People get sick.
Sometimes for reasons that are obvious.
Sometimes, for no reason what so ever.
Sometimes you cannot fix it.
Sometimes no one can.
People get sick.
Sometimes for reasons that are obvious.
Sometimes, for no reason what so ever.
Sometimes you cannot fix it.
Sometimes no one can.
One day, you will die.
So will everyone you know.
There is nothing you can do about it.
This is a post that I have wanted to write for a while.
I was recently chastised for having my hands in the wrong position when moving around. I would like to make it clear that it was by accident, but I do appreciate the note.
It seems like a strange thing. Why would it matter where you put your hands? Should it not be okay to have your hands anywhere as long as it is comfortable?
SURPRISE! It matters a lot. Or, it does if you want to keep your arms in use for a long time, anyway. Please, allow me to educate. I would like to add that this is all experience based, though I will be following up with people with a physio background to make sure that I don’t make egregious errors.
Imagine the wheel is the face of a clock. To propel yourself forward, your hands should be at 945-10. Why so far back? If you keep pushing from 11-1, you are not allowing the full motion of your arms to play out. You are forcing them to start part way through a natural motion and, therefore, will wear out your shoulder joint faster than if you start further back.
This is something that was mentioned to me early in my wheelchair experience, and I thought I was doing a fine job of it. However, I met with an occupational therapist the other day and she pointed out that I start my push too far forward.
Now, I was doing that in the apartment. It is hard to say that I do that when out and about, as it is easier to gain speed when pushing from further back. Having your hands closer to twelve makes it easier for small maneuvers and quick turns. This does not excuse where you have your hands. The possibility of muscle and join damage is present, anyway.
Advantages of having your hands at the right spot? As I mentioned before, speed. There is the vane advantage of improving pectoral muscles. This all does not ignore NOT NEEDING SHOULDER SURGERY!
Last happy update for a month! So, I will leave you with a warning. The next four updates are far from happy. I think the posts are important, but I realize the potential impact they can leave on a person. If you are one who has a hard time with dark ideas and depressing facts, I understand if you don’t check back in. Normal updates start back in June. If this warning has not scared you away, I hope you find the following four updates and funny as I do!
I already forgot what this post is about.
GOODNIGHT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
I play. I only pseudo know what I want to talk about.
Well, here we are! Less than a month off until I start posting mildly depressing things every week! I cannot explain how excited I am. It sounds dower, morose, and mildly strange; I am well aware. I just look forward to it because I get to express things that I think about all-too-often.
In fact, they are horrible (the things I think about), but I forget them as often as I think of them. Just today, I awoke with a great couple of facts in my head to save for next year. As I am writing this, I cannot remember them for the life of me. It’s not that I can’t think of a depressing fact, or two. It’s more the concept that I had a great couple of things to jot down, and they are gone!
How gone are they?!
FUCKING GONE! I need to remember (ironically) to keep a record of this stuff. The one thing that I am fighting with is the idea that I haven’t marked them with a warning. Not that I explicitly talk about suicide or death in a direct fashion, but such things are implied. The last thing I want to to ruin someone.
The rest of the post is just me fighting with the concept, so if you don’t care, you can stop reading.
As stated last week, the purpose is to give someone tools to deal with when life falls apart. So, from that standpoint, I want everyone to read what I have to share. Another part of me does not want to cause depression or anguish. I would argue that a larger part of me wants everyone to find the collection hilarious. My wife does not agree IN THE SLIGHTEST with my perspective. She thinks that I just see the bleak in the world, and fail to explore the brighter moments. I argue that I appreciate the brighter moments BECAUSE I explore the dark.
To travel through life just looking at the pretty things and choosing to ignore the dark gives me the impression that, after a while of doing so, you do not respect how great everything is. Acknowledging the dark and brutal times, even revelling in them, makes the good feel so much better. The trick is, one cannot get entrenched or drowned by the heavier moments, no matter how suffocating life can be.
Maybe that’s why I listen to what I do. Everything is bleak, until you do a little reading and realize that these artist and singers are living a decent life. We tend to fetishize the best parts of life in modern media and ignore the trouble and tribulations that led up to that point. We all know how that person got as huge as they did, but we rarely show the part where their marriage implodes, they file for bankruptcy, go hungry for a while, then catch a lucky wave of success.
Now, with that said, we all watch the train-wreck that ensues. I’m sure that every single person who bothered to get to this point in the rant can name at least one example of what I mean. Whether it be a physical and tangible tragedy, or a metal break. It’s made all the worst because we don’t have context. We just see this idyllic person, “Hero” if you will, become human. They become, SHOCK FACE, one of us. That must be horrible for them!
Now, there are examples where the fall isn’t jarring. There are examples where we hold people on high for what they overcame and continue to fight against. Those tales are not as wildly known, it feels.
