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Showing posts from 2016

Passion Party #574 - The Word of the Year

Merriam Webster announced today
the word most looked up on their website this year.
It may come as a shock to know
That people with intelligence still want to grow.
For education they use their gear
allowing the computer to enter the fray.

Shock, dismay, lack of belief,
fantastic change, anguish and surprise,
the news often hit us between the eyes.
What I, for one, thought to be true
was merely "truthiness" in disguise.

The year has gone and left us here
to carry on in hope and fear
So now with all that we've had to deal
We're left with the word of the year: "Surreal"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/woty2016-top-looked-up-words-surreal

Passion Party #573 - Commitment

Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions, which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through - time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of, the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.

Passion Party #572 - The Biggest Surprise

--> The Dalai Lama was asked what surprises him the most: "Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. 
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. 

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; 
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”

Passion Party #571 - If When, Then...

Settling goals does not cut it. There have been too many years wasted on empty goal-setting. Promises made in January sit collecting dust or lie tattered on the floor come December.
I know what I want to do and I know how to do it. The doing is the hard part and doing it with consistency is harder.
This year, rather than set goals, I will create "pre-suasive" statements that will help me achieve what i want to do in my life. Instead of having a goal of "lose 10 pounds" I will say, "When I am offered dessert, then I say "I'll have mint tea with honey, please." Instead of having a goal of "make more money" I will say, "When the work day is over, then I can make one more call to a client and offer my help."
The pre-programming may seem artificial, but it is how habits are formed I want to get where I want to go not by force but by flow.

Passion Party #570 - It Feels Good To Do Good

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On Thursday, November 10th, 2016 PATH Ventures hosted their 11th Annual Holiday Jazz Revue, an unforgettable evening of dinner, music, and fun at the classic Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood, CA. I was the featured entertainment with my all-star band of L.A. studio artists (Gina Saputo, Diana Zaslove Kahn, Robert Kyle, Nolan Shaheed, Lyman Medeiros and Kevin Winard).

With the help of a sold-out crowd, plus generous corporate sponsors including City National Bank, over $54,000 was donated to directly support affordable housing developments across Southern California.
There are over 45,000 people living on the streets of Los Angeles County on any given night. They are women with children, people struggling with serious health issues, war veterans, seniors, emancipated foster youth, and families who lost everything because of the recession. PATH Ventures’ housing models aim to prevent and end homelessness by integrating supportive services, community development and permanent housing …

Passion Party #569 - Be Kind to Yourself Today

Imagine a life
with passion and love
a place surrounded by beauty
a room filled with people that care about you
a space where kindness is given
a day spent in creative pursuits
a night filled with heavenly sounds
And tomorrow you wake up
with a passion for life
in a place of beauty
ready to take on the day
with a new sense of purpose.
You are ready to love
and to be loved.
Imagine that.

Passion Party #568 - Prayer and Meditation

Prayer and meditation are similar but different.
Meditation is an emptying out
a clearing of the mind
a "no-thought"
or a watching of the thoughts go by
just like clouds, blown in a clear blue sky.

Prayer is more directed
but it is not an asking of what God can do for you.
it is not like the wish list for Santa Claus.
It is an asking of what you can do to fulfill God's will.

My prayers start with a request for clarity and serenity, and this is like a meditation.
Then a thank you for what I have been given
(and often a surprise at how things that I desire seem to be coming my way)
Then a grateful list
and then a request prefaced by "if it is Your Will".

And yes, there is a big part of me that questions God as an individual or any kind of anthropomorphic being with the capability of listening and responding. Seems like a fairy tale. It is more an offering to life, to the universe, and the response continues to be surprising, often accurate and at times immediate.

For the New Year: Repentence and Returning (PP#82)

I was never a big fan of repentance.
It always brings up an image of a New Yorker comic
with a guy in a long robe walking the streets
with a big placard,
someone Holier Than Thou,
who are you to tell me to repent for my sins?

But T'shuvah has other meanings
It is taking responsibility for one's actions
It is being accountable
And in another way it can be translated as "return".
A return to where you have come from
a return to the beginning
as we all finally return to the same nothingness.

When thought of this way
T'shuvah is really the 4th Step Prayer
a time to clean my side of the street
admit what I did wrong
and a willingness to change
to make it right in the future.
And it is when I become accountable
that things begin
changing
improving
creating space for what
the Universe has to offer.

