Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just thought you would like to know....

As far as I am concerned coffee is the devil's work. Mostly, because I get sick when I have too much. I guess I wouldn't call it an allergy, more like an aversion... but an aversion that gives me splitting headaches and this gross nauseous feeling. I can have a can of pop, but anymore than that and I'm tapping out. Or, any bit of coffee... or tea for that matter (do you know how hard it is to find GOOD decaf tea?!). However, it's not the taste that is the problem, I LOVE the taste of coffee so I often buy a small decaf (to which most people say... "what a waste of potential caffeine"... to which I say "keep it away!!"). However, the other day methinks my small-regular-decaf from Tim Horton's was in fact.... wait for it.... full-caf! The HORROR! I had a headache all day. And in light of my interest in the topic here is something I came across of a Homeowner's Insurance blog of all things... So enjoy.... 15 Things You Should Know About Caffeine (or to me... 15 Reasons to Hate On Caffeine).

15 Things Your Should Know about Caffeine
Via: Homeowners Insurance

Chocolate Milk for Everyone!

The torrential downpour has finally ceased. It rained... no POURED... for about 3 hours straight. The result?

A flowing river of chocolate milk! Er... or at least what looks like chocolate milk! This creek beside my house is usually 6 ft of nothingness and very often a dry old creek bed. BUT, you give it a day of rain and it transforms into a river that even Willy Wonka would be proud of! Rich, cold, flowing CHOCOLATE MILK!!

Okay, so... it's not chocolate milk... it's hardly even safe to drink. In fact, right now it might even come close to something akin to the Ganges because floating in what looks like chocolatey goodness is run off from fields at the top of the hill, and probably all the pesticide a girl could ever hope for. All flowing straight into the beautiful and vast Lake Huron. It's a pity really that all these chemicals flow right into that wonderful source of swimming and kayaking (and I am sure some vital resources that do need seem immediately evident to me). It is also a pity that I can't drink any of it... if it were chocolate milk. I just recently ran out of the chocolatey-good stuff. Shame.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Barbershop Boys

I always always kept diaries. Diary after diary filled with anything from watching-paint-dry boredom, to deep and juicy details of my drama-filled days. Problem was I was never able to consistently keep an ongoing diary. I either always felt my musings were useless and dry ("who would want to read this when I'm gone?!") or written at times when there was really too much to say and not enough wrist strength. However, the latter are the times that I know most appreciate looking back at my diaries... so that I can remind myself of the turmoil, and then promise never to get back there.

And so now, I find myself on the border of one of those feelings and something new that has come with blogging. One is akin to that I-mean-really-when-will-this-paint-dry and a new feeling of blogging for craft. And so I will continue on this path typing up blogs somewhere between but hopefully not infringing too strongly on the boarder of that pesky paint.

So I come to today blog, simply titled "My Barbershop Boys", and no... I am not referring to any gentlemen I have come across while getting my hair done. In fact, I am speaking of my fantastic experience documenting the lives, practice and passion of a barbershop quartet. I know what you thinking, "Oh that's that music sung by four old geezer off tune in a bar?" Well, you are only half correct. It is four older (but young at heart) gentlemen, who sometimes sing in bars, but most definitely not off tune. Once, upon hearing that I had chosen barbershop as one of my two documentaries to work on in the States, a woman cringed, "Barbershop quartet music sounds like fingernails down a chalkboard to me!" I consoled her while at the same time explaining that the problem was, she had never heard MY barbershop guys sing (how easily I decided they were "mine"!). But really it is 100% true. They are such a pleasure to listen to, which made the hours of practice I sat in on, and a 4 1/2 hour trip from Portland, ME to Danbury, Connecticut (or "Nowhere, Connecticut" ... sorry Connecticut-ites!) totally hands down worth it. What was even better, was when they came to our gallery opening to view the pictures the wonderful photographer I was working with took, see our multimedia piece and listen to my radio documentary. I was so honoured that they all came. Walt (lead singer) even brought me flowers. It made my months of being a tried and tested barbershop band-aid worth it. They seemed to really love everything about what we did, which gives enormous relief to the moment of panic when they first sit down at a computer and put the headphones on (to listen to a piece you have poured you heart and soul into, which they have also never heard). And get this, they sort of glowed... they smiled and exchanged glances and then gave me great big hugs. I almost cried, really, I mean it sound corny but how emotional for all of us. It made it so I really didn't care if the piece ever played on the radio, or if no one else liked it, because they loved it. And THEN, to top it all off the sweethearts went off and sang for everyone at the gallery opening... singing is something they do any chance they get! But everyone got it, they saw what I see, and they applauded and applauded and I felt so proud of my barbershop boys. They put heart, sweat and tears (literally) into their craft, we can all only hope that we have a craft we all love just as much.

From left to right: Jack (a 74-year-old minx of a man), Jim (the kindest blue eyes you've ever seen), Me, Maura (one of the best photogs I know), Walt (THE gentlemen's gentlemen), and Fred (the "serious" lawyer who can be reduced to tears with a good harmony).
All together they make Port City Sound (+ band-aids).