Happy Holidays 2017

Dear friends,  

Thank you so much for visiting Cooley Is The New Garbo.

I’ll be taking some time away this holiday season to be with family and focus on my salon in Colorado.

To maintain contact, visit my instagram @cooleyisthenewgarbo or tweet me @cooleyisgarbo

I’m looking forward to a new year, new entries and more time with friends and family in the future. 

Lift your glasses with me and let’s toast this holiday season together! 

Wishing you a festive holiday season and happy new year… see you in January! 

Xo- j. 


Airing Out

Wednesday, 8 November 2017.

Well, it’s Wednesday.  I had an unexpected cancelation today and have a some time to spend at home.

After spending forty-five minutes listening to music and dancing around, I began picking up the house like a teenager checking things off my chore list.  It felt kind of good.  Chris is working today so it gave me some time alone which always helps even me out in terms of my mood.

There’s something that happens come November for me.  I tend to take a backseat to all my side projects and focus on nesting a little bit.  By “nesting” I mean that I retreat to my home a little more and try not to be as social as I normally am.  The holiday season does this to me.

A lot of people get very depressed during the holiday season and turn themselves off.  I, on the other hand, really love the holidays and look forward to them. The routine of holiday shopping, cooking with my mom and sending greeting cards is really very Martha Stewart of me, but a happy part of who I am.

The last year in particular has shown me a lot about myself character-wise as I’ve had the chance to travel ALOT for Label.m and spend time away from the salon.

A few things I have learned is that:

  1. People are impatient and make assumptions. If they don’t see you at work, they assume your business is doing horribly or that you are plainly ignoring them.  Nope.  Just busy.  Even if I’m at home, I’m busy.  Napping is busy in my book.
  2. Social media is not what it used to be.  At one time, we could log on and be off in a few minutes.  Now, people rely on it.  I don’t anymore.  I also don’t place much seriousness in it anymore.  I have taken the opportunity to delete acquaintances, clients and certain friends.  I don’t care if it offends them.  Frankly, if you’re offended that I’m not following you on Instagram or Facebook, you’re too diluted for me.  I don’t care.  Maybe we’re not meant to be friends on the web or off.
  3. A five day work week is too much.  Being gone for a few days at time is nice.  I have been looking at the trends at the salon and adjusting my schedule to this.   I have a few weekends off a month now, I go in much later three days a week and close up much earlier a few days a week now.  No more 9-6 shifts 6 days a week for me.  Ever again.  If I can work 30 hours, I’m happy.  40 hours with party appearances and office work max.  I’m not into being clocked in 24/7 anymore.
  4. I’ve stopped listening to people.  I have officially checked out.  I don’t care to listen to anyone’s opinion at all anymore.  If you don’t like me, my relationship, my work method, my travel schedule, the brand I use, the way I speak or dress, then that’s ok.  I don’t have a “Comments Section” for you to leave feedback and I will not listen anyway.  So just shove your opinions up your ass and walk away.  Close friends know I only divulge the nitty gritty to them.  If you mention something that was from my mouth to your ears and you share it, you have violated my trust.  Go away now.  You’ve served your time as my friend.
  5. Resting is important. I have taken more time to rest and cook and watch tv at home.  I’ve made more home visits this year than EVER at clients houses, friends homes and I have to share with you: we have lost the art of entertaining.  We don’t know how to anymore.  It’s funny to me that in the midcentury, folks entertained weekly (sometimes multiple days).  People actually conversed.  Maybe I need a landline.  Time to go down to one smartphone or place it on Airplane mode more.  Yep.  That sounds like a plan.

This morning I opened the windows to air out the house while I cleaned.  Part of my thoughts aired out as well.  It’s nice to sit and think for a little while.  It’s nice to clean out my closet in terms of thoughts.

Guess what?

It’s nice to be rested and it’s nice to realize taking myself as the most important asset is the proper thing to do right now.  My income might fluctuate, my friendships may as well, but nothing can ever hold a candle to living with a calm heart, a calm mind a clear view of what its like to be in the moment and shut out the noise.

Thank you for being there if you have been there.

Thank you for allowing me to rest.



I don’t want them…

Monday, 6 November 2017.

Well, what’s a boy to do when he’s sipping Stoli + Soda at three in the afternoon?

I guess we write and listen to music, yeah?

Well, that’s what I’m up to.

This morning,  I was scheduled to be teaching a Label.m class and sadly the class was canceled by the distributor.  To say I’m bummed would be putting it mildly.  I am.  I opened the day at the salon and there was no demand for today whatsoever so I stayed home.  Sipping vodka and eating home-made Chicken Noodle soup is as good as its going to get today.   I’m really okay with that being the grand plan.

