Special Thanks to the Horror Community: A Brief Hiatus

If you think you have been blocked, think again. I opted to take a momentary hiatus from social networking by virtue of irritation and the inability to utilize the burden of my Facebook which is frustrating because I use these sites to promote my hard work AND to promote the work of my colleagues. Shutting these pages down for the time being is not helping me any. Text messages and PM's have also become a nuisance for me. There's nothing I hate more than getting text messages and PMs. If I want to talk to you, I will let you know. Yes, I am selfish that way. Maybe this break will get me on track and help me to focus on more important matters. I want to gear the majority of my focus on my personal life, my book and this script that seems impossible for my brother and I to finish.

Any who, it seems as if my tango with my health issues continues onward but I remain thankful for my children's health and my ability to care for them. Recently, I was rushed to the ER due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Due to my insomnia and exhaustion, I took a high dose of sleeping medication and Nyquil because I just wanted to sleep. My life is fast paced, always on the go, and I never slow down enough to relax. I had no idea I would be inhaling gas for hours and I consider myself lucky to be alive. What's worse is that I haven't had to deal with negativity from local authorities in the area for the entire year that I have been living here until now. These authority figures who abuse their power give my friends in the field a bad name. This 24-hour endeavor was a complete nightmare - Several IVs, heart monitors, high blood pressure of 170, breathing tubes, and disorientation. I was so confused in my state, it was hard for me to answer questions correctly. I couldn't remember names and dates and I am being treated as if I am some drug-addicted serial killer. Unfair and insulting. It's a good thing I decided to hide all my meth supplies and chainsaws in the shed out back. (Serious side note - Everything in my house is child proofed. I strongly believe I was being judged poorly because of all of the horror movie memorabilia that was in my house.)

It's rare that I post photos of my children on social media because of my past issues with stalkers. It's a scary world out there and I want to keep my children as far away from social media as possible. They can Facebook when they're 18. Until then, I continue to monitor everything they do online and I refuse to let my children become the butt of a joke from some deranged sociopath online that obsesses over me. Those of you who know me or have been following my work for years are aware of what I went through online and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

Onto more positive and shameless self-promoting, I was asked to be a speaker for the horror panel at the MENSA International Convention in Austin, Texas. This is not just another horror convention I was chosen to speak at and it wasn't a local university. This is a high IQ society and I was honored to be a part of this event. To my surprise, I had a full room of attendees who were interactive and asked questions not even your most devoted horror fan could conjure up. It was impressive to say the least. 


Rosh Hashana was a lot of fun with a great turn out at my parent's building. Where do these people come from? I do not get to join service as much as I'd like to but I try and it really does mean a lot to me, Passover being my favorite.
My recent SOV-VHS article for Dreamaniac received positive attention, thanks to my boys at Geek Juice. My Hackers article is on the way!
Speaking of upcoming articles, my long-awaited piece covering 70's arthouse porn with splashes of horror and fantasy is still in progress. This will be for a magazine I have looked up to for years. I suppose this is where my less than supportive crowd is here to judge me and call me a horrible person or even a horrible mother for including pictures of my children in the same post as my questionable interests. It's not as if I wank to these movies. I write about art and strive to open your minds to the deeper meaning behind controversial subjects.

In closing, I want to thank all of you who have been supporting me for years and don't ever let anyone tell you how to live your life. Write every day. Make horror movies. Encourage each other. Push the envelope. Get heard and stand up for what you believe in. If those around you do not support you, FUCK THEM! Last but not least, everyone needs to see Straight Outta Compton. It's one of the best films I have seen in a long time and I don't even dig rap music..... Not all of it anyway. Freedom of speech. Learn what it means.


The Nature of the Beast

My initial objective was to canvass the inadequacy of equality in the bar business but I have decided to propel into the things that I have absorbed in over a decade of bartending. Let me start off by saying, I know how good of a bartender I am. People do not write articles about my bartending skills, interview me on their radio shows, and keep me on their high demand bartender list for special parties for no reason. Does that mean I am perfect at my job? No. Mistakes are made but I try to be honest about those mistakes. I am a bartender that takes pride in her work. I like a clean bar, I'm OCD as fuck, and presentation means everything to me. I like my drinks to not only taste fabulous but look flawless as well. Any who, I know how some of my readers object to rambling so I put in some fun GIF's and tried to keep it short and sweet.

