May 28: update w/ the Spoons

Happily, an old style post – also, the fifth this month.  I’m so glad to be back.

If you explore my site – which you can do by clicking the facebooklet.ca tab next to “Home” above, then following the link – you’ll find my old home page.  There are links to blog archives, rss archives, and galleries.  Many dozens of posts – and drawings – await you from years past.

If you’ve already been there, you know my old style of post:  while talking about life, yard work, etc., I’d also feature an actor or music star with their portrait I’d drawn.

Today’s post is such.  Having you-tubed “Those Old Emotions” by the Spoons the other day, I got inspired to “write them up.”

I remember the Spoons from the early 80s.  The first song I knew was theirs: “Tell No Lies”.  It’s a simplistic song, but catchy and playful.  With so many songs talking about heartbreak or dislocation, “Tell No Lies” was a fun interlude on the radio.

“Romantic Traffic” is catchy as well.  My impression is that it’s more complex than “Tell No Lies”, both musically and lyrically.  While I haven’t heard “Tell No Lies” in over a decade, my younger son likes “Romantic Traffic,” which he first heard on the radio in the car.  It still gets a lot of play on some stations.  I think “Romantic Traffic” brings a style similar to the 80s band ABC (“Be Near Me”, among others).

“Those Old Emotions,” probably my favourite from the Spoons, came out in 1983, the year before the other two songs I’ve mentioned.  It’s unlike the popular music of the time, seeming to speak to an older generation.  Yet there it was, playing alongside Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, the Police, and others.  It reached 28 on the Canadian charts.  I’d easily believe that it’s as popular today as some songs that were in the top 5 back then.  But that happens:)

Here’s one face I see in Spoons videos.  While I assume he’s the lead singer, I confess I don’t know.  With the Wikipedia article right here, you’d think I’d look up his name.  I’m not going to, though:  I don’t need a name to know who he is.  I remember hearing the Spoons songs in my early teens, occasionally even seeing their videos. Back then, seeing a video you hoped for was rare. I never saw the video to “Those Old Emotions” until a few years ago.

So here he is, the man from the Spoons videos. Thanks, Spoons, for the great music:)

May 20: back to everyday life

With the May long weekend over, we enter the final push towards “year end” – if you’re academic, which we are.

Someone might read my heading and dissent.  Many university students have been out for a month already.  Isn’t it only grade school that extends through June?

Actually, I did about a sixth of my degree in spring and summer terms.  Some were condensed courses, offered May through June at double pace.

I always enjoyed spring and summer terms.  Of course, I like school in general.  However, there seems to be a different dimension to summer learning.  It’s like a vacation where you are in courses.  Somehow, the point of view is different.  Summer courses seem separate from the main year ones, even though they go on the same transcript at the end.

In my present reality, everyone around me is in school, while I’m not.  I function as the support person:  I make breakfasts, pack lunches, and sometimes leave dinners to be eaten by the students later that day, when I will be away.  I help with homework.

When I was in university, I never imagined the life I have today.  Getting my degree meant everything.  I had to metamorphize.  I wasn’t good enough until I got that degree.  That’s what I’d been taught since I was a small child.  It’s not what I believe today, by the way, but I’d been brainwashed.

While getting the degree didn’t solve all my problems, it qualified me to have a family.  Now, I gently guide them along like a slow current.  It’s not the manic all-nighters that I spent at university.  We live in a gentler time now.

I’ve been told many times that university is a place you go to get a degree, then you return to life.  I’d love to go back to university sometime, but right now I’ve got this other life to live.

As a support worker, you get some leisure time.  You can take up a pastime like drawing, for instance.  You can observe the world around you instead of always having your nose in a textbook.

Here’s my latest experiment.  I’ll be back.  Cheers:)

May 18 Update: night walking

As a kid, I enjoyed walks late at night.  I’m happily contemplating a return to the habit.

Last night I left the house around 11pm for a walk.  It was a beautiful summer night, cool and breezy.  Between light gusts, flowers perfumed the air.  The streets were dead.  Although the sky was overcast, it felt like a clear night.

