Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.
~Dodinsky


27 December 2006

THURSDAY THIRTEEN # 6


My beloved brother gave me the gift of music for Christmas. A horrible accident had befallen my rather extensive collection of vinyl, cassettes and cd's last summer and I haven't had the resources to replace them, so I have been suffering the lack of accessible tunes for a few months now. Nothing has been so painful, though, as the absence of my Number One in my life. Thanks to my thoughtful, understanding and incredibly resourceful sibling, I now have the complete collection, and I must say, it's more wonderful than I could ever express in words. So, as a tribute to my Number One, Van Morrison, and to my brother who brought back the music, here are my thirteen favorite songs by this great and enduring artistic genius, in no particular order. (believe me, choosing only thirteen was a trial)



1. Beside You (Astral Weeks) - his vocals take my heart in hand and just squeeze every drop of emotion from it. The stark sadness in Number One's voice makes my palms ache.


2. Moondance (Moondance) - my song of joy. Not sure why it is, but my heart sings with it.


3. Come Here My Love (Veedon Fleece) - this is like breathing. The phrasing ... just go listen to it. I can't explain it.


4. Haunts of Ancient Peace (Common One) - if I could compare it visually, I'd say Monet ... truly emotionally gripping in a gentle and introspective way.


5. Have I told You Lately That I Love You? (Avalon Sunset) - the lyric is simple yet poignant. This is my son's lullaby: when nothing else could calm him, this has always done it.


6. You Gotta Make It Through The World (A Period Of Transition) - Number One blows some fine sax on this one. Jazzy, uplifting, and a lot spiritual.


7. Into the Mystic (Moondance) - Number One could've written this one about me. This might be my favorite ... for sure it's the most real. I feel the lyrics of this song like no others.


8. Keep Mediocrity At Bay (Magic Time) - this starts out with a great harmonica solo, then spins out into an incredibly fun 12-bar blues. Feel-good music with meaningful, yet tongue-in-cheek lyrics.


9. Good Morning Blues (Skiffle Sessions: Live In Belfast 1998) - Geez, you've got Van Morrison and Lonnie Donegan performing a Leadbelly tune in skiffle style. What else can I say? The whole album is a treasure.


10. Caravan (Moondance) - it's the imagery in this one that I love, but it's the ending that really grabs me. The short phrases build the intensity until you are fairly rocked with it.


11. Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta (Irish Heartbeat) - this traditional gaelic lovesong is simply breathtaking with the raw emotional expression of Number One's voice, especially with it being in the original language (title means "My Match, It Was Made). I didn't have this album before - mourning all the missed time with it now.


12. I'll Tell Me Ma (Irish Heartbeat) - you experience the roots of Van's music on this album. There isn't a bad song on it, if you like Celtic music, that is. This particular one has every element you could imagine: it's a jig with fiddle, pipes, spoons and step dancing ... awesome!


13. You Don't Know Me (Days Like This) - most musicians do covers, but Van has a real talent for recreating a song so that it sounds like an original version. Some other truly remarkable covers are "Georgia", "What'd I Say?" and "Moody's Mood for Love".

26 December 2006

CHRISTMAS JOYS



Daycare Christmas Concert '06 - Brennan is the one in green. His best friend is standing to his right, but he's giving the eye to his "girlfriend".





Hi-Five for Santa. Brennan spent more than 5 minutes just chatting with "the Great One".












Other than the lights, Brennan decorated our tree this year. It might not have been the most beautiful tree, but it was the most charming we've ever had.













As many of you know, we volunteer each week at the local mobile soup kitchen. They had a special dinner for all the volunteers and the "regulars" on Boxing Day.

24 December 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND PEACE ON EARTH



My love and best wishes to all my friends. Grant us peace.

23 December 2006

19 December 2006

BOND DIDN'T TAG ME, BUT I'M DOING IT ANYWAY

I've been gone for nearly a week. The DoE finally came to their senses, and now I have the feeling I'm going to be going blog-crazy. Bond didn't want to tag anybody because of the proximity of the holidays. I agree with this, but I decided to do the meme for myself anyway. It'll be a good way to get back into the blog swing of things.
Here are the rules:
The Rules:
Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

WEIRD THING #1
I would rather play the piano than eat. In fact, I often forget to eat when I'm practicing. Heck, sometimes I think playing the piano is better than sex. That might have had to do with my ex, though. Definitely better in that case ... yup.






WEIRD THING #2
I firmly believe that spiders hate me and are out to get me. Invariably, when I see a spider, it's coming straight at me, with the obvious intent to do me harm. Even pictures of spiders creep me out. (notice absence of picture)

WEIRD THING #3


I am more comfortable with a little clutter than I am with perfect neatness. My desks at school and at home have stacks of papers and books covering almost the entire surface. Regardless of what this looks like, though, I know where everything is, and hate when someone comes along and tries to straighten things up for me because then it takes me days to find anything.



