10 June 2011

Why We Need a "Slut Walk"

“Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

This statement was issued by a representative of the Toronto Police Department earlier this year. As a result, a group of people in Toronto began a movement to combat this kind of wrong-headed thinking and the first “Slut Walk” was born.

Had this been a single statement issued by a single representative or even a single police department with an offensive stance, I would have applauded the Toronto group for taking action, standing against the blaming of victims and that would be that.

But, of course, we know better than that. This statement reflections a widely held view, not only by some law enforcement officials, but by people all around us that choose to blame the victims for the violent crime of rape.

Why, more than with any other crime, do people feel the need to blame the victims of rape? The reason seems fairly transparent: People want to assure themselves that this couldn’t happen to them (or their loved ones). ‘I don’t dress like that therefore I won’t be raped.’ ‘I can protect my wife and daughters from being raped if I make sure they dress modestly.’ These are the kinds of things we say to ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, to make ourselves feel better, to make ourselves feel safe.

But, of course, we know better than that. There is the pesky little issue of facts that easily subvert this kind of thinking. The statistics on the victims of rape make it all too clear that the victim’s attire is not, should not and cannot be considered a factor.

The facts are these: Every 45 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. Over a quarter of all rape victims are raped by their husbands, over a third by an acquaintance and over 15% by a relative. In total, 74% of all sexual assaults are perpetrated by people well known to the victim. Almost 6 out of every 10 sexual assaults occur in the victim’s home or the home of someone they know well. Less than 5% of all rapes are committed by strangers. 15 out of 16 rapists never sees the inside of a jail cell for their crime. And of course, these are only the cases of rape that are reported to law enforcement. It is believed that more than 60% of all rapes are never reported. And what types of rape are least likely to be reported? Rape committed by a spouse, acquaintance or family member.

Given those statistics, does it seem reasonable to consider the way a woman was dressed as a factor in her being raped? Does a husband rape his wife because she is dressed “like a slut”? Is the 1 out of every 7 women who is raped in college also guilty of being the 1 out of 7 women in college who dresses immodestly? Moreover, is the 1 out of every 10 males who is raped guilty of looking like a slut? How about the 61% of rape victims who are females under the age of 18? Are they dressing so provocatively that strangers, acquaintances or, worse yet, family members are unable to control themselves? The truth is, rape has little to do with sex and everything to do with power. Women are not raped because their clothes is too revealing. People are raped because rapists want or need to feel power. They want to victimize – why would we want to make their job easier by helping shame their victims?

The message shouldn’t be: don’t dress like a slut. The message needs to be: don’t rape.

The message is painfully simple and yet, so many people miss it. So many people want to give themselves and their families a false sense of safety by making something the victim did or said or wore the reason for their rape. That needs to stop.

We need to change that kind of thinking. We need to make people more comfortable with coming forward about having been sexually assaulted. We need to let them know that we don’t judge them. We need to put the blame on the perpetrators. We need to make sure that more than 1 out of every 16 rapists does prison time. We need our wives and daughters, mothers and sisters to feel free to dress however they feel comfortable. We need to show our support for victims of sexual assault. We need to tell them that their victimization ends when they come forward and ask for help. We need a “Slut Walk.”

For the statistics used in the above article and further resources and information:




25 March 2011

Another Six Months

When I started college, my world shifted. The beliefs (spiritual, moral and political) that I had been raised with – that I had been taught or at least had always assumed were the only way to live correctly, fell away. Like my very own Copernican revolution, those things that I thought had been the center of the universe turned out to be breathtakingly unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

A few years later, my world shifted again. For years I had convinced myself that I didn’t want kids, that I would never have passion or true love in my life. Like a record scratch, all that abruptly changed when I met and then fell in love with my wife – a woman with four daughters. I instantly found all those things I thought I’d never have, things I thought I didn’t deserve and even things I never knew I wanted.

Six months ago, my world was shifted off its axis yet again.

In the very early morning hours of September 29th, 2010, after a day and a half of labor and nearly ten months of anxiety, fear and excitement, Valkyrie Vega Fletcher was born.

She was born a day before her due date, 9 lbs. 4 oz – fairly huge for something fresh from the womb (and thank goodness for that because even at that size she seemed small enough to accidentally crush). For her first 24 hours of life she didn’t cry. She made enough noise at birth to let us know she was alive, but for her first day all she did was make little monkey sounds. Almost to the minute, 24 hours after her birth, she found her ability to cry. And she kept at it for the better part of three months. Unless she was asleep or nursing, she was crying.

