Thursday, December 31, 2009

What a Year, What a Decade!

The past year has been an amazing ride and when I look at all that has happened over the decade. Wow! Each year seems to go by faster than the prior one. I can still remember when a summer lasted forever. I always thought it was only old people who said such things but 1999 does not feel like it was ten years ago.

This year alone, I stepped foot in six different countries (yet still haven't posted photos - d'oh!). Even with all the traveling Lori and I have done this decade, I would've been shocked to predict visiting six countries in one year. Since 2000 we've been to 14 countries - not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that. We are so fortunate to have had so many "trips of a lifetime" I'm actually running out of places I've always wanted to see - but I still have some, don't worry. And what a decade to be a sports fan in New England; 3 Super Bowl Championships for the Patriots (we got to see two of them live), 2 World Series Championships for the Red Sox and a return to the NBA crown for the Celtics. I made a 10 year commitment for my New England Patriots season tickets and I got the best decade in football.

2009 had my spiritual journey continue in unfathomable ways. I don't think "spiritual" was even in my vocabulary in 2000. I'm sure if anyone told me I'd be meditating on a daily basis with Holosync, and loving it, I'd think they were crazy. We discovered the Morelli's with their 40 Days, 40 Nights program last May and continued with the Prosperity Tribe. We had a true roller coaster ride in our experiences with James Ray, the lessons from that continue to unfold. All in all it was a GREAT year, full of unexpected highs and lows. When you come down to it, that is what life is all about. More highs than lows is always nice too.

2010 kicks off with the Oneness Experiment, 40 days of group meditations. Then plans get foggy as we're scheduled for two week long events with James Ray this year, but those seem unlikely to happen to say the least. I do know it is going to be a banner year for Larry The Lizard as well as my memoir and screenplays. I didn't have time to do any acting in '09 but that will change in 2010 as I anticipate a major job change. I look forward to every moment and appreciate every one I've had.

Live life to the fullest and have a fantastic new year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Interviews Regarding James Ray

I've been getting enough requests for links for my television appearances this week pertaining to James Ray and the death of Colleen Conaway that I've decided to post them instead of responding to each individual.

Tuesday December 8th, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 did a segment on James Ray and spoke to Colleen's family and to me. You can watch the piece here:
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/12/09/video-deadly-cover-up/
CNN's Gary Tuchman was such a class act. The interview was December 7th and he called twice before the piece aired on the 8th to run it by me and make sure I was comfortable with what he said. He also called after it aired and again the next day to check a new fact.

ABC's Nightline spoke to me back on November 10, but they didn't air the segment until December 8th as well.
http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=9286875
This article has more details than the video version:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline/james-ray-employee-paramedics-mistook-sweat-lodge-mass/story?id=9283937&page=3

I was hesitant to do either interview at all, but I'm glad I went through with them. I felt a tremendous release doing it, I didn't even care if it aired. I've spoken with Colleen's sister Lynn a few times and she called me yesterday to thank me for doing the interviews. Doing anything to make her family feel the slightest relief made it all worth doing. Since the airings I've received so much support. It's really taken me by surprise. Even my favorite bloggers who were once accusing me of murder have changed their tune (but I still won't be talking to you).

Nightline did a full show on James and had a surprise - former employee Melinda Martin, whom I remembered from Creating Absolute Wealth in San Diego. Melinda had some new information that hit me hard.

Through both interviews I maintained that James hadn't known that the suicide I witnessed was of a seminar participant. But now I know he did. Now I know he lied right to my face and instructed his staff to lie to anyone who asked about Colleen. Last night the news broke that James' right hand man, Greg Hartle, witnessed Colleen's death too.

Until I saw the Nightline segment I expected to attend future James Ray events, in fact I'm all paid up for three more events. I can't imagine they'll ever happen. If they do, I can't imagine having the trust or respect in James needed to attend them.

But I must say, I did find plenty of value in the work I did do with James. There are many things I've done in the past year that wouldn't have happened without my attending his seminars. I learned a lot from him and continue to do so. My willingness to go on TV was due in a large part to his teaching's about pushing through fear. So I am indeed grateful for attending everything I did.

The growth continues. Especially for him. Hopefully this is the end of the story until Arizona authorities announce what charges they'll be filing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thoughts On James Ray

I've been torn about writing anything about James Ray for weeks. The initial tragedy that happened during Spiritual Warrior back on October 9th, resulting in 3 deaths was horrible enough. I had friends there. It was an event I planned to take part in at some point. I tried not to rush to judgment. I heard from people there who said it was an amazing experience until everything went so horribly wrong in the sweat lodge. But the reactions of James himself (leaving the scene, not contacting families...) left me very disappointed and wondering who was this man I thought I knew.

More disturbing to me personally, was discovering two weeks ago (via comments on my own blog) that the suicide I saw while at the Creating Absolute Wealth event in San Diego in July was actually a participant of the seminar. Somehow knowing Colleen was a participant like I was, made her death hit home much more. It made me question what I thought I had learned that day, made me want to rip the "Grateful" tattoo from my flesh, gave me nightmares that kept replaying that day, had me doubting everything I thought I knew about my own growth and what to believe. It had me feeling betrayed by James because I spoke to him, his staff, even the entire group of participants later that day about what I had seen. I don't know when anyone with JRI found out about Colleen's death but it had to have been many hours after the fact. It is quite possible James himself wasn't told until the weekend was over, but that is just conjecture. JRI staff did know she wasn't on the bus bringing us back to the hotel from downtown, but we had been told that people have missed buses in the past so it wasn't portrayed as any sort of issue to us. Nobody had IDs for that particular experience (we were wandering San Diego like homeless people), we only had cards with a number to call if something happened and we missed the bus.

