Thursday, January 14, 2016

Raising a Glass to Those We've Lost

So this isn't going to be the cheeriest post, so if you're not in that mode today, feel free to skip it.  I just needed to talk though the huge losses this month of some of my favorite celebs.

This month has been so terribly difficult with losing Lemmy, David Bowie and Alan Rickman.  All three deaths were due to cancer (seriously cancer can eat a bag of dicks) and were sudden and shocking.  When celebrities such as Scott Weiland or Amy Winehouse die, of course it's upsetting and I mourn it no less, but it's not exactly a surprise due to some of the risky behaviors they engage in.  Sometimes it's inevitable.  But all three of these deaths were a punch in the gut because they were sudden.  Lemmy didn't find out until the last minute that he had cancer, but Bowie and Rickman in true dignified British fashion managed to keep their cancer private and live their remaining days on their own terms.  It made me love them more, because in a day and age where every celebrity's business is everywhere on the internet, they managed to do the unimaginable.  They were human and handled their illnesses with grace, dignity and without media interference.  Absolutely classy and in control of their lives until the bitter end.

Some may think it's silly to be so sad over celebrity deaths.  It's not like you know them, yet, certain people are such a part of our lives.  Certain music is the soundtrack of our lives, certain music helps you through life, certain movies are a tradition or evoke memories.  In a way, these people are very much a part of our lives and who we are, and I think it's not only okay but necessary to mourn their loss.

I think ultimately too, it sparks deeper mourning and fear within us when these things happen.  David Bowie was never supposed to die.  He's been here as long as I've been alive, he's always been here and will always be here right?  Alan Rickman was supposed to last forever and ever.  Now they are gone and it brings up complicated feelings of your own mortality and the mortality of those around you.  In my mind Alan Rickman still looked like the sexy Hans Gruber, but in reality he was 69.  If Alan Rickman was 69, and David Bowie was 69, that means I am getting older too.  It means more people like these, musicians and actors who are such a part of my life and have always been there, can die.  And even more chillingly it reminds you that this extends to parents, siblings and friends.  None of those people are supposed to leave us, but Lemmy was never supposed to leave us either.

I know that's very dark and heavy, but this many deaths of beloved people at once has kind of broken my spirit this month.  I needed to honor them and talk about them, and to acknowledge my own complicated feelings about it all.


So as you guys know, I love music.  I love rock and roll.  But most of all, I love authentic, genuine, take no prisoners prisoners artists such as Lemmy.  In an industry where every little thing is manufactured and carefully packaged, Lemmy carved a "no f*cks given" life, and inspired countless other musicians along the way.  He was one of the ones who gave us true, dirty, gritty rock and roll with no apologies.  Most of all, I love that Lemmy was a man of simple pleasures.  He loved his Jack and coke, and he loved playing his favorite video game at The Rainbow.  No frills, nothing fancy, just being Lemmy.

I fell in love with The Rainbow the first time Eric ever took me, so every time we go to LA I insist on eating there.  Every time we go, we try to see if we can catch a glimpse of Lemmy at the bar playing his video game.  Alas, Lemmy was never there any of the times we went, and it breaks my heart that our little game of trying to see Lemmy "in the wild" has ended.

All I can say is SHAME on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for not having inducted Motorhead.  Lemmy was a rock god, and Motorhead has inspired countless artists.  Hopefully they will stop being absolute pricks and will give him the honor he deserves.

David Bowie

This one was hard.  As I said before, David Bowie was never supposed to die.  He was otherworldly, a strange alien being that was just going to be here forever.  How did this happen?

I was not an insane mega fan like many of my friends (some could literally teach college courses on Bowie), but I loved him just the same.  I loved his oddness, his unique voice and his authenticity.  It's hard to pick favorite songs, but GOD "China Girl" is so sexy, I love that song.  "Golden Years", "Heroes", "The Man Who Sold The World", "Rebel Rebel"....I could go on for hours.  I can't process that David Bowie is gone, this unique man who gave so much to us through music and movies, who has inspired so many other artists.  In a world of manufactured imitators and posers, he was unique and special, a treasure.

His new Blackstar album that was released two days before his death, an album written when he surely knew he didn't have much time left, is bizarre, wonderful and sobering.  You should take the time to listen to it.  The opening lyrics to his song "Lazarus" are "Look up here, I'm in heaven."  Another lyric from the song reads "This way or no way, You know I'll be free."  All I can say is that taking control of your terminal illness and having the courage to turn it into performance art is the ultimate in badassery.

Alan Rickman

I will be honest with you guys, this one cuts me most of all.  When I came down this morning and saw the post from Desiree  that our beloved Alan Rickman was gone, I felt intense, real grief.  I am still processing it, and I cannot believe we've lost him.

Alan was the unspoken "mascot" of our Lovely Ladies group, the hotness by which all other men were measured.  To be honest, I thought I was the only woman in the world with a "thing" for Alan Rickman.  It started a  million years ago when he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves.  Costner and Christian Slater were dreadful in it but I remember as a young lass thinking, "the bad guy is kind of hot and hilarious."  I especially fell in love with him as Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility.  What woman doesn't want her partner to look at her the way Colonel Brandon looks at Marianne in that movie?  Seriously, it's hot.  He's hot in it.

And I suppose I should mention Harry Potter and his role as Snape, which of course he was masterful at though it's not the thing I'll remember him for.  What I WILL never forget was going to see the first movie with a friend (who also happened to have a crush on Rickman).  The first time he came on screen and did a very dramatic turn around she muttered, "That's right Snape, looking hot as SHIT in that cape."  I seriously almost blew popcorn on the people in front of me I laughed so hard.  It also confirmed to me that yes, capes are hot.

And I make no apologies for saying this, he is especially hot as Hans Gruber in Die Hard.  It's hard to hate on a villain when they are that sexy.  I made an offhanded Rickman comment in our ladies group one day, and I remember Meg tentatively asking "Do you think Rickman is hot?"  I decided to let my freak flag fly and admitted that yes, I absolutely did.  The floodgates opened and pretty much every lady in the group admitted that she too had the hots for Rickman.  It was in the infancy of the group and I swear to God it's the thing that bonded us for life.  We've talked about him so much that we've joked he's going to take a restraining order out on our group, like literally.  Several of us watched Die Hard and Love Actually over Christmas and of course giggled and cackled about Rickman.  On my birthday I got a mighty amount of Rickman pictures posted to my Facebook wall by my ladies.  You want to talk about a part of my every day life, there was rarely a day when we didn't joke about him or mention him.  We were even talking about incorporating him into a logo for our group somehow.  Losing him somehow hurts the worst, truly.

I will leave you with a smile, however half hearted and inappropriate.  Desiree shared this on my Facebook wall this morning, and the title of the picture was F*ck Cancer.  That's pretty much all there is to say about it.


  1. Your words are perfection. You summed them all up so eloquently.

    1. Thanks. :) I know we're all hurting and in the same crappy boat.

  2. I just want all of us to get together with a big old box of tissue, some delicious snacks, and watch all of the Rickman movies and cry. I need that right now.

    1. I know, it really makes me think we need to make the retreat happen, like for real this time so that we can have a proper sendoff for Alan. I will miss him. :(

  3. Oh, my god....I've been out of the loop this week. Reading this was a HUGE smack in the face, because I had NO IDEA our beloved Alan had left us!! The others, of course, I knew about already. I will always remember him in the movie "Truly, Madly, Deeply" which might be my favorite of him...although there are many. Loved this post, appropriate to them all.

  4. You captured our feelings about Alan Rickman so well. Thank you for the beautiful post.

  5. Wonderful post to commemorate these people that we never knew personally but who we invited into our lives!

    And now add Grizzly Adams (I'm really showing my age now!)

    A good reminder that we need to live our lives as healthy and happy as possible.

  6. What I've heard of Blackstar has been breathtaking. It's just amazing. There are Bowie songs I've enjoyed but I don't think I've ever purchased an entire album of his - I'm very tempted by this one just because of the pieces I've heard so far and knowing the circumstances. Making art out of that kind of experience without it being treacly or overblown is hard and yet I suspect he could do it beautifully.

  7. I cried a little when I heard about Bowie, and I thought of you immediately when I heard about Rickman. This is a fantastic tribute to them all.

  8. I cried a little when I heard about Bowie, and I thought of you immediately when I heard about Rickman. This is a fantastic tribute to them all.