Five Problems with Social Media
- Grammar and spelling. It wasn’t, and generally still isn’t, that evident on social media sites like LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, but social media sites that limit the size of posts have the unfortunate side-effect of encouraging people to make spelling and grammatical shortcuts, in order to get the most bang for their posting buck. Twitter, I’m looking at you, here. Sadly, it’s beginning to bleed over into “real life” writing habits, breeding a new generation of illiterate morons who will spell wait as w8, even when they have no word or character limits.
- Keyboard Warriors. Not everything on Earth or in the virtual world is a fucking trigger. Get over yourselves and stop making everyone who is unfortunate enough to attract your attention miserable.
- Selfies. We’ve all made them, yes. But you don’t have to make them every day, much less more frequently. Instagram has got to be the best thing to happen for narcissists, and the worst thing to happen for everyone else, in the history of Teh Intarwebz.
- Emojis. This kinda ties in with #1. On many social media sites, you don’t have to use words to express how you’re feeling anymore. You need only post an image of a thing with a face that best represents you at that moment. Even though it comes in handy, when you don’t have the ability to say “I’m feeling a little sniffly right now. I may be coming down with a cold”, when you are able to write out how you’re feeling, using emojis so much may dull your ability to go beyond adding what is essentially a cave painting to a message board.
- Lack of Fact-Checking. I’m guilty of this just as much as anyone else, even though I try to be as attentive as possible. In a world where anyone can claim they are a journalist, and images can so easily be manipulated, you really can’t completely trust anything you see, especially on social media. The problem is exacerbated by people blindly reposting misinformation, based solely on the headline, often without even reading the article itself, much less double checking what’s being reported.
Last Tuesday, I officially ended an almost 30-year friendship that unofficially ended when I was thrown into grief over losing Aunt Tudi. It would seem that suicidal depression and self-isolation clears the room every damned time. I’m not saying anything further about it, because there’s nothing more to say, except for one thing. The friendship could often be very toxic but, because of who we were and how we were treated before we met, the two of us always ended up back together. It won’t happen this time. There are too many miles, tears, and life-changes between us now. I will miss him but, honestly, I’ve been missing him since he moved across the country back in the 90s. It’s time to accept the inevitable.
In other loss news, I’m still reeling over the death of Prince. From the moment I heard and saw him in the Controversy video, I was in love with his music and in lust with him. From 1981 until his death, that never changed, and it never will. After so many losses of beloved musicians so far this year (fuck you, 2016. fuck you hard.), I’m pretty much walking around in a combination of stunned grief and abject fear. Why the fear? Well, there’s Shriekback, Barry Andrews and Carl Marsh in particular, with whom I’ve developed a good friendship/acquaintance and a fine working relationship over the years. Then there’s Jeff Lynne, who’s resurrected ELO I’m supposed to finally get to see in concert after ages of dreaming. If any of them passES this year, I’m going to lose my fucking shit. I’m not exaggerating here. I can barely handle thinking and writing about it.
Whitley Strieber is now channeling his dead wife Anne and, if you subscribe to Dreamland (the portion of Unknown Country people have to pay for [I almost subscribed years ago!]), you can learn more about her messages from beyond. I can't decide if he's completed his journey to the Cuckoo's Nest, having lost the woman he so clearly adored, or if he's ramped up his charlatan side and decided to steal a little thunder from the likes of John Edward. At any rate, when someone starts claiming that they're talking to the dead, or having the dead talk through them, my respect for them is gravely damaged. I've always supported Whitley Strieber, even when what he's saying borders on kooky. I believe he experienced something and that the Greys were involved. 'Communion' touched me in ways I can't even properly express in written or spoken language. But this "my dead wife is imparting great wisdom through me" schtick is going a bit too far, even for me.
The last time I lived in Asheville, the year was 1981. What’s so odd is, I’m more homesick now than I have been in the 35 years I’ve been gone. Last night, I browsed images of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Craggy Gardens and Craggy Dome in particular, since that’s where Aunt Tudi’s and Granny’s ashes are scattered.
I don’t know why I do shit like that to myself. I know it’s only going to serve to make me feel like someone has patiently and carefully picked out my solar plexus with a dull spork, yet I do it all the same. I posted some of the pics I found on Facebook last night, and the response they received was as I expected: awe and wonder on behalf of those who took the time to take a gander.
And that is how it should be. The sights available on the Blue Ridge Parkway are a feast for both the eyes and the soul. Add to the mix the deep connectedness of loved ones whose last physical presence was designated to be amongst the rhododendrons and Faerie structures partially hidden in the silent mists of the Smoky Mountains, and you have yourself a perfect recipe for mental chest-clenching and a losing battle with that giant lump in your throat.
I haven’t been able to suss why I’m more homesick now than I was just a year ago until now. I believe it’s because, even though I’ve been gone from Asheville for decades, I still had the comfort of being able to visit at least every once in a while. I no longer have that option. Asheville is almost 2500 miles away from me now, a far cry from the 75 measly miles that separated Duncan and the Land O’Sky. Even when I could no longer drive, I still had more of a chance and opportunity to return home and visit Craggy Gardens.
Now, that lifeline has been severed. I really am a stranger in a strange land. That said, I have decided on something just today: in the very slim chance the Mother Unit passes before I do, I'm going home. I'm certainly not staying in San Diego with Matt. I know he'd be as dead set against such an arrangement as I obviously am.