WEIRD THING #4

My best friend in high school used to get frequent nosebleeds. I would help her stop the bleeding, clean up, then I would faint. I'm not afraid of the sight of blood, strangely enough, but I still get light-headed after I finish dealing with a crisis.




WEIRD THING #5


I can play 20 different musical instruments at performance level. They are: piano, accordion, penny whistle, baroque recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, cello, double bass, bass guitar, drum kit, bodhran, djembe, marimba. There are several that I can play, but rather mechanically: violin, viola, guitar, mandolin and pipe organ.






WEIRD THING #6


The palms of my hands ache when I see someone hurt or in pain. This is perhaps the weirdest thing about me. It's completely unexplainable. But touching the person to comfort them actually alleviates the discomfort in my hands.


Ok, so, like Bond, I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you're up for the challenge, go for it.













10 December 2006

JUST ANOTHER MANIC MONDAY



Manic Monday
By The Bangles
BestAudioCodes.com
(damn it - still not working!)




12 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO A COP


1. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer...


2. Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.


3. Aren't you the guy from the Village People?


4. Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good job!


5. Are You Andy or Barney?


6. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condition to be a police officer.


7. You're not gonna check the trunk, are you?


8. I pay your salary!


9. Gee, Officer! That's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning, too!


10. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.


11. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around.. That's how far ahead of me they are.


12. When the Officer says "Gee Your eyes look red, have you been drinking?" You probably shouldn't respond with,"Gee Officer your eyes look glazed, have you been eating doughnuts?"




Here's one for Dana ...


A salesman is lost in a rural area and stops at a farm to get directions. As he is talking to the farmer he notices a COW with a wooden leg. "How did the cow get a wooden leg?", he asks the farmer."Well", says the farmer, "that is a very special cow. One night not too long ago we had a fire start in the barn."Well, sir, that cow set up a great mooing that woke everyone, and by the time we got there she had herded all the other animals out of the barn and saved everyone of them.""And that was when she hurt her leg?" asked the salesman."Oh no" says the farmer. "She was fine after that. Though a while later I was in the woods out back and a bear attacked me. Well, sir, that cow was near by and she came running and set on that bear and chased him off. Saved me for sure.""So the bear injured her leg, then," says the salesman."Oh no.She came away without a scratch from that. Though a few days later my tractor turned over in a ditch and I was knocked unconscious. Well, that cow dove into the ditch and pulled me out before I drowned.""So she hurt her leg then?" asks the salesman."Oh no," says the farmer."So how did she get the wooden leg?" the salesman asks."Well", the farmer tells him, "When you have a cow like that, you don't want to eat her all at once."


Y'all have a wonderful day! Kiss!

ONCE AGAIN, PROOF THAT I SHOULD FOLLOW MY HOROSCOPE ...

Cancer (June 21 - Jul 22)
Personal comments can feel like harsh criticism to you this weekend, Cancer. Before you take offense, consider the source. A less than delicate individual may not realize that he or she is hurting your feelings. Don't brood quietly, but speak up before this goes too far.

07 December 2006

GOIN' TO THE CHAPEL ...

CONGRATULATIONS

SUEANN AND FRANK
8 December 2006

Because Of You

Because of you

my world is now whole,

Because of you

love lives in my soul.

Because of you

I have laughter in my eyes,

Because of you

I am no longer afraid of good-byes.

You are my pillar

my stone of strength,

With me through all seasons

and great times of length.

My love for you is pure

boundless through space and time,

it grows stronger everyday

with the knowledge

that you'll always be mine.

At the altar

I will joyously say 'I do',

for I have it all now

and it's all because of you.

- Written by Amy S. Bedford -

06 December 2006

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #5

My son is the light of my life. Since early summer, it has just been the two of us, and I thought quality time together would be tight with the added responsibilities of being a single parent. I was totally wrong. I won't lie and say it has always been easy but somehow, we spend more time doing things together than ever before. So, as my Thursday Thirteen, as a sort of welcome home celebration, here's thirteen things Brennan and I do together.


1. volunteer at the SPCA (our Friday tradition - giving back)
2. do our "homework" (every night right after supper, we practice the alphabet, or numbers, do puzzles, or an art project)
3. sing in church choirs (he's very musical)
4. grocery shopping (what a joy this has ended up being with Mommy's Helper)
5. go bowling (the little turkey is better at it than I am)
6. make pancakes (been doing this so long, he doesn't even need me to help with the ingredients or the measuring)
7. go to church (reconnecting with our spiritual side)
8. volunteer at the Mobile Soup Kitchen (one of the best things we do all week - connecting to our community in a very special way)
9. play board games (it's amazing what this brings to our relationship)
10. go skating (just straight-up fun for both of us)
11. read (bet my friends wonder what takes so long at bedtime - big La-Z-Boy + sleepy boy + armful of books = closeness)
12. walk the dog (the whole family together)
13. make soup (Sunday afternoon tradition - "The time has come," the Walrus said,"To talk of many things:Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings.")

