A year ago today I had a vasectomy. I’d been talking about it off and on over the years, even going as far as attempting to make an appointment on several occasions and having been flatly denied the procedure due to my (young) age and having never procreated. Then plan was to have the surgery before turning 40, but, as with most things I was a little late on it.
Once I returned to the land of the Insured it was on the top of the list of things to do with my federally mandated health coverage, and with that in mind I contacted a local Urology clinic and asked to make an appointment for consultation with Dr. Amster.
I’m not sure they knew what to make of me; most of the patients in the waiting room were either older gentlemen with UT problems or frumpy husbands who, after several children, were reluctantly going for vasectomy. No one was making eye contact with each other; there was no small talk or conversation and everyone had a pronounced look of dread on their face- save for me. I was giddily texting my wife and playing Disney video games in the lobby when my name was called.
The consult was pretty quick; Dr. Amster started with making sure I was 100% committed to never breeding (I think I convinced her rather quickly, referring to children as ‘little bastards’ and calling myself an anti-natalist) and then performing the physical examination. She picked up right away that I had previous trauma to my scrotum/testicles, though I sheepishly told her the damage was from a bike accident instead of total transparency; this caused some concern that there may have been scar tissue that would make the vasectomy go from a simple walk-in procedure to a more labor intensive surgery. And with that- my appointment was scheduled for 07.20.2016.
When the big day came, Julia insisted on taking the day off and supporting me. It was nice having her there and our banter seemed to charm the Doctor, who while being a total professional also matched our enthusiasm for taking control of my fertility and the surreality of what we were doing. We asked before going in if she’d mind photos being taken during the procedure- not only did she not mind, but she’d stop and suggest perfect photo opportunities to make sure that the pictures we did get would be dynamic and memorable.
The procedure itself took no time at all; I was fully awake and had a great time interacting with the operation. The pain was minimal and I found myself walking 10 or so blocks after we left the clinic with no discomfort. Healing was quick and scarring almost nonexistent (we used the ‘bladeless’ method) and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
There was never a point in my life where I’d considered having children and the same is true for my wife, so being able to permanently remove the possibility (for a grand total of $120, plus the price of a bag of frozen silicone ‘peas’) was an amazing weight off my shoulders. Plus I got to play with my vas deferens… all in all totally worth it.
Due to a flurry of situations totally out of my control, I’ve been listening to the Smiths a lot (more than usual) over the last two weeks. It’s hard not to be melancholic with a steady IV drip of Steven Patrick Morrissey being broadcast into my frontal lobe, but even without Moz’s influence I’ve been having a pretty rough time lately. It’ll pass, good or bad, and I’m very lucky that the causality of this funk is external and not internal- that no matter how many WTF moments are thrown at me (and they seem to be coming with increasing frequency) I’ll eventually hit that shitluck apex and will finally make it through a day without dropping a keg on my toe, slicing my fingers open, forgetting doctors appointments, paying for them anyway, failing at making new friends, dealing with the heartbreaking minutiae of possibly losing one and generally feeling like a magnet for all of the psychic crud that I usually avoid without a second glance.
(Facebook tells me that on this day in 2016 and 2015 I was posting a bunch of random Smiths songs on my timeline- maybe it’s cyclical)
I’ve been having a hard time shaking the guilt of being in a funk when people I love have it so much worse than me right now. I know, logically, that acknowledging my shit week (well, my shit fortnight) in no way invalidates the hard times that friends are going through, that it’s not all or nothing and that I’ve had the unwavering support of my wife, friendship of my bud Natalie and pretty much the ear of everyone I’ve pulled aside to complain about my grumpiness to, but there’s still this lingering sense of embarrassment that I’m a sadsack over things that I can’t control, over things that on their own wouldn’t be that big of a deal. That, too, is something that will pass but right now I just feel like a giant lemonface and I’m worried that I’m overlooking the chill days like H-Mart and Olive Garden with Julia and focusing on the bad ones instead.
Who knows man.
Another year spent binging on film; in 2016 I saw 171 unique movies theatrically with some multiple viewings of several films including four screenings of Zootopia and Rogue One. I saw 13/14 of the 35mm classics that Exhumed Films screened at their annual 24 Hour Horror-Thon, met legendary director HG Lewis and suffered through some truly amazing garbage that wasn’t even so bad it’s good.
1.The Nice Guys.
2. Green Room.
3. Rogue One/Moana. (tie)
4. Kubo and the Two Strings & Zootopia. (tie)
The Love Witch.
La La Land.
When I logged-in tonight to start working on my annual “my year in cinema” post I realized that it’s been almost a year since I’ve done any personal blogging. I’ve fallen in the #twittertrap of microposts where I get all of my joy/anger/frustration out in 138 characters or less. It really impacts my ability to write on my other blogs when I’m not writing here- I’ve seen the word count shrink on Occult Vibrations and Sacred Debris since I’ve left DR unattended in favor of shorter less articulate posts and I hate it. So I’m going to make “write more” my main resolution for 2017. I’m trying to reprioritize how I archive things in the coming year which will affect how the blogs are updated, but when I do work on them I want to be able to say a little more than just “Uncredited photo, 1970s” for want of anything else to say. We’ll see how that goes.
It’s been quite a year since I last posted; I think there’s a communal feeling with most of the world that 2016 has been, to quote Gandhi, a total fucking cocksucker. When a year starts with the death of David Bowie and ends with a conceivably illiterate bully of a reality star becoming President you know that the days sandwiched between are going to be filled with nonsense. There’s a lot to process, a lot of really horrible events that we’ve suffered through and the reality that events like Aleppo and the Trump Presidency will follow us into the New Year- and it’s really easy to just write the whole year off with our heads down and the hopes that we can all forget about the great beast ’16.
So instead- I’m going to be a contrarian and celebrate all of the amazing experiences the year had to offer for me and mine.
- Celebrating Julia’s 29th birthday at Walt Disney World. We were in a DOOMBUGGY at the Haunted Mansion and I got to kiss her as the clock struck midnight leading into her birthday in one of our favorite places.
- Meeting HG Lewis- the “Godfather of Gore” several months before he passed away.
- Meeting big boob aficionado/artist Rockin Jellybean and spending time with my Pushead friends at the NYC Hyperstoic Returns Event.
- Stealing a little time with my wife at the Nude Beach.
- Vasectomy! Being in control of my reproductive health with just a little pinch and a bunch of funny photos was one of the best days off I took this year.
- Seeing Orbax and Pepper. I love them both and don’t see them nearly enough.
- Making silly patches. Some sell. Some don’t.
- Taking a stop-motion animation class with Julia at the Mutter Museum and creating a bizarre film about a homicidal rabbit.
- Jimbos. So much Jimbos.
There were so many great times had in 2016, but if I had to pick just one thing I’d say that the work both Julia and I put into our marriage to make it magical, funny, comfortable, exciting, peaceful, wild and always out greatest adventure has been the most satisfying. Even if the coming year has as many curveballs as this one has had I know that we’ll weather the storm together in our silly little house with our creepy little dog, our family and friends and, again quoting Gandhi, we’ll fuck it right in it’s keister.
If you had to pick just one thing that made 2016 a great year for you- what would it be?