Wednesday 03.26.2014

1958190_10203083110186152_757754188_nI’ve been having sleeping problems again. The weather the last few months has made me super grouchy, so I’m assuming that’s playing into it. Despite having woken up early today, I find myself in bed with Julia conked out next to me, Bailey sleeping in his wee little Baileybed and me wide awake. Once I get to sleep- probably around four am, I’ll have four hours to sleep before the construction resumes on the house next door. After seven years of living here it’s finally sold; from what I understand to someone who had no idea what state of disrepair it was in. For his $60k he’s got himself a house that has a hole in the roof and a tree growing through the back door. His three man refurb crew are working tirelessly from 8am till about 5pm ,every day. Honestly, having entered the house questionably a few years ago, I don’t really see how they’re going to be able to do it. It’s beyond disrepair; even gutting it seems like it would be a risky proposition. Either way, I’m trying to get used to the constant hammering, sanding, knocking and nailing. I’m trying to make the most of the insomnia; editing video for Sacred Debris, working on a Big Book of Fun(tm) for Orlando, writing the intro to (redacted. More info soon) and trying to put to bed an article on the 1995 Amsterdam Tattoo Convention for a friend’s ‘zine. If I’m going to be awake, I should probably be doing more than just watching 1980s movies (currently: MEATBALLS.) and mindlessly surfing the Internets.

I’ve been trying really hard to get into the whole ‘Spring’ vibe, despite it being late March and as of earlier this evening, still snowing. Over the last few Garbage pickup days I’ve taken out several x-tra large bags of clutter culled from multiple closets; things that were just taking up space that served no purpose other than to take up space. I have a lot more to get to- books especially. Having finally given in to the while iBook thing and being able to host all of the Harry Potter books in the space of a few megabytes, I find myself not really needing the space-taking thick as all hell books. I found a box in my guest room closet of books I didn’t even know I had, books that I haven’t read in years so it’s not like I’d miss them if they were gone. I’m going to make an AIDSTHRIFT box in the next few days and get everything dropped off. Julia has been doing the same; I think it’s a nesting thing on both of our parts since she’ll be moving in permanently in just a few weeks. She all but lives here now, but I think that having all of her stuff- or at least what she chooses to keep- will make it seem more real. By the time she’s 100% moved in it’ll be our year anniversary. We’re still obnoxiously, goobery in love with each other (even when she falls asleep during Coraline) so our #neverendinghoneymoonphase tattoos kind of paid off.

animal-kingdom-villas-story-01-v1Speaking of, I’m going to try to convince her that we need to get a vacation tattoo when we go to Disney in a few weeks (54 days) to commemorate another rad family vacation. This time Robert, Carmela and B4 are going to be joining us, as will a cadre of BME Weirdos. We’ve been crossing the Ts and dotting the Is over the last few days- getting the hotel stuff squared, getting our park passes set up, flight information sorted out… it’s been keeping me  occupied as the last dregs of Winter fight for a little more time. All that’s left to do is figure out where and when we want to use our Fast Pass+ options- three per day -and then we’re done. We bought five day passes (and are going to add the Park Hopper option) so there’s a lot of fun to plan. I’m really looking forward to the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain, Star Tours and the surreality of wandering around the Disney family of parks surrounded by Storm Troopers, Jedi, Sith and the Weirdos who’re joining us on the trip.

Once all that’s sorted out… there’s Vegas for APP. Last year I promised my friend Bethra that I wouldn’t do my traditional ‘I don’t think I’m going next year’ thing for the 2014 Conference. I had a really great time last year despite the sombre task of delivering my friend Shannon’s eulogy at the Banquet. This year I’m going with very few set plans. I might take a few classes if they grab me; might go see Penn and Teller again, might just sit by the pool reading and bs’ing with friends.

I’ve been trying to do the same locally, too. I had a really great brunch with my old friend Lauren the other day at Cantina. We hadn’t done that in years- sit down and have dinner, shoot the breeze and just hang out. It’s always weird to me how friendships can just sort of pause for a while. Lauren and I were really ‘there for each other’ a few years ago when we were both going through a rough patch at the same time so I was worried that having brunch would dig up those memories for me; instead I found myself laughing with an old friend and hoping that we’ll be able to do it again soon. I’m also trying to make plans with the always-busy Natalie for some catchup time. Once the weather gets nicer I’m going to try to make seeing local friends a bigger priority. There’s no excuse not to see the people I love when they live so close.

There’s been a lot going on since the last time I updated; planning my 40th birthday party, finally getting my John the Baptist tattoo worked on in a few weeks, J and I got into a minor car accident… life has been and continues to be full of adventure.

