November | December

I’ve been pretty awful about sitting my ass down and making a proper post; I’d really like to catch up before the New Year. What I would really like is to get back into the habit of taking my camera around with me again, but the weekends are mostly redundant and not really worth documenting. Bars, shows, shows, bars. It’s been fun, but like I said – redundant. I’ve also been exhausted pretty much all of the time, working 40+ hour weeks and making a dash to get home and ready to head out Friday nights and crashing over Stephen’s all weekend. I leave little free time other than weekday nights where I’m often too lazy and tired to think.

This month has been crazy busy at work, as is usually the case near the end of the month and especially the year. Tuesday I worked from 10:30am to 12:30am the following morning, and I’ll be waking up early tomorrow morning to put in some extra hours. Just thinking about that paycheck. I just got over a pretty wicked flu last week, which ironically, I coordinated my sick days with my boss so I wouldn’t lose my last 8 hours by splitting two half days back to back from home – and I ended up actually being sick; I jinxed myself, but it couldn’t have worked out better.

Anyway, all that is left now is pictures of the past two months! I hope by posting it will motivate me to continue, because I miss this. It’s pretty much my only internet presence these days.

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A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers. 

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Fire Pit | Baltimore

I’ve been really slacking on the personal posts lately. I find that I haven’t been taking my camera around with me much, as of late. My weekends have been fun but crazy. 17 September, I saw Inquisition play at the Orpheum. I ended up getting a little more drunk than I wanted and wish I had been more present for the show; according to my insanely sore neck the following day I had a blast! Then I caught Venom, Inc at the end of the month.

The following weekend, Eli and Chloe threw birthday parties for Adam and Jenn, who’s birthdays were a week apart. They did a fire pit in the backyard and burned most of the debris from the hurricane. It was a fuckload of fun.

The first week of October, I was forced to use the rest of my vacation time; I took a trip up north to Baltimore to visit some friends. Checked out a dark wave/goth night, drank, and mostly relaxed. Unfortunately, I missed Stephen’s birthday, but I didn’t want to risk spending my time off cooped up in my apartment.

I went to see Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter this past Friday with Stephen, and then crashed a house party afterwards. I’m still recovering from those shenanigans! This coming weekend, Stephen and I are going to see Demons play at Tampa Theatre, part of the birthday present I got him. Afterwards, his band is playing at a storage unit in Tampa. Should be another insane weekend!


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Beasts of Prey: The Hard Truth About Men | The Power of the Blonde: Cracking Down on Men’s Control

Beasts of Prey asserts that men cannot be bound in lengthy relationships for good without crossing the line from time to time. The writer refers to well established theories, social, and biological research on men’s hormonal and psychological structures to show how men’s inclination to have sex with multiple women outside their bonds is at the heart of the matter. Beasts of Prey delves into the basics of males’ cheating habits, tactics and schemes, and their sexual, social and cultural monopoly in the world. Following history of relationships from ancient times to the Internet revolution of our postmodern generation, Beasts of Prey exposes the stereotypes that lurk beneath the surface of male manipulated societies and their cultural taboos. 

The Power of the Blonde continues the philosophical journey into the “sexist wiring” of men’s minds and their sexual, social, and cultural monopoly in the world following history of relationships, female sexuality, and women’s liberation. Tracing back to the origins of some notorious stereotypes, such as the Dumb Blonde, the writer debunks some myths about the “weaker sex,” and lays bare the truth behind the chivalrous acts of womanizers such as Casanova and Don Juan. Exposing the misleading tactics of male cheaters and their cover-up ploys, the writer takes on some persistent double standards and challenges “sexual vices” such as promiscuity, prostitution, and masturbation. From sexual discrimination toward total emancipation of women’s bodies and women’s minds, The Power of the Blonde explores the variations in female’s body image from ancient times to our postmodern generation, empowering women to break free and win in today’s world.

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Hurricane Irma

Living in Florida for 20+ years, this was surprisingly the first hurricane I’ve experienced, so I really didn’t know what to expect or how to prepare. There have been several hurricanes in the past that were expected to hit us, but ended up further east of Tampa than predicted. In 2004, there were four that went around Tampa and we experienced nothing more than grey skies and mild wind at that time.

