Time Warp

Just for shits and giggles, the other day I decided to resurrect an old friend.

Now don’t go saying I have a Jesus complex now. I’m no miracle worker.

I just brought my old blog, RcktRamblings back from the dead, that’s all.

Why?

I dunno, I guess I was just bored.

I had heard that Blogger had made some changes and, being the curious geek that I am, I wanted to see what was so different. So I switched things over to my gmail account that I never use, and browsed around.  (For the record, not all that much has changed.)

And then I started looking through some of my old posts. I laughed at some of the funny moments and cried at some of the sad ones. I remembered how much fun it was to write what was going on inside my head at any given moment. I also marveled at how openly and easily I expressed myself back then.

There’s some good stuff there. Sure, I copied all of those posts here when I created this blog, but for some reason they seem to be more “at-home” there. And although they somehow lost all their formatting and all the paragraph breaks are gone, it’s nice to have that part of my blog history back again. I even brought back the original template. You remember, the one with all the green dots? They’re back, too.

Seems that going back in time and reliving the past is the thing to do these days.

Even some old friends that I thought had quit blogging forever have returned, most notably my dear friend Pua (WHOO HOO!)

But there are a lot of other people who have left and vanished.

Who would you like to come back from the blog-“dead”? Who do you miss the most?

I have a few… remember these kids?

Feisty Girl

Dantallion’s Can[n]on

Faggoty-Ass Faggot

Big Mickey Style

Palochi

Oh yeah, and I’d love to bring back the old days of Tribe. Those were some fun times.

I’m sure there are more, but I’ve lost their links since they stopped blogging so long ago.

Anna Nicole: Why do I care?

Anna Nicole SmithIn my lifetime, I have witnessed the loss of many notable personalities, taken from the world far too soon.

When Princess Diana died, I remember feeling like I’d been kicked, hard, in the heart. I was immensely sad. And I remember not being able to believe the news that I’d just heard.

When JFK Jr. died, I sat in front of the TV slack-jawed at the possibility that yet another member of the Kennedy clan met their demise in a freakish and sudden way.

And much longer ago, yet just as impactful on me: Karen Carpenter. Her death was the first time I felt intense, emotional pain at the loss of a celebrity.

And there have been others: Jim Henson. John Lennon. Heck, even John Denver.

And how about the comedians: John Belushi. Chris Farley. Phil Hartman. John Candy. Andy Kaufman.

Each of these people contributed something to society. They made an impact and they made a difference. And their deaths — most very premature — left an enormous hole in my heart and in the hearts of millions.

So why did I feel that same twinge of grief and shock when I heard the news today that Anna Nicole Smith– a celebrity by proxy; famous simply for being famous; and someone whose only main contributions to society were TrimSpa and The Anna Nicole Show on the E! Network– had died at age 39?

Maybe it’s because Anna Nicole’s story has a deeply tragic underlying current that matches those of other personas: Karen Carpenter and Princess Diana come to mind, as does Marilyn Monroe, who is the celebrity legend most often compared to Anna Nicole. Each lived their lives in the presence of a great deal of struggle and pain, and each died much too young; each never able to rise above their celebrity far enough to get past the struggles that pained them througout their living years.

Anna Nicole may not have been a great actress, or an actress at all for that matter. She may not have been all that coherent or intelligent, and she may not have made the best choices in her lifetime. But she was a human being who dealt with a great deal of criticism, pain and suffering– more than some of us could ever hope to bear. And yet she tried to carry on with her life and make something of it.

Sure, marrying an octagenarian millionare seemed like it had to be a publicity stunt. But Anna Nicole was probably more savvy than anyone ever gave her credit for. Besides, she had a son to raise, and what better way to secure his future than to marry a multi-millionare? I mean, who among you would say no to financial security?

But with every success there was tragedy. An abusive father. A failed marriage. Heaps of litigation over her inheritance. And then the blow that probably finally did her in: The death of her son, just days after the birth of her daughter.

So why do I mourn Anna Nicole? Why do I care?

Maybe it’s because, like any good gay man, while I admired her chutzpah and her ability to promote herself the nth degree, she fought a hard battle for a better life, had success, but inevitably lost the battle. And for some reason, I have always been attached emotionally to people who struggle to make something better of their lives. Take a look at the list of names at the beginning of this post. Each had a burden to bear in life. Each had wild success. And each died much too early. Maybe they had done everything they set out to do by the time they left this world, but one can’t help but wonder how much more they could have done if they had just been given the chance to live.

Anna Nicole’s contributions to society may not have matched those names above; but for some reason I think she’ll be remembered for a lot more than just being tabloid fodder and a “blonde bimbo.” She may have seemed that way on the surface, but deep down she was just like one of us– struggling to make a living and working hard to make life better.

What can be more honorable, and what can be more human/American/real than that?

Rest in peace, Anna.

Ice Ice Baby!

It’s cold.

No.  Let me rephrase that.

It’s FUCKING cold.

In the nearly 10 years I’ve lived in Chicago, I haven’t experienced cold like this.  Oh sure, I had some mighty cold winters up in Wisconsin, but Chicago– being the Windy City and all– gets pummeled when the mercury dips below zero.

I’ve been driving to work more often lately because walking in this weather is absolutely not acceptable.  The wind hitting my face feels like a million tiny razor blades, cutting through the pores and right to my bones.  No amount of covering can stop that kind of cold.

Thankfully, my radiators are in full force.  There is something to be said for steam heat– and that something is “Thank GOD for steam heat!”  I can’t imagine what my electric bill would be if I had to crank up the furnace for this blast.

Work isn’t so bad either.  At least when you’re 46 floors up you’re pretty much guaranteed you’ll get some residual effect from the rest of the building being heated.  The people I feel sorry for are those who work in the lobby– security officers, our receptionist, and the folks that operate the coffee kiosk.  Our building has a typically tall lobby, and all the heat rises to the top… with nothing to warm the poor folks below.  It’s like a glass igloo.

But hey, I don’t have to work down there.  And we have free coffee and/or tea and/or cocoa to keep us warm all day, so no need to run down there for an overpriced latte.

I just want this cold spell to end.  Quickly.  Each day that passes gets us a little bit closer to spring– and boy I can’t wait for that.

A bike ride along the lake would be really nice.

But certainly not now.