Happy Talk


In the early 80’s there was this strange phenomenon called “The Mini Pops”.  I owned a VHS copy that got played over and over until it finally just gave static lines.  This was my first introduction into “real music” and not just Disney songs from Jungle Book and Snow White.  We also owned a “Christmas” Cassette and the “Let’s Dance” cassette.  Car rides with my mom were the best.

This was also my introduction into pop music.  I knew the words for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Video Killed The Radio Star” by age seven.  But one of the songs that stuck with me was “Happy Talk”.

Captain Sensible?


The Mini Pops did a cover of Captain Sensible’s version who originally did a cover of the song from the musical “South Pacific”.  The song is fun.  It shouldn’t have been a pop hit even in 1982- but it was.  For a young child, the song was catchy and inspirational.  

Talk about things you’d like to do.

You gotta have a dream-

If you don’t have a dream,

How you gonna have a dream come true?

This is today’s earworm for me as well.  But the words are uplifting still.  If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?  I am constantly making new dreams and doing my best to achieve them.  Perhaps in my youth, this song hit my subconscious and remains locked there.  Maybe this is the motto that drives me to keep writing and doing more for my life.  It’s what I like doing…

Keep talkin’ happy talk.

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Gray But It’s Also Grey

Today is starting off as a dismal looking day.  The clouds are covering the sky.  The temperature is staying at that cool almost fridge level.  The only things breaking the silence outside is the laughing of a crow.    

It feels like the opposite of spring.  Even though the trees and flowers are budding, there is still a sense of gloom hovering in the air.  As if life just doesn’t want to wake up yet.

The view from my bed.


I’m staying in bed for a little while longer.  Probably like what other people are doing as well.  And I like it.  I am going to watch the hues transform from grey/gray into pastel blues and greens before starting my day.

Hey Gawy 

I have a friend from years ago who could always make people laugh.  He loved doing voices and graphic art.  He would quote Jim Carey at the drop of a hat.  


Naturally he has become an animator here in Vancouver and has worked on many projects.  He has worked on “The Littlest Pet Shop”, “Escape From Planet Earth”, “MLP” and many others.  He is still in Vancouver and I think it’s time for me to meet up with him again.

When I was a teen in high school, I was originally friends with his older sister.  I still am.  It wasn’t until a year or so after I graduated, that my circle of friends and his circle of friends came together.  We would hang out and drink coffee, talk about story board ideas or play videogames.  Most of the time- just having fun.  Usually with groups of people.  It was rare that he wasn’t surrounded by numerous people.  He is a well loved and an amazing person.  

He also had an unusual past time.  He would use a VCR and record himself playing RPG videogames.  Or rather, the storyline of the game.  He would edit his game play so that only the scripted dialogue remained.  Surprisingly, the stories are quite intricate and fun.  After hours of him playing and editing the RPGs of the 90’s he would have a fun movie for us to watch.  

Much like a silent film, there was a bit of action with dialogue written on the screen.  Most of the action was of the characters walking and some fight scenes.  But the twist was for the dialogue- my friend would assign speaking parts to all those watching these.  It became a lot of fun.

His animation and creativity will supersede his legacy. One of my favorite shorts that a friend of his shared is a silly one titled “Hey Gawy“.  Worth watching for a quick giggle.

His love of storytelling never ended.  Besides his work in animation, he loved watching Professional Wrestling.  In fact, he and his wife got married in a Wrestling ring back in March 29, 2014.  (Happy Anniversary!) Unfortunately I missed the main event due to a convention.

I love seeing my friends succeed.  To me, success is measured in how well you touch someone’s life.  Steven has the unique ability to bring back fun memories into my mind even though we haven’t spoken in years.  It’s a friendship that I treasured and feel it is time to catch up on old times.

Driving on Nine

I drive to work.  Or is that commute?

I commute to work.  I don’t always like it.


Traffic sucks.  I am known to be an angry driver.  My goal this year is to calm down and slow down.  I have been trying to listen to different music such as classical or “spa” on my car’s satellite radio.  Sometimes I’ll listen to comedy and just enjoy a good laugh.


Getting to work on time isn’t an issue.  I always leave with plenty of time to spare.  Rarely am I late.  I mean very rarely.  Like only once in the last nine years at my job have I been late to work.  And that was in the first few months of trying to figure out where I needed to be.

