Showing posts from March, 2017

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

We have a rule in our house that whoever doesn't cook the meal does the dishes. While it seems fair on the surface, I'm not so sure. I'm a one pot kind of guy, and I tend to clean as I go most of the time, so that by the time I serve, there won't be a sink full of dishes other than the ones we eat from. My wife is a chef. The table is her canvas, and the kitchen her palette. We own three generations worth of cooking utensils of every variety, and I'm pretty sure that she uses most of them whenever she cooks. Now the bellywaddin' that I cook is comforting and filling. It won't show up on any Food Network shows, but for a hungry family it'll do just fine. Monica's meals are much more of a craft. She never uses recipes, except to bake, and she follows her whims and inspiration until there is a hearty, world class meal on the table. She's Italian, so most of the time it's Mangia! time around our house, which means that when she cooks, I do the di

Nothing To See Here

I spent years trying to find myself, know myself, be myself, realize my best self...self, self, self. It almost feels like I spent my growing up years trying on clothes, and forgetting to take the suits off that didn't fit until I was left with a walking closet of layer upon layer of who I thought I was. The weight was unbearable, and carrying all the layers for the years that I did created problems to solve, situations to figure out, relationships to control, dominate or avoid, and the more I thought I knew, the more lost I really felt. The peeling began in 1998. It wasn't external circumstances that demanded the change, it was completely internal. I had good things, good friends, good work...all the stuff that I thought would make me happy, and I felt miserable and empty. I had carried a deep belief for many years that finding a mate was going to fix the emptiness, so I had been on a quest to find such a one. I felt such an urgency and pressure, and ultimately a lot of pain a

My Friend, Phil

In 1993 I went through a divorce. I was 30, restless, scared, and clueless. All of the crutches I'd leaned on - relationships, friendships, church, work - were one by one being removed, some by my doing, others by fate. In the midst of all the instability I rediscovered my love of music. One Sunday I went to CT Pepper's in Broadripple and signed up to play in the blues jam. That was the night I met Phil. Phil was the bass player in the house band for the jam. He was a tall, charismatic guy who made me laugh, and he was also instantly encouraging me to play the guitar like I meant it. I played a set, and had a blast. It was the first time that I had played in public in several years. Since there were a handful of bass players there that night, Phil didn't have to play much, so we hung out, had beers and talked. We became fast friends. It's impossible not to love a guy who hands down had the best Harry Caray impression. One of the things we found in common was that we

What Role Do People See?

No one knows your whole story. What people know about you is usually limited to knowing the role that they've seen you in, or that they've heard about you. For the students at my kid's school and their parents, I'm known as Bodhi's dad. At Unity I'm known as the music director and occasional speaker. People who have seen me play music at breweries and bars know me as a singer who covers other people's music. People who have seen me play in concert settings know me as a songwriter. Some people know me as a guitar teacher, and some people know me as a coach. One challenge I see frequently for the clients I work with is that it's hard for people who already know them in another context to see them in a different way. It's almost easier to start building a new audience from scratch than to attempt to get people who already know you to see you in a new light. Sometimes we're passed over for opportunities that would be a great fit for us only becau

Self Doubt, Insecurity, Uncertainty...Not a Problem

Self doubt, insecurity and uncertainty have been frequent visitors to my psyche for as long as I can remember. I can remember feeling these things all the way back to my earliest memories. They're not necessarily tied to any particular circumstances. I just felt that way. I still often feel that way. For a long time I thought that these frequent feelings were an indicator of some personal deficiency. Why the hell couldn't I just be more confident, self assured, and secure? If I felt this way there must be something really wrong with me. Therapy ensued. I found little relief. Talking about my past, my upbringing, and social patterns didn't help. Nor did positive thinking, rationalizing, or emoting. Hitting the bed with a pillow only damaged the pillow. I also tried to fix the feelings by seeking solutions through relationships, sex, religion, spirituality, work, money, and anything else that I believed could repair me. Nothing worked. Nothing. Several years ago