In my decade of bartending, I have managed to come across some fascinating people and some incredibly shady people, the most shady being bar owners and managers. Their thought process is troubling and you will get a splitting headache if you try to reason with these people. This does not include all bar owners and managers. Some of these people that I have had the pleasure of working with remain good friends of mine and I have also managed bars so who knows, maybe I came across as shady a few times.

  • The managers of strip clubs turn their heads when customers are touching the girls inappropriately and they actually make the girls apologize afterwards because she's scantly clad so you have every right to grab her ass and/or tits without a slap to the face, right? This logic is outrageous.
  •  Speaking of managers at a strip club, I requested the weekend of Passover off to spend with my family. One of the managers drew a Swastika on my request. It took everything in me not to walk out and I was already growing tired of that environment. I put in my two weeks notice as courtesy then got terminated the next day. Corporate contacted me and apologized profusely then asked if I needed anything. Just a good recommendation would do.

The hardest part about bartending (for me) is setting the boundaries that will keep you safe from losing your job. You could get fired for cutting a customer off or you could get fired for over-serving. At the end of the day, your job may depend on this decision making but losing your license and getting a ticket is far worse. Sure, that bar owner may smear your name in the dirt when you try to get another job but life isn't fair and you have to roll with the punches. You could always kiss as much ass as possible to keep yourself employed but that's just something I am not willing to do.

Do bartenders drink on their shift? It depends. Some establishments do not allow drinking (It's also illegal in particular zones) but the bartenders and bar managers still bring in their own concoction in a bottle disguised as Gatorade or fruity water because it helps them relax and get into the groove. Numerous establishments will allow you to drink with limits. A bar in Port Arthur, Tx actually requires that their bartenders have a few shots to keep them level headed. Have I ever been drunk behind the bar? There were a couple of instances where I managed to have a strong buzz. This is not something I am proud of but  let's just be honest here, it happens. Never had a DUI and I do not do drugs. I have also been falsely accused of being drunk behind the bar. One of the times was due to me forgetting my medication and I got light headed from low blood sugar. I'm sure it probably did look like I was drunk on camera but being falsely accused of something I didn't do is one of my biggest pet peeves. Just know your limits and watch yourself. You still want to make sure you can do paper work correctly.

  • What I find odd from some superior figures is that customers attempt to buy the bartender drinks all the time and some managers will say no but if a big spender is in the house or a friend of said owner/manager..... It's totally okay! I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this because you're basically saying the other customer's money is no good to you. 
  • The video below "If Bartenders Were Honest" actually portrays drinking behind the bar on point. On Reddit, several bartenders replied to the video stating that they also drink behind the bar, knowing their limits.

  • At the Pub, our manager would call me almost daily, begging me to come in at 2pm because she was too drunk to finish her shift. Now THIS is inexcusable and it still baffles me that she was never fired over this. She also viciously attacked her co-workers and customers. How does one get so angry?

DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA! Did I mention drama? Have I been the source for some of this drama? Probably. I am a very emotional girl. However, this brings me back to being blamed for shit I didn't do which is a sure way to become enemy #1 in my book. Example: My adventures of being a bartender at a strip club included becoming really good friends with one of the floor guys. He was sleeping with 5 girls involved with that club, two were very good friends of mine. On my night off, my phone explodes with screen caps of this guy. He told two girls that he wanted to get them pregnant (Wicked gross) and told the other girls that he loved them. After several grueling phone calls and text messages, I already knew something very bad was going to happen at work the following evening. Sure enough, the girls attacked each other in a fashion that's best suited for Wild Kingdom. I told my friend he needed to get his shit together which hurt his feelings. All of this somehow landed on me and became my fault, just for being in the middle of it.

  • Never date your customers nor your co-workers. Never become friends with co-workers. Don't think for a minute that they won't throw you under the bus when you are feeling most vulnerable and outraged. Unfortunately, I break my own rules. It creates conflict and drama at your job and that could lead to you getting fired. What you really need to watch out for is becoming 'friends' with the wrong people. Everyone wants to be friends with the bartender. Know the difference between friends and acquaintances.

  • Random reminder that a friend wanted me to share on here - Once your business is booming, do not forget the staff that got you there. You can dispose of them and pretend as if they mean nothing but that makes you a douche. You will lose business after firing your bartender that brings in a crowd. One sure way to piss your regulars off is hiring and firing at the drop of a hat. I have read several reviews from pissed off customers that complain about the inability to keep bartenders around. Maybe this is something managers and bar owners should keep in mind. If you're having a problem with an employee, work with them! Stop firing bartenders left and right.
  • Do NOT depend on hearsay.  80% of the things you hear in bars are maliciously twisted around. I cannot tell you how many lies I have heard about myself and some of them are down right insulting. If you ever want to know anything, just ask me!

