Tag Archives: Humor

Construction Ducks

Is a story about two love birds, who returning north from wintering in some favorable climate, find each other and begin their courtship.  No online dating required.  Just good old Duck Talk pick up lines.  I mean they were probably flying when they met, what could you possibly say up there?

M – You’re hot

F – You look like you fly good

M – Wanna make babies?

F – You had me at ‘you’re hot’

Animal instincts take over, and they become a couple (actually animal instincts didn’t take over, they were probably running this scenario from jump).  It must have been so romantic they way they gazed into each other’s eyes the whole time, and completely overshot Lake Ontario.  Or perhaps they were looking for something a little more secluded.  Or perhaps he told her he had a private lake.  Probably that.  First body of water he sees that doesn’t look like it’s spoken for becomes the private lake.

F – Cool lake.  What’s with all the bulldozers?

M – Don’t worry about that baby.

So they made sweet love on their private lake, and began to build a nest.  Not a lot of options for nest locations.  This lake is a 5 or 6 day heat wave from not even being a lake anymore, it’s so small.  That doesn’t bother them at all.  They frolic around their little construction site lake, which is soon to suffer a fate, only foreman or contractor could predict.  They don’t need it that long.  How long does it take to make Duck Babies and teach them to fly?  Can’t be that long!

Almost every day I go to visit them.  Not only am I totally obsessed with their unique story, but I’ve been quarantining, and this is what qualifies as ‘getting out’ these days.  I haven’t seen them in a while.  I don’t know if the site didn’t work out, maybe too much construction noise.  Maybe they found a better spot.  Maybe they go out and grab dinner at around that time, because it’s usually 5pm, and everyone knows that Ducks eat dinner at around 5.  Maybe shit just didn’t work out between them.  After all, based on what I’ve said about them (and that’s all we have to go on), their relationship was kind of superficial.  My Duck friends will be in my thoughts literally every time I walk past their home.  I hope whatever has happened, it was for the best, and I wish my Duck friends well.  We’re not really friends though, I just visit them sometimes, and I like to quack at them, but they don’t really quack back, but it’s cool.

 

“Oh to be young, and to feel love’s keen sting!” – Professor Dumbledore

 


Don’t Give Up Just Yet

I’m writing this during the COVID-19 crisis, but I want you to know that I would be writing this no matter what was happening in the world.  If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know this.  These are really tough times though, so I’m going to aim for 20% less judgy to suit the occasion, plus maybe end with some inspiration as the title as probably lead you to believe, and I don’t want to let you down.

I’m at home with my wife and son, and once a day, usually after 4pm, we leave our condo building to go for a quick walk outside.  Taking all necessary precautions mind you…. the precautions themselves rival the actual walk itself.  I’ve found that my 7 year old son’s neck-warmer/scarf, which are loose on him, wrap around my head perfectly and make a nice tight impromptu mask.  My favorite is the Pokemon one.  I look super gangster when I go out, but possibly fun too.  We take the stairs to avoid elevators, and we sanitize our hands as soon as we’re out of the building.  We see a few people out there, but not a ton, and everybody gives each other space because they know the drill by now.  It’s great.  I need it after a day of home schooling, and cooking (like I always cooked, but we used to go to restaurants a lot… I’ve never cooked this much), and baking (I bake now…. surprise…..only loafs so far, or is it loaves?  Spellcheck seems OK with either……I called my son a loaf this morning…… it was awesome, because I actually had a loaf within arms reach, and I grabbed it to give him the comparison.  Are we still within the parenthesis here?  Damn).

So, upon returning from our short journey, which had been made shorter by my son who notified us that he had to take a shit, I saw something that obviously prompted me to do a bit of writing tonight.  There was a lady near the door we wanted to go in, smoking a cigarette, basically prompting us to go around and use the other door.  Not because of the cigarette, but the 6 feet of distancing thing, so that was fine.  The thing was, this lady was fully wearing a pair of pyjamas, and a robe overtop.  Let me remind you that it was probably close to 5pm.  So…… I have a few issues with this… where do I start exactly?  I could just say ‘Put some damn clothes on’ and end the blog like that, but I want to drill down a bit if I may.

Let’s start with where I live.  You could say it’s in the city, but you could also say it’s outside of the city.  Depends on your perspective.  Let’s just call it a no pyjama zone.  If you go far enough out into the boonies, pyjamas seems to be an acceptable grocery shopping uniform, I’ve seen it (and been dismayed by it).  If you go deep enough into the city, you are bound to see some pyjama’d folks that are either homeless, or in close proximity to a mental health facility.  So they get free passes from me, that’s part of being in the city.  My building though?  Not that I’m one for a lot of rules, but couldn’t you throw on some track pants and a t-shirt before you came downstairs?  Let me answer that for you!  Yes you could!  I know because I’ve done it, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.  In fact, I’ve never failed to do it.  I always got a pair of pants on before going out in public.  You’re welcome world!

