Archive for May, 2014

Death Cab For Cutie – Atlantic City – Revel Ovation Hall – 5-25-2014

Posted in Concerts, Reflections with tags on May 27, 2014 by Verge

As I’ve said before, our last anniversary we couldn’t spend together because I was working and Monika was having an adventure.  But, we’re trying to make up for lost time.  Even though it wasn’t a surprise, I had gotten us tickets to one of our favorite bands for our fifth anniversary.  It was Memorial Day Weekend, and we both had off the next day (surprisingly).

It was the first time I’d ever been to Revel Casino, let alone the music venue there.  I could have gotten us seats months ago when tickets went on sale, and that’s what I usually do because, to be honest, Monika is short and General Admission can be a bitch for short people.  Even though I’ve seen DCFC a few times, Monika never did, so I opted for the GA tix in the hopes we could get close, and she could actually see Ben Gibbard up close.  We ended up 15 feet from the stage, and it all worked out.

I know some people think this band is too emo, or too sappy, or too girlish, but for me and Mon, they hold a special meaning. Transatlanticism was released around the time we started dating, and I listened to that album on repeat (along with a few others…). When we got married three years later, we walked down the isle to my long time friend, Johnny (lead singer of my band), singing one of their songs.  And then afterwards, as morbid as the lyrics actually are, our wedding song was the second song below, from the concert we enjoyed together a few days ago.

I, being  the one of us who is usually first to cry, didn’t this time around, but during these songs, she lost it.  And it was adorable.  She wasn’t the only one.  I looked around, and realized that these songs don’t mean something important to only us.  A lot of people there that night identify with the words and intentions of these songs.  And it is a great, sometimes overwhelming feeling to share a collective rejoicing in words that speak to us,  and to enjoy melodies that remind us of what it is to feel.

Those moments are the reasons I go to concerts, and why I am a musician.  Music often cuts deeper than words because it is a universal language we all share.  It’s why I enjoy writing with notes as much as I do with words.

“This is a song for all the lovers.”  If you listen carefully, you can hear almost everyone singing…even us.


Gardening 2014

Posted in Vegan and Vegetarian Lifestyle with tags , on May 27, 2014 by Verge

Well, me and Monika got around to getting our yard together.  Sometimes we get to it early, and sometimes later than usual, but this year I think we made out pretty damn good.  Planted the veggies two weeks ago, and got flowers (most of them, but still some work to do) and mulch (three yards moved by hand) into the yard before Memorial Day.  I call that a success.  It’s always tough, and I can’t exactly say that I find inherent pleasure in moving mulch, digging holes, and general yard cleanup any more than I enjoy cleaning a toilet bowl.  But I do love the feeling of accomplishment when a dirty job get done, and you can relax, sit down and enjoy it.

Here are some of the pics, in random order.  Expect progress reports.

Wood and Silver

Posted in Daily Pictures, Reflections with tags , on May 21, 2014 by Verge

Well, I guess this could be about things that you can use to kill a vampire, but it’s not.

My fifth wedding anniversary was last weekend, and though we haven’t officially celebrated back at Valley Green yet, we did exchange presents on Sunday when she got home.  We picked gifts for each other that are considered “traditional,” though one of us went old school, and the other more modern.

Interestingly, we did both go with a hand made gift.  We both found artisans on Etsy that craft their work by hand, from scratch, to make the things we will have for the rest of our lives (hopefully).

Like the friend that got me into them herself, I like to give away Field Notes to people as gifts.  And, lucky for me, the recent Shelterwood edition was conveniently made out of real wood.  She’s been using a few of mine recently, and probably eyeing up more, so I bought her a subscription to their limited edition “Colors” series.

Now notebook are cool, and they’ll get used, but eventually she’ll have a bunch of them, and no place to store them.  So I bought her this…

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Her new storage box fits the Field Notes perfectly, is made of a bunch of different types of wood, and was made by Kingswood Creations (check his page out, he has wonderful stuff).  Fits in nicely with our other storage boxes, but the one she now owns puts my storage box on the left to shame. 20140519_224500


She overdid herself.  I’m okay with buying gifts, but when I got married I thought I could finally stop worrying and let her buy all the gifts.  She’s way better at it than I am.

