Fellow American, do you find yourself recently quadriplegic, demented, or just old and alone? Do you find yourself wondering, Whatever shall I do?

What you need, my friend, is a caregiver! And I will tell you how to get one. First, here are some things you will need: 1) Piles and piles of money; 2) Even more money; 3) Just absurd amounts of money.Read More »

Eve, part 2

The awkward and anticlimactic meet-up with Eve, the love of my life, just as I was leaving Fairbanks, possibly never to see her again, but after we had already spent a tearful night clutching one another, devastated to suddenly realize our beautiful relationship was over, professing our love for each other even as we were painfully closing the book, and then to bump into each other by chance the very next morning – that was foreshadowing. She ended up coming down to Kenai a couple of weeks later after Corey talked his parents into offering her a job on their commercial fishing site. She and I could be together for the summer.Read More »


When I was five we moved from Seward to Kenai, near the mouth of the Kenai River. The Kenai River begins at pristine Kenai Lake, in the Kenai mountains, on the Kenai Peninsula, and flows west. It’s a beautiful glacial blue green until it gets close to the mouth, then it meanders through a marshy river flats and the banks become silt clay, which turns the river a corresponding ashy gray color. It oozes out into the Cook Inlet near the town of Kenai.Read More »

Why I won’t kill myself (probably)

ALS has been described as a “glass coffin” illness. It deteriorates nearly all your muscles, but leaves your eyes, sensory nerves and brain alone. You can look around and see all the things you are missing out on, feel how uncomfortable you are lying there, and think about how much it sucks. If I survive it, I intend to start an unsuccessful progressive metal band called Glass Coffin that will only play Monday night gigs at out of the way clubs. That’s highly unlikely, however, which often leaves me thinking of the inevitable, and how that may go down.Read More »

How I’m doing

How are you doing? is a question I dislike, especially if it comes with sincere eye contact and emphasis on the word “doing”. It forces me to assess how I’m doing, and the conclusion is always (surprise), Still shitty. Sometimes people ask me directly, How is your condition? and then I can say that out loud. Otherwise I don’t reflect on how I’m doing. I keep my head in the present for the most part, attending to whatever needs to be done right now. This is better for my mental state, but I can understand that people would like to know. They are concerned, and probably curious about what ALS is like beyond “shitty”. So here goes.Read More »


Then there was Eve Amundsen. I first met her at fine arts camp up in Fairbanks in the summer between my junior and senior year, right in the middle of my punk rock period. There were no girls in the punk scene where I lived, in Kenai. Just skater guys and me. There were a bunch of punk rock girls up in Fairbanks at fine arts camp, but not many that were smoking hot like Eve was. She had a bitching dyed black mohawk, wore gothic makeup, leather jacket, pointy boots, lots of piercings, including a nose pierce, which in 1987 was a daring thing to have. She was the whole package. However, she was also intense and catty, so I hardly said more than two words to her. Anyway, this was right after Nina so I was still kind of bugged out about girls in general.

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Letter to myself as a young man, aged 20

Dear Mark,

Dude. It’s me/you! Told you I would write you again. I have to say though, I’m a little disappointed. It looks like you didn’t take any of my advice from before. You got that letter right? Just in case you didn’t, I’m enclosing it here. Some of that stuff will still be useful. I’ll wait for you to read it if you haven’t already.Read More »