Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mother of Invention

Mother of Invention

A mother of two has come up with a plan on monitoring nannies. She created a license plate for the back of baby carriages that reads, “How am I doing?” along with a 800 (toll free) number.

The founder of this idea said in a recent TV interview that it’s a great way to keep Nannies in line because anyone can call the number and report on the Nanny's behavior. She believes her invention will give peace of mind to parents who hire Nannies.

In the US of A you can legally hire an illegal immigrant and pay her practically nothing (who is she going to complain to?), as long as you pay social security taxes on the earnings. This is a government requirement which will exonerate you from any crime but it in no way protects the illegal alien who can be deported at any time.

In my work as an immigration paralegal for a large law firm in New York I personally heard horror stories told to me by women from foreign countries who were slaves in New York. They worked for people seven days a week, cleaning and taking care of their children and were trapped. Their employers had taken their passports. In many cases these women had left their own families, including their own children in the belief of a better living and a better life.

Vision in White

Dana in Belle River

Poem written in Pukerua Bay, NZ, 2005

Would the sea be so beautiful
if I didn’t have a daughter

Would the sea be so beautiful
if I hadn’t lost a son

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Headshot Fire & Actors Festival, New York

Photo by Guler Ugur.

Actors Festival

The Actors Festival is an annual event sponsored by Backstage Magazine held at the Marriott Hotel on Broadway. Rows of tables offer various services to actors. It was free. There was also some industry panel discussions for $25, most were casting directors saying don't call us, we'll call you. The acting business has got to be the only profession with 95% unemployment in which many industries and individuals make quite a substantial living from hopeful individuals who believe they should be superstars. A sample of services offered at the Festival: photographers, photo and lab services, rehearsal spaces, religious organizations, speech teachers, voice over teachers, web design hosting, health services, fitness clubs, demo reels, dance schools, colleges, career consultants, audition services, agents, the labor unions, make up artists, casting directors, Dianetics & Scientology, temporary employment agencies, two churches and two dentists all designing their work to fit the actor.

“Do you want to look younger?”

Both dentists took one look at me and said they would make my two front teeth longer, (like a rabbit?). Apparently, my teeth are too straight across. The new fashion is long in front, like Julia Roberts. One dentist said it would make me look younger. When I asked the best way to keep my teeth white, Dentist A said, white is overrated, Dentist B said, drink tea through a straw.

Talk Like A Kiwi
The speech therapist offered me a free consultation, which I took. He was wonderful with photos of many stars in his office. He said most of his clients would kill for how little work they need to do on their speech, and mine is almost perfect. However, I don’t pronounce my “th’s well enough, (sometimes they sound like “d”, which could be useful if I want to play a thug.) He said he could get me talking like a Kiwi in a week. Tempting. But wouldn’t my speech, especially my “th’s” change dramatically with my new rabbit teeth?

Dianetics is for you!

The scientology couple, a white man and a white woman, gave me a stress test where I held on to two metal cylinders hooked up to a box with a red needle that jumped when I thought of my mother or daughter. It went off the chart when I thought about money. The monitor lady gravely said, “what are you thinking about?” Money! I said. “Are you stressed about money?” I said I just found out it would cost me $10,000 to have my perfect straight teeth longer to make me younger which will change my speech pattern.

Every table had free candy and a raffle, which is a way to get your name, address and email for future marketing. I asked Dentist A what he thought about all the sugar on all the tables. He said, “It’s great.”

Two Weeks Later

Still no word from the two temp agencies I signed up with until today. One called and informed me of an open house they will be having (more sugar?) in two weeks. I would like to work now I said. Sorry, we are only seeing people at our open house.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More CBGB's facts

This tub is not a photo from the infamous CBGB's toilets. It's the tub in my kitchen in Hell's Kitchen where I am subletting till the end of November. I thought my nephews James and Michael would enjoy seeing a really ancient New York apartment.

More CBGB's facts:
CBGB's was founded by HIlly Kirstal in 1973. This year, 2006 he recently had angioplasty and was undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer.

Hilly's landord, The Bowery Residents Committee, a homelss shelter with New York City contracts worth $47 million would not renew his lease. Kristal claims the Mayor, Michael Blumberg (a billionaire business man, republican) promised to find a new loction for the club but never came through except for a location on Essex Street (where I used to live!!) for $5 million.

Early bands who performed at CBGB's: The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, The Dead Boys, Blondie, Patti Smith and of courses the 45 rpm record of Dangerous Diane & the Dinnettes. "Potentially Dangerous" the only song in the juke box about child abuse.

Tower Records is Closing!

The clerk who waited on me and my daughter said it's world wide. How many jobs is that? Dana, who has worked in the music business says people don't buy CD's, the internet is killing music and hurting the musicians. It's that simple. So Dana bought some CD's for her roommate's birthday and we went to the movies.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Hodge the Sax Player

This is Hodge. Each Saturday he sets up long tables and sells knick knacks, junk, records and stuff across the street from me where I’m living on 9th Avenue between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

Before I met Hodge I heard him while hanging out in my fifth floor walkup. I heard the beautiful deep sound that only a sax can make that makes you wish you were sipping wine and being bent over by a lover who adores you. The sound played with the constant traffic sounds and horn honking of impatient people wanting to drive to Jersey via the Lincoln Tunnell, the entrance of which is across the street from me.

