Monday, November 24, 2014

Coffee and Naps

The most significant change for me since becoming a father has probably been napping and coffee.

I mean, you know, aside from the unconditional love and constant stress about whether I'm doing a good job and how we're going to pay for her university education and speaking of education should we enroll her in private school or should we just find tutors or maybe that's too much pressure and we should just let her play and be a kid but we still have to provide guidance and do whatever we can to get her on a path with all the opportunities she'll need to be happy and successful in whatever she should decide to do with her life. Besides all that, coffee and naps.

I did not like napping. It felt like the worst thing ever, waking up from a nap. And you lose so much time that could be used playing or reading or doing anything else interesting besides sleeping. Naps were my enemy, and I avoided them as much as possible. Now, not a day goes by that I don't dream about taking a nap.

I feel bad for what probably happened to the bunny.
Just to get an extra 20 minutes of uninterrupted sleep in the middle of the day... Heavenly. I'm not sure how much of my newfound love and respect for the nap has to do with the fact that if I'm not napping, that time would now be used for dishes or laundry or getting groceries. The video game time is still there, it's just more guilt ridden now than ever before.

Naps now represent small slices of time when I know that everything is okay. RG is asleep, or My Lovely Wife has her entertained or occupied and I know that I can relax without fearing for her safety. Those slices become super important sanity checks I think.  New parent tip: sometimes you have to take the nap, even when you have to do a thousand other things.

And that brings me to coffee. Sweet vanilla hazelnut I am a convert. I mean, I could stop whenever I want, but I'll feel like a sack of garbage when I do. A big old tired sack of garbage. There was a time when I drank a half-coffee/half-hot chocolate (I can't call it a mochachino because I didn't put whip cream on it or pay $5 for it), but only at work.  I am up to two cups in the morning on weekdays plus an afternoon cup on the weekends. A big thank you to my friends at Keurig. They aren't really my friends, I don't know them personally, but I feel that the work they have done puts them on the same level as the people that make the internet work. I don't know who you are, but I think you should be given accolades on a regular basis.

I used to make fun of coffee drinkers. It's true. I would raise my nose just a little when they would all huddle around the carafe at work, with desperate eyes watching for the last drop to fall. I thought I was better than they were. Come to think of it, I guess I still do. After all, I'm only drinking this because I was up early with my daughter. They were probably all out at the bar disappointing their parents. Disgraceful.

What does that say about me that the two things that have most changed are that I need more sleep and that I caffeine to function? I guess that it says I'm a father.

And now RG's nap is over and I used it all up writing this. Dang it. I could have had a great nap.  I guess that's the thing though - if you can't have a nap, you can have a cup of coffee.

How about you guys? Anyone have any tips on how to best maximize the coffee/nap ratio?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Has It Really Been Three Years?

I was recently reminded that it's been three years since I went viral with the snowblower ad. That in turn reminded me that it has been a long time since I wrote anything. So here I am, without anything of value or interest to pass on to you, my adoring fan.

Hi Mom!

Just kidding, I know that more than my mother reads this. There's at least still a half dozen of you that check back every once in a while to be disappointed that I haven't updated.

No excuses other than that a full time job (work) plus a career (raising our daughter) has left me bereft of time and energy to pour into this. I miss it, I really do. But I fear that in going to fall into that slippery slope and become another parent blogger.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe I should just embrace it? What do you think?

I'll give it a try. It can't hurt to at least get back to writing. Though you are only supposed to write about what you know, and if there's one thing I'm sure if it's that we're making this up as we go.

Okay, stay tuned. Parent blogging coming right up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Not Funny Post

Dear Lucky Anonymous People That Drove By Us On the Shediac Road,

I want you to immediately go to the nearest corner store or gas station and purchase lottery tickets for all of the draws this week. Lotto Max, 6/49, Atlantic, don't forget to get Tag. Buy some Crosswords and Set For Life and any other scratch tickets you can get your hands on. Today is your lucky day.

It occurs to me that you are probably under the legal age to buy tickets. If that's the case, take a moment to consider that today is your turning point. Today is the day that despite all the poor decisions that you've made in your short life, the universe has handed you a chance to turn it all around.

I hope that you remember us. I hope that you remember the moment that you saw a family walking on the sidewalk along the Shediac Road, and decided that you needed to do something to impress your friends. I hope that we weren't just some random synapse in your brain, and that you carry this moment with you for years to come. Because, as I said, today is your lucky day.

I imagine that you probably just came back from the beach, where you maybe had a few drinks, and you just happened to have a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Maybe you'd been munching on them all the way back from Shediac, and you had just said "Ugh, if I eat one more cookie, I'm going to throw up". But you had one last cookie in your hand. What to do? You couldn't eat it - if you did, your friends would probably make fun of you. That would be awful, wouldn't it?

Or maybe you were fighting with your friend over who got to eat the cookie, and in your struggles, you ended up losing the cookie. Or it was your friends that were fighting over the cookie and you'd had enough of their bickering.

Perhaps you had just had a really bad day, and in your whole life, nobody had said to you "when you're having a bad day, don't take it out on other people".