Passion Party #567: Commitment vs. Obligation

We all take on commitments, and each commitment creates obligations.
We run into trouble when we end up with obligations that we realize we really don't want to fulfill. So before I take on something new, I ask myself, "Is this a commitment I want to take on?  Or will it end up being a bunch of obligations that I really don't want to do? And what in my life now is really just an obligation that I don't care about any more?
Clearing out the obligations and focusing on the commitments I actually want to fulfill  simplifies my life and helps me feel more "in balance".

Passion Party # 566 - You Can't Push The River, and You Can't Fight The Stream(ing)

The Summer of Streaming is upon us, and the music business will never be the same.
The whole concept of a music fan owning music, caring not only about the artist but the additional players, the production people, the artwork, the care and thought that an artist puts into the concept of an ALBUM of music, meant to be listened to from beginning to end, is truly over.  Music is now a commodity, and musicians are not artists, we are merely content providers.

Some examples, from an excellent Wall Street Journal article by Neil Shah:
 - as of June 30, 36% of music sales are from streaming, compared to 26% from physical albums and 20% from digital downloads.
 - This summer Chance The Rapper released the first streaming-only album.  He has no record deal and creates no physical product. He  has a deal directly with Apple Music for distribution and his album(?) "Coloring Book" debuted at #8 on the Billboard chart.
 - Last week Riahanna's album "Anti" only sold 5,000 ph…

Passion Party #565 - Father's Day 2016

POSITION: Father (also known as Daddy, Dad, Pop) JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidate must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required. LENGTH OF JOB: The rest of your life. POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Not much until Grandparent position opens up. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required. On-the-job training mandatory. SKILLS: Ability to fix any broken toyBug CatcherDoctorChef ChauffeurTeacherPrincipalFinder of lost objectsMaster pancake makerClownBENEFITS: No paid holidays. Available benefits include lifelong opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and occasional hugs. These are only a few reasons to celebrate all the men we know and love who are great fathers! Happy Father’s Day!

Passion Party #564 - Master Class

I have never had the guts to audition, to put myself in a highly competitive environment musically.  The only time I had to audition to get into graduate school in a jazz program, I hated it so much that I decided that continuing schooling was just not for me.  I never went back to a formal degree program after getting my Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition - I was just not a real academic, in the "ivory-tower" sense.  And this decision worked well for me.

My son Evan, on the other hand, is on a solid path to get a Masters in Cello Performance (Chamber Music) from San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Right now he is in Los Angeles as one of 40 students from around the world that were chosen to participate in the Piatigorsky Cello Festival
https://piatigorskyfestival.usc.edu/

We went to the cello festival this afternoon to see Evan play for a master class with Raphael Wallfisch Evan was one of three students that played in this, the first master class of the week (each of t…

Prince, Adele, Ed Sheeran and Herbie Hancock walk into a bar...

Not it's not a joke, it's some of the music you'll hear on Wednesday at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood when the George Kahn "Secrets" Band takes the stage to play an eclectic night of Jazz;  Music starts at 8:30 PM,
Here's the program:
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1)Killer Joe 2)Rumor Has It - Adele 3)The Night Has 1000 Eyes 4)Freedom Jazz Dance – Eddie HArris 5)Roger Kilowatt - Kahn 6)Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd 7)Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran 8)Thieves In The Temple - Prince 9)Wayne’s World - Kahn 10)Work Song – Nat Adderly
Wednesday, May 11 at 8:30 PM.  Please call for reservations, to make sure you get a great seat 323-466-2210 or buy online at CATALINAJAZZCLUB.COM

Passion Party #563 - Behind The Front Page

I never use this blog for this purpose, but I just have to share the various news stories I read today in the Wall Street Journal.  None of these showed up on the first page, and none of them were reported in the LA Times.  I believe they are more newsworthy than the latest thing that any politician said today.
 -  Millions of documents that were leaked from Mossack Fonseca & Co. list 140 very prominent public officials, executives and celebrities that used their services in setting up shell companies and offshore accounts for its clients: Many business associates of Vladimir Putin, The Prime Minister of Iceland, eight relatives of China's Politburo Standing Committee, the brother-in-law of Chinese President Deng Jiagui, Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko and others.  The law firm and all individuals have denied any wrongdoing. - Although college students take notes on the computer 33% faster than if they hand-write the notes, students that take notes by hand  consistently lea…

Passion Party #562 - One More Day

If you could spend one more day with a loved one already departed, how would you spend it? What would you do? Mitch Albom became fascinated by this question while writing the book, For One More Day

Albom found time and again that people wanted to spend an ordinary day doing ordinary things with the people they had loved. Almost everyone wanted to tell this special person, “I love you” one more time. Many said they wanted to do the habitual things they always did with the person, such as head to the movies, or eat at a favorite restaurant, or just sit around and talk about old times.

