My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for March, 2011

Tattoo #50

March 27th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

I got this one, number fifty, a few nights ago. It’s a line from one of my favorite Tori Amos songs, Blood Roses.

I know why I got it, and maybe someone else knows, and that’s really enough.

Generally, I explain them, in great detail, but a few of my tattoos don’t belong to everyone,

2 comments

Tattoo #49

March 26th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This is my first foot tattoo, it’s from one of my favorite Elliott Smith songs, Angel in the Snow, off his posthumously released collection, New Moon.

I’d say you make a perfect

Angel in the snow

All crushed out on the way you are

Better stop before it goes too far

Don’t you know that I love you?

Sometimes i feel like only a cold still life

That fell down here to lay beside you

Don’t you know that i love you?

Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life

Only a frozen still life

That fell down here to lay beside you

It’s such a beautiful little song, and sad. Falling so hard, feeding so… apart.

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Tattoo #48

March 25th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Colt, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

I got this on my birthday, it’s from Elliott Smith’s song, Pretty (Ugly Before), which is off his sixth record, From a Basement on the Hill.

It’s supposed to remind me not to push someone I love away, just to make sure I’m really wanted, really loved.

Supposed to.

1 comment

Tattoo #47

March 24th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Colt, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This one, it’s… for me.

3 comments

Tattoo #46

March 24th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This tattoo comes from The Engine Driver by The Decemberists, with an Aimee Mann twist. Aimee covered this song with The Decemberists in concert, I decided to have her wording etched into my chest.

The song itself is simply beautiful, a lush, sweeping narrative about love that might not love you back… Why did I get it? Well, there’s a “long one” in my life, I don’t question if I’d work beside her, I know it with everything in me. That night, a few before last Christmas, I wondered … if she’d ever just stop and let me.

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People keep telling me

March 24th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions

People keep telling me, especially during and since yesterday, how amazing I am, that I’m so smart, I push assistive technology forward. I hear about all the good I do, the people I have helped and will help, with the way I show technology, with my writing. I’m told I should be proud of myself.

Helping people is great, and I seem to be born into it. I have the intellect and I’m ridiculously blessed with access to technology. I have always managed to have the best gear. NeuroSwitch, this software, SwitchXS, their developers pretty much designed both solutions for my specific desires, to my specifications. The thought being, design for the high-end and you help everyone, novice to advanced.  I take the technology and show vast possibilities, people get inspired. I want to help people, I’m glad to do it. I can’t imagine not helping as long as I’m in a position to do it. I just don’t see why I should be proud of myself for doing something that’s simply right. You help people who need it, especially if you’re suited to do so, period. That’s what community is all about. I need plenty of help, so it’s just right to give back. I remember not having technology, nobody should feel trapped. When someone’s alone in the dark, all I want is to pull them out and make them feel safe, because I know alone, and I know dark. Helping people isn’t anything to praise oneself over.

Also, and this is just me… When I can’t sleep at 4 AM, knowing that I help people, it doesn’t make me any less lonely or any less scared. When I’m really down, I get a lot of “You should be happy that you help people, you should embrace that, you should let that fill you up. Happiness comes from within. Stay busy, work to help others.” I do help people, even when I myself feel dead inside. I can’t just quit, and I really don’t. The thing is though, I’m not Jesus, I’m just a fellow with a few hopes, a few dreams, certain things I want so very badly before I’m gone, and while I honestly desire to help people, and do so willingly, a life of service can’t be “it” for me. I’m supposed to be filled with this… peace, but I’m not. Really, almost nothing I do makes me feel pride or genuine contentment or genuine happiness. It’s all temporary, at best. I have my own, deep-rooted wants that go beyond service and being glad to simply exist.

There’s this scene in Cool Hand Luke, my favorite Paul Newman movie, where Luke (who has really done nothing remotely worth death, his original two year prison sentence for getting drunk and destroying parking meters), after escaping prison, is in a church surrounded by cops who want him dead. He starts talking to God, calls Him “Old-timer.” He basically says, Well, Old-timer, you made me this way (headstrong, smart, kind, rough, willful, at odds with everything), then you stacked the deck against me (put him in a position of service, obedience, a mundane “do as you’re told, don’t want for anything” life). So, what am I supposed to do? I know I’m a screw up, I make plenty of mistakes, but help me… Luke just feels stuck, and lost, and wanting. In prison, before his chat with God, the inmates looked up to him. All Luke’s courage, defiance against the system, all the times he got beat down (literally) only to get right back up again, it fed everyone else’s hope and strength. This role is basically fine for Luke, he wants to help, cares about others, but after getting the shit beat out of him in a particularly brutal way, with everyone looking to him to make them feel better about the situation, Luke finally breaks down and screams, “Stop feeding off of me!” They see Luke as this larger than life, break the rods of our taskmasters, Christ-like figure, but he’s not. He’s just a man, a basically good man who wants to do right, but who has flaws, who makes mistakes, who gets tired, who needs help himself sometimes. I know how he felt.

