I had intended to write a big wordy blog update on my time at the APP conference this year, both for SD and for ModBlog but you know what they say about good intentions.
APP this year was a trial; probably one of the best conferences I’ve attended but at the price of a lot of negativity that had nothing to do with the event itself. The trip started with having my luggage left in the rain by the airline’s baggage handlers (flooding the contents, ruining items and making me have to do my washing/drying in my hotel bathroom) and coming down with a wicked summer cold making me sleep more than I’m used to, missing a lot of my already limited socializing time.
So there I was in Vegas, surrounded by friends and loved ones and I’m sick as a dog with a suitcase full of soaking wet clothes. Kind of hard to get into the vacation groove. But ultimately I still managed to get up at 6:45am the next day to do a 2mile jog with Stephen and the rest of our assembled running club. As the days went on that became more difficult with the last day of jogging almost unbearable due to the run down condition of my immune system. I really need to remember that it’s ok to take a day off sometimes.
I still managed to dress up and deliver a eulogy to my friend Shannon. I still managed dinner with Denim Dan, a trip to the desert for a really amazing suspension with Neeko and Orb, and a little bit of socializing at the bar with so many rad people that it would be irresponsible to name them for fear of leaving someone out. I even managed to get a ‘bro-tat’ with my old friend Ron; we got back almost 19 years and this was a long time coming. Our choice of design… a skull with a party hat.. seemed to be silly at first but the more I read my facebook feed and see RIP messages as our friends are leaving us.. it’s a great memento mori. Ron’s wife Nakota did the honors for us and that’s a story of it’s own. Maybe I’ll share it one day.
Throughout it all I was consciously aware of missing Julia. Strange. I think I mentioned this before, but APP used to be a vacation away from my partners; a chance to pretend I was single for a week, debauch, do bad things that I’d forget to tell them about and then come home refreshed… this year it was a chance to tell my dearest friends about this amazing woman who’s come into my life. Show some pictures. Tell the funny story about accidentally confessing we were in love. I decided that the next trip I booked would include her; so when I found that I had enough frequent flier points for a Halloween adventure (Austin, Tx) I decided to invite her along. Big step for me. Trips with girlfriends were always something I begrudgingly did; to invite J along… kinda rad.
All things told I had more fun this year at APP than in previous years despite having so much to deal with. Paul King’s class “The Grieving Body: Does Body Modification Injure or Heal the Psyche?” was one of his best, which is saying a lot. APP attendees this year were a lot more sedate; our jogging club, people promising to stay sober and generally a more grown up vibe, which was great considering the amount of first timers. Leaving the city and spending the morning in the desert (on no sleep) to watch a friend suspend, Chipotle with Greg… It’s hard to condense a week of really amazing times into a short blog, so I won’t try.
Thanks to everyone who made my trip the much needed vacation that it was.
Photos: Desert and bro-tats (inset)