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Do You Know Sarah Palin?

 

I was twenty three years old, visiting San Fransisco, California for an Angels & Airwaves concert. Before handing my card to the Starbucks cashier, I knew it was coming. I clamped my teeth down hard, tensing up my facial muscles, the eye twitch slowly pulsating.

Then he asked.

A wild card of a question, the nail in the coffin, a real winner.

“Do you know Sarah Palin?” followed by “Can you actually see Russia from your house?”

Damn him. Damn her. I mean most of us don’t even like Sarah Palin but in her defense, for her statement to be taken literally, you must be an idiot. I mean I took at as “her house” meaning from some area of Alaska and she meant it as… like “welcome to MY HOUSE” or “this is my turf!”. Technically you can see Russia from Little Diomede Island, Alaska.

My response to him was yes, I know her, we party with her all the time in our igloos where we ice fish from our living room. I told him this concrete jungle was a major culture shock to me and that this was my first time in a Starbucks. If you didn’t know I was a smart ass troll, now you do.

starbucks-coffee-barista

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…”Are there any trees in Alaska?”…

     I woke up to another five inches of snow on top of the two feet we accumulated last week. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for summer, but I’m glad this years winter feels very much like an old school Alaskan winter. The last few winters have been terrible, brown, and warm. I mean I’m so excited to actually be able to smell dog shit this spring.
Days like today always make me nostalgic. Seeing the lawn with a fresh blanket of untouched snow while the tree branches hang heavy. The power lines bounding up and down and our vehicles looking like a snow cube with wheels. It was snowing hard this morning and the snowflakes were the size of half dollars. The wind was kicking up too, making visibility mildly poor. I love it.
I’m sure my outsider friends get sick of me always talking Alaska up but I just can’t help myself. Just about everyone has some kind of pride overload with their home town or state. But ours is just a litttttttttttle bit better and as I’ve said, you’re entitled to your wrong opinion but I assure you, ours IS better.
But what makes us truly better? What annoys the shit out of us? Why do some of us hold ourselves to a higher standard? There are probably a million reasons/answers and to be honest I don’t have enough time in my lifetime to explain each one, so I asked all of you, my friends on FB, those who have known me for most of my life and those who I’ve known for only a few years.

durangomaskup

“Are you part of the United States?”

The summers here in Alaska are perfect even though the sky is bright into the night. Fishing, camping, mudding and hunting is GREAT! Traveling in Alaska may take hours but the drive is so beautiful, it doesn’t matter.Winters are fun for some and not so much for the ones who don’t like the cold but you cannot deny that the snow doesn’t make everything look amazing. There is ice fishing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and snow machining! Yes, we here in Alaska call it snow machining! So, if you want to “fit in” and not look like a tourist, remember to call it that.

I went to visit family in Louisiana back in the summer of 2005. I was 15 and a girl who was 18 asked me if we had houses, roads, and cars but the winner of questions was when she asked me if we had cats in Alaska. I was sitting there surrounded by about 7 other teens who were just waiting for an answer

-Danielle Darlyn Rheault

“Is it like….night time all the time there?”

When I moved to FL someone asked me if we had different money in Alaska? I assume she was thinking about Canada, but still…..lol

Also the thing I miss most about Alaska is the down to earth attitude from people and people always willing to help you on the road. It just doesn’t happen here. People aren’t into the latest fashion trends or superficial shit like they are in the lower 48 for some reason, we’re truly our own little world

My tire blew out on a main road when I was (obviously) pregnant, it took 5 minutes for someone to pull over and help me, and the guy told me that I was lucky because “people around here don’t stop to help”. He wasn’t trying to be a dick about it, as he was happy to help me and tried to refuse my 10$ I gave him for stopping. When I got back to work (I was a delivery driver at the time) ALL my co workers were like “Oh wow, you’re lucky someone stopped!”

“My most memorable Alaska ditch moment was hitting a patch of black ice coming off the muldoon exit and the truck behind me immediately stopped, pulled me out, AND followed me to eagle river walmart, one of the girls even rode with me to make sure i got there safely!”

-Amy Benson
        

“Do you ever see penguins?”

People would leave their cars unlocked in the Bush in case the car needed to be moved to make room for the snowplows and graters. People in the Lower 48 looked at me like I had three heads when I told them I wasn’t used to locking my car.”

-Sophia Ramage

“Is there anything to do in Alaska?”

     Nope not at all so you probably should just stay exactly where you’re at. Ok I’m kidding. There’s loads to do here but honestly 80% of it is outdoor stuff, so if that’s your thing, you’d be in heaven. I’m not even too outdoorsy but I can appreciate it enough to just enjoy being out side, even if it is mowing the lawn three times a day, or picking up sticks in the yard, or finding simple little things to do just to keep me outside. My friend Stephen Griffin use to say “sleeping in during the summer is a waste of a day” and I still believe that to this day. I still think that Alaska is one of the last places where imagination actually still comes into play when entertaining yourself. Yeah we have clubs, bars, theaters, malls, blah blah it’s all there with a small town feel that even makes THOSE different.
It’s really annoying when people don’t even have the slightest knowledge on Alaska. I mean the first few you run into are fine but eventually, it gets old. I remember in the first grade, we had to memorize all the states, write them in on a blank map, as well as the province codes (AK,AR,MN,FL, etc.). “Is Alaska part of the US?” yes, yes we are. There are 50 stars on that flag and who exactly do you think number 49 and 50 are? So if you ever hear the term AK49, now you know, Alaska, the 49th state mtherfcker represent whaaat.

When did we become a state? We became a state on Jan. 3rd, 1959. We have a population of 736,732 as of 2014. Our state bird is the Willow Ptarmigan and we are known as “the last frontier” and YES, we are the biggest state. Sorry Texas, you just don’t cut it. You’re cute being in second place and what not, but no….sit down….all the way down…yay good girl you did it! Now stay.

“Do you have electricity in Alaska?”

     “I visited New York for a few weeks. It was terrible and everyone was out for themselves it seemed. I instantly missed the community we have. As soon as someone found out I was from Alaska they seemed to feel sorry for me, as if I had a tough life in such a rough place. But honestly I’m glad Alaska isn’t easy to live in. If i wanted to live in an easy mindless place, then I suppose I’d choose anywhere in the lower 48”

– Anonymous

“Alaska is just a frozen wasteland”

     That was actually said by some kid on the internet while I was playing World Of Warcraft. I made him feel real stupid shortly after, it was refreshing. It’s amazing the image folks have about our state, probably from all the stupid ass shows that have come out over the last ten or fifteen years. I use to want us noticed and on the map but now that I think of it, I prefer to be in the shadows of mystery. Hell I prefer people to still think we are located in the Gulf of Mexico. However google is an amazing tool, I mean we just got it a year ago here in Alaska and we’ve learned so much about flux capacitors and instant messaging and moving pictures, you should try to look up Alaska sometime! I promise we aren’t all like this. I’m just the voice that speaks what everyone probably thinks. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

“I really want to pet a bear”

bear5

No you don’t.

