It seems like eons ago that I was selling Steinway pianos for a living.
A musician/artist/writer will do just about anything to get by.
It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning on September 11th that I paused outside the door to work.
I looked at the bluer than blue sky, the shining sun, felt the cool but comfortable breeze on my face and thought,
“What a gorgeous day. Sucks but I have to work.”
It was around 8:50am that the phone rang in the store.
I answered it, “Hello, M.Steinert and Sons, how may I help you?”
It was one of our piano tuners calling to tell me he’d just heard on the radio that a passenger plane just flew into
one of the WTC towers in New York.
He thought it was strange and I agreed. We left it at that.
That CAN happen right?
The phone rang again at @9:05.
I answered again.
“Another plane just hit the other tower.”
Same piano tuner, more urgent.
“What the hell, dude,” I said.
It was at that exact moment that the world as I knew it had changed.
We were no longer the invulnerable United States, we were brought to our knees in front of the world.
An attack that could have and should have been avoided.
Are we safer today?
If we are, I don’t feel like we are.
We currently have an administration that has no viable/visible strength, united voice or ultimate power to
condone or publicly defile such despicable acts.
While I’m still ultimately proud to be an American, I fear for all that are out of our international reach.
These days the United States is powerless.
That is a sad truth.
My prayers go out for all those that were lost those 13 years ago.
I will keep Amy Jarret and her family forever in my thoughts.
As we still mourn, we will take comfort in the thought and hope that there’s something better for us out there.
An that maybe someday we will feel safe.
Here she is.
A newborn baby, an angel that never cried; while growing into our lives.
Here she is, a little girl that stole our hearts talking to her baby food.
Here she is, a teenager off to high school with more knowledge than most.
Graduation flows like a river into an ocean of possibility.
Rough seas and dreams that drift ashore lead to distant futures of the good thoughts; the swevens of life.
There she goes, a woman with more dreams and ideas than me and her Mom could ever think of.
Our Hannah is turning 21
We are blessed.
‘God danced, the day you were born’
Downtime for Mikey.
I’ll be by the sea listening to the surf, smoking a cigar, looking at the world through my uber dark sunglasses.
No cares, ‘cept for the cooking of some tasty morsels of the sea for our dinner.
Out of here with my lady, my cigars and my music in tow.
Time to put my toes in the sand for a bit.
Wish you were her . . . (old joke)
I did the unthinkable last week.
I de-activated my Facebook page.
Oh, the horrors!
Have I been able to sleep at night? Yes.
Have I been able to function like a normal human being on a daily basis? Yes.
Have I been able to go more than 5 minutes without feeling the need to check my Iphone for a comment on my most recent status update?
Believe it or not, yes, I have.
My head/psyche has been quieter than normal when I get home from work and login to my laptop.
Facebook is a very strange thing.
It’s the social equivalent of heroin in some ways; once it’s in your veins, it’s damn hard to break away.
I quit ‘cold turkey’ and don’t have any intention of going back anytime soon.
(notice how I left that proverbial ‘door’ open. I’m a sneaky bastard sometimes.)
I left for many reasons but the biggest reason of all was time.
I realized that spending hours on Facebook meant nothing.
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
As far as gig promotion, it was good.
Staying in touch with family? Awesome.
Sharing pictures of my family? Amazing.
400+ friends and 6 people comment on updates.
Does that piss me under my kilt?
Not really because I understand that people have lives.
They have stuff to do.
If people really miss me, they will ultimately find me.
And if they do I’ll consider them more of a friend than Facebook ever would.
Leaving FB gives me more time to do what I should have been doing long ago; writing.
Sometimes I guess you need to disconnect to connect . . .
follow me on Twitter!
(click on the little bird at the top of the page!)
Life is complicated.
As a parent, it’s even more so having children.
Pamela and I were blessed with three gorgeous, thoughtful, creative and extremely intelligent girls.
When one leaves the nest it’s always time for personal reflection.
Have we taught them enough about life?
Have we shown them what true love looks like?
Have we passed on our wisdom as to why Pamela and I are still married after 30+ years?
Have we done our best to teach them right from wrong?
Have we done our level best to show them our unconditional love?
I truly believe that the answer to all the above is an unequivocal ‘yes’.
Knowing that’s true somehow makes it easier to let go.
But know that I am FAR from letting go.
Jenna leaves this weekend.
She has a beautiful place that she’s moving to and she has a great draughthouse that shows great movies within walking distance.
There’s a great market nearby.
She has more DVD’s than Netflix has movies.
She has books.
God, does she have books.
She has clothes. (no comment)
She has love.
And she also has a man that will keep her safe. [he better]
That makes me happiest of all.
She has an amazing future in store and a good head on her shoulders.
Why should I worry, right?
I’ll be looking at her bedroom door on the way down the stairs every morning to see if she’s left for school.
Her room will be empty now but I’ll still look anyway.
And I’m going to miss her terribly.
I guess that’s what Dad’s do. over and over again.
Love you JMM, you’re the one that always makes me cry at Christmas.
You also burp alot louder than me.
Bitches must like loud burps.
Your true home will always be here at Shore Drive and your heart will forever be inside me and Mom.
Gentle seas, and a safe journey,
until you’re home at last.
