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:
So i've been visiting Oasis for like forever? It's been a few years at least, but i've never signed up. Well, I finally did it. Yay. Ok, anyways. About myself? Oh ok.
An ode to Peter Greenaway.
Well not really, I just stole his title.
Some sayings from the Devil's Dictionary to reflect my current condition....
Thourhgout the course of my 17 year life, I realize that I have fuckd so many people over... And I want to apologize (in no paticular order)...
Dustin - I'm sorry that you were the first guy I ever liked... I'm sorry you had to go through my petty shit and deal with me...
Brian - How can I even begin... I'm so sorry for being so demanding, for loving you so much. For letting my emotions get the best of me... And for caring so fucking much...
Perhaps brought on by an academic bantering on the objectivity/subjectivity of the corpse, too many episodes of _Six Feet Under_ and some really morbid introspection.
You have been forewarned that this could ruin a peppy disposition.
So I re-read my last blog, and I've come away with the realization that I just need to deal with who I am. If I don't like something I'm doing or not doing, then I need to change that behaviour. Of course it may not be that simple, however it can be that simple...to at least get started.
My weekend was so-so. Blah.
And earlier today i visited my brother at Indiana University. 'Twas fun.
I also got the Norah Jones cd, mmmmm. It's like an orgasm for your ears.
In gay news, i have a Gay-Straight Alliance meeting tomorrow. Should be tons o' fun.