Thursday, June 30, 2011

Daily Dose #34 (07/01/11)

Howdy Peep-A-Roos:

Well it seems that I have contracted a full blown summer flu. Alternately boiling, freezing, drenched in sweat and incredibly achy kind of flu.

I finished yesterday's installment in a state of delirium; dangerous, considering the subject material. Like texting drunk. Considering NOT to click on the "publish" button is equally if not more of a valid choice than clicking on it at times.

Unlike a real conversation, you can pause for several hours to craft what you want to say, and get it as right as you can. I am still learning as I go to a degree.

I thought it was a good piece in the end, however. I'm now inspired to reveal more inside dope on creation, the creative process, and how to creatively attack that old "art versus commerce" conundrum.

I've tried to avoid the normal "diary" aspect of a blog. ("This is us at the Grand Canyon with the kids", "Which is better? Reeses Pieces or M & M's?"...Discuss!)

For 33 consecutive "Doses", I've tried not only to give my all, but to create stand alone pieces that will weather the test of time. There's no planned obsolescence, or intentional short shelf life woven into their design.

If all pieces are eventually read or seen as a whole, I'm hoping that it will illustrate some of the more spiritual or philosophic concepts I've arrived at over the past five years; oddly enough through the study of more qualitative and quatifiable scientific method, specifically the study of Astronomy. (NOT ASTROLOGY. We'll leave that stuff to Rob Brezny) among more traditional disciplines as well.

Three Hundred and Sixty Five Days. There will be Three Hundred and Sixty Five Tiles.

Like a puzzle or a mosiac assembled one piece at a time, the final picture will not be realized until well into this project.

But if you look towards the night sky and the heavens, imagine one star at a time appearing. And then remember what the celestial sphere actually looks like, with a whole mess of visible stars.

And then try to remember that as awe inspiring is that is, there are an infinite number of stars that aren't visible at all.

If I can get to that point of mindful awareness in 365 days with the help of a like minded tribe, we can all do that together; We can pin those stars in an imagined overhead celestial sphere, one by one by one. Allow the mysteries to unfold organically, and let that sphere invite you in instead of forcing any issue.

If we can get that to happen,I think that maybe we might be able to make a quantifiable difference in our lives, and the people around us.

I know that's grandiose. I'm a "Go Big or Go Home" guy.

Unfortunately, my brain has been boiling for the last 24 hours, and the creative lines are temporarily down, and probably will be through the weekend. I'll give it my best shot, but this one is a stop gap to get to some kind of recovery mode.

There will be no rhapsodic waxing or gymnastic prose bending today. If I have disappointed you, please accept my sincerest apologies.

That said, I just want to cover a few points before I can get back to the regularly scheduled administered shots of "Unruly Caterwauling"

Since initiating "The Daily Dose" project 34 days ago, "The Blog-O-Thon" has received over 10,700 legitimate page views (I don't count my own), according to Google anyway. And everbody knows that you don't screw around with Google, the new ruler of the free world!

That may not seem like much, but I started this blog in 2008. All time Pageview History? 12,000. So 10,700 views in 33 days is pretty significant to me.

This means that some of you folks are actively participating in this project, not only by reading the posts, but taking the next step and actually networking it around your own personal spheres. The concept of the process of "Baking the bread and sharing it freely / tearing off a piece for yourself/ sharing the rest of the loaf with friends and family" is gaining a little traction.

That's pretty awe inspiring to me. "The Dose" starts with content, but one of it's core missions is to illustrate that process: How it feels to participate in that process is more important to me than the content. The content is just a vehicle.

If you can start to feel that same feeling, for me that validates the effort to undertake this project. Sharing is caring.

Yes, I have been shilling for "The Dose" to a degree (once a snake oil salesman, always a snake oil salesman), but not to the point that the numbers would indicate, and certainly not to the degree that the geographic metrics would indicate either. "The Dose" is now read in Russia, The Balkan States, China, India, Africa, All Western European Countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea... you name it, somewhere in the world, someone is getting a DOSE.

One thing I didn't anticipate when starting this was how time consuming it would be. So I still need your help, now more than ever.

I'd like to transition out of "shill duty", and focus more on generating quality material. Please consider availing yourself to some of the tools that are provided in the right hand collumn, especially the delivery options (RSS feed, Follow By Email, Google Friend Connect, and Reverbnation) and the Facebook and Twitter "Share" buttons at the top.

If you were amused, edified, enlightened, moved, or entertained in any way by what you read, then using these tools should be part of your Daily Dose experience, ritual and process.

Again, this blog isn't monetized in any way, and won't be. It isn't about being proprietary in any way, shape or form. That isn't the thrust or intent of THE DOSE.

But as much as that is true, it is also true that it won't exist without you reading and then sharing it, kinda like a beach ball at a concert. It's up to you to keep it up in the air so it can sustain momentum. All I ask is that you consider your own power, and the power contained within your own sphere of influence, in that symbiotic equation.

That is the coin of the realm. The mantra? Communal elevation and levitation, through participation

"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"




Daily Dose #39 (07/06/11)

Creativity, Validation, and Inspiration: Part 1


I’ve been delving a bit lately on the subject of creativity, and I’d like to share some thoughts; maybe open a dialog with anybody that might have their own spin on the conundrum that is “creation", and it’s little sister known to all us “outer-directives”, validation.

I’m just gonna dive right in here, so be forewarned: the squeamish or faint-of-heart should probably stop reading at this point. Parts of the following are going to get ugly. If you are of the type that likes to waltz through this life blissfully unaware (which seems to be the rule rather than the exception nowadays), and cannot handle getting your hands sullied by raw exposed humanity, ugly reality or any variant thereof, please proceed at your own risk. My personal advice would be to stop reading.

Just like in previous Daily Doses telling tales of past head trauma, here's another: the big one.


In the summer of 2006, I found myself, cross-eyed, sucking on the barrel of a .45 (if you’re going to do a job, do it right.) with my own finger on the trigger. As meticulously as I arrange or write music, as well crafted (at least to the best of my ability, anyway) as I write these posts, as methodically as I have achieved the modicum of success in the music “biz”, I planned my own elegant demise.

