Tuesday 05.28.2013

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I have three windows open right now attempting to update blogs.
ModBlog: The history of the Scarwars events.
Occult Vibrations: A writeup on visiting Tulsa for the opening party of the legendary Richard Stell’s new PAIR O DICE Tattoo.
Sacred Debris: Well. That’s this one. So at least one of them is getting some love.

It’s late in the night/early in the morning on my brother’s 40th birthday. That’s so weird. Mainly because it means I’ll be forty next year. I’ve been telling people I’m forty for about a year (little white lies) to help me acclimate to the reality that I’m not a kid anymore. Robert’s been forty since he was nine, so he’s probably more used to it, but me? I’m going to have a hard time with it. At least he’s at Disney in Orlando for STAR WARS week or whatever it’s called. Disney being the happiest place on Earth and all.

Being happy is of paramount importance to me these days. It’s odd that being happy should be something people have to think about. We should all be happy to be happy. But that slips away from you as you get older and the pressures of the real world start weighing down on you. I’ve spent the last year working on PMA and positive life changes and lately get told by people that I ‘look happy’. I think of all of the compliments I’ve gotten about getting healthy, getting smaller, getting fit- that someone telling me that I look happy is the best compliment I’ve gotten. Well. That and ‘you look hot’ because ultimately I’m pretty shallow and who doesn’t like that sort of attention.

307048_10200960151753518_1266966728_nObviously I’ve been really geeked with the whole process of getting to know and falling for Julia; things are going so great and we’re really finding a balance with each other’s personalities- but I’m happy to report that I’m not happy because of the new relationship; I’m happy on my own and having her in my life augments and enriches the happiness. In the past I’ve made the mistake of letting the thrill of finding an amazing partner replace something that’s missing in my life and let me tell you- that puts unnecessary pressure on both sides. When you’re looking for your other half to make you happy- and you’re not happy on your own- it just can’t work. But I was in a really great place before she and I became ‘us’ so we’re confident that things will work out organically.

Also, she’s really pretty.

Just saying.

So yeah. Tulsa.
Anyone who’s been around the tattoo world for the last twenty or so years should be familiar with Richard Stell’s work. It’s clean, bold and ballsy. He’s known for his cat tattoos (Panthers, Jaguars, Tigers etc) but the man puts on a serious traditional kickass tattoo regardless of subject matter. For the record, he’s always kind of intimidated me- which isn’t a bad thing. Tattooers USED to have that kinda gruff, scary edge. It added to the mystery of the whole tattoo scene. But my friend Jennifer married him, so I knew he must be a good dude on top of being a stellar (see what I did there?) tattooer and heading out to Tulsa for his birthday completely affirmed that. He’s a really nice guy. Funny. Tells a great story (That 50 Cent story still has me laughing) and when he talks about Jennifer has this big ol’ grin on his face. I like that; she deserves it.

The whole tattoo part of the story will be up on Occult Vibrations soonish. I prefer to keep my blogging tidy so I’ll just stick to the whole travel experience here, which was fucking terrible. I’ve been flying Southwest Airlines for years, and this was hands down the worst experience I’ve ever had with them. Three out of four of the planes were late including a multi hour delay on the initial journey, snarky customer service, deboarding a plane that they said was going to St. Louis but was actually my Tulsa flight (I had a ticket. you don’t get a ticket with a different flight number if it’s the same plane) and having to wait in line to reboard the plane I just exited.. it was a nightmare.  But everyone I met in Tulsa was super rad. It was a really short trip- all told only really  one day- but totally worth all of the trouble. I felt bad for not having a chance to meet some friends who live in/near Tulsa, but I was pretty threadbare with time and it’s difficult to leave the event you flew out to attend to do anything else.

Once I get the OV stuff written, I’ll link to it so you can read the rest of the story.

I have so much stuff going on right now that it’s hard to get it all in. My life is coming up Milhouse right now and my friends, family and loved ones are a major part of that. Travel, adventure, toys, tattoos, movies and my lady…

What more could I ask for?

