Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Love.  Is there a bigger word for love?

Photo: jbrandick

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A great pre-Christmas gift!

Well, how is this for a great present?  This afternoon we received the news that a close family friend found out today that he is officially, 100%, in remission.  

I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful this is.  I can't wait to see him this weekend!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

One week till Christmas!

Frankie posed so nicely! :)

Photo: jbrandick

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice crystals

Photos: jbrandick

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Owner/pet similarities

What is it they say about owner's and their pets looking alike?  Hm...  ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The view from my window on Thursday morning last week

One of the Great Lakes - beautiful morning shot from the air.  It really was breathtaking!

Photos: jbrandick

Monday, December 08, 2008

So it snowed...

Holy snow!  I came home to a winter wonderland!  WOW!  It's great - so pretty:)  These pictures are from today - last night I was too tired to get out there for photos.

The entrance to my building

My street

Photos: jbrandick

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The future.
What is coming?
What does one do if they find out that everything they have been dreaming of is wrong?
Can you ever trust your "gut feelings" again?
What does one do if you find out that all your dreams are going to come true?
How long can you be patient?

What's in store? Tomorrow or next week, let alone next year?

What should I expect? What will I learn?

What is coming?

Photo: jbrandick

Monday, November 24, 2008

Way to go Stamps!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Had a FANTASTIC weekend away in Toronto to visit Chris and Theressa!  It was so good to see Chris, meet Theressa, go to Toronto and have a short getaway from real life for the weekend.

To both of you: thank you SO much!  I can't wait to see you again (hopefully) in December! 


Thursday, November 13, 2008

How do you know?

How do you know Christmas is on it's way?
Starbucks Eggnog Latte's!

They are back and I love them! Stopped this morning for one before work, and it made my day:)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lest we forget.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae

Sunday, November 09, 2008


So one day you get news.  You find out that you are dying and there isn't anything that can be done. 

Is this something you would choose to find out or would you rather just go about life day to day, night to night? 

I’ve been thinking about it for some time now.  It’s a tough call.  I think though that I would rather go on not knowing.  So I would know that all the decisions I made were true to who I am, rather than simply because I’m scared or that I am running out of time on this earth.  Do and speak because that is how I feel, I believe that it’s important.  If I am feeling something about my life, about someone in my life I think that honesty is the best policy.  They need to know.  The change needs to be made.  I shouldn’t wait until I find out that I’m running out of time in order to make these things known, admit that a mistake was made, make amends, be true to myself. 

Never wait. 

Would you want to know – do tell…

Friday, November 07, 2008


I am ABSOLUTELY GIDDY at the thought of seeing two full orchestras perform on stage together at the same time! I know that makes me a total music geek, but I am.

And tonight - I'm going. It's going to be amazing!!! (if only I could somehow be performing with them...)


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Congratulations to US President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Mmmm. David Usher. Who doesn't like David Usher?

Crash Parallel opened for him and they were surprisingly good. I know that sounds horrible, but so often opening bands are a disappointment. Thankfully they were not:)

A great way to start off a week that wasn't so great - even for a Monday.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


What would you do if I had to say goodbye?
Would you be sorry to hear this or
Would this be music to your ears?
What would you do if I did say goodbye?
Convince me otherwise or
Simply wave and walk away?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of the players, (ie. everybody), to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” ~Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett~

“Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong, and it makes you feel so small because it's so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn't come back. You're left so alone that you can't explain.” ~Henry Rollins~

“I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.” ~Javan~

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Vessel sink!

I love my new sink!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Home!

So I got the keys - I am officially a home owner!  Who knew this day would come?!?

Started working at about 1pm with my dad and we were able to strip all the laminate out, remove all the baseboards and door trim, take out the countertops, and get rid of the sink!

I am tired!  PHEW!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thinking about the summer...

A rainy afternoon in Vancouver with Allison...
Beautiful shot from Granville Island
Shoreline at Stanley Park

Photos: jbrandick, akreut

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sitting at work...

Today has been a good day at work - one of few in the last little while so I am thankful for that!

Counting down until possession...I CANNOT WAIT! :)

And super excited about Neil Diamond - yes, I am a geek, but I am ok with that. I have embraced it as many of you know - and love;)

Friday, August 15, 2008

The article on happiness as requested...

The happiest people

So what makes us happy? Somewhat surprisingly, the older you get the happier you are -- until you reach very old age. According to a US study, the happiest age group is men 65 and older. The least happy group? Men aged from 18 to 29. The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center, also found:

- Married people are happier than singles.

- University graduates are happier than those without a university degree.

- People who are religious are happier than those who aren't.

- People who live in sun-belt areas are happier than those who don't

And what role does money play in determining happiness? Daniel Gilbert, author of the book "Stumbling on Happiness" told CNN that money helps to buy happiness -- but only to a degree.

"Our culture implores us to buy bigger, newer, better things, but research shows 'stuff' does not buy happiness. By and large, money buys happiness only for those who lack the basic needs. Once you pass an income of $50,000, more money doesn't buy much more happiness," Gilbert said.

What about people who are disabled? They are about as happy on a day-to-day basis as the general population, according to Gilbert.

