Archive for the ‘Friendohs’ Category

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Per mi amico, the Cappy redux — If only edition

October 27, 2011

Geez, if it were that easy, I’d already know what the Cappy’s baby smelled like and have kissed his wife with embarassing effusion on both cheeks in person.

Hippo birdie, old friendoh and brotha from anotha motha. I hope it was full of everything you deserve. Just wish I could’ve been there to wish you happy birthday in person. It’s like, where is this button??

Girls of Summer: Heather Ryan, Miss July 1967

October 21, 2011


Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed de Long.

So, it’s still in the 80’s in my little pocket of the universe— that’s around 30 to you metric friendohs — and I say that calls for one last Girl of Summer. (Don’t call it an Indian Summer; call it Global Warming’s Brief and Only Benefit.)

The lovely and talented Heather Ryan was Playboy‘s Miss July 1967. She is an all-around smashing girl and I’m super-psyched to finally finish the write-up on her. Whatch’all know about unusal pets? Cause this strawberry blonde here’s ’bout to change the game.



Says Heather, I don’t think there’s anything unusual about owning an ocelot, but people always stare when we go walking together.”

(“Call of the Wild.” Playboy, July 1967.)

Not so sure it’s the ocelot they’re double-taking on.

[Heather] currently resides at her family’s Glendale home, on the brink of the canyon: “It’s pretty desolate out there, but we’re lucky that we have no close neighbors, because the ocelot often screams at night.”

(Ibid.)

No couch potatoes looking for a BJ and a Blockbuster night need apply:

“I am,” she says, “fascinated by adventure, and I suppose it pervades most of my tastes. I like actors like Paul Newman, Charlton Heston and Steve McQueen, because they usually portray men who are as untamed as my ocelot.”

(Ibid.)



Speed-loving Heather admits to driving her 1966 Mustang faster on occasion than the law prescribes.

(Ibid.)

Attagirl. Speaking of which, the most terrible Mustang experience befell me this week.

I was running a bit late on my way to work. I headed on to the freeway with a newish Mustang ahead of me. The guy crawled down the ramp and inched his way through the merge, then continued to torture me by poking around in the middle lane, keeping me from getting in to the leftmost, fastest lane.

I was totally shocked. You’re in a Mustang, man! You do not drive a Mustang in the middle lane! Somewhere in Germany, the Cappy just felt a pang in his heart and shook his head, and he didn’t know why: now you know, brother. A guy was driving a Mustang in the middle lane at about 60 mph. I know. It was a scandal.



Though she hasn’t had much exposure to the psychedelics-freedom-love movement currently the kick among West Coast youth, Heather recently witnessed a mass “love-in” at Elysian Park.

(Ibid.)


“I’d never seen such a crew — everybody walking about and presenting the most unlikely gifts, like fruits and flowers, to each other.”

(Ibid.)

But she was not much in to the hippie scene, particularly the men —


TURN-OFFS: Men with long hair, and the unnaturalness of women today.

(“Playmate Data Sheet.” Playboy. July 1967.)

Totally agree. I don’t like long hair on men … sorry long-haired friends, it’s just a personal preference. No long hair, no skinny jeans. Spread the word.

As for Ms. Ryan’s dislike of the “unnaturalness” of women, who can argue with that? Besides girdles and foam butts, there was already plastic surgery and ubiquitous hairpieces. Of course, the problem has only gotten worse. I can only imagine what Ms. Ryan thinks of some of today’s Playboy centerfolds.


Number one favorite shot with a bullet.

AMBITIONS: A legal secretary or model, or perhaps I’ll enter a biological institute and become a laboratory assistant and transcriber.

(Ibid.)

Ms. Ryan did not fulfill those ambitions …

…Because she totally exceeded them. Get it, girl! A wildlife biologist, Ms. Ryan is a published author and has lead all-female eco-tours. Taxidermy is her hobby. In the Playboy article, she mentions enjoying hunting quail and rabbit, so it’s kind of a natural progression.

Ms. Ryan also mentions, when asked what she thinks is a great read, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury’s little masterpiece is one of my top favoritest books of all time, too. I just re-read it last weekend, as I like to read it every year around Halloween. Synchronicity! One of these years when I’ve sufficiently expiated my sins of ignorance to Mr. Auden, I will have to have a “Something Wicked” October.

There are many books I read at special times of year, but Something Wicked is one which I never fail to get toe-curling excited about in my anticipation. The descriptions are gorgeous, the writing crackles and terrifies and moves you — I adore all Bradbury, but I put Something Wicked in the most special, highest place.


Click above to scope the original Playboy article scans; there are pictures included in the spread that are not in this post, so give those a spin!

