Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Things I learned from Ashley Morris
I have been thinking about this for days. There are others among the blogger group who were in closer touch than I was with Ashley, but we did have our moments. I learned a lot from this man. One of my favorite photos of him is the one above. I always thought we should make t-shirts out of it.
I learned that ignoring conventional wisdom regarding the wearing of horizontal stripes was a good thing and could make a statement while flattering one's figure, and that being comfortable in one's own skin made that work. So there, Mr. Blackwell.
I learned that lapdances were an appropriate gift for someone who had just had a heart transplant (this, according to him and his testosterone filled posse via email) as long as you provided a laptop for said transplant patient to get some work done between dances.
I learned that laughter and generosity coupled with sheer frustrated rage could be a productive combination. Much could be accomplished by opening one's mouth and screaming to the high heavens that something was just flat out WRONG.
I learned that if I didn't understand some of the geek stuff, he would always take the time to answer my emails, even with his plate so full with family, work and activism.
I learned that there was a big guy out there who loved cigars as much as my husband and would help look for that husband at a Krewe du Vieux after party when it was thought that the aforementioned husband might be drunk and passed out somewhere in a run down theatre on Rampart Street.
I learned that size DOES matter when it comes to fleur de lis tattoos and the size of one's heart.
I also learned some wonderful phrases which will be forever linked to him in my head.
FYYFF could be a password for a secret clubhouse of bloggers, and probably will be one day, but it often summed up everything the rest of us were thinking but didn't have the balls to write: Fuck you you fucking fuck.
Sinn Fein, obviously co-opted from the IRA, it nevertheless became a rallying cry for those of us who felt that the social contract had failed. We knew we were indeed in this ourselves alone a lot of the time.
Fuckmook. Well, what can you say about that? The first time I met him in person, after having several email exchanges within our little group, I walked up, introduced myself and told him that my husband and I had to thank him for that wonderful word. It has become a staple in the vocabulary around here, usually hollered loudly by one of us as we read some thoroughly appalling article in the paper. He laughed very hard and confessed that he hadn't made it up. He said, "That's what Johnny Depp says when he gets in the cab in 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico.'" I was delighted. Here was one other human being who had actually seen that movie and liked it in its bizarre-ness like I did.
Food Porn. A photo of a gorgeous cochon du lait with an Abita standing by, or a photo of. . . . . you name the food. He'd describe it in detail until you found yourself standing in the kitchen making peanut butter toast cuz it was 2AM, you just read it and now you were jones-ing with no hope of copping.
I learned that what we write here really does matter, and after a long layoff wondering if anything at all mattered, I thank him heartily for that.
Please make sure you click the photo/link in the picture to the right (the one where he has a plate in his hand). Donate if you can. His family can use it. I hope the family knows that we'll still be around to help out and to carry on what Ashley did so well. As Karen so perfectly put it: RAGE ON.
Ashley Morris Rising Tide