My name is John,

I’m 43 years old, husband, father, small business owner, radio DJ, podcaster, and I have Multiple Sclerosis.

I created the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast to share what I’m going through.


I believe in using the transformational power of creativity to achieve social justice. Joseph Beuys once famously claimed that, “Each person is an artist.” In the words of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, “Wanderer, your footprints are/ the path, and nothing else;/ wanderer, there is no path,/ the path is made by walking.” My work consists of public interactions that create new conditions in the community.

I have multiple sclerosis and that affects my life and work in many ways. I am the host of What’s The Matter With Me?, a podcast where I share my experiences, challenges and triumphs as a patient with MS. The podcast develops my Disability Consciousness and bridges me with my caregivers, doctors, the disabled community, and community-at-large.

If each person is an artist, and we create the road by walking, then it is up to us to create the world we want to see.

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Welcome to “Concert At Yoshi’s” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

I went to see a jazz concert at Yoshi’s in my wheelchair, and it was pretty easy, for a change. I made a lot of vegetarian bean chili ahead of a trip to the ranch, and the vegetarians approved of it.

Shout outs

  •  Shout outs to Claude Hopper who listened to Wheelchair Dining Experience and wrote in to laugh about the banana salad
  • My mom told me that I should have complained about the restaurant experience, but I have worked in restaurants for a long time and I think that things can go wrong very easily, so I declined. Kind of a cop out. I was like it’s not gonna make my experience any better to complain.
  • Write me an email and I will give you a shout out, perhaps the best shout out you will ever have. What are you waiting for? Send me an email
  • Mom reminded me how the meal was like a car crash and i couldn’t look away because It was like I was driving and I crashed my car. Maybe I was like a passenger in a taxi where the driver got into a horrible accident and killed someone and was at fault I was not at fault but I experienced it. And I paid for it. Rest in peace to that dinner
  • I’ll complain next time.

Ads R Cheesy

  • It’s still true that I’ve never had an advertisement on WTMWM?, but I was watching TV with my son and they had an advertisement for this nut company and I have to say that I order nuts and raisins a lot. they also sell cheese powder and I’m interested in that. so if the nuts people come calling, I might do it, for the cheese powder

Eight Cans Of Beans

big pot of chili on the stove
  • I made a gallon and a half of bean chili, to bring to the ranch. it got good reviews from the vegetarians who ate it up. I wanted to see if making vegetarian chili from canned beans was possible, and it worked out.
  • My buddy grilled some carne asada and onions, which mixed into the bean chili just right, lending good meaty flavor and satisfying some more primal urges.

Dave Holland Trio at Yoshi’s

Instruments on the stage

Monday February 20, 2023

Dave Holland, bass
Kevin Eubanks, guitar
Eric Garland, drums

  • From jam band to nihilistic noise rock.
  • Eubanks is a natural sideman and laughs at everything
  • This jazz concert at Yoshi’s was accessible in my wheelchair
  • I just had to call in the afternoon to let them know I was coming that night, and they reserved a table for my wife and I
  • They gave us a good table with a clear vantage point and we enjoyed the show. We were not off to the side, or around the corner. It was easy to get to my seat, and I had a clear path to the bathroom which was useful because i had two whiskey sours

Spatula Debates


Spatula appears in English for the first time in 1525, when it morphs from being a weapon to a utensil most commonly used at apothecaries. Today, it describes any cooking tool with a long handle and a thin flexible blade.

Source: 8 Common Spatulas and How To Use Them

  • We got into a debate during the making of chili about spatulas: are they for smoothing things out, or flipping them.
  • Turns out, there are a lot of different things that you could call a spatula

Domestic Things

  • We received the bed and the fridge
  • The mattress is not a lumpy nightmare
  • The fridge is keeping things cold, but well short of freezing

I Drove Them

  • I drove the kids to presidents week camp this morning bc my wife was in the office
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I went out for a wheelchair dining experience and it was a comedy/tragedy of errors

Welcome to “Wheelchair Dining Experience” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In this episode, I rolled out to eat with my wife for a wheelchair dining experience  and it was a comedy/tragedy of errors. It was supposed to be a fine dining restaurant but the experience fell short in a lot of ways. I’m so starved to get out that it didn’t stop me from having a good time, but I don’t think I will be back.


Mention from the MS Foundation
  • The multiple sclerosis foundation tweeted about what’s the matter with me Podcast- they are a loud voice in the community, and I feel very seen.


  •  Not Quite Twice My Age: Dad is celebrating his 75th birthday cruising the Bahamas
  • Swing By: Chris Parachini is in Puerto Rico but he’ll make it to CA someday.

