Thursday, June 25, 2009

National Anthem: Part 3

I went to the final audition last night, and sang the whole (1st verse, really) "Star Spangled Banner" this time. There were 15 finalists, and some really strong competition. I, however, was not chosen as the "Idol" winner. I know, I know - write to your Congressman - it's out of my hands now. It would have been fun to win, but I still get free tickets to the event for being a finalist, so that's pretty cool. AND, I'm now free to do whatever I want that day, so bonus.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

National Anthem: Part 2

OK, so I went to the audition this past Saturday over in Tempe. Due to a somewhat late start and the fact that I was dragging all 4 of my kids with me, I arrived a little late - they had already signed everyone in and started the auditions. They still let me do mine, though. Ends up, there were only 24 total applicants, and I got #24. I think when we walked into the theater, they were on #18 already, so I didn't have long to wait - literally, we were in the theater for a total of 10 minutes! I felt like I kind of bombed the audition, though. See, each auditioner only got 30 seconds to strut their stuff (seriously, with a buzzing timer and everything), and supposedly you could sing ANY 30 second part of the song that you wished. When we arrived, I got to hear a few people go before me, and they all sang the same part of the Anthem - the ending ("...and the rocket's red glare, etc...). I had a starting note for the beginning of the song, but did not come prepared with a starting note for the big finale, so I was a little worried about that. I'm not sure if the group was actually instructed to only sing that portion of the song, or if all those people just chose to do the same part b/c that's where, supposedly, you voice can really shine, but I was a little nervous about starting cold at that point in the song. In hindsight, I should have just asked them when I got up there, but I decided to just go for it - and I started too low! I was able to carry it through, but I could immediately tell that this was not going to WOW anyone. The kids did great, though, and everyone was in love with the twins - partly b/c I had dressed them in their "Thing 1" and Thing 2" t-shirts, and partly b/c they're just so dang cute! At any rate, I got an email yesterday that I have been chosen as a TOP TEN FINALIST and will get to perform a 2nd audition - this time the whole song - next Wednesday, the 24th!! I feel confident that, given the entire song to work with, I can really show them what I've got. So, depending on how next week goes, we may, or may not, have new plans for July 4th. Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

National Anthem

OK, so I just registered to audition for the opportunity to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at the City of Tempe July 4th Fireworks Festival. 1st round of auditions are this Saturday morning in Tempe. It's a little scary, as I'm doing this solo (not with the MC6 guys), primarily b/c half the group will be out of town on the 4th, and so it would be silly to involve them at this point. Plus, since I sing the lead on our arrangement anyway, I thought what the heck! I'll probably have to change the way I sing it somewhat, but I figure I can just belt it like normal. My audition is only for 30 seconds, and I can choose any 30-second portion of the song when it comes my turn. Any ideas as to whether I should do anything other than just start from the beginning?

I was just informed that there will only be 25 other people auditioning with me on Saturday morning, so I'm relieved. If there were going to be 800, like when we auditioned for the Phoenix Suns, then I was considering just not going down there at all, due to the hassle, and the fact that I'll have all 4 of my kids with me. But 25 - I can handle that. And, it gives me that much of a better chance to make it to the 2nd round of auditions in 2 weeks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Slow Gun Runner

One of my best friends from childhood, David Pichard (shout out!), is in a band called Slow Gun Runner, based out of Juneau, Alaska. This video was made by their drummer, Chris Lambertson, in conjunction with independent filmmaker, Jarrett Thomas, and features their recently recorded song, "Pretty". Hope you like it!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MC6 - Christmas album

My singing group, MC6, is getting ready to release our 1st CD here in a couple of weeks. We have been working on this album for the past several months, spending many long nights in the studio either recording or mixing tracks. Currently, the album is at the mastering studio, then it goes to replication. We should have CDs in hand for sale by Thanksgiving, so we're very excited!

It is an album of Christmas tunes done in a cappella style - no instruments but our voices. Some tracks are classic, traditional holiday tunes, such as Away In a Manger, Sleigh Ride, and White Christmas; while others will be new to you, such as Candlesong and He Is Born. We actually have two versions of Away In a Manger on the CD - one is the traditional version you have heard before, while the other will knock your socks off!

These will be available for sale very soon. If you'd like a copy, let me know (through email or via Blogger), and we'll be sure to rush one out to you in time for the holidays.

For more information, see MC6's web site at


Here are some pics of the kiddos from Halloween. The twins were hilarious as they flatly refused to wear their "ghost" costumes, which were nothing more than a sheet with a hole cut in the top for their head. Simply did not want to do it, and that was that.

