joie de vivre

My wife and I are filled with exuberant enjoyment of life. Yesterday afternoon we had some friends over and had a great time just living life. Loads of laughs, drinks and food. Being able to share our yard and home always brings me joy.

Megan catching me chilling in the pool.

When having fun like we had, I forget to take pictures. My iPhone was being used for music all evening, so I rarely got up to look at it. In fact, by the end of the afternoon- we were all interacting so much that our phones were essentially forgotten about.

Today is another afternoon of lounging. This time just my wife and I are going to float around and recover. Next weekend will be much of the same- as we will be celebrating our anniversary with friends once more.

I always love to open our home up for entertaining. Many an invite goes out to various friend groups. Not everyone can make it out, but when the do- we are filled with a joie de vivre.

Looking Towards The Long Weekend

I have one more night to go until my weekend. The weekend is just my regular three day weekend, but it’s a long weekend for many of our friends. With that being said, it looks like there will be some more beautiful weather in store for Friday to start us off!

My wife has arranged for a couple of our friends to join us in floating around the pool. That is pretty much the extent of the plan. Float in the pool and relax with a drink in hand. It’s hard to want to leave this house and do stuff elsewhere since it’s our little slice of paradise. I’m always game for lounging at home doing nothing but relaxing.

If you have plans for the up coming Long Weekend, make sure you stay safe. Hydration, sun screen, and be smart about drinking alcohol. Have an eye on the roads for groups of children as they tend to get together and let loose as well- sometimes not paying attention to traffic.

Sunshine And Lifestyle

I’m not sure I can trust the weather app or the meteorologists anymore. This weekend was supposed to rain everyday with almost 50-90% each hour. I was ready to get upset. But they were wrong.

The last two days I have absolutely taken advantage of the sunshine. The pool is sparkling clean and the fields are lush behind us. I have floated around for hours on end listening to music and just appreciating the world. As they say- Living my best life.

But because of the uncertainty of the weather, we haven’t invited anyone over to share our slice of paradise with. I really want my friends to come and hang out. Having the space and wanting to share our happiness is one of the best things we could do. When you have more than you need- build a longer table, not a higher fence.

Not Mine

Today a found a jewelry ring and some random piece of plastic in my car. Rather unusual considering I did a deep clean vacuum about two weeks ago. Naturally I had to find out where this stuff came from. Time for family group text.

You’d think that eventually kids would stop saying “not mine” when asked about something. Nope. Even at aged 16 and 18 they say it. I’d like to pretend like I didn’t know where that response came from. But alas- my wife also said it.

Now I don’t really care about the ring. Someone lost it in my car. Oh well. I just find the observation of the reactions to be interesting. Perhaps I missed it when I cleaned out my car. But realistically it was one of the kids at some point. Whether it’s their’s or not- could have been a friends ring- I tend to keep a very tidy car and have since given it to our 18 year old. They can have it now and try to find the rightful owner. Or keep it for themselves.

That’s because this ring is NOT MINE.

Continuing Cosplay

Years ago we introduced our children to the world of cosplay. They loved the idea of being able to be a character from a show or video game. My wife enjoyed making their costumes. I enjoyed acting out the characters with the family. We all really enjoyed showing off at Comic Cons.

Pokémon Trainers and a wild Pikachu!

For me, that felt like a lifetime ago. We haven’t dressed up for conventions in years. Halloween was a wash for me last year, as I didn’t dress up. I did my Obi-Wan for May 4th, so I was happy there. The love of dressing up in cosplay is still rampant with our 18 year old. That also makes me happy- even if I don’t know the characters they are doing.

Out of the blue, our middle went to our next door neighbor yesterday and asked if they would come over to help with some cosplay photos. After living in our home for almost one year, this was the first interaction the two of them had. It was a positive one. Our neighbor, who is 16, has been interested in doing cosplay but was unsure where to start.

Good thing we moved in next door! Now our middle will have someone to teach the joy of cosplay to. I am really happy that my wife and I encouraged this activity years prior. It has helped with our kids expressing themselves through fandoms. Now that expression is being shared from our teens to others.

