A few minutes of additional conversation with Jim, particularly as it relates to our friend, Prof D. I wrote a piece when Dave passed away at 40. I'll share it with you here. Please read, and listen, and hold your friends dearly while they're with you.
Through alphabetic providence, we, perhaps the only two white kids deeply and completely connected to hip hop and hip hop culture in Glenshaw in the late 1980s, became locker partners in ninth grade. 1988. The year I moved from Connecticut to Pittsburgh, an exceptionally awkward teen terrified of not fitting in yet knowing that I wouldn’t fit in and ultimately not wanting to be a popular douchebag but ultimately giving too much of a shit and really pissed off about the whole internal struggle. Del Duca. Dengler. Both of us with overalls, Public Enemy gear, ball caps and sneakers that, whenever possible, matched the cap, and thick, perhaps not entirely unintended white-boy afros. Both of us working 20 hours per week to buy the shit we loved because we came from families without money. Both of us honors students and smartasses who didn’t quite fit in with the preppy Glenshaw overly-earnest-pseudo-poetic-pop-leaning (…fuck Michael Stipe…) honors-student vibe. You were among my earliest friends and have been one of my longest-standing friends. You hooked me up with free Arby’s and free Pizza Hut and you drove my no-license-having ass all around Pittsburgh when I wasn’t bussing it. You blasted EPMD, Eric B. and Rakim, Marly Marl, Biz Markie, and the Beastie Boys. You accepted me and you endeared yourself to my Mom. You were my boy. Almost all of my memories of you from the 90s involve boisterous laughter, hip hop, and happiness.
We commuted to Pitt. We hung out in the William Pitt Union and played too many games of ping pong across our Freshman year. We wagered sodas and lunches and we purchased our own paddles. We became fucking ping pong nerds. And why not?! Things changed the following year. I asked you to be my roommate in our shitty, roach-infested, slum-lord-managed apartment on Bates Street. Stone also played ping pong with us, and I worked with Rich. They shared a room, and we shared a room, and the roaches took up residence with Scobes and Cordes across the hall.
You were a shitty, shitty roommate. Inconsiderate and seemingly clueless. You pissed me off somewhere in the vicinity of all the time. You have no idea how close you were to having your ass beaten by one or all of us across hundreds of occasions. I once cleaned the dirty toilet…the one you just left unflushed, post burrito, and with some piece of metal stuck in the bowl…with your bath towel. You drank directly from the 2 liter bottle like that’s how the world worked. I used to turn on the hot water when you showered to fuck with you. We talked about you fiercely behind your back. I came to really dislike you…and I bailed right the fuck out of another year in the apartment. That distance was the key. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. This proved true for us.
You came to my a cappella shows religiously…you were my biggest and most consistent fan. We hung, we ate, we shared music, and things shifted largely back to normal. I was in your wedding, and we participated in friends’ weddings together. Your laugh remained boisterous…the kind of laugh that turned heads. I’m glad you never gave a fuck about all that. When you laughed, you laughed with your entire body and soul. And when you showed up, you were really there. You weren’t preoccupied nor were you fake. You were present. Not many people on this planet are present. Like ever. You were. That’s a fucking fact, jack.
And now all you are is gone. (You loved that song, too.)
I saw you last at a fantastic party for our close friend. Before that, my family and I ran into you at Pamela’s in Millvale and we all whooped it up for like a half hour. You showed me your new Jeep. It was a dream vehicle for both you and Dawson. Each time I ran into you it was a little reunion, a celebration, an event. Mad Mex. My 40th birthday party; you, Jen, and I all wore denim bib overalls. I had my Tribe Called Quest shirt on. (You were one of the few that truly understood the significance of Tribe.) The Pig Bar; you dressed as Billy May for the Halloween S.G. Project. That De La Soul show at Mr. Smalls. It was the night that Bush was elected to his second term. The crowd there sucked. We both thought that De La would never come back to Pittsburgh given the lack of enthusiasm weighing down the place. But we fucking jammed that night. It was as if we were right back in high school…and we were listening to “Me, Myself, and I” for the very first time. Minds blown.
I marveled at your interactions with Dawson, David. You were a loving, caring, generous, present (…ever fucking present, man…that was your gift…), guiding Father. You got me completely back when I saw you in that role. All else forgotten, swept under the carpet of too-many-years-ago and too-few-days-left-to-hang-on-to-bullshit. Too goddam few days left. How could we have known how few?
Dude, I miss you. Life is precious and precarious. I’ll not forget that again. I won’t. I promise I won’t. I’ll find a way to remind myself. You will be remembered. You were loved. You made an impact and you made a difference, and you spread a whole lotta love, laughter, and joy. That’s all we can hope for as humans.
