Arts & Entertainment

April 8, 2005

Volume 33,
Issue 14

Sat, Feb 27, 2016


Lipstick and Lust
It’s rainy outside, but there was some warmth last month as there will be in this ‘Lipstick and Lust’
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

A couple of events that happened to me last weekend reiterated to me why I’m doing this column. The first was a positive conversation with an older woman who told me that at 85, the only time she’s ever had a “bad walk” (we were talking about the positive effects of exercise, particularly walking, and I have to admit that I underestimated her abilities, based on a first impression) was when she was young. “Thirty is young, isn’t it?” she asked me. Yeah, and being near 50 to me it is, and she proceeded to tell me that that walk was bad because she was having her period, and it was hot and when she got back to her destination, she nearly fainted. But, hey, she was spunky and obviously has a zest for life at 85. Now there’s a real, in the flesh “sheroe” if I ever saw one.

Unfortunately, the other “event”’ was not so positive and made reflect on a goal I’ve had for some time now, to be able to go into high schools and talk to young people about my own “bad, old days” when I too thought I was as “hip, slick and cool” as these particular youngsters I encountered thought they were. I had the sad occasion to “rat” on three young people, two young men and one young woman, all of whom were being extreme inappropriate and disrespectful at the gym where I work out. But what bothered me the most was how the young woman was not only allowing the two guys to treat her like “eye candy,” but how she also allowed the young, white man to used the word “niggah” as if he had the right and as if she were not Black and did not come from the same heritage as me, where that word was used in the most hateful instances to oppress Black people, particularly Black women. I mean, is it ever okay to use that word in fun, especially if the person using it not Black, but trying to do what I call “culture surf” in another person’s culture? Don’t think so darlin’, nope, don’t think so.

And hey, if she couldn’t stand up for her race, the way other races stand up for themselves (I mean, have you ever heard a Jewish person use the word “kike” in fun, or an Asian person call another one “chink” and consider it a cool thing?) then she should have at least not let herself be groped like a piece of meat in a public place. Okay, let me put it in perspective for those of you scratching your heads going, “Huh?” He was a young, white man, representative of the power structure, and she a young Black woman, part of an oppressed group, trying still to level the damned playing field in the world of “The Man.” He’ll grow up to be another member of said power group, with all of the privileges of said power group, and she, if she’s very lucky (considering where she seems to be going), she’ll be more than a “baby mama” for some jerky guy, or at best, another “Top Model” clone. You get my drift here? The girl was not exerting her power because she was not aware she has any! So that’s why I do this column, so that maybe more women will be in touch with their beauty, their power and most especially their choices as women, whether Lesbian, Dyke, Bisexual or straight. ‘Nuff said.


All of that off my chest, I can now tell you how bloody happy I am to have had some very pertinent questions answered, and am now using my “Mexican Cocoa” soap from The Square Room. Those of you paying attention and hanging on my every word (as if!) will remember I said a column or two ago that I wasn’t going to break the seal on the “Mexican Chocolate” soap until I had someone fetching to share it with. So…there was someone, and I felt so good after they left that I broke out the soap and have been sharing it with myself every since. Really nice stuff too, and I highly recommend you pick some up at The Square Room gallery and housewares store on Pike, near The Wildrose.

I also highly recommend you try some of the deliciously wicked (and long-lasting) Nars lipgloss in “Zou Zou” (which I’m wearing even as I write this!), and the perfect red lipstick by Nars in “Shanghai Red.” Wear it with or without gloss for either a matte glam effect or even more glam with gloss. You’ll knock ’em dead, believe me. All of this, and so much more, including this wonderful, glitter eye and cheek powder I recently tried the night I went to the Moisture Festival you can find at Sephora in Westlake Center. Talk to “Urban Decay” rep Ryan, and she’ll hook you up, and she is so cute, you might just spend your credit limit while checking her out.

I also tried the sample of “Reenergize, Lift” crème and foundation and can tell you, I liked both, though I’m still a huge fan of Yves Rocher’s serum vegetal “Eyes/Face/Day/Night” moisturizing crème. It keeps me as gorgeous as I’ve been since I was 30, and helped me fool a bunch of folks about my age (not that I tried to - I’m proud of my age, thank you very much!), including the Canadian morsel I bedded at Norwescon until the wee hours of the morning! Oh, honey, those Canadian women are so yummy, and I think Cupid may have hit me deeply this time. Viva La Femme Canada, who nearly wore out this old wild child. And whether you’re partying with a femme or butch of your own, you might want to try some Tommy Bahama “Tommy Bahama” perfume, which I tried last month and totally loved. Get this at Nordstrom downtown where La Jennifer works, though these eyes have not seen her for a long while.