“Do you guys have cars to get around?”

 

car

Totally. Well….most of a car.

“Is it ever green in Alaska?”

    I suppose our “small town feel” is much like any other small town community, only ours feels state wide. I love the fact that you can be anywhere in the world and as soon as you run into another “Alaskan” you instantly form a bond. Kind of like a friendly neighbor vibe type thing.

     As kids, we are taught that playing in subzero temps is okay and perfectly safe, snow days and school being cancelled rarely ever happens (three in my entire school career from kindergarten to my senior year). One of the best looks on an outsider’s face is after I’ve told them we don’t shut down for snow storms. In fact I don’t think I ever had a “snow day” due to actual snow because usually it’s when we get loads of freezing rain and everything turns into an ice rink. They would only keep us kids inside for recess if it was -30 or worse (now days its probably -20). We would bundle up and go have fun outside. Believe it or not, when you are cold, its best to actually move because movement creates heat and heat creates smiles and happy faces yay!! But when you don’t move, and you lock up, you will die. When you die while locked up, you’re found in the same way, frozen, pitiful and blue. 

     Most of us are educated with fire arms at a young age, hell my Uncle Steve bought me a .22 rifle at the age of five. 

     We use our imagination outside….a lot. Pretty sure as a kid, we taught ourselves a primitive version of shelter building and surviving in the wild. Not even kidding when I say I could construct you a nice little post zombie shanty that could sustain through winter. Try me.

“It’s just cold all the time there..”

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Willow, Alaska

“Where else but Alaska do you find this kind of beauty and make such wonderful memories with your children?”

-Anonymous

“You’re bragging about Alaska all the time, chill out”

wayne

Trust me, I’m chill. We even “chill” better than you can.

me-an-dcody

“I’ve never been to Alaska, but it’s not my cup of tea”

     Toooootally fine and we understand and I promise you we will forget you even said that in like…. wait…what did you say? I forgot. I do encourage all to visit Alaska though. Really….I do. But you have to have an honest curiosity. If you don’t, and you expect it to be like where you live, then you’ll be let down. Then, like a disappointed customer, you’ll spread the negative review to an average 15-20 people. We already get a bad rep from stupid inaccurate t.v. shows and loud mouth politicians…. and people who can’t Google. It does get annoying when they have an idea of how life looks like in a third world country and compare this idea to what it might be like in Alaska, only with snow.

Oh look, it’s groundhog day, looks like we have six weeks of winter left. Well…No shit.

Sorry I was distracted.

“How do you stay warm inside?”

We use ancient alien technology from the planet Argus that harnesses the power of the sun and stores it in our own fusion cells which we then use to channel through flux capacitor copper lines known as “baseboard heating”. Some people are fancy and can afford to upgrade to a forced air type heat, which feeds off the same system. Crazy huh?

Yeah this blog is all over the place but that’s how I want it.

“Alaska > everywhere else because I have too much debt to move lol”

-Martyn Anderson

I’ll leave the rest of this rant open ended for those who message me their stories and annoyances, so I can add it as I go and it can be forever logged in the never ending, living, breathing, void of the internet.

And FYI, there are no freaking penguins in Alaska.

 

Life Chapter 29: Put Some Water On It

I’ll keep this one short and sweet, since I prefer my blog to be about travels and toilet humor, mostly.

Spring of 2016 I was placed into the long process of becoming a volunteer fire fighter for Central Mat-su. From minor application errors, to a physical ability test, an interview, tracking down medical records, a wild land test, 3 weeks of training Tuesday-Sunday, a written test and a practical test, I finally made it on. It’s been a busy month. In order to do all this, I needed to take off a whole hitch which means I was off for six weeks. This required me to go on a leave of absence (LOA). On the Saturday of my written test, just after I found out I passed, I received a phone call from my general foreman that they needed to let me go due to “lack of work” around the field. For a moment I worried but then shortly after I realized this was one door closing and another opening. I’ve been wanting off slope for awhile now so after the short worry, I was relieved. I’m thankful for my wife for taking on the brunt of the bills while I search for a side job that allows me to continue the fire service. Lord knows I hate asking her for money, and it wont be the last time but hopefully I get more income rolling in soon.

On a side note, I do believe I was actually the only one laid off from my job, even though I was told that “I wasn’t the first and I wont be the last”. At least no one I know was laid off so I’ve determined that it was on a personal level with management as to why I was let go. Since it already seemed like a pain in their ass that I was trying to better myself rather than spend 30 years on an oil field. I mean God forbid someone trying to leave the oil field right? As far as I’m concerned, they can keep their oil field and their politics. As for all my friends up there, I’ll see you at our annual BBQ’s!

amidon

Pulse Detected (Again)

Hello WordPress,

It’s been awhile and I’d like to start off by apologizing for my lack of blogging lately. I’d also like to thank the steady stream of readers I get on a daily basis, you’re awesome for liking my craziness. Within the next few days I plan on updating all of you with what’s been going on and what’s to come. Hopefully I haven’t lost my toilet reading humor. I love you all.

-Ian

Old Bones In Old Songs

Today I charged up my iphone 4 for the first time in over a year, maybe two. This out dated device contains song material from four or five years ago that I didn’t do anything with. For awhile I was writing two to three song ideas a night. I opened the notes section and had two different tabs. The first was mostly complete songs and 98% of them had titles. The second was just a long long long long page of random lyrics that didn’t have a home, usually consisting of just a few clever lines.  I write my lyrics in kind of a funky way I like to think. I usually think of a cool title first and use it as my foundation and or theme. Then I construct a story around it, usually relating to me or someone I know. A lot of the times the stories are real and some have a sort of extreme inspiration (events in the song may or may not have gone the way they actually did, in movies you see it as “Inspired by true events”)

I figured I’d share some of the song titles, a few of which I plan on getting the blood flowing through again.

