Saturday, April 25, 2009


Things being what they are with the state of the economy people are turning to all sorts of alternative forms of employment to get the mortgage paid and buy food.

I am buying gold.

It's something I really enjoy although I was initially resistant. I'm not one to sell stuff, or to push anything on anyone. This is not that though. This is buying up what most people consider their junk. People sell me their single earrings, their broken chains, the rings they never wear and the stuff they once sported back when it was cool to dress up like Mr. T with shoulder pads and a huge perm.

There's a process to the buying that involves testing each piece to determine the karat - sadly, most gold that's stamped 14K is not. It's more like 12K or even 10K and if you bought it in Mexico odds are it's 6K. Most of the buying is done at parties and because of the deal we have with the refiner our return is higher so our pay out is also higher.

For this reason people have parties, invite their friends to bring their gold and I sit and test for 3-5 hours and leave with a big bag of gold, having written anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 in checks and a check for 10% of the total to the host.

Every once in a while there's a party where there's no gold. Tonight was one of those nights. The hostess had made a ton of food, and there was a "Slumber Party" presentation. Last night there was a "Hush Party" along with the gold party and it's safe to say that I have pretty much seen enough dildos to tide me over for a long while. Why anyone would think that a giant red rubber battery operated dildo that goes up and down and swings round and round with three separate rows of controls and flashing red disco lights is erotic is beyond me - I found it terrifying.

Anyway, tonight I skipped the dildo presentation and hung out in back snacking on fruit and checking my watch. Then I overheard a bit of conversation from the kitchen...

"So the stripper's here, but they're just getting to the dildos, can he wait at your house? He's like half naked."
"Yeah, my husband is going around the corner to watch the fight, let me get him out of the house first."

STRIPPER? Seriously?

Oh yeah. We had Flash from Brooklyn in the house. The boy looked good in his g-string and had all kinds of moves. He was picking them up and grinding away - dude was STRONG. These were not little women - not even close. He had these women on their backs on the floor covered in saran wrap and whipped cream. He was down there with his face between their legs and everyone was screaming and hooting and hollering.

He was inspirational.

I was there to work however, so as soon as he got dressed I tried to buy the giant diamond encrusted gold Jesus head that was hanging around his neck.

"Are you interested in selling that?" I asked coyly.

"I'm going to upgrade it next month."

"Well, give me a call and I'll give you a price," as I slide him a card and think that the evening is not a total loss even if I didn't buy much gold. It comes up in conversation that he went to college for five years and I asked where.

Boy went to Rutgers!!!! And played basketball and football!!!! And do you know what he does now when he's not stripping in overheated, estrogen charged living rooms?

He represents "females" (his word, not mine) who are interested in acting in adult films. He's pimping for porn! His mama must be so proud.

And maybe he'd like to have a gold party with some of his clients?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I started buying gold about a year ago. The price has held above $700 for over a year and is currently up around $900 so it makes sense to go through your jewelry box and get rid of those busted up chains and ram's head earrings that lost their mate.

You can make some nice money doing that.

I go to people's houses and they have parties and people come and bring me their jewelry and tell me their stories and I scratch it, test it and separate it into karats and then weigh it and pay by the gram.

There are 31.1 grams in an oz. of gold.

It has occurred to me on more than one occassion that 25 years ago I was using this exact same scale to weigh out cocaine by the gram. People would come and do a bump and tell me their stories.

All in all there's a lot of sameness in commerce - only now I'm buying instead of selling.

I like this better.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I just got a phone call to let me know that I am cleared to donate my kidney to my friend Ron. This has been in process for a while, but it's always seemed remote, something that might not happen. So now we are scheduling surgery and it's very real.

People who know say: You are such a good person. You're a hero. You're so brave.

Ron is not the only person I know who needs a kidney transplant. I personally know or have known in my life three people who have had to live on dialysis and face an uncertain future.

I think that they are brave.

How hard must it be to get up everyday and know that you will die unless you are hooked up to a machine? What we now know is that living kidney donors can live long, healthy lives, sometimes longer and healthier than the general public because they, or now I can say we, are healthier than the general public to begin with.

There were several factors that started me on the road to this decision a couple of years ago: 1) I don't have my own children. For me this matters because if I did have kids I would want to save my spare parts for them. 2) We don't have kidney disease in my family, or hypertension or diabetes which are often the precursors to kidney disease and 3) Ron loves the Grateful Dead and so do I and the reality is that there aren't that many people in my life that get what that was all about. So even though he and I are very different we are in the same tribe.

There are other more obvious reasons why I decided to do this - he's married to one of my oldest and best friends, their daughter is 13 and she's a very special kid in my life, we're both O positive.

But, at the end of the day I'm doing this because I can and I want to and I am moved to do so. Doesn't make me a good person, or someone who couldn't imagine doing it, a bad person.

It's about life and what feels right for me.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Gotta Dance!

I grew up in the age of the movie musical. I went to see them all from a very young age: Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, All that Jazz, even a revival of my all time favorite, Singin' in the Rain - which rocks in a movie theater.

So I was quite disappointed to find that life wasn't really like that. Not only do people never break out in song and dance during pivotal moments of their day or when feeling a surge of emotion, they get really freaked out if YOU do it anywhere near them.

In 1976 I went to see a movie called The Groove Tube and they spoofed the whole "gotta dance, gotta sing" thing. I laughed till I cried. I probably would have chased this man down the street pleading to have his babies and planning to start our own dance troupe. How can people ignore this bouncing ball of joy in a PINK suit?

Okay, so maybe he could be crazy, but it looks like the good kind of crazy. I've dated all kinds of crazy and let me tell you - it could be worse.


I'm happy to report that it appears that I am not alone in my desire for movie musical moments.

I am so loving this.

And this!

Apparently I am not the only one to enjoy an outbreak of joyful dance.

Sadly it seems my fellow dancers all live in other countries.

C'mon people! Things are bad and getting worse everyday.

Why not dance?