weddings

#853: “The wedding is coming and life is very sweet!” (Getting More Retro!)

Jen dug up this Facebook note that I wrote on August 8, 2008.  I thought it would be nice to include as part of Getting More Tale.  Even back in 2008, I was excited about Sausagefest and bitching about the Record Store.  The wedding was August 31, 2008 and I was obviously very excited.

GETTING MORE TALE (Retro) #853: “The wedding is coming and life is very sweet!”

I can’t believe I haven’t written a note in more than a month. If you had told me that getting married was this much work, I wouldn’t believe you. Actually, some of you DID tell me that getting married was this much work, and I didn’t believe you.

However it wouldn’t have changed anything. I still love my crazy Leafs girl and would have married her anyway.

So what’s new? Well, last I wrote, I was just about to head to Sausagefest. I did and it was awesome. The new format needs a little work* I think, there were a few kinks in the tape. Meat, Tom and Haslam hosted a great party and we had an awesome time. Even Tyler’s dog Zeppelin didn’t bug me this time. And Zach’s lamb was DELECTABLE. My compliments to the Chef Britton.

After that, I turned 36…wow…unbelievable! However I will still tell people that I am 26.

Work is great. Unbelievable amount of responsibility and it weighs heavy sometimes. However I have been there over a year now, and it looks to be like I will be there a long time to come. There will be news about that soon but I can’t talk about that yet.**

It’s interesting. I spent 11 1/2 years working in the record store, working my way up, until there was nowhere left to work up to. A lot of people wish they could have worked in a record store, and I’m glad to say that I did it. I always have the best work stories,*** and I’m glad to say that with the glow of nostalgia, all the stories are good ones.*^ However everyone grows up, everyone gets older, and I didn’t want to be that guy who’s on call 24/7 anymore. In my 30’s I wanted to do something else.

So, I spent the last 3 years working in accounting departments, working for manufacturers and refining my skill set and experiences. It’s slowly been paying off; it’s tough starting over but it was worth it. Now I never have to bring my work home with me, and when the phone rings on the weekends it’s usually a telemarketer, not work!

So here I am about to embark on the next stage of my life, this time as a married dude. In a lot of ways I’ve become the guy I never wanted to be when I was a younger: The guy who never buys a CD by a new band because he thinks all the new bands suck. The guy who thinks nothing since 1978 has ever sounded as good. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck. I stick to my guns, always have and always will, and I’ll never go for the trends. Sure when I worked in the store I bought a lot of stuff, but my heart and soul will always be with the heaviest of metals.

Meat can bug me about the Danko Jones (ha ha),**^ but who cares…in the end he knows that I like what I like not because YOU think I should like it, but because I liked it.

This is another busy weekend…tomorrow our new bed gets delivered, tomorrow we’re going to hopefully pick our rings, and Sunday we meet with the DJ to cross the t’s and dot the lower-case j’s.

But for tonight, I think I shall rock to The Scream featuring John Corabi, and play Lego Star Wars. Yes I shall.

 

* This could have been the infamous “Bag of Rock” format that nearly derailed Sausagefest.

** The news was that I had been offered a permanent position, but I couldn’t say anything until papers were signed.

*** Record Store Tales.

*^ “Good” as in good stories, but not necessarily happy ones!

**^ Meat raked me over the coals for picking “Take Me Home” by Danko Jones as my tribute song.

#775: Eleven

GETTING MORE TALE #775: Eleven

It was eleven years ago this weekend that life changed forever.

On August 31 2008, I dressed up in a tux, gathered a hundred of our closest family and friends, and got married.  It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

We didn’t get to celebrate ten years.  At this time last year, Jen’s mom was terminally ill.  We were at her bedside.  I know what she would have said to us if she knew what day it was.  “You guys go out, have a nice dinner, on me.  Enjoy yourselves.”  That’s just who she was.  But we didn’t feel much like eating or celebrating.

I think “mum” would appreciate that this year, we are going to celebrate #11.  We’re going to remember her, and we’re going to be thankful that we have each other.  Making #11 our year to celebrate seems appropriate for us; we’re the couple that is 1) always late, and 2) rarely doing anything the “normal” way.