Now speaking of my building….. I almost forgot to mention that all units in my building have balconies.  Yes, there is a designated place for firing up lung darts while in pyjamas, free from the scrutiny of rotten judgemental bloggers such as myself.  (Side note – Spell check is trying so hard to get me to spell pyjamas differently.  Looked it up and it seems Americans use an ‘a’ instead of ‘y’.  They’re in charge of spell check, but I feel like the ‘y’ makes it a cooler word, so I’m sticking with it this time.  Sorry Americans, but I had your back earlier when I took the ‘u’ out of favourite).

So we are going through some challenging times with COVID-19, and I’m trying to decide if I give this lady a pass (as if it were up to me).  It’s quite possible that this lady is going through some shit, and has zero fucks left to give at this exact moment.  Like for example, if I found out she was a nurse or something, and she worked a 16 hour shift, and came downstairs for a smoke because she got better reception on her phone or something, I’d be like ‘as you were ma’am.’  What I really think happened though, is that some people that can’t leave their homes, are just PJ’d up 24/7.  Totally plausible, and I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with that.  I’ve drifted into the afternoon before getting my clothes on a few times since this thing started.  Just never drifted outside without clothes, because I just think there have to be limits.

I think going outside in pyjamas is like waving a white flag.  ‘I give up world!  I don’t care enough about myself, or you to step my legs through a pair of leggings or shorts or something!’  I don’t like this.  Call me old fashioned, but you’ve heard the term ‘Dress for the job you want, not the one you have’.  Does it apply here?  I dunno.  I’m not saying we should be binge watching Netflix in dress pants or anything.  This staying inside business has a uniform of only the most comfy gear.  The thing is, we will come out of this one day.  It will be time to face the world again some day.  Time to interact with humans face to face some day.  See family and friends again.  I just don’t want to see the world give up.  The road will be tough, but……..We are strong.  We are better than this.  We can conquer this….. and when we do……when we are standing on the mountain top, and planting our flag……we will be doing so…… with proper fucking clothes on.  That’s all I’m saying

🙂

 

 


My Personal Quarantine Handbook

We all gotta get through this.  I can’t say that any of this would work for you.  All I know is that it works for me.  Hard to retro-actively go back in time and prepare for this moment.  Some of these measures have been years in the making, and I can’t take a lot of credit for it either.  It’s just plain dumb luck that I happen to be totally ready for social isolation.  Here is my personal quarantine handbook to fight boredom.

(Disclaimer….  I’m trying to have a laugh during a shitty time, but if you are reading this and are somehow on the front lines of this Corona Virus thing, and don’t have the good fortune of being able to safely distance yourself and wait this out, none of this is probably funny.  That is not lost on me, and I hope you are all safe and well xo).