At that moment, I had finally achieved a total clarity that had eluded me my entire life. The white noise that had been blaring between my ears in every waking moment since I can remember was finally silenced.

The only other time I felt this type of clarity consistently was only momentarily after a particularly strong orgasm (which was always an element in my self medication regimen to stay “even”, along with Beethoven, Chopin, coffee,and cigarettes: all in copious daily doses).

This was different: The choice to finally give in and give up, prepare my affairs (about a two week process, including pre-paying for a cremation and manipulating discovery issues to insulate loved ones and family members from having to deal with a headless corpse with brain matter splashed all over the walls), and flick the switch to the final “off” position with one squeeze of the trigger provided something that I had always heard about, but never truly experienced: Peace of Mind.

At the time, I didn’t know what forces were in play to prevent me from pulling that trigger and flicking that switch. At that razor's edge, it’s hard to recognize Fortuna’s hand on your back, or the Universe (or God, or Buddha, or Allah, or Shiva…. whatever you’re into) tapping you on the shoulder, whispering in your ear: “Not yet: Maybe later, but not yet.”.

In retrospect, I can tell you that that is exactly what happened to me. At the time, in my supposed state of grace and clarity, I just felt my grip loosen, and heard the sound of my teeth clacking against cold steel as the barrel left my mouth, and felt like a total failure.

I think it was the sound of little podners Huckleberry and Doodle's whining doggie cries in the back kitchen that pulled me back to the living. I had locked them back there, and they were experiencing separation anxiety. Dog only nose, right?

Immediately the decibel level of the white noise rose exponentially and started whipping through my cranium, but before it reached it’s sustained crescendo, I made a resolve to get some help and see just what finally was really going on.

So I got some help. (Thank You, New Orleans Musician’s Clinic), and got diagnosed: Yes folks, what was always an undefined fear was now a bonafide medical reality: I got the dubious distinction of being classified as “Borderline Stage 2 Bi-Polar”, or in my own personal vernacular, officially “crazier than a shit house rat”.

Two interesting things came to light between the period of diagnosis and the commencement of treatment (Drugs. A lot of drugs and intensive cognitive therapy sessions two times a week for a year).

1. The psychiatrist that diagnosed me made this statement and then asked a very interesting question: “Most stage 2 Bi-Polars your age are either dead or incarcerated… do you have any idea how much energy you’ve expended during your life time just to stay nominally functional?” (She then added the observation that the fact I was even sitting in her office was an awe-inspiring feat of human endurance to pain).

So basically, I just ran out of gas: a relieving thought at the time.

2. The other point was the diagnosis in and of itself: It functioned as a transparent overlay that I could apply to my entire life’s history. Every imploded relationship, every misstep, every self destructive episode, every blown opportunity, every missed save; finally made sense. It wasn’t their fault; it was mine. I was crazier than a shit house rat! I could let go of all that blame that was choking my soul, and finally focus on fixing myself.

One thing about being nuts is the total confusion that you have relating to the outside world, to reality and the people in your orbit functioning within reality.

In other words, to a shit house rat, every one else is nucking futz, and you the rat are the only sane one in the room. When things go kablooie (and for us crazy shithouse rats, everything eventually does go kablooie), it ain’t the rat’s fault.

So the diagnosis immediately pointed me in the direction of understanding. Like a recovering alcoholic in a twelve step program, I went back to these incidents and the people involved in them (those of whom still spoke to me, of course), and explained and apologized with the ah-ha moment of understanding firmly attached, just in case there was a little part of them that felt remotely guilty about their own responsibility in their participation of things “Kablooie”. All contributors of the choreography to the “Danse Madness” could now let themselves off the hook.

I could now own it all. Clarity of a different kind.

Immediately after that folks, the drug therapy commenced and thus another long journey into the heart of darkness, but this time there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, finally. I was just hoping it wasn't a far and distant oncoming train.

"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daily Dose #33 (06/29/11)

On Rhetorical Devices, Influences, and Making Art "Popular" .


I have promised readers of the DAILY DOSE that at some point, I'd be delving into the nuts and bolts of "How It's Done" or at least "How I Did It". Its time for me to impart not some, but ALL of the knowledge that I've picked up along the way. I value that knowledge highly, and I am very grateful to the people that have crossed my path who took the time to teach it to me, for whatever the reason.

Since I've been a professional musician for most of my time spent on planet earth, alot of that professional knowledge is applicable to that particular field.

I am enjoying a temporary retirement from that field, because recently I discovered that the core concepts and refined processes that I have learned are applicable to other fields as well.

So as far as the music stuff is concerned? It's time to give it away.

Someone decided at some point to stop being proprietary with that knowledge and pass it to me, and now I must do likewise. It's only use to me now is if it inspires someone else to use it, and use it responsibly. That's the recycling system.

This isn't my version of "The Necromonicon", peeps. There are no secrets of the dark arts here. Just a different perspective; one that can be cherry picked to suit your own personal needs and professional agendas.

This particular entry and the subsequent ones to follow may read like "How-To" manuals, but they will kill a couple of my own personal agenda birds with a single throw of the stone:

1. Pass the knowledge on, and contribute to the cosmic recycling system
2. Give gratitude, and the proper credit to the original source of that knowledge.

Hopefully, to those interested in this type of stuff, it will be a "win-win" scenario for all of us.

In Blog #31, ALAN ROWOTH/A TESTIMONY, I hinted at some of the vast wealth of real usuable knowledge that I gained from a seven year hitch as a sideman in a band called "THE WORKS", the brain-child of Ed Hamell AKA "Hamell On Trial".

For those of you unfamiliar with Hamell's oeuvre, I could give you a brief synopsis but ultimately to really get a feel for the depth and breadth of the man as an artist, google him and start doing the homework.

I'm sure that is what he would advise you to do himself.

But to me, twenty three years or so after the fact I can say with absolute certainty that Ed Hamell was the best teacher I ever had. I have had many teachers in this physical life, but I was lucky to be within in earshot of this guy for seven years, and even luckier that he took me under his wing and made me a personal "project".

There is no way I can condense what Ed taught me in a single blog, so he'll be showing up quite a bit in any subsequent blogs concerning the "craft" and the concept of committing yourself to a life in music in a meaningful way.

