Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Art of Being A Responsible Adult

I never thought it would be this hard. Remember as a kid feeling left out and pissed? It seemed like adults enjoyed telling you, "When you're an adult you can....". Ironic isn't it? All the freedom we thought we lacked was actually abundant compared to the freedom we lack as adults. I'm talking about freedom from responsibility. Sure we had to follow our parents rules, go to school, do homework, do some chores and go to bed at a reasonable hour, at least during the school week. We had basic rules and reasonable expectations. But responsibility? This was parceled out in small dosages based on age and/or maturity. I was fortunate to have parents that allowed me and my siblings to be kids. And how unfair did it all seem? "I don't want to go to bed yet!" "I took out the trash last time!" "You never let me do anything I want!" I truly had no idea what my parents had to do to raise five kids. The awesome responsibility of feeding, clothing and sheltering five kids all the while trying to instill good values, good character and introduce us to all that is interesting and rewarding in life. It absolutely never even entered my childhood mind that there was a conscience effort on my parents part to meet these unbelievable demands. They were just Mom and Dad. Always there. Mostly cool. Sure Mom and Dad divorced and there were bumps in the road, some more like hills or mountains, and some more challenging for my older siblings, but we knew that our parents loved us and genuinely enjoyed our company most of the time. They introduced us to so many cool things as kids that really still resonate with me and all of my siblings. Music was always playing. Pink Floyd, The Bee Gees, Neil Young, Barry White. Movies were like weekend vacations whether at the Eastwood Theater or the Pendleton Pike Drive-In. Rated G, PG or R. Funny, Scary or Serious. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the Park at Garfield Park or Holiday Park. Long drives in the country to buy apples at the Tuttle Orchard. Swimming at Ellenberger Park, Sahm Park or Long Acre. My point? As a father of two young boys, husband to my lovely wife, working two jobs I understand now more than ever that there truly is an art to being a responsible adult. Just balancing work life with family life is a challenge every single day. Making time for the boys, making time for my wife, making time for myself. A struggle, everyday. However, I do it willingly! The joy when Jackie and Carter yell, "DAAAAAADDDD!" when I walk through the door will never get old and will certainly be missed when I'm not that cool anymore. The kiss from Michele when she asks, "How'd it go today?" When my dog Max jumps in my lap and licks every single inch of my face including the insides of my nose and ears. The awesome power of music washing over me while sitting in front of the Hi-Fi or listening to headphones in bed. Taking Jackie and Carter to the park when I am so tired I feel like I could pass out only to catch my second wind and be overwhelmed by the joy of my laughing boys enthralled with their Dad pushing them on the swings both at the same time. Thinking tonight I'll go to bed early to get some rest only to instead curl up with Michele to watch a movie and just enjoy the silence and solitude after 8:00 pm. Maybe even take a bedroom break! Yes, it is hard being a responsible adult. Mom, Dad, I understand the sacrifices you made, the mistakes you made and I'm thankful for all of them. You have taught me a valuable life lesson that is a part of my life every single day. Thank you and I love you!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm back!

I hope I have time for this. I'm not really sure how to categorize this, but it will most likely include all the things I love to discuss: Music and the pursuit of better sound, Literature and the pursuit of interesting reading, Writing and the pursuit of a creative spark, Philosophy and the pursuit of the Meaning of it all whatever it is and finally Family & Friends and the pursuit of more time to share with them.

Read it, comment on it, dis it or ignore it, and I'll just try to write it.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Never Hear the End of It

Yes, I am still in Memphis. Day 7. More of the same. Cold, bored, ready to go home.

I decided to kill some time by listening to my Ipod. I brought my big Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones to block out the noise of the competition. It works! I scroll through my playlists and land on Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Song & Chanteys. It is a 2 disc compilation that was released last year in conjunction with the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie. A few seconds into the first song, I go back to my playlists and jump to Never Hear the End of It by Sloan. Yes, that is what I want to hear right now!