Cover model Venita Wolfe was photographed by Mario Casilli, who shot the following month’s centerfold: the lovely and talented sweetheart DeDe Lind.

Daily Batman: All the news that’s fit to meh!

October 20, 2011

So the big news of the world from the NY Comic-Con is this whole Avengers movie dealie. (Because, you know, The Dark Knight Rises is so passe).


photograph by brainybrimstone on the flickr.

Aw, geez, man. Here’s the thing: I don’t like the Avengers. I haven’t seen a single one of their setup movies. Not even the Iron Man flicks, and that’s in direct violation of a personal blood oath I made to Robert Downey, Jr. in the 1990s. (Chances Are, Heart and Souls, Only You? — totally irrestible.) I can’t help it: I just don’t care about the danged Avengers. On the plus side, I can finally see the viewpoint of all those good but non-dorky friends whose sphincters clench when I start in on Batman.

Daily Batman: the irretrievably lost world inside

October 19, 2011



The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.

(Schopenhauer.)

I’ve been mourning the loss of a very close childhood friend. She was very literally the first friend I ever had. Because we moved quite far apart, in the last several years, our contact has been social networking and phone calls on each other’s birthdays (my lucky number, 22, is owing to her birthday of February 22nd). I do have to give her a wry thumbs-up because it was very clever to die of breast cancer in October so that we’d all remember every year to donate and walk and light candles and the like, but I can’t say I have been much of a fan of the actual passing.


In any man who dies there dies with him
his first snow and kiss and fight….
Not people die but worlds die in them.

(Yevgeny Yevtushenko, People.)

My friend had time to say goodbye to her sons, her husband, her sister and her parents, and to all of the rest of us who loved her. But what I have been struggling with is the loss of that world inside her: a world whose first gasps I was lucky enough to share with her, a world whose confident, feet-found orbit was still only just beginning. I feel so bitter and helpless about it. I didn’t realize how badly I’d been repressing it until I went to her funeral at our old church several hours away (alone, which was a terrible mistake). I didn’t weep or make a spectacle, but I didn’t stop crying. It was like I couldn’t.

Afterward, a very nice, very short woman came up and began gently asking me about my friend, and I explained that we’d known each other since we were very, very young, and had even gone to school together off and on. Turns out the woman was one of my kindergarten teachers. The nice one. Still nice, after all these years. I’ll explain that another day.

The point is — horrible. Bitterness. Anger. Grief. But not so much anger that I wish to assuage it by some sort of strike back; that would not at all comfort me, because I’m not down to facts just yet. I’m not ready to slap on a pink-ribboned tank top and run any marathons to make things better for others, because I don’t give a shit about all that yet. That is for sure.

I feel like a lost and selfish monster, surrounded by all this breast cancer awareness promotional material and not even up to the point of resentment of the disease; ergo, mystified by the idea of embracing that activism to trump my grief. I don’t like to feel that way. And I like to do all kinds of charity malarkey. I really do. I’ve donated this month already in the name of another friend’s mother, who beat it two years ago.

But this new thing — I am just not ready to even think of my friend’s death in terms of what killed her. That seems objective to the point of frightening. But I should strive for it? Right? How do you get to there?

New feature alert: Inaugural edition featuring major league malarkey

October 3, 2011

New feature: “What does Jessica Fletcher think?” in which, at the end of an account of events, we ask, “…but what does Jessica Fletcher [of Murder, She Wrote] think?” and she tells us.

I was recently at the Giants ballpark in San Francisco (mad heyos to Panda for making that happen) and had been cruising for a garlic fries vendor who would take a card so I didn’t have to hike down to the ATM. Lingering near a promising concession stand, I nearly bumped in to this man carrying garlic fries. I had noticed him earlier because he was sitting near our section, and I had thought he was attractive. We did the whole “almost ran in to each other, whoops” thing and he smiled.

“Cool. Your glasses are the Giants colors,” he said.

This was where a normal woman, one adept in communication skills with the unfair sex, would take the opportunity to introduce herself, but I wasn’t switching gears fast enough, so I pointed at his fries and said, “Did you buy those here?”

He said, “Yes,” with friendly, expectant body language, but I then blurted out, “Did you use your ATM card?” He gave me a very strange look and said, “Yeah…?” slowly.

I realized that was an oddly specific, even nosy question out of the context of my last five minutes. I tried to scramble for a way to explain, but his friend came up and they walked back to their seats.

I blew the save.

Or did I? Sure, cute boy, but — garlic fries. It was urgent.


…But what does Jessica Fletcher think?

Facepalm. Never good.

