Plan B?

I am currently sitting outside and writing this on the patio in front of the rented space that I call my home.  I was working on writing something else but now I'm writing this.  I was enjoying a cup of coffee, as I often do in the morning.  I just went to reach for my coffee mug, but stopped mid reach because a bee has just landed on the table right next to the handle of my coffee mug.  I'm starring at it right now.  It sits there motionless, with what appears to be no immediate intentions of moving.  I wonder what it is thinking.  It doesn't appear to have any ill will towards me, and I too have no ill will towards it.  I imagine that it has no desire to cause me any harm, nor do I to it.  So, here I sit, continuing to write and express myself while it lightly brushes its wings and does the secret beautiful things that bees do when you have the opportunity watch one up close like this.  After all, for whatever reason, it flew to this table where I am sitting and decided to land by my enormous green Rainforest Cafe coffee mug.  However, I don't want to be stung simply because I desire another sip of coffee, so I'm waiting and continuing to type away on my iPad.  No intention of leaving still, so I begin to appreciate it for its subtle parallels to life and just as I do that, it flies away to continue its busy day of bee things.  

 

I take a big rewarding sip of my coffee and I can't help but think back to a few weeks ago when something very similar happened.  I was sitting outside and writing just as I am now, and a bee did the exact same thing, however, it decided instead to fly around me cyclically and eventually landed right on my shirt.  I remained motionless and let it do its bee things for about 5 or 10 minutes.  It eventually launched into the air again, only to continue to fly around me.  I sat there trying to remain calm, but this time, it was flying closer to my face and I could hear it's buzzing wings as it continued to make its rounds.  At this point, I freaked out and jumped from my chair and tried to distance myself from the bee as I had no clue as to what its intentions were and I didn't want to be stung.  I ended up standing on the opposite side of the patio and it followed me there, continuing to find interest in me and fly around me half hazard.  I didn't want to hurt the bee so I had no choice but to once again remain perfectly still and let the bee do its bee stuff.  No sooner did I decide to return to a state of calm, than it decided to fly away.  I wonder what it was thinking.  Did I look like a flower?   Was I a layover from its busy day of work doing bee things that only bees know?  What attracted it to me in the first place?  I will never know for sure, but I can't help but be curious; it's the way I've always been.  

 

Patreon

I recently setup a Patreon account in the hopes of speeding up the process of releasing new music and new music videos.

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I'm very grateful for friends, family, and fans who have been so kind as to be a part of this process thus far:

Ron Feldman, Bridget Mackiewicz, Fernando Gallegos, Heather Renz, Brenda Prisk Mattea, Carey Brown, Tim Grobaty, John Sinambal, Matt Vitale, Joshua Jon Day, Megan Kaplinsky, and Yeggi Kaela Watts.

While I realize that this sort of thing is not for everyone, I deeply appreciate the people who resonate with the idea of participating in something like this.

I've been trying, with very little success, to release music on a consistent basis paying professionals to do quality work in the fields that they are good at.  

As a singer/songwriter, I am required to juggle a great deal of tasks, and if I were to be completely honest, it takes a toll on me over time.  It is very stressful and strenuous work being your own booking agent, manager, band organizer, graphic artist, mixing engineer, recording engineer, marketing person, show organizer, etc., while also trying to do the very thing that all the other stuff I just listed is in support of:  write and perform songs, with a band or just solo acoustic.

I have been very fortunate to have artistic friends who have been kind enough to help in any way that they can, from time to time, but at the end of the day, things happen faster and move much more quickly when people are being paid for what they are good at.