There’s something oddly reassuring in hearing her cry, though. Especially in those early days when there’s still lingering fears that at any second she could just stop. Stop crying, stop breathing just altogether stop. When she would fall asleep, I’d sit there watching her breath. Or when she’d fall asleep in my arms I’d silence my own breathing so I could hear hers, or gently place my hand on her back to feel its tiny rise and fall. Six months in and I still do.

I’ve had a couple years of experience parenting now. I’m still very much learning how to be a dad to our now 14, 11, 9 and 6 year old daughters. But a brand new baby is something else. Valkyrie’s first dirty diaper was the first diaper I’d ever changed. She was the first new born I’d ever held. And each time she does something for the first time it’s as new to me as it is to her.

I had no idea there would be so many new things so quickly. She’s gone from puking on things to puking at them, she’s advanced from simply waving her arms wildly to waving her arms wildly in the direction of something that interests her to, just recently, moving with what can only be described as intention. She smiles and even laughs now at things that actually make her happy, rather than just gas. She grows out of her clothes so quickly that it’s almost impossible to keep up. In the last month she started having solid foods.

She keeps finding new sounds to make, new ways of expressing herself. I feel like an anthropologist getting to watch the creation of a new language. First, it was just random monkey sounds, then she moved to grunts and growls and just the other day she started forming ‘b’ sounds. Now she won’t stop saying “bah bah bah” in a way that sounds eerily similar to the name “Bob Loblaw.”

I love just watching her learn, studying her as she studies herself and the world around her. She’s making connections, recognizing patterns, she’s even developing a personality. I love studying her almost as much as I love being her father.

And yet, with each new development my heart breaks. I love seeing her advancing, being there for her first taste of solid food, her first laugh, her first bath . . . these are things that I’ll never forget and I am so glad to have been a part of. But still . . . with every new thing she does, that little wiggly 9 lbs. 4 oz baby gets further away. That little creature that came into my life in the middle of the night is slipping away more and more every day and this new, beautiful, delightful little person is taking her place. I both dread the marks on the tabula raza of her mind and look forward to the image that slowly develops on that slate. I will always love the person she is becoming and always miss the person she used to be. And somewhere in the middle is the person that she is, and I love her most of all.

I never thought I’d feel like this. I never imagined what it would be like to know that I’m the only father she’ll ever have. The pressure is enormous and there are days, honestly, when I don’t think I’m up to the challenge. This is the most important, most difficult, most expensive and most terrifying thing I will ever do. And I am so grateful every day to both my wife Kris and to our daughter Valkyrie for giving me the opportunity to do it.

14 February 2009

Six Months: A Valentine

In the last six months I haven’t done much blogging. Life somehow got in the way of writing about life. But, I feel like it’s about time I recorded some of it.

After moving out of my house in August, I moved in with one of my closest friends and my life changed completely. I ended up staying longer than expected . . . in fact I decided to stay for good. I now find myself with the family I never wanted to admit that I wanted and these five little women (Kris and her daughters: Eleven, Nine, Six and Four) have become my world.

In the last six months I have experienced such a series of tragedies and triumphs, the likes of which I never could have imagined before.

I’ve had to scrape together every cent I could in order to buy groceries, only to have to look Four and Six in the eye and tell them that I can’t afford to buy them pop because I hadn’t factored in the deposit when I was adding up the cost. I’ve gotten credit cards by the fistful, maxed them out just as quickly . . . lucked my way into the two best paying jobs I’ve ever had and still been a hairsbreadth away from not being able to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. The thought of not being able to give the girls the Christmas they deserved made me physically ill. And while I appreciate the weight loss I’ve experienced over the last few months, the accompanying grey hairs are a little less exciting.

I’ve fought with the girls over dinner, struggled to keep them from killing each other, battled with them over vitamins, bath time, bedtime, laundry, dishes, and letting the dog out.

I’ve sat in hospital rooms and watched Kris in crippling pain and been unable to do anything about it.

I’ve woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of Four screaming, only to find that a pair of wet pajamas was the only problem.

I’ve found the life I want and repeatedly found myself inches away from losing it all.

