Can we talk about something lighter?

October 2, 2010

The last few days have been a bit heavy on the soul searching.  That happens when you spend time inside your own head.  Try it sometime, just don’t scare yourself.  I found some areas of my brain with cobwebs so thick you would have thought we were in my grandma’s attic.  I’m not heading in until this afternoon today which gives me sometime in the morning, between wiping kid’s faces and making sure they aren’t getting too dirty to deal with something I’ve been avoiding: getting a new car.

I currently drive a very cool, Jeep Cherokee Sport.  It’s a 2001 which is the final year they made that model before moving on to the Jeep Liberty, Patriot; Compass lines that I guess make us feel more Anglo American, less Native American.  Of course, that’s just a quick opinion.  Anyway, I’ve come to the realization that I may have to get a mini-van.  Yep, take your jaw off the floor, it’s true.  I’m a family man after all, isn’t that the next step?  The fact that I’ve avoided it this long is probably something commendable I’m hoping.  Plus, it will better justify my purchase of some sporty two seat BMW when I hit my midlife crisis in a few years.  Of course, being a sensible person, I had to make a list of pro’s and con’s to getting a mini-van. 

Pro’s:  space (you can seat seven, have captain’s chairs for the kids which means they can sit next to each other in their own seats plus the seats come out to load drum equipment, bicycles, rocket launchers, etc), remote doors (opening the sliding doors and tailgate has to be a good thing right? Especially if you can catch someone standing behind your car a bit to close), smooth ride (let’s face it, the Jeep Cherokee sport wasn’t exactly built for cruising down the highway for hours on end at 75 MPH), add ons (I’m sure I could spring for the DVD players, heated seats, pleather or leather like substance, self cleaning, self washing, automatic driving, etc. that these things must come with now right?)

Con’s:  IT’S A MINI-VAN (toss the years of cool out the window that you have built by being in a band and the sideburns aren’t going to help since they decent from a scalp that is gradually getting more and more bald, your only hope is to get tinted windows and put on a few stickers that say things like “my other car is a Harley” or “my dog is my copilot”)

Guess I’m off to get my argyle sweater vest, some penny loafers, dad jeans and a mini-van.  It’s a sad day indeed.

2 more hours to work through the past

October 2, 2010

It’s Tuesday and once again, I find myself sitting in a chair.  This time it was just two hours and they seemed to go by a bit faster. I’m not sure if it was the foresight to wear my glasses instead of my contacts (when you sit and meditate, your eyes should be closed and if you wear contacts, your eyes can get very, very dry) or if I fell asleep.  Or maybe, it could be it was half the time I sat the day before.  I can be so brilliant sometimes in spite of myself.  Something was bothering me yesterday that I mentioned.  I started thinking about it a little more after the morning session and it kept coming back to my mind.

I’ve long been angry at my parents and other parents in the church where I grew up for keeping something from us.  When I was in third or fourth grade, our AWANA leader was this guy who played guitar and led the singing time and then we would quote Bible verses to him that we learned, usually that same night because we were all super smart or something.  He seemed like a decent guy, I guess.  We may have made fun of his size, or the fact that he was on welfare but still had a satellite dish in his back yard to get lots of cool channels (keep in mind we were kids and didn’t know we were supposed to be politically correct yet).  We all got along so that’s really all that was important at the time.

He came up with an idea for our group to take a bike trip that would start from the church and head up to a wooded area about two or three miles from the church.  In hindsight, I’m not sure why that was wise simply considering the hills and age of our group, but we all thought it was a great idea since we liked riding bikes and going up hills meant you could go down them too.  After telling our parents of the plan, the first thing they all asked was “who is the other adult that is going?”  We were assured by our leader that there would be another one with us so everyone was happy.  However, when we got to the church to start the ride, he was the only adult that was going to go.  The kids (me included) couldn’t have cared less.  The adults were all skeptical.  Mine didn’t want me to go, but I insisted.  What could go wrong?  We were kids who knew how to handle our bikes.  We really only had one major intersection and I was sure we would all be able to ride much better than him anyway.  If there was someone to worry about it was him (in my mind because of his riding skills, in the adults’ minds…some other reason).

