Tags: stgm

The girl from back home.

Georgianne was in my sister Stephanie's grade (they were about three weeks apart in age), though they didn't go to the same school. From what I can remember, they met at a creative writing award in Connecticut where Stephanie had won yet another fistful of prizes. They were friends in high school and later traveled to San Francisco. As a teenager, I had a secret crush on Georgianne (who was stunningly beautiful), but I was hopelessly inept around girls (and people in general) so there was never any chance.

Both got involved in using hard drugs. Georgianne recovered, Stephanie did not - my sister died in 1992, at the age of 28, on Georgianne's birthday.

They had gone their separate ways before then. Georgianne later told me Stephanie's drug use made her impossible to be with. Stephanie had finally tried to quit heroin during the last year of her life, but it was too little, too late. She was drinking heavily to quell the pain of withdrawal (vodka, also our mother's beverage of choice) and based on the coroner's report it appears she basically drank herself to death. The anorexia probably didn't help.

Georgianne continued living in San Francisco and our paths occasionally crossed over the years. It was later, after I'd moved to Portland and started putting together a tribute website for Stephanie's work (Stephanie never lived to see the internet), that Georgianne contacted me out of the blue and offered to collaborate on the site, using some of Stephanie's manuscripts and letters that she had saved. (You can visit the site at Stephanie Online.)

By this time I'd been married and divorced and had an adopted son (that's TNG) living with his mom, my ex, in San Francisco. (I thought I would be able to spend more time with TNG and build a relationship, but my ex had other ideas.) Around this time, too, I came into an inheritance which, while not an extravagant amount of money, allowed me to live a little more comfortably than I otherwise could. I could even afford to move back to pricey San Francisco and hopefully spend more time with TNG - and maybe cultivate a friendship (even if only that) with Georgianne.

She was working full-time as an artist. She had a brief fling with another man, who was a sweet guy but mentally damaged, and became pregnant from that relationship. After a period of a few months and a great deal of drama (with Georgianne, there was always drama), Georgianne and I became lovers, the baby was born, and I became Sophie's daddy.

Georgianne had fought against everyone and everything to have that baby. Her whole social circle were artists - bohemian folks, mostly not ones for parenting. She was 43 years old - a high-risk pregnancy even without Georgianne's numerous health problems. When both mother and child emerged from childbirth safe and healthy, the doctors told Georgianne in no uncertain terms that she should consider herself extremely lucky, and should by no means ever consider pushing her luck again with a second pregnancy.

Georgianne had resolved that she would raise the child herself as a "single parent by choice" and that I "wouldn't have to lift a finger." In the event, things turned out rather differently. Georgianne was overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood and basically retreated to her art studio, while I raised Sophie as the primary parent for about the first two years of her life.

Georgianne had warned me early on that she suffered from some mental health issues. I did not know what Borderline Personality Disorder was at the time, but suffice it to say I found out. By the end of 2010 I had had enough and needed to get out of the relationship and get my own place.

So from 2011 on we settled into a routine of co-parenting. Georgianne and I split the time with Sophie 50/50. And it was around this time that I began to see just how hard Georgianne was working to overcome her issues and to be a good mother to Sophie.

I remember in the summer of 2011, Georgianne booked a week-long retreat for herself and Sophie at a place called Emandal in rural California. ("She'll never last," I thought to myself, "they'll be back in two days.")

The retreat was a retreat, *not* a resort, and they were very definitely roughing it. No cellphones, no internet (strictly limited access to a single terminal to send email), and getting up early in the morning to do farm chores. And yet - Georgianne stuck it out right up to the end of the week. There's this 40+ year old single mother, not in the best of health, with Sophie, who's not quite four years old, amongst all these happy young families. It must have taken enormous strength for Georgianne to stick with it and make it a good experience for Sophie.