And I’ve watched Kris shake off years of emotional abuse, stand up for herself and become the woman I knew she could be. I’ve watched her find a way to feed the children when I failed. She has become my partner, the love of my life and my

When Six decided she would start calling me Daddy, tears welled up in my eyes. The next day, each time she called me Dave instead of Daddy I felt tiny pangs in my heart. Yet, each time Four throws her arms in the air and yells “Carry me!” I feel like a dad . . . even though she has a knack for doing it when my arms are full. When I carry her, and she grins and laughs and yells “Never put me down! Never!” it thrills me. When I told her the other day that she had to stop growing up she yelled the same “Never” and it broke my heart because I knew she was telling the truth.

Maybe it’s because I missed out on so much of their lives so far, or maybe it’s just the way all parents feel, but I cannot stand the thought of them aging. I’m constantly reminded, though, of their inevitable march toward adulthood. Nine is already closer to 16 than 10. Six has turned into Seven. And Eleven is dangerously close to puberty. At least Four is still young enough that she gets her pronouns confused and has extravagant tales of her adventures with her best friend Hannah Montana.

I’ve learned a great deal in the past six months. I’ve learned how to make quesadillas without setting off the smoke detector (that lesson was a long time coming, as the girls will attest). I’ve learned that you can get Four and Six to eat fish as long as you tell them that it’s chicken. I’ve learned that as soon as they are ready to ask for forgiveness, you have to be ready to accept it – even when you’re really not. I’ve learned that once you have four cats, two more doesn’t really make a difference. I’ve learned that one thing I enjoy more than learning is listening to my little women tell me about all the things they’ve learned. I’ve learned that plastic sheets are the greatest invention known to humanity. I’ve learned that you can lead a Six year old to dinner, but you can’t make her eat. I’ve learned that being Nine doesn’t mean that you can’t also be five. I’ve learned that you can fit six people in a Ford Taurus: it just isn’t pretty. I’ve learned what it means to fight for survival, and what sacrifice is. I’ve learned how generous my friends are. I’ve learned how easy it is to gain a child’s love and how hard it is to keep it. I’ve learned what it means to have a partner in life and what it means to be a father. I’ve learned that “Dave” can mean “Dad.” I’ve learned, too, that there is no way I can ever thank Kris or any of my little women enough for the time they’ve given me so far and the future they have promised to let me be a part of.

I know it isn’t much – it certainly isn’t enough – but this is my Valentine’s Day card to all of them.

Thank you for being my family and letting me be a part of yours. I love you.

19 December 2008

Perhaps they were Mormons . . .

I was house managing at Civic last night when, during intermission, a couple of women came up to me.

“Who do we talk to if we have a problem with the show?”

Frequently while house managing people will come to me with stuff like this. It’s a big part of the job. Often, their problem with the show is that their seats aren’t any good or it’s too cold, things like that. Sometimes it’s because of the actual content of the show. When Circle did The Who’s Tommy I had several people stop to tell me how disappointed they were with the theatre for putting on something so disgusting. This happens when people don’t care to find out what they’re going to see. Would you go to a movie without knowing what it’s about or even the rating? Maybe, but you really shouldn't if you’re someone who might be easily offended.

“Well,” I said, “That depends on what the problem is.”

“We thought,” one of the women began, “that this show was appropriate for children.”

‘Motherfucker,’ I thought, ‘there must be a couple of swears.’ Swears, especially “goddamn,” set off a lot of fucking prudes.

I said: “What is it in the show that you think isn’t appropriate?”

“All the sexual material!” the other lady chimed in.

Seriously? I mean, I haven’t actually watched the show myself, but it’s the musical version of It’s A Wonderful Life. You know, Jimmy Stuart,
everytimeabellringsanangelgetsitswings, a Christmas classic. There are a couple of swears in the play and the story revolves around a man contemplating suicide* so I was ready to deal with that. It’s stupid, but as soon as these women started complaining about the content, I figured that that’s what it was going to be. After all: What the hell else is there that might possibly offend someone in It’s A Wonderful Life?!

“Really?” I asked, trying extraordinarily hard not to sound incredulous. “Such as what?”

“Well, at one point,” one of the women said, “there was a girl dancing in a purple tutu and she spread her legs and we could see EVERYTHING. Her whole crotch. Everything!”

And I think to myself: ‘But it was clothed, right? I mean I can’t imagine an exposed vagina as part of the play.’

