The conversation I want to have now and forging into the future relates to the endeavors of intentional (social, cultural, economic, community) balance, intersectional representative inclusion, and a paradigm shift from "helping" toward "service" that challenges the savior complex that so often occurs in imbalanced, nefariously valued relationships.
WTF are you talking about, Greg?
I know, it's where my brain is tonight. But just listen, I promise this is illuminated with greater accessibility, wit, and Gregness.
Gregness is a good thing, I promise.
Unless for you, it isn't, and then...well, you can always turn me off!
But hang out, will ya?
I appreciate you being with me, and I hope you will remain here.
In the upcoming weeks we will discuss the idea of intentional balance and its three other quandrants (i.e. unintentional balance, intentional imbalance, and unintentional imbalance). Also, how "service" and "help" relate and differ.
What drives you to drink?
And by "drink," I mean...engage in endeavors or substances that alleviate suffering beyond the baseline endeavors of your brain.
Please hang. And engage.
I'm truly interested.
This is your brain on Gregory, the A'ight.
That is my Twitter name.
The handle is @driven2drink.
But it's also all me. That's Gregory Del Duca.
It's not entirely safe to be anything but entirely anonymous anymore, but that's not me. So...hang with me. And us. Cool?
I got new speakers.
I fucked up several times.
A few grenades in the perpetual eight grenade cascade of existential crisis blew up in my face.
I take refuge in music. And relationship. And enhancement of the neurochemicals, transmitters, and receptors my brain does not do so well on its own.
I appreciate you being here.
Do you know what the 10 most expensive liquids are, if you were to purchase them per gallon?
Have you contemplated your tendencies to interact in bad faith, particularly if you're projecting, deflecting, or otherwise unwilling to explore the being in the mirror?
Will you take a little journey with me as we discuss these things, with some levity thrown in for good measure?
I appreciate you.
Have you met Ada?
You should meet Ada.
If you've met Ada, either here or in person, just go ahead and listen.
If you haven't, here's a bit about Ada from her Mom.
Ada has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome: very rare genetic disorder caused by deletion/mutation of shank 3 gene. Only 1700 known cases but believed to be highly under diagnosed.
There is no cure and life long symptoms include: little to no verbal abilities, hypotonia (low muscle tone), intellectual disabilities, PICA, seizures, autism symptoms, GI issues, sleep difficulties.
(Note from Greg: Google is your friend.)
It's me again.
And like last week, I'll offer the following: if you've been with me here for some time and if you dig me, but if you've not yet decided, "Hey, I want to listen to this person for an hour or so," though you're thinking, "Maybe I do?...," this podcast, and last week's, tbh, would be good places to dive in the pool.
If you do, thank you and welcome.
If you don't, I still love you.
Let’s say you’ve been on here for a while.
And let’s say you generally dig what I’m putting out into the world.
But…you’ve just not yet felt compelled to listen to a D2D podcast.
And this is a good one to begin your journey.
All of Season 2, tbh. (Season 2. That’s so funny to me. Shoot, I’m just doing this thing for myself and a handful of people got on this rickety old wooden coaster and you know what? Only several minor injuries and zero deaths.)
Come with me. And you’ll see. A world of pure inebriation.
New from D2D, "Rubber Soulive Live Listening Party."
The Venn diagram of fans of The Beatles, fans of Soulive, and fans of my drunk ass...is a perfect circle.
If you exist in that circle, this is for you.
If you exist in one of those circles, this might be for you.
If you exist in none of those circles, this is not for you.
With that in mind, please enjoy!
This is a story about Moses Chege, Mercy Myra, and me, Kamau Mzungu.
Please take a few minutes to listen, and let me know what you think. How you felt.
Asanteni Sana, rafiki zangu.
This is a fun emotional journey with me across weeks aligning with "enough medicine for the current brain state" and "not enough medicine for the current brain state."
Good times. Great music. Come hang.
Do you want to feel better?
Listen to this.
Really, it's that simple.
Sharon Jones (RIP) and the Dap Kings always bring joy.
And, universe willing, so do I. It's my goal.
Tyler is Tyler Okonma on vox and keys.
Them is Jaret Landon (Musical Director/Keys) Dré Pinckney (Bass), Dalton Hodo (Drums), Kaye Fox (background vocals), Kiandra Richardson (background vocals).
You would be doing yourself a favor and happiness to watch Tyler, the Creator's Tiny Desk Concert.
You would do both you and me a favor and happiness by listening to this podcast.
See you on the flip side.
This is my complicated love note to my community, a place that I simultaneously love and loathe. There is not a thing that is simple nor a macroscopic pebble left unturned for me. And here I bring you some words on my nitty, gritty, itty, bitty city: Natrona Heights.
Please hang for a while. Contribute to the patreon (Gregory Del Duca), say a few kind words, post a 5 star review in iTunes, or just hang. That's cool, too.
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.