BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West

30Jan/110

How I would like to spend this Valentines Day

Since Valentines Day is fast approaching I thought I’d write a little post related to that.  As a single dude I’m always on the prowl for a ladyfriend to be my well… er… ladyfriend!  That sounds kinda weird though, saying it as ladyfriend.  Like in a bad way, as if she’s some sort of girl on the side or something.  So I’ll use the regular term of girlfriend. I’m always looking for someone to show to the world hey shout it here comes my girl! You know like that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song…

(CLICK FOR YOUTUBE VIDEO)

Yea, that’s the one.

So I just want to say if I had a girlfriend, or even just a girl that’s willing to pretend to be my girlfriend for just one day on February 14th, OR not do either of those and even and just go out on a date with me for one night here’s what I think the perfect night would be:

We both get kinda semi dressy swankyed up.  I’ll do my doo in the form of a haircuts and she can do… well whatever girls do… ya know with that heating iron curling majig and crimpers and hair sprays and dyes and combs and brushes.  And we’ll both put on some kinda fun smelling smelly stuff scent and basically just look like we’re ready to rock the town.

I’d pick her up in my  vroom vroom car.  OK so I don’t drive a hot stud mobile, but, the Aveo will have to do.

Of COURSE I would have both a box of chocolates and her favorite flowers ready when she got into the passenger seat (I’d even go get the car freshly washed and vacuumed and get one of those little fresh smelling tree thingys).

Then we’d head out to somewhere nice on the town.  Something that at least  requires reservations.  While Chipotle Mexican grill is one of my fav places, it’s probably not great for a VDay date, so just a nice restaurant where getting all dressed up is preferred.

Which brings us to dinner!  So of course it’s all on me!  What kind of gentleman person would I be if I stiffed the gal with the bill?  Not a gentleman at all!  Not only would dinner be on me, but if she wanted to do something after like a movie that would also be on me.  So then at dinner we would order a bottle of wine of her choice.  And we’d just have a nice casual dinner with all the parts of the meal, appetizers, main course and desert!  And she can order ANYTHING she wants.  No rules, no restrictions, no problem no matter the price.  It would be Just fantastic conversation and fantastic food.

We’d take our little doggie bags and if we don’t go to a movie then we would just head back home (maybe first go for a walk to make sure it’s safe for drive!)  Actually lets scratch the entire bottle of wine.  So maybe we just order a drink a piece at dinner.  But I think a walk and maybe some handholding would be just grand too.

Oooo actually so yes after dinner I think it’d be awesome to go to one of those out door skating rinks.  And we can be all cute and skate around and pretend like we don’t know what we’re doing even though we’re both ace skaters because we used to spend all of our Friday nights in 6th grade at the skating rink, since that was the “cool” thing to do back in the day.

(I don't know if we'd be doing that... but... something CLOSE to that.  Probably just skating around holding hands...)

So then when we get back home and I’m about to drop her off and it’s all awkward and such I say oh one more thing and I put on my ipod “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars and I lip sync that to her.

(CLICK FOR YOUTUBE VIDEO)

Maybe we do just a hug or a little good night kiss but there ya have it.  That would be pretty awesome if that would happen for me this year.   So here’s to hoping that there’s a cute little lady out there up for a fun evening!

A boy can dream.  What can I say?  I’m a hopeless romantic.

I’ll admit it.  I think Valentines Day might be my favorite of all the holidays.  It’s just a great day to be sweet and kind to someone that fills your heart with joy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentines Day this year!  If you’ve got someone to spend it with tell him or her a thousand times over how much you care about them!  If not just take a friend out and show how much you appreciate their friendship and how they are there for you!

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28Jan/110

My newest obsession: =rand()

I’m a lists kinda guy.  I like to make lists.  It helps me organize my thoughts when coming up with creative ideas or it helps me remember what I needed to get at the grocery store.  It also helps when I am trying to get things done around the house or at work.  Lists are great!

What’s my program of choice for creating lists? I like to use MS Excel.

Random factoid: you don’t have to fork over gobs of hard earned cashola to Microsoft for fancy pantsy MS Office!  There are free alternatives such as openoffice.org and Google docs!  They work pretty well too!

http://www.openoffice.org

There’s one problem with Excel and that is it lets you input WAY too much information then a human can possibly handle.  It’s like 50 thousand rows of data or something insane.  This means I have this tendency to keep adding to my lists and then not getting a lot of things done.  Its super easy to type up something,  hit save and close and then come back later and add more! So even if I get a lot of things done I keep adding more in then I am putting out.  But I think a lot of us do this?  Yes? No?  Maybe so…  or is it just me?

