The Pain of a Do-Over

It's not really a secret that I like to dabble with photo manipulation and digital art. I love making something come to life on the computer screen, or to give it a new life. This proves particularly handy when it comes to branding what's mine. I designed the D4AM logo (which I'm going to remake soon) and I've recently been designing the mascot/logo for my new local project-blog. The mascot was Capuchino, the White-Headed Capuchin Monkey.

Cute little fucker, isn't he?
And this is him
Research, brainstorming, and general idea pull through, took me about a week. I knew I wanted the face of the monkey, something cute that would instantly catch your eye when you see the sticker on the hipster-hangout bathroom stall. I wanted to give him earphones because of the musical influence running the project, and because drawing a Capuchin's ears proves to be a bitch. I wanted them red to stand out, make them noticeable. I wanted him to smile, which wasn't the easiest task because my model monkey was the serious type. The execution took about 24 hours. I'm not saying I took a day to make him, I mean I literally spent 24 hours before I was comfortable with the result. Capuchino. My baby.

I like to do the fun things first, so Capuchino was made before any other part of the project. Before material, before layouts, and before officially selecting a color scheme. I figured pink red and yellow would be nice enough. I was wrong. I later settled for sunset gradients. A nice pastel salmon would transition into a bright  dehydrated-piss-yellow. When I put it up against the title in that perfect font, I knew I found the look. Give it that well-done old-school look. Add some flair here, play with some greens there, funkify the layout, realize your mascot doesn't look like the rest of the site, tweak the font sizes for— the mascot doesn't look like the rest of the site. I fucked up.

For a few hours I tried to make it work. I tried to incorporate the new color scheme into Capuchino. I tried to make certain areas gradient, I tried making him more simple. Eventually I realized that I was ruining my baby for the sake of the rest of the site. There was no fixing him, he was made to perfection when I finished him. It was when I realized that I couldn't even use my base drawings anymore, that the logo wouldn't even be a monkey, that my mood became bitter sweet. The project will be better. The next idea won't rely on colors at all. It's classy, and it's pleasing to the eye. I'm just not looking forward to the do-over, to the hours of work I'm going to be putting into something that most people won't even fully understand as anything more than a brand of some sort. All this, and my general audience might never even see the first ideas.

Sucks. But now we're on to better things.




Driving the opposite direction on a one way street in his clunky '89 Toyota Tercel, he managed to slam the breaks just before his tires ran into the curb. His neck's reaction to the forced stop slid his golden aviators down the bridge of his nose, his thick mustache barely scraping the lens as his sky blue eyes widened. He undid his stretched out seat belt and tossed his aviators to the empty passenger's seat, pressed his black Hawaiian shirt down his chest, and opened the door. A beer can fell off his lap and onto the street, he might have had a sip or two because the beer was just gushing out onto the pavement. He stared at it with his bright blue eyes and a sigh of disgust before walking up the sidewalk and knocking on the mint green half of a half mint half beige duplex. He waited a few seconds before knocking more angrily on the door. It took him a few more knocks before he noticed the buzzer, and he was just about to press it before he heard a woman's reply.
"Just a minute!" She yelled. Her voice instantly calming his breath. He placed his hand on the frame, leaning in and breathing heavily. The door opened, he sprung backwards. She was wearing a bathrobe, her skin was damp and she'd worn a turbaned towel over her hair, brunette locks peeking out from under it.
"Melissa!" He managed to speak her name and catch her eyes before belching out everything he had to say.
"I just saw your husband, and I heard you fighting earlier, and I just had to tell you that I don't think he's being very faithful right now. I saw him with a woman and his pants were undone and I don't think it's right for you or for me or for him either and I feel bad for the girl he was with and you're actually very special. I hear you put up with him sometimes and I don't know you but you have an amazing body, I mean look at you, and—"
"Stop, Dane." She mumbled with a depressed sigh. Her eyes had watered and she stepped aside, inviting him in.
"This is kind of you, thank you."
"I didn't mean for you to to be sad, Melissa, I just thought you should know, and he should know." Dane, now stumbled onto a black leather couch opposite Melissa.
"I already know." She mentioned with more strength in her voice. "It's just nice that you thought of telling me, it's very kind."
"What do you mean you already know?"
She replied hesitantly. "I smell it on him when he comes back, it's why we argue so much."
Dane just sat there for a moment, slumping into the couch and staring off into the room. There was a large red stain on the carpet. There was a bat next to a baseball mitt on a pedestal, both of them shined. They had a spotlight on them. He could look down the hall from his seat, too. He noticed their bedroom door was open, he saw the bed's wooden frame.
Melissa got up and head for the kitchen. "Can I get you anything? Some water? I was just making myself some leftover pasta if you'd like. Grilled chicken and penne in tequila-tomato sauce sound good?"
"Oh I couldn't. I'm sorry, I'll just leave you alone."
"Nonsense, have a plate with me. I won't have it all."
With a nod; he agreed.
"Let me just change real quick, I'll only be a minute." Her answer was faint, she'd already gone into her bedroom and closed the door. Dane was too nervous to stay put, though. He passed his hand through his mustache and got up on his feet. He paced back and forth, walking right up to the kitchen to see if any of the food was out already. He served himself a glass of water from the sink.
"That's dirty water, you should have just let me grab you a glass" she spoke from behind him.
"It's no big deal." He said as he turned around. She'd made her way around him, opening the fridge door and rummaging around. He found himself spellbound by her simplicity. Her pink tank top draping over her jeans. Her long skinny arms reflecting in the bright light of the refrigerator, the tiniest mole shadows pressing back against her skin, her damp brunette curls falling at either side of her. It all captivated him, and by the time she turned back with Tupperware in hand, she'd noticed.
"What?" She pulled some plates out and had a nervous chuckle. "Don't make me make you leave, now!"
Dane sprung up behind her and felt his arms go down the silk of her shirt. He felt her ribs poke through the cloth, and he felt the softness of her skin as his fingertips traveled lower onto her hips.
With a quiver in her voice, she sighed. "Please leave, Dane."
"No." He whispered back as he pressed his lips onto her neck. She sighed again, closing her eyes and turning around. She pressed her delicate fingers against the rough shadow forming on his cheeks, she pressed her forehead on his lips as hers quivered, and then he lifted her chin and grazed the bottom of his lip with the top of hers.
Thirty minutes later he'd made it to the wooden frame of her bed, her cushioned mattress rocked more than the frame did. Her curls swayed back and forth as she bit what he felt were the juices from her plump lips. Their shared exhausted moans echoed lightly together. His calloused fingers gripped at the bones of her hips as he stared up at her, waiting for the moments where the almond shaped eyes would open behind the curtains of curls, and then she stopped.
"Melissa, honey, where are you?" A deep voice belched from the other side of the house. "I brought you flowers; I was wrong earlier. I think we need to talk."
