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!
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" 😜
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....
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