Friday, December 30, 2005
I can't remember what the point of this post was but now that I've gotten the previous update out of the way I can go back to posting random facts :D
Happy New Year's Eve-eve!
Christmas re-cap (since, it’s been that long since I blogged). How was Christmas? Nothing more or less then I expected it to be. We never did get a tree so the gifts were stacked on the hearth…good thing Santa didn’t come, he’d of tripped over them all :P Seth and Robert stuck to their “we don’t have time to shop” line so it was mostly just Mom & Dad, Aaron and I giving gifts. We anticipate that the boys will be shopping this weekend while they are on the island. That’s part of the reason I haven’t blogged any of this yet. Christmas is kind of in limbo and not really over yet…I think…I hope… ;)
Anyways, Aaron loved the knit touque and leather cuff I bought him. He say’s he feels a bit like a gangster (I prefer the term ‘rocker’ ;)) but I notice he hasn’t taken them off. I also got the anticipated response from Seth and Robert, towards Aaron’s gift. Total and utter disgust :D That’s what I was going for :P Seth really liked the ring that I picked up for him in Stanley Park and I went in with Mom and Dad for a bathrobe for Robert. He *loved* it. Even wore it into Vancouver later in the day ::rolleyes::
As for me, Aaron got me a really nice pair of leather gloves. Robert got me a pair a few years ago but I lost the left one :huh: I had to exchange the ones Aaron got for a half size bigger but they are beautiful and fit well.
I told Mom that I wanted the new Garth Brooks boxed set from Wal-Mart. Apparently others did too because it’s sold out. :P She gave me the cash towards it instead. I took that cash, and instead of waiting for Garth to come back into stock, went to Future Shop and invested in the George Strait boxed set! This one came out in 1995 and is more then twice the price. I *really* wanted it but I seriously doubted I’d ever get it simply because of the price. I already have half the songs on other disks (namely “50 1’s”) but there are other exclusive tracks, like his duet with Frank Sinatra, “Fly Me to the Moon”, that are ONLY available in the set. Plus it comes with a great booklet outlining his career up to 1995. I am soooo excited to actually own this. So far I’ve kept it in the box and I keep cycling through the cd’s. Some of my favorite tracks? “Fly Me to the Moon” of course, “80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper”, “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, “Drinking Champagne”. “Blame it On Mexico” and “Marina Del Rey”.
Back to Christmas. After a yummy lunch and a much spread out gift opening session, we headed into Vancouver to the Imax at Canada Place. There we saw “The Polar Express” in 3D. It was very cool. We were pretty close to the screen since we got there a bit late but it made the effects that much more impressive. I’m not familiar with the Polar Express story (which Mom keeps calling the Polar BEAR express) so I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed it though. Really makes you want to be sure you hear the bell ring :)
Anyways, that’s about it. Like I said, the boys are on the island this week but they should be back any day. I’ve been reading a lot, re-arranging stuff in my bedroom, and playing Scrabble with Mom daily. Oh, and Tuesday I went out to Deb’s. Finished my swaps and worked a bit more on my SS Friends, PA edition book. Thursday it took me a few hours to get organized but I managed to get NINE packages in the mail, including swaps, RAKS, and cards. That was a HUGE load off my chest. Plus I finally called and cancelled my merchant Visa account…It’s about time right? Only four months late :P
Today I’m going to help Leah decorate for her wedding. We’ve got the reception hall and the church to do. The rehersal is at 6 tonight and the wedding is tomorrow at two.
Oh, and I *almost* had a space of time where I didn’t know anyone who was getting married (this hasn’t happened since 1998). Apparently my cousin Ryan is engaged though. No date, but they are engaged. Ah, so close :D
Okay, I’ll wrap it up with that. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has an awesome New Year planned.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Merry Christmas to ALL my friends :)
God bless you,
Merry Christmas Strait To You
It's christmas time
I see the lines of people everywhere
Tryin' to pick out the gifts
That show how much they care
It makes me wish that I could see my friends
On christmas day
And fill my list with lots of gifts
But I can only say
Here comes a merry chritmas strait to you
I hope it cheers you up when you are down and feelin' blue
Right or wrong I'll sing my song
And you will know just who
Sings a merry christmas strait to you
There's lot of ways to share the days
Of christmas with your friends
A christmas card, a tree that stars
And gifts that make you grin
I'd like to share this song with everyone who came our way
Without a doubt the fires not out
It burns for you today
Here comes a merry christmas
And to all who might of missed us
A very merry christmas strait to you
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Merry Christmas Eve :)
Merry Christmas my friends!!!