It’s the drive home that sucks.  There’s no “set” time to get home.  I just want to get there.  Home is the place of peace and tranquility.  A place you dropped kicked your jacket as you came through the door- No one glared.

Wow, Mr. Belvedere was such a bad show.


Anyways.  I’m trying to slow my drive down as I come home.  Traffic or no traffic, the speed and anger at which I drive home needs to stop.  

My car is a machine made of glass and metal that could kill me or someone else and I need to respect that more often.

 

Queen & Bowie… & Carlin?

I realized today that I will never see Freddie Mercury and David Bowie perform in my lifetime.  Two great musicians are no longer on this planet.  Both passed away many years apart from each other.  I still enjoy listening to their music collaboration 35 years later.


1982: Under Pressure came out.  When the song plays I can feel their voices resonate the words throughout me.  The battle we all face from the pressures of life is portrayed in this song.  I have felt pressure lately in my life.  Both at home and at work.  The pressures of being a good parent.  The pressures of making the right decisions at work.  Pressure coming at me at all angles.

This is our last dance

This is our last dance

This is ourselves

Under pressure

Under pressure

Pressure

I could recite this song and almost every other greatest hit Queen song written.  I do not own any Queen or Bowie albums.  When I was 12, a friend of mine made a cassette copy of Queen’s Greatest Hits on one side and George Carlin on the other.  I have no idea where that cassette is but it influenced my life.


Strange that even in all of their greatness, they passed on.  They each left a legacy.  For no reason I thought about them today.  My tendency towards sarcasm and atheist views were influenced by Carlin (among others, but he was humorous).  My love for being who I am was influenced by Mercury.    My ideals and wonder of life and beauty was inspired by Bowie.

All of them did what they wanted- they enjoyed life.  I need to remember that.  Life is for living.  I need to keep on living my life the way that matters to me.

You Be You

I’m proud of who I am.  Even if I’m strange or odd to other people.  I act the way I do because it’s entertaining to me.  I’m not hurting anyone by behaving silly.  Sometimes people follow along because it looks fun.  Other times they snicker or poke fun of me.

And the sun is shining.


I don’t really care either way.  I’m here for a good time.  I enjoy being me.  I’m the best me I can be.  Even when I’m serious, I’m still enjoying life.

Mmm… Sweet Meat


Some days life is too short to eat a hamburger on a bun.  Sometimes you just need to put that patty on a glazed donut.

You be you.

The Long Journey Home

It may not seem that far to go when you do a quick Google Map search. Only 223 km from my sister’s home to our home. Previous road trips that I’ve done from our place include 2050 km to Disneyland. Roughly 19.5 hours to drive it straight. We did it in 21 hours once.  That being said, our travel time to “The Happiest Place On Earth” was about 100 km/hr.  


Our trip today is taking us exactly five hours travel time. We got lucky and made an earlier ferry departure by about an hour. Doing the math, we are traveling at approximately 45 km/h. I’m finishing this post while we travel on our last ferry ride. If traffic cooperates, we will be home an hour after docking.

I do wish I had some more time to spend with my sister at her place.  She definitely has a “Million Dollar View” that she sees every day.  Later this summer, I think we will drop in and stay for a few nights instead.


These past few days have been a crazy rush- bombing around while hopping from ferry to highway to back roads to ferry to highway to ferry to ferry to highway to home.  I’m glad that tonight I will be home for a pot luck dinner at a friend’s place.  It feels like I squeezed as much as I could into my three days off this week.  

Chances are I’ll be doing it again next week.

Four Rivers of Travel From Vancouver Island 

Today my daughter and I decided to travel from Gold River, through Campbell River, across the ferry at Little River and onto Powell River.  

Goodbye Dick Boot.


We left Gold River a day early since we got Gramma as packed up as we could handle.  She is 85% ready to move out into her new home.  This is most likely the last time I will ever be in Gold River in my lifetime.  I called my sister last night and decided to head out to visit her in Powell River.  On our way, my daughter and I went through Campbell River to see the new home Grams was moving into.  I have to say that it’s in a more civilized part of Vancouver Island.  As well, it’s only a couple blocks away from a lovely little beach that overlooks the ocean. A great little place to live out retirement.


