Monday, June 29, 2009

fireflies in Ohio

There are few better feelings than being proven wrong when you're thinking you're not going to have a good time then you do.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

babies everywhere!

The past few days in Burlington have been interesting. Two days ago I helped eat twenty scoops of ice cream and then sat in a Japanese tea house being peaceful. After sitting with tea I walked back to the house in the rain and grabbed my gear to go play a last minute show at 242 main in Burlington. Since I was added last minute I opened the show and since there weren't a ton of people there I played on the floor and I was glorious. I played to people I needed to convince and I did it and it ruled. I sold a few things which really helped cause I'm getting pretty broke. So the day turned out better than expected.

Then yesterday I said goodbye to my new friends in the band broken chords sing a little louder. After doing so I went to see my cousin dad and his family. Dave and his wife tara just had an incredibly beautiful baby boy two weeks ago. Gavin is so little and so cute it's amazing. Sometimes I forget how incredible and mind blowing human life really is and thinking about this tiny little dude and how someday he'll be a real guy. So wild. It felt great to catch up with dave and tara as they're amazing people and some of my favorite relatives ever. They took me and gavin to a gathering at a friends house where there was a full scale replica of an old cargo ship and we enjoyed free ben and jerrys though we missed jerry himself scooping it. I know what you're thinking, that I really needed more ice cream after the other day. I know i'm an ass. This also did not stop me from taking more for dessert. And you might ask why I was still there after dinner. Well as it seems during the summer this woman hosts weekly pot luck dinners with tons of wine and a house folk group. So we ran home and got some salads tara had made and then went back for an amazing dinner, wine and hanging out with 60 year olds. At one point a woman found out that I'm a musician ad made me play a couple of songs for everyone. It's weird trying to figure out the least sad sounding song I have so as not to bum everyone out. I'd say overall it went well.

After dinner we went back to dave and taras and dave and I stayed up shooting the breeze and drinking wine. It was great to get to spend so much time with loved ones in such a peaceful place. I really felt blessed and refreshed. In the morning we got up and dave made eggs but they were not normal ones they have almost 40 chickens and eat only fresh eggs it was my first time and it ruled shocking yellow yolks and full fresh flavor amazing we then went to have a photo taken of daves son Trevor on the boat and then got some coffee and relaxed. Walking around the gardens, hanging with chickens, being with good people, these are all ways to refresh your spirit. After helping dave with some chores out in the sun I headed back to Burlington to the sounds of tom petty and the clash. When I got into town the apartment was locked so I walked to the store and got some edamole which is edamame crushed and mixed with olive oil and garlic to sort of be like guacamole. After a nice bite and a walk I hopped back in the car and headed to my other cousin erica's place. It's nice that I got to see all of this family especially since I normally barely see anyone. Erica and dan have a two month old beautiful girl so it was lovely to see her and the both them. We had a really nice dinner and hung out for a bit then dan and I went out for drinks. It's always interesting to hang out with significant others or friends of people that you're related to or close to but without that linking person. You get a totally different perspective on their relationship and on them as individuals.

Today I dropped my car off at Tyler from ghostings house and we packed an absurd amount of things into a suburban and crammed in for a three week tour. I'm actually surprised that I'm pretty comfortable back here right now. Hopefully it will stay this way for what could potentially be a long three weeks. I'm hoping fir the best. So let's see how things go.

Friday, June 26, 2009


so i've been in burlington for about three days now, and have dealt with a rollercoaster of emotions. so many ups and downs, but overall moving upwards, which is definitely a great thing. also, i've met some really quality guys that i've spent the majority of my time with. andrew and brendan of the band broken chords..., and their buddy julian. three really young, positive, straight edge kids who are giving and warm. each is distinctly different but good and have definitely made my stay here all the nicer. they're on a short break from their tour as well (they're from PA and it turns out we have mutual friends), so we've all just been soaking in day off burlington together.

