For Tina, on the anniversary of her upsetting the balance of the universe.

Happy, happy my dear friend.

May peace and chaos always find the right balance in your home, and those under your roof know the depth of your love for them.

May you and yours prosper and never want, and the light in your hearth never dim.

May those close to you never fail to show their appreciation and affection.

May your aim always be true, judicious and merciful.

May all of your dreams come true, your adventures be epic and shared.

Thank you for being my friend, my evil big (older!) sister, my Tina.

Happy Birthday!

Love ya,

Mark, aka “your stupid little brother” ūüėČ

P.S. ¬†Yeah, I so¬†didn’t¬†get you a card…



when I look

I see every line

every freckle

every year

and all the tears

the sparkle and shine

eternity in your eyes

my gaze is unrelenting

for if age or the gods should

steal my eyes

I would still see you

Songs of 2012

Gangnam Style.  Seriously?

Believe it or not, there was much more to the year in music than a K-Pop star finally breaking big in the US.  Good for him.

There was a lot going on in music this year. ¬†It was a big year for acoustic based bands, but metal and hard rock also saw a bit of¬†resurgence¬†in the mainstream. ¬†LA’s own Five Finger Death Punch wrote, “I’m not selling out, I’m buying in!”. Nothing quite illustrates the underground’s continuing emergence as the new mainstream.

The criteria is the same as always.  I had to own the music and it had to be released this year.

So, let’s start – in no particular order.

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

First Aid Kit – Emmylou

Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks

Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait

Alabama Shakes – Hold On

The Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made the Radio

The Killers – Runaways

Elizabeth Cooke w/Aaron Watson – Leather and Lace

Fun. – Carry On

Green Day – Oh Love

Gaslight Anthem – 45

Ian Hunter – When I’m President

ZZ Top – I Gotsta Get Paid

Devin Townshend Project – Kingdom

Deftones – Tempest

Stone Sour – Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero

FOZZY – Sandpaper Featuring M Shadows

Soundgarden – Been Away Too Long

In This Moment – Blood

I have to say, as well, it’s nice to see the music video making a come back as an art form. ¬†MTV has died, long live YouTube!