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.

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Sunday 11.03.2013

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I was horrible about keeping my diary updated in October.
It turned out to be my busiest month of 2013 but was also packed with the most adventure, so I’ll skip to the highlights for the six of you who’re paying attention:

1374075_709363687906_1460643889_nAIDS WALK 5k:
Team Occult Vibrations kicked butt, raising just under $3600 to support people affected by HIV/AIDS in the Philadelphia area. We were absolutely humbled by the donations from friends, family and total strangers who gave what they could to bring us $2600 OVER our initial goal. Julia and I were able to run a 5k together along with the rest of our team and despite some of us not being happy with their times (29 minutes was NOT my best effort, but on two hours of sleep nursing a chest cold I’m going to take it as gracefully as possible) we were all glad to have gotten together to make a day of it and to help some folks out in the process.

 

1385139_10202011598599032_632917905_n24 Hour Horror Fest:
My buddy Jesse treated Julia and I to Exhumed Cinema’s 24hr Horror Fest at the International House Theater. We weren’t able to get there until 3am (which clocked us in at just under 12 hours by the time the last film- Demons 2- finished) but we had a ball watching 35mm prints of some real gems, curiosities and downright stinkers. It’s all part of the fun- not knowing what films are going to be coming next. When we finally walked out of the theater, sore from 12 hours in the dark, we walked back into Center City holding hands and discussing horror films… sort of reminds me why I’m going to marry her.

 

 

1385605_10202041674830919_1913308325_nAustin Texas:
Speaking of Julia (which I do, quite often)… We decided to spend Halloween visiting Austin Texas. It was a much needed vacation for me, and a very much needed one for her. That it coincided with our favorite Holiday was just icing on the cake. We tried to knock out as much dorky tourist stuff as possible; seeing the Congress Street Bridge bats, eating food from a food truck at the trailer park, seeing a horror movie at the Alamo, visiting 6th Street and SoCo, getting tattooed at Affinity, meeting up with as many friends as possible (though of course there were some we regrettably missed) and having Julia finally meet Bethany.  Jbird said that it was like meeting the ‘end boss’ of a video game before we met up with Bee; which is a funny way to put it but I totally get it. My relationship with Bethany (we’re going to be celebrating 9 years in a few weeks) is very hard to explain to people and I can see how intimidating it could be. Luckily they got along famously and two people that I love more than my ability to articulate were with me in the same place at the same time. More than anything else that made the trip for me… though the ‘anything else’ was still pretty spectacular!

All of that fun was nestled in between tattoo appointments, Outfest, Pushead at NYCC and so much more. I wouldn’t trade a single day of it though I’m thankful that November is here and I’ll hopefully be able to have a nice relaxing month to counterbalance the chaos of October. I’m thinking about taking a brief roadtrip for Thanksgiving but otherwise.. nothing. Just work, life, Julia and Bailey.

I can’t think of a better way to spend it!

 

Photos:
Main: Jack O Lantern in November… stay proud.
Inset: Team OV, 24hr Horror Fest Demons 2, Hi How Are You mural and matching tattoos.

 

Thursday 06.20.2013

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I had intended to write a big wordy blog update on my time at the APP conference this year, both for SD and for ModBlog but you know what they say about good intentions.

APP this year was a trial; probably one of the best conferences I’ve attended but at the price of a lot of negativity that had nothing to do with the event itself. The trip started with having my luggage left in the rain by the airline’s baggage handlers (flooding the contents, ruining items and making me have to do my washing/drying in my hotel bathroom) and coming down with a wicked summer cold making me sleep more than I’m used to, missing a lot of my already limited socializing time.

So there I was in Vegas, surrounded by friends and loved ones and I’m sick as a dog with a suitcase full of soaking wet clothes. Kind of hard to get into the vacation groove. But ultimately I still managed to get up at 6:45am the next day to do a 2mile jog with Stephen and the rest of our assembled running club. As the days went on that became more difficult with the last day of jogging almost unbearable due to the run down condition of my immune system. I really need to remember that it’s ok to take a day off sometimes.

brosI still managed to dress up and deliver a eulogy to my friend Shannon. I still managed dinner with Denim Dan, a trip to the desert for a really amazing suspension with Neeko and Orb, and a little bit of socializing at the bar with so many rad people that it would be irresponsible to name them for fear of leaving someone out. I even managed to get a ‘bro-tat’ with my old friend Ron; we got back almost 19 years and this was a long time coming. Our choice of design… a skull with a party hat.. seemed to be silly at first but the more I read my facebook feed and see RIP messages as our friends are leaving us.. it’s a great memento mori. Ron’s wife Nakota did the honors for us and that’s a story of it’s own. Maybe I’ll share it one day.

