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 pharmaceuticals...so 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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