Thursday, June 28, 2007

Quick anectdote

As I sit here in a hotel in Schenectady, reading blogs and basically wasting time before going to bed, I recall an amusing thought I had a while back concerning the Wife.

Let me preface this by saying to the Wife I'm not making fun of her, I simply found this ironic. Love you!

So anyway, I've never considered the Wife a "soccer mom". She's just not like that. However, a little while ago I realized that if you saw her in the street, you would see this:

Attractive mother of two, wearing Birkenstock sandals, carrying a Longaberger purse, getting her kids out of her Volvo, to play soccer.

Did I mention she's a smoking hot MILF with two children? I'm pretty sure I did.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Let us pray

Lately there's been much going on in the blog world that has caused me to want to pray for people. Some of you are going through tough times, and I pray that they go by quickly. Some of you have much weighing on your mind, and I pray that the burden is lifted and happines returns. Some of you are enjoying great happiness and I pray it continues.

You may recall from some months ago that one the husband of one of the Wife's co-workers was diagnosed with cancer. We collected money to help with family expenses as they were on one income and the treatments expensive. Well, he was getting better for a while, but lately has been sick. He went into the hospital and they prognosis came back today. The cancer has spread to his liver and they've given him 6 to 10 months to live.

So I ask that you pray, in whatever fashion you pray, not only for all those out there going through tough times, weighing big decisions, or enjoying happiness, but especially for the family of the Wife's co-worker. This totally sucks for all involved. I'm sure some good will come of it eventually, but right now there's just sadness and worry. I will keep you updated as things progress. We will probably do something for them at some point, but now is too soon. So we do the only thing we can.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Boy are we tired

The Wife and I are pretty exhausted from this weekend. Here's some of the highlights:

Friday - I had a golf tournament, which while fun, kicked my ass. Very challenging course but great fun. I even hit a few good shots. And only went through 8 or 9 balls. Good day indeed.

Saturday - Maverick got up at 6:30 IN THE FREAKING MORNING! Don't know what was up with that kid, but that combined with allergies on my part and trouble getting good night's sleep in the Wife's part made for very tired people. We just did the usual Saturday stuff but it takes it's toll on you.

Sunday - Grasshopper gets up at 6:30 IN THE FREAKING MORNING! I still got allergies, Wife still not sleeping awesome so we're even more tired. The boys had soccer games as part of a tournament. The Wife did that while I and my bro did landscaping in the front of the house. In the direct sun. In 84 degree heat. Which around here is pretty hot. The poor Wife wore her Birkenstocks to the boy's games and after only about 1 hour, now has stripes on her feet from the sun. Luckily, it isn't sunburned. Anyway, all the hard work was worth it. You can see the results below, including the cute little Wife wearing the kick ass pants she got at Eastern Mountain Sports. They roll up into capris if you want and are nice and light weight. Now if she only had her tank top on, that would make her irresitably hot. Anyway, hope you like what we did with the place. The Wife didn't get to see the plants before we bought them and the tree we ended up with wasn't what we'd planned to get. You be the judge:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Let it rain

Today we recieved much needed rain. Mostly in the form of torrential downpours. I had heard that we might get thunderstorms today, but thought it would be late afternoon. I was leaving work at about 2 to take the boys to a doctor's appointment and it was supposed to be near 90 today, so I figured it would be a good idea to crack the sunroof and windows in the car.

Guess what time the thunderstorms showed up? Can you?

Right around 1 pm. I was on the phone interviewing an internal candidate for an open position when I thought I heard rain and thunder. I put him on hold and looked out the window. POURING. RAIN. HORIZONTAL. IN. SHEETS. Shit.

My interviewee was willing to let me run out to the car to close the windows, but by then it was too late. No use getting soaked. The rain came down so hard that not only were my front seats wet, my cup holders had puddles in them. It was quite the pleasant drive home. But at least my work pants soaked up most of the water on the driver's seat.

So perhaps next time I'll learn my lesson and suck it up when it's hot and thunderstorms threaten. Maybe.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

How does your garden grow

Hope all the dads out there had a wonderful Father's Day. I didn't do too much today, which is probably the best thing of all to do. At the request of Aimee, I'm posting some pictures of the garden we did a few weeks back and the pavers I installed. Since yesterday was a hectic day resulting in a campout in the back yard, I'm pretty beat. Shortly the boys will be going to bed and I believe I'll be falling asleep on the couch. Enjoy!

Also, I've added a new blog to the roll you should check out: the Webmiztris. She replied to a "What would you bring to a deserted island" type question that she'd HAVE to bring a guitar. My kind of woman. Plus her blog is cool. So go check her out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Look Inside My Mind

Not to try and defend myself or anything, but a comment the Wife made in a previous post started me on a long answer that would be better suited as a post, so here it is. She mentioned my choice of the word audience in reference to the congregation and reminded me it's about them and not me.

Well, of course it's about them. Everything I do in my music ministry is about them. There are several different parts of the ministry that I have definate opinions about. The first is music selection. Whenever picking the songs, I try to concentrate on two things: first, which songs have lyrics or meaning that correspond to the readings for that week. I and the other planners in the band read the readings for that particular week, and see which songs in our repetoire go best. Some weeks, nothing we know works so we plan as best as possible. Whenever possible we pick the Psalm from one of the choiced dictated for that week. Second, I try and pick songs that go stylistically with different parts of the Mass. For example, communion should be a little more meditative and whenever possible should be a "body and blood" kind of song. I like to begin and close the Mass with peppy tunes that uplift the congregation.

