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:
There's something oddly attractive about people who look like they could be either male or female. Last night at work there was this guy, who at first, I thought was a girl. It took me about five minutes of sneaking glances across the room at him before I was sure he was a he.
the ritual of rituals.
i'm sorry if i let you down,
i guess i'm just as clumsy as you said.
you're in denial of the truths i read,
i'm sorry if i let you down.
we were a two-for-one deal,
the perfect kinda combo
two halves of the very same coin,
now we have been split in two.
I think tattoos are very very gross and pernament. While you can take your rings out and let your skin close. Although, theres this little thing I want out of a tattoo, is a small rainbow butterfly, dolphin or somthing on my pubes. Thats all I want and no more. Any suggestions what I should get tattooed with a rainbow? Let me know!
Two lovers on the net, (one in Maryland and one in California) want to meet each other, but one is a young teen and the other is a young adult. Their parents are very particular about net safety and it's not an easy task buying a ticket and flying all the way across. Any good ideas as to how these two people could meet?
I lost my planner.
It's not at home. It's not at work. So far as I can tell, I left it somewhere in the stacks Thursday evening, after searching out the 1914 issue of Blast (vorticism was cool, man) and photocopying an article. This means it's lost. I am not about to search all 12 levels of the stacks for a single book-sized object. It probably got tossed out as it is.
I feel lost and twitchy without my omnipresent planner. I take it everywhere. It had all mes devoirs for the weekend clearly outlined in it. All my exams, quizzes and papers for the semester. My appointments, weekly and otherwise. Pertinent office hours. Special phone numbers. The weight room schedule.
So, supposing one is facing the reality that over the next year they will probably be out to most everyone, and one is what it is like to have random uptight relatives know...
In plain English:
Some of my aunts and uncles are really... wierd. And not in a supporting of diversity type way. They already don't really like me or my family, so I was just wondering if anyone who's out has a similar situation and what its like. I won't let this stand in my way of my coming out more, but it kind of bothers me. Mainly I think it will be really sad, since between them there are quite a few cute little cousins, if they decide that I'm some kind of a pervert and don't want me around my cousins. I don't see them often anyway, so I guess it wouldn't be such a big deal. But hey, this is what is on my mind right now.