The GAUNTLET: Ray Huse

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I asked a bunch of my friends to answer the questions in the Gauntlet and discuss their thoughts on the music that means the most to them; here’s one of the responses…

Ray Huse is someone I met during my brief stint as a student at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. He initially lived down the hall from me in the dorm, and even if he wasn’t introduced to me by our mutual friend Kyle, I would have met him eventually, as this guy is the very embodiment of the cool Music Geek everyone knows about. His record collection was epic at a time (the early-to-mid 1990s) when the format was considered completely dead, to say nothing of his CD collection. He is the kind of guy you’d spend countless hours talking about music over a pint or several; I couldn’t wait to hear his responses for The Gauntlet, and he didn’t disappoint…

I’m going to preface this with the typical bit that almost all these answers – except for the first purchase – might be different on any given day, but at this moment as I flip through my collection, here’s what I’m feeling:

THE ALBUM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE WAS:

Murmur (R.E.M.)

Let’s just get this out of the way. I’m a big fan of this band, and they were the gateway to an overall obsession with music. And while this wasn’t the entry point for me, when I bought this and put on the headphones to listen, I just knew it was a turning point. I was going from a casual listener to music junkie.

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WAS:

Please (Pet Shop Boys)

I had bought a number of 45s before this, and co-purchased a couple albums with my older brothers. And I’m still not sure why I picked this particular one up, other than maybe it didn’t rock enough for my brothers. But I loved a good synthy hook then, and I still do now. Still a fan, and just saw them live for the first time last month in Minneapolis.

THE ALBUM I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT TO IS:

The Muffs (The Muffs)

This album came out before Green Day’s Dookie and should have been as huge. (Fun fact: the producer is the same on both records.) It hits a lot of the same territory with a badass chick singer who could play sweet and scream in the same breath. RIP Kim Shattuck. Gone way too soon.

THE ALBUM THAT SHOULD NOT BE IS:

Metal Machine Music (Lou Reed)

Enough has been piled on this album over the years, but the tragedy is not that it’s weird, it’s just boring. I think even Lou knew he phoned it in on what could have been interesting.

THE ALBUM I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LOVE IS:

The Road To Ensenada (Lyle Lovett)

I was so anti-country anything for a long time. I blame Garth Brooks. And I wish I was making this up, but I was at a listening station in a store where you could sample new CDs. And I put this on by accident. And I thought it sounded spectacularly produced and recorded. So I bought it purely for those reasons. And what do you know, the guy turns out to be a songwriting genius? “Joshua Judges Ruth” is a smidge better, but I wouldn’t have got that without this first, and still love it. (See what I did there?)

SOMEONE ASKS ME WHAT MY FAVORITE MUSIC IS, I GIVE THEM A COPY OF:

Peter Gabriel [aka Melt] (Peter Gabriel)

This just seems like it could sit pretty comfortably next to anything I own. I tell people my favorite music is “college rock before Nirvana.” And I suppose this fits the genre along with Talking Heads, Replacements, etc. But this has some leanings into other areas I like with world music elements and spacey atmospheric stuff too.

THE ALBUM I WOULD WANT WITH ME ON A DESERT ISLAND IS:

Bitches Brew (Miles Davis)

Why? I can remember and replicate so many great albums that I know by heart and play them back in my memory. This is not one of them. It always rewards on repeated listening though and maybe I can challenge myself to figure this one out on the island.

NO ONE WILL BELIEVE I OWN A COPY OF:

Hotel California (The Eagles)

I’m fully with the Dude and have consistently professed how much I do not like this band who was somehow always worse to me than the sum of their parts. I got a copy of it for free some years ago, and I thought I’d listen to it to reevaluate the band. You know I’ve been wrong before. But I’ve never brought myself to that point yet. So it just sits there.

THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE IS:

When I Was Cruel (Elvis Costello)

I’ve been on a bit of a kick lately listening to albums some of my favorite artists made when they were about my age. I dropped this back on not too long ago, and a flood of memories from the time it came out just rushed back – good and bad. And I kind of experienced something new with something familiar. It just felt like me now and then. So maybe I just interpreted this question a little differently.

THE BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS:

Blade Runner
I Am Sam

I’m going to cheat a little here as I definitely love movie music, and I consider a soundtrack and scores as different beautiful things. My score choice is Blade Runner by Vangelis. It’s so perfectly from another world, just like its film. For a soundtrack collection of songs, It’s tempting to say The Crow but so many people – including you – throw that out there. I’ll pick I Am Sam to make up for excluding some of my favorite artists elsewhere, and it’s a fantastic collection of Beatles covers. I love a great cover tune, and the Beatles!

