Saturday, August 26, 2006


Change terrifies me more than you could ever know. Mom is having the house painted--the painter is here as I write this--and I'm scared that this beautiful little home, which has taken care of me the last year, will be unhappy with its new color. I'm scared that Mom will hate the color and we'll have to come home everyday to not-quite-right. Then again, change is exciting....The house will look spiffy and bright and fresh! She'll be happy with the new paint and everyone can breathe! Usually I have a clear idea of what I want to write when I sit down, but today this is just a rambling post, a not-sure-post, a kinda sad post. But I'm not sad. Not really. I'm going on my second date today with S, and this makes me happy. Kissing someone different is so strange. Making sure you two fit together. And for the first time in a long time I don't feel scarred around a man....not that any man over the last year has made me feel scarred, but it's my internal mushy stuff that's scarred me. My own fear of being let down again. Of someone hurting me. Of hurting myself. Of letting myself down. One of the great thing about S, about meeting him, is that I feel both thrilled and relaxed, comfortable and confident. I can't wait to see him -- but I also am not putting anything on the line. My Nathan heart-speak is engaging in good dialogue. Speaking of heart-speak, I met Leslie on Thursday. She heads up the part of New Columbia where I'll be faciliting the creative writing workshop for adults living in low-income housing. Leslie and I had crackling energy together. She gave me a big hug and said I gave good heart-speak. I hugged her back tightly and didn't pat-pat-pat. I squeezed tight. I love my new job. I love the residents, their stories, their wrinkly faces and sometimes-there-sometimes-not memories, the way they smile at me and say I'm handsome and call me sweetheart. I feel connected to their souls; I love my coworkers, their gutsy down-to-earth energy, their ability to dive into a task and complete it with love and compassion. So much change. A week of painting and training at the new job at Volunteers of America and kissing and writing and reading and watching Veronica Mars Season 2. (I LOVE Veronica! I'm kinda in love with her. And Logan gives good lust-speak. I want to lick his chest! He had this line where he bumps into Veronica outside a hotel room and says, "If the best part is the cuddling afterwards, he's not doing something right." Wow. Yum. Keep on lust-speakin', Logan!) I've been focusing on people's jewelry lately, their lovely gaudy necklaces and dangly earrings, their imperfect flesh. I love imperfections -- those crooked teeth and that scar through that lip. God and I have been grooving lately. Our home is sound. I want my mother to feel at peace and have sweet dreams and sleep soundly at night. I burn incense called "Shaman" and "Nightspell" in hopes it clears yucky energy and makes swirly changes. Change. Damn. I love it and hate it. My OCD doesn't know whether to shout or smile. I've been writing fragments of poems lately--a long time since I've done this -- and I'm recapturing these little pieces of forbidden childhood places. And lighthouses. I'm thinking about Karin's lighthouses, and Mum's lighthouses, how their music transports me into chaotic places where my muse throws thousands of darts at me at the same time and I have to sift and sort and let the filaments of light make their way into my story in natural progressions. I'm trying to be okay with Mystery. I'm not there yet, but fuck I'm trying.

p.s. Thanks to K-Boi for being one of my ultimate healing forces this past year. I am blessed with so many wonderful people in my life!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dropping Into Moments

I was talking with Karla and Jason on Sunday at Laurelhurst Park. We lay on my blanket, which Mom gave me; it folds up and snaps together into this back-packy thing. Karla gets a kick out of the fact that I named my car Chloe, so she asked me the blanket's name. On the spot, I named her Beatrice and said that "she" was previously a "he." She's a transgendered blanket. Karla also asked me my starfish's name; he sits on Chloe's dashboard; I named him Clyde -- the first name that popped into mind. I've always had an affinity with that name, for whatever reason. Starfish on your dashboards bring you good luck in traveling.

