My Granny’s cat, Tanny, died this past weekend. You might could guess what color cat he was. She called me with her shaky high old lady voice (that was somewhat more shaky than usual) and told me her neighbor had called her over to ask her if that was her smashed cat out on the road. Then he offered to bury it for her. And people claim chivalry is dead.
As I’ve gotten older and less religious, I sort of find that holidays seem to lack something like the magic they once had when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because we appreciated things more after sacrifice—like going to church or not swearing or eating sweets during lent and eating terrible fish on Fridays. Easter has become like any other holiday we celebrate that doesn’t mean too much—like Labor Day. Still, I do like the family get togethers and this year we drank Bloody Marys and decided to head to the salt marshes someplace near Fremont for some nature. There were birds and it was sunny and we felt like we were someplace very far away and remote. But then the white trash hoe-down found us and set up camp nearby.
It seemed to be a weird tribe of these awfully loud, fat women sipping beer and picking Easter ham out of their teeth. They were a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’, flying kites and scaring the birds away. One of the men folk found a 10-foot long hoe and began rooting around in the water until a park ranger drove over and cited him. The women made a scene and claimed police harassment and that the ranger had sped down the little path and almost ran over one of the youngsters “like he was breaking up a meth ring.” I guess the park ranger was threatening enough because they packed up that effing hambone and cleared the funk out. Maybe he flashed his piece.
I think I may be in a funk. And I think it may be because the Dirty Thirty is looming large. I’ve always had a hard time with birthdays and I’m not sure why but I distinctly remember thinking the eve of my 18th birthday, this is the last night I could commit some kind of crime and they’d have to sentence me as a minor. When I was going to turn 21 I thought, awww, now I won’t have to sneak drinks. And at 25 I said to myself, look, I got another 5 years to mess about and be a loser. And now I’m on the verge of somewhat of a milestone birthday and all I can think is, I sure as hell do not feel 30. It isn’t really that big a deal but it does make you reflect on some things. Where you are in life and whether you feel satisfied with yourself. Just stuff like that. Nothing worth freaking out about.
Adult fears are so lame. Like, seriously. Little kid fears are awesome. I look back and I sort of think, damn what a cute kid. Here’s the short list of things I was afraid of:
Robbers breaking in at night
Going to hell / purgatory
Aliens and/or alien abduction
Fireworks starting a fire on the roof on the 4th of July
The end of the world
Losing my permanent teeth in an accident
These fears only flooded my mind at night when I was trying to sleep. Or at school where the nuns frequently beat the most bizarre stories into our heads. My mom was probably not going to be in heaven with me, my pop and brother and the rest of the class. Generally I wasn’t fearful and the things I was afraid of were things asshole adults told me to fear.
Adult fears are far less creative and/or interesting. Am I going to live up to my potential? Will I find happiness? Will I marry the love of my life and have kids? Fear about debt and loneliness and disease and misery is just so un-fierce and really, really just…yucky.
To some degree, our good days and bad days get less fantastic as you grow older. I read my very first diary not too long ago. I wasn’t too sophisticated, mind you. “Easter Day 1984…Today was a great day! I learned to ride my bike with no training wheels! Today was a good day.” One of my bad days read: “Today was a bad day. My mom yelled at me for screaming and killing a ladybug.” My bad days nowadays really suck. Like, hey, so-and-so is sick and in the hospital and might not make it. Or so-and-so dumped me again. Boooriiiing. And my good days…well, those can still be amazing. I’m glad that hasn’t changed too much.
What can be said about WonderCon but “damn.” I’ve been going for the past four years and every year I come away with a new take on the interesting and weird world of fanboys and girls. This year I made it a point to go to the Costume Masquerade. Right. Cart before horse. WonderCon is an annual convention held here in SF for comic book, sci-fi, and movie fans. It attracts ‘em from way far and wide and all levels of…shall we say commitment? I count myself a step below a fan. I’m just not. I like the spectacle; I like the parades of costumed die-hards; I like the bizarreness of it all. I’m not really into crowds so periodically I find myself having to take breathers with the other convention-weary.
This year I was so weary, I didn’t get any really good photos and so most everything I’m finna’ show you has been “stolen” from other people’s Flickr accounts. I think the highlight of my week (and possibly month) was the costume competition I began to tell about above. Mar, Grover, Bianca and I made a point to jockey for the best place in line and ran in to get the best seats we could. Before the show a guy was walking around handing out his “business card.” Here it is:
As groovy an image, it might better serve him to have…I don’t know, a name or phone number on it?
Once we were seated, the anticipation nearly killed us. What would follow can only be described as sublime. I sat there and was basically treated to 30-some-odd groups of people gracing the stage in costumes they’d made themselves. It was clear that half the people there didn’t know you had to put on a skit. So, they’d saunter across the stage looking 10 kinds of horrified. There were some who were very prepared like the troop of chubby red-headed belly dancers.
The rule was DON’T LAUGH. I think that was the only rule. But how can you contain yourself when 4 rotund girls step on stage as She-Ra and friends and dance and pull XXL-sized panties out of their bras and throw them on stage? Or what about when the Star Wars Good Guys disco danced and waved light sabers as the super old and crippled person playing Yoda just sat and swayed? There was some dumb bimbo who walked across stage all sexy and called herself the Queen of Heartbreakers. She flashed her crotch when she got to center stage.
Also in full effect: an amazing Spiderman 3 re-enactment, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, some anime kids who ended their performance with some DDR-inspired moves, a dancing gecko and the Sesame Street Yip-Yaps. It was incredible. I have not been simultaneously elated and horrified since that “I Can’t Find My Breadcrumbs” performance piece a few years back where the meanest black girl I knew flung herself on stage wearing a thong and a skirt made of rag strips. Amazing.
At the end, the Spiderman kids won and I think it was well-deserved.
Sometimes I feel like this must be it. Things cannot get better or be funnier. And then my brother’s girlfriend tells me about how some distantly related aunt ran off with some other married lady and raised their two kids (one of whom is called “Rico Suave”) in the suburbs. I guess this distantly related aunt met another lady she fancied and they had some brief encounter. This lady was just not sure she wanted to leave her family for this new life and so this distantly related aunt somehow stole a pair of the lady’s underpants and took them to a voodoo practitioner who cast some kind of lesbian love spell. We have yet to hear whether it has worked or whether she has missed her knickers.
In other animal news, I now officially have a pet seagull with one peg leg. I’ve named him Jack D. in honor of one of our badass clients who is a paraplegic cop killer. I believe this seagull must only be able to swim in sad little circles and so I’ve decided to take pity on him and feed him buttered bread or whatever’s handy. The woman I work with fed him a hard-boiled egg. He actually knocked on the window the other day to get my attention. I feel very blessed like some modern-day St. Francis. Anyhow, it’s a welcomed change from my usual role as victim of bird attacks.