It is another sad day when an icon passes away. Today we lost singer/actor Meatloaf.
First time I remember seeing or hearing of Meatloaf was from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. That movie changed my adolescence and I became more aware of sexuality. Shortly after me seeing that film, Meatloaf released the song, “Anything For Love”. I enjoyed the single immensely and continue to have it in rotation in my playlists. His ability to make epic rock opera/ rock ballads was exceptional.
Meatloaf also appeared in one of the greatest mind fuck movies of all time- “Fight Club”. I was working at the cinema and saw the film about five or six times. His name is Robert Paulson. Somehow he was able to be made fun of with the monologue; yet be able to portray a lost man needing something to grasp onto that the audience could connect with. I was a young adult at the time struggling with questions about life and depression. Seeing that struggles come in all shapes gave me hope.
As I looked through my photo memories today, I came across a series of pictures from 2012. It was the Epic Meatloaf dinner that I had made for friends. I filled a turkey roaster with nearly 40lbs of meat and cheese that day. Tonight I shall be making another meatloaf, albeit a regular one, as an homage to the late singer.
Today I went about starting a new Spotify Playlist. This time I decided to put only Canadian Bands into it. Majority is from the grunge scene in the 90’s. I forgot how amazing some of those artists were.
Listening to band like The Odds, Age of Electric, Great Big Sea, Our Lady Peace, Moist, Barenaked Ladies, Econoline Crush, Moxy Fruvous, 54-40, Big Wreck, Sloan, Bran Van 3000, Prozak, Rush, Tragically Hip,Loverboy, Celine Dion… the list goes on. Okay some aren’t 90’s grunge, but the music that was created over the years is iconic. Maybe it’s the fact that in Canada radio broadcasts need to be 40% Canadian artists.
However, I was reminiscent of hitting the clubs for concerts in small venues as well as outdoor festivals. I’m also discovering some “One Hit Wonders” that I had forgotten about over the years. I’m also adding more artists as they get recommended to me.
Feel free to take a listen to my playlist and let me know if there are any bands I should add. Or feel free to add some songs for me. No country music please- or I will turn off the collaboration option. Rock, pop, grunge are the preferred music talents. I’ll be accepting of some rap music if it gets in there.
As 2021 ended and 2022 begins, I reflect back and see the changes my friends and I have had in the past year. With another unusual year behind us, we all need to celebrate the successes we have all accomplished!
I’ve watched friends become parents (again). New career paths taken (numerous people chose this epic change). Buying new homes (us included). Friends creating and sharing all varieties of art. Continuing an education. It was hard work. But worth it.
But I especially want to thank everyone who posted positivity and inspirational quotes and well wishes. We are all in this ride together and the support we give one another can go a long way.
To all the everyday routines and the life changing achievements- we made it through a crazy year. As the world moves forward, there are new challenges that we will face. Some we will overcome, and others we will learn from.
In this day and age it’s important to find ways to be calm and relaxed. I’m not new age, nor do I fully understand meditation. But I have found my own way of letting go of the stress and frustration of life.
Some people run marathons. Others play online first-person shooters. Me? I breathe, stretch, write, enjoy classical music and just try and let the world problems wash away. I used to burn incense, but my wife’s asthma has prevented that. Recently, I have been utilizing my salt lamp and aroma diffuser as alternatives.
I have always enjoyed lighting and the effects it has on emotions. For Christmas, my son gave me a lava lamp. I had recently donated my old lava lamp telephone (because who uses a landline anymore?). He knew I missed my lamp, so it was really nice that he bought me one. So I placed it on my bedside table next to my salt lamp.
When I came home last night, I plugged it in and turned it on. After it warmed up for a couple of hours, I was able to zone out staring at it while I fell asleep. The green and orange hues were calming and I woke up feeling recharged.
Sleeping with lights on isn’t for everyone. Same with meditation or music. I just found something that works for me to help calm my life and I like it.
Having gone on vacation at the start of the month, it meant decorating the Christmas tree was a couple days later than normal. Yesterday was the only chance we had to get on it. So right after an early dinner, we decorated.
