Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For the love of Jeff, has it really been since christmas since I posted last? Unreal. Anyway, here's some of the stuff that's happened since then for those of you I haven't talked to in a while...

- After careful consideration, Rosie and I have moved from Brisbane back to Byron Bay. We did this for several reasons:

First, Rose decided that she wanted to finish the art degree that she had started many years ago in Sydney. Fortunately, there is a great University not far from Byron that is highly regarded and has a great art program. Rosie is once again studying visual arts at Southern Cross University and she is excelling past either of our expectations. I'm so proud of her. You'll hopefully be seeing some of her work soon.

Second, we felt we were ready for a change. Living in Brisbane was great because for the first time, we got to experience what life was like when we were together all the time - which is something that wasn't possible when I was in comeback kid. In that regard, living in Brisbane was a complete success. Our apartment was great, our neighborhood was the perfect place for a young couple to live, we had a small, but lovely group of friends, etc. However, it was a costly place to live and we both felt like we weren't making progress towards future goals. We both hated our jobs and felt like we were just treading water. Now however, being in Byron is helping us to save money and to put effort into things that will solidify our future together.

Third, all of our friends were moving away and Byron was a solid base for us. We have Rosie's family, friends, and familiarity here. Basically, Byron is home.

Fourth, for the love of Jeff, if i'm living in Australia, i want to KNOW that I live in Australia. I want to go to the beach, go for a surf and a snorkel, go hiking, see palm trees, see wildlife around every corner, etc. I did not experience many of those aforementioned things living in Brisbane. I might as well have been living in Tampa or some chicken shit bull shit.

Fifth, The Gordon Family avocado trees

Alright! What elese...

- I have been composing for a film that will be released this Winter/American Summer. It's a documentary about Rosie's brother's very successful band Parkway Drive. The band decided a while back to create a documentary about the history of the band and of them being born of the Byron Bay scene. Like everything else the band does, they are creating it themselves. I think it's so rad that the band takes such a hands on approach to everything that concerns them. Everything they've achieved, they've done on their own terms and with a strong work ethic. So it's very fitting that they are making this movie on their own. It's also very fitting that the movie about the band that formed in the basement of 30 Parkway Drive, is also being made in that same basement at 30 Parkway Drive. It's been really exciting to be a part of it. While Ben (rosie's brother and drummer of Parkway Drive) is editing the movie in the basement, i'm upstairs composing the music for it. So it's very much a movie concerning all things Parkway Drive. I'm very honored to be a part of the film. There will be a trailer up shortly and the movie will be released August 7th, so keep an eye out.

- To pay the bills whilst working on music projects, i've been working at the Fig Tree Restaurant in Ewingsdale, literally a 10 minute walk down the road from our place. It sits on top of a hill that looks out over all of Byron Bay. Check it out.

Not a bad place to work. For the first time since i've lived here, I actually enjoy my job. Good times.

- I have sent away all of the documents and paid all of the fees I needed and now i'm waiting to officially be a Australian Resident. I already have a medicare card, so now I can get free healthcare, but becoming a resident will allow me vote, go to school, get a license, work as little or as much as I want, adopt a kangaroo, kiss a snake, and even become mayor of murwillumbah, or hell even yerongapilly or mullumbimby.

- I have been surfing more and more and have been getting pretty good for a midwestern boy. For some reason, it comes really natural to me. I love it for the same reasons i love playing live music. I find when I play live music - I feel nothing - which is a wonderful thing. I spend so much of my time everyday being aware of things, contemplating actions, choices, words, emotions. Sometimes I feel like a slave to my emotions and anxieties. But when I perform music live, it's almost like I blackout for a little while and I just release myself, let the music take hold of me and let it do to me what it will. Then when it's over, i think "whoa..where was I? What happened?" For a short perios of time, I had no thoughts, no worries, no feelings, no questions, nothing.