You're not allowed to protest racism and homophobia. I have this problem with word vomit where I say everything I am thinking and it doesn't always work out in my favor because who cares if he's a fascist pig, the customer is always right! You're encourage to respond with, "Yea! I don't like dem queers neither! Hang em' with the niggers or throw them in an oven with the kikes!" Oh how I love the awkwardness of an anti-Semitic customer who just learned that I am Jewish.

  • Random shout out to these customers - Men like to shit their drawers and flush them down the toilet and the Omega Moo's like to make fools of themselves on the dance floor to terrible hip hop music while their period stains are showing but that's none of my business....

Every once in a while you'll feel as if you're stuck in a Twin Peaks episode. There are several stories I could tell but I'm going to have to go with the most recent when Dan and I were working together on a Saturday night. There was a moment where I had to pull Dan to the side and tell him, "Dude, scroll your eyes across the room and see how completely trashed everyone is." I am not a fan of over serving but some of these customers tried to get me into trouble when I cut them off so I decided to go with the flow and show just how horrifying the outcome could be. We had several groups of crying girls and one of the girls had lipstick smeared all over her face. This is putting it lightly. As soon as we locked the doors, all we could do was scream, "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT????" I don't understand the criers. Some are doing it every week and one group of girls in particular likes to play this wrist slitting country song while they cry about their uncle that died 10 years ago.

  •  Random nod to all my stalkers! Ladies, I know you feel me on this one. You have a good time with a guy then suddenly you're dating. NO! We are not dating. Go away, you're freaking me out. Then they will insist on waiting for you to leave the bar and they follow you home. Hooray for sanity! I would advise keeping pepper spray, a baseball bat, switchblade, or a gun in your vehicle. This is Texas, go with the gun! My friends seem to think this is hilarious. 

In closing, one of the biggest problems I seem to run into is jealousy. Every girl thinks I want to sleep with their man. I usually respond with, "He's not attractive enough for me, sorry." Same goes with lesbian couples. Then I have the co-workers that are intimidated by me. Any time a local magazine writes about me or I do a photoshoot, I suddenly become their worst enemy when I didn't even do anything wrong. Maybe I do come across as intimidating. The disgusting behavior I have endured has molded me into a cynical human being. By no means do I think I am better than anyone, chill out. We're all sick. Have a nice day.

Pretty Pictures and TFW Recap

Photo by the amazing John Torrani

Something was off about this 10th anniversary. It's not that I didn't have fun.... Believe me when I say I did BUT for a 10th reunion, it felt as if something was missing. It could have been that our main crew was not present. It's almost as if the original TFW crew is no longer interested and now there's this entire new breed of groups that are drunker than we ever were and unkempt. There was a moment when Jovanka and I realized we are either getting old or we have learned the necessary behavior when it comes to promoting ourselves and our product. Attendees were already wasted early Thursday when the convention hadn't even started - Not that I am judging. People were coming to Jovanka's booth early Saturday morning and they were already drunk. A TFW staff member was fired by Elvira because a belligerent drunk told her assistant that he was man handling him when he attempted to go out of a door that was forbidden. The behavior I witnessed this year opened my eyes and brought back past memories with Roxy and I doing our thing. What the hell were we thinking? How did we feel this was appropriate behavior? When you are a business woman in the horror industry who takes her work seriously, you do not run around throwing tampons at people or randomly slapping people in the ass. I cringe now when I look at pictures and feel embarrassed by my behavior. We were party girls without a care in the world.

Maybe it's a culmination of everything my body went through last year and attending far too many of these conventions over the years that has me on my best behavior. I'm tired. I'm bored. Everyone is annoying to me. This year, I got food poisoning and a painful sinus infection. I was in my bed all day Saturday until the evening approached. Thank you for all the lovely comments on my VIP gown. I couldn't have done it without John. The poor guy was checking on me every hour. He even held an ice bucket for me to vomit in. Had he not taken care of me and helped to settle my stomach, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to rock that dress and spend time with my friends. That's all I wanted to do this year. This was the first year where I was not hosting TFW, not a part of the staff, not moderating panels, not doing interviews, not sitting at a booth promoting my work, etc... The only thing I cared about was hanging out with my friends and spending time with fellow writers that have been attending for years and years. People who just started going or that have only been a couple of times have no idea how strong the TFW bond is and how broken that bond felt when only half of us showed.

