Normalize sadness

I posted a status on my Facebook that was a statement of fact. It was self-effacing, mildly depressing, but it was NOT a statement speaking of my mental placement at this moment.

The status was something to the idea that no one would notice if I died outside of me wishing them a happy birthday in my silly way that I do.

I didn’t pay much heed to the replies that I received outside of being touched. To be clear: I loved what everyone had to say. I love each and everyone of you.

It got me fixated on the fact that any negative statement results in people worrying if you are okay. The point of me doing the depressing update month is to bring light to that point. There are days where I, and I can only speak for me, find life too daunting to not say anything. Sometimes I feel like screaming into the abyss to NOT have it scream back.

Now, there are days where I want reassurance. I want to have people reach out and say something nice and to remind me that I am not alone in this horrible existence. It does not, necessarily mean that everything is too much that day. It might just be as simple as a lyric, or a quote taken way out of context.

Regardless, if you feel someone is posting about depressing things, don’t shame them for wanting attention. You don’t have to be the one to give it if you feel that it’s inappropriate. If you think that it’s completely unwarranted, ask before chastising.

Fun little thing about Facebook, in particular: you can unfollow someone without unfriending them. If you are offended by someone’s words, just do that. If you aren’t going to be nice, don’t be there at all. Don’t scream from the heavens that you don’t appreciate someone’s words, and don’t make them feel bad because there is a risk that it may be genuine. Yes, you might be a great friend. You might know that person is surrounded by fantastic people. You might even covet part of their existence.

Always remember: YOU AREN’T THAT PERSON.

They might be having a bad day that you know NOTHING about. They might be struggling with something that they don’t want to talk about. They might have undiagnosed or diagnosed depression and deal with everything in ways you cannot understand.

Just let them vent.
Let them be.
Be kind.

2020 in review

I am writing this restraining myself from just writing “HAHAHA YOU ARE ALMOST DONE” and leaving it at that.

In fact, I would argue that this year is one of the most important years in my life.

Yes, it was brought on by pain, but the BLM movement coupled with the worst pandemic in a very long time showed us the human strength. We saw an attempt of the rise of fascism* thwarted. We found a vaccine for the aforementioned pandemic developed in record times, though the long-term effects are still to be discovered.
*THIS IS MY OPINION

The main places that are going to be effected are the arts. There have been mass permanent closures of music venues, theaters are closing doors, and museums are vanishing (kind of). It is almost like an artistic reset. Some would argue that it was needed: the reset will force a change in industries that have dominated and destroyed avenues, resulting in a stifling of change. Most would agree that we will not see the change take hold until the future.

As of the time of writing this (December 17th), schools have been allowed to reopen in Ontario. I will not voice opinions on the matter: you can ask me directly on my FaceBook page if you are curious. Ontario has seen a spike in cases not seen since the first cases were identified on Western borders. Again, I will keep speculation out of this.

CyberPunk finally got released! I, personally, am not upset in regards to its performance on previous gen consoles, nor am I offended that we are still seeing issues almost a decade after its first announcement. The game is massive, complicated, and ground-breaking: issues should not be a surprise, and I have faith that CD Projekt Red will fix it eventually. Call me “the eternal optimist”, but fixing something as broken as it’s been reported would look amazing on them. Especially if they can do so without putting their employees through the dreaded “crunch” to complete it.

I did not explore many new releases this year, so I am not even going to pretend to do a rundown on new music that came out this year. I don’t even have a worthy opinion on new shows that came out, though I will probably release some sort of opinion regarding the new Archer season in the coming weeks.

Anyway, I will close with a “FUCK YOU, 2020!” because, even though I consider it a very important year, it still sucked. Here’s to the hope that 2021 is less abusive.

Holy Something Inappropriate!

I actually hit the mark I wanted to hit!

I have 200 WordPress followers!

Yes: a good portion of those are probably bots or spam, I am well aware of that. Some of them are actual people! Some of them are fantastic people!

Some of them I should really converse more with; alas, I’m a shy bastard.

ANYWAY!

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

almost there…

I’m not going to lie: this post is kind of being written to push my numbers over an edge. If I get 60ish people to read this, I have had my best year since 2016!

I must say, I am super proud of what I have done here. In five years, I have written over 176 thousand words, and have had over 18 thousand views. I started writing this to get my story out, and have let the posts evolve into a self-gratifying mess that people still enjoy reading for some reason. I have written two and-a-half books, and am working on the next one. I have 197 wordpress followers, and hope to hit 200 by the new year. I have 170 followers on my FaceBook page, and 12 on my YouTube channel (that I have only started posting to with some regularity).

My point being that this decade has sucked, brutally, when it comes to my being. The major plus side is that it has been amazing to grow in other ways. I hope that the next decade could be even marginally better, though I have plans to make my next year better than this decade was, and nothing you say or do can stop me from trying.

