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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Tearing my hair out

Never a solution for marital problems

Jen here. I guess that some Power that Be decided that worrying about Gilly and my Mom and my little old self just wasn't enough this weekend, and that the broken tooth, impending radiator repair tomorrow AM, career issues, and bronchitis just wasn't cutting it.

So, I got a call last night from one of my best friends from college. Long story short--years ago, she married some schmuck she met in grad school. They moved out here a little over a year ago in order to better their (academic) career options into a house owned by her family. They have a 1-year old.

And he refuses to get a job. Or work at all on child rearing. And he has hit her a few times. He's spent the night in jail over this.

And my shithead friend called to complain that "I didn't get anything for Valentine's Day."

Um, girlfriend, saying it one more time. You never told me he hit you over Xmas. While you were holding the baby. IF HE HIT YOU THIS IS BEYOND FUCKING VALENTINES DAY.

She's busy fussing over painting a house that's on fire.

Yes, she tried to tell her family and believe it or not all they did was give her a watered down "you need to grow up and stop hitting each other." NO, they are not absorbing that HE hit HER and she used NO force against him. She has two brothers, both of whom own guns and neither of which have volunteered to a) beat the shit out of him or b) send him back to his Eastern European shithole of a country in a box.

Yes, she has "escape money" and a plan. No, she doesn't yet realize just how helpless her situation is.

"But I have so much invested in this already," she says. I don't think that she understands that it will NEVER GET BETTER. Hell, he's already threatened to take the baby back to Shitovia with him.

What kills me is that my friend is one of the smartest and prettiest women I know. I envied her in college. Now she hasn't worked in years (she supported him while he tried to get his grounding in a non-tenure-track job elsewhere), even though her PhD is the same as his. They are living in a house owned by HER family and off of HER savings.

She's loathe to just run back to her parents' with the baby because they JUST DON'T GRASP the situation.

I offered to spot her a grand for emergency lodgings if need be. I don't know what else to do.

She called me on the sly after one of their fights where he stormed out of the house and took the only car. I told her she HAS to start telling people who WILL believe her RE her situation--the other women in her La Leche group, for instance. ANYONE, even if her immediate family is clueless and doesn't want to hear what she's saying.

I just don't know what to do anaymore. Did I mention that another one of my close friends is caretaker to her elderly parents and another one just lost her job (and can't collect severance)?

I love my friends. However, there are days when I just want to burn all of my worldly posessions and go hide in a cave somewhere for a few years. Watching some of the dearest people to me self-destruct is crazy-making in ways I can't describe.

In the meantime, if any of the ladies out there have any Domestic Violence Survival Tips that I can pull out of my butt the next time my friend manages to sneak in a phone call, please tag them up here.

I'm so afraid she'll wind up dead. Her dead, Dad in jail or dead or deported, and then what for her daughter?

And no, she can't come live with me. I love her but it would be self-destructive for everyone involved.

Oh, no word RE Gilly yet. Will touch base with his Mom tomorrow to see if they closed him up yet and to see what kind of mod he had done.

PS--also all fucked up in the head RE setting the clock ahead an hour. That always messes me up.