Elite Achievement Unlocked

Yesterday I hit another milestone on WordPress. I’m really proud of myself and also can’t believe it. I hit 1337 days in a row of writing!

Amazing! When I first started, I didn’t imagine that I’d have three and a half years of daily writing in me. But here we are. A bunch of thoughts and stories out there in the interwebs as I try and navigate this universe. Hence the title of my blog, Making It Up As I Go.

Maybe I’m inspirational at times. Sometimes I’m sharing how I parent with the accomplishments and challenges the three kids of ours bring forth. I try and be positive as often as possible. Sometimes my baggage gets shared, but I find it a great way to work through emotional turmoil. It makes me a better person to get it out rather than having a pit inside me fester and rot.

1337

I hope everyone who reads and follows along has enjoyed my musings over the past 1337 posts. I feel ELITE having made is this far. Thank you for joining me on my journey.

Grad Cruise Night

Less than two weeks into the Grade 12 year and already the ceremonies are beginning. I attended the first of many meetings for the end of year “Dry Grad“. I’ve even put forth my name as a volunteer to help search out venues and activities. It sounds like previous years have been a ton of fun and we hope to make this one just as memorable. We have until June to finalize everything to promote a safe evening for these teens.

Yesterday our oldest went on her “Grad Cruise” with her classmates. We bought her a dress online a few months back. Before yesterday’s event, I took her out to get her hair done. She talked nonstop with the hairdresser and another lady, which is completely unlike my daughter.

She beamed with excitement and couldn’t leave our home fast enough to get to the Cruise. She was in such a hurry that she forgot her ticket and I had to drive it out to her. Which is totally fine with me because I’m more than happy to be there for our kids when they need me.

This is the year that I’ve also noticed that our oldest is being more social than ever. She is talking to my wife and I about her friends and the things going on in her life. I’m glad she wants to include us in everything as well. Seeing her in her dress yesterday with a big smile made me realize how much of a marvelous woman she is becoming; and how she will soon venture out into the world without our help or guidance.

But until then, I’m still going to take pictures and be a part of these graduation ceremonies! I’m so excited for her to make it through these school years and have an end goal in sight. It’s definitely a reason to celebrate!

Trying To Be A Better Man

Today would’ve been my father’s birthday. Over the years I’ve been trying different ways to remember the good in him. Which has been difficult when the bad memories were more impactful. From September 19 (My father’s birthday) to November 25th (the date he passed away) I’m not a pleasant person to be around at home. I’ve been consciously making different choices in my life to try and be a better person each and every day.

For two years in a row I grew a beard. It made me look like him. I was thinking of making it a tradition, but last year my family pushed hard and made me feel bad that I grew facial hair. I’m not sure why, but I’d rather not have bitterness thrown at me from those whom I care about. So no beard planned this year.

Last year I did “Sober September” and this year I’m trying as well. I had a couple of beers once this month and felt instant shame in myself for being weak. The reason is my father drank heavily and I worry that the trait runs deep in my genes. Especially when I look back at most of my Instagram posts and see a lot of beer in my hands.

Obviously I’d love to say that I am in control of my drinking, but am I? I come home from work and would like a beer with dinner. I have days off and want to see friends which generally brings up drinking. Maybe this year I’ll try not drinking from September 19 to November 25th. Do the complete opposite of what my father would do. Maybe only then can I push the negative out of my mind and bring out the positive memories.

I sure don’t want to end up like him- sour, angry and dead by age 58. That doesn’t appeal to me. I want to be a better person.

I know I’m a better person. I just need to remind myself from time to time.

Why Am I Sick!?

I think I brought back something from Winnipeg that I didn’t overly want. A massive head cold and stomach bug. It started slowly on Sunday, but blossomed into something much less desirable by the end of Tuesday.

Taking a sick day is rare for me. But I really needed it. Sleep and medicine has been useful in trying to combat this attack on my body. Wearing comfortable pjs and eating comfort food has also been helping. (That’s probably just the lazy factor making me happy.)

I want to blame the recirculated air on the airplanes for this. But it’s probably a culmination of that plus back to school (kids are germ spreaders!) and the change in weather. My stockpile of unused tissues is diminishing as my collect of used ones increases.

Ugh. I just want to get back to feeling normal.

Is that too much to ask?

Vivaldi

The past few days I have been enjoying listening to Vivaldi: La Cetra, 1-7. It has made my drive to and from work a bit more pleasant and calm. There’s something about hearing stringed instruments as they eloquently form each piece. As I listen to La Cetra I can also pick out the piccolo and harpsichord. Two very unique sounds that work well together.

Many know Vivaldi as written Four Seasons which is also a fantastic piece. I’m a huge fan of classical music and the variety of styles that come with each composer. Next week I am planning on listening to another composer as I travel to and from work. Perhaps Mozart, Bach, Handel or Beethoven. Whichever suits my fancy on my first day of commuting.

