Board the pirate ship!

Hellloooooo!  

Hope everyone is having (or had actually) a wonderful summer! We are slowly starting to wind down the warm weather and soon we will be seeing leaves fall and everything pumpkin in a few months. Fall is my favorite and can't wait.

Now I know this is my "HEAL blog" technically but wanted to post an entry this weekend that is more on the music front since to be honest, it's way easier to post as a blog than add to my website pages since this is an app 😛 

If you go to my music news page while you are on here you can read a post I did on Friday and I even added a page for our upcoming gig schedules! 

Since we are on the HEAL blog just a quick update still on the program, keeping the weight off and feeling good! Just recently I went down to a size 34 jeans which is insane to me. I haven't been that size since back in college! I've been bouncing around these days around 225-235lbs depending on the week. Good weeks I'm down, but some weeks since vacation it goes up but not letting it discourage me. I want to be under 200lbs by the end of the year and I'm gonna do it dammit! 

I've even ventured into drinking different veggie drinks like beet juice and recently added cauliflower to my veggie intake. Mashed has taken the place of potatoes and last night my best friend made cauliflower "hot wings" that were incredible! 

Unfortunately I gave up on the yoga this year but I hope to start it up again soon because I did enjoy it. My body tends to feel stiff at times and I know it's because I'm not doing that stretching.  

This shirt I remember stretching it with my knees to give it more room.  

This shirt I remember stretching it with my knees to give it more room.  

But anyway, enough about that lets get to the reason I'm posting this...we have gigs coming up! 

After months and months of trying to rehearse, searching for a bass player and me working on new songs for another album we finally got our act together and we have a few shows coming up this Fall!

September we will be in Mahopac at The Frieght House and October we will be in Stamford at the Seaside Tavern and am really looking forward to getting back out there again and playing gigs. Shawn sounds great on the bass and we've  developed a nice solid set with songs from HEAL, a few from the new album I'm working on Elephants Bury Their Dead and even a few covers and prior band classics. I have a really killer band behind me helping me fulfill my musical dreams and I'm really  looking forward to having people see us play.

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Man I still love making flyers. Used to be my thing back in the day when it was just scissors, paste and Xerox machines  

Man I still love making flyers. Used to be my thing back in the day when it was just scissors, paste and Xerox machines  

 

But I can really use your help too!  

Besides the 5 of us doing our own thing musically and getting the show together I've found with my busy schedule it's been difficult to find the time to search for these gigs, get what we need and once said gigs are booked and in place, it would be really cool to have outside people help us out and be in our corner to have the shows be the most professional and best they can be. To be completly honest I worked way too hard on HEAL, this band and the music and I don't want the live shows and the band itself coming off as unprofessional and half assed. 

Thats where you come in 😉 

If you plan on coming to the shows already (which I hope everyone and their brother does so far the response on the two gigs have been very positive) why not be in our corner, help us out and make us look more professional in the process? Some of the things I'm thinking of that would help the shows be more of a success would be the following:

1) Crew/Techs: I hate the term "roadie", but someone who can help with sound, setting up the gear, checking mics, amps, guitars and making sure out stuff is taken care of and in place before we play. We are not gonna sit on our asses, drink, point and laugh at you we can carry out own equipment but to me it helps a lot (and to be honest looks more professional) if there are other people besides the band members setting up and not having to worry about anything except putting on a killer show would be key.

For example I just sing now but I play my keys on a few so even to have someone make sure that the keys work, the extra "backup iPhone" is charged and the second mic works would be a godsend. Something goes wrong to have a hand there switching a guitar or grabbing a fallen stand too would look so much better than the band member fumbling around like an ass onstage. 

Stillwater mannnnnn

Stillwater mannnnnn

2) Merch person: oh yes maybe not for Sept but besides the HEAL cassettes I'll have on sale at shows I'm looking at other merch like shirts, stickers, buttons and other swag to peddle at each show. Instead of someone trying to find one of us, asking and us having to dig through bags to find shit to have someone there at a display of sorts helping people, taking the cash/transactions and getting people on the mailing list would be amazing. I'm even looking into getting a square to take credit cards 👍

 

I know it sounds sexist, but if you are an attractive girl you will go far at the merch table  

I know it sounds sexist, but if you are an attractive girl you will go far at the merch table  

3) manager/agent and overall "muscle": Now this would not be needed at all of the  shows, however there are times where we might need someone to "work the door" and negotiate things on behalf of the band that is more or a 3rd party.

I've realized in the decades of doing this that when you are the "artist" you tend to just bend and give in when the club/venue/promoter of a show tries shenanigans because you want to be a "good boy" and not cause friction. Countless times the past few years I've been faced with after we are booked for say 9pm having a club owner come to me and say "hey, can you play last instead at 1am?" Or "Don't worry we have someone at the door" when you have a door deal and at the end of the night after you pack a place they hand you $20 and say "well it was a slow night".

When you are "the artist" it's tough to be demanding because you don't wanna make waves and be nice because you don't want a rep of being "difficult" (plus I'll admit it, I'm kind of a pushover).However, you don't want to be taken advantage of. To have someone close by my side, fighting for me and the band regarding business affairs with these people would help me a great deal so when places start their shit I can say "talk to him" and that person can fight, be aggressive and get us what we deserve. 

To make a long story short...I need my own personal "band asshole" 😛 

 

 

Hmmmm I wonder if Les is available? 🤔

Now I know what you are probably saying to yourself right now "what's in it for me tubby?"  

Well besides myself and the band's undying love and affection for the end of eternity don't think you I would let you go away empty handed. Membership of course has its privileges 😉 here's what we can offer:

1) FREE admission to the show. You'd be coming with me and the gang early so don't think about paying to get in if there is a cover charge of some sort. 

2) Drinks are on the band (well me) You work for and with the band, you drink what you want. There will be a tab and you will drink from said tab the whole night. I ain't gonna be drinking anyway so why not drink my old share?

All I ask is that you don't get hammered, stumbling and belligerent you are representing myself and the band. A ride will be provided so you don't have to worry about that but play it cool hotshot.

3) Swag! Yep that's right you will be provided with of course free merch that I sell along with your own fancy "crew" shirt if you want to wear for the night. If you don't want to wear that night ok maybe a pass, lamenent or something I make I just want people to know that you are with the band and working with us at gigs. Looks professional and if people have questions or need something we can say "talk to the person with the...(insert shirt or lamenent thingy here).  

4) cold hard cash 💰💰💰  Now this depends on what role you take on. You're not gonna be rich and quit your job (I'm sure as hell not) but you will definitely be walking away with some sheckles in your pocket. It would break down as such:

Merch person: 10% of your transactions. We sell $50 worth of stuff, you make $5.  

Crew and techs: 10% of whatever the band makes at the door. Now most times I'm sure we won't make any guarantee money (hey talk to manager about that) so take out your frustrations on the bar tab then. Otherwise the band makes $100 each person makes $5  

Manager/booking/muscle: standard agency of 15% of TOTAL revenue generated at the event. So we make $100 guarantee for the show, $50 on merch table you get $22. Oh and have a go on the bar tab.  

So you think it's a big money maker being a musician? Let's do the math shall we?  

We make $200 for the night in total. $100 at the door and $100 at the merch (man that merch girl killed it!) 

merch - $10 

crew: say 2 people? $10 each -$20  

manager/agent: - $30  

$130 left divided by 5 band members? $26 each  

that's not counting the bar tab, please be gentle on us 😛  maybe that manager of ours can work that into the deal. 

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So doing it this way, not only are we looking professional and having a good time by being a part of the team everyone is making an equal amount for their efforts. You don't have to commit to every single show we do, but if you are gonna go anyway why not take advantage and help right?

You will be notified when gigs are booked and you tell us if you wanna be included and what you want to do. Manager/agent will have to pretty much be a constant at every show, but if you can't make it and you secure the show be prepared to get a call and "do your thang" 

if you made it this far in reading this manefesto congrats! If you want to be a part of this for our upcoming shows please comment on the social media post or feel free to contact me directly here or at gregry13@gmail.com and we can discuss. 

See you on the road and much love, 

G2  

 

 

 

Confessions and New Happenings

Bless me bloggers for I have sinned. It's been many months since my last entry

I know, it's been quiet both on the website, the HEAL and all things on the music front lately. Let's just say that coming into the first half of 2016, there's been a lot of things going on with me that have been um...interesting and it's taken me awhile to think about how to approach some topics. 

At the beginning of the year things were going well. The album came out late September and did "OK". It's an album that I'm extremely proud of and the response on both the music and my path to healthier living was very positive. The band had played a gig or two, we were all having a great time and things seemed to be moving along great. In one year I lost over 70lbs, went down 2 pant sizes, lost an "X" or two on my shirts and not only was I fronting a great band doing my own music, I have been feeling the healthiest I've felt in years! 

What a difference buying clothes that actually fit. Around this time last year I was psyched going from size 40 jeans to 38 and now I'm wearing size 36 and I still need a belt. Plus not having to pull and stretch at a XXXL shirt just to be comfy  

What a difference buying clothes that actually fit. Around this time last year I was psyched going from size 40 jeans to 38 and now I'm wearing size 36 and I still need a belt. Plus not having to pull and stretch at a XXXL shirt just to be comfy  

Then the new year started and things started to change..:. 

It's a weird thing, sometimes when you focus on something and things tend to "fix themselves" other things start to come out and rear its ugly head. Seems like everytime something in your life starts going well, other things in your life so south. It's very hard especially when you get older, become a husband/wife, parent, etc. to get that "balance" where everything is running smoothly and on auto pilot. 

Anyone that first meets me or knows me a little bit gets the impression that I'm a pretty laid back dude. When chaos happens I'm the type that tends to "roll with the punches" do what's necessary and try to keep a calm demeanor. Sure I get mad and upset everyone does but on the outside it looks like I'm doing just fine. 

Truth is, I tend to keep it all inside in order to avoid confrontation, keep the peace and in reality my mind is constantly going and my insides churn about everything. 

I've pretty much been like that most of my life. If there's an issue at home, work or just in everyday life that I don't have control over, is unknown or could cause conflict inside I'm a mess. I have to sleep with some sort of white noise in the room like a tv or radio because if I don't I would think about allllll of the things I have to do or fix and I couldn't sleep. Any quiet I'm in wether it was a car, office, etc. my mind would be racing thinking of every scenario and problem.  

9 times out of 10 when it finally happened and I had to face the situation or "conflict" it was no big deal and was fine but ohhhhh man the build up was the worst.  

In the past it never really got physical until maybe a few years ago and would normally happen around work situations mostly. I would walk in and be completely prepared, know my stuff and be ready to tackle a meeting or presentation but the second I would get in there......sweat.  

And I'm not talking a bead or two I'm talking profusely sweating to the point where I looked like I had a cup of water thrown at my face. I didn't feel nervous, have always been confident in my work but for some reason the build up before, chain smoking, slugging coffee outside saying "ok it's not gonna happen this time Greg you'll be fine you got this" sure enough it would start and it was extremely embarrassing, frustrating and I think it's prevented me from a lot of opportunities in my life career wise. I would have to douse myself with powders, keep a hand cloth in my pocket and have been known to rub sweat block all over my face and head to try and prevent it and I could still feel it want to come out. 

But you start to convince yourself "that's just the way you are" and if you are not hurting anyone but yourself what's the problem? That's the biggest problem it's hurting YOU. Plus you don't think that you are hurting anyone, but suffering inside and not expressing your real emotions about a situation is not helping them either. They think what they are doing is fine, then you melt down and let it erupt and they look at you like "where the fuck is this coming from?" 

But finaly after years and years in early February it finally got scary.  

It was a warmer than usual weekend and after another grueling week of commuting 3 hours a day, hustling at work trying to get things going and the normal long days that come even before and after the work day ends, you finally get to the weekend.

But as everyone knows being a parent especially when your kids get older weekends are not a time to relax. Most of the times it's running around to activities like softball, dance lessons, gymnastics or like most times you throw in a birthday party too. Sure you want to sit on your ass, stare at a phone or tv and just unwind but that's the reason both me and my wife work so hard. We want to give our children the best that we can provide and give them an awesome life. I would rather sit in a crowded room at a dance studio or to a "jumpy house" with their friends being social then have them sitting around all day on an Xbox, eating Cheetos and getting lazy. Come on who wouldn't want to sit on a field in spring with an iced coffee watching your child hit the ball? 

 

 

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 But it just so happened the week before for me was hell at the office. Sometimes things get busy and stressful and you have to keep telling yourself "dude, you're not curing cancer here" but still the dude who wants to make everything good and not deal with conflict sometimes it gets to you. Pile on everything else in your life going on its hard to leave it at the desk.

Especially now with technology the days of leaving and not being found is impossible. We are constantly being barraged with info and texts and emails sometimes you just want to unplug. I miss the days sometimes of walking out the door and not being able to be found and available 24/7. I would spend Sundays most times at night thinking about all of the things I have to do or how am I gonna handle this or that on Monday and it would never shut off. 

So this particular Saturday I was sent to a birthday party with Violet at a place she's been to a billon times before. I'll be honest, most birthday parties I can't stand. You have to interact and be social with other parents you really don't know most of the time, you sit in a corner, stare at your phone, maybe get a slice or two of pizza but whatever it's quick, painless and it's fine. Sometimes if you are lucky you can just drop off, kill time for a few hours and come back but a lot of times, you want to be there just in case something happens.

So we are there, but technically I'm not there. She is running around in the party room, but I'm frantically on my phone emailing back and forth about a work issue. It's really messing me up I want to help, but it's an issue that can't be fixed on a weekend and this asshole is giving me a hard time about it...on a Satuday no less. I'm thinking to myself "I'm fucked, I'm so fucked she's gonna complain about me to my client, they'll get upset, my partners will get upset, fuck I'm gonna get fired" Violet is trying to interact with me but I'm just distant.  

So Violet is lining up with her friends to start their activity. I'm not gonna go out there, I'm just gonna try to find a quiet spot in this place which is literally black light, music pumping, video game machines beeping and ringing and try to resolve this shit if I can...

Violet turns around, doesn't see me for a second, looks at all of the commotion and starts bawling...uncontrollably. 

Now I'm onto fire #2. I run over, be consoling, all of the parents and other kids are staring at us saying " what's wrong? Is she ok?" and I'm trying to calm her down but she is NOT having it and here comes the sweat.

The other kids proceed, I take her into the party room again and literally cradle her rocking her back and forth holding tight going "it's fine, it's ok, you've been here before what's the problem?" But she is donnnnne. Don't know if it was the over stimulation, the fear of not seeing me, all of the monsters and characters around, or just being tired but she will not stop crying.  

A prior successful trip to the scene of the crime

A prior successful trip to the scene of the crime

Finally I just snapped. I'm usually at the mindset of if you are physically sick, in pain, genually upset over a legitimate issue, I will take a bullet for you to help you, especially my children. But if it makes no sense why you are acting out over something? Most times I won't coddle that. For some reason I felt at the time that this outburst was completely unwarranted.  

"Fine, you wanna go? Fuck it let's go whatever I can't deal with this" I can't tell the parents we are leaving cause she will not step foot on the course so I just pick her up, carry her and we walk out the door. We get in the car and we head for home. Once out she immediately stops crying and just sits in the back seat of the car while I call my wife on the Bluetooth.... 

"hey, we had to leave since Violet had an issue...AGAIN. Can you call or email the parents and tell them we left since she wouldn't let me? We're coming home now"  

the whole ride home she's silent but I'm loosing it both internally and externally now "I can't believe this, you drag me out to this party and you do this? We are NEVER going to this place again you hear me?" 

As I'm driving my mind is racing with everything I can fit in there. I seriously contemplated pulling up to the driveway, letting her out and just leaving. Just drive anywhere a bar, the city, Florida anywhere and not come back. But something made me turn off the car and walk in with her and once we walked in she was fine, but I walked straight into my bedroom, shut the door and crouched nto the fetal position. 

