Artist. Musician. Un-Fucker of Things.
Chicago, IL No Re-blogs.


111:50AM, 9,000 Ft.

Mid-way up a mountain this afternoon, I met a pancreatic surgeon from Japan. It was particularly fortuitous that our paths should cross, given his occupation and my medical history. Needless to say, we got to talking about our walks of life. He was in Salt Lake City for a surgical conference and had decided to come a few days early and go skiing. He asked me about illustration and music and asked if I had ever designed anything for a surgeon before. I shook my head and laughed. He explained to me the likelihood of getting a pancreatic transplant in Japan, he told me that there are very few donors annually, maybe only 20-30. I asked him how much anti-rejection medication you would have to take in order to have someone else’s body parts work with your own (lots) and picked his brain about the future of artificial organs. We shouted over groaning winds about stem cells and auto-immunity, our heavy boots dangling far above the snow.

To my surprise, I could actually keep up with everything that he was saying, even with his acrobatic surgical vocabulary and broken english. He began to explain to me how exhausting and how long it can take to make advancements in the medical world, when he paused somewhat abruptly.

“The only thing that matters in all of this, is that you keep dreaming. If you do not, there will never be actualization.”

Through cultural, lingual, occupational and professional barriers, many truths remain entirely universal.

Adventures in Inflatable Erotica

January 30th, 2014:

I just had a very interesting experience.

I’ve been on the job hunt since I’ve been back from tour. Money is tight, so I’ve been applying for just about anything that I’ve come across. Scouring craigslist for odd jobs and not-so-odd jobs, I found a post looking for someone to pop balloons for a film in return for a good chunk of money. I e-mailed immediately with the subject being “Your Balloon Poppin’ Dude” thinking it was probably some art school student making a dumb video. Plus, how rad would it be to make money destroying colorful objects? I do that for free, regularly.

We set up a place and time, and I showed up feeling a mixture of jazzed, skeptical, afraid and caffeinated. I entered his (we’ll refer to him as Bryan)- I entered Bryan’s apartment with forensic eyes. Surveying everything irrationally, looking for spots of blood, a collection of knives, cattle-prods, whatever might be used to dismember my body the second I look away. Bryan was a pretty nice dude. He was shorter than me, round, flamboyant and jolly. He led me into a room filled with a bunch of colorful balloons. I began politely interrogating him. He made it pretty obvious to me that balloon popping was a fetish of his that began as a fear and blossomed into something he found particularly exciting. I chimed in, saying that that was usually how those things go, fearing things that are very much a part of who you are. (see: homophobia)

While uneasy and still skeptical (not of his orientation, but rather because I was doing something bizarre on camera in a strangers tiny apartment.) I let him know what I was and was not comfortable with. He turned on a camcorder and I began popping balloons with my hands, feet, and blowing them up until they explode. I have to admit I was having a totally great time, despite how uncomfortably aroused Bryan was getting. He was asking me to look into the camera, say some questionable things, and act menacing. I figured it was all in good fun as long as there was nothing sexual going on. I was verbally firm in my platonic intentions and continued to pop balloons by sitting on them, even racing with Bryan to see who could pop them first. In about a half hours time, I was out of breath and sitting on the floor with the remnants of about 50 latex balloon casualties scattered around me. 

The entire duration of the popping, my mind raced. “When is he going to hit me with that tiny souvenir cubs bat?” and “Maybe he’s getting me light-headed by blowing up all of these balloons so he can attack me!” or “maybe the balloons are filled with some noxious gas that will knock me out!” Again, not fearing him because of his orientation, but rather an unfair and irrational fear of him because I didn’t know him. I know I’m paranoid, whatever.

After we finished, he paid me and I began conversing with him about the fetish, because i’m super interested in that sort of thing. I asked him when it began and how long it took him to realize that his fears were actually just things that he was afraid to enjoy. He told me when he was young, he remembers a lot of the older guys that were around liked to pop balloons, and when the balloons popped it was scary, but then fun and exciting. We talked about how a lot of homophobia can spawn out of internal conflict with yourself and your own fears. We talked about fetishes, books, rubber, leather and latex. He said it was hard to find other people who shared his fetish and explained to me that it was not the balloon, nor the man, but a mixture of the two.

I shook his hand, we laughed and I left. It turns out Bryan is just a really nice dude that likes other dudes that like to pop balloons.

So if a video of me popping a ton of balloons with a punk-ass grin on my face ever surfaces, now you know why.


We call them ‘the one that got away’

as if there was something that we could have done

to keep them here.

And I will be forever haunted

not by the person that she becomes

but the fragmented memory of who she once was.

Like pieces to a puzzle that will never match.

Like keys to a house, now fallen boards and broken glass.