    1. Have a kid – This will take up all of your time.  Obviously, not everyone can or would even want to do this, and even if me giving you the idea right now was the one thing that put you over the top, there’s not enough time to turn it around.  If you have one or several already, than you know… keeping them busy or home schooled, or sane, or yourself sane, or fed, or exercised, or whatever takes up all of your time.  Depending on their age I suppose.
    2. Have a house – I don’t have one of these…. I live in (near) the city, and the condo life IS FOR ME!!!!  No more mowing the lawn.  No roof repairs.  No painting the fences etc.  Oh how I love when there’s a snowstorm and I just stand by the window with my coffee and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.  However….. Man, it sure would be nice to have a backyard right now.  Or a basement or something.  How many people have touched these elevator buttons???  I’m doomed!
    3. Don’t read books, but acquire them as if you do – Oh man…. I’ve never read so much in my entire life.  Never been a fan before now.  Never really wanted to spend time reading about other people’s adventures when I feel I should be out having my own, but….. I gotta say…… given the right book….. and the right environment….. and really no competing priorities….. Reading Doesn’t Suck as much as you might think it would.  I have dozens of books I haven’t read yet.  Don’t know if I’ll get through them, but assuming my new fascination with reading isn’t just some short term fling, maybe I will.
    4. Be a slob – I really feel for organized neat freaks right now.  You’re self isolating, so what?  You gonna organize your stuff?  How long did that take you?  Half a day?  I have enough shit lying around, needing to be sorted out to last me well into next year.  Between all the reading, home-schooling and cooking?  I still feel like I don’t have time to do it.  That said, it’s nice to have options.  Especially if the reading thing doesn’t take.
    5. Acquire Toilet Paper – Just kidding.  What an idiotic thing to prioritize.  Although….. I guess running out of that would be shitty 😉  I’ve thought about this a lot, (I mean, I always thought it would be zombies) and you need to stalk up on canned Tuna.  Canned Tuna lasts like 2 years.  It’s ready to eat out of the can.  I mean it could take some mayo and onions, but if you had to throw it in your back pack beside the baseball bat, and take a defensive position at high altitude.  If it ever got to that point, would you really care about toilet paper?  Possibly yes, so throw a roll or two of that into the backpack before you break camp for good.  Fuckin zombies!
    6. Stash cool food items in random places – Every so often when life starts to seem a bit mundane, it’s pretty bonkers to be like “Oh shit!  I found those Honey Ginger & Lime Crunchy Roasted Soybean Snacks that you bought at the ‘One of a Kind Show’!!!”  Joy!
    7. Better make sure that music collection is on point – I mean you don’t have to have 27,566 songs on your Itunes (I’m bragging because I think I’m awesome… sorry Mom), but if you did, you could go 76.5 days without hearing the same song twice.  Or you could just listen to the same 150 songs that you like over and over and over again if that comforts you, but I would quietly judge you from afar (but that should be the least of your worries right now.  Do you.)
    8. Do something creative – I’m re-vitalizing an abandoned blog.  My son is crushing abandoned lego sets (by crushing I mean building efficiently).  My wife busted out this colouring book for adults.  It all feels like work while you’re doing it, but it feels nice after.  Especially if you did sweet shit all the rest of the day.  It’s like working for free, but somehow feels more fulfilling.
    9. Board Games – OK we haven’t done a ton of this yet, but….. They lie there in waiting.  I have a dream.  One that none of my family share, but I think I’ve always wanted to do this, but never have.  I want to play Monopoloy to the death (not really, I just liked how it sounded.)  What I mean is, I actually want to finish the game.  Not a timer, not ‘oh I ran out of money’….. I mean mortgage all properties and then declare bankruptcy in order to be eliminated.  Has anyone ever played Monopoly long enough to actually finish it?  Like really finish it?  It would be super time consuming, but time I’ve got.  I say this to my wife and son every couple of days, in a voice that says ‘I’m enthusiastic about this and I hope you are too.’  I’ve been getting some faraway glances, and typically the verbal responses have been a changing of subject.  For now I wait.
    10. Get some fresh air – I know we are not supposed to be within 6 feet of each other, so find a place to go for a walk.  We’ve been doing this successfully, and if I see a person coming, I’m like Keanu Reeves, dodging bullets in the Matrix.  People in my area have been great at crossing the road when they see someone else coming, or distancing themselves appropriately.  Living in the city sucks for this.  I’m lucky to not be right downtown.  Try to get some exercise though.  All this home cooking has to go somewhere.  I shit you not when I say I’ve been doing yoga.  Picture that, anyone that knows me!  When you see me next I will be flexible and nimble as a gymnast.  Very centered and reflective as well.

Namaste!


A Chocolaty Dream

So Corona Virus got me not working.  The benefit of this is I’m sleeping 8 hours a night.  The best part of that is the last hour or so, which is bonus sleep because I should be at work.  I’m not one to remember my dreams all the time but for some reason, the dreams I have in that bonus hour are among the most memorable and at times absurd.  I’ll tell you about one.  My son thinks it’s funny.

I get sent (by my wife I can only assume) to park a car, but I’m at what looks like an all inclusive resort somewhere warm.  It doesn’t look exactly like any of the ones I’ve been to.  Also, there’s no reason for me to have a car at an all inclusive.  Maybe it wasn’t an all inclusive, anyways it’s not important.  I find it hard to write about dreams because I like to give all the details, but my dreams barely give me any details or context.  There’s a massive parking garage at this resort, and somehow the car gets parked and I’m trying to find my family.  I find my son (who’s 7, and I guess just wandering around on his own?  Not likely), and I see this table where the owners of the resort are giving away free artwork.  They call me over and tell me they have 2 pieces left, and would I like one?  They’re huge, and I feel like they used to be inside the rooms, but maybe they’re being re-designed?  I agree to take one, not really considering for the moment, like where the hell am I going to put this, how will I get it from said exotic destination to my home in Toronto.  Then I get a look at the 2 pieces, and they’re both pictures of the owners of the resort, who of course are the same people giving them away.  It’s a man and a woman, and the man has a great 80’s mustache with a white guy fro, and I can’t remember what his wife looked like, but she had money.  Now I’m being too polite to say that I no longer want this artwork, so I’m going to have ditch it somewhere (like in a dream I should be able to laugh at this guy and say I don’t want his shitty artwork, and segue right into a poolside Pina Colada, but then if I realize I’m dreaming, I’ll wake up, so I end up just doing the same goddamn things I would do in real life instinctively).

