Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bouncing Souls Interview with Bryan & Pete Circa 2001-2002

In honor of interviewing The Bouncing Souls for my podcast, Mostly Harmless (, I unearthed my interview with the band from 2001 or 2002. I'm not completely certain.

I was only 20 years old. I remember thinking it was shit, but rereading it now, it is not too bad. Pretty ameturish, but still it has heart. You have to remember, this was at the time my ALL TIME FAVORITE BAND IN THE WORLD, and I was nervous... But I have found memories of climbing the stairs to the then backstage of the Ogden and meeting Pete and Bryan. It was such a thrill. So exciting.

I was sitting literally on top of the world and I was meeting my heroes. It was proof to me that anything I put my mind to was possible. Thank you Bryan and Pete for helping make that happen.

DAMIAN: What’s up guys? How you doing tonight?
BRYAN: Not so bad.
DAMIAN: What’s been going on with you guys for the last few weeks? On tour with Madcap, Flogging Molly and One Man Army. Been going pretty good?
BRYAN: Best tour in the world ever. Having a good time so far. Good shows.
DAMIAN: you guys just got back from a European tour with Bombshell Rocks. That pretty good too?
PETE: Had fun.
BRYAN: Both of them were good times.
PETE: Good Times, but not as much as this tour. This is like the tour to end all tours.
DAMIAN: How long you guys been on tour?
BRYAN: Its like ten days.
DAMIAN: How much more you got?
BRYAN: God, like six more weeks.
DAMIAN: So its still got some more time for things to go wrong, eh?
PETE: Nah man. It keeps getting better.
DAMIAN: Shit. Hope I’m not jinxing it…
DAMIAN: So how did this tour come about, with all of these great bands, in one place?
BRYAN: We just put it together ourselves. We discovered Madcap, and became friends with them on the Warped Tour. Flogging Molly… It was just an idea we came up with.
PETE: It just kind of happened.
BRYAN: And One Man Army, yea. I guess the line up all came together on the Warped Tour. That’s where we were when we all decided.
PETE: They are all bands that we wanted to go on tour with and we threw it together.
DAMIAN: New Album. In my opinion, It’s the best one yet. The new drummer, Mike McDermott, He’s awesome. He really goes off on the new album. Where did you find this guy?
PETE: Philly.
BRYAN: We found him in Philly. We kind of found each other actually.
[At this point, a drunken Johnny from Madcap comes in…]
PETE: What’s up Johnny?
JOHNNY: Did you hear me ask the fucking crowd man?
BRYAN: Nah man. What’d you say?
JOHNNY: Hey guys what did you think of the Springstien we played before coming out?
And the crowd went “YEAAAAA!”
PETE: Really?
JOHNNY: I SWEAR TO GOD MAN! I was thank the Souls for that. And they all yelled “YEAAAAA!”
PETE: Thanks Johnny.
JOHNNY: Yeah, see you guys later.
DAMIAN: So mike. He came from where? Mephiskapheles? What happened to them? They break up? He quit?
BRYAN: I think they are still going.
PETE: I think Mike was kind of like a hired gun for them.
BRYAN: He was a mercenary drummer for years. He was the ska mercenary guy who played in every fucking ska band.
DAMIAN: And now you guys got him. The non-ska band. So I gather he’s working out then. How was it in the studio with him? With out, Shal.
BRYAN: It was great. It was like fucking effortless.
PETE: It was like a breath of fresh air.
DAMIAN: I can tell from the shows. The shows have a lot more energy, now. Even the old songs-
BRYAN: Its better. Everything is so much better.
PETE: We had to teach McDermott all of our songs. We had to relearn them completely ourselves. In doing that it was like a whole different line up.
BRYAN: It is just way tighter.
DAMIAN: So how long have you guys been together? Ten Years?
BRYAN: No. More like thirteen.
DAMIAN: Thirteen? Wow.
BRYAN: Yeah that is some shit…
DAMIAN: So you guys go from being a struggling band back then, to practically selling out this place tonight. How does that feel? That’s got to be pretty great, huh?
BRYAN: It feels great absolutely. It’s like a feeling you can’t really describe. It’s great. When you completely try to express yourself, and then you succeed. Then you go out and try in front of people, and people respond positively, It’s totally great.
DAMIAN: Some of these are more geared towards the lyric writing. A lot of the new album seems to be about growing up, getting older, maturing.
BRYAN: We wrote like 90% of the lyrics, Pete and me.
DAMIAN: The majority of the album is about growing up. What was it like growing up in this environment? Do you still feel like kids?
BRYAN: As our friend Mattie says, Punk music provides for our prolonged adolescence. Its true.
PETE: The life that we have lead is kind of like a time machine. It’s a kind of weird time warp. Like we have not gone through the things, that a lot of thirty year olds have gone through. You know? We’ve just been fucking around, just like we did in high school. Music keeps you young. I don’t feel my age at all. You’re seventeen all the time.
DAMIAN: Who owns the first two albums? I heard that you guys bought them back from BYO.
BRYAN: Actually we never sold them to BYO. They were always on Chunksaah, but we licensed them to BYO. We kept renewing the actual deal with BYO and then we decided to take ‘em back to Chunksaah. Try to make a go of it. Chunksaah is like a long project for us. We really want to make a go of the label. So that’s the first important step. Now we are trying to get some decent distribution for those. It’s still primarily mail order, for now.
DAMIAN: What else do you guys have coming out?
BRYAN: We have a full length coming out from a band called the Arsons.
DAMIAN: That was, what? Ex-members of Grey Area?
BRYAN: Yeah. Its going to be good.
DAMIAN: When does that come out?
BRYAN: December…
PETE: Probably January.
BRYAN: You can keep up with that stuff on the website.
DAMIAN: What is next. You guys have been all over the world. What do you plan to do now?
BRYAN: Actually, this is going to be our last tour for a while. We are going home for the holidays, hang out there. We’re going to work out on our hanging out and drinking skills.
DAMIAN: Greg, he lives out in LA now doesn’t he?
PETE: Yeah.
DAMIAN: How is that working out? Is it a strain?
BRYAN: We are usually together at the same places anyway. We are usually on tour together, which is more than half the year. Then we have official jam sessions, Greg will come out to New York. He’ll just crash and hang out in New York and we’ll jam every day.
DAMIAN: There was a time in my life when I was getting, getting very down and depressed. I listened to the albums over and over again. They helped me get out of my little funk, and feel better. Do you hear a lot of comments and things like that?
BRYAN: Actually I read that sometimes on the guest book. It is like the greatest thanks you could ever get, EVER. It feels great. You don’t think of any of that when you are writing that. When you are doing what you do, you know? When you hear it, It feels great. Makes it worth it….

