Music Monday: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye‚Äč‚Äč To Yesterday by Boys II Men

I sat at my desk during my coffee break and noticed someone on Facebook tagged me in a post. We went to the same high school and the last couple of years I connected with people from those days. I don’t connect with everyone, and they connected with people I have no interest in ‘friending’ on the site. It’s a great way to keep up on things like weddings, this time, their kids, and in some cases grandkids. A few have teenagers. Kids these days call it ‘adulting.’ Typically nobody tags people unless it’s something or someone, we know.

I picked up the phone, hit the notification, and found an obituary posted for someone who passed away last week at 48. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I whispered. I remembered the guy from basketball at my high school and as someone¬†who adopted this new music genre called hip-hop. Ours was a high school of mostly heavy metal with the hair. It’s the second death in the last three years as those graduating from my high school between 87-89 have not hit 50 just yet.

Yes, people have passed away before their time. Sometimes it takes a few passings to drive home to the point we are not teenagers or young adults anymore. We are now the generation the new one coming up look at as ‘old’. It’s the hits of the 80’s that now play on classic rock stations, not the hits of our parents. The beginning of people passing away in more numbers now hit us as it now hits our parents. I look at these same people with gray hair or trying to cover them. (I admit to the latter.) We may or may not have a midlife crisis. We may or may not have a reckoning with our lives as it unfolded. We do have a finite time on this earth only to live our lives as best as we can. It’s funny to know if someone says ‘that is so last century’ we can say ‘yeah, that’s our time.’

We don’t know when that time is up.

How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh
Outweigh the bad
I thought we’d get to see forever
But forever’s gone away
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

Rebranding or It’s Time For A Change

Call it a rebrand, a retirement, or an old-fashioned needed for a change. I changed the name of the blog from Stacks and Ranges to Scenes from a Life.¬†I started my blog as a sandbox for writing with hopes to turn it into a library blog. I will write about libraries from time to time as it’s part of my life. However, it’s not my whole life, and I wanted to write a variety of things and showcase my writing.

Lately, I have looked at my focus, and it seemed a little off. I cut the cord to get some of it back. The new title also comes with a new domain. Unfortunately, I can’t change my Instagram or Twitter name, but I still have a soft spot for my username. It still describes me like the books I suggest or the information out on the internet. Confusing? Yes. Luckily, I am not a well-known internet personality. I can’t even attach the word ‘yet’ on it. I’ll pass and just enjoy what I am doing.

I came up with the name one day on the bus. It just came to me one day as I looked out the window, the breeze coming in to freshen the ride. It sounds even more pretentious than Stacks and Ranges. People will think I am putting on more airs.¬†I thought.¬†Didn’t we have a conversation about not trying to please other people?¬†Replied the inner voice.

Welcome to Scenes From A Life as it writes, in the words of C. Day-Lewis, not to be understood but to understand.

Music Monday: Olympic Anthems

I wanted to like Katy Perry’s new song for the Rio games. I listened to it and my chest barely puffed up. It’s only half inflated. I waited until the official music video. It’s three minutes and seventeen seconds of Katy dragging around a pinkish parachute, a metaphor for I don’t know how many cliches. It surprised me I disliked it considering how many kitschy things I do like. The video featured too much Perry and not enough of the athletes whose feats she’s trying to motivate or move product it’s not clear now theses days.

I looked at some past ones they had this majestic motivation in common. Put on their tunes and your workout, your walk to work, everything takes on a go-for-the-gold hue to the day. Maybe Taylor Swift should have got the assignment. She can transfer her writing about guys skills to writing about the gold medal as this cool guy she can’t help but like, but really really, really wants. (Sidenote: Whatever these two are up to with their little argument, I wish they would stop the passive/aggressive back and forth on Twitter. End sidenote.)

Let’s take a look back at the songs not only bringing back memories of the games¬†but found on someone’s workout mix.

Reach by Gloria Estefan (Altanta 1996 Summer Games)


One Moment in Time by Whitney Huston (Seoul 1998 Summer Games)


Forget the Starks, ‘Winter is Coming’ belongs to Canadians. No anthem list would feel complete without this track sung by Nikki Yanofsky and her Quebecoise counterpart Annie Villeneuve. Yes, I had to include Vancouver 2010 and add Brian Williams, a mainstay in many Canadian Olympic broadcasts, for his introduction to the montage. It’s also a great excuse to relive the two hockey gold medal moments in the middle of August.

