Tiny!

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for helping me along. Dina, thank you for pointing out the fact that I ought to update about the tiny house project.

First of all, Indiegogo transferred your donations to my bank account. Thank you all. I am humbled and astonished by your generosity. You raised about 22 thousand bucks. I bought the trailer from Tumbleweed sometime during the weeks that followed the payout and have placed the remaining funds by way of savings account.

I am now in contact with Tumbleweed to establish a delivery date and delivery address. A friend has offered her driveway as a temporary parking spot and initial foundation construction location. I hope to take delivery of the trailer and put the subfloor, insulation and foundation framing in place during the last week of May and first week of June.

Mark (THANK YOU, Mark!) is acting as construction crew foreman for the house raising party we have planned for the framing, exterior walls, roofing, windows and doors. This work party is planned for the week of June 8th.

We plan to purchase new materials for portion of the build outlined above (this will probably eat up most of the remaining funds). Beyond these materials, we will be considering only items that add conspicuous delicious outrageous beauty, value and convenience to the house. Thusly, we do not yet know what we will need beyond this small plan, only that these needs will be minimal and will be met by inexpensive elegant solutions.

Here’s an example of something like that, a painting we bought from STL painter, Scott Smith, specifically for the tiny house. The painting is about the size of a paperback book:

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Thank you, everyone! You guys are awesome! Please do continue to read on for further updates.

 

Health- I am deep in the chemo hole. Today the sun seems directly overhead, a nice change. Blood marker seems normal as of last reading, no further testing planned until next month. Everything hurts and everything seems to take way too much time and energy. Welcome to my world. :-) I’m going to go play fetch with the dog now. Bye!

Never Too Rich

You can never be too rich or too thin, right? That’s what they say, I think.

unFitness For Life (tm), The Body By Cancer Program

unFitness For Life ™, The Body By Cancer Program

Just imagine, you do no exercise. Zero minutes per day. In the photo above, which I shot two days ago, I’ve done not a single crunch or chin-up or sit-up or other focussed exercise in over a decade. Simplest weight loss plan ever. ANYONE can follow this program! You too can have six pack abs.

All you gotta do is catch cancer, take chemo and not have access to weed.

Weed is expensive, it sucks having to ask friends to commit crimes for me, dealers tend to be somewhat sketchy, cops tend to bust you for smoking weed, moms are afraid of you, and it’s not a panacea since well, as long as you’re using it to eat, hitting that bong 24/7 that is, you’re gonna be HIGH 24/7, and that makes doing stuff like driving, talking rationally, reading, etc… pretty much impossible. (On the other hand, Bevis and Butthead becomes awesomely entertaining, so there is that.) And weed fucks with messes up your sleep patterns and memory and cognitive function. Stoned all the time, yep, it’z living the dream, in dreamland.

I’m down from my normal 155 to 139 at last weigh in. That’s 5 months of losses in a row. At about 90 pounds, I think I can pretty much count on dying from some organ failure or other, so at this rate of loss, I’ve got about a year, assuming cancer or chemo doesn’t kill me first.

You can never be too skinny or too rich, right?

I been stripping a guitar.

before

Well, sorta before, the other side looks like this

Krispy! You might even say on fire. :-)

and after sufficient burning had happened, we used an angle groined dr fit wit a 150 grit pad. Which made easy work of the black burn up bits and even ripped a tummy cut by eye and thumb alone….good, good to able to work an hour here and there. Then Poof! A guitar,a badass guitar.

Moarpix:

Boho Blue over Pearl. One thick coat of pearl withone medium coat of Natueal Crackle.  And then a coat of Boho Blue on top,I hope the Pearl looks real pretty thru them cracks, dig?

  

Can’t hurt to hang with the king….

      

Scrambling get nots -worked out & we rocked the houex … Goodtoimessayyessirbo b

Then, oen mic at Shameless  Grounds coffee shop-anne cranks up!

Which makes Todd happy. Me too.

 

& sso y,ou knww wwe rcked that house  og nnudies &&  ccaffiene.. MMMmm.

AAnd then hom e to more wwaiting for crackjle to dry & then it’ss bblue  and cracks and tung oil and iin a little wti/e aa realttalhginiish.. AAnd EMGS  I’m looking forward to pplaying this thin, SSuieer Vintage Modified Mustang, well, for sure oddeed non.   

 

Next up, Crackle, then blue!!!!!!

  LLasct bshot, Jigsaw diy-ed expansion of slots to fit EMG’s. Tomorrow chiseling the body to accomodate the biggier pickups, battery, box, and an extra volume knob. Sure hope Jon knowws how to wire this fucing thing……

And a few more photos now that I’ve got most of the blue on. Another 15 minutuets and I’m gonno brush the rests and crash out. Tomorrow chiselling.

