Hanging out with My Daughters

Last night and today I’ve been hanging out with our daughters. It’s been a great time. I offered up a ton of suggestions for things to do: video games, go karts, mini golf, and billiards. None of which they wanted to do with dad. So I let them offer up suggestions.

Here’s what we’ve been doing:

First we had an early dinner of sushi at our favorite restaurant- Nikko Sushi. My oldest daughter was in great spirits and allowed for some selfies to be taken. So I took full advantage of it yesterday and today.

After dinner we hit up an escape room. We did pretty well as a team, but was unsuccessful in the end. So close. I enjoyed working together with them on the puzzles. Seems my daughters are rather smart. They must get that from their mother.

Afterwards, we hit the shopping mall for the last hour before it closed. My oldest daughter bought her first pair of Doc Martens. She was super excited. There is also a record store that opened up back in October. We bought a couple of used albums for fun since my other daughter has a record player and we have a healthy collection of Vinyls. Before we left the mall, we hit up Starbucks for a couple of Frappuccinos. We ended last night watching a movie- “The Hangover” Which was their choice.

This afternoon I took them to the local high school to watch a musical performance of “Heathers” based on the 1988 film. It’s neat to see the teens in the show that my daughters previously went to elementary with. The role of JD is the son of a friend of ours. He did a bang up job. As I’ve said before, I enjoy supporting the arts in all varieties. Especially when it’s kids showcasing their talents.

All-in-all I’ve had a great time with my girls. Tonight will be a quiet night at home marathon watching Season 3 of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”. These past couple days are things I rarely did growing up with my father. I’m glad my girls enjoy my company. I enjoy theirs.

Music Of The Night

Every so often I throw on one of the soundtracks to a musical that we own. I have always loved show tunes and movies that incorporate music to tell a story. My first memory of enjoying a musical was “Annie” back in 1982. I recall sitting in the back of the station wagon facing the window humming one of the tunes.

The first stage performance I saw was “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Sometime around 1989. It was grand. I saw it again a couple years later. It was still just as good. In between I saw performances of “Cats” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I was on an Andrew Lloyd Webber kick.

My other favorite was “Les Miserables”. This one was darker and not as magical. But the story moved me as a teenager. Years later, I would go to see a live performance again. This time, when my wife was pregnant with our first child. I took her on a date to see this show, again performing at the QE, it was our one and only fancy date that we have been on.

Our kids grew up enjoying Disney movies. Many of which have great musical numbers. One our trips to Disneyland, we almost always went to see “Aladdin” performed live. In October we saw “Frozen”. Our kids love these shows.

I’d like to take them to a show sometime soon that is more Broadway than Disney. I know that they would appreciate it. Especially since our kids attend the Fine Arts School and have an immense appreciation of music and acting and the work that goes into it all. As well as the fact that they know many of the songs already after hearing the soundtracks played.

Just like the main title song suggests from that one musical, “GO GO GO JOSEPH!”

Streaming Music

I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to adapt and stream music. Or rather, pay for streaming music. Even though we have radio waves freely out there to use. Plus those radio stations have apps that are free to use. (CBC Music is a personal favorite). But which paid service do I want to try?

At home, I have used Kodi to play music throughout the house. This finds free streaming radio stations and has a ton of options. I have loved this so far. But I want some music on the go.

In our cars, we have used SiriusXM. Mostly for the free trial or the cheap 6 month package. But I have found the songs seem to be repetitive over an 11 hour loop. So this service is no longer a choice that I wish to spend money on.

Our oldest daughter uses the “Free” version of Spotify. Which is okay. But it has limitations and advertisements. I’m not sure if I want to pay for this service even though it is one of the largest out there.

Having been an avid iPhone user, there is always Apple Music. I *had* our music library on iTunes and shared it on our devices. Our hard drive bit the dust and whatever songs I have on my iPhone is about it. Plus the occasional album or song my kids have wanted. I’m sad that our 500 cds that I painstakingly transferred to digital are gone.