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I stepped out of my car into what was left of the warm summer shine. A storm was brewing off to the horizon. Walking into through the parking lot towards my destination, I glanced at my telephone for the time.
Upon looking up, I was assaulted by a dream. Exiting the store, her red blazed in the dimming sun. As she walked into my existence, Her bright blue eyes stole my stride.
I watched transfixed, dead in my tracks.
I stared for what felt like hours. Pushing her over flowing cart into the parking lot, she clumsily sifted through her bag.  The world watched as she stopped traffic.
I was trapped. I could not turn away. Was I dreaming? Or perhaps the last trick of a fading star?  Was this vision truly there? 
She inched closer, I fought to avert my gaze but found myself powerless to do so.  She exited the safety walkway and finally glanced my way. Our eyes locked in understanding. She broke our gaze, but only for moments. As her eyes returned to mine, they pierced me as knives. She was as fierce as I was powerless.
If her eyes had been any color other than that of a cool, bright blue, they would have set the world on fire. Beauty and pain where the language they spoke to me. I smiled.
And it was then that I was finally set free from my wakeful slumber. 
Recomposing myself, I ventured on into my day. Left with to be forever intoxicated by her memory.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

One Week.

I just watched this fantastic little film on Netflix called ONE WEEK. It stars Joshua Jackson as a man who discovers he has type four cancer. Rather than seek immediate treatment he purchases a motorcycle and ventures out into the Canadian wilderness to find one great adventure before he gives in to the life and possible death of a Cancer Patient. The narration is host to a very Stranger Than Fiction feel, but with a more melon collie awareness of the subject manner. Its quiet, subdued and sweet with just enough humor to glue the film together. As someone who is obsessed with dying, it shows that we are not alone in our fears, and it begs the question... "What if you only had one week to live?" Thank you universe for throwing this in my path today. I think I'll follow it up with a little MOTORCYCLE DIARIES.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Big, Warm, Comfy Blanket of Destruction.

