Here I find myself sitting at the Chico State graduation, celebrating the accomplishment of my basically-sister, Kara. The packed stadium oohs and aahs as relatives try to find their special graduate while Pomp and Circumstance drones endlessly on in the background.

Pomp and Circumstance. Bleh.

I get the Pomp part. So does the second part of the title refer to the next event were "forced" into? And by that, I mean fulfilling the American Dream: getting a dreary job to pay for the brand new car purchased as a result of getting the dreary job to pay for the spouse sharing a bed with you at the end of a day's work at the dreary job. I guess I could spin it in a better light.....if I wanted to.

So here I am, 1 year and 2 weeks after graduating college, reflecting on this dream. Stable job. Blossoming romantic relationship. Car that smells of fresh chemicals. Routine. Money. Somehow, I seem to have missed the boat. I'm into the second week of a 4 month long band summer tour with 5 of my best friends in a 15 passenger van that smells of 6 dudes traveling on a haphazard route up and around the American west coast trying to scratch enough money to fill up our $100 gas tank.

They just played the national anthem!!

Here's the deal. I'm living the dream, which only I can and will define. I was just able to see a past professor, Asher Raboy of the music department at PUC, a small private college in Napa valley, CA. I shared with him the adventure I'm in the midst of. His words of admiration and encouragement filled my soul. He's a man of the arts, and he gets it! We're doing what we love, and we're succeeding at it.

As the speeches stretch on here at graduation, spewing jargon of "the future" and "success," I am proud to be part of Lumbercat, a brotherhood focused on enjoying the moment and having a grand time with whoever wants to take part. If we fail, I'll go to France and garden. But we won't. Because success is what we define it to be.

Way to go, Kara! Here's to a life of adventure and big smiles

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