::END TRANSMISSION::

The GAUNTLET: Jade Hutchens

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I asked a bunch of my friends to answer the questions in the Gauntlet and discuss their thoughts on the music that means the most to them; here’s one of the responses…

Jade is one of those friends that I would have never thought I would actually be close friends with; we both met while working at Jimmy John’s in Omaha, and while my initial reaction to her personality was slight annoyance, over time she has become the closest thing to a daughter to me. One of the things we’ve bonded over was, of course, music. Here’s here answers to the Gauntlet questions…

THE ALBUM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE WAS:

One-X (Three Days Grace)

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WAS:

Missundaztood (Pink)

THE ALBUM I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT TO IS:

One-X (Three Days Grace)

THE ALBUM THAT SHOULD NOT BE IS:

Up On The Ridge (Dirks Bentley)

THE ALBUM I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LOVE IS:

Swan Songs (Hollywood Undead)

SOMEONE ASKS ME WHAT MY FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC IS, I GIVE THEM A COPY OF:

3 albums for me 😅

The Wall (Pink Floyd)
Infinite (Eminem)
Up On The Ridge (Dirks Bentley)

THE ALBUM I WOULD WANT WITH ME ON A DESERT ISLAND IS:

The Wall (Pink Floyd)

NO ONE WILL BELIEVE I OWN A COPY OF:

Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits (Elvis Presley)

THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE IS:

Music is life and I appreciate so many different forms!

THE BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS:

Blow

::END TRANSMISSION::

The GAUNTLET: Michael John Larson

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I asked a bunch of my friends to answer the questions in the Gauntlet and discuss their thoughts on the music that means the most to them; here’s one of the responses…

Michael John Larson is the guitarist for the Black Metal band Frost Like Ashes, as well as having a hand in several other bands. He’s also one of my Facebook friends, so I sent him a request to participate in The Gauntlet. He obliged, and here we are…

THE ALBUM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE WAS:

Thick As A Brick (Jethro Tull)

“I remember listening the day it came out. I was 3. I sat and listened and fell in love with music. After that listening to records was a family thing my mom and me did. The Beatles, Black Sabbath and more. Yep I remember wanting to play music after that.”

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WAS:

The Long Run (The Eagles)

THE ALBUM I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT TO IS:

Annihilation Of The Wicked (Nile)

“I say this one cuz it was the last album I did this to.”

THE ALBUM THAT SHOULD NOT BE IS:

Risk (Megadeth)

“Or some mumble rap thing.”

THE ALBUM I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LOVE IS:

Plans (Death Cab For Cutie)

SOMEONE ASKS ME WHAT METAL IS, I GIVE THEM A COPY OF:

Master Of Reality (Black Sabbath)

THE ALBUM I WOULD WANT WITH ME ON A DESERT ISLAND IS:

Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (Megadeth)

NO ONE WILL BELIEVE I OWN A COPY OF:

The Best Of B.J. Thomas (B.J. Thomas)

THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE IS:

“I don’t know really, but Motorhead’s “Born To Lose, Live To Win” seems like a fitting theme song though.”

THE BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS:

Heavy Metal Soundtrack

::END TRANSMISSION::

The GAUNTLET: Matt Wilwerding

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I asked a bunch of my friends to answer the questions in the Gauntlet and discuss their thoughts on the music that means the most to them*; here’s one of the responses…

Back in the 90s, when I was still in my early to mid 20s, there was this kid in my youth group that listened to punk and hardcore, and spiked up his hair with wood glue. That kid was Matt Wilwerding, and we bonded quickly through (among other things) our love of music. We’ve remained friends to this day, and he agreed to go through the Gauntlet…

THE ALBUM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE WAS:

Gomorrah’s Season Ends (Earth Crisis)

“I was introduced to this album at the ripe age of 12 by a neighbor up the street who was really into hardcore and straight edge. At the time I was dabbling with a lot of mainstream harder rock, but this wooed me. There was something more aggressive, more sincere and clandestine about this music than the “hard stuff” playing on the radio, and since that point I’ve taken a deep dive into underground punk, hardcore, metal, assorted weirdo music, etc for the past 2+ decades.”

