Spend Your Life

As I type this I’m collapsed on my couch in a morbidly obese heap, finding it hard to believe that a little over 24 hours ago I was in a limo and absolutely starved. Yesterday was my cousin Craig’s wedding, and I had the privilege of being a groomsman for the festivities. Regardless of a questionable forecast that promised thunderstorms in the late afternoon we were rewarded with sunny, not-too-warm skies. The day was perfect and I’m so thankful Craig and Larysa had me be a part of their day. I do promise Larysa’s mom that I danced WAY more than I usually do, regardless of the fact most of my night was spent in a chair. :)

I’m not sure if my experience yesterday and at today’s family after party are any indication of the Ukranian community at large, but these folks knew how to throw some parties. Every detail was taken care of, the reception was perfect, and today’s casual backyard gathering came fully catered with perfect appetizers, mains and desserts. And so as my cousin and his new wife partake in their new life, I shall kick back, look at the pics, and hope my metabolism can burn off some of this celebration. Congrats, kids!

Less Than You Think

So Sunday brought about the early birthday dinner with my family over here after following weekends were proving difficult for the gang to get together. Since it was my choice I decided to introduce the family to West 50, not terribly far from the new office here. Everyone had a good time, the food was quite nice, and people seemed to be enjoying the different beers. Mary and I split the Smoked Paprika Dusted Crispy Calamari and it was excellent, served with a mild lemon yogourt dipping sauce. I’m loving yogourt dipping sauces as they offer health benefits, and I’m really not finding a loss in flavour from sour cream or mayo based sauces and dips. I moved on to the Mexican Enchilada Burger with Chorizo Sausage and their featured soup, a Thai Beef and Vegetable. I believe amongst the rest of the gang there were: Spring Roll Sampler, Spicy Thai Chicken Satay Pizza, Cuban Roasted Pork Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich, and Olaf’s Schnitzel. No disappointments this time, as expected the kitchen is churning out quality food regularly now. There was too much beer flowing to recall what everyone had, although I do remember I tried the Niagara Eisbock, Warsteiner Premium Dunkel, St Ambroise Pale Ale, Belhaven 70 Shilling, and for dessert, St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. My thanks to my parents, Kim, and Jeff for covering the night on behalf of my pending 33rd, it was great fun.

Yesterday, however, not great fun. Sunday night I stepped on my guitar case and sliced open the bottom of my foot on the latch, making it hard to walk. Got to my car and found the windshield washer fluid frozen again, regardless of promises of “anti-freeze”. Almost ran out of gas on the way to work after taking a northern trip to Hockley to research a location for a future golf tournament I’ll be organizing. Took over an hour to get back, but happily stopped at Starbucks on the way. Proceeded to spill my first expensive drink since I started here on the floor of my car, and then realized when I arrived I’d left my key card at home and couldn’t get in. Long day.

Perhaps not as long as the drive home Friday night during which, for the second time, my bladder did not outlast my commute. Much like the storied drive to Ottawa many moons ago I was stuck in the nasty traffic on Friday night and realized there was no way, going stop’n’go along the back roads, that I would make it to a bathroom. Thankfully, I had my two 1.5L bottles of water with me, one of which I had emptied already. So, yes, I proceeded to fill it with nary any shame nor discretion. Filled it. 1.5L. Heck, at least it gave me a story.

Time to work..

Monday Mission 2.48

As always, PromoGuy asks the hard questions, and we don’t shy away from answers.

1. Suppose God grants you one miracle. Consider the world in which we live. Consider your life and family. What would you request for this miracle? Are you sure that is the best way to use it? You only get one.
My first attempt would be to wish for 1,000 more wishes. There is no case history on the effectiveness of this wish, but in the highly probable case it didn’t work, I think I’d wish for God to show himself to all residents of Earth. Reason being, it’d be a lot harder to be evil if you knew for sure what was waiting for you around the next bend.

2. Have you ever had an experience where you truly believe your prayer was answered? If you don’t believe in such things, how come? What is your philosophy on prayer?
My grandfather survived prostate cancer and the replacement of the main valve to his heart last year, so yeah, I believe prayer can be answered. Unfortunately, people seem to think asking God for something means it has to come true, simply because they asked. So when bad things happen they instantly become cynical SOBs feeling they’re owed something. That irritates me.

3. Have you ever lost a pet? That is, have you ever had a pet get loose, run away or be stolen? Did you get it back? How did the loss impact your life?
My dog Bubba got stolen from the front porch when I was a very young child, probably 3 or 4. I still remember him, though. I used to ride around on his back and stuff, he was pretty cool. My Mom, sister, and I left to go to my Mom’s bowling league one morning and all that was left was a cut leash. I remember driving around trying to find him to no avail. Impact? It sucked, that’s about it. It’d probably hurt more if Taco was stolen now.

4. What is your favorite holiday food?
Dude, the chocolate. All the chocolate. Every last bit of it. Except Icy Cups, they suck hard. Honourable mention to turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and Nan’s punch.

5. Are there are dishes or desserts that someone in your family fixes better than anyone else?
My Mom makes the best Spaghetti, my Dad makes the best steak, my Grandmother (Nan) makes the best goose, and my other Grandmother (Dodo) can bake anything better than anybody. If anyone has a problem with any of these I’d be happy to take them out back for a whuppin’.

6. Do you have any siblings with children? How does it make you feel to be an Aunt or an Uncle? If not, would you like to be have nieces and nephews? Would you make a good relative to them?
I’ve got no siblings with children, but I really look forward to the day I get to be an Uncle. I love kids, and typically kids love me. Can’t wait.

7. I am putting together a CD of great holiday music. Do you have any suggestions of what songs (title/artist) I should include?
Yes, yes I do. The entire A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi, Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes by Bruce Cockburn, Old Toy Trains and Whose Birthday is Christmas by The Statler Brothers, The Greatest Gift Of All by Kenny & Dolly, and Senor Santa Claus and Blue Christmas by Jim Reeves. I could go more in depth, but that’s the A-list.


The Daily Grind

Well, that’s it. Back to the office, back to the desk, back to incessant typing and the like. But it’s not so bad, I had a good week, I got to see Vegas, I met a lot of people, and I’ll get to do a lot of writing over the next few weeks based on the things I saw and learned. Plus, while I was gone the Leafs done gone started playing again so life is good.

Today is my second anniversary, for those keeping count. This means a lot of people lose a lot of money on us today. :) For those not in the know, Mar and I were one of those couples not expected to make two years. Most of this arises from the fact that I’m not someone into public displays of affection and people mistook that for — well, I don’t know really. But they didn’t take it for love at first sight I suppose. Guess we showed them. :) And no, no little RJdotcom’s running around quite yet.

So how will we spend our anniversary? Well, Mar decided that it wasn’t worth going out for a nice dinner as the American Idol reunion show and the premier of CSI: Miami are both on tonight, so it would appear we’ll be getting delivery and spending it on the couch. Hehe.. who am I to argue? I think we’ll go out later this week for a nice dinner together.

I guess I’d better get to work, too much to do. I’m thinking of making a switch from Rogers Digital & Cable Internet to Bell Hi-Speed and Express-Vu – any opinions out there, I’d like to know good and bad on both. Post in comments! COMMENTS! WHERE’S MY LOVE, DANGIT!! ;)