Each blog post below is a chapter from my autobiography (work-in-progress). Click to read. Enjoy the travels through time. Constructive and encouraging comments are very welcome!

1985 - John, Meet William 

1985 – John, Meet William

The sounds of “Miami Vice Theme” filled the airwaves and the heads of scores of Americans. My family was living in our new home on East 19th Street between Avenues W and X in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. It was a unique one-way residential street. On one side of the street there was a large post office building (not open to the public), and private one-story houses with basements. At the end of the block was an alley which opened into a shared space where the backyards of various…

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1983 - Parental Separation, Mommy, and Norway 

1983 - Parental Separation, Mommy, and Norway

In one sense, the year of 1983 started off with a bang. Mount Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island began erupting on January 3rd. A week later, a unique and inspiring children’s show premiered on the cable channel HBO (Home Box Office) called Fraggle Rock with Jim Henson’s Muppets. The spirit of the show was one of co-creating harmony with fellow living beings who were different from us. I preferred these type of good-natured TV shows much more than the typical good…

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2007 - On My Own but Not Alone 

2007 – On My Own but Not Alone

I woke on New Year’s Day in my own apartment for the first time in my life. The apartment was in the basement of a home on East 53rd St. between Avenues T and S. My landlord Florence was a kind woman who lived with her friendly grandson Mark. They would become like extended family. I was emerging from a darker yet more seductive world of suffering and delusion into a brighter yet stricter world of possibilities and hope. Naturally this was not a smooth and seamless transition. …

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2000 - Walking in New Shoes 

2000 – Walking in New Shoes

On the evening of December 31, 1999, a few friends and I attended Billy Joel’s The Millennium Concert[1] at Madison Square Garden. Shortly before midnight the band went into the song “2000 Years” which wrapped up as the video screen showed the last 10 seconds of the ball dropping in Times Square just a few blocks away. The clock struck 12 and Billy Joel welcomed us into the new millennium. It was a spectacle; confetti rained down on the venue as he went straight into “Auld Lang…

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2001 - Rising and Falling 

2001 – Rising and Falling

I was immersed in the development of my musical skills and experiences. I did not know where I was going, but I felt like all my various efforts on many different musical fronts were adding up to something special. On Saturday January 13th, Modus Tollens played at our local watering hole KK’s on Ave. N. We brought 60-70 people and made $300. Not bad for a cold Saturday night in the neighborhood having some fun! 

There was a side project around this time called The Twilite Zone…

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1996 - An Epic Year for This Teen 

1996 – An Epic Year for This Teen

The blizzard of ’96 hit in the second week of January. I had never seen banks of snow forming walls so high all around the neighborhood. On the initial day of the blizzard when the snow was falling so hard outside that it was nearly impossible to move in it, I passed the cold, snowy day in The BASEment. I was inspired to compose a classic wintry metal ballad in the vein of some songs that really spoke to me around that time such as Accept’s “Winter Dreams” and Amorphis’…

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1995 - Heavy Metal Kids 

1995 – Heavy Metal Kids

I was becoming a teenager and learning what that meant in all its terrors and glories. Hormones were high and I was exploring and interested in learning more about sexuality as I had already been doing naturally for the past few years. My crush on Emma continued unabated. Will I see her at the bus stop on the way to school?? Would I be able to say something to her? Probably not. Many mornings on the way to school I put my Walkman on and listened to heavy metal music. I was shy, but I…

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1990 - Video Games and Return to Norway 

1990 – Video Games and Return to Norway

We found ourselves in a brand-new decade – the 1990s. Wow! This is exciting! It took a while to get used to writing “1990” as the date on schoolwork. I had just recently turned 9 years old and was returning to school after winter break. I was in 4th grade in St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School. My teacher was Ms. Vining, and she was a bit strict which made going to school less fun than the previous year of 3rd grade with Mrs. McMaster. However, I was basically convinced…

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1988 - Communion, Nintendo, and Without Daddy 

1988 – Communion, Nintendo, and Without Daddy

I was 7 and attending 2nd grade at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic school with the somewhat cold Sister Jareth as my teacher, yes, a nun. In January the US Supreme Court ruled that public school officials have broad powers to censor school newspapers, plays, and other expressive activities. School was generally not something any kid I knew looked forward to.

Something we did look forward to though was television. TV was a very big deal and a crucial part of daily…

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1994 - From Pond to Lake 

1994 – From Pond to Lake

One amazing gift that my father bestowed on our family with his passing was his fantastic comic book collection of over 4,000 comics primarily from the silver and bronze age as well as some copper age ones. It has been my distinct joy to be able to sort through, organize, protect, categorize, and store his wonderful collection. I had built my own comic collection from the years 1991-1994, and I knew all the various special issues that young collectors only dream of having. After…

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