I've tried my hand at several different fields within the realm of music, partially out of interest, and also, mainly out of necessity.  For example, I mixed the audio for the video below.  It took me roughly two and a half months.  I read some books.  Did some studying.  Made about 49 mixes of this song (approximately).  Treated my room for recording and mixing.  I had fun doing it to begin with, but it became more difficult, the more time I spent working on it.  During those two and half months, I wasn't writing songs or successfully maintaining the other aspects of doing music business related stuff listed above; I was concentrating on mixing this song.  I became exhausted and depressed after about one month of work on it.  I kept chugging along though.  I took several breaks because it became difficult to have a good objective outlook on the work I had put into mixing the song:

However it turned out, I worked very hard on this, and did the best I could.  However, in the process, I realized that I can't do everything by myself.  I need help.  That is why I am writing this: to ask you for help.  If I have a budget to work with, I can reduce my work load by hiring professionals, and effectively, create more quality art.  Ideally, I hope that I can focus on that, mainly.  This is my goal.  In the meanwhile, I appreciate your attention on the art that is being made, and hope that if you find yourself in a place to pledge even a small amount of money, you would have my sincere and deep gratitude.  Here is a link where you can learn more about how you can help:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4896442

The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost

This is a short story that I wrote several years ago concerning many subjects that I find fascinating.  Perhaps you might as well.  Perhaps not.  I humbly offer it to you though, either way.

 

 

The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost

By Michael Patrick Vitale

“Oh Jesus,” Edward says as he leans away from his wife and closer towards his passenger window, getting a better view of the protestor’s primal volcanism.  The crowd outside just noticed his limousine and begins to ooze from the sidewalk, into the roadway, blocking his driver’s path.  Edward’s eyes languidly survey the crowd of activists as he shakes his head in disbelief and rests his nose on the cold glass for a moment.  His view of the estrangement outside is gradually lost as his passenger-side window fogs up from the warm air of his breath, pulsing against his chilled view of the world outside.  

The soft and eloquent leather of Edward’s seat squeaks and crackles as he sits back.

His wife, Lauren, breaks the silence with a soft sympathetic click of her tongue.  She says, “People are equally as fickle as they are thankful Edward, especially when new ideas challenge the beliefs they were raised on.”

Their driver slowly parts the ocean of protestors with their brightly painted signs, chanting, “Life is sacred, death should be respected.”  The limousine eventually settles in front of an elegant architectural tower of steel and glass—the epicenter of the crowd’s disdain: Cosgrove Industries.

Lauren leans in towards her husband and says, “Perhaps faith is like that foggy window of yours,” kissing him on the lips, and then fading back towards her seat with his chin resting on her delicate fingertips, “and science… science will allow those people outside the opportunity to get their nose off of the glass and clear away the condensation that obscures their view.”  She slowly draws her hand back and adjusts the geometry of her head so that she is staring up, squarely into Edward’s eyes.  She smiles.

Edward does his best to return the smile, but his efforts more closely resemble a guy yanking his cheeks up towards his eyes.  He looks down at his feet.

Lauren can’t help but giggle from his effort and says, “Are you smiling or wincing?

“That was supposed to be a smile.” Edward fidgets with the handle on his door.

“Could have fooled me, Clint Eastwood.”

Edward chuckles.

“Ah, there he is.”

He smiles, this time, of the far more authentic variety.

“I feel like a magician—I just made that furrow in your brow…” she claps her hands together and then pushes them apart from one another with a glitter of dancing fingers, and whispers, “disappear,” with a slight lean towards macabre entertainer, as if she has yet another trick up her sleeve for her make-believe audience.

They both laugh for a moment.

The driver exits the vehicle and sluggishly elbows his way around the protestors surrounding the limousine in order to open the door for Mr. Cosgrove. 

As Edward’s passenger door opens the furious clatter and chants of the protesters pierce the silent steel bubble they had a moment ago.  He puts his right hand on the roof of the car to exit, looks back at his wife and shouts over the noise, “Today is the day.  I can feel it.”

Lauren wags her head in understanding.  “Tell mother I said hello and give your father my love,” hollering over the commotion from outside. 

Edward leans in to kiss his wife goodbye and silently mouths the words I love you before stepping into the street.

The intonations from the protesters echo off the face of his huge downtown skyscraper, housing 37 separate business endeavors first began by Mr. Edward J. Cosgrove nearly 44 years ago at the tender age of 18.  Nearly all of his business efforts have reshaped human existence.  His inventions, discoveries, and philanthropy have allowed the blind the basic human right of reading their personal mail or gaping in awe from a vanilla-orange sunset; the deaf to listen to an ocean and appreciate the numerous works of Beethoven; the paralyzed the ability to walk to the bathroom and relieve themselves, not to mention the necessary clean up afterwards, in privacy.