Hodge said, “Come back and take my picture when I’m playing.” I gave him some earrings and a necklace my daughter gave me for him to sell. “Yes,” he said, “I can sell this. Women love the jewelry. Bring me all your stuff you don’t want but no clothes.”

My New Crib

I'm living in a 5th floor walk up. Ancient building. Bathtub in the kitchen. And I have a toilet! My own private toilet which i forgot how lovely it is to have until I realized the two apartments at the end of each hall share a toilet in the middle of the floor. On the main floor of this building is a liquor store and a deli that sells everything I don't buy but used to buy: cigarettes, junk food, newspaper, coffee, The best thing about living on the noisest street in the City is Hodge (next picture)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More CBGB's pics

Hilly Kristal & His Wife. Hilly had chemo for lung cancer this year.

Baby Tourist

The Bak of My Head (My Patty Duke Imitation.)
Photo by Bruno

Saturday, October 21, 2006

CBGB's gone to Vegas

And another Crack and God story.
October 15th I headed over to CBGB's, the infamous punk rock club on the Bowery to see if I could get in on the last night. I couldn't but took a few pictures from the outside including Hilly (founder of C B's) going to his car before the evening began. I'm proud to say that in 1980 CB's had my record "Potentially Dangerous" in their juke box.

The pic of me under the logo (back of the head, red hair) was taken by Bruno, who is from Paris. We met while leaning on a black SUV. We had the best spot for picture taking. Bruno was in town for the "Evil City Film Fest 2006" in the East Village. His film, "Bandidos" premiered at Cinema Classics on Friday 13th. "Bandidos" is a 90 minute feature: "In the heart of the parallel society of American highways, the drifting love of John, crossing the USA, and Jane, smalltime highway robber." Keep an eye out for future films by Bruno Hadjadj.

We chatted and took pictures and waited for Patti Smith. Bruno is the one with the skulls' jacket. After a bit, I went into CB13, the cafe next door, to buy a t-shirt. When I came out, a crack-head on the side walk said he liked my earrings. The following is what happened.
Did you buy them?
No, they were a gift.
From your man?
No? From your woman? Are you a lesbian? Are you a f....faggott? I don't get down with that. That is against god you.....f.....fagg......
The crack head came at me with his bulging eyes and saliva-drooping mouth and an I don't know what intention. Suddenly Bruno appeared, quickly took my arm and we ran up the Bowery. We found a cab and pleaded with the driver to open the door since we were being chased --(the crack head was slowly making his way to us screaming f....lesbian....). The cab screeched away almost running over Bruno's foot. Another cab appeared on the scene and we jumped in and went to the East Village to the Orchid Lounge on East 11th Street to see his friend Michael Dorian's movie: "Pizza" a documentary about people who see pizza as...god ... including an internatiional acrobatic pizza tossing competition in Naples....bizare and funny....

I heard lots of gossip on the street that night including that the owners of the building that CBGB's resided in wanted $30,000 rent per month. Hilly said forgetabout it and is going to have the entire insides, inclulding the gross toilets, escavated and rebuilt in Vegas. Somehow I can't get my head around Iggy Pop and Patti Smith or even the White Stripes playing CB's in Vegas. Maybe Madonna can get a baby sitter and do it...

A Benefit for Tribes Gallery

Benefit Reading at the Cornelia St. Cafe for Tribes Gallery, only gallery in the world curated by a blind man, Steve Cannon. Poets for the benefit for Issue #12, which I will have a piece in it entitled, "Where Do I Begin". Can't wait to see this issue. I have no memory of writing the poem. Check out Steve's story at

Here are some photos from the event: Steve Cannon & Yours Truly, Steve Dalachinsky, Susan Sherman, Yuko Otomo, Eve Packer, the MC and Yuko Otomo in Mirror. Other names and photos will be forthcoming when I can find my notes in my new digs: another sublet apartment -- I think this is my 9th bed since I left New Zealand in July.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Big Mike, NYC

Scarier in Person. Performing at the Cornelia St Cafe

Spa for Men

14th Street & 8th Avenue

CNN Interview on the street

If you think you saw me on TV News about Hillary Clinton, you probably did.
On the Upper West Side, after passing the world globe, in the pouring rain, on my way to the Performing Arts Library a reporter, cameraman and mic holder were in my face.
CNN: Can we ask you a question?
Me: Yes.
CNN: What is your first name and who were you named after?
Me: Diane. After the Goddess the Hunter
CNN: Do you know who Hillary Clinton was named after?
Me: No idea.
CNN: Could you guess.
Me: Probably someone strong.
CNN: She says Sir Edmund Hillary who climbed Mount Everest but she was born before he did it.
Me: Oh
CNN: Tell us again who you were named after
ME: Princess Di
CNN: ...wait uh minute....
Me: If Hillary can lie. So can I.
CNN: Thank you. That was great.
(Just another role that I wasn't paid for.)

