A Day Off Together

My wife took a day off work today to spend time with me. She’s going out of town this weekend. (Our son has a Speed Skating competition in Northern BC.) I figured we’d have some nice quality time together.

First, she woke up and helped the kids get ready for school. I then drove them to school. When I returned home, I made us a lovely breakfast of bacon wrapped asparagus with poached eggs. So far our day was off to a great start.

Outside, the sun was shining brightly. Best avoid it and play video games. My wife and I played on the Nintendo Switch in our dark theater room for about three and a half hours.

It was a ton of fun lounging on the couch in our pajamas until one in the afternoon. Ya, I drive my kids to school in my pjs. Not like I have to get out of the car. In fact, sometimes I go shopping in my pjs. I’ve even gone to work like that in the past. Comfort wins out over fashion sense.

My wife gets very animated when playing video games. After an intense round, match or level- she usually flails her arms. She tries to grab at me, pinch or punch my arms in frustration if she loses. Today I earned quite a few bruises.

It’s all in good fun mind you. I’m often laughing at her failures in the games. So I do kind of deserve her little attacks.

I’m going to miss her this weekend. But at least it will give me time to heal. And practice at our games.

Music Of The Night

Every so often I throw on one of the soundtracks to a musical that we own. I have always loved show tunes and movies that incorporate music to tell a story. My first memory of enjoying a musical was “Annie” back in 1982. I recall sitting in the back of the station wagon facing the window humming one of the tunes.

The first stage performance I saw was “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Sometime around 1989. It was grand. I saw it again a couple years later. It was still just as good. In between I saw performances of “Cats” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I was on an Andrew Lloyd Webber kick.

My other favorite was “Les Miserables”. This one was darker and not as magical. But the story moved me as a teenager. Years later, I would go to see a live performance again. This time, when my wife was pregnant with our first child. I took her on a date to see this show, again performing at the QE, it was our one and only fancy date that we have been on.

Our kids grew up enjoying Disney movies. Many of which have great musical numbers. One our trips to Disneyland, we almost always went to see “Aladdin” performed live. In October we saw “Frozen”. Our kids love these shows.

I’d like to take them to a show sometime soon that is more Broadway than Disney. I know that they would appreciate it. Especially since our kids attend the Fine Arts School and have an immense appreciation of music and acting and the work that goes into it all. As well as the fact that they know many of the songs already after hearing the soundtracks played.

Just like the main title song suggests from that one musical, “GO GO GO JOSEPH!”

Billiards

When I was the age of 17, shooting pool was the start of adulthood. I played fairly regularly for about five years. My skill level was average at best. I enjoyed playing regularly, and would drag friends out with me all the time. Because I wanted to play, I oftentimes paid as well. That was where most of my spending cash went.

Teaching people how to play was always fun. When I first began, I did my best to learn from those who were better than me. I tried to pass on my knowledge to others as well. Playing against people who want to play made it more fun. Especially when the playing field was fairly level.

Being cool and looking cool meant playing pool. I never joined a league, I was never that good. Back in my day smoking was allowed inside the halls and bars. Drinking alcohol also boosted the confidence level with liquid courage. Cocky attitudes led to wagers and losses. But it also led to some witty banter and insults.

Back in 2012, I picked up a free pool table. At the time, we had an old wood working studio on the side of the house that I was using as a “Man Cave/Bar”. I found that I only played once every month or two and that the bar wasn’t being utilized. I wanted a hang out for me and friends, but socializing was difficult when I worked on-call or straight nights. My skill level at pool began to really suck.

Jump ahead to February 2015- I finished changing this bar into my wife’s studio. The pool table was a perfect height for her to use as a fabric cutting table. We joked that when she wanted a break, we would play a game of billiards. Four years later, we have yet to play.

I miss playing pool. I still have my first pool cue. I own a “19” in immaculate condition. I’d like to take my kids out and play with them. Maybe this could be a way to connect with them as they get older. Since our oldest is getting closer to the age I was when I first started. But if dad says “it’s cool” to play the game, they may not want to.