Around the beginning of 2014 I moved back to Portland, and about the same time Georgianne became involved with a man she'd apparently known for a couple of years. She was very excited about this guy and thought he was wonderful. Some time after that, she and Sophie moved in with Mr. Wonderful to his place in the East Bay. I never let on at the time, but I was crushed.

Georgianne began suffering from extreme fatigue, which the doctors eventually identified as being caused by anemia. The mystery illness came and went; for a year or two it seemed like it was in remission, but this year it came back with a vengeance. Then, too, there were intermittent, troubling reports about Mr. Wonderful - that he had a violent temper, that he was fanatically jealous, that he had put an axe through the TV set in a fit of rage. Georgianne's friends and I tried to get more information, tried to convince her to leave. She said she was planning her escape, but it never materialized.

The health news went from bad to worse. On November 15, she messaged me over Facebook:

What is going on? Well, Last week my hemoglobin was 5, so I spent days in the Hospital. [Mr. Wonderful] "takes care of her" when I am sick, but he is incapable of cooking properly and he is not able to relate to her emotional needs at all. When the Doctor asked if it was OK to share some "life altering" news with the family, I said Yes. I did not know he would say that there is a very high probability that the large tumors on my thyroid are probably malignant. The good news is there is a very high probability of surviving surgery. That is the truth.

I got the call from Georgianne's father last night that she had been admitted to the hospital and was thought to be unlikely to survive the night. This morning, Greg (Georgianne's longtime friend and Sophie's godfather) confirmed that she had died. It was described as heart failure and, more broadly, "her whole system just shutting down."

Which reminded me of how Stephanie's death had been described.

I've known my share of people who've had problems of one kind or another, but in my life I've never known anyone who worked as hard to overcome her problems and to be a better person and a better parent. Georgianne changed my life in ways I am still just beginning to appreciate.

In her last post on Facebook, she described craving the chocolate pecan pie from a favorite place back in West Hartford:

Does anyone remember the chocolate pecan pie at Reins New York Style Deli in Vernon? Working for them was my first job. To this day I dream of that utterly exquisite chocolate pecan pie. I have never found a pie as good though I have tried many recipes.I live in San Francisco now but I will beg friends back home to send me a whole pie if they still make it (didn't see it on the menu)

I wish I could tell you at what time, exactly, I stopped being head over heels in love with Georgianne, but the truth is I never did.

Everything is cold, dark, broken, and empty.

Ari Fuld 1973 - 2018.

Ari Fuld was murdered Sunday in Gush Etzion.

Jerusalem Post: 'Ari Fuld, an Israeli-American national murdered on Sunday by a Palestinian terrorist in Gush Etzion, was a well-known social media personality and Israel advocate. Fuld was stabbed in the back. Despite his severe injuries, he chased after the attacker and shot him before collapsing.'

Arutz Sheva: 'Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu eulogized Ari Fuld Sunday afternoon, hours after the American immigrant to Israel was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist outside of a shopping center in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem.

Fuld, a 45-year-old father of four from the Gush Etzion town of Efrat, was critically wounded Sunday morning after a 17-year-old Arab terrorist from the Hevron district stabbed him in the back.

While Fuld managed to draw his firearm and shoot the terrorist before collapsing, he later succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.'

Hard to be posting on another death so soon. I didn't know Ari personally but many of my friends and connections knew him.

Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929 - 2018.


'Ursula K. Le Guin, a longtime Portland resident who influenced a generation of writers worldwide and whose name became synonymous with superlative speculative fiction, died Monday at her Portland home. She was 88.'

Born in late October 1929, she would have been almost exactly the same age as my mother, who was a fan of imaginative fiction and who introduced me to UKL's Earthsea books.

The passing years of my own life have brought growth in experience and (hopefully) maturity, and inevitably my outlook on the world is different from what it was when I was a young person. There are a number of artists whose work I admire more than their politics, and Ursula K. LeGuin is one of them.