        

Sweet! I always wanted to hit a guitar with a hammer. SSquier VM’s, what they’re for, right?-)

Rock n Roll

That is, it’s all rock n roll to me. Good enough to rock, you know, whatevs, . .   . .   . uh, maybe?

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Enjoy. I hope, since Anne, Todd & Sal (me) have worked pretty hard for about two months, in addition to nursing kids and kancer, we’ve been learning to rock out together, write together (these are all improv tunes to one degree or noe other) and say yes to everything that we make conversation about during the course of our performance. Here’s what we got so far (please notice the dramatic improvement in recording quality February vs March), hah! It’s all good enough for rock n roll.

For you gear heads out there, that’s an acoustic Sonor Martini drum kit with Wuhan cymbals, a 7 string LTD tuned BBEADF#B, which allows low harmonic intervals that can’t otherwise be played easily. Anne’s vocals are running into my guitar chain (AMT wah, tiny TC Poly, Nano Metal Muff, El Cap, Rc-3, joyo power on a slab of diy-ed lucite) via the RC-3 looper’s aux port with an impedance converter in the line (it works ok). One Blue Snowball running into Garageband on Female R&B Vocal, the mic set close to my blue tube amp and pointed back at Todd’s kit gave us a nice balanced mix with a wee bleed from my other amp which has reverb to put a kinky echo on Anne’s voice from time to time.

Man! a second effort, completely live, no second tracking, no cutting or post of any sort, I’m digging it. Thank you Anne and Todd for helping me make this happen:

Lines / Colors, #1

 

The Orchids Bloom

Sharon gives me orchids. From time to time, they bloom, as now

I find them quite beautiful.

Outside, snow falls on the sycamores, and I must change plans for the day.

The sangha meets today, and I will miss them. This results from my choice of vehicle, a bike instead of a sleigh. But then

I notice my guitar and delay, a step backwards from the Timeline I’ve been running for the last two years.

the old El Capistan limits me in a way that forces tension into the music. And I love that.

later in the week, Thursday:

I think about what’s been up for the last several days and why I cannot seem to finish the message above. I have had a lot to do: grocery shopping, doctors visits, yoga, showering, dog walking, laundry, dishes, cooking, some other overhead, nail clipping, etc and quite a bit I don’t recall. My memories of the last several days seems somewhat ambiguous, blurry perhaps, maybe unclear; I am unsure. Should I invest in one of those Hero cameras? This way I might capture more time.

:-)

I re-read and notice, there’s so many instances of judgement made in just a few sentences, and those judgements limit the way I view the world. They also drain the magic out every moment because they suppose that I already know everything, yet I know almost nothing about anything. Still, I cannot see this lack for all my knowing.

I am lucky to have flowers and music in my life, that’s for sure. But I notice so much more joy around me when I am less descriminating and more open minded. This is why I have an inexpensive guitar. It’s leaves room for me where there would be not so much, if I’d paid more for it. It’s like a tattoo; I wouldn’t have them if they didn’t hurt. Where is the sweet spot; can’t I just be close and let it alone from there?

The scarlet spots and yellow clash with the purple. I hadn’t noticed that until now. The colors are perfect that way, for how else could they be?

Thank you!

You people are the best. Seriously. Two months ago, I had a crazy idea. You are helping make it a reality. The tiny house campaign just recently closed with almost $21,500 in it! This combined with the donate page has brought in almost the entire goal. Your generosity continues to amaze and humble me. Thank you all so very much, especially, my brother Sean who graciously set up the campaign and managed it for the entire run, awesome, truly awesome dude. Also, thank you everyone who bought a copy of one of my books; it’s a real validation as a writer to get paid for it! Thank you!

Updates- lately, I’ve been in survival mode. I’m fogged almost all the time, brains not working, memory zilch (I just locked myself out of my phone, hope the Apple store can fix that), averaging around 1/3 of the energy that I had before cancer came and whacked me out. Chemo remains very, very hard, and I continue to feel very lucky in that fatigue is the worst side effect; it could kill me (organ failure due to poison), make me puke really bad (this has been minimal), do all kinds of bad shit to my skin, create neuropathy (terrifying for a musician, also, minimal here) and make all my hair fall out. Mostly, I just feel dumb, foggy, extremely tired, body hurts all over, headaches, aluminum taste to food, memory shot and like I have the flu. So, overall, yep, it’s chemo and I’m beat.

Besides trying to survive chemo, I’ve started a band, which will be my main focus for the foreseeable future. I have not been doing much else. Writing, painting, blogging and so forth, I don’t have the energy or vision or whatever. This is a good thing in that I’m almost done with Embracing Cancer, my next book, and in my experience, when a book feels somewhat blocked, it means that it’s time to wait for god to bestow a gift. The only thing for me to do is keep working it. And so, on any day that chemo and my willpower permit, I put the book back up in my mind and continue. Today, I got the final page of the journal that I began specifically for this project. Only a few paintings and several essays remain before the book is done. Deadline, March 16- we’ll see.