This is their latest record and it is a great one! In my opinion, Sloan is the best band that no one in America seems to know a thing about. They are from Canada and from what I understand they are quite popular in their native land. I bought their first record, Smeared, back in 1991. I couldn't get enough of it. I anxiously awaited their next release, Twice Removed. It is quite different from Smeared, but I actually enjoyed it even more. It is still probably my favorite Sloan record. At the time, I remember an article in Spin Magazine about the best albums by bands you've never heard of before. Twice Removed made the list. Unfortunately, I had to wait an exceedingly long time for their next record, One Chord to Another. Geffen records, who released the first two Sloan albums, wasn't happy about Sloan being the best band that no one in America was listening to, so they severed ties. I don't know the full story, but this is why I had to wait to hear a new album from one of my favorite bands. It was worth the wait! One Chord to Another is definitely another Sloan classic! Soon after I got to hear Navy Blues and then Between the Bridges, 4 Nights at the Palais Royale(a live double album), Pretty Together, Action Pact, A Sides Win (a compilation of singles) and now Never Hear the End of It. An album with 30 tracks and some of the best music Sloan has ever produced. It just may be a perfect record! It is a great place for anyone who has never heard their music to start because it covers everything they have ever done while still moving forward. This is an album to be listened to straight through. If you put it on an Ipod, you should join all of the tracks together so that it plays with no breaks in the music. This is the way it is meant to be heard. Trust me. So set aside about an hour and fifteen minutes and discover some great music that everyone else in America is missing!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Walking in Memphis

After 6 days at the Cook Convention Center, I decided to take a short afternoon walk to check out Poplar Tunes, a local music store. One of the few things I enjoy doing while traveling for work is checking out local music stores; however, this one was rather disappointing. This location is geared towards the hip hop locals and the Elvis tourists. I am neither. Oh well. Maybe before I leave I can find some other local record stores with a wide range of rock & roll, jazz & blues and maybe even some vinyl!

Now about the short afternoon walk. It is a pretty brisk 60 degrees in the convention center, so I have been freezing my ass off for the last 6 days. I was finally able to score an event hooded sweatshirt that is probably a size too small and few years too young, but it is keeping me warm. Anyway, I decide to go outside, so I remove the sweatshirt and head out to Main Street. As I exit the frigid environs of the Cook CC, I am slammed in the face with what feels like the exhaust from a bus! It is a humid 95 degrees in downtown Memphis today which means it feels like Hell. After one block, I needed a pit stop for new soles for my shoes. By the time I reach 3rd street, I am well lathered up and filled with regret. Another block and I reach my disappointing destination: Poplar Tunes. What's worse, now I have to walk back to the Cook CC, another 4 blocks in the incinerator. Lesson learned!

I am now back in the comfort of the cold, Cook CC and I couldn't be happier! I am watching my screen saver slide show of some of my favorite pictures of Jackson. These are a couple that made me laugh.

Isn't he cute? Thank goodness I have these pictures. It would be unbearable without them!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Still Stuck in Memphis

Well, today is a little better. Thanks to Russell for your help yesterday!

I am once again sitting in the Cook Convention Center working the 2007 Trampoline & Tumbling National Championships. It is yet another long day in a cold exhibit hall. I would much rather be on Beale Street eating BBQ and listening to some blues. By the time I get out of here, I'll be too damn tired for that. So, I will struggle trying to decide what the hell to eat for dinner that is close enough not to wear me down any further. Then I'll come back to the hotel and scan the 20 or so channels of nothing to watch until I plug in my Ipod and fall asleep before the second song. I miss my wife and son. I see pictures of them all day on my screen saver and it helps for a moment until I realize that I don't get to see them again for another 4 days! Jackson will be 19 weeks on Wednesday! I can't believe it. I bet I will hardly recognize him when I get home. He is changing so much everyday. I can't wait to see him. I am sick with it!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stuck in Memphis with Away from Home Blues

I begin my blogging in Memphis, Tennesse at the Cook Convention Center and I have the Away from Home Blues! I am here for work away from Michele and Jackson for 9 days! Today is day 4 and already while I've been away, Jackson has gone to the hospital and the basement drain has overflowed. This shit never happens when I'm home! Not only do I miss my family, but I sit powerless in a Convention Center while they have to deal with this shit! Thank goodness for friends and family. Don't ever take them for granted!