Then I see Vasek Pospisil (Canadian professional Tennis player), and thinking it’s cool that he’s there, but there’s no crowd or no sign that he’s doing a meet and greet, so maybe he’s just on vacation too at the same shitty resort I’m at where the owners seemingly have pictures of themselves in the suite.  So I ask him if he’s there doing autographs, and he says ‘yeah sure’, and so I grab my son because he likes tennis too.  Just as I’m about the quickly whisper in his ear, what to politely say to Vasek Pospisil when asking for an autograph, my son walks up to him and says really loudly “Do you have chocolate?”

Then I wake up.


One Door Closes…. Another Opens

Gonna be home for a few days. Weeks even? Who knows? Corona Virus is a thing, and if you’re consuming this while it’s fresh, then you know more than you’d like to about social distancing. If you’re reading it years from now, congratulations, you survived. Here’s to hoping this is soon just a punchline to some shitty joke. In the meantime, what to do? Great time of year to watch Sports!! Hockey and Basketball playoffs coming soon, Baseball about to start up. What? They’re all cancelled? Oh man. Binge watching TV and movies I guess. What else? Good time to listen to music. I mean really listen. Like we used to. When we had those album covers we could read while the record was spinning. For me? Well I do have this blog. I’d argue that it’s at least 5 years past it’s prime, but hasn’t necessarily gone into retirement yet. Hey, if George Foreman could win the heavyweight title in his 40’s, I could surely get this thing chugging again. After all, my readers have nothing but time, and I have nothing but time. Surely my son, (who is soon to be bored out of his skull, if not already) would love to just give Daddy the kind of space he requires to do a bunch of writing every day….. NOT. Plus my wife needs the chair I’m sitting in to work from home. So there are obstacles, and my output over the coming weeks will be direct evidence of my resolve. So if this is the last you hear of me, don’t be surprised, but nevertheless, HERE WE GO!

What to write…. This blog in it’s prime was very ranty. I was younger I suppose. More full of piss and vinegar. I can feel myself mellowing. Not so entertaining. I could rant about social distancing. It would be so ‘of the moment’. To be honest though, I really feel like people were never quite designed to go through something like this. It will be very interesting to see how compliant the entire world will be simultaneously. I’m really not that angry with people right now. Again, if you’re reading this years from now, WE MADE IT!

Starved for something to write about, I thought about a prompt of some sorts that would ask me questions that I could just answer. Slight cop out, but should get me through my first session. I stumbled across another WordPress blog that had just such a list. I’ll attach the link as a shout out. It’s from 9 years ago, so who knows if she still writes or whatever, but I didn’t do too much research on the other, because I had to start typing. https://efcarletti.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/50-good-questions-to-ask-yourself-and-others/

I did not compare these questions with others on the net. I just committed to answering them. I have not even read them all. My answers will be below each question

50 good questions to ask yourself and others

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

I’m a giver of nicknames. Not always a receiver of one.

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

‘Acid For The Children’ – Flea ‘Muhammad Ali – Through The Eyes of the World’ – Various…..Currently reading ‘The Beastie Boys Book’…. I never read, but this week I’ve read a lot.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I don’t. I guess I mind doodle? It looks crazy

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I mind doodle lol

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

Not sure. I feel like I could last a while. I think I would just develop other personalities and invisible friends and make the best of it.

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?

I save them, but never go through them. Maybe I will though.

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?

My mom. Sorry mom.

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?

Depends on the party and it depends on how I feel at the time. I’ve done all 3, but if it’s people I know well, I make my presence known, because that’s more fun.

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?

Humour lol. I guess that’s not the answer. I’d give up smell maybe?

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Couldn’t attach a number to it. Every time I pass one.

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That my face would ‘stay like that’

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

I think I enjoy teasing people. I try not to be mean about it, or at least know ahead of time if the person can ‘handle’ it or not. I do it to my son. He hates it. I hated it when I was his age. I’d like to think that I’m preparing him to deal with it later in life when it’s not me that does it, which is possibly true. I think you need to learn to laugh at yourself. Once you can laugh at yourself, it takes the sting out of other people laughing at you. I think. Or maybe I’m causing mass psychological damage to everyone I know. Sorry.

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

Jade (speaking of people I love to tease). She is the queen of intentionally doing ridiculous things, and feeling zero shame about any of it. For a couple of years we worked together and she was my boss. If I made the mistake of offering to go on a Starbucks run, I would have to rhyme off 7 obnoxious details about her drink like the amount of sugar or whip cream, and it was never just the standard amount. I don’t think she goes a month without doing something that by most standards is completely bizarre, and posting it on social media for all her friends to either lol, or eye roll at. Every pic she takes of herself has a Jade face, where she looks like she’s getting shot out of a cannon. She was a fun boss and good friend. When my father passed away, she would cook food, and bring it to my mom’s house (I don’t know if my mom even knew who she was). When my wife had to go to the hospital for a day, she insisted on ordering us a dinner from Uber Eats even though we hadn’t hung out a lot during that time. I’ll never forget those gestures.