This blog centers on just one concept of thousands that he made sure with all due diligence to drill into my empty knucklehead over thousands of miles of road trips, mostly in the dark heading westwards home from what seemed an endless seven year stream of booze fueled, inspired rock and roll battles fought in barroom venues and the odd concert stage.

We won more of those battles than we lost, but in the end they could be quantified as Pyrrhic victories on the surface perhaps; but I walked away with a knowledge base and work ethic that has paid huge creative dividends for me, and still do.

As a veteran of "The Works" wars, one thing was certain. It was a Rock and Roll University, and Ed was the head of the curriculum. All you had to do was make sure to send the right signal that you were ready, and he gave all to you, no matter what his personal agenda might have been at the time.

That education was critical in any other professional endeavor I have undertaken since, and I will always owe him a deep debt and expression of gratitude for it.

This is my own way of doing just that.


Let's kick this off with a definition of terms.

rhet·o·ric   /ˈrɛtərɪk/


1. (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.

2. the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.

3. the study of the effective use of language.

4. the ability to use language effectively.

5. the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.

6. the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.

7. (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.

8. (in older use) a work on rhetoric.

Although all eight points are important when studying the ancient Greek written and oratorical art as defined by Aristotle, for this missive just keep numbers 6 and 7 in the back of your mind as we soldier ahead.

So what is rhetorical comparison?

Simply? A rhetorical comparison connects our feelings about an entity to the entities that we compare it against.

Now take a look at this teaser trailer for "The Meeting", a documentary currently under production of the life and times of Ed Hamell. Pay attention to Ed's machine-gunned rapid-fire voice over at the onset where he references Little Richard, Joan Jett, Gary Glitter, Bob Seeger, Neil Young, Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns, Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Beatles, Chrissie Hynde via Sam Cooke, and then shifting into a broken spaced cadence to hit you over the head with a Contours reference all while you're staring at art cards of three movie style blurbs from the NY Postand The Dallas Morning News; winding up the the blurb of the most import, and thus the most screen time; a quote from David Fricke of RollingStone magazine. All of this happens in about 22 seconds of elapsed time.

After the impressive series of personal testimonies from Henry Rollins, Ani DiFranco and the like and the next blurb that compares him to Bill Hicks, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joe Strummer, Ed in his typical charming and charismatic manner then runs down a litany of some of the greatest records ever made as he compares them to his most recent recorded output softened with self-effacing humble giggling, output evidently still under construction at the time this footage was shot. He's serious, but he's also letting you in on the joke, too.

It's a Rock and Roll knowledge and intellectually based "Velvet Rope" strategy: You get to be part of the club, but only if you have an an awareness of the references and can keep up to some degree.

Its targeted at the niche audience who knows exactly just what he's talking about; "...This is it for me man... this is my "Rumours", this is my "Dark Side of The Moon"...this is my "Appetite for Destruction"...this is my "Back In Black"....I'm not doin' this fuckin' again".

Again, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Guns and Roses, and AC/DC all in two breaths. All epochal recordings in the history of rock and roll.

Aside from the effective rhetorical and oratorical device of repetition employed ("This is my.."), this teaser trailer is a two minute distillation of a strategy that Ed has been employing since the day I met him back in January 1982.

Context is everything. In the days of big bands, big self contained rolling shows of PA's,Lighting Rigs, Trucks, Road Crews, Bands, and all the expenses incurred in keeping those shows on the road a minimum of five to six days a week, THE WORKS as band and business had a major strike against it when competing with the field.

No cover material. Nada. Zilch. Maybe an ancient chestnut for the encore like Larry William's "Slow Down", or Sam The Sham and the Pharaoh's "Woolly Bully" to put three sets of original material all penned from the creative mind spring of Ed's brain into the proper historical perspective for the audience, but that's it.

THE WORKS could not, and did not, lean on familiarity in the age of cover bands that were cleaning up financially up and down the NYS Thruway. Our sets were not peppered with original material: Our sets were all original.

That in itself was a huge statement to make, and a huge public stance to take at least from the town that we all came from. We weren't "showcasing" in NY for the industry's hoi polloi, leading a double life.

We were a fully functioning organism with an attached culture. Every show was an uphill battle, and at least from the perspective of a guy that actually participated in those battles for almost seven years of his life from THE WORKS stage and bully pulpit, it was a battle willingly taken on.

You could not achieve true greatness without it. Ed knew it, and as previously mentioned, I clearly saw it. He didn't have to twist my arm to join the fight once he got around to asking me.

He had to win every heart and every mind, one at a time. He had to convince everybody along the way, from friends, family, band , crew, the regional intelligentsia; club owners, agents, and press conduit gatekeepers, but most importantly every single fan that he was up to something special, and they could be part of the process and lifestyle just as much as anybody else.

He wasn't in the business of garnering casual fans. To survive, he needed to be in the business of garnering acolytes and true believers. The evangelical fervor of every performance was steeped in one common concept. If you walked through the door and paid your two buck admission, you were going get the "works" according to our catch phrase that appeared in every, ad, mailer, or t-shirt produced at the time: 100%, ALL THE TIME.

He kept that promise to the band and its fans, always. I have never seen Ed "phone it in". Never. Ever.

Somewhere along the way though, that initial agenda point of "100%, All The Time" to achieving greatness transitioned and refined itself into the next catch phrase, "Let's Make History". That's when I got hip to his expert use of rhetoric in mass communications.

This was an actual song and lynch pin of the set that Ed had written comparing himself to The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison,and various other trail blazers of American History, and an obvious rhetorical association.

During this time, the material, show, and visual presentation was transitioning from a form of R 'N' B based Springsteenian populism to reflect Ed's newly acquired punk sensibility.

The band was a bit slow on the uptick, myself included; but eventually Ed and I were pouring over, dog-earring and trading possesion of Penny Smith's photo-documentary book of The Clash as well as the records. We were always studying the craft and always learning. The cover of "London Calling" is a classic example of rhetorical comparison in the visual arts, a now time honored rock and roll tradition. Ed got the message, and I received through him.

Slicked back sided pompadours, vintage '50's clothing, gritty black and white photo journalism, art cards and every piece of printed material that emanated from the camp were soon to follow and were all extensions of the material he wrote.

