I Hope You Are Happy

Okay, you can relax. The updates are done for the year, and you don’t have to look at them again.

Well… unless you want to.

I, myself, have read them over several times already (writing this post on and after April 10) and will several times more to make sure they are right.

Again, the point of them is not to create animosity, to express how meaningless everything is, or to cause pandemonium, but to explore and accept just how amazing the time we have in this life is. I find great peace in knowing these facts do not just apply to me, but every single person on this planet.

One thing I will confess is that the one about how ‘no-one will remember you in two generations no matter what’ is a bit more definitive than I intended. Not to where it’s wrong, however. The internet has done a great job of making sure that everyone and everything will be remembered forever, just maybe not discussed at length anymore. As long as you have a social media account (somewhere), there is a mark that will be available for all time. I still get reminders on FaceBook of a couple of friends who passed away a few years ago whenever their birthdays come around. I am instantly reminded of any times I had with that person. I usually take a moment of silence to reflect on how they changed my life, regardless of how small or large the contribution to my personal narrative was.

On a sick side-note, I immortalized my own rebirth recently, just because I am considering it a very important event in my life. I do not know many people who got the privilege to tell everyone that they didn’t die. I cannot describe just how humbling, yet hilarious, that event was and still is. The importance is probably something I could never put to words. To be honest, the gravity of the situation as a whole was probably lost on me.

Off-topic, but I started a GoFundMe back in April. I have been in the same chair for five years as of July. I have learned a few things about what I want in a new chair and have been informed that I have to pony-up the money myself if I wish for something new/nice.
To be as clear as I can be, the money is for the wheelchair and for this website. Yes, the Patreon helps, but not everyone wants to give monthly. This is a great way to offer money once if you cannot afford monthly.

The goal is huge, but I hope we can achieve it together.

HUGE NEWS!
My wife and I are moving into my parents for a couple of months. I will mot be doing updates for the month of June while I organize parts of my life. Keep posted to the FaceBook page for when I come back. I will post there because I am like that. I’m sorry for the hiccup in my schedule, but I need to focus while life gets back to being sustainable.

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The Above {ANEWSIN VOL. 8 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

“Why must we do this?”

A skinny girl stands smoking a cigarette in the midst of a collection of carnage. Machines pick through the gore, collecting as many valuables as they could.

A man steps forward. “You know that this is how we make our living. We need any sort of identification to prove we killed the right group. Now, hurry your smoke, Skylar. We gotta go.”

“Fuck you, Steve.” Skylar proclaims under her breath.

Several corpses litter the street around her. The smell of decay fills the air. Skylar takes one more deep drag of her cigarette and lets the smoke slowly leave her mouth. The cloud just hovered around her lips as there was no wind to replace the air.

The smell was putrid: flesh and steel flood the ground where the two stand, and it is not shielded by the elements. The area is bathed in the sun, and the temperature is sitting at a balmy 40 Celsius. Carnage as far as the eye could see.

Their job was simple. They just had to collect any valuables they could find. May that be rare metals, jewelry, or small electronics. Cellphones are the best find, as they contain a trace of gold. It wasn’t much, but it could be just enough to make the week affordable.

“I need a fuckin’ shower.” Skylar proclaims as she flicks the smouldering end of her cigarette off to the side, narrowly avoiding a machine picking over remnants of a cadaver. “Hopefully, the smell of the soap will clean the stench from my mind.”

Steve laughs. “How poetic of you! Soap. D’ya think we can afford soap? I dunno ‘bout you, but I can barely afford the water for a shower.”

Just then, an explosion behind a wall shakes the ground.

“Do you think they know we’re here? That sounded a bit too chaotic to just be construction.” Skylar asks, her expression showing mild fear.

This was the life they half chose to lead. The masses were forced underground decades ago, and a handful of people were chosen to be scavengers, looking through rubble. The corporations still feud over bits of what remains on the mainland, trying to get their hands on materials to manufacture things to sell to people so they can remain dependent on the corporations, so the corporations can exploit the masses and rape the lands they once inhabited. 

“The bombs sound close. Too close. We need to bail.” Steve is now right behind Skylar as he calmly exclaims this.

Skylar lets out a slight chuckle as her face softens. “You read my mind.” She pulls out a pad from her bra and pushes a button on the face of the device.

A small flying ship comes to their location. It has only two seats, and the full span of the wings is only five meters. The two get on and it leaps into the air. It doesn’t generate much air, yet moves with great power and speed. Skylar gets behind the steering wheel and Steve, in the passenger seat, keeps his eyes out towards the horizon.

“Did you collect anything?” Steve asks his comrade. “Your pack looks rather empty.”

“Sight can be an illusion. Size means little in this game, you know that.” Skylar takes her right arm and tosses a small satchel towards Steve. Inside is two rings and a cell phone. “We’re set for a bit, anyway. What did you find?”