Tag > Slap

Date Looms Large

  • Does the date of MS diagnosis loom large? For me, the answer is probably a no, even though I haven’t forgotten it. I just haven’t given it much weight.

Unprecedented and Unique Dinner

  • Dinner experience in my wheelchair, it was a singular experience
  • When companies/products/marketers have come to me asking to advertise on WTMWM? I have refused.

Big Question I’m Always Asking

  • How can fatigue and achievement coexist?


  • Friday fish from Scends: snapper, shrimp, fries, mac n cheese, coleslaw, corn bread hot sauce. The kids liked it.

Sam Kinison Auto Parts Jingle

  • I made the Sam Kinison auto parts jingle

Bad Old Ideas

Pizza Problem

  • Bluebird Pizzeria in San Leandro is the only bona fide pizza in town, but they’re closed on Monday And they Sell out on Friday and Saturday nights, so you can’t even get a take away order placed at 7 o’clock. Its a little place& lotsTogo- no delivery. Guess I’m just ranting about there Isn’t enough pizza in mytown

Just Chili-ing

  • Im making vegetarian bean chili

This Week’s Selfie

Chin Music
white elephant sale cover
Only Happens Once A Year

Welcome to “White Elephant Sale” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In this episode, I went to the annual White Elephant Sale in my wheelchair and thought about my identity, identity politics and representation.

Fishy Yellow Mess

  • Turmeric supplement broken bottle
  • Nami said getting an apology from a chatbot is unsatisfying. She said it’s because you don’t feel magnanimous accepting the apology of a robot.

Weird junk

  • white elephant sale was accessible in my wheelchair. Some parts were very tight, but I made it work. That place is full of great junk

Still toothless

  • I thought I was gonna have my teeth, and I don’t have my teeth (yet)

Fluid Identity

  • I have changed my identity and become a disabled person and in that way I understand something about intersectional identity
  • There are People that change their identity on purpose. I feel some kinship with them because my identity has changed, even though I didn’t do it on my own.
  • Viewing others with unmarked male gaze is no longer possible
  • I used to think that identity art was silly, because I questioned its relevance to art.
  • My thinking about the importance of identity, identity art, and identity politics has grown and changed just as my identity has grown and changed through maturation and enduring chronic disability

Mayhem Special

  • I’m dreaming up a Mayhem special for KFJC about disabled musicians. Something featuring disabled artists like Cedell Davis, Beethoven, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Stevie Wonder, Blind Uncle Gaspard, Israel Vibration, Ian Drury, Dax Pierson, and more.

This Week’s Selfie

White Elephant Sale  selfie
White Elephant Sale Selfie
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Auto-correct keeps messing with me

Welcome to “Happy New Yeast” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In this episode, autocorrect keeps messing with me. After almost two years, I’ll get new teeth on Friday. I drove myself to KFJC and did a lot of cooking.

Buck Wild

  • I lost my buck teeth in the Spring of 2021 and, at long last, I’m getting them back on Friday

Live on KFJC

  • I drove to KFJC and hung out with Jack tar during the Blues Collective and also picked up some records to review
  • They had this year’s new years card and a past new years card up in the lobby
  • I got assigned a couple records to review and brought them home, fulfilling the original reason to be a member at kfjc: to get free records

Misadventures In Autocorrect

  • “Happy new yeast,” my phone is always autocorrecting me, when I try to write happy new years. And I’m like “No, man- that makes me sound weird.”

Plastic Tones

Cedell Davis
  • Cedell Davis was a disabled blues man with limited use of his hands

Doin’ drop off and pickup

  • I took the kids to school- Nami was working in San Diego,
  • End of day pickup & took them out to Taco Bell, because they see the ads on TV

Cooking While Disabled Jan 2023

  • Need a TED talk about making PBJ that addresses the importance of spreading the peanut butter and jelly to the edge of the bread
  • Made mojo sauce, its hard for me bc it had some tricky things like using the microplane, blender & a lotta juicing i extended the marinating time to break out the work over 2 days
  • Made soup again, the kale was a bit difficult to strip off the stems but i did it anyway bc it’s good to do things within reason. Part of cooking is prep, and it’s the work

Artist at the Grocer

Hold It Right There

  • The Amazon page holder device– I can read again. It’s called “Bookmark/Weight-Page Holder-Holds Books Open and in Place-Clear-by Superior Essentials” and it was Amazons choice. Using it is easy and I can read much easier without having to grapple with the book.
  • Currently, I’m reading The Year’s Best Sports Writing 2021 and Saxophone Colossus, Aidan Levy’s new Sonny Rollins biography and the page holder is doing exactly what they said it would- a useful product.
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Body Horror, Part Two

Welcome to “Gum Scrape” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In “Gum Scrape,” I’m finally on the verge of completing my dental implants. I went to the dentist and he got after me with an X-acto knife.


