Shinybass journal entry 12/05/17

Oh it’s close…

My dang birthday. December 7, a day which will live in infamy, marks the day that Portsmouth Naval Hospital was moved with the cries of a babe who would rattle the foundation of many a… who am I kidding? I play bass. I make videos. I write words. That’s almost all that I do. I also try to be a great husband, Dad, brother, son, and friend to all. At the end of it all, that’s all we have. You guys can divvy up the guitars. I can’t play them after I am gone. But they are oh-so-fun while we are here, aren’t they?

I’ve been off the road for a little while, which is why the website hasn’t had much going on. The Phil Vassar/Kellie Pickler Christmas tour kicked off the week of Thanksgiving, but I was on family leave to get my holiday on with the Cook boys and company. A few things I will share about my trip with 2 young kids, one of whom was über sick: Get the minivan. I mean, our SUV is roomy and all, but if you are on the fence, DON’T BE. Get the minivan.

And above all – cherish that time you have with the family. Yes, it was a long, drawn-out trip with major bumps and problems, but I would do it all again to see the looks on my boys faces at certain points of the days. Henry saw Santa land in a vintage airplane, and Miles saw the ocean for the first time. You can’t buy those kinds of smiles. All in all the boys handled the 15+ hour trip home like troopers, and I couldn’t ask for more.

So what else was I up to for 6 weeks? Well, I produced a track for Aubrey Grant, I filmed for a few days on the TV show Nashville (Bass player #1…again), and mostly played catch up on house, music, and most importantly, being Dad. I managed to find some time to play in the Epiphone showroom. All work and no play…

So then I jumped back on the bus and headed to Waukegan, IL for my first stop on the Christmas tour. Jumping into a tour in the middle is akin to swimming out to a boat, with a touch of the unknown ahead. Luckily both crews are pro, so it was easy to get up to speed. Big thanks to Jay, Kellie’s bass player for covering my parts while I was away. And when I got on the bus – a BIG surprise – PENGUINS GEAR. I still don’t know who gave me these, so thank you!

 

Back at it, as usual, I roamed the streets of strange towns and try and find goodness. Waukegan had a beautiful building that I would buy in a heartbeat if it weren’t in…Waukegan. What do you think? Coffee shop on the ground floor, killer house on the second and third?

The next day I woke up in Milwaukee, home to many things, including great friends, and thankfully, great food. We played at the Potawatomi Casino for two nights, which means we are going to let loose a little on night one. We ended up at our friend Gino’s AMAZING pizza joint, where I was allowed to get behind the oven and get my amateur pizza education going. I am pretty sure my pizza was the best one. Just saying…

The next day was a little cool and overcast, so I headed to the Milwaukee Public Museum for a day of dinosaurs, butterflies, and culture. Color me funny, but walking around a museum is such a stress-free way to spend a day, and hopefully learn something along the way. Which I did. I learned that filming butterflies with an iPhone in slow motion is killer. I also learned a lot about dinosaurs. No, really.

I then walked down to the spot. The ONLY ‘spot’ in Milwaukee: The Calderone Club. I had a top notch lunch and visit with friends, and I was surprised with a beautiful cannoli to get my ‘birthday month’ started.

What did I take away from this week? Well, I realize just how good life is, no matter how bad it may seem. I realize that great friends are just that no matter how often you see them. I also realized as humans, how strangely insignificant we are in this whole equation. Are we better than all the creatures who have come before us? No, we just invented rock and roll and plastic, and we really didn’t need plastic.

What’s next? More Christmas. Oh, and that birthday business. I do not ask for anything, however, people sometimes bring presents. Not needed, but if you must, then bring red wine or something for the boys. Have a great week, and get that Christmas shopping done. There’s no need to wait until the 23rd like me.

See you on the road!