12/21: Home For The Holidays.

There is no other place I would like to be than home for the holidays. After my 6:20am flight out of New Orleans was cancelled yesterday due to the Nor'Easter which dumped record levels of snow up the east coast, I finally arrived home this morning. My parents did an amazing job with decorating the house with all of our jovial christmas decor. I usually like to be a part of the "decking the halls" tradition, but because I was arriving only three days before Christmas, I preferred to arrive home to an already joyful house. The tree is one of the best one's we've had in years, the nutcrackers are proped in their cordially bellicose stance, the porcelin carolers are caroling and the candles are all lighted. My mom surprised me by putting colored christmas lights around the two pillars in my room. In the four years we've lived in this house she has never done that; I guess she really missed me.
Besides hugging my parents and going to the bathroom, the first thing I did when I got home was put mulling spices on the stove--cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries with pieces of orange peel simmered in water--in order to heighten the holiday ambiance. I find it tough to get in the holiday spirit when I'm travelling in a van for hundreds of miles a day far, far, far away from your family. My holiday spirit is slowly gaining momentum now that I am home and by Christmas it should be fully restored.


12/16 Wine Wednesday :: 2008 Shoofly Shiraz

Shoofly Shiraz

There is something unromantic about opening up a bottle of wine without having to uncork it. Truth be told, unless you're drinking wine out of a box, the corkless bottle is not a quality demarcation. The only reason a cork is necessary is if you are planning on aging the bottle of wine properly. With that said, the deep plum hued liquid has a bouquette of dark fruits (mulberries, plums, blueberries and raspberries), spicy licorice and earthy notes. Upon touching the tounge, the palate is inundated with more dark fruits, cedar, smoke and pepper with medium tannic qualities and a lingering finish.


12/2 :: Wine Wednesday :: 2006 Paul Jaboulet Aine Cotes Du Rhone Parallele 45

Paul Jaboulet Aine
Parallele 45

This Cotes Du Rhone, straight from southern France, was my Thanksgiving wine this year. Composed of 60% of the Grenache varietal and 40% Syrah, this slightly brick hued, deep ruby, medium bodied wine, contained flavors of plum, black cherry, raisin, and traces of pomegranate. It's earthy nose hinted at leather, coffee and woodchips. For $10, this smooth Cotes Du Rhone proves to be quite an enjoyable wine.


Texas, it's not you, I promise.

Dearest Lonestar State:
It was brought to my attention days before my embarkation for this December run that there would be several shows that I actually would not be the supporting act for despite my previous belief of otherwise. This would leave me with a full 5 day hole that would be unfillable thus unprofitable. Fact: music isn't about money. Fact: I am not doing music just as hobby but as a profession. Fact: It isn't feasible to sustainably tour if you are losing money. Five days with no income while living on the road means the profit equilibrium becomes unbalanced thus resulting in an increasingly large hole in my pocket. The economy is hitting everyone hard...especially musicians who don't have a fixed salary. I am sad that I will not be in Texas starting 12/3. I was looking forward to meeting all of you and seeing some of your familiar faces. I was also looking forward to try your kick ass BBQ. I realize I owe ya'll a show or two and when the time comes where it makes sense I will give you a proper show. As we are all feeling economic pressures, though perhaps dissappointed, I am sure you will faithfully understand and not hold a grudge. If you ARE in the area PLEASE go see Benjy Davis Project while they are in Texas. They kick ass. I will be meeting up with BDP in Little Rock, Arkansas on 12/10 to continue on and finish the December tour.



11/29--Autumn Falls Into Winter

The leftovers have been consumed (perhaps so much so that roast turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce and stuffing won't sound appetizing until next year), the out of town family members have made their treks back to their homesteads, and the house has the uncanny whisper of lonely winter knocking on the double front door and the window panes...a few weeks early. It's the coming of darkness at too young of an hour that really reaches the senses dolefully. The Thanksgiving excitement weens away and the Christmas cheer has really yet to blossom. Perhaps what I need is the Christmas decor. The nutcrackers, the wreaths hung with their red bows, the carolers. It's always charming to drive through Fairfield, CT's downtown Post Road with it's dimly lit street lamps ornately swaddled with white Christmas lights and pine garland. The feeling becomes heightened with Brian McKnight's sultry vocals on his 'Bethlehem' album (in fact, I'm listening to it as I type this), perhaps joined by a hot apple cider riding shot gun in the console or a peppermint stick lazily resting on your lips and tongue.
I was driving home from the grocery store today and saw a mother and what I presumed to be her high school daughter decking their home with lights, bells, holly, and even faux Santa Claus figures. It was one of those excessively done jobs (a la Lampoon Christmas Vacation)--so much so that I sensed the teen's chagrin. I wonder if that's why her back was always turned to the street--never exposing her face, her identity. It was wasn't it? So she wouldn't be seen by her fellow school mates driving past. I would have done the same. It wasn't cold enough for a full on, burglar style, ski mask.


11/26/09--Thanksgiving Break.

