Thursday, December 4, 2014

Well, that's spammy

For some reason, in the last couple of weeks, the comments section of The Blognostifier has become a target for spammers.  Seriously, there were something like 2-5 spam comments from the same "person" being added to various posts every minute for a few minutes, then nothing until a day or two later, then the same thing.

It was weird.  I've gotten the occasional piece of spam on the site every so often, but now it seems to be a dedicated target.  Maybe I finally cracked some level of site visitation?

Anyway, I'm shutting down the comments for a little while, just to see if it helps.

Hope you have a great day (unless you're a spammer, in which case I wish you would go somewhere else please).

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.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day

At some point along the way, I stopped being me and I became Daddy.  Sorry, check that.  I stopped being "me" and I became "Daddy".

I used to think that people who referred to themselves in the third person were out of their heads (actually, that's almost literally what that means now that I think about it).  Now, I find that I am referring to myself in the third person as "Daddy" more and more often.  The same thing is happening to My Lovely Wife, who asked me to hand her something by saying "Pass that to Mommy".  

I assume that this is something that happens to all parents, but I never thought it would happen to me.  Just like I never thought I'd own an SUV or cancel my HD channels and downgrade my Fibre Op internet speed to save a few extra bucks here and there, yet here Daddy is.

Okay, it sounds creepy when you just write it on the internet like that.  

This was my first experience with Father's Day, and it was an amazing day.  I got brunch made for me, a giant lasagna dinner, a card... I even got to sleep in until 6:30 AM, but I woke up before that anyway and just enjoyed being in bed and not changing a diaper.  It was magical.  It also means that I need to step my game up for Mother's Day next year.  

RG celebrated her first week at day care by getting a big ol' case of the snots.  I have the day off tomorrow, and we were going to go out for lunch and do some errands and then maybe take a nap.  Instead, tomorrow we go to the doctor to see if it's actually pink eye that she has.  I have come down with some kind of weird stomach bug that I also blame on her day care exposure, even though she doesn't have anything close to the same symptoms.  I just heard that blaming the day care for all the sickness you experience is the thing to do once you become a parent.  

And on that note, Daddy's stomach just churned so he's got to go.  

Yep, it officially sounds creepy on the internet.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Really? Nobody saw the potential problem?

I was browsing the website that lists all the recalls in Canada when I happened on a recall notice for a consumer product that stopped me in my tracks.

Now that I'm a father, I spend more time looking at the stuff that we surround ourselves with with a new eye. My research has determined that basically everything will kill your baby. Not only that, but some stuff appears to want to kill your baby. You have to be vigilant, lest some wandering bag of loose buttons should launch itself down your precious child's esophageal tube (that's the throat hole that's connected to the mouth tunnel that everything goes in).

Therefore, I now spend time checking the list of recall items to make sure that we haven't brought more danger than absolutely necessary into her life. I say "necessary", because I've placed a series of ingenious traps of increasing complexity and deviousness around the house to teach her to be wary and cunning. Don't tell My Lovely Wife though, because she's an old softy and will probably give RG all kinds of hints.

As I was saying, I perused the list of recalls and was stopped in my tracks. I literally could not believe what I was seeing. I even looked around to see if it was a joke or if I was on some kind of hidden camera tv show.
This is what I saw.


That's right.  The "My Sweet Baby Cuddle Care Doll".  Nobody saw the potential hubris in this?  This is why there needs to be more philosophy majors in marketing.

Here's the description:
This recall involves the My Sweet Baby Cuddle Care Doll. This interactive doll coughs, cries, giggles and gets red cheeks. The face, hands and feet are plastic and the body is soft. The doll is dressed in a pink outfit with green and white flowers and a matching cap. The doll comes packaged with a stethoscope, syringe, thermometer, spoon and medicine bottle. The doll can be identified by the following UPC 628915079777 and Item #30692735.
Sounds fine, right?  I'm not sure why you would want a doll of a sick baby, I feel pretty strongly that don't want the real thing.  Maybe a more accurate name would be the "My Sick Baby Needs Medical Attention", but I guess that doesn't roll off the tongue.

Then you get to the reason for the recall:
The internal electrical components may overheat and pose a burn hazard.
Walmart Canada and Health Canada received 6 reports of the doll overheating. 
Two incidents in which a small hole was burnt through the dolls' clothing.
Oh, and did I mention it looks like this?
Also, who packages a spoon and a syringe in a kids toy?  And doesn't the point on that syringe look just a little bit too realistic?
To sum up:  A name that is just a tiny bit too sugary sweet PLUS a tendency to catch on fire PLUS when it does catch on fire there's a possibility that it will be giggling and coughing while staring into your soul with its cold empty eyes?  Guess how many people bought one.  
Approximately 4,437 of the recalled dolls were sold in Canada and approximately 174,000 were imported to the United States.
Which means that there are a lot more kids in the US with grandparents that don't quite know what their grandchildren want.

