Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Interesting Quote

"All of life is a dream. We are a walking mirror. God is a mirror --- everything that we think, feel or believe is reflected back to us through this great mirror that is life. The world does not create what we are experiencing; we do." (Don Jose Luis)

Any thoughts? What do you make of this?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Guitar Hero II

My sister and brother-in-law (who are living with us currently) bought "Guitar Hero II" for the PS2 last night. Lets just say I might as well give up hope on getting anything else done ever again. Played it for 2 hours and am already addicted.

Though it's not exactly like playing a guitar, it's pretty damn close... and if nothing else, its teaching kids across the country to have good rhythm. This isn't a video of me playing, but these guys are pretty funny!

Friday, January 26, 2007

'Ol Diesel in the Newspaper

The Entertainment editor of the local newspaper called me this week and wanted to do a story on our little Pink Floyd cover band (ya, word travels quick). Click here to check it out!

UPDATE (1/28): I've decided to post the article in its entirety. I think after a few days, the paper archives the articles and you have to pay for them thereafter...

My Top 5: Music

Local singer-songwriter Trev Diesel has been popping up at various Greater Lafayette coffeehouses for the last year either solo or with his band. Last fall, he and bassist Nick Smith embarked on a new ambitious musical project by creating a Pink Floyd tribute band called Pink Noise.

"We learned a few songs for a bonfire party," remembered Diesel, 27. "We learned a couple more. Pretty soon, we knew the entire Darkside of the Moon."

Diesel admitted Pink Floyd songs are difficult to learn and play well. He credits guitarist Dan Mayer for not only getting the chords right but also the tone.

Diesel and his Pink Noise mates will be among the many checking out The Pink Floyd Experience at 8 p.m. Saturday at Purdue University's Elliott Hall of Music. Here are Diesel's top-5 favorite Floyd songs.

1.) "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," Wish You Were Here -- Various movements, a range in dynamics and musical feel, and a beautiful non-standard chord progression makes this my absolute favorite Pink Floyd song. Plus, it's super cute when my two-year old says "Shine on, you cwazy diamond."

2.) "Eclipse," Dark Side of the Moon -- The best ending to any album, ever. "Eclipse" is a perfect description of the totality of what it means to be alive: "All that is now, all that is gone, all that's to come, and everything under the sun is in tune."

3.) "Echoes," Meddle -- Classic slow and "spacey" Pink Floyd. Particularly notable is their performance of this song on the original version of the "Live at Pompeii" film.

4.) "Time," Dark Side of the Moon -- Each of the tracks on Dark Side of the Moon is a concept song, but lyrically and musically I believe Pink Floyd nailed their theme best with "Time."

5.) "Sheep," Animals -- A pulsating bass line, driving rhythm and meaningful lyrics about conformity, greed and the abuse of power makes this a favorite.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


There's nothing like cuddling with a 2-year old in the middle of the afternoon.
//Sent via T-Mobile Sidekick 3//

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Meditation as Death

You've seen it before - whether on TV, a movie or even in real life. When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness and they're given only a short time to live (of if they've come back from a near-death experience), suddenly their whole perspective changes. Every little thing - a pile of snow, a snag in the carpet, a bird on the barn roof, a bitter cup of coffee - becomes miraculous and amazing.

This is what meditation does. You emerge into the void, into a "little death." When you come back out, all of life's forms spring out from that emptiness and maybe - if you're just careful enough not to go immediately back into everyday (un)consciousness - you experience every-thing as astounding.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fear and Hope

Saw the movie "Children of Men" the other night.

There are an awful lot of sources - from movies such as this to headlines about resetting the Doomsday Clock - that are pointing to a dim future and attempting to cripple us with fear.

Where are the light-bringers? Where are the stories of hope? Where are the encouraging voices?

Certainly issues need to be addressed. But as the old adage goes, "Where attention goes, energy follows." Let's start pointing our attention toward a positive future, shall we?

Sunday, January 21, 2007


What a helluva game tonight! Back from being down 17 points at the half to now face the Bears in the Superbowl?!?!? For us Indiana/Midwestern types, this is the equivalent of the ultimate game. Bring it!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Pink

A few months ago, I posted about a few of my buddies getting together to learn a couple of Pink Floyd songs. We've now decided to go "all out" with it and play a couple small shows in our area... featuring several selections as well as the "Dark Side of the Moon" album start to finish.

Hear some semi-rough LIVE tracks on our MySpace page. Rock.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Here' ONE MORE movie trailer for you. Yesterday, I shared about the exciting new film "Pan's Labyrinth."

Then my brother-in-law clued me into this trailer: another visually-stunning work, although with this one, I would guess they'll earn their R-rating with some mega-violence. At any rate, it looks beautiful, whether the story will be or not. If movies keep being this aesthetically stunning, we're in for a very cool future in the world of film.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

How did I miss this? Where was the publicity? Is it because it's a "foreign film" with subtitles?

My buddy David tipped me off to a new movie, released in December, called Pan's Labyrinth. Rotten Tomatoes says: "Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable. Told through the eyes of a little girl whose imaginary world is inhabited by nightmarish creatures, Pan's Labyrinth is a visually imaginative and allegorical take on the fears she faced in Spain during WWII."

The reviews are GLOWING.

Do yourself a favor and log onto the movie's site ( and then choose "VIDEO" and watch the "TRAILER."

As the trailer says, "In darkness, there can be light. In misery, there can be beauty. In death, there can be life."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Frustration into Acceptance

Things just haven't been going "my way" for the last week or so. My entire downstairs flooded from a backed up water softener drain, my vehicle more-or-less broke down, the water heater broke, and I seem to spend 90% of my "free time" doing things that just get undone again (dishes and laundry, for example). Additionally, if there had been a test as to how well I handled all of these unexpected happenings, I would certainly garner a giant, red, circled "F."

It's interesting how we think that we know how our days should pan out, as if we really had any idea what is "good" for us (and the universe) and what is "bad." Or that we have any control at all really. And yet we get frustrated because its not going "the way I planned."

Step back for a moment, breathe, and I soon find out...

That the flood in the house means that for our meager deductible, we get all new downstairs flooring (which needed replaced badly anyway).

That having a broken this-or-that allows Amy and I to connect with family and other people who help us get things repaired.

That doing routine daily tasks (that seem to get immediately undone again) teaches a valuable lesson about impermanence and also helps me understand that its not WHAT I'm doing but HOW I'm doing it that's important.

As the old Yiddish proverb says, "You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails." I've found we're quick to judge what's "good" and what's "bad," when at a deeper level all is good and right, all the time.

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good
[John Mayer, "Heart of Life"]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Now THAT looks like January. (It's been an unusually warm and snowless winter in Indiana so far. That Al Gore fella might be on to something.)
//Sent via T-Mobile Sidekick 3//

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Ring, ring, doorbell ring. It's House Party Time."

As a parent of a 2-year old, let me tell you: the world is no short supply of horrible, awful, poorly executed children's music. Thankfully, there's Dan Zanes.

If you've got little ones (who are fans of Playhouse Disney), you probably already know this chap. We finally broke down over the weekend and picked up one of his CDs and, sure most of it still feels like children's music, but it's pretty damn good. I'm actually starting to put in the disc when Kalli's not even interested in listening to it.

Dan and band have an excellent folk sound and Dan's voice can be quite captivating. All of this is not to mention that his albums feature such guest artists as Bob Weir (ya, no kidding!), Deborah Harry, Philip Glass, Blind Boys of Alabama, Natalie Merchant, Nick Cave and more.

Here are two video clips so you can get a sample, but also note that most of the albums' songs aren't actually even as sing-songy as these. They're actually quite mature! Thanks for the great music, Dan!

"House Party"

"All Around the Kitchen"

...and finally...

