Well it has been a summer.
Ups and downs and back again. Since returning to Ohio from the Western mountains and big sky, I have been working hard organizing "An Evening for Chuck," my benefit for pancreatic cancer research in my dad's honor, as well as "Akron Peace Week," a week of events designed to spread and cultivate nonviolence in the self, the home , and the community. I've also been writing a good deal, and working out some of the new material with the band. And I formed a little sideband, The Bodhis.
Looking back, I guess that does seem pretty busy.
Firstly, every year when I return from the Mountains, I get depressed with the hiking options in Northeast Ohio. This year was no exception. I typically hike 10-15 miles a day in Wyoming, all up into the mountains - to meadows plush with wildflowers, little glacial lakes high up in a mountain, where at least part of the trail is still snow-covered. Hikes that include seeing bear, moose, elk, bison, marmots, wolves, eagles, and other amazing critters. I've yet to find many trails in this area that are over 4 or 5 miles (except of course the Buckeye trail). Most of the trails here also have little views, though they are pretty in their own way, there aren't the kind of entrancing views (save a couple of short waterfall hikes). But to my joy, I found a nice trail in Brecksville metro park that I really do like. It's nice and secluded, it has some elevation, and though not really many views, it is a nice little trail to hike. This discovery fueled some much needed happiness in early August.
Evening for Chuck.
We typically spend the better part of the year planning and organizing this event. We had the opportunity to bring in Isa Moskowitz, the famous vegan chef! That is until she backed out less than 30 days before the event. But we soldiered on, and had one of the most fun events we've thrown. My good friend, Brandt Evans (head chef of Blue Canyon), brought a few amazing dishes, as did Cilantro, the great new Thai place downtown. Mrs. Julie's Kitchen made some wonderful pumkin bread/rolls, and the Mustard Seed make a jolly cake. And of course Theresa's famous cookies (of which i think i seriously had 40!) But the real hero of the food day was Pita Pit. They were so kind as to donate a large batch of veggie pitas, and then came back twice to deliver more each time the wraps ran out!
Magic Mike made some uber-festive balloon hats, and Zumba seriously got us going! Dr. Shankar gave a wonderful presentation about the need for altering our diets to fight and combat cancer and many other diseases.
And the music!
The Bodhis had their world debut, which was so much fun! I love singing with Courtney! And Cameron's beat box just takes everything to a new level! Plus, David had on his cool Bodhis/Piratey shirt. It was the first show of many to come. Actually, we may be doing some sets on Nov 18th at Northside, and for sure at First Night Akron (at the Polsky Building 9:30-11:30pm).
I was so happy to have Brian Lisik involved this year. Kristine Jackson is always great! She knocked her set out of the park! The Tofu Fighters got the crowd up and rockin! Even having Bill Hall singing along!
The Love Initiative. It was a lot of fun to put a modified version of a Love Initiative set together with my band. If you missed the Akron Civic show, I dont know what to tell you. It was beautiful. So, I decided to try something like it with the band. We did it differently and more focused on the music than the Civic show was, but it worked very well! Plus, it debuted the video for Shoulder! (If you haven't seen it yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuK1L8rI4-A) And it debuted several songs besides Shoulder, songs like Anyway (a duet with Maurice Martin of Winslow). And then there was the finale! Ever After and Sundown with HORNS!! Oh yeah. Oh. Yeah.
In the end, we've raised over $6,000 this year! Which brings our grand total to over $32,000! A small dent in the problem of this cancer.
In the Part 2... Peace Week!