You can check out the full page here while it's still available.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I am still not a smart Man sometimes

so these new phones that we bought are pretty nifty. My Phone even Comes with a pen se I can write instead of typing the handwriting analysis is pretty decent considering that I have horrible hand writing .
In Case yon were wonder: ing, no dhis is nota typo . This is how a computer interprets my handwriting. Iam making a point potty back to correct any mistakes I am curious to see how this turns omt.
My prediction : It will turnout poorly .
so how about that impending snowstorm ch? It , s the beginning of spring and I have to spend itplanning for being Duk amide fn s''

It appears that the analyser is taking a little break,

Oh, and n case you win wondering about the title , th phones came win screen protectors,and't was onlyyesterday1almost amonth since wegofthemthat I noticedthat I had not putmine on correctly,,,turns at the screenbooks a Lot betterwhen you removethe park of theprotector tataren't supposedto stay on,
DERP

Yeah, this linksabout what Ithought it would,neat,, but notreally readableOL l
Ormy handwritingis gory to improvedramaticallyinthernext littlewhile,. or Maybe longer,

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Another one of those days

Yesterday was one of those early mornings. The sensor in RG's Crib went off at around 4, and there wasn't much sleep after that. A lot of coffee later, the day was over and I could look forward to some sleep.

At 3 this morning, the smoke detector went off. Nothing to be concerned about, everyone is fine. But I swear that the is an internal clock on that thing so it knows when to let you know that the battery is getting low.

Not out, just low.

Sort of like how your cell phone will start to vibrate to let you know that it's running low on power, this draining the battery that much faster. Except the smoke detector waits until everyone is sleeping before playing us all the songs of his people.

For a piece of equipment that saves as many lives as it does, smoke detectors are not well liked.

My Lovely Wife got up to change the battery, which really tells you a lot about why I love her so much. After thirty minutes of bumping and clumping and beeping, I got up.

My dear reader, it shames me to say it, but I was not the gentlest soul I could have been. Eventually, replacement batteries were found (the remote control and an electric razor), and additional batteries were placed in the charger. The rest of the reasons why I love her so much can be summarized in the simple act of her letting me sleep in the bed when all was said and done. And yes, apologies were offered and accepted.

And not one peep from RG.  I can attest to this as I didn't get back to sleep until almost 5. She didn't stir, didn't cry, didn't care one bit. She's pretty awesome.

By 5, I had exhausted all of the arguments from my childhood that I could have won if only I had been a little more clever at the time, and managed to get back to a sort a sort of sleep.

Which ended at 5:58 when the smoke detector decided that the replacement batteries weren't filling enough and needed to let us all know. Immediately.

I got up this time and made it as happy a as I could (by taking it down and wrenching the batteries or if it - totally satisfying). And RG slept through that too!

So now, here I sit with a sleeping baby in my arms that I need to put to bed, but I just need a few more minutes of the softest cuddles ever set to the tone of the greatest breathing I've ever heard.

Good night. ;-)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Really, this is just awkward for both of us

It was just before we sat down for supper tonight that there was a knock at the door.

I can say it was before we sat down because we almost always sit down to eat.  Mostly it is on the couch while we watch TV, but it counts.

And before there was a knock at the door, there was a car that pulled up in front of the house and two earnest young men walking up the driveway.

I was sitting on the couch (I don't need to have supper to sit on the couch, they are not mutually dependent events) with RG on my lap.  We were playing a game where I was making funny faces and noises and she would make noises and faces that I would try to interpret as "That's funny!" or "Why can't you be awesome like Mommy?" or "Why haven't you changed me/fed me in the last twenty minutes?" or some combination thereof.

I saw the earnest young men walking up the driveway and my first thought was "Ugh, now I have to stand up."  Standing up would involve interrupting the game, and I think I was winning.  Or at least I wasn't losing any worse than usual.  Anyway, I called out to My Lovely Wife (who was preparing supper) "We have visitors that I don't know who they are!"  I considered letting her answer the door while I stayed put with RG, but then I had a thought.

I have the perfect "I can't talk right now" excuse in my arms!  She's the ultimate trump card, at least at this age.  So I pulled myself off the couch and, baby snuggled into an appropriately jumbled mess of a blanket, I answered the door.

Earnest young man one, who I will call Ernest, looked at me in a sort of mild kind of surprise.

"Hello," I said.

"Hi.  We're youth volunteers... and we're looking for, uh, Korean people that we might be able to talk with."  Said Ernest.  His fellow volunteer, who I shall also call Ernest, stood behind him and silently supported Ernest by not saying anything at all.

"Okay,"  I said.

Ernest looked at me and at my baby and said "Um, we're looking to talk with them in their own language."

"I'm not Korean," I said.

"Well," Ernest said, looking back at his friend Ernest, who I now realize you may have gotten them mixed up on account of their names being the same, but I can't go and change their names now. Besides the fact that I have already committed to the joke, I can't remember distinguishing feature of either of them other than there was an Ernest at the door and an Ernest behind him, and calling them Front Ernest and Back Ernest seems odd.  But I digress.

"Well," Ernest said, looking back at his friend Ernest and then back at me when salvation utterly failed to appear.  "Obviously no."

I started to reply but my brain caught on "Obviously no."  I mean, come on, I could be Korean.  Not all Koreans look alike.  I don't think anyway.  I don't know that many Koreans.  Or maybe I do, and none of them have told me they're Korean.

I was pulled out of this train of thought when Ernest asked me:  "Are there any...Koreans...here?"

"No, I'm sorry."

Ernest and Ernest looked at each other again.

