Wednesday 01.07.2015

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We got the first real snow of 2015 earlier today. It was great-that first one of the season is always the best with cleaning snow off the car, shoveling the sidewalk and salting the steps still exciting and not a laborious chore that makes you want to shoot yourself.

I’ve just made a quickie charcuterie plate and Bailey and I are curled up in the basement watching FRIDAY THE 13th PART 8: Jason Takes Manhattan while my adorable, exhausted wife is asleep a few floors up. She says the TV doesn’t bother her while she’s trying to sleep, but I always feel bad. And it’s just so dang warm down here that it’s easier to stay bundled under the blanket with Bails than to grab all of my stuff and run upstairs. I’ll still get to curl up with her, eventually.

I’ve found myself a slave to the heater the last few days, locking myself in my office or basement to avoid the cold reality of Winter finally setting in. I used to look forward to it’s arrival, but anymore I’m bundled up and grouchy because of the cold. We’ve had a mild Winter up until now, but it’s starting to get hateful out- my weather APP tells me to expect 10• tomorrow. Even with my thermals, my newly purchased winter socks and layers upon layers that’s going to suck.

The last few months have been really amazing. I always forget to write about my life when it’s good, usually updating when I’m grouchy or emo but these days I have very little to complain about. After asking Julia to marry me in May with plans for a November 2015 wedding we decided to say why not and got married a year early. November 16th we had our good friend AJ officiate a quaint wedding for family only at our favorite Philadelphia park. It was freezing. There were only ten people there (not counting the strangers that wandered by) but it was perfect. Just perfect. We exchanged our vows and took our relationship where it’s been headed since the second date in the presence of our family. We’re going to be doing another wedding next year for friends. Mostly because the idea that I only get to marry her once is silly. We always call our life a ‘Never ending honeymoon phase’ so I think we deserve to get married a few more times.

For the actual honeymoon we went on a Disney Cruise. Seemed fitting after getting engaged at the Magic Kingdom. It was overwhelming. When they say all-inclusive they mean it. I’d never been on a cruise before but the level of service on the ship was outstanding. Being able to share that with my wife, brother, sister-in-law and nephew was literally a dream vacation. Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and finally the Bahamas, each stop allowing us to be dorky tourists. We ended up liking our ‘sea days’ with equal measure, relaxing in the sauna or catching a movie and just enjoying each other’s company.

Every day has just been better than the last since Julia came into my life.

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Saturday 08.02.2014

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I never steal time to write anymore. I mean to, obviously. If you look at my POSTS section here on WordPress it’s a veritable graveyard of half started posts, all waiting for me to polish them up a little bit and tell you, my Internet friends, about how weird it was to do a Sensory Deprivation Tank float session on Easter Sunday (it was weird. You’re naked in a humid, black, silent tank that is half filled with water treated with 800lbs of Epsom Salt) or about the funny thing Bailey did (He’s developed a passion for renting movies at Redbox and running his own social networking empire) or all of the other adventures I’ve been on since the last time I wrote.

But then another adventure calls and you roll away from the laptop and plan to get back to it later.

The most exciting thing to happen since we last spoke is my engagement to the lovely Julia. I’ve planned to propose since our second date, but it’s taken over a year to finally find the right time/place- Disney. More specifically The Haunted Mansion, and even more specifically at Bluebeard’s tomb. If you know who Bluebeard was…

I guess the other big milestone is my birthday. As of today, I’m 14,610 days old. Forty. It’s surreal. I know that it’s a social construct to feel weird on your 40th birthday. I accept that and am allowing myself to feel weird about it. It seems so grownup.  I know I’ll get over it and with perspective I’ll realize that it’s just a number and blah blah blah… but for now I’m going to celebrate it being scary.

I have a few more big adventures planned for 2014. Hopefully I’ll get around to sharing them…

Tuesday 04.08.2014

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On 8th April 1990 the pilot episode of Lynch/Frost’s TWIN PEAKS premiered. I was fifteen years old, living with my cousin in Sacramento, California and by then was already a fan of Lynch’s work. I’d seen BLUE VELVET so many times that the clerk at the ARMCHAIR THEATER video store in Plant City had offered me a used copy since I was one of the few people in our small town who had rented it more than once.

As I watched that first episode I fell in love with the residents of Twin Peaks, Washington. Over the course of it’s two seasons (and eventual prequel) I discussed theories with my nerdy friends, bought TP zines through FACTSHEET FIVE and tried to be an apostle, spreading the gospel to everyone who would listen. When the series landed on laser disc I bought it. VHS. DVD. Patiently waiting for Blu Ray. With it’s residency on NETFLIX I watch it- in it’s entirety- at least once a year, starting with the pilot (including the alternate version) and ending with the movie.

Twenty four years. So strange that more than half of my life has been spent watching and discussing this show and I still love it; still find new things to discuss with other nerds as passionate about a night time soap starring the dude from Showgirls and Fox Mulder in drag.

