Grief Brings Out The Best In People

9 08 2008

I sat in the Fellowship Hall of a small, country church. I didn’t talk to anyone although there were some pretty well-known Tennessee politicians in attendance, friends I went to high school with and a family I’ve known for what seems forever. They attended my mother’s funeral 10 years ago.

I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to just be.

I focused on Homer. Her hair is thick and chocolate brown and her eyes smile and cry. She’s one of those people that you can tell her state of mind by looking in her beautiful eyes. They were sad today. She had her own demons to slay. I had mine. Being with her made it safe.

Mark Maddox spoke first and what began as a speech from a veteran public speaker was filled with a cracked and ailing voice by the end of his eulogy. When I heard him speak, I found myself going back in time when he gave the eulogy at my mother’s funeral. When his voice cracked, I found myself unexpectedly tearing up for many things.

The loss of his brother. The fact that I was with people my age who were grandparents. The sad and strong look on Homer’s face. When she asked for a tissue, I didn’t have one. I felt that I had failed.

His brother spoke. The same thing. A seasoned public speaker who works as a minister. His voice broke. I looked out of the doors of the window as he stopped, his words and tears so evident.

We couldn’t see them speak. We could just hear. I don’t know what would have been worse.

The final speaker was the minister of this country church. He spoke about the standard affairs of a funeral. He talked of salvation.

This is my second funeral in three weeks of people I grew up with. We drove our cars fast, hid out on back roads talking about our future and drank beer bought by those a couple of years older than us in corn fields still smelling of a fresh harvest. We were going to take on the world. We wanted to own it.

We were, and are, a lost generation sandwiched in between the boomers and Generation X.

We didn’t expect to die, but we will. We thought that the world of MTV would define us. We thought we owned our generation. Some of us, some of us didn’t. Some of us wanted more. Some of us were content. Some of us wanted the stars, like my friend Stew.

I look to the future. I see the possibilities.

I mourn my friends’ losses. I mourn mine.

I wish to do a thousand things before I say goodbye.

I watched Homer and thought how lucky I am to be loved.

As Tommy Maddox was.

With this said, I wish Karsten my best.

Life Is Like A Dart Game

29 07 2008

The air is chewy these days.

Within moments of stepping outside, I find myself covered in sweat and breathing is amazing and labored. The sky is thick with the humidity of the South. As Squirrel Queen and I were headed out to enjoy the Monday of our staycation, the tire on the truck was flat. We changed it, SQ rather as I fetched things as is my role in situations like this, and we were wet, our skin clammy from the heat.

We were headed to play darts. It’s become a special thing between us in the last couple of weeks. We keep seeking the best place to play, away from the issues of the day. We aren’t good but we are getting better. We’ve also found in our dartplay that it creates a bubble where we don’t have to talk to other people. If that sounds rude, I’m sorry, but it’s true. We play the game and we don’t have to answer questions. We laugh. We encourage each other.

Life is about transformation. I’ve been spending more time with Homer which is wonderful. In the mornings, we are watching Angel although I’ve seen it. It’s a quiet bond where we can lose ourselves for a little while.

When I was younger, I used to collect things. Now I wish to unburden myself with the things that I thought I had to have. My life is simpler now. I realized in a moment of epiphany over the weekend that I haven’t lived in the moment for awhile. Always living in “what would happen next.”

I’m sure a lot of this has to do with Stew’s death. Sometimes I miss him so much that I choke back tears.

What a waste of living in events that might happen and not seeing the world around you at the moment. The dart games have taught me this. One throw of the dart, then another. Some games you win. Some games your strategy works. Other times you are just slinging darts hoping for the best, relying on luck that you might come out ahead.

Life is like a dart game.

I was hot last night and I’m starting to hit the numbers I’m aiming at. It feels good seeing I’m getting better. I came home and made a salad made with what we bought at the Farmer’s Market and heated up some corn. I ate the salad with my fingers, the balsamic vinegar making my fingers oily. My niece talked about playing basketball while I cut the vegetables.

In the moment. We forget in the moment.

I don’t want to wish my life away.

I watched sharks biting people. It was graphic.

Random thoughts swirl through my mind.

I ask Squirrel Queen if we can play darts again. She smiled before she fell asleep.

