Once in a while, I find something that I feel compelled to share with as many people as possible. I want to introduce to all of you a blog called Zen Habits. It's a blog written and run by a man named Leo Babauta.
While I personally have never met him, I've long admired his work and writing. In this blog (http://www.zenhabits.net), he writes about creating simplicity in every day of our lives. There are posts about creating space and clearing physical clutter, nurturing strong financial and budgeting habits, finding happiness, becoming motivated, and a whole slew of other important topics. To date, Zen Habits has over 200,000 readers/subscribers and has been listed as one of the Top 25 blogs in the world by Time Magazine.
One thing I like about this blog is that it is not built upon any kind of cheesy, "new-age" sensibility. Leo writes in a very clear, understandable, and genuine sort of way. You can sense that these words come from a fellow human being who has tried to find his own path and is sharing his journey with others.
I love this . . . .
Well then, it's been a couple of weeks since I submitted a proper post here on WPR. I've been engaged in a good bit of travelling and performing as well as various odds and ends of late, but I have now returned to my regular blogging schedule.
In this absence, I've accumulated a good bit of stuff to blog about. I wanted to take some time today to catch everyone up on what I've been doing behind the scenes . . . .
On Mother's Day, I spent the afternoon with my Mom. I cooked a decadent meal comprised of fresh tilapia with rice and fish sauce, and I BAKED A CAKE!!! Well, a pound cake to be specific, but a cake nonetheless.
Not having an original recipe to work from, I used a store-bought mix and my Mom's brand new oven for the first time. (I'm on the hunt for a great pound cake recipe if anyone happens to know where one can be found.)
Here was the final result!!
A couple of days ago, I had a show at the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Johnson City, TN. I had some downtime that day and wandered around a little bit. Here's what I found . . .
Located about an hour east of Knoxville and nested securely at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, Johnson City is a little town (not so much a "city" as far as I can tell) comprised of a quaint little downtown area, as seen above.
Unfortunately, there were just as many empty storefronts as there were occupied ones. I'm sure our distressed economy has taken its toll more heavily on small towns like this where there are fewer opportunities for jobs and less money to go around. Otherwise, it seems like the local university, ETSU (East Tennessee State University), does a good bit to infuse some life into this little piece of southern Americana with the annual influx of new and returning students. They need to spend their money somewhere . . .
Happy Mother's Day!!
Early this morning, I went out to my Mom's very charming and sweet little garden, and I took some photos . . .
There's hasn't been too much activity here on WPR over the last couple of weeks for good reason. I've been tremendously busy. I wanted to take some time to update everyone on what's been going on in my world.
First of all, I've been travelling a good bit lately. Two weeks ago, I was in Alabama for a show that was canceled five minutes after I arrived. Then, last weekend I went to Georgia for some rest and to handle a little bit of business. Next week, I'll be travelling to east Tennessee to perform in a small town called Johnson City, and then the following week, I'll be heading to Asheville, Durham, and Charlotte, NC for some shows.
I've been thinking lately about cats. They're probably my favorite animals. Not only are they cute, but they purrr when you touch them. They're furry, soft, and oh so sweet. They even bury their own poop! How amazing is that?
I grew up with cats in my house. Family had a pet cat named Bambi for many years. She was beautiful, but honestly, she was mean as hell. Even all of our dogs were scared of her. NO ONE messed with her.
At one point when we were younger, my older sister, older brother, and I slept in the same room. One night, my sister was taunting her and jumped into bed to hide under the covers. My brother was already tucked in for the night, but the overhead light was still on. My sister was too scared of Bambi to get up and turn off the light so she asked me if I could do it. I had a bad feeling about it, but I got up anyway. The light switch was right by the foot of my bed. I got up to turn it off, and the very second that I did. Bambi ATTACKED!!!
She brutally scratched my entire left arm and shoulder. I must have screamed bloody terror because my parents came running into my room immediately.
Those of you who follow this blog and are friends with me on facebook have probably noticed that I never discuss my love life on any public forum. I've sectioned this off from public domain to maintain some sense of privacy and for one other reason. In terms of the former, I believe that everyone has a right to keep whatever they want to themselves--kind of like a secret treasure that you share with no one else. You let it sparkle and glimmer in your eyes only. With the exception of this singular blogpost, I will continue to hold this treasure privately.
The other reason, as God's honest truth, is that it's something that just pains me to even talk about. Yes, it pains me. In my world, pain is a verb.
So is love.
Love, in the form which I have sought, has now eluded me more times than I can count. It's been an endless succession of sweet hopefulness dashed by none other than disappointment and any number of circumstances that overpowered my tender affection.
Gordon's Gay History, Part 3:
With my bowl-cut hair style and scawny little body, I was once a little boy-- a burgeoning gay, if you will. However, I really was not like other boys. My older brother went bananas over GI Joe and action figure toys. He loved going to his Boyscout camps while I found the prospect of tying ropes over and over gain to be just plain tedious. In a very natural and innocent way, I gravitated to my older sister's barbie dolls. I would sneek into her room when the house was empty and play with them to my heart's content. (Comb their hair, mix and match their outfits, throw them around the room, whatever.)
Iconic male figures like Superman didn't appeal to me in a role model sense. I remember thinking that his red underwear thingy was just a bit much. Nothing ever really grabbed my attention outside of very girly, feminine things.
At home, my parents had full decision-making powers when it came to what music would be blaring on the stereo. Elvis, The Beatles, and ABBA were always on repeat. These were titans from a different era long before I was born. I did not yet have the awareness of how powerful the medium of music would be.
Gordon's Gay History (Part 2)
Years ago, in a land far far away, there was once a wispy little Asian boy who was bright-eyed, innocent, and completely unknowing of the ways of the world. That little boy was me. The land far far away was a town in North Carolina called Fayetteville. I moved there with my family within a couple of years after my tear-stained departure from my island home of American Samoa. Oh, maybe I was not so little--more like in my very late teens. In any case, we lived in Fayetteville for three long years.
First, I need to briefly describe the setting before I make the grand introduction. There's only one way that I could describe the city of Fayetteville. Have you ever seen a toilet bowl that hadn't been cleaned in a while? A ring of congealed fecal matter starts to form right at the edge of where the water rises at its peak. Glowing in various shades of brown, no amount of flushing will remove its pasty presence. One violent scrub-down to rule them all will only do. That's Fayetteville--an immovable ring of congealed fecal matter.
Located about an hour southeast of Raleigh, NC, it's claim to fame is the huge Fort Bragg Army Base located there. Of course, therein lies the problem. It's a city of transients--a place that's hard to call home when nobody considers it as such. To me, it always seemed to have a sense of decayed emptiness. There is a road there called Bragg Boulevard. It is the main artery connecting the army base to the city. Littered with run-down businesses, porn shops, abandoned car dealerships, and prostitutes, the spirit of this city lived here, all too comfortably.