What's The Matter With Me? Podcast

I have multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia and I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

Anxiety Medication Strategy Session


In “Anxiety Medication Strategy Session,” changing opinions on music, bouts of anxiety, recent publication in Identity Theory and Disturb the Universe, family life changes, increased mobility, and resumption of some duties.

Last Old Guy Or First New Guy?

Recently, I read a tweet by flea, and I was forced to reconsider:

Pat Matheny on German jazz critics

Pat Matheny was a jazz guitarist that my stepfather really admired. For that reason, in my youth I stayed away from it. In general, I mind it less now that I am older, but I generally don’t seek it out.

Sometimes, a random tweet by flea will turn decades of tradition on its head, and I’ll be forced to reconsider. In an interview with Rick Beato, Pat Metheny had this to say about musical invention:

German jazz critics are great. They’ll come right out and say the most direct thing. I had a guy say to me– you know, not that long ago, maybe 10 years ago– “Are you the last old guy, or are you the first new guy?” and the thing is, I bet you know what he means too, right? Yeah, of course.. I mean, for me, both.

Well, I don’t know, I mean, you know, it’s hard to be objective about your own thing, but what I will say is that, for me, there was no option other than trying to invent stuff, yeah.

Anxious feelings

cover art

I had a bout of anxious feelings and panic. I reached out to my care team and spoke over video and in-person at the office with my doctor the next day. We think it could be related to switching off of nerve-pain medication post-surgery.

Marinated Spicy Chicken Thighs Recipe

Over at Hoppin Hot Sauce, there’s a new recipe for Marinated Spicy Chicken Thighs marinated in yogurt, salt, and Hoppin Hot Sauce.

“Vern” published in Identity Theory

I’m happy to announce the publication of “Vern” in Identity Theory, selected by Micro Editor Vic Nogay. Many thanks to the publisher Matt Borondy.

“Vern” is a 50-word story about the workplace injury sustained by my great grandfather, T. Vernon Smithson, at the cotton gin in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Identity Theory is an online magazine of literature and culture publishing interviews, prose, poetry, art, commentary, and other inventive explorations of humanity since 2000.

“Vern” published
Reading “Vern” for Identity Theory

“Hot Day” published in Disturb The Universe

I’m happy to announce the publication of my eco-disaster poem, “Hot Day” in Disturb The Universe Magazine, April 23, 2024. The poem takes place in a decomposing world in thrall to “inevitable circumstances/ That can’t be avoided.”

According to their website, “Disturb the Universe aims to share writing on the edge from writers strongly inhabiting their voice.” Many thanks to Editor in Chief Skaja Evens.

“Hot Day” published

Non-stop publication action

Is disguising the inevitable sinking feeling but it has to be in there, somewhere.

Domestic Emptiness

For the first time since 2020, my wife is back to the office four days a week. It’s probably a big change for her. She comes home bursting with stories of her new gig. She seems very stimulated, and I think that’s a good thing. Our home is empty during the day for the first time since we moved from San Jose.

More walking

I’m in my wheelchair less and less, and walking more. This week I went to the library on my own, walking in and out from the parking lot, trying to build stamina. I went to the doctor without the chair. I use it when we go to the market, any time when I’ll have to do extended walking or to carry things.

Resuming Some Duties

Last week, I picked up the kids from school and picked up the vegetable box – something that I haven’t done more than once or twice in the past year.

I made an appointment to get a hair cut in a couple weeks, and it’ll be my first time going to the hair salon since the beginning of last august, almost 9 months ago.


Anxiety Medication Strategy Session Selfie
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