Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Good Song, a GREAT Cause!

 Larry and I just finished recording a Christmas song called Carol for a Child, and after some discussion,have decided that any proceeds from the sale of the single in December should go to Doug and Carolyn Anderson of Saskatoon, SK; their son Micah is very ill right now, and we want to be a blessing to them in this tough time.

Two things, then:
1. Check this article from the local newspaper that talks about what life is like for the Anderson family right now.
2. Go to my Bandcamp page and purchase the song, for whatever amount you feel led! All the proceeds go to the Andersons.

It is a heckuva thing when communities put aside differences and rally together, and not just to "like" cat videos on Youtube.

Until next time,

Jared

Next year: Carol for a Pooch.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Word from the bathroom floor

Earlier today:

I barfed so hard, that in the aftermath, while little cartoon stars were circling my head, I thought I saw Jesus.
I barfed so hard, I considered becoming a football fan.

I barfed so hard, I had a Ren and Stimpy 6-years-past-the-expiry cocktail weenie hallucination.

I barfed so hard, the elderly lady coming out of the adjoining ladies washroom (divided by a solid concrete wall) looked concerned for me as she followed me out of the exit.

I barfed so hard, I began to understand multidimensional String Theory and its practical applications; just for a minute, though.

I barfed so hard that my mobile phone became sentient and self-aware, realized it was worried about me, and tried dialing 911 for help.

I barfed so hard, I started re-thinking my opinion of Tom Cruise's sanity.

I barfed so hard, I started to write my last will and testament, only to realize it was the toilet trying to unduly influence me to name it my sole beneficiary.

I barfed so hard, I briefly entertained the idea of a Mexican holiday.

I barfed so hard, I grew a third kidney.

I barfed so hard, a nearby Labrador retriever nearly went insane from not being able to help. He found a local kid and pushed him down a well so he could rescue him and not feel so overwhelmingly helpless any more.

I barfed so hard that the ship jumped to warp 6.5 and then abruptly stopped inside a nearby nebula, stumping the Romulans and saving the Enterprise so we can conduct repairs to the starboard nacelle!
Seriously. This sucks.

Jared

Monday, 25 November 2013

Finished product, long overdue!

I decided to hold off last night to give the Saskatchewan Roughriders some respect and time for their Grey Cup win hooliganism, shenanigans, and tomfoolery celebration, but now here it is:

I am not hugely into holiday music, so no one was more surprised than I when I wrote a pretty Christmas song a wee while back, and recently recorded it with Mr. Larry Flowers and my producer, Colin!! And not only did I record it, but I have released it on Bandcamp today to listen to and purchase! Click the "Music" tab on the Whispered Words page, or click the link below to listen, buy, or share! Or all three!!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

This is getting Meta

I have been using my email to send myself encouraging letters from the past. 

"Hello future Jared", I say, "what is the future like? Can our cars fly yet? Did the American government ever sort out all their BS? Is it possible that you are now more good-looking than when I sent this letter?"

"Hello, past Jared" I write profoundly, "the auto industry can still barely figure out how not to kill us all on four wheels, so I don't think the flying car is happening soon. As for the US govt; all they know and have been taught about how to run a political system is BS, so they haven't even really considered dropping said BS yet. As for my looks, you of all people should know that it isn't possible to look better than you do now!!"

Oh yeah...That's right. I know how to wear a hat.



Until next time,

Jared

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Finally gone off the deep end

Be vewwwwwy, vewwy quiet....

We are hunting wabbits!


The above was so cute I almost died. Beware of googling things like "cute bunnies"... As Admiral Ackbar would say,




Regards,

Jared




Monday, 14 October 2013

Haiku Very Much

Autumn: A Haiku

Such a beautiful
intro to the nut-punch that
is prairie winter



Ah-THANK you.

Jared

P.S. More to come this week.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Excuses, Excuses

So I've been gone for a while;

I was out of town.

I was busy saving the local squirrels from their chipmunk oppressors.

I had the measles on just my tongue.

I contracted Spanish Flu in a foreign country that was NOT of Spanish origin.

I was stung by a bee that had rabies, and flown by medevac chopper to a specialist in Dallas, Texas, who pronounced me dead on arrival. I was subsequently resurrected by a voodoo priest who instantly regretted it once I started talking, and dumped me in the swamp; I swam home just now.

I heard someone I know had chicken pox, and seeing as I have never had it, I hid in my basement until yesterday, gradually thawing meat from the freezer, heating it up in the dryer, and eating it a little bit at a time.

I was hypnotized by my iPad into robbing several convenience stores, only to eventually take control of my body again and take so many horrific pictures of Rob Schneider movies that the iPad's camera killed itself to escape the pain. The rest of the iPad soon followed as the Schneider rot overtook it in a gangrenous fashion.

I was spirited away to a movie festival where the star of a little-foreign-film-that-could conscripted me as his bodyguard and had me follow him around a room whilst not wearing normal pants.

I ate a rare african beetle that gave me useless super powers. Hilarity ensued.

I held a pair of scissors at my throat, threatening to cut my beard off... to an empty room. It ended in a stalemate- the empty room's negotiation techniques were not to be underestimated.

I applied a screen protector to my face, and I don't give off as much glare in sunlight anymore. I am also protected from scratches by keys, change, and the like.

I was genuinely frightened to death by a Facebook post about how the world is like, being so screwed up by like, the oil companies, you guys....

I drove to Canmore, Alberta, and acted like a jerk to a duck. (That one's for you, Steven)


video

I got involved in a high-stakes poker game where underwear was the ONLY currency. Hilarity did not ensue.

I asked a passing stranger if he had seen my mother, and then snuck into his car's trunk when he wasn't looking. After a lengthy nap, I woke up in Iowa. Strangely enough, I had a "CUSTOMS APPROVED" sticker attached to my sleeve when I awoke.

I joined a circus where the people all suffered from social maladies instead of physical ones. Highlights: "The Incredible Flop-Sweat at Birthdays Man", and the "Woman With the High-Pitched Nervous-Sounding Laughter At the Office Party". Also the "Guy Who Really Hated All the Unnecessary Changes Made for the Screen in the Lord Of The Rings Movies". I soon left, because I "Can't Stand Circuses and Fairs and Must Tell Everyone Within Earshot Loudly If The Topic Arises."

I was on vacation.

Until next time,
Here's to you, Big Shooter:





Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A Stand-offish Sort of Cooing

I just had an encounter with a pigeon, and I am pretty sure that by the end, that pigeon bore me ill will. And so...

Pigeon Religion: A Haiku

Rat of the sky, your
Sarcastic coo-mockery
Bites deep, you coo-jerk.


...AhTHANK you.

Regards,

Jared


What I am listening to:


Artist: Derek Webb

Album: I Was Wrong, I'm Sorry & I Love You

Derek Webb has always been prolific, and this album is no exception. It is also the anniversary of his first solo album- She Must and Shall Go Free. His message takes new forms, but remains the same at the core- redemption is not something we can do, or sell, or buy; it comes from one man alone, and that is the person of Jesus Christ. 