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?

Wow. Like I said, these questions are from 9 years ago, so I’ll answer this one like it was 9 years ago. Every day. Toronto Star or Toronto Sun, Sports page, and whatever else I have time for.

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?

Rats are fucking nasty, I don’t know why.

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

Depends on the day. Instinct is to avoid, but my learned behaviour is to engage head-on, after a cooling off period preferably.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?

Somebody at work took me aside and thanked me for teaching them so much. That meant a lot.

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

I always secretly admire people who can wake up in the morning, seem rested, and have a great breakfast routine, where they mentally prepare for the day. Oh and do yoga and or workout in the morning. When I wake up in the morning I push the snooze button 14 times, and fly through the condo like I’m escaping from a fire, and I’m at work with a coffee in my hand and a breakfast bar in my pocket to be consumed later, probably no more than 30 minutes after my head is still on my pillow

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.

Yeah. Maybe. No. I don’t know.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.

I would say no. However I offset that with being completely unreasonable over small details, so yes. (Just asked my wife. She spoke to me about it for 20 minutes, and says EVERYBODY thinks so.)

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?

Once or twice a week I play basketball against people that are usually 10-20 years younger than me. It takes me 2 days to recover. How much longer can I do this?  I guess as long as the back holds up.

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?

I’ve usually just rolled with a few close incredibly long tenured friends.  Shout out to them.  Apparently I’m high maintenance 😉

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?

Both, but to build an empire, I need others to unleash the potential of me. I’m too lazy to do things alone. I need the right partnership to get shit done.

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

I saw an alien spaceship land and……….I have a blog. If I witnessed a strange occurrence, you would know by now.

25. What do you think about more than anything else?

5 way tie and it depends on the day. Family/Friends/Work/Sports/Music

Well…. That’s 25 out of 50 questions. As my high school teachers would confirm, that gets me a D and a pass. I’ve learned some very important things here today. Talking about myself is exhausting. I am HIGH maintenance according to my wife and possibly many others. Blogging starts out fun for the first 300 words, and then gets sucky and boring past 1000.

Anyways… for those that read to the bottom. Stay safe and wash your hands 🙂 For those that don’t read to the bottom, stay safe and wash your hands as well.


That Time I Had My Own Cooking Show

As part of my get rich incredibly slow or possibly never scheme, I’ve decided to go after some of that YouTube money. You know the kind. The kind that kids get from opening boxes of toys, while other kids watch on TV…. or teenagers playing video games while other teenagers watch on TV…… or other random content creators that find something so niche to say or do on the internet, that millions of people need to see. They make that advertising money. Some of these people don’t even have to work anymore. That’s the easy-way-out scenario that I’ve always craved and dreamed of. The same dream that perhaps made me start writing this blog once upon a time. Slowly getting out of the blog game though. People don’t want to read. I don’t even want to read. If you knew how little I read, you’d be amazed at the hypocrisy of me being a blogger. So what then???

A lot of people say ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. Ever since I turned 40, my new motto has been ‘Just because you shouldn’t, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t’. So with that in mind, I decided to start a cooking show. My collaborator is a chef. Another couple of buddies of mine do film stuff. Suddenly, this thing’s got legs and doesn’t seem so crazy. We call it ‘Cumin Beings’. It’s not like a lot of the cooking videos you see online these days, which are lots of recipes and food shots, but lacking in personality. I miss the old cooking shows where the host/chef would actually hang out with you and talk you through it. So much of what you see on TV now is the reality shows and the chef competitions. Those are fun too, but we were aiming for some edutainment. A little different, but still a little familiar.

So without going on and on about it, I’ve attached the link to episode one below. I hope you’ll watch it/dig it/share it. We’re already plotting to shoot a couple more in the near future. If you could help me get some of that YouTube money by spreading the word, I’d be grateful. Maybe won’t be able to quit the day job, but it would be cool to generate a budget to do more of these. I’ll let the universe decide. Enjoy! Recipes below the link.

Rub:

4 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp hot chili flake (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Sauce:

3 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2-3 tbsp rub (see above)
1 cup maple syrup (REAL whenever possible)
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in a pot over low heat….stir frequently to combine flavours, 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool, then store it in the fridge.

Slaw:

1/2 medium head Savoy cabbage cut into fine strips
1/2 medium Spanish onion julienned
1 medium carrot peeled and julienned
1 medium Northern Spy or Russet apple sliced finely
1 tbsp rub
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well to combine. Allow to marinate half an hour before serving.