Dane looked up at Melissa to find her stunned in place. Her jaw gaping, and her eyes wide. He tried mouthing her to get off, he slid his finger across his neck violently and motioned her away.
"Honey, are you sleeping?" The deep voice grew nearer, though ever so slightly.
"Say something!" Dane whispered angrily as he tugged away at her hips. He tightened his eyes in pain and bit onto his knuckle.
"Oh... Yes Steve, I was just taking a nap. Give me a moment!" She finally caught herself, but her eyes were still full of fear.
"Do you want me to heat up yesterday's pasta? It's on the plate but it's all cold. Honey, did you just leave this here?"
Dane mouthed at Melissa again, this time she held onto his shoulders like a motorcycle. Her eyes had closed and a tear ran down her cheek.
"What the fuck is going on here?!"
Steve's broad shoulders covered the frame of the door. Melissa's sobbing sigh was muffled by Dane's agility. He held on to her hips and spun himself out of the mattress and onto the floor, where he hoisted himself up and looked straight into Steve's eyes.
"Get off him, Em!" Steve yelled, but it only made her tears stream down quicker.
"I can't, Steve. I'm stuck."
"What the fuck do you mean you're stuck? Am I gonna have to fucking pull you off him?"
While she sobbed and he argued, Dane managed to pick up his shirt and stick his arms through it. His bare legs still hooked to her entire naked body, and her body curled up around his.
"Look just leave her alone, man. You slept with Teresa, your wife slept with me." Dane spurted nervously. His eyes shifting from Melissa's neck, to Steve, to the rest of the frame of the door. "Will you get out of the way? I should get home and try to get her off of me. You're not helping."
"Nah, you're gonna get her off right here where I can see the both of you, and you won't be leaving the house soon after that, either."
Steve had mastered this passive aggressive tone so well that Melissa was nodding so much it was infectious. Dane started nodding too, and he walked right up to Steve with a finger pointing at his face and his other hand holding Melissa up by the butt cheek.
"You're gonna let me through right now, man. Right fucking now."
"Or what?!" Steve yelled angrily.
Dane looked Steve dead in the eye, and kicked his shin in with the heel of his foot.
"Fuck you!" Dane yelled halfheartedly as Steve exclaimed in pain and picked himself up from the ground. Dane stumbled towards the front of the house with a sobbing Melissa clinging tightly onto him. Mucus was running down her chin and onto his shirt. He made it back to the leather couch, he looked around, and made his way towards the baseball bat on the pedestal. He pulled at it with his right arm, his entire left side dedicated to holding up Melissa and her clinging body, and the bat just flung in his direction with the metal base still attached.
"What are you doing with my Derek Jeter signed baseball bat?" Steve panted with an air of sorrow.
"I'm gonna kick your ass with it, Steve."
"No!" Melissa squealed as she broke into heavy tears.
Dane stared ahead at Steve with rage in his eyes, and spoke to Melissa with pain in his heart.
"I'm sorry, baby, but I have to"
Melissa moped into his shoulder. Dane's Hawaiian shirt was drenched in salt and mucus by now.
"Please don't. Just put it down, or take it with you!" Steve exclaimed. "Just give it back to me later, send it over with Em. Don't use it. Please, leave the bat alone."
Dane exercised the swing on his right hand. He made an hourglass shape with a twist of his wrist, and walked very slowly to a humbled Steve.
"Look I'm sorry, I did you both wrong. I get it. I know."
Dane sneered at the petty apology. His blue eyes darkened with the shadow of his furrowed brow. The bat swishing away ahead of his sight. A low breath emerging from Dane's mouth, almost like gasps of air. Steve was horrified, backed into a corner. His eyes did all the begging for him. His broad shoulders were humiliating him now, coaxing themselves into his body as he lay in a corner on the ground. Dane's sneer and wrist were in complete control, the bat was just inches away from Steve's chin when Dane turned around and walked away. The bat was so close that Steve lunged for it, Melissa let out a scream. Steve's grip on the head of the bat was strong, but Dane kept his strength. He pulled back, swung himself around and kicked Steve across the jaw.
"No!" Melissa yelled, "No! No no, please no! He's a good man!" her whimpers fell back onto Dane's shoulder.
"Him!?" Dane yelled. "He's nothing." He whispered the insult towards Steve, who was just now slowly picking himself up from the floor. "He's worth nothing!" He yelled as he swung the bat into Steve's ribs.
Steve grunted, and the crack he heard was either discouraging or preventing him from movement.
"He'll be fine." Dane said, before tossing the bat aside and making his way through the door.
Melissa's irregular breath was hiccuping against Dane's chest. He walked down the street to his clunky old car, opened the door, and sat himself uncomfortably with Melissa still stuck on him. He closed the door, peered through her frizzy dried hair, and drove the car back up the street to the duplex building. He parked the car, they both took a few seconds to slide out as painlessly as possible, and he carried Melissa through the door on the beige side of the building
"I'm not going to the hospital. Unless you have a better idea, I've got some Vaseline in the bathroom."