Albom learned what we yearn for is not something exotic or faraway – it’s connection. And realizing this, a “normal” day is something we should all treasure. 

This year on February 29th you will be granted One More Day. I can’t grant you time with someone who is already gone, but I can remind you to do something ordinarily wonderful with someone you love today!

Happy Leap Day!

Passion Party #561 - Optimist Vs. Pessimist

An optimist looks at her smartphone and sees a mighty hand-held computer that is changing the world for the better.
A pessimist looks at her smartphone and sees all the accidents caused by people who text while driving, or text as they walk into a streetlamp.

An optimist thinks, "Another day of potential and opportunity".  A pessimist thinks, "Another day of meaningless existence.  And then you die."

In the end, life is what we make it, and the only constant is change.
As my friend Mark says, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf".

As for me, I choose to be an optimist
             because the alternative sucks.

Passion Party #560 - Keeping Love Alive

Falling in love is easy. Falling in lust easier still. But to be in love and stay in love for decades takes commitment and work. A recent study of sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships is being published this month in the Journal of Sex Research (you can read more about this at http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-keeps-couples-happy-long-term-1454961956) The study, started in 2006, analyzed answers from 39,000 heterosexual couples that had been with their partners for at least 3 years. The “No, duh!” result from the study? Men and women who are sexually satisfied are happier in their relationship.
Well, as Marvin Gaye said, “Let’s Get It On”.
But maybe a long-term loving relationship is not that simple.The study found that there were consistent habits of happy, long-term couples.And it is not just frequency of sex that creates a satisfying relationship.Other factors consistently came up amongst the couples. The habits that show up consistently amongst the couples are mood set…

Passion Party #559 - The Unexpected Challenge

Who knew it would be uncomfortable to plan a 25-day vacation?
Who knew that writing a cover letter for something you believe in could be so difficult?

The challenges we set for ourselves
- to lose weight
 - to exercise more
 - to make more money
these are easy compared to the unexpected challenges,
the ones that life throws at us like a curve ball
the ones that leave us questioning
wondering where the resistance is coming from,
whether we can even lift the bat, much less swing it,
wondering and wandering.

It takes time to dig deep and find where the resistance is coming from.
I cannot prepare, I can only be open and willing to face the challenges

Passion Party #158 - Take A Risk, Part 2

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
-Anais Nin

Who is it that is hiding inside you?
When did you decide it was better to be safe and invisible
rather than to live flamboyantly and risk being noticed?
What gifts are you sitting on, hoarding,
that you could be sharing with the world to make it a better place?

Life is about choices, growth and taking chances.
It is about loving courageously and not holding back.
I owe it to myself and to the world to make the most out of what is given me.

Bloom into your incredibly, gloriously beautiful self.  The world is waiting.

Passion Party #557 - Take A Risk (Part 1)

"You will either step forward into growth
or you will step backward into safety"
-Abraham Maslow

Safety is easy
Just do what you have always done
and get the same result.
Growing is a challenge
You must face the fear putting yourself out there
You must  risk rejection and failure.

Without steeping forward,
without raising your hand,
there is no growth.

You can live the risk of doing nothing
or you can live the risk of doing something
or you can risk doing some big audacious something.
The choice is yours
the results will follow.

Passion Party #556 - The Best Year Ever

What will make 2016 my best year ever?

Making money alone won't do it.
Seeing my bank account grow is a great feeling,
better than the alternative,
but there is more to life than making money.
Taking stock of what's important and then doing more of it this year:
that feels like the definition of a really great year.

A year of solid and increasing income
A year of travel
A year of music
A year of "clean" eating
A year of exercise and physical health
A year of morning ritual and spirituality
A year of being close with my family
This can be my best year ever.

Passion Party #555 - Accountability

Life is short.
This message is clearer and clearer as I get older,
as I see many of the people I grew up with passing away.
Where once life seemed an incredible expanse of time
(I could not imagine what it would be like turning 50!),
I now see a finite, if indefinite, number of days.

What to do with the time still given me?
How can I best accomplish what I want to do?
This is where accountability and community come into play.

I need to be accountable to others
for their sake and mine.
When I am willing to accept responsibility for my actions
my path becomes clearer.
When I commit to others, not just to myself,
the power is doubled, the motivation increased.

So this year I commit
not to goals or tasks
but to being accountable.