A touching blog about practice and the love of a mother. Always happy to see the next generation carrying on the musical flame!

A Holistic Journey

Two years and 11 months Two years and 11 months

According to Malcolm Gladwell, behind the genius of high-achievers that leaves us spellbound you really have just 10,000 hours of practice.

Let’s see what this might look like for you as a drummer, Tennyson:

You’ve put in at least 500 hours thus far.

1 hour of practice a day, 35 free days in a year –>
330 hours
the next 5 years –>
1650 hours plus the 500 = 2150 hours by the age of 12

The next 12 years, double the daily hour –>
660 hours every year, a total of 7920 hours
plus the ones from the first 12 years = 10,070 hours by the age of 24

Unless an earthquake brings this house down or you find yourself with a single parent, you will continue to have every opportunity to play. And even in the tightest straits we will sell the furniture…

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FCKH8’s “F-Bomb Princess” video isn’t offensive—it’s exploitative.

I studied with Rebecca Hains as my time as Journalism undergrad at Salem State University on how to do graphic design, in my post graduate time I also discovered Hains is an excellent Op-Ed writer. Just to clarify, I have yet to watch the “F-Bombs for Feminism” video, and I likely won’t do so since it’s exploitative.

Dr. Rebecca Hains

Yesterday, for-profit T-shirt company released a video called “F-Bombs for Feminism: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Use Bad Word for Good Cause.” The video features five angry girls, ages 6 to 13, who express outrage at society’s sexist treatment of girls and women while decked out in princess attire.

F-Bombs for FeminismThe video opens with the girls sweetly cooing, “Pretty!” while posing in their gowns and tiaras. But three seconds later, they switch gears and shout: “What the fuck? I’m not some pretty fuckin’ helpless princess in distress. I’m pretty fuckin’ powerful and ready for success. So what is more offensive? A little girl saying ‘fuck,’ or the fucking unequal and sexist way society treats girls and women?”

As the video progresses, the girls review the ongoing issues of inequality, systematic discrimination, and sexual violence faced by women in the U.S. They pepper these facts with more f-bombs, of course.

This combination of pretty pink princesses and relentless use of the…

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Upcoming Projects

I won’t say it’s been a while since I always say that, but it has been quite some time. I’ve been dealing with a wicked case of writers block lately, but I think I’m coming out of it now. 

Upcoming projects for August: 

“People Suck” 

“Kevin Card’s Half Year Music Awards” 

“Love and Loss, Our Fascination with Breakup Songs” 

More to come folks! 


Reflecting on 2013 and 2014 in My Life

Hello again WordPress, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy working my first full-time permanent job as an auto insurance salesman, and organizing things with my band prepping for our first show on June 20th. The thing I’m going to write about today is the difference time brings, namely the darkness of 2013 and the light of 2014.

If there was one word to describe how 2013 treated me it would be “agonizing”, a sentiment that this solo performance from Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin expresses quite eloquently with this video:

Becoming single after four years, my ex keeping my cat, and long periods of unemployment of losing (and skipping) to different jobs can really get a person down (especially one fresh out of college). It was a huge emotional struggle that I am glad to have survived and grown from as a person. I suppose that is what it really means to be an adult; dealing with the consequences of your actions and understanding your responsibilities in life.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the singular word I would describe 2014 would be “recovery”. Last October was a sort of emotional renaissance for me, and 2014 has continued the trend with opportunities for employment and gigs with my band. If things keep going the way they are I’ll hopefully have my first apartment and car by the end of the year. It’s a nice feeling to know that your time to strike out your sense of personal freedom’s close at hand. So on that note (and in reference to my favorite blog from last year) here is Fall Out Boy’s “The Phoenix”:

Funny since I used to despise FOB, but their newer music is different from their older music (and a lot better IMO).

Ultimately, part of growing in life is accepting that both great and terrible things will always happen, and accepting that simple fact made my life a lot easier since depression hit me like a sack of bricks last year. Good tidings have helped me rise above the bad things this year, and for that I’m quite happy with life right now.


