Alcohol

I enjoy booze. I remember the first time I got drunk- I was 13. It was… unintentional?

My father had a few Czech friends who enjoyed drinking. One summer, my family went out for a party to celebrate one of my father’s friend’s birthday. There was spiked punch and they thought it amusing to see both me and my nine year old sister getting drunk. My mother didn’t know at the time until we were already tipsy.

These were the same friends of my father who got our elderly dog drunk on the day my sister was born. Those same folks drank a lot. All the time. I always saw them with a drink and cigarette in hand. Speaking in Czech. Laughing and enjoying life. A life that I was always looking in at from the outside. So I grew up. Sort of.

At age 17, I began to drink. I’d skip out every Friday from school and go drinking with friends. Not the smartest or most honorable moments in my life. But we were young and dumb. I always remember my father with a drink in hand. I wanted to be a man and grow up to rebel against the world. But instead I have become like most everyone else. About every twentieth photo I post on my Facebook wall is a picture of a drink.

I know now it’s not good to get drunk at work like I did when I was younger. But that was the boss buying beers for me. Funny little Asian man. Always sang songs about me as we drank on a Saturday. He didn’t seem to care that I was 17. That’s the only job I’ve ever been drinking at while working. There’s a part of me that knew it was wrong.

Maybe one day I will quit drinking. I’ve had a few bad nights or embarrassing moments I’d rather not relive. Not drinking can’t be that tough. The other night I hung out with a fellow who doesn’t drink. I totally respect that. In fact, I can see myself going cold turkey some day. Just like I did with smoking. I just need a different vice. When I quit smoking, I began chewing gum. A lot.

What I’d like to replace alcohol with is tea. That sounds more sophisticated and calm. I could be like Picard. He’s the coolest. He was my hero back when I was 13. Hmmm… that was before I got drunk for the first time…

Tune In Tokyo

Our trip to Tokyo hasn’t happened yet and it’s costing us a small fortune already. Some days I wish that my Bucket List travel destination was my backyard. I could afford that- except I’d want to landscape or build something. Like a shed or archery range or some other thing. Back to one of my bucket list destinations… Tokyo.

I really have no idea where my desire to see Tokyo stems from. Finally when I hit age 42- I will be there. I’m dragging my family along for the journey. As I said, it’s already more expensive than I want it to be. But if you’re going somewhere that is important to you, it makes sense to have it be memorable.

There are tours and places and food and culture that I need to see. I want to experience it all in the ten or so days that we will be there. Our planning is getting to be a lot of fun. As I mentioned before- Even our 11 year old is planning for our trip. It’s a family thing now. Getting ideas and opinions on what to see and do. It’s still very daunting.

Time to tune into what else Tokyo has to offer. Or at least browse the interwebs for anything unique or crazy that we could experience. Besides a random reference to an old movie.

Popcorn

Lately I’ve been enjoying microwaved popcorn. It needs to be buttery or extra buttery popcorn mind you. None of that low salt, bland popcorn.

It took me years to eat popcorn again after working at the movie theater. I hated smelling like popcorn after every shift. So I stopped eating popcorn all together for about five or six years.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, when we began attending the drive-in regularly, that I enjoyed popcorn again. Now we buy a large tub of popcorn to share with the kids. When my wife and I have a date night at the VIP movie theater- we also buy popcorn to enjoy with our beers.

Microwaved popcorn is also great for hotels on road trips. Microwaved popcorn at work is a quick and light snack. Popcorn is also a great shareable food that makes people happy.

It appears that I am back to enjoying popcorn on a regular basis again. We even have an oil popper that makes good popcorn for parties.

For those keeping track- I mentioned the word popcorn in every sentence I wrote. It was my goal to ensure popcorn got into your thoughts.

The PPG

The City of Townsville”

When I first met my wife, she introduced me to two things: “Run Lola Run” and “The Powerpuff Girls“. I fell in love with both of them as I began falling in love with my wife. We used the PPG as a common ground to show our love for one another. Buying bedding, toys, Game Boy & N64 games, and clothing… most recently we picked up the Lego Dimensions Powerpuff Girls sets.

Anytime I see people dressed in PPG Cosplay, I have to get a picture with them. It’s nice to see other folks with a love of the girls. Even our children love the Powerpuff Girls. So much so that our middle daughter hung out with the female voice actor of “Blossom” at a convention for almost the entire weekend. Cathy Cavadini was so nice. She even gave my daughter an autographed Blossom doll and a dvd box set of the show.

That was the convention that we had our PPG Movie poster autographed. I received the poster back when I worked at the movie theater. When we screened the film, there was only four of us in the auditorium. My very pregnant wife and I, and two other fans. (Our first child was born less than two weeks later). It’s probably my most coveted piece of film memorabilia.

The Powerpuff Girls has always been very significant in my life. My Mojo Jojo shirt has been one of my favorite pieces of clothing- I was wearing it when Felicia Day kicked my ass at Munchkin back in 2013. It’s still in almost pristine condition. And I wear it constantly.

A couple of years ago, I made my own PPG character. He had purple hair (just like I did at the time) and beard stubble. He just needed to be a bit taller and he would have been a perfect cartoon version of me.

In the end, I have but one simple opinion: The Powerpuff Girls are the best.

