Fun Music Fridays!

I don’t know about you, but when I get off work on a Friday I just can’t wait to jump in the car and crank up some music.

Whether I’m off to pick up The Ankle-Biter (as is the case today) or if I’m off to spend the weekend with Sunshine, music can totally set me free and get me ready for whatever lay ahead after a long work week.

So to get me geared-up for another weekend, I’ve found some music to get me into the summer spirit:

One of my all-time favorite songs to crank up on a hot, summer day…

I may not be a “little monster”, I can still appreciate a great pop song from a very talented artist when I hear it…

With a catchy hook like this, how can you NOT want to turn it up?

This has been one of my favorite songs for a few months now. Just can’t seem to get it off of my regular iPod rotation…


Sometimes…some days…I’m just a little bit country…

And you can’t have some summer music without a favorite of Sunshine’s…

Whatever your musical tastes, I hope you end up having a great weekend! Make the most with what you have!

Had a bad day again

Listen…we all have one of those days where nothing seems to go right.  Well, yesterday was one of those days.

From the moment I woke up I had a feeling that it would be a good day.  I woke up tired and listless…wanting to go back to sleep for just another 30 minutes (or 3 hours) even though I had gotten a good night’s sleep.  Well…I slept. It’s hard to say whether or not it was actually “good” sleep, though. I usually have a few bad evenings after a great weekend with Sunshine, so maybe my sleep isn’t as sound as I think it is.

Then I got to work and immediately was hit with emails and instant messages.  I mean, I barely sat down when I got a phone call asking me to immediately recollect an issue that was sent to me via email one week ago.  C’mon people…I have 10-20 items on my agenda every single day from all parts of the organization I work for…you really think I’m going to remember an email from a week ago just because you called me?

It was one issue after another…non-stop. People who would normally get a pleasant “I’ll get that done later today” response were getting “it’ll be tomorrow or Friday” instead.  And what made it worse was that my answer wasn’t good enough. Their insignificant issues (in my world, anyway) somehow needed to take preference over MUCH more important situations taking place.

Then…near the end of the day…to top it all off…a conference call with multiple influential managers from around the U.S. somehow didn’t have the correct passcode.  The worst part was that I was the one who set-up the conference call!

I was scrambling to find out if I had entered the wrong information.  Then I couldn’t find the email confirming the conference call had been created.  Then I started getting emails.  Then I started getting instant messages. Then my phone started to ring.  I began to have a panic attack.

Ten minutes after the call was to have begun, I got a message from one of the managers saying that I could use her passcode and to re-send the meeting info to everybody.  I did.  NOT THIRTY SECONDS LATER, she told me to not send out the invite because somebody else had set-up a new call and the managers were using it.

I felt like the biggest f*ck-up on the planet.

So I just stopped.  I shut down.  I almost walked out of the building just to clear my head.  Instead, I just sat there and stared at my computer screen for a few minutes. The culmination of everything on this particular day had finally caught up to me.

Then I got a phone call at 5:20pm…ten minutes before I was to head out to pick up my son for the night.  Sure enough, the call lasted 25 minutes and I was late to pick him up.

Sigh…

I tried to be positive…I really did.  I tried to not let the day get to me and to instead seize the day.  It just wasn’t mean to be, I guess.

Today will be different, though.  Today will see me not only conquer obstacles but succeed in having a great day from beginning to end.  I refuse to let the incidents of yesterday dictate how my life will go today.

I had a bad day again. We all do. It’s what we do the next day that helps to define us.

I suck at this. Oh…and this, too!

As I proceeded to burn water and over-cook my pasta into a mushy mess yet again, it hit me that I really SUCK at cooking.  Y’know, you’d think it’d be easy…follow directions and voila~!!  Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

So I thought I’d throw a few things together that I suck at. But I’m trying to improve….

