Tuesday 01.29.13

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Hello again, blog.
It’s early evening and I’m laying in bed, slightly ‘relaxed’ and enjoying season 2 episode 1 of BBC’s SHERLOCK. I just got home from a really good gym day- extra cardio and increased weight for my arms- and am patiently waiting movie night with Erin. We’re going to see Hansel and Gretel tonight; I’m not really expecting much so I’m sure I’ll at the very least be entertained. Movies like that usually do their job for me. If you don’t go in to it expecting something profound and just enjoy it for what it is- in this case a campy big budget SFX showpiece- you’ll probably enjoy it.

I think there’s a metaphor or life lesson in there somewhere.

I feel bad for neglecting my blog; I really do get a lot out of cataloguing my days and being able to go back and see what I was doing on a specific one. And I have no excuses. Haven’t really been that busy of late, just enjoying life and forgetting to document it. I’ll work on that.

I had a pretty huge issue, again, with the Southwark Station USPS location on 9th and Dickinson street last week. Above and beyond them constantly losing my packages, the customer service is legendarily bad. I think this is the wakeup call I need to just stop using the USPS as well as is practical. All of the standard cliche’ aside-there’s a reason that they’re going bankrupt. I’ve written about it at length; to the Postal Inspector, Consumer Affairs, etc so I’m not going to bother going into the sordid details, save to say that there is a hell, and it’s the 9th and Dickinson South Philly ‘Southwark Station’ Post Office.  Luckily one of the two packages they lost- 24hrs apart- finally showed up.

I mentioned the gym earlier; I’ve been a lot more strict about going lately. I haven’t really gained any weight, but I’ve certainly lost some focus over the last few weeks and my daily trips and tightly controlled food intake has become every other day and bad for me food here and there. It’s ok to take days off and splurge a little calorically, but I think I was letting it get out of hand, so I checked myself, reorganized my workouts and have been making a renewed commitment to getting back on track. I’ve finally added daily jogging into the mix; still not my thing and at the moment it’s just been on the treadmill at 12th Street, but it’s better than not jogging I guess. I already feel better thanks to getting back on track. Some sort of irony there; exercise myself silly and feel better. You’d think it would be the opposite. I met a really rad 81yo lady the other day at the gym the other day who really had a lot of inspirational things to say about healthy living. When we were talking I told her that one of my fears of being an obese 40yo (I round up) was that I’d end up being an obese 80yo, or worse yet not live to see her age. We chatted for quite some time and her PMA really rubbed off on me. Such a weird life.

(break to go to the movies)

So Hansel and Gretel turned out to be exactly what I was expecting, and as such, no disappointment.

Tomorrow is ‘clean your house, man’ day, so I’m going to try to get some sleep instead of sending letters to the internet.

Photo: Back in Denim

Thursday 01.24.13

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It’s late and I can’t sleep.
Lately the insomnia has been creeping back into my routine. I’m not really sure why save for the occasional over thinking. I’ve upped my cardio at the gym and have really been working on toning, so maybe it’s just increased hormones? I’m not really sure. All I know is that I have to be up in a few hours and I’m going to be miserable when the alarm rings.

I had a really trying day today, the highlight of which was a USPS clerk accusing me of recording her (after she admitted that the post office had lost the second package I was expecting in under 24 hours) and demanding I leave the post office. Her proof of me recording her was the Morrissey wallpaper on my phone. It has a microphone. So I’m left with two items ‘lost’ at the 9th and Dickinson Post Office, and them basically telling me to fuck off. Cheers. I put a call in to the Department of Consumer Affairs, but that’s like complaining to the cops ABOUT the cops… like takes care of like. I guess I have to write off the packages (around $240) and just hope that they get returned to sender, and that the sender returns them to me via UPS. That’s how bad it’s gotten- that I’m considering a $400/year UPS mail box to avoid the USPS.