Going Alone
Hollywood Dreams and Crime Scenes
Fault Line
Everyone’s Filing Lawsuits and I’m Just Here Drinking
Curtain Call (Keep Your Head On, Kid)
Mountains
Is It Winter Time Yet?
Life’s A Hurricane
Half A Life
Weaving Wires Through Finger Tips
This One Time, In Eagle River…
Wicker Man
Sounds Of An Empty Vessel II
2005
This Is How I Drink My Bourbon
Hey Mom, I Can Write A Rap Song Too
The War Zone (Instrumental)
Welcome To Insomniac Theater

Songs I completed and recorded (I don’t share much because like every artist, I’m my own worst critic but If you want to hear some I’ll gladly send them. Warning, I was more of a noob then than I am now). Most of the songs I recorded where fairly slow due to lack of recording skill, instruments, and oh… a full band. Plus it was difficult to try and deliver the listener a fast pace song without me trying to critique the hell out of it. Here’s a few:

Where Did This Come From?
The 4th Avenue Scene
Fire By The City
My Light
Obligation
Slowly Moving Backwards
Sounds Of An Empty Vessel – Instrumental
Sunrise (…I’m Alive)

 

 

Blink 182 – Bored To Death

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It’s finally here! The new and much anticipated Blink 182 song has arrived and I couldn’t be more happy and excited for this new page Blink has turned. Since the departure of singer and guitarist Tom Delonge, two thirds of the band, Mark and Travis, have continued their love of music and have picked up the singer/guitarist from Alkaline Trio, Matt Skiba. I could never imagine a fusion such as this one. For over fourteen years I’ve been a fan of Skibas lyrical styles of a more dark, melancholy writing technique which has never failed me and now that he’s along side Mark Hoppus, I’m shitting myself.

Since the songs leak this morning, the majority of the fans love it. Its a fresh start and kind of revival for what was once a dying light. Tom Delonge parted ways and has since been doing his own thing. The latest EP Angels & Airwaves released was, in my opinion, a more successful bit since Love pt 2. The others I don’t even listen to.

Many fans say the new Blink 182 song sounds like their older hit “Adams Song”. Clearly they either haven’t heard Adams Song, or they just forgot what it sounded like. The new song is catchy and alive. I believe the fact that some fans are angered towards it because
it sounds so good. In my opinion, the new Blink 182 line up has done justice. I’m super excited for this record. In other words… Get bent and move aside. The Mark, Matt and Travis show is upon thee!

The song can be found here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1OW3CUlqit5cVdkY096SUxnLUk/view?pref=2&pli=1

Code Name: Stellarwind

-Hunted-

     Let’s step back a few years before Edward Snowden became the United States of Americas most wanted man. Stellarwind was created by the NSA (Nation Security Agency) just after 9/11. The project was approved by President Bush and was exposed and revealed to the New York Times by Thomas Tamm in 2008. It was a foundation that later evolved into new and different legal structures that allowed Bush and Obama to create more programs and expand their reach.
The program allows for data mining massive databases of American citizens which included emails, financial transactions, telephone conversations, and internet activity. Several internal disputes inside the U.S. Justice Department about the program over the fact that it didn’t just collect date on targets of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act but mass quantities of people as well.

“…the Stellarwind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller, approximately 99% of the cases led nowhere…”

-Wikipedia

     Further reading into justifications as to why the program was important, I realized that is seemed as if the 9/11 attacks was used as the final push for this program to be in place. Now that the people of the United States had an enemy on its own soil that organized the attacks right here in the home land, reasons to have a program that collected data on persons of interest seemed like a good idea to the American people. Little did they know, Stellarwind would be used to collect data on just about everyone. We were all persons of interests and it was without warrants.

-How Strange, Innocence-

      “…In 2004, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Jack Landman Goldsmith, wrote at least two legal memos authorizing the program, “We conclude only that when the nation has been thrust into an armed conflict by a foreign attack on the United States and the president determines in his role as commander in chief . . . that it is essential for defense against a further foreign attack to use the [wiretapping] capabilities of the [National Security Agency] within the United States, he has inherent constitutional authority” to order warrantless wiretapping — “an authority that Congress cannot curtail,” Goldsmith wrote in a 108-page memo dated May 6, 2004. In March 2004, the OLC concluded the e-mail program was not legal, and then-Acting Attorney General James Comey refused to reauthorize it…”

-Wikipedia

Thomas Tamm was born in 1952 and received his education from Brown University. He is a former attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and is a known whistleblower. Tipped off by Tamm,  the New York Times released and article on December 16, 2005, exposing Stellarwind. A little over a year later, the FBI raided Tamms house and in 2011, the Justice Department dropped all charges against Tamm and did not file charges.

     Today, Stellarwind is in full force with several programs grown off of it’s foundation. NSA still collects data on the people of the United States as well as working together with several other European countries.

Sources:
Wikipedia, Google

One Nation, Under Surveillance

     I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under surveillance, always divided, for liberty and justice for all.

Waking Up

It’s five o’clock in the morning. My alarm fades in slowly with the song “Waking Up” by Explosions In The Sky. I usually wake up this early to take my wife to work so it’s nothing out of the ordinary. She’s a hard worker. I admire that.

The morning is quiet. I like it.

It’s always quiet this early. It’s quiet because our little world hasn’t started up yet. The rest of the world has, but not ours. I like to absorb the quiet after dropping my wife off. The cats usually sleep in and the dogs tend to hop right back on the bed and pass out. I start my morning by making myself a spam omelette and a coffee with three sugars. I don’t add much creamer now days, I guess I’ve out grown it.

After my meal, I take my coffee and sit down at my desk. I call it the command center. It’s the central processor of my stronghold. My “Jarvis”.

“Good morning sir”

I say to myself out loud in a British “Jarvis” voice as my desktop comes to life. By now the faint blue daylight begins to filter over the mountain view that greets me every morning. I open my web browser and log into my usual social medias. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, & WordPress.

I am plugged in.

A Storm Is Coming

The news feed. A constantly evolving digital wave of opinions, ideas, beliefs, products, pictures, and sometimes pointless nonsense. The list goes on. It’s where our lives are written out and recorded in real time. It’s brilliant and truly wonderful.

It’s also a war zone.

A battlefield with multiple factions shelling the living shit out of each other day and night.

The quiet is over.

#Trump2016, #feelthebern, #blacklivesmatter, #hillary2016, #GOPdebate. Hashtags thrown around like hand grenades. Alliances are formed and relationships destroyed as easy as “unfriend”. You’re in the trenches and you’re as powerful as ever because you’re behind a keyboard. You no longer have to share an opinion face to face. You’re safe and secure because you’re in the matrix. Memes are like propaganda bombs filled with false or exaggerated facts about opposing parties but good job bro, really stuck it to em with that one!