On Hiatus for the Time Being

My blogs lately haven’t been that consistent with their release times. I’ve recently acquired a full time job and joined a band as an electric bassist and part time vocalist. You could say that since I haven’t written about music in a long time that I am now living it again, and I couldn’t be happier.

I can’t say WHEN I shall return, but when I do my blogs will be more in the style of social and political commentaries as well as music and TV reviews, with some amateur poetry on the side.

As a word of warning: I’ve held back my views as a Liberal and a supporter of Feminism in the past, but when I return I’m removing my gentlemen gloves and holding back nothing aside from morbidly offensive statements (key word morbidly). 

I would just like to take the time to thank all of my fans and subscribers, you guys are the reason I keep on writing.


Quick Update

I’ve recently found a full time job (FINALLY!) so I won’t be posting that much original content for the time being. I could always express my views on politics and how I’m a male supporter of Feminism (notice how I didn’t say “male feminist”), but instead I’m going to start re-posting all of my older blog entries from when I started doing Music reviews three years ago (I’m a Musician first, and a disgruntled Democrat second. lol). I’m going to polish up the grammar mistakes on the blogs, and add some retrospective commentaries. 

Thank you for reading and have a nice weekend. 


RIP Jack “The Cool Cat” Card (January 1992- June 2010)


Warning: very schmaltzy. Today marks the three year anniversary of my childhood companion Jack passing away. Below, I posted an edited version of an old Facebook note I wrote back right after he died in 2010.  

Also, here are a few songs that remind of him that help make the note more sentimental. 🙂 

Jack first came to my family in the summer of nineteen hundred and ninety four. I was four years old at the time. He belonged to another family for a year, but they moved away without Jack (heh, their loss). The only collar that he had was a purple one with bells on it with no name tag. So we don’t know his original name, though that remains irrelevant because Jack suits him the best. It was my sister and her friend that named him Jack. I gave him the middle name Jason, I liked this kid in the neighborhood named Jason, but in retrospect he wasn’t that great. Jack was a billion times better. lol

[Jack] was a one of kind of cat, for instance his stripe patterns were unique for a male because normally cats with his stripe pattern are female brown tabbies. Jack is still the most beautiful brown tabby I’ve ever seen. I know everyone thinks that their first pet was the best in the world to them, but Jack is the King of All Cats in my eyes. The reason is not just because I was raised with him, but also because he was the most affectionate cat on the planet towards humans. If you had the capability to feed him, then he loved you automatically.

When he saw you he purred and his entire head moved from the purring, he had this habit of titling his head forward slightly. He also smiled at every human he knew, meaning he trusted you. Jack always licked people showing that he considered people a worthy part of the pack and to be respectful, it was his way of grooming people. Lol Though Jack was affectionate towards humans, he was also very vicious towards other animals. My neighbors considered him a “bully”. But what can one expect from a cat? They are very territorial creatures.

Jack was the alpha cat of my house and my entire neighborhood. No creature, cat nor dog would mess with him. The only creatures that messed with him unscathed were magpies, and that’s because they flew too high for Jack to catch them. (Though I never saw them in my neighborhood after 2001.)  In 2002,Jack was standing on one side of a road, and a neighbor’s cat was standing on the opposite side. Jack put one paw forward casually and the other cat went running to the hills. In his youth he was an extremely good hunter. My dad remembered a time when Jack climbed up a tree halfway, hit a squirrel with his paw, and the squirrel fell to the ground and broke its neck. He also caught quite a few birds and gave them to us as “gifts” around supper time. When he got on to his older age he was a master at slaying chipmunks, mice, and baby possums. Jack was also fearless. So much so that he would always get in front of cars that I was in. I thought it was from stupidity, but now I like think it’s that he didn’t want me to leave him. Jack loved eating, and he loved people.

Thankfully, he also loved eating people. <Just kidding.

He died of failing kidneys. Instead of facing 2-4 years of torment he decided it would be easier to fall asleep behind the tire of a car in my neighborhood. Jack loved my family; he picked us out of all the people that fed him after his old family left him when he was a stray. And he chose to save us the torment of having to put him asleep by choosing the fate he wished for (cats are fascinating creatures to say the least).

