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:
I had my thirteenth birthday last week, but now that I'm "officially" a teenager I don't feel any different. Except that I'm no longer able to call myself a 'tween, and I'm thankful that's over! In some cultures I'd be considered a man now but I don't belong to one of those cultures : (
My Dads threw a really cool birthday party for me, but it was a bittersweet occasion for me. It will be the last time that my best friend Austin and I will get to be together for what may be a long time, and it was hard for me to hold my emotions back so I didn't.
I've discovered my new favorite visual artist! He's called David Burdeny, and these are some great examples of his work:
I've been getting a lot of extra hours at work lately, which is good. Twenty-three hours this past week, nineteen of which were during the weekend. I like to gripe about it but really it's good for me. When I'm working my mind is only focused on the tasks at hand. It's a distraction. A greasy way to kill time, if you will. Plus the money is nice to have, although I don't particularly yearn for tons of cash. Good news is I can buy books and put more in my pathetically small savings account.
So I'm going to eat lunch w/ Lina. We've been talking a bunch on FB but I'm not really sure if she *likes* me or thinks I seem like a good friend...It would be helpful if I knew she was gay.
I'm dressing up anyway :)
I just got back from shopping in Portland.I got 3 new dresses: A floor-lengh Grecian-style dress w/ blue flowers on it; A shorter green dress w/ white embroidery at the hem; and a short black tunic w/ little white hearts on it. My new green blouse and vintage blue shoes arrived too.
Can you tell I like clothes? :) I think I'll wear the green dress to lunch tomorrow.
As the title suggests. I am so very happy. I'm in love you see. The rest of this post will probably give the impression that I am immensely depressed. But these are all tiny insignificant problems really when compared to the insane head-over-heels happiness that I am feeling. Just little niggles I need to get out of my head really. Because by the end of the upcoming school week pretending that there is nothing going on between me and Jane they will be bothering me more, but I think it's best to write about it now while I'm feeling optimistic. I'm waffling...
Hello Im back, but it'll be in distances of time when I write again
I went to the library and started reading Ulysses. It's really great although I didn't check it out but will. To my surprise I actually understood what was going on.
For a scholarship about gay rights I could write about my experiences so I begun that although I have no idea what the point of what I've learned has to do with my life now.
On a side note I've been reading william blake's work and I might apply an organized innocence philosophy to my life