Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
A few days ago I awoke with a start to this loud boom and the house shaking! I jumped out of bed and said to David "something hit the house!" Actually, there was no exclamation point on that. I was like "something hit the house. period!" because I knew this was a fact and there was nothing really to do about it except discover where and what. The only time I accept reality is when I am half-asleep. I ran to the window like Ebeneezer Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol but instead of looking for a helpful urchin who knows what day it is, I was scouring the ground for a helpful urchin who could point me to the car sticking out of my house. If you've read Here for It, or How to Save Your Soul in America you'll recall that a car having a meet-cute with the house is not an unfamiliar circumstance in my personal history. What you don't know how, however, is that a car actually hit my house growing up twice. (People said my parents shouldn't build on the Talladega Superspeedway but the school districts were too good to pass up.) The first time a car hit the house we were all home, eating dinner I believe. And I distinctly remember the boom and the house shaking and then my father leapt up and, as I recall it, jumped over the railing on the stairs like Jason Statham! It was very impressive. I think he was still wearing his slippers. An leisurewear action hero!
I guess I'm about the age he was then and let me tell you, when the boom happened at my home I didn't have it in me to leap over anybody's stairwell. I gotta figure out what kind of 90s fitness program he was doing (I believe it was a unique VHS workout called "having three kids and three jobs".) I got out of bed and immediately called in the stunt double. I have a no running, jumping, or sudden movements clause in my contract. The only leaping I'm doing is to conclusions. My cardio comes from mood swings. Et cetera.
As I urgently sauntered around the grounds of the estate it became clear that there was no car anywhere near the house. So what was the boom squish? I checked in on the Witch from Into the Woods but she was like "No, hon, it's like the third-to-last midnight. I'm still on vacation." Then I looked up the street a bit just in time to see a massive tree come tumbling down in our neighbor's yard. Boom. (Shake shake shake the room indeed.)
(I love that on YouTube this video of a Fresh Prince song is titled "Boom! Shake The Room (The Street Remix) (Revised Version)" like me sending the 16th draft of a manuscript to an editor.) (Oh, by the way, I'm sorry I missed last week's email. I was very stressed about sending the 16th draft of a manuscript to an editor)
The house up street sold a few months ago and they spent weeks having contractors in and out of the place fixing stuff. Now, it seems, they've moved to the back yard where they've spent the last three weekends having a crew fell huge trees like the villain in Ferngully. I'm here to report that if a tree falls in a random Baltimore street, it does make a sound.
I don't know that I approve of this. This is me watching every tree come down.
And this is every cicada in the neighborhood watching the trees come down.
They're probably just making more room in the backyard so that the house is easier to flip which... fine. Flip away, Keri Strug. But I don't know these people and I don't know their intentions and I was woken from my normal fitful sleep and had to call my stunt double in on a Saturday and so now I have opinions! As Little Red says in Into the Woods, isn't it nice to have a plot (of land) and a little bit not (of land)?
Yes, It's Pride Month But May I Interest You in Sloth?
Everybody is so eager to get back out into the streets for a Hot Vax'd Summer that the Pride Discourse started three weeks early this year. I am going to go ahead and assume you don't know what I mean when I write the Pride Discourse because you are not hooked up to Twitter like a Pre-Cog in Minority Report and have made better life choices than I. So, I'll explain it and you can feel free to forget it immediately. (Initially, I didn't think to explain what I was talking about and just launched into the next section as if everyone is fully aware of whatever picayune zero stakes queer drama is happening in some random corner of Gay Twitter because a bunch of Brooklyn comedians are bored. I really am over here thinking that every night on the news Walter Cronkite is like "Okay, sis, here's the tea..." Honestly, would watch.) Anyway, I don't have time to go into the whole tea because it's not even tea. It's like a sample packet of the powdered mix for Country Time Half and Half at best. Every year, like clockwork, people start tweeting about other people policing what people do at Pride and we start this "what's appropriate at Pride" conversation that I am too old, too tired, and too enswathed in a caftan to care about. The thing is every year I see a bunch of people complaining about being scolded for behavior at Pride and I never see the actual scolding. I'm sure someone at some point scolded people about what they can and cannot do at Pride but who cares what they think? Nevertheless, the discourse continues.
I am still a little overwhelmed by the concept of "being outside in general" and I have a full schedule of standing in my backyard staring at an arborist, so I have to RSVP "no" to the nitty-gritty. Also, I don't think any cities around me are even having Pride parades this year (again) so we're just talking about theory like it's the end of Angels in America? Okay.
So, I don't have anything to say about that (he writes two paragraphs later). But! I do have some thoughts about what the theme of Pride should be. Everyone wants to get back to the "old world" and living out loud and I'm like "Okay, wonderful, but what if we were all just tired and weird for a little bit?" Something to consider.
Anyway, here's some of my suggestions. Please forward them to the appropriate authorities (I assume that would be Mare of Gaytown).
The theme of Pride 2021 is... whatever is happening in JLo's love life (good for her!)
In this week's JLo gazette: not only were her Lo-liness and Ben Affleck spotted having various public lunches and hanging out on an equally public balcony, but she also had an outdoor lunch with Marc Anthony. Now, these people are free to do whatever they want but there is just a little too much al fresco dining and walking around for me to believe they don't want me to know about this. The theme of Pride is "talk about me!"
The theme of Pride 2021 is... Diddy messy-ass #TBT
Meanwhile... LOL at this clout-chasing! This is the most Drake thing I have ever seen.
Also! Not Keyshia Cole encouraging this attention-seeking behavior in the comments! My goodness! My gravy!
The theme of Pride 2021 is... Michael Douglas being confused by a magazine about Sharon Stone!
Okay, I don't really think this has anything to do with my strange version of Pride but I really needed to show it to you because I am obsessed with it. This is Michael Douglas (having lunch in Mallorca with Catherine Zeta-Jones) and somehow, somewhere he has come across a magazine called Mr. Lifestyle. Did he buy Mr. Lifestyle? Did someone give it to him at the restaurant? Was the host like "You seem like a gentleman who enjoys lifestyle?" Many questions. On the cover of Mr. Lifestyle? Douglas's costar in Basic Instinct Sharon Stone. If I were a detective, I would call this a clue. But to what?!
I love how perplexed he is by this. SAME.
So, one of the things they taught me at detective school is to google something. So I tried googling Mr. Lifestyle and it turns out it stands for Marcel Remus Lifestyle, a luxury in-house magazine about real estate in Mallorca. Hm. Here's the whole thing! It's in Spanish and as much as I've become an expert in using Google Translate as I attempt to buy an Elder Gay ensemble off of Instagram from a designer in Mexico City, I simply cannot tell you what the article is about. But Michael Douglas' picture is on page 6 and I want to imagine someone just gave him this like "Aren't you excited? You're in a magazine!"
The theme of Pride 2021 is... this Elder Gay ensemble I'm trying to buy off of Instagram from a designer in Mexico!
He gave me the price and it was thousands and I had a heart attack but then I realized it was in pesos not dollars. Anyway, now he's not responding and I'm sad! I'm just trying to live like Gandalf going through a Stevie Nicks phase.
The theme of Pride 2021 is... this lucky bag of bagels next to Jake Gyllenhaal!
I feel represented by and also envious of this trash bag full of carbs.
The theme of Pride 2021 is... this atrocious Target suit!
Baby this is a full-on costume. Like, this exact suit has been available for years on Halloween costume sites from a company called SuitMeister but... go off, I suppose. The theme of Pride is "seriously recycling a joke."
Target really said "We heard y'all were out in the streets acting messy and we thought you should dress the part."
This is that thing when a RompHim is too queer.
THE STITCHING IS A CRIME. Go back to the workroom and pack up your station.
The gayest thing about this suit is this note on the Target website.
The theme of Pride 2021 is... me seeing In the Heights in an actual theater roughly 30 times!
This movie has been coming out for roughly 96,000 days but I still get chills every time I watch the trailer. There has never been a more summer movie than this. As an adult I less than compelled by sweating my way through a day walking around New York City. But back in college when I was more hydrated and much more energy? Nothing like it. NOTHING like it. The possibility! The discovery! The energy! Ah! My youth!
I am going to see this movie once a day! (Let me know if you want to come. I have literally cleared my schedule.) And after that's done, maybe I'll celebrate by walking from the Village to 125th Street again like I did once the summer after my freshman year of college when I leant a friend my last three dollars and couldn't get on the subway. The theme of Pride is "not planning ahead but making the best of it!" It took hours to get home! I stopped at Columbus Circle and thought "I'll just never make it." Spoiler alert, I did. But my goodness was I exhausted. So, in honor of my journey...
The theme of Pride 2021 is... tired and weird!
Random Thing on the Internet
I read and loved this oral history of one of my favorite shows of all-time, the great A Different World!