I am contemplating writing out some comedy for Saturday’s show. There’s part of me that wants to wait til Thursday and begin drafting it out Saturday morning, but that’s not very professional.

I guess something that’s really weighing on me is the lack of support I feel from my once comedy partner.  We did one show together since he moved back and he’s been on tour opening for another comedian.  I am proud of his growth, but really sad that he has excluded me from the re-launch of comedy at Andy Mac’s where we used to put on great showcases together.  He has taken another comedian along with him to help open on tour and I have been thrown the the wayside –once again– by a friend.

I remember investing in him and really supporting him when he needed the extra boost and it hurts my feelings that he has come back a new person that has totally voided his life of me or any camaraderie.

Moving on into Saturday’s show will be the first show I do not associated with 719 The Blocks.  Damantia Madrilliano, the drag performer and my partner, is producing the show.   This is a great gig for Damentia and providing the turn out is great, it could be good for all the performers that evening.  The sweet Elizabeth Solano will be joining us as well as my sweet friend Lisa.  Damentia is presenting the “Queens of Comedy”.  I, am now, a queen.  A full-on gay, if you will, by being referred to as “A Queen”.  It’s stereotypical, but so fun in the fact that it sets the mood for the evening and way the sets are going to be lined up.  It would be a crime not to have some raunchy, gay sex jokes in my set, but there’s part of me that wants to elaborate on family, relationships and daily life a bit. I think folks will appreciate it.

Everyone is being given an ample amount of time to perform their sets.  We are not sticking to the 5-8 minute shit we’ve been conditioned to write for.  15 minutes gives someone an opportunity to get to know the audience and build a relationship.  Sadly, 15 minutes also gives enough time for major heckling and panning if you’re horrible.  I have no worries about it, but my heart is a little heavy today as I feel a bit left out by a few individuals lately.

Life changes very fast so you have got to be prepared and not lose your footing.  You have got to take a breath and take everyone with a grain of salt.  You have got to understand that one minute you’re best friends and one minute “it’s just business” as they say.

My days of apologizing for how I feel are really very much so over as I progress into my thirties.  I feel let down by 90% of the folks I meet.  I feel disrespected, let down and pushed aside.  I feel like it’s really the end of an era in my life.  It’s exhilarating sometimes and very cold others.

Saturday will come, I’ll perform.  It will be a hit, but sadly the ones I once loved will no longer be in the audience.

Truth is: I don’t want them there anyway.


What happens between friends…

Monday, 30 October 2017.

It’s the day before Halloween.  Chris and I are at home chilling out before we head out to see our friend get married in Las Vegas tomorrow.

It’s most unlikely that I would book tickets with less than two weeks notice and take off from the salon and a busy travel schedule to be there for just anyone, but for my sweet friend Yvette, I will.

I met Yvette about seven years ago when I was getting out of a relationship and transitioning from a large salon to a small booth rent situation where I had planned on working until I was ready to open my own salon.  She was recently divorced -or in the process of divorcing- when I met her.  We quickly bonded in our heartache.

I have dated other people.  So has she.  We both have very opinionated family members and love them dearly.   She has a heart of gold.  I would never give myself a heart of gold, I would say I’m kind-hearted, not nearly as metallic as my friend.  She means alot to me.  She’s fabulous.  She’s like a sister to me and I’m like the little brother she was never blessed with… until now.

The idea of getting married in Las Vegas is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but guess what?  We all express love in our own way and that is what makes the love-lives of folks special and unique.

I recently sat with one of my friends and talked briefly about my own relationship and felt as though I was being judged.  I felt like I was being judged harshly, actually.  I was upset and perplexed that my friend seemed to be digging for information and offering opinions I simply did not ask for.  Whether it was being a good friend or being nosey, I don’t have an inclination to talk to this person anymore.  I’m really quite disappointed.  Have you ever been disappointed in a friend?

I’m not talking about big shit like betrayal, but more like heartache like when a child acts up in public when mom and dad have been direct about behaving in front of strangers and friends.  That’s how I feel right now,  I feel like I am a sad parent looking at my child with sad eyes and don’t want to take this kid to daycare, buy them cotton candy or even be around them.  So maybe the kid analogy is not a good one, but what I can tell you is that metaphorically, I think I’m gonna have to send this kid to the orphanage.  Our relationship as friends is dead.  I can feel the lack of common ground and we clearly do not have the same idea of loyalty.  So, that’s been on my brain as I’ve been packing today.

I’m packing to see my friend get married and spend time with her.  I’m packing to leave my home behind for a day or so to get a refresh from Pueblo and the sorrow it seems to baptize its people in.

