13 Jul 2009
I made the accompanying USA Today style illustration to show the location of my scars without grossing anyone out, and to tell the story of how I decided to let a surgeon and his robot use tiny little surgical tools inside of my body.
In the fall of 2008 I went to my new primary care doctor for a physical. My PSA levels were high so we ran a round of antibiotics to see if it was an infection of some sort. After two weeks we re-tested and the levels were just as high so I went to see a urologist, who suggested that everything pointed toward the need for a biopsy. I opted to wait until after the holidays.
On January 27th of 2009 I went into the hospital for a surgical biopsy. Three days later the doctor was on the phone telling me that I had prostate cancer. Somehow I knew that I was going to get that call, but it still shocked me to my core. On the way home that night I called an old friend to tell him the news, still trying to make sense of it myself. Later, I wrote a letter to a friend living out of state as I didn’t want to Continue Reading
27 Apr 2009
The Bea Arthur Song
With her passing at age 86, Bea Arthur, star of “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” is once again in the news. As a child I always found Bea Arthur rather frightening and didn’t appreciate her comedic gifts until many years later when Golden Girls re-invigorated her career. Looking back to those early years I now realize that it wasn’t her smart, assertive personality that bothered me so much as it was her androgyny… my brain just couldn’t accept a woman who had a gravelly voice, wore polyester pants suits, or those long vest thingys that start with the letter “k” (which partially explains my distaste for Hillary Clinton). But not everyone was put off by Bea Arthur. In fact, our friend Geoffrey Brown had quite a hit on his hands on the coffee shop circuit a few years ago with his tribute song to Bea Arthur entitled “Bea Arthur” (aka, “I Want to Be Bea Arthur”). Won’t you have a listen? Check out Geoffrey’s website GeoffreyBrown.net and find out more about his latest venture, the Dancing Monkey Cabaret!
11 Nov 2005
It has become tradition for my family to spend Thanksgiving with the family of my mother’s sister and her husband and this year was no different. Tired parade floats and badly synched singers vied for screentime as we prepared for the trip southward. Per tradition we left left the house late and fussy. Traffic was relatively light and in thirty minutes we were in sight of the pastures (my aunt and uncle have cows). As we approached the western edge of the property we spotted my uncle doing something with the old red barn set behind the barbed wire fence, less than thirty feet from the road. What he was doing was staring. Someone had crashed into the barn and the remains of the eastern corner of the building were strewn across pastureland as though a tornado had been through.
25 Sep 2005
This past week word went up around Atlanta that Scott Stephens passed away unexpectedly at home. Scott was among that group of people who, in the 1980′s, helped forge the professional film and commercial community that exists in Atlanta today and was one of the earliest members of the IATSE Local 479, the Atlanta chapter of a professional union for motion picture technicians. Scott worked between Atlanta and Los Angeles as a Propmaster on feature films and television series, but his heart always led him back to the South. Ironically, his heart would occasionally fell him in the height of battle – Scott had heart disease. Everyone who knows Scott has heard some version of the story of how he had a heart attack while on the set of “Dances With Wolves”. That had to be a great story for Scott to break out at wrap parties as film crews are always trying to top each other with the weird and wild things they’ve witnessed on set.
1 Jun 2005
I just found out tonight that Jack Frost died this past Saturday. Even though he lived and worked in Atlanta I never met Jack in person – I only knew him as “LoCash” on an Apple computer fanboy messageboard where he participated as an administrator. Jack was a graphic designer, a web designer and a prankster extraordinaire. The funniest thing he did lately was to share the transcript of an instant message conversation he had with one of his friends about the movie ‘Congo’. I’m copying Jack’s story from AppleNova.com in honor of his mischevious memory and a totally awesome story he wove about killer alien engineered ape/laser hybrid monsters.
17 Aug 2004
Of the many comic influences I’ve had in my life, the late writer Douglas Adams figures prominently. He was, and continues to be a strong influence on my inner comic voice; my meter, my rhyme, my ideas about low-budget science fiction television and so much more.
Back before Douggie left us, he had a website that he kept maintained for the fans. Not because he was egotistical, not because there was some kind of profit incentive….he did it because he genuinely liked the fans. A writer is never more appreciative than when they find a receptive audience because it generally means that they can step beyond all the awkward ideological translations and move straight into whatever it is that they’d like to discuss.
I dimly recall being excited at finding that “official” Douglas Adams website, and was delighted to discover that the man would actually answer people’s questions from time to time….even one of mine….
14 Apr 2003
My Great Aunt Ida Maude Cameron passed away recently and we laid her to rest in the loamy, sandy soil of South Georgia on the grounds of the church she’d attended since her youth. It’s a ritual I know by heart.
29 Mar 2003
Today was Blackie Stephens funeral…his last big ride. To the Atlanta film community Blackie was known as THE camera truck driver. He was also known as a Georgia cowboy and could often be found riding his Harley, taking care of his horses or playing his guitar with his friends in out of the way dives. He lived hard and he played hard.