Since we succumbed to Amazon Prime just before Christmas, this seems the most likely choice at the moment to use. We are enjoying the Prime Video streaming that is included with subscription, so that’s been worth it alone. My wife also received a Kindle for Christmas and is looking forward to reading books that are also included in the Prime membership. Why not just give in and try their streaming music option? So today, I downloaded the app for our iPhones and will be spending some time browsing it.

What service do you use? Are you happy with it? Should we just stick to fm radio and old cds? Maybe we should keep the record player warmed up… I know our fourteen year old is loving that option at the moment.

Groundhog Day 2019

After seeing “Groundhog Day” in the theaters when it first came out in 1993- I always wondered what it would be like to relive one day over and over. I saw that movie in the theater??? Ya, I was 16 at the time.

Since the debut of that film, many shows and movies have taken similar spins on the premise. Two of my favorites are:

Run Lola Run (1998)

Every second of every day you’re faced with a decision that can change your life.

Lola is a young lady whose boyfriend is caught up in crime and she needs to save him. It showcases the choices and adverse effects little moments can have. This is a beautiful 120 minute film with three possible outcomes. The soundtrack is also phenomenal with a mix of German and English throughout.

This is a film that my wife exposed me to at the start of our dating life. As I fell in love with my wife, I also fell for this movie. She bought it for me on DVD and I bought her the soundtrack on CD. About a year later, I bought her an original German movie poster of it and had it framed for her. A few years later we bought a new car. The first song we played in our brand new 2003 Honda Element was “Wish” from the soundtrack sung by the lead actress, Franka Potente.

This is my other favorite “Groundhog Day” inspired show:

Supernatural: Season 3 Episode 11. “Mystery Spot”

Sam relives the same day over and over again having to deal with his brother Dean’s death repeatedly.

“Supernatural” tv series has been around forever it seems. This particular episode came out in 2008. It stars one of my favorite characters in the series: The Trickster.

Much like the film “Groundhog Day” that it copies, the day starts off with the radio playing the same song over and over again. This time using Asia’s “Heat of the Moment”. My daughter marathoned through the “Supernatural” series last summer and loved this episode so much, she downloaded the song. She chose it as her alarm for the first day of school (which was on a Tuesday, just like in this episode).

Unfortunately this show has its ups and downs and not every episode is as entertaining as this one was. But The Trickster makes a few appearances in later episodes. Such as the episode titled “Changing Channels” which was clearly a rip off of the film “Stay Tuned” from 1992 starring John Ritter. I saw that in the theaters as well. Gawd I’m old…

Maybe I really don’t want to relive one day over and over. It’s better to reminisce and move on. All of life’s choices can make big impacts even if the decision is relatively small.

Madonna Sing-a-Long

C’mon Girls! Do you believe in love?

I’m just going to put this out there.

I enjoy listening to Madonna.

The other day, I pulled out her “Immaculate Collection” CD from my music assortment. I popped it into my car’s CD player and put it on shuffle.

You know, commuting in and out of Vancouver is much more pleasant when you sing along to music. Boy, do I love to sing along!

Sitting in my car is a crocheted BB-8 that hangs out by my cup holder. I’ll pick him up by the head and flip him around as I drive. His ass makes a great impromptu microphone. Occasionally I’ll stick it in my family’s face to try and get them to sing along as well. A lead singer needs his back up vocals!

Rocking down the highway to some classic Madonna makes me happy. I know most of the lyrics to Madonna’s songs from the 80’s and 90’s. Some of the lyrics I mumble or sing incorrectly for fun. Even though I belt them out, I still have to have her music cranked up. It drowns out my inability to sing. But I sure look like I’m having fun.

So I take a note from one of Madonna’s lyrics:

Express what I got,

oh baby ready or not

Express yourself!

