Apr 26, 2014 - Music, Personal, questions, Science, Time, Truth    2 Comments

Voce

voice, music, life, sound, confidence

 

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.
Probably not.
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 . . .

~m

Feb 14, 2014 - Life, Love, Pamela, Valentine's Day    1 Comment

Lucky Enough

valentine, love, hearts, God

 

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 . . .

always,
~m

55

alone, age, years, birthday

“Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many.”
~Author Unknown

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 . . .

~m

Letter from Mr. & Mrs. Claus

Christmas, Love, daughters, Santa

 

 

This year will be the first Christmas Eve that two of my daughters will not be at home.
Sarah is working and Jenna will be Christmas ‘Eve’ing many miles away.
Tradition is meant to change, to break apart, so to speak.
It does so on a regular basis and sometimes we don’t even realize it.
When we do we usually don’t like it but ultimately we learn to adapt.
But it makes me think and go all 20/20 is hindsight on my own aging behind.
I start remembering things from many years ago.
Some great, some good, some not so good but still very funny.
Touching moments from the years sometimes bring me to my knees.
After all is said and done, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I like to think that Pamela and I have been a great Mr & Mrs Claus, a great team over the years.
(Truth be told it was mostly her, to be honest. The Mrs. has the spirit in her heart)
We have 3 girls that are slowly making their way in the world.
Reading ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ has become a thing of the past.
With three girls over the age of 20 it would be weird if we did that these days. Or not. o_O
We might even be labeled  ‘child molesters’ for reading to our own girls or some godforsaken thing.

Huh?

That said, the holiday is upon us and me and the Mrs have some things to say to our
‘not so little anymore’ girls.
(And Santa slowly puts his boots up on the brown corduroy ottoman {covered with a kitty flannel blanket} and adjusts his glasses*)

To Sarah:

On your first Christmas Eve with Jonathan, we wish you both many magical things; softly falling snowflakes, the mysterious sound of sleigh bells in the middle of the night, hoofs on the roof,  a sky full of moonlight, a warm bed {with THE Ironcat} and more Yuletide love than your hearts can hold.
Me and the Mrs. hold you both deeply in our hearts. We hope you know that.
We wish for you both a first Christmas to remember forever.
Don’t worry. I got the ham . . .

 

To Jenna:

Although me and Mrs. Claus won’t see you on Christmas Eve you will be in our hearts.
We wish for you a year of discovery and the acquiring of more knowledge than you will ever be able to use.
We are so proud of what you have accomplished so far and know that you will
complete the complicated task ahead of you.
Our wishes for you and A-Aron are that the Christmas season finds something special for you both.
Some linguica cheese rolls on your trip up to 01501 on Christmas Day will vasty improve your team holiday ratings.
Also, please take some of Nanny’s Christmas Meatballs with you.
A small part of us will be there in NB.

To Hannah
:

Me and Mrs. Claus wish you a Christmas Eve of magic, wonderful music,
bowls of decedent chocolate and a toasty bedtime pillow filled with sugarplum dreams, a snowy ride on the Polar Express and
finally a breakfast plate full of warm French Toast Casserole smothered in maple syrup made by yours truly.
Our baby is now an amazing woman that wears a business suit.
And she is so awesome.
And we are so proud of you.

I’m taking off my glasses now and going to bed.
I will softly wake the sleeping Mrs and guide her upstairs.
Know that we both want all three of you to understand that the Christmas Season is not about stuff but
about love, family, giving, sharing, friends and a love that you give back to yourself every year.
Remember that you will always have a place to call home wherever you are in your life.
That ‘home’ is here in our heart, here in the HOUSE that all three of YOU built.
Me and the Mrs. can’t give you more than that.

To our 3 precious girls . . .
We love you all.
Sleep in the gently falling snowflakes  . . .
Merry Christmas.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Kind

kindness, homeless, love, winter, snow, cold

 

I went to get an iced tea today and was almost knocked over by this foul smelling guy
that wanted some money.

“Got five bucks?” He says.

“What happened to spare change?” I say, half laughing.

“Come on, man. I’m hungry.” He says.

“Come on, I’ll get you something,” I say.

