The Church of the Heavenly Wood present the neverending Lessons of Wood
LESSON 24: the Sadness of Wood

Wherein Reverend Steve Galindo talks about his personal life as a mirror of Ed's own life, showing us that even Ed needed a little help now and then.

GREETINGS, fellow Woodites everywhere.

And to all you non-Woodites out there, a very special welcome indeed. At the moment that I write this 24th lesson, and it feels like only days ago that I wrote lesson 1, it is currently the seventh month of the new Woodian year 54. However, for those not yet fully affiliated with the short but thick history of Woodism, that means that as I write this lesson to you that it is the first few days of May in the year 2002.

I mention the date of the writing of this only so that you can understand what I'm seeing outside the window right now -- sun, lots of it, pouring down hard upon the roof and the windows and the grass outside, acres and acres of infinite sun cascading from the perfect blue ocean of a sky and falling down to earth and landing on me, making my dark brown skin miss the heat and racism of my former state, Arizona.

It is days like this that I become depressed, for on lonely days like this one I find myself deeply introspective, which is dangerous for a self-loasting man like myself -- I have a lot of past to think about, a lot of it a bit seedy and riddled with mistakes and regrets and dumb luck and pain.

Lotta crap to dewll about and dwelling is the worst thing you can do to yourself. I should know.

Well, it's usually customary to start at the beginning. I'm living in a new state, forced here by a family of eight that didn't have room for a skinny little wetback named Steve (and I use that racist term in all loving respect - remember, though, that I'm a self-loathing latino). This, mixed with the fact that I find myself once again living with my strange parents and that I myself am an a-hole, has led to be being single yet again, once more finding myself on the receiving end of a big, fat "No, Steve, it's not you. It's me. I need time to myself to find out who I am. I still love you, Steve, but I just need to stand on my own two feet now. It's not you. It's me. We can still be friends, though."

I am at my lowest rope and yet I still find myself happy. Do you know why? Because I actually asked for help. Just like Ed Wood did.

You don't think he just suffered alone through all those films of his, did you? Heck, no. He, Eddie, our savior, had trials and tribulations the likes of which none of us have ever really lived through. But he made it through every time and always with a positive smile. How? He had help from religion.

Back to Eddie later.

The problems that I've been having with my personal life lately all revolve in one way or another about my move, my two big moves, moving out of my childhood house in Phoenix to live with someone else ... and then eventually finding myself in a positing where I had to move to California to once again be with my parents. Basically, what I've done in the last year and a half has been to move out of my parent's house, then move back in, albeit in another state. And this has been extremely tough for me, given the fact that anyone who has either met me or knows me knows that I am an almost 25-year-old child, a scared little boy who smokes and drinks and loves cartoons and watches Sesame Street still to this day and still sleeps with the blanket his grandma made him when he was a day old and regularly has no idea how he got home, where his contacts are, and whether or not his last three night involved vomit.

I lived in Phoenix, Arizona ever since the year before the summer olympics were in Los Angeles. That was a long time ago. Before that time, my small family and I moved all over Arizona, that dirty, racist, hot as all hell crapbox of a state, living in small towns and dirty hovels that shouldn't even be considered towns at all. And being the small, brown, manic-depressive, four-eyed freak that I was, I was the constant butt of violence by the white trash neighbors that always surrounded me.

But you know what? It was my state and I loved it. Love it still to this day.

Miss it all to hell.

Wish and pray to one day go back home.

I try not to think about the idea that the only reason that I was so attached to the state of Arizona is that it was all I know, spending almost 25 years there, but I grew up most of those 25 years at my big, warm, cozy home in Phoenix, in Glendale to be precise, a big, generic, suburban nightmare of a suburb where the blue of the sky was matched only by the blue of the hair of your neighbors, where the red of the setting sun was equal only to the red of burning flesh from all the fat people who accidentally slept in the sun.

