My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for July, 2011


July 24th, 2011 | Category: Life

So. that drive I mentioned last night, with all the ripped DVDs, it’s officially a paper-weight. It’s dead. I tried a bunch of recovery utilities, nothing worked, it’s not coming back.

I don’t tend to care about “things,” but stuff related to the computer is always a little different. This stuff in particular has a lot of memories attached, I ripped half of those movies when I was in the hospital for two months, after I choked on the pineapple juice and died for a little bit. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I had all my DVDs brought in and I’d just rip a few every day until the 200+ were finished. Yes, I owned them, no piracy at that point. I ripped them on a MacBook Pro that Steve Jobs gave me just a few weeks before I ended up where I ended up. I was supposed to receive some award and give a presentation at ATIA, this big assistive technology conference in Orlando, I e-mailed Jobs about it, said that I wanted to show Macs as THE platform for assistive technology and I wanted to do so on a “bleeding edge machine.” He agreed with me and in two days, I had the best MacBook Pro available at the time. I definitely meant everything I wrote, I wanted to give a spectacular presentation, but also, and mostly, I wanted to impress Sara, my then girlfriend. I liked showing her that I could take all my crazy ideas and make them real. Anyway, the ripped DVDs, I’d watch them at night with Sara, or when I was too scared to fall asleep alone, waiting for the drugs that would make me sleep.

I’d had those files for so long, and they’re gone because I wasn’t paying attention for just a few minutes. It’s not like I can’t get all those movies back eventually, but they won’t be the same movies that I watched with Sara, with other people I love, people who are gone.

Yes, I’m weird.


Today, tonight, whatever

July 23rd, 2011 | Category: Life

So, within an hour of waking up today I killed an external hard drive and lost over 300 GB (which equates to a fuckin’ lot) of ripped DVDs. I then had the drive tossed in the trash in a fit of disgust. Then, I went for my fifty-sixth tattoo, which I’ll post tomorrow. I want to let it pretty up a little, right now it’s in that raw, someone just carved a bunch of words into your flesh, look. Though, that is kind of a neat stage in the life of a tattoo, maybe I should post it in this post.

See, I’m just writing stuff as it pops into my head, I didn’t start with anything in particular to say. I will post that picture, you folks can puzzle over it until I write about it tomorrow… 

Tattoo #56, raw...

Right now, I’m trying to recover that drive, it’s been dug out of the trash. I’m a sucker for lost causes, it’s the Jefferson Smith in me.


Self-pity? No. Self-loathing? Sure!

July 22nd, 2011 | Category: Life

So, I got this beautiful comment from a reader right here in Tampa…

mike, i don’t think you are so tough.  we are all dealt the hand we are given in this life:  so what?  deal with it.  be thankful that such HUGE resources were dedicated to keeping your ass alive.  under any obamacare-style healthcare rationing you wouldn’t have the shelf-life of a hard-boiled egg. quit wallowing in self pity and live your fucking life til you die

Where to start? The child-like grammar? The “”Obamacare” non-sequitor? The general warmth of the writing?

I wonder if the person knows how to read, at least at the proficiency of a toddler, or understands the definitions of certain words…

I mean, I know I’m not tough, or brave, I’ve written about it before. Tell me something I don’t know.

I’ve also written many times that I’m thankful for everyone who keeps me alive, for my assistants, for all my technology, just for life in general. I’m really very lucky, and blessed, I’ve written, and genuinely meant all these things. So, again, not sure where that came from.

I write about a lot of things here, including being very down. I write about fearfrustrationlonelinesssaddensoptimismromancesex, zombies, sex AND zombies, I kind of cover  the gamut of human (and undead) experiences.  The one thing I don’t think I write about is pity, not in my life, not in my fiction. You could say a lot of things about me, but self-pitying really isn’t one of them. Self-loathing, absolutely, I’m definitely not someone who unceasingly likes himself or regularly pats his own back. If anything, I take personal responsibility for everything, for every failure, for every mistake. Do a search of the blog for “my fault,” see how that goes. I even blame myself for things that probably aren’t really my fault. Like, one time, it started raining rather hard, rather abruptly, and Lauren (my assistant) got caught in the torrent getting me and my stuff into the house from the car. She looked like a kitten who just climbed out of a swimming pool. She covered me with a blanket, she’s good like that, I was fine. So, I apologized. If we’d left the coffee shop fifteen minutes earlier like I originally planned, we’d have beaten the weather and Lauren wouldn’t have gotten unexpectedly drenched. Really, I couldn’t see outside, I, like most people, don’t have one eye always on the doppler radar, and I definitely didn’t stay the fifteen minutes knowing what would happen. Still, I felt responsible and I apologized. Self-loathing, self-criticism, that’s me. Self-pity’s like, “Why’d God build me so broken? Why are all these bad things happening to me? What’d I do to deserve this? Make it stop!” Thoughts like those don’t cross my mind, I really had to think about the definition of self-pity just to write those examples. I just don’t think that way. I really don’t see how someone could read this blog and say I wallow in self-pity.