“Some small stuff, but nothing this classy!” Steve’s tone is quite jovial. “We’re set for almost a month, even if we get half market value for this stuff!”

Steve puts the salvage into a bucket under the seat he is in. It clangs against a few other things that the two got from a previous venture. By Steve’s observation, they have the bucket half full.

The two of them soar through the air for a bit, keeping their elevation roughly a kilometer above the ground. They only remain at that height for a couple of minutes before Skylar suddenly drops altitude.

“I fucking hate this part.”

They enter a small cave, barely enough for their vessel to get through. It is far from well maintained. They ride the small entrance tunnel for at least an hour.

“Are the walls closing in around me, or am I just loosing it?” Skylar asks.

“You know you’re fine. You’ve done this a million times” Steve replies, sounding exhausted.

Patreon helps me pay bills, feed Luka’s dog and keep everything running.

Chair Movement!

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!

Please consider donating to my GoFundMe or Patreon.

My memory (and other rants)

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.

Pets v. Chair

It is not a secret that I have many pets. My wife and I currently have a Dachshund named Rudy, a Schnauzer named Theo, a Pug named Tina, and a cat named Groot.

Is it easy to take care of animals while in a wheelchair? No. If they decide to run away from me for whatever reason, they can win easily by putting a box between us. I will admit that it is hilarious when they hide under the couch thinking that they won, only for me to lift the couch. Their eyes bug out and they get very docile.

The one thing that is very nice the cat takes full advantage of is that I am always sitting. The cat loves the moving platform in which he gets to sit.

I single out the cat for that last point, but they all love it. He just takes the most advantage of my position.

Issues I have include walking them, but it’s only a minor thing. If they do their business on grass, there are times that I cannot reach it. Luckily, I am usually with my wife and she collects the “gifts” and disposes of them

A Bit Of Light Housekeeping

I updated a link in the interviews page from a YouTube video to the proper web link. I hope that works better for everyone!

At the risk of being hated…

I am writing this paragraph to reiterate that I am, in no capacity, a medical professional. What I wrote below is in the same vein as opinion, and points are speculation at worst, and loose unsubstantiated conversation bits at best. That goes for any medical opinions I have given on this site. There have been many questions regarding my credentials and sources over the years, and I would just like to remind you that I don’t have either.

I am writing this even though there is a great risk of me being labeled more harshly than is necessary. As much as I am going to make this statement in a blunt fashion, the intent is not to offend, but to squash assumptions and set records straight.

I got the meningitis vaccine. If you did not, and got the sickness (and wear that fact as pride), I have little sympathy for you.

I am not saying that I am pro-vaccine. I am far from an anti-vaccer. For instance, I have every shot, but I refuse to get the flu vaccine. I don’t trust it, I get the importance of what they are trying to do, but I cannot see it as necessary right now. Maybe in a few years I will have my mind changed, but for the time being, that is my stance. 

With the meningitis vaccine, I know my position is precarious and seems backwards. It is steeped in half research and questions that no one asked. I realize that I am far from a professional, but hear me out.

Apparently, the vaccine that is given in high schools across Canada is specifically against bacterial menengitis. The assumption is that I was stricken with a viral strain, and the vaccine will not work. Therefore, my attempts to pre-emptively deal with things were thwarted by unfortunate chance. 

What is my point? I just want, maybe even need, to express the importance of mitigating damages. I tried, and was unsuccessful. When I hear someone complaining even though they never tried in the first place, I get very frustrated.

I should not use this platform as a soap box.

I felt like I had to get this out. If you took that risk and didn’t get that shot, that’s okay. I still love you, and I wish you the best of health. If something does go wrong, reacting with surprise is not the proper way to go about things.

That Guy.

(Okay. Last change of this post. You got this.)

Ironic that a post I have scrapped due to being too open and too distant turned out to be a rant on forgiving yourself, but these appear to be the times we live in.

I have spent the last five years battling with the demons that we hoisted upon me when I died.

I read pages, literal pages, of comments talking about what I meant to people throughout the time we knew each other. I was toted as being amazing by someone who, before I came out of the coma, decided that I was no longer worthy of knowing them at all. I have let my wife down just because I am who I am, and she sticks around because apparently I am worth it.

All of these things keep circling in my mind while I try to decide whether I am or not the person I strive to be, or if I am just an avatar cloaking the body of a monster. I have done some horrible things in my 30 years on the earth. Should I keep dwelling on those, or should I accept that I might not be a halfway bad human?

