Thursday 07.20.2017

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A year ago today I had a vasectomy. I’d been talking about it off and on over the years, even going as far as attempting to make an appointment on several occasions and having been flatly denied the procedure due to my (young) age and having never procreated. Then plan was to have the surgery before turning 40, but, as with most things I was a little late on it.

Once I returned to the land of the Insured it was on the top of the list of things to do with my federally mandated health coverage, and with that in mind I contacted a local Urology clinic and asked to make an appointment for consultation with Dr. Amster.

I’m not sure they knew what to make of me; most of the patients in the waiting room were either older gentlemen with UT problems or frumpy husbands who, after several children, were reluctantly going for vasectomy. No one was making eye contact with each other; there was no small talk or conversation and everyone had a pronounced look of dread on their face- save for me. I was giddily texting my wife and playing Disney video games in the lobby when my name was called.

The consult was pretty quick; Dr. Amster started with making sure I was 100% committed to never breeding (I think I convinced her rather quickly, referring to children as ‘little bastards’ and calling myself an anti-natalist) and then performing the physical examination. She picked up right away that I had previous trauma to my scrotum/testicles, though I sheepishly told her the damage was from a bike accident instead of total transparency; this caused some concern that there may have been scar tissue that would make the vasectomy go from a simple walk-in procedure to a more labor intensive surgery. And with that- my appointment was scheduled for 07.20.2016.

When the big day came, Julia insisted on taking the day off and supporting me. It was nice having her there and our banter seemed to charm the Doctor, who while being a total professional also matched our enthusiasm for taking control of my fertility and the surreality of what we were doing. We asked before going in if she’d mind photos being taken during the procedure- not only did she not mind, but she’d stop and suggest perfect photo opportunities to make sure that the pictures we did get would be dynamic and memorable.

The procedure itself took no time at all; I was fully awake and had a great time interacting with the operation. The pain was minimal and I found myself walking 10 or so blocks after we left the clinic with no discomfort. Healing was quick and scarring almost nonexistent (we used the ‘bladeless’ method) and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

There was never a point in my life where I’d considered having children and the same is true for my wife, so being able to permanently remove the possibility (for a grand total of $120, plus the price of a bag of frozen silicone ‘peas’) was an amazing weight off my shoulders. Plus I got to play with my vas deferens… all in all totally worth it.

 

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Tuesday 04.25.2017

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Due to a flurry of situations totally out of my control, I’ve been listening to the Smiths a lot (more than usual) over the last two weeks. It’s hard not to be melancholic with a steady IV drip of Steven Patrick Morrissey being broadcast into my frontal lobe, but even without Moz’s influence I’ve been having a pretty rough time lately. It’ll pass, good or bad, and I’m very lucky that the causality of this funk is external and not internal- that no matter how many WTF moments are thrown at me (and they seem to be coming with increasing frequency) I’ll eventually hit that shitluck apex and will finally make it through a day without dropping a keg on my toe, slicing my fingers open, forgetting doctors appointments, paying for them anyway, failing at making new friends, dealing with the heartbreaking minutiae of possibly losing one and generally feeling like a magnet for all of the psychic crud that I usually avoid without a second glance.

(Facebook tells me that on this day in 2016 and 2015 I was posting a bunch of random Smiths songs on my timeline- maybe it’s cyclical)

I’ve been having a hard time shaking the guilt of being in a funk when people I love have it so much worse than me right now. I know, logically, that acknowledging my shit week (well, my shit fortnight) in no way invalidates the hard times that friends are going through, that it’s not all or nothing and that I’ve had the unwavering support of my wife, friendship of my bud Natalie and pretty much the ear of everyone I’ve pulled aside to complain about my grumpiness to, but there’s still this lingering sense of embarrassment that I’m a sadsack over things that I can’t control, over things that on their own wouldn’t be that big of a deal. That, too, is something that will pass but right now I just feel like a giant lemonface and I’m worried that I’m overlooking the chill days like H-Mart and Olive Garden with Julia and focusing on the bad ones instead.

Who knows man.

 

 

 

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.