Anyone else?  Raise your hands?

*crickets chirping*

*or in this case, singing and dancing*

Right then…. I guess it’s just me.

So, anyways, there I was… I was just kind of looking over one of my lists one day trying to decide what to tackle first, and I had one of those “Ah-Ha” moments.  No, “Take On Me” didn’t come up randomly on my iTunes.

Click for Take On Me Video

(for some reason it wouldn't let me embed this video from youtube)

It was more of an “I think I just figured out why I don’t tackle as many things as I possibly could!” moment.  Well besides being just lazy sometimes I think there’s ANOTHER reason I don’t tackle as much as I could.

So what happened?

Well I found that one of my biggest problems with making giant lists in excel was the same problem I have when I go out to dinner at a fancy Mexican restaurant and I want to find the perfect taco.  Since there are 69 different forms of taco available I’m always inundated with tacophobia (that’s the fear of not knowing which taco to pick out, and not fear of tacos) and start to freak out as everyone else around me starts ordering their perfect taco and I’m no where near decided as to what I want on my perfect one!

People in general have a hard time with choice I think anyways.  But I always like to analyze over and reanalyze and try to figure out ok…, which is the best way to go about this.  Now when it comes to lists I suppose the best way to deal with things is to prioritize.  But again,  I am just terrible with prioritizing.  Because that means more choice!  Who am I to say what’s more important than anything else?  So instead I found that sometimes, it’s best to let choices be made for you!

How?

Well, it’s easy.  Just make your excel list up in one column.  Go over to the next column and type in the following equation: =rand()

Now once you have that equation in, it will generate a random decimal number.  Copy and paste that cell to all the cells next to the ones you have in the list.  Then go to the sort A-Z button and…

(Note: I left a gap between what's for dinner and day of week, this is so that when I hit the A-Z button if I have A1 cell selected it won't also sort the days of the week.  The days of the week will stay static and what to make for dinner will shuffle about. Oh also every time you type something new it will create a new random decimal, so if you keep hitting sort A-Z it will keep generating a new random list.)

The choice of what to work on in what order has been made for you!  This may not work for everyone, or even anyone but me.  But I’ve found that when I do this random sort it’s somewhat refreshing.  It keeps things interesting and new and I am more likely to just work on each item in the list.

The other thing I have found is that, if I don’t finish or I end up adding more to the list I can simply hit the re-sort button and it jumbles it around (note: this is different from the resort button which immediately whisks you away to a tropical island and places a nice cold beverage in your hand and puts your toes in some warm sand in front of a sunset on a beach).

There’s just something almost fun, well, ok not fun, but something fresh and exciting about not knowing what thing is going to come up next!  Some times I hit re-sort multiple times until the list looks funky fresh enough for me.  Although BE CAREFUL with this because then you’ll get into the same problem you had before where you keep hitting refresh because you can’t decide WHICH random sort list to go with.  So just hit it once and go with it.

The place I use this the most is when practicing songs.  Practicing the same songs over and over again in a row can get rather dull especially if you know what song is always going to come up next.  So I put all the song names I want to practice and then do the random formula next to all of them and hit sort A-Z and then I have a fresh and dynamic playlist every single time I go to practice!

Try it for yourself, the next time you have a list of chores to do and can’t decide what to do first make a randomly generated excel list!

So again the equation is =rand()

not

got it?  OK good.

I know what your thinking... this is just like the shuffle function in itunes.  Can you guess what my favorite part of iTunes is? :)  Random is my middle name... actually it's Edward... but we can pretend it's Random, right?  Ok, well, night!

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26Jan/110

Song #155 “Walk The Plank”

Well… HERE IT IS! You’ve been waiting long and hard, and I’ve been working for ages… I’VE been working long and hard and YOU’VE been waiting for ages for yes, that’s right, my first new song of 2011!!!

It’s called “Walk The Plank” it’s a song about pirates!

So sit back and grab a nice cold beverage and hit the play button on your compy after DLing my new super funkadelic jameriffic song.  Make sure after you listen to it to then play it for your pets: cats, dogs, birds, reptiles (this includes turtles) etc.

After pets you can also play it for your friends and family or maybe the guy at the local Wawa or pizza shop… Or maybe your dentist.  Feel free to dance around to it as well.  I won’t tell anyone!

(Dancing optional)

Maybe just tap your toes.  Or one toe.

Enjoy!

The song and lyrics can be found over at:

http://www.bennyeast.com/recordings

(it should be the first one listed.  Unless you are reading this blog like 2 years from now, then there’s most likely a bunch more songs and you’ll need to scroll down a bit!)

I hope it’s everything you ever wanted in a pirate song!

I’d also like to announce that this will be my first attempt at posting a song to iTunes.  I’ll link to it when it’s up!  Anyone interested in helping to support and fund the creativity can purchase it if they would like.  I know it’s available on this website for free, but you can never have enough shoes, so maybe you can never have enough copies of the pirate song!  Right?

Love and blessings and peace and wellness…

-Kenny

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16Jan/110

Say Hi to Turtle!

A blog post about my pet turtle!

(This is turtle lounging)

So I just thought I’d introduce my pet turtle.  He’s a turtle (obviously).  His name is Squirt.  He’s a spry 8 years old.  He was gifted to me sophomore year of college about… 8 years ago.  I got him right about after he was born… or hatched?  Or… whatever it is turtles do. When I got him he was actually this tiny little dude…

(Look at him!!!  He’s sooo little there!)

OK so basically I was told, “he won’t get any bigger than he is now” by the girl who gave him to me.  That’s because the person she got him from told her “it was fully grown”.   Well, ok so that person was slightly misinformed. He grew from about the size of a quarter to well… I think he’s maybe 6 inches or so?

So there you have it!  That’s the story of the turtle.  He’s been hanging out in my room now for 8 years.  I’ve moved him various times especially during college when I would take him back and forth to school and such.

What more?  Oh ok well how about I’ll take you through the typical turtle day!

Sunrise:

Pound on glass and make lots of noise so as to wake up Kenny and get fed.

Most of day:

Bask out of the water on the rock every now and then get spooked by some noise and jump back in the water.  Climb back out of water on to the rock.

Sun set:

Hop back in water and pound on glass till Kenny comes home and feeds turtle.  (He really does bang on the glass!!!  I swear, it’s like he’s swimming but like hitting the glass with his front paws?  Or flippers?  Or whatever those things are.)

Through out the night:

Sleep… wake up every now and then and make splish splashy noises.

Oh every now and then he yawns.  I didn’t know turtles could yawn… but he does!  Then I yawn… because yawning is contagious and all.

Well there you have it!  Now you know about my pet turtle.  We also have 4 cats but this blog is about my turtle so maybe that will be a topic for another blog.

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8Jan/110

Show 2011-01-05: The Fine Grind Coffee Shop

So I had my FIRST show of 2011 at The Fine Grind Coffee Shop on Wednesday evening.  It was an absolute blast!  I just want to first thank everyone who showed up!  I really want to plan to play another show there again hopefully in the near future.  I'd also like to play some more shows in the general NJ/NYC area.  I mean philly you are cool and all... but come on... NJ showed you up!!!  So let's see if we can beat that at my next philly show!

Continuing with the thanks I just want to give a quick thanks to everyone who came out.  I also want to thank Elyssa for opening for me.  I want to thank Leah for giving me the idea for to play there and being a super awesome dedicated fan and coming with her friend to hang they are both rockstars.

I'd like to thank The Fine Grind Coffee Shop for letting me come play.  They have a great little space to perform in and everything there is just super nifty neat.  I had some coffee and a smoothie and both rocked my world.  I would love to just go there and read one time.  It's just such a nice little relaxed spot.  Check them out online at:

http://www.thefinegrindcoffeebar.com

Also check this out they even put me on the schedule! :)  So that's EXTRA thanks!  I was EXTREMELY excited to see my name!!!

There was video taken.  I'm looking over that as I write this trying to find a good clip to post maybe later down in the blog.  If there's a clip there it's because I found a neat one... if there isn't well... It's because I did something so ridiculously weird during each song i'm too embarrassed to post it.

Lastly I'd like to thank my Dad for driving 2 hours BOTH way's on a work night!  He didn't get home till around “Taco Bell time” (midnight or later, if you've seen the commercial).  AND he had to get up at like 5am the next day.  So thank you Dad!  You're pretty awesome! :)  He also sat right in front and took like a thousand pictures so I felt like I had my very own Paparazzi crew.  No Paparazzi, just my Papa.