last night i walked down to the water and looked for the moon, but couldn't find it. i also spoke with a buddy who is going through a rough time. these things, mixed with new friends, positive thinking and high hopes have allowed me to look upwards and forward. i'm looking happily at the next few weeks, trying to see all the great things that will come with them, as well as the possibility of going back to new jersey to good things. very wild times, a life i could never have imagined. but that's part of life in general, especially when you push your chin out like a boxer, taking whatever it wants to send your way.

one of those things sent my way was the challenge by andrew and brendan that we take on the vermonster, a 20 scoop ice cream sunday at ben and jerry's that they only serve in vermont. it's about a weeks worth of calories and fat. apparently i needed to join them, at least according to them. so, what follows is a photo account of my pizza day with jackie, drive up to burlington and the last few days. i hope you enjoy.

south brooklyn pizza. we got some slices here to tide us over. (isn't that a weird phrase? "tide over") apparently you can take their pizza next door to the outdoor bar/beer gardens. if we weren't going to head to defaro, that would've ruled.

all handmade, and well worth the wait. make sure you check out defaro. go with someone fun, and byob, for the line at least.

just about ready. so excited.

and now some fresh cut basil.

for some reason i love watching kids be kids.

fresh basil!

it's rare to find a new york apartment with so much green. i definitely appreciate the anomoly.

yes, that's an olde timey car, requiring hand signals.

i will say this, the drive up to vermont was beautiful.

during ghosting practice i was able to brush up on my chops using the plethora of guitar magazines in tyler's basement.

of course while my foot was asleep i'd kick my guitar case.

the broken chords boys sleeping in matt's living room/kitchen.

pick your poison.

this dude built the beast.

pick your toppings.

andrew is ready and willing.

if you can't read it, it says: 20 scoops of ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet; 4 bananas; 4 ladles of fudge; 3 chocolate chip cookies; 1 chocolate fudge brownie; 10 scoops of walnuts; 2 scoops of your 4 favorite toppings; topped with lots of fresh made whipped cream. while this was not exactly what we ended up with, it was close enough. i also found a website online that claims this has 14,000 calories and 500 grams of fat, about a weeks worth of each. fuck me. that's 3,500 calories and 125 grams of fat per person, or nearly 2 days worth. i'm a terrible person.

most of the fun stuff was on top. it's a bummer, once you get past the layer of cookies, brownies, bananas, candies and whipped cream, it's pretty much just ice cream.

we're on our way. getting full. there's so much orange. damn it andrew!

brendan was so bummed by the orange sherbert. i understand why.

almost done.

and that's that.

the harbor in burlington. i was happy to find this spot, as many years ago i was brought there by a friend after a night of drinking. i swam out to one of the boats and climbed on in hopes of finding a neglected bottle of booze, and as i peeled the velcro door open i heard, "who's there?" of course, my response, was, "nobody," and i dove off the boat and swam under around the subsequent boats until i was far enough away to swim underwater all the way back to the beach. from there i hung out with my friends undisturbed until three naked girls came running into the water soon to be followed by security people coming to make us leave. suffice it to say, it was an interesting night.

everyone is so polite in burlington, even the signs.

while sitting down by the lake, this little weasel dude kept running by stocking up on fish the size of his head. i decided this was his own version of the vermonster.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I knew it would happen eventually

Last night I looked in the mirror and asked myself, "what are you doing with your life?" I've heard this question before, both internally and externally, but I suppose I just wrote it off or suppressed it. But it came to a head last night. I'm not sure I could fully explain why, but I just knew want it felt like. It was lonely beyond anything I've felt in a long time. It did not feel good. But it's necessary. I chose I life of wander, a life where I always leave. But the hope is that this will help me find beauty, find life and perhaps love. The thing is that without searching I fear I'll never fin anything worth living for. It's a weird fear but one that keeps me moving, if at the very least, in my head and heart. I've not felt settled while settled in a long time. But out on the road I feel a great deal of peace at times, more than anywhere else perhaps. But I also feel more alone than ever, at times. So what is one to do? Risk fear and lonliness, hunger and poverty, for the beauty and peace that is possible from the world? It seems an argument can be made.