In the last couple weeks I've had various bloggers and reporters contacting me and have seen people posting comments across the net accusing me of covering things up, working for James Ray; even implying I had something to do with Colleen's death. It has been very hard not to get caught up into defending myself, searching the net all day for what people are saying. I finally realized it doesn't matter. Nothing can change what happened in San Diego or Sedona. Investigations are underway to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I do believe James and his staff are good people with high intentions of helping others. This has been a time when I've needed to be able to separate the teachings from the teacher, for much of what James teaches has been taught by many before him. I'm very glad that he seems to have stopped listening to PR firms on how to handle the mess he's in.

I was attracted to James' events because of the adventure and surprise. The immersion experience, having no idea what you are in for or what comes next. But I now realize, those can raise lots of issues that people (including myself) might not be prepared to deal with. After lots of discussion, Lori and I had decided to continue with James' next event which we had already paid for - Quantum Leap, this November in Las Vegas. I had flip-flopped so much on attending - in fact since Creating Absolute Wealth had left me so confused and lost in the weeks following it, I was concerned about what Quantum Leap was going to do to me. The only description we had was that it was going to strip away our limiting beliefs and blocks. So, on Oct 28th when James finally decided to cancel all his remaining 2009 events, I was actually glad. I hope he is now truly cooperating with authorities and helping all those who've been hurt. Four deaths at his two most recent events is something that can't be and shouldn't be ignored.

So for everyone wondering... I do not work for James Ray International. I have not spoken with anyone from JRI since all these issues came to light (though I have tried to reach them repeatedly). I did not know the woman I saw jump in San Diego was Colleen Conaway or that she was in the seminar with me (there were about 200 people). I didn't even know she died -- cops at the scene told me she was alive and I saw her leave with an oxygen mask on her face. I did speak with San Diego police at the scene and I've also provided the Arizona authorities with a statement. I had never been to San Diego before and didn't know the name of the mall where she jumped, which is why my own searches for information came up empty once I was back home. I do not doubt that it was a suicide, but I also don't doubt that the event itself raised issues she couldn't deal with. And that is why my heart still breaks every time I think of her.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Africa was Awesome!

This is Guhonda, a huge silverback in RwandaAfter 3 countries, 5 flights, 8 lodges, dozens of gorillas, and a whole lot of fun, our African odyssey ended a couple weeks ago. The trip was a blast but it did feel long and it took many days to recover from once we were back home. We thoroughly enjoyed our three gorilla tracking days - which was the primary reason for the trip. The big surprise to me, was the beauty of the Ugandan and Rwandan landscape and people. Everybody was so outgoing and friendly, this is such a great time to be an American visiting Africa. They just love the US now.
I had so much fun just driving through Uganda and Rwanda waving at kids. They were all so thrilled to get a wave back. I've never seen so many smiles. It was such a treat to see so much joy and happiness in people that you might judge have nothing.
Other highlights; spotting a leopard on our very first game drive, two rare sightings of hippos out of the water, and a tree climbing lion.
Also met some fantastic fellow travellers along the way, which we've always been so fortunate to do, and had outstanding guides and service at every stop. Can't recommend Volcanoes Safaris enough if you want to visit the mountain gorillas yourself.
With over 2,000 photos and hours of video, it could be quite awhile before I get details posted. For now, here is an online album Lori put together and a smaller collection I put up on Facebook.

This is not a zoo

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Back to Africa

This year has been so busy; Germany in May, LA in June, San Diego in July for the James Ray event... our trip to Africa totally snuck up on us. We leave today!! I haven't even posted my photos from Germany yet. Where does the time go?

Ten years ago, we visited Kenya for my first international vacation. Wow, that was also the first time I travelled with Larry The Lizard. Since then, we've been to a lot of truly amazing places like Tikal, Machu Picchu and Easter Island to name just a few, but Kenya has always been my favorite. Something about seeing so many animals in their natural home... I can't describe the serenity and beauty of that. And the people - they were all so friendly, open, proud and happy. Even if they had nothing - they were proud and happy. It is simply how things should be. That was the trip we learned to give away as much as we travelled with as possible - something I'm glad to say we've done on all our trips (well not all, nobody in London or Germany really cared about our hand-me-downs).

This Africa trip takes us to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, and it is all about seeing the mountain gorillas. We'll be doing treks into the jungle to see the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, three times total. I've heard so many raves about seeing the gorillas from other travelers we've met around the globe - this trip truly is a dream come true. Then on all the other days, we'll have traditional safari game drives and all sorts of adventures I hadn't even considered till I read the itinerary just a couple days ago. This is the first trip we haven't read up on or bought guide books for. We're just going.

Of course not being aware of this trip and digging into the preparation is all on me. The past month has been such a bizarre roller coaster for my thoughts and feelings. Ever since I got back from the James Ray event in San Diego at the end of July -- I've been out of sorts. I learned a lot about myself at the event. A lot that I don't like. Some days I've been fired up to take on the world and create the life I want - then the next day I'll just want to hide in bed. Lots of old patterns came back, hard. I already don't want to come home from this vacation. Part of me is hoping something goes wrong so I can't come home. Friends wishing me "safe travels" sort of piss me off. I'd rather be wished a gorilla ripping me apart or a plane crash on our last day. God, have I always been this morbid? Will be interesting to see what being disconnected from everything does to my mindset. I plan on doing a lot of writing.

