Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life Lies Within Music

            Green Day
            Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
            Lou Reed
            Ringo Starr
            Paul Butterfield Blues Band
            Stevie Ray Vaughn
            Bill Withers
            These are the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. This is the first time in a very long time that I am actually very satisfied with all the choices. True, not every one of them is a “ROCK and ROLLER”. But then, I’m not really writing about rock and roll right now. I could, but I’m not going to.
            Instead, I’d like to say a few words about one of the inductees. Bill Withers. I’ve always loved his music. Not technically rock and not pop… no, he was more of a blues man and I love the blues. Why? Simple, because when you have the blues, you need to hear the blues. And blues is a truly American form of music. Bill Withers haunting baritone and slow pronunciation of words kept time with the rhythm of all his songs and when you listen to him sing, you know he is a man who has suffered.
            Suffered in life, love and the struggle for happiness. His music portrays the entire spectrum of human emotions. Truly brilliant.
            However; one song of his has been running on a constant loop through my brain these past few weeks. The song, “Lean on Me”. Why? Simple, if you read last week’s blog. I’ve needed someone to lean on. Actually, I’ve needed more than just one person. I’ve needed an army.
            An army of friends, relatives and co-workers. I’ve seem to have surrounded myself unknowingly with people who all are concerned about me. How I live, work and relate to everyone in the path of my life. I didn’t set out to do this, it just happened, much like your own life.
            As we move forward to our ultimate demise, we inadvertently surround ourselves with people we care about and without even thinking of any reciprocity, they end up caring about us. To me, this is a strange dynamic with countless rewards.
            I’ve discovered over the past week, that not only do I have the support of my family in my decision to slow my life down and smell the roses, well, since it is winter, the rotting leaves on the ground but also, my friends, coworkers and even some daily acquaintances are supporting this life altering decision.
            It is an odd place for me to be in. I’ve rarely relied upon anyone else in my adult life to help me. When I have had to ask for help, I felt nothing but shame and disappointment in myself for not being able to stand on my own two feet. I still feel this way. I don’t think I will ever not lose those feelings. It’s because I’m a prideful son of a bitch. I know this. I don’t like asking for help and I don’t like needing it. I like to believe I’m an independent Polack on this mudball.
            But I’m not. This is more than quite evident in my life right now. And you know what. It is a huge relief to me. Sure it took over a week for me to accept it but right now, I’m actually feeling better about myself. About my life and about the choices I’ve made. I’m not alone, and I never was as much as I thought to the contrary. Nope, I seem to have people around me that will not just help me move forward as a father, husband and man but also as a fellow traveler on this spaceship we call earth.
            Yes, there are people in my life I have recently come to lean on and I know if they ever need it they will be able to lean on me for whatever they need. So to them I say “Thank you”. And to Mr. Withers, your music and songs will live forever and there message will speak to millions more.
            I am truly humbled by this experience. Have a great New Year.
Lastly,  I will leave you with this for your New Years celebrations:

Lean On Me
By Bill Withers

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.
For it won’t be long

‘Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.