And I mentioned last week that I’d had another marvelous confab with Naomi Bebe, the “Xena” impersonator I met earlier at Rustycon and who I featured in January’s column. We chatted about everything from working out, building a great upper body, to the kind of men she liked (she’s straight, but we’ll not hash about that, will we?), including one she now has a total crush on.

“I’ve watched men’s faces when I’m pressing up to, say, 350 pounds and not realized that I shouldn’t be able to lift that much weight, and that’s what they’re thinking. I can also press more than I can lift,” she said and at this point the guy at our table, noted that she did have great quad definition, which she does, for real! “I think it’s a matter of how women’s bodies work and how men’s work. We can often lift more because our bodies are made for bearing the weight of children, and men’s bodies are not so they can’t lift like we can, I guess. I just like to watch the faces of the guys in the gym as they watch me work out. They’re pretty impressed that I, a not that big of a woman, can lift that much,” she said. When talking about her “crush,” her face really lit up, just like Lucy Lawless on Xena when she was seducing a possible flame.

“He’s totally scrumptious, as you’ll see when you see the painting I did of him,” and that Xena smile again, totally mesmerizing. She added that someday she’d like to have someone who looked as much like Gabrielle (as she looks so much like Xena) to do a team costume masquerade with her at Norwescon in the future. “I think that’d be pretty cool,” she said. We continued to talk about sugar addiction (something your’s truly is trying to work through so we can get down to “fighting weight” before I turn 50 next year), and other stuff, then it was time to part because some new food had been added to the buffet next door. Nice to see a woman who’s not afraid to go after taquitos smothered in cheese, and who looks like a goddess.

And for those of you who’re trying to eat healthier, here are two salads sure to be just what you’re looking for, and one is even tasty for those cravings that come around “that time of the month.” I tested that one myself, and it was so satisfying, let me tell you!

The first salad I call “PMS Salad.” Mix together your favorite greens, or just get the salad mixture sold at Madison Market, and to those add three or four sliced strawberries (or more if you’re sharing), a quarter cup of chopped onions (less if you don’t like onions), and half of a ripe avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. Top with flax seeds (good for cramps!) and drizzle Annie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (also available at Madison Market and Trader Joe’s) on top, then dig in. You can add salt and pepper to taste, and chopped walnuts if you like.

The other salad, “Bad Day Better Salad,” got me through a horrendous day created by three very wicked pharmacy personnel at a local store that shall remain nameless, lest you too feel like I did and decide to go there and beat them like stepchildren. Or, if you’re having a bad day just make this salad and let karma take care of all the mean folks out there. Again, start with a fresh greens mixture (I still recommend the Madison Market’s mixture, both for flavor and freshness), add half of a chopped avocado, chopped to one-inch pieces, a quarter of a red pepper chopped to half inch pieces, a small wedge of sweet onion (the Walla Walla’s are THE best, and can also be purchased at Madison Market, Pike Place Market or Rainbow Grocery) chopped very small (again, you can leave out the onions if you don’t like onions, unlike me and my friend, Selene, who think there aren’t enough onions in the world), and add either/and chopped jicama or/and chopped golden beet, both about one quarter cup. Top with flax seeds, salt and pepper to taste, drizzle on Goddess Dressing (from my fave, Madison Market), settle back with a cuppa decaf tea of your choice, and all the bad will instantly go away.



Since you’ll be feeling so good the next day, after one of those delicious salads you might want to check out things for that new spring wardrobe and you won’t find a better place to shop (especially if you’re on the Hill) than Black Chandelier, the new boutique that’s opened next to Toys in Babeland. Only open since March 6, this wonderful little store is already starting make a name for itself. Chock full of gorgeous handmade, made in the U.S.A clothing, pillows, and comics by Madame D’arcy, Black Chandelier offers something for everyone.

“Jared Gold is the owner and he’s the designer of most of our clothes. We also carry American Apparel, and in the future we’ll be carrying candles, which Jared is scenting himself, and linens. We carry men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, pretty much something for everybody,” said Joon Chavez, manager and PR person.

“He does the beauty part, and I do the PR because this is also a business and I’m very good at this, telling people, come in here, check this out,” added Joon. She went on to say that Gold also has a couture line, and that the items in Black Chandelier are in keeping with Gold’s idea that artists should be able to buy fashionable items that are within their budget range.

“Artists that I know love fashion but usually don’t have a lot of money so we keep prices affordable here. Jared believes in that, in making his clothes for artists who like his work but don’t have a lot to spend,” said Joon. She added that Gold also believes in hiring people who have worked in jobs they hate, giving them a chance to do something they love and get paid doing it.