I love this guy's stuff so much that I bought the DELUXE deluxe package from his website for this new album- digital download, autographed CD, t-shirt, coffee mug, stickers, audio commentary, video, I think maybe some buttons... and a few more things. It cost me 50 bucks. Totally worth it. I need him to keep making music, so he can have my money. I saw him in concert (he visited Saskatoon of all places!) and he was a humble and genuine guy with an easy laugh, but with a sharp tongue for those who would use Christ as a marketing tool. He is who he is, and that guy is someone whose music I will always follow.


Monday, 19 August 2013

The String Cheese Experiment, Pt. 3: Dark of the Moon

  • Welp, this blog just passed 2000 HITS while I was being lazy and not blogging regularly on my vacation time!!

    To celebrate, I am going to bring back the "Give me a movie title and I invent a synopsis from scratch" game!! I asked the intrepid Australian Stallion, Mr. Steven Pam, for some more titles, he kindly obliged, and I picked my favorites and went nuts.  For those just joining us who have not seen this little game before, go to here and here to brush up a bit before we proceed.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "An Edumacation" 

    It's not easy being a kid, and little Donny Marcus has had enough. He is starting his own school for kids his age, where the teachers are kids too, and the rules are open to interpretation! Donny Marcus was a normal kid with normal problems until his next door neighbour kicked the bucket, setting off a wacky chain of events! Old Mrs.Crowley was a chain-smoking, hard-case 96-year-old who lived only for her cats, and left her sizable fortune to Mr. Peepers, her overweight tabby; A story we've all seen before... But wait!
     *record scratch* 
    What happens when Mr. Peepers dies, and leaves HIS fortune to Donny, the kid who always fed him tuna?!? What to do with over 40 MILLION dollars? Why, buy your own school, where the teachers are kids, homework doesn't exist, and bullies have to spend lunchtime in the "Wedgie Machine!! But what happens when the adults catch on to where their kids are going every day? 

    "Bill Clinton's Love Child"
     In the tradition of "Dreamgirls", this rollicking tale gives us a peek into the world of an R&B sensation! When Jimmy, Jack, Ricky, and John were in college, all they dreamt about was meeting the girl-group Destiny's Child; they ate, drank, and slept the entire Destiny's Child catalogue. They even went so far as to form an awkward all-male Destiny's Child cover band! Well, back that thing up...
    *record scratch* 
    ...because dreams DO come true! After Jack wins front row tickets to a Destiny's Child reunion concert, the boys get their chance, and the new all-boy girl band Bill Clinton's Love Child is born!  See them go big with their first hit single "Pop My Collar", and the controversy that surrounds the pro-upper-middle-class-white-male anthem! Meet their mostly Japanese fanbase! See them spiral out of control into excess, culminating in the infamous VH1 Music Awards speech and subsequent "mooning" incident that gave them their bad-boy reputation...all up-close and personal!

    "Where In The World is Edwin Carter III?"
    Edwin Carter is just, y'know, this guy, and his friends are like, "Where is he", and "We haven't heard from him, and his cell phone goes straight to voicemail", and "He hasn't shown up to his job at Starbucks for a week, and that's not like him". They're also like "His bank accounts haven't been touched, and we went to his place to check on him 'cause we are kind of getting concerned now, and his plants were dead, and his cat seemed like it hadn't eaten for days". Also, his mom was like "I don't know where my baby boy is, and why haven't you people done anything to find him", and the police are like, "We suspect foul play, and anyone with information needs to come forward immediately"...

    So yeah... 
    *record scratch* 
    ...Pretty sure that guy's dead in a ditch somewhere.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    ...And that's it for round three of the Synopsis Game!!! These are getting harder every time! Whew!

    I love you all for reading and validating me, and here's to another 2000 hits! I swear I will update more regularly from here on out,

    Jared


    I am listening to: The Civil Wars.











    Both albums.
    I was apparently the last person on earth to discover how good they are. I am more than a little ashamed, and bummed, as they have already broken up!


    Mr. Peepers

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

BGVs AWAAAAAAY!!!

Happily, I just got finished hearing someone who is much better than me add their voice to my album.

Julia Dawn is a local singer/songwriter who has also worked with my own current personal hero (Colin Richet of Revelation Studios). We attend the same church, and have gotten to make music together a lot in the last while; most recently, I have been singing with her team at church, and she backed me up on piano and sweet harmonies when I recently performed a song from the upcoming EP called We Come To You.

Check out Julia's blog here.

I will be having another very talented friend named Chelsea Boyd come in to add vocals as well later, and I expect to be just as disappointed in myself when I hear her sing my stuff as I was today hearing Julia. The whole time I was thinking "what if she just sang ALL the songs herself?" She will be modest, of course, but Julia has a killer set of pipes, and hearing her in the mix just brought it up to another level. She will be a listed guest vocalist on two of the songs: Face of Him and We Come To You, and I am so flattered that she respects my music and wanted to be an ongoing part of it!
After recording was done, Colin and Julia and I were listening to another artist that Colin is working with. After it was done playing, I interrupted the conversation to say,

"Hey guys... I am gonna be real here for a moment. If you are really honest with yourselves, can you admit that sometimes, when you hear someone who has that much talent, you just kind of want to stuff them into a potato sack and drown them in the river? ...Just a bit? Because there can only be so much talent in the world, and they are hogging more than their fair share?"

I got some weird looks from the room at that point, I don't mind telling you.
That is the kind of day it has been.




I am currently listening to two albums manically:
Artist: Abandoned Pools
Album: Somnambulist
Yes, the album title means "a sleepwalker". This is a bit of a departure from his previous album (a lot of the harder edges toned down), but is still an amazing introspective album with reflections on opportunities squandered and the road not taken. Thoughtful stuff, and well crafted.
Highlights: Focus, If Only

Artist: OneRepublic
Album: Natives
Just gold all the way through. Ryan Tedder samples a ton of different styles and genres, but still manages to make a cohesive LONG album. The steady beats punctuate the earnest and sometimes tongue in cheek lyrics.
Highlights: Most of the bloody album, but if I absolutely HAVE to pick... Counting Stars, What You Wanted, Can't Stop, Burning Bridges, Preacher... Seriously. Buy this album.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Radio Woe

I just heard the WORST SONG EVER, and after incredulously sitting through the whole thing, it was no surprise to me whatsoever that it was done by that meathead Toby Keith. This is not only everything wrong with country music, but might actually be everything wrong with ALL music. It is that terrible. 
It is so bad that I want to go and illegally download a million copies of his album, just to hurt his intellectual  property somehow. Though now that I say it, this could not in any sense of the word be called "intellectual".

I am so mad this exists that I want to punch a kitten.

I am going to post the link, but with a disclaimer: if you like kittens, do not click this link.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Contest Completed*

We met our goal!

Between the Indiegogo project and some direct donations, we now have a fully-funded CD project, with the ability to make full cover art and design and get CDs printed!!! Thanks so much to everyone who donated, and know that I will put the money to use in making a great final product!!! Thanks also to Colin, my illustrious producer and friend, who suggested I try this route in the first place!!

