We're All Gonna Die!

Last week, my kids were on spring break from school, and I decided to take them to the Field Museum in Chicago.  I figured it would be good for them to get a little more education in their lives.

Open Mindedness

One of my resolutions for 2021 was to be more open minded.  Since the beginning of the year, I've been trying to expose myself to fresh ideas in all realms of my life. 

(Did you know pirate metal is…

Improvisation

My team and I hit a lot of roadblocks this week at my restaurant.  We didn’t have the right tools for projects or the best food for recipes or enough money for equipment.   

And when I focus on what…

Bumper Sticker Wisdom

I was a rigid kid.  I laid out my world in self-made black and white guidelines. I remember the day I decided I’d never put bumper stickers on a car or get any tattoos.  I didn’t want to commit to…

placeholder

Hoarders & What We Save For Later

I have anxiety in cluttered spaces. Rooms with lots of knick-knacks bring out my claustrophobia.  (Which is a damn shame because I really love a good knick-knack.)  Lots of my friends hold onto items because they think they'll use them…

I'm A Creep. I'm A Weirdo

I took a solo vacation this week.  From Wednesday to Saturday, I rented a small stone house (with surprisingly nice acoustics) in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. I loaded in my instruments, made a lot of food, and spent hours every day…

The Power of Helplessness

My restaurant is still closed, and the renovations continue.  Last week, I drove to Wisconsin, picked up the all the pieces needed to construct an 8’ x 8’ walk-in cooler, and drove them back to Illinois in a snowstorm. I…

Scratch Your Own Ears

In 2006, I adopted my dog, Hank.  He was a 3 month-old border collie mutt that was a brownish blackish puffball with big eyes and a calm demeanor.  He looked more like a toy than an animal.  I used to walk him down the streets of Chicago, and he would stop traffic.  I remember being late to meetings because so many strangers wanted to pet my puppy.

As he grew, he became far more intelligent, playful, and even empathetic.  But as a full-sized dog, strangers didn't want to pet him anymore.  I remember him being confused when we would pass people on the sidewalk, and zero ear scratches were given.

(I learned then that canine depression is a real thing.)

Anyway, I often think of Hank's confusion and how it resonates with me.  This week was my birthday, which just happens to fall 2 days after my 4 year-old daughter's birthday.  As you might expect, we had a giant party for my kid: I got her a piñata, presents, and I even made a 6-layer rainbow cake.  For me?  Well we ordered a pizza so I didn't have to cook.  

Happy birthday to me.

And don't get me wrong.  I wasn't expecting more, and I tried to enjoy my day.  But it got me thinking about how much energy and attention goes to the young--who will barely remember things like birthdays--and how that attention fades as we age.  We get used to the idea that we're less relevant the older we get. The phenomenon seems to run rampant in several walks of life: I once had a talent agent in Nashville tell me I couldn't 'make it' as a recording artist past the age of 30.

Apparently--in Nashville--one's outward appearance affects their singing abilities.

Reader, I'm not sure what causes us to find youth adorable and age unremarkable.  As far as I can tell, the older we get, the more interesting we become.  Our personalities are defined.  Our character is honed.  Our experiences are richer and our emotions are tempered.  Do we need a people to fawn over us to make us feel special?  Absolutely not.  But should we will remember to continue to care for ourselves more as we receive less care from others?  

Absolutely.

I leave you with a picture of this absurd cake I made for me daughter.  I threw her one heck of a party, because she's young, and she needs it.  Tonight, I'm booking myself a songwriting retreat, because I'm old, and I need it.  When the world stops scratching your ears, you gotta learn to scratch em yourself.  I'll see you next Monday. -Em

The End Of The Road

Three years ago, I heard that a restaurant in Chicago called Honey Butter Fried Chicken was giving away furniture.  So on a cold winter’s day, I nearly broke body loading a 17 foot, 400 pound wooden bench onto a boat…

Good Sense, Bad Creativity

I've been writing songs as long as I can remember.  

As a teenager, I only let my mom and dad listen to the songs; theirs was the only opinion I had the guts to hear.  Then in my early…

Surface Fixes

I have a tendency to fix major problems with surface solutions.  Those broken eyeglasses? Tape them.  That burn on the wood floor? Get a rug. That broken heart?  Have a scotch.

And while these fixes don't solve the problem…

Points of View

I've never purchased a new piece of furniture.  Not only because I've never had the money, but also because I spent 12 years living in Chicago, where the couches, tables, and chairs left in the alley by former tenants seemed…