Archive for the ‘life’ Category

My life so far, today

Ah dear reader.

Are you still there?

Dear reader, if you haven’t given up on following my blog, you are a saint. And a scholar. Or you’re an optimist. And for being all of those things, I thank you.

What’s been happening anyway? (in no particular order)
– I got a BlackBerry, it was almost like changing religions
– I now have a 6 year old
– I am giving up chocolates, chips, and cookies for Lent :S
– I have “guest spoken” at our sister church in North York and will be speaking this weekend in Mississauga
– I’ve been recording a lot of classical music at work
– I got the U2 album No Line On The Horizon yesterday on iTunes and can’t remember the last time I bought a physical CD. Oh wait, I can. It was Led Zeppelin’s CODA and I bought it at a used book shop on the Danforth
– the 4 yo had a fever for a week from an ear infection
– I’ve been playing a lot of bass, and looking longingly at getting my own, maybe a Lakland or a MusicMan
– the 6 yo is signed up for her Grade 2 Conservatory Piano exam in the summer
– I got Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Williams Pinball Classics for the Wii… for myself.

Well, that’s about all I can afford to write this week. I’m still writing my message for Sunday. I watched “Religulous” as part of that prep this week, so I might have some thoughts on that to share later. Until then…

Quite a week

It’s been a long week, and not much energy to post. I came down with a cold, the Linguist got conjunctivitis, and the Comic caught a cough. This meant that they kids missed much of the last week of school, and we had to start the Linguist on antibiotics and eye drops. Have you ever tried to get eyedrops into a squirmy little girl? It’s not easy, let me tell you. And it is accompanied by very high pitched whining… I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.

Anyway, it’s now Christmas week, and everybody is off this week, so hopefully we can recover from all our sicknesses by taking it easy this week.

Here’s wishing you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

A Fun Saturday

It started off auspiciously, this Saturday. This morning we split up, DW went grocery shopping, and I watched the kids at dance class. I brought my laptop to work on some things, but those of you on my twitter know that I had no battery left on my MBP (grrr) and I had to entertain myself with twitter on my cell phone… sore thumbs! The highlight of being there waiting, though, was getting a chance to have a preview of the girls’ ballet routine for the recital in June… so cute.

Our girls were at a birthday party this afternoon, at a play place nearby. The party was drop off (sweet), so DW and I had exactly two hours to relax and shop. And shop we did! We went to Starbucks first, to get our caffeine fix, and then we went to the closeout bankruptcy sale at Linens & Things. Mostly things were 40% off, only a few things were 60%. We did manage to score a set of 3 Green Pan frying pans for $60, which was awesome. I had never heard of Green Pan before, but DW had, and they seem like one of the new wave of environmentally conscious companies.

We also stopped in at the LCBO and picked up some Fresita and a bottle of CHRISTIAN MOUEIX SAINT-ÉMILION 2005 (VINTAGES 979955). This is one of my recent favourites.

We scooted back to the play place to pick up the kids, and thankfully they didn’t make much of a fuss when it was time to go. We had already warned them about it, so it seemed to be alright today. I was excited because their loot bag prize was a webkins doll! (I know, I need a life) Actually I was interested to see what this whole webkins thing was about, since we had never bought them one before. It’s actually pretty interesting to see how complex the whole webkins online component is… you have to earn money for buying stuff for your pet’s room, and feed it treats and healthy food. Visiting every day is touted as being a way to increase your pets happiness (way to feed the addiction to the computer)! I’m keeping my eye on this one, in many ways, it’s like a kids’ version of the SIMS… the girls are not going to be allowed to play this without adult supervision.

The converse may not be true, however… 🙂

four things about me

I normally don’t do email forwards, but I thought it would be fun to do this one:

I’ll start this off, but it’s not about me, I want to know about you!

This one is a bit different from the rest. Four things about me that
you may or may not have known in no particular order.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Music Library grunt
2. Lab Researcher
3. Recording Engineer
4. Worship Leader
Continue reading

itching for summer


The Linguist has been pestering, no, hounding me lately about the following issues:

1) When are we going to go to the Science Centre? We have a membership, so why don’t we go? We never get to go!
2) Why can’t I play outside by myself? All the big kids get to play outside without a grownup all the time! It’s not fair!

Hopefully we can spend some time when school is out to do the things she’s asking. Because in reality, I’d love to do them too, but because of the Comic’s need to nap in the afternoon, we have to do things in the morning. Which is when she has school. Catch-22.

