Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lessons from the PUA movement. Part 1

A lot has been said about the PUA movement being a scam and so forth. I just thought of this quick blog post in my struggle to start dating again, and also the struggle to go after the types I really want to date, instead of just settling for what I settled for previously (or what other people often settle for). So this blog post isn't really an analysis of what PUA is, or my opinions of it, its just a reflection of what I really learned from the movement, and how I find it relevant with my life. The first thing is, a lot of what I had been conditioned to think about dating growing up was totally wrong. It wasn't clear, but what a lot of people told me (and maybe not always what they were trying to get across, but how I interpreted) is that I should just "wait" and a woman would come along and be my girlfriend if I "stopped looking". Now when I was a teenager, maybe not worrying about getting a girlfriend may not always had been a bad thing, but by the time I was in my twenties, it was getting to a point where something HAD to be done. Its perfectly fine not being with someone, but if one goes that long without companionship, its abnormal, and I dare say, not really human. So this was one myth that I was raised with by family members, sometimes friends, and it was erroneous. Another thing that was subconsciously communicated by how I grew up is once you sleep with someone, you must have a relationship with them. Now I think this may be even worse than the previous myth. Thousands of broken pieces of property, divorce settlements, alimony, and child support cases are the result of this kind of thinking. For one, its good to be safe obviously while "sleeping around" but if we go into this type of thinking applied across the board, in other words, serial monogamy, it becomes a sickness in how it can perpetuate very emotionally unhealthy lifestyles. So its with these myths along with having general mental health issues, along with being an outcast, I was a virgin until my mid-twenties. Friends and family started to intervene because there were other girls that they knew that also wanted companionship, and finally mustering up the courage (with some near misses along the way), I had girlfriends. I was still stuck in this trap though, because I continued to lust after the same girls (or so I thought) years after we had broken up. I was stuck in a perpetual state of what the puas call "one-itis", being stuck on girls just because I thought I was stuck with them only. It took me reading Neil Strauss's the Game to really realize the error of my thinking. Even if one doesn't follow the PUA prescription of being with as many girls as possible, its the idea of scarcity vs abundance, that dating is a numbers game, and that one should date as much as possible before settling down that stuck with me. Also the idea that one SHOULD in some ways develop dating as a "skill" that being attractive to women can cross over to other parts of life as a general phase of self-improvement, all these might have, dare I say, saved my life. I am not done with my self-improvement journey, I have had some derailments along the way, and its taken me some time to bounce back from certain things. But I do credit a lot of this maligned subculture for giving me the push to make the journey. I prefer relationships and monogamy, but never again will I believe that I should be with someone because I am deserving of noone better, or that its "wrong" to date around.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Biggest Regret

Currently, I am undertaking Anthony Robbins Personal Power II. This is tmy second time (all the way through, in a committed way I mean). In doing so, recent "assignments" have included looking at "biggest regrets" and "failures" in life. Overall, I'd say its a very positive program to do, this part of it has to do with adjusting feelings about failures and rejections and pointing to a better future within ones self. In my life, I would have to say my biggest regret is: not going to college. Now I have an associates degree in Supervisory Management, and I am proud that I buckled down and got it, but what I mean by "college" is the full on college experience. I don't know how much my life would have been improved by attending college, or if I would be doing bigger and better things right now, but I know my life would have been enriched by the structured knowledge, additional socialization, and the (more) defined life map that college would have brought to me. I don't know if I would've lived in a dorm or not, or how far I would have gone, but I feel that a four year (or even additional) degree would have benefitted me greatly. So what was I doing when I was "supposed" to go to school in my early twenties? I was working away at jobs, constantly buying music, eating crap like Little Debbies and Flaming Hot Cheetos and dreaming about being a rockstar, though doing little in the way of effort of becoming one, other than playing along with my favorite cds occasionally. I was lazy, not in the way of working a "day job" but as far as pursuing my dreams to an extent that there would be anything that resulted from them. But I now feel that even by the time I was in bands (which wasn't until later), I could have gone to a four year college and be on the way onto a career that suited my liking more than the current "career" (if one can call it that), at least as a "backup plan". And the self discipline that required more concentration than working mindless jobs would prepare me for anything that I wanted to be, whether or not I continued on or not after the 4 year attainment. Now I have dreams about what might have been if I got a master's or phd in history, archeology, english, or any of the other things that interest me other than music. But instead I was lost in a cesspool of my own neuroses, obsessions and (yes) unrequited crushes. The only saving graces for me were music and watching movies and playing video games with my friends. I had some good times with them, and my job was in a public customer service role at a busy intersection, ironically, I served the same people mainly who were in the position I should have been in, that is, students. I would've had to transfer from a tech school to the four year college, but my mother at the time had a boyfriend who had even offered to pay for at least a lot of the transfer classes. I took three classes at the time and subsequently dropped them. I was distracted and obsessed with other things. One of those things, was unfortunately, something I'm embarrased to admit now. But being the young person I was, I had this strange obsession with this woman who I hardly knew (I had two dates with her, and she had shown interest, so its not as creepy as it sounds though it is). I realized later I was putting all these projections onto this ideal of her that were extremely flawed, but luckily I grew out of this phase, (as being an inexperienced virgin can lead to some strange thoughts when so deprived). But this wasn't the end of it. I overcame and grew out of this phase, and tried a little harder with the music thing while I got better and better paying call center jobs. I then decided to go to school simultaneously and kept changing my mind as I dropped classes, unable to focus, unable to decide what I wanted to do. I passed some of those classes though and continued on. Then I dropped again, and went back, dropped again, a few more times. I then had a notion that I could get better at my cubicle insurance job, and saw that one of my supervisors had taken a supervisory management program that met at nights at the local community college. I went to the night classes, did pretty well (for a change), and then struggled to finish the remaining classes during the day after I had initially finished the night portion of the program. By then I had racked up 10's of thousands of dollars in student loans, and I was really no better off. I never starved though, but what happened next threw me for a loop. I was fired. I decided if being unemployed was what it was going to be, I had better damn finish this degree. And I did. It was a struggle to focus on the math parts of classes, the accounting class in particular was hard to finish. I took it FOUR times and dropped it three times. The fourth time, it was an acccelerated month class during the spring, and I spent hours wrapping my head around the bullshit, but I MADE IT. This was the last class in the progrm I took, and I even got a B (though dammed if I can recall any of it). By this time, it was unimaginable with the student loans I had taken out (though i didn't take any more for the finishing of the degree) that I would ever go back to college again, and my more advanced age didn't help things in my head either. I finally got a job after living it up on unemployment for 9 months, worked there for a year, got another much better job, and here I am. I'm still in the entry level position at my job and feel no desire to manage people. Readers of this blog may read the prior post and see what I have planned. And I fully want to take things to their fullest this year. But I do wonder what might have been a lot of the time. I think of all the fields that interested me and all that I excelled in like English, History, Sociology, Psychology, and more. I think if I were to go back to school now, or go back in time and go to school, I'd go for some time of Biblical or Middle Eastern history degree, or something of that matter. I'd go for my full on PHD or at least my Master's Degree. And I know I would be able to do it as well, despite the annoying math classes I would have to take. I would find a tutor and would work my ass off but make it, and fully transfer to the university system. But I made bad choices, accumulated bad habits, and couldn't concentrate. I also had the music bug, though I made flawed decisions regarding this as well, and never broke through (we'll see about my current project though, hahaha). I felt left behind the world, and I'm still cleaning up from the years where I didn't do all that I set out to do, or put forth the effort to do what I wanted to do. I also imagine what may had been socially in college, even if I was a dork in my early twenties clueless with women, I probably would have done better in that area by default, and I may had even done the "normal, expected" path that a middle class white male usually is set upon. I imagine my life would have been very different, not living with a roommate neccesarily while above the age of 30, not working a job that I have to often force myself to enjoy. The experience of meeting different people, of going the full university route would have been invaluable to me, instead of working constantly at jobs I usually only remain entry level in year after year. So all in all, my biggest regret is not going to college. It sounds weird when I am so passionate about music, but I didn't really get fully started in music until two years after I would've graduated with a Bachelor's anyway (if I would have gone). I guess I could say, I could use this regret as a metaphor also for the lack of work I put into my music at the time as well. I was in bands, but wouldn't practice enough, and we were all blinded by trying to force different elements together that didn't work a lot of the time. On a side note, my vision for music is a lot less clouded and more direct nowadays, though no less adventurous. But the distraction, the lack of focus effected more than my scholarly life back then is the point in bringing that up. And its hard to say where the music and the bands would have gone with more initiative as well. But either way, going the full on university route seems appealing even for back then because it would've given me the concentration to make it better in music as well. But I got dragged down to working a job, and loafing and resting on my laurels in more ways than one. I fully admit that I fucked up in a major way. Its not like I'm struggling that much. I'm not a drug addict or in prison, and I don't have a million dollars in child support or anything. But I feel I could've been so much more if I knew what I know now, even the little bit of effort I make comparitively in certain areas that I just couldn't back then may had lead to much greater things with their energy compounded.

