Maybe in another space,
another silly rhyme
we would gently collide,
in a dance of serendipitous destiny and fate;
and all that the blessed heavens could cast in our way
Falling stars, like ethereal butterflies touching our lives without us even knowing,
with whispers of ‘meant to be’,
transforming the colours of life that we once took for granted
When the tired and crimson sun sets on another distant horizon,
know that chance and coincidence are sometimes pure and beautiful random happenings . . .
meant to give our lives an oh, so deeper meaning and understanding
but for the biggest part, they give us love
from a place that’s not so mysterious after all; the heart.
And yours answered.
But that 1 click ultimately took us on a long and still unforgettable journey home . . .
It was 5 years ago that I hit the ‘publish’ button for this post. Many things have happened since that innocent and ‘so me’ post. I like to think my writing has matured a bit and that I have taken many of you on my journey down the road of life. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my life (good or bad) for the past 5 years. You have enlightened me, guided me, made me laugh and have given me solace when I needed it most. You guys are incredible. I will pat myself on the back for blatant consistency. I think I can give me that. There are several people I need to deeply thank. Pamela, for believing in me when I no longer believe in myself. (and letting me know about it) My three girls for keeping me on my toes. Always. For Jon, he keeps me cooking. I love cooking, He is a man that will drive through hell and high water to have a bowl of my Cincinnati Chili, Thanks, Jon Last but not least, my family from Australia. Maureen, Mark, Kelly.Zoe, Mel, Steve, Tash, Stick, Wil, Stella, Lucas, Issac, Max and all! (who did I miss?) Thanks to all that have visited and commented. Read some ”’old”” Murph . . . . And watch the video at the end!
This is a piece I wrote several years ago but still seems to me to apply to the present day music industry. I am still a musician at heart but venues to work in are drying up faster than a droplet of water in a bucket of dry sand. It’s an abysmal state of affairs these days musically and sadly we all saw it coming. Some say business is cyclical. I wonder. Hey, Paul McCartney played the halftime show Super Bowl Sunday, right?
Remembering Miss American Pie
The musicians of the 60’s and 70’s had a wealth of powerful and insightful compositions from which to draw their inspiration. The songs had shine and creative musical integrity that would forever set them apart from today’s musical mainstream. The music spoke of the dynamic of the human experience; from love found and lost to political innuendo shaking hands with world peace. The older generation frowned upon these freedoms of expression and saw the music created as an irrevocable evil to be stamped out in the hopes of ending the reign of terror that floated over the airwaves. From the shaking hips of Elvis to the Mop-Tops from England to the androgynous and enigmatic David Bowie, the music written back then made us think and connect; it gave us an up close and personal view of the broken heart. So what the hell happened to perceptive content? Music, in its purest form is therapy, a most fundamental discipline of meditation the human race has, but along the way we altered the magic formula, ultimately changing its destiny as well. It’s supposed to make you feel good. Just think of a song that truly means something to you, take out a piece of paper, and jot down five things that come to mind immediately. Chances are you can come up with more than ten. That’s the miracle of music; when something unexpected touches the heart. Much of what I hear today is tainted, biased and so musically inept that when I hear one of these prized gems, I can only wildly shake my head and slobber saliva like an angry PBR bull (which tends to make loved ones around me very uncomfortable). A rule of thumb for future songwriters regarding lyrics: if it rhymes with shucking but has nothing to do with corn, get out a thesaurus and find another word. The English language is chock full of them. Really. It seems that few people write real songs anymore; that is a simple and yet sobering fact, not a generality. If it weren’t for artists like John Mayer and Dave Matthews, I’d have lost my mind by now. Much of the music today is like bad poetry, arranged, set to a groove from the late eighties, and thrown into a 4,000 track, all digital recorder (yes, all the tracks must be used, read the contract). Recently, while listening to a song on a brand X radio station out of Boston—the exact frequency slips my mind…you’re welcome—I remember thinking to myself, what language is this guy speaking? I strained to hear anything remotely intelligible. Musically speaking, the song was as mundane and pedestrian as an arrangement that oozes from a generic portable keyboard purchased at Wal-Mart. I also thought that somewhere in the midst of this urban cacophony, I could hear the sound of a dog being run over and over, and over again… I’m not positive about that and maybe it’s just me. Somebody call the ASPCA. The inspiration for this article came to me as I ambled down Main Street a few weeks ago (us old guys don’t walk, we amble…it’s much hipper) when a pulsating sub-compact Toyota Celica loaded with what sounded like two, maybe three 18-inch subwoofers drove past me towards City Hall, emitting music so thunderous it almost knocked down the lady walking next to me. Initially, I thought it was just wind. I didn’t get the license plate number because I was too busy bending over to retrieve my own two eyeballs off the sidewalk. Sound pressure levels that can cause buildings to vibrate precariously…hmm, I wondered if the Slater Building was up to code on that one. Nope, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Then there’s the whole debacle surrounding present day artists hiding behind the 5th amendment, and we all can see what a gush of rotting sewage that is, but it doesn’t mean we have to buy a bucketful of it. When a major proportion of the music available has a “parental advisory” sticker slapped on it, what’s left for those of us who prefer substance in what we listen to? Maybe we need a special store that caters to people fed up with listening to music and lyrics that insult our intelligence with the glorification of worthless profanity while wasting our hard earned money on garbage that someone in the recording industry somehow deemed fit for human consumption. Bon appétit. Maybe I’m not meant to understand what all the hype and excitement in the industry is about these days, because I’m no longer a child. But there’s always that outside chance that as I struggle with my own foreseeable mid-life crisis, I’ll pleasantly discover that perhaps I’ve grown a little bit wiser in the process. Just watch the Grammy Awards this year for a taste of the ultimate in garishness. In the end, the music we choose to listen to and support should remain solely in the hands of the listener, but the overall message that it brings should be more of a boon to society as opposed to an outrage against the machine. Comedian George Carlin hit the proverbial nail on the head when he stated that, “…inside every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.” Get out your umbrellas, kids; it looks like rain.
Happy 5 To S&M!!!!!!! See you for the next five years . . . I hope!
Chill. Grab a coffee, English Breakfast tea, Chai, cognac, scotch, bourbon, water and maybe a smoke, all depending on where you are in the world of time zones. Plug in some decent headphones and give yourself 7:40 minutes to just . . . Chill. This is ‘Both Sides Now’, Herbie Hancock from River: The Joni Letters Hancock is and has been a jazz piano God to me. Forever. And believe it or not he is 70 years old. (born in 1940) At any rate, get a drink, perhaps a smoke and just Chill. for 7:40 . . . Your brain will thank me. This is musical/cerebral Zen at its finest.
I’ve wanted to keep a record of personal recipes for my daughters to cook
when I’m someday reduced to a room temperature dish of Fettucine-al-Dead-o, or Face-Planting the Meringue maybe even pushin’ up the perpetual parsley.
Something about food that’s familiar is quite simply
comforting with a capital C.
I began thinking about a small book of some sort but that idea fizzled.
A blog made more sense as it’s something I can just keep adding to as the years go by and I come across more recipes.
Click on the picture above and check out Dad’s Diner.
Eat at Dad’s where you’ll live forever and the cheeseburgers are to die for.
As always, I’ll leave the lights on for ya . . .
ps. special thanks to Maureen for helping me get this up and running.
It’s always a daunting task starting a new journal; all that virgin white space,
the absence of anything resembling a word or thought, and the cackling cynic inside me all trying to sway me towards more menial things like cutting my lawn (which needs to be done, btw) or re-grouting the tile in the bathroom.
This soft leather-covered journal was made in Italy and given to me by my daughter Jenna.
It’s really gorgeous.
I began to wonder what will be written on these pages by the years end.
In 7.23 days, me, Pamela and the girls will be spending a week on Cape Cod with Annie,Maureen, Mark& Evyl (and Joyce!)
The location will not be disclosed so please don’t ask.
We’re celebrating Christmas in July because my wife thought
December was a silly time for all the folks involved to visit.
This is going to be one of the most amazing weeks of my life while on this spinning blue ball in space.
There will be many things: laughter, tears, music, incredible food, stories, Rum Swizzle,
bourbon, Guinness and enough fine cigars to smoke out an army of stogie veterans.
Oh, and there will be stories.
I know I already wrote that but it needs to be repeated.
Honestly, where would we be without our stories?
If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d be spending a week of my life with people I’d never met I’d say they really ‘lost the plot’.
All of us talk on the phone and Gmail chat on a fairly regular basis so no one is a complete stranger here.
I’ve known Annie since our writing days at WVU.
And Evyl has been a true bud since I first started this blogging thing back in 2005.
As far as Maureen and Mark, I’ve known them from some previous life, or so it seems.
I could go on and on about my personal expectations regarding this most special of holidays but I prefer to record some actual memories in this very special journal.
Stay tuned for some truly awesome posts starting around the 18th of July (our first day on the Cape)
We have some blogging hijinx planned as well, actually more of a blog hijacking, so to speak.
All will be revealed in time.
We’ve all waited well over a year for this moment.
What’s 7.20 more days?
And it now looks like my new journal isn’t so new anymore.
As far as the post title goes . . . my dear Pamela is pretty damn sure *she may not be ready.
Just watch her ‘Twitter’
for more details!
I was waiting for a Batman/ Dark Knight design. But no . . .
One of the latte’s looked like someones butt cheeks.
They could have been creative with it but they turned it into a cutesy rabbit
How lame is that?
Someone call the Latte Police.