Saturday, March 1, 2014

A man should not fear his work...

I've written before (many times actually) of how the sordid movements against me over the years have pretty much destroyed my historic and traditional career in visual and software interface design. In fact, by far the greatest effort made on the part of the “investigators” and early on, was to prevent me from gaining any gainful (if I may) employment in that field (really, anything to do with computers as I'm also very skilled in networking and hardware disciplines in general).

Back around year 2001, when I was leaving my last important design position (Art Director at a prominent Houston design firm) and while seeking new employment, I had a funny but telling experience. It's sort of indicative of just how badly they(tm) were working to prevent me from working and it was also, very much, an effort to quite literally loose my mental hinges.

And it worked, freaked my shit real bad to be honest and eventually I would crack under the sort of daily experiences like the one I'm about to describe:

I had just been hired at another design firm, also a fairly prominent group here in Houston, and after leaving my initial meeting with the owners/management … and as I was walking down the stairs to go to my car, a plainly dressed guy came up the stairs and passed me and as he did so, he muttered under his breath … “Don't get too comfortable in your new job.” Any normal civilian would have said, “Excuse me? What did you say?” … but I was acutely aware of the movements around and regarding me and had been for some time and so I knew all too well why the comment was made. To have inquired would have assuredly garnered a response of the sort, “I'm sorry but I didn't say anything.”

Believe it … true story.

Anyway … before I waste a lot of breath on old stories that really aren't too much about what I want to get at with this bit, I'll stop.

Work that's not work...

But suffice it to say, my professional background is in software interface design … also, visual design in general. 

I enjoy all sorts of visual design, from book covers to brochures to posters to custom DVD productions for my niece to t-shirts to even general text layout as evidenced in my own site (pretty much the greatest text based site I've ever personally designed and built) ,... but by far, software interface design is my main love. 

The task of gathering together some strange new groups various processes and problems and coordinating with a team of similarly passionate professionals in an effort to craft an elegant solution via mathematical logic and visual interfaces is pretty much akin to the most enjoyable and rewarding sort of “play” for me that I can imagine (it was, anyway); I never once thought of it as work and would never stop doing it … even after I left the nine to five … I went to bed thinking about it, woke up thinking about it and could not wait for the next significant milestone to be reached as any given project progressed. And upon completion of each and every project, it felt like I'd just reached the summit of some new and monumental peak; it was and is a transcendentally enjoyable process, this task of creating something beautiful and functional, basically from nothing. 

The fact that people were paying me upwards of $60 dollars an hour to do the work was sort of beside the point … I would have done that shit for free, to be honest, and so the huge pay checks were quite literally, “gravy.”

And, as I'll eventually get too … I really am currently doing it for free … and as I find the time and the clients I find interesting enough to commit too. Not so much software design, but at least visual design of a sort. But more on that several blocks of text down …

A man should not fear his work...

All that said and as a direct consequence of being the victim of a hugely sweeping and constant smear campaign (they call it an investigation, LOL), I've been fixing flats tires for 12 dollars an hour for the past 8 years. 

No shit. 

I do it every day and it sucks the proverbial fucking ass. It's brutally physical (imagine flipping over 400lb tires all day), hideously dirty, incredibly dangerous labor (most of the work is on huge tires forfork trucks and the like). It's truly the bottom of the labor-pool barrel; not as any slight against them cause I've found some of them to be strangely stand-up guys … but the majority of the guys I work side by side with are ex convicts (from murder to robbery to drugs, you name it). It's the only job that these guys can get. And, for the past 15 years, it's been the only job I can get as well.

I make daily attempts to manage my emotional reactions to the work because it really is something horrible to have to wake up looking at each and every Monday and the tendency to become angered or feel sorry for myself is, admittedly a real factor (I'm human). And in fact, in my better moments, I've actually managed to see the work as some sort of personal and challenging daily lesson in how best to manage my self and especially my emotional reactions to having to endure horrible things; being prone to self observation, being a person who is genuinely bugged when he observes his self acting and behaving idiotically or childishly, I've really at times found the work beneficial as a learning device and in regards to how best to manage my ever developing self. 

All that sensitive shit said? 

