Friday, October 30, 2009

Today, the horror was mitigated in a tiny sliver of a way... discovering that an organic piroshky place is opening a few blocks from my home and, also, by my encounter with a four month-old chocolate lab on my way to get groceries.

Would still sever any limb to have him alive and here again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Whenever I awake on a morning this cold...

...I think of how my father was homeless for two years as a child when the Nazis occupied his family's house and how he and his father survived in a lean-to in the woods during this period. (My father's mother had already died from tuberculosis by this time. Dad's last memory of his mom is of her screaming his name as the paramedics dragged her away to be quarantined. Summarily, his two younger brothers were sent to live with other family members.) Then, of course, Greece had a civil war immediately thereafter.

I remain forever in awe that my father's humanity and intellect and wit have persisted intact.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thank you again, so many of you, for your deep and unwavering...

...kindness. With all the words at my disposal, it means more than I can possibly convey.

Most days, I return several emails and phone calls. Some days, however, I cannot. The grief is staggering and there are times the healthiest thing to do is to go for a walk or read quietly. If you have not heard from me, you will. I just don't want anyone to think I've overlooked their words of love because I have not. They are very much helping to sustain me.

And on a darkly humorous note that TJ would be the first one to find funny: as oft-noted, I live in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood (as did TJ), in which a delightful (and occasionally batshit) mix of artists and gays reside. Halloween here is a national fucking holiday and while I usually enjoy the unfettered theatricality, this year, I could do without each window of every storefront and home being festooned with all manner of skeletons and ghosts. Really, not in the least bit helpful.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning director and renowned screenwriter, states in great detail why he has left the "Church" of Scientology after 35...

...years and now finds it morally reprehensible. In the Village Voice via The Daily Beast.

Excerpt of Haggis' public disavowal:

"I joined the Church of Scientology thirty-five years ago. During my twenties and early thirties I studied and received a great deal of counseling. While I have not been an active member for many years, I found much of what I learned to be very helpful, and I still apply it in my daily life. I have never pretended to be the best Scientologist, but I openly and vigorously defended the church whenever it was criticized, as I railed against the kind of intolerance that I believed was directed against it. I had my disagreements, but I dealt with them internally. I saw the organization - with all its warts, growing pains and problems - as an underdog. And I have always had a thing for underdogs.

But I reached a point several weeks ago where I no longer knew what to think. You had allowed our name to be allied with the worst elements of the Christian Right. In order to contain a potential "PR flap" you allowed our sponsorship of Proposition 8 to stand. Despite all the church's words about promoting freedom and human rights, its name is now in the public record alongside those who promote bigotry and intolerance, homophobia and fear.

The fact that the Mormon Church drew all the fire, that no one noticed, doesn't matter. I noticed. And I felt sick. I wondered how the church could, in good conscience, through the action of a few and then the inaction of its leadership, support a bill that strips a group of its civil rights.

This was my state of mind when I was online doing research and chanced upon an interview clip with you on CNN. The interview lasted maybe ten minutes - it was just you and the newscaster. And in it I saw you deny the church's policy of disconnection. You said straight-out there was no such policy, that it did not exist.

I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn't have to search for verification - I didn't have to look any further than my own home.

You might recall that my wife was ordered to disconnect from her parents because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the church. This is a lovely retired couple, never said a negative word about Scientology to me or anyone else I know - hardly raving maniacs or enemies of the church. In fact it was they who introduced my wife to Scientology.

Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all contact with them. I refused to do so. I've never been good at following orders, especially when I find them morally reprehensible.

For a year and a half, despite her protestations, my wife did not speak to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a terrible time.

That's not ancient history, Tommy. It was a year ago.

And you could laugh at the question as if it was a joke? You could publicly state that it doesn't exist?

To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?"


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day #19:

I had as delightful a lunch with my dear friend, Steve, as one can have under the circumstances, spotted not one but two adorable Corgis on the walk home, and reflexively called the driver who nearly killed me in the crosswalk a "stupid fuckwad".

Slowly, an infinitesimal bit of normalcy creeps in.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Skull-crushing mindfuck:

When his food is still in your refrigerator and freezer and, of course, he is dead.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Best story ever (in context):

My beloved cousin, H, had perused the recent study wherein it was discovered that stress is alleviated by profanity, particularly in women. As she cared about TJ, too, she custom-ordered a batch of M&Ms for me, emblazoned with a delightful array of expletives.