Friday, December 26, 2014

I've been Scrooged

            I don’t know how to begin this blog. Except for maybe saying “Merry Christmas”. For you see, I truly received a gift this year. Not a gift which contains a physical embodiment of our natural world. A gift one receives wrapped in thin, colored paper and tied gently and carefully with silk or nylon ribbon and edges taped together to hold it closed. Closed until that one fateful moment of anxiety and excitement allow the receiver of the gift and the giver of the gift to both feel the joy of the inevitable reveal.
            No, that is not the sort of gift I received. My gift did not come on the eve or even the day of the celebration of our lord’s birth. Instead, my gift was given to me late on Monday night during a conversation with a close and personal friend. His gift was guidance and an idea.
            The idea, once I thought about it, was not just one of what I was doing wrong or right in my life but how my life can be. Should be and hopefully will be. He showed me that my basic premise in life, a motto I’ve been living by since I was a boy of single digits and a motto I’m sure we’ve all heard in our lives that seems to have become a platitude in recent years, was somewhat flawed. My motto “Work hard, do your best, and you will succeed.” While a good motto, needs to be modified and amended.
            It’s no secret that I’ve been working long arduous hours four countless years. Years that seem to have never happened to me because when I look back in the fog of my memory, all I see is work. Solutions to problems others could or would not see. Endless tasks of moving things, repairing things and delivering things. Items, physical in nature with little or no value today. Objects both animate and inanimate while important at the moment they were needed have become lost to the oceans of memories and problems that came after them.
            These tasks, objects and issues which took up so much of my time, took precedent over my physical, mental and emotional health. They stole from me the opportunities to spend with my family. To go on adventures, experience joys, pleasures and pains with them. I’ve missed family functions, dinners, plays, recitals, and daily bonding time. All because of that motto. Work hard and you will succeed.
            The reason I followed that motto was always to provide for my family. To ensure they had everything they needed and some of the things they wanted. I refused to stop for anything or anyone. I always arrived early to work, did everything I could do to make sure my tasks got finished and only when I completely physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day would I return home to fall into an almost coma like state. Not communicating with my family, not taking an active role in their lives because I was completely incapable to. This is not my excuse, nor is it my reason. No, this is my crime.
            My crime of becoming all too consumed with the daily grind of living between a rut and a grave that stopped me from being the man my family needs me to be. The man my faith guides me to be. Through my endeavors of these years I’ve lost sight of not just what my family needs but of what I need as well. My need to feel more than a physical bank. A bill payer, a shell of a human who barely exists on this plane and a ghost of a man who is also a father and husband.
            A father who needs to be present in his child’s life, to watch that child grow and become a young adult. To observe and guide that offspring in becoming a healthy and happy young adult who will eventually turn into a prosperous and stable adult. I’ve failed there. I allowed my mate to pick up my duties and carry them as a yoke. Burdening her with more responsibility than one parent should have. Yes, I am guilty of this.
            As a husband I have failed even more so. I’ve been absent both physically and emotionally. When I was present, my replies to whatever conversations were usually primeval grunts in acknowledgement or dissent. Simply because thought at exhaustion is almost impossible. I am guilty of this as well.