What a beautiful day. Perfect weather. The shadows of the park. Karla laying there in the grass with her red glitter and looking so exquisite. Jason describing Karla as "the most honest person he knows in regards to herself." He said she's totally willing to dive into herself and bring that to the surface. Tangent, and I don't know why: Last night I dreamt about Angie Caputo, my first girlfriend. You know, in seventh grade. We dated for, like, two weeks. But she was in my dream, sitting with me on the couch in the Portland Home here, and she said to me something to the effect of: "You're not the prettiest or the most attractive in the typical sense. But you're comfortable and relaxed. You know who you are. People are drawn to that in both friendship and sexual ways." I remember asking her to go into detail because it was such a refreshing and direct case of honesty -- hence, the reason I probably bring this up in relation to Karla. And I must say this dream is much different {and better} than some of the others I've been having lately, although they've given me insights as well....All my relatives standing on this bleacher, like in a choir, my dad at the total opposite end as me....Jason Vorhees of Friday the 13th fame stalking me and chasing me through woods and cities and homes and I keep running down this path, taking breaks when I should just keep running....

But this all brings me to my next--and main?--point of why I wanted to write today. Karla, Jason, and I talked about "dropping into moments." I had a similar conversation with someone last week (can't remember who, though). How sometimes we not only remember something but it feels like time and events collapse and--Wait! It was in my email to Charlie and in his response!--it's like we're in A Wrinkle in Time, experiencing one of those tesseract thingy-ma-jingers. We ARE in that moment; it's reoccuring; maybe it's never stopped. We smell that coffee or remember the exact angle of the sun hitting someone's face or we hear our mother's words like she's whispering them, still, into our ears. These moments always make me sad, even when they're not pleasant memories. My heart aches, just gets yanked and pulled, when I snap back into "today's" moment. Have any of you seen What the Fuck Do We Know? Yeah. It's like that. All these moments are happening at the same time; we choose, in our consciousness, to think of things in a linear line. But, really, they're little dots just existing in some sphere-halo-thing and for certain sections of time we bubble back-forth-sideways into what we previously thought was a "linear moment." Lately I've been thinking about this trip my family took to visit some friends when I was quite young, and we got lost in the dark, and we slept on the floor of the van even though it turned out the friends' house was only a few minutes away. And I remember the white walls of their home the next day. Waking up in that crickety bed. My mom tells me I peeked at the woman while she changed in the bathroom, but I don't remember that part! They had a son, and we all went to this festival on the waterfront, and I saw this huge black fish in the water, and it swam next to the pier, and I followed it, and dropped a huge rock in the water but by the time the water hit the sand and sent up a cloud the fish had disappeared into darkness.


I ache for these, and I'm not sure why, especially considering I really love where I'm at in my life. Speaking of, isn't it strange and wonderful how you can never be totally happy or totally sad? How they exist side by side like slightly deranged but necessary lovers? Here's a part of an email I recently sent to a friend and mentor:

"I don't even need to mention, of course, that life is so full of ups and downs. Even though I am in an 'up' phase (Mom here, new job....) I am still touched by many boughts of sadness. What I'm trying to learn to do is to weave those into my Everyday Tapestries, use them to sew the patches together even more, you know? When I ride them instead of fight them, I am so much Happier in the long run. Depression is a long-distance relative that likes to keep in touch and send me annoying Christmas cards when I don't ask Him to....Still, He's a part of my blood and I've learned to open those holiday cards and really listen to what He has to say. When I acknowledge Him, He takes healthy naps."

In the end, I don't know if this blog post has any real point except this: Happiness and Sadness coexist to teach us to be human, and they meet in the middle if we let them, creating a perfect balance where Happiness can be the end result but only by having a fancy affair with Sadness. We are all mixtures of our pasts and presents and futures. And, even though it's terrifying to think there's an infinite multitude of possibilities for us all, we should be in lovely awe of the fact that we're each sultry Drops in the Ocean.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why My Family Is Uber-Gay (Pictures Are Below)

Thanks to Kaylyn for making me laugh today and for reminding me that if someone doesn't realize I'm a big ol' queer within about 10 seconds of meeting me, there is something seriously wrong with them. Boy. My poor mother. She must shake her head at my brothers and me sometimes and think, "Sheesh, IS it me? Are all those stereotypical stories about boys and single mothers and runaway dads true?"