I’m going to spare you the details of the ride.  We went up hills and down, had to wait for him to catch up on several occasions.  We all brought our own lunches and ate them in the woods.  We rode back and our parents picked us up.  Mine asked about the ride, what had happened, was there anything unusual, etc.  I found the questions strange at the time but just answered.  The ride was fun, we rode a lot, had lunch and rode back.  That was that.

Years later, when I was in high school, this man, who had taken us on a bike trip by himself was arrested.  He was caught with a few boys and sent off to jail.  I was shocked.  My classmates were shocked.  What we didn’t know and our parents did:  it was his second offense.  He had already served time BEFORE he was our AWANA leader and took us on that bike trip.  Now I understood why my parents had such apprehension.  We dodged a bullet of sorts.

So why was I still angry?  Who was I angry with?  My parents?  Initially yes.  I couldn’t believe they didn’t tell us who this person was and why they were concerned and what we should watch out for and that they were concerned that day for legitimate reasons.  But what if they had told me, would I have even understood?  I have no idea.  After considering this situation that happened so many years ago, it really time to let it go.  Before I do that though, I have to consider the topics.  There are two things at stake here. 

  1. Forgiveness.  The church had forgiven a supposedly reformed man (and to my knowledge, they forgave him again when he finished his next jail term).  Could I forgive the church for putting him in charge of not just mine but other groups?  I’m not sure.  Does it make sense for a recovering alcoholic to tend bar?  Would you have a reformed kleptomaniac guard your valuable possessions?  I’m going with no for both of those questions.  So why on earth would you have a convicted pedophile work with children?  I don’t have an answer so I guess I have not forgiven the church.
  2. Parental responsibility.  I think my parents acted in the way they felt was best.  They wanted to give this person a second chance for the good of the church and didn’t want to prejudice me toward this person.  I’m sure they also didn’t want me to mistrust everyone and felt that as long as there were other adults around, everything would be okay.  Now that I have kids, I wonder how I would deal with the same situation.  We’ve already started talking to our daughter about avoiding strangers, sensing danger and not getting into cars with other people.  It’s a delicate discussion.  I don’t want her to fear everyone, but also do not want her to trust everyone.  Of course, now we can check online to see who in our neighborhood is a registered offender so we’ve got that going for us.  I’m okay with how my parents handled the situation because frankly, I’m not sure how I would have done it differently. 

I think in the end, I’m at peace with the situation.  We were fortunate that nothing happened and my parents handled it the best they could.  I have no idea what happened to that guy but I’m hoping for his sake and for the sake of others who he knows that he has completely reformed and can live a productive life. 

2 Hours in a chair will mess with your head.  If I can start letting things go that I’m hanging onto for no real reason, those 2 hours are well spent.  Let’s go for another few tomorrow shall we?

4 hours in a chair

October 2, 2010

Yesterday I sat in a tent for four hours in a chair.  If you know anything about me, you probably wonder how on earth I could have sat in one spot for that long.  I’m still trying to figure that out myself.  We’re at a retreat that includes a number of different things that are a bit complicated to explain at this moment.  A quick summary involves people walking into a building to visit with a person and you are called in the line based on how many times you have been there and if you have seen the person before.  There are a lot of people in each line and the lines are called in an order that is set that morning.  My group was last.  In fact, I think I was the tenth to the last person to go through and so I sat for four hours waiting.

Of course, while you wait, you are asked to meditate and build the energy in the room.  Wether you believe that is possible or not is a debate for another time.  I can tell you that when you walk into the next building you do feel this surge of energy that has been building and it can really throw you for a loop if you aren’t expecting it.  What I found interesting was my mind while I was sitting in the chair that long waiting.

I’ve been known to take long, solo bike rides.  Of course, long is relative.  I call long 50 to 70 miles.  Some would call that a warm up ride, others would call that two weeks of riding.  At any rate, my mind goes through many areas when I’m climbing hills from asking myself why I’m there to scolding myself for something I did when I was 12.  Sitting in the chair was not much different except my brain went a little deeper since I didn’t have to focus on pain (other than my butt from sitting so long) or watch for cars or animals.