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WAS:

Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (Smashing Pumpkins)

“I can’t remember if I bought this or received it for Christmas around age 10, but it was definitely one of my first CD’s that I owned. At the time I had this it was the denouement of grunge, and I was attracted to harder rock stuff. It seemed to somewhat satisfy then. However, I no longer own this and I really couldn’t stand to listen to it now at this point in my life.”

THE ALBUM I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT TO IS:

Pleasure To Kill (Kreator)

“Jumping Jehoshaphat on a pogo stick, this is a neck breaker! Thrash at its finest and fastest! These Teutonic shredders know how to push the tempo. Besides being in my top 5 thrash albums of all time, I had the immense fortune to find an original LP version of this in Germany (on a recent trip I took) for only 20 euros!”

THE ALBUM THAT SHOULD NOT BE IS:

Grave New World (Discharge)

“After becoming stalwarts of the 80’s hardcore punk genre for the first half of the decade, these Brits released this horrendous take on metal/crossover. Besides the horrible production, the singer decided to change his style from a ferocious, rabid bark to a D-rate Robert Plant caterwaul. Oy Vey…all remaining copies of this should be thrown down a bottomless hole.”

THE ALBUM I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LOVE IS:

Under Lock And Key (Dokken)

“In my teens I was diving head first into harder music, and was gobbling up a lot of death, black, and thrash metal. However I still couldn’t stand any type of hair/glam metal, especially Dokken. This was compounded by the fact that my stepdad liked them, seeing as how they were the background music of his wild, rip-roaring 20’s. However, after “maturing” and opening myself up to more diverse styles over the years, I came to be more receptive to other metal genres, and ended up loving this record.”

SOMEONE ASKS ME WHAT METAL IS, I GIVE THEM A COPY OF:

The Last In Line (Dio)

“Opening with the anthemic and speedy “We Rock” this release grabs you by the throat and keeps your attention for the whole amazing album. Plenty of faster paced songs (“I Speed at Night”) and foot-stomping, fist-pumping plodders (“One Night in the City”), this should be in every metal head’s collection.”

THE ALBUM I WOULD WANT WITH ME ON A DESERT ISLAND IS:

Is Nothing Sacred? (The Lords Of The New Church)

“Is it Goth? Is it New Wave? Is it Punk? Is it all of the above? Yes, and despite having a hodge podge of these styles on one record, the Lords are still able to write some catchy songs and create a cohesive album. I would predict if this was the only album I had, I could scratch my itch for all those great genres with this one LP.”

NO ONE WILL BELIEVE I OWN A COPY OF:

True Blue (Madonna)

“Ok, I’ll admit I have a soft spot for 80’s pop. Even though this is overproduced, shined-to-a-glossy-sheen commercial music, it has some very catchy numbers on it. Though this belongs more in the collection of a Valley Girl or some former cheerleader, I have to come clean and confess this guilty pleasure.”

THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE IS:

High School Rock (Huntingtons)

“Although I’ve definitely moved on from my High School years, I still feel that the cliquey-ness endemic therein spreads throughout multiple areas in life beyond the confines of a school building. However I love how the compilation of songs and the stories therein seem to resonate with my life, whether it’s about eccentric individuals we meet, 80’s movies, lost romances or other amusing anecdotes. High School Rock covers them all, and has found a special place in my heart.”

THE BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS:

The Return Of The Living Dead Soundtrack

“This is a recent find for me, but this album just has a great spooky mix of songs across various genres. Whether it’s straight up punk, new wave, synth pop or garage rock, all these styles coalesce on the soundtrack to prop up the creepy-but-campy (in proper 80’s fashion) atmosphere of the movie. You’ll definitely have a craving for more brains after Side A and Side B have been played through!”

*If you want to participate in discussing the music and albums that mean the most to you, DM me on Facebook, Twitter or email me

::END TRANSMISSION::

The GAUNTLET: Paul Christian Glenn

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I asked a bunch of my friends to answer the questions in the Gauntlet and discuss their thoughts on the music that means the most to them; here’s one of the responses…

I’ve known Paul since our Freshman year at Logan View Jr/Sr High (it has since expanded to something of an amorphous blob absorbing several rural districts like a hungry alien gastropod, but I digress); somehow, we’ve remained friends, having a mutual respect for our different views on music tastes and the like. He’s a filmmaker who you should definitely check out, with a couple of shorts gaining no small measure of acclaim. It’s my pleasure to have him be the first to respond to my Gauntlet list:

THE ALBUM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE WAS:

Chase The Kangaroo (The Choir)

I bought this record solely because the cover was cool, and it blew my 14-year-old mind. I’d never encountered songs that left me with existential questions. The psychedelic arrangements were unlike anything I’d heard before, and it became my gateway to a whole world beyond the jingoistic pop rock I grew up with. Standout track: Chase the Kangaroo.

