Thursday, September 29, 2011

How badly do you want it?

Went running again today. I'm not training for anything. Running sessions are now focused on having fun and maintaining my fitness. I can take it easy. I don't need to push. I can just cruise and have a good time and forget about sticking to a hard edged training regiment...

Yet I still find myself running hard on mile 4... I still push myself occasionally just to make sure I can.

It's not necessary. But I'm hoping (and banking on the fact that) it will make a difference when I actually have a training goal.

Sometimes you learn more about yourself when there's nothing else pushing you but your own subconscious.

I need to carry that mentality over into my real life. Because there isn't really an "off-season". Sure, there are periods of time where certain actions crystallize into actual forward movement and growth and development, but even when the stars don't align, you're still progressing. It's just a matter of if that progression is forwards or backwards. Are you setting yourself up for success or failure...?

How badly do you want it? You get a glimpse of how much during these "for fun" sessions... in running, in working, in your career, in your passion, in your life.

Prove it to yourself, Glynn. You know how badly you want it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Want/ Need

  1. Laptop
  2. Lockout space to keep all instruments and recording equipment
  3. Gym Membership
  4. 3 Bed/ 2.5 Bath House with a 2 Car Garage
  5. More Guitars
  6. New Drumset
  7. New Cymbals
  8. More Amps
  9. Triathlon Wetsuit
  10. Triathlon Speedskin
  11. New Road Bike
  12. New Wardrobe
  13. iPad
  14. More Money
  15. More...
  1. Health
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Patience
  5. Awareness
  6. Artistic Release
 Which list is more important? Which list do I focus my energy on?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Wedding Ring

Gets taken off when I take a shower.

Clinks when I do the dishes.

Still fits.

Feels amazing.

Is a part of me.


Happily around
my finger. Slid it on six
months ago today.


I love you, Rachel Pupa Montemayor.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Woodshed: Drumsticks

Is there such a thing as too easy?

Tonight I took the "pepsi challenge" with two different sets of drumsticks, both from Vic Firth, the SD1 and the Extreme 5B. The SD1s felt good, nice and lightweight, and rudiments were easy with them. The Extreme 5Bs had a little more weight to them, it was a little more difficult, but there was a comfort in the difficulty. The SD1s almost felt like they would slip out of my hands; the Extreme 5Bs forced me to grip them a little more forcefully, but there wasn't added tension from the firm-ness.

I might be reading too much into it, but it felt good to play with the less not difficult sticks. It reminded me of something Jack White said in the documentary about the White Stripes where they tour Canada. He was continuously looking for ways to make things more difficult because it sparked his creative flow, forced him out of his comfort zone, led to new stylistic discoveries that kept the music fresh and evolutionary. I can appreciate that.

Extreme 5Bs might be the ticket... plenty of time to make a decision.

Drumming is really effin' fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I made teriyaki meat using my Mom's recipe tonight. I will never forget this recipe, and I take comfort in the fact that whenever I make it, I will be reminded of my mom and how much she means to me. There are plenty of other recipes of hers I need to learn and perfect, too: chicken adobo, roast beef, garlic shrimp, bbq chicken, lumpia...

I'm beginning to enjoy cooking more and more. There's something about taking ingredients and combining them to create a dish that will provide you with happiness and fuel and pride. You tend to eat more slowly if you've cooked your own dinner, too. I mean, who wants to rush through such a wonderful meal that was prepared with such love and care?

I made pancakes, too. Then froze them for future use. Just exposition, I know, but sometimes it's necessary.

Cooking requires patience and attention to detail and time management and organization. Good thing I'm starting to enjoy cooking because hopefully this means that I'll improve in all four of those categories.

I wish I had started cooking earlier in life. I hadn't really started cooking and learning the nuance of culinary dabbery until about a year or so ago. And there's still so much to learn.

You know, sometimes it's nice to just write for the sake of writing and not have a grandiose and earth-moving point...

I really like love my blog...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

For Fun

I ran a 5K and a 10K this year. And I trained for both races, which was rad because it meant devising and sticking to a plan and checking off intermediate goals and taking it one day at a time, always with the end goal in mind, always focusing on the pace and the distance, taking steps each training session towards achieving the set goals. Training went well, and I achieved my goal pace in each race. Actually, I went faster than expected in each race, which is even more rad.

The 5K was on July 4th, and the 10K was a week ago on September 17th. I haven't signed up for another race yet, and in all honesty, I probably won't run another actual race till 2012. I'd also like to complete a sprint triathlon some time next summer, which will require even more training.

So it's the "offseason". I don't have any upcoming events, and for all intents and purposes, I can take a break for a bit and lay off the accumulation of fitness.