Childish Humor

No matter what the circumstances, farts are funny. I’d say most people agree.

I’ve written about farts numerous times. Here are a few examples:

Farts Are Funny

Laughter Language

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

My family, friends and coworkers generally find farts amusing as well. The first time I let out some gas in front of my wife- when we were first dating- I was incredibly embarrassed. Now, she out shines me and puts my farts to shame. Both in sound and odor.

Farting around coworkers or friends is kind of the same. It takes a bit to open up around each other. There is a comfort level that you need to get to with one another prior to the first fart. Once that Pandora’s box is open, there’s no putting it back. It can turn into an all-out gas war. Each trying to out do the other. Or not warning one another and letting the smell do the rest.

When I let one rip in the car with my family, I lock the windows. Trap them inside with an obnoxious gas cloud. But if anyone in my family let’s one rip- all the windows go down even in the winter– to air out the car. Hey, I like to breathe. Plus it’s my car and I can do what I like, right?

Besides getting over the initial embarrassment of breaking wind, farts are the funniest thing ever. We all do it. So why hide it?

Roots and Wings

There’s a Distillery located just south of Fort Langley called Roots and Wings. We drive past it everyday taking the kids to and from school. I finally decided to stop in and sample some of what they had to offer.

Looking at the building from outside doesn’t seem like much. It’s still fairly new only being established in 2015. Supporting local businesses is always something I encourage. Since they grow their own potatoes and corn for their vodka, gin, and whiskey (or rather, rye because it hasn’t been aged long enough yet)- it didn’t surprise me that there was only a small tasting room.

Inside holds about a dozen patrons. I was alone when I sampled each of their liquors. Natural flavors and a taste unique to each bottle kept me wanting more. There wasn’t a throat burn or the cheap taste of “nail polish remover” you find in bottles of similar price point elsewhere.

As I sat there, the hostess gave me a history of the distillery and the name. “Roots” being their starting in Langley, and “Wings” for how they want to expand and grow. I also learned that in the following month or so they will be offering cocktails in their tasting room along with charcuterie. Sounds like I’ll be back for more when that happens.

I took a few small samples home. A coffee infused one, a cinnamon one and a horseradish one- that last one turned out to be perfect for a Ceasar FYI.

I recommend checking out Roots and Wings on a Saturday to try some of their offerings. Or be on the lookout for them at the local Farmers Markets coming up this year.

Rug Doctor

We live in a home that has very little carpet. In fact it’s only in our hallway and theater room. The rest of our home has tile or laminate hardwood flooring with a few throw rugs. I like not having carpet because it helps with my allergies. Sort of. Except we have a dog that sheds. He sheds a lot.

His shedding requires us to vacuum every few days otherwise there are tiny dogs everywhere in our home. Dog hair gets on all of our clothes as well.

The small amount of carpet we do have is rather, um, disgusting. No amount of vacuuming will get the dog hair out. Plus our once white carpet has turned beige with tons of spots everywhere. This is due to the kids growing up and spilling stuff everywhere. It may be time to steam clean it. It’s been probably a decade since the last time I tried to deep clean it.

When I was younger, my parents would rent a Rug Doctor every six months or so. They would spend an entire day on a long weekend cleaning our entire home. Being at home for this weekend of cleaning was stressful as well. Furniture would be moved around to one side of the room or kitchen in order to really clean the floors. No matter what they did though, the carpet would remain wet for three days after. Which was really gross because walking around your home in wet socks for a couple of days is unpleasant.

Eventually my parents bought a cheap steam cleaner that they had for years. It was okay at cleaning, but I’m pretty sure a professional would have been better. I don’t want to own a carpet cleaner since I would rather just get rid of our carpet all together.

I’m not sure when I will clean our carpets, if ever, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be renting a Rug Doctor and do it myself. Even if I have to go over the carpet a few times. I’m kind of cheap that way.

