Perhaps I’m insane: Notes on commitment

Full disclosure: I’m not getting committed. Yet.

A couple of years ago, Rob and I talked about moving to New York City eventually for a year as an experiment.  The usual reasons (for me) applied:  Life is short, I want to explore as much as possible before it ends.  As I enter the potential half-way mark for time in the world, the phrase “I’ll do that … someday” seems … not applicable.  There is less future and more now.

So long ago, yet not really. Maybe the Temple of Poseidon was a good place for a house?  This is a postcard from my late Dad to my Mom in the 1970s.


This sense of urgency began for me about 5 years ago when I realized that I’d never be able to read all the books I want.  With limited time,  all choices became more pointed.  (There once was a sense of unlimited time, possibly in my 20s — so odd this vaporized undetected, only identifiable when missing.)

We have lived in Durham, NC, our home, for a decade, and really do have roots here in this shifting red clay.  From our “friend-family” (as good friend-family Bonnie puts it), fellow musicians, artists,  activists, and our neighborhood itself, it’s not easy to leave.

Mondays at the Coop
Meatless Mondays at the Coop
Outreach (PRIDE 2015)


A month ago I was struck by this idea: in maintaining a “liked” or enjoyable thing  and attempting to keep it unchanged and consistent (say —  your house, a reoccurring event, a song, an idea about a city) is to kill it. Only death brings such a promise of sameness and stillness. Though embalming preserves, it freezes the subject in time and without the movement essential to life.

So though I love my home, my street, this neighborhood, this city, and the people who occupy my life and imagination, I also recognize that leaving is an act of movement and openness to new possibility and adventure.

We were sad to leave Seattle a decade ago — our friends and families — but now enjoy visiting and are enriched by the community we have found in Durham.

Seattle, last trip.


Back to the insanity.  Every January, Rob and I sit down to plan our year. This year was no different, except we had to figure out logistics for moving to NYC after our planned “Summers in Seattle” trip.  We had quite a few goals in mind in addition to the move, including releasing our EP, premiering my #Comments video + setting up its tour, finishing the cob house, getting our rental homes in order, creating a video for our family reunion in Seattle, and a host of activist/outreach activities.

We planned to leave Durham for Seattle the end of May, then return September for a couple of weeks to take care of business, and move to NYC thereafter.  Essentially, this gave us roughly 5 months to accomplish our “last tasks.”

This lack of time and pressing deadline means every moment counts.  We needed something really strong to make sure it all happened.  Did we hire the mafia?  Surprisingly, no mob necessary, but we found something equally menacing and task-inducing.

Having trouble committing to a goal? Create an event.

Rick Allen.
Rick Allen.

As a musical duo without the work ethic of, say, Rick Allen or Michael Jackson, we’ve found that the best way to get us to practice our music (when inspiration wanes) is to book a show.  This act can be applied to just about anything you want to do but have been putting off.  Nothing like potential public shaming to get you into the storage shed playing your set of songs.

It’s no different for those organizing projects (meetings = commitment device) and can be deployed for almost anything you’ve been procrastinating about.

With no further ado, I wanted to share some of our last activities.

The final countdown: Three “last” things I’d love for you to know about and join us in celebrating…

The following are all possible because there are deadlines and public events attached.  Oh – another commitment device?  Blog about your plans!

April 1 – 30: Bull City Vegan (Chef) Challenge

So excited to be hosting another of these — our 4th. What is this Challenge?  A short video explains it all:

Also put together an infographic for those looking to organize their own.

April 23:  Premiere of #Comments

I wrote a lot about #Comments here. For now, our trailer:

Join the party April 23rd here.  Want this in your town? Comment below.


May 26: EP release and Goodbye party

During our EU tour with our band Beloved Binge, we recorded a short EP in Greece.  We’re calling it Never, the End. I’m in the process of creating videos for each song.

We’d love for you to join our party at the Pinhook on May 26th.

More coming soon.

For now, we give you our oldie Miso, I don’t like people.

Also, a preview of one of our songs, the 5th, on this nice Pinhook benefit comp that Chaz of Bull City Records put together.

We are leaving town a few days later.  Going to miss you people.  (You know who you are.)

Is there anything that you’re trying to accomplish before the end? Are you having trouble committing, and/or are you also insane? Let me know in the comments section below!



2 thoughts on “Perhaps I’m insane: Notes on commitment”

  1. Yes, the tattoo! I waited a long time but finally got my first (and last so far) in 2005. I wish I could change it slightly.

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