Just past Campbell River is Comox.  This is where we needed to take a ferry across to hit Powell River.  This is much more convenient for my mother and my sister to visit one another in the years to come.  I think they both like/hate the idea.


Unfortunately it’s a rather expensive ferry ride for what it is. In an hour and a half we travel only 17 nautical miles in a rusty vessel.  I’m not expecting the pride of the fleet, but a paint job could do it good.  The journey was smooth and relaxing.  My daughter and I played some more cards and I taught her the only card trick I know.


I’ve never been to Powell River.  I’m enjoying my first visit with my sister, even though it’s only one night.  She has a lovely home with a beautiful view of Texada Island and the Malasapina Straight.  I think I will be visiting her more often.  The views are spectacular.


Normally we would travel here via a different route up the North Shore and through the Sunshine Coast.  That’s the route we are taking home tomorrow.  Approximately a five hour journey, not including waiting for ferries.  Two ferries to be precise…

I love BC.  This is a great place to live.  So much to see and do.

Hoarding 

I’m currently helping my mother pack up her home.  She has saved almost everything over the years.  Most of which doesn’t make sense.


I found some pig salt and pepper shakers from 1981.  Never been used.  These have moved to at least ten different houses.  Crazy.


I discovered another classic from the 80’s.  A book on tying silk scarves.  A fantastic read.  Looking at the cover, it doesn’t look like it was ever opened.


My mother even saved the patches I received as a child in whatever sports/activity I was in.  The last great achievement in physical activity I did was receiving “Gold” in the Canada Fitness Award Program back in grade 7.  Pretty sure that program ended a year or two later.  The poor Canadian children nowadays don’t understand the agony of having to do this.

Those were a couple of the oddities I found.  But the thing that surprised me more was that my mother wouldn’t throw out old electronics.  Many of which she never uses any more.  She has a cheap portable CD player that she won’t get rid off because she may go for a walk on the beach one day and would like to listen to music.  I discovered a cheap navigation system that she never figured out how to use, so it’s practically brand new even though it’s about ten years old now.  She has numerous printers for her computer, “because it’s easier to buy a new printer than figure out what is wrong with the other one”.  I also discovered a bin of cables, cords, and wires that she is keeping because she’s not sure what they all belong to.  Most of these things she is afraid to give up.

But my daughter scored pretty well this trip.  Gramma saved an old clarinet in really good shape from when my sister took band class for about three years.  My daughter is also walking away with a never been used 2010 Canon VIXIA HD camcorder.  I have no idea why my mother owned it, however my daughter is super excited about being its new owner.

Sure, there are some memories packed away now in these boxes.  And the sensation of feeling or seeing these items makes you ponder life.  I was a bit upset that my mother saved the strangest things from my childhood instead of the things that mattered most to me.  Perhaps one day my kids will be thinking the same thing about me.  What I save won’t make sense to anyone but me.  

I guess that’s what hoarding is.  Keeping what you want- because one day it will mean something.  At least now I know numerous different ways to tie a silk scarf.

Scooby Doo reference required.

Random Time

My oldest daughter is pretty fantastic.  She decided to join me for a few days away on the island to visit her Gramma.  She feels extra excited because her younger brother nicknamed Gramma’s home “Torture Town with the Dick Boot Monument.”  I’m not saying that is an accurate representation, but…


I mentioned Gold River back in August.  Check out: I’m A Spelunker Now.  Gold River has all the feels of tranquility and peace.  As well it also has nothing to offer.  A teen hanging out with her father and her Gramma doesn’t make for an exciting end to her Spring Break.  Especially since we are here helping Gramma pack her home up.


During the two hour ferry trip and three hour car ride, Random and I talked.  We talked about nothing in particular.  We talked about school.  We talked about tv.  

I bought us some dinner on the ferry and we enjoyed the sunset over the water.  I bought a deck of cards and we played a few games.  It was quality time.  She even kept me alert during the final leg of the drive by playing a word association game with me.  (Nothing like being awake since four am, working a full day, and finishing the drive at midnight.)

I’m looking forward to the next few days with my daughter.  We have started out on the right foot.  I hope this keeps up.  She’s a pretty great human.