Luckily I had Natalie to calm me down via Facetime. I’m very lucky to be dating her. She just let me rant and complain and whine and sat there smiling until I finished. Didn’t try to smooth it over or offer suggestions, just agreed that yes, the Post Office IS the closest thing to pure evil the world has ever known, and that I’m right in hating them. It’s the little things- chatting with my gal, eating the rabbit stew I let slow cook all day, the botched attempt at brownies…

I also had a really amazing chat with my old friend Squeeker (also called Noni, Oni and Naomi) very late into the night that put a lot of my current ‘life stuff’ in perspective. Squeeks is one of those amazing friends that I don’t talk to nearly enough and whom I see even less. We’ve agreed that it’s totally unacceptable, so we’re going to make an effort to to both more frequently. She’s been there with me through some amazing times; good and bad, and is always there for me without judgement. I can only hope she can say the same about me. I’m very lucky to have the friends I have.

Speaking of friends- Big friend-fest coming up soon! The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts convention is the first weekend in February and I’m going to have a full house. Denim Dan is finally coming to visit as is my Boston hostess V (I hope she brings creepy walking cat!) as well as my friend Wayde (who’s no stranger to my house) and possibly my adopted brother Bruehl. Oh! And Peppermill! It’s going to make for a full house but I’m going to be geeked to have so many people that I love under one roof. As Big Red says- Blood is thicker than water. But he says it with a cool accent that makes it sound mystical and profound. Imagine it with a didgeridoo playing in the background. Crikey!

The convention itself… I’ll go. Make a pass or two. Take some pics for OV. Bitch, complain and then go back the next day. It’s a routine, but everyone knows that I love routine.

When I have more time remind me to go into the whole court/custody thing. As much as I try to remove drama from my life, exes always have to swoop in and add a little to the mix. Such a comedy gold mine. Blargh. I still need to forward the paperwork over to my lawyer- not that I’ve actually been subpoenaed, but there are still the huffing and puffing bench warrant threats. So surreal.

Anyhoo. Even if I can’t sleep, I’m going to log off, turn out the lights, put on my white noise dealie and just listen to some static for a while. I can’t can’t get into the habit of rewarding myself for not sleeping with fun internet chicanery.

Sleep well, internet!

Photo: Custom Astro Pirate painted by Hellopike (Phil).

Friday 01.18.13

399981_10200106668696975_1072905172_nDear Diary;
I haven’t neglected you on purpose, I swear. It’s been a busy week, and I’ve just now allocated time to sit down and type up a quick update. I’ve recovered from the Florida visit; dietarily back on track (that Jimbo’s was amazing me, but lord the calories) and my tattoo is almost totally healed. Went back to therapy yesterday for the first time in three weeks- it was great. One of those days where it really lines up and I realize why it’s important for me to keep going. Cynthia didn’t just listen to me speak and ask me ‘how did that make you feel’-she got in there with me and gave me advice and really helped me solidify my thoughts; changes that I need to make that are painful but still needed to be made.

It’s left my life really chaotic for a moment, but in the long run, being honest is the most important thing I can be, even when it’s painful. Honest to my loved ones, honest to myself. I spent years being a selfish dick and it’s something I’m doing my best to work through. Days like yesterday remind me of how far I’ve come since I started therapy, and how much work it takes to be a good person.

I promise a longer update soon; I have a lot on my mind but not a lot of time to write it all down. Until then…

Photo: Om. 

 

Saturday 01.12.13

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I’ve finally found a few minutes to stretch back, relax and attempt a proper Florida Adventure blog post. I’ve barely slowed down since getting back from Tampa Thursday night; work, sleep, gym, movies, Bailey time, work- it all adds up. But here we are at 4am with me unable to really wind down, Bailey curled protectively close to me and nothing but time, so.. here goes.

I went down to Florida with the intention of  severing ties. To somehow say goodbye to my former life down there; the house I grew up in, etc, like it would somehow be therapeutic to have no more connection to it. Working in therapy has made me realize that I’m not quite through processing my Mother’s death, so I thought that a ‘shock to the system’ would be the motivator I needed to tidy things up, emotionally. I’m always trying to find a logical way to process things.