I had a thought.  If they had just looked in a phone book, they would have seen my last name and assumed we were Korean, as Cho is also a Korean name.  So I offered up an escape for them and said "You've got the right name, but the wrong house."

Ernest looked at Ernest again and said "Yes, sometimes people direct us to homes that they think there might..."  He sort of trailed off as I assumed his brain started to catch up with what he was saying and tell him that there wasn't really a good way of ending the sentence in a way that wasn't going to come across more racist than it had started out.

"Yes, I'm sure.  Sorry guys."  I said.

Ernest realized he was holding a pamphlet at this point and I could see him thinking about giving it to me anyway before putting it back in his coat pocket.  "Sorry to bother you," they said as they walked back to their car.

I felt bad for them.  I mean, here they are, tasked with going out and gathering as many Koreans together as they can, and no good way of doing it.  I guess they could have tried one of the many Chinese restaurants in town.  It's basically the same thing, right?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Home Alone, Re-Continued

Day 6 - Friday

Joke's on you Friday!  I'm babysitting, so I'm not at home being all alone and mopey.

Of course, I started watching a really scary movie, because that's what you do when you babysit, right?  And I'm an adult, so I can totally handle it, right?  Right?  

So the fact that I'm taking a few moments to pause the movie while I write this is just because I want to write this, not because there was a scary noise and then I saw someone outside under the streetlight (who was just waiting for his dog to finish his business, but he could have been casing the joint).  The noise wasn't that scary. It was just the furnace kicking in.  It's just a different furnace than the one that I'm used to so it makes different noises.

All right, I've changed movies.  Not because that movie was too scary or anything like that. It just didn't seem like it was going to be a movie that I was going to enjoy that much.  I've started another movie that seems to be a little better.  It's called You're Next and it gets a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, so that's pretty good.  

Hmm, well, there's some stuff that just happened that was a little bit...

Oh, that's... 

Well, now I'm a little bit tense.  

Waaaait, what? 

Ew.  That's... that's just not good.

Ah. 

WHAT WHY WOULD YOU DO OH LORD THAT'S OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN DON'T GO IN THERE

Yowza.  

I'm just going to take another break for a moment.  Not that I need a break.  I just feel like now would be a good time to maybe get a snack and perhaps look at some funny cat pictures on Reddit.  Oh, Reddit.com, you certainly are a site for sore eyes. Get it?  Cause it's a website?  It's a site instead of a sight?  

HOLY okay that was just the furnace coming on again.

Ahhahha okay, that was funny.  I mean, that was gross.  Gross and funny.

Home Alone, Continued

Day 5 - Thursday

Today was a pretty good day, all things considered.  I only sent two or three texts to My Lovely Wife begging for pictures, which feels like progress.  Started working with a friend for the first time in over a decade, which is pretty nice.  No car alarms were going off.  

It looks like Netflix removed The West Wing just as I was getting into it.  That saddens me.  I ate leftover sloppy joe's, singing the sloppy joe's song while I prepared them.  Received a text from My Lovely Wife with the lyrics, re-cementing that I picked the right girl.

Two sleeps away from seeing my little girl.  Feels like I have ants in my pants.

She's 5 months old now!

I mean, really, look at this. LOOK AT IT.  So cute.  Ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Home Alone

There was a time, not so long ago, when a week home alone would seem... fun.  Not that I want to spend time apart from My Lovely Wife.  I feel much more relaxed when she's with me than not.  So when she proposed that she spend a week with RG at her parents, my first reaction was "sweet".

That lasted for almost as long as it took for the "sw" sound to form in my head.  

My next thought was a week without My Lovely Wife and Daughter?  What was that going to be like?

I agreed to it, because it's good for her to bond with her grandparents and also good for Mommy to have an adult to talk to besides me (because as soon as I get home, I just want to talk to My Lovely Daughter, which involves a lot of stereotypical baby talk).  We set the date far enough in the future that I would give myself enough time to get myself steeled toward that moment when I would say goodbye to both of them.

That date, ladies and gentlemen, was this past Sunday.  The plan was that My Lovely Wife's parents would come down and spend the weekend with us, then leave with my ladies on Sunday.  That plan lasted right up until Friday night when the impending snow storm made us change things around.  Instead, My Lovely Wife's father would drive down on Saturday morning, pick up the ladies, and head back home.

And that's what happened.

I've been keeping a bit of a diary.

Day -0.5: Saturday

Everyone just left.  The house is oddly quiet - it is, in fact, the sound of our house from 5 months ago.  The quiet is oddly familiar, but strange at the same time.

I make lunch and watch Netflix.  Then I watch some stuff on the PVR to make space for the shows that I'll watch with My Lovely Wife when she returns.  I think about making another snack, but the snow hasn't hit us yet so I go grocery shopping instead. This has the added benefit of making me not think about the fact I am alone.

My Lovely Wife calls to let me know they've arrived safe and sound.  The snow hasn't started yet.  I think that they could have postponed leaving for a little while, but that's not really fair.  And better safe than sorry.  I watch some more Netflix and read a book.  I make supper.  I play some video games.  I watch a movie and eat chips.  The chips are way better than the movie, but that may be because I don't eat much junk food.  Or it could also have just not been that great a movie.

