Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Merits of Yoga - According to me

I go to Yoga class once a week...

I can't help notice the disproportionate ratio of men to women in the classes ... but hey, that's not the point of this post, nor is it the reason I go.

...

My regular workouts at the gym consist of some weight training, and a half hour on something that gets my heart rate up in the 120-130 range. And, then there's the shower and such afterwards.

Where's the fun in that I ask?

In the last class I was attended, I was contrasting a yoga class to a "regular" gym workout. Let's see...

With Yoga, you start off getting "centered" (they call this "Dhyana" or meditation)- essentially sitting and thinking of nothing but breathing like Darth Vader ("Ujjayi")- very calming ... I caught myself murmuring "ohmmmm" the other day.

Then, you get into either putting your body through stretching contortions, endurance or balancing poses that can hurt like bloody hell.

But, you suck it up, pretend you're still centered and wait for the sweet, utopic numbness to settle in just before you're asked to untangle yourself and wrench your body in some other position you never thought it could get into let alone keep in for another 2-5 minutes.


After about 45 minutes of this, you get to lie down on your back and rest - they call this "Savasana", but all I can think of is when I was in pre-school lying down on mats on the floor for an afternoon nap. I actually think I dozed off one day... hope I didn't snore.

You finish it all by sitting cross-legged with your hands together in front of your chest and murmuring "Namaste" - which I believe is a form of thanks.

By this time, your body has recovered to a point where the muscles, tendons and other sundry body parts start to feel quite good.

When I think about my "regular" workout, I'm just putting my body through pain right from the get-go and all I get afterwards is a shower in the men's locker room...

With Yoga, I get calmed down, put my body through pain, have a nap and mumble words I don't really know the meaning to ... then have a shower.

So for the same amount of time, although I don't get my heart rate up, my body still gets battered, but I get a NAP! How can you not think that's cool?

After Yoga, I feel relaxed. I feel open. I feel rested and refreshed.

I just wish they'd supply coffee to keep me from walking into doors in my post-yoga daze.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Little Boy in Heap O' Trouble

Ooooooooooo boy,

One little boy in our family is getting the tough lovin' treatment today!

After a half week and weekend of being home sick and recovering quite nicely yesterday, Alex decided in the car, just outside his school that he STILL didn't feel well.

This wasn't one of those "oh, I'm feeling kind of hot, I can't eat much and I'd like to just lie down and rest" kinds of things. That happened LAST week.

This was a "Hey, that was pretty good last week - I got to stay home, play with ALL the toys and get pampered! ... Let's do it AGAIN!" - all complete with tears and hysterics in the back seat as we were pulling up to school.

I was NOT amused - especially after a whole day and morning of running around like nothing's wrong.

He's eating lunch right now, but I think re-considering his decision as I made it pretty darn clear that he's going to be doing the same thing he did this morning after he's done eating:

NOTHING

Nothing but resting in his bed with

no toys,
no talking,
no TV
... nothing.


And guess what he gets to do when the other two come home from school today?

Week ???

I've lost track of which week it is for me being Mr. Mom. It's all a big blur now... Catherine's left and I'm typing this while listening to the latest CBC Radio 3 podcast with Grant Lawrence - always a good alternative listen to the live KEXP feed which seems to be comprised of east Indian music - which I'm not really in the mood for at this hour in the morning...

I'm selling a couple of pieces of gear out of my trusty rack on Craigslist now - a Lexicon MPX 1 (the black/blue thing at the top) and my Emu Proteus 2000 (the black thing at the bottom with the grey knob). They get turned on every morning, but I've found that I don't really use them at all anymore.

You gotta love Craigslist!

From an aesthetic point of view, the whole thing just sucks, but it's all text and is so efficient. Not much in terms of bells and whistles, but it works and it works really well. I've shied away from eBay lately as I find it so much less hassle to sell stuff locally - you get pretty well the same price, but it's quicker and you don't have to worry about shipping or anything like that...

I do have one beef with Craigslist "buyers" - I should qualify that - those people who troll the electronics / musical instruments pages. You get a bunch of people who assume that you're desperate to get rid of your stuff and they come back to you with "I'll be willing to take it off your hands for {insert less than half your asking price here}".

It's hard to keep from hitting reply and banging out a snide PFO email with details about how I don't REALLY need to get rid of it and that I've researched the going market prices for the item and please don't waste my time with a stupid offer like that...

Instead, I just send back an email with the asking price less a dollar...

Then, when you're selling musical instruments, the majority of your offers are barters or trades for other gear from, I'm assuming, starving musicians who can't scrape together enough cash... - I made sure that I inserted a sentence in my posts that stated "NO TRADES PLEASE".

We'll see how it goes... I hear the patter of little feet...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Long Weekend Recovery

I can't say that it was a great long weekend, but then again, I can't say that it was bad either.