That’s pretty cool.

World In My Hand

Back in the 90’s I bought a t-shirt. I wore it regularly. I even had a medallion that fit perfectly against it. Last night, I put that shirt back on for the first time in years.

As faded as the image is, I still love the shirt. Having flashbacks to my late teenage years and the fun times we had. I believe that all of those crazy times helped me to navigate through shift work as well. All nighters playing video games and wandering the streets definitely messed up my sleep patterns.

More than just memories of a t-shirt. Smoking cigarettes and other things that I thought would not harm me- I’d live forever. But the image on my shirt also reminds me of music.

Music that I enjoyed in my youth that resonated in my soul. I wore this shirt to many a nightclub and watching late night jam sessions. Lyrics that hit differently now than they once did.

“Man was born to love
Though often he has sought
Like Icarus, to fly too high.
And far too lonely than he ought
To kiss the sum of east and west
And hold the world at his behest
To hold the terrible power
To whom only gods are blessed
But me, I am just a man”

I love my t-shirt. And after thirty years, it’s still all about what I see in me. The world is in my hand. A showcase of what is yet to come. Get ready for it.

What’s On Your Bucket List?

Normally I talk about myself in my blog. Sometimes at the end I ask if anyone wants to share in the comments, and I’ll get a few responses. But today I wanted to try something a bit different.

Today, I want to know more about all of you. I want to know one of the following two things. You can answer both if you wish.

  • Have you completed something important on your bucket list- and how did you do it?
  • What is on your bucket list and how do you plan on accomplishing it?

That’s it. Pretty simple questions. What I would like to find out is where people are getting their ambition to achieve their goals.

I am hoping that the answers will help other people in getting to their goals. Because we are all in this together and we need to cheer one another on! Please, do not be afraid to share your responses. I’d love to hear the answers.

Needed To Kayak

Last year, my wife and I neglected going kayaking. We had to move, get into a new home, learn about the neighborhood, and most of all- enjoy the swimming pool. We didn’t make time to go out and enjoy nature. No kayaking or camping.

This afternoon, I said screw it. My wife has been missing kayaking. As I was getting the gear on the top of my suv, it began to rain. Too bad. I was set on going out and if I put it on the back burner again, we may not go anytime soon.

The rain wasn’t so bad in the end. It kept the air cool. However, the path down to the water was muddy and slick. But even that didn’t stop us from getting on the water.

It was a good couple of hours of paddling and talking. We saw ducks and a crane. The sounds of the birds and the rain on the water was soothing and calm. It makes me want to go out more often this summer.

Towel Day and 45 Years of Star Wars

What a day to be a sci-fi nerd. I was so excited about this day I began writing this blog a year prior. But then I hit a writer’s block and that was the only sentence I wrote all year. Or I just procrastinated. Either way, I fished writing it today.

As many folks know by now, I love Star Wars. It has been around for 45 years as of today. I could go on and on about this science fiction fantasy universe, but I won’t do that today. I already celebrated May 4th.

More importantly- Today is Towel Day! This one is really significant to me. Our oldest received their name from book five of the trilogy. In my opinion- Random is one of the greatest names in this day and age. Random can choose a new name at random and no one would question it. Random can do random things and again, kind of difficult to question. But most of all, Random has suited their name since my wife first agreed to the name a little over 20 years ago.

21 years ago, Douglas Adams passed away at age 49. He was the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Or H2G2. A comedic series of books about the absurdity of the universe. I had recently re-read the novels when he passed. A short time later, the universe clobbered me with a 2×4 and was about to make me a father for the first time. Naturally, I wanted the universe to know that I was game and ready to play along. Random would become the greatest gift and biggest hurdle for my life. Which has brought me to this bit of wisdom:

As significant as today is, and how nerdy it is, one must always be prepared for adventure- so remember to bring a towel. It may just save your life!

Or perhaps just use a clean towel to dry off. That’s important too.

Magic Cloud

Yesterday as I was sitting on the back deck enjoying the sun, a lone cloud appeared. It blocked the sun for the briefest of moments. It was also the only cloud in the sky. But what amazed me was that it grew in size during its time in front of the sun.

