Category: Her

Built to Roam

This song came on my iPod today as I was wandering around Victoria – I saw Shakey Graves play this at the Banff Centre a few weeks ago. I’m here for a week for a music festival and then onto Vancouver next week for a business vacation. This is my first venture in search of work and it’s long overdue. I’ve felt that Calgary isn’t the right place for me and I’m in the process of finding my next home. Everyone I’ve talked to has said that they got their job by being in the right place at the right time, and I figure this is putting myself in the right place.

For the time being, Victoria is little vacation and visiting and planning before the big stop of Vancouver. It’s quite weird being back here. Much like every time I return to a place I’ve lived a significant portion of my life, I have an existential crisis about my sense of place. I spent four years here and made a lot of memories with a lot of people. And finally coming back to that – every time I visit or pass these places, I revisit those memories. Some of them I look back on very fondly, some are painful to remember.

This song kinda stuck with me because of the title/chorus “Built to Roam.” As I spent a month and a half earlier this summer wandering through Europe, and now this trip – I wonder if I’m one of those people who is built to roam. And my immediate reaction was that I’m not. I enjoy stability and routine. I do enjoy the idea of travelling and visiting new places and exploring – so when I get to Vancouver where everything is new – maybe I’ll feel better about this all. But for now – I haven’t really enjoyed roaming Victoria.

Victoria is probably going to be the city that I remember most for giving my heart and growing up. I think I learnt a lot about myself and about others while I was here. I look back on my friendships and relationships and know that the people I met were crucial in forming who I am today.

For instance, there’s the CrackDonald’s here that I spent many a drunk night getting french fries. Or the square where I spent last years festival. The bus stop in front of the RBC where I probably spent a good 12 hours cumulatively waiting. Even going to the basement of the music building is weird when you don’t see your old friends sitting at their computers frantically trying to do a theory assignment or write some code. You could probably point to a different building on just about every street and I’d have a memory associated with it and a person.

As always, it’s weird coming back to where you were previously. At the university it feels like everything’s the same except for the cast – everyone else is younger and better looking, and I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser. But I can tell I’ve moved on from here too – coming back doesn’t feel like the home it used to be. So that just means time for bigger and better things!


Here’s hoping!

Four Years

I saw this photo on the tumblr of a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and I’m just getting around to writing about it. It’s part of a bigger series of weird interesting facts about the body, but this one stuck me as the most prominent. (The rest are here if you’re curious – And I feel like this is not only true physically, in terms of all our cells and stuff, but also in terms of who we are as a person and emotionally. We all know we go through different stages in our lives and they happen at different times for different people. But would it be too far of a leap to assume that maybe these changes occur every seven years when all our cells from our “previous self” have finally disappeared?

Seven years ago, I was 14. I was in the 9th grade and was in the middle of maybe my second style cycle. I had ridiculously long hair, thought I was hot shit because I wore pink, played drums in a shitty junior high band and listened to Sum 41 and Blink 182 all day. I had had some random “girlfriends” but not a first kiss, and had played hockey almost all my life. I had dropped out of band class because I had hated it the year before. And I think this was about the time I got my first Facebook page. It was a few years later that my brother graduated and went to Australia, and my parents went to meet him shortly after, leaving me alone on my first week of high school. Getting to band practices in October in Calgary by bus at 6am was not fun.

I'm kind of proud to say that I'm still friends with that guy who I am wrapped around.

If you know me know, I’m sure you’ll hardly believe that that’s what I used to look like. (Aside: Part of me wants to retake this picture when we get back together at Christmas time. Kind of like these ones –

Somewhere in my grade 12 year I went through another shift. I think it a big part of it was during my trip with the high school band. It was during this trip that I discovered the rewards and the hardships of the career path I was slowly beginning down. I got thrown into a huge leadership role and kind of reveled in it. In grade 12 I was also playing and coaching hockey, had a few more girlfriends, had a first kiss, made a Grad Film, played a solo for our entire graduation class + families, and got accepted to my first university of choice. My musical tastes branched out more, I now liked screamo and emo and acoustic and punk and rock. I had almost mostly given up the drums and picked up the guitar and a mixing board. I even made a CD (Granted it’s terrible and I never want to have to hear it again – but those of you with a copy! Hold onto that sucker, you can sell it for millions later). I fought with my parents a lot – mostly about my current (and as I found out later, crazy) girlfriend.

