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November 2007
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January 2008

The Post Christmas Letdown

If I was a real blogger, I would have been making regular posts throughout the fall about the Christmas Eve production that I spent the last 3 months working on.  Then, on December 25th or shortly after, I would have posted a play-by-play of how the event had turned out.  I read other people's blogs and see them do this and simply wonder where they get the time and energy to blog during the heat of the battle.

Anyway, I'll keep things simple and say that Grace's Christmas Eve event went very well and was positively received.  I'm not sure of the actual attendance of the two services, but I think it was down a little bit from the previous year.  That was a bit disappointing, but not really surprising since we simply didn't put the money into promoting the event the way we had the two previous years.

My drama and music teams performed superbly.  And with the exception of some wireless mic hiccups, both services went precisely as we planned them.  Overall, I was very encouraged by the way things went.

Curtain.  Blackout.  Passout.

Christmas Day was a blur for me.  My exhaustion was at a peak.  I took a few days off and went back to the office for a few hours on Friday.  Needless to say, there's a Sunday on the horizon and services to be planned.

After all that, can you believe that I got online this morning and started looking at drama scripts for next Christmas?  It is crystal clear at this point - I have lost my mind!


10 Albums That Shaped My Life (Part 2)

CrueMotley Crue - Shout at the Devil
To this day, I'm still not quite sure what possessed me to buy this album.  What I do remember is my mother's reaction.  It was not good.  I had to work hard to convince her that the song was about shouting AT the devil not WITH him. For some reason she let me keep it.

Police_2The Police - Synchronicity
"The Po-lyce!  Who in the world are the Po-lyce!"  That was my dad's response when I brought this tape home.

"No, Dad.  It's the Po-Leece; as in Police Officer!"  I guess after the Motley Crue incident, all my music was going to be subject to scrutiny from that point on.

This was another tape that got about 20+ hours of play on the Walkman while my family made a summer road trip.  It is, after all, one of the best albums ever made.  What young aspiring musician wouldn't have been transformed by this one.

TearsTears for Fear - Songs From the Big Chair
While the album itself wasn't really anything to go nuts over, what this duo did (better than Wham!) was show me how two guys could write cool songs and whine their way into the hearts of girls everywhere.

My buddy, Karl, and I became Avastam that same year and would go on to write the mega non-hits Cement Layers, Strange Man and In You.  We would play only one live gig as a duo - a high school event of some sort.  We had an equipment malfunction (we were playing to pre-recorded tracks) and I swore into the microphone...S***!  Oops.

MasterMetallica - Master of Puppets
Perhaps it was still some of that Crue rebellion left in me, but when I bought this album I crossed over into the world of metallum.  I'd been hanging with rockers for a while with my drummer friends.  But this was the tipping point.  I joined a metal band and began singing the stuff.  To this day, I believe this album is one for the ages.  It is amazing.  And recorded by a bunch of drunk guys!  Truly amazing!

TurandotGiacomo Puccini - Turandot
Once I started studying music at U.T., my musical horizons would be ripped wide open.  There were few recordings that have made the lasting impression that listening to Pavarotti and Sutherland sing Turnadot did.  I still dream of singing it someday.  I know I won't.  But it would be so cool!


10 Albums That Shaped My Life (Part 1)

StyxtgiStyx - The Grand Illusion
It would be simple enough to say that this album was significant because it was the first I ever owned.  My dad bought it for me on my 8th birthday.  Come Sail Away was the big radio hit, but it didn't take long before I knew every lyric of every song.  The tight harmonies and the dramatic nature of the lyrics started my dreams of becoming a rock star very early.

BeegeesThe Bee Gees Greatest Hits
When my family would go to visit my cousins in Round Rock, Texas, we would put the album on full blast and sing the songs together.  It was our way of getting our parents to allow us to leave the house - and walk to the local Wag-A-Bag store to buy candy.

RushRush - All The World's a Stage
After having started playing drums in grade 6, a friend from my church gave me this album as a birthday gift in grade 7.  I'd never heard of Neil Peart before.  But once I listened to the album, would never forget Neil Peart.  This began a long love affair with the trio from Canada - who I just got to see in concert a month ago!

NylonBilly Joel - The Nylon Curtain
Along with Rush's Signals album, I received The Nylon Curtain as Christmas gifts in 1982; my first two cassettes.  My family made a road trip that holiday season to Colorado and I listened to those two tapes the whole way.  While I didn't fully understand the political statement and lyrical prowess in the album, there was still something in it that went right to my heart.  I had a real treat of getting to perform Allentown at church this past summer when we did our series Spiritual Musing of Billy Joel.

WarU2 - War
For a kid in the 8th grade, this was an album that was really beyond my level of comprehension politically and spiritually.  It would be years before I would really understand the songs on this album.  My best friend, Karl, had an older sister who would often enlighten us to what college students were listening to.  This was one of those albums.  The energy and passion with which this band sang and played was magnetic to me.


So Much Snow

The "experts" are predicting this will be the coldest winter in the Toronto area in nearly 20 years.

...yeah.....

Silas is already perfecting his snowball-throwing and snowman-building skills and we're barely into December.

Snowman