November 16th, 2013
HOLY MOLY! THIS IS SO COOL!!!
Remember how I recorded a nifty 6" record in the Third Man Records novelty record booth?
Well, today I was honoured and amazed to find my song "What Became of You" is now featured on their website!!!
September 12th, 2013
After 3 years(!), I've cut off all my hair and will donate it (to whoever wants it) in the near future.
Here's a video all about it:
November 15th, 2012
My (musical) radio debut! The show is called Ottawa Live Music with host Charles Anthony. Tune-in!
CROSSING NORTH AMERICA!
Johnny layin' down the bass tracks, Ryan, Kevin and me.. listen.
I'm on the radio!
Tune-in for some Radio magic!!!
I just returned from accepting my Digital Music Production Certificate from Algonquin College!
Let's hope this qualification will serve me better than my B.A. in History/Philosophy (2005)....
September 9th, 2010
Making the Connection:
The Lord of the Rings & Cancer.
Sorry to not have updated this page in a while - I've spent the majority of this year helping my father battle the cancer that, very sadly, took his life two Wednesdays ago. Since I was planning on saying a few words at the funeral, I let my mind wander and came across this article at the Journal of Clinical Oncology, entitled "Multidisciplinary Care in Cancer: The Fellowship of the Ring"...
I remember quite recently trying to coax my father to do something that his ever-weakening condition was giving him trouble with, and I likened him to Frodo in the final chapters of LOTR: Return of the King, struggling up the steep cliff - but not giving up hope. As I said this, I realized at that moment - alone with him in the room he called home since February - that perhaps I fit the role of Sam. I liked the thought of that.
My father liked to discuss things. He would work things out until they either stopped making sense or a conclusion was reached. At the time of our LOTR conversation, I remember briefly making the comparison between the ring that Frodo had to bear, and my father's cancer. I was trying to allude to the heroic journey Frodo had made, now nearing its end, and that kind of stuff... trying to be motivational.
After he passed away, I was compiling a CD of music that he liked which was going to be played before the funeral and during the reception, when I came across the soundtrack for the Return of the King movie. There was a song called "The Grey Havens" that somehow stuck in my mind as being both fitting and meaningful. When I was reviewing the CD, Sasha warned me that the song sounded a bit too 'soundtracky' perhaps... It was only then that I recalled the discussion I had had with my father about the LOTR/cancer similarities. I wondered if someone else had put this to paper, and discovered the afformentioned Journal of Clinical Oncology article.
Upon reading it, I realized how much further we could have gone with our comparison. Frodo indeed represents the person carrying a very personal and heavy burden up a slippery and ever-dangerous slope. If you're familiar with the prequel to the LOTR books, "The Hobbit," you will realize that the creature "Gollum" also endured this task. The difference was that, unlike Gollum - who had walked alone with the burden of the ring, Frodo had an indespensible fellowship without whom he would never have completed his journey nor lived to visit the 'Grey Havens.'
And it's true. A fellowship matters. We do not go through these things alone.
Anyway, it is a very interesting article and I hope you read it. Pass along the link to anyone who is a LOTR fan, they undoubtedly will know someone dealing with cancer. It will probably make sense to them too.
I know my father would have loved to have me read it to him. He would have said "Hmm..Interesting..." and I guess this is my overall point: that I wish I could have shared all this with my Dad. I miss him very much.
A hero never goes it alone. My Dad was a hero. He is still my hero.
John B. Smiley: 1940-2010
Photo: Me and my dad, circa 1982.
I've also been a "Cowboy for a Day,"
galloping around on the beach at Hacienda Baru and herding cattle (I'll post the YouTube links)
and, for the past 24hrs, I've been a "Surfer Dude"
... my board rental ends @ 2:30
... when I'll just go back to being a 'regular dude.'
Sad news... my grandfather, August (Gus) Chalin, passed away today.
He was 93 years old. It is a very sad day. He was a truly great man.
Grace, Gus, Me. (ca.1984)