Anyway, I doubt there will be updates till we are back home. You can visit some of the lodges we'll be staying at, and see some of the sites we'll see at the Volcanoes Safaris site.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Cleanse - Midway Point

Lori left the James Ray event last month with the desire to do a cleanse/detox before we headed to Africa. This is a program she learned of while taking a nutrition class about four years ago. Back then, I lasted three days on an all organic juice diet, and she made it five days. This time we are doing the full twelve day program.
It started on Monday, with eating only organic fruits, vegetables, rice and lentils. The first time we did this, we went straight to juice. Easing into it is much easier, neither of us have really been hungry. And I tell you, after a day of just fruit and veggies - a bowl of lentils tastes like the best thing in the world, and is shockingly filling.
We also drink a Master Cleanse each day. A nasty sounding concoction that is actually tasty. Water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Mmmm.. . that's good eatin'.
After three days of fruits and veggies we enter the challenging portion of the regime; six days of organic juices - NOTHING else.
Today is my third day of juice and sixth day of the overall cleanse (half-way, SWEET!). I'm down 8 pounds and find myself enjoying such formerly torturous drinks as tomato juice and carrot juice. My stomach rumbles a lot, but actual hunger pains have only risen once. I expected to wake up each morning ravenous, but it just doesn't happen.
The biggest lessons so far are how much eating is automatic, and just because it is "time" to eat. This has been the easiest diet I've ever been on. Probably because I didn't approach it as a diet, but rather a healthy cleaning out of my system. My nose has been running since yesterday. I'm not sure if that is another toxin release or I've got a cold. The grossest thing I recalled from four years ago was my tongue. Most toxins get released there and it felt and looked disgusting. This time around we're prepared with tongue scrapers and I scrape my tongue about 4 or 5 times a day.
I've also been all over the place emotionally, which has been true since the Creating Absolute Wealth event, but can also be a side effect of a cleanse. I feel like living proof of male PMS. All sorts of shit can rise up from the body. Speaking of that - I find it amazing that after days of zero food, it is still true; "Everyone Poops."
There is still one effect of the detox I'm waiting to experience - mental clarity. Last two days I've felt rather dulled in the head, like I'm on antihistamines.
We survived our gym workout Thursday night and I'm totally confident I'll see this through to the end. The next interesting thing will be to see what happens when I can eat again. Will I not even care about food, or will I pig out? I'll let you know.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Creating Absolute Wealth with James Ray

Lori and AFWe've been home for a week from Creating Absolute Wealth with James Ray. It was a week of learning and a lifetime of lessons crammed into three days in San Diego at the end of July. I'm still trying to comprehend and integrate everything I learned. It's been tough, because I didn't like everything I discovered about myself. I found lots of limiting beliefs that keep me playing life small and I'm struggling to rid myself of them.

I won't go into details about the event, because hopefully you'll end up there yourself. I thought it was going to be about how to attract more money into my life - but it was so much more, because true wealth is so much more than money. CAW is very immersive and experiential. What each person gets from it is just what they need, but the surprise of each game and road trip (this is not about sitting in a hotel ball room for lectures) is of tremendous value. How you are in any game, is how you show up in life. I really love going into these sort of things blind - having no clue what might happen but knowing it will all be good. That was seriously put to the test over the entire weekend. There were multiple times I just wanted to run away. Lori said she saw the panic in my face numerous times - but I stayed and played as full-on as I could, with the help of James' fantastic staff. There was also plenty of fun and good times along the way. Our table even won the "jingle" contest one night. We had to write and perform a song about the weekend. The event ended with a great black tie affair and everyone dancing late into the night.

One detail I can share is something I witnessed which certainly proved to be the lowlight/highlight. I was wandering around San Diego alone, wondering what I was going get from the weekend; what did I need to learn most? I spotted a woman standing outside the railing of a balcony on the third level at a mall. I thought it was some sort of stunt because ComicCon was going on. She jumped. It wasn't a stunt. I was the only witness who had the vantage point to know it was intentional. I gave statements to the police and mall security. If you know anything about me, you know suicide is about the biggest button I have to push. Later, I found myself standing where she jumped from, it had only been about a half-hour but the blood stained concrete was cleaned up and the t-shirt kiosk the woman landed on was once again selling "I Love San Diego" shirts to tourists. It was so surreal to see how quickly life moves on.
I couldn't understand why she would do it. Why anyone would do. And I cried. Tears of joy - joy for being alive. That was HUGE for me. And while standing there, I noticed Lori walk into the scene below - first time I've seen her all day. Very wild. In fact all weekend, starting at the airport in Boston, people were commenting about what a great couple we were, how cute we were together, how much in love we were.... it was like I was trapped in some bad romantic comedy.

The whole weekend was horrible and fantastic at the same time. A real roller coaster of tears and laughs. But I'm so glad I went and wish you the same opportunity. If you aren't growing, you're dying.
Grateful
One of my favorite lines from the weekend is: "It is more noble to imperfectly pursue your own dreams and passions than to perfectly pursue someone else's."
One thing I decided on at CAW was my first tattoo, and I acted on that this past weekend. "Grateful" - so I never forget.
We flew home last Monday and had AC/DC tickets for Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. My head was spinning so much, and the nights of 3-4 hours of sleep was wearing on me. I thought of blowing it off. But we went ,and it was fantastic! Just what we needed. Feeling very jet-set and wealthy indeed.
We have another event with James, "Quantum Leap", in November. And once again, I have no idea what's in store for us.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"War Without End" - a Quarterfinalist

Sweet! Woke up to an email this morning that my script, "War Without End", has been named a quarterfinalist in the Writer's On The Storm contest. "War Without End" is about American backpackers in the Philippines, who are captured by long lost WWII Japanese soldiers, and forced into slave labor at a gold mine deep in the jungle.
This is the script I was pushing in LA last month. I submitted it to Coverage Inc. for some professional feedback - well it rated well enough that it automatically became a quarterfinalist in their contest. Here is the blog post listing me - says I'm in the top 10% of all submissions they had. The whole contest is just a bonus, I was just looking for the coverage - but I'll gladly take a contest win too.
The coolest part was that so many people knew about this without me mentioning it. The ProSeries Alumni site posted a story, so other writers were congratulating me before I even knew why.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Prosperity Tribe with Kristin and David Morelli

So I've raved previously about Kristin and David Morelli, and their radio show "Everything is Energy", and their amazing immersion program 40 Day, 40 Nights that Lori and I both did a couple months ago.

