I'm in the process of switching depression medications. It's not easy and definitely not making me happy. This picture made me laugh and that's fucking epic right now. Hope y'all have a good Friday and a fucking fantastic weekend.
People are always talking about their dysfunctional families. I really haven’t ever seen a “functional” family other than in ‘50’s and ‘60’s sit-coms, have you? Every family tree is filled with more nuts than a Brazilian rain forest. Here’s a true story about some assorted pips in my family.
When I was born, my mother was on her third husband and was 45 years old. My father was 53. My sibling was a half-sister and she was 20 years old. I was two when she got married and five when my first nephew as born. My sister lived in Manhattan, I lived in Westchester. Neither my mother nor father were fonts of information. They were old school and could definitely have worked for the C.I.A. – all information was on a Need To Know basis and in their minds, I didn’t need to know anything. Since I was a totally clueless child, I really had no idea of actually who my sister was. She came around fairly regularly but was an adult that stuck with other adults. I didn’t find her particularly interesting.
When I started kindergarten, (Just so you know exactly how hands-off my parents were, I didn’t know my colors when I started kindergarten. Can you imagine that happening in this century? ) the teacher asked me if I had any brothers and sisters. I told her, “No.” I can’t even be sure if my mother properly filled out the registration papers to reflect the much older half-sister. Things were pretty loosey-goosey back then. During Christmas break that year, I finally understood who that “visitor” was. Upon returning to school, the teacher asked my class if anyone had interesting news to share with the class. I proudly announced that my sister was going to have a baby!
“Nitebyd”, said the teacher, “You don’t have a sister.”
“Yes, I do!”
“But, Nitebyrd, you never talked about a sister before.”
“Well, I just knew her now.”
The teacher was a wee bit confused at this point. “She’s a NEW sister?”
“No, she’s old. And she’s going to have a baby.”
“What’s her name?” I really couldn’t remember her name. I apparently suffered from CRS Disease even as a child! “I don’t remember.”
“Where did you see your sister?”
“At my house. She said that my mommy was her mommy and that now my mommy was going to be a grandmother and I was going to become an ant. I cried because I didn’t want to be an ant. But it’s not that kind of ant so I guess its okay.”
The teacher was now looking concerned. She and I took a walk to the principal’s office. A phone call to my mother who decided to divulge the family secrets in lieu of having her young daughter held for psychiatric observation. All went well with the sister, half-sister, half-brother-in-law, nephew, ant aunt, thing until my nephew started school.
When I was seven, my father died. My sister, BIL and nephew moved in with me and my mother. I knew that Pete wasn’t my brother. Pete however, didn’t get the concept of “nephew” and “aunt”. He just figured that kids who lived in the same house were brothers and sisters. We lived in a neighborhood with many, many children, none of whom were “only” children.
Pete and I loved old horror/monster movies. “Creature Features” was our favorite. We would build models – Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature From The Black Lagoon, etc. I’d do the gluing and Pete would help paint. It was a Show-and-Tell with one of his monster models that caused Pete to have his young sanity called into question.
“This is my model of “The Mummy”. My sister helped me build it.”
“You don’t have a sister, Pete.” Pete was apparently disturbed that his teacher interrupted his monologue about the great Boris Karloff. He answered rather sharply, “Yes. I. Do.”
“Pete you’re an “only” child.”
“I am not! Me and my sister watch TV and go to the toy store and play. She always helps me make models and we fight.”
“Your mother told me you don’t have any brothers or sisters, Pete.” Pete was a little hot-headed and the teacher was, well …. speaking to him like he was a child!
“Yeah, she’s wrong. My sister lives in the downstairs in my house~”
As you’ve probably guessed by now, another telephone call was made to my sister about Pete’s mysterious “sister” who lived in the basement.
Pete, his mother and father, lived upstairs in the two-family house that his grandmother and I lived downstairs. He never actually said “basement”, the teacher thought of this on her own. Maybe she liked horror movies, too!
After that episode, my mother still was silent as a tomb about most things but my sister made sure that my subsequent nephew and niece knew that Pete was their brother and I was their “Aunt.” Pete and I would fill them in on the rest of the important stuff as it would come up. No more phantom siblings. When we get together, which is, sadly, very infrequently, we still laugh about our teacher torture.
Pete and I put the “FUN” in our dysfunctional unit. He's just recently celebrated his 51st birthday. He’s been married for some time now and has added two more nuts to the family tree.
I was going to tell you about my boss buying me tickets to the Nickelback concert for tomorrow night, but I came across this Friday and felt it was more important to share.
This is a eulogy written by a friend of Peter Steele’s. She was a real and true friend, not a acolyte, hanger-on, or supplier. She loved this man for the man he was, not because he was a Rock Star.
I don’t know this woman other than having read this on Facebook but she has kindly given me permission to share this with you.
I hope that we all have and can be this type of friend.
I met Pete Steele in 1997.
I was living and working in FL and had flown home for my birthday. Type O Negative was playing at The Roxy and I was a big fan; I went to the show. Being me, I sweet-talked my way in before the doors, and found Pete wandering around, fussing over his rig and the mix. I walked up to him, stuck out my hand and said, "Hi! My name is Ginger and I flew 1500 miles to see you!"
He took my hand in his two, smiled, then said, "What did you just say?"
