Friday 04.26.2013

11939_10200760026550513_777009307_n

With all of the pre-event stuff pretty much locked down, I’m finally starting to wind down and acclimate to a few hundred weirdos invading my city to say goodbye to Shannon. The ‘Stay Calm’ team has pretty much been working nonstop since a week or so after his passing to make this event happen despite tons of obstacles; including Pifa and the Penn Relay taking up most of the hotel rooms in Philly, the park not taking reservations and a baby shower that almost thwarted Sunday Brunch.

But in about fourteen hours I’ll be sitting on a blanket in Franklin Square park with too many friends to count, telling ‘this one time’ stories, sharing photos from our shared past and preparing for what really is a family reunion. I’ve said it before that everyone thinks that their ‘glory days’ were glorious, but goddamn did we have fun during the IAM/BME years. Our community literally spanned the globe; there were times I’d just pick a city, grab a plane ticket at random and not make any plans other than to let my IAM friends know where I was headed. On zero notice total strangers made me feel welcome via couches, guest rooms and even the occasional shared bed and my house was equally open to IAM folks passing through. Every few months, inspired by a random Holiday we’d throw parties that Bacchus would envy; The Ho Ho Hoedown, Zombiethon, Balls Will Drop, Erin Go Blah, Cupid is Stupid… all we needed was a catchy title and we’d get together WAY too many people for my South Philly apartment. Or Shannon would hold a BMEfest; Toronto, Tweed, Mexico… the word would go out and come Canada Day/Independence Day we’d mobilize and spend time being crazy, having fun and god bless or curse us, documenting the whole affair.

Some of those Photos will be on display at the memorial tomorrow, collected from BME folks all over the world. Reminders of a time when we’d all get together for no reason much less the death of a friend and just be us. I’m proud by how many aren’t safe for work.

Otherwise life has been chugging along in the days since my last update. More first dates. A few casual meetings for lunch or hanging out at the bar. As predicted things seem to get a lot less consistent after we meet, which is disappointing since some of the ladies I’ve been meeting are super rad and would make great friends. But things are how they are. Maybe it’s me. No idea. But that at least means that there’s the potential of new folks in my life, and that carries me over when I get bummed that someone I thought would make a great addition to my life stops texting me. Socializing over 35 is strange and the reality that 39 is coming in a few months is settling in. I’m in the best shape of my life mentally and physically and with Cynthia’s help am 100% confident in my boundaries so maybe that’s what’s keeping people away? My resolve that I just want to be single? Not that I’m so goddamned awesome that everyone I meet MUST want to date me, but I dunno. Hell. I wouldn’t date me, so…

Bah. None of that.

Tomorrow… the weirdos!

Advertisements

Thursday 04.18.13

72867_10200744879211839_360231113_n

Part of my 2013 ‘building for a better me’ lifestyle adjustment is to be totally single for the remainder of 2013 and possibly into 2014. A pretty big step coming from someone who’s infamously codependent. I’ve discussed with my therapist (one more appointment then I’m on my own) and Erin and I’m feeing really good about the idea of just being single for a while, going on a bunch of first dates and removing complication from my life a little bit.

The upside of the whole thing is the first dates. I really like them; everything is so fun and getting-to-know-you and you’re just really glad to be there (for the most part) because the eventual baggage that will no doubt surface on one or both sides is being carefully kept in check so that all you have left is charm, possible sexual tension, funny stories and the attempt to connect with someone even for a little bit.

Sometimes I’ve been going out on second dates. Mostly not. I’ve been lucky to meet some ladies that are looking for the same thing; a dinner partner, movie date, bike ride buddy and more without the OMG ILOVEYOULETSMOVEINTOGETHER!!! kookiness that is so common now’adays. One new friend told me that a guy from OKCupid (look me up on there. shawnspc) told her he loved her on the first date. I’ve thankfully not had anyone so forward. More often than I not we chat for a few days, they ask to meet, and we either do or we don’t. If we don’t, I generally never hear from them again. It probably seems so exciting to them, the idea of meeting a stranger for drinks or a movie, but then when the reality of meeting someone off of a dating site sinks in they probably panic a little and it’s easier to withdraw than to say that it freaked them out. Sometimes it really sucks; you spend a few days/weeks chatting with someone and in one fell swoop the interaction is just at a close.

Luckily others have become friends, which is rad. It’s why I use OKC (my profile has pretty full disclosure that I’m not looking to date) in the first place, so when it actually works out… can’t complain.

So yeah. If you want to go on a first date, just ask me. I’m game.

Stay Calm planning has been going well; the order for the prints is in, the shirt order goes in tomorrow. The vendors have been especially generous and we have over 200 people signed up to attend and say their farewells to Shannon. So many old friends are going to be in town; normally I’d have a hard time dividing my time, but since Bethany is coming she just gets all of it. I haven’t had this much time alone with my best friend since 2005. I’m going to be so damned spoiled I won’t know what to do with myself. Her presence is going to totally calm what could be a stressful time for me. But then again, she’s been doing that for almost 10 years, so…

I’m so excited about her visiting that I just drifted off a little, staring into space thinking of her visit.

