Be Socially Awkward

Hi! Hello.

FUCKING HI!

Yeah. Big surprise! I like being socially awkward. Why? Because it keeps things interesting! I enjoy seeing how other people will react to me saying an off-colour joke or being too loud in a library.

From what I can see, there are four kinds of people:..
well, more than four kinds. But, this is observation, and I am too lazy to dive into every GD personality type!

There are people who shy away from your actions. The people who either cover everything up OR they try to silence you. They are the ones who take a few moments to figure out how to best do something the first time. They are (overly) conscious of everything they say, and actively get offended on other peoples behalf for ever thing said.

Then, there are the people (like me) who don’t care what they say. There is never malice behind what they say, but they do take some form of sick satisfaction from watching the other group cringe. Usually, they say the wrong things on purpose to prove the point that the true basis for the hatred of topics or terms is just as offensive as saying them.

Then, there are the bigots. Those who say stupid shit because they are trying to be funny. Also in this classification are those who say things to hurt other people. I have little respect for them (yes, I do see the irony) and I have a hard time understanding how people like this can still exist.

The fourth category is the most unfortunate. Those who say something with no intent to offend anyone, but they say egregious things that get them into trouble. Listening to someone from this category is an exercise in schadenfreude.

Being socially awkward is more than just being offensive, and that’s where people seem to fall a bit off the mark. Being socially awkward, to me, is bending expectations and unspoken laws of normality. Pointing out flaws in your person to a group of people who don’t know you? That can create the most fantastic miasma of groans that can never be expressed in text.

The hardest part, for me, is letting people who don’t know me well that I am joking around. There is nothing worse than pointing out that I’m in a wheelchair to have it followed by dismissive comments about how other’s have it worse or things of-the-like. Even worse than that is when someone piggy-backs off my statement and follows it up with something actually offensive. Just because the cripple said something detrimental to some cause does not give an able a pass on stupid.

valentine’s day

I love my wife, very much. It doesn’t change that I hate this day with a passion. I think it’s shallow, and I resent the idea that we have a day to remind us to express the love for another. So, I give you a collection of things that are true on ever level to put into cards or whatever. I got my wife flowers.

We all die alone.
but I want to pretend that I die with you.

Let’s attach ourselves legally and monetarily
because that is what society says that you’re supposed to do.

For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health
being saddled with incredible debts and thinking we could ever own anything.

Put up with my artistic expressions
or else I’ll blame you for my stagnation.

I love you today…
…and will tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…
…even when I hate you.

I love how
I feel like I have to buy you stuff when I cannot afford it.

Remember when we were younger?
Our clothing does.

I’ll let you pick half the playlist…
…and I won’t complain that much.

I won’t think of other people sexually.
I promise.

Hello, friends!

I know that I have griped on this topic before, but I am looking for a literary agent!

I do have another book in the works right now, it probably will not be done until next year, but I want to have You’re Not Dead attached to a traditional publisher.

It is segmented: half the book are short stories which have no baring on the main narrative. There is a common theme, however, and the flow (though I am biased) is great.

Someone recently asked me to define the general theme of this book. I replied with “Black Comedy” because I think that it can be hilarious. I am well aware that I might be alone in that. I also find a lot of Chuck Palahniuk to be funny as Hell.

Anyway, I am very happy with the rate at which the book is selling. Yes, it does contain the first release, but there is SO much more! I think the depressing factoids that I book end each chapter are a good time. I realize that this book can be a bit too bleak for some, but I also think that can be part of the appeal for others. It is not very often that you get a piece of media that expresses such dissatisfaction with a large host of society.

Back to my initial point: I am looking for a literary agent. I am certain that, with the correct team on my side, I can be taken more seriously in this world.

Wheelchair Update

This is going to be interesting.

NEW DISCOVERY! Sarcasm doesn’t write well.

This is probably only interesting to a portion of people who actually keep up with this blog. Even with that demographic in mind: my writing on this topic will only interest a few.

Since I got my own wheelchair six years ago, I have had a piece to my chair that I have both loved and hated. It was supposed to be support for my knees, and was issued to me when my mobility was less.

The medical purpose for it is to keep my legs at a comfortable angle. Because I have an air cushion that does not work right, it had a tendency to sit higher than what the rest of the seat would. It would then cut off blood flow to my feet and was incredibly uncomfortable. The main reason I used it was to hold my cell phone somewhere other than a pocket. It was good for that.

A while ago, an OT commented on how this piece of kit was too far forward. She informed me that it I couldn’t move it back, just remove it all together. I was hesitant: I was under the initial impression that it was to keep the cushion raised and supported.

I removed the plastic sheet last night. It turns out that it was completely unnecessary. Now, my chair is smaller than ever before! I say that because it is both a blessing and a curse.

The two inches that it gave me, it turns out, changed where my centre of gravity was while doing general things. Even the small wheelies I would perform to get over small objects feel, though the wording is a bit strong, dangerous. Though I just removed maybe one percent of the volume of my chair, is has changed the feeling dramatically.