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WAS:

Perfect Timing (Sweet Comfort Band)

First cassette I ever bought and the first CD I ever bought. Standout track: Don’t Bother Me Now.

THE ALBUM I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT TO IS:

Souvlaki (Slowdive)

These songs make me feel like I’m flying. Standout track: Alison.

THE ALBUM THAT SHOULD NOT BE IS:

Astro Lounge (Smashmouth)

I mean, screw Smashmouth in general, but I never, ever want to hear All Star again. Ever.

THE ALBUM I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LOVE IS:

Cigarettes After Sex (Cigarettes After Sex)

First of all, what an obnoxious band name. Second, there a faint ASMR quality to this band that’s usually a huge turn-off for me. But the songs are just so damn good, it’s an irresistible album. Standout track: Each Time You Fall in Love.

SOMEONE ASKS ME WHAT MY FAVORITE MUSIC IS, I GIVE THEM A COPY OF:

1965 (The Afghan Whigs)

This is my favorite band, so it’s hard to pick one album, but I choose this one because it includes “John the Baptist,” which is the best rock song ever written. Put it on, turn it all the way up! Standout track: John the Baptist.

THE ALBUM I WOULD WANT WITH ME ON A DESERT ISLAND IS:

Disintegration (The Cure)

It’s got everything I love: lush arrangements, brazen romanticism, unforgettable melodies, poetic lyrics. From start to finish, this album creates its own dreamy, creepy, melancholy world, and I never get tired of visiting. Standout track: Disintegration.

NO ONE WILL BELIEVE I OWN A COPY OF:

Happy Man (B.J. Thomas)

70’s “adult contemporary” at its purest, complete with sappy arrangements and maudlin lyrics. But goodness, do I love that man’s voice. Standout track: Happy Man.

THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE IS:

Black Celebration (Depeche Mode)

This album hasn’t left my regular rotation since 1989. Standout track: A Question of Lust.

THE BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS:

Beautiful Girls Soundtrack

Every song is a banger. Standout track: Can’t Get Enough of Your Love by The Afghan Whigs.

::END TRANSMISSION::

The Gauntlet

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You can tell a lot about a person by what they listen to. To the average person who just knows me on the surface level, I am an unashamed \,,/METALHEAD\,,/. However, to those who are within my circle of friends that I have allowed to know me on a more personal level, understand that it’s a bit more nuanced than just “I listen to metal only”.

So, in an effort to be a bit more, shall we say, vulnerable–because music is as intimate as anything physical–I have taken the questions posed to musicians in a regular article featured in the Metal Hammer magazine, and answered them myself, with a bit of modification because I am not, in fact, a musician. I call this bunch of questions The Gauntlet. I may ask my own friends to answer these questions as well, whether they be musicians or not, because I am always interested in discussing the personal power of music in someone’s life. Here we go, then…

THE ALBUM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE WAS:

Highway To Hell (AC/DC)
To Hell With The Devil (Stryper)

Okay, we’re beginning this with a tie: AC/DC’s classic Highway To Hell, because it was my first actual taste of hard rock and metal back when I was the tender age of 11; and Stryper’s To Hell With The Devil, because it introduced me to my Lord Jesus utilizing really, really good metal.

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WAS:

Rio (Duran Duran)

Again, I was 11, and I had been slowly using the birthday, Christmas and allowance money I saved up on music instead of toys; I was really into Duran Duran, so I bought their 2nd album at the K-Mart while accompanying my grandparents there one evening. I chose that one, because it had “Hungry Like The Wolf” on it, but the entire album is a front-to-back banger, to this day.

THE ALBUM I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT TO IS:

Rust In Peace (Megadeth)

This was also my first Megadeth album, back when I thought Metallica was the be-all, end-all of thrash metal. This album is just pure speed, and whenever I play it in the car, I always unconsciously want to go as fast as the music.

