Blogpost, self-reliance

Theme Songs

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but for a few years now, my unofficial theme song has been “The Fixer” by Pearl Jam. It was a huge departure from my old one “Paranoid” by Ozzy Osbourne but… changing times! What can I say? I’m not even fully sure if theme song is the right name for it. The Fixer is just a song that partially encapsulates the way that I like to think of myself. Despite the fact that The Fixer is my “theme song”, there’s a completely different one that I’d choose as my ring entrance song. “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters… man! I must really like definite articles! Regardless there’s a different feeling to the song that encompasses you generally versus what you need to hear before moments of action.

Despite the fact that we are singular human beings with one consciousness, there are different versions of us that show up in each moment. Maintaining consistency across all facets of life would be both difficult and problematic. Being the person that you are with your best friend might be counterproductive with your father-in-law. The music of our lives would need to change with the situation. It’s not a question of inauthenticity. Each song to be played could represent a true disposition or emotion for the moment. Unfortunately the way that humans are wired means that songs that we play more often become easier to access. If we go through a prolonged period of playing sad songs, it’s completely possible that one becomes a generalized “theme song” without us meaning for it to be. The buttons on the Juke Box get conditioned to play those songs that may or may not be the greatest hits. If it were the radio, your iTunes or Spotify, that was continuously playing songs that you didn’t like, you’d probably change the station, playlist, etc. It’s not always that easy with our brains! So many of our systems are on autopilot that we sometimes forget to question whether that is getting us where we want to go. Are the songs in your head creating a life that’s a symphony or a mosh pit? I’m not judgmental! Sometimes the mosh pit is exactly where you want to be. But take note and decide!

If you’re in need of action, it’s probably not time for Franks Sinatra! If you’re in need of joy, it’s probably not time for the Cure. If you’re in need of depth, it’s probably not time for Katrina and the Waves. There’s a way that you need to be showing up in this moment of your life. Perhaps you’ve got on the wrong theme song! Give some thought to where you are and where you’re going, get the playlist ready and turn it up (or down)! You’re playing a complex concert with so many different audience members and venues. The set list isn’t always going to be perfect and you might even get booed offstage. Just be sure that you’re not lip syncing your way through life!

Check one two!


Blogpost, SoccerLifeBalance

Soccer Now Is Punk Rock In The 90s

Whether you were around to see bands like Green Day and the Offspring climb to the top of the charts or not, the musical landscape changed abruptly in the last decade of the century. Some people give full credit to Nirvana but that overlooks many of the ingredients that contributed to this musical upheaval. Punk was a largely underground scene during the 1980s when pop music and hair bands dominated the air waves. Despite being chided and largely non-existent in popular media outlets, it still maintained a following that was passionate about it. By the time that the 90s came around and the desire for an alternative to the very superficial was at a peak, the punk bands of the 90s gained in popularity.

One of the best punk bands, not just from the 90s but overall, Bad Religion.

Trading music for sport, the proliferation of soccer throughout the US has taken a similar trajectory. Although there is no “underground” sports scene, soccer gained its following in the youth ranks. Much like the punks of the 80s, kids playing soccer for several decades have received their ridicule for being outside of the mainstream sports. In the professional ranks, Major League Soccer was the second attempt to bring soccer to the masses. The NASL had brought some awareness to the sport but it was largely an imported spectacle. It probably helped the grassroots interest in the sport but the professional vacuum of a decade made it solely a kids game. This could be construed as a negative but it also made the participants care about the sport rather than heroes on the TV screen. The DIY mentality has been helpful in creating a supporters culture within the sport.

Punk hit a crescendo in the 90s because the masses began to see what the people from the underground always knew. They had a special thing. Even though it wasn’t popular with everyone, they loved it. That sentiment began to rub off on others. When you don’t care if the thing that you love is popular with everyone, the masses eventually take notice because organic growth happens through passion, not marketing.

Now that soccer has become relevant within the mainstream, where does it go from here? My opinion is not worth much but I believe that it goes on a thirty year run of being the most popular sport in the US. Music genres dominate for decades. Sports tend to dominate for quarter or half centuries. When the USMNT wins the World Cup in 2026, the work that the USWNT has done will be complete. The United States will truly be considered a soccer nation and the inferiority complex that we have about the sport will disappear. People who throw shade at MLS and our lack of high level talent will be silenced.

Come As You Are!


Blogpost, self-reliance

Day Three of My New Life

With the season of New Year’s Resolutions descending upon us quickly, I thought it was time to give an alternative. “Day Three of My New Life” is actually the name of one of my favorite albums of all time. The band Knapsack released it while I was in college. Through my weekly radio show, I got introduced to the album and the band. None of this is why you clicked on this post, so I’ll move on but the album is worth a listen.

Knapsack – Day Three of My New Life

Several times I’ve dissected the title of the album for myself and attributed a thought process to it. For the moment at least, I’m going to say that the following is what I believe about change which is what resolutions promise. It’s unfortunate that the word resolution has gotten associated with so many failed enterprises by people over the years. The definition of a “firm decision to do or not do something” is a powerful alternative to the impotent leanings that most people have. So even though New Year’s Resolutions tend to be weak, the word is intended to be strong.

Day Three of My New Life plays perfectly into this thought process as it puts a line of demarkation between the past self and the present. Humans tend to lead with belief and therein lies the power of this thought process. Normal resolutions fail because it is the same old version of you, trying to do a new action. Unfortunately the life that you lead is resistant to change, especially when giving up something that is coveted. At this time of year, change is all the rage. So it is not truly a resolution but a form peer pressure that most fold under. It is crucial to birth a new version of yourself. So rather than the first, maybe it’s better to start on the number day of your birthday. That makes it personal. A part of your identity that you get to carry forward.

In addition to the decision there need to be reminders of the new you built into the day. You need to have arrows to the action that you recognize and utilize. Few of us have the willpower to overcome all of the obstacles in our way, so we need to be set up for success. Running shoes put next to the bed, reminders in the cellphone, post it notes on the refrigerator or the simple favor of having a friend as an accountability partner are all possible ways to point you in the right direction. No answer will be perfect but functionality is the key. Every day of your new life, you’ll need to put on the boxing gloves and fight the old habits off. It’s a balancing act to be sure but the shape of the fear that you feel is always your own shadow. The feeling that you are not enough to fill the new shoes that you’ve fashioned for yourself.

So as we move into the new year and new possibilities, choose the new life that you want to lead. If you want to stay true to form, that’s great! It means that you’re happy with this version of you. If not, then resolve to adopt this new life and go well past day three!

Happy New Year!


PS – My favorite song by Knapsack is “Arrows to the Action.” Even though Day Three… was the main topic here, This Conversation Is Ending, Starting Right Now is possibly a better album but it’s really close!