Sometimes you hear things about people in the pursuit of art.


My gal and I have an etsy shop.  It started off as a really cool idea for her – making these adorable little baking mixes in mason jars.  She does all the rest, you just add love.  (That’s the name of our shop, by the way: JustAddLoveNYC)

Anyway, as I am also a musician, we thought we’d put up an ad on the shop site for personalized songs.  The concept – Ya need a song?  I’ll write it.

Thus far, I’ve done a few that have all been received quite well.  I just received an order for a personalized Christmas song and it struck me – these people send me a good bit of information about themselves.

I mean, the first song was for a company.  Yes, I wrote the theme song to the UK children’s play group Jelly Roles (  So that wasn’t as personal.

Another one was an order from a nanny here in NYC.  She was leaving the country soon and wanted to leave a song for the two little girls she had been watching for years and years.  I got a lot of information about her, her two little kids, and the fun stuff they do together all the time.  

The Christmas song order is from a wife to her husband of 20+ years.  She was very helpful when she emailed me the information I ask for and gave me A TON of stuff to work with: hobbies, nicknames, habits, work info, moods, their relationship.

I find it’s a bit odd, knowing so much about people that I don’t actually know.  There’s that little squirmy feeling in my gut when I think too hard about it, like I have this almost-power over them.  Really, let’s be honest – I don’t.  I don’t think I can steal anybody’s identity with a hobby and a nickname.  And I really don’t think I can blackmail anyone by knowing how they take their coffee and how many Christmas songs they have in their iTunes.

Still, it’s an interesting feeling.  I’ve decided to take it as a gift.  I get to glance into others’ lives – if only briefly – and discover more about my fellow humans.  And that’s pretty fun.

(Coincidentally, if any of you are looking for pre-made baking mixes or personalized songs for the holidays, do visit us:





Sometimes you have orchid guilt.


A while back, I bought an orchid.  
Well, actually, our cat Franny got the orchid for my girlfriend for Mother’s Day.  Ya know.  Like normal.  
Either way, there was an orchid in our lives.  And we were happy.

We put it up in our apartment and we were so proud we could hardly contain ourselves.
Orchid owners!  
We felt like we had joined the elite of fauna ownership – the special forces of flower-keeping.

There’s a status that comes with orchids, after all.  They’re not geraniums.  They’re not even tulips.  They don’t come little packets at the checkout counter of Home Depot.  They don’t exist in most gardens you come across.  There are entire organizations and websites and all manner of things devoted to devotees of the strange flowering plant.  

Therefore, they must be better.  They must be grander.  They must be hipper, cooler, rarer, weirder, and more fun.  Right?

We thought so.

It was good for a spell – we watered it with a little ice cube once a week like the instructions told us.  Sure, we’d forget sometimes, but we’d always manage to get that ice cube in there only a day or two after we were supposed to.  Then it happened – the orchid got sad.

The leaves started to wither.  The roots started to flake.  We tried more water.  We tried less water.  We tried more sunlight.  We tried less sunlight.  We scoured the internet for blogs and followed countless steps attempting to revitalize the poor cat’s Mother’s Day gift.

It was not to be.  The blooms did not return so we decided to let it go.  We placed it on a shelf and forgot about it.  We had fallen from the elite ranks of orchid owners to the level of sad normal people.

A few days ago, however, Becca came home with a new orchid in her arms.  We were to be elite once more!  We’re being extra vigilant with this guy and following the instructions to the letter in order to keep him alive as long as we can.

But when I picked up the old orchid plant to throw it away, the leaves were still green!
Could this plant be fighting for its life still?  After weeks – nay, months! – of not watering it regularly?  I was perplexed, to say the least.  Yet there they were – bright green, beautiful leaves!  

Enter the orchid guilt.  

I couldn’t bear to throw away this old plan when it still has the tiny glimmering possibility of wick inside it!

So now we have two orchids.  One with flowers and one without.  

I guess it just makes us super-elite now.  🙂




Sometimes you accidentally release a demon clown into the world.



Meet “Funny Face.”

He was painted in 1969 – a Christmas gift to my father from his godmother (an amateur artist).

How this character earned the name Funny Face, I’m not certain we will ever know.  He looks like John Wayne Gacy.  Or Tim Curry as Stephen King’s It.  

He has no neck to speak of.  He’s pretty chubby, but not in that fun happy-chubby way.  His eyes are dark and expressionless, not to mention rather lopsided.  His uni-brow is menacing, to say the least.  His fire-engine red lips are ginormous.  And he has fangs.  

I repeat – he has FANGS.  Not huge ones, I’ll be honest, but FANGS, people.  FANGS.

Why does he have no other teeth?  And why are his fangs so tiny and pointy?  They’re like the canines on my cat.  And his smile is so lazy and half-hearted, like – I’ll say it – like a pedophile’s.

Finally, it looks like he has stubble.  There is actual darkening around his chin.  And it looks like it was actually painted on there.  On purpose.  Why would someone do that?  Was she playing with shadow?  Was she trying to give him a fat neck?  Or was she actually painting stubble on this guy?  Alas, we shall never know.

Funny Face lived in my garage as I was growing up.  Mom refused to let him inside the house (I wonder why).  But there he was, every time I went out to get a screwdriver or work on a Boy Scout project.  Watching me.  Eventually, it was time for me to be a real human and move out of the house into something of my own.  I took Funny Face.

Why, you ask?  Because I could.  And because I figured he would eventually get thrown out if he stayed with my parents.

Unfortunately, several significant others found him less-than-desirable on my apartment wall, so he stayed well-hidden.  One day, though, I made a decision and I put my foot down and got the old creep out of storage and stuck him up on my wall.  In my bedroom, no less!  I claimed him as my own and made no apologies about it.

My current girlfriend is still getting used to sleeping in a room with this guy, but thus far he hasn’t stolen her soul or anything.

Now, meet this guy:


Apparently this charmer has been roaming the streets of Northampton of late, just standin’ around with his balloons and generally scaring the knickers off anyone who chances to see him.  You can read more about him here:

So here comes the confession:

When I was home alone a few days ago, I happened to be in a really good mood.  And when I’m in a really good mood, I end up talking to inanimate objects (personality trait story for another day, perhaps).  Anyway, while getting dressed after my shower I spied my ol’ pal Funny Face on the wall and I struck up a convo.  We chatted about several things, to include lyrics for a song I was working on and some story ideas I had for a new novel, but I finally got around to saying, “Ya know, you really are a creepy looking guy.  I really hope you never come to life and terrorize the countryside or anything.”

BAM – the next day, this bloke shows up in Northampton.

You do the math.

I can only imagine that my dad’s godmother somehow trapped this frightening clown in her painting using magical means, and I somehow freed his soul.  It’s really the only logical explanation, I think.

At this time, I would like to apologize to the inhabitants of Northampton and its environs for releasing this demon clown upon them, and ask for their patience as I consult several resources relating to the occult in order to fully realize his transference back to the aforementioned painting.

If you do manage to garner an audience with the spirit, I would recommend that you address him as “Funny Face” (as that is his given name) and I ask that you please request of him to get the heck back into his stubbly, fang-toothed painting.

Thank you.