Posts Tagged ‘strippers


Jupiter Hotel Revisited

J. and I had driven down to Portland from Vancouver to see one of our favourite bands on its last tour play two shows at Berbati’s Pan. This was four years ago. The band was playing two nights, and we booked a room at a place called the Jupiter Hotel. A former motor hotel, it’s been hippified–that is, made “hip” by modernizing the retro rooms and adding a bar, the Doug Fir Lounge, that brings in out-of-town and local indie-rock acts.

But we had another motivation for going down there besides music–we wanted a threesome. And for some reason we thought we would find it in Portland.

So where, in a foreign city, do you look for a third?

Hillary was a stripper at Union Jack’s, a joint just up the street from the hotel. Besides being pretty and darkhaired, she caught our attention for dancing to cool indie-rock tunes. We hired her for a private dance, told her what we were looking for. After a brief consideration she said she’d come by our room after she got off work.

“What kind of beer do you think she’ll like?” I asked as J and I nervously waited for our stripper. “Do you think she’ll come?” We were missing the second night of our band’s shows, waiting here in the room barely large enough to accomodate the bed and a night table. Nervously, I thumbed through a book on the table called The Four Agreements. Written by someone named Don Miguel Ruiz, it looked like a New Age self-help tome. A sticker on the cover read “Property of the Jupiter Hotel.”

At last there was a knock on the door. Hilary had arrived…

The next morning J. and I were to leave for Seattle before coming home. We packed up, dropped Hilary off and headed out. Unpacking back home in Vancouver, I found the hotel room’s copy of The Four Agreements…

Cut to: this past weekend. The girl I have been seeing has a wedding reception to attend in Portland. I invite myself along, more or less, and we book the Jupiter–my idea. I bring along The Four Agreements which, by this time, I’ve actually read–last summer, in fact, after a breakup (J. and I had broken up a little while after our Portland threesome–which had nothing to do with the breakup). In the book, Ruiz recommends four ways in which to live a richer, more integrity-filled life. As we’re checking out of the Jupiter the other day, I hand over to the front desck clerk my copy of The Four Agreements. I’d been meaning to return it ever since I found it in my suitcase, and so I felt pretty good about this act of, well, closure.

Then I thought, “hmmm, maybe I should’ve kept it for old time’s sake.” But no–it’s served its purpose.



Smug married Americanos?

I read both the Bridget Jones (sp?) books and was appalled by the ‘Smug Marrieds’ depicted therein, thinking (rather smugly myself, it must be admitted) Thank goodness we don’t have people like that in the good old US of A! Looking down their noses at the unfettered and untethered, giving us the benefit of their unrequested advice, and just generally being pains in our out-partying-of-a-Saturday arses.

Imagine my chagrin when an erstwhile colleague of mine–a former reality show producer who used to specialize in getting college students so drunk that they’d boink each other in full view of an 8-cam production crew–re-emerged as a bona fide Smug Married. Not only does this guy send me baby photo albums via email, but he reads my Single-Girl-Meets-World columns everywhere they’re published (and there are more places than this modest little blog) and then sends me snarky emails wanting to know whether I’d like a “real male opinion.”

Excuse me, but when were you ever a real male? I want to ask.

But I don’t. Instead I just tell him that my girlfriends–who are variously professional card sharps, mag hags and high-ticket Manhattan pole dancers–have far more insight into the red-blooded male mind than he ever could.

He concedes my point rather graciously, having already gotten my editor’s email address. Which, I think, was all he was ever really after. Even Smug-Marrieds-with-baby need income. (In fact, they probably need it more than the rest of us.)

Yet I fume. How did I ever get roped into debating the etiquette of singlehood with someone whose only experience of it this past decade was via dailies and log books? Why does he want to talk to me about strip clubs, when we never broached the subject in four years of mutual un-marriedness? Why am I debating with him at all, in fact? If I enjoyed snippy back-and-forth exchanges, I would be an aspiring talk show host, not a columnist.

Anyway. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. However, if I’m going to have some dude’s 10 cents forced upon me, I think it’s my right to get something in return. For instance: A nice dinner. Squiring me around to Bar Mitzvahs and other family events. Failing that, maybe a few hours’ worth of household chores? I’m willing to negotiate. And I hate taking out the trash.

The thing is (the thing is the thing is the thing, as my crackleberry ex-roommate used to stutter), Smug Whatevers don’t think you should want anything in return. They think that their Smug Opinion is a treasure in its own right.

Why? I fail to see how this Smug Married man ever one-upped me. He’s 10 years older than me, not financially better off, and not living a more stimulating or more fulfilling life. He’s just…married, with a 7 month old baby.

