Variations in Music

I was driving home tonight listening to Sirius XM Holiday Traditions. Usually some classic Christmas melodies and songs are played that everyone has heard at some point. These are calm and soothing as I drive home from work.

I was pleasantly surprised when an instrumental rendition of “My Favorite Things” was played. The biggest difference from the original song (and most music on this station) was that it was up beat and cantina sounding. It got me grooving and wanting to race home. The song must’ve been really good because the main part of the instrumental is still in my head. And I’m bobbing around humming it.

I enjoy when artists take an original piece and add their own colour to it. It shows off their talents out loud. These are a few of my favorite things

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364

364 days.

I have been a Trainmaster now for nearly one year. December 12,2016 I decided to “Change It Up“. Today is the last day that I can decide to return to the union and keep my seniority.

I took on the management role to challenge myself. For the most part, I’ve successfully navigated through the hurdles that I have set for myself. I’ve even taken on challenges put forth to me from my supervisors. But, over the past few days, work has been really stressful and busy; making me re-think my decision.

Going from union to manager was not without it’s difficulties. Most of my former coworkers accepted my decision without much animosity. There was a few moments of me having to exert my position as their supervisor, but that was fairly rare. The workload increased in some ways and decreased in others. I work 12 hour days now instead of 8, but I generally get a three day weekend every week.

Even though these past few days have been a rough ride, I won’t be returning to the union. I still respect those who I have worked with for nearly ten years and it was reciprocated as I took on my new role. I think the job I’m in now suits me better. I face mental challenges with a feeling of accomplishment nearly every shift. I have even made new friends with fellow managers and have had more of a social life than I did for the first while in my career.

I want to thank everyone again for the help and support as I took on this role. You’ve all been fantastic. Only one day left: Tomorrow is day 365.

The first day of the rest of my career.

Early To Bed

I’m coming off five weeks of night shifts. My body and brain haven’t adjusted yet. It’s only been two days so far, but it feels like I never sleep. I barley saw my own kids while on nights, now I’m going to bed early.

I’ve found it difficult this time for the change over. It also doesn’t help I’m working in a location I haven’t spent much time in over the past year. Lots of changes and my brain is back in full gear trying to keep me going. It’s mentally exhausting.

Unfortunately my children haven’t seen me much lately. So my time at home is very precious as well. Tonight, my son decided that he needed to showcase his talents on violin and trumpet. He came into my bedroom with his trumpet as I crawled into bed. I think it must be revenge for something.

But I love that he wanted to share what he’s learned so far in school. It was also easier to let him play his piece than argue for ten minutes.

Now it’s time for me to go to sleep. Fresh trumpet sounds echoed on my mind.

Living: Rearranged

Christmas decorations have taken over our home and I love it. As the years have gone by, more decorations have been acquired. Nicer decorations to be precise. Many which I have made in order to create a flow throughout our home.

This year my wife has been heavily involved in decorating for the holiday season. Usually she is too overwhelmed with her business to help me out. So she just shows up in the home and accepts how I decorated. Which has been great since we both have similar tastes and ideas. Over the past couple of days, she has added her own personal touch. Which has also brought on the idea of rearranging our main floor layout.

Our piano has moved into our old dining room now. This is where it once was when we first purchased it. But when we redid the floors and took out the old breakfast nook- it moved to that location.

2016 Christmas What happened to our dining room table you ask? Funny story- it’s now in the family room near the fireplace. Which is going to be super cozy for our dinners this month. Hold on Josef! The couch isn’t there anymore. That’s right. The couch is now where the piano once was.

Basically we recycled our home into a new formation. Since we won’t be selling any time soon, and we really don’t want to spend a fortune on new furniture or renovations for the main floor, this was our best option. I really like the idea of our sun room (ex-dining room) becoming a music room. As well as the family room becoming the dining room. I’m just not sold on where the couch is. I figure I’ll give it a month and see how it goes.

Maybe for Christmas we can get more bean bag chairs instead so that I can continue to Be too comfortable.

Screaming Children

It’s that time of year again. Parents dragging little kids on errands against their wishes. Kids being taken to Christmas choir nights, or sports events for older siblings, even shopping lately means more families in the stores. These children, when unsatisfied, tend to express their displeasure with nothing more than a scream. A perpetual going-to-run-out-of-breath-at-some-point scream.

And it sucks.

It sucks for the parents. It sucks for the people around, it also sucks for the child. The child who really didn’t want to be there in the first place. Shushing starts, then bribes, usually a phone is handed off, and on the rare occasion- the parent takes the child away. Perhaps to punish the child, but more often than not to give in to the demands of a screaming toddler.

