Push Bar to Open

I had not seen my Uncle Rick from England for a good 25 years I’d say. He finally came to Winnipeg to visit us just last spring. You could see the years on his face, but those blue eyes, they still sparkled. Getting to know him through Facebook of all things made the visit that much better. He adored McK, loved her immensely, and you could feel it when he was around her. He got a huge kick out of Pat and believe you me, the feeling was mutual. After suffering a stroke and with his heavy british accent, Pat would say that if he closed his eyes it was like he was talking to Ozzy Osborne.

I will never forget taking him for breakfast at the Nook and having him hollaring out the team song for his Chelsea Blues while we sat in the crowded tiny restaurant. Everyone thought he was nuts. We just sat and laughed. I might have even been clapping along.

I remember my sister telling me a story of when she went to England and was able to visit with him. They went to a local pub for lunch one day and as many large doors do, the door leading to this pub had a sticker on it that said “Push Bar to Open”. So in my uncle walks, straight up to the bar, and leans into it with all his might and heft, huffing and puffing. When asked what in gods name he was doing he simply replied, “Oh, the sign said push bar to open.” This was him in a nutshell.

Of all of the amazing and beautiful things he saw and enjoyed on his trip to Canada, the one moment he said “made the trip” for him was when I brought him to my work. The soccer final was on, his team had made it, and wouldn’t you know it, we got to watch it on a wall-sized screen. He LOVED taking pictures of it and gloating to his boy Si, back in England, bragging and sending pictures to Facebook. Chelsea won that day and we draped ourselves in the flag he gave us and savoured the moment.

At the time, it was just a visit. Something that would likely be repeated. But now, its a cherished memory, one that I feel intensely lucky to have had. How LUCKY were we that he chose to come to Canada and meet McK and reacquaint himself with us after all that time had passed? How lucky are we that he didn’t wait another year, or for a better time, or opt not to come at all. How lucky are we.

Uncle Rick died yesterday. Suddenly and without warning.

Chelsea, Chelsea! Chelsea, Chelsea.

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Football-Moms Kick Ass

Screw soccer-moms and hockey-moms. Football-Mom’s is where its at!

Yesterday my sweet little 9 year old declared that she was ready to get into a sport and that sport, my friends, is football.

*whooping and hollaring on the inside people!!!*

Now I have not forced football on her. I will admit I keep the channel on the games I want to watch and don’t let her change it lest she want to lose a finger but as far as PLAYING it, she came up with that all on her own. And I fully support this. I went online because I had no idea if there even WAS a girls league in Winnipeg and it turns out there is. We’re not sure the calibre or skill level required of the girls but it looks fun, not everyone looks enormous and a few of them even look McK-size. She. Is. Pumped.

I have not outwardly expressed my inner joy at her decision to want to try the game just in case its ridiculously expensive or of a higher level that she is wanting to play at but believe you me, when we find out all the details and everything falls into place, I will be one wide-grinnin’ son of a gun!

I will not yell any coaching from the sidelines. I will not boo or badmouth the opposing team. I will simply be the loudest, proudest mom in the stands. In fact, I will bring the noise of 86000 fans, a noise that still rings clear in my ears from December, and I will make sure she feels that out there, turf under her feet, enemy in her sights, hut, hut, hut.

Angry Reading, Its a Thing

Funny how sometimes you go back to something you really dislike, only to see if you still dislike it as much as you thought you did.

I read a few blogs now and then. I am not a committed reader as I do not entirely have time nor am I scheduled enough to remember to go to that one place and do that one thing everyday at that one time. So when I think of it, I go check stuff out. There has been one blog that I have read with somewhat regularity and I find myself drawn to it frequently, not because I like it, but rather, because I quite DISlike it.

It is somewhat of a communal blog and I go there to see if the one writer who I DO truly enjoy reading has left any new ditties behind. I’m always a little bummed when its not hers, and believe you me, I can tell within the first sentence if its hers or not, but I read anyway. And then I stew. And I think of comments. And I decide its better to just keep them to myself lest I make any online enemies cuz who needs that.

I get that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I appreciate that we are all very different people. So I really have no valid basis on which to hang my dislike. But its there. I get that they are writing about things that do not interest me in any way but that doesn’t usually create dislike in my world. I can read a technology magazine and not be irritated by it even though I have ZERO interest in it. But this blog? The irritation is virtually instant. Its practically palpable.

I have come to realize after chatting with a pal that it is more the disingenuous way in which they write that irks me than the topic itself. The way that they think everyone wants these ridiculous things that they write about. And then when certain “other” posts garner comments and accolades I can sense them attempting to write in the same style and that irks me even more. The whole idea is to just simply write. Take the words from your brain, and throw them out into the world. Maybe I’m getting this whole blogging thing wrong. Maybe I should be thinking of things that other people want to hear about and spewing out a forced monologue and trying to fancy up really boring things and hope like hell I get a comment.

Hell no.

I write for me. I write to get it out and remember things and if someone else reads it, super. If someone else likes it, super. If someone else hates it, super. I didn’t write it for them. I wrote it for me. Thats me. Thats genuine. Thats what I want to read from other people.

If your words sound fake, one can only make a fairly simple and elementary deduction.

I will still click on over to this other blog on occasion, don’t get me wrong. I will continue to log on and remain typically optimistic that I will either be surprised and enjoy the words on the screen or be treated to a beautifully composed post from my favourite contributor. And if I am let down, well, I will carry on, tally-ho, push through the discomfort and will NOT exit out. No siree. I will read on, slight scowl on my face, restraint in my comment-typing fingers and when I have digested their words, will log off muttering something to myself about “why do I keep going back” and maybe even “glutton for punishment”.

Time and Place

There is a time and place for everything.

Wearing a black and gold tutu and dragging a panther behind you down Poydras? Time: Game day. Place: New Orleans. (Not heading in to a huge work meeting for example).

Burrowing your head in your laptop and not coming up for air or family or anything? Time: Invoice day. Place: Dining room table. (Not during a huge family dinner for example).

Playing in the freshly fallen snow with wild abandon? Time: Post Blizzard. Place: Backyard. (Not on the side of the road after being pulled over by the cops for example).

But most importantly, there is the whole “eating well and exercising” thing. Usually a pretty big part of my life. However. There is a time and place for healthy eating, and there is an equal and opposite time and place for pigging the heck out and eating what you want. New Orleans, 2012. Let the feasting begin.

Day one. Fried chicken sandwhich. Fries. Full on delish badness. Add to that two airport “meals” on the way and I can already see the “good eating” waving me goodbye at the gate. Add to that a late night milkshake and oh maybe a chicken burger and BOOM, instant sleep inducer.

Day two. 3 deep fried chunks of goodness otherwise known as beignets. Essentially donuts, delivered to you warm and covered in MOUNDS of icing sugar. Like, MOUNDS. Like Tony Montana in Scarface last scene with head in a bowl of cocaine, mounds. Add to that a cafe au lait with REAL sugar (I think they’d have laughed at me had I requested Splenda and really, whats the point) and BOOM, instant sugar high. A mid afternoon lunch/dinner consisted of a mufaletta (big soft white bun with sesame seeds, ham, salami etc and cheese) and a Pimms cup and BOOM, instant carb crash. Now since “lupper” was at mid afternoon, OBVS there would be late night snacking going on. One delicious Lucky Dog in mah belly and a quick trip to Walgreens produced chips and diet Fanta (best ever) and oh yeah, king size box of Milk Duds and BOOM, instant new BFFs, me and milk duds 4ever.

Day three. Game day. Hotel freebie breakfast (toast and coffee) because all energies must be focused on game day prep. Covered in black and gold we set off. 7 hours later the only food in my belly was my long since digested toast and a shared bag of wonderfully bad-for-you stadium popcorn. And after walking back to our French Quarter hang out, I needed a burger man. So a burger was had. Quick fix, back to the hotel to dump the tutu and get warm garb on and back out we went. Totally spent, adrenaline drained from my body, we wandered around, checking menus, looking for some cheap yummy grub, maybe a jumbalaya, maybe not. Landed in a smallish joint playing the football game and set up house. After a salty afternoon my dinner consisted of: one rootbeer float (full sugar, not diet) with heaps of vanilla ice cream and 3 beingets with heaps of icing sugar. Yeah. That was dinner. 2 gallons of sugar later and BOOM, the realization that we had to get up at 4am for a flight sunk in, along with my sugar crash.

So in conclusion….by all means eat well and exercise but for the love of god when you’re on vacation, RELAX and have some donuts for dinner. BOOM.