All That Glitters

You know that pang in your belly that so often contradicts your head? The one that tells you to do things that might not seem logical? It’s true, what they say. Trust your gut – it’s rarely wrong.

It was Sunday night and I was tired. This going-to-the-gym thing has my body discovering parts of itself once believed to be long dormant. It’s like asking me to remember what wisdom teeth do or what my appendix is for. I thought I had no use for hamstrings, and was about to have them removed.

Sushi and surfing the net sounded like an ideal way to end the weekend, said my head.
But what about Leslie, asked my belly.

I should back up.

Through the course of my regular blog surfing, I stumbled across this intriguing post at Kevin’s site about an upcoming performance at a local bar. Although I didn’t know Kevin, his entry resonated with me on some deeper level, so I left a comment saying that I might show up.

After hearing excuse after excuse from the friends I thought might be interested (Natasha: “Why are you calling me? You know I’m in Acapulco!” Seamus: “Why are you calling me? You know I’m in South Africa!” Dee-Dee: “Why are you calling me? You know I’m in Milwaukee!”), I thought about giving up. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But the funny thing is, my belly got the better of me. When I got my final rejection from Dee-Dee, I told her that I just felt like if I didn’t go, I would regret it. And I really meant it.

So I went.

I got to the bar early, pulled up a stool, whipped out my notebook, and ordered a Newcastle. I started jotting down notes about the already interesting mix of people in the bar when I heard someone call my name. Now, contrary to what people may say about the glamorous life of an ex-amateur tap dancer, I am not accustomed to being approached by handsome young gentlemen at bars. So when Kevin called my name, I gave him what was I’m sure a very puzzled look.

“Jenny! It’s Kevin.”

[blank stare.]

“From Sweet Tartuffery.”

[happy recognition!]

“Oh my god! So nice to meet you!”

He introduced me to his charming group of friends, we ordered $2 cans of beer, and made our way back to the stage. It was critical that we stake out some prime real estate for this musical feast.

There were three bands lined up for the evening: a punk/metal/satanic band, a hipster rap duo, and the main event – the dazzling diva and goddess of gold lamé herself, Leslie Hall. From the quick research I did on Leslie before heading out to the bar, I learned that she’s a hip-hopper from the Midwest with a penchant for gold lamé jumpsuits and a mission to rescue gem sweaters from thrift stores across the country. She has the rhythms to make your body rock and the grooves to make your shoulders lock.

The first band hurt my heart both emotionally and physically with screeching guitars and booming bass. The second band was surprisingly good, even though the female singer threw water in my face and gave me swimmer’s ear. Well, she might not have intended to throw water just at me, but I think I bore the brunt of her on-stage antics.

My newfound friends and I passed the time by exchanging dialogue on Oprah’s show dedicated to poo, and sharing our true feelings about the Black Eyed Peas song, My Humps. Then finally, as the witching hour approached, Leslie and the Ly’s made their long-awaited entrance.

I felt nothing short of giddy.


I could barely contain myself as Leslie popped and locked across the stage in her fur cape and gold jumpsuit. Her lyrics were like a drug.

I wanna thank you momma for making me gold pants. Ones I can dance in, and make romance in!

Sequin babies, bring me dollar bills. One night of pleasure, rhinestone thrills. Hey beat dazzler, gem me a sweater! Hey hoochie momma, gold pants forever!

It’s hard for me to put into words the feeling that swept over me as I looked around the room at my fellow Junior Gems. The best I can do is this:

It’s like when you were a child, swinging on a swingset in the park with your best friend. Feeling your stomach tingle as the swing goes back and the rush of wind in your face with each swing forward. Pumping your legs harder and stretching your back until you feel like you might flip over the top. You look over at your friend and smile as you pass each other mid-swing. Your hands sweat from gripping the chain so tightly, yet each time you reach the top you think about letting go and flying across the park. You can’t catch your breath from laughing and swinging and you wish so badly that there were more people in the park to see you because you are sure that no one has ever gone this high or had this much fun. But you also wish no one else was in the park because then it’s just something you and your best friend shared and they wouldn’t understand anyway. And you wish it would never end because you know there will never be a moment quite like this again.