I want to do so many things, and then I just don't. I'm not scared. The things I want to do are things I've done before, things that make me feel good. I want to draw, I want to write about memories and stories, and I want to read. I've come to the realization that the reason I don't is because of comfort, and it's been the saddest realization I've had in a while. Fear is much more beautiful. There's reason behind the emotion, often merely psychological, followed by an internal struggle to find a personal treasure. I love overcoming a fear, having something to show for it even if just for myself.

Now, comfort is just this sluggish thing where good becomes good enough and there's nothing else to it. I know what's good enough, what's accepted, and what some people want, and I've just left it at that without any true exploration for months now. I just got back to exploring, and I want to explore some more. I want to draw things I fear I'll mess up, I want to write what my fingers feel like instead of what my brain dictates, and I want to read and get my head so into the words that they become the bright images I would love so dearly a decade or so ago when last I truly read.

I'm not ready for comfort yet.


My Apologies

I've been terrible getting back to my favorite bloggers. For those of you who read this blog, I'm sorry. For those of you who don't, oh well. The truth is, I don't know if I'll be getting any actual reading time for any blogs. I haven't read a single page off a book in months, and now even reading short blog stories is becoming a chore.

For those of you interested, here's what's been going on.

December was a great month for D4AM, it was the month I started making plans in advance for my little chunk of internet. I started getting just enough emails per week to not have to really research anything and just skip ahead to writing. January followed through with some pretty cool opportunities. To start things off, I got emails from Sony's record labels. Then Atlantic Records came through. Come march I was receiving 4-8 emails per day. I'd say the ratio of quality music is every one in three emails. I'm still getting around to submissions made early April.

Early motherfucking April, motherfuckers.

Month old emails are waiting for my go-ahead, and there's tons more piling up. I'm getting emails from artists personally asking for help and exposure, as well as from their managers and representatives. I've made friends, I've pissed a few people off, and I've gained enough attention to start racking in over a dozen emails per day now.

It seems after I wrote that one screenplay, everything was looking so good that everyone and their mothers wanted in on it. I do enjoy time off, though, so I've been creating a system. The future of D4AM is more than D4, I'm getting a team of writers together to tackle on all the emails and turn D4AM into an e-zine. For now all I offer is exposure, but I look forward to offering pay in the not-so-distant future.

Until that future arrives I'm gonna be swamped. I've got a couple of writers on my side and quite frankly, that's not enough. No promises for when I get around to your blogs, or even if I'll comment when I read them (like I've been doing lately.) For this all, I apologize.

I'm not used to apologizing for being awesome.

Click to enlarge
Edit: You guys, I'm not leaving, I'm explaining my absence!
Second Edit: And thanks for the support!


The "Good" Hip Hop Artist

I was organizing my D4AM contacts list onto this nice understandable format, when I found some emails I could have sworn I'd deleted by some random unnamed lyricist who I may or may not have written about here. At the end of that there post, he went on a 3 comment tangent, supposedly not realizing that comments were moderated, and made a complete fool of himself in the process.

I sent him an apology email. It's lengthy, so I won't be posting it. My main points were "Your lyrics are good, your rhyming style is white" and ""This is a pretty self centered album, bro."

I also ended the email with:

Now on to a different note, you left three comments on the page. I monitor the comments myself, and I allowed them. In the comments you make your points, but you repeat a lot. I know it's hard to control oneself when upset, but it doesn't paint you in a positive light. If you want me to delete some, or if you want to re-write your point so that future readers can see that, that's fine with me. I'll even link to it at the bottom of the post. Otherwise, if you're truly unhappy with the post, I can delete it for you. Not many people would do this, but again I wasn't trying to insult you and I feel you're insulted. I'll take the post down if it means you'll be happier.

This would make sense if you read the post on the blog yourself, wouldn't it?
I was about as nice about it as a puppy happily awaiting bacon. But I didn't receive no fucking bacon. I received chocolate covered razor blades. I was not a happy puppy.

To say that it sounds like I studied a thesaurus and then to compare me to Vanilla Ice, it is contradictory. You have a cheesy white one hit wonder and then you have me, an intricate lyricist. Then to go on to say that I'm pretty much saying nothing? C'mon! There are plenty of Hip-Hop references that more than likely went over your head. I study, breathe and live Hip-Hop. I have a nice little following and there is blatant story telling during the LP, Maybe some of it will resignate years from now (lol), I don't know. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but you contradicted yourself a tad bit. Asher Roth is decent but Eminem is corny and if those are your only two WHITE Hip-Hop references besides Vanilla Ice and Beastie Boys, That's sad. There are a ton of other underground white rappers with undeniable skill. 
If you could please delete the last two comments from me on your page I would appreciate it. I understand you are not a Hip-Hop blog and that is fine but it is offensive at certain parts of your write up.

Resignate isn't a word, you illiterate chunk of wanna-be white trash. Your syntax feels like the surviving remains of Shakespeare's unwanted abortion. Using two well known white rappers for reference is not near as sad as thinking that those are the only ones I know of. At least you say please. And no, definitely not a hip hop blog. Before I got to respond, he sent another email. I'm just gonna highlight some of the best stuff here.

