I was naked and home alone on a freezing bathroom tile floor, teeth shivering, vulnerably curled up like a 2001 star child. I remember crying “PLEASE MAKE THE PAIN STOP!”. The shivering really hurt but next to the burning glass in my guts it felt like a paper cut, oh yeah… and I was lying in a pool of my own blood, piss and vomit, if that helps?!

Okay the blood was mostly still on the inside but the piss and vomit not to mention the pain were absolutely real.

I crawled into the tub and flailed about as I kicked the handle without looking and let the tub fill up as I lay there whimpering.

It had been years and I’d almost entirely forgotten but… I knew what this was and knowing didn’t make it any easier!

My kidney had grown a pearl which had “dislodged” and it was cuttin’ me up somthin’ real bad from the inside!

I wasn’t gonna die, I’d only feel like I was the whole time that “stone” made it’s unpleasant slicy way through my entire urinary tract.

With the hot water at my nostrils and my toes wrapped around the faucet handle of the spigot, I extinguished the deluge and sank deeper into the water.

My shivering had abated and I laid there suffering alone in my warm wet wretchedness for hours, soaking in the horrible pain.

Eventually, the tranquilizing effect of the water wore off and I was forced to muster the strength to carry myself to bed.

What followed was painful days of severely broken consciousness and almost hourly scheduled vomit sessions intertwined with some dry heaving and the weirdest most trippy fever dreams I’ve ever had.

Obviously, I mean I was “chain” passing in and out of this mental plane of existence but when I’d wake up I’d rush to puke again! And, it wasn’t like that “oh, I just ate a great meal so this won’t be sooo…. terrible even if it sucks to lose my lunch kind of vomit”, I could only manage to get water in me before I would almost immediately expel it, so it was more of that “haven’t eaten in 5 days disgusting watery bile kind of vomit”, which was ultimately just very unsatisfying, and I have many disparaging remarks for the chef!

If anything, this experience taught me that it might be a good idea to keep a few extra lbs/kg of fat on you and even more so as you age because just based on the probability of the likelihood of more bad health shit happening to you that might cause you to rapidly and dangerously lose a lot of weight approaches damn near 100% the closer you get to your death… seemingly carrying a little extra chub might make the difference between you “having the strength to pull through…” and being “so weak that you don’t have the energy to keep fighting”!

Look, I’m not saying obesity is healthy but I mean… I lost 20 lbs in a week and a half (#MyVoteForShitiestWayToLoseYourPandemicWeight! I truly don’t recommend it! πŸ˜› ), now… imagine if I didn’t have those 9071.85 grams, ~81646.65 calories, ~341609.5836 joules, ~3.953814625 watt-days… worth of heart pumping, brain thinking yummy goodness stored up in my human fat batteries?!

Unlike computers, which can simply turn back on when you restore the power and hot-swap out the failed RAIDed hard drive, once the lights go out for biological machines, its curtains for the whole rest of the show and there’s nothing left to do but recycle the hardware!

Mmmm… Soylent all the yummy colors, truly Aldous Huxley’s Soma!

And now that I think about it… it’s almost like… the 2020 pandemic turning me into lazy fat-ass saved my life! #2020PandemicSavedMyLife!

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I know why it happened… and I could sit here and weave a needleprick er… point about a little dragons tale that goes something like “I was carrying the weight of the world… blah blah blah…” but the truth is that we all bare the weight of the world together… and in fact, at sea level it’s 14.70 pounds per square inch, so it’s no more fair for me to make that claim than to suggest that everyone isn’t burdened frequently with their own equally difficult challenges.

So without making excuses… it’s easy to fall into routines where you over-rely on schedule and pattern to make sure that every box gets checked, every… thing gets accounted for… take 6 gummie vitamins a day to offset your stupidly nutrient deficient diet, exercise n-minutes a week to stave off the eventual heart disease, be a good parent… EAT YOUR GODDAMN FRUITS!!!! I know it’s too sweet but it’s got citric acid in it and that shit’s unreasonably good for you!!!, handle all the responsibilities… etc.. etc..

And mental checklists are NOT a bad model for improving your life because they help ensure that “all the important things” get done but they are terrible at handling those “I zigged when I should’a zagged” situations. Though, it’s probably not fair to describe it as a “static” method because your fuzzy logic hash-table of goals can always be modified and amended as necessary, however I do think it’s fair to say that it outsources (cough downgrades) your future prospects simply because you are going from a reasonably reliable dynamic forecasting biological neural network to a moderately ridged goal oriented model that is mostly reactionary and thusly only ever achieves a poor approximation for the wonderfully chaotic non-linearity of choosing your next action carefully based on all the best locally available information… I.E. NOT SIMPLY BASED ON HABITUATED PROBABILITY!

What I’m trying to say is… starting from a place of all of the best of intentions… I was technically operating under the unknown albeit still incorrect premise that it was more important to “stay hydrated” than it was to “stay healthy”.

See, it turns out that there is a compound in tea called oxalate and it’s real super-de-duper good at promoting kidney stone formation and it doesn’t help that I like my tea mouth-puckeringly astringent and bitter as all hell (like my demeanor at times πŸ˜› ), so… you know… I leave the leaves in when I drink my tea… and actually the steeped leaves are kinda soft, green and are really tasty and that totally makes them count as a vegetable right?!

And well… lately I had been getting ALL my hydration from tea soup because it’s convenient and the ritual of making it is a soothing couple minute break from the intensity of my Lord and Saviour Dr. Chaos… which unfortunately lead to my oyster impersonation.