Oh, Joan Jett. Tuck me in and be my breakfast.*

October 1, 2011

Totally forgot to share the pictures I took of Joan Jett at the concert in July. Look at these pictures and don’t have your mind blown by her timeless magnetism: I dare you. Click to enlarge.

We waited beginning at 2 pm for the concert, which started at 8:30. See, the concert was free at our county fairgrounds, and seating was restricted until an hour before the show, at which point it would be first-come-first-serve based on the line we formed. We got very comfortable with the people around us during our 6 1/2 hour wait.

I can see why the Deadheads and suchlike do it. I mean, those people are legitimately my friends now. They are of different ages and lifestyles and live in other states with other jobs and all we have in common is a shared feverish adoration of the baddest ass female rock star on the books — and we are actual friends. It was a pretty sick bonding experience.

While we had been waiting in line, roadies were doing sound checks, etc, and we got a huge surprise when Joan came out herself to test the setup. She sang us a quick “Cherry Bomb” chorus and the first half of “School Daze.” It was awesome and very unexpected, and I had thought at the time, “That is the coolest moment of my life.” But no. No-no.

Our seats were insane in their goodness.

We were front and center and she made a great deal of eye contact. I have never been more excited and terrified in my life as I was during the times when Joan Jett was looking in to my eyes. People, it’s a life-changer.

She was covering Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” in this picture.

Kneel before Zod.

She threw my daughter a guitar pick. As we drove home late, late that night, kidlet, who as I have mentioned is going to start her own rock band someday called the Bad Apples, was chattering a mile a minute about the concert and how much fun she had even waiting in line for hours for our seats, and she kept repeating, “She looked right at me so many times. She likes me!” And I thought, “God, I don’t want me and kidlet to get hit by a truck or something for saying this to you, but both of us could die happy right now.”

What I’m saying is, seeing Joan Jett brings you closer to spiritual completeness.






*”Tuck me in and be my breakfast” line comes from Achewood, by Chris Onstad. It’s a good, solid line, and I wanted to properly attribute it to Onstad.

A personal digression and all apologies

September 30, 2011

Droogies, I’ve miss the jet-set ‘net life so dearly. (Agree with me that it’s so archaically cute to say “‘net.”) I’ve been bound up as heck in some very necessarily absorbing coursework, work-work, and work on self and life, but I’m going to make a genuine effort to write again when I can on my favorite things. I miss it: I miss the humor of it and the confessions and the comics and the naked ladies and the funny comments, and I need to crawl out of my hole again. I’ve scheduled some categorical posts that I hope to get out there shortly. Thank you for your patience and inquiries.

Sorry my first post back was a naked dude. Heh. You did not expect that. All apologies.

Movie Millisecond: the Sandlot

July 22, 2011


The Sandlot (David M. Evans, 1993).

Since you won’t stop asking*, here are the rules for the Sandlot drinking game.

  • Take a drink whenever the narrator says, “Pickle.”
  • Take a drink every time Ham says “You’re killing me, Smalls.”
  • Take a drink any time the boys speak in unison.
  • Take a drink whenever Squints and Wendy Peffercorn look at each other.
  • Take a drink whenever Tommy Timmons echoes Timmy.
  • Take a drink whenever Babe Ruth is mentioned, by name or by nickname.
  • Take a drink any time someone spits.

  • Wendy Peffercorn will take you down to Cougar Town.

    I’m not even going to bother listing some of the others we’ve come up with over the years. There is even a version I designed where you pick a character and have character-specific instructions (e.g., drink on “Yeah-yeah,” or, for beginners, drink whenever Bertram actually has a line). But really, I can’t in good conscience even keep going. Those rules are sufficient. Drink lots of water out there, dudes.

    Conversely, I also have a long explanation of why this is an excellent model for Christian values and highly suited for use in a parochial school classroom. I’m a complex mirror maze of a woman. Not a “hot mess.” Complex mirror maze.



    *completely untrue. it has never come up.

    Daily Batman: Ceci n’est pas …

    July 19, 2011


    more.

    Another for my “treachery of images” running gag. Is it weird that I have created personal memes for myself on my own blog? It’s like an inside joke with … me, which is pretty sad. Isn’t it? But then, isn’t all blogging just baying at an uncaring moon?

    No, I just asked my imaginary friend and he said I’m good. Phew. We’re going to go watch Adventure Time now — I better hurry or he’ll take the good spot on the couch. Catch you on the flip, jive turkeys.

    Take Two Tuesday — Per mi amico: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day, “Happy birthdohs, Jonohs” edition with brief bookfoolery

    July 19, 2011

    This post originally appeared on July 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm. Congratulations on another trip around the sun to you, my good true friend, and I hope you have many more to come.

    Happy birthday to the one and only Jonohs Danger Welchos!


    Nolite te bastardes carborundum.

    This encouragement is doubtless unnecessary because I doubt that you ever would. I’m sure you would talk the bastardes around to your point of view and you’d all have Fin du Monde and play Beatles Rock Band and they would vow never to carborundum again. I’m finishing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shortly and I’ll be starting next on my yearly Atwood. How nice to know this year when I re-read it that you will have just done so recently too. Last year I knew you, and was re-reading Handmaid’s Tale as always, and you had not read it yet. This time it will be different and I’ll know that I’m reading words that yet another of my friends has also enjoyed. See the interstitial power of the shared unconscious experience of reading? That’s impressive shit. If that is not impressive enough, I will buy you some sushi the next time we are both in town. But really, dude — the gift of reading. Come on. Be excellent.

    But just in case you ever do feel down, remember that you are an awesome friendoh and I’m so glad to have gotten to be friends, and that I know great things are going to happen for you like in a perpetual motion engine powered by amazing karma for all your kindnesses and good humor to others.

    And, of course, be prepared for whatever befalls you on this, the day of your birth —


    A very recent addition to the pantheon of inside jokes via uglyxdutchling on the tumblr.

    Hope you’re off work and having a great birthday, Mr. Welchos! But do try and hold it together.

    I will be thinking of you!

    Heinlein Month — Do not let the past be a straitjacket

    July 16, 2011



    Whatever you do, do not let the past be a straitjacket.

    (Robert A. Heinlein. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, 1966.)


    via.

    Hey. The pre-scheduled entries caught up with real time, and then I was too lazy and depressed to write more. But I’m fixing that now. Even got a Girl of Summer in the pipeline, because, hey, man, life goes on, and my dead friend liked boobies. (Hath not a short joyful EMT eyes?) So. The rest is personal. Dip out whenever you’re done.


    “Jo Champa, Hotel Chealsea.” Helmut Newton, 1988.

    Yesterday were the services. Sweet fucking Christ. I have been to some rough funerals in my life. I really have. But I’ve never been through any shit like that. That was some fucking shit. My lord. And now the most recent two entries in my journal have giant cusses right at their start, when I’ve been trying really valiantly this year to cut back (first for my daughter, as an example, and also because vulgarity is so often a refuge of a weak writer attempting cheap authenticity).


    Photographed by Dara Scully.

    Big Ben and I agreed to attend together. He got to my place an hour earlier than planned and announced he’d left his wallet in Fresno — a town I notoriously hate, like it’s a joke among my friends how much I make fun of it. I had an idea we’d end up making the longish drive to get it back later in the day, but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure what the was going to hold: what if I wanted to go back to a reception and stay for a long while? What if friends had an impropmtu wake? We didn’t know what to expect. We slid down to C-town and got to the church about twenty minutes before Mass was scheduled to start, thinking that was prudently early enough.


    via.

    Besides being friends with one another in our own right, B-dubs and I moved in a lot of similar circles. It’s not a big area when you get right down to it. Even if you only joined The Party in the last 15 to 20 years, you’ve pretty much met everyone your age by now, at least with whom you’d have a dime in common, in one way or another. There wasn’t time enough or, in some cases, inclination (willingness to engage in a lot of catch-up and mutual depression) to say words to everyone I knew, even just as we walked through the parking lot and up to the church. In the very, very long line to sign the guestbook before entering, there was this crowd of EMTs and firefighters in front of us in uniform, and I started tearing up. I’m not an overemotional person, and it caught me off guard.


    Art by TheSweetMachine on the tumblr.

    It was a harbinger of things to come. A bossy aunt came out not long after and told the crowd that we’d all better grab a seat inside and sign the book later, because it was getting very full in there, and we entered the church. I’d never been to St. Jude’s. It’s not by any means the smallest church in which I’ve ever heard Mass, but it wasn’t large. But it was not at all equipped, I’m proud to say, to handle the number of people at my friend’s funeral. It was literally SRO. People could’ve probably crowded the pews a little more, but a lot of the EMTs had to stay in the back near the doors because they were still on call.


    “Losing My Religion” by Mrs. Colbert on the da.