This past weekend, I reconnected with a couple of friends I absolutely adore.  I don’t even know why we fell out of touch only that I needed space at the time in my personal life.  We were so excited to see each other! We danced, we drank, we held on to each other like frat kids at a bisexual birthday party… we did it all.  We welcomed a friendly euphoria that made me want to be 26 again.  It was so fun and so needed.

Maybe my judgmental friend needs a break.  Maybe one day I’ll be happy to talk to her again.  In the meantime, I’m off to Vegas where I can be in a happy headspace with a longtime friend of mine I consider a part of my family.

See you when I get back from Vegas…. what happens in Vegas might make it to the blog.


Polarizing Notoriety

Sunday, 15 October 2017.

Well, here we are on a Sunday.

There’s something about Sundays that conjure feelings of chilling out and relaxing.  For me, it can go chill or not.  I started working Sundays this year to make up for my travel schedule.

I don’t mind working on Sundays really.  My Sundays used to be holy family days where my mom and I hung out, shopped and talked.  My life changed about three ago and it never was the same.   I can’t explain the change too much.  For a while, it hurt my feelings.  Now, it’s just numb and “what it is”, as I would commonly say when I can’t explain disappointment.

Ask any of my friends when I’m upset and have zero emotion behind the outcome.  I say, “it is what it is” and then I move on.  That’s all you can do as you get older.  Move forward, ya know?

I spoke to my mom today.  She has a cold.  I had a cold last week.  She probably needs some chicken soup and I should take her some.  Chicken soup makes everything better, doesn’t it? I know mine does.

Chris is out tutoring today.  When he gets home, we’ll head out to go grocery shopping.  Very ordinary life, right?  It’s fun sometimes and some days I just want to sit and drink and talk shit with people.  I am in that mood today.  I just want to curl up and make people laugh.  I want to cry watching movies and I want to write deeply moving poetry.  I’m feeling fairly emotional today. It happens from time to time.  I blame my mom’s Mediterranean bloodline for this sometimes.  It’s full of guilt and passion.  The two are a double-edged sword.

One of my most endearing qualities is that I am insatiably honest.  Sometimes I wish I could lie, but the Creator did not grant me the ability.

My last blog I focused on an individual in town that was honored with an award last night at an annual Gala.  I re-read my blog and I have no remorse for how I feel or what I said.  I feel like what I said was honest and deserved to be published.  I’m sure he has many thoughts about me and I’m game to hear them.  Come at me, bitch.  

There is an event coming up in town soon that benefits the LGBT community in town.  I have not attended this event in three years.  I am convinced that Chris and I should get tickets and make an appearance.  I know it will make an impression.  I’m polarizing in my community: you either love me or H-A-T-E me.  I want to use this polarity to my own gain.  I want to be selfish and grace the event.  Folks will either get confrontational with me or they will be chicken shits and not speak to me.  That’s completely okay with me.  I think it’s time to put my feet in the water and eat a little bread of shame in front of these folks and vomit it all over their shoes, figuratively of course.

Writing this last blog made me realize that I’ve been too quiet too long.  I’ve had a chance to rest.  Now, I’m ready for full force.  I’m going to attend the events, I’m going to buy those drinks, I’m going to piss you all off sometimes and I am going to feel good about it because I always did those things before I went quiet a couple of years ago.

So much of me channels my idol Greta Garbo, but when Greta did go out to an event or a private dinner, she made an impression that was polarizing.  Some people found her off-putting and uncomfortable to be around because she just said shit like it needed to be said.

I don’t care to be fake.  I do, however, care about notoriety.  That’s something I have a lot of.

See you there!


Bad Banking

Thursday, 12 October 2017.

Waking up and beginning a day off is something different, isn’t it?

Some of us have errands to run.  Some of us just lay around until we’re sore and tired of laying around and some of us yearn to do something cos we’re so busy most days that we don’t know what to do when we REALLY ARE without work.

For me, a day off is all about space and personal time.  I don’t want to be around anyone. I don’t want to plan anything.  I don’t want to be bothered.  I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb until about noon on a day off.

There’s something about constantly being available that just angers me, ya know?  I’m not into it.  I’m not particularly into being available via text/email and phone call anymore.  I long for the days of a land line and the lack of text messages.  There’s an eye roll waiting for you if you’re a persistent texter.  I just don’t understand why you’re being a bug-a-boo, ya know?

Today while Chris and I were in the store, my phone rang three times while I was walking through the aisles.  Three times from the same number.  I gave in and answered and no one replied when I said, “hello”.

“Hello.  This is Josh.”


“Hi…. okay, then.”

And the phone went back in my bag.  I’m not into it.  This whole mystery number thing has my head bothered.