Annoying Autobiographical Pause #777

26 07 2008

I walked out into the humid July sun feeling more free than I’ve felt in months.

I could breathe and I needed it although it was hot and made me want to gag a bit. The humidity cranked at our skin leaving us covered in an uncomfortable sweat but there was excitement. My skin was wet, the back of my neck under my thick hair damp and rank within mere seconds yet there was some hope of things to come.

We drove.

I sought the joys of living in rural America. This week, a local farmer I only know as R.D., brought me dozens of peaches and creme corn. Why, I do not know. I was given tomatoes and banana peppers. Three bags full which I only paid $4 dollars for. They had just been picked yesterday morning and I had them, guarding them with glee by noon and knowing they were good as they were still covered in dirt.

We went to Hooterville-Extreme which is the farm that Squirrel Queen’s mother owns. We see her rebuilding after the death of her husband and we hope that we are helpful. We sat and talked about dogs and beer and the Internet and her still prevalent fear that people that we meet online are wiggy. She has decided, because the night her mother died, when CeeElcee, called that he is a good boy. She says bloggers can come to the farm but she needs to weed out what she calls her “rednecks” first. She wants to see what this is all about. This reminds me of Kathy Griffin’s “gays.” I like it.

And then we found crawfish that a man brought up at a local restaurant which I helped devour two pounds of. There are some that will get this is that it is nearly my favorite thing other than Nutella and Bass Beer, Brie and pickled okra, anything picked and fresh homemade purple hull peas smothered in Chow Chow. As I ate them, and yes I did, my mouth burning from the spices covering the small creatures. I took picture after picture of the food that I adore the most.

Some understand.

We headed home and the remnants of what I believe Dolly hit us with a violent ferocity that I found myself compelled by. We stopped to find Badger and we talked about our new fascination with darts. Squirrel Queen has gotten amazingly good and Badger knows more than she reveals. We stood downtown on the streets of where we live, watching the lightening crash around us. The thunder I could here. I still can’t hear as well as I could and I know that I’ve taken a hit. My dad has lost his hearing and I’m wondering if I’m joining him, tied to the realities of genetics. I grow older and the audio darkness is real. I worry about this the next time I see my friends in the state who blog. It scares me. You will hear me say “Huh?” I can’t hear.

But I felt and heard the thunder and I didn’t want to return inside.

It felt so very real. like I could taste it. I felt alive. SQ grabbed my sleeve and led me gently into safety.

I didn’t want to go.

We talked of Stew and played darts all evening. It was more than wonderful although I didn’t win a game.

I awoke this morning and Homer and I talked of things happening in Hoots and how we are amused by more of it than we are outraged. She decided, as she is the Alpha, that today we would honor our mother and grandmother’s tradition of cooking a traditional country meal. I headed to the local farmer’s market, which is nothing like you will find in the city. Pickup trucks filled with peaches and cream corn, green tomatoes, squash, dozens of kinds of tomatoes and so much more. We saw a local business woman I admire who had a Boxer puppy with her who had striped fur who licked my hand and gave me a sly lick on the mouth.

And then we bought a dart board for the house at a local pawn shope and decided to get a Cadillac’s cheeseburger and play a game of darts.

We only play 301. We are smitten. We will learn more.

A man named Ike sat at the bar and asked if he could play darts with us. We didn’t want the interference. But we said yes.

He was lovely although at the end of three games asked us if we were married. He had been to Vietnam and talked about he used to play with “the boys.” We knew he was looking for lady companionship yet there was no interest from us as he held a cold Miller in his hand as he wore his Vietnam Vet hat.

He was a gentleman. He told of us of his puppy which is a pit bull. He calls her Diamond. He says that she is the only thing he’s ever loved. He works in Ethanol.

He said the world was dying.

He hit three bulls eyes in a row, but Squirrel Queen beat him every time. She’s that good.

We went home and cooked a country dinner like our mothers and grandmothers’ made and the closeness of a good kitchen filled with people who love each other was outstanding.

Homer looked at me ,once, with sadness in her eyes but then again, she’s not nostalgic. That could have been me wanting to see it as we honored the food of the women who made us.

I look for meaning everywhere.

It is not even 7 p.m. and SQ is asleep. Tired from the week of burying our friend, from trying to find meaning and knowing that life isn’t always easy.

And my first day of a vacation is over.

Saying Goodbye

23 07 2008

We said goodbye to Stew yesterday.

We spoke about his laughter and his kindness. Our friend Misty spoke of the funny things because he made her promise that basically he wanted to put the fun in his own funeral. (Stew was awesome with the gallows humor.) Misty talked of the time he was on the radio saying a mystery celebrity was going to show up at the local County fair and how he and his cohorts talked about it for weeks. The entire media from the local newspaper and other radio stations simply took it for fact and were wondering who this was and how had Stew scooped them.

Tons of people showed up to see who it was but what they didn’t know was that Stew rented a limo with tinted windows and showed up in the limo and got out of the car.

The local media had been had. Misty and I love that story. We had the same stories and she spoke before me telling his stories which were all of ours. I slowly folded up what I had written and put it back in my purse because the many things she had brought up were in my eulogy.

She was exquisite.

Chris spoke next and for the first time in the 17 years I’ve known him, I heard his voice break. He said the things about their friendship that were honest and so real that I had to put my hand on the arm of the chair and squeeze because I thought I might lose it. His voice broke and I had to go into a zone in my head so I wouldn’t lose it. He talked about when he and Stew met each other, they didn’t like each other. I was around for that one. They were wary as they both are competitive and they both were morning men on the radio and they would both talk to me about the other one that came from a place where they respected the other one but they wanted to be the best. But they found each other and I don’t think I’ve ever seen two men cultivate and enjoy a friendship as much as those two. Through divorces and children and real life, these two loved each other more than I can explain.

But it was Squirrel Queen who spoke of her friend and how she had him to herself for one hour a day, six days a week and then she had to share him with the world when he went on the air that tore us up. You would have been so proud of her because she spoke so deeply and with so much love and passion regarding Stew that it made it hard to breathe.

Then it was my turn. Every one had spoken of the things I’d written down so I had to wing it. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember really what I said but it came from my heart. I talked about how he comforted me. How he was paid to talk for a living but that he was one of the best listeners I’ve ever known. I talked about the time I had covered a terrible car accident where two elderly people had died and how he sat with me on the back steps of the radio station. We sat in silence but he knew I had some pretty awful images sitting in my head. The sign of true friendship is that the space between two people can be that we can communicate without speaking. He comforted me while the bad stuff swirled around in my head just by sitting with me. I wasn’t alone with the ugly images of death. He knew without asking. I spoke that Stew gave us the stars, he loved astronomy and space and that at night, we could look up and know that those bright lights in the sky were I believe him to be. I looked up last night and said hi. I believe he heard me.

It’s funny. Both Misty and I quoted things from his blog. (I think that’s important. His words are forever captured online, archived much like Winston’s although Stew really didn’t understand the whole blogging thing. And after time, as the bone cancer went on the march, it became to painful for him to type.)

His son spoke last and he was speaking to his mother. It was important for him to tell her things that I felt like I was eavesdropping on a private conversation. It was important, probably the most important eulogy given.

And then it was over. The chapel filled with hundreds of people and as I looked out I realized that Stew was indeed the richest man in town with the friendships that he had cultivated over the years.

One of his and my favorite songs is Vienna by Billy Joel. I didn’t know it was going to play. When it did, I smiled within myself. It’s a song about longing. Stew had ideas of the world and he was an amazing man. When I heard the song it reminded me of things left undone. For him, for me and I guess for us all.

He was 48-years-old.

Getting Unstuck

21 07 2008

When you lose someone you care about, it’s hard.

Tomorrow is the memorial for our friend Stewman. He wanted Squirrel Queen and I to speak at his service.

I don’t know what I’ll say. I plan on working on that later today.

This summer has been a violent mistress. I am comforted by knowing this too shall pass but I’m in critical burn out right now. My leg is still sore from the spider bite but it’s better. It could have been so much worse so I’m grateful for that.

With Stew’s passing, I’m, of course, thinking of life and mortality and how everything has a root system. I feel like the world is connected. I’m also thinking because of intense stress that has accompanied these hot months that I may need a break from the world and sleep for a few days. Death reminds you that there is little time on this planet. We must make the most of it. We just have to.

I’m also thinking about being in a pattern that isn’t pleasing me right now. And how that if people are stuck, how do they get unstuck.