Also when you say a lot of the lyrics are me speaking of myself, that is false. I am speaking in first person but through another alias. If you listen to it, it tells the story of a homeless man who is misunderstood. I metaphorically call myself a shark or a cryptic type creature because I feel that Homeless people, like sharks get a bad reputation and are misunderstood. For instance, most of them are docile but because of a few attacks both on the shark end and the homeless end, the media and what is unknown about these people and creatures are misunderstood. That was a huge reason for the album. Most of the album besides a few things are spoken through a different persona.

The word 'homeless' shouldn't be capitalized. I might capitalize genres, but only because I'd rather not italicize them. The lack of basic syntax has just lead [Unnamed Rapper] here to tell me that the media is as misunderstood as the homeless and sharks, with a terrible segue into it. I'm not even touching comma use. And could you be more of a dick? His anger secretes so much negative fluid; I'm afraid he might still be angrily humping your thoughts in my direction.

The comment he didn't ask me to delete mentioned that in order to properly understand the album, you had to download it and read the booklet it came with. The basis to this being that the booklet would explain everything he failed to in his rhymes. What a great concept; a lyric based album that can't properly explain itself.

Finally [Unnamed Rapper], if you ever read this and take offense, hit me up. Let's rap this out. I don't have a studio, I don't have beats, and I am definitely not a rapper. I insist, however, I can rap circles around you. Bring it.


Getting Poetic

Maybe the yawn induced lack of resent has its reasons. Maybe, like, if the word like, like, weren't so like, like, liking likes would be easier. Maybe if words met at some point, the lonely speaker would incite a reason. But it doesn't, it rarely did. Maybe if early truths had been acknowledged this sick shit wouldn't drag. Maybe if I could say shit without feeling bad. Maybe if lacrimation weren't so obnoxiously poetic, so dauntingly over done over details that were supposedly upsetting. Maybe if Kanye had talent to display, or if he felt human in any single fucking way. Maybe if nice were just nice and not weak. Maybe if talents weren't overshadowed. Maybe if passion were stronger than cheap realizations, or if getting poetic didn't feel like building entire civilizations. Maybe the mistakes were fate.

Maybe I made a mistake.



I hate writing the word fuck. I could say it all day every day, in every paragraph and even multiple times per sentence if I had to, but writing it just feels so wrong and dirty. Fuck is just such a raw word, it's carried almost entirely by the emotion put behind it. It's the word that comes out when you're not even thinking of words anymore. When you stub your toe you yell "fuck," when you absolutely despise someone you don't wish them a very slow Chinese water torture, you tell them to go fuck themselves, and when you listen to that perfect song for the first time in 15 years, it's only most likely you'll let out a long sigh of melancholic "fuuuck."


Sometimes there's no word to substitute it. Which is why yesterday, as I finished writing my first ever screenplay, I mentioned to nobody but myself how much I fucking love writing. I'm not even that great. I'm not that bad, but I could be better. I won't be winning an award. I left imperfections because they felt organic. All I can think of after this point is how much I fucking love writing. Not passionately love, it's so much more. Not even blindly, madly, deeply, as cliche and near perfect as it would be. Fucking love is the only way it feels right to say it. Maybe because the wound it's left me is still so fresh. Maybe it's because I just saw a peak of my imaginative side without restrictions. No longer thinking I need visual aid, or to satisfy someone, or to impress anybody. I felt a whole world come to life through my fingertips for the first time, and it was like a lifetime's work of writing about all the passion artists put into music in one tiny little digital report. I won't stop doing that, I can't. I've already felt what a lifetime's work of it feels like. Even if it remains a hobby for the rest of my life, stopping would be a dagger to my fucking heart. But I feel the ceaseless need to write more. To write for me, and for others who see things like I do. Maybe not always screenplays, but fuck, I am definitely doing that again.

Maybe I'll try one of these book writing challenges. Maybe I'll poke around and find an artist to write a webcomic with me. I have to try as many mediums as possible to see which one feels like the most lifetimes of amazing work, so I can live my life a million times over through passion.


I get it. Money is important.

I'm pissed. I am fully aware everyone's entitled to their own opinion, that's great and all, but so many people have such fucking terrible ideas coursing through their grey matter that I have to wonder what honestly drives them. The case I was presented with earlier was a simple one, that someone who was involved in a business for longer should retire so that younger newcomers could keep their job. Anyone having to lose their job for any reason other than doing a bad one upsets me, but that's not what grinds my motherfucking gears.