I had been struggling with the concept of essentially hitting up friends and family for cash ( I still am, a little), but he and My Beautiful Wife encouraged me to not undervalue my art, and realize that y'all will invest in seeing this happen only if you want to!! To relieve my burgeoning guilt, I even left it generally alone for a couple weeks, as I figured I had social-media-bombed everyone quite enough... 

So there it is;  Whispered Words: The Revelation Sessions E.P. is fully funded, and now I can just concentrate on making sure I stay true to the vision Colin and I have for this album.  I will thank you in advance for your patience, as Colin and I are also very particular people where quality is concerned, and are spending a little more time on it than originally planned. I had planned to be able to release the advance digital version to everyone who donated in early July, but the availability of some amazing people to contribute to the recording, as well as some additional sound tweaking made it a no-brainer to take a bit more time and get a better result. I am so excited to have some local talent (Julia Dawn and Chelsea Boyd) to add their vocal depth to my little E.P., and cannot wait to hear how they sound!!

In the meantime, I will keep everyone updated, but thankfully, no more pleading for cash in relation to the music project...
...
...
... I will probably still need bail money, though; I recently ripped the tags off of several pillows and a mattress in my residence.  I am told that is very bad, and that certain authorities may get involved.

So yeah... bail.



Ciao!

Jared

*Extra bonus points for everyone who knew that was a song title; your reward is an almost hipster-level feeling of smug superiority. For everyone else, don't even bother looking it up... I'm SO over it already.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Music Music Music

As I write this, there are only 29 hours left for you all to donate to the Indiegogo project that is funding the completion of my debut album, under the band name Whispered Words. This album has been a labor of love that has brought new insight to my songwriting, has solidified a fledgling friendship with Colin, my producer, and has been fulfilling me as an artist so much that I cannot express it.

The aforementioned Indiegogo project was a rather vulnerable experiment for me, as I do not have an established fanbase yet, as I do not have any albums yet, and therefore do not have a solid fanbase to guarantee the funding of the first album... it is circular, and depended largely on people giving to an as-yet-unknown entity. I was worried, and scared of the rejection of not having any donations at all!

It made it all the more special, then, when people started to donate. I want to thank those of you who have already donated and encourage anyone else who is willing but has been procrastinating or putting it off to go to the project website below and listen to the songs in the "Gallery" section, and see if you feel you want to still donate to make it happen. As it is, I won't be recouping any of the production costs, but we are VERY close to covering the cost of getting actual CD's cut and printed professionally, which was my primary goal.
If you simply cannot donate, please consider giving your support in other ways! Post the link to the site on your blog or Facebook page, go to the Facebook band page and "Like" it! Link to this blog from yours! Anything you do is appreciated and is a blessing to me.

Once more: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/whispered-words-the-revelation-sessions-e-p/x/2345013?c=gallery

Thanks so much!!

Jared

P.S. More humor and fart jokes next week. I promise. ;)


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Bachelor Chronicles, Part Deux

My Beautiful Wife has seen fit to leave me to my own devices again; she has taken a week vacation with her sister (and more importantly withOUT ME), and so the rather rapid descent into madness begins...

Day 1 of Bachelor Captivity:

I have been trying to keep myself busy to stay out of trouble. I learned some valuable lessons about so-called "down-time" when My Beautiful Wife left on vacation without me last fall; namely, that for me it would be more accurate to call it "Extremely-Alarming-Downward-Spiral-Time".

I woke up this morning with an idea: I am going to start a side business! I researched good business models, emerging markets and current stock trends. Then I completely disregarded all of that and landed on a winner:

Black Market Second-Hand Furbys.

The Pros:
1. Seeing as how they are second-hand, they are relatively easy to acquire!
2. Low initial startup costs.
3. Sustainability. There are a TON of these things out there that were purchased during the great Furby Gold Rush of 1998-2000. There were over 40 million sold during that period, so as I stated earlier, getting a hold of old and broken ones should be a snap.

The Cons:
1. They are second hand and most often broken, being sometimes over 14 years old.
2. They are not easy to fix. I would have to learn basic robotics. And possibly Furbish (see below).
3. They only speak Furbish, with a smattering of English. I would have a hard time overcoming the language barrier to find them placement in a good home.
4. The black market. I just saw the movie Contraband last night, and those guys mean business. Apparently they all look and act like a cracked-out version of Giovanni Ribisi and are seriously crazy, assuming Marky-Mark movies are all totally true.
5. Just look at them- they are terrifying. It is like looking into a furry Abyss. They are genuinely creepy little gremlin-hamster-owl hybrids that blink slowly at you and try to steal your soul, and that is not okay.


Part of me feels that based on the pro and con lists, I should rethink this. The other part thinks that I already paid for the first shipment, and once you're IN, there's no getting out...

I'll let you know how it goes.

"Come play with us! Forever, and ever, and ever, and ever..."

*shudder*


Sincerely, 
Jared



Friday, 5 July 2013

Is It Art?*

Greetings! 
It is of great interest to me that my last post is one of the most viewed in the history of this little blog! I believe that this speaks to a couple of cross-cultural and universal truths- namely:

1. Everybody likes a good tasteful fart joke now and then, whether they admit it or not.

2. If you can dress something up as art, it will appeal to a much larger audience.

My response to this is that I am going to continue my Haiku series indefinitely, and also that I am going to try and categorize other unsavory areas of my life as art, and make a million dollars.

Stay tuned for:

Artfully-arranged wide-angle photos of my dirty laundry (not a euphemism),

An angsty collage of cell phone pics of unwashed dishes, and

A life-size diorama depicting "That Time When I Was Ten That My Mom Wouldn't Buy Me That Ninja Turtle That I REALLY Wanted, And I Am Still Kind Of Angry About".

Is it art?* Only you can decide.

Stay tuned, faithful readers!

Jared

*Rhetorical question. I have already decided that it is. Now give me a million dollars.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

It's a Celebration, Charlie Murphy pt.2

Wow. This little blog just hit 1500 views! 

I still have no idea who any of you people are.

I am okay with that.

And now, another haiku, this time about one of my great loves; one I have only discovered in recent years, but is now dear to my heart.

Deviled Eggs: A Haiku
You are so tasty
I cannot get enough
My wife's nostrils die.


... AhTHANK you.


Jared


Thursday, 13 June 2013

XLERATOR- A Haiku

I wash my hands. Hope
that you are free, as you are
King of Air Dryers

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My Stand-In

I have decided that I will hire a chunky, redheaded, only-slightly-balding, verbose, grossly overconfident actor to take my place at sundry events in my life. I am stretched too thin, and this appeals to me for many different reasons:

1. Going to events I only sort-of want to go to:

That family reunion you dread because you punched your cousin that one time after a heated game of Mah Jongg? The uncomfortable "double-date" where the girls know each other, but you and the other dude have NOTHING in common? These are all easy stand-in spots, because no one really wants you to show up and care... that is not what you are there for.

2. Finishing arguments.

Because what I really need to do in any featured argument between me and My Beautiful Wife is to SHUT. UP. But I don't. And can't. So having the stand-in there to greet her fury with blessed silence instead of having to get the last bloody word in EVERY. TIME. would be of immeasurable value to me.

3. Job interviews.

Interviews are hell specifically because they are so subjective. The actor would be only mildly pre-coached to mix it up and see what happens. This would be one I would want to tape and watch later for football-style instant replay commentaries;

"Well Chuck, it looks like the Suit behind the rich mahogany desk has now asked him the dreaded "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" question!! How do you think this one is going to play out?"

"It could go either way, Bob.  The last time he was asked this question, he professed plans for world domination, which didn't go over well with the charitable organization he was interviewing for!! However, in this case, the Suit behind the desk might actually mistake his idiocy for ambition and "like his moxy", or something similarly ridiculous!"

4. Run-by Fruitings.

 I would pick the targets to make sure they deserve a little mango juice dripping into uncomfortable places, and the stand-in would do the dirty work. (I still like 'Mrs. Doubtfire' after all these years. Sue me.)

5. Standing in line for popcorn at the movie theatre.

Seriously, do I need to explain this?

6. Branding.

I would hand-write a sheet of witticisms that I regularly say (and some that I do not) for the stand-in to insert into conversations. After a time, it would become common knowledge that these are my trademarked phrases, and I could make a mint selling t-shirts with them emblazoned across the average dude's chest.


Well that's it for now. I may continue with this line of thought at a later date. The possibilities are just now truly coming into focus!

Jared

Friday, 31 May 2013

A Preview of Things To Come...

So I have almost finished my time in the studio! Colin is working on some hard-core technical editing, and I can now sit back and wait a bit while the magic happens. ;)

Here is a preview clip from the album. I am very proud of it, and grateful to Colin for his collaborative spirit.  This sounds very different than it ever has (and it's been around since 1996)!

If you like it, donate and get the whole darn album!
Click the link below to be taken to the Indiegogo site and be able to tell people at dinner parties that you "support the arts".  ;)
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/whispered-words-the-revelation-sessions-e-p/x/2345013?c=home

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

And the Beat Goes On...

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/whispered-words-the-revelation-sessions-e-p/x/2345013

I cannot express how great it is to be back in the studio and working on the album again after an almost two-week break!!  Colin and I are going back through some stuff that we were just sketching out before and tweaking the last couple of things that were bugging us. We retooled the opening and ending of a few songs already today to make the songs stand more on their own and not sound "same-y" (my eloquent term, of course).

Colin still astounds me with his ear.  I am so blessed to be working with someone who is such a natural musician and has spent a lot of time honing his technical craft as well! The care he puts into everything is enormous!  He also has this crazy ability to hear me describe a vague concept and create something concrete to match it within just a short time; it blows me away.

As any of my regular readers know, I have launched an Indiegogo campaign for the album to fund its release, and we are at 46 days remaining, and have reached $225 in donations!  I am praying and hopeful that people will still find it in themselves to donate to the project before the time lapses. I occasionally feel pangs of guilt about essentially asking friends and family for money in this way, but My Beautiful Wife reminded me that whomever invests in the project is simply paying for their copy of the finished product in advance! This is not simply donating- it is truly investing in something! I am going to keep including the link on these posts, as this is a big deal in my life right now, so why not? As always, a donation is one way you can help support this, but sending the campaign to others via email or social media and promoting it is a big one too!!

Click here to be taken to the Whispered Words: The Revelation Sessions Indiegogo page and see how you can get involved!!!

Click HERE to be taken to my Whispered Words band page on Facebook! Browse it and "LIKE" it to get regular updates on the project! I will be posting a song clip from today's session soon, I think!

I am including the photo that will most likely be the cover art for the album! I took it myself at Westminster Abbey in London. Not bad, Jared... not bad. ;)

Until next time,

Jared


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Goodbye To A Good Dog.

My family's dog, Suzie, just died today.

She was diagnosed with cancer just a couple of months ago, and was fighting mightily this last while just to stand up and walk normally or eat. My Mom couldn't stand to see her suffering like this any more, and took her in to the vet to go to sleep.

Suzie was a good dog.

She was a rescue from the SPCA about 9 years ago, and had been abused by her previous owners;  she was therefore really grateful to have a loving family around her.

She turned my old-school Dad into a softie.

She was my Mom's constant companion.

She shed all over our home, but we didn't care.

Though I had already moved out when they got her, I have always thought of Suzie as "my dog", too. She was gentle and playful with me in a way the pet I grew up with never was, and she was one of the only dogs My Beautiful Wife has ever really expressed affection for.

She was a good dog.

I will miss her.

That dog loved cucumber.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Do You, Uh, Indiegogo?

I have just launched the new Indiegogo crowdfunding project so I can finish my first studio recording!!

Colin Richet and I have been slaving away in the studio at this (and enjoying ourselves IMMENSELY) for a couple of months now, but it is clear that more funds will be needed to really make sure this is everything it should be. I do not know if there will be any more albums after this one, but the idea is to make sure we do this one right! That means physical media- actual CDs and packaging! I could really use the support of everyone who reads this blog; family, friend, acquaintance, stranger danger, it matters not! ;)

I am posting the link straight to the project here, and will be keeping everyone updated about where we are with our goals and such as the days tick closer to the end of the campaign!

I am so excited to share my music with you- let's make it happen!! Just click on the project link below, donate a pittance, and please share with as many people as you can!!!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

It's A Celebration, Charlie Murphy

Well well well!!!

It appears this little blog has just gone over a thousand views!!!

I have come to terms with the fact that it is not JUST my close family members checking this thing 80 times a day to boost my self-esteem, sooo...

Thank you so much, all of you kind people, for reading and caring. It means a lot to me, and validates me in a way I do not care to dig deeper into.   ;)

The grand experiment is over, and I have decided that I will continue with the blog indefinitely. I won't just be posting about my new musical endeavours, either- it just happens to be what is consuming me right now. I plan to keep mixing it up in the future, so stay tuned!  You never know what might happen next.

As for what's happening to me right now?  THIS is what is happening to me right now.

So... pretty...

My Mom gave me an iPad 32GB Wifi out of the blue a couple of years ago, and it has been my most Loyal and Staunch Companion (I am sorry, My Beautiful Wife, but I am just speaking the truth), and has never failed me. Even when I accidentally abused it, it forgave me, healed (for a nominal fee), and we moved on, stronger than before. 

I saw my Mom, yesterday, and she told me she needed my Most Loyal and Staunch Companion back. I caught my breath, but I was not going to protest- I knew this day could come, and I was just happy that I got to know my iPad for the short time we had (That is a lie. I was actually very unhappy, and considering what the fallout would be if I annexed My Beautiful Wife's android tablet).  Then she dropped the bomb- she wanted the 32 GB Wifi for my Dad, and she was going to replace it with a new 64 GB Ipad 4!!!  I was flabbergasted. I still am. So I went down to the closest thing we have to an Apple store in this one-horse town , talked to a pleasant young man there (I even taught him a thing or two about impact-resistant cases), and left with the 64GB Ipad 4 with Retina Display, a Defender Otter Box (the one they just released for the new ones is muuuuch nicer than the last generation), and a big, smug, satisfied grin on my face!!!

Summary: My Mom is the Best.

That is all.

Update: I returned the Defender Otter Box because it is STILL a massive beast compared to the Reflex case, and I discovered my Reflex fit on the new iPad perfectly, despite online reviews to the contrary.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

History of Whispered Words pt.2





... And here we are again,
with part 2 of the history of my "musical journey" (props to Larry Mullen Jr.) so far.  I gotta confess, I dropped an awful lot in part 1, so I am not going to be able to keep up the sheer volume of words I set as precedent!

I am with a new church family these days, and have been playing it cool a bit, as I had done a lot of "up-front" work at my last church, and felt a wee bit burnt out.  I also had a lot to examine about why I was doing the things I was doing; was I on stage because I just enjoyed being on stage in front of people singing, or was it for a higher purpose? The music I have written and am still writing has always been about Christ and my relationship with Him; my struggles, my hopes, my failures.  I also still have questions about why God keeps giving such a flawed guy like me music to write and songs to sing. After talking to an old acquaintance in the music program, I asked if they needed any voices to sing backup, and began!

Soon after, I met a singer/songwriter in the church who has been a bit of an inspiration to me, and who I have been able to work with in a couple of different capacities, namely: child-wrangling and music-playing. Her name is Julia Dawn. Check out her page! It has been fun watching a young and confident musician and singer with a STELLAR voice make her way, and it sort of rekindled a hopeful little fire that I had always had about making a real album of my material. Really soon after I met her, I got to see her open for one of my all-time favorite musicians, Derek Webb. That's right, I got to meet one of my all-time musical heroes and I did NOT blow it (for those of you who don't know me, I have a favourite saying: "Never meet your heroes. Only one of two things can happen: Either they disappoint you in some way, or you blow it."). I repeat, I did NOT blow it.

Around this time, I had an old friend named Colin come back into my life as well, and he and I got along amazingly right off the bat!  He stopped by my work to talk business, and the subject of his current work came to the forefront- he runs a studio here in my beautiful hometown, and actually had just finished working on Julia Dawn's album!! We got to talking, and I told him about my music and what I had (and hadn't) done with it up 'til now.

A brief aside: Colin Richet is the owner and proprietor of Revelation Studios, and does sound engineering, mixing, producing, multi-instrument session work, composing, and mastering- all in-house. He specializes in taking a simple melody and turning it into a fully-orchestrated experience, as big as you want it! If you have some music in you that you need to get out there, Colin is just the amazing person to help you make it happen. I highly recommend that anyone who is interested check out the site and get in touch with him to talk.

When Colin left me that day, apparently the wheels started turning, and he got in touch with me the next day, and we started talking plans to record. Problem: I had no budget for it! His solution: let's just see what happens. This was around the end of November 2012. He said he was going to see when in the new year we could sit down and plan something out.

In the meantime, I was getting a bit more involved in the church programs, and was asked to sing for the Silverspring Spirit of Christmas event that the church hosts for the surrounding community each year. I asked my good friend "L" to play guitar for me, while I sang a song of mine called "Carol for A Child", and the response I received after was very affirming!

Fast forward to March: We started recording.  It seems almost criminal to have this much fun while working. A couple times, Colin has hit PLAY, we listen through the most recent version of a song that has been with me for 15 years, and I have to hide the fact that I am tearing up at how amazing it sounds.  That brings me to now! I have taken a band name- Whispered Words. I haven't named the album yet- I figure that will come after it is formed. I have started a Facebook band page under the name Whispered Words as well, and already have some fine people supporting me there!

I am going to be trying my hand at crowd-funding the project, as I do not have the resources available to come out of this with a finished product. I will be launching an Indiegogo project with perks for anyone who donates to a finished album, and I hope that this will help us get over the finish line! I will be starting the Indiegogo push soon, and will keep all well-informed via blog, Facebook, Twitter, carrier pigeon, etc.

I went and created a Youtube channel this week just so I could upload this: the first real sample of what the finished product will sound like!! The song is called "In Your Presence".  If you like what you hear, please consider joining the others who will be donating to the finished CD! Enjoy!





Sunday, 5 May 2013

My Beautiful Wife

My Beautiful Wife is one year older today, and has never been more vibrant!!! We are getting close to 14 years of marriage, and I still love her FIERCELY because:

she is kind,
is gentle,
is an amazing listener
is a voracious learner,
is driven to help people,
is a natural beauty,
has a rapier wit,
gives her time to friends,
challenges me to be better,
devours books,
gets my jokes,
tells me when my jokes are crap,
sits through stupid guy movies and doesn't complain,
likes quality music (except Adele),
forgives others their faults... and so much more.

It has been said that no one is just one thing; even an outwardly horrible criminal can be, oh, an opera enthusiast, or support a genuinely good cause! People are multi-faceted and often unpredictable.

Well, I want to spend every day of the rest of my life learning about every facet and hidden gem quality that makes up My Beautiful Wife. I am so blessed to share my life with her!

Fin.

History of Whispered Words pt.1




Hey all!

I am recording an album, and if you are at all a geek like me, you like to hear the story behind the music. If so, here you go, and enjoy! If not, you are in for a rough ride below! ;)

The Music:

I have been writing music since the 10th grade. I was listening to my dad's old Doc Watson recordings playing in the house on a quiet Saturday, something hit me, and I sat down and wrote my first song, "Works of Glory". It was an old-school hymn, I was done writing it inside of ten minutes, and it has survived in that same completed form ever since.

The first time I sang one of my songs, it was at a youth conference at Covenant Bible College, just outside of Calgary in Strathmore, Alberta. There was a talent show on one of the evenings, and even though I didn't (and still don't!) play any instruments, I just felt it was something I should do, and signed up. It went well; I got a standing ovation from the crowd of teens and CBC staff, and I was very humbled and pleased. It didn't seem strange to me that this song had appeared very much out of nowhere at the time.

A few months later, I had another epiphany, and I wrote three songs in a two-day period- "Face of Him", "You Are", and "Thank You". The first two of these still hold up so well that I am putting them on the recording that I am working on. (The third... not so much. It sounds a little juvenile these days, lyrically speaking.... but that doesn't mean it couldn't turn into something else someday!)

I still had a problem, though- I could not play anything, intrument-wise. When I write, I sit down and write a fully-formed song in about twenty minutes, usually. The melody and lyrics arrive at the same time, and as soon as I am done, I sing it into a cell phone recorder or something similar to make sure I don't lose the melody. So, without someone in my life who could play a guitar and help me "chord everything out", I just sort of sat on them.

A few years went by. I finished high school, got married, and moved to Saskatoon, in fairly short order. My Beautiful Wife and I started attending a church, got jobs, and a year went by. I met some friends at the church, but we eventually stopped attending and started looking for another church that suited us better. And by "looking", I mean "sleeping in on Sundays instead of looking". After a year and a half, we eventually decided that we needed to start paying attention to our spiritual lives again, and had heard that the situation at our original church had changed somewhat. We went back, were welcomed with open arms, and we had found what was going to be our church family for a long time.