But you know what? It was my nightmare and I loved it. I grew up there in that house. I touched my first boob in that house. I lost my virginity in that house. I had pets buried in the backyard of that house. I kissed my first guy in that house. I bled my own blood on the floors of that house. The roof was my superhero fortress. My room was my super secret spy headquarters. The living room was me and my brother's own Wrestlemania in our minds. That house was like flesh and blood to me. I honestly thought that I would live there forever, live the rest of my life in that state, grow old and marry some sweet girl and live out our lives in that house, so help me Wood.

My father has, for almost all of my life, been pulling down the big bucks as a construction manager and estimator. Now, what that means I have no clue, suffice to say my dad has a clue and has made it so that we, as in his family, have lived a very comfortable life. My father, Wood bless his soul, hasn't had it easy, being a man with thick, dark brown skin and an accent that would leave Antonio Banderas laughing so much that he'd pee his pants. He's worked hard all his life and has still been fired for various reasons, all that would make Vince MacMahon blush.

So, my father has sacraficed so much to keep us living in comfort. I pretty much grew up without my father, what with him getting jobs miles and miles away. As a child, this angered me but now I know that he was doing it all so that I could live in peace.

Despite his sacrifices, when he lost his job about a year and a half ago and got another, higher paying job in Sacrameno, California, I did not want to move out of that house.

But I had to. I had to stay in Phoenix. I was in love.

My father found himself in the position where he could either get another construction job in Phoenix or accept the most high paying job he has ever had by selling the house and moving to Sacramento. Joe, my older, more violent, more drinking brother immediately got himself an apartment about a block away from our old house. I was a bit more stubborn.

My parents gave me a great offer whereby I would move in with them in California. I refused. I couldn't leave. First off, there was Debby, who I refused to leave behind no matter what. I loved her - at least, I'm pretty sure that I did. And I would like to think that she loved me. It's hard to think about that now that so much time has passed since she broke up with me.

But she wasn't the only reason. There was also my job in Phoenix that was fun and allowed me to work in a very unprofessional way, in reality, do very little and get paid big bucks in return. And there was also the honest truth that I was somebody in Phoenix. I was somebody in Arizona. I lived there all my life and became so comfortable there that I had a persona in Phoenix and people knew me and my friends were many and plentiful and they all got me and understood what I was about. I was someone.

How did I eventually find myself here, living in Sacramento with my poor family, my friends all gone and my Debby far away from me? Well, Debby's family (who I have a hard time trying to get to know and understand ... they are so emotionless and yet so passionate about themselves that it is difficult to try and get next to them) wanted the two of us out after a year of living in peace with one another. Debby and I were stranded, leaving my passionate, understanding parents with an option, our only option, one that we could not refuse. They would relocate us, which brought joy to our hearts. We immediately set out, me first, then Debby to follow once I had a job and an apartment.

But things went hectic, as things in my life tend to do, and I found myself in Sacramento with very little money living with my parents who were hiding from me the fact that for months my dad had been without a job. So with me stuck in Cali and Deb stuck in Arizona, she said that she would wait for years if she had to, get a job, and wait for her to be near me once again. Then about a month later she hit me with my token woman phrase.

Needless to say, living in Sacramento scares the crap out of me. I'm slowly, painfully learning to live with life on my own and in a strange new state with no friends and little to be happy about. But it's hard to love a new state and a new city when I learned to love the other one so much.

Starting over is tough. It always is. It's even more so when starting over means leaving your love behind. It just hurts so much inside. Sometimes I just want to give up, not go to sleep, not eat or get dressed, just lay in bed and slowly die.

But Eddie keeps me going.

Eddie had a hard life, a lot harder than me or anyone else I know. His father had no love for his son and his mother was careless and strict, forcing Ed at a very young age to dress in women's clothing, causing a lifelong crisis in his mind, one that he never fully healed, although he did eventually grow to be proud of his transvestite ways.

Each and every film Eddie filmed was a testament not to bad filmmaking but to troubles with filmmaking. It's obvious that Ed had a vision - take the plot of his infamous science fiction opus Plan 9 [Grave Robbers] from Outer Space as an example, where the peace loving aliens are killed by the war-minded human beings;in essence, Ed reversed the good guy/bad guy dynamic for the first time ever in American science fiction motion pictures in an original, interesting way, but this went completely unnoticed here and abroad because of Ed's problems with bad sets and bad financial backers and bad actors and, essentally, overall trobles with everything.