I experience the same phenomena wen surfing. When I'm out in the ocean, sitting on the board - i'm still contemplating things, but great things. I'm feeling the water, watching for the sets of waves rolling in, trying to decided if i'm in the best position and then what wave will I choose. And then when I decide, I'm gone. I blackout. And after I've just spent time floating on top of water i think, "whoa...what just happened." I don't remember much, but I do remember that for a short period of time, I felt nothing. It's a wonderful thing.

- This season of LOST is the best yet. What a wonderful show.

- I actually like vegemite now - unreal.

Anyway, that's about all for now. I'm coming home in June, which I cannot wait for. So friends, if you're around in June - get a hold of me and let's hang!

Later dudes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Dammit!

Hello friends and family!

Just wanted to drop everyone a quick hello and say Merry Christmas to all!

It sure is weird being in a tropical environment for the holidays. I've been going back and forth with feelings of happiness for a new kind of Christmas and sadness and yearning for the Christmas i've had at home for every 27 years of my life. On the one hand there's the positives of being away from the cold, new traditions, new family, etc. I mean, I woke up on Christmas eve and Rosie and I promptly went out into the sun and heat and went snorkeling. I even saw a jellyfish! That's a pretty rad Christmas eve. But on the other hand - no snow, no cold, no Sinatra Christmas songs, no Christmas eve mass at the Basilica in Minneapolis, etc. - it just doesn't feel right. I guess Australia is the best place to be for Christmas if i'm not going to be home, simply because it doesn't feel like Christmas. If I were somewhere else in America, or somewhere in the Northern hemisphere where it's cold and Christmas is a bigger deal, I think it would put me in that holiday spirit and make me wish so badly that I was home. But since there's none of the usual Christmas things i'm used to - I don't really notice that it's Christmas and therefor don't yearn for home.

Anyway, Christmas has been pretty rad so far. Rosie and I opened the gifts we recieved from my family (the Poo-Lar bear was especially fantastic - and each other and we recieved some prettty rad gear. Now we're just busy cooking up Christmas dinner ("dinner" means "lunch" over here) and then we're off to see the rest of the Gordon family. Good times.

Here are some photos of the Holiday season here in Byron Bay. Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Photos -
1. Kevin and Ray go for a surf on Festivus.
2. The tree with presents
3. A special Christmas friend.
4. Tree hunting. Rosie and I found a tree out the front of her house. A rite of passage - I finally hunted and cut down my own tree. My old man would be proud.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Hi Everyone..

I apologize for my lack of updates. Recently my hard drive crashed and I lost all of my photos and other essential items which leaves me with no photos to show all of you. Combine that with not having internet access at home, and it all adds up to me procrastinating on blogging. Does anyone even check this thing anymore? Is this thing on?

I am, however, going to be making an informative video of my neighborhood to give you all a better idea of my life in Brisbane. So look out for that soon.

I'll give you a brief rundown of what's been happening the past few months.

1. Summer is just starting to kick into gear and that means HEAT. Even in the beginnings of Spring, if the sun is out it means it's going to be a hot day. It's great though - it's half the reason I moved out here so bring on the heat!

2. I've started a new band with a couple of friends - Winston who sings in Parkway Drive and a good buddy named Luke Weber. So look out for that, it will smash your brain.

3. Rosie and I have just been working and taking little trips to Byron and greater Queensland when we can, which has been great. We also took a whale watching trip to Hervey Bay which was magical. If you haven't seen it already, i've made of video which you can check out here -

4. I've been slowly making progress a music career. I've been composing music for a few projects including an independent samurai film, the Parkway Drive (Rosie's brothers band) DVD which will be released next year sometime, and have made some contacts for hopefully some more scoring projects.

5. Financial Crisis, Cubs having a chance to win the World Series, historical upcoming presidential election, hurricanes - Man, I leave the country and all sorts of crazy shit happens. Maybe I should come back and sort everything out.

Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Playing Catch Up

Wow. I"ve been so bad at updating this thing it's unreal. A lot has been happening the past couple weeks and it would be impossible for me to recount everything, so i'll just give a quick rundown.