A Facebook friend and fellow hedge Witch, Granny Kate, posted a link to an independent movie project called Asheville: The Movie. Here’s a little bit on the story. Click the image at the top of this post to read more about that and the company instrumental in making the film a reality.
A story about a young man’s journey into the cultural creative world of Asheville, NC. John Craft is a middleclass community college student from the Midwest who is studying business to prepare for a career in his father’s paper company. He hears about a free spirited town in the North Carolina Mountains called Asheville. It is where the new age/indigo people of America are going and John wants to check it out before settling into a life of running the family business.
After a series of coincidental messages, John packs up and heads to this conscious town in the land of the Cherokee. When he arrives he finds himself at the Friday Night Drum Circle. A young raven haired free spirited girl name Star Seed, pulls him out on the dance floor and after some exotic inspiration, influences John to let loose and join in the tribal festivities.
John is invited by Star Seed to stay at a community house called “The Vortex”, where he meets 10 eclectic young adults and one wise elder who shows him the way of “Fully Living and Being Aware.” The house is full of unique characters who each share their passions and metaphysical/progressive beliefs.
Ayahuasca even plays into the film’s plot, which is monumental, considering I’ve been doing extensive research on that and DMT and their potential to help heal psychologically and spiritually broken people like myself. Yet another one of those inescapable interludes of synchronicity.
The film is currently in production. I’ve saved the webpage so I can keep up on its progress and when/if I’ll get to screen it. This is definitely a must-see in Tin’s World.
In other news, I stumbled across a picture of
Adolf Hitler Donald Trump that reminded me of a cute puppy I’d seen before. I’m not saying Drumpf is cute, because he’s not. He never has been, never will be, and he needs to have that orange thing he calls a face removed by an industrial belt sander, but the resemblance in expression is eerie. Judge for yourself.
One final word about home, here are some of the images of Craggy Gardens I posted on Facebook last night. To see the larger image, just click on the ones here. If you aren’t spiritually moved by the supernatural beauty of found in these photographs, you might want to see a psychiatrist.
After the past 36 hours of pining for Asheville, North Carolina, like never before, one thing is certain:
I NEED TO GO HOME.
Why do people ask you to pray for them or others who have lost a loved one to death? What good does it do? It’s not going to bring the person back. It won’t comfort any of the living, unless they’re delusional, which may be a good thing. Being delusional during a time of great loss can ease the pain because you’re fucking delusional. But prayer isn’t going to do shit for anyone. God isn’t going to speak to anyone, except for the ones who stopped their meds during this time of grief. It probably doesn’t exist and, in the slim chance it does, it’s too busy inspiring other delusional fuckers to oppress and kill their fellow Earthlings.
Fuck that noise.
How many times did people say to me “I’ll pray for you” after Aunt Tudi died? A lot of them, the Christians and xtians mainly, didn’t even ask for permission. They just told me how it was going to be, whether I liked it or not. Thanks for the support, assholes. I got to where I was pretty aggressive about telling them, “no you won’t. I don’t want your prayers. I don’t want anything like that, and I don’t give you permission to speak to your imaginary friend on my behalf. You’re not my representative. If you were, I’d ask you tell your pal in the sky to go fuck itself.”
Yes, I’m still angry about it. Every time I see someone make a prayer request for someone who’s suffered the death of a friend or family member, it makes me want to take a sledge hammer to anything that will break under the weight of my rage.
I don’t want to hear how everything happens for a reason and that god is good. I didn’t in 2011 and I still don’t. Keep your Wiccan candle-lighting and “in Jesus’ name”’s away from me. I don’t require sitting shiva, nor do I need any petitions to Allah on my behalf. The same goes for any other religion, god, prayer, or rattle-shaking.
Someone has died. No one will ever speak to them again. The ones who feel the pain the most don’t need the condescending clichés that infect our modern grieving process. In my case, and in many others’ if they’d be honest, it just makes things a thousand times worse. When you’re grieving, you don’t hear god. All you hear is the buzzing drone of inconsolability. If you’re too selfish in your personal beliefs to respect that, and still feel compelled to bring a deity into the mix, then fuck you, get out of my life.
The faithful condemn, they condone persecution,
as the suicides plummet with nowhere to turn.
For, if Christ cannot love them, then why should they live?
And, if God won't accept them, then they'll just have to burn.
There is only one faith and one road to be traveled,
which leads to that mountain where Man may find love.
But there's only a handful of rich men and preacher men
Able to lie and reach Heaven above.
So the suicides have to be burning in Hell now
and those of us left are just souls lost in sin.
And we're told by the faithful how evil we are
and that we must give them money to be born again.
But I can't help but think that, if Christ came to Earth now,
a pauper, hippie, a heretic man,
the faithful who worship him would crown him with thorns again,
call him a sinner and drive nails in his hands.
And we who have wandered a world without meaning
would find there a martyr who, for us, his life lost,
then our children will reign in some bigoted future
and impale the same outcast on the hypocrites' cross.
©Tracy A. Evans / 31 August, 1990
I haven’t done one of these in about 10,000 years, so let’s get this show on the road.
1. Full name: Tracy Angelina Evans
2. Nicknames: Tin, Tinhuviel, George, Darth Shriek
3. Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina USA
4. Birthday: 10 September, 1967
5. Where Do You Live Now?: San Diego, California
6. Parent(s): Father Unit has passed. Mother Unit is here in San Diego.
7. Sibling(s): ZERO
8. Looks: Better off invisible.
9. Favourite Animal(s): Anything non-human, except for millipedes and centipedes. Like humans, they can go fuck themselves.