And I Will Write 500 Posts, And I Will Write 500 More

In blogging, much like my writing, I fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes those pants are capris of many different colours, a good pair of blue denim, or in black. I have a germ and off I go. Rather than changing, I adjust much like an airplane makes its adjustments during take-off, landing, or turbulence. Lesson one on this journey, try to be yourself not somebody else, even someone you admire.

The second lesson, the one proving a little harder, involves not worrying about what other people think of me. We all want to be liked, to have people truly know who we are, but online it’s a little tougher. I will never forget the jarring comment left on my Livejournal blog by a former co-worker. I wrote a lot about Nathan Fillion. It’s amazing how my imagination had a lot of former ‘boyfriends,’ while my real life had virtually none. The comment went along the lines to stop being silly, grow up, both in a patronizing tone thinking he knew what was best for me. I felt stunned and noticed my fingers freezing in fear, worrying if someone would lump me into the crazy-unstable-fangirl category. Ever the polite Canadian, I didn’t fire back with a zinger.

Now I wish I did.

I read post after post of WWJD posts or something like it. The only different between a fangirl and an Evangelical/faithful Catholic man writing about Jesus comes down to the guy in question. Is he here? Is he over there? I respected his right to talk about Jesus, about God’s will, about everything. It’s his life. It’s a modicum of respect. I read a blog from written by a woman unafraid to share her faith. We probably don’t agree on things, but I hear her out. To that guy I wished, I said what the kids say nowadays: GTFO.

Oh, and Nathan and I ‘broke up. His career has played the same note, and I like what the ex-school Orchestra cello player does with his art. He’s got a jam, and I dig it. It inspires me to push mine.

I noticed my writing got better because I, as a person, bettered myself. I built up my writing by building myself back up from the foundations, and I am not done. ¬†To quote Bruce Cockburn from a previous Music Monday, “I’ve proven who I am so many times. The magnetic strip wore thin.” I worried self-care would turn into selfishness. I said that once to a school guidance counselor, repeating back the things taught to me from the time I could walk. It’s what people from Portugal knew. Don’t be a loud woman. Loud women are bad women. Bad women bring shame to their families. Repeat after me: GTFO. I wondered if the world would end. It didn’t. I am still standing.

This 500th post is an affirmation. It’s a reminder not to underestimate my abilities, a truth a teacher once told me, and one I will never forget. I will screw up, I will pick up, and I will keep going. To quote C. Day Lewis “We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.‚ÄĚ It’s the blog’s mission from day one. Thanks for coming along on the journey through 500 posts and here’s to more and beyond.


Long Weekend Supplemental

For a long time, people called the first Monday in August the Civic Holiday long weekend. Calling it the next-to-last long weekend would not fly with the public, so the holiday now bears the name Terry Fox Day. This same day also takes the name Heritage Day (Alberta) and Simcoe Day in Toronto. If you want a laugh or have something to do in case a thunderstorm drops from the sky, do a Turn marathon on AMC on demand then remember this tweet:

In conclusion, history is weird though not as strange as the presidential campaign waged at this very moment.

Today the heavens opened up the clouds to unleash the boom and slapping rain of a thunderstorm. It’s not as bad as the one nearly two weeks ago. Remember Into the Storm, the film with Richard Armitage as the hot Vice Principal as I could not care less about the young cast members? The weather looked like that with the clouds like green like it wanted to barf lightning and tornadoes. Today’s storm seemed mild by comparison, and I decided to open my windows and give my air conditioning a break.

I smelled fresh, cool, moist air renewing the grass and trees, in a way renewing me. It’s still quiet at the library and this week will prove no different. I don’t garden, but it’s weeding time at the library to make room for current books, especially some of the new journalism books brought into the library. Time to shore up the¬†radio¬†section and find some new voice over books. I guess between Into the Storm, Berlin Station, and one British baritone, my mind came up with¬†don’t forget to find new radio voice over books. ¬†I have given up trying to understand how this brain makes those connections so I will go with them. I always did say being a geek has transferable skills.

For the time being, I will pour myself another Sumol (tasty Portuguese soft drink) and either finish watching Into The Storm or keep reading Chuck Wendig’s latest book in the Star Wars Aftermath trilogy. Happy Monday y’all.



