Thursday, January 29, 2015

Crazy Week

Hello my friends!

Its been a crazy week, to say the least. I think I've felt every emotion possible. From great joy over my birthday, seeing old friends again to celebrate it. Getting violently ill that same night and spending all night in the bathroom. Calling in sick to work and trying to work while sick. Getting the call that my step-mom Gloria isn't doing so well and wasn't initally expected to make it another day. To feeling some extreme rage about some things involving it. I got all my shifts covered and drove the 8 hours to Evansville, IN to see her, perhaps for the last time. We hugged, said our goodbyes. Lots of tears. Lots of emotions. Lots of pain. Driving back alone, sobbing on the way. Talking with friends. Hanging out drinking, cleansing the pallate...

Cut to today: I woke up at my friend's house, hung over. I drove home through the slick roads and just stayed here. I spent a day with myself. Turned off the phone and just opened up my pens and markers and got to work. Here I am almost 12 hours later and I got my card set done. I sent in scans, got an invite to be a guest at an upcoming show. I even have started to branch out more on the net and talk to people. I just want to feel fucking normal for once! Ya follow me?

This has been the craziest time of my life. Seems like the last 13 months I have lived lifetimes of emotions and events. And its not over. Just called dad. Gloria is still with us, thank goodness. But it is inevitable that she will leave us soon. Maybe a day, maybe a week. But sometime within the next two months, it will be so. The same events of 14 years ago play out again. She's lived a great life and has beat the odds again and again. But time will eventually hunt us all down. She's facing that now.

One day I will have to face that too. Its a scary concept.

I saw something while I was there that made me think a lot about things in my life. I sat and watched my dad, who just turned 70, caring for her in the hospital. He would hang his head and cry, but he would get back up and swab her mouth out and feed her ice. He would reach over and and hold her frail hand. I've watched someone I love die. Its fucked up. There are no words for it. But I couldn't help but think that what I observed between them has to be the greatest example of true love I have ever seen. I watched him do that with my mom too, almost 15 years ago when she died. My heart goes out to him, having to watch his love die twice. I cannot even imagine it. I can't bare to.

But you know what? In that brief moment, I sort of felt envious of it. My dad has been through a lot in life. Some major fucked up shit. He's human. He's made mistakes. but he's a great man. The greatest man I've ever known. And he has love. He is capable of love. so much so that he gives himself out again and again, even though he potentially could be hurt for it like he has before. I've seen people do him wrong and disappoint him. But he keeps loving them back. He has the type of heart that can be hurt but keep on loving. And he pursues the type of relationship where he can watch his loved one die before him, and still want to swab their mouth out. Because he loves them.

I wondered in that moment: Will I have someone to swab my mouth out when I die? or will I be there to watch someone else I love pass away and be as strong?

I knew in that moment what I have known all along. Recent events have derailed it for me, but my mission is clear. I was listening to "I will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor a while back. Great disco tune. And I heard the line: "I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give." It struck me. I wrote it out and stuck it on my bathroom wall by my mirror. Cause its true. I found truth in a fucking disco tune. And I am now going to pursue that truth. Perhaps I have been all along.

Things happen for a reason. Good and bad. And I've had a lot of bad in recent years. But I am slowly becoming a better person for it. Maybe thats the reason. When my mom died 15 years ago, it made me want to be an artist for a living. Because I realized that life is short and it can be taken away. The lessons I am learning from my current path are coming into clarity and I am ready to face it.

But for now, I am anxious to keep artworking, working my jobs and getting my routine going. Sometime soon I will have to drive to a funeral and maybe help my dad out in some way. But I'll cross those bridges as they come. but I got my head up and eyes wide open. Ready to face it.

So thats my week so far. How have you been? ;)

T

Saturday, January 24, 2015

37... In a Row??





Welcome my friends!

Today I turn 37 years old. 37? In a row? (old CLERKS joke for those of my generation) And in my 37 years on this planet I wish I had some profound wisdom to share with you. I don't. I just am roughing the mileage and keep on driving forward. Its all you can do sometimes.

But today I celebrate not only the passing of another year of my life, my parents for their love and support, my dear mother and her giving birth to me on this day 37 years ago, but I celebrate my life. Some of you know 2014 wasn't the greatest year in my personal life. In fact, it all came crashing down little by little until I came out the other side living a completely different life.