I walked from one spot in my mind to the other.  From, what would happen if you just focused on something for longer than an hour to my embarassment from ruining video footage shot back in high school.  Why did my school get rid of a teacher halfway through the school year?  Why didn’t our parents tell us our AWANA leader had spent time in jail?  How many hours do I waste in front of the television and do I really get anything redeemable from reading our local entertainment newspapers?  What if one of the bands I was in actually made it big?  What if I hadn’t waited as long as I did to meet my wife and instead settled for a previous affection?  How will the kids turn out?  Will they go through the same issues that I did or can I somehow save them from that only to push them in an entire different direction that is unfamiliar territory?  If my mind is going to wander, couldn’t it go more places than just three?  I could really use a steak right now. 

And that’s just in the first five minutes.

if I ever buy another house…

June 25, 2010

…I’m getting a home owners warranty.  Back in February, we found this house.  My wife loved it, the kids loved it, I was nervous about the price.  Eventually, through some discussion, we decided it fit within our budget and would be a great purchase.  Our old house sold quickly, closing went smoothly and we moved in.  Good times.  We did all the things we were supposed to do, got the inspection, had someone check all the wear and tear items to make sure it was in workable condition.  Everything was fine.  We moved in late April, spent the weekend unpacking and started to enjoy the house. 

  On mother’s day, it snowed.  We fired up the furnace and were met with an unfortunate noise.  I’m not a plumbing and heating person, I don’t even dabble.  My father-in-law is (retired) and happened to be here.  After inspection, it was discovered we had a dead furnace.  An unfortunate time considering that was the start of a week-long cold snap that found us borrowing space heaters from friends and staying warm.  We knew the previous furnace was old and assumed we would need to replace it in a year or two but not in A WEEK OR TWO.  We had a new furnace delivered later that week and it was installed over the weekend. 

Of course, it got warm that weekend, warm enough to try out the air conditioner.  When we moved in, it was too cold to test out the AC during inspection and the walk through.  The previous owners assured us it was in good working condition.  So we fired that up and next thing you know, we had a nice puddle in the basement.  The assumption was a thermostat problem (again, I leave this stuff to the experts, I know drumming, project management and low-grade video production, not heating and cooling).  We were able to sweat through a few weeks and the new thermostat was installed.  Nope, same issue.  Water wasn’t draining through the hose or something so it’s time for a new something or other on top of the unit.  That should be installed tomorrow. 

At least I can settle myself down with a cool drink.  I just have to hurry to get the ice because tonight THE FREEZER BROKE!  Remember back in  1986 when a younger Tom Hanks teamed up with Shelley Long in a movie called The Money Pit?  Even Yakov Smirnoff makes an appearance in the movie “In Russia, House lives in you!”  They bought this beautiful house for a great price only to have the stairs disintegrate, the tub fall through the floor, the electric start a fire, the trees in the yard all fall down, etc.  I’m not saying we’re there, all I’m saying is he had much more hair in that movie than I do.  Oh, and Shelley Long was always rather annoying. 

In the grand scheme of things, we have good jobs, we’re healthy, we have food (except the frozen kind at the moment), and life is generally pretty good.  My wife just reminded me of that.  On the flip side, I’m debating sending a note to the previous owners to see what I should expect next.  You know, just so I could be prepared.  After all, if one of the refrigerators is going to go on the fritz,  I’d like to have a party first so I don’t waste any good beer.

if you take your kids to a show

April 17, 2010

Last Saturday afternoon, my band had a rare daytime show at a local music store.  For those of you who are only aware of mp3 files and iTunes, back in the early days, there were these things called CDs and LPs.  People would listen to an entire collection of songs from one artist.  Often the songs were crafted and ordered in a way that would allow them to flow one into the other.  You could almost tell a story through songs.  Well, this store sells those things.  It also hosts bands on a nice stage and they invited us to play.

Since it was a Saturday, I needed to bring my kids.  I had been looking forward to bringing them to a show since they know the other band members and have been listening to our music for as long as it has been recorded.  I think my daughter knows the lyrics to some of the songs better than we do.  They were looking forward to it too, there was only one obstacle.  We had to hit a birthday party in the morning at Kango.  Kango is sort of a cross between Chuck E. Cheese’s and those climbing rooms at the YMCA.  We had been there before and I knew what to expect.  I’ll just say that morning parties there are much better.  Saturdays it takes people a little longer to get out of the house so the place doesn’t really fill up until the afternoon.  We were in and out before the tables filled.

