Saturday 12.08.12

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Friday night wore me out.

The Cupcakes and Beer event was incredibly well attended on the main floor, and we had the Cut and Paste event on the top floor. Four floor nights always take their toll; lots of being on the wrong floor when I’m needed so the up the stairs/down the stairs sprints are more frequent than usual. By the end of a shift like this I’m feeling all of my thirty eight years for sure; I tend not to remember that I’m actually old until my body decides to remind me. It’s always humbling when you realize that you’re not a teenager anymore, despite acting like one.

15965_4848084607482_456945112_nLuckily I didn’t do a damned fool think like getting up super early on Saturday, right?  Of course I did! My friend Rachel was in town, and every time she comes to Philly she makes sure to budget some time to visit, so it was absolutely worth the grogginess to get up, get moving and get to Mugshots to spend a little time with her. I love her visits. I’m going to return the favor and go visit her in Baltimore in 2013; I haven’t been down there in years and it would be nice to see her favorite spots; everything I know about Baltimore I learned from John Waters movies, so I hope that everything is just like the magical world he portrays in his films. Something makes me think I won’t be disappointed. Aaron joined us (strangely, I just realized he didn’t eat or drink anything. weird) for a bit and eventually we took our ‘obligatory pictures’, did our hugs and headed our separate ways.

Work was pretty taxing. My knee was giving me problems; pulled or twisted something last night and it just sort of haunted me the rest of the night. Of course I forgot advil or a muscle relaxer, so I just paced myself a little slower and hoped for the best. There was a bit of swelling, but as I write this (Sunday morning) it’s all gone down. I took it easy on the bike ride home last night, and I think I’m going to take a day off from the gym today and just let it mend.

Photo: Pushead Bullseye (red) Inset: Glittermonkey and I. 

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.

Saturday 11.10.12

Nine years ago today I met my nephew for the first time. He was only a few minutes old and so tiny; when Robert handed him to me to hold I was terrified that I was going to break him or drop him, but when I looked down at him I knew that I’d always do my best to be there holding him up when he needed me. I’ve watched him grow into a sweet, smart, sensitive boy who puts the needs of others in front of his own and who at a fresh nine years of age has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Star Wars Universe. Today we went to Dave and Busters to celebrate his birthday. Predictably he was showered with Star Wars gifts, so he was having a great day. I went outside of the Force and gave him the movie camera I mentioned a few posts ago. He loved it. Later on in the day we had a little talk about how to ‘make movies’ and I was thrilled that he was asking questions and loved his present. I look forward to seeing who he becomes as an adult.

I also got to spend a little time shooting the nerdy breeze with one of my toy buddies today. He had hooked me up with a new Pushead piece and drove down from the ‘burbs to drop it off and check out the newer pieces I’ve gotten since his last visit. We spent a few hours being nerdy manchildren, talking toys and travel and life. Really good times. After the Pushead event a few weeks ago I had promised to try to spend some more time with the ‘Standup Guys’ and this was a great start. Now I just have to get up to Boston and nerd out with Pat and Ed. Good damned times.

The rest of the night was a ballbuster.
We hosted parties for the Philadelphia Leather Pride Weekend last night and tonight and the bar was packed. Both nights we opened the top floor, so there was a lot of running up and down a lot of stairs. Great little cardio workout just showing up for my shifts! The vibe was amazing and even though I ended up taking on a doorman trainee on a super busy four floor night, everything went off without a hitch. I kept the flow going, flirted with a young lady who was worried that no one would flirt with her, served drinks and made sure everyone had a great time. The differences between the bar and Amazon are night and day. When things get chaotic at the bar, it tends to mean that you’re probably going to be having more fun, not less. At Amazon when things would get stressful you’d end up having some socially maladjusted douche like PALY or Jenna freaking out, making all the wrong calls and adding exponential stress to you life. That I can be a better leader than the people I suffered under for so long makes me happy, and proud of the dynamic we’re fostering with our staff. Amazon’s motto was ‘work hard, have fun, make history’… but there was really no fun being had. At the bar- we’ve got the fun covered, we work smart not hard and given that we just celebrated our 30th anniversary- I think we have the history part locked down. Like I said- night and day.

The night ended with a charmingly surreal little situation upstairs that is probably best left out of this update. Jake J. takes care of me, that’s for sure.

Photo: Pushead Skull Captain