       He pushes forward, trailblazing with his arms and elbows amongst the hysteria surrounding his enormous place of business and slowly works his way forward, away from the limousine behind him.  Peripherally he hears a break from the two-tone chant emanating from all around the tight sphincter-like pathway of human beings.  He hears a man.  He hears his violent words strike him like the sound of colliding steel amongst the everyday noise of commuter traffic: “You’re a fucking monster.”  He feels something wet hit his face.  Cosgrove digs through his jacket pocket, stops, and then wipes away the sulfur-hued snot from his face with a handkerchief, resuming his efforts towards the front entrance of Cosgrove Industries without looking back.  

The opulent ground floor of his building houses a lovely fountain with holographic images projecting onto a dancing wall of water.  Structural pillars double as towering, concise, digital screens, projecting relaxing computer-animated simulacrum to the visitor: flowers, ponds, stone gardens, flowing water, aquariums.  Edward waves to the on-duty security guard.   He calls the elevator.  Going up.  Edward feels close to home.

       110th floor.  The elevator chimes; the doors slide open.  Edward takes a deep breath, exhales, smiles, and then moves forward saying, “Good morning, Mother.”

       “Good morning, Son.  How’s my baby doing?”

       “Oh, better—now that I’m here.”

       “That’s good, baby.  That’s wonderful.  Don’t let the troglodytes outside bother you.  Today is the big day. Your father will be so proud.  We should wake him.”

       “I agree, Mother.”  Edward points with his thumb like a hitchhiker. “I’m going to go grab a cup of coffee down the hall and we’ll get started.”

      “Oh dear, I wish you wouldn’t rely on coffee so much.”

       Edward walks briskly towards the break room, conceding to his mother’s testament with a simple gesture: both hands, raised in front of him.  “I know, I just like the way I think afterwards.”

       “I’ll wait for you here,” she says with a fine-have-it-your-way laugh.

     After Edward pours himself his first cup of coffee, he turns away from the kitchenette and leans his body against the countertop.  He takes a cautious sip and stares at the wall adorned with his various accomplishments: A Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from MIT, a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Anthropology from Harvard University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, American Medical Writers Association Awards, an Inventor of the Year award from MIT, The Nation Medal of Technology, and honorary doctorate degrees from several major universities, amongst many others.  Like his Mother and Father, both MIT graduates and scientists, he has focused his life on the pursuit of knowledge, and the betterment of humanity.  Many of the exponential leaps in modern medicine and computer science all have Edward J. Cosgrove to thank for his contributions—both intellectual and financial.  While still attending Harvard Medical School, Cosgrove sold his first business venture for $500,000 to Reed, Sterling, and Deerworth.  He in turn used this capitol to finance his ideas and subsequent business ventures, eventually becoming a billionaire philanthropist.  If he hasn’t thought it up, he’s most likely financed it.

    His recent accolades have all stemmed from his research and breakthroughs using nanotechnology, focusing on the medical benefits of these devices.  Edward’s current financial and intellectual endeavors are centered on the mapping of the human brain, using advancements in nanotechnology and his subsequent development of artificial intelligence.  He, as well as his mother and father, have worked diligently to answer questions regarding self-awareness.

       Edward takes another sip of his coffee and saunters back into the main laboratory, hand in pocket. “So, how is father doing?”

       She settles on a sighing, “Oh,” a very low pitch emanating from the primal basement of doubt and worry, before continuing: “His vital signs are stable however I am especially worried about him today.  He’s been pretty unresponsive to most of my conversation this morning… I imagine he’s just a bit nervous.”

       “To be honest, Mother, I’m a bit nervous.”

       “Oh, you needn’t be dear.  He’s a strong man—this is why I love him.  Everything will work out just as planned.”

       As Edward walks towards his father’s medical quarters, he asks, “Is he still sleeping?”

       “Yes, we should wake him.”