Photo: Sansom Street wall. 

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Thursday 10.18.2013

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My room is a mess and I should be cleaning it.
Bailey needs a bath. I have AirBnB guests coming tomorrow and it would behoove me to go straighten up the communal rooms instead of laying back, relaxed, listening to Julia occasionally talk in her sleep and watching John Carpenter’s The Prince of Darkness.

I’ve got a message for you, and you’re not going to like it.

During the month of October I double or triple my already excessive horror movie intake. Today has been excessive even by those standards, starting a new one as soon as the credits finish on the one before. Classic horror. Remakes. Remakes that have become classic horror. After taking a two mile run I retired back to the house and immersed myself in gore, nudity, violence and death while Bailey casually cleaned himself (though he still needs a bath) with a series of wet slurping licks that were even more unsettling than the parade of viscera I was watching onscreen.

1385726_10201903919147113_1604391780_nOctober is the best month of the year. Cooling weather, Horror Movies, Pumpkin everything, NYCC/Pushead and finally Halloween in Austin with Julia. Everything has been going so smoothly this month despite burning the candle at both ends. The Pushead event was pure geek gold; getting to BS with Chris, Phil, Ed, Pat, Michael, Tony, Mikee, Paulie, Marissa, Charlie and finally Pus was perfect. If you’re interested in the geeky details- toys purchased etc, you can swing by my collection specific site for more of that; for here I’ll just say that I wish I had more time to spend with my nerdy friends and we did this more than once or twice a year and I was glad to be able to geek out with them, introduce them to Julia and make my trip about more than just toys and art.

The remaining few weeks of October are going to be equally busy, so I’m trying to take it all in stride and have the best time possible. We’ve got the Aids Walk 5k this coming Sunday, the second half of the 24hr horror fest the following Saturday then a few days in Austin which will, I’m sure, be packed full of adventure, friends and good times. Julia and I finally booked a hotel and are starting to map out things we want to do while we’re in town; see the Alamo so we can later remember it, go see Friday the 13th at the Drafthouse, eat calorically irresponsible food and be ‘that couple’ despite how annoying it must be for everyone who’s not us.

I’ve also been working on a concept for a new Body Modification Blog. One that’s not weighed down with baggage or guided by a single ideology. We’ve got some folks lined up with impressive resumes who are interested in writing for us as well as some great ideas for articles… all we need is a readership that wants a community and not to just be handed content. It’s going to be branded SACRED DEBRIS (which means I’ll be changing the name of this blog to avoid confusion) after my print Body Mod zine from the early 1990s and I’m sure will end up being incredibly fulfilling or frustrating for me, often at the same time,.

So yeah.  There’s that. Projected launch is mid-late November. We’ll see if that actually happens.

Until then I’m going to enjoy October!

Tuesday 07.09.2013

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Always trying to play catch-up, aren’t I?

I’ve been lucky lately to be able to spend more time with Julia than without her. We’re spoiled. Tonight is one of the rare nights where she’s not over at my place and I’m not over at hers, so instead of sleeping I’ve stayed up till almost 6am, watching a FRIDAY THE 13TH film at the Overground and being a goober. (which includes drinking a mango kombucha with the biggest brain I’ve ever consumed and deviling Bailey, who’s unimpressed with my breaking his sleeping streak)

My life isn’t terrible.

We’ve packed a decent amount of adventure in since my last update including a  daytrip to Providence, RI to see Jenna (who as it turns out was very surprised. We sort of didn’t tell her we were coming to add to the fun) and Nicholas that was a heck of a lot of fun. Julia and I have never taken a really big trip together before; a bus ride to NYC sure but never being trapped in a car together for twelve hours (for what amounted to an 18 hour trip, sleep included) attempting to navigate without a GPS. Normally that would push my stress level to a meltdown, but these days I’m able to handle these little setbacks with a smile and a laugh and despite a hellish commute; we had a ball.

1012174_10201204961873618_1055561295_nProvidence  itself was rad. Julia had never been before so it was really great to take her someplace new. We didn’t get a chance to do much touristing since the visit was more about Julia and Jenna meeting and getting to know each other but eventually we made it out to see some fireworks, go to the bar where parts of ‘SOMETHING ABOUT MARY’ was filmed  and celebrate the 4th of July with some of my favorite people. Sucked that we didn’t get to see any of my local RI friends, but with the trip so short I figured it was best to spend all of the limited time we had with Jenna rather than spread ourselves thin trying to meet up with everyone else. Just means we’ll have to visit again sometime. Ultimately very much so worth it to even spend the little time with DD that we did. In the year that we’ve been friends she’s sort of taken on a really special place in my life, so introducing her to my love was really important to me. The look on her face when she saw us in her kitchen was priceless, totally made my trip.

