Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Bad Times Bible Blog: Blown Away and Grateful...

The Bad Times Bible Blog: Blown Away and Grateful...: I first want to start by saying that I'm sorry it has taken so long to write this thank you. I am sure you are all quite sick of this whole ...

Blown Away and Grateful...

I first want to start by saying that I'm sorry it has taken so long to write this thank you. I am sure you are all quite sick of this whole thing but I have to do this one last post about this madness so please bear with me...

I have started quite a few times and have found myself feeling very unhappy with what I have written. I wanted to put everyone's name in this post who has helped, donated, called, and made me feel like the luckiest person in the world. I realize that might make some people uncomfortable and that it would be a huge post. The list is long folks and it is overwhelming...

Some of you on that list are people that have been in my life for a long time, others are people who have only been in my life for a short while. Some of you are strangers who have reached out to me because you are friends with someone I know and some of you are people I have never met but hope to. You all have one thing in common and that is that you are amazing human beings...

The fundraiser was a blur to me.

Everyone knows I had a little too much to drink as my hangover post would confirm on Saturday. Or was it Sunday?... Regardless,  I am sure I embarrassed myself more than a few times that night as I talked to person after person, hugging friends, strangers and anyone I could. I drank to mask the feelings of embarrasment I was having. (and to numb the old body) Even though I have been performing music for a long time I really don't like this kind of attention. I love to be the guy who can help people out, get your asses moving on the dance floor and to be of service when the need presents itself. I don't like being the one in need of help. I don't think anyone does.

 That night was a testament to the choices I have made in my life regarding the people I have decided to call my friends. I have made many, many bad decisions in my life but the one thing I know for sure is that I have the most amazing friends in the world. I know how to pick 'em. For this I am grateful. I am also grateful to the incredible staff of the Legion who volunteered their space and staff to make the night the success it was. I am grateful to the bands who showed up and killed it all night long. Some of you are people I have shared the stage with and some of you showed up to help me out, out of the kindness of your hearts. I know it sucks to play for free unless it is for a cause, and I am blown away by how many of you stepped up to do so. I am grateful and blown away by the people who donated prizes for the night. It was crazy to hear my sister telling me everyday about the latest prize that had been offered. It all happened so fast!    

Speaking of gratitude, when I got hurt I was grateful that I wasn't killed or hurt beyond repair. As I have written before I only agreed to the fundraiser to help me get my book out, a project I have devoted many hours of my life to. I knew I would be okay one way or the other because even though I have fallen on my face a few times before I have always found a way through. Alot of that has to do with my family and friends and this time was no different.

My sister Tori is one of my personal heros.

She is constantly going out of her way to make so many people's lives better, often at her own expense. She takes on people's stress and problems and tries to make everything better for pretty much anyone she can. It is how we were raised and she is better at it than me. She KILLED herself to make this happen and I am a lucky man to have this amazing person in my life, let alone be able to call her my sister. I guess it makes all those times she kicked the shit outta me when we were kids worth it, but I will NEVER forgive her for kicking me in the balls and then sitting on me and holding my arms over my head... That was, and is, just wrong. :)

In all seriousness, my sister is a superhero and if you don't know her, you should get to know her. She is a blessing in the flesh. That sounded wrong and creepy, but you get it...

My brother in law Mick set the donation site up. He made sure that it ran smoothly and that my sister kept her shit together through this whole affair. He handled all things computer and he made sure I knew what was happening at all times. He did an amazing job and I am lucky to have that giant with a heart to match in my life too.

An unexpected gift that night was seeing my parents reacting to the love shown to me.

I have not been the easiest son to have as I have put my folks through quite a bit in my life. (just wait till my book comes poor mother..) But let me tell you that seeing my parents smiling, laughing and tearing up over the love and support for me was pretty amazing. That was a gift you all gave to my folks and it was freaking awesome. They are two of the most loving, incredible people on earth and they are the best thing that has ever happened to me. (without them, I wouldn't be here!) They were so overwhelmed by my friends and by all that was going on. Pat and Trudy were blown away and it was awesome and powerful to see. I thank you guys for giving my folks that gift. They won't ever forget it.