Catherine was back for more than 2.5 days - that was good. We did a lot of things - ROM, Science Centre, playgrounds (indoor and outdoor), saw some friends...


The weather sucked - that was bad.

What the heck is wrong with the weather on the May long weekend around here??? I remember being a kid and it ALWAYS being the first awesomest weekend that kicked off the countdown to summer break. It gave you a reminder of what summer was like - a taste of the heat and sunshine to come.


This weekend, it was grey and generally moist the whole way through - oh yeah, and hitting the 'teens in Celsius was lucky.

Start of Week 6

So here I am again - 6:03 AM on the clock. I've been up for almost 2 hours already again. So what's on tap this week? A bunch of little projects - next IHR segment, a song I've been working on and zipping up a couple of cues for a director.

Okay, little feet are tip-toeing around upstairs... They seem to have settled back down - realizing that it's still a bit too early to be "morning time".

Found this link on a forum I frequent called the Womb. I'm pretty sure that if these were real, they'd be selling like hot-cakes.

Talking about online forums... I've been a member of a few recording, songwriting, composing and the like forums for the past few years - occasionally posting and responding to posts.

There was a post I made on one of the forums that I re-read a couple of days later and had this moment - "hmmm.... that might have come across the wrong way..."


Something that's been at the back of my mind - what do I "sound" like to others on the forum? I can't really help but apply some sort of (probably arbitrary) personality and sound on others who post based upon their writing style and comments. I wonder if others do the same and, if they do, how does my prose translate into a personality to them?

I've been told that I write quite similarly to the way that I talk - people who've met me in person have said that they can clearly "hear" me when they read my words. That being said, what do I "sound" like to someone who hasn't ever heard me speak?

Okie dokie, sounds as though some little girl is up now... On to the week...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Let's Get the Band Back Together Dude...

So, I found a flyer in the mail from the Sony Store down the street - for some reason, they're calling themselves "Sony Style" in some odd, almost unreadable font... whatever.

They're holding a Rock Band "event" in their store where ... "you can challenge our in-store staff for prizes".

It's a total scam to get you into the store ... I know ... but I'm in hook, line 'n sinker.

I'm trying to convince Catherine to get into it. We've had her brother and wife over a few times and gotten quite good - most of us play at the "Hard" level. I'm sure my brother-in-law would be all over this, but it's our respective spouses, who I don't think would be quite into it...

Ahhhh ... what to do?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Starting a New Project

Dunno what happened yesterday, but all the kids slept in! I got up about 7:20 ... by myself for once ... and Sammie got up. Then I had to wake the two boys who were sawing logs at 7:50...

This morning was a different story. All three little feet were active at 6:45. Sheesh!

Cool tidbit from this morning. Was listening to KEXP via the 'net - it was around 7:00 AM, so 4:00 in Seattle and the DJ put on "Mimi on the Beach" by Jane Siberry! Like holy ___, I hadn't heard that song in like eons! I emailed him sending some kudos for not only playing some Canadian content, but something from way out in left field from the I'd-forgotten-about-that archives. He emailed back and said he'd been on a Sibbery kick for the past couple of weeks and actually acknowledge my email on air a few minutes later... heh.

Anyway, starting a little project for my pal in Seattle - Travis. He and I have been collaborating on his films for almost 3 years now. He and I seem to have this awesome rapport.

Lately, he's been doing a lot of commercial shoots which are definitely different from film, but also regular and come with budgets!

This time, he's working on some "super secret" project with a Hollywood screenwriter and has asked me to score a short 1.5 minute clip that I gather is going to be the calling card for the screenplay / film. Can't get into any details about it, but he's given me carte blanche ... a blank page. He's essentially given me complete control on sound / kind of music, where it goes, what have you... He TRUSTS me with it all ... silly boy!

Well, Crap! Where to start? It's not from lack of ideas or anything, it's the process of self-imposing boundaries and getting down to work.

I think I've got a good idea of the sound and spotting for the scene - which is a good start... now to see what comes out of the muse this morning...

Monday, May 12, 2008

The "Hump" Week

Well, here I go, almost at the top of the hill... Catherine just left for Vancouver and we're starting week 5 of 10 without Mom.

I'm sick again. The cold conveniently started on Friday evening and thru Mother's Day to today... I guess I can't really be surprised as I've been sort of burning the candle at both ends and being a little too optimistic about the temperature outside. hmmm...
Regardless, just a bit stuffed up and tired.

Man! What a weekend - little Alex is a bike-riding monster! Saturday afternoon, I took off his training wheels (with some protest), ran up behind him halfway up and down the block ... TWICE ... and then he was on his own! Starting and stopping by himself!!! It's like he's been riding for months!

Now Chris is much more interested in riding his bike... hmmm... ;)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Embarrassment...

Okay, so the kid in the picture really has nothing to do with this post, but I thought it was funny...