“And our sons,” the other woman added, “Were like [eyes bugged out, mouth agape].”
No fucking kidding! If your kids are that repressed, I’m surprised they didn’t spunk themselves when there was visible ankle. If you want to raise serial killers, you are off to a fantastic start, ladies.

“And it happened more than once,” the other woman added. “Do you think that’s appropriate for children?”

I said, “My kids saw it and they didn’t have any problem with it.” I said.

“Then I guess we have different standards because that is not appropriate. Did you watch the show?”

I answered honestly that I hadn’t seen it.

“Well you should have before you exposed your children to it. You should have watched it or gone to a rehearsal or something!”

“You let them watch it without you?!”

“My wife watched it with them,” I explained because it was way easier than saying ‘The woman who I have sex with and intend to marry who is going through a divorce from another man watched the show with them.’

I know I’m not the world’s greatest father, but I never imagined that bringing my kids to see It’s A Wonderful Life made me a bad father. I wanted to tell them that my four year old has Rocky Horror Picture Show memorized, but I was working and wanted to avoid a scene.

“And another time in the show, when she’s getting ready for the wedding she drops her dress on stage and puts on another one.” The other woman said.
Mind you, she’s wearing a slip. Not a teddy, not a lacy little number, but a plain white slip.

“And they were bending over” the other woman added, pantomiming bending over with breasts desperate to fall out of their casing.

“We were told this was a family show! What do we do about this to make sure we don’t end up being exposed to things like this again?”

Don’t ever go to a theatre again. Plays or movies. Stay in your fucking house; don’t turn on the fucking radio or TV. Get changed in the dark; adopt children so you won’t have to endure the degradation of sexual intercourse if you really need some kids to destroy with your insane and dangerous worldview

“We want our money back!”

I explained that I couldn’t do that and that they would have to call the theatre tomorrow and talk to people with actual authority.

“How do we know this won’t happen again?” they asked.

I said that, in this instance the play is based on a movie that’s been around for decades and dec—and she cut me off with a: “This is NOT in the movie! I watch it every year!”

Now, I’ve never seen the movie all the way through either so I can’t attest to whether or not there is any swearing or anything like that but I got this exact same complaint when the theatre did Grease last year. People claimed that “They didn’t use words like that in the movie!” Actually, the theatre cleaned up the script. There are less dirty words in the play than there were in the movie but you saw the movie thirty years ago when you weren’t such a goddamn prude. I’m guessing it’s the same case with this one. Jimmy Stuart gets away with a few swears because he’s a war hero.

I ended the conversation by letting the women know that if they had “that high of a standard” that they needed to do their research. They needed to call the theatre and ask if there was anything at all in the show that might possibly be offensive.
I told them all this knowing full well that any person they spoke to at the theatre or anyone they talked to that had seen the show would tell them the same thing: There is nothing at all that a sane human being would be offended by in this show.

As they left I thought: “Have a nice night ladies and don’t come back. Be careful driving, too: it must be very difficult driving when you have to shield your and your children’s eyes from billboards lest they feature an allusion to human sexuality.

Now I’m going to go home and have premarital sex.”

*SPOILER: He doesn’t end up doing it. Just saying.

24 October 2008

Facebook Wars

A friend of mine posted the following as his status on Facebook:

Travis needs to keep remembering that God is in control of who will be appointed our leader, Go ahead Obama, run this country into the ground!

What follows is my response and the brouhaha that came after, ending with my special lady swooping in to save the day. Enjoy.

NOTE: Last names have been removed to protect the ignorant.

Dave Fletcher at 3:34pm October 23
Since God talks directly to Bush and Bush is running the country into the ground, doesn't that mean that God is doing a pretty shitty job? How about giving the people a chance to run our country? Which is, I'm pretty sure, what the Constitution says should be the case. Let God run the churches and leave the government to the people.

Lindsey at 3:44pm October 23
America was founded as one Nation UNDER GOD! Not one nation under the people.

Troy at 4:34pm October 23
I say we elect Yoda

Michael at 4:53pm October 23
One nation under Canada above Mexico...

Travis at 5:59pm October 23
it's funny i did that just to see what people would put, and wow, dave i'm really sorry that you feel that way about the greatest president we've had since reagan, but hey if one is a true christian and that person is not being persecuted for their beliefs, they're probably doing something wrong-walt hedrickson

Troy at 7:10pm October 23
doesn't it take like 270 electoral votes so one persons opinion/vote is not gonna break the bank on either side. Thunder Thunder Thunder CATS HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Dave Fletcher at 10:06pm October 23
A) I hope Lindsey is joking (or does she really believe the version of the Pledge of Allegiance instituted in the 1950's is the founding document of our nation, rather than the Constitution which directly outlines a government for the people, by the people and of the people) and 2) Bush and Reagan are both great presidents? Wow, what's it like ... Read Moreliving on a planet that's shaped like a cube? You am Bizarro #1!

Michael at 10:59pm October 23
Not to be against you Linds but that is from the Pledge of Allegiance. The founding fathers were Christian but they did no found the country as a Christian nation. Read this:


Dave Fletcher at 11:35pm October 23
Many of them were Christian. All of them were secularists.

Travis at 12:59am October 24
what lindsey is saying is that we are UNDER GOD, people can deny it all they want, come up with all the facts and figures they want, be are UNDER GOD! When you make all of these liberal points and views, you start to believe you don't need God, or that we created God, and that we ourselves can become Gods, which is exactly what the devil wants us ... Read Moreto do, but it's stated that people will have views just like yours in the bible dave, so all you are doing is just reassuring me that I am correct as a christian. Nib High football rules!!!!!(Billy Madison)

Dave Fletcher at 9:02am October 24
I love how you act like "facts" are a bad thing. "Oooh, throwing facts at me, huh? What're you going to do next, provide evidence?! Ha ha. Loser." And I love that using ALL CAPS somehow helps make your argument for you. In which case this is one nation UNDER DOG! If only I could make my words even bigger and my logic even less logical then I... Read More could win. Screw "facts" lets just offer up nutjob arguments and far-right paranoia.

Truly, sir, a master logician.

p.s. Atheism is not a liberal view. It's just an enlightened one so it frequently happens that people who are rational are also liberal. Not always, but often.

p.p.s. The Flying Spaghetti Monster warned that there would be detractors, therefore by believing in a false god you are just reassuring me that I am correct as a pastafarian. May you be touched by his noodly appendage.

Travis at 10:57am October 24
there is a quote that i love "It is foolish to listen to someone who will not listen to you" of course this applies to both sides, but i know that if i am to truly become a strong christian that i must become the a-hole everyone will portray me to be, and i must stop being a hypocrite and stop sinning so much and preaching at the same time. I will ... Read Morebe hated, persecuted, even possibly threatened, but dave, i feel sorry for you and know that there are many people like you in this world who, through their views, have nothing to live for, no end outcome, no reason for being, and no absolute truth and certainty in life. because obviously man has shown time and time again how amazing we are at coming to our own conclusions and how we are fully capable of taking care of ourselves without anyone to watch over us, especially some war mongering, evil god that doesn't care for anyone. Yeah we do a bang up job alright.

Michael at 3:15pm October 24
Now I might not believe and follow what Travis does 100% (the reason I no longer consider myself a Christian) but that is no reason to get insulting and offensive Dave. However, I will say that Christians do tend to be very intolerant and pushy with people who don't believe what they do. There's a little amendment called Freedom of Religion which ... Read Moremeans anyone can believe anything they want without criticism or the like. Christians are the only ones who willingly break that right by trying to (for lack of a better word) force their beliefs on everyone and getting up in arms and assaultive when someone doesn't want to believe what they do.

Kris Bonner at 4:33pm October 24
Absolute truth? Can someone please show me where the absolute truth is in Christianity? Everything I've been shown on the topic is either rooted in folklore ('cause, you know, Gawd didn't write the Bible himself and all), hypocrisy, or making people fear an unproved deity in order to make those who are of weaker body and mind follow them blindly.

Return to the Dark Ages, anyone? Y'know, back to those days when religion kept people from reading and learning anything because, Gawd forbid, that may cause free-thinking and questions.

Dave hasn't told any of you that you have nothing to live for, and that your pursuits are fruitless. So to say that he has nothing to live for, no end outcome, no reason for being and no absolute truth and certainty just shows how judgmental you non-judgmentalists really are. Aren't you supposed to leave that up to your higher being?

Dave has plenty to live for. And a reason for being. And a chance at a very good outcome in life. To say he doesn't also condemns me, my children, and the wonderful life that the two of us see unfolding in front of our eyes.