I also want to thank my girl Terri publicly for being a rock and an amazing partner. From the moment she got to the hospital she made me feel like I didn't need to worry, the situation was handled. She also gave me a sponge bath so I didn't have to lie in my own filth. If your partner is a blue collar worker, you know how gnarly THAT can be. She made me comfortable at home and took care of myself and all the animals too. She made sure I got to my appointments and did what I was supposed to. She wouldn't let me do anything but heal. Terri will be embarrassed by this, but well, too friggin bad! I love ya mama!

More people who will be embarrassed to be in this post are my buddies that took care of me the day of the accident. Ernie, Jean and James took action from the moment that limb smashed me and handled the situation like the professionals that they are. Jean called often and texted everyday making me laugh and making sure all was well in my world. James came by the farm alot, making sure that chores were done and that we were ok. He also kicked my ass at crazy eights... bastard! They are both fine men and I am lucky to call them friends.

 I have known Ernie since I was in diapers and he is my man wife. I said it! We are closer than white on rice. This whole thing was terribly hard on him from start to finish. He first thought I was dead and felt responsible, then he had to deal with the whole WSIB affair AND still get up everyday to go do the dangerous work that he does. That wasn't easy on him or his family and I am sorry that they had to go through this. But they were always there, every day, calling, coming by and making sure I was okay. If you ever need tree work done, call Ernie, (Trees Company) he is the man. But if you need a man wife, you are shit outta luck. He is mine.

The cards, the letters, the food, the donations.... My God...

I have read and re read these gifts of love many times. To those of you who reached out, thank you. It means alot to me to realize that I am surrounded by so many people who care, who made efforts to see me get back on my feet. It was an incredible thing to go through that made the broken bones an afterthought in my mind. Shit, even if I die tomorrow, I'll know I was loved by more than just my cats,  and THAT is a priceless gift people.

 So how do you properly thank people who have truly given you a massive opportunity?

  Well, the best I can come up with is to move forward with love and gratitude in my heart and live a life that is worthy of the love and support I have been shown. In short, I don't want to let you guys down, I want to put my book out and many more. I want to continue to help others as much as I can and to make a difference in the world. I know it sounds cheesy but that is what motivates me. The fact of the matter is, you guys have shown me that love is still the most powerful force on earth and the only thing worth having or giving away. I could go on and on about so many people who have made this a positive experience for me, but I fear you all may stone me to death.

In closing, I want to say that this experience has been nothing but positive. Even though I am still recovering, because of you all, I have healed faster than I thought I would, was more preoccupied with thoughts of gratitude towards an amazing group of people that make up the cast of my life. I am a lucky, grateful man with love in my heart for you all, and I look forward to doing the incredible things that your gifts have allowed me to do. The words on this page are plenty, but they still aren't enough. If you ever need me, call me. I look forward to somehow giving back to all of you, what you have given to me.

Thank you all. I am humbled by what you have done for me. I love every last one of you and I won't let you down. You have put me back on my feet and have lit a fire in my heart. Your love has hit me harder than any tree ever could... Thank you...

With all my love and gratitude,

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Bad Times Bible Blog: One Month Down! Almost....

The Bad Times Bible Blog: One Month Down! Almost....: Hello friends, you all look so good today! So this past week has been pretty amazing... Never mind the ridiculous support I have been shown...

One Month Down! Almost....

Hello friends, you all look so good today!
So this past week has been pretty amazing... Never mind the ridiculous support I have been shown that has left me feeling almost confused in its massiveness. 11 thousand dollars? Is this really happening?

The pain in my body tells me "Yes dipshit, this is happening. People love and support you even though you are too dumb to get out of the way of a large piece of wood." I get that, but I am still freaked out by it all. Freaked out and grateful.

 I can't wait to see everyone at the show next Friday! My sister Tori and her husband Mick have been working like maniacs to make this upcoming event a success and I am super pumped to get to it!
It is going to be part high school reunion, part "Welcome to your life" and an amazing celebration of life to say the least. I can't wait to be able to actually hug people (gently) and thank people in person. I can't wait.

So medical update. I saw the plastic surgeon for the second time in two weeks. He gave me the all clear and said that I wouldn't need surgery on my orbital bone. Yay!  THAT was great news. I also saw the orthopedic doctor and he went over my many x rays and ordered new ones. After reviewing them he told me to keep the neck brace on for another 2 weeks and that we would revisit the spinal stuff later. What I thought was a cracked heel was actually plantar facsitis (or something that sounds like that, I'm too lazy to look up the proper spelling lol) All my bones seem to be healing well but my collarbone is a mess. They aren't going to do any surgery on it, it will heal on its own. Just a little crooked is all!

Speaking of the collarbone I am still working on the range of motion (for my arm) and have a ways to go yet. I know it will be only a month on the 11th (Remembrance Day no less...) since I got hurt but I am trying hard to get back to where I was. These things take time and I know that, but I still like to push it a bit. The busted ribs are getting better but they still kept me from going to the Wreck MMA event last night.

My friend (and one of my teachers at OAMA) Nick Castiglia, who is also the president of Wreck, graciously offered me tickets to the event but I had to decline. The last thing I need is to get bumped or jostled and make this worse. (I'm gonna be real careful on friday!!!)I wish I could have been there to support the team but they did just fine by the sounds of it! Still, it was really nice of Nick to offer them up to me.

I have a couple more doctors to see but so far things are going really well. I have to say the only reason why I have been able to heal so quickly is because people have stepped up to make it easy. My boss and lifelong buddy Big Ern has been battling WSIB over paperwork regarding my case and it kills me that he is burdened with this crap. He has been amazing and has made sure I have what I need in every way. I wish I could help him more with this frustrating crap but he has it in check. I love that dude. My girlfriend Terri has been a rockstar around the farm and around me. I watched her working today, moving round bales and working on stuff in the barn and was frustrated I couldn't help. (although it was cool to see her manhandle those round bales!) I hate not being able to use my body the way I am used to, but I am grateful I will be able to once again.

Some aren't so lucky.

My mother told me of another mother she met in the civic hospital last week who's 18 year old son was also injured in an accident involving tree work. He got hurt around the same time as me but wasn't as lucky as I was. This young man is paralyzed from the waist down and has had 11 surgeries already to deal with multiple injuries. I don't know what happened exactly, but it was obviously very bad. My mom met this young guy and started talking to him about me and next thing you know, numbers are exchanged and we are going to connect. Apparently he and his girlfriend got excited about coming to chill (when he can of course) at the farm. I look forward to talking to this tough little bastard and spending some time with him. He will no doubt inspire me and I hope to ease his burden in any way I can. That's my mom, helping constantly. I am lucky to have a mom like that.

My friend Dan (drummer in Loudlove) has been over to fix my screen door blown off by the storm, move furniture and he even put out the garbage unannounced one day! He is a rockstar x2 now!... His dad even helped one day too! Another good friend Matt came over and schooled me in how to feed my body the right way to maximize healing and we had a great visit. So cool!

So many good friends have come over to hang out and it has been awesome to see people. Its weird to be homebound but thank god I have the internet! I have received care packages, food, phone calls and emails from so many people that I would want to punch me if I was reading this. You can too if you want to, but give me a month or so alright? lol. But seriously, a month okay??

I even managed to get my busted ass to a job interview for a sales position at a cemetery. I looked like an idiot with my neck brace and my old man walk, but I am glad I made it out. (thanks for the ride mom and dad) It is 11 minutes from where I live so I went for it knowing I wouldn't be far, or out all day. It was something I applied for two days before my accident and they called a few days ago! I was trying to find something for when I got laid off this winter that didn't involve labour (not knowing I was going to get and it looks like I might have a shot at the position. I have a second interview monday and although I am far from 100% I am hoping I can at least get the job and start to learn the position before I am good to go. They know I am hurt and I hope that dragging myself out there gets me some points! We shall see.... I'm not going to stress about it. You people have taken care of that. I just want to kiss you all.. damn!

My book is being edited as you read this and is almost ready to go. My buddy Scott has the artwork ready to go and I love it! My awesome cousin Chris is getting the web stuff going and this thing is getting close to being launched. It is exciting, scary, surreal and incredible. My mentor John C. Parkin released his latest book this month and I have been following his success with it. It is so amazing to have that guy in my corner. I got an email from him that he is writing the foreword to my book this weekend. I am a lucky man.

So thats what has been going on. I remain flabbergasted by the support and grateful to the core and beyond. I know it gets tiring to read me go on and on about being grateful but its my blog and I'll write what I want! I AM GRATEFUL!

So I have a favour/demand to ask that everyone who has donated money, time or helped me in any way please send me your info to I have a little surprise for you so please don't be shy. I BEG you to send me your info. PLEASE!!!! Just send it!!!

