I’m finally back in Philadelphia from my not so whirlwind NYC ComicCon excursion. What’s generally a crazy single day roundtrip of no sleep and toy-nerdery got extended to a more leisurely day and a half adventure thanks to the generosity of my brother who was kind enough to work my Saturday shift. Giving me the full day off made it where I could go to the ComicCon for the Pus event and then… relax. The last few years I gad to cut and run as soon as I get my toy/meetup with Pus, but this year I was afforded the opportunity to hang out with all of the nerdy collectors I chat with on Skullbrain.org and be around a group of folks who ‘get’ my nerdy collecting habits. It was nice. Most of my friends are very sweet and let me mindlessly ramble on about my Pushead collection but you can tell they’re just being nice. It’s not that they’re faking it of course, just that they’re only interested because of my enthusiasm. With my toynerd friends you’re all just super geeked about it because you’re all super geeks; when Chis handed me my lineup ticket yesterday and it was for lucky #1… they were as excited for me as I was for myself.
I somehow managed to keep cool and collected when I looked down and saw the number I was assigned, but as you can imagine…. I was doing a happy dance in my head. First of the line. I got first dibs out of all of the goodies that Pus brought to the event. I picked out a killer hand paint- which means that the artist customized it personally. I don’t know if I’ll ever own an original drawing, so having something that he painted is a pretty dang cool thing. The piece I bought will join my other HPs in their display case as soon as I get home from work. I was also able to pick up a piece for my buddy Tony- when my schedule permits I’m going to be driving it down to him so he can join in the nerd revelry. We really missed him this year so it’ll be nice to do the handoff in person so we can catch up instead of just packing it in a box and shipping it down.
I was happy to connect with so many collectors who live here on the east coast- Ed and Patrick up in Mass (I also know Pat from the Last Sparrow tattoo forum) and Ed from Long Island, Mikee from New Mexico… as well as reconnecting with Phil, Bridget, Michael and Christine. I always say how antisocial I am, but with all of these amazing folks in my life, that sounds like it might be a hard sell. Looking forward to seeing them all again, and hopefully sooner than at next year’s Con.
After I said goodbye to everyone I doubled timed it over to Craft Bar to meet up with my sister Kathleen and brother in law Atom. I was a little scatterbrained (devil’s lettuce!) but they always happily put up with me, so the first half hour of dinner was just me rambling on giddily about Pushead and my friends. Kathleen is looking amazing; she and I are both health nuts these days and the work she’s putting in is making her absolutely radiant. I always have such an amazing relaxing time with those two and for the last few months I’ve seen them more often than I did in the previous year. That’s a trend that I’ll love to keep going. When we got back to their condo we met up with my friends Larisa and Dave. I rarely get to see them, so it was an amazing surprise. They’re another reason that I need to go to Boston- something I hope to do in November. It was so amazing catching up.
Sunday morning I woke up early and grabbed breakfast with K&A and Kathleen’s daughter Ariel. She’s an adult now. So weird. Last time I saw her she was a kid and now she’s in college. Surreal. Just another one of those reminders that we’re getting older I guess, but a welcome reminder to see how well she’s doing. We left breakfast and went right to lunch to meet up with even MORE friends- Jessa and Jennie. The few pieces of sashimi justified the table we took and there was great movie discussion with Jennie, cheeky one liners with Jessa and this amazing sense of the weight that was on my shoulders from the baggage of the ‘4th anniversary’ lifting. Surrounded by that many amazing people over the last two days did the trick; I’m going to have to make sure I do something similar next week to help push out the inevitable ‘wedding that would have been’ specter.
I’m lucky lately. Lucky to have so many amazing old friends pop up in my life. Lucky to have made some great new friendships. Lucky to have a connection with my childhood via the whole Pushead fandom thing. Lucky to have a brother that knew I needed to get the hell out of my own head for a day, and a sister and brother in law that are always there for me when I need them. Lucky that instead of wallowing in misery after the last few emotionally intensive months I’ve been able to reboot both my emotional health and my physical health. I’m lucky that I have Anna and Meg to look after Bailey when I need to get the heck out of town. Just a damn lucky guy lately and I’m doing my best to appreciate it and to roll with it. I’ve not been this stable in a really long time and I’m so thankful that my life is working out like it is. It can’t all be hangouts and new toys and old friends, so I’m also lucky that I can accept the bad days too.
I’m very much so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, with my own creepy little dog and doing as little as possible tomorrow aside from a visit to the gym to work off that pumpkin ice-cream I ate at Craft Bar. As much as I love the little side trips, getting back into the rituals and habits of my normal day to day sounds really good right about now…
Photo: Gara-mike! NYCC.
Inset: Pushead hand painted Skull Pirate
Inset 2: Pusnerds and Pushead himself