Ode to DJ Qualls

You.  You’re like a tall, skinny chameleon.  You’re an earnest hunter who hugs everyone in Supernatural.  You’re in The Big Bang Theory as an actor playing an actor playing a cousin.  You’re in Lost and Monk and Scrubs and you play Joy’s sister’s husband in My Name is Earl.  You’re in Breaking Bad!  Hawaii Five-O!  Memphis Beat!  Perception!  Z Nation!  Anyone who’s ever watched television has seen you in something.

DJ Qualls "Wedding Crashers" New York Premiere - Arrivals Ziegfeld Theater New York City, New York United States July 13, 2005 Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com To license this image (5448936), contact WireImage: +1 212-686-8900 (tel) +1 212-686-8901 (fax) info@wireimage.com (e-mail) www.wireimage.com (web site)

Look at that smile!

dj 2

Look at that slightly smaller smile!

dj 1

Look at you all scruffy with an even smaller smile.  These are the Russian nesting dolls of smiles.

You’re my favorite actor. Sometimes, as I am a frail human, I forget about you, then I see you and my world brightens up again, like a dial turning up the resolution in my brain.  You bring a vulnerability and honesty to your roles that make you stand out.

You’re also nice!  I was scared to look up your interviews, because learning about your heroes is rarely a good idea, but you’re down to earth and centered.  I want to be your friend.

My qualifications for being a best friend: I’m not a stalker  I’m nice.  I hardly ever make skin suits out of people.  (Skin suits are dry-clean only, and that’s cumbersome.)  I’m an author.  Did I mention I don’t make skin suits out of people?

Me and you sitting in a tree.  Probably not kay eye ess ess eye en gee because that’s a dangerous pastime to have in a tree.  Probably we’d just look down on the grass below us and the leaves above us with our backs against scratchy bark of the trunk, and we’d watch swallows dive and zip through the air and we’d look out over the expanse of the world and talk about our favorite snacks.

You’re cool with small roles, because you just want to be part of something, and I respect that, because that’s the way I feel. Audition for the role of my best friend.  I have some pull with the casting director.

Waiting in anxious anticipation and not wearing a skin suit,

Heather Pedoto


Parenting With Deadpool


Babysitting with Deadpool, really, but I’m hoping it’ll translate into parenting one day.

Little dude drew me this awesome Deadpool picture.  And we talked about Deadpool.  He wanted to know if the Merc with a Mouth was good or bad.  “Well,” I said.  “That’s complicated.  Deadpool acts out.  He doesn’t like to listen to what other people say. He’s funny, but he doesn’t always make the right choices.”

“But is he good or bad?”

“He makes bad decisions.”

“Yeah, ’cause he’s an assassin.”

“He is.  And it isn’t right to hurt people.”

We went on to explain to his sister that she was eating like Sabertooth, and wouldn’t she rather have Jean Grey’s table manners?

And, when I have kids of my own, I’ll explain that we don’t do conflict resolution like Wolverine.  We don’t get into fights and then storm off.  We can cool off, but afterwards we talk about our feelings.

Like Superman, we protect the weak. Unlike Batman, we don’t pursue vengeance when we’re upset. We will try hard to keep our temper and be kind, like Bruce Banner, because Bruce Banner doesn’t like being the Hulk, because Bruce Banner doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

We cannot read minds like Charles Xavier, so if we want something, or we’re afraid, or we’re angry, or we’re sad, or we’re grumpy we’ll explain why.

Daredevil is blind, and Hawkeye is deaf, Oracle is in a wheelchair, Jericho is mute, Deadpool is scarred, so what society sees as weaknesses does not define us or make us less than anyone else. Conversely, people who are different than us are not lacking.

And overall: the world is more complicated than good and evil, and that can be scary sometimes.  Very few people say, “I’m going to go out and do something bad today” (though Deadpool might).  It is our duty to be kind, to have compassion, to listen to others as we want others to listen to us, to love, to protect ourselves and others, and to ask for help when we need it.  There’s a reason a lot of heroes have partners and teams.  Even Batman, arguably the most misanthropic hero, has Robin, and Oracle, and Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon.

We’re Avengers for each other.  We’re the Justice League.  We’re the Teen Titans, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four.  And we’ll be okay.