HEAVEN IS IN YOUR MIND
(Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)
You ride on the swing in and out of the bars
Capturing moments of life in a jar
Playing with children, acting as stars
Guiding your vision to heaven and heaven is in your mind
Take extra care not to lose what you feel
The apple you're eating is simple and real
Water the flowers that grow at your heel
guiding your vision to heaven and heaven is in your mind

Heaven Is In Your Mind
By Traffic
BestAudioCodes.com
(apparently, the audio clips are still not working on my blog - sorry, thought I had that problem resolved - I'll keep working on it and try to get this up soon)

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY #2

05 December 2006

MY FAVORITE FIVES

I guess I was tagged by Diana to do this, so here you go:

Five Favorite Snacks

1. popcorn (hot air popped)
2. Clementine oranges
3. chocolate (preferably with almonds)
4. raw veggies with herbed yogurt dip
5. chocolate frozen yogurt

Five bands/artists that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:

1. Beatles
2. Chicago
3. Van Morrison (bet you thought this would be first!)
4. Bryan Adams
5. Barry Manilow (my university study buddy)

Five things I would do with $100,000,000:

1. pay off bills of family and friends
2. set up a scholarship fund for kids at the school where I work
3. build a dog park for the local SPCA
4. provide grants to families wishing to adopt (maybe adopt a few more kids myself,too!)
5. Concerts, man! All the shows I always wanted to see and never did.

Five locations I’d like to run away to:

1. Greece
2. Italy
3. New Orleans
4. NYC
5. Ireland

Five things I like doing:

1. playing with my son
2. playing the piano
3. teaching music
4. reading
5. swimming

Five things I wish I could wear:
(ok, have no ideas for this at all, as I pretty much wear what I want)

1. bikini
2. hats (not a hat person)
3. the colour yellow
4. sandals (it's wintertime now!)
5. all silk, all the time

Five TV shows I like:

1. Hockey Night In Canada
2. MASH
3. Welcome Back, Kotter
4. The Tonight Show
5. Lost

Five Movies:

1. Sense and Sensibility
2. Song Catcher
3. People Under the Stairs (Wes Craven)
4. Mary Poppins
5. Animal House

Five famous people I’d like to meet:

Alive
1. Dalai Lama
2. Nelson Mandela
3. John Cleese
4. Bono
5. Jon Stewart

Dead
1. Christopher Reeve
2. John Lennon
3. Mother Theresa
4. Katherine Hepburn
5. Maurice Richard

Five biggest joys at the moment:

1. my son
2. my friends
3. my students
4. my dog
5. music

Five favorite toys:

1. piano
2. laptop
3. guitar
4. bike
5. Richard Simmons exercise video (yeah, really)

I have no idea who has been tagged for this, so I won't tag anyone right now, but reserve the right to come back and do it at a later date.

04 December 2006

A CARE PACKAGE




... because I care.















... because you're not feeling well.


















... because friends take care of their friends.








Van Morrison - Haunts of Ancient Peace
Beside the garden walls,
We walk in haunts of ancient peace.
At night we rest and go to sleep
In haunts of ancient peace.
The love and light we seek,
The words we do not need to speak,
Here in this wondrous way we keep
These haunts of ancient peace.
Let us go there again
When we need some relief
Oh, when I can't find my feet
When I need rest and sleep.
The Sunday bells they chime
Around the countryside and towns
A song of harmony and rhyme
In haunts of ancient peace.
The holy grail we seek
On down by haunts of ancient peace.
We see the new Jerusalem
In haunts of ancient peace.
Oh, when I can't find my feet
Oh, when I need some relief
One more time again.
You know I want to go there one more time again.
Be still in haunts of ancient peace.


Haunts Of Ancient Peace
By Van Morrison
BestAudioCodes.com



Be well again soon.






























































































































































































































02 December 2006

JUST FOR A WHILE


I Think I'll Disappear Now
By Crash Test Dummies
BestAudioCodes.com


I'll be back when I can. Take care of each other. I love you.

30 November 2006

FREAKY FRIDAY

I HAVEN'T been tagged for this by anybody, but I'm going to do it anyway, whether you like it or not. As always, you have the choice to read it or ignore it. Thanks to TopChamp for bringing my attention to this. Here are my colour codes:

GREEN - have done this
BLUE - would like to do it
RED - would never do this
GRAY - indifferent
BLACK - can't answer