…but hey! What do I know? I am just a guy on his keyboard ranting and raving: hoping that someone hears.
HELP THIS BITCH KEEP GOING!
I have started a GoFundMe to raise the money to keep this site alive and to buy a new wheelchair. The Government of Canada is a fickle bitch when it comes to funding for assitive devises, Basically, you need to have a chair so dilapidated that it barely works any longer. After five years of moving and learning, I need to get a new chair. I now have a better idea of what I want. Please consider giving a dollar. Patreon is for mostly monthly upkeep for day to day life where the GoFundMe is going to be just for the chair and this site.
I got the privilege to see Amanda Palmer last night in Toronto. I was a huge fan of the Dresden Dolls years ago, and I have been intrigued by her solo work. It doesn’t help my fan-boying that her husband is Neil Gaiman, who has created some of my favourite worlds in modern fiction.
It was three hours of her telling anecdotes, smashing the keys on a piano, and strumming a ukulele. She explored her past, which included death, feminism, and abortions. It was so carnal, so brutal, so honest, I was enamoured by every word she spoke.
There was (several, but) one thing she said that has, and will always, stick with me. “You can be too depressed to create art.” Initially, I was offended by this notion. My initial reaction was one that I looked into my own artistic endevours and evaluate whether I was actually depressed, or just angry.
What I found at the end of my introspection was that I agreed with her statement, to a point. Depression is very deep. Not always, but it can result in exhaustion, and disasociation with reality. That explains why I have been having a difficult time writing over the last few years. I am nowhere near as angry as I was when I was a teen. Instead, I have been trying to harness my depression and translate that into anger.
My end point is that there will not be an update to asnP on May first. I have actually pulled out “this book doesn’t matter” and am trying to re-write most, if not all, of it. It was super short, and a few of my points were rushed. I hope to have everything done and better before the end of the year.
I have found myself overwhelmed and rather boring.
I am going to cut updates in half. I did not realize that ansP would take up so much of my time, nor did I realize how much I would enjoy it. I have the next story half written and mostly planned.
I have figured out why the post for Alone. was so strange. I had planned to move release a month because I was waiting on stuff and was not sure that I would make the original release. So, I did a bunch of awkward stuff around that, and I do apologize to those who support me on Patreon for early release. I will make sure the next one is totally proper and equally as good.
I am really proud of Alone. I honestly think that it is one of my best pieces to date, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
It feels like I am full of rage, but I actually take life in stride. There are not too many situations that fill me with anger. Most of the time, I just get depressed and seem short to end situations instead of dealing with them.
This is not one of those times
This was near the end of my adventure. I was doing some outpatient at Freeport in Kitchener. This particular day, I was going up and down the parallel bars. This one gentleman, who I will not even pretend to diagnose but was clearly paraplegic, asked me half way down the short track and asked “What happened to you?”
I did not really care that much. It’s a fair question to ask of another disabled individual. Especially since he did not seem to really care, and was just asking to make conversation.
“No one knows!” I replied, mildly dismissively. I really didn’t mean to be so short, but it’s not much of a secret that Viral Meningoencephalitis is more of a catch all that fits as opposed to an official diagnosis.
He got very angry very quickly. “DUDE. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO TELL ME THEN DON’T, BUT DON’T GIVE ME–“
“No, he’s right.” My Physiotherapist chimed in at this moment. “Beside diagnosis is a giant question mark and a few theories.”
“Oh. I get it, now.” He responded then walked back the other way on the bars.
I was frothing. I actually had to leave my session early because I was so angry. Not because he asked, not because someone else backed up my answer, but because he refused to accept what I had to say as fact. It’s petty, on my end. Very petty, and I am aware. I have always had an issue with my opinion, or facts that I actually know, being ignored. I have always lived with the acceptance that a lie is work, where the truth just is.
I am going to end this rant here, as I really don’t know where else I can go with it. I WOULD like to point out that I spent “meningoencephalitis” almost right the first try. I was off by only two letters!
//Edited by Luka Riot
Another day, all alone.
He looks out the window as the sun slowly peeks over the horizon. No one is anywhere near him, and no one has been for a very long time. He is alone.
He has been alone for what feels like months.
There are two kinds of people. The decent people in the cities, and those who are in solitary and are forced to live that way because of how they have been in the past. They have been rude or violent. Even just inappropriate thoughts are enough to hide someone away from the rest of society. Those in cities are surrounded by others like them. It is all sorted by an algorithm, and the results are just accepted. Why wouldn’t they be?
He pours his coffee and prepares to eat his first meal of the day, like he always does. The windows are without blinds. The walls of civilization are kilometres away from his residence, so it is fair to think that no one would be looking in. So, imagine his shock when he looked outside to realize that there is a new house that he has never seen.