Darker, angrier and more confrontational lyric content that framed the band and its followers as "downtrodden" began to emerge. "Rag Picker" and "Grovers and Schallers" are tunes that come immediately to mind. Still populist, but of a different kind.

But the point is that this was a "top down" integration of that simple rhetorical device and every single platform, right down to how we lived our lives (a platform that was clearly on display to our fan base)

That's a blog for another day, but this all culminated in THE WORKS placing a series of ads in the classified section of ROLLINGSTONE magazine, specifically calling out the most respected rock critics of the day by name (Dave Marsh, Griel Marcus, Robert Christgau)declaring ourselves "Greatest Rock and Roll Band in America".

That may seem naive to some. Nobody in history of popular rock and roll of the day had the balls to do something like that. Ed did, and we believed we could back up the boast.

So at worst, I'd call that little maneuver naively brilliant.

It was a classic "Little Richard/ Mohamed Ali/ Stagger Lee Legend" public relations strategy.

"We are THE GREATEST, and FUCK YOU", aimed directly at the little spot between the collective eyes of the taste makers and rock and roll intelligentsia of the day.

Targeted and narrow beamed like a laser. If they read it, they were going to know exactly what that little declarative statement meant; what it signified, how it was designed and from where, and just who THE WORKS were comparing themselves to.

Just like a 30 second Hollywood production pitch, you connect the mixture of references to the entity, and you plant the seed that the entity is equally valid as the success rate of the references to achieve a "greenlight".

Remember: A rhetorical comparison connects our feelings about an entity to the entities that we compare it against

If you can succeed at that, you have won 75% of the battle over owning the collective hearts and minds. The other 25% is achieved through the strength of the material and the show, two entities at the time that all of us felt we had covered in spades.

Its a very small distance to traverse in the mind. All you had to do was to allow your target audience to make the conceptual jump from "I am the equivalent of all things of historical import" to "I am the same as all the references: I AM HISTORY, AND THE LOGICAL CONTINUATION OF IT", through the undeniable power of performance.

Hamell has been honing and refining this rhetorical technique, along with his performance and songwriting abilities ever since. Study the sheer breathtaking volume of HAMELL ON TRIAL's creative output from the release of 1989's "Conviction" to present day, along with the evolution of his show.

He has pursued this strategy with a dogged and detirmined persistence continuously. He's never waivered from the rhetorical strategy; he just got better at it through the years.

Some would argue that the unrelenting implementation of this device is a bit ham-fisted. The norm is to hide influences and shade influences. Nobody wants anybody to know where you're stealing from.

Ed goes in the polar opposite direction, in full transparency. The obvious rebuttal to the critique of a ham-fisted rhetorical approach would be this:

Are they making a documentary of your life? What kind of professional track record in terms of output have you left in your wake, as you pursue your dreams?

Who has a higher probability of being a permanent fixture in the celestial sphere and rock and roll firmament?

You, or him?

That one is easy to answer for most of us.


The last time I talked to Ed, I told him that in my opinion, he was the best practicing songwriter in he United States.

Twenty or more so odd years later, that personal assessment of his abilities hasn't changed.

That's a pretty bold statement for me, admittedly, and not one made lightly... but one I firmly believed that Ed could back up then, and even more strongly still, back up now.

Please bear in mind that as I discuss the finer points of the stewardship of a career in Rock and Roll that I may be aware of, none of it means shit if you can't back it up.

You can have all the frosting you want, but if you are applying it to a shaky cake, the cake will eventually collapse on itself.

Frosting is an integral component of the whole cake experience. This rhetorical device has been, and always will be very effective frosting.

A cake collapse hasn't happened in Hamell's case. He knows his shit, and he's not afraid to tell you and most importantly show you any and every chance he gets. His cake is made of concrete and tungsten steel, sitting on a plate of solid rock.

Try to take a bite out of the cake he's developed, all you'll do is break your own teeth off.

If he doesn't come up with a complete crystallized distillation of The complete recorded Specialty output of Little Richard, Jerry Lee on Sun and Mercury, Elvis on Sun and RCA, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry on Chess and Fats Domino on Imperial /the entire Meet The Beatles through the Abbey Road run / Dark Side Of The Moon / Bridge Over Troubled Water/ Pet Sounds / Are You Experienced?/ Hank Williams Greatest Hits/ Blonde on Blonde / Highway 61 / Rumours / Raw Power / Music From Big Pink / London Calling / Live at The Apollo Vol 2/ After The Goldrush / Sly and The Family Stone's Greatest Hits / Modern Sounds In Country Western Vol I and II /Imagine/ Back in Black / Transformer/ Sign O' The Times / LIVE at Folsom Prison/ In Utero/ Kind Of Blue / Never Mind The Bollocks / Straight Outta Compton/ Born to Run / Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars/ The Joshua Tree/ Led Zeppelin IV / The Beggars Banquet through Exile On Main Street run, plus Some Girls and Tattoo You / It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back/ Thriller and the entire collection of Lenny Bruce records that I'm still waiting for him to return with his next shot across the bow of "recorded output" in the archaic form of a song cycle contained in the silver pits of a compact disc....

He will the next time, and the next time, and the next time.

Until he succeeds or drops dead trying.

Don't believe him for one second when he says at the end of the teaser trailer "I'm not doing this fucking again"

He's "All In", in the Texas Hold 'Em Vernacular. A walking compendium of the unruly caterwauling of rock and roll, Art History, Jungian Psychology and general Historical knowledge plus he's holding couple of additional aces in his hand: The living embodiment of a "Go Big or Go Home" lifestyle and career choice.

Anything less than that type of commitment will consign you to an eventual irrelevancy, as far as history is concerned.

THAT'S Rock and Roll, and if you don't think so, I would advise you as I imagine Ed Hamell would:

Go Fuck Yourself.

"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"




Monday, June 27, 2011

Daily Dose #32 (06/28/11)


In the summer of 1975 he was fifteen; lost in the weeds of adolescent rebellion, unbridled anger, and raging testosterone levels with few outlets other than his own manual dexterity.

Which clearly wasn't getting the job done enough to calm his roiling waters.

She was nineteen, back from her first year of college in Boston.