As is tradition in our home, we put on “The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling” and “Wiggly Wiggly Christmas” whilst we decorate the trees. This year old oldest didn’t join us, but Grandma sat in to watch the fun.
As is also tradition, my wife and I enjoyed some Fireball and Eggnog: aka FIRENOG. We discovered this drink from my wife’s brother a few years ago and it has loosened us up for the holiday season ever since then. As is another tradition- and ornament gets accidentally broken and put on display. This year, no one broke an ornament, instead one came out of the box broken. It always seems to be the red ones…
Our new nine foot tree looks great in our new home. I’d say it’s almost done. As I mentioned, our oldest was unable to join us, so my wife and I put up a few of their ornaments, but saved the rest in case they wanted to add them to the tree at a later date. If not, that’ll be okay as well since this tree carries all of the special ornaments given to the family members. My wife and I knew that one day those ornaments would find a new home wherever our kids move to.
We also finished off our kids tree. This holds all those handmade ones gathered up over the years. From preschool onward, as well as the fandom made ones (Star Wars, etc..) This tree will be one my wife and I will always put up. And finally is a tree in our master bedroom. That one will be decorated in a few days since my mother is using the room during her stay.
Did you decorate a tree or trees this year? Any movies, music, food or drink that you enjoy while doing so? Let me know in the comments.
Yesterday we had a full day just hanging out at the pool. That’s a lie. First thing in the morning we ate breakfast at a restaurant by the beach. Shortly after, we learned how to make guacamole and the history of the ingredients. Then we did salsa dancing lesson. THEN we hung out at the pool.
It was a good time relaxing. The drinks kept flowing and laughs were raucous. Lounging for hours really helped with the relaxation that was needed this year. As well, seeing our pool back home surrounded by snow made me happy to be here.
Later we had dinner at the Mexican restaurant where a mariachi duo came to our table and played some music. Afterwards I caught the tail end of a Michael Jackson tribute. We ended the night eating churros as live music played in the main plaza area. Halfway through vacation and it’s been so much fun.
Tonight is the third night of performances at our kids’ school. Last year didn’t happen due to Covid restrictions. This year is limited tickets but four shows are happening. Two of them are tonight. I was lucky enough to get tickets for both.
The cost was also much higher than usual because they are losing half the capacity. So tonight I will be taking my mother for the first time to see the performance. I am a big fan of the orchestra and classical pieces. It’s always a pleasure to see our kids shine on stage. Total proud parent moment.
Are you seeing any Christmas or holiday performances by your kids this year? Do you get as prideful as I do? Let me know in the comments.
Spotify released the yearly playlists for everyone’s top 100. Here is a link to mine: Josef’s 2021 Top Spotify . I always like to see what makes my top songs. 97 different genres to be precise.
My top 5 songs are fantastic songs from years ago- late 90’s early 2000’s. Most of my playlist comes from songs I chose to enjoy in the backyard this summer hanging out poolside. A few of the songs surprised me as I didn’t realize I had listened to them that much.
My audio aura was two extreme levels. ANGST AND HAPPY. That humors me to no end.
But I also worked hard on my relaxation techniques. I listened to a lot of Enya and my top podcast was a wellness one. I spent almost 3000 minutes listening to calming music and sounds. I was zen AF.
So take a listen to my music if you wish. How was your 2021 Spotify Wrapped? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear your playlists.
The new Beatles documentary “Get Back” released on Disney+ on the weekend. It was put together from 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio tape that has been sitting in a vault for half a century. The final three part series is nearly 8 hours of footage.
I watched each episode as they appeared on Disney+. This is one of the first times as of late, that I gave a show my undivided attention. My phone was not a distraction as I watched the series. I was enthralled by the showcase of creativity coming to fruition of some classics songs. For 50 year old footage, I could only imagine how difficult it was to sift through and make a great series.
For me, it brought back memories of when I would hang out with friends at their jam sessions and recording studios. Those days were filled with loads of egos filling a room, and amazing talent that would piece together a few songs. Seeing the Beatles in a more raw form made me appreciate the hard work that many artists go through in the creative process.