Back to the show though, I had two really good helpers who were happy to be on stage putting the drums together.  The rest of the band was setting up too and somehow the kids managed to know where to stand or not stand.  The guy running, or at least setting up sound, showed my daughter how to run the lights which meant for the fifteen minutes before the show she asked “are you ready to start yet? I want to turn on the lights” every thirty seconds.  My son was prepared with his LP shakers and G harmonica (Hohner of course, I don’t go in for the cheap plastic stuff).  It was time to start, the kids were off the stage and we were ready.

I had vastly underestimated what a distraction it would be to have the kids there.  Oh, they were perfectly fine.  They stood near the stage as we started.  My son played his harmonica and shakers along with our tunes and my daughter put her hands in her pockets and looked like she was getting ready to sit in the dentist chair.  I found myself watching them more than paying attention to the music.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I played poorly or didn’t do my parts, I did.  When I drove away after the show, I couldn’t really recall much of our performance, just what the kids were doing during it.  After we played a few songs, I asked someone to open a few folding chairs so they could sit down.  About half way through the set, I noticed my son starting to doze off in the chair.  Hey, the kid had a busy morning, it was afternoon and he was relaxing.  As we ended a song, I jumped off the stage, picked him up and brought him to a softer chair to the left of the stage.  He curled up on that and slept through a few songs.

My daughter kept her best poker face going.  I was kicking myself for not remembering to pack a pad and paper for her to draw or write stories.  I did notice she was watching intently, not looking around the store and certainly not running up and down the aisles.  So, I guess I shouldn’t complain too loudly.  One of our tunes starts with a drum solo, as I started playing, I heard the sound of shakers off to my left.  My son had woken up slightly and was playing his shakers with one hand while still lying on his side on the chair. 

Our show continued, we had a small but responsive audience and played a solid set lasting an hour and a half.  Then a funny thing happened.  We finished and suddenly both kids were on the stage and ready to help me pack up.  They were excited to be helpful once again and I took them up on their offer.  Soon they were handing me folded stands, cymbals and drums and I was packing those away.  I asked my daughter if she liked the show, “daddy, it was loud, but I’m glad we were here.”

So what did I learn?  First, bring paper and a pen for the writer/artist in the family.  Second, shakers and a harmonice are a good idea for the musician, and a pillow in case he gets sleepy.  Third, earplugs might not be a bad idea.  We’re certainly not a metal act, but we’re not just a violin playing either.  Fourth, letting the kids on stage isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s a day time show in a place that doesn’t serve adult beverages.

Finally, if you take your kids to a show, be ready for the question as you drive away, “when can we go to another one, daddy.”

Smashmouth to open for Sinzibukwud

April 1, 2010

Rochester, NY – In what was called a very strange move, the Rochester Jazz Festival organizers decided to have Smashmouth (national recording/touring act best known for songs such as Walkin’ on the Sun and All Star) open for local group the Sinzibukwud band June 19, 2010 on one of the free stages.  “Look, here’s what happened,” explained festival producer/artist director John Nugent (no relation to Ted as far as you know), “we knew we already had a great band with Sinzibucklehouse, the trick was finding a group that would mesh well with them.  When I heard their new song about parking and karma and stuff, I thought, you know who could compliment that, those boys who sang “I’m a believer” on Shrek.”

“We’re totally stoked about this gig!  You think this tattoo on my arm is random?”  Paul DeLisle from Smashmouth commented in a recent phone interview, “It’s the cover art from Thomas Devon Chamberlain’s CD he did before Sinzibukwud got rolling.  I just hope they still play stuff off that platter.”  Paul explained he’s been following Tom’s career since his early days in Prongwater.  “I liked the name of that band for some reason.  Pass me that lighter?”

The members of Sinzibukwud were happy to hear a choice was made for an opener.  “Yeah, I remember those guys,” said drummer, Aaron Hunt.  “They used to play their song on the radio at the health club I used back in what, 2000 or 1999 or something.  I’m glad they’re still around.”  Rumors circulated as late as last week that the opener was Mazzy Star or the Jesus and Mary Chain.  “Look, I’m glad they made a decision and that John (Nugent) is giving an up and coming band that was a national act years and years ago with two hits a chance to play for our city,” continued Aaron.  “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find my Sugar Ray CD.”