I stayed mostly calm amid the chaos, knowing the news reports are typically sensational and overly dramatic. However, knowing I would possibly be alone for this storm, I wasn’t quite sure how calm I could afford to be.

My work hardly allowed me much time to prepare, in fact, they were asking me to work late nights. Fortunately, I’m a bit hermity by nature, so I was semi-prepared to be isolated for days just in general.

The tension in the office was contagious, and it wasn’t until Friday afternoon, when the storm was officially forecast to hit Tampa head on, that we were released to go home. Naturally, I headed straight for Total Wine and stocked up on the booze. Priorities people!

I was able to convince Stephen to come to my apartment and stay with me so I wouldn’t be alone, but Sunday afternoon about 3pm he suddenly decided that he wanted to go back home. That kind of crushed me a little, I felt suddenly abandoned all over again; it was deeply upsetting, that he would rather be with his friends knowing he’d be leaving me by myself. Never have I felt more alone in that moment realizing I literally had no one to turn to during an emergency. I was paralyzed. It was a brutal reminder that I can’t depend on anyone. The fact that I felt hurt though made me realize I needed to back up and deaden my emotions. I believe we feel emotional pain for this reason; to remind ourselves to harden ourselves against the world and stop investing time on other people.

Fortunately, the predicted Cat 3 ended up slowing down to a Cat 1. We were spared something that could have potentially been catastrophic. The chaos now is the pain in the ass of the aftermath. Flooding, debris, power outages, street lights out and idiots on the road, and the rush for food. It’s madness.

By Wednesday, everything was pretty much back to normal. All this insanity over something that lasted a few hours. Granted, it could have been far worse, but the fact that it wasn’t just kind of makes the whole thing feel rather ridiculous though humbling. Humans, with their hubris and superiority bend to the will of this unfeeling, objective, and ruthless force that’s above caring. Though we still try to gain control by anthropomorphizing these things; giving it a name, praying at it, casting blame, telling it we aren’t scared, as if it gives a flying fuck. There’s a sort of perverted fascination to be reminded of how insignificant we are. I’m kind of disappointed it didn’t wipe us all away.

In other news: Looking forward to Inquisition on Sunday, Venom, Inc the following weekend, and my vacation up north the first week of October. Also, results from my re-pap came back negative for cell abnormality! So, can’t complain.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

Solomon’s startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, and Solomon documents triumphs of love over prejudice in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent should parents accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on ten years of research and interviews with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges.

Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original and compassionate thinker, Far from the Tree explores how people who love each other must struggle to accept each other—a theme in every family’s life.

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The Brass Mug: Shot | The Hub: Funeral System

It’s been a minute since I’ve updated. Been busy with the usual, work. Overtime, doctor’s appointments, metal shows. I’m usually spending my weekends out in Tampa hanging out with the guys. A couple weeks ago we scouted locations to do a photo shoot for their record release (hopefully in October). Last weekend, there was a get together at Giancarlo’s house. He made homemade blood sausage and ham empanadas from scratch. Insanely good. We drank, played Mario Kart, and watched Austin Powers, lol. They headed down to Miami today to play a show at Churchill’s. Pretty crazy, what with a category 5 hurricane rolling in.


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No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine

On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, two seniors at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, walked into their school and shot to death twelve students and one teacher, and wounded many others. It was the worst single act of murder at a school in U.S. history. Few people knew Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris better than Brooks Brown. Brown and Klebold were best friends in grade school, and years later, at Columbine, Brown was privy to some of Harris and Klebolds darkest fantasies and most troubling revelations. After the shootings, Brown was even accused by the police of having been in on the massacre simply because he had been friends with the killers.

Now, for the first time, Brown, with journalist Rob Merritt, gets to tell his full version of the story. He describes the warning signs that were missed or ignored, and the evidence that was kept hidden from the public after the murders. He takes on those who say that rock music or video games caused Klebold and Harris to kill their classmates and explores what it might have been that pushed these two young men, from supposedly stable families, to harbor such violent and apocalyptic dreams.

Shocking as well as inspirational and insightful, No Easy Answers is an authentic wake-up call for all the psychologists, authorities, parents, and law enforcement personnel who have attempted to understand the murders at Columbine High School. As the title suggests, the book offers no easy answers, but instead presents the unvarnished facts about growing up as an alienated teenager in America today.

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