When we got engaged, I found Monika a 100 year old vintage diamond ring that was bought at an estate sale, was made of platinum, and was beautiful.  Later I had a wedding ring made to match the shape of it on her finger, so she could wear them both.  On the other hand, I didn’t really care about my own, and ordered a simple titanium ring out of a catalog and wore that for five years.

She decided it was time for an upgrade.  She tracked down a gentleman on Etsy (who also does amazing work and is highly recommended) to make a ring for me that actually meant something.  It’s a spinner ring made out of a 1930 Irish Florin, which is one of the originally coins minted by Ireland after they declared independence.  Conveniently, it is made out of silver.

The translation of the words on the ring are “The Irish Free State.”  Obviously I have an Irish heritage, but it means even more.  She is Jewish, and both our peoples have suffered genocidediaspora and discrimination in our histories, and the declaration of a free state signifies victory in both our heritages.

The ring fits perfectly and I love it.


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Monika and I have been together for 8 years now, and I know for some that doesn’t seem like too much time, for others, that’s far longer than they’ve ever been together with one person.  It’s been a hell of an adventure.  In that time, we’ve gone to Canada and Italy and Mexico and The Dominican Republic , we’ve bought a new car (after teaching her how to drive) and a home (which I told her she was just a guest in when we moved here because we were only dating at the time), we’ve both started new careers in entirely new fields, we’ve seen friends married and start families and unfortunately, seen others divorce, we’ve “adopted” three cats, made new friends and lost touch with others, some moved away and others moved back “home”,  lost love ones and gained new ones.

Marriage is a hell of a fucking ride.  And we’re only five years in.  But if I make it another 55 years, I’ll get a diamond of my own!

The Nineteenth of May, Two Thousand and Fourteen

Posted in Daily Music on May 20, 2014 by Verge

Back at work this morning after spending the weekend alone.  Not really alone.  Monika was away, but I still found some friends to hang out with.  Sunday was the first day off I’ve had in about a month, and like an idiot, I stopped by work to say hello and ended up working for three hours or so.

The name of Florin is on my mind (and you’ll know why soon).  It brings to mind the name Florian, which is a beautiful name, and very close to the name Dorian, which has been on our minds lately.  And, it brings to mind this chick.

still hung up on this one.  But, this is the original.

Such a simple song.

Tuesday Variety

Posted in Daily Music with tags on May 13, 2014 by Verge

Okay, so several of my friends question my taste in music.  Even battling me for who has the better collection.  I guess when you really love music, and talk to other music lovers, it’s bound to happen.  I guess we all love what we love.  So, eat this!

I’ve decided today is cover day.  Maybe if it’s done another way, you’ll learn to enjoy these songs.

Metal and Pop, what a beautiful combination.  When I was younger, all I listened to was heavy metal.  Metallica, Deicide, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Slayer, you name it.  Now I listen to a lot calmer music, and I’ve never lied about loving good old pop music.  I think Michael Jackson had something to do with it.


Speaking of my girlfriend, this happened back before the short, hot pixie cut and tattoos.


I had Billy Joel on my mind this morning.


okay, technically this is a cover of a cover (maybe) because Natalie Imbruglia made this song famous, but she stole it herself from someone, I can’t remember who.


I always loved this song, and tried to get my cover band to make it happen.  Never happened.


Neither did this one…yet.


This last one is on I think most people would say the original is just fine, but…you know, it’s cover day.  I’m allowed to love Pink.




Monday Musings

Posted in Daily Music, Daily Pictures with tags , on May 12, 2014 by Verge

Had a great weekend, complete with garden planting, two debates over the benefits of raising our own chickens, a show over in Philly, drinks with friends and neighbors, a prom, and the usual work/laundry/house cleaning!!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!! ( a day late)

I love Chvrches, and this is awesome that they covered this song.  Hilariously, the video is exactly how they act on stage, so it’s pretty boring.  They supplement with a kick ass light show.20130623_222549_LLS

Obviously I’ve been on a huge 4AD kick lately, and I was never really into the Mountain Goats when they were on that label for a decade.  But, I’ve been really digging this song lately, and the video kicks ass.