1.On Tuesday, February 11th, Rosie and I moved into our new place on Elystan Road in the neighborhood of New Farm in Brisbane, Queensland. New Farm is a lovely little neighborhood full of leafy streets, nice parks, quaint restaurants, coffee shops, and specialty stores. Our apartment is an old "queenslander" style house that has been converted into four apartments. It has a great feel to it, complete with sparkling hardwood floors, modern kitchen, and huge bedroom. It's located on a quiet street that is a stones throw from New Farm Park, a minute and a half walk from the brisbane river, and about 5 minute walk from a small retail center with a grocery store, bookshop, bakery, deli, bank, bike shop, etc. All in all, it's a perfect location.

2. We said goodbye to Byron Bay (or rather, see you soon) on that same Tuesday and it was bittersweet. It was exciting to finally be moving into our own place, but it was also nice just having a 4 week vacation full of surfing, good eating, hiking, swimming, good visits with the Gordons, and just relaxing and doing nothing. It was definitely what my body and mind was craving after 5 years of heavy touring. But Rose and I will be back there soon enough.

3. Rosie has started school at the Australian College of Natural Medicine and so far she is loving it and has learned a lot in only her first three days.

4. I've managed to see a couple shows since i've been here and learned that Brisbane has a pretty thriving music scene with some good bands. Hopefully i'll be able to start up my own band soon. I've certainly got the itch, it's driving me crazy. This is the first time i've been without a band in at least 10 years and i'm about to go bonkers.

5. Rose and I will be going to Syndey this weekend for a friends wedding. It will be awesome for us to get a break from Brisbane and head to the big city. Let's just hope the weather is decent instead of pissing down rain like it has been lately.

6. Fun facts, stories, etc. about my time here so far :

-The bats here are absolutely gigantic, the first week in our new place was marked with the sound of numerous bats squealing, fighting, and flapping their giant leather wings in the tree right outside our window. I was starting to have second thoughts about our apartment - but luckily the bats ate all the fruit that was in the tree and moved on. Now our place is quiet and calm at night.

- According to my friend Garreth from Liverpool, it's been raining here in Brisbane more than it has been in England. Buh? I thought Queensland was supposed to be the sunshine state. Ah well, at least it's been cool and not scorching.

-It's impossible to find a bad coffee in this country.

-It's summer, so all the critters are out. Our apartment is a regular host to Geckos. They mind their business though and they're pretty cute, so it's not a problem.

That's it for now. I'll be posting pictures when I get to someplace with a faster internet connection than the coffee shop i'm sitting at now. I'll also be posting a list of things that make Australia great. See you then.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Living Life

Okay, so i'll try to make a recap of all the notable things that have happened since I left - i'll try not to make a novel out of it as well. Sorry it has taken me so long.

January 6th -8th

Said goobye to the fam and went to Minneapolis-St.Paul International airport. Flight was delayed by an hour. Arrived in Los Angeles, had no gate for our flight and had to wait on the tarmac for 20 minutes. Finally got off the plance, checked in for my flight, killed some time. Boarded the plane but because of a storm, had to wait on the runway for 2 hours. Lucky, was able to sleep during most of the 11 hour plan ride - a first for me, usually I can't sleep on planes. Landed in Nadi, Fiji at 8am. Hung out, ate some breakfast and waited for my flight that was scheduled to leave at 12:15. Found out that our flight would be delayed until 12:45, then dealyed again until 2:15, then again until 3:30, and again until 4:15. Spent 8 hours alone in a tiny, tiny airport with no AC and bastard kids running around and screaming at the top of their lungs. Finally went to board my flight, walked out onto the runway right as a torrential downpour started. Got onto the plane soaking wet. Arrived in Brisbane around 7pm. Got to say hello and hug Rosie for the first time in over 2 months. Went to our hotel, ate some food, fell asleep.