I’m numb, man.
It’s never really too late. Until it is.
If you missed the first WoM podcast, you should go back and do that. S2E21. But if you don't feel like doing that, here's the original introduction:
Today you'll meet Ada.
I'll allow Ada's Mom to tell you a bit about Ada:
I've vacated vacation to bring you the answer to an important question. What is D2D? (Also, I don't generate income on vacation, and the car payment fast approaches.)
Well, not so much an answer as much as an exploration.
What are we, what am I, what do I mean when I say, "I'm an inclusionist," and what the hell do you want?
Also, I sing the Ave Maria at the end. I like to call my interpretation the Oi Vey Maria.
Driven2Drink is taking a bit of a hiatus.
Figuring our stuff out.
Like 3-4 weeks.
This is a the conversation closer with Jim Shearer. He's amazing and awesome and every adjective that makes you smile.
Today, you have an intro, and intro-intro, a podcast, theme music, and out takes. It's a full sonic meal that includes the foundations of Driven2Drink: Laughter, insight, and art appreciation through lubricated conversation. (Please note, Jim drank only sparkling water, though Greg came to the experience...pre-lubricated, so to speak.)
Thanks for being with us. Please check out www.inclusionnow.space, find us on Facebook and Twitter (@driven2drink), iTunes, Liberated Syndication (driven2drink.libsyn.com) and Patreon (Gregory Del Duca).
Today you'll meet Ada.
I'll allow Ada's Mom to tell you a bit about Ada:
There's not a significant amount more I need or want to say that isn't already communicated in the title and also the podcast, so I'll express my appreciation up front that you're listening and that you'll let me know how you're doing...and also how I'm doing. (What are you doing, Greg?) That is, perhaps, the foundational question. Have a listen, and let's figure out together.
(That was the cheesiest shit I've ever written.)
Throughout the episode, we place levity among topics of social importance. I write "we" because today you'll meet Levi T. Jones (...it frustrates me that, throughout the episode, I refer to him as "Levity T. Jones," when the pun was sitting right in front of my frontal cortex...) and also Meta Levity.
The topics punctuated by these moments of release? Harmful dating behaviors, gaslighting, and inclusion.
I know, right.
I also need to communicate that the mission for InclusionNow (www.inclusionnow.space) has been modified from what you'll hear read here.
Today I'm all serious and shit.
The exploration today? How to practice what you preach more seriously.
I recommend five nearly impossible but entirely worthy steps along the way.
1. Inspect superiority. Ask, "In which ways do I believe I am superior to others?" Sit with it. Contemplate it without judgement.
2. Recognize the illusion of superiority through studying what/whomever your "maker" is in your metaphysical belief system. (e.g. Abrahamic? "God." Atheist? "Universe." Pantheist? "Gods." You get the picture.)
3. Contend with it. But let it go. And whatever you do, DO NOT act on it.
4. Now, start saying and writing some shit. We'll call this, "What you Preach."
5. Practice THAT...more perfectly.
Thanks for hanging!
We'll do it live.
Roll the tape, we'll do it live.
Today, the harrowing tale of how I single-handedly, or to be very specific, single-voicedly ruined an entire recording session with my collegiate a cappella group and how my friend Annie, got me through that cursed note.
Through this tale, we'll discover something about confidence, pedigree, key changes, and Bizarre Love Triangle.
Stick around, won't you?
(Theme song: Party at the Airport by Deck of Jack)
This episode serves as an introduction to an upcoming endeavor, Inclusion Now. As an explanation, here is our current draft of the mission statement:
Inclusion Now is a safe space espousing a philosophy of inclusion that advocates for the dignity, value, and humanity all people.
Inclusion Now, as a foundationally parent and professional endeavor, recognizes that a truly just and inclusive world for our children will listen closely to them and allow them to guide interactions, programming, and policy that impacts them directly. Self-determination is a critical piece to any human’s development toward full potential and well-being. Our children deserve this, just as you and I do.
Inclusion Now believes it is essential to address OUR challenges as parents, advocates, educators, supporters, and influencers in positions of power.
Specifically, we must understand how our inherited values, biases, and fears dictate, more than any diagnostic contribution, our inability to include people with physical, emotional, cognitive, sensory, and/or mental health contributions across and within our neighborhoods, education systems, businesses, public spaces, spiritual communities, and larger society.
Inclusion means inclusion without exceptions or conditions, and moving forward means shining a light on OUR inability to include and accept diversity rather than any individual’s ability or desire to comply and assimilate.