In order to do things right, I’ll be taking a break from mikeladano.com but we will all re-convene back here after Labour Day.

It’s a well deserved break!  We have some general ideas but the plan is just to take it easy and go with the flow.  I just bought a 2 terabyte external hard drive, so I’ll actually be able to take all my music with me, in the car and on the laptop.  I couldn’t do that eleven years ago!

Here are some songs that mean the most to Jen and I.  Turn ’em up and we’ll catch up again next week.


Stompin’ Tom Connors – “Sudbury Saturday Night”

As told in Record Store Tale Part 20: I Believe in a Thing Called Love:

It started with Stompin’ Tom. I think I had told her that I had a stack of new movies, a huge bag of chips & a case of Red Bull, and was ready for the weekend or something. She responded, “Sounds like you’re ready for a Sudbury Saturday Night.” So right then and there, boom! She was speaking my language.


The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”

I was into The Darkness in a big way.  As told in Record Store Tales Part 80, these guys were absolutely one of my favourites when we met.  “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” was a major feature at the wedding reception.


Guns N’ Roses – “Patience”

This was one of Jen’s favourites from the reception. When it played, all the couples slow-danced together. She thought it was a really sweet moment, and a lot of those couples are still couples today!


The Beatles – “Revolution”

When I asked Jen to pick a song she liked, this was the first one she named.


Van Halen – “Why Can’t This Be Love”

Before we met, Jen actively disliked Van Halen (classic rock in general). Today this is one of her favourite songs. Rock radio had a lot to do with that.


Neil Peart – “The Hockey Theme”

Before I met Jen, I’d never heard this theme in my life.  Today, I can name pretty much every Maple Leaf and dozens of other players too.  I can’t believe she’s done this to me!  But don’t you dare call me a “hockey fan”.


The Traveling Wilburys – “Handle With Care”

No story, we just love this song.


Johnny Cash – “In My Life”

I’m sure everybody plays this at their weddings, don’t they? We knew that, so we chose Johnny Cash’s version. Let me tell you, that was a really cool moment, in the church signing the registry to this song. I hope my buddy Tom appreciated that, being such a huge Cash fan. I was psyched for him to hear it at a wedding instead of the usual.

I hope you enjoy some of our songs too.

 

#577: Wedding Tunes Tales

GETTING MORE TALE #577: Wedding Tunes Tales

Mrs LeBrain and I have been married nine years.  It is an incredible feeling, to have found the one made for you.  I thank God every day.  We still frequently talk about the wedding day itself, the most amazing day of my life.  The bachelor night before was legendary, but the wedding was perfect.

Well, except a few minor details.

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, there is one thing that really bugs me today, and that is our wedding CD.  Specifically, one track on that wedding CD.

I personally selected and approved most of the music for the day.  I was very proud to work Frank Zappa into the reception music (“Peaches En Regalia”).  I also had to make sure I had a Kiss song, so I chose “And Then She Kissed Me” from Love Gun.  We focused on Johnny Cash and the Beatles for the ceremony, killing two birds with one stone on “In My Life” for the signing of the registry.  As soon as we started sending out the “thank you” cards to all the guests, I compiled and burned dozens of copies of what you might call The Official Soundtrack Album to Our Wedding.  I squeezed in everything I could, but Jennifer insisted we include one specific song for her maid of honour, Lara.  [Note:  Lara is not evil, but she will be portraying the antagonist in an upcoming store called “Seven”.  Stay tuned.]  I guess when they used to work together in a video store, they would play “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit a lot.  Some customer gave Lara a CD with that song on it and only that song…on repeat.  I guess this inside joke meant that “My Own Worst Enemy” was Lara’s entrance music at the reception.  And I guess that justified it being on the soundtrack CD.  That is, by far, my biggest wedding regret.  It never should have been on the soundtrack CD.  It’s the only song I absolutely have to skip every time.  It’s shit.  Sorry Lara, but your tribute song sucks!