And Bitches love home . . .
Back in October my daughter Sarah got married.
I wrote a song for her and her husband for the wedding.
The lyrics were sent to my friend Yvonne Ashworth to be written in calligraphy,
a piece of art to be displayed in the home they were building at the time.
As of July 2013, I had no clue as to lyrics for the song, subject matter, chords, melody, rhythm.
One day in early September when the house was almost done, Pamela and I went to the house to shut
off the outside lights and bring a few light fixtures that the builders needed to install.
Me and Pamela were upstairs checking out the progress of the bedrooms
when Pam looked out one of the front windows and said,
“What a beautiful view! It’s interesting that they met on College Hill (Holy Cross),
they’re getting married at a church on Pakachoag Hill and are living here on this hill. Kinda cool, huh?”
In my head, I heard a creative ‘click’ and immediately knew a starting point for the lyrics.
My creative light bulb was totally illuminated.
The next day at work I wrote the song in my head, lyrics and all. (took 2 hours)
No need for a piano as all this stuff happens/sounds in my head, no lie.
Kind of weird but it’s true.
The lyrics explain the simple story of two people that fell in love.
Not going to explain the lyrics line by line but know that they are all about S&J.
The video above shows the transformation of my words into another art form.
My friend Yvonne went above and beyond.
She has done many exceptional pieces of art for me over the years and this one is right up there with the best of them.
Actually, what am I saying?
They are all amazing!
Check out this priceless video that gives you some insight into the time spent and work involved in
the creation of a piece of art.
I hope that Sarah and Jon listen to this song on a yearly basis and appreciate Yvonne’s precious work.
As a crescent butter moon sets and the soul searing sun of the morning rises into an indigo sky
the days and nights endlessly bleed into one another like so many forgotten dreams
creating one sad and lonely heart, the shattered pane of a window in
an already fragile life that time seems to have forgotten.
the clock strikes ten, he’ll lay in bed and stir
and he will cry for her . . .
62 is a number he used to know but now he’s innocently unaware of its significance
it was a day so long ago, a crystal blue frozen moment in time that is elusive
to a cobwebbed place that once inhabited sweet thoughts, wooden cribs to be built and fighting ships on the oceans of his forever’s but
the clock strikes ten, and then again
he will cry for her . . .
She loves the man, the 62, but she knows she’s only human too
her tired eyes, her daily goodbyes, her love for the man she thought she knew
She goes to bed, rest her weary head, dreaming sunny memories of days gone by,
while never wondering why
she will still cry for him . . .
For H&G . . .
I am currently getting back into playing music after a very long hiatus.
It’s a long road back but I’m enjoying the ride.
Many years ago I had some problems with my voice and my upper range.
The vocal power I had when I was 20 was long gone.
It was devastating to me.
The voice is an intensely emotional thing.
Unlike a guitar or saxophone, the voice works purely off of emotion.
Not that ‘instruments’ made of wood or metal don’t but it’s a visceral thing with vocal cords.
They are internally connected to the soul of the artist.
Some would argue that it’s the same thing with their instrument.
I’m walking a fine line here with my musician friends but I think/hope they will at least understand.
My voice is getting better these days for whatever the reason.
10 years ago it was crap to me; my upper range was total wasteland of wimpy vocal sounds.
Many folks will wonder what I’m talking about because they think I sound great.
What many don’t understand is that if the instrument doesn’t sound good to the artist then it just doesn’t work.
It’s very hard to explain because it’s a musician thing.
The voice needs many things but most of all it needs confidence.
It needs the backing of the body and soul.
Singers will agree because they know what I’m talking about.
My voice is important to me, the main reason behind this post.
I’m not fishing for compliments just understanding from people that listen to me.
I want badly to get back to a place where my voice feels comfortable, feels like me.
Thanks to a few very special people, it’s slowly getting there.
My warm ups are a bit avant-garde as they are extreme vocalizations of cartoon characters and various comedians.
I’ve found that for me, they stretch my range/cords more than mere vocal exercises.
A few of them could possibly go viral on Youtube should I ever decide to publish them.
As long as my vocal cords keep stretching I think I’ll be happy.
Time will tell.
Just keep listening and I’ll keep looking for the i . . .
Sometimes you find a penny, heads up and you feel lucky
Sometimes you wake up to find the sun shining instead of rain and you feel happy
Sometimes you get lucky enough to find a Valentine that you end up spending the rest of your life with
And sometimes you’re lucky enough that she ends up finding you too and you feel blessed.
And some nights you find yourself falling asleep next to your very best friend.
If you’re lucky enough it happens every night.
And I am lucky enough.
How about that?
We ain’t got a barrel of money but we got something much better.
We got us.
Happy Valentine’s Day to the only one that can still melt my chocolate . . .
“Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many.”
On this my 55th birthday, I can only say that I’m happy to still be alive.
“If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” [att; Mickey Mantle]
Years ago I heard this quote and laughed.
Hindsight is 20/20. (that should be engraved on my headstone)
Mickey spoke the truth.
As Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young.”
If only they knew.
A family gathering will ultimately ensue this weekend and for that I am eternally grateful.
Oh, what a lucky man, I am. [He was]
Happy birthday to me. [and my twin sister, Maureen]
Come on 2014 . . .