help?

I started a poll to assist me in writing my next blog. I have ideas for all of this, but what do YOU want to read?

Poll available here.

You don’t need to see.

Okay, this sounds like a no-brainer to me, but maybe I’m biased.

If I you don’t see something, it does not mean that it did not happen. We cannot see electricity powering a device, we cannot see water moving through pipes, and we do not see our body metabolising energy. All of these things happen in the background and we do not question their existence.

With all of these things in mind: if someone says they did their recommended exercise for the day, BELIEVE THEM.

I have been, for months, dealing with people in my life not believing me when I say that I did ‘x’. I am just going to put ‘x’ because there are many different things that have been brought to question.

No, there is not always physical proof that ‘x’ happened, but it did. My promise should be enough. Especially when it involves a thing that only benefits me.

I get it: people have an interest in me walking again. People have this idealised fantasy where everything is the same as it was seven years ago. Well; news flash! Even if I walked TOMORROW I might never be able to get my license back. Even if I walked TOMORROW I could be turned away from my old job. In that situation, I would come out much further behind than where I am now.

Now, let’s play positive-guy for this paragraph. Assuming that I did my exercises proper and everything went the way half the medical community says that it should, I am still six weeks off ON THE SHORT END of being able to kind of walk. Assuming my medication continues to work as predicted and my body does not create some sort of immunity, I could avoid seizures wrecking my day, but they are to be a constant in my life.

I didn’t write this as a pity-party for myself. I wrote this on behalf of everyone who feels pressured to do something they are doing already and having no one believe them. I am writing this for everyone that feels overburdened by people who have this strange vested interest in their health, even if it really doesn’t affect them. I am writing this for every person who has been told there is a 5% chance of recovery.

DO IT FOR YOU. NOT FOR THEM.

And for “them”: fuck off. We are doing our best, even if you don’t believe us.

Writer’s Block is Weird

I find myself at a bit of a stop in my next book. I am proud of what I have so far. It comes out just over 20 pages. Strangely, I am able to think of a blog post to write, but not a continuation on my writing.

Why does the brain do this? Yes, blogs are a little more auto-biographical usually. That, or they are explaining from a very biased (in my case) source. My stories are usually birthed from reality. They are all situations that I have either lived through, or exaggerations on events. No, I have never been part of a terrorist organization, nor have I taken a bullet for my cause. I have been publicly ridiculed and emasculated for my beliefs. No, the comparison is not one for one. It could be argued that being publically hung to dry is worse than being killed. At least, when you’re killed, you don’t have to keep surviving in the hellscape that comes after.

On that note, at least if you don’t die, you can patch and fix your image. It may take a long time, but it’s doable.

On a very unrelated note: I got a new chair! I’m not using it! Thanks!

Okay, details: I have been using the same chair for 6 years at this point. I have learned many things about what I want from a wheelchair since I put together my initial order, and grew out of certain things that were put in place all that time ago.

Unfortunately, the chair I received until they have constructed mine has a misplaced centre of gravity. Small imperfections in my movement would result in me suddenly tipping backwards. Luckily, wheelchairs have anti-tip bars in the back. They saved my life on multiple occasions, but I hate having to rely on them. Due to this, I moved back to my old chair with a new seat cushion: at least for now. I hope that all is sorted before August.

Politics and Why I am So Sorry

I recently posted the most egregious thing on FaceBook with no explanation. I simply set my status to “I give up” and turned off notifications from my phone.

I am sorry. That statement was less of a depressed admittance, and more of an angry and exhaustive representation of me throwing my keyboard to the ground in a moment of grief.

I know that I have kept my blog out of politics pretty well, with a couple of notable exceptions. This is because I know my own ineptitude, and I try not to share around opinions for fear of corrupting possible movements (as if I have enough clout to wield any power great enough to hamper a movement). I will, however, use this platform to point out my least favourite “argument” that seems to plague the current world of discourse.

A “Whataboutism” is more of a derailment method as opposed to an argument. It is used in place of a proper rebuttal to distract from the point being made in favour of outrage at an opposing (yet, strangely similar) point. The example that I was faced with was when I posted THIS article with little context, and the only reply I received in response was “Yeah, but Trudeau supported the Chinese regime.”. I was completely floored. Their comment had no additional context or room for debate, they completely undermined my attempt to raise a point in the overarching debate that is my feed currently, and now anyone who has anything to say on what I posted is divided between talking about the first article or the second point.

