I had the rare opportunity to fully realize one of my dreams.  And you know what happened?  It didn’t feel like I thought it would.


When I’m up on the bandstand, I actually have to play with twice as many people as are up there.  I have to play with the musician I hear.  I also have to play with the musician they think they are.

My piano teacher used to tell me a very corny joke.  It was about a man who used to hit himself on the head with a hammer.  When asked why, he said, “Because it feels so good when I stop.”


I have to admit there’s something about this joke that hits a little too close to home.  I have a habit of creating problems for myself.  Part of the reason:  solving them feels so good.

Yes, you got that right.  I create problems I didn’t actually have before.  Then I solve them.


My superpower is writing about ideas.  It would be easy enough for me to live my life without ever writing about good ideas.  Plenty of other people write about ideas, and I’d have lots more time to watch shows like The Office.


Everyone has a superpower. 

ne night a few months into my career as a professional jazz musician, we were playing some tune.  I was killing it.  I was so into what I was doing that I was having a euphoria baby right there on the stage.


Then one of the musicians shouted at me on the bandstand in front of everyone.  He completely shut me down.  Although I was hurt and mad for a long time, I came to understand years later why he did it.

I always promised myself I’d put out a great album some day.  I also assumed it would be one of mine.  Then, there we were, a year and a half into this project and I suddenly realized, “Oh…this is it.”


After over two years of work, Decades, the first album by the Front Porch Session Players, of which I am a member, has been released!  We didn’t know it was going to take two years.  We also didn’t know those two years would be as worth it as they turned out to be.


I am gradually losing bone in my mouth.  It’s possible that in a few years some of my teeth may fall out because there won’t be enough bone to ground them.  Other than taking excellent care of my teeth and gums, I’m still trying to figure out what to do.

Good piano technique always eluded me. After 12 years of lessons, what I could actually do on the piano when I got to college was laughable.  Or not so much.


I eked out bits and pieces over years:  having the hands in position, free activation of the fingers, stability of the base.  Each idea got me a little closer.  But there was always that sense that I was missing something obvious and important.


Then I had a skype lesson with a Taubman teacher. 

The other day I was driving behind a truck.  Stamped in the metal back of the truck were five letters, something like VEREX.  My attention was caught by the “R.”


It had a couple of notches on the left and right sides of the top-half of the R.  I found myself wondering, why were those notches there on the “R?”  Did they have to be there?

They did.



I just got back from Italy.  My first time there.  I was anxious for several reasons.


First, I always get anxious when I travel.   Second, I spent a year studying Italian to learn to speak some essential phrases.  I have a lot of fear around acquiring and using new languages. 


Third thing is the funniest of all.  I was afraid I would love it there so much that coming home would be intolerable, unbearable.  That isn’t quite what happened. 

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