Hockey Dad

This isn’t about hockey dads. It’s about my dad….. and hockey. My father passed away 4 years ago today. I write a blog about him on this day every year. They started off really sad. Now it’s just random memories that I don’t want to forget. I know my last post was about my dad too, on what would have been his 80th birthday. Apologies to anyone who reads this blog, but I just haven’t been writing lately. I’m sleepy a lot. I like to doze off on the couch more than I like to write. Sad but true lately. Anyways, this isn’t about hockey dads. It’s about my dad….. and hockey. Oh I said that.

I went to the home opener of the Toronto Maple Leafs last night with my sister. The 100th season of the Toronto Maple Leafs, therefore the 100th home opener. It was a lot of fun. They paid tribute to a lot of the former Leaf greats. Players who had been honoured by the team in the past, but never got their numbers retired actually got their numbers retired, so no Maple Leaf player will ever wear those numbers again. Some great names…. Tim Horton (who coffee enthusiasts will know of), Bill Barilko (who Tragically Hip enthusiasts will know of), Ace Bailey (who I believe is my grandmother’s cousin, or something like that…. I should ask my mom to log onto ancestry.com to verify), Johnny Bower (who became a player scout when he was older, and my dad saw him in a half empty arena once, and sent me up to him to ask for his autograph even though I had no idea who he was at the time), Red Kelly (who served as a member of parliament while playing for the Leafs…Whaaaaa???? Did you know that? I just found out yesterday), Darryl Sittler and Borje Salming (who at the very moment I was old enough to start watching and understanding hockey, were basically the only 2 reasons to bother watching Leaf hockey, and more contemporary heroes like Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark and Mats Sundin, among others. Such a fun presentation. Was totally worth missing a Toronto Blue Jays playoff game for.

But did I in fact miss a Toronto Blue Jays playoff game??? NO I DIDN’T, thanks to technology. What I’m about to say will not surprise anyone that is even the least bit astute when it comes to cell phones and technology, but I watched the game ON MY PHONE!!!! I never gave a shit about tech, but I just got my first iPhone, and stuff that was blowing you guys away 10 years ago is blowing me away right now. I was walking towards the arena with a crystal clear image of the Jays game ON MY PHONE. Like George fucking Jetson, I have arrived in the future!!!!!

Those seats we sat in were my dad’s seats. He was a season ticket holder for like everything. Leafs, Jays, Argos, The Royal Alexandra Theatre for crying out loud. The man loved his season ticket subscriptions. He didn’t go to all the games, but he knew enough people who would share the games with him, so he’d just go to a few, but he got all the season ticket holder perks. Once he was even the ‘season ticket holder of the game’ which is a nice honour for long time seat holders. They toured him around the building, introduced him to the crowd, and gave him a Leafs jersey with his name on the back. My sister was wearing it yesterday.

In the 80’s when times were good, my dad would get 11 pairs of tickets per season for himself. Always fair and equitable, that meant he would rotate who he took to the game. Between my mom, sister and I, it would be a 4-4-3 split. The person who only got the 3 games would get first choice, and would choose a premium opponent. The dream was to see a young Wayne Gretzky with the Edmonton Oilers, or maybe a game against the Montreal Canadians who were great non-division rivals. I always took 4 tickets. I didn’t care who they played. I was there to see the Leafs. A horrible fucking team for most of the 80’s but I (like my father before me) was a optomist, and always believed that they would win, even though their skill level was at a clear disadvantage pretty much every time they laced up their skates. Sometimes my mom would get lazy and just give me one of her games because she didn’t feel like going downtown, so if I played it right, I might have gone to 5 games a year. In 2016, if you want to know how much those particular seats cost for 11 games….. well you’d be well on your way to paying some kid’s college tuition I would think.

