped over the homeless roommate's crap that lay strewn on the floor and got into bed only to have Scary Swede pant and heave and grumble that I was a party animal and what the hell was I doing out so late. I ignored her, fell asleep, woke up the designated 2 hours later, left my keys next to the phone as requested by my agency's accountant and left.

Since I was already so depressed about leaving this incredible city that I was 100% enamored with and the friends that had become my family here, I didn't think much about Scary until almost a year later when Patty (the agency owner) sent me a random email telling me that she was really upset that I would give my set of apartment keys to an Italian guy who apparently moved in after Scary & her leech moved out and made himself at home the entire month of August while the agency was closed & no models were in town. He was discovered by the cleaning lady who confronted him and had the keys thrown in her face by him shouting that a blonde girl with my name (hello, I am NOT blonde, never have been....but GUESS WHO WAS?! ) had given him the keys. That biotch from hell had passed my set of keys to God knows who and said she was me. Why on earth would anyone want or need to be so vengeful. I will never know. I let her toss out my food, move in a random chick and pretty much have the place to herself and this is what she thought was a cool way to "get me back".

And because she was in her early thirties and didn't ever party.....guess who the agency believed? A lot happened in between this trip to Milan and my second trip, so I won't give away too much about the second trip until we get to that point in the timeline, but suffice it to say that I went from the agency darling to someone the owner's looked at with a hint of suspicion. Not cool. I hope karma bites that chick in the ass someday....hard.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The D2 Party

One of the very last parties of the season was the D2 (DSquared) party that was held afer their fashion show in Milan. Keep in mind, that because I am not a runway whore, I worked best in Milan during mens show season during which time I could work mainly in editorial, beauty and catalog print rather than have to worry about being 100 lbs and 5'10" like the show girls need to be during women's show season.

I guess you can say I got the best of both worlds, getting to model in Milan, EAT and party at all of the men's designers after show parties with my friends, many of which got be runway gods for the season. And I have to go off track for a second here to tell you how awesome the male fashion show casting horror stories were. There was nothing more hilarious and stomach turning than hearing Jeremy or Mike talk about waiting in line for hours only to be handed a very used, very, very used little man thong to change into for the likes of Gianfranco Ferre. Okay, the thought of having to wear something that has come into contact with the nether regions of hundreds of other guys is just plain wrong. Lucky are the boys who are first in line.....not so lucky is the last guy in line who gets to don a sweaty and skidmarked loincloth with very small odds for booking the job anyways. And they wonder why models have to drink so much.....

So....back on track....the D2 party that year was being heralded as something not to miss so of course, on the night of, we all jumped on the subway and headed out of city limits to rub shoulders with the who's who of Milanese couture. On the subway ride there Isaak performed a very sweet pole dance for everyone and Tim showed us his gymnastics skills on the handlebars. We egged Mike on to do a runway saunter down the middle of the train car but no matter how hard we tried, he wouldn't budge. I'm sure the fact that the car was full of passengers didn't help, or maybe we hadn't gotten enough vino into him, but it would have been hilarious had he succumbed to our peer pressure!

Once at the venue we walked around taking in the pools of water, sunken sitting areas and mirrored walls a la Studio 54. Young men clung on to the arms of old women, and old men for that matter, and the atmosphere was surreal and made me just want to sit back and observe. This wasn't the best party experience for us, but it was definitely the most movie set worthy. You honestly expected to walk around a corner and find a group of people having an orgy on one of the white leather divans that were placed everywhere (and, yes, surrounded by mirrors).

Towards the end of the night we somehow all ended up in a little VIP sitting area right next to the bar and one of the boys (not telling who because he is now a Canaian soap opera celeb and I am not Perez Hilton!!) grabbed a bottle of SoCo and Creme de Menthe from behind the bar without being seen and we passed these receptacles of alchoholic nastiness around until one of the crew (same one who bottle napped the liqour!) ended up falling backwards off of our table platform and onto the dancefloor with one of the bottles causing mass glass shardage and a few cuts on his modelly epidermis. Yeah, that was our signal to end the night. We left, went home, puked in toilets, passed out, met up for burgers & fries the next morning and realized that we'd all be leaving very very soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's All in the Past, My Friends! I am almost completely resettled and ready to start back up with my lst few weeks in Milan and my painful foray back to the land of the rising sun....but first I have to add a little sidenote to all the new readers of my blog.....

Peacocks on Leashes is a chronological recanting of my adventures as a fashion model. These stories are all things that have already happened , starting approximately six years ago. Eventually I'll get to the present day, but for now, everything you read is a look into my past.

To really get what I'm posting about you have to start from the very beginning which you can find in my archives (on the sidebar!) And I promise it's worth weeding through the archives.....

So, no, I am not currently in Milan, although I would LOVE to be. ;-) I still fantasize about moving my family to Italy someday.....but don't get me started on that one....that would fill a whole other blog....something about the Adventures of a Europhile.....LOL!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An Interruption.....

Just wanted to drop in & let you all know that I'll be off-line and thus, not posting for the next week. We have a big house move in progress and once we are resettled and have an internet connection set up.....Peacocks will be back with the end of my first season in Milan and my venture to Tokyo.

Till then!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Alora...You 'Ave a Few Castings.....

On a slow day.......