 This is straight from my brain, and no rereading or editing. Take it as you will. I hope someone who might be as crazy as me can get something from this as well... Expect more random journal essays or whatever this is.

My depression came on strong, hard and fast today. I'm not entirely sure why. Its not that I have anything to be depressed about... Stressed maybe, Depressed? No.

I've had some awesome adventures these last few weeks. I've been traveling a lot, meeting lots of people, getting to know people better. I've also been drinking too much and spending too much money. My severance from my old day job is just about gone and I've barely been working my other job bartending.

Mostly when I'm at home, I sit at home and do NOTHING. There is no reason to get out of bed, or in my case my couch, since its too warm in my bedroom to actually SLEEP, and my couch is more comfortable than my Pillow Top, King sized bed, for some damned reason.

Actually the day started off just fine. I work up around noon. I read the news, surfed the internet... Then I ingested 8 cups of super strong French Press Coffee and my brain just went haywire.

I always drink a significant amount of coffee. I love coffee. I even have a coffee tattoo. Its my favorite beverage. When I actually had a day job, I would drink POTS of the stuff. I was motivated. I moved, I shook with anticipation of all the things I could accomplish. Now with this lull in my life, I can barely drink two cups without getting the shakes, and my day is ruined. I can't function.

Today was different. I was to work on the podcast. I was to sit down and record the bookends of Monday's episode, knowing I would be busy all weekend in Denver. The motivation just isn't there. When I worked the day job, all I wanted to do was work on my show, now that I have all the time in the world, I just don't care.

As it is, I'm awful at doing things for myself. When I have absolutely no one depending on me, I tend to let myself down. Its a horrible trait and one I'm working to squash, but its been ingrained in me since, well, always and its incredibly hard to change the way your hardwired.

So I sat here and just couldn't get motivated to do ANYTHING. I couldn't sit still, but I didn't care. That old familar blanket of emotions has covered me with its warmth..... And that's the thing about Depression. Its welcoming. Its warm. Its comforting. That's what makes it the most dangerous. Its all those negative thoughts flooding to the surface and its a lot like drowning. Once you give in to the water, its warm. Its welcoming and you embrace it.

Its taken me a long time to learn what those feelings are and what they entail. Where they come from. They come almost seemingly out of nowhere. I saw THE AVENGERS last night. I met an amazing woman last weekend, and the weekend before I traveled and saw parts of the country I've never seen! Its been a good run. Why now? Why is it coming TODAY?

I've found that I have a natural defense to bury the majority of my emotions. I come off as a calm and cool guy, but deep inside its an eternal struggle on a level I'm not quite away. For years I've had anger management issues and its taken a lot of work and care to teach myself to just be ANGRY. To let it out and let it flow and not bottle it up. I may have also added an unhealthy trait of Apathy into my diet. I've taught myself, as my old wise black roommate use to say: "Shake it Off," but one wonders how much of it is actually shaken off, and how much of it is simply buried deep inside waiting to come out.

When I start getting Ill, these emotions, some deep and dark, others not, just buried, come flooding to the surface. It can be overwhelming. Its a lot like the old Warner Brothers cartoons where you have an Angel and a Devil on your arms whispering into your ears, telling you what to do an how to do it. Its not voices, its your ideas. The sickness comes, and it takes away all those filters and protection my brain has built up to protect from those negative thoughts and uses that energy to fight the sickness. Thus leaving my psyche vulnerable to the dangers of those dark negative thoughts I can generally shake off.

I think that makes some kind of sense, without me sounding completely psychotic. My father is completely psychotic and its a fear I've held for my entire life that I am also as crazy as he is. I know that's every child's nightmare, but sometimes when I get this way, down and dirty, I feel my father in the room.... Its unsettling.

 I haven't been sleeping too well in the last few months. I've never been an especially good sleeper anyways. I fear my father's Sleep Apnea may have taken hold of me as well. I often wake up in the middle of the night short of breath and my heart pounding out my chest. Heart disease is a big favorite of the family's genetics.

