If you downloaded a copy of my tour journal, Bottle Breaker, thank you very much! If you have not done that yet you should do it soon because the free version will be going away in coming months. I’m still finishing the Amazon Kindle and print versions of the book. Still need to get it? Get it here!
Next week I will be performing with my old Blenderhead bandmates (Tyler on Guitar, Ed on Guitar, Paul on Bass, Matt on Drums and yours truly on Vocals) as part of Tyler’s 40th birthday celebration, This Is A Call: The Music Of Foo Fighters. We launched a new website at blenderheadpunk.com. Here’s links for the Facebook Event Page and Tickets. There are a bunch of bands playing (we’re performing 4 Foo Fighters songs) and all the proceeds go to a great Seattle charity Clothes For Kids!
At the end of 2015 I launched a new show with my best friends Mike Lewis (Giving Is Believing Podcast) and Mark Salomon (Never Was Podcast) called The Podcastalypse. We’re planning on doing some live shows and more episodes in the not so distant future. You can follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I also launched an official website for my studio, Urban Achiever Studios. If you know anybody who needs audio editing services, hit me up!
Finally, if you want to support the show or the work I’m doing you can express your generosity at my Patreon page. Thank you so much for your support.
I’ve got a new episode of Urban Achiever (Episode 37) coming out tomorrow 10/31 about Bottle Breaker. That’s my new book which is a tour journal from the Blenderhead and MxPx tour in the summer of 1995. You can download the free version by going to BottleBreakerBook.com. Amazon Kindle and physical versions of the book are coming!
I’m still working on my full length memoir, Music Ruins Everything. And I’m also working on finishing the debut album for my new music project Spoken In Tongues.
It’s been a rough week, I’m not going to lie. Like all times in my life, I can’t seem to do something good without bad things coming along with it. But, when asked to re-tell the litany of my “problems” they sound ridiculous even coming out of my mouth. As the Irish proverb goes, ‘nothing is so bad it can’t be worse!” In a world with school shootings, refugee crises and the like I certainly have a long list of things to be grateful for. Health, love, gainful employment and much more. Gratitude.
On the Urban Achiever podcast this week, Episode 36, my guest is Mr. Ryan Rado. Ryan has been in some cool bands like Colson, Ill Patriot and Worker. But he has also has had his battles with Tourette’s Syndrome and OCD. I like Ryan’s attitude on life and how he sees his condition. Recently, at the age of 37 he started painting. And his paintings are beautiful. Seriously, when you see them you will not believe he’s just getting started! Anyway, it’s a cool talk.
I was recently a guest on Episode 119 of The Bad Christian Podcast. I have been a long time listener to their show and we had some fun. I was also a guest on Episode 130 of the Mike Herrera Hour. I had Mike as a guest on Episode 27 of Urban Achiever. It was good to catch up!
Finally, I released the free edition of my tour journal Bottle Breaker: 52 Days on the Road with Blenderhead in the Summer of 1995. If you sign up on my e-mail list you can get a free copy of that in PDF form once you confirm your subscription. You can also get a copy for free at NoiseTrade books. In coming days the e-book addition will be available on Amazon for Kindle. Eventually there will also be a print edition available in my online store and on Amazon.
Last month I finally launched my podcast, Urban Achiever. You can download or stream the first episode with Ethan Luck (Dingees, Supertones, Relient K) here. It is also available on iTunes. New episodes with Mark Salomon (The Crucified, Stavesacre) and Sean O’Donnell (Dogwood, Reeve Oliver) are coming in January 2015.
Let’s just get this out of the way. I am not an animal person. I think puppies and kittens and bunny rabbits are all cute, to be sure. I’m not a monster! But when my friends who love their pets tell me about their hundred and thousand plus dollar vet bills all I can do is scratch my head. When I tell them I think it’s crazy to spend that kind of money on an animal, they give me the same type of spiel that parents (I don’t have kids) give me about not understanding -insert issue relating to children here- because I’m not a parent. Whatever. I don’t love animals.
At several points in my life I have “gone Vegetarian”, including when I was in the Army and would be regularly ridiculed by my fellow soldiers in the mess hall for my food choices. I have been overweight for most of my twenties, all of my 30’s and into my 40’s (I will be 46 this year). I have done every diet in the book. Atkins, South Beach, Low Carb, High Carb, Master Cleanser “Lemonade Diet”, Juice diet, etc. My wife says she has “lost track” of what I eat or don’t eat and I think has pretty much had it with all my failed attempts at sticking with something.
At my heaviest, I was probably around 315-320 and wearing 3XL shirts and size 54 pants. I have been on blood pressure and cholesterol medication for about 20 years now. I’m currently between 275-280 and wearing size 42 pants and 2XL shirts. I’ve lost over 30 pounds since keeping track. So, I’ve made some progress.
I went back to being Vegetarian at the beginning of this year. I’ve been at it for almost 7 months now and I’m finally feeling like I’m in the zone. I’m also back in the gym 5-6 days a week (crucial). I’ve been playing the drums which is fun and has also been great exercise.
I tend to be very extreme in my life. I use a lot of gross generalizations about pretty much everything. I’m very black and white without much gray. I don’t enjoy people who have a hard time making a decision. For better or worse I am “all in” and “what you see is what you get.” This would probably be fine if I actually stuck with something! So, I’m trying to change.
The reason I brought up the animal issue in the beginning is that I’m toying with the idea of giving up dairy, which would make my diet Vegan. I eat eggs and yogurt on pretty much a daily basis. I have cheese, but not a ton. At this point, after 7 months, I don’t think I would miss it that much. My hope in doing this is to get to my goal weight of 200 pounds (what I weighed at 19 when I was in the Army and in peak physical shape) and get off all the pills! That’s it.
My problem is that I am really put off by a lot of people who are Vegans. They tend to be very self-righteous (especially when it comes to the animal part) and in a lot of cases worse than uptight right-wing born-again evangelicals. Yuck.
Case in point, I recently picked up a book by New York hardcore band Cro-Mags frontman John Joseph called “Meat Is For P–sies“. I ran across a post on social media where person after person (who had not even read the book) was condemning him and the book claiming he was a lot of terrible things (misogynistic, homophobic and on and on). They don’t even know the guy! I think context is important and matters. The book title is a jab at all the men who called the author a “p–sy” over the years for not eating meat. It’s obviously meant to also catch attention. It’s not my job to defend him, but there’s plenty of things in the world to be upset about and this book title is not even on the list as far as I’m concerned.
I’m fairly low key about what I eat. I just do my thing. I don’t tell other people what they should eat or not eat. I don’t care. And I really don’t enjoy a lot of questions about what I’m eating or not eating and why. It’s hard enough eating Vegetarian with all the questions. If I make the transition to Vegan then I feel like I will really be between a rock and a hard place. I guess I just need to get over it and do what I feel like I need to do for my own health. I like that Joseph doesn’t refer to himself as a “Vegan,” but rather says he follows a whole-foods plant-based diet. I can get down with that.
I have been tracking (for those of you interested in this stuff) a lot of what I’ve been eating and my progress on an Instagram account called VegYear. You can check that out or follow along if you like. I’m feeling pretty good and encouraged that I might finally hit my goals once and for all.
If somebody thinks I’m doing it because I’m an animal lover, I guess I will have to live with that. Just don’t call me a Vegan!