I'm sure for those of you who come here for excitement and adventure feel dejected right now. But isn't this the greatest adventure of them all? To spelunk into the depths of one's own heart and head? It's hard work but hopefully one that will provide positive results, ones that allow me to exist in the upper eshelons of happiness. I don't know for a fact but I think so. This is a wild adventure that will take everything out of me and fill me up with something else. I'll keep you updated on the adventures.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

yesterday was a win, today feels like a loss.

Yesterday I woke up hoping for the best. If all went well I'd be spending my waking hours happily. After playing with Loki, drinking some coffee and taking a shower I practiced guitar for the Ghosting tour. Fir those of you that don't know I'll be touring with a screamy band from Burlington vt called Ghosting for the next three weeks. The twist is that besides opening for them I'll also be playing guitar in their band. It's been a while since I've played rock guitar so it should be interesting and fun. I tried to be as rehearsed as possible but between the let me run tour and catching up with friends I'm slightly less prepared than I'd like. But it will be ok. More on that later.

During this whole mornig routine I got a call from Jackie to see if I wanted to go to Brooklyn and eat delicious pizza. I did. So after finishing everything up I hopped in sweet pea (my car) and headed towards the city. For whatever reason there were a great deal of asses on the road. At the Lincoln tunnel a cop on foot made me stop because he thought my registration was expired. Luckily it was not. After I made it down the island of manhatten and through the battery tunnel I was flustered but happy to be in Brooklyn. I got to jackies and we were off on our own pizza walk. Lucali was the main destination which I was really happy about because it was closed on the pizza tour. But, our luck, it is always closed on Tuesdays, despite the workers inside. Crap. So we decided defaro was the way to go but since it was a car ride away and could be as much as a three hour wait, we stopped at south Brooklyn pizza on the way. While quite greasy I'd say they do a pretty good slice. Both Jackie and I thought it needs salt but also both love salt. After getting some food in our bellies we headed over to the heavily hasidic neighborhood to try out some world famous pizza. When we got to defaro the line was surprisingly short and there was a group of people with a mini keg to pass the time. Well done. When the doors finally opened we were treated to an unorganized line, a super hot room, an eighty year old man making everything by hand himself at his speed, and some incredible looking pizza. Since we'd ordered square slices, as per jackies suggestion, we had to wait a bit longer than other people, but I can promise you it was well worth the wait. I got one square and one regular to experiment. Jackie was definitely right. With the square pie the old man pours oil under the pie as well once it's a but crispy thereby almost deep frying the crust, in a way. It was amazing.

So jack an I enjoyed stoop pizza and street beers, soaking in the neighborhood. Then a guy across the street tried to start a fight with a street vendor. It was confusig because sometimes they seemed like friends and other times like they were to come to blows. The whole thing made us both terribly uncomfortable as we hate violence and didn't know what we should do. Luckily it soon calmed down and we were able to leave without feeling like we'd read about it the next day in the news.

So after a great day of walking around the city, eatig pizza and drinking beers (apparently this is my favorite past time) we went to rest off our full bellies. And we decided we'd won. Days like these are what lives all about and why it's worth living. The kind where you're just straight up happy.

Today I woke up sleepy but content. I knew I had a long drive to Burlington ahead of me, but felt I was leaving for it with a smile. I went to brian's to pick up my gear and take Loki for a walk. After packing everything up and singing a few new songs I got in sweet pea and headed north. Three hours in I got a sandwich. It was prepared by a girl who could not have wanted to be there any less. Surprisingly the sandwich was half decent. Granted she didn't have to do much, but with her attitude I wouldn't have been surprised if it were terrible. Four hours in my iPod died. Awesome. The radio sucks up here. But now I'm in Burlington. At least the drive was pretty. I still can't believe the best way up here was on a 45 mph road. Anyway, here I am, very tired and sad I had to leave. Since I got here late I'm not going to get to review the songs until tomorrow. Then we have one short practice then apparently three days off before we leave. I really wish I'd realized this. I'd way rather be home then sitting here doing nothing. But I suppose that's what I wanted out of this year, huh? Be forced to live and make friends in new places. So that's the goal for the next few days. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

