Category Archives: the haps

35 Things I’ve Learned In 35 Years

Me, back when I was 34

me, back when I was 34

Wow, it feels incredibly strange to type the words! If you’re reading this, I’m huddled in a ball somewhere weeping. Just kidding! That’s what I did when I turned 30. But no, today I’m 35!

People always remark how great it is to be in their 30’s. I’d always blocked said commentary because let’s face it, personal anecdotes about getting older are never any fun.

Today I’m officially in my mid-thirties – feeling more confident, increasingly self-aware, and willing to hear someone out on a boring story. Above all, I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I was at 27 or even just a couple of years ago.

No doubt I could wake up in a few days completely freaking out (will someone check on me?), but if I do, I hope I have the good sense to revisit the list below and take a nap, or have a snack, then go outside and dance around in the sunshine.

In celebration of my birthday, here are 35 things I’ve learned in my 35 years.

 

                1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.

                2. Artificial anything just ain’t worth it.

                3. Except it’s okay to sometimes not know your real hair color.

                4. Don’t forget to get out of your comfort zone.

                5. And sometimes wherever you go, there you are.

                6. It’s okay to stay in on Friday night. Or on Saturday night. Or both.

                7. Always know your limits. Respect your boundaries.

                8. You can re-invent yourself at any time.

                9. And never ever stop evolving.

                10. Just don’t evolve into an asshole.

                11. And never accept a job offer where you’ll be working with assholes.

                12. After all, the geek shall inherit the earth.

                13. So make an effort to constantly fill your key cups – family, friends, community, work, and self.

                14. Don’t forget that age doesn’t matter…

                15. …But make sure to always respect your elders.

                16. Reading and writing is good for the soul.

                17. Sending someone a hand-written note yields little investment and high return.

                18. But seriously, one cookie won’t hurt.

                19. Or two.

                20. Always be yourself, no matter what.

                21. And try to live outside of…you know.

                22. Good sneakers and sunglasses are key.

                23. Warm socks and gloves in winter time always.

                24. Fashion and style are distinctly different things.

                25. Fill your home with all your favorite sights, sounds, and smells.

                26. A few tasteful items will always trump lots of random shit.

                27. But it’s okay to splurge on the good stuff.

                28. Be around kind people who make you laugh. Or think. Ideally, both.

                29. Always remember that regular exercise is totally worth it.

                30. And meditation can literally rewire the brain.

                31. Be kind to the world and the world will be kind to you in return.

                32. Everyone should also have a sports team they believe in.

                33. A lot of music from the past 5 years is pretty much derivative.

                34. Still it’s important to have a go-to album for any mood.

                35. Never mind the bollocks.

Tiny Words

Photo

Photo Credit: Modestas Urbonas via Unsplash

Changing the title for this blog, typically, is an instinctual move. Sometimes it’s driven by an SEO experiment, other times by so-called “artistic inclination.” This time around I wanted something more diminutive – a name that wouldn’t be as one-sided, as flippant or obtuse. I also wanted to acknowledge more of what this site actually is – a random place for all sorts of tiny little projects.

You see, some posts contain playlists. Some consist of random musings without images, others are nothing but images. Other posts are tiny bits of poetry, scattered and tagged about – shards of random digits strewn across an unknown server, never finding a home with the exception of perhaps a temporary bookmark stored at some place in time. 

It’s almost fitting that copywriting for apps is similar. Each bit of copy is completely autonomous yet somehow weaves itself into a larger story. Letters are whittled down to the smallest possible phrase while remaining (hopefully) catchy and as action-oriented as possible.

These tiny words must keep all of our tiny screens in mind, mindful of what we want to encourage the user to do. 

Writing for an app is like writing a series of haikus.

Over the years, this site has become an elongated version of that concept.

I renamed this blog to identify the tiny bits of content available through various intonations – a sandbox, if you will – for testing them out. For weaving some sort of larger, non-linear based narrative. 

Usually there’s a steady stream of content but when things get weird in life, as they sometimes do, I run out of things to say. In the last six months things in my personal life have evolved, as life tends to happen in that way, and as evidenced by the emergence of another series that has somehow grown into a place of nourishment, openness, and community. 