THIS is a prime example of why religion doesn't work. There are the hard-core fanatics (who are usually closet sinners, and prove pious only when it suits them), the on-the-fencers (those who agree with everyone; around Atheists? They are ... Read Moreone, too! Around a fanatic? They are too! Go figure.), the dis-believers (nope, no chance at anything outside of being worm food!) and those that remain agnostic, which is not the same as Atheism. I would love to believe that there is a plan for things. That this world turns for a purpose bigger than a simple gravitational pull. However, without science, that's not going to be proven to me. Condemning me and my family to hell because I am a proof-is-in-the-pudding type of person is sick and wrong. If you get this upset and want to really judge me, crucify me. I bet my suffering lasts far longer than the petty amount of time Jesus spent there.

13 October 2008

The Horror . . . The Horror

NOTE: This blog was originally posted a while ago and then removed. It was removed because a number of people thought that it was insensitive of me to be writing about my life in such a frank way (funny, it never bothered them before). Understand that the parties actually affected by the material in this blog had full knowledge of its contents (if not the details, at least the big picture) well before it was even written. While I feel bad that some people were upset by it, I feel even worse that I took it down. 90% of the time someone is upset by something I write in my blogs, that doesn't bother me all that much but I took this blog down because the comments and reactions I was getting sullied what was, and still is, an expression of my deepest and most sincere feelings. It was not meant to hurt, it was not meant to be a bombshell, it was meant to be a love letter. And it is for that reason that I am doing what I should have done in the first place, and I'm putting it back up.

As a bit of background: I’m getting a divorce. This may come as a shock to some of you. Sorry for that? Many of you doubtlessly have questions as to the whys and wherefores, to which I say: none of your damn business. Those of you who are owed explanations* will get them, but certainly not in a blog. I may be tacky and insensitive, but I’m not that tacky and insensitive.

So, okay, that’s our backdrop.

Since leaving my house, I’ve been staying with my best friend Kris. It wasn’t necessarily my intention to come here and stay here, but she was the first to offer a couch and, well, one thing leads to another and here I am in the same place a month and a half later.

One of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed here as long as I have is Jake Busey. Yes, Jake Busey, star of Tomcats and Hitcher 2.

I probably need to elaborate on that a bit.

See, on Labor Day weekend, Kris and I went down to Indiana for HorrorHound Weekend. HorrorHound is a three day convention during which the who’s who of the Horror movie world rub shoulders with their fans. Horror fans, by the way, are mostly like comic fans—pasty guys in black t-shirts who are all either overweight or underweight, wear glasses and have creepy facial hair—so I didn’t have a very difficult time trying to fit in. And while I’m not the biggest horror movie fan around, Kris is. She’s as big a geek for The Devil’s Rejects as I am for Heroes. So being at a convention like this with her is a real treat. She absolutely comes alive—this is her in her element. Throughout the weekend, people actually came up to Kris to get their picture taken with her (and she wasn’t even wearing a Zombie Thor costume).

While I was just going to the con’** to hang out, schmooze and get away from the trials and tribulations of “real” life for a weekend, Kris was going to volunteer. By offering beard scratches to Bill, the guy in charge, she was able to land a gig as the Jason Mewes wrangler for the weekend (that’s Jay from Jay and Silent Bob fame, for those of you who are Mewes-illiterate). Unfortunately Mewes’ flight was delayed so Bill decided to send Kris to work Jake Busey’s table. When I heard that, I sent her a sympathetic glance in which I tried to convey the thought “Sorry you got stuck with Busey (read: douche), better luck next time.”

As it turns out, my sympathy was unwarranted. Jake Busey is awesome. There, I said it. Jake Busey is a great guy. In fact, almost everyone I met there turned out to be awesome***. Kane Hodder (Jason from Friday the 13th 7, 8, 9 and X) is both a hulk and a sweetheart of a man. Dee Wallace Stone (Mom from E.T. and Cujo), Derek Mears (the new Jason in the upcoming Friday the 13th****), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator and The Frieghteners) are all incredibly sweet and adorable. Joe Knetter (Zombie Bukkake) hides a tender heart beneath a thick wall of perversion. He and Mike Christopher (Hare Krishna Zombie from the original Dawn of the Dead) have actually become personal friends since the con. And, of course, Tom Savini (special effects wizard and Sex Machine from From Dusk Til Dawn) not only signed Kris’ arm, but was as excited as a school girl when she showed him that she got it tattooed over.