“I originally wanted to start my own boutique and I walked into Jared’s store in Salt Lake City (where she lived for a while, before moving to Seattle three years ago), and I had an epiphany. He’s a great guy with the biggest heart and I’ve known him for, like, ten years. He was one of my first roommates. I love working here (at the Seattle store),” Joon added with a huge smile. She was raised in Upstate New York, and moved to Seattle with her best friend.

“I love the Pacific Northwest, the trees, the mountains, everything, and since I moved with my best friend, I had an instant support system, you know?” added Joon.

The business is part of a larger group of stores, one of which is Salt Lake City, with another one online.

“Black Dynamite is the mothership for our stores, and they’re opening another one, soon in L.A.,” Joon continued, talking at maximum speed. “I talk fast, I’m a New Yorker,” she said laughing again. But this kind of engaging warmth is what separates Black Chandelier from other boutiques in the area, and what pulls people in and makes them want to stick around.

“You walk into a lot of boutiques and the salespeople are, like, all snooty, but we’re not like that here. We’re all very friendly and nice,” she added, which I can attest is quite true. The store also sponsored a “Pirate Party” which featured Madame Darcy who has her Meat Cake comics for sale in the store, and has sponsored three other events since they’ve been open. The party, which happened last weekend, had a pirate theme and went very well, according to Joon.

“I’d like to also do some kind of neighborhood event, with all of the businesses around us, like Toys in Babeland,” she said. So, if you want to check them out they are having a $10 sale this Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10. The store is located at 705 E. Pike St. next to Toys in Babeland. Go visit, and stop in at “Toys” too and thank them for giving us the sticker featured in this column, emphasizing this month’s bit of “smut.”



And now, I have a treat for my dear readers, although seeing them the way I did last weekend at The Moisture Festival (which you can still catch this weekend if you hurry!) would be the REAL treat. I got a chance to chat with a few of the Aerialistas, the all female circus/burlesque troupe who performed at this year’s Moisture Festival and here’s what they said about being part of a growing ‘new circus’ movement in Seattle and being one of the only all women’s aerial troupe.

L&L: So, are you guys from Seattle?

Carrie Andersen: There’s some people who are from here, and I grew up on the East Coast, in New Jersey, and one woman’s from Nevada.

L&L: So how long has the group been together and how many of you are there?

CA: We’ve been together for about a year. Before that, all of us were doing aerial stuff in other places, then a couple of us met Laura Paxton, who was interested in starting a new group that was all women and all aerialists. We formed the group and our first performance was at the Seattle Center for Winterfest at the end of December. That was our first show.

L&L: So how did you get started doing aerial performance? Did you just say as a kid, “I want to be just like the woman on the trapeze?”

CA: I did a little bit of gymnastics as a kid, and some theater and the circus was the natural meeting place of the two. I worked at a summer festival, working with kids, that was called The Frenchland Festival in Upstate New York. That was my high school summer job.

Rachel Nehmer: When I moved back to Seattle, I was hoping there would be a booming circus scene, and there was, and then I met Laura (who regularly performs with Circus Contraption and is artistic director for The Aerialistas), and we decided to work together, and it’s been great every since.

L&L: So do you think there’s a boom in burlesque and circus acts going on, because I seem to be seeing something like this everywhere now.

Laura Paxton: There’s a new vaudeville movement, and I think the nexus of that is the Oregon Country Fair, where a lot of the people in the Moisture Festival started out, and still work. The people who put on this Moisture Festival, and Du Caniveaux, I’d say they’re our forebears. Circus Contraption is what I’d call “new circus,” the Aerialistas I’d consider athletes and we’re doing this new burlesque, and it’s the burlesque that’s attractive.

CA: But you have to talk to Cathy Sutherland, she’s part of the group too, and she’s the one who makes the magic happen. (So, we then had three people on my telephone line, with me having just woke up and me trying to keep all of the voices sorted out!)

Cathy Sutherland: I’m married to the guy who started the Moisture Festival, and I’ve been very interested in the burlesque scene in Seattle, and I decided I wanted to have a burlesque in this festival, this year, and I went to them, to Laura, and asked them if they’d be in the show, and they said yes, and so we started doing the show. We’re doing vaudeville, doing burlesque, the old-fashioned kind that also has some comedy in it. And I think this new movement is in response to that whole “you can’t have nudity where you’re serving beer or any other alcohol.” I mean what guys, in what room came up with that idea? So, I think this is an innocent rebellion against that.

L&L: I know that the Aerialistas performed at the Moisture Festival and you’re involved with that, when was the first Moisture Festival?

