Month: March, 2015


Someone dropped 4 quarters in my tip jar this week.

The coins fell past a bunch of fives, a couple of tens and a lone twenty, chiming proudly with the resolute sound of cheapness as they landed all the way at the very bottom.

I took the first quarter and left it in the slot of a gum ball machine at the supermarket for someone that might need a little sweetness.

I took the second quarter and left it on top of a parking meter for someone that might need some time.

I took the third quarter and left it in the drink vending machine at the gym for someone that might need help quenching thirst.

I took the last quarter and left it in the soap dispenser at the laundromat for someone that might need to get clean.

Like the woman who offered Jesus her last two mites, I’m pretty adamant these days about giving my all when it comes to turning something negative into something positive.




In just my second week of having a regularly scheduled day off, I am asked to come in to help court a prospective luxury client.

Lincoln, the car company, is looking for a venue where they can regularly entertain the car dealers they fly in nationwide to touch base on corporate service values.

Really believing that sometimes you have to go back to go forward, I agree to the possibility of future contract engagements, and sacrifice much needed rest time to play for cocktails and dinner.

At the end of the evening, one of the dealers pats me on the back and in a charming, slow Southern drawl says:

“Young man, you’ve taught me a very valuable lesson tonight. You sat there and played beautifully even though you are sitting in less than optimal conditions. You are at a piano that is out of tune. There are  waiters running all around with noise and commotion everywhere. Thank you for smiling and loving what you do. I hate my job but I’m going to fly back to Virginia tomorrow and remember to treat the jackasses I sell cars to with a little more care.”

In this moment, I am completely speechless.

I have been thinking the same thing all night.

Sparkle bright for these jackasses and when then leave you can go home to bed.






I am informed by the gentleman that it is his wife’s birthday, she loves the piano and studied it many years ago at the Institute of French.

“Your wife went to the Conservatoire de Paris … in France?” I ask, slowly, for clarification.

But I am once again informed that it was indeed at the Institute of French where his lovely lady honed her chops and additionally, even though they have a big black one in their living room in West Bloomfield, not the fancy part of the suburb mind you, the part where the real people live, she don’t play it no more.

The woman, silent all this time, then asks if I know the theme from Out of Africa.

“It’s the Adagio movement from Mozart’s only concerto written for the clarinet, right?” I ask, slowly, for clarification. And also because I don’t want to offend a graduate from the Institute of French by playing the wrong thing.

I am informed with great authority that it is by Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.

So having no other choice, I play the Adagio I know to be the correct music.

In the middle of cake, and a full dining room, she starts sobbing.

I am told that it’s her favorite music ever. That I am immensely talented and gifted. That I am to keep doing what I do, passionately, and to never ever stop.

Just like that, a guy who thinks he know everything, slowly warms up to a couple who knows nothing.




I’ve gone from seeing the chiropractor weekly, to biweekly, and currently, once every three weeks.

What this tells me is that I’ve learned how to train in a balanced way, working out each muscle group systematically so that no one part is causing another undue strain.

It tells me that I’m not overdoing it and that I’m resting appropriately.

Yet after every adjustment session, it feels so good that I always wish I could come back every day.

But if I did, I wouldn’t have discovered how to fix the central cause of my pain.

So even though I know that the doctor is always there, I also understand that some aches are purposeful for teaching me how to keep my bones in check.