            Yet my family, the ones who live with me, the ones who grew up with me and even my extended by marriage family all stood by and watched as I slowly traveled down my chosen path. It is not that they agreed with what I was doing, but that they knew there was no amount of words, actions or deeds that would make me change my southern tack. They stood by and prayed, hoped, consoled each other and occasionally, in desperate times, almost drug me to places I saw no financial or physical reward from. I placed them in that situation. A situation where the person they love was on a self-destructive path and that person could not even see what he was doing to himself or the ones around him.
            So, late Monday night, sitting in a smoke filled cab of a vehicle while it slowly rained outside and fog rolled in from the bay, my friend sat and listened as I droned on about how I had lost my way. How my motto had become my obsession and my obsession had turned me into a lost and empty soul. A soul who saw nothing good, nothing worth anything and all that he touched turn to dust and smoke. A soul whose very existence was to wake up before light and only retire after the light was gone. An almost vampiric existence. Which is to say, no existence at all.
            He listened to all of this, and when I was finished, he asked if I wanted his advice as a friend, as a pastor or if he wanted me to just watch him walk away into the night. I chose to receive his advice as my friend and as my pastor. After all, I knew if I let him go off alone into the mist, I may never see him again. He spoke not in platitudes or comfort. He spoke of wrong thinking, of missed opportunities because of faulty logic. He spoke of a grander design and how I am the only one in my own way. He told me nothing of what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed to hear but did not want to hear.
            His words shamed me, humbled me, scared me and embarrassed me. He held a mirror up to my life of work and all I saw was a man who was underweight, hollowed eyed and lonely with no one to turn to when I needed someone to speak with, to give me comfort to just listen. Because of my actions, I had become alienated on a deserted island. Even though that island was filled with people who cared, I could not see it. The simplest acts of kindness towards me were met with suspicion and empty thanks.
            Yes, my friend gave me some very painful truths, harsh criticisms and humbling facts. His words were knives to my flesh and soul. I did not bleed red though, instead, I bled salty tears of pain and embarrassment. After all, when you face the abyss, and the person who is trying to talk you away from that dark and endless void is not offering you words of support or encouragement but instead only tells you what you’ve done wrong, it gives you pause. Well, it gave me pause.
            His words made me think about the premise of my life. And how that premise had caused me to push away the people I love and was trying to take care of. How my good intentions and deeds became twisted and bastardized by my own hands through my own thoughts. Somehow, someway, through my solitary focus, I lost all focus. My life had become a blur of endless moments filled with endless chores that obliterated all I should have seen.
            My way of existence and the man I have become it seems, has gotten in the way of the man I should have been and the man I hope to become.
            So this year, my Christmas gift was unexpected, unwanted and yet, completely necessary. It was also given with great love and honesty. It was the gift of my life. A gift I’d been taking for granted of for years. A gift I hope and pray I will never take advantage of again.
            As of right now, I vow to get of the way of others and my creator. I vow to take time for the people who not only need me but want me in their lives and have only my best interest at heart. I am now on a path that I hope will make me the man that is worthy of their love and admiration. Not by being a provider, but a supporter, a listener, an advisor, a friend and a companion.
            My gift it seems has also become others gift in an odd way. A gift of answered prayers, a gift of a friend, a gift of a father and a gift of a husband.
            So, on this day, my dear reader if you are still with me after this woefully long tale, I say to you, take the gift of your time. Love the ones you are around and share with them all that you can. Become the person you know you can be inside and enjoy being with those around you. Do not follow my path. It is fraught with loneliness and no one should ever feel alone.
            I hope you all have had a Merry Christmas and it was filled with love and that that you were surrounded by the ones you love.