That being said, I really wanted to go for a run today. Schedules permitted and I had a chunk of time and Chase was with me and I love running with him because he's such great company, glancing up at me every once in a while or throwing both arms behind his head and chillaxing or making noises when airplanes take off from John Wayne and fly over the back bay trail we've run together a couple times.

And in the middle of that run... I realized how much fun I was having.

Yes, I was keeping track of time, and yes, there were people that I had in my sights to pass, and yes, there was still a target pace to be had. But it was fun. And not because I was training for something. It was just fun to be out and about in southern California on an overcast day running a beautiful back bay trail in Newport Beach with my almost 2 year old son and it started to drizzle and Chase fell asleep and it was a pretty dreary day actually... but it was a lot of fun.

I really enjoy running. Not just for fitness or to achieve health and race goals... it's genuinely fun for me.

And it's completely mine. I have about 3 or 4 activities that are truly mine and that had very little outside influence (relatively): golf, a genuine love of sports, music, and now running. These are the things I do for fun, the things that fill my day when I have extra time, the things I will stop to witness while channel surfing, the things I search for while I'm on the internet, the topics of conversation with my family, the interests I hope to share with my son.

Why can't what we do for fun be what we do for a living?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Woodshed: Developing my Drumming "Vocabulary"

As soon as we learn how to talk, we spend the rest of our lives doing it. As a species, talking is our primary form of communication. Sure, there's writing and non-verbal communication like body language or facial expressions, but we do our most specific and explicit communication through talking.

When you first start talking, it's not very intelligible. There are lots of monosyllables and nonsensical phrases. I should know because I'm in the midst of an almost two year old boy who is beginning to find his voice. Lots of "um"s and "qwijybo"s... Gibberish, basically.

But then, after a while, after you've been talking for a bit, actual words start to take shape. "Mama", "Da-dee", "Pa-pa", "up", "eeree" (really)... You begin to convey actual thoughts through these words. These words are the first part of your vocabulary. Then further down the line there are phrases, then sentences, then full paragraphs, then you start to tell actual stories.

When you think about it, people start telling stories the moment they start talking. It's just we don't have the control over language, the vocabulary that is necessary to be understood. It's not until several years of talking that we actually communicate these stories more effectively. And even then, it will be even more years until those stories are nuanced and subtle and communicate even more complicated thoughts. When we reach our teenage years, our language and vocabulary has evolved and we might even be able to hold someone's attention long enough to tell them a really good story... even if it's not as sophisticated as the story we'll tell as young adults and then even further into our wisdom gaining years...

What's my point...?

Well, I'm a veritable teenager... when it comes to drumming. I can tell a pretty good story, but it's not as refined as I'd like it to be. The story doesn't live up to the expectations that my idealistic and impressionable mind have set for myself. And it's because my vocabulary isn't up to par... I have much to learn before I can articulately speak while I'm sitting at a drumset. I've got some pretty impressive "words" to use, but there's plenty more to say and ever more eloquent ways to say it.

Wow. What a long winded way of saying that I'm woodshedding so I can increase my drum vocabulary...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inspiration- Drummer- Jonas Holmberg

Komeda rocks my socks. They're Swedish. They're pop. They opened for Beck. They have a chick singer.

Sock rockage commence...

They're drummer Jonas Holmberg drums how I want to drum: simple, tasteful, complex, complementary, swingy, jazzy, rocky, powerful, for the song.

Their album What Makes It Go? is one of my favorites. "Curious" is so laid back and cool and swung. "Flabbergast" is literally one of the songs that made me want to get on a drumkit. It's super easy. The parts are straightforward, but there's a presence to the simplicity. You can zone on the drums then drift to the other parts in the arrangement but the drums hold it all together. There are 4 basic themes and it's all about the dynamics and the movement that's created by the interplay between hat, snare, kick, toms, tambourine, ride... God... I love the drums in this song. And as if all that weren't enough, the kick-snare pattern morphs during the coda... ahhhhhhh... so good...

Jonas is one of those drummers that makes it easy to focus on the drum part but not because it's flashy, actually just the opposite. You marvel at how he can make something sound easy that's so complex, he makes it sound full while keeping it simple, he completes the song, which is the goal of any good drummer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taking a Day Off

Every once in a while, you need to take a day off.

Rest. Review. Internalize. Remember why you're on the journey in the first place. Remind yourself that it's going to take a long time, that even as you achieve mini-goals the end will always be just over the next hill, that you're in this for the long haul so you can afford to take your time. Realize that you're not the type of person that benefits from beating yourself over the head over and over again. You need to step back and see the big picture, which is a beautiful montage of a series of tiny, all important pictures...