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink.(if I had a million dollars)
2. Swam with wild dolphins (on my wish list)
3. Climbed a mountain (not a big one, but the highest peak in NB - Mt. Carleton)
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (no, but does a Jaguar count?)
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid (on my wish list)
6. Held a tarantula (hello! scared spitless of spiders!)
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone (champagne, too)
8. Said “I love you” and meant it (never say it unless you mean it!)
9. Hugged a tree (tree tag as a kid)
10. Bungee jumped (ok, this is just stupid)
11. Visited Paris (I was only 14)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (duh - I live on the ocean)
13. Stayed up all night (ah, les nuits blanches a l'universite...)
14. Seen the Northern Lights (I do live in Canada, eh?)
15. Gone to a huge sports game (can you say "Go Habs!"?)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (do the stairs up into the crown of Lady Liberty count?)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (every year)
18. Touched an iceberg (walked on one)
19. Slept under the stars (many times)
20. Changed a baby’s nappy (many times)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon (NB Balloon Fest 2001 with three deserving students)
22. Watched a meteor shower (many times)
23. Gotten drunk on champagne (tend to giggle alot)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity (um ... oops)
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope (took an astronomy course at university)
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (more often than I care to remember)
27. Had a food fight (um .. I swear it wasn't me who started it ...)
28. Bet on a winning horse (it would be silly to bet on a losing one, wouldn't it?)
29. Asked out a stranger (you just don't get much stranger than some of my picks ...)
30. Had a snowball fight (did I mention that I live in Canada, eh?)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (very bad for the vocal cords)
32. Held a lamb (and a piglet, too)
33. Seen a total eclipse of the moon (with my friend Francois-Xavier)
34. Ridden a roller coaster (threw up on one, too)
35. Hit a home run (I would like to, but it's highly unlikely to ever happen)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (I clown for charity)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (Irish, and it was hilariously bad)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (most of the time, actually)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (*blank stare* you can do that?)
40. Visited all 50 states (let's see now ... there's the state of inebriation, state of panic, state of euphoria, state of ...)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk (many, many times)
42. Had amazing friends (wish I could make this MORE green because my friends are so incredibly amazing)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (some sort of folk festival in Nottingham, at a jazz club in NYC)
44. Watched wild whales (brings tears to your eyes, they are so beautiful)
45. Stolen a sign (not sure why I would want to)
46. Backpacked in Europe (well, I've been to Europe, and I had a backpack, but I don't think it was the same thing)
47. Taken a road-trip (more times than you would imagine)
48. Gone rock climbing (and rappelling, too)
49. Midnight walk on the beach (literally countless times, since I live next to the ocean)
50. Gone sky diving (the things we do to please our lovers ...!)
51. Visited Ireland (lived there for a brief time with my uncle's family)
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (unlucky in love ...)
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them (great experience - did it in NYC and London and right here at home)
54. Visited Japan (wish list is growing)
55. Milked a cow (and a goat, too)
56. Alphabetized your CDs (isn't that totally anal?)
57. Pretended to be a superhero (whadda ya mean, pretend???)
58. Sung karaoke (oh, come on! like you haven't?)
59. Lounged around in bed all day (life is too short)
60. Played touch football (every Thanksgiving, our community gets together and has a pick-up game that we call the Turkey Bowl)
61. Gone scuba diving (love water sports)
62. Kissed in the rain (love water sports)
63. Played in the mud (love water sports)
64. Played in the rain (love water sports)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater (and all that entails ...)
66. Visited the Great Wall of China (on my wish list)
67. Started a business (not organized enough to do it by myself)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (remember that wish list?)
69. Toured ancient sites (here in Canada, and in Britain)
70. Taken a martial arts class (self-defense counts, right?)
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (sorry - tried it at university, but was bored silly)
72. Gotten married (horrible mistake ...)
73. Been in a movie (been recorded for radio, though)
74. Crashed a party (a couple of times)
75. Gotten divorced (working on it ... can I refer to the wish list again?)
76. Gone without food for 5 days (never again, though)
77. Made cookies from scratch (how else do you make them?)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (when I was a kid, my Gram made the greatest ones)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (see note re wish list)
80. Gotten a tattoo (not my thing at all)
81. Rafted the Snake River (rafted other rivers ...)
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert” (sang, played piano on tv - not an expert)
83. Got flowers for no reason (last week - from my darling friends!)
84. Performed on stage (many times)
85. Been to Las Vegas (wish list again - to see Barry)
86. Recorded music (many times)
87. Eaten shark (live on the ocean, remember?)
88. Kissed on the first date (but not the other ...)
89. Gone to Thailand (ooh - bigtime wish)
90. Bought a house (sweet little bungalow)
91. Been in a combat zone (not sure what colour to use here - does marriage count?)
92. Buried one/both of your parents (lucky enough to still have both)
93. Been on a cruise ship (been on fishing boats, etc.)
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (English/French)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror (liked the movie, but not obsessed ...)
96. Raised children (my darling little boy)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (wish I could've last summer)
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (whut's an exotic bicycle?)
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (thinking about it lately)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (walked the 13 km Confederation Bridge)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking (why should I care?)
103. Had plastic surgery (I hate my nose)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived (two - broke my neck diving, and fell from a second storey window)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication (wrote for university news - music reviews)
106. Lost over 100 pounds (does the same 20 five times over count?)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback (don't want to talk about this one)
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart (oh God, I hope so, because he crushed mine)
111. Helped an animal give birth (cat, dog, cow)
112. Won money on a T.V. game show (don't watch tv game shows)
113. Broken a bone (refer to #104)
114. Gone on an African photo safari (sounds amazing)
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears (don't like pain)
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (took a gun safety and marksmanship course)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (gathered them myself, too)
118. Ridden a horse (was obsessed as a teen)
119. Had major surgery ( a few - related to accidents)
120. Had a snake as a pet (want a ball python)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (always been fascinating to me)
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (only when ill)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states (shamefully)
124. Visited all 7 continents (wish list again)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days (whatever ...)
126. Eaten kangaroo meat (might be interesting)
127. Eaten sushi (not my favorite, but pretty good)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (a few times)
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about (I'm a teacher - it's part of the job)
130. Gone back to school (I'm a teacher - it's part of the job)
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach (inadvertently, I assure you ...)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes (yum)
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (first year university)
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read (Jane Austen)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish, lobster, etc.)
137. Skipped all your school reunions (not exactly my thing)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (Russian, Vietnamese)
139. Been elected to public office (um ...)
140. Written your own computer language (*blank stare* whut?)
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (came close a few times)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care (wouldn't want to)
143. Built your own PC from parts (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha)
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you (I'm counting cd's as artwork)
145. Had a booth at a street fair (every year)
146. Dyed your hair (I refuse to answer this one ...)
147. Been a DJ (dated one for a while, though)
148. Shaved your head (for my friend who had leukemia)
149. Caused a car accident (only myself involved - does that count as one?)
150. Saved someone’s life (couple years ago, a student told me that my intervention prevented her from committing suicide. I guess that counts.)

