[Music] The Catch and Release #2

The Catch and Release showcases a choice sample of recently acquired music to my collection; some of these albums that I’ve “caught” will happily be part of my collection forever. But, there are albums that I acquired on a lark, that upon a listen or two have not resounded with me, which I have chosen to release back in the wild.

What can I say…I started the Catch and Release series in September 2017… planned to make it an ongoing series…and then Big Shit happened. Our lives got into a dander. But! I am committed to this series and sharing new-to-me music with all of you! So, let’s ignore the fact it’s been months since I did one of these, m’kay?

The Catch

Forever committed to adding women artists into the music collection…

Jann Arden – A bunch!

As I shared with y’all a couple of weeks ago, I am a Jann fann! I had Canadian songstress, Jann Arden’s Living Under June back in the day (still do!). I have always found solace in her music. Just a couple of weeks ago I shockingly discovered I have most of her studio albums, several of them acquired while thrifting! I have had a chance to listen to them all and all are keepers. Jann, for the most part, has had a streak of great albums under her belt. She has just released her latest album last month called These Are the Days, which I reviewed recently (spoiler: it’s a goodie!).

Tara MacLean – Silence (1996)

I first heard Canadian songstress, Tara MacLean – where else? MuchMusic. She had a song that got a lot of airplay back in 1996 called Evidence. Its soft heartbeat drums and Tara’s soulful voice caught me at a time when Alanis was crooning about having one hand in her pocket…all respect to Alanis, but Tara’s music was a calm in a storm. I found her album, Silence, for a song at a Taleze, and it’s a calming change of pace.

Tracy Bonham – The Burdens of Being Upright (1996)

Knowing only one song of Bonham’s – Mother Mother – I found this one at my local thrift shop. I had always wanted to take a further look at her music. Her strong voice and her mix of hard rock was a welcoming surprise. Wow, this is a great album full of adrenaline. Each song is strong. This album’s sound takes me back to my uni days of smelly bars and moody grunge. Tracy sings her heart out. Now, I am interested in finding more from this artist.

The Release

The Cure – The Cure (2004)

I picked this one up at my local Mission thrift store on a lark. Now, I consider myself a fan of the Cure’s early stuff (1979 – 1993). Standing on a Beach lived in my Walkman for most of grade 9. I later enjoyed their Wish album, although this is where they turned more commercial (for example, Friday, I’m in Love was a constant on the radio…).  So when I found their 2004 album, The Cure, I was curious about where they were at musically, and I was willing to give the newer albums a shot…And honestly, I think it’s time Robert Smith hang up the rat’s nest. What I heard with this album was a band attempting to recapture the dark magic they had from the 80s, and it just didn’t work. It was painful, in fact. Smith was off-tune on most tracks (intentional, I’m sure) and tried to use his high-pitch woos and screams he’s known for from previous hits (see Love Cats). It just didn’t work for my ears. I’m passing…Now to find a copy of Disintegration

Cracker – Kerosene Hat (1993)

The very first song on this CD is Low – a song that I instantly recognized as the Canadian band Moist…except it wasn’t Moist; it’s Cracker! (Oops!) I can see how this album sold records based on that song alone. As the album continues down the tracks, I liked the bluesy bar rock (complete with tons of cowbell and tambourine)…but I couldn’t stand the lead singer’s crooning…If Cracker were to release this as an instrumental album, it would be on the keep pile!

Evanescence – Fallen (2003) and The Open Door (2006)

I was interested in Evanescence back with their hit Bring Me Back to Life was playing everywhere. Amy Lee’s beautiful voice juxtaposed with orchestral hard rock was different than the norm in ’03, and it was an attractive and curious sound, but I didn’t  pursue it…that is until I found Fallen and the Open Door for cheap. I picked them up to listen, and gave them thrice a listen…and… I don’t think I am a fan of Evanscence’s brand of orchestral Gothic rock. As lovely as Lee’s voice is, it seems she only has one type of singing: the start high and remain high. I don’t know, am I off base here?

