Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chapter XXVI: My Top 5 Songs To Sing at Karaoke Nights

Okay, I'm going to admit to this. I'm a huge fan of karaoke nights, and of subsequent, the Rock Band video game franchise. Why? Because I LOVE to sing, and I'm one of those who'll go out, remain sober, have spent the drive over to wherever something's going on where I can get up and sing warming up my vocals, take the spotlight and upstage everyone. No, it's not because I have an ego (I do in some respects, but not when it comes to singing). I do it because I feel these songs that I love, and find to be just awesome, need to be done the right way, with the right pitch (or as damn-near close to it).

That's why I'm having fun with today's blog entry. I'm going to give you my five favorite songs to sing, but for this entry, it's going to be at karaoke nights, because my list is actually different when it comes to Rock Band because there's different songs available.

So, without any further delay, let's start the countdown with some commentary.

5. "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" - Train - Drops of Jupiter (2001)
This is just a fun rock song that always gets people going, and singing along during the ending. I always enjoy doing songs that'll get people going. Enjoy the song.

4. "Elegantly Wasted" - INXS - Elegantly Wasted (1997)
One of the last videos to feature original singer Michael Hutchance before his tragic passing. Oddly enough, this is the first song I ever sang karaoke to, and got a standing ovation from the crowd for it. I had to go and choose a song where you're holding long notes several times through the chorus. Still, a fun song that plays with held notes and pitches. A pure joy to sing. Sadly, the last couple of seconds are cut from this video, but still. Great song! Enjoy!

3. "Misunderstood" - Bon Jovi - Bounce (2002)
Bon Jovi has always been one of my favorite bands, and thankfully over the past 15 years, they don't go as high vocals as they did at the end of Livin' on a Prayer. Still, this is a fun song to sing, and one I always look for in a song book. The video for this song is oddly funny, and having read the story of the extended version, I kinda wish I could find that one. Oh well, here's the video everyone's probably seen.

2. "Slide" - Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up the Girl (1998)
Regardless of where I am, it always happens that I sing this song. While it's not my favorite song by the band, it always happens to end up in my little set list. Not much to really say about it. It's a great track from a great album (isn't it funny that while there are two lead vocalists in Goo Goo Dolls, only the songs sung by John Rzeznick get selected as singles?). Enjoy!

1. "Smooth" - Santana feat. Rob Thomas - Supernatural (1999)
Not only my favorite song to sing karaoke to, but it was also my favorite song to play in my high school jazz band. We'd get pretty crazy during the solo sections. Me on drums, my cousin on bass, two guitarists, several trumpet players, and anyone else who dared to do a solo. If I recall correctly (it's been about a decade...), one performance went over 10 minutes just because of how many people we had doing solos. Being on drums, you have to start getting creative during these long solos so you don't get bored or tired. Still to this day, it's an amazing song. Enjoy!

This wraps up my Top 5 list for songs I love to sing karaoke to. Hope you've enjoyed it. I'll be along sometime soon with the Top 5 Songs I Love to Sing in Rock me, it's a different list than what you might expect.

On a side note, I'm sure you can tell from the number of music-related blogs I've done, music is a huge part of my life. In most cases, it's saved it. I just want to share it with you. While my tastes may differ slightly or greatly from yours, all music is worth appreciating, as long as the content and message is good.

Take care all,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chapter XXV: A Fun Little Post

Alright. I admit, I'm stealing this from a friend. Hope said friend doesn't mind. However, this might give you more insight into me, and how I tick. Feel free to post your own version of this in the comments section. Enjoy!


1. I have glasses, and wish I didn't so I could get some really kick-ass sunglasses and take an even better picture than the one I have on this blog.
2. I'm single, and don't mind it. If someone comes along that peaks my interest, I'm open to it.
3. I love pop-opera, and often use various tenors to warm up my voice.
4. I've had 2 pets. A dog (miniature German Sheppard named Blackey) and a cat (a gray Persian named Misty)
5. I enjoy veggies, but as long as they're raw. I HATE almost all cooked veggies.
6. The best pizza I ever had was in 1992 when my parents and I visited an Italian restaurant in New York.
7. I love Mafia movies. The whole command structure and dedication to loyalty is very appealing.
8. I'm a huge fan of science fiction. I read it, I watch it, and I write it.
9. Music and sports are passions of mine.
10. I have an awesome family.


1. Don't smoke or do drugs
2. Be honest. Trust me, I can take the truth. It may hurt, but I'll respect you more for it.
3. Be intelligent.
4. Have a sense of humor. Trust me, I have a wild one.
5. Understand that sometimes, I do like to be on my own and do my own thing. Know that it isn't anything to do with you, it's just how I am.
6. While it's great to have things in common, I don't want us to have too much in common. There's got to be some things we disagree on, and thus work out to a compromise.
7. Have an open mind to the world.
8. I like going out every once in a while. Whether it's for a walk,dinner, a movie. Anything! Don't be afraid to suggest something. (hockey games don't count, because I'm always up for those!)
9. Can get around the fact that


1. Wallet
2. Baseball Cap
3. Car keys
4. Portable Sirius Satellite Radio
5. Some money
6. Driver's License/ID
7. My glasses
8. Clothes


1. People who take too long to get to the point
2. People who talk behind other peoples' backs
3. Extremely cold temperatures
4. Being ignored
5. TV shows that are good, but get canceled early
6. People who bash things without either trying them, or giving it a chance
7. The telephone ringing


1. Montreal, Quebec
2. Halifax, Nova Scotia
3. New York
4. New Hampshire
5. Vermont
6. Maine


1. See U2 and Dave Matthews Band in concert
2. Get a great job where I can be completely financially stable
3. Record a CD of my own music
4. Find someone to spend the rest of my life with
5. Travel overseas


1. Bees (was stung as a young child.)
2. Heights
3. Dying Alone
4. My car breaking down.


1. Take a shower
2. Listen to music
3. Use the computer for at least 10 minutes


1. Become completely bored
2. Pass out at the keyboard


My cousin

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chapter XXIV: The Grand Opening



What an awesome afternoon. Great (extremely hot) weather, clear skies, great food, great people, and a lot of fun! Almost 3 years in the making, Victoria Park in the small city of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada welcomed neighbors, friends and everyone with 2 and 4 legs to the Grand Opening for the park!

Everything turned out great. We had a good crowd that was entertained with conversation, a BBQ, drinks, some cake, and a ribbon cutting ceremony (I didn't get pics of that, as I was in that photo). The good thing about today is that while it was really hot with the sun beating down, everyone was able to remain hydrated, and there was a nice, cool breeze blowing.

Overall, the event was a great success, and I'm really proud of my parents and all the other volunteers involved with the park.

Alright. Without any further ado, I'm going to show you what you want to see: pictures! Because of the lame formatting on this when it comes to pictures, I'm going to have to give you captions before the slew of pictures. If you want to see larger versions, click on each pic.

Pictures 1-3: My father (right in pic 1) giving his Park Opening Speech; Picture 4: Look at how awesome the sky is, today!; Pictures 5-9: The Mayor of Bathurst giving a little speech; Pictures 10-11: A couple of crowd shots; Picture 12: CAKE!; Picture 13: A close-up of the burgers (there's hot dogs, too...but we all know: burgers > hot dogs); Picture 14: My uncle manning the grill; Picture 15: Another crowd shot; Picture 16: The Victoria Park sign, looking all decorated; Pictures 17-19: More crowd shots; Picture 20: My 6 month old little cousin, Loïc. Isn't he cute?  :)

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chapter XXIII: Random Musings

Wow, I didn't think it had been this long since I last blogged. I apologize, everyone. I didn't mean to ignore this blog, and anyone who reads. It's just been a crazy week and change.

The good news is, I've survived the return to my old shift time of 11pm-7am (Atlantic time), and I couldn't be happier. I'm greatful and thankful that my boss at the hotel was willing to let me fill in on some shifts, and give me a few more here and there. The staff at the hotel is (and always has been) awesome, and they're a great bunch to work with. When I finish my shift, the Front Desk Supervisor is always thanking me for being there. Really, I'm not the one who should be thanked. It's them for being so open to me working there despite not having worked a shift since Christmas due to college. Spoken words can never express my gratitude to the manager and front desk supervisor, along with the rest of the staff for putting up with me.  :)

So let's see. What else has been going on besides work? Well, the new season of Big Brother has started on CBS/Global, and it's the first season since Big Brother 8 that I haven't ordered the online streams. With the crappy service I got last season (feeds being too choppy, feeds having a hard time to connect, etc.) I decided I'm going to skip on this season and watch it like I used to watch it. Just a warning to anyone who wants to spoil me on stuff concerning the show: Spoil things for me, and I'll make sure you get tonnes of Spam Mail, because I'll be signing your e-mail up for everything I can find. Deal?  :)

The Major League Baseball All-Star game happened, and for the first time in 14 years, the National League won, which means they get home-field advantage in the World Series. About time! Although I wish the American League would have won. Why? Because the team I've always cheered for, the Toronto Blue Jays play in the American League. Oh well, can't win them all. This year's Home Run Derby was okay. Had some nice shots, although I don't think anything will ever replicate the 28 Home Run-round Josh Hamilton pulled off in 2008. I still have that on video, and it's just epic. ESPN analyst Chris Berman is just hilarious on commentary.

This weekend, the big project my parents have been heavily involved in, the resurrection of the neighborhood park, sees the grand re-opening of the park. It's taken them about three years to get to this point, and I couldn't be more proud of my parents. The get-together is supposed to go down this Saturday, and that's where I'll be. I'll be taking a few pictures, for sure. It's just awesome that my parents, along with others involved in the non-profit organization set up to remodel the park (to which my father is the chairman) is finally getting its big moment after the city condemned the park, and was going to let it be sold and re-zoned for housing. I remember when the city gave a damn about that park. There were activities every summer, a really good swing set, and some other good things. The field was perfect for a pick-up baseball or soccer game, and you could just enjoy a nice day in the shade. Again, I'm so proud of my parents, and the others involved with the park.