Gonna tag three people, just as if I had actually been called into play. Sometimes you've gotta do things for yourself. I tag Anndi, Sue (because she was hurt that I didn't tag her the last time) and Vinny. Go to it, guys!

29 November 2006

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #4

Without music, my life would be flat and empty. For as long as I can remember, it has been central to my very sense of being. So here are thirteen songs that have special meaning for me, in no particular order. The diversity surprised even me ...

1. Barry was my study-buddy at university. I named my first dog after this song.

Mandy
By Barry Manilow
BestAudioCodes.com


2. My dad used to sing this to my mom.

If You Could Read My Mind
By Gordon Lightfoot
BestAudioCodes.com


3. I grew up in a fishing community. I am a proud Maritimer.

The Fisherman's Lament
By Great Big Sea
BestAudioCodes.com


4. The first song I ever heard by the great "poet-bard", it stuck with me through all my years at university.

Hallelujah
By Leonard Cohen
BestAudioCodes.com


5. The first piece I studied under the guidance of Richard Boulanger.

Sonata for Piano No. 8 'Pathetique' in C minor, Op. 13
By Beethoven
BestAudioCodes.com


6. My Gram used to sing this to me when we were small.

Grandma's Feather Bed
By John Denver
BestAudioCodes.com


7. Just my favorite Aerosmith song. No reason in particular.

Rag Doll
By Aerosmith
BestAudioCodes.com


8. The first song I ever heard by my Number One. I was hooked from that moment.

Into The Mystic
By Van Morrison
BestAudioCodes.com


9. My brother is a prog rock fanatic, and he used to sit with me and talk to me about developping a discerning ear, while we listened to this song.

Tempus Fugit
By Yes
BestAudioCodes.com


10. The contrast between the vocal styles of the two singers in this song gives me goosebumps.

Miserere (Live Version With John Miles)
By Andrea Bocelli
BestAudioCodes.com


11. My first serious love used to sing this to me. He was no Hendrix, though.

Little Wing
By Jimi Hendrix
BestAudioCodes.com


12. When I want to lose myself in the music, this is a good place to start. It was my introduction to the Blues.

Mannish Boy
By Muddy Waters
BestAudioCodes.com


13. My first slow dance with a boy.

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
By Journey
BestAudioCodes.com

IN HOMMAGE TO GEORGE HARRISON




While My Guitar Gently Weeps
By The Jeff Healey Band
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WORDLESS WEDNESDAY #1



Pressed Rat And Warthog
By Cream
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28 November 2006

COCO

Not much to say today, so I'll fall back on what seems to be a fairly appropriate audio clip. Don't laugh, it is a real song and actually got some radio play, according to my mom.


Coco
By Tony Bennett
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27 November 2006

REFLECTIONS 1



What's The Use Of Getting Sober (When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again)
By Joe Jackson
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After considering topics based on all the great music I can now access for my blog (yes, that's how I'm deciding right now), this thought came to mind. I've talked about my present in substantially boring detail, but never really let you in on all the dirty little secrets of my past. Here's something that I bet you never suspected about me.

My parents were strict. So strict, in fact, that I often felt smothered. I know they were well-intentioned, but it nearly ruined my life. As you've probably realized, I will go out of my way to avoid conflict. I spent most of my youth trying to please parents who would never be happy with me as I was. So, when I finally got of my parents' house, I went wild.