Instead, what I found in Florida was a shell of a house; not the home I grew up in. There was a bed, some random towels in a hamper,  two couches, and a kitchen table my Dad built out of two sawhorses and a piece of drywall. It’s ‘what’s left’- not some imposing reliquary of the life I had. As soon as I got my stuff settled a calm crept in; I knew I was going to have a fun vacation.

537194_10200095886307422_1705087150_nMy first step- even before getting to P5, was to go to Jimbo’s. I’ve been eating at Jimbo’s since 1974 and every visit to Florida includes as many trips there as possible. My tomato allergy doesn’t really include eating BBQ sauce. My dietary limitations (self imposed) don’t really include eating BBQ; hush puppies, ribs, french fries. So as you can imagine… I tore it up. Caution to the wind (and tons of Benedryl) and no calories counted I ate at Jimbo’s a total of five times in four days. I didn’t end up having any reaction to the tomato, which is strange. Usually, even with the antihistamines, I have some sort of reaction. This time, despite eating a risky amount of sauce… nothing. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ‘growing out’ of the allergy, if my immune system just handles my allergies better now that I’m a much healthier fella or what. All I know is that I managed to enjoy my favorite BBQ on the planet all week, buy a few bottles of sauce and do it all guilt free. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Next step was to visit some friends. Catching up with Ari (who I haven’t seen in a few years) and Skip and Bobby (who I haven’t seen in even more) the first night, getting tattooed by David the following day, finally meeting Teresa, seeing Casper and Dee…. Now that I’m back I can’t imagine why I’d ever want to say goodbye to Florida. I spent almost all my free time with my friends, goofing around, talking about the old days, telling stories to the folks who weren’t around for the chaos that used to be Ybor. The names that Skip and I were throwing around (Bad Penny!) were people I hadn’t thought about in years. Coming right off the heels of seeing Chad Chesko last week, talking to Skip and Dee and Caspar was amazing. So many rad memories.

ImageOf course, the point of being in Tampa, aside from my emotional baggage, was to get tattooed. My good friend David had started working on my ribs back in 2008 and we’d taken a little break in finishing the tattoo. He had some free time in his schedule and devoted a day to knocking out as much of it as we could- which turned out to be the whole tattoo plus some added work. We still have to add a background, but that’s for another day. I managed to sit for around six hours on one of the most painful spots to get tattooed, thanks to David’s advice about tattoo nutrition- when to eat what and all of that. We also stole a little time to add a little best friend tattoo to my arm; Bethany got my portrait on her arm last May and I’ve been trying to get a little something to match since then. I had planned on a little Bee, since she’s my big Bee, and I’ll probably still do that, but for now… the little BTxSP hardcore logo sums it all up. She’s always there for me, and I do my best to always be there for her. So a little permanent reminder seemed like a great idea.

Despite the pain, it was amazing to be able to spend a little time with David. We used to see each other a lot more often, but real life has a tendency to get the best of us so being able to just shoot the breeze with him was perfect.  We had a Jimbo’s visit, talked about our fitness and health routines, about the ‘post breakup’ trauma that plagued me for a few months, his move to Tampa, how his family is adjusting to it, and of course down and dirty tattoo bullshitting. The kind of nerdy talk that makes me the happiest. Such a good time.

The rest of my trip was spent being social; my friends really busted their asses to make sure that I had a good time; Skip and Caspar kept the Sprites and Club Sodas coming, Teresa walked me around Saint Petersburg- which contained more dead opossums than expected- and before I knew it my time was up. I grabbed one more meal at Jimbo’s, pointed my rented Crown Victoria at the airport and said my goodbyes to the place that I thought I was done with. As I sat in the airport, exhausted and sore, I knew, with a hundred percent certainty, that I’d be visiting again. Maybe to get tattooed. Maybe not. But the memories I made down there are worth revisiting; the friends worth seeing and while Philadelphia is now my home, Florida will always be a part of me.

Off to the gym!

Photos: Dead End? Maybe not. Our driveway in Plant City. Jimbos and Tattoos (inset)