 Change is hard and sometimes life throws you challenges that you just don't think you can deal with. I found myself against the highest wall of challenges I've ever had to face. Maybe ever will have to face. I am not sure yet. But it was scary and I just couldn't handle it. My depression and feelings got so dire that I considered offing myself at one point. I'm ashamed to say it now, but its true. I went into a drugstore and bought a bottle of pills. I had planned to crush up the pills, add it to a drink and swallow it whole. I had no idea if it would work or not. I am not the best planner of things that cause suffering to myself, but I had heard that it would do the trick. I remember a night back in December where I just sat with the bottle of pills and stared at them for at least 5 minutes. I didn't think about anything or anyone. I just sat there. Staring at them. My ticket away from all of this. I didn't think about my dad and what this would do to him. Or my kids, or any of my friends. I just wanted to do something selfish and a final statement. Sometimes, life just tosses you too much. I felt completely justified.

I was at a point to where my entire world as I had known it had come crashing down. Everything I had believed and built up to be true was gone. I didn't want to start over. I didn't want to be anything anymore. I didn't know what I could do. I felt just "in the way." I almost felt like I HAD to do it. It just made the most logical sense. Cause what else could I have left in the tank? How can I beat all of this that now faced me? As the song "Wither" by Dream Theater says: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down. And all my best creations, burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again, another one that got away." I just didn't think I could face it. My anger, my confusion, my bitterness and my sorrow all surrounded me. I just had to do this. It made the most sense.

I sat there in the middle of another sleepless night. Alone. Ready to do this great harm to myself and everyone I ever cared about. But then it happened.... Two things popped into my head. Two simple phrases. I'm not sure where they came from, but they arrived swiftly. Like they were whispered into my ear from a distant voice far away. It said two simple things:

"The world needs people like you." and "You're not done yet."

That little voice helped me realize a truth that I needed to hear. I've been accused of being "too nice" a guy sometimes. I let people walk all over me and I open myself up too greatly. It allows a lot of potential for trust and for people to hurt me. I've never gone out of my way to hurt someone. Even a complete stranger. Its not in my nature to want to hurt anyone. I'm not a good liar. I just can't hurt people. I get scared that I will. I have anxiety that I'll create another situation where I bothered someone and I'll beat myself up for it every day. But in the end, that ain't a bad way to be. The world does need more people like that.

And "you're not done yet." It made me think about all I wanted to still do. The stories I wanted to write and draw. I wanted to make more music. I wanted to travel and see places I've never seen. I want to see my kids grow up and become men. Maybe I can be a good influence in their lives instead of giving them horrible memories and sorrow with this stupid, selfish act I was wanting to do. Again, I'd be hurting someone besides myself. But I also thought about the fact that doors are closed sometimes, but another one always opens. And thats where you are meant to go.

What happened in my life last year wasn't done maliciously. Its all just some of those things that happens in life sometimes. Its just a pity I wasn't on the same page with some of it. But it happens. I am not angry or bitter about it. I accept it now. I took all the gut punches and stood right back up. Millions of people have gone through some of this and even worse. In many ways, I am very lucky that it is panning out as smoothly as it has so far. I still have good days and bad, but its getting easier. The smoke is clearing and clarity is booming brightly. And like I said here on this blog before, I'm grateful now for all that life has thrown at me. Because its shown me how strong I am. Today's pain is tomorrow's strength. Everyone has suffering or a pain they have to endure. And sure, mine is a big motherfucker. But I am facing it. And I'm still fucking standing.

I took that bottle of pills and threw it away before I moved. Its gone, along with all the dark thoughts that accompanied it. I'm now in a one bedroom apartment. Alone, for the first time. Sometimes it sucks. Other times, its kind of nice. I've now got freedom I've never had before. I am opening myself up to parts of myself I've kept closed and quiet for too long. I'm deciding new things about Adam 3.0. One big question at the start of this is: WHO AM I NOW? I find that I am still me. I still hang my Cds, vinyl, posters and some toys proudly. I've still got a pencil and micron pen in my hand. I still blog and podcast. I still jam to music I love and thirst for more music I have yet to discover. I keep searching Google Earth for places I want to go to one day. I've re-discovered my zeal for the work-week. I scored two almost full time jobs in an effort to pay my bills and start to save money. To build a whole new life. A better one. Because I am a better person now and I deserve it.

