Wednesday 12.19.12

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Tuesday was weird.
I woke up to Natalie kissing me goodbye (sleepovers are fun, but there’s always work to get to) and to a rainy, gray day, but by the time I biked to the gym it was almost sixty degrees fahrenheit and sunny. Sometime during my workout, which was a short one today, it turned back to gray and rainy.  By the time I biked home it was sunny again and despite getting wet from the rained on streets… I managed to comfortably bike home in shorts and a tshirt. In December. So weird.

These weird warm days are welcomed; I usually love the cold weather, but for biking and Bailey the unseasonably good weather  has been been aces. He was prancing around in just his collar today; no jammies or jacket for his afternoon walk; lately he’s been pulling back towards the house as soon as he does his business but today he was all about taking his time and enjoying the day.

Since I last updated I’ve spent a few consecutive days with Natalie; I finally got to cook for her-t it came out perfect and my reputation as a serviceable cook remained intact. It’s been so long since I’ve cooked for anyone. I’ve missed it; the social aspect of cooking and eating is a major part of why I ‘used’ to be a foodie and having no one to cook for has kind of sucked. That she liked it made me really happy and I’m looking forward to making (healthy!) dinners with her again, soon.

Speaking of healthy…  kind of nerdy moment here, but I finally hit a consistent 9 minute mile today. Three miles in 27.5 minutes. I’ve taken it down from 13 minutes over the last few weeks but have been struggling to get it under 10 for more than two miles. Today I finally managed to keep it even mile after mile and my goal is to be able to do the same for five miles. That may take a while, but it’s great to have something to aim for and with the Warrior Dash thingie in May I have a lot of preparing to do. Going to be a tough road, but I’m loving it.

The rest of Tuesday, post warm weather bike ride, was spent with Mara. She’s heading to Syracuse soon for the Holidays and then Paris for a school thing, so we figured it was best to get some time in before she was out of the state and country. We didn’t do much, really- Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, watching movies and eating, but it was nice to spend time with her despite both of us half falling asleep all night. I’m old and she’s overworked. But dinner was tasty (Penang Curry again. I still had shrimp and keffir and coconut milk) and we watched TRON LEGACY so I consider the evening a success.

After dropping her off at home I stopped by to lend my car to Erin and Shaun and got ‘loved up’ by Elvis. It was sort of like when Bailey sits on my lap, but with the additional 60 lbs or so. I’m still picking white hairs off my clothes, but it’s worth it for Elvis to want to like me, so…

Hopefully I’ll have an actual Wednesday update later on today that actually has a recap of my.. Wednesday.

I’m boring.

Photo: NYC Street Art

Friday 11.23.12

It’s already Saturday and I’m writing a diary dated Friday detailing what I did on Thursday. It’s my life and even I’m a little confused right now. I’ll do my best to keep things as clear as possible.

Thanksgiving was great. Dinner this year was at my brother in law Biaggio’s place and he nailed it with the turkey. I’ve never had turkey that good; not particularly fond of the bird normally but he got it just right. I can’t really think of a time where I had seconds of turkey before, but I was skipping other food to make sure I could fit more turkey in my belly. Such a good time. My friend Mara joined us for dinner, and there were four dozen French Macarons, so…. really… what more could I ask for out of a Thanksgiving Dinner than to eat amazing food and to be around people that I love.

After dinner I biked into work to be there for folks who just needed a little post Thanksgiving Dinner decompression time. Nights like that are never really profitable, but they’re always fun. You become the ‘place everyone goes’ so you only have people out and about that are having a good time. It’s a good position to be in. We played some movies, served some drinks and talked some smack. The night sped by and before we knew it, it was over. I was glad to be able to spend my holiday having so much fun.