10. Favorite TV Show(s): Impractical Jokers, Better Call Saul
11. Favorite Kind(s) Of Music: Most everything but Country and Opera.
12. Favorite Movie(s): Sci-Fi, Unusual, Conceptual, Foreign
13. School: Some college, focusing on English and Veterinary Assistance
14. Future School: I’m too old for this question. The Chapel Perilous
15. Future Job: Testing new, effective sleep aids.
16. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: nah
17. Best Buds: I’m a bit of a hermit these days.
18. Favorite Candy: Milk Dud
19. Hobbies: Music, reading, writing
20. Things You Collect: Grudges, CDs, movies, moments in time.
21. Do You Have A Personal Phone Line: Yes
22. Favorite Body Part Of The Opposite Sex? The eyes and brain
23. Any Tattoos And Where Of What?: Red & Black Triskele on right hand, Green Shriekback logo on left hand, Mwanza Flat-headed Agama with green and blue hues instead of pinkish and blue.
24. Piercing(s) And Where?: not anymore
25. What Do You Sleep in?: clothing
26. Do you like Chain Letters: aw HELL NAW.
27. Best Advice: Reality is peripheral.
28. Favorite Quotes: Hope for the best, expect the worst. - Mel Brooks.
29. Non-sport Activity You Enjoy: sleep
30. Dream Car: A transporter
31. Favorite Thing To Do In Spring: Avoid the sun.
32. What’s Your Bedtime: Whenever I’m lucky.
33. Where Do You Shop: Wherever I can.
34. Coke or Pepsi: Cheerwine
35. Favorite Thing(s) To Wear?: Something loose that will allow me to blend into my surroundings.
36. Favorite Subject(s) In School: English and Creative Writing
37. Favorite Color(s): Green, Red, Black
38. Favorite People To Talk To Online: People with brains and a wicked sense of humour that has set them on the road to Hell.
39. Root-Beer or Dr. Pepper? Root beer
40. Do You Shave? I’m too old for that bullshit.
41. Favorite Vacation Spot(s): I don’t do vacations. My favourite place to BE is England.
42. Favorite Family Member(s): Smidgen
43. Did You Eat Paint Chips When You Were a Kid? WHAT?
44. Favorite CD you own: Currently Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback
45. The ONE Person Who You Hate The Most: Going with an old standard here and saying Pat Robertson.
46. Favorite Food(s)?: Potatoes
47. Who Is The Hottest Guy or Girl In The World?: I have a very short list.
48. What Is Your Favorite Salad Dressing?: Bleu Cheese.
49. When You Die, Do You Wanna Be Buried or Burned Into Ashes? I don’t care, as long as I end up on Craggy Dome.
50. Do You Believe In Aliens?: Absolutely.
51. If You Had The Chance To Professionally Do Something, What would You Do? I’m already a Professional Misanthropist.
52. Things You Obsess Over: Various artists, ideas, philosophies, theories, general weirdness
53. Favorite Day of the Week: Don’t bloody care.
54. An Authority Figure You Hate: The Feudal Mistress still tops the list.
55. Favorite Disney Movie: Bambi
56. What Is Your Favorite Season? Winter
57. What Toppings Do You Like On Your pizza? Cheese, with extra cheese, and cheese on the side.
58. Do You Like Your School Food Itself (As In The District Food): I never ate it.
59. If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live? Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
60. Favorite Thing(s) To Do On Weekends: Sleep, if I can accomplish it.
61. Favorite Magazine(s): Don’t have one.
62. Favorite Flower(s): White rose
63. Favorite Number(s): 5
64. Favorite Ice Cream flavor(s): Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy
65. What Kind of Guys/Girls Are You Attracted to?: Dangerously intelligent, beautiful, talented, and hilarious.
66. What’s Your Most Embarrassing Moment? I inadvertently introduced myself to someone as his wife.
67. If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself What Would It be? I would be fearless.
68. Do You Eat Breakfast First Then Brush Your Teeth or Brush first ten eat breakfast: breakfast first.
69. Favorite Time of Day: Whenever I get to sleep.
70. Can A Guy and Girl Be Just “Best Friends?”: Why not?
71. Do You Ask The Girl/Guy Out Or Do You Wait For Them To Come To You?: I don’t go there anymore.
72. Do You Mind Paying For Sex? I never would.
73. What’s The Most Important thing In Someone’s Personality: Sentience
74. Do you have a pager or cell phone? Cell
75. Favorite Sport: Flambodious Butt-walking
76. What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received? Love
77. How Long Did This Letter Take You To Finish?: Not very long.
78. What Did You Listen To While Completing It?: Electric Light Orchestra’s Alone in the Universe.
79. Are you or would you like to be married in the near future (next 5 years)? NEGATIVE
80. Don’t u just hate how psychics never win the lottery? I hate it more than I don’t win the lottery. I hate psychics, especially the ones who claim to talk to your dead relatives. They’re grifters who should be drawn and quartered. The End.
Today was doctor day. I went to see Dr. Harrington at 11 and my new primary care physician at 2:30. In between appointments, I slummed at Starbucks and surfed the Internet, but only after I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and fell, seemingly to my death, only for the sidewalk to catch me - and my computer! Thankfully, the comp wasn’t damaged.