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Milan Travel Journal Part 6


Partied at Gasoline's last night for the summer. Kuba was hooking us up with shots of vodka, etc. I like him. He's a cool cat. We've hung out a few times after hours but just as friends, even though nowbody believes me. After rallying at Gasoline, Isaak, Tim, and Jeremy spent the night at my apartment all piled on the couch. Life rocks even though I feel like crap this morning. Nobody outside of this profession, this world I live in, could possibly understand it. I want to live forever!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's A Salad In A Glass & Other Random Bits

There are so many random moments that I remember from this season (and many of which I am sure to have forgotten) that I had to jot down those that still stand out but which are too inside-joke-esque to merit their own posts. I apologize if the following tidbits seem completely nonsensical, but those of you that were there with me.....I think you might enjoy your memories being jogged....

Towards the end of season our little group of friends started frequenting a spot called Bahnhof, aptly named as it was situated across the road from Milan's main train station, where every Thursday night (at least I think it was Thursdays!) we would be served a delicious dinner and drinks.....all free, of course. It was at Bahnhof that a couple of my friends got introduced by yours truly to Mojitos. I had to share this liquid delight with them, after all, I am half Cuban and had to represent. Isaak and Tim were quick to nickname this concoction a salad in a glass. After all, you get some greens, some citrus and of course some sugar cane all mixed together.....niiiiice liquid diet! Perfect fodder for a model hater.......I can just imagine the "mojito with a side of blow" jokes that will ensue from this one.....

I think that I can attest to being a pretty good girl throughout my years as a traveling model with the exception of a few instances, always fueled by too much champagne or whatever was being served on that particular night. I never got "durrty" & my clothes always stayed on, but I do remember one naughty night hanging out in the VIP of Hollywood with one of my guy friends who will be called "N" for the rest of this story. I can't recall where the rest of our gang was, but here we were sitting at a random table being talked to by a swarthy, hairy guy wearing far too much gold (he would have looked at home chillin at the Badda Bing). He was obviously having some mid life crisis and was tittilated to have these two young models near him. For shits & giggles N and I told him we were brother and sister, and in reality we could have passed as such, only to start kissing spontaneously much to his perverted amusement. I can imagine he must have rung all his friends on his celly later that night to tell them he had just witnessed a live act of incest. Whatever rocks your boat, buddy.

I remember hearing from Kari that Mikey was starting to date one of her roomates and how in a drunken state (be it alchohol drunk, love drunk, or a mix of both), he dove out of her bathroom window to avoid breaking apartment curfew, breaking the toilet seat in the process.


Monday nights at Hollywood always served models with free pizza, drinks and an American movie. We never missed a Monday night there.....we were so spoiled, really. The best was hanging out all afternoon at Parco Sempione with a little spliff and arriving at the club blissfully sedate and ravenous for that cheese pie, then just laying back on the nasty vinyl couches we'd drag out of the VIP and watching a movie in our native tongue. Heaven.


I always loved running into Jason on the subway in between castings.....he would never fail to invite me to hang out at the Parco with some friends for the rest of the afternoon. I usually declined, I was too goody-goody to miss out on my castings, but it was always so nice to know that I had friends that really wanted to hang out anytime, all the time. Nice to be reminded of that at random times during the day.


Jackie and I became total Limoncello addicts that season. I remember walking to Old Fashion from my apartment on Paolo Sarpi with the drink in plastic cups and getting giddy and swearing to God that our skin was feeling oddly warm......anybody know if Limoncello really does that?


It never failed that after a long night out we would all convene by the Duomo to eat Burger King (hangover food!) and catch each other up on the previous night's adventures. During one of these feeding frenzies we found out that Muffin had ended up passing out on a park bench with his wallet right next to head....miracle of miracles that it wasn't lifted! Also heard that another of our boys had ended up making his way into someone's backyard and spent the night sleeping on a trampoline. I always made it home, thank God, but did spend far too many nights swearing I would never drink again as I prostrated myself in front of the toilet....and once the bathtub. Thank God, my roommate was as big of a mess as I was!


Then there were the simple hours spent just sitting at a cafe drinking capos and eating insalatones while people watching and wondering if life could possibly get any better.

So, what can you take away from these random bits? Yeah, we partied hard, but we always stuck together thus avoiding any potentially dangerous situations. Three girls and a dozen guys, give or take a couple, always meant that no other men dared break into our group. Jackie, Kari and I were safe to be rockstars. Our friends were the best bodyguards a girl could ever want. Leaving Milan was really gonna hurt.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Kiss

Everyone has had a a "moment" with another person that pretty much becomes indelible in their memory bank. Be it because it was particularly meaningful, romantic, crazy or fun, these moments tend to pop up at random and make you smile, or, if you are unlucky, cringe. I wasn't unlucky with my "moment"...not at all.

During this season in Milan, I had developed a crush on one of the C-9 Killahs, but we remained nothing but friends, if not with a little extra chemistry. It was fun and totally harmless and unreciprocated until one of the last nights we all hung at Old Fashion together.

To make a long story short, this night in particular, one of Ale's friends was going nuts with the passing around of alchohol at our table. We had baskets of lychee fruits to eat and throw at each other (totally random) and glasses of vodka and juice that never emptied no matter how feverishly we were downing them. The club was over crowded that night with the "non-models" on one side of a fence dancing & looking over at all of us in the VIP as if we were in a zoo....and maybe we should have been.