Sally in Performance

Photo of Sally Rodwell, by Clare O'Leary at Demeters Dark Ride, by Madeline McNamara, Bats Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand, January 2006.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sally Rodwell

Sally Rodwell

I am sad to say that Sally Rodwell died on October 14, 2006 in Wellington, New Zealand. Sally suffered from depression and took her own life on the beach in Island Bay. Sally was the co-founder of Red Mole with her late husband, Alan Brunton. Red Mole is an experimental and political theatre group that has traveled around the world. I first met Sally and Allen in New York in the early 80’s when they were living here. Sally is survived by her daughter Ruby and many many friends. The funeral is Thursday and a celebration of Sally’s life will be Sunday. All times are NZ, which is 17 hours ahead of US time.

I was fortunate to see Sally in New Zealand this past year on a few occasions. Here’s Sally on the beach in January, 2006 after a Magdalena Aotearoa get together in Paekaekariki. That day she gave me a ride home.

Farewell Sally. May your spirit soar and find peace.

Messages can be sent:

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Merry Fortune

And yes, it is her real name. Poet and musician, we shared a cup of tea (so she stuck her fingers in it) after her participation in Butch Morris' "A Chorus of Poets" at The Brecht Forum on West Street. She was one of 13 members that night and Butch directed the poets so beautifully creating verbal waves you could see and feel. They performed the manifesto by the Uni Bomber and other texts. It was also great to see Mark Gering, who also performed. Mark I knew from the Medicine Show, a theatre group I have performed with in the past, but that's another story.

Check out Merry's blog: .... It's a weird title but worth the click.

Check out more about Butch, aka Lawrence D. Butch Morris to: According to the program Butch Morris has realized over 150 Conductions and 22 recordings. He has employed more than 5,000 musicians in 22 countries and 62 cities. "Conduction" is Morris' registered trademark which means "conducted interpretation/improvisation" and is a vocabulary of ideographic signs and gestures activated to modify or construct a real time musical arrangement or composition. Each sign and gesture transmits generative information for interpretation and provides instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form. It was cool!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

watching the animals

Our continual fascination with putting animals in cages and looking at them

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pie Tent

County Fair, August, Ontario, Canada

Enhanced Leonard

Drumming so fast his hand has disappeared.

Leonard with Bubble

On a break from jamming In Mary and Leonard's backyard. He's the best bubble maker and drummer!!

Leonard Johnson on Drums

Jamming in Detroit with Leonard and friends: George, Brian, Ron, Keith...
I wrote a new song that morning, "You're Gone" a blues number about loosing someone when you're still with them. George recorded it; he said it sounded pretty good. Maybe it will appear somewhere....


Since the US invaded Iraq in March, 2003, 650,000 civilians have died. That's 500 a day.

Jay Yager & Dreaming New Zealand

Jay Yager. Shooting new video "Dreaming New Zealand". A reunion tape, same location as our first collaborative work in 1981, Belle River, Ontario. The title came to us individually simultaneously.

Crack House with Jesus

The Police said it was a crack house. It's where I remember many Easter Sunday Dinners. But that was a long time ago. Now it's empty except for Jesus.

Nuclear Reactors Shot from Plane

One of three (twin)nuclear reactors I saw from airplane window flying from Detroit to New York. And that's just my route, when there were no clouds and when I was looking.

Final Pics in Canada

The final night proved beautiful. It was a beautiful summer. Tough one too.

Dead End at the end of the road

Railroad Tracks

Walked these tracks a million times. We used to lay on them listening for trains. When I was fifteen a friend was killed crossing them in a car.

Swamp end of the road

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

High Wind Silver Leaves

Bush at the end of the drive. It reminded me of the silver fern I admired in the South Island, in the Sounds, NZ.

Unbelievable Boat

Boat with Spiral in Parking Lot at Country Fair, Ontario

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Boys taking a Break

Lunch Break for the boys working on the new water treatment plant in Belle River. Just before they begged me to take their picture ("Take one of him while he's eating,eh?") I picked an apple from a tree across the road and one of the friendly construction workers poked his head out of a trailer and said, "Don't forget what happened to Eve."

Belle River Water Tower, Ontario, Canada

Red White and Blue Paint. A story about a patriot.

When I was fourteen I had a date with an older boy of sixteen who lived at a cottage two doors down from ours. I played that summer with his two sisters and one day he invited me to see Dick the Bruser at a Wrestling Ring in Windsor. It was pretty cool, we were on TV and excited. After we decided to just be friends and not try to do the boyfriend girlfriend thing.

That summer this Detroit boy, (who’s first name I’ve forgotten, but his last name was Gimelli) decided it would be very cool to paint an American Flag on the Belle River Water Tower, which he did in the middle of the night. Word of the vandalism spread like wild fire and we all went to town to stare at it. It was actually a pretty good job, and people stood around wondering how anyone could have painted such a large flag on the tower. And there to watch the reaction to his crime was the boy in his white Converse Sneakers, which were covered in red, white and blue paint.

Soon after his family was forced to sell the cottage and get out of town. I imagine today he is sitting in a jail somewhere along with other brutes, or possibly serving as an officer in the American Army.