       Down the hall from the main laboratory, a frail Joseph Cosgrove rests comfortably on an assisted breathing device.  Granted, there were the salad days without the bedpan, but on the other hand, there was a time in Joseph’s youth when he used to relieve himself in an outhouse.  He has seen the advent of the automobile.  He’s witnessed a human being escape the confines of Earth’s gravity for the first time, conquer the math behind acquiring an orbit, and finally landing on the moon.  He’s gaped at the advent of nuclear energy.  He and his colleagues were responsible for the first functioning quantum computer at MIT.  He’s discovered, first hand, the benefits of nanotechnology.  And in his old age, he has witnessed the first unique artificial intelligence to display, at least what appears to be, human emotion.

       Edward Cosgrove slowly runs his fingers through his dad’s hair and whispers into his ear, “Good morning dad.  How are you feeling this morning?”

       Joseph groggily opens his eyes, lifting his volatile left hand to move the breathing apparatus from his mouth in order to speak.  However, Edward gets there first and gently urges his father’s erratic hand back to a resting position. Joseph smiles softly and says, “Hey Tiger, good morning.

       “Today is the big day, dad.  Are you ready?”

       “Ready as I’ll ever be, Edward.  However, I’m wondering if you’re prepared for this.”

       “Oh believe me, father, I can hardly contain my excitement!  Think of the possibilities!  Eventually, you’re going to be able to run again!  The subcontracted development of a full-body prosthesis for you has been completed and is in testing as we speak.  We are continuing our efforts on the fully organic equivalent.  After I am satisfied with their results on your new organic body, I will give the green light on testing.

       Joseph’s brow furrows suddenly during his son’s excitement as he sighs and looks away.  He says, “Son, I’ve been avoiding this conversation for far too long.  We need to talk.”  Joseph takes a moment to gather him self before beginning what he knows to be an uncomfortable exchange of words. “Have you ever considered the spiritual implications behind what you are attempting?”

       “What do you mean dad?  Like whether or not God would approve?”  He chuckles, “Dad you know that I’ve never been one to believe in century old cults—some omnipotent grandfather who observes my scientific trespasses from some ethereal cloud, passing judgment on what he views as my indiscretions.  Besides, I don’t need that anyway.”  Edward points emphatically towards his father’s 110th floor window.  “If I wanted or required anyone to pass judgment on my actions, I could simply visit the mayhem happening down stairs; I’m sure they would be more than happy to accommodate.”

       “Oh son, that’s not what I mean.”  Joseph closes his eyes for a moment and takes a deep and difficult breath, “I don’t know where I am going—I don’t know whether there is somewhere for me to go.  I know that I am here right now, with you, but will I be when everything is complete?  

       Edward leans in to his father with deep sincerity, “Yes,” he whispers in a breathy confidence, “absolutely!  I know that everything will be just as it is now.”

       “How do you know that for you sure, Edward?  Despite all of the research, despite all of your hard work, despite all of your success, as scientists, we can only make conjectures when it comes to the unique nature of self-awareness.  You have mapped the human brain, and we think we understand the biochemistry behind its function: but, does that really lend towards any further understanding of the human soul?” Joseph leans on those last two words with all the urgency and passion he can muster—his words, then, like a dead body, slowly lose their buoyancy, sinking into the dark depths of a calm lake of silence.  He tries to make eye contact with Edward.  “Here you are talking to me right now—I want you to ask me a question.”

    Intrigued by Joseph’s request, Edward leans in slightly.  “What question would you like me to ask you, dad?”

    This pleases Joseph, “I want you to ask me whether I’m alive.”

    Edward pauses, “Are you alive?”

    “No,” Joseph whispers, delicately.

    Edward scoffs, “That’s obviously a lie, pop.”

    Joseph’s face brightens with the opportunity of debate, grinning as he continues with his argument.  “How do you know whether my answer is truth or lie, son?  You don’t—it’s impossible for you to.  Any form of intelligence is capable of a lie, whether organic or artificial.  Think back on the early forms of artificial intelligence we created together using algorithms.  Our Talkbot application would learn to answer questions and hold conversations based off of all previous interaction with humans—much like how a human child learns to communicate.  Now, you tell me: if you were to ask Talkbot if it were alive, what would its answer have been?”