We were all hanging out and having a very socially lubricated time, trying hard not to think about the fact that we would be leaving Milan in a matter of weeks, if not days, when my crush (who has asked me to call him Golden Arms in order to keep his anonymity) started feeding me lychee fruits. I knew we were in trouble at this moment because this would be one of the last opportunities I would get to seize the moment. At some point Golden ended up sitting on a chair backed up against the fence that separated the VIPS from the normies and Lady Alchohol lead me straight onto his lap, straddled, total stripper move and we started making out.

I have to say that what makes this moment a "moment" is that this kiss had ben anticipated for months, not just by me, but apparently by all of our friends seeing as the minute lips locked all of them started applauding and cheering us on and Barbara started snapping shots as if she were the papparazzi and we were Brad and Angelina. A total "moment".

Nothing else happened after that instance, but the rest of our crew didn't let us live it down the rest of season. To this day I am still completely mortified that I sat on him like I did....totally uncouth and unladylike, but was it fun? Absolutely.

Friday, May 18, 2007

High Fashion Editorial Pics from Milan

How could I not share some of these incredible, cutting edge editorial shots from Milan? Ellen von Unwerth, eat your heart out. These pics belong in Italian Vogue without question.

Walking in flip flops in Milan is not only comfortable but provides you with a delicious antipasto of grime for a quick snack between castings:

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Tim models a fabulous fruit chopstick hair ensemble created by himself during a moment of intense inspiration at Old Fashion:

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Ah yes, I finally found the land in which cars are miniscule whilst city maps are large enough to provide shelter to the inhabitants of a small nation:

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Kari (otherwise known as "Legs") shows off an haute couture ensemble found in Fabienne's closet (otherwise known as the floor):

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After finding a somewhat dirty linen napkin on the floor of Louisiana, Isaak commences to design a lovely Edwardian inspired cravat for himself. Project Runway, your new star is born:

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Peacocks On Leashes???

So.....many of you have been wondering from blog entry number one what on earth Peacocks on Leashes means. Is it some kinky S & M practice? A form of animal abuse as of yet gone unnoticed by the members of PETA? The name of a rock band or nightclub? Nope. None of the above.

I had actually forgotten all about peacocks being leashed until last summer when my friend Isaak (yes one of the infamous C-9 Killahs) was passing through Portland and paid me a visit. I was telling him that I wanted to write a book about my adventures as a model and when he asked what the title would be, I drew a blank. Then he offered up "Peacocks On Leashes", and thus this blog was born.

See, the reason Isaak brought up that name, and the reason I decided to use it is because it brings back some crazy, crazy memories of an even more insane night we spent with our crew in Milan. We had at this point been going to many parties on a weekly basis. Basically, if you didn't have a booking the next day, you would be out partying that night. It's just part of the lifetsyle, and when you are a bunch of pretty young things, playing hard is just de rigeour. Every night brought about one awesome experience or another, but the night that brought about my blog's title belongs in a short film on the Sundance channel, seriously.

Ale, who set up our tables at Old Fashion every week, had sold us earlier in the week on a party that would be taking place in the outskirts of Milan at another outdoor venue. There was supposed to be a cornucopia of free libations as well as performing drag queens of the Brazilian variety (many of which could give Giselle Bundchen a run for her money), a red carpet to greet us and peacocks being walked on leashes.....yes, PEACOCKS ON FREAKIN' LEASHES! This sounded too Alice in Wonderland good to pass up, so we all memorized the date and when the night of the fete arrived we were rarin to go.

The club, called Spider (or Spyder...can't remember the spelling....ooops!) proved to be rather elusive. After piling into cabs to get to the club which if memory serves me correctly was about 30 minutes outside of town, we were dropped off at some random and very dark building surrounded by nothing. Needless to say this wasn't the correct location and before we knew what was going on the cabs had disappeared leaving us stranded.

After much discussion and confusion, someone decided to lead the pack in search of Spider and our, by then, much needed drinks. I'm not sure if this someone was Jeremy or Kuba, but whoever it was took us on a hairy journey through a pitch black forest and alongside of a very narrow highway where trucks and cars where flying by at Autobahn velocity. We walked in a single file line literally feeling the wind blow on us as each speeding vehicle passed us. After walking through a field listening with growing annoyance to Fabienne's cousin (who we later found out worked as a call girl) bitch & moan about her stilettos getting stuck in the mud with every step we took in order to get Kuba to pick her up or grab her ass or whatever, we arrived at Spider.

After being deserted by our cabbies and practically losing our lives on the side of an Italian freeway, we were greeted by....No red carpet, trannies in need of more estrogen therapy, ONE drink ticket, and by God, not a single peacock on a leash. Not even a rat terrier on a leash for that matter. Niente. Kari, Jackie and I got our Vodka Red Bulls and went up to our designated table where the boys were already nursing their alchohol and where eventually someone thrust an enormous plate of fruit on the table for us to eat. We did some damage to that fruit, listened to too much awful Euro pop and then headed home. Peacocks on Leashes, indeed. If Ashton Kutcher had been out of grade school and wooing Hollywood at that time, I would have thought we were definitely being Punk'd.

We never left the Milan city limits for a party again...excpet for the D2 party at the very end of season....which once again proved that out of town just means trouble.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Macy Gray Goes Well With Candlelight

Partying wasn't the only thing my friends in Milan and I did well together during our time off. Some of my fondest memories of my friends involve laying around in Kari's room listening to Macy Gray in the soft glow of the candles we would always light.....warm, Milanese breeze blowing through the open windows, sounds of people walking by and train cars in the distance. It would be the usual crew of Mikey, Isaak, Jeremy, Timmy, Kari, Jackie and I, just sitting there in silence, basking in our friendship which didn't always entail having to be raucous or in full blown conversations. I also remember sitting in the courtyard of C-1 with Ned, Jason, JP, Kerry, Sammy, and Paul watching them play chess or just getting lost in quiet dialogues about life outside of Milan and modeling, about our pasts and what the heck we were going to do in the future, and often we would just sit not saying anything at all. Great friends can sit in the quiet and not feel awkward.....these were great friends.

