Fun Music Flashback Friday – Find A Way To My Heart

Have you ever had a song connect with you in a way that others don’t quite “get” or understand? Sure, some people may say that they really feel a connection with the latest hit on the radio…but that can sometimes come from hearing it a hundred times. 

What if you have a song that connects with you because the lyrics hit you like a ton of bricks? Or perhaps the music itself makes you feel something that you can’t quite describe?

That’s the way I feel whenever I hear the Phil Collins song, “Find a way to my heart”.

The song, to the best of my knowledge, was never a single. In fact, I’ve only been able to find a couple of live performances of it on YouTube, which leads me to believe that it was never a big favourite of his, either.

But for me, it made me feel a certain way from the moment I first heard these lyrics…

Find a way to my heart, and I will always be with you
From wherever you are, I’ll be waiting
I’ll keep a place in my heart, you will see it shining through
So find a way to my heart, and I will, I will follow you

The song is about falling in love with someone who isn’t quite ready to fall in love with you. But he’s asking that person to give him a chance. If they actually let themselves fall in love, they’ll see that he’ll be there for them forever.

This journey’s not easy for you, I know
If your footsteps get too faint to hear, I’ll go
Cos you know, questions are never that easy
And never the same
You have the answer believe me
If you have the faith 

Time may come, and time may go, I know
If you should call out for me, I’ll go
But you know, there is a code to be broken
I wrap it around
Without a word being spoken
Without a sound

There’s a reason I hide my heart
Out of sight out of mind
And when I find out just who you are
The door will be open for you.

I’ve never been one to open myself up to my partner. My longer relationship is the 6-year one I’m currently in. That’s right…I’m 42 and my longest relationship is SIX YEARS. This song spoke to me from the first time I heard it back in 1990.

To me, it was a song about true love…two people finally finding a way to each other and letting themselves be truly happy with one another. It’s been a favourite of mine for over 20 years and it’s as relevant to my life now as it’s ever been. 

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Is there a song that speaks to you?


Throwback Thursday

There haven’t been too many opportunities to travel to Ontario and visit my daughter, Rugrat. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it…but with work and my new family routine firmly in place, it just makes sense to fly her down to visit us.

Having said that, there was a time back in 2008 when I had to travel to Toronto for work. I decided to make the most of my trip and plan a surprise visit.

Because I had to fly out the day before anyway, I chose to book the earliest flight out of the city. That meant I was in the air by 6:30am and in Toronto before 8:30am. I booked my hotel and contacted my ex to let her know about my plans. She suggested making up a story to keep Rugrat home from school that day, which was a pretty cool thing for her to do. I told her what time I planned to arrive and she came up with a story of a broken water pipe at the school, so we were all set to go.

I didn’t want to bother with a rental car (though looking back I probably should have), so I jumped on the bus from the airport and (slowly) made my way from Toronto to Whitby, which turned into a 2-hour ride (it’s normally just over an hour by car).

I arrived at the house and rang the doorbell. Rugrat came to the door and her eyes nearly popped out of her head. I took a quick photo, but it’s a little difficult to make out her expression.  You can barely see me smiling on the left, too. Trust me when I say that I’ll never forget this moment:

Rugrat surprise 1

We hopped in a cab and went to Chuck E. Cheese’s. We ended up being there for a couple of hours. We played games, we ate pizza, and it was awesome just to be able to hang out for awhile.

Next up was a quick walk to The Putting Edge for a round of glow-in-the-dark indoor miniature golf. After that was done, we wound up my quick visit by heading over to Caffe Demetre, which is an all-dessert restaurant.

We were sitting there eating our $10 sundaes when the manager stopped by. Because we were the only ones in the place, she talked with us and heard the story about my visit. At this point, she offered to take a photo of us. This is definitely one of my all-time favourite pics because of the memories attached…

Rugrat surprise 2

I took Rugrat back and, after much hugging goodbye, jumped on the Go-Train back into the city. This will always be one of my most memorable trips, though; that time I surprised my daughter with a visit.

Rugrat surprise 3


The Bucket List – Verson 2.0

What is a Bucket List? Well…for those unaware, a bucket list is basically a wish list of things that you want to do before you “kick the bucket“.  It was an idea brought to the forefront by a movie that came out in 2007 starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called…you guessed it…The Bucket List.