Or, saddest of all, maybe you saw a family out for a walk and you said to your friends "Watch this."

Whatever the case, the cookie that you threw didn't hit me, and it didn't hit my wife. But it did hit my infant daughter. And you know what? It doesn't matter that it was just a cookie. Because you threw something from a car on the Shediac Road - where everyone does at least 60 km/h - and YOU HIT MY DAUGHTER IN THE HEAD.

And here is where today is your lucky day. You didn't hit my child in the face. You didn't take out one, or both, of her eyes. You didn't scar her for life. You didn't hit her in the temple and give her brain damage or kill her. And before you shrug that off, I want you to really think about what it would have meant if you had actually killed my child. Can you even imagine what that means? Can you imagine if you had killed someone and just kept on driving?

We couldn't tell which of the cars speeding past you were in. I assume that you were in the car blasting the rap music with the windows down, but that's just an assumption. We have no proof, and we have literally no way of tracking you down. You got away with the perfect crime. Bravo. It could have been so much worse. My daughter suffered nothing more than a small bump and a big scare. Her amazing mother is doing everything exactly right to keep her on schedule and to keep her father from being a crazy man.

So instead of taking my anger and lashing out at you, the best I can do is post this on facebook and ask people to share it around. If the whole six degrees of separation thing works, and enough people share this, you will eventually see it.

I know this was a long post, but I'd like to think that it found you. I would like to think that when you read this, you get nauseous realizing how close you came to destroying everything beautiful and wonderful and amazing in my life. And I hope that the next time you find yourself in a situation where you could do good or you could do harm that you make the right choice.

Because the next time, you might not be lucky. And neither will someone else.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Five Movies That You'll Be SHOCKED Aren't Video Games Yet!

Here are five films that you will be astounded have not been made into video games yet.  Normally, I'd just list the five films and that'd be the end of it.  But no, this time, because I appreciate you, my kind and generous reader, I am also going to include links and some other words that when put together in the order in which I have them make up additional sentences and content!

5.  Trading Places (1983)

The Movie - Trading Places was about Eddie Murphy being poor and Dan Aykroyd being rich, which you'd think is probably the end of the discussion about the economy of race in America.  BUT NO.  Just when you think that there is no way for this to get any funnier, they trade places!  Now Dan Aykroyd is poor and Eddie Murphy is rich and they don't know why that's happening!
The Video Game - Think Street Fighter meets Missile Command!  You team up as Dan Aykroyd who fights like a rich guy with special boxing powers and maybe fencing too, and Eddie Murphy who uses his wits and his scary powers of not being rich to intimidate his foes.  They collect stock market tokens along the way that their enemies drop when they get knocked out and at the end of each level the player invests in agricultural futures.  HOW HAS THIS NOT ALREADY BEEN MADE?

4.  My Girl 2 (1994)

The Movie - Speaking of Dan Aykroyd, why not the 1994 classic film My Girl 2?  Not the first one that's all about preteen angst or unicorns or whatever it was that was about, I'm talking about the sequel where the kid from the first movie goes to Los Angeles! If you're not familiar with the plot, they pretty much ripped the whole thing off in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, and that wasn't until 7 years later, so you know this is going to be good.

My girl two.jpg

"My girl two" by The poster art can or could be obtained from Columbia Pictures.. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

The Video Game - Think Street Fighter meets Pac Man!  You run around as the girl and you fight big bosses who drop clues about what kind of person your dead mother who you never met was.  Then in the final battle you write an essay about her, which is then graded for style, punctuation, grammar and correct use of footnotes.  HINT: If you finish all the bonus rounds, you get a clear plastic duotang to put your essay in.  Automatic THREE GRADE BUMP!

3.  The Great Outdoors (1988)

The Movie - If you've never seen The Great Outdoors, I just don't even.  It's been out for over 25 years.  Kids were born, went to school, got married and have kids of their own and, what, you're too good to watch this movie?  Dan Aykroyd plays a guy that's rich that gives John Candy a hard time for not being as rich as he is, all against the backdrop of being outside! 

The Great Outdoors (film) Poster.jpg

"The Great Outdoors (film) Poster". Via Wikipedia.

The Video Game - Think Street Fighter meets The Ghostbusters Video Game.  It's like a puzzle game where you have to show how you can be better than the other players.  Every time you win, you win the adoration of your family.  Every time you lose, you go deeper in debt until you have to sell family heirlooms to meet your creditors.

2.  50 First Dates (2004)

The Movie - Dan Aykroyd plays a brain guy that tries to help Adam Sandler cope with Drew Barrymore's memory problems in 50 First Dates.  I don't care what anyone says, if Dan Aykroyd hadn't been there in that scene to explain what was going on in her noggin, the rest of the movie would have been really confusing.  I tried counting all the dates in the movie that they go on, but I think I missed some.
The Video Game - Think Mortal Kombat meets Street Fighter.  You walk around the hospital, collecting pieces of brains, then you put them back in people so they can fall in love and get married like real people.