I’m working on that.

Stew was always supportive. He was amazing and he never backed down, even if he was afraid. He walked through the fear even when he was terrified.

I hope that I can as well.

The Genius Of George Carlin

23 06 2008

There really isn’t anything I can say about George Carlin that hasn’t already been said who died yesterday of heart failure.

He was funny. He could be very insightful and biting in his humor. Sometimes, his humor was about how society ignores the big picture, how we allow to be herded around like goats by The Powers That Be and that the words that we put so much emphasis on are not really the ones that can hurt you.

Those words got him arrested in Milwaukee, you know. Lots of folks have forgotten that. Sharon has more on his legacy.

My only recommendation is to watch “The Aristocrats” and see him be almost gentle and the elder statesman to younger when it comes to comedy. You will also see him, and others, tell the dirtiest joke ever uttered.

R.I.P George. You made things very much of the good and you will be missed.

The Hiccups

28 03 2008

Katherine wrote this last night about death. It resonates with me because it’s absolutely the truth written eloquently.

It goes like this, though, the way death sits with you like the hiccups.  You think it’s not bothering you anymore and you have moved past it, and then you start with a wee break and you’re gone again.   Those five stages of Elizabeth Kubler Ross are very neat and antiseptic and make you feel like you can spreadsheet the whole thing when your turn comes–and your turn is coming–but it doesn’t work like that.   There is no “Okay I had denial, now let’s bargain for awhile.”   After the first few days when you realise that nothing is quite the same you are sort of normalish and then angerbargainingdenialgrief  come burbling out at the oddest times.   No amount of scaring it away, of drinking water while standing on your head, makes it any easier.

Grief comes is so many ways, but it’s that little moment that finds you and doesn’t let you get away with anything. It’s like momentarily being blinded.

Today We Will Talk About Hope And The CaringBridge

28 02 2008

I’m not going to write about my mom today. I’ve done that before. Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of my mother. For me to go into any detail of this day, which is significant in the life of my family, I would just say it means a lot to us and I’m trying to figure out what to do on a personal level that would have some significance for myself about today. It’s a private thing that runs as deep as the Mississippi River. It’s hard to put those feelings into words.

To say I feel sort of lost and insignificant is an understatement.


No, this morning, I want to talk about life and survival and one woman who I have so much respect and admiration for that it’s hard to put into words.

Read the rest of this entry »

Annoying Autobiographical Pause – Mother Edition

17 02 2008

Homer knows. Squirrel Queen knows. Big Daddy knows.

You see, this month is the anniversary of my mother’s death. It’s significant. We love and we lose.

We do.

And we remember. And if we don’t, shame on us.

She was named after a box of shoes that my grandmother saw on a box in Michigan during WWII. She didn’t have a middle name because my gram thought her name was long enough.

You know, I do this every year, and each year, it gets harder.


It will be a decade. February 28th.

I’m going to get this out of the way. On that day, I will have to drive into the country to stare at the fields and meadows she loved, then go to her grave and lay down flowers. She liked flowers, but maybe, this year, I will play Beethoven or John Coltrane there.

Will that comfort her?

No. It will only comfort me.

So, anyway, I want to tell you the story, one I might not have told, about her. She was a musician and she studied music. She studied theory and how music evolved. She loved Miles Davis better than anyone and thought he was the epitome of progressive transition in music where there wasn’t a blueprint. She loved that. She thought Gil Evans was a genius. She made Homer and I listen to the blues and then Mozart because we may have lived in Hooterville but we were going to know THESE things. We needed to appreciate all music or we would have gotten a hard stare. We needed to be open-minded. And, this wasn’t a request from her.

It was mandatory.

And I thank her.

She loved her kids, she loved her husband and she loved music. As a child, there was always a violin, a bass, a cello lying about the house in Hootervegas although she was a singer and a pianist but the instruments were there because she was always in school.

I have no musical ability. I wonder sometimes if that was disappointing to her. I did other things. She encouraged me. This, of course, is of the good.

She was really beautiful. She was a petite woman that was the unaffected beauty queen of the local town who was more interested in politics than chiffon in 1960 but she was living in a small town and women didn’t do politics as much back then. She hid in the shadows. Not because that those options weren’t there, they were, but it meant a fight with a bunch of societal crap. And it did. Don’t deny it. She opted out but taught us (Homer and I picked it up, Mom, so you did your job well.)

