2022 Spotify Wrapped

Spotify dropped their 2022 Wrapped. Many of my friends shared their tastes on Instagram. A few coworkers shared at work their Spotify Wrapped. At home, my family also laughed and our two youngest were slightly embarrassed by their plays.

This year came as no surprise as to which artist made my top. Timecop 1983 was definitely my jam all summer long. I was more surprised at how many minutes I spent listening to music. Although, majority of it was when I was in the pool. So the music was played a few hours each day.

Now to listen to my 100 songs plus one and see if I like the playlist. I bet I’ll like most of it, as eclectic as it may be.

How was your Spotify Wrapped for 2022? Any surprises or songs that you are now sick of hearing?

Let me know in the comments.

Do You Remember?

Do you remember? The 21st night of September?

My wife loves that song. Her friends often look forward to singing it to her every year. I find it humorous and have written about it in the past: 21st Night of September . Today got me thinking about my wife and how she remembers the way I like things done. Specifically preparing food.

Now, I’m not saying that the way I like my food prepared is right, but it is how I like my food. It used to cause many discussions years ago, but now my wife just goes with it. Usually.

I’m a big texture and taste person when it comes to food. I don’t overly care if different food touches on a plate, so that’s not it. It’s more how the flavors mix. For example- when making a sandwich- the mustard side needs to be the side the meat is on, not the cheese. Cheese on mustard has a very different taste and texture compared to meat and mustard. Trust me.

Mr Noodles… the instructions on the packet are wrong. The noodles need to be placed in the water immediately and then brought to a boil. Once the noodles are soft, drain all the water. Then put the noodles in a bowl and add the flavor packet. This isn’t a soup we are making! It’s called Mr. Noodles not Mr. Soup.

Because of these preferences, I will admit that I am the one who usually ends up making the lunches. My wife will adhere to my choices when making something for me, which is nice, and has on occasion agreed with how I make foods. Like a dash of salt after goulash is served. It brings out the flavor immensely as you are about to eat.

However it’s not just food preferences I need to work on with her. I still need to get her to understand that the toilet paper flap goes over the roll, not behind it.

And with that, I am off to escape to work to avoid confrontation once she reads my blog.

Love you honey!

Oktoberfest 2022

Last night some coworkers and I went out to Oktoberfest at my favorite brewery- Trading Post. We went four years ago at the Fort Langley location (read about it here: Oktoberfest 2018) and had a blast. Last night was at their brewery location- which was really fun.

I reserved a large table last week because I knew there would be at least six of us. At the last minute, I had my boss’s boss join us as well. I was honestly surprised at how little we talked about work and just had a riot.

With the table came three large platters of food. We also ordered one more because with eight of us- we were drinking a lot and eating a lot.

Throughout the night, we enjoyed some Bavarian Oompah music from a trio of musicians. As well, we entered a couple contests- like chugging a 2 liter boot of beer in the fastest time- our group came in second. But at the end of the night, I won a draw and got to bring home a smaller boot of my very own.

If you are wanting to let loose in Langley on a Friday night- there are two more weeks of this going on. Check out the Trading Post Website for more details and to book a table. You won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you have a safe ride home like we arranged.

Cheers!

Aqua Thursday

We had another fun filled afternoon and evening yesterday with our friends. We listened to music, had a few drinks, lounged in the pool, and ate a wonderful meal out on the deck. Our friend even did synchronized pool floatie dancing to Celine Dion for us.

It was a ton of fun, as always. I really enjoy their company and love spending time with friends.

I only captured a couple of photos as my phone is often the one that is playing music. This gives me more opportunity to be attentive to the conversations. A lull in talks didn’t have me reaching for my phone. In fact it was quite the opposite. It meant it was time for a new conversation topic.

Joking and playing around in the pool is loads of fun. Being an adult doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. If anything, I realize that who cares what other people think- just enjoy life! And enjoy it with friends.

Staycation So Far- Soooooo Good!

I have been throughly enjoying this past week of staycationing at home. For a couple of the days I built a Deck for my wife’s garden. The two of us have also gone for a couple of walks together. We did a bit of shopping, we have made some amazing dinners and I have been doing breakfast meals better than ever. All with the company of the one I love.

But the majority of this staycation has had us poolside. We have done nothing but relax, swim, read, listen to music, enjoy the breeze, and appreciate what we have. If it weren’t for having to make our own meals and clean up after- you’d think we were staying at a private oasis resort. But this is exactly what where we wanted to get to in life- appreciating our home and each other’s company.

As much as I am looking forward to our next “get away” I can’t help but be upset about leaving our home to do it. Especially in the summer. My days off from work will have me poolside whenever the weather permits. But until then- time to get back to enjoying this staycation!

Cheers everybody! Catch me by the water for the next few days if you want to hang out!

World In My Hand

Back in the 90’s I bought a t-shirt. I wore it regularly. I even had a medallion that fit perfectly against it. Last night, I put that shirt back on for the first time in years.