Revisiting corners I hadn’t happened by in months, I checked the street names sometimes. All around, dark houses stood. The fresh leaves on the front yard trees danced in the breeze.

I couldn’t smell the ocean from my house, but after 20 minutes’ walking I could. It was an oily, heavy smell, laced with salt.

For the first hour, I didn’t encounter a soul. Only nearing home did I see anyone – in total, three people in the last ten minutes of my walk. All were young males. The first was on his phone; the next two were listening to headphones.

This is the last guy I saw. Cheers:)

Update May 17 w/ security guard

I don’t leave the house very often.  When I do, it’s often for a function such as a judo tournament.  Later, I might draw a person I saw there from memory.

 
Hello again! I’m very pleased to get back so soon.

I’ve been reading your comments, some of which I really appreciate. Hopefully I’ll have time to start posting some of them soon. Right now, I’d like to respond to three questions I’ve received:

Question 1

Someone asks, “Do you get a lot of spam responses?”

Answer:

Definitely. One time, I got 1600 comments in four months; about 1500 were spam. You can cut down on the spam using various features in the blogging platform, such as the blacklist feature.

Question 2

Someone asks, “Given that your site loads so quickly, what web host do you use?”

Answer:

I use a local web host, rather than a nationally advertised one. I might pay a little more, but so far it’s been worth it:)

Question 3

Would you be interested in a link exchange?

Answer:

Possibly. I’d never do it unless I visited the other site and liked it. I tend to like creative, artistic sites, but they don’t have to be about art.

I haven’t been drawing as much these last few months, but my interest in faces, especially in drawing from memory, continues. While much of my drawings have been based on pictures, I do like to recreate people I see spontaneously.

Tournaments are great places to notice people. There are lots around, in various capacities. Most people’s faces I don’t notice, but every crowd has a memorable one.

The person depicted below is a first aid attendant/security guard. He looked absolutely suited to his role. Some people seem to discover their perfect niche in life; I’ve always thought those people are very lucky!

Thanks, Mr. Security Guard, for the role you played that day.

JS

May 16: Update w/ Sherlock

The more I watch Elementary, the more I like it.  Here, it airs on Thursday nights.

Hello. I’m so glad to be touching base with you again. Believe me: I’m trying to post more regularly.

Around May 2, summer came. We’ve had a few perfect days that could have been from July. Of course, Canada’s west coast isn’t a hot place; summer days are often around 22° Celsius.  So it’s not so hard to reach such temperatures this early in the year.

I’ve limed the back lawn twice more, the side lawn once more. With the sudden warm, sunny weather, the weeds have taken off. My weeding tool actually broke yesterday. Strangely, just before it did, I was contemplating how many weeds I’ve taken out with it. I was imagining tens of thousands. Then it broke.

Well, my weight is up around 177. My jeans are loose, though. I don’t know what’s going on; a few months back I was around 172.

We have two lawnmowers – one that’s not powered at all, and an old 2-stroke Lawnboy. My wife prefers my using the Lawnboy because it gives a more uniform cut. It’s from 1979; it often takes quite a few pulls to start it. At the beginning of the season, it might take about 50 pulls. However, this year I had to pull the cord 200 times before it finally started. It’s not running quite right; I’ve got it apart now and need to do a couple of repairs. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The “year” 2013-2014 is definitely coming to a close. My kids played in their piano festival a couple weeks back. Their summer swimming has begun. As I understand it, the Blacklist and Elementary both finished their seasons this week. My wife has even begun her “spring” term in her courses. It’s a condensed one, naturally.

While this time of year marks the end of so many things, I find it often brings freshness as well. A different point of view might evolve in just a few weeks. It’s tempting to just let go and ride the summer wave. However, there’s much too much to do:)

My wife is not happy (of course) with this drawing of Sherlock. On inspection, I’m happy enough with it. You be the judge.

I have high hopes to be back again soon.

JS

Wikipedia was a source for this article.

Sherlock Holmes played by Johnny Lee Miller