By the time I went to Japan, for this last trip in April-May of this year, I knew that I would be full-time with Blue Man in July. So, of course my wife Yuki and I talked at length about what this means, how good it would be for us as a family, and how much of a change it would be for me, as far as my relationship to my time.
While I was part-time at Blue Man, I was almost completely in charge of how I used my time. Blue Man would approach me, and ask when I was available for the coming month. So, if I had other gigs, or wanted to take a trip, or whatever the reason, I could make myself ‘unavailable’ for said dates. It allowed me the freedom to take month-long trips to Japan, or have out of town gigs with other bands whenever I wanted.
As a full-timer, I will be much more on their schedule. Any time I want to take off will be very official, and there will be paperwork involved, as well as a limited amount of time off available. This is just the reality of the situation. I’m entering into my full time work with Blue Man very happily and gratefully, but also aware of what it means to how I use my time.
The truth is that my relationship to my time will be very different. So, while I was in Japan, and talking over these things with Yuki, I mentioned how my Yoga teacher was leading a yoga retreat to Thailand very soon, and how much I would love to do it. To my surprise, Yuki actually encouraged me to go for it! So I immediately began to look into it, only to realize that it was happening just after I started full time, so I would be unable to go.
But I still had it in my mind- it sure would be good to go and deepen my yoga practice before beginning my full time work, which will be physically demanding, and I will very much need to keep myself in top physical shape to ensure that I can do this for many years to come.
So I looked around for other possible yoga retreats, and thru some searching found a place called Samadi Bali that is a year round yoga shala that offers yoga/wellness retreats that include a room, breakfast/lunch, unlimited yoga, Balinese massages, a few other therapy sessions, and a consultation session to tailor the retreat to my needs. I was also drawn to this place because of their emphasis on Ashtanga Yoga, which is the style that I’ve been practicing for over 2 years now, and has given me more benefit than all the years prior in which I had dabbled in different yoga styles.
While I was still in Japan, Blue Man Orlando was emailing me to ask what my availability was for June. So I needed to book this trip, and work out all of the details quickly, which I managed to do.
I returned to the States, and began preparing to go to Bali…. In the meantime I received an email from Billy Martin’s (from the band Medeski, Martin, and Wood) mailing list, talking about his Rhythm, Sound, and Magic workshop/ week-long camp that would be happening just after I returned from Bali on June 16th. I was booked to play at Kevin Maine’s CD release party on June 17th, where I would open with Hannah Harber & the Lionhearts, and close with Shak Nasti, and Blue Man had booked me for one show, on June 18th, then not again until June 24th. The Rhythm Sound and Magic Camp was June 19th thru June 23rd. It just might work. It seemed that this window of opportunity had presented itself. I had just dropped some pretty coin on booking the yoga retreat, but for years, I had seen the camps that Billy puts on, and had always wanted to go. Should I do it? Could I? I knew that I wanted to…. Logistically it was a bit crazy, because the transportation to and from was pretty mysterious…. Just fly into NYC, and somehow get to the NYC Port Authority bus terminal, then there was a bus from there that would take me to Big Indian, NY, and somehow get picked up to get to this place called the Full Moon Resort. Well, I hesitated, and milled it over in my mind, and, even though it wasn’t cheap, I decided to go for it. I wasn’t sure when I’d have the opportunity to do this again, so I better do it while I can.
And, I’m so glad I did!
I can’t say how grateful I am to have had both experiences, and all with the loving support of my wonderful, beautiful wife of 17 years. Only my life partner who’s been through so many years and so many life experiences with me would understand me enough to say, “Go! Do it!”
At a campfire bond with my Samba-Batucada-Low-End-partner-in-rhythm Josh (whom I met at the rhythm camp), summed it up with this: “When your girl tells you to go to drum camp, YOU GO TO F###IN DRUM CAMP!”
So far, I haven’t posted anything from either experience. I made a conscious effort to experience both things as much as possible, and not to get tangled up in posting to social media. I knew my life would slow down a bit once I returned, and before full time work started up in July, so I figured I’d do it all then (which is now).
So, for the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing me post pictures and videos from Bali, Indonesia, and then from Big Indian, NY. But, I’m not in either place. I’m here in Orlando, posting some not-so-insta Instagram posts- but, at least for me, it was well worth the wait.
Much more coming SOON!!
This is the first post of a bunch about my adventures in Europe.
I had the privilege to be the drummer for the Blue Man Group aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s EPIC ship, where we cruised through the Mediterranean for four months. The EPIC is basically a huge floating city, complete with enough cabins for 5,000 guests, 1,700 crew, 22 restaurants, a pool deck, water slides, a sports deck, rock wall, outdoor mega-screen club/bar/sundeck, a spa with wet and dry saunas and hydrotherapy pool, passenger and crew gyms, outdoor jogging track, comedy club, Cirque tent, casino, many bars, bowling, art gallery, Crew Bar, and of course, the EPIC theater, where Legends in Concert would perform Tuesday thru Thursday, and the Blue Man Group would perform Friday thru Monday. There was no shortage of fun to be had on the ship….