    Edward prods his tongue into the lower-right molars of his mouth.  He knows his father has a good point, and this is no comfort to their situation.  Having sufficiently milked his ego of its pride like a morning cow, Edward replies, “Talkbot would say, ‘Yes, I’m alive’.”

    “Exactly, son—and perhaps it was.  Who are we to know?  We are not Talkbot.  There is no certainty to science; we only pretend to lay a great foundation for our collective knowledge on some strange beast of lie we call fact: a well-thought-out and tested thesis arrived at, scientifically, and widely accepted as nothing short of actual.  And sadly, the more intelligent we become as a species, conversely, the more inclined are we to prejudice and ignorance, completely unawares of all our transgressions in those departments; we conduct ourselves with far more certainty than we deserve, even through our rigid observational methods and standards.  We’re blinded by our own scientific dogma and satisfied enough to elevate ourselves to the complexities and chaos of creation if not just to satiate our curiosity about its elegance… and deep mystery.”

Edward stares off at some indistinguishable point on a wall while Joseph continues.   “Look, son.  I know that I am.  I have experiences that are solely my own by interpretation.  I know that I think and perceive in a manner that is unique unto me, and my brain.  However, do any of us really know for certain how this equates to the soul?  My brain, in all its subtle intricacies, creates I, and I am my brain.  Can the two be separated from one another?  Despite your research and findings, I am not so sure.”   

       Edward is becoming noticeably flustered and Joseph pauses.

       “Well, what about Mother?” Edward asks.

       Joseph licks his parched and cracked lips and says, “Yes, what about your mother”—Joseph chuckles, “son you are an absolute marvel.  I am so very proud of you.  I need you to know that.  Within our lifetime, your mother and I have created great many a thing, but you, by far, are the greatest of our creations.  I remember the day you were born.  Have I ever told you that story?”

       Edward closes his eyes and shakes his head slowly from shoulder to shoulder.

       Joseph continues, “If I remember correctly, your mother and I were at a party celebrating the completion of a processor we had been entrenched in for the past several months at MIT.  I remember that we were both speaking with Richard Fulbright,” Joseph’s eyes gloss over with a sweet reminiscent glaze, “he was quite the character.  He had such a vivid imagination and a wicked sense of humor.  He was actually responsible for most of the databases compiled on human subjects in order to improve our artificial intelligence research—human experiences and so forth.  At any rate, your mother and I were nearly in tears from some story that Richard was telling us when her water broke.  I remember feeling like an absolute wreck as I rushed her to the hospital.  It was in the wee hours of the morning, and your mother was a few weeks early.  The doctor arrived in a posh tuxedo from a dinner party and didn’t have enough time to get scrubbed up before you came popping out—you were always in a hurry.”  Joseph grins and can’t help but laugh as he reaches the climax of his story.  “No sooner did you burst out of your mother than did you urinate all over the good doctor.”  His laughter segues into a violent fit of coughing.  Joseph regains his composure, smiles again up at his son, and does his best to clear his throat and continues with the story.  “Anyway, the doctor says, ‘Well, at least we know that works’.”  

Joseph puts his worn hand over his son’s.  “Mister, you were always destined to make a lasting impression.”

       Edward begins to cry and rests his head on his father’s chest.

       “Son, I need you to know that you weren’t responsible for what happened to your mother.  Complications are what they are.  No one could have foreseen the health issues that arose from her condition after she gave birth.  She lived a long and fruitful life and had the blessing of seeing you before she passed.  She would be so absolutely proud of you had she the opportunity—I know this in my heart.”

       Joseph anchors his shaking hand on Edward’s cheek, “You have done amazing things with Richard’s database and research.  She seems as real as the wife I knew and loved.”

       Joseph is suddenly overcome with a far more violent fit of coughing; his breathing becomes erratic and he loses consciousness.  Edward tries to help his father with his breathing apparatus. The electrocardiogram suddenly jumps from a steady rhythmic pulse to an erratic and random set of V’s along the screen.  Edward pushes away the stool he was sitting on and quickly moves towards the computer equipment permeating the outskirts of his father’s medical quarters with the composure of confidence.  