Let me be clear: I was not supporting what Trudeau said about China. It was not even really on the table. My point, and ONLY point, was the article discussing T*mp in North Korea a year ago. My reason for highlighting it was to illustrate some comparison between his tactics and his public statements. I was not saying that it was fair, I was just looking for some opinion. That is when someone derailed everything I was trying to set up and pushed my argument down to the bowels of argument Hell where it was to be ignored for fear of stirring up clearly unimportant points.

My official response to what Trudeau said in regards to China: that is definitely something we should keep in memory IF it ever comes into question. How that relates to what my point was? It doesn’t. T*mp is treating his presidency in one of the most questionable ways in recent decades, and the purpose of me sharing that article was to raise questions if he might be using tactics to gain an upper hand.

Yes. I am Canadian. No. American politics should not cause me to rubberneck like someone passing a horrible car accident. I would argue, however, that this is not only Canada’s neighbour, but also one of the biggest and most powerful countries in the world. So, yes, any argument from a Canadian is valid. In this case, any argument is valid regardless of what country you are from.

If you would like a more thorough explanation of improper arguments, I recommend this old video from Idea Channel on YouTube. I use that video to discuss improper arguments in general, but “Whataboutisnm” was defined beautifully by a video from Last Week Tonight.

Oh: you may have noticed me using an asterisk whenever I spell the standing President’s name. That is so, when you do a search on a search engine, this article doesn’t come up. This is so less hits can be made when searching his name.

ONTO WHY I AM SORRY.

My statement was not well divulged as to what I was giving up on. I was disheartened by the constant barrage of political statements (from all sides) not being well thought out then fought over with assumed authority. I cannot promise that this will be my last wade into the waters of political discourse, but I do promise to consider every side with equal weight, even if I vehemently disagree with you. We are all capable of respect.

The quotes

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will notice that I have started releasing out-of-context quotes from You’re Not Dead.

It’s very interesting. I haven’t read the book since I finished editing it, and this is a great way to A) renew interest for other people and B) Revisit my work without feeling like I am under any real pressure.

Below is what I have released so far, but please let me know if you have a better line in mind for me to put to the masses:

  • For that hour, the Hero felt like he was drowning above water.
  • What is even the point in self-improvement if I am not to enjoy whatever I achieve?
  • Maybe it was for the best that he was alone.
  • Luka hugged him./He tried as hard as he could to hug back./He tried to call her a fool for thinking he was gone/He tried many things.
  • In a hospital near you, a heart monitor squeals./In a town far away, a girls heart breaks

Classic Music Review :: Vex Red — Start With a Strong Persistent Desire

The biggest plus of working at the music store I did was finding albums that were never anything, but that really should have been. Whether it was because of poor marketing, a small label folding, the band breaking up, or all of the above.

Vex Red is a band that I found purely by accident. I always looked into the bands that we no longer carried to find something that tickles my fancy, and this one day; I hit the motherload.

They remind me of a mix between Stabbing Westward and Flaw (another band that I have to highlight one day). They would have joined right in with the early ’90s pseudo-goth scene. In fact, saying that they would have worked on the Blade soundtrack would not be too far fetched a statement.

They combine electronica with metal beautifully. Pre-programed drums mixed with synthesizers and a love for the low end. This is complimented by the singer, whose voice sounds strained on purpose to convey the bleakest of emotions.

Lyrical content is a bit more mature, even if they rarely swear on this album (with exception with the track “Can’t Smile” where it feels mandatory for the narrative.). It is the kind of pointing fingers and blaming everyone else for your misfortune, but it never sounds pathetic or unnecessarily angsty. Instead, it comes off as a plea from someone who has been tortured for a majority of their formative years.

SPEAKING OF THE SONG CAN’T SMILE!
I did not know until I got to this point of the review that there was a music video produced for the song. It is NOT GREAT. Unfortunately, that song is one of the better examples of the album. So ignore the poor censorship and awkward vacant gaze. and just enjoy the everything else.

The Future of ANEWSIN

As I think I have hinted, if not fully admitted, there will not be an anewsin for a while. I am busy working on my next book, and I am trying to flush out new ideas instead of getting fixated on new short stories. Therefore, if you do support me on Patreon for new updates early, I would not be offended if you pull your subscription for the time being.

WITH ALL OF THAT SAID!

If you do decide to support me, even just one dollar a month, you will get your name in the thank you section of my upcoming release!