As mentioned, I have a new book being written, and my plan is to have it done by mid next year. I have tried the independent release thing, and I was not successful at it. I’m not regretting the release of You’re Not Dead, but it really did not even break even. AS I type this, I received a notification that I was charged for pressing renewal, and in spite of being doubled in length, it did not even break even with last years renewal.

I have been kind of writing the next podcast. I have to backtrack and further explain some things, but I think it will be worth the confusion. I am going to link the last two together in a more cohesive structure.

Anyway, I plan on making this my last update for the year. So Happy Holidays! I love you all! Tell your friends to come say hi! Depress someone, buy my book! I will write to you again in the new year!

Patreon Update

I cleaned up the Patreon (clink that link to consider helping out) site as much as I could. No new categories were added, but I removed the redundant ones.

Keep in mind: you still get a place in the “Thank You” section of the end of my book for continued support. I am not going to say when the new book will be done, but I have given the three chapters to a couple of friends of mine for opinions. They see where I am going with it, and are rather excited to see where it goes*.

*Their words, not mine.

Why I write about music.

I am very certain I have written about this topic before, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to search through hundreds of self-indulgent words mixed in with only a small amount of importance.

First and foremost; I think music is THE most important thing in life. I realize that you cannot consume it for nutrients, therefore it can be argued that food is the most important. This is MY blog and I will make my sweeping statements that cannot be backed up in anyway!

AHEM: I make that claim trying to keep my past out of the equation. It’s not a secret that I spent more than a decade working very closely with the music industry. Hell, I worked at a record store for seven years. I was playing on albums and playing shows since 2005. I produced a few albums and EP’s. I have almost 40 days worth of music sitting on my hard drive. I ran a record label. I review albums because it’s fun and I think I don’t suck at it…

So, why put music above everything?

It’s the one medium that collaborates every aspect of the arts while being recognized by every single culture.

What about the deaf?
They can feel beats and rhythm, and can even tap out an approximate flow if they can focus on the direction of the metre. As far as writing guitar or piano, if they know their music theory, they can easily do that. Not to mention that, if they went deaf later in life, they can probably remember things that sound good together.

Now, to elaborate on my claim about combining every art. To combine poetry and music seems like a simple task, but after watching others do it for years, I now can confirm that it is not as easy as one might think initially. You need to keep flow and metre in mind, as well as emotional weight and emphasis. That’s two of the arts down.

Let’s keep going.

Album art takes care of the visual arts, on the surface and immediate level, anyway. Again, I ran (a very bad and unprofessional) record label for years. Visual representation does generate sales, as shallow as that sounds.. If the album cover is appealing, people are more likely to pick it up. I am under the impression that is why vinyl came back in a large way: the larger cover plus the appeal of having something tangible.

(That’s what drew me in, anyway.)

Let us not forget music and lyric videos. Though music videos have kind of shrank in importance, the few that come out can greatly add OR detract from the appeal of the music. Lyric videos are huge.

Stage performance is a kind of acting. Even the “roots” acts one may see have cultivated that image, whether it be intentional or not. I have played with many acts who (consciously or subconsciously) do a full change when they go on stage. As a musician, you learn to play off the crowd expectation. That could be reactions to a previous move you make, or observations on how the other acts that evening maintain the attention of the masses.

So, after explaining all of this: let’s get back to the initial question of why I write about music so often!

  1. I love everything about music. The concept, the sound, the feel… Every part of music makes everything in my life have context, and it’s very hard for me to go a day without thinking critically about it in some way.
  2. I think that it is important. Whether it is in regards to mental or physical healing, the effects that it has on a being cannot be ignored. I cannot be bothered to source all the facts I know, so I’ll just bring up the emotional well-being it brings myself. I know that music makes me happier, and therefore I try to do things in life. Without music, I would have little context for waking up in the morning.
  3. I’m good at it. Well, I think I’m good at it. I at least find it fun to do, and if you don’t like it, stop reading my blog.

With all of this said, if there is a topic that you would like me to explore in further depth, please get hold of me somehow. I have been contacted by .no funeral. records to examine a few of their releases, and I am excited to roll those out over the next bit.

Let’s do more!

I have been contemplating what else to do outside of writing and producing. I have considered bolstering my YouTube channel, but that would feel forced. I am currently working on a new book, so writing a screenplay on the side seems a bit cumbersome. I cannot draw, and really do not have an urge to learn.

This is the conundrum that I find myself in: I feel like I should be doing more in the arts, but I have no idea where to put my effort into. Even worse, I hate everything I do even when I am told it’s okay. Hating everything you do is kind of the “artist-dilemma” though. I have yet to meet anyone doing anything involving some sort of art who thinks that their work is greater-than-par. I have met a few who think that they are hitting a new niche, which is cool.