January 9th -

I knew that Silverstein (the band that we had toured with this whole past summer) were suppose to play in Brisbane that night. I talked to their bass player, Billy, over email a little bit but still didn't know the details of their show or if they had time to hang out in Brisbane. Rosie and I decided to spend the day shopping around different neighborhoods for places to live. While looking for apartments in an area called New Farm, I looked out my window into a cafe and who do I see? - All the Silverstein guys. Rosie pulled over quickly and I ran in and asked them what was on the menu for today and they about shit themselves. Hung out with them for a while, had a juice and caught up. As we were getting ready to leave, I looked across the room and saw my buddy Nick Lucas, whom I had met in London a couple years ago but hadn't seen in probably a year. I ran over to him and said hello and he also about shit himself. So it was a great time seeing old friends and what a great introduction to my new life in Australia. I took it as a sign that we should concentrate on finding a place in the New Farm area.

After more apartment searching and some dinner Rosie and I checked out the show which was a lot of fun. Kids in Australia love Silverstein. They had a great reaction and played a great show. Aftewards, Rose and I went back to our hotel and I got some much needed, jet lagged sleep.

January 10th - Present

Since then, Rosie and I have spent the last two weeks in Rosie's home town of Byron Bay. It's a great little town right on the ocean that has beautiful landscapes, great shops and places to eat, and plenty of tourists. It's settled down a little now, but the town just had an influx of kids on school holidays clogging the streets, beaches and hotels. The tourists and the weather has kept us at Rosie's house, just relaxing. Up until two days ago the weather has been pretty rainy and cloudy, far from the lazy, sunny days on the beach that I had imagined. But now things are backt o normal. The sun is out and it's bloody hot.

This past Saturday (which would've been Friday for you Yanks) Rose and I packed up a lunch and went to Whites Beach, which is a little secret beach a little ways from Byron. It was like something out of the movies. It was a beautiful day, we had the whole beach to ourselves, and we had a great swim. Here's some photos of our day there....

The walk to the beach

Whites Beach

The view from my towel

When we got home, I felt a little uncomfortable so I took off my shirt, only to see that I had been sunburnt to hell. It could've been a lot worse for spending all day in the sun, but it still hurt like hell.

You might not be able to tell how bad it got from this photo, but here is Rose and I with our sunburn and me holding a aloe vera leaf from the plant outside of the house - that little guy was my savior. I opened him up and slathered all the fresh aloe goo all over my sunburn and it really did the trick.

So that's it for now. I'll post again probably later tonight with the story of the 5 mile rainforest hike that Rose and I did yesterday. Word. See you then.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Letter From Australia

It's been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. Let's see...Our Europe ended well and a great time was had by all, I played my last shows with Comeback Kid and they were a blast, Festivus and Christmas were both full of holiday joy and awesome hangouts with family and friends, made a last minute trip with my Pops down to Chicago and Springfield Illinois to visit family, chilled with my parents and watch tv for new years and it was the best - a lot went down.

And then it was time for me to leave. I spent my last days in Minnesota, U.S.A. spending as much time with my family and friends as possible. Even with the impending doom of having to say goodbye to my loved ones for a long time, I was still able to have some fun, some good laughs, and make some good memories. I threw a going away party at my parents place 2 nights before I was set to leave and it turned out to be a huge success. There were friends, food, and root beer a plenty.

I won't go into detail about saying goodbye to my friends and family because it's impossible to articulate what I went through those last two days, but suffice to say - My family and friends are the most important things in my life and I will miss them dearly.

Now, however, it's time to begin again. I'm stoked to have a clean slate and to have Rosie by my side as we start a new life down under.

I've been Australia three days so far and I'm so excited to live here. The air is clean, the sun is bright, the ocean is beautiful, the days are long, the food is delicious. I'm having a great go of it so far.

I'll write more again soon. Including a hilarious story of the it's-a-small-world variety and my awful plane rides over here. For now, I just want to sit back, relax and enjoy not wearing a winter coat and long underwear.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Here are some pics from previous days. First in Paris, then Durango, and then a couple from Madrid

Load out in Paris. Notice the line of cars behind the bus and trailer.

Museum du quai Branly where Rosie worked.