As for dreaded “Obamacare,” yes, and under Obamacare, if your adorable grandma breaks a hip, her doctor will take her out back and shoot her in the face. I’m so sick of people saying stupid things about the health care bill. Stop being stupid.

I am living my life. I  keep breathing, and doing, and writing. I’m just writing what I feel, honestly and in the moment. The thing is, I write all my moments, dark and sunny, I don’t see how feeling darkness for a spell equates to not living my life.


Not a good day

July 21st, 2011 | Category: Life

Though I managed to bring my iMac back to life after a really crazy Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) installation, and just to be clear, I don’t blame Lion, today is not a good day. Really, it’s one of my worst days.

No, I’m not complaining, or pittying myself, these  are just facts.



July 20th, 2011 | Category: Life

I know this is kind of stupid to say, but reader comments really are valuable. They let me know if I’m writing anything worth reading, which is always the goal, though definitely not always the result. Comments really do help, they make this place better. So, let me know what you’re thinking.


Done with fonts

July 19th, 2011 | Category: Life

So, this is the last time I ever post about fonts. Eager Naturalist got some readability complaints, everything’s now Trebuchet MS. The End.


At least she knew

July 19th, 2011 | Category: Life

So, I recently read The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell, it’s about the folks who colonized New England in the 1630s. They were a bunch of well-meaning, but often destructive, ultra-religious book nerds. Their book of choice, the Bible. They were mostly Puritans. You work hard, go to church, read your Bible, you go to Heaven, that’s the gist of Puritanism. Some, however, were Calvinists. Calvinists make Puritans look like a bunch of happy-go-lucky, easy going, fey spirits.

Calvinists believed that before you’re even concieved, before your soul even enters your tiny new body, God has already decided whether you’re going to Heaven or to Hell. There’s no finding Jesus and getting saved, death-bed repentance doesn’t mean anything, God had it all figured out and He wouldn’t change His mind. So, why be good and study your Bible more rigorously than any Puritan, why be flawlessly pious if God has possibly already written you in His Going to Hell book? Well, they believed that people who “seemed” like good people, read the Bible, went to church fervently, raised kids to be pious, those people had souls that displayed all the signs of goodness and were PROBABLY scheduled for Heaven. Folks who were lazy, who couldn’t quote the Bible chapter and verse, who stole firewood during a hard winter, they behaved so because they got a Hell-bound soul. So, you ended up with a bunch of uneasy, sometimes terrified religious zealots desperately trying to “look” good.

One woman in town was particularly terrified. She was depressed a lot, didn’t like raising lots of kids, or practically living at church. She didn’t feel “good,” but tried really hard to conform. She was so scared of the not knowing which soul she was given. She couldn’t sleep, was nervous all the time. She asked the church for help, guidance, but the Calvinist Church wasn’t exactly a loving church. She didn’t find any help at church, or anywhere else. She probably suffered from mental illness, probably needed therapy and loving support from family and friends, but in the 1630s, mental illness wasn’t mental illness, it was that you had the Devil in you. You were evil. She felt evil, but wasn’t certain. She wanted to be certain, she wanted to know whether or not she was damned, just so she could finally sleep at night. To that end, she took her youngest child, a baby, and she threw it down a well. That settled things for her, she finally knew what kind of soul God gave her and that she was absolutely, without a single doubt, damned. She actually felt a bizarre peace.

I don’t want to throw any babies down any wells, I actually love babies. Whenever I see a baby out and about, I always end up transfixed, I watch their little hands, their little eyes, searching, learning. I always think about how that baby could grow up to cure cancer, or write some spectacular novel, or hit liquor and heroin really hard and be dead by thirty, or whatever. Babies are possibility, they’re the essence of potential. Not being a Calvinist, I also see that baby’s soul as perfectly clean, I don’t believe in that born sinful stuff, Jesus got screwed over so babies don’t have to worry about that. I always look at some baby and think about how they’re not all fucked up yet, unlike me they’re completely perfect. So, yeah, no killing babies to figure out what kind of soul God gave me.

Still, I’d like some certainty about some things. Where am I going after I die? I say that first, but it’s actually pretty low on my Worry List. I just don’t want to die, I want to avoid the dying. I died once, it didn’t stick, I don’t want to go again. Sometimes I get really dark and want to go vertically open my wrists, but that’s more about not wanting to feel sad than actually wanting to die. It’s also different when dying is this circumstance that’s forced on you. If you’re accidentally drowning in pineapple juice (that’s what killed me) or the hose on your vent breaks while you’re trying to buy a four hundred dollar Tumi bag, the absolute last thing you want to do is die. You beg God not to let you go, you beg to be with one certain person one more time. You’re all, “I’ll be good, really, I promise.” At least, this is how I am.