Usually when I have a bought of Depression coming on, I just take a nap. It helps reset the brain and I feel much better. Lately I haven't been able to get to sleep before four or five am, even with sleeping aids. Some of it is stress, some it if comes from having nothing to do and sleeping all damned day. I'm a natural night owl, as it is, but come on! I love to sleep, and when it does not come it is increasingly distressing.

Coffee, generally makes me feel FANTASTIC! I understand why there are so many meth and coke heads out there in the world. I love SPEED. I love going fast. I feel myself after a few cups of coffee. I feel normal. Its the ADD in me. Hell, just typing this stuff out at 100 words a minutes helps me feel fantastic. So today when I drank the eight 8oz cups of coffee and I feel actually worse, I know something is up. And wonderful, my normal routine of napping it out can't happen because I can't stand still.

The problem with me when I get depressed, I just don't give a damned about anything. I don't want to do anything, for me or others. I just turn into a self destructive individual whom only wants to sit in one place and tune everything out. 

But thanks to the coffee not allowing me to sit still, I sit down and FORCE myself to take care of some business. I sit down and call the IRS and we worked out some stuff that I had neglected to do in the past (due to this damned depression.)  I'm broke, a major cause of stress, so I cancelled some services I no longer need. I wrote a few emails and BAM! I feel better. I worked through it.

It dawns on me, that I might actually be getting a summer cold, and that's where the despair comes from as detailed above. Or maybe its this. I need to work. I need to do SOMETHING. One day a week at the Black Sheep is not enough. They've offered me some bullshit work, but its not enough. I'm not valued there, and when I can't shake off that feeling anymore. Plus I want to WORK. I want to stay busy.

The only problem, as I talked about above, I have a hard time just WORKING FOR MYSELF. I'm sure it comes from years of my mentally abusive father telling me that I'm worthless and wasting my time every day as a little boy (and the sad fact that I listened...) that have taught me not to value my own self worth, but you better believe that if someone needs me, and I'm not being a sad sack, I'll be there in a heartbeat. I like working for others and helping others. Why the hell can't I do that for myself?!?! What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm sure a good therapist could help me astronomically with these issues, and I'll look into that. I do know I am AWESOME. I am great. My show is really good and slowly building an audience. Why don't I care about it today? Why do I want to throw it all away and just SLEEP. How can I get my selflessness to take a turn and turn into me working for myself? Geez Louise. I am a crazy ball of madness, aren't I?

I had for gotten how therapeutic it is to just write down your thoughts. The last super bad bout of insomnia I faced was cured by writing an eight page email...  I live alone. The majority of my best friends are scattered around the country and I have few people here in the Springs to really, REALLY Talk too. So I keep these ideas and thoughts and feelings trapped inside. It feels good to write them down. It feels good to express them to other people, even if it is only on a computer screen. Already with this here I feel much better.

So I've decided to start looking at other opportunities for me and my "career." I've applied for a Pell grant to go to school. I've got unemployment coming, but I want to stay busy. I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to stay in the Springs, or I'd start really looking for a day job. I've been half assed offered a "Big" job at the Sheep, but it might be six months or six years before it happens. Its unfortunate that the guy I was hired to basically replace has never actually left the venue.... Its unfortunate that I went from running the Triple Nickel, essentially, to being just a throwaway asset.

I'm going to try to hammer out some more work for myself on my show ( I'm going to try to make it bigger, but its hard to motivate myself to do it. I want to. I just don't have that ENERGY to do it for myself. I'm going to look into volunteering. If i can volunteer somewhere, make a difference and have a REASON to get out of bed every morning, I think that will make a big difference in my mood and character.

So much better. Most of that coffee has worn off. Its nice and warm in my apartment. I'm going to Denver tonight to Volunteer at a Huge little Mini-Fest. I think i might feel a nap coming on before I venture northward...... Before I venture off into another adventure....


Monday, November 7, 2011

Virginity Soundtrack

Here's a quick post i drunkenly posted on FB after a Bouncing Souls show. Thought i would share it on here to keep forever....

"Watched the Bouncing Souls play my favorite album, Maniacal Laughter. I lost my virginity to that album when I was 19. (sorry mom.) I stopped what I was doing to put it on. the album was more important than the girl... And that pretty much sums up my entire love life. I'm doomed."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vinyl Record Clock

I've wanted to make a Clock out of old LPS for a while now. I had seen something like this on Etsy or some such website before and I loved the idea and it stuck with me for sometime.