Examples of Mom's children being "artsy" (a.ka. effeminate or sorta-kinda girly):

*When my dad used to ask me to go outside with him to throw around the football, I'd whine and say JEM was on. I think I've mentioned this in a previous post, but I couldn't help but throw it out there once again. I used to think I was meant to be a pink-haired rock star -- or ballerina. One time there was a ballet on TV and I twirled around the living room, on the hardware floor, in my socks....until I slipped and fell and clacked my chin on the floor and cut it open. I still have the scar to prove it. Jordan has me beat, though; he used to put socks on his hands and wear nothing else but his tightie-whities and do flips on the couch cushions like he was a Misfit Superhero.

*A.J. Beckert, my old childhood friend, would get embarrassed whenever I wore my purple shirt with the dancing cartoon unicorn on the front of it. He'd say things like, "Do you have to wear that shirt?....Isn't this other shirt, um, cooler?...." I'd get all flustered and angry at him while flitting around with my limp wrists.

*Jordan and I once crouched at the top of the second floor staircase in Lemont. I remember the lights being off, it was very ghost-like, and this glowy yellow light sifted up the stairs to us. Dad had put his foot down and wouldn't let me get a Hawaiian Barbie. Jordan and I were waxing poetically about the injustice of it all; we wanted to find a way to smuggle two Hawaiian Barbies into the house past our father.

*On a related note, I must mention that in third grade I was very jealous of Anne Van Meter when she got her Cabbage Patch Kid. I begged and begged for one, and finally got Gabe (or Page, I can't remember the little guy's name....still have him, though. He sits--kinda abused--by my computer while I write.) Funny, I don't quite recall getting my Cabbage Patch Kid, but I remember Anne getting hers. Her father plucked it out of a paper shopping bag (maybe it was in with the real cabbage?). And I recall that MTV was on--back in its infant years--and Tears for Fears' "Shout" was on and I just thought that video was so cool. Total Tangent: Anne Van Meter was the first girl I asked out. We were in the St. Patrick's parking lot, which doubled as a playground. I went up to her and asked if she'd like to go bowling (!) sometime. She of course looked at me like I'd sprouted horns or turned into Sloth from Goonies, and then ran and told everyone. We weren't quite so close after that! Total Tangent #2: Do any of you remember that whole craze with Cabbage Patch Kids? I saw a clip on the news back then, showing all these parents waiting in line, and how one dad had actually hit another dad with a baseball bat to get the last one in stock at some store! Wow. Parental love meets pop culture. What a nightmare.

*Jordan and Aaron did not like to behave in church. They'd kick their legs and bicker and whatnot. One time my mom brought them their My Little Ponies so they'd be quiet, and stay distracted. We had to stand in the back of St. Alphonsus's Church because mass was packed, and Jordan and Aaron knelt down and made their My Little Ponies dance and prance and play together.

*All the kids in the neighborhood came over to watch the very first episode of She-Ra: Princess of Power. I think that was my first "movie marathon," now that I think about it. They came by all week, because that first story arc was "to be continued," the one where whatever-her-name-is becomes She-Ra. I wasn't very popular unless it involved some form of media; another example is when Nintendo first came out and suddenly everyone wanted to hang out with me -- to play Super Mario Bros., natch, and to save the princess from the dragon....Hmm....Must be something to this whole princess business. Whenever kids in the neighborhood and I played make-believe, I loved being the princess. I pretended to faint on the basement floor, and then Tim Smith across the street would pick me up and "save" me. Come on; we all know a Tim Smith. The rebel greaser boy (a.ka. River Phoenix in Stand By Me). Ah, to only be in Tim's arms again....I would have loved to be a happy little housewife. Oh. That's right. I always wanted to be the mother when we all played House. Ask my cousin Molly. She still picks on me about that, how I made her be the dad so I could be the mom.

