Sunday, March 25, 2007

A couple weeks ago…it happened.



Debbie Gibson.

From the beginning I think I made it clear that loving me, meant loving her and earlier this month we were able to put that love to the test.

There’s a 80’s themed dance club here in NYC called, Culture Club. A couple months ago I read that Deborah (reverting back to Debbie for the sake of the club’s theme) would be performing.

Of course I would be there.

I was both excited and nervous about the night. I was going to let a boyfriend see my cheesy-ness out in full force. Could he handle it?

The night of the show I dug through my large plastic bin of Debbie Gibson memorabilia and brought out into the daylight a vintage, 1989 concert t-shirt. It had never been worn and was in mint condition. I knew that it would be THE perfect shirt for the evening.

I also knew that it would never fit me.

The shirt, emblazoned with a 19 year old Gibson’s face on the front and the 1989 neon light ELECTRIC YOUTH loge from her second album on the back, was a size medium. It wouldn’t fit me but it would fit Antuan.

I packed in my bag and headed to Antuan’s apartment. When I ceremoniously unveiled the shirt all he could do was laugh. The shirt epitomizes the music of the late-80’s. Cheesy. Bright. Fun.

What’s not to love?

We headed to the show but not without have his roommate Hilary snap a few pictures to remember the evening.

Once at the club…I can hardly put into words the reception the shirt received. Throughout the night people were coming up and talking to us and even buying us drinks just to have their pictures taken with THE shirt.

In the wee hours of the morning Antuan confessed that he did feel like fraud; wearing the shirt of an 80’s icon he knows only vicariously through me. But for the night he was the host of the evening’s most talked about t-shirt.
The show. Fantastic. Deborah sang all the songs that the crowd knew and loved. She even through in a couple of showtunes (we are in NYC after all) and a new song, Famous (inspired by living in L.A. and being surrounded by hotel heiresses and other who are famous for only being famous.).

Antuan has a couple of CDs that I’ve made of Deb’s music but he’s really only listened to them because of me. Seeing her live was a completely different experience. He loved her energy (she’s a big time sweater on stage, as she dances and grooves with each tune) and sound.

I loved that she took a break from time to time to sit down at the keyboard on stage and play and sing songs like Foolish Beat and Lost In Your Eyes. Even in a dance club with an array of lights she proves again and again that she’s not an Act. She’s a musician. She’s a solid songwriter.

In the days of Britney Spears…there was once and still is: the real thing, Debbie Gibson.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yep, I may end up being that kind of Uncle. You know the one. Always talking about his nieces and nephews.

I'm just excited. What can I say?

This is my Nephew chilling on his back looking up...checking out Janet's lungs and heart I guess. I don't know what they look at when they're in there.

FIRST Baby Pictures!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

JURY DUTY...and...2 Things I HAD to Share with YOU

So…today, I’m at Jury Duty. I’m performing my civic duty. I’m 32 and this is the first time I’ve been called in.

When I first moved to Atlanta I remember my Grandmother saying that I would be called all the time for Jury Duty. I never was. Even with all of my moves around the city of Atlanta, I was never called.

I’ve been here in NYC for almost 3 years and here I am.

It’s early. I got here early with my computer and a bag of books in hand. I figured I would be doing some reading and hopefully catch up on my on-line Journal. I was happy to find wireless internet here. It’s only be an hour and I must say the internet connection and the Diane Sawyer narrated video about the process of being on a Jury doesn’t take away the monotony.

So, I will put this time to use…

In my last entry I mention that I had two things that I wanted to share. One is a book and the other is an new album. Both have impacted my life in

The first, is a collection of meditations from Alice Walker called, We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For. A couple weeks ago I noticed the book on display and was thrilled to see that Alice Walker had something new for me to absorb. I had no idea of profoundly the book would impact my life.

I returned the book the other day and I plan on buying my own copy so I can start re-reading it and making notes. There are so many things that I would like to share – and who knows, may this stint sitting in Jury Duty will provide me the time – but the one thing that really sticks out to me is the way Ms. Walker speaks about the pause.

The pause. The ideas and moments that change your life and the world - with a decision or choice - can be found in the pause.

She writes so brilliantly about finding and embracing the pause in the world of chaos and the rush to fill our lives with more stuff.

Reading back over what I’ve just written I’m struck by how plain it sounds coming from me. I wish I could write and share with the same power as she does. Her words carry such weight. Just reading her words make me want to be a better human being. More compassionate. A stronger seeker of justice and an embracer of beauty.

So, I will have suffice with my short-comings and just encourage you to check the book out from your local library or pick up a copy at a bookstore. Your life will be enriched. I promise.

The other blessing in my life is the newest CD by Mary Chapin Carpenter called,
The Calling. I’m a big fan. She’s one of the few artists whose album I will buy the day it comes out without knowing anything about. I won’t read a review or listen to snippets. Because the work is Mary’s I know I want it.

This album (I still call them that) lived up to and surpassed any expectations. This album was a healing discovery for me. Each song is layered with worth and intricate lyrics of hope, love, heartache, despair, empowerment and promise. It’s songwriting at its best.

I believe that there are some amazing life answers to be found in this recording. I talked to my friend Scott after listening to it from start to finish a couple of times. He is the one who first introduced me to Mary Chapin Carpenter while we were dating. He now lives in Toronto with his partner and I wasn’t sure if he even knew that Ms. Carpenter had a new CD out.