On this day in 1994

Man, I looked down at the date today and it rang out in my mind. I couldn’t figure out why at first, was it somebody’s birthday? Did I have an appointment or something? I eventually remembered the significance of the day. It was my first hip hop concert. 1994. 25 years ago. Good lord! I had that ticket hanging on a bulletin board in my bedroom when I was younger, and that’s probably how I remembered the date. (Or…. the real story if you prefer is that it was the 1 year anniversary of my girlfriend at the time, and I felt shitty for not hanging out with her that night, but……) we were going to see De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest who to this day are my two favourite hip hop artists. What a show! The latter who I have to choose if asked for a preference, was at the absolute pinnacle of their career, which in my humble opinion coincided with the very peak of hip hop as an art form. This would be like seeing Led Zeppelin in 1971, or James Brown, or Elvis or something like that. Prince or Queen I suppose.

I went with my friend Brad. Which made me think of this picture. This picture is not from that night. I have no pics from that night. There were no camera phones back then. Most dudes didn’t carry cameras around with them. A good chunk of my life is undocumented. From whenever my mom stopped thinking I was cute 😉 (I wink there, because my mom will read this, and better still think I’m cute), to whenever I got it in my mind to buy a camera. Whatever those years were, there aren’t many pics. Maybe some birthdays or something.

This pic is of Brad and I in the summer of 93. About to go on a road trip to Cleveland to watch the Blue Jays (who won the World Series that year btw…. and haven’t won since *sniff*). We were mad skinny, oh my god! Ready to drive a Pontiac Acadian over the border. I must have blogged about this car already, but it didn’t have power steering. If you’re under 40, you don’t even know what that means!!! If you’ve ever been to a theme park or carnival that had a spinning tea-cup ride, or some other equivalent, there’s usually this giant steel wheel in the middle of the cup that you can try to spin around while you’re spinning around to control freak your own turns, and it’s heavy as shit to turn. That’s what driving a car with no power steering is like.

Summer of 93

Look at us!!! Young and full of piss and vinegar. Look at my Chuck Taylors… man I gotta get another pair of those. That car embodies the phrase, ‘putting lipstick on a pig’. That car was a piece of shit. It looked cool though, and the system pumped. The rest mattered not. That was summer of 93. In the Fall, A Tribe Called Quest put out their best album ‘Midnight Marauders’ (apologies to Tribe fans who prefer ‘Low End Theory’…. you are not wrong either), and the Toronto Blue Jays would win that last World Series. I was 18 and skinny. Didn’t have any idea what I was doing, but I looked alright doing it. I’m not trying to say that was any better than 2018….. but it didn’t suck. That’s all I wanted to say.


Etiquette For Taking A Shit In A Public Toilet

I shouldn’t have to say any of this. I’m honestly not sure why humans….. oh never mind. Fucking humans! I’ll get straight to it. I can only tell you this from a man’s perspective. That should be disgusting enough without getting into what goes on in other washrooms, man I don’t even want to know.

Where to even start…. Let me start by saying I hate taking a shit in a public washroom. Now, not all public washrooms are the same, and we all know too well that not all shits are the same. It’s hard to avoid, as most working adults spend 8 plus hours away from home every day, and unless you’re blessed with an impressive schedule of regularity, and can time these things for when you’re in the magical royal comfort of your own throne, then you are probably dropping the kids off at the PUBLIC pool once in a while if you know what I mean. If it happens often enough like every day, then you probably don’t have too many issues with doing it, unless there are extraordinary circumstances on the part of yourself, or some other unfortunate soul that occupies the same space at the same time.

You probably wouldn’t guess this about me, but I feel pretty shy and reserved most of the time. So when someone who feels that way, which I think is a common way for a lot of people to feel, goes to a public washroom to drop a deuce, they’re probably hoping that nobody is in there. In fact, I’d venture a guess that most people are probably fairly relieved when they find out nobody is in there. Like the sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s ass everyday, you are not likely to walk into an empty restroom every time you want to drop bombs, so now what? Well I would think that courteous humans might just respectfully recognize that multiple people being in the same situation might have similar needs and wants. The big want is to be alone. You can’t have that sometimes, so what is the etiquette? Treat others as you wish to be treated. If you are lucky enough to have a little separation from one another, then take advantage of that. You can’t be alone, but the next best thing is to have a stall or two between you and the other person that’s taking a shit in the same room as you. Are you gonna feel free to put your feet up on the door, and squeeze the metal bar on the wall (if you got the special needs stall), and just give er? Not the same way as if you were alone, but at least you won’t be as self-conscious of every little farty squeak you let out if the other person is 10 or so feet away.

This desire for privacy should be universal, so WHY IN THE FUCK do people always jump into the stall beside mine, when I know full fucking well they had at least 2 or 3 other options? Hey, sometimes the washroom is small, and there are only 2 stalls. This isn’t a perfect world, I know that, but if there’s 5 or 6 stalls, and 2 people pooing, there’s no good reason for the 2nd person to set up shop right beside the first.