Well their latest program has been announced and if you missed the live call last Thursday, you can still listen to the replay. Check it out - this is really one call that can change your life.

You might not know Kristin and David Morelli...yet!
She retired as a self-made multi-millionaire at age 30. He teaches revolutionary tools that clear ANY money block. They have the #3 podcast on iTunes "Everything Is Energy" (Oprah is #1 and #2)
They held a FREE Prosperity Call (It's actually more like a Prosperity PARTY!)
last Thursday, July 9th... You can still listen to the replay.

I respectfully say..."Drop Whatever You're Doing & Join This Call." It will change the way you approach everything in your life! It includes a guided meditation that will blow you away and prove that this is something for YOU.

I can't say enough good things about Kristin and David. The call will introduce you to The Prosperity Tribe which you can try for just $27.

I'm extra excited about this, as David called me himself today. They are that hands on! Don't let a life of wealth and abundance pass you by!! Check it out

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Back to the 80's

Hopped in the time machine last night and flash backed to the late 1980's as I caught Whitesnake and Judas Priest at the "New Name Every Year" Center in Mansfield Mass. Went with a buddy, Brian, I hadn't seen in about 20 years. He's the guy I went to dozens of shows with in high school and we recently reconnected thanks to Facebook.

This is definitely a rough year for concerts as the place looked to be maybe 1/3 full. I've never seen an emptier amphitheater for a show. But the bands didn't seem to notice. David Coverdale looked and sounded amazing and I had a total blast. They had every arena rock cliche going and I ate it all up and wanted more. This was my 6th time seeing Whitesnake and they were the main attraction for me, while Judas Priest is one of those rare bands I somehow never ended up seeing live before.

Judas Priest are playing their album, "British Steel", in its entirety this tour for its 30th anniversary. Never having owned it, I didn't really care - so my expectations were pretty low. But they rocked hard and put on a hellavu show. Even songs I didn't know sounded great. As they were all classic metal riffs, the head banging just kicked into autopilot. Plus I'm a total sucker for synchronized guitar moves, so it all worked for me. Certainly, a highlight in any metal fan's concert career is seeing Priest live for "Breaking The Law", "Living After Midnight" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" -- those are just some all time great songs.

Funniest moment of the night - Priest's most recent album is all about Nostradamus and there was a chorus in "Prophecy" that goes "I am Nostradamus"; Brian thought Rob Halford was singing "I am not a thermos" -- could be a Spinal Tap hit.

WHITESNAKE Setlist
Bad Boys
Fool For Your Lovin'
Love Ain't No Stranger
Slow An' Easy
Lay Down Your Love (Guitar duel with Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich trading solos)
Cryin' In The Rain (with Drum solo)
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night

JUDAS PRIEST setlist
Rapid Fire
Metal Gods
Breaking The Law
Grinder
United
You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise
Living After Midnight
The Rage
Steeler
The Ripper
Prophecy
Rock Hard, Ride Free
Victim Of Changes
Encore:
Freewheel Burning
Diamonds And Rust
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

The day after, my ears are ringing and my voice is shot. Proof of an excellent time. Next up show-wise, AC/DC at the end of the month and CrueFest in August. That's it for my shows this summer. But Fall/Winter will have KISS and as always... more METALLICA!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back from LA

Got back home early this morning from LA. Man, it went just amazing - better than I dared dream. And the freakiest part is, so much of it went exactly the way I envisioned it during the 40 Days, 40 Nights program. During meditations in last two weeks of 40 Days, I just pictured success and a celebration in LA. The last night there, all the writers gathered in the Hollywood Hills at a fantastic Japanese restaurant and toasted and congratulated each other at a raucous dinner.

I ended up leaving LA with three requests for my scripts. I didn't think we'd have the chance to pitch things, but two producers we met asked us to pitch them our stuff. At first I was nervous but I quickly knew I'd hate myself if I went home without grabbing the opportunity. Each time I pitched - my script was requested. On one pitch, I got through just five words and the guy said - send it. So I'll follow up this week and we'll see what happens next. But no matter what, definitely made some real relationships with established producers, writers and agents plus some very cool fellow writers from the ProSeries Alumni.

All the people we got to meet have made "real" movies that you'd know if I listed them. More importantly, they all agreed to read our stuff and receive things from us in the future. I even got the chance to catch up with the infamous Art Mann from my Cool Stuff days. Finally, to make the LA experience complete, my shuttle van got in a minor crash at LAX.

Larry The Lizard enjoyed his time in LA too. Plus he finally posted his German adventures.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Everything is Energy

Wow, the 40 Days immersion program Lori and I took part of ended yesterday and we both feel changed forever. It was 40 days of up to four live phone calls consisting of guided meditations, coaching and energy work with Kristin and David Morelli. Now, I still can't pretend to explain what has happened with this energy work - but I EXPERIENCED and FELT it on every call.

I have been moving energy and breaking down my deepest blocks to abundance and authentic wealth like I've never done before, and I have this sense of faith in myself that I've never known. One of the most concrete things that happened was that a troublesome co-writer attached to my optioned script asked to be removed from the project - totally out of the blue! But exactly what I wanted. He even knew I'm about to go to LA and pitch scripts, yet still chose to just remove his name. SWEET!

If you don’t know Kristin and David, Kristin is a self-made multimillionaire (by age 30) and David is an energy worker of the highest caliber who is sought after by many well-known teachers of the Law of Attraction to work with them on breaking through their blocks to wealth. Together they are a powerful team who have made a decision to be a part of the shift from lack to abundance. True Abundance = an abundance that embraces money and ALL good things in life.