We did manage to make a little 8am sidetrip to the Swan Point Cemetery and despite telling the perfectly pleasant caretaker that we wouldn’t take pictures at HP Lovecraft’s grave as per Cemetery policy…

Since getting back I’ve been trying to plan out all of my upcoming travel stuff; if you live in San Diego or San Francisco I’m going to do my best to see you; I’ll post my itinerary on the next blog update and hit some of ya’all up privately on Facebook about the wheres and whens. It’s going to be a doozy but I’m willing to put the time in to see folks, so we’ll get the details hashed out and have a damn good adventure!

I’ve been in such a great place lately. Julia. Life. Being able to spend time with Erin, Jenna… things have been so amazing in my life and it’s strangely making me much less tolerant of bullshit; the last few days have seen me getting super annoyed by rhetoric being broadcast over my social networking feeds and despite usually being tolerant of people with radically opposing viewpoints, I’ve sort of hit a wall and quieted the voices that were bothering me. Doesn’t mean they’re not my friends anymore; just that I’d prefer not to keep track of their feeds if it means putting up with the torrents of blah blah blah that I’ve had to deal with. Things like the blog here at SD; I figure if you care enough to read about my life, you’ll check back every now and then. If my updates bore you, offend you, annoy you, etc… you just won’t come. Doesn’t mean you don’t like me; just that you don’t want to read things that bother you. It’s ruffled some feathers; people who associate social networking with real life a little more closely than I do but ultimately…

Greater good and all.

Do what makes you happy I say.

Photos: Denim Dan and I, 4th of July. Julia at the HP Lovecraft Grave marker.

Tuesday 05.07.2013

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What a difference a year makes, huh?
A year ago today I wrote the following update to my Facebook page:

Shawn Porter
May 7, 2012 near Philadelphia
This is really hard to say, and I’m asking for a little space on this- I appreciate the support but I just kind of need time to process all of this… Claire has decided to end our relationship. The wedding has been canceled.  As of a few hours ago, she’s moved out of the house.  …Claire had no faith that we can change. Maybe that I can change.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. My life is so different now than it was when I posted that. I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a person (while also shrinking; I like the dichotomy) in the last year that looking back on how things were is so very strange. I’ve spent so much time trying to own MY issues that I didn’t really deal with the reality of hers. I blamed myself. I blamed her. Instead of healing I was blaming. Instead of moving on I was making leica jokes.

So instead of letting things get me down knowing the ‘big day’ was coming, I spent yesterday helping out Natalie with some move-in stuff for her new place. I’ve never been able to stay friends with a girlfriend after the romantic relationship ended, but things with Natalie and I are going great. The same comfort level that we had as a couple is there with our friendship. We drove up to KOP to pick up some furniture, then made an IKEA trip to buy her a new bed and she treated me to pho that had so much tripe that it was insane. And amazing. I had worried when we first started hanging out again that it would be ‘weird’ but it’s been perfect. Obviously I wish we would have been as good at communicating when we were dating as we are now, but I think things worked out like they were supposed to and I’m really happy to still have her in my life.

I told her, sincerely, that she was the first former girlfriend I’ve ever cared about enough to want to stay friends with and while I don’t want to be too self congratulatory for behaving like a grownup, I do find myself proud that I’m able to get over how I normally deal with loss and separation when a relationship ends and to see someone as a person and not an ‘ex’.

I spent today seeing Iron Man, working out and inviting a crush over for dinner and a movie. It was nice cooking for someone, watching Beauty is Embarrassing and fooling around like teenagers. I like how our friendship is filling out; we’ve casually known each other for a couple of years but we’re just now getting to really know each other and it’s been really great.

People come and go out of our lives. It’s a fact of life. From the day I met Claire I wanted her to be in my life for the rest of it. That didn’t work out and it derailed me for a little bit; but as I grow and learn I realize that she’ll always be a part of my life- a story or anecdote, a reminder of being the catalyst for changes I’ve made- not FOR her or because of her but still tangibly on the edges of the memory. Ultimately, the greatest thing she ever did for me was to leave and for that, I’ll always be thankful.

For my part, I want to thank everyone who I’ve leaned on over the last year, who listened to me whine and lament and dealt with the hurt, the anger, the disgust and finally all of the obnoxious PMA and health/fitness stuff. I know it’s been a crazy ride, and I want to thank everyone who’s stuck with me for doing just that.

Photo: Home Cured Duck Prosciutto