I repeated myself. He continued to hold my hand in his. "1500 HUNDRED miles? Oh you are DEFINITELY getting a backstage pass for that!"
There were no passes left so he took me around to each security guard, introducing me as his sister and instructing them to treat me well or else. As he walked me backstage, I said, "You know, we sort of do look alike....." He said, "I didn't miss that."
He treated me like a treasured visiting relative that night, insisting that I hang with him and "the hippies" as he liked to call his bandmates, keeping me near him as they were made up in latex death masks, and while he did an interview with Carrie from WAAF.
We sat and talked about our families and the Three Stooges. We talked about everything BUT Type O Negative.
After the show, he and the band couldn't get the latex off (the makeup artist had left) so I made a stop at a drugstore for baby oil and nail polish remover. Got all 4 cleaned up and I was lauded as a saviour.
I spent the night hanging with the band at the old Suisse Chalet in Quincy, mostly chatting with Pete. He told me all sorts of things about his life, his family, and he asked me a lot of questions about MY life, my work, my favorite music. Again, we talked about everything BUT TON.
When I left that morning, he and the band all hugged me, thanked me again for helping get the goo off, and Pete asked for my phone number. I sort of gave him The Look...."Do I LOOK like a groupie?"
He was horrified.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO, I just really enjoyed talking to you and I'd like to do it again, if that's ok with you! Please?"
A few weeks later, he actually called me, surprising me.
That was the beginning of a 5 year relationship, mostly conducted via telephone, sometimes in person when TON was on tour (my name was always on the guest list, even when he was "entertaining" as I called his groupie groping) or I'd take a ride into Brooklyn and we'd hang out, go to dinner and walk around so he could show me his town. A few times, I was referenced in the fan blogs, usually as "some slut hanging all over him." It bothered him and he wanted to slap it down, but I told him to relax, no big deal. He had a girlfriend or 20, and I had a boyfriend here and a boyfriend there.
Sometimes he'd call my mother's house and chat with her- his own mom was not well, and he'd ask my mom for tips on dealing with her diabetes. He was the only male, and not married, so it was his job to take care of things. My mom called him "that dear little boy." I'd say, "Mom, that dear little boy is 6'5", 260 and has fangs...." She didn't care. She adored him and was miffed when I told her there was no and never would be any romance between us. I am a monogamous person, and he was a rock star.... the two don't work together.
I got to hear the album "World Coming Down" being mixed via telephone held up in Brooklyn Two Studio. He wrote a piece about meeting me and tucked it into an unreleased track on the album The Worst of Type O Negative. I still smile when I hear it.
He went from girlfriend to girlfriend because he always screwed it up- tortured artist, indeed. But still, we'd call each other and talk about stuff, just stuff, for hours and hours. Sometimes, when he had a new lady, he'd go days or weeks without calling, but he eventually he would and we'd catch up. There were times when months passed without hearing from him and I'd read about a new tour, a new project.
The last time I spoke to him was a few weeks after I'd met my Matty. Pete had already had a heart attack brought on by his years of drug abused (cocaine and steroids), his mom had passed away on him, and he was sad. We talked for a while and I told him about Matt.
"He sounds like a great guy. You deserve someone like that. You're a fine woman."
When we hung up he indicated that if I'd like, he'd love for me to call back. I didn't. His world and mine were moving on. He didn't call me again, and I always hoped that I'd read somewhere about him getting married and having kids.
Instead, today, as I left work, my best friend called me to tell me that he'd died.
Little known things about him-
He was a perfect vocal mimic and could accurately impersonate anyone after hearing them speak.
He was a roaring goofball and adored wordplay in conversation.
His speaking voice was at least 2 octaves higher than his singing voice.
He despised getting the fang implants but was too....scared? Lazy? Indiffent? to have them removed.
He was a blond. He dyed his hair regularly and for a while, we used the same shade.
He was blind as midnight- he wore super contact lenses and couldn't see without them.
His real last name was Ratajczuk- he was not Russian and he was not related to Josef Stalin- his father was a Polish dock worker and his mom was Icelandic. He also had 5 older sisters, no brothers.
He spoke at least 8 languages, all Slavic based.
He thought females were magical, so he treated them all with amazing respect. Or fear. Or both.
He hated being a "rock star" but loved music- I hope someday, someone releases the hundreds of pieces that he wrote and never released.
He was a hypocrite, a misogynist, a lapsed Catholic, a loudmouth, a whiner, a slob when he ate, a bitch when he was tired and a long term cocaine addict, but I loved him dearly and I will miss the son of a bitch.
Petey, I hope you finally found whatever it was that you needed so badly.
Saturday night, Mulder and I met up with Vi from Stuck in the Bubble of Blah in Orlando. Vi is visiting the Land of Disney with her kids. We went out for some adult time in Downtown Disney (see! you cannot escape Disney anywhere in this town!) for some conversation, alcohol and food.
Meeting Vi was such a pleasure! She is funny, beautiful, charming, smart and just an all around fabulous lady! I hope she enjoyed the evening as much as we did.
This is a blog by a woman in her 50's who is finally on the crooked path to find who she truly is.
Married at 19 and divorced at 53. I am going to unearth the artist, the cynic, the free spirit that has been long buried. Or die trying.
I've left Bethlehem
and I feel free...
I've left the girl I was supposed to be
and some day I'll be born.