THE ALBUM THAT SHOULD NOT BE IS:

St. Anger (Metallica)

I usually can find something good about every post-Black Album release (I don’t count Lulu as an actual Metallica release, change my mind), every one except St. Anger. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this release, whatsoever. It’s badly produced, badly written, the lyrics just suck, and it’s evident that the band that once were the trendsetters were now following the trends themselves.

THE ALBUM I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LOVE IS:

The Sound Of White Noise (Anthrax)

I still maintain that Joey Belladonna was the voice of Anthrax. Back in 1992, when this album was released, I wanted nothing to do with it, because not only did it not feature Belladonna on vocals, but I knew about how he was let go from the band, and wasn’t happy about it. However, about a decade or so ago, I decided to give it at least one listen, and…it’s much, much better than I thought it would be. It’s now not only one of my Top Five favorite Anthrax albums to date, I have a better appreciation for the “John Bush Years” as well.

SOMEONE ASKS ME WHAT METAL IS, I GIVE THEM A COPY OF:

Painkiller (Judas Priest)

Okay, sure, I understand that most would say, “Why not British Steel? Or Screaming For Vengeance? Or Keeping The Faith?” And I’m not arguing with those, as they’re fine representative albums. But for me, from the opening bombast drum solo of the title track, all the way through to the album ender “One Shot At Glory”, this thing is just pure, unadulterated \,,/METAL\,,/.

THE ALBUM I WOULD WANT WITH ME ON A DESERT ISLAND IS:

The Wall (Pink Floyd)

I initially bought this album because of the song “Another Brick In The Wall, Part II” (the “We don’t need no education” song from the radio), but soon the entire album grew on me. This was my first introduction to what is a concept album, and even after all these decades, listening to this thing not only never gets old, I always manage to get something new out of it with every listen. So yeah, if I found myself on an island and this was the only thing I had to listen to for the rest of my days, I would be just fine.

NO ONE WILL BELIEVE I OWN A COPY OF:

First Class (The Boones)

Look, there’s a lot of music in my collection that many who know me well won’t even blink an eye at, simply because they know that my taste in music beyond \,,/METAL\,,/ is incredibly varied and nuanced. However, I have to admit I have no idea how this album found its way into my collection. So, you might say that even I can’t believe I own a copy of an album put out by Pat Boone’s daughters from the 70s.

THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE IS:

The Last Temptation (Alice Cooper)

When it comes to my Christian faith, it’s not what you would call your normal American Evangelical variety, and this concept album by the undisputed king of dark theater for the mind is eerily uncanny at how close the storyline parallels my own journey through the valley of the shadow of death. The final song still sends chills down my spine to this day.

THE BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS:

The Crow
Last Action Hero

We opened this with a tie, and it’s fitting that we’re going to end this with a tie: The soundtrack to the 1994 movie The Crow is the perfect collection of music to brood to, as well as having perhaps the most perfect song from The Cure in existence (again, change my mind). The soundtrack to the 1993 movie Last Action Hero, though, is near perfect in that it has songs from varied hard rock and metal sources, like AC/DC, Alice In Chains, Megadeth, Fishbone, Cypress Hill, as well as a freshly John Bush-fronted Anthrax, all on the same disc.

Whelp, there we have it. How would you answer these questions yourself? Even if you don’t like metal (for whatever reason), what are the albums that mean the most to you? Let me know.

::END TRANSMISSION::

It’s Thirteen O’Clock Somewhere…

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Yesterday morning, I started my day by going to one of the blogs I check out on a daily basis, to see about updates. There was one that began the new article with a quote taken from the George Orwell classic 1984. It’s a book that, in my not-so-humble opinion, should be read by everyone, everywhere, at least once in their lives, and for obvious reasons. But, I digress.

After reading the quote, I decided to gather together a handful of my favorite quotes from the book, and post them here. I would urge you, tender reader, to seek out the book and read it for the entire context to all of these quotes; in the meantime, here they are, along with some of the more striking book cover artwork over the decades:

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your argument a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?

The horrible thing about the Two Minute Hate was not that one was obliged to act the part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in.

Winston woke up with the word ‘Shakespeare’ on his lips.

The heresy of heresies was common sense.

“I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”

History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

::END TRANSMISSION::

REHAB, Day 21: 9/23/2022

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Fuck this day. No, seriously: Fuck. This. Day. With a spiked metal gauntlet and no consent. I am still recovering from the massive anxiety-ridden breakdown that was this day. Let’s review, shall we?

