Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm a Star!!

I'm beginning to think that God has a television in His room. My life comes on every Monday night around 8 or 9 pm (hey, at least I'm Prime Time, right?) and it's a hit sitcom up there in Heaven. I'm expecting to sign autographs when I die.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Friends

People sometimes come and go in our lives. If we're lucky, we end up with one or two people that we can call a true friend throughout this crazy, mundane existence. Today, one of the best friends I've ever had is another year older. Marc Iezzi, still the most talented drummer I've ever had the pleasure of working with, has always been a dear and trusted friend. We've had our ups and downs, as does every true friendship. I'm a better musician and a better person because Marc has been in my life. We've seen each other through some really tough times and we laughed harder than anyone on the planet at the most ridiculous and inane crap that we see each and every day. His sense of humor is something that is unmatched in my world. No one has ever been able to make me smile or laugh during some of the worst times in my life the way that Marc has. And the best part? He does it by just being himself. Our friendship has stood the test of time and I'm sure we'll be friends until God calls us home. I hope that, if I happen to shuffle off this mortal coil first, Marc will keep everyone laughing even at my funeral. (Now THAT'S is a true friend.)

So... Happy Birthday, my friend. Thank you for all the prodigious moments we've shared over the last decade or so. I love and cherish every second of our friendship.

This is a shot from the very 1st gig with Marc in the band.
The Lehigh Valley Blues & Jazz Festival in 2000. (Or was it Jazz & Blues??)
It was televised, there were closed to 1,000 people there & Marc kicked ass!!

This is a photo from our 1st acoustic gig together. We had no clue
what the hell we were doing but Marc's golden voice was incredible.


These are just a couple of my favorite shots of us laughing and
acting like fools. Sometimes we all need to cut loose. (Footloose.)



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Life's Like a Jump Rope

"Don't ever be ashamed to cry, you go ahead
 'Cause life's like a jump rope."
                              --- Blue October

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sway

Justin Furstenfeld & Blue October have done it again. A new CD shows a whole new outlook for the band at the same time I am taking the first step towards my own quiet mind. This is my favorite song off the new CD, "Sway". I use part of it as my strength to start the day.

"Today I don't have to fall apart
I don't have to be afraid
I don't have to let the damage consume me
My shadow see through me."


I'm not there yet but I'm pushing through and I'm trying harder than ever. Thank you, Justin, for this song and for all the emotions that I've connected with so completely over the past two decades.

"Fear"

All my life
Been running from a pain in me
A feeling I don't understand
Holdin' me down

 
Rain on me, underwater
All I am, getting harder
A heavy weight
I carry around

 
Today
I don't have to fall apart
I don't have to be afraid
I don't have to let the damage consume me
My shadow see through me

 
Fear in itself
Will reel you in and spit you out
Over and over again
Believe in yourself and you will walk
Fear in itself
Will use you up and break you down
Like you were never enough
Yeah, I used to fall, now I get back up


I'm up here
I'm looking at the way down there
I'm staring through the I don't care
It's starin' back at me

 
The beauty is
I'm learning how to face my beast
Starting now to find some peace
Oooo and set myself free

 
Today
I don't have to fall apart
I don't have to be afraid
I don't have to let the damage consume me
My shadow see through me

 
Fear in itself
Will reel you in
And spit you out over and over again
Believe in yourself
and you will walk
Fear in itself
Will use you up and break you down
like you were never enough
I used to fall but now I get back up

 
I'm moving on
Oh god just move on


Today
I don't have to fall apart
I don't have to be afraid


Get back up, get up, up
Fear, fear, wo, oh, no, no, no, no
 

Fear, fear in itself will use you up
And break you down just like you're never enough
I used to fall

 
Breathe
Ask for more
If you're bitter still
Ask him to help you carry on



Monday, June 24, 2013

Animal Lovers Unite!!

As any true animal lover knows, it's almost impossible to say no to a cute little (or big) critter in need of a home. Since I was a small boy, I was always taught to respect nature and its inhabitants. Thankfully, in spite of what my parents' chosen religion preached, I was taught to see animals as equal to humans. We are not above them. We are not their keepers. The only reason, I believe, we have to care for animals in our homes is because a "city atmosphere" is foreign to them. Someone would have to care for a human in the jungle, that's for sure. I hold animals to a higher standard than humans most times. Our four-legged friends love unconditionally. I believe that, if an animal attacks, a human did something to provoke that attack. Humans are the only species that kills its own without cause or provocation. (That's true. Look it up.) Of the over 4,000 species native to North America, we are the only species that takes some sick pleasure in killing its own.

So, after my acrimonious little tangent, here are a couple of uplifting pictures of my new buddy, Django. The 'D' is silent, Hippie. (You'll get that reference if you saw the movie "Django Unchained".)



Yup. There he is. A 50-lb., 3-year old mix breed. He's an awesome pup. He's so sweet and gentle. Not at all jealous or hyper. He's cuddly and he gets along great with any other animals. Actually, he sort of ignores other animals unless they want to play with him... then he can always oblige.

While he gets along with other animals, they don't always get along with Django. Here's a couple of shots of my cat, Michael Jackson, trying to keep his distance from the fledgling intruder.



 I know what you're thinking... "WOAH!!! Jump back, Mr. Minstrel!! You have a cat named Michael Jackson???"

Yes. The reason his name stuck was simple... and hilarious. The poor kitten's original and very unfortunate name was Darth Vader. That just was not acceptable by any means. So, in going over names in a semi-serious brainstorming session, I threw out, "Well, he's black AND white so why not Michael Jackson?" It got a huge laugh but it stuck and now everyone loves it. We call him 'MJ' most of the time. He's like a dog too. He follows you around, comes when he's called, rolls over to have his belly rubbed, everything that a puppy would do. Hopefully good ol' Michael Jackson will get used to Django soon enough.

I wonder what the cat would think of the snake. Would the King of Pop get along with the King of Rock 'n' Roll??

Monday, June 17, 2013

Takin' a Chance on the Wind

One of my favorite Richie Sambora songs... for your enjoyment...

Takin' a Chance on the Wind

Lately it's been raining but today's my lucky day
The faith I put in my pocket is the only thing that didn't get washed away
If I was makin' confessions, well, this is where I'd start
Every heartache was a blessing, every knockdown was a spark
Every knockdown was a spark, yes it is


I'm tearin' down all my troubles, settin' fire to all my sins
Another day's dawn and I'm movin' it on again
I'm doublin' down on freedom, everything I believe in
I'm raisin' my flag and takin' a chance on the wind
Yeah, raisin' my flag and takin' a chance on the wind


If time has taught me a lesson, it's don't dwell on the past
'Cause the bad things fade and the good things
The good things are built to last
When love comes easy like a fairy tale make believe
When you're buyin' it all and you're ready to fall
There's only one remedy
Yeah, only one remedy, yes it is


I'm tearin' down all my troubles, settin' fire to all my sins
Another day's dawn and I'm movin' it on again
I'm doublin' down on freedom, everything I believe in
I'm raisin' my flag and takin' a chance on the wind
Yeah, raisin' my flag and takin' a chance on the wind


On the fault lines time keeps on burnin'
It's a long time and you keep on lovin', yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah


I'm tearin' down all my troubles, settin' fire to all my sins
It's been way too long and I'm movin' it on again
I'm doublin' down on freedom, everything I believe in
I'm raisin' my flag and takin' a chance on the wind
Yeah, raisin' my flag and takin' a chance on the wind