As faded as the image is, I still love the shirt. Having flashbacks to my late teenage years and the fun times we had. I believe that all of those crazy times helped me to navigate through shift work as well. All nighters playing video games and wandering the streets definitely messed up my sleep patterns.

More than just memories of a t-shirt. Smoking cigarettes and other things that I thought would not harm me- I’d live forever. But the image on my shirt also reminds me of music.

Music that I enjoyed in my youth that resonated in my soul. I wore this shirt to many a nightclub and watching late night jam sessions. Lyrics that hit differently now than they once did.

“Man was born to love
Though often he has sought
Like Icarus, to fly too high.
And far too lonely than he ought
To kiss the sum of east and west
And hold the world at his behest
To hold the terrible power
To whom only gods are blessed
But me, I am just a man”

I love my t-shirt. And after thirty years, it’s still all about what I see in me. The world is in my hand. A showcase of what is yet to come. Get ready for it.

My First iPod

Since hearing about Apple retiring the iPod, I thought I could share about my first one. I first got an iPod in 2006. I bought it for myself on my 30th birthday. It was the latest version (5th Generation) and the first video model as well. 30GB in black.

I still have the iPod. I also still have the original box. On the day I got it, I uploaded every song in my library onto it. A far cry from 7500 songs that I could’ve put on it. But I also added a ton of digital photos onto it as well. Condensed video was not as easy back then to create. So my videos were minimal. Streaming was not an option either as you still had to connect to a computer where all your music and photos were saved.

That day, my wife gave me the gift of taking our kids away for the night so I could just enjoy my new toy. The kids were 2 and almost 4. Our son was to be born a couple months later. So I was left at home alone. So I did what any 30 year old man with 24 hours of freedom and a new piece of technology would do.

Mushrooms.

I will say, my first experience with the iPod was memorable. I listened to tons of different music, played with the settings, scrolled quickly with the click wheel and just enjoyed laying in bed listening to anything I wanted. However, by the time I was ready to sleep, I was lonely.

The photos I had put on my iPod were of my wife and kids from the previous couple of years. I missed them tremendously even though it was just one night. Our daughters were so loving and happy to always be around me. To this day, I still miss those moments of kindness and innocence they would showcase towards me with their personalities.

My heart was filled with joy the next day when they returned home. The love from the girls was the best gift that birthday. The iPod was a close second. Sixteen years later and I still get choked up thinking about my thoughts of missing them. Psychedelics are interesting to say the least.

Did you have a memory from your first iPod?

Timecop1983 and Jan Hammer

At some point in the past few months, Spotify slapped me with an artist I had never heard of. One who has now become a large part of my music rotation. I have no idea how Spotify figured out that I would like this music. Yet here I am, constantly playing it and now writing about it.

Timecop1983

This Dutch musician has created some of the best synth music I have ever experienced. I just wanted to thank Jordy Leenaerts for his amazing skills. I now listen to this music regularly to relax. I also use it as meditation and background music. It triggers some sort of nostalgia and youthfulness from the recesses of my mind that I need these days.

The music reminds me of Jan Hammer: a Czech/American musician who incorporates jazz fusion and synth pop. Jan did music for Miami Vice and the computer generated film from 1992: Beyond The Mind’s Eye. Which is one of my absolutely all time favorite films ever. Excerpts of that film used to be shown late at night on tv. A trippy, synthetic, alternate animated world.

Both artists have created a style of music that reminds me of what my friends from the 90’s used to write themselves. Perhaps that’s why I am drawn to these artists.

Be sure and check out Timecop1983 on Spotify.

Words.

Every post I have written has a picture or two added. Sometimes it’s a photo I have taken, oftentimes it’s a meme or image drawn from the internet. Not today.

Today I couldn’t think of an image to gather inspiration from. I also had a tough time trying to think of something to write about. For me, writing a daily blog is a passion project.

And yet somehow, I still have the desire to write every day. It isn’t much, but I need to do it for me. It’s a quiet love affair of sharing stories with an unlimited audience. My stories can be heartfelt and fun. Sometimes the tales are just observations. Perhaps a blog is written about food or supporting small business, maybe even a hint of travel.

Whatever I usually write about, it’s meaningful to me. With that meaning I find imagery that coincidences with what I write. But today, it’s only words. To finish off this short post, I’d like to quote The Bee Gees:

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile can bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you down
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost its glory
Let’s start a brand new story now, my love
Right now, there’ll be no other time
And I can show you how, my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away

Meatloaf

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.

Canadian Music Scene

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.

Cheers To All The Dreamers

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.

Cheers (YouTube link)

Don’t just dream it. Be it.

Lighten Up

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.

Tree Time 2021

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.

Poolside In Mexico

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.

Three Nights of Music

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 Wrapped 2021

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.

Get Back

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.

Thank You For Sharing Jukebox The Ghost.

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?

Good Spooky Music

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.

Wookiee Cookie Chaos

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.

21st Night of September

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!

Blister In The Sun

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.

2

Woo-hoo!

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.

Woo-hoo!

“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.

11

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!