Work Tunes

The past few nights at work I have been playing music in my office. From my iPhone I have it connected to a small Bluetooth speaker. This small speaker that can fit in my car cup holder packs a good punch. It is far louder than I expected. A few times I had to turn it down in order to have a conversation.

Mostly I am using Amazon Music and playing a variety of “Radio Stations”. My work environment has become less stressful and more enjoyable. My coworkers have also been enjoying the change of pace. There is more comradery amongst everyone along with more productivity. This happens when everyone has a more pleasant outlook whilst listening to music they recognize.

I enjoy music tremendously. I’m rather surprised at myself that I haven’t been listening to it at work much. Perhaps it’s time to change that and keep those spirits up.

Peanut Butter

The number one food staple in our home is peanut butter. We always have a jar of it in the cupboard. It’s the “Go To” breakfast and snack food choice. It’s great on apple slices or crackers. But mostly it goes on toast.

I put a lot of peanut butter on my bread. So much so that it usually oozing over the edges. I love peanut butter. But it has to be the super cheap stuff- not the stuff that’s organic or fresh tasting.

I want the kind of PB that will last forever in the cupboard. I want the type of peanut butter that doesn’t require refrigeration and stirring before usage. The sort of peanut butter that you can take to work and eat by the spoonful because you’re too lazy to pack a real lunch. The kind that is so smooth you’re not sure if it’s even made from peanuts.

That’s my kind of food product.

Meet My Stuffed Animal- Roger Rabbit

Like many people who had a childhood, I owned my fair share of stuffed animal toys. To be perfectly honest, I kept most and passed them on to our children. Our middle child has kept the majority of them in her possession. She loves them tremendously as if they had lives and personalities of their own.

But the one “stuffy” I have kept to myself over the years is my Roger Rabbit.

I have had this guy in my possession since 1989. I picked him up when I was Thirteen. Yes, I was a teenager when I bought it. He was purchased on my first ever trip to Disneyland. He became a prize possession of mine. I truly love the film and all aspects of it. Even over thirty years later- the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” holds strong in my opinion. My toy, however, has seen better days.

Roger has moved with me from house to house. Oftentimes he has been on display somewhere on a shelf or even in my bed. He is stained, worn and dirty. Seams have ripped, strings have torn off and stuffing lost. These are the war wounds of a good friend who has always been there for me. He listens when I have problems that I don’t want to share with the real world. My wife finds it odd that he suddenly appears on our bed sometimes. She says she hates him. I don’t believe her.

Roger shaped my personality at a young age. He was a mentor of sorts.

The character of Roger Rabbit was of a simple man (rabbit?) who believed in the goodness of others. Trusting of friendships and looking for a laugh to make others smile. But when he needed to be serious, he could, sort of. His flaw was always trying to please others. Literally smacking his head with a frying pan to meet their expectations.

I’m not saying I’m exactly like him anymore. But I like to think I can still be trusting and see the goodness in others. (As well as go for a cheap laugh.) These are some good qualities to possess.

The Fixin’s

Our friends invited us out for dinner a while back. A dinner that I won’t ever forget. Chili. But chili with “The Fixin’s

As if homemade chili wasn’t good enough, our friend took it to the next level. Now when I make chili at home it has to come with more than just a dinner roll.

Slower cooker chili is pretty basic to make. Brown some beef, add some tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, peppers, onions, and of course spices; then let it simmer.

The Fixin’s:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Chives
  • Corn Chips

It’s that easy. And that amazing. So much so that my family goes for seconds almost immediately.

20 Years Ago

My life changed 20 years ago today. Okay, maybe there was a few days leading up to today, but May 19th, 1999 is the date I recall. How do I know this date? Two words.

Jar-Jar Binks.

Yes, Star Wars Episode 1 is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary. With it comes my memories of a previous job. Coinciding with the Star Wars debut was the opening of the 19 theater multiplex called “Colossus“. Working as a projectionist was always my dream growing up. It came true once I began my job opening weekend of this movie theater.

I spent nearly five years working at Colossus (read about it here) with many people calling me a “Lifer“. The term originally coined as a derogatory- you’ll never amount to anything– phrase. But I did become a “Lifer” because my life changed over the course of my time at the theater.

  • I lost my father
  • I met my future wife
  • I got engaged
  • I got married
  • We had a kid
  • I don’t know if any of this would’ve mattered in any other context. But for me- Colossus was a bigger part of my life than high school was. In fact I was ready to try and gather up old Coloss-hole coworkers for a reunion. But I thought better of it. Partly because it’s the long weekend. And also because I don’t know if other people feel the same as I do about our previous lives there.
  • The changes we have all been through make us who we are. Even Colossus has changed over the years.
  • So instead, I am writing this quick blog. A THANK YOU letter of sorts to everyone who made an impact on my life two decades ago. I miss you all tremendously and have fond memories of our zany antics. I hope all is well with your lives.
  • See you at the movies.
  • Chewbacca Cake

    For my son’s birthday, I baked him a chocolate cake. Unfortunately I couldn’t find our round cake pans, so I made a bundt cake instead. When I was growing up, this was oftentimes the style of homemade cake I would receive for a birthday. There was never anything fancy about those cakes- just the fact that my father took the time to bake them himself.

