Another Fun Night in Huntersville and Cornelius (So Lucky to Live Here!)

I had another great Saturday night close to home thanks to excellent friends and family and some outstanding local businesses.

Spent the day showing houses, having a fun time with an excellent client. Saw some cute homes and discovered a couple of nice areas neither of us had seen before. A good, fun day deserves a good, fun night, and Ashley and I had plans to make it happen.

We started at one of our favorite local restaurants, Kung Foo Noodle in Birkdale. The food there is always wonderful. Tommy, the owner, makes dining there a special event. We always leave feeling happier, not only because we get a delicious meal at a super value, but because Tommy fills our spirits too. He’s a true joy to be around. He’s also an incredible role model for anyone in business. Honestly, I endeavor to be as giving and joyous as him in my dealings with people.

Exceptional Singapore noodles and house special Si Fu fried rice devoured — as well as the extra-special mango/crab/sesame sushi roll — we set out for part two of the special night.

Bayne Brewing, one of our fantastic local breweries (and one of my favorite breweries anywhere) was hosting a comedy/improv night again. Last time we saw Now Are The Foxes there it was hilarious! This time around the Off The Cuff group from Charlotte was prepared to make everyone laugh.

Knowing it was likely to fill up, we got to Bayne a bit early. Gave us plenty of time to savor some of their Koko coffee porters (yum!) before having to spray any from laughing too hard.

Tell you what, Chris Bayne is another impressive local businessman. A super nice guy with some of the smartest marketing ideas around. Like Tommy at Kung Foo, he’s also extremely generous and just good to spend time with.

The improv show more than lived up to expectations. I think catching improv at a beer room is set up to be more fun than in most theaters. The performers were all on point, and the room stayed filled with laughter. Some of the folks who performed last night will also be with Now Are The Foxes during their shows this upcoming weekend. Highly recommended for a relatively low-cost night out and lots of fun.

Some Indie Music I’ve Been Listening to Lately

My music taste leans nearly 80% local, but here’s a quick list of non-local things I’ve been enjoying a lot lately.

First, there’s Gender Roles‘ first EP, Planet X-Ray. Gender Roles is far from a local band. They’re not even from this country. Their sound is described as “hazy indie-punk;” I may not be cool enough to know about that, but I dig the way their music meshes Britpop with what 90s Sub Pop used to be known for.

Then there’s Coolsay Too by Coolzey and Soce the Elemental Wizard. Lucky enough to see Coolzey a month or so back at the Milestone (on a fantastic bill — as usual –with D&D Sluggers, Thought Criminals, Luciopro, and Ceschi!), I was drawn to his bold take on a lounge/hip-hop blend. Very postmodern. Check out the song “Tough Guy” for a taste of what I mean.

I was surprised and excited to see that The Colour Thirteen released a full-length album just a couple days ago. I really didn’t think they were doing anything anymore. For all my friends who dig 80s new wave and synthpop, you really ought to give this a listen. The album’s sort of self-titled, TC13, and includes all the songs from their 2011 EP plus 5 more energetic, yet sufficiently moody, tracks.

Simply fun.

6 Reasons My Open House Event is Better Than Record Store Day

  1. You (probably) won’t have to stand in a long, slow moving line just to get in the door.
  2. All the good stuff won’t get snatched up before you can get to it.
  3. We’ll have free, fresh-baked cookies!
  4. The Open House is from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, so you don’t have to get up super early just to hope you get a chance to see something cool.
  5. Tons of free parking!
  6. Although quantities of this particular house are limited (there’s, uh, only one), lots of similar properties are available, and you won’t have to deal with ebay to get to them.

Sure, Record Store Day is pretty cool, but so is this house. The GREAT news is you don’t even have to choose between the two! If you want to get out to Lunchbox Records or Repo for the RSD festivities, you’ll probably want to go early. Then get a good lunch, post online about your awesome RSD purchases, and come to Huntersville and see me!

There’s a Facebook event for the Open House for information at www.facebook.com/events/300537333711195/ 

Hope to see you there!

14765 Caldeford Open House Flyer

What Will You Find Around the Next Corner?

Yesterday in the bookstore I walked past a mom and daughter in the psychology section. The little girl was around 6 years old, and as I went by I heard her say, “See? They don’t have ANY kids books.”

I snickered because it was cute. Of course the store has children’s books. Many, many more than they have psychology books. More than a section, they have their own department, actually. And it’s just around the corner from the psychology section.

This reminded me how we can each sometimes perceive things in a similar fashion. We can be in a specific spot in our lives and only see what’s directly around us or in front of us. We might yearn for something, but it may be out of our vision; if we aren’t careful, we can foolishly assume what we hope for doesn’t exist or is unattainable.

How often might the thing we’re hoping for be right around the corner?

This is one reason I’m not entirely a fan of the idea of “perception is reality.” Every sensible person knows perception is limited, therefore flawed, and, more frequently than we might acknowledge, wrong.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Have you ever experienced depression? Anxiety? Ever been in a new situation and feel like you’ll never be comfortable there?

Did you move past that?

If you have, hopefully you get my point. If you haven’t, maybe you can take some comfort in knowing that what surrounds you right now is not necessarily all there is. There just might be a big, colorful, fun new place not far away. We just have to keep moving, eyes open.