Christmas like a lullaby steals across the land
A breeze upon the waters, rainfall on the sand
We celebrate a baby born from spirit into man
And christmas like a lullaby steals across the land
It's morning in australia; in fact it's christmas day
And colorado never seemed so very far away
Back where night has fallen and it's still christmas eve
And snow is in the mountains that i always hate to leave
But here i am down under with a brand new family
Christmas bells are ringing
There's presents 'neath the tree
I know that it's been said before and now i know it's true
That home is where the heart is
And christmas lives there too
And on this morning peace on earth
Is still your fervent prayer
And i can feel it being
Whispered softly everywhere
And guns are are called to silence
And anger called to still
And brotherhood and sisterhood
Surrounded by goodwill
Christmas like a lullaby steals across the land
A breeze upon the waters, rainfall on the sand
We celebrate a baby born from spirit into man
And christmas like a lullaby steals across the land
Words and music by john denver
Friday, December 23, 2005
I also saw a zillion name brands that I have never ever heard of. I was never a "popular" kid in highschool but at least I recognized the logos. Now they are all totally foreign :P
Oh well, one brother down, 1.5 to go :D
Thursday, December 22, 2005
This is my public statement on this topic :D If you enjoy it, good for you. I just don't :P
~Heidi...who much prefers the "normal murder" on CSI :P
1. A marketing guru
2. An entertainer
3. An artist/musician
In that order. I like Garth. I really do, but for him, it's not about the music. It's about the phenomenon this is "Garth" That's why I liked and agree with the following article.
Who’ll Buy These Memories?
Garth’s back, milking the same cash cow
by Michael McCall
The Limited Series (Pearl/Wal-Mart) After five years of retirement, Garth Brooks’ return so far has centered attention exactly where it was when he left: on his career rather than on his music.
In the build-up to the release of the new box set Garth Brooks: The Limited Series, nearly every story and every conversation concerned the entertainer’s business dealings. He signed a deal with Wal-Mart, the first popular music star to release work through a retailer rather than through a conventional record company. He announced he would put out a six-disc collection of old and new music for the budget price of $25. He marked the introduction of a bronze statue in his image by proposing to singer Trisha Yearwood, with whom he’d been living for more than three years, then married her just after his new box set hit the market.
So once again, people are talking about his brilliance as a businessman, about how smart he is at marketing himself and at figuring out ways to get himself news coverage to advance his career. That’s just where Brooks left us in 2001—talking about how Garth did business, what he’d done to his record label and how he’d turned himself into the most successful marketing juggernaut in modern music.
Back then, Brooks focused on the numbers, the sales and the crowds. Then as now, those numbers sometimes get disputed. Did he really sell more albums than the Beatles and Elvis Presley, or is there a big difference in how sales are computed now? Did he really draw 900,000 people to Central Park, as he said from the stage, or was the police estimate of 250,000 more accurate?
With his new album, Brooks’ numbers again are sparking controversy. Wal-Mart announced that the box set broke all previous sales records when it was released Nov. 23, and that it went platinum with sales of more than 1 million copies within two weeks.
Only, there’s no legitimate way to verify the sales. Wal-Mart usually reports its sales figures to SoundScan, a company that provides a hard count of retail record sales. Before SoundScan, record sales were tracked by orders and shipments, not by over-the-counter purchases. With Brooks’ album, Wal-Mart decided not to report its figures to SoundScan. Instead, the company just wants to tell people how much it sold, without independent numbers to support its claims, which is a lot like trusting a politician to count his or her own votes.