I just keep holding out that Hannah will give me new Chance Procedure things to work on. I made that video for Patient Zero a while ago, and I have an itch to make that a full song. I have been in studio enough to know that you have to be prepared, so I’m not pushing as hard as I could.

Oh! Interesting fact; my old singer (Rahib) just had his birthday! I don’t know why I had an urge to share that on this blog, but there it is! He’s 30, so he is 15 days older than my little brother.

Side note: have you picked up the latest version of my book? It’s almost 3X larger, more grammatically correct, and (I might be biased, but) WAY better. I mean, it’s 1230298341X more depressing, but WAY better. Amazon finally updated some shit, though it’s still awkward to navigate. I have done everything I can on my end to make it easier. Review comes out soon, I hope!

International Wheelchair Day?

Did you know that there is an International Wheelchair Day on the first of March? I had no idea. I have things to say on the matter:

Yes, I do think it’s a good thing to have. It reminds people that there are some of us in a wheelchair. There are a lot of us, for sure. However, there is a very small percent of the world population. I feel like pointing out that fact may create a social backlash revoking some accessibility actions.

I would love to be proven wrong. I want the world to be accessible. Not even for me, but for everyone. Let’s face it: who doesn’t love being able to reach things on a top shelf? Who wouldn’t benefit from lighter, more accessible doors? I am not saying that a ramp into every location is nessissary, but not having access to even a temporary one, is just selfish at this point.

I am not going to go out of my way to make an issue at every place I go if they are not accessible. That’s not my job, and it is too large of an issue to put on one person. I am going to scream into the internet and point out just how STUPID it is when things aren’t. If you are a store, you are cutting yourselves off of a potential source of revenue.

I went on a rant a few months ago over on Twitter about how stupid it is when companies brag about having accessible parking now, only because not having it stunts any potential client growth, but now I am going to leave this here as a point of rally for people with disabilities of all sorts to raise their voices. I know that there are some things that are impossible to plan for, but at least companies should try. Just try.

Wow: got sidetracked there. My initial point was how I didn’t know International Wheelchair Day was a thing. I blame society. Yep. Point finally concluded.

A bear on a wire

I am kind of disturbed at how people seem to be loosing their minds over the whole isolation bit. I haven’t left the house for more than an hour in a year. It’s been several months since I went out and about, and I have packages to send. (sorrykatilldoitsoon)

Anyway, I went over all that recently. I am mostly writing as a reminder that I released a book a few weeks ago. Of course, I still have issues with Amazon dot com, but I hope to have all of that resolved next week. On that note, I have said “next week” about this issue for the last month or so. I hope that I am right this time.

In the meantime, the Friessen Press bookstore is a great way to get the book. They have pressing locations in Europe and the United States (on top of Canada), and it ensures that the most recent pressing gets delivered. It also delivers in arguably (I hear, though I haven’t done ordering for obvious reasons) the best time frame.

New asnP on the first, and the one after that is written. The next one is my usual format, but the one after is a poem/kids story. I am excited to hear what people think of both of them.

What is a “Friend”?

Let us consider what a friend truly is, because I think the internet has distorted the definition greatly. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, just a fact.

The Google definition is fun, if kind of vague. The idea of a friend being someone you know is a bit, well, bleak. I have plenty of people that I consider friends whom I have never and will never meet. We met online, and continue to speak online. I guess you could argue that we know each other mentally, and have no regard for physical appearance. I also know many people who consider me a friend that I have not spoken to in years. Some of which, and I hope no one gets offended by this concept, I would no longer like. This does not change that I would happily tell someone they are a “friend” if the topic gets brought up.

So, if someone says they have no friends, do they mean that literally? I was in a conversation with someone that I consider a sister, and she stated the harrowing fact that she “has no friends.” My reply was asking what I am. She then tried to reverse what she was saying, very non-gracefully. Eventually, she had to change her definition to “no friends around me” which is a point that I was in no position to argue. We do live over an hour apart, and I haven’t spent time with her in over a year.

I shouldn’t bitch. I played in bands for about a decade. I played hundreds of shows and in front of thousands of people. I have gone to cities not knowing anyone, and stayed the night at a random persons house surrounded by dozens of people. In the end of those events, I am guilty for going on a self-pitting rant about how I do not have any friends.

If even in situations when surrounded by people I can feel alone and hollow, what is a friend? I have had more important and impactful conversations with people I have never (and, most likely, will never) meet.

So, I raise the question: What is a friend?

I contend a rather sterile answer. What if friends are who we need at that moment? What if they are who we can categorize as a friend, and not actually “a friend”? That would alleviate the social pressure to be the classical definition of a friend. I cannot promise that this plan would fix much, or even should be considered, but I ask that it should be contemplated.

We all need to relieve the pressure to have a friend. We all need to stop changing ourselves to be a friend.