       “Mother, bring the servers online and begin the database transfer from father’s hippocampus and frontal lobes.  I need you to initiate a complete secondary brain scan.  Make sure that everything we have is current in terms of content.   Mother, do we have a compatible rhythm for defibrillation?”

       “Data transfer and secondary brain scan initiated.  Hold on, Joseph.  Current readings suggest cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

       Edward moves over to his father’s bedside, crosses his hands over Joseph’s chest and begins rapidly compressing for several minutes.

       “That’s good, Edward; I have what I need to begin defibrillation.”

       Joseph’s frail muscles contract with each electrical pulse.  After several attempts, the electrocardiogram moves from frequent and erratic V’s, to a slow and wavy line.

       “Data transfer and secondary brain scan complete.  We have what we need, Edward.”

       “Excellent.  It’s 11:47 AM.  I’m calling it.  Go ahead and reboot the servers and let’s see what we’ve got.”

       Several minutes pass before Mother begins to laugh hysterically.

       “What is it, Mother?”

       She continues to chuckle as she says, “Oh, it’s your Father.  He’s always known how to make me laugh.”

       Edward sits back down on his stool and crosses his fingers together in the shape of a small temple, full of all his hopes, desires, and fears.  He comes to rest his mouth on this fashioned temple made of his own two hands, takes and gives breath to its fleshy and unique walls, and speaks from its altar: “Daddy, are you there.”

       “Yes, Son.”

 

 

 

 

 

A Time Machine

Every Saturday night, I play a gig at a resort in Carlsbad, CA.  The place is called Park Hyatt Aviara Resort.  I live in Long Beach, so it normally takes me about an hour or two to get there, depending on traffic, and about an hour on the way back.

I used to listen to music most of the way there.  It varies.  I normally do some vocal warmups when I'm feeling studious.  However, as of late, I've been calling my friends to talk while I drive.  It's a great time to catch up with everyone I love.

At any rate, one such conversation with one of my friends brought back a memory from my childhood. 

I attended an elementary school in Visalia called Crestwood.  I grew up right across the street from that school, which was pretty cool.  It was a giant playground right across from my house, so it was the perfect place to meet people and to engage in things to do.  Play basketball.  Play baseball.  Just play.  I really enjoyed playing sports growing up.  I dreamed of being a professional athlete for a small stint.

I was a very shy kid.  In some regards, I still am.  I try to get myself out of my comfort zone as much as possible, but, it's a constant effort to break out of that mold.  Perhaps you can relate.  Perhaps not.

I spent much of 5th grade and 6th grade recess playing football with my classmates.  I made what I thought at the time, were friends, participating in this daily activity.  It was fun.  I continued my efforts to reach out to some of these individuals, through extra curricular activities like Boy Scouts of America.  I enjoyed it very much, because it helped me to meet people and get out of my shell a bit, and I learned about survival and the wilderness. 

However, I made a mistake, as we all do, one day.  I upset my father with this mistake, and as punishment, he forced me to quit Boy Scouts of America.  The mistake I made was contrary to the code of conduct and ethics instilled in its participants.  Because of this, it affected by ability to further connect with my peers.

A few years later, during junior high, I tried my best to reconnect with one of the kids that I was in Boy Scouts of America with.  However, my efforts were met with a lack of enthusiasm.  I was bullied by this individual.  He took every opportunity possible to try and pick a fight with me.  It started as verbal putdowns, and eventually grew into physical engagements such as throwing basketballs at my head during P.E. or a shove to the ground for no reason.  I tried my best to not engage in what he wanted, which was a fight.  Instead, I just accepted the punishment and ridicule.  I didn't want to be hurt, but I certainly didn't want to be his enemy either.  I gave up and kept my distance from him, as I assumed that my absence from his life would better suit the both of us, and I was scared of what I might do if I allowed myself to become angry.  He was the son of the Cub Scout master I had in elementary school.  I wanted to be his friend, but he didn't reciprocate that desire.  So, we never became friends.