So where’s the music in all this? Well, as fans know, this is the second Garth box called The Limited Series. Some likely will also notice that, like the first set, this one takes full duplicates of original CDs and resells them with new music that can only be bought as part of the new collection. At first glance, $25 might seem a bargain for six CDs. But when four of those discs—Sevens, Scarecrow and the two-CD Double Live—are available for a buck or two apiece on eBay, it looks like much less of a good deal.
That leaves a new DVD called All Access, 45 minutes of live clips culled from past videos and TV specials with Brooks introducing each song, and a CD called The Lost Session. The latter is described as demos and recordings that didn’t make previous albums, even though it’s clear that several of the songs were written and recorded during the last year.
In other words, what fans get after Garth’s five-year absence is a repackaging of his most recent recordings, sans the Chris Gaines disc; a sampling of previously available live video clips; and 11 previously unheard songs, most of them deemed not good enough for earlier collections. Don’t call it a comeback; call it a fancy form of recycling that’ll make a retired superstar, by his own math, a good percentage of $25 million and counting.
So, again, where’s the music in all this? Basically, the new tunes tell us what we already knew: that country music’s biggest name sounds best at his most stripped-down and basic. For Brooks, that means romantic campfire songs about cowboys and cowgirls getting the job done and understanding that the meaning of life involves hard work and good love. And it also means rowdy honky-tonk rockers about cowboys and cowgirls who understand that the meaning of life involves, um, taking the bull by the horns and riding it for all it’s worth. The quality of all Garth’s albums depends on how consistently he stays within the rodeo ring. He loses strength—and relevance—just about every time he takes on melodic pop tunes, grand issues or save-the-world ballads.
So when he toasts the virtues of what makes a good ranch hand, or when he celebrates the life of his late friend, the singer and rodeo champion Chris LeDoux, he flashes all the playful believability and chest-beating energy that originally connected with so many millions. At his best, Brooks represents the wildness and the proficiency of Western life, and playing the mythology of that lifestyle for all it’s worth has always won him fans.
He also does a good job on the mid-tempo philosophizing of “I’d Rather Have Nothing,” though the idea of a man who doesn’t care about material possessions might be hard to buy from a guy who just built a house that looks like an Okie version of Buckingham Palace.
True to form, Brooks overreaches on some of the album’s other “new” material. On the ballad “For a Minute There,” he tries to sell a predictable message by overdramatizing its heart-tugging storyline. He fares even worse with the arch sincerity of the amber-waves-of-grain imagery in “American Dream,” which would get laughed out of most Music Row song seminars.
Mostly, Brooks offers little indication of where he’s headed in the future because, for now, this cowboy isn’t done milking an old, though still fertile, cow.
That said, I still intend to get the new Limited Series. In Canada, "Double Live" goes for $33.50 on it's own. Plus I don't have "Scarecrow" or "Sevens". That makes it worth the $28.50 I'll put out. For *me* it is a good deal. For his loyal fans it's just a marketing ploy to get them to buy old material. But, all's fair in love and business right?
I've got my alarm set so that it goes off during a song instead of during talking...that makes a big difference.
Tis also the season where all the radio stations are advertising their "continous christmas songs" on Christmas Eve/Day. JRfm's "Christmas DJ" is Jacqueline Frost. Original eh? :rolleyes:
Merry Christmas everyone!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Here's the official word:
Dierks Bentley Elopes to Mexico
Singer Weds His High School Sweetheart
By: Hazel Smith
Dierks Bentley's roomie, Jake the dog, is going to have to move over. The highly eligible bachelor eloped to Mexico over last weekend (Dec. 17 and 18), sources in Nashville confirmed. He and his longtime girlfriend, Cassidy, spent the weekend at an undisclosed location in Mexico where they were wed. Natives of Phoenix, Ariz., Cassidy and Dierks were high school sweethearts.
After the wedding, the couple returned to Nashville where they had dinner with Make-a-Wish Foundation staffers. Dierks confessed to close friends that his mom was a bit sad that she didn't get to see him get married, but he said she is OK now. A couple of years ago, Dierks traveled alone to Mexico and found a spot he loved. He made the decision then that if he ever got married, that would be the place. Dierks and his family and Cassidy and her family will travel to Colorado where they will spend the holidays together.
