This Saturday, June 27th, 2015, was the memorial for Dale Comer. This is the text of the speech I gave.
At the memorial, the Dale Comer Scholarship was announced, providing at least $500 a year for Broadcast Engineering students at Bates Technical College in Tacoma. If you would like to make a donation, send a check with “Dale Comer Scholarship” on the memo line to:
KBTC Public Television 2320 S. 19th St Tacoma, WA 98405
When Dale passed away, I was devastated. He was my best friend. The last time I talked to him on the phone, it sounded like he was actually on the upswing, so when I found out he was fading fast, it hit extra hard.
I was lucky enough to visit him before he passed, and even though he couldn’t really talk, he was still there, he could still communicate. And… even as he lay dying, HE comforted ME when I broke down crying. That’s kind of Dale in a nutshell. Continue reading →
It was a lousy gig, but at this point any gig was worth taking. I had all the usual bullshit dreams of coming to New York and making it as an actor but here I was dressed up every day in a monkey suit for the screaming kids at a second-rate pizza joint. At the moment I was outside on my cigarette break, no longer noticing that the jaded lunchtime crowd didn’t notice me. Going out and getting falling-down drunk seemed like a good plan for tonight. This sure is a great town. Not soul-crushing at all. Continue reading →
His eyes slowly fluttered open and he stared at the ceiling. Here it was, his thirteenth birthday. He hadn’t expected thirteen to feel that different from twelve, but something did feel off and unfamiliar somehow. Arthur stretched his bony arms backwards over his head and then sat up, rubbing his rumpled hair.
At the kitchen table downstairs, his mother already had his favorite breakfast of orange juice, french toast, and a sunny-side-up egg laid out for him. As he sat down, she hurried in from the kitchen, grabbing his shoulders and kissing his cheek. “Good morning, birthday boy!” she said overly cheerfully. Continue reading →
She was on the couch devouring a novel, her warm little brown dachshund cuddled up against her. He was nestled in the crook of her arm, sleeping with the peace of the innocent. Occasionally she could feel his stubby legs stirring against her as he dreamed, perhaps of chasing but never catching rabbits in a sun-dappled meadow or just running long, triumphant laps around the neighborhood park where she sometimes took him, everything an adventure. The whisper of the book’s turning leaves called and answered with his quiet, sleepy breaths. She wished she could ever be as perfectly contented. Continue reading →
Glean, the seventeenth studio album from They Might Be Giants, somehow manages to be both innovative and familiar, like pulling on your favorite denim jacket and suddenly finding a secret treasure map in the pocket. Its fifteen tracks hold a number of surprises, but the songs never lose sight of what makes TMBG TMBG.
All but three of Glean’s tracks were culled from releases on the newly-revived Dial-A-Song, a project just a couple of years younger than TMBG itself which originally consisted of demos and musical miscellany being released via a simple answering machine. This year’s incarnation of Dial-A-Song has TMBG releasing a new song every single week for the entirety of 2015. Continue reading →
This was not what I expected from the end of the world. Where was the brimstone, the lake of fire, the many-headed beast? Instead all we got was the lights going out, one by one. And then, finally, the sun. It did not set one final time. It was just not there anymore, and we were in unspeakable darkness. But no one panicked. Everyone seemed to peacefully accept the fact that this was all there was. Whatever was coming next, it had to be better than the mess we’d made of things here. Not with a bang, but a whimper.Continue reading →
Coffee, strong coffee. Sending vibrations, shockwaves, directly to her brain, which in turn set her fingers flying across the keys of her maroon Smith-Corona, each push resulting in clattering contact with the page, ink as black as the coffee against virginal paper. Five pages now. Not stopping until it was done. Another sip of coffee, more inspiration seizing hold of her. Always better to compose on a typewriter, tapping into the creative power of her literary ancestors, a direct lineage from the heroic bards of the past down to her, alone at her desk but wrapped in words, words, words. Continue reading →
It was the most heartbreaking thing I could imagine: an entire mysterious lifetime being abandoned and then forgotten. I considered my purchase of the ancient suitcase stuffed with faded photographs to be something of a rescue mission. I wouldn’t know the names and stories behind the grave, staring faces, but I would be letting them live on somehow anyway. I hoped someone would be so kind to me. Flipping through the stacks there in the musty antique store, I found myself already inventing entire histories for these strangers who had slipped, lost and lonely, through the cracked boardwalk of time. Continue reading →
Charlotte’s baby spiders. A whirlwind of sand. The field was blanketed with them this spring, so many waiting wishes. She closed her eyes, concentrated fully, sucked in a deep breath and blew, scattering endless spores from the dandelion’s fuzzy crown. She slowly opened her eyes and was very thrilled to see that she had succeeded. It was simple enough. She just wanted things to be ok again, like they used to be. Before her life had gradually imploded the year before. She wanted the broken pieces of herself and her life to suddenly heal. Watching a shattering vase in rewind. Continue reading →