Archive for the ‘Blog Entries’ Category

Vacation Is Over…

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

One of the perks to being a Roman Pontifical Student on the other side of the world is a three month summer vacation that lasts until early fall.

This was not only the most time I spent in America since I left, but it was also my first visit back to LA in 2 years, and the longest amount of time I have been able to spend with my family in 20 years.

I worked my ass off all summer to save money for school, was able to help my mother take care of my 101 year old Grandma, play with my nephews, have long talks with my sister, work out as much as I wanted, swim, shop, relax, study (a little), and even handle a list of business affairs.

America is a strange place. Millions of people fight for their right to vote for & donate money to politicians that despise  them, and wonder why nothing really changes for the better. – Never mind that now. I’ve deleted the rest of that rant. I don’t want to talk about our political suicide.

I want to talk about how awesome my friends are.

They rule.

If there is one thing I saw over & over again – it was that 2 years away from America has not made me any less loved. I had friends drive for 8 hours just to pick me up and spend less than that hanging out talking. Strangers gave me a ride home, family put me up and took me to dinner, friends gave me work, went for walks, had coffee, let me borrow gear, rode Harleys with me, cooked for me, took me to meditation gardens, wrote songs with me, laughed, cried, and shared triumphs. I earned almost enough to get through another school year, made payments on old debts, and saw some turtles.

I taught my nephew to sing Dean Martin, listened to my cousin when he needed to be heard, danced with my grandmother, and saw my Mom cry when I had to move on.

I got to perform in New York City and set the vibe for the coolest show I’ve done with my friends in many years, spent a night and day with one of my favorite philosophers, saw the grave of one of my heroes, sang Mambo Italiano with Steve Waddington and my childhood best friend drove 4 hours to hang out for a day.

I’m too tired, moved, and happy to be clever. I just want to say thank you.


Thank you to everyone who didn’t stop reaching out until we saw each other. It wasn’t easy, because my phone # of 14 years was gone, and they all had to work a bit harder to be in touch. But YOU were. And we hung out, and did shit. And it was awesome.

I felt very missed, quite loved, and very, very, happy to be back for a bit.

Now I sit here, in an airport on a loooooong layover, ready to return to Roma and begin a series of difficult studies once again.

Vacation time has come to a close, and a new school year begins.

So much is coming up in the next year – a book, a podcast, a new single, some live shows, and a lot of homework.

I can’t thank everyone enough for this summer. You all made it wonderful, perfect, fun, and energizing.  If I didn’t see you this trip- know that I love you anyway. I didn’t see 90% of the people I wanted to see.  And the best 10% made damn sure we saw each other. That was rad.

Next time I hope to book a little more time in each city.


Actions Have Consequences…

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

While this has always been true, I didn’t quite get it for almost half of my life. Even when I did it took a while to to fully appreciate just how my actions connected to outcomes.

This doesn’t have to be bad news, although too many times in my life it has been. My point is that the Life you and I have is very much a product of the actions we have (and have not) taken up till now. Yes other forces are always at work, circumstances show up every day authored by other powers, and occasionally the wind just blows shit down.

Consequences are valuable to be aware of, and yet I’m not really in the damn mood to talk about them.

I’d rather talk about results.

Results are also given by action, and are very much tied to performance. Different theories decorate the landscape of this arena and many of them are incredible. For now I want to simply remind us all that how we take action, how we perform, and the results we are committed to getting are also tied to something else. How the World occurs to us. I’ve done a bit of research on this matter and the possibility that the occurring world plays a vital role in the way we engage with it has inspired me more than anything else.

There seems to be something underlying our accomplishments and our failures. A contextual factor that make an impact on our very ability to cause an impact, make a difference, or move anything that seems urgent. We know actions have results, and we know that certain actions will give us the results that we really desire.

And yet knowing that isn’t enough.

If it were we’d all be in great shape, rich, educated, and having the time of our lives. We’d be living the life we say we want, whatever that may be. Many of us feel that something is either in the way, or missing altogether.