Neighbors for several years, both families were close, parents and children alike. Being four years younger, he was odd man out when it came to the mysteries of teen-age life.

He was always trying to grow up too fast, and always seemed to be banging his head against an immovable concept. He was just four years younger. Get lost kid.

But she was different. She actually enjoyed his company because in trying to grow up too fast, he was intellectually beyond his years.

In the evenings over that summer, as the sun set over the western valley ridge of the lake and the water still and smoothly surfaced, she sometimes would go out in his family boat to do a little skiing, smoke a little joint, or both.

She would always do this not because she had something better to do. Usually she had a date with a man much older than her, and would always hustle up the lake road as he attached the boat to the buoy to shower and get ready for her evening's adventure.

Summer evenings hit that rhythm in June, and lasted through July like ritual.

After a ski they would float freely in the middle of the lake. She would light up a doobie and lounge on the bench seat of the lemon yellow boat and the two of them would talk about the mysteries of music, love, and life. Although he wanted to share, her weed was always better than the skunkweed available to a kid in ninth grade. They always got the shake, over-priced.

On one such night with the sky bursting in orange and purple, slunk back into the bench seat and threw her wet hair back and turned her face toward the setting sun.

She fingered the strap of her brown bikini thoughtfully, and as if querying the sun, casually asked:

"Have you ever eaten pussy?"

That may seem like a forward question to some, but it wasn't to him. She was free, unencumbered by convention, and never seemed to give a rats ass about what people thought about her. She spoke her mind. That's why he was secretly in love with her.

He in fact had, on a beat up canvas seat of a catamaran stored in a boathouse the next lake lot to the south. There was a girl a year older that would allow him to get this far, and no further over the past year. They would sneak to the barren winter beach at separate intervals as to not be seen entering the shanty at the same time. They were careful not only of being found out, but being found out by her social contemporaries, as if it were to leak it would have resulted in a form of social suicide for her.

So there was a baseline of knowledge that he felt confidence in sharing. He wasn't totally wet behind the ears, even if in fact, those barely post puberty boathouse fumblings were much less of an education than he gave them, and himself credit for.

She stood up, small droplets of water making there way down her her tall but wide hipped frame. They had a long way to travel before they reached the deck.

She looked him in the eye.

"You know, if you really know how to give head, you can conquer the world"

He stared right back at her.This was a new concept worth contemplating. The extended silence was lightly punctuated with the sound of the lake shutting down for the night. A motor in the far distance. Water lapping up against the boat.

"O.K....teach me, then."

What came next was unexpected by him. He was just expecting a verbal walk through.

She slipped her bikini bottoms off, bent at the waist gracefully with her knees locked, and removed them from their strangle hold around her ankles.

She playfully twirled them around an extended index finger as she reclined back on the bench, and then let them fly seemingly carelessly past his left ear, but they were well targeted.

With the same finger, she pointed to the area of deck between her set apart feet.

"Kneel here".

He complied, his knees dug into the all-weather carpeting as he draped his forearms over her sun seasoned thighs.

"We're going to go through this step by step. I'll explain a few things, and then you do exactly what I tell you, when I tell you. Deal?"


"Whatever I teach you, you have to promise me to remember one thing after we're done"


"This isn't a one-size-fits-all world. What works with me, isn't going to work for someone else necessarily. Every woman is different. There isn't any 'one way'.... if you really want to be good at this, that's the main thing you have to remember. You gotta be 'head's up' when you're going down. Understand?" She laughed at her own joke.

He nodded assent. She may be laughing but in his world this was quickly becoming... serious.

In very cold clinical fashion, she first pointed out the external working parts. An anatomy lesson. Labia majora, labia minora, clitoral hood, clitoris, perinium, anus and sphincter. She explained not only the clinical names, but functions of all these elements when attempting to bring her to climax.

But she also explained the art of it all. Erogenous zones around the working machinery. Patience. Respecting the clitoris by avoiding it at onset. The mechanics and timing of insertion, and how to use them to drive an orgasm. Rhythm, tempo, and meditative consistency. Building a narrative story.

She explained that there is an introduction, a beginning, a middle, an end, and a denouement. Patience, waiting and building urgency through anticipation. Letting somebody's body tell you what to do, instead of forcing the issue. Be invited instead of storming the battlements. Allowing the flowers to open and bloom organically, on their own timetable. How to compose, orchestrate and conduct the symphony.

And so they began.

"You have to be able to read the signs. Don't pay attention to noise at first. That's bullshit for show to benefit tiny male egos... you'll know when it's real."


"Listen for respiration rate instead. Breath. And try to detect pulse rate with your finger tips when you start touching me. Those are first set of clues.... directions, and road signs. Got it?"

"Got it."

"No Improvising... Got it?"


In slow, step-wise fashion, she taught him how to tell an epic story without words.

For the first time, he felt the slow build up, the bear down and then the release; the repetitive rifle shots of muscles contracting around both of his hands, fingers buried deeply inside her, the explosions of all creation erupting around his buried head. He never felt that type of power, and the control of that power before. It was like driving a rocket as it approached escape velocity on it's way to commune with God.

"Now, still. There may be more. Wait for the signals and then make sure you're in position to take advantage of them"

The lesson continued as the sun hovered over the horizon line. "More" was an understatement. He was in awe that this could repeated and sustained. He was boggled that you could actually make someone feel this joyous, this continuously.

"Its getting late. Let's go in. I have a date tonight".

He drove back to shore, and dropped her off at the dock. No words were spoken.

He held the boat into position as he watched her scamper up the road, on her way to what seemed to him to be her other life. Her adult life of men with money and fast cars, bars, booze, and bands; dancing through the night to daybreak.

Maybe her rich boyfriend with the sports car was not particularly talented in this area of expertise. Maybe she just needed a seemingly benign beta test of personal control after a year of college boy ineptitude... or maybe she truly loved him enough to not allow him to stumble through blindly as she had through the adolescent minefield of sexual knowledge.

He thought of these things as he drove the boat to the distant buoy, attached it, and snapped the cover on the boat; tucking it in for the night.

None of it really mattered. She was right. For a brief moment, he did feel like he could conquer the world. He would carry that feeling like a Rosetta stone into his adventure that was about to begin.

