Beauty Made

The FAILURE I wrote about yesterday led me to try exponentially harder on my next rug. So much so that I put in around 12 hours labor to get it right. That’s a long time for a twenty eight inch round rug. But I wanted it to be perfect. And it almost is.

I traced out the image as I normally do. This time I labeled each and every color spot and worked tediously to fill them in; leaving enough space to do the black outline in the end. After each colour, I trimmed the yarn. It was easier to do it this way so that the final touches would be minimal and easier to complete.

I have wanted to do this specific image years ago, but in an different medium. I was originally going to paint it, then I was going to paint it on a window, I even thought about doing it in stained glass; but now I created it in rug form. Beauty and The Beast is my favorite Disney Princess Classic. I’ve always loved this film. Great music, good story, very vibrantly executed. A masterpiece in animation.

I’m very happy with how this rug turned out. As usual though, I can see every flaw and just want to continue trimming and cutting. But if I do that, nothing will remain of my rug. The beauty will be gone and only a beast would remain.

This Beauty is adorning our master bedroom in front of the doors to our Juliet deck. It adds a splash of color and I am totally in love with this piece and the placement.

Now I don’t know what to make. This was the pinnacle of my desires. Maybe I’ll take a week off and get back to basic images. Unless you all have a suggestion! I love this hobby!

First Rug Completed

After a couple of weeks, my first rug was completed yesterday.

Now, it doesn’t take a couple of weeks to make a 16”x30” rug. But in that time I had to buy yarn, build a frame, order a power supply, figure out how to get an image projected from my iPhone, draw the image, tuft, glue, cut out, shave, shave some more, trim, shave again… in the end, the work required to do this rug took me about three to four hours.

A solid start. I learned what I need to do to be better. I also got a feel for the gun and the materials used. I’m hoping that my next few rugs will take about three to four hours but would have more details involved. The next rug I make is for me.

After a slow start on the rug My New Hobby turned out pretty good. I made it for my wife: Lee-Anne. She loves “L” from the anime “Death Note” and this was his symbol. Fitting since it’s the first letter of her name as well. Maybe after I make a few more rugs I will retry this one to perfect it. I know all the flaws I created and it will bother me for ages. But still, a solid first rug.

Recaptured 80’s

I love nostalgia. It’s the one thing that I am often thinking about. I always share stories of my youth and seek out ways to relive those memories.

I follow a fantastic Instagram account that really taps into my 80’s desires. Recaptured 80’s. I love that there is new images added daily along with videos and polls. Following along has sparked memories I didn’t even know I had until I saw them once more.

My 80’s PJ top with iconic cartoon characters.

I’m just a big kid who loves his 80’s. From cartoons to movies; toys to video games; books to candy- it all brings me joy. Sometimes I put on some old cartoons in the background, like GI Joe or Transformers and enjoy the sounds as I live my life. In our pool I’ll play some 80’s favorites and rediscover some lost classics.

Our kids have also grown a love for 80’s films. So much so that they both bought rather expensive Lego sets for themselves with some of their Christmas money. The Delorean and Ecto-1. Both iconic cars from a couple of great 80’s films.

I’m glad that my passions have become my kids’ passions as well. They have even taken to loving music my wife loves. Our middle has taken over my wife’s records and has a love of the same music as my wife. Not to mention that our kids also steal our sense of amazing clothes and wardrobe style.

Have you passed on what you love to your kids? I know I’ve seen some pictures and stories from a few of you. I love it all.

Recaptured 80’s

I love nostalgia. It’s the one thing that I am often thinking about. I always share stories of my youth and seek out ways to relive those memories.

I follow a fantastic Instagram account that really taps into my 80’s desires. Recaptured 80’s. I love that there is new images added daily along with videos and polls. Following along has sparked memories I didn’t even know I had until I saw them once more.

My 80’s PJ top with iconic cartoon characters.

I’m just a big kid who loves his 80’s. From cartoons to movies; toys to video games; books to candy- it all brings me joy. Sometimes I put on some old cartoons in the background, like GI Joe or Transformers and enjoy the sounds as I live my life. In our pool I’ll play some 80’s favorites and rediscover some lost classics.

