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:
After 7 deaths of students in one and a half years, a fanatically determined clutch of school board members who were "doing God's will" very begrudgingly relented after much kicking and screaming in the wake of public opinion and court orders.
Take heart! This is what can happen if sanity is allowed to prevail:
"Anoka-Hennepin schools: Gay bullying has eased after lawsuit settlement"
Well, things are not so bland anymore at all. Wow. And yes, this is related to The Girl, but it's bad for me. There has been a new... development, so to speak. It won't get out of my head. I learned a hard lesson this week, friends: IGNORANCE IS BLISS!
This post is long and kinda weird, just so you know. I'll be impressed if you read it all. I needed to write it out because I think I will go insane if I don't. I kind of feel like I will anyway, which is terrible because I only have 2 and a half more months of school left! I can't go insane now. I'm almost home-free, almost to somewhere normal, but it's like the universe can't let me out of here I without one last really stupid obstacle.
I meant to post this a while ago, but I was distracted by things that will become obvious in the entry itself.
Last weekend I auditioned for early consideration for the Young Actors' Institute, one of the best acting programs in the state. It is super intensive and very exclusive--they only let in 25 people at most, and I am the absolute youngest end of the age range (21 being the oldest). I auditioned against 16 other people for early placement.
I'd been waiting ever since to find out if I was accepted, but no one called my contacts and I flubbed my monologue the second time I performed it.
It's been a while since I've been on here and when I tried recently the site wasn't running, but now I'm back and oh so thankful!
Right after I wrote my last journal I started to feel not so great, and in France we have cold and flu season just like in the United States. It hit me really hard, then got worse. I went to my doctor and was sent right away to the hospital with pneumonia, and was there for almost two weeks. It just kicked my butt!!! I lost 5 kilos of weight (eleven pounds) and am just starting to get my strenght back.
Gay SG Confessions has been around on Facebook for only two weeks... and is proving to be an extremely popular venue for gay teens and up:
The FB link to Gay SG Confessions is:
https://www.facebook.com/GaySgConfessions (Then log in to read.)
Just a quick perusal of the comments suggests that many could find a most hearty welcome here on Oasis!