Ah. Thanksgiving. The holiday for the aunts who concoct a lumpy, oily over salted sludge called "Gravy". Well, not in this family. My momma knows how to whip up a creamy, perfectly seasoned, rust hued sauce, perfect for moisturizing the often dried out bird (or hypodermic needle infatuated with a junkie's dosage of Tryptophan--ours was not dried out by the way). Our Thanksgiving spread provided for a plethora of good eats. From 'Roasted Fennel Soup with Hazelnuts and Cranberries' to a 'Grilled Turkey filled with a Granny Smith Apple and Sage Dessing' and the infamous influx of root vegetables (from the cinnamony turnip to the sweet n buttery butternut squash). I popped into the kitchen and satiated my culinary longing by fixing up an appetizer of 'Brie, Pumpkin Seed, and Cranberry Mousse on Wheat Toastlets with an Ambrosia Apple and Red Pearl Onion Chutney and a Fig-Wildflower Blossom Honey Aioli. Dessert? Pumpkin Pie. Pecan Pie. Sour Cream Pie (a family recipe...you would not understand it's wonder) moisturized with a cup of coffee dosed with Bailey's. Yum, Yum. The ambiance was set with with a warm, blazing, wood fire set in the slate stone fire place which my dad laid and tended with his pyro prowess. The Hoover's homestead is the place to be ya'll.
My phone was an inhibitor of family relations, so my sister stole my cellphone from me and is currently unwilling to give it back. Frankly, I am happy she did and hope she holds onto it for a few more days. Throw it in the ocean for sometime. Drown it in the bath tub. Tie it to the back of the Ford and take it on a disparaging trek through the multifaceted terrain; crack its screen, deafen it's ear piece and muffle it's microphone. Take me back to a simple life devoid of mundanely robotic ringtones full of their anticipatory retaliations.
None the less, my Thanksgiving started off on a high note. Why you ask? My cousin rolled into my parent's house slinging a holstered digital video camera with memory cartridges full of his 3-year-old daughter singing 'Saturday' and 'Secrets'...enough to leave me feeling full of joy...leaving me hopeful...leaving me satisfied... (as a chocolate flourless cake might--minus the guilt) and giggling like a piglet from her sheer adorableness. I was wholeheartedly impressed. Marketing wise? I wish I could bring her on tour with me--she could probably sell more CDs then I currently do. Kids are awesome. Let's leave it at that.
Here's to a less technological me (ha, yet here I am writing a blog)...a less technological you...a less technological us...let's be thankful for one another. Bring me back to the day of the ink filled quill pen and the previously readily available (and quite romantic) post card.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Song of the day?
Fuck that. Anything by Paolo Nutini will do today (tonight)...enjoy.


11/21--A Day In The Life: Tour Blog #6

The show at Cicero's in St. Louis, MI ended on a high note. The boys wanted to make the 12 hour trek down to Louisiana that night, post show, instead of using the following day off to do so. I understood this move. If I had a day off followed by a show in my hometown the day after, I would want to maximize my time at home, especially after having been on the road for just short of a month.
When we arrived in Baton Rouge, LA just after 12PM, I checked into a Marriott hotel. After sleeping on hotel room floors and the back seat of a turbulent van for much of November, I was worn pretty thin and needed my space to recharge my weary body and mind. First sign of exhaustion: your legs feel as if they are controlled by another force other than your body. Check.
Barely having put my bags and guitar on the floor of room 504, I took a hot shower as spending 12 hours in a van with five other guys tends to give you a musty stench of pure masculinity. I slipped on my old Miami University sweatpants and faded fast into a dream riddled slumber. Weird dreams actually. Dreams involving the hotel I was in, dreams suggesting the haunted reality behind this establishment. I remember glimpses of a cadaverous child no older than the age of 10. His pallid face was made to look more creamy due to his matted black hair and his wardrobe--tattered church clothes--an old black woolen jacket and knickers.
After sleeping off much of the afternoon, I spent the remainder of the evening in the Marriott's lounge reading and eating a nourishing meal of Cobb Salad (mixed field greens with hard boiled eggs, applewood smoked bacon, avacado, grilled chicken and Maytag bleu) and Louisiana's own chicken gumbo as well as a glass of jammy Pinot Noir; strawberries and black cherries filled its bouquet.
I indulged my body more by hitting the sheets by midnight. Erie enough, it was at this time that I heard two rounds of female screams. At first, as my pupil's dilated, I thought it was a woman reaching climax on the other side of the wall. However, the screams were too inconsistent, too few and too sporadic for it to have been a side effect of good sex. I wonder if this hotel really was haunted.
I had a day off yesterday, so I went to bed at 11:30 only soon enough to wake up at 4:30 this morning with the vigor and zeal of an un-neutered pit bull. I don't understand. I was given the gift of a day off to sleep and rejuvenate, yet my body refused to accept. I spent the bulk of the morning listening to the rain, writing a new song and reading.
We have the rest of the today and tonight off and then we drive 8 hours to Nashville, TN for the final show of the November tour. Looking forward to getting home. For my Thanksgiving dish I think I want to make Grilled porcini polenta cakes with shaved parmigiano reggiano and drizzled with black truffle oil. I'm looking forward to home life.


11/18-- A Day In The Life: Tour Blog 5

There hasn't been a night where my head hits the pillow and my travelling body and mind drift off into its obligatory state of slumber before the hour of 3 AM. Usually it's closer to 4. Last night was no different. After the show at the Frequency in Madison, WI we made friends with the night clerk at the Marriott we were staying at. At 3AM I asked "what time do you start to set up breakfast" -- "what time do you want me to start setting up". My man rolled out the waffle iron and I poured the batter to make myself a delicious warm, slightly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside waffle. Breakfast food is good at anytime of the day. For some reason, it tastes even better at 3AM.