When her order didn't arrive, she called their customer service department, illuminated the exigency of combining swear words and chocolate in this particular situation, and was told, "Miss, we're a family company. We won't print those words for you."

As my equally beloved cousin, E, noted, tongue-in-cheek in the best possible way, we have been a good influence on (the younger) H. And as I have frequently underscored here and elsewhere, I might just have the greatest family in the heliosphere.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Worth revisiting when you feel each molecule shattering and slowly realligning:

Soapdish, with Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robert Downey Jr. Screenplay by Robert Harling and the frequently wonderful Andrew Bergman (Fletch, The In-Laws, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Freshman) and directed by Michael Hoffman. Still hilarious and note-perfect 18 years later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And now for something completely different:

Before Elizabeth Taylor was merely a tabloid fixture, she was one of our country's preeminent film actresses, most astoundingly beautiful women, and relentlessly vociferous AIDS activists.

The Daily Beast features an excerpt from William J. Mann's upcoming tome, Elizabeth Taylor: How to be a Movie Star (and make sure and check out its attending photo gallery):

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thank you again, each and every one of you, for your profound kindness... calls, and emails. With all the words at my disposal, it means more than I can convey.

I have gotten in touch with many of you and, for obvious reasons, my response time is slowed right now, but I will be in contact and continue to thank each of you soon.

In the aforementioned respect, I feel incredibly fortunate. It's surreally dichotomous, though, to be bathed in love while churning in agony.

Please keep sending good wishes and/or prayers to TJ's family.

Much love,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

As the loved one of someone who actually just went missing, I'm of two minds re Balloon Dad:

On one hand, I'd like to skip habeas corpus and fair trial and just give the asshole the chair. On the other, I don't have it in me to give a shit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's not until you're in the midst of the most searing and inescapable grief of your life...

...that you realize the staggering amount of truly gorgeous and helpful death songs U2 has produced over the years.

I raise my Valium and Halloween candy to you, you beautiful Irish bastards.

So, omniscient deity, if you exist:

My best friend is dead and Glenn Beck still draws breath.

Nice work, asshole.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TJ's family has set up a site with a moving obituary...

...and details regarding the memorial, where you can send donations in lieu of flowers, and other pertinent information:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Information re TJ's memorial/celebration of life and additional details:

Hey, all. TJ's memorial/celebration of life will, quite fittingly, take place at the new(ish) Mountaineers Building this Friday, October 16th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Address: 770 Sandpoint Way NE, Seattle, 98115, in Goodman Rooms A and B. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. There will be a slideshow. Send me photos soon at and I'll send them to Stephen, who is overseeing it.

We are all grieving, but unquestionably, TJ would want us to have a bit of fun with this, so if some of the photos are goofy, well, all the better. Let's give our lad the send off he deserves.

Also, please don't take it personally if I haven't returned your deeply kind phone call or email yet. I am shattered and need to not talk about it today or tomorrow. TJ was due at my place last Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. and TJ always sent me a "Home safe!" email the first thing he was in the door, always sent me his itinerary, and always let me know when to "officially" worry.

The tipping point for the latter on this trip was late afternoon Wednesday. Hence a number of you seeing me at Sherman's Tuesday evening reading and Dave's noon reading on Wednesday last week. TJ, like all climbers, had encountered unforeseen but essentially benign circumstances previously and returned to Seattle several hours late, but never so late he was in the officially designated worry zone.

At 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, I left TJ a voicemail and when I still hadn't heard from him by 7:30 p.m., I let his closest climbing partner/great guy/heroic friend, Tim, know that TJ was late. And immediately, Tim, TJ's extraordinarily intelligent and kind, sister, Joy, and I kicked into gear. Tim actually left that night, a full 12 hours ahead of the Chelan County Search and Rescue. Then right away, additional truly heroic climbing friends joined the Search and Rescue teams and, indeed, surpassed the efforts of the professionals. Joy received information from the SAR teams, relayed it to me, and I disseminated it to relevant parties and to TJ's copious friends.

I don't think I can say these words out loud again this week without falling apart. And all of us still have Friday to get through. It will be a celebration of TJ's amazing and singular life, but celebration or not, a number of us are churning in agony.

And I hope this doesn't sound unkind, but if no one would call before 10:00 a.m. West Coast time, I would really appreciate it. A number of us have barely slept in a week and the last three days I've been woken by early phone calls after only having fitfully slept a few hours.

Thank you again, all of you, for everything. The outpouring of love for TJ and for his friends means more than I can possibly convey. And I will definitely be in touch with each of you very soon.

