Sunday, November 30, 2014

The answer?

Run Tortoise! Run!
What do all these things have in common?

  1. The weather. As Mark Twain said, “Everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it.”
  2. Drivers: some drive too slow, some too fast, some too recklessly, some too cautiously and that’s why they remind me of Goldilocks.
  3. Parenting. As the saying goes, “one characteristic of the normal child is that s/he doesn't act that way very often.”
  4. Waiting. Life can be like that spinning circle of dots on your computer screen: loading-loading-loading.
  5. Goals. Some may say this is poor word choice, but even turtles run.    
  6. Change. Turn the page or don’t: it’s your story. One thing though: who will want to read yours?
  7. Relationships. Listen carefully or you will miss the best parts.
  8. Peter Jackson movies. The longer the movie, the longer the movie.
  9. Being an Oilers fan. That awkward moment when someone is crying and it’s you.
  10. Fishing. As Steven Wright says, “there’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
The answer? They all require extreme patience. Sometimes is seems like learning patience is taking forever.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stumbling Sock

A sock turned inside-out is still a sock.
Even if it has a hole.
Even if the dryer ate the other one.
Even if it’s on your foot.
Even if you complain about it to anyone and everyone.

In other words, a thing is still a thing even if you don’t want it to be a thing.

This likely seems quite abstract and random but think about this, think carefully: what is it that you are not willing to face? Or what is holding you back? Or what do you finally need to do/try/adjust/admit/let go of/surrender to/stop/change to have the life you need? (Note that I said need, not necessarily want.) What?

A very wise woman once asked me to write down three scenarios:
1.      The worst-case scenario.
2.      The middle-of-the-road scenario.
3.      The best-case scenario.

What I learned from that task was that my worst fears probably don’t exist, and may never exist. Feeling stuck or helpless or whatever is just that, a feeling. It’s not a fact.

That sock might feel like a fact, an overwhelming fact but what if it isn’t? What if you CAN do something about it besides dwelling on it? Even if it takes a long time because 
1. Even though we all love quick fixes, great things take a long time.
2. We only really grow when we face and overcome tough challenges.
3. You were born with the ability to change someone's life. Even your own. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I guess.

Sometimes I say to my wife, "Guess what?"

And she says, "What?"

I say "Guess."

And she says, "I don't know."

So I say, "Guess."

And she just looks at me.

And I say, "C'mon. Guess."

And she says, "No."

My wife can't guess. It's a real thing you know. Some people can't guess. Picture the support group for that eh? I, however, enjoy guessing. When people say to me, "Guess what?" I say random things like:
1. Whoa. It's like you just punched me in the frontal lobe.
2. They finally invented maple cough syrup? (Seriously, that should be a thing.)
3. Someone realized that the cure for world hunger is food?

Getting back to my wife. I don't know why she can't guess. She doesn't have time. She's like a broken toy. She's like a Jack in the box. Maybe a Jacklyn in the box? Or Jack Squat in the box?. Anyway, metaphorically speaking, instead of popping up she just opens the lid, stands, tilts her head to one side, and looks out the tops of her eyes at me.

I don't mean to say my wife isn't fun. She is. She's way more fun than I am. For example, she enjoys organized team sports. And people. She just can't guess, I guess. (See what I did there?)

(My wife doesn't much appreciate Phil Dunphy either. Can you believe it?)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

authentic, greasy-awesome poutine in Montreal, Quebec.

(But I am in Alberta and can only dream about this and other stuff my daughter eats every day.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


"For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are." ~C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Even for Canada, it's colder than normal, this November 11.

Winter is knocking on the other side of the door today. I can't ignore it much longer. Yet walking by our river there are pockets where water pushes through and up and over ice forms. And today, even though most of the leaves on our cut-leaf weeping birch (our biggest tree) are gone, a few still remain: yellowed, each one a shade of perseverance itself. It's that classic Autumn-Winter battle. One side advances, the other retreats. And then sides switch. Time and again.

I think Remembrance Day is somewhat like this push, this pull. It's a sign, a marker, a yearly waypost. It reminds us of what we've lost, what we've won, what we will endure and what we won't.