I am in awe at how this could have happened! It was also funny that I took the first picture as I was going to post on Instagram to complain about this baby cloud taking away my sun. As I was getting ready to post, I looked back up and the cloud had gotten bigger.

I decided not to complain just in case the cloud would grow again! Instead I am writing a blog about it. The cloud will now live on in the cloud as well. Ironic and wondrous.

Enjoy It

This weekend has been the one we have been waiting for. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the pool is ready.

Over the past couple of days, we have enjoyed the swimming pool. Today is going to be no exception. We are planning on hanging out with our downstairs tenants and sipping on some beverages. Taking advantage of the weather whenever we can is the goal.

Being neighborly is important as well. We enjoy having company over and plan on visitors coming by throughout the summer. Getting along with those around us is paramount. We are past the stage of loud parties, but I still enjoy my music playing.

Reach out and we will have you over this summer on a Friday or Saturday. Just remember to bring the sunscreen and a snack to share!

Excited For Disneyland

Even though we don’t head to Disneyland for a few more months, I’m getting very excited for it. It seems as though everything is pointing to a wonderful vacation.

Yesterday I was driving home from dropping the kids off at school- the sun was starting to come out. As it did, my watch reflected onto my visor; creating an all too familiar image. The iconic Mickey Mouse ears.

Naturally it made me feel jovial and happy. The previous trips were a blast. Each one was slightly different- creating new memories and unique experiences for all of us. Our future trip is looking almost like a whole new experience as well.

We will get to travel to the Star Wars inspired portion of the park: Galaxy’s Edge– finally after three years of anticipation and excitement. Plus there’s a whole new Marvel inspired land that will be a fun experience for all of us.

But there’s also the normal fun we love to have every trip. Turkey legs, Dole Whip, parades,shopping, rides, meeting characters… the list goes on and on. It’s just such a magical experience each and every time. This next time around, we are bringing a person who has never been to Disneyland. So we will get to see the joy and wonderment through their eyes as we hit up all the fun spots and secrets we have learned over the years.

Do you ever get signs of things to come? Does it make you excited? Let me know in the comments.

Writing Show

Our middle child is graduating this year- which is already a big deal. Tonight, Darwin is preforming at the Photo and Writing Show at the Langley Fine Arts School. Darwin switched majors from music to writing last year. This was the first chance I have gotten to hear the musings out loud.

Darwin has a passion for the arts and is very methodical when it comes to creativity. Much like myself, Darwin loves to share stories and is pretty good at it. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the two pieces which will be read aloud tonight.

As an art school- they often showcase very skilled work. From fantastic musical performances to stage shows, visual art and everything else that comes with the arts. All of these students have a great potential that has been unleashed over the years. I am glad that our kids have had the opportunity to join in and explore their creative sides.

Kids In The Hall

Back in high school, I was a huge fan of “The Kids in the Hall”. Yup, I was watching them when they first aired back in the early 90’s. The skits were very creative and totally out there. I even plagiarized some of the comedy in order to survive English class. My teacher at the time said I was “morbid” and “syndical” as well as “macabre”. Kind of like life if you ask me some days.

1996 rolled around and I was a couple of years out of school by then. “The Kids in the Hall” made the film- “Brain Candy.” I may or may not have been experimenting with psychedelics at this time in my life. But I did enjoy the film and the commentary on drug usage in North America at the time. Periodically I still put on the soundtrack because it was gosh darn good.

Around the same time, I went and saw “The Kids” perform a live show in Vancouver. Okay, maybe it was in the year 2000 that they toured. My life was a blur back then. I wasn’t ready to settle down… and life was still just a thing to live periodically. I knew one day that I’d be done monkeying about. Little did I know that was the year that my life would change.

22 years later and “The Kids in the Hall” banded back together for an appearance on Amazon Prime. Eight episodes to watch, and the first one had full frontal male nudity. Like the kind of nudity that was of men far older than I. Awkward nudity. Humorous nudity. Because- why the heck not? An added bonus- there is a contest they created called “paint Bellini” and naturally I entered. Wouldn’t that be a riot? Win the contest of a show that impacted my life all of those times way back when?