One of our first few Sundays back to the fold, I sang Works of Glory as a special music thing in one of the services, and caught the attention of "L" and "T", two music-minded men in the church who were going to be hosting a "coffee house"-style shindig. They asked if I was interested in joining them to sing backup, and I was very flattered. Eventually, the subject of my having some original music came up, and they asked if I wanted to do something with it. Having musicians at my disposal was too good to pass up, so I not only had them help me suss out the stuff I had already written, I started writing again in earnest, and wrote a good chunk of material in the 2004-2007 period with their help. "Broken Man" and "Old Letters" both came out of this period, and will be on the upcoming recording as well.

Through this time, I also made two of the longest-lasting and rewarding friendships of my life! "T" and "L" are still major influences in my life, musically and otherwise.

"T" moved on to a promising and exploratory solo career and is headlining his own alt-country band now, but "L" and I played together often, on the church stage and off. We continued to play little coffee house gigs here and there, and even got paid to play at a wedding once (the high point of the old band, for sure)! In the last couple years, though, we hit some major life changes- "L" and I both decided, for different reasons, to move on from our church home to see what was out there.

 Around the time of the move, I wrote a few songs (the last in 2011)- "In Your Presence", "We Come to You", and "Carol for a Child" (my one and only Christmas song). I actually sang and performed "We Come To You", an exploration of prayer, on my last Sunday service at our old church, and was moved to remember how much growth and change My Beautiful Wife and I had been through there, and how much we had to thank everyone there for. It remains a precious memory to me. "We Come to You", "In Your Presence", and "Carol for a Child" are all going to be recorded during this project, as well- I will just be holding on to the Christmas song until the season is right. ;)

"L" and I moved into other church families, but I absolutely did not want our musical relationship to end there! Over the years, I joked with him that if I ever recorded a real professional studio release, he was going to get a co-writing credit for music, as his sensibility and skill absolutely informed every single one of the songs in my catalog! Joke or no at the time, it was and is absolutely true- I plan to keep playing music with him as long as he and I are both able, and he will be getting a co-writing credit on the album as well for everything I have played with him over the years. I can't even remember what some of these songs were like before he helped me shape them. He has been a true brother, musically and otherwise...

End of part 1- part 2 to follow soon!


What I am listening to:


artist: Phoenix
Album: Bankrupt!

Phoenix had released a couple of albums that flew under the radar before they released their opus, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, in 2009. I found that CD in early release for 8 bucks, and played the crap out of it for that summer. And the summer after. And every subsequent summer. They are not a well-kept secret by any means now- a couple of their songs ended up on car commercials and the like. Their new album, Bankrupt!, is destined to become another spacy summer classic. Standout tracks are Entertainment and Trying to Be Cool, two sure-fire feelgood songs for Sunday afternoon lazing about with a cold drink. If you do not know Phoenix already, go out and buy Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix first, marvel at your good luck, and then NEXT summer, buy Bankrupt! after you have given that first release the attention it deserves. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Earth-Shattering Announcement!!


Listen:

I am recording my first album! I will be launching an Indiegogo campaign soon to fund it!

Okay, maybe not EARTH-SHATTERING, but long-overdue, at least.

I have held off of officially announcing this project for a wee bit because I was unsure how the funding was going to all work out, and also unsure about whether this was going to be a small project for posterity, or whether it was going to be My First Album. After spending some time in the studio with my producer/sound engineer/studio musician extraordinaire, I have decided that this will be My First Album.

 The aforementioned studio genius is Colin Richet, owner and purveyor of Revelation Studios; Colin's specialty is taking a basic melody and a voice and turning it into a fully fleshed-out song, produced to whatever level you require, and it has been amazing to hear my music (some of which I wrote back in late high school) taking a shape I never imagined! Colin and I go a ways back. We reconnected in late 2012, and after some deep conversation realized that it is our destiny to work together! I waited while he finished some projects and cleared some space for me, and I am super-pumped about taking this journey with him!

I will be giving updated progress reports on this page as well as my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and I have created a band page on Facebook as well for anyone interested to follow and keep up with the project.

The name of the project (and the band name I have chosen) is Whispered Words. I was leaving work and walking across the street when the thought "I wonder what a good band name would be?" Instantly, "Whispered Words" appeared in my frontal lobe. I gave it some time to sink in (and checked registered band names) and it looks like it is all mine, and it just FEELS right.

The E.P. itself (six songs) will get a title later on.

Despite praying for peace about this, I still can't get over the scariness of not having all the funds I need to complete the project; but here's where you can help! I have had many people ask me when I plan to record a CD over the years, and have had a few even tell me they were looking for something to invest in re: my music, so I intend to launch an Indiegogo crowd-funding effort very soon to finance the E.P.! You will be able to donate the amount of your choice, and depending on the amount, you will get certain perks in return, i.e. an advance digital copy of the E.P., a physical copy of the finished CD, your name mentioned in the liner notes, I mow your lawn, a house concert, etc. So when it launches, please consider funding the album- you won't be sorry! Colin and I are working some magic here!! I am really excited about this, and very nervous as well... being able to put the funding issues to rest and give you nice folks some audible chocolate in return would make me very happy. 


Thanks for listening!!

Jared



P.S. The cat's out of the bag now! Here is that particular self-satisfied-looking cat in the studio, seeing his dreams take shape!





Saturday, 20 April 2013

Hairy Houdini

This is a true story.

I just got home from work. I came in the door, let the dog out of the kennel, gave him a scratch and a "good boy!", put him back in the kennel, latched it, and took a ten minute shower (for me, this is BIG. I do not shower for fun; I shower to get clean and get out. My dad instilled a healthy fear of ballooning water bill costs from an early age). I finished the shower, grabbed a towel, and then heard the strangest thing: the clack of pooch nails on the kitchen and dining room laminate. I called the dog's name, and heard a little whine. What the heck?!? How did he get out?

Brief disclaimer, for those of you who know me well: No, My Beautiful Wife and I have not purchased a pooch; This is not my dog.

This dog is a loaner.

Anyway, I went to investigate, and sure enough, there was Bently the Beagle, trying to look innocent while clearly on the lam. He might as well have been wearing an adorable little prison uniform. I looked in his eyes; He was swimming in guilt. I said his name in a disappointed tone, and he hung his head and slunk guiltily back to the kennel. I checked the kennel latches and was not able to ascertain how he escaped, so I hatched a plan: lock him back inside, double-check the locks, go find a seat on the stairs, and see what happens.

Five minutes later, it happened again. A thunking sound, the patter of little paws on laminate, and he poked his head around the corner of the dining room, peering into the darkness of the stairwell. He undoubtedly spied me trying to blend in... Doggie night vision is better than mine. This time, however, a triumphant air accompanied him. "You know what," I thought, "let the dog have his secrets. After all, magicians are supposed to guard their best tricks." I gave him a scratch, some food, and let him up on the couch to rest his head on my lap. After all, the only other alternatives:

1. Upon further investigation, discover that I cannot even latch a dog cage reliably and should therefore not be allowed to use forks to eat, lest I accidentally stab myself in the eye.

2. Upon further investigation, discover without a doubt that I did indeed latch the dog cage reliably, and be confronted with the awful truth about which of the two of us is the smarter.