Closing night of the jazzfest should be a real rocker thanks to these two bands.  With names like Sinzibukwud and Smashmouth, perhaps we should call it JaSSfest.

Happy first day of April.

Is that a raisin in your shoe or are you, oh never mind

February 17, 2010

This is a short story, but I need to set the stage for you first.  Yesterday I was at a shoe/foot place (don’t really want to give out the name) to get new inserts for my running shoes (they are useful in avoiding shin splints, sore knees, etc.).  If you need something like that done, you need to make an appointment and they have small rooms where the foot professionals set you up with the correct inserts.  Is that enough background?

 While I was waiting for the person working with me to build some new inserts, I happened to hear the following conversation from another room where a woman was getting a consultation.  For the purposes of following the conversation, the person will be written as FI (foot issues) and the foot professional as FP because why not.  (I won’t bore you with all the conversation, just the good parts)

FP:  welcome, how can I help you today?

FI:  well, I’ve been doing some research because my feet really hurt when I walk around…

and I’ve had bunions on and off for years, I spent $75 on these shoes and I don’t think I got my money’s worth.

FP:  well, they are decent shoes, but you probably need some inserts

FI:  right, that’s what my friend at the office was telling me, and I did some research about that….

the bunions have really stuck with me.  I’m not sure I want to spend a lot of money.  Oh, and you should know I wear support hose.  My doctor told me to do that so in case I ever burst a blood vessel it will keep the pressure on my legs until I can get help.

FP:  (silence)

FI:  so I guess I’ll pay the consulting fee and you can make me some inserts

FP:  very good. Let’s get these shoes off.

now, let’s take the inserts out that you have in here

um, is this a raisin?

FI:  a raisin?

FP:  yes, it was in your shoe

FI:  are you sure it isn’t a piece of chocolate?

FP:  no, I’m pretty sure that is a raisin

FI:  well I haven’t cooked with raisins since Christmas

neighbors warn of potential reverse burglars

December 24, 2009

Rochester, NY — The neighborhood association is once again warning residents of our community to be wary of reverse burglars.  “It’s always around this time of year we hear stories of some guy in a red suit breaking into homes at night and leaving stuff behind,” stated a spokesperson for the association.  “We caution our residents to be on the alert, lock their doors, set their alarms and nestle their children all snug in their beds.” 

These reverse burglaries are identified by an increase in stuff at each residence after the perpetrator has left the scene.  “It’s odd when you think about it,” continued the spokesperson.  “Most times if someone breaks into your house, they want to take stuff.  The only things we’ve ever found missing were a few cookies, some milk and a carrot or two which we had accidently left on a plate on the kitchen table.”

Police advise residents not to try to handle the situation on their own.  “If you happen to hear a clatter on the lawn and feel the urge to spring out of bed and fly to the window like a flash, I would first advise you to call us,” said chief of police Biggem.  “We have dealt with this situation for many years and it never ceases to amaze me how many people try to just spy on the burglar.  I mean if you need to spy, the only thing you might see is mommy kissing San- um, the burglar.”

Of course, if you don’t wish to disturb the police, here is a checklist for residents to protect themselves.  1.  Make sure everyone is in bed and asleep.  2.  If you hear the sound of 32 little hooves on the roof, just ignore it, it’s probably just squirrels in the attic and you can take care of that during the daylight. 3.   Any rustling in your chimney area or other optional entrance to the house is probably coincidental, but you are advised to place a few cookies, carrots and milk on the table just in case you need to create a diversion should escape be necessary.  4.  Just relax and let the person do his work.  What’s the worse that can happen, you end up with happy kids and a new HDTV?

80 days and 80 nights

December 17, 2009

Back in September, my wife and I took a trip.  We were heading to a facility in Rhinebeck, NY.  This was a place where she had gone two previous years and had come back with a refreshed outlook on life.  The focus of the trip was to meditate, find inner peace and walk in front of a very holy man once a day. 