I am suggesting that there is an action to take which will clarify the matter, and give us all some much needed power in respect to our own sense of ourselves and the adventure we are on. Furthermore it’s something that is somewhat hidden from view.

Instead of giving you the answer I have in mind I’m going to ask you to sit with that a while. Be with it for yourself and take a look at what comes up. Keep in mind that you are never stuck with the answer you get, and contemplating this idea could lead you to a breakthrough bigger than you expect.

I’d love to hear what you come up with.


I Ignore Moments…

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Not one of my more profound confessions perhaps.

I’m not talking about the times when I’m too distracted, or occasions where I just wasn’t paying attention. Hell, maybe that’s all involved too.

What I mean is that again and again people I love, people I adore, people I am committed to – feel ignored. There have been these moments on & on in my life where I just didn’t know what to say. And instead of telling the truth and just saying that, I just hit some kind of fast forward button.

I suck at goodbyes, I’m average at apologies, and I could probably do a better job of making my girlfriend feel like a Queen.

I go to great lengths to acknowledge people I care about, and some of them still feel ignored, left out, or uncared for. Either some of my friends are narcissistic as shit, or I need an awareness tune-up. (hint: probably a bit of both.)

I spend time onstage, and then I hide. I’m in the middle of it all, and then way outside. I don’t know why. It’s just who I am, and how I have been. I worked real hard at making the center of my life smaller, and focused. And it worked.

And then I moved to the other side of the world.

I didn’t realize how many people would be hurt by my moving, and even when I knew I wasn’t sure how to feel about it all. When you matter to people are you tethered to them?  My own family love me more than I could ever explain and yet they have always been incredible, supportive, and loving with my need to go where I’m called to go next. Many of my friends have also always given my travels their blessing.

I will say this. Yes I have a lot of room to grow in the area of being thoughtful, and considerate. And yes I could get much better at saying goodbyes, sending cards, and other customary kindnesses.

Now that that’s said… I feel it needs to be mentioned that many of the people who have had real issues with me tended to be assholes themselves with serious personality disorders. For the most part, I haven’t had any drama with anyone who wasn’t nuts. And to be fair, if I was ignoring them, it often had a lot to do with how weird or difficult they were being.

Still it troubles me. If I say something it might be the wrong thing. If I ignore the moments, I appear distant.

What are ya gonna do? Fucked if I know.

The only thing I know how to do is this- I’m willing clean up whatever I spilled. I’m willing to hear you out, and if I was wrong I’ll cop to it.

Life in Florida is much, much, hotter than I’m used to, and more serene than I know what to do with. I only have another month or so here and I want to keep writing. So pardon me if these aren’t making sense. I’m just working at staying in the game.

And the moment…


Hotter Than Hell…

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

But with a much lower cost of living.

Two weeks into my summer back n the States and I’m lost in a culture shock of strip malls, $10 gyms, stores that are open all day, supermarkets that never close at all, and people who only speak English. Don’t ask me how it’s possible to be uncomfortable around all of this ultra convenience – I call it a gift.

Living in Italy has spoiled me. Sure nothing is ever open. But when it is they remember you, and most of the time whatever you buy might be the greatest thing you ever tasted.  Most of the fruit in Florida now tastes like it’s a stage prop. Stay classy Monsanto.

I will say that it’s relaxing, and I’m getting work done. I was able to shop for things I can’t get in Italy, and for other things that are just too expensive to buy overseas.  Italy will never know the magic of discount mail order as long as their postal system is staffed by turtles.

You could make a horror movie (It Came From Wal-Mart) here.

Not that I’m complaining. My mother asked me today if I’m bored. I’m not bored at all. I’m thrilled to be back in America for a few months. I get to work, travel, and see people I miss. I have an Unlimited Phone Plan that I have no idea how to use up because I hardly call anyone, a swimming pool, real bacon (we don’t have that in Italy) and my darling 100 year old grandmother who can still dance.