I loved EVERY weird part of that experience. From the minute we left the house. Even down to the car we drove. My dad used to work as a Fleet Administrator for a pharmaceutical company, and got a company car as part of the deal. It wasn’t always the same one though. If a different make or model came into the fleet, I suppose it was important for him to ‘test them out’, so you never knew what kind of car he was going to be driving. I loved sitting on the Gardiner in traffic, talking about the Leafs, and getting excited about the game. Parking like a kilometre away from Maple Leaf Gardens to save a couple of bucks, but it allowed for a nice walk in the city, which I otherwise never saw at that age. Walking through Maple Leaf Gardens, and looking at all the black and white photos of all the old Leaf players, and if we had time, stopping to look at each one. He would buy me a program every time, giving me yet another resource to fuel endless amounts of useless hockey information into my brain. We’d go out to our seats, and you could see the haze of cigarette smoke in the upper parts of the facility (I know it sounds disgusting, but I miss that smell). A few times if we got there really early, we might go down to the Gold section and watch the players shoot around. If you were standing in the right spot as they came off and asked the right guy for a hockey puck, you might get one. Now that I think of it, I have no idea how we pulled that off, but my dad was a really likeable guy, and he wasn’t afraid to ask for things. 5 minutes of chatting up an usher could always come in handy. I don’t think that’s why he did it. He just liked talking to people. I think the saying “The world is your oyster” is kind of dumb, but the world absolutely was my dad’s oyster, always. We’d go back up to the Green section to sit in our aisle seats right at center ice. We’d watch the game until the first intermission, and my dad would chat up another usher, always remembering their names and what they had talked about last time. Then if he saw I was getting too bored, he’d try to work me into the conversation. Then we’d watch the 2nd period, and after that was over, we’d go to the concession stand and buy Fruitella candy. So delicious, and I feel like it’s the only place I ever saw it. It might be in every store, but I only ever ate it at a hockey game. By the third period, somehow, the Leafs would always still be in the game. As horrible as this team was, they always played great when we were there. I remember it would drive my dad nuts when people would leave 3 or 4 minutes before the game was over just to beat the rush. We would always stay until the end, and then wait for the 3 stars of the game, and he’d take the heat from my mom if it was a school night. Then the long walk back to the car. At that age it felt cool to be walking around downtown late at night, like I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been. Then the drive home where we’d re-hash the night, or I’d nod off in the car.

It was all fucking perfect somehow. I miss my hockey dad.


A Short Story On (What Would Have Been) My Father’s 80th Birthday

I usually dedicate a post to my dad every year on the anniversary of his death. Usually because I’m sad on that day, and writing something about him seems like good therapy. Today I felt like moving it to his birthday. After all it’s a milestone birthday. This isn’t the best story. It’s not the worst either, it’s just the memory that popped into my head most recently, and I felt like sharing.

I’d tell you the date, but I don’t remember, and can’t find it in my archives, but it was in the last year of my father’s life, and I really want to say that it was in the last few months. Of course, none of us knew at the time, as my father died of a heart attack quite suddenly at the age of 76. 3 days before my son was born (BUT THAT’S ANOTHER CRAZY STORY). This not-so-crazy story involves my father being invited to go skating. It doesn’t sound like a big deal on the surface, but it was to him. Ryerson University in Toronto had invited him and a select group of others, I believe season ticket holders, to be some of the first to skate on their new hockey rink at Maple Leaf Gardens (where for my readers who aren’t from here, is where the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team had played for decades before they finally moved to their new facility at The Air Canada Centre, leaving Maple Leaf Gardens to be turned into a huge grocery store, but also finally the home of a smaller arena which is where Ryerson plays their hockey games.)

Why was my dad invited to skate on this new rink? Another incredibly long story for another time, but my father was a great hockey player. A goaltender whose teams twice won the provincial championships when he was a kid. He played some junior hockey, and then went to Ryerson where they won the provincial championship. Unfortunately the NHL only had 6 teams at the time, so while he was an elite player, he wasn’t elite enough for that, so he went to England to play professional hockey there, only to have the league fold just as he arrived. That kind of squashed that particular set of dreams, but goalies didn’t wear masks in those days, so no professional hockey meant less pucks to the face and teeth for my dad. There’s always an upside.

Some of his earlier notoriety came with some perks down the road. 50th anniversary celebrations for the championships he won as a kid. Small towns don’t forget that kind of stuff. Ryerson inducted the provincial championship team (who also were undefeated… I left that out) into the Ryerson Sports Hall Of Fame. Then a couple of years later inducted my dad, who the same year actually played soccer for them and also won the championship, and was the Ryerson Athlete of the Year that year. So he was kind of a big deal there. After these HOF honours and being a naturally friendly/chatty guy who probably expressed interest in the new arena etc, he was invited to go for a skate before it opened to the public. He invited my sister and I to skate as well.