Violent Femmes – S/T (1982)

I am probably gonna get flack for this one…Guys, I want to like Violent Femmes so much! I mean, in some way I feel a pressure to like them because of their 80s cred. I mean, this album cover is iconic! Alas, I just…don’t. Blister in the Sun is on the radio constantly. When I found their album for sale at the VV, I grabbed it, thinking, Hey, maybe they have other songs I like? Blister in the Sun was the first track, and an easy pass. Kiss Off is also recognizable…then so is Add It Up (Ethan Hawke from Reality Bites, anyone?) But, no, it honestly comes down to this: it’s Gordon Gano’s voice – it grates! I like the rawness of the guitar and fast drum rolls, but Gano’s nasally voice takes me right out of it. I just don’t see myself pull this off the shelf to listen. Anyone else feel this way about the Femmes?

More to come! Thanks for reading!


[Film] My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)

The “BIG FAT…WEDDING” idea has become a reality TV show catch-phrase these days. But, back in the early 2000s it was comedy gold in the form of the charming My Big Fat Greek Wedding, starring comedian and writer Nia Vardalos, and a cast that included Andrea Martin, Michael Constantine, John Corbett and Bruce Grey. The film, based on Nia’s own family experience tells the story of Toula Portulakos, a single 30-year-old, born from Greek immigrants whose family is huge and in everyone’s business. She has forever lived with the old-world Greek traditions and gets daily affirmations from her father (Constantine) that she is too old not to be married. She gets tired one day of working in the family restaurant and decides to enroll in community college to take “computer skills” and soon becomes gainfully employed at her aunt’s travel agency. Big changes are afoot too when she meets and quickly becomes engaged to College Professor, Ian (Corbett). She is soon in the thick of Greek Wedding central, courtesy of her intrusive but loving family who make decisions on aspects of her wedding without much input from her.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of those mindless movies that I gladly tune in to if I see it’s on. Entertaining and cute, I never identified with Toula or her family, having been raised in a very small family myself. But, I loved the family dynamic the movie depicted. The cast was fantastic, especially Michael Constantine who played the patriarch, Gus, who believed firmly that Windex cures every problem in existence, and his constant belief that every word can be traced back to Greek. Let’s not forget Andrea Martin, the consummate comedienne, who played Toula’s aunt hilariously.

I know I am supposed to talk about the sequel to this movie, but let’s just say My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 caught me by surprise. They made a sequel out of this? Seriously, do we need a sequel?? I don’t think so…said I when I saw the movie in the guide recently. But, I was curious, so I watched it. And it’s not bad for a sequel…if you don’t expect much from it going in.

In part 2 we are 15 years into the future from the first film. Toula and her husband have a 17 year old daughter, Paris, set to go to College. Toula is back in a rut, working at the family restaurant since the travel agency she worked for closed down. Her parents are still working, and as feisty as ever. Her Windex-loving dad is still up to shenanigans, and out to prove a theory that he is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great. While filling up info on an ancestry website, he checks out his marriage certificate, and discovers it was never signed by a priest, therefore making his 50 year old marriage to his wife null and void. There ensues the crux of the title. People, we have another wedding to plan! The family springs into action, and, well, yeah! There you go; that is basically the film.

Now, I can hear the crowd moaning at the plot, but bear with me. I thought this wasn’t bad as a sequel. The entire cast from the first movie reprised their roles (including Yia Yia the grandma who was old even back then!). I thought there was something charming and comforting in the familiarity of the plot. I knew what to expect, I even knew how it would end. There was even another cheesy wedding planning montage that included the family taking to the streets in track suits.

So, there was a lot of mirroring of the first film. But, the plot also dove into young Paris’s perspective growing up in such a big family, with the same expectations for marriage and family that Gus had bestowed on her own mother. Paris tries her best to pull away and assert independence, while Toula looks on trying with all her might not to dote or cling too much. This plot turn with Paris was sweet, and struck a nice flavour from what could have been a very bland film. There are other tiny surprises touched on within the film that closed the circle on some characters’ lives from the last film that also made the story told a little more complete.

I akin My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 to something like a sitcom reboot: It wasn’t necessary, but I’m glad they took a stab at it. It was entertaining and I enjoyed the ride.

3 Spanokopitas out of 5.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
Starring Nia Vardalos, Michael Constantine and Andrea Martin

[Music] Jann Arden: These Are the Days (2018)

Yep, I am a Jann fann!

