"Save the world, lose the girl."
3/23/2013 | 15 comments
I apologize in advance because this post is a mess but I have limited time and even less mental capacity for just about any kind of train of thought right now.
I honestly don't know what to say. I've been dealing with things I never thought I would. I never thought he would leave us alone like this. Never. I look at Ari and I see his face. I have over 500k emails from him and the last ones are so painful to read in hindsight. We had so many things we were working on and the past few years felt like when we first split up and were able work together, to co-parent and talk like old friends. I missed his visits when he'd come to my house and stay and it was just the three of us. We had both grown so much after letting ourselves get bogged down by drama instigated by others.
I don't know what to do without him pushing me to keep moving forward.Ari has been living solely with me for the last 2+ years and we've managed on our own for a long time but it was always nice knowing he was there. Everything I've done to keep BME going has been to continue the work that he started, that we did together for almost a decade and that I've been doing for the past few years on my own. The only difference between now and when we were working together was the lack of any kind of competition online. Now there is Facebook (the walmart of the internet) tumblr, twitter, other body mod sites and thousands of websites vying for your attention that are well funded and staffed. BME is still just a couple of us trying to make a difference in this world. Please help us to continue Shannon's legacy. Submit photos, videos and stories. Buy a membership. Shop at BMEshop. All of these things help to keep BME going as well as help to take care of Ari.
I'm sorry I haven't been able to answer messages. I've been offline since coming up to Canada and doing my best not to come home with huge roaming phone bill. I've been asked about where people can donate but I want to stress that you do not need to auction off paintings or jewelry or anything of Shannon's in order to donate to Ari. I appreciate it more than you will ever know but you should keep these things if you can. I've been taking care of Ari myself for a long time and I will continue to keep her in a stable and healthy, happy home.
Donations can be made to Ari via Paypal to AriLarratt@gmail.com. Please don't make a button/link from BME as the traffic will get the account seized/locked/etc which has always happened in the past.
After the next hour or so I'll be pretty much offline so please send Jen a message if you need any information. Thank you all for your support and condolences.
12/30/2012 | 8 comments
I've been taking some time off from the internet to focus on my health and to spend more time with my daughter as she's been living with me for the past few years. Things have been rough dealing with my MS and still recovering from an episode of acute renal failure. That was a blast, let me tell you.
Otherwise things have gotten better. As I go into my 13th year running BME, we're (Jon, Jen, Diego and I) working on a lot of upgrades behind the scenes and making sure that BME will continue for another 13 years (hopefully more!) and making it so we can continue to document the evolution of body modification to come.
Thank you to everyone who sent kind words, I really appreciate it.
7/15/2012 | 13 comments
This is Jen posting on behalf of Rachel. She wanted me to let everyone know that she has had a fairly serious MS relapse since her last post and has been in and out of the hospital since then.
The fundraiser and BME t-shirts that people have ordered are back from the printers, packed and ready to be mailed out on Monday. People should be receiving emails with tracking numbers should be going out as soon as the server processes them.
For those of you who don't know, the area where Rachel lives was also hit pretty hard with storms and she keeps losing power at her place. She was actually without power for a full week the first time and it went out yet again today for about an hour.
She also wanted me to let everyone know that of the hundreds of sticker packs that were sent out she's gotten 5-10 returned due to improper addresses. So if you were expecting one and didn't get it, that is very likely the reason.
Hopefully Rachel will be feeling better and have regular power back in the near future. For now, behold the t-shirts ready to be mailed.
6/26/2012 | 11 comments
Part of me has been hoping that I wake up from the past few weeks and it's all just a dream. Unfortunately it has become pretty clear that it's not going to just be a nightmare. Over the past two weeks, I've lost feeling and control from the waist down. I can walk about 20-30 feet before I have to sit down because it's exhausting trying to control my limbs. My knees constantly buckle and I've wiped out fairly painfully several times. I bit my lip pretty well and smacked my face on the bathtub. So that was awesome. I'm hoping to find out what kind of wheel chair my new health insurance will cover. I've never dealt with anything like this but there are so many options, it's really confusing. You have to go to a specialist and get measured for it and it's not as simple as trying on a pair of shoes.
I can admit this has made me pretty depressed. I'm not really sure how I'm going to deal with it. All I can do is hope that this is temporary.
I'm supposed to move out of my house by the end of July. I was supposed to be out by the end of June but I haven't been able to find anywhere to go. I'm not sure where to move to. I want to move somewhere that I have a lot of friends that I know so I'm not in the middle of no where alone but my insurance is only good in Virginia and I've finally had a doctor that takes pretty good care of me so it's hard to think about moving away from here because I don't know what I'm going to do. I know I just can't handle living out in the woods by myself.
On to a slightly happier note, BME almost has all the votes it needs for the 250K small business grant that I have applied for. I need like 35 more votes.
Click "support your community" and log in with your facebook account.
Search for BME.com (leave the city/state blank!) and then click vote next to BME.com.
Please tell your friends and help us get the 250 votes that we need in order to make it to the finals. This would be huge for BME, really, really huge!
5/30/2012 | 8 comments
I've seen some posts around IAM saying that the favorite forums list needs to be put back ASAP. I want you guys to all know that it is back.
FAVORITE FORUMS: Click that to go to the favorite forums page. It's located to the right of your instant message notification and the recent forum posts notification. If you go into a forum you'll see a big star and an "add to favorites" link. Click that and it will add the forum to your favorites page. The favorites page will also let you manage the forums on that page.
I just noticed that the reason I think people aren't seeing it is because you can't currently add your own forums to the list. That's being fixed ASAP and will hopefully be done tomorrow so that you can add your own forums.
I know more than anyone that the forums have been slow. I don't think anyone realizes what we've been going through behind the scenes. It's been heartbreaking to realize that you've invested your life savings into rebuilding something that you've spent 13 years working on only to have the people that you hired to help you, take your life savings and run. I know that I haven't been posting much on the site and for that I'm sorry. I've been going through more than I care to publicly share. I've been locked in a little box for the last year of my life and I'm finally out of it. Just as I get out of it and I think that I can get back to work, my only ray of sunshine gets hit with some mystery illness so instead of working on BME, I'm trying to get my daughter healthy. It's not easy knowing you don't have enough hours in the day to devote enough time to only two things that matter.
Things are changing. We're trying to make everything work but things like Facebook make it impossible to have the same active community that we had before FB blew up. If you think back to it, there was nothing but BME/IAM for almost a decade. I can't compete with a company that has a billion dollars in "value", 700 full time programmers, hundreds of millions of members and every single commercial on TV promoting them but I'm not trying to compete. I'm trying to continue to make a home on the internet where people who are like minded can hang out and feel safe. To me, other sites feel like going to the mall or being out in a gigantic parking garage. I want IAM to be the home that it always has been. Help me figure out how to do that.
All I can say is that I'm trying my hardest. We have such a huge list of things to do but I need input from members of the site so that we know what to prioritize. We can keep prioritizing things the way that it makes sense to us but that might not be right for you guys so please let me know what needs to be done.