I scrapped a bunch, about ten pages, but I am still trucking along. It looks like the book will be a series of shorts again. As of right now, I have no plan to do a through-narrative like I did with You’re Not Dead. I mean, that is just how it is going right now. I might, and probably will, change my mind in the future.

I have only about two hours of work present in the project right now. That equates to seven pages, or just over 3000 words. I am trying my hardest not to put a goal because I feel like it stifles what I can create. I might try to reach goals closer to finishing if I have, for instance, 99 pages or something like that.

I just made this post to update you all on what I am doing right now.
REMEMBER: donating just a dollar a month to Patreon gets your name published!
Oh: and remember that I love you.

Do you own that?

I found myself pondering the idea of ownership in todays economic climate. A climate peppered with electronic downloads of basically any media.

I, myself, am a huge fan of digital: to a point. I have 30-plus days of music in my iTunes library, and my wife and I use Netflix on a near-nightly basis. It is a great way to cut down on clutter, while still consuming all of the media that one wishes.

It comes with a massive downside, however. We own very little media physically. This means that we are at the whim of what a corporation wants us to consume that month. One can argue that I *own* the music files, but that are on an unsecure hard drive. If someone knew how to do it, they could delete large swaths of my music and I probably would never notice.

Counterpoint, if I just owned all of the CDs that I have digital copies of, someone could do the same. The only real counter I can come up with is that I have access to a physical thing. In theory, I actually own a tangeble object as opposed to an etherial representation of one. That is my only real arguement for owning as much vinyl as I do.

It really comes down to the question: are you going to maintain a collection? I take good care of what I have access to physically. I stopped buying video games a couple of years ago, simply because I am more likely to get frustrated with maintaining a collection. I realize that I have shot myself in the metaphoricle foot because I am stuck with the product regardless of opinion, but that is a risk I am willing to take.

If you like physical copies of media: I support you 100%.
If you like digital, I support you 100%.
If you struggle to see the point of why I wrote this: same 100%

ask for help

It sounds stupid, but asking for help is fantastic. I have been stuck with an ill-fitting chair and next-to no money for years, and one phone call to the local LHIN fixed everything. Either they are working with me hands on to make sure a goal or three can be met, or they have talked to me on the phone to try to give me some direction.

Now I have a new chair on order, which is fantastic and much needed. I have a Physiotherapist coming (as I write this) to give me exercises in order for me to hit milestones in regards to walking and being in good health.

The most interesting, and helpful, has been the Social Worker. I have never met her, and I probably never will, but she is helping me in ways that I was unaware there were answers to questions that I had.

For example, she has gotten me in touch with the correct branch of ODSP, which sounds minor but I was stuck. She is looking over her papers to try to get me into some sort of group as an advocate, which is my goal. She has been helping me look into government housing.
ALL WITHOUT MEETING HER.
She doesn’t know me from Adam, and she is willing to put in all of this work: I cannot fathom just how fantastic she must be in person.

In conversations with this woman, I was informed that there is no support group for people in wheelchairs without having some degenerative disease or truly tragic (but “common”) issue. I posed to my FaceBook an idea of people in wheelchairs meeting up once a month, and immediately it was taken as I was lonely and needed to talk to someone. It was dismissed straight out.

I do take on fault: I worded the idea poorly. I should have made it more clear that I was shocked at the lack of community surrounding people in wheelchairs. I was not stating that I wanted friends (though, who doesn’t, right?!).

It was just an idea. I don’t want to be co-ordinator, or even have magnanimus control of a group like that. I just want to put into motion the idea. Maybe I’m selfish, but I don’t like the idea of something like that not even pretending to exist. I want the option to not show up to something like that.

New Book

As some people have heard, I am working on a new book! I started only recently, so timeline is a bit ragged at the moment. I have an idea of where I want to go, as well as at least two characters flushed out.

SURPRISE! It will not be a happy read. For the people who have read, what I dubbed a, WIP: I have scrapped about half of it in favour of continuing this new direction that I pieced together in my head.

The one of two things I am keeping from my initial 20-or-so pages is the theme of survivors guilt. I have a character that is dealing with the death of her children by blaming herself for their death on a legal level. I am not spoiling much, as even I don’t quite know where her story will end up.

My goal is to have the book be about 200 pages long. I am not going to put more restraints on myself, for fear of not measuring up to my own goals.

Do you want to be in the Thank You list? Check out my Patreon. Anyone who donates even $1 a month will get their name immortalized at the end of the book!

Check out my already released book here! If you do not feel like giving monthly, buying a copy of You’re Not Dead helps out a tonne.