Anyone who tends to be mega-clumsy, has seizures, or is prone to passing out, needs to switch to the Mac because their computers are tough as fucking nails.
Anyway, I hadn’t seen Dr. Harrington since September. It was my intention not to really get into anything, just get my prescriptions refilled, and be on my way. Considering I’d just gone through another horribleday without Aunt Tudi, I wasn’t in the mood to rehash crap. Somehow, though, he got me to talking about when the Parental Units broke up and what happened with me in the immediate aftermath. I’m tired of talking about that. When I go back to him, in July, I’m not walking down that road again. There’s no reason to go there.
The new doctor was very thorough and took his time. He concluded what I already had, that I had acute bronchitis. I’m on a 5-day regimen of prednisone, and he wants to see me again on Monday, if the cough is no better. I like him. He does have funny hands, though. They’re shiny and hairless. He’s not particularly shiny anywhere else, but those hands would gleam in the sunlight. I have already dubbed them Mannequin Hands.
I’m back at the house now, and thoroughly exhausted. I have not been out for so long since in the first of the year. Did I like it? Can’t say as I did, being a hermit and all.
Finally, after being the second sickest I’ve ever been, I got up enough strength to shower and go out today. It was my intention to get a haircut, since my hair isn’t growing the way it used to, and my thyroid is causing some thinning. Short hair seems to be my option from now own. Unfortunately, I forgot that it was Easter, so the haircut did not happen, since all the shops were closed. The Mother Unit swung me by the grocery store to pick up a few things, we went and got Slurpees, and came back to the house. Tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to try to get that haircut again.
Aunt Tudi has been on my mind a lot, more so than usual, these past couple of weeks. I hate it. I want to turn off my brain, but I can’t seem to. It would be okay, if the memories I had were just of the times we spent together, good and bad. The laughter and tears, the fights and the impromptu comedic moments, the times that make up people’s everyday lives.
But they’re not.
The memories are interspersed with the sharp flashes from the days she was on life support to the day she was taken off. I don’t remember it all. I was in a haze. But I remember enough. I have some very vivid memories of those horrible 96 hours.
To remember her failing on every level to learn the Electric Slide from Johnna, then instantly see her lying there with tape over her partially opened eyes, is unbearable. I miss her so much, and I still feel the burden of responsibility for having put her in such a dehumanizing situation in what would be her last days. She would hold my hand when we crossed streets in Asheville, but she didn’t hold my hand back when they took her off life support. She wasn’t there, I know, but the gravity of the moment was very present, and it still is for me.
It’s like it was just yesterday all that happened, even though it’s now going on five years. My brain will not stop with the incessant barrage of pain, and I have no solution to remedy the problem. I just want it all to stop.
Just when I was getting back into the swing of things here, I was “fortunate” enough to contract influenza. I actually started coming down with it in late February, but it didn’t get really bad until after the first of March. Just to give you an idea of how sick I really was, here’s a list of what plagued me throughout my time with Captain Trips.
- Got flu from people I live with on 23rd February.
- Body ache
- Runny nose
- Swollen glands at base of ears
- Constant cough
- Foul taste in mouth and inner odour
- Eye pain with green discharge
- Nausea and vomiting
- No appetite
- Difficulty keeping down fluids - probably very dehydrated now, because heart is pounding with minimal activity
- Dizziness and weakness
- High fever at first (103.2 on 2/25) and sporadic low-grade fever since, the latest being two nights ago, when the eye thing started)
I vaguely remember going to one of my doctors on March 3rd. Apparently, I was so bad off, she prescribed me meds, put me in her car, took me to the drugstore, went in and bought my meds, plus a load of OTC stuff to help me, then brought me home. I need to check and see if she paid for all of it with my card or if she used her own money. I hope she didn’t get sick as well.
My final symptom was getting an eye infection in both eyes, accompanied with another fever. There was one day when I actually had to fumble blindly to get a hot wash cloth in order to melt away the glue from my eyes after a couple hours of sleep. Even then, I couldn’t get my eyes entirely open. I looked like the banjo player from Deliverance. There’s no doubt it was conjunctivitis, and the Mother Unit took me and dropped me off at the ER so I could get some meds for it, because she didn’t want to end up getting sick again. But the wait was so long, and I was so weak from being sick for suck an extended period of time, I had to get a taxi back to the house. (The Unit was with Matt who had cut himself badly enough to need stitches. His left arm is still wrapped up.) I barely remember getting back to the house, and I found out a few days later that I lost my debit card. I’m waiting for a new one.
When I finally started coming out of my haze, I still didn’t feel like doing anything but staring at things, so I decided to re-binge watch Breaking Bad. I spent a few days doing that and just staring into nothingness, coughing and wheezing. Four days ago, I finished Breaking Bad and, even though I had watched the series once before, this time I’m grieving that it’s over. I’m just fucking bereft. I don’t know what to do with myself. I have some Walking Dead I could watch, but it’s like being offered a puppy after your dog of 15 years has died. No thanks, mate. I will never have another dog. Like that. It’s gonna take me some time.
My greatest regret about being so sick is that I promised Barry I would promote the latest Shriekback release. He sent me the information and whatnot to download, and I failed to do so because I was so out of my head with the Superflu. Now, I’m not sure where we stand on it and if it’s too late for me to proceed. I need to ask, but I’m ashamed. I’ve tried my best never to let the Shrieks down, and I’ve done so in spades this time around. I kind of suck.