My dad was stoked about this skate. I wasn’t. I was excited that he was excited, but I was not excited about my old man (literally and figuratively) going skating. My old man didn’t think he was an old man. To be fair, you wouldn’t have thought so either if you knew him. He played about 20 years younger than his actual age. He was well-kept although not fashion forward, so if he ever gave his age away, he did so with his polite, old school country boy charm. He was always ready to have a conversation with a random stranger and was never sloppy. His athletic prowess continued into his golf game where he was killing 280 yard drives up until the day he died. He had no reason not to be excited about going skating.

I fucking dreaded it. I’m not gonna lie. I’d been skating with my wife a few months earlier. We were at some public skate at the arena where the Toronto Maple Leafs have their practices. We had seen this old guy with no helmet and 70’s skates get on the ice, and after a couple of laps he had fallen, and I didn’t see it, but there was blood and he needed to be attended to. I’m sure he was probably fine, but he didn’t look like he should have been out there. That was my instinct. My other instinct is that my father shouldn’t be out there either. I asked my mom one time when the last time she figured he’d actually gone skating. She didn’t think it had been that long ago, but when she described the circumstances under which he’d gone, I dated it back at least 25 years. When asked if she was concerned, she gave me a dirty look and assured me that he was gonna fly around that ice like Brian Orser.

Finally I confronted my dad about it. Subtly, I didn’t want to rain on any parades, I just wanted to let him know that I was concerned. He told me he would be smart about it, and if he thought he needed help, he’d hold the boards. I remember my wife who is the most safety conscious person I know, asking if he would wear a helmet, and urging me to urge him to get one. This man didn’t even wear a helmet when playing hockey at a fairly high level. There’s no way he’s wearing one for a skate.

The day came. My family came downtown and we ate at a pub that was down the street from where I worked. My dad never drank a drop of alcohol in his life practically, but I used to take him to this place before we would go to football games. He liked that they served Bangers n Mash because it reminded him of his time in England, so now we had to go there all the time. He’d gotten his skates sharpened. His 50-year-old goalie skates. Yes, those ones. We laced up and were ready to go. My dad, sister and I got out onto the ice, while my mom looked on. We took some pictures. Mine on my shitty Blackberry camera, so they are awful quality, but it’s better than nothing, although now I’d kill for some great photos of that moment. My dad stood by the boards and smiled and we got our photos done. When it came time to skate, it was kinda funny and sad at the same moment. My dad’s skating skills which had been dormant for decades, did not magically appear, allowing him to zip around the ice like I’m sure he thought he could. He really hung on to those boards and moved really slowly. He put on a brave face, but it was painful little dose of reality for him. He wasn’t often reminded that he was an old man, which I’d say is extremely fortunate, but time caught up with him on this night. My mom too. She really couldn’t believe that he didn’t just start skating like back in the day. The main thing for me is that there were no injuries and we were able to share that memory with him. It meant a lot to him, and none of us had any clue how close to the end it really was.

He and I changed our skates in the men’s change room. Without everyone around, I thought I’d ask him how he thought it went. He told me how he was surprised how wobbly he felt out there. I didn’t want him to feel bad, but I did give him shit. In a funny way though. I had to let him know just how old he was, and that he shouldn’t let the fact that he’s so fucking handsome cloud his judgement when it comes to his personal safety etc. He laughed like he always did when I gave him shit. Like I will when my son gets to the point where he thinks he’s smarter than me. These kids are swimming around in your balls one minute, and the next thing you know they’re trying to tell you what’s what. It’s the circle of life.

What I love about this story is the amount of (occasionally irrational) confidence my parents have always displayed. I don’t often recall either of them communicating any sort of self-doubt to me. They both have always had the built-in belief that they were going to be successful in whatever challenge or endeavour that they took on. That’s one of the best things they ever passed on to my sister and I. Now that my father is no longer with us, I look at that as the last time that he could have chickened out of something, but he didn’t. He was gonna skate around that rink with his old legs, and it wasn’t even gonna be an issue in his mind. I love that that’s how he went out.

🙂


Time To Re-Boot My Life??