He dove in piercing the cold water cleanly, and then swam to shore.


"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"




Daily Dose #31 (06/27/11)


(Alan and Jamie Notarthomas)

One the most valuable series of lessons that still serve me today came from the tutelage of Alan Rowoth.

I had just joined a band called The Works, and they were pretty hot at the time.

The band had burned through two incredibly talented piannaplunkers, Tommy Canfield and Andy Rudy. Two sets of shoes that would be big to fill.

I didn't know Tommy all that well but I did know Andy. We both attended Onondaga Community College at approximately the same time, and I had a great admiration for his musical and pianistic abilities. I still do.

The Works were unique in the fact that they were a bar band that played 99% original material written by bandleader and front man Ed Hamell.

Hamell is probably the most charming and charismatic human I have ever met, but when he approached me on assuming the soon to be vacant chair, he didn't have to sell me hard. I had had my eye on that chair since moving to Syracuse and seeing them for the first time. I missed my chance when Tommy left, and that wasn't going to happen again as Andy went on down a road of his own design.

It was a great band, a great concept, and I willingly hopped on board. Hopefully, the third time was going to be the charm for both Ed and myself. From my perspective, it turned out to pretty good alchemy for the next seven years anyway.

Alan was the band's manager at that time, and this was the first time that I got close up exposure to the arts of running a band, specifically in the arena of mass communication.

We would go over to Alan's apartment on the North Side for band meetings. It seemed he was constantly engaged with a piece of gear called a "computer". At least that's what he called it.

It was an ATARI with a dot matrix printer, and this was the tool he used to communicate with the rapidly expanding fan base that The Works had been developing, via database management and direct mail marketing.

His efforts were met with derision by the band, and being low man on the totem pole, I had to play along. I was a knuckle headed kid back then but that didn't mean that I wasn't paying attention.

There were many responsibilities that Alan was juggling at the time, I'm sure. This particular one compelled me more than booking, logistics, accounting and personnel management. That would come later through personal experience.

This was my first taste of tribe development as it happened off the stage.

The Works, as a band, were very good at tribe development from the stage, but they also knew how to work the Syracuse media machine behind the scenes.

As mentioned, if Ed Hamell knew he had one thing going for him, it was that he was dripping with an equal if not more amount of charisma as he was dripping with gallons of sweat after every Works show. He knew how to work the conduits, and there was none better at making the case and gaining true believers once there were bodies in the room.

Direct mail initiatives were different however. Alan took the time to explain to me that anyone could send out a postcard with a listing of upcoming dates on the calendar. Most of the local bands that had a direct mail component did just that.

Alan knew that direct mail was a direct conduit to the band's fan base first and foremost, and when designing a mail piece, it had to not only deliver calendar information. It had to deliver a mirrored representation of the band's philosophy and zeitgeist, and connect with the recipient in a meaningful way. They had to inspire as they delivered factual information.

It had to open the flow of energy between band and base like alternating current, and encourage participation in that dynamic.

This on the surface, may be a simple lesson to us all as we take part in the digital age of social networking, but back in 1983, that lesson changed my life.

Alan was so ahead of the curve it wasn't even funny. His forward thinking and structural planning insured The Works a shelf-life long after he stopped being their manager.

I have stated that part of my personal agenda in starting The Daily Dose was to publicly testify in open gratitude, to critical people who made a fundamental change in my life. My teachers that paved and pointed my way not always got the respect and gratitude they deserved at the point of contact. As mentioned previously, I was a knucklehead!

I couldn't have gone on and achieved the successes I have in life without Alan's input and the knowledge he so freely gave me. I didn't know that then, but I surely know it now.

Like my friend Gary Frenay, if cornered, Alan probably would never take credit for the amount of influence he had on my life. He's too classy for that.

But me? I am proudly of the potato chip class (which means I don't possess quite as much as Alan), and I will proudly wear my heart on my sleeve in gratitude.

Thank You, my friend. I hope in some way this will show how much I appreciate you, in the here and now, but also in the past and future. I will always carry those lessons with me, and I still will use them as responsibly as I can.

These blogs have that DNA in them. I'm still trying to commincate with y'all in a meaningful way, thanks to the lessons learned from Alan.

Communication means nothing if it doesn't serve a higher purpose.

"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"




Daily Dose #30 (06/26/11)


I was working on yesterday's DOSE and crashed my creative bus into a tree.

That's a little melodramatic, but the metaphor serves my current purpose.

Although crafting these daily injections has thus far been unexpectedly time consuming, they've also been fun to create. They flowed pretty freely out of me, without too much intellectual over-baking on my part. All cylinders are firing, and the gears are well lubricated.

More importantly though, there has been a strong feeling of play in the act of sitting down, thinking of a topic, and then physically putting finger tips to key pad.

I'm a horrible typist, having never properly learned the skill. All the doses are typed with a maximum of four fingers, which is just the right rate of speed for my brain to "type it as it comes". As stated in song and in the missives, I'm a "Slow Driving Man". I get there, but I savor the ride.

I don't really "think" when I'm writing, or if I am, it's a different type of thinking that I'm normally used to when trying to create something out of nothing through music or visual arts.

There is very little editing done before I post these things, of which many "real writers" have advised me that maybe I should think about developing that skill set along with my painfully inept typing abilities.

Basically, after writing the prose, I spellcheck it and clean it up by removing over-used commas and eliminate the use of "So", "But","Anyways" and "And" at the beginning of every paragraph (an annoying recurring habit that I'm noticing), pick out the purdy pictures or videos off the googly intrawebs, assemble the thing and click the "Publish" button.

Voila! Whether a rabbit, a bear, a lion or a rhino, something fun to write always comes out of the hat.

Then its up to the rest of you readers to determine whether it lives or dies. Once I kick them out of the nest, it's time to assemble a new bird for the next day's

If they read like I would speak it in my voice in real time, that's good enough for me. So far, I feel I've achieved that.

I was thinking about influences again yesterday, but specifically works of art that had a profound effect on my own conceptualization processes past, present and future, and decided to write about the use of allegory in "The Wizard of Oz", both the original book and the iconic film of 1939.

Fun, right?