  • I cut the cord in 2012 And now I have cable in 2023 and I don’t ever want to be without live sports. Probably I don’t really feel that way but my son does and my wife certainly disagrees
  • rafa lost to mackenzie mcdonald
  • rafa had rf procedure on his foot for nerve pain
  • mcdonald trained at the Claremont Resort & Spa
  • I used to sneak into the Claremont to employee dining room
  • Sharks came back from a 3 Goal deficit for the 1st time since 2009

Periodontist is a 17th century job

  • Dentist used x acto knife on my gums

Easy Soup

  • Cooking while disabled- easy white beans, kale and sausage soup, kinda like this one, but with sausage.
  • Smoky from Goulart’s choriço

Take the deadly nightshade

  • Modern love is a romantic comedy and my wife doesn’t think it’s funny
  • My wife says opt for the deadly nightshade

One-handed piano player

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Disabled Owned & Operated

Welcome to “Disabled Business Owner” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In this episode, I’m going through the books and wrapping up 2022 for my business when I discover that I’ve totally spaced and forgot to bill for the biggest order of the year. It happened last year, right around when I was about to go into surgery.

Shout Outs

  • Shout outs to KFJC’s Klaud hopper who was on the air on kfjc filling in for lucky j Sunday morning 6-9

Kid’s Game

On The Flipside

  • I got a fully automatic turntable: AT-LP-3

Big Tunes

Wierdo Stuff

Handling Business

  • During acute periods it is hard to manage things. Case in point: I forgot to invoice my customer for the biggest purchase of Hoppin Hot Sauce this year.

Hey Dear

  • What’s up with Spam that begins, Hey dear
  • The scam of the 1890s. Is a Hoppin Hot Sauce Association
  • If you can’t steal from your friends

Cooking While Disabled

  • I made pulled pork with mojo &chiles
  • last night we had meatloaf, and that was not an easy recipe
NEW YEAR’S MIRACLE: A rotisserie chicken

Welcome to “Cooking While Disabled 2023” on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In this episode, I find myself doing a lot of cooking while disabled which involves adaptation and interpretation of recipes that generally aren’t written with disabled people in mind. We’ve got to eat, regardless.

There’s an influx of produce at the house because we sized up our weekly vegetable box in the new year.

The kids are home from school which compresses the day, as they come home from camp in the afternoon and from then on it can be pretty difficult to concentrate.

Shout Outs

  • Shout outs to Eric & Traci
  • Shout outs to the people listening through to the past episodes- I know they are there when the number of episodes streamed increases appreciably while the number of individual listeners doesn’t increase

Art of jokes

  • Gary Cannone, Jeff Dunham & modernism
  • Usually art jokes are not funny, but Gary’s are pretty good
  • Don’t sleep on the Gary Cannone Interview Special from Season Six.

Bouncing Off The Walls

  • The kids are back in school- it was very hard to concentrate with them around, it compresses everything
  • I made chili
  • thought about how cooking while disabled is all about Adapting the recipe to your ability
  • Adaptations that make the recipe easier to execute while maintaining the spirit and making high quality food

The Iron Curtain Has Fallen

  • I went to the dentist and had my teeth cleaned by a cat

Shop ’til U Drop

What We’re Watching

With supply chain shortages, prices skyrocketing and more shoplifting than ever before, positive customer relations are nearly impossible.

Port Protection is home to the few who have left behind normal society and chosen a different life in a remote Alaskan community, where survival of the individuals and community cannot sustain without the other. The stakes are high. The land is rugged and unforgiving and the seas which surround Port Protection are cold and merciless.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

  • We’re waitlisted for basketball

Welcome to “New Year’s Epiphanies,” Episode 1 of What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast Season Seven

This episode marks the transition to a new year, new theme song, and hopefully some new ways of thinking.

  • The Season Seven theme song is “Beast”
  • Listeners grew 144% from 2021 to 2022
  • I advised my son not to brag on his presents and I think he heard me
  • Weird Al = Weird AI? Maybe Weird Al should play Superman
  • I made pot roast and ate it the same day, Christmas eve. burnt some cookies
  • Christmas wars
  • New sleep apnea iron lung equipment- need to order new braces bc the ol;d ones are falling apart
  • New Year’s Epiphanies: there isn’t enough wine in a bottle of wine – shut up sound effect
  • Getting tagged in my family holiday photos. I’m not a straightforward photography subject and it gets worse when things are candid
  • In a severe mental crisis situation, I’m very charming
  • If we’re remembered at all we’ll be remembered solely in the context of the turn of the millennium
  • I’m a product of y2k
  • Dad butt-dials me
  • Last night for dinner we had tuna pasta

This Week’s Selfie

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Taking a look back at the year on the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

Welcome to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast “Year In Review”

Season Seven will begin in the new year. Tune in for the year end wrap-up of Season Six, the biggest season we’ve ever had.