We’re all guilty of it really. It’s all part of it. But I find it hard to take a side in all this. I mean I have my beliefs and I have my reasons for who I will vote for but I can’t seem to label it. You can’t claim to be a Republican anymore without being labeled a racist or bigot. You can’t claim to be a Democrat without being labeled a lazy liberal. You can’t fly a Tea Party flag without being called a tea bagger.

When did we lose ourselves? When did we go from a melting pot to a pot of water with individual groups of oil floating around? There’s so many groups and labels that we’ve started to suffocate in it all. We’ve lost sight of who the true enemy is and we are too busy climbing on top of one another as we grasp for air and try to soak up the lime light even if it’s for a quick second. It’s exhausting and like I said before….we’ve looked away from the true enemy and they are reaping all the benefits from it.

Human Qualities

Edward Snowden.

He was born on June 21st, 1983 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He is a former CIA employee as well as a former employee for Booz Allen Hamilton which is a company contracted by the NSA. He’s widely known for the **theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person”.

** source via wikipedia

Recently I read Glenn Greenwalds book “No Place Left To Hide” which covers what happened when Snowden contacted Greenwald about the documents he had obtained.

“…Opposition to government invasion of privacy was a major factor in the establishment of the United States itself, as American colonists protested laws that let British officials ransack at will any home they wished…”

Greenwald said.

The Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person’s or things to be seized.”

As Greenwald said,

“It was intended, above all, to abolish forever in America the power of the government to subject its citizens to generalized, suspicionless surveillance.”

I also read that in the mid-nineteenth century, British government began opening its citizens mail, due to the development of rail ways and rapid delivery, which caused a major scandal in the UK. By the mid 1970s, Frank Church investigated the FBI and found that they had labeled a half a million US citizens as potential “subversives” and had spied on people based on their political affiliations.

Snowden handed documents over to Greenwald providing information about the US government partnering with providers, allowing them to sift through emails, messages, video chats, phone calls, voicemails and other means of communication. The data collected is then stored for access whenever they wanted. These major providers include; Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Paltalk, Youtube, Skype, AOL, and Apple. This was a project called PRISM, which allows NSA to collect data directly from servers.

PRISM

Actual leaked NSA slide provided by Edward Snowden. NOFORN at the bottom right means no foreign governments/companies can see this slide.

Do you feel comfortable with that? If you are, you’ve already lost.

Some other things Snowden discovered was the governments ability to activate your phone’s microphone and camera capabilities even if it was connected to the internet or not. Greenwald met Snowden in Hong Kong along with two other reporters. They composed articles and stories for their publisher to release to the world. The story caught like a wild fire. The government has never denied the accusations.

A Song of Our Fathers

To say this story is mere conspiracy theory is only, to me, words used by those in denial. Civil liberties groups, Wikipedia, and many more have filed lawsuits against the NSA. That list can be found here. Edward Snowden found something terribly wrong with our government and felt that it was time the people finally had proof that they are watched, spied on, recorded and documented. Our government states that it’s for the greater good of the country. To help catch those who plot and plan to destroy our way of life. So once again I ask you, are you comfortable with this? If you have nothing to hide, them you have nothing to fear right? You have already lost.

Greenwald said..

“Governments around the world have made vigorous attempts to train citizens to disdain their own privacy. A litany of now-familiar platitudes has convinced people to tolerate sever encroachments into their private realm; so successful are these justifications that many people applaud as the authorities collect vast amounts of data about what they say, read, buy and do-and with whom”

If you are okay with it, then accept and admit that you are submissive. Submission, to me, is an act of something as low, if not lower than that of something on a microbial level. Yes it is true that there is nothing we can do about it, verbally anyway. This very article will be flagged and possibly looked at given the very contents contained in it, even though it is not even scratching the surface. I did that so you could research yourself and learn a bit.

Trembling Hands

While we squabble about, lobbing verbal abuses towards opposing parties on the constant stream of our news feeds that’s ever flowing. I hope one day the rest of us come to light that we divide ourselves because we let them. We are doing exactly what they want us to do and that is to remain as separate little twigs. A single twig is weak, but a bundle of twigs is strong. We are not a bundle. I fear we are broken and will be for some time. We vote for celebrities, not politicians. We form opinions off of trending topics without actually doing research and when some do research, they read one side of the story. We read media headlines that dice up, alter, and change what’s said to what they want you to read because they know you’ll only read the headline anyway. We watch as candidates dig up dirt on one another and bash each other in their debates. It’s a shame we’ve lost our ability to recognize when something isn’t right. That we now think rebellion on a violent level is an act of terrorism. That we are growing comfortable of the thought of being unarmed. That it’s okay for them to search our lives without reason. We scare too easily. We have weakened. I won’t give up on the country, but to be honest I feel that electing someone,no matter who it is, wont change anything on the grand scale that needs to happen.

flag

Sources I used for this mini article were:

Wikipedia, Google, and the book “No Place Left To Hide” by Glenn Greenwald
Also check out the preview for Oliver Stones ‘Snowden’

Death From Above

carneum

     On Thursday, February 11th, I had the opportunity to snap some photos of a local band practicing in their living room. I wanted to practice shooting photos with the limited equipment I had. I worked with what I was given and over all it was a good time watching these talented musicians play through a handful of originals. The chemistry was on point and I could hear each individuals influences brew together in a concoction of beefy rifts and clever lyrical madness that filled the surrounding atmosphere as I moved about snapping photos while fighting the urge to head bang….

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Carneum

DSC_0063

Tyler Byrum – Vocals

DSC_0209

Justin Benner – Bass

DSC_0450

Adam Chapman – Guitar

DSC_0137

John Cooper – Guitar

DSC_0122

Kaylan Wade – Drums

More photos from the entire spread can be found here.

Amidon Lampoons Vacation

The Year of Travel

     For the past few weeks, let’s face it, facebook has been owned by our big wedding. Hundreds of photos have been uploaded and more photos here and there have been uploaded almost daily. We still can’t believe how well everything went and it all still feels like it was a dream because it happened so fast. Since the day I proposed to Nicole, it seemed like the wedding day was never going to arrive and now that it has, I wish the vacation wasn’t over.

Which brings me to introduce our next adventure!