For a few years there was a place of sadness and uncertainty that has, in time, been replaced by something stronger and potentially more powerful than ever before. I like to think that my voice has grown and continues to grow every day. I am committed to delivering on this voice as this site itself continues to evolve. 

Thank you for hanging in there with me, dear reader or passer-by, as I posted various interviews, musings, reviews, and write-ups over the years. Thank you for hanging in there when things did get weird and I went away for a little bit. I’m happy to be back. Building again, in my unique way, in this tiny space.

Show Review: The Black Keys in Anaheim

The Black Keys @ Øya 2012

A crisp fall evening brought us to Anaheim to see The Black Keys, show number three in So Cal during their massive worldwide stadium tour.

Two nights earlier the duo from Akron, Ohio — also home to basketball superstar LeBron James, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the first breakfast cereal (Quaker Oats) — arrived in LA where they played back-to-back shows at the Staples Center.

To give you an example of how far the duo has come since their days back in rural Ohio, the LA dates were sandwiched between engagements from Justin Beiber and Madonna.

I hadn’t seen The Keys perform since 2008 when they came through the KCRW studio for their second live performance and interview with Nic Harcourt (the first time they came to the station was nearly a decade ago, in 2003).

I remember when they played the Roxy, and a few years later when they returned to dazzle the crowd at The Wiltern — a slightly larger venue with a capacity of roughly two-thousand.

I remember how thrilling the performance was back then, even when it took place in a tiny, sun-drenched recording studio early in the morning.

When Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) deliver their signature blues-meets-rock sound it always seems to immediately grab everyone in the room. Excessively hooky or not, it’s really hard to not pay attention.

And it’s not the music alone. Something about the concept of a strong musical duo produces a tight-knit and intimate energy that’s oftentimes hard to replicate. Think Jack and Meg, Alison and Jamie, even Matt and Kim.

Years later they infused the exact energy to the present tour, performing for tens of thousands of fans every night.

That night in Anaheim, the band seamlessly translated their reverb-laden, soaring rock sound to a stadium setting complete with trippy visuals, HD cameras, and the pricey beer and hot dogs to match (sadly, no cereal was present at this particular show).

This time around they brought bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist John Wood on board to assist on material from later albums. About halfway through the set, the group stripped back to the original twosome as they proceeded to dive into older material.

Perhaps it was a sigh of relief to witness a real rock show at an arena (the last two I saw were the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga). Or maybe, it was the energy of the crowd I was vibing from. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the wash of the originality, the rhythm and sound, of what we drove an hour and a half to experience. The music. Completely original and synergistic, just as it was back then.

Show Review: Maximo Park in LA

shot with my iPhone 4GS

A mellow Friday night in Los Angeles, CA assembled a veritable mix to see two very different bands at the El Rey as part of the Moheak and Goldvoice Presents – local newbies The Neighborhood and Mercury Prize-nominated Brit-rock band Maximo Park.

Local teens, college kids, music supervisors, and what appeared to be family members of the band gathered to see The Neighborhood who performed songs from their debut album I’m Sorry…..

Not having heard the entire album prior — outside of considering the single “Sweater Weather” to be a catchy tune — the repertoire sounded surprisingly different from what was previously envisioned in my mind.

Their sound had a harder edge to it, and as the singer bounced around in a do-rag and gold chains, I couldn’t help but admire the new band and their seemingly quick ascent to mainstream popularity. It’ll be interesting to see which direction the band chooses to go in next.

Promptly after The Neighborhood ended their set, the Newcastle, England-based band Maximo Park took the stage. This was their last show as part of a short North American stint in support of their fourth album The National Health.

The band was in top form. Paul Smith, the effervescent frontman of the group, jumped across the stage commanding the show with his presence as he danced, yelped, sang, shouted, and chatted along the way. The show could have easily entertained thousands of people rather than the smaller occupance of the El Rey (not a sold out show). It was a treat. The band performed music from The National Health alongside older, familiar songs to Maximo Park fans – “Girls Who Play Guitars” and “Apply Some Pressure.”

All in all, a good night!