I know in the past I've gotten anxious about something whether it was a flight, an appointment, an issue or situation where I would think "hmmm is this what they call a panic attack?" but this was wayyyy beyond that. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest holding me down. I was counting and trying to take deep breaths to calm down but it wasn't working. I crossed my arms as tight as I could and all I could do was rub my legs together like I was trying to start a fire. I thought "it'll pass, it always does, calm down and come back out" but I couldn't move.

finally, my wife walks in and looks at me concerned

"what's wrong are you having a heart attack? We need to take you to the ER"   

"I'm fine, I'm fine, it's not a heart attack I'll be fine" I just kept mumbling. "I'm not going to the fucking ER the kids can't see me like this"  

I knew what it was, but thank god for my stubborn wife she got someone to watch the kids, she dragged me out of bed and into the car saying "ok let's just go to urgent care then to make sure" which I agreed to and once the door was shut and the kids were fine she says

"ok let's go I'm taking you to the ER now" 

"you motherfucker...." I mumbled but I was glad she did. 

an hour or so in the ER strapped onto probes, blood drawn, heart checked and people walking in and out I got the diagnosis I knew it was "Mr Gilroy you're fine you had a panic attack. I'm going to give you a Xanax now and a few to take home but you need to make an appointment with a psychologist" I nodded quietly, took the pill (which I've never taken before or anything of that kind) and proceeded to wait to be dismissed.

And holy fuck Xanax is awesome  

I left not a care in the world. Numb, stoned and finally relaxed. I understand why just like Vicodin or any oxy people are addicted to this stuff. Just like any narcotic or alcohol things just melt away but also like any drug it's a quick fix. Plus I know my addictive behavior I'd be popping these things like Altoids: I knew this was a temporary solution to a bigger problem.

After a week of popping Xanax I finally got an appointment with a therapist and had a brief consultation with a psychopharmacologist. I explained my symptoms and she looked at me and I'll never forget it she said "it's gonna take a few weeks Greg, but you are gonna get better I promise you" and she was right. 

Sure enough as the weeks passed it did get better and it has been a game changer for me. I started on 50mg of Zoloft and after a month they bumped it to 100mg and once that happened I started feeling better and better. A dear friend explained it to me the best way who was also taking the same meds as me "what I like about it is you still have the feels and all that but it doesn't ruin your day" 

That is exactly how it is you are not waking around numb like the walking dead and when things arise like they have before you just kind of deal with it and it's no big deal. Sure a Xanax is needed if things really get to me, but I literally have had the same prescription for three months or so and barely made a dent. 

I also started seeing a therapist weekly which  has been great as well. It's funny every week I walk in going "oh man, what am I gonna say to this person tonight? I got nothing" but all she has to say is "so how are you?" And I don't shut up for 90 minutes.  To have someone in your life that's not a parent, loved one or friend that can be complely unbiased, call you out on your shit and help is so refreshing in my opinion.

So why am I putting this out for the world to read?  

Because, just like the battle I had with my weight last year if you own it, talk about it and put it in front street maybe, just maybe someone will read it and think "man I'm not alone" and they will seek help too.

We all look on Facebook, see pictures of people happy and smiling and think "wow look how great and happy they are, I suck" but you never know what the real deal is. Everyone has to deal with problems and you are not weak or stupid if you need something to help make everything ok.   

If you read the music news section of this site you can read all about what's going on music wise and how I plan to bury the elephants in the room that have plagued me for decades. Just like last year, I hope you will follow me on this new journey moving forward.

 

 

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New year new ideas

Hello and Happy 2016! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and are back in the swing of things. Winter is always the worst season for me, even though I have lived in the northeast my whole life I've never enjoyed the cold weather at all. I don't ski, snowboard or enjoy any of that all I assimilate with this time of year is snow, cold and staying inside dreading the outside world. At least we've been lucky with no blizzards yet but if it's gonna be this cold at least let there be some white on the ground 😐

Just think if was like this around this time last year. I hate winter but this does look better than mud and leaves  

Just think if was like this around this time last year. I hate winter but this does look better than mud and leaves  

So as I had mentioned before the end of the year, although I decided that this blog will no longer be about documenting the HEAL journey like last year doesn't mean the lifestyle has ended. The great thing is that this year I have changed so much that it's part of my everyday routine. I log in my calories every day, I still watch what I put in my body and am trying to do my yoga still 3 times a week (a skipped day or sometimes a whole week will go by without it, but was down there again right back on it this morning and loving it).

I've even realized even though I've had a beer here and there going out to dinner with friends catching up, I have honestly not drank "in excess" in over 5 months! I feel the best I've ever felt in a long, long time and I'm really happy of the progress I made in 2015 as far as the health is concerned 👍 

Feels nice to put on shirts that used to never fit before and have them flowing on me. Or walking around with "wife beaters" in the house and not wanting to hurl after looking in the mirror  

Feels nice to put on shirts that used to never fit before and have them flowing on me. Or walking around with "wife beaters" in the house and not wanting to hurl after looking in the mirror  

So now that I feel great, it's time to hit the road and get to playing gigs! The band has had a setback we lost the bassist that we had with us the last two gigs (no drama, just we had different goals and just not the right fit, no harm no foul) but we are still trudging foward we still have the "core 4" and I will either go back to playing bass and switching to keys giving Pete the bass or hopefully we will find another bassist for the future since I'm really enjoying just singing.

Me and Pete "The consigliere" Sullivan still throwing it down after almost 25 years. As they say if you want something done right 😉

Me and Pete "The consigliere" Sullivan still throwing it down after almost 25 years. As they say if you want something done right 😉

Hell if it was up to me I'd add bass, full time keys, even background singers (ala The Nasty Habits from Motley Crue) if I could I am open to it all 😜. Regardless Nasty Habits or not I hope to be out more supporting the album and stay tuned for some more news on that soon. HEAL has been out a few months now and has been doing OK but I worked too hard on it to just let it drift off I need to get out there more and get some more buzz! 

But this year while there is "downtime" between gigs and trying to rehearse with the band I'm back to the GarageBand putting down ideas and tracking for another album. I have about 6-7 song ideas laying around I plan on finishing up music wise (2 of them I already released at singles that didn't fit the HEAL theme), I'll work on a few more and I have an idea for a theme for the album and how I want to do the vocals will fit that theme that I really hope I can pull off recording this Summer/Fall. No plans to put anything out new album wise till probably next year but I'm sure more info will come out in the coming weeks about what I wanna do and I'm sure we will play them live to see the reaction. 

 

This thing is a monster!  

This thing is a monster!  

 So this year I will still be blogging, but like I mentioned it will be more geared towards info on the music news, plus other things I want to talk about that a Facebook comment or 140 characters won't cover. I hope you continue to follow along with me! 

Onward and Upward 

G2  

 

In The End

Greetings!

Hope everyone is enjoying and getting ready for the big holiday season coming up! It's that time of the year for putting up the tree, hanging the lights, throwing on the layers and hours and hours of Hallmark Channel/ABC Family Christmas specials. Feels like Christmas Vacation and Elf have been on a constant loop on our TV 🎅🏻

Last year's pic. Violet this year decided to bail, but still went with Zoey this year 👍

Last year's pic. Violet this year decided to bail, but still went with Zoey this year 👍

It's also that time when the year comes to a close and if you are like me, you tend to look back on the last 12 months, reflect on how it went and set plans on what you want to do in the new year to make things better. Even though they are only 4 months between them for me, birthdays and New Years are always big reflection times for me. 

Ive been spending the past few weekends since I know this will probably be one of my last entries in the HEAL blog looking through some of my favorite past posts and thinking about where I was at during those times. If you are kind of new to this blog, ones like "the jacket", "wrist balance", "alone"  and even comical ones like "salad bar" stick out for me. If you haven't been a constant reader, I recommend those if you want to catch up. 

Reading those posts and looking back at myself today, this year has been one hell of a ride and for me and it's really only just beginning (you just hummed that song "we've only just begun" when you read that didn't you? 😜) 

Since my last entry, I've been checking out my Timehop app, which is cool it shows what you've posted on your social media sites on that day the past few years and that was another thing that was giving me reminders of how far I have come. I've been seeing pics of myself from last year and the moments when I finally decided I needed to make a change. 

The first week of December a year ago I got to attend my cousin's beautiful wedding. It was an awesome time I got to see the youngest of my group of close cousins finally have her wedding day. I got to hang and bond with so many family members I haven't seen in forever and it was a whole weekend at a lovely resort with lots of love. 

But for me it was also a very dark time in my life.  

The moment I got there for the rehearsal dinner it was game on. I went straight to the bar and proceeded to drink and drink and drink for the rest of the night. I don't think I even had a bite of dinner when I got there I decided beer would be my food for the night and I was on a mission. Needless to say since It was just me (meaning no wife and kids with me) and since everything was at the resort (meaning no driving) I got hammmmmmered. 

In the past (even at my own wedding) i would always go with the game plan of drink hard at the rehearsal dinner night. You might wake up feeling like garbage for the wedding day, but at least that way at the reception you will probably just nurse booze instead of pound just to feel better and you won't end up making a complete ass of yourself on the actual wedding day.

So the next day since the wedding was not till the afternoon after a cocktail of Motrin and Zantac and even a soak in the spa/steam room to try to get rid of the poison in my body I started to get myself dressed for the wedding. 

Now since my weight has sesawed over many years of my professional career I have a few different suits in my closet. I have some "skinny suits" and unfortunately some "fat suits" .  Of course I decided to grab one of my nicer "fat suits" for the wedding and when I put it on....even the fat suit didn't fit me anymore. The button on the waist was under the gut, barely handing on ready to break,  I couldn't even snap the shirt collar and the shirt itself was skin tight 

I still clean up well but I felt like a 300 pound pile of shit in a skin tight suit 😐 

I still clean up well but I felt like a 300 pound pile of shit in a skin tight suit 😐 

Through it all, it still was an incredible weekend being with my family celebrating a wonderful occasion. I was even asked to read something at the ceremony (which I chose one of my favorite Dr Seuss passages)  I was so honored to do but I remember being nervous, sweaty and thinking to myself "oh god, people are going to be looking at me and how bad I look". It went well though and was flattered how many compliments I got on my selection. After the ceremony of course we all went to the bar again but at least since it was in the resort I was able to go up to the room and change back into my XXXL shirt and tight size 40 jeans so at least I was "comfortable" again. 

On the way home, even though it was so cold and rainy the last two days, by Sunday the sky opened up and the ride home was warmer, sunny and one of the most beautiful days we had in awhile. I drove home on a back road of beautiful jersey countryside but I felt like garbage. I was hungover (again), my clothes and jacket were tight, I grabbed some fast food to soak up the acid in my stomach, I was smoking like a chimney, breathing heavy and all I wanted to do was get home and sleep this bad feeling off. 

I'm a big fan of podcasts and one of my dear friends Barry has one, so I decided to put it on during the drive.

Back then it was called "The No Easy Answers podcast" and it's a great self help show. The episode was an interview with a life coach and it was sooo positive I could tell both sounded so healthy and happy taking about clean living and making life changes. I kept thinking "man this is completely the opposite of how I feel right now" 

I knew right then and there when I got home and slept off the weekend I had to make a change.  

2014 and even 2013 although ironically I seemed to be excelling in my career, personally and creatively I was a mess. In two years time I gained over 80lbs, the last band I was in The Dalliance wasn't really playing gigs anymore and after spending two years squeaking out an EP and working on a few new songs for another one (one of them actually being the song "Clear" I used for my album) by the Summer of 2014 we disbanded after Darrell found his true happiness and moved away.

I had a few songs I recorded as demos on my iPad for The Dalliance that I thought had potential, but after the band was done I decided to just throw them out online just to see the reaction as a solo artist.  I had no band it was just me playing and singing everything (even the drums on the recordings were crude drum loops). But even though the response as positive, I still felt lost. I wanted to be creative and start playing gigs again so bad but I knew I couldn't perform in the shape I was in. I'm almost happy I didn't perform back then because looking at old videos I could barely stand up, let alone play a gig. 

After the wedding weekend though I  stopped feeling sorry for myself and decided that 2015 was going to be the year for me to HEAL. I built this website, found that clay heart that Zoey made for me, took a picture of it on my phone, put it up as the front page of the site and all I put on it was the words "HEAL coming 2015". I didn't have an idea of what songs were gonna be on it or how I was gonna even do it but I figured that If I put it out there and if I committed to a goal publicly I would stick to it better. I also decided that since I'm a big fan of whole albums with themes I could document my commitment to HEAL at the same time in this blog and the album would reflect that journey. 

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I wasn't gonna start before Christmas, but I started to plan about how I was gonna approach this new lifestyle in 2015. I decided I would dust off the old scale to see where I was starting. When you are heavy, you tend to hide that scale and not face the harsh reality but I wanted to know where I was at.  

When I stepped on it, it went past the 300 mark and went back to zero. A thing I've never seen happen ever in my life and it scared the shit out of me.  

Once I started in January as the months went by I couldn't believe the progress. There were no shakes, no powdered soups, no prepackaged meals, no surgery and no pills. I took it slow introducing vitamins, fruits and vegitable drinks, cutting out all carbs and processed sugars first which made me drop 10+ pounds right away. Then I introduced DDP yoga, which was a life changer! Then I moved to counting calories on an app, then I got a Fitbit in April and although I wasn't dropping weight dramatically like the "quickie diets" did, it got easier and easier. There were a few missteps along the way and plateaus for a few months that were frustrating but I didn't stop. I couldn't stop I was feeling so much better. 

 

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Cut to a week before Christmas and since that time I've not only released my first ever album as a solo artist I've gone from over 300 pounds to around 235 pounds 

I could say I did this all on my own but that would be a total lie. Without all of the people I mentioned above like Darrell who did an amazing job playing drums, mixing/mastering and helping me put this out, to Barry who recorded tracks on this album and inspired me with his podcast, to my band mates Pete, Vic, Helene and Mike, to Dave who lets us rehearse in his studio and recorded the remaining vocal tracks I needed and of course ALL OF YOU who messaged me, commented on my posts. who bought and supported this album I couldn't have done it without you.  

Although the HEAL blog will be technically done for now, it's not over. I'll probably still keep blogging since I've really enjoyed writing this year but the topics will probably be more towards whatever I'm feeling and what I want to express in long form writing at the time. Of course I will mention any new hurdles crossed, but it won't be a diary of my progress like it was this year. 

I promise that I will continue to keep going, keep losing, keep this healthier lifestyle and keep making music. This year I'm shooting for different things like real yoga classes (not just the same DVD over and over), more cardio, picking up something like a form of martial arts and maybe finally quiting smoking. This year was about getting back on my feet. Next year is about getting on those feet and running. 

And like I've said this whole year, if I can do it so can you! Start a website or blog, make an Instagram or Facebook page and don't be afraid to say it out loud. Start small, make yourself accountable to the world and believe it or not things will happen.  

They always say in recovery programs the first step is admitting you have a problem, you need help and you want to get better and that's exactly what this year was all about. Nobody is perfect every single one of us has something we don't like about ourselves and sometimes if you admit it and put it out there, you'll be surprised many will come out to support you and admit those same problems effect them too.  

Onward and upward.... 

 

Thankful

Howdy ho!  

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Started this blog sitting in a quiet, relaxing room at my in laws house on Black Friday under a nice warm blanket. Most people do enjoy going out at the crack of dawn (or even the night before) taking advantage of those "doorbuster" sales and sometimes it can be fun if you are feeling adventurous but maybe after all of those years working in retail the thought of dealing with those crazy crowds to me just sounds exhausting. These days I prefer a quiet day off in a blanket when I get the time to do so. 

Must.....get......Xbox!  