again, apologies

i'm sorry i've been so busy. it's odd that when i'm back in jersey i have more to do than when i'm on the road. it's also odd realizing that if i were to say, "when i'm back home," i'd be wrong. sure, i've gravitated back to jersey on most of my breaks, but that's because i have so many people i love and miss here that i want to see, as well as many places to crash. however, i think in the coming months, i may decide to venture out a bit more and see what this country has to offer me when i'm not traveling, but becoming a local in each area. hopefully this will happen sooner, rather than later. i'm going to start tomorrow by spending about a week in burlington, vt. i'll be going on tour with the band ghosting, and i'll also be playing guitar in their band, so we have a few days of rehearsal before the tour starts. should be both interesting and fun, especially considering i've only met the guys once for a few hours and before then had never heard their band. but i'm always up for an adventure and new friends, so i decided it was a good idea to hop in a car with them for three weeks. keep abreast of the blog for details. and now the last few days of the let me run tour until now:

what's wrong with two bros napping together?

new t-shirt idea.

hello. (i imagine this being said in a valley girl voice with eyes rolling)

umm...ok. moans? i know, it's means, but sure doesn't look like that.

this is what happens when louis eats 4 slim jims.

it was a meat fiesta at trevor's aunt's house. i, of course, did not partake. there was beer, so don't worry, i was fine.

my home for two weeks.

pizza tour would be mad at me. i'm sorry.

loki rode the whole car ride to my brother's in my lap.

brother brian invited buddy brian and i to go drink wine and eat food. i love hanging out with my brother, especially when we're cooking/eating/drinking wine because it's so relaxing and warming. he's one of the most amazing people to be around and in this atmosphere is near impossible to not wonder why the entire world is not at peace. there's always good music, comfortable (albeit often spartan) surroundings, great food and wonderful conversation. even when times are tough it feels like home. so, i guess he's my home, in many ways. thanks brother.

loki wanted to help cook. probably just so he could eat with us. little sneak.

almost feast time.

brother brian's sweet spice setup.

on this delicious plate you'll find palak paneer, okra, bitter gourd and missing is lauki, not to be confused with loki.

somehow david ended up with a champagne flute.

loki wanted to finish my palak paneer.

buddy and brother brians.

loki wanted to join us at the table.

i love kitschy packaging. these are dale's pale ales.

after dinner we had to do some jamming at the warren house.

meet three great friends of mine. the lovely azarja is the girl responsible for the awesome ink on my forearm and is always great for awesome conversation and laughs. greg is an old bandmate and one of the best people i've ever had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with. brian is one of the most giving and talented people you'll ever meet. they're all great for sharing a drink and good times, and i love them all.

you think jagerbombs are cool? what do you know about schwartzbombs? the bartender told me i'd either love or hate a shot of schwartzhog. i asked him if indifference was an option. he said no. for the record, it was ok.

Friday, June 19, 2009

back in jersey, prematurely

so i'm not on tour. i should be, but i'm not. as it would seem, the band i was out with could not agree on their collective future, so the only plan that made sense to all of them was to cancel the rest of the tour and head home. and since i was riding with them in their van, i didn't have much say in the matter. this is not to say that i didn't attempt to help them smooth things over, both for themselves and for me, and while it worked temporarily, ultimately we were in the van for a near 20 hour ride back to new jersey. florida was fun, and i got to play a few shows, but overall i was really looking forward to heading up to alabama, then up through the midwest. at this time of year it's probably beautiful, and i was ready for things to cool down a bit. plus, i appreciate that natural progression of a tour, and when it's cut part of the way through, that can be kind of disheartening.

this was definitely an interesting tour for me, way more hanging out than playing, and way less worries about things like gas and attendance of shows. part of it was really fun, just living life, but part of it felt empty and without meaning. i suppose it's a bit like sex without a relationship. i am definitely glad that i went along on the leg of the tour that included We're All Broken, as i was great friends with 3/5 of the band and the new 2/5 became new great friends. i really couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to go out with, and for that i definitely feel blessed. i ate a great deal of sea dwellers and not enough peanut butter and jelly. i spent way more money going out to bars than i should have, especially when i just sat around talking to my friends. i'd way rather spend $7 and eat a full grilled meal of veggie burgers and vegetables and drink cheap beer from split 30 packs. sure, delicious, high end beers are wonderful, but they mean nothing if you don't have great friends to share them with and memories that surround them.