I have always been a fan of the Beatles. At one point when I was 19, I had a loud car stereo. With 500 watts and two 12” subwoofers, I would play music of all varieties. Back then, I would have a rotation of cds available. One day I stopped at a liquor store with some friends. I was playing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and an older lady watched me step out of the car. She commented on how it was nice that I was listening to classics, albeit very loudly.
Besides having a few Beatles albums on cd, I had also purchased the Red and Blue albums on vinyl at a flea market a few decades ago. I have since given them to our daughter, who has enjoyed playing them on her record player as well. The Beatles are timeless, and watching the documentary this past weekend was a fantastic and beautiful way to appreciate their style.
Yesterday I mentioned how my son decided to share his VR Gaming. Tonight, our daughter asked to listen to music for the drive home. So I told her to put on something that she wanted to hear.
She shared with me a band called Jukebox The Ghost. I have never heard of this band. But I was ready to enjoy more of what they offered after just the first song. Not bad at all. I smiled inside because of more than just the music.
These moments of what our teenagers want to share are oftentimes more important for them than they are to parents. I know nothing about this band. Not did I know anything about the video game my son plays. Yet my children want to share the experiences with me. Happily I indulge them. Because these moments mean more to our relationship than one could imagine.
I’m hoping that by enjoying what they enjoy, that our bond remains strong. I akin these moments in a similar fashion to my sharing of my beloved films of the 80’s. A fondness is grown for what I like; and I grow fond of what they like.
Do you share entertainment with your kids or teenagers? Do you also find you like what they like?
My daughter and I were having a conversation about what makes good spooky Halloween inspired music. I enjoy the spirit and ambiance that music like that can bring. Halloween Music definitely fills my next month’s playlists.
First you need a drum beat or a bass beat. However, it needs to resemble a heart beat and have a rhythmic timing. Music like this is also good for workouts.
Secondly, there needs to be a unique sound added. Such as the harpsichord or synthesizer. Once that instrument is involved, next is to add a trill or repetitive partial scale.
Lastly, you need one higher pitched sound to be made by a piano or piccolo periodically.
Put those three things together and you can get the perfect spooky soundtrack going. Everyone would get the feels that you are attempting to create.
I’m going back to listening to my Creepy Carnival playlist on Spotify and see what else makes a good spooky song.
This morning I decided to bake some Wookiee Cookies. This is the first time I’ve baked cookies in our new house, so I thought it appropriate to bake my favorite ones.
As I was getting out the ingredients, I realized that I didn’t have chocolate chips. So I substituted caramel ones instead. Not a big deal. The milk chocolate chunks go well with almost any type of chips. But then the unthinkable happened.
The tub of sugar fell off the counter and spread everywhere. Tiny granules got in between my toes. You can see my barefoot print in the sugar on our floor. We were already low on sugar, but this put us well past needing to buy some. I cleaned up the mess, and continued on. I was able to salvage 1/2 a cup for my recipe.
My rage meant it was time to play some angry sounding music while I finished baking. White Zombie ended up on my Spotify playing from our TV. Which is kind of fitting as we are a little over a month from Halloween.
In the end the cookies turned out great and the kitchen was super clean. It’s still frustrating when mishaps occur. But such is life.
Today is one of my favorite days. It’s all because of the song “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. This song is one of those songs that you just know. It is catchy and fun to sing. Do you remember?
It all started back in my days as a manager at Chuck E Cheese’s. The video screen would play Chuck E and his cohorts singing the song. All the while the animatronic Chuck E would sing alongside them. These videos were on loop for a month at a time playing again every few hours. The songs would get droned into your head and the staff would sing along unknowingly. Here’s a link to the C.E.C. Video: CEC September
The other reason I love this song is that my wife’s current coworkers love to “Rickroll” her with it. Every so often they will play the song for her. My wife lights up with joy when she hears it. (Hashtag sarcasm) For her, it is one of those ear worms that she cannot get rid of for ages.
Here is a link to the original video just in case you haven’t seen it before: September. Enjoy your 21st night of September! Ah ee ah!