Must.....get......Xbox!  

I know it's commonplace around this holiday to reflect about what you are most thankful for and in the past I would do the same a little bit. But I think this year in particular it really did hit home with me a little more than normal.

The night before Thanksgiving it started when I was reading posts on social media about all of the people going out to bars ripping it up. Being in bands and playing music the majority of my life I know that the night before turkey day is THE night to play gigs because the bars are always packed with what I like to call the "amateur hour" drinkers. Kind of like St Patricks Day or when you would go to church on the big holidays when you see the family or adults mumbling prayers and not knowing when to sit, stand or kneel. It's a fun night out and very good night for a band to play but there are a lot of people out there getting torn up for their "one big night out" and it can get kinda messy. 

I'll be honest, there was a part of me where I was thinking "man, it would be nice to get out there and knock a few back tonight" or "it would have been cool if the band had a gig tonight" since things have been picking up musically for me and the gang. But then looking around my house seeing the girls all excited to go to "Nana and Grampy's" house and being all chill on the couch like I am now those feelings went away and I said to myself "Nahhhhh I'm good right where I am"  

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Another big feeling of being thankful and noticing a big difference this year was the actual day of the turkey itself. "Old Greg" after waking up from a hard night of pre turkey partying would of woken up and proceed to gorge myself with as much food as possible in order to switch from hangover sick to food sick. They do say there's nothing better to get rid of that pukey feeling with some grease 🤕

but what did I do yesterday morning? 

I got up "sorta" early, went downstairs and proceeded to do a nice, long 40 minute DDP yoga routine. Kind of a nice calorie burn before the afternoon of eating 👍 

Now did I partake? Hells yea I did! We had a wonderful meal of turkey, potatoes (sweet and regular mashed), stuffing, cranberry and all of the great things you eat on Thanksgiving and it was a fabulous meal! But as we chit chated around the table and kind of went through what we were thankful for I thought to myself "holy shit, right around this time last year I was definitely over the 300 pound mark!" Although it was a big day of eating for me, it wasn't that crazy and it definitely wasn't like it used to be.  

Sent this to my cousin cause Zoey said "I feel like Auntie with this glass" and she sent this right back. Ahh to celebrate by technology  

Sent this to my cousin cause Zoey said "I feel like Auntie with this glass" and she sent this right back. Ahh to celebrate by technology  

Like I said, there are a lot of things this year that I am very thankful for.

I'm thankful that all of my family and friends this year are doing well, still around and still very involved in my life. 

I'm thankful that this year I am finally out there doing music again with a great group of friends and musicians doing material from my first ever solo album.  

But this year the thing I am most thankful for is that I've been able to HEAL.  

By the end of this year and going into the new one there is still a lot I want to do. I know that I want to lose this "final 40" I have hanging on me and I know I can do it.

The yoga and better eating have been great this year, but I think if I want to really take it to the next level I need to start doing more cardio too. This new lifestyle has done wonders for my stage performance, but when singing a full set I've noticed I can get winded, so some treadmill or elyptical work mixed with yoga should do the trick. I'd love to do something like a 5k or more running and not feel like I'm jiggling all over the place.

Speaking of being winded, I'd love to be able to finally quit smoking too. Although honestly I still do love it, I did enjoy when I tried vaping for a few weeks. I think getting the right brand and sticking to it this time can really help me finally quit the habit once and for all. 

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I know that there have still been some struggles this year and moments of doubt and stress, but looking back the good has certainly outweighed the bad and I'm extremely lucky.  

I remember many times sitting in some crummy office in a retail store eating White Castle working to make a little extra money on thanksgiving or sitting in some run down apartment pounding beers while eating a Boston Market turkey dinner thinking to myself "when is it my turn?" 

Cut to 20 years later I'm healthier, happier and having a lovely meal surrounded by my family, wife of over 11 years and my two beautiful daughters. I never thought it would ever happen for me and for that I am forever thankful . 

As soo as you see Santa at the end of the parade, it's officially Christmas season!  

As soo as you see Santa at the end of the parade, it's officially Christmas season!  

Stepping out

Greetings and salutations!  

Hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

 I know I know it's been awhile since my last post. The past few weeks have been really busy with the girls finishing cheerleading, Halloween and just the normal busy life of having a career and being a parent.

Good news is that things have eased up a bit with the schedule, so I've had some time to reflect on this past year, our first show which was last night and the things I saw on my phone when I got home. 

Looking back on this whole year as it almost comes to a close next month (dear lord did that go fast!) although busy and sometimes filled with some stressful periods (as most lives are) I can't believe the changes that have occurred with me personally doing this whole HEAL album and project. 

There are times like this week where I watch clips of us playing live or just photos in general of myself and I would catch myself complaining like "ugh...why is your neck so fat? My god you look so big still what the fuck?".

Maybe it was because I had taken a few weeks off from yoga due to some recent pains, or because Ive been stuck on a plateau again weight wise but I felt like because I'm still 40lbs away from my goal of under 200 by 2016 I was feeling a little bit like I had failed or was failing. 

But then I made this...... 

 

That's me on the right just a year ago at Xmas...me now almost a year later wearing the same shirt no less 

That's me on the right just a year ago at Xmas...me now almost a year later wearing the same shirt no less 

When I made this website, started thinking about doing my own music and doing something about my health I honestly was hoping for the best, but just like in the past I wasn't sure if it would stick.

Sooooo many times I would decide to get healthier; do great for a month or two but before I knew it I would go right back to my bad habits. I knew that if I wanted to make music again, perform in front of a crowd and just be happy I had to change my life dramatically. 

Cut to a month shy of a year later, I spent the evening playing my first show in over 2 1/2 years with my own band, playing songs from HEAL....a concept that back then all I had was a title and a picture of a heart. We played an open mic that my dear friend Barry put on in Katona to raise money for the Appalachia  Service Project he is a part of and although when I got there I was a little concerned due to eh....age range and atmosphere of the room, by the time I walked off the stage I felt something that I haven't really felt in a long time....true happiness.

  Since we were splitting up the set doing a few songs here and there between other artists we had a quick meeting to decide whether to start off with "shock and awe" (the more louder stuff) or "just the tip" which were the keyboard songs....looking out at the people we decided on the latter 😉

Once we broke into the very first song of the night though I was listening to a full band playing a song I wrote on my own while I'm singing and playing keyboards in front of an audience not only stone cold sober....but in the best shape I've been in since....forever. 

I also realized when we were hanging out before and after the show how extremely lucky I am to have such an incredible band backing me up. Besides Pete, who has always been a brother to me and was the very first person that when he heard I was recording new music said "I'm in no matter what" the rest of the band were complete strangers I found on a website. It took a few months of getting to know eachother, figuring out schedules and whatnot but  now it's like I have found some new close friends.

Instead of shaking hands, getting in the car and racing away or just looking for a paycheck at the end of the gig, after every practice or like the gig last night we just love to hang outside and chat. We laugh all the time and are complete goofballs but are professionals when it comes to playing. When you see us play live besides our new bassist Mike who is quietly laying it down in the back ( he's the new guy he literally joined two weeks ago so we are breaking him in slowly) we are all jumping around, smiling, being animated and having a good time.

We really need to take band photo but ah the power of Facebook pics and collage apps 👍 

We really need to take band photo but ah the power of Facebook pics and collage apps 👍 

 

We had a few friends come out to see us, which was nice to see and catch up too and by the end of our last set I felt like we did a phenomenal first show and it seemed like we impressed the crowd. 

So by the end of the night as I was driving home jacked on coffee and good vibes, I was so happy and excited to see what the future is in store for us. I'm really looking forward to getting out there and playing more shows with my new musical family . Plus for once, I wasn't worried about how much I drank and if I was ok to drive home after the show. All of the hard work these past few months musically and physically had really paid off. 

Then I looked at my phone, read all of the horrendous things that had happened in Paris that same night and was sick to my stomach. 

to be perfectly honest, I really try not to get too political. Of course it's our right as Americans to speak our minds, to shout from the rooftops and hashtag as much as we want. Fuck, people are dying more and more all over the world every single day and in some places of the world like Paris for something as simple as drawing a cartoon or speaking their minds when they are told not to. 

 

I unfortunately cannot read French but let me tell you that magazine has some balls 👍 

I unfortunately cannot read French but let me tell you that magazine has some balls 👍 

Even on our own soil we've experienced thousands of people die in burning buildings from terrorists in planes full of innocent people, children gunned down by our own in places of learning, places of worship, movie theaters and we even saw a dictator threaten innocent lives and cripple a major network  over a stupid Seth Rogen film.

They have done some funny flicks but I gave this one two zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

They have done some funny flicks but I gave this one two zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

But yet i scroll on this phone all the time and I see ridiculous posts of "don't take my guns!" Or "let's build a wall on our borders!" Even people crying that they took away the confederate flag. It's good for a laugh at times, but are you that heartbroken that you can't watch The Dukes Of Hazzard anymore? Were you DVR'ing that shit? People are getting killed all over the world for having rights that you are outraged over. You don't like something? Don't look at it and move on.

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I mean holy fuckballs I'm watching "the news" and we have a reality show host running for president...and he's ahead in the polls.

Is it just me or do you feel like we are all doomed? 

Without knowing what was going on across the other side of the world at the time, we were jumping around having the time of our lives on stage playing a song I wrote and released as a single last year called "Awake".

I wrote the music for that song in my home studio one morning during the week and literally as I finished the last note on it I got a call from my mother in law crying and panicked that there was a shooting in a Newtown school which is not far from where we live. After I was finally able to get my girls out of school and home safe, I knew what that song was going to be about. It wrote itself it's all about all of the horrible tragedies  going on in America and how we need to "take this as a sign to Awake" 

https://gregry13.bandcamp.com/track/awake

https://gregry13.bandcamp.com/track/awake

At the end of the song not planned I blurted out "years have past since I wrote this and sadly..nothing has changed" 

Hours later I'm watching bodies being dragged out of a club leaving blood trails.  

 

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Keeping The Faith

Greetings true believers!  

Hope everyone has had a great week. Sorry it's been a few weeks since my last post, I've been meaning to take the time to sit down and write but honestly things have been super busy even more than usual.

Between working like crazy during the week, then running around on the weekends with kid activities lately the thought of even taking the time to sit and write would make me feel exhausted.

We have been in full cheerleader mode every weekend with football games and yesterday the girls had their first cheer competition which meant getting up at 4:30am, getting the girls ready and in New Haven by 7am, cheer by 9am, then not getting home till after 3pm. Although it was a ton of work the girls did great! Zoey's team placed 3rd and it's incredible to see your daughters excelling and performing in front of like a stadium of people like its nothing. I'm very proud of both of them like I am with anything they do and the thought that I am an active "cheer dad" still gives me a chuckle. 

 

These are the times where I wish I could go back in time to 16 year old self and say "dude, don't worry by your 40's you'll be surrounded by girls. You'll look like this but just roll with it"  

These are the times where I wish I could go back in time to 16 year old self and say "dude, don't worry by your 40's you'll be surrounded by girls. You'll look like this but just roll with it"  

However, the past few weeks have also been rough as far as the HEAL stuff. Not to worry I still have been sticking to my new lifestyle of kale smoothies, salads, yoga and all that but it's been met with a number of roadblocks as well. 

First, just as I faced a few months prior I've been stuck on a plateau. I haven't gained an ounce but at the same time I haven't lost any either. It can get to you after awhile when you are doing all of this stuff and when you have a goal in mind (under 200lbs by 2016) to hop on the scale once a week and see no change.  October already is half done and with 40 pounds to go for my initial goal I'll admit I was getting bummed. 

Then my new habit of vaping instead of smoking kind of came crashing down. The past two weeks I was actually really enjoying it no ashes, no toxic clouds and tasty flavors. Even when I would sneak a "real smoke" it started to taste yucky.

But after a few stressful days at the office, leaky cartridges or ones that didn't fit the case, places not having said cartridges and the fact that I still had to go outside to do it the addict in me just said "eh fuck this" and I went back to Marlboro full swing this week. I still want to persue it though I'm hoping by the end of the year I will find a brand I really like and I will be in the right mind frame to stay on it full time to really kick the habit. 

Then came the pain..... 

Although I've still been doing yoga at least 2-3 times a week and feeling great with all of the running around and stress of everything else my body started to fall apart. First the lower back started to ache, then my neck felt stiff which lead to headaches then for some reason this week two fingers on my left hand really started to hurt...bad. No amount of Motrin would make it feel better. As I'm typing this it still hurts and I don't know what to do about it.

I got two yoga days in this week but there was one day this week I physically couldn't get up to do it and yesterday after all that running around I laid in bed for most of the afternoon after getting home barely able to move. Most nights for the past 2-3 weeks when I get home from work all I want to do is just go to sleep. 

One thing I did do that seemed kind of out of character for me was after my Sunday ritual of cleaning the house for the week I came across something in my drawer just sitting there and for some reason after all of the stress and pain from the past few weeks I put it on and thought "hey I can use all the help I can get at his point".

I even got into the habit of when I would turn the car off in the parking lot of work in the morning, before I walk in I would ramble off an Our Father and maybe a Hail Mary if it was a particularly stressful morning, then talk to God and thank him for watching over me and to ask for strength and help to get through the day

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Now for anyone who knows me to any capacity knows that I have always had a struggle in my life with organized religion and just religion in general. I was raised a Catholic and when people ask I would call myself a "recovering Catholic".

Sure I've read The Bible, went to CCD, got confirmed/babtized and all that  but through the years I've also studied and have been interested in all sorts of religion.

I've attended Kabala rituals/meditations, visited the Buddist temple here in Carmel, seen The Book of Kels in Ireland, dated Pagans (I dunno does that count as being inside a religion? Cue rim shot) read about Shintoism and even for a very brief period of my life I read all the works of Anton Lavey, including The Satanic Bible and considered myself a Satanist wearing a pentagram ring.

Believe it or not when you get past all of the "fire and brimstone" silliness all it teaches at the core is do what makes you happy as long as you don't harm anyone else. Not bad right?

However, once I was engaged I ended up tossing that ring in the garbage because it reminded me of a person I knew I wasn't but all of those things (yes even the satanism stuff) made me feel something and was very interesting. 

I even went so far as to write a song during my days with The Dalliance called "I Need A Religion" which of you read the lyrics it basically outlines my feelings on the subject. 

We have the single version on pur bandcamp page with the lyrics but it's when I sang it in a low register the album version is way better 👍 

We have the single version on pur bandcamp page with the lyrics but it's when I sang it in a low register the album version is way better 👍 

Now don't expect me to go running to church and praising JC all over the place. I don't even truly know if I 100% believe in it myself. I'll be honest, I know lots of people who believe in God, are practicing and are "born again" but the minute I start reading and hearing all about it either online or from the source it just gives me the creeps I don't know what it is.

I also have a problem with a religion that tells me things like self pleasuring or the family members and friends that are in same sex relationships are evil and wrong. Personally I think that's not how all of Catholics feel and If you are into it and it makes you a better person because of it I'm all for it no matter what you practice.  

But for the last few weeks when going through all of this stuff just wearing the cross and saying a little prayer every morning felt good. When I would get stressed out I would rub it on my chest or hold it and saying a little something in the car before I walked into the octagon of work gave me a bit of a warmth that helped a little.

Last time I felt that was when my father died I remember being completely in pain and sad sitting in church during his service and all of a sudden I felt this wash of warmth come over me like a blanket that to this day I can't explain. Something about being in a church or any house of worship gives me that feeling sometimes, but it has never given me the urge enough to go back every week. It is just nice every once in awhile to feel on the times I feel like I need it like funerals, weddings, baptisms stuff like that. 

Even now my children are not baptized and I don't plan on it. Zoey has had questions about religion and she has gone to "bible camp" with her friend every summer for a week for the day. I've always said if they had questions and were interested I would encourage it and let them make their own decisions.