Jen has her own decision that she would go back and change if she could.  We had the proverbial “bridesmaid from hell”.  Bridesmaidzilla, or ‘Zilla for short, was drama from start to finish.  Without getting into too much detail, ‘Zilla was at the bottom of the bridesmaid totem pole but tried to manipulate certain things to be about her.  The highlight of these efforts was what we call the “caesar salad saga”.

It’s quite simple, really!  Jennifer has a seafood allergy, and any decent caesar salad dressing has anchovy paste in it.  We never take any chances, so we requested a regular garden salad for the dinner reception.  No big deal, right?  It’s a salad, but most importantly, it’s Jennifer’s wedding.  You wouldn’t believe how this salad became a bone of contention between them!  ‘Zilla looked up recipes for vegan versions online.  The salad was repeatedly brought up, but Jen had never really had caesar salad before due to her allergy.  Why would she suddenly want one for her wedding?  Bottom line, Jen chose the salad she wanted.  And for the record, since that time, she has tried vegan caesar salad and likes it.  But why would she gamble on something like that for her wedding night?  No, pick the salad you want.  Bottom line, end of discussion.

Drama continued right up to the morning of the wedding day.  As maid of honour, Lara was in charge of the bridesmaids and all communication was to go through her to relieve the pressure from Jen.  Lara would take care of any minor details so Jen would not have to be bothered.  Well, apparently a bra was needed on the wedding day, and so I received a 7:00 am phone call about it.  ‘Zilla didn’t want to call Lara because they were not getting along, at all, so they thought it would a good idea to call the groom on his wedding day, about a goddamn bra.  They actually called me to ask where you can get a bra on a holiday weekend.  Are you kidding me?

They must have called Lara and gotten it sorted because they got the bra situation taken care of without the groom having to intervene.  The wedding went off perfectly and the reception was even better.   I did my best to curate some cool music, and as a special treat, my sister Kathryn performed at the reception.  It was a jazz quartet — bass, bass clarinet, drums, guitar.  The crowning moment of their performance was a jazzy rendition of the “Cantina Theme” from Star Wars.  My sister had to order the sheet music which wasn’t cheap.  Her band’s performance that night was her wedding gift to us, and that reminds me that I do have one more regret.  That is, I wish I had filmed it.

After dinner, after the cake was served, and I was taking a rest between songs (I was a dancing fiend) I sat at ‘Zilla’s table for a bit to chat.  Jen’s friend Gordie, who is hilarious by the way, and married to one of the good bridesmaids, was also sitting with a few others at the table.  Knowing full well the drama that had gone down, Gordie mischievously commented, “That was a great wedding, Mike.  Everything was perfect and I am so happy for you and Jen.  The cake was great…the only thing I would change is the salad, if it was caesar it would have been perfect.”  Then the husband of ‘Zilla said, “We even gave them the recipe to make it…”

The last bit of ‘Zilla drama happened later in the evening as they were leaving.  The DJ played one of the special songs I picked, which was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.  My mom, sister, aunt and new wife started dancing to it and I shouted “It’s the Ladano girls dance!”  My sister, who was right drunk at that stage, yelled out, “LADANO GIRLS, YAAAY!”  They joined with me in a circle and we danced away to Neil, singing along, having a blast, laughing.  ‘Zilla was, apparently, standing nearby waiting to say goodbye.  I felt a tap on my shoulder and she very bitchily said “BYE!” while making a talkie-talkie motion with her hand.  Yeah, bye!

Jen and I will soon be celebrating our anniversary again, and we’ll probably play that wedding soundtrack CD and relive the good memories.  And I’ve convinced her to skip Lit from now on.  Small victories are still victories.

#428: Seven Years Ago Today…

sugarlego

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#428: Seven Years Ago Today…

Happy Anniversary to the lovely Mrs. LeBrain, who is still putting up with my shit today!

For seven whole years now, she’s been trying to convince me that I’m a snorer. I kept telling her, “Video, or it didn’t happen.” Even though she told me I can shake the windows, I refused to believe.

Until today.

Sausagefester Sebastien Xavier Meunier has provided the video proof above, recorded this year at Sausagefest 2015. That is my tent. And that, apparently, is my snore.

I love you Mrs. LeBrain. I won’t ever doubt you again.  Today, you win!

5 years ago today…