This takes nothing - absolutely nothing - away from UKL's gifts and her work as an artist and visionary. Her invented worlds were always a natural outgrowth of the here and now, and often deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest. 'Always Coming Home' was set in a far-future Northern California landscape; 'Searoad' was set in the present-day (circa 1990) Oregon coast, in the fictional town of Klatsand.

An artist's job is to see the world in a new way. You don't have to see the world the same way they do. The fact that they can help you to see it is what matters.



Richard Hatch 1945-2017

Don't know how I missed it at the time, but Richard Hatch - a veteran of both iterations of 'Battlestar Galactica' - passed on last February. He was Captain Apollo in the original series, and terrorist Tom Zarake in Ron Moore's 2003 remake.


'Hatch died at around 1:30 p.m. in Santa Clarita, California, with his son, Paul, by his side, Kaliski said. The 71-year-old actor had been battling pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from his family.
In the original "Battlestar Galactica" series that ran from 1978-1979, he played Captain Apollo and in the 2003 remake, he played Tom Zarek. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the first series.

"In my case, 'Battlestar Galactica' was a milestone," he wrote on his personal website. "It afforded me the opportunity to live out my childhood dreams and fantasies. Hurtling through space with reckless abandon, playing the dashing hero, battling Cylons, monsters and super-villains -- what more could a man want?" ...'

Hatch led an unsuccessful attempt to revive the original series, and even after being cast in a major role in the RDM remake, remained critical of the new version.


'In 2004, he stated to Sci-Fi Pulse that he had felt resentment over the failure of his planned Galactica continuation and was left "exhausted and sick ... I had, over the past several years, bonded deeply with the original characters and story ... writing the novels and the comic books and really campaigning to bring back the show."[13]

Despite his resentment, Hatch developed a respect for Ronald D. Moore, the remake show's head writer and producer, when Moore appeared as a featured guest at Galacticon (the Battlestar Galactica 25th anniversary convention, hosted by Hatch) and answered questions posed by a very hostile audience.[13] Later, in 2004, Hatch was offered a recurring role in the new Battlestar Galactica series, which he accepted. He acted out Tom Zarek, a terrorist turned politician who spent twenty years in prison for blowing up a government building. After Zarek's death, Hatch commented that "never did I play this character as a villain nor did I think he was one and I still feel that way," and that he considered the character to be a principled figure who is driven to violence after being "blocked in every way possible" by Roslin and Adama.[14] "Zarek, Adama and Roslin all wanted power for the same reason, to make a positive difference."[14]

Even so, Hatch remained harshly critical of Moore's remake of Battlestar Galactica.'

So his career was a remarkable case of both an actor and his character having a radically different vision of a fictional world - and thus playing the role of antagonist both in the story and in life.

Stephen Furst 1955 - 2017

Vir has gone to the Great Maker.


Stephen Furst gained fame in 1978 as "Flounder" Dorfman in 'Animal House', but fans of the late-1990s science fiction series 'Babylon 5' remember him as Vir, attache to the grandiose Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari (played by Peter Jurasik). Here he is confronting the sinister Mr. Morden in one of the show's most memorable exchanges:


The Other ЖЖ

Zsa Zsa Gabor has left us. The Hungarian actress died of a heart attack in Los Angeles at the age of 99.




Gabor began her stage career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936.[1] She emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1941. Becoming a sought-after actress with "European flair and style", she was considered to have a personality that "exuded charm and grace".[2] Her first film role was a supporting role in Lovely to Look At. She later acted in We're Not Married! and played one of her few leading roles in the John Huston-directed film, Moulin Rouge (1952). Huston would later describe her as a "creditable" actress.[3]

Outside her acting career, Gabor was known for her extravagant Hollywood lifestyle, her glamorous personality, and her many marriages. In total, Gabor had nine husbands, including hotel magnate Conrad Hilton and actor George Sanders. She once stated, "Men have always liked me and I have always liked men. But I like a mannish man, a man who knows how to talk to and treat a woman — not just a man with muscles."