I've had arguments with certain family members about it from time to time telling me "you have to decide for them" but honestly, no fault to my own upbringing my feeling is even though they are very young I want it for them to be a decision and not a burden like it was for me.

Give a child, any child a book and say "you have to read this" they are never going to enjoy and absorb it as much as if they picked it up themselves.  

So what I am getting at with this long entry is a quote from one of my favorite Kevin Smith movies Dogma: 

When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up.

 That quote has always stuck with me. Through all of the stuff that has happened to me this year and in my life in general, I've always had faith. Not in any specific religion but just faith in general and the biggest one I follow is to try and have faith in myself.

Not only do I refuse to think that life on his rock is all that we get, that we all just shut off like a television and just become part of the earth I refuse to give up on myself .

Do what you want to do in order to make life on this earth a good one before you become part of it. That includes chasing dreams, being creative and keep whatever faith you can carry in your back pocket or on your chest cause that's just yours. 

As always onward and upward.  

 

 

The Vapors

Greetings true believers! 

Hope eveyone had a wonderful week. Currently relaxing on a lovely Sunday recovering from a busy week and a Saturday of cleaning. Have to admit, there's nothing nicer when you get your cleaning done and are able to sit and relax in a clean house it's like a reset button for the week. Granted 99% of the time by mid week you are a back in a mess but that's what happens when you have two full time parents and children with busy activities. 

Dada selfie Sunday! Violet and I had a sleepover in my room while the other girls had a camp out with brownies last night. Dig the "hat/bed head" look. At least thank goodness my hair still grows like a weed. 

Dada selfie Sunday! Violet and I had a sleepover in my room while the other girls had a camp out with brownies last night. Dig the "hat/bed head" look. At least thank goodness my hair still grows like a weed. 

Anyhoo, I had an exciting Friday since HEAL was released on all of the major platforms like ITunes, Spotify and a bunch more! Although I really miss the days of record stores where you can flip through crates and rows of CD's and vinyl looking for that cool find its always a thrill when you pull up something like iTunes and see your music up there and posted with other bigger established artists. Once again thank you to everyone who shared and emailed me to tell me that they picked it up! Hopefully now that it's everywhere we will see more and more people checking it out and reviewing. It means a lot to me! 

 

Yeah that's right...I liked and saved my own stuff. Someone has to 😉 

Yeah that's right...I liked and saved my own stuff. Someone has to 😉 

Also, another thing that I tried to accomplish this week before the upcoming approach of the release date was one of the things that I've been thinking about conquering for a little while now...which was smoking. 

Like I've mentioned, with the new change of lifestyle that occurred this year I've been doing it in small stages which I feel is the most effective way of having it stick. Eating better first, then yoga, then Fitbit/calorie tracking apps, then prayer/meditation but now I'm in the "4th quarter" and with 3 months and 40lbs still to go I'm at the point where I'm going "ok what else can I accomplish?" I feel like I'm at the point where I'm maintaining, but not losing which I'm kind of ok with (the plateaus are frustrating) but at the same time I like to introduce new things to see if I can make things even better. If I would of tried all of this stuff all at once it would of been too much and I would be destined to fail.

So it took me a few weeks from my Initial Sept 1st projected start date, but I decided that I was gonna give quitting a try by switching to those e-cigarettes. It was a lovely warm weekend last week and after taking my car for a way overdue oil change and wash (inside and out) after sitting in a nice clean car, ash free and smelling like a new clean cotton Yankee Candle I thought to myself "well, perfect time to hit the Rite Aid and give it a try". Figured since I see those Blu ones all over that would be a good place to start. I bought the old Starter Kit of regular tobacco, plugged in and gave it a shot.

Now I'll be 100% honest. I lovvvvvve smoking. Sure it's horrible for you, gross to most and it seems like more and more it's harder than ever to do it anywhere these days but I have no problem with it for the most part. For me, there's nothing better  than sitting on the deck with an iced coffee with my phone and smoking like a chimney, or after a nice meal sitting back and smoking or especially while drinking alcohol. I literally have to buy a pack to go along with the beer. 

I remember literally the day before I decided to make a change at my cousin's wedding. It was a cold and rainy night at the reception, I went out after a few drinks to have a smoke outside and I'm literally standing there shaking in my suit, puffing away trying to stay dry and I look over at my cousin who is smoking with me and we are looking at each other saying "can you believe we are doing this in this weather?" But he looks over at me and says "yeah, but I fucking love smoking" and I looked over and agreed wholeheartedly. 

But as much as I enjoy it, honestly I love bad food, beer and drugs too and since I've given up all of this stuff this year why not this too? In the past year I've seen a few friends battling cancer as we speak (ironically none of them smokers), a pack is now up to almost $11  in NY and my poor grandmother is in her 90s barely able to breathe on her own from over 70(!) years of smoking so there's no reason to do it. Not to mention my daughters. Of course I don't smoke anywhere near them, but you can tell there's not a taboo about it, they are at the age that they aren't ignorant about it and they don't hassle me about it. It's just something daddy does.

So, for anyone curious or interested in "vaping" here's my review.... 

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Honestly? It's different....but not that bad. 

Is it as good as taking a drag on a Marlboro Light? Not really but it's all in the mindset. I use it in the car and you get the crackle, heat and "smoke" that pours out of your mouth but it's not smoke, it's vapor. I often found myself rolling down the window but you don't have to there's no smell or ash to it! Instead of freezing your ass off in the snow or rain you can stay warm (which if anyone knows me I fucking HATE the winter and being cold) I've even sat on my couch, inside after the kids go to bed vaping away watching TV! I'm getting the nicotine but not all of the other poison that goes with it. They even have other flavors/scents like vanilla, cherry and yes even Java which I have yet to try. Instead of a cloud of toxic smoke you can get the rush of the "drug" I'm addicted to and be smelling like an ash free candle. Plus 3 cartridges are like $10-13 which when you consider the cost of smokes..a 3 pack of 200 puffs to a cartridge is way cheaper. 

But naturally...there's been a struggle and some down sides.  

Its literally the smoke that never burns out. Each cartridge Like I said has about 200 puffs to it so I figured "ok so like a cartridge a day..makes sense" but with a regular smoke, it burns away and you are done. The struggle is "when do you put the thing down?" The first day or so I'm sucking on this thing constantly and not knowing when to put the thing down. The only  good thing about Blu is that the battery part drains pretty quick so once it flashes it's time to charge. It comes In a cool black cig pack that charges one and holds the cartridges so you can switch out. Charge one while using the other. On the commute I have to time it like "ok smoke it till you get to 684, put it down and not pick it up again till I get to 287 (for those people who know the NY highways 😜). 

Another thing I noticed is the "classic tobacco" cartridges I got are anything but. You get the effect but if I had to describe its more of a pipe tobacco taste than a "regular" smoke.

After a day or so I felt like I wasn't getting what I wanted. It didn't feel as strong or taste like a regular cigarette. I was sucking on this thing as hard as I could and getting discouraged. "This isn't smoking! It's not working this is a pipe not a Marlboro!" So at work, going out with my "smoking buddy" since I'm outside anyway I would rationalize "well let me try a regular smoke and see if I can tell the difference" the difference? Really not much and  I had to keep tell myself "dude, the Blu is giving you the nicotine so you are not going through withdrawal" 

But alas, after about 3-4 days of it sneaking a real smoke here and there I put it down and went back to buying Marlboro. I started feeling these weird pains in my ribs and chest too which kind of frightened me (looking back its probably because I was puffing too hard and using muscles and part of my lungs i havent used in decades). I wasn't sure why so I used that as an excuse to go back. I left the Blu pack charging in my car and I bought a new 3 pack but I never opened it. By mid week I was bummed that I gave up so fast. 

But a weird thing happened yesterday.  

I was home alone for awhile cleaning the house, popping in and out of the house having smokes And eventually I ran out. I had to go to the grocery store anyway to pick up some stuff so I said "eh, I'll pick up a pack too but I'll have a Blu on the way to tide me me over". It had been charging for awhile and I got the new 3 pack of cartridges so I screwed in the new one, which was bigger than the other ones I had for some reason (the lady in the gas station couldn't figure out what the hell I was asking for) so I took a few drags on the way to the store. 

By the time I got there I didn't even want to buy a pack.....at all. 

I think the new cartridges I bought must of been stronger, or maybe I gave it awhile to charge or who knows but I enjoyed the Blu so much I had no desire to even get "real ones" at all. I couldn't believe it instead of ripping open a pack of Marlboros I said "I'm gonna use the Blu instead on the way home it was really good!" 

So I'm going back to the vaping. Like I always say I never want to sit here with any of this and say "I'm cured!" There's always going to be moments and days where I go over my calories, sneak a few cocktails and probably suck on a smoke while doing so but like all of this the good days are soooooo much more and better this year than the bad ones. Once you realize that you don't crave it anymore, you don't get obsessed about the falls, get up and keep trying you are destined for success. I love the fact that there's kale drinks in my fridge instead of beer/soda, a yoga mat/area next to my music area, cold nights where I can vape indoors in said studio working on music and now to dig out a certain jacket down in the basement that I'm dying to try on 👍 

Although it doesn't feel like it at times I'm really starting to see the weight difference in my face these days.  See below around this time two years ago 😦

Although it doesn't feel like it at times I'm really starting to see the weight difference in my face these days.  See below around this time two years ago 😦

 

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Music update and plans!

Howdy Ho!  

It's weekend time again! Sitting on the deck trying to get those last few weekends before the dreaded cold. Fall is my favorite time of sweatshirts, leaves and pumpkin everything but the bad thing is it leads to my least favorite season of all...Winter. 

So as you all know, after many months my debut solo album HEAL has been released online digitally for over 2 weeks now via BandCamp! It feels good to have it finally out for people to check out and once again thank you to everyone who has listened or purchased on BandCamp and have placed their orders for the cassette version! It's been really neat  to see little notifications on my phone saying "you got an order" here and there. Looks like people are are listening which is nice to see.  

Deposit for the cassettes have been placed and any day now I'll have  a sample copy to approve so once I get and I approve, they press the rest so to all of the people who pre-ordered thanks for being patient they are on their way!

I can't wait to see it and for you all to get trust me, I didn't skimp on the pressing we are talking red casette with the tracks printed on them, two fold color layout, clear case, shrink wrapped, UPC, the whole nine. Plus you should have gotten the code to download the streaming for free so any issues email me back. I will definitely post pics of the sample copy when it comes in. 

Sample of some of their work. 

Sample of some of their work. 

Now I know BandCamp isn't really iPhone friendly, but they do have a free app where all purchases/downloads you make you can play it on your iPhone. I use it and it looks and plays great so if you purchased check it out. You can also review on there so please do. If you would rather have the MP3 I can send to you.  

Works like a charm plus I get to listen to all of the other ones I've purchased like Moonlight Inititave, Anthony Cardno and others!  

Works like a charm plus I get to listen to all of the other ones I've purchased like Moonlight Inititave, Anthony Cardno and others!  

 

For the rest of you, the album will be available on all of the major platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and more on Sept 25th so if that's easier for you please grab it there! I hoping once it's there more people will pick it up. Once it's up I ask you all to please take a moment and review. When I start this next phase of promotion the more reviews that are there will help me! 

Which brings me to the issue "Ok it's finally done and out there, what now?"  

This has always plagued myself and other projects I have done in the past. You put your heart and soul into recording music, you spend the money, you put it out, people are receptive for a week or so then it dies out quick. I'm guilty of it too we live in such a world now of constant attacks of info so you see something, go "oh neat" and you keep scrolling. To me there's always a fine line of bombarding people with things over and over, but if you don't people forget quickly and to be 100% honest it would really be a shame if like with other releases I've done it just dies on the vine. 

I have been having fun though putting a song out a week on YouTube while doing a "Behind The Heal" which tells you a little bit about the song, what it's about and how it came about.  I won't do it on all of them, so if there's one you're interested in hearing the story behind it let me know. 

So now it's time to start booking gigs! The past few months I've been working with some very cool musicians (affectionately called The Critically Ashamed Band my own E Street 😛) trying to craft a set for the release. We still are looking for a few more people to join like a bassist and keys so if you are interested let me know! I've been singing and playing bass, then when I switch to keys I've been handing it to my boy Pete but I really would prefer to have a full time bass player because I want to concentrate on just singing and being a frontman without jumping all over switching instruments. The two guitar attack is perfect haven't had that in ages and since there's so much keyboards/piano on this album it would be nice to have the piano, with another doing the other synth and other sounds to fill it out

 

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So the plan is to start booking shows starting in October-November and to try and do a few before the holidays. Once the dreaded Winter comes nothing sucks more than playing shows in the snow but I missed that window unfortunately getting the band/album done but we will get some in. If you know of a place or city you want us to come to once again contact me! We will play anywhere as long as it makes sense. My days of playing gigs at 1am on a Tuesday in Jersey are long gone 😜

The official release parties im thinking of more of a rented space where we can do our set, while having other local  "vendors" present that can promote their HEAL like services wether it's books, self help, fitness, yoga, art, good food/juices I think would be fun. Other musicians also welcome too I'm so tired of this "look out for themselves" mentality time to get a thing going! Hoping to start this very soon.

So be on the lookout moving forward for upcoming info on the music. I hope to have some gigs, interviews, news, etc. to share. Please if you have any ideas or suggestions feel free to contact me anytime on social media, here or at gregry13@gmail.com I'm looking for it all more musicians, gigs, management, promotional vehicles whatever you got. 

Not to worry, I am still going strong on the HEAL I am determined to hit that under 200 goal by 2016 but right now it will probably be more about music than health updates. I am the thinnest and healthiest I've felt in years with music that I am super passionate about so I am looking forward to getting out there again focused, sober, energetic and hopefully wearing "the jacket" when I dig it out for the Fall 😉 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude

Happy Labor Day yall! 

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Funny how we all celebrate by doing the least amount of labor for a couple of days. I know it's like a reward for all of the hard work we all do throughout the year, but I always kind of laugh when people say "what are you doing for Labor Day?" And my reply is "nothing" 😜

But I digress.... 

Before I get into my music manifesto of course let's get into the HEAL update. Things are kind of more of the same I've been stuck I guess what you would call now the "20 pound plateau". Once I broke the first one I've been stalled at the "240's" the past few weeks. Still counting calories and trying to get my yoga in 3x week but haven't really been as militant as much as I would like to be either.  Coming out of vacation, week alone and getting the girls ready for back to school has been challenging my will power.  Even as much as I went on about not drinking a week or so ago there I was "partaking" a bit last weekend but I tried not to beat myself up about it. I just tell myself "you're trying your best you're human" and "tomorrow the calorie click starts fresh at 1,530 pal keep going" I have been getting into a good habit lately of before I eat something I enter it In my app first and think "hmm is it worth it?" rather than "eat first ask questions later"  which helps.

Back to school...back to schooool...to prove to daddy that I'm no fool  

Back to school...back to schooool...to prove to daddy that I'm no fool  

But now it's September so to me it's the third part of the trilogy and as you Star Wars geeks know depending on which ones you follow you can either have a cheesy celebration with furry Ewoks burning your dad or fall in lava and have your dad yelling a cheesy "nooooooooo" at the end so as much as I despise Ewoks I'm gonna dance with them in the woods. 

Why Lucas why? You almost had me misty eyed until you added this. Don't let us down JJ

Why Lucas why? You almost had me misty eyed until you added this. Don't let us down JJ

My goal is under 200lbs by January 1st 2016 and with 40lbs to go in 4 months I know I can do it! I tried DDP for 5 days this week but by Thursday I could feel my body falling apart from lack of sleep and aches so I'm back on the harder sessions 3x this week and the "diet" is gonna be back on hardcore right after Labor Day. No more "eh...you can have chips or a serving of ice cream it's in your calories" it defeats the purpose of what I am doing. No sugar, carbs, juicing (and no more Naked drinks even though I'm getting veggies that's a ton of sugar!) and hardcore yoga can do it. I'm even going to try e-smokes this week to stop smoking. I'm like a chimney lately and I figure if I try this and only take a hit from the "electronic dick" as I call it when I'm really joensin it might help me just give it up by 2016. 

