Thursday, August 28, 2014


The sad news on my TV last night. 
Sorry dude. There is absolutely no defense for this. Guns are never toys and 9-year-olds handling uzis or AK-47s are victims, not enthusiasts, not acceptable, never okay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fill your boots?

Fill your boots lately?

Well you should. If this phrase reminds you of those kid days when it seemed somehow quite necessary and important to trek into giant mud puddles just to test how far you could go before your boots were filled, that is not really what I mean. (Although that is fun too.) Instead, I refer to blogger Jules Sherred's recent research into Canadianisms which introduced me to my new favourite phrase: fill your boots.

Sherred's research highlights some mostly Canadian words and phrases I expected including toque (100% Canadian), homo milk, keener and the infamous (?) hoodie vs kangaroo jacket vs bunny hug debate. But along with a few words and phrases I didn't realize were Canadian (bachelor apartment, pencil crayon, freezies, pablum, stagette and oddly, texas mickey) there was one of Irish origin that I'd never heard and it did to me exactly as promised: it filled my boots.

Not to be confused with "big boots to fill" either, according to my pea-brained research, "fill your boots" means several things:
1. Literally put your feet in your boots and get going!
2. "Get busy." "Tackle this task." "Overcome this obstacle."
3. "Whatever floats your boat." aka "Whatever creams your coffee."
4. "Take as much as you want." aka "Help yourself." aka "Be my guest."
5. "Go for it, if it makes you happy."

According to Sherred, one in three Canadians typically use this phrase. I want to increase that, therefore, I propose that you learn to love this phrase too. Think of it like your motivation mantra. Maybe a metaphor for encouragement. Or better yet: permission to be inspired (and inspire others). Use it as a your catch phrase catalyst for positive thinking. Why? Because when you boil that phrase down it highlights two necessities in life:
1. Partake with gusto.
2. Get bigger boots as needed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Things one should never outgrow:

mac & cheese (with tomatoes & salt & lots of pepper).

So what does cheese say when you take its picture?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Unexpected Sharpness

He left behind his best pair of shoes. (I know they're comfy because we're the same size.) She left behind almost everything. (One can only take so much on a plane but I'm happy she has her guitar.) Let's be honest though. What they mostly left behind is this: me.

That's why there's an unexpected sharpness today, a lonely sharpness. I knew it was coming but I'm always easily surprised. My children are grown and gone. One moved about 8 hours away, one moved about 48 hours away. And yes, they will be back: Thanksgiving, surely Christmas, probably next summer, I don't know.

That's the thing: I don't know.

For the past week I've been talking with myself about this but I haven't much been listening to my logic. I knew it was coming. My daughter has already had two years of university six hours away. This isn't really new. Yet the difference this time seems to be that both of them are gone. And that's what I don't know: as a parent, who am I and how do I cope if both of them go?

I don't have a choice. I have to let go. But that also means I can't protect them. I can't be in charge. I can't see their faces in the morning and at night and I remember in the early years, that was the best part. I can't read Harry Potter aloud at bedtime anymore. I can't sing We Three Kings every night. And I can't make burritos, one without onions, one with everything, both with avocado and just sit and listen and laugh and nag and argue and question and challenge and debate and laugh and just look at them and just enjoy family life every day because that was the routine for so long and I barely remember a time without that routine.

That's the other thing: I don't know the new routine.

Wow that sounds old and anal. But honestly, my wife and I have built this sturdy structure, a sort-of scaffolding and now construction isn't complete but we've certainly finished this phase. And I know this is just all my stupid selfish tender heart because I'm also equally excited for them to find their own paths. My own path led to much happiness: marriage, children, career. They've earned this. I want this for them.

Yet I don't quite know my own path now.

Friends help. They remind me of the times I couldn't wait for my teens to grow up and get lives and at times, stop being assholes. I'm also told these relationships will evolve in deeper ways. I hope so. But will that happen for sure? I don't know.

Here's what I do know though: they don't need me to pine for them. They need me to be what I've always tried to be: Dad. So, just like from the very beginning of my life with them, that's what I will figure out how to do and how to be and who to be in all the ways they need me to be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

this is a banana with a hair band attached to it (retrieved from my daughter's backpack--the one she last looked inside 4 months ago).


Tuesday, August 12, 2014


According to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, over 3700 Canadians die by suicide each year: 10 each day. And it is estimated that between 6 and 28 people are deeply affected by each suicide. I know from personal experience that's true.

It amazes me how people sometimes conspire to ensure others are happy. Thank goodness for sneaky people who notice, especially when laughter disguises and deflects.


"Comedy is acting out optimism." ~Robin Williams

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Swim it out.

Do this. It rocks. 
What builds muscle mass and improves endurance? What protects us from joint stress and strain? What helps alleviate arthritis? What improves cardio-respiratory fitness and burns calories almost as efficiently as cycling? What works almost all our muscles? What is effective when we're old or injured? What cools the body (and the mind)?

Ice cream (especially root-beer floats).

I wish. Actually, if you were thinking eating of any kind (instead of swimming), sadly that is incorrect, but I like the way you think.

This year, one of the hottest I can recall, I have gone swimming in
a.       a pool.
b.      the ocean.
c.      with a bear, literally (thankful he kept to his own side of the river and left fairly quickly).
d.      in that shimmery-shade-of-sugary-blue glacial water.

This was weird. I seldom swim. For me, clothing is rarely optional and water and I haven’t always been in a trustworthy relationship. Yet, in that water whether it was salty or freezing or a little too populated, I couldn’t help but unwind. And it made me wonder:
1.      Maybe flying is actually floating.
2.      Maybe swimming washes away more than we realize.
3.      Maybe swimming resets perspective.
4.      Where else can you pee your pants in public?
5.      Maybe swimming makes us young again.
6.      Maybe it’s impossible to be unhappy in the water.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” –e.e. cummings

Go swim. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Recent Selfie

Yup. It's me.
At the end of this month, both my teens will move away to University/College. This recent selfie will help them remember what I look like (and what I mostly do.)
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