Re-String

I learned something new this week from a coworker of mine. How to re-string a guitar. At first I was intimidated by the notion- since I’ve never really had any experience with it. But I knew I could do it with a bit of guidance.

First, we removed the old strings and gave the guitar a wipe down. I learned about using an oil as well on the fretboard to protect the wood. I also learned about how to adjust the neck if required to straighten it out.

I had taken the advice of getting a set of thinner gauge wire for my daughter to use. They will be easier for her hands to help create the sound she will be happier with. I’m looking forward to hearing her play once again.

After learning what needed to be done and the care we should put into the maintenance of the guitar, I’m feeling much more comfortable about doing it myself. It’s not rocket appliances. In fact, next time I will teach my daughter what needs to be done so that she can take it on herself.

Any further advice on care of guitars would be appreciated in your comments!

Cozy Music

I’m glad to have a couple of days off- I can now enjoy our home. It’s become very cozy for the holidays. Besides just the decorations.

Even our oldest has decided to lay down by the fire and listen to music. She has discovered that she has full control of the music that plays in the house. All from her iPhone. I let her download an app the controls our music.

At the moment, we get to enjoy a variety of Christmas music played from the Radio Addon on our Kodi Box. It’s been the best part of our home theater setup. Access to the internet and a variety of commercial free music of almost any genre!

A few years ago I installed small speakers all around our downstairs. This allows for a Disneyland like feel. As you walk through our downstairs, the left and right speakers slowly melt from room to room.

Playing Christmas music really makes the home feel inviting. Add a fire, a comfortable blanket and some warm tea- you may not want to leave.

Classical

Yesterday we were listening to the Classical XM Radio station in the car. Our kids enjoy classical music. It may be from the fact that I would often play classical music throughout the home. Or perhaps it was from… Baby Einstein.

We owned every DVD and CD from when our first child was born- over sixteen years ago. The videos were played pretty regularly in our home and the cds were on all the time in the car. I even left them to play when our kids weren’t in the car.

I remember developing an appreciation of classical music because of Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes. Yesterday we heard “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini. My kids had never seen the Bugs Bunny version. It dawned on me that their love of classical differs from mine. Our middle child pointed out every instrument as they came up. She now wants to mention to her teacher that they should play it in Orchestra.

This astounds me. Back in my high school days, there was no love of Classical music by any of my classmates. My children have an excellent variety and almost eccentric taste in music. I do believe this comes from me. I’m glad for this.

Time to show them some Bugs Bunny. How did I miss this as they were growing up?

Geoff Has Talent

Our friend Geoff Robertson is a talented musician. We have gone to see him perform about three or four times now. He does sing country music, which isn’t my taste, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Supporting friends as they pursue a passion is something I love to do.

Last night we decided to take the kids out for dinner as Geoff performed. We went to Bob’s Bar and Grill in Aldergrove to watch the show. This is the only venue we go to because it’s local and the food is reasonably priced and quite tasty.

The kids enjoyed hearing Geoff as well. He does some great covers of folk style songs the everyone recognizes. After a couple beers, I’ll sing along from my table to the chorus. “West Virginia Mountain llama!” Last night during one of Geoff’s songs he asked me to do harmonica. I didn’t have a harmonica, so I mumbled some noises that may or may not have sounded like a harmonica.

Here’s one of his original songs. It’s a humorous jingle. The kids liked it as well. Sorry about the background crowd noise, but we were at a bar and grill.

Please enjoy. And always support your local musicians and artists!

Spiderwebs

Spiders don’t bother me. But I’m not a big fan of actual spiderwebs. When I was younger I used to deliver the local newspaper door to door twice a week. Walking up to people’s homes I’d oftentimes get a web in the face.

I hated it. Took a few times until I realized that if I held a rolled up newspaper in front of me that I would stop my face from meeting the webs. Being a kid meant I was stupid, this proves it.

After my childhood, I was a teenager who would wander around nature trails using a stick to swat at those invisible lines. I still do that. So I don’t really like spiderwebs. But I do like No Doubt’s Spiderwebs song. It’s fun to sing along to. It also reminds me of my early 20’s.

