g. (Not to confused with Kenny in any way whatsoever)

I’m gonna be a grandfather.

My stepdaughter and son-in-law are expecting.

As rough a year as this has been, this brings me incredible joy.

“G” is in ‘da house!!

Instead of being “Grandpa” or any derivatives of that name, I’m keeping it on the cool side….just call me “G”….and yes, this means I’m gonna be a porkpie hat wearing, pipe smoking, argyle retro wearing, (Cadillac driving?), jazz listening cool-ass mofo of a grandfather!

Get ready world….here comes G in 2023!

kanye and the christoholics.

Talk about the world’s worst band name.

I’m developing a love/hate relationship with organized religion. I love the religions that GENUINELY teach the importance of loving one another, regardless of race, gender, creed or preference. I have absolutely no tolerance towards any religious beliefs that preach division, or that one religion is correct or better than another. And I truly detest those who target a particular religion or group with hatred. This leads me to the world’s worst band name.

I will never understand Kanye West. I’ve always said that I’ve hated him, but now I say that I truly don’t understand him, as I completely disagree with his mindset and his “art”. His recent anti-Semitic comments make me beyond infuriated. They have no merit, no purpose, and it’s a sick way of staying relevant in the media. Andy Warhol is most likely rolling in his grave, as Kanye’s 15 minutes of fame cannot end soon enough.

How much longer must we live in such a world of collision?

I also have zero tolerance for those who use the Bible as a weapon, using passages taken out of text as their reason for spewing hatred. Between Westboro Baptist Church, Pat Robertson and all of the “Pray TV” ministers, I’ve never seen such a parallel between religion and addiction. It starts with peer pressure, leading to a false sense of reality, becoming a “I don’t have a problem….you’re the problem!” mindset, like their belief is the ONLY correct belief, but it’s practically ass backwards. People who follow blindly, and can’t see the destruction they’re doing to others as well as themselves. How is this different from addiction? These are the people I refer to as “Christoholics”, as it’s more of an obsession than a respect of all people.

As a society, until we move past this closed-mindedness, we will never progress and evolve. We see the “WWJD” situations every day, but yet we can’t agree on an answer. God (or whatever higher powers we choose) does not have a leader board like The Masters golf tournament, with one religion ahead of the other. And no religion deserves to be condemned. Who knows – perhaps if we didn’t have centuries of hatred, we’d be farther advanced in so many different ways.

As for Kanye and the Christoholics, they’re a band that should be permanently unplugged.

the approximation of truth.

“We give the impression that all is well, trying to live all of the lies we tell.“ – Level 42

We all have things from our past that have either changed the course or direction of our lives, or that left a scar (physically and/or emotionally). Prior to losing my court case with my daughter, my emotional scar was from sexual abuse. I hid this from everyone (especially my dad) because of the fear of being shamed. Since the court decision this summer, I’ve been trying to keep a positive demeanor, but on the inside I’ve been a rollercoaster of emotions.

I’m trying to let the anger go of the racism, self-righteousness and hypocrisy that impacted the court decision, all while telling everyone around me that I’m fine, or acting like I’m fine to not be an annoyance. Truth be told, I’m not fine. I’m not in any type of danger of self harm, but I’d be flat out lying if I said that it’s no big deal or “it is what it is, and I’m OK with it”. I see pictures of family and friends with their kids, and I feel this incredible sense of failure. I love Otto like a son, but that doesn’t replace the void of not having Lauryn in my life.

It’s time to face the naked truth.

To those who have been incredibly supportive, I cannot thank you enough. To my immediate family, your love and encouragement has helped me with each passing day. I realize that I need to be honest….with myself.

I’m still healing, and need more time to heal. I’ve been doing things like impulse shopping to fill a void, and the void still feels as big as ever. It’s time to “sit in the uncomfortable” and deal with the emotions I’ve been trying to bury since the verdict.

It’s said that the truth shall set you free. I need to give this 100% effort….not just an approximation.

turn, turn, turn….

