Life

For the Country!

My brother and sister in law had just sadly had a miscarriage. I tried to find anything I could say to them that would be worthwhile, but everything sounded quite stupid smothered in IReallyHaveNoIdeaWhatYou’reGoingThroughButHeySorry sauce. Well, if you’ve ever tried it, then you know, this sauce sucks. Even if its basted on a nice chubby bearded man like myself (I just winked). So I sat down, and in about 20 minutes I was laser grenade face attacked with one of the best songs I have ever written. It was meaningful, and it had all the stuff a good song should have. It said everything I would ever want to say, and a lot more. When these magically created sparkly magic songs come out of nowhere, it’s almost like I am just a participant in some bigger equation. I am just along for the ride. Almost like I can’t take full credit for the song.

I have written somewhere in the range of 250 songs, and only about 5% of the songs fit the description above. Recently, I had the same experience when I wrote a song about the condition of the United States of America. It came out of nowhere, and it might be one of the best songs I have ever written, both musically and lyrically. Keep in mind there is no boasting here. I am only comparing myself against myself. My best songs might be the crappiest things you have ever heard.

Anyway – there is really something magic about this tune. It’s called For the Country. I’d be honored to have you check out the music video, and share it HERE. If you care to know more about my feeling regarding this tune – read on amigos!

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The lyrics and music presented themselves to me, I am guessing in part because of the current political climate. I have a family member who is on the verge of divorce because of how polarized they are with their partner regarding Donald Trump. I am highly considering opening a Trump Counseling Clinic (TCC) – because I could make a fortune! I have not seen such a discord in my lifetime at a macro level in the country nor at a micro level with how this stuff is affecting the people around me. We haven’t even hit the 6 month marker of this blokes presidency.

Seeing these circumstances, along with so many other close friends having troubles with employment –  it got me thinking about the country. All I know is something feels different. I can’t fully explain it, I don’t know what it means, or how to fix it – but don’t you agree with me? I know times change and that’s just life, but isn’t there a way to somehow hold on to the fabric of what makes this country great? It feels like someone soaked the fabric in gasoline, lit it on fire, threw it in the toilet, and we are now trying to see who can pee on it the hardest. It’s up to us to figure out how to fix it.

As I mention in the song, my belief is our country is much bigger than two political parties debating crap. People get so bloody stuck on the labels of belonging to a group that I feel like we miss the big picture at times of what it truly is to be American, and what this country represents. I feel such urgency to get involved, while at the same time trepidation – because I don’t have any answers. I’m sure some people will rail on me for this song and the fact that I say I am not impressed with our representatives. I am sure there will be those that will say “why don’t you go try to be a politician and see if you can do a better job.” Well, I am writer – so the best thing I can do at the moment is write a song about my perspective on things. I believe in our country – but it just feels feels weird right now. Does President Trump have some responsibility? Yes, a ton. But, so does every single one of us. I am in the process of figuring out what I can do to take a more active role.

As the song kicks off I am writing from the perspective of a solider. Perhaps a solider who has been out in the thick of battle, has bled with his friends and enemies. I was thinking about life (and probably the Marvel franchise) when I wrote this and wondering if there really are super heroes out there. Naturally the military came into mind. They are super men and women. Then I thought about how some of those soldiers might feel about what was happening at home. Are they proud to be fighting for the government as it stands today? Are they fighting just for the government itself, or something bigger? Are they happy to see political parties rarely working together for the greater good of the country? Are they happy to have a man like Donald Trump as president?

So there it is. I wrote a song about my current feelings about the United States of America. I have never written a song about such a serious and broad topic. I hope my song can help inspire someone out there to get more involved than ever before in their community and country. I pledge to do just that. I am eternally grateful for all the amazing and honest people who sacrificed so much in order have our country. Simultaneously I am ashamed of those who have been dishonest and selfish who’ve played a part in our country. I hope we can all work together before everything this country was built to be fades away.

For the Country

I am nothing less than your superman
I fight for freedom not the government
I bled in the streets with them
Can you see us Mr. President?
Because here I am, and we’re bigger than all your rants

I still believe in this country
but I aint impressed, with our representatives
Can you bring it back to me
How it used to be?

Stand up, come with us and be Americans
Don’t give up your independence
Cause if you want to be free
then you better believe in something bigger
than two major political parties and all their crap

I still believe in this country
but I aint impressed

I am free
I do this, not for you, not for me
For the country

I still believe in this country
but I aint impressed, with our representatives
Can you bring it back to me
How the country used to be?