I once went to see Damien Rice with my girlfriend because she was into him.  I thought it would be a laid back show, but it turned out to be one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.  It rocked and he sang his ass off, and we were in the front row.  I’ve never seen this movie..yet.  Maybe soon.



Posted in Daily Pictures on May 6, 2014 by Verge

This morning, after a dreadfully long weekend of running around to work, yoga work study, my goddaughter’s first holy communion (after which I earned a shot word reward for busting out “transsubstantiation” correctly), Big Brew Day (photos to follow), a Dirty Robots gig Saturday night and then, after just a few hours of sleep, another gig at 7AM Sunday morning at the Broad Streeet Run 9 mile mark., I got this message on my phone.

Did u loose something last night?? If so… I found it.

I found it on my phone when I finally loaded all my gear into my car as crews tried to clear Broad Street while the police still held traffic at bay.  I didn’t know the name of the person that sent it.  It was so vague, I struggled with how to answer this message the entire ride home.   It sounded kind of like a scam, or a mistake, or just a random computer bot message with no real, living, caring person behind it.

But, after checking my wallet several times, the truth is…I may have dropped something at last night’s gig.  It was entirely possible.  So, I checked the profile of the person who sent the message when I got home.  It was a young girl from Williamstown, about my age, from a town not too far from where I live now.  So, despite my occasional lack of faith in the decency of a random person helping a stranger out, I responded.

I’m sorry, do I know you?

Even that message took some crafting, as simple as it is.  But, I didn’t want to give any information away, and I wasn’t sure if my simple response would somehow magically infect my computer with a virus, so I tried to keep it innocuous.  Then I went about my business, unloading a car full of band gear and catching up on my weekend emails, my finances, and scheduling my coming week.  Then this happened:

No .. I don’t know you .. I found a license in mcfaddens last night so I figured I’d b nice and try to look the person up on Facebook so they didn’t worry– u looked like the guy.. Sorry about that

oh. gotcha. No, I don’t think it was me. I haven’t been to mcfaddens in a while, and I still have my license, so it must be a different Ryan Walsh. but, just to check, my street address starts with xxx.  Any match?

nope ZZZ! Hahaha!!! I’m so sorry.. I’ll just drop it in the mail.. Sorry, the more I think of it .. It was kinda creepy tryna look that person up on FB!!

Nah. I would have done the same thing. So…thanks. kindness comes back around to you eventually.

Aww.. Thank you.. I was starting to feel weird.. But you are right., I appreciate that.

your welcome! hopefully this other so-called “Ryan Walsh” appreciates it as much as I do. Cheers!!

I’m sure he will!! Take care!!

So, yeah.  Pretty sure she wasn’t a robot.  Sounds like she was someone just like me.  Just another decent human being trying to look out for someone else because, even if they are a stranger, they’re still human, and until I’m convinced otherwise, everyone deserve to be treated the way you’d like to be treated yourself.

We make such big deals out of such small things in life.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in our immediate needs.  I had a long weekend, I’m tired, I have work tomorrow, I have bills to pay and emails to answer and the house needs cleaning and a million other things.  And, I can bitch about all those things all day long (ask Monika).

But this morning I was lucky.  A random note from someone I don’t even know reminded me how lucky I really am.  I have a job that appreciates me and pays me well.  I have a family who look forward to the rare occasions that let us all come together to celebrate.  I have a group of friends who all told me “you’re finally here” when I arrived late at an event that celebrates one of my favorite hobbies.  I’m in a working band that kicked ass in front of 40,000 runners in the middle of Broad Street,  in a city I love (and I got to see my friends running, and kicking ass themselves).

So, Thank You random stranger I’m sure I’ll never meet.  You changed my day, and I hope I changed yours.

There are good people in the world.  Let them know you appreciate it.  Cheers!

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