Yes, I was listening to The Byrds this morning.

Although I haven’t hit the proverbial wall, I’m at a point where if I don’t make changes and step out of my comfort (stagnant) zone, I’ll lose my motivation to learn and to grow, and I’ll miss out on many opportunities for peace and happiness.

The first step is letting things go. As much as I was really looking forward to being on WPFW, I also realized that I wasn’t a good fit. My personality is very different than the other on-air talent – not better or worse – just different. I’d rather wait for an opportunity to be on a station where I can be myself than have to meet someone else’s expectations of being exactly like them. Maybe I’ll do a podcast instead. Turn, turn, turn.

I’ve enjoyed singing with Uptown Vocal Jazz, and I’m truly honored to have been a part of their last album. I also realize that it’s time to move on. I will be forever thankful to the late Andre Enceneat for asking me to take his spot in the group. The person who takes my place will not have to worry about filling such incredibly big shoes. After singing vocal jazz for the last 40 years, it just doesn’t get me excited anymore. I think I’d rather play and sing grunge at this point, just to do something different. Turn, turn, turn.

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

I’m closing my social media accounts at year end. This will also include Otto’s accounts. People who will want to keep in touch will not only make the effort to keep in touch, but they’ll also take the steps to contact me. Friends should not be defined by a list. Turn, turn, turn.

And finally, I’m renewing my focus on my spirituality. This is not about becoming born again, or doing a deep-dive into religion. It’s about being more in the moment and finding peace through all of the anxiety. I believe in God, but I will no longer tolerate people who tell me how I’m supposed to do it in a judgmental (evangelical) way. That is nothing more than verbal and emotional abuse, challenging others to meet false expectations. Our beliefs are our own, and I need to embrace my spirituality in a way I’ve never done before. Turn, turn turn.

I truly believe that I have not yet lived my best life, and that I need to know my truth. I’m not there yet, even though I thought I’ve been. Great things are just around the corner….how do I get there?

Turn, turn, turn.

i am the cow whisperer.

Cows have four stomachs…they chew on their cud four times more than needed….as someone who has always held on to negative experiences for far too long, I feel a kindred spirit connection to our bovine friends. This is why I consider myself to be “The Cow Whisperer.”

It’s challenging to be so open with feelings and experiences….being open about them is not from a place of narcissism – it’s always been easy to hide behind the microphone, the mouthpiece or the guitar. 44 years later, after years of playing live music, it’s become the definition of insanity, doing the same thing expecting a different result. It’s not that the gigs aren’t fun….it’s the grind from feeling a sense of being on auto pilot. That’s where I feel like the cow with the cud – I’ve been holding on to gigs for a sense of happiness for way too long.

Moooooving forward…..

This year (especially the last couple of months) has been about new experiences away from music….learning to play golf…..indoor sky diving….learning to ride a motorcycle (or a moped…haven’t decided yet)…the hardest part is not defining myself as a musician – it’s always been what I’ve done, and what I’ve used to define who I am, as I could hide behind it. It’s time to be Lane, who also happens to play music, but is much more open to new people, new friends, and a LOT of new experiences!

…..or moving FORE!ward?

This year is my 35th high school reunion…in year’s past, I felt like I needed to go to these reunions. To my fellow Onteora Class of 1987 classmates, I sincerely hope that you have a fantastic reunion…please understand that the reunion is an emotional trigger that I don’t need in my life anymore. We’re not who we were 35 years ago, and I’m not going backwards or holding on to that unnecessary baggage any longer. Although time can be a great equalizer , I’m now aabout moving forward.

The journey is different and brighter, and it includes a lot of self discovery…and I’m gonna ‘milk it’ FORE all its worth.

8 things, based on 5+3.

On this my 53rd birthday, I’m thankful for the following:

Family – and that’s not just blood relatives.

Laughter – there’s been a lot of that this weekend.

Self-forgiveness…it’s very powerful and freeing.

Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream – self explanatory.

Another trip around the sun.