Man…. Hollywood man…. Is it the worst thing going on right now? No. The world has worse problems than this. I am a little sickened by the lack of originality in the movie theatres these days though. If it’s not a comic book movie, or one of the many unneccessary sequels from a movie that there should have been just one of (they call them franchises), it’s a re-boot. What is a re-boot? I’m no expert. If you’re computer isn’t working, you can turn it off and on again, and hope the problem goes away. That’s the only way I know how to fix a computer. I believe the term for that is re-boot. In computer terms it could mean taking something that isn’t working, starting it over, and hoping to God that it works. In Hollywood, it means taking something that already is working, starting it over, and hoping to God that it works. It works a lot of the time. Like singing a cover of an insanely popular song. It’s the low hanging fruit of the entertainment business. I get mad. Then I take a breath and remember that I don’t really care. In reality, most of the movies I watch these days are either Lego or Pixar, and I do so in my pyjamas while half sleeping, and half watching a toddler. So re-boot away, losers. Who am I to tell people not to make money?

Then I got thinking about my life, and what if I could re-boot that??? Now that’s got potential. Not everyone knows the whole story, so it could just be a sleeper hit. First and most important thing in a re-boot is what young actor could I give the role of a lifetime to? Someone handsome, that’s for sure. The re-boot has to be more visually appealing than the original. Has anyone ever asked you the question who would play you in a movie? I always want to pick some really handsome leading man, but I’m afraid it would probably have to be a very quirky character actor if I have to be honest. Someone on the Hollywood A-list though, because you don’t half ass a re-boot.

Oh, just think of the way CGI could clean up some of those early scenes. I definitely want a lot of montages. Those are my favourite parts of movies. The more cliché, the better. I’m definitely a big fan of the nerd scene, where a guy sits in a room with like 17 computer screens and is furiously typing things out and figuring out formulas while chewing on a pencil and choking down bad coffee so he can pull the all-nighter, so he can get that assignment done/send a guy into space/save the world or whatever he’s doing. There also has to be a spot in that office space where he would sleep if he wasn’t so gacked on caffeine. I’m just brainstorming here. (In case you’re wondering, in the original movie, I just sleep peacefully and blow the deadline.)

I think in the re-boot I should be a really confident ladies man. It’s a choice between playing up the awkwardness, or being super-cool. I feel like the real movie was somewhere in-between, but in-between doesn’t play well in Hollywood, and I don’t want to make myself dweebie. This is my re-boot, and I want some creative control. I’m going super-cool. It’s decided. I’m also losing the beer gut. The guy that plays me is gonna be ripped. Should I have a motorcycle? Tattoos? Yeah I think so, plus I’ll be way better at sports. We’ll definitely have sports montages. Plus cool night club scenes, where I’m dressed to kill and having sophisticated conversations in VIP, not like the real movie where I was drunk in the middle of the dance floor, covered in sweat, getting mad at the DJ when he played songs I didn’t like, and trying to convince people to leave so we could eat Chinese Food.

Plus we need to add more tension. I don’t really have the qualities of a compelling leading man. I don’t think I’m tortured enough. Not enough confrontation in the original film. We need some fight scenes. Or at least an action scene or two, and my favourite ones involve people with no training getting into absurd car chases, or being chased by a bunch of hitmen, and narrowly escaping, because even though they’ve never been in a situation like that, they are JUST THAT GOOD!!

Then again, there is a certain charm to the original story. It was a wild ride for the ages, but it felt just like getting up every day and living. Not trying to pay myself a weird compliment (or maybe I am), but you could search the IMDB database, and there will never be another me, and the same can be said for all of the unique characters in this story. So if I had the chance to re-boot it, would I? Not in a million years. But…….. as in Hollywood, everyone has a price, so if you write the right number on a piece of paper and pass it to me, anything is possible🙂 I’m just kidding. Sort of.


Clothe Your Babies For Fuck Sakes

I hate parenting blogs, but I have a blog, and outside of working and sleeping I pretty much spend the majority of my time parenting. So if the entries are sparse these days, that’s why. Found my self suitably irritated the other day at the park. It was a warm summer day, and I saw this mother playing with her (I’m guessing) 2-year-old daughter. The daughter is chaos, as most 2-year-olds are, and is wearing only a diaper and a shirt. I see this a lot. Parents thinking that diapers are suitable pants or shorts. I have an opinion on this. You know what it is if you’ve read the title. I just can’t come up with an acceptable reason for why you couldn’t put proper clothes on a kid if you were going out somewhere. I did try though. I don’t like being judgy. It’s not my place. It’s just one of those stupid things that eats away at me. The following paragraphs explore some of the ideas that went through my head surrounding this.