Black Friday.
I had never really gotten to do Black Friday shopping before leaving Amazon. Even before they started forcing us to work on Thanksgiving it was a given that we’d work Black Friday. After leaving a few years ago I still didn’t really make the most of a day who’s sole purpose is to spend money as gluttonously as you ate the day before. This year I went ALL. OUT. I went to Target and got ready for war. Here’s a list of the doorbusters I was willing to break heads over:

  1. Laundry Detergent. (Hypoallergenic)
  2. Fabric Softener Sheets. (Hypoallergenic)
  3. Vitamin C fizzies. (Raspberry)
  4. Cliff Bars. (Coconut)
  5. Blu Ray DVDs for $4. (Kill Bill 1 & 2 despite having them on dvd, Where the Wild Things Are)
  6. A black tshirt. (Accidentally got a V Neck. Refuse to return a $4 shirt)
  7. Febreze Scent Diffuser Refills

Living like a ROCK STAR man. People were in there stocking up on crap. Carts full of things they won’t care about in a month. It’s not that I’m against spending large amounts of money on things people might consider trivial, but… love what you buy. If you’re going to drop a bunch of money- Like I do on Swatches or Pushead toys- LOVE what you buy. Don’t buy it out of obligation because there’s a ‘shopping holiday’ like Black Friday that ties into a shopping holiday like Christmas. Don’t be a sucker.

The strange thing is the store wasn’t really that busy. I was dreading going in, but when I got there it was a few people buying a lot of stuff, not a lot of people buying everything. Maybe it’s because I went later in the day. Who knows. Same situation with the Post Office. I had to go in to drop off an OV shirt and I was literally the only person in the building other than the lone employee they had scheduled to work.

Totally not what I expected.

Photo: Hitchhiker. 

Thursday 11.22.12

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
It’s true that I generally don’t celebrate most holidays in the traditional sense, but I still have a love of the little traditions that come with some of them. One of those traditions is to make a list on Thanksgiving of the things and the people that I’m thankful for. So far, 2012 has been appropriately an apocalyptic year for me. While Quetzalcoatl isn’t likely to make an appearance next month, my life went through a pretty major shift and I’m still seeing the growth and reward as a result of it. So. Here’s my list of Thanksgiving thanks, in no particular order.

  • Erin.
    What can I say about Erin that I haven’t already said before? She’s my best friend. Our friendship has evolved so much over the last few years and I know that with absolute certainty that she always has my back. When I got engaged, Erin was an obvious choice as a Groomsman, and even though it didn’t come to fruition I know that she’s still there keeping me sane, and safe.
  • Bethany.
    If Erin is my best friend, Bethany is my… Bethany. The entirety of her is perfect to me. The only person I’ve ever put on a pedestal that actually deserves it. We go a week at a time without talking and then just when I think about how much I miss her I’ll get a cute text or a photograph of her. When we first met the connection was immediate; I knew that she’d be  part of my life for the rest of it. Our friendship solidified in 2005 and we became family. Plain and simple. I can’t wait to get my little BT+SP Bee tattoo so I have a little permanent reliquary to remind me of how much I adore her. Not that I need it.
  • Alissa.
    There’s no mentioning my friendship with Alissa that doesn’t begin with ‘When I first met her, I wanted to slap her in the face.’ It’s tradition now, and since this whole entry is about tradition, there you have it. When I first met her she was a bratty teenager and Christ on Calvary I wanted to lay one on her. Seven years later and she’s an amazing woman who offers me so much unconditional love and support that, even though I still want to smack her, it’s a different kind of smack. We’ve been stealing time together more often lately, and I’m thrilled.
  • Denim Dan.
    How could I forget about her? We met earlier in the year and realized that we were already old friends. We’re told that on the second day we hung out we were already finishing each other’s sentences and already had in-jokes. I’m rarely so comfortable around new people, but she just puts me at ease, instantly. She’s moving to the east coast soon, and I’ll have her closer to me. I’m very excited.
  • My Family.
    I’m the luckiest son of a bitch in the world right now. I get to work four days a week with my Brother and my Sister in law. I get to see my nephew B4 growing into who he’s going to become. I get to have fun at work- our job is helping people have a good time. How rad is that? When folks want to go out and have fun, they come to us. It’s a great feeling to be part of people’s lives like that. So I get to spend time around my siblings and have fun. All the time. I’ve said it before, but my worst day at the bar, when everything is just working against us and you just want to punch a wall, has been better than my best day at Amazon.com. And my schedule allows me to travel, so I’ve been able to get up to NYC more often to see my Sister Kathleen and Brother in law Atom more often in the last few months than in the previous year. And I’ve recently ‘adopted’ a new member of the family, my housemate Megh. I like to tell people that she’s my daughter, and thankfully she’s on board with that. It’s nice to have her in the house; we rarely see each other but it’s very comforting to know she’s here.
  • Bailey.
    The Stink Weasel. Who’d have thought it? A creepy, stinky little beast that lurks around my bedroom while I sleep, smells like fish and constantly does inappropriate things that make everyone uncomfortable and he’s the love of my life right now. He cheers me up when I’m down, encourages me to take little walks throughout the day and waits, tail wagging, to greet me when I get home. He’s my consistency.
  • My new friends.
    I’ve been a ‘proud hermit’ for years and I defined myself by how reclusive I was. I made my ex my life. Turns out that I put my money on the wrong horse and when all was said and done I was out a partner (as well as some jewelry and a leica) and starting my life over from scratch. I had Erin, Bethany, Alissa and my family, sure, but I found myself lonely and in need of new friends to augment what my existing friends already provided. And I’ve been lucky enough to do just that. Make new friends. Be social. Create a circle of people who I care about and who care about me. It’s been great. I’m glad you folks are in my life, and I promise to try to be as good to you as you’ve been to me.
  • Therapy.
    I bring up therapy from time to time, but not nearly as much as I should. At first I didn’t know how things were going to work out between my therapist and I, but lately things have really been clicking. After a good session I feel energized and take what we talked about to heart. I’ve seen major advances in my life since starting with Cynthia and I’m excited about the changes we still have to take on.
  • Health/Fitness/Gym.
    I admit it. I’ve become ‘that guy’ since May. Sixty pounds lost before the weight gain from muscle building started, and my body is still in a state of change and it’s amazing. Sometimes I forget myself and shout from the rooftop about getting healthier, but it’s just because i want everyone to see the benefits I’ve  seen. I’ve changed my eating habits, added a varied workout routine to my day and work overtime to make sure that I’m taking care of my body like I (try to) take care of my mind.
  • Travel.
    One of the benefits of my schedule is the ability to travel again. I hadn’t been doing as much over the last two years, but I’m finally able to start doing a little bit more traveling. This year I’ve been to Vegas, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, NYC, DC and I have Boston and Florida trips coming up soon. I’d missed it. Now that I have a dog sitter that I trust I’m a little more flexible with being able to get out of town for a little bit. It really clears my head and reboots it to just lose myself somewhere.