He argued quietly about wanting money but finally accepted my offer of some food.
I’m far from well off but I felt for the guy for some odd reason.
I got him a black coffee and a glazed donut.
Cost me five bucks with my large unsweetened iced tea. (no lemon!)
I gave him the goods and he almost scowled at me.
He wanted the money more, I think.
Truth was he needed food and some liquid.
It wasn’t a Thanksgiving dinner but it was probably the first thing he’d eaten that wasn’t from a dumpster or
an overflowing trash can on Main Street.
I didn’t feel like Santa for the deed nor did I think about it again.
I’m home at my laptop writing right now.
It’s warm and the house smells like Christmas.
The tree looks beautiful and two of my daughters and Pamela are watching the Celine Dion Christmas Special in HD.
God only knows where this somewhat smelly and Blue man is tonight.
Maybe we all need to be kinder, not just because it’s Christmas but because
we’re all in this thing together.
Just a thought . . .

~m

Yuletide Cheeseburger

cheeseburger, Christmas, holidaze

 

It’s at this time of the year that I generally climb inside a protective cocoon and hibernate, emotionally speaking.
My personal ambivalence towards a holiday that is celebrated for all the wrong reasons leaves me
outside and shivering on a cold and snowy night.
I know I’m not alone on this one.

‘What do you want for Christmas?’
A question heard since before Thanksgiving.

You know what I want?
I want a cheeseburger, okay?
A juicy, steaming hunk of meat fresh off the grill.
Throw that sucker in a bun and we can eat, we can sit and talk about stuff that matters in our lives.
We can be human for an hour.
And drink beer.
And eat pretzels and stuff.
Talk about the Bruins, the Pats, and the number of players we still don’t know on the Celtics.
We can talk about the Red Sox and a banner year that nobody thought would happen.
We can even talk about the Farmer’s Almanac and their Winter prediction (which I hope is shit)
Social media and smartphones have doomed our society to cyber connectivity amongst users.
Text messages, Twitter updates, WordPress pages and Tumblr posts are just words on a white screen.
We are flesh and blood and we need a closer kind of communication than that.
Cheeseburgers can change that!

A 1TB hard drive from Best Buy for all the music I listen to?
Really?
A 25$ giftcard to Starbucks for their mediocre and overpriced latte’s?
Not that either.
How’s about an Omaha Steak gift box filled with filets, burgers, sirloin and crabcakes?
How’s about that cheeseburger?
Fruitcake I will never eat?
You’re probably not much of a friend anyway.

I don’t want anything.
Period.
Amen.
And the angels sing . . .

It’s a holiday of giving, yes?
When this holiday got blown out of the water is a question that all of us need to own up to.
I work in retail and holiday sales are important but the avarice and over the top ‘milking of customers’ by
online retailers, car dealers, furniture stores, health clubs, fly by night internet schemers and online pirates must be silenced.
That’s something that will NEVER happen.
And that is profoundly sad.
It will always be about the bottom line.
And the bottom line has nothing to do with stuff we don’t need.
It has nothing to do with stuff at all.

My yuletide bells stopped ringing many years ago when I realized that the Christmas holiday was just another chance to sell.
Santa turned darkly foul, holly turned autumn brown,
carols echoed chaotic harmonies not unlike a Charles Ives piano piece.
I miss Christmases from 1970.
I miss the antediluvian ideal of the simple ‘carol’ hummed by people walking on the street, shopping in stores.
I miss the Christmas mornings that you didn’t get all that you wanted but what you got was all and more than what you needed.
I miss the simplicity of the town manger going a whole season without being vandalized.
I miss my feelings and love and respect for a beautiful and simple holiday.
But maybe I just miss the cheeseburgers.
Fire up the grill, I’m coming.
Merry Christmas, dudes and dudettes!
Merry Christmas!

~m

Whitelighter

With Christmas right around the corner I felt like changing the atmosphere here.
I got red and gold balls.
I got snow.
I even have ‘Merry Christmas’ in the header.
Hmmm.
Something Christmas.
I found this video floating around on youtube.
I found it interesting for a variety of reasons.
Santa is not the only Whitelighter.
Leo on Charmed was an awesome Whitelighter. Yes?
But the greatest Whitelighter?
I have a favorite.
This video has echoes of the Polar Express in many ways but subtly veers off on a
tangent all its own.
Check it out.
It’s short but sweet.
Draw your own conclusions.
Lord knows, I have mine.
Whitelighter?
Mine is the best.
 

Thankful

thanksgiving, love, family, turkey, football

 

I am thankful for:

Family;
Pamela, Sarah, Jenna, Hannah, Jonathan and Aaron,
Hedy and George,
my sister Maureen, Billy, Caitlin and Ryan.
Love
Friends (too numerous to mention here. I am blessed)
Music
Faith
Great food (turkey, cheeseburgers, crockpot, BBQ, steak, anything that swims, chicken, pork roast, and on and on)
Blue skies
Poetry
Cigars
Pipe tobacco
Rain
Picasso
Dali
Hopper
Miles, Coltrane, Parker, Sample, Ray Charles, Leon Russell, Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Marc Jordan, Steve Khan, Tom Scott, Take 6
Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Chopin, Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Joplin and on and on
NH, and mountains, maple syrup and Zeb’s
Australia, snags, pull-a-parts, meatpies, Bundy, the Southern Cross, grilled venison in Stick’s Mancave, chinese croc, Pavlova
Didgeridoos and bullwhistles
Moe, Mark, Tash, Stick, Stella, Max, Issac, Will, Kel, Ant, Zoe, Mel, Steve, Caleb, Lucas, Taylor, Jack and all our Aussie family
the Pats, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and the NE Revolution
Harrison’s Roast Beef
Wright’s Chicken Farm
Ronnie’s on a sunny summer day
The College of the Holy Cross
Assumption College
Bryant University
Everyday that I am alive
my own music and the knowledge that it came from somewhere high above
Sleep
Church on Sunday and another chance to do good
every day that I wake up
my Guardian Angel (she’s always busy)
My list could/should go on but I will stop here.
Please leave me one thing that you are thankful for.
That would be nice.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I will be away from FB for the next few days because I will be cooking.
Alot.
Much peace to all.
~m

Sold!

houses, homes, love, life, daughters, marriage

 

It was many years ago that me, Pamela and Sarah (3 years old?) went to my sister’s house for a Christmas Eve visit.
At that time, my sister and her husband lived 10 minutes away with my niece Caitlin, 2 months shy of her 3rd birthday.
Two 3 year olds on Christmas Eve, how great/exciting will that be?
From what I remember, it started off quite well; happiness, laughter, cocktails, Karen Carpenter singing ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’,
and a smorgasbord of waist thinning appetizers fit for a King.
Everything was going so well until Sarah found out that Santa (that sweet SOB) brought Cait an early present.
It was a Little Tikes Kitchen, fully equipped with  plastic pots, pans, a stove top and the most evil addition of all, a fake telephone.
BTW- Little Tikes toys will be roaming the earth long after all of us are dead and gone.
Talk about indestructible.
Sarah and Caitlin began playing nicely until Sarah wanted to use the phone.
(Probably to call Santa and tell him to bring her a kitchen just like Cait’s)
Houston? We have a problem.
The phone was Caitlin’s.
Period.
Amen.
And Santa (me) in all his infinite wisdom did not bring Sarah a plastic kitchen to leave under the tree.
Things spiraled down from there with pots and pans flying and two little girls crying, and me realizing I am so screwed.
I remember hating (not really) my sister that night knowing full well that I would have to search the ends
of the earth for a Little Tikes Kitchen in time for Sarah’s birthday (12/26).
I did find that kitchen on the day of her birthday.
It was delivered and all was well.
I don’t think she let Cait use the phone at her birthday party.
Santa has since recovered.

This past Tuesday, Sarah and Jonathan (the son I never had) closed on their first home.
I call it a home because that’s what they intend on making it.
It’s a beautiful place set high on a hill overlooking many surrounding towns.
The view from the upstairs windows are astounding.
I was there this morning shutting off the outside lights before walking through the house in silence.
In my mind I could see and hear all the wonderful things just waiting to happen.
I could smell bacon cooking in a kitchen that Sas and Cait will never fight about.
I could see a fire slowly burning and crackling in the fireplace in a living room worth living in.
I could even hear a piano that is not there yet, but will someday be because music somehow ‘completes’ a home.
I could feel the spirit of a long awaited Christmas that was waiting to happen, years in the making, just outside the windows.
I could feel love waiting in the wings.
A gentle hand from far and high above the clouds waved it to be.
I just know that.
Sold?
I’m sold on this home that’s just dying to be filled with oh, so many wonderful things.
This will ultimately be a most amazing Christmas.
And my inner Grinch will take a much needed hiatus (as he should every year)
A new house, a newly married couple, a first Holiday meal, the beginning of a new family.
Santa will sleep well on Christmas Eve . . .
but only after he prepares his French Toast Casserole.

~m

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