Let’s start with the kid at the park. Was it warm? Yes. Hot even. A hot summer’s day. Would the argument have been that it was too hot for pants or shorts? I’m certain it was. Parents don’t usually admit to laziness, so I’m guessing if I confronted this lady, she’s gonna cop to the overheated baby argument. My kid owns shorts that are so thin, that you can barely feel them on. Plus they are great at protecting that vulnerable baby thigh area from harmful UV rays, burning hot playground slides, and those annoying wood chips that playground architects think are so important to have, but serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. So to that argument I say put some shorts on your kid.

Is it the money? Hey, I understand if you can’t afford clothes for your toddler……. sort of. I’m speaking for the 1st world of course, but if you know where to shop, and aren’t super picky, a pair of shorts for a toddler can often be found for less than the price of a Big Mac combo, and you know that’s true.

Have you never seen a baby blast a liquidy shit out of the side of their diaper before? Why would you tempt fate like that? I know there are parents that do this in their own homes. Just let the kid run around in their diaper. Doesn’t seem as bad when you’re not going anywhere, but do you really want shit on your carpet? I know it doesn’t happen often, but who knows when that kid’s digestive system is going to take a day off……throw some pants or shorts on the kid, and you’ve got an extra layer of protection. Maybe their little knees won’t get as scuffed up when they crawl around or fall down.

Is it a laundry issue? Bullshit. Do you know how insignificant a pair of toddler shorts is in a full load of laundry? “Oh they’re just going to get their pants dirty anyways….” That’s like not driving a car because you’ll eventually run out of gas. It’s true, but it’s a stupid reason not to do it.

Most importantly as a parent, it’s our responsibility to make decisions for our kids until their old enough to make their own decisions. Going forward I would like to see all mothers who don’t put pants on their babies before bringing them to the park, actually come to the park in just their underwear. Am I trying to create pervy situations with some cheap thrills for all park goers? No, I just think that if you aren’t a hypocrite, this is what you should do, because you have your baby/toddler who has no choice in the matter, going out in the equivalent.

Lastly, please don’t tell me it’s a difficult thing to do. While I would have confidently written this blog even if I didn’t have kids, I have one, and he leaves the home fully clothed every day. Yeah we all have a lot on our plate, but putting a pair of shorts on my son is one of the easiest things I do all day. Unless he’s holding a toy gun and trying to engage me in combat, but even then, it still gets done.


Ready For Life In 4K? Me Neither

I’m in a hotel room watching a 4K TV for maybe the second time in my life. At least I think that’s what it’s called. It’s an ultra high-definition TV set. I can say that much. What do I normally watch? Who knows? My wife knows, but she’s crashed out on the couch, and I’m not waking her up to ask. Let’s just say its high-definition. Maybe just not ‘ultra’ high definition. Anyone who will read this will range between knowing what the fuck I’m talking about and not knowing what the fuck I’m talking about, and consider me a part of the latter. All I know is that this TV is blowing my mind, as I’m sure it’s supposed to. Like when we first saw HD quality, or Blu-Ray, or colour TV instead of black and white, or black and white when we had only heard the radio. I look at this TV, and I don’t even think real life looks that clear. I could be mistaken, or maybe I need glasses, but I just don’t think that if I was looking at the same thing from the same distance right beside the TV, that the real life equivalent would be as clear. So mission accomplished, and mind blown.

Now how do I feel about this two beers into my evening? I don’t know. It’s impressive. Sometimes I ask the age-old question about whether we put the same effort into salvaging the planet, that we do into blowing our minds with new tech, would the world be a better place or not, but then people just give me dirty looks and call me a hater (which is the weirdest thing to say to someone who asks that question, but that’s what I usually get). Having 4K around isn’t hurting me, other than the odd sensation like ‘whoa, was that guy just there??? Oh wait, I’m only watching TV.’ Is it helping?

Here’s the thing. When I’m watching TV, I don’t really care what the front lawn looks like 7 houses down from the one I’m supposed to be looking at. I mean sure it’s nice to see someone’s hair standing up on the back of their neck during an intense moment, but if there are lice bugs clinging to the end of those hairs, I don’t need to know. If I’m watching Baseball, it’s disturbing that I know how many days of facial hair the beer guy has grown, that’s just too much detail. Like if someone holds up a newspaper in a scene, I think it’s pretty cool to be able to read a couple of other headlines, other than the one you’re intended to look at………but NOT THE FINE PRINT!!!! NOT THE FINE PRINT!!!! IT’S NUTS TO BE ABLE TO READ THE FINE PRINT…..FROM MY COUCH……I CAN’T EVEN READ THE FINE PRINT ON A PAPER HELD UP TO MY FACE……IT’S TOO MUCH!!! Ok calm down. It’s not that serious. Go buy one. It’s great. I say I won’t get one, but there’ll come a day when we just won’t be able to strain our eyes to watch anything else, and then there’ll come another day when 4K will be a steaming pile of shit compared to the new thing they invent tomorrow, so whatever.