I'll never know what everyone was thinking during these magic, silent moments.....but I remember always feeling both elated and sad. Elated to be with these amazing people that I cared about and loved so much, and saddened by the knowledge that it was just a matter of time before we would all be dispersed into the world again. End of season would be upon us brutally soon.

I still get heavy hearted when I think about these times. It isn't fair to make such good friends and such strong memories with them only to never all be in the same place again.....although I did end up traveling for four more years with most of these cats after this first season in Milan, life inevitably picked us all up and dropped us in different places to "grow up" and step into reality. School, corporate jobs, marriage, socially conscious travels to the Third World......we are all now worlds apart, but not a day goes by that I don't think about my crew. The parties were fun, but this deep kinship we all developed in candlelight to the soundtrack of our season is what will always remain ingrained in my memories and what will never need pictures for me to be able to remember them.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Liam Neeson & Fabienne's Fabulous Vitamin E

For a while during season, Kari had this outrageously crazy model roommate from Switzerland named Fabienne. She was completely wild which made her fun to party with, but not so fun to live with. The girl would take Kari's underwear off of the drying rack (Euro apartments seldom come equipped with dryers) and use them then leave them lying around soiled. Awesome. But what the girl lacked in roommate couth, she made up for in her smuggling abilities.

There was one night in particular that comes to mind when I think about Fabienne. She had just come back from a trip to Amsterdam with a bundle of pharmaceuticals stashed away in her Kodak Cool Pix, or whatever those annoying little cameras were called, and was itching to share her stash with her friends. Kari, the Canadians and I were all over at Kari's apartment getting ready to go to the weekly party at Old Fashion Cafe when Fabienne traipses in and starts handing out what we liked to call Vitamin E. Some of us were newbies and some were seasoned trippers, but either way we all quickly came to the conclusion that this girl had undoubtedly brought the goods...and I mean good goods.

I like to think that my first experience with this mood enhancer was as good as it was because of the company I was with, but I do think that the Dutch have a bit more panosh as it were when it comes to producing quality recreational tablets. Whatever the reason, be it friends or ingredients or a combination of both, this night was one of the best and strangest in my life.

After taking our vitamins we all gathered outside Kari's apartment to wait for her friend Jacob to join us before heading to the club. As we waited, things started to kick in and one by one pupils started dilating, backs starting getting rubbed on whatever was near, lamposts, trees, anything was fair game and hands were being held, squeezed and tickled. I don't know if I can really describe what I felt in any other way than sheer bliss and lightheartedness. I felt like a child, giddy, joyful and with a mass of butterflies in my stomach. We ran like kids to the bus stop, boarded the bus and commenced to roll (pun definitely intended, my friends) to Old Fashion.

I remember passing the Castello at Parco Sempione and seeing the fountain lit up and just being in awe of how magical and ethereal everything looked. I remember looking around at all of my friends and being completely in love with all of them and with my life at that moment. I remember wanting to shout out how happy I was with a feeling like my heart was about to burst.

We arrived at Old Fashion, were immediately escorted to the VIP where Ale had reserved a table for us overlooking the dancefloor, and that's when things took a turn for the surreal. After getting to our table and pouring the first few rounds of drinks we looked over to the left only to see Liam Neeson walking to the dance floor with an Italian girl, followed seconds later by Julia Stiles who was not shy in giving the models around her dirty looks. To top it off, at the table directly across from ours, Kevin of the Backstreet Boys was sitting spread eagle and sending his bodyguards over to bring models back to his table....and the models he was pointing out were all obviously underaged. Nice. So....we all sat there, starry eyed (or glazed over, whichever you prefer) and watched this random grouping of celebs party the night away as we gave each other neck rubs and held hands.

Later that night we got the itch to leave and headed to Hollywood. I think we actually walked there but I could be wrong. Our group somehow split up and I made the journey there with Fabienne, Marcus and Isaak only to be greeted by a running Kari once we were half a block away from the club. She was yelling that Linley was in the VIP with a look of total shock on her face and of course the shock quickly spread to me....Linley! Our friend from Miami? How on earth could he be in a club in Milan? We ran back into the club hand in hand and there he was....our boy from the beach! He had come over to visit his model girlfriend and had no idea we were there as well. Now this would be a surprise sober, but can you imagine how amazing it was to be reunited with a friend on a totally different continent than the one you last saw them in while totally mood enhanced? It was great, I ain't gonna lie.

The next day I felt like I had had a spinal tap, but there was no pain great enough to make me regret that night. It was magic. I am not in any way condoning the use of let me clarify that one before I get crucified....but I did have one hell of an amazing trip....and I know I was lucky. Nothing afer that ever came close to comparing.

