Patrick Swayze, 1952-2009

Our favorite? Donnie Darko.

Patrick Swayze Dies After Long Battle with Cancer [KTLA]

The Grim Reaper can and will put Baby in a corner if it wants to.

Time for a double feature of Roadhouse & Point Break. You all can have your Ghosts and Dirty Dancings. The truly essential Swayze is B-movie quality.

@Signal to Noise: I buried it in the photo, but I really like his performance as a charlatan in Donnie Darko.

What about his minor role in Uncommon Valor, for those of us who prefer violence, stiff acting and macho role playing and don’t like lovedovey ghosts and dancing?

Dude had a ranch out by Mrs RML’s hometown of Las Vegas, NM. He fell in love with the place while making “Red Dawn.”


@nojo: that was a good one, too.

Of course, we should all sing “A Patrick Swayze Christmas” in his honor.

@Signal to Noise: Point Break, of course, is awesome for nothing more than the skydiving scene that was recreated on Mythbusters

Roadhouse is my all time favorite bad movie, I just love it, beginning to end.

But don’t forget Jim Carrol, Basketball Diaries, the movie that inspired Columbine, and noone in the media ever mentioned it.

He outlived his friends by 45 years.

And don’t forget To Wong Foo with Love, Julie Newmar, a charmingly dippy movie with fine perfs by Mssrs. Swayze, Leguizamo, and Snipes.

@homofascist: Yes it does, my dear, yes it does. A relative of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two months before Swayze. Despite the actuarial projections, she is alive and responding well to experimental drugs at a very prominent cancer institute, she somehow lucked into this study and it’s working. I can’t snark.

And I can’t believe that Federer lost.

@Benedick: Yes, but I liked it better when it was called “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

This raises the batting average of checkout tabloids to .006.

Seriously, this blows. Irony in this — my eighth grade math teacher hit her first year in remission during my time in her class. She was totally obsessed with Swayze. She must be crestfallen.

@homofascist: It truly, truly does. The first man I ever loved died of pancreatic cancer at 43. I hope things continue to go well for your relative, Lefty, and that they are making progress in treating this.
I learned of a former colleague’s death over the weekend. He was in his 50s, had retired from a long stint as a state employee, and was looking forward to doing consulting work and spending more time backpacking, camping, etc. (This guy would camp outside large cities when we were there for conferences rather than stay in the conference hotel). Complications of Crohn’s disease. Breaks my heart.

Always sad to see a talent go so early… or anyone for that matter.

@Mistress Cynica: Its death what sucks. It comes to everyone, whether cancer or car accident or auto-erotic strangulation gone awry. Cancer sucks most maybe just because its slow and horrible.

What also sucks, and I am not even being political here, is that, well, if not for some “ethical” objections which go far beyond christian objection to stem cell research, there could be lots more things being explored that could make a difference. Creating chimeras is deeply skeevy to some, so we don’t do as much as we could with putting human genes in animals to make human organs in animal hosts, because of fears of the Island of Dr. Moreau scenario. This may sound beyond the pale, but it seems pretty clear that we could clone humans, but it would be too shocking to too many to produce a human clone, and manipulate it so it never would be more than a body, no mind, so that organs could be created. Maybe I am some kinda ethically damaged person, but I fail to see the problem.

Oh well.

Even if allowed, it would be tech reserved for the wealthy, and then the greater, to me, moral issue of who gets such treatments, and how old we allow them to get with replaced organs, rears its head.

Maybe its best that we all die, some time, some how.

One of those issues where when you look at it globally, you can think of objections, when you look at any given individual you love, you want all stops pulled out.

@Promnight: Remember, for every cloned Jerry Lee Lewis there’d also be a Jimmy Swaggart; the world is always in balance.

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: I am 2/3s of the way to the end of the track, and I don’t like it.

@Mistress Cynica: Sorry about your colleague. Sounds like he had a good time even pre-retirement. Glad to hear he was having fun even then.