Photos: Tulsa. Inset: Julia. 

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Thursday 05.23.13

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It’s really nice when you’re so busy living life that you don’t have time to blog about it.
That’s what’s been going on, Internet. My days and nights have been booked and I feel like I’ve been neglecting Sacred Debris for all of the other plates I’ve been spinning. But I’m awake now and have been for a few hours. While I clock-watch, knowing that  my 9am alarm is soon to go off, I’m finally able to sit back, enjoy a mint tea and catch up everything.

The Crush.
The crush is now more than a crush. Things are evolving with her so smoothly, so naturally that we’re just taking things as they come at face value. Not rushing anything, but also not denying it when it happens organically. I’ve never used the word ‘girlfriend’ this quickly before. If anything it’s caused me stress to classifying or label things. With Julia I said it off the cuff, not really placing some huge gravitas behind it. She’s my girlfriend. Why not just say it? Because I decided that I was going to stay single for the rest of the year and now I’m not? That doesn’t make much sense.

She makes me really happy. I make her really happy. So we’re just going to go with that and see where it leads us. Like Roger told me the other night: It just makes sense.

NYC.
We took a day trip to NYC so she could meet my sister and NY friends. It was really nice; a day of no calorie counting gluttony with poutine, Big Gay Ice Cream and all of the sashimi. We didn’t really tourist. Just wandered around going to favorite eateries, talking and holding hands and being big ol’ goobers. I want to go back soon when we actually have a plan, but this was fun and relaxing.

Oklahoma.
I’m taking a little unschedule jaunt to Tulsa Oklahoma this weekend. It’s going to be nice to just hop on a plane and go to someplace I’ve never been again. I haven’t really done that in a while, with most of my trips the last few years taking me to places I’ve been multiple times. Back in the salad days of Southwest Airlines being the cheapest carrier on the block it was a regular thing for me. Hop on the website, pick a city and just GO. Now my life is much more structured and that’s a luxury I rarely have. Thanks to Jennifer… it’s on. I’m sure there’ll be a fancy writeup on Occult Vibrations about it when I get back.

ModBlog.
Speaking of blog write-ups, I’ve been doing SPC articles for Modblog the last few weeks. History articles filtered through my life experience. I’ve had a lot of fun with them so far; by no means am I writing scholarly history pieces with footnotes and objectivity- just recounting how my life intersected with the lives of people and situations that had a major impact on me. If you’re interested- check it out here.

Vegas.
APP is approaching. I hadn’t planned to go this year (see the “it’s not a party if it happens every night” excuse) but ultimately gave in. I can’t have that many amazing friends in one location and not go out there, even though I despise the city. It’s fallen on me to eulogize Shannon at this year’s banquet, so if you’re going… grab a seat. It’ll be nice to be surrounded by friends. Otherwise I think this year is going to be really chill for me. Maybe take some day-trips out into the desert, so more non-APP stuff.

San Diego:
After Vegas I have a few weeks before my next trip- San Diego Comic Con for Pushead. No real plans at the convention aside from Pus, so I’ll have time to visit with old friends, maybe go to Tijuana… I’ve never really touristed in San Diego before despite several trips to the convention, so it’ll be nice to be able to just goof off.

San Francisco:
After the comic con I’m going to head up to the bay area. Originally I intended to go to San Jose as well (cheaper to fly out of) but I got a great deal on a ticket flying out of SF, so… More time in San Francisco. I’m geeked. I haven’t really had a chance to wander around since 1997 or so. We were there for dinner last year but time was limited, so I plan to just roam around, check out some tattoo shops, see friends and enjoy myself.

If you’re in any of the above cities- Tulsa, Vegas, San Diego, San Fran… shoot me a message; maybe I’ll be able to include you in my wandering!

Photo: NYC Street Art.

Monday 05.13.2013

panic

I have to take the bad with the good.
It seems to work out that way, most time, for me at least. That when my life is going good I have to put someone else’s life out of balance as a result. Today I did that. Hurt someone’s feeling because I’m happy. It really sucks because she’s a really good friend, but if my presence in her life causes her to be sad I’ll just have to step back a bit and hope that in time she’s ok with being my friend.

This whole ‘having feelings’ thing is a mixed bag, ya’all.

So yeah. I guess that it’s obvious that I’m smitten. I had made a pledge to remain single for the entirety of 2013; I’m not sure what’s going to happen between the crush and I but I’m pretty dang excited by the prospect of finding out. We go back a few years and she’s always been someone that I admired, but we’ve only recently connected on a different level. It’s exciting to get to know her; to see how we click and where we differ, to get to know about her versus the idea of her.

Right now we’re keeping things mostly quiet while we figure out what the heck we’re going to do; stay friends or pursue. something more. I think there’s no wrong answer here. I won’t deny the possibility of something really rad with someone who makes me all a’flutter just because I had said I wanted to be single for the rest of the year, nor will I rush into anything just because someone makes me all a’flutter. So we’ll let it happen how it happens and I’ll keep smiling.

Photo: PANIC!

Tuesday 05.07.2013

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What a difference a year makes, huh?
A year ago today I wrote the following update to my Facebook page:

Shawn Porter
May 7, 2012 near Philadelphia
This is really hard to say, and I’m asking for a little space on this- I appreciate the support but I just kind of need time to process all of this… Claire has decided to end our relationship. The wedding has been canceled.  As of a few hours ago, she’s moved out of the house.  …Claire had no faith that we can change. Maybe that I can change.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. My life is so different now than it was when I posted that. I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a person (while also shrinking; I like the dichotomy) in the last year that looking back on how things were is so very strange. I’ve spent so much time trying to own MY issues that I didn’t really deal with the reality of hers. I blamed myself. I blamed her. Instead of healing I was blaming. Instead of moving on I was making leica jokes.

So instead of letting things get me down knowing the ‘big day’ was coming, I spent yesterday helping out Natalie with some move-in stuff for her new place. I’ve never been able to stay friends with a girlfriend after the romantic relationship ended, but things with Natalie and I are going great. The same comfort level that we had as a couple is there with our friendship. We drove up to KOP to pick up some furniture, then made an IKEA trip to buy her a new bed and she treated me to pho that had so much tripe that it was insane. And amazing. I had worried when we first started hanging out again that it would be ‘weird’ but it’s been perfect. Obviously I wish we would have been as good at communicating when we were dating as we are now, but I think things worked out like they were supposed to and I’m really happy to still have her in my life.

I told her, sincerely, that she was the first former girlfriend I’ve ever cared about enough to want to stay friends with and while I don’t want to be too self congratulatory for behaving like a grownup, I do find myself proud that I’m able to get over how I normally deal with loss and separation when a relationship ends and to see someone as a person and not an ‘ex’.

I spent today seeing Iron Man, working out and inviting a crush over for dinner and a movie. It was nice cooking for someone, watching Beauty is Embarrassing and fooling around like teenagers. I like how our friendship is filling out; we’ve casually known each other for a couple of years but we’re just now getting to really know each other and it’s been really great.

People come and go out of our lives. It’s a fact of life. From the day I met Claire I wanted her to be in my life for the rest of it. That didn’t work out and it derailed me for a little bit; but as I grow and learn I realize that she’ll always be a part of my life- a story or anecdote, a reminder of being the catalyst for changes I’ve made- not FOR her or because of her but still tangibly on the edges of the memory. Ultimately, the greatest thing she ever did for me was to leave and for that, I’ll always be thankful.

For my part, I want to thank everyone who I’ve leaned on over the last year, who listened to me whine and lament and dealt with the hurt, the anger, the disgust and finally all of the obnoxious PMA and health/fitness stuff. I know it’s been a crazy ride, and I want to thank everyone who’s stuck with me for doing just that.

Photo: Home Cured Duck Prosciutto