Our kids have also grown a love for 80’s films. So much so that they both bought rather expensive Lego sets for themselves with some of their Christmas money. The Delorean and Ecto-1. Both iconic cars from a couple of great 80’s films.

I’m glad that my passions have become my kids’ passions as well. They have even taken to loving music my wife loves. Our middle has taken over my wife’s records and has a love of the same music as my wife. Not to mention that our kids also steal our sense of amazing clothes and wardrobe style.

Have you passed on what you love to your kids? I know I’ve seen some pictures and stories from a few of you. I love it all.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 8-HEALTH

From food to gift giving, being healthy at Christmas is another thing I appreciate.

I have not been the healthiest of people since pretty much my birth. I had an upper lobectomy on my left lung when I was two. I have had some severe asthmatic attacks and have always struggled with high endurance activities causing stress on my lungs. Because of a compromised respiratory system- every year I get the flu shot.

80’s Toy set.

As a child I often had ear infections and caught colds quite easily. I recall one Christmas morning in the early 80’s where I had a stomach bug. I was throwing up all day long. But as a child, it didn’t hinder my play time. But I do remember my mother making my play in the kitchen with some of my new toys, so that if I threw up, it would be on the linoleum. I have memories of peanut butter barf and The Dukes of Hazard toy set.

In the year 2000, my future wife and I were about to celebrate our first New Years together. I had the luxury of catching the flu. I’m not going into detail about how I caught it, but let’s just say I am an idiot and my wife can tell you the story of you ask. Needless to say, I was bed ridden that night. So we played numerous Disney DVDs that I owned followed by “Flesh Gordon and the Cosmic Cheerleaders.” I’m not sure if it was the hallucinations from the flu, or if this movie is really that odd.

I believe it was 2009 when I got hit with H1N1 and was laid out for three weeks in November of that year. I was better by Christmas, but damn if it didn’t feel like I was on my deathbed. Again, I was having fever dreams and tripping balls as for days on end.

November of 2017, I went to the doctor because I was having some difficulty swallowing food. I ended up getting a barrage of tests done. By Christmas, I had a diagnosis and was given two options. Take some pills or go through the rigamarole of testing if I have food allergies. Naturally I chose the pills and have been better ever since.

When Covid arrived, my paranoia kicked into full gear (I’m sure some of you did as well). I avoided people as much as I could. I have gotten every booster shot as soon as I could. Having suffered the Swine Flu, I never wanted to get hit hard with Covid. Especially since I am down half a lung.

I mentioned all of this because I am happy to be as healthy as I am. I’m not in perfect health, but I am very conscious about my limitations. I appreciate what the doctors have done for me over the years. I still see my family doctor as required. Even if I don’t deem it necessary (finger in the bum time is overdue.) But I appreciate my health, it allows me to spend Christmas with my loved ones every year.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 5-MOVIES

Christmas isn’t Christmas without holiday films. Like most folks, I have a few that are personal favorites that are a must watch every year. I even have specific dates for a couple of them. Now, we can all agree that most of the Christmas movies out there are filler and cliche- especially those Hallmark ones. Sometimes those are good as background noise where you look up from your phone periodically.

But the ones that hit home- right in the nostalgia senses- are the ones I appreciate most. I do love “Gremlins” and “Die Hard” plus a handful of other films. But these are the ones I want to address today. (Sorry Wiggles, you guys are only for decorating the tree and not quite a film in the broad sense.) As well, those 60 minute or less cartoons aren’t a part of this list because they are always a part of Christmas viewing for nearly everyone.

Every year, on the first weekend of my kid’s winter break from school- we watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. This has got to be the best way to start off the Christmas season. A father trying his damnedest to make the best Christmas for his entire family. Not an easy task when things are going wrong constantly. Some of my favorite Christmas quotes come from this film. “I don’t know Margo!”

“Elf” and “Dr Seuss How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” both have a soft spot in my family’s hearts. I much prefer the live action Grinch over Elf. But I do find certain scenes amusing in Elf. Both films have great watchability for all ages and are kind of timeless still.

“Scrooged” with Bill Murray is a fantastic adaptation of Charles Dickens immortal classic, Scrooge. (See what I did there? Quoted the movie directly). