Tuesday 09.29.2015


You can never go home again is, conceptually, something that I think about a lot. I moved to Philadelphia in August of 1999, sight unseen, and began setting up a life away from everything and everyone I had ever known. I was 25 at the time- which seems like a lifetime ago- and the me who followed some damn-fool notion to move 1,054 miles northeast has aged and greyed and despite superficial resemblances is little more than memories and old photographs tucked into honest to god photo albums in my closets.

A few weeks ago I challenged Thomas Wolfe’s edict and went home again; another trip down South to reconnect with old friends, visit the P5 and to record a few oral histories for my various archival projects, some of which may never end up publicly shared but were, at least, captured for posterity. It’s always so weird going ‘home’- the South in general is pleasantly and endearingly weird and the longer I live up North the weirder and more magical the South seems when I find myself visiting. I had very little time to think about the differences with almost every waking moment spoken for between recording the interviews, meeting up with loved ones and doing my best to process everything.

11947989_10206980148369671_5434394000941234447_oOne of my histories was with a retired body pierced named Mike Natali; formerly of the Silver Anchor and Bravo! Body Jewelry companies and a pretty influential part of my mid/late teens and early 20s. I hadn’t seen Mike in almost two decades, but after a few minutes in his Tampa apartment we found ourselves easing back into the old days via stories from our shared relationship with Jack Yount and the ‘middle school’ era of the western piercing scene; it was really the first time I’ve done an oral history with someone who’s history was so closely intwined with mine and I admit that I lost any level of distance or objectivity when we were talking about long forgotten memories. I was lucky to be able to see Mike twice in four days and was joined on the second visit by our old (mutual) friend Nolan who was kind enough to snap some photos of Mike and I after lunch. Seeing the photo (left) I can’t’ help but notice how much I’ve aged since the last time we were together.

Getting old has been on my mind a lot lately; schtick mostly but also the reality of the process that seems to be going faster than it did when I was in my twenties; how time seems to be speeding up as my life finally settles into the adventure that I share with Julia as my wife and the other half of my heart; the fancy dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant with sport coat and tie and a bundle of pre-date jitters that seems like it was only yesterday is almost three years past, following her down the red hallway at her old apartment, nervous that she wouldn’t like me now a story from long ago. It’s weird and comforting and amazing that every day we spend together- rushing around the Magic Kingdom making sure that we get to ride all of the rides on our incredibly detailed itinerary, sitting on the bed watching SVU with Mr. Bailey Papers and telling each other about our day… even the quiet moments become nodal points for a future treasured memory.

I think it’s natural to have those reality check moments about getting older; remembering all of the experiences that have brought me to where I am now and applying them to how I want the second half of this amazing, surreal and adventurous life to be.

Today has been an oddly sentimental day for me. Good sentiment; not melancholic but my brain keeps directing me back to friends and loved ones that aren’t around anymore. It’s inspired more smiles than anything.

memores acti prudentes futuri

Thursday 02.26.2015

My wife and my dog have developed a strange symbiotic/passive aggressive sleep relationship where he lays as close to her as possible, burrowed under the covers, then growls at her (in his sleep) if she rolls over on him. You’d think that after almost two years of sleeping in the same bed together they would have worked out some sort of mutually agreeable pattern- but maybe rolling/growling is it.

They also trend towards center/my side of the bed leaving a little strip for me, though tonight between her Mickey Mouse Tsum Tsum and his long spidery legs actually being folded in for once I have an unusually generous amount of space to stretch out, watch horror movies and be awake when I should be sleeping.

I’m not complaining. I like our bed dynamic. Just funny watching these two battle it out in their quest for sleep supremacy.

I’ve been a total grouch the last few weeks- the weather is no longer charming and is trending on unbearable. As much as I bitched about winter last year, this one is worse. Too much snow. Too much cold. Too much fucking cold. I’ve skipped biking in place of SEPTA and taxis though today I managed a six mile walk with the weather a much warmer 25* or so. It’s been taking a toll on my mood and routines. The last few weeks have seen me being a hermity recluse, only leaving the house for work and movies. I try to remind myself that this is winter, in the North East, and that’s how winters in the north east are, but when it gets down to 4* before factoring in the wind chill- logic can fuck off.

I’ve been mentally planning our Vegas trip- Julia is joining me for APP this year- just to think about the warmer weather. Not the friends I’ll see and be able to introduce her to, or my beloved Bellagio buffet- but the 109* temperature that I’ll most likely bitch about once I’m out there but for now am drooling over.

Fucking winter.



Wednesday 01.07.2015


We got the first real snow of 2015 earlier today. It was great-that first one of the season is always the best with cleaning snow off the car, shoveling the sidewalk and salting the steps still exciting and not a laborious chore that makes you want to shoot yourself.

I’ve just made a quickie charcuterie plate and Bailey and I are curled up in the basement watching FRIDAY THE 13th PART 8: Jason Takes Manhattan while my adorable, exhausted wife is asleep a few floors up. She says the TV doesn’t bother her while she’s trying to sleep, but I always feel bad. And it’s just so dang warm down here that it’s easier to stay bundled under the blanket with Bails than to grab all of my stuff and run upstairs. I’ll still get to curl up with her, eventually.