I also cut my hair short for the first time in a while. You can always tell when a guy is ready to move onto the next stage of his life when he cuts his hair short and gets rid of the mop top shaggy teen look. Some guys keep it going out of high school, but it usually gets cut eventually. So far, the 7 year trend isn’t coming true, it seems to be closer to 3 or 4 years for me at least.

Incredibly, these people are still friends with me...

And this is where I’ve kinda plateaued. I haven’t changed much since then. Still super tall and skinny, 6’5″ 150lb, a broomstick some have said. One or two more girlfriends, maybe a bit more experienced. My style hasn’t changed all that much, I’ve grown into my “professional hipster” mentality and have learnt to rock it. University kicked my ass in my first two years, calculus almost killed me. I met one of my best friends and girlfriend here and learned a lot from her. I’ve had the same recording job now for 3 and a half years. I’ve become “that recording guy” in the school of music. Music has become one of the biggest factors in my life. Not only is it becoming my job, but I am always discovering more things about it and more styles that I am enjoying. I breached the 10 000 song mark this summer. I don’t fight with my parents anymore, or my brother – I think the distance was good for us. And I’m almost done my degree. Hopefully two more semesters and that’ll be it.

So now, it’s been 4 years since that last “style shift” in grade 12. Hold on.

It’s been 4 years since high school.

4 years.

That’s kind of gross. Most of my friends now are people I met when I was in high school. I still talk to all those people. I always wanted to be that guy who made all these great friends in University and went to all these parties. I always told myself I wasn’t going to be like my dad and never go out (at least he tells us he never went out – except for the one time he threw up over a bridge into a river – he does like to tell us that story). But I didn’t go out. Well, I didn’t go out A LOT. I mostly stayed in, I was content staying in. Partying was never my thing. I have met some great friends here though. I’ve got some Bro’s who I hope I’ll keep in contact later. And really, that’s what I’m thinking about now. What’s later? What’s next?

I’m almost done my degree.

What am I gonna do after? I’m feeling like that’ll induce another “style shift.”

Where am I going to be in four years? Who am I going to be in four years? Who are you going to be in four years?

(Also – a little more Nicole Byblow for your listening pleasure)

The End (of Summer) is Here!

So I guess it’s about time I stopped whining about writing this and actually got down to writing this.

It’s here. In the last waking hours of the last day of my summer, here I am, on my computer writing this blog in between games of Modern Warfare 2 on PS3, which is something I bought this summer. After playing it lots in my second year, and then finally getting a PS3 for Christmas last year, I’ve actually been able to play again! Still working on my first nuke on my own. I’ve only done it once before and come close multiple times, but no dice as of yet. For those of you who don’t know what MW2 or nukes are, don’t worry this whole blog won’t be about that.

Aside from that, I’ve stayed in Victoria most of the summer, with one short jaunt to Calgary for my Dad’s birthday. I surprised my Mom at her doorstep, and then my Dad downtown for lunch later. My mom cried twice that one day. Thanks to all my friends who made that one happen.

I also applied and didn’t get on a TV show this summer. It was called “Operation Unplugged” and it was basically taking techno-addicted people away from their addiction and seeing how they fared in the wilderness. I had the most viewed video on YouTube (for the audition videos) for a rap I wrote but didn’t get on the show. In the process of trying to show that I was techno-addicted, I started using Twitter a lot more. I went from about 30 followers of mostly friends and random spams to 90+ as of right now. I’m slowly learning how useful it is for networking, especially in my industry. Most producers and a lot of studios are on Twitter. I’ve met one guy who would be willing to give me an internship when I finish my degree and everything. So that’s really cool.

