resolution.

We’re 28 days into the new year, and for the first time in years, I’ve made it more than a week without giving up my resolution. Fortunately, my resolution wasn’t to go back to the gym!

My resolution was based on a piece of advice that I heard prior to the end of last year, and it resonated with me in a BIG way – Learn from your mistakes, but don’t live in them. This is much harder than I thought it would be, but it’s more than worth the effort.

I’ve had friends reach out because I haven’t kept in touch….I don’t have any issues with them – I just don’t feel like revisiting parts of my life where there was a lot of negativity.

Happy New Year!

Some people don’t want to let go of the person I was and the mistakes I’ve made. I choose not to be stuck there with them anymore. In some cases that meant cutting ties. None of us are perfect, and we all have moments in our life that we wish we said or did things differently. I’m done replaying those moments over and over in my head, and I don’t tolerate those who purposely choose not to let those moments go, for the purpose of being self righteous and/or petty. It’s just not worth it anymore.

I still haven’t decided what I want to do musically going forward. Thank you to those who have inquired. I’m all honesty, I don’t want to do things the same way I’ve always done them. Part of me wants to go back to working with high school kids as an artist-in-residence, as it was a fun way to give back. As I’m “on the back nine”, I have no dreams of stardom or to win any awards – my job now is to pass on what I’ve learned, in hopes that it inspires at least one person. It’s another reason to look forward, not live in the past.

There’s still 11 months left in 2023, and a lot of time to try new and different things. There’s also time to figure out things that give me tremendous joy. With each day comes an opportunity – it can be to dwell and live in the past, or focus on being in the present. For 2024, I hope I’m at a place where my New Year’s resolution is to continue the positive experiences from 2023!

change vs. growth.

It’s easy to come up with a cliched resolution for starting the new year…..losing weight, reading x number of books, taking up a new hobby, etc. As 2022 (one of the toughest years of my life) comes to a close, I’m approaching 2023 with a tremendous opportunity instead of just a resolution goal. My opportunity is to grow after spending every year of my life feeling like I needed to change.

Change is something that is expected to be quick, and to meet the approval of others. There are a lot of people who are not a part of my life anymore because they expected me to be their perception of who I should be. Some people are no longer in my life because of their close affiliation to people who expected me to change. I don’t hate any of these people as they are who they are. None of them fit in my life anymore in the way I allowed them to be in my life.

Growth is constant, and it allows for us to make mistakes and learn from them on our own terms. It gives us the confidence to try new things and face our fears. It’s on our own individual timetables. As the new year begins, I’m continuing to seek out like-minded people who are supportive of my journey, not trying to make me take unnecessary detours to meet their needs.

May 2023 be a year filled with growth opportunities.

I have other goals for the new year, but that’s all they are…..goals. Lose a few pounds, read a few books, take up a new hobby. I know that growth is an opportunity for me, because I can’t define it. It’s an each-and-every-day opportunity, and there’s no finish line….it’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint.

Here’s to 2023 – may I have the opportunity to grow and flourish while reaching my goal shrinking down a few pounds…and let’s this be the only way that I change!

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.