It was kind of like that.

We waited around until the crowd had died down so we could all get our photos with Leslie. Then as we were loitering, not wanting the night to be over, we were approached by two dashing men with a tape recorder, and subsequently interviewed for their podcast. Chris told them that we were all planning on moving in together. It would be just like Three’s Company. I would probably have to play Janet, though. Damn dumpy brunettes. I can’t remember all the ramblings that spewed from my mouth, but if they decide to salvage some of our interview, I’m certain I will sound quite like the accountant I once sadly aspired to be. It might have been my third $2 beer talking, but I think I may have said the word, “conduit” at one point, and not in any way that could be construed as clever or charming.


Then finally, we suited up for the cold blast outside and went our separate ways. As I hopped back into my car humming something about gem sweaters, I thought about my belly and smiled as I reminded myself that I must always trust my instincts, because they can lead me to the most dazzling treasures.

18 Responses to “All That Glitters”

  1. kevin Says:

    you’ve described the indescribable; excellent work. needless to say, i’m very happy you went with your gut. and if you ever need a partner in treasure-hunting, just say the word.

  2. Marc and Fausto Says:

    Dear Jen,
    it was a pleasure meeting you and your blog friends as well. Its amazing how the internet brought us all together. Leslie hall was fantastic to see perform and talk to. Our interview will be up on Thursday. We got a lot off good recordings so it may be a two parter. You’ll probably be up on Friday.
    May the Internet bring us together once again!

  3. Wiggy Says:

    I thought about my belly and smiled as I reminded myself that I must always trust my instincts, because they can lead me to the most dazzling treasures.
    You are one wise gal – and you’ve convinced me: I’m following my instincts – I don’t think they’ve ever led me wrong – but my wiggy brain has ;-)

  4. asia Says:

    instinct following leads to the best kind of trouble.

  5. The Scarlett Says:

    Keep us informed if the podcast gets posted!

  6. Jessica Says:

    Good grief, woman…you get interviewed EVERYWHERE!
    Sounds like a great time!

  7. shari Says:

    My gut has never led me to Chicago. Maybe I need new guts. Sounds like a great time!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    That glam rocker Leslie has my kind of freak on. Thanks for finding and sharing her with us.

  9. Sarah Says:

    That sounds fantastic…what a great night!
    I am fascinated with her website now.

  10. jenny Says:

    I’m so glad to have been able to share the glory that is Leslie w/ other people! I learned about her from a blog, now you learned about her from a blog, and so on, and so on. It’s like a virus!

  11. Ryan Says:

    A Leslie Virus? Hmmm…if i ever have to come down with a disease, I’d want it to come from Leslie.

  12. number4of5 Says:

    You look really good in purple.

  13. nina Says:

    In that last photo you have? You look kind of scared. I think you wanted to hug her tight but there was too much purple padding. Or something.
    (Great post, n.b.)

  14. Christie Says:

    As I watched Leslie’s videos last night and checked out her webpage, I wondered if you had gone to see her… And yes you did. What a hoot. I even looked to see if she was coming to Indy. No Luck.
    PS Loved the part about swinging with your friend. That was a great memory trigger.

  15. jenny Says:

    Ryan: Yeah, that’s one social disease I won’t have to be ashamed of. For once.
    4of5: You’re so sweet to say that. And do you like my new glasses? I think they make my eyes look bigger.
    Nina: I do look a bit like I’m trying to run away, but nothing could be further from the truth. I was trying to suck out her mojo.
    Christie: After watching her videos, there was pretty much no way I was going to miss her show. You MUST see her if she ever comes w/in a 2 hour drive of you… sooooo worth it!

  16. Chris Says:

    Ryan and I are in complete agreement that you are the only one of us who has even a chance of coming out of this interview NOT looking like a drooling moron. By the way, thanks for thinking my Three’s Company reference was clever and not just the inane ramblings of an attention whore. Because as Nigel Tufnel teaches, “There is a fine line between stupid and clever.” I’d like to think I walk that line everyday.

  17. romy Says:

    and i mean that in both etymological and cultural ways. :)

  18. kevin Says:

    i heard it. conduit indeed!