After a hard day of manual labor, I had to take note of my hands. They were rough, dirty and beat up. I was assaulted by blackberry bushes that caught my skin and tore me up. But the worst was the blisters I received from the tools I used.
It may not have been an excruciatingly sunny day, but I broke into a sweat. After my first blister began, I caught myself singing “Blister in The Sun” by Violent Femmes over and over in my head. Let me go why??? I also tried to baby that spot, but the skin quickly tore away, so I gave in to the pain.
My days off are usually filled with chores and work that I do for my family and home. Seeing my rough hands makes me think of my father and how hard he would go to finish his chores. I have a similar trait and when I start something- it needs to be seen to completion.
I still get prideful doing work. Blisters and all.
With about 48 hours remaining until we are in our new home, I am hitting on the number 2 in my countdown.
In elementary school our classrooms were separated into Divisions. When I was in Grade 7- there were two classes. I was in Division 2. Our teacher had a sign that read “Second to none.” It was one of the things that always made me feel good about myself. That phrase of not being second best, but exuding confidence when you need it. Mr. Fallman was one of my favorite teachers ever.
As I have mentioned before, sometimes at work we use odd phrases. When counting out loud and giving directions over the radio, we are required to say it twice in order to confirm the instructions. I have a tendency to sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger when it come to the number two. Coupla. Tumor.
These past few days of last minute packing have been a Blur.
“Song 2” by Blur was part of my soundtrack to the summer of 1997. Add in “Wannabe” by Spice Girls and “Mo’ money mo’ problems” by B.I.G. & Puff Daddy and you have the eclectic understanding of the start of my 20’s. A throwback to the loud music coming out of a couple of subwoofers in the back of my car. Loud music as I drove to and from my home. It’s something I still do to this day when driving alone.
All of the time, but I’m never sure why I need you.
With only two days to go, I’m working on the soundtrack to say goodbye to our home and hello to our next place. My playlist is growing with a hope to bring forth memories and energize our lives a bit more.
Continuing with my daily countdown, I am at the number 11.
As I have mentioned numerous times in the past, I enjoy listening to music. I often “turn it up to 11” to quote Spinal Tap. Which is a great mockumentory movie if you haven’t seen it. It’s also a fantastic quote when you are talking about going above and beyond with your skill sets.
Seeing a digital clock when it shows 11:11 is also a thing that I notice more often than any other time of day. I’m not sure why it feels magical, but it does. Maybe it’s the simple straight lines of the number one strung parallel to one another. I love numerical sequences like that as well.
Of course there is also my enjoyment of science fiction and nostalgia. Stranger Things series was the perfect combo of this and filled me with joy. This image brings me to my other favorite 11…
I also loved visiting 7-11 stores in Japan. That entire trip to Tokyo was by far my most memorable. Those convenience stores were the reliable and well stocked for all of our basic needs for the day. It was great.
11 days remaining until we are in our new house. With that move we are definitely Turning it up to 11!
As much as I love quoting The Beastie Boys, I tweaked my back yesterday and it wasn’t fun. I hurt myself doing a normal task- stirring pasta. That is almost as bad as straining my thumb taking off a sock. My thumb has been in pain for weeks now. It’s tough to text on my phone. Life is rough.
Being in my mid-forties and getting injured in such simple ways is torturous to the ego. I’m getting worried about what will happen when I hit fifty. My wife keeps telling me I need to stretch and exercise more. I think Advil is good enough, for now…
I’m thinking about swimming and doing yoga this summer. Perhaps it will loosen up my tense muscles. One can only hope. I’ll probably rock out in my backyard to some Beastie Boys as I “work out.”
So, “If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece/ If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least/ What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk/ True feelings are shown from the way that I talk”
I love musicals. The way they tell a story through song and dance brings me joy. My mother took me to a few Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals back in the day. I enjoyed the experience of going to the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Vancouver to watch the shows.
However, I have an unusually soft spot for raunchy musicals. “Chicago” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” are classics and relatively tame when you consider some others.
Recently, my sixteen year old daughter introduced me to “The Book Of Mormon”. The subject matter and lyrics are definitely offensive. But humorous nonetheless. I knew of this musical, but I missed out on it the last time it came around. Once shows start happening again- I hope to catch this one live one day. Perhaps I should show her “Cannibal! The Musical” by the same creators.
Because my daughter has a twisted sense of humor, like her old man, I am trying to find “The First Nudie Musical” from 1976 for her to watch. The last time I saw this film was in 1988. I don’t remember much about it and only saw it the one time. However, I do recall laughing quite a bit at the film. Perhaps that was partially due to the uncomfortableness of starting puberty.
Nonetheless, raunchy musicals push the envelope of people’s comfort and explore the deviancies and taboos of the world. I guess that’s what makes it art.
Do you have any musicals of that nature that I should watch? Let me know in the comments. Catchy songs are always good as well, even if they a more vulgar.
As I have mentioned in a few blog posts- I enjoy listening to music. When I was a teenager, we moved numerous times. Eventually my parents gave me their old stereo and speakers instead of throwing them away. I put them to good use until I needed to upgrade. At which point, I bought a new receiver and subwoofers. I was seventeen at the time and spent about $400 of my hard earned money on enjoying music. I also added my own art to speaker boxes since the “faux wood” look was already passé in the 90’s.
Now, twenty-eight years later, I’m finally letting go of them. Many of friends from my youth may remember these items as I used them for years as I went into my early 20’s. Those 12” subwoofers were great for house parties and rocked the neighborhood loudly. The receiver was a simple “Stereo Sound” with options for output to two or four speakers. Or turn one set off. Pretty fancy for the time.
As stereos and speakers evolve, oversized speakers like these are cumbersome and not necessary for good quality sound. I have a set of surround sound speakers from about six or seven years ago that give off an incredible experience. Yet even those are becoming outdated.
Letting go of these speakers is like saying goodbye to a part of me. It hurts a bit inside- but a photo and a short story are a better way to enjoy them instead of having them sit in storage for many more years to come.
February 3rd, 1959. I was not alive for this event. But a part of me knows that the music died that day, and you can sense it… Sixty-two years later.
As I have mentioned in numerous blogs, I have an appreciation for all types of music. Music from certain decades- just feel the way that era should feel. A plane crash that took the lives of three Rock N Roll stars is exactly how the style of fifties rock music felt like it ended.
When I was younger, I loved listening to the song “American Pie” by Don McLean. I often discussed the meaning of the lyrics with anyone else who wanted to debate them. But not many really knew the song. Kind of tough to be a 13 year old who dove into the meaning of lyrics while others just wanted to be the first to hear the latest top 40.
However, my first high school girlfriend called a radio station and dedicate the song “American Pie” to me one Sunday afternoon. This was back in the days of being on a corded telephone for hours talking about anything and everything with one another just so we could hear the sound of each other’s voices. (No you hang up…) I remember that day because she abruptly got off the phone with me, then a few minutes later had called me back and told me to tune into a radio station. There was the announcement with the dedication followed by the song coming over the airwaves to me.
The simplicity of that act by her made my day. We listened to the song together while on the phone- two youngsters with no money sharing a precious moment together. I realize now how impactful the song was on that day for me; and how impactful the lyrics truly are in regards to the tragedy that occurred decades prior.
Rock N Roll was generally songs about love and romance. Losing three of the most iconic legends at the end of the fifties changed the face of music going forward. In fact, the following year brought in the wave of boy bands spearheaded by “The Beatles”. In my opinion, their style may not have taken such a grip on the world if it hadn’t been for the plane crash in 1959.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” helped solidify what Rock N Roll was in the 1950’s and supercharged an entirely new generation of music in the decades to follow. The loss of their lives, as tragic as it was back then, marked an exact point in music history. A point in history where Rock was about to change. A moment that the world will forever remember in one sentence…
Somehow I keep up with ridiculous trends. Even when it’s unintentional. Most recently is listening to Sea Shanties on Spotify. I guess I’m hip with the cool kids.