HERE is a REALLY EXCELLENT interview with Dan Zanes. Really, this is worth watching.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Re:Post (Suppleness)

I believe this was one of the first posts I ever put on this blog, but I still find this selection from the Tao te Ching fascinating and meaningful and, since I just found it again, I wish to repost:

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.

Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.

[Tao te Ching, #76]

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Smattering of Art

Over the past few weeks, I have thoroughly enjoyed the following CDs/films:


1.) Give by The Bad Plus - I've had my eye on this disc for a few years, but just purchased it a few days ago. This acoustic jazz trio (piano/bass/drums) creates an interesting jazz/rock fusion that causes neither the jazz nor the funky rock to suffer. Equally avant garde, beautiful, humorous - you've gotta check out these "bad boys of jazz." I love it - my favorite new disc in a long time. (You won't believe their cover of Black Sabbath's Iron Man)

2.) Life Short Call Now by Bruce Cockburn - Off a recommendation by Hamza Darrell, I picked up this album on Sunday. Heartfelt and meaningful songs about everything from our culture's obsession with instant gratification to heartbreaking portrayals of the current state of Baghdad. I particularly appreciate the honesty and emotion of "Beautiful Creatures" which laments the loss of nature.

3.) The Ditty Bops by The Ditty Bops - Amanda and Abbey present an ecclectic collection of songs with beautifully harmonized voices, guitar, mandolin, hammer dulcimer and more.'s review is pretty spot on: "They draw liberally on genres of yore, hopping from western swing to vaudevillian theatrics, jazz, and folk music." Such fun music, you can't help but being swept up!


1.) Harold and Maude - Speaking of Hamza, it's funny that you would mention this movie recently, as I just saw it on Sunday night for the first time. A classic 70's movie that I finally got a chance to sit down and watch. What can I say? They just don't make movies like this anymore. Poignant, charming, beautifully shot, and as funny as anything I've seen. Instantly added to my top favorite movies list.

2.) Little Miss Sunshine - Speaking of quirky movies.... you really need to check out this newly released gem. It is almost exactly like I just described Harold and Maude: "Poignant, charming, beautifully shot, funny..." This road trip movie is not without its flaws and is rather predictable, but is quite the entertaining (and moving) ride along the way.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Three Modalities

I just finished Eckart Tolle's "A New Earth" and the thing that struck me most was the very last chapter (attention deficit, perhaps?). He says that there are three ways that consciousness can flow into whatever you're doing: ENJOYMENT, ENTHUSIASM and ACCEPTANCE.

In any situation - whether that's riding in the car, cleaning dog piss, having a beer (a good one or one that tastes like dog piss), going to a funeral, fighting an illness, sitting in meditation - a conscious person (one not suffering through habitual negative mental chatter or unconscious thinking) will either be enjoying the moment, be enthused (joy + directional movement toward a goal), or simply be accepting of the moment (non-resistant, i.e. "Well here we are, and it's not maybe what I'd have chosen, but it is what it is and I accept it!").

It's really a brilliant gauge as to how "present" you are.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Three Deep Breaths

It's amazing how three mindful breaths at random points throughout the day can bring one back to (or at least remind one of) center.

Try it now.


On a seemingly unrelated note (is anything every really unrelated?), the blog Source of Miracles (which is a great blog that you should check out) relays that Ken Wilber had a Grand Mal Seizure in December, but is recovering well. You can read Ken's post about the seizure by following the link on Source of Miracles' post. Be sure to send love and prayers of healing to Ken.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Reads

I got 3 new books from Amazon this week (although I promised I wouldn't start any of them until I finish Tolle's "A New Earth"... probably tonight)

1.) "Integral Spirituality" by Ken Wilber

2.) "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" by Jack Kornfield

3.) "The Best Buddhist Writing 2006" by Various

I'm looking forward to diving in to some new reads in the new year. I'll try to do some reflections as I head through them.