    Right away, on entering the church, I was up against old, old friends, serving as B-dubs’ pallbearers. So we started crying. I think, in the back of your mind, or perhaps only in mine and some of my friends’, maybe more macabre than others? or just realistic?, there is the knowledge that you will pass from this earth and enter in to whatever, if anything — I believe and hope a very real something — comes next. Sometimes you discuss it loosely with friends, like your burial/cremation wishes, songs you want involved in your memorial, etc. But you don’t take it terribly seriously. To see our old friends standing at the back of the church with white gloves and red carnation boutonnières, guiding the elderly and close relatives to seats was a profound jolt, following on the heels of the uniformed contingent reminding me of what a life of service my friend left … I basically cried for the next hour. Standing for the casket’s entry made me cry. My strong, broad-shouldered, stalwart old male friends crying as they walked that casket toward the altar made me cry. The readings made me cry. The priest’s homily made me cry. The only thing that didn’t leave me shredded was the Eucharistic prayer, maybe because I’ve had it memorized since time out of mind and it gave me time to catch my breath.


    via.

    But then my friends gave their eulogies and it was all over. It was pointed out what a remarkably, not just bullshitting like people do at funerals, but a remarkably live wire and loving spirit he was, how he literally lit up rooms and took care to take care of everyone he met. It grew as a theme that B-dubs lived his whole life, essentially, to protect and make at ease everyone else, and that we could only honor him by trying to keep taking care of each other. That’s how it ended. Everyone in the church was just in pieces. So we exited on that, this horribly emotional note. Like I said, I have been to some rough funerals, but I’ve never heard free, open weeping from so many people at a service. It was some shit, honestly, I’m not describing it well enough. God. Harrowing. Big Ben agreed it was the worst thing he’d been to so far, too. I think the priest put it best when, during his homily, after speaking about Brandon’s faith and dedication to serving others, he simply spread his hands and said, “He was too young.”


    Photographed by Logan White.

    After stunned chat outside the church, we caravanned to the cemetery for the graveside service. The priest said the very familiar words about dust to dust, and the valley of darkness, etc, that have always held a ritualistic comfort to me. One by one, the pallbearers came forward and placed their gloves and their boutonnières on the casket. But then — then — B-dubs’ cousin began to speak. I have very few friends, and dear they are, as specifically faithful as I am, and I am 1000000% okay with that. I’d say a majority of my friends do not believe in any god nor afterlife, and I’m truly all right with that. If they got questions about how I roll, I answer them, but I really don’t try to suggest religion to them unless I am asked. It’s been the source of debates between me and many of the people who were in attendance at these services, the idea of the co-existence of intellect and faith (hey, college).


    via my pandaeraser.

    This cousin began by saying that Brandon’s completion of the sacraments of the Catholic faith did not qualify him for salvation, but rather his loving relationship with God did. I was fine with that. Then, he moved forward in praise of a relationship with God and Jesus, with a format very familiar to me, that of his personal testimony about his journey to salvation. Okay. Cool. I’ve heard that lots of times and, though I sort of cringed at first, thinking, “Normally I’d be more receptive, but, come on: is this the right place — like, what has this to do with today?” I was still tentatively on board, willing to see where it lead. I’m sorry and angry still to say that it lead only to more of the same. He spoke for some easily fifteen minutes, asking everyone to read the Word (okay) and pray about it (okay), but also to repeat a personal prayer he wrote, out loud along with him. Afterward, he had us close our eyes and then said, “Raise your hand if you really repeated the prayer.”


    Photograph by William Gedney, via the collection at Duke’s online library.

    The uncomfortable, growing dissatisfaction I had pretty much burgeoned to full-blown dislike at that moment. At one point he threw down the Bible, but I’m not sure he noticed. He’d complained in his opening statements about not having a podium, so I’m sure that played a role, and I guess the important thing to him was what he was saying, not the source of the quotes he was citing in his very targeted proselytizing once he’d finished with them. I just know I wasn’t the only one to inadvertently have a sharp intake of breath on that one. But there was a general all-over shifting of feet and nervous sighs throughout, to be honest. This was not an issue of religious tolerance: it was an issue of inappropriateness.


    via.

    Like, dude, we are graveside. It is not an appropriate setting for a) your story; b) talking about Jesus actually very well, but relating it back to yourself again and again rather than to your cousin; and c) evangelizing to these bereaved friends of your cousin, when with a prayer for discernment it might be easily seen that now is hella not the time. Not to mention, just personally, I felt that if his argument that justification for salvation was by faith alone and not works nor acts, then why did we need to repeat his prayer and raise our hand, or not, over the issue of repeating his prayer, like guilty five-year-olds who were being asked who ate the green crayon? It all sat very, very poorly with me.


    Photographed by Giasco Bertoli.

    I’m Catholic, dudes. Do you just kind of always expect me to unload at some point about how you all should be, too? And how properly to do so? Because I was offended as all-git-out and I couldn’t believe how blasé some of my most atheist friends were about what to me was this needless and selfish diversion, as if they’d anticipated uncomfortable evangelistic pressure from the beginning. When Big Ben asked me in the car whether I was up to going to the family’s smaller reception after the other gauntlet points of brutal funeral and heart wrenching graveside service we’d passed, I said, “I don’t want to go anywhere that douche is going to be.” He replied immediately, “That was pretty bad. But everyone grieves differently. Would Brandon have been okay with it, since it was his cousin? Probably. He’d want his cousin to have that time.”