   “…Make record of your journey…”

     A few months after the proposal, I started brain storming a plan. I didn’t want our honeymoon to be a cliche one trip kinda thing. I always try and do things different so why not this. I thought of a three to four phase honeymoon involving three or four trips spread through out the year of 2016. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling but Nicole hasn’t been to too many places so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get the travel bug going for her! So instead of getting on a plane right after our wedding and going somewhere exotic, we have decided to visit Hawaii, California and Japan.

Phase One: Pure Aloha

     Our first trip will be my other motherland. Nicole has yet to meet my family in Maui so we decided it is time for her to get some aloha! I know Maui fairly well my memory so I want to show her the island and all of it’s beauty. We want to spend maybe a week there and then head of to Oahu for three days or so. This trip will be in April.

Phase Two: California Dreaming

     I’m not too fond of California really but we thought it would be a cool idea to hit up Disneyland and all that jazz for Nicoles birthday. My sister Alex may tag along and I’m not sure if Caiti can but that would be cool. I’ve been to San Fransisco and it wasn’t too bad of a city but I’m willing to give elsewhere a shot. We figured four days would be adequate enough. This trip will be in May.

Phase Three: Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Last but not least, Japan. My good buddy Wayne approached me last year with this idea. He wanted the three of us to go to Japan and I was immediately on board. I have never been to Japan but it’s always been a place I’ve wanted to visit. It got Nicoles attention once she realized there was a Disney in Japan as well lol. The night Wayne drummed up the idea, I ordered a lonely planet book on Japan. When it came in, I read nearly the whole thing and researched things I found interesting. I tabbed things of interest in three different categories; “must do” , “would be rad”, and “if we are near with time to kill”. I started north and mapped my way down through out the islands. It seems like a solid route and hits everyone’s places of interests as well as some bonus spots I didn’t even know existed. This trip will be in September.

We are super excited and I especially because I get to shove all this in your faces and hopefully inspire some of you to travel as well, maybe even with us.

To be continued….

What’s My Age Again?

     I‘m currently sitting on a red eye flight back to the motherland. I finished up Travis Barkers book “Can I Say” and needless to say I have a little spark of inspiration to blog a bit on a subject I don’t talk about much anymore. Which is music.

A New Hope

Recording

     It’s been a good four years since I really played. Occasionally I pick up the acoustic and jam out a few songs and very rare do I plug in the electric and rock out. My story isn’t anything like Travis’ story. There isn’t any insane party stories involving mounds of cash and limos. No strip clubs, ‘A’ list celebrities living next door, or cop chases. Just a group of friends with same musical tastes and attitudes. We dressed the same and idolized the same musicians and even acted like them. I suppose a good place to start is the beginning. Buckle up….

What’s My Age Again?

“…Then later on, on the drive home
I called her mom, from a pay phone
I said I was the cops and your husband’s in jail
This state looks down on sodomy…”

     I was twelve or thirteen when I put my hands on a guitar. I was at a birthday party for my friend Travis Cook and he owned a black fender guitar with a small Marshall tube amp. I loved that tube amp and anyone who ever played on a Marshall amp knows what I’m talking about. It has a unique grungy like distortion that most rockers fall in love with. I remember being in his room while everyone was playing N64. I sat in the top bunk playing random noise. I had no idea what the fuck I was doing but I knew I wanted one. I remember begging him to borrow it but the amp was actually his older brothers. I even offered him lunch money for the rest of the year, but he wasn’t gonna budge. If I remember correctly, it was near Christmas so of course the only thing on my list was a guitar. I told my parents it’s what I wanted and all I wanted. I’m pretty sure I even told my dad I could play a few songs on one already.

“I can already play a few songs. Trust me I’m good!”

     Christmas came and all presents unwrapped, no guitar. After the mess, my dad sent me on a chore. It was probably feeding the dogs or some shit, hah. I came back from my chore and sure enough there it was under the tree. A black and white Fender squire and a small fender amp. I shit my self. I plugged it in and started playing random chords that weren’t even really chords-but seriously….I knew what I was doing…totally. I remember mom making a smart ass comment about “checking her stocking for Tylenol”. I took my guitar to my room and that’s where it all began. Around this time I was just getting into Blink 182. This band would have the biggest impact on my direction with music as well as a lot of other things.

The Party Song

“…Do you want to come to a party?
My friends picked me up in their truck at 11:30
This things at a frat house but the people are cool there
Reluctant I followed but I never dreamed there Would be someone there who would catch my attention
I wasn’t out searching for love or affection
So I paid my 3 and the girls got in free
Shine the beer for tequila and we headed into the party…”

     Punk rock and pop punk wasn’t exactly new to me. Months before I discovered Blink, my best friends older brother Zach had given me the Green Day-Dookie record which was the true turning point, like most kids with this similar story except mine is better. But Blink was the nail in the coffin for me. Three dudes, two of which were tatted up, running around

playing

Taken a few months after the Christmas I got my first guitar. I was already well on my way.

in their underwear and sometimes totally naked. They would make fun of themselves and crack dick jokes during their live sets. They were vulgar as all hell and were probably every parents worst nightmare. I loved it and I ate it all up. My buddy Travis Cook was also into them, thus starting the first “jam sessions”. We started off with just Blink and Green Day songs. He introduced me to tabs, which is basically music in number form, usually every musicians starting point if they can’t read musical notes. I picked up on tabs in about thirty seconds and I printed thousands of pages of songs. I already had a natural talent of listening to a song and playing it after I heard it so tabs became second hand pretty quick. To this day I still cant read music and when I listen to a new song, I can picture where it’s being played on the fret board. People ask me sometimes “can you play this?” I usually say “I haven’t played it yet but I can tell you exactly how it’s played” lol.

Picture it like guitar hero, if you’ve ever played it, the fretboard moves along in my head like a conveyor belt and each chord is displayed like a tab sheet in my head.

     Travis and I would jam probably three dozen times. Our little duo was called “Deranged”. We made custom stickers on Windows Paint program. We’d print them out on normal paper, lay packing tape over the logo, then use a razor to carefully cut it out-instant sticker! By the end of eighth grade, I knew how to play all the Blink 182 songs from their early records all the way through the “Enema of the State” record. I learned bits of Van Halen for my mom and of course Green Day.