I don't share all of this dark knowledge with you to get attention or to have a great story to tell. I tell it because #1-I'm always an honest dude and #2-Every journey has darkness and light and it would be selfish for me not to share what I learned from my darkness. And as the great Stanley Kubrick said: "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." I've done that and I've come out the other side, wanting to share the concept that no matter how shit goes down in our lives, and we're given more than we think we can bare, we can still keep standing. I have not had any more dark thoughts since that night a month ago. Instead its been slowly getting brighter. I am not scared of myself or whats around me anymore. And throughout all of this, I've seen so many people stand up and reach out to me, grabbing me to make sure I don't fall. I've seen who truly cares for me. Its shown me that I've worked hard all my life to be a decent dude and with that came this group of great friends that will always be there for me. I cannot express enough what that means for me.

Today I am getting over a sore throat and a bit of a cold. But I'm up now and I am gonna finish hanging some posters in my new home. Tonight, some friends of mine are coming over. They are travelling from all over the state to come see little old me. I'm gonna drink a bit, listen to some of my favorite music, swap stories, play games, whatever. But most importantly? I'll be alive. I'm living again.

That's all I'll ever need.

Here's to another 37 years of a great life!

--T

p.s. I realized that most likely, today is the first birthday in a loooong time where I won't get any sort of naughty birthday sex. Its a bummer. But I am sure I will treat myself to a special birthday toss off! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sharing Music Vol. 2

Its time to share some more current music that I am digging.

Transatlantic "Stranger in your Soul." (Mike Portnoy Drum Cam version)



Fozzy "Enemy"



John Lennon "Nobody Told Me"



XTC "The Dissapointed"



Otis Rush "I can't quit you babe"



Procol Harum "Whiter Shade of Pale"


Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Home - I'm Back!!!

HELLO HELLO HELLO!

I'm reporting to you from my new house. My new one bedroom apartment. My new life. I finally got internet up and running and I am slowly trying to put everything into place. I unpacked some boxes the last couple days and I still got TONS more to get through. But I am hoping by the end of next week I'll be fully set up and ready to rock. I have already started my two jobs. One is a gas station, the other is Meijer. I go to Meijer later today in fact. So life is cruising as best it can. I'm thankful for that.

I am also greatly thankful for everyone's continued emails, calls and messages of support for me during this crazy period in my life. They have all meant the world to me. Its really kept my head above water when I was at my lowest points. And I've hit some extreme up and downs in the last couple months. Hell, all of 2014 really! But hey, its a new year and I'm slowly coming back to life. I hit the gym yesterday for the first time in a month and today I feel great! The weight loss continues! Its a new life and its exciting to see how its unfolding. I'm busy trying to get myself right and not live in my past. All I can control is me, the present and what is to come. I'm happy with how things are coming together. But I am extremely happy and grateful for the support of my friends, fans and family. They've all been there for me and I will never forget it. The light at the end of my tunnel is you guys!

I don't have much to report at current. I'm going to continue to open boxes, put stuff in their new place and finally get cracking on getting these STARSLAM books out the door. And I also have a card set to get crusing on. Deadline is fast approaching! I am still open for commission work if you want to EMAIL ME HERE and say what you want. We'll work it out. I'm anxious to start putting pencil to paper again. Very soon. For now I gotta get my shit unpacked and clean up around here. It looks like a bomb went off. Didn't realize I had so many books, CDs and things! Hopefully the tax return comes soon so I can get more furniture. I don't even have  TV! Kinda nice though. Its quiet without one. I am enjoying it. But I miss football! :(

Anyway folks, just wanted to check in and let you know that I am still here and I will be showing you new stuff before you know it. I'm anxious to get back to myself and its on its way! Thanks for being in my corner. Lets get ready for the bell and come out swinging!

Cheers, T

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Of things to come/COMMISSION SALE!