As I was walking to the subway I called Scott and told him about the new album. He and I both agreed that she is the kind of artist that seems to only get better with time. You don’t look back at her earlier albums and see them as her best. Her best is whatever she does next.

He asked me what I thought of the album and I said, “I believe if preachers used this album as a basis for their sermons, they would save the world…and save themselves.”

Scott replied that that was quite a review. I hadn’t planned my response but it did seem to fit the bill.

The album has gentle love songs (Closer and Closer Apart) but beyond that the album is really Mary’s commentary on life and where she is in the journey. There is a beautiful undercurrent of peace on songs like Why Shouldn’t We and the album’s title track.

She also honors “three little stars in the great big sky” (the Dixie Chicks) on the track, On With the Song. She bravely questions President and the country and the way we treat those who are different or take a different stand.

One of the songs that struck me to the core is Why Shouldn’t We. My beliefs and ideas were called gently into spiritual question. Such a powerful, awe-inspiring, spiritual honesty shines through in this song. Brilliant.

I tend to steer away from religious denominations. All too often different denominations are created…divided…subdivided based on differences. What we believe. How we believe. Why we believe. Our personal spiritual well-being is often dissected for the benefit of global church inspection.

My background, as everyone who knows me knows, is rooted deeply in church and a spiritual life. As I’ve gotten older my spiritual boundaries have broadened to be more inclusive of others with varying spiritual journeys.

I wanted to share a line or two from this song, but every time I listened to it and tried to find the perfect line or phrase – another cried out. So…I decided to share it all. This song…better yet, the spirit of this song, could change the world.

Why Shouldn’t We
Mary Chapin Carpenter

We believe things that we cannot see
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?
Hands that heal can set a chained man free
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?

We believe in peace within every heart
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?
Burning brightly, brightly in the dark
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?

So come on darling
Feel you spirits rise
Come on children
Open up your eyes
God is all around, Buddha is at the gate
Allah hears your prayers, it’s not too late

We believe in things that will give us hope
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?
Let your voice be heard, celebrate your home
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?

So come on darling
Feel you spirits rise
Come on children
Open up your eyes
God is all around, Buddha is at the gate
Allah hears your prayers, it’s not too late

We believe in things that make us all the same
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?
Love belongs to all in deed and name
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?

We believe that can’t be done
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?
Lift up your heart, put down your gun
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?

We believe in things we’re told that we can’t change
Why shouldn’t we?
We had heroes once and we will again
Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we?

So come on darling
Feel you spirits rise
Come on children
Open up your eyes
God is all around, Buddha is at the gate
Allah hears your prayers, it’s not too late

Take all of it in…or take the pieces your journey needs. Let it change your world. That’s my deepest desire.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Once you go MAC...Elizabeth News...AIDS Walk NYC and Jon McLaughlin

Well…there's more to catch you up on.

I'm now…officially, a MAC person. Through a friend of a friend I got my own iBook MAC computer. I've had it a couple weeks and I'm really liking it. Just like everyone says, it is so easy to use and there's something that feels electronically and mechanically natural about it.

I have a small G4 so it goes with me…just about everywhere. Hopefully the user-friendly weight will encourage me to write more in the moment things are happening.

Now…some BIG NEWS for Elizabeth…on a lot of different fronts. A month or two ago she starting playing at a couple of different open-mic nights in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Her songs are being well received. Very well received. After less than a handful of shows, the club in Brooklyn offered Elizabeth her own 45 minute showcase and she accepted. At the end of the month she'll play her own show and I can't wait to be there to cheer her on (and to see if she plays some of the tunes I helped her write here in the living room of our Spanish Harlem apartment).

Find out more by visiting her site:

And speaking of the apartment, in other Elizabeth news…she's moving out on me and in with her boyfriend Nathan (who's making a move from Atlanta to NYC). She's been a great roommate and it will be an adjustment not having her here.

Back to me news…I've written already that I'm going to be an Uncle. Uncle Jason. That has a nice ring to it, right? I found out this past Monday that the baby I will be an Uncle to a little boy. I'll have a Nephew. I know there are some sonogram photos floating around, so I hope to have some sent my way and I can share them with you!

Coming up on May 20, 2007 I will be walking in New York City's AIDS Walk. This will be my 10th year walking. I walked for 8 of the 9+ years I lived in Atlanta and this will be my 2nd NYC walk. I'm excited about celebrating this milestone at this year's walk.

And…since I'm walking again, it means I'll be looking for sponsors again. It is so EASY to sponsor someone for the AIDS Walk and it's even easier to sponsor ME. Below you'll see a link to my AIDS Walk page (once again this year I'm walking with a team comprised of The Container Store employees) where you can donate. You can donate securely online using a credit or debit card.

Any amount that you'd be able to contribute would make a difference. AIDS Walks all across the country provide life-saving and life-changing programs and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. There is no amount too great or too small. $5 or $50…or even $500 dollars (I wouldn't complain) can help make a difference in people's lives.

Click here or cut & paste into your browers:

I love sharing…so, with that being said: Jon McLaughlin…is someone you need to know. He's an amazing songwriter/pianist. I discovered him thanks to the world of and I'm completely taken by him and his talent. If you've visited my MySpace page ( then you've heard the song, Industry. I now have his video for the same song on my page. He's got an energy and passion that spills out onto the keys as he plays. He's someone you need to know…check him out.

You can visit his MySpace page by clicking below:

I have 2 other…LIFE CHANGING things to share with you…NEXT time. I won't wait so long between posts because I truly want you to know about some of the inspiring things that are at work in my life.