Even my trip here was amazing. Lufthansa made a 27 hour flight to Florida easy, comfortable and gave me free coffee in Munich. My friend Carissa, whom I haven’t seen since high school, drove 4 hours to hang out with me in Chicago and talk with me all night until my ass early flight out of town. I stayed with my Uncle outside of Orlando, where we were able to reminisce about my childhood, and his unbelievable escapades working for the Space Program and literally putting our family name on the moon. He even packed me a snack lunch for my 4 hour drive to my Mom’s.  And get this – when I returned my rental car a couple at the counter offered to drive me to my Mother’s house saving me $50 on a cab.

So even if it rains everyday and the tomatoes taste like cardboard, even if the Wal-Martians have the run of the place and pasta is 3x the cost, – it’s pretty good to be here.

I’m grateful that I have a family that wants me around. I’m grateful I have a girlfriend back in Italy that misses me. I’m grateful that I have the means to work, save, and visit for a few months before being back in school.

I’ll have some smarty pants thing to say next week, or in a few days, or whenever. The pace of the blue hairs makes Italians look busy. Plus it’s damn near 100 degrees everyday, and my Grandma still wears a hat- that she knits herself.

Wherever you are, and why ever you’re there- gratitude makes it better.

See you all in NYC & LA in Sept.


I Wanted You To Forget…

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

We all have problems. As a wise man once wrote, “We’d hardly be human if we didn’t.”

Our lives haven’t turned out the way we wanted them to, or we look at the state of the world with despair. Whether it’s wars, famine, greed, on going arguments, family issues, teenage angst, education collapse, the economy, or any other of a hundred concerns, we look out at our lives as being riddled and soaked with the stench of problems. Problems that dissolve our spirit to create, love, and enjoy ourselves. Issues that taint our view of possibility, and allow us to resign into a cave of cynical indifference.

I had reached the apex of my own cynical anger in my mid 20’s and decided that since life is such a joke, and nothing ultimately matters, I may as well go for broke and give my dreams all I have. I had nothing to lose because there was nothing to lose. I couldn’t fail, because winning was sort of an illusion anyway. I finally had my license to let go of everything and live for rock n roll like never before.

New York City had almost nothing of a rock scene at the time, and almost overnight it had one of it’s best. I was in a couple of bands, one of which gave me the life I had wanted for a long time. Our side of that bargain as a band was to give You the life you wanted for the 30 minutes we rocked the stage, and every minute in-between at parties, in the bars, and even online. We were committed to you forgetting about your problems. We were committed to the party. We were committed to rocking your ass off and giving you a reason to keep walking with swagger.

I still think that has value today.

The only part that has grown for me is that I see that my entire drive was fueled by a young, angry, psychotic rage that life was a fucking joke, and so we all may as well laugh. I was a pissed off romantic.

Everybody can use a break from their problems now & again. That’s fine.  What I did not know at the time was that I had something to contribute to major issues in life other than an awesome distraction. I had solutions. I had heart. Deep down I had a desire to make a difference and once I allowed myself to care (which is not fun, and therefore doesn’t happen often for us) I was moved into action beyond anything I had ever done in entertainment.

My counseling/coaching work, my writings, speaking engagements, charity events, fundraisers, and projects that I am designing have all come about to raise awareness rather than try to make you forget. I don’t raise awareness about problems.

I raise awareness about solutions. I raise awareness about possibilities. The kind that make a difference just by knowing of them.

If all of this is a bit abstract and vague, pardon me. I’m busting my ass studying for my last final exam in contemporary philosophy and the phenomenologists have not only gotten the best of me, they seem to have even messed with the analytics. If philosophers went to art school we’d soon watch a claymation MTV Celebrity Death Match between Heidegger and Wittgenstein.

The point is that I believed it was possible to live out my rock n roll dreams in a city that had abandoned such music. And then it happened.

Now I know it’s possible to make a difference in people’s lives, and our world is more tuned in to that idea than ever.  Are the state of affairs very inspiring? Maybe not. It sure as hell doesn’t look like things will just ‘work themselves out’ in a way we’ll all be thrilled with. No, today’s world calls for you and I to be on the ball. It says that we must completely give up on waiting for leaders to show up, and Be Leaders Ourselves.

I had elements of leadership when I played in bands, and that got a lot done. And it only happened because I was a part of a team. I saw them all as leaders in their own right.  I didn’t want to just be a rockstar. I wanted to be part of a constellation.

Today I’m clear that you and I are connecting the dots on the greatest constellation the Earth has ever seen.

Thank you for letting me remind you.


For One Reason More Than All…

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

I didn’t understand Father’s Day as a kid. In fact, I didn’t understand the point of any holiday at all unless it was focused on me. My Christmas, my birthday, hell, even your birthday was cool because I was going to get cake.

Thanksgiving was good, because I got to see family that I adored, eat like a madman, and hear awesome  stories about my parents being children while pretending that it was true that my parents had lives before I existed.

You could say I was a rather self centered child, and I wouldn’t mind too much because at least you were talking about me.

My Dad is awesome for more reasons than I have words to share. He gave me my love of music, hot cars, hard work, and taught me to value integrity. We share a love of motorcycles, mountains, and while I’ll never understand why he likes cream soda and he’ll never get why I like KISS – we can drive for 2 days together  and chat the whole time.

My Father showed up for every school play, and every court appearance. He let me believe whatever I needed to believe and never gave up on me, even when I did. He enjoyed keeping a low profile, and still never seemed to mind that I was “Blitch from MySpace”.

He gave me enough issues to be creative, but not so many that I became a psychopath. He has never fully understood me, and yet never stopped trying. The man gives me all of the space I need, and in his heart holds all of the love a kid could ask for. Wise, thoughtful, interesting, honest, humane, and supportive.

My Dad races cars, babysits his grandkids, loves cats, plays guitar, rides a Harley, served his country, brews his own beer, listens more than he talks, and still cuts his own lawn.

I wrote my first single about us, recorded it on his birthday, and when it finally makes me a pile of dough I’m taking him fishing. He’s going to cut the barb off of the hook so he can through the fish back without hurting it, and this time I’m going think that’s awesome.

I can give you reasons why I have the greatest father in the world all day, and they will never give you the experience of being raised by him. And today I get, that the greatest, most wonderful aspect of my Dad, the reason he is in fact the greatest father on earth – is simply because he is mine.

Beyond reasons, I have the honor of being his son.

Happy Fathers Day Dad


One More Year…

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

And I can count myself among those who finished university. It’s kind of strange going back to school when you are, well…- over 21. In some ways it helps. I’m much more disciplined than I was at 18, and I have honed my mind for philosophy in ways that I couldn’t have back then.  I also stopped caring about the kinds of things that tend to dominate the lives of younger students. Does my Professor like me? Do I like them? Should I join a fraternity? Is this a good party school? Can I get laid at this school? What am I going to do after I graduate? How on earth will I pay off these loans… etc

If you’ve been reading for a few years, or if you are the type to back read you know that years ago during a total bottom I declared that I was going back to school. I didn’t even have a good job at the time. All I knew was that I’d dreamed of finishing my degree since I dropped out of college and that come hell or high water I was going back to kick ass.

My list of dreams that came true reads like a work of fiction. I dreamed of living in New York. It was home for 11 years. I dreamed of acting on stage & screen. Off- Broadway theatre, a self written One Man Show, and an unforgettable spot on the History Channel were some highlights. I dreamed of having a rock band and being a part of a local scene. My last 5 years in NYC were about as rock n roll as it gets. I dreamed of living in a warehouse loft. Not only did I, but my band lived next door, and I made a handsome living renting out lofts for years.

I had motorcycles, lived in Japan, lived in LA, played every club on the Sunset Strip, recorded my own songs with my best friends, swam with dolphins, skydived with a genius, moved to Italy, prayed with monks, laughed with orphans, and road tripped with my younger brother without a single fight despite breaking down several times. I’ve had my own clothing line, the cover of a rock n roll newspaper, and got to wish my Grandmother a happy 100th birthday in person.

All dreams. Every single one of them. Every. Single. One.

Now I am closer than ever to another one.

