Immortality


I’m going to need all my favorite celebrities to stop dying for a little while, okay? Thank you.

You know when it’s really going to be a blow? When Keith Richards dies. Because you’ve gotten so used to Keith Richards still kicking around while much younger, cleaner-living celebs slip their mortal coils, that it’s become a punchline. Keith Richards and roach bugs will be the only things to survive the nuclear winter. So, when he goes? THAT is when we’re all going to feel our mortality.

As long as Keith Richards is alive, there is a whisper of hope for immortality. As soon as he is gone, we know we’re all going to die sooner, or later.

I’m hoping for later.

Meanwhile, Alan Rickman, thank you for further complicating my already complicated relationship with movie villains. And for making that one Robin Hood movie bearable. You will be missed.

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How I Never Loved David Bowie


I have been boy-crazy since I can remember. Growing up, my ability to multi-task crushes was second only to my ability to accessorize. I loved boys. All boys. Tall boys, short boys, fat boys, skinny boys, jocks, stoners, musicians, mathematicians, boys who played D&D, and boys who played flute–I just loved boys.

The first celebrity I can remember crushing on, outside of the cartoon character Sinbad the Sailor, is Leonard Nimoy.  I crushed on him until the day he died. Alongside, but never quite approaching his level of desirability, were Sean Connery, Shaun Cassidy, Parker Stevenson, Andy Gibb, Dirk Benedict, Harrison Ford, Robert Wagner, Pierce Brosnan, Matt Dillon, John Taylor, Simon Le Bon, Rupert Everett, Tommy Lee, Axl Rose, Geddy Lee, and pretty much every other even remotely attractive man who ever made it between the covers of a People or Tiger Beat magazine.

Except for David Bowie.

I never had a crush on David Bowie.

Oh, I loved him. I admired him. I would have given my teenage eye-teeth to have the Goblin King offer to love me so I could reject him like Sarah, but I never fixated on David Bowie as a romantic figure. Bowie was different.

David Bowie wasn’t the kind of man I could stir up in a daydream because he wasn’t a “man” to me. He was something more.

I guess he really made it onto my radar in the 80s, with Let’s Dance. He’d been blipping up randomly through my first decade of life, mostly as someone who looked like he belonged with the then big-eyeglass-wearing Elton John, or maybe the scarier people the teen girls across the street from my grandparents listened to. I wasn’t sure about him until MTV offered him up on a platter of heavy rotation.

For me, Serious Moonlight Bowie is one of the Top 3 most attractive Bowies. Tin Machine Bowie and the past 10 years of Bowie have been my favorite looks. But even becoming familiar with him at what was a fantastic level of attractiveness, during what were my peak years for Imaginary Celebrity Boyfriends, he was never a fling in my brain.

Blue Jean was the video that converted me.

I remember the first time I saw it. I couldn’t look away. The visual of that video horrified and titillated me in a way nothing ever had. I wanted to sneer, but I couldn’t stop looking. I wanted to dismiss David Bowie as some weirdo, but I couldn’t stop wanting to see more–to hear more.  And, the whole time I had this notion that David Bowie wouldn’t mind if I laughed. David Bowie thought laughing was okay. He was there to entertain.

But I couldn’t laugh. So, I just watched him, and I started quietly learning all I could about him. The more I learned, the more I respected him. He was teaching me something about life. He was teaching me something about art. He was teaching me about how to live without being afraid of what other people had to say about my hair, or my teeth, or my clothes.

David Bowie was a mentor.

He was also something I kept private. I don’t listen to Bowie with other people around. There are a very few people I’ll talk with about Bowie. I take the Church of Bowie seriously. And it’s okay if you want to laugh at that. You can also laugh that Amsterdam is my favorite song of his because it is so, so, so awful that it comes back around to being amazing.

When I woke up Monday morning, I was already in a funk. I had announced to my authors that I was closing Robyn Lane Books, the day prior. I knew I would be announcing it widely on Monday. I knew that was going to make some people very happy, and I knew there would be some laughter at my expense. Sunday night, I’d gone to bed thinking about David Bowie, and a bunch of other artists who get out there in front of the world and do their best to give a show, only to fail in some way, or other.

The successful ones just go do the next show. They do the next project. They pick the next part. So, I figured I’d announce the failure, take a moment to grieve the loss, let the haters hate, and just go do the next show.

When I woke up Monday morning, David Bowie was gone.

After the shock wore off, I was making coffee in my kitchen, and I thought, “Wow. David Bowie is dead.” And I shrugged a bit. “Death can’t be that bad then. David Bowie’s been there. Anywhere Bowie’s been is already better.”

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My thoughts continue to light on his family. I hope peace and joy come quickly to them.

 

 

 

 

 

BEST DAY EVER!


This may be the best day of my son’s school career so far…for me.

See, I’m a middling cook at best, and my packed lunches are (according to him) pretty okay.  Last year, he started asking me to maybe add some things that would make people interested in trading their food.  I failed.

But, yesterday, in a fit of procrastibaking, I made a batch of copycat Red Lobster cheddar biscuits.  Thor approved.  He approved so much that I saved a few for his lunch today.  He came home with this story:

“Hey, Mom? Could you make some more of those cheddar biscuits for me to take to school? Because it turns out that [this girl at school] loves them so much, she’ll trade her cookies for a quarter of one! She wanted one so bad, she offered to give me all three of her cookies for just a piece of a biscuit. She NEVER trades her cookies. Ever. She will only give people a quarter, or half of a cookie for a trade of something huge.”

And just like that…MY DAY WAS MADE!  I cooked something worth trading!  With my own hands!  From ingredients!

Which couldn’t have come at a better time, since he’s recently told me that I am too embarrassing to be allowed to come eat lunch with him.

Be Back Soon


I have a bunch of projects due, so I am disappearing from social media until they are finished.  I’m sure I’ll find another way to procrastinate (like making badges on Illustrator,) but I’ll have to go out of my way to do it.  I might end up with a clean house, yet!

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Immigration


In my line of day-job work, I have the privilege of sitting across from all different kinds of people, from all over the world.  A few weeks back, a woman whose citizenship was a day old sat down with me.  I congratulated her on the accomplishment.  It’s a huge ordeal to become a citizen.

It was the day after the first GOP debates, and she had Trump on her mind.  She gave me a piece of it.  She was hurt and angry, worried that most Americans felt like he did, that immigrants were a ruination.  She said, “You all don’t know.  You don’t know how afraid you must be, or how terrorized to leave everything, knowing you can never go back to family, to friends, knowing they might not live to do the same thing you have done.”

I agreed with her.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to know.

She said, “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  All we want is something better for our children.”

All Abdullah Kurdi wanted was something better for his children.

We’re all the same.  We would all do anything we could to make a better life for our children.

We lack the social and economic infrastructures to just open our borders.  We have immigration laws for a reason.  I’m not saying we have to throw open the gates.  I don’t have any answers to the immigration question, but I have this to say: If you cannot find an ounce of compassion in you for people who are looking for freedom, then you don’t deserve the freedom you have.