Archive for November, 2010

Got Books?

Posted: 11/28/2010 in Uncategorized

I wanted to pass the word along on this great idea by Rod from Shambhala SunSpace and The Worst Horse. He put together this video on how you can donate your used dharma books to prisoners who can put them to great use at the Prison Dharma Network. Check it out and make a donation if you can:



Happy Thanksgiving

Posted: 11/25/2010 in Social, Spiritual

I know I’m a bit late on this, as the day is almost over, but I wanted to say I hope the three of you that read this blog had a Happy Thanksgiving and spent some valuable time with your family and/or friends.

I had a quandary as far as what to do about Thanksgiving Dinner, being a new vegetarian and all. The problem was solved when I was informed that my mom and her husband would be coming over to my sister’s house for breakfast and we would not be doing a turkey dinner. No problem: eggs, pancakes and biscuits while they eat the bacon. My sister and brother-in-law went to his family’s house for a turkey dinner and I wasn’t into that so I didn’t have to worry about the turkey temptation or the explanation of the vegetarian thing to everyone including the man of the house who is an avid hunter.

I will admit, it brought me down a bit. Even though I was able to spend the morning with my family, it just wasn’t the same. The turkey dinner and pumpkin pie with the family has been part of my life for 34 years. This year I was by myself having homemade udon noodle stir-fry and cookies from Dollar Tree. I shouldn’t complain, this morning I spent time with my mom and I had my son. It was just…different.

But then again, this whole past year has been different, with all kinds of changes. Last Thanksgiving was my first in 7 years without my wife and her family, eating her mother’s legendary stuffing. This year it’s spending the evening alone with the dogs watching shitty reality TV.

Not bad, not good. Just…different.

Meditate and Destroy,

\m/ Metal Buddha \m/

Whenever we take a road trip somewhere, we have to stop for fuel or to take care of our human necessities, so we stop at a gas station or rest stop along the way. We need to get out and stretch our legs after being cooped up in a cage. I have related my practice to a road trip and for the past couple months I have been hanging out at the rest stop.

This past summer, I was off work for a couple of months so it was easy to focus on practice; meditating multiple times a day, devouring Buddhist-themes books, write on my blog, etc. When work started again and I’ve been getting up at 2am and driving all over Northern California and Nevada, getting back each day to spend a few hours with my son, then take him home so I can go to bed just to get up and do it all over again the next day, it’s been wearing on me. This means my practice has suffered, and I can tell in my attitude and stress level. In addition to trying to be a good father and the busy-ness of work, the tertiary bullshit in life has been wearing on me as well.

Because of seemingly jumping back into the same boat I was in mentally and emotionally┬ábefore I started this practice, I’ve made it a point to pack up and leave the rest stop. I’ve stretched my legs enough, and now it’s time to get back on the road and continue this journey. See you on the road.


Meditate and Destroy,

\m/ Metal Buddha \m/

When Death comes calling…

Posted: 11/06/2010 in Metal, Music

It has been an interesting few months in my neck of the woods. Our underground music scene has been rocked by 4 deaths of local musicians, 3 of the 4 involving vehicle accidents, and I personally knew all but one of them. I have spent some time reflecting on their lives and the loss our scene is experiencing. This feels like an epidemic, to be honest.

Makh Daniels – lead vocalist of the Bay Area metalcore band Early Graves passed away August 2, 2010 when the band was en route to a show in Reno, NV. The driver fell asleep and their tour van rolled killing Makh and injuring members of Early Graves and The Funeral Pyre. I did not know Makh, but I knew one of his bandmates. Based on what everyone has written and said about him, he was metal to the bone and a gracious man.

Randy Valdez – guitarist of the Sacramento band Colma. I used to watch Randy play when Colma was called Syphon. They were one of the first bands we saw when my girlfriend and I got involved in the local scene. Although I wasn’t very close to him, he was cool to hang out and chat with about music at shows. He was involved in a bad auto accident a couple months ago and he was taken from us way too soon.

Pasquale Zagari – guitarist of the Reno-based band Darque Carnival. My wife and I were very close with this band, staying the night at the drummer’s house when we road-tripped to Reno, and the band would stay at our house when they played here in Sacramento. Pasquale (aka Pat) was a quiet man, humble and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He had a limousine business and treated my wife and I like customers and took us around in the limo truck that had a built-in bbq, which was awesome. I miss you, Pat.

Nicci DeSoto – lead vocalist of the bay area metal band Falling To Pieces died early this morning in a motorcycle accident. She loved to ride and she loved to fuck shit up on the stage. She was one of the most amazing metal vocalists I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. She had range and versatility. Nicci could growl, scream and sing melodically, and her stage presence was perfect – the complete package.

I’m actually getting choked up as I type this and I don’t really know what to say but I had to pay tribute to honor the fallen musicians in our underground scene. The wound is still fresh from learning about Nicci’s passing this morning. We never know when death comes calling, and I know from a Buddhist perspective I should look at it through glasses of impermanence, but goddammit, this fuckin’ hurts! FOUR musicians from underground bands located within 2 hours from me (which I consider my local scene because I’ve┬átraveled┬áthousands of miles to watch and support these bands over the years) have been taken from us in the last 3 months, and right now, I just feel it’s not fucking fair.

Rest in peace Makh, Randy, Pasquale and Nicci. With heavy metta…\m/

Now here’s a video of Nicci D. fucking shit up at the Pine St. Bar in Livermore, CA. First song of her first show with the band. I had the pleasure of being there…