Timing is everything in life, and so are environmental factors. Due to the massive amount of yummy and delicious Saranac Brewery products consumed at a Grace Potter and The Nocturnals show Saturday night, and the resultant annihilation of what precious functioning brain cells I still have in the storehouse at age 51, yesterday I discovered that writing with a screaming hangover is not something I'm interested in exploring ever again.

I was kind of disappointed with the show last night. The Nocturnals really impressed me the last few times I saw them, but this time not so much. They didn't really hit their stride until the third act of their set, usually set in motion with their killer rendition of The Jefferson Airplane classic, "White Rabbit".

What transpired before that point seemed to be more of a showcase of their hair flipping abilities and histrionic rock star posing. Admittedly, they are very good at histrionic posing and hairflipping, but that only goes so far with me these days.

Maybe The Nocturnal's cover of "White Rabbit" was an omen of what I was going to end up with on creative terms come Sunday. Today's effort only resulted in me falling down a rabbit hole, and the end result had to be scrapped.

It wasn't fun, or written in the spirit of play. It read like a term paper. More accurately, it read like an intellectual hair flip.

It just didn't meet the standards that I have set for myself or The Daily Dose. Sometimes you have to pull the plug, and go back to the drawing board.

Even now, just as I'm pain free and getting my flow back, there's a neighborhood wide power outage and I'm writing by the light of the laptop screen at 3 am on Monday morning.

The Gods just aren't cooperating on any level and there is no use in trying to fight them. I am laying down my creative sword as I to live to fight another day.

I did learn some things today about myself as I researched the life of L. Frank Baum and the process of creating the movie, so today wasn't a total bust. I'll eventually crack that nut in a future post.

I thought I was a self cloistered guy padding around in my apartment wearing pink bunny slippers, trying to make stuff out of my mind and then share it with friends while occasionally taking a break to play with my puppies.

But according to some, my love of the allegory in OZ makes me a Gay-Sodomite-Satanic-Mass Manipulator-New-World-Order-Illuminati- Mind Fucker. Unbenowenst to me, I'm a Theophist, an Occultist, and Godless worshipper of Baphomet and Lady Ga Ga.

Who knew? I certainly didn't! Nobody has taught me the secret handshake yet, anyway.

As I've advised in previous blogs: Always look for the harvestable material, even if your harvesting it from a mangled ball of physical, emotional, spiritual or creative wreckage. There is always something to save and something to learn from the experience of "doing", "making", and "sharing".

You take the wheel, you try to keep it on the road and between the guardrails for the most part.

When you're trying to yank something out of the air or out of your ass and make something out of nothing, you will have to break the rules of the road. You will sometimes crash the bus if your driving it like Sandra Bullock in "Speed".

So I apologize for letting you all down today if I have.

When you get high, you crash. What comes up, will come down. I guess what might have been fun turned into a lesson in Newtonian Law.

This was the subject matter of the very first Daily Dose, and after thirty shots, I found myself at the bottom of the creative sine wave.

All that means is there I'm at the starting point of the upward ramp. The Dose Project is a marathon, not a sprint.

I'm reminded of the old joke where the father bull alternately advised his eager young son and charge, "Instead of running down the hill to the point of exhaustion, lets reserve our energy, walk down the hill and be at full strength when we reach the herd of cows... and widen the scope of your original agenda point, son".

In other words, don't run to fuck one, walk and fuck 'em all.

The power just got restored, and the lights came back on.

Today, I walk toward the cows instead of dashing directly to one.

See you tomorrow, Peep-A-Roos. I'm going back to bed.

"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"




Friday, June 24, 2011

Daily Dose # 29 (06/25/11)


Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming my favorite holiday.

It used to be Christmas, but things change.

Last Thanksgiving I spent alone, eating the only thing left in a barren cupboard for my "abundant feast to be thankful for": a bag potato chips.

There are certain core concepts in my life experience that I won't compromise, and that results in real sacrifices. Those sacrifices are identified long before I make a critical life choice. They are the coin of the realm. Nothing in this life is for free.

I won't sacrifice my integrity to protect, bolster, or promote some imagined or false sense of dignity.

If you focus your efforts on solely protecting your dignity, you end up a liar. Or certainly guilty of sins of omission, which are just as damaging to those around you.

Then when you are found out (and you will be found out eventually), you end up with neither. The dignity was always non-existent because you didn't protect the integrity. A classic double whammy, and in my mind, a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot that's easily avoided.

But this stance comes at a known cost, one that will result in a high probability that you will be eating potato chips alone on Thanksgiving.

I'm not complaining. I know that the way that I live is the result of choice, and I take full responsibility for the choices I make. Blame is a loser's game: It's only purpose is to deflect the realization of ultimate responsibility of your own choices and actions.

Blame is just a dodge to avoid the initial pain of a personal enlightenment and clarity. That pain is the key to personal growth. Unless you scrape your soul clean through the lens of personal responsibility, it's impossible to "let go of the past". You doom yourself to the same repetitive behavioral patterns, with the same repetitve outcomes.

Blame is a re-direction of focus, and ultimately, an internal psychological card trick that depends on mis-direction.

The minute I start to blame outside entities, I now can recognize it as a total waste of time and energy. The only thing you can truly change and recalibrate is yourself.

Don't hold your breath on the expectation that other's will change to suit your needs. They won't.

The only life strategy for positive change that makes sense to me is to re-calibrate, change direction, and change perspectives, in both a hypothetical physical platform (I.E. "The Angle") and a perspective based on observational assessments of pattern behavior of others (I.E."Once you step inside someones shoes, just don't see like them... think like them too).

So for me, although eating potato chips alone on Thanksgiving might be unpleasant to most of y'all, to me it goes with the territory I've mapped out in advance for myself. There is no surprise factor on my end. I own it.

When you declare you are going to write 365 daily blogs and not monetize that blog in anyway, I'm not only putting my integrity on the table for public scrutiny, I'm also well aware that there is an extremely high probability that I'll be living on macaroni and cheese with a can of cat food thrown in it for the next year.

That's a given, and a result of choice. A choice made with ultimate clarity.

I'm working with an alternate kettle of fish here, in the hopes that anybody that gets exposed to the real content of these missives can recognize the true value and agenda points that I'm seeking by going through the exercise.

