The 1985 store called, it wants its colour scheme back

Last night Caitlin and I were watching Black Swan but we only made it half way through because I wrecked the movie by making a ton of noise attempting to fix my printer. I have been feeling just awful, a real hope-shattering never-letting-up torturous horror, and wrote a letter to my doctor trying to explain what I’m going through and advocate my case for adequate treatment, but the printer kept refusing to load paper. Me trying to force it, trying to figure out how to front load and manually insert the paper over and over, canceling and restarting it until Caitlin walked out of the room in frustration. It was only ended when she returned to see me shaking the printer with a sense of futility over my head in the hope that I’d magically repair some trigger switch and she told me that the printer might work better if I removed the paintbrush. So with some sense of shame I pulled out the brush that I’d accidentally and unawarely dropped into its innards and my sad words were eagerly spit out by the now healed printer as Caitlin stomped up to the loft to go to bed.

I hold on to a sliver of hope that this new path of treatment could work because I can feel that there is some overall reduction in pain, but at the same time, because of the slow nature of the drug I’ve lost that up and down that in the past momentarily took the pain away. In a way the severity of pain is irrelevant when it never stops, when you never have a single second that isn’t dominated by agony. Even if that agony is reduced all it means is that it takes a little longer before it cracks past your threshold, and when the pain never ever ends, then you’re always past said threshold. It’s also difficult to hold on to faith in the process when it moves so slowly that by the time you get relief, the underlying disease has destroyed your muscles to the point where you can’t take advantage of whatever new lease on life you’ve been given. When you’re running out of time it’s hard to be patient.

Anyway, it’s been very hard to get anything done but I still am trying to force myself to enjoy life, and remember that as much as I have to deal with this particular curse, I’ve had so many other blessings — and continue to — that I have very little right to complain. I think I have the right to demand medical treatment for the pain and make the appropriate complaints to achieve that, but I don’t have a larger philosophical right to “oh poor me” complain about my life, and I really don’t believe that. I could die today and feel that my life has been a huge net positive. Not that I’m about to, don’t worry. That said, I really want to get over this hump so I can get more active because it’s been hard not being able to do all the things I want to. I did do a little bit of painting, with mixed results that I’m still debating. Much time will still need to be spent here but I wanted to share the current evolutionary point.

As a point of trivia, much of this painting has been done with a syringe. I asked the supermarket pharmacy what big syringes they had and they gave me a fat 30ml one that works nicely for sucking in paint and spitting it out again somewhat like cake icing. That said it contributes to the dated eighties feel that the colours give as well, so yeah, mixed results.

Oh, and I wanted, for any sci-fi fans reading this, to recommend a free download of the Pioneer One series on VODO. The idea behind the show is that a spaceship carrying a young man has crashed in Canada, and it appears to be an old Soviet ship. A note claims that the kid is the son of cosmonauts who have been living on Mars since before the fall of the USSR. To repeat what others have said, it’s “surprisingly well done” for an indie project. That sounds bad and it’s not meant to — I’ve really enjoyed it, and it’s the kind of science fiction that really gets your head spinning and thinking and I’ve been pouring over Wikipedia articles on Mars colonization and spidering out from there. I have always advocated and continue to advocate one way to Mars, “Mars To Stay” type projects. We shouldn’t be “exploring” Mars and then leaving. We should be colonizing it as pioneers. I would welcome the opportunity (and the reduced gravity).

Tangentially, I also got deep dreaming excited as I read about rogue planets, planets in deep space not part of any solar system. According to a Caltech prof with the right conditions an earth-sized planet could exist in deep space with a thick hydogen/helium atmosphere and enough warmth, even without being bathed in the UV radiation of a mother-star, to have liquid water and thus, I suppose, life. What a thing that is to dream about. I like thinking about life moving between worlds, and if I have faith in anything that moves into the minimal-evidence world, it’s in pamspermia. Anyway, I promised Caitlin that I would do some clean-up here today as I’ve been so non-functional lately that I’ve been neglecting my duties, so I will try and do that now.

I have told Nefarious that one day she may have the option to live on other worlds, other celestial bodies. I do hope that I live long enough to look up into the night sky and see the dark parts of the globe of the moon dotted with the lights of cities. It seems so magical to me, and I wonder if one day children will be born to whom this fantasy is the mundane. I hope that great change for a broader and exciting future continues to be the experience of every new generation.


  1. starbadger wrote:


    You wrote

    “I really don’t believe that I could die today and feel that my life has been a huge net positive.”

    Given the pain you are living with I like most of your readers can understand you saying such a thing
    but it simply isn’t so.

    Your new Art is wonderful but then so was your earlier work which I hope you not abandon completely.

    You pose this question of “worth” but dare I remind you that the deep thinkers tell us the question arises from ego.

    Camus said, I believe correctly, that there is only one philosopical question “Is my life worth living” well aside from me Shannon there are legions of us who enjoy your thoughts your Art and as much of your life as you share with us. I am sure if we could we’d bear your pain but that’s not how it works.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  2. Elizabeth wrote:

    Richard you misread what he wrote. He was saying that were he to die today, which he very much does not expect, that his life has been overwhelmingly positive. Rich with blessings.

    I LOVE the new art. I hate that you are still in pain and if being concerned could make it go away I’m with starbadger in knowing how many contribute. For what it’s ‘worth’.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Sonja wrote:

    A syringe, now there’s an idea I may have to experiment with, cause you are getting some great texture with that.. :)

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  4. Pyro Lizard wrote:

    The concept of panspermia is quite fascinating. The conditions on earth around the time we see evidence of life (around 3.5 billion years) were quite violent. This is probably the best argument against bio genesis.

    The problem with Panspermia, however is that adds another layer to the big question of the origin of life.

    I feel like bio genesis is probably the best explanation we have so far. It’s also the most beautiful, in my mind. If life can form spontaneously wherever the chemistry is right, then life would have a much stronger presence than if it had to be seeded.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink
  5. Shannon wrote:

    You’re right that biogenesis, especially if we end up seeing it on Mars or Europa or Titan, which I think the odds are very strong we will, does have a certain optimism to it… The idea that “life will find a way”, that if the conditions are within a certain, potentially rather broad set of parameters, that life will evolve is really wonderful. And even if those conditions are not so broad, and the goldilocks band is even tighter than we imagine, and chemistries need to be quite precisely earthlike, the universe is still so damn huge that there should still be mountains and mountains of life out there. Very exciting.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 5:43 am | Permalink
  6. starbadger wrote:

    why does the orgin of life have to have one ans.

    even if life on earth resulted from causes other than seeding than does not preclude humans seeding other planets beginning with mars – or for than matter starting with the moon

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 5:49 am | Permalink
  7. starbadger wrote:

    that not than

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 5:51 am | Permalink

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  1. […] episode three of “Pioneer One” just got released. I think I mentioned it a while back buried in a longer entry, but it’s an independent TV series about a young man that arrives on Earth from deep space in […]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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