We did, however, have a practice run for Halloween the night before at our ward's Trunk-or-Treat party. The boys were adamant as ever that they were not going to wear those costumes, but once I got them into them and off to beg for candy they began to warm to the idea. After about 3-4 cars, they finally caught on, and the costumes were an afterthought! Logan looked at me as if to say, "Wow, you just go up to people and ask for candy, and they give it to you and tell you how cute you are?" What a concept!

On Halloween night, they, again, did not want to play dress-up, but once we forced them into their sheets and got them to approach a couple of houses, they were fine. Slow, but fine. Collin eventually got fed up with waiting for us (the twins, really) all night, so he took off with one of his friends and her dad to hit a different street super-speed style. Kate wouldn't go up to any house that had any kind of noise-making prop, which was just about every other house, so I spent a lot of time cajoling her into sneaking past the ghouls before they could get her.

Collin & Kate with our kickin' pumpkin!

Here are Kate, Collin, and Jelena (neighbor kid):

Kate looking super-spooky in her witch costume. Without her hat, though, people thought she was a "dead girl". Still spooky.

Seth the friendly ghost.

The brood. Kate is looking pretty scary!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


In the course of my busy workday, as I slave for the supreme master who provides me (and vicariously, my wife) with the monies which I trade for various and sundry goods and services that are essential to life (such as food...and TiVo), I sometimes take a short break from my labors in order to stretch my legs and perhaps find a snack and/or use the restroom. This is not an unusual activity for me - in fact, I repeat this activity several times throughout my day. It gives me a break from the tedium of my daily tasks as well as provides me with opportunities for some stress relief of a social, culinary, or even critically biological in nature. One of the nice things about these breaks is the ability to leave my work (solitaire) behind for just a few minutes, there to await my eventual return.

Just a few minutes ago, whilst on one of my "bio" breaks (not to be confused with snack or social breaks), I encountered a most unusual, yet strangely not completely surprising phenomena. As I took my place at the bank of urinals, I could not help but notice the fellow right next to me was doing some serious multi-tasking. While with the one hand he was, shall we say, "doing his business", the other was feverishly working the buttons of his Blackberry. Needless to say, his gaze was focused entirely on said Blackberry and not on the "business" he was doing. Apparently, this bathroom is for conducting more than one (or two) kinds of business.

I tried not to stare, as is rude in most situations, even more so (not to mention somewhat awkward) in the men's restroom, but this guy was, shall I say "handily" completing both tasks at once without even the subtlest appearance of awkwardness or uncertainty. He had definitely done this before - was perhaps even a seasoned pro. Is this an Olympic sport this year? If not, it should be! Takes all kinds of ambidexterity and coordination and stuff. I'm pretty sure I couldn't pull it off, and, although certainly not of Olympic caliber, I do consider myself to be somewhat athletic and coordinated. Really, this is much more than the old "pat your head and rub circles on your tummy" routine. This goes way beyond the "chewing gum whilst walking" bit. This is even bigger than throwing left-handed. Yes indeed , these are unique skills, developed over a long period of time of intense and repeated practice. I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't just do this trick at work to show off to us lesser mortals. Nay, he must have a strict training regimen after work hours, perhaps even early in the morning before work. I'll even bet that, when he awakes in the middle of the night, he takes his Blackberry into the home bathroom for an impromptu training session. I wonder how many words/minute he can type on that thing? Didn't some teenage girl from Ohio recently win a competition for the most words/minute texting? Of course, she could use both hands - not even a contest. I wonder how many words/minute I can type on mine? Should I try now? Right here, right now? Will he think me a silly amateur and scoff at my bumbling efforts to emulate?

All of this is going through my mind as I'm trying to take care of my own "business". A thought occurs to me - "Have I done what I came in here to do?" I think so. I got more than I bargained for, really. My colleague has not noticed me staring, which is a good thing. His attention is focused elsewhere. I'm to his left, and, thankfully, he's looking to his right at the Blackberry. I realize I've been trying to read his email. Looks business related. That's a good thing - it is a company issued device, you know.

I turn away and move over to the sink to wash up. He's still furiously working that thumb. Is he still "going"?! Man, that's some bladder! Or maybe he just needs to finish this train of thought before he can step away. Either way, he's still at it as I walk out the door. Who knows how long he was there before I showed up? Maybe he does his best work this way? I don't think I know him, but have I ever received an email from him? Perhaps one typed in just this way? I may never know the answers to these questions, but I do know it's time for me to get back to my desk and to the mounds of work (solitaire) that await me.

(Found this on a site called - check it out.)