Father/Son Video Game Day

Today is a day of Video Games. The family received a PS4 this past Christmas, so it was time to log in a few hours. Since I am a Star Wars fan, why not play some “Star Wars: Battlefront II” on the big screen?

Since we wanted to do the storyline portion, my son and I are taking turns playing. My skill set is meager at best. I take my time and scout out the level slowly. My son is quick with running straight into the action. He also has a better understanding of the controls than I do.

I’m enjoying what we’ve accomplished so far. The short movie portions are well executed and entertaining. Being a part of the Dark Side is a lot of fun as well. Time to get back to our game day.

This way my son can join me in ruling the Galaxy!

Emotional Feedings

Turns out that if I’m feeling down, my wife feels down. We’ve been together for many years now. We share emotions and feelings- oftentimes feeding off one another. I always knew this to be true.

25 years ago I read “The Celestine Prophecy“. I wouldn’t say I’m spiritual or New Age in any form. But this book (and its sequels) made me realize more about human interactions than I thought possible. I’ve lived my life with a knowledge that people feed off one another’s feelings and emotions. Both good and bad. This book is also a part of the reason I want to visit Peru. Maybe I will try and find my own “Spiritual Journey” one day.

Before I go and book a plane ticket, there are plenty of practices I do already that I learned from these books. I try and surround myself with positivity and kindness. My friends are people who bring me joy. At work, I try and keep an upbeat attitude. It usually helps relieve tensions.

With a family of five at home, there have been times that each of us struggle to have control. I hope my children take the time to read these books. It will help build stronger empathetic characteristics in them. They already care about others, but there’s always more that could be done.

After we talked about our feelings, my wife and I are getting back on track. We are setting some lofty goals for the year and finding ways to relax. I love my naps, and she loves her video games. Both are excellent ways to combat those “blah” feelings. Maybe it’s time to re-read the “Celestine Prophecy“.

I Still Don’t Know Japanese

In two months time, my family and I are traveling to Japan. So far we have plane tickets and the hotel booked. We have been browsing online to figure out some ideas for the trip which is exciting- but I know zero Japanese words.

I need to change that. Immediately. So I found a video online to help me that is silly and fun. Time to teach this old dog new tricks!

Japanese English Song

Now that tune is stuck in my head again.

How I Deal With Frustration- By Looking For a Place to Move To.

When I get frustrated or grumpy with my life- I look for a new house. I will go online and search what price homes in my neighborhood are going for, then search out other neighborhoods where I can buy a place and be mortgage free. I look for places with large kitchens, new bathrooms and enough bedrooms for the family. As I find new places, I send links to my wife and tell her to pack up because we are gonna move!

Last night, my wife mentioned to our daughters that I wanted to sell the home and move. I received two very different text messages from our daughters about this at almost the exact same time.

From my younger daughter I was sent this:

Her lengthy response was sweet and genuine. Her older sister on the other hand was a bit more curt:

That’s pretty blunt. Both responses are very typical of their personalities mind you.

I have no real intention of moving. Our home is fairly awesome. It has a ton of character for its age. Our location is just far enough from the city that the commute isn’t that bad. We are also on an acre that gives us the perfect amount of privacy from our neighbors that I like.

But looking at new houses is something I grew up doing. My childhood had me moving every 2-4 years to someplace new. I enjoyed it. I wrote about some of the places I’ve lived In My Hometown and will always call Langley my home. Sometimes searching real estate listings is like dreaming. Dreaming of a different life. One without stress.

Brief Moment of Fear

Last night there was an earthquake outside of Alaska. It caused a Tsunami Warning for Alaska and British Columbia. It is now cancelled- with no bad after effects.

I was at work for the night shift and heard about it on the radio. I then took a moment out of my night and called my mother- waking her up- just to see if she knew anything about it. I then called my sister. My mother lives on Vancouver Island where the warning was most prevalent. My sister has a place along the water on the coast of BC. Even though it may not affect them, I chose to wake them up because a part of me does care about their wellbeing. Even if I don’t always act like I do.

This morning, people were waking up not knowing that this warning had occurred. But news is spreading quick in social media land. The brief moment of fear subsided for those of us who were awake when it happened. The sense of relief was fairly powerful and put everyone I was awake with at work in great spirits again.

I’m glad it turned out to be a precautionary warning. Had it been more catastrophic, things would be much more different in the attitudes this morning. Time to be a little nicer to my mother and sister because who knows if something could happen while we sleep. You may never get another chance to be a good person to those you care about.

Controversial

I don’t tend to write about anything controversial. I have opinions that aren’t always popular or agreed upon. Many topics are subjective as it is anyways. I find that not everything is black and white. There are shades of grey just blended closer to one side or the other.

I had a high school teacher always say to the class, “Everyone is entitled to their wrong opinion.” As clever as he may have sounded when I was a teen- it closes the door to one’s mind. Having an ability to hear and understand someone else’s position opens up healthy dialogue.

I don’t find the need to be confrontational anymore. There was a time and place that I’d raise my voice. However I found it fell on deaf ears and only caused animosity among friends. So now, I often keep my thoughts on politics and religion to myself. Occasionally I share an image or a link to shed some humor in an all too serious world.