CS: The first one happened a year ago in Fremont. We had this tent, and it was pretty hard to do the aerial acts, then Mike Hale, owner of Hale’s Brewery offered us this space in the back of his brewery (The Palladium), and we’re the first acts to perform here. I’m so grateful too, for our sponsors, Hale’s Brewery, The Fremont Players and Du Caniveaux.

CA: The Aerialistas being in the show is so positive, because it’s an all women troupe and unlike other all women groups, these women all cooperate with each other, there’s no cattiness, no competitiveness. Also, I like that we get to show other women that they can be strong, and have strong bodies, and be feminine at the same time, and we show that women can have choices in their lives and be empowered, because by doing our act, we’re taking charge of our lives, doing what we love the most.

The Aerialistas perform at the 11:00 p.m. show on Saturday, April 9, and because it’s a late night show expect it to be a bit spicy, which was definitely fun when I saw them perform.


And now, for that little bit of “smut” I always like to throw in. I’ve been trying to decide, should I call it “smut,” a word I like that has good secret connotations (I’ve reclaimed it, as I’ve reclaimed “Dyke” and “slut,” giving it my own spin), or “erotica,” a word that’s more PC for the rest of the folks I’ve been talking to lately. For now, I’ll call it “smut” and if you have an opinion, one way or another, feel free to e-mail me. Meanwhile, enjoy!


The black liquid poured into Delethia’s cup, but what she mostly noticed was the pecan shell brown hand pouring the coffee.

“Thanks, no, just black, thanks.”

Their eyes met, two pairs of brown eyes, one pair almost the color of Darjeeling tea, Delethia’s favorite. The woman smiled, a bit of wickedness pulling up one side of her full lips and Delethia felt her heart beat a little faster.

“So, what’ll you be having this morning, honey?”

Delethia jumped, stirred from the fantasy that had started blooming in her mind, as she watched the beautiful sistuh walk away from her table to wait on other customers, pouring coffee here, chatting up a regular there, then turning and smiling that pretty smile at Delethia before she disappeared into the kitchen to pick up more orders.

“Hmmm, what’s sweet on the menu, but not too fattening?”

Delethia leaned back in the booth, feeling her leather jacket against the ribbed outlines of her “wife beater” shirt. She could feel her nipples harden, knew the other woman was aware of that fact too.

“Well, honey, it you’re looking for non-fattening, you need to be somewhere else, otherwise, I can bring you a nice stack of pancakes. You do have an appetite don’t you?”

Their eyes met again and Delethia bit her lip, getting a nice blush from the other woman, who was staring directly into her eyes.

“Oh yeah, I certainly do. I’ll take those and a side of apple links.”

The other woman smiled and turned, only this time, when she walked away, Delethia was sure there was a little more wiggle in her walk. And now, they were on the telephone, having exchanged numbers, and after talking awhile, decided to “try something a little kinky.”

“You nearly there?”

“Yeah, just…just…tell me again how you taste.” Delethia could feel that warm blossom starting in her thighs and moving up, telling her just how close she was to that liquid happiness she so enjoyed.

“Like strawberries, with a little taste of salt, and sometimes like mango, right now…like honey and yogurt, because…”

“Oh yeah, oh yeah, that’s right baby, that’s…”

Delethia arched back on her bed, hand deep in her business, feeling her own joy swell all around her, and a short while later, she heard Amy (yes, they’d exchanged names too, somewhere, back then, in the “real world”) go over that same rainbow. They laughed like high school girls, still shaking in their respective apartments.

“Wow, that was something, huh?”

“Yeah, it was. Hey, you want to get together, for real, next weekend?”

“Sure, then you can see my collection of toys and we’ll choose what outfit you want me to wear. Sound good?”

“You bet, good night, sweet dreams angel.”

“You too sweetness, wake you up tomorrow?”

“Hmmm that does sound good.”

Delethia hung up, and put her hand back down her Jockeys, realizing there was still another explosion waiting. She thought about Amy’s butt in that tight waitress outfit and started again.

So, little ones, be wonderful, stay dry in this deluge we’re having lately, and enjoy the pix of some of Ynhared’s wares from her corset collection. We’ll be chatting with her soon, and in the mean time, you can go to her website at for a looksee. And do e-mail me with your thoughts and ideas, but no spam or weird drug offers, they’ll just be deleted. Oh, and before I forget, heads up to a certain writer at one of those “other papers,” chile, until you come back as a Black woman, and actually have the “beauty shop experience” do not speak of which do not know and leave that kind of writing to those of us who DO know. And my hearts and kisses to both Heathers, who are keeping a big smile on my face. Bye now!

Leslie Robinson

Madelyn Arnold