Anyhow, go watch the show on Amazon Prime. It’s Canadiana at its finest. Or don’t. I’m not your boss. But if you do- expect some new skits and a few classic characters to make an appearance.

Long live KITH. And did I mention, in high school- my friends and I tried to get our own comedy sketch show off the ground? Called “Slow Children Playing.” I tried a few times to get in going. Yet no one had the commitment to do it. Now it’s more “Middle Age Memes”. Or essentially “The Kids In The Hall.” So go watch it. Or don’t. No big deal to me.

First Dip In The Pool

The sun peaked out this afternoon long enough for us to enjoy it. It was sent hot, but in the sun it was warm! A couple of weeks ago we had taken the cover Off OurPool in hopes to jumpstart the summer. No such luck.

Yesterday, the weather report was not looking promising for the near future. But I was hopeful. So today, when my wife finished work, we jumped into the pool. We both agreed that we were going in- rain or shine.

Lee-Anne went in first. The sun was out and the atmosphere was pleasantly warm. I had turned on the heater for the pool yesterday- and it was a comfortable 24°C already.

We had kind of forgotten to let the kids know that we were going into the pool. So when our middle came home from school- they ended up hanging out in the yard while my wife and I swam. I felt like Darwin was the adult in the situation- making sure that two doofuses didn’t drink too much and get hurt.

I’m definitely looking forward to enjoyment of the pool throughout the summer. I’m already feeling the energy burn from splashing around. Swimming has always been a good workout that leads to a great sleep. Hopefully we can have friends over soon to enjoy the fun and relaxation poolside. It would be nice if the entire weather forecast could change for the better!

My First iPod

Since hearing about Apple retiring the iPod, I thought I could share about my first one. I first got an iPod in 2006. I bought it for myself on my 30th birthday. It was the latest version (5th Generation) and the first video model as well. 30GB in black.

I still have the iPod. I also still have the original box. On the day I got it, I uploaded every song in my library onto it. A far cry from 7500 songs that I could’ve put on it. But I also added a ton of digital photos onto it as well. Condensed video was not as easy back then to create. So my videos were minimal. Streaming was not an option either as you still had to connect to a computer where all your music and photos were saved.

That day, my wife gave me the gift of taking our kids away for the night so I could just enjoy my new toy. The kids were 2 and almost 4. Our son was to be born a couple months later. So I was left at home alone. So I did what any 30 year old man with 24 hours of freedom and a new piece of technology would do.

Mushrooms.

I will say, my first experience with the iPod was memorable. I listened to tons of different music, played with the settings, scrolled quickly with the click wheel and just enjoyed laying in bed listening to anything I wanted. However, by the time I was ready to sleep, I was lonely.

The photos I had put on my iPod were of my wife and kids from the previous couple of years. I missed them tremendously even though it was just one night. Our daughters were so loving and happy to always be around me. To this day, I still miss those moments of kindness and innocence they would showcase towards me with their personalities.

My heart was filled with joy the next day when they returned home. The love from the girls was the best gift that birthday. The iPod was a close second. Sixteen years later and I still get choked up thinking about my thoughts of missing them. Psychedelics are interesting to say the least.

Did you have a memory from your first iPod?

Everything Matters/ Nothing’s Important

I’m not sure why it happens… but it does…

My brain oftentimes brings up a memory that happened a few years prior on a day that is generally really close to the date of the original occurrence. I’m not talking about those Facebook Memories either. My brain just finds something and says- hey what about this thing?

Since I began blogging about my thoughts and experiences, I finally have a way to look it up once more and see what I originally wrote about. For example, Unfinished Work was a piece I wrote on May 18, 2017. Reading it now, I see that I really did put a lot more thought and length into what I wrote. Not that a lengthy blog is good… but it was one of the images that I was searching that my brain had decided to think about.

EVERYTHING MATTERS NOTHING’S IMPORTANT. This was a mural that was nearby my place of work when I was in downtown Vancouver. I’m not sure why it resonates with me periodically, yet it does. It’s a what life feels like some days. It’s not important, yet somehow it matters. Those intrusive thoughts and feelings that you should just leave behind. But there you are, letting it bug you.