I also have a spiderweb shirt that I’ve had for about 25 years as well. I love this shirt and it has held up because I only wear it 3-4 times during the month of October. It’s a satin shirt, and I really don’t like forking over money for dry cleaning.

I always vacuum our home of cobwebs just to put out fake spiderwebs at Halloween. Pretty sure that it’s kind of a pointless endeavor.

Halloween Music

I love everything about Halloween. Often overlooked is the music.

I’ll throw on an old White Zombie or Marilyn Manson album during October a bit more frequently than I normally would. There are certain styles of music that set a tone/feeling. But cute/ silly songs like Monster Mash or Purple People Eater isn’t my thing.

I do enjoy hearing tv theme music from Addams Family or The Munsters. Something about those 1960’s tv families that make me smile.

I also enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas songs. I can sing them all off by heart. (Even though it is a Christmas movie.) But it’s a good soundtrack to crossover from October into December.

I’ll Teach You To Be Happy

As much as I didn’t like high school, I’ve been trying to find some more positive aspects of my time there lately. So I began going through some of my old cds that I picked up during those “formative years.”

I never had a great cd collection at the start of grade 8 as most were mix tapes or soundtracks to movies on cassette (Prince’s BATMAN anyone?) However, back in the early 90’s, when I was but a nerd in grade 10, one of my favorite cartoons came out with a cd so I needed to purchase it.

The Ren and Stimpy Show: YOU EEDIOT!

The leaflet inside is still in pristine condition, considering how I read the lyrics until every song was memorized. Ya, back in the day before you were able to Google lyrics- if a cd came with lyrics, it was kind of a big deal.

I’m not saying I became popular because of this cd. But I found a kinship in other students who also enjoyed The Ren and Stimpy Show. Singing songs like “The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen” or “Happy Happy Joy Joy” made me happy. It even opened up the door to other comedy cds and shows. A specific love of Monty Python was hatched at this time as well.

This is a song about a whale.

NO! This is a song about being happy: Happy Happy Joy Joy

The hardest part about being a teenager in the 90’s was the fact that you could only bring one cd at a time. And you hopped to hell that your “Anti-skip” on the CD player didn’t drain your battery before you finished your day in school.

Sharing an earbud and with a girl was also a sign that she was into you. Ya, listening to half a stereo sound was a true sign of affection. It was also a great way to ignore people.

I’m starting to feel better these days just listening to the goofiness of this album. Happiness is on its way.

Now boys and girls, let’s try this again.

Do I Really Want You To Go Away?

I’m not feeling very friendly these days.

Even the doormat on our side door is feeling the same. But I don’t really want my friends to go away, maybe just leave me a bit of space.

I hate hitting a funk. These moments are poopy. My ways of dealing with it is shutting myself in and sleeping. Or really long walks in the rain. Since there’s no rain- time for an early morning nap. Maybe some tea and a book.

I need to escape these feelings of blah. Thanks for understanding. I’ll return to my upbeat self soon enough.

10 Day Music

Recently on Facebook, one of those “copy and paste” challenges has been going around:

“Ten albums in no particular order that made an impact on you that are still in your rotation today. No explanation is required, just post the cover and nominate someone new each day to do the same.”

I had been watching this unfold on many friends’ feeds for few months. Each time I saw an album posted, I understood more about that person. Even though it says “no explanation is required…” most people explained a bit about the album. Some of the music shared was really good. Some was stuff I’d never heard of.

Ten days ago, I was nominated by a friend. So I decided to play along. I enjoyed posting a new album every day. It was neat to get response from people about my choices. My music selection over the ten days were:

  1. Monty Python: Sings
  2. James: Laid
  3. Moulin Rouge Soundtrack
  4. Space: Female Of The Species
  5. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
  6. Beastie Boys: License To Ill
  7. Martin Solveig: Smash
  8. Faith No More: King For A Day…
  9. Green Day: Dookie
  10. Queen: Greatest Hits

All of these albums are still being played constantly. I hope I inspired others to listen to my music. Who knows, maybe I’ll figure out more music that I’ve missed out on or forgotten about as my friends continue to share their albums.

