Sobriety changes you. It's true-- peering through clearer eyes, I've become someone with a better understanding of what's possible and reasonable. When I consider my dreams and goals, I see, if not precisely a maturity, a refinement-- a grounding.
I used to wish I could wake up a teenage surfer girl in Hawaii, more or less exactly as seen in the 2002 film Blue Crush. At some level I knew the lifestyle that movie depicted -- look amazing in a bikini while subsisting on junk food, live in bohemian communalism with my sexy friends, date a quarterback, surf all day and party all night -- wasn't quote-unquote real, but it was what I wanted for my life.
Now, twelve years after my first revelatory viewing of Blue Crush and closing in on five years sober, that PG-13 surfer-girl daydream, while losing none of its luster, has perhaps rotated a little ways in the Lazy Susan of my mind's eye. Newer, more serious and rational desires are to the fore. I would certainly be delighted to wake up a beautiful surfer girl, but there's a more pragmatic, realistic side of me that instead aspires to wake up a teenage Vietnamese-American gangster kid on the Mississippi's Westbank. I'd have gelled-up nineteen-fifties hair, a scooter, and a tight long-sleeved shirt even in hot weather. My hoodlum friends and I would buzz around the coffeeshops of Gretna and Harvey, reading magazines about car stereo systems and scowling when our Aunties repeatedly called our cellphones.
I'm not saying that aspiring to be a teenage Asian-American hoodlum is a superior or "better" goal than aspiring to be a teenage surfer girl, but I do feel my recalibrated aspirations represent a more hardheaded, veridical outlook that I credit in large part to my long years of abstaining from alcohol.
Meanwhile, what have I been up to? I remain proud of the writing I did for the Gambit on Wrestlemania, particularly this piece on the Undertaker's stunning loss.
I had the rewarding experience of being invited onto the Ringside Review podcast for an interview. As someone more used to conducting interviews, it was novel to be the subject of one. Those interested in hearing my affected, adenoidal speaking voice can now do so on-demand.
I was also interviewed by the New Orleans Advocate alongside Gulf Coast pro wrestling ubermensch Luke Hawx for their piece on New Orleans pro wrestling and WrestleMania. I am a big Luke Hawx fan, so being quoted in the same article as him made me feel great.
The June (10th anniversary!) issue of Antigravity has a piece I wrote about pro wrestler and civil rights warrior Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd, illustrated by the extraordinary Ben Passmore. The Brooklyn Paper ran my first (and if I had my druthers, last) negative book review, as well as their idiosyncratically edited adaptation of a positive one. What else?
I'm beyond excited to announce I will be attending the September 2014 Anna Kavan Symposium in London. I've been invited to present a paper there in which I endeavor to apply Judith Butler's ideas about control & subjection to Kavan's distinctive, dream-like physical geographies. Can't wait!