So stop letting it get to you. It’s not important in the long run. Simple advice that even I wish I would take. Yet sometimes I can’t, but I should. I have to stop letting things bother me. I need to focus on the positive more. Even though that can be hard to do.

As I said though, my brain somehow cycles through thoughts and memories roughly the same time and date. Hopefully my next set of memories is more positive and I can get out of my rut.

That would be nice.

Timecop1983 and Jan Hammer

At some point in the past few months, Spotify slapped me with an artist I had never heard of. One who has now become a large part of my music rotation. I have no idea how Spotify figured out that I would like this music. Yet here I am, constantly playing it and now writing about it.

Timecop1983

This Dutch musician has created some of the best synth music I have ever experienced. I just wanted to thank Jordy Leenaerts for his amazing skills. I now listen to this music regularly to relax. I also use it as meditation and background music. It triggers some sort of nostalgia and youthfulness from the recesses of my mind that I need these days.

The music reminds me of Jan Hammer: a Czech/American musician who incorporates jazz fusion and synth pop. Jan did music for Miami Vice and the computer generated film from 1992: Beyond The Mind’s Eye. Which is one of my absolutely all time favorite films ever. Excerpts of that film used to be shown late at night on tv. A trippy, synthetic, alternate animated world.

Both artists have created a style of music that reminds me of what my friends from the 90’s used to write themselves. Perhaps that’s why I am drawn to these artists.

Be sure and check out Timecop1983 on Spotify.

May 4th- This Is My Favorite Day

It’s here! The bestestest day of the year! May the Fourth- aka STAR WARS DAY!

As you might be able to tell, I am a bit of a fan of Star Wars. It all started in the early 80’s thanks to my father. It was Christmas of 1981. We got a VHS VCR for Christmas. With it, my father had somehow rented 3 videos over the holidays. One of which was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Five and a half year old me was blown away by it. This was- and still is- my favorite film of the series over the past forty years. I watched the movie at least a half dozen times over Christmas. A couple of years later, my mother took me to see Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in the theater. Shortly after that were a couple of TV movies made of The Ewoks. I remember recording them on videotape and watching repeatedly with my younger sister.

Over the years I have picked up artwork, mugs, movies, and toys that celebrate Star Wars. I never got into the action figures, even though I had bought a bunch in the mid-90’s from that run. I had them still in packages for years and ended up donating them one Christmas to a toy drive. I did keep a couple for my kids to play with. No need to keep things in a box when it’s meant to be enjoyed!

Nearly twenty years ago, I picked up my first replica lightsaber. The joy it has brought me is immeasurable. So I got more and started a collection- just like General Grievous. They are now on display in my son’s room. Passing on a love of Star Wars to my kids has also brought me joy.

My son has taken over my moniker for video games as well. Deathstar1138 was my PlayStation 3 name. He has since used it for his Instagram and other accounts. Our oldest has also grown very fond of Star Wars (and movies in general) because of my passion for it.

At one point in my life I was working at a multiplex cinema which opened the day Episode One came out in 1999. Admittedly, that isn’t one of the best movies in the universe of Star Wars, but it does have a place in my heart. Just like those Ewok films…

Over the next couple of days, I will rewatch many of the films. By the end of the weekend I will have my fill of everything Star Wars for a few months. Then it will be the excitement of visiting Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland that will start it all over again.

Until then, Happy Star Wars Day! And May The Fourth Be With You!

Hyped For Disneyland

Yesterday I booked the dates for using our Disneyland tickets that were purchased back in February 2020. I was only able to book them 120 days in advance. So when the dates opened, I jumped on them.

At this point the availability was good, but I didn’t want to chance it since we are doing a whirlwind trip. We are driving down, splitting it into a two day drive. Followed by four days in the park and a two day drive home. No resting or relaxation day in there.

From our first trip to Disneyland

Once I booked the tickets, our son began to really get invested in the trip. Discussing favorite lands/rides/food from previous trips. He also began to get new plans made for a possible itinerary for us. Plus he was sharing so trivia facts about the parks.