Much love,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanks so much, all of you, for your deeply kind thoughts re my beloved...

...friend, TJ. My eyes hurt to blink I've cried so much and then I think of something wonderful he said or did and I laugh. I am devastated and, unquestionably, in shock.

What follows is a highly detailed and accurate account of TJ's search and rescue and recovery, posted by TJ's friend, Jason Griffith, who was part of the search and rescue team. Scroll down to the bottom to the longer post under the username, "Heinrich":

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TJ's sister, Joy Langley, is the media spokesperson regarding TJ Langley:

Hey, TJ's boundless group of friends.

TJ's sister, Joy Langley, has asked that all of us decline media requests and allow her to field media inquiries and interviews and I agree with her 100%. As someone who frequently interviews people, I understand, as we all do, that reporters are merely doing their job, but it makes the most sense for there to be one media spokesperson and for it to be TJ's adored and supremely intelligent sister, Joy.

KIRO very nicely approached me and I declined for the above reasons. Then the reporter asked if anyone in Seattle's theater community would speak on camera and I politely explained that, no, they wouldn't, out of respect for the family's wishes. Please get the word out to, as I said, TJ's boundless group of friends.

Thanks so much,

TJ Langley's sister, Joy, has asked that I bring everyone...

...together at 10 pm at the Six Arms on Pike and Melrose on Capitol Hill.

No further updates yet. Keep praying and sending great thoughts to bring our lad home alive, safe, and immediately. And thank you all for extraordinary kindness.

The latest on my best friend, TJ Langley, from KING 5 News and, again, hope:

Please see the latest from KING 5 News below. Note it also includes TJ was spotted alive and presumably well by other climbers on Wednesday. Which means whatever happened didn't occur, say, Sunday, and, of course, is a more hopeful situation. Also, it contains footage of the interview KING 5 did with TJ a decade ago, after he was mauled by the bear at Yellowstone. What cracks your heart: he playfully holds up his acting headshot and then pulls it away to reveal the crisscross of then-new scars. And his beloved and delightfully goofy cat, Elvis, who died last year at 18, cozies in his lap the whole time:

Also, as I just posted on my Facebook page, the search for TJ is underway again today. And because it's the weekend, more A-list and highly experienced climbers are helping the Chelan, King, and Snohomish County Sheriffs' Offices with the search.

We love you. Come home now.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Seattle Times has picked up the story and paints...

...a different picture than the Wenatchee paper, leaving out that TJ was probably identified alive and well on Wednesday. (Therein lies the hope: whatever happened didn't happen on say, Sunday.) However, the Seattle Times reports that the King and Snohomish County Sheriff Offices are collaborating in the search now, and, of course, this indicates an increased level of seriousness, but it also means additional experts are searching. And they also report a small plane was able to aid in the search today, which means the wheels are still turning. (Side note to the first two Seattle Times commenters who posted messages beneath the article so far: if I find you, I will choke you to death w/ your own dicks.)

Seattle Times piece:

Some hopeful news re TJ:

Here is the latest news I just posted on my FB page:

And here is what I posted w/ it:

"Some hopeful news: according to this new Wenatchee newspaper piece, TJ's pack was believed to be spotted by copter on Thursday (more on that in a sec) and the Chelan County Sheriff's Office is reporting they spoke w/ climbers in the area who saw someone matching TJ's description alive and well on Wed. It it worth noting that none of this information was relayed by the Sheriff's Office to the three of us at the top of the communication coordination effort. (What the hell?) Still, it is hopeful news. Please, everyone, continue w/ your good wishes and/or prayers as the search is off for tonight but will resume again in the morning. And much love to all of you for your extraordinary kindness toward TJ, the Langely family, to me, and all his many friends. It means more than I can articulate."

Feel free to disseminate far and wide.

Description, presumed locale, et al of my best friend, TJ Langley (legal name George Terry Langley Jr.), who has been missing in the North Cascades...

...for the past 48 hours:

Please click for photos and additional pertinent information. Please forward to climbing and/or outdoor folks. Or anyone, really. The more people who know to keep an eye out, the better.

If you have viable information, contact me at ldremousis at yahoo dot com and I'll forward it to the Chelan County Sheriff's Office or you can contact them directly.

Please continue to keep TJ and his family in your prayers and/or thoughts of any stripe. And please see my previous post for additional details.

