My Inspiration

I was given the most amazing gift from Sunshine on Friday. The best part? It didn’t cost anything to make. It was simply something amazing that was created to help inspire me…especially on those mornings when I just don’t want to go outside.

Y’know what? This was one of the most thoughtful things anybody has ever done for me.

THIS is the reason I’m getting married again. THIS is the reason I’m moving to her city.

I am one lucky guy.

Fun Music Fridays!

Need a “jump-start” to your weekend?

 

Or maybe you just want to “jump around” a bit…

 

Perhaps you’re looking forward to a certain time of the day…

 

It’s quite possible you’re just missing a certain someone…

 

Well…regardless of your musical preferences, I hope you all have a GREAT weekend!

 

Me?  I’m off to work.  “Gotta get myself right outta here…”

 


Building The Resume

I’ve never been overly confident when it came to my experience in the work force. I was never the best student and even though I graduated from university, it seemed as though the work force simply passed me by and my studies meant next to nothing.  Everybody wanted experienced people but nobody was willing to hire new people in order to give them experience. Where I was one of those inexperienced people without much direction, I took whatever jobs I could find.

I always thought that I had abilities that were not able to appear on my resume; that there were a great many “intangibles” to me that a resume simply couldn’t exploit. All I wanted was a chance to show an employer what I could do and then I’d take the bull by the horns.

I was never content on any particular job. I was never happy. I always wanted to do better. Looking back, I felt that way because I was always trying to impress my dad…though no job I took was ever good enough.

I finally found a decent job with a good company just over five years ago. It was a company that was extremely large, profitable, and not going anywhere any time soon. The job I had with them wasn’t just a job, it was a chance to finally have a potential career. While the money wasn’t the greatest, it was a solid opportunity to work in a location that I could retire in years from now.

Then I decided to marry Sunshine and things changed just a bit.

I’ve made the decision to move to her city; a decision that does not come lightly and was made only after discussing it with my ex-wife and my son to ensure that we could work out a plan that doesn’t affect him very much. The plan is in motion now, as Sunshine has thankfully agreed to spend the rest of her life with me…but as such that means I need to move in order to be with her.

Because I’ve been out of the general work force for over five years, I didn’t have a resume any longer. I’m sure it was deleted during one of my two memory wipes on my old desktop, so starting a brand new resume from scratch seemed like a daunting task.

Thankfully, I was able to obtain my resume from five years ago through my HR department. As such, I began transferring the scanned information onto a new resume template. I had to alter some descriptions and cut down on the “wordiness” of it (I wasn’t as grammatically sound then as I am now), but overall I was pleased with what I ended up with.

Then I took a look at some online job resources and immediately became intimidated all over again.

I’m almost 40 years old and I’m starting life anew. This life is absolutely incredible and I regret NOTHING, but it’s scary to start all over again. I still feel like that 20-something kid who just wanted a chance but didn’t have much on his resume to show for it.

The jobs seem to all be minimum-wage positions or high-end management positions that require years of experience in specific fields. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed when looking at the sites.

But I need to realize that I’m a very smart man, I’m a hard worker, and I’m proficient in a lot of skills. And since nobody wants to pay me exorbitant amounts of money to blog professionally, I need to buck-up and find another job that’s as suitable to my talents as my current position is.

I won’t lie…I’m not only intimidated, but I’m scared. But I’m hoping it’s the fear that drives me to find the job I want so that I’m happy both professionally and financially.

Building a resume at 40…I never thought I’d be doing that. But you know what? It’s an extremely exciting time for me right now and I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

The Blogger Summit…Maine Style

Awhile back, I created a Blogger Bingo card to kind of show which bloggers I’d like to meet in real life (the card has changed since I originally posted it, but it’s interesting to look back and see what I said at the time). It was an idea originally shown to me by Depot Dad (RIP, my friend) and it’s one that I still think is a fun meme to follow…especially where there are definitely bloggers out there that I would love to meet in real life.

Well…cross two more bloggers off the list, kids!!

I’m not sure exactly how it all came about, but in June both Sunshine and myself will be driving 10+ hours to Maine to meet Jobo from Determined. To Be… and her man, M. Not to be outdone, T from Life as a Classroom will be flying up from Texas with Gentleman Jack!

Yes…a blogger summit in Maine to put all others to shame!

I think I started reading Jobo’s blog after she and Sunshine became friends. Don’t ask me how long I’ve been reading because I couldn’t tell you, but it’s been about a year or so. She’s a great spirit and is graciously hosting this summit. I’m looking forward to testing some of her giant wine collection (even though I’m not a wine drinker, I may see how things go…NO promises!).

