Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 3

1/31/17 10:25am
Aft Deck (inside), Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean

I woke up around 9am feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. The extra Allegra makes me feel like I’m in a jar of molasses or that I’m a bear that’s been tranq… uil… ized…

I spent about a half an hour getting dressed before I went in search of more allergy meds that are not Allegra. They did not have anything in the Fun Shop, but they directed me to go to the Medical Center where they have various meds.

I waited about five minutes while the male, Russian nurse explained the pain scale to someone who appeared to be Filipino. The Filipino man kept saying his pain was a 10 out of 10, despite not appearing to be in any pain at all. The nurse, in a Russian accent: “You are in the worst pain of your life? You don’t appear to be someone who is in the worst pain in their life. Do you understand ‘worst pain of your life?’”

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 2

1/30/17 12:30pm Key Lime Pie Company, Just off Duval St, Key West, Florida
I slept fairly well despite loud thumping music coming from the lounge one floor below me. When booking this room, I was aware of the lounge and possible noise issue, but the lounge on my last cruise was lame and the parties died down by 10pm each night if they even lasted that long. On this ship, there are comedy shows in the lounge and for some reason they require thumping music.
I awoke just before 8am and I turned over to go back to sleep. However, the cruise director came on the loud speaker and said that we have docked and are ready for Key West, which excited me.

I laid in bed for about twenty minutes (I’m a 
slow waker) and then started my morning
routine. I put on long pants and a long sleeve
shirt and packed shorts in my man bag. I wore
sandals and went to the Lido Buffet for 
I ate on the enclosed aft deck (I think that’s what
they are calling it). Then I walked to the top 
deck to check out the view…

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 1

1/28/17 3:15pm
Albany International Airport, Albany, New York

I am sitting in the Albany airport sipping a Jade Citrus Green Tea while watching a plane taxi down the runway and pull up to the terminal. I don’t think it’s my plane. It’s just under two hours until my flight so it’s likely not my plane. I am going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (after a changing planes in Baltimore) for a Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean.

I am very… hmmmm. Nothing. I am very nothing, I suppose. The excitement of an adventure is balanced out by the anxiety of any number of things that could go wrong. I am self soothing by breathing deeply, closing my eyes, and mentally walking myself through various scenarios where things go wrong and are easily fixed, despite the fact that they likely won’t go wrong to begin with. I’m doing this to calm myself. It’s working, but also subduing the positive excitement. Although writing about this in real-time is helping a little bit and I’m starting to smile (without…

Daytona Beach Sept 2016, Part 3

September 7, 2016 9:00pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Fl

I had a tough time waking up this morning for no known reason whatsoever and my stomach felt sort of off. All this vacation food has caught up with me, I think.

Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part 2

September 5, 2016 9:30pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Florida

I spent most of today laying by the pool or floating in the pool. I attempted some boogie boarding; the waves were much more intense than yesterday, but I literally couldn't catch a break... seriously, literally.

Anyways, the ocean wiped me out... wipe out? Never mind.

Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part 1

9/3/16 7:50am Plane, somewhere over the east coast.

I woke up so early this morning that it should really be referred to as "last night..."
I woke up "last night" at an ungodly hour to catch my flight to Florida. I had prepared myself for the early morning two days in advance by forcing myself to wake up earlier and earlier each day so that I would be so insanely exhausted Friday evening that I would fall asleep early enough to get enough sleep before the flight. 

Since I normally go to bed at 12:30am and wake around 9:30am, going to bed early enough to get 7 hours of sleep before waking up at 3am is not an easy feat.

I packed my suitcase the night before.
Lots of plaid, of course.
(Somehow, I managed to fit all of my things into that tiny suitcase...)

And I set my alarm three times (just to be safe).

Surprisingly, I actually woke up before the alarm. I did some last minute packing, put my bags in the car, and drove to my dad's. Once there, I helped him load up h…

J. Fred MocLegoman

For the past two months, I have been working on creating a Lego mini figure ("minifig") of myself for the purpose of... well... there really is no purpose. I wanted to. That's why I did it. I named him J. Fred MocLegoman. (MOC, in Lego fan lingo, stands for My Own Creation).

I started out by ordering a custom head and torso from I designed the face by photoshopping two Lego heads that I found on the internet (one with glasses that looked like mine and one with a beard that closely resembled mine). I sent the photoshopped picture along with a picture of my plaid shirt to and, a few weeks later, received this:

Fare Thee Well

June 12, 2003: I was sitting at a picnic table in Saratoga Springs, strumming my guitar and "singing." (I use quotes because I didn't know how to sing at the time). I was terrified and could barely keep my fingers from shaking as they attempted to form chords on the fret board. In between singing, I took deep breaths in feeble attempts to calm my nerves.

A few weeks previous to that evening, I passed through a set of "ragged, wooden double doors,"* walked the length of a cramped hallway, and ascended the steps of the legendary Caffe Lena for the first time.

