My friend, frenemy, and blogger nemesis Michael Homan died Saturday night. It was three years to the day that his son Gilgamesh passed. Condolences to his wife Therese and daughter Kalypso. Y’all have been through the wringer the last three years.
I’m going to be real about what was the most unusual and weird friendship of my life, so I’ll call him Homan as I always did in life.
The first part of the post is comic. We always made each other laugh.
We met at the first Geek Dinner on a hot July evening in 2006. The geeks in question were the original (hereinafter OG) NOLA bloggers. I had met a few of them before but it was the first time I laid eyes on Homan. It was something or other at first sight.
I’m not exactly sure when the great Homan-Adrastos feud started but it was sometime that year. It’s unclear who fired the first shot because more of his OG blog survives online than mine. And Homan isn’t here to correct me as he certainly would.
This is a typical example of the feud from Mike’s eponymous blog:
Adrastos and I share many things: we both have a Greek ancestry, lovely wives, a musical past, a fondness for manly drinks, my green shoes, and cannibalism. By the way, Malaka is a Greek word that means beating on Peter, or something like that.
Yes, he used the M word. We often called each other malaka-mou as a term of endearment of sorts. I told you ours was a weird friendship.
One of the most frequently asked questions I got at the peak of the NOLA blogosphere was “Are you and Michael Homan really enemies.”
The answer was NO. We just played enemies on the internet.
Homan did more than just talk trash about me on his blog. He published the diary of his hair-raising experiences during Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. It shows the serious side of Michael Homan as did his epic legal battle with Allstate Insurance after the storm. I get survivor’s guilt just thinking about it. Michael Homan was a mensch.
Homan was a one-of-a-kind character. He always up to something: be it a reunion of his punk rock band Apathy or one of his elaborate home movies The Theologians or Geauxjira. He even made a feud video. The giant head in question is mine:
Those of you who never had the Homan experience probably think he was a carnival barker or standup comedian. Wrong. He was a professor of theology at Xavier University in New Orleans. Hence the movie made with his colleague and partner in crime Silent G DBA Dr. Mark Gstohl; seen here with your humble blogger.
We attended many parades together as well as parties. One memorable Halloween, he went as, well, me:
As I often said, Dr. Homan was a funny little man.
Then there was the time he pranked me by bringing a cake with my face on it to one of the Geek Dinners. I am not making this up. I’m not posting a picture of the fakakta cake. You’ve suffered enough.
Mike and I always made each other laugh. It was why we were at worst frenemies, at best bosom buddies even if I’m not in this picture:
Note the Elvis tattoo on the skank in pink. Hence the title of this tribute. For an explanation of what was going on in the picture click here.
The great Homan-Adrastos feud fizzled sometime in 2012 or 2013. The weird friendship endured.
Things took a tragic turn in 2019 as Mike and Therese experienced something that nobody should have to go through: the loss of a child. Their son Gilgamesh died at the age of 18 in a terrible accident. The OG NOLA blogging community, their friends, family, and colleagues rallied around.
Homan was never quite the same after Gil’s death. Who can blame him? His son was one of his best friends and one of the sweetest kids I’ve ever known.
We saw less of each other after Gil passed. About 6 months after we celebrated Gil’s life, Homan told me, “I’m tired of condolences. I’m tired of well-meaning people telling me how sorry they are. Can you do me a favor: can we get back to normal? I miss being called malaka, malaka.”
I agreed but because of the pandemic and lockdown we rarely saw one another in the last few years. The last time was at a Half Pagan gig at Bayou St. John on the autumnal equinox in 2021. Half Pagan was one of Homan’s many projects. The band was made up of some of my favorite people: Homan, Bart Everson, Mike Hogan, and Kalypso Homan; Mike and Therese’s daughter.
Here’s one of Half Pagan’s signature songs:
We kept in touch by email and text during the pandemic and lockdown. Then a few months ago, I emailed him and didn’t hear back. Homan could be gruff and uncommunicative at times, so I thought nothing of it.
Last week, I was alarmed by a Facebook post by Therese and contacted Silent G who told me Homan was at death’s door. I was gutted by the news and by Homan’s passing on Saturday night. Like my late friend, I’m inclined to stoicism and rarely cry. I had an ugly cry upon hearing this terrible news.
It was a brutal weekend. I asked the Saints to win one for the Malaka instead they lost.
My condolences go out to Therese and Kalypso. Your family has been through too damn much in the last few years. Words fail me for once. I’ll post a picture of Mike and Therese on the parade route instead:
I will always treasure my memories of Michael Homan and our quirky friendship. It was based on a love of New Orleans, Carnival, the Spirit of ’05, and a passion for zany comedy and madcap antics.
I wrote about Homan’s passing on Twitter yesterday. I received kind words from many people. It made me ponder Mike’s reaction to the outpouring of affection his passing inspired.
Thanks for the kind words.I’m just collateral damage. I can imagine Homan saying: “Dude, you’re passing on so many straight lines today. Who knew I was so awesome?”
— Shecky (@Adrastosno) September 18, 2022
That was Michael Homan in a nutshell: sarcastic, sardonic, and funny. That’s why we became friends. We never admitted to loving each other but we did.
Most importantly, we made each other laugh. He will be missed.
You may have noticed the Elvis tattoo earlier. Here’s Homan and two members of the Rolling Elvi. How can you not love a guy with an Elvis tattoo?
One of many things we had in common was a love of all things Elvis. This is the only way to conclude this tribute:
8 thoughts on “Michael Homan Has Left The Building”
Beautiful tribute. I’ve made many snarky comments in my head this week that only he would appreciate. In case I haven’t told you-I love you and Grace and appreciate your friendship.
I’d appreciate them too. Love you too Carol.
This is a very lovely tribute, made even more so by the immediacy in which you’ve written and published it. I was a latecomer, and reader only, to the NOLA blogosphere and only met “Homan” once—in my favorite New Orleans cemetery at a service project he organized in connection with a Rising Tide. I remember his Facebook post after his son’s accident with the pain of someone who knows that pain. My sincerest condolences to his wife, daughter and friends. Be well
Thanks you, Beverly. I wrote this post as a form of therapy after a loss that was sudden to most of us.
Beautifully done. I’m sorry it had to be written, though.
Mike and I had a friendly football rivalry about the Saints and Vikings. It always circled back to him taunting me about Prince. Our last exchange was a couple years ago now. I will miss him.
Sounds familiar. Different subjects same Homan.
Excellent post in memory of a stellar individual, Peter.
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