Cranking the Engine

It’s easy to get discouraged and pre-occupied with all of the shit and nonsense that surrounds entertainment and forget why you started creating in the first place, why you went to college for design and why your vision matters.

 

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Extreme facial Peel Results! NSFW

Did you like that headline? Are you expecting some beauty DIY or excessive plastic surgery treatment? well, sorry for the bait, but this post is about being 1 year out (early summer 2016) from having burned off most of the skin on my face in a fire-breathing stunt gone wrong.

I open every show by telling the audience that every single stunt I do is real, and very dangerous, and not to fucking do it. I don’t “teach” any of my stunts, or advocate anyone do them, ever. Honestly it’s a matter of time before something, especially with fire stunts, goes wrong. It’s laughable that people took my injury as an opportunity to attempt to embarrass, degrade and harass me, before my wounds had even been been closed. If I had a nickle for every POS claiming to be “The best fire performer on the west coast” who messaged me in poorly articulated slurring to lecture me about “teaching unsafe fire practices” or berate me for having gotten injured because “I was a hazard to the entire fire community” I’d be retiring in Boca. This came about because a peabrained jackass from inside of one of the recreational camping clubs I belong to decided to rant and pan me on multiple facebook boards for speaking publicly about my injury and taking responsibility for what had happened to me. To clarify, I have never belonged to the “fire community”. I learned my skills and safety from someone who toured up and down the coast with a PNW circus that doesn’t exist any more. I have learned everything I know about doing superhuman stunts for pay catch-as-can from extraordinary people I’ve met on my journey. I have never made any of the bullshit claims you’ll hear from others to have “mastered” any of my performing crafts, and don’t have the ego to put myself up on a platform to TEACH anyone. Simply, I don’t teach and never have.

My injuries left me with burns ranging from 1-3 degree, and almost cost me an eye. I was under outpatient observation by the burn unit at Harborview with weekly check ins and initially, it was speculated I would have to be listed for grafts. I was in the most unique pain I had ever experienced in my entire life for months, having to scrub crust and dead cells off of my wounded face every single day and bound by a skimask of disgusting petroleum soaked occlusive bandaging. I kept joking that I’d be eight times more interesting if I came out the other side disfigured, but I was terrified and uncertain if I would ever be comfortable looking at myself in the face ever again.

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A year later, I have scars that light up red like demons stripes if my blood pressure rises and the newly regrown skin on my face is prone to blocked pores and infections worse than I ever had going through puberty, and painfully sensitive skin I cant treat aggressively enough to clear. Besides the initial internet harassment, I have had appalling instances of public harassment,(one almost being assaulted by someone in a shopping mall) concentrated mostly while my wounds were still closing and have been loudly and rudely criticized for supposedly “not taking care of myself”, even to the tune of being called a “Nasty, ugly bitch”.

My “Bad skin” is a mess of scars that are a token of pain that marks me as a survivor with one less thing to lose.

I am beautiful in the way that notch eared jungle beasts are beautiful, and I will eat the best parts of you and a leave a carcass for the buzzards.

Pretentious and happy introspection

A letter to myself, not written in response to anything:

Sometimes I sit and look at my life of rare, ridiculous and priceless experiences, comrades and acquisitions and I think to myself…

Yes, you silly child, This is the adulthood you wanted.

You wanted a body you felt powerful and sensual in, you wanted to be surrounded by fascinating people and artifacts, you wanted to love and be loved by people that were worthy and made you feel worthy. You wanted to create and help hang stars in the very sky.

You wanted soo much, but…

You never wanted a mansion with a pool,
silly designer appliances and toys, small thighs and smaller feet.
You never wanted to be blinded by camera flashes and shouts when you left your house because you were beautiful once upon a time, but they still think about your every flaw in comparison to yourself.
That was a lie. It was all the lie you told me over and over.

All you ever wanted was to be strange, rare and happy.

