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Monday Morning Motivation

Make your Monday a Saturday.

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Monday Morning Pick Me Up: Let’s go to the mall!!!

If you don’t know this song, you’ve been missing out.  I hope everyone is having a great Monday so far.  I woke up feeling super sore from training this weekend (Lots of BJJ!!!), and decided to try something.  I’ve been eating better, and working out more, so I went into my bag of shirts that don’t fit.  I’m happy to report that I’m wearing a shirt today that did not fit when I first received it, and it looks pretty darn good. and is actually loose!

Happy Monday peeps!!!

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Teachers, Students & Parents: A Pep Talk

So, it’s that time of year again. Thousands of teachers and students will be heading back to school tomorrow.

As a former teacher, I know the large range of emotions that can accompany this time of year. My first few years of teaching, I so looked forward to the end of Christmas break. I genuinely loved teaching, and in addition to getting back to something that brought me immense joy, it also brought me one day closer to summer break!!! I mean, let’s be real…I didn’t live to work. I worked to live.

My last year of teaching, I recall the anxiety and dread that came with the end of Christmas break. It was this time of year at which I decided that I was done with teaching for the time being.

As for students, this is that point in the year where motivation wanes. Potentially, grades begin to dip, and the shit cycle of standardized testing begins to spin. Just like anyone else, they start to wear out.

So, if you know a teacher, student, or even a parent, share this video with them. Let them know that yeah, there are thousands of other people who feel exactly how you feel. Your feelings are valid and acknowledged.

But, it’s time to be even more awesome…and inspired…and inspiring.

So pass this on, and be awesome today.

Namaste.

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Monday Morning Pick Me Up: Christmas Playlist

Hey Everyone! I’m only a few hours off of the morning. I almost made it! I’m getting better!

Anywho…Let me start by saying if you haven’t heard the album from which the above video comes, you’re missing out. The band is August Burns Red and the album is August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill. It’s really good. Very unique I would say. Definitely rivals Transiberian Orchestra.

So, let’s talk Christmas music. I’m long over the traditional stuff for the most part. 30 some years later of hearing it, I’m burned out. However, Christmas JAZZ music….oh yeah? Even something like the tune above. Just hearing the old tunes in a new way…I can dig it.

So, I’m gonna give you some offerings of some awesome Christmas music I’ve been listening to over the past week. I use Spotify to listen to all of my music, but I’m pretty certain all of my suggestions are available on Itunes, perhaps even on Youtube, and if you enter them into Pandora, you’ll get a kickass Christmas channel.

So, my top Christmas albums this year:

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Big Band Christmas (1996)
The Chris McDonald Orchestra

This is my favorite Christmas album of this year. It’s tasty, and consistent with great solos. 2 thumbs up.

99215c77e201aaf73391185d9c220e38A Jazz Musician’s Christmas (2002)
The Tom Kubis Big Band

This was my first year hearing this album, and it is wondrous. The highlight of the album is O Holy Night. When you hear it, you’ll know why.

boogie_woogie_christmas Boogie Woogie Christmas (2004)
The Brian Setzer Orchestra

This is exactly what you’ve come to expect from Brian Setzer. Fresh, hip, and it swings so very hard!!!

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What A Night! A Christmas Album (2008)
Harry Connick Jr.

This album has the best rendition of Winter Wonderland I’ve ever heard, as Harry swings out with his daughter Kate.

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The Nutcracker Suite (1960)
Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn

No explanation needed.

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Sleddin’ Hill (2012)
August Burns Red

This album is the newest one on my list. It’s also the most surprising, considering this is a very tasty bunch of Christmas arrangements from a metalwork band. Take a listen before you judge.

I hope you enjoy some of this music as much as I have. It’ll add a little spice to you Christmas for sure.