I was talking to my friend Brad tonight and we both agreed that we really like living our lives. I’ve said for years that if I wasn’t me I’d be jealous of my life, but.. man.. its better than it’s ever been.

Photo: Passing Through: Kaws Companion at 30th Street Station

Sunday 04.14.13

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 12.24.32 PM

I should be asleep.
I’m dog tired and sore from a few days of really heavy (but ultimately satisfying) working out and still kind of janky from the bike fall the other night but despite it all I’m still awake, sipping mint tea, tuggin’ at Bailey’s ears and trying to juggle a handful of mental lists that need updated while pretending that not getting to sleep isn’t that big of a deal.

I’m getting up early tomorrow to go see Jurassic Park 3d with Erin and Natalie at the Riverview. Natalie came by the bar the other day to visit; it was the first time we’ve seen each other since we ended our romantic relationship back in February and more importantly the first time I’ve ever socialized with an ‘ex’ post breakup. That’s very strange for me. I’ve always (and I mean 100% of the time) totally cut people out of my life when the relationship ends so this is all very new to me. But nice. Reconciling that she can be my ex-girlfriend while still being my friend came easier than I thought. When I opened the door for her and hugged her it was just… comfortable. Like seeing an old friend. Which she is, so I guess it’s appropriate. I found myself really glad she was there; really interested to catch up with her life (and she has so many awesome changes coming up that I’m glad I’ll be around to be part of) and to fill her in on what’s been going on in mine.

Her laugh still lights up a room.

So yeah. Big steps for me and I’m really glad that this can work out. I was really sad when things ended with Natalie because I didn’t want her not to be in my life. This is great.

Carmela and I have been busting our butts on the Stay Calm memorial. It’s morphed into something so much bigger than we ever expected. Part memorial, part party, part fundraiser and all fun if we do it right. The sponsors have been unbelievably generous to us; if you head over to Stay Calm and check out the raffles section you’ll see just how generous. We intend to be equally generous to Shannon and Rachel’s daughter Ari by donating 100% of net profits to her bank account. We’re working hard with sponsors to make sure that the gross and the net are as close as possible. I think it’s going to be a really fitting event to honor Shannon and I’m humbled by all of the help and support we’ve received.

So. Hanging out with an ex girlfriend. Organizing an event that benefits someone who needs support.

Who the hell am I again?

With everything that’s going on I’m really looking forward to APP and SDCC. Just get the hell out of dodge for a bit and decompress. I know once Bethany gets here on the 26th all of the stress will wash away. I’m so excited about her being here that sometimes I forget that the memorial is happening too. I always mean to write more about her; to talk about how we met and how she was this beacon of love for me when things were terrible. About how much she means to me. I always mean to do that, then I realize that I’m not even capable of articulating how I feel about her; what she means to me. She’s.. Bethany.

Beyond excited.

Anyway. Thoughts are getting jumbled. Bailey seems annoyed that I’m typing and not petting him, so until next time…

Photo: Stay Calm print by Johnny Thief.

Wednesday 04.10.13

cidercream

Spring?
Typical of people who get what they want, I’m already regretting wishing for warmer weather. Today promises to be almost 90 degrees which is going to be a bit of an adjustment given that it was in the thirties last week. But I’m not going to complain- yet- since Bailey is loving it and it means great bike riding weather.

Since it IS Spring I’ve already started spring cleaning. Totally gutted my bedroom closet and started throwing things out (do I need a love letter complete with heart dotted Is from my ex fiance, telling me she’d always love me?) and sorting things I plan to keep. I had a bunch of extra large tshirts still on hangers that were just taking up space now that I’m down to a medium but I just couldn’t get rid of. Old BME shirts, SPC, ModCon, things that I have a sentimental attachment to, so those got folded up and put away until I finally figure out what to do with them. It’s nice being able to walk into my closet and actually see the walls. Things had gotten a little messy in there and I’m glad to be rid of the things that ended up in the big black trash bag.

There’s still the standard flotsam from a deep cleaning that needs to be take care of; stuff that has no place (how is it that I own a three floor, three bedroom house and there’s never any room for things?) at the moment but isn’t getting thrown out. I’d like to prioritize finishing up the spring cleaning and find a place for them, but the weather is so nice that I’d rather walk Bailey and go for a bike ride than finish cleaning my room. It’s all about choices.

Tonight is my best friend’s EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR award dealie. I’m standing in for her boyfriend Shaun who has to work tonight. Should be fun and a change from our normal movie nights. She gets so horribly awkward with this sort of attention, so I’m sure that it’s going to be entertaining. I’ve been talked out of wearing a bright red tuxedo (mainly by Erin’s judging eyes) so I’m going to have to figure something out in the next few hours lest I show up in my standard monochrome outfit combination. I really am proud of her. My friends tend to be much more awesome than I am.

Photo: Hard Cider Icecream. Tastes like Apple Jacks Cereal Milk!