Music Monday: Consequence Free by Great Big Sea

Today I decided to feature a Great Big Sea song. The occupational downside of this task means I listen to some of my favourite tracks and whole albums. (It’s not a disadvantage per say just in the interest of keeping me on track.) Many people in Winnipeg have seen them live more than once and one time the band performed on Portage and Main during one of the few times this intersection gets shut down to traffic. I like listening to the studio albums, but I still remember listening to the band¬†live in 2008.

Instead of a sea of no care, it’s a sea of assignments during my Library Tech training. I hustled to get just slightly ahead of the onslaught and enjoy the concert with my friends. I danced, I sang, and for a moment the band helped me to realize it will be alright. At the time I was a bundle of nerves, and it felt everything rested of completing that program. It may not make sense to other people, but it sure did to me at the time.

Do I wish it was different? Of course, but it unfolded the way it did. It’s why I liked the song ‘Consequence Free.’ Underneath the bouncy tune is the wish just to live life not weighted down by shoulds. I quoted my favourite lyric because I have one of those Catholic consciences. The past few years I unlearned it to inhabit my humanity, even the wild, messy parts of it. The process, like everything, will take my whole lifetime, but it’s a start.

For today, this next-to-last-long weekend for Canadians, have a Newfoundland-style kitchen party at your home or cottage. Make rook for a little anarchy, but not the hurting kind.


I could really use
To lose my Catholic conscience
Cause I’m getting sick
Of feeling guilty all the time
I won’t abuse it
Yeah, I’ve got the best intentions
For a little bit of anarchy
But not the hurting kind


Frivolous Musings Between The Seriousness of This World

Like many people online, Brexit made me go ‘WTF!’ (The ‘F’ does not stand for ‘fudgesticks’.) ¬†What floored me even more, despite witnessing many dumbass things during the Canadian federal election, were people saying, “I didn’t know my leave vote will count” or some variation on that theme their vote means they will not leave the European Union.

Oh, Lord, REALLY?!

Add to the surprise, a tweet with an emoji I rarely use in my texts and tweets:

If a Leave vote gave bigoted yahoos the right to tell people to go back to their country, despite being British born and bred, then hear from two of the xenophobic people on the planet, I would use more than one poop emoji. Just saying, if Richard Armitage uses three poop emojis I would not hold it against him. I highly recommend a whole line of them for Donald Trump, followed by a GIF of someone screaming.

After the poop emoji show called the Republican National Convention, it’s time to turn my attention to some fiction not set in 18th Century Scotland. After waiting patiently, I want to know what channel will buy Berlin Station. Here’s a¬†short synopsis: Berlin station finds a Daniel Miller (Armitage) sent to Berlin to find the truth identity of a mole named Thomas Shaw. His leaked Intel created one big thorn in the side of the CIA and Miller looks at everyone as a suspect from the deputy chiefs to the head of the station.

For spy/thriller fans, a high-octane espionage whodunit. For this fangirl, a weekly dose of vitamin A or a large dosage if streamed. The show will broadcast on EPIX, a channel with an origin story like HBO with a start in movies and now scripted series. I saw the clips, the trailer, and it looks good. Rounding out the cast is Rhys Ifans (Mr. Lovegood to the Potterheads, but to me the guy who nearly stole Notting Hill), Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) and Michelle Forbes (True Blood, Battlestar Galactica). Now that we have some background, I want to speculate about where this show will end up in Canada.

Canada buys its international content, and it’s all about who can put out the bucks, then torture us with commercials to pay for that purchase. (Outlander on Showcase in a nutshell.) It also means the international owner can put the show on another night (Outlander again. Showcase showed the Starz staple on Sundays as opposed to Saturday.) In some cases wait a few weeks before broadcasting its run. (Big, fat, mistake. Hands up those pirating Sherlock before its PBS showing? *Slinks away.*)

I have a feeling the show will end up on a premium service like Superchannel or Movie Central. Most of the premium cable offerings end up over there, and their price tag overwhelms like fangirl tendencies. I make a comfortable living, but do it with scrutiny. A part of me wanted to hop a plane to New York, for the weekend¬†and see Armitage’s upcoming play Love, Love, Love. I know I can do it, but time and money both say,¬†honey, remember it’s not love¬†you’re feeling, it’s infatuation.¬†I console myself knowing my adulting skills have remained intact.

All this may not amount to anything if every dystopian fantasy comes true this November. Don’t be surprised if Canadians display their poop emojis while recommending places live in Canada. For the record, Winnipeg has a pretty good arts scene and standard of living. Unfortunately, our telly needs a little less monopoly and more a la cart choice.