Sound Off

Today I was going through my iPhone and changing up some ringtones and sounds. Life is too dull with only having the default sound effects set up. I would like to say that I often change up my ringtones, but it’s more like once a year. Usually my phone is on silent/vibrate. But lately I’ve been wanting to hear it again.

I realized that the ringtones I have are from movies, video games, and some of my favorite songs. After years of using these themes, I still like to hear them. Pretty sure that subconsciously, when others hear my ringtones, it brings up feelings and memories. I know that a couple of weeks ago, when I was using the ringtone from “Episodes” it caught people’s attention. Mostly because it is a very irritating theme. Also, I was getting a lot of phone calls, so even I was getting irate.

I guess that this is what makes life a bit more interesting. Sound effects are everywhere. But we become so accustomed to them that they get filtered out. I sometimes add my own from my mouth just for fun. Nothing like singing a line from a song before answering the phone. “Who can it be now?” Or yelling out “Boom” as you hit enter on on email.

These are my current sounds. I love the Disney Turnstile beep. It’s one of those sounds that you hear in Disneyland all the time, but ignore.

I’m always on the hunt for new sounds/songs. What do you have set for your phone?

Two Decades Old

Over the past couple of days I have decided to listen to some of my older music. It started because of the other day watching Aggretsuko and remembering my love of heavy metal music. So out came some of my favorite cds and the tunes got cranked in my car.

Because of my eclectic tastes in music, I ventured far from my heavy metal albums and re-discovered some other classics from about 20 years ago that I listened to constantly. My drive in to work the past couple of days has been memorable because of these albums:

1995 Faith No More: King For a Day… Fool For a Lifetime.

This album has some great songs on it. I can listen to it from start to finish and then start again. I’m thinking that at my funeral “Just A Man” needs to be played.

1996 White Zombie: Super Sexy Swinging Sounds.

This album is a killer disco style remix version of Astro Creep 2000. Not many diehard Zombie fans appreciated this album. I found it to be a clever crossover of Industrial Metal and Electronic Music.

1996 Pulp: Different Class

This one is a Britpop style of album. The lyrics are gritty and tell a story in almost every song. Something about hearing “Let’s all meet up in the year 2000…” that reminds me of how old this album really is. And how old I am…

1998 Prozzäk: Hot Show

This one is a guilty pleasure. A quirky Canadian pop duo with catch phrases such as “Sucks To Be You” running rampant in a fun upbeat tempo.

I miss listening to an album all the way through. I’m glad I’ve dusted these ones off and given the laser in my car’s stereo something to do.

I Don’t Mind The Sun Sometimes

Sometimes a song just flows you into life. Or a momentary experience brings forth a lyric or two that just seem to fit the mood. This was my afternoon drive to get the kids from school in Fort Langley.

“They were all in love with dying they were drinkin’ from a fountain

That was pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain.”

“I don’t mind the sun sometimes- the images it shows.

I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes.”

The jacket I was wearing had a faint odor of chemical cleaner. The strange thing was it reminded me of a life twenty-five years ago. A time when girls wore scented lipgloss and fruity perfumes.

“Cinnamon and sugary and softly spoken lies.

You never know just how you look through other people’s eyes.”

Sharing my life and these moments are the best I can do to show the world who I am.

Song lyrics courtesy of

“Pepper” By Butthole Surfers

Boogie Fever

Twenty two years ago, when I was 19, I used to go to night clubs and dance. I never cared what I looked like. Probably because I was drunk and outgoing. I’m still outgoing and don’t care what I look like. So it doesn’t stop me from dancing. Even sober.

