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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Butterface.

I never knew "Butterface" was even a word until I heard it on the Howard Stern show.   As in, "She's a Butterface. Every part of her looks good... but her face."  That's me.

I look pretty good. In fact I look great.  From the neck down. I hate looking old. I don't feel old.  (Well, lately I do, because my back is all fucked up. But that's a different subject.)  I need to rob a bank or win the lottery or something, so I can fix my face, buy better teeth, make it so I look younger than I do now.  Because in my mind, I'm not 50.  In my mind, I'm 30, tops.



Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like?  I do find myself wanting a Porsche.  I do want to drink, smoke, and listen to music way too loud.  But I also want to sit quietly, sip wine, and go to the theater.  So I don't know.  





I'm feeling really mortal lately. Like I don't have very long left. If I'm going to make my mark, if I'm going to leave a legacy, I need to get it done.  There's not much time left, I think.  I think I need to get busy. 

I remember that my old idea of making a padded backpack for my camera gear didn't work out so well, so I went ahead and ordered a pre-made backpack off Amazon.com.   I hope to start caring my gear with me wherever I go. I see tons of things that I want to shoot lately but not having my gear with me makes it a little hard.  Yeah, doncha think?  

Wish me luck. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bringing the shit back.

Yes I am.  I want a place to express my thoughts, and fuck y'all if you don't like it.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

My second favorite selfie evar!

I'm not sure I know why I'm writing this post.  If you're reading this, thank you for reading it.  If you actually KNOW me and you're still reading it, then my thanks are doubled!

I've had a busy weekend, but a blah one.  I worked out in the yard all day, burned up some calories.  I'm happy about the way my waistline has been shrinking.  I'm starting to feel good about that.  There are so many things I have still to do.  A friend recently reminded me about the photo essay that I wanted to do and haven't even started yet.  Dang, I really have to make that happen.  I need to get a reliable car that I can bang around the countryside in.  

I want more experience doing portraits, also.  Maybe even...ahem... "intimate" photo shoots.  The only model that I'm "intimate" with is myself, and I bore the shit our of myself... So if you want some photos taken, I'll do it for free.  FREEEEEEE!!!!!

I'm making pork chops tonight, in a spicy tangy pineapple sauce that I learned how to make from the Publix Simple Meals lady a while back.  Geez it's good.   I'll write it down some day.  Until then, just be jealous of me.  I think I'm gonna go have a drink.  

Photo for today... I was just fucking around in the bathroom with the mirrors, and my phone.  I kinda like the way it came out.  If you like it, drop me a note to say so.  If not, then drop me a note to say that, as well.  I never get any comments.  No, I don't think I have any secret stalkers, like one person suggested... I think I'm just not interesting enough for people to comment on.  That's okay, though.  When I'm not boring myself to tears, or manhandling my manhood to completion, I make do. 



I'm editing this post just to say, the more I look at it, the more I think this pic has become my second favorite selfie ever.  My all-time favorite is the pic of me on the nude beach that I posted  here, earlier.  But this one is my second favorite.   I posted it on arfcom, in the "Hunk of the Day" forum (edited to blur out the naughty bits even more than they're already blurry) and they deleted it and gave me a warning.  Hey,  fuck 'em if they don't like me being me.  ��

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The story of my new tattoo.

Also known as:  "How I became a dirty inky."

I'm not actually sure how to tell this story.  I already told about how I originally broke my arm, started taking pills, and basically gave myself a really rough time in this post.

I went into a little more detail in this post...


I don't know if I properly explained how it made me feel.  How I was stuck at home because there were times when I couldn't drive myself around, how I walked a mile and a half one morning to get a haircut.  How I had trouble feeding myself sometimes, and how I couldn't even pick up my four year old daughter because I was too afraid I'd drop her on her noggin.  How I couldn't go back to work for months.  It was a very depressing time for me.  Even back then, I'd decided that when the time was right, I'd do something to cover up this scar.

Well, last Friday was the day.  This past spring, after talking about it for years, I finally decided to do something about it.  I had six hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket, and I finally decided it was the right time.  I went about it the same way I go about everything - slowly and with much deliberation.  Knowing how permanent a tattoo is, and knowing how much I'd regret having a shitty tattoo, I asked every inky I know for recommendations.  I asked how they chose their art, how they chose their artist, how much it should cost.  I asked on various online forums, and got about the same advice as you would expect from a faceless voice.  I looked at many of the local tattoo shops websites, judging the photos on how I'd like this piece or that piece on my body.  I went around to some of the shops and spoke with some of the artists there.