Today my friend Mara and I are  going to be spending Thanksgiving with my family; eating delicious food (did I mention that we bought four dozen Macarons?) laughing and telling stories, and then off to work. Regardless of how you spend your holidays, I hope that you have a great day, and that you’re as blessed as I am to have the kind of friends and family that you know are thankful for you, too.

Photo: PA Dutch Hex Sign.
Inset: Alissa Denim Dan Bethany Bailey.

Thursday 10.04.12

Today I was a lot less grumpy/emo.
While there was a lot of Smiths action on my playlists today I’ve yet to resort to posting lyrics, so you can take that as a sign that I’m doing ok for now despite being kind of freaked out about the next few weeks and how they’re going to treat me. I try to keep up the PMA (which includes allowing myself to type PMA despite my contempt of it, ASAP and FYI) while dealing with the bad parts as they come. So far it’s been pretty successful.

My friend Erin does a ‘Things I love Thursday” update on her Facebook (started it on her IAM) so I’m going to list some things I love today as a talisman against feeling grumpy.

  • Erin. Obviously. She’s rad and I’m glad she’s my friend.
  • Mara. She should be doing homework right now, but instead she’s talking to me.
  • Occult Vibrations. My tattoo blog. Didn’t think I’d keep it up this long, but.. it rocks. Tomorrow I’m filming a thing on fitness for tattooers. Fun.
  • NYCC. Pushead! I’m going Saturday and don’t have to rush.
  • Morrissey. Deal with it.
  • October. Despite all of the emoness… it’s my favorite month. I’ll eventually get back to it being MY month not ‘our’ month.
  • Cooking. Low fat, lean protein, heavy cruciferous greens…. and making it taste good. I haven’t been cooking enough.
  • Flirting.
  • Bailey.

Today I managed to fit Phantasm into my 31 Days of Horror Films. It didn’t hold up. Not at all. I mostly goofed around online while it played. Hopefully tomorrow is better. I’m thinking something Italian. Giallo. Argento probably. As we get closer to the big day I’ll start watching less horror and more specifically Halloween centered films. And I still need to make Halloween plans.

Photo: Jack o’ Lantern ceramic!