So thats it for now. I know it was a lot but I wanted to let you all know I am doing well. (In a really long winded way of course..) THAT is because of all of you who have stepped up and helped me in many ways. You are all sneaky, amazing, beautiful people... Thank you!

But don't let it go to your heads... lol

Have a great Remembrance day. I know that beyond giving thanks to those who have stepped up for all of us in many conflicts past and present, I will be giving thanks and remembering what you all have done for me. Believe that.

See you on Friday!
Big love,


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Crushed by Kindness...

I know I was supposed to post something Saturday but I have been getting many visits from friends and family. It has been busy around here! 

Without sounding repetitive and turning into the sappy douche bag that I would want to backhand if I was reading about this from the outside, I need to thank everyone who has been a part of this experience. It has been crazy and amazing. I am not just talking about the fundraising effort that has allowed me to stay calm and heal up. I am talking about having the opportunity to see how people feel about you. 

The emails and posts that have been coming in make this situation so much easier to deal with. I have had nothing but love from my friends and family and I truly believe all the good vibes, prayers, and words of encouragement are a huge part of the reason my body is healing so quickly. That being said, here's an update on the old body...

I am starting to get the feeling back in the left side of my face and in my teeth and gums. The cuts on my face are gone and so is all the swelling. My clavicle is coming along and the fractured ribs remain the biggest source of pain. Sneezing sucks but this situation has forced me out of my pepper sniffing habit. So thats good. I have no pain in my neck or spine and the neck brace is still my nemesis. In all seriousness, I am grateful to be able to wipe my own arse and get dressed by myself. Last night I was able to use my left arm to wash under my right armpit and was super pumped about it. I am walking around no problem and the range of motion in my left arm is nearly perfect. Raising it above my head remains a challenge but it is getting better. I have gotten off the painkillers and am using tylenol and advil when it hurts like crazy. I need to feel where I am at in order to set the proper limits. Can't do that all stoned outta my mind...

 My girlfriend Terri has been a rock and has made this a great experience so far by laughing at me and with me. Just the way I like it. She has been keeping the house together and all the animals are well taken care of. She is a beast. A beautiful beast!

I have had so many offers to help around here and so many people who have come by to help with chores and with whatever needs doing. People have dropped off food and have let me know that they are there to help.  The whole thing has been nothing but positive. Positive and inspiring.

You see, this experience is making me realize how fortunate I am. I went to the cancer clinic on Friday for my check up with my oncologist. I hate going to the clinic for many reasons, but this time I was particularly antsy because for one, I had to let Terri drive me there and I always do that stuff alone. I hate to stress people out or burden them with my troubles but in this case, I couldn't drive and had to let Terri take me. I was grateful (to say the least) to get the all clear from my doctor and was excited to get out of there. I realized that it is really important to know when to say yes to help and that when people want to help you, you should probably let them.

The past few days have been embarrassing, shocking and incredibly touching for me. The fact that so many have reached out in so many ways makes me feel like I have been doing the right thing with my life and that I have made a difference in people's lives. That helps me sleep at night. Stop making me cry you bastards...

 I am excited to heal up and take all that love, support and energy you have given me and use it to keep pushing forward, doing the things I do. Besides the book, I have other projects that are going to surface this year. This is shaping up to be one of the most important years of my life and I am proud that so many people are going to be part of it. Words only go so far, and I look forward to showing you what I am talking about. So thank you to all of those who have helped me with this situation. You will never know what this has meant to me. (unless I get a chance to bear hug you... THEN you'll know!) 

 In closing I want to say that if you need to spend some quiet time somewhere, or need a place to re charge, contact me and I'll let you know how to get to the farm. This place is magical and is to be shared. I also love visitors! I hope you all have a great week and once again, I kiss your faces. The people in my life make it worth living and for that I am grateful. I am one lucky bastard and I know it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Bad Times Bible Blog: Smashing Revelations.

The Bad Times Bible Blog: Smashing Revelations.: A funny thing happened at work last Thursday... Let the swelling begin! Well, not so much funny as kinda shitty and very scary, but f...

Smashing Revelations.

A funny thing happened at work last Thursday...
Let the swelling begin!
Well, not so much funny as kinda shitty and very scary, but funny in the sense that I think the Universe is trying to tell me something... Again... While doing a removal of a big Maple tree (I had to go back to tree work for the summer, more on that later) I got smashed by a huge limb. The above picture is what my face looked like after eating a few hundred pounds of wood. Here is another angle...