Fabienne, Newton (who prefers to remain incog), me and Marcus on our way to Hollywood. Someone took a random polaroid of us.....forever capturing our strung out essence.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


So it may seem that I have gone missing in action....but I am still very much alive and still very much wanting to keep my Peacocks Leashed. My husband and I have decided that we need to migrate back south next summer which has prompted us to put our house up for sale and look for a rental. That'll make it so that when we do move back to Los Angeles all we'll have to do is a give a 30 day notice to some landlord whose pockets we've been filling, pack up and get the hell outta Dodge...or Portland.....whatever strikes your fancy. So I've been excited,busy, stressed out, worried, sick to my stomach, melancholic and all the stuff that neurotic Geminis like me are prone to feeling....and thus, so suffers my blog.

But check back in in a day or two and I promise to have more pictures of beautiful people in strange and oftentimes stupid positions.

And maybe finally I'll tell you the story behind the name of my blog.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Go Home, You have Ugly Hair

Video castings (aka commercial auditions) in Milan are notorious for taking forever and a day. You sit in a room with pretty much every model that is in town and wait for hours on end until your name is finally called. I kid you not, it was pretty normal to sit at one of these castings for four hours before it was your turn to smile for the camera. Most of the time I would bail out after an hour and just go to all of my other appointments or to the nearest gelateria to stuff my face. I hated video castings.

Halfway through season I decided that I wasn't going to go to anymore of these castings unless the job seemed really promising and included a trip to some exotic location or something great like that. It just wasn't worth my time, and commercials in Milan generally paid crap compared to commercials in the US......I love me some SAG. And although I cringe at the memory, one of the few commercial castings that I did end up going to after I vowed to boycott them ended up being one of the most mortifying experiences in my modeling career.

I don't remember what the job was for, but apparently it was good enough for me to warrant spending too much time in a tiny room full of models, most of which had yet to experience the joys of deodorant.....just cuz you're purrty doesn't mean you don't stink......I think it may have been a United Colors of Benetton spot or something and I though it would be a kick in the pants to get it....their campaigns always look like so much fun.

Well, there I am, sitting on a plastic folding chair that is pinching my ass most fiercely and trying to maintain my composure because the boy that I was totally crushing on just happened to be sitting next to me.....all of a sudden the casting director comes out and starts doing the line-up of shame. She has us all stand up and points to each model with a "stay" or "no thank you". When she gets to me she asks me to let my hair down. Now, you gotta remember that at this time I was the Milanese hair job queen and my hair was short and impossible to style.....impossible for me, anyways, since I have zero talent when it comes to my hair and its upkeeping. I was famous for my tiny pigtails and that is what I would wear to manage my unruly coif....either that or a bandana/kerchief. So on this dastardly day, I happend to have my piggies in and when I took them out, my hair was tweaked out and well, just not cute. The casting director took one look at my unfortunate head and scoffed "Your hair is so ugly! You can go home!".

I felt a full body blush coming on at that point and with an Academy Award winning fake smile, I picked up my bag and walked out....all the while fighting back tears and the total shame of having been humiliated in front of way too many other models included Mr. Crush. Self-esteem is not something you gain from being a model. Nope.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Italian Nose Excavations

Everyone has their phobias, from the understandable to the nonsensical and I am not immune to my own phobic curses. Apart from being deathly afraid of cockroaches, I am completely phobic of boogers. Yes, boogers, nose crusts, nasal crunchies, call them what you will. I can stand the sight of blood, excrement, vomit and phlegm (in moderate servings, thank you) but boogers make me want to hurl instantaneously. My fear of such nastiness is perhaps what made the Universe play a practical joke on me one day in Milan as I was on my way to a Nivea commercial casting.

Jackie and I were riding a tram to the casting together. We were on the left hand side of the tram where the seats are singles so she was sitting in front of me. We were probably planning when the next time were gonna make our famous punch was gonna be or how we could get the boys we had crushes on to like know the normal kind of stuff girls talk about, when to my complete horror I saw a man a few seats ahead and across from us digging frantically into his nasal cavities. Now this wasn't your average light nose pick...the kind you see people perform when they are in their cars and don't think anyone is looking. This man was digging deeply and rather enthusiastically in one nostril and then the other, alternating with complete synchronicity.

I was so appalled that I couldn't help but stare as my stomach turned and I probably turned a light shade of green. After a few seconds I tore my eyes away from the nose excavator and turned to Jackie with a look of complete shock, then turned my gaze back at the guy. She followed my eyes and then turned to me with her mouth wide open. We were speechless and nauseated. Almost instantly the man, who must have noticed our stares, shot up from his seat and walked over to us. He started smiling maniacally while still picking his nose and then stood right above me. He had a booger in his fingers that he was rolling into a ball and probably would have flicked onto me had I not screamed and jumped out of my seat with Jackie right behind me. We ran to the front of the tram with the booger man right behind us in hot pursuit. It is by the grace of God that the next tram stop was so close by, because we were able to jump off before that foul dude could get to us.

I have no idea if the guy was clinically insane or just mean and disgusting, and I really don't care either way. All I know is that I was seriously traumatized that afternoon and it took me a few days to ride the trams without looking around at everyone with a serious case of paranoia.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Milan Travel Journal Part 5


i just said goodbye to Muffin. Another member of the Dolce Crew has left Milan. I can't get used to this tearing away of people from my life. Who will go next? I hope that of those of us who are left I will be the next one to go. July 5th is when I am supposed to leave. Just 5 more weeks. It'll be easier if I am the next to go home, wherever that is, this has become my home......My heart aches at the thought of leaving. I want to see the Dolce Crew in South Beach. 4 1/2 months away. I don't want to think that when we all leave Milan we will lose each other forever.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Models Gone Wild, Part 2

And the Milanese festivities continue:

Get your minds out of the gutter....this is SO NOT what it looks like!