Reason For Leaving

When one reflects back on life, they can only see what they accomplished so far. Sometimes there is a filter that makes one blind to truths that should be evident. Sometimes one realizes that choices could have been better made, and risks however adverse, attempted. In the case of mine, I feel like I have settled for mediocrity for too long. I see myself compromising all the time with the vision of the person I want to be. Of course, one may counter "one always has to compromise", but this isn't always acceptable to someone like me. Someone who constantly strives for self improvement (even if I fall short often enough) and wants to move on to bigger, bolder, and better things. The truth is, I am not doing what I intended to do in my life when I was a child, imagining my life at my age now. When I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a scientist and inventor. More an inventor who would be praised for innovative and groundbreaking inventions. I was really into science fiction and wanted to invent a time machine, among other things. One thing I actually tried, as a father and son experiment, was to design and build a helicopter powered by pedals like a bicyle. There's always been this drive, though maybe seemingly misguided, to achieve and be recognized. When my brother got the videotape of Iron Maiden's Live After Death for his 17th birthday and I started watching it nights he was out when I stayed overnight at my father's house, my goals changed to wanting to be a "Rock Star". I really have never wavered from this dream, even as I get older. I never gave up writing or recording music, and occasionally, though not nearly enough, playing it live. Its the one thing I never really compromised on, and the one thing that never went away. That said, its increasingly difficult for one to have a career in music nowadays, no matter what the sacrifices made. But that's really not the issue at hand, or what I'm referring to. I will continue to work hard to get things going in this area more than they ever had. There is another compromise I've had to make, over and over again, and had to be miserable in life as a result. That is the idea of working for someone else. I was a mediocre student growing up. I only barely slid by both high school and getting my associate's degree. I didn't get my driver's license until 24 years of age, and there are a great many days where I've only been given to the mediocre. But by wanting an extraordinary life, I don't think I'm overcompensating for the mediocre. I've been pretty hard on myself, and I've been lazy. Those two are a brutal combination for anyone who wants to live a full life. It can be said a lot of my failures in life could be blamed on anxiety disorders or bad choices. In my age though, now, I've realized that I want to go into unventured terrority, to really go beyond what I've thought possible for myself. I've been at that edge before. I don't like sharing this much, but my life in relationships with the opposite sex was beyond mediocre for a long time. But in 2011 I decided I would make a change for the better in this area. Now there are other reasons which I won't go into here which make this difficult at this present time, so it should be said I'm only talking about my (recent) past. I took initiative because it had been 8 YEARS since I had had a proper girlfriend. And I would continue to fool around with an ex once every couple of years, but even by then, that had ran its course. So February 2011, I decided, that was the year I would have my most serious relationship. Most of my efforts came from online (something which has haunted me as far as a crutch that I'm wanting to change now (as soon as some other quibbles are out of the way, or cleared up). Nevertheless, after having dates with 9 girls and dating 2 of them steadily, I had a real girlfriend. I had put my mind to it, and even wrote down the aspects of who I wanted which eerily came true. Even the month I met her was something that almost seemed pre-planned. Unfortunately, after about 7 months or so, we had broken up, but even as the specific relationship itself doesn't seem as alluring as it once was, the fact that I had planned a change in my life so drastic still stands as an example of something I had put my mind to and had gotten. This happened with a few other things in my life that year as well, and it stands as a testament to preserverance and what some call the "law of attraction". Flash forward to now. There is a gnawing thing within my soul that is making me really want to leave cubicle jobs, call center jobs, and jobs directed by other people other than I, ONCE AND FOR ALL. I will be blogging shortly here about my regrets about not going to full on university (not having a bachelor's or higher as far as a degree). And this post may seem similar to that in some ways. But my whole lifestyle needs a major change. The schedules I work at these jobs, the food I eat, the way I feel about myself could be worse. I could live in a third world country, or have to do slave labor at some factory making smartphones or something for 12 hours a day in a sweatshop or starving in some North Korean gulag. But let's face, I haven't lived up to my potential in life. And right now, I really am not doing what I'm passionate about during the day. I never cared about insurance, I never cared about cell phones or PDAS, I never cared about being a cashier, or even a bouncer (that much anyway lol). The only success I've had at all my jobs is when I feign the passion that I don't feel, and I feel dead inside as a result. I try to advance every once in a while, and when I get turned down its like them (the companies I've worked for) are only twisting a knife slowly in a wound that won't heal, a wanderlust that won't be