    So my son ended up with a chocolate bundt cake this year. Kinda plain looking- but I did have some milk chocolate icing in the cupboard to put on top. At least then it’ll feel like a birthday cake. Sugary sweet!

    Once I finished the crumb coat, I realized that smoothing out the surface would look okay-ish. So instead I tapped the spatula on as I added more icing. The cake began to look kind of like fur. Since my son enjoys Star Wars as much as I do- I figured why not make this into a Wookiee inspired cake. But how? Off to the pantry again.

    I found some leftover mini marshmallows and some baking chocolate we had since Christmas. Chocolate and marshmallows don’t go bad, right? I heated up a small pot of water and melted the chocolate in a glass bowl. This was easy since the bowl fit perfectly on the mouth of the pot. I was able to stir the chocolate constantly and keep the moisture out with ease. Once it was a silky smooth mixture it was time to pour it out into a straight line.

    We own a long serving platter that I figured would be perfect. But the chocolate would end up not being a thin strip like I wanted. So I taped down a couple of chopsticks and lined my newly made rectangle with tinfoil. Pouring out the chocolate and placed the mini marshmallows along the edges was the perfect way to make Chewbacca’s bandolier. Into the freezer for about ten minutes and it was set.

    Not bad for a quick Star Wars themed cake. Chewy would be proud. I know I am. Bonus- my kids loved it too. But hey, it’s chocolate. All kids love chocolate.

    Soaring Gas Prices

    Like many of my friends living in the Vancouver and surrounding areas- we are feeling the pinch of astronomically high gas prices. Current prices are anywhere from $1.55/L to $1.70L. Of course the Long Weekend is here which always sees an increase in pump prices as well. Ugh.

    My work week has me driving 110km each day- just to and from work. I also don’t live anywhere that has decent transit. I have now resorted to making a weekly trek across the border to the USA to fill up my car. After exchange rate, today I paid approximately $1.25/L. For me is about $15-$20 of savings every fill. That is a significant amount of money in the long term. After filling up this morning, my car has informed me that I can get almost 600km from this tank of gas. That gets me through the weekend and work week until I have to fill it again. I’m lucky that I only put on 40km round trip from my home to earn those savings.

    Looking at going electric in the future is definitely something to consider. Yes, I’d love to own an electric car. But I have two major issues: Nowhere to charge it at work and my home power fails in the winter regularly. That would kind of leave me stranded. So until I can figure out a more permanent resolution- punching pennies at the pump is the way to go.

    Or stop driving.

    Feel free to complain in the comments section.

    Theory Thirteen

    Today Theory Turns Thirteen.

    Okay, enough alliteration. Our son is having another birthday. This time he is officially entering his teenage years. Over the past year I noticed something about his personality. He has been enjoying taking selfies with me.

    This has made me really happy. He enjoys trying to be like me in many ways. Which I am flattered by, but it also has made me more self conscious about my actions and behavior. Our son has started to form a sense of humor similar to mine in many ways. But he also enjoys clowning around in his own style.

    Our doofus of a son is a great kid. I hope he enjoys his day of silly antics and fun.

    Happy Birthday Theory!

    Ps. Here’s the card your mom was going to buy for you…

    Being Negative at Work

    Like many people who have a job- I fall victim to being negative about work. Not all the time mind you- but enough that I have to stop myself from continuing my negativity. Be it comments about the job, coworkers, bosses, other companies- there is oftentimes something irritating that starts the ball rolling.

    Speaking negatively consumes everyone around. Just like school bullies being loud and obnoxious towards someone. There are some people who sit idly by and just let the rant go on. Or while others stay quiet on the sidelines, the rest join in. And the complaints get louder and more personal. Until stories or gossip fill people’s minds with a “new truth” about whatever the gripe is about.

    I want to remain positive in all aspects of my life. But it can be really tough when work can strike an ego blow. Using my blog as a way to bring forth my acknowledgment of my feelings and actions has become beneficial in my mental wellbeing. Doing something to hinder my negativity in public is the new challenge. Time to stop ranting and raving all the hatred.

    Time to chill out.

    Stopping To Admire The Flowers

    I enjoy pausing during my day to admire nature- even if it is for the briefest of moments. It helps to put me in a state of comfort and contentment. “It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.”

    Usually I try and snap a picture. Many times I’ll share it on Instagram. Look at the beauty I just saw in nature! #sharingeverythingisee #iloveusingfilterstomakeitlookbetter

    Taking a deep breath and smiling on the inside works wonders for the mind. Seeing flowers bloom and trees grow foliage makes me happy. I’m out there watching the world go about it’s business while I’m just here for the ride.

    A ride that has many sights and sensations waiting to be savored. All I need to do is hesitate momentarily and smell the flowers.