All posts by mike

I’m Michael James Schneider, and I create. I’m an interior designer, an artist, a writer, and I do theatrical design. Lots of people tell me I’m great at everything. These people usually turn out to be liars. Please lower your expectations and follow me on Intragram and Vine (@BLCKSMTH), and on Twitter (@BLCKSMTHdesign).



“Maybe this is how it starts” you think to yourself, as you wait at the passenger arrival gate at PDX. This isn’t the first time you have had this thought, and you have even been close to being right before. You look at the faces of all the other people there: the gruff, hardened, emotionless middle aged man. The white family who has signs made for whomever they’re waiting for. The young black girl, she’s wearing a knit hat and coat maybe a little too large for the November weather. You love her the most, she’s also wearing headphones that may or may not be plugged in to anything, and a headset microphone in front of her mouth which reminds you of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm 1814. Your suspicion that she may be high-functioning autistic is reinforced when she lets out a loud squeal of pure glee when she sees who is probably her brother coming out of the doors, only then does she tear off the headphones. Continue reading Arrivals

The One


The leaves rustle, in the morning there’s a chill in the air, shopping bags start becoming aggressively seasonal, and I suddenly crave every pastry near me within a ten block radius. It’s fall, jerks! And I have never embraced my dadbod more: it is the daddest of bods. Wait is that appropriation?

The text from the guy comes at work while I am lifting a pastry up to my mouth in the break room at work. I consider telling my coworkers that this is my first cheese danish. It is, in fact, my third pastry, but really I only count it as my second because I had the first one before I clocked in. I look at my phone, log into social media, bury my face in the screen. I really don’t appreciate the stares they’re giving me, I can practically hear their whispers to each other as they giggle at the crumbs in my beard, their-

I lift my head. Oh. The break room is actually empty. Ahem. Continue reading The One

How to Get Ready for a Date

We’re hard at work on Episode 2 of This Ends Badly! It’s titled “From Bad to Worse” and people familiar with the classic 2014 post The Date With Myself will recognize a particular sequence.

In the meantime, please enjoy this short, “How To Get Ready for a Date”! Thanks to Colt Schafer and Hannah Brady for their help making this.

What Happens Next


The week it happens is a week like any other: you work, you write, you take some photos, you film. If you lived this week and could warn yourself how bad it would get, send a message in a bottle through time to tell yourself to brace yourself for what was coming, would you? Would it even have helped?

You wake up one morning before work and get ready for your routine. You stretch in bed first, yawn a great gaping yawp into the morning sun. You close your eyes and concentrate on stretching the parts of your stiff body; you roll your neck, then tense your arms, your torso, then flex your legs, strong from a summer of riding your bike more than you ever have. Your body wakes up in waves, and you get ready for the rest of your morning pre-work ritual: coffee made in a French press, dark and loamy. Making your boring turkey sandwich to take to work. Feeding your cat- Continue reading What Happens Next

Dear BLCKSMTH: Bad Advice for Good People



Hi hello. You haven’t posted anything in like two months. What’s up with that? Signed, Mike S. in Portland

Hey Mike! Your name sounds suspiciously familiar, have we met? Well, truth be told, I’ve been working on my webseries a lot lately, and am close to releasing the first episode! Besides that, I’m also learning how to speak truth to my newly awakened interest in politics.

Also, I’m interested in my writing about being single evolving. I’m a privileged white male, and whining about dating can only get you so far before it sounds like you’re releasing a Taylor Swift album, complaining about boys while the world is burning. I’m in charge of my own happiness. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop sharing the horror stories, though! We’re all in this crazy thing together.


I’m getting on the dating apps for the first time ever. I’m 47. So, how do you overcome the feeling that you got in first grade and all the cute gay guys will not pick you for dodge ball time? Signed, J. in Cleveland Continue reading Dear BLCKSMTH: Bad Advice for Good People