I think she always canceled my dad’s vote out. And she made me watch Watergate and anything she thought might form me. At ten, it drove me crazy. Today, I smile when I write ‘not so much.’

She talked about feminism when it wasn’t even conceived in small rural towns. Did she make mistakes? Yeah. Did she teach me how to be an equal. Don’t even doubt it because I know I am. You know she did.

And she taught Homer and I to think for ourselves.

She was so shy. Painfully shy to the point it took her breath away until she sang on stage or she was at home with her family. Man, this woman could smile and it washed over all of us but she hated being in a group of people which is weird for me because I can hang in a church basement or at a nudist colony. This ability of mine didn’t come from her, I assure you.

Her shyness was her enemy and her largest demon. In the day, it was being shy, now I’m sure there are 20 different clinical names for it.

With that said, she created her life in spite of it all. She sang, won a contest and performed with the Everly Brothers because of it (Mid-South Fair Talent Contest, LWC), met my dad over a hamburger, fell in love and started her journey. She was a bit vain, who isn’t, but remained beautiful and curious and incredibly in tune to the world around her. She kept her hair blonde, because Big Daddy liked it that way. And her eyes were so blue they were deeper than the color of the ocean. I see these eyes in my youngest niece, Chuck, who doesn’t even know. She never met Jacque, how would she know? So I have to tell her and show her pictures. That’s my job.

Jeez, this is always hard.

She was completely confounded by me. I wasn’t traditionally beautiful like she and Homer were. I was different. I was eccentric. And she honed that in me.

You know, she loved me anyway and taught me swagger.

She smelled like sunshine. Dammit if she didn’t.

Homer was the good kid who would whip your ass in five minutes although I think most people think I’m the tough one.

I’m not. It’s Homer.

I was the kid that walked the line but wanted to dive into the deep waves of rebellion and free-spiritedness which didn’t interest Homer but, dammit, it did me. (And it did for my mom because she told me this before she died. It’s an odd thing between us. I never knew that I was her free-spirited one in her eyes.) I wanted to know those depths. And I did, delving into things that probably weren’t good for me but I was ambitious and bright enough to not go too far into the dark although it beckoned me. It was dangerous and sexy and I wanted the passion of it all. She knew this about both of us. And she guided, taught and only stopped me when I went too far.

Sometimes we went too far. We had a safety net.

Her name was Jacqueline. Named after a box of shoes and I find that to be so very compelling and charming.
The night before she died, my friend Mark, who my blogger friends met on Wednesday night in Nashville, came and sat with me in the hospital at midnight that horrible evening. He came. You guys need to know this for reasons I can’t explain. He sat with me as I sat slumped against the ‘dying room’ at the local hospital against the wall in the bright, fluorescent hallway at midnight and he tried to convince me that it wasn’t as bad as I knew it was, and despite it all, I knew in my depths that she was dying.

She was leaving and there wasn’t anything I could do.

And he tried to help.

That, my friends, is why he’s my friend. Even when I disagree with him in public.

And he did my mother’s eulogy in a packed funeral home where all I did was smile at people who apparently needed more comforting that I did, I smiled and I talked of things that were wonderful. I gave a hug and I said it was going to be okay to strangers and friends alike.

I didn’t cry for two weeks. When I did, I didn’t move for three days.

This, my blogger friends, will happen once a year. This is a gift, and curse, I give to myself.

So, I raise my glass to the woman who gave up so much for me.

Allow me a moment… as this is my blog and isn’t this what blogs are for?

I’m allowed that.

Dead Chicken

17 02 2008

As I’m an obituary junkie, please don’t let me die with this headline.


I must stop looking at obits.

H/T Fark

Heath Ledger And How The News Changed Yesterday

23 01 2008

There are things that confound me and then at the same time do not surprise me at all. Yesterday, in the national news arena, we watched three very vital stories hit our television/internet worlds and the reaction to all three stories was quite unique. But which story was the biggest one of the day?

We first had the story about the economy which confounds the average citizen and that includes me.

Followed by the withdrawal of Fred Thompson from the GOP presidential race, which could have been his if he wanted it. I can’t help but think that the worries that some of us as Democrats had when he announced and it faded into an abyss of woulda, coulda, shoulda. It may be the Tennessean coming out of me with this observation. I saw a Twitter from Brittney Gilbert in San Francisco say that his announcement didn’t impact anyone in her news room in San Francisco which I think is probably about right.

And then the death of actor Heath Ledger.

In rooting around the Internet yesterday, as I was a blogging fool for about five different websites, the most response I saw about all of the three stories was about the death of the young actor. It was the story that made a lot of people sit and and listen and talk. It even broke Nashville is Talking for awhile.

If you are a member of Twitter, for about four straight hours yesterday, Ledger’s death was the one that had people pondering what had happened, why a young man with a great deal of talent had died so unexpectedly. Was it a suicide? Was it an accidental drug overdose? The nation is apparently enamoured with watching Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Amy Winehouse, but the good actor with the big future was off the radar. It was a surprise.

I had a boss once tell me in news that there are always three big stories. 1.) Kids, 2.) personal issues with money and 3.) the unknown/death.

There is a great deal of validity to all three of those observations.

I thought Ledger was talented. He took chances. And there will always be the mystery of how someone so young could die. His death completely annihilated the other two top stories of the day off the top fold and on key posts of everyone major news organizations’ websites.

The story taking top placement isn’t surprising. And the immediacy of the conversation regarding his passing online wasn’t either. I’m just more connected now than I used to be in online entities.

Am I being analytical? Yes.

I feel all of my age this morning because the first thing I thought of was it’s sad that this kid had to die. But young people die everyday. They die in war, they die in reckless car crashes, they die from disease. But they are not famous they are just our people and we mourn.

And for some reason, we are connected with the instant loss of life because I think it targets some of our most primal fears.  And for the news industry, the other stories take the bottom fold because people want to know about the world of celebrity and watch from a safe distance. That includes me, I assure you.


21 01 2008

This is a very powerful post and one of the strongest ones I’ve seen in a long time. The backstory is over there, but I just want Heather to know that after meeting her and seeing what a lovely soul she is that there are many of us who feel her pain.

Because it is about loss and wanting to understand things where there is no answer.

Pain has no color, no politics and no gender. It knows no bounds.

It just is.

Suzanne Pleshette

20 01 2008

Beautiful. She was absolutely one of the sexiest women in television ever if you ask me.

I was surprised to hear she died during the night.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Bob Newhart special on PBS and she, of course, was one of the main folks who talked about her time on the show. When I was a kid growing up, she was on my weekly television schedule and it was to see her as much as Newhart.

And in the movie The Birds, I really wanted her to get Rod Taylor instead of Tippi Hedren.

The voice, man that husky smooth as molasses voice.


You’ll be missed, Suzanne.

Theresa Duncan

6 01 2008

Theresa Duncan committed suicide in July.

But on New Year’s Eve, five months after her death, she updated her blog.

Maybe I’m morbid, but I can’t look away.

My Love Affair With Richard Matheson

12 12 2007

Yeah, my normal stuff is by the way side this very cold, yet balmy, yet confusing evening.

I’m writing about a love affair of mine that is passionate and filled with so much desire I cannot stand the tingling I feel.

It’s filled with craving of things I cannot write, but I admire.

I love Richard Matheson. I like horror novels like I Am Legend so this is up there with one of the best. It was written 11 years before I was even born and it is extremely timely for the world we live in.

You don’t know him? Yeah you do. Have you seen Duel, the first film of Steven Spielberg?

There is so much more. You may not know his name, but YOU know him.

He wrote I Am Legend in 1954. Yeah, you get the picture. In my second month of blogging, I talked of this of my extreme joy of reading this book. Matheson, Jack Finney, Harlan Ellison

I adore you.

I defer to my younger self:

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – If you like horror novels, and I do, this one rocks. Who is the bad guy in this novel? Sort of reminds me of what’s going on right now in the world, the isolation, need for social grounding and the fact that nothing appears at it seems.

What I didn’t say almost two years ago is how that this novel deconstructs the vampire myth in a way that, if you like horror novels, will make your throat clench. How it throws away the Romanticism of the undead and knocks it on it’s head because it’s not about eternity, but about survival is just … sweetly horrific.

It’s more than about the undead, it’s about changes in evolution.

It’s about the death of a society, of a generation.