After writing a couple of weeks ago about my most popular posts, I realized that my Bucket List needed some major fine tuning. I mean, as cool as it would be to walk up Sydney Harbour Bridge, I don’t think it’s something I need to do before I die.

So here is Part One of my all-new Bucket List series. I’m going to tackle travel destinations, live concerts, and anything else that should legitimately fall on my Bucket List. I’d be interested to see what YOU would like to add to your own…

  • Magic KingdomFamily vacation to Florida.

I know that I’ve written about this before. Hell, it’s the primary reason why Sunshine and I are writing a new blog together. I’ve got a life-long dream of taking my own family to my favourite place in the world. I’m a massive child at heart and I’d definitely consider myself a theme park junkie. I remember the sense of wonderment that hit me like a ton of bricks the first couple of times that I walked into Walt Disney World and I cannot wait to provide that same experience to my own family. If there was anything that was considered to be at the top of my bucket list, it’s this.

  • Mediterranean CruiseGo on a Mediterranean Cruise.

Sunshine and I have fallen in love with cruising. From the first time we sailed on a Carnival cruise over three years ago, we have been in love with the idea of going to sleep to the gentle rocking of the ocean and waking up in an exciting and new location. We’ve been desperate to get back to another cruise ship in the Caribbean but a little promise we made to our kids about a Florida vacation has got to come first.

Still, my dream is to go on a Mediterranean Cruise with Sunshine. I have always wanted to visit that part of the world and to do it with my soul mate on a cruise ship would be incredible. Just thinking about it…Greece, Turkey, Italy, Malta, Tunisia…waking up in a new city every morning; it would be like living in a fantasy world.

I don’t need to do an Alaskan Cruise or sail through the Panama Canal (though both cruises would be pretty awesome). But before I die, I want to experience a Mediterranean Cruise with my wife.

Of course, there are a few more Bucket List items that can come from experiencing such a cruise…

  • Rome ColosseumSee the Colosseum in Rome.

I have always had a sense of wonder when it came to the Colosseum. I fully realize that it’s not in the greatest condition today, but knowing its history really provides all the incentive I need to see it in person. Gladiator aside, the fact that this massive structure was used for so many contests and public spectacles is extremely intriguing. It’s an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome, which is a fascinating period in history. I would love to be able to see this in person.

  • VeniceRide a gondola/water taxi in Venice.

The city itself would be worth seeing alone without the gondola ride. It’s a city that was originally built over 117 islands and has over 170 canals flowing in between its structures. Transportation in the historical part of the city remains entirely either by water or by foot. How incredibly awesome is that? So to actually step into a gondola and have someone slowly move us around the city would be a memorable experience that we would never forget. Venice is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world, too…how could that NOT be on my Bucket List to experience with my wife?

  • ParthenonVisit Athens and experience the Acropolis and the Parthenon

As you may be able to tell, I was a little bit of a history buff when I was in high school. Sunshine actually majored in history while at university, so visiting Athens is a “must” at some point in our lives. I can only imagine the wonder I would experience from seeing the Acropolis in person for the first time. It’s a massive structure that houses other famous buildings (like the Parthenon, pictured) and is extremely rich in historical significance. How many stories have you read or movies have you watched that dealt with Greek Gods? Just imagine experiencing the origins of some of those beliefs in person!

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So this is the beginning of my list. What would YOURS include?


Our Vacation

If you were wondering where my posts were last week, there is a good reason for my absence. Y’see, Sunshine and I took the week off for a well-earned vacation. And yes, I certainly have a few photos to show you from our time together.

Here’s the first…

Our room

Oh…you were expecting, maybe, a picture from a trip? Well, the only trip we took was to the local hardware store to pick up some paint.

Here’s the deal…last week was initially supposed to be when we took the kids to Florida. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite turn out the way we thought it would (hence, our new “how to save money” blog). We talked about maybe not taking the entire week off, but then decided that (a) we needed a break from the office together and (b) there was a lot of work around the house that needed to be done.

The girls had been asking for two years to paint their rooms, and we had said for two years “yes” but never followed through. This was the perfect time to follow through.