His excitement is contagious. It’s getting us all into the spirit of the road trip. I’m glad that our previous trips there were so joyous and memorable. I have a feeling this will be another memorable experience. Plenty of new things to see and do since our last visit in 2018.

Are you planning any vacations once more? Isn’t it nice to have a sense of freedom returning?

April Is Ending

What a peculiar month April was. Teasing of spring; a smattering of winter- all to remind us of how crazy Mother Nature is. And of course today is meme filled with…

As humorous as this joke was Ten years ago when it was first introduced to the internet, perhaps it’s time to retire the meme. It’s used as much as Cher’s “Turn Back Time” every year. I love a good meme, but sometimes oversharing can kill the joke. With May on the cusp- I am looking forward to nicer weather and wearing less layers

I really do love May and I am excited to overshare Star Wars Memes and phrases next week. So I really shouldn’t complain about memes that need to retire. Especially in four days time because I will be saying…

Alien Day

Come on in.

Today is April 26th. Otherwise known as ALIEN DAY.

LV-426 is the name of the moon where the aliens were discovered. You know, the Xenomorph aliens from Ridley Scott’s movie franchise. One of the best sci-fi/horror crossovers ever created.

I saw the movie Alien as a small child. Like 6 years old small. We had Superchannel back in 1982 and it was one of the movies of the month. Somehow I managed to sneak a viewing of it without my parent’s knowledge. You think that’s young? We took our daughter to see it when the film was re-released in the theaters in 2003; she was 15 months old. The aliens didn’t scare her. The android getting ripped apart did.

I was thinking about watching the first film tonight once more. It is a favorite of mine, even though it is terrifying. Except for the second film, I have seen every other film in the franchise in the theater. I am probably one of the few that liked the third one.

A few years back, we watched all the films in one marathon as a family. A midweek marathon isn’t going to happen. But I do love me some science fiction. The next month is exciting for me!

Next week- Star Wars Day! And May 25th- Towel Day!

More Vegas Lights

No one told me I’d be walking as much as I have this trip. But with so much to see you forget about the walking.

Besides walking around outside, we end up walking through numerous casinos as well. Tons of sounds and lights inside. The only part about walking inside is the smell of smoke is strong. Not my favorite aspect.

Today will be a day of gift store shopping. There are neat stores everywhere. Coca-Cola, Hershey, M&M, Pepsi, so many kitschy places to check out. I’m sure I will find some great and unique gifts to bring home.

This Is Vegas

We have had a ton of fun so far over the last 24 hours. Lots of walking and drinking as we do it. I’ve enjoyed the strip and viewing every thing it has to offer.

I’m excited to see more of the strip tonight. We have had a good time of silliness and drunken stupors as we wander the city. My calf muscles are sore since I am not used to the walking.

I’m hoping to do some shopping tomorrow before heading home. There are plenty of kitschy places around. All of which I plan on hitting up for some souvenirs.

Have you been to Las Vegas? Any places I should try and hit up before leaving here?

Vegas Weekend

For the first time in a couple of decades, I am heading out for a “Boys Weekend” today. A coworker asked me about a month ago if I wanted to go to Vegas for his bachelor party. Initially I was leery because of a few reasons.

First, I don’t gamble. I have been to the casino twice in my life. Once was $20 and I lost it in the first five minutes. The second time was $5 and I won $50 in the first five minutes. I am also really bad at card games. I have gone to friends places for poker and always leave empty handed.

Secondly, I thought that I wouldn’t know anyone else. Turns out there will be a couple of other coworkers going. So at least I’ll have some people to hang out with.

Thirdly, I’m the oldest of the group. The next oldest is 11 years younger than me and the youngest is 20 years difference.

But I’m excited to have some time to just enjoy myself with a bunch of guys. There will be a lot of drinking. And insults galore. It’ll be a ton of immaturity and silliness. I have been asked to not take pics of our stupidity and not to share on my blog. So I will be respectful of my friend’s wishes.

Time to enjoy some Viva Las Vegas before we head out.