*Renee and I absolutely loved Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. We'd listen to "Material Girl" over and over on our tape and try to write down the lyrics and memorize them. I had the She's So Unusual album (the record had Cyndi's feet kicking in the air) and we'd put on the album and throw play money around and pretend that, alas, money really did change everything. And fuck, doesn't it?

*My dad took my brothers, mom, and me to a double feature: King Solomon's Mines and Rainbow Bright and the Star Stealer. Now that Richard Chamberlain has come out of the closet, this really was a Gay Day, wasn't it?

*This made my brothers and I cool and girly -- we got to see The Last Unicorn in theatres. Jordan got so sad at the end, when the unicorn goes back into the forest. We kept saying, "But she's going home, Jordan, she's going home...." but he just screamed and cried all the way back to the car.

*Now this is an example of me being more weird than gay....But my imaginary friends seemed a lot stranger than most. My friend Sara lived in the toilet paper roll and I'd chat with her while using the bathroom. And I used to tell myself stories while playing with--and talking to--a piece of paper and/or a pen/pencil. Yep, that's right. I'd wave the paper and writing utensils around and make up stories for hours and hours....

*So many memories sift through me....Yeah, I'm going to get nostalgic here....Watching Stand By Me with Dad, and falling in love with that movie, and totally connecting with Will Wheaton's character.....My dad playing "Monster" with all the kids in the neighborhood. This might be my favorite memory of my father. He used to dress up in a cape and chase us all around, and swing us and tickle us. Everyone thought he was the coolest dad on the block. Jordan and Aaron: remember the side of the house with all the lilacs and how he'd hide in there?....I have a couple manly memories (even if I'm stretching to find them!): Going to see Top Gun with Dad (although I think I fell more in love with Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" than the actual movie -- yep, totally gay). And I used to collect G.I. Joe dolls. No, I swear. I actually did. And hey, my love of gory horror movies must earn me at least a couple macho points.

In any case, my brothers and I haven't really changed that much. We're just more who we were always meant to be. We're all still kinda girly, but we're also way more hot, cool, sexy, funny, smart, and sure of ourselves. I love having brothers who accept me, and who I can joke with and have fun with. I feel really blessed. And Mom gets credit, too, for accepting our sassy selves. I mean, I'm sure she's had her secret moments when she wished one of us knew how to actually spell "spourtz," but what can you do? Blood is thicker than water. I come from really, really good blood. That's worth more gore than any horror movie I can think of.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Proof (See Above Post's Title)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Robin Garrels: My New Personal Hero

Robin Garrels is, as my posting title indicates, my new personal hero. I decided to Google her since she'd told me that she directed some horror films, and we had a kick-ass discussion about them at the Twin Peaks Fest. Plus, this horror buff (he of the Jason Vorhees mask belt buckle) asked her to sign one of her films, Buzzsaw. From the second Robin and I started talking at the Moose Lodge, we knew we were kindred souls. Mom and I kept commenting throughout the weekend the following chant: "We love Robin & Charlie & Mary!" They are our TP Trinity. As you all know, I'm obsessed with horror films (especially the gory, sexually gratuitous kind) and I wanted to check out Ms. Sassy Robin's work as director, writer, actor extraordinaire. Wow. I'm, like, hooked on seeing these movies now! Once I enter Bit of Extra Mula Mode, I'm going to invite everyone available to come over for a Robin Garrels Fest. So: you all in the blog-reading universe should see Buzzsaw, China White Serpentine, Insaniac, Last House on Hell Street, a collection that features some of her work called Blood Soaked Cinema - A Night to Dismember, and Bad Taste Theatre Presents Even Worse Than Evil. If any of you familiar with Robin's work know of any great websites to link up with to get her some exposure, I'd be happy to post them here. Robin -- what a joy you are. A Light soul who knows how to delve into Dark territory. My favorite kind of gal! Oh, and yes, I want to star in one of your upcoming movies, 'kay? I want to play the Gay Guy (hell, it could be a slasher and my whole identity can be based on my sexual orientation, I'm not picky or P.C.). I can be Lead Dude or Victim #1, whatever works -- although I wouldn't mind a hot man-on-man kiss or whatnot before I get whacked. I may be more of a writer than an actor, but I can hold my own pretty okay (both in acting and in kissing, heh heh). Got that, Ms. Garrels? Good. Now everyone else help support this indie director and her blood-splattered visions!