After talking with the people there, and getting several personal recommendations, I chose Matt Dunlap, from All Or Nothing Tattoos in Smyrna, GA to do the work.  We spoke for a good half hour, as I explained my idea to him.  He listened carefully, and added in some of his own thoughts.  Eventually, he had to get back to work, but he told me that he thought he had enough ideas to go on and we set an appointment.  I'd come back and look over his sketch, and at that time I could either accept it, ask for changes, or walk away.  They did ask for a deposit, which would be forfeit if I chose to walk away, but I figure it's only fair that if you spend your time designing and sketching, you should still be compensated for your time somewhat or you would waste all your valuable earning capacity on tire kickers.

When the day finally arrived, I went back to the shop.  Matt brought out his sketch.  I looked at it, we held it up to my arm, we talked about color, shading, shit that I know very little about.  I said, "Let's do it.

We went back to Matt's work area where he prepped me carefully.  He cleaned off my shoulder, shaved it, made it sterile, and applied the stencil.  Or whatever the fuck you call it.  The "sketch" is actually a transfer, so the image is applied directly to the skin.  He had to adapt it somewhat as he applied it so that it would conform to the curve of my shoulder properly, but all-in-all it was pretty cool. Once the design had set, he started out by doing all the outlines in black.

Matt's doing the lining.
It took the better part of an hour, but I wasn't about to rush him.  Steady fucking hands, I wouldn't be able to get the lines that straight, even with a fucking ruler and a compass.  As Matt is the manager of the store, he had to go tend to a couple things while he was working on me, but I really didn't mind.  Ever since the last surgery, this shoulder tends to get stiff if I hold it in one place for too long anyway, and this gave me plenty of opportunity to stand up and stretch it out.

The lining is almost finished.  You can see the shapes better now.

Eventually, he finished the outlines.


Little bit of blood, not bad.  I expected worse.  I should go into how it felt right about now.  To be honest, it wasn't that bad at all.  It hurt a little, not nearly as much as I had been led to believe it would.  I felt no "endorphin rush", which kinda bummed me out a little bit because I had been looking forward to finally knowing what that feels like.  Matt said that to him, it feels more like a major annoyance than actual pain, and that's about right.  It's like if you take the rounded tip of a bread knife and press it into your skin.  Press it hard enough so that you can feel the teeth bite, and you can feel a small amount of pain, but not enough to actually hurt.  That's what it felt like to me.  I know a girl that loves getting tattoos, because the pain is much more intense for her, and it triggers the endorphins, and she gets (I gather) almost an orgasmic high from them.  I couldn't get so lucky.  Maybe if I had a cute, female tattoo artist I would have gotten a boner...

Anyway, I didn't take any more in-progress photos, because once Matt got to the shading and coloring stage, he was all business.  He had to color all the dark areas in varying shades of black and gray, and all the red areas in varying shades of red and pink.  The only part of the actual process was coloring in the red.  Because he had already lined it, and shaded it in gray, going over it again in red did hurt a bit.  Those areas, coincidentally, are also the ones that are taking the longest to heal.

This photo was taken the Friday night, a few hours after the work was completed.

The theme of the tattoo is growth and healing.  At the base of it, there's an incision.  If you look near it, carefully, you can see the scars I have from having screws penetrating my body holding pieces of me together.  That represents my original injury. Out of the incision, there is new growth.  It's a little thorny, it's got twists and turns, and it doubles back upon itself sometimes.  But isn't that just like real life?  In life there are thorns, there are twists, we may end up going in directions we never anticipated.  Along the way, there are flowers coming out of the vines.  Again, just like real life.  Sometimes you round a corner in life and you see something so beautiful it takes your breath away.  There are people you meet, people you get to know and love.  No matter how crappy things get, there's always beauty where you might least expect to see it.

At the top of the tattoo, there are three birds.  One just taking off, one fighting for lift, and one happily soaring away. You see, this tattoo is a minor saga, a brief telling of one part of my life story.  Not just my tale, I think, but everyone's.  You get hurt, but you grow.  The hurt fades as life goes on.  If you're lucky enough, and strong enough, you find a way to let it pass into your own personal history.  You surpass the hurt, eventually taking wing and flying above it and away.  I'll always feel the physical pain left behind, but this is the start of my journey to let the emotional pain go.  It's taken me a baker's dozen of years to make this start.  I can expect to backslide, from time to time, but overall, I think it's way past time for me to move on.

I'm carrying out the aftercare instructions Matt gave me, which are pretty much the same as can be found on just about any tattoo shop website across the internet.  No issues, no complications.  I like it.  I'm happy.  I'm still getting used to seeing it there, but so far everybody that sees it likes it.  My wife just wanted to know why her name isn't in it anywhere.  In fact, the only negative comment (so far, that I know of) came from my idiot son-in-law, who has several prison-style tats, and I think he's just jealous.

