Monday, January 22, 2007

Song of the Week: One - U2

This is one of my favourite songs by U2. I'm not as fanatical a fan as some of my friends, but I definitely love U2.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Visitors

On Sunday night my indomitable relatives visited from the middle reaches of the empty wasteland between the land of milk and honey and the Pacific Ocean (also known as Saskatchewan). Clint "where's my Stetson?" Langelaar and Karen "Stertorous-Breather" Langelaar came up to Ottawa with little baby Owen "Awesomeness" Langelaar. On Sunday night at 11:30pm the family arrived at the Ottawa train station . . .


"What are you blogging about? How Owen would only smile at me in the morning? What's up with that?" Laurianne queries with rapid-fire delivery. She laughs as she walks away.

*interruption recedes into another area of the apartment*

Anyhow, we talked for a while and then went to bed. Monday morning I drove Laurianne to work and came back to cook my patient guests some breakfast. Being the generous folk that they are, they decided to treat me to breakfast instead. Either that, or the thought of an omelette cooked by John was too distasteful to fathom. I took them to Chez Cora which is, unequivically, the best breakfast restaraunt chain in the universe. Maybe not, but it certainly is worthy of a superlative. After this, we headed back to the apartment where we watched Everything is Illuminated while Karen succumbed to her sleep and Owen took a nap. After Karen had rested, she decided it was time to rest, so Clint and I headed out to the Canadian Museum of War. I should mention that Ottawa was receiving its first real snowfall at this time. This, of course, gave Ottawa's museums an excuse to save money by closing. From the Museum of War, which was closed, we headed downtown where I parked under the World Exchange Plaza. Disheartened, we comforted ourselves with junk food from McDonald's. From there, we hiked over to the Bank of Canada to go to the currency museum (Clint collects rare currency). This museum was also closed.

Having come from a storm system that along with frigid temperatures of -35 had deposited snowdrifts of nine feet, Clint had some choice words about the use of his tax dollars. (We only had about ten centimetres of snow that day). From there, we headed over to Starbucks (?) and sucked back some coffee while we discussed politics, history, and Stephen Harper's hair. We then went to pick up Laurianne from work and took her back to the apartment. Laurianne cooked a very good meal, although she shocked Karen with her copious use of salt. We had a pleasant evening of conversation and then it was off to bed, because we needed to drive them to the airport early the next morning.

We had a great time and it was wonderful to see Karen and Clint after so long and to see little Owen for the first time. He was a bit cantankerous by the time he got to us. This was only natural after having been subjected to enough camera flashes during his time in Port Perry to make a young Hollywood starlet jealous. Nevertheless, the combined awesomeness of Laurianne and I was still enough to coax many smiles from the little guy. I hope Karen and Clint can come again while the museums are open.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Song of the Week - Jamila - Jose Chamelone

In the song "Jamila" Jose Chameleone sings against domestic violence. It's a catchy song, even if I don't know what exactly he's saying.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I've been tagged by my friend Daryl de Boer (no relation, note the lack of a proper "n" after the word "de".) I must reveal five things about myself that no one knows. Now, I'm not a particularly mysterious person so my feeling is that these five things are going to be mind-numbingly mundane. But, hey, someone needs to help the insomniacs.
1) Some might have guessed this (guessing and knowing are two different things), but I enjoy singing at high volumes when I am alone in the car. I also speak to other drivers as if they can hear me.
2) I don't have agoraphobia, but I do often feel slightly annoyed and uncomfortable when I am in a large crowd.
3) I'm usually an optimist unless I'm in traffic, contemplating the depth of human depravity, or waiting for Laurianne. In those cases I am a pessimist, a cynic, and an annoyed skeptic, respectively.
4) Some may have suspected this (suspecting and knowing are two different things), but I have never been to the Winona Peach Festival.
5) You may be astonished to learn this, but I once killed a kitten in front of a group of aghast kindergartners because it looked at me the wrong way. Now, you may be saying to yourself at this point that those kindergartners would undoubtedly remember such a heinous crime, and by remembering they would, of course, know. If you indeed said this then you would be wrong because no one knows this fact about me because it isn't true.

Whom do I tag?
Whoever wants to be "it." Think about it, because if no one volunteers to be "it" it's a bit like me going in after recess without having tagged anyone. Meaning, of course, that I lost the game.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Matthew de Zoete at Irene's Pub 01/06/07

This past Saturday, along with my wife and Phil "the Vulture" Proper, I headed to Irene's Pub to hear Matthew de Zoete play. I had read about his appearance in the newspaper and was eager to hear my old friend's music. Although a year ahead of me, de Zoete and I had attended the same high school and often talked. I had not seen or heard much from him since he left high school, and was completely oblivious to the fact that he had been married (although I vaguely recall my father possibly saying something about it when I wasn't paying attention.) Laurianne, my wife, laughed when I told her that the de Zoete family had moved into our old house back in '94 (?).
"What? Are you Dutch people that insular that you only buy houses from eachother?"
I think Matthew's career itself does enough to show how utterly un-Mennonite the Dutch can be.
Anyhow, we were not disappointed with the concert. Matt performed the first set before Ottawa musicians Shannon Rose and Lisa Poushinsky. Matthew played his guitar without the usual accompaniment of his bassist and drummer. I love music, and although I don't always understand it's inner workings, I consider his guitar playing skills to be excellent. His songs are mellow without being dry or superficial, his music is rich and vibrant, and his lyrics are thoughtful and poetic. A few of my favourite songs were Rest Deep, Letters Sent by Mail, and Who Am I to Say? Matt's banter was humourous and the audience was receptive, even after he made a comment that could have been interpreted as slightly derisive towards the French. Of course, Matt loves the French and he clarified that quite well to the audience (he even left me a message in French on the album I purchased.) I still have some of Matt's older music and I have attended a few of his concerts in the past and it is great to see how much both his musicianship and his lyrical prowess have matured.
We were able to converse with Matt for a while after his set, and it was truly enjoyable to catch up with him. We wish him the best of luck in his career, and hope to see him in concert again soon.

Check him and his album Across the Sea out:
Matthew de Zoete

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Song of the Week: These Eyes - Guess Who

"This is Guess Who"


"Guess Who"


"No really, it's Guess Who"

(this is an actual approximation of supposed multiple conversations between my mother and father back when they had these things called "records" which were these big black shiny vinyl things that played songs with this little needle thingy. My father still remembers other things from ancient history like when the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup and he had to make his own papyrus before going to school)

My dad has informed me that he doesn't particularly care for the songs of the week. That is, they don't interest him. I said I'd make one dedicated to him and here it is:

Who deh?