I still have the cough, and I have no doubt I’ll develop bronchitis, because I always do. Hopefully, I can hold out on seeing a doctor until my appointment on 4/18 with my new primary care physician. I had to chance doctors because the one I had behaved extremely unprofessionally with me a couple of times, and actually failed to treat me for a UTI I had, telling me I had one, but not prescribing anything for it. The cardiologist she needlessly sent me to was the one who prescribed the antibiotics I needed. So I had to say buh-bye to that doctor. My insurance told me that the change in doctors was effective immediately so, if the cough gets progressively worse, I may call to see if I can be seen earlier. They have long hours six days a week, as well as a good walk-in policy, so hopefully it won’t be a problem.
So that’s what’s been going on with me. This year has so far been chock full of uber-suck when it comes to health. I just hope I can get my shit together by September.
This has gone viral, and rightfully so! The video is of superhero, actor, and party-starter Pablo Woodwood, getting a party going on the streets of Brighton, England. What's so damned cool about it, is the old woman who seriously got into the whole thing and, even though she's obviously like 150 years old, let go of her walker and started getting the fuck down. Whoever this woman is needs to be celebrated and brought as much joy as she has brought to millions of people in just a few short days. Hell, she and Pablo have put a serious dent in my Professional Misanthropy, but I'm too happy to be angry about it! Watch it and groove on the frisson, peeps. You won't regret it. And, if you know who that old lady is, please fill us all in. The video is courtesy of Facebook user, Ezda Beevers.
I have minimal contact with any of the friends I had in South Carolina. There is one simple reason for this: they all seem to have completely lost their motherfucking minds. I’m no huge fan of the weather here in San Diego, but I’m certainly perplexed when people say this city is rather conservative. For me, it’s like I was rescued from an oppressive regime and put in a safe house in Basicdecencyville.
I’ll always love the friends I made during my incarceration in the the Upstate of South Carolina, but I cannot abide the fact they all seem to have succumbed to the Kool-Aid of xtian conservatism, despite once being rational individuals. How can you choose ignorance and intolerance, after knowing there is a better way? Is it the “when in Rome” or “if you can’t beat them, join them” mindsets?
Is that what happened? Were your Wills and capacity to think for yourselves whittled away by the established theocracy that dominates the Bible Belt?
Would I have eventually fallen victim to this madness, had I not escaped?
About three hours ago, the Mother Unit and I went to the Apple Store in Fashion Valley to throw in our support of Tim Cook’s refusal to cave to the FBI’s intimidation methods to break into people’s cell phones. As we waited for the rally to begin, we got into discussion on what we should chant ‘cos, at the time, the rally felt more like a funeral. I suggested FIRST YOUR PHONE, THEN YOUR HOME. The people seemed to dig it, but the news crews in attendance ate it up. They specifically requested we chant that when they began covering the rally.
Afterward, the Unit and I went by Rubio’s to get Matt some fish tacos, then by the grocery store so I could buy some ice cream and cottage cheese. By the time we got home, the local ABC affiliate had already posted a video, and Times of San Diego had posted a news story, the headline being Apple Corps at Fashion Valley: ‘First Your Phone, Then Your Home’.
Here’s the Channel 10 news video. The Unit and I are front and center. I also managed some free Shriekback advertising with my ultra-groovy Shriek tee.
Oooookaaaaay, so I finally managed to drift off to sleep for about an hour, and I promptly revisIted this dream, but there was a difference in what he said. He placed his mouth at the corner of mine, and whispered, "Do you remember when I told you not to be afraid?"
"Yes," I replied, almost silently.
"Well, I lied."
Just click the pic to be taken to the podcast!
On occasion, I have been asked how I get anything done, because it seems I’m doing everything all at once. Well, I am doing everything all at once, but it’s really all about what a person gets used to. It’s also about how a person’s mind works.
My mind has always been way too busy for its own good. Many of my teachers in school allowed me to doodle as I took notes, because the only way I could fully focus on the work at hand was to allow my mind to drift in other matters. I know that seems counterintuitive, but it worked for me, and I soaked knowledge up like a sponge. The same concept applied to reading for me. I have to be reading more than one book at a time, and I have to read each page at least twice, because the first time is a kind of overall imprint, and the second review is more of an in-depth absorption. I read by paragraph, not by sentence.
I think faster than I can write, even with typing, so I often skip words, which can be frustrating.
When I began working in Quality Assurance at BMG, we were all allowed to do as we pleased whilst auditioning new releases, just as long as we could remain focused on identifying sound and technical issues with the recordings. I got into the habit of writing and working on art while I listened. It took the pressure of having to listen to shite. When we began testing video games and upgraded to computers, my focus had to change. I could audition new releases while testing new games. I was also tasked to teach myself the computer, then give instruction to my boss and coworkers, so I would often find myself listening to an album, playing a game, and learning the PC by trial and error, all at the same time. It was never an issue for me. I adored it.
After BMG decided it no longer cared about the quality of its products and I ended up in the Pit (Special Orders Services/Point of Purchase promotions), my need to multi-task came in extremely handy, garnering me a lot of praise from a lot of labels, and some really nice raises. There were days I would be working on a dozen different promotions projects, and still be writing on my own stuff. When we got plugged into the Internet at work, I was introduced to LJ and created the Cliffs of Insanity to help me deal with the madness of working in the music business. Even though the coping mechanism only partially worked, as is evidenced in my obvious madness even today, it further developed my multi-tasking skills, allowing me to be able to listen to music, talk on the phone, communicate via email, process orders, organise promotions, bitch in my journal, and write on my fiction simultaneously. The more I did, the more I could do, and the more I needed to do.
I never had any capacity for patience, though, and what little patience I had, began to deteriorate. I am now pretty much devoid of any patience, but the mind is still on overdrive, and I often find myself incapable of doing just one thing. I feel incomplete and lazy. I feel disconnected, not only from the world as I perceive it, but also from myself. I also need some distraction in order to keep Cadmus in his Tulpa form at bay. If it weren’t for multi-tasking, Cadmus would have driven me the rest of the way mad as a hatter long ago.
I know a lot of people find multi-tasking to be a pain in the arse but, for me, it is a blessing for a mind that will sleep when it’s dead.
Four days and three nights passed before Cadmus’ house went quiet. Out of desperation, Flint had resorted to Vampirising his fellow rats, as he waited for his chance to flee the Plenipotentiary’s lair. It was shoddy cuisine, but desperation made the blood taste much better than it actually did.
Even though the place had fallen silent, Flint was more than a little frightened that Cadmus was still present and waiting for him to attempt an escape. If Cadmus was a master of one thing, it was absolute stillness. Flint had never been more afraid in his life, truth be told, and that fright conflicted with his impulse to flee immediately. He fought the urge, however, knowing that it was all too likely that Cadmus was waiting silently for Flint to reveal himself so that he could sacrifice the young vagabond Vampire to his Harming Tree.
He could sense the sun sinking beyond the mouldy stone walls of his dungeon hide-out and decided to give the silence one that night and the following day before he attempted to spirit himself away from the hidden keep. After draining another rat, Flint slept, curled up in amongst his living brothers, but still shivering from cold and trepidation.
For most Vampires, patience was something that came with the territory of immortality. Waiting for anything was like blinking your eyes in the scheme of things. It all passed so quickly, the endlessness and variety.
Flint opened one beady rat eye and glared at his brothers, who all seemed content in the deep crevice shared by the colony. He was beginning to feel claustrophobic and irritable. It had been 24 hours and, still, the keep was silent as death. Raising his nose, Flint sniffed the stagnant air, and caught no scent of the Dark Child of Night. Cadmus had to be gone. This could be Flint’s only chance to escape the horrors of his killing ground.
Rising from the dank floor, Flint stretched, emerging from the ancient gash in the stone wall. Instantly, he became his human form once more, immediately crouching in a defensive position. You just could not be too careful with a creature like Cadmus Pariah. His powers were boggling, and Flint felt he had been nothing more than lucky to have escaped the Plenipotentiary’s lethal wrath for this long.
Things have been going on, so this may be a bit of an update from Hell, compared to my usually non-updates.
First off, my phone has been on the fritz for who knows how long. It’s not actually the phone, but the Cricket network. I went yesterday to try to sort it, but the folks at the store couldn’t even troubleshoot it, so they had to put in a service order, which means up to 72 more hours of no service.
Since the first of the year, my health has been shite. Recurring migraines with the most vicious nausea I think I’ve ever had, has beaten down my body more than I could have ever imagined. In the past month, I have lost 10 pounds, and spent three days in the hospital, thanks to these fucking headaches. I’m thinner now than I have been since I was 12 years old. It has gotten to the point where I can’t even walk to the bathroom, which is right beside my room, without my having breathing difficulties and a pounding heart. I feel like I am dying.
But, I might get to tick one thing off my bucket list before heading into the Void, if I’m lucky. Jeff Lynne is bringing ELO back to the American stage on September 9th, 10th, and 11th of this year, at the Hollywood Bowl. When it was announced, I emailed a bunch of people with a proposition that, if they could get the tickets, I’d try to arrange us a place to stay. My old high school friend, Andy, has always dreamt of attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and he bit. We’re just waiting for the tickets to go on sale, if I can’t finagle them earlier than 1 May. The target day is September 10th, as that’s the best day for Andy. It’s also my birthday, which would be perfect.
Speaking of Jeff Lynne, David Bowie’s unexpected and untimely death made me come to grips with a truth I’ve known for a long time, but never truly verbalised, even to myself. I decided to accept it and to come out, to use the term in a wholly different manner. I wrote Barry Andrews and told him that he was the single most influential individual in my life, more so even than even the godlike Jeff Lynne and JRR Tolkien. I wanted him to know it, in the event either of us kicks the bucket. You should tell people how they affect you before it’s too late. It could be too late in the next five minutes. No one knows what each second will bring. No one.
A few weeks ago, there was a huge shake-up in the format of the Work in Progress that officially made it into a full-fledged novel in the works instead of a collection of short stories. I don’t even know what brought it to mind, guessing it had to be some kind of divine inspiration. The long and short of it, though, is that Flint steals the New Hive’s first - and currently only - relic, Cadmus Pariah’s Harming Tree. The story will revolve around Cadmus hunting down Flint, with possible help from Orphaeus Cygnus, and will include the stories and vignettes I have already written about the Harming Tree. As The Blood Crown was essentially a Vampiric Hope & Crosby Road movie in book form, The Harming Tree will be a bit of a book version of a hunt and chase movie, kind of in the vein of Mad Max: Fury Road and the like. I have asked Barry if he could drum up a photo of his harming tree, which is seen only briefly in the ‘Captain Cook’ video, and is obviously the benign inspiration, despite its name, for Cadmus’ dreadful tool of agony. It would be good to have a very clear image reference as I continue this mad journey into the Darkness. I need to jog his memory, though, as it’s been two or three months since I asked him. I’m sure he’s forgotten, and I keep forgetting to remind him. We are old as fuck.
