Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stand By Me

I was just listening to Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap on CBC  (which I usually do Friday nights in the shower). His show was a repeat on the theme of "answer songs".  You know, when there is a huge hit and the producers want to milk it so the take what is basically the same song and have another singer sing refashioned lyrics to it.  Much like what Hollywood uses now as a formula for making blockbusters.

For example; Elvis Presley's "Are you Lonesome Tonight?", was answered by Dodie Stevens '  "Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight" complete with soliloquy bridge.  Another example that was very dear to my heart was Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato". I was eleven when I went to the Moncton Arena and saw her perform - live!   I was so excited that I must have worn out my shoes mash potato-ing weeks before the concert.  She answered her own song and made a hit out of adding a little "Gravy (On My Mashed Potatoes).

Then he played the huge standard. "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King and mentioned the YouTube video that has had nearly 20 million views.  Having watched it, I can understand why.  Seeing this song performed all over the world by such different musicians reminded me of the going away party I attended this afternoon at work.

Out General Manager, who also happens to be a very dear friend was leaving to start his own company.  As could be expected, there were plenty of tears and laughter as people reminisced about the last six years that he had lead the company. 

Looking around the room, there were a wide assortment of people present; managers, servers, administrators -  workers of all races and languages.  Listening to my friend give his farewell speech, I looked at each of the people in the room and  the "leader"  through their eyes.  I realized then, how much he had touched these people, his employees.  His is so loved because he is trusted.  He had gained that trust by listening to what they had to say and by standing along side of them when they needed encouragement and guidance.  That is what a leader does and that is what a friend does.

This is the quality that he will embed in his new enterprise and it will be the reason why it will be successful.

So, this song goes out to Daniel who I can always count on to Stand by Me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why we need to kill "social media" -

"It's as though Rob Key is reading my mind. This is the very thing that I have been focusing on since I began my social media journey -it being more than about the media and more about the message and it's transformative powers upon society and business."
The social media conversation needs to shift away from setting up profile pages and instead focus on the transformative nature of this channel. Here's why.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If I could turn back time....

I've been delving a lot into my past recently and feeling somewhat guilty about it.  There is no shortage of advice that keeps saying the same thing:  keep your eyes on the road - you can't move forward if you keep looking backward.

But I admit it, as I get older, I find some comfort in looking back. There is a sort of security that comes from obsessing on moments in your past that happen  before you were responsible for the decisions you made.  Also, there's the exercise of trying to figure out what the hell I did  to deserve this. (Ok, I'm just noticing how many song cues I have in this article.)

In my family, waning nostalgic was like squirting lighter fluid on a bonfire.  After a few Mooseheads, someone would bring up some old story of real or imagined betrayal and soon the Moosehead bottles would become missiles.  My family kept things pretty simple - no rememberin' when you're drinkin'.

I know, regrets are futile and "would haves" and "could haves" only lead to the futility of self absorption and navel - gazing; which is not as fun as "naval" gazing. (cue gratuitous photo).

But Edith Piaf aside, how do you not regret?  Surely there have been turns in the road that you wished you would have taken.  What if?

I know that I can't go back and "Turn Back Time", but is it too late to turn around and re-visit that  fork in the road?

And that's where I find myself today - more mature, less idealistic and very much more honest about who I am.  As I continue to dig deeper inside me to find that kernel of what Ray is, I can only hope that I'm not reaching for my walker when the epiphany strikes.

All the experiences in my life have brought me to this place. Yep, there were some very bad ones; personal losses, professional disappointments and health issues;  I continue to heal and learn from those.  From all the good things that happened in my life; my family, my friends, my accomplishments - they provide the salve and validation to continue moving forward.

So now, as I approach my sixth decade on earth, I am embarking on a new career.  I'm not sure if I will succeed and that's totally OK because just doing this without safety net is completely new for me.  Taking a chance and not looking back is something I haven't done since my twenties when I believed I could do anything. That was before I wrote a completely different script for myself than the one I had imagined while watching classic movies and TV variety shows.

I might not be able to turn back time, but I can make the most of the time that I still have - to make the most of me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gay Senior Abuse

Elderly Gay Couple's Life Together Destroyed by Discrimination

(tipped by Towelroad)

After 20 years of life together, these men were separated, their home torn asunder, their possessions auctioned off, and their lives ruined. Why, because they're gay and the government chose to ignore all the papers the couple filed to prevent just this.

Hard to believe that it was just last week that Obama Obama Extended Hospital Visitation Rights to Same-Sex Couples. Too late for Harold & Clay.

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