Right now, I'm listening to Daft Punk's Human After All album ("Robot Rock" just came up) and reflecting on the week while the kids play a bit before bedtime...

I dunno whether or not I should be concerned about a conversation I had with our 8 year old this week.

I've noticed the past couple of weeks, when I've dropped him off at school, he hasn't really been as affectionate as he usually is when he's off to school. I usually walk him into the yard and then give him a hug and kiss goodbye. This past week, he's been reluctantly giving me at least a hug and doing this nervous giggle when I give him a kiss.

I asked him what was up at bedtime a couple nights ago.

"I'm a bit embarrassed to give you a kiss in front of my friends."

....

I hope I didn't let on that my heart hit the floor with a gigantic thud right then and there.

We chatted a bit about it and decided that we'll do quick, stealth kisses instead. As I left his room after a bit of a snuggle, I couldn't help but keep on thinking about the incident:
When was it that I started being "embarrassed" to give my parents a kiss?

Was I older or younger than he?

How'd my parents react to that news?

I know he's a very affectionate kid and also quite confident around his peers, but I guess we're coming to the age where standing out from the rest of the crowd starts to become taboo. I remember those kinds of feelings and dilemmas: "What will everyone else think???"

You lead two different lives - one with your family and another in front of your friends... at least for a while through the pubescent years and then something happens...

You feel comfortable being unique again.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Rediscovering Music from My Past

On the way home, I decided to click on some tunes from my iPod that I hadn't spun in quite a while ... the Shuffle Demons!

Man, I haven't heard these guys for a while (that's the fun of filling up a 60Gb drive with music ... so many choices). I remember being in sweaty little dives in London Ontario watching these guys. It's a hoot what they can do with three saxes, a bass and kit.

Classic lyrics:
Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus)
Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus)
Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus)
Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus)

I say get on the bus (get on the bus)
Yeah, right on the bus (right on the bus)
Right on the bus (right on the bus)
The Spadina bus (the Spadina bus)

Ain't no school bus (ain't no school bus)
Ain't no streetcar (ain't no streetcar)
Ain't no subway car (ain't no subway car)
The Spadina bus (the Spadina bus)

I want confirmation on my information about my transportation from Spadina station
(We want confirmation on this information on the transportation from Spadina station)
Gimme confirmation on my information about my transportation from Spadina station
(We want confirmation on this information on the transportation from Spadina station)

Well, I start to cuss on the Wellesley bus
And you can't go far on the College Street car
You know the Yonge Street train is a real pain
And the LRT—for that's not for me
Well, you can't have fun on the York U. run
And the Ossington trolley is just a big folly
Well, I don't give a damn ‘bout the Bathurst tram
So I'll make a fuss about Spadina Bus

‘Cos on 77B (77B)
On the TTC (TTC)
Yeah, 77B (77B)
On the TTC (TTC)
Well, 77A (77A)
I guess it'll be OK (that's OK)
But I want 77B (77B)
On the T-T-T-TTC (T-T-T-TTC)

Hey, check it out

I went down to the station
I didn't scream or fuss
I didn't have lots of patience
Waiting for that bus
Dug deep down in my pockets
To try and find some coin
But much to my chagrin
All I found was my groin

Hey!

(Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Spadina Bus) The Spadina Bus
(Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Spadina Bus) It's raising quite a fuss
(Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Spadina Bus) Just wanna get on the bus
Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Sp-Spadina Bus

Holy Frick! We Bought a House


We just bought this place in Vancouver.

It's in the "Dunbar" area. I've been to the area a few times, but really don't have a true appreciation for the nuances of the different neighbourhoods of Vancouver.

Catherine was pretty excited about it - she's the only one who has actually seen the house! :) She was going on about how it's close to the "Point Grey" area and all that which from what I can gather, is a good thing.

It's apparently going to need a bit o' work - new kitchen and some electrical stuff done. The basement is unfinished and ripe for building out a studio! (bwa ha ha ha!!!), but all in all, we can fit in there.

It was a bit hairy last evening as our agent phoned us just after he discovered that there were going to be five offers presented to the owners. After putting the kids to bed, I discovered Catherine downstairs at the FAX/printer with a phone to her ear looking a bit frazzled. We quickly decided what we needed to bid on the place and phoned our agent back to let him know "the plan"...

We initially had sort of convinced ourselves that we'd lost the bid as we've been in these multiple bid situations before and know that some people can be quite crazy with their bids to get a place. We hadn't gone beyond our game plan or anything like that, but weren't prepared to go to ANY lengths to get the place.

He went in at 5:30 (PST) to present the offer and gave us a call back at 7:30 with the news that we'd got the place.

I really think that we were in total shock (and still are). We sincerely thought we were out of the running and had already started preparing a contingency list of available properties for Catherine to check out this week...

Anyway, she's now preparing to visit banks and such shopping around for nice 'n tasty rates for the financing - every point off prime counts baby!

More later...