My new parlor trick when I see family/friends and they say "how is yoga you look good!" Is ill do moves like the bent good ornament or how I balance on one leg, grab my big toe and hold my leg out "kinda straight" to show off. I do it sometimes just to remind myself that a year ago at this time I could barely walk.  

So now I digress even more.......

I'm sure that you know if you read this and if you follow me on Social media that at long last my album HEAL is finally released digitally! 

Not to discount anything I've ever done in the past because I am extremely proud and love a lot of the projects I've done with my musical brothers (damn as you will read most are still present in this album!) but this album is one of the best, personal and most rewarding thing I've ever released. If I had to make a "Mount Rushmore" of anything I've ever put out I'd have to say (in no order): 

HEAL  

Brady Bastards - "The Deep End"  

Product of Society "Schizaphrenagenic" 

The Daliance "Birth, Love, Death"  

Just like Use Your Illusion if we mixed the best from these two that would of been a killer album 😉 

Just like Use Your Illusion if we mixed the best from these two that would of been a killer album 😉 

It was a longer than I thought process, but to take these songs that I had laying around for years slowly come together little by little and to hear the end result was so cool for me to experience. From recordings on my iPad, then traveling to Cleveland to see Darrell and recording with him again, to record remaining vocals with Dave at Starr Ridge in Brewster (who we recorded POS with decades ago) then getting new mixes, pre-masters then finally The final masters from "My Jarvis" Darrell at the end....just like the new lifestyle it was a slow burn that became so worth it at the end.

I  will admit when the final masters came in I sat in my bed late at night, put the earbuds in and listened to each song and by track two I could feel happy tears run down my face and thought holy fuck I actually did it

Date for when it's released on iTunes, Spotify, etc...even though I miss the days of physical copies there's something that's so cool when you see your music mixed in with other major artists online  

Date for when it's released on iTunes, Spotify, etc...even though I miss the days of physical copies there's something that's so cool when you see your music mixed in with other major artists online  

As much as this album is me playing guitar, bass, singing and even piano/keys (which is something I always wanted to do I'm still learning to this day..especially live) and is officially my first ever "solo album" there's no way I could of done this by myself. There are so many people I need to thank, which when reading this all back, I will do a seperate entry in order to not drown you all with blabbing in one post this blog is supposed to be about the health journey you know 😉

So look for a seperate entry for that this weekend  with more details on the music and what my plans are but I just wanted to say To everyone who's following, sharing snd downloading THANK YOU! 

I started this blog and website not only to promote my music but it was more about documenting this year trying to get better, to keep myself accountable for my behavior and to show everyone that if I can do it, you can do it too! If you are stuck, feeling horrible, you really want to change and are ready...it's never too late. You're gonna fall a lot (see above with my yoga balancing) and its ok but take it from me if you get back up and keep going slow and steady the right way without shakes and bars and pills you will see results. 

It's been extremely helpful for me to do this so try it too! Start a blog, an Instagram page (I've friended and followed a lot of people on there that liked my pics from my hashtags that are doing the same they really do work people!) log down everything and don't be afraid to share it with the world warts and all good as much as bad.

I've been criticized by some close people to me who say "you share too much on there" but you know what? If I didn't and make myself accountable for everyone to see..just like in the past what's to stop me from just going back to my old ways? If I do all this blabbing, then walked around and just did what I used to do anyway I would feel like a fraud and would of felt like I let you all down. I am in no ways skinny and I probably never will be, but as of today I feel 1000% better. 

I'd be lying if I  said I don't care if this album doesn't do anything of course I want it to get as much exposure, sell a ton of copies and be a success. But I can honestly say the people who emailed me saying they either started DDP, or changed their eating habits, shared their similar stories with me and said "I'm gonna try it too" because of these posts means just as much...maybe even more than a download or a like if a song.

For that I'm completely grateful.  

 

Hulking it out...dammit I forgot my Fitbit!  

Hulking it out...dammit I forgot my Fitbit!  

 

 

Hero worship

Ahoy Mateys! 

Hope eveyone is enjoying the end of another week. In just one more week the girls start school already. It seems like the Summer breaks go by faster and faster each year 😕 Not only do my women get one more free week, but it means only one free week for me too before I get back to making lunches, waking up cranky kids and having to get up earlier to sweat it out in the basement before all this happens. It was fun while it lasted 😐

Since things on the #HEAL front are more of the same (seems I'm at another plateau lately. I'm sure last week's shenanigans didn't help. By the way thank you all for the kind words last week it was a tough one to delve into personally and hit that publish button) I actually thought about another topic this week I wanted to write about anyway.  

I noticed this week I was delving more into the stressful and panicky feeling again since things were a little stressful at my job. I stared thinking back to my prior entry on numbers, how I could help myself calm down and not worry so much. Meditating has helped (found a great new app that I throw on sometimes after yoga which is a nice 3 minute mental cool down) and yes even prayer has come back into my life a bit, but one thing that struck me which was odd was I realized "dude, you haven't been listening to any music this week at all!" 

I noticed on my 3 hours in the car daily during the round trip commute instead of throwing on the Spotify I've been delving into podcasts and talk radio instead which I do really enjoy but it was odd not listening to any music at all. I think between listening to the pre-masters of HEAL over and over for awhile I just switched and although the topics are interesting, between the thoughts constantly running through my head and work stuff all I've been hearing is talk and talk and blah and blah blah so I quickly started putting on some music and as always, music was the cure but it also made me think even more if you can believe it.

i made a playlist awhile back that is kinda a "soundtrack of my life so far" and in cronological order it plays songs and artists that I started with in the beginning, through my whole life all the way up to now. It has all of the styles and sounds that have influenced me and kind of made me who I am both musically and personally. It was really fun to do and I encourage everyone to give it a try! 

Here's mine. "Kinda Famous" was a book I was writing ages ago 😉

http://open.spotify.com/user/gregry13/playlist/66DtMr9lOnRNXAUMTvkYUK

Now it doesn't start with Sesame Street  (Although it would be funny if it did) but it starts with the music I was surrounded with as a little boy growing up in the 70's in Brooklyn and my dad's awesome record collection. Elton John, Neil Young, Steely Dan, The Eagles, CSN, Chicago even stuff like Bread and that silly Barbara Streisand/Barry Gibb duet my mother used to crank on the 8 Track over and over as a kid. Such a simple innocent time or as I like to call the "smoke coming from the basement" music in the apartment that I wasn't allowed to go down to.

Then it moves to the early 80's rock and metal I was obsessed with when I could make my own decisions and tastes as an early teen. Stuff like Motley Crüe, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot, Van Halen and of course Kiss. Seeing that 1976 poster of them when I was 8 and getting Dressed To Kill soon after merged my love of comic books and music and made me want to be a musician. Sure Gene hates me now but I do owe the fellah 

 

Took a few months of calling him out on his shit but I finally got to him 😛 

Took a few months of calling him out on his shit but I finally got to him 😛 

Then as the hormones kicked in it got a little more heavier.  Bands like "The Big 4" of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Exodus, Overkill, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Motörhead then even heavier like Kreator, Sodom, Merciful Fate, Celtic Frost. For a fat little kid obsessed with comics and D&D that's the shit you wanna have as a soundtrack for Game of Thrones not lutes and pipes. 

Grandmaaaa! To a metal kid "Abigail" was our "Tommy" 

Grandmaaaa! To a metal kid "Abigail" was our "Tommy" 

Then it got real. Growing up as a teen in the early to mid 80's hardcore music was at its zenith and it's this music that made me start my own band. All of the music before was and is still awesome, but hardcore was fast, furious and you didn't have to look like a long haired model and have a stage with big beasts and slaying dragons. They were people who looked like us and was all about expression and getting your feelings out. Once again growing pubes, chubby and not getting laid wearing chucks and jeans bands like Circle Jerks, DRI, Black Flag, Agnositic Front, Cro Mags, Murphys Law, Bold, Gorrilla Biscuts, Minor Threat, Descendents, Dead Kennedys, Sick of It All really, really appealed to me and made me part of a community that was just like me and felt the same way. Even our peers were starting bands like Up Front, 4 Food Groups, Rambo Smurf and later on Sub Zero showing the slightly younger that you can do it too. It's the DIY approach to music and even merch that I still look back at to this day as a blueprint.

Saw this pic on on the back of the album as a kid in Mahopac and I said to myself "hey I know that bridge and spot!" So I bought it without hearing a song. That's what you did back then trust me Carnivore and "our music" wasn't getting played on radio or MTV. 

Saw this pic on on the back of the album as a kid in Mahopac and I said to myself "hey I know that bridge and spot!" So I bought it without hearing a song. That's what you did back then trust me Carnivore and "our music" wasn't getting played on radio or MTV. 

Speaking of hormones, the next phase was all about hormones. The sounds got softer and more left of the dial with "real" alternative bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, Love & Rockets, REM, The Pixies, They Might Be Giants, The Psychadelic Furs and Echo & The Bunnnymen. These bands were about real feelings, but more about the love and lust type. Getting close to getting out of High School this music felt like it was speaking to me cause it's all about love, lost love and very sexual. I lost my virginity with The Cure's masterpiece "Disintegration" blaring in the background and all of these songs were soundtracks to my making out and dry humping years. I owe just as much to Robert Smith he got me laid before Gene did! 

Plus what's more attractive than a goth chick? Pale skin, dark lipstick, fishnets, heavy Docs with a big shirt with a bra strap poking out the top to me is very attractive. I saw a girl recently with a black hair bob, shades, bright red lipstick, a big Sonic Youth "Goo" album cover t-shirt (brand new mind you) Long kitty cat black thigh high socks and boots and I started sweating. 

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Then in the early 90's for me it was a weird mix of the grunge era mixed with the early hip hop of the "POS" years for me. As much as bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Tad, Mudhoney, Sunny Day Real Estate, Alice in Chains were continuing my love for alternative and mixing all of these styles above, rap music was giving me just as much as a charge. NWA, Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Guru and House of Pain got me even more into the hip hop scene that I slowly dabbled in with bands like Run DMC and Beastie Boys earlier.  People say the Aerosmith/Run DMC "Walk This Way" started it but it was the Anthrax/PE "Bring The Noise" that did it for me and started Product of Society with us. Listen to our early songs from our first album it was like we are mixing Bon Jovi, Anthrax, Beasties, Nirvana and Public Enemy in a blender. Pete was a Chuck D with a Tesla shirt on while I wore Doc Martens, Suicidal Tendencies t-shirts and yelling "put your muthafucking hands in the air yallllll" All with long ass hair to our nipples.

Nothing says "Gangsta" like a large Dr Seuss hat playing a bowling alley 

Now all of these bands and styles still fade in and out of my brain to this day. I find myself going through phases like I'll listen to nothing but metal/hardcore for a week, then listen to nothing but Warrren Zevon or Nic Cave albums in full (always been more of a whole album guy then the hits). Sure I get exposed to new bands now and again that turn me on (see later) but I'm starting In my 40's to sound like my dad and my elders before me and I find it hysterical at times. My kids will put on stuff like One Direction, R5 and other tween type pop and while I can appreciate some I sit there going "man it's all about booties and sounds like robots fucking, now Cheap Trick there's a band, where's the next Metallica?"  

There have been amazing important people that did important things to make the world better but my heroes? Lemmy from Motörhead with the Jack Daniels and warts yelling "we are Motörhead and we play rock and roll!" Or Nikki Sixx with the "war paint" on his cheeks with a cig in his teeth, Gene in the 70's breathing fire, spitting fake blood  or even Iggy Pop smearing peanut butter on his chest or slicing it up with glass bleeding on stage. To me those were my idols and what I wanted to be for decades.

Even recently one "newer" band I got obsessed with the past few years is the band Fucked Up and their charasmatc frontman Damian. Their album "David Comes to Life" to me is a 90 minute punk rock opera masterpiece and tne band overall to me is incredible. Heavy guitar mixed with noodling clean guitar, girl bass player with thick glasses (see goth girl obsession even though she really isn't all girl bass players rule) drums that kick you in the nuts both with style and heaviness and then there's the screaming guttural vocals of Damian.  

Oh boy swoooooon. She's actually my Facebook friend how embarrassing if she reads this and my not so secret "celeb crush"  

Oh boy swoooooon. She's actually my Facebook friend how embarrassing if she reads this and my not so secret "celeb crush"  

I saw clips from them earlier and got the chance to see them live a few years ago in the village and I felt like I found a new hero. Here's this bald, heavy dude with a massive beard and basketball shorts on stage and his shirt doesn't make it past song 2 of the set. The dude is hairy everywhere, gut hanging out, sweating like a pig screaming and not a care in the world. You would think he's a tough guy but he is a sweet teddy bear grabbing you, hugging the crowd full of sweat smiling as he yells and let me tell you, I was all over the guy front row, 50 PBR's in with my white glasses and Bauhaus shirt yelling "hello my name is Daviddd" in the microphone getting that sweat and I loved it. 

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Before I started this year when I was thinking about starting out on my own and was 300 lbs, I thought to myself "man I should be like Damian on stage. Who cares if I'm so fat I can just take my shirt off, be free, be drunk, yell and scream and not give a fuck like him" I honestly was using this, even in my mid 40's as a role model like I  did with the others and inventing an excuse to poison myself.

But then you know what else I saw and discovered? 

I saw a man who also dramatically lost a ton of weight himself the past year or so, a family man with a wife and beautiful children who admitted he suffered from anxiety and found help (I'm not going to do the "green and sober route" but more power to you man!) and even was about to throw away this band who became the hip "Spin Magazine elite" for a bit because the touring and lifestyle made him miss his family. 

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Thank goodness they are still putting out music and thank you Damian for doing what you do cause that's a hero you follow kids. Do it on your own terms and get better cause things like family, loved ones and friends are what makes the world go around. Music is very important to me but it's just the soundtrack of your life in the end. It can make you who you are but make your own soundtrack.  

 

 

This is why HEAL is coming out on cassette. I miss the days of boomboxes and mix tapes. 

This is why HEAL is coming out on cassette. I miss the days of boomboxes and mix tapes. 

 

Alone

Greetings everyone!  

Hope everyone is doing well. I am currently writing this in a house full of my ladies finally after spending a long week alone last week. 

It happens around August every year for the past few years my wife and children take a week house/dog sitting for a friend of my wife's while their family takes a vacation and since I need to work (just finished our own vacation), my girls are off for the Summer  and the house is a good hour away from our own I get to stay at our house alone while they stay there. 

It's always an interesting time because the majority of my life, actually all of my life I've never lived alone....ever. I shared a bedroom with my brother since the day he was born, then lived the dorm life In college, then once I moved out on my own it's always been with roommates or girlfriends, then I was married and we had children pretty much right away. Out of the 44 years on this planet I think I had my own bedroom for maybe 2 years tops and I had never had an apartment on my own. 

Therefore there are periods where I crave and seek alone time and when I do finally get that opportunity I tend to take full advantage of it. People will find out and say "oh man you have the place to yourself? Let's go do this or that or this" and honestly? Because I never get a moment to myself although I miss a lot of my friends dearly I often find myself thinking "nah I'm gonna stay home". 