At least he was wearing pants today.
Not too far away sits a small, red brick, single floor, rather shabby looking house. He cannot make out if anyone is there right now, but it is close enough to hinder his view of the sun rising over the chicken wire of the city.
The house is situated perfectly as so trees do not block the view.
Whoever the owner is, they saw it fit to get window dressings. Probably to block the sun. Or the wind as most of the windows seem to have holes in the glass due to rocks being projected through them.
He puts on a thin top. He has a quick shower, then figures that it would be in his best interest to say hello.
Once he is ready, he makes the venture out to the new arrival. His stride did not hide the frustration and mild curiosity he felt. The distance is far from great, but it still takes him the better part of an hour.
The wall still stands a great pillar of truth and testament to everything he gave up for the solitude he was given. The cinder blocks remind him that he is guarded from all that it contains.
A batted young girl meets him part way to the house.
“Hello, there!” She yells. Her voice cuts sharply above the noise of silence that steeps the land. “Where the fuck am I?”
He laughs. “Nowhere and everywhere. I’ve been here forever, and you probably will be, as well.” Being lost is standard.
He now knows that there is no danger, he turns to head back towards his sanctuary. The dirt of the ground spins with his heel. That is to be the only mark left between the two houses, he thinks. He doesn’t want friends. He doesn’t want to be bothered. He just wants to open a beer and read things on the screen. All of his needs are taken care of in this place, and he has just enough entertainment to ignore just how incredibly crushing the isolation is.
“Where are you going?” The girl screams after him. “I have questions!”
“I don’t care. You’ll understand soon enough.” He replies, looking over his shoulder just long enough to make sure the girl heard him. He hoped that his body language would emphasize just how sure he was in his answer.
“Can I come over, then? I have things that I need answers!.” She continues to plead with him as he ventures further and farther away. “Please?”
He ignores her pleads. She’ll figure things out or disappear in a week. He thinks to himself. He has been in this area long enough to know how the process goes.
He gets back to his front door when he notices that he is not alone. The girl followed him. Her eyes are full of tears and her hair is full of blood. She is skinny and frail. This is the closest he has been to another being in a very long time.
“At least let me use your water. My place hasn’t been connected to the system as of yet, and I am a fucking wreck. This blood? Not sure where it came from. This place? I don’t remember how I got here.” Her voice strains in her frantic attempt to get everything said. She clearly was in shock.
She extended a hand. “Please.” She murmured between sobs. “I don’t know where I am or why I am here.”
“Fine. Come this way.” He felt he had no choice but to at least pretend to show compassion. “Do you like coffee? I was about to make another pot.”
“Yes. And thank you.” She replied, smiling for the first time since she had seen him. “We don’t need to talk anymore. Unless you want to. God knows I can talk a lot. Especially if I was asked not to talk or I feel the other person doesn’t want me to. But seriously, just let me know if you want me to be quiet, I can do that. I can I can…”
He puts his face into his hand and lets out a massive sigh.
“Don’t make me regret this.” He barks in her direction, then continues his stroll towards his residence. His direction lead right to the path me made lined with old broken brick that he found in his journeys around the land. He was proud of it.
The girl exclaimed what he assumed was her name rather unceremoniously.
“It was awkward to me that we haven’t been properly introduced. I’m Bree. No one cares what it’s short for. Least of all me.” Bree then started to follow. “What are you called?”
“Keven.” he says with a tone of confusion. He never thought that he would be in a position again where he needed to introduce himself. “I’d appreciate it if you stopped ruining everything.”
A miasma of awkward tension levitated above the two for a moment. Keven never stopped walking, but Bree stumbled for a moment.
“Why do you hate me?” Bree asked. Her voice was audibly choked up.
“I don’t. I just haven’t seen other people in a very long time” Kevin replied without looking to see Bree’s face. He had a feeling that her eyes would break his rugged disposition.
Bree started to raise her voice “But what about–“
“–I could have left you at the hovel you called home for-who-knows-how-long. I could have waited for you to give up then raided you for everything you have. Be happy I was in a good mood today.” Keven made sure his words were deliberate in their dictation. He wanted her to stop. He wanted her to realize that they were alone. They will always be alone. That things will go his way or she will be left behind.
If Keven had bothered to look over, he would have noticed that Bree had stopped in her tracks.
“Where is someone else to talk to?” Her voice quivers as she forces the words.
“There is no one else.” Keven screamed. “Why do I have to keep telling you this? We’re alone. We will be left alone for a long time.”
Bree fell to the ground and started shaking.
“Get up. There is no point in crying.” Keven’s demeanour started to soften. He felt bad for the girl. Yes, this place was his dream. That’s just it, though. It is his dream, and his alone. If he was left to his devices for the remainder of time, he would be okay with that. He was well aware that he was one of a few who would enjoy that.