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Sorrel, Paul and Sam posing in front of the first camper we had ever seen in Europe.

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Jackie, Marty, Isaak, me, and Jeremy who could rock the cool hats like nobody's business.....Not sure where this was...Gasoline? Hollywood? Louisiana? Old Fashion? A street corner somewhere?

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Paul & Muffin having a smoke outside my window on Paolo Sarpi

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C-9 Killahs in da house.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

The Pervert Photographer Rears His Ugly Head

I have to admit that after hearing countless horror stories from other models about lecherous photographers asking them to shoot in compromising positions (such as using the loo and other such nasty nonesense) I got away from it all pretty much unscathed. I did have one incidence while in Milan this particular season that left me feeling like I needed to take a really long scaldingly hot shower complete with a Lysol scrub down.

Patty at the agency called me to tell me that a very well-known Milanese photographer had seen my comp card and wanted to shoot me for an art exhibit that was being held in his honor. This photographer had shot Iman, Naomi Campbell, Linda, Christy, et. al. So to say that I felt honored to be chosen by him for this project is an understatement. Patty was excited too since I was the only girl at the agency that he'd picked and, well, it was just shits and giggles all around.

The day of the shoot I met with the photographer (who from here on out I will simply call "P" as his name started with that letter & I'll give him the courtesy of allowing him his anonymity) at his studio and he showed me his book which was, indeed, full of every supermodel that ever graced the fashion world. After his ego session he described the concept of the shoot we'd be doing and showed me the wardrobe, which was practically non-existant. Then he tells me that he will be doing my hair and make-up as well at which point I am feeling a little apprehensive since I am going to be wearing just enough to cover my naughty bits....although it was couture and obviously very expensive naughty bit coverage. Because of this P insists that he has to dress me. And I don't mean that in a styling kind of way. He insisted that he had to literally put the clothes on me....after shining up my entire body with oil..."so zat yew weel glowing like goddess". WTF? Hells no, my friends.

P must have noticed the look on my face and as if to make me feel better told me that he only liked boys. Bullshit. The man was leering as he was telling me his plans for the shoot. If he liked boys then I definitely must have developed a prostate overnight. Being in the presence of one so high and mighty in the Industry I was having a major dilemma. I didn't want to offend him and burn any bridges, but I also did not want to let down my guard and do something totally against my nature. I finally consented to letting him dress me but I insisted on leaving on my undergarments which I then removed myself from under the clothes (like I posted before, this is a skill you quickly acquire when you start modeling and have to change in the middle of a busy beach, piazza, or even Times Square for a shoot). I let him put the body sheen lotion on my legs & arms, but I took over for everywhere else professing a terrible ticklish nature.

The shoot went well. I still felt like I was in a lair with the Big Bad Wolf, tongue hanging and spittle dropping, but I did my job and got the hell out of there with my dignity intact alebeit a little shaken. I got great pictures out of that day, true. But who knows, I may be famous now if I had let him do with me as he pleased. I have met many girls who have lost huge campaigns because they would't let the client or photographer bed them. The casting couch truly does exist my friends, which is why I am happy to have kept my status as a middle model. Amen. Feeling kinda righteous.....LOL!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Models Gone Wild, Part I

I have volumes of pictures of my friends and I in obvious states of inebration causing mayhem in every possible corner of the great city of Milan. We lived in a state of perpetual Spring Break and I plan on sharing these moments with you by way of several pictorials. Here is the first installation, dedicated to the C-9 Killahs:

A typical walk back from Louisiana on a Wednesday night.

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Mike and Isaak getting it on with the next hottest Victoria's Secret Model.

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Mikey, Jackie, me, and Isaak sitting on the filth covered floor at the entrance to Hollywood.

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Timmy And Mikey.....awwwwww!

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Mike is obviously on top of the world (or a bus stop).

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hamburger Panini, How I Love Thee

I was just having an intense flashback (for no apparent reason) to the panini cart outside of Hollywood in Milan. I don't know if if was the ridiculously high alchohol content of my blood which affected my tastebuds, but I swear to you they had the best, most outrageously greasy "hambooorrrger" panini on earth. Once my friends and I discovered them, they became de rigeur after a night of libations and dancing. "Un hamburger panino per favore!" Lovely. Between the panini and my complete and utter addiction to gelato (nocciola hands down) it is a miracle that I didn't have to get an angioplasty after season ended.

I won't get started on gelato.....suffice it to say that I partook of it's heavenliness a minimum of twice a day. Gelaterias are to Italy as Starbucks are to any other major city...they are EVERYWHERE and I found it impossible to deny myself its decadence. Unfortunately, no 12 step programs for gelato addicts were to be found, so my rampage didn't end until I left the country. Mangia!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Day My Client Offered Me Drugs

Everybody loves to talk about how the modeling world is rife with drug abuse, models collapsing on set from heroin overdoses or looped out of their minds on coke. Photographers are purported to offer 14 year old models lines of blow left & right. Sad scene, right? And the media can't get enough of stories like this. Well, allow me the opportunity to disappoint you.....In all my years of modeling I never experienced anything like that. Drugs at clubs and parties...yes, that happened and I saw it all the time. But never on set. Well...except for that one job in Milan.....

