Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Nah. (I love that line!) It’s Carl. Or Carl Jasper. Or CJ. Or Ceej. Misspelled it’s Ceeg. At least that’s what the Music Network (part of Roku TV) put on my music video “I’m a Zombie” that’s playing in over 20+ countries at the moment. (shameless plug) I was the most popular video (out of two…smile) for awhile, until the metal band edged past me by a length.

Where to start? Perhaps Chicago? OK. I was born in Chicago.

1. At the age of 5, I moved to California. My parents followed, not wanting to be alone.


2. I was always getting bronchitis and the doctor suggested a warmer climate.

Either works for me. Upon moving to California all my troubles began in earnest. I’m a survivor. And troubles are my middle name. When we first moved out here, my dad ran over my tricycle (on purpose) because one day I left it in the driveway. He was teaching me to be more responsible. Did it work? Will never know as I no longer had a tricycle to put away.

There are so many magical moments while growing up, that the bad ceased to be as important. Always in the background, however. The pivotal moments were amazing. In junior high (9th grade I believe), a good friend of mine Diana Powers, came over one day and knocked on my window which was in the front of the house. She motioned for me to come outside. Curious, I did.

In her hand was a guitar. A Beatles songbook in the other.

She said “Next week, I’ll be back and I want you to play a song out this book”

HUH? The guitar alone with the metal strings and long neck was akin to being handed a critter from some failed laboratory experiment. The Beatles book was in another language taken from the dead sea scrolls. Well, she came back the following week and I played her a song. In fact, a few songs. Once I got started I couldn’t stop. Somehow she knew what I needed to survive with my sometimes frustrating family life or lack of. Replacing the anger and unhappiness with melodies that invoked the most incredible feelings of love and soul searching. She instinctively understood, this was what I needed to survive. Decades later I still turn to music to calm my soul.

I’m a romantic. Posted in the music section of this blog is the song “and if” along with lyrics. A good friend sang while I played all the instruments thanks to Diana. Take a quick listen or not. Or just read the lyrics and perhaps get a glimpse of what goes on inside my complicated brain.

Then head over to “recent posts” to read some ramblings of mine.

Taken in my 30’s