satiated by simply being the docile, mediocre but passable, worker bee that I've been. Its like Chuck Pahlunik's worst nightmares brought to life in my head, and I have no way out. I try to do the best I can, and I feel like a gerbil on a treadmill, vainly trying to do the day to day activities that only bring me more into the doldrums. The repetitive tasks of pretending to care, trying to take the constant abuse from customers that the customer service field brings, as my self-esteem gets lower and lower, being dragged down by the endless monotony of doing the same thing over and over again and going nowhere. I see those around be, drowning their lives in diet soda, obesity, and servitude, and I feel sad that I am just one of them. Of course these people are human and many of them have aspirations, dreams, kids and goals, but many are only going to be cubicle beings living a cubicle life. I feel like I could have been so much more, but I still have a fighting spirit and an attitude that its not too late to change. Its not too late to go after what I want in life, and not too late to try to work and strive higher. And with this, I say, I am making a concerted effort to get out now. I am working on websites to get me self employed, I am working on my music even with a newfound effort and passion. I am spending time brainstorming ideas, reading ebooks, setting up different buttons on websites, studying different fields of study, looking into different options. I know that one of these things will pan out, one of these things MUST pan out. I am doing meetup groups, studying some esoteric fields of study (everything short of going back to official college but more on that in a future post). My goal is to be out of the cubicle on or by December 31st 2014. I look forward to the life of being self employed and having some automated systems making me money. I look forward to working hard, but being able to take breaks when I want, go where I want, when I want, without being dragged down, and feeling WORN down when I get home. I feel too shitty and full of hate from being yelled and prodded at by what I do and the mindless tedium of what I do to go to the gym a lot of the time. I just go home and watch netflix or hulu, and sit in my bed eating nachos and just feeling like a stinking piece of filth. I just want to relax and watch Law and Order and forget the world and the world I've made. But this can serve me no more. My plan is to go after what I want to do in life, but its hard to motivate myself when I've had these bad habits so long. The bad habits and the new way of life I want to live are incompatible, and so is the idea that I will glide into being self employed. So my full intention is that anything I've talked about (I've talked about a lot of the changes I've wanted to make for years) I will go full on 100 percent into this year, no matter the cost. I'll dive head first into the great unknown of doing everything I've ever wanted to do, and not rest until I've achieved everything. I've set dates, exact dates before for goals and I've reached them, and I know that usually when I fully commit to them, they come into being. I fully intend on December's goal coming to fruition.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More on Metal and Identity

In a prior posting on here, I go into detail about some of my disagreements with the Heavy Metal scene that I have. To go into more detail, I can say at this time in my life, I no longer want to associate myself with any label or classification. I probably am closest to a "metalhead" that one can be identified with, yet rather not be bound by any arbitary term such as that. I don't like being put in a box, though I unfortunately work in one every day (for now anyway). I have recently reflected on how I perceived myself and others in the past, and I would not tend to agree a lot of things my younger self believed in now. For one, I cannot fully get on board with the Metal scene now, even as I play metal music, because of the lot of the things I negatively associate with it that are true. For example, growing up, a lot of the kids who bullied me were actually, get this, metalheads! At least until hip hop and rap took over their lives, metal was a music for a lot of people on the "wrong side of the tracks" (and no I'm not referencing that silly Biohazard song lol). The kids who used to ride their BMX bikes, and would hock "loogeys" in the wind, only to have their mucus end up in their (proverbial) faces in the end. Many of my friends and I though, were into the music for more than just because it was fashionable among outcasts. We got into the music, the lyrics, the image, everything, while others just used it as a soundtrack to their dysfunctional lives. When the tide started to change, many if not most of these kids got into gangsta rap and other forms of music, while me and the friends stuck by metal through thick and thin. But me and these same people, as adults, would not identify ourselves with just one movement or subculture. We are multi-faceted and many of these friends even branched out far from metal, while still retaining the love of it simultaneously. But I can reflect also on my own prejudices, and my justifications now in my younger days, and I see it inextriably linked to my dogmatic instistence on following the diehard metalhead cliche. For one thing though, even as a kid, I was not labelled as a skid or "hesher" (derogatory term for metalhead), or at least in the normal sense of the word. One person even referred to me at one time as a "weird hesher". I identify with this now more than ever, not because I neccesarily know what they had meant by this, but because I feel that this identifies me more because even if I am "in" the metal scene, I am also an outsider within it as