Hey everyone! Welcome to 2015, world of hoverboards, flying cars and the Cubs winning the world series! Things have been mega-busy in my life. Mostly personal. I haven't put much pen to paper in a bit, other than working on these AVENGERS cards I gotta get done by this weekend. Mostly I've been trying to secure long-term employment in an effort to relocate myself for my wife and I's upcoming seperation. Or do they call it joyously uncoupling now? I forget. Anyway, no worries. Everything is okay and we're very civil to each other. But it is an emotionally heart-wrenching time for all of us here. She's moving on to her life and I am moving on to mine. On my end, I have the greatest disadvantage. I have to secure TWO full time jobs in order to make ends meet. I have no furniture or anything really to start a new life. I got boxes of collectibles and books that isn't worth tossing on ebay, and my clothes. Thats it. So the next coming weeks will be about me trying to make as much money as possible through jobs and freelance work so that I can get some savings built up and get things like a couch, bed and a TV. It will take time.

Wanna help? There's a great way to do it, and just in time for TAX TIME!!!!!! I know you'll start getting your tax returns toward the end of this month. Or maybe your Xmas presents sucked balls. Either way, I am here to help! Help me out and I'll help you out!

I am taking commissions once again. 8x11 is $25. 11x17 is $50. Add $10 for color to each. Anything you want drawn (even nudity... ESPECIALLY nudity!) I can do it! Just hit me with an email at phymns@yahoo.com and we can discuss what you want done. I take paypal and it will all go to help fund my new apartment/life fund! Believe me, I appreciate it. I will also be unearthing sketch cards and AP cards I got laying around and tossing them up for sale. Also I got my STARSLAM books back from the mail. So I will be working on those and mailing all those out after my big move next week or so. And in the coming weeks, I plan to hopefully push for a digital download sale of ALL my comics and artbooks! Look for that in the future. But for now, if you want art, now's the time to order some from me! It would be about a month turnaround time for a piece BTW. Lots to juggle right now, but you would be a priority. Just keep that in mind.

This week I got a night job as a gas station clerk. And I am up for a part time (moving into full time) position at Meijer. I got a few other applications out though, so we'll see where the chips fall. I also found an apartment today. I still have some issues as far as my lease signing goes, but I think that will all be cleared up by Monday at the latest I think. Then next week I gotta help the wife move into her place and I gotta move into mine. Its gonna be a definite juggle, especially with the kids. So BUSY!!!!!!!!!! Its gonna be nutty. But we'll make it and then we're off into the sunset on our new respective adventures. Its exciting, but scary. This will be my first apartment that I've ever lived in, ALONE. I've always had roommates, or relationships to share the space and bills. This time, I'm solo. It will be good for me to rock it solo so I can spend some time getting reaquainted with myself, but also to sort out some things I need to sort out. Also I plan to stay busy with my jobs and artwork. Then I will still see my kids too. Its just a whole different way of doing things. But it will be okay. I know it will be. It kinda sucks because I remember my first apartment with my old buddy Jon. We lived in a 2 bedroom spacious apartment for $595. Now I got a one bedroom place for $575. Of course, that was in 1996 when I had that place, and I do live in our state's capital. But still, interesting... as well as SCARY! I just hope the job situation stays good and I can get ahead on all my bills.

Anyway, thats about it for an update. Next time I update I will be doing so from my new home office. My new home. My home alone. Scary. Exciting. Weird. Sad. Happy. Determined.

Much love to you all, and PLEASE ORDER SOME COMMISSIONS! I can't wait to put lead to paper again. Help me get rolling on it all!

Cheers, T

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sharing Music Vol. 1

Music is my God. It has the power to hurt, help, heal and so much more. I thought I'd start a series of blogs showcasing some of my current favorite songs on my playlist. I'll try to pick lyric versions of the songs so that you can see the words that mean so much to me. Here we go:

"Wither" by DREAM THEATER



"Landslide" by FLEETWOOD MAC



"Digging in the Dirt" by PETER GABRIEL



"The Final Cut" by PINK FLOYD




Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Year end Wrap-up

Hey everyone! Long time no talk. I've been busy with a ton of stuff both professional and personal. I've tried to craft you folks a decent blog for a while now, but I just got nothing much to say about anything current right now. But its close to year end and I always do a year end BEST OF, WORST OF list to wrap things up. To be honest, I haven't dissected too many new things that have come in the world this last year. I've just tried to keep myself glued together. 2014 came out swinging from the ring of the first bell in January. I started out the year optimistic for the future, but immediately was dealt several blows in my personal and professional life. It got dark for me folks. As dark as it can get. Its like the universe sent me a year of hell to wake me up and reboot my life. I could sit and re-list everything that went wrong and play the victim. I could do a "woe is me" act for you all. But honestly, I don't feel like doing that. Because I'm not sad. I'm not angry anymore.