The day began by waking up at 5am, needing to use the restroom. Then, after checking out a blog that started with a quote from the book 1984 by George Orwell–the quote being What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your arguments a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?–I decided, as a larf, to share a few of my favorite little nuggets from that particular literary classic on my social pages. So, I gathered together a couple of handfuls of quotes, grabbed a bunch of vintage book cover art from past publications of the book to go with each quote, and uploaded them to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, with the aim to do a full post on them on this blog later in the day.

After breakfast, though, I was visited by the resident social worker and one of her aides to inform me that the decision was that I was to be discharged; as to when, they were meeting to determine the date. Since they were rather vague–stating “it could be tomorrow, it could be some time next week”–and knowing that my sister and mother didn’t want me back at the farm, leaving only the Victorian to go back to despite it being the last place to be for healing up my wound, the anxiety-fueled breakdown commenced for the next few hours, well into the afternoon. I was overwhelmed by feelings of abandonment by my family. Angry because no one seemed to be listening to me.

Then came OT. I wanted to get out and do something that would get my mind off of that. Only thing is, that was when my sister decided to text me, further fueling my breakdown. They aren’t coming this weekend to talk. Suddenly there’s something more important to do than this. I get it. Fine.

Decided to try and numb the pain by way of the pain meds. Have been taking them every four hours or so. Napping every so often, not really getting a straight 8 hours during the day. Still trying to process having to be back on the second floor, trying to figure out how I’m going to best get up and down those steps. No place to put the wheelchair, or use it effectively. Back at square one. Mother suggesting the Towers in Fremont. Problem is, there is no income for me at the moment. Not until I’m able to get onto disability; and as my dear person pointed out, it takes a while to get that kind of housing. You can’t just snap your fingers and *poof* better accommodations. As my sister oh so glibly put it a few days ago, I have to work with the cards I am dealt. And really, I’m fine with the Haunted Victorian, it’s just that the biggest hurdle are the stairs. I can work with those. Everything else…I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them.

And as symbolic to how this day went, late tonight, I hopped into my wheelchair to take a quick jaunt to the vending machines down the hall, as I had a craving for some Cheetos. I get to the vending machine, and it was out of Cheetos. Well, they had alternate Cheetos: the Puffy and the hot varieties. But, I am strictly a Crunchy Cheetos guy. Of course they would be out of the one thing that would bring me a modicum of joy during what I was now referring to as “Black Friday”. So, I just grabbed a bag of regular Fritos and the Honey BBQ Fritos Spirals as consolation prizes. They still went great with the last bottle of Mountain Dew.

::END TRANSMISSION::

2 Timothy 1:7-8

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For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

Scripture promises those that preach the Gospel to expect suffering and persecution. Here, the Apostle Paul tells his young protégé Timothy to expect suffering, but also promised him that God would give him strength and that he would be ready when it was his turn to suffer.

In his time, Christians were being persecuted, jailed and put to death loving and following Jesus and spreading the Gospel. In modern times today, while there is no outward persecution of Christians like that of the First Century, sharing our faith, the Gospel of Christ Jesus, can be difficult. Fortunately, the promise that Paul gave Timothy all the way back in the First Century CE1 applies to us now: we can rely on the Holy Spirit–Who was imparted to all believers the moment we repented and trusted in Jesus’ atonement–to give us courage, whenever we need it.

This courage I need…on a daily basis…I praise You, Lord Jesus…have mercy on Your unworthy servant…

::END TRANSMISSION::

1or “AD”, if you’re old school like myself

REHAB, Day 20: 9/22/2022

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Today hasn’t been as big of a depression triggering existential quandary as it was yesterday. Went unconscious at around 11pm, didn’t wake up until 5pm. Boy, did I need to pee.

Watched Minions 2: The Rise Of Gru, then Kung Fu Panda 3 in the morning. Wound vac change. Due to the one CNA that clearly has an issue with my natural way of talking–deep, deliberately and commanding–I almost missed out on lunch. Again. I can understand how my way of talking can be taken as as off-putting, especially with what I tern is resting grumpy face. But, come on. If that’s what sets you off, perhaps this isn’t the profession for you. I refuse to show anyone disrespect by acting differently from how I am with everyone else. You’re welcome.

Picked up by Brian and taken to the pub. It was a much-needed outing. Really missed the Exalted Geeks. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to do this again. Many of the Exalted Geeks showed up; we had to commandeer a couple of extra tables besides the two which are normally reserved for us. The chicken strips were delish.

::END TRANSMISSION::

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