When I moved into my Apartment last year, I bought an extra wall clock and then took it apart and made a clock out of it, the only problem with that clock was It didn't have a wall mounting harness, and then I brilliantly bought a set of picture mounting hooks, and then SCREWED the hook onto the clock, thus ruining the inside mechanisms. If you go this route, i suggest super gluing a hook onto the clock.... The clock I bought and destroyed from Target was only about 4 bucks, and if you had some leftover 7 Inches, they would fit perfectly inside the frame of the clock and no Hanging apparatus would be needed.

I went a different route with this project. I went to Hobby Lobby today to return a frame and wandered around, looking for stuff for my next art project. I found a make your own clock kit and made this clock.

Here's how it all went down:
I chose an LP from my good friend, and pretty much all around bad ass, Michael Dean Damron. His newest album "A PLEA FROM A GHOST" (which you SHOULD listen to at:
I picked this LP up while traveling with Mike from Denver to Little Rock and then back to Denver in early September for the Two Cow Garage 10th Anniversary party and Suburban Home 16th Anniversary party, both of which Mike played.

I chose this LP not only because it is an excellent album and the Colored LP looks fantastic, but also because i foolishly left it in the car too long and the LP is warped beyond playing. I've heard stories that you warm up the LP and make them playable again, but I can probably score another from Mike, and now I have a super rare MIKE D collectable!

This is the Build Your Own Clock Kit i bought from Hobby Lobby. A little bit more expensive than the clock I bought from Target and Destroyed. This kit cost $5.99 and the destroyed clock was $3.99, but this had a wall mounting apparatus that is built into this kit, so i felt it the better choice.

The instructions were painfully easy, and the putting the thing together was a breeze. It took less than 5 minutes to put the entire thing together. It took me longer to find my hammer when it came time to putting it on the wall.

Here is the finished goods:

So there you have it. Quick and simple. You can easily find LPS at Thrift stores for super cheap. The Leechpit & The Independent Records Annex both have a rather large selection of LPS for $1 or less. These make quick and easy presents, and are pretty damned cool. There is a large selection of these on ETSY, or I'd consider making some and throwing them on there!

If you happen to go out and make your own, then take photos and send me a link!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Glow Worms.

She was 19 when the life slipped out from her body. Its been two years to the day, but it feels like yesterday afternoon and yet a thousand years ago since i sat in that Houston, Texas hospital room and watched my sister die.

Brittany Danielle Burford was born dying. Sick and in the hospital since the day she was brought onto this earth. She faced and fought many battles in her 19 short years. Among the many battles she faced, She had open heart surgery before she could walk. She had spinal menengitus not once, but twice. The battleaxe even had brain surgery. No one could stop this little monster.

The people will tell you about the good and the sweet times. They always remember the best about people once they've past. I try to remember the bad. I try to remember Brittany as the spoiled little brat she was. That's what brings those tears to my eyes and a joy to my heart. I remember the gigantic pain in the ass that we loved oh so dearly, except when we couldn't stand each other.

At the very base of all her heart and prowess, at the very core of her being, wasn't a ray of sunshine, as they will have you believe. No, the core of my littlest sister was a brick wall of stubbornness. She didn't win all those battles with deasese with her big goofy smile, or even that smartass smirk. It was that gigantic brick wall of stubbornness, burried deep inside her that brought those diseases to their knees. Charisma was her weapon. She was a lover, she was a fighter.

She was the youngest of four, while I was the oldest followed by My sister Ryan, little brother Ben, and finally Brittany. Sure, she was bright and sunny as much as her poor little heart could muster. She was the runt of our litter, but she wouldn't let that stop her. Yes, we were dirt poor lower middle class for a good chunk of our lives, but as much as she could charm the pants off you, this little girl could scream and cry and fight for what she wanted, and she wanted the world, but most importantly, she just wanted to watch watch a bad Anime on Cartoon network or play some silly video game.

I hate how little comes to mind now days. So much of our past is locked in the rooms of my mind, never to see the light again. I don't remeber all the times we spent, but i do remember how excited we were when she finally came home from the hospital. I was nine years old. I was the oldest. She was our little glowworm. she had Jaundice so bad, they had to wrap her in a light to help calm the jaundice down. She was our little glow worm. A metaphor for whom she would become.