but it ended early, and now i'm back in new jersey. there are, however, things that are good about it. last night i got to have dinner with three of my best friends in the world (my old roommates, ross and kristin, as well as my great buddy tommy). it was a wonderful surprise. ross and tommy have been fairly busy lately, but i was going to see if they wanted to meet up and go out. when ross got back to the apartment, he was visibly tired, but said he was meeting up with tommy and kristin. what luck! so i rounded out the four piece and we headed for a local brewery known for it's good beer and food. sitting with old mates, splitting meals, drinking beers, telling stories, catching up, remembering days past. i can't think of a better existence. i have such amazing people in my life, i can't believe i've gotten away with it. i'm sure there's people somewhere who have nobody, and i feel quite guilty of this, as it makes me sad and makes me wonder if i've stolen all the beauty from their hands. but regardless, i am terribly lucky. after a lovely and long meal we headed for an old haunt of ours and enjoyed half price libations. for some reason, and i'm not sure if it was because i felt so blessed and happy, but everyone else at the bar seemed bored and or sad. so many groups sat silently, no laughter, people on phones, hushed conversations between just one or two members. what kind of life is this to lead? you're out with your friends, there are a hundred potential new friends or romantic leads, beers to drink laughs to be had. should you not be regaling one another with stories of your previous week, your most awkward sexual experience, the funniest thing that ever made you almost choke with laughter? are these not the reasons we live? to love, laugh, experience and share? i'd like to think they are. and, in an odd confirmation of this, tommy told me that he's proud of me and appreciates what i'm doing with my life. at times it's really hard, and having friends like him, that i greatly respect and love, and that are successful in their chosen field, to believe in me and have faith, well that means the world.

when the lot of them decided it was time to leave i swung by another bar to meet up with the buddies from the tour. after everyone got home and answered to their respective folks, grabbed some sleep and food a bunch of us gravitated towards this central meeting point. we discussed the previous 36 hours, how they panned out, how they affected us and how we were feeling. obviously, seeing as i'm not actually in their band, i was affected less so and in different ways, but regardless was. still, a comfort in all of this was that i got to spend more time with friends, in a more amicable atmosphere, and then go back to ross' apartment feeling as settled as possible, given the situation.

today i woke late, as per usual, and relaxed, got a bagel and coffee with suguna (ross' flatmate) and discussed the disparity between languages, cultures and nationalities. we often fall into these kinds of conversations, as suguna is an intelligent woman from india with a fiery disposition. i mean that in all ways complimentary. it's also nice to be provided with drastically different view points and ideas. a bit after i was left to my own devices and began rehearsing songs, as i was lucky enough to pick up a last minute show in new brunswick. i'm really excited to get to play, especially since other shows were cancelled, and even more especially because i love playing in what i consider to be my home town, to as many people as possible. tonight is a birthday party with only acoustic acts, so it seems like the perfect situation for me. furthermore, there are a variety of non-new brunswickians that will be coming, many of which i'm friends with, that will augment the evenings festivities beautifully. in rehearsing i wrote a song that i'm happy with and could see people enjoying. as of late i've been writing incredibly simple songs that in a way i'm mildly embarrassed by, as i'd love to be writing complex, well thought out songs, but in a way i embrace as they're immediately satisfying both for writer and listener. perhaps that's not the best sign, but for now, while i feel a bit spread thin, and still to put out my second LP (these would be songs for my third), i feel i have some time to work them out and write a variety of denser songs, so to speak.

tonight i will have fun. i hope to make the evening worth living. there's still a great deal of things i need to do to improve my life, and the lives of those around me. and each day i want to work more towards those things. sure, certain days you slip, and others you relax. but when you can, make a difference and i'll try to do the same. i send all of my love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Build the world you want

After driving home from Miami through the night we slept for a few hours and then Trevor and I went to sit outside the cvs and steal Internet. Afterwards we went to the supermarket and spent too much money on a big seafood dinner. I know I know I've been going wild. In my defense though being on the beach makes me want to eat seafood and I've been here a week. Also since I've only recently starting eating sea animals I am still excited about new cooking frontier. Still I do feel some latent ex vegetarian guilt and often consider going back to a stricter diet both for myself and the world.

