[Photo of a white person with short, curly brown hair cropped just above their ears. Their eyes are brown and they have winged eyeliner. They’re wearing a gray tank top and are lying on a tilt table. They have wires going from their chest to a heart monitoring device (not visible) and a blood pressure cuff on their upper arm. They look tired but relieved.]
Tilt table test: complete! It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, or, at least, it was no worse than passing out ever is.
My blood pressure was pretty consistently 116/80, so no orthostatic hypotension (aka what my PCP has been telling me for YEARS now). My resting heart rate was in the 70s, but as soon as they got me completely up it was between 125 and 135. The first ten minutes weren’t that bad. It wasn’t until about the 10 minute mark that I started feeling sick (the gross stomach feeling, the constricting band around my chest, the difficulty hearing or making sense of anything, etc.). My heart rate kept climbing steadily (the doctor joked with the nurse that they probably shouldn’t inject me with any isuprel since my heart was already going crazy and he was surprised I was still conscious since my heart rate had been 150+ for over 10 minutes), and by 16 minutes I couldn’t really focus or breathe deeply and my vision was blurring. So I told the nurse I was about to pass out just as my blood pressure tanked to 70/40–compared to 116/80 ten seconds before), and the last glimpse I caught of the monitor before my vision faded said my heart rate was 166.
(Thankfully the doctors and nurses here were a lot less mean than some hospitals, so they lowered me back down before I could completely pass out.)
The diagnostic criteria for POTS is an increase of 40 BPM or over 120 BPM within the first ten minutes of standing. Mine increased almost 100 BPM, so now, after suffering for 21 years with no diagnosis, I’m officially a POTSie!
Twelve reasons to see Velvet Goldmine (other than the trailer from YouTube, which is the best of the trailers on YouTube and much better than the official Miramax one, but not really the experience.)
1. In the first five minutes a young Oscar Wilde anachronistically declaring that, “I want to be a pop idol,” after apparently being dropped off by aliens as a foundling.
2.Pause for a moment and bask in the awesome that is the Maxwell Demon feathered alien costume. The rest of the costumes are pretty good too.
3. 70s style glam rock music with lots and lots of homoerotic subtex… nah, just text all over the place.
4. “Although what you are about to see is a work of fiction, it should never the less be played at maximum volume.”
5. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Brian Slade fellatiating Curt Wild’s guitar.
6. Christian Bale having gay sex with a young Ewan McGregor on a rooftop. “I did have a sex scene with Christian Bale, which I did to the best of my ability. C’mon, it was great! I was playing an Iggy Pop-type rock star and we have a shag on top of a rooftop in Kings Cross but they wanted to shoot it from another rooftop. We heard, ‘Action!’ so we started to slowly [go at it]. Then it went on and on—we were really going at it…with a reach-around. [Laughs]. Then I thought, I would have cum by now so I went round to Christian’s ear and went, ‘I think I would have cum by now. I’m going to have a look.’ I looked over and they were packing up the cameras! I think they thought it was a sensitive thing, they should just leave it to us.”
7. Daring to use the Citizen Kane structure despite how iconic Citizen Kane is and combining it with a touch of SF style alternate history. Depressing present and shiny past. (Which is easier to take from our better than 1984 future.)
8. The only mainstream(ish) movie I can think of that captures the joyful terror of coming out.
9. Surreal, surreal, surreal. Eddie Izzard as an evil manager getting little glowing green dollar signs in his eyes when he spots one opportunity is the least of it.
10. Musical history cliffnotes for those of us who did not live it. Well, only fictional, but gosh, if you want to have an outline of the brief moment that was glam in Britain you could do far worse.
11. Remember the future that never came to pass. Also wonderful nonsensical wisdom of glam that are actually in the movie like, “A real artist creates beautiful things and… puts nothing of his own life into them.”
12. Ewan McGregor, full frontal nudity while covered in glitter. Literal rocking out with his cock out. (There are gifs of this too. Lots of them. Have a tame taste.)
So. 2016 AA holiday Barbie. Painted over her eyes, lower eyeshadow, and mouth, as well as gave her a bit of pastel blush. Aggressively cut/gelled/ironed* her hair. Recapitated her to an MTM AA Soccer body.
Observation: Her stock eyebrows are not symmetrical, and that’s where I was getting the hint of personality that was trying to come through her glam paint. She’s a lot more…fitting with my doll aesthetic now.
Yes, the teeth are part of the sculpt. Mattel doesn’t always pay attention to that, apparently.
Has anyone used this sculpt as a base for a Janelle Monae doll?
* By “ironed” I mean that Blythe customizer trick of heat styling doll hair without dunking the whole head in boiling water by placing a damp cloth on the hair then putting a low heat iron–I used my Clover mini-iron–on the damp cloth until it stops sizzling.
come to think of it - I've never seen phantom of the opera, which version do I watch
YOU CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE FRIEND
There are probably three film versions you think of when you think of Phantom: the silent one with Lon Chaney, the 1962 Hammer horror one, or the 2004 musical starring Patrick Wilson’s terrible hair
Do not watch any of these. Or, if you must, watch the 2004 version and take a drink every time you’re filled with crippling secondhand embarrassment.
But if you want to actually enjoy yourself—if you want to sit down and experience this story in its greatest filmed incarnation—you must, right now, go and find a movie called The Phantom of the Paradise.
No, no, just wait. It gets even better.
Brian De Palma (yes, Scarface and The Untouchables Brian De Palma) tells the story of Winslow, a meek musical genius whose best work is stolen by Swan, a conniving record producer who is also probably Satan. Without legal recourse, and destroyed by the loss of his music, Winslow attempts revenge, fucks it up, and gets sent to prison, where he’s horribly mutilated. Eventually he escapes and discovers that Swan has opened the Paradise, a rock and roll music hall, on the strength of his stolen work. Crazed and disfigured, Winslow takes up residence in the Paradise, biding his time…until a lovely young singer catches his attention.
This is a movie where the Phantom’s teeth are torn out in prison and replaced with gleaming silver fangs. Everyone wears glitter. It’s a musical. There are at least three power ballads, a brutal riff on Grease, and a performance set piece too gay for Rocky Horror. The famous chandelier scene goes as scripted—except the chandelier is a disco ball. It’s glam and trashy and all the emotional knobs are cranked up to eleven all the time.
It’s also a pretty searing look at the push and pull of creative control, and how executive meddling can crush the heart out of even the most treasured passion projects. But mostly it’s about Music, Man. And love, and tight leather pants, and flamboyance and selling your soul and the 70’s. You know, the Gothic classics.
The Americans at heart are a pure and noble people; things to them are in black and white. It’s either “rawk” or it’s not. We Brits putter around in the grey area. In our minds it’s “a little bit rock, a little bit snigger”.
British glam rock never made much of an impact on middle America. Before and after, we were bookended by Alice Cooper and Kiss: butch, “manly” glam with lots of guillotines and fireworks, muscle and metal. No mistaking the sexual bent of those fellers: “Nothing ambiguous about our boys.” That’s the only way Ohio could accept lipstick on males. So we Limeys all swanned off sniffily to the wings where we did make an impression. For a brief moment or two, we ruled in New York and Los Angeles.
Bowie, forward to Mick Rock’s Blood and Glitter, 2001.