On Monday, Mo joined Sunshine and I as we painted her room a purple that she picked out herself. Purple is her favourite colour and she was absolutely stoked to be able to have her very own purple room. While I was a little hesitant at first about the colour, I think it all turned out great in the end.

Mo's room

Kiddo wanted a green colour for her room. She actually wanted a red room, but we put the kibosh on that pretty quick and she went with her second choice. I wasn’t a fan of either option, but what the heck…it’s only paint, right? The room is certainly green and it’s pretty bright, but she helped paint it and is really happy with the results, so I’m happy with the results, too.

Kiddo's room

Not content with painting two rooms, Sunshine and I went about painting two more. She painted our bathroom in a pretty snazzy shade of grey (doesn’t anybody even say “snazzy” anymore?) and then we both turned our attention to the bedroom.

We had this plan; this wonderful, glorious plan. We wanted to have the feel of a Caribbean beach in the room, with three walls having a “sand” colour and a bright, vibrant blue as a feature wall (pictured, top). The focal point of the room would be an incredible photo that Sunshine took when we were in Roatan, Honduras a couple of years ago. We’d blow it up into a poster and everything would be complete.

Like a dream

Unfortunately, we didn’t blow up the pic until AFTER we purchased the blue paint. Needless to say, as awesome as the wall looked on its own, it didn’t match the photo or even blend with it in the slightest way.

Sigh…

We now have a new idea. We’re going to put our favourite photo from the wedding on the wall and we think it’s going to “pop” beautifully.

The wedding photo

We’re going to take our Honduran beach poster and put it in our living room, where it matches the walls perfectly.

Throughout all of this painting was about ten full garbage bags of items to be donated to charity (clothes, toys, games, tec.). We’re not quite finished yet, either, as there were a number of items that we had on our “to do” list that we just didn’t have time to do. Those items will have to be done next weekend.

So we’re both back at work today and, quite frankly, could use a vacation to recover from our vacation. Sunshine worked her ass off all last week and we both still have things we need to do this coming weekend. It’ll be worth it in the end, though. Nothing good ever came from not working hard.


Lest We Forget

Remembrance DayThe guns will be silent on Remembrance Day.
There’ll be no more fighting on Remembrance Day.

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

Poppies (©greatwar.co.uk)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People above with their flags flying low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love,
There was never more.

I served with distinction,
No visions of glory.
I served without question,
Or personal gain.
Seek no justification,
Its not part of my story.
No comfort to the ones who remain.

Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People above with their flags flying low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love,
There was never more.


Fun Music Flashback Friday – Wild Thing

I was extremely fortunate to be able to visit London, England back in 1989. I was a member of the high school drama club and our teacher had some contacts in England. The idea was that we would create a home-made play that described how Canadian teenage life was like, and then perform for British audiences (schools, church groups, etc).

We came up with our play and raised enough money to have about a dozen of us fly over to London for two weeks. It was truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. One of the things I remember most about it was the music that I purchased while over there.

Y’see, cassettes were cheaper (even with the currency conversion) and cd singles were a “thing”. I remember that I purchased two cd singles (“Don’t be cruel” by Bobby Brown and “Straight up” by Paula Abdul) and two cassettes (“Vivid” by Living Colour and “Loc’ed After Dark” by Tone Loc).

Out of those purchases, though, it’s Tone Loc that stands out for me. “Wild thing” had initially been released as a single and wasn’t quite a big hit in Canada when I left. I bought the cassette (off a street vendor, if I remember correctly) and listened to it incessantly. When I returned home, I came to realize that the version of the cassette I had was slightly different from the one sold in Canada.

The cover of each cassette was completely different.

North America Cover

North America Cover

UK cover

UK cover

At the end of the day, there were only two good songs on the album to begin with (the other being “Funky Cold Medina”) so it’s not like I had something extremely unique or valuable in any way. But any time I hear “Wild Thing”, I think back to those two weeks in London…walking through Piccadilly Circus, visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the London Dungeon, going on a double-decker bus tour of the city, traveling by train to Bath,  and so many other memories.

It’s funny how one song can bring back so much.


Throwback Thursday

Back  in 2007, I put the Ankle Biter into my parents’ dog carrier.

Wait…was this wrong?

Throwback Thursday


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