I had been booked for a shoe and hosiery catalog off of a polaroid my booker took of my legs. Two days after she emailed my polaroids over to the client I was on a train out of town to shoot the catalog. I passed the time text messaging all of my friends and listening to a Cafe Del Mar CD on my headphones while the couple in the seat in front of mine (which faced me, mind you) made out to the point of practically procreating before my very eyes. When I got to the town the shoot was taking place in, it was late at night and I was taken to my hotel by a photographer's assistant. I checked in, went up to my room, took a shower and crashed out. Or at least tried to. The hotel was clean yet spartan, no problem issue was that the pillow was so enormously overstuffed and rock solid that a block of granite would have made a softer place on which to lay my head.

The next morning I woke up to an intense and practically paralyzing pain in my neck and shoulders. I could barely turn my head or look down. This was going to pose a problem. Trying to be a good & professional model when you feel like someone has taken a sledgehammer to your neck & shoulders is quite the feat. I met the client and photographer's team in the lobby and we piled into a couple of vans and were off to location. I didn't mention the pain to anyone and pretty much just grinned and bore it. I tend to be like that. I don't like to let on that I am uncomfortable or unwell while working which I know is stupid, but it is what it is. After the first few shots I began to sweat from the pain. It was the kind of pulled muscle pain that extends all the way to your fingertips and with the poses the client was asking for I was startng to freak out. But I gritted my teeth and went on.

After lunch I just could not take it anymore and I told the client that I was dying of pain, (it really had progressed over the course of the morning), and I was sorry if I seemed out of sorts. He was extremely sweet and concerned and immediately told me that he had a friend the next town over who could offer me drugs to make me feel better and be able to finish off the day of shooting. Hmmmm. Drugs. After a brief phonecall to this friend we headed to a meeting place and soon after, said pharmaceutical purveyor shows up. Here I was, for the first time ever, being offered drugs on a photoshoot.

And I was more than happy to accept and take the.......MUSCLE RELAXERS! Ha!!!!! So, there it is. Scandal of all scandals. My photographer's friend was a pharmacist and had brought some muscle relaxers to ease my pain. Nothing illicit or creepy by any stretch of the imagination. The sharp, stabbing pain turned into a dull ache after I took the pills and I finished off my job without any furthur complications. I got on a train that evening and went back to Milan where I buried my face into my very own, lovely pillow.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rockin' The Short Hair in Milan

I hated having short hair, but it seemed to work well for me so I kept it for as long as I could stand it. Now my hair is almost halfway down my back and I wouldn't crop it for the world (well, maybe for a really high paying job I would!!). Milan has a ridiculous amount of hair clients though, so short hair was a plus for me. Most of the models had long locks and wouldn't even go to hair castings for fear of getting shorn, this cutting my competition down by quite a bit.

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Most of the time things went well and I didn't end up with anything too radical done to my coif, although one job I did for Toni & Guy left me in tears and wearing a bandana anytime I went out or on castings for the rest of the season. The slightest shift in wind would leave my butchered hair looking like it belonged on someone driving an Aerostar and wearing mom jeans.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm A F*****G Model!!!!!!

Most tenderfoot models, no matter what market they are in, fall prey to the myth that in order to get into the VIP of a hot nightclub they need to show a comp card to prove that they are models. In every country that I have worked in, I have heard this same thing, and my first season in Taipei my hotel mates and I all took a copy of our comps to @live which produced severe giggles from the bouncer as he ushered us in. How embarrasing. Needless to say, I never took a comp out with me again.

So, DO NOT need a comp card to prove that you are a model when want to be led past the velvet ropes. Believe it or not, models are obviously models (most of the time) regardless of what they are wearing, etc. and will undoubtedly be let into the VIP without standing in lines or being on guestlists. Unfortunately a lot of newbie boys & girls don't find this out until they too have been initiated into the world of shame and a full body blush.

Take my good friend, Mike, for example. Although I wasn't present on that particular night, Isaak shared the details with me. Apparently when he first got to Milan, Mike was told by another model that to get into Gasoline he would need a copy of his comp. When he got to the club he pulled out the card and started waving it at the bouncer who was giving preference to the girls and (as is notorious in any nightclub) making the guys wait outside. After waiting for a few too many minutes Mike once more approached the bouncer and in raised voice commenced to proclaim that "I'm a fuckin' model!!!" which the bouncer was not at all impressed by. Did he get in that night? I'm not sure, even though we all did frequent that joint later on in the season. The part of the story that I got from Isaak was so hilarious that everything else that may have happened after that proclamation was insignificant enough for me to forget about.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Psycho, Psycho, Psycho German Roommate!

A few days after Penny left and Eva had moved in, our agency decided to place another girl in our apartment even though the space was only intended to be inhabited by two people. This roommate came as a total surprise to us since no one had bothered to tell us that we would be having a new girl moving into our couch. Normally,one of the bookers would let us know in advance who a new roommate was and when he or she would be arriving.

After a full day of castings I came home to discover that the front door was unlocked. Milan, being a big city and not without crime, we were always advised to keep our doors locked even when we were home. This freaked me out since I knew Eva was working that day and not expected to be home until later that night. I gingerly opened the door only to find an Amazonian girl sitting on our couch completely naked and shaving herself down south. No lie. I couldn't help but stare at her in shock and disbelief. First of all, who the hell was she? And why on earth was she giving herself a Brazilian ON OUR COUCH???

After the initial mindblow, I walked furthur into the apartment and commenced to ask this chick who she was. She introduced herself and to be honest I can't remember her name anymore, but I do remember that she was from Germany and did not stop shaving the entire time. She spoke perfect English since her dad was American and in the military, so communication was not an issue here. I just really had no idea what to make of the situation. She continued on to tell me that she was our new roommate and would be staying on the couch unless Eva or I planned to give up our beds. Hell no.
At this point I excused myself to go to the bedroom and leave her to her grooming when I noticed that she had set her suitcase on top of Eva's bathtowel....yes, on the filthy floor! You have to understand that there is something particularly nasty about floors and streets in Milan. I have lived in tons of very large cities, but only in Milan have my feet literally turned black after an afternoon of walking around in my flip flops. So keeping floors clean is a losing battle. Eva's bathtowel being layed out on the floor was a faux pas of the greatest kind.

I queried this new chick about why there was a towel on the floor with her luggage on it and she briskly answered that she wanted to keep her suticase clean. WTF? As if it hadn't been left on dirty tarmacks and planes or trains or whatever form of transpo she had taken to get here? I couldn't reason with her and she would not let me take the towel off of the floor since "it wasn't mine". I would have to let Eva fight this battle when she got home.

After a week of having this girl eat us out of house and home, leave dirty dishes everywhere, including the bathroom and leaving the front door unlocked even when the place was empty, Eva and I were on the brink of losing it. We were not only annoyed but honestly worried about this girl's state of mind. She would babble on about random topics at all times, and often to herself. It was like listening to someone's stream of consciousness. Totally bizarre. We'd be talking about castings and she would all of a sudden start talking about a pair of shoes that she had lost at the beach when she was in 5th grade. That type of thing.

The straw that finally broke the camel's back was when Eva and I came home to find that all four burners had been left on and unlit on the stovetop. And since the stove in our apartment was gas and the burners needed to be lit with a match or lighter after being turned on, we walked into a literal gas chamber. Eva immediately called Patty at the agency and threatened to leave if this girl wasn't moved out the next day. Patty said she would see what she could do and that night Eva and I lay in our beds afraid to fall asleep because we were sure that the girl would come in and kill us with a kitchen knife for getting her kicked out. Seriously, that is how insane she was! Patty did end up moving her out and into one of the Celebrity apartments. You can't imagine what a relief that was!

Moral of the doesn't matter how gorgeous you are, crazy is as crazy does.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

On Losing Roommates and Birthday Madness

Back to my birthday in Milan that season....according to my journal, not only did we get to party at my agency's bash, but three days later I got to celebrate homestyle with my friends, both old & new, at my apartment (which you will notice from the pics was nothing but esthetic perfection) and later at another nightclub. For some reason I also wax and wane poetic on the moving on of my roommates.

Here's the entry from my journal regarding that blessed eve: :-)


Had my official birthday party on Friday. I was heartbroken at Penny's leaving on Wednesday. She's in London now. I wish her all the best, she is such a sweet girl. I hate that she had to leave. This is the first time that I have had a roomy leave before me. Ususally I am the first to take off. It is such a negative aspect of our industry. You meet people, you grow so close to them and then before you know it they, or you, are gone. It is so emotionally painful. I have to learn to detach myself more, but I don't know how.

Penny has been replaced by Eva from Spain who is also turning out to be an awesome roommate. She is hilarious and neurotic which I find to be a pretty great combo. We do have one tiny problem....another girl has been moved in as well and is sleeping on the couch. This one is a serious headcase and is sucking the energy out of the apartment. I hope to God she is moved out soon.

So, despite Penny's absence, I am dong fine. And Kari, my doll, is finally here from Athens!! She and I are soulmates, no doubt about it. The minute we were reunited it was like no time had passed at all. She came to my birthday party and my friends all love her too! Her presence was the best birthday gift!! My party was amazing. All my boys, Kari, Eva, Jackie, Natalia and me. We drank like fiends. I made these crazy punches that Paul had given me the recipe for. Rum, vodka, tequila, red wine and lots of fruit. Kind of like an insane sangria. We ended up at Gasoline where Geoff bought us bottles of Jack & Coke. We raged! Ned spent the next day hanging out with Eva and me. So much fun. How am I ever going to leave these friends? I hope I see them all in South Beach next season.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kari, Jackie, and the C-9 Killahs

Just when I thought things couldn't get better, my best friend, Kari (remember her from Miami?) arrived in Milan after working in Athens. She moved into one of the Celebrity apartments on Via Fiamma, one block away from C-1 where all my boys lived, so I had all of my friends in one spot. Having her in Milan was the icing on the cake, because even though I loved my boys it was really nice to have a best girlfriend to commiserate with in ways only girls can do. Boys just don't get the whole concept of PMS, etc., bless their hearts.

Across from Kari's place was another Celebrity apartment (C-9) where one of the friends she made in Athens was living. Right after we met up the day she arrived, she took me to meet him and my group of friends grew exponentially. Jeremy, from Toronto, had a handful of other Canadian male models as roommates, Mike, Isaak, and Tim, who ended up calling themselves the C-9 Killahs (don't ask me the story behind this moniker). Along with Kari and the boys from C-1, the Killahs became my family in Milan, and it was a matter of days before a girl named Jackie would be added as a sister to this band of brothers.

The modeling world is small, and I remembered seeing Jackie at castings in Miami but we never talked or got to know each other there. But after running into each other in Milan we decided to break the ice and started hanging out. We had a lot of friends in common from South Beach and a genuine appreciation for Limoncello and margherita pizza. How could we not become fast friends?

Milan was about to become a whole lot crazier with this new crew. Peacocks on Leashes, indeed.