He had an original vision that was clouded by bickers and squabbles and his lack of many key things that makes a movie a good movie. This goes beyong good or bad filmmaking. If Ed Wood had a three million dollar budget to hire better actors and build a better set, this film would have become a memorable science fiction classic. To prove my point, if the budget for Momento was four thousand dollars, forcing it to build sets on the cheap and hire b-grade actors and cut back on sound and lighting and costumes and effects, no one would have given a crap about that film.

Ed Wood was the first independant director. And his problems with getting actors together and getting proper funding and whatnot made Eddie a very stressed out, burned out, weary man. And yet he is known for his positive attitude and eternal optomism. How is this?

Some say his friends, know by Wood fans and historians simply as the Wood Spooks which included Tor Johnson, Kathy Wood, Conrad Brooks, Valda Hansen, and many more. This tight band of friends and well wishers were always there for a drink and a smoke and a rousing talk of the good times. It was Ed's Spooks that helped him over the hard times.

Friends around you, a key element in happiness, as Ed learned and now so shall we all. But that is not all.

When I became single yet again, walking the good old "I just need some time" trail as I have oh so many times past, I did something I honestly swore I would never do ever in my entire life ever so strike me down dead.

I bought me one of them self-help book.

Now, if you are like me, and if any of you are I am deeply sorry for you, you think that self-help books are stupid, pathetic pieces of crap where a-hole writers who can't handle writing real books drone on and on about absolutely nothing but use big words and made up words like "rehabilitate your inner child" and "diffuse the sembiotic handlings of the past" and make millions upon millions of dollars because this nation is full of fat, dumb, white Opraholes who are looking for a quick fix and would suck a dead dolphin's tit if it meant a quick solution to their problems.

You might also think like me that all self-help writers (especially Dr. Phil and that Laura Schlessinger hag from Hell) should be strung up by their eyes with fish hooks and disembowelled while Ozzy Ozbourne threw bricks of wood at their netherregons.

But I bought me one.


Cause I needed help. And I was so needing of help that for the first time in my life I wasn't afraid to ask for help.

Just like Ed Wood and J. Edward Reynolds, the Baptist minister who coerced Ed and his cast to become baptized in order to get funding for his film Plan 9 [Grave Robbers]. This fact is common knowlegde. What is not so well know is that although Ed didn't adhere to the ways of the Baptist religion, as is obvious by his drinking, smoking, and transvestism, when Ed found himself at the bottom of his rope (which usually coinsided with the bottom of his bottle) Ed was known to call J. Edward at his home, or even drive to his home unexpectedly, to seek guidance, words of wisom, and just a little help.

Ed has his hard times. And during those hard times he turned to his friends and to religion, a religion like Woodism (although not as cool as), for help. During those times of need he wasn't afraid to ask for help.

And that's why I wake up in the morning. That's why I go to work and come home tired and sore. That's why every night I go to sleep and every night I wake up. Just knowing that Ed struggled like I did, like we all did, makes me know that I am not alone. When I am sad so was Ed sad and if Ed could bounce back and make that next film then so can I one day lift my head up high and make that next film inside myself.

Ed is my savior because I relate to him. Knowing him, knowing his films and his life, brings me joy and happiness by showing me a man who struggled all his life and, like Jesus, became famous only after death when film festivals praise his work and television stations showcase his vision and web pages are created talking about his life and his dreams and people like us, we selected few, gather together and like Ed and his spooks we are not alone, nor will we ever be alone if we focus on ourselves and who we are and also focus on our savior Ed and who he was and how who he was, his films and dreams and live and vision, can all help us.

And like Ed Wood wasn't scared to be who he was, an alcaholic transvestite filmmaker, I must try hard to be roud of who I am, a weight-gaining latino alcaholic !single! masturbating cult leader who must be proud of who he is.

And so, I hope, you all will br proud, too.


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