I want to say that I hate the change, but that would not be entirely true. There are parts that feel almost threatening, but I am certain that, with time, I will be able to get used to it. I still have my air cushion for now, though I hope to be getting a solid seat soon.

It’s funny: the woman that I got the seating from described the air cushion as a “Roles Royce of wheelchair seating.” Though I have no reason to disagree with her, this is my 3rd cushion and even it is fucking destroyed. So, I submit this query. Is it worth spending more money to get something that could be great for a little bit, or dropping less money for something that might just be okay for a longer time?

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS, AM I RIGHT?

Classic Album Review :: Aphex Twin – Richard D. James Album

Something I don’t normally express is my strange obsession with off-beat electronica. I put a vote up on FaceBook between Aphex Twin and Sparepusher, and only got one reply. I would be more upset by that, but Squarepusher seems to be a bit more obscure in the circles I run in. To bad, too: there is something to be said about a man who plays all the bass lines live. Maybe I will do Big Loada as my next music article.

Anyway! This album truly changed what I saw the landscape of music to be. It somehow contains both the most peaceful and serine, and well as the more wrong and distorted, collection of sounds you will find in music. The album starts with a track that displays more of the former. It’s pretty, relaxed (kind of), and normal. However, starting with the next track, things change. It gets darker. More willing to be strange.

Strange really is the best way of describing the tone of majority of the songs. It’s far from bad, but not normal. Songs like Milkman straddle the line of being acceptable and inappropriate, and even the most normal songs are just kind of off. It is very hard to describe. Maybe like that dream that you cannot call bad, but never want to have again. Nothing inherently wrong, but nothing you would ever describe to your parents.

What I find interesting are songs like To Cure a Weakling Child where they start pretty, cute almost, then have this bridge where things just go horribly wrong and distorted. The next track (Goon Grumpas) goes in a different direction again. It sounds like something you would expect to hear as a town in shown to be perfect in a movie or video game. It never breaks the feeling of bliss, but that comfort is dropped by the first note of the next track (Yellow Calix). I am not saying that it’s a complete departure that goes off the rails in ever possible direction, but it changes mood completely, and Aphex Twin plays with the percussion line heavily.

This is my favourite album by him. The only one that compares and Drukqs released 4 years later. I feel comfortable comparing him to The Dillinger Escape Plan, especially after they covered one of his songs years ago. I cannot recommend this album to someone who doesn’t already know of this movement in music, but I feel comfortable saying that anyone who looks for something more in their music would enjoy this heavily.

As always, I do apologize for the abundance of ads that have come up in the examples. I try, really hard, to give you ad free enjoyment. It rarely works out. HERE’S A VIDEO OF THE ALBUM!

I guess I should do some shameless self-promotion for my book here.

Personal Blog

I haven’t written one of these in a while. I just don’t think that I’m particularly interesting, and I have a hard time thinking that anyone would have any interest in anything that I am up to. So, I guess that’s the warning!

I wrote a new book! Not that I haven’t been riding that train for weeks now…

It’s been re-released under You’re Not Dead, but I fixed the grammar and spelling huge, plus I filled it out with fictional bits. It now sits just over 200 pages for the physical copy. Amazon has been… awkward… with their restocking of it, but the store over on Friessen Press works beautifully! They print on demand, as well. That ensures that you will get the right version! I am still looking for a publishing agent, and that journey is hard and depressing. Yet, this is the path I chose, kind of. I only say “kind of” because, if you have listened to my PodCast I did on Taker Wide in the past, you know that art is less of a choice and more of necessity.

I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned this part before, but my wife and I moved back in with my parents last year. It’s going well! I will say that I haven’t seen many friends since we moved back here, but that isn’t a huge change since Burlington.

If you aren’t awkward with south-western Ontario, that’s less than an hour away. Unfortunately, it is a separate health system, so it’s a bitch to get everything reset as far as doctors go. We’re slowly figuring that out. In fact, today I have a place that I’m going to! Right on time, as well!

I have written the next ansP recently. The last one underperformed, but that is, in part, due to me not realizing what day is was being released. If you haven’t read it, go do so (please). If you have read it, what do you think of it? It was fun to write, but I don’t intend to do the same style anytime soon. If there is an interest, though, I will write another one.

We don’t have wheels any longer. We got rid of our car recently, because upkeep was too expensive. On that note, the Patreon is very close to $100, and I find that stupid exciting. It would make it possible to go to events and maybe do meet-ups in the future!

Oh: Glory Days!

I got my copies of my book today!

I’m still looking for distribution sites to link to, but the couple I have found have been listed on the usual page! As I have mentioned before, I will let you know as they come to my attention.

Anyway, make sure you are buying the right copy! Physical versions are listed over 200 pages, and digital copies are listed over 150 pages. Of course, that is due to formatting and whatnot. Content is not effected.

Check Your Inspiration

To start, this is not an attack on anyone. This is more a dissection of the situation at hand than a low-blow or a pathetic passive/aggressive barrage. I want to make people think about what they are sharing, not berate well-wishes and honest attempts.

I was sent something the other day showing a kid, after seven years, getting over his quadriplegia. It was amazing, to be sure, but the person followed it up with something along the lines of ‘look what he did! you can do it, too!’