 

Even though it's buggy at times, hot in the afternoon and too close to woods...I just love coffee on the deck  

Even though it's buggy at times, hot in the afternoon and too close to woods...I just love coffee on the deck  

So it's funny when August comes around and that "free week" approaches I'm already scheming and thinking about what I'm going to do. Sure I am still working during that week so I'm limited to options but there's always some things I look forward to doing and before this year it was a no brainer: 

i get to watch whatever shows, movies I want to watch! (Which is odd considering honestly I take over the remote when the kids go to bed) 

The whole week is going to consist of take out and I'm gonna get all of my favorite snacks and fill the house with them!  (Yet also odd since it's not like anyone is telling me I can't eat a tub of Ben & Jerry's in my boxers whenever I want anyway) 

But the big one is always...I get to drink whenever and whatever I want!  

See for the past several years, pretty much since we've had children and they were old enough to notice we do not keep alcohol in our home anymore. We did for awhile but as we all know, especially with me if its in the house, it doesn't stay for long. I've never been the type to buy a case of beer, drink one or two a day and make it last. With my addictive personality once it starts, it's not gonna stop. If it's in the fridge I'm gonna keep drinking it until it's done or I'm gonna pass out trying. There's nothing scarier for me and I'm sure others around me when I hear the words "open bar". 

Oh scarecrow, I'm having trouble getting rid of you most of all  

Oh scarecrow, I'm having trouble getting rid of you most of all  

But now this year for me it's a whole new ballgame. I'll admit since beginning this new   lifestyle there's been a day of "slip ups" here and there but just like with the food addiction the drinking has pretty much been taken out of the equation in my life.

Before this year I was drinking heavily pretty much once a week if not more. Most of the time It would happen during band practices or any of my other creative endeavors back then. I used it as an excuse or front to go out and get hammered. I used to whine "oh I just need a day to kick back with my friends, strap on a bass and have fun creating music with a few cold ones" However it got to a point near the end where I didn't care about the music I was making I just wanted to get in that room and drink, drink, drink. I would sometimes look at the set list and think "man when is this over? I just want to go to the bar again." When you are ordering beers from the stage between or sometimes during songs too you know you have a problem. 

But now this year once I took the alcohol out of the equation I've never been more creative and happier. I play better, I sound better, I look better and most importantly I feel better. I go to band practice now and the worst thing I'm drinking is Monster Energy drinks and I don't have to worry about "did I drink too much to drive?"  I don't have to come home wiping myself down with wet ones or chewing on 50 Altoids so I don't come stumbling in reeking of beer in front of my poor wife. Now for me it's all about my music and my health. To come home from band practice sweaty and sober feels amazing.

Singing, playing keyboards, jumping back and forth to bass. No way could I do what I do now even a year ago

Singing, playing keyboards, jumping back and forth to bass. No way could I do what I do now even a year ago

So far this year I'll admit there have been a night or two where I've had a "free night" and I never ever get the cravings for bad food and always keep within my calories, but the alcohol has been the weakness. In all of my years of "professional drinking" I have perfected it almost to a science now where the days of blackouts and puking never ever occur. The method is very simple:

1) Always stick to beer. liquor for me is the devil I drink it like said beer and leads to trouble. Wine also gives me massive headaches. Beer for some reason I can drink till the cows come home and I do not have a problem.

2) When planning for a night of drinking you have to decide on either quality or quantity. I've discovered the formula is:

a) Quantity: One 12 pack of cheap beer. Usually a Miller Light/High Life, Schaefer, Tecate or PBR (before the hipsters stole it) does the trick. Can't do Bud it gives me the "pukey" feeling especially the next day. This can last longer, be finished over a few hours easily and believe it or not drinking the whole thing doesn't get me "too" wrecked. Schaefer especially I've been known to finish a 12 of that and could even operate a forklift if I had to 😜

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b) Quality: a 6 pack of good beer and one "Closer". I've never been into a craft, micro brewed, fancy beer most are too bitter and smell too strong so my idea of "good" beer would be Stella Artois that is my usual go to. "The Closer" is normally a Fosters "oil can" or sometimes even a king can or two of cheap beer (see above). Darrell and I coined the term back in the band gig days where you would have some drinks at practice/gig and have a "Closer" when you got home. The 6 of nice beer gets you jussssst to the point of fuzzy content and that closer takes you right over the edge. Closers can usually be cheap beer since you and already pretty much too drunk at that point to care and is usually followed by passing out. 

Another one of my go to "fancy" beers. No need for fruit  

Another one of my go to "fancy" beers. No need for fruit  

3)  They say to do all this before bed but most times I'm too hammered to remember but usually around the 5-6am time you wake up to take that massive 5 minute pee. Do that, go slam some coconut water, take 4 Motrin, sometimes even a Zantac 150mg for that "afternoon stomach burn" and go back to bed for a few more hours. When you wake up you will be as right as rain and your mouth won't feel like a sewer. Sometimes a Gatorade by the bed for toss and turn quick gulps can help with that morning purge or a swish of mouthwash will prevent your mouth from tasting like an ashtray. 

Now I have been doing this method pretty much for ages and like in Anchorman with the Sex Panther cologne 60% of the time it works every time.  Sure sometimes I would deviate from this formula (see open bar) but for the most part if I use this method I'm good. No getting in cars driving around anymore, I would only put this into motion under the following conditions: no wife, no children (make sure there is a "designated parent" present. Can't be making emergency trips to a hospital half in the bag) and of course be at home or at a place for the night and stay there.

Maybe it's all the years of playing bars and clubs but I don't want to be in one unless I have an instrument in my hand. Plus the thought of driving to a place, consuming then getting in a car frightens me. It was a constant struggle for me trying not to drink cause of the driving. It got to a point where I was always having friends drive, even to practice because I couldn't be trusted and I didn't want to limit myself to one or two because once that first one hits my lips my body immediately goes "game on fucker" 

So here I am mister HEAL now drinking kale smoothies, eating salads, doing my yoga and over 60lbs down since January and feeling literally the best I've ever felt in years about to embark on 7 full nights of being "a bachelor".  I would like to say I spent that time doing all of this stuff and enjoying the quiet working on new music, catching up on Netflix and all that. 

Nope.....I would say I had a few closer nights. 

The addict in me rationalized once again and said "dude, you never get this much time alone live a little while you can!" So I did.

DDP saw me on Monday morning but besides that, he sat laying dormant in the basement. I kept on the good foods but some nights were spent coming home with a bag full of cold ones sitting on the couch and consuming. I'll admit the first one is always the toughest but once you get that liquid in your body the warmness takes over and you start thinking "God I love beer" and you spend the next few days in between nights of closers sucking down vitamin water in your office going "why?" 

I did learn something though for the first time in my life having this week alone.  

It's not who I am anymore and I'm going to stop.

Of course I logged in everything like I always do and what I saw that solidified my decision was not only is this poison gonna kill me eventually it's a horrible waste of calories! For a man who only consumes @ 1,500 calories a day now   "quality" is 1,037 calories and a night of "quantity" is over 1,200 calories. To think I would do that to myself weekly and throw on 3 square meals of crap and other snacking on top of that? No wonder I was over 300lbs! 

Did I have fun? Of course I did at the time I was doing it but at my age and how I've been taking care of myself the hangovers the next day are horrendous and it's just not worth it.

I can sit down on a piece of paper and write down every single bad decision or thing I've ever done in my life and I can always equate it to "I was drinking at the tlme". Some people can do it, be fine with moderation and have a good time doing it but I've always known I have never been good at anything in moderation.  

So I'm not going to sit here and say "I'm cured" It might happen again but honestly I doubt it. I've come so far this year and just like the bad food I need to eliminate this as well so I can release this album, go play shows and show myself and the rest of the people who have been so supportive that you can go from being sick and miserable to healthier and happier through the power of music and the willing to HEAL

So I'm back in the basement, eating my salads and focused more than ever. I'm even going to try those e-cigs starting Sept 1st to see if that helps me slowly quit smoking too. Having my girls back with me this weekend, enjoying them, loving them and what I have achieved this year totally feels better than a life filled with alcohol. 

These two are why I am doing what I do  

These two are why I am doing what I do  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checks and Balances

Morning!  

Sitting out on the deck on a lovely Sunday morning. I know it's been a few weeks since my last posting. Decided after running around for months and months with work, trying to get the album finished and the new band up to snuff , once I took our annual vacation to Ocean City NJ I decided to take an extra week off from blogging in order to "unplug" .  It got to a point where I was listening to the pre-masters over and over, scheming and planning daily I needed to just let it sit and walk away from it before I lost my mind 😜

Got to practice with the band this past Wednesday though to kind of dust off the cobwebs yet again which was nice and we even had some photos taken of rehearsal and hopefully more professional shots this week coming up. Thanks to an old friend Jeffry Braun for taking the time to come down and take shots was great to see him! Hopefully we will see some pics up soon 👍

Things seem to be moving but we STILL need a bass player though! I've been strapping on tbe 4 string menace in the meantime  but once I switch to keyboards we are baseless and considering 4-5 songs require full keys it drops out so anyone who is interested let me know! Even if I can find a committed lead guitar I'll take it since Helene is a great bass player too but I'll tell you, it would have to a be good and cool lead player cause she rocks! Right now we have a solid group of four but If we can find that one extra body it will be perfect.

But anyhoo back to the HEAL report 

I'm happy to report that things are still going great! Ocean City this year was a blast, after having a troubling vacation last year with dental problems and work issues, this year was a lot better and everyone had a great time! We saw old friends we hadn't seen in years (their families were there same time we were and didn't even know it! See Facebook can work to your advantage sometimes) I got to spend some relaxing quality time with not only my girls, but the whole Gilroy clan and for the first time in ages I felt completely relaxed. It was extremely overdue. 

Now going into the break I went down there with the best of intentions. We were 2 blocks from the beach and I told myself "I'm gonna do my yoga on the beach!" and "I'm gonna watch myself and do only healthy things all week!" but of course once you get down there, your feet are up and the ocean breeze is a blowing once I decompressed I quickly went to "ehhhhh fuck it I'm just gonna not worry and just relax". I decided to just recharge the batteries and just be happy without stressing.  

Spent most of my time like this. This place was in the center of things so great for people watching  

Spent most of my time like this. This place was in the center of things so great for people watching  

However like I've been saying now for months is this is NOT a diet, it's a lifestyle change.  Even though we were very close to the Boardwalk and all of the fried, sugary delights were well within reach there wasn't that much temptation for me. The good thing about renting an apartment with a mother that is an amazing cook was there were many dinners where we stayed in and had some great home cooked meals of chicken, eggplant and other healthier choices so it wasn't like it was eating crap 24/7 which was nice.

My eldest daughter can make a pretty and mean tasting salad  

My eldest daughter can make a pretty and mean tasting salad  

Were there times where I did partake? Sure there were some days of things like funnel cake fries (the best invention ever! No yanking apart a big hunk of dough with sugar they were made in the shape of fries for easy sharing) buffalo shrimp, pirogies, French fries and yes there was an ice cream place across the street open till midnight for late night visits but the portions were reasonable, I still logged in everything I put in my mouth and the thing I learned this year was as long as you are being active, rewards can be granted.

Was nice I got to take each daughter to the boardwalk one day seperately for our own date 💕 

Was nice I got to take each daughter to the boardwalk one day seperately for our own date 💕 

Even though I didn't get to my yoga in the sand, there was a lot and lot of walking. Normally because of my schedule I'm good for only about 3-4k steps a day. Sure on a weekend I'll get up to 5-6k running around doing chores and activities with the kids but even on a relaxing vacation, there were walks to the beach, long walks on the boardwalk so those walks made up for the yoga sweating. One day I even got to over 10k steps for the first time! Sure I was walking to the ice cream store when it happened but still counts.  

The thing buzzed on my wrist like crazy when it happened I thought I broke it! 

The thing buzzed on my wrist like crazy when it happened I thought I broke it! 

But that was the amazing thing even though there were a day or two of treats by the time I got back to our home not only was I relaxed there were some feelings and things I never felt before after a vacation:

I was dying for a big glass of kale and a salad

i couldn't wait to go downstairs on Monday and get back to my yoga  

I lost another 5 pounds  

 

 

Next to the ice cream shop was a cigar shop. All of the Gilroy clan got to partake in a tasty cigar on their deck. Family bonding at its finest 

Next to the ice cream shop was a cigar shop. All of the Gilroy clan got to partake in a tasty cigar on their deck. Family bonding at its finest 

Glory Days

Ahoy!  

Hope you all had a great week! Just a few more days for me before my family and I pack up and take our annual trip down to beautiful Ocean City NJ! I love spending time not only with my girls for a whole week, but also my mother, brother, sister, their significant others and children. There's not too many times anymore where I can sit down at a table with my brother and sister and just talk so I cherish it and look forward to it every year. Let's hope it's better for me than last year where I had massive dental pain and work issues 😐 

Ahhhhh beach and Boardwalk! Can't wait!  

Ahhhhh beach and Boardwalk! Can't wait!  

No worries I'm sure I'll have a nice post about  it when I get back . 

In the meantime, things on the HEAL train are still going swimmingly (see what I did there? 😜). I feel as though I'm getting close to the end of the tunnel! After a stall in May and half of June things ramped back up and I'm happy to say I am down to a svelte 245lbs now!

The fact that I was over 300 in the beginning of January feels like a major accomplishment to me. My goal is to be under 200lbs by Jan 1st 2016 and the way things are going with 45 lbs left to lose in 5 months I think I can really get there! Honestly at this point the past few months I've only been doing the Yoga, counting calories and staying away from junk so I think if I try and go back to zero carbs, sugar after vacation and really ramp it up It's totally obtainable. 

Slow and steady my friends 👍 

Slow and steady my friends 👍 

I was thinking a lot lately about the future. What I want to accomplish before the end of the year health wise, music wise, house wise, everything and it made me think of the topic for this week. The subject of thinking about the old glory days.

i do it myself at times and I hear people talk about it a lot where they go "Man sometimes I wish I could go back to the time when (insert age range here) I was this or that...boy that was really the good ol days"  

I  used to do that a lot myself  when things were tough or going wrong with me in my life. I would think back on how I looked, acted, felt when I was younger and I would wish I could go back and be living like that again. Either that or I would see someone younger than me in a certain place in their life complaining and think "what the hell are you bitching about I would KILL to be your age and where you are right now!" 

Sure I think we all think about our youth sometimes, how indestructable we all felt and the lack of responsibilities we all had. Let's think 20-25 years ago in the good ol 90's. I had just got out of college, the band I was in was gaining momentum, we were popular, I was playing to big crowds, we were about to be signed to a label (ok a European label but it counted!) and we were going to take over the world!

At Lamours opening for the mighty Type O Negative. To think I used to wear two shirts because I thought I was fat back then 😦

At Lamours opening for the mighty Type O Negative. To think I used to wear two shirts because I thought I was fat back then 😦

I worked some Retail job just to put a few bucks in my pocket that had the least amount of responsibility possible. You know just something to do until we took off and I can quit at a moments notice. My rent was a measley $600 a month split in half in some crummy apartment and I think at the time I weighed less than 180 lbs. It was a time I had no steady girlfriend or wife, no kids, no mortgage, I looked good and I didn't give a fucckkkkkk. Top of the world! 

Sounds great right?  

But it's funny how we tend to think back to those "Glory Days" and only seem to cherry pick the good parts of it and forget all of the things that were bad about it. 

In my house we used to call it "The AZ disease" I had an aunt who I loved dearly but she would go on like "oh my kids were such angels growing up" and we used to look at her like she was a three headed mutant "who's kids are you talking about? That ain't the way I remember". My mom will do it sometimes about us growing up and I would just shake my head and say "ok AZ..." which would be followed by a slap on the arm.

Truth is with all of those so called "glory days" also came with long bouts of poverty, depression, alcoholism, drugs, strained relationships and soul suckers. I was broke, writing checks my ass couldn't cash just to put food (and beer of course) in the fridge so I wouldn't starve. I lived in dumps, got into relationships that dragged me down and after years of abusing myself, others, losing the dream of becoming a "rockstar" and all hope it almost lead to my death by my own hands.

