Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy New Year

What did you say, Dearest Friends?
It's almost February?? Gadzooks! How did that happen?? Oh well, I suppose it's not yet too late to extend you my heartfelt wishes for a faaabulous 2010, one full of everything that your wonderful hearts desire and that your beautiful souls need.

Truth be told, most of my January was spent confusing my internal clock by slinging myself from timezone to timezone. Indeed, as I type these words I'm going fast, 500 miles per hour, some 38,000 feet in the air over deepest, darkest Saskatchewan. Dearest Mentok, can you see me waving? No?? Oh well, I'd best shut the door before the stewardess gets mad. Only more two hours till glorious Vancouver...

Anyway, back to the New Year. Last year, contrary to my longstanding practice, I made some resolutions, and it would therefore only be right and proper for me to have a look see how I did vis-a-vis my intentions. So, let's have a reckoning, shall we?? And then I might even set some for 2010...


Actually, this one I met spectacularly well, if you will allow me to crow, Dearest Friends. I started training with trepidation early in the year, and in the space of four months I went from a wheezing sack of lard unable to run more than two minutes without respiratory, cardiac, and muscular arrest to a somewhat less lardy sack that ran the ten-kilometre Vancouver Sun Run in about 1 hour and 11 minutes. On top of that, I have developed a fairly hardcore addiction to running. Mind you, it has been enabled by the fact that I can run gorgeous routes along Vancouver’s stunning shorelines. That said, I have even set out on the gritty, grotty, grim streets of Toronto, so I suppose I am truly infected with the sickness.

At the same time I was getting hooked, I was following the trials of my aforementioned Dearest Friend, Mentok of Saskatchewan. He had embarked on the South Beach Diet and appeared to be meeting with remarkable success in shedding pounds. While the running was getting me fitter and had resulted in some de-larding, I still felt I could do better. Now I have always been a diet sceptic, but I was particularly intrigued since Mentok is an eminently reasonable chap, not given to flibbertigibbety flights of faddy fancy. So after consulting with him, I embarked on the same path. I shan’t go into the mechanics, Dearest Friends, but it worked. I stand before you some 55 lbs, three trouser sizes, and 1.5 collar inches less of a man than I was a year ago. My whole eating software has been rewritten and I feel great. Never better, in fact. At least physically…


Oh my, total fail on this one. The gee-tarr is still sitting in the corner, untouched, silently gathering dust. But this Christmas Dearest Father-In-Law gave me an amp and a wah-wah pedal to go with it. So this may very well be the year that I do it. In fact, why don’t I make it my first resolution of 2010??


Erm, another fail, methinks. Somehow 2009 seemed to largely pass me by. Yes, I realize that dabbling in music bloggery can make one unhealthily worried about keeping up with the musical internet Joneses, but I do feel I missed out on shedloads of good stuff. This year I’ll pay more attention. Promise. Another one back on the list...


Oh dear, didn’t do too well on this one either. Yes, I did volunteer for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival again, and I did work my patootie off during the fest weekend. However, it was in exchange for the major perks of seeing loads of grand music and chatting with the sweet Basia Bulat. Hardly world-saving, is it?? Sigh, must try harder.


Ah yes, this was the tough one. Facing a demon that, quite literally, for years caused my knees to go weak, my sweat to flow, and my guts to turn to water. For a while it looked like I wouldn’t be able to do it. I was too scared of my own failings. Then something happened that brought me right to the door of Room 101, so I seized the doorknob, twisted it, and went in. It was a stressful couple of weeks in there. Migrane-inducing stressful. Dearest Wife, Darling Daughter, and Little Man endured a crabby, cranky FiL. But I did it.

And it was OK. Yay.

On balance, then, two abso-fucking-lute successes, one miserable fail, and two not-quite-so-abject failiures. So the list for 2010 is gonna look pretty familiar:

  1. Learn how to play the electric guitar. In a punk rawk stylee. Nuff said.

  2. Volunteer. For something other than the Folk Festival. Also ‘nuff said.

  3. Tell more stories. This blog was started in large part as an outlet for me to tell my stories, to write them up on a virtual bathroom wall for y’all to see. Last year, despite some very obvious highs, life unfolded such that my stories got all bottled up inside. And they’re sitting there uncomfortably, needing to come out…

  4. More music.

Let me stop there, Dearest Friends. Oh, I could list more: be a good father/spouse/son, become authentic, etcetera. But in keeping with true corporate management indoctrination, let’s keep those goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Right, let me get cracking on resolution #4:

Buzzcocks - Promises (buy here)
I hereby promise to keep my resolutions. If I don't, you can roger me sideways with a dead ferret.

The Idyllists - Let's Fly Away (buy the new album here or e-here)
I discovered these lads in my e-mail inbox, all thirsty and hungry as they'd been sitting there for several weeks. The least I thought I could do was give them a listen, and I'm glad I did, as they are a warm & bright pop tonic for the winter months. California goodness mixed with solid Brit sensibilities, with a dash of retro nostalgia for good (great?) measure.

Nothing People - Enemy With An Invitation (buy here)
Oh wow, this is grand - all stark and sweeping and relentless and loud with a burst of the old feedy-backy right at the end. Like an army of those wind-up Japanese tin robots. Only speaking English.