Some Cover Art for My New Personal Hero's Films

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Twin Peaks -- "Coop, I've been meaning to pop the question...."

Twin Peaks Festival 2006

Wow. What can I say? The trip to North Bend and Snoqualmie Falls was absolutely amazing. Mom and I weren't sure what to expect at first. I knew I was going to fall in love with the experience and the people, but I had no idea how much my heart would be touched. It's hard to sum up in words....even emotions....For those of you who know me, I'm going to put together a photo album and I can show you me being total Geek Nathan. I have this really goofy shot of me lying on the zig-zaggy floor of the Red Room, looking like I'm Slewn Annie/Caroline.

First, the people: I met many kindred souls....Robin....Charlie....Mary....The list goes on and on. I am super impressed (SUPER!) with Josh's knowledge of everything Lynch, and I loved the festival leaders: Kelly, Jordan, Jared, and Amanda....and so many others, Bryan, Andrew and Bree, on an on....Thank you all for your kindness, creativity, support, and intelligence. This was like the family reunion I've always wanted to go to -- a pure slice of Cherry Pie Utopia. Mom had a blast, as well. We just totally hit it off exploring the sites, hiking through the woods, eating some good and not-so-good food, going to Seattle for the film festival at the Museum of History and Industry (and those pre-Lost Highway margaritas were fun, too!), partying like rock stars, attending that lush and wonderful banquet in the cabin/barn, with the owls all over and the strung lights and the amazing caterers. I am really, really impressed with the celebrities who attended, as well. Phoebe Augustine (Ronnette Pulaski) is a beautiful, open soul who is, like, the easiest person in the world to hold a conversation with; plus, out of all the fan attendees she annointed Mom with the tiara, so she's got really good taste. Jan D'Arcy (Sylvia Horne) has a brazen, yoga-ish sexiness and intelligence to her. Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran) is pure Lovely Fashion Icon; she says what's on her mind and gives good hugs. Kenneth Welsh (Windom Earle) has a graying, middle-aged sexiness, as well as natural charm. A couple more highlights: Mom wanting to get it on with Windom and Kimmy tapping my shoulder and saying, "Nathan, I hope to see your book on a shelf one day. I look forward to reading it." And, of course, I came home with lots of yummy merchandise: a lunch box, a half-heart locket, magnets, pins, a T-shirt and sweater, coffee mugs, signed pictures, a handmade owl named Who purchased by my mother from Miss Oblivious, she of the glitter mascara at the Moose Lodge (No. 1666).

Twin Peaks came into my life just when I needed it -- like most everything else. I remember my dad dropping Jordan, Aaron, and me off at home after a weekend at his house in Chicago. (I was 13.) I missed the first 10 so minutes of the pilot (sigh!)....and that night sticks out to me, sitting on that dying gray futon mom coming home from her date with John Brady and saying she wished she'd stayed home to watch it with me, because she kept catching glimpses of it on the bar's TV and she would have rather been caught up in the mystery that night. Over the next year and a half-ish, Twin Peaks became a mentor, friend, bible, spiritual guide. It's not like the popular kids were knocking down my door to ask me over on Saturday nights, thus--during the show's second season--I had plenty of time to get wrapped up in cherry stems and eye patches, orchids and gravestones, plastic and safety deposit keys. This show is one of this Pivotal Things that truly has helped shape me -- much like Tori Amos's music, the books of Christopher Pike and Francesca Lia Block, films like Lawn Dogs, Contact, and American Beauty. Sometimes we are witness to Soul Events that don't teach as much as help us remember. Twin Peaks helped open my sexuality, my sense of identity (or, well, several of them!), helped me tap into my life in the small town of Lake Geneva, WI. We are all wrapped up in surreal events and magic, both the literal kind and the kind of the heart. Mysteries, I've learned, can make us stronger if we let them--we don't need life to always come in tidy packages. Agent Cooper and the rest showed me what it's like to reach inside our guts, yank out that black motor oil, and smear it lovingly over ourselves to understand it better. And heck, Audrey Horne has been my role model ever since! I mean, she's drop-dead gorgeous, does that wondrous cherry stem thing, captures a room when she enters it, has a sense of sexiness and innocence intertwined, and won the heart of her Special Agent. She was both vulnerable and ferocious, wise and naive. You know the scene when Cooper rescues her from One-Eyed Jacks and picks her up and she says something to the effect of, "You answered my prayers, you came for me"? Yeah....that pretty much sums up my version of a knight in shining armor. You know, except he's dressed in black and I'm not shot up with heroin and tied unwillingly to a bed. Unwillingly, I said. Unwillingly.

It was hard to leave on Sunday. Those few days are some of the best of my life. Thank you all (you rock, Mom!) for making this so special. Like I just said about the show, it's more like I remember you all rather than just having met you. Twin Peaks brought us together for a reason. Many blessings, everyone. The owls are not what they seem, but you are more damn fine that infinite cups of coffee.

The Tooth Fairy -- "Cavities Can Be the Root of All Evil!"

The Tooth Fairy -- Press Release

Remember the innocence of putting a tooth under a pillow at night and finding it mysteriously transformed into a reward the next morning? My, how times have changed…Anchor Bay Entertainment, an IDT Entertainment Company, extracts the dark side of a beloved childhood ritual with The Tooth Fairy! Co-written and produced by legendary producer Stephen J. Cannell (“The A Team”, “Hunter”, “Profit”, “21 Jump Street”) and featuring such horror alums as P.J. Soles ( Halloween, The Devil's Rejects) and Jesse Hutch (Freddy Vs. Jason), The Tooth Fairy turns the innocent fairy tale into the ultimate nightmare! Presented uncut with never-before-seen footage, The Tooth Fairy also offers bonus features, including an audio commentary and behind-the-scenes interviews, that viewers can really sink their teeth into! Open wide for The Tooth Fairy on August 8, 2006, with an SRP of $19.98. Pre-book date is June 28th.

Directed by Chuck Bowman from a teleplay by Stephen J. Cannell, Corey Strode and Cookie Rae Brown and starring Carrie Fleming (“Masters of Horror: Dario Argento's Jenifer”), The Tooth Fairy rips to shreds the whimsical icon. Amid the idyllic splendor of the Northern California woods, a quaint country inn offers respite for the weary traveler. It also harbors a dark secret. Almost sixty years earlier, it was the crumbling home of a malevolent witch who lured in children, stole their teeth, butchered their bodies, and cursed their souls to wander the earth forever. Now, the witch's slumber has been disturbed, and her vengeful spirit seeks the slaughter of all who stay there. And for one eleven -year-old girl with a loose molar and an active imagination, the ultimate horror begins with a visit from The Tooth Fairy...

The Tooth Fairy DVD provides a full set of extras including:
Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1), enhanced for 16x9 TVs
Uncut Version – Never-Before-Seen Footage
Audio Commentary with Director Chuck Bowman, Producer/Writer Stephen. J. Cannell and Actor Jesse Hutch
Hatchet Job: The Making of The Tooth Fairy
Cast and crew interviews

Street Date: August 8, 2006
Pre-Book: June 28, 2006
Catalog #: DV14147
UPC: 0-1313-14147-9 0
Run Time: 89 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
SRP : $19.98