He will travel to the United Kingdom in January for three shows which are a part of the Country Music Association's New From Nashville concert series. The concerts take place Jan. 16 in Dublin, Jan. 17 in Glasgow and Jan. 19 in London. The Glasgow date is part of Celtic Connections 2006, a music festival taking place Jan. 11-29. Bentley was presented the Horizon Award at the recent CMA Awards show in New York.
Here's a picture of the happy couple, taken in April 2005:
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I dread actually PRINTING them!
Did you know that Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC is bigger then Central Park in New York City? Not by much but it is. Stanley Park is 1,000 acres and Central Park is 843. Both are huge and beautiful (I assume...I've never been to New York).
Monday, December 19, 2005
"Cracked windshield, that I super-glued, Cumpled-up cans and a beat up bag of Red Man chew, Fix-a-Flat, Johnny Cash box set, Half a dozen parking tickets that I ain't paid yet, And sittin' on that cloth bench seat, I got my shotgun girl ridin' next to me"
Hey, it actually sounds like my previous post! Anyways, about half way through the song she asked me "What made you start listening to this type of music anyways?" Good question! (and an appropriate place to start my first blog post specifically about country music). In grade 11 I stopped caring about what other people thought about the music I listened to and the things I "liked". I found that I could concentrate on my homework best if I was listening to either classical or country. My uncle and cousins (from Alberta) all listened to it and I had some exposure through them. Mostly it was just from listening to the radio and deciding I liked what I heard. I remember writing down the chorus from George Strait's "Love Without End, Amen" I loved the fact that his son was born in "the spring of '81" (I was born in the summer of '81) and I thought the lyrics were so clever. That's probably where my love of country music got started.
Like Trace Adkins says. They are "Songs About Me". I love what country music represents as an industry and what most of the artists stand for. Plus, there's the whole cowboy thing which is another post entirely ;)
When I got my car in 2002 it came with a CD player (my first). The first CD's I bought were Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits. I've been building my CD collection ever since. I prefer male voices over female and I like the "traditional" country sound.
Currently my top five favourite artists are: George Strait, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson. So far I've seen George and Dierks in concert and I'm going to see Brad on January 18th.
Yup. I'm a country music fan :)
12 used napkins
11 loose cd's
10 packs of ketchup
9 Subway coupons
8 brochures/guide books
7 empty water bottles
6 bits of flotsam
5 Starbucks straws!
4 dead french fries
3 hershey kisses
2 cans of fruit
1 plastic fork
Sad huh? In my defence I haven't cleaned it since my road trip with Veronica. That's where a lot of it came from...though it wasn't "clean" before we left either :P
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Today I took my best friend to the airport and sent her back to Australia :) We had a great time while she was here, doing power layouts, watching movies, and going into Vancouver a few times. Most recently was yesterday with her parents. First we went to her great aunts for a birthday lunch for her grandma and then killed some time at the pier in White Rock and then to the Macaroni Grill for a YUMMY dinner. We finished the evening with the Arts Club production of "Beauty & the Beast" at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage on Granville St. It was an awesome play. I wasn't totally sure what to expect because they stated that it was a "Fairytale Musical with a Disney Flair". The music was by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. So, most of my favourite songs from the Disney movie plus a few more for the stage production. Because it didn't (and couldn't) follow the movie exactly I was always guessing as to what was coming next. I thoroughly enjoyed it though.
Beauty & the Beast has always been my favourite Disney movie. I can identify so much with Belle. First off, she's brunette, most of the Disney heroines are blonde. Second she loves books just like me. Third she's a dreamer and fourth everyone thinks she's kind of odd...again like me.
My favourite character in the play was Gaston. The actor was really into his part and made everyone laugh out loud. Well done :)
Right now I'm off to scrapbook. I haven't had a chance to sit down for serious scrapbooking since the crop at Deb's. I am way overdue.