You can tell from my subtle expression that I am really not feeling good
My fellow red-headed horror Rebekah!

The VIP party with Rebekah McKendry, Spooky Dan, Torrani, and Jovanka felt like a prom setting. Honestly, the VIP party is not all it's cracked up to be. I'm sad I missed out on the karaoke and I just have to take the time to express how much I adore Rebekah McKendry. She's a wonderful mother, beautiful on the inside and out, incredibly warm and kind, and talented young lady. I look forward to future projects with the Fango/Gore Zone team. If only I had the time to listen to their Killer POV podcast....

Torrani showing off his Faces of Death Gore Zone issue! What a beautiful cover! You guys need to check out his article. Unfortunately, I did not finish my piece in time which makes me sad because we were hoping to be in the same issue. I need to snap out of it and finish that article. So proud of John.

Later that evening I returned to bed and I was in so much pain, I wanted to put my head through a wall. The right side of my face was throbbing and it felt like I had been stabbed in the stomach multiple times. What's worse is that everyone smoking downstairs were SOOOOOO loud. They were all up till 6am. Oh yea, the section where the regular attendees smoke was right below our room. I could hear many detailed conversations. There was a moment where I stepped out into the balcony to get some fresh air and everyone began screaming, "Herzberg!" I was on the 3rd floor. That's how close I was. Nope, totally getting back in bed!

The best part of my weekend was without a doubt all the time I spent with Torrani, Jovanka, Heather Buckley, and Spooky Dan. We all went to a shooting range where we had zombie targets. I loved every second of it. Then we went to a family steak house where everyone was staring at us for being so weird looking and obnoxiously loud about our views on patriotism and many other obscene things. It was fabulous. Buckley also writes for Gore Zone and Fangoria. Jovanka was a writer for Rue Morgue and I always admired her writing style. She's involved with many projects that you should all keep up to date on and if you claim to be a horror fan but never heard of Spooky Dan Walker then something is wrong with you.

I always make Torrani drive my car

I inevitably had to delete a friend from Facebook who in return got offended. This is silly. Facebook is just a social networking site. If you're really friends then you can call or text that person. Why doesn't anyone do this anymore? This woman caused a scene last year because she felt like I ignored her all weekend and showed someone else more attention. That was not the case. This year I went out of my way to contact the person, via text all weekend, to let her know where I will be and what was going on. She didn't even care that I was sick nor did she bother to ask if I was okay.I cannot be worried about petty things like this. Life goes on. Also, saying horrible things about Fangoria/Gore Zone is completely unbecoming and shows just what kind of person you are. Not to mention, unprofessional. I just had to get that out, sorry.

I enjoyed the Kim Coates panel but his autograph was the only autograph I cared about. I had already met the majority of the guests at previous conventions and I am trying not to become one of those autograph hoarders. Face it, it's a little sad. I enjoyed meeting the creator of this tasty vodka by a local man and it looks like I will be partnering up with their product for this Halloween!

It was nice catching up with Aj Bowen again. The last time I hung out with him was in Austin for Fantastic fest where I had amusing footage of him getting pounded from behind. I cherish that video. Spooky Dan and I rocked horror trivia. That was another favorite part of my weekend.

Moving on, I quit bartending at the strip club several months ago because that job was killing me and turning me into something I hate. Now I am bartending closer to home in a less stressful environment. My health has gotten better but I still have a few set backs. The hormone shots are helping, thank God. For a while there, I felt like a crazy person. Recently, both of my parents were in the hospital and our family dog died. I felt depressed and didn't know how to reach out to anyone. I lost my passion for writting and slacked off with my VHS column for Geek Juice. I began ignoring my friends. Trust me, I am trying real hard to snap out of this but I am fine and I am sorry if I alarmed anyone. Sometimes, it's best to fight your demons alone. I'll get back to that happy place sooner or later and I do not expect any of you to understand just how I am feeling. In the meantime, I am still making pretty pictures!

That's all I can think of to add at the moment. Hopefully, I can get out of this strange funk and get some articles published on Geek Juice. Love you all! OH! I did finally get the kids to Schlitterbahn again! Cannot wait to see how those pictures turned out.