Hard at work on a few of them in fact.

Whatever your dreams are, I promise you they are yours for a purpose. Serious action is the only thing that ever moves the unmovable.

A declaration is a serious act.  Follow it up with a plan, daily work, and goals that light a fire under your ass and you have the makings of another life.

Not happy with your life? Don’t wait on being rescued. Don’t wait for an invitation. Forget permission, and only take advice from people who win on a regular basis. Listen to those who know the thrill of making their own dreams come true and do as much of what they did as you can.

Never whine, complain, or bitch about your circumstances. That’s all a trap and we should have all had that ironed out of us when we were 7.

Thank you, every single one of you who have been supportive along the way. And the few of you who tried to control my walk the way ‘you wanted it done’ – now you know better.

Locomotive, unstoppable, excited, thrilled, grateful, fascinated, and ready to work. Always.

And yes… I had way, way, too much coffee today.



I Don’t Have A Lot Of Friends…

Friday, May 16th, 2014

I have a dynamic and insanely large family – and most of them aren’t blood related.

As a kid I actually had very few friends, and all I wanted was a clique of guys and some cool chicks to hang out with, play cards, go see shows, and party in between.

You could never have convinced me in those years that my circle of friends would span the globe, and that most of them would become my family. I’m blessed to have people walk in as strangers, and stay as brothers. My 2 brothers are my best friends, and my best friends have become brothers, sisters, uncles, and a few would even adopt me if I asked.

People say they get married because they’re in love and want to start a family. I have no idea how that works. All I know is that I am surrounded by more love than I could ever ask for, and those that know me know they are more family to me than friends. My Dad told me as I was young to choose my friends carefully and watch who I call ‘friend’- for only a few people would deserve such an honor.  I love my father, and he is wise. However… I’m too reckless for that. I’d rather throw myself into the wind, waves, and dash upon the rocks of life. I’ve been wild, free, and willing to risk taking rides in life with strangers, and allowing those strangers to become people who matter. After a while I was willing to go even further, and allow strangers to matter whether they became friends or not.

My family are good people. Many were raised to be doctors and lawyers and marry doctors and lawyers. They are kind, loving and wonderful. And very, very safe.

I’m not. I’ve allowed friends to become family. I’ve jumped out of airplanes with them, screamed on stage with them, spent the night in jail with them, lived, loved, laughed, cried, wondered, and traveled. We’ve walked through the things together most people would rather run away from. And we’ve become a tribe. A team, a band, a club, a crew, a scene, a crowd, a fellowship, a group, an order, a parish, a people, and even a pain in the ass – if that ain’t family I don’t know what is.

I look out at my Life in awe. The kid I was would scream in happiness at the man that gets to live his Life.

He wanted friends…

He got the greatest, oddest, most diverse family on earth.

He’d know you read this.

And he’d say Thank You.

And I Love You.

Thank you for the pizza, for helping me move, for the ride home, for the 20 bucks (and then some.)

Thank you for the advice, and for staying out of it. Thank you for coming and knowing when to go. Thanks for making me laugh, and letting me down easy. Thank you for not always saying yes, and for that time we just couldn’t say no…

Thank you for showing up, smiling, and being here, there, and up on the roof. Thanks for the memories, and for being a part of my plans.

For all of the things you do that has us be more than friends, whether you thought I noticed or not, I did. And if you wondered if I love you for it –

I do.

You are the best family on earth.


As I’m Told…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Do as I’m told, learn as I’m told, feel as I’m told.

Never been easy for this guy.

I have a rebellious streak that runs deep and has been there as long as I can remember, and for the years I forgot my mother was pretty good at reminding me.

If you tell me to do something, odds are I won’t. If you tell me I’ll love a band, even if you and I like the same music – I won’t listen to them for years.

Same for movies, authors, or what to do with my life. Start a sentence with “You should…” and just know that behind my patient smile is a man not punching you in the face very much on purpose. I can’t help it. I’m just that kind of an asshole.

I’m not proud or ashamed of this. It is just who I am. The trick is to notice it and grow regardless.