Speaking of Embracing Cancer, I’m still looking for a publicist, an agent, a publisher (like McSweeney’s, they seem like they’d be ideal for this sort of multimedia thing) and a book designer. If anyone has a serious lead on any of these positions, please let me know. I’ll need to open a kickstarter to fund this project, so I need to know ahead of time what these people need to be paid, expenses, etc, etc.

Thank you all, especially those who have written me, like Kaitlin in Pittsburg, PA. Your letters mean the world to me and really lift my spirits which are often a bit low. If it seems like I’m taking a long time to get back to you, it’s because I’m sick, not because I don’t like you or I’m mad or you said something wrong, I’m just sick, that’s all, and it has taken me up to six months to return a simple email from time to time these past couple years. I’m sorry, but I’m slowe, and I do love your letters and email and other communiques.

People who have sent money for the tiny house, watch this space, know that we love you and thank you with all our hearts, and we’ll post updates about the project as it rolls onward. We tentatively  plan to build in the beginning of June when it will be warm and the people on the construction crew are off work from their day jobs as teachers. Sharon and I will spend the next months looking for a place to park, materials for the house (special magic objects for everything, we mean to make this place mean something), and educating ourselves in building techniques. We watched a Tumbleweed construction video the other night that was really informative and gave us a big boost in confidence. Thank you all for helping make this dream a reality; I could not have even begun without you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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How Dumb Can You Get

Thank you everyone! Although today’s post is about autonomy, obviously, _I_ can’t do anything alone, and you have all helped by reading here, buying Werewolves and helping with the tiny house. You are truly awesome. Thank you.

I’ve been wondering lately, how dumb I can get before I give up. Chemo brings these thoughts because with chemo ramping up in my system again, I can feel myself getting dumber. Get ready for more typos here. My memory becomes even more spotty. And because in order to stay alive, that is to eat, I have to smoke weed, so, I’m stoned quite a bit. And, stoniness also fucks up short term memory. Bleh. Besides which, chemo saps energy, and I have fewer functional hours each day. With all these factors combined, I’m surprised my vision begins to penetrate the fog to any degree whatsoever.

I’ve thought also about what it means to me to be alive, what counts for me. Autonomy counts for all. Of course, autonomy comes in various degrees. I think of the basics of life wherein, as oldsters are evaluated, I might or might not be able to perform the tasks necessary to care for myself, such as:
-getting out of bed on my own and walking around
-so that I brush my teeth and do my toileting
-and shower and dress and breakfast
-and do something that means something to me with my day
Without these basics in my immediate possession, some of my autonomy goes away, and I must rely on someone else to help me care for myself, that is, to stay alive.

I wrote some in the book yesterday, and also in a letter to a friend. I got a painting done yesterday, that I’m not going to show here. There are tons of them, the best ones, you’ll have to buy the book to see them. :-) Just kidding, I post the best ones here and save the ugly ones for the book. No, really.

 

Real Dumb!

to(o) dumb!

I think I’ll go play some guitar now, stoner rock, of course.

Werewolves: more than five years in the making

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your attention, love and support. Special thanks goes out to those who have been eagerly awaiting the next book, Werewolves. It is now available for sale, just click the title or the cover below. Extra special thanks goes out to those who have freely given to support me and to raise the tiny house for Sharon (and maybe even me, if I live that long).

Werewolves Cover

guache, inkjet color print, December 19, 2014, Sal Laughter, in private collection: NFS

More than five years in the making, I gave Werewolves everything I had. I gave my retirement account to support myself while I wrote. I used every tool in my writer’s toolkit, and I honed each piece to the best of my ability as shown to me by my excellent teachers, Ann, Don, Allen, Singer and Janet. And now, I have abandoned the work on Amazon for your perusal.

If you want to see the next title in print and on Kindle, Embracing Cancer, please buy Werewolves. I can’t play pinball here without lighting up the free game light, and the only way to do that is to sell enough for me to live on.

Thank you everyone. You people are the best!

This One Goes Out To My Sister

Hi Everyone, thank you, darkling readers, and thank you for helping us get this house built. You people are just awesome. Truly.

Speaking of building houses, perhaps, I will live long enough to drive a nail or two. To that end:

more chemo. enjoy.

more chemo. enjoy.

Thanks also to the Dr F and the Kancer Krew for getting this poison for me, as well as the lovely people at Accredo and Express Scripts who facilitated this order, and all the people who contributed to CancerCare Co-pay Assistance Foundation which makes it possible for me to afford these pills.

I’m hanging out here with a savage headache, just took two pills, seven minutes ago. Operating at maybe 30% of normal energy today. Can’t wait to see how I feel about two hours from now. Oh, god, please don’t let me forget to pocket several spare Ativan.

Good luck, everyone. See you later.