Journal Juice 5 | Identity

I am not who I want to be. Does that mean I am not who I am supposed to be? I do not know. I only know that I am not who I envisioned myself to be according to the fantasies and daydreams from today and yesterday, even going all the way back to my adolescence.  According to my six year old self, I am not the singer I am supposed to be. The ten year old Me barks that I am nowhere near the drummer I am supposed to be. The thirteen year old Me shakes his head because I am not the artist I am supposed to be. The fifteen year old Me screams that I am disappointingly not the guitarist I am supposed to be. How about that nineteen year old Me who professed himself to be a writer? Said he was going to write dozens of novels? The twenty-something Me has a litany of under-achievements I have amassed. Perhaps most egregiously I am not the father my twenty-one year old self had espoused to be. In recent years I have also come to realize I have not been the husband, son, brother nor friend I had longed envisioned myself to be. So who am I? What is my identity? Do I want a new identity? Do I want to be someone else? No. None of this is to suggest that I am not grateful for my life. Or family. Friends. Acquaintances. Accomplishments, thus far. It just means I aim for more. To do more. To be more. I just want to be the ideal Me doing ideal things that ideally enrich the lives of all those I encounter, and those who encounter my music, my stories, my children. Identity is that lasting thing we leave behind when we’re dead and gone.


Read: Love Invents Us by Amy Bloom

Watched: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Sons of Anarchy: Season 6

Listened: Alice in Chains, Esthero, iFanboy podcast, Flunk, Hooverphonic, Menomena, The Nerdist Podcast, Russian Circles



Journal Juice 4 | Noise

I remain in awe of those – particularly writers, but any creative folk – who can effectively eliminate the Noise with even just a modicum of success. External. And Internal. Noise is generally that thing that imposes itself within the path of the Muse.

External Noise is, at least for me, all that goes on around me during creative peak times. Not all of that Noise is bad or even necessarily a hindrance. After all, a great deal of it will in turn inform and service the art of which I am compelled to create. However, going with the general law of averages, to what average does that truly amount? A mere 10% of useful Noise? So what to do with the remaining 90%? That surplus is the struggle. Because we are not manufactured with natural, automatic smart-filters. We must manually, and quite deliberately, apply our filters. The rub, or should I say the fear, is that while filtering we might somehow inadvertently block some of which should be included in the better percentage. Thus, there is temptation to be a little lenient where that’s concerned, when really we should probably take a more rigid hard line and be done with it. The successful ones do.

And what of Internal Noise? Oh, that can be equally nasty stuff if left unchecked by a hard and fast filter. Voices from within delivering Noise is not a situation to be trifled with in the absence of due diligence. Sure, they present themselves as friendly entities, but they can be sinister, turning your Muse against you, or worse, you against your Muse. When that occurs your intentions can be compromised, your progress minimized and your confidence severely marginalized. The wrong internal voice could make you not unlike the proverbial dog chasing its tail, or the coiled serpent devouring itself from its tail-end.

So again, I am in awe of those with filters firmly in place keeping the optimal amount of Noise at bay. I wish to become more like those folks.


Watched: Prometheus deleted scenes

Listened: Modest Mouse, Outkast, God Forbid

Journal Juice 3 | When Words Fail

There are some moments…and days…when nothing you say comes out right and nothing you write reads articulate. In other words, there will be times when your most useful tool fails you. When that happens, should you speak anyway only to at some point find yourself eating your misspoken words? Should you write anyway, knowing that at some point, particularly with the help of a computer and a word processor, that you can erase and rewrite those words, reshape and re-present the core message of what you truly wanted to say originally? Yes, that may very well be the answer. Write. Don’t speak. However, before you write…read. Reading will always better inform the tongue. Reading will always sharpen your pencil and put ink into your pen. Reading will make your fingertips anxious for the tik-tak-tik of the keyboard. When your own words fail, read.

Journal Juice 2 | Self-Audit

When you’re looking down the road you’re on and you can see the crossroad to middle-age on the horizon down there, you tend to start reevaluating things, perhaps most importantly the state of the world, your place in it and ultimately where you are in life. What did today’s audit reveal to me? Well, I’m a lot more conflicted now than I ever thought I would be at this age. As a progressive-minded person, this revelation comes heavy. My other problem? I require entirely too much external validation of who I am and what I do, or can do if given the opportunity. It’s not about being popular or becoming famous. It’s about simply being acknowledged. It’s ultimately about acquiring respect as a valuable member of society, in all the ways I am able to be. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. But it shouldn’t be.


Listened: Sepultura, Outkast

Watched: The Flash, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

Journal Juice 1 | Overcast

Overcast 1

The persistent overcast of our Midwestern autumn sky is nothing short of an adversary. Its stunning monochrome of colorless oppression aims to maim the ability to ascend above an intermediate outlook. Optimism becomes elusive and joy seems just as ethereal. It’s days on end this time of year and the overcast is stubbornly unyielding as if it has waged a personal vendetta upon the soul, the inner being which craves for that glorious candescence during daylight hours. It is only below and within that transient yet nurturing light that a body can thrive and flourish, and be with sound mind and intentions. An opaque and sunless sky is really no sky at all when one regards it like a canopy of restriction. In my wayward mind I imagine this to be akin to a forsaken locale under a dome. Which is to mean that I am effectively an insect trapped in a jar from which I will not be liberated.


Listened: Carcass, Wu Tang Clan, Ani Difranco, Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse