This past weekend, I needed to get some dress pants altered so I visited my friend Walter the Tailor. Walter has been in the same tiny shop for the past 33 years; his business undoubtedly reliant on returning customers such as me. I enjoy spending time with Walter, mostly because I have no clue what’s in store for me with each visit. And he’s a darn good tailor.
As we exchanged pleasantries, I asked Walter how business was going.
“It’s hard to make money these days.”
“Tell me about it,” I replied. “I work for the Church.”
After almost a full 2 years away from television, my favourite show is back. Indeed, I was thrilled this past spring when I heard that The Sing-Off would be making its triumphant return for a seven-episode holiday run in December. Thus, it was with great anticipation that the kids and I watched the entire show (Gail was out) on the eastern feed nonetheless.
Here are some of my observations based on the first show of the season:
Jewel Joins the Judges
Jewel did well in her judging debut on the show; she was sweet, fun, and articulate. She seemed to develop an instant chemistry with Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman. I find this judging panel the most likable among the mainstream talent show competitions. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they do a decent job of providing both affirmations and constructive criticism. I enjoyed Sara Bareilles when she was on the show as she was quite balanced in her opinions as well. I couldn’t stand Nicole Scherzinger at times as I thought she was way too positive and afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings.
On Sunday, December 8, hundreds of people gathered for the Farewell Mass and Dinner for Bishop-Elect Msgr. Mark Hagemoen before he departs for Yellowknife ahead of next Sunday’s ordination as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. I was blessed to be able to share a few words as part of the program. Here is a portion of my speech from the evening.
Advent is about waiting. Anticipating. Expecting. Preparing. Hoping. This sounds a lot like youth ministry to me.
We wait for youth to commit their lives to Jesus. We wait for them so we can start our youth gatherings. We wait for their parents to come pick them up at the end of our events.
We anticipate the arrival of youth at our gatherings with our eyes fixated on the door. We anticipate their confusion or their silence when we are preparing small group discussions. We anticipate their excitement when we announce the dates of retreats and rallies.
He had the farthest to travel and the least amount of time to practice – but in the end it was all worth it for Langley’s Daniel W. as he captured the title of Speed Stacking Champion at the inaugural Imoo Family Speed Stacking Tournament this past Saturday in Richmond.
“I feel great,” Daniel said immediately after dethroning Richmond’s Oggy L. in the best-of-five finals. “There was some tough competition here.”
Daniel’s victory capped off a very frenetic and very loud afternoon at the Imoo residence. The tournament was the brainchild of 10 year-old Jacob Imoo, who has been stacking for just over six months now. Jacob started off practicing with whatever cups he could find in the house before his father Clay was able to obtain a used set in late July. Now, Jacob owns 8 sets of stacking cups, 3 timers, and 3 stack mats.
Jacob was extremely excited for the entire week leading up to the tournament and on the actual day, he convinced his father to drive him down to Point Roberts to pick up his latest order of cups. Clay had reservations about making the trip down on the US Thanksgiving weekend given the potential lines at the border.
“I realize that there’s not a lot to do in Point Roberts besides pick up parcels and purchase gas, but I certainly didn’t feel like waiting in a line up,” Clay recalled. “Plus, I wanted to get back for the Canucks game on TV at 11am. But I knew how badly Jacob wanted to go. And in hindsight, having the extra sets of cups for the tourney made a big difference.”