Operation Unplugged Video


I spent all the summer working. With my side job at the Gap and then doing all the recordings that came in through the school. I was basically the go-to guy for recordings this summer. Which led to my promotion as the Interim Audio Manager at the school right now, replacing my current boss for the semester as he takes his parental leave. This summer I worked on; ESL audio tapes, the soundtrack for a play, a guitar quartet, my own covers, and this audition tape. I also did live sound for 2 separate Indian concerts and recorded piano and sax, a piano feature and dual pianos. All in all it was a great summer for me and furthering my experience as a recording engineer.

With that being said, I designed and established which is my website featuring all my work and my portfolio. It links directly with which is strictly my music portfolio. Both sites are currently under construction as I work to improve them and make it one seamless site – hopefully.

So I’m working hard to get my “brand” out there and promote myself. I’ve contacted a few other recording people and through volunteering at festivals like Rifflandia this fall, I hope to network myself more into this industry.

As most of all of you know, Harry Potter came out this summer! As most of you who actually read my blog probably know, I don’t actually like Harry Potter. I never got into the books and thus I was not interested in the movies. Well Girlfriend enjoyed the series and thus we commenced the HP movie marathon of the ages. We eventually watched all of them in preparation for the final installment. I think I enjoyed maybe 2 or 3 of them out of the entire 8. To me, it’ll never match up to Star Wars in terms of an epic saga. I guess it’s up there, but it’s definitely behind LOTR and Star Wars for me. HP7.2 was a satisfactory end to the series and I didn’t care enough to complain or dislike it.


Also in this summer, I bought myself a new computer! It had kind of been a long time coming as my laptop was slowly but surely living out it’s last legs. I bought myself a new 21.5″ iMac and now have quite the Apple collection. I still use my laptop for mobile recordings and Photoshop, but other than that, I’m officially a desktop guy. I think the set-up is pretty sweet. It definitely makes editing a lot easier with my two screens.

Girlfriend went away for the entire month of May, so I didn’t do a whole lot except bum around and work. I actually just went through my facebook page to see if there was anything else worth mentioning.

Some highlights:

  • Shotgunning a beer on the 16th hole of a private golf course
  • The Oak Bay Tea Party with Girlfriend and Kath
  • The Hunger Hush show in Calgary
  • Naniamo with Jordo and Girlfriend
  • Freaks and Geeks Cover –

I think that’s all for now. Not much else that really comes to mind. School starts tomorrow. First day of fourth year. I have the potential to finish this year, it’ll take me 11 classes. 5 first semester, and then 6 the second. And I’ll be taking a Ukrainian elective which will be pretty cool. Got rep’ for my heritage.

Hope you enjoyed this quick wrap up of the summer! Looking forward to much of the same in the fall!


If this gets 3 likes on any social media platforms I will write a post by the end of this week of my top 5 albums/songs/artists of the summer and what I’m looking forward to in the fall in terms of music!


– J

My Internet Life

Well hello there, how are you doing today? Good? Then good.

Hopefully you have seen my video for Operation Unplugged and enjoyed my song. If you’re super duper interested – it can be bought off my bandcamp for $1 CDN. I’m not looking to make a lot of money but I think that’d be cool if SOMEONE out there bought it. Anyways, it’s that video that brings me to writing this blog. Maybe it was that video that brought you here – doubtful, but it’s a possibility. If you want to download the track and help me out – you can go here!

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Looking back on that video – I wish I had made two versions, one with the intro and end bits, and one without. The one without would have just been my rap and that was that. I could show this video to my family and coworkers and stuff that I don’t really want involved in my online presence. Now that I’ve sent out that video to my parents, they’ve sent it to all my family, who are undoubtedly going to stumble upon this. I try quite hard to keep myself anonymous on the internet. I try not to connect my name to any of my accounts – twitter, this blog, etc. I have quite high privacy settings on my Facebook, I am unsearchable to anyone who isn’t a friend. All in all, I just don’t like having my name out there.

