Happy Birthday, I’m Sorry

It was my husband’s birthday yesterday.  I may have let the ball drop a little.

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The circle of greener grass

When I was in school, I couldn’t wait to be out of there and get into the workforce.  Studying was getting old, and I wanted to have a life.

Then I started teaching. That made me want to go back to school for all the freedom it allows – sleeping in when you don’t want to go to class, setting your course schedule so that you are only taking one class (or none) on Fridays.  Ah, such is the life.  People in school don’t realize how sweet it is to have such flexibility.

Then I became a SAHM.  That made me want to go back to teaching.  Ah, the sweet lunch breaks!  The 10 minute recess breaks! So much time to do things I wanted to do! What I would GIVE for a 10 minute recess right now.  I don’t even get that when I have to *ahem* download.  Who cares if I’ve got kids sitting with me serving a detention!  I got to sit in a spinny chair and boss kids around surf the net chatter with students about their oh-so-interesting lives.

And now, I have come full circle.  I long for the studying, the intellectual feasts to satiate the mind and make me feel like a human, and not just a robotic toddler-bum-wiping machin, soon to be a moo-my again.

So, in my quest for brain candy, I have decided to go back to my roots and revisit my music theory and history studies through the RCM.  I can do it by self-instruction, and there are no time-constraints on finishing a particular course or subject by a certain date.  In all honesty, I have studied most of the content in the RCM theory syllabus in university and college, but now I can put it all together and work toward a goal that I have long held: becoming and Associate of the Royal Conservatory, with all the glory and fanciness of a nice title, ARCT, to go after my B.Ed.

Wait.  I think this means I should be studying right now.  Oh crap, I’m already procrastinating!  I guess that means I am heading into student-mode once again.  Just send me a keg and a rowdy pack of frat boys and I’ll be back in business.

I guess I’ll never see Pavarotti live

I am not that big of an opera fan, but I do appreciate talent.  There has never been and never will be another like Pavarotti.

Tony is a MASSIVE opera buff.  He loves Pavarotti.  He would have had a million of his babies, were that possible.  He had purchased a ticket to see Pavarotti in June 2006. I was pregnant and teaching, and didn’t think that I would want to see him.  Tony paid almost $100 for a nosebleed seat and was determined to see him, even if it meant going by himself.  Then, just a couple of weeks before the concert, Pavarotti publicized his cancer and postponed his tour.  Tony was given the option to reserve a ticket for the rescheduled concert, which was to take place in October.  Unfortunately, we were moving across the country before then and would have a newborn by October, so he reluctantly took a refund on the ticket.

It really is a shame.  I wish that Tony would have had the chance to hear such greatness in person.

Rest peacefully, Luciano Pavarotti.

Get the full Pavarotti story here.

Colbie Caillat – Making my ears happy

I am always on the lookout for new artists, new sounds.  I read Lefsetz Letter and found an entry about this new song, Bubbly.  “GO GET IT!” the letter implored.  “This is a HIT!”

I searched it on iTunes and found it to be by a new artist, Colbie Caillat.  I listened to it, then listened to the rest of the tracks on her new album, Coco, and immediately clicked the BUY NOW button.  For $7.99, I’ve found a new treasure.  I cannot get enough of the entire album. It’s always a bonus when you buy a CD and can listen to the whole thing without skipping through those annoying token ballads, or poppy crap-0 tunes.  In fact, I like it enough that I would pay a lot more than $7.99 for it.

Even Tony is smittin’ with it, and it’s not just because she has a pretty face!  It’s not often that Tony and I agree on musical tastes (he prefers the loud screeching nails-on-a-chalkboard of death metal and the like), so you know it’s gotta be good if we can both agree to listen to it every day since I bought it.

A little background: Colbie Caillat got her start on myspace, of all places, and accumulated a huge fan base there before being signed to a label.  There are entire tracks there that you can listen to or download for free, so I would strongly suggest you check it out.  You’ll thank me later.

Kelly Clarkson: What happened?

I was very excited to hear that KC had a new CD coming out.  Now that I’ve listened to My December a few times, I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s not my favourite.

Alright, maybe that’s not really a secret, as her tour has been canceled, the first single Never Again peaked at #8 on the charts, and all of the other hullabaloo going on with her right now.  I bought the CD the day it came out and listened to it with great anticipation.  After listening to it once, I put it on top of my player and did not listen to it again for a week.  That is not a good sign.  When Breakaway came out, I listened to that CD every day commuting to work for 9 weeks straight.   That’s how much I loved it.  After thinking about why I didn’t want to listen to My December, I discovered why.