And while many parents may vehemently disagree, Gilbert said that having children can have a negative effect on happiness. "When you follow people throughout their days, as they're going about their normal activities, people are about as happy interacting with their children, on average, as when they're doing housework. They're much less happy than when they're exercising, sleeping, grocery shopping, hanging out with friends," Gilbert told CNN. "Now, that doesn't mean they don't occasionally create these transcendent moments of joy that we remember as filling our days with happiness."

The failure to obtain happiness could also be the result of a faulty imagination or unrealistic expectations. Our imaginations fail us, Gilbert said, because when we envision different futures we see either perpetual gloom or happily ever-after scenarios. In fact, neither unhappiness nor joy last as long as we expect.

To better predict what will bring you happiness, Gilbert says to remember that people are not unique in what makes them happy.

"If I wanted to know what a certain future would feel like to me I would find someone who is already living that future," he said. "If I wonder what it's like to become a lawyer or marry a busy executive or eat at a particular restaurant my best bet is to find people who have actually done these things and see how happy they are."

Top 10 happiest countries

Here are the top 10 happiest countries, according to the CNN report:

1. Denmark

2. Switzerland

3. Mexico

4. Canada

5. United States

6. United Kingdom

7. Venezuela

8. Nigeria

9. China

10. Japan

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chub the Purple Frog

Here is a short story about Chub the Purple Frog written by Michelle at work while trying fill the last hour of her day:)

Once upon a time...there was a frog...he was purple.  This made all the other frogs laugh at him.
Purple was not a very "froggy" color.  So, Chub (the unfortunately purple frogs name) was sadly hopping along one day...trying to avoid the other "normally green" frogs when he hopped right into a bucket.  Chub looked up and there staring down at him was a HUGE pale yellow face!!
 "You are a strange looking frog" said the Face.
Chub replied..."Ya well, what are ya going to do?"
"Did you just speak?"
"Ya, all frogs can talk"
"Listen Face, I don't mean to be rude but what is your plan here?"
"You are rude.  A very rude, purple frog"
Chub just shrugged his little froggy shoulders.  He waited and waited while the Face just did her thing.  
"Ok frog, you can go.  I want a NORMAL frog"
So Chub hopped away.  He later met up with the other frogs and told them his story.  The next day when Chub went out he noticed something very strange.  ALL the frogs looked purple, or blue or yellow or orange.   "What's this all about?" he asked.  "Safety!!" they shouted!!

The end!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Excited about many things to come...

So many things to think about now, hard to concentrate on anything else really:)

Also about Toronto - can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Made me giggle:)


Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science: The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert, however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second, to take from four days to four years to complete. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (Am), another just-discovered element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Chuck Wilcox 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

4th place isn't so bad:)

Top 10 happiest countries

Here are the top 10 happiest countries, according to the CNN report:

1. Denmark

2. Switzerland

3. Mexico

4. Canada

5. United States

6. United Kingdom

7. Venezuela

8. Nigeria

9. China

10. Japan

Monday, August 04, 2008

August long...

Fantastic long weekend:)  Dinners, movies, hikes, breakfast out, and an afternoon of kayaking (about 4 1/2 hours)!  It was great - too short and I am so tired now! 

Didn't get any photos from the hike, but here are a few shots of kayaking...

Photos: jbrandick

Saturday, August 02, 2008

So true.

Life plans.  How we all make them.  How we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own.  But if we're really honest with ourselves most of the time our plans don't work out as we hoped.  So instead of asking our young people: what are your plans?  What are you going to do with your life?  Maybe we should tell them this:  Plan to be surprised.

From "Dan In Real Life"

Something to think about.  Something to take into consideration.  Something you should let happen.  Sometimes the best laid plans have something thrown in you aren't expecting, but, when you really look at it, see what it is, open your eyes, and are willing to take the chance, you will be surprised.  And that is a good thing, a very good thing. 


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails was awesome!  Again.  It's been about 2 years since I saw them in Rochester, NY at the Blue Cross Arena and it was just as great this time round.  New and old, familiar and foreign, all the songs were well worth it.  

When "Hurt" came on it was phenomenal.  There is something indescribable hearing the entire crowd singing along, knowing all the words, coming together as one voice.

The final song ended perfectly, each person stopped playing waved to the crowd and walked off stage.  After the four were gone it was just Trent Reznor, playing the keyboard in the spotlight.  He stopped, waved and walked off stage.  A great image to leave us with.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Never a dull moment....

Third floor apartment in my complex was on fire this evening...many sirens, three fire trucks, and a ladder truck.  It seems as though everything is ok, but still - exciting night here on my street:)

Photos: jbrandick (a little blurry!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend fun!

Fabulous weekend! Indy Car race on Friday and Saturday in Edmonton with my dad. A lot of fun! It was hot, loud, and fast (of course!), and Gene Simmons was the Grand Marshall of the race this year so that was fun too! Already can't wait for next year:)

The winning NASCAR car #7 - Alex Tagliani

The winner's trophy:)GrandstandsSafety Team Ridgeline

The Grand Marshall on the big screen

Warming up the tires

Today was a laid back day thankfully, with a few errands completed, games and kayaking with my brother!

Photos: jbrandick

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rock Band

At a friend's place on Monday night I played Rock Band for the first time.  

It is awesome!

That is all I have to say about that:)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Was very cool to be back at the place I performed at 10 years ago yesterday afternoon. The Chan Centre is a beautiful facility!