            Have a great week.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What is Christmas?

            I don’t know. It’s that simple.
            Sure, as a Christian I believe in the birth and resurrection of our savior. But, science tells us that December 25th, was not the actual date of the birth of Jesus. Science also tells us that two thousand and fourteen years ago, by the Gregorian calendar he was not executed. Yet every year on this upcoming, nay, looming date we celebrate the birth of our Christian savior. I have faithfully followed these learned acts for the forty-seven years I’ve been breathing. Only because it is what I was raised and taught to do.
            However, knowing our history, human history, and its bloody roots, I can honestly say, I’m not a fan of how things are working out.
            Some say that the advent of Hollywood and its inexhaustible tentacles of propaganda have tinged the holy day of Christianity and its savior. This is somewhat true. To me at least. Also, I understand that our dust speck of a world in the grand scheme of the universe hold nothing to the knowledge of things we don’t know.
            After all, as a man I wholeheartedly respect once said to me, “You, Skip, are a pragmatist with a golden heart. Regardless of what you portray to the masses.” I have to think in those terms. After all, he was right. I am a pragmatist. I take things as they come. If there is a problem and I have a solution. I fix the problem.
            Right now, I have a problem with no solution. I know science. I know religion. I know that in the epic tale of Gilgamesh, written a thousand years before the Holy Bible, there is a tale of a great flood and a man who built an ark. An ark that housed all the species of animals we know today. Save for those we have either hunted to extinction or have passed on through natural selection. I know that in my heart there has to be some sort of design for our existence and that design was not meant for all of us to struggle on a daily basis.
            Our ancestors, the ones who stood up and said “I will no longer move my family from one hunting ground to another but instead I shall lay down my spear and knife and plow the land and plant the crops we need. I shall practice husbandry of animals and only slaughter that which needs to be slaughtered in order to sustain us.” Men and women who started the first cities and civilizations… men and women with foresight that is respectable and admirable. The men and women whose shoulders we do not stand upon but their offspring’s shoulders we elevate ourselves upon. They are the ones we owe gratitude for.
            Yes, the solstice of winter is here. We are all huddled close to each other in the warm confines of our homes. Well, except me. I’m sitting on my porch, it’s 12:42 am and about 38 degrees outside. Yet I’m here. I’m not tired because my mind is racing with thoughts that contradict each other.
            Thoughts that tell me, there is a greater meaning to life than just paying bills and surviving in a world where money means everything and a world where thought and ideas are the currency of the day. Where fact, hard boiled proven fact, means more than a ghost story about some guy in the sky.
            I know, I’ve written about this sort of juxtaposition before. I can’t help it. It seems I’m not done with my own issues about life, science and belief yet. I wish I were. I wish I could jump into one arena or the other and say adamantly and at the top of my voice “THIS IS WHAT I BELIVE! LIKE IT OR NOT!” but I can’t.
            How can I? How can you?
            There is more unknown than known in the physical universe. I won’t even go into the metaphysical universe. So how can a Pollack like me stand on one side or the other and vehemently state a universal truth? I can’t. It’s that simple.
            I believe in mankind and our ability to adapt and overcome obstacles that have almost no outcome of success. Why? Simple, there is a history there. We, as homo sapiens, have overcome some amazing setbacks in our history. That’s recorded history not some fairy tale of vampires, werewolves and zombie history. Yet, there is an almost primordial call to how we survived. How mankind managed to overcome the obstacles it faced even before it knew of any type of religion or zealotry.
            How can this be?
            Are we simply programmed to procreate, survive and multiply at all costs?
            Or, are we a chosen species of life form who has manage with little or no direction to create and bastardize the teachings of those who came before us. Men and women who were wiser and more intelligent yet we still ignore their teachings? Teachings that would vault us far beyond what we believe we are and into another category of existence?
            I don’t know. I wish I did. For if I did, I wouldn’t be in this position.
            Nope, I’d know stuff. I’d be more at peace with myself and mayby, just maybe, I’d be able to sleep the slumber of the knowing. Instead, I’m in a certain, self-inflicted type of purgatory.
            Yes, I’m a believer in the overall master design and plan of the universe. But, no, I don’t believe we as a species have been able to narrow down into one cohesive dogma that will save our silly, corporeal lives.
            We all have to believe in something, religion, science, nihilism, and atheism. I’m sure there are many more “ISMS” out there. But for me, at this time of year, when men, women and children are in good spirits, try to be better than what they are during the course of the other eleven months of our rotation around the sun, I tend to believe the we all, no matter what creed or race are just trying to be the best that we can be.
            Which gets me wondering, what could mankind do if that was our goal every month of the year? Where exactly would we be if we could set aside any and all prejudices in a full revolution around the sun? What would be accomplished? What sense of peace would we all have? Where would the industrial war machine be? An exactly how tranquil would our daily lives be if we had nothing but good will broadcast across the airwaves?
            I would honestly believe we would be in a 21st century enlightenment era where all things were possible and our existence to our own personal creator would be honored.
            But that is just a pipe dream of a madman in Virginia. I hope and pray all of you, my dear readers are having a great week and that you find your own peace and tranquility in your life. I wish you nothing but the best for this season, whichever season you may celebrate, either religiously or intellectually.