  • I can’t cook. This one bothers me because I absolutely LOVE to eat. My life would be so much easier if not only did I know how to cook, but I also had the bloody patience to learn how to cook properly.  Bah.  And I’m not going to go blaming it on me being a bachelor because, in reality, I’ve been a bachelor for the majority of my adult life and I should have learned how to cook by now. The problem? I grew up working in my dad’s pizza restaurant and, unfortunately, my kitchen isn’t as easy to use as a completely prepped restaurant kitchen is.
  • I don’t know anything about cars. I put the key in, I turn the key, and the car starts.  That’s about the extent of my car knowledge.  Mind you, I’ve changed tires and have driven myself out of more than one accident in my lifetime, but if you open the engine I’ll be able to tell you where to put the washer fluid and that’s about it.  Would I like to know a bit more about cars?  Yeah…I guess.  I learned quite a bit when I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car five years ago, but nothing that would help me jump-start my engine if I was stranded on the side of the road.  Isn’t that what AAA is for?
  • I’m HORRIBLE with tools. Listen…I really should be blaming this one on my dad.  Why? Because he can fix anything.  He has designed houses and restaurants and has helped to build them. He’s got more tools than you can shake a stick at. But did he ever teach me anything?  No.  I don’t even know the different screwdrivers from one another (there’s the flat-head, the star, and the square…that’s about all I know).  And then he has the audacity to give Sunshine a PINK TOOL KIT for her birthday and then poke fun at me for not knowing how to use tools.  Thanks for the help, dad.  You rock. Sigh…
  • I’m a master of useless information. Something mom ALWAYS told me was that if I actually remembered as much in school as I did with things that didn’t really matter (i.e. movie trivia, music trivia, etc.), I’d be an honor student.  It’s weird…I’ve never been scholarly in any way, yet I can tell you who sang that “Mexican Radio” song back in the early 80’s (without looking, it was Wall of Voodoo…and I think it was ’82). I don’t know why certain things sink in when other things don’t…especially when some of those things are pretty important (I could have graduated university on the standard 4-year plan instead of ending up on the 8–year plan but having remembered seeing every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation).
  • I can’t paint. Trust me…I’ve tried.  I can’t even stain a patio deck without getting the house splattered.  It’s insane.  I just don’t seem to have the patience.  Hell…I can’t even put tape around the corners properly.  I have a difficult enough time trying to color with my son and stay within the lines in his coloring book.

Obviously, none of these things are really that big of a deal…I just thought it’d be a laugh to poke some fun at myself.

And what about you?  Anything you kinda suck at that you wish you were a little better at?

*****

EDIT:

HA!!  I was right!!!  1982!!! 

Ahem…okay, I really shouldn’t so excited about getting that right. Yeesh.

Weekend in Pictures

I really don’t know if I’ve got enough webspace on this blog to show ALL of the pictures I took this weekend. I mean, it was such a jam-packed weekend that the camera was barely able to capture it all.

But I did my best…

After going to the Farmers' Markets as we normally do on a Saturday morning, we made our way downtown to check out the Halifax Pride Parade. This was our first time attending any Pride Parade and we weren't really sure what to expect. What we noticed immediately is that the crowds for the event were massive (reports in the thousands) and everybody was ready for a fun time.
Well...if nothing else, at least the band's name is original. Kinda.
Local celebrity Neville MacKay was the grand marshall for the event. He owns and operates My Mother's Bloomers, which is a flower & gift shop...hence him throwing petals all over the place.
Just one of the MANY unique looking groups of folks in the Halifax Pride Parade.
I saw this flag a few times during the day and thought it was pretty cool. Of course, saying that it "was pretty cool" probably makes me sound really old. Does anybody under 30 say something "was pretty cool" anymore? Or is that a PARENT thing to say now? Yeesh...
Well there's something you don't see every day...
Now I've always been a fan of pole dancing (most guys are, I would think). So you can imagine I was quite entertained by the "pole dancing float" that was entered into the parade. The only thing that I found a little odd was that when they drove by they were cranking out "Dancing In The Dark" by Bruce Springsteen. It's been a few years since I was last in a strip club...but I can tell I've NEVER heard anybody pole dance to Bruce Springsteen before. Maybe it's me...I just found it a little odd.
I'm pretty sure that's not a regulation motorcycle helmet.
After the parade was done, the rain cleared up a bit and we decided to head down to the Valley for some sight-seeing and a drive-in movie. As usual, we were slightly happy together.
This was the view from "The Lookoff", located in the Valley of Nova Scotia. The sun was shining and the view was absolutely spectacular. All I could do was look around and want to soak-in as much of the moment as I could with Sunshine. I love sharing moments like this with her.
These pictures really don't do the view justice.
One of these days we're going to finally start to come out of our shells a little bit...
Love this woman. LOVE her.
As we got ready to go to the drive-in, we had to fill-up with some gas and make sure the windshield was okay to see through. Lemme tell ya...it ain't easy making a windshield spotless when it's covered in bug splatter. It's hard work but somebody's gotta do it, amiright??
This was our view at the Valley Drive-In. Not the biggest screen in the world, but it did the trick.

We watched the double-feature on Saturday night even though it was against our better judgment.  Y’see, we weren’t sure if we’d have the time to get to the drive-in again this summer so we felt as though it was “now or never”.  The only problem was that the first movie was Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part two…which was fine for me because I’m a fan but Sunshine had never seen any movie other than the first one.  Needless to say, she was in a bit of a living hell for two hours.  Then we watched Horrible Bosses, which ended up being a horrible movie.  Maybe it was because we were tired, but we were slightly amused a couple of times and almost left three or four times because the movie was simply THAT BAD. We were doubly disappointed because (1) we had heard good things about it and (2) we stayed at the drive-in until 1:15am knowing that we had over an hour’s drive back home.

We slept in a bit on Sunday morning but were still eager to enjoy as much as the day as we could because it was absolutely gorgeous outside.
We walked along the Halifax Waterfront for over an hour...casually enjoying the sights and sounds. We went into a candy store that we had never been in called SUGAH. They had some pretty unique candies and tchotchkes. You gotta love any candy that's derived from Ghostbusters!
I always wondered why in the world a cruise ship would come and dock in Halifax. I mean, what could possibly be the attraction to somebody from the U.S.? Well, on this day I realized just how beautiful the Halifax Waterfront could be and why people would want to get off the ship and talk a stroll. It really was an amazing day, weather-wise, and the waterfront was the "place to be".
This would be me trying to be "artsy" with my photography. It's a building that has some unique mirrored-glass as windows.
Just outside of the Maritime Museum along the Halifax Waterfront.
Yes...Halifax is home to Theodore Tugboat.
Sunshine loved this. It just looked like the building could blend into the sky and you couldn't tell where the clouds ended and the building began. We stood there for a minute or two just to soak it in.
Sunshine had won tickets for us to go see Cirque du Soleil on Sunday night. She had no idea that her company actually co-owns a box suite so imagine our surprise when we're at the Halifax Metro Center looking for our seats and are informed that we need to go through the "big doors by the marbell" and make our way upstairs. It was VERY cool...free beverages, free snacks, and an amazing view. We even chuckled to each other during intermission about how...sometimes...we're just the luckiest couple of people in the world. Of course, I feel that way EVERY day knowing that I'm in love with the most amazing woman.

CBG Memories: My First Music Purchase

As I mentioned previously, I’ve decided that every once in awhile I’ll tell a story from my life that (hopefully) my kids can enjoy some day when they’re older. It could be a funny story, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a morality tale, or even just a bunch of memories about a certain place or person. In the end, they’re just random stories that will ultimately give my kids an idea of who their father was.

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I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone when I say that I used to be VERY familiar with the old Columbia House Records & Tapes club.  I mean, these advertisements were everywhere…you just couldn’t escape them.

So here I was…an eleven year old kid…and I had dreams of listening to the music that I wanted to listen to, not the country music that my parents listened to (love the Oak Ridge Boys and all, but I had differing tastes even at a young age).

I remember (vaguely) filling out my first form without telling mom and dad.  I mean, 11 cassettes for only a penny!!  How awesome was that??  I could afford that, right?  And realistically, buying the remaining 9 cassettes over three years at “regular club prices” didn’t seem that difficult to me.

You can only imagine my parents’ surprise when the wrapped box arrived with my name on it.

I don’t remember all of the cassettes that I ordered in that first shipment…I only remember ONE:

Without a word of lie, I’ve still got this cassette somewhere in my shed.  All the others are gone, but for whatever reason I just can’t seem to bring myself to throw it out (forgetting the fact that I don’t even have a cassette player anymore).

I joined and canceled Columbia House numerous times over the next decade…thinking it was a steal of a deal.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d forget to send back their form in the mail and ended up receiving a cassette (or later a cd) that I didn’t really want.  It was quite the operation they had going.

But I remember with 100% certainty that “Lick it up” was my first musical purchase.  I’ve always wondered why it stuck with me and how I was able to remember.  So I guess that leads me to a question for you…

Do you remember your first musical purchase? If you do, what was it?

What will make you smile today?

As part of the 10 things I wanted to do before 2012, the last item on the list was a promise to myself that I would smile every day.  Over the last couple of days, it’s been a little difficult to find the inspiration to do that.

I’m stressed, I’m tired, and I’m trying to work through some things concerning my dad’s new relationship and how I feel about it all.  You’d think smiling once a day would be easy…sometimes it’s not.

So I’ve decided to post a couple of different photos of things that will make me smile today.

I had to pull over while driving home from visiting family on Sunday just so I could capture this moment with Ankle Biter. Obviously, it was a long day for him. Watching him sleep like this just brings a smile to my face.

I've been on Google + for a couple of weeks now and I'm still waiting for the "IT" moment to happen. It's not just that there aren't that many people on there yet, it's what exactly do I do with it that I can't do with Facebook or Twitter already? The whole "circle" thing is fine, I guess...but I can hide people's feeds on Facebook so that's kinda like a circle, isn't it? Anyway...I'm still waiting for folks to show up. C'mon and find me!!

Thinking of Sunshine ALWAYS makes me smile. Is it Friday yet?