And, it’s about things that wipe out the planet. The Ebola Virus, Aids, War … it’s about the annihilation of our planet  due to things we have no control of.

And how one man must survive.

The claustrophobia in this book, written more than a half a century ago, will make you retreat into your darkest place.  Because it’s just damn well scary.

Man, I’m sure that non-fans will scoff but how sweet, how exquisite I’m making this out to be, cut dangit, it is.

How evil, yet not. See, that’s what this is about. It’s about the human condition during fear and loss of control. It’s about changes in this world. Oh, Richard, you are my idol. I’m so serious.

The novel is about how the one man’s isolation against the apocalypse. It’s about evolution of our species. And, it’s about sometimes we are right.

Then sometimes we aren’t.

Oh, dear, this is sweet. And I’m looking at this novel as we speak.

Now, I haven’t seen the latest movie, but I will say that Vincent Price’s The Last Man on Earth was very much a Vincent Price movie.

Charleton Heston’s The Omega Man was not bad, but not great.

I’m so hoping, Will Smith, because I dig you and I think you are groovy. Please, let this be good. Third time is the charm.


Yes, the book is delicious. Will the third movie honor Richard Matheson’s work?

I hope so. Because Robert Neville is the Holden Caulfield for those of us who love the horror genre.

Mr. Matheson, thanks for changing it up. You are inspirational.



I’ve gushed enough. Whoops.

Now, go here if you are bored by my love of the horror genre. Yeah, I know, I know.

“Cannibal of the Guerrero”

12 12 2007

Remember a few months ago when I told you about the cannibal guy from Mexico.

Well, he is no longer with us.

A Mexican man accused of murdering his girlfriend and eating her body parts has been found dead in his prison cell.

Jose Luis Calva was found hanging by his belt in the jail in Mexico City after apparently committing suicide, the department of corrections said.

Mr Calva was arrested on 8 October by police investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend, Alejandra Galeana.

Of course, he told police that he had cleaned and dismembered her to feed her to the dog.

This story just gets weirder and weirder.

Moving On

3 12 2007

Ivy, in one of the most beautiful and honest posts I’ve read in a long time, talks about her grandmother who died a couple of months ago and how her life is moving forward.

It’s a reminder of how bitterness can poison your heart and take other people’s hearts with you. It’s a reminder of how when your spouse cheats, you need to either cut them loose or forgive them with your whole heart, because living with the bitterness is Not. A. Good. Thing.

Why did this speak to me? Because I understand. My mother died and I also put her up on a pedestal. Time healed some things, gave clarity to the pain and the loss and I can remember clearly the day in 1999, months after I stood in a hospital room and saw her take her last breath when I realized that my mother, whose name was Jacqueline, was human. That she made mistakes. That although I did a bit of the hero worship that I had forgotten that she was just as flawed as I sometimes can be.

And as for bitterness, she’s right. After a very long year, in the past month, I’ve had to put some bitterness behind me, much of it given to me on a silver platter but also a great deal of it that I brought on myself. Realizations are hard things to go through. Even when you know you participated in your own pain.

Ivy, great post and a huge reminder to us all that although we grieve when we lose those people that we love and those things that didn’t work out the way that we thought it might, it’s up to us to deal with the bitterness and to embrace our own humanity, as that is all we have.

The Crashes And The Elvis Suits Made Evel The Man

30 11 2007

Is it wrong to want to pull my hair out and gnash my teeth.

I’m a child of the 70’s.


The Wide World of Sports was the big deal when I was a little kid, which means the Evel was the man.

He was pretty groovy in his Elvis outfits and the fact that he was the face of fearless when I was a little kid. I was nine when he did the whole Snake River thing.


Evel Knievel died Friday after 69 years, which is more than twice as long as it by all rights should have taken him. Knievel, who had been in poor health for years from conditions including diabetes and hepatitis C, was best known for his death-defying jumps on motorcycles (and other vehicles) in the 1960s and ’70s. But really the stuntman, born Robert Craig Knievel Jr., was best known, and loved, for his crashes.

Man, the crashes were amazing.

So, Evel, thanks for the fun, the laughter and the tears. You have been missed for 30 years, but when you were in your prime, you were fantastic.

I miss those crashes. These kids on reality shows can’t compare to Evel.

He was the man.