I've been mixing up some vitamin cocktails to try to keep myself healthy. Vitamin cocktail you ask? Why yes, it's a healthy dose of Airborne, Zicam, and multivitamins taken throughout the day. Sometimes I feel like it's my imaginary force field. I can picture it's supplemental blockade like a draw bridge in its upright position warding off bacteria to keep my immune system strong.

The microbeer of the night last night was Madison, Wisconsin's own "Madtown Nutbrown ale". A full bodied, smooth on the tounge with a carmel studded aroma and a creamy finish made this local brew a delight to drink.

We're driving in the bleakness off fallow straw fields, sunken grey clouds and sporadic, seemingly lonely, farms. From Wisconsin to Missouri this van rolls on and on.


11/17 --A Day In The Life: Tour Blog 4

Seven miles from Wilbert's in Cleveland, OH and all of a sudden the generator, which provides us the power to keep our computer's charged and wifi browsing, started making a cacophonous sound--squealing and metallic. The following moments provided us with a gimp car, banked on the side of the "on" ramp to the highway. It took over 90 minutes for AAA to the rescue and for us to figure out our next move. How are we supposed to get all of the gear, stored in an oversized, 13 foot trailer, to a gig when our vehical is devoid of life? We didn't. But the show must go on. Benjy and I took a cab (the cab driver's voice had the timbre of Sean Hunter's dad from Boy Meets World--a smoky, whisky dotted, sonerous voice) to the venue and put on an acoustic show.

After the show in Chicago on Sunday night, Mic hauled us 2.5 hours to the bordering state Wisconsin. We pulled in to the hotel in Madison at 6 AM and fell comotose in our beds (for me it was my sleeping bag and floor mat) until a little after 1. It was a joy to have a full day off--no show, no drive. After all this hustle and bustle, car break downs and late late nights, we all devoured this freedom from the road. We spent the night watching Monday Night Football, eating hot wings (10-pc, hot, naked flappers please.) and having some brewskies--basically acting all manly and shit.

Just a few more shows on this leg of the tour and I'm looking forward to some family time and of course Thanksgiving. Walking into stores and seeing the white christmas lights, the Thanksgiving coffee blend being brewed at Starbucks,
and the sporadic christmas carols in these stores, puts me in a wonderful mood and pretty much wraps me with a warm, home feeling. Benjy hung a stocking in the van for each member, me included. I think I'm going to quit the Andrew Hoover Band and join the Benjy Davis Project.



11/13 -- A Day In The Life: Tour Blog 3

Friday the 13th, shrouded in it's sinister hood, traipsed into town at midnight bringing the band and myself a little bit of road drama. After the Fairfield, CT show, while we were loading out of the club, the trailer ramp was fully extended on the pavement and some woman drove over it, snapping the cords leaving us with a tensionless door. We had to wait until 2:30 AM for the police to arrive to file the report for insurance purposes. We then had to drive an hour to Hartford, CT to drop Mic off at the airport and then drive an hour and forty-five minutes back to New York--where our hotel was. Along the way we hit some morning rush hour traffic and didn't arrive to our room until 8:00AM! We had a very short sleep until we had to checkout at 1PM. It's not so concerning to me the lack of sleep in itself, I am more concerned with contracting the flu or someother illness that I simply cannot afford to fall victim to. A singer without a voice is like a painter without limbs. With that said, all is well, we are still in good spirits and health. Driving to Cleveland, OH for tomorrow's show at Wilbert's.


11/8--A Day In The Life: Tour Blog 2

The white van and over sized hitch from Louisiana rolls on, out of Charlottesville, VA and onto Easton, MD. I'm sitting here in the last row of the van typing this here blog listening to some good ol' Ray Charles. I just finished a 12 oz redbull and a package of carrots and celery I found at a Sheetz we stopped at. It can be a pinch to keep up with healthy eating habits...especially when you want to experience each town's culinary specialties. For example: we had an early show last night.

I hit the stage at around 5PM and Benjy Davis Project hit stage at around 5:45. We were all loaded out by 8PM and had the rest of the night to gallivant around town trying to blend in with the University of Virginia students. As the night wrapped up, Mic of BDP and I rolled into the local eatery at

around 2AM called "The White Spot" famed for it's Gus burger, a ridiculous artery clogging 1/4 pound patty of beefy goodness topped with a fried egg and cheese and a side order of fries. Sometimes you've just got to eat to feed your soul. Soul food doesn't have to be delicious black eyed peas, collard greens and fried chicken--it's whatever your soul needs.

I got to see my sister yesterday; it's always wonderful when you travel and get to see family while on the road. We enjoyed lunch together and even saw a celebrity in the sandwich shop--Cherry Jones who currently plays President Taylor on the show 24.

Talk to you all soon!


11/5 -- A Day In The Life: Tour Blog 1


My 6:01 AM wake up call turned into a willingly painless 5:20AM awakening. The night before tour always provides a troublesome sleep for a hopeful sleeper. Pre-tour sleep looks something like this: The sheets become gnarled with my sleepless body's frustration as I weave in and out of consciousness as an ungraceful seamstress might with her cumbersome needle and thread. I couldn’t stop thinking about exceeding the 50-lb luggage weight limit imposed on checked baggage. The consequences of such extravagant, overindulgent packing would serve up a $50-$100 sentence. With the extra allocated time this morning, I unpacked much of the contents and condensed my suitcase to assure I wouldn’t exceed the quota.

I was unexpectedly abounded by a morning energy that I would assume was summoned by the zealousness of this tour’s initiation. Now as I sit in row 17A, Washington DC bound, I find my eyes starting to appear slightly glassy with an early afternoon fatigue—redbull? A must.