It's the job of the music minister to utilize music to more deeply enrich the congregations prayer and celebration at the Mass. Part of this is the style of music and that falls on the personal preference of the congregant. The Wife is not really a fan of what Faith on Fire does, because it doesn't enrich her participation in Mass. She much prefers the Folk Group. Which is totally fine. Some people really enjoy hearing the choir and organ to enrich their experience at Mass. That is completely fine and I get that. What Faith on Fire does is not for everyone, but there is a need for what we do.

Finally, there's the question of performance. Can playing music at a Mass be a performance? Are we there to put on a concert? Of course not. However, I think that the musicians set a tone for the congregation. If the musicians play as if they're bored and have no feeling whatsoever, then how can the congregation be uplifted? There's many times the Wife and I comment that the Folk Group (who we both really love) just destroy some songs. There's a few that we really like, but instead of playing it as written with lots of syncopation (that's pickup notes and playing on the "off" beat), they play it totally straight and the song loses all of its rhythem and feeling.

I really believe that if the group playing the music is really into what they're doing and obviously enjoying themselves that it brings the congregation into participation in the music more. If a group is just dancing and clapping and just having a good time, how can the people in the pews not just want to join in and celebrate? I feel that this is the Spirit moving through me and by my "performance" the Spirit can move through me and into the congregation. Isn't that what music is supposed to do? Make you want to get up and just enjoy yourself? And isn't there nothing better that touching a congregation through music to where they just want to worship the Lord?

This is no longer my music, but the Lord's music. What I do in church is about Him. Not me. Now, when we're practicing or in many other areas, well, then we know who it's about, don't we?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bedtime conversations

Scene: In bed last night, my hand resting on the Wife's side while drifting off to sleep

Wife: Have you ever considered washing your hands with cold water before going to bed?

Me: No, why?

Wife: You're hands are too hot.

Me: Will I get more sex if I do?

Wife: (shrug)

Me: Shall I go wash them now?

Wife: No.

Monday, June 11, 2007

One day of peace

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Weather here was perfect, mid 70s and sunny! Maverick had a 15 mile bike event/campout with the Boy Scouts Saturday. I dropped him off in the morning and didn't see him again until the next morning. Talk about a little slice of heaven! Grasshopper was so easy to be around when it was just him to deal with. We did lots of fun stuff, he had some friends come over to play and didn't have to compete with his big brother, all in all a very relaxing day. I also got some outside stuff done, like patching some bare spots on the lawn.

Sunday morning Faith On Fire got to play a mass with the 9:30 Sunday group I used to work with. It was a lot of fun, though our drummer couldn't make it so we didn't get the "full effect". It was a little tough for us as the 9:30 group is a folk group and our tempos are a little faster. Still, it went over well. We got plenty of positive feedback after the Mass. It might be a little conceited of me (yes, I know it's hard to beleive) but my favorite thing was after our Communion meditation song. We did a song that's in the Faith on Fire repetoire that I sing lead and really just moves me. Afterwards, the congregation spontaneously broke into applause. Nothing makes you feel better as a musician than to touch your audience.

This week it's back to the old grind. Lots of kid related stuff going on, sports, etc. With the school year almost over, the boys will have cool field trips (Grasshopper got to go the zoo last week, Maverick goes to a local amusement part next week) plus getting ready for summer camp. Plenty to keep the Wife and I busy. Weather this week will again be awesome (sunny, low 80s, no rain). Hope your week is as nice!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I got the itch

I don't know why, but lately I've had this itch I just can't scratch. That itch would be this:

I know, it's expensive and the Wife would kill me. But dammit I'm just jonsing for one right now for some reason.

However, I'm thinking that perhaps this would be a better compromise:

I know, the Wife still might kill me, but it is $2000 cheaper than the one above it. Not as well constructed and not as true to the original, but 2 grand is 2 grand. Still, I don't know. My biggest fear (besides the Wife kicking my ass for getting ANOTHER guitar) is that I'll get it and then hate it. That would so suck. Or worse, I might get it and love it. Then I might actually need the totally high end model.

(sigh) Life is tough, sometimes, I know.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

18 Years

18 years ago today, the Fiance and I walked down the center isle of St. Pius X church and exchanged vows, forever making her the Wife. It's been an interesting ride so far, but not one I've ever considered getting off. I love her as much today as I did then and she's just as beautiful.

I got the Wife what every woman wants as a gift (so I've been told): shoes. I got her these. We exchanged the original black for the color picutred, but she's happy.

We also did some biking on the canal path with the boys, since the shop was right on the canal. That also was fun, but we finished the ride JUST as the rain started. We managed to get the bikes on the rack before the deluge started. Not sure what our dinner plans are yet, but I think something mellow is in order. It being Sunday and all, I'm not in the mood to do too much.

I was hoping the Wife would get me this for our anniversary this year, but alas, it was not to be. Perhaps next year.