We got along like gangbusters. The distance in age brought us together. I taught her how to be a nerd. It didn't hurt we were both Leo's and cut from more of the same materials than our other two siblings. We took more after our mother's side of the family, where as Ryan and Ben remind me much more of our father's side of the branch.

Brittany and I were hooked on the cartoons. We would cuddle up on the couch and watch hours of cartoons. The only one i remember now was Dragonball Z, we were addicted to every sprawling battle, the drama and every single minute of that silly show. That was the beginning of her long lasting anime addiction. I remember how absolutely hooked she was on Final Fantasy and all those damned Role Playing games that didn't make a lick of sense to me. But i remember the cartoons. I wish i could remember more, but those things are lost to me know. Lost in the sea of yesterday.

Brittany and myself are the kind of people who have to burn ourselves to find out the stove it hot. We won't listen to reason and we have to just fucking DO IT to learn the hard way. Both of us have many, many scars to show for the many lessons learned.

For all those things i can no longer recall, i still hold one memory near and dear to my heart. I can't recall her age, but she had to be 7 or 9 years old. She was still going to AC Steere Elementry in Shreveport. My brother was already in Middle School, so it was just Brittany I picked up from school.

This was the height of her little brat days. the constant bickering and fighting between us and everyone. This afternoon was no exception. She climbed into the backseat of my 1986 Chevy Caprice, a gigantic boat of a car. She was always small thanks to her heart condition, so she generally sat in the back seat until she hit her teens. We fought and fought about her putting her seatbelt on. Who knows why we were in such bad moods. Just siblings in the foxholes of puberty. While driving down one of the side streets of our middle class neighborhood, navigating ourselves closer home,fighting all the way, I decided to teach little Brittany a lesson.

I hit the brakes.


Brittany slammed into the back of the passenger seat.

She was mad as hell. She yelled. She cried. Brittany wore her seatbelt every single time she got in a car after that. Even still, this story still makes me chuckle.

Another fond memory was coming to visit in Shreveport. Brittany had no idea i was coming to visit. I liked it that way. Made things more special. I got to My mother's house in the middle of the afternoon. Brittany was taking a nap, as she often did thanks to the ravages of the sickness. I walked into her room and turned on the light. She had fallen asleep with watching Tv. The remote was still in her hands. I grabbed it from her and she slowly awoke.

She wiped the sleep from her eyes and i can still hear her ask, "Damian?" in her confused just roused voice.

I started pressing buttons onthe remote and picking things up in her room, I remarked to her, "This is just a dream."

She sat up in bed and had the most dissapointed look on her face as she realized she must be dreaming, exclaiming, "Oh.."

She started to lay back down, and i kept fucking with things in her room, and then slugged her in the arm. "Surprise silly. I am here."

When she realized i was just picking on her, she leaped up and hugged me harder than anyone as sick as her should have. It made her whole week. I'll miss those surprise visits and those big huge glowing eyes when she finds me asleep on her living room couch.

Since she never got to experience the world like many of us, she had a somewhat simple and niave view of things. She didn't see the complicated. She saw the simple solutions to our everyday problems in life. I remember talking with her about a girl i was kind of dating, who couldn't date me, but wanted to, but didn't. (Shouldn't have tried dating a 19 year old when i was 26...) She just simply could not fathom such a thing. Her advice was simple and sweet and out of the movies. It made my head hurt then, but makes me smile now. Remembering how much she trusted the entire world. How she would exclaim how I awesome I was, and she would tell me how to win these poor girls hearts.

I remember my mother calling me one morning. Seeing the number on my cell made my heart jump, thinking something bad had happened. As it turns out, I was just needed to refferee a fight between my mother and sister, from 1,000 miles away and on the telepone. I was the only one she would listen to. I didn't talk down to her, I talked to her like an adult. The real secret in conversation isn't how you talk to people, or what you say. Its how to get the people in question to say the things they need to hear. I could crack her code like no other.