Home Reno Update:

If you haven’t been following my twitter (why not?!) let me give you the quick update. We had finished the bathroom, but after using it for a week, discovered that we had a blocked pipe. And a leak. They were related, unsurprisingly. The water was backing up the drain pipe, reaching a level where during the previous kitchen renovation, the old pipe had been capped off. Needless to say, it was capped off improperly. So the decision was made to open up the walls again, and replace the whole drain pipe, down to the basement.

At the same time, we would try to snake the drain under the basement floor once we got the pipe cut down. This revealed that the pipe was so damaged by tree root infiltration, that it was actually collapsed, not just blocked. This meant that the drain had just been leeching into the ground, and not going to the sewer. Yuck.

So we had to excavate the basement floor, and replace a long section of pipe under the concrete. The carpet had to be pulled back, the bench removed, and a great big mess created. But in the end we had a new pipe, a clear running drain free of tree roots, and at this stage we’ve decided to redesign and eliminate the long bench to free up some much needed floor space to play. We’re also getting rid of the big blue monster couch that came with the house and has broken springs and we couldn’t be happier.

Summer can’t come soon enough:

All in time for summer holidays. We’ll be broke, but at least our home will be a little bit more settled down. It’s still surprising what home renovation will do to disrupt children and their behaviour. It shouldn’t be, but I think it’s because us grownups just deal with it and move on, but for the kids it’s a source of unknown change, unidentifiable and scary.

Actually scratch that. Us grownups get grumpy too. 🙂

a trip to emergency darling 3 yo walked into the kitchen before dinner and announced that she “had put something in her nose at Poh-poh’s house today.” My wife was prepping dinner, and I was sleeping lying down on the couch.

DW: “You did? Oh-oh. You shouldn’t do that.”
the Comic: “I know.”
DW: “What did you put in?”
the Comic: “A screw.”

Something about the arc of this conversation wakes me. “Come here, honey,” I say.
The Comic dutifully trudges over to me. I look into her nose. Because I don’t have my glasses on, I’m not sure what I see there, but there seems to be a glint of something metal.
I am awake now.
I sit up and put on my glasses, and take a closer look. It’s a screw, still in my daughter’s nose. I can see the cross of the phillips head.
“Ok, honey, sit right here. Don’t move,” I instruct her, and bolt upstairs to look for a flashlight. “Honey, there’s a screw in her nose!” I call to my wife. “It’s still in there!” I’m trying not to let the panic that I feel in my heart escape into my voice.
I can’t find the flashlight.
Tweezers. We have tweezers, somewhere. I dash into the spare room to look through the bathroom supplies box. Grabbing the tweezers, I head back downstairs.
“Ok, honey, I’m going to try to get it out. You have to lie down, ok?”
The tweezer head is too wide. I can’t get it in.
My second attempt involves using my small electronics screwdriver set, which is magnetized, in the vain hope that it might stick on to the screw head and pull out. My daughter won’t have anything to do with it. Probably for the best, anyway. I might poke it in further, a big no no.
“Well, it looks like we’ll have to take her to emerg then,” I say to my wife.

Being the cool and collected medical person that she is, my wife suggested that we all eat dinner first, before she goes and takes the Comic to the hospital. Good idea.

“Does it hurt?” I ask.
“No,” the Comic says. I’m pretty sure it didn’t hurt, since she’s had it in her nose since the afternoon.
“When did you put it in your nose?”
“At Poh-poh‘s!”
“I know, I mean, was it before your nap, or after your nap?”
“Um, I don’t know.”
“Did you tell Poh-poh? Or Goong-goong?”
“I did tell Poh-poh.”
I don’t pursue my line of questioning further. Somehow I’m not sure that she really did tell anyone, because I think my mother in law would have a) told me about it when I picked them up or b) done something about it, like, oh, take her to the hospital.

After dinner, my wife packs up the Comic and takes her to the hospital. The Linguist, my 5 yo, stays with me and we play a game of Monopoly Jr., stay up much too late, and go to bed around 9PM.

I still haven’t heard anything yet. I can only assume they’re waiting, because you always wait when you go to emerg with something minor like this. I call my wife’s cell, but she doesn’t answer. No worries.

At 9:38PM she calls me back with the good news. It’s out, everything’s ok.

When they get home, I welcome them at the door.

“Is it out?” I ask my daughter.
“Yes,” she says, in a of-course-it’s-out-silly-daddy kind of way.
“Don’t do that again, OK?”
“I won’t,” says the Comic, “they threw it in the garbage!”