In death Jack was smiling and bared a very peaceful expression when we laid him to rest in the backyard. We placed brick and a giant rock as a grave stone to make sure no coyotes would disturb his resting place. I like to think that Jack was a super strong genius that loved all humans that could feed him, and he brought my family extreme amounts of joy. Personally, Jack taught me to love unconditionally, and for that, I am forever grateful. 

I wuv you forever more, fattest kitty. 
R.I.P. Jack Jason Card

Jack sleeping on an English book I never really liked. Cats always know 🙂
My pros was very different back then since I had a leaning towards passive voice and didn’t care for common grammar themes (it looked worse before I edited it, lol). But, the message that I loved Jack definitely still shows there in the eulogy I wrote him and that’s what matters most. After three years I think I’m finally ready to let go of the past and let Jack enjoy the big scratching post in the sky, where the Chicken Salmon are abundant and there is always a comfy spot to sleep. =D  
Lastly, I find it to be a good omen that from what was once dead soil there are flowers now growing from his grave.

A Quick Update on my Blog: Redesign and My Old Blog Posts Scheduled for January

Hello everyone, I am (hopefully) going to get through my finals soon. Once I graduate and get some down time I intend to re-post all of my blog entries from my Blogger and Tumblr accounts. I intend to go back and correct all of the grammar and make my Tumblr entries styled more like my old Blogger posts (longer, detailed, clearly structured). 

I would like to thank all of my loyal readers for staying with me for the last two years and helping me get through the harshest times of nonconstructive criticism from my haters. 



A Psychotic Amount of Fun: “Seven Psychopaths”



                As a comedic crime drama “Seven Psychopaths” delivers the goods plus much more. This film blends aspects of comedy, tragedy, violence, nudity, and friendship all together in an unforgettable way, from a scene of the tragic murder of Maya (Linda Bright Clay) to a scene of the Mafia Boss’s head exploding.

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh and set in LA, the storyline follows a struggling Irish screen writer named Marty (Collin Farrell) creating a movie about seven psychopaths. Marty’s best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) has teamed up with a con-artist named Hans (Christopher Walken) that steals dogs to make a living, and Billy stole the favorite Shih Tzu of LA based Mafia boss Charlie (Woody Harrelson) to teach him a lesson on how Harrelson treats his girlfriend.

What makes this movie so great is that it captures the feel of films such as “Reservoir Dogs” but in a different way due to the writing and the performance of its great cast. Walken as Hans is unforgettable for how he can switch from seriousness, sadness, and the classic Walken childlike innocence and charm despite being a con-artist. Rockwell experiences interesting character developments albeit backwards in his sanity. Rockwell’s character is the funniest character for the reason that his sanity starts off as normal, then he’s later revealed to be one of the main psychopaths in the film. Harrelson is lovably despicable when executing people in a heartless manner, but also pitiful in a relatable way when thinking about his lost dog Bonny.

McDonagh made sure to blend many elements of storytelling, but also to poke fun at the job of being a serious writer in Hollywood through use of Farrell’s character Marty. The dialogue between Marty, Billy, and Hans helps Marty develop his story which he only thought of the tittle for. The awful thing about the fictional film in “Seven Psychopaths” is that the film is based off the deaths and killings going on around Farell. In the movie there are separate sub plots that come in contact with each other at pivotal points like where Harrelson murders Clay, who is Han’s wife. The film culminates in a final fantastic showdown that has to be seen to be believed.

                 The cinematography and sets were shot in different locations around Los Angeles, and were noticeably very real looking. The camera work was steady and professionally done, unlike “The Hunger Games” which left one feeling queasy. The soundtrack comprises some classical music such as “Strophes ‘Premiers transports que nui n’oblie…” from “Roméo et Juliette, Op 17” by Hector Berlios played during a dramatic flashback of two lovers, and 70s tracks such Cat Steven’s “The First Cut Is the Deepest” being performed by the P.P. Arnold. The tracks are used quite effectively scene by scene and will tickle the senses of even the most cold hearted cinema snob, even as the credits roll by. Are there any complaints about the film? Some here and there with how the plot unfurls.