Originally posted by beheretinnitus at Do people still frenzy for friendsies here?
My name is Jack and I used to hang out here on the regular. I am so burnt out by the newer social media sites and thought I might return, all prodigal son-like.
I live in Memphis, TN with my girlfriend and our kids (kitty and human alike). I am a 20-plus year musician and have recorded a lot of stuff that lingers in relative obscurity.
I am also a podcaster now, with my five episode-strong music series Be Here Tinnitus. It's on iTunes - have a listen!
As you can infer, I really love music, but I also love lots of other geeky things.
Wanna be friends?
It would seem that 2016 is sucking rhino balls when it comes to decent people dying, and leaving pieces of shit to horrify us more with every passing day.
And so we have arrived at the threshold of yet another year, four cycles after the long hoped for Alpaca Lips. In some ways, it has been an eventful year and, in others, things have barely changed. I figured I'd touch on the highlights of 2015, then throw some hopes (gasp, hope? Tin? NOOOOOO!) out for 2016. So, let's begin.
The first major thing that happened in 2015 came in February, when I was allowed unprecedented liberties to continue and expand my campaign to disseminate All Things Shriekback. I was elated, for I had watched for too long their greatness be swallowed up by the ever-expanding Internet, without the proper tools in my box of toys to make enough digital noise to be noticed. That changed prior to the release of one of their best albums to date, Without Real String or Fish. To my immense joy, this was only one of many releases by the band that I got to relentlessly plug throughout the year. It's been an honour to do what I could for the guys, and I will continue to do what I do until they tell me to stop!
In April, another wonderful thing occurred: I got to go up to Los Angeles to attend Jeff Lynne's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony. Even though I didn't get to meet him - again! - I was still thrilled to be in the general vicinity of my spiritual and musical godfather, and listen to him talk a little about his career and how honoured he felt to be getting the praise and attention that has long been due the man. He's a genius, and I am overjoyed that people are finally catching on to this fact. It also heartens me that so many Millennials, particularly in the music world, are embracing Mr. Lynne and his music. That means that his legacy will live on through the generations, as long as humanity plagues this world. It almost makes me glad we're all still around. Anyway, also in attendance to the star ceremony, making speeches of their own about how groovy Jeff Lynne is, were Tom Petty and Joe Walsh. I caught this epic photo before the brouhaha began.
And it got even better later in the year, in November, when Jeff Lynne released Alone in the Universe, the first official ELO album since the release of Zoom in 2001. I'm currently listening to it for the first time but, hey! better late than never, right? 2015 was the year both Shriekback and the Electric Light Orchestra gave the world new music. If for no other reason, this year should be marked as a complete success because of this.
Shortly before I moved out to San Diego, my TV died. For a while, I was pretty miserable, until I got used to watching streaming formats online, like Netflix. It cut down on my viewing habits considerably, and I found myself focusing on just the movies and shows I personally found important and worthy enough to spend my time watching. Beginning in late 2014, though, my number one go-to place for instant entertainment gratification became You Tube. I discovered Alonzo Lerone, Garret John, and a host of other talents, visionaries, and creatives. In June of 2015, though, I stumbled upon a short film that completely blew my mind. It's what made me realise how grateful I am to no longer have a television. I probably would have never discovered such brilliance had I still been enslaved to the mediocrity that spews out of the boob tube.
When I first saw The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, I had a reaction eerily similar to what I had upon seeing The Joker Blogs' Therapy Begins. I couldn't get enough! Impressed didn't even begin to cover it. The more I watched it and the related films on Richard Gale's You Tube channel, the more I laughed. As anyone who has known me since losing Aunt Tudi in 2011 knows, laughter is something I treasure above all other things. I credit anything that could cut through the grief and trigger laughter as holding a seed of the miraculous within its heart. The Impractical Jokers were the first to make what I thought was impossible happen. The Horrible Slow Murderer carried on that life-saving tradition.
I was so impressed with the undeniable talent in this short film and others on the channel, like the wholly unfunny and horrifying Criticized, I was compelled to learn more about the film maker and his posse. Employing the web search skills I learned in the Pit oh so very long ago, it didn't take me long to learn a good bit about the director and actors Paul Clemens and Brian Rohan.
Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up helping them with their Kickstarter campaign, after having the pleasure of discussing a few promo ideas with Richard one Sunday a few months ago. During this time, I've come to see that not only are these guys uber-talented, but they are also genuine, groovy, insightful, kind individuals. How could anyone not want to help people like this in any way they can?
While all this was happening, I was going to the doctor about my back pain, which seemed to be getting worse despite all attempts to reverse the issues causing it. The doc finally suggested that I look into getting an panniculectomy. Now, in South Carolina, no insurance, private or public, would cover anything considered cosmetic. When I got the gastric bypass surgery, I went into it with no pipe dreams of getting any excess skin removed. It was never an option, so I never entertained the idea.