Do you appreciate classical music?

Who are your favorite composers?

Let me know.

Saying Farewell To A Coworker

It’s bittersweet when a coworker leaves. You’re happy for them to be making a change, but upset that they are leaving. Especially if you’ve worked side by side for years.

This week at the railroad is the last for a close friend of mine. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye, so the sarcasm and jokes are already coming out. I wrote a note of “encouragement” on a picture that I had hanging in our office for almost a year.

KC,

Good luck @ KM. You’re only gonna last 3 weeks!

#sixseasonsandamovie

-Joe

He and I had very similar tastes in entertainment. We often had discussions about movies and tv shows. My farewell to him is in reference to the show “Community”. A show we both enjoyed.

In a couple of days, he shall be off to a new adventure. We will still be in contact periodically because our railroad services the company he is moving to. The dynamic will change, but out jokes shall remain the same. I wish him all the best in his new adventure.

Weekend? What Weekend?

After a week in Winnipeg, I only had one day off this weekend. So I spent it with my wife and family. I filled the day with some one on one time with everyone. I enjoyed their company immensely. I think my family legitimately missed me while I was gone.

Now it’s back to my regular work week. But every night after work will be dinner with my family. No restaurants or hotel swimming pools. Just some quality time with those who I love. They are the reason I go to work. I want them all to enjoy a good life.

Flying Home

Yesterday my coworker and I arrived at the airport in Winnipeg over 3 hours before we could board our flight. Needless to say- we were eager to get home.

I sat at the window staring out at the tarmac and our gate, “patiently” waiting for our plane to arrive. At one point I ended up taking a 45 minute nap to help pass the time.

I rebooked my seat the night before so that I could be in the 4th row in order to be one of the first passengers to disembark. WestJet offered some free “inflight entertainment” that we could access from our personal devices over their WiFi network. I watch a movie for the majority of my flight until the last 15 minutes. Then I watched on my phone as our plane approached the Vancouver Airport. From near my home in Langley, the plane landed 8 minutes later.

I think that the plane crew wanted to get out of Winnipeg quickly as well. Since all the passengers were on board early- our flight left fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. Meaning we arrived in Vancouver early.

It is nice to be home back and with my family. I missed their company tremendously. Now to get back into the daily grind…

Carnaval

Yesterday I mentioned Business Trip Eats and the variety of food we’ve been eating. Nothing really stood out. That is until last night. Where we indulged.

Excessively.

A coworker who had come to Winnipeg previously, as well as my boss recommended a restaurant to me for our last night here. So three of us hit up a place in Winnipeg called Carnaval: Brazilian BBQ. It was an all you can eat meat extravaganza.

There was so much meat. It was on huge skewers and the cooks brought it around to each table asking if we wanted to sample some. At first we were tackling the food faster than it was coming out.

Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, more beef, sausage, wings, beef again… it just never stopped. As we were eating, we were laughing at how awesome the food was and how foolish this restaurant is. Because we were going to get our money’s worth and more.

The food was coming so quickly that I hardly had time to pause and get any photos. It was evident rather quickly that we were going to be in trouble. Our laughter about how this restaurant was foolish turned into how foolish we were.

We only managed to eat for an hour. We were stuffed. And hurting. But it was so worth it. My coworker Dillon was putting me to shame with his ability to want to continue sampling the meats. I was unprepared to push my limits and was done about four plates before him.

If you ever make it to Winnipeg- the Carnaval Brazilian BBQ is worth a stop. Especially if you love meat. And BBQ. And hating yourself afterwards.

Business Trip Eats

This trip to Winnipeg has been enjoyable as well as disheartening when it comes to meals. I call it “Food Mood Swings.”

My work has been kind enough to feed us at lunch from a cafeteria. Every day is a small bowl of soup, a sandwich, a dessert- (always get the Nanaimo Bar) and some sort of entree that can be made for a few hundred of us. There’s also a salad bar which I will say is very fresh. So we get fed sustenance in a sense.

Dinners are more on my own to go and find. My coworker and I have been to a different place every night. First night was in the hotel since we were late getting in and didn’t want to try and find anywhere. The next few nights were chain restaurants that generally have the same food we’d eat back home.

I’ve enjoyed have beef and onions in my meals again. My coworker is astounded that I like getting a steak “BLUE RARE” but I love the texture of the meat just as much as the taste. The two times that I had steak this week were only mediocre. The restaurants weren’t exactly good at doing it the way I liked it.

Last night we went to Hooters for some wings. I don’t usually eat wings, so it was pretty okay. The other three guys I was with were trying a far spicier style of wing than I was wanting. I don’t tend to do HOT or meat on the bone, so this wasn’t something that I am adept to eating. The company was great though with some good conversation.

Only one more night of restaurant eating and two days of cafeteria food. I hope the menus perk up a bit.