 This is all very good, and I’m happy for him, and I hope it brings him the peace he was so lacking when I knew him. But as long as I’m not contacting him with grooming tips and querying advice and 101 Ways Not to Piss off my Times Editor, I think he should lay off the “So why do you really hang out late-night in strip clubs, Lena?” emails.

(Answer, for all you pervy but not well-read people out there: B/c I spend a lot of time in Las Vegas, where Spearmint Rhino is as socially acceptable as Starbucks.)

I think this is a fair request. Especially since I broke down my strip club reasoning in my last Times column, and if he’d really been reading it, instead of just trying to Smug Debate me, he would have his answer.

But in thinking about it, I’m realizing…maybe he’s not so smug at all. Maybe he’s just alone at home with a baby, remembering his single days, and bored.


Torture by Construction

It is one of the great ironies of my life (circa 2007) that I–possibly the worst insomniac/vampire bat I know–have been randomly selected by the universe to live cheek-by-hairy-jowl with a team of 20 construction workers who clock into work at 8AM. These dudes are redoing the balconies of my entire building and ruining my life in the process. Not that they try. It’s just that I am used to going to sleep at 4AM (conservatively) or 5AM (normally), and when 20 kooks start banging on the walls with hammers at the crack of 8, it DRIVES ME MAD!!

Anyway. So. Where were we? Thu., 8PM, I arrive at a wine an cheese tasting 2 hours late, shmooze with a nice man from Frank Family Vineyards (yum! to the fabulous ’98 sparkling) who lives part-time in LA, part-time in my Nor Cal homeland. I meet 3-6 Mafia (spelling?) and various other folks, but fail to recognize them. I taste Frank Family sparkling wine, Cab and Sangiovese, and determine that it’s delightful.

Thu 10PM I arrive at Katana, the see-me-oh-please-see-me spot on Sunset in LA that’s frequented by visiting execs, European birthday parties and suchlike. On the way up, a man asks me, “Are you nervous?” I answer: “No, just really stressed out, been running around all day and have no idea what my friends look like.”

Lena Giles 

10:15PM meet friends thanks to miracles of mobile technology, as truthfully couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. Actually have only met a cpl before: Giles (see photo) and his friend Jackson. Giles is a muckety-muck for Bombay Sapphire; Jackson owns a film distribution company in London. Then there is a friend, and a brother. All are complete gentlemen, thank goodnesses…. it’s never good to go on drinking rampages with people who are less than gentlemen. Prior to the real rampage, however, I have meat skewers and many cocktails and a bit of chocolate this-n-that, and we speak of business.

12AM or thereabouts we head to Skybar, which is entirely overrated and just for tourists, in case you’re wondering. Since Giles, Justin etc. are tourists (albeit of a posh British sort), they tend to hang out there often. I, however, am never impressed by it–even less than usual tonight by 1:45AM, when the women’s toilet overflows and I have to high-jump onto the counter in 4-inch heels, after countless lemon drops, to avoid the flood. On that lovely ending note, we depart Skybar.

2AM. LA sucks. It closes down completely at 2. And I always have to hear about it from any friends who are visiting from anywhere else in the world. Tonite is no different. Two of the boys are still awake and raring to go. What can I do? Our choices are 7-11, a strip club, or someone’s hotel room. I opt for A) and then B). At the 7-11, I send Justin in to purchase me Marlboro Lights (I only smoke about 4 a month), and a four-pack of AA batteries for my camera. When he returns, I realize that my camera is no longer with me. Oh. Oops. I take the batteries anyway and deposit them in my handbag. One can never have too many AA batteries.

Trashy 1 trashy2.jpgtrashy3.jpg

2:30AM We arrive at the strip club (right across from Trashy Lingerie) and sit as close to stage as possible. This proves to be a bad idea because almost no one else is there, and the few folks who are, are kind of tucked away in corners. So we get the strippers’ full and undivided attention… and in the middle of the night on a weeknight, when the talent isn’t all that great, this is a mixed blessing. Throw in the fact that they’re totally nude, and it’s no blessing at all. We sit uncomfortably, clearing our throats and feeling abashed, as girl after girl wiggles her business in our faces. Finally, when Andy Dick arrives and begins to ‘Hey baby’ me, we leave.

(Photos are of the Trashy Girls, who are hotter than the strippers I saw, but tend to keep at least a bit of their clothing on in public.)

4AM. Safely back in my house. In my bed. Had a snack. Want a snooze. As always, it’s tough to drift off. But I do, around 5:30. Ahh! Happy sigh.

8:30AM *BANG. BANG. CRASH.* the construction workers have arrived, once again.

 Note: Trashy Girls photos copyright Trashy Lingerie, 2007

August 2020

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