    I wiped away my tears, started the car, and said emphatically, “Fuck that guy. If that’s how he grieves, he sucks.” We did not go to the reception.

    A little under three hours later, we were in Fresno, retrieving Ben’s wallet. That joke which I am famous for is, “No one should go to Fresno. Not on purpose.” But it’s really a diverse town, like any. Anyway, after we got the wallet from his friend, the friend asked for a cigarette because his girlfriend had asked him to quit smoking and he knew we’d have one. As we stood outside, at our friend’s insistence safely behind his apartment building in case his girlfriend came home unexpectedly — yes, we ribbed him without mercy both for his dishonesty and for his paranoia — Ben described the scene at the graveside with the cousin. The friend, who’d said plainly that he did not believe in an afterlife but felt that funerals were important for the living, which I liked, asked questions about the mourners’ reaction to the cousin’s unnecessarily aggressive come-to-Jesus sidebar. I’d stayed silent about that part of the services, still steaming. Ben jerked his thumb at me and said, “She was pissed.”


    “Don’t see the sorrow,” photographed by meninalua on the da.

    The friend clucked his tongue but then said, “Maybe that’s how he needed to grieve.”

    What the what, man? Am I the only one whose sense of outrage is not overshadowed by sorrow? Or am I the only one who is blindly seeking refuge in outrage instead of sorrow? Maybe? And not to mention, I found comfort in aspects of the funeral that were Catholic and so culturally and familially familiar to me, but what of my friends raised outside that tradition? Did not my “stand up, sit down, kneel, repeat after me, say this when I say that” comforts probably confound and alienate those friends who were not accustomed to it? What right have I got to judge which are off-putting and which welcoming religious behaviors? I was sooo mad. You should have seen me. Wet hen-style. Fairly? Not, most likely. Oh, angry, mixed-up me.


    via.

    But what I really want to say is good on those friends who gently chastised or tried to guide me back to zen-ness, for being yards more tolerant than I the alleged Christian witness of the bunch was evincing with my bitterness: they displayed a genuinely universal forgiveness for which I think many who recognize the love that bonds all things in this world without necessarily having an origin story for that love are seldom credited. I, on the other hand, wanted literally to point-blank fire a nail gun in to the eyeballs of my dead friend’s cousin’s head. Which is not at all loving. I know.

    Now I’ve talked a great deal about one aspect of the day which was really not as big as I’ve made it out to be in this entry, and it’s not some hint of how repressed or larger it looms in my psyche than I knew by my writing it. It’s just that in a day so filled with grief, it was the thing I could describe with a more familiar emotion — outrage. The grief I will take a long time to get to know. The events of the day made me cry right away, as they happened, a big enough pain that I didn’t have time to push it down, it spilled over with me fully aware that I was unhappy. Most feelings don’t get that far in my cognitive process. So I know it’s going to be a journey to get cool with this dreadful shit.

    A Personal Digression: For some moments in life there are no words, but I’m going to write some anyway

    July 9, 2011


    via.

    He kept at true good humour’s mark
    The social flow of pleasure’s tide:
    He never made a brow look dark,
    Nor caused a tear, but when he died.

    (Thomas Love Peacock.)

    I don’t talk much about myself. I do and I don’t. I don’t go in to practical, actual facts, or any great specificity beyond memories distant enough not to hurt when shared. That is the opposite of what this thought experiment was supposed to be. When I thanked everyone for joining me in the last two years, it forced me to confront the fact that I purposely stopped explicitly talking about or analyzing myself at some point along the way, when the original intent of this journal was as an unflinching self-audit. I’m going to try to sort of get back to that from time to time, as well as I can stomach it. But this is not going to become some bullshit vanity plate — I’d hate that. I’m sorry, but you’re never going to know real names of my friends and family, nor see pictures of me slutting it up on here or even obligatory self-held head and shoulder shots with oh-so-quirky expressions. I know I’m kind of hokey with a sweet rack and that my name starts with E. You just have to take my word on it.


    via.

    I bring up all this by way of explaining that I’m going to talk about myself for a sec, here. If you are not down, I am totally okay with that: skip down the page to the fun stuff. I’m not in the least bothered. This I’m writing for me, because I’m supposed to be doing that and not shying away again and again. No excuses.