We endeavor to advocate, educate and ultimately impact social change in the direction of inclusion without limits, neither on behalf of neurodivergent and/or unconventionally appearing or bodied people, which is paternalizing and patronizing, nor as the voices or masters of ableist impacted communities, which is oppressing and marginalizing. Rather, our goal, starting with the person in the mirror and emanating out like ripples from a stone dropped in a pond, is a revolutionary shift in mainstream society and power culture that sheds the mantle of ableism and seeks personal change for the sake of a more inclusive world.
That is, we strive to change ourselves. Not others.
But along the way, particularly when we actively listen with a spirit of inclusion, everybody advances toward self-determined enlightenment and happiness.
This is my Paul’s Boutique.
Haven’t you said that before, Greg?
Yes. Yes I have. And I hope to be able to say it many more times over the course of my life.
Who doesn’t want their next Paul’s Boutique to always be just around the corner?
This…is my Paul’s Boutique.
P.S. If my final Paul’s Boutique before dying is even within “shouting at the top of my lungs with gale force winds at my back and a wall of amplification on an otherwise quiet day” distance of the caliber and quality of the Beastie Boy’s actual Paul’s Boutique, I will die a satisfied human.
You read that right.
Greg makes Gin...and...tonic.
Not...a...gin and tonic (though that does happen at the very end), but rather makes gin...and then...makes tonic.
This podcast spans multiple mini-episodes traversing the steps in the making of the gin and the tonic and the gin and tonic.
Backpfeifengesicht (roughly, "BAHCK-fifengehzeekt") is, of course, a German word. German words can be so wonderful, expressing depths and nuances of emotion in single words.
How about Schadenfreude, meaning: pleasure derived from another person's misfortune. (SCENE: There's that person in line at the coffee shop and they're interminably miserable. They need 5 minutes to decide but won't step aside, have an impossible to decipher name they've dispassionately muttered while returning to a super loud phone conversation and then, after the barista has completed the mensa task of creating a venti half skim half soy no whip half calf mocha extra drizzle on the inside of the cup at 164 degrees, NEEDS to jump right back in front of you to get like one single ice cube because "This beverage tastes 170 degrees." And leaves a quarter in the tip jar. Then, as they walk away that pristinely polished iPhone 8 plus has slipped from the right shoulder/ear and careens slowly to the floor as the latte slips from a sweaty left palm and a feline sound escapes this joy scoundrel, providing a screechy cymbal crash to the drum solo of a shattering screen, exploding mocha, and tip-tappy shoes that don't know in which direction to lunge . I mean, you should NOT feel good about this. But goddamit, you do.)
Remember when Volkswagon had the commercial touting Fahrvergnügen, interpreted precisely as: driving pleasure? (How cool is that!?)
Speaking of, Volkswagon, means: people's car. Feels all warm and socialist, so inviting to anyone and everyone. (Now, in Trump's America, you don't drive car, car drives you. Russia, what a country! HAH!)
Kummerspect? That's grief bacon. You know, the weight we gain after we've had our hearts shattered and the only relief is sugar and fermented sugar and distilled fermented sugar? (I know, I should drink less.) And bacon. That's Kummerspect.
Here's a great one for the world today, Weltersmerz, or: world pain. That's the discrepancy between how you know the world should be and how you see, feel, and experience the ACTUAL world. I know, right? There's a ficken word for that. Which is also why we have Kummerspect. Brilliant, if you think about it.
Anyway, backpfeifengesicht. Meaning? A face in need of a slap.
You know it when you see it.
I mean, c'mon. You...KNOW IT...when you see it. Downturned lips from a lifetime of pouting about this or that. Weak cheeks and chin. They get angry and you're like, "...really? REALLY? You're gonna come at me with THAT face?" Kind of amorphous features that simply shout, "Of, ffs, just slap me!"
I wonder if there's a German word for a voice that calls to mind a face in need of a slap? ("Yes. It's Driven to Drink." Bah-dum-DUM...psst)
Seriously, though, I sincerely hope our voices are not those voices.
Mark and I thank you from the bottom of our herzen.
In the upcoming podcast, Mark and I discuss,
1. child abuse, emotional trauma, and the impact it has on victims and those one-degree of separation from said abuse/trauma, and
2. Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno.
In the upcoming podcast, Mark and I infuse levity and laughter throughout WITHOUT the explicit intention of mocking, belittling, or otherwise harming. However, we recognize that laughter in the face of abuse and trauma can easily feel insulting and offensive. We sincerely apologize from the outset if our attempt to move through a difficult conversation causes you (additional) suffering.
Love you all.
Is Bocephus an apostle?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Do yinz remember Mark? Know Mark?!
He's a gem.
Here you have the first segment of a conversation in three parts.
2017 has been heavy.