I share a lot on this blog in the hopes of helping others and getting things off my chest. Don't know if I'm ready for that tale yet. Sorry maybe soon don't want to upset people making a point come on my mom reads this!

But what I am getting at in a very long round about way is...not to quote my own lyrics but there's a line in an old Brady Bastards song I used to say all the time:

you can't go back to holding hands

 Once in awhile sure when I get a free night or weekend to myself I would kick back with a few hundred cheap beers, hang out with my pals, maybe go see a concert, get in the pit and go nuts. I would pretend I'm back in the "glory days" even if it's for just one day and have a blast! 

But let me tell you the next day it would hurt and I would tell myself "man you are 44 not 24 anymore" .

Since I've taken this journey to HEAL sure there have been a misstep or three here and there but the one thing it has really shown me is that I'm extremely lucky to be here and I'm so grateful of what I have now. Back then in the "glory days" I never would of thought I would have my own home, a good job, married (almost 11 years on the 1st!) and that I would have two lovely children of my own. 

How can you not want to bite them? 

How can you not want to bite them? 

Has it been all flowers and sunshine? Of course not but that's the point...neither were the glory days either!

Take the good parts of those times...you want to look and feel the way you did back then? Do it today!  I'm doing that now I'm taking the things I liked about myself back then and applying them to the good things now...the best of both worlds as they say. 

Trust me don't be an Uncle Rico. There's no time machine and throwing the football in front of a camera doesn't bring you back. Plus you might not want to if you realllly think about it. 

 

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Numbers

Helllllooooo!  

Hope everyone is having a great start to the week! Just got back from a wonderful 2 days and one night in one of the greatest cities in the world NYC!  

Doesn't make me look too much like a tourist right? Sorry but after losing Jeter, A-Roid, high salaries and building a gaudy high priced stadium I've been cheating on you with Mr Met this year. 

Doesn't make me look too much like a tourist right? Sorry but after losing Jeter, A-Roid, high salaries and building a gaudy high priced stadium I've been cheating on you with Mr Met this year. 

Just like we did for Zoey's birthday back in April we took in another night staying in Times Square at the Mariott after catching a Broadway show (Aladdin this time) for Violet's birthday, we spent the next morning walking around and we hit Madamn Tussauds Wax museum before heading home. We had a blast I really enjoy spending time with the girls when it's just the four of us. I have to say we really do have some well behaved and absolute angels for daughters I truly am blessed. They are growing up so fast and I'm cherishing this time with them before they become more obsessed with boys and friends than their dear old dad. 

She may be afraid of gross looking characters in Times Square and lives on chocolate milk but she is becoming more of an adult than I am 

She may be afraid of gross looking characters in Times Square and lives on chocolate milk but she is becoming more of an adult than I am 

I was glad I took another long weekend too because I've had a difficult and stressful few weeks which when I thought about why it gave me the topic for this week.... 

Numbers 

Things have still been going well on the HEAL front. Honestly things have been more of the same not much has changed. I'm in the normal groove of entering calories, doing my yoga (disc 2 has been really kicking my ass, but in a good way) and watching my intake but it seems that I've taken on a new addiction to add to the pile with the rest and it seems to be causing me much (not) needed stress and that is coming from the numbers. 

I've noticed lately that I have been getting really stressed and suffering from what I think are anxiety attacks. I get home from a long work day and there are times where after looking at a computer screen all day, driving home for 90 minutes  then switching to this phone at night I lay on the couch completely drained of energy and all I want to do is sleep. There are even times I can feel a heaviness in my chest and will have difficulty breathing after a stressful moment or event and I was trying to think to myself why? I'm the healthiest I've ever been for awhile now I'm exercising, drinking the kale, eating the salads, keeping as active as I can trying to stay clear of the things that used to run me down.....so why am I feeling like this? It then dawned on me recently once I had a few days this weekend to collect my thoughts.... 

im not sure if everyone deals with this in their lives but I've been spending the majority of my time worrying and thinking about numbers.

As some of you know I work for a marketing firm, I'm a family man and I'm a musician and for the first time since I picked up a pair of sticks and sat in front of a beat up old drumset at the ripe age of 14 I'm writing and putting out music completely on my own.

Sure I've had some amazing help from friends putting this album together and I have a great new group of musicians backing me up so I can perform live again but at the end of the day, when HEAL is finally released my name is on the cover so it's all on me. 

Its exciting and I'm really looking forward to it but at the same time ever since I started this album, along with this new lifestyle I've become a little obsessed with numbers more than ever before. It used to be just one or two things I used to worry about that were about numbers but now it seems like all I can think about are those digits: 

How much is in my bank account? Am I ok? Do I have enough to pay my bills? 

What are my numbers for the month at work? Am I making enough sales for my clients and my company so they are happy and I can keep my job? 

I just put out a new single, how many listens is it getting each week? How many views do I have on YouTube?  Are they full listens or just partial? Is anyone even listening at all? 

I just posted a blog, how many reads am I getting? Is it more than the last one?  

I'm about to invest in releasing this album how many Pre-orders do I have? Will I have enough to cover costs? Is anyone going to actually purchase this album when it comes out? 

When I post this stuff (or anything on social media) how many likes does it have? How many comments? Are people sharing or retweeting? Does anyone care about any of this?  

How many calories did I consumer today? How many do I have left? Is my Fitbit synching correctly where are the calories I earned? How many calories is this thing that I'm eating? 

How many steps did I take? How am I doing step wise against my friends? Is my heart rate high enough when I do my yoga? Am I burning calories or just wasting my time? 

How much do I weigh now? How about now? Am I still losing? Man I shouldn't of eaten that Reuben this weekend or drank those beers on the 4th maybe I should weigh myself now..is this scale working? Am I letting the people who are reading this down? 

This is In no way a public cry for people  to feel sorry for me so you can buy or listen to my music or anything of that nature. I cannot stand people who do that and there are people I know close to me or in passing that are going through way more serious issues than this!  

But, it really opened my eyes to something I've been doing to myself and maybe...just maybe you are doing it too and maybe this can help you as well. 

You are not a number

You're flesh and bone. A father, a mother, a husband, a wife, a coworker, a friend, a family member and most inportant a human being first. 

I told myself when I started all this that I was not going to worry about all of this stuff but here I am, worrying. Sure, you have to be wary of things to a degree you can't just swipe your debit card like a maniac or bury your head in the sand and not give a fuck about consequences but at the same time you can't let these numbers ruin and affect your health and sanity. 

There are times where I wake up, look in the mirror and feel great but then if I jump on the scale I look at the number and go "eh...no change" I don't feel so great anymore. 

Or there's times where I write a blog entry or finish a song and think to myself "man this is great" but when it's out and in cyberspace I'll check those pages and go "oh man, seems like interest is fading" or "I thought this would of gotten more attention" 

 I've decided to go back to the promises I made to myself at the beginning of this year. When it comes to my art and my health I'm not going to obsess about the numbers anymore. Doesn't matter what the scale says or how many albums sell. In the end, if I'm happy, feeling good and if I'm trying my best that's what counts.  

Who wants to wrassle?

Hey kids!  

 Rather than post my normal HEAL update for the week I decided this morning after I did my DDP Yoga I would start MY FIRST CONTEST FOR HEAL! 

Ive noticed after doing the same three routines for a few months now that my heart rate hasn't really been increasing while doing the poses anymore and at the end of the workout I wasn't really cracking up a sweat like I used to. Therefore as I mentioned on my last post after doing the first routine on the first DVD again on Monday last week just to make sure, I decided to switch to the next DVD and up my game! Boy let me tell you this new one definitely has my heart racing and the sweat is a pouring! Therefore I am sticking to the new one and moving forward which to me is very exciting! It finally made me break that 40 pound plateau and I'm down another 10lbs! 👍

Man it's crazy when I do the before and after...I like to do to remind me. Left is Christmas Eve 2014 and right is about a week ago 😀 

Man it's crazy when I do the before and after...I like to do to remind me. Left is Christmas Eve 2014 and right is about a week ago 😀 

So you are probably saying "ok what's in it for me fatso?"  

Since the release of HEAL is fast approaching and pre-orders are in place I thought it would be fun to give away  A HEAL PRIZE PACK which will include: 

 MY FIRST DVD COPY OF DDP YOGA! 

COPY OF HEAL ON CASSETTE!  

HEAL T-SHIRT!   

I know you all have been hearing my praises about how good I feel and how I'm seeing muscles and tone for the first time in decades doing this program and maybe you were thinking "man id love to try that butttttt (insert excuse here)" I'll admit the whole package is kind of $$ but this way you have the chance to try it out courtesy of yours truly and see if you like it without spending for the whole shebang! 

This first DVD is great because it introduces you to the moves (aka The Diamond Dozen) the breathing techniques and three workout plans that although you are not lifting weights and jumping around like a dick, you are building muscle, burning fat and you will feel incredible!  

To give you an example...today the average workout routine is @25 minutes or so. Das Fitbit shows that miles traveled? 0.02 miles BUT average heart rate during it was 125bpm and I burned 295 calories! That's just from doing simple stretches people. 

First one is one I'm doing now..last one is literally 15 minutes of pain..I'm scared to hit the middle one  

First one is one I'm doing now..last one is literally 15 minutes of pain..I'm scared to hit the middle one  

OK so now you are saying "enough of the sales pitch BHM how do I score this used but valuable gem along with your other swag?"  

It's easy..... 

1) Get to your social media and post a pic or video of doing something HEAL like Wether it's eating something healthy, working out, hugging your children, BE CREATIVE! Of course a pic or video of you listening or dancing to the debut single "Absolutely Everything" counts too 😛

2) Make sure you tag me so I can see it. Don't forget to put #HEAL, this website and either tag me on Facebook (Gregry Gilroy) Twitter or Instagram (@Gregry13). Remember if I can't see that you are doing it, I won't know about it. 

The person who gets the most likes, re-tweets, shares, etc. by FRIDAY JULY 31st WILL WIN! 

I hope you all will join in and have fun with it! Looking forward to see what all of you crazy creative fun people come up with.

 

 

 

 

Wrist balance

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Howdy ho campers!  

Hope everyone is enjoying their Summer so far! Girls are home from school now and enjoying days of sleeping late, lake outings and counting down the days to our annual vacation in Ocean City NJ already at the end of July. Although I am not off for the Summer  it does give me a few months off from making lunches, waking up sleepy children and getting them out the door for school which is giving me more time to concentrate on my yoga in the morning, getting the band up to snuff for shows and finally getting the album released!

I released the first single from the album "Absolutely Everything" this week and put the pre-order links for the album and so far the response has been incredible so THANK YOU ALL! Over 60 streams so far in a week and a few downloads/pre-orders already which makes me very happy. Don't forget if you haven't done so yet, click the big button on the main page you can pre-order for the digital copy and even physical copies on CD AND CASSETTTE which come with a download code for digital for FREE! 

Love this pic. Snapped this while Violet was staring at this display at the Museum of Natural History  

Love this pic. Snapped this while Violet was staring at this display at the Museum of Natural History  

But anyway enough about peddling my trinkets back to the topic at hand 😉  

Big day yesterday with the Supreme Court decision to make same sex marriage legal across the whole US! It made me extremely happy for many of my friends and family members who are in same sex relationships and a big win for the country! The hashtags of #lovewins and the support across social media was nice to see. I'm sure some are just jumping on the social media bandwagon but the fact that I've seen a healthy support and discussion without a lot of hate backlash is refreshing. 

I ended up posting a clip from one of my favorite scenes from Do The Right Thing where the character Radio Raheem does the scene of "love versus hate" and proclaims "love wins again!" and it made me look at my own wrists and it reminded me my own version of that I wear on my wrists every day. 

On the left wrist is where I have been wearing my Fitbit since April or as I like to call it jokingly my "home arrest device" 😜 

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Ever since I have been wearing it, it's not only a handy time piece it counts my steps, monitors my heart rate and reminds me that I myself am trying to do the right thing. I love that I get to see the progress I've been making and I get to monitor what I am doing. It's almost like a "good addiction" I'm always looking at the app daily, checking my rank with my friends on there, logging in every single thing I put in my mouth and when there are times I'm ready to grab that bad thing I look at my wrist (which since I'm a lefty it's my go to hand) and it reminds me "is it worth it?" and I move away.  

The heart rate monitor is great too since it shows me that when I'm stressed and It is  high I need to calm myself, slow it down and when I'm doing my yoga it shows me that if its low it's time to step it up.

 My "zone" for fat burning is around 116-136 bpm and after doing the first DVD of DDP and seeing my heart rate was dipping low during the poses lately I knew it was time to move up to disc 2! Man what a difference I went from little beads of sweat to 130bpm and covering my mat with tons of sweat and it feels nice! 

Which brings me to the right wrist.... 

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On the right wrist is a metal beaded bracelet I've actually been wearing for quite awhile and the reason I wear it is because it was acquired on a day where it was one of the last times I got to spend a night hanging with one of my dearest friends (who will remain nameless just because I don't want to talk dirt but anyone who knows me knows who he is).   

He was one of my closest friends since high school. During the end of high school and after He, along with my other best friend in the universe John and myself were like the toxic Three Musketeeers back then. We would hang out at clubs like Images on Friday,  going to Rocky Horror on Saturday night or just hang at each other's houses and everything we did back then revolved around drinking. We loved opening the "sack of sin" on a weekend, taking out the bottle of the week we've acquired and consumed, consumed, consumed. There was a point where before we sat down at one of our favorite watering holes there were three pints of Guiness perfectly poured with shots of either Jameson or Jäger next to them at the bar with a "welcome back gentlemen" from the barkeep cause he saw us pull in. 

Although there was a lot of craziness and debauchery back then there was always a lot of love between us. They both were always there for me wether it was me crying on the driveway from a lost love, cracking my neck and back with a massage when it felt stiff or just the talks for hours about basically nothing at all. He would drop me off at my house and we would sit in his car for hourrrrs before I walked inside smoking cigs and just gabbing about anything.

There was a year or so where John and I rented an apartment downstairs from him and his family in this falling down house and every Sunday he would bang on our ceiling when he was up and we would come upstairs, he would have a full pot of coffee brewing and we'd sit in his kitchen smoking (of course) and chatting the day away about the most bizarre topics. Those were some of the best moments and times of my early to mid 20's. No responsibility working stupid jobs to pay our measley $600 a month rent split between the two of us downstairs and figuring out what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives.

Unfortunately as time went on and we all moved on with our lives some of us just couldn't shake the demons. We all struggled with addictions and for the most part we were lucky to overcome it to some degree and have normal lives. We each would pop in and out of sobriety there was a point where after an extreme night of partying and throwing up one evening I quit drinking for over three years. Not a drop It was even during college! I just got scared and I was lucky I was surrounded by other sober friends back then that showed me I could have fun without it and this was even before the age of 21. 

But my dear friend could never keep it together for a long period. He was always kind of a sickly fella but he developed pancreatitis In his mid twenties from drinking . We all drank a lot back then we were young and indestructible (or so we thought) but 2 quarts of Vodka a day can do its toll. I remember seeing him when he visited me at my job one day when he got out and the normal large husky male I've loved and looked up to looked like a rail and it broke my heart. He swore "that was it, I'm cured" because the doctor told him you keep this up and if you drink again...you are going to die. Thats a scary place to be in only your 20's

But after a year or two sure enough  we'd find ourselves at a party together slugging down drinks "just tonight for old times sake" then driving home! I'm so blessed we never killed ourselves or anyone else it was a stupid thing to do and I was selfish cause I enjoyed it I had my drinking buddy back.  

But it got to a point where all we wanted to do was go out and have fun...maybe see a band like we used to do a lot and by the time we pulled up to his garage he was already hammered. Trying to carry a 6'+ large man in and out of establishments after he threw up either in a car or in the club itself got old. The two of us knew we couldn't save him or put up with this anymore so we kind of checked out. People would ask us about him and we tried to get in contact but there was silence.   