Voyeur

“…I can’t be too cool in a tree with my pants down
The air is cold and I’ve got splinters in my feet
She caught me once, but I don’t think that she cares now
Unlike before, her view is blocked by a leaf…”

     High school started and I didn’t see Travis as much. I was officially a Chugiak High Mustang and my little world got a whole lot bigger. By then I wore Atticus clothing, a company owned by Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 at the time. I usually wore shorts that went passed my knees, all black for the most part. Most of my freshman year was pretty mellow. I loved music and didn’t care much about school. A few teachers were rad but other than that I didn’t do to well. It wasn’t until sophomore year when I met Kalvin. It was the start of a long friendship that would have so many potholes and bumps in the road but always good fun and craziness. I’m not sure if he was into guitar already or he picked it up that year. I remember hanging out in the old hallway by the pool at CHS for lunch. It was where we chilled every day. The old murals on the brick wall that was out dated with a graffiti of names from generations before us. The lockers painted a dozen times over the years. It was grunge for sure. Kalvin just came out of nowhere. I was sitting on the ledge of the window where they sold cheap tacos and hot dogs for when we had swim events or basketball games. There was this kid, baggy shorts, strawberry blonde hair and goofy as hell. He was sliding down a hand rail that followed a handicap ramp next to a few stairs. I told him he was going to rack his nuts if he kept doing it. So I did it too. I liked Blink, he liked Blink, we all liked Blink! Sophomore year was also pretty lame as I fucked around again and didn’t do too well again. My first two years of High school I had to do summer school. Believe it or not I actually liked it. I would walk or bike home five miles just listening to my CD player. Usually Blink 182 or Alkaline Trio.

The Alkaline Trio record From Here To Infirmary was my summer choice and to this day is one of my all time favorites. Its a solid record.

     Kalvin fell into where Travis was. We’d play guitar parts to Blink music mostly. By then we were into their record “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket”. The guitars were a bit more technical as compared to their last record but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. Now somewhere in the mix, my parents got us Amidon kids a drum set and keyboard. I picked up basic beats but was never amazing at it. I could play simple songs but it was

Fuck you

Kalvin and I – 2003

enough for Kalvin to be on guitar and myself alternating guitar and drums. Our equipment grew a bit more as well. We had bigger amps and sweet effects pedals. We even had mics for our terrible singing. If it wasn’t Christmas gifts, it was what we bought with our dividends. I had acquired a Tom Delonge seafoam green signature Fender Stratocaster with mother of pearl pick guard and inlays. Kalvin got the blue one. They ran about a thousand dollars at the time. I still have it to this day and it was one of the first ones made when they came out. By junior year my

Me and Delonge

Shortly after I got my Delonge strat.

musical taste expanded a bit. I would buy the Atticus compilation records that featured a shit load of bands that weren’t really known. I also bought warped tour compilations. I was really into this Indy screamo band called Finch. I also got into Fugazi, Pennywise, The Cure, NFG, Yellowcard, Coheed & Cambria and loads more. I was all over the place. We would illegally download recording programs via Limewire or Morpheus. We learned how to poorly mic drums and guitar amps. We began writing simple tunes and sounds, sort of recording them for possible later use. I realized quick that I was good at writing darker music. I could never write a love song and to this day I struggle. Kalvin was always good at criticizing things I’d write. Back then I was probably stubborn and a dick about it but we made it work.

This is the link for an old track we recorded called “untitled”. The other song “Here Goes” doesn’t seem to work. http://www.purevolume.com/heregoes

Solo

Soloing on my Mark Tremonti PRS.

     Junior year Kalvin had his license. He drove a GMC Jimmy and it was the raddest little vehicle. I’ll never forget the first day dad met Kalvin. Kalvin stopped by the house and didn’t know dad was next door. He peeled outta the drive way and dad was pissed. Dad lectured him for a second when he came back and after that Kalvin didn’t come by for three months, he said he needed healing lol. His GMC had leather seats and a cheap sub amp from Wal-Mart. We’d blast the usual tunes and skip classes every now and then. On weekends we would take part in usually teenage mischief. All of us would pile in Kalvins vehicle or Justin Kisses moms Suburban. That thing was a fucking hybrid tank petri dish. We would cruise around Eagle River, knocking over trash cans, toilet papering, forking people’s yards (imagine waking up to 2000 plastic forks in perfect rows in your lawn. You now have to bend over pulling each one out. Ha ha ha. Sucks.) We never did mail box bashing but I pissed on a railroad track once while blasting “Please Take Me Home” by Blink 182.

Asthenia

“…Believe me I failed this effort
I wrote a reminder this wasn’t a vision
This time where are you Houston
Is somebody out there will somebody listen…”

     When Blinks untitled record was being recorded,they had a 24 hour live feed in a house they rented out to record in. There was four webcams with different angles. You could see Travis Barkers drum set and a few of Toms guitars. The first week Kalvin and I hung out in MSN chat and watched the cams non stop with hopes to get a peek of any of the members. Even on school nights, we stayed glued to the screen.

“Shit someone’s getting cereal! Fuck never mind its their sound engineer”.

      I gave up by 3am the first night and sure enough at school Kalvin presented screenshots of Travis jamming out. Kalvin didn’t go to bed that night. When the release week of the record came, Blink posted photos of kids all around the lower 48 spray painting the Blink 182 smiley all over walls, sidewalks, and even cop cars. I thought it was so rad. I made up a flyer with the album cover and release date. I printed about 500 copies and pasted them all over CHS, stop signs, bulletin boards and street lights. By the end of the day at school the principle made an announcement that no fliers shall be posted unless it had a signature of approval from appointed faculty. Hah. A few fliers around town and on stop signs stayed there all winter and into spring.

I should also add that somewhere between sophomore year and junior year, mom took Kalvin and I down to Seattle to see Blink 182 at the White River Amphitheater. The opening band was Phantom Planet followed by a full show from No Doubt and then Blink 182. Once again, I shit my pants….WE shit our

Stoaked

Kalvin and I checking out our merch collection after the show.

pants. We were in the nose bleed seats but there they were and they were fucking real! Half the crowed came to see No Doubt so there was plenty of “kids with parents”. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces when Blink would be their usually vulgar selves. By then my mom was into the band so she knew how they were. The other parents where wide eyed and disgusted by comments such as “I’m gay!” and “I have a small…bent weiner“. Let’s not forget the infamous “I fucked your mom”comment either.

     I didn’t get my license until I was a senior. I didn’t feel the need because all my friends drove. I supplied the hang out house and they provided transportation. Most of us picked up hardcore gaming by then too but I don’t think it had much impact on music playing. Daily I would jam along with a series of records in a certain order. Is start with two blink records, the entire What It Is To Burn record by Finch, a little bit of Yellowcard followed by a few licks by Sir Eddie Van Halen and finish off with the mellow Something Corporate. I had purchased the Mark Tremonti PRS signature guitar, so I played lots of Creed as well.