Now T is someone I’ve been “blog friends” with for a few years now. I think I discovered her blog from SingleMomSeeking, if I recall correctly. About three years ago, I split with Sunshine briefly (for about two months before realizing what I had right in front of me). T was there as a friend and an ear to my problems during that time. She really helped me get through a rough patch and help me see things a lot clearer. I’m very much looking forward to meeting her and her man, who shares a lot of similarity with me in a lot of ways (except physically, cause dude is JACKED). Both Sunshine and I are extremely happy to know that they are flying up to hang with us crazy Canucks and some Maine folk for a couple of days.

So the countdown is on and the excitement is building (though I need to come up with a catchy title for this meeting). I better start making that 80’s party mix!

Vacation Day Eight: Last Day At Sea On The Carnival Legend

We don’t really have a lot of photos from our last day at sea. It was one of those days where we just wanted to soak in as much as we could of the incredible experience that we were sharing together. Having said that, know that there was still a LOT of things that we did on this final day…and it wouldn’t be a complete series of posts if I didn’t discuss the last day at sea.

While we slept in a bit on this morning and did not get to the gym, we were still up and about and ready to make the most of our day!

We're awake...we're ready...and we're gonna kick some ass!!

Because of the time difference, we were still up early enough to enjoy one last amazing sunset after breakfast:

Enjoying one last sunrise: March 25th, 2012
Sunrise above the Carnival Legend: March 25th, 2012
The day's itinerary

After breakfast we head back to our room in order to catch “The Morning Show with Kurt”, at which point I simply HAD to call one more time. After being charming as ol’ heck for the third morning show in a row, I was told to expect something in my room that night.  Again.  Heh.

I honestly don’t remember doing much of anything over the next couple of hours. I remember that we were doing a bit of last-minute shopping (they have deals in their shops on the last day of every cruise) and Sunshine purchased something for me as I had to leave.

Leave??  Yep…you read that correctly.

One of the things that had bothered me since last year was my performance as Elton John during the “Carnival Legends” show (basically a karaoke show where guests dress-up and perform for the rest of the ship). Y’see, I actually thought it would be easier to memorize the words than it was, and I ended up flubbing the entire second verse of the song (video link here).

So I auditioned again this year to perform the exact same song as, once again, Elton John. Where last year’s performance had been haunting me for an entire year, I had heard the song on more than one occasion and had since memorized the words…vowing to myself to never let the opportunity pass up to redeem myself in the eyes of…well…myself. So where the performance was later in the evening, I ended up spending a couple of hours at rehearsal while Sunshine enjoyed a bit of sunshine up on Lido deck.

We enjoyed a late lunch and then head back to our room to pack. The last thing we wanted to do was rush around on the last night before we went home, so we spent a couple of hours slowly packing and then getting ready to head out for supper.

Take the dang picture already!!

Out of every meal we had on the cruise all week long, this one was probably our least favorite. I wouldn’t say it was awful, but it certainly wasn’t good. But if it’s one meal out of twenty-one, then I’d say their overall batting percentage was pretty darn good on this cruise.

We head back to our room really quick to get ready for the evening and found a bottle of champagne on our bed (a gift for calling into the Morning Show) along with one more towel animal…

Awwwwwww

We went to the Follies Lounge and participated in another trivia challenge, this one a musical one. I was brimming with confidence when we started, but that confidence quickly faded as the questions became tougher and tougher. The competition was fierce and I was really getting nervous but when all was said and done, yours truly had gotten up on stage in a sudden-death tie-breaker and ended up delivering another winning answer to another difficult trivia question. We didn’t win a ship on a stick, though. No…this time our prize was a bit more intriguing…

Yes, we won ANOTHER bottle of champagne. This would make FIVE for the week and TWO for the evening. Needless to say, we enjoyed this final night. Heh...

Immediately after winning this FIFTH bottle of champagne of the week, we sat back and enjoyed something called The Liar’s Club. Basically, it was simply the entertainment staff giving us crazy explanations to crazy words and the audience had to guess who was lying and who was telling the truth. There weren’t any winners or losers, just a lot of fun and laughter to be had by all.

This is Dan, the entertainment director of the Carnival Legend. He looks quite a bit like Tom Green, doesn't he?
This is Peter, one of the entertainment staff from sunny ol' England. Definitely one of the good guys.
Honest to goodness, I had this guy's name on the tip of my tongue until I began writing this post. Y'see, the assistant cruise director (Jaime) left two days before in Belize to become a cruise director on her own ship. This fine upstanding individual was her replacement, and he was VERY amusing. I just can't remember the dude's name. Bah.