As I scratch him behind the ears and he rolls over and presents his belly for further demonstration of affection, it occurs to me that the stalemate isn't such a bad option.

Fin.


What I am listening to:
Song: Flutter Girl
album: Euphoria Morning
Artist: Chris Cornell

This album is the first solo effort from Chris Cornell, and remains the best. Soundgarden had just broken up, and Chris was looking to distance himself stylistically. What came of it was an eclectic yet bluesy, vocally-driven tour de force. With the exception of Soundgarden's seminal album SUPERUNKNOWN, this remains his best work. And the VOICE... Chris Cornell is still bar none the best rock singer on the planet.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Lynd Cres,Saskatoon,Canada


Monday, 15 April 2013

Sad days...

So the Boston Marathon was bombed.

In an effort to counter my thoughts turning towards hatred over the Boston bombings, I found a random person and gave them a heartfelt compliment. In this case, I just told the man who was cleaning the bathroom in the mall how much I appreciate his work on a daily basis. The big grin on his face as I left was totally worth it. Let's mourn evil, but spread love today. Anyone with me?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:21st St W,Saskatoon,Canada

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The String Cheese Experiment, pt. deux

It appears I have been challenged! The gauntlet has been thrown down in the comments by +Steven Pam  (check out his blog!) the Australian Stallion himself, and I have three new imaginary movie synopses to write. This all started with an earlier post that I had a lot of fun with.

For any others of you out there with bright ideas, feel free to do the same! I check the comments all the time, and if you leave me some suggestions, I will gleefully continue this series.

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Movie: "The Bicycle Chronicles"

When twenty-something identical twins Marcy and Nancy set out to use their quick wits, good looks, and lower body strength to start up a tandem-bike courier service, they had no idea what they were in for! One day, they are competing (on a tandem bike) for the affection of the dreamy bellhop at the Waldorf-Astoria downtown, and the next, they're running for their lives (on a tandem bike) from the Russian Mob! Who will the cute bellhop choose to date? Will they clear their overhead costs and actually make a profit with such a bad business model (seriously, a tandem bike)? Will they figure out what is in the package the Russian Mob is so eager to get their hands on? Why the heck haven't they opened it already? And does the bellhop even know he's been talking to two different women?


Movie: "My Grandmother Was an Octopus"

Never before has a film focused so closely on the hurly-burly, fast-paced, debauched and edgy world of sports team mascots! In this real-life look at the ups, downs, pitfalls, delights, and hilarities of modern mascot work, we follow Della; a woman on the verge of retirement, and what it means to her to put on a foam octopus suit and cheer loudly at high school football games! We see early footage of her machiavellian meteoric rise through the ranks of the early cheerleading pioneers, her move to "foam work", and the true story behind the flaming hoop point-fixing scandal that rocked the (mascot) world! Will Della ever regain her former glory? Are her days of not... quite... nailing the trampoline dunk and being hit in the head with corn dogs and old fruit behind her?


Movie: "It's My Party, And I'll Rock Back and Forth Incessantly If I Want To"

It's the last day of school, and Rick Parker's plan is solid: throw a rager that his small hick town has never seen the likes of!! All the perfect party pieces are in place!
Parents out of town: Check.
Entire senior class attending: Check.
Spiked punch: Check.
The brainy girl of his dreams that he hasn't had the guts to ask out until tonight: Check.
Lovable nerds who can't wait to crash the party: Check.
Untested retro ska band: Check.
All these things will lead to a night that Rick will never forget, with just one unexpected twist:
Rick is actually locked up in an institute for the criminally insane.
ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE PIECES OF HIS TWISTED, FRACTURED PSYCHE.
That's right...
THIS JUST GOT REAL.
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Well, there you have it! That was too much fun. Thanks for the inspiration, Steve!!

I also just today learned how to add links to my posts, and will be exercising my link prerogative from here on out. I have gone back and added useful links to my older posts, as well, so feel free to go back, re-read, and check out a link or two on the earlier ones.

I will be back soon with a post about something exciting that is happening in my life later this week! Really pumped!

To any other people out there with websites or blogs, send me a note to check out your page! If I dig it, I will link it and try to help drive your traffic as well. Share and share alike.


What I am listening to:
I am STILL listening to Matthew Mayfield.
I cannot turn it off. Have you not checked him out yet? If not... Get on that.


Jared

Monday, 1 April 2013

Things You Cannot Do When You Have Inexplicably Injured Your Neck

1. Sleep. There is no physical ailment you can have that cannot be made 50 times worse by not being able to get more than an hour of accumulated shuteye in a night.

2. Achieve an even semi-comfortable position, whether currently vertical or horizontal.

3. Hold a book comfortably.

4. Reach for the remote without yelping in pain like one of those small annoying dogs.

5. Enjoy food.

6. Enjoy watching old Star Trek on Netflix.

7. Enjoy watching NEWER Star Trek on Netflix.

8. Okay, enjoy watching really anything.

9. Also, video games are right out.

10. Okay, this could go on forever, so I will just say that this sucks and that all I can really do right now is sit in an awkward position in the exact centre of my couch and type on the iPad. Briefly.

11. Please send help.




Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The String Cheese Experiment

So I was having an off-hand discussion with someone earlier and the phrase "string cheese experiment" came up. Instantly, I said "That would be a great name for a movie about a washed-up ska band!"

And so it begins... I will instantly make up a movie name, and then come up with a fake synopsis just as quickly!

Movie: "The String Cheese Experiment"

This is a rags-to-riches-to-rags story about four thirtysomething college washouts who find sudden fame on the college music circuit when they form an ironic retro ska band!
Tom, Rick, Jerry and Jones (affectionately called "Wobbs" by his friends) are part of the local community college's janitorial staff; the college that they were all expelled from in senior year due to a toilet-paper-and-petroleum-jelly prank gone horribly wrong; a freshman died, and did not die well. These four misfits have one last chance to make good!


Movie: "'Talkin' 'Bout Willis"

Willis Rashburn is a down-on-his-luck Bible salesman with a secret- his pet chihuahua can talk! Watch as Willis and Chauncy try to find financial stability in the Deep South in the digital age! Deliverance country never seems as lonely and rape-y when you've got a friend by your side... Who wags! And farts! And licks himself in inappropriate places!


Movie: "When My Heart Finds Windex"

When you've got a high-flying job like being a window-washer on the Empire State Building, romance is sure to find you! And then, so will a serial killer!
Jack Priestly is a window-washer with a plan: witness someone rich doing something stupid from his unique "viewpoint", and then blackmail the heck out of them! Little does he know that he will find true love through a 50th floor window- only to see her be killed in front of his eyes. And when the motor on his cleaning scaffold goes on the fritz, Jack will subjected to 50 floors of terror as he tries to beat the killer to the bottom!

