Let’s talk about stuff

Over the last few posts I have made, I have received several messages privately expressing similar situations you all have found yourself in.

I am honoured that you want to speak to me, of all people. I will be honest: I have no clue what to say. I love that you feel you can talk to me, and I will always be a willing shoulder.

My recommendation is, though, that you leave a comment on the posts. Leave your mark. Maybe someone will relate or have better judgment that I on the situations.

That does not mean don’t talk to me! I am just offering ideas to get some better and less cynical views.

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Holy Fish (Shameful Sheep inspired)

  1. Does anyone else have things that autocorrect has changed for the better? Even if it is better in just your mind. My personal favourite was that my phone could never allow me to use such profanity as “fuck” and would therefore always change it to “fish.” It really does change the tone of what you are saying drastically. Usually, it would be for the better. “what the fish?” usually sounds less petty than the proper. Unfortunately, that very phrase can be used at the worst times, making everything you say sound sarcastic and dismissive. “I was just fired” is not a good time to have your phone correct your words for a PG-13 audience.
  2. I owe a couple of people huge apologies. I keep receiving EPs and albums for me to check out, and I always intend to do so. Recently, I have just plain forgotten. When I finally do remember, it is when I am getting another collection of sounds to listen to, then look up and think FUCK! [SO & SO] SENT ME SOMETHING LAST NIGHT. I will just simply say that I am so very sorry, and I promise that I will listen to everything over the next few days. As I write this, I am already queuing up two more. That will take my number of forgotten gems down from eight to two. The one is actually from a producer I worked with on the Chance Procedure album, Ryan Prasad. He is a brilliant musician, and I am beyond excited to listen to his new work!
  3. You may have seen the announcement in my last post, but I am going to be giving Patreon supporters who back me more that $10CDN/month a free PDF of what I am working on. I do not think I made it clear enough, so allow me to elaborate. I write a lot of short stories that I do not post anywhere. I do, actually, write more than one of those a month. I am also looking to change my publication strategies over the next little bit. So if you have recommendations for my next step, please pass them along.
  4. I have stolen this whole numbered layout from The Shameful Sheep. I cannot even pretend to be as funny as her, or even remotely funny, but I love her style. If you have not looked over her works, I highly recommend it. She is funny, brilliant, and sarcastic as all hell.
  5. I almost forgot: WordPress wants my monies again. The orginal URL for this site (which is too long and complex for me to remember, let alone type out) has come up for renewal. I have decided against it, and keep getting little notices every time I open this blog up. If you are having a similar issue, please let me know somehow. I am working hard as balls to fix it but seem to have hit a kind of roadblock.

I am sorry for you dealing with it, potentially.

500 words, fuckers!

~PATREON UPDATE AND IMPORTANT QUESTION

I updated the Patreon to include a nifty reward. If you donate $10 a month, you will now be privy to a free PDF of a book in some state, plus your name in the Thank You list at the end of said book.

Of course, this will be a month to month thing, and there will not be a release every month. I do, however, want to get to a point where I can write a novella a month.

To those out of the know, a Novella is roughly 100 pages: a little longer than a short story but shorter than a full novel. I take great pride in my ability to write those so far. I have actually been working on another couple as we speak.

I would also like to announce that I am re-working You’re Not Dead and trying to find a proper publisher. That is not saying anything bad about Friessen Press. Quite the opposite, really. They gave me the confidence to pursue writing on a grander scale. They are self-publication, however. Though they have fantastic tools and decent distribution, it costs far too much to continue on with them.

Now, for the important question: Do you have something that you listen to while doing artistic things? I have been spinning Kevin Drew’s Spirit If… album at almost grotesque amounts. Between that, and Do Make Say Think, I have right to believe that my wife is loosing her mind with the peculiar sounds radiating from my computer.

MEH.

~PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Pat Hussey

TO BE CLEAR: I was informed afterwards that he and his girlfriend are both contributing, but I am too lazy to change the title.

Pat and I go back a very, very, long time. He was in a band that I played a lot of shows with when I was in All Cut Up at “The Parking Lot.”

In fact, he and I have such a long and strange story, it is hard to come up with one story about what to write.

I guess one of the more innocent things we did was that we used to go get soft drinks at a corner store between our houses, sit on parking stones, and discuss our views on society, music, and life. Yeah, that was fun! Let’s talk about that!

Oh, he was also my guitarist while I was in The Twin. I guess that was important. Especially because he, Steve and I created that band out of random jams we had for about five years prior to actually creating the band. It was interesting because we all came from very different influences, but had a mutual respect (mostly) for what everyone was into.

To keep on topic, the first time he came over after I got out of hospital was awkward and hilarious. He came walking into my parents living room about one week after I finally got out of hospital. In a thunderous voice, I said “Well looks who’s finally coming in here- showing off their two legs. Walking and shit.”

Though he laughed, I did not hear from him the next couple of days. I assumed that I offended him in some way- as if he did not know my horrible sense of humour. When I did get through finally, I found out that he had been horribly busy and the furthest thing from offended. In fact: he barely heard what I said. Jokes on me, I guess.

I digress. Pat is one of the few people who understands me on several levels, even though he is somewhat an enigma to me after all of these years.

I have rambled on about him and completely avoided talking about Becca. She is lovely, but I do not have any interesting or hilarious stories about her. Yet.

What I can say is that I have known her for a very long time and I hope that, someday, we will have some sort of interesting story to tell. Maybe something involving offending old people, or tackling people, or making really crude cripple jokes at my expense.

SIDE NOTE; He mentioned the story about dragons, so now I will launch into something completely fictional because I really want to.

It was cold. The trees were all still, as if they were anticipating something. Pat lay in wait for the serpent to fly overhead. It was the season that they were waking from a six month slumber.

“I trained for this…” He repeated this line over and over to himself, trying to psych himself for the task of defence that he has accepted. He knew that he would either survive the onslaught, or die in an anonymous blaze. Other than the other guard, no one knew that he was outside the city boarders.

He blew into his hands, praying that his breath would be enough to warm his hands. His sword was leaning up against the trunk of a tree, ready for a quick retrieval if one was needed. His armour was little more than leather, hastily strewn across his body. He hoped that it would be enough.

Suddenly, the wind picked up. He could hear a low groan pass over the land he was in. A sound similar to a drum being beaten could be heard in the background. It was coming.

Pat grabbed for his sword, checked over his body for weak points, and moved into what he thought was a fighting position. He was far from trained for this; he was far from ready. He had started to sweat though he was chilled to the bone.

The cries become louder and Pat starts to feel his heart racing. He tries to keep his breathing slow, but he can feel his body reject the very notion. He wants to panic. He needs to panic. He will not let it happen.

With a mighty crash, the dragon lands not two hundred feet from Pat. He readies his blade and lets out a mighty scream.

Pat starts to sprint.

DONATE TO MY PATREON AND REQUEST MORE IF YOU WANT MORE

Another Top 10

I awoke this morning with lyrics in my head. I assume that is not strange for the masses, but I am a drummer: I usually do not remember lyrics because I am distracted by the music. I had this urge to highlight songs that actually mean something to me, so here are the top 10. I know that I have done something like this before, but I am going to point out the songs that mean something to me, not the albums. This list contains tracks from albums that would never touch a top ten, and there are one or two that I only listen to the album for that song.

I reiterate: I am a drummer. A couple of these songs are just on this list because the drums are so fucking cool. In the interest of transparency, I will point that out when it comes to fruition.

Animals as Leaders- CAFO
Let’s start with one where the drums sold me on the very premiss. CAFO is easily one of those complicated songs I have ever heard. I think why I put this on my top ten as opposed to something from Godspeed You! Black Emperor is because it remains one of my favourite memories. I saw this back open for BTBM a few years ago. They were playing a flawless set, then they got to this song. The drummer added just ONE snare hit before a fairly easy part (compared to the rest of the song, anyway), and the guitar players got SO lost. It was just so fantastic to see that even Gods can fuck something up.

Samsaris- Góða Tungl
No, I cannot pronounce this title to save my life. I can, however, proudly put it in my top list. This song is absolutely beautiful. There is something incredibly haunting about the clarinet in contrast with the vocals. This song speaks to me on every level, though I have no clue what they are saying.
I refuse to look up a translation. I am afraid of hating what they are actually saying.

Blood Brothers- Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck
A rather bleak way of describing eternal love and blind devotion, I first heard this song around a time when I thought I was in love with a girl. In hindsight, she was horrible. I know she does not read this blog (because we hate each other now) but, this song is for you.
Love love love love love love love. (rhymes with pity now)

Kevin Drew- TBTF
There was a time I almost got those four letters tattooed on my person: TBTF (to beautiful to fuck) is a story about love. Innocent love. A desperate person holding onto the relationship they have with a friend who is attractive.
ALTERNATE MEANING:
Someone who is rejecting someone they should be interested in, but they cannot justify it.
To be honest, I have no fucking idea what this song is about. I just know that I love it and relate far too much to it. Because I am oblivious to what it is actually about, I use it to rationalize uncomfortable situations I found myself in with friends.

The Dresden Dolls- Girl Anachronism
Piano and drums? Yes, please! Is it to bold to ask for sarcastic and self deprecation on the side? No? Perfect.
I play. This whole album is amazing, but I think that it is perfectly summed up by this track. Fast. Angry. Dynamic.

Incubus- A Crow Left Of the Murder
Puns in the name and probably the coolest guitar riff ever written by a band, it is easy for me to talk about how much I love this song. The more interesting way to do it is to leave the link up top and see how many of you listen to it.

Placebo- Without You I’m Nothing
Think Pink Floyd, but modern. I almost put the version with David Bowie on this list, but the original will do beautifully.

Nine Inch Nails- La Mer
I fucking love this song. Soothing, beautiful, haunting. The trifecta of amazing. I actually refuse to look up the translation for this song for fear of ruining the feel of it.

Poison the Well- The Realist
Does this song demonstrate everything I love about this band? No. It does the opposite. This song contains the most beautiful vocal melody I think I have ever heard and I just need to share it with everyone I meet. Listen. Enjoy.

Sufjan Stevens- I Want To Be Well
This was the song that actually inspired me to make this list. I fell in love with this song back when the album came out in 2010. I was working in a record store and was trying desperately to be the cool-indi-music-guy (and failing very hard at it). I had gotten into Sufjan about a year earlier from the Illinoise album, and I thought I got where he was coming from. The Age Of Adz proved to me that I should shut up and admit that I do not understand anything about music what-so-ever.
This song was my anthem. When I was cruising around at three in the morning, I would blare this song out my windows, singing along and staining my voice. I am positive that I disturbed a few sleeping people, but I was earnestly saying those words in all their glory. “I want to be well.” If I only knew then that not five years later I could relate more those words than I did at the time. If I only focused on what I had and not what I was loosing. Maybe, just maybe, things all could have been amazing.

I digress. Do yourself a favour and PLEASE listen to these songs. Especially the last one, it holds a place in my life that only I know of.

To state again: these are just 10 that remind me to listen to the whole album again. They are in no way my top favourite albums, and not even the top recommendations I could make. They are just some great songs that I find myself thinking about a lot.

I wanted to die…

Okay, I admit: I made that title to catch the attentions of those around me who still care. To make people look up and maybe read this confession and, in some way, help someone.

Now, to explain how that title is, and was, accurate.

I have been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with an ex. We were dwelling on the hardships of life (as you do) and I stated how I wanted to die before I turned thirty.

The bleakness of the statement stopped our several-hour-long ramble dead and created a silence that physically hurt us both.

“Don’t you think thirty is a bit young?” she asked, almost pleading me to take my proclimation back. The most awkward part was that I could not do so. I was twenty-two. I had already released seven albums, played over one-hundred shows, and met literally thousands of people. I had felt heart break, I had felt love, I have destroyed and been destroyed. I was tired.

My only response was “…why would I joke about that…?” and we resumed staring at the wall for the next several moments.

Now, in my thirtieth year, I can honestly say that statement I made eight years ago was juvenile, uneducated and rash. I am not taking it back: at that moment, I could have taken the embrace of death with a smile and a nod. In fact, to be clear: I still do not fear death. I would love everything to end. I saw thirty of being just another goal, and at that time I saw it as an end goal. I knew very few reasons why, if I continued on that path, that I could justify living even that long.

Then; I did die. Twice. That girl left me while I was in hospital (for very justified reasons) and I lost the use of most of my body to which I am only just regaining pieces and parts back. That situation helped me meet my wife, write a book, realize that I have some amazing friends, and do things that I could never expect me ever doing.

Is this me accepting what I have been through? No. A thousand times: NO. I have, however, used the situation I am in to realize what I can do, what I have done, and what I will do. My life is far from perfect in almost every way. I am broke. I am in horrible debt. I am useless to society as a whole seeing as I CANNOT work. I am tired. Oh, let me reiterate that one: I AM TIRED. I refuse to let these things stop me from doing what I can. I refuse to have the possible brain damage that I sustained in my battle with encephalitis five years ago slow me down. I still have enough of my faculties to write and live. I like to think I am an okay husband, and I hope that I am an okay father one day too.

Final thoughts: I am just going to keep doing everything I am currently doing, only better. I will make this life my bitch. I will do everything I need to because I want to not because I have to.

I will just die later.


POST BLOG NOTICE!

Remember up above where I mentioned how I am in horrible debt? I cannot afford to renew the site right now. I am working on everything with what I have right now, but do not get too thrown off if this blog vanishes for a couple of weeks. To make things easier, look at my Patreon page. Also, get hold of me on my personal pages with marketing offers. I am not opposed to tastefully selling-out. I am sure there is a more politically correct way of saying that, but I am heavily medicated right now. I will fix it in the morning.

A story about a tramp named Oline

I do not think I have already written about this, but if I have: PLEASE STOP ME!

Hahaha… you’re already reading it, so: too late!

When I was in school, suffering and not knowing why, I stayed in the residence on campus. It was okay, I guess, but it was far from interesting. People were (mostly) okay mannered when it came to the kid in the wheelchair, and the tight-nit staff were always fantastic to chat to when we all had time.

One hugely ironic thing I had to deal with was at at floor meeting. We were all gathered into the common room on the flood to discus what we could do as a group for, you know, “getting to know people” shit. Yeah, that’s what it was called!

I digress.

So yes, we were all gathered into this large room to toss out ideas for group activities. I heard tag being mentioned a few times, as well as poker and hide and seek. I was not planning on doing any of this, but it was interesting to hear the general mindset of everyone I would be spending the next eight months to a year with.

The floor co-ordinator rose up triumphantly and said “I was just asking out of formality. We already have started to organize a group trampoline day!”

The room then went very quiet as all eyes set on me and my roommate. He was in a wheelchair, as well, and you could almost hear everyone asking how we would be involved even though no one said it.

The reason this was hilarious, by the way, was because our floor leader-person-whatever was this girl who was just finishing her PhD in sociology specializing in involvement and inter-personal relationships. She only acknowledged my roommate and I when someone spoke up.

“Uh.. what are they supposed to do?”

It was a bit heartless and cold, but the point was sound. Her reccomendation for a trampoline party was without any consideration for anyone who physically could not conform.

She got visibly angry as she finally noticed my roommate and I, did not say anything, then quickly adverted her eyes away from our direction. She spent the rest of the evening pretending we did not exist.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out the irony between what she was sporting educationally and regurgitating verbally. She could not think of a world where someone might not be able to conform to her brilliance.

That really seems to be the issue with western society at large. There is little to no consideration for those who are physically disabled. Sure, there are bylaws and previsions put in place. They are, however, put in place over a world designed for the abled. Far too often have I seen a ramp that goes to an automatic door where the door then swings TOWARDS the person, pushing them back down the ramp.

I realize how stern I sound in that last paragraph, but I am far from angry. I find the intentional blinders put up by society the funniest things ever.

On an unrelated note, my book has gone up in price by one Canadian dollar for the digital copy. I hope you don’t mind. I like making rent.

PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Katie Maz

I am actually honoured to write this post.

Katie was invited by The Twin to come out to a show back in 2010. Now to date ourselves: the invite was sent over MySpace because everyone used it back then.

ANYWAY: Katie was this very hyper girl who showed up and her and I spoke only twenty minuets over the event. However, her and I exchanged e-mails that night, and we have never spent more than a month out of communication.

Our humour works in the most backwards ways. She is hyper but an introvert, I am quiet but an extrovert. I do not know why we are friends, but we are very tight friends. We refer to each other as siblings very often.

When I ended up in hospital, she came by as often as she could. She remained awkwardly inspirational and never talked down to any situation that I found myself in.

We started Mind the Music TO in 2015 with me writing album reviews and her showcasing her photography.

I love her.