Greetings from southern England! Cool blog, arrived via your photo of tea brewing in a bottle. Out of curiosity, what's the brand of the bottle? I'd like to pick one up myself. Thanks!

A question by tzb33

It’s Bigelow Constant Comment. My Grandma used to make this for me all the time when I was sick.

I love how you can see the ends of your bolo tie in the pic you used for "The Nicest"

A question by isthislivingyet

Fact: I am never not wearing a bolo tie.

The Nicest

In August of 2010, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I was 18 years old, and it completely flipped my world upside down. The way that I carry myself, the way my brain processes information and the way I structure my day and life have been forever changed because of it. It is a difficult and often painful illness to live with, many can attest to that. The daily frustrations of eating meals and balancing your blood sugar levels can be a headache, particularly when modern medicine fails you. There is no need for me to divulge into the hullabaloo that is being diabetic, but let me just assure you that it is a full-time job with no breaks ever. It is always on my mind and I am always calculating my bodies intake of food and output of energy and emotion.

Months after my diagnosis, my parents and I teamed up to battle our insurance company for them to cover me switching from syringes to an insulin pump. What an insulin pump is, for those of you who don’t know, is a small pager-sized device that holds a vessel of insulin that gets pushed through a tube into a small reservoir that sits just beneath your skin. The reason why this is such an awesome thing is because it is constantly giving you small amounts of insulin, and makes it very easy to give yourself a bolus (the insulin you take before meals to break down food into energy) without the use of painful needles. It eliminates a lot of the accouterments that I normally would’ve carried around as well as the inconvenience and pain associated with needles. All together, it was a much more convenient self-management system for diabetics, but it’s very expensive.

But we did win. And years on now, I have my own qualms with insulin pumps and how they do or do not function sometimes. But this was a huge step for me, and alleviated so much struggle in my day-to-day life. It was weird for me at first, having this long tube attached to me. I was—and have continued to be— very self-conscious of my body image since then. I have always been very active and very spontaneous and boisterous, so having this sort of fragile spot on my torso was weird for me, I felt a little vulnerable and a little less eager to climb that tree, that bookshelf, tackle that girl, or whatever. I couldn’t leap around in my underwear like I normally would because it would fall out or get caught on something or rip out of my stomach (less painful than it sounds, I swear.)

Christmas that year was very special. That year in particular, was a great year of transformation in my family, it seemed that every face around the tree was one that I knew, but had never seen before. My brother had just graduated college. I was just beginning college. My mother was finally sitting comfortably in a new teaching job and an iPad sat on the kitchen table with my oldest brothers face smiling over all of us. Brief moments like this, among all of the chaos and bickering, are where I can comfortably call these people my family.

We all took turns unwrapping gifts from one another. A beard trimmer here, a blender there. This was the year of gift-giving where we were excited to get kitchen appliances instead of toys, everything was suddenly very adult. My mom handed me a large rectangular box. I gave it a shake and heard the soft sound of cloth against cardboard. “Clothes.” I knew the sound. I tore apart the paper and lifted the lid off of the recycled Macy’s box. It took a moment for me to realize what I was looking at.

Underwear. Loads of it. Each one adorned with a small pocket on the right or left side made of spare fabric. What my mother had done was pure brilliance. Love and compassion. Empathy taken flight to the nights sky spattered with understanding and acceptance. She had hand stitched all of the pairs with a pocket for my insulin pump.

This may have been a lengthy way to tell a short story, but that was the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me. I’ve had a very blessed life, filled with good fortune, passionate love and great friends that all give me so many things to be thankful for. But this small act that went on without question, without a mention or a worry has continued to blow my mind every time I get dressed in the morning. The ability to walk around in my underpants is something I will always enjoy. That may sound silly, but it’s the ability to be free and to not feel oppressed by the way our bodies sometimes fail us. It allows me—in the coffee-making, breakfast bliss that are my mornings— to forget that I have this illness, or at least fade it to the background behind my priorities and my memories. It allows me to feel free to wander and wonder, maybe even numbs the pain for a little while. And that’s the best gift you can give anyone.

I Remember

I remember playing war in our living room, howling like warriors until we passed out on top of one another. Pillows and blankets shielded us from imaginary wickedness.

I remember launching water balloons at our neighbor’s houses and giggling in the bushes when they would come outside.

I remember playing hide and seek until the horizon caught fire and the fireflies began to dance around us. Fluttering fuel for poor lanterns.

I remember the nights you came home long after I had fallen asleep.

I remember the sting of smoke and booze in my nostrils married with too much cologne in a desperate attempt to conceal the nights happenings.

I remember lying on my back, staring at the star at the top of the tree, praying that you’d be home for Christmas and shaking off the sight of unopened presents the next morning.

I remember wishing you a happy birthday through the prison telephone.

I remember you.