    So, some shit has gone down for me emotionally in the last few days. I keep the entries of the journal queued up a bit ahead of real time, most of the time, when I’m not being a lazy wretch, so this has happened in the interim of the regularly scheduled posts’ appearances. But the Liberated Negative Space below, in the previous entry, really jolted me, and galvanized me to discuss something immediate that’s been affecting my life: namely, the death of an old friend, with whom I used to be very close in school. I was told about it yesterday, around the early evening.

    On the way to my eight-and-some-odd hours examination today, I took the road he was driving when the wreck which killed him happened. I purposely looked straight ahead and listened to my music, focused on the road: I didn’t want to look at the sides of the highway in case I saw pieces of his Mustang. I thought very clearly, I come this way far too often to let this have power over me. I could never drive if I thought of it every time I pass past these spots. This is the strategy I always employ with things that make me feel Ways: I staunchly use deliberately dodgy methods to keep from letting any inanimate thing like a song or stretch of highway get power over my feelings, because I’m not supposed to have those, right?

    But on the way back home, maybe due to the security blanket of the divider in the center so that I could not see the other-bound direction of the road anymore, or perhaps due to the unwanted stress of the exam being off my shoulders, I thought that my earlier deliberate ignorance was actually cowardice, and, if there were ever a time for me to step out of my expressionless shellac vis-a-vis facing down hard feelings, this was the time. This is no thing to put off wading through, I told myself. This is different and deserves better treatment than what you usually give emotions.

    Here is what happened: I have a friend named B, B-Dub he liked to jokingly be styled, a good friend of about twelve years, who died in a horrific car accident in the early hours of Friday morning. He was driving his 1998 Mustang along a nearby highway, when, while attempting to pass a slow semi-truck, he lost control of his car and hit the center divider of the road. Not wearing a seatbelt, he was thrown from his car and then run over by a tractor-trailer, after which he died almost instantly.

    I know, right? Who the fuck does that actually happen to? It is gruesome as hell. That is action movie shit right there: that is not something that happens to someone who’s squeezed your hand during a pretend seance, or nursed your spins before taking you home. Just unbelievable, unimaginable even. The idea that my friend is dead is hard enough to wrap my mind around, let alone his last seconds of life.


    Hang loose? Is that still a Thing?

    I don’t really care to go in to safety and hazards in the details of the accident, etc, just now. Those are obvious, I think we can all agree. What I want to say is that, of all my old friends, and I am blessed to have more than I ever dreamt in my lonely childhood I would — which makes them all the more special to me — B was one who was a true comedian, a really blithe spirit. In late adolescence, it seems like some people are very, very funny and still have that dark or serious side off of which you feed while you pick things apart and explore your latent sarcasm and rage. Not B.


    Heading out to a call for emergency.

    B was all right with listening to you complain, but he was much more evolved than to do so himself, due to his, I came to realize as we grew close, well-chosen and informed, mature good nature. There was no naivete to it, and he never played the fool. He was just a joyful man, a sprite or leprechaun who burst with comic energy and always lifted your spirits. He genuinely loved to make others happy. That he would die in such a way has seemed particularly cruel to me. But why, I ask myself. It’s not a death that “fits” anyone. Doesn’t everyone remark on how vivacious and free-spirited the deceased was in their elegaic, closing remarks? Does any death suit anyone?


    B-Dub is on the far right.

    No. Christ, of course not. But we don’t get to live forever, at least not that I can tell as yet. People keep saying things to me like, “It just reminds you to live in the present, express your love to those who matter, live life to the fullest, because you never know,” etc., but it’s not very comforting. I guess what they really want to say is, “People die” (which I have already painfully learned) and “– your friend did. You can’t change it” (another thing I know) “So find a way to get okay with it.”


    Why not get amped over snack treats?

    And I’m going to try. I’m going to listen to my heart instead of suppressing it. I’m going to acknowledge what I’m feeling. What I’m feeling is exactly what everyone tells me, which I want to reject: ie, that my friend is dead, and that there is nothing that I change about it. And as I said, I’m trying to get okay with it.

    And I have started by saying I’m pretty fucking well upset about it.


    For some moments in life, there are no words.

    (Willy Wonka. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Mel Stuart, 1971.)

    That is all.

    Fight Club Friday: From the annals of XKCD by way of Big Ben

    July 8, 2011

    Big ups to my old friendoh for bringing this XKCD comic to my attention.

    Movie Millisecond: You can’t live alone

    July 7, 2011


    Masculin Féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966).

    You really can’t live alone.

    Thanks for two million unique hits on this journal in its almost two years of operation. Come for the porn, stay for the shenanigans! Comment any ol’ time. You do not know how much I enjoy it.