Is Meditation One of Your New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s What Worked For Me

Meditating Millennial

I actually started meditating in the middle of the year. So technically meditation wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution for me. Personally, I was never successful in completing my New Year’s Resolutions, so I don’t partake in them anymore. Instead, if I want to make a change in my life, I try to plan and act on it as soon as I can, which can be at any time of the year.

But once I did decide to start meditating consistently, here’s what worked for me:

View original post 769 more words

Being IS Going – Car & Driver Part 1

Not long ago I published a piece about being present in the moment. Being fully present wherever I am has been something I’ve put a lot of effort into, tremendously impacting my well being. It’s a mindset — a mind reset in my case  — that requires work.

A lot of us are conditioned and encouraged to be thinking of what’s coming next. The entire concept of achieving goals requires envisioning and moving away from your present state toward something else, in the future. Existing passively in the current moment, by contrast, seems lazy. Without motivation. Going nowhere.

For me, this misconception was one I had the hardest time overcoming. My 21st century, goal-oriented and ambitious western mind had difficulty reconciling reveling in the present with growth and achievement.

Here’s the thing, though: being present is not a passive state. No, it’s actually quite the opposite. To be present is to actively be aware, to experience, analyze, appreciate, and be with purpose and whole consciousness.

Yes, accepting situations for what they are, not constantly struggling against them, is something that comes with being fully in the moment, but that acceptance is still different than missing the moment altogether because you’re rushing through it.

It’s like driving a car. Ashley and I took a trip to Atlanta last week, and while driving the four hours back, this occurred to me.

When you are driving a car, you are present inside the car. The car is on the road (hopefully), so, yes, you are also on the road, but where you really are is in the seat, inside the car, behind the wheel. The car might be going 60 or 70 miles an hour, but your actions aren’t super-fast. With me?

So let’s relate the car to your life. Or your career, or your relationship(s). The “car” can be anything you’re involved in that is in motion. The distance the car traverses is like the passage of time. Your life moves on similar to how a car moves down a highway. Cars move toward destinations. So do our lives. Sometimes we call the destinations goals.

When you begin a drive, you usually have some idea where you want to go. Sometimes you don’t; life can be like that too. Either way, the whole reason we find ourselves behind the wheel is because we want to go somewhere. Although the car is the means we use to get there, the car won’t take us there on it’s own. We have to drive (at least until we all get those cool Google cars). And driving is an action which requires at least some degree of awareness.

As a driver, the more aware you are — the more present at the wheel — the more likely your trip will successfully reach its destination. Absolutely, we can encounter other things on the road — other cars, weather conditions, deer, and stuff — outside our control that might affect the drive, but being fully present as the driver of our car, gives us the best chances to avoid or deal with such things. Similarly, continuing the analogy, by being present where you are, fully involved in this moment, you are actually more likely to guide your life to the goals you have before you.

We all know or at least have heard that distracted driving is a serious issue. Paying attention to your phone or other things instead of driving can cause accidents and harm. Sure, we may have all had those experiences where we get someplace and don’t recall the drive. It can happen. In life, we can also reach positive results without knowing how we got there. We can also, though, wreck possibilities and miss opportunities if we aren’t alert.

Being present doesn’t prevent moving forward. It’s actually your best and easiest way to help you do just that, successfully.

Demonstrating Care — Something Else My Dog Taught Me

Caring for a pet can teach you many things. One is the importance of communicating through actions rather than words.

I find myself talking to my dog a lot. I tell Milton I love him hundreds of times a day. I like to think he gets it, but I know my words don’t really mean anything to him.  I could be saying “I love glue” or “I ate stew” and he’d comprehend it just the same.

Sure, my tone conveys some sense of meaning, but using a particular tone of voice and accompanying speech with movements or even facial expressions are actions. As far as the actual words, it’s all probably “blah blah blah” to his ears.

We know dogs recognize their names. We also know they can respond to commands. Unlike people, though, it’s not because they understand the language and make the connections. It’s through repetition and training that our pets associate certain sounds with certain consequences. In effect, and to repeat, it’s the actions they understand.

The communication thing works both ways. Milton’s use of my native tongue is worse than limited. He tries, though. Barks, grunts, whines… he vocalizes to get my attention and try to get a point across. It’s the looks he gives me and the way he acts when he makes his noises that help me interpret what he might want.

Being aware of this, I do try to demonstrate how much I care for Milton as often as I tell him. We play, we take walks, I pet him, I give him treats. I do my best to take good care of him and make his life comfortable. I pay attention to him.

This relationship with my dog helps me realize my interactions with people, particularly people I’m close to, needs the same kind of care. They may have the advantage of sharing a language with me, but simply telling folks they are special isn’t communicating well enough. Real understanding comes from showing them how much they mean to me.

I probably shouldn’t pet and cuddle the people around me like I will my dog, but I can and should give them attention. I can help them when they need it. I can do things, large and small, to make their lives comfortable, to help them feel cared for.

It’s easy to say things. Sometimes too easy. Caring requires thoughtful action.

It’s been said many times before: You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Sometimes with a leash and a clean-up bag.