Moxie – more than just a killer word

Moxie. Yeah man Moxie. Moxie is my motto for 2016. Moxie moxie moxie. Pop quiz – do you know the origin of the word “moxie” without looking it up? Vigor, stamina, determination, a go-getter, a little bit of umph. These are but a few of the words that define moxie for me. It’s a killer word. Turns out it was injected into the American english language from a freaking soda! (Apologies if I’m the only person in world who didn’t know this already, none of my friends did. Ok I only asked one, but he is an important friend. He’s like the lord of friends. Lord Friendy – I’m gunna start calling him that. K bye)

The drink has been around since the late 1800’s! While the soda did not grow in popularity like Coke or20160101_004410 Pepsi – no one is ever going to say, “I am going to live life full of Coca Cola.” Well maybe somebody said that, but they are probably really fat and unhappy. At least if your only plan is drinking Moxie until you die, you can say “I am going to live my life full of Moxie” – and everyone will just think that you have some new found confidence and not that you’ve given up. So… Yeah – I am going to rock up 2016 full of Moxie! The soda or the ideology may you ask? No. No you may not. 😉

Carbonated Waters – A Chubby Mans’ Tale of Defeat

I’m a big dude. Take the copious quantities of calorie-containing-caffeinated-carbonated-concoctions (CCCCC), mixed with fried bread, pizza, and other processed delights out of the picture and out of storage from my body – I’d still be a big dude. Don’t tell me I am using the “I’m big boned” ideology as a crutch either here Sally. My feet for example are size 13, and they are so bloody wide I can’t fit into most shoes. Isn’t this interesting? No – no it’s not. But, this is one of the rare occasions I am going to use this public place of writings as a way to take some accountability over my life and set in stone some certain decisions I’m making right now. Maybe it can help someone out there take charge of some aspects of their life along with me.

So now – lets set the tone. Take off your pants and get comfy. Or don’t and call me a pervert.
Like most everyone, I can’t claim to remember much of my very early years. I do however think my family followed the jacked up mentality prescribed in this picture:
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Do yourself a real favor – don’t listen to messages from advertising.

The few early memories I do have consist of my grandma and grandpa each having a can of pop a day. Well, my grandpa had “secret” stashes all over the house. His accurate count was probably more like 4-5 cans a day, and the numbers increased with age because he forgot that he had already drank 15 cans previous to the next and so on.
Mmmm. Bubbles. Cold delicious sugary bubbles. I am so hard wired to love soda I can’t even explain. I can feel my brain turning on sexy jazz music when I hear the sound of the carbonated glory hitting the bottom of a ridiculous over-sized American cup. (Which by the way being American according to Carl’s Jr and Pizza Hut means putting hot dots into unholy places. Being an American is disgusting apparently. I’ll probably try these monstrosities anyway. I don’t want to be considered un-American after all 😉 )
I’ve stopped drinking soda a quarter of a billion times in my life. I’ve quit for ten minutes, all the way up to my longest stretch of about 2 months. Why stop? Because in reality its sugar crap poison bubble water. You know it’s true – and you can tell yourself what ever fabrication you want about it – I’ve probably said the excuses more times than you ever will. Doesn’t matter if its diet or not. All sodas are full of chemicals and junk that I doubt we were genetically fashioned to be consuming. I make this assertion while looking down at my stomach which is at least 65% soda generated. “Wes you’re an idiot. Everything is fine in moderation.” That might be true grumpy lame-o, but I don’t do soda in moderation, and really even if you can do the “one can a day” thing – do you really want 12 ounces a day of crap in your body? This leads to a much bigger discussion about why you would even care about your body and take care of it, but let me tell you why I care.
My biggest motivator right now are my kids. The reality of my life right now is this: My wife is hot, and if I were to die it would be hard on her – but she’d be ok. She is very talented and she would make it. Taking care of the kids would be hard without me, but again she’s great. But my kids! Holy mother of England. My kids, especially my 3 year right now – if I were gone it would be awful. They need me, and I want to be there for them more than they will ever know. Maybe you don’t have kids or loved ones to think about? Then do you love yourself? Another big topic – but hopefully you can at least get along with yourself a little bit to realize you are of worth. People have inherit worth. Otherwise why would murder be such a big deal? You have worth, no matter how sucky you think you are.
Drinking_glass_00118So this is what I am trying to do – when I am tempted to do something terrible I ask myself something like “do I love this Dr. Pepper more than my family?” Obviously the answer is clear! I am at the very beginning of this journey – but so far so good. This is a one step at a time health change. First step – kill cussing soda out of my life. However I gotta be realistic too.  We are talking about over thirty years of a lot of sexy jazz music bubbles. Sugar is this generations most addictive drug. So here is my plan and my commitment: On special occasions, say my Birthday – sure I’ll rock up a Mt. Dew. The rest of the time I simply do not drink soda (or booze) :). However I will be drinking a hoover dam’s worth of plain carbonated water everyday (I dig it with a squeezed lemon wedge).
Go do the research, plain carbonated water is just as hydrating as regular water – and the only real side effect for some people is becoming a gas pot. I can deal with farts – I have children. In fact I lik.. never mind. This gets rid of all the sugar and crappy chemicals and believe it or not, it is also telling my soda brain that I got what I am hardwired to need. So there is my first little health tip. Maybe my last, because writing about health makes me feel all weird. I really think saying adios loser soda will stick this time, but just in case ask me in a month. Thanks! Cheers

The Wildlife Ride

Once and awhile it is clear – there is some kind of element in the world pushing people to amazing opportunities. Call it whatever in the love you want: God, the force awakening, karma, fate, destiny, kismet, serendipity, luck, or your mom. Or don’t call it anything, I don’t really care. 🙂

The point is – I believe in it. There is something more, something bigger than my mind and my personal circumstances out there. A quiet guide waiting for us to listen and calm our thoughts enough to jump and take chances. These opportunities could be as simple as a new friend that changes your life, an amazing opportunity tied to your passions WildlifeCannes(in my case my biggest passions being family/friends, philanthropy, and raw art), or the chance to finally show the world a part of your heart (if you care about that kind of thing).

