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:
The girl that i have been talking about is still on my mind. I wanna talk to her. Should i just message her on Facebook? I don't have the guts to talk to her in real life. Should i just say hi? Should i just tell her about my crush? What do i do?
It is 12:12. i can't sleep so i am going to write.
As the weekend dawns, so does the longing for someone who knows and understands me. Every weekend, i get that loneliness that eats away at me.
Sometimes, if it is nice, i will go into the pool area in my backyard and skateboard. I wouldnt dare skateboard in public, i'm not even remotely good at it. Sometimes, i'll go for a bike ride. Those always end quick. My bike is one of the oldest, heaviest things. I thought bicycles were made for transportation. My bike goes slower than a turtle.
Hi, thank you for the nice comments. I like to write in story-style because it lets me express myself more.
Anyway, let me introduce myself. My name is Emily. I am 14 and a freshmen in high school. I am one of the youngest people in my grade. I am bisexual but still not yet "out". I also am sort of transgender and not "out" about that either. I am not planning on coming out any time soon. It seems like it would just be too stressful. I am not ready for the labels or the enduring stares.
I have not forgotten about Sam. I look down every time i see her. She probably thinks i am scared of her or something but really, i am scared that she won't like me back. Every day, I daydream of being with her. I dream that a year from now, i will send this message:
I feel that this past week has been a blur. I have been so out of it lately. Am I tired? Sick? Or do i have crippling depression knowing that no one knows who i truly am. Sometimes, i don't even know who i am.
I told one person that I am bisexual and already, it is backfiring. No, he hasn't told anyone but he almost talked about it in front of my other friend who is has proved himself untrustworthy on a number of occasions.
She pulls me out into the hall outside of the cafeteria.
“Do you like me?” she asks
I dart my head left and right while blushing uncontrollably. Partly because the love of my life just talked to me, but also because i was embarrassed “Shhh!”
She stares at me, confused.
“Okay,” i start to whisper to her “I have a killer crush on you,” this makes her blush.
“So, you are gay too?” she whispers smiling
I don't know what to make of the situation. It is like all of my secrets are pouring out.
I don’t think I mentioned this in my last journal entry, but I’m homeschooled. I’m part of a local group of homeschoolers, and tonight the teens of the group were supposed to go roller skating, but it got cancelled because not enough people were interested in going. So, I thought I’d make another journal entry.