At 46 years of age, though in super fucking good physical shape (yes, I can brag) ... I genuinely have very real fear reactions every time some new task is given to me to complete because invariably it will involve tremendous physical labor, heat, sweating, tremendous physical labor, being covered in chemicals and grease, tremendous physical labor, constantly busted fingers and other body parts, and other, generally horrible things like tremendously physical labor. I am one of the only two guys at our company who can go out on "road calls" (the others don't have drivers licenses because they are either immigrants or ex-cons) ... and I swear, every time our fucking phone rings (it's broadcast on an external speaker) ... my heart leaps into my throat and adrenaline spurts in to my veins cause I know it's some Port of Houston facility calling to have me come out and do some god fucking awful, horrible thing.

If a man fears his work, then he is obviously in the wrong line of work; this is something I repeat to myself constantly and as a mantra some particularly horrible days ... it doesn't help much but it at least keeps me constantly aware of the fact that I'm far better and more utilized as a human resource when employed doing the things I love. Meh... 

This current and horrific labor that I see to on a daily basis stands in such utter and complete contrast to the sort of work I was doing before that at times I can't help but feel I'm acting in some sort of cosmic, dark comedy of a play (and in fact, I know it to be the case that I kind of really am, but that's not for this blog post). In my previous and traditional profession as a design professional, me and my fellows would literally fight over who got to do any given task/project; it was that important and that fun to us. Hugely competitive and hugely rewarding. 

Some funny shit is that if you look at the “about” section on my ridiculous Facebook page, you'll see an employment listing that looks something like this:

  • 1995-1996 – Lead interface designer for (insert some design firms name)
  • 1996-1997 – Lead interface designer for (insert Houston's only major newspaper's name)
  • 1997-2000 - Assistant Vice President to Treasury Solutions/Art Director/Lead Interface designer (insert name of the largest bank on the planet)
  • 2000-2001 – Art Director/Lead Interface designer at (insert largest digital book repository/archive on the planet)
  • 2001-2002 – Art Director at (insert major Houston software development company/Ad agency)
  • 2002-2014 – Fixing flats for 12 dollars an hour; it sucks fucking ass

Oh, I can laugh at that now, thank god … but time was when it really hurt. And that above list is pretty much verbatim from my stupid ass Facebook page

As a brief aside ... I hate Facebook. I just use it to post filth, pornography, religiously blasphemous tirades and otherwise to try and piss my more family oriented friends off. I actually play a sort of game to see how many people I can get to “friend” me and then see how quickly I can get them to delete me. It's so fucking fun and so I guess, in that regard, it has some worth. Oh yeah, as weird as every one I know might find it … I post lots of very serious stuff about my ongoing effort around and my ongoing attempt to publicly prove an investigation of myself has, indeed, existed over the past 15+ years. I also publish lots of personal writing under the notes section.

I'll do this shit for free...

Anyway … as mentioned above, I've been doing a bit of pro bono, free design work. Lately it's involved doing book covers for a really cool, non profit, small press publisher called Nostrovia!. They've published some of my poetry in the past (I actually won a fucking writing contest!) and so, knowing my professional background in design, they invited me to assist with some design work. The covers are for digital books that are published in .PDF format and ultimately are uploaded to online sites like, and I can't even begin to describe how refreshing it has been to be involved with the work.

It's very fast turn around as they hit me with about 12 books at once and so with hugely limited free/personal time, I've had to pretty much crank it out in “turbo design” mode … the ideas/conceptual work isn't that deep because of these time constraints but I get to use some personal photography and have complete creative license in so far as how I might choose to illustrate any given set of poems (they are published in what is known in the writing scene as, “chapbooks.”). Further, I am doing all page by page content presentation and layout, as well as a bit of branding/logo/identity work for the Nostrovia! group in general.

So to the point of this typically winded bit of a blog post ...

The free work I've been doing of late...

Following are some of the book covers I've recently completed ... as well as some of the content pages from the actual digital books that we are publishing. 

I did everything you see here (except where noted/credited) ... layout, photography, typography, compositing, etc. The tools used are primarily Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Serif Page Plus (this last one, a really simple but very effective page layout program similar but far inferior to Adobe Indesign).

And, over the coming months, I look forward to doing more for these fine folk. And ... of course ... for fucking free. Why? Because I love it...

A man should not fear his work; he should run towards it.