Why do I believe in such hokey nonsense? Most recently it’s a little thing called Wildlife and its creator Whit Hertford. Actually it’s a big thing. It is a deep and personal story crafted by Whit, and made into a short film by a killer team. How I stumbled on this project is nothing short of strange. From the moment I heard about it – I had an enormous pushing feeling that I had to get involved. I could not make the feeling go away, until finally the stars aligned and I became a part of the Wildlife pack.

All the opportunities I mentioned were a part of this one experience – new lifelong friends, being a part of my favorite kind of unprocessed real art (Everything anti-Michael Bay, I still can’t get over the new TMNT – my ultimate favorite as a kid turned into crap that I couldn’t even bring myself up to seeing), and now the chance to show off this art to the world. This is Whit’s heart, and everyone’s heart that “invested” in Wildlife.

This chance to show the world being (drum roll) Wildlife’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival!

There are so many amazing artists that never get the chance to share their craft on a large stage, but this time – Whit freaking made it! And holy mother of England does he deserve it. As does Ryan, Connor, Erich and the whole team. Congrats guys, and thanks for the Wildlife ride. Whit you’re a genius, that’s it man. Excited for all the rides to come.

TRAILER

FESTIVAL PROFILE
http://sub.festival-cannes.fr/SfcCatalogue/MovieDetail/f09068bc-b770-404e-9fb7-de78629a59b7

It’s growing like a banshee, and it may kill you

Disclaimer #1 – I am unaware nor have I researched how quickly banshees grow, but I bet it’s freaking fast.

Disclaimer #2 – Maybe your mom can help.

Disclaimer #3 – But, I doubt it. Depends on your mom.

The other day I pulled up in my entirely non-automatic truck (no power steering, no power anything. I hope the whole your car represents who you are bit isn’t true. Wes Lapioli: No Power Anything, is pretty pathetic) and I saw this:

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Woah. What the crap is that thing? It seriously grew out of nowhere. The kicker is – we didn’t plant it. This was a couple weeks ago too. It’s out to the sidewalk, and it has about 20 pumpkins growing in there now.

While kinda cool – it is also freaking me out. Could there be vigilante gang bangers that  go around secretly planting huge plants in people’s yards? Hardcore gang. They’re called The West-side Greens – and they will jack up your yard man.

This whole plant coming out of nowhere caused me to put on my Descartes/Kant/Nietzsche hat (pick your flavor of philosopher).

Wes-face-self-reflection-race-thing BEGIN!

Is there perhaps something growing inside of me that isn’t me at all? Something I don’t want to cultivate? Something I really don’t want to be, become, and something I definitely did not plant? If I really take sometime and think about who I want to be – I sadly find a whole lot of uncontrollable pumpkin plants.

Chalk it up to culture, media, weakness, family history or the West-side Greens – it doesn’t matter.  This stuff is a part of who I am, and I don’t want it to be. Anybody manufacture any good soul weed (crazy unstoppable plant) killer?

What do you do to try and kill unwanted characteristics/patterns in your life? As a dude interested in human behavior I’d love to hear. If you don’t know – lets figure it out before these banshee plants rip our faces off.

Music, the World, and That’s All I Got

“Music’s the only thing that makes sense anymore man.”

You ever see that Beatles extravaganza “artsy” movie that came out several years ago, Across the Universe? I’ve seen the sucker a fair few. While there was some good moments, the real reason I’ve peered through this take on the Beatles universe multiple times – is my wife has the hots for Jim Sturgess (she’ll deny this claim, shes lying). I should be the wisest of the wise wisey people having traversed the universe so many times. Alas, I am but a humble idiot. Also, half of the movie must be what feeling stoned is like.

Anyway – when the world seems to be exploding I always think about that line referenced above. Music. When the amount of flat out evil seems to be dominating our universe – what is left that makes sense? What makes sense to you during troubling times might just be the core of who you are – or perhaps what you should be spending your precious time on.

I wish I didn’t need wake up calls like horrific events in the world to help me remember how most of what I face everyday is extremely trivial. “Suck, no more oatmeal creme pies in the vending machine!” Struggles man, struggles. While there are bigger obstacles in my life than vending machine qualms, everything I face is truly just an oatmeal creme pie in comparison to whats happening in the world. I cannot fathom the straight-up evil. I feel powerless. All I feel like I can do is write. Play music. Love my loved ones. And for you religious folk – pray.  So be you, do what makes sense to you – unless it’s all this evil crap. In that case – freaking stop. Welp, off to Jimmy Johns :).