Airplanes are like time capsules. The passengers float in their own little worlds suspended above the hustle and bustle of the city—the tranquility of the countryside. As they are transported through time and space, on the ground life continues, awaiting for the plane to land, the cabin doors to open and for the passengers to rejoin life.


Wine Wednesday: 2007 Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone

Perrin & Rils
Reserve Cotes du Rhone
Orange, France

The blended varietals of 60% Grenache and 20% Syrah fill this bottle with pepper, cassis and black cherry aromas. With hints of smokey spice, blackberries, liquorice and subtle char notes this Cotes du Rhone makes for a wonderful pairing with traditional French classics such as Bouillabaise. Full, round and hosting pleasant firm tannins; it ends with a lingering smoky-almondy finish.


Dream 11/1: The Broken Carton of Eggs.

In my dream my shopping cart was abounding with groceries, produce and other products used to facilitate and satisfy our daily lives and needs. From eye level, the lattice steel work of the basket was not visible due to the amount of groceries crowding the cart. From all the items I had lifted from the shelves, the most conspicuous item in my cart was the carton of eggs--logically protectively sheltered and nestled comfortably in the top most compartment of the carriage; the part of the cart where if you had a child, he or she would most likely sit.

I was not alone in the checkout line. There was one other man, roughly my age with a plastic hand basket, for 12 items or less. Upon settling into this line it occured to me that there was one item on my list that I had forgotten. I left my cart and ran to the aisle, returning as quickly as I had left.

Upon my return, the man's face had transfigured itself from blank to an impish smirk. I also noticed that the egg carton had been removed from my cart and was in the hands of the man--broken, cracked with the damaged yolks drooping from the man's unapologetic finger tips.


A Letter to Fans:

Hi Everyone-

I want to apologize for not addressing you in full detail regarding my absence on the Ernie Halter tour. The reason for the cancelling of the dates is a difficult situation to address and I needed to figure out the best way to do so. Thus, for the time being I only deleted the dates and didn't post an explanation. I'm truly sorry the dates were pulled so abruptly; the last thing I want to do is to disappoint any of you.
Many of the markets that I was not apart of for this tour (ie Jammin Java, Vienna VA; Night Cat, Easton, MD) I will be making up in November w/ Benjy Davis Project (Curtis Peoples will also be on the Jammin Java show too!) and I am thrilled to be apart of this tour. I hope to see you in November/December and again I apologize for any disappointment, frustration and/or inconvenience I may have caused you and your friends.

Yours truly,


Wine Wednesday: 2008 Sequiot Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon

Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon

Big and spicy, earthy and peppery. The very ripe tempranillo grapes allow this wine to explode with its peppery and smokey nose--full of lush blackberries, cherries and dark plum notes. Having been matured in oak barrels provides this wine with a rusty red-brick hue, firm tannins and a complex toasty finish.


Nine Things To Do in Autumn

  1. Carve a pumpkin with a loved one.
  2. Take a long walk through the woods and take note of your Five Senses while doing so.
  3. Go to your local cafe and get a chider (1/2 apple cider 1/2 chai tea) and walk through downtown--holding hands with your significant other adds bonus points.
  4. Bake a loaf of either pumpkin bread, cinnamon bread or carrot bread. Eating it in one sitting also gives you bonus points.
  5. Enjoy a lingering morning with a pot of coffee, your favorite breakfast food (maybe even a piece of that fly-ass spice bread you just baked up *hint, hint*), a book and a blanket (or a snuggie if that's what you prefer).
  6. Wear boots, jeans, a bad ass jacket (or a blazer) and a scarf.
  7. Do something creative using Autumn as your inspiration. Ex: Write a poem about Autumn. Paint a picture of an Autumnal scene. Write an Autumn song. On your long walk through the woods take a plethora of Autumn photographs (black and white in my book will give you more bonus points).
8. Go on a long drive on a windy road with the windows down but the heat on listening to your favorite music (Ray LaMontagne is terrific Autumn music) and look at the foliage.
9. Sit by the stone hearth fireplace with a glass of your favorite wine (Do this only with your significant other.-- Warning!: doing this alone could cause extreme heartwrenching longing and thus is not recommended for your mental health/ the longevity of the bottle).

Wine Wednesday: 2008 Folie a Deux Ménage à Trois

Folie a Deux
Ménage à Trois

It would be a wine named "Ménage à Trois" that brings your taste buds to a mouth quaking orgasm. Picture this, three beautiful grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot fermented separately and then blended just prior to being bottled. With a bouquette of lush strawberries, raspberries and a hint of spice--on the mouth the berries burst open with jam-like properties. The Zinfandel adds a bit of pepper and the Cabernet Sauvignon contribute to the bone dry tannins. Very fresh, very ripe, very naughty.


Wine Wednesday: 2007 Agua de Piedra Reserva Malbec

Agua de Piedra Reserva

Light as a feather, and softer than a patch of velvet on the palate, the strawberry and dark cherry nose is very inviting before the dark Venitian red liquid even satiates your mouth. Upon entrance, dark berries, plums and dark spices make up the discernable characteristics of this wine.



Time will inevitably explain the paths we choose and the reasons behind the paths we choose. The many different paths we're enabled to walk upon are placed in front of us and it is up to the beholder to choose.

The reasons for each interaction with the paths we cross and the people we meet will in time stem and present themselves as nakedly and honestly as they can.
However, despite my constant attempt to align these interactions and make sense and purpose of them, sometimes it is best to just live through the motions, walk upon the paths without concerning oneself with the sinuous branches one chooses.