I watch Netflix in bed, then do a crossword puzzle.  I am luxuriating in staying up late (it's past ELEVEN!) because nobody in the house has to get up early to feed or change a baby.

Day 1: Sunday

The car alarm across the street wakes me up at around 4 AM. I put a pillow over my head and go back to sleep. 

At 6:30 AM, I get up and look out the window.  It snowed.  A great deal.  I can see the car across the street honking and flashing lights to alert everyone to the danger that it is experiencing.

I call the RCMP.  They say that they can't really do much about it, but they'll send someone to check it out.

I eat breakfast, do some email, read my book.  The alarm goes off and on.  I go on Facebook and talk about it.  I write a poem of sorts and post it here.  I call the RCMP again at 8:30 AM.  They say that the streets aren't plowed and they can't get anyone out there.  I say that it's just weird how it goes off and on like it does.  Almost like someone would if they were trying to signal that they were in trouble.  The RCMP say that they'll send someone out as soon as they can.

I do some laundry.  I run the dishwasher.  I finish my book so I watch some Netflix to the dulcet tones of the car alarm.

I eat another breakfast because it feels like that kind of a day.  

I see an RCMP officer walking around the car across the street.  He checks all the windows in the house.  He talks on his radio and then starts walking across the street. I think that he is going to come talk to me because I called in a complaint, but he keeps walking down the street.  That is when I realize that A) there is no RCMP vehicle in sight, B) the snow in the street is almost up to his knees, and C) he is walking down to the Shediac Road so that he can get picked up.  I feel bad.

I do another load of laundry and reload the dishwasher.

The car alarm finally dies at around 2:30, right around the time that I get a text message from a friend saying that they've been hearing reports about it on her police scanner.  I think the battery must have died, because there was nobody else around.

It is still snowing too much to go outside, but I shovel the porch and walkway just to get outside. 

I talk to My Lovely Wife about 5 times through the day.  I make supper and watch some TV, play a video game for a little while, and do some writing. 

I go to bed early.  

Day 2:  Monday

I at least have the day at work to distract me for most of the day.  I miss my family.  I forgot that it was casual week at work, and got dressed in my regular clothes like a sucker.  I vow to wear casual for the rest of the week.

I eat supper and watch The West Wing.  I started watching it on Sunday and don't know why I never watched it before.  It's a great show.  I think about waiting and watching it with My Lovely Wife, but I need it to keep playing to distract me.

I go to bed early after doing a load of laundry so I would have casual pants to wear tomorrow.

Day 4:  Wednesday

I wake up super happy because I've made it through half the week.  Only a few more days to go before I see My Lovely Wife and Daughter again!  

Breakfast is a cheery affair.  I use up all the blueberries on the last of the Cheerios.  I even woke up early enough that I could watch half an episode of The West Wing before I go to work.  I consider watching it all the way through, but decide to go to work a little early instead. 

On the car ride in, I hear the radio say that it is Tuesday.

Day 4:  Wednesday Day 3:  Tuesday

I am sad. 

The rest of the day is much like Day 2, only it feels like I'm further behind because I thought I was further ahead.  

I do more laundry.  Towels this time.

Day 4:  Wednesday (For real this time)

I used up most of my feeling good about today yesterday, but still, I'm at the halfway mark and I'll be driving up to see everyone on Friday night and that's only two sleeps away!

I ate all the blueberries and Cheerios yesterday so I have toast for breakfast.  

I go out for lunch with people visiting our office from Europe.  They are very interesting and lunch is great.


I buy more blueberries and Cheerios after work.  

I make sloppy joes for supper.  The whole time, I am humming Adam Sandler's "Sloppy Joe's" song.  My Lovely Wife calls while I'm eating and I say "I'm eating sloppy joe's."  She sings Adam Sandler "Sloppy Joe's" song.  This is one of the reasons I love her.  We discuss the weather forecast, and decide that I'll come up on Saturday morning instead.  It means three sleeps before I see them, but at least I won't be driving at night in the rain.

I decide to watch something other than The West Wing, but only get halfway through an episode of Burn Notice before I decide to do some writing.  I retreat to the basement and crank this out.

Now, I guess I'll go back upstairs and watch some West Wing.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

An Ode to the Car Alarm That Has Been Going for Four Hours

Hello, Car Alarm.
I hear you.
We all hear you.
Your voice cries out in the early morning.
Your wailing pierces my dreams.
You are like someone else's child that they do not care about that is crying.
Only, if you were a real child the police would have shown up a long time ago.
Therefore, you are not as important as a child.
So
Shut up, nobody likes you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stealing is bad yo

My wife and I had only been married for a few months when this scenario played out.  

We were at the grocery store, doing newlywed grocery shopping things (which entails walking around the grocery store while holding hands and discussing the virtues of every product that goes in the cart).  In our cart, among everything else, were two packages of stewing beef that I wanted to use to make supper and a Corningwear dish with a lid that My Lovely Wife wanted.

We get to the checkout and the cashier is running our items over the scanner, and she picks up one of the two packages of stew beef and she runs them over the scanner and it beeps.  Then she gets distracted.  She puts the package that she just ran though down on top of the one she didn't.  She gets out a plastic bag and she puts both packages in the bag.  Instant adrenaline rush.  I'm getting a free package of stew beef!  This is going to be the most delicious beef stew ever made because it will be illicit beef stew.

The cashier puts the bag down and reaches for the next item.  I can hardly believe that this is going to happen.  We were living on just my salary while My Lovely Wife went to school and this meant that we'd have a few extra dollars to maybe do something fun later!  My heart is pounding so loudly that I almost don't hear My Lovely Wife - the woman that I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with - say "Oh, there were two packages there, you only scanned in one."

Instant defeat. 

She had turned me in and killed my attempt to save money.  And it's not like I could be mad at her, since all she did was be an honest person.  I was the bad guy in this scenario.  I was the guy that had decided to turn his back on morals and all the values that I had been raised with.  I wasn't trying to get a good deal.  I was trying to steal, and My Lovely Wife stopped me from committing this heinous act and I was angry because I'd been caught.  Sort of.  Okay, not really caught stealing, more like inadvertently shamed for not doing something that nobody else knew at the time that I knew was going on.  

While all this was going on my head and I tried to keep the emotions off of my face, I almost failed to notice that the dish and lid that she had picked up were in the hands of the cashier.  Here's the deal about the dish and lid: They were sold separately.  The lid had a bar code on it and there was one on the bottom of the dish too.  My Lovely Wife had stuck the lid on the dish earlier, so the cashier opened it up to make sure there was nothing inside it (because that's something a dishonest person would do), then scanned the lid and put both items in the bag.

My first thought was "well, that would have been nice to score too," as I waited for something to be said. And waited.  And waited.  Maybe she missed it?  Or maybe she was waiting for me to say something?  Was she waiting for me to say something and prove that I was the man that she thought I was when she agreed to marry me?  Was this a test?  This had to be a test.

I looked over and I could just see the barest hint of a smile on her face.

The rest of this story has been redacted because we are parents now and we obviously learned a valuable lesson about honesty and integrity.  Mommy and Daddy love each other very much and definitely didn't have a fight over how we could have had free beef stew in her free dish.

We still hold hands when we walk through the store, but I no longer have to discuss every product that goes in the cart.  Also, we cannot testify against each other, so that's nice.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Danger!

Do you know what will kill your child? 

Turns out, the answer is "just about everything".  

I get that there are things that you need to be careful about, like making sure there are no pots of boiling oil on your stove or bent paper clips loitering near outlets, but I can hardly believe that my brother, sister and I all made it to adulthood without being dead.

And no, I'm not just going to write about all the "hey, we could go for car rides sleeping in the back window of the car" or "remember when we hardly ever stabbed anyone to death with lawn darts" kind of stuff.  I'm talking about the change in your head that happens when you are suddenly responsible for a living thing that seems, at times, to be actively trying to cause serious injury to themselves.

I'm sitting in the kitchen right now, which you may be aware is the most dangerous room in the house (next to the bathroom, living room, bedrooms, hallways, stairs, basement, attic, crawlspaces, closets, garage...).  Here's the run down of how our kitchen is going to kill our child.
  • Magnets on the fridge: choking hazard
  • Frying pan with spatula sitting on front burner with handle turned to the outside: falling object hazard
  • Pile of cutlery in a bowl on counter: falling object hazard + stabbing
  • Unsecured cupboard doors: so many poisons
  • Open stairs: No child gate = falling hazard
And that was all without even trying.  Imagine what I'll come up with more time on my hands?

So let's talk about vaccinations.

Get your child vaccinated.  I am going to use calm, soothing words here to say that vaccinating your child against disease is the smartest, easiest and best way to protect your child.  As I said earlier, there are so many things trying to kill your child that you can see.  Now just think about all the things trying to kill your child that you can't see.  

Moving the fridge magnets isn't going to protect your child from catching whooping cough.

Securing the cupboard doors won't keep polio out.

A baby gate might keep your child from tumbling down the stairs, but diphtheria can be spread through the air.  

It amazes me that people of sound mind could say no to this.  

But I know that there are people that say vaccines are bad, and some of them are quite vehement about it.  I've even met a few that I could do nought but shake my head in wonder as they proudly proclaimed that they were not giving their little bundle of joy any needles.  

I may even receive some email or comments about this post.  I'm not even going to say that I'm taking a position on this, because that would be an awful lot like saying that I'm choosing to believe in physics and thermodynamics and choose not to throw a pot of boiling oil straight up in the air above me.

Send all the commentary and emails you like, just keep your child away from mine.  

Here's my plan.  We find a semi-famous celebrity who has some moderate sex appeal to start making wild claims like "my child didn't get vaccinated and they got sick!" or "there is a direct link to my child's Hepatitis B infection and the fact that they never got a vaccination for it!"  Get them on some talk shows, start generating some buzz around it, maybe get them to publish a book or two.

Thank god there was never a swimsuit competition requirement for Jonas Salk to publish his findings.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rock of Ages... Was It Bad?

We watched Rock of Ages, a musical romp through 80's power ballads.

It was... good?  There were a lot of people in it.  Alec Baldwin probably shouldn't sing rock and roll.  I'd bet he'd kill something like Sinatra, but rock was probably not a good idea.  Catherine Zeta Jones was kind of the bad guy, but not really, because that's what Paul Giamatti was for (because that's what he's always for).  Russell Brand was faintly amusing.  And Tom Cruise is in it a lot.  A lot more than the previews had us believing he would be.

Also, there was a guy that looked like Matthew McConaughey's younger brother and a girl that looked almost like the cheerleader in Heroes that were apparently the main characters.

Everybody sings!  Rock songs from the 80's!  Sometimes the songs make sense for the situation, like you would expect in a rock-opera.  Other times, the songs seem to be sung because they bought the rights to the song and they needed a place to put it.  It's not perfect.

I probably won't remember a lot about this movie.  It's not great, but that's okay because we weren't expecting Oscar worthy performances.  What I will remember, no, what I will take to my grave, is the tongues.  Good lord, the tongues.  It's not that the kissing was bad... it was more like... how can I put this?  You know how there is a difference between Hollywood and Reality?  Like, how in Hollywood a young man can pursue a woman and get into all kinds of crazy hijinks until she finally realizes that she's in love with him too and they kiss just before the credits roll?  And in Reality, that same young man would get the living daylights beaten out of him by the young woman's boyfriend, gets a restraining order against him, and ends up in a court ordered therapy?  That's not really what the kissing is like in this movie.

In this movie, the kissing is kind of like the kissing that I'm not ashamed to say that I have enjoyed with My Lovely Wife in private.  In private being the key phrase there.  While I have always enjoyed an over the top, goofy, make you laugh type of kiss, I know that nobody wants to see and we definitely don't want anyone to see us.  I am also only assuming that My Lovely Wife enjoys it to the extent that she has not yet threatened my life when I come at her like Slimer from The Ghostbusters.

I hope the guy that made this doesn't take it down, because I like it.
This is not unlike a typical Saturday afternoon in our home.  
The plot for this movie is forgettable.  The actors in this movie received a paycheque.  At no time in the future will anyone discuss the impact this movie made to the cinematic arts.  I'm not saying that this movie deserved a Razzie - it was, quite frankly, more forgettable than most Razzie winners.

The only good thing that I can say about this movie is that one day, a year or so after you watched it, you'll overhear someone mention it in the hallway at work.  And you'll think about it, and the more you think about it, the more you'll remember about it.  This will culminate in you remembering that not only did you watch this movie, but shortly after you watched it you started writing a review of it. And then you'll find said review in the drafts folder and you'll touch it up and throw it on your website.  All in all, a good day.

Any Last Words?

This probably comes as no surprise to anyone, but it turns out that time changes people.

No, no, it's true. Stick with me here.

I recently found a post from an old friend from university asking if anyone knew of an issue with hardware compatibility with the latest update of OSX, the Apple operating system.  Let's just say that when I knew this person, if Facebook had existed back then most of their posts would be a mix of "Woooooo!!" and "hey guys sup" and things that they typed into the status update bar instead of the search bar.

It got me thinking about growing up.  Sometimes it happens when you're a kid, sometimes it happens when you're already well past the age when society should have stepped in to make sure you don't accidentally choke yourself playing with a plastic bag like it's a toy.  BTW, how desperate do you have to be for a toy or a friend that a plastic bag makes for a viable fun time?  On second though, this being the internet, don't answer that.

My point is that as we get older, we change.

But my other point, which I haven't made yet but am going to now, is that technology today throws many traditional (dare I say romantic) concepts out of the window.  For example, there was a time that when going on a trip, the trip itself was as much of the adventure as the destination itself.  As people would board or disembark from your train or ship, you gradually transitioned into the culture or the local flavour of your final stop.  The people that surrounded you as you started your journey would not be the people that you ended your journey with.

Deep thought, right?  But here's what I'm getting at.  Last words.  There was a time when the last thing that you said before you passed away carried with it a certain amount of gravitas.  You would hope that when the end arrived that you would have enough time to utter a few words of biting wit, or pass along some dread secret, or maybe just gasp "you're standing on my oxygen tube".  Something so that could be recited at your funeral or perhaps placed on your gravestone as a testament to your character, your passion, or maybe just your last act of thumbing your nose at the establishment.

Now, there is a really good chance that the your last words before going into the light was that you "liked Candy Crush" or that you invited someone to take the "Find Out Which Bachelorette You Are Quiz".  Imagine that on your tombstone.  So I guess what I'm saying is please stop inviting me to play games on Facebook with you.  I don't want to give your eulogy and have to say "he was a good guy, but man, did he ever spend way too much time on Farmville."

Friday, January 31, 2014

My Loss Is Your Gain Part 3

Part 3 of my notes that would have eventually been my act, but it's not, so I'm writing it here.  Enjoy!  Or don't!  The difference here is that if you heckle me, you have to log in.  I still might not be able to find you, but I can certainly say blistering things to your username.  Very blistering.  Be nice.  Have a laugh.

My wife and I are new parents and we discovered something.  Nobody is as judgemental as new parents.  Parents in general are pretty judgemental, but parents with new infants?  We are the worst.  If you don't believe me, just go to the mall.  Any time you see two strollers approaching from opposite directions, all you'll see is smiles, nods, and thumbs up.  As soon as those strollers are past each other?  We all question every single decision the other parent has made, and I'm talking going right back to conception.  

