Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In case there was any question...

Let it be put to rest! I have worn the mystical square hat of learning!
Here's a pic of me and my sister Cindy, who attended my graduation last Saturday. I was about to melt into a little puddle on the sidewalk in that robe and sash. I was smart enough to earn the degree but not smart enough to skip the suit jacket. I would have done fine with just the shirt and tie.

There you have it!

I have a list of little projects that have been on hold for several months to blast through now and I have a stack of recommended books on my desk to read. I finished Team of Rivals by Goodwin- heavy book, starting Narcissism Epidemic by Twenge tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Don't shoot, I'm just the piano player

If I wasn't aware of the economic crisis out there, I would never know it looking at the malls and the restaurants. I DJ'd a huge Cinco de Mayo party at Cantina Laredo in Scottsdale last week and the place was packed. All tables sold out for the whole night several days in advance. People were allowed in to the bar/patio but were alerted that they may or may not be served any food from the grill. I was supposed to play until 9PM so they could close the grill at 930 or so and close at 10PM. That place rocked until 11P! I looks like it will turn into a regular Thursday night event for me alternating between DJing, hosting karaoke or piano playing.

A couple of weeks ago, I played piano at an industry function in the courtyard at Old Town Torilla Factory, also in Scottsdale. The write up said that "in a voice reminescent of Rod Stewart, he played and sang for nearly two hours" it concluded with something to the effect of, the wedding industry hears more than its share of sappy love songs and the set included NONE of those but the selections were known and loved songs that weren't the obvious and over-played songs usually aired by piano players. They mentioned me in the same sentence as Rod Stewart?!!?! I'll take it!

Here's somebody that was "moved" by my performance.

Playing and singing is something that I have always loved but never regarded as my gift. Since I stopped working a day job 3 years ago, I have taken the time to develop it into something that I feel very confident about- something that it is entertaining and can even move people! Word is out regarding my abilities as a musician in addition to my DJ abilities and I have been approached to play at a few other great restaurants around town on weeknights. When you do a good job, the money always seems to follow. When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. Fun stuff!

Thanks to Stuart Thurkill of Eyes 2 See Photography for snapping a couple of photos that night.

Sometimes I just sit and think...

and sometimes, I just sit.

I had a great event in Santa Monica CA on Friday night that went until nearly 1AM and then I packed up the toys and drove all night to get to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale AZ by 9AM for my college graduation at 10AM (6-hour drive). I slept for about two hours out in the desert somewhere but it really took a toll on my body.

I had a dream out there about a bizarro parallel universe where everybody wore black robes and square hats and marched in to a giant stadium while Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance played... wait a minute...

I had a splitting headache and generally wasn't feeling well for my graduation and a dose of Tylenol proved ineffective. It was good to see some instructors and classmates from the prior years but I wasn't my usual witty and charming self. The whole experience was a blur unfortunately. Not just the ceremony itself, but looking back, where did the years go and all of the classes and assignments? Since all of my text books were in an online library, I was robbed of the opportunity for a book burning party. I didn't get to rip up a bunch of old assignments even- I just had to delete them. What's fun about that? Toga party anyone?

My sister Lauri also graduated yesterday with a Masters degree from NAU! Congratulations Lauri!

I still haven't collected all of my thoughts on the subject of graduation. I'll post again when I get the photo of me walking across the stage to receive my diploma- as long as it's a good picture and my eyes are open and everything.