Category Archives: Death

last tango in paris

posted by:  audra

your mom called.  popoo died in his sleep last night in paris.  the white house just called her to get clearance for president obama; he wants to mention him in his speech in normandy tomorrow.”

what?!”  i’m totally caught off guard.  “are you fucking kidding me?”  i was shaking.

this is the conversation between sam & i the moment i arrived home from work on friday.  my grandfather has been quite ill for some time.  lymphoma.  the past several months, he’s been getting blood transfusions probably more often than i’m at the bar.

he went to europe last week for the 65th anniversary of d-day; he was a world war ii veteran, going back with his old war buddies to visit the battlefields there — normandy, holland & bastogne.  he made halfway through his 2-week vacation before dying in his hotel bed in the middle of the night.

the next day, he was to see president obama make a speech before the remaining vets at omaha beach; now the president would be honoring his death at the event:

One such veteran, a man named Jim N– was a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne.  Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep.  Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return.  But just as he did sixty-five years ago, he came anyway.  May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here.

In the end, Jim N– came back to Normandy for the same reason we all come back.

i was shaken up, but i couldn’t get the tears to come.  we weren’t close.  i was more concerned with my mother’s state; she was very close with him.   i’d been dreading this day my entire life.

when i finally got enough strength to call my mom, she was surprisingly calm about it.  she had expected this.  apparently, my grandfather had prepared travel insurance in case this very thing happened; everything would be taken care of.

i think the last fond memory i have of him, was when i was 10 or 11.  he would make me give him a big bear hug before leaving their house, the tighter the better.   being a huge baseball fanatic, he bought me a baseball mit & ball and would play catch with him in the field by their house.  i hated it.  maybe he was just trying to get in some quality time with his only grandchild, but i felt like he was trying to mold me into what he wanted in a granddaughter.  as i got older & developed my own sense of self, we grew further apart.  we could hardly make it through christmas dinner without butting heads about politics, homosexuality or why i was vegetarian for seven years.

so, it’s offical:  i’m grandparent-less.  my grandmother, upstaging me as usual, died on my 25th birthday nearly four years ago.  and i didn’t think i would, but i miss them both.  i will miss grammy & popoo bickering at the dining room table & even when stating how “anyone who marches in a gay-pride parade ought to be shipped down to san francisco!” at thanksgiving.

so now, i’m sitting here, googling his name & the results are staggering.  people saying he’s going to be ‘buried in belgium’ and was exhibiting flu-like symptoms complete with speculation of swine flu(?!)…he had fucking cancer, you morons!  he’s had “flu-like” symptoms for over a year because of the cancer & medication.  i’m not sure if he would quickly come to my defense if he were still alive, but i can’t stand to read this shit & let people draw their own conclusions.

i just hope i’m lucky enough to have such a glamorous death:  at an old age, in paris, quietly in my sleep…with press coverage — provided it’s accurate.

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Filed under Death

de-lux death

posted by:  audra

oh, i could just cry…  frontman & founder of the cramps, lux interior, died yesterday morning of a heart condition.  as a cramps devotee, this is heartbreaking news for me.  the cramps were one of the most original & influential punk bands ever…so much so that they even coined the term ‘psychobilly'(!).   i’ll miss luxy terribly.

this is one of my favorite cramps songs, ‘like a bad girl should’.  it’s campy, sleazy & delicious:

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Filed under Celebrity Death, Death, Music

audra: blow me

i love me some isabella blow.  after last night’s hot mess of a resolution post, i got to thinking about wearing hats more often (à la blow) & her incredible iconic stature.  famous among fashionistas for eccentric hat-wearing, she died may 7th, 2007; just a single day following a one person cocktail party she hosted with a bottle of the herbicide paraquat.  isabella was dying of ovarian cancer, & instead of succumbing to the disease, she decided it best to off herself on her own terms…something her grandfather & father-in-law had done themselves in the past.

born in london, isabella bounced around from job to job – once even as a maid – & eventually moved to new york city in 1979 when she was 21.  by 1981, she was working directly for andre leon talley at vogue(!), and went on to be anna wintour’s assistant(!!).  as if she couldn’t possibly get any more rad, blow was apparently bffs with andy warhol & jean-michel basquiat.

in all this investigation, i found out that isabella is the genius behind discovering some of my favorite-favorite style icons like alexander mcqueen(!), sophie dahl & stella tennant.  it has also been noted that the reason she always wore such face-obstructing hats was to hide her face; she thought she was ugly.  that broke my heart.

but then i read this quote from her on wikipedia, offering a cooler guise for the bizarre hats:

…to keep everyone away from me. they say, oh, can i kiss you? i say, no, thank you very much. that’s why i’ve worn the hat. goodbye. i don’t want to be kissed by all and sundry. i want to be kissed by the people i love.

i love that.  you see?  this is why i should be wearing hats all the time.  it would help filter out all the unwanted kissersby.  i love what she says in the clip below too, “i hate crap.  i like craftsmanship.”  and how her “…ingredients are clothes.”  lovely.  be sure to note her impeccable taste in haircuts as well.

i still miss her terribly.  however, whilst doing a bit of research, i read that she’d attempted suicide many times in 2007 before the weedkiller cocktail incident; various overdoses, purposely driving her car into the back end of a truck…she even tried drowning herself.  i’m happy she went out with a little bit of drama instead of becoming another cancer victim.  good for her.  that’s some damn good craftsmanship, wouldn’t you say?

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Filed under art, Celebrity Death, Death, fashion