Actually, my bank has my head bothered.  I’m thinking of dumping them.  I think they need to go to Hell.  I think the staff need to be fired or grow personalities and find new jobs at a call center so they’ll be forced to speak.  I am tired of them.  Today, Chris was riding in the car with me while I bitched and complained from the Northside of town to the Southside of town.  I was so upset and so annoyed by their bullshit attitudes.  I feel like I’m going to the principle’s office every time I drop a salon deposit off.  I feel like they sit and judge my bank account and gossip about me.  I feel like they’re just horrible, nasty Josh-prejudiced people.  I hate them.  I hate them with an ache in my body that radiates into my throat and causes me to talk intensely in short bursts.  I just don’t have a tolerance for their bullshit.

Yesterday I called and had a lengthy conversation with the two tellers.  I could feel their attitudes on the phone.  I could tell they were annoyed with me.

Today I walked in and jokingly said, “Good morning!  Your problem child is here to bother you again.”

Not a laugh.  Not a nod.  Just bitches.

Bitches standing at the podiums.

Fucking bitches.

Fuck ’em.  They’re dumb.  I think its time to go bank shopping.

As the errand-running went on, my tense demeanor started to fade.  I have realized that the world is full of clueless people and I am going to act fucking clueless like the clueless fucking wenches that work at my bank.  I’m not going to answer text messages or phone calls or smile anymore either… just like them.

Clueless folks do not deserve my joy.  [insert laugh here]

——- in other news:

I found out a local hobknobber is being honored by a non-profit in town and decided to pipe up online about what a fucking user this person is.  This is the second time in a couple of months that I’ve been upset that people are getting honorable mentions for sucking ass and taking advantage of the community.  Clueless people, once again, are honoring this piece of shit with a “Legacy” award.  I’m so bored.

The person being honored is a manwhore and drunk.  He’s a mess to be around and he gossips incessantly.  I can’t remember a time he or his brood of fools hasn’t been drunk and inappropriate in public.  He calls himself an advocate for the LGBT community yet when I needed his help a couple years ago during some bad press, he led the parade against me.  He doesn’t deserve an award.  He deserves a pack of condoms, a prescription of PREP and a one-way ticket to Betty Ford.  He is also clueless like my bank.

I won’t be smiling at him either.

He blocked me on Facebook after he commented, “Sorry you feel that way, Josh Cooley.” What a tool! 

That next morning, the Non-Profit removed my comments because they are clueless individuals honoring trash.

Hmm…. Maybe the bank isn’t my problem.  Maybe it’s the people who THINK they’re something special in this town.

They’re not special to me.  Smart folks aren’t fooled so easily and I’m no dummy.  I’m convinced the smart folks like me need to be grumpy and avoid crowds and the fuckery that has become public recognition.

I’m blaming my mood on my bank.  They should have smiled.



Dancing in the Rain.

Sunday, 24 September 2017.

Sundays are for relaxing.

Sundays are for brunch.

Sundays are for hangovers.

Chris and I had a great night last night as the Chile-Frijole Festival, Day 2 festivities went from late morning to later at night.

Chris worked yesterday and I took it easy and went for a little walk through the festival and stopped in at the wine bar.  I had a cocktail and waited for Chris.  While I was waiting, I sat and talked to some wonderful people, a couple from Denver, a couple from New Mexico.  I was feeling very social as I’ve been home since Wednesday night and have not really been out except to pick up take out or go to the gym.  Mostly, I’ve been home reflecting and talking to Chris or spending some time alone cleaning closets and such.  Easy life, really.

Yesterday I needed severe people interaction!

We met a nice gay couple from Denver and walked through the festival with them and they showed us their RV.  It was incredible!  When I asked how much something like that costs, they gave me a price for a house.  Holy Shit!  I had no idea they were that expensive.  It was really very cool.

We went to a later lunch/early dinner with them and brought them back to the apartment for a tour and a potty break and then we showed them the salon.  They were so nice!  They paid for dinner.  I wasn’t expecting that at all.  Super sweet guys!

Chris and I went back to the wine bar for drinks and what would be the rest of the evening drinking, dancing in rain and enjoying our lives.  We had so much fun!  I haven’t danced that much in years.  The only embarrassing part is that I was on Facebook live.  I really didn’t want to be in the videos, but I was having such a good time.  I’m sure people were looking at me wondering why I was dancing like I was having a seizure, but oh well! The Festivities got to my head.

Last night, I celebrated the arrival of fall and the harvest of the chiles and the agriculture that cultivates Pueblo.  It was probably the most involved I’d ever been, but thats alright. I really enjoyed myself.

I don’t think I could re-create last night.

My tummy ache isn’t so welcome, but the dancing was fun and I can’t wait to have a moment like that again!