"You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated." Maya Angelou

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dear random people from today,

1. Um, hey stranger Dude. I walked by your house today and you were standing on your front step in only your housecoat and I just wanted to say kudos for smoking outdoors because I suspect you have a wife and kids and honestly they don't need that shit but I also have to say it was a little awkward because after I realized you were wearing surprisingly little clothing outdoors on a day when it was -10 C, I could not decide if it would be appropriate to wave and so I decided to pretend I didn't see you although we both know I did. Anyway, once again, um, kudos.

2. Uh, to the driver in the sporty black car that made a 360 on the icy snowy road in front of me, I want you to know that even though I was walking a short distance away you did not frighten me. Nor did I laugh at you. Truthfully, I wanted to yell WooHoo(!) but I didn't because well, let's face it, even though your behaviour was entertaining it wasn't exactly intentional like some Evel Knievel style made-for-television stunting event. This became abundantly clear when you finally skidded to a stop facing the opposite direction from whence you seemed intent on turning and yet decided to go in that direction instead. Nice recovery.

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks." ~Harper Lee

Friday, November 7, 2014

Is knitting the new poking?

Hey people. Have you heard? I read it somewhere. And I’m sure it was on TV, like, 61 times. It was a pretty big deal. And it sure freaked me out. And a bunch of people were talking about it. Um, I think it was something like this...

Sitting is, um dangerous. Um...I’m sure it was about sitting.

Sitting is the new drinking and driving. Nope, that’s not it.

Knitting? Maybe it was about knitting? Knitting is the new smoking. Nope. That can’t be it.

Breathing is the new smoking? No.

A sensational headline is the new substitute for not thinking rationally? Yes. That’s it. But wait.

Was it...salt is the new sugar?

Nope. Sugar is the new sugar substitute?

And meat is bad for you? Well duh. Except when it isn’t.

Maybe it was coughing? Coughing is the new sneezing? No, it had something to do with sitting.   

Sitting is the new smoking. What?! Nope. That can’t be it. Can it?

Wait a minute. That IS it. But smoking is the new smoking. It’s the old smoking too. Actually, smoking is still smoking. And it’s bad. Don’t do it. As for sitting, sit. Just don’t sit all day unless you’re a sloth in a coma. Albeit upside down, even sloths go for a walk.

I love a good headline as much as the next guy but here’s an idea: the new headline is the next new headline. Although that metaphor certainly did get everyone’s attention directed toward exercise for like a week, it seems a tad insulting to science and scientists (not to mention common sense) to declare sitting the new smoking. I suggest each one of us remembers to keep calm, look at that juicy headline on the plate, note its colour, shape, size and scrutinize its nutritional value before swallowing it whole. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

What They Said

About ten years ago, I asked my two kids this question: "what do you wish all parents understood better about what it's like being a kid?" This is what they said.

1. Stop taking things away as a punishment; send us to our rooms instead.
2. If you send us to our room to “think about what we’ve done wrong” it’s likely we aren’t actually thinking about what we’re supposed to be thinking about.
3. Don’t bother to tell us to “stop what we’re doing” (like jumping on the furniture) because we’re probably going to continue doing it when you leave the room.
4. There are things kids do that parents really shouldn’t know about like putting stuff on the ceiling fan and cranking it up to full speed just to see what happens.
5. We hide candy in our rooms.
6. Please don’t make us kiss you in public or try to give us a wedgie.
7. Don’t say things like “It’s time to go to bed” or “It’s time to do your homework” because as soon as a kid hears, “It’s time to [something]” they don’t want to hear it.
8. Please make our lunches for us.
9. We don’t usually want clothes for gifts; we want toys or money.
10. Don’t yell; it’s scary.
11. Please don’t ask “What did you learn at school today?”
12. We should have macaroni and cheese all the time.
13. Don’t ever stop saying I love you.
14. Give us three chances instead of one.
15. Play OUR games.
16. Let us be loud sometimes.
17. Trust us.
18. Give us more freedom sometimes.
19. Care for us and never leave us; always stay with us, especially when we’re sick.
20. No child’s life is complete without a trip to Disneyland
& Universal Studios,

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