~Rather interesting date.

I have been told repeatedly by my parents that this day five years ago was when I first regained consciousness after my coma. Life support was pulled on the 12th. I just thought I would share that bit of information.

To anyone keeping track, this marks five years and eight days since I last died.

I started to write this post hoping that I would come up with some humours take on the whole thing. I guess I am sorry that you are stuck with me a bit longer?

So, my ending will simply be enjoyment of my fourth cup of coffee, cuddling with one of my six animals, and continued pensive waiting for my wife to come home from work. All the while, I will continue muscle training and walking practice.

***

I did a phone interview for Tell the Bartender PodCast. The release for the PodCast is soon, but I will post a reminder for that when it comes to the date in a week.

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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.

*crying intensifies*

The benefit of having a birthday when I do, is that I can use it as a kind of marker for when I should stop making content and start focusing on the season. Yes: this is my polite way of saying that I will not be making any more posts on this site until the new year.

I will still be putting You’re Not Dead ch. 2 up for December first.

I also promise to write something for Margaret before the new year. She requested an idea for a story that will take some time to research and orchestrate. I will post that in the new year (probably February) and it will be amazing.

I will be updating November twelfth (tomorrow), twentieth and December 25th. I will return January ninth with a recap of the past year. I have ideas for an album review, as well as I need to finish that short story that I was prompted for by Martha. I hope I can make that dream come to reality. I really like what I have in mind.

I love you.

Also, do not forget to take a moment of silence for the fallen soldiers of World War 1 & 2 today. I cannot bring myself to care about most events, but I always make sure to do at least that much.

You’re Not Dead version 2

I have noticed myself having a hard time accepting that people can do obvious things, such as walking. It’s probably just because I have spent damn near a sixth of my life in a wheelchair.

Oh yeah: that’s a thing. I have been in the chair for five years as of the 30th. Well, at least unable to walk. I guess it could be argued that I first used a wheelchair in February when I went to that aquarium in Toronto, and had done nothing by lie in bed for four months.

ANYWAY.

My point is more that, as people get make assumptions towards things I can do, I find myself surprised at what they can do. My wife and I have been apartment searching as of late, and our search has been limited due to steps to the door with no wheelchair access available. I forget that people do not have to be concerned with things like that. I forget that even a flight of stairs that travels up one story of a building is of no consequence to an abled. The threshold can be up a foot because people have knees and are able to get up that no problem.

I have a similar, but not as extreme, issue with the apartment I am in right now. There is a CM-high lip to get into my unit. I am able to get over it no issue usually, but it does create a challenge in the event I am carrying groceries, laundry, or packages.

On the flip-side, so I do not always bitch and complain how hard life is, watching someone who does not use a wheelchair try to do ANYTHING is the funniest thing ever. Everyone knows you push the wheels and propel the wheel, but there is almost always a moment of confusion that casts over faces whenever an able bodied person gets into a wheelchair for the first time.

AND GOD FORBID YOU COAX THEM INTO SOMETHING MORE COMPLICATED!

Anyone who has spent a few hours with me knows that I love to pull wheelies. Just stationary ones, and even then I am far from impressive. I THOUGHT. My dad tried to pull one after fixing my breaks up one day and fell backwards instantly. I had to hide my face because I could not hide the smirk that traveled across my face.

In anewsinPublication news, people who sign up on Patreon before the month is out at $3 or more are promised a copy of the revised and updated You’re Not Dead.
WITH THAT SAID:
I am still working on fixing all the things I placed awkwardly in the pages of that book. I have already added several pages by just explaining things properly. Who knew that if you write things well, they turn out decent?

ANYWAY: Next month I am releasing the first chapter as the ansP release. I will not be sending the Patreons anything until the book is done, and then they will get the book in its entirety.

Update Time!!!

I usually write blog posts by Monday and have short stories lined up for at least a month. For the first time in a long time, I find myself with a totally empty cue. That is not because I am lazy, but because I find myself with too much in my mind to make a coherent post.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. I refuse to leave you hanging for another week while I sort out my personal life and try to find even a stand of something interesting. Therefore, I am writing this! Is that not super exciting? I know you are having a hard time containing your sounds of enthusiasm and glee.

Know what? I’m just going to put the developments that have come, in rapid succession, over the last week.

  1. I found a new way to step! To make it more exciting: I KNOW THAT IT IS THE RIGHT WAY! I have been walking with my knees locked for the last year. I knew it was wrong, but I could make it KIND OF work for the few steps that I needed to complete when using the washroom or going to bed. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A BEND IN YOUR KNEE WHEN YOU STAND?!?!?!? I did not. It seemed counter-intuitive to me. Why, when you are trying to stand, would you bend your knee? What is this magic?! Then, my wife mocked me for stepping like a pirate who has seen better days and explained the mechanics of the leg further than anyone has explained them in the past. Please keep in mind: she was a parapoligic for about a year and re=learned how to walk herself, so she is allowed to make fun of me. Well, let’s be frank, anyone can make fun of me so long as I know that it is in jest. I digress, I can now take a couple of more steps. Still no where near not needing the chair for open spaces, but things feel a little more comfortable AND I feel less silly. Oh, and my knees no longer feel like they are going to explode out of my flesh. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
  2. AMAZON REJECTED ME! By that, I mean the thing I was trying out. If I want to be paid by Amazon for advertising for them, I have to collect sales in my first “X” days. A fair number of them. In a reality that surprises NO ONE: I didn’t even get clicks for the links that I had made available to the public. I do understand Amazon’s wish the govern this, seeing as they already have thousands of people advertising for them. This increases the importance of devices like Patreon to make sure that I can keep doing this. I love writing, and I am always trying to find new avenues to do it. So far, the short stories are going well, and people seem to enjoy them. At least, they do to my “face.” WHAT A GREAT SEGUE INTO POINT THREE! segue is a stupid word.
  3. Story three is taking a lot longer than I wanted it to. I wanted to write something completely original. Like I mentioned in a recent post, I want to dissect and rewrite an old story idea I had originally come up with over ten years ago. In trying to do that, I have come up with literally HUNDREDS of premisses and intro paragraphs. All of which I get so far, then they fall apart. I have written most of them down in a document so I have them in case I need them later, but I am feeling the heat as I want to have the Patreon supporters their copy in just over a week from today.