Jann Arden has been in my wheelhouse since her hits, Wonderdrug and Insensitive played on the Canadian airwaves back in 1994. Her second album, Living Under June, was my first Arden purchase (Dr. Disc in London, ON, 1996 – I still have it!). I remember looking for her debut, Time For Mercy, but as a struggling student, I always found it way out of my price range. And, later when I could afford it, I just wasn’t into collecting. Living Under June was all I owned of Arden until recently. I happily sang along to her songs on the radio, even though I wasn’t buying her albums.

Jann Arden’s music is very contemporary and what one might consider easy-listening. She barely ever rocks out. But, if you listen, it’s very much on “the feels, everywhere the feels” spectrum. The clever lyrics hone in on sharp edges of emotion, love and relationships which may be dismissive to those who might construe her art as too sufferable or even boring. But, this gal (me) has listened to Jann through some dark periods. Jann doesn’t know Sarca, but her stuff seems to relate to me and my emotions at times that I need it.

But, I guess others aren’t feeling the same as of late? Since I announced that I started re-amassing a CD collection, I have noticed a lot of Jann Arden for sale at the thrift shops; so much Jann in fact, that as of this week, I can say I have close to a complete Jann Arden collection (I say “close” because I haven’t acquired her albums of cover tunes or her Christmas album…). It has been an enjoyable experience getting to know her latter stuff and seeing how it all fits in with her earlier music. With the exception of albums Love is the Only Soldier (2003) and Free (2009) that I had trouble connecting with, her other eight albums I own will forever be in my collection as they are particularly strong.

And what a coincidence that Jann Arden released her newest album, These Are the Days just last week! I was very curious to see how it holds up, so I dropped the $12.99 for a CD copy during a recent trip to Walmart. The CD itself is simple – cardboard jewelcase with plastic CD tray glued in. The liner notes contain song lyrics.

Like previous albums, These Are the Days peels back the curtain that is Jann’s life right now. Publicly, she has shared her struggles with anxiety, depression, weight and alcohol, a long-term relationship ending, being the primary caregiver to her mother with Alzheimer’s disease, and helping her brother in prison be free of his first degree murder rap. Big things happening! This album is a diary, laying bare how her life is right now, and how she encourages herself to keep going. The back of the CD package reads the message, “Be in the now, be in the moment”. On the CD itself it says, “Running forward, not looking back…” But, not before listening to this album!

Allow me to highlight some of the songs for you…

The first track, Everybody’s Pulling On Me pretty much puts herself out there – in a powerful way. A full band weighs in full brass, and here Jann forcefully – passionately – sings her heart out how life is taking its toll on her. This one is my favourite of the album. The messaging sounds desperate, but the music is uplifting and hopeful; I love songs like that. And Jann’s voice! Hooo! Stronger than ever!

Skipping forward, A Long Goodbye, the fourth song on the album, quietly and gently recounts Jann’s mother’s struggles with Alzheimer’s, and how essentially this diagnosis is a long goodbye as her mother forgets who Jann is. This one resonated with me, particularly since I experienced “the Long Goodbye” with my Granny (RIP), when she suffered from the disease. Again, the theme of feeling pulled or in this case, tangled, presents itself here:

“I’ve felt tangled up and hopeless, but it hasn’t killed me yet…It’s hard to be a mother to my mother…”

Jesus, all the feels!

The fifth song, Come Down the River With Me, is reminiscent of old gospel, and gives a giant hat tip to Adele. There are elements of Rolling in the Deep here, particularly the strong bass drumbeat and steel guitar. I really like it because I like Adele. But, I can’t help but think of how close to Rolling in Deep this song is…

With a lot going on in our lives, sometimes one needs to escape. The sixth song on the album, Franklin, embarks on a friends’ road trip to Franklin, Tennessee, where memories were made to try and escape broken hearts. I really liked the reminiscence in this one. The full band shows up here and is warmed up with some whisky slide guitar.

Number seven, Not Your Little Girl, I believe is Arden’s first single off the album, and it is for sure a singable and empowering anthem for girls. Starting as sort of a march, she swiftly emphasizes,

“I am an army (I don’t do what I’m told!), I am your king and queen. You cannot rearrange me.”

One More Mile to Go is a song that if I were to choose the “most contemporary radio hit” on this album, it would be this one. That’s not to say it was bad – not at all! I like the lyrics and it’s toe-tapping…but, listening to it, I chuckled to think if they used a Dobro, that it would be a New Country hit…Some good guitar on this one.

