Due to a flurry of situations totally out of my control, I’ve been listening to the Smiths a lot (more than usual) over the last two weeks. It’s hard not to be melancholic with a steady IV drip of Steven Patrick Morrissey being broadcast into my frontal lobe, but even without Moz’s influence I’ve been having a pretty rough time lately. It’ll pass, good or bad, and I’m very lucky that the causality of this funk is external and not internal- that no matter how many WTF moments are thrown at me (and they seem to be coming with increasing frequency) I’ll eventually hit that shitluck apex and will finally make it through a day without dropping a keg on my toe, slicing my fingers open, forgetting doctors appointments, paying for them anyway, failing at making new friends, dealing with the heartbreaking minutiae of possibly losing one and generally feeling like a magnet for all of the psychic crud that I usually avoid without a second glance.
(Facebook tells me that on this day in 2016 and 2015 I was posting a bunch of random Smiths songs on my timeline- maybe it’s cyclical)
I’ve been having a hard time shaking the guilt of being in a funk when people I love have it so much worse than me right now. I know, logically, that acknowledging my shit week (well, my shit fortnight) in no way invalidates the hard times that friends are going through, that it’s not all or nothing and that I’ve had the unwavering support of my wife, friendship of my bud Natalie and pretty much the ear of everyone I’ve pulled aside to complain about my grumpiness to, but there’s still this lingering sense of embarrassment that I’m a sadsack over things that I can’t control, over things that on their own wouldn’t be that big of a deal. That, too, is something that will pass but right now I just feel like a giant lemonface and I’m worried that I’m overlooking the chill days like H-Mart and Olive Garden with Julia and focusing on the bad ones instead.
Who knows man.
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?
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)
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.