Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in the saddle again

I've returned form a week in Ontario.
I've over eaten more than once, visited friends and family, and even stayed up past 11 p.m.

I now have to face the reality of working again, getting up and starting my cold car, and eventually listening to my parents gawk about their trip to the Caribbean, and how hot it was.

My dad will come back tanned as black as tar, my mom will have her hair weaved in that stupid little dread lock thingy that all white tourist get done (I think it's just a joke that locals play on tourists to make them look like assholes) and my sister will be on her latest rant, which currently involves how farm animals are mistreated, and how skim milk powder is 2 chemicals away from napalm.....

I'm over the fact that 90% of my immediate family is going South. I had my awesome man weekend earlier in the month, and I'm hoping Ali will be able to do something with her girlfriends in the future. It just irks me how people always tell stories of their vacation and say things like "Remember how our bartender Jose said your name?" or when they have an inside joke that just won't die.
With my parents, it's the lame pictures. Sure, they mean something to them, but to me it's just a group of strangers smiling, and holding up giant drinks.
And then there's my dad's famous line "Did you notice _____ while you were in Cuba?" Or "Is that what you did when you were there?"

Petty, I know, but I'm ready for it this year more than ever. I have Ali and Ellery to keep me sane through the cold months ahead.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ode to my belly button lint

Oh, belly button lint, so stealthily you appear

I have a shower, put on a clean shirt, and yet you persevere

I find you in the evening, after carrying you around all day

I take my shirt off and get ready for bed, and you poke your head out to see if I'm OK

I wonder what you're made of, and if you'll ever cease

I imagine how big you'd be if my shirts were made of fleece

I always know you have my back, or rather my mid section

I just wish you were one of those things I simply couldn't mention

As I live my life these days I'll take the good with the bad

After all you're not the toughest combatant that I've ever had

You're evil twin toe jam has introduced themselves on occasion too

But I'll have the last laugh when I shower away the both of you

Until next time, bellybutton lint. Until next time....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's almost the "C" word..


Remember a few years back when a few people were freaking out, saying that Christmas wasn't just for Christians, and that everyone celebrated this holiday?
We couldn't say Christmas tree. It was known as a "holiday" tree.
We couldn't say Merry Christmas, it was "Happy holidays".

Way to ruin Christmas. Merry Holi-mas.

This last few days before the big day is where I'm truly impressed with Ali's ability to speed shop.
This is like watching a man on crack going through his shopping list. My question is this ;

Why can't women shop like this all of the time?

They buy what they need, glancing at their lists, get into a store, get mad at the crowd, buy what they need, and bee line it for the till. Sounds like man shopping to me!

Good luck finishing your shopping.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's not to like?

I've returned home to frigid cold winds, a foot of snow, and bitter cold.

For the past few days, I was living a sports fan's dream, watching a live NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, and enjoying an awesome round of golf at a beautiful golf course called Old Sycamore golf Plantation.

I have to sincerely thank my hosts Reggie and Gigi for showing me true Southern charm and hospitality. They made a great trip even better, and I can't wait for the two of you to finally meet the rest of my family.

I think I must have been a Southerner in a former life. I sampled all of the local dishes and loved them all. It started with a good seafood dinner, complimented with succotash. The next morning, I had my first taste of grits and country ham (a salty version of our Canadian back bacon).
The next day at the best tailgate ever, I had Chesapeake oysters as big as a baby's fist, including one with a pearl, and fresh North Carolina shrimp and steamed mussels.

My host's house was very cozy. I've visited many States across the U.S., but this is the first one that I could actually see myself living there. I think a lot has to do with the whole Southern charm there, and we as Canadians are very polite too, so we're very similar.
I was getting used to being called "honey" by the older ladies, and chuckled every time I heard a man address another woman as "darlin'" or "sweetheart".

I loved meeting the extended family - all 5 of the Border collies, the 2 horses and cats, and Bosco the parrot.
I enjoyed the dialogue with Larry, and chatting with Tree and Bash.

I enjoyed Penny's place - this little dive of a restaurant with no windows that served food on Styrofoam plates.

I liked the coffee there. Probably the best American coffee around.

I appreciated the hospitality of all of the strangers that I introduced myself to.
I'm looking forward to our next trip to Charlotte to visit Reggie, Gigi and family.

As a transplanted Chicagoean says about North Carolina, "What's not to like?".

Thanks, one million times over. I've been ruint.......

Thursday, December 11, 2008


As a man, I have some superstitions when it comes to sports.

I always wear my Bomber jersey to games. I think the world will end if I don't.

I have to watch an away game, or else my team will lose. This one doesn't make much sense, because they still lose anyway.

When I go away to watch my first NFL game, I will have to wear something with Denver Broncos on it. Not in plain sight, I don't have a death wish, but something nonetheless.

Other superstitions include not stepping on the first base line when playing baseball, or putting on my wedding ring a certain way, so the engraving faces upward.

When I go fishing, the first fish is always let go - this produces more fish in the end.

What are some of your superstitions in life?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why do sit ups hurt?

The other day, I had Miss E on the floor beside me.
She was entertaining herself with various toys, and I'm trying to get back on track with the whole exercise thing, so I grabbed my weights and got to work.
After my set amount of reps with the weights, I decided to do a few push ups and sit ups.
When I was a young buck, sit ups were an everyday occurrence while serving my Country, so why not start slow again?

After about thirty sit ups, I began to feel a slight twitch in my abdomen. I kept going, focusing on my technique, as to not mess up my back further, managing to do a few more.
All was well, until I tried to sit up. I swear to everything holy, I actually felt like I had a hernia.
I stood up as straight as I could, allowing my abdominal muscles to stretch, but I had these two burning, nagging spots in my belly. What made things worse, was the fact that I had already picked up Ellery, and was frozen in severe pain. She knew something was wrong. She looked at me, trying to figure out why daddy looked like he was getting shanked in a prison shower, but no words would come out. I just stood there, bend slightly to the left, making my peace with God.
Then, as fast as the pain hit me, it disappeared into thin air.

Lesson learned. Abs are over-rated.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Manventure V 2.0

Soon, I will be packing my bags and venturing down to some warmer weather to see my first NFL game.
I think I have been driving Ali crazy, with my relentless planning, my lists, and talking about the most recent weather forecasts.
I basically plan on getting as little sleep as possible to fully maximize my time in North Carolina.
My gracious host is filling the day planner with different ideas and suggestions for sampling the local cuisine.

Here's my only dilemma - the host team is playing my favorite team. The other thing is that I actually own a Carolina Panthers jersey, so I'll think I'll be safe and wear the proper "gang" colors.
I don't want to cause a scene. I'll still cheer for my team, just a little quieter than usual.

So, as we reach our high temperature of -29 Celsius with the wind, I'll be day dreaming of my first tailgate party, my first NFL game, and the tropical 50 degree weather that awaits me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another top 10

I've decided to make a list of things that I'm not good at, but aspire to learn, or improve my skills.

1. Photography - Ali loves taking pictures, and when I see her work (especially of Ellery) it makes me wish that I had a better knack at finding "the perfect shot".

2. Water skiing - Never tried it, but it looks fun. If those wipe outs are half as bad as they are on an inner tube, I'm dead...

3. Football - If I could turn back the clock, I wish that I played football in high school. Now that my bad back/feet don't allow it, I wish that I had some cool football stories to tell.

4. Guts - I hate the thought of sky diving, or bungee jumping. I wish I had that "no fear" attitude, but also working on an Orthopedics ward helps change my mind on those things.

5. The travel bug - Self explanatory, unless I win the lotto, I don't have that ability to just pack up my stuff and fly around the world. Someday, when our finances are a little more set up, this will happen.

6. Neil Peart II - One day, I'm going to own a drum kit, and rock the f*$# out. You'll see.

7. Speaking Spanish - This is probably the one language that I would like to learn the most. I think it would serve me well during all of my trips to the Caribbean.

8. Staying in touch with family - Over the years, I have lost touch with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents for no reason whatsoever. Time to make some calls.

9. Card tricks - Always popular with the kids, and a great ice breaker anywhere. Plus, maybe it'll net me some quick cash.

10. Work on blogging more - I think I've picked it up quite nicely again. I just have to find a way to get my readers back....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Soap vs. the "poof"

As I showered today and used up the last of my body wash, I decided to go back to soap for a while.
I just feel cleaner using a bar of soap, instead of that little clump of material that most women love.

Besides that, most body washes stink. They're either "passion raspberry" scent, or "Jungle Musk". Both not appropriate for a 30 year old man.

I once heard a comedian talking about how his wife wanted him to do the laundry. She asked him to wash the "poofs". He responded with "How do you wash something that only touches soap? It's not even dirty!".

So, for now, I've retired the poof. Maybe I'll gain a little more of my manhood back with each subsequent shower.

Which do you prefer?