Merry Christmas Everyone,
Friday, December 16, 2005
Last night I stayed over at my friend Jenna's house. This morning we went to the JRfm Basics for Babies Breakfast in Surrey. Basics for Babies is the charity that New Country 93.7 JRfm supports. The breakfast is a wrap up of the seasonal donation drive. All it costs to get in is a donation to BfB. In my case, a few boxes of pablum. They have continental breakfast available, a very cool silent auction and live entertainment. We arrived around 6:30 am, just after Rick and Elmer Tippe finished thier set. As we were coming in from the parkade I saw Derric Ruttan sitting in the lobby. He was on his cell phone so I didn't interrupt him but I wanted to!!! LOL
Instead Jenna and I looked at the silent auction items (caressed the autographed pictures of Dierks Bentley ;)) and got some breakfast. Derric came on stage around 7am. For those of you who don't know who Derric Ruttan is, shame on you. LOL. Just kidding. Derric is a very talented singer/songwriter originally from Ontario but living in Nashville. He was nominated for Canadian Country Music Associations Male Artist of the Year. The songs he has co-written include Dierks Bentley's smash hits "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" and "What Was I Thinking" as well as hits for Paul Brandt, Aaron Prichett and himself of course. Today he sang "When You Come Around", "Shine" and "Love Did", his current single with a Christmas themed video that's just been released to CMT. Plus he lead a very fun impromptu christmas sing along during the commercial break.
After his "set" I was able to go up and meet him, get my picture taken and get his autograph. I really respect him as a songwriter especially, and I told him that. He is also a *really* nice guy :)
Next up to preform was Aaron Lines. Aaron is a 27 year old singer/songwriter from Fort McMurray, Alberta. I've watched his career ever since he started and I love his music. His latest song "Lights of My Hometown" is one that I keep telling Bella about. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta and even though I moved to BC soon after I went back every summer (and sometimes more often) and I can relate to the both the praries and the coming home theme in this song. Aaron sang Lights, "Waitin' on the Wonderful" and an awesome version of "Bella Wood". Of course afterwards I met him, got my picture taken and an autograph and chatted a bit about Alberta, Bella and how she wants to come "home" and how he relates.
It was awesome to meet both of these very talented entertainers in such an intimate setting. Basics for Babies is a great cause. Watch for me there next year!
My general manager called an emergency meeting today at lunch. Seems he's met with our funders and they have chosen to not extend our contract past March 3, 2006. My immediate thoughts?
"OMFSM, this is what I get for digging such a deep hole of debt. No job. How am I going to cope?"
"Hello? Heidi? You knew this was a possibility. You aren't actually surprised are you?"
"Hmmm...this could be my chance to move on with my life!!!"
"Christmas is next week. Why now??? My family is DEFINITELY not getting gifts this year."
"God bless Jenna for *giving* me my ticket to the Brad Paisley concert. Knowing I don't have to pay her back is SUCH a huge load off my shoulders"
"Wow. No job. I've joked about this for years. Now it's a reality."
And on and on.
As you can see I'm not shocked, I'm not heart broken and I'm definitely not freaking out...at this point. Anyone who knows me knows that I have been...shall we say...unsatisfied? With my job of late. "Job" is a broad term though. I like what I DO (administrative support) I just don't get fired up about WHY I do it and the services we (as an organization) provide (employment services in the non profit sector). I've talked and thought about moving on for a long time. This could just be the kick in the pants that makes it happen.
So, my boss finishes telling the group that we have 10 weeks of work left and then he calls me into his office. <
Something tells me this was a GREAT time to start a blog!!!
Thanks to my oh-so-original-blog-addy...and my comment on V's blog. Now people KNOW I have a blog. That means I have to post to it :O
I don't know, I think I might like this. It's just a matter of figuring out where to start!!!
I guess we can start with a big WELCOME to everyone who has "found" me. Hopefully this will be worth checking out! I've resisted starting a blog for such a long time but I am ready now...I think.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I'll start with the title. Quite possibly my three favourite things in the world. Coffee, specifically Starbucks...which doesn't start with a "C". My country, Canada and country music. Actually country music should come first but but the "music" needed to be at the end. :P
This will (like most blogs) be a place for my random musings. A place where I can talk about things that are important to me that most people probably don't care about.
So, here goes nothing!