Good wishes, please:

My best friend has been on a solo climb in the North Cascades since Sunday morning; he is now 48 hours late. Yesterday the Chelan County Sheriff's Office found his car at the trail head, but not him. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., they looked for him by helicopter. In an hour, the on-foot search and rescue effort begins, aided by several of his very good (and great) climbing friends, many of whom I've become pals with. In the past day and a half, I have said every prayer and profanity I know. I don't purport to know how the universe works, but good wishes of any stripe for my deeply kind, incredibly intelligent, and sometimes pigheaded dear friend are deeply appreciated. Much love, TJ.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Musician Tai Shan and the October 10th benefit for People for Puget Sound (because it's divine when artists really do give back):

My friend, the deeply talented and peach sweet musician, Tai Shan, is playing the October 10th benefit for People for Puget Sound, an incredibly effective environmental agency dedicated to cleaning one the region's most pastoral and economically essential water bodies.

If you haven't already, you can discover more about Tai, her crave-it-like-candy music, and the upcoming fundraiser, which Governor Christine Gregoire is attending:

Monday, October 05, 2009

And because we could all use a bit of loveliness today:

The historical Benson Hotel, last Thursday evening, my final of three nights in Portland. (Again, thank you Expedia recession-fueled discount!)

There are so many deeply intelligent and talented and kind inividuals in the world and I've...

...been fortunate enough to work with a number of them of late.

But you know how there is usually that one person who sends your mind tiptoeing toward thoughts of ear-flicking and spitwads? Yeah, that.

For the past eleven years, I've been asked, "Why do you have pet bunnies?" This is why I have pet bunnies. The joy I derive from them has, thus far, preempted felonies I otherwise might have attempted, plus they are among the smartest, cleverest, and super-cutest creatures on earth. (There are evolutionary reasons for this I won't detail now, but rabbits, like most prey animals, are startling clever because otherwise they would be some jackal's mid-afternoon snack.)

So, let us all pause and thank the bunnies on what has been an oddball day because without them, someone might have gotten a bag of flaming dog crap on their welcome mat.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Newly effective ways to make yourself nuts:

  • Volunteer to become your building's condo secretary because your neighbors, by and large, are deeply awesome and you'd rather take on a job for which you're qualified than get drafted for one at which you'd blow.
  • Approach said position in an egalitarian manner, sending out missives in which you underscore "the Condo Board is not Fidel Castro" and that you welcome viable input.
  • Check your inbox.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Six questions for Ralph Nader, who is reading at Powell's Books in Portland tomorrow, October 4:

1) At one point, you were the country's leading consumer advocate and, unquestionably, were responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives. What the hell happened?

2) Do you ever pause and consider the stunning level of your jack-assery when you purported during your 2000 campaign for president that there was absolutely no difference between the Democrats and Republicans? Of course, all sentient adults know both parties are rife with corruption and venality, but in light of George W. Bush's eight year Reign of Mistakes, are you willing to cede that perhaps Al Gore possessed far greater intellect, empathy, and competence and might not have steered the country into a shit-laden ditch?

3) A number of your friends spoke publicly after the 2000 election that they supported you because you assured them your run was essentially symbolic and that you were shining a spotlight on pertinent issues that might otherwise get overlooked, but that if the polls indicated a dead heat between Gore and Bush, you would gracefully bow out. Of course, you did not, and the same friends claimed to be disillusioned by your festering demagoguery. Receive a lot of birthday cards anymore, sir?

4) Who has the bigger persecution complex: you or Sarah Palin? Have you considered battling for the title via a dart game or arm wrestling?

5) Still with the rumpled suit? Really?

6) Will you go away ever? What if we all chip in for candy or a nice pot roast?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thank you and good night, Portland!

Returned last night from my three day and two night jaunt to Portland and I had an utterly delightful time. Madly in love with the Pearl District and imbibed 72 hours of wonderfulness. I've unpacked, returned pressing emails, and the adrenaline has worn off, however, so as goofy as it sounds to the uninitiated, I'm going back to sleep now. Will detail sundry adventures here and will post additional photos capturing the sublime and the slightly ridiculous on Facebook.

Much love, Portland! You can call me anytime.

[From top to bottom: foyer of The Benson Hotel, where I stayed thanks to a nifty recession-fueled discount via Expedia; posters for a super-cool bike-inspired show at a gallery on SW Stark; the legendary Powell's Books; U.S. National Bank building on 5th Ave and SW Stark; outdoors supply store on 3rd Ave near Voodoo Doughnuts.]