Growing up, I didn’t have cable. I had my cousin, who did have cable, record this for me on an old VHS Tape. If someone would have told me that I’d be able to watch this on YouTube 17 years later, I wouldn’t have recorded over my mom’s novela so I can watch all the performances from the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.
I must have watched this performance like 70 times.
Local Natives - Columbia
Currently one of my jams. We could all learn a little something from the lyrics to this beautiful song.
Ohhh, every night I ask myself
Am I loving enough?
Patricia, every night I’ll ask myself
Am I giving enough?
During the release of Flogging Molly’s Float back in 2008, I found myself having conversation in the SideOneDummy kitchen with guitarist Dennis Casey. It was a great conversation and if I could be completely honest, it was probably the first time anyone in any band actually gave a fuck to talk to the guy who made sure they had records to sell out on the road. The warehouse guy gets no respect, I tell ya.
So Dennis and I were having this conversation and he asked so many questions. He was genuinely interested in my upbringing, growing up in South Central Los Angeles and what kind of goals I had for myself. He asked that exact same thing, “What do you want in life?”
What do I want in LIFE? Man…way to drop a heavy one on me, Dennis. My brother has asked me that before and I’m really not sure who was harder to answer (impress), a stranger or my brother. I think they were equally as difficult but we’re talking about the conversation Dennis and I had so I’ll stick with that.
My answer was an insanely cheesy one but one that I truly meant: to be a great husband and a great dad and be a happy old man. Dennis said, “That’s it? What else do you want? Like…in your life?” I gotta admit, I kind of took offense to his reply. I thought, “What more do you want man? That’s what I want. I feel dumb now.” But later on that night I knew what he meant. He meant, how am I going to make all that possible? That’s something I’m still struggling with and working on. If I were to say that where I’m at now is where I see myself in 10 years from now, then I got some serious issues.
However, that’s really what I do want in life: to be a great husband to Lissette and a great father to my kids. To see my wife happy with our life and our children. To see my children have kids. To be a happy grandfather. One of the great ones where my kids tell me that all their kids wanted was to come see Grandpa and Grandma. That’s really what I want. But there’s hard work to be put into that.
Growing up, I witnessed a hustle like no other. My father worked his butt off to make sure his kids had all they needed. He wasn’t the perfect father but as a grown man, I can recognize and appreciate all his “esfuerzos.” As a 30 year old man, my brother is my new motivation. At times I think, “Damn…my brother is set. He’s taken care of business and he’s got it made.” Then I hear him talk about not being done, forever striving for better things. I honestly feel I’ve missed a step. Despite having such great examples in the Cornejo bloodline, like I’ve missed a step…maybe many. But it’s never too late and I’ve taken a personal vow to change for the better. My wife makes me happy. My son makes me happy. But my current state doesn’t make me happy.
Nothing’s changed, but a change is desperately needed. If that makes any sense.
When Lissette and I were courting each other, one of our favorite things to do was lay in my bed for long periods of time, sharing an earbud each we’d listen to music taking turns choosing a song. It was one of our favorite things to do. This is her drawing of us doing exactly that. Happy Valentine’s Day, @lliisseettee! #Love #Music #Art #MyGirlGotSkills
Lissette and I have been married a year. February 3rd was our 1st Wedding Anniversary. It’s been a whole year since I married the girl I’ve been crushing on since I was a tiny elementary school kid. Now we are adults (and parents) in love.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to make Lissette happy. She knows this. She reminds me over and over again that sometimes spending time with her is all she really wants. But I’m stubborn and sometimes try to do too much, plan too much, control too much. So while I had plenty of things in mind to do on our anniversary, we did none of it and it became unexpectedly perfect.
We had dinner at Roy’s in Downtown LA. We go there each year for the SideOneDummy Holiday Dinner so you figured, having just been there like 2 months ago, that we’d be tired of it. She recommended it and I agreed (honestly, I was trying to avoid an argument of where to eat). Our dinner was delicious, our conversation was delightful and being that we hardly get out that much because of Kenny, we felt like two teenagers out on a date. I love making her laugh. My wife has the most beautiful smile.
Lissette and her smile on her birthday dinner in May of 2012
After dinner, it was time for drinks. We headed to the rooftop of the Standard for some adult beverages. It was a great view. I had never been up there. As I was up there with Lissette, I thought about the first few times her and I would go on my so called “kind of dates.” See, I didn’t like the idea of going on a date with her, even though I liked her A LOT, because it meant it would just be her and I. I always managed to make her think it wasn’t a date because “my friends are coming too.” So when I started to make an effort to invite her to just go out with me, my biggest fear was to be boring. I didn’t want to run out of things to say or say the wrong thing or ask something weird or who knows what else I was thinking in my poor little brain. Being on that rooftop, that nervousness was gone. I could ask her anything that I wanted…anything I wanted to know. She’s my wife. She’s my best friend. She’s whom I need to tell important things to. She’s whom I can reveal any silly confession to. I asked her, “What do you want to happen in our next year of marriage? What will we be doing this time next year?” We talked about that for a while. Feels great not to be nervous about how lame I may come off as…either way, she’s STUCK with me now. =)
We went home shortly after. It began to rain a little bit and we were tired and got coffee on our way home. Kenny was still with his aunt and he was full of energy when we got back. We slipped into our comfortable “night time” clothes and it was as if nothing had happened. This was February 2nd.