But now with this video, I can’t do that anymore. My parents know now I have this blog and a Twitter amongst other things, and not that that’s a bad thing, but these are places I go to write about without having to censor myself or what have you. I try to censor myself on Facebook and Twitter as is – just for professional reasons – you never know who might stumble across that. But this blog in particular is something I like to leave for ranting and raving about my life and what’s going on and what not. Where am I going to go to complain about stuff if I know the people I’m complaining about can read it? Isn’t that defeating the purpose? Do I have to set up another blog or something where I can go to post stuff and neglect this one (more so than I already do)?

In short, no. I am not going to set up anything else to have to censor myself here. Parents, if you’re reading this and don’t like what you read? Tough – don’t come to me about it, if I didn’t bring it up with you to deal with it, then I don’t want to deal with it. That’s that. So I’m going to try and keep this as a safe-haven for me. Seeing as not that many people come here anyways – it shouldn’t be a big deal.

I’m actually really starting to come around to using Twitter a lot more. Since I’ve upped my usage lately, I’ve been in contact with people all over that you wouldn’t normally come in contact with. I asked Matt Good a question one morning, I got a shout out from the host of Operation Unplugged about my video, I’ve contacted two studios in Vancouver, one would give me an internship once I’m done my degree, and the other would give me a tour of their space if I was ever in town. So that’s been really cool.

Anywho, in other news, Girlfriend got home from Europe on Saturday. It’s been quite nice having her around again. Living alone is definitely not something I enjoy too much. Her schedule is still really wonky – this is the first day she hasn’t slept for about 14 hours – so we’re still kind of adjusting. She went to bed at 8 tonight and I’ve been up playing video games and watching YouTube videos and writing this blog. We did have a long day out and about today just hanging out – so that was really nice. I’m gonna be cracking the whip on her a little harder too now that she’s home. Things need to be cleaned and put away in a more timely fashion and I’m just not going to let as much stuff slide as I usually do when she’s got school and stress and what have you. No more Mr.NiceGuy.

I suppose I need to take a photo of myself with my new glasses for here – since I still haven’t done that. I’m actually getting a new new pair sometime this week since the guy who cut my lenses did a terrible job, and the technician at the glasses store said they’d just re-do them entirely for me. So that’s really great, it just takes a while because I have such shitty eyes. I’d like to try my old ones on for a day and actually see if the new ones make a huge difference. Sometimes I wonder if they actually did anything or not. Except my new ones are cut in such a way that switching really gives me a bad headache.

Album art for Little Hell

I was streaming the new City and Colour album Little Hell today from some stream they sent out on a tweet, and I was actually really impressed with what D

allas has put out. I’ve kind of drifted away from C&C since I met him at the AOF meet and greet, but this new album is quite good. I’ve actually pre-ordered it twice – once in a hard-copy and once digitally (with 4 extra tracks) –  I would have preferred just to do the digital, but I ordered the hard copy first. Oh well. I also just started listening to the new Matthew Good album – the few tracks I’ve heard so far are really good! The new Moby has yet to grow on me though…

So with June 1st starting as of right now – the day literally just turned over as I write this – I am going to be starting a 30 day challenge. I got this idea from Phillip Defranco – one of the most famous YouTubers, who I’m subscribed to. The idea is that you set a goal and focus on it for one month. At the end of that month you assess and move on from there. My Project30 is going to be packing a lunch for work. And I know it’s not a big goal or whatever, but I’m really starting to notice a dip in my spending money from buying stuff from the food court every time I go in to work. It’s at least $10 maybe $15 a day. I usually justify it by saying “it’s only one more hour of work” – but really, that’s $50 a week (at least) that I could be saving. I’m going to be trying some new recipe ideas and keep it more interesting than just ham and cheese sandwiches all day. I somehow managed to survive on that everyday in junior/high school, so I think I can do it again. At the beginning of each week – or whenever I have a day off, I’m going to make a whole bunch of sandwiches and have them in the freezer so I can just pull one or two out and bring them to work. I think I might do pasta’s and salads that I can microwave or keep cold too. I’m going to try and keep my progress updated here and do my best to stick to it!

I think that’s enough for one night, if you stuck through til the end of this, here’s that photo I promised! Hurray.