So although the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was pouring, and Mark and I cannot avoid shenanigans, Tom Foolery, and whatnot, there is a depth and perhaps lamentive undercurrent.
Stick with us, it's worth it.
When relentless low-level anxiety intensifies, pries open the door to depression, and abruptly rebounds somewhere in the vicinity of a blissed and coked out Robin Williams...it's exceptionally hard on both the person experiencing said tripolar mental health jambalaya as well as said person's life partner and children.
However, when one has most of the tools to contend with whatever shit show one's neurochemistry provides and exceptional people who support and illuminate one's limitations...it's possible to come out on the other side stronger, happier, healthier, and grateful.
It's been said by generations of people wiser than me that it takes a village to raise a child. I'm here to tell you that it also takes a village to raise an adult.
Here you'll find an introduction followed by a conversation between me and Jen.
Thanks for hanging.
Here you go, lovely folk of the D2D community.
It's a full hour of Jason and me followed by outtakes from the introduction. So yeah, also an introduction.
Good stuff, here.
(Is that how you spell the sound of a dramatic kissy noise?)
Jason is back for a two part conversation.
Today we talk about Pittsburgh's 20th mayor, Billy Joel, and my potential as an obituary writer.
At the end, after the last seconds of "Captain Jack" conclude, I've attached a lengthy outtake reel. So really, you should stick around. Or, fast forward. (Meh. When I was a kid we had cassettes and you just needed to listen because who wanted to fast forward and either under or over shoot the next track? Also, I couldn't afford one of those fancy tape decks that recognized the between track pauses and just restarted for you. But then, something like The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill came out with all of that intermediary material that there wasn't a pause and so the smart fast forward was rendered ineffective.)
Anyway, stick around. We love you.
It struck me, while editing what you're about to hear, that I should have brought the proper recorder with me to Los Angeles, along with windscreens. But honestly, I had no idea how deeply I would fall in love with so much of L.A. and that I might want to record some of it with more than my phone. Alas, I was pleasantly surprised and somewhat unprepared. But, because most of our phones are better-than-average video, audio, and photographic recorders, I was prepared enough.
Please enjoy my Santa Monica Pastiche.
I got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Down in my heart.
Because I got to listen to the second half of my recent conversation with Oliver yesterday as I polished up this podcast for all o' y'all today and it brings me joy. Down in my mf'ing heart.
I hope it brings you even a fraction of the original emotion of the interaction.
Have a listen.
This is my friend, Oliver.
In conversation, each of us resonates the other(s) and the other(s) resonate us.
If at any point profundity escapes my mouth I necessarily give honor and credit to the person or people elevating and resonating me. This isn't false humility. I know I'm smart and am attempting to travel a path of enlightenment, but all alone I am nothing but this single, biased, necessarily narrowly focused nervous system.
Oliver, much like my other Siblings you've heard on here, brings out things I didn't know I could access. And indeed, I couldn't...until we sat with an intention, mutual respect, and a bottle of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
This is my Halloween masterpiece.
Mine, and Jason's, and Jennifer's, and all of the people who have persevered, "It's a Small World," and understand PRECISELY what that means.
I give this to you. Free of charge.
Please share liberally.
Go to iTunes and rate us 5 stars.
I give you, "Urethral Stricture."
(Headless St. Joseph...by me)
This is the final Del Bosco (1.3) conversation, "Existential Opportunity."
That you are are reading this, listening to that, right here, right now, means you are the product of survivors and are 100% successful with survival.
That's a big deal, cosmically. Congratulations.
But, when you're just trying to tread water in the deep end of the pool it's extremely difficult to see the big picture.
How do you think about existence when you're just trying your level best TO exist?
It takes practice. And time. And lots of support from other humans. And a bunch of other shit I'm currently neglecting only because it's early and caffeine hasn't yet kicked in.
But spend some time with Gerra, here, just like I did...and you'll find yourself a few steps closer to understanding. I promise.
Remember, on the path from any 0 to any 100, we must always travel through 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. And each step is a macro-spectrum which should be cherished and experienced completely. There's really no need to worry so much about 100. Rather, be here. Now. Always.
And also, listen to more Otis Redding. It'll do you good.
by: E.F. Dugger
Guess who’s back?
Guess who’s back?
Tell a friend.
Del Bosco is back.
Here I will reveal only snippets and themes across the span of these 30 minutes.
Humans as a planetary virus.
Optimism as a species defense mechanism.
There is no other species that destroys itself. Is there?
I have never felt “less than” in the eyes of any social, political, economic, or media system.
Gerra and Pixie got Friday the Thirteenthed.
You made light, Unicorn.
By: Eden F.D.