Otto’s naps…..he looks so incredibly peaceful.

Cloudy days with no rain….I can sit and watch the clouds for hours.

The incredible kick-ass jazz guitar of Pat Martino.

Love – the love we give, the love we receive, and the healing that comes with it.

Thank you all so very much for the birthday wishes!

there is no i in blog.

Greetings from an undisclosed location in the Northeast! If ever there was a place to go to process a lot of emotional information, this is the place!

One of the challenges of blogging/journaling is how to write about the emotions/experiences on any given day without it coming across as narcissistic. Writing is incredibly therapeutic, but when not writing something fictional, it’s hard to express yourself without sounding self obsessed.

It’s all about the gratitude.

And with those two paragraphs, a writing style of choice has been created! And here are 10 things for which my gratitude runneth over today:

The Adirondacks.

Great friends who help reframe thoughts and ideas.

Having only one tan line….from the watch.

Breakfast cereal with scrambled eggs and tremendously good bacon.

That perfect C major 9 #11 chord that makes me taste peppermint. Been listening to that a lot.

Mel Torme.

Blue Sparkling Moscato.

Big bonfires on 61° evenings.

Writing the letter to the person, but not sending it.

Turning a year older, and DEFINITELY feeling a year wiser.

This is 53.

Had the opportunity to see two very different but outstanding concerts this week…Boz Scaggs and Chrissy Metz of “This is Us”….to say that both concerts knocked me on my ass is a true understatement.

Box Scaggs played a number of blues tunes on the gig, including “Drowning in the Sea of Love”, which he performed on the New York Rock and Soul Revue album. He sounds as great as ever, and his backing band was phenomenal.

Chrissy Metz is destined for Grammys…..what an amazing and soulful voice! I was fortunate enough to go to her “Meet & Greet Q&A” prior to the concert (her very first one on the tour), and I asked about her favorite singers – we bonded over Roberta Flack! Again, her soulful voice, her tremendous sense of humor and banter with the audience, and her incredible band made this a concert I will always remember.

Just as kind and as beautiful off camera as well.

Why am I writing all of this? Because I turn 53 in four days, and music still feels a million miles away. Although I have no desire to play gigs as frequently as I did at 25 (or 45, for that matter), I want to find the love and enthusiasm I used to have for gigging back in the day. I could care less about being a year older – you couldn’t pay me to be 25 again – I miss the passion, wonder, and creative juices I used to have, and seeing Boz Scaggs and Chrissy Metz having that energy and passion gave me a little jolt. A jolt big enough to get some clarity.

And that’s the lowdown for now.

the 3pm paint analogy.

The newest trend in car paint color is the “flat” color look….new cars have the non metallic paint, popular in grey and military green. It’s a unique look, in that it’s still very sharp, without being too flashy.

At 3pm this afternoon while driving home from Tropical Smoothie, I saw a 2023 Kia Sorrento with this flat grey color, and it gave me an analogy on how I envision my life going forward.

“If I were a paint, I’d prefer to be a flat grey, because I’m tired of being a bright orange-sparkly semi-gloss.“

Low-key and no sparkle…how I want the rest of my journey to be.

Bright and glossy – this feels too showy and fake to me. Some people choose to be this way, and others have to do this as a form of survival. Living this way has been exhausting. As much as I love music, the last few years have felt very glossed over….as life was challenging, music was my outlet, my shield and my crutch. Sadly, I’ve lost the joy of performing, because I felt like I’ve been going through the motions out of necessity and survival.

I want to be “flat” for a while….no music (except a fundraiser type of gig), and finding my authentic self. As much as there are times that I think about performing, I can’t yet visualize myself doing it and feeling passionate and authentic about it. It definitely feels like having a broken leg and no crutches right now. It’s challenging, but I’ll learn to find my way and walk again.

And if all else fails, perhaps a can get a new car with the flat finish.

my weekend in scranton.

I decided to write again. I wanted to write again. Truth be told, I really needed to write again.

I’m currently sitting poolside at the indoor pool at the Fairfield Inn in Scranton Pennsylvania. In the barely 24 hours that I’ve been back in Scranton, I’ve found an incredibly unexpected reason for having such incredible gratitude.

I first moved to this area almost 28 years ago in September of 1994. During my time here, I had a number of negative experiences that far outweighed the positive ones, and I’d always thought of Northeast Pennsylvania as something that I’d survived and put into the rear view mirror.

With Carl and Harley from the “FM” band.

About three weeks ago, I made a decision that no loving parent should have to make. My daughter Lauryn told a judge in Lancaster Pennsylvania that she’d rather live with and be adopted by her grandparents, as she would rather have their last name, and as she doesn’t want to be a part of my life. Although her decision was based on a number of untruths that she has been told for her entire life, this decision is what would make Lauryn incredibly happy right now, after many months of darkness since her mother passed away. Yes, I could appeal, but at this point an appeal would only cause more resentment from Lauryn, and that would only make the chance of a future reconciliation with her much more difficult.

For a number of years since moving to Virginia, I’ve felt that Lauryn was the only true success I’d had while living in Pennsylvania, and that there was absolutely nothing else positive to show for my 18 years that I’d lived here. After the judge’s recent decision, I felt like my entire life from 1994 – 2012 was a complete waste.

My original plan this weekend was to stay in the hotel and binge watch Netflix except for things that Jenn and I had planned. I’m very thankful that things did not go as scheduled….I ended up connecting with three former band mates from when I lived here, and we reminisced about how much fun we had back in the day. I also reconnected with Debra Costanzo, one of my lifelong best friends who I met and worked with here over 25 years ago. As I’m now almost 53, my perspective was surprisingly different after spending time with everyone last night. I felt very grateful to have had the opportunity to be reminded of a lot of positive and fun experiences that I never viewed as special. I’m realizing just how much these moments meant to the people around me, and I wish I’d been more aware of these moments all those years ago when they happened.

In the JCPenney store at Viewmont Mall. The sun was out today….not the moon. 😉

This morning I went to JCPENNEY at the Viewmont Mall, where I was a manager from 1994-1996. This was also the place of a lot of my failures, including the biggest one I had when from when I lived here. I reached out to one of my former JCP colleagues this morning, and we had a wonderful conversation. Sadly, she informed me that one of my mentor colleagues (with whom I used to share an office) passed away a few years back, so I’m also grieving this person’s passing this afternoon, but also feeling incredibly thankful that this person was such an incredible mentor to me. Today for the first time, I didn’t feel the normal shame I’d feel when I’d walk through the store in the past. It felt like a fresh start.

Although I don’t know what my future holds with Lauryn, I don’t feel like the failure I’ve been feeling like for the past few weeks. Where it’s been easy to go into the mindset of “I may never see Lauryn again” as a reminder of my perceived failures, I’ve felt a feeling of optimism today. I’m going to continue to try and communicate with her, even if the communication is not reciprocated. As Jenn and many others have said, I took the high road and put her needs above my own. There’s no failure in that. I can honestly say that I’m not sure I’d feel this way had I not come up here this weekend.

And by the way – I know a number of my friends are a little thrown by my “Günther Varnish” posts….that’s something that started when I lived up here and was gigging here and in NYC using that stage name. A lot of the humor is “inside joke”, but it’s something that became very fun and creative with some fellow musicians who are no longer on this earth, and it makes me think of them and of my time here in NEPA with some very fond and funny memories. The fact that some people thought that Lane Stowe was more of a fake stage name than Günther Varnish still makes me laugh all these years later.

The Cow Whisperer.

To the wonderful friends and family I have here in Scranton and Northeast Pennsylvania…I offer a heartfelt THANK YOU….where I’ve often felt resentment for living here, I can now appreciate the life lessons I’ve learned here, and how my time here has helped me to become a better human being. For these things, I am most grateful. And I’m very glad that this place is nothing like the way it’s been portrayed on The Office!