I had no desire to listen to it, as the songs feigned a depth that was really just a turtle-shaped kiddie pool of despair and bleakness.  This is not to say that I don’t enjoy good old female darkness.  Hell, Jagged Little Pill is still one of my favourite albums, and whenever I want to unwind, I listen to Fumbling Toward Ecstasy or Surfacing from the queen or sorrowful goodness, Sarah McLachlan.   But Kelly’s darkness, well, it insists upon itself.  Yeah yeah, there’s a hole.  Yeah, I know: Never Again will you kiss him, or want to, or whatever else you NEVER AGAIN want to do. Or Maybe, Maybe, Maybe MAYBE MAYBE PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT WORD!

The other thing that bothers me is that the melodies lack appeal to sing along with and listen to over and over and over.  Thankful and Breakaway mastered the melody, with Breakaway being awarded a Grammy for these efforts.  There is no reason that edgier aka “more artistic” lyrics have to be set to obscure and strained melodies. (Cynthia sums it up best here.)  Jagged Little Pill had amazing melodies and vocals.  Sarah McLachlan’s melodies can make you cry in concert.  (That’s just me? Oh…) When I try to remember the songs on My December, I can’t.  The melodies are forgotten that easily.  They don’t stick.

And the bottom line is, if they don’t stick, you’re not going to remember them when you are at the music store looking to buy some music.

Sorry, Kelly.  I gotta say it like it is.

Canadian Idol: Can I pick ’em or what?!

Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Two of those boys that I loved from Monday night went on to top 22.  Out of all 200 people, 2 of my picks got through: Greg Neufeld and Andrew Austin.  I seriously think that I should be a judge, or at least given a free ticket to the show (airfare please!) and huge banner that says “Hot Sarah Sure Can Pick ‘Em!”

Plus, did I mention that Greg is easy on the eyes?

Since I did not watch last year, I really didn’t know that he was almost top 10 last season.  That makes my pick even MORE amazing, don’t you think?

Did I mention that Greg is nice to look at?

Maybe he’ll do better this year with the shorter haircut (yes, I looked at pics from last season after realizing that he has a fan club, not that I would ever join…)

Canadian Idol + Instruments = It’s about time!

Herecy!!

I don’t watch Canadian Idol. The talent on there, don’t hate me for saying it, is worse than its American counterpart. I do NOT believe that Canadians are less talented. I think that all the REALLY good Canadian talent doesn’t give a hoot about being an Idol and that they don’t even bother to audition (I maintain this as my excuse for never auditioning…). That, or the judging is different and they draw different types of musicians and entertainers. I don’t watch American Idol, either. I almost got caught in the Taylor Hicks fever last year, but got so tired of watching that pipsqueak Kevin get pushed through week after week and I feared that his singing would eventually lead my ears into a spiral of depression and ultimately end in their self-mutilation.

But last night, I tuned in. Why? Well, my cousin (Spencer – he’s the 7th one in…go see, you know you wanna!) made it into the top 200 and got his golden ticket to Toronto. Woot! I’ve never heard the guy sing, but hey…I had visions if he went through, I could go to TO with my big banner that says “Baba’s posse” and the camera would pan to me while he sings and the subtitle would read “Spencer’s hot cousin, Sarah.” All part of the plan. So I turned on the tube, ate my corn on the cob and steak (courtesy of T) and watched.

I was pleasantly surprised. Not necessarily by the singing (I had to protect my ears with some duct tape and ear muffs), but by the fact that they allowed the vocalists to accompany themselves on guitar or piano. SWEET! This is so much more realistic than singing a cappella. Most young hopefuls play and sing at the same time (no easy feat, I’ll tell you) and to me, it shows a more well-rounded musician than someone who wears the oh-so-short skirt and oh-my-boobies low-cut top while belting out some version of “Dirrty.” I was totally enthralled with the threesome of guys who sang together and all played their guitars. For having very little sleep, the harmony was great and the energy in their playing and performance was über enjoyable (as was their appearance…nothing sexier than a guy at one with his guitar, and if there’s 3 of them? Oh my…). I then decided it was safe to peel off the duct tape.

I will probably tune in tonight to make sure those boys get through to the top 22 (Greg Neufeld, Andrew Austin and Paul Filek).

Oh, and my cousin didn’t get through, but he has a band back in his hometown. You can listen to them here.