It reminds me, not to get too maudlin or PromNight here (I kiiid, Prommy, I kiiid!) I know that the post 9/11 reminiscing is a ginormous cliche, but I felt like it was a huge fucking wake up call to live the life I want to live now and not wait, because you never know if it’s a Muni bus running the red light, a 747 crashing in your office, a heart attack or your pancreas getting cancer, but seriously you’ve got to live life as if today is your last day. Those 9/11 attacks happened right around the time I was supposed to reach up and grab the easy brass ring of trotting off to some overpaid law firm “just for a few years to pay off loans” like some of my law school classmates said and say years later, and I realized that I had to say NO. It redoubled my resolve, and there have been times I’ve hated that and goddess knows there’s a lot of times I wish I had more than $25 in the bank after I paid my bills. But I don’t want to die tomorrow and be remembered as the asshole in the re-insurance or securities division of the law firm who can do doc review faster than anyone else. And I understand why some people do have to do that – children, families, obligations to fulfill. But for 10 or 15 years? No, unless you’re supporting seven disabled family members.

And I’ve related how I go round and round with my shrink about my tendency to “catastrophic” thinking but I really try to tell myself that, this isn’t catastrophic, it’s not so much that I’m running off to Vegas and betting the house and the car, but in terms of the fact that I try (try!) to be forgiving of assholes, and I try to tell everyone I love that I love them every day. (Cue Tracy Chapman’s “Change,” if you want to get really maudlin here). And if I felt a desire to cook good food like Prommie, I’d open my deli. If I wanted to make wine, I’d shuck it all and move to Oregon like Cynica and Mr. Cynica.

So I guess I’m trying to say car-pay-fuckin-diem, y’all. If you’re stricken by pancreatic cancer at 57 (or 41 like my relative) then you want to be able to say you’ve gone balls out in life before that.

/so what did that have to do with Patrick Swayze? Somewhat? Please?

ducks head, returning to Raiders-Chargers game…

@Mistress Cynica: We found out tonight that the guy I went turkey hunting with over the weekend was walking around with a burst appendix. He had emergency surgery today and we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.

@redmanlaw: Crap! The guy that just got a cancer diagnosis?

Did you harass any turkeys? Score the meat for Thanksgiving supper?

And why does somebody this wonderful die so brutally and tragically while Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger walk the earth?

For reals, I want to know.

ADD: Yeah, I really want to know. What an amazing kid. We need her in the world, not Rush Limbaugh.

@SanFranLefty: Cheney and Kissinger feed on their souls.

@SanFranLefty: Yup, that dude. Life is pretty trying for him right now.

We saw two turkeys while driving out before supper to check out a likely spot. Being the paragons of gun safety that we are, the fowling pieces were unloaded in the backseat of the truck. By the time we got out and loaded the guns, our prey was long gone. Our turkey this year will be shrink wrapped with “Butterball” written on the label, unless I can get one on tribal land* before then. Now, if I had the Glock 9mm, I could have leapt from the truck, gun blazing . . . **

* No state jurisdiction = tribes control their own game management, so a hunt for turkey as well as deer or elk is possible although the state season ends tomorrow.

** Kidding. Only shotguns or bows may be used for turkey hunting in New Mexico.

@Mistress Cynica: I saw that too. Damn. I disagree with Nojo – I think the evil people must feed on the souls of kittens and puppies – I have no other way to explain how they still walk the earth.

Because the universe isn’t just or fair. It just is. That took me a long time to figure out.

Sometimes, living a long life really is fair. It’s worse when you have longer to deal with who you are. Life itself can become a prison for those who choose it so. I suspect that Dick Cheney shooting his mouth off is his reaction to those who think he should be in prison and the damage it is doing to Dick’s mind. I think that like most “real” villains, Dick thinks he did nothing wrong and is incapable of being wrong despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I’m suspecting that it absolutely bothers HIM how these ungrateful shits (us) don’t appreciate the geniuz of Dick. Instead of using that energy for something useful and attempt to rehabilitate himself like another US Dick, Nixon, he’s stewing in his own anger and bile. The problem with Dick is that he’s utterly predictable in his reactions. Doesn’t help that deep down he wants to be loved (despite his protestations otherwise), that he’s afraid of a world that he can not understand (especially that whole thing about love and pleasure) and a complete utter coward when facing life itself.

The truth is, it probably burns Dick every time he turns on the news these days watching his legacy of failure being cemented as Barry starts pulling troops out of Iraqinam. Those fallen are pinned on his soul. That he helped wreck the very thing that he claims to love, US America. That he helped crush his beloved GOP. I’m betting it’s killing him that everyone in the world is fucking right except HIM. Of course, he’ll never say anything because he’s too godamned scared to admit he’s weak. If he were truly satisfied with his legacy, why continue to lash out at Barry?

In many way’s he reminds me of Cathy, Aron and Caleb’s mom from Steinbeck’s East of Eden, loathing all that is evil in man yet incapable of recognizing decency and love.

@Mistress Cynica: That’s the listed cause, but he probably collapsed upon seeing Pat Caddell show up on Beck’s show Saturday.

@ManchuCandidate: Very, very true about fairness. I understand it intellectually but emotionally the absolute randomness of life bugs the fuck out of me. It might not bug me so much if they’d prosecute these motherfuckers or if they would at least live long enough to become Bubba’s bitch on cell block A. Years ago I was at Trader Joe’s and a little 3 year old was sitting in the cart, reaching for the chocolate at the check-out and saying, “I want Mommy.” Patiently the Mom kept saying no. Finally, the little girl wailed, “But it’s not fair, Mommy.” The mom turned to the little girl and said, “Now, what did I tell you about life?” And the little girl quietly answered, “It’s not fair.” I wish somebody had done that for me.

@ManchuCandidate: “Sometimes, living a long life really is fair.”

Exhibit A, I present to you, is the recently deceased senior senator from Tax-achusetts, the slacker loser baby of the least promise and of whom the least was expected, but the only one of his four brothers to live a long life. And a long life meant many people died who he loved, he did shit he was ashamed of, he endured a Shakespearean level of death and sadness and cancer and alcoholism, and yet, yet, yet, at the end of it all he was the guy who got more done in his 47 years of going to the Senate and plugging away day after fucking day with a sense of noblesse oblige and a sense of inadequacy, but unlike Dick Cheney he didn’t turn the insecurity out to hurt others but instead used it to help others.

That’s why I’m dying to read the posthumous autobiography, which by the sneak peeks I’ve heard is painfully honest and brutal and self-aware. Something that we’d never accuse Dick of being.

At the end of the day, as much pain and sadness that Uncle Teddy had, you can’t argue with living a life as long and fulfilling and robust that he did, versus a shorter more pain-free life.

@cassandra_said: I wish my trips to Trader Joe’s were that profound. Instead I’m jostling with Burning Man trustafarians trying to figure out how many insta-Aloo Goobi packets and cans of garbanzo beans they should take to the playa.

@Promnight: I had a friend who was severely freaked at turning 30. I’ve long since learned not to bring up that subject with him.

Me, heck — 50’s just an opportunity to introduce new running gags. I’ve been having fun and enjoying adventures (like this site) all along, so I won’t have regrets when the Mad Bus nails me in the intersection.

@SanFranLefty: Ha!

“At the end of the day, as much pain and sadness that Uncle Teddy had, you can’t argue with living a life as long and fulfilling and robust that he did, versus a shorter more pain-free life.”

I was at a friend’s brunch recently. One of the woman there … well, nice is what I would say about her if I was in a charitable mood, drop-dead dull if I wasn’t. I was talking to my friend after the brunch was over and she told me that watching paint dry woman had once been an extremely close friend but that when she had gone through a major depression, she had just disappeared from her life. She had never had anything go terribly wrong in her life. No major catastrophes, no loss, no heartbreak….nothing …. and her personality reflected it. It’s the dark nights of the soul and how we deal with them that give us interest and depth.

Christ, I’m full of anecdotes tonight.

@cassandra_said: I’m assuming from your pronouns that friend had the depression and paint-dry lady disappeared?

It’s nothing like a trauma in your life to really make you learn (painfully, often) who are your friends.

Meanwhile, on a happier note, I’m loving Jon Stewart’s return.

@SanFranLefty: Ack! Yes, paint-dry woman was not only a fair-weather friend but exceedingly dull due to her pain-free life.

Funny, I was just telling Cynica and DodgerBlue that I was going through Stewart withdrawals. I don’t have the cable so I’ll have to wait til tomorrow to see it.

I figure, you gots what you got and you have to work it as best you can.

Lefty has it right, and I also refused to go down that path (went to a unexceptional school in my hometown rather than even try to enter some August Institution. Of course, implicit with that admission is the possibility that I could or would only have gotten into a so-so ‘name’ school. But anyway I have no regrets about that.

I just want to go out right, with my head held high. That’s really all you can try to do, other then generally being safe in your life choices.

A guy like Carroll knew how tenuous all this really is, this thing called ‘reality’.

