Sekhu, the Remains.

Warning: A beautiful day is in progress at this very moment, the trees are blooming, I have much to do today and a yoga class starts at the gym in one hour. Translation: Expect short shrift. Here, have a few crumbs from the table.

From reading the message boards here and there, it’s plain there are two kinds of Sopranos fans in the world: The kind who want lots of mob business and whackage, and the kind who are content to watch Edie Falco reinvent denial every week in intense kitchen scenes. I’m the second kind. In fact, the mob whackage sort of gets in the way. We’ve had two in the last two weeks, and in both cases I’m thinking, “Who is this? And why do I care?” For us, the mob story is only the frame; the canvas is the psychological drama of watching Tony try to keep family away from Family, and failing. In these last few episodes, we — I, anyway — want some payoff. We want to see him finally pay, and pay dearly, for the life he’s led.

Well, the payback has begun, and, true to form, it’s a bitch. His outburst at Carmella over her spec house might as well have been made to the mirror. In Vito Jr., there’s yet another reminder of the toll mob life takes on a family. The gambling, particularly ironic in that Tony has always referred to such people as “degenerate gamblers,” is self-abuse. As for me, I’m keeping a copy of “The Western Lands” close, because I think that’s the key:

The ancient Egyptians postulated seven souls. Top soul, and the first to leave at the moment of death, is Ren, the Secret Name. This corresponds to my Director. He directs the film of your life from conception to death. The Secret Name is the title of your film. When you die, that’s where Ren came in.

Second soul, and second one off the sinking ship, is Sekem: Energy, Power, Light. The Director gives the orders, Sekem presses the right buttons.

Number three is Khu, the Guardian Angel. He, she, or it is third man out, depicted as flying away across a full moon, a bird with luminous wings and head of light. Sort of thing you might see on a screen in an Indian restaurant in Panama. The Khu is responsible for the subject and can be injured in his defense — but not permanently, since the first three souls are eternal. They go back to Heaven for another vessel.

The four remaining souls must take their chances with the subject in the Land of the Dead.

Number four is Ba, the heart, often treacherous. This is a hawk’s body with your face on it, shrunk down to the size of a fist. Many a hero has been brought down, like Samson, by a perfidious Ba.

Number five is Ka, the Double, most closely associated with the subject. The Ka, which usually reaches adolescence at the time of bodily death, is the only reliable guide through the Land of the Dead to the western lands.

Number six is Khaibit, the Shadow, Memory, your whole past conditioning from this and other lives.

Number seven is Sekhu, the Remains.

So. Speaking of seven souls, I see Warren Zevon’s ex-wife has not only published a book, it’s a book about her ex, and it was done at his request. What’s more, it sounds…not terrible:

The Mr. Zevon on these pages is surprisingly image-conscious, abusive, petty, jealous, sordid, vain, shopaholic and even banal; among his obsessive-compulsive tics was buying the same kind of gray T-shirt over and over again. His diary entries often focus on such things, so they are less scintillating than the literary lyrics for which he is known. Among the livelier entries is this one: “Went over to Ryan’s. Later in the evening I got stuck in the elevator — Fire Dept. had to come. Not as much fun as it sounds.”

But this lack of show-business artifice is precisely what makes the Zevon story so telling. What was even more unusual than his dark thoughts — like resenting the fact that Jackson Browne and Neil Young had lost people close to them and written beautiful, much-admired songs about those deaths — was his willingness to admit to those thoughts. On his deathbed, discussing the merits of having a funeral, he said, “I just don’t want to have to spend my last days wondering whether Henley” — Don Henley of the Eagles, who did not attend — “will show up.”

I guess that’s next on the nightstand.