This is one of my favorites cause it involved the most production work. I shot the little bits of paper with my cel phone (believe it or not) and then composited the cover together in photoshop using layers of the poetry overlayed with various other blending/collage techniques. Turned out pretty cool. Reminds me of the color scheme/design approach used on the walls of a lot of the Starbucks coffee shop interiors, I've seen (LMFAO. I also include here a couple other shots from the same book showing how the content pages follow the theme set by the cover. The vintage porn photo is from a public domain photo repository of images over 100 years old, bit of trivia there ... :



The following is a smaller book we've done, using a slightly diminished canvas size and a different branding style on the content pages ... the type treatment was fun; typography, fonts and the selection of such for any given project gives me a real geek stiffy. I've also included a content page. All of this was done in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator:


Here is another of the larger publications; it's obviously an Elvis themed bit of writing (check the poem on the content page; the girl is good). The Elvis image was found at a public domain, newspaper repository. I did the faux-halftone effect in Photoshop. Turned out nice. Burnt orange, in all it's variants, is my favorite color; I actually have to police myself or I'll use it in every project without even knowing it. Also included a content page below:


This is a pretty straightforward bit of cover work. I was pressed for time and so had to let a dominant photo carry the mood/message of the cover. The image of the building is something I randomly shot in downtown Houston many years ago. I found it in my closet and thought it went nice with the mood of the poems and so used it. I totally love that photo. So stark and direlect. Also included is a content page showing a photo illustration for one of the poems. The photo was sent to me by a photography friend of mine who lives in Holland. She shot it specifically for this project. I fucking love collaborating:

Finally, here's a logotype I did as something the publisher can begin using throughout it's published works and as a means of developing an readily identified brand. Following the first photo is an example of the various ways it has been  presented throughout the various books:

But for now, I'm fixing flats...

Perhaps some day I'll again be able to seek gainful employment doing something I love, perhaps not. 

The forces at work here, those that have been set against me over the past 14 years, at least in a temporal, corporeal regard ... are formidable (and no, local East Houston Law Enforcement Goons, I don't mean you, god bless you ... your just doing what nature made you to do .. and in a way, that's a really positive thing); but, this? This shit I'm dealing with? And you thinking that your dealing with me? This whole queer drama? It's something else entirely and it has it's beginnings in folk and forces way behind and above your own, admittedly, persistent stumbling. I mean no insult by that. It's simply true...

Persons with vast financial resources and equally expansive social influence have a pretty easy go of destroying a person's well being/opportunities should the desire take them. But, as I vaguely alluded to, above ... that influence and power is fleeting at best and so, in the long run, knowing what has real value, I will persist in my mundane, dangerous and horrifying daily labor. 

What I personally hold out for and why I've refused to prostrate myself at the feet of the various "offers" that have been made regarding a resolution to the circumstances outlined in (and there have been offers) is something I know beyond any doubt, that I will take with me when I leave this heavy and sweaty and really, sort of cumbersome earthly living: principle, truth and justice. 

Compromising the idea of principle and truth for the sake of comfort, sex, monetary gain, a new car or job or anything else ... is simply not an option for me. I have no clue why this is. I had a fairly typical upbringing in a fairly typical middle class home. I attended public schools. I broke hearts and had my heart broke. I had sex by the age of 15. I got in to trouble and I redeemed myself, afterward. I made straight D's in High School. I made straight A's in college. Pretty normal as life courses go. But when faced with the prospect of accepting a bribe? And contrary to what 99.9% of my long standing and traditional so called friends would choose?

Shit ... I'll sling dirt and tires and labor till my body gives out before I'll compromise myself so grossly. And so, there it is...

The irony is that I'm surrounded by persons who embody the precise opposite of this idea; many of them are and have been informants to the ongoing, and so called, "investigation" of myself over the years; and many of them are folks who I once thought of as friends (and who I now know to be simple, and oh-so malleable tools).

As for the powers set against me? The so called "social leaders" and "political figures" who wield their influence and power so abusively? Theirs will not be a lasting influence. And I personally believe that that very same power will perish with the flesh of those who are currently waving it about like some fat brute with a stick. But that's just me waxing poetic and so who the fuck knows?

(Fuck me, man. I got a little goddamn metaphysical there at the end, huh? LMFAO ... oh well ... I do have a serious side, you know.)

Hope you've enjoyed the pornography.


this post is intended to be supplemental to the facts made public in my main website,; it probably will not make much sense to you if you have not already made yourself aware of the legal and personal efforts discussed in that site. please see for a necessary introduction into why this blog exists. or, if you just like reading weird stuff, then don't. and, enjoy.


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This blog is a supplementary text to my main website at: The purpose of this blog is to form a semi daily dialogue related to personal circumstances as outlined in have fun.