well. For one thing, a lot of these "alternative" subcultures attract aspects that I have never identified with, or things that I no longer identify with. One such aspect is drug and alcohol abuse. Without sounding like I am stereotyping a subculture, or that I'm one step away from being some PMRC figure, I do know that in the hard rock, metal, rock scene or whatever, drugs and alcohol are quite common. One can only look at the idea of "Alcoholica" and its association with "Metallica". After all, the term "sex drugs and rock and roll" isn't for naught. Growing up with some of the worst examples of drug and alcohol abuse around me made me not only fear abuse of substances, but also feel extremely repulsed by them (I will go into this more in a later blog). It has been a struggle not to be judgemental of those who abuse substances in such a way that it effects their day to day functioning. Its hard to be in a band where its members are so high that you can't get them to buckle down on getting musical decisions done, or to motivate players who are too exhausted from being wasted on beer all the time to practice sections of your music, as examples. Its a wonder any band has ever made, but perhaps a lot of them are "functioning" addicts and alcoholics. Not to mention the general misanthropy and negativity that permeates a lot of the metal scene. And also the elitism that presents itself, like an ugly sore that struts itself as a type of false bravado. False bravado that used to be my calling card when someone "misunderstood" or hated metal music, and put me into this state with my self perceived high horse. The abyss of failure that I was in living in my younger years was not a result of metal music itself, but by my identifying with its subculture to an extent that it was a catalyst for many of the flaws I couldn't see within myself at the time. I never "grew out of metal" but I grew out of the negative aspects of identifying with it exclusively. And this is something I am actually proud of, because while it can also seem like a "high horse" to be sitting upon, its also a different perspective. One which has me judging people as individuals and overall have a more positive outlook on life. Its not perfected (yet) but I feel this was an important development as I got older, to become more than this perceived idea, more than this cartoonish cliche of this obsessive negative metalhead guy I was in my younger days. Metal can be an escape, a catharsis, but it should have never been an excuse for me. My own neurosises and scapegoats got tied into this identity that I once had. I still love the positive aspects of metal culture, and I always will, but I am more than it. And as far as the substance abuse, I guess I am more like the members of Iron Maiden or Rush, or others who have forsaken the idea that for one to be in or into rock and roll one has to be wasted all the time. If this makes me sound sanctimonious, so be it. I am not adverse to a drag off a certain herb or a few beers from time to time, but think that abusing anything (except mochas) feels like a waste of time to me. Especially looking back at the negative, and abusive people who were around me growing up, and some of them dying from their own self abuse.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

If I can make a woman laugh...

Its 2 in the morning and I am blogging on here..I probably drank a bit too much coffee again yesterday. Anyway, I have been thinking of past relationships and what I valued within them. There are a few reasons that I will not share on here that are the reason I've been single for a little over a year. I would rather not go into the circumstances related to this, but I believe now that I can say that I'm going to be dating soon again. I can't really say what my best relationship has been so far. I think back to John Cusack movies such as High Fidelity, and the whole idea of "ranking" them seems silly. But I think right now I look back and realize that, if I can make a woman laugh, and not in a way AT me obviously, its a real turn on. I think relationships are at their best when the parties involved can bring out the best in each other. I remember moments where I was not at my best in past relationships, and while it was not the other's fault a lot of the time, seeing as how those said relationships didn't last I can see where it may had not been right in the first place. But certain aspects of relationships past were right. And I think part of this is related to chemistry. Being able to talk about things in an open manner, and being able to talk in general is a must for me. I can say that some relationships were basically me feeling like I was talking to a wall, or just someone who habored a lot of negativity, etc. I also value those I can make laugh with my jokes and I can stimulate in that manner. If someone doesn't get my humor, its not an affront to me as a person or anything, but it certainly helps. I enjoy people in general who can bring things out of me. I like feeling relaxed and calm, but for someone to keep me on my toes in a good way is a sign of what I look back on as good memories. This doesn't mean drama, usually the drama was a result of me not feeling it. Feeling the dread of not feeling full attraction or commitment and having it come out in bad ways.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Any more music blogs Matt? (no more metal criticism from me and why)

