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02 Sep 07 Summer’s over, but the fun ain’t

We have just returned from a totally relaxing and highly enjoyable summer vacation back “home” in Toronto and beyond.

This year’s vacation was the first I can remember when I didn’t take anything from work. No laptop. No Blackberry. Nothing. My biggest adjustment was not having these devices during the first couple of days. But once I was well-adjusted the real vacation started. I actually felt relaxed. Wow.

I was actually able to spend time with my girls, something I rarely have time to do when work is all-consuming, as it’s been of late. I know I’m returning to a firestorm. Oh well. Life goes on.

We’re really excited about life in New York this Fall. It’s such a great time in this city. Here are some highlights we’re excited about:

  • We just signed a two-year lease on our apartment, having decided that Park Slope is the NYC neighbourhood for us.
  • Nicole weaned herself which means Karyn and I can get out a bit earlier on our twice monthly dates since we no longer need to wait for her final nursing of the night. So far we’ve only been out in Brooklyn (within walking distance), but no longer. Manhattan, here we come.
  • Marley starts French classes on Friday afternoons in SOHO. This will ensure Karyn gets into Manhattan at least once a week and provides a great excuse to get out for dinner on Fridays. Yay!
  • Marley got a kite for her birthday that we look forward to flying in Prospect Park.
  • Karyn is going to finally get her aquarium set up which will add new life to our home.
  • We are going to tackle “Ask Marley”; we promise. We started the idea so long ago but work got in the way.
  • I started running again this summer vacation, after almost eight years on hiatus, and look forward to making this an early morning habit. This will be a great stress buster, not to mention part of a much healthier lifestyle.
  • We’re going to subscribe to the NHL package on cable. We realize that Toronto is a hockey mecca, unlike New York where hockey news is relegated to a paragraph at most at the absolute end of the Sports coverage.

We also look forward to more visitors this fall. Drop us a line if you want to take advantage of autumn in New York. We’d love to see you.

20 Jun 07 Moments of musical inspiration

Every Christmas and on my sister’s birthday, I prepare a music compilation. I like to think of it as a peek into my mind. What am I listening to? I never go so far to think much about what it means because I usually don’t think so much about what it means. It’s more about how it feels to me. Unlike Karyn, I do not listen to lyrics. It’s the music that traps me.

Recently I have been completely trapped by a few bands. So inspired that I feel like I need to blog about it. The music I listen to is not mainstream. Most of my “normal” friends don’t get it. But my music friends (you know who you are) share this appreciation to the extreme. That’s what makes my music friends so special to me. It’s like an unspoken understanding. A common bond. Something inexplicable but incredibly comfortable.

So what am I listening to that got me inspired to write this post? Well, here’s an overview.

  1. This Will Destroy You – These guys are all about dynamics. Twinkling beauty magically transforms into raw intensity. I love it! They’re playing in Brooklyn on July 20! Can’t wait.
  2. The Twilight Sad – A band from Glasgow, as if the accent doesn’t give that away. I have always had a soft spot for Scottish bands and these guys are one of the most original and exciting bands I’ve heard of late. Most of their songs spring from sparse melodies to lush romps of chaotic textured noise. Playing at a festival at Coney Island on July 21st!
  3. Hammock – Just seeing some of the friends this band has amassed on MySpace shows you where they’re coming from. Artists like Brian Eno, Mogwai, The Album Leaf, Johnny Marr, Robin Guthrie and my all-time faves The Church are all listed. These guys soar with the best of them and crash in blinding beauty.
  4. The Daysleepers – When Karyn first heard this she said it sounded like my guitar from my days in blueScreen. Ah the good old days, and now it’s new again. Long live shoegaze!
  5. Blonde Redhead – I grabbed their album, 23, a few months ago and must have listened to it 10 times in the first couple of days. It’s diverse and eclectic. Playing in Brooklyn on August 5th!

There are others including God is an Astronaut, Eluvium and Arcade Fire. Music seems to be on an upswing, at least for me! It makes me want to pick up the guitar again, hook up the old effects and create some astounding sounds. We’ll see. If only I can find the time.

Thanks for indulging me. Let me know what you think of these bands. Any other suggestions?

27 Apr 07 NYC gets Hip


The Tragically Hip @ The Fillmore (NYC)

Originally uploaded by thebradfields.

Last night (April 25, 2007), we made it to The Fillmore at Irving Plaza in Manhattan to check out The Tragically Hip, Canada’s biggest rock band. The club is a medium-sized venue. In Canada, you’re lucky if you get within 1,000 feet of the band in an arena, but we were within 40 feet of the stage and could see the sweat drip off Gord Downie. The sound was incredible and the band played many of our old favorites. During Bobcaygeon, the band references Toronto and the crowd at the show let out a great cheer. We were surrounded by Canadians. Gord Downie is a mad man and a true entertainer.

Seeing the guys on stage was like a real homecoming. They also did a great cover of Lightning Strikes by The Clash during their encore.

28 Dec 06 Thanks for the presents, Santa

Marley in her Christmas PJs Well, it’s three days after Christmas, and we just got around to opening Marley’s last present. Phew! She relished every moment of the extravaganza.Why did it take so long you might ask? She actually didn’t receive that many gifts, but she took time to play with every single one immediately after it was opened. In fact, she even knows some of the books inside and out, and has mastered some of her puzzles. It is fun to see how much she absorbs. Her vocabulary grows daily and she is a pretty good at memorizing things.

So is her Daddy. His worst nightmare came true today. He actually got a Barney song stuck in his head. If you really pester him, he might even admit dancing with Marley to Barney. Talk about a sight to see. He must really love his kids. He just continues to resist their music because he knows it will continue to infiltrate his head. Welcome to parenthood.

Happy holidays!

15 Aug 06 Getting set up… slowly but surely

Well, our furniture (and pretty much everything we own) arrived last Thursday a-ok. I (David) am in the process of unpacking. Suprisingly, our apartment seems to quite comfortably accomodate our stuff. We’ll post pictures in a bit.

We were hoping to get our Internet access installed today, but no such luck. The installer had our Toronto phone number which is currently out of service while we are arranging to have it forwarded to our Brooklyn line. This will allow everyone in Toronto to call us locally. But that didn’t really help out today.

It’s just as well since I’m getting ready to travel for business, slowly making my way back to Toronto to see the family at the end of the week. This is the longest we’ve all been apart, and it’s very difficult. I can’t wait to see Karyn, Marley and Nicole. They’re still staying with my parents, so it will be great to see them as well.

For those of you in Toronto, watch your email for a farewell drop-in we’re going to host on Saturday, August 26th. This will be our last day in town as we leave for Brooklyn on the 27th. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to have my family with me.

This past weekend, Angela (my sister) visited and was an incredible help with the unpacking. She also got a chance to explore our new neighbourhood and was very enthusiastic. We encourage everyone thinking of a visit to New York to contact us. We’d love to see you and may even have a place for you to stay. I was thinking it might make sense to publish a calendar so people can see which dates we’re already booked with visitors. It sounds like we’re in for a very busy and highly sociable fall in New York. Get your requests in now!

That’s all for now. We hope you’re doing well.