I won't get into the details of what happened because I don't remember. The rest of the guys said the accident happened so fast that they aren't sure what happened. All I know is when I was lowering the limb, something went sideways and I ended up taking a 12 foot heavy ass limb full tilt to the left side of my body. My hardhat  (see below) 

and amazing, fat man, cat like reflexes allowed me to minimize the damage by turning away at least enough to not take the impact head on.  I still got my ass kicked though.

I have done hundreds of tree removals.
I have lowered hundreds of limbs, branches, tops of trees etc...
Myself and the crew know what we are doing.
Sometimes things go sideways and sometimes you get smashed.

The point of this post is not to whine about the accident. What I want to talk about is the weird and wonderful way this world works for me sometimes. You see, I am in the home stretch of having my first book released upon the world. If ever there was a time to  be on my game, to be sharp as hell and ready to work really hard at promoting and marketing my project, this is it. So what happens when I need to be my best? What happens when I need to be the most amazing version of myself EVER?

Thats right. I get smashed by a tree at work.  

So there I was, lying in the trauma unit feeling very, very grateful to be alive. I sustained three fractures to my face, a broken left collarbone, fractures on my c7 and t 2 thru 6 vertebrae, 4 fractured ribs and a messed up, swollen left foot. I did not however crap my pants upon impact and for that I am proud and grateful. The irony is not lost on me that I am about to release a book called THE BAD TIMES BIBLE. Because this situation my friends could most certainly be described or defined as a BAD TIME. The irony is, my little smash up is turning out to be a very good time.
Now before you ask me if I have lost my mind let me explain. (yes, I did sustain a head injury but my cheese has not fully slipped off the cracker)

You see, before this accident happened I was contemplating what I had to sell to pay for the publication of my book. I was looking at my guitars and wondering what medical experiments I could volunteer for to pay for this endeavour. I was also worried about making the time to really focus on this first big push to get the word out about the book. I had alot on my mind and no time to really devote to it. I am not a wealthy man in the monetary sense and am like many people behind the financial eight ball. So work, work, work is the order of the day.

So the universe comes up with the perfect solution. 

The Universe or my higher self or something because I certainly didn't willingly volunteer for this.

I get smashed by a tree.

Why is this the perfect solution? Let me tell you.

Soon after the dust settled my sister, realizing the situation I am now in, decides to put a fundraiser together to help me in my time of need. She comes into the hospital and asks me if I would be okay with this idea. I tell her I am embarrassed and not sure it is a good idea at all. My sister then proceeds to tell me that it is my turn to accept help. That I have always given my time and talents (I play music with my band Loudlove. Check out to raise money for a multitude of causes. I tell her I have to think about it. I feel that she already has the wheels in motion. She is very sneaky. She is also amazing. 

Remember that I am high on painkillers and pretty smashed up so my thinking is a little off. As I lie there in bed that night I am thinking to myself that this is actually perfect. I am going to be off for 6 weeks minimum healing from my injuries, so there is the time I needed to really send my book off right. I still have my right arm to type with, and my left will be coming along shortly, so that is also a bonus. If I go ahead with the fundraiser I will have help with the book costs.

It is starting to make sense.

I decide that the only way I will go ahead with this fundraiser is if people know the money is going towards putting my book out. A book which is written for young men going through the cancer experience and for the people who love them. People in crisis. The money raised is going to support a book which I truly believe is going to help many people deal with the crazy shit that is happening to them. This whole thing is about paying it forward. It makes sense. I feel at peace. A smile creeps across my fat, swollen face as I realize I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

As soon as I make that decision I feel every cell in my body smile.

I know it seems crazy, but to me it is perfect. It has been a week and I am getting on my feet and starting to get organized for the big push. Today, sitting on the front porch at the farm where my lady and I live, I smiled...   

I smiled because my family and friends are stepping up for me.

I smiled because I was going to be able to put my book into motion without selling my guitars or my organs.

I smiled because I was resting my body which has been pushed hard for a long time.

I smiled because even in my smashed up state, my shitty financial situation and in my discomfort, 

I was happy.

Deep down inside I know that this is all for the good, and not just for myself.
That thought moved me to tears, and I was grateful to have had it.

WEll, thats where I'm at. Its late and I have to sleep. I have work to do.

Nighty night my friends.