Thursday 07.20.2017

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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.

 

Tuesday 12.20.2016

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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?

 

Sunday 11.04.12

 

Flirting is like a second language to me. Half of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it. It’s harmless of course, all in good fun. Last night I was watching people flirting; trying to get laid and doing such a tremendously bad job at it- time and time again. You should have heard the things they were saying… several times I wanted to go over and ‘flirt coach’ them to make the process go a little more smoothly. Maybe you shouldn’t say ‘well, everyone thinks I’m kind of an asshole, but that’s their problem‘ when you’re trying to pick someone up? Or when you’re trying to get laid, it’s probably not the best time to bring up your parents, or politics, or oil company profits…. It’s sort of a big ‘ol pot of cockblock you’re cooking up. 

People take things far too seriously.

Otherwise last night was great. Really fun vibe with no headaches. I did some flirting of my own (again, totally harmless, but I had to flex my flirting muscles to show them how it’s done) and ended the night in a great mood. Even biking home in the 34* weather didn’t get me down. It’s an amazing domino effect when I’m in a good mood. The little petty annoyances don’t seem to get to me. I talk a lot about PMA and I know it probably sounds pretty cheesy, but it makes all the difference in how my days go. When I’m a little down, everything gets to me. Little things so quickly escalate into big things. It’s been a hard transition since I’m sort of a natural cynic, but every time it ‘works’ I get a little more likely to try to see the silver lining and it totally ends up being a much better day.

Well aren’t I just sunshine and kittens this morning? Jesus.

I think I’m going to brave the Riverview today and see a movie this afternoon. Erin and I will still have movie night this week, but I’m just really feeling seeing something in the theater today. The popcorn/Sprite, picking out my favorite seat (middle, middle. Obviously) and experiencing the movie with other people. That’s been the only nitpicking point with the Overground; usually I’m watching movies alone up there. Sometimes Joe stops by, but… I like when cinema is a shared experience. Even bad cinema. The seating isn’t great up there (big comfy couch for me + 2 and a few chairs) but we can work on that. Some of the movies I’ve shown so far look so much better on a big screen; if you click the Underground Cinema tab on the top right of this blog you can suggest films for me to watch. I tend to watch the same movies over and over, so if you have recommendations- let me have it!

My nephew has shown an interest in making his own little movies; and at his age he’s considerably ahead of the curve with editing. I’d always wanted to be the fun uncle who teaches him how to draw but he’s not really shown a lot of interest in drawing, so… I’m really going to encourage this love of making movies. For his birthday next week I’m giving him a little  digital movie camera so he can be a little more mobile with his films; up till now he’s been recording the video on his school macbook so there’s not a lot of flexibility with where he can film. Hopefully he’ll stick with it; storyboarding, screenplays (he’s done one already!) and editing and all of the bells and whistles. He’s a pretty imaginative kid, so…. this could be really fun. I think he has a Jedi robe… just sayin’.

Have I brought up the whole vasectomy situation here yet? I can’t remember. I’ve been considering (well, more than just considering. Actively looking into) getting a vasectomy and I’ve been stunned at the reaction. People who would never accept any ‘advice’ on their reproductive rights have been giving me a hard time with mine, telling me that I may change my mind about breeding some day. Very surprising. I figure at 38 I know what I want; it’s never wavered, there’s never been a well, maybe one of these days… I’ve always been 100% certain that I’ll never procreate. It’s not me. It’s not something I want, and whole I appreciate the you don’t know how much you’ll love it until you do it argument I can still say with absolute that being a parent is not for me. I guess I need a keep your opinions off of my body  tshirt.

(several hours later)

Wreck it Ralph was the winner for my Sunday movie. I was surprised that there was an animated short in front of the film called Paper Man; I guess Disney is taking a page from the Pixar playbook and starting features with a short. It was great. Sappy and sweet, a blend of traditional 2D animation and CG; really set the tone for how sweet Ralph was. There were a few fart and booger jokes of course; that’s become the standard for modern kids films, but on the whole it has a sweet ‘root for the underdog’ mentality that fit the source material really well. I usually don’t think 3D adds much to the theatrical experience but it worked this time. I’m sure it was a much better choice than ‘Man with the Iron Fists’ would have been; at least for a Sunday matinee.

I really needed a lazy day like today.

Big D.C. trip to see Peppermill tomorrow. More on that when I get back!

Photo: Gym Rat.