The weekend was a blast and provided a much needed escape for both of us. We got to kick back, have fun and just be ourselves for three days without worrying about divorces and kids and unemployment and everything else.

On the ride home on Sunday, the real world came crashing down . . . along with Godfrey, my beloved car. One moment we were driving past Anderson, Indiana marveling at the plumes of smoke from a house fire and the next moment, every light in the car came on and forward propulsion was replaced with simple momentum. I pulled over to the side of the road and, as is my typical response to car troubles, I decided to dive into oncoming traffic so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Kris calmed me down (luckily, unlike me, she took auto shop and knows something about cars). We popped the hood, she took a look, decided it was a problem with the cooling system and after relying on the kindness of a stranger, we found ourselves in a Motel 6 in Anderson while poor Godfrey was being towed (off hours on a holiday weekend) to a dealership in Muncie in the hopes that they would be open on Monday.

They weren’t.

So we sat in a Motel 6 for almost 48 hours. There was a grocery store across the street, but no fridge or microwave in the room so we could only buy things that could be eaten and stored at room temperature. Of course, the fact that Kris has Celiac’s and therefore cannot eat anything containing gluten makes finding food a little tricky under the best of circumstances. Luckily, next door to the Motel 6 was a Red Lobster and seafood is something that both she and I can eat. Unluckily, it’s not the cheapest thing around and I had spent the last of my money buying a wasted tank of gas for Godfrey. But luckily, the manager at this particular Red Lobster had a daughter with Celiac’s so they were really good about making sure that everything they brought to us was uncontaminated.

We spent the day on Monday cooling our heels in the Motel 6 and doing some much needed laundry. I had a moment of terror when I pulled the laundry out to fold it and was convinced that I had shrunken all of Kris’ clothes. Turns out, though, she actually just is that tiny.

On Tuesday, after half a dozen calls to the dealership in Muncie it became clear that Godfrey wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. So, we rented a car (by the way, what’s with rental places that only do in state rentals? Screw those bastards!) and made our way back home, leaving Godfrey in Muncie with a broken engine and a $4,800 asking price to get him fixed. Thanks to friends far more generous than I could ever deserve, I’ve managed to pay off the expenses incurred while in Anderson and am working my way towards a solution to the car problems.

All along the way to Indiana, at the convention, and home from Indiana (including the 48 hour layover in Anderson) Kris and I talked. About movies and relationships, pasts, the present and the future. We watched the better part of a Dirty Jobs Marathon and ate rice bars. We were stranded, we were screwed and we were bizarrely happy the whole time. I’m not really known for handling stress well, especially when large sums of money are concerned, but somehow I never freaked out. Except, of course, when Kris discovered her ability to fart on command and nearly forced me out of the motel room.

When we got home, Kris had an email from Jake Busey. He thanked her for all of her work this weekend and then he added: “It was great hanging out with you and Dave. He’s a great guy and he loves the shit out of you.”

While this wasn’t really news for either of us, it was, and had been for a while, an unspoken secret between the two of us. Neither of us was looking for it, neither of us really wanted it or is in a position where it’s terribly convenient, but there it was. And Jake Busey was the first one to acknowledge it. Jake Busey put it out there. And he was right.

Even after a weekend of horror movies, dead baby dolls, zombies, serial killers and $4,800 car bills the most terrifying thing was the simple little truth that Jake Busey laid out for me: I am in love . . . the horror, the horror.

*Which is pretty much no one.

**That’s what us hip folks call “conventions.”

***With the notable exception of a particular comic book artist with a penchant for sending pictures of his genitals to the cell phones of women who are uninterested in them.

****It’s not a remake, it’s a duck.

10 August 2008

Mind Dump: Beware the Fire Burst

This has been one of the most significant, stressful and painful weeks of my life. And really, that’s all my fault. But, at this point, none of it is any of your business so instead of dealing with all of the things I should be dealing with and will be dealing with in the weeks, months and years to come, I’ve decided to just do a mind dump about other things.