Anyway, trevor and I steamed up a big pot of snow crab legs, mussels and clams. With our caprese salad to start and bread to dip in the broth we ended up dropping more money than we wanted but it's ok these things happen and we ate well. After getting our fill we laid down to snooze off the meal. An hour or so later Parker came by and we walked to the local bar where the tenderesses had to wear bathing suits. Odd uniform but I suppose I don't mind. So we drank beers for reasonable prices but still spent way more than if we'd stayed home. The argument is that we were paying for atmosphere and potential companionship but it was hot and nobody was at the bar so we just threw money away. Though at the end of the night for absolutely no reason and with no prompting on our part, some girl across the bar pulled her boobs out. It was a bit odd but I suppose I'm not going to complain. Louis went to talk to her and buy her a drink and she said they were fake so I guess she just wanted to show them off. It's a little weird but hey whatever floats her boat. The walk home was interesting and then we decided to go swimming. The ocean felt amazing and after a nice chat with locals I floated on my back and soaked in the beautiful night sky with fluffy clouds and bright stars. I was so at peace that if I'd floated away i'd have died happy. But I didn't and then we went home. I went swimming in the pool and when I got back there was arguing among friends and people said some rough things so I spent the rest of the evening trying to help buddies see eye to eye. I hoped sleeping would help. I awoke to further discussions which didn't help my headache so I went to rest in the other room. Some things were patched up and some weren't. But now we're all trying to get past it and make the best of things. And that's all you can really ever do. So now I'm on my way to Orlando hoping for good things. I wish the same for you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

phucking photo update

this is quite a photo update. sorry it took so long, but i haven't had computer internet capabilities as of late. this is from the day before the let me run tour to now. hopefully in the future there will be less of a break.

kitty cats at the warren house.

i woke a few days before the let me run tour in my brother's basement to a beautiful sight.

making music is so much easier with a beautiful practice space and everything at the ready. had my first real jam session with my brother here. awesome.

new merch. quit your job and go and tour.

oh man, this is ridiculous.

on the road again with let me run.

oddly, it was true.

we're all broken at the charm city art space in baltimore.


i love puppies. his owner said, so eloquently, "she's a bitch. just like all bitches are bitches." mathmatically that makes sense.

i love when the seperate the smoking section so smokers aren't bothered.

danville, va looks like it treated let me run well.

maybe not.

sleeping in the van doesn't always rule.

so cool.

flying weiner car. big time.

is this acceptable?

south caroline treated us well.

jarrett should've taken the muscle milk. maybe then he wouldn't have lost to katherine.

jarrett (we're all broken) loves staying in houses with elevators.

proud father casey at the waffle house. i'm still wondering what was supposed to be in the middle of this expanse of neon green.

the wonder root in atlanta. while i was disappointed my friends didn't shows up, i love DIY basements that are run well. good job.

travis and homer. good dudes.

i looked into drew's (evergreen terrace) closet. he owns almost nothing. apparently one of the pieces of necessity is a spiderman suit.

10 dudes drinking and deciding tour/bro tats needed to happen. laughin'. ignore the above tattoo party ink. yikes.

cute puppies everywhere. my goodness does everyone have adorable animals?

parkers parents house.

possibly the cutest dog ever? duke. totally.

the next day after i smacked louis. wait until you see the night of. i promise it was not out of malice but stupide drunk dudes fooling around.

travis' reaction to the show.

i wish you could've seen this band and its fans. imagine sublime but not. glad louis got a video.

i have an idea for a new book.

nothing like sleeping in an abandoned condo with your buddies after a 5 hour drive. big time.