The day off is just as important as the days on. Because the day off for one journey is the day on for another one.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I use a rad iPhone app called Runkeeper to keep track of all my running stats. I can see my pace, mile split times, running routes, and a host of other statistics from all of my runs. For a slightly OCD detail freak like myself, it's pretty much a dream come true.

Another facet of the app that I love is the ability to write a little summary and attach it to each running activity. Synopsis, how you're feeling, successes, failures... you can write whatever you like. And I end all of my notes with "Focus". It's just a quick reminder... kind of like "What you've just done is great and has gotten you one step closer to your goal, but you need to remember to always push forward and take it one step at a time and not get ahead of yourself"...

Focus. One the positives. On the little things. On the singular existence of your goal.

Focus. Then go and get it...


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Killed it today. 8:33 a mile, which is 12 seconds a mile faster than the pace I had set as a goal. And this was after taking 9 days off before the race and coming off a sickness that had me unable to talk from sores in my mouth...

But I know I can do better. If I train smarter and work in some speed work, I can do better. And that's the key to doing better: staying hungry. Pushing yourself, testing your boundaries, pushing up against your own personal walls, and breaking through them...

Let's achieve that triathlon goal next year, Glynn..

Ugh... I have to write about the Mayweather-Ortiz fight because it's bugging me so much. Yes, Ortiz was probably going to lose, get knocked out even. Yes, he headbutted Mayweather, which was a punk, chump, idiot, classless move. Yes, he should have been protecting himself at all times. But, damn... what a horrible way to end the fight. Pacquiao-Mayweather will probably never happen now because the next fight will probably be a rematch... and Floyd will win because aside from the fact that he's detestable... he's really, really good.


Drumming tonight felt good, tho. Yeah. Let's end this post on a positive note. Drumming definitely felt good. Starting to get a controlled bounce going. Power and lightness and coordination... Keep it up, Glynn...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sour and Sweet

Some say you need the sour to appreciate the sweet.

MJ needed those 6 seasons of heartbreak to truly appreciate threepeating... and then the brief descent into retirement fueled his desire for that second threepeat... and I guarantee you it was that much sweeter.

Lance needed to go through cancer and reach the lowest of his lows in order to rebuild himself into a cyclist that would win the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times.

I hope that the pain and shame that LeBron feels right now will fuel the fire that will lead to multiple championships.

I pray that Tiger powers through this valley and finds a way to catapult himself back into golf's elite.

It's such an easy way to explain the hardship, pain, hurdles, setbacks, mistakes, failures...

But it's a lie. We don't need the sour to appreciate the sweet. You just need the patience, the humility, the self-awareness to not take things for granted. But it's difficult to have those things, to conduct oneself with grace and poise, to be content and realize how good you have it.

So when things are going badly, we delude ourselves.

"You need the sour to appreciate the sweet!"

Why can't we just look around and realize that everyday is filled with both so why not focus on the sweet and enjoy what we already have?

*NOTE: Is it ironic that all four athletes I mention in this blog are sponsored by Nike?

Monday, September 12, 2011


Ugh. It's time for a stream of consciousness blog...

6 days down. Drum technique is tedious. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? How do I know if I'm making progress? And tonight I realized that the hill is even more steep because I have to "unlearn" over 16 years of incorrect technique... Oh well... I guess I should just keep going till I'm a bomb drummer...

Running has been replaced by drumming. The endorphins are the same. The attention to detail and the OCD and the focus on technique and the incremental improvement and the ultimate goal to become better are the same. But I like drumming more... not to say I don't like running, I just like drumming more...

My mouth effing hurts. Stupid canker sores. I need to stop eating so much spicy food. Or maybe drink milk more...

Dodger game tomorrow!

We won the scavenger hunt last Saturday!!

Mayweather/ Ortiz on Saturday!!

NFL season has started!!

MLB playoffs really soon!!

NBA lockout this season...

Primus next month! Maybe Ozma the month after that!

September is essentially halfway done...

Chase is almost 2...

I'm almost 30...

I love my life...

I should sleep.

But probably...


Friday, September 9, 2011

Woodshed: The Beginning

I've tried woodshedding before, unsuccessfully. I think it was because I didn't have a set time, a set routine, or even an actual woodshed...

Times. They are a-changin'...

I just finished day number 4 of my current attempt at woodshedding. Drum woodshedding. Tools include a practice pad on a snare stand, sticks, kick drum practice pad, single kick pedal, hi-hat stand (just added tonight), and the Tempo Advance app on my iPhone. Oh yeah, the book Stick Control, too...

I'm not gonna lie. Running has partially groomed me for woodshedding. They're both solitary activities, and you get a lot of thinking done during both activities. You can't quite zone out the same way while drumming... or maybe it's a different type of zoning out... I already feel more connected, more "zen" while doing the drum exercises. I'm incorporating 4 limb coordination with the hat on the quarters and the kick on 2 and 4 and tonight it felt as if I was really connected, truly actually physically and rhythmically connected... It's not about being pretty, I could feel my eyes closed and grimaces and frowns and funny faces, but the groove was happening. It's only the beginning and I have a long way to go, but I feel like I'm on the right track and I can't wait to see if I can be patient and stick to the plan and put in the work and start to see results just like running...

You can do it, Glynn. You can do it. You. Can. Do. It...

Oh yeah... I also love my woodshed. It's our garage. Actually it's the little nook that is supposed to be a storage space in our garage. But I get to climb a little ladder to get up there and it's super hot and the neighbors can't hear but I can hear when cars go by and it just feels... like a woodshed. A private place to devote to the development of musical skill... And I love it...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inspiration- Drummer- John Stanier

I was a freshman in high school and had played on an actual drumset a handful of times. My brother-in-law had given my sister some CDs of music that he liked. One of these CDs was Helmet's In the Meantime. I listened to that CD on the way to and from every single football game I went to that year. It was a truly awesome year and a turning point in my life.

Unsung is one of the reasons I wanted to become a drummer. John Stanier absolutely kills it in this song. The variations on the ride at the beginning, the kick drum- snare interplay throughout the whole song, the half time feel that complements the guitars, the quick groove between the 1st chorus and 2nd verse... there are so many things I love about this song. And He Feels Bad is a perfect example of not playing too much. And Better with its straight ahead groove underneath the syncopated guitars. Stanier always has that pocket groove.

Then the intro of I Know off of their album Betty... so heavy yet musical and always complementary to the song. And the triplets at 2:15... I always hit rewind and just sit back...

Stanier has gone on to drum in several other bands including Tomahawk with Mike Patton and his current gig with Battles. Drool at the chance to see him on October 16th at the Glasshouse... might have to make that happen...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Running and Drumming

There are so many common themes between running and drumming.

Physical activities. Coordination (hand eye, between limbs). Timing. Technique. Dedication. Muscle memory...

I ran for 4 months last year and have been running for the past 4 months this year. Today was day 2 of my most recent dedication to developing better (or actual) drum technique.

I'm in the best shape of my life after 4 months of running. I'm interested to see how I'll be doing after 4 months of drum exercises...

I just need to take everything that I've gained from running and the development I've seen and the fitness I've experienced and relate it to drumming. Because right now I'm slow and not so coordinated and nowhere near where I want to be. But it was the same at the beginning of my run training. Just stick with it and develop a program and realize there will be ups and downs and stick to the program and have fun and keep track of goals and have fun and integrate the exercises into your actual drumming...

See. Easy. Now get to it...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Beginning

I started working on drum rudiments today. And it was tedious and boring and not super fun and it's only the beginning so I know I have plenty of work to do before I start to see the results but then I thought about how difficult running was when I first started and now I'm almost done training for a 10K and I'm in the best shape of my life and if I can just apply that to drumming I wonder how far I can go?

Baby steps. Focus. Don't cut corners. It's just the beginning, but you have to start somewhere.

In other news, Primus is awesome. Seeing them in October!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


It's so difficult to come by.

Chemistry. Communicating without speaking. Finishing each other's sentences (or musical phrases). Sharing a bond that goes beyond time spent and experience shared, transcends gaps in time, occurs naturally and without motive or artifice.

I've been lucky to share chemistry with some tremendously amazing and awesome and giving and downright rad people.

My wife. My brothers in music.

A new chapter is beginning. And current chapters are in full swing. It's an exciting time. And I can't wait to keep putting in the work...

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Just Didn't Feel Like Running...

And now I feel guilty.

But I've earned a rest day, right? I've been training so well and have upped my mileage every month and have put in the time to achieve my 10K goal and have gotten into much better shape and pretty much done almost everything I've set out to do when I started running again back in May...

But I still feel guilty.

Which is good because it means I'm still hungry, still not satisfied, still pushing to do better, still aware that improvements can be made.

I'm still ready to achieve my peak on September 17th.

The guilt is good. I'd be worried if I didn't feel guilty...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just start typing...

... especially if you can't think of anything to type.

Just start typing. Something will eventually happen.

Can't think of a good song. Just start playing. Any random chords, any random notes, hum something then try to pluck it out on the guitar, sing nonsensical phrases, stream of consciousness, sing about something you did today or yesterday or seven years ago, play one chord and sing over it for 10 minutes, vary the meter, vary the strum pattern., remember to hit record on your iphone, because genius might happen, or it might not, but it sure is fun to try, isn't it?

If you're stuck, if it feels like you have no plan, if you don't know the next step... just go, start, write, play, go, go, go... better to be active than just sit there waiting...