--The Dark Knight is, in fact, the greatest movie ever. I saw it at midnight on opening night and then again this week. Rather than illuminating flaws in the film, the second viewing actually made me appreciate it even more. It’s even better than I originally thought. While Iron Man was buckets of fun and I will gladly watch it again and again, The Dark Knight transcends the super-hero genre (and yes, there are now officially enough of them to have a whole genre to themselves). And I know everyone is talking about Heath Ledger’s performance* but y’know what? I am too. Absolutely wonderful. I know there are Nicholson loyalists out there and that’s all well and good for you, but this is the Joker I have wanted to see all my life. The pencil trick was the moment when I knew this movie was going to exceed all my expectations. Oh, and let’s not forget Two Face. Gross. Just really, really gross. Captivatingly gross. I love it. Way to give that character a real arch, too.

--“Chelsea Hotel No. 2” by Leonard Cohen seems to be my iPod’s favorite song right now. I wonder if it’s trying to tell me something. . . Maybe just trying to suggest that I’m ugly:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
You were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
But for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
Who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
You fixed yourself, you said, "well never mind,
We are ugly but we have the music."

--Started taking an anti-depression medication. One of the possible side effects is an inability to achieve orgasm. And I thought I was depressed before . . .

--A week and a half ago I got the most impressive promotion of my life when I moved up from clothing rack to professional actor. I could explain but frankly, I feel like the story is pretty good right there.

--I was driving behind an ice cream truck on the highway today. On the back of the truck were the words: “Watch For Childrens.”

--Highlights from a user manual for a friend’s old cell phone:

“Not demolished or modified cell phones, otherwise it will create mobile phones damage and leakage circuit fault.” (So, demolishing it is bad for the phone?)

“In a few cases, some models of mobile phones in the car when the car may have an adverse impact on electronic equipment. Then please do not use cell phones so as not to lose security assurances.” (So long as you never use it, your security assurances are all set.)

“If LCD liquid into the eyes of the blind be dangerous.” (How much worse can the eyes of the blind be damaged?)

“Battery, not to exert pressure on the force, otherwise they will cause battery leakage, overheating and the fire burst.” (You get that, Battery? The Force is either strong with you, or it isn’t. Quit exerting so much pressure on it.)

“Do not welding battery End Otherwise, it will lead to leakage, overheating and the fire burst.” (Here we have a sample of my two favorite things in the manual: The insistence that “Otherwise” needs to be capitalized and, of course, “the fire burst.” Beware the fire burst, Childrens.)

“Please do not demolish or converted charger Otherwise, it will lead to personal injury, electric shock, fire and damage to the charger” (Not unlike with the phone, demolishing the charger is, in fact, bad for the charger.)

“Dirt poor contact will lead to the socket, brownout, which can not be recharged, regularly cleaned.” (Keep those hobos away from your phone: Contact with the dirt poor will lead to the socket. And no one wants that.)

--The new Facebook sucks. There: I said it. Show me a person who likes the new Facebook and I’ll show you someone who secretly wishes people still liked MySpace.

--The front page of my condo association’s July newsletter featured the following poem. It’s a perfect example of the trifecta of things I love: Blind patriotism, authoritarian religion, and amateur poetry.** If you need to ask my feelings about it, we clearly haven’t met:
“My Declaration of Independence” by Dorothy Siple

I’m glad I was born an American
In the Land of the brave and the free;
Out of millions of others less favored
God gave this great blessing to me.

I rejoice in the freedom it gives me
For which a great price has been paid
By those who so cherished its value
That their lives on the altar were laid.

But I’m more glad that I am a Christian
Who’s been freed from the shackles of sin
By the outpouring love of my Savior,
Who died my salvation to win.

Now I’m free from the guilt that oppressed me,
No fear keeps me held in its power;
No task can defeat or distress me,
For God gives the strength for each hour.

I am free to love all men as brothers
To forgive any wrong done to me;
To be cleansed from the poison of hatred
And to be whom God wants me to be!

I don’t always need fair weather for sunshine;
There are other ways sunshine is sent.
All the things I possess don’t bring pleasure
Nor does worldly success mean content.

So I greet each new day with excitement;
My heart wants to sing and shout!
I’m a SLAVE to the love of my Master ---
And that is what FREEDOM is about!

--The show must go on.***

*Love the online petitions for an Oscar for Ledger, by the way. That’s a great idea . . . if the Oscars were decided by fucking Congress. It’s like people have no concept of either how awards are given or how petitions work. And, of course, online petitions are always a great tool if you want to do absolutely nothing but feel like you’ve done a little something.

**If you only read the last stanza, it actually makes the condo association seem really progressive. How many other condo associations would publish a poem about BDSM? Not nearly enough, I would have to say.

***Some restrictions apply.