If you read my stuff or talk with me on a regular basis, you probably know me to not exactly be the type to sit still long enough to meditate, never mind discuss anything related to God or religion.  Meditation can take many forms though, drumming is a form of meditation for me.  Even with other people playing, there are times when I can sit, feel a nice groove and play song to song while feeling relaxed and almost apart from myself.  This is usually when my jaw goes slack and people wonder if I’m still conscious with swinging arms.  As for belief in God.  I believe in God, I think God loves all people and have long since questioned the teaching of my Baptist upbringing that somehow suggested that the only people who would get to heaven were Baptists.  That I no longer believe. 

Belief is such a personal thing.  You can be raised one way and either continue your life thinking that same exact way or you can question or at least open yourself to other views.  The same can be said for politics in a way.  If you grow up in a small town, there may be a decent chance you are rather conservative.  Then you go to a university filled with people from all over the globe and that can potentially change your views.  The big question is are you open.  By that I mean, are you willing to listen, to observe, to experience something different from what you are used to, all with a conscious eye on your being. 

On the drive out on that last Sunday in September, between half hour updates on the NFL scores “let’s go to the passenger seat for our 30 at 30 update…” we had discussions about the upcoming event.  I asked things like, “why do we have to wear white all the time” “what am I supposed to do when I walk in front of this person” “how will I understand what he says” “if he tells me I need an intervention, will I really have to go through with it”  All answers were satisfactory and the ultimate answer was, whatever you want to do, you can do.  It was optional to go to this event.  I did not go the first two years, but felt like this would be the year to go.  It had been a rough year with many changes and I really felt a number of times like my mind was moving into a dark place.  Not any place scary, just in a negative direction.

I’ll spare you the details about the drive (constant rain), room (clean), cell reception (spotty) and food (also spotty) and move to the experience in the tents and rooms.  This place was all about energy.  Not energy drinks, not electrical energy, human energy.  You could feel a buzz when you sat in certain areas of the room.  People came from all over the country representing all kinds of religions.  Prayers were said in the Catholic manner, but people were encouraged to pray as they preferred.  The first day we were to walk in front of the holy man, we walked in groups.  I was in the group of first timers.  You formed a line and then walked through a room where a number of people were meditating.  I know I mentioned this wasn’t about electrical energy, but when you walked into the room you felt a buzzing, an electrical current almost.  I walked in front of the holy man, touched his hand, he said something in Portuguese and the woman next to him gave me my instructions.  That afternoon I was to return and sit before heading back to my temporary residence and remain there for 24 hours.

Are you kidding?  Me?  Stay in a room for 24 hours?  I can’t even stay in my house for 24 hours and we have more than one room.  But this was different.  The time I sat before heading to my room had the same buzzing energy.  During the time I was back in my room I slept, ate, read a little, slept some more, ate some more, dreamed, wrestled with my mind, slept and felt like something was working on me.  I’ll spare you some details, but it seemed like I was cut open a few times.  I’m not a big fan of needles, scalpels, or really anything that punctures the skin (one of many reasons why I do not have piercings or tattoos in spite of being a musician) and this really made my mind jump.  When I was finally able to go back outside, I stayed away from people and felt almost crowded.  24 hours after my encounter, I went in front of the holy man and was told I needed to do it all over again.

This time was a bit more mild in that in the next 24 hour period in the room I didn’t feel like I was cut into at all, but I still wrestled in my mind, slept, ate, slept, more mental wrestling, lather, rinse, repeat.  On the final day, I took one last walk in front of the holy man and was given a blessing and sent on my way.  That’s when the real fun began.

For 8 days following each of these events, I could not lift weights, run, bike ride, or really do any physical activity that I enjoy.  Since I had two events, the total was 10 days (you know I was marking those dates on my calendar).  For 40 days following the first event, there is a prescribed diet which is actually just a list of things you cannot do.  Avoid pork, spicy foods, energy work (acupuncture, massage), alcohol, and sexual energy.  We’re bordering on too much information here, but lets just say that I avoid pork as a general practice in my life and aside from salsa and nacho cheese, I can do without spicy foods.  Massage is helpful since I sit in a chair all day, but I can go without that.  I’m married with 2 kids so I’m not sure I have to explain that 40 days isn’t exactly an abnormal amount of time to go by without what Marge and Homer Simpson call snuggle time (today’s blog is rated PG).  Alcohol?  Now that’s a challenge.  Here’s another fun wrinkle, because I had two of these interventions, every one of those suggestions held (with the thankful exception of the sexual energy one) for ANOTHER 40 DAYS!!!  So if you’re scoring at home, and if you are, congratulations, that’s 80 days without beer.

