If We’re Being Honest

I looked at my blog today, with a degree of sadness. When I first started my writing career, my blog was super active, and I looked forward to my new posts hitting every week. Now, the page looks like a shell of the blog it used to be, and that makes me sad. If we’re being honest, I think there was a mental block, because I don’t know how to process the things I feel like I need to say.

There is a commercial aspect to my communication apprehension. If I type what’s on my mind, there is the very real fear that my platform may look unsavory. It’s not that the beliefs I have are unsavory, but my natural stress & anger responses to them may be. Since publishing “Broken Promise Records” in 2017, I’ve been very vocal that I wanted everyone—regardless of their size, shape, shade, beliefs, or orientation—to be able to see themselves in my work. If I were to type a manifesto about how I think people who wear green neckties should be taken out back, and shot, would that alienate people from my work. I don’t believe that, but what if I did? Blame it on ADHD, blame it on poor social skills, but I can’t just be a little angry. If I were to go on a diatribe, I would feel awful that someone saw the words I write as harmful to them.

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Panic in the 90s! (A Mother’s Love Mixed With Moral Panic)

Between the ages of five and twelve, my mother raised my kid sister and me by herself. My mother was many, many things—loving, sincere, uplifting—but chief amongst them was GULLIABLE. Bless my Mama’s heart, that woman could be talked into believing just about anything, which was extremely problematic for a single mom with two world-class wise-ass children. Mama was so gullible, she actually bought a vacuum from a door-to-door salesman, in the 1990s. My eldest sister’s favorite story to tell about my mother is that my father had my mom convinced that he could breathe through his ears, and could hold his face underwater for prolonged periods of time.

Bless. Her. Heart.

Part of the gullibility was susceptibility to the scare tactics of the media at the time. 20/20 had my mother convinced that overseas drug lords had spiked her off-brand Tylenol and she did an audit on every pill bottle in the home. There was a period of time when it felt like 90’s day-time talk show hosts were taking turns to see what absurdity they could make my mom believe next. God, I miss that woman.

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The ’59 Sound

“Did you hear the ‘59 sound coming through on Grandmama’s radio?

Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?

Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?

Did you hear your favorite song one last time?”

-The ‘59 Sound – the Gaslight Anthem

Music & Lyrics written by Brian Fallon, Alex Rosamilla, Alex Levine, & Benny Horowitz

As appears on the album “The ‘59 Sound,” released on SideOneDummy Records

July, 2019.

Matthew was sick. Sick sick. Matthew was the kind of sick you couldn’t sleep off, or go to work in spite of better judgment in regards to your own health, or even drown in cheap booze to kill the germs according to some wive’s tale passed down along the generations of Central Pennsylvania mountain people. Matthew was sick and he wasn’t getting better. A man that had once been built sturdy enough to earn him the nickname “Moose” had become frail and sickly. The curly locks his wife had loved had surrendered to a shorn scalp, with little whisps of prematurely gray hair remaining. Truly, he’d been sapped of the strength to be himself, and that’s what broke my heart the most about Matthew being sick.

Treatments were unsuccessful and Matthew decided he wanted to pass at home.

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Spotify Killed the Video Star

In 2007, I was an intern at Magnum Broadcasting in State College, PA. That experience was wonderful and I still have lifelong friends from the experience. I learned a LOT about business, digestible media, and how commerce can be strange bedfellows with neighborhoods & citizenship. I can say, with certainty, that experience with Magnum Broadcasting put me on the path to do the things I’ve done, & I’m grateful.

Blame it on the neurodivergence, but I need a specific type of music in my ear while I’m working, to get the most out of my work day. I’m a kid, hardly twenty-one years old, I’ve got a cheap MP3 player I bought from winnings on a scratch-off, & I am working away. The General Manager, Diana (who looks remarkably like a young Linda Hamilton) comes into the room I was working in, & she’s not happy. She points out how bad it would look if an advertiser were to come in and see me listening to anything other than what the company is putting out on the air. As soon as she said it, it made perfect sense. I wouldn’t have had the first clue before that. That’s the kind of common sense I learned that has taken me places in business.

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Story Time:  a Prayer to the Gray Man

September 2018 — Wilmington, North Carolina

In another life, I looked after houses for other people, and looked after the day-to-day minutiae of keeping the houses making money. That responsibility comes with a few burdens: when the home needed repair, I found the solutions for repair; when the homes were empty, I rallied the troops to make them appealing to rent; when disaster was impending, I did what I could to hedge the odds the bad moon rising would shine on someone else’s home.

When a hurricane is impending, you may be fortunate enough to have a week’s notice. The seven days between the storm brewing out in the office and stepping foot on the coast is spent chewing on nails while you wait to find out how bad the storm will be. The locals boast about the storms they’d endured, how they had no plans of leaving their homesteads, and would give the mercy of telling the transplants they had nothing to worry about. In the world of obtaining bids to replace roofs and knowing what mold smells like as soon as you walk in the door, there is no room for such mercy.

Continue reading Story Time:  a Prayer to the Gray Man