Category: Parents

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)

Preschoolers Preparing for Harvard?

Ivy League logo

Image via Wikipedia

Article from the Globe and Mail. If this bitch gets away with it, I will lose hope in humanity….

Is it play time or Harvard prep? A New York mom is suing her daughter’s preschool, claiming that the place was no more than a “big playground’ teaching mere shapes and colours and therefore damaging her kid’s educational future.

In court papers, Nicole Imprescia suggests York Avenue Preschool jeopardized her daughter Lucia’s chances of getting into an elite private school or, one day, the Ivy League, according to the Daily News. Mom is demanding a refund of the $19,000 (U.S.) tuition and class-action status for other toddlers who weren’t properly prepped for the standardized test that fancy elementary schools use to judge children.

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“This is about a theft where a business advertises as one thing and is actually another,” said Mathew Paulose, a lawyer for the outraged mom.

“They’re nabbing $19,000 and making a run for it.”

The case raises a number of issues. Most educators will agree that shapes, colours and playgrounds are, actually, the kind of education the under-5 set need and thrive in. And though $19,000 sounds like a lot of money, that figure’s not far off what many Canadian parents of children are paying for daycare. Most alarming, then, is the promise of grooming for tests that set the trajectory of a young life. On this point, even Harvard alumni are dismayed at the news.

Under a news story on the case at The Harvard Crimson, Sandy comments: “Unbelievable. I went to Harvard. I didn’t even go to preschool. Instead, I played with friends and somehow made it through kindergarten and beyond. This woman – actually, the entire culture she represents – is nuts.

Finally, going to Harvard is no guarantee of anything. There are as many jackasses per capita in Harvard as out.”

Cótes des Neiges (Snow Hill)

So school is in full swing again, and unfortunately this blog has taken a toll because of it. I have a few extra minutes tonight, so I feel like writing something. I’ve got a whole bunch of other random stuff and thoughts I’m gonna write down sometime, it’s just a matter of laziness.

The start of my third year has kind of come in as a whimper versus a bang. My schedule is very forgiving this semester, I only really have class on Monday and Thursday. Tuesdays has one class @ 7pm, and Fridays are off. So it’s pretty good. Again due to the program, I’m taking a mismash of courses, including the Art and Architecture of Ancient Greece. So hopefully things will be good as the year progresses.

Luckily, Girlfriend and I have still managed to maintain seeing each other fairly often. You’d think more often than we do, given we live in the same house. I am surprised how well the living situation is going. Being roommates is great, we usually have breakfast together and then do something in the night together, so it’s nice. The owners of the house are great and the cat loves me. Which is nice. Unfortunately my parents are under the assumption that Girlfriend and I share everything (food wise) and thus they have stopped pitching in for my food bill. I suppose this is fair, but hopefully when they come at the end of September, they will see how little we actually share, and have a change of heart. (Doubtful – but here’s to wishful thinking)

$500 Music Box

In other news, I’m spending too much money lately! I’m in the process of purchasing an Mbox Pro2 (pictured below) for $500. Which is a steal of a deal considering you generally pay $1200+ for it. It’s great because I can use it to record, I can plug in my other box into it, and I get access to the most used software in the business.

You see! Digidesign, the company who makes the Mbox, has also produced a program called ProTools which has become the industry standard. Well, Digi has also made it so that you can’t use ProTools unless you’re hooked up to an Mbox. So this is not cool. Thus I am buying one.

Secondly, I just bought VIP tickets to the Alexisonfire show that will be happening here in November. This means I get: a ticket &

  • meet & greet
  • tour poster
  • exclusive laminate
  • 7″ (DEMOS from OC/YC….super limited)
  • early entry into venue
Did anyone else notice they're almost all wearing dress shoes?

The guys I'll be meeting

Most importantly on this list is the meet & greet. Alexisonfire has grown to be one of my favourite bands, and having the opportunity to talk to them is going to be awesome. I’m already thinking up questions to ask and all this other loser stuff. Victoria is the first stop on the tour, so I’m gonna be one of the first people they meet! Aweeeesum.

In other nerdy music news involving me, there’s a guy coming to our school to talk to us about working in a well known studio. This guy has worked with K-Os, R.E.M., The Tragically Hip and Rise Against to name a few. These are a lot of big names, and a lot of bands that I listen to. I’m super pumped to talk to him and see what he says about the industry. So I’ve got another list of questions going for him too.

That kinda runs injunction with some other news of mine. I’ve taken over the Facebook group for my program, so I’m being a big n00b and posting all the time in the group to keep it relevant.

Umm…other than that, I’m not really sure what else is going on with me. Trying my best to stay active. Girlfriend and I have started playing tennis, and I’ve joined a ball hockey team as well. So I’ve got lots on the go.

Oh! I suppose I can talk about what happened in the last bit of the summer. I’ve been working at the Gap most of the time, and still am continuing into the fall (5 classes, and 2 jobs – great). The Gap is great, and I love working there, right now it’s mostly weekends and Friday’s so the hours aren’t fantastic.

Also – this summer was probably the first summer where I actually read more than 2 books that weren’t comics. I read:

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  • The Producer as the Composer by Virgil Moorefield
  • Think of a Number by John Verdon

All of them were really good, but I have to pick two out of the mix. Think of a Number was fantastic, probably the best book I’ve read in a long time. It’s a great serial killer/mystery/crime/psychological/fuck-with-your-brain type of book. Which I really enjoy. So I’d definitely recommend that one.

The second, The Producer as the Composer, I would recommend for anyone with any interest in music. It talks about the producers role in making music all the way from Motown to DJ’s of today. It was the first book that got me to listen to an entire Beatles album (Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and it made the music actually interesting to me. I went out and bought Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, just so I could hear for myself what Brian Wilson did in terms of mixing and arrangements. So for me this book had a significant impact on my musical life and how I want to pursue my career.

I think that’s enough for tonight. Ima go to bed now. More specifically…girlfriend’s bed! 😉

If there’s any books you think I should be reading, please let me know!

I Blame My Dad for My Coffee Addiction

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream

My Eighth Grade Drink of Choice

I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was in the 8th grade. Anytime before then, my mom would treat it the same way she let me try alcohol. A sip here or there of the most wretched stuff, trying to deter me from drinking it. Apparently I had terrible times sleeping as a kid whenever I had hot chocolate or anything of the sort.

When I hit junior high I now had the freedom to wander wherever I wanted at lunch and eat and drink whatever I wanted. This accounted for me going to KFC every Tuesday in the ninth grade, but that’s another story for another time.

I first started out with the really sugary drinks – a caramel macchiato or vanilla fudge brownie latte, something with lots of flavour and whipped cream on top. When you’re 14 your only goal is the awesome whipped cream and not really giving two thoughts about the coffee.

But when I started going to high school, things changed a little bit.

Firstly, my dad gave me a ride to work everyday. This was a symbiotic relationship for the both of us. He got me to school on time, and since I was up early, it meant that he went to work on time too. I really enjoyed the morning drive with my dad, it was a consistent time of the day that we had together. We got to talk about sports or news or family stuffs and the drive wasn’t too long that we could ever get into anything to deep.

Now, the best part of driving to school with my dad, was stopping at Tim Horton’s in the morning. There was a drive thru about 2 minutes from my school on the main road, so it was the perfect pit-stop before school/work. Every Canadian knows Timmy Ho’s is the place to go for coffee, and being recently introduced to the drink, I was weary as what to order. I knew I wouldn’t want black, but I didn’t need to have coffee with my sugar.

Tim Hortons logo as used in the mid-1990s, and...

Timmy Ho's

From seeing enough Tim’s ads on TV, I knew the classic All-Canadian coffee was the double double. I went with that and haven’t gone back.

One of the first things I ever bought when I moved into my first home away from home was a coffee maker, and a big container of Folgers coffee. This was a mistake. I still have about half the grounds left in that container. My roommates bought me Tim Horton’s coffee for my birthday, and I’ve never wanted to drink anything else.

I still stop at Tim Horton’s on the way to work in the early mornings and if I’m at home, I’ve always got my coffee maker ready to go.

Most people think that coffee addictions are on par with any other addiction. Frankly, I like my addiction. It brought me closer to my dad and will always be something we have.

So here’s to you Dad.

A photo of a cup of coffee.

Image via Wikipedia