30 Years of Experience (Birthday Post)

Happy Sunday, Motherfuckers!

Today is my birthday.  I turn thirty. I have been thinking about this post for a long time now and until months ago, had really ambitious, self-indulgent, ideas for something along the lines of a slip-stream collection of vignettes related with common themes and other pretentious crap like that however there’s a few problems with that:

  1. I hate self indulgent writing which is why I rarely write much of anything public about myself.  It’s happened, even on this blog, but I just cannot do it right now.
  2. Once I started an outline for that project, it became so big it’s now become a semi-book idea but way on the back burner because I just really don’t have any interest in publishing anything memoir-like or autobiographical until the counter gets closer to my number.  
  3. I’m not good with finishing ambitious projects on a timeline (even if I have a year or so).  At the moment anyway, maybe in the future when I’m more of a professional writer and at least some of my income is coming from writing/researching and I will have paid time to focus on such big projects instead of finding balance between a day job, spending time with my family, and working on my projects (frequently at the expense of, some, sleep).  

However it’s a bit beneath me to just say “Fuck all” and just post something along the lines of “business as usual” so I’m gonna try something I’ve never done before.  Like the stream-of-consciousness nonsensical way life meanders, or at least that’s how my life feels like it’s gone, I’m going to list the highlights of my life in loosely related one-liners interspersed with brief interludes of diatribes.  As is true to “art-imitating-life”(1) form there won’t be any intentional chronological or thematic structure. I haven’t drafted this or anything, this is coming out in a single raw and uncut draft, and like life however it happens is how it was always going to happen: random until observed.  

So, like, a life in headlines.  How about this for a headline: “In 30 years of life I’ve had, in total, as many near death experiences.”

I have a minor phobia of white vans.  

The first time I had a three-way, it was with my girlfriend and her curious friend.

I’ve always wanted to live in California until I did.  

I’ve been very aware of my own mortality and generally the human condition when I lost my 10th friend/family member at the age of 16.

I know what it’s like to be whipped with a 10 foot whip and not in a kinky way either.  

I saw my first full apparition ghost when I was seven.

I saw my first death/corpse/car accident (that I wasn’t involved in at all) when I was 19.

I went skydiving at 15,000 feet whilst in the UK and learned that if you jump from a high enough place, you won’t have enough breath to scream the whole way down.  

I’ve been homeless more than five times in my adult life, in more than a few states and technically whilst abroad.  

I’ve struggled with addiction but there was a line in the Refugee Recovery handbook that changed my entire outlook on addiction: Most people once accepting that they have a substance issue will never be able to go back to using recreationally but in some very rare cases they can.

Since beginning my first job at 15, I’ve worked in five very different professions.  

I cannot remember losing my virginity.

The first girl I ever dated broke up with me and tried to set me up with her friend however a couple of days later I walked in on them fucking.  

I’ve always felt like a “lesbian who has curiosities about men” inhabiting a man’s body.  

As in I’ve never really had a strong sense of dysphoria, I like having a dick and generally being a man but I’ve always liked dressing in women’s clothes.

I used to know a couple of girls in my childhood neighborhood who both liked me and I liked them. One was a curvy, short, blonde and the other was a tall, trim, redhead however I would always be a little anxious hanging out with them because I always felt like they were competing for my attention (I found out later this was true) and that this was a bit of a point of contention.  This was the first time I realised that I am polyamorous even if I didn’t have the vocabulary for that (all of us were late elementary school age, like between 11 and 12). They were both adopted by a single dad (they weren’t related by blood) and then one day they with their dad up and disappeared. As in one day the house was lived in and they had all their things every where, then the next day the house was completely abandoned except a few pieces of silverware and a blank floppy disk. It still haunts me to this day.

When I was a kid I always thought “silverware” was spelled “civilware” because not only are utensils obviously not made from silver and “civilized people use civilware”.  

I had an imaginary friend who creeped me out when I was a child.  I dubbed him “Camera Man” because I thought he was video taping every moment of my life documentary style.  I even used to dress in my closet because I didn’t want him to see me naked.

I’ve lived in 5 states, 2 countries, and over 15 zip codes in my home city of St Louis.  

I only have one friend left whom I’ve known longer than 5 years.

Prolonged and extreme isolation does some strange things to the human mind, similar to extreme sleep deprivation except less hallucinations.

The two main characters of my webcomic, Fin & Louie, were born out of a place of lonely desperation.  I had began drawing regularly again and I was particularly drunk one afternoon, alone, and was doodling in my notebook.  This is a semi-true story so far, I remember now that I started drawing comics and I stylized a stick figure with a mohawk to resemble my own self image at the time: minimalist with a mowhawk. Now back to the point where I was drunk, alone, and doodling in my notebook: I was having trouble coming up with some new comic ideas so I drew Fin and listened for him to talk to me.  To my surprise, he asked for a friend. I drew him a little doggy with one big spot. However that didn’t feel quite right. The dog still makes appearances in the comic, I mean he is Fin’s first pet after all, so then something came to me. A ghost of an idea, a character who could be anything he wanted to be and thus Louie the Ghost was born.

I’ve been writing since I was 7 and despite my minimalistic tendencies, I am still in possession of all my notebooks.

It took me a surprisingly long time to discover punk rock, like the good stuff not most of what composes the “new wave” of punk or whatever, especially since I discovered ska(2) almost 10 years ago now.

I strongly prefer psycho-billy to rockabilly, both fashionistically and musically.

My father told me since I was a child “Never get married or have children because they will ruin your life”.

Today I turn 30 and have been engaged for almost a year with a girl who has a kid and my life has never been more beautiful, fulfilling, or passionate.


Stay tuned next week when I resume my flash impressions of The Dresden Files series.  





  1. I believe that it goes both ways, art-imitates-life and life-imitates-art, however I feel most strongly that it’s the former than the latter because the human mind craves structure, meaning, and significance so we create art that “imitates life” however with more polish, intent, and a more clear narrative structure so that when we visit art in a way to understand life we can see the meaning of things or at least be given the illusion that there is a hidden underlining plan and a meaneaningful structure beyond the framework of mathematics and geometry.  Now I think life can be perceived to imitate art when we, as creatures with pattern seeking minds, see things happen in life that remind us of a piece of art (usually something fairly old) and believe that life is now reflecting the art that spawned that moment. Hopefully the distinction is clear, if not or if you disagree or anything always feel free to leave a comment below.
  2. Ska being the gateway drug to punk.

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