I’m in Vegas last week, and with the amount of great restaurants there, and all the walking around you do, everyone is a ticking time bomb. Okay, I can’t speak for everyone, but I am certainly a ticking time bomb. I love casino washrooms, because they are huge. They’re comfortable and there’s lots of privacy. Does that seem odd to you? I thought about this. If you’re 10 feet from a slot machine, they don’t want you going up to your hotel room to take a ‘gambling shit’ because then you might not come down and gamble again. You might just have a nap or something. If they make it comfortable to shit in the casino, it’s more money for them. I bet your high school economics teacher didn’t tell you that. Anyways…. I’m at the New York New York hotel, and I go into the washroom. There’s like 17 stalls in there, and they’re all empty. It’s a great feeling to see that, I don’t care what you say. I sit down for a minute and these 2 drunk guys (I mean it is Vegas) come in and basically get into the stalls on either side of me to take drunk, stand up pisses in these toilets. One of them is groaning, like he held this piss to within an inch of his life, and they’re fucking talking to each other. Not only are there 14 other available stalls, but there must have been 30 urinals in there if they were just going to take a stand up piss. Here’s the thing. Have I ever been so drunk that I had to balance my head on the wall in order to stand straight and get the piss out? You bet I have, and more than I’d care to admit, but I’ve NEVER been so drunk that I walked into a urinal right beside some poor sucker who was trying to take a shit, when there were a dozen other options because no matter how drunk you get, that is horrible etiquette, and I was fucking raised better!

Apologies to my mom and all her friends who read this for the salty content. It’s all true and it’s time someone said it 🙂


Elevator Chit-Chat

For those of us that get into an elevator frequently, there are decisions to be made daily that are perhaps a lot trickier than they look. What do you want your elevator game to be like? Do you want to be that sociable chatty person that acknowledges everyone, and perhaps engages in small talk? Would you rather stare at the door, (or if you’re lucky, some magical piece of information posted on a sheet inside that you can pretend to be really interested in) and be anti-social. Is one better than the other? What does your elevator game say about you as a person? I understand both sides.

My father was a supremely talented small-talker. He never missed an opportunity to engage in conversation with a complete stranger. He thrived on it, and I’m not playing favourites when I say I never saw anyone as good at it. The best part was that he gave no shits whether the person wanted to talk to him or not. It never entered his mind that someone wouldn’t want to talk to him, and he was absolutely charming enough to pull it off even with the toughest of crowds. You’d think the apple wouldn’t fall far from the tree. In a way it doesn’t. I totally CAN talk to strangers too, but when I get into an elevator I want nothing more than for it to be empty. If it’s not empty, I really enjoy walking into an elevator with people who are on their phones or not attempting to engage me in any way. If I can’t have either or those, I’ll take a head nod on the way in, awkward silence until we arrive at the floor, and a polite ‘have a good night’ on the way out. My last choice would be to have someone start chatting me up about something. Unless it’s them telling a quick (really entertaining) story, and me having to come up with a smile and a one-liner at the end, which I can tolerate.

I live on the 6th floor of a Condo building. I used to live on the 5th floor of a Condo building. Coincidence? No. When we picked the floors, I was thinking of two things. One, I’m afraid of heights, and if the shit really hit the fan, I’d like to know that I could tie some bed sheets together and shimmy down some balconies to safety. Two, I hate long elevator rides. Is it the length of the rides themselves that I hate? Or do I hate talking to people in the elevators? A little bit of both.

As a reader, you might be thinking, ‘hey, this guy has a blog, he has lots to say…. why doesn’t he want to talk?’. I do want to talk. Just not to strangers on an elevator. It’s OK though, I tolerate it. There’s one thing I can’t tolerate though (and if you were wondering what prompted me to write this blog, here we go), and that’s someone who starts a conversation in an elevator that they themselves are not interested in. What? Does that actually happen, and more importantly why would it happen? Yes it happens. I don’t know why. It mystifies me, but it does happen periodically, and I can only think that perhaps some people just feel like they SHOULD engage in chit-chat every time they’re in the elevator. Maybe they think it’s impolite not to, or it makes them better people. All of which is fine, but I had a guy the other day start chatting with me, and then when it was my turn to talk, COMPLETELY lost interest in the conversation. Buddy, first of all, I had NO interest in talking to you to begin with, and now here I am, scrambling to say something interesting about the weather, and you’re fading on me???? I live on the 6th floor!!!!!!! It wasn’t a long ride. Focus or fuck off!

To summarize, I think the world has all kinds of people in it. Different people have different elevator etiquette, and that’s OK. I don’t judge anyone, but all I ask is commit to it. You wanna avoid the social awkwardness of neighborly small talk? Me too. You wanna be a Chatty McChattster? Be true to yourself, and annoy all the introverts. BUT…….if you’re gonna try to chat, you better be ready to talk and listen. If I have to take my brain off auto-pilot to have a conversation with you, then finish what you started!