I had read about the Caffe in a newspaper article that I probably should have missed. Typically, you see, we didn't get the Schenectady Gazette. For some reason, one was delivered to my dad's house, where I lived, and was sitting on the dining room table. One of the middle sections was slightly out of sync with the rest of the paper and part of the headline was visible: Open Mic.

Around that time, I…

Time. Specifically, There Isn't Really Enough of It.

I have barely touched my guitar in two weeks. Last night, I played six or so songs in a row and that was the most action the six strings have seen in a while. I just don't have the time.

Tomorrow, I am leaving the job that I worked at for six years to pursue other adventures. The new adventure (job) is outside of Albany, which would make my commute from where I currently live to be about an hour and five minutes. So, I'm looking at apartments in Albany and the surrounding areas.

Apartment hunting has been tedious and I've only just started. I've also cleaned my current apartment from top to bottom to take some pictures for my landlord, so he can put up an ad and get someone moved in.

So, I'm spending my time looking at apartment ads, contacting apartment people, and going out and looking at apartments. There are some really crappy places out there with high rent prices. There are also some really nice places for affordable rents. Finding the latter is complicated…

For the Worse

I came across an old blog entry that I had written while searching for an entry about a concert I supposedly attended some time ago. I usually write about all the concerts that I attend and I save tickets, photographs, and other artifacts in scrap books. Someone asked me who opened for Train at the Palace. I couldn't find the answer and I'm not sure which is is more disturbing to me: That I don't have a ticket or blog entry about the concert or that at one time I liked Train.

Anyways, the blog entry I'm talking about is this one here. A brief summary would be: A whole bunch of women that I had been in contact with at one point or another all disappeared from the earth.

I read this blog entry, as I often do when some time has gone by, as if I hadn't written it. And I laughed because I'm hysterical sometimes.

I recalled my mindset around the time that I wrote it. I was fresh in the dating scene after a long hiatus and was really, seriously surprised at how rude…

But, Some Are. (RE: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost") Part IV

By the time you read this, I am most likely in Virginia Beach with some friends. This trip was more planned than my Hard Rock Cafe road trip. There are four of us and we are riding in a car together. Four. Of. Us. I really enjoy being on the road with nothing but my thoughts and a great playlist. When you travel with three other people, however, you have three other brains coming up with thoughts and three other playlists, leading to a lot of arguments over whose music choices are the least tolerable. The upside is that you have others to take over driving duties from time to time and, if you brought ear plugs, you can attempt to nap through intolerable playlists.

I suppose I'll write about VA Beach when I get back, but let me move on to the exciting conclusion to the Hard Rock Cafe road trip.

This posting is a continuation of earlier postings. Read those first:
Part I
Part II
Part III

(The itinerary)

But, Some Are. (RE: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost") Part III

My evenings, lately, have been sitting quietly in my apartment listening to the two Jackson Browne, solo, acoustic, live albums that exist. Man... this guy has melancholy down pat! Fountain of Sorrow? Listen to that without getting sad. I dare ya!

Anyways, there is also a tribute album that was recently released in which a bunch of different musicians cover some of Jackson Browne's greatest songs. One of the best covers, and best songs, is Running on Empty. I'm sure most people are familiar with the original, but have you heard the cover by Bob Schneider? It's wonderful and even more melancholy than Jackson's version.

Loving both versions, I noticed something in the lyrics. Schneider changed two things. In the original version, Jackson sings, "In sixty-five, I was seventeen..." and "In sixty-nine, I was twenty-one..." I don't know without googling, if Jackson really was those ages in those years, but Schneider sings, "In eighty-five, I wa…

But, Some Are. (RE: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost") Part II

Continued from here.

Before I knew who J.R.R. Tolkien was, I saw countless cars with bumper stickers that advertised the line, "Not All Who Wander Are Lost." Mostly, the cars were in rough shape and belonged to hippies... but that is really neither here nor there. The line struck a chord with me, as I'm sure it does with many. Alone, the line is pretty deep and introspective. It's somewhat empowering to the loner who seems to not have a focus or path to follow. In the context that it is written -- a poem or song that a god-esque wizard uses to describe an exiled king who protects hairy footed short people from tormented elves and goblins and a dark lord -- seems to suggest that we may not be advertising our true purpose or path and that when we do, look out.

I used to feel connected to this line and felt pride in my wandering ways, because, someday, my path will be revealed to all and my wandering ways will suddenly make sense. With utmost confidence, I can share t…

But, Some Are. (RE: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost") Part I

I took a somewhat spontaneous road trip this past long weekend, because I needed to get the heck out of here ("here" being a physical and mental state of being). The sensation of desiring an adventure slowly seeped into my consciousness over the course of a few days and so I asked for Friday off from work, giving me a four day weekend with the Labor Day holiday.

Back in 2010, I took a couple of days and roadtripped to Washington DC via Philadelphia and Baltimore, stopping at Hard Rock Cafes along the way, busking, and exploring some of the cities. I wrote about that trip here and here.