I'm just going to back up real quick to my drive there.  I went into work MEGA early... or 2 hours... which is mega for me! Hmm… I’m gonna stop for a second to admit so maybe sometimes I’m a little over the top in my descriptions of things… I apologize for that; I’ll try and tone it down slightly…. Ok so yes, I left work around 3 and then left for the show around 4 ish.  Ok so I kinda sorta drove like basically the whole way with out using the restroom.  In case you have ever driven decent distances and decided that when you are maybe 45 minutes away and have to go but don't think you have to go enough to stop.  I'm just going to say now that you should definitely stop.  That last 15 minutes were the LONGEST 15 minutes of my life.  I will say that the best feeling in the world is finally arriving at my destination and then finding the bathroom and well... I won't go into details.

Anyways they had the COOLEST sink-a-ma-jig thing i've ever seen!  It was like a little waterfall!  I HAD to take a picture.  I got so nervous before the show that I went to the bathroom like 6 times.  I kinda do that.  I get all nervous and start drinking lots of water and then have to go a whole ton.  Does anyone else go to the bathroom a ton when they are nervous or is it just me?

Sorry I digress(ed)… I never know the correct way to use that word… anyways back to the picture.. check this thing out!

So the show itself was just super sweet.  Elyssa played first on the keys

and then I jammed out on the geeetar...

I thought as soon as I finished my set that I should have played my new years song (which I’m also in the process of recording)!  For some reason I decided not to play it… who knows… there’s always next time!

Anyways so here was the setlist of songs I played:

Lion King - Can't Wait To Be King

In Deep

Favorite Things

Did You Just Think Of Me Right There…

Embers

A Place That Fits

Love Contagious

It's Your Day

An Excuse To Travel

I know you are thinking “he didn’t play many songs for an hour"… err… I talk a LOT ok… sorry.  I can’t help it… I like to chit chat with the crowd.  You all are just sooo much fun! :)

After the show the fine folks at the Fine Grind hooked me up with a complimentary smoothie and cup of Joe!  This got me through the drive home very nicely! :)  The thing about being a rockstar is that there are lots of free perks!

Any show where you get a free smoothie is an instant success.  Especially when it’s strawbana.

Ohhhh I almost forgot this part!  So yes right after I finished my set I had Elyssa join the ever-growing list of other creative music types on my guitar!

This thing is going to be worth money one day!  And I’ll sell it for a fortune, and then probably donate it all to charity.  Cuz that’s just the kinda dood I am (I stole that phrase from my boss)

So after the gear was packed up and ready to go I got in my car and started to follow my dad on the way home.  Unfortunately we have dueling gps units.  His is a Tom Tom and mine is a Garmin.  So much like a sibling rivalry my Garmin decided to take me one way... and his Tom Tom another.  Eventually, we both ended up back on the same path though (such is life… sometimes you stray, but ultimately you end up where you were destined to be… or something to that effect).

About half way through the drive "Eye Of The Tiger" came on my iPod.

Let's just say I had a "moment" where I rocked out pretty hard core.  Nothing beats the intro to get you PUMPED... for a drive... or at lest the second half of it.  It was probably around 11:15 at this point and I had been up since 6.  Really by rock out… and moment… I mean I just sat there singing along with my eyes on the highway and my hands at 10 and 2… but in my head I was having a mini dance party.

Ok so I really couldn't find any video that I thought was off the charts amazing... but my boss wants some video... so here's me performing my first attempting at playing with loops.  This is a song called Embers.  It’s REALLY rough…. But I got through it.  I think if I worked at it a bit I could make it sound pretty cool!  Let’s just ignore the facial expressions.

Oh and here’s another video from the show of me doing Love Contagious.  I think as well if I worked out a loopy bit thing for this it could also sound pretty awesome!  I’d love to eventually get a full band and rock out like the Muppets do on Fraggle rock (Down at Fraggle Rock!).

Yea I’ll admit it… I’m weird… I know it… you know it….

You love it!  Admit it!

Until the next show… ROCK ON! :)

Yours truly,

The kid in the orange jacket who always gets killed on Southpark + The direction of California.

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2Jan/110

Photo #32: “Red… on the rocks.”

So I decided to make this photo from my Las Vegas trip an official photography photo.  I like it so much that I almost want to get it printed up on pro photo paper and framed.  This was taken nearing the end of the day at Red Rocks Canyon just outside of the city of Las Vegas.  It is by far one of my most favorite places on the planet.  Although, I'll admit, I haven't been to many places on the planet.  I really need to do some more traveling!

Photo #32: "Red... on the rocks."

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