- Bret Holmes Baltimore Md

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I Kan't Spell

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Love to Love
Dearest Daughter,

Throughout your life you will find the phrase "love" thrown around. You'll struggle with it's meaning on so many levels. Ya know at one time - I made a pretty funny statement that said, "There's the love I have for my family and friends. The love I have for my wife. And then there is the love I have for Waylon Jennings." One day you'll understand that.

But - throughout your life you will love. You will fall in love. You will have your heart broken. You will be bad at it. You will be good at it. It will sometimes be fierce, fiery, and fast. Other times it will be slow, funny, and magical.

But rest assured your entire life will be set in pursuit of the magic feeling called love.You may not know it directly but everything you do - your job, your school, your friends, your family your choices are made around the pursuit of love.

Every song you listen to will remind you of someone or some place that you loved.

Every place you frequent will remind you of the love you had there.

All the times you spend with family and friends is meant to build this momentum to ultimate unconditional love.

Your Grandfather, my Father, used to tell me - that family love is unconditional. It might be. But it has yet to be proven by me. Until you. You prove unconditional love to me. When I see you there is no way that anything anywhere would take your place. Nothing on this Earth could fill the vase of you.

The love you'll feel towards boys or even girls will obviously be different than the love I felt towards girls. But one thing I would like to bestow upon you is the delicate nature of another heart. One day you're going to look at someone you are in love with and realize that you don't love them anymore. Or you will see the eyes of someone that may feel as though they are in love with you and yet you may not love them. This is a delicate thing. This will happen. And it will also happen to you - you will one day love someone that does not love you back.

The only advice I can give here is - don't be afraid but be respectful. Someone's heart is their gift - treat it as though it is your shared gift. Do not perform malice on their feelings or their trust in you. Don't be afraid to be fragile and to be honest and open. Don't be afraid to show someone that you love them. Be brave in your love. Be bold in it's existence. Don't be shy or ashamed of how you feel. You may be young. You may be wrong. You may be blinded by beauty or by intoxication but the fact remains that the pursuit of love is the binding force that holds the world's magic in it's orbit.

I believe in love. I believe in it's power to do great things. I believe that it has cured and killed the world many times over. But in it's power comes perspective. And your perspective will be much different than mine. The thing you want to remember is that life is an experience that you can live two ways - You can not take chances and limit your exposure to love (you will probably feel less pain and have less tears) or you can put your heart on your sleeve (and feel a lot of pain and but also receive the sweetest gift of all in love).

As your Dad - I recommend the second one. You'll be much more interesting that way.

Always and always -

Friday, November 09, 2012

Dearest Daughter -

The more I watch you the more I know how great you are going to be with people. You love people. You love your pets - T-rex, Pancake, and Sadie. You are so interested in everything and don't show any signs that you have distaste for anything or anyone in particular. You seem to want to absorb everything.

Then again... you are only 8 months old.

I wanted to start to shape these letters to give you - at this point in my life - what I think my life lessons are about certain things that you are going to experience in your life. Now... you are a girl and things may be different and your Mother is going to have different experiences and input than I do - so I'll try to keep non-gender specific and high level.


In my life - although we have family - they have not necessarily been the most present influences in my life. In actuality my friends have. Especially when I got into my teens and 20s.

I learned more and experienced more with my friends than I did with my Mother, Father, Aunts, and Uncles. Some of this is very complicated and I know that I hope to have a very close relationship with you throughout my life - but... at that time in my life I knew that I could find truth, humor, comfort, and stability with my friends.

Here are some suggestions that I have so that you find and enjoy the right friends:
  1. Don't pick people that are exactly like you. Choose a wide variety of people. Just make sure they pass the following criteria:
    • They are honest
    • They listen to you
    • They would show up to help you if you asked
    • They are themselves around you
    • They do not take themselves too seriously
    • If they happen to be people that the rest of the world says are bad people - you listen to your own heart about them - sometimes people are judged cruelly and swiftly - a friend like this will often value your friendship with them most dearly and be the best kind of friend -- even if from time to time they let you down. 
    • Make sure they make you laugh. 
  2. Treat your friends generously. If you have extra give it to your friends. 
  3. Do not covet what your friends have. Do not compare yourself to them based on material things. 
  4. Make friends with your friends' families - as you get older you will find that they too will become great friends and resources for wisdom
  5. Take risks - put yourself out there as a person. Be open. Be kind. Be vulnerable. Be original.  
  6. Learn when to lead and when to follow - don't always be a follower or a leader - learn to share responsibility and take direction. 
  7. Go on trips. Be with your friends in different surroundings. Challenge your group to take on new things.
  8. Write them emails, cards (or whatever exists by the time you read this) to keep in touch. Making friends is easy - keeping them is sometimes hard work but it is worth while. 
  9. Be able to take what you can dish out. Your Dad is one that likes to make fun of people - I find ease in pointing out their faults - hopefully you don't have this trait - I do this because I was an insecure person and people who do this feel something is missing in them so they offset that with someone elses insecurity.  --- but if you do do this... one of the ways to diffuse any kind of situation you have is to be willing to be self-deprecating and poke fun at yourself.
  10. Work hard with your friends. Don't lounge about. Do things. Do hard thing. Build things. Solve things. Work together towards a goal. Achieve it together. 
  11. Play sports. Be good at them. Let people know they can count on you. Let your hard work shine. Sports is a very easy way to do this.
  12. Stand behind your friends. Right or wrong - be loyal. Do not let people that may be richer, smarter, or more popular come between you and your friends. They are your tribe. Treat them as such. 
  13. Protect them from bad decisions. Don't let them hurt themselves. 
  14. Fight. Argue. Life is messy. Learn how to have a voice of dissent with your friends. 
  15. And most importantly love them - love them like you would your family. Do not seperate how you treat your friends with how you treat your family. 
Doing these things - IMO - and there may be more - will lead you to a wealth of friends. And a wealth of friends will make your a richer person than you could ever imagine. 