Admittedly, my dumb ass absolutely should have been hydrating in other ways too… but you have to see… tea is a cruel if not intoxicating mistress and although I have cut my tea consumption down to a more reasonable level, I wasn’t being taxed without representation so I saw no need to dump my stores of wonderfully astringent tea into the L.A. harbor like some Bostonians in years past might have thought to do.

I have however mostly switched to squeezing a lemon or an orange, sometimes in conjunction with a shot of apple cider vinegar into the water I ingurgitate. Yay water! The most filthy, disgusting, flavorless, non-acidic and non-bitter natural solvent all humans have the misfortune of consuming and being comprised of! What?! Personal failings aside, I like my pallet very bitter… tea let me enhance the bitterness of water. πŸ˜›

Thanks to these and a few other minor dietary changes, I’m feeling much better now and I hope to stay that way for a good long while… though I think if we’re being realistic about it… to quote Chuck Palahniuk…

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”. ~Chuck Palahniuk

Now about those trippy dreams I mentioned… today’s wallpaper is inspired by my kidney stone fever dreams…

Renal Invective

I struggle to find the right words to convey how painfully nightmarish this experience was for me because no words feel like they can truly impart any hint of what I experienced beyond simple illustrative allegorical language.

And I’d be lying if I said I remembered all the crazy dreams I experienced but I do remember hazy snippets, broken memories and jagged little fragmented images of a non-physical place of existence where things like time and dimensionality gave way to a twilight cognizance of the monsters that roam deep within the abyss of my mind.

So I wont waste your time describing in detail all the weird faraway places that don’t really exist and trying to describe a dreamscape will never do justice to the perception of experiencing it firsthand but I will say that each dream brought with it new fearful locations and monstrous distortions of my reality. Each roll of the unconscious-again die ushered in a new cast of horrifying characters and situations to torment me.

The pain of this experience shattered my mind and imbued the fragments with what felt like person-hood and my consciousness had fractionated into shards of my mental self and many mental “Others”. The Others were separate beings that I could sense all around me… each possessing some stolen portion of my mind.

What I mean is, in a dream the whole world is a hologram and all the characters are NPCs that play out their rolls as mindless automatons, as if following a script.

Like… you know that scary zombie in your dream… it isn’t actually trying to kill you. It’s just a “jump scare”. It will never actually reach you and even if it did… the moment your psyche realizes you are in a dream the zombie becomes completely unaware of your existence and you transcend the experience as the ruler of the mental universe that you inhabit.

But… my sadistic tormentors were different… they had agency and actively manipulated the nightmare to inflict as much pain and sorrow upon me as they possibly could and each time I fell asleep I’d face a new and more powerful entity that lorded over it’s own dream realm like the boss at the end of a set of increasingly difficult quests where I journeyed across an ever thematically changing mental hellscape seeking a way to reunite my splintered mental faculties so that I could finally return home safely.

Like a mental quickening, once I defeated each lord of the dream realm I would absorb it’s essence… the lost embers of my own sense of self and in doing so I would grow stronger and again claw my way back to consciousness.

Once awake, I immediately felt nauseous and would run to expel all parts of evil I had absorbed by vomiting it out as bile… oh and then I’d also like…Β  pee n’stuff.

Occasionally I’d pass a stone so… I’m not sure if it was more like a “two outa three” kinda thing with my mental Others but eventually one morning… I woke up alone and still hurting… but I could manage to stay awake.

The next day too, I remained among the living the whole day and it even hurt a little less.

That continued to be the new pattern until I no longer felt any residual discomfort.

Looking back at what I experienced I knew I had to commemorate this event’s passing with a totem or symbol to act as a reminder to myself and a warning to others to be careful what you do because every action (or inaction) has consequences!

So I created this wallpaper that illustrates an Other having impaled my kidneys.

Renal Invective Wallpaper
Renal Invective Wallpaper

Now, I sometimes add a music selection or a video that I feel enhances my point or is entertaining in some way and the only thing I felt that would really go with this post is “The Moment” by Tame Impala… and if this were a movie or game and the credits were to start rolling about now… that’s probably the song that would be playing.

So I guess I’ll just say, embrace the chaos and enjoy!


For some, the only reason to enjoy my blog is to hear my weird thoughts and bizarre monological take on the world around me and the unusually chaotic ideas I espouse… and yet for others #ItsAllAboutTheCode

I try to mix it up as much as possible so that everyone gets a little Joy in their life and obviously I haven’t been posting lately for the aforementioned renal issues… and really… a lot other things too… but I am happy to say I am working on new content for you guys and potentially even new types of content and I’ve definitely got some new (not just one) neural network projects coming that I think you will really like!

Uh… anyway… I am committed to producing most of my content for “free” (not because I don’t like money) but because my blog is something I do as… well it’s like a hobby… I enjoy creating different kinds of media and software and sharing my ideas and its partly as place where I can practice my skills and tryout new things and ultimately I will continue to create and publish things that I am working on and that I think are interesting whether you support my efforts or not… but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my current Patreon supporters for pledging their support for my work:

Marcel & Foovay

Your patronage is appreciated and I do apologize for the lack of effort lately… it’s been… challenging but I’m working on getting into a better more sustainable rhythm…

Damn! There I go right back to the patterns! πŸ˜›

Much Love to all my readers,
~Joy

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