Regardless of your decision to trace or not to trace your decisions, your branches, the interactions that come your way; branches will stem. Branches will flower. Branches will crack. Branches will fall. New branches will grow and even branches that have been defaced will sometimes heal. And so the circle of life continues and conclusively remains unbroken.


Wine Wednesday: 2005 Bodegas Victoria Pardina

Bodegas Victoria
D.O. Cariñena, Spain
(89 points)

The 70% Spanish Tempranillo, 20% Syrah and the 10% Cabernet Sauvignon provides for a complex, spicy and dark fruit bouquette. Spice box, plum, blackberry and currant liquor and a trace of smoke are the aromas for this complex perfume. Aged in French oak barrels for 4 months, the 30 second finish provides the palate with a lingering vanilla note--a very supple and smooth wine with mature tannins.


On The Road Pet Peeves

Here is a list I have compiled of things that bother me while driving:

-When a truck or Uhaul sluggishly saunters in the fast lane.
-On a two lane highway, when two trucks monopolize both lanes so that one cannot pass them.
-Cars/trucks that have hideous smelling exhaust.
-Cars that leave their blinkers on even 2 miles after they orginally switched lanes
-A white mercedes benz
-Drivers who think they are too cool to use a blinker
-Motorcyclists who don't understand the concept of a lane


Wine Wednesday: 2008 Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc

Cupcake Vineyards
Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand

This beautifully bright and clear pale yellow Sauvignon Blanc serves to be a wonderful Summer/Early Fall white wine. It offers an array of well balanced fruits to the palate such as grapefruit, meyer lemon, hints of kiwi as well as having floral components. This wine is very light and refreshing and offers the palate a zesty yet not overly acidic finish. It's best served cold to keep it's acidity and bouquette balance in line. Pairs very well with fish and shellfish.


Can't Get No Satisfaction

I can only speak for myself as an artist and the fact that I can't ever seem to get satisfaction. I sit down with my moleskin notebook, pilot varsity fountain pen, guitar and the hope that I'll connect with a muse to craft a new song. There are times when I connect easily and I'm moved enough to pen a verse, a pre-chorus, a chorus and the more difficult part, the bridge. When this happens,  there is a sense of gratification and elation that surrounds me--but it doesn't last. As soon as the last word is written and the song is learned, I can't hold on to this sensation of fulfillment. The elation deflates and I am left empty handed already moving forward for the next song to fill me back up. There is never a song that leaves me satiated and placid. There is not a moment where I can close my lyric book and walk away with a "my work is done" attitude. But that's fine. If all threads were tied together we'd never get out of bed. It's this treasureless journey that keeps us going--we will search until we find the day that we become introduced to bliss. Search on.


Wine Wednesday: 2005 Caymus Conundrum

Caymus Conundrum

Conundrum (noun): a confusing and difficult problem or question. So how exactly does this definition apply to such a wine? It's all in the grape variety. This 2005 Caymus Conundrum white wine brings in grapes from the counties of Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare including: Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Viognier and Chardonnay. Upon first sip this wine is extremely delicate, seemingly fragile and angelic on the palate. With a swish of the golden liquid, the peach/apricot, green melon pear, tropical fruit, honey suckle and a spicy vanilla become apparent, yet all the while remaining lush and delicate, creamy and crisp. 


The Adversaries: Heart and Mind

There are many individuals who listen to their mind over their heart and vice versa. It means that some people choose to listen to a voice rather than live their lives from an insistent feeling. I choose to live by feeling the various impressions my heart leaves with me. One of the significant impressions is what I refer to as "the pit". It is the loudest feeling I feel. It feels as though your heart has depressed itself into the lowest trench present in your body. It comes in time of confusion, sorrow, loss, heartbreak. If you listen with your sense of touch, the heart gives you all you need to know on how to follow the path most satisfying; the path that is full of bliss and joy, love and life.  

So why do I personally choose heart over mind? There is a term called "the ego" associated with the inner being of the mind and is not associated with the heart as the heart is its own entity. The ego is often what drives us to do acts which are proven to make us gain a better sense of self-worth and self confidence. In this sense, it's a false sense of reality, it's not truly us--it's our ego. It is said that the ego favors the id (or the unorganised part of the self which is responsible for our natural and basic drives--hunger, thirst, sex). Because of the ego's predilection towards the Id, the ego is often responsible for passing over reality's finer facets, while in truth, it's pretending to have respect for reality in order to prevent conflicts from arising. It becomes a war in our minds. For the "super-ego" has the upper hand and is constantly watching the ego's actions; it punishes the ego with feelings such as guilt and anxiety. Because of this battle and the consequential feelings, we end up doing things for the wrong reasons. 

To me, it seems more favorable to follow the heart. For our entire lives, the heart never stops beating. Day in and day out, it knows what to do. It is the center of our body and is our greatest life line. The mind, although very important, often plays trick on us, deceives us, has us do things for the wrong reason--seemingly less trustworthy than the heart. The heart constantly has our soul in mind, where as the mind holds hands with the ego. Whatever leads to happiness is the path one should follow, it is to my personal taste to walk in the instinctual footsteps of the heart.


Five Senses

Today, these are some the things my five senses sensed throughout the day:

- a plume of Triloka Sacral Shakra incense-- good for inspiring, soothing and creating a sensual environment.
-The early autumnal night's air inhaling the smoke from a wood fire somewhere in the distance
-The therapeutic aroma of having coffee brewing in the mid afternoon
-Bed head hair manipulator and it's alluring signature coconut fragrance. 