            Have a great week.

            PS. The answer to my initial question… Family.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sickness causes Hallucinations

            Yes, yes, I know I missed last week’s blog and I’m sorry about that. Well, not really, I’ve been busy and sick. As a matter of fact, as I sit here and pound the keys to my computer into submission, I’m still sick. The past five days have been lived in a fuge state filled with drug induced hallucinations of black golf carts flying overhead laden with spy cameras, sniper microphones and infrared mind readers. All with the sole purpose of keeping the middle class middle and the lower class lower while the higher class gets higher. (Maybe I shouldn’t mix my FDA controlled pain meds with over the counter cold and flu meds. But that’s a blog for another day.)
            So last Thursday night I’m sitting in an oversized pickup truck that gets about 0.3 miles to the gallon with a buddy of mine whom had asked for my assistance in moving some stuff. The cab was overheated, the outside temperature was in the low 40’s and on the radio was some sort of bullshit, cockamamie excuse for music that was making the headache I’d been fighting all day just grow into a large thunderstorm of oncoming pain. Basically I felt like the south end of a north bound dog that’d just left the “Acme Mad-Cow Meat Packing Plant” and leaving a trail of disgusting brown and red bodily fluids that even inspector Clouseau would be able to follow and eventually deduce the inevitable outcome the evidence points to.
            I tried to make small talk, but small talk with my buddy usually begins with the beratement of any and all individuals who want any type of gun control in this country and ends up just this side of fascism where the government instead of handing out bread in bread lines is handing out guns and ammunition to the starving masses. I tried to keep the conversations topics light and airy. I succeeded. We managed to not talk about politics, the rich, the poor, the working class and we even steered clear of alien abduction and the impact of Elvis impersonators on the economic development of Las Vegas in the early 1990’s and its gentrification impact for the masses in the form of family entertainment instead of the sleazy entertainment the city was once known for.
            Nope, we spoke only of family and family issues. We spoke of work and the troubles we’ve been having. Mostly it was just nonsense talk between two people who were venting the stress and worries of daily life in a manner that befits our stations in life. Also, you guys really don’t want to read what we spoke of. We just drove across town, had idle chit chat and upon our arrival at our destination, we got out and went to work. Efficiently and quickly we opened the bed of the truck, and in two trips filled the bed whilst ignoring the audible protests from our respective joints. All while the owner of the furniture stood in the dark, holding a cell phone up with the flashlight application on telling us to be careful not to trip over this log or that rock and beware of this hole and that dog. I bit my tongue in an attempt to not piss this guy off since he is related to my buddy. I just worked. It’s all I could do.
            We transported the furniture to its final destination. Placed it and left. That’s when my buddy offered dinner. I was hungry, felt like crap and definitely needed some reprieve from my life. I agreed. We found a semi-quiet pizza joint, sat outside in a tent with a natural gas heater blasting away the cold air like Bill Mahr blasting away at Regonomics. We were surrounded by young twenty-something hipsters smoking clove cigarettes, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from pitchers and cans while discussing their college courses and the types of careers they looked forward to getting into once they graduated. We tried to ignore them. We sort of succeeded. Which means we didn’t get into a fight with any of these neophytes of life who are going to school on mommy and daddies dime while at the same time being disgusted with the way their parents make money and try to provide a better future for their progeny, fucking hypocrites. It was a true test of will.
            Instead, we ate over spicy pizza, drank warm beverages and spoke more of our lives and struggles. All the while, my head was swimming, my body was running between sweating and freezing and my stomach was churning with each bite I took of the food. When we left, the place had nearly emptied out. I’d like to say that my buddy and my indifference paired with my constant smoking of my cigar made them leave. But that would be a bit arrogant of me now wouldn’t it?
            We climbed back into the beast of a truck and headed down the road. After three blocks travel I was demanding my buddy to pull over. He did. I got out and quickly and calmly vomited up the food and drink I’d just tried to digest. I threw up all over the hipster sidewalk, garbage can, and some sort of hybrid car that I’m sure would fit in the bed of the truck I’d just jumped out of. A few minutes later, after wiping my face and boots off, I climbed back into the truck and expressed my sorrow for the street cleaner in the morning but not the hipster who now had a new bodily fluid paint job on his car.
            This was just the beginning of my travel down the road to my illness. I know a bit disgusting and outrageous but true none the less. This is the reason I’ve not been writing. I just haven’t been able to dig deep into myself and pull out the gooey cancerous thoughts that normally float around inside my Polish head. After all, it’s hard to keep your thoughts straight when you are making aluminum foil hats to wear in order to prevent the government controlled black golf carts from reading your mind.
            Have a great week and I hope to be able to write more later.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Memory Avenue