I love you,

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Letters to Ella
Good Morning Dearest Daughter,

Well - so much has happened since I last wrote you.  Here's a quick rundown -

  • You start to crawl - and you really like it
  • We had halloween and you went as a chicken. We went over your aunt's house and went to 2 houses - you blew them away with your hair. You're quite the ham. 
  • We elected the same President. President Obama was reelected for a 2nd term amidst almost no controversy and quite the tepid response. Dad voted Libertarian by the way... more on that later in life.
  • You started eating real food cut up into chunks. You eat better food than Mommy and Daddy at this point... all Organic. Personally I think eating foods with pesticides builds up your ability to fight off disease - but I also think the food we have now is so terrible that it might even change your DNA. So... I'll take the earlier - just don't forget to eat dirt from time to time. It's good for you. 
In other news - your first Christmas approaches and your first Thanksgiving. You'll see Mom's Grandparents from your Grandfather's side for the first time.  Everyone can't wait to see you. You're still quite the happy baby. Everyone comes flocking when I bring you into the office, or we take you to anyone's home, or a bar... (Dad rules). You are so good with new people - you just laugh and laugh.

Grandma says you are a lot like me when I was a kid.

I had some other things I wanted to say to you - but for some reason I can't remember them now - I was going to try to structure these like life lessons. When I tell you about something going on in your life and then I make my best attempt at giving you advice you could follow later in life. Today was supposed to be about friends... but... I don't have a segway to that... maybe later I'll get that one down.

See you when I get home - you are the best part of my day - every day -

Favorites List
Pandora Song List
Amazon Wish List
Revolutionary Wealth - Tofflers
Brian Jones

Things Making Me Smile
The City
Listening - [out of 5]
Benjy Ferree - 4.8
The Thermals 3.1
David Gray 3.8

Like the guy with the beard? YES - like the guy with the beers. What? Yep

Bands That I Check Schedules For
Badly Drawn Boy
Belle and Sebastian
Benjy Ferree
The Black Keys
Drive By Truckers
The Eels
Kimya Dawson
Mark Hopkins Band
Iron and Wine
Mates of State
Ted Leo
Two if By Sea

Places I Rock in the Flesh
9:30 Club
Black Cat
Electric Factory
The Knitting Factory
The Otto Bar
Recher Theatre

Places I Eat/Drink in the Flesh
Bishop's Collar
Cross Street Market
Hull Street
Joun Gak
Mick O'Shea's
No Way Jose
The Irish Pub
The Waterfront Hotel

My Greatest Hits (that's so lame)

The time I almost killed a child
July 4th in Korea
Excerpts from Demian
Why I screen phone calls
Bret's Death Metal Report
A conversation at a cocktail party
A conversation at breakfast
So you think you are a Baltimorian
A conversation about a girl singer
Observations from a bar
Observations of strippers
Tech Language
Why I love Oasis
I would go to war
"You Son of a Bitch" An Open Letter to Tom Friend
Dance to Your Ocean
Dream Ranch
When men become pussies
Jason Whitlock is a racist propaganda promoter
Pitchfork takes music snobbery to new level
The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs
The Hatred that is Runts Candy
Starting corporate line-up
Google Bio
Do you know me? List 1 / List 2 / List 3
The Night I Burned Philly Down
So You Want to be a Booze Hound
She Said it was Free
Funniest Corporate Story Ever
Striped Shirts and the Fucks that Wear Them
Death Peddle
Pieces of Morning
Oasis Album Revew
The Art of Tipping
Starting Fires With Grass Stains
Bret's Federal Hill Food Review
Sexcapades and your Picture on the Internet
Stupid Secrets
Stupid Secrets the Return

Contact Me

Stuff I Swing By From Time to Time

Indie Video Archive
Large Hearted Boy
Important Records
Oasis News
Pitch Fork Media
Reptilian Records
Scenestars MP3 Blogs
Sound Garden Baltimore

Shotgun Apparel
Warrior Clothing

Angry Little Girls
Atom Films
Eye Envision
Homestar Runner
Kill Frog
Junior Varsity Meat Market

Baltimore City Paper
The Baltimore Sun
Calvert Hall
Degroen's Brewers
ESL Cafe
Fantasy Sports
Korean Herald
Villa Julie College Baseball
W3 Schools

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