A Perfect Weekend

This past weekend was perfect.

It started off on Friday night, having a few beers with an old friend with whom I hadn’t spent time in a long while.

Saturday morning I was up, bright and early, to volunteer as part of the setup crew for the 2012 Canada Cup of Beer. Two hours spent setting up tents and carrying chairs and tables, while joking around with friends, was good fun.

Setting up the 2012 Canada Cup of Beer
Ryan and Jeremy towing the Telus Building

I then rushed home, assembled a bunch of tools and other handyman materials, bought a few things from the hardware store, and went to my friend Matt’s house to drop them off.

Back at my house by the afternoon, my dad kindly agreed to drive me to Swangard Stadium to participate in the Canada Cup of Beer, where I got to drink very small samples of quite a few beers with friends, many of which were unique and quite tasty (the brews, not the people).

I also got to try a paintball gun for the first time. However, the company running the promo was using rubber balls instead of paintballs, to avoid a mess. I was happy to shoot at the NHL goalies but the guy running the booth suggested I shoot a friend and, for some unknown reason, Tyler immediately volunteered to don the protective facemask and kneel down only a few feet away.

Tyler getting shot by rubber balls

Needless to say, I managed to hit him with almost every shot, and left quite a few welts:

The welts from getting shot by rubber balls

Once the event started winding down, I caught a bus downtown for my 10 year high school reunion, where I got to catch up with a number of people I hadn’t seen in ages. It was great to see how mature everyone has become – what a friendly group! [photo credit: Margarita Banting]

St Patrick's Class of 2002 Ten Year Reunion

By 11pm Jenn, with whom I went to elementary and high school, and I said our goodbyes to the group and headed to a show at the Astoria with two of her friends and my friend Maria joining us.

Dubstep show at the Astoria

Once the show ended around 2am, we all headed to Jericho Beach to enjoy the warm Vancouver summer evening. When we got there, we found a few people and joined them, and soon other strangers showed up and we had ourselves a little beach fire with guitars, singing, and fire juggling!

Fire juggling at Jericho Beach

…not to mention great conversation with interesting people, a few glimpses of aurora borealis, and a beautiful sunrise.

The most impressive musical talent present was this guy, Donny Childs. You can find some of his music online at http://donnychildsband.bandcamp.com/

Donny Childs – “Yeah, You Know” from Chris Anderson on Vimeo.

I managed to get about 7 hrs of sleep despite only arriving home at 6am, and on Sunday went to hang out with my friend Gen. We decided to go for a walk and ended up eating tasty burgers for lunch, before I headed over to Matt’s house and spent a few hours with him and John making precise cuts through steel tubing with the equipment I’d dropped off the day before.

Cutting steel tubing with a circular saw

In a few weeks I expect to post some photos of what we’re making with this steel tubing, and I think we’ll all be pleasantly surprised…

And so ended a perfect weekend. Just the right mix of partying, catching up with old friends, making new friends, listening to music, making music, helping others with their workload, working on our own project, and appreciating all sorts of amazing things around me.

My High School Graduation

Ok, so it wasn’t MY high school graduation… but I was there.

On June 13th, just 3 days after landing in Canada, my youngest sister (Lisa) had her high school graduation ceremony, which was great. She sang in the choir, including a terrific solo, and she won an award as top English student and top AV student. Plus there were TV crews there because a former student who had to quit school in WWII to earn money for his family was getting an honourary diploma. Here are a few photos from the event:

During her solo:

Receiving her diploma (actually the cover is empty, they get their diplomas in the mail in the summertime hehe)

English award:

AV award co-winners:

With the parents:

With Tony Araujo, the choir director:

4/5 siblings with Mrs Nannery, our former English and English Lit teacher, who is also currently a Vice-Principal. Check out my ridiculous ‘stache:

Choir concert at the Chan Centre

On Thursday, May 17th I had the good fortune of being able to attend the annual St Patrick Regional Secondary School “Spirit Alive” concert at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, a terrific venue. Many years ago when I was still in high school, I was lucky enough to sing on that stage with the St Patrick Senior Concert Choir several times. In two days, I’ll be on that same stage accepting my Bachelor’s degree from UBC.

I’ve been to all but one of the St Patrick concerts at the Chan since I was in the choir back in high school. The one time I missed, in 2005, I was in New Zealand. Hopefully I will again one day manage to attend, but not likely for several years now that I’m off overseas again, indefinitely.

This year was, in my opinion, probably the best choir concert I’ve yet attended. At the very beginning the doors all around the concert hall opened quietly and young men in tuxedos and women in green dresses silently entered all around us. They stood behind us, they stood in the aisles, they stood above and below (there are 3 levels of seating in the concert hall), and with one single and very brave student on the stage directing them, they began to sing.

After a really well-performed opening song, the famous choir director (who was also my teacher for English 11), Tony Araujo, took the stage to direct the singers who had infiltrated the seating areas.

I won’t spend a long time describing with verbose adjectives and adverbs all the great talent that was displayed in the concert, but I’ll post a few of the better photos I shot that night from the very top balcony, only a couple of metres from the back of the entire hall. The great thing about the Chan Centre is that it was built so that you can hear virtually the same sound no matter where you sit, meaning we got a great view and a great listening experience.

St Patrick Senior Concert Choir (not auditioned)

Spirit Alive Men’s Chorale (an independent community choir, which happens to be all St Patrick alumni)

St Patrick Chamber Choir (auditioned)

Close-up of my baby sis, she’s a great singer :-)

St Patrick Senior Concert Choir with members of the orchestra, led by the concertmaster of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.

Soloist, John Tarlit, really talented and with great stage presence. Imagine performing a solo to a packed house, surrounded by a 90 person choir and a 22 person orchestra! Talk about pressure!

♪ Siiiiiiiinging in the Chan ♫

Last week on the 3rd, I went to the Chan Centre at UBC to see the St Pat’s choir concert. It was AMAZING (as usual) and lots of fun. I sat with Joy (http://givemeanaudience.blogspot.com/) and we took some photos on her camera, so a big thanks to her, otherwise there’d be no pics up here.

Tony de Araujo, the choir director and teacher at St Pats, pulled off a great show and probably hadn’t slept in days. Sometimes I worry that he puts so much energy and enthusiasm into the choir, but it sure gets results.

Me sittin in the stands, but I kinda went crazy in Photoshop…

The Senior Concert Choir (non-auditioned, grades 10-12) was really good, and they sang some excellent stuff:

Then the Corpus Christi College Chamber Choir (auditioned adult choir) took a turn for a few songs. Several friends, and my Mom, are in the CCCCC so that was cool too. Tony is the director for this choir as well:

The St Pats Chamber Choir (auditioned, grades 9-12) also performed a number of songs which were really breathtaking. My baby sister Lisa is in this choir, and they placed 2nd at the Festival of Gold in San Francisco this year. The Festival of Gold is a US National Invitational event, and as usual, St Pats was the only Canadian choir there. This song is called “The Argument” and as you can see, it involves a fair bit of body movement and walking around – all extremely well choreographed and carried out with precision.

After the intermission, all three choirs joined together with some members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for the second half of the concert. The various instruments worked reeeally well with the music and the Chan is such a great room for acoustics that it was a real treat to listen to.

Afterwards, I grabbed a few old high school friends of mine and we headed to Rugby’s, a restaurant/bar on Broadway. We chilled there for a while, then a few of us went to Denny’s for late night munchies.

Liz and Nate:

Me and Cathy:

Alastair and Joy

Altogether it was a great night, and still worth it even though I had to wake up after 4 hrs of sleep to go to work the next morning at the airport.