Listen for a year-end run down of all the things that crossed the bow of WTMWM? in 2022. It was a big year, a good year. Let’s get into it.

Holiday In Cambodia

Essential coming-of-age

Fork Yeah

  • The rotisserie forks came and we made a chicken and it was pretty good
  • I think I can do better But the new forks are the ticket because before the meat kept falling and it wasn’t working And maybe we just burn one side and get the other 1 raw

Journeys By Myself

  • I tried to go Christmas shopping by myself and that was ridiculous
  • The Internet is such an easier place to go Christmas shopping and the only thing that will help you right now is the robots
  • I circled 3 times and parked right in front of the store- I lucked out and my plan worked. What was I doing there? I had to make a showing of some sort.
  • I went to the teenager shop and had the dude put together a little kit.
  • There was a family with a 15-year-old girl who was getting a nose piercing

Tossing & Turning

  • Definitely having anxiety and trouble sleeping
  • I think I always get this way at Christmas

Season Six Rundown

  • I wear the same shoes- Tune in for the big rundown of the top stories from Season Six.

This Week’s Selfie

Year In Review
On the road again

Welcome to What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast S6, Ep. 45 “San Diego Trip”

In this episode, I’m on the road again for the first time in what feels like a long time. My wife and I flew to San Diego to attend her company’s year-end holiday party. For the first time, I flew with my wheelchair.

I got frisked and swabbed lot, but I didn’t miss my flights, so it evened out and I made it home in one piece. It was not without hiccups, but we managed to have a pretty good trip overall, and I’m looking forward to traveling again in tyhe future.

Booze Only Yankee Swap IV

It’s Swap Time

We came back to town and had the Booze Only Yankee Swap. The next day, we took the kids to see the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra’s holiday concert.

There’s some sound effects in this episode, like a plane taking off and some other stuff, but I tried to keep it to an absolute minimum, I swear.


  • Shout-outs to Empress Nami who wrote in to say, “I listened to WTMWM on my commute in. The ending….so many sound effects! I was laughing so much.”
  • Sometimes I’m just communing with Roy, who taught me how to do audio production. Roy always encouraged me to use more sound effects.
  • Hey MOMA, do you have the what’s the matter with me? Podcast?

Forking Hell

  • They think I only ordered one fork

Descended From Royalty

  • I took the kids to eat at Taco Bell and we met a stranger

San Diego Trip

  • We flew to San Diego
  • I made a recording just outside the airport terminal

At The Company Holiday Party

  • I sat down at the table for the holiday party and it turned out to be the adult table because the CSO sat across the table and the CEO sat down next to me. Which was kind of *gulp*-inducing but they were nice people and they listened to me when I told them how great my wife was.
  • The people at the company have an impressive track record of creating medicines.
  • I saw the lab and it was a big glassed in structure at the core of a long rectangular one story building in San Diego
  • I flew back, and they swabbed and frisked me again. The TSA guy said to clean my brace with rubbing alcohol next time.

Our Holiday Party

ABV 30%+

Booze Only Yankee Swap

1980s STYLE

Someone brought Peach Brandy to the Booze Only Yankee Swap and that created a minor kerfuffle. It was the fourth time we’ve had this party.


The graphic design program spat out this garbled flyer and we can post it here because it doesn’t list our address, or anything at all, really- it just says, “in” over and over.

alternate flyer
spiced roasted pretzels and pecans
Trading Up

I put in a bottle of Beefeater gin and I ended up with a bottle of Don Julio tequila. My wife traded a bottle of Cazadores for a bottle of Glenfiddich so it was a pretty good exchange for both of us and we very nearly felt bad about it.

  • Someone brought peach Brandy to the booze only Yankee swap and that created a minor kerfluffle
  • Lebovitz spiced nuts & pretzels were a hit. Next time, spicier
  • The hot dogs

San Francisco SymphonyYouth Orchestra Holiday Concert

  • We took the kids to see the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall. I used my chair and it was totally lucky that we got a handicap space just two blocks away. But, we hadn’t charged the chair.
  • We were there to see Kaito play the violin and we had pretty good seats in the first balcony at stage right. We had a good view looking down over the orchestra, and from our seats you look the conductor in the face as they played.