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"Traveling to Tijuana to Protect America's Way of Life - Helping and Accepting Immigrants"

I joined ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) in late fall of the year 2001. Having a fierce love for America since I could remember, and the desire to achieve a personal goal of mine, 9/11 was the push that I needed to make a long-term commitment to the service and defense of my country. It was the event that kicked me into action. It gave me an opportunity to put my money where my mouth was and protect and defend what I loved - America’s reputation throughout the world as a beacon of hope and light and freedom. And on 9/11, someone attacked and threatened that. They threaten our way of life. 
A decade and a half later, in November of 2018, I had a beautiful Thanksgiving meal with my family and with our close friends and next-door neighbors, a family of immigrants from China. We enjoy cooking together and trying different foods from the other’s and culture (they own a Chinese Restaurant). We speak zero Mandarin and they speak a minuscule amount of English. Somehow, we have got to kno…
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Marta Artbound: The Unfinished Lyrics at Kensington

Kensington Station is located in Decatur, on the east side of Atlanta. I enjoy playing at this station for Marta's Artbound Program. It's not overly crowded, but there's a steady flow of diverse commuters and it's nice chatting with them as they pass through. I also like this station because I have a clean, spacious "corner" to play in. Not quite out in the open, but still central where the acoustics sound nice throughout. 

One afternoon, as I began to setup my equipment in my corner, I quickly picked up the few pieces of trash I saw on the ground and went to throw them away in the trash can. One crumpled piece of paper caught my eye and for some reason, I decided to uncrumple and take a look rather than just tossing in the can. It looked like the beginning of a song, or a poem, or maybe a journal entry. It read simply, in smudged ink, "going places, going strong."

Well, I couldn't throw it away. I smoothed it out and kept it on my keyboard for th…

Marta Artbound: The Sweet-Spirited Boy at Midtown

A few weeks ago, I played at Midtown Station in Atlanta for Marta's Artbound Program, an effort to bring live arts to the public. Midtown is a great location, as it's outdoors and in a fun, brightly painted setting. Of course, being Georgia in August, it's also very hot! I set up my keyboard and equipment as well as an electric fan and began my set.

Not far into my set, I noticed a young boy and his mother in the area. The boy seemed very curious about the music and eventually sat right in front of my little stage to watch and clapped after each song. I tried to give him the warmest smile possible so he would feel comfortable if he wanted to come talk to me. Eventually he did.

He told me that he and his cousins liked to write song lyrics together and he had a notebook at home of random thoughts that might make a good song one day. He told me he thought music was like a super power. He asked me all kinds of questions about the songs I played and told me when something reminde…

Marta Artbound: The Note at West End

For most of the last year, I have been a performing Artist with Marta for their Artbound Live Series. Marta is Metro-Atlanta's public transportation system, and the Artbound Live program is a new effort to bring all kinds of art to the public. (It's pretty awesome and you can read more about it here if you want.)

The experience is inspiring, educational, and has pushed me out of my comfort zone, both musically and personally. There have been so many great moments, I decided I should be documenting and sharing them!

Through this program, I've seen parts of Atlanta I might not otherwise see, had conversations with people I might not otherwise cross paths with, and I get to use my voice as an Artist to make a statement in my community. I receive smiles, nods, and I  get to see commuters unconsciously mouth a lyric and dance when they recognize a song, or nudge the person next to them and say, "Look, that's neat!" 

One of the first station's where I performed, w…

Easter = Love, Grace, Hope. Happy Easter.

I want to clarify something. This is mostly for myself to reflect on my own beliefs, passions, and goals because writing has been the best way for me to sort that out in the past. But, it’s also for friends, family, acquaintances, or anyone else who might think I’ve gone nuts or backslid, or have become a snowflake, or whatever. I’m not a liberal. I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a conservative Republican either. It’s difficult when people can’t be put into a defined category, as we’ve seen time and time again throughout history. And as much as I would like to fit into one of these boxes, or even create a brand new box that fits me and maybe others could see themselves in, I just can’t. I used to call myself a Christian. A republican. An American. Now, each of those words make me cringe. I’ll explain everything. It will make sense. Don’t worry. I became a Christian at a very, very young age (5 or 6 maybe). The reason that I recited the “sinner’s prayer,” is because I was terrified. I was to…

"From One School Shooting Every 2 1/2 Days, to One Every 3 Days: Let's Figure This Out"

There is a problem. In 44 days, there has been 18 school shootings in the U.S. With each new shooting that has happened over the recent years, I have thought about this from many different angles. Logical, emotional, political, statistical, etc. Thousands of other people have as well. And yet, we as a nation, have not taken 1 step or course of action to prevent these horrible incidences. So, we have a problem. And I am going to look at this problem from a new angle today. Do you know who are excellent problem-solvers? Entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs, as a whole, are amazing. They are creative and think way outside of the box. They come up with solutions that are geniusly simple. They find ways to thrive, despite difficult, seemingly insurmountable barriers. They work around beaurocratic policies.  As a small business owner, and a freelancer for the majority of my life, I decided to put my entrepreneurial skills to work to solve this problem: What can be done to decrease school shootings i…

Magical Moment 635, "Goodbye, 2017!"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I don't know how many of my fellow blogger friends still see or read or view my little blog, but I want you all to know that I still think of you and wish you the best! 

Our family has had a busy year, full of highs and lows. The most impactful event has been the sudden and unexpected loss of my father-in-law, less than one month ago on November 27th. Eddie and I were devastated to hear this news and we got to Texas as soon as we could to be with family. We are still coping with this loss, but are so thankful for family and faith that has helped give us hope and strength. 

 Our boys did well with the traveling and have been thriving this year! Ricky is 3 and will be 4 this February. Elan turned 2 in July. They're awesome, busy, curious, and healthy. Elan loves cats, the color blue, and climbing. He's sweet, bashful, and independent. Ricky is into super heroes, disassembling gadgets (a nice way of saying 'breaking anything!'), and ju…