                The biggest thing to notice is the amount of violence present in the film, beyond the obvious executions there is a scene with body mutilation where one of the characters slits their own throat. There were small amounts of racism throughout the film towards the African American characters, but only because the racism was coming the mafia most of the time. In other parts there are amounts of upper body nudity on some of the actresses likely to bother some more puritan members of society and foul language, but with an R rating and a title like “Seven Psychopaths” those people are bound to not like the film from the start.     

This film is one of the best of the year by far up there with “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Avengers.” 2012 has been a pretty slow year for films and music, but it’s always very reassuring to know that Hollywood will occasionally let quality triumph overused gimmicks and let someone poke fun at said gimmicks like the way McDonagh did with “Seven Psychopaths”

Blast from the Past: A Night of Poetry at Salem State (September 2012)

September 20th  – Professors Ann Taylor and Kevin Carey recited the poetry of themselves and their students. The Martin Luther King Room quickly filled up with a crowd eager for verse and prose. The reading was kicked off by host Rod Kessler, Head of the Creative Writing Department at Salem State Univeristy. Kessler opened with some general humor saying “it is fine if people sit on the tables. Here! This is how you do it.” After the remark Kessler sat down on the table behind him. Professor Carey took up the first half of the reading.

Carey is a creative writer influenced by his life events and has recently published his book of poetry titled “The One-Fifteen to Penn Station.”Kessler pointed out that Carey also won the best screen play at the 2009 NH Film Fest for “Peter’s Song” (co-written with Ed Boyle). While doing his readings, Carey read with a sense of recollection and calmness as most of his poems were anecdotes. Carey read aloud seven poems, for instance his poem “Uncle Paul” recalled how his uncle “could roll a rubber tire thirty feet and make it come back to him, before the cancer, not once, but twice” while in the Navy. Another poem that really got people thinking was “White Mountains” about how he recalls being in the mountains at the same moment 9/11 happened and traveling back to the same location six years later and the sense of mortality it gives. Professor Taylor came after Carey deferring “I have a tough act to follow.”

Professor Taylor is an author of poetry highly influenced by the great authors in British Literature; she has published “The River Within” which won the Cathlamet Prizefor poetry by the Ravenna Press. Taylor’s poetry sometimes reflected a strong rhyming scheme with references to historical figures and trips taken to different locals. Taylor also read aloud several poems, including “Let There Be Moose” and a student written poem called “Spectral.” Taylor’s imagery descried a scene in Moosehead, Maine, “Near the paved lot, in evening shadow of the public-works sign forbidding moose-watching, the last lingers, this day done.” The poem “Spectral” is written about how the memory of school work on poetry can remain in students’ heads; “I am, I hope, their life long reading ghost.”

After the readings were done the crowd asked the poets questions with subjects like their influences and why they enjoy writing. Writing is lonely,” shared Carey on how writing is a very solitary action and how he enjoys getting advice from others. Carey explaining how he often reads aloud his poems while editing them to hear how they sound “writing to ear can be very hard in this Revere accent.” Professor Taylor said that she often thinks of the great authors in British Literature stating that one of her poems “echoed Wardsworth’s Tintern Abbey.”

The crowd responded very warmly to the poems, even breaking etiquette to clap in-between poetry reading. Host Kessler later reminded them not too. “I loved them, despite the distracting echoes,” shared Salem Writers Council member Joe McGurne, commenting on the reverberation of the sound system. “Ann Taylor’s writing is very funny, [and] Carey can make observations that not many can pick up on. Both were great,” said McGurne.

Student Via Perkins felt both poets had their own unique styles, “Both were very powerful in their own way, and very emotive.” Another student, John Toothaker, shared his feelings on both poets saying “I liked Kevin Carey for his voice since it was very moving. It was based off aesthetics. His demeanor, working class, was contradicted by his voice.” In regards to Taylor, Toothaker finished by saying, “I loved that she was very witty and used her traveling and observations. She seemed to employ quite strong witticism centered around the historical facts which she studied.”