1.  She's Having a Baby (1988)

The Movie - I know what you're thinking: "How many AWESOME movies did Dan Aykroyd make in 1988 anyway?"  The answer is five.  But this one is different than the others because where in the other movies he's like, in it, or something, in this one he's not in it at all until after the end of the movie!  And guess what?  He's playing the same character as in The Great Outdoors!  I mean, think about it, this character was so great that he got to be the secret level of a WHOLE OTHER MOVIE.  That's amazing right there.

The Video Game - I think we're all thinking the same thing.  Your move Atari.

And there you have it, five great movies that could be the next big video game franchise!  I know, I know, you're thinking that there is a theme here, right?  You'd be... right!  All of the movies had two people on the poster!  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Simple Instructions

You know who should learn to take instructions?  Babies.  If they would just cooperate instead of doing whatever it is that's going through their little minds, everything would go so much smoother.

Typical infant not paying attention to the simplest of instructions
For example, if I say to you "put this medicine in your eye so you'll feel better", you would first probably question how it is that I became qualified to prescribe medication.  But beyond that, you'd be uncomfortable with it, but you'd do it because you can take instructions.  Instead, we look forward to three epic battles a day to ensure that the pink eye does not make a return.

If I say to you "stop wiggling so much when I change your diaper and we can be finished in like 30 seconds instead of 10 minutes", you would probably recognize that that makes a lot of sense and be done with it.  Also, I would question how it came to pass that I was changing your diaper.  I don't feel comfortable with the series of events that lead to this moment, so I am glad it was over in 30 seconds and hope I never have to do it again.

If I say to you "stop throwing your spoon on the floor, it's making a mess and we're running out of spoons", you better stop throwing your spoon buster.

Infants.  It's like they don't understand anything.  Yeesh.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pink Eye Day 2

RG's movement sensor went off just after 2 this morning. I went in, shuffled her around her crib a little to get her in place and went back to bed. It was on my way back to the comfort of my bed that I realized that I was only seeing things through my right eye.

I opened my left eye, or tried to anyway. Couldn't budge it. Looked in the mirror and it was completely crusted shut. Yeah, that little cringe you did thinking about it? I did that too.

Luckily, earlier that day the doctor was kind enough to point out "when you get it, you can use the same prescription as RG." Not if. When.

Lucky for everyone involved that she's still pretty darn cute.  I wanted to take a picture with me to work so I could remember that getting sick is totally worth it for her.  Nailed it. 

This was me saying "Ruby, smile!" 
I look a little weird in this picture because of my face.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Kid Is -That- Kid and Connecting With an Old Colleague

Less than one week at day care and we had to call them this afternoon to say that RG would not be attending for a little bit because she has pink eye.  In the words of the day care director: "Okay, we'll put the sign up."

That's right, there is now a sign up at our day care alerting all the other parents that they've had a confirmed case of pink eye.  It's not like they've put up a picture of her with her eyes coloured in with a highlighter or anything like that, but it just kind of stinks knowing that it's your kid that got diagnosed first... 

Maybe there is some sort of day care custom where parents who know that their kid is sick with something communicable holds back on the information for just a little bit longer in the hopes that another parent will call in first?  I mean, it's not like we wouldn't tell anyone that she's got goop seeping out of her eyes, because we totally would.  But maybe just hold back for a couple of hours before sending up the Bat Signal because there's a chance that some other parent may be getting their kid diagnosed too.  And maybe that kid's parents call in immediately, so when you call in to say that you're kid looks like she just spent an afternoon with Doug Benson (or Cheech and Chong for those of you not up to speed with your current pot smoking comedians) you can feel some sort of indignation that some other kid gave your kid this horrible completely treatable disease.  Even if you think that there is a pretty good chance that your kid probably picked it up at the library on the last day of their Saturday morning kids' drop in.

Meanwhile, in other worlds...

Back in my days working in The Job Which Must Not Be Named, one of my functions was to communicate and work with the company that contracted my company to do the work for them.  Ugh, it's more work to dance around the job than to just talk about the job, so I was a client services manager for a call center.  It was the job that made me realize I needed to get out of call centers and find something else that would stop eating my soul.  

It wasn't all soul devouring nastiness though.  I was pretty lucky in that I had some genuinely great clients.  And you know that I mean that because I don't work there any more, so I therefore have zero need to put on my game face and go out to another steak dinner with people that I don't really care for at all when I could be at home in my bathrobe on the couch with My Lovely Wife.  Grady was on my list of clients that I looked forward to seeing and hanging out with because he appeared to be an actual human being, which was nice.

Well, Grady has also moved on to other pastures since I last saw him and he's started a blog talking about his experiences trying to figure out what the heck kind of pasture he's found himself in (but there is other stuff in there too).  A warning to my mom: he uses some rather colourful language (or, I guess that would be "colorful" since he's American), so don't go clicking over to it if you feel like you might get easily offended.  Or do go ahead and click over to it.  What am I, the click police?  You're an adult, make a choice.  Oh, I hope you're an adult.  If you're a child, you definitely didn't hear about this site from me but go ahead and click and you might learn a few new words.

Check him out at 42 shades of grady and tell him that I sent you his way.