The next day, on our actual anniversary, we went to the beach with Kenny. We kept telling each other “Happy Anniversary” throughout the day…maybe being a little more affectionate that we normally would. Being married sometimes still feels like a new thing to us.
My California Son
Sitting in the sand with the two most important people in the world to me was a wonderful way to spend my anniversary. Kenny was there when mom and dad got married. He’s been with us since we began our journey into this “Til death do us part” adventure. We’ve been through a lot, just the three of us. Lissette and I have many plans for us this next year and it’d be a shame not to follow through with them. None of it will be easy, but seeing my Two Beats on the beach with me that Sunday afternoon…they’re completely worth it.
Happy Anniversary, Nappy ‘Ed!
Her two boys
P.S. Being the “paper anniversary,” I gave Lissette a nice card and 2 tickets to see Jim James of My Morning Jacket at the Fonda Theatre on her birthday.
Baptized my son today. #HeavenlyKid #Kenny #Baptism #PlacitaOlvera (at Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles)
Momma Lissette and I have been busy planning a party. Our little boy turns 1 year old on February 28. I’ve been told that the first birthday party is really for the parents. As my boss put it, “it’s a celebration for you guys that you’ve made it through the first year.” I agree 100%.
Our little guy is turning into a beautiful strong happy boy. If you could only hear his amazing laugh echoing in our apartment as he’s riding piggy back on his mom’s back. We love him dearly.
Sesame Street decorations have been purchased. Menu is getting there. Invitations will be soon mailed out. El Señor de las sillas y mesas has been alerted. We’re getting there. Soon, it’ll be time to paaarty!
Neil Young - Barstool Blues
I find that it’s best for music naturally find it’s way to you and let it engulf you in the mystique of it’s melody, lyrics and mood. Forcing yourself to try and “like” something is just not the way it’s meant to be. Click play on this…maybe today…tomorrow. It’ll be here waiting for you.
If I could hold on
to just one thought
For long enough to know
Why my mind is moving so fast
And the conversation is slow.
Burn off all the fog
And let the sun
through to the snow
Let me see your face again
Before I have to go.
It’s no secret that 2012 was all about being a father (and a husband) to me. All you need to do is scroll through all my latest Instagram/Tumblr posts and see that Kenny has taken the spotlight in Lissette’s and my life. Now, while I don’t consider myself to be the best father ever, I do strive to be an excellent one to my son. For starters, I’m IN his life.
I was talking to my cousin earlier today and mentioned how one of our nieces is turning 10 already. He informed me that it was crazy how 10 years just flew by but that it was crazier that our cousin can’t even spent time with his daughter. Whether it’s due to a crazy baby momma issue or a current relationship preventing him from being a father to his beautiful little daughter, I thought that it must be such a shitty situation to not be able to take your daughter out for some ice cream, to spoil her with clothing of silly characters she’s into or to just spend some time with someone who, if given the opportunity, would love you like no one would ever love anybody else.
My wife’s father was in and out of her life from an early age all the way through adulthood. It’s not my story to tell but by the many talks she and I have had, it’s had an impact on her since I’ve known her. All I can really say about It is that out in the world is a lonely man who is missing out in having the opportunity to have a special relationship with someone with such a beautiful soul. Lissette tells me that she sees my father as her adopted father and it makes me happy to know she feels that way. My father really likes Lissette.
Not everyone can be Father of The Year material. There are situations that prevent people from being simply just a good parent. We all don’t know the trouble that weigh on people on a daily basis. I love being in Kenny’s life. He’s an amazing little person. At some point in our relationship, I realized that having children with Lissette was what I wanted. She was the first person that I really actually believed I could grow old with and I knew that having kids was important to both of us.
My father was not excellent at being a dad but as I got older I can see how trying to excel at every aspect of being a parent is impossible. He did his best at what he thought was important for his role as a parent. Maybe I didn’t get as many hugs as I wanted to as a kid
but my sister and brother and I had a roof, food and lots of other things that I know don’t come without hard work. We’re going to suck at some things. I accept that. However, I believe there’s one thing that is inexcusable to suck at , that’s loving our children.
I cannot imagine my life without Kenny. I can’t even imagine being the type of person to be OK with abandoning my child. I see people do it a lot (my sister is raising 2 children on her own without a father) and its truly one of the saddest things in the world. To help create something beautiful like a baby and not be around to see it become a little version of you is truly heartbreaking. I know…I know… “You don’t know my life?” right? Maybe I don’t, but we ALL know the responsibility of having a baby and how one is made. If you’re not ready for it then common sense tells you not to have any.
I love my son. I’m truly enlightened by his presence every single day of my life. I want him to grow up and have stories of him and I for days. I want to live on in the type of music that reminds him of me. When he finds an old hard drive of mine, I want him to discover the thousands of pictures his mother and I took of him. I want the smell of strong coffee to remind him of the Saturday/Sunday mornings while he watched cartoons. I want him to know I was and will ALWAYS be present in his life.
The Sidekicks cover of “Good Things” by The Menzingers
Good things indeed.