I went about life.  Found things I loved, like music.  I would see him from time to time.  We would not engage each other, even in junior college.

One day, I was talking to a mutual friend of ours in junior college.  He asked me why I didn't talk to Paul.  I explained to him that my efforts were never reciprocated, and told the story I just told you. 

Our mutual friend, as adults typically do, explained to me that Paul had a bit of a rough go growing up.  His father was not very kind to him.  Paul's father physically and verbally abused him.

I was crushed by this information.  As a twenty year old, I looked back on Paul's behavior growing up, and realized that he was in a great deal of pain at that time.  It had nothing to do with me.  

To this day, I can't possibly process all the intricacies of what it is to be a human being.  What it is to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  I try my best.  Any frustration or anger I felt towards Paul, was replaced with anguish and sympathy for what he inherited.

I'm thirty seven years old now, driving back from a gig in Carlsbad.  Music off.  I'm just thinking.  Remembering my life.  Building a time machine constructed of human experience.  This time machine can only travel to where I've been.  I travel to my past.  I have yet to manifest a future to travel to.

I've made a lot of mistakes that I regret.  I wonder how many times I have been the Paul to someone else's life, without even realizing it.  

I'm not sure that I will ever see him again.  But, should I ever, given the opportunity, I would love to get to know you.  Wherever you are, wherever the journey in life has taken you, I hope this finds you happy and well.  You deserve it.  We all do.  The future is what we make of it.

The First (sort of)

I am trying to eat a bowl of oatmeal right now.  If I were to be completely transparent, this is posing a challenge for me today—eating I mean.  I am full of anxiety.  I am about to put myself out there as I used to do, for years.  This starts off as a frightening experience.  I have been here before; I have been there before; and it is comforting to know where this road leads: to good places.  Life is about taking risks.  All the fun stuff resides on a horizon, riddled with land mines of mistakes on its forefront, on a field of hard work.  In recent years, I have stepped on quite a few land mines.

I was spilling all of my emotional entrails and sharing a lot of what I was feeling right now, on this very page, for the past hour.  However, the delete key on my keyboard has replaced the many paragraphs I had just written, with this sentence.  Now I am here.  I have managed to finish the bowl of oatmeal and I feel a bit better.

I used to do this a lot.  Journal my thoughts, I mean.  I might again because I find it very cathartic.  Believe this, because it is true: I stopped posting these journals (blogs) because my roommate told me he thought it was "kind of lame."  He had his reasons for sharing his thoughts on the matter.  Who is to say whether he was right?  I can say that words are powerful, both my own and everyone else's.  What I give credence to is my own decision, though.  In hindsight, I believe I shouldn't have listened to him.  Only I know what works for me.

Forgive me for not sharing all that is running through my head this afternoon.  I need to get back to what I am working on.  I am putting together a Patreon account to help fund more live recording videos on Youtube.  When it is completed, I will try to remember to post a link to it here.  In the meanwhile, here is a link to my Youtube page:  www.youtube.com/hawklinemonstermusic

Should you happen to find something to like on there, I would be honored to have your subscription and your attention.

I just completed making a video that I worked very hard on.  The recording was effortless because Frank handled that, but mixing the audio myself was very difficult (it took me nearly 2 months).  We have performed this song many times together live, so no rehearsal was necessary. 

The finished product is what it is.  It's a song I wrote called "Fool For You."  I recorded it live with my friends Frank, Tom, and Brad.  My friends Damian and John did the filming and the lighting for it.  They are all amazing artists and I absolutely adore making creative stuff with them.  The Patreon account is to help fund that desire.  People deserve to be payed for their talents and the money is going to them.  It will pay for rehearsals, production costs, audio mixing, video editing, and hopefully studio time.  I would like to focus exclusively on new material I have written, which will require rehearsals before recording the song live.  It will also ensure faster turnaround of a finished product.  Here is what we made together:

 

 

This, what I am writing, is for you as much as it is for me.  If I were to keep it to myself it would just be for me.  I prefer this though.  Thank you for taking the time to read it.  I have much to share with you.

xoxo

- Michael