I am very curious if my attachment to what I have done in the past is actually even normal. My mind is stuck on the idea that I, and I alone, realize that I am capable of the dumb-shittery that I have done in the past. I guess, in a way, you can describe me as haunted by my decisions. One thing I will bow to is my arrogance in trying to do this publication bullshit on my own. All of my endeavours in the arts have all been independent. Not by complete choice, but I wonder if because I half know how to do it alone (kind of) I create a kind of false-bravado and tricks me into thinking “I can do it if I just do one more thing oh God I can do it just let me do it this time…”

Fill me in, internet! Tell me if you also experience this loop of self-doubt and self-loathing. Fill me in if you second-guess everything you do, as well! I am in need of vindication that this is normal. I would also like the heads-up if I need to seek a psychiatrist.

Hi! I’m back!

The last two months were some of the most difficult things for me. I found myself wanting to write all the words and give all the news!

I wanted to write, but I refused to not let myself have a break! You probably did notice at least one (or more) pieces of writing, but that was because I was stewing about it and had to get it out!

Otherwise, there was little to report on. There was one personal matter, but I always feel awkward talking about things that heavily impact my life, but also impacts those around me. So, somehow, I kept quiet about it!

I’m proud of me!

ANYWAY! New tier on Patreon that rewards people donating $8+ monthly! If you decide to do this, you get to dictate the major plot points and overall theme of an original story! The first one goes up on the first of next month from the amazing Martha. Mother of Katie, she has always been someone I look up to and highly respect. I just hope she likes what I wrote…

NowIAmDwellingOnThatAndTheAirIsGettingHeavy

ANYWAY!

Updates back to the usual. Thank you for still being there!

SOMETHING I SHOULD EXPLAIN!
I am removing the obligation to release a new ansP every month from the collective Patreon goals. I find it difficult enough to get a piece to a point that I am comfortable enough to release it as it is. I am not going to give myself such strict deadlines. Hopefully, this will keep the stories GOOD as opposed to plentiful.

My relationship with PodCasts

I was on a PodCast. You should listen to it.

I have this thing where I am on a PodCast, listen to it far too much, and figure out areas I wish I had elaborated. It is NEVER on the shoulders of who is producing the vessel because no one knows what I want to shed light onto and I NEVER push in the directions I want to.

What pulls me into this pattern of self destruction and criticism? Why is it that I cannot just be happy with what I am saying? I answer everything I can with clarity and honesty, so the idea of the me not saying something else in the narrative is unfair. If I really want to talk about these things that I feel people need to know, I need to push the conversation in that direction. I need to acknowledge that only I have the power to say what I want to say.

That brings me to why I have this blog. This is the medium where I can put whatever I want down, and the only arm of censorship that I have to worry about is my own and, MAYBE, the police.

I digress. I really wanted to ask if I avoided something accidentally that you wish I spoke about in the PodCast. Leave a note in the comments and I will respond with incredible haste.

I would like to take an opportunity to talk “Tell the Bartender” for having me on, as well as extend a massive thank you to Katherine Heller for having me on her who. I also have to say thank you to Katie Maz for the push to contact Katherine with my story.

Condescending

Many things can be taken the wrong way. Maybe you are just telling someone they look nice today, or truthfully saying that things went well. We live in a world where sarcasm and jest has ruined parts of language. This does not even mention context and inflection.

There is one term, however, that will always be condescending regardless of the context it is in.

“Baby steps!”

A term rarely meant in any capacity then that of recognition of accomplishment and a desire to commiserate with an individual, those two worlds illustrate a literal degradation of someones accomplishments.

I got a bit non-plused there. Let me start again.

The term baby steps is almost NEVER okay.In fact, I would only say that I agree with it when the phrase is being used literally or when you have extensive knowledge about what the person is dealing with.

I was talking to a member of the staff here at the apartment the other day.I mentioned how proud I was that I took four steps unassisted the other day. Her reply was “baby steps, right?” I frothed at the mouth as I wheeled from the office. How dare she trivialize what I accomplished?

Maybe I am taking it too far. I cannot release this feeling of my accomplishments being minimized. Baby steps, I realize, are supposed to illustrate that it is a long, argus road. I was proud of those steps! Furthermore, I am stupid proud of the fact that I can move my big toe independently of my other toes.There are so many little things that I am beside myself with a sense of accomplishment about, yet the phrase “baby steps” makes everything seem so much smaller than they might be.

Or, am I putting a bigger weight onto things that are not that exciting?

Am I just pissing into the wind? Or, to use another metaphor, making moutains of mole hills?

Anyway, tomorrow is five years that I have been… in this place? I am not quite sure how to put it: I got placed into my first chair in February 2014, but was basically a motionless ball of flesh before that. Still alive, but barely a footnote on most days. I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has been supportive. I also need to thank people who have refused to change anything for me: they make me strive to be better. I will have proper news for you tomorrow, and tomorrow is actually the aniverrsary of me waking up.