Frank Zappa once said "writing about music is like farting about architecture"..In it that, there are incongrous aspects about criticism in which whether or not to regard music as an "subjective" entity. Its thoughts like these that lead me to not to review music anymore, and also have a near disdain for music criticism. It doesn't rule out possible music criticism in the future, but being who I am now means I have less of an urge to do so. Pretty much a 180 from a person that used to live to read both Rolling Stone and Metal Maniacs in his youth. Criticism and having 200 or so reviews on Amazon.com and a metal blog (Mattowarrior's Metal Madness) used to be an outlet for thoughts I have about music. But now they feel like a step backwards in my evolution. I don't feel like it serves people to put things into boxes, generalizations and classifications. Whether or not me liking some Bon Jovi songs for example, makes me "any less metal" than your average denim vested beer swilling longhair seems to me a trivial and pointless pursuit. There are more important things in the world for one! Fighting over things like how commercial one band is over an other seems to kind of get away from the point of listening to music, enjoyment. Not to take away from the passion or some of the lifestyle associated with genres and subgenres of music. But the self imposed subcultural pseudo tribalism which goes hand in hand with such things as metal have really come to a head in my life. 7 years ago I decided to cut my hair short, and to dress a bit differently than I was. It was damned if I do damned if I don't. I still wear metal shirts somewhat and have huge mutton chops which still makes me stand out amongst the abercrombie crowd. I still go to metal shows and play in a "metal" band. The pendulum at one time had swung to the other direction, where I had near hatred for being defined as metal, and I really wanted to venture out of it for good. I had had it with the negativity, elitism, and defensive pretentiousness associated with metal. Defensive pretentiousness meaning things like "the general masses don't like metal but oh, its influenced by classical music so its better than their shit" among other examples. And I was the one who was once screaming from the pulpit the most about these things. I have no need to convince people of why I like something anymore. If they're curious or if there is a need to enlighten them, then I do..but I only do it normally when asked. I don't need to push some agenda of defending Heavy Metal music anymore on people. Let people be ignorant, and let people who are overly defensive be so. I will be somewhere in the middle. But back to the pendulum, after a certain point (and this has happened at other points in my life as well) it swings back towards the middle. I start falling in love with metal again. I accept people for who they are and try to embrace more of what I do like about a lifelong passion of mine. I sing with fellow metalheads, or go wild at shows.. That said,I will never be your "stereotypical" metalhead or even your stereotypical "prog" metalhead though I'm far closer to that than the former. There are honestly things that bother me about the stereotypical "metalhead". That puts me more towards the "prog metalhead" side of the spectrum. The reason they differentiate themselves is because they aren't the image of the constantly drunk guy working on his camaro in his front yard, listening to Judas Priest on a ghetto blaster. Old stereotypes die hard of course, but of course there is a different level of pretentiousness by aliging yourself with ANY movement, classification or label. I choose to define myself by who I am as an individual now, and that happens to be very associated with Heavy Metal. But I don't wish to classify myself as ANYTHING. I don't consciously try to rebel against being labelled anything at any given time anymore, I just BE and that's enough for me. The time (like my early twenties) where I said I would never date anyone not into metal, or mainly associate with people into metal are long over. I'm who I am, and I let other people classify me if they choose to do so, but let them waste their time. I have my time to spend on better things nowadays.

Why the Name Change?

So those who know me may have noticed the use of the "stage name" Matt Davinci. The name change is personal and came after a series of inner dialogues about whether or not to do it. I won't share everything that lead to this particular name but I can say one thing, I'm not Italian! I am also not near the genius Davinci was for that matter (though like him I do try to stay well rounded). I first thought of it about 6 years ago, in a period of self-exploration. I won't go into everything that lead to the name, but I will say that it involves analyzing several different figures from several different fields. Musicallly, I like names like "Michael Romeo" or "Ritchie Blackmore" or even "Michael Angelo Batio". I thought that there should be a "snap" to my name, unlike my Eastern European given last name. I also thought it would fit a variety of fields and hobbies, whether it'd be stand up comedy, music (of course), or even motivational speaking! Basically anything I ever had an idea of doing, it fits in a catchy way. And also, it can fit styles of music differently. I can sound like some old greaser rockabilly artist with the name (befitting of one of my projects, Midi Warlord/Axxxed) or a neo-classical guitar shredder. So that kind of sums up the idea of the name itself. As far as changing it in the first place, its kind of a break from the past. A past in a life I'm trying to grow from in ways that I hadn't when I was younger. I don't like to volunteer my age either, but I like to live in "my own reality" where I can be and pursue what I want while free from scorn from others. I also thought, it can make me think of things differently, without the mistaken way I used to think of myself getting in the way, or the ways I thought of things. Its not a knock at my family or anything of that sort. It just hopefully points to a bigger and brighter future with no limits and a huge variety of pursuits.