On one of our final coaching calls, Kristin and David shared with us a sneak peek of “what’s next” after the 40 Days and 40 Nights program. It is going to be absolutely awesome because this couple is nothing short of amazing! I am so grateful for having found them and for saying “YES!” to coming under their mentorship.

Stay tuned; as soon as I have the details on the Prosperity Tribe, I’ll pass them on to you. In the meantime, meet Kristin and David at this link: http://tinyurl.com/om43gf

I am so fired up for my trip to LA. I leave in just two day! This is my first bold step towards pushing my screenwriting. I'll be with a group of 20 fellow ProSeries Alumni members and we have three full days of meetings with Hollywood producers, agents and writers. It is going to be fantastic!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Metallica Kicks German Ass

May 9 2009 JamesRandom observations from Metallica show in Stuttgart Germany. Crowd was 90% male and I didn't spot a single family. Metallica's never been a big show with the ladies, but this is ridiculous and US shows are just full of families for the last few tours. The beers sold in the arena are HUGE - they would be pitchers in most US bars. The arena was very small. Not much more than a glorified hockey rink, no upper levels of seating - just the floor and one level of seats. I bet some high school gyms are bigger. It was stiffling hot and it seemed like everybody was smoking.
Very strange being in middle of crowd waiting for Metallica with everyone speaking German. I was wearing a Metallica shirt from the US tour that wasn't being sold here. Lots of people tried asking me about it - at least that's what I think they were doing. But once the show started I was jumping up and down with plenty of German youth screaming all the lyrics at the top of my lungs - good times. Matt and I were on the floor and it was general admission. We just hung back during Machine Head then moved into position - about 10 people away from the stage. I figured I'd last as long as I could then bail out for the some breathing room, but I kept riding the crowd closer and closer. I was just 4 or 5 people away for most of the show -- closest to the band since I saw them at The Filmore in San Fran a few years ago.
Each band member, except Lars, was right over us many times during the show. Lots of cool eye contact, close enough to read all of Jame's tattoos and enjoy Robert's many goofy faces. Being on the floor, this was more a show of survival than beging able to sit back and enjoy every song. Had to pay a lot of attention to your own safety with many mosh pits and crowd surfers - but it was all a blast. Was close enough to get my hands on a pick from Kirk and give a few smacks to the giant Metallica beach balls that dropped in the finale. Personal highlights were my first time hearing "The Wait" and "The Judas Kiss", plus it's been a long time since I heard "Wherever I May Roam" and that is just perfect to hear while traveling in Europe.Robert May 9 2009
This winter I'll be seeing Metallica again back in Boston. WooHooo!!

Set List:
That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Creeping Death
Wherever I May Roam
One
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
No Leaf Clover
The Judas Kiss
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Damage, Inc.
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
- - - - - - - -
The Wait
Phantom Lord
Seek and Destroy


I was right around the guys holding this sign all night. You can see half of Matt's mug to the left. Think I'm behind the banner.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

AF Grant in Germany

Happy Mosel DayQuick update from Katzweiler Germany. On our first day we visited Ramstein Air Force Base and a totally sick Castle in Landstuhl. We saw ruins from the road and Matt and Vee had never been to it so we trail blazed the narrow streets and unknown traffic signs till we came upon Castle Sickengen. Found a little info on line about it. It was very cool because they had no problem letting you climb all over the ruins.
Sunday was Happy Mosel Day and we joined thousands of people as traffic was closed down on both sides of the Mosel river and we biked, drank and ate schnitzel. It was a gorgeous day to drive through villages I'll never be able to pronounce. Scenic views of centuries old buildings surrounded by vineyards. We started and ended in Bernkastel-Kues and I think we might have biked 10 miles. Also discovered I like German wine. WooHoo!
Here is a story about Happy Mosel Day if you can't get enough.
Monday Vee, Lori and I visited Heidelberg while Matt went to work to protect the free world. We stormed Heidelberg Castle and wandered around downtown. Mullets and 80's punk are still very much the style in Germany - so I felt right at home.
Today we head south to Munich for two days - I just discovered Metallica is there tomorrow night too! Then Oberammergau in Bavaria for two days and a quick jump over to Austria just because we can.
We've all been doing the evening meditation call together for the 40 Days, 40 Nights program, that's been cool to do as a group. Due to the big time difference and flight time we are a day behind, but sticking with it.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Off to Germany

Metallica in GermanyAbout to leave for Logan Airport to catch a flight to Frankfurt, Germany and hang with Matt and Vee for 9 days. They are living in Germany for just a few months and free couch is all the excuse we need travel. We'll be arriving in time for "Happy Mosel Day" some sort of biking and drinking festivus that closes roads to cars and just has lots of drunk, fake athletes - my middle name!
You can see an out-of-date itinerary, it has most of the things we plan to do just not in the proper order. Of course next Saturday is the BIG event; METALLICA live in Stuttgart. I'm very psyched for my first international rock show, I saw Metallica in NJ just a couple months ago, but it seems like a life time ago.
Lori and I are both doing the 40 Days, 40 Nights wealth immersion program with Kristin and David Morelli of EverythingIsEnergy.com. Today is day 4. We are part of global group of 400 people doing two live daily meditation calls and two 90 minute coaching calls a week. Will be wild trying to stay on schedule with it while we travel, but it's all good.
We got our shots for the Africa trip on Monday, so I've been confused all week as to where we are actually going today. But it is Germany now; Africa in September. Needed to get shots early to apply for visas. Here is the Africa itinerary.
More later from Germany...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Metallica World Domination

Metallica is just everywhere these days. Guitar Hero: Metallica was released this week, this weekend they'll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they are in middle of European Tour for Death Magnetic and have announced another leg for the US this fall and winter.