I feel for parents during these moments. I spent five years working at Chuck E. Cheese’s and saw it all. There’s no easy way to deal with it. The tantrums are like a storm that you just need to ride out.

I’m happy that my children are past the age of just screaming. (Although, it was rare that they would even do it.) I now just need them to stop raising their voices in anger at one another. Ugh. So much drama now.

Any advice besides locking them away? They seem to enjoy that “punishment”.

My Wife is Having a Birthday!

Today is my wife’s birthday. She is now — years old. I am not at liberty to say her age…

Here are some of the things she like as well as some wonderful things I have learned about her over the years.

  • She is as nerdy as I am.
  • She is a lot of fun once she lets you be her friend.
  • She loves anime.
  • She is a fan of “Battlestar Galactica” both new and old.

  • Her favorite place is California, specifically- Disneyland.
  • She is a wonderful and caring mother.

  • She loves to travel and wants to do more trips that take us out of our comfort zone.
  • She prefers dogs over cats.
  • She is amazing at cooking and baking.

  • Her sense of humor is borderline sadistic.(mostly towards me)
  • She loves “dry humping” my backside- especially when I’m trying to sleep.
  • She loves to sing made up lyrics.
  • One of her favorite films is “The Sound Of Music”.

Lee-Anne is one of the most spectacular people I have ever met. I’m happy that she’s a big part of my life and that I get to celebrate her birthdays with her.

Happy Birthday Lover!

Holiday Music

I love this time of year. The music is all the same everywhere you go. Carols and Christmas songs pumped through the airways. In the stores, on the radio, even loudly through my home.

I love it all- from The Chipmunks to Barbra Streisand; Elvis to N’Sync… classical music to progressive rock. If it’s Christmasy or winter filled- my emotions get hyped.

Yes, playing Christmas music on November 1st is allowed. I need my two months of music. These are songs I’ve heard over the years numerous times. I could recite and sing along to them. Except maybe with “The Vienna Boys Choir” according to my wife… but it’s so much fun to attempt.

May the joy of music fill your homes and hearts this holiday season as it does mine!

Scream Real Loud

It’s the little things in life that bring me joy unexpectedly. Like this morning when I got a Facebook notification:

Ahhhhhhhh!

So much fun to have one of my childhood idols do something as simple as click an icon for me.

The rest of my day couldn’t bring me down. Thank you Mr. Herman. lol

Go Karts

Last night was our management Christmas Party. We started with a regular meeting at work followed up with an evening of Go Karts. I haven’t driven a Go Kart in close to 15 years. Of which, I have driven real Go Karts only about three times in my life.

Most of my Kart skills are from Mario Kart. Which started back in 1992 with Super Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo. I have owned at some point in my life, nearly every Mario Kart game. I have spent hours and hours memorizing the courses. The biggest problem I face when racing now is my family.

They beat me.

Constantly.

It’s almost at a point where I don’t like racing them. But I still enjoy the quality time I get to spend with them. Plus no one usually gets injured.

Last night at Go Karts, I got hit pretty bad. I was cutting through a corner and got nailed by another driver. The result is a huge bruise that is causing some intense pain on my outer ribs. I’m not having any problems breathing, so my ribs should be ok. Last night was pretty fierce and competitive. If we do this again as a team building, I’ll gladly go and watch from the sidelines.

But in the meantime I think I’ll just stick to losing in the comfort of my living room with the sounds of cackles and insults from my children.

Say Hello. It’s Ok.

There was a time in my life that I would’ve ignored talking with old friends if I met them in public. But something has changed in the past little while for me.

Maybe I was an awful person for it. But it was usually that my life was so busy that I really didn’t want to make time for small talk. It was hard when every waking moment was filled with kids, work, Conventions, and just running around doing errands. No time for idle chitchat!

Now I want to see my old friends. I’m always excited to hear about how their lives have changed over the years. No matter how long it’s been.

Last week I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in person for 30 years. But we picked up where we left off. Talking old times in elementary school and how our lives have moved forward.

Last night I ran into two other friends at the store while shopping. I paused with each of them and talked. Smiles, handshakes and hugs were shared. I forget how much we had impacted each other in the past.

These brief encounters make me happy. Life is getting shorter as I’m getting older. It’s already begun where I’ve lost old friends from this planet. I better take the time to say “Hi” because you never know when I won’t be able to again.