But it's all right, because we are new parents, and new parents get to do that kind of thing with impunity.  Parents of older children do the same thing, but they don't say anything right out loud because older children will repeat everything you say, and at the wrong time.  You have a giant battle to get your kid to say "Mama" or "Daddy", and then they come out with "My parents say you're an unfit mother" when meeting your boss for the first time.

We loved the diapers with the stripe that comes up blue when your baby is wet.  You know what we've learned from this diaper?  Our baby has a wet diaper.  Here's some late breaking news for all new parents - your baby is wet.  If you have a baby, and they aren't wet, you've probably done something wrong.  If you feed your baby, and you should, it's part of the deal, you will have a dirty diaper.  I'm not saying that you're a bad parent if you need a blue stripe to tell you that your baby's diaper needs changing, but I am suggesting that you may be surprised by the microwave beeping.

And did you know that there is a diaper that will send you a text message or an email to let you know when your child's diaper needs changing?  It's true.  Who is this product aimed at?  If I'm far enough away that I need a text message to let me know that my baby has just wet her diaper, what exactly am I going to do about it?  Call my wife?  "Hi, honey, just wanted to let you know that the baby needs changing.  Oh, blue stripe?  Okay good."   I once went a week without answering an email from my boss - and I was getting PAID to clean up his crap!

I'm exaggerating of course - I wouldn't call my wife.  I'd forward her the text though.

Have you seen the movie "Babies"?  They follow these babies from around the world and it's amazing.  I really recommend checking it out, it's on Netflix (as of today).  There is a scene in this movie where a baby has a dirty bum and the mother wipes him off on her knee.  I don't know if that registered with you, so I'm going to say it again: ON HER KNEE.  Then she used a corn cob to wipe off her knee.  And then she registered the time and consistency in an app on her iPhone.  As a point of contrast, I got a bit of poo on my hand changing my daughter and I had to use CLR to make sure that I got it all off.  

Hope you enjoyed Part 3 of my MLIYG special presentation!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Loss Is Your Gain Part 2: The Return Of Jafar

No, Jafar is not returning.  That's a decades long inside joke.

Ahem.

Here we go.

There is something to be said about there being nothing new under the sun. For example, were you aware that there is a plan in works right now to make a new "Murder, She Wrote"?

This is a terrible idea.

I'm against this idea because "Murder, She Wrote" was a terrible series. I know that 10 year old me wasn't exactly the target demographic they were shooting for, but I still managed to catch a few episodes with my mother. I assume she had popcorn, because I can't really imagine why I would have sat through this show without some kind of reward mechanism.

"Murder, She Wrote" was on television for twelve years. It spawned a number of made for TV movies. It won Golden Globes and Emmy's. It was a veritable ratings bonanza (which is an amusing sentence because Bonanza!) that entertained millions of people every week. And I admit that if you only ever watched one episode of it, it could be pretty interesting.

But think about this: someone was killed in every episode. Sometimes it was someone that she knew, sometimes it was someone that she just met, sometimes it was just someone that someone she knew just met. She gets involved and starts asking questions to get to the bottom of the murder (because the police are also incompetent everywhere she goes). Occasionally, someone else gets murdered, upping the stakes for her to solve the case before anyone else gets hurt.

Every. Single. Time.

And what do all of these murders have in common?

Angela Lansbury was in the area. Sometimes it was in the town she lived in. Sometimes it was at a wedding, or a conference, or she was on vacation. But everywhere she went, somebody gonna die. Think about that. The woman was the angel of death. How many people died in Murder, She Wrote? Let's say that only one person died per episode. There were TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR episodes and FOUR made for TV movies. Do the math.

I'm not a genius, but there had to come a point where the following conversation took place:
"Wow honey, what an amazing wedding! I can't believe that our childhood friends, who are also our neighbours and business partners, finally got married! What table are we seated at? Is that who I think it is? Get the kids, don't look back. Run. RUN!"

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Loss Is Your Gain: Part 1

I missed the cutoff for the top ten in the CBC Open Mic contest.  I'm not bitter, not at all.  My fault - I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be and I misjudged the level of competition that would be gunning for it.  Ah, well, there's always next year!

Instead, I'm going to take the notes I was preparing for the show and turn them into posts.  I think, in a way, that's even better since I'm making almost $0.01 a day in advertising revenue so I need to entice as many of you to come back as possible.  I don't know how many posts this will come out to, it was going to be a less than 7 minute stand up set, but this totally appeals to my lazy side.  I'm thinking at least three or four articles.  Here's My Loss Is Your Gain: Part 1!

This is the script that I used for my entry.  I assume some of you didn't hear it on account of I'm not in the top ten.  But I'm not bitter.  I hope you choke on it though.