My first year university is a blur to me. I became the ultimate party girl. Nothing was too extreme. I won't go into too much detail, but see that song up there? It could've been my theme song that year. I was lucky. I survived it nearly unscathed. It changed my path in life, though.

See, I had been a top student in high school and, after acing my piano entrance audition, earned a free ride scholarship to university. Yep - all expenses paid for four years, with an option to renew for my masters degree. By Christmas break, I was already on academic probation (NOT, as Bond would have you believe, on Double Secret Probation, though) and by the end of the second semester, my scholarship was history. My parents were scandalized and humiliated by my "performance" (their word for it). I, however, comfortably ensconced in my chemically-induced haze, couldn't have cared less.

Final exams arrived. Being as I was passing all my instrumental courses, I decided to stay until the end and get those credits. Besides, once exams were over, my residence had a big bash planned and there was no way I was missing that! No sir!

Thursday night, I walked out of my last exam and straight to the bootlegger, where I bought a quart of tequila. Fast forward. The party was all over the residence that night. I don't remember most of it, and only what I've been told. I was wearing a hot pink minidress, and my boyfriend's handmade cashmere Lopi sweater over it.

A bunch of us were sitting in a friend's room on the second floor. There were no seats available, so I was perched on the window sill. I leaned back, and fell out the window. Apparently, I flipped over, landed on my feet, and started to walk away before I fell down. I was pretty "relaxed", from all accounts. Regardless, I broke my leg, my arm, two fingers and several ribs on impact. They told me later that I cried when they had to cut the sweater off me, saying over and over again "Just pull it off - it won't hurt me" I had no idea at the time that the bones of my arm had pierced through the sleeve.

Strangely, this may have been the best thing that could've happened to me. I had to take a year off university in order to recover from my injuries. That year helped me to better understand myself. My physiotherapist told me I would probably never play the piano again with any degree of comfort, due to the broken fingers. I've never been one to remain passive in the face of a personal challenge.

When it came time for me to decide about my future, I enrolled in a different university, in music again. I will be eternally grateful to my grandmother, who convinced my parents to let me try again; to l'Universite de Moncton, for taking a chance on me; and to my beloved piano prof, Richard, who believed in me, bullied me and befriended me.

Now, three degrees later, I look back on those days as though it was a story that happened to someone else. I know I was lucky, and it's created a more cautious person within me, but the daredevil is still in there, too, just waiting for an opportunity to come out and play ...

26 November 2006

TAKE COMFORT IN YOUR FRIENDS


Everybody Hurts
By R.E.M.
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This one's for anyone who has ever felt like this, because sometimes you just need to pick yourself up at the end of the day and show yourself that there's light at the end of the tunnel. It's a powerful lesson I learned this year: you can take comfort in your friends.

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone

THE LOVE OF MY LIFE


Have I Told You Lately
By Van Morrison
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In the soundtrack of my life, this particular song is an anthem that means more than any other. I've known it for years and always loved it, but it only became really meaningful to me about 3 years ago, on a plane ride across the country. I'm not sure why, but it filled my mind and soul as I sat, cradling my new son in my arms. As I sang it to him on that miserably crowded plane, it seemed to bind our hearts and calm our spirits. Last night, I sang it to him and it comforted us once again. This one's for you, my sweet Brennan. I love you.

Can anyone please explain to me how to get rid of the annoying whirlygig and disconnect the automatic play feature? Any help at all would be much appreciated.

25 November 2006

WHAT TO DO WITH THE NUMBER THREE?

This is my first one of these, so bear with me ...

3 Things that scare me: spiders; being alone; the future

3 People who make me laugh: Jon Stewart; Eric Idle; Vinny

3 Things I love: the blues; my job; my musical instrument collection

3 Things I hate: gangsta rap; yelling; the excuses people give for abandoning their pets at the animal shelter

3 Things I don't understand: deliberate cruelty; violence; income tax forms

3 Things on my desk: pictures of Brennan; laptop; a pile of dinky cars

3 Things I'm doing right now: listening to Van Morrison; patting the dog; eating a Timbit

3 Things I want to do before I die: meet my online friends; take Brennan to Italy to see the Great Masters; go on a mission to a third-world country

3 Things I can do: play the piano; speak French; teach

3 Things I can't do: change the past; predict the future; smile when I'm unhappy

3 Things I think you should listen to: your conscience; old people who have a story to tell; good music

3 Things you should never listen to: politicians; gossip; gangsta rap

3 Things I'd like to learn: how to tell if a person is lying to me; how to speak Spanish; how to attach music to my blog

3 Favorite foods: moussaka; veal parmegiana; steamed lobster

3 Beverages I drink regularly: water; skim milk; lemonade

3 Shows I watched as a kid: Mr. Dressup; The Friendly Giant; Bugs Bunny

Now is the time I tag three other people ... ok, Dixie, Dana and Dante ... you're it!