Was that intended as a slight? Hell no. It was from a good friend who I have known forever, and I love them very much and hope they love me the same. Was it without forethought? Absolutely. The video they shared had many things different from what I experienced.

1. Accident implies spinal issues. I have brain damage. They are two very different things.
2. The equipment being used in the video are things that I have never seen before, let alone used. It is actually impossible to say “hey: this kid learned to walk in seven years. why can’t you?” in this situation because I don’t have access to everything this guy did.
3. There is no information on the personal goings on with this kid. Is he poor or rich? What kind of healthcare does he have access to? What other consequences other than the quadriplegia did he experience?

I am far from ragging on this kid. He went from having no fine motor skills to walking (with a walker, but still). It was impressive, but to turn around and ask me why I am not doing what he is doing is saying that we have the exact same experience. That is diminishing what I have been dealt, and is trivializing what he has accomplished.

-RANT-

While I have your attention, my book is available some places! I have links that can be found here, but it’s still being pressed and I don’t even have my copies yet! If you wish to order it, that’s amazing and I hope you enjoy! I will post way too much when I get my copies and even more when I have actual order information that I trust!

Classic Album Review :: & You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead — Source Tags & Codes

I fought with myself for a time about which one of the 10+ albums to write about. Minus one album, I fucking love everything this band has released, and the one album is not bad. It just doesn’t hold a candle to everything else this band has done. So, I thought I’d write about the first album that I picked up from this band. Unrelated, but this also stands as my favourite from this band.

On top of having the longest name of any band I revisit on a regular basis, & You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead (from here on referred to as Trail of Dead) is one of the most reliable bands that I have ever come across. They brilliantly fuse punk and folk, without sounding too pirate based. Somehow, their recording tone is always huge — larger than life, really.

For just being three main musicians on the recording, it’s a bit amazing. Yes, this album boasts having over 13 musicians in the studio, but the band was only a 3-piece at the time. And, regardless of how many people were in the studio: the drums are what make everything so bombastic. The kick drum in particular permeates every noise layered over it- almost like it is defying anything to try to drown it out.

Guitars are a beautiful drone. Yes, there are probably many layers of distortion and lead riffs, but they are used to create a beautiful miasma that guide the orchestrations from part to part. “How Near How Far” is a brilliant demonstration of this. Though the bass slides up and down the scales, and the guitars jingle through several notes, it creates this level of noise. Yes, there is definition. You need to find it, however. Rarely does an album challenge the listener this much to realize just how beautiful it is.

Now, when I saw challenge the listener, I am not saying that it is off-putting or not pleasant. I am simply pointing out how from afar it seems like a simple pop-rock album with strained vocals. It’s when you sit down and listen deeper that you notice the nuance and complexity that comes with this recording.

Second favourite opening for an album ever, by the way. The only album that takes it over is the album So Divided that Trail of Dead released 4 years later. The intro track is only 1:29, but it complexly disarms the listener before the chaos starts. If you wanted to discredit that track as the intro, the first song (It Was There That I Saw You) kicks the listener in the face right away. It is nothing short of an assault on the senses. As hard as it kicks in, the song moves into a lull by the 1:00 mark. It is an amazing piece, the the song as a whole has an almost classical orchestration.

I could gush over every song individually, but I should really think about wrapping this piece up. My end thoughts on this recommendation are as follows: if you know the band, this album is nowhere near surprising. If you don’t already have it, I question your taste in music. If you DO NOT know this band, do yourself the greatest favour ever and listen through this masterpiece.

Also, you’re welcome.

HEY! Did you know that I have released a book?

It’s a reedit of You’re Not Dead with a bunch of other short stories all wrapped up. The length has ballooned out to a nice 205 pages. It’s really inexpensive, and available most places that you would order a book from! Links here, but let me know if you find more and I will update accordingly!

Torn

I have two pieces broken into pieces that just need to be organized. Both projects are about music, because of course they are. Both pieces I think are very important because the stories around each of the bands is strangely satisfying.

Band one is the good ol’ Canadian group Alexisonfire. I love this band, and I think they have done so much for music as a whole. Not to mention that they solidified genres, inspired millions, and created (arguably) one of the biggest acoustic acts in Canada to ever exist.

Band two is …And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead. Not only does the band have one of the greatest names of all time, they have 25 years of history, released two of my favourite albums, and are just amazing through and through. Also, Wasted State Of Mind is quite possibly one of the greatest songs ever recorded. PLUS they just announced a new album recently. I cannot say that I’m too excited about that, seeing as I haven’t really cared for one of their albums as a whole since So Divided (2006).

So, that is a breakdown of what is dividing me right now. I am ignoring the fact that my book gets released this week because I could just write endlessly about that and I want to keep everything excited and everyone interested.

ON A SIDE NOTE: I am looking for a publishing agent. For an example of the work I have completed, read the book. I have another idea in the works already, and I hope to have the next book ready by this time next year.

I am going to post my two favourite songs from the albums I want to write about below. If you have an opinion on which one I should write about, let me know!