I should have stayed in bed

March 2, 2009

Mondays are never easy.

It’s tough to get amped up for the work week after spending two carefree days chasing your 20-month-old around the house.

But this morning was tougher than most Mondays — to the point where I look at the clock, see it’s still not 9 a.m., and consider heading back home and crawling back under the covers.

This morning was just one of those mornings. I woke up with an unsettled stomach, which is never a nice way to open the eyes. But I soldiered on, aided by my daughter, who felt like cuddling and reading books this morning instead of turning the house upside down, which is her normal routine. I like the quieter pace at 7 a.m.

Then, once The Boss and The Hurricane had headed for work/daycare, I got ready for work with the hopes nothing else would go wrong.

Oh, how wrong I was.

While making my peanut butter sandwich, I somehow ended up with PB halfway up to my elbow.

Then, I spilled coffee on my hand.

Not long after, when loading my car with my laptop, gym bag and my travel mug of coffee, I set my coffee down on my trunk. Not three seconds later, I hit my trunk-popper, spilling coffee all the way the side of my car.

With today’s frigid temperatures, it immediately began to freeze. I ran back into the house to get a wet towel to wipe the car down. Somehow, I managed to complete this task without harming myself or others. After I cleaned the coffee off the car, I wound up to throw the towel from the street to my doorstop (no time for walkin’), and as my arm — covered in rust during baseball’s off-season — came forward, my feet slipped on a collection of pebbles that are everywhere in the winter.

Although I didn’t go down, it was close, and my throw up the driveway came up about 15 feet short. I sheepishly looked over my shoulder to see how many neighbours were outside watching. Although no one else was outside, I’m sure most just happened to be walking by their windows during my hideous display.

So, if you’re trying to get a hold of me today and I don’t answer my phone, it means something else happened, and I have officially declared today a write-off, and am huddled under my covers, just waiting for Tuesday.


A ‘hack’ job

February 20, 2009

There’s a great conversation going on over at Super Mega Dad’s blog about his young kids and how they are used to immediate access to information because of technology.

If they want a movie, it’s on the computer. If they want a TV show, he can bring it up on his cell phone. Need to pause live TV? Hell you can do that too. I can’t because I’m too cheap for a DVR, but he can …

Go give it a read, because not only does he make a lot of great points in his blog, but the comments section touches on a lot of different aspects of kids and technology, without resorting to the, ‘When I was a boy …’ syndrome.

It’s good readin’, so much so that I’m not even ashamed to be mailing in this post and being a complete hack by simply linking to someone else’s blog.


Family Day? I’ll take it

February 17, 2009

Yesterday was Ontario’s second annual Family Day – a statuatory holiday created in 2008 by our provincial government.

Some people (like small business owners who have to foot the bill for another stat holiday or pay time-and-a-half to workers) think it’s a political ploy, and generally think it’s crap.

But me? Hmm, a paid day off that gives me an excuse to hang out with my family (even if 3 1/2  hours of said day are spent in my kick-ass van) … boy that’s a tough one.

But I think I’ll take it.

It was Family Weekend for us, spending four days back home visiting The In-Laws, friends, relatives, and the bottom of a few bottles.

The Hurricane had a big weekend too, playing with our friends’ son who is a couple of months older than her, and trading pushes, bites, kicks and likely a few other nasty manoeuvres – as well hugs and kisses – with her new friend.

She finally got her hands on cats she can actually pet when we visited my aunt and uncle. They have seven granddaughters from age three (or four) to 12, so these cats have been-there-done-that, and probably enjoyed the mauling.

She hugged and kissed the identical twin boys our friends had last month about 30 times (each), because we were just meeting them for the first time.

She continued to wow people with that wicked throwing arm.

She ‘watched’ her first live hockey game at the Ripley Winter Carnival.

She actually slept through the night – twice! – at Nana and Papa Farm’s.

And she was so upset the Family Day weekend was over that she cried for the entire last hour of our long trip home Monday afternoon.

It’s tough being a kid.


No Neen, Neen

February 5, 2009

The Hurricane’s Aunt Janine – or Neen Neen in ‘Cane-speak – is coming to visit this weekend, along with her fellow sinner Curt.

The Boss asked the little one at supper tonight if she was looking forward to seeing her Aunt, who we haven’t seen since Christmas. Her reply was quick and emphatic.

“No Neen, Neen.”

Once, it’s a fluke. But then The Boss asked again. The Hurricane’s answer?

“No Neen, Neen!”

I very much concur.


My daughter’s world in 2017

January 21, 2009

I’m still caught up in the euphoria of Barack Obama’s inaugration as President of the United States.

I listened to a few more speeches on TV last night, and goddammit, I swear he was talking to me. And I don’t mean that in a weird, I’m-going-crazy sort of way, but I think that’s the allure of Obama, the everyday person feels like they could sit and have a pint with him and not feel out of place.

I’m not someone that constantly worries about the state of the world, or dwells on the fact that generally, humans have pretty much fucked everything up for future generations over the past decade or five. But Obama’s pledge of change, and guiding the world into the next decade has really got me thinking about how I’d like the world to be for The Hurricane after (we can only hope) eight years of Obama in Washington.

So here are some things I hope my daughter and your children will be able to thank not only Barack Obama for, but also every forward thinking individual with the guts to change the world, in 2017. Although Obama is obviously American, I hope his successes become Canadian successes as well.

In 2017, I hope The Hurricane sees …

1. A stable economy built on producing green technologies like electric cars, and mass public transit systems. That will result in less dependency on oil, which will result in less global warming and fewer international conflicts.

2. Corporations that again treat their employees like more than a number, being satisfied with solid profits, not cutting staff and closing plants because the company made fewer millions than they made the year before, and not sending jobs to developing countries like China and India simply because they’ll work for practically nothing, leaving North American families – the same ones that made the shareholders filthy rich – without jobs, stability and homes.

3. Equal rights for all humans in all countries.

4. A Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup parade.

5. Global stability, both financial and military.

6. A Canadian education system that returns to the days of creativity for teachers – imagine heading outside on a warm June day to have class under a big maple tree as my Grade 2 teacher Mrs. Armstrong did with us – these days you’d be fired for taking a field trip without the proper consent forms and for deviating from the lesson plan. Also, our education system must end standardized testing, because now they only teach you what you need to know for the big provincial test so their shitty numbers look less shitty so they can get more provincial dollars. Less focus must also be given to the crap kids will never need and more energy should go towards empathy towards others, world issues, and promoting activism amongst young people.

7. A firm separation of church and government. Oh, and a complete ban on athletes thanking God for all their success. Guys, if he exists he has better things to do than help you catch a football or drop a three pointer at the buzzer.

8. Less hate, and more acceptance. Except for Montreal Canadiens fans – fuck ’em.

9. An end to needless poverty in rich countries like ours, while we spend billions upon billions invading other countries.

10. A dynamic leader in Canada, unseen since Pierre Trudeau, that will create a new generation of Canadians that actually care about how their government is run, instead of being grossly apathetic like we are now, because my generation knows if one dick doesn’t screw us, the next one in line will.

11. A shift from my parents’ generation’s mindset of go to college/university, get a good job with a company, work your balls off for that company for 35 years, buying a nice house and a nice car or two along the way, and retire at 55 or 60 with a nice pension. Why? In the past year alone, North American corporations have proven time and again they won’t sacrifice profits for people, so why do we sacrifice our lives, our happiness, and our best years to make those bastards richer? It should be mandatory for all people to have a passport with at least five international stamps in it by the time you’re 25.

12. A better world to be nine years old in.

If Obama can get the wheels of change spinning, perhaps there’s enough of us out there to make life better for my kid, and your kid, and the starving kid in Africa, and the kid in the Pakistani sweat shop, and the kid in L.A. that has to decide between a book and a gun  …


Will Barack Obama live up to the hype?

January 21, 2009

OK Obama, you’re up

January 20, 2009

In case you’ve just come out from under a rock in the world’s deepest cave, surrounded by a deafening waterfall, you’ve likely heard that Barack Obama was inaugurated today as the 44th President of the United States.

Normally, I have little interest in American politics — and honestly, I often struggle to pay attention to our own meatheads on Parliament Hill — but I too have been swept up in the message of change that President Obama has promised.

I’m so happy the U.S. elected a man who knows his country needs to change. His industries need to change their way of business. His economy must embrace new green technologies. His country — no matter how much we resent them for it — must return to its position as the leader of the free world.

The fact that he is a black man is just the cherry on top, for me. If he was purple — or if she was purple — a change from the destructive Bush years would still be the most important part of the incoming president’s agenda.

Luckily, I think America got its man. In my 29+ years I have never experienced a politician who speaks with such passion and evokes such emotion. I could honestly listen to him speak all day, and I have about as much use for politicians as I have for country music or Brussells sprouts (little to none).

But Obama, whether you’re Canadian, African, Australian, Italian, Japanese, or American, signals change. He signals a shift in ideals from his predecessor. He signals an opportunity to make the world a better place, to come together to aid and assist each other in our global village, to end pain and suffering, to right the wrongs of this harsh world.

Perhaps it’s putting too much on the shoulders of just one man. He still has to play politics, unfortunately, and cannot wave a magic wand to undo all of George W. Bush’s mistakes and the subsequent fall-out from those.

But just seeing him standing at that podium today — shoulders back and chin high, a signal of strength — made me think that maybe, just maybe, the world is going to be OK. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of mindsets to shift, a lot of greed and corruption to expose and eliminate, but with Obama, we have our beacon of hope. The most powerful man in the world is ready to go, now we just have to help him in any way we can.

Good luck, President Obama. This Canadian hopes you achieve all your goals, because myself and eight billion others will benefit from each positive change you make.