You’re welcome. I got these things for you, I made them with blood, sweat and soo many tears, I manufacture them daily with every effort I can muster.
You’re welcome.
This. Is. Your. Birthright.

Trancendentalism: Everyone gets a lifetime

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote extensively on Transcendentalism, and the ideals of achieving perfection of the self in an ultimately flawed world through understanding of experience.

The pursuit of the ideal self has led me down countless avenues of experience, both positive and harmful, and I live with very few regrets because those experiences have all brought me a higher understanding of existence than what I possessed before living them. This marvelous alphabet soup comes down to three words:

“Why Can I?”.

Instead of accepting our limitations, examining the possibilities and realities of every possible option, including the one we choose to live brings us deeper understanding of ourselves and life itself. Transcendental thinking involves a great deal of willingness to accept the “good and the bad” and evaluate them outside of the framework of preconceptions of what “should” or “should not” be.

I tend to find myself preoccupied with the experience I haven’t had yet, but know people who theoretically have, Death. or rather the cessation of cognitive function.

I study the materials and ephemera of death, darkness and cultural significance of the symbols we associate with it globally. It is fascinating to me how deeply we associate beautiful, sensual materials; such as the color black, smooth bone, musty earth, delicate shrouds as symbols of the conceptual death while we remain alive.

Theoretically, we can only experience decomposition, burial and other processes of death through the experiences of others who are, technically, no longer experiencing them: leaving us to participate in customs (That by their uniform natures rob us of deep genuine experience) or observe biological functions and materials.

I could carry on, but never forget,

Everyone gets a lifetime.

 

Shedding

Letting go of the past, and the shitty people in it is a battle of venn diagrams, every time you get further away, you still have to intersect with people who went out of their way to try to hurt you, your family or your career; Unless that is, you’re willing to escape to an island far away, do something entirely new and change your name.

It seems unfair that you have to scrap everything and start over when you’re not the one who did the harm, but frankly doesn’t everything capable of refreshing themselves enjoy a good shed? Leave the scars, scrapes and stains behind?

Fortunately, starting over doesn’t have to be a drastic castaway situation.

Take a deep breath and decide to stop talking about the people from your past, slowly make their relevance to you fade like a dry husk that was weighing you down and making you itch. Every day you grow as a person, shed more of the uncomfortable past.

It doesnt fit who you are now, those people don’t fit you now.

New programming languages and other Hobbies

I was having an intellectual itch, and I started learning a new coding system. The problem is not the coding itself but the practical applications and ethical issues involved. Unfortunately a lot of programming languages are so very easily used for evil nowadays, and the temptation to do so for fun and profit hasn’t escaped me. So many people interact seamlessly with technology in this age that never developed a taste for it when now simple tasks were difficult and required intimate knowledge of the anatomy of an information stream to automate.

Fortunately, I am limited by the amount of brainpower I can dedicate to processing raw code streams that I don’t think that the world is in danger, I blame all of the living I’ve done and frequent head injuries 🙂 However my love of making data do my bidding hasn’t lost it’s appeal in the years since I set aside programming and between the new language I’m learning and the MIT opensource course material I’m casually traipsing though, I don’t feel like my brain is going to waste as I focus on improving my body. I’m enjoying being a whole person and motivated by all of the loves in my life that make living extraordinary.

Remember kids, The smarter of a jock you are, the closer you are to being a super villain.

 

Every Day

Every morning, wake up and look yourself in the mirror.
The days you can’t are the days you should start to make a change.
Stop looking for a while and come back later, the person staring back at you is new, changed, different, I promise.

the best and worst days of your life so far are behind you and the time you have ahead, you are capable of soo much more than you give yourself credit for.

No dawn is a gift from god, every day is progress across a battlefeild with a swath of destruction and rebirth behind you. You did that, you survived until today, you did whatever life called upon you to do to survive, and you grew from an idea of yourself into a formidable behemoth with limitless potential.

Congratulations! You’re still here.