By Jeff Walsh
I have a friend and former teacher that I see whenever I go home to visit and, even without much warning, we'll end up sitting at a corner table at a casino bar, order some drinks, and settle in.
It's become pretty routine that we're going to catch up on things, have some deep conversation, and just enjoy each other's company for a few hours. And, no matter how long it's been since we last got together, the connections flood back and you realize the special bonds that people share.
When I got my review copy of Brent Hartinger's The Elephant of Surprise, I was a bit apprehensive. How long ago did I read the last book? How did it end? And, since this is the fourth book in the Geography Club series that began a decade ago, how did we get here?
I didn't need to worry. First of all, Hartinger does a quick summary at the beginning of the book. But as you start reading the names, and how the characters interact, it all starts coming back to you. Maybe not every plot point of all three books, but the bonds between the characters, the little quirky details, and the comfort of being on a journey with these friends again.
Another new social media experience I had tonight is seeing a friend tagged in a lot of photos and such on my Facebook ticker, and when I finally clicking through to see what kind of trouble he was out getting himself into, I learned that all of the tags were, sadly, eulogies...
I knew William Brandon Lacy Campos from around when I first started Oasis in 1995, and he would submit columns every month in his early activist days in the mid-to-late 90s. We never became great friends then, but I always stayed aware of what he was up to.
When we were both in the Bay Area and later NYC, we made a lot of casual plans that fell through, as you do, finally seeing The Kinsey Sicks at the Highline a few months back. But with Facebook, we thrived. Every day, we traded torrents of bitchy over-the-top remarks. I'd say something culturally insensitive. He'd threaten to slap be back to slavery. I'd ask if I could pick what kind of plantation I wanted to own, and on and on.
The subtext was always playful, though, and I enjoyed being connected with him as often as we were through our conversations. I mean, why spend time making fun of people you don't care about?! So, our physical interactions were incredibly low, but after more than two decades of being aware of someone, there remains that connection.
By Jeff Walsh
Anthony Lee Medina first caught my attention when he nearly fell on me during the Spring Awakening tour in San Francisco. I was seated onstage, and he took an impressive spill during 'Bitch of Living,' that only seemed to energize him more for the song.
I'm never quite sure what it is about seeing certain performers in a show, and you follow them after that show, but I've always kept up with Anthony (Facebook helps there).
Of course, since that time in 2008, I spent much of the time erroneously thinking Anthony was straight and not Oasis material, a notion that was quickly dispelled upon seeing his solo show, Anthony Lee Medina - About Me, after moving to NYC.
Now, Anthony is starting a new part of his career, as he raises the money to put out his first collection of songs, The Ladybug Articles, later this year. Most of the songs are inspired by his ongoing tumultuous relationship with a guy he is still in love with.
We met during the recent heatwave at Otarian, a vegetarian restaurant he turned me onto in the city, and we talked. A lot. Here's what we had to say:
I really don't know know what to do.
I came out to her around last Christmas, and she doesn't... she doesn't talk to me about it at all and when I try to broach the subject with her it's all awkward. Lately it seems like she's trying to show more attention toward me like she's trying to show some kind of support, but it doesn't feel like she's accepting me. It feel's like she's trying to humor me and doesn't believe me.
Easter was going nicely for me. My mom's family gathered at my grandma's house for smoked ham and prayers, as we do every year, and my cousins and I were reconnecting after months of barely speaking. Not out of spite or any disagreements, but they're both...adults now. One's in college with a boyfriend, the other has a job and a girlfriend he plans to marry and I can't keep up. But the boyfriend and girlfriend weren't with us for once, so I had my cousins all to myself for the first time in awhile. So we hung out and it was nice.
Sam's Easter post made me start thinking a little more about my own struggles with weight, and I though I'd write a little bit about them.
When I tell people about my weight problems they think I'm just trying to get attention, or that I have a mental problem. But I'm not--I really do have a problem, it's real, and I have to find a way to fix it.
im gay and i have been hideing it for a long time... irecently have told my sister and mother about it and i was gonna ask them for help... bc i dont want to be gay anymore- its un-christan like... anyway they fliped out...and i feel that i have let mother down... i feel that she has no trust for me anymore...i like women along with men...i dont want that!! ive found two things that help me get through this and theyare writing dow all my feelings and most importantly talking to god. if anyone has anything else that helped them plese tell me. imhurting and i cant do this on my own..
Happy Easter, for those who celebrate this day!
Today is a special day for me, no only because it's Easter Sunday, but it's also my one year anniversary of writing my first journal on here. So much has changed in the last year that it's hard for me to believe at times.
It feels so wrong not filling my voids with the touch of another man. It was always my first instinct. Replace pain, anguish with tactile sensation. The smooth skin of another man as he made love to me was so gratifying, so emptily yet perfectly satisfying. I miss the touch, I miss the adventure, I miss the excitement. But now all I'm left with is nicotine and fleeting satisfaction. I'm trying to find my way back to the higher road, but I can't help but feeling I belong on the lower path. Why do I desire such greatness, yet aspire to destroy my own prospects?
You know, girls loving girls makes so much more sense to me. I don't know why. It seems pure somehow. Holy or something. Corny right? But it's true.
I've been working on a poem. I don't usually do that--work on writing. But I'm putting together these phrases into a letter to Girl. Girl is the one I'm waiting for. Now I sound schizo, but oh well.
Is it weird that I kind of like boys but I also feel like a lesbian? There's something nice about the word when I say it out loud. "I'm a lesbian." I'm terribly confused.