I worry about the when and how of my dying, mostly the when. I’d really like to know the when, then I could quit worrying about whether or not I have enough time to make up for the bad things I’ve done, enough time to have what I want. and feel happy. I worry I’m going to go out like Kurt and Elliott, sad and fucked up. I don’t want my story to end that way, the way it is right now.

That’s what I worry about most, running out of time, I’m constantly aware of time. I feel time, like it’s something tangible, rushing over my skin. I feel this constant sense of urgency, especially now, because I know I’m not where I want to be, and I know I’m one breath closer to to not breathing with every breath I take. I wonder if I have enough time to find my way to someplace bright. I’d like to know because living with the mindset that every day could be my last day is actually really exhausting.

I wonder how many of those Tony Robbins, motivational, “Live like there’s no tomorrow” types, I wonder how many of them actually walk that talk. Living like that, really believing the words, it’s not easy to carry. When you want something, you want it like there’s a gun to your head, like, at any second that trigger could get pulled and you won’t ever get to that kiss, that I love you, that waking up somewhere beautiful until you quit waking up. People don’t understand why spending time together is so important to you, because your clock feels so much faster than theirs. For other people there’s always tomorrow for walking under stars or curling up in bed to watch some movie about a talking fox, and to you, both experiences are more important than winning a million dollars. Loss hurts more because you don’t believe that chances are unlimited, in your head, chances are like a pack of used bar matches, you only get so many lights. Sometimes it all get so heavy that you look for ways to stop thinking, to stop wanting, just for a few hours. Liquor bottles and drug needles do that trick, but they’re exactly that, a trick. They just make it so the clock disappears behind a curtain, but just like any magician’s assistant, the clock always comes back.

Once you actually know about these things, once you stop seeing the end of your time as some kind of fiction, well, there’s no not knowing them. A bunch of Nirvana songs end up making perfect sense.  Like that Calvinist woman, lack of certainty makes peace hard to find. Such is true in my experience anyhow, but like I said, I’ll never toss a baby down a well for answers to questions that’ll probably come when I don’t answers anymore.


Fonts embedded

July 18th, 2011 | Category: Life

So, this is just a quick post to say… If you need help with a WordPress theme (like I did), hire Alisa Ryan Herr, @isabisa on Twitter. She helped me embed Eager Naturalist into my blog so it’ll show up whether or not a reader has the font installed on their computer.

She’s spectacular.



July 18th, 2011 | Category: Life

I’m scared I’m stuck, stuck feeling like this until I quit breathing. All this dark, I can’t see through it, out of it, it’s so big. There’s always been this kind of spark in me, and it always flickers into a flame, something white-hot, whenever I fall really hard. It’s like Neo in The Matrix, he’s trapped at gun-point in this narrow hallway of a run-down hotel building, takes a bunch of bullets in his chest, stumbles backward, hits a wall, hard. He gets weak, slumps to the floor, leaves a trail of blood where he slid. I remember that scene so vividly, I see the hallway, the recoil of the gun pumping round after round into Neo’s chest. What I really remember is the sound, the thump when his back hits the wall. I see the trail of blood, like paint on canvas. Neo’s lying there, on that dirty hallway floor, dead. Dead, until he isn’t. He gets up, he snaps out of being dead, like it’s something ridiculous. His eyes look so clear, so full of purpose, and he quietly says, really just to himself, “No.” Neo decides he doesn’t have to follow the rules of that world, the Matrix. He wasn’t going to die right there in some hotel building, so far from the one person who’s his home. He fights his way back to her, Trinity, his home.

I think I remember that scene so well because I’ve experienced it. Not that I’ve ever been shot a bunch of times, only to go fuckin’ Kung Fu on the fellow who shot me, but I’ve felt complete darkness, I’ve genuinely almost died so many times. One time, I did die. I laid dead in some e.r. trauma-room for around three minutes. Still, as sad, or physically weak, or terrified as I’ve ever been, I’ve always come to that feeling of perfect clarity and I tell myself, “No.”

I’m scared right now because that clarity is nowhere.

I can’t go home.

I feel so lost.


Fonts and what-not

July 17th, 2011 | Category: Life

So, for the first time, I seriously dug into this template’s CSS, and I think I did okay. I changed the blog’s font to the one I use for a lot of my tattoos, Eager Naturalist, then I adjusted its sizes to make things readable. I don’t think Eager Naturalist looks good if it’s too small. I also finally wiped all traces of Italian from our comments form. I think the blog feels more… hand-written now, like a paper journal. I use Eager Naturalist for my e-mail too. Oh, and I aligned my posts left, rather than justified.

Do we like the way this feels, or should I go with a more traditional look?


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