To All My Frieeeends

Back in the days before Mickey Rourke’s face got really scary he made a great movie called Barfly, directed by Barbet Schroeder.  My favorite scene is the one where Henry Chinaski (standing in for Charles Bukowski) buys round after round of drinks for his friends:

I would like to do the same, but my friends are all spread out and it’s hard to get them in one place.  I have fantasies of throwing a big party and flying them in from all over the world for a gathering like the one in the movie, in which case I can only hope I have two men fighting over me like Henry did the ladies.  I am feeling even more celebratory than usual this year, because my friends have been up to all kinds of creative mischief.  Everywhere I look, they are blogging, publishing books and spooksmodeling, recording, touring, making videos, and just generally doing all kinds of cool stuff.  Needless to say, I am impressed, inspired and delighted to be hooked up with such a bunch of groovy go-getters.  Since for now we cannot all raise a glass together, this post will have to do and will at least not leave us indisposed and toothless in the morning.  Feel free to get smashed and wake up in a stranger’s bed tomorrow morning if it puts you in the spirit, but don’t tell your wife or dentist it was my idea.


First and arguably foremost simply because there are votes involved, Nora O’Sullivan is one of thirteen contestants vying to be Fangoria’s 2010 Spooksmodel.  She will be flying to Los Angeles for their big Weekend of Horrors from April 17-19, so if you helped vote her there on my behest, I thank you.  But we aren’t quite done, because now she’s in it for the win.   I need you to CLICKY HERE and cast your vote, which in this case requires you to register with your email address.  After that, they will send you an email, you confirm, and you’re all done.  If you want to be extra-kind, you can send the link on to a few friends and ask them to do the same.  Voting ends at midnight Friday April 17, so don’t wait forever.

You can see from the pic that Nora is lovely and vivacious, but what you cannot see is that she is a talented makeup artist, smart and friendly and industrious as all get out.  Once upon a time I was afraid of teenagers, but thanks to Nora and a few others of her ilk, I am cured.  I would like to see her win this contest, because so many teenagers are out there huffing, tipping cows and getting pregnant while this fine, upstanding citizen who is active in her local zombie community goes unrewarded.   End this madness with your vote and win my eternal gratitude.  Thanks!!

Nora isn’t the only O’Sullivan who’s been busy, though, as her dad Joe was recently published in the Spring 2009 issue of Farmhouse Magazine.  His story, My Day With Antonia, not only appears on the Farmhouse Web site, but also appears in the actual print publication.  I’ve known Joe for about 25 years, but not until he started blogging at the Sprawling Ramshackle Compound did I discover what a damn fine writer he is.   Joe also had a (very) short story published on Six Sentences.  Called Every Rose’s Thorn, it actually garnered more comments and ratings than Neil LaBute’s submission!  It is good to have friends, no doubt about it, and Joe gathers them more effortlessly than anyone I’ve ever known.  I’m intrigued to see what else he’ll come up with, as he keeps surprising me.


Another friend of mine currently experiencing a creative renaissance is the lovely and talented Marianne S., who not only posts something on her blog Diarrhea Island EVERY SINGLE FLIPPING DAY and has been doing so for over a year, but also has recorded two musical numbers (one original and one Led Zep cover) and made YouTube videos for them.  All of this while parenting not one but THREE kids ranging from six to seventeen.   Her secret weapons are naps, caffeine, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.  No, not that last one.

Marianne’s first recording and video was If I Were Zooey Deschanel, a tuneful and gigglesome lo-fi macbook recording.  It impressed me quite a bit that my friend had written a song, recorded it, and made a video.  iMovie may be relatively intuitive to use, but GarageBand is a bitch and I miserably failed when I tried to use it for a class assignment.  Hats off to Marianne, because she not only managed to accomplish all these things, but she did them well enough that I looked forward to seeing what frothy creative efforts she might whip up next.  I done embedded it already, but if you missed it, by all means do click on the link above.

A little-known fact is that if you do a YouTube search for “marianne fish,” your top result will be this obscure gem:

Marianne’s rousing, Kinks-driven take on “Gimme That Fish” followed close on the heels of “Zooey Deschanel,” so close that I was shocked–shocked, I tell you–when soon after she released an mp3 cover of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks.”  This techno version featured layered vocals that sounded like they took a lot of work to create.  I was impressed enough at this point, but then M followed right up with a video that knocked my socks off.  Now my little tootsies are cold, and it is all her fault, but I will forgive her because this is officially funny stuff:

Moving down the Pacific coastline a few miles, we find my old friend Jon Ginoli has been busy as well.  He has been talking about his book for years and it is finally out!  Called Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division, it is currently available from Amazon at a discounted price of $11.53 and is worth every penny.


Jon has referred to Deflowered as being probably the only book he will ever write.  He may or may not be correct about that, but for sure he is the only one who could tell this story.   I will have more to say about this book later, but I have enjoyed not only learning more about the bits I missed (including more than a few naughty ones), but also being able to line up Jon’s experiences with what I was doing at a given time.  Since in my case this involved school, work, and baby, the split-screen would show vastly different experiences on either side.  Vive la difference, I say, because Jon has some very entertaining stories to tell.