- my mom tinkling the ivories of the baby Grand piano upstairs.
- shards of random conversations from the other diners at the sushi restaurant, piecing themselves together into a random loquacious mosaic.
-The loud and dubious sound of a guitar string breaking
-rain drops tapping on the window pane

- the lushness of raw fish upon the tounge and teeth.
- Clean linnen on my bed.
- The dynamic between wearing a wool sweater and the crisp, premature autumnal night air.
- Desire and longing

- the peach and vanilla flavors from the dinner's Chardonnay
- ginger and carrot dressing paired with the slightly salted Edamame.
- The first sip of coffee upon waking in the morning

-The pitch darkness blinding the eyes at 7:30 PM.
- A mother and her daughter having a "girl's night out"
- The LCD light flashing red on my phone
- Street lights welcoming you on their lonely avenue.


Wine Wednesday: Sterling 2008 Vitner's Collection Chardonnay

Vitner's Collection Chardonnay.

It's the first white wine I have reviewed in this blog. Another delicious Sonoma wine. I put my lips to the crystal glass and the golden liquid licked my lips and allowed its tropical perfume to kiss me. I smiled. I had some grilled Cod in front of me, and its tropical bouquet of pineapple, guava, and even a hint of summer peaches paired beautifully. Toasty oak and vanilla also titillated the palate. It pairs great with grilled seafood, pork and chicken.


The Desire, a Conspiring Universe and the Sloth.

"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."- Paolo Coelho.

So it's true. When you decide with your heart and soul that you want something, not just "I would like this/ I would like that" but truly yearning, excruciatingly so, the Universe begins to feel your torturous desire. The Universe works in your favor; it formulates on your side, pushing Chance out the door and introducing Promise to machinate your success and fulfill your seemingly unquenchable thirst. How much do you need to want something for the Universe to separate you from the slovenly? Imagine yourself in a vast desert where all that meets the eye is the insurmountable and unfathomable amount of blistering grains of sand liquefying themselves and becoming one with soles of your naked feet. Imagine further your cracked, sun licked lips and your dessicated tongue. True desire is the need for a glass of water in this situation. It's what you need. You will do anything in your power to obtain this glass of water so the Universe conspires with you; in this situation being lazy will not get you what you want, just as in life.

However, it would be unthinkable to assume the Universe would align things in your favor without you putting in the work as well. This is where the line is drawn between those who obtain the extra Universal push verses those who don't. The slovenly, those who place their cards in the hands of Fate without so much leaving their homes, should not see their desires fulfilled. There are some people like that. Those who sit back and wait for everything to happen. However, then their are others where it's not so much indolence but more so the paralyzing fear of achieving what it is they really want. They may want something so strongly, such as that glass of water in the desert, but they're afraid to make the initial move to set the Universe in motion. They're afraid of taking chances, they postpone decision making, their best friend takes form in the excuses they make to postpone their future. They're afraid that the door they want to open now could inevitably lead to other doors in which behind some of those doors suffering could possibly loom. But the heart should know that the anxiety of suffering is far more intense than the actual suffering and should by no means keep one from achieving their wish. It takes feeling to understand what it is you want, but it takes courage to set the Universe in positive motion.


Wine Wednesday: 2003 Deerfield Red Rex

Deerfield Red Rex

From the Sonoma county of California, this 2003 Deerfield blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, and Malbec leaves the mouth with nothing more to desire than this passionate briary wine. This wine blend creates for a complex and multifaceted bouquet with great body and long fluid legs. Overflowing with dark blackberry fruits and scents of cedar, the wine lingers on your tounge with its peppery finish.


He...he...hello...Do I know you from somewhere?

I do not write this blog in away to inject you with a hypodermic needle of sorts loaded with a potent dogmatic formula that I wish to inject my audience with. Not in the slightest. Simply stated, I read a book and I found it interesting. It didn't indoctrinate me, but I found it interesting enough to give it a few minutes of my "pondering" time while driving in the car.
That's all.

One of the many books I have read recently (and I honestly forget which book it was, I have read many) suggested that perhaps we has individuals have been around this world before. That we have seen, lived and been apart of other lives before, and that within these lives we have picked up the skills, knowledge, and experience that we currently know and possess.

This plausible dogma of being a soul from a previous life made me think a little further. The first question it made me ponder was, "Have I have met someone before that from first sight, from first handshake, from first motion of greeting I was able to act my complete self"? I answered, with certainty and haste, "Yes". I'm not just describing how one acts with one's friends, I mean how one acts with one's mother. I don't know about you, but at times I can be a somewhat reserved person. Not always. But I can sometimes throw up a barrier in between myself and an unfamiliar person. If I have to you, don't be offended, even some of my closest friends haven't seen me in my liveliest form. Mothers know and see all, which is why I suggested that you are at your most normal state in the company of your mother. They are the greatest eye witness to your behavior and Self.

It's an interesting proposition to think that perhaps if we've been around this world for lives beyond just this one, perhaps we've also fallen in love with the same person we are in love with now before in a previous life. Perhaps each life we live we fall in love with the same person. In each life that we become apart of again and again we would most presumably take on a new form, a new body, a new person. Perhaps the reason why many people say, in regards to finding love, "if it's meant to be, it's meant to be". Perhaps they say that because we already know our lover. Is it "meant to be, cause it's meant to be" because if we're lucky it's just a matter of time until we find them again. Is it possible that we go through years of our lives 15? 20? 30 years before we "reunite" with that lost soul? Is it possible that we get into year long relationships with others because we think that we have reunited with our true love and thus love them, until years down the road we have realized that, "nope, that isn't her" or "nope that isn't him"? Is this possible? Maybe. Is it false? Maybe. Is it true. Maybe. I'm not saying one way or another. Remember, I used to want to be a chef. This is just food for thought. Think about it.


Wine Wednesday: 2007 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha.

2007 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha
Calatayud, Spain.

100% Garnacha (Grenache) from the Northern Spanish village of Atea.

With a beautiful inky-purple hue, this red wine is bold in aroma. Its bouquet is bursting smoothly with ripe berries, baking spices and a peppery finish. I am no professional wine connoisseur, but I'm pretty sure I even discovered a hint of peach to round out it's flavor.

I have found, and continue to find that Spanish wines in the $10-12 price range prove to be of remarkable value. This is not a wine to miss. With my amateur wine consumption, I try to always purchase a different wine, never sampling the same wine twice to allow for the greatest expansion of my palate. With this wine in particular, I may have to make an exception.


The Things You (We) Do.

What motivates each one of us to do all the things we do? Why do we wake in the morning? Why are we living the lives we live? Why do we dress in the clothes we chose to cover our skin with? Why do we do a daily exercise regiment, diet regiment, yoga regiment--is it because this is what society urges us to do? Is it because we feel our Self urging us to do it soley for ourselves? Or, is it because we like the way it secretly makes our Self feel based on how we are fantastically imagining ourselves through the eyes of how view us and our actions.

Why when people get new phone we insist on announcing to the world through social networking sites that "our new iPhone needs numbers", instead of merely saying, "my phone broke, got another one, may I have your number?" It's our ego's thirst for worth. It's this ancillary information, such as the labeling of our "new iPhone" that makes it seem that many of us are not living for ourselves but rather through the eyes of another. Doing flamboyant things to attract attention merely because the life we live isn't enough for ourselves. Those of us who hunger for attention through ostentatious demonstrations sacrifice their true being in hopes of gaining a feigned sense of self value. To gain self value, self worth, self respect is to live in the shoes of yourself, to see through your eyes rather than imagining your reflection in the eyes of another. When we live life for the sole purpose of the Self, that is when we start living.


The Comfort, The Resistance and The Desire

Anything that provides us an imperfect comfort is a mere means to distract and deceive us from achieving what it is we really want for ourselves. We are disillusioned in believing that what we have currently is sufficient enough. Brainwashed. One may pick a particular comfortable career out of fear that the true career he wants he isn't worthy of, the career isn't attainable, or too much effort is required to make such a change. He is more comfortable with a more assured, fundamental path. Comfort does not mean joy. Comfort could be a word which we use to make ourselves feel content. 

Person one: "Are you Happy?" 

Person two: "...I'm comfortable." 

Comfort thrives on simplicity. Simplicity is defaced in the hands of a challenge—anything that has a prospect of impeding us. Should you stay or should you leave? Comfort would have you stay as leaving requires stepping out of your gate of placidity. I would assume that most of us truly want to live that "perfect" life. So, wouldn’t it make sense then that the desire for such perfection would push us along out of a discontented comfort allowing us to attain the closest proximity of joy and happiness--perfection? One would think. However, there is a force called Resistance which sinuously wraps itself and aims to constrict us and crush our fantasy of such a lively perfection. Resistance is the counterforce of ambition and drive. While ambition and drive are positive in their power, Resistance acts upon negativity. Like a force of gravity, it brings us down. Like sprinting against the wind, it pushes back; only the strong persist and defeat this opposition to reach the life that’s waiting for them on the other side of such an obstruction.  We all have the power for happiness. We just have to fight for it.

Imperfection is Perfect in the Arts

We wake. We live. We sleep. A circuitous motion. Day after day. Four seasons change and if we're lucky, we still wake, live and sleep. Within these moments of consciousness there is a multitude of people who use their livelihood to seek perfection. What is perfection? The absence of a mistake obviously. But what is a mistake? A flawed form. In many forms of art what some might deem a mistake by one, is often written off in a lauditory critique of  "soulfulness"; “brilliance”. In singing? A note gone slightly flat--that's blues, baby. A sung note cracking at the seams from ravaged vocal cords--soul. A grisly and gravelly timbre--vast in soulfulness, representing the scars carved into one’s Self. In painting different brush strokes could be seen as less then perfect. Take the Van Goghian characteristic of impressionistic strokes for example. While some disapprove of such flawed and nonrepresentational figures--many see it as beautifully abstract, soulful.  Imperfection is perfection in the arts. 


Sinking or Rising: Tales of a Submarine.

In my dream I was traveling in a lithe, agile, and stealthy built submarine. The color of this vehicle was unknown and thus unimportant. It was spacious yet claustrophobic, darkly lit, yet the interior was relatively plush and thus hospitable. I was traveling with two or three other individuals; there faces were blurred, unrecognizable and thus seemingly irrelevant. I recall having a dislike for the running water that was provided inside this sea vessel—it was rather bitter, almost lemony but far more acidic and crude to the human palate…at least to mine.  In fact I remember when we surfaced our vessel in a port I would buy mass amounts of water bottles and store them in my pockets to assure myself that I wouldn’t have to imbibe this alkaline liquid (perhaps this was based on watching Lost only a few hours before tucking myself into bed).