Movie: "Once Upon A Ficus"

Mike Regent is a normal guy who discovers an amazing secret- the ficus tree in his office is actually a four-hundred-year-old gypsy princess!
At night, the ficus turns into Jezel, a smooth-talking, strikingly beautiful modern art sculptor who is taking the art world by storm! After a particularly hard day at the office, Mike falls asleep at his desk. Little does he know that the ficus in his law firm's lobby will change his life forever. Will Mike find true love with a shrubbery? Will Jezel finally make her masterwork? Will the night janitorial staff's growing suspicions be shared with the world? Get ready for a "tree"-ring circus of hilarity!!


That's enough for now, but hey... I could do this allllll day.


UPDATE: There is already a band out there called The String Cheese Incident. Check them out. I was speechless for ten minutes. I swear I had no idea!


Jared

Listening to:
Artist: Matthew Mayfield
Album: Banquet of Ghosts
This man knows how to layer a song until something truly amazing sneaks up on you. The sound is stripped-back acoustic with strong Southern roots, and the voice is fragile, vulnerable, wavery yet measured, and the man hits every single note without fail. It has been a awhile since I heard someone laid so bare in each song. Get this.

P.S. Don't be afraid to leave comments! I can guarantee I will respond.




Monday, 25 March 2013

The Bachelor Chronicles

Oy. I was going to leave this until tomorrow at least, but sleep eludes me, and now YOU, faithful reader (I think the singular there is all too accurate), reap the benefit.

Last fall, My Beautiful Wife (henceforth known in this blog as MBW) and her sister took a vacation without me, to a place I love going. I was not happy about this fact. I told my family that I was going to chronicle the downward spiral of the week without MBW, and these are the stream of consciousness fever dreams that came from that five-day period. This series is also what gave a couple people the idea that I should continue writing! So thanks to K, T, and Mom for your encouragement! I wouldn't be up here, accepting this award without your unconditional love and support! *sniff* I promised I wouldn't cry...

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Day 1 of bachelor captivity:
I have lost the will to use the toilet separately... I now pee exclusively in the shower. On a related note, I no longer shower, as the tub is inhospitable. I believe the next to go will be written language. As the week progresses, I will be experimenting with communicating only with guttural grunts and an insulting, made-up sign language that involves waving a single finger in various condescending ways...


Day 2 of bachelor captivity:
I just ate something unidentifiable from the back of the fridge. I woke up this morning with the cruel sunlight beating down on my sweat-soaked sheets, thinking that maybe the nachos-and-cheese binge at 3am previous might have been ill advised. A shame no one was around to tell me that this was not a smart plan.

I am currently wandering the stacks at the local Home Depot, lost and mewling pitifully. Strangers slow down as they approach, but cautiously edge around me as I beg for help from everyone I see to lead me to the sink repair supplies. I wipe away my freely-running nose and decide that the only way to get an employee's (ARE there employees? I swear I saw someone in an orange smock as I entered this cattle corral) attention is to start climbing the shelves, monkey-style. This approach does not yield the results I expected, so in the grand monkey tradition, I start to throw my own dung at passerby. This brings management out rather quickly. It also brings about my quick ejection from the premises and several nasty bruises, no richer in the sink-stopper department than I was prior to my doomed excursion...


Day 3 of bachelor captivity:
I have ceased breathing through my nose. I was on the couch in my underwear earlier in a heap that can only be described as "awkwardly revealing", and realized that breathing through my nose is simply too much effort. I have been testing an obscure type of Kung fu that is aptly named "Gaping Maw" style, and have discover that I am lethally efficient in this technique. It requires extreme focus, staggering endurance, and the ability to inhabit a corner couch for so long that your limbs become actually fused to the fabric, making it more difficult to raise chip and dip to mouth. Gaping Maw's basic tenets involve marathon chip consumption sessions, mouth breathing, and convincing the easily-creeped-out girl who works at the pharmacy to hand-deliver the antibiotics necessary to counteract the compounding infections spreading from my exposed uvula. I haven't closed my mouth for fourteen hours. The steady stream of snack food occasionally shoos away the horseflies that seem to have found a new perch on my exposed tongue, but I may have to seriously consider getting the proper gear for this new hobby.

Can't... quite... reach... the remote... *WHEEEEZE*


Day 4 of bachelor captivity:
Navels are fascinating. I am not kidding. It seems like the study of navels should have an official name... "navelology"... "navelmetrics"... Somebody help me out here...

I was just watching two ants from what must be battling neighbor colonies (those queens and their drama) fighting over a very large crumb, and after a while, it became embarrassingly clear that their hearts were just not in it. You can only gnash your pincers and menacingly swoop your antennae a certain amount of times before it is obvious that you aren't really going to follow through on your pheromonal threats, and the two of you should maybe think about what you have in common, and go get a beer (or the ant colony equivalent) and talk about how Queens be crazy... A drone bromance.

My teeth hurt. Like, at a "deep down in the gums" level. These Sour Patch Kids bags do not come with any warning about consuming more than one club-pack bag in a sitting, though, so I am going to keep on tossing them in and puckering, 'cause there is no one here to tell me different. I think the Kids have dug a hole in my tongue. Right down to China.

Can beef jerky ever REALLY go bad? I know that bag was purchased on a road trip two years ago, but I can't take my eyes off of it...


Day 5 of Bachelor captivity:
You have to believe me, I had no idea that events would spiral so far out of control. Regardless of my intentions, however, the seemingly benign series of incidents that happened directly after I got out of bed in the early afternoon that day led to tragedy, and here is why:

I was left alone with a schnauzer.

The pooch in question appeared in my bedroom around 1:45 in the afternoon and stuck his wet nose in a rather uncomfortable place, causing my startled girlish squeal. I am going to choose to believe that he could not have known the suggestive nature of his chosen area of attack. Immediately following this unfortunate interruption of a Cheetos-induced fever dream, two things happened; a South American security guard of 55 years of age was shot and killed in his home in Bogota, Colombia, and the small, puckish schnauzer in question grabbed a hold of my ankle with his teeth and would not let go. Make no mistake; I do not now, nor have I ever owned a dog, much less a plucky schnauzer whose eyes betrayed an adventurous yet lonely existence, and who abruptly and with great satisfaction dropped a "present" on my duvet.

How was I to know that the schnauzer (whom I would later come to know as Pablito) was on the run from the cartel where his master had used him to sniff out car bombs and C4? How could I have known that his collar contained a micro-SD card with 14 GBs of inside information that the Cartel would kill the population of a small country to have back? How Pablito ever found the wherewithal to sneak on board the cargo plane, stow away until he reached these shores, evade airport staff, and wander into my neighborhood I will never know, but I know this: if he had not waddled into my life on that fateful day (possibly gaining entrance through the back door that I had opened to facilitate my urinating on the lawn around 2am), I would not be the man I am today...

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And that's all for my first "creative writing" experiment since high school! Oh, and I said last time that I would post about what I am listening to, so here it is:

Artist: Sandra McCracken
Album: Desire Like Dynamite
Sandra is married to Derek Webb, another amazing musician, but is her own woman stylistically, despite some natural collaboration with her husband. This album is at times boisterous, melancholy, uplifting, and haunting, and is able to sound nothing like her older work, but still fit like it belongs in her catalog. She grows and changes it up on every album, with increasingly rewarding results!


Talk again soon,

Jared