    As this is not a for-profit blog, every person who visits really does matter to me. It began as a way to force myself to write, and to subject myself to the excruciating experience I’d spent my life trying to shun, sharing myself with other people. When I shied away, I thought that I’d change focus and the journal evolved in to a sort of annotated public scrapbook, a way to share the things that matter to me with other people.


    Source help wanted.

    But you know, I’ve been thinking about it, and it’s really the same thing. Maybe I don’t have the courage to always talk about myself, and I instead sublimate that desire to share, that impulse to connect, into a post about a former Playmate or a digression on the mythic overtones of a poem by E.E. Cummings. But I am still sharing myself, still saying, “This is me, and this is what I am about. I’m telling you something personal.” Because the things that matter to us almost entirely comprise who we are. When you visit, and link, and comment, it ratifies my sense that I’m not alone in this universe.

    If you want to introduce yourself, ask questions, or share ideas, do it, and thank you again. Here’s to two million more of us agreeing that some of the detritus we encounter in this thing called life can be pretty all right — even meaningful.

    I truly appreciate the company.

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: PSA, No one wants to fuck you

    July 1, 2011

    PSA: No one wants to fuck you. Sorry it had to come to graffiti on plywood but you just weren’t getting the message.


    via. It looks as though someone tried to cross it out to make it read, “EVERYONE” but the original artist returned to merely underscore “no” in reply.

    Why This Is Relevant: a daring and austere one-act ripped from the headlines.

    Scene: Gas station.

    Dramatis personae: Good ol’ E., pluckily on line to pick up smokes for panda on another Manic Monday; dark hair, blue dress with white polka dots, determined expression — let’s have a quick trip.
    Man in inside-out shirt, black-on-black Pittsburgh Pirates hat, leaning heavily on walker with a basket attached: the basket is filled with an 18-pack of beer stood tall, buffeted by two 40 oz. bottles of beer. The man is visibly swaying from drinking already. He has meth face and flicky eyes. The overall effect is not pitiable but emphatically creepy.
    Cashier, not important but an ugly person should play her because she is absolutely not good at keeping her customers from getting in to weird situations.

    MAN: I like your dress.
    E: Thank you.
    MAN: It looks good on you.
    E: Thanks.
    MAN: I like … how it looks.
    E: …
    MAN: I’ve got a cab. I’m not driving.
    E: Cool — you a big Pirates fan?
    MAN: What?
    E: Your hat.
    MAN: I have this hat.
    E: Right.
    MAN: For the Pirates?
    E: Yeah, the Phillies are doing so well this year, it must kind of be tough for Pirates fans to take. Rivalries and all, right?
    MAN: I think … I like … the A’s.
    E: Okay.
    MAN: You’re pretty. You’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen … (long pause) today.
    E: Well — thanks.
    MAN: Can I call you?
    E: I need to think about that.
    CASHIER: I can help who’s next.
    MAN: You want to go in front of me?
    E: VERY MUCH.

    Scene.

    To quote Liz Lemon, “Another successful interaction with a male!”

    Mean Girls Monday: Harry Potter macro retread

    June 27, 2011

    Re-run for my Katohs.


    By me.

    Daily Batman: the illusion that we’re not alone

    June 27, 2011


    We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

    (Orson Welles.)

    Daily Batman: Lois, this IS my Batman glass

    May 12, 2011

    Lois, this is my Batman glass.


    Taken by me, like, a minute ago.

    Special thanks to pandaeraser for making my Batman bloody beer possible. Muah!

    (The title is a reference to a previous Daily Batman.)

    Fight Club Friday: Catch you on the flip

    April 29, 2011

    Spendin’ the day with Big Ben, homies.


    via.

    See you jive turkeys tomorrow.

    Daily Batman: You don’t need a plane to fly

    April 27, 2011

    This one’s for my goddaughter — SpongeBob Batpants.


    You don’t need a plane to fly,
    Plastic wings can make you cry.
    Kites were meant for windy days,
    Lawn chairs with balloons fly away,
    Inflatable pants, you might as well skip,
    If you want to fly, all you need
    Is friendship!

    (SpongeBob Squarepants. “The Sponge Who Could Fly (The Lost Episode).” Season 3, Episode 16. Originally aired March 21, 2003.)

    Last night after sushi I headed back to panda eraser’s pad and had a bonding moment or ten with Little V, my goddaughter. She was giving me a tour of her toys and suddenly started saying, “Bubbo, Bubbo,” which I finally figured out was a reference to SpongeBob coming on the television at that moment. I said, “I know that guy. He lives in a pineapple under the sea,” and she laughed and stuck the bottom half of a bisected doll in her mouth. She’s pretty rad.