I’ve always enjoyed songs that can tell a story. It’s probably why I obsess about musicals so much. When I was about five years old, my mother gave me an Irish Rovers record for my Birthday. And a Lego Set. I built, played and rebuilt that Lego set over and over again while listening to the Irish Rovers. Odd memory that’s for sure, but it helped make me who I am today.
My mother would also play Scottish Highland songs on our stereo. Hearing voices that harmonized so eloquently is something I have enjoyed for decades. The newest Tiktok trend of singing Sea Shanties is right up my alley.
I don’t have a favorite Shanty or pub song. But you will catch me singing along to them on occasion. Do you have a favorite genre of music that isn’t mainstream? Let me know in the comments.
Last year I wrote about Blue Monday. Well, here we are again- it’s that time of year once more. Blue Monday.
This year I don’t feel so negatively as I have in the past. So I figured why not be a bit more upbeat? Eiffel 65 was the artist behind the video I’m Blue from the 90’s. Most everyone I know will hate me for getting that song stuck in their head.
Besides getting my family and friends to hate me for that song, there’s going to be a tasty treat for later. My family picked up a can of soda from an Asian market today. It’s in a blue can and it’s called “Candy Flavor”. How fun! And I’m guessing sugar coma inducing.
What better way to beat the blues than with music and sugar! Like a party created for six year olds! Let’s beat those blues away.
Today I was driving with my daughter and began to sing a song from my childhood. I’m not talking about a song from the 70’s or 80’s- I’m talking about a song I learned in my very early years of elementary school.
“Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me…”
Seriously. This song was taught to me as a child in grade one at a Catholic school. But that’s not what astonished me. What surprised me was that None of my kids or my wife had ever even heard this song.
Why was I taught such a depressing song about oneself? “Everybody hates me.” Honestly, reading the song lyrics make me think of how a person is so hated that they want to be dead and eat worms. Crazy.
But there it is. In the deep recesses of my memory. It blurted its way out nearly forty years later. My teens think I’m weird for learning the song and for even singing it randomly.
Did anyone else out there learn this song? Or any other strange songs that really may not be good for molding young minds that haunt you from time to time? I’m not talking Baby Shark or Barney the Dinosaur style.
I may not have been the first to lose this year. In fact, I was forth to lose in my household. But amongst friends- I need to let you know that I have lost already in 2020.
Last year I made it to December 10th. This year I lost five days earlier. Losing at Whamagedon sucks. But it means that for the rest of the month I don’t have to avoid it any longer.
I put on Christmas music throughout the house for breakfast. I stepped outside to move the cars in the driveway and then returned. My daughters and wife were all in the kitchen- staring at me. That’s when I heard it. A groan came over me. That was when the three of them accused me of setting it up to get them out. I showed my wife that I had blocked numerous versions of the song on Spotify. Looks like I missed one of them
Had I taken another two minutes outside, I’d have survived. But likely the three of them would think I had gotten them out on purpose. So it was probably better that I were to lose as well. In our family- my son is the soul victor (so far).
Are any of you still in? Or has Wham! hit you with their rendition of “Last Christmas”?
Let me know in the comments if and when you get knocked out.
Spotify released their regular update of what you have been listening to for the year. Since this was my first year of using Spotify- it was interesting to see what my style was.
Even though I knew my choice in music is eclectic- having it backed up with evidence proves my musical taste is odd.
I knew before this Spotify list came out what my number one song was. “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” is a great dance/disco/pop style of song. It ended up being one of my top five songs of the summer.
Even though that song was my number one song, I ended up having Gorillaz as my number one artist. I was also the top 1% of their listeners this year. One of my favorite songs was inductive of the feelings of coping through 2020:
“Calling the world from isolation ‘Cause right now, that’s the ball where we be chained And if you’re coming back to find me You’d better have good aim Shoot it true I need you in the picture That’s why I’m calling you (calling you)”
Watch the video here: Humility on YouTube. It’s a great song with vibrancy throughout. It also made me miss our yearly trip to California. Soon this Covid life will be in the past. But in the meantime, I’m going to see if I can keep enjoying 500 or more genres well into the next year.
What was your 2020 Wrapped? Share your playlist in the comments- I’d love to hear what you hear.