Personal (And Not So Personal) Updates For Your Consideration

Says here that my last post here was in January. That makes this by far the longest Thoughts and Rants in Jogging Pants drought ever. Man, I used to do this once a week without fail. While I was looking back to see how long it had been since my last post, I glanced at the stats page. It kind of made me feel nice and I want to pass on thanks, should any of you be responsible for this phenomenon. This isn’t the most prolific and well-known blog out there, but despite the fact that I haven’t posted here in close to 3 months, at least one person has visited this site to read one of my blogs every day in the last month. That’s fuckin cool, I’m sorry to get swearing so quickly, but it just is. Makes me feel warm inside. Every day except March 20th. So uhhhh, where were you guys on the 20th, huh??? Not one of you could click over for 5 minutes??? 😉

There’s one post in particular that shows up in the stats a lot. I have NO idea why. I think it gets googled by total strangers. It’s called “Guys, Your Feet Are Fucking Ugly”, and I wrote it in July of 2014. Usually a post gets its most views the day or week it’s originally posted. To give perspective it got 42 views the day it was posted. It finished the year with 70 views. In 2015 it had 217 views, and mid way through April this year it’s trending way higher than that. I’m curious to know why. It’s sort of funny, but not my best work. If you feel like reading it, here’s the link https://thoughtsandrantsinjoggingpants.com/2014/07/02/guys-your-feet-are-fucking-ugly/ According to my stats, someone looks at this almost everyday. So weird. Skip to the 3rd paragraph if you read it.

Also on the bloggy linky topic, I started contributing to another blog site called “Everything MLB Inc”. I blog about the Toronto Blue Jays once a week. I guess that’s why I haven’t been doing this blog. There’s a small part of my that always wanted to be a sports reporter or something like that. So for 2016 I’ll do it. I hope the Jays’ season is as magical as last year. If you follow another team, I can’t really vouch for this blog. I don’t think they have all their writers in place yet. Here are some links to my first few articles for those interested in Jays stuff. Close friends might enjoy how brutally inaccurate some of my predictions have been so far.
http://emlbinc.blogspot.ca/2016/02/toronto-blue-jays-2016-projected.html
http://emlbinc.blogspot.ca/2016/02/toronto-blue-jays-2016-bullpen.html
http://emlbinc.blogspot.ca/2016/03/toronto-blue-jays-2016-lineup-breakdown.html
http://emlbinc.blogspot.ca/2016/04/blue-jays-week-1-update.html

The movie thing…… Some readers of this blog might remember me talking about acting in a movie last year. For those that don’t, here’s that story…..
That Time I Was An Actor In a Kick-Ass Movie
Anyways, the update is that we recorded some commentary for the special features last weekend, because……. apparently there’s a distribution deal in place that would see this film available for purchase this year at some point (we’re hoping soon). Where will you be able to get it? Can’t say for sure, but pretty sure there will be physical copies (DVD, Blu-Ray) available for online purchase, as well as being available in digital form (iTunes etc). Super duper stoked for this. Will provide details when I have them.