I’ve found myself a slave to the heater the last few days, locking myself in my office or basement to avoid the cold reality of Winter finally setting in. I used to look forward to it’s arrival, but anymore I’m bundled up and grouchy because of the cold. We’ve had a mild Winter up until now, but it’s starting to get hateful out- my weather APP tells me to expect 10• tomorrow. Even with my thermals, my newly purchased winter socks and layers upon layers that’s going to suck.

The last few months have been really amazing. I always forget to write about my life when it’s good, usually updating when I’m grouchy or emo but these days I have very little to complain about. After asking Julia to marry me in May with plans for a November 2015 wedding we decided to say why not and got married a year early. November 16th we had our good friend AJ officiate a quaint wedding for family only at our favorite Philadelphia park. It was freezing. There were only ten people there (not counting the strangers that wandered by) but it was perfect. Just perfect. We exchanged our vows and took our relationship where it’s been headed since the second date in the presence of our family. We’re going to be doing another wedding next year for friends. Mostly because the idea that I only get to marry her once is silly. We always call our life a ‘Never ending honeymoon phase’ so I think we deserve to get married a few more times.

For the actual honeymoon we went on a Disney Cruise. Seemed fitting after getting engaged at the Magic Kingdom. It was overwhelming. When they say all-inclusive they mean it. I’d never been on a cruise before but the level of service on the ship was outstanding. Being able to share that with my wife, brother, sister-in-law and nephew was literally a dream vacation. Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and finally the Bahamas, each stop allowing us to be dorky tourists. We ended up liking our ‘sea days’ with equal measure, relaxing in the sauna or catching a movie and just enjoying each other’s company.

Every day has just been better than the last since Julia came into my life.

Friday 12.19.2014

"The Dance of Reality"

The year isn’t quite over, but I’m starting to work on my “Best films of 2014” list.

The following are first run movies that I saw theatrically this year; I’m trying to find a list of the Exhumed Films I saw this year and of course Netflix, Hulu+, HBOGo, downloads, screenings at the Overground and movies watched on DVD aren’t included.

It was a really good year for movies, with new films by some of my favorite directors; Jodorowsky, Darren Aronofsky, Wes Anderson, David Fincher and Ridley Scott all had releases this year and for the first time in years it looks like my #1 pick may end up not being a documentary- though as I sort everything out, Life Itself is in pretty high standing, so who knows.  Two more weeks of films then I’ll try to get my completed list out; films in bold are in the running.

1.Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
2. Ride Along
3. The Devil’s Due
4. That Awkward Moment
5. The Lego Movie
6. Vampire Academy
7. The Monuments Men
8. Robocop
9. Non-Stop
10. Anchorman 2
11. 300: Rise of an Empire
12. Sherman and Peabody
13. Jodorowsky’s Dune
14. Grand Budapest Hotel
15. Bad Words
16. Nymphomaniac
17. Nymphomaniac 2
18. Divergent
19. Noah
20. Sabotage
21. Under the Skin
22. Captain America the Winter Soldier
23. Oculus
24. Only Lovers Left Alive
25. The Quiet Ones
26. The Other Woman
27. Spiderman 2
28. Neighbors
29. Godzilla
30. X-men: Days of Future Past
31. The Dance of Reality
32. Maleficent
33. We are the best
34. The Fault in our Stars
35. Edge of Tomorrow
36. 22 Jumpstreet
37. How to train your dragon 2
38. Venus in Furs
39. Transformers: Age of Extinction
40. Snowpiercer
41. Deliver us From Evil
42. Life Itself
43, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
44. Boyhood
45. The Purge: Anarchy
46. Planes: Fire and Rescue
47. Sex Tape
48. Mood Indigo
49. Letters to Momo
50. Hercules
51. Lucy
52. Guardians of the Galaxy
53. Calvary
54. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
55. The 100 Foot Journey
56. What if?
57. Let’s Be Cops
58. The Expendables 3
59.  The Giver
60. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
61. Frank
62. As Above, So Below
63. Starred up
64. The November Man
65. God Help the Girl
65. No Good Deed
66. The Maze Runner
67. A Walk Among the Tombstones
68. Hector and the Search for Happiness
69. Pride
70. Tusk
71. The Box Trolls
72. The Equalizer
73. Gone Girl
74. Annabelle
75. Left Behind
76. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
77. Dracula Untold
78. St. Vincent
79. The Judge
80. Fury
81. Book of Life
82. Birdman
83. Oiuja
84. John Wick
85. Nightcrawler
86. Interstellar
87. Big Hero 6
88. Jessabelle
89. The Theory of Everything
90. Dumb and Dumber To
91. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
92. Penguins of Madagascar
93. Horrible Bosses 2
94. Pyramid
95. The Babadook
96. Top Five
97. The Hobbit: Battle of the five Armies
98. Exodus: Gods and Kings
99. Wild
100. Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb
101. Wetlands (September)
102. Into the Woods
103. Big Eyes
104. Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut 1 & 2
105. Annie (2014)
106. The Gambler
107. The Imitation Game