When it comes to shopping, I'm not what you would call a “browser”.  If I have to buy something, I figure out what I need, I go to the store that sells it, and then I'm done.
Most of the time, that works, but not long ago I see a store having a sale on leather jackets.  I've never owned a leather jacket and I don’t feel like a leather jacket kind of guy, but half off is half off, so I'm considering it.  I'm looking at these jackets when I hear one of those coughs.  You know the “-Cough- I can’t keep my feelings of disapproval to myself, so I need you to ask me why I'm making these noises that sort of sound like I'm coughing up a tiny angry kitten” kind of coughs. 
I look up and make eye contact, which is a mistake, because that’s as good as me saying “please tell me your feelings on my business.”    
She asks “you’re not thinking of buying that are you?” 
My response should have been “No, I just like to look at things that I don’t want.  It saves me money and makes me feel good about myself.”  But I'm a nice guy, or at least that’s what all my neighbours and family will say after they find the bodies.  So I say “Sure, why not?”
That was not the right answer.  She gets really worked up on the cruelty of leather and products made from animals.  She finishes with “Do you know how many cows died so they could make these jackets?” 
“All of them, I hope.”  I mean otherwise, that’s just evil.  Can you imagine if that’s how it worked?  Cows walking around with jacket sized cut outs in them.  Would it be worse to have one extra large jacket cut out, or like two smalls?  Would the cows that ended up in the butt-less chaps section get made fun of?   
Anyway, that was the day that I learned that when I shop online I can’t let my wife see what I'm looking at.

You know, now the more I look at that font, the more I like it.  Maybe I'll change the default for the site... Come on back, I"ll have more later this week!  I'll see if I can stretch this out to Feb 5, the date that I would have been on stage... you know, if I'd gotten in and everything.

Maybe a little bitter.  ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Last Day of Voting and I Have Another Project!

You have until noon today to vote in the CBC Open Mic contest, so go with your heart.  Just remember, a vote for me is a vote not for someone else, so while you'll be supporting my dreams you'll be equally crushing someone else's.  Have fun!

Additionally, I was contacted by the creator of a project called "A Rewording Life" asking if I would like to participate.  It's an interesting idea: take lesser used words and have Canadians write a sentence using that word in context.  For example:
"I eschew the cashew; I'm allergic, and it makes me ah-chooo."  Robert Hough
While I'm not getting paid for this, part of the proceeds will go toward  the Alzheimer's Foundation, so there is a certain altruistic appeal to it.  Writing one sentence is next to the least I can do (the least I or anyone can do, as always, is nothing).  One sentence?  I can do that in my sleep.

And I probably will be working on it in my sleep as I fret and deliberate on the many different possibilities for the word that I have selected.  I want it to be a funny sentence, but not funny-stupid but rather funny-clever.  And it needs to convey the meaning of the word itself, without just coming out and saying what the word means...  You can see the pressure that I am under.

If you have a moment, check out her social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.

It's almost 7 am and RG still isn't up yet.  Not that I'm complaining about a baby that sleeps through the night, but my morning goes so much better when I leave for work having gotten snuggles and a smile...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Competition is a good thing, right?

I've taken some time to peruse my competition for one of the spots in the upcoming Open Mic contest... daaaaang.  There are some crazy good people entering this year - and more than just one or two folks that have real stand up experience.  And by "real" I mean have done it more than twice in the last three years.

If you haven't voted yet, do it today!  Voting ends on Friday, January 24th. 

In non-comedic contest news, RG is officially over 12 pounds!  She got shots this morning (because we choose to believe in science instead of celebrity) and weighed in at over 5.5 kg (because we live in Canada but don't use the metric system for measuring our weight mass [all of my science teachers felt a disturbance in the force there]).

There is nothing quite so heart wrenching as holding your infant in your lap and distracting her while the nurse sticks her with a needle.  It took her about three seconds to work out that something was happening in another part of her body, figure out that it wasn't pleasant, and register on her face.  Ah, the betrayal.  I imagine I will get a similar look when I tell her she can't have a Barbie Hoverboard like all her friends have.  

Who am I kidding?  I'M getting a Barbie Hoverboard the minute they're available.  I mean, really, those things are going to be awesome.  

I'm writing this on Tuesday night, and the weather is calling for a blizzard tomorrow, so there's a chance that I might not have to go into the office.  It's a slim chance.  The office typically doesn't close until long after the city has been officially shut down, but there's a chance and if there's one thing I've learned from all the movies that I've watched (excluding foreign films) it's that there is nothing more powerful than hope.  Or the human spirit.  Or the power of the dark side.  Whatever gets me the snow day, I'm in.

Aaaaand it just hit me that it won't be that much longer before someone else in the house is cheering for a snow day.  

In non-infant related news, how much do I love shopping at Mark's Work Wearhouse?  I bought two pairs of pants and a shirt for $40.  I mean, that's Value Village prices without the Value Village smells!  I shop at Mark's because it makes me feel manly about my clothes.  I mean, sure, I bought chinos today, but they were right next to these crazy heavy duty coveralls that looked like they could stop a bullet.  The long sleeve t-shirt was opposite these insanely heavy duty socks that looked like they probably fired the bullet that shot the coveralls earlier.

I also bought a pair of green jeans.  I've never owned green jeans before.  I'm looking forward to insisting that everyone call me Mr. Green Jeans when I wear them.  I almost bought a pair of jeans that were a colour I would describe as almost-red-but-closer-to-weird-pink.  If they'd had them in my size, I might still.  There's no way that I'm going to be the "Cool Dad", so I may as well shoot for the much more achievable "Weird Dad". 

And I'm back to fatherhood again, so wrapping this one up for the night.

EDIT - It's now 6 am, and there is not a flake to be seen yet.  My dreams of the day at home have been dashed - dashed I say!

EDIT 2 - It's now 6:52 am, still nothing falling, and I just remembered that I'm going out for lunch to celebrate my co-worker's retirement... hope it's still on!