Archive for the ‘In my life’ Category

Thud: Growing Up With The Bee Gees

June 29, 2014
My version of the Red Ryder BB Gun: "Bee Gees Gold."

My version of the Red Ryder BB Gun: “Bee Gees Gold.”

I was thrilled to receive a gift of a Bee Gees puzzle from my younger sister Lars last month.  This is not a joke: I was thrilled to get a 200 piece puzzle of the Bee Gees.  I love the Bee Gees, and not in the half-assed way that it’s become acceptable to love the Bee Gees, either.  They’re not a “guilty pleasure.”  Nor is “their early stuff actually pretty good” to me.  I love the disco stuff from the 70’s just as much as I love their British Invasion stuff.  They were my first favorite band.  I grew up with them.   My love, like all first loves, is crystalline and perfect: unencumbered by the cloudy complications that attend my “grown up” affections.   (I love Neko Case, for example, but I’ve backed away from her latest work, which seems stiff and agenda-addled to me.)  As a Bee Gees fan, I’ve become accustomed to snide comments and backhanded compliments.  After all, the Bee Gees have been given a bad rap. When called upon to do so, I’ve been their defender and I’ll defend them again in this story.  Like the contents of the box handed to me by my sister, this story is a jumble of pieces of the past: a past as distant as the summer of 1981, when my love for the Bee Gees became a full-tilt obsession and as recent as May 27, 2014, when I attended Barry Gibb’s “Mythology” Tour at the United Center in Chicago.    (more…)

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A Million Little Salt Crystals

May 18, 2014
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ROME and remorse.

I love my daughter Mabel more than I’d thought I could ever love another person.  For her, I’ve incurred cavities of the teeth and mind by way of multiple sugar shock episodes of “My Little Pony.”  I glory in the light in her eyes when we play “school”, despite being cast repeatedly as an illiterate little dullard named Denise Bernice.  Mabel is the ambassador of my fondest hopes; she carries my heart in her little purple leopard-skin purse. She is everything to me. Yet I took her to the (shudder) Olive Garden.   That’s right: the (shudder) Olive Garden.  Like the monster parent of urban legend fame who forced his child to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes in one sitting, I did a horrible, valuable thing, and I did it out of love.   It’s quite possible she will resent me for it for the rest of our lives, but I have no regrets. (more…)

On Wisconsin: Now, Voyager*

August 12, 2012

“Now, Voyager” is the third chapter in The Gaytheist Gospel Hour‘s seven part series “On Wisconsin.”

The beach was the star of our Wisconsin trip, and rightfully so. At the beach, big and beautiful as it is, we reconvene as creatures of nature. Reunited within the womb-warm water cradled by emerald bluffs under a beaming sun, we are children returned to a home we left thousands of years before.  With that redefinition comes a sense of beauty by association, or at least a lubed-up, scantily clad disregard of shame and its attendant psychological fetters. With all due respect to the beauty bacchanal that is the beach, I’m comfortable with shame. I preferred the supporting players of our trip, the ones that typecast me as  not so much a child of the earth as a visitor, agape at its countless possibilities: a visitor whose stretchmarks and body hair is kept safely under wraps. (more…)

The Lost Genius Of Robin Gibb

May 28, 2012

This is a story about alienation and beauty.  It is a story of thoughtless cruelty and heartbreak.  It’s the story of tempestuous youth in 1979.  It’s set on a school bus, mostly, and it has actual villains.  It is at its heart a story that is laughably sad, and sadly laughable.  (We are talking about puberty, after all.)  But it’s mostly about the voice of Bee Gee Robin Gibb: its haunting desolation, its exquisite ache, the hope despite hopelessness it conveyed.  It’s about how I came to find solace within the voice of Robin Gibb when I was young and the inspiring legacy he left behind.   I hope to do it justice. (more…)

Key Lime Cove Chronicles: Part Three

January 11, 2012

I’m taking you with me.

Toukey’s Big Deluge: The Reckoning Prelude: Paradise Lost Propers

Sundown.  Expressway.  The sky is a murky post-pink peach.  Indigo clouds smear up from the western horizon, appearing very much like the monsters that awaited us at the edge of a world we once considered flat,  bringing nighttime in the hems of their gowns.  In the darkness below, snaking chains of alternating red and white lights coil around the I-94/134 cloverleaf .  They slither  this way and that across an unseen landscape.  From the lower deck of a preposterous aquatic amusement contraption, a bottom-heavy Eve regards this rush hour serpent and the darkness outside the cathedral-sized water park windows through her water-speckled Buddy Holly glasses.   (more…)