Throughout it all I was consciously aware of missing Julia. Strange. I think I mentioned this before, but APP used to be a vacation away from my partners; a chance to pretend I was single for a week, debauch, do bad things that I’d forget to tell them about and then come home refreshed… this year it was a chance to tell my dearest friends about this amazing woman who’s come into my life. Show some pictures. Tell the funny story about accidentally confessing we were in love. I decided that the next trip I booked would include her; so when I found that I had enough frequent flier points for a Halloween adventure (Austin, Tx) I decided to invite her along. Big step for me. Trips with girlfriends were always something I begrudgingly did; to invite J along… kinda rad.

All things told I had more fun this year at APP than in previous years despite having so much to deal with. Paul King’s class “The Grieving Body: Does Body Modification Injure or Heal the Psyche?” was one of his best, which is saying a lot. APP attendees this year were a lot more sedate; our jogging club, people promising to stay sober and generally a more grown up vibe, which was great considering the amount of first timers. Leaving the city and spending the morning in the desert (on no sleep) to watch a friend suspend, Chipotle with Greg… It’s hard to condense a week of really amazing times into a short blog, so I won’t try.

Thanks to everyone who made my trip the much needed vacation that it was.

Photos: Desert and bro-tats (inset)

Tuesday 05.28.2013

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I have three windows open right now attempting to update blogs.
ModBlog: The history of the Scarwars events.
Occult Vibrations: A writeup on visiting Tulsa for the opening party of the legendary Richard Stell’s new PAIR O DICE Tattoo.
Sacred Debris: Well. That’s this one. So at least one of them is getting some love.

It’s late in the night/early in the morning on my brother’s 40th birthday. That’s so weird. Mainly because it means I’ll be forty next year. I’ve been telling people I’m forty for about a year (little white lies) to help me acclimate to the reality that I’m not a kid anymore. Robert’s been forty since he was nine, so he’s probably more used to it, but me? I’m going to have a hard time with it. At least he’s at Disney in Orlando for STAR WARS week or whatever it’s called. Disney being the happiest place on Earth and all.

Being happy is of paramount importance to me these days. It’s odd that being happy should be something people have to think about. We should all be happy to be happy. But that slips away from you as you get older and the pressures of the real world start weighing down on you. I’ve spent the last year working on PMA and positive life changes and lately get told by people that I ‘look happy’. I think of all of the compliments I’ve gotten about getting healthy, getting smaller, getting fit- that someone telling me that I look happy is the best compliment I’ve gotten. Well. That and ‘you look hot’ because ultimately I’m pretty shallow and who doesn’t like that sort of attention.

307048_10200960151753518_1266966728_nObviously I’ve been really geeked with the whole process of getting to know and falling for Julia; things are going so great and we’re really finding a balance with each other’s personalities- but I’m happy to report that I’m not happy because of the new relationship; I’m happy on my own and having her in my life augments and enriches the happiness. In the past I’ve made the mistake of letting the thrill of finding an amazing partner replace something that’s missing in my life and let me tell you- that puts unnecessary pressure on both sides. When you’re looking for your other half to make you happy- and you’re not happy on your own- it just can’t work. But I was in a really great place before she and I became ‘us’ so we’re confident that things will work out organically.

Also, she’s really pretty.

Just saying.

So yeah. Tulsa.
Anyone who’s been around the tattoo world for the last twenty or so years should be familiar with Richard Stell’s work. It’s clean, bold and ballsy. He’s known for his cat tattoos (Panthers, Jaguars, Tigers etc) but the man puts on a serious traditional kickass tattoo regardless of subject matter. For the record, he’s always kind of intimidated me- which isn’t a bad thing. Tattooers USED to have that kinda gruff, scary edge. It added to the mystery of the whole tattoo scene. But my friend Jennifer married him, so I knew he must be a good dude on top of being a stellar (see what I did there?) tattooer and heading out to Tulsa for his birthday completely affirmed that. He’s a really nice guy. Funny. Tells a great story (That 50 Cent story still has me laughing) and when he talks about Jennifer has this big ol’ grin on his face. I like that; she deserves it.

The whole tattoo part of the story will be up on Occult Vibrations soonish. I prefer to keep my blogging tidy so I’ll just stick to the whole travel experience here, which was fucking terrible. I’ve been flying Southwest Airlines for years, and this was hands down the worst experience I’ve ever had with them. Three out of four of the planes were late including a multi hour delay on the initial journey, snarky customer service, deboarding a plane that they said was going to St. Louis but was actually my Tulsa flight (I had a ticket. you don’t get a ticket with a different flight number if it’s the same plane) and having to wait in line to reboard the plane I just exited.. it was a nightmare.  But everyone I met in Tulsa was super rad. It was a really short trip- all told only really  one day- but totally worth all of the trouble. I felt bad for not having a chance to meet some friends who live in/near Tulsa, but I was pretty threadbare with time and it’s difficult to leave the event you flew out to attend to do anything else.

Once I get the OV stuff written, I’ll link to it so you can read the rest of the story.

I have so much stuff going on right now that it’s hard to get it all in. My life is coming up Milhouse right now and my friends, family and loved ones are a major part of that. Travel, adventure, toys, tattoos, movies and my lady…

What more could I ask for?

Photos: Tulsa. Inset: Julia.