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.
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?
It’s Christmas Eve, Internet.
Well. Sort of. It’s early morning on the day that will become the Eve, but it’s close enough and I’ve got that Christmas cheer going on, so bear with me. My wife is asleep, adorable in her stripey elf pajamas and my dog seems indifferent to me at the moment so I’m watching 1980s porno (Corruption, 1981 Vinegar Syndrome) and considering going downstairs to make a pizza. My cheer not withstanding, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas here in Philadelphia. It’s 60* outside and pouring rain. I don’t need it to snow, but I’d love it if it were just a little colder and I had to wear mittens and a scarf instead of shorts and a tshirt.
Either way I’m glad that the ‘big day’ is almost here. As a godless heathen who has more than a passing fancy to proclaiming secular love for Odin and Satan, Christmas is my second favorite holiday right after the equally gaudy Halloween. There’s pagan idolatry all around, I get things from people I love, I give things to people I love and there’s cookies and candy everywhere. This year I think I did pretty good by Julia; I told her what I got her before I even bought it, ruining the surprise, but it’s something she really wanted and the stocking stuffers and assorted little things I got to fill out the space around our tiny tree will fill in the surprise factor just fine.
I’m dying to know what she got me; one of my longest standing Holiday traditions is to try and ‘spoil’ Christmas by figuring out what presents ‘Santa’ got for me before I tear off the first piece of wrapping paper. It’s a by-any-means-necessary campaign and I’m usually quite good at it, but this year she’s managed to keep things secret and as I sit in our living room (the porn ended and I made that pizza after all) and stare at our little tree I haven’t the foggiest idea what to expect on Christmas morning. You win this year, Wife, but I’ll have my revenge.
We have to be up in a few hours to go do a work thing, then we’re going to spend Christmas Eve day in the worst possible place- near the King of Prussia Mall, eating a Christmas classic- Bahama Breeze (Im a sucker for a Cubano and Mojito) and seeing the new oh-shit-its-available-online Tarantino movie in glorious 70mm. The wife says we have to wait until Christmas morning to open presents (loophole of ‘if it’s after midnight it’s technically Christmas’ has been shot down) but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.
It’s been a really great, fun, adventurous and stable 2015- Maybe I’ll get around to a New Years Post- and this is going to be a really rad Christmas. Now let’s see if I can unwrap my gifts and get the wrapping back on where she won’t notice….
The essence of your partnership is guided by the ways you compliment each other. Each of you recognizes how your creativity inspires the other. Your partnership is enriched by your humor, understanding, and compassion for one another and for those around you. You support, challenge and inspire each other’s interests and goals. You dance through life not as one being but as separate individuals who support and care for one another.
The other night, when we knew she had to wake up in a few hours and go to work my wife and I laid in bed, in the dark, with our creepy dog contentedly curled up in between us, and talked. Deep stuff, and funny stuff, and serious stuff and inconsequential stuff. In the year that we’ve been married she’s never failed to stop, sit down and listen to me when I needed to talk; she’s never been shy about coming to me when she needed to.
She supports me, unconditionally. She’s my biggest fan, even when I’m not.
She allows me to be vulnerable when I need it, and she trusts me to keep her safe when she needs to do the same. She lets me have bad days and celebrates my good ones. We’ve developed our little rituals, as a couple; the cards before every trip (and sometimes just for fun) and the double kiss every morning before she leaves the house. She’s encouraged me more than anyone ever has and I always know that no matter what she’ll be there for me.
Happy first anniversary, Jbird. I love you the most.
(text above is from our wedding ceremony, written by my sister Carmela and recited by our officiant and friend AJ)