Posing

Posing with my Tom Delonge strat. Next to me was my first guitar, loaded with stickers. Typical outfit of mine as well.

Jamming would last from 1:30pm until about 6:30pm. I never had to use headphones for our house was an open jam environment. I worked on screaming the scream parts from the band Finch and I got pretty good at that as well. I purposely got sick so I could have lots of snot build up to sort of protect my vocal cords. I built up enough ability to shred and by the time I was well, I could shred vocals at any time.

Stockholm Syndrome

“…You’re cold with disappointment
While I’m drowning in the next room
The last contagious victim of this plague between us
I’m sick with apprehension
I’m crippled from exhaustion
And I dread the moment when you finally come to kill me…”

     We met Noel Aspiras during a music club gathering. The club was called 2nd Wave and it was for kids with music talents to get together and form bands, share music taste, and so on. He was this little Filipino kid with an amazing voice and also played guitar. It was instant chemistry with Noel.

trio

Kalvin in the back. Myself left and Noel bottom right.

He shared the same musical tastes and got me into bands like MxPx, Fenix TX and Homegrown. We would jam with Noel occasionally and he always inspired me to play better. It was natural to jam with him as we didn’t need much practice before we knew which parts to play and we even created parts in songs for multiple guitars so we each had a part and would feel included. Most times Noel would just play Bass though.

After Midnight

“…I can’t get my feet up off the edge
I kind of like the little rush you get
When you’re standing close to death
Like when you’re driving me crazy…”

     Senior year was the best. I some how was caught up enough to where I had some serious no brainer electives. I even was a teach aide for the school psychiatrist who got me into the band The Pimps. I’m still friends with him to this day. For years we wanted to play in the talent show but we had low confidence and we had no real drummer. Most of the music scene at CHS was a bit harder and if not metal, it was grunge. We seemed to be made fun of for liking punk and pop punk. We played it off well and just said Fuck off most of the time but I knew it bugged us. It bugged me at least. Kalvin was better at trolling people and not caring what they thought and I fed off his ability to do so and most of the time we felt invincible.

     By spring time we had actually made it on the line up for the talent show. There was probably a total of nine bands and we would play for both lunch periods. It was rad because we only went to first period of class and then got excused from second through sixth. Second through third period was used to set up equipment and sound check while fourth and fifth was lunch time. Sixth period was break down and then we would go to our final class for seventh. Noel, Kalvin and I didn’t have a drummer so we recruited a cool dude named Derek Mangrobang. Derek has played in several bands already and had his own band at the time called The Noid. He was a talented multi-instrumentalist and he killed it on the drums. We picked a song called ‘Letters To You’ by the band Finch. Kalvin and I already knew the guitar parts from front to back which left teaching Noel the bass lines and Derek the drum parts. We ended up practicing a few times just one day before the talent show. Derek picked up the song after

Rocking out

Me screaming my part.

one listen through. We were one of two bands doing a cover song, the rest had their own material. The PA system was sort of junk but to this day I believe that we sounded the best. My mom recorded* both performances but the best one was the fifth period cut. Finch is an indy screamo rock band that we got really into that year. It’s way different from Blink but it’s the music I love to play live. It was Kalvins first time on stage and he had a new $3000 Gibson guitar. The thing was a beauty and heavy as hell. I used my Tom Delonge strat and the other bands provided Marshal amps. Derek decided to wear a scream mask because there was a rule that people could only play in one band. Dereks band The Noid was also on the line up so we pulled a quick one and he got to play in two bands.

There was a point in the show that a band was late for their set. Derek, Samoan Sam, myself and a few others were trying to entertain the crowd while this band got their shit together. We played a choppy fun version of “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” by Brand New. I had only played it a few times so I was trying to follow Samoan Sam. I got the basics down but it wasn’t perfect. It was fun though. I screamed the lyrics and totally butchered the original but I don’t even care lol.

* The footage to the show can be found here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbbrtJZEhzs

This Is Home

“…We work and slave the day away
Were raised in perfect families
We fuck and fight like vagabonds
We dance like fucking animals
Don’t stop, the band is coming on
Rude boys and punks will shout along
Police cars bring cuffs and loaded guns
Kids scream but laughing as they run…”

     That two hours of fame was the highlight of my High School life. Shortly after we would be graduating and entering the lovely meat grinder of real life. We all would be going to college, getting jobs, getting in and out of relationships. We held on to the music for several years after. I probably held onto it the longest. I figured id never be in a huge band but I always thought it would be rad to make a few songs, play some local shows, etc. Between 2005 and 2012 Kalvin and I would have our ups and downs. I look back on it now and realize we were always in a competitive state. I wasn’t always the best at taking criticism and he liked to give it.Set up 2 We gamed heavily and only played music every now and then but I kept on adding to my collection of guitars and music equipment and he seemed to slowly sell his off. I started to get into some better recording programs and really trying to write music as well. By now I owned maybe eight or nine guitars and I had really got into acoustics thanks to my dad.

Anthem Pt. II

“…Corporate leaders, politicians
Kids can’t vote, adults elect them
Laws that rule the school and workplace
Signs that caution, sixteen’s unsafe…”

     It think it was 2008 or 2009, Kalvin and I and two others road tripped from Chugiak to Seattle to see Blink 182 again. We drove down in 32 hours straight, only stopping for gas and snacks. My car was totally littered and smelled of body odor and farts. We drove through thick fog, heavy rain, a herd of muskox, dodged deer, and drove over insane frost heaves for miles.

We pushed our way to about the third row in the mosh pit before Blink came out. There were several opening bands including Taking Back Sunday, Weezer, & Chester French. It was a sweaty mess of kids from all over. Blink was HUGE by then and everyone was there to see them. The energy of the crowd was insane and when Blink came out, the insanity went up even more. I’ll always remember Kalvin getting yelled at by Tom Delonge. Kalvin had a black hat on and it was perfect timing in between songs, the lights came up just as Kalvin yawned. Tom stopped what he was saying and said,

“are..you fucking yawing?!?!”

Mark said “did somebody yawn?!”

Tom says “there! right there! YOU! in the little black hat. You fucking poopoo caca poopoo face!”

Kalvin was jumping up and down, totally fucking lit. It was one of the greatest shows we will ever get to see. The ride home sucked and I think we did it in 38 hours this time. I drove for fourteen hours straight and was in so much pain by the time we got home. We arrived early around six a.m. and went about our separate ways for the rest of summer.

