Musashi Mix Inq

Palliativity 201: I’ve already spent too much time doing things I didn’t want to…

Posted on July 11, 2013

Do it With a Rockstar - Amanda Palmer


"Smile— the end is near and it's high time. The light's amazing, man.

So time your Instagram, the rapture swallowing the land.

But we're the last ones laughing. Pictures or it didn't happen."

— Amanda Fucking Palmer, Smile

I realize that my art is a much more direct reference of a reference than most.

When people ask, I am happy to share where all the pieces came from and how they came to dance together:

Most people will just nod and process the flood of info they weren't really ready for.

Some people really get into it and an intense hour-long conversation can pass in an instant.

Others get angry, because digital and collage and reproducible and probably cause they didn't think of it first.

No apologies here.

Go make your own art.

My favorite ones just walk up to a piece, laugh and smile. Those are the people that really get me.



Filed under: Art, Blog, Fan Art, Music, Pain, Pop No Comments

Palliativity 200: resonant frequency

Posted on June 27, 2013

This marks my 100th Palliativity entry! Thank you all so much for your support and awesomeness over the years. It means more than you know 😀

• • •

I saw my pain doc again this past Monday. 3 weeks post RFA and my pain was still much higher than I was expecting, prompting a regression to the pain management routine I thought I'd finally put to rest. It's been a rough go, emotionally and physically. Did the procedure not work, or did it make things worse? Is 5 months of peace all I'm going to get?

I'm a  sommelier of pain at this point. I've sampled most specie and spent a good chunk of the past few weeks trying to parse this mysterious reoccurrence. The particular sensation took me right back to high school. This was muscular pain, not nerve damage. The tense agony and headaches. Insomnia with a hint of depression. A tail that lasted thru til morning. But why?

three weeks of waiting for healing and answers…

The doc poked and prodded my neck for a few minutes. Muscle pain it was. He said that sometimes the muscle tissue can still knot-up even when the associated pain nerve has been burnt out. After a life-long battle with pain, my body is like one of those Japanese WWII soldiers stranded on an island still holding out for glory long after the war. Unwilling to lay down arms in a brave new world.

I just have to get the muscles to let go.

Even the bag says "ouch". So does my credit card…

The interface turned out to be the crude but satisfying haul from the pharmacy seen above. My doc doesn't do things half-way. He likes solutions that are as quick as they are effective.  You are looking at a four-headed monster of total pharmacological warfare. The pain won't know what hit it.


Filed under: Blog, Pain No Comments

Palliativity 199: Pillow Talk

Posted on June 20, 2013

To better understand the negative mentality that can surface from living with undiagnosed chronic pain:

Change appears to always be for the worse.

Before this year's flurry of diagnosis and progress, years went by just trying to stick to a routine. The pillow pictured above took a few years to find after buying and trying dozens. I've used it every night to sleep since about freshman year of highschool. Traveling, overnights, whatever.

Any change was the enemy, whether it was a shiny new experience or simply turning over to sleep on my opposite side in bed. Without all of my palliative gear in my bag, I couldn't even leave the room I happened to be in, much less the house. Cold ice packs in the freezer and my easy-chair in the evening. Improvisation was a luxury.

Although I 'm having a rougher go recovering after this latest session of RFA, I am still able to mostly just be in go mode. I got a fancy normal person pillow and am happy to put my old one to rest. I bet it has enough negative juju stored up to go full Sith mode any day now. New pillow better watch its back…


Filed under: Blog, Pain No Comments

Palliativity 198: vampire blues

Posted on June 12, 2013

RFA PART II - Recovery Journal

Although this wasn't my first time through radio frequency ablation, the recovery experience has been quite different. My first time back in February was for the left side of my cervical spine which was far more damaged. Following the procedure, my pain levels went wild and it was a bit rough even by my standards. Chronic pain typically flows with agonizing slowness in terms of changing location and intensity and the time-scale is in weeks. This was more like a lightning storm; sharp, erratic and unpredictable and changing by the hour.

Burning out the nerves was not a light decision. The healing process isn't supposed to be easy nor smooth. My body is trying to cope with traumatic damage and there is no way to explain to it that this is all part of a planFollowing all this, the relief I gained after the first week was beyond all expectations.


Last week, I had RFA done on my right side in order to finish the job. The night before the procedure, I was spiking level 8 pain. Even with vicodin and lidocaine I slept about 2 hours total, watching the sun rise on yet another step in this journey. On Wednesday morning I got to the doctors office early, and they took me to twilight.

  1. Wednesday: pain level 3. Right side injection site sore. Meds feel good.
  2. Thursday: pain level 5. Left side cramps up. Trauma sustained but nerves are confused.
  3. Friday: pain level 6. Left side gets worse. Right side heals up.
  4. Saturday: pain level 5. Left stops, right side pain returns.
  5. Sunday: pain level 7. Right side cramping near scapula. Feels like a burning knife in my back. Nausea begins. Lots of meds and drinking. Sleep one hour that night.
  6. Monday: pain level 4. Stabbing turns to stiffness on right. Nausea less by evening.
  7. Tuesday: pain level 3. Rehab and massage. Left side cramping. Nausea gone.
  8. Wednesday: pain level 2. Stiff on both sides. Had my first night's sleep in bed versus the easy chair since Sunday.

A strange ride indeed and it's not quite over yet. They burned a few pain nerves in my spine and the whole system went crazy again. Having quit taking neuropathics and muscle relaxants, my body is still struggling to find an equilibrium between phantom pain and accepting the gentle and long-deserved void that remains… also known as just plain awesomeness. I've had to remember the strength and tricks that held me together under this pain for so long. A week or so of crazy aside, I know that soon I'll be that much closer to who I am supposed to be.


Filed under: Blog, Pain, RFA No Comments

Palliativity 197: the fandome menace

Posted on June 6, 2013

Fan-art is a strange beast. It's a wonderfully freeing experience to take ownership of a story, style or character that you love but did not entirely create. The way that you can instantly connect with and incite thousands of fellow followers of any given genre or franchise feels all too much like chasing dragons. My most successful pieces (in terms of views/sales) have been my fan art by epic magnitudes and have even gotten me published alongside some of my heroes.

Return to Godswood

Prints on Society6

At the same time, I've never wanted to get pigeon-holed as many successful artists often do. I have no interest in being the world's most awesome cover band. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes will forever hold that crown. The important thing to remember when creating fan art is to project your own vision and style of another world as if it is your own into each and every detail. That way, you never lose sight of what it truly means to be a fan.

As I have said time and again:

If you want fans, make fan art.



Posted on June 2, 2013


"Innocence is most often good fortune rather than a virtue."

— Anatole France —


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