I got my copy of Guitar Hero: Metallica yesterday and was amazed. Once their normal entrance music of "Ecstasy of Gold" started, I got chills just like I was at live show. The game play is fantastic and features all the stages and tours through Metall-istory. Even playing along with animated versions of James, Lars, Kirk and Robert I'm nervous and thrilled. This is first music game I could be playing guitar and singing at the same time from the first moment I start playing. The only thing I wish the game had was seeing Metallica as they were for each era - would love to see the long haired metal monsters of the 80's and 90's plus having Cliff be in the game would be fantastic. Maybe such things show up later as I play - who knows.

I'm seeing Metallica in Germany on May 9th. I'm beyond psyched for my first international show. US dates for the rest of 2009 have been announced, but don't include anything in New England - a big shock since they only played one date in Boston on the first leg. Normally they play Boston, Providence, Hartford and Worcester. That can only mean 2010 will be featuring many visits, I hope.

The R&R Hall induction goes down Saturday, April 4 and will be covered live by FUSE TV. In fact FUSE is doing a week long of Metallica specials. The ceremony will be live from Cleveland on Saturday, April 4 starting at 9:00 pm EDT. Don't have FUSE? No biggie - you can watch it online!
Check out www.fuse.tv/rockhall for more info. and the schedule for the week is also posted here.
Metallica is bringing EVERYONE to celebrate the induction - very cool.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090328/music_nm/us_metallica_1
Jason Newsted will even take over as bassist for the day!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090331/music_nm/us_metallica_1

Monday, March 09, 2009

Harmonic Wealth Weekend with James Ray

We got home Sunday afternoon from James Ray's Harmonic Wealth Weekend in New Jersey and are still trying to take it all in and put it to work. So much material was covered, day 2 was even longer than the first day. I won't attempt to explain it all. I'll just say it was powerful, emotional, exhilarating and fun. It is really about how to go beyond just positive thinking and watching The Secret over and over wishing for a better life. James teaches a cross section of quantum physics, eastern religions, meditation, and the laws of the universe to overcome any person's own limiting beliefs. Like so much of what I've gotten into the last couple of years, it all boils down to raising your own level of consciousness and getting off of auto pilot.

I'm already exchanging emails with eight people I met there. You tend to make friends fast when you're hugging, giving back rubs and even butt rubs to your neighbors over two very long days. And I know I will attend all of his various week long programs before long. This is all just adding to the amazing experience I had when I attended the Centerpointe Retreat in October. At some of James' events he does Holosync and more of the holotropic breathing that totally put me into another realm the one time I did it. I heartily recommend any book, DVD or live event of James' you might ever choose to explore. The Harmonic Wealth book is a great, practical read - but compared the to live event it is a comic book.

The New York Times sent a reporter to the event, but like most of the media they are just focused on how shitty the economy is. Check out the article.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Wow, what a day with James Ray

17 hours later, day one with James Ray comes to a close. A brief close as Saturday starts with a 6:30am meeting, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Today began with a 7:30am meeting for Board Holders which I volunteered for. This was a bit of training for 20 guys in how to properly hold a pine board for people to break later that night. Then we were put back out into the hallway with the group of 500 and we all entered the ballroom again to high-fives, cranking music and lots of energy and James Ray kept that energy up all day - until we broke at 12:30am. I'd swear I've been for at least 3 days already. Just a power packed day of highly interactive lectures, workshops, group exercises, writing, meditation, visualizations, laughs and tears. It was all about the Law of Attraction, limiting beliefs, getting your thoughts, feelings and actions in alignment.... and much more.

The day climaxed with everyone writing their main limiting belief on a pine board and on the other side a new positive belief. Then we smashed right through them with one mighty blow. It was such a thrill to be able to hold for people. People were flying right through the boards. I lost count at 25 for people I held for and everyone made it. A few people had to be coached through multiple attempts, I think 4 was the most. But lots of woman, including Lori, pulverized the board on their first try. I hugged and high-fived each of my breakers while the whole room cheered each other on. It was very cool. Then I finally got my shot as all the holders held for each other and I destroyed my "I Suck" board into 3 pieces - it was shockingly easy.

I've met lots of Holosyncers and even a few people from neighboring towns back home. Last year I made a pledge to myself that money wasn't ever going to be the reason I didn't do something (which is partially why we are headed to Germany and Africa this year) - that got put to the test today as there was a great offer for two more James Ray events later this year. I said screw it, let's stimulate that economy and now we are going to James Ray 3 day events in San Diego this July and Las Vegas in November. The energy and consciousness raising at these events is just too damn cool to pass up.
All for now

Thursday, March 05, 2009

2009 Kicking into High Gear

Lori and I are in Jersey City, New Jersey tonight (finding myself in Jersey a lot lately, what's up with that?) with a great view if another plane has to land on the Hudson. We're at the month-old Westin Hotel for James Ray's Harmonic Wealth Weekend. James Ray is one of the people featured in The Secret and we've got a couple 15+ hour days ahead of us doing... I'm not sure what yet, but there's 500 of us here and I'll let you know what goes down after the fact. James is who introduced me to Holosync, which I've been using for over a year and a half now. I had such an amazing experience at the Centerpointe Retreat back in October, and a few people there raved about James' events. So I decided it was time to see James live.
This year is shaping up to be a big travel year for us. We've booked a trip to Germany for May - will even be seeing Metallica in Stuttgart - to visit friends who are there for a few months. Then in June I'm headed out to LA for a week and in September, the big one. We are going back to Africa, this time to visit Uganda and Rwanda for some gorilla trekking and then on to Tanzania for a few days at the Ngorongoro Crater. This is who the trip is with, Volcanoes Safaris, and it looks totally sick.
Our first big trip together was visiting Kenya ten years ago and I'm so psyched to be returning to Africa.