Eleven to fifteen years ago, when I worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s there was lots of dancing. That made the job fun and entertaining. Plus the bad cover songs being performed by the animatronic rodent and the tv screens ended up being a foundation for my children’s musical tastes. “Our Mouse, and His Name is Chuck E Cheese” sung like “Our House” by Madness still haunts me. But when the song Boogie Fever would come on- I’d bust out some moves after hours while we cleaned up pizza crusts and finger prints off the arcade games.

Nowadays, the only chance I get to show off my moves is at weddings or driving in my car. Sometimes I strut down the stairs like I’m reliving a moment from the film “Saturday Night Fever“- ready to hit the town and own the dance floor. But I usually just end up in the kitchen dancing around the stove as I make breakfast.

Ya, Disco is kinda my thing. As well as Star Wars. The Star Wars Disco is the greatest thing ever. I think it should be played at my funeral. Just sayin’… Disco is not dead. Yet.

Just Music?

On my drive to work today, these were a collection of the songs I listened to:

Peter Gunn by The Art Of Noise

It’s music that just sounds like it’s from a 1970’s/1980’s film. Jazzy and techy. Fun to drive to.

Mama Mia by ABBA

A great disco tune. One that I know the words to. I love singing to this and bouncing around in my car.

More Human Than Human by White Zombie

This song just gets me going. It has a killer beat and drums along.

My Sunday morning drive is usually an eclectic arrangement of fun music that I enjoy. The drive home was NEWS Radio. That my usual Sunday. The rest of the week is mostly talk radio and podcasts.

Music and Milk Crates

Christmas is over and packed away in our home. As I mentioned about a month ago in Living Rearranged we were going to make a “Music Room” after the holidays. This was a place to keep our grand piano, guitars, drum kit, and other instruments out and accessible for use. My wife and I are hoping that this setup continues our children’s love of music throughout the years.

Besides the instruments, my wife wanted our music collection out as well. Our cds had been packed away in an old steamer trunk for nearly a decade. There hasn’t been much use for cds since downloading or streaming music has become the norm over the past few years. Seeing our combined collection of over 400 discs surprised me. I forgot how much I used to enjoy entering a record store on a Tuesday and buying an album for one or two songs. Oftentimes not listening to the rest of the songs more than once or twice.

Another discovery in the back of a storage closet was some old records. I moved them from boxes into some old milk crates to increase the nostalgia level. There is a collection of good and bad music that we either owned or inherited from family members. Some of our vinyl dates back to the 1960’s and 50’s. I have a couple of disco albums done in a string orchestra style from my parents that intrigue me. My wife has a healthy collection of 1980’s albums that she wants to listen to once more. With only our daughter having a record player, she is essentially in charge of what we will listen to.

Music always brings out memories and emotions in everyone. It should not be locked away, but rather shared with the world. That is our goal with our music room- sharing the joy that comes from all of the different aspects.

Belting Out Song Lyrics

I am a terrible singer. I don’t even try. But I do have fun.

I end up having more fun mocking the styles of the artists I hear by over-exaggerating their sound. Sometimes it’s just loud mumbles until the chorus. Then I own that shit! I’ve done that at pubs and bars- sometimes in the middle of a live performance by a cover band. Shocking everyone.

I really enjoy flipping radio stations in the car when my kids are with me. I’ll sing portions of songs, then switch to find another that I know, just to switch it to another. This is also done at extremely loud decibels. That way people outside the car can hear it as well.

Did I mention that I not only drum on the steering wheel, but also dance in the car or make motions with my hands to the lyrics? There has been times where I’ve stopped the car and continued to sing and dance in the driver seat while people walk past. Only to have them smile and do a little jig for a moment before catching themselves. Life can’t always be serious and stagnant.

We’re here for a good time. Not a long time. So have a good time.