Overall, These Are the Days fits well in Jann Arden’s catalogue. It isn’t so much a departure from past efforts, but I have noticed a gentle shift to a stronger sound here, which is a welcome surprise. I highly recommend it!


These Are the Days – Jann Arden (2018)


[Book] Down the rabbit hole / Holly Madison

In case you aren’t familiar with Holly Madison, she is best known as Playboy magnate, Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend number 1 (of three…) from 2001 to 2008. I am familiar with Holly thanks in part to the TV show the Girls Next Door, which aired on the E! Channel for six seasons. The show was somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me as it showcased a shallow slice of life of three gals (Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson) living together in the historic Playboy Mansion, competing for Hefner’s affection. I was fascinated with how these girls were willing to put up with all this bullshit; each other, that dated manor, and that old bag Hef. The show made it all look like they lived in a perceived lap of luxury.

Holly Madison’s take on this life is detailed in her autobio, Down the Rabbit Hole. The book tells of Madison’s humble awkward beginnings in Oregon, her part time job at Hooters while in college, becoming a Hawaiian Tropic model, and then catching the eye of Playboy scouts that landed her a room in the Playboy Mansion, that eventually got her a part in Hugh Hefner’s harem. Her climb to success came swiftly….and according to her, it all came at a price.

According to Madison’s book, not shockingly, Hef treated the girls as a business. Along with a roof over their heads, the girls received a monthly stipend of $1000 to be used to ho themselves up in lavish frocks and jewelery so they could make Hef look good while he went out clubbing; a twice a week ritual. As Holly tells it, the money was accounted for to the cent; no using it for maxi pads or doritos! Hef’s scouts would predatorally seek out struggling girls starving for fame with a hope for a Playboy cover and a modelling deal. According to Madison, most of these girls never got the cover (Holly and the other two FINALLY did, but after the show gained traction). Almost all the girls in his entourage were in financial cul-de-sacs; strapped with debt in student loans or just plain no money. Hef would NOT help them out financially with their bills, however; he was struggling financially himself, as we all know how the magazine industry started falling into a tank around that time. Every girl needed to work outside of the Mansion to pay their own bills bills bills. All the while, they had to reconcile Hefner picking and dropping girlfriends on a whim without consequence, and no girl had a say in the matter. Jealousy was prevalent, and after all this, they still had to sleep with him (*shudder*).

As entertaining as Down the Rabbit Hole was, I could not wrap my head around putting up with Hef. Back when the Girls Next Door aired, I recall Holly Madison defending him and the relationship constantly in the media, and even saying she wanted to marry him. In this book, she says in retrospect it was like she was in a trance; she was naive, and simply put, she lost her damn mind (no, really?). She whines endlessly about Hef and the “family dynamic” involving the other girls. She sounds pretty soured and a bit defensive by the whole experience and it comes through in the book’s delivery. But, let’s be real, Holly: you had everything to gain being with Hugh Hefner – ya got yer a$$ on Playboy, got some fame, eventually got your own TV show and married a rich younger dude, for what it’s worth. Her bills bills bills got paid paid paid thanks in part to that old bag.

Down the Rabbit Hole ain’t no War and Peace. But, it was a slice…it’s an interesting read if, a little gossipy.


Down the rabbit hole / Holly Madison

[For the Love of ‘Fee] The Endless Plight of the Perfect Perc: Stovetop vs Electric

‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! 🙂

Our electric Hamilton Beach percolator started to eff up in January. Yup, that one; the one I wrote about last June. I thought we’d at least get a year out of the new one. Wow, they really don’t make ’em like they used to. Blast!

We had decided when we replaced the last percolator last summer that we’d need to have a replacement in the cupboard, but we never thought we’d need one so quickly. Then, after Christmas, for a week straight we dealt with cold half-brewed coffee. We can’t have that! What to do when the only two types of electric percolators for sale in Canada are Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart. I’ve had both, and haven’t been able to hold on to one for longer than 2 years.

I can’t say that I have been 100% satisfied with the electric perc as an appliance when they did work. Aside from the convenience of plugging it in and walking away, there are some design flaws with them that aren’t great. They are hard to keep clean. Coffee grounds go everywhere (and I am not sure how when I grind to the coarsest setting…). You can’t submerge them in water for a good soak. In some cases, there are water indicator windows that clog up with coffee that will never see a bottle brush. And some of ’em won’t even fit my lady hand in through the top for cleaning which has been the case with the Hamilton Beach. Simply for those design reasons, my percs have – on occasion – looked like they have been pumping out sludge coffee in a backroom steel mill since the 80s. Nope, plug-in percs will never get the Good Housekeeping seal from me.

Before this latest percolator passed, the hubs and I revisited the idea of a stove top one like we had when we were po’ church mice 20 years ago. Back then, we were donned this new-fangled thing called a stove top percolator…It was aluminum and had these parts that were unfamiliar. I was used to drip coffee makers! But, hey we figured it out. And, it made the best coffee; I had never tasted coffee so good! Looking back, I am sure a lot of the magic with stove top percs is you are in control of the heat and brewing time. Now that we were under the gun with getting a working perc, we pulled out our old Black and Decker drip maker (the backup of the backup ;)) while a search was on for a stove top perc on Amazon.

Amazingly, we found one in a company from Quebec – Fresco. It’s a stainless steel 12-cup perc. And since the hubs has Prime, it arrived in under two days. The experience has been great!

It looks great! No coffee grounds in the coffee! It’s easy to keep clean and it’s dishwasher safe! I have also used some cleaning vinegar to keep the insides in good order.

About the only thing I can say that would make this the PERFECT PERC is if the top knob were made of glass. Fresco thought it was a good idea to use a plastic knob on the top. The plastic cracked up within the first two weeks, and got all stained. WHY PLASTIC, FRESCO?

Others on Amazon are not satisfied with the plastic knob either. But, one guy on there had the right idea and shared he bought a glass knob that fits a wide range of percs. Amazon sells it for $15. Great idea! I found that knob for cheaper – $6 from Home Hardware down the street. Thank you very much! Works like a charm.

NOW I have the PERFECT PERC. It looks awesome and works awesome. Finally!

I concede it does take us 20 minutes to make coffee. Most people would not want any of that, but sometimes if you want great things, you got to work for it. Take that, Tims!

Waiting…waiting patiently for deliciousness


Keeping the coffee hot after brewing is an area that was a sticking point with me and what was preventing me from moving to a stove top perc in the first place: I didn’t want to keep the stove on all morning. But, I was lucky to acquire a big Stanley Thermos that holds a good amount of ‘fee and keeps it hot. So this situation has turned out to be a win-win!

Enjoy your cuppa! I certainly am!

[Book] Into thin air / Jon Krakauer (1997)

Immediately after I finished reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer last summer, I was left convinced that Krakauer is one of the great biographical storytellers. The yarn he spun about Chris McCandless still sticks in my memory and refuses to leave! I HAD to read more of his works, so, soon after finishing my review for Into the Wild, I decided to return to my library’s eBook portal once again and download Into Thin Air, his second offering. It’s a story I won’t soon forget.

In 1996, Krakauer was working for Outside Magazine, a publication that highlights outdoor recreation. He was sent on assignment to Mount Everest to write a piece on the over-commercialization of mountain-climbing expeditions. Evidentally, mountaineering is serious business. Companies with major sponsorship deals were popping up. People who could afford the trip got a chance to pursue a lifelong dream in a controlled and supervised environment. An experienced mountain climber, Krakauer was initially planning to climb Everest as far as base camp only; he was never to reach the summit. But, his personal desire to fulfill a lifelong dream of climbing the tallest mountain above sea level trumped all professional protocols, and he eventually convinced his editors that making it to the top would make for a good story. Little did he know that he would experience one of the most tragic events in climbing history. Into Thin Air details the fateful day when eight people lost their lives (four from Krakauer’s team) and many more were left stranded when a freak unrelenting storm blew through during the descent from Everest’s summit.

Into Thin Air is quite an immersive and suspenseful read. Krakauer’s descriptions of the majestic mountain, the crisp thin air, the crunching snow, was rich. The reader also got a look into the lives of a wide cast of mountaineering characters, including Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, duelling leaders of opposing expedition companies, whose big personalities sometimes got in the way of making sound decisions during Krakauer’s trip.

I have never been interested in pursuing the sport of climbing, and Krakauer certainly did not make it appear cool or thrilling. The endeavor is unattractive to me..and frankly a little nuts! At the same time, I can understand the appeal of perseverence that climbing affords; having a goal as hard as climbing a mountain is, how unfathomable it is to imagine reaching the summit. And then the high and satisfaction you get when ticking Mount Everest off of your bucket list.