You know those people who kill family members and then hide the bodies in freezers? Do you ever wonder what goes on inside their heads? Wonder no more. The DetNews offers an odd demi-interview with one of these guys, pegged to a more recent dismemberment murder hereabouts. It’s hilarious at many levels, including the one where, after a shockingly brief sentence (10 years), the killer says his crime is “water over the dam,” and that he paid his debt to society. And the banal details: “For three years and three months, (the body) lay atop frozen hamburger and kielbasa wrapped in brown butcher paper.” On the other hand, it sounds like no one missed the wife, who slept with her daughter’s boyfriend, among other unmotherly things.

Finally, in the thick of journalism awards season, congrats to our old pal Ron, winner of the coveted (because all awards must be described so) Golden Wheel.

Time for downward dog. Woof.

Posted at 9:17 am in Popculch, Television |

33 responses to “Sekhu, the Remains.”

  1. John said on April 30, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Come on! Dish the dirt on the “camp out”! Wine or no wine, you left us hanging all weekend!

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  2. brian stouder said on April 30, 2007 at 10:09 am

    From the title – I thought this post was going to be about that numbers puzzle thing (Pammy loves it) – guess I dunno what they call it – but it’s similar to Sekhu.

    Didja see the Washington Post article on the generally terrible treatment that female bloggers get? (ties in with a discussion last week)

    I can’t decide whether it is more frightening than angering – or vice versa

    (this link may or may not work)

    an excerpt –

    Kathleen Cooper, the single mother, said she began to experience harassment about five years ago after she posted a retort on a friend’s blog to a random blogger’s threat against a friend. The harasser began posting defamatory accusations on Cooper’s site, on his blog and then on a site that purports to track “bad businesses.” He said that he could not be responsible for what “his minions” might do to her, she said.

    Cooper, 37, who lives in Sarasota, Fla., has tried password-protecting her site. She and five other women have asked the man’s Web site server to shut him down, but he revives his site with another server. Law enforcement officials laugh it off, she said, “like ‘Oh, it’s not a big deal. It’s just online talk. Nobody’s going to come get you.’ “

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  3. Dorothy said on April 30, 2007 at 11:18 am

    That Dorothy Tyburski was some piece of work! I am astonished that it took the daughter 3 years to get suspicious about why Dad wasn’t using the freezer anymore. Not exactly dealing with brain sugeons there, huh? I wonder how much freezer burn ol’ Dorth was sporting?

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  4. LA mary said on April 30, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Carmela is the most interesting person in the Sopranos right now. The first episode this year, and last night’s episode showed how important she is. Edie Falco kicks ass, no?

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  5. Marcia said on April 30, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Anyone care to join me in that never-seen-the-Sopranos-club?

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  6. nancy said on April 30, 2007 at 11:25 am

    John, my cousin —

    I brought wine. So did a few other people, and we were very furtive about drinking it in plastic travel mugs. No one got tipsy, and I found that a nice merlot goes very well with s’mores.

    The only surreal moment of the weekend wasn’t alcohol-related. I was hanging around at the barn, waiting for the group to get back from their ride, when another mother sauntered up, wearing: a) a kilt; b) knee socks with the little flap things; c) a vest; and d) a hat in matching plaid.

    “Are you appearing in a play or something?” I asked. Apparently I was the very last member of the troop to learn she was a bagpiper, and had ducked out to Ann Arbor to play in the School of Nursing’s graduation ceremony. Later she played for us, outside.

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  7. brian stouder said on April 30, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Anyone care to join me in that never-seen-the-Sopranos-club?

    I’ve seen 3 random episodes – always when there is a free HBO weekend…so I still have my rookie stripes

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  8. Kirk said on April 30, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Marcia, I have HBO and have watched and enjoyed some of its programming (especially Curb Your Enthusiasm) but, for some reason, have never seen The Sopranos. I don’t sneer at the concept of the show; it’s just never made my schedule.

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  9. Marcia said on April 30, 2007 at 11:38 am

    I’m not a snob about it; we don’t have HBO. Our phone/cable/internet bill is high enough without it.

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  10. LA mary said on April 30, 2007 at 11:40 am

    The Sopranos keeps me paying for HBO. When it’s gone, likely I will stop shelling out for it.

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  11. John said on April 30, 2007 at 11:59 am

    You can tell how quiet my life is when I’m on pins and needles waiting for the GS camp out report! The most excitement I had all weekend was spreading lime on the yard. Not covering bodies (Dorothy, I know you were thinking it)! The wife in the freezer seems a tad bit harsh. But then again, if they have Freezer Pops, then why not Freezer Moms!

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  12. ashley said on April 30, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Check out Edie Falco in “sunshine state”, a nice little film.

    Marcia, you don’t watch the Sopranos, but you do watch American Idol? Girl…

    “…Don Henley of the Eagles, who did not attend”. Henley is such a fuckmook. Ask Don Felder.

    To tie a couple of posts together, I ran into Sheryl Crow when I was at the very first MTV unplugged, back in 1990 or so. She was one of Don Henley’s 3 backup singers.

    I noticed that Don had the same backup band (save the singers) that I saw backing up Warren Zevon at a concert in lovely San Juan Capistrano a few days earlier. After the show, I asked Don “Hey, does Warren know you stole his band?” He got all uppity and rasped: “Hey man, they’re my band. Warren stole ’em from me”.

    Whatever, Don. Why don’t you just buy Walden woods, rename it Henley woods, and shut the fuck up already.

    Finally, when you talked about a “coveted” award, I thought you were going to mention the coveted “Silver Sow”. More music, and Les Nessman.

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  13. Marcia said on April 30, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Ashley, I have never claimed to have good taste.

    Also, American Idol = free with basic cable.

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  14. MarkH said on April 30, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    No HBO here, either, Marcia, so I’ll join. I haven’t even watched the A&E repeats.

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  15. Casey said on April 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I’m with John on wondering how the “camp out” went. Never have seen Sopranos. Don’t get HoBo, no desire.

    Camp Details: which troop house did you stay in? Did the girls do ropes or horses or dissect owl pellets (owl poop with dismemberd mouse skulls and various bony parts… it’s a hoot).

    pun intended

    I’m busy getting our troop ready to go. For the first time ever, we are short on drivers…. I guess all the parents are so well seasoned they don’t need to volunteer for the 1 1/2 hour drive in Friday afternoon north bound traffic in order to have time with their girl before leaving her in our hands to pee in a latrine filled with cobwebs, build fires, cook over fires, learn how to use a jack knife (last spring was the first camp out with jack knives. My favorite unintentionally funny overheard comment was from a co-leader/first aider “oh it’s only a little bit of blood – not like last time!”

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  16. Casey said on April 30, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    close parenthesis here: last time!:)

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  17. MichaelG said on April 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    I know the unused freezer is strange, but didn’t anybody miss old Dorothy? I wonder how many freezers there are out there that haven’t been looked into in a long time.

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  18. brian stouder said on April 30, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Did you follow the ‘jump to the 1989 article? It leads off this way

    Leonard Tyburski said Wednesday that even after he threw his wife’s fatally battered body into a freezer during a Sept. 28. 1985, argument, he heard her call him “a wimp and a punk” and call out her teen-age lover’s name.”In my head, she was still calling me those names,” said the Canton Township man, his voice breaking with emotion in the third day of his Detroit Recorder’s Court murder trial. “I heard her say, “Craig! Craig!”

    Tyburski testified that when he returned 30 minutes later and found his wife dead, he closed and locked the freezer, hiding her there for three years because “I knew no more harm could come to her where she was.

    “I loved my wife too much to dump her body,” he said.

    ay yi yi

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  19. nancy said on April 30, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    From the descriptions of ol’ Dorothy, she sounds like the kind of gal no one misses very much.

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  20. mouse said on April 30, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    I will be sorry to see The Sopranos go—been very
    entertaining for 6 or 7 years.But HBO is saving the
    best for last–The Wire will start soon after.Well
    worth the price of admission.