What really truly pisses me off are comments like: "He would've kept his job if this old 60 year old would retire. Fucking greedy people." "He Should retire by then."

[PICTURE] Please, kindly use this sandpaper to go fuck yourself into a coma
Or just go burn somewhere in a corner

Now using my admittedly limited psychological knowledge on the reason people would think this, I think of the American dream. The dream being to make money during your youth, then grow old and use money you've put away to survive and enjoy life. It's similar thinking that states as soon as you finish high school, before you've mentally matured, you should pick a major and study your ass off for something that you might hate but will definitely make you money. This means that in today's case, this fucking epic man of a 60 year old was perfectly capable of living the American dream. He's getting negative attention because that's not his dream. What's so wrong with doing what you love until you can? Until this "old" man has arthritis on his fingers, until his legs give out, until he is actually handicapped. Why should anybody stop him from waking up in the morning and doing something he loves? What fucked up mentality does it take to think that age as a number is enough of a reason to give up your passion and make way for the youth which, in my very personal experience just aren't as good at labor as before.

We didn't need to label food as organic before because we had hard working farmers. Doctors would check your tongue, your eyes, and personally hear your heart before prescribing you anything. Cars were built to last. I see cars from the '70s every once in a while. You think you'll be seeing a 2008 Corolla in 2044?

I get it. Money is important. I see why people prioritize it over what they love. I see how people can find any excuse necessary and pin their hard times on that. I just think there's better ways to cope, especially ways that don't have to piss me right the fuck off.


I won a box of diabetes

November 27, 2014, I received Mel's package in the mail which contained a bag of Christmas chocolates, a box of Zingers, and a box of Twinkies. The chocolates would have been the death of me if I were that allergic to nuts. Instead, the melted peanut butter pooplets were devoured. This was the start, I won a box of diabetes.

You're reading copypasta, read this shit on the blog for funny pictures
Actual photograph of a "Christmas tree shaped Reese's Cup"
Scared of the potential addiction the Hostess boxes would bring, I waited. It wasn't until December 10th that I started writing this terribly boring journal entry style blog post about my carefully eating the Zingers one by one, because surely those were meant to give the most diabetes at once. The truth is I didn't like the Zingers, and they seemed pretty much like glorified Twinkies. They have what looks and feels like shredded coconut all around them, but it doesn't really taste like coconut. They have "raspberry icing" that tastes like whipped sugar with a tinge of menstrual blood for color, and then you chew it and it's like eating a sponge with whipped cream in the middle. Sorry, Mel. I wasn't impressed.

Dead set on eating the whole box on my own, a bit over a month passed by. I never even opened the Twinkies box, I figured it was just a longer Zinger with less sugar coating. What was there to miss? I slowly ate the sugar coated tampon—Zingers, and I did eventually learn to like them, but it wasn't amazing. I felt nothing but confusion.

I'm not one to smoke very often. I do, but it's not a thing. So in an unforeseen event, a friend came over and we exercised our recreational rights before my realizing I had half a box of Zingers left and all the appetite in the world.

The raspberry taste was so clear, the "coconut" shreds were the perfect textural addition to the spongy goodness. I was happy. But only about as happy as I am when I wake up after a party without a hangover. It's pleasant, but soon forgotten. It was with blind faith that I trusted the food gods as I opened the Twinkies up and unwrapped one golden chemically induced sponge cake.

Proof of existence
Let me just say, there is a science— there is a mother fucking science to eating a Twinkie. One end contains more cream filling than the other, and just by looking at the bottom you can tell which end that is. That end goes first into the mouth, and unless you want to waste the taste of glory oozing down your throat, upon entering that first section into your vocal cavity you must shove the rest of it inside. The cream will dampen the rest of the cake, and the experience can be completed. If you do not look like a blowfish, you are doing something wrong. I would recommend trying again, practice makes perfect.

After learning how to perfectly blow a Twinkie, I realized at the pace I was going I really would give myself the diabetes I've worked so hard not to fall under. I stopped learning the science of Twinkies with two Twinks left to spare. I ate one the following day, and it was good, but it wasn't glory. I still have one left, it's been months.

I think I'll go eat it right now.