Music, Society, Philosophy, Technology, Design, Art, Film and Coffee
• I play a TM Custom tenor saxophone designed by Randy Jones at Tenor Madness This horn is really special to me and I can't say enough great things about Randy.
• I studied with Greg Banaszak and Bob Reynolds I learned so much from these two guys.
• I manage Guitar Center in West Des Moines. My fourteen-year-old-self can't believe that I work at a music store.
• I was a member of Corey Taylor’s Junk Beer Kidnap Band in 2009. Yes, it was really cool.
• I taught at Muskingum College, Ohio University-Zanesville, Kent State, Hiram College, Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts, College of Mount St. Joseph, South-Western Community College and Central College between the years of 1997 to 2008. It was a very special time in my life. I'm thankful for having the opportunity to teach.
There’s a lot of hate in the world and there doesn’t need to be. As people cling more to their supposed identity, they project their hatred: I am _______ therefore I hate ________. To me, the only identity worth identifying is humanity. I realize many will hate me for that statement because it doesn’t include anything else but it’s my opinion and I present it you, the reader, without hate.
I’ve been thinking a lot this year about social issues, political issues and what it is that defines who we are and the influence that has on our decisions. I’ve been walking around with all of these thoughts in my head and I just feel the need to write it all down and share it. I’ve always been kind of neutral in a way. I’m polite, I don’t ruffle a lot of feathers. It’s good but I’m aware that because of it, some people will brand me with their ideals and assume I think a particular way. Now of course, this says a lot about that type of person but that’s beside the point…or maybe it is the point. But my point, and maybe I just need to write this for myself, is to say what’s on my mind.
Religion: I’m all for religious freedom. Because of religious freedom, I have had the opportunity to worship, learn and participate in a variety of churches, synagogues and temples. I’ve been able to read and study about every religion and conclude on my own that I’m atheist. I believe that we all experience things in our lives that propel us in our development and at different stages, we require different things. I’m here. Now. I’ve been here for a while. And I’m cool, thank you.
Marriage: I’ve been married to a wonderful woman for 15 1/2 years. We’ve loved, laughed, argued, cried, whispered and shouted. We’ve moved several times. Supported each other financially and emotionally. We’ve had a child together. In short: Everything a couple can do. I think everyone should be able to marry. EVERYONE. If you are of legal age, of sound mind and in love: get married. The argument against same-sex marriage always comes down to procreation and attitudes of religion. You know where I stand with religion. Marriage is more than sex and children [insert joke here] It’s about two people announcing their commitment to each other.
Education: Elementary school is so important. The introduction to learning has to be a positive experience. A high standard needs to be set at a young age and the focus should be on learning, not passing a standardized test. Colleges have become 13th grade. I feel like I got my high school education in undergrad and my undergrad in grad school. I’d like to see more reasoning skills and problem solving than regurgitating.
Health: I feel that with each advancement in medicine, our society becomes more reckless. It seems like there is a pill for everything and every pill has a minimum of 20 possible side effects. I want to see an end to the industrialized diet. I wish everyone would shut up and eat their vegetables. I also wish everyone would park their cars and walk. Just move your body and all of your bodily functions will function properly.
Money: I remember reading an article in 1987 about what an industrialized nation does to a non-industrialized nation to make it industrialized. They convince the non-industrialized nation that they shouldn’t use their natural resources and that they should purchase them from the industrialized nation. I see America as an industrialized industrialized nation. We’re two layers deep in our own game. We have convinced everyone to buy what they don’t necessarily need. I choose to support products and services and in that regard, I support capitalism. I just question the “shop till ya drop” mentality. I’ve been a salesman and a lot of times, I sent customers home empty handed because I wanted to get them the right product so they could achieve their goals not just sell them something. ”Money makes the world go ‘round” I get it but let’s slow down. We’re in over our heads and every country in the world is feeling it. Our collective attitude about consuming has put us where we are today.
Those are my thoughts. Please conclude your own.