I’ve been meaning to share the series with Julia- this is a perfect excuse to 2014s viewing. There’s been a lot of talk about Lynch reviving the series, tying up loose ends etc, but for me- it’s perfect just the way it is. The owls are not what they seem, and I for one don’t want to know any more than that. Lynch has moved into a new phase in his film making; one that I’m not a big fan of. A little too experimental for my tastes; I’m not really sure how he would reconcile his current aesthetic with a more traditional narrative. It was great seeing some of the gang back together on USA’s PSYCH (Dual Spires) a few years ago, but that’s enough.

unnamedIn non-tv news… Spring. Finally. It’s raining a lot, but at least it’s not snow. I’ve got a wee fat little bird sitting on the window sill chirping like he invented it, windows open and even Bailey is enjoying walks for more than just necessity. I’m feeling a lot more upbeat than I’ve been over the last few miserable Winter months. I went up to Asbury Park last week to get tattooed by Robert Ryan, and even though there was still a bit of chill left in the air, it felt amazing to drive down by the beach and smell the fresh ocean air. I had to pay for that little bit of awesome by getting a few hours of tattooing from my knee ditch to my butt cheek, but it was totally worth it. I’m hoping J has a weekday off soon so we can jump in the car and head to the beach before it gets too warm. No swimming (fish poop in it) but a relaxing day spent wandering around the boardwalk, picking up shells would be  just what the doctor ordered. Our year anniversary is coming up (in less than a month!) and it’s still feels like we’ve just went on our first date.

I have a really good feeling about Spring.

Wednesday 03.26.2014

1958190_10203083110186152_757754188_nI’ve been having sleeping problems again. The weather the last few months has made me super grouchy, so I’m assuming that’s playing into it. Despite having woken up early today, I find myself in bed with Julia conked out next to me, Bailey sleeping in his wee little Baileybed and me wide awake. Once I get to sleep- probably around four am, I’ll have four hours to sleep before the construction resumes on the house next door. After seven years of living here it’s finally sold; from what I understand to someone who had no idea what state of disrepair it was in. For his $60k he’s got himself a house that has a hole in the roof and a tree growing through the back door. His three man refurb crew are working tirelessly from 8am till about 5pm ,every day. Honestly, having entered the house questionably a few years ago, I don’t really see how they’re going to be able to do it. It’s beyond disrepair; even gutting it seems like it would be a risky proposition. Either way, I’m trying to get used to the constant hammering, sanding, knocking and nailing. I’m trying to make the most of the insomnia; editing video for Sacred Debris, working on a Big Book of Fun(tm) for Orlando, writing the intro to (redacted. More info soon) and trying to put to bed an article on the 1995 Amsterdam Tattoo Convention for a friend’s ‘zine. If I’m going to be awake, I should probably be doing more than just watching 1980s movies (currently: MEATBALLS.) and mindlessly surfing the Internets.

I’ve been trying really hard to get into the whole ‘Spring’ vibe, despite it being late March and as of earlier this evening, still snowing. Over the last few Garbage pickup days I’ve taken out several x-tra large bags of clutter culled from multiple closets; things that were just taking up space that served no purpose other than to take up space. I have a lot more to get to- books especially. Having finally given in to the while iBook thing and being able to host all of the Harry Potter books in the space of a few megabytes, I find myself not really needing the space-taking thick as all hell books. I found a box in my guest room closet of books I didn’t even know I had, books that I haven’t read in years so it’s not like I’d miss them if they were gone. I’m going to make an AIDSTHRIFT box in the next few days and get everything dropped off. Julia has been doing the same; I think it’s a nesting thing on both of our parts since she’ll be moving in permanently in just a few weeks. She all but lives here now, but I think that having all of her stuff- or at least what she chooses to keep- will make it seem more real. By the time she’s 100% moved in it’ll be our year anniversary. We’re still obnoxiously, goobery in love with each other (even when she falls asleep during Coraline) so our #neverendinghoneymoonphase tattoos kind of paid off.

animal-kingdom-villas-story-01-v1Speaking of, I’m going to try to convince her that we need to get a vacation tattoo when we go to Disney in a few weeks (54 days) to commemorate another rad family vacation. This time Robert, Carmela and B4 are going to be joining us, as will a cadre of BME Weirdos. We’ve been crossing the Ts and dotting the Is over the last few days- getting the hotel stuff squared, getting our park passes set up, flight information sorted out… it’s been keeping me  occupied as the last dregs of Winter fight for a little more time. All that’s left to do is figure out where and when we want to use our Fast Pass+ options- three per day -and then we’re done. We bought five day passes (and are going to add the Park Hopper option) so there’s a lot of fun to plan. I’m really looking forward to the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain, Star Tours and the surreality of wandering around the Disney family of parks surrounded by Storm Troopers, Jedi, Sith and the Weirdos who’re joining us on the trip.

Once all that’s sorted out… there’s Vegas for APP. Last year I promised my friend Bethra that I wouldn’t do my traditional ‘I don’t think I’m going next year’ thing for the 2014 Conference. I had a really great time last year despite the sombre task of delivering my friend Shannon’s eulogy at the Banquet. This year I’m going with very few set plans. I might take a few classes if they grab me; might go see Penn and Teller again, might just sit by the pool reading and bs’ing with friends.

I’ve been trying to do the same locally, too. I had a really great brunch with my old friend Lauren the other day at Cantina. We hadn’t done that in years- sit down and have dinner, shoot the breeze and just hang out. It’s always weird to me how friendships can just sort of pause for a while. Lauren and I were really ‘there for each other’ a few years ago when we were both going through a rough patch at the same time so I was worried that having brunch would dig up those memories for me; instead I found myself laughing with an old friend and hoping that we’ll be able to do it again soon. I’m also trying to make plans with the always-busy Natalie for some catchup time. Once the weather gets nicer I’m going to try to make seeing local friends a bigger priority. There’s no excuse not to see the people I love when they live so close.

There’s been a lot going on since the last time I updated; planning my 40th birthday party, finally getting my John the Baptist tattoo worked on in a few weeks, J and I got into a minor car accident… life has been and continues to be full of adventure.

Photo: Sansom Street wall.