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:
Let me tell you, my step-mother was a nasty piece of work. Greedy, manipulative, conniving and evil. She had given birth, the result of her first trap, to a male reptile two years younger than I. A boy who would live his life just as protected and probably even more swaddled outside of her womb as he was when he was still at the larva stage of his development.
Hey everyone. I'm back again. I've been pretty sick. I will probably get surgery in the next month or so. I hope it'll make me better. I might have to stop dancing for awhile. It's pretty depressing. I'll live though.
In the summer, the weed will ascend through the air, drifting in the comfort of the breezes that puncture the heat.
To avoid wilting, dig through the basic soil and lift the vegetation. Separate the roots and hold the leaves in the heat of the sun. As the acid pours from a cloudless sky, allow the plant to metamorphose and play with imaginary letters in a disillusioned Heaven.
As the music stops, pull the television chord and allow the Earth to choke to death.
The needles and discs of PVC were the harbingers of transcendence.
Today in my Acting class we were doing our autodramas
for those of you who don't know an Autodrama is when you create a play for your self and whoever you want to pull into it and really the only rule is that the play has to be about you or some part of your life, and I decided to make my play into a sort of coming out story.
I can only hope this link works correctly, otherwise feel free to watch this on youtube. The first game since the bombing and the fans took over the National Anthem from Rene Rencourt( The official Anthem singer for as long as I can remember). Typically, the fans force Rene to Drown-out the cheers toward the end of the Anthem. He increases his volume(He's an former opera singer), but this time he gestured for the fans to take over. You've got to check this out, it clearly illustrates the spirit of Bostonians. The video can also be seen on foxsports.com.
The Colombian congress is debating about approving gay marriage and it seems that it will be approved (I hope so!). I never thought that here something like that would be approved or even debated because we are a religious, mostly conservative country, but things are getting better.
Just the fact that you are able to read this is a miracle, a side effect of four teens who overcame their deepest pain to try to do something positive.
If I've lost you here, bear with me. You may see a bit of yourself in what we have to say.
My name's Alex, I'm thirteen, and I live in the middle of nowhere in a small town just like many other small towns in our country. I can't use any real names here, but what I write is true. I have hopes, dreams, and secrets.
Actually, too many secrets. Which is part of why I'm here tonight, pouring out my soul.
My lost soul.