Once the show was over, I had to run off to change and prepare for my performance. Sunshine sat with some folks that we had met on the cruise and (im)patiently waited to be shocked and amazed (or possibly she just wanted to get through the performance a second time and never have to worry about seeing me dressed as Elton John ever again).

Now here is the part where I provide you with a video of my performance. Just know that Sunshine has the actual DVD copy…this is a video she took with our camera, so the quality isn’t the greatest.  Having said that, if there is enough “demand” for a better quality version, just comment below and I’ll get one uploaded. If not, this is what you’ve got…

Other than standing in one spot because of “safety concerns” (they didn’t want anybody falling off the stage), I think I redeemed myself and I’m quite happy with that performance. If I ever get the opportunity to do this show again, I’m definitely being somebody else.

Once I got changed and met back up with Sunshine, we went up to Billie’s Piano Bar to hear Alan bang on the ivories one more time. Somebody recognized me from the show and requested that he play “Crocodile Rock”. It was fun, but not nearly as good as MY performance (lol).

Unless I’m mistaken, at this point we just head back to our room and called it a night. But being us, we simply had to take advantage of all the towel animals being in our room all at once by taking one more photo…

We awoke the next morning docked in Tampa. We impatiently waited around to leave and head back to the “real” world…one that’s awesome on one hand (i.e. our kids) but really crappy on the other (i.e. it’s not on a frickin’ cruise ship).

As you can tell, we weren’t too keen on leaving.

But that’s it. That was our cruise in a nutshell.  Looks like I’ll be back to “blogger reality” tomorrow.

Sigh…

Fun Music Friday

I’m needing a boost today. I need some music to lift my spirits up. Let’s see what I can find…

Ahhh…nothing brings a smile to my face faster than a cover tune by my favorite Canadian band, Walk Off The Earth. This one-take video is awesome.

I never wanted to like this song. I certainly never wanted to love it. But somehow, this little ditty about plastic drinking cups has turned me into one of the sheep. Oh well…I’ll just have to sing along, I guess.

This was a highlight of last weekend’s Bryan Adams concert for me. The crowd had been enjoying his show up until this song, but then for some reason he got everybody up for this one. Imagine this…almost ten thousand people all jumping up and down at the same time (not just dancing, but jumping) and clapping their hands in unison. I was blown away and every time I hear this song now, a smile comes to my face remembering that moment.

It’s Eddy Grant, people! Is that not enough for you?  How about Eddy Grant LIVE playing on some weird French television show with male dancers and people all dressed up?  Yeah…that’s fun for today.

And finally, you simply can’t go wrong with this classic from The Boss…

There…I’m feeling better already. Have a great weekend, everybody!

RIP Dick Clark

I was going to finally complete my thoughts on the cruise that Sunshine and I were on last month, but last night I was hit with some sad news. One of the musical icons that I grew up with, Dick Clark, passed away at the age of 82.

I say “musical icon” because I’m one of the people who actually remember growing up to American Bandstand and watching Dick Clark on my television every single Saturday afternoon.

Now mind you, I never really got to know him until the early 80’s…but man that was a VERY influential time for me. I don’t think any artist was truly BIG unless they were on American Bandstand.

It’s funny…there are always two performances that have always stuck out for me: one by Slade and one by Wang Chung. And wouldn’t you know it, I was able to find BOTH on YouTube!

The Wang Chung “performance” always stayed with me because they didn’t even attempt to make it appear they were performing live, like most of the other acts did on the show. No…they were 100% proud to be lip-syncing as they didn’t have any microphones. Years before Milli Vanilli would be vilified for doing the same thing, here is that very performance (with Dick doing a great job trying to get a good interview going with the band beforehand):

The Slade performance has always stood out to me as my all-time favorite. I remember (vividly, for some reason) staying up late the night before to watch Friday Night Videos and seeing “Run Runaway” for the first time. I was absolutely blown away. Then the very next afternoon, here was the same band jumping around and playing this incredible rock song that to this day is on my iPod “driving around the city” playlist. I’m so happy to have been able to find this American Bandstand performance (with Dick doing another great job interviewing in between songs):

Dick Clark will go down in history as one of the most important and influential men in the entertainment business over the course of the past 50 years. Remember the $20,000 Pyramid? Or better yet, can you imagine December 31st without a Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve? And no offense to Ryan Seacrest, but no amount of star power will ever take away from Dick Clark’s ability to host a show and make everybody feel welcome.

So goodbye, Mr. Clark. You will always be remembered for your amazing contributions. Rest in peace and enjoy the music wherever you are.

"It's got a good beat and you can dance to it."