When someone asks me a question however- it’s a whole new story. Suddenly I feel free. I become curious. I might even be moved. There have been questions posed to me that rocked my very world. Had they been spoken as commands, I wouldn’t have felt the invitation.

Living in Rome you get told to do a lot of things. On one hand it’s a total police state, but the good news is that they are more like Keystone Cops (look it up). I go to school with a thousand men and women who’ve taken a vow of obedience, something that make me want to throw up. (The vow, not the students.)

So when I tell you that I live my Life in surrender, and listen close for instructions, invitations, possibilities, and direction – know that I don’t take it lightly. I take great care in selecting the men and women I ask for counsel. I am a man who is happy to serve, and thrilled to have a boss I admire. Being my own boss gets me fired anyway.

Many of you are the same. I know because you’ve told me.

Today I don’t have great answers. I have questions. Lots of them. And the solutions take time, collaboration, and creativity. I’m learning to relax my rebellious inner child, because some invitations don’t get printed on my favorite colored paper. Some opportunities are too great to give a shit about my difficult nature. They just show up whether I’ve grown up, or not.

So you can take this for what’s it may be worth to you.

Maybe it helps, maybe it’s a dud. I really don’t know.

I just feel wiped out after this second year at school, and find my brains as scrambled as my eggs. Which is fine because all we really care about is the bacon anyway.

I’ve been writing this blog now for almost 4 years. I only, only, only started it because I was told to. Practically ordered to. I remind myself of the mountain of badass things I have created after somebody pissed me off and told me that I had to. Maybe I would be served to remind myself of that a bit more. Writing changed my life. More than you know.

No witty rap up today, or clever ending.

Just a question,

Did you ask for answers? Did you express questions? Are you listening as if your Life depends on it?

Have an amazing day being amazed.


Honor Isn’t Easy…

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

It’s just simple.

You give your word, and you take responsibility for whether your promise is kept or not. You act in a manner consistent with the person you are at your best, and you treat others with dignity and respect. And there is a bit more to it, however while it may be elegant in its simplicity that doesn’t make living honorably an easy thing to do.

I happen to be rather experienced in making terrible choices, awful errors, and plain dumb mistakes. So many times I ran mouth about how difficult it was to know the right thing to do. I had a long conversation about cost/benefit analysis, more important matters and the greater good. The truth was that unless I was willing to do what needed to be done to restore my own integrity first, all of my chatter was usually bullshit.

I don’t talk about morals, ethics, or objective rights & wrongs much. None of that screaming and lecturing makes a damn bit of difference to people who aren’t even aware of honor.  We live in a time when you can pretty much do as you please as long as you can get enough agreement about it.

I have found incredible value in giving my word. I say who I will be, what I will do, and how I will live  – and I’m not very shy about who knows. And then I live my ass off.

I take responsibility, and invite good men and women to hold me accountable and my adventure has been worthy of a book. Just how much that book will be worth we shall see.

This isn’t very profound, nor earth shaking. It isn’t meant to be.

This is just an invitation for you to join me in giving your word to something and seeing it through. Go ahead and reach for something beyond your grasp, enter a race you can’t win, commit to something you don’t know how to be a success at. It’s a challenge to show up, again & again.

Almost everyday I go to school with men and women who have given their entire lives to something no one knows how to do until they do it. I see masterful works of art created by human hands that gave everything for a dream. I read books penned by those who would rather die in uncharted lands than live warm, safe, predictable lives at home.

It isn’t about genius, or exceptional talent. Keeping my word has been a skill I have crafted over many years. I didn’t have the guts to do half of the things I did until I stepped out in front of my own life and declared that something badass was about to go down.

None of this is easy. Just awesome.

And if you need to be lit up, dazzled and inspired before I send you off… shame on you.

Think for a minute what life might look like if you gave your word to things and then did them. If you walked into the unknown, from the unknown. What could your life look like if you had the power to inspire yourself with the very sounds that came out of your mouth?

That my friends is freedom.

And you can waste your time talking about freedom, or you can give your time, your heart, your life to creating it.