Bree looked up. She wasn’t crying, but she was in the throws of diabolical laughter.
“So, why do you hate me?” Bree asked slowly between uncontrolled breathing. “Why do you have this urge to be nice yet still chastise me?” Her voice became louder as she regained control. “What made you think I needed to be saved?” Her voice was slowly increasing in volume.
“How is your day, now?” She almost shouted as she lunged. Keven did not see her pick up a shard of glass, but he did feel it enter his neck.
“You sad, pathetic, fool.” Bree chortled as Keven’s blood mixed with his sad attempts at breathing. She had pierced his wind pipe. He knew he was going to die.
Keven brought his hands to his neck trying to stop the bleeding. Sounds of Bree cackling in the distance as she continued up the path towards his sactuary.
She gave no reason. Keven’s dying thoughts was him trying to figure out if she had actually only been in the wastes a few days, or if she had done this before. Bree’s lack of confirmation of the kill was enough for him to consider this is far from her first time doing this.
Keven’s last thought was simply Why? He felt his body growing colder with every passing moment. Even his blood was getting colder.
I am breaking two promises I made to myself today! The first is that I would only do these once every calendar year. The second is that I would only review albums around 20 years old. After listening to this album the morning of writing these piece, I felt that it is underrated and ignored.
eMOTIVe by A Perfect Circle is one of, if not THE, most important albums to come out in my life. Between its cover of Imagine bringing the beautiful piece by John Lennon back to the modern times, or its reimagining of other contemporary anthems by bands like Black Flag and Marvin Gaye, it should not be as ignored as it has been since its release.
eMOTIVe is beautiful and haunting. A good potion of the tracks maintain an etherial guitar tone, allowing the vocals to pierce the music and driving their importance to the forefront. Some of the covers are simply reimagining of the original track in a different key, some completely break the mould and do something new. Prime example is “What’s Going On?” and its exploration of different sounds to subvert expectations of what the song could be. Even the most expressed fan of the song would be forced to hear it as a new listener, taking in the lyrics as someone who has never listened to the song before. This gives it new weight in the greater social scene.
There are two songs that really change the cemented pattern on the album. “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie” is a track by Black Flag that sounds absolutely nothing like the original. I actually had a customer come into my record store and complain about the track. In the same breath, he asked about the original recording of very song that was playing, then argued with me for a few moments swearing that it was not the same. He then abdicated and claimed that Back Flag would be appalled with what they did to the song. I had to laugh, simply because APC changed it to something that continued Black Flag’s mission to make the upper class uncomfortable.
The second track that doesn’t quite fit is “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums” which is an APC original. The original was taken from the song “Pet” from their last album called 13th Step. In that song, it is just a line. The reimagining is five and a half minuets of tortured wales and distorted drums. The chanting of the title lyrics almost tantric in their repetition. Overall, I will say this song is irritating and abrasive.
I love it.
It conjures the feel of an Orwellian dystopia, and the video supports that image. The drums are a strange combination of distorted stomps and slaps. The bass is overdriven and blown out. The vocals are mildly distorted and harsh. You are meant to feel uncomfortable. You are meant to question a greater part of society while you listen to it. From the two-minute point to very near the end there is a sound similar to a fly buzzing that does not let up. It is grating. It sounds violent. It is the very definition of what music can accomplish when used as an artistic vision. I am having a hard time describing what I feel, so I will post the video here.
Before watching, it is important to remember the political landscape of the early 2000’s. It does still echo what’s going on now, but it is very geared towards the Bush administration and the reactions towards media at that time. The parallels are evident for the current administration, but uses imagery of that time.
My point? This album is amazing and it deserves more attention from the mainstream public. I completely understand if you feel this album doesn’t deserve the praise I am giving it. It’s abrasive, shocking, grainy and strange. If you have it in the background, it can sound mildly bi-polar and as if it doesn’t know what it is, or what it is doing. The reason it is amazing is because it knows EXACTLY what it’s doing.
I neglected to mention how it goes from “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums” to an ambient version of “When the Levy Breaks” by Jimi Hendrix. This whiplash-inducing transition perfectly encapsulates the point and purpose of this album. It demonstrates, in a track, how broken everything can be. Yet, it also shows that there is respite at the end if you choose to find it. There is a calm. There is a point.
I love Steve.
I am honoured to do a second show with him. The first one was over two years ago. Link here!
I link the YouTube account because it’s easy, but he is on several other areas as well. You can find him pretty much anywhere that Podcasts are found!
Special shoutout to Kevo, and to anyone else who does anything in the DIY scene anywhere!
OTHER NEWS! I now have all of my YouTube videos available on this site. Go give them a watch. Most of them are okay… The one where I clean the front wheels of my chair is annoying, but the rest are okay…