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:
It's hailing so hard right now that my mom actually has a legit excuse not to take me out for milkshakes (the fact that we can't drive, not the temp. I can eat ice cream anywhere, any time).
I hope that means I don't have to go to school tomorrow. I hate school. I hate Mr. Richards, who can't give directions when we need them and talks to hear his own voice.
I also hate how my mom keeps walking in because my window has a view of the hail. I've decided to ignore her.
I heard about David Bowie's new album being released about a month or two ago. I finally heard two songs from the CD/Album and I'm very impressed. So much so, i want to get the CD. I listened to 'Dancing out in space' & 'you will set the world on fire' while I was getting my coffee this morning, and both were pretty good. Can't wait to hear the rest of the tracks. He's probably the only musician I've known who can re-invent himself every decade. He's truly amazing.
i suppose that when i take
pills but i'm not sick
it really means i'm
sicker than i
The first bit is quite trivial but the other stuff not so much.
I started watching this show that's been off the air for a number of years. I'm really enjoying it. So I post a question to a forum a week or so ago explicitly stating that I'm watching the show for the first time, don't want spoilers, ect. What do I get? Some douche private messaging me humongous spoilers. Ugh. People. No respect. No consideration. No nothing.
There were no goodbyes scrawled
on the bed frame,
no apologies painted on the floor
with tea and chalk.
Those words didn't
exist in your vocabulary, lover,
because you weren't
supposed to feel anything.
But then I came along with
my searching blue eyes and
demanding lips and you couldn't
just get rid of me like all the rest, no..
The seductive rain hit the windows
with an angry hand and made
the sky shrivel up like vanilla skin
and we stripped off our clothes
under a cluster of police lights;
strawberry red and turquoise fear.
You kissed my mouth like a Sadie
I'm not sure how I feel about everything that's happend this week. But from what I can tell is that this must be the smoothest week I've had in a few months. Nothing big or insane happened but nothing bland or dull either. Should it be left up to me, yes I'm quite content. However one will always be slightly non.
from black to blue to bluer still
you wanted higher, but
i'd rather stay