Monthly Archives: August 2005

A life worth celebrating

The article we wish we never had to publish. I asked Jordan to write it, in part because Keith recommended him and got him the job here at BME (not to imply he's not fully qualified, but Keith's recommendation was a deeply trusted one!), and I suppose in part because I feared I simply didn't have the strength to write it myself.

I woke up a few short hours later and, as I’m prone to do, headed straight for my computer. I hopped on IAM, checked my messages, and saw one that read simply, “Sad day.”

With the London terror attack fresh in my mind, I jump over to CNN, expecting to see the end of the world — but nothing. Then it occurs to me, Of course, BME is under attack again — we’re being shut down for good this time. I go right for Shannon’s page, and that’s where I see it.

Kind of like stepping out of bed and into a bus.

It doesn’t seem real because it can’t be.

PS. Seriously Keith, could you have picked a less morbid avatar?

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

I'd like to mirror my note in the article here.

Keith and I (Shannon) in Toronto right before he went on stage with Dee Snider's SMF Keith Alexander is the very first person that was ever interviewed on BME. Not just because he was one of the best piercers and scarification artists around, running a new studio that deserved coverage, but because I trusted him and knew I needed his help to have BME take this step in its evolution. Later Keith would play a key role in BME/radio, helping develop and refine the IAM software’s feature set, and nearly every other step in BME’s growth as well.

Rachel — who was just as close to Keith — and I were in Belgium when we heard the terrible news, finding out after seeing the friend we were staying with looking at her morning email and then suddenly starting to sob. It didn’t feel real at all… Was it some sick joke? The site had crashed the day before and instead of being online, Keith decided to go out for a ride, and one of those random twists of fate suddenly ended his life. If I was a better programmer and the crash hadn’t happened would it have been averted? If Rachel had chosen a more responsive host and we could have rebooted more quickly might he have stayed at home chatting with friends? It just seemed impossible that something so random and meaningless could kill someone as larger-than-life as Keith, but somehow, it happened.

He was a friend and mentor for my entire adult life, and like Jordan, I have trouble finding the words to say how I feel without it sounding desperately incomplete and shallow. For those that didn’t know Keith Alexander, know that his contributions to this community went a long way to making piercing and scarification — and BME — what it is today (to say nothing of his accomplishments in other fields). But more than anything, take his advice and live. There are a thousand ways that Keith supported me and a thousand things he tried to teach me, but I don’t think I ever met a man that lived life with more heart, and if I learned anything from him, I hope it’s that.

Shannon Larratt

Shannon the Alien

Ha ha ha… just got this picture from a friend of mine in Russia. Does this mean that I'm an alien, or that there's an alien out there getting a copy of my facial tattoo?

Other than that:

Do you want your mods reviewed?

If you're brave and thick-skinned, send Rachel a message giving her permission to “review” your tattoos, piercings, or mods for modblog and she'll give you an honest review of your mods and a little writeup. It might be good, it might be bad… but it will be honest and it'll come from someone that knows their shit. Are you confident enough to take the challenge?

By sending the message you agree that you're not going to freak out if you're told your tattoo sucks and you should go get it covered up, ok!?

Gone swimming…

Rachel and I went out to the beach today. After a couple margueritas at Tecolote we drove back to Balandra which is a very nice shallow sand beach that's populated mostly with baby puffer fish and stingray. We swam across to the other side, probably about a thirty or forty minute swim but I'm kind of out of shape so it was much needed and very tiring exercise. I had entirely too much fun diving down and screaming at the puffer fish to make them inflate and scoot off, and then we spent a few minutes tailing a stingray along the bottom until it buried itself in the sand.

On the way home there was a monster truck — “Baby Monster” — parked in front of the Modelo beer store… It looked like a pretty fun toy but I don't think that's street legal even down here (not that it matters; people drive four-wheelers through town all the time… but I suppose that was true when we lived in Miramichi, Canada as well, and in Tweed, people drove snowmobiles into town all the time).

Anyway, I had a really nice day today, it was good to take a break and just relax out in the ocean.

ba ba ba ba ba ba boom

Oh hells yeah bring on the apocalypse

Please let it be nuclear.

PS. If you're a human you are stupid.

Body Piercing = Good For All Ages
Mass Murder = Bad For All Ages

Dangerous Times

I think people would be surprised — and I hope a little saddened — to know how many friends of mine are stuck over there right now (and there are a lot of IAM members and spouses/partners of IAM members actively serving as well). Someone close to me is leaving very soon (not the person in the photo), so I thought it might be a good time to do a small update on the UnderMars soldiers' photos gallery. Click on my friend Rob's snapshot to go there now.

If you or someone you know wants to be a part of this site, all they have to do is send the photos to along with any description they'd like me to include (otherwise I'll just use the filename as the caption). The site is 100% non-political and simply serves as an uncensored scrapbook of people's first hand experiences.