Did I Accidentally Train a Jedi Master?

My son is in Kindergarten. He got to go to his first ‘new-school-friend-birthday party’ today. I got to go as well. Yay for me. There was coffee, pizza and wasps. I enjoyed two thirds of that. This isn’t about me though. Or maybe it is. The party was pretty awesome all things considered, because it was a ‘Star Wars’ themed gathering. My son is pretty into Star Wars (and everything else), and I was too at his age, and I’m old, so I think it’s remarkable that Star Wars is still as relevant today as it was then. Who could have guessed? Neither Farrah Fawcett nor Lee Majors would have guessed that shit.

My son probably became obsessed with Star Wars at the age of 2. He loved Darth Vader. He used to tell me he was my father, like all the time, and he hadn’t even seen the movie, like I have no idea how he knew that line. He was pretty into Stormtroopers as well, but seemed to have no love for Luke Skywalker, and when I was 4, I was all about Luke Skywalker. I was very ‘good over evil’, but it was the 80’s and this is a different time. That said I was a little concerned how drawn to the dark side of the force my son was at such a young age. He seemed a bit like the type that would love to crush the rebellion in one fell swoop (see, I thought it was foul, but I didn’t know whether to spell it foul or fowl, so I googled it, and they were like ‘ACTUALLY…… it was originally FELL’, but that doesn’t sound as good because people I’m sure have been using ‘foul’ for ages now, perhaps in error, and I’m so committed to the line that I’ll just leave it as is, but with an explanation……or I can edit it later, and you’ll never know we had this conversation.) So we would have these light saber duels. He always wanted to do it. They kept getting bigger, and sometimes they weren’t even light sabers, but swords (toy swords of course), or baseball bats, or anything he could pick up and hand me, and he’d say “Let’s fight Daddy”. So we would duel, and he would put on his Darth Vader mask, and hit each other’s swords while he tried to intimidate me by saying all sorts of menacing things in his freaky little bad guy voice. If I had to do it over again I probably should have laid down and played dead at some point so he would think he won, but screw that, man. I’m not letting him win. He thinks he’s just going to defeat me in a battle and then take over the household, no way. So we’ve had a lot of sword fights in the past couple of years. His hand skills are well-developed for a toddler I think.

So today…… a couple of ‘characters’ showed up at this birthday party. The first was a Jedi Master. He was going to train these kids to become Jedi, and had them running and jumping and doing obstacle courses. Parents stood around making awkward conversations with other parents they had just met, but we all nodding in approval like ‘yeah these suckers are gonna sleep tonight!!!’ Then there was light saber training, where each kid would pick up a fake light saber and hit this guy’s light saber a few times. I knew my son would get a kick out of that. Then a guy dressed as Darth Vader came in, and the kids were super excited, and it was a really great kids party I thought. Then….. before the food, but just after Darth Vader had come in, the Jedi Master decides the kids should pit off against one another in light saber battles, and the winner was going to get a prize. Ughhhhh. Before I could get to my son to read him the riot act, he was paired off (with the birthday boy no less) for the first fight. It all happened so fast, like one of those early Mike Tyson fights. Like in the original Star Wars movie, my son was Darth Vader and this kid was the old version of Obi-Wan Kenobi. My son went in on this kid, and I just remember screaming “Not his head, not his head”, and then the kid started crying (maybe more from my screaming than any actual pain… they were fake light sabers), and then my son started crying because his friend was crying….. it was emotional. I was kind of embarrassed, but the birthday boy wasn’t hurt, and moved on pretty quickly, somehow won the prize (which was either always intended for the birthday boy, or given to him out of sympathy.)

It all got smoothed over quickly and we all enjoyed the rest of the party. Soon it was like it never happened, but in the car I could tell my son felt bad about it, and I thought it was a good teaching moment, but then I had to quickly figure out what I wanted the lesson to be. Be gentle?? I guess, but he was ASKED to engage in a light saber battle, and the winner was offered a prize. He tried his hardest to do what he was told to do, and I can’t really fault him for that. I did try to remind him that I’m 5 times his size, so when he hits me with a light saber, it doesn’t do as much damage as when he hits some 40 pound kid, so am I telling him to play down to his competition? Like not try his hardest when competing against someone who isn’t as good (by good I mean specifically at light saber fighting) as him? If he plays sports and he doesn’t try his best because he thinks the other team isn’t good, that will drive me nuts, so I don’t think that’s the lesson. For the purpose of this blog, I’ll say the lesson is ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’, but I don’t know if a 4-year old can grasp that or not, so I just said ‘keep the light saber away from his head next time.’