She’s totally not going to do that again. I know it.

On the way home, my wife jokes with the Comic:
“We should have turned you upside down and gave you a shake before we went to the hospital!”

No PST on bicycles

by Thomas HawkI just discovered, looking through this week’s Wal*Mart flyer, there is no PST (Provincial Sales Tax in Ontario) on bicycles. This new policy change came into effect on December 1st, 2007, and remains in effect until November 30th, 2008. It applies not just to bicycles, but also to accessories such as helmets, lights, reflectors, and more.

I’m surprised that the provincial government would do something cool like this, and I’m definitely going to benefit when I get the kids bikes this year. More bikes = staying active, less driving. I can get behind that.

A Life For Elisa

Elisa LintonI wanted to highlight a research foundation that I’ve been doing some work for at the studio, The Sanfilippo Children’s Research Foundation. Sanfilippo syndrome (also known as Mucopolysaccharidosis or MCP) is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to break down sugars, resulting in a buildup of heparin sulfate in various organs in the body. It affects normal development, with wide ranging symptoms. Individuals with Sanfilippo syndrome usually live into their late teens.

Elisa Linton was diagnosed with the syndrome in 1999, and her parents Randall and Elisabeth decided they would dedicate their lives to raising awareness and funds to find a cure. To date, they have raised over three million dollars for research.

As a parent myself, it touched me deeply to hear of Elisa and her battle with MCP. It’s heart-wrenching to know that the disease doesn’t manifest itself until age two, and so amazing to see how Randall and Elisabeth have responded.

I had the privilege of working on a short video for the Foundation’s upcoming fundraising gala. When it’s finished, I hope to be able to share it here. As you can see, it’s a Dr. Seuss themed gala, and the video is the story of Elisa, told in the style of a Dr. Seuss story. The story was written by Tracy Keenan, and I recorded the voiceover in the studio. For the musical score, I was able to enlist the help of my colleague and friend Howard Baer, an amazing and talented composer, who agreed to orchestrate and score the video. Both he and I felt compelled to donate our time to this worthy cause.

To find out more about the foundation, please go to, where you can find out more about Elisa, the foundation, and Sanfilippo Syndrome. Thanks!


I’ve been having a heavy week. My mom called me last Friday to tell me that my Uncle passed away of a stroke. I hadn’t known him that well, they live in Australia and I’d been there only once to visit them, when I was small. Still, it was saddening.

Then on Saturday I checked in on one of my blogger friends (wheat among tares), and discovered that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Then I was reminded again of how fragile we are by Philip Yancey, who spoke at the Tyndale President’s Dinner on Tuesday night.

So right now, rather than retreat into myself and shut down as I am prone to do, as I am wont to do, as they would say… I am going to fight. I am going to fight against this darkness that would threaten to overtake me, to overtake us all with sadness, and I will fight the only way I know how. Before God in prayer.

writing to remember

If you’ve ever gazed down to the bottom of my sidebar, you’ll notice that I have some buttons down there. Among them are a couple of popularity meters, like technorati and feedburner subscribers. I don’t put them there to show off, because to be frank the numbers are low. I’m not an A- or B-lister, not even a C- or D-lister. The reason I put them there is to remind myself why I write. I’m not writing for those numbers. I’m not writing for pageviews or CPM (although should I ever get dugg I’m ready to take advantage, ha!)

I’m writing to remember. Who we are is defined by our relationships with others. More important than achievements or career success, more important than fame or wealth, the people we affect and who affect us make us who we are. As I get older (I’m 35 this year) I notice that memories are becoming more important to me.

10 Random Things I Want To Remember:
– the way the Comic sneaks into our bed every night without us noticing and stays there till morning
– how the Linguist responds to structure but still has moments of wild exuberance
– how our walls used to be pink but now they’re MUCH nicer
– the way the Linguist used to call a blanket a “blank-o-let”, and how the Comic calls blueberries “blue-blerries”
– how great it was to have snow tires for the first time this winter
– the first time I held the Linguist and looked into her jet black eyes and everything just clicked
– the way the Linguist as a baby would SCREAM every time we changed her
– how the Linguist pre-reading could hear a book and know it verbatim after the second read
– how the Comic ‘reads’ a book mostly verbatim and is willing to fill in the parts she doesn’t know
– how awesome it was that my DW agreed to get a Wii for Christmas, and that she’s as fierce a competitor as I am

Why do you blog? What things do you want to remember?