James Arthur Ray

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Metallica Rocks Newark

Ooohh, lasersWe made the 4 hour drive down to Newark to see Metallica last night. This was my 25th show and 7th state for seeing the mighty Metallica. They only played one show in New England on this tour, that was just unacceptable. I am so glad we made the trip. Even though I was very pleased with the Boston show, this one blew it away. The energy level, the interplay and fun in the band, our seats and view... all just made for an amazing show. In my Boston review I remarked on the fact of much less pyro than prior years, well that was true just for that show. For some reason Boston didn't allow all the flames that were flying high, often and in one case a little longer than they were supposed to in Newark. Also unlike Boston, the floor was general admission last night and having some pits break out makes such a difference in the overall energy level of the building. Got a couple songs different from two weeks ago; Ride The Lightening, the very rare cover Bliztgreig plus a tease of the instrumental Suicide and Redemption.

James Hetfield 31Jan09Our seats were about the same distance from the stage as in Boston, but we weren't on the floor so could actually see the whole band and stage show this time; all the lasers, pryo and lights. What a difference. Just a great show, great crowd... I was just going off so much... sweat was flying from bald head from the first song and splattering on the girl in front of me. Deal with it baby! My neck and voice are way more shot today than after the Boston gig. Some of the new songs sounded just fantastic last night, with the whole crowd screaming out every word - especially on All Nightmare Long and Cyanide. One lucky 10 year old got plucked out of the crowd and joined Lars on drums to start of Seek and Destroy. It is in that final song that dozens of black Metallica beach balls get dumped from the rafters, and last night while James was running along kicking a bunch of balls into the crowd he fell down. He bounced up quick, laughing at himself. Then he and Robert did some seal tricks bouncing balls off each others' heads.
Before Metallica started we were talking with everyone around us. People were trading stories about how many times they'd seen the band. There were a ton of Metalli-virgins. I just said "I saw them with Cliff" and that conversation ended with a hush of admiration. Newark was the last stop on the US tour and band heads off to Europe after a short break. I'm hoping to score tickets to see them in Germany this May.

Set List
That Was Just Your LifeMetallica
The End Of The Line
Ride The Lightning
For Whom the Bell Tolls
One
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
...And Justice For All
All Nightmare Long
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Battery
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
- - - - - - - -
partial jam of Suicide and Redemption
Blitzkrieg
Hit The Lights
Seek and Destroy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guitar Hero: Metallica Tracks

The all 'Tallica Guitar Hero will be hitting the streets in North America for Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3 on March 29, outside of North America the game is expected in early May. Nintendo Wii and PS2 versions will follow later in the Spring, also most likely in early May.

METALLICA TRACKS
All Nightmare Long
Battery
Creeping Death
Disposable Heroes
Dyers Eve
Enter Sandman
Fade To Black
Fight Fire With Fire
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Frantic
Fuel
Hit The Lights
King Nothing
Master of Puppets
Mercyful Fate (Medley)
No Leaf Clover
Nothing Else Matters
One
Orion
Sad But True
Seek And Destroy
The Memory Remains
The Shortest Straw
The Thing That Should Not Be
The Unforgiven
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Wherever I May Roam
Whiplash

Other Artists
Alice In Chains - No Excuses
Bob Seger - Turn The Page
Corrosion of Conformity - Albatross
Diamond Head - Am I Evil?
Foo Fighters - Stacked Actors
Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather
Kyuss - Demon Cleaner
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Tuesdays Gone
Machine Head - Beautiful Mourning
Mastodon - Blood And Thunder
Mercyful Fate - Evil
Michael Schenker Group - Armed and Ready
Motorhead - Ace of Spades
Queen - Stone Cold Crazy
Samhain - Mother of Mercy
Slayer - War Ensemble
Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster
Suicidal Tendencies - War Inside My Head
System of a Down - Toxicity
The Sword - Black River
Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back in Town

Man, I can't wait for this game!

Monday, January 19, 2009

METALLICA - Jan 18, 2009 - Boston

The Mighty Hetfield, Jan 18, 2009Big surprise - Metallica kicked ass last night. This was my 24th time seeing them and I'm definitely spoiled because our 11th row seats were a slight disapointment. I'd never been on the floor and been that far from Metallica and the Garden security kept people in their seats and the aisles open. The floor was general admission on this tour everywhere but Boston.

Due to a fresh 8 inches of snow Sunday and the forecast for more overnight we decided to take the commuter rail into Boston. There is a stop on my street but I'd never even thought of using it for concerts before. That was Lori's great idea. The schedule fit perfect, we'd drive a quarter mile and take the train which would have us at the Garden for 7pm and the last train out left at 11:30pm and had us home at 12:30am, all for the cost of just parking in Boston.

The weather slowed things down a little bit and we didn't see the first opening band, The Sword. I don't know them enough to care, maybe I'll check them out at the Newark show on the 31st. The t-shirt booths were in total disarray, I'd never seen such a mess at any show. Every booth we different, most shirts weren't on display at all and some vendors didn't know the prices yet so refused to sell anything. Big mess. It was about this time another first happened...

I lost my ticket. In between showing it to an usher to see how we get to the floor and a scrum around a t-shirt booth, I realized I no longer had it. After a few seconds of high anxiety... I see a ticket on the ground a few feet away. I go pick it up and it was mine. Whew... It wasn't like I was gonna get thrown out as we were already in the building, but there was no way I'd be able to get to my floor seat without that ticket.

We joined the crowds gathered around TVs showing the Steelers - Ravens game and just listened to Machine Head while we watched the NFL playoffs. Half time came, Machine Head ended and we headed to the floor.