Shortly after that trip, which was a lot of fun, I researched and mapped out an itinerary for a much longer trip heading to some big cities to the west. This past week, as the wanderlust began to creep in, I cut out a couple cities and shrunk the itinerary down to something that I could manage in the span of the four day weekend.

First Leg: Broadalbin, NY to Niagara Falls, NY. 274 Miles. 4 Ho…

Good Enough

It seems to be that there are two major things in any one person's life that have the most effect on that person. One is the job. You need money to survive. Some strive for certain type of jobs. Others take what they can get. Regardless, your job dictates a lot about who you become in that you need to live somewhere that is close to your job, your day is scheduled around the time that you work, and your residence and property is dictated by how much money you make. The other thing that has the biggest effect on a person's life is the whole significant other thing. Who you are "with" in an adult relationship effects a good portion of how you spend your time. If you are with someone who is controlling, then you are limited in making decisions. If you are with someone who has clear goals, your life may change as your significant other achieves their goals. If you are with someone beautiful, they may get hit on constantly and you may develop a fear that they will cheat. …

A Story

I've been seriously under the weather for about a month. So severely that I was practically bed-ridden for two weeks. There have been lots of doctor visits and tests and procedures. At this point, I'm recovering quite well and the prognosis is that I should be back to my usual self at some point in the not very distant future.

Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to focus on positive things to keep my spirits up. I've been recalling some fun adventures from my younger years. I thought I'd share one with the world.

I was probably like 13 or 14 one summer when my parents took me, my brother, and my cousins to the beach. We weren't camping, but the beach was located at the Northampton campsite on the Sacandaga lake.

The part of the beach that we were at is right on an inlet where boats go to dock and where people put their boats in the water. We've come to this part of the beach before and always spent the day swimming back and forth across the inlet (w…

Little Paper Boat

Now that my songs are in a recorded format, more people are hearing them, commenting on them, and asking questions about them. I couldn't be more excited about all of this.

In particular, people ask what the deal is with Little Paper Boat, which doesn't surprise me since it's somewhat of a bizarre song.

I've told the story about how Little Paper Boat came to be a handful of times previous to recording it. It all started with a picture on facebook, posted by someone who I know through the music community, but not really in person. She was into origami at the time and posted a picture of a boat that she had made out of paper.

I said to myself that I'd like to sail in a little paper boat and a flood of images, thoughts, and ideas came to my mind. I saw a concept for a song. It would be about perception, in particular, the way we perceive the world and how it would be much different if we were littler and sailing around in a paper boat.

The music came to quite quick…

At Year's Beginning

My New Year's resolution of wearing pants all the time has already been broken. Also, I'm sorry for the mental image.

It appears as though I'm going to write a New Year's post on New Year's Day. This, I think, is a first.

As I've said before, it's customary of my blogging to do the obligatory (and viciously cliche) thing and reflect on the last year and look ahead to the coming one. It's cheesy, and I kind of hate myself a little bit for doing it... but, what are ya gonna do?

Last year, I wrote this: twenty-thirteen.

I just re-read that and felt a little bit of pride in that many of the things that I was looking forward to doing did in fact occur.

To start, I have now lived in a tiny apartment in Broadalbin for over a year. I didn't die (despite the giant downsize from a house) and I'll probably stay here for at least another year or so. I mean, it's working out and if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Last year, I wrote: Twenty Thir…


Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Turkey. Stuffing. Rolls. Oh, those warm buttery rolls. There is something really wonderful about the common Thanksgiving dinner. There is an associated fulfilling warmth that follows the meal.

Today, I'm enjoying the above described meal while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

This year, above others, I looked forward to eating Thanksgiving dinner more than I ever had. I wasn't really sure why.

As Smeagol argues with himself, and I await the warming up of a plate of seconds, I think I've decided that the warmth of the Thanksgiving dinner is more than just the temperature of the food.

When I was a child, I most looked forward to Thanksgiving for the days off from school. I would spend Thursday, Friday, and the weekend playing video games with my brother or visiting my cousins. There was often an outdoor game of football or something similar, as well.

I don't recall a disappointing Thanksgiving dinner in my youth.

As a child, I was saf…

Fire Songs

I had a really wonderful music experience last night that come up serendipitously. It began when I received an invite to see one of my favorite bands, the North and South Dakotas, play in a barn. The invite included the promise of beverages, food, bonfires, and a trebuchet: all elements that seem necessary for a party that takes place in a barn. I attended, not really knowing what I was in for.

When I arrived, there weren't may people there. I'd say about thirty or so folks were hanging out in the barn and near a small fire that was set up outside of the barn. There were sofas and comfortable chairs set around the fire.

I chatted with members of the band and a couple other friends that were also there. I drank a beer and searched for a cup to pour the whiskey that I had brought in to. Then, I heard that the trebuchet was going to be launched to start the first bonfire.

I walked outside and stood near the trebuchet. A few rolls of toilet paper had been soaking in some sort of…