The quality I have always admired most about Jon is the DIY-drive and tenacity that not only gestated and built Pansy Division to a point where they had both the chops and reputation to tour with Green Day, but also has kept the band alive through many changes and upheavals.   Continuing in this vein, he has quit his job of ten years and embarked on a massive book tour, which continues through May and beyond.  Please go see him and buy a few books, and if you mention you heard about about his presentation here at Linkadelica, he might feel obligated to buy me lunch!  Yee-haw!!

If by some chance you are in the Chicago area, Jon will be here this week and has three separate appearances scheduled.  The first will be tomorrow, Tuesday April 7, at Homolatte.  Homolatte is a Big Chicks/Tweet, at 5024 N. Sheridan, and admission is free!  They do pass the hat for the performers, so I suggest you do throw in a few bucks.  This self-described bi-monthly all-ages queer music and spoken-word series recently was given accolades as one of Chicago’s Best by the Chicago Reader, so I’m guessing they’ll be packed for Jon.  If you want to see him play an acoustic set as well as reading from the book, this is probably the appearance you should attend.  Wednesday April 8 he’ll be at Quimby’s, a venue I am proud to say I suggested and at which I’ll be in attendance.  I defy anyone to walk out of that place without spending money.  For those who will be in or around Lincoln Park that day, Jon also reads at Borders at 2817 N. Clark Street on Thursday April 9.

That’s not all for Jon, who also has a new Pansy Division album out called That’s So Gay.  It’s their first in six years and I would have heard it by now if it was on eMusic.  I have high hopes, as thus far the band has just kept getting better as they’ve matured.  Pansy Division are also rumored to be touring later this year, although dates have yet to be announced.

I could not in all fairness refer to Amy Krouse Rosenthal as my friend, but I would be amiss if I didn’t say a few words here about her book tour and The Beckoning of Lovely.  Most of what you need to know can be found on this site, which will be relaunched soon with a thematic look and feel.  The short version of a long story is that Amy wants to make a feature film about all things lovely and toward that end has solicited several hundred submissions and enlisted a few hundred strangers to collaborate on the final product.  See, I told you it was hard to explain.  Amy has been traveling around the country making appearances on her book tour and also doing official Beckoning of Lovely gatherings, some of which may appear in the film.  She is also looking for opening acts, although I don’t know which dates have already been filled.  The Chicago Beckoning of Lovely event is scheduled for Saturday May 15 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, although the location has yet to be announced.

I am honored to be working on the Beckoning of Lovely project, as I was one of eleven people chosen to serve on the Chicago-Based Panel of Supremely Excellent Judges.  Although my actual judging duties are over, I will be helping to document the above event and at least one other Chicago-area appearance.  I am also looking forward to more loveliness later this year, about which I shall remain mum for the time being.  I also participated in Simultaneous Mass Existence and would like to do more things of this nature, so we’ll see what comes of that.

I don’t know what else you should expect from me this year, but I do have a few surprises up my sleeve.  One of the best things about having busy friends is that it challenges and inspires me to get off my duff and do things, although I don’t think I’ll be recording any music soon.  I feel energized that all these good things are happening to my friends in the year 2009, a year in which I shall turn 50 on 09-09-1959 and on which my only offspring turns 09.  You can expect me to launch a small but amusing project of my own on my birthday, but in the meantime I’ll keep beckoning the lovely, blogging here and posting at my tumblelog, Herr Machine, and hawking the usual fab assortment of books and t-shirts in my eBay store.

One of the benefits of getting older is that I can now appreciate exactly how lucky I am to have such a creative and productive group of friends.  Many of us have been late bloomers or are currently experiencing a creative renaissance of some sort, which is the most life-affirming way I know to respond to the inevitability of that final taxi for which there can only be one destination.  They should hurry up and find a way to reverse the aging process so we can all just keep getting better until we are so awesome it is sick, because, well, because it would be far preferable to the alternative.  I never cease to be amazed at the things my friends and I are capable of accomplishing, thank goodness.  I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I cannot wait to find out what comes next.  I hereby raise my glass to all my friends, with an extra shot for Marianne S. on her birthday.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Dena, first–thank you for Nora, and thank you for me! What you wrote was SO nice and genuine and kind.

I was just telling Nora about “Barfly” after we saw Matt Dillon portray Henry Chinaski in “Factotum” and Nora was fascinated by the idea of a young, good looking Mickey Rourke.

That’s Marianne you used to hang out with and go to shows with? That is unbelievably cool. Tell her we said so!

I can’t wait to see your project. And I forget the deal with the tumbleblog–can you email me the deets again?

Comment by Bubs

Thank you so much, my dear friend. I must say that I did not make the videos all on my own, my skills lack there and a patient and dedicated friend helped me compile the ideas into the visuals. I hope to continue to annoy people until I drop dead from laughing or tinnitus.

Comment by Marianne

Great site, I will be back. Well done

Comment by Power Home Solar Review

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