I mean, I’m completely grateful for all the spectacular, unique things I’ve gotten to experience, for all my “stuff.” I’m blessed, I know I’m blessed. I’m thankful for all of it. It’s just, no matter how many famous people I meet, or places I go, or people I help, or compliments I hear, or how well I write, none of it fixes the cracks that hurt at 4 AM. I’m missing something, I’m missing the one thing I’d trade everything else to have. It’s really nothing shocking, it’s not even unique within the human condition, it’s practically boring, yet to me it’s completely everything. No, I don’t want to be able to walk, or breathe and talk without machines, it’s nothing silly and pointless like that. I just want to go home, what feels like home to me, at least. It seems that the harder I try to have the only thing that’s truly important to me, the further away it gets. I’m so tired and uneasy. Being tired and uneasy makes me screw up, it’s this sickening infinite loop. I’ve screwed up so much. People tell me I’m amazing, all I see is failure, and time flying by.

4 comments

Met with the Vice President

March 24th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions

So, I met with the Vice President yesterday. He was in town doing a fundraiser for Senator Bill Nelson, who I also met, along with his lovely wife, Grace. After Vice President Biden gave his talk on how backward the Republicans are, the Secret Service led us to a private room, skipping the always tedious receiving-line. The room didn’t have a table, so this fellow from the Secret Service had to hold my MacBook Pro so I could see it, which he did, minus the part about me being able to see the computer. He stands what seems like sixty feet away, at an angle to where I’m looking at my screen from under my glasses. My screen is a big, glowing blur. My mom’s talking about the importance of technology, whilst I can’t see said technology. Fortunately, I’m a spectacular blind typer. I have my keyboard memorized, I have a sense of how to time the locations of my letters and what-not. I made NeuroSwitch look as stylish as it should, while not demonstrating that I’m blind as a ninety year-old man.

I wrote this note to the Vice President…

I have used assistive technology for communication most of my life. After losing my ability to speak four years ago, assistive technology became especially vital. If I can’t type, I can’t talk. If I can’t talk, I may as well not exist. If I can’t talk, I’m furniture, I’m nothing.

For over fifteen years, I tapped a little switch with my thumb to access my computer. This was fine until a routine blood-draw injured my hand, and my thumb. Communication became harder and harder as my muscles got weaker and weaker. I felt trapped, terrified. Then I found NeuroSwitch, the best computer access solution I’ve ever used. NeuroSwitch allows me to access my computer with any muscle in my body via completely portable wireless hardware. With NeuroSwitch, I can communicate any time, any place.

Technology is everything to me, it’s how I live as a productive American citizen, it grants me what our founding fathers promised anyone who makes a home on U.S. Soil, the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It’s that promise that makes America beautiful, access to assistive technology, like my NeuroSwitch,  is the best way for our government to keep that promise to its disabled citizens.

Also, and I’d kick myself if I don’t say this… I have this unusual collection, a collection of odd and unique neckties.  I have quite a few, but I don’t have a Vice Presidential Necktie…

I’ve been reading lots of Sarah Vowell lately, The Wordy Shipmates, Unfamiliar Fishes. Her love of history, the way she talks about America at its best (and worst) is contagious, I think I channeled her in writing my note to our Vice President.

Anyways, Vice President Biden was very generous with his time, and very receptive to the need for providing technology to the disabled.

2 comments

And fuck you

March 06th, 2011 | Category: Life

And fuck you if you think the last post was boring, or mopey, or “emo.” Just, fuck YOU. I don’t exist to inspire people, I don’t write to be all uplifting. I write what I write, if you don’t like it, fuck off and fuck you.

6 comments

Strung Out Again

March 05th, 2011 | Category: Life

I’m going to end like this, the narrative I’ve written for myself just isn’t going to end happy.

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A maybe story

March 01st, 2011 | Category: Writing

I’m maybe going to finish this story.

There was once, many years ago, this turtle named, Kurt. Kurt was very slow, and very melancholy. He was the slowest, most melancholy turtle in all of Turtleeville. Turtleville being the largest settlement of turtle-folk for a thousand miles in any direction.

The story goes that a group of turtles, just ten friends, five ladies and five fellows, decided they’d leave home and walk to The Edge of the World. They were, of course, mocked, as no such place could possibly exist. Every turtle knew that the world went on forever, forever and ever. These ten turtles, however, insisted that, if they just walked long enough, and far enough, they’d reach the much laughed at, Edge of the World.

So, they said their goodbyes, some called them the stupidest turtle-folk ever to be hatched, others called them whimsical adventurers, brave enough to follow their hearts, and with such chatter at their backs, they walked. They walked for what felt like a century, they lost count of how many starry night-skies they slept underneath, and how many orangey sunrises they woke to. They just walked, and walked, and kept walking, determined to prove that they were whimsically brave, not stupid.

Being turtles, nothing particularly exciting happened, as nothing particularly exciting ever happens to turtle-folk. They just walked, and walked, and walked a little more. I say a little, not because they did, at very long last, reach the Edge of the World, but rather, they just stopped walking. One day, they stopped to graze on the green grass under the shade of a majestic oak tree, the largest, most magnificent oak they’d ever laid eyes on. After their lunch, which was delicious, they went for a drink from a nearby lazy river, the slowest river with the clearest water they’d ever so seen. This river was so clear, the turtles could plainly see, and have conversation with, the river’s resident fish.

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