Gangsters

From left: Mike W. – Kalvin B. – myself – Glenn D.

When I Was Young

“…When I was young the world it was smaller
The cities were vast the buildings were taller
I felt really strong my parents seemed stronger
But life has a way it showers with greatness
Then takes it away those pieces that made us
Then teaches you things you’d never imagine
We all get the same the memories the burdens
The pictures we made they still form a pattern
They cautiously say does it all matter…”

      A new page in life started for me. I was really down from a few curve balls that life threw me and that’s when I really got into writing music. It was like a light bulb went on and I was able to write some of the coolest shit I had ever written. I was NEVER good at writing lyrics and all of a sudden there I was, writing three to five songs a day and then spending weeks shaping them and molding them into something. I

Studios

Recording.

built a small recording studio and got a program called Pro Tools. I taught myself the basics for recording and editing and I even sang. I decided to say fuck how I sound and just sing so I can at least have something down and maybe some day someone better can sing for me. I ended up writing about nine solid and complete songs with about thirty mismatched and incomplete demos and ideas that I still keep in a folder for a rainy day. I experimented with keyboards and MIDI instruments along with digital effects and what not. I found it easier to not write about myself but put another character in my shoes and write about them. Or sometimes I would picture a situation like a movie and then make the music to go with that movie.

The concept of the “demo” was about an individual starting off in a dark place and then as the record went on, it became more positive. The first track was called “Sunrise (…I’m Alive)” followed by “Fire By The City”*. There was also My Light, The 4th Avenue Scene, Where Did This Come From?, Slowly Moving Backwards, Obligation, The War Zone (Instrumental) and Sounds of An Empty Vessel **.

* Fire By The City is one of my favorite songs I have ever written. It’s about moving on after a break up and to me is a cool song.

I sat by the city lights and watched them ignite the horizon
Made sure every fiber of you went up with it too
Taking with you all of your lies
Every truth you thought I’d never find
Now we’re left with this fire by the city

So we’ll let the ashes fall
And let the trees burn
You couldn’t kill em’ all
And now it’s my turn
I’ll watch the city burn straight to the ground
If the fire dies down, I’ll light it up again

Orange embers filled the skyline
as your letters fell into the flames
And every feeling that I had for you went up with it too
All the chaos that you left last fall
All the memories still hanging on my wall
I left them with this fire by the city
And I left you with this fire by the city

So we’ll let the ashes fall
And let the trees burn
You couldn’t kill em’ all
And now it’s my turn
I’ll watch the city burn straight to the ground
If the fire dies down, I’ll light it up again

*whispers*
If it dies down soon, I’ll light it up again
I’m gonna leave this town, for the sun

I sat by the city lights and watched them ignite the horizon
Made sure every fiber of you went up with it too
You took with you all of your lies
Every truth you thought I’d never find
Now we’re left with this fire by the city
Now you’re left with this fire by the city

I’m gonna leave this town
I’m gonna leave this town

If you want it just message me.

** Sounds of An Empty Vessel is actually a pretty cool instrumental I experimented with. I left the mic open and made the usual sounds around the apartment of someone living alone. I tweaked and edited the sounds and backed it with a dark piano piece that I made up as I recorded.

Boxing Day

“…Let’s get started, the faint and broken-hearted,
Hold it up, I’ve got something I cannot hide.
Worst painkiller, that all-in filler,
The apart and departed look in my eyes…”

      I also teamed back up with Noel. He had called me up one night and we talked about our time back in high school. He sent me a few ideas of a song he had been working on and I told him how rad it would be to jam again. He had most of the lyrics hashed out already so I invited him to my apartment and told him to bring his guitar. We warmed up by playing an old classic ‘Letters To You’ and then started working on his song. I added a few lyric tweaks and then we worked on a second part.

Here’s a short video and teaser taste of the song when it was in it’s infant stages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFMqayXJczw

     Shortly after that, Noel introduced me to a young kid name John and go figure he was another Filipino. John was a young Travis Barker to me and he was the best drummer I had ever met. He had a bad ass drum kit and played just like Travis Barker. It totally blew me away. We started playing

John

John on drums in the messy garage.

Blink 182 covers in my parents garage and we meshed so well. Once you play in a band, it’s real tough for me to want to play by myself. Everything just sounds so much better with a full band and you really get a chance to test your abilities as well as chemistry with other musicians. Noel and I did a few covers but only really recorded one via Pro Tools. It was a cover of “Things in Twos”* by the band The Boys of Summer. Our trio didn’t last too long since John had other priorities. He is an amazing photographer and I can tell that photography is his true passion. I always imagine that some day maybe we will get together even if it’s for a night and fuck around on our instruments.

Live!

A typical set up in the living room when we all jammed upstairs sometimes.

*The sample cover Noel and I did called “Things in Twos” by The Boys of Summer can be found here: https://youtu.be/Vjijq0hf7Bo

     Eventually the three of us went our separate ways. John with his photography and Noel does some pretty kick as custom paint work on just about anything, you can find him on instagram under @paintbynole. Johns instagram is @johncasquejo. I did a few more covers, including one called “Buried”* by the band Alkaline Trio. I also did an instrumental cover of a piece of score music from the movie Angels & Airwaves presents: LOVE, produced by Tom Delonge. I did every instrument myself and it’s not half bad*. I also inspired and sang back up to a song called “A Taste of the Good Life” by Jon-Paul Bakaric/Strange Vacation*. I haven’t talked to Kalvin in almost three years now. We kind of just went our own separate ways and our interests weren’t the same. I was involved in a relationship with Nicole, whom is now my wife, and last I heard he was going to school. I do miss the good times we had fucking around on guitar and just being stupid. I guess this is growing up. You lose most of your friends in your mid twenties so I guess it was almost natural. I can admit now that during those last few months, we were total dicks to each other and egging each other on probably didn’t help. I would like to reconnect some day but I suppose it will be up to him.

     The year of 2016 I hope to pick my guitar back up and play along with all the albums I did as a teenage. I suppose it’s starting from my roots but I believe it will be for the best. Who knows what the future holds but I do hope it involves a little music. Thanks for the reading and I hope it helped you take your morning shit. Until next time…

* You can find my cover of “Buried” by Alkaline Trio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7Oml5R3w-c

* You can find my LOVE instrumental cover here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDTqCyUXRk

* You can find A Taste of the Good Life here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwjzdbriX_I