Jing-A-Ling

After my daughters’ Large Ensemble performance yesterday, we drove home listening to Christmas music. We had Sirius XM Holiday Traditions playing when a song came on that got us all hyper. It was one that I don’t remember ever hearing before. I know it was a classic because it had that sound of old Christmas songs…

The Andrews Sisters were belting out a quick paced “Jing-a-ling Jing-a-ling” in our car. The golden age of the swing era had us smiling and laughing the entire way home. We kept reciting the lines over and over with a rigorous “HAHA! HOHO!” thrown in. When we got home, both girls were excitedly asking to buy the song on iTunes.

I forked over the 99¢ to purchase the song. Within moments, it was on three of our cellphones ready to play. Instant gratification. No waiting for the radio to play it again in their rotation. No having to wait until the next day to see if the record store would have it in stock.

Today consisted of my daughters playing the song for their friends in school. A classic Christmas tune from 1951 brought to life by a couple of teen girls in 2017. When I picked them up from school, we listened to it again in the car. Never in my life did I expect such joy to be found in a Christmas song.

There are many holiday songs that we love to sing along with, but this New to Us song will be remembered for years to come.

“Jing-a-ling Jing-a-ling”

Jazzy Warm Up

Tonight is the final concert of 2017 at our children’s school. We have arrived early (as usual) to drop off our kids and get good parking. The show starts at 7pm, but the teachers want the students here 30-60 minutes early for warm up.

My wife and I are pretty much the first in line to go into the auditorium. The doors are open slightly and the senior jazz band is doing one last rehearsal to test the acoustics and microphones. As we wait outside the doors, we are getting treated to some well performed jazz.

The kids at this school put a lot of effort into their performances. I enjoy coming to these shows to hear them. Being a Fine Arts School, there’s always a higher caliber of skill sets. As we hear the warm up, I’m happy that we got our children into this school. I’m proud that they have taken on the challenges as well.

As we wait for the show, I get to speak with other parents of these talented children. This is the kind of show that packs an auditorium. Line ups are forming for the door and the ticket booth with still forty minutes before the performance begins. I’m glad to be here early enough to be able to get a great seat with my wife. The show will be sensational. I’m looking forward to it.

Alvin & The Chipmunks & Me

When I was younger I listened to “A Chipmunk Christmas” album over and over and over… and over… I memorized every song- word for word. I even followed along in the storybook and memorized that as well. Not bad for a five year old boy back in 1981.

I would sit in my bedroom on my bunk bed and daydream about being a part of the story. I listened to the record so much that the needle wore out on my record player. Not to mention a couple scratches were made as I attempted to play songs on repeat.

I also tried to draw the Chipmunks (with me in their world). Living in Edmonton as a child made it easy to imagine a winter wonderland. As the years went on, I watched cartoons and fantasized even more about living in magical worlds. A part of me never wanted to grow up.

And I kept my album.

Last year, we gave our daughter a portable record player. She listened to my album as her first ever record on the player. It made me happy to know that I was able to pass on a bit of magic. Even if she is a teenager, she still loves sharing in my nostalgia.

When she played the album, I sat with her. The little boy inside of me smiled with joy. A feeling of butterflies inside my stomach overcame me. The Chipmunks have brought me joy for over 35 years.

This week I plan on listening to the album again. Probably when I’m alone in our peaceful and serene home before Christmas break.

The golden harmonica will fill my heart with joy once more.

I Hear Dead People

It’s the Christmas season. It means Christmas songs are everywhere. Many songs performed by artists who have long since passed. A bit of sadness overcomes me every time I hear one of these artists:

  • Bing Crosby
  • David Bowie
  • Elvis Presley
  • John Lennon
  • George Michael
  • Tom Petty

Numerous more artists have died who also performers carols and Christmas songs. All of these are beautiful songs shared every year. There is a certain joy heard in each of their voices. A joy that continues to be shared with audiences even though they are no longer with us. As sad as I may be hearing their melodies, I know they performed to bring happiness to all.

Let their legacy live on in a time of cheer when we need it most.