            It’s funny how memory works to me. How a sound, a photograph, a smell and even a taste one your tongue can transport a person from a walking, talking and semi-reasoning adult into a blathering idiot of a teenager. This sort of experience recently just happened to me. It was a strange journey to me. Long forgotten memories of my youth, and mind you, these are actually good memories, were jarred from my childhood id and released fully onto my hippocampus.
            So if you’ll bear with me, and be patient, I’ll take you down the road of the cause and results of this recent exploration into my teen years. More specifically, a trip to Port Plaza Mall with my family for Christmas shopping.
            I was standing in the kitchen of my part time employer, it was about 6:15 pm, there were only a few customers in the restaurant and the Chef and I were talking about nothing and everything. It was then that I realized the Chef had made a soup that in my fifteen years of working there I’d never tried. It was New England Clam Chowder. Now, it is customary for waiters and waitresses to try new dishes so that they can explain the food to the customers. It’s common practice, trust me. So I picked up a small dish, poured some soup into it and then took a spoon and placed a mouthful of the creamy goodness into my mouth.
            I don’t really know how to explain what happened next. I can tell you that I’ve eaten a lot of clam chowder in my past. Some from cans, some reportedly homemade. Some very unsatisfying. Some rather delicious but none as amazing as that first spoonful of my Chef’s have ever transported me back in time to the first taste of clam chowder.
            This soup was simply amazing. The diced potatoes were of the perfect texture, the crème didn’t sit heavily on the palette and the clams had just a hint of salt and tender enough that you could bite through them in one quick chomp. Seasoning wise, it was amazing, not too salty, the perfect amount of pepper and just a hint of sweetness. All in all, it was the trigger for my first taste of this under-appreciated soup.
            I felt like I was thirteen again, sitting in a department store cafeteria at Port Plaza Mall in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Alongside my teen self, my three sisters, my mother and my soon to be mothers second husband. He was the one who had ordered the clam chowder. I was curious about the soup. Because up until that time the only soups I could remember having were chicken noodle and my mother’s split pea soup. I hate split pea soup to this day, almost as much as I hate Brussel sprouts. I hate them so much that I truly believe that split pea soup is the piss of the devil and Brussel sprouts are the devils dingleberries. YUCK!
            In my mind, while standing in the stark white kitchen under florescent lights and surrounded by stainless steel counters, I was slowly dipping my spoon into a bowl of cafeteria style clam chowder not knowing what to expect. I remember taking that first tentative bite of the soup, how the pale looking meat of the clam seemed so foreign to me and the chunkiness of the potato stood out above the rim of the spoon and the little green flake of what I learned later was chives seemed very inviting to my youthful palette. I was stunned. Amazed and completely enthralled. I wanted more. The soup was salty, juicy, filled with pepper, had a nice earthy tone to it and in my mind, all I could picture were the sea-gulls screaming on the beach along Green Bay’s beaches and along the Fox River. I wanted more. I got it. I was told I could order a bowl for myself, which I did and as soon as it was delivered I devoured it like a starving kid in a third world country.
            The soup, in my youth was just the appetizer. Growing up in Wisconsin, the only appetizer I’d ever had was fried cheese curds. Tasty, fattening and filled with fat and bad cholesterol. In other words… the perfect appetizer. Also, you don’t really need any dipping sauces. When this balding, white haired man ordered a Rueben Sandwich, I immediately ordered the same thing. Even though I knew absolutely nothing about a Rueben Sandwich. Hell, the only sandwiches I knew were peanut butter and jelly, liverwurst on onion, bologna and cheese and lastly, the classic grilled cheese.
            So when the waitress delivered the food and quickly placed a steaming plate of grilled pastrami and sauerkraut in front of me and a mile high pile of fries, I had no idea what to do with it. I looked around the table, everyone was ingesting their meals. I saw this man who was soon to be my father figure smearing onto the edge of his sandwich some brownish-yellow mustard. I looked down at my plate and saw a small cup filled with the same mustard, I copied his actions. When he took a bite, I took my first bite of a Rueben.
            My mind was blown, the crispy, crunchy and butterieness of the bread, the soft succulent and sour flavor of the sauerkraut, the tender, pickled meat all surrounded by the bitterness and joy known as brown mustard made my taste buds stand up and applaud. My mind was literally blown. The things that were going on in my mouth seemed to have extended their tendrils of goodness throughout my body and I was certain I was convulsing uncontrollably. When I looked around the table at my fellow family members, it seemed my experience was solitary. Everyone seemed to be filing an empty void in their bodies while I was going through an epiphany of gastronomical proportions. Food I’d never heard of or tasted had been thrust upon my body at the order of my own voice and I was now experiencing for the first time what can only be described as a “foodgasm”.
            It was the first of many. But you never forget your first. Sure it may be buried into your cerebral cortex for endless years. However, it will be released eventually. Trust me it will.
            There are a lot of food firsts for me that followed that day. I discovered a veritable cornucopia of tastes, textures and styles of mouth pleasing and more importantly, mind and body pleasing sources of protein. I still try new stuff to this day in the hopes of actually going through a similar experience. And, truth be told, I’ve had many of them to date and I hope to have many more. But rarely do I have an experience that brings me back to my youth, my innocence and my first time with people where we are all relaxed, happy and filled with joy.
            Those moments, whether brought to you by food, music, television shows or even just a common agreement in views is a rare things these days. Yet they seem to happen when we need them most and they give to us a sense of hope and joy. Food and music are my choice of memory keys these days. What are yours?

            Have a great week.