My Son's Fish Died

My sons fish died today! I let him scoop it up with a dixie cup and carry him over to the toilet for the proverbial porcelain ceremony of respect. He said, "sorry fish you died, I really loved you and I wanna get another one, but I'm sorry you have to go down the pipes!" Flush!

"Hey, daddy, can we get another fish, like right now or tomorrow?"

He's about to turn six and this was his third fish. I never know exactly what to say but I wanted him to understand, so I said, "Honey, not everything is replaceable. Someday people you know are gonna die one day and you can't just go buy new ones. Do you understand?"

He didn’t and I'm not sure when he will, but I remember I finally understood. I was about six or seven years old and I took my cute little guinea pig out to the back of the house, I stood about a foot away from our brick house and began to gently bounce my guinea pig off of the wall like a ball. I guess I thought it was fun for him. I’d catch him and do it again and again until suddenly he was still. I got concerned and went into the house to asked my mother what happened. She gently informed me that I had killed him. I started to sob. It was a dumb thing to do, I regretted it instantly and  never wanted to hurt another animal again.

The next day my best friend David - who was about a year older than me- put out some bird seed in his gravel driveway. I followed him into his bathroom, he opened the window and waited for the birds to arrive. Pop! Pop! Pop! He nailed everyone. My heart hurt. David passed the BB gun to me, but for some reason I was a terrible shot, yep I couldn't hit a single one of them. I'm an animal lover till this day and I have a feeling my son will be too, but it might take more than a little fish dying for him to comprehend what death means.

Shame

I'm addicted to Shame! The Shame I'm referring to is a new post-punk band out of South London who released their debut album on January 12th 2018 titled Songs of Praise. They're sound is reminiscent of late 80's early 90's post-punk. They're sound isn't all that original but it's gritty, clever, catchy, angry and in your face! They make me want to sing along with my upper lip curled up to one side like Johnny Rotten or Billy Idol.

Let's be honest, there is a lot to be angry about these days so it's no surprise an album like this has emerge from the ashes of Brexit, Trump and the reemergence of racism. Do we need more angry white men? Perhaps that's exactly what we need, someone or something that represents the feeling of those of us who stand firmly against the hatred coming at us from the "Right" like a freight train on fire! Their lyrics aren't all that political, but the feeling, the rage, the angst is all there screaming, subvert the dominate paradigm! In an album review written by Eve Barlow on Pitchfork.com, she states, " If Shame belong to a generation of mobilizing British refuseniks teetering on an uprising, Songs of Praise is its soundtrack, whistling like a kettle coming to the boil."
 

I've been a music fanatic my entire life and yet I've been so uninspired by the current trends in music. This album makes me want to be in the studio creating work that speaks loudly, has a message and makes people feel something. With any hope, this will create a snowball effect.  

Lust for Life

For as long as i can remember I've had this insatiable desire to experience as much as I can in my the short time I have here on this spinning orb. I don't believe in heaven or reincarnation so my mantra has always been, "you have one life to live, so live your dreams, don't just talk about them!"

My life before becoming a father was all about lifestyle and I took full advantage of it. In 2001 my girlfriend and I took a trip that would change our lives for the next ten years. We went backpacking through Europe for five glorious weeks. Upon our return home we realized we had been bitten by the travel bug. We wanted more! In 2003 we spent two months traveling through S.E. Asia. We went to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia! It was absolutely unbelievable, I loved every second of it. That trip inspired our next. In 2005 my girlfriend and I quit our jobs, sold our possessions and traveled abroad for thirteen months straight. We took this trip because we were in a unique time in our lives were we didn't have a mortgage payment, kids or a career to hold us back. On that trip we learned to make wine in New Zealand, went bungee jumping, paragliding and skydiving. The four months we spent in China we studied Mandarin two days a week and kung fu three days a week for a month. We traveled all over China. When we tired of it we hoped on a plane for India. We traveled from the southern tip on India all the way up the west coast and into the semi-autonomous state of Sikkim in the Himalayas to do some trekking. I learned so much on that trip. I learned I love culture, history, food, diversity, tolerance, and understanding. I learned I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my girlfriend. It's been 18 years and we are still together. I learned on that trip I was an artist and was denying myself the potential of making a career out of my creative talents. A few years after returning home I became a full-time professional artist and my career has been growing ever since. I also learned I wanted to be a father on that trip and I now have two beautiful boys.

I lost a friend two days ago (Jan 2018) to suicide. I don't want to get into the whole reason or psychology behind why people do it or why they become so incredibly sad and hopeless. But I can't help but think about everything they will miss out on, all those experience they will never have which, if they did could reshape their lives in unforeseeable ways and propelled them into new and exciting direction. Life can get overwhelming at time, and not to trivialize it, but it's like the weather or the economy, it's cyclical, so let's not forget how beautiful and exciting the world can be if you take advantage of all it has to offer.