So I was happy when I was able to see him one day before he moved and this was the day I got this bracelet. I went to his house with my now wife and it was like the coffee days again. He met my soon to be wife, I hung with his children watching SpongeBob (had no idea what this show was but man do I know now!) and as usual we sat in the kitchen smoking cigs, drinking coffee and talking for hours. For one day, I got my old friend back. 

But sadly he moved away and we never spoke a lot. I would get word that he was sober, then not, then back. I was psyched when he responded to my wedding invite and showed but as I saw my old friend who was younger than me he was walking with a cane. We were in our early 30's and he looked like an old man. I wanted him by my side in my wedding party but I couldn't count on him anymore and once again my heart was broken. 

After my wedding I would get a call once in a blue moon and have long phone chats sometimes. I remember one night I got a call at the condo and he asked what I was doing and I said "feeding my daughter a bottle" he had no idea I even had my first daughter. We had plans to collaborate on movies and other creative projects like we always wanted but then their would be silence. I would ask him how his health was and he would kind of avoid the subject. 

Then shortly after I got the word that my dear friend had died. To this day I don't know how or what happened but it's safe to say it was from the bottle. It was really the first time someone my age, a dear friend was dead. It messed me up so like a good little addict myself I looked for solace in the bottle I would scream Why? We were supposed to grow old together with our kids being best friends and taking about the good old days on the porch maybe having a responsible cocktail or two like normal adults! 

For awhile I looked at the bracelet as a reminder of bad and evil, even to a point where I thought it was cursed! If things were going wrong for me it had to be the aura of the bracelet bringing me down so I took it off. 

 But now I wear it not only to remind me of one of my best friends who I lost way too soon, but as a "ying to my yang" when it's next to my Fitbit to remind me that although you are 50 lbs lighter and doing your best there's another side of me that could easily go the other way and destroy you. 

I'm making sure that love wins again....always  

 

Bass players ahoy!

Rather than doing an update this week on the road to #HEAL (which by the by I finally broke the seal! Down another 5 lbs this week!) since I have a week off before the band heads back to the rehearsal space to start getting ready for shows to promote the album I thought I would take the time to post about the one key factor my backing band The Critcally Ashamed is missing....a bass player.

If you are lacking in the instrument department I have a few. From left to right "Boo Boo Kitty F@&k" (formerly Doink), "Google" and "Woody" 

If you are lacking in the instrument department I have a few. From left to right "Boo Boo Kitty F@&k" (formerly Doink), "Google" and "Woody" 

Yes I know some of you are probably saying to yourselves "uhhh Gregry aren't you a bass player?" Why yes as some of you know I've been a bassist since the ripe old age of 15 or so. Ever since picking up a bass that was left over in my basement after practice one day when I was playing drums in a hardcore band bass has been my main instrument since. 7 bands, a ton of recordings and countless shows across the U.S. later for my very first solo release I'm hanging up the instrument and focusing on just singing (and jumping on keyboards for a few tunes) live. It's a thing I never thought I would be comfortable doing without a bass strapped on but I caught the frontman bug when I played with Split Decision and I'm really excited to do it live this year with this new band. 

Me playing good ol "Doink" at The Limelight. My dad helped me pick it out as a Christmas present in 1990 and is still playing like a dream today 👍

Me playing good ol "Doink" at The Limelight. My dad helped me pick it out as a Christmas present in 1990 and is still playing like a dream today 👍

Therefore, we are looking for someone to board the pirate ship and join the ride! I have a great band so far with my man Victor on the drums, Helene and Pete doing the double axe attack and now we need that one missing piece. However, there are only a few small conditions I have and am looking for: 

1) Don't mean to sound egotistical but at least be better than me (which come on it's not that hard 😜) 

2) Be serious, but not too serious: We are all easy going and are all about having fun! I'm not standing there cracking a whip at practice going "that's supposed to be an E you dick!" But try and be prepared. If you are willing to give it a shot the whole set will be provided along with the chords for you before hand, plus seperate tracks isolated for you to listen to just your part if you need. Trust me these are songs I've written myself and I was still peeking at the "Axl Rose TelePrompTer" the two times we practiced but if you are down try not to walk in and go "ehhh...what song is that?" 

3) Be animated! A wise friend who will be nameless once said while we were on tour watching some band butcher their way through a Kiss cover "man, either play Kiss like you wanna f#^k or don't play it at all!" When we finally get out there and play some gigs, you are gonna see a SHOW. Not slaying dragons and blowing stuff up on stage but a well rehearsed, visually and sonically entertaining good time. I'd rather see a band hit a few clams here and there while smiling, rocking and getting into it than a bunch of shoe gazers that play real well. You don't have to be doing DLR kicks, but don't stand there like you are smelling a fart . 

Boa and plastic pants not required but don't hurt neither. I'm getting close to that weight again  

Boa and plastic pants not required but don't hurt neither. I'm getting close to that weight again  

4) keep the drama, ego and addictions at home: Trust me, I've been guilty of it myself in many situations letting my addictions get in the way of what was really important...the music and the performance. The past year and many before that I used band practice and gigs as an excuse to get loaded, let loose, numb my problems and be an asshole. Most people can handle a cold one or two before a show or practicing and if you can ...I'm all for it but I cannot. I'm all for having a great show, walking off stage and thennnnn knocking a few back and having a good time after but I learned this year especially my performance ability, my singing and overall good time has increased 1000% removing alcohol from the mix. You show up to gigs or rehearsal with a 12 pack (like I used to do) crying about the show, the equipment, the crowd, staggering up there and ordering beers on stage? I'm sorry, I don't need it in my life or have to worry about it. Take it from me it happens.  The joke when we formed The Brady Bastards was "you see us live guaranteed one out of the three is gonna be hammered on stage" that was our "thing" but not anymore. 

Man a fun show but this is what happens when you get paid in PBR pitchers. I almost got my head caved in yelling at the pool players and mocking a large man in an M&M jacket. "Yo you got pretzol?"  

Man a fun show but this is what happens when you get paid in PBR pitchers. I almost got my head caved in yelling at the pool players and mocking a large man in an M&M jacket. "Yo you got pretzol?"  

So, that's all I can think of at the moment (that's enough right? 😜)  

i plan on tagging every 4 string brethren I know on social media that I can think of. We rehearse Wednesday at Starr Ridge Studios in Brewster NY at the moment and next rehearsal is planned for WEDNESDAY JUNE 24th from 7-9pm so if you are interested we'd love to have you come down and "audition".

We will be working on the set for the upcoming album release party which will be mostly #HEAL, a song or two from past projects and even a cover or two. Eventually after the album release shows are done my plan is to do what I'm calling  "something borrowed, something new" shows which are original music set first, then a long 2nd set of all cover tunes ranging from Paul Westerberg to Eddie Money, even some Morris Day & The Time! Guaranteed the covers will be ones you love and know, but not ones you have been hit over the head with 5 gazillion times. 

You can comment below on here, on the Facebook/Twitter or email me directly at gregry13@gmail.com and I can send over the details. I hope to hear from you! 

Onward and Upward,

G2

Sorry kiddo. You did write "I Wish I Had You Forever" with me on this album, but maybe in 8-10 you can join. Keep practicing 😘 

Sorry kiddo. You did write "I Wish I Had You Forever" with me on this album, but maybe in 8-10 you can join. Keep practicing 😘 

Song and dance man

Greetings true believers! 

Its been a little bit since my last check in. Things as usual have been busy, busy, busy the last few weeks. I've been emersed in finishing the album, which I am happy to report that I finallllly finished the last 3 main vocals I had to record, plus added some backgrounds to one at my new home of rock Starr Ridge Studios in Brewster NY.

I booked 3 hours of studio time in preparation for many takes but amazingly I was able to knock everything out in less than an hour! Now after a  guitar track here and a piano track there this weekend at the home compound in GBR2.0 its off to mix and master with my dear friend Darrell in Cleveland. He's done an amazing job laying down drums and as usual making everything sound great with his studio magic 👍 

 

The beauty of Dropbox...here's the track listing in no particular order yet  

The beauty of Dropbox...here's the track listing in no particular order yet  

It took a little longer than expected. I was hoping to release the album in late May then get the band ready to play shows in the Summer but much like the road I've been traveling with my health I didn't want to half ass it. I could of easily put out an EP but I really wanted to make it a proper full length album and not release it until I was 100% happy with it. 

It's got a good mix of songs I have been working on for ages. 2 I released as demos last year, some are new I wrote this year and there is even a re-release/recording of an old Dalliance song that never came out the way I wanted it to. I really hope it doesn't get lost in the sea of cyberspace I'm going to do my best to make sure it gets the proper attention it deserves I'm extremely proud of it and I can't wait for everyone to hear it. 

Can't wait to see this cover on a cassette 😛 

Can't wait to see this cover on a cassette 😛 

 I'm also happy to report that the #HEAL journey is still going strong. Although the month of May was the first month since I've started where I saw no loss (damn plateau!) I'm not bummed about it. Considering I was over 300lbs before the end of 2014 and at the beginning of June I've been teetering back and forth not going over 260lbs I feel so much better.

I think I contribute it to the fact that a) although I've been staying under my daily calorie goal of 1,500 I've been indulging in carbs and sugars here and there and b) even though the schedules at home and the recent neck troubles have prevented me from doing my DDP Yoga at least 3x a week (only doing 2x or missing weeks all together rarely) I can feel and see muscle on my arms and legs for the first time in literally decades! Maybe that is me preventing me from losing weight cause I'm gaining muscle recently since I've got it back to 3x week this month. I walk around with sleeveless shirts and "wife beaters" on in the house and for once I look in the mirror and am not wincing.  

This could easily be a pic of my father or any male growing up in Brooklyn in the 70s and beyond  

This could easily be a pic of my father or any male growing up in Brooklyn in the 70s and beyond  

 Honestly, I feel great I'm still using the Fitbit and counting calories too. I was very psyched to learn I could sync the Fitbit with the MyFitnessPal app since I preferred it to the calorie tracker on Fitbit. It gives a lot more detail about the nutritional value of what I am eating and not just tracking calories. Plus any activitity I do on Fitbit it syncs back to MyFitnessPal so I don't have to log in two places and it awards me with any calories I've earned. It's like  deposits in your account you didn't expect 😀

Now that the Summer is finally here and the girls will be done with school in 2 weeks I'll be able to have some more breathing room and I'll be able to really push it more with both the exercise, eating better and of course the music. No more getting up at 6am and worry about "can I crank this out before I have to start getting the girls up, making breakfast/lunch, dressed, etc.?" I'll have at least an extra hour for myself to sleep more and do it! I even have some great meditation apps I want to try after the workout to center myself and give me even more of a clear head before the day starts. I literally have to sleep with some sort of white noise wether it's a podcast, TV etc. cause my mind is always racing when my head hits the pillow. Heck, if it's nice out I might even go outside on the lawn and do my yoga with the audio.

As I finish this blog I'm sitting on a bench in the warm breezy outside in front of White Hall at WestConn waiting to go in to see my beautiful girls perform their dance recital. As I walked in to drop the ladies off a wave of nostalgia and gratitude hit me. This building is special to me in a way because not only did I attend college here but this stage is where I've performed myself literally dozens of times wether it was with a concert band, brass ensemble and even plays. Plus this stage was where Product of Society played our first ever show for a battle of the bands way back in the early 90's and we performed many concerts after that too (went here from 90-94). 

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To think back then a heavy set, long haired metal kid who also moonlighted as a brass player studying classical music and theory who used to think "I'll probably be dead before I'm 30 going out in a romantic rock and roll lifestyle" is sitting under a tree in the shade nearly 25 years later waiting to see his two beautiful daughters perform on the same stage in better shape than he was back then is pretty amazing to me. I have nothing to complain about and am completely thankful. 

 

 

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Salad bar

Greetings true believers!  

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Rather than post one of my normal updates there's a topic I wanted to share that's been floating around in my brain the past few weeks.

Everything has been going well had to take a break from the DDP for almost a week due to the neck troubles I was having but actually the week off was good since it gave it a chance to fix itself and now I'm back on stronger than ever! I feel so much better when I do it although my body sounded like someone stepping on bubble wrap when I was doing the poses this week. 

Still kept to the calories and I'm feeling great, which brings me to my topic today. The salad bar. 

At work we have a lovely cafe which I eat at for lunch everyday and I pretty much stay to the salad bar since everything else there is like 1,000 calories a meal and loaded with unnecessary carbs. Maybe I'll go for the special if it looks tasty or an occasional grilled chicken spinach wrap with avocado and bacon if I'm feeling sassy. It can get monotonous sometimes but it's quick, easy and most important....healthy 👍

However I have noticed something over the years..

People have no salad bar etiquette what so ever. 

And this is a nice corporate building too not a Chuck E Cheese or a Ruby Tuedsays although I feel those might even be better. 

Therefore I thought I would post what I think are the proper unspoken rules for the salad bar that I've observed over the months that you might enjoy or as the (once) great Bill Cosby has said "and if you're not careful you may learn something before its done" 

1) grab a box and commit: I see these people all the time. They want to see what's there but instead of gazing at the selection from afar they need to stand right in front of the line and stare at the kale like its speaking to them. This blocks the people like myself who have a tray in hand and are ready to dive into the lettuce of choice to "make their bed". Either grab a box and join the cool kids or step aside. I hear it's build your own burger on the other station go bug him (trust me I've been there numerous times in the past, he's a good guy and makes a hell of a burger).

 

Dang Marvin...I miss you and your fried onion burgers..please don't take it personal  

Dang Marvin...I miss you and your fried onion burgers..please don't take it personal  

2) personal space: it should be a law posted at said bar of salad that the proper space between customers on line is at least an arms distance apart. I know you're anxious to get back to whatever the hell you do but snuggling next to me in order to get your mitts on those colorful beans is not going to make me move any faster. Trust me I get the same stuff every time and it's not those beans (people do love those friggin things though!) 

Look...my salad is trying to give me a shocker!  Maybe the beans are softer  

Look...my salad is trying to give me a shocker!  Maybe the beans are softer  

3) The greeting card gazers: I know there are a lot of delightful, delicious things to look at in a salad bar and lots of choices. However, in the 3+ years I've been going here it doesn't really change that much. They remind me of the old ladies in the Hallmark store staring close at the cards looking for that perfect one that speaks to them. Either that or they are looking at the onions hoping they will transform into a hot wing by using The Force (see part 1) Grab those tongs and dig in! you're blocking me and I'm the patient one. 

4) tong flingers: each bowl has an assigned tong to use for said item. We're all adults it's not hard to grab the item and put in your box. It's not a game of Operation you are not gonna get shocked if you touch the sides but maybe it does cause shit is thrown all over like poop in a monkey cage. Don't try to sneak one of those beans in the cheese bowl I won't allow it. It's not as magical as the one onion ring you get snuck in a Burger King French Fry box. Everytime I get one of those I feel like when Bilbo got the ring!  (Or Frodo I'm sorry I'm not a big LOTR guy) 

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5) Line Cutters: I know you realllllly only need a cup of dressing for your meal. The line is back there go wait with the rest of the savages. The greeting card gazer is almost done picking out the perfect egg piece.  

 

6) the proper reach: I'm sorry I'm not Reed Richards or Stretch Armstrong. Placing the shredded carrots a mile away makes me press my face against the sneeze guard (which is gross) and it makes me look like I'm reaching for the key on the wall while I'm behind bars (use your shoe Mike Brady! Anyone? Anyone?) 

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and lastly....if you work at the salad bar..learn how to spell 😜  

Can you tell me how to get...how to get to sesama streeeeet! 

Can you tell me how to get...how to get to sesama streeeeet! 

 

As much honey as you can muster!  

As much honey as you can muster!