Can't you tell how happy I am?  :)
For what it's worth, if you're in the Atlanta area and you're looking for ink, don't hesitate to call Matt Dunlap, at All or Nothing Tattoo.  You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Working out again

I was kind of undecided if I should post this or not.  I guess I will - not like anybody's actually reading it.  (P.S.  If you actually ARE reading this, do me a favor and let me know.  Leave a comment.  Something.  I feel so alone... sniff)

I had quit working out after Liz had the operation on her spine.  Being home to take care of things was too important.  Far more important than exercising.  Sometime last month, I hit a milestone.  I went to the doctor's office and when they took my weight, HOLY FUCK!  I was back up to about 195 again.  I decided that I really, really had to do something.  The doctor treated me for my sinus complaints, and a week later, on my follow-up appointment, I asked if there was anything he could do to help me lose weight.  He said, "Sure, we do that."

He wrote me a prescription for phentermine.  

This wonderful shit is the "phen"s in the old drug combination "fen-phen".  That's the weight loss drug treatment that was killing people.  Yep, phentermine, combined with fenfluramine was basiccally giving people cardiac conditions.  It's okay by itself, I gather.  It's only when you put it together with the other shit that it turns deadly.  What to know about mixing weight loss drugs...


Phentermine by itself is a stimulant, and appetite suppressant.  And it really works.  I've been taking it for just over three weeks, and I can tell that my appetite is much less, I don't have the urge to snack, I don't have the urge to eat great huge meals anymore, either.  I could eat them if I wanted to - it doesn't magically shrink your stomach or anything.  It just makes it so there are no hunger pangs.  And it gives you energy to go all day without eating if you wanted to.  I'm not that crazy - I still eat. I have a low calorie frozen meal for lunch, and I have probably half of what I used to eat for dinner.  No breakfast.  (Yeah, I know it's still the most important meal of the day, so sue me.)  I figure I eat maybe a thousand calories a day, and I've really been losing weight.  I'm down to just a hair over 180 pounds, and I like it.  I hope I can keep going so I can finally reach my goal of 165-ish. I go see him again next Monday, and we'll talk.  He might make me skip a month, or he might not.  Dunno.  I guess I'll find out then.

Anyway, since I haven't done this in a while, here's how I look today...





Welcome back to my world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Best Beach In The World

Something just recently reminded me of The Best Beach In The World.  Haulover Beach, just south of 163rd St, in between Miami and Hallandale, FL.   It's actually a part of a state park: Haulover Park.  I'm not sure what actual city it's in.


Map of Haulover Park


What's so great about Haulover Beach?  I'm glad you asked.

Warning sign.  Here there be monsters...


Haulover is Florida's only 100% legal nude beach.  It wasn't always like that.  At one point in time, the only draw to Haulover Park was the marina.  Hundreds of boaters would use the ready ocean access to put in for a nice day fishing.  The beach was farther away from the city, and harder to get to, so most people went to the more readily accessible beaches to the north and south.  Haulover was left to homeless people who littered, left behind human feces and other wastes,  and basically trashed the place.

In the 80's, a group calling themselves South Florida Free Beaches asked the county for a small section of where they could sunbathe in the nude.  Miami Beach was frequented by so many tourists from Europe and South America that it became an unwritten rule- it's okay to bare your breasts on Miami Beach.  While not strictly legal, topless sunbathing was tolerated as long as you behaved yourself.  Dade County refused.   SFFB sued the county, and eventually won; Dade County had to designate a part of their beach clothing-optional.

Overview of the beach


It was actually a win-win for both groups.  The free beaches people got an area where they could go nude, and Dade County got free labor to help kick out the homeless squatters and keep the beach clean.  The laws remain the same, though.  Lewd behaviour is not tolerated; in fact you can be arrested.  You won't see any kind of activities happening on the nude beach that you don't see on a textile beach-just most of the people doing them are naked.

It's really my favorite beach for many reasons.  Everybody is really polite to each other there.  It's clean. It's quiet. There are an abundance of lifeguards.  There's a little trailer where you can buy anything sunblock to food and drinks.  It's hard to describe the feeling of stepping out onto the warm sand and stripping off all the layers of clothing until there's nothing left but bare skin glowing in the sun.  The wind tickles places that have never felt wind before.  It's relaxing, stimulating, invigorating and calming, all at once.  It feels like there's a part of you that had been trapped under a layer of ice your whole life, dormant.  And now, that part of you finally feels a thaw and wakes up.  It's like being on vacation to some exotic land where there's no job, no traffic, no phones and faxes. The stress just melts away.


Yes, this is me on one of my few visits to Haulover Beach

I only had the opportunity to go there a few times before we moved.  Now that we're several hundred miles away, I may never get the chance to go there again.  Then again... maybe I will.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Geez. I guess it's been nearly a year.

I haven't posted in a while, huh?   Nothing worth posting about.  I think I'm gonna shut this down and delete the posts. Not worth it.