 To my analysis, the importance of this dream was not the magnitude of the details. So what is such a dream doing creeping inside the depths of my sub-conscious. Perhaps trying to analyze the depths, angles and shades of a dream is an inane and inconsequential objective. Or perhaps it can give one a further sense of their multifaceted mind. So I dug through some dream archives online to discover a relevant breakdown. I took those breakdowns and added in my own interpretations to maximize on an accurate analysis. Perhaps my desire to write this and do the research is merely me resisting doing my REAL work—but that will be a discussion at a later time.

A submarine as we know is a powerful sea vessel which propels itself through large, deep bodies of water—in the dream world, large bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, and seas are often noted to express that of the unconscious or the unknown. The submarine could be symbolizing the way I am navigating or chartering territory through the unknown (life)—whether this is relating to my music, creativity, love, or a real broad sense of the direction of my future. A particular analyis suggested that the strength and aggressiveness of the propelling vessel could suggest that I am feeling “strong and prepared to aggressively deal with concerns and emotional issues” that are to be dealt with within my life. The future is unknown much like the symbol of water suggests. We aren’t clairvoyant and each step we take forward on our journey we must take with care—keep in mind that taking steps impetuously does not mean that you aren’t carefully taking these steps. In the past blog it merely means that you are listening to your heart over mind. I will say, right before I woke up, the submarine was not sinking. We were making our way for higher ground. We were rising.


What we need is impetuousness.

I was fucking lonely. I dropped myself in this river of uncertainty, and I wasn't sure if the current was taking me in a down stream plummet or if it was dragging me head first, upstream, against the boulders along the rocky, sinuous bank of the mistake I thought I had made. "You know exactly why you are doing this, get yourself together man", I would tell myself on a nightly basis. 

"Why am I not happy," a question which percolated through my head and defeated any positivity from a self inflicted pep-talk. 

I looked around at the brand new apartment I was residing in. Van Gogh prints loitered on the porcelain hued stucco walls--the one print which still burns in my mind, perhaps because it is still in my room at the moment is the one entitled "The Mulberry Tree". It's gnarled, contorted branches flaming with the most disturbed reds, oranges and yellows seemed to encapsulate my confusion which had taken my head as it's abode, simply because it was weak and vulnerable those few weeks.  The blue sofa mocked my state of mind while the round kitchen table capable of seating four would only seat myself for the time being. The whole town was new to me, but the emptiness...the solitude was new in particular. 

Dinner hour was the most difficult. The darkness echoed across the walls and hardwood floors ripping through the window pains like a cross wind shattering my solace. Every sound from the adjacent apartments was intensified as my kitchen table of four was only sitting one and there was no one else  in the room to help absorb these sounds let alone create noise of our own. I would over salt the chicken. Perhaps my mind was occupied with my mistake. Perhaps I didn't care what the food tasted like, I was merely eating as I knew my mom would check up on me and I could barely muster up a counterfeit smile let alone tell her a lie. 

"Mistake. Mistake. Mistake. What did you do. Mistake. Why. Mistake."
"I am miserable."

I left my life behind. The life I had spent two years creating and developing. I left everyone behind. Selfishness? Over zealousness? It was music which inevitably told me to make the move from Oxford, Ohio--Miami University to Charlottesville, Virgina--University of Virginia. I was sure that directing myself to Charlottesville, a town which thrives on originality,  would be the appropriate move in order to allow my music to flourish to it's maximum potential. I was drowning in the conformity of Oxford, OH, I needed to leave. I, being the driven one, did so. 

Two weeks into my University of Virginia experience I could take no more. My normal cheerful, hopeful, giddy, self had deconstructed itself all guided by the hand of  confusion and realization as to what I had done. I left behind my friends. I left behind the name for myself I had created at Miami. I left behind my solid GPA. I left behind my assurance and comfort. 

I made the decision to transfer schools completely illogically. I was completely motivated by the hope that my music would be appreciated in this art based town of Charlottesville that I never accounted for the serious lifestyle change. Entering as a Junior in a brand new school is no easy feat. While you're trying to learn your way around the school, understanding the way your professors work, you're also helplessly looking to weasel your way into a welcoming social scene to ease yourself with some sense of normalcy. I didn't account for any of this. When the question was brought up to me, my ambition must have made me somewhat delusional  and I would assure myself everything would work itself out. 

Had I not transferred, I would not have left college to begin with and I would have continued on with my college life. The  life that I currently have would be non existent. I would have passed on all the amazing knowledge and wisdom I have gained by meeting all the wonderful people down the current path I am travelling. I would have missed on the many friendships and encounters along this path. I wouldn't have had any of these musical experiences I currently have. My life would be drastically different. I saw both paths. I never saw where they lead, nor do I still as at any moment there could be another fork I decide to walk upon, but I saw the mouth of each journey I had the option of taking. We often tell ourselves that everything we do must be sensible. We tell ourselves that everything we do must follow our blueprint somewhere along life we so crudely sketched. Perhaps our problem is if we get too caught up with the practicality of our life's events that we lose sense of what we want. What really makes us happy. What is best for our heart rather than our manipulative mind. I was unpractical. I was impetuous. But I'm starting to think that rashness is the way to go if you want to follow your heart. It's your instinct. It's what you want. It's what happens before your mind has a minute to voice up it's anxious opinion. We become the pets' of our minds. We become teathered when we become obedient to our minds and not our hearts. The remedy?  All we need is just a little impetuousness. 

The Mulberry Tree -- Vincent Van Gogh.