@cassandra_said: I was planning on watching Stewart reruns tomorrow, because even though I’m still awake I was a little side-tracked by the sandbox.

@SanFranLefty: That’s as good as any explanation for why I just chucked a job that forced me to spend four hours a day online with you folks for the chance to ‘fix’ things abroad. For the third time in my life.

@redmanlaw: Just found out that some of my training for the new gig may involve weaponry. Possibly just how to aviod them, but I confess I have for the first time in my life a slight desire to learn how to shoot properly.

I sometimes wish I didn’t learn things the hard way, but here we are…

The randomness bugs me too, but it’s better than pretending that the universe has some grand purpose/scheme for oneself.

@SanFranLefty: Hey, I hang out in another place that is frequented by people who build wooden boats, an activity that appeals to an older crowd. They drop like flies, and there aren’t a lot of them. Its like if one of us here were kicking the bucket every 6 months, it gets depressing.

@Capt Howdy: Me, too. Performances in every way superior to what happened in the Priscilla movie.

yes, as a gay man the one thing I love about that movie – as opposed to pretty much every other drag queen movie I can think of – is that it lacks the obligatory “drag queen gets beaten up by straight boys” scene.

at one point you think its going to happen to John Leguizamo but in the end they spare you. and its funny as hell. Wesley Snipes has never looked better or more comfortable.

@Capt Howdy: I would agree. Leguizamo is sensational. I find drag intrinsically boring but they did do something unexpected and disarming with it. The only other interesting drag thing I ever saw – apart from Rogers and Starr in London who were terrifying – was George Hearne in a dress singing I Am What I Am full-bore baritone. It was pretty grand.

Wait. Wasn’t Swayze’s name in that ‘Vida Boheme’? (as in La Vie de Boheme?) I thought it was very witty. And one more reason I want to hurl things when they get the phrase wrong in Rent.

“Vida Boheme” – that was the name and I’m sure you are right about the spelling. need to put that on my netflix list. haven’t seen it for a long time.

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: You ever take that demented online UN safety program and test?

@FlyingChainSaw: I did take a CD-ROM safety course some years ago that my agency developed and then farmed out to the others. Pretty basic, commonsense stuff. Most fun however was emergency roster training, because we got to drive 4x4s through streams and test our team skills during ambushes that were helpfully peopled by the French army. My team leader had a meltdown and pretended he had been shot in order to not have to participate in the first aid portion where there were staged victims.

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: The online program, run by the UN, was goofy and buggy. At the end, it would shoot you a certificate of achievement to print out.The industry group sponsoring this program in inland China wouldn’t cut me a plane ticket until I faxed them the certificate.

@FlyingChainSaw: I wouldn’t be surprised if they just put the CD ROM course on-line. Always stay above the 2nd floor but below the 8th!

hi everyone!!!!
dipping a toe back into the stin*ue pool after the triple whammy i’m recovering from. of course i’m still maudlin, and checking in here to say that pancreatic cancer is what stole my little sister at age 35. she never smoked, drank, was an avid runner AND a godamn sunday school teacher, no really, she was! she had 3 babies at the time of her death, ages 7, 4, and 10 months. she was so much nicer than me too. what sense can be made from this?

as a lot of you know, i just lost a beloved dog. here is what i think we may glean from the senselessness. dogs and wonderful people don’t have to spend that much time on this wretched plane. they are alive and in peace in every moment, spreading joy and goodness.
anyway, it’s my theory.


oh yes, darling! i adore “foo”, and i was there, opening night in new york, to hear george hearne belt out “i am what i am” and i have goose bumps just typing the memory of it. i sing it often to the dogs, and consider it a personal theme song.

@baked: Glad to see you back. Again, I am so sorry about your pupster. And sad about your sister.

@ManchuCandidate: @SanFranLefty:

thanks guys…i just got back from having stitches removed, and must go back friday for the rest of them. she had to stop when they heard me screaming from space.

i was catching up earlier here at nojo’s cafe, and it was the first time i laughed out loud in many days. felt GREAT! oh you guys, whatever would i do without ya?

better when he’s wearing a dress, but behold george hearn and my favorite broadway moment.

@baked: Glad you are laughing again, but hope it was after the stitches came out.

Speaking of cross-dressing, one of my favoritest comedians, Eddie Izzard, just ran 43 marathons in 52 days to raise money for charity. I love him even more now.

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