In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I'm grateful.

I'm grateful for everything that happened to me this year, especially the bad things. And it was a lot. Perhaps even, the worst possible things I've ever had to endure. Both my personal and professional lives came crashing down and the universe pushed me into the dirt and tried to keep me there. I was almost done for. To be honest with you folks, sometimes things got so bad, I considered that the pain was so great, I often thought about checking out. It was a foolish, passing thought. I never would have done it. But when you get knocked to your absolute bottom, you consider all options. We've all been there, I'm sure.

What I found at the end of the tunnel was extreme light. Extreme clarity. I knew the universe had sent me a message. I needed the worst to happen. I needed to reboot my life. I have been dormant for far too long. I took for granted things that should have been more of a priority in my life. I skated by on the bare minimum and made excuse after excuse. Honestly, its no way to live a life. And I want more out of my time here on this Earth.

Recently I've been reading a lot of self help books. Stuff to help me through some key incidents. And some to help me do a great mental sweep of the vast amount of cobwebs in my head. It was dark and dusty up there. But still completely fixable. Over the past few months, I have slowly began to change. My priorities shifted. My goals changed. I focused on my new ideas and was rewarded. I got great success on Kickstarter with Starslam. I got back into Star Wars and Marvel cards. I wrote new and exciting stories that I will one day work on. I spent time with my family and realized that I need to spend time with myself. Sometime this next week, I am seeking full time employment and I will continue my journey into the next phase. I'm not just skating by any longer. No more check to check living. I am building the dream home I've always wanted. I'm building the life I've always wanted. I am becoming the person I've always wanted to be.

Most impressively, I've slayed the demon that has plagued me all my life. I've dropped 48 pounds. I'm almost below 300 pounds for the first time in well over a decade. I'm thinner, lighter and I have more energy and clarity than I've had in god knows how long. I'm discovering a new me and it feels amazing. I have extreme clarity. I know who I am and what I want. and I don't care about the little arguments anymore. I don't care about those who bark or throw mud at me. I'm walking on, head high and confident.

There's a popular saying, "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger." I can attest to that statement as being 100% accurate. I fell like I've just went through the worst year of my life. And I am not wallowing in self pity or anger. I'm grateful. I've been awakened to the clarity I've always sought all my life. I know who I am and what I have to do. Some might think I'm crazy for some of my upcoming changes and choices. But its my life and its what I want. I have to live for me and make myself happy. And I am. Finally for perhaps the first time in my life, I know how that is done.

For those looking for 2014 best of plugs, I will say I enjoyed the new Ace Frehley, U2 and Pink Floyd albums. I also loved Marc Maron and Amanda Palmer's new books. I haven't seen many new movies but Guardians of the Galaxy was great. I still have yet to see the last Hobbit movie, but I will. On the TV front, I enjoyed The Walking Dead, The Eric Andre Show and a few others. I don't have a list of the WORST events, because I don't care to list them. I don't care to dwell in them. I am just taking what happened, screaming back at the universe. Here is what I say:

"Is this all you got? Come at me! You can't kill me. You can't take me down. I'm still standing here."

There still is much more work for me to do. Mentally, physically, personally and professionally. I've evolving to the next phase. The better me. And I'm doing it for ME, no one else. I answer only to myself. I look forward to all that 2015 has to offer me. I'm looking forward to the next phase and getting the life I've always wanted. At the end of 2015, I am going to be completely different than I am now. I will be thinner, happier and at peace. Plus I am looking forward to flying cars, the Cubs winning the world series against Miami, and Hoverboards. Right? It better happen!!

I hope you folks had a good Holiday season and be safe for the New Year. I'm going to check out for a while now. I have a card set to finish, we're also packing up and moving into a new house in the middle of January, so I might be offline for a while. But I will be back with new stuff to show and talk about, very soon. And to those waiting on STARSLAM books, I expect them print the printer this next week and I will be slowly mailing them out. Please bare with me as I'm juggling a lot with the move and other things, but I am going to get all the books out as soon as I get them. Thanks for your continued love and support and please keep checking back here on me. 2015 is going to be a great fucking year for us all.

Onward and upward!

ADAM T.