When the doctor brought up the panniculectomy, I silently scoffed, but decided "what the hell? It doesn't hurt to ask." So, a couple of days later, I called Aetna and asked them if such a surgery were covered. They informed me that, if it were considered medically necessary, they would cover it, and all I would have to pay would be $264.00. I called the doctor, who referred me to Dr. Jason Hess. He took pictures, informed me that he'd gotten approval for surgeries with less severe pannus issues, and said he'd be asking approval for not just a panniculectomy, but also an abdominoplasty which, combined, are basically the human equivalent to being cleaned like a fish.
In two weeks time, Aetna gave the go ahead, and I had a tummy tuck and panniculectomy in September. I'm still recovering from it, but my back does feel better after no longer having to deal with 17 pounds of dead weight constantly pulling on my lower lumbar region. Also, for the first time in my life, I actually have a figure. I'm still not used to the new body. It's like living in an alien biological construct.
So, 2015 saw me become a bit of a California stereotype in that I got plastic surgery and began "hobnobbing" with Hollywood directors and actors. Folks, don't expect that, if you're thinking of planning on moving to California. Bear in mind that I live in the Twilight Zone and have no idea how shit like this happens to me.
One more cool thing that happened this year actually happened this month. After over a year of struggling with it, I finally had a breakthrough in my arduous Wacom education. I still have a very long way to go before I consider anything I do with the tablet worthy of pride, but at least I'm finally seeing results from what I have so far learned. This is the result - the best representation of how I see Cadmus Pariah in my mind's eye. I plan on making this a full body picture, not just a floating head of death, but I thought I should make note that my obvious learning disability when it comes to digital art has at long last had a wee chink taken out of its seemingly impenetrable wall.
There have been some unhappy things to happen this year - conflicts with Matt, friends falling prey to illness, seriously fucked up news on the family front, among other things - but I am choosing not to focus on that in this year-end post. There is nothing I could write here that would change any of these things, and I frankly don't want to give the bad areas of 2015 any more power than they already have. I would prefer to give energy to more positive outcomes in those categories in the coming year.
That being said, here are some things I'm hoping to see happen and/or make happen in 2016.
- Friends and family beat the odds and kick all manner of ass with some insane Health Fu.
- The Presidential election does not turn out to be a disaster of mega-Fascist proportions.
- People collectively reject the status quo and embrace a higher vibrational state of being.
- There is full disclosure on extraterrestrial life and activities, as well as extra-dimensional life and activities.
- Jeff Lynne plays a concert in San Diego and I get to attend.
- I can eventually feel as comfortable riding the buses in San Diego as I was riding the ones in Los Angeles. LA makes a lot more sense as far as layout is concerned. Or maybe that's just me.
- Yoga becomes a part of my everyday life.
- Barry Andrews has more delightful written and musical works of art in store for the world.
- I complete my latest book and maybe even publish it.
- The filming of Ginosaji goes smoothly and is a low-stress joy for all involved.
- I get to go to the desert to gaze at the Milky Way at least once in 2016.
- I and those I love are surrounded by non-toxic individuals and that we can continue to expand the influence of beauty, creativity, common sense, and divine madness.
- The Alpaca Lips finally happens.
Here's hoping everyone has a fantastic new year. May it be visionary in every way.
- Thu, 19:39: Shriekback - Gated Joy: https://t.co/e4PoVbqRj8 via @YouTube
- Thu, 19:57: Gated Joy [to the World] https://t.co/kGxDDvbwaV #Shriekback #TBT #xmas #80s #80sbands #80smusic #NewWave #RETWEET #bsides
- Thu, 23:27: RT @TakTsouk: Μου άρεσε ένα βίντεο @YouTube από @vampire_relics https://t.co/3MWjplkLnk Barry Andrews - Faded Flowers
- Fri, 17:34: RT @metropolis_priv: #Shriekback #MichaelMann #Beautiful :: https://t.co/DuvPIsHS1p
- Mon, 17:33: Tim Roth Tutorial, Lesson #166: https://t.co/NMpGsmIcR7 via @YouTube
- Mon, 18:31: TRT166: https://t.co/3ctTCfAO6x via @YouTube
- Mon, 18:36: Tim Roth Tutorial, Lesson #166: https://t.co/8TFG9NmVy6 via @YouTube
- Mon, 18:42: Tim Roth Tutorial #166 https://t.co/wdW4fjmKf6 @Poppypops28 @Mrs_Orange57 @bellewitch66 #timroth #TRT #HatefulEight #Hateful8
- Mon, 16:52: If we are truly fighting a War on Terror, we need to turn our attention to our own back yard as well. #ReligiousRight #Hypocrisy #extremism
- Mon, 19:32: @shriekbackmusic Thx for the thumbs up! New #Solo Album @ https://t.co/4qpnQhf3Ih #Shriekback #BarryAndrews #Piano https://t.co/dMFObyp1TA
- Sun, 21:20: Killer mask! https://t.co/0kGytmYFu6 #collectible #Ginosaji #Kickstarter #FearTheSpoon #Horror #IndieFilm #RETWEET https://t.co/yh9Y7tbv7F
- Sun, 22:57: RT @SPOON_ATTACK: https://t.co/W593OQSEL2 Pls #RETWEET! #Kickstarter #FX #Ginosaji #FearTheSpoon #Indiefilm #horror #movies #comedy https:/…