So, yeah. See how not one of these points are longer than a few lines? Each would make a good blog entry if I could expand it further than just a few lines. I prefir to keep things at more than just a thought or two, though I do realize how just one thought would make things easier to follow.

DAMN MY MIND. BACK TO THE GRIND.

heh… that rhymed.
And so did that…

I Despise Steps.

I have been putting a lot of thought into what exactly helped me become (somewhat) adapt at using my chair. I still vividly remember the first few solo voyages being one of the most terrifying experiences in my life. The feeling of a complete loss of control is not a feeling you forget easily.

I hate to be that guy, but using a chair is definitely just that 2-syllable word that has fucked up many across generations: PRACTICE. I went from using an electric chair to a manual one, and that transition was, for lack of a huge backstory, easy. The power one obviously used less effort and was great when I was quadriplegic, but the manual chair is just so… so… Well, the power chair weighed 175KG and my current chair, while it does not fold, weighs 25. I guess the word I was trying to avoid is CONVENIENT. That word paints such a distorted image, so please allow me a moment to explain.

A power chair is great if you need it. If you have no use of your upper body, or are primarily on your own, they make navigating the world effortless. Learning from a power wheelchair was also handy, for me, anyway, because it allowed my body to get used to a different type of movement.

A wheelchair is very different to a car. A car you know that you are moving, but if it was not for the windows, your moving at such a high pace that everything seems gradual. Almost as if it is motion you are meant to be going at. The driver is (hopefully) always in control and, yes it would be a bad idea, you can bail out whenever you feel like it. Riding a bike is similar to a car from the standpoint that it is intentional, yet chosen.

A better comparison for a chair is a skateboard. You can control the movement, speed, and trajectory. However, it is a lot of fuckin’ work, things can mess with the flow you have going very easily.

Take going down that hill in your hometown: smooth in a car or on a bike, but it would not be great if you were on a skate or longboard. If you hit the crack the wrong way, you hit the ground.

Okay… that may have been too extreme of an example. It does work, in a strange way. The attraction to a skate/longboard is the perceived control coupled with immense speed. It does not change the fact that one mistake ends the fun very quickly and causes immense amounts of pain.

The hardest thing to let go of is something that I struggle with to this day. The ability to let go of all control and let someone else move the chair. As mentioned, my Wife and I recently went to Canada’s Wonderland. That place is huge. She had to push me a total of three times, and she had to talk me down from protesting through beads of sweat and clouds of dust a total of ten times: more than she did push.

Now, to make it clear: I am not a man full of pride and arrogance. There is just something innately dehumanizing about the practice of pushing someone who does not need it, and to accept that you need it is similar to admitting defeat.

I have heard people complaining about walking with someone in a chair that it is slow, but one has to remember that for every step you take, I take two. I may not be walking, but I am pushing with both arms. Really, that is truly where the electric wheelchair is fantastic: going out and about. There are also power assist wheels that just give a small boost to the user to make everything easier, but those are bloody expensive.

While doing the limited research I had to do for this piece, I came across the video. Cheesy at times, but very fascinating!

Do you have tips or tricks for using a chair? Please, pass them along! Leave a note in the comments!

*******

ansP News

I have the next two months worth of stories written. The Patreon’s who have set up payment of $3 a month get a PDF copy as of yesterday. Check your e-mail. If you have not received your copy and you were supposed to, let me know

******

No Amazon stuff this week. Instead, check out this live stream of really chill beats I found.

Again?

Guess what happened this week?

WE BLEW ANOTHER FUSE IN THE APARTMENT!

I would not find this SO bothersome except that the chart showing which fuse is for what is so worn out that I have a better time reading Mandarin than I do trying to figure out what the fuck I am doing.

I had an interesting idea for a post! I don’t have time to get it all ready before this goes live, so it will have to wait a week. Though not research heavy, I want to make sure that I get my facts correct. I also plan on garnishing a few opinions from the wheelchair community. This way, if my writings are wrong, I cannot take full blame!

So, yeah: be on the up-and-up for that next week.

In case, for whatever fucking reason, you want to help: the topic will be on learning to move in a wheelchair. Leave me a comment, and we’ll talk. I have some metaphors and tips lined up.

I am going to take advantage of this post to gush about my favourite EP. “Everywhere and his Nasty Parlour Tricks” is one of Modest Mouse’s many EPs that they have released over their long career. This particular one came out in 2001, just before “Good News for People Who Love Bad News.” It feels like it. All of the floaty guitar lines and strange, yet horribly brilliant, lyrics. It was so close at hitting my top list that I published a while ago

I have been asked why I don’t link the albums/books I am talking about, but funny story: I DO! The image below the post (and above this explanation) is a link for the Amazon page for the item in question. Usually, it is right to the Amazon store page. Sometimes I can only find an independent seller. Anyway, I am sorry to get so condescending about this, I just wanted to put the explanation somewhere to quell any further inquisitions.