If you happen receive the message, you will re-broadcast the message. That is what has been happening within me, and I'm inviting everyone to participate.

Let's play a game of catch on the widest playing field you can imagine, and then realize that the field is so wide, it can't be imagined at all. That will set the trajectory, vectors, and escape velocities needed for this particular game of catch to be not only wildly fun, but perhaps even a profound experience for all the players as well.

A year of mac and cheese is a small price to pay if in fact, the desired results can be manifested in a real, tangible way.

So during last Thanksgiving as I sat alone, missing my family and eating potato chips, I was not awash in self pity. In fact quite the opposite.

I contemplated the road I was on... I'm not impervious to self-doubt. I will be the first to admit that I don't have this quite perfected yet.

But ultimately the path I'm on is lined with two types of stones: Giving, and Giving Thanks.

The one thing that I value over anything else in this world are my primary relationships, specifically with my family.

And like Proust munching on a Madeline to reach a remembrance of things past, as I munched on my potato chip I knew I was one of the luckiest men on Earth.

I'm 51 years old, and I have been blessed to still have my parents around. They are healthy, active, and they contribute always to spiritually changing the environment around them in a positive way, whether they are aware of what they are doing or not.

I can still have access to the wisest, most loving, pure people I have ever met. Nick and Linda, and fortunately for me, I caught the luck of the spiritual draw and got to be their son.

How many middle aged people can say that?

This is why I moved from New Orleans back to Central New York. To really access that love in a meaningful way, and to eliminate the proximity issue as a negative factor. Staying in New Orleans, however it may have suited my professional aspirations, just didn't make any spiritual sense to me anymore.

Sometimes, just showing up is more than half the battle.

They are the greatest gift I have ever received.

Thanksgiving is on the cusp of Christmas. As I thought about the greatest gifts that I have ever received in my life, my thoughts then turned to what I could give back to the system in return, with no strings or expectations attached.

Very clearly, I knew what I wanted to give to anybody that was interested in receiving the most treasured gift in my world.

My family. I wanted to share them with you.

A vehicle had to be designed to pull that off obviously. I didn't have the means to invite 3'000 facebook friends to dinner.
But I did have the means of inviting the delivery of a Rossi Family Dinner into the private homes of 3'000 facebook friends. I had a brain, time, plenty of potato chips, and awe inspiring source material to boot.

Nick and Linda. Married now for 57 years, and true partners in every sense of the word for life.

They are love. The shining example that I have had , and amazingly still have as a constant beacon in my life. My true north.

So the conceptualized vehicle took the form of this little tutorial of how we roll on a Sunday, making Sunday Gravy.

I shot, edited, and annotated the process of construction of the secret family sauce, in 18 segments. If you follow them to the letter, The Rossi Family comes to you in your kitchen, and takes a metaphysical place at the family dining table.

As mentioned before, I'm frying a stranger than normal batch of fish here. As you learn the sauce, you can see the love. You can see why the sauce is just a vehicle for something much larger.

If you make the sauce with the people you love, you just won't receive the message I'm trying to broadcast through your eyes and ears. All of your senses will be activated and turned into receptors: Taste, Touch. Smell, Sight, and Sound. Its a full body shot of the love I have known for my entire life. And in the end, it just won't feed your belly.

After I uploaded these videos, I then sat down and sent a single, personal inbox to my entire facebook friends list, at that time about 2'700 people with the message of what I knew to be true.

I went through a lot of potato chips, and it took me about four weeks straight to do it.

If you look at the play counts, about 1-2% of all of those letters resulted in a friend actually watching all 18 segments.

That's a good enough success ratio for me, because in the end, all I needed to do was recognize, get the signal, and rebroadcast. I gave what I valued the most, and then let go of any expectations.

It's just a game of "Hot Potato" that I'm playing with the infinite power of God, The Universe, Shiva, Allah, Mother Nature, or whatever dogmatic name you want to attach to the unknowable power and energy exchanges that happen in the realm of ultimate creation.

I wasn't looking for a big number, but I was looking for the select few in that pool of 2'700 friends that saw it as an opportunity to play universal hot potato with me.

Seen in that light, I found who I was looking for. Mission Accomplished.

THE DAILY DOSE has been widely distributed since I started it 29 days ago, receiving over 8,000 page views in four weeks.

I didn't send out 3,000 singular invitations to this time around. People are reading, receiving, and participating in the process on their own initiative, and for their own reasons.

This is an amazing gift to me. You send the energy out, it does come back.

So the delivery system may have changed, but the intent is still the same.

The greatest gift I can give you in thanks for your continued support and participation, is the gift that appears below. Thank you. Every single one of you.

The nourishment I receive, and that you have given, is greater than any bag of potato chips could ever deliver, or a ten course meal for that matter.

Share Love. Show Love. Express Love.

Like daily prayer, daily exercise, daily meditation, or even swallowing a daily muti-vitamin, if in by doing those three little things once a day, you begin to realize that THE DAILY DOSE IS IN THE DISCIPLINE.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed. If this epistle is my last act on the planet, I can live with that in the next dimension.

If I continue on the potato chip diet, I'm going to get to that dimension sooner than initially planned anyway.

But these are the prices I pay willingly and will continue to do so. It's worth it.




Intro: Spinning/ "The Right Termaters"

Step 1. Drain The Termaters

Step 2. Poppin Termaters in Da Blenda

Step 3. Five Cans Left Over

Step 4. Meat Inventory

Step 5. Bracciola Ingredients and a Little Family History

Step 6. Bracciolas:1st layer: Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Cheese, Prosciutto on Bracciola

Step 7. Bracciolas: 2nd layer on the Bracciola

Step 8. How To Roll and Tie a Bracciola

Step 9. Preparing for the "Browning"

Step 10. Browning the Sauseeg

Step 11. Scrapin' the Flavah!

Step 12. Meat on the Bone Separation and Displacement Physics

Step 13. Sauce Heating Clues & Browning the Bracciolas

Step 14. Garlic Technique: Cooling The Pan

Step 15. Garlic Technique

Step 16. Finishing the Garlic & Deglazing the Pan

Step 17. Kitchen Chemistry & Finale

"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.

I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.

The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"