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  21. Danny said on April 30, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    No HBO here either. Never seen the Sopranos.

    In fact, I have a feeling that most of the shows I watch may not be on The List of others’ viewing habits at NNC. Battlestar Galactica, anyone (there was one person here, I believe)? 24? Lost? Heroes?

    Robin and I have recently been entertained by Survivorman. This guy from Discovery channel goes to remote places and tried to survive by himself for seven days with almost no supplies (no camera crew either). So far, we’ve seen two episodes: one where he is in the artic and the other in the middle of the ocean in a raft. He basically starved in both of these episodes (200 calories/day in the arctic?!?). More like BarelySurvingMan.

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  22. Danny said on April 30, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    From the descriptions of ol’ Dorothy, she sounds like the kind of gal no one misses very much.

    I had to quickly read up a few posts. Thought y’all were messing with OUR Dorothy. Whew!

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  23. Dave said on April 30, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Saw The Sopranos once. Don’t have HBO at home. There are things on HBO I would like to have it for but it was a added expense we didn’t need for a good number of years.

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  24. LA mary said on April 30, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    I watched Survivorman once. He was in the desert in Utah or New Mexico. He kept referring to the ancient inhabitants of that area as the Anastasias. They were actually the Anasazi. The Anastasias were a gang family in New Jersey and New York, and not that ancient.

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  25. Danny said on April 30, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Did he starve in that episode too?

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  26. brian stouder said on April 30, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    He kept referring to the ancient inhabitants of that area as the Anastasias

    Never saw the show – but in fairness, his brains were probably half cooked!

    Hey Mary – speaking of teevee shows, late last week I saw bank robbers running through a residential neighborhood not far from the I-5, and thought “I hope that isn’t LA Mary’s area”…and then it reminded me of that Yaphet Koto movie

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  27. Danny said on April 30, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Mary, last night, after a long exahusting weekend, I was vegging-out and watched Conan the Barbarian for the first time ever. What a B-movie gem that was.

    Best line (in reply to someone asking Conan what are the best things in life): “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of their women.”

    I mean, I know you have strong negative opinions about Schwarzenegger, but surely that has to count for something on the good side of things. Heheh.

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  28. LA mary said on April 30, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    He ate a rat in that episode.

    The bank robbers probably live in my area. Legally.

    I liked Frank Frazetta’s image of Conan better than Arnie’s.Arnie’s getting some heat over taking cash from the Donald in return for appearing on “The Apprentice.” They desere each other. My favorite sort of recent Donald quote was from early in the Rosie O’Donnel feud. She accused him of using the Miss USA non scandal to drum up attention to the season premiere of “The Apprentice.” He said he didn’t need that sort of attention because he is ” a ratings machine.” I love that.

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  29. Danny said on April 30, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Yeah, that feud did produce some great quotes. The Donald was just crushing the women from The View.

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  30. LA mary said on April 30, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Calling himself a ratings machine is pretty crushing.

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  31. Danny said on April 30, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Calling himself a ratings machine is pretty crushing.

    Well, not that one so much, but there was a lot of comedy gold.

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  32. Dorothy said on May 1, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Danny thanks for looking out for me!! And I’m a big fan of “Lost”. Never miss an episode and I also don’t spend a lot of time analyzing it to death. It’s entertaining and confusing and wild, and that’s enough to hold my attention. I read somewhere recently that the writers never intended it to be a long-running show, so it’s possible it may have one more year and then be done. I watched “24” the first two seasons but after that I got tired of it.

    And mouse – “WORD” about The Wire. We all know that Nance is a huge fan, too. I dig “Big Love” as well.

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  33. Jeff said on May 1, 2007 at 8:15 am

    How do the deranged, manic, gifted, intolerable geniuses like Warren Zevon and James Joyce find women to marry them? My wife won’t let me leave dishes in the sink . . .

    On the other hand, we’ve never had to flee creditors out the back second floor window or get bailed out of the drunk tank. So i’m thankful.


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