Well, I suppose that's it for the update on what's going on. I'll probably do another blog this weekend with pictures from the park event.

Take care, everyone!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Chapter XXII: Didn't Think I Could Pull It Off...

I'll be quite honest. I didn't think I would be able to pull off last night. For the first time since the Christmas break, I returned to my old job working the front desk at a local hotel. For the first time since August 2008, I found myself working my old shift, being 11pm to 7am (Atlantic Daylight Time). At first, I was trying everything to try and get my body and mind to stay awake until at least 5-6am so that I could end up sleeping later and later into the day.

Nothing worked.

So, early Sunday morning around 2:50 am, after the post-fight press conference for UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin ended, I suddenly felt this HUGE wave of fatigue fall over me. Pulling myself off the couch from which I had been comfortably stretched out on, watching the event since the Spike TV prelims began at 10:00 pm, I dragged my ass to all the lights that were still on, switched on the Satellite Radio (as I can't seem to sleep right without music playing) and then finally crashed into bed. I woke up around 11am, and I was still feeling tired. Weird, after 8 hours of sleep, I was still tired. So, I mulled around a bit, and around 2pm, went back to sleep until approximately 6:30-7:00pm.

It was the best thing I could have done. I was wide awake the entire time, at least I was until 7am the next morning arrived. Man, when my replacement (the Front Desk Supervisor) arrived, I could hardly stop yawning. Fighting them back wasn't easy. Needless to say, I was hoping to get either some TV or computer time in before I went to sleep, but instead I crashed right away. Needless to say, I got about 7 hours of sleep. After I have a bite to eat, I'll probably grab a quick nap for a couple of hours.

What's hard for me right now is trying to remember how everything was done on that shift, because a few things have changed. Also, I'm trying to remember how I did things at home when I lived that shift. I just hope people can be patient while I adjust to going back to this timetable. After being up at 6am for the past year, it's a bit of a shock to the system. I'll get over it, though. I always do.

Regardless, it felt good to be back. And in a few hours, I'll be back to the grind.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chapter XXI: The Music That Inspires Me: The Podcast

In the first episode of the Podcast version of "The Music That Inspires Me," I give some background on some new and old music that I listen to, or even grew up on. Some of it may surprise you. What I DON'T do in this episode is give you EVERYTHING. Gotta save stuff for future podcasts :)

Length of this episode: 1 hour, 12 minutes.
Warning: Explicit Language & Loud Music!

If you'd like to download this podcast, Click Here. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chapter XX: I Don't Cook Often...

...which means my menu choices are usually quite limited.

However, when I do cook, it often turns out great. However, I tend to leave a bit of a mess. Tonight, I decided to cook some hamburger, as it's something I really haven't had in a while, and it's one of my favorite meals. Yes, I'm a meat eater. Got a problem with it, well, I suppose I could say deal with it. Well, I just kinda said it. So...ummm...there?  :)

Now, here's the fun part. I decided to take some pictures of the progression of the cooking, and am going to give my own little captions and commentary on each photo as I go.

Photo 1: "This is your brain..."

Yes, I enjoy being funny with uncooked hamburger based on a scene from the film Hannibal where Anthony Hopkins takes a piece of a guy's "brain" (which is really hamburger), fries it up, and eats it. I wonder if the title character felt any smarter? Hmmm...oh well. This is what the hamburger looked like before I set it to cook.

Photo 2: "Starting to cook..."

As you can see here, the hamburger is starting to slowly lose its redness, and become cooked, and edible.

Photo 3: "Now we sizzling!"

Yup. Starting to look more and more cooked, don't you think? Usually, about this time, I throw in some oregano leaves for added taste. I don't know what it is, but I love how oregano leaves bring out the taste in things. I always get it on my subs at Subway, that's for sure.

Photo 4: "Smoke is rising now that the onions are in..."

As usual when the onion bits are thrown in, lots of smoke rises up from the pan. I don't mind. It enhances the smell of the cooked brains - er - meat.

Photo 5: "More smoke! Thankfully, no fire."

My laptop makes a cameo in the background as the screen is filled with monster smoke.

Photo 6: "A clearer picture of what I've created."

Almost complete. Just needs to have something added.

Photo 7: "...this is your brain on my plate."

There we go. Just had to add corn. Why? Because I wanted to, that's why  :)  Gotta have your veggies with your meat, right? Trust me, this tasted sooooooooooooooooooo good going down. Oh yeah, almost forgot. Enjoyed a nice glass of Pepsi while eating this. Best part is, I made enough so I can enjoy some more later.

I hope you enjoyed cooking with me, because I enjoyed it, too. Don't expect it too often tho.

Take care, and remember...brains are good!