Sure she was a little brat, but she was our little brat. Maybe she had a point to be. I think she always knew her time was short on this tiny little rock and maybe she knew she had to fight, tooth and nail, to get what she wanted while she could. I'd like to think instictually she knew, just as i knew that I would always be there to help bury her. I've always knew her time would be short, but that never made it any easier.

I know she knew the end was near. It was around this time that she started fighting to fly the coup. She wanted love and marrage and all the pitfalls that came with them. She wanted them then and now. The fight never stopped for these simple human needs. She wanted to experience love in all its glory. She would call me crying, working throught the pitfalls of heartache.

Even worse, once She called ME, and not our other sister, Ryan, for sex advice. (For which i told her i didn't want to discuss it and requested she call Ryan and never discuss these things with me ever again. ) She would call me to ask about Boys and how their brains worked. She would call me to bitch about our Mother, or crazy father. She would call just to say hello.

She died of an experimental surgery to fix her super rare lung/heart condition known as Lymphangiomatosis & Gorham's Disease. I would explain it if i could, but its complicated and I've never totally understood it. It had something to do with her Lungs excreting a chemical that most people's bodys absorb. Her body rejected this natual chemical and it filled up her poor little body, making it hard for her heart, lungs, and other internal organs to pump and function. You can read more about the condition at:

She checked into Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas for an experimental surgery that may have been the cure to this horrendous battle she was fighting. She knew the risks and she decided to gamble on the cure. She lost that gamble, but i like to think she secretly won because she was brave enough to make that bet. She took the big chance to try to live a full life or no life, rather than suffer for a few more years with a half-life. That life is a big gamble and sometimes you've got to double down.

I battled hard with myself trying to decide weather or not to run home to Louisiana to help. I waited for them to ask me to come home, and if they had ever asked me to, I would have done it without hesitation, but they never came straight out and asked. So i sat here and battled with myself. I yelled at the heavens and begged for them to take me instead. I begged for the easy answer to this complicated question. I cried myself to sleep on several occasions, and I had one freakout drunken cry fest whilest drinking with friends when living in the Lark House.

After hours of fighting myself, it was decided that If i had gone home to help, I would have simply been putting my life on hold to wait for my sister to die. It was unfair for me to do that to myself and would be unfair to them to press pause on life to wait for anothers to end. I decided to stay and it was the hardest descision i ever made, but after I said I would stay... Things got easier here. I started working at the Triple Nickel. Dated an amazing girl. The universe will reward us when we make those right descicions. The universe will also punish us and will corse correct itself until we are finally on that right path. I know now I chose the right path. The rewards have been unmeasurable, and that is how i know now i made the right descision to stay in Colorado.

I still think often of those phone calls, of her reaching out, and me not being there. I remember the phone calls full of tears as she would confide in me and tell me how much she missed me. Or the time I came to visit and she cried and cried as i left. I think she would have understood and if the shoe had been on the other foot, I would never have asked anyone to put their lives on hold for little ole me, but I would have done it for her, for them.

So now we move on without her, and try to live life a little harder and in honor of her and the short life she lived. We work to not mourn her, but instead to embrace her memory. To live, not for her, but for myself and live a life that i think she would have been proud of. I try to remember that she knew when she went in for that experiemental surgery, that she knew she might not make it out alive. I try to remember that courage and strength, and embrace that in myself.

She spent so much time sick, and in hospitals that she missed out on a good chunk of actually living in this world. I've strived to help make up for that. Every chance i get, I will jump in a van or airplane and have an adveture. Everytime I think of her and i hope she's proud of my adventures.

It breaks my heart that she grew out of Harry Potter and never read the final two books. She never got to see the last few films. When watching the final Harry Potter film, watching Harry march towards his death in the final few moments of the film, he is greeted by those who he lost along the way on his great journey. While watching I though of her and how she could never share that moment with me. I thought of her and all the other we have lost along the way and the tears swelled and i lost it for a few moments in that film.

I'll remember her like that in those final few moments. I'll remember coming into that Houston hospital room knowing the end was there, she must have too. I'll remember Ryan and I talking massive shit to her, telling inappropriate jokes and making her laugh one last time before fighting that final battle. I'll also remember that spark of rebellion and that smirk of a grin. She marched to the end bravely, and I hope when the time comes for me, I hope that when i march that march she'll be there to greet me.

She was a little brat. She was a ray of sunshine. She was my sister.