Into Thin Air was an excellent story – I highly recommend it!


Into thin air / Jon Krakauer (1997)

Other Krakauer titles I’ve reviewed:

Into The Wild


Hanging On to More Hopeful Lists

I have a habit of holding on to things – sometimes on purpose, other times due to forgetting I still had them. Sometimes finding forgotten things is like a Eureka! moment.

A prime example is this past Christmas when I went to put the decorations away. Every year that I have put decorations up, I end the holiday by hastily packing up decorations and throwing them into storage – sort of like to say that the Holidays are over – thank God! – let’s clean this crap up and move on. It’s been at least 10 years since I took the time to take inventory of what I have. This year was different, though. This New Year’s Day, in the quietness of the day, I took the time to go through some Christmas stuff – organize it, lovingly pack it up, and be ruthless to the point of purging pretty much a whole container’s worth of it. It felt great going through it all.

Sometimes though, finding stuff can trigger some no-so-great memories.

In one of these serendipitous clean-ups, I came upon an old spiral notebook that originated from my first “grown-up” office job out of college and it dredged up a feeling or two… In this job going back a long time ago, I was an electronic media intern for a company funded by the provincial government that was responsible for creating and distributing curricula online to high schools. It was new technology that was slow to gain traction (hard to believe that online education is pretty prevalent now). The gig was my first taste of office politics and micro-management. The notebook reflected this, as it was filled with lists upon lists of tasks to complete, weekly accountability sheets, instructions on office rules, and personal pep-talks to curb my daily rising anxiety with working under what one would consider an authoritative environment.

The head of the company was a tenured high-school teacher seconded to CEO of this company, and his ego was way too big for his britches. He would breeze in and out in Bermudas, change up some rules just in time to take his mandated nine weeks off in the summer to go sailing, and then whisk away to leave the minions (me) under the thumbs of 9 other people who should never be managers… in an office of 16. Being the leader really seemed to go to this guy’s head. Protocols he created were severe and unfriendly. It was tough, because I was a Yes Ma’am, yet everything I seemed to do was wrong, and I’d get pulled in for a talking down weekly. I was trying to be a good and attentive employee, but their instructions were constantly confusing and unreasonable. They were very hard to please.

We worked in an open office environment – basically an open room full of desks without partitions. One of the protocols the Boss established was insisting that employees call each other on the phone instead of conversing in person, even though we were sitting across from each other. Having central auditory processing problems, I often have a hard time understanding people on the phone as it is. Being able to converse face-to-face was important to overcome this hurdle, so I was living in Hell.

I lasted at this company short of six months, and felt free when I quit. As I happily moved on with my life, I wasn’t surprised to learn from an ex-colleague, the funding ran dry and the company closed down a couple of years later. Having a taste of what I consider the worst job allowed me to appreciate and put into perspective the good things in my challenging career today.

I still have my old notebook from my days working at my most hellish job; the remaining paper now used to keep track of Dominoes scores and scribbling hasty errand lists. A more hopeful list comes from 2010 when I had a voracious thirst for Hidden Object games and needed to keep track of the titles to ensure I didn’t play the same game twice (because, let’s be honest…the titles start to sound the same, the plotlines are similar…). I have replayed and reviewed several of these games for this blog! Not only is this page important to me to recall what I played back then, but if you turn the page around, you’ll find something else equally nostalgic…

The page represents a typical day working for the Hell company. It lists accountability tasks of the day as well as instructions on how to answer the phone if we received a call for the CEO…

The note says, “Boss is VERY particular. If Boss is here OR not, get person’s name, phone number and reason for the call. Give Boss the option of taking the call. You may disturb him in a meeting, but be patient with him.”

How can one live up to those instructions?

What I think is important to remember is this page represents discovery on two fronts – while on the job side, I was trying to wade my way through a challenging business culture, preparing me for the future, while on the gaming side, I was trying to dig my way through this gaming thing. I can say I am still learning – on both fronts! But, I am certainly having a better times navigating it all! It’s a good reminder that life’s journey is for learning – in good and bad – and it shapes you. I appreciate what I have now, in my life and career, and continue to find pleasure in a good video game.