Tuesday 12.20.2016

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When I logged-in tonight to start working on my annual “my year in cinema” post I realized that it’s been almost a year since I’ve done any personal blogging. I’ve fallen in the #twittertrap of microposts where I get all of my joy/anger/frustration out in 138 characters or less. It really impacts my ability to write on my other blogs when I’m not writing here- I’ve seen the word count shrink on Occult Vibrations and Sacred Debris since I’ve left DR unattended in favor of shorter less articulate posts and I hate it. So I’m going to make “write more” my main resolution for 2017.  I’m trying to reprioritize how I archive things in the coming year which will affect how the blogs are updated, but when I do work on them I want to be able to say a little more than just “Uncredited photo, 1970s” for want of anything else to say. We’ll see how that goes.

It’s been quite a year since I last posted; I think there’s a communal feeling with most of the world that 2016 has been, to quote Gandhi, a total fucking cocksucker. When a year starts with the death of David Bowie and ends with a conceivably illiterate bully of a reality star becoming President you know that the days sandwiched between are going to be filled with nonsense. There’s a lot to process, a lot of really horrible events that we’ve suffered through and the reality that events like Aleppo and the Trump Presidency will follow us into the New Year- and it’s really easy to just write the whole year off with our heads down and the hopes that we can all forget about the great beast ’16.

So instead- I’m going to be a contrarian and celebrate all of the amazing experiences the year had to offer for me and mine.

  • Celebrating Julia’s 29th birthday at Walt Disney World. We were in a DOOMBUGGY at the Haunted Mansion and I got to kiss her as the clock struck midnight leading into her birthday in one of our favorite places.
  • Meeting HG Lewis- the “Godfather of Gore” several months before he passed away.
  • Meeting big boob aficionado/artist Rockin Jellybean and spending time with my Pushead friends at the NYC Hyperstoic Returns Event.
  • Stealing a little time with my wife at the Nude Beach.
  • Vasectomy! Being in control of my reproductive health with just a little pinch and a bunch of funny photos was one of the best days off I took this year.
  • Seeing Orbax and Pepper. I love them both and don’t see them nearly enough.
  • Making silly patches. Some sell. Some don’t.
  • Taking a stop-motion animation class with Julia at the Mutter Museum and creating a bizarre film about a homicidal rabbit.
  • Jimbos. So much Jimbos.

There were so many great times had in 2016, but if I had to pick just one thing I’d say that the work both Julia and I put into our marriage to make it magical, funny, comfortable, exciting, peaceful, wild and always out greatest adventure has been the most satisfying. Even if the coming year has as many curveballs as this one has had I know that we’ll weather the storm together in our silly little house with our creepy little dog, our family and friends and, again quoting Gandhi, we’ll fuck it right in it’s keister.

If you had to pick just one thing that made 2016 a great year for you- what would it be?

 

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.

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. 

Thursday 08.08.2013

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My friend Brian once said “Good or Bad, my friends are all I’ve ever had.”

I’ve spent the last few days surrounded by my amazing friends.
Having worked on my birthday proper, Julia organized an amazing get together at Fogo de Chao where friends from Norway, Massachusetts, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, California and all over PA joined me to tell some stories, eat some meat and have a nice relaxing dinner.

The restaurant was incredibly tolerant of our chicanery, even giving the Sangria treatment to an ‘imported’ bottle of Hawaiian Punch that we brought in- mixing fresh fruit and fancy stemwear with cheap fruit juice because they got the joke. That kind of thing goes a long way with the Weirdos and we did our best to be entertaining customers. It paid off- as I was leaving one of the runners told his coworker “this was the most fun party we’ve ever had”.  I’m not sure if it was because I was taking pictures of a friend’s vagina under the table, or maybe Brian and I demanding twinkies after our Hawaiian Punch was delivered, but either way… great night.

We had a little post party good times at the ‘Stop, inviting everyone up to the theater where we set up the Popcorn maker Carm and Robert got me for my birthday, screening ‘Can’t Stop the Music’ and ‘Coming to America’ with fresh popcorn popping and most of us not wearing pants. Damn good capoff of an equally damned good night.

ddmmI also saw Jenna; quick airport trip to keep her company during a layover. I’ve been very spoiled this year; seeing her three times this year makes me want to shoot for four…  I feel like I never have time to visit friends despite having more free time than most of the people I know; it’s frustrating sometimes. I really need to work on getting a new roommate so I can book a few more three day trips before the year is out. My AirBnB bookings have been picking up this month so I have a little wiggle room for adventure, but it would probably behoove me to get a permanent resident in the other open room. Same story- all the time in the world but never time to visit anyone and a house with so much space but no one to fill it. Things will be more stable when Julia finally moves in. We’ve been talking a lot about that lately- the inevitability of her moving in and the little touches she’ll put on the house. I can’t wait to see how the house changes from ‘mine’ to ‘ours’ as she puts her personality into it. So exciting.

I think I’m s’posed to be all introspective and such with a birthday having just passed, thinking about my future and where I want to be in x years… Instead I’m going to take things as they come- planning new tattoos (22nd August with Robert Ryan) and adventures (Halloween in Austin with Julia!) and trying to see my loved ones as much as possible with dreams of Asheville in my periphery…

Photos: My #futuretrophywife and I; inset: DD/MM