2014-05-17 Nadia with 35mm lens 14

I never had a dog growing up. We had a cat. Her name was Tigger because she jumped a lot when she was a kitten. She kept to herself and was cute and furry and wonderful.

When Erin and I started living together, Nadia moved in with us. She changed my life. Dogs are the best thing that has ever happened to humans. I don’t think that you can understand that until you have a dog living with you. A dog that follows you around and barks at strangers and that whines to be let out and waits to be fed and cuddles you in bed. Dogs are awesome. This picture is from a year ago and I took it with a new 50mm lens and I didn’t edit it and it makes me happy.


I have trouble finishing things.

I’m fine doing the work to record or to film something or to compile data or to buy supplies, but when it comes to rendering actual results and output, I really struggle. I think that part of me wants my work to be perfect and another part of me is just putting everything off to wait for the magical day when I’ll have 8 hours free to fully commit to everything. That will never happen.

This blog has not been updated for 23 months now. I have probably 25 or so draft posts that I have not finished writing and have not yet published. I have 1600 YouTube videos on my Watch Later playlist. I have over two years of concert footage backlog for my local shows YouTube channel. I have thousands of photos that nobody else has ever seen because I have only been capturing content, not releasing it. This needs to change.

In July, I will attempt to post new content here every day. Whether it be a blog post, a new song I’ve written, photos or videos from shows, or other things that I want to share. I’m committing to publishing something at least once a day.

This will be the month in which I begin to get things done. I’m helping Erin plan our wedding and working full time and playing shows and dealing with health issues, but I need to push myself to go beyond the bare minimum. I need to create and feel and live again.

Wish me luck.

All thoughts and opinions are expressly my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of any other entity, corporation, or person.



Chopping wood on Thanksgiving. Ben takes not the best photos.

“What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists”

– Alexander Graham Bell

Words cannot do justice to how it feels to stand outside under a full moon surrounded by friends and fire and stars and the cold, fresh autumn air, watching smiles and hearing people sing along as you are pouring your heart into singing songs that you wrote down years ago when things were different but now they’re much better. It’s nice, I will say that.

This extended weekend was wonderful. I ate lots of food with family on Thursday, had my first visit to the glorious unlimited-meat Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão in Philly with friends on Friday, played a really fun, long, and sweaty show at Home Grown in Newark with Erin on Saturday night, and hosted an open-mic-house-show-soup-night-bonfire at my house on Sunday night. It was fun.

So. On my calendar at work, listed above the name of this month, there is a quote by a man who invented the telephone. I assumed that this was taken out of context, so I researched where it came from. It isn’t referring to phones at all, but instead it refers to searching for what you are passionate about. There are a lot of Americans who feel that either A) if they want something hard enough or if they have enough money, they’ll get that thing, whatever it might be, without putting in much work for it, or B) you must follow the tracks that your parents and your schools set out for you in order to be a normal functioning member of society: attend high school, labor through university, and then get a job which you will work at for the next 40 years until you get to retire and relax.

What Mr. Bell was saying is that you can only be truly passionate about your work once you have determined what it is that you truly desire. My summary is rather vague, but I feel that thinking this way does not lead you down either one of these previously mentioned modern American dreams. It is more similar to the traditional “American dream” of working hard to succeed, but I feel that it also differs from that dream in a major way. In contrast to the making-ends-meet mentality of early Americans working to support their families however they can, this technology-driven-era mindset is more focused on innovation rather than survival.

Here is the full quote:

“I had made up my mind to find that for which I was searching even if it required the remainder of my life. After innumerable failures I finally uncovered the principle for which I was searching, and I was astounded at its simplicity. I was still more astounded to discover the principle I had revealed not only beneficial in the construction of a mechanical hearing aid but it served as well as means of sending the sound of the voice over a wire. Another discovery which came out of my investigation was the fact that when a man gives his order to produce a definite result and stands by that order it seems to have the effect of giving him what might be termed a second sight which enables him to see right through ordinary problems. What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”

Alexander Graham Bell worked for years to create his vision. Sound waves being converted to electrical signals and travelling hundreds of mile on tiny pieces of copper until they are converted back into sound on the receiving end? That sounds crazy. But he got it to work, and forever improved the world in the process. This sort of passion is not common in the American mind these days. It seems to me that this generation has an endless desire for having things now, immediately. Seth’s Blog mentioned something relevant to this a few days ago:

“Now that the cycle of new is eating itself in a race to ever-faster, there’s a bigger chance to make long term change by consistently focusing on what works (and what’s important), not what’s new and merely shiny.”

– Seth Godin

Lately I have been incredibly overwhelmed because there is so much happening that I both want to be a part of and that I also want to put my best efforts into. It is hard to realize that we cannot do all the things at our best. It took me years to learn how to say “no” to people when they ask me for something that I honestly don’t have time in my schedule to invest in. We must choose either to do one thing awesomely OR to do a few things well OR to attempt to do lots of things and end up failing or burning out. It’s hard, life.

Cousin/goddaughter Maria with my mando!

blink of an eye

I turn 24 in 5 months. That’s only 151 days. I am overwhelmed by how fast life is moving. Grad school starts next week. October is almost over. Fall is my favorite.

We had another packed weekend. Friday after work Erin and I went pumpkin hunting at a local orchard. WAIT THAT REMINDS ME I still have cider in the fridge yay. Anyway. We’ll carve the pumpkins some time soon.


We packed up and drove down to Dover and played at 33 West. Lots of friends came out. We took a short break and my father played a couple songs. Erin sang one with him too.

Erin and my father at 33 West!

Saturday was UD’s HOMECOMING! Greg was nice enough to play techno music at 6am while cooking eggs so I got up and made a couple pounds of bacon and people kept on arriving and after one tailgating false-start, we eventually were able to set up and tailgate and grill and eat and it was fun.

Erin and I got back and changed and went to Wilmington to be a part of Noelle Picara‘s music video for her new single, “Zombie Girl.” It was my first time acting for a video. I enjoyed it even though I’m so awkward. The producer had me sprinting down streets and jumping fences and running up and down tall staircases multiple times for different takes and angles and fancy stuff. SPOILERS: At the end of the video I get eaten. Sometimes the zombies tickled me too. It was a fun night. Noelle’s show went really well too. They covered Muse and The Cranberries and she played two sets of new and older originals. I’ll upload videos sometime soon ^_^

Noelle and her backing band! (Jeremy on drums and someone awesome on bass)

Sunday we had a second full-day recording session with Diner Club! It was more relaxed than last month’s session. I think that is mainly because I felt a little bit more comfortable running things and also because the different groups were more scheduled and knew what they wanted. Em had us streaming live via her laptop all day and at one point there were 99 viewers!? That was cool. We got five more tracks mostly finished. Now I need to start mixing and figuring out what else we need to complete everything.

Steffi and Tim recording keys and scratch vocals for their song!

Last night Erin and I went back to Supermagic Studios to track some of her vocals and also to record Shane‘s song. It was nice. Shane’s mother Judy made an amazing soup with this fancy stuff called “quinoa” and it was delicious. That’s all. Back to the grind. We are seeing Ingrid Michaelson tomorrow at the Queen!