Now for my version of Batman vs. Superman. My 3-year-old son loves Batman. His aunt bought him a set of 3 superhero costumes. This box and it’s contents have been put to way better use than just about anything he’s owned in his young life. I would say about 60% of his days, he wants to dress up in a costume at some point. Not having siblings, and perhaps not wanting to be the only super-hero at home, he tries to get my wife and I to wear the other 2 costumes. He is ALWAYS Batman. My wife who would often be in the room with him playing while I cook dinner gets to be Superman, and I get stuck with Robin. I try not to take it personal, even though it’s ridiculous because I tower over both of them, but I’m a good sport so Robin it is. These are sized for toddlers. If I could box I would do so in the heavyweight category. The little Robin mask is stretched to its absolute potential just to get around my face, and after a minute or two the velcro just gives out and slingshots across the room. So fun. So my wife, who is smarter than me, has stopped dressing up as a superhero, sometimes even saying “no thanks, but why don’t you ask daddy?” I can’t say no. So more days than not, I dress up in a toddler sized superhero costume, although I’ve been upgraded to Superman. Sometimes we play with train engines, and sometimes we fight crime. Then, one day my son finally said to me “Do you want to be Batman????” I jumped at the chance! After all these months of having to play superheroes with lesser cool factors, I have reached the pinnacle of toddler sized superhero outfits. Yessssssssss……………………. Here’s the thing though……………….The Batman outfit’s got some stains on it, from a 3-year-old wearing it more than any other article of clothing. Yeah, they’re messy. Also, I’m back to having to wear a mask again. That mask is just as tight, but it covers more of my face and makes me sweat. That’s when I realized a HUGE and VERY IMPORTANT life lesson, taught to me by my own son…… We can’t all be Batman! Some of us need to be Superman, and others need to be Robin. Ponder that!


My Son’s First F-Bomb

It was going to happen sooner or later. I think I’ve taken to the parenting thing a lot better than I originally expected I would. I change diapers like an absolute champion. I cook more, and better. Most importantly, I’ve never absent mindedly left my kid anywhere which I think was a concern among immediate family for various reasons. The one thing that was never going to go well was the swearing thing. I swear. A lot. The more comfortable I am, the more I do it. If I’m around you and it seems like I’m swearing a lot, take it as a compliment. It means I’m being myself. As it pertains to pro-creation, it makes sense that I’m ultimately responsible for a lot of things surrounding my kid’s development, and speech is definitely included. The thing is, I’m pretty comfortable around my kid, so you see the problem. The odds are stacked heavily in favour of him eventually being exposed to a healthy dose of colourful language. What kid isn’t, right? Yeah, most kids aren’t…. not like this….. and don’t leave comments saying that you swear a lot too. Thanks, but you don’t. Not like me. I’m not proud of this, but I’m not really as ashamed as I should be either. Lets just say that if my son ends up being half the potty mouth that I am, I just hope I’m not the reason. But I will be.

I’ve slipped up around him. Quite a bit. I slip up around everyone. That’s just me. I almost can’t even keep swearing out of my blog. Think about that. Even if I swear impulsively in my blog, I could always delete and re-word. I don’t even do that. I’m only slightly embarrassed that my mom and her friends read this, but not enough. So with that in mind my son is being set up to fail (or succeed as an awesome swearer). He’s 3 years old and change. I’m honestly surprised that it took this long for as many times as I’ve used foul language in front of him, but F-bombs are not for everyone, and perhaps it took him time to gravitate towards the sheer power of its emotional expression, and how a well placed one can just free your soul for a split second (OK I’m over selling it, I’ll just get to the story).

I’m into Balsamic Vinegar big time. There’s a great place that sells all these different flavours of it as well as Olive Oil. It’s fresh, and they let you sample them out of the (casks??? I don’t know what the container is called) dispensers. I could spend all day in there until my insides cried for mercy. They pour it, and cork it. I spent more money on it that day than a human at my income level should, but I knew my next salad was going to be like a leafy chompy heaven, and was looking quite forward to this. Had to get a traditional Balsamic, as well as a flavoured one. I chose Espresso flavour. It tastes like Balsamic Vinegar, but the aftertaste is like you just ate a Coffee Crisp.

When it’s finally time to prepare this salad, I’m only too excited to pour this liquid euphoria onto my salad. As I try to take the cork out (it’s a cork with a plastic lid on top, so you can open it with your hands as opposed to cork that would be in a wine bottle that you would use a corkscrew for…… just in case you had trouble picturing it……because if you can’t picture it, it fucks up the story……. oh there I go again), and the plastic top breaks off, leaving me with no easy way to open the bottle. Also leaving me with an unusable lid for my bottle. Now that really sucked, and I was frustrated, but I had another bottle, so I figured, let’s try that one? This is still good. Then I tried to open that one, and the exact same thing happened to the other cork, and that left me with no re-course but to have an immature temper tantrum in the kitchen, during which, I exclaimed loudly/angrily “YOU GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!” That, my friends, is par for the course, but what happened after isn’t. My son who was playing with toy trains in his bedroom with my wife, stood up and looked her in the eye, balled up an angry little fist, and screamed as clear as day “YOU GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!”

So it starts.