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD


After yesterday's blogpost, I honestly didn't think things could get any better. I was completely off-base on that, I can tell you. After I got up, said good morning and fed "Taylor the Azalea" (not sure how he's gonna feel about having a hot pink plant named after him), and took Daisy for a walk, the phone rang. More good news. My brother and his family are coming down today for the Santa Claus parade. It's the biggest one east of Montreal, which is pretty significant for this one-horse town. So, not only do I get to spend the entire afternoon and evening with my son, I also get the best parts of my family around me AND my dear old friend F-X, too. Only the presence of two other people would complete the perfection of this day (you know who you are). Another day in which to count my many blessings.

24 November 2006

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?


What an incredible day. It is payday, so I decided to get my hair cut (seriously overdue). My coiffeuse, an old friend, is located off the lobby of the best hotel in town. I had just left the salon and was strolling through the lobby, enjoying the Christmas decorations, when I heard a deep voice say "Excuse me, but don't I know you?" I looked up, and there stood my dear old friend, Francois-Xavier. He and his partner have been living for the past few years in Quebec City, and we have been mostly out of touch for that time, although never out of one another's minds.

Yesterday, I had mentioned his name in my Thursday 13 blog. He was my best friend at university, and I have missed him. He and Marc have moved back to the area, purchased a house and are planning on staying put! I am deliriously happy about this, for completely selfish reasons. Francois-Xavier was one person with whom I could always be completely myself, without pretense. He would think there was something wrong if I wasn't occasionally bitchy, or depressed, or manic. He was always the same way, anyway. LOL.

After that exquisite reunion, I arrived home tonight to a message that some of my other friends had sent me flowers to brighten my day. I don't remember the last time someone did that. It made me cry with happiness. Ann, Vinny: talk about shining, happy people - I am absolutely glowing. I'm not sure I am deserving of such kindness but, man, it feels amazing!

I'm not asking for anything else for Christmas this year, because I have one of the greatest gifts imaginable. Thank you, God, for the friendships in my life. They are infinitely more precious to me than any other gift I could wish for. I feel truly blessed to have these wonderful people as a part of my world.

23 November 2006

TAYLOR'S NEW SONGS

Ok, after listening to each about 20 times, Runaround has grown on me. I can see the appeal. It's a bit immature melodically, and way too mainstream, but it's bouncy and upbeat and catchy. The drummer is inspired, btw. Not sure it will stand out, but it's not a bad choice for an Idol release. Reminds me a bit of Phil Collins in the 80's, to be honest. (think "Can't Hurry Love") Every musician does stuff like this in their career. It won't be remembered as his greatest hit, but it's a decent enough start. It still sounds like Taylor, too, which garners bonus points in my books.

I'd prefer not to talk about Dream Myself Awake, it's that blech to me, but I will force myself. This song, after numerous listens, is still unremarkable. I've heard a million just like it, and even hearing Taylor's voice singing it doesn't improve it. To me, it's an album filler. I kind of hoped Taylor would be able to avoid that sort of thing, but there it is. The lyrics are stagnant and hackneyed, the melody is repetitive and uninteresting. This song even sucks the originality out of Taylor's sound. It could be anybody's song, even JT. Hope to God they don't release this as a single.

And now, my dear friends ... let's go to The Right Place. This is a prayer. It's a hosanna of a song. The match to Taylor's voice is uncanny. Whoever wrote this is brilliant beyond belief. Even now, after 35 - 36 - 37 listens, I can do nothing else when I hear it but listen. The world slows, and this song becomes the pulse in my veins. The melody is poignant, yet powerful. The instrumentation is inspired in its simplicity. That piano part - I can hardly wait to get my hands on it! During those emotion-laden pauses, I find myself holding my breath. Taylor's voice caresses this song with a lover's hands. It breaks my heart that it is unlikely to be his first single off the album, because it's without a doubt the most representational of Taylor's roots, and demonstrates all the best qualities of his voice. Reasonably, though, I know the first single is usually upbeat, which makes Runaround the best option (of these three).

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #3


I'm going to keep it short and simple. My blog theme this week is relationships. I got the idea from the very poignant Chris Reeve quote at the top there. Plus, today is Thanksgiving in the USA, and even though I'm not an American, I have some very close friends who are. So, in their honour, here are 13 relationships that I am thankful for:

1. My son Brennan. He came into my life as a gift, and has enriched my life immeasurably ever since. I love you, Booboo.

2. My brother Eric (Bubba). If ever I needed to know that someone had my back, all I had to do all my life was look to you. You're still doing it. Thank you for all that you are.

3. My grandmother, Christiana. If there was one person in my life who made me into the person I am today, it would be you. You accepted me and loved me unconditionally all my life. You taught me what is important in the world, and what is just window dressing. I miss you every day, Gram.

4. My oldest friends, Juanita, Angy, Rhonda, Francois-Xavier, Sylvain. My support system here at home. We may be involved in our own lives right now, but we've always been there for each other when it mattered the most. Thank you for still being my friends even when we can't be together.

5. My newest friends, Vinny, Anndi, Sue, Dana, and all those members of the Soul Patrol with whom I've shared so much of my life this year. You have changed me, opened me up to new possibilities. I can't name every one of you here, but your names are imprinted on my heart forever.

6. My parents. Mom and Dad, you didn't always understand me, but I've always known you love me. Thank you for everything you've been, every value you've modelled. And thank you especially for so readily accepting Brennan and demonstrating love to him.

7. My colleagues and friends, Robin, Abbey, Debbie, Erica, Monique. You've been there for me so many times when I needed a distraction from life's little vagaries.

8. My band and choir members. This may sound weird, but I love my job with a passion that knows no bounds. The job itself is like a most delicious cake, but the kids involved in my extracurricular endeavors, well, they are the icing on the cake. This is where I get to know them on a more individual basis. This is where I can do the most good. This is where they really touch my heart.

9. My students. Sometimes they are angels, sometimes they test my patience. Through it all, they are themselves in a way adults seldom are. I get to know them as they are developping into the people they will be for the rest of their lives. If I am lucky, they remember some of what I teach them: to mind their manners; to work hard; how being kind costs nothing but repays huge dividends; to leave things behind you a little bit better than they were before you arrived. Yeah, I teach music, too, but there's so much more than that to my job.

10. My niece and nephew. Rachel and Nick, you were "my" kids before Brennan came along. I am so glad you are a part of our lives.

11. Mandy and Daisy. You have been my comfort and my security for so many years. I know you are "just" dogs, but my life would have been so empty without you. Mandy, we miss you, pumpkin.

12. Richard. Many of the people who read this will have never heard your name, or previously known of the impact you have had on my life. When you took me on as a student, no one was more astounded than I was. Everybody knew you only accepted the most gifted pianists. I don't know if you saw something in me that no one else ever had, but within a year, you had molded me into something more than simply adequate. I know it disappointed you when I ended my career as a concert pianist, but we all know now that my destiny was preordained, and you have forgiven me for becoming a lowly teacher, haven't you? I've only told you this a couple of times, mon ami: Je t'aime, mon cher prof.

13. My ex-husband. Some of you may find it odd that I included him here, but it is for a very good reason. Thank you, Dave, for showing me all the things I don't want in my future relationships. It may have taken me eleven years to learn that particular lesson, but my life is mine now, in a way it never was before, and I have your (albeit difficult) lessons to thank for the recent changes in my world.

22 November 2006

DEDICATION




I registered on the American Idol website in February 2006. Since that time, I have met some of the most wonderful people I have ever known. We have shared our lives, our stories and our creativity with one another. We have supported one another through good times and bad.


These have, ironically, been the best months and the worst months of my life. My time with the Soul Patrol has kept me sane, while my life was seemingly falling apart around me. A few have gone far beyond what one could reasonably expect in the name of friendship. They are people whose names are engraved upon my heart for all time.

I am not a poet, an artist, or a writer. I can't give them what others can. It is so little to dedicate a blog to them, yet I know they will understand that these words come from the deepest, most secret part of my heart, where I keep my most precious treasures. As my gift, I would like to dedicate to them one of my favorite songs. You are my treasures, my dearest friends. I will always love you.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter shades of life are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva

15 November 2006

FOR DIANA

Diana,

All the usual phrases seem so trite in the face of such a huge loss. I only hope you will find comfort in knowing you expressed your love for your dad with everything you did and said. You amazed me every day with the strength of your devotion. Your parents must have been incredible role models to have taught you such selflessness. I know the only support I can offer you is prayer. I hope it is some comfort to you.

Hugs, Corinna

LEADER OF THE BAND - Dan Fogelberg

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet maker's son
His hands were meant
For different work
And his heart was known
To none --

He left his home
And went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never
Can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldnt wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band.

My brothers lives were
Different
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago
And the other to St. Paul
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
And come to know so well.

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don't think
I said I love you near enough --

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.


MY FATHER'S EYES - Eric Clapton

Sailing down behind the sun,
Waiting for my prince to come.
Praying for the healing rain
To restore my soul again.

Just a toerag on the run.
How did I get here? What have I done?
When will all my hopes arise?
How will I know him?

When I look in my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
When I look in my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.

Then the light begins to shine
And I hear those ancient lullabies.
And as I watch this seedling grow,
Feel my heart start to overflow.

Where do I find the words to say?
How do I teach him? What do we play?
Bit by bit, I've realized
That's when I need them,

That's when I need my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
That's when I need my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.

Then the jagged edge appears
Through the distant clouds of tears.
I'm like a bridge that was washed away;
My foundations were made of clay.

As my soul slides down to die.
How could I lose him? What did I try?
Bit by bit, I've realized
That he was here with me;

I looked into my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
I looked into my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.

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