Laundry

There are few things in this world that are mandatory to do. Laundry is high up on this list. I enjoy wearing clean clothes. Just not the work that goes into it.

My wife is the laundry washing expert in our household. I know how to do laundry, but I rarely do it though. My wife has a set schedule of what gets washed and when. It is everyone else’s responsibility to fold and put away their clothes afterwards. Personally, I had a jam packed full laundry hamper to sort out today. When I dumped it on the bed- it looked like one of those cubes of trash Wall-E spits out. Not very appealing.

After dumping it out, I had to fluff it up in order to match up my socks and get my shirts ready to fold. This took up most of our king sized bed. Once I saw the amount, all I wanted to do was say, “Screw it- I’m taking a nap.” But today I powered through it- I folded and put away my clean clothes like a good boy.

Clean laundry is a systematic occurrence. Like a sunrise. It just happens. And I appreciate that it appears on a regular basis. I just don’t always want to deal with it.

Bonus Money

Today my bank account was bigger than it’s been in quite some time. All because I received my work bonus!

I was excited to see it until I looked at my paystub statement and realized that nearly HALF disappeared in taxes. Ouch. No wonder they call it Gross Income. It’s gross to see how much I should’ve had. But money is money and I knew exactly what to do with my bonus this year.

I paid some bills.

With a few clicks of the mouse button, all that “extra” cash was gone. In part I am relieved. The washing machine that I threw on my credit card is paid off. As well as our trip to Disneyland from last October. I also set aside money for our property taxes this year instead of cashing out my shares. This last one is a game changer for me. It means that my shares will remain untouched for longer.

Financial freedom is getting closer. Our mortgage renewal is due in the next few months. Only 20 years left until that’s done. And only a couple years left on my car payments as well.

As they say, “Everything’s coming up Milhouse!” Or they don’t say that. Whatever. Things are starting to look up. Bye bye money…

Why Didn’t I just Talk It Out?

I was being a big baby for a couple of days towards my wife. I was all bitter and angry towards her and it turns out it was mostly just in my head.

I should’ve just talked to her when I had the chance. Instead, I came home after work and kind of blew up at her. Once it was out, I realized I was being kinda dumb.

In hindsight, I should’ve just expressed myself when I was starting to be bothered. I’m lucky that my wife is understanding and we are a really good team. We almost always talk things out. This last time was my bad. I take full responsibility.

Things are back to normal and great again. Silly Josef…

Expanding My Tastes

I do enjoy going for beers at almost any Craft Brewery. I have written about these adventures on numerous occasions. But at home I rarely buy good beer. I go for the cheapest cans and don’t care about the quality.

I also enjoy having a drink or two of some flavored liquors. At Christmas, I love having my Booze Tree up. It warms my insides.

Last weekend I discovered my favorite booze at the local liquor store that just opened. I had first found this during our visit to Shelter Point Distillery back in August 2017. I loved “Barrel of Sunshine” so much, I bought home three bottles of it. Boy does it go down smooth, let me tell you. In fact, I actually get myself stumbling off of it. Anyone who has had some with me knows of this fact. I’m holding off on cracking this bottle until my birthday in a few weeks.

In the mean time, I have found a tasty way to make a White Russian. I got inspired while watching “Russian Doll” on Netflix. I figured it’d be a good drink to have while binging tv. We have had a bottle of Van Gogh Espresso Vodka in our freezer for a few years and rarely sipped on it. It was a lovely little kick added to the coffee flavor from the Kahlúa. Plus it meant I didn’t need ice because it was already chilled.

I’m on the lookout now for a drink called “After Shock”. It’s a cinnamon Liqueur, but at the bottom of the bottle is sugar crystals that absorb the alcohol and make for a sweet, boozy snack once the bottle is done. Mmmmm boozy sugar…

Any special drinks you enjoy? Or can you find After Shock for me?