But this post is about what we did in port. We sailed the same route each week: Sunday was Barcelona, Spain; Monday was at sea the entire day; Tuesday was Naples, Italy; Wednesday was Civitaveccia, Italy: the port nearest to Rome; Thursday was Livorno, close to Florence, Italy; Friday was Cannes, France; and Saturday was Palma, Majorca, an island just off of Spain. Then it was back to Barcelona on Sunday to do it all over again. Barcelona was where the whole adventure began for our cast. We were all flown from our respective home cities to Barcelona where we had one night, followed by a 6am call the next morning to catch the bus into port, where we would first board the EPIC.
My beautiful wife, Yuki, and son, Taiyo. (I can’t believe how BIG Taiyo looks!!) On the airplane to Boise, ID, where they’ll be for the next month and a half visiting my parents. I get almost 2 weeks off right at Christmas time, so I can’t wait to see them all up there!
It’ll be Taiyo’s first time in snow! Very cool stuff!
I love them so much!
Arriving in a new city…
What time is it? Where’s the hotel? How long are we staying here? How many bags should I bring in? What room am I in? Where’s my room key? Where are the elevators? Is the bus going to stay here, or is it going away? Here’s my room. Where’s the light? Where’s the thermostat, or is it a window unit? Where’s the bathroom? Where do I put my bags? Should I unpack or just leave my stuff in the suitcases? Is there a refrigerator? Microwave? Are there any outlets I can access to plug in my phone? How bout the computer? Is there wifi here? How do I log on? Will this just stay connected, or does it turn off every time it goes idle? What time is it? What day is it? Is there space to do yoga on the floor? Does this window open? I’d sure love some fresh air… Does this hotel have coin laundry? Where are the stairs? Where’s the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign? Should I make something to eat, or go try to find something? What time is it? I wonder if anyone else is out n about? Any places to eat around here? I wonder what there is to do around here? What time is it? Do we have a show today? What time is our next call time? Where’s the theater? Are we taking a bus, or walking there? Where’s the backstage door? Where’s the stage? Where are the dressing rooms? Where’s the bathroom? Where are my in-ears? Where’s my costume? Where are my shoes? How do we get to the front of house? What time is sound check? Is the zither working today? Where’s the green room? Anything else I should know?
…then it’s Time to Start the show…
ahh. I know where I am.
…where are we going next?
a bit of a tough day, as far as missing home and my family goes.
I tried to do FaceTime on my iPad, which didn’t work, then tried iChat on the computer, and we could sort of see each other, but it was hard to hear- making conversation tough, especially with a 4 year old.
I had called Yuki earlier in the day, and she was shopping with Taiyo. She asked Taiyo if he wanted to talk to me, but he wouldn’t even hold the phone- he didn’t want to talk. And I try to be cool about that stuff- I know it’s just because he misses me that he won’t talk on the phone- but I’m realizing how sad it makes me. Not that he won’t talk to me, but that I’m away- and he’s obviously sad- and even with technology the way it is- it doesn’t always work the way you would hope it should, especially when you’re travelling.
So I’m missing my wife and child a lot right now. I love them both so much. I just can’t wait till December where I get to see everybody for a little over a week.
But yeah, I guess I have to be honest about how much I miss them, and being a part of their lives on a daily basis.
I feel a little bit disconnected from my kid- he’s growing so fast- and I’m not there to see it. But it did make me feel good that I am able to provide for them- and Yuki can go shopping and buy winter clothes for Taiyo. They’re taken care of. By me. Even though I’m not there.
And I know Taiyo is an exceptionally resillient kid… he’s got plenty to keep him busy, and so many fun activities that he and Yuki do together- and I have to remind myself that it’s because of the work that I’m doing, that they have that life.
once again, thanks for reading-
It’s been a little over one month since I’ve been on tour with Blue Man, and so far, I’m seeing how I go through waves of gaining focus on my goals, then straying away.
I’ve broken my goals down into 5 basic things, so it’s easier for me to keep track of. Then, recently, I decided to make this image with one symbol representing each of the 5 goals:
Clockwise from top the symbols represent:
Since I’ve been here in Cincinnati, and after I found the Findlay market, I’ve been cooking fish in the apartment almost every night. The only drawback I suppose is that my apartment suite smells like fish!
This is a dish that I was cooking a lot while I was here. As per my wife’s recommendation, I cook the vegetables first, usually just putting a bit of water in the pot and covering it, and cooking on medium low heat. Tonight was broccoli, asparagus, and kale. I prepare the fish by simply putting salt and pepper on both sides. I like to let the pan warm up with a little bit of olive oil in it, then just pan fry the fish. When the fish is almost done I like to throw in little grape tomatoes that I’ve sliced in half because I like the flavor they add. Then the brown stuff you see on top of the fish is the parts of the fish that stick to the bottom of the pan. I like to scrape it off and put it on top for some flavor and a little bit of crunch. I top everything off with lemon and perhaps a bit more of my special Himalayan rock salt that I brought with me on tour.
Tasty. Healthy. Satisfying.