A few short thoughts on beer.  I really like beer.  It is tasty, can be paired with almost any meal, and as one country singer once wrote “it makes me a jolly good fellow.”  (this portion of the blog is currently open for sponsorship)

Now that I’m on the eve of day 81 (meaning I can have some salsa and bacon at midnight if I want), I thought I’d take stock in how I am doing today versus September.  I think things are different.  My wife said she has seen a positive change in me.  I’ve been attempting to have a more positive outlook on life, be a better father, husband, employee, band mate, son, son-in-law, and client.  There are still ways that I annoy myself, watching TV when I could be writing, wasting time at the gym berating myself for not running another mile, or having a complete argument in my head while in the shower.  However, I’m recognizing that more now and trying to head it off before it really gets rolling.  So was this just like attending a self-improvement seminar?  I guess you could think of it that way.  Except instead of having some blow hard who made their money by selling two self-help books and conducting seminars, almost everything is done on my own. 

So yeah, 80 days is a long time to not have pork, peppers, Pinot or Peroni, but on the bright side, I lost five pounds and waited until yesterday to pull a muscle in my shoulder just in time to get a massage.  Cheers!

Press release: Aaron Hunt admits to food addiction

December 10, 2009

Rochester, NY-  As rumors continued to swirl, Aaron Hunt announced today that he does indeed suffer from a food addiction.  “I’ve really had this problem all my life.”  He read in a prepared statement.  “Since I was born, I’ve had a need to consume food.  I guess it just seemed natural.  The past few years, I’ve been hiding this addiction, hoping I could conquer it.  I feel like I have let my family, fans and my sponsors down by not conquering this addiction and I hope that we can all get past this.  Especially my sponsors.”

Critics of Aaron claim he is only now admitting to this issue because recently several people have come forward claiming he frequented their establishments to sample their wares.  “He was here at least twice a week in the morning,” stated a manager at the Bagel Bin in Brighton, “same thing every time, two blueberry bagels.  Sometimes he’d get a large coffee.  I suspect that is on a day he didn’t have time to brew it at home.  The sad thing is, sometimes he’d bring his kids and buy them bagels too.  It’s just sad to see someone passing their addictions on to their children.  By the way, did you want the strawberry cream cheese?”

“Oh, he’d be in here every Saturday morning with his kids, buying all kinds of food,” stated a Wegmans cashier.  “I couldn’t believe the amount of organic products that he’d pile into that cart, and he’d never buy those cute kids candy.  I mean, if you’re going to expose them to food, go all the way right?  Do you want paper or plastic?”

“We take credit for being the first place to go to the press,” stated a Mise en Place employee who wishes to remain anonymous.  “For a while he was here once a week picking up two dinners and a few sides.  Occasionally he’d even buy some of those flat pretzels or select from our wide variety of beers in the coolers over there.  I’d recommend the Ithaca Flower Power IPA.  Now we only see him every other week.  Maybe he’s turned a corner.  I know you look at us as bad people for supporting his habit, but hey, a girl’s got to eat.  Wait, that didn’t sound right.  Don’t quote me on that.”

Mr. Hunt has yet to schedule a visit with an eating specialist, but that didn’t stop us from asking a few celebrity doctors for their opinions.  “It’s an addiction, he needs to be strong, own up to it and take care of his family,” stated Dr. Phil.  “Now please turn that recorder off so I can finish my lunch.”  Dr. Drew also chimed in.  “I know my specialty is sexual addiction, but I just love being on the record so much, I wanted to give you my opinion.  What was the topic again?”

“Please let everyone know that I will kick this addiction and be better than ever,” Mr. Hunt stated to close out a telephone interview.  “My family is in shock at the moment.  They thought everything was just fine and that I was really a normal person.  I would simply ask that you respect our privacy.  All further questions can be handled through my PR team.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m hungry.”