It Must Be Christmas…

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The Christmas Movies have already started…

The Christmas decorations in retail spaces have been up since well before Halloween.

Christmas Albums were released back in October…

WTF?

Are we in that big of a need for this gigantic jump start on the silly season?

Right…back to the unemployment line…one more time…

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So on Friday, November 4th my supervisor asks me to stay after a meeting. Let’s me know that it’s not working out and that I should take the next two weeks to find another job. Needless to say I was taken aback and did not respond as expected (I never do).

I spent the weekend calming down (and saying…Well Shit)…and resumed normal life on the Monday including going to work. At that point I was told that they are giving me two weeks notice but that my supervisor would have to talk to the service manager for details; as well as the supervisor kinda sucking up to me because he knows this is a bum deal he’s handing me right before Christmas. Monday passed without further ado. Tuesday is much the same…until just before I go home where I am advised they are not giving me two weeks and then laying me off – because if they lay me off they have to hire me back first before hiring someone else if they want to add to the team – they are in fact firing me…with severance of course; or I could just quit (and not get paid severance) – you can imagine which I took; I said, “Fire me, and pay me the week severance, since this is not my idea so there is no way I am going to quit.”

The next day I turned in my uniforms (hated those suckers; ill-fitting) and my keys. My supervisor commented that I seemed happier now that I know what is happening…

Well no shit…everyone is happier when they know what the hell is going on.

I got to say my good-byes and then left…only to be called back because my supervisor failed to do all the exit stuff in front of a manager…I obliged because I was trying to be classy about my exit as upset as I was about it.

This morning I had a mild panic attack because I had thought it had been weeks since my termination, but it actually hasn’t it has only be in essence 1 week. It’s amazing how the days can blend into one another.

I have had some interest in my resume, some I have applied for and some unsolicited (which makes a person feel rather good).

In this downtime (while unplanned is not unfortunate) I am regrouping and re-evaluating what it is I want to be doing. It also allows me to catch up on things and refocus the energy.

I am telling all this because I know there are others who are in the same boat as me…the exact same boat…and others who are in even leakier boats…and still others who are at the point where they are channeling Captain Jack Sparrow and merely standing on the cross-mast under the crows nest because their ship is pretty much sunk. But if you still have your footing on that cross-mast then you’ll be ok. It’s a scary place to be mind you, incredibly scary. But where we find ourselves on the Good Ship Unemployment can sometimes bring incredible change in who we are and what we can endure and what we can accomplish. Sometimes what seems the end can in fact be the beginning…

Embrace the beginnings…

Let go of the ends…

Let’s take that scary first step into the next great adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Nights…and Strange Sights…

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I attended Make-Up School a few years back and I still have my male mannequin head from when I was learning to trim beards (yes…facial hair is in the realm of the make-up artist not the hair person). It’s currently sitting on its stand on my workbench as it has long hair and I sometimes use it to practice hair styles that require a degree in architecture. It freaks people out as they think someone is sitting there.

I am dragging my feet in moving it to another spot because I find it hilarious…

 

 

Chris Young…and getting the MoJo Back…I Hope…

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Little bit ago I was doing a pre-delivery inspection on a pick-up truck; setting up the radio pre-sets when a song came on. Baritone vocal; reminiscent of Randy Travis but wasn’t. The song was “I’m Comin’ Over’ by Chris Young. It actually got me to stop what I was doing and listen.

I know what you’re thinking…So What?

I work flat rate; so the faster I work, the more work I get done and the more I get paid (this system works when there is lots of work and blows moose balls when there isn’t).

So for a song to make me actually stop dead and listen means it’s a pretty damn good song.

I digress…

I had to scan my memory bank if I had heard of him…

Riiiiight…2013…right after the floods here; he’d opened for Brad Paisley (I came back to my hometown to see them).

I think I had ‘Aw Naw’ somewhere on my mp3 player after hearing it on the radio while I was living three steps from Hell’s Ass…err…while I was living somewhere in S. AB.

A day later; another truck…same song comes on…made me stop again…

So I decided to download it…what the hell right?

I dithered about downloading the whole album (I’m Comin’ Over – iTunes); but ultimately downloaded the whole thing…crossing my fingers it wasn’t one more album with one great track…and only one great track (I own too damn many albums with that one great track and the rest leaving me flat…).

Played it from the first track to the last track…and there wasn’t one bad track…not one.

Not one bad song in 11 tracks; even the duet – with someone I had never heard of – was good.

It got me curious as I couldn’t say that about any of the other artists I listen too…including the late great Keith Whitley.

So I went to the back catalogue, starting with the album before this one…A.M.

Ahh…right…that’s where ‘Aw Naw’ came from…that is a party song…with somewhat crunchy guitar riffs. I love crunchy guitar riffs.

Someone called it a Bro-Country song…I don’t see it, but to each their own?

Decided to take a chance and download the whole album…I knew I had a 50/50 chance of good tracks and shit tracks…

11 tracks on this Album…and not one bad track… (And I’m asking myself why I didn’t buy the damn thing when it was first released…? Oh right…unemployed…).

Alright…so…I went back one more…which brings us to Neon…

We’re batting two for two…so downloaded the whole shooting match…

‘Tomorrow’ is found on here…I remember this one from the radio…and listening to it again I also remember it making me cry….it’s why I didn’t download it in the past…

Listened from First Track to Last…not one bad track…Three for three…

Back one more…and it’s an EP…WTF?

Didn’t think EP’s were a thing anymore…shows you what I know about that…

Price was right…so why not?

Annnnnnd they’re covers…well two are for sure…the third was a new one to me. While the songs were indeed covers he did do justice to them.

Ok – so back one more…The Man I Want To Be…

Which has ‘Gettin’ You Home’

I remembered this one…I remembered the video…the cute guy in the hat that sang to a bathroom door with his whole heart…you know the girl on the other side…probably wasn’t actually on the other side of that door…sound stages are funny that way…

10 tracks…and we’re batting four for four…not a bad track to be had…

Now I say not a bad track…doesn’t mean they were all great ones on this one. I would say that some of the tracks are highly indicative of his age when he did this album. Twenty-One Candles is a prime example of that…catchy beat but I sure as hell hope he doesn’t sing it now…or ever… because at this point it would be creepy as fuck.

Since I had these ones I decided why not…and downloaded his debut album…in for a penny right?

Self-Titled Debut…Chris Young…

11 tracks…not one over 4 minutes so it’s a fast listen…I put it on as I was clearing a Stock Unit (those take me somewhere between 30 to 50 minutes start to finish).

Not a bad album…listenable…but it’s clearly an out of the starting gate album.

He sings with conviction, that and his voice elevates the material. They’re still cringe-worthy but they don’t suck shit. I will say the song Drinkin’ Me Lonely is worth a listen just for the falsetto…hard to do on a baritone voice…and I suspect its one of the first songs he had written.  I also downloaded this one purely to support my thoughts. See I have been dithering about this piece for the last week; and if I was going to say with any conviction of my own that he doesn’t have a bad song I wanted to make damn sure I wasn’t talking out of my ass. Nothing like taking a stance of knowing what you are talking about and then finding out later it is not the case. I’ll eat my gaffs as required but I don’t enjoy it.

The most important thing to look at is that you can see the progression of Mr. Young as not only a singer but as a songwriter as well. While the early album may not be a stellar entry; I have no doubt it has provided a brilliant learning experience; for we not only learn from our successes we also learn from our near misses (I don’t like the word Failure…it is not a word I like to keep in my vocabulary…)

I deliberately didn’t go into track detail…I want you to discover how good this guy really is and the only way to do that is to listen for yourself. The great thing about a great singer…and the right song can make different people feel different things; it recognizes no boundaries.

I should warn you…

This guy sings Conway Twitty level love songs here…and there are a SHIT TON of them…

** Yes I know he was on a reality tv show…big fucking deal…so was Sawyer Brown…it was called Star Search…you remember Ed McMahon…he was good enough to win…and 10 years later he’s still here…that should say all there is to say about that…should you still use that as a reason not to give his music a listen…all I can say is Your Loss because this cat is good.

** Chris Young also gets this one credit no one else will ever have. He and his music got me off my ass and back to writing. It’s a small thing…and he’ll no doubt never know…but it’s there.

 

Losing the MoJo…and Coming Back…

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10 days short of a year since I moved back to my hometown. I have been quiet on here and pretty much everywhere since I had returned. In the back of mind I always told myself I need to sit down and write something…and attempted to…but it wasn’t enjoyable as it once was, it was a struggle…a chore…and nothing was really coming out. I’d type something but then I would read it and not like what I had written. I couldn’t seem to get my mojo going…so I quit…full stop…I’d lost my voice and lost my way…the mojo was gone.

This past week however, I have been getting a push in my soul that I need to get back to this; to make the time for this. I have made a nifty little space for myself in a spot in my house that is on its way to being a cozy space to work in with lots of light and inspiration.

So Here Goes…

I hate to admit this…and being a friendly co-worker…

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God how I hate to admit this…but my mom was right.

I decided to bring up something during the weekly meetings at work; something that had been niggling at me for a while. It was about returning items that had been borrowed to where they belong. My mom said not to as I would be ridiculed for it. I didn’t believe so plotted full steam ahead…and I was ridiculed for it…by my peers who went so far as to tell me not to ‘Cry about it…’ 

Hardly…but it’s really fucking frustrating when I have to spend 10 minutes looking for something or restocking my gear because someone else used it and didn’t bother to refill it or return it altogether.

So my mom was right…

I hate admitting that…truly.
 Which brings me to this…

There is a difference between a co-worker that is a friend and a friendly co-worker.

If you hang out together outside of work; then that co-worker is a friend…if you do not, then that co-worker is just friendly. 

At my current job I am a friendly co-worker…although after this morning I am not sure I’m even that…but I digress…I help out as required; do my bit in the name of team work and at the end of the day I split; i don’t hang out and talk in the employee parking lot (not that I park there anyway…but again I digress) nor do I have a burning desire to be a part of the group outside of work hours (or inside work hours really). I show up, do the job the best I can and then I leave to do the things that I love. 

As a wise man once said…

I ain’t there to make friends…

That’s what doing what I love to do is for.

It’s been over a month…

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and I still miss her everyday…

My grandma passed away on February 23rd, she was surrounded by family yet still managed to sneak away when no one was looking. 

I wasn’t in the room…a couple of my cousins pissed me off because they were nit picking on some trivial thing. I have zero patience for the arguing over a French Fry conversations. So I felt a walk was in order…a walk that lead me to the hospital chapel at the moment she passed. Perhaps it’s where I needed to be…for I had been at her side for the better part of 18 months and got to see the Good, the Bad…and the Ugly. Trust me…a leaking colostomy bag is really Ugly. So perhaps the Good Lord above was sparing me from witnessing The End as it were. 

I was blessed to see a side to my grandma that few knew existed. Turns out Grandma was actually pretty funny and had a quirky sense of humour. I inherited a bit of it (I know I inherited a bit from my other grandma – which explains my twisted sense of humour) and we’d make each other laugh.

I’ll miss that the most…

(I will not miss the colostomy bag…)