Metallica burst on stage in a flurry of lasers. This tour is their first extensive use of lasers and the show had much less pyro than previous years. They ripped into the two lead tracks off Death Magnetic. It took the first song to really settle into place and realize that security wasn't going to let me move closer. I moved Lori to the aisle so she could see something. As cool as the center stage is, it is tough to see anything for the shorter folks. By time End of the Line kicked in, the band and me were totally in the zone and never let up. Some of my favorite new songs sounded awesome live and even the couple songs I didn't love were better live. I was so surprised to hear Justice for All (Don't think I've heard that live in its entirety since the Damaged Justice tour back in 1989) that I didn't even recognize its intro. We were in great position for a few songs with James right in front of us for Day That Never Comes, Sandman and more. It was about halfway through the show that I realized James wasn't swearing to the extent he always had for years, in fact he hadn't sworn at all. Not sure if this started on the last tour or not, but I finally noticed.

Then came another first for me. Metallica was supposed to hit the stage at 8:55 and be done for 11pm. But they didn't go on until 9:15 -- I knew this might put our train ride home in jeopardy so told Lori we'd leave at 11:15 no matter what.
Jan 18, 2009
Well at 11:15 it was just encore time... Thanks to MetOnTour.com I knew the set lists of every show this tour and knew the first of the three encore songs was always a short one. We got Stone Cold Crazy, the Queen cover - so I knew we were safe to hear that. I also knew every show finished with Seek and Destroy. It was now 11:17 - and they started Hit The Lights, a rare song I think I'd only heard back at the Filmore show in 2003. I couldn't leave now! So at ll:20 with Lori tugging on my sleeve I start the walk of shame and for the first time EVER - and I swear NEVER AGAIN! - I left with Metallica still playing. As we exited the building I heard Hit The Lights stop and knew Seek was next. I tried to console myself with the fact that I'd be seeing them again in 13 days, and I was too far away to end up with a pick or anything at the end of the show. And we made our train with 5 minutes to spare. 5 minutes I could've spent with Metallica!!! Still an awesome show, fantastic night and my neck and throat are sore as shit... all is well.

SET LIST
That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Harvester Of Sorrow
For Whom the Bell Tolls
One
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
...And Justice For All
All Nightmare LongThe Day
That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Battery
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
- - - - - - - -
Stone Cold Crazy
Hit The Lights
Seek and Destroy

Jan 18, 2009 Jan 18, 2009
Photos courtesy MetOnTour.com
Boston Herald: Full metal Metallica

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January Rocks

Despite a week of zero degree temperatures, 2009 is starting to heat up. Tomorrow Lori and I are off to see Metallica at the (insert latest bank name)Garden in Boston. We are on the floor in the 11th row. This is my first time seeing the Death Magnetic tour, in fact this is my first Metallica show since October 2004! Damn, that is WAY too long. I've been seeing the Masters of Metal since way back in 1986. I think this will be my 24th show but I've got to track down ticket stubs to be sure I'm not forgetting something. We're also heading down to Newark NJ to see them on Jan 31st, the final weekend of the US leg of the tour - and if the stars align properly I'll see them this May in Germany. My first international concert.
In other Metallica news: on January 13th the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that the mighty Metallica were among the inductees for 2009. The induction ceremony goes down in Cleveland April 4, 2009. More details.
Metallica has announced the release dates for Guitar Hero: Metallica. March 29 in North America for Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3. Outside of North America the game lands in early May. Nintendo Wii and PS2 will follow later in the Spring, also most likely in early May. I'm in the batch of people waiting till May. More details.
But January isn't solely about Metallica. I'm drooling for the penultimate season 5 of Lost to kick off on the 21st. And of course Obamanation kicks into high gear officially on the 20th.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008: What A Year

There is an old Chinese blessing (same say it is a curse) that says "May you live in interesting times." That sure held up for 2008 and I bet it continues for 2009. With a historic Presidential election and an unprecedented global economic crisis, times have been interesting to say the least. 2008 was a fantastic year for me - I had experiences I wouldn't dare dream of as the year began.
There were plenty of traditional highlights. Great, fun movies (Iron Man, Dark Knight, Cloverfield, Tropic Thunder) , concerts (Bruce Springsteen, Crue Fest, AC/DC), television (LOST, 30 Rock, The Office) and sports (Patriots came sooo close to NFL perfection at the beginning of the year then had a thrilling Tom Brady-less season, plus the Celtics reclaimed their championship glory). Fantastic new music by some of my all-time favorite bands came out this year; including my choice for Album of the Year - Metallica's Death Magnetic. There were also great new releases from Motley Crue, AC/DC, Tesla... the world also finally got to hear Guns n Roses' Chinese Democracy. I haven't played that since the week it came out so I guess that is my best review of it.
This was also the year I got hooked on Funny or Die (especially Jon Lajoie) and hopped on the Wii bandwagon, becoming a Guitar Hero addict in the process. What still blows me away is that I went from a beginning acting class to SAG member in a matter of months! I was part of three feature films this past summer and expect that number to rise for 2009. I took more screenwriting classes, had some very promising calls with producers and know good things are coming regarding that career.
Lori and I visited Six Flags New Jersey and New England, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and London - twice!
Then there were the many things I tried having no idea what to expect - travelling to Seattle for a Big Mind weekend in May with Zen Master, Genpo Roshi and to Missouri for the Centerpointe Retreat in October. Truly life changing events.
Wow, this was a really a phenomenal year

2009 already has some killer plans, starting with METALLICA on January 18th in Boston and 31st in Newark NJ. I've got one script to polish and sell, two new ideas to work on plus a book I've started. In March, Lori and I will be attending James Ray's Harmonic Wealth Weekend in NYC. Looks like two international trips are on the horizon for '09, plus more acting, writing, learning.... It's all good.