Well It looks like winter has finally come to Philadelphia. It's cold, and it happens to be snowing...alot! Here's the view from our front door. Happy Christmas everyone.


new day zero

our friends ryan, cindy, and emily jane are going away. not forever...just for a couple of years. they are going to the philippines as missionaries for the cooperative baptist fellowship. they have a blog 'www.clarksgo.org'...and a twitter, facebook, you name it. also they have to raise most of their own funding. so we decided to help them out. got together a couple of friends, put together a little band, and threw a party/fundraiser. i think we raised two trillion dollars, and put down a few as well. a good time for sure.

it's bittersweet to help your friends leave the country for two years. i imagine we feel now as they must have felt when we left for flagstaff two years ago...happy for your loved one's opportunity, and sad they'll be away from you for awhile. the song in this video 'new day zero' is us (thanks mary o. and govind for joining the one-night-band) playing a song written by jason of casper and the cookies. their album 'modern silence' is my album of the year. the song could be about drug use, a breakup, moving, brain surgery, rehab, or cancer...but more than anything i think it's about saying goodbye. we miss you cindy, ryan, and emily jane.

new day zero by jason nesmith of casper and the cookies.
from their album modern silence.
covered by hutkins plus 2 at the keg party for jesus

Lyrics to New Day Zero :
One hundred billion neurons fire in tribute to your name.
My temporal lobe has taken hostage of my brain.

We’ll I’ve paid half up front
Tomorrow’s my new day zero
When I’ll be free

I won’t miss my perfect childhood
We’re long since estranged.
Now it’s just collateral damage
In the scalpel’s range

I’m sick; I know that now.
Tomorrow’s my new day zero
When I’ll be free from you.

The Redwood Forest
All gone, all gone

We’ll, I’ve paid half up front
Tomorrow’s my new day zero
When I’ll be free
I’ll be free
I’ll be free
From you


here we go again

Originally uploaded by unclebp
time left in flagstaff? 15 days.

what a ride...literally. we're getting ready to hit the road back to atlanta for the summer of watching the world cup from the pool. got kind of a different strategy this year. when we came to flagstaff, we threw everything into a budget truck and towed the car. this time, we're using a moving company to move most of our stuff to philly, and we're taking the car (filled with junk) to atlanta.

packing the car will be a challenge. so far we're taking the folding bike, a guitar, a guitar amp, jenny's clothes, my clothes, food, water, a flashlight, my makeup, a bottle of knob creek, and most importantly...the frisk.

as you can see from this photo, mr. frisky has a moving house. he was not terribly excited about that situation...but hopefully he will like the second trip a little better, seeing as we're a family now (as opposed to before when he had only lived with us for a few months).

we've got a few auditions in philly...jenny and i are auditioning for the philadelphia singers, and i have an audition with the philly opera chorus. not to mention jenny is and will be making trips up there to wrangle some serious musical employment.

crazy to be on the move again.


no whammies!

well it's done...mostly. stingray and i just got home from an extended vacation to los angeles and philadelphia. it was a much needed break from jenny's grad school existence and my coffee shop non-existence. hanging out with friends in sunny california can really help to knock the edge off of an exhausting, sneaux up to your eyeballs, arrgh winter. new babies with tired mommies help you to see the future. which for us, seems to be philadelphia.

>one never really knows exactly what's in store when they move to a new city and take on a new role. kind of like hitting the button in press your luck. one square is $4,000 and a spin, another is a sneaky whammy (whatever the hell they are) waiting to take all yo' cash. you never know until you hit that button. it's also important to frame moving in the right light in your mind. "certainty" about any new place can be disheartening when eden turns out to be oz (the bad oz with the scary mean trees)

flagstaff has been a wonderful place in many ways. we got married, jenny got a masters, and i got career direction (quite an achievement). however, it also contained the most insane winter we ever want to go through (twice), the creation of the new latin phrase 'pawdiemrapeh',and the infamous horse dance. so, am i being a glass half empty guy by putting this picture next to the flagstaff section? i mean, dear god it's insanely beautiful. we had a beautiful, friend filled wedding. and yet, it's been so difficult on so many fronts right now it feels like a big fat whammy.

philly has lots of promise. we are planning on auditioning for several music groups, hope to start trying for kids, and will love to root for the most awesome football team ever from day one! and we'll officially be moving there sometime in august. and hope to nail down the time frame once jenny accepts a job (which is kind of tricky...but shows some promise already in march). she'll be teaching again, i'll be gigging and preparing for grad school (hello temple)...so there are lots of things to look forward too. hopefully we'll do it right. join or die!


nothing better

i'm usually pretty good about getting things done...even though i like to play at being a lazy good for nothing. however, today, i realized that i have achieved slackerdom during the past two weeks. mostly because the saints amazing super bowl run has me reading, watching, considering, and dancing saints most of the day. here's what i woke up to this morning:

-the clean laundry sitting on our couch (been there for 2 days now). i washed it but never got around to folding it...ps this is my favorite "chore"
-my personal and online calendar not being updated past 2/7. which means two work schedules, several music events, my mom's visit to flagstaff, and our upcoming trip to la and philly are left to float in the wind somewhere in the far corners of my subconscious.
-piles of jazz and blues cds on the desk and floor, pulled out for motivational whodat reasons, need to be put in their right place (2 weeks laying loose)
-the pile on my side of the bed containing items from our nola trip 2 weeks ago, music meant for practicing, more clean clothes, two pairs of shoes, a belt, and three books i started reading
-2 weeks of receipts to log into the budget, along with the inner workings of my 'wallet' strewn across the desk
-a pile of 6 newspapers i bought the day of and the day after the superbowl
-a dishwasher full of clean dishes, and a sink full of dirty dishes...also 3 cookbooks strewn on the counter from the chilaquiles experiment

meanwhile...i will leave you with the one thing i was actually able to get done. my audition video for the 2010 harrower summer opera workshop at georgia state. it includes me singing in nau's production of rape of lucretia (2009), ahmal in winslow (2009), and at g.s.u my first aria ever (2004). hope you enjoy a little of what i've been up too. hopefully this is enough to get me into the workshop. who says you can't go home again?


dem saints is

so...i'm having a hard time sleeping right now. the game is a couple of days away, the saints are on espn constantly, and we're out of abita (except for the batch we're saving for the game...stay strong). not only is that bad enough...but now i watch this video about 10 times a day. it's kind of sad, but also super sweet times 44! come on.... come on....


flying nola

nola breakfast
Originally uploaded by unclebp
jenny and i had a wild weekend. nola was our destination, for jenny's interview with teachnola. all told, we spent 27 ours traveling to and from new orleans, and 25 hours in new orleans. during her interview on saturday, i went to one of our old family spots in the quarter. croissant d'or on ursaline street. what you see (from left to right) is a napolean, tomato-cheese-potato gratin, and black coffee. i was tempted to buy a king cake, take it back to the hotel room, and have a feast...but i didn't have enough time to waste an afternoon in gluttony. at least not in the hotel room.


happy 10

Originally uploaded by unclebp
this picture was taken just outside pay 'n take (our favorite bar in flagstaff) on new years eve, 2010. seemingly just above our heads you can behold the flagstaff new years pine cone. there are lots of lights on it...and they dropped it down to street level during the countdown. this being our last year in flag, we needed to see this at least once. the biggest problem was the temperature...about 13 degrees. we went outside at about 11:50, and once the countdown was over...10 was here...and we headed back inside for more celebration!

about 6 hours later, my last living grandparent (grandmother to be exact) passed away in monroe, la. viva was born in 1919, and lived 90 years (give or take). 'memaw' (some say 'mee-maw, some say 'meh-maw...not sure who's right) had been close to death several times in the past 5 years...so it was hard for me to believe she was gone. i didn't get the message until 10am or so the next day and then we scrambled to find a plan to get down to monroe for the funeral.

we ended driving from flagstaff to monroe (spending 40 plus hours driving and 34 hours actually in louisiana), a crazy idea but much cheaper than flying. the whole family was there, and that doesn't really happen anymore. come to say goodbye to the unquestioned head of my mother's side of the family.

my biggest memories of memah are from the early '80's. our family was living in new orleans, and we often made the 4 hour drive to visit memaw, aunt linda, james, and debbie up in monroe. we spent lots of summertime there, and i also remember katie and i staying at memaws house for weekends during the school year (to give mom and dad some alone time).

we weren't really close. she was a very forceful person...with a very certain idea of what you should do with your life. during her later years she mellowed out a bit. but i never really had a chance to know her.

the one thing memaw and i shared was a love for the saints. we watched many games together in her bedroom (which was the living room of her house) and often when we spoke on the phone, the saints came up in our conversation.

maybe the saddest part of memaw's dying for me is she missed the saints being in the superbowl by 4 weeks. i know she would laugh now if she could see...and we would ponder the way the saints would blow the game against the colts. we both loved the saints...and i loved her.



the snow we've been waiting for has finally arrived. all week at work, we've been hearing about the major downpour coming thursday and friday. well, wednesday night dumped about a foot on us...and it's been coming down all day today with no signs of letting up. supposedly tomorrow and saturday will be full up as well. can't wait to see what that looks like.

seriously this is a bit too much for me. being from the south, my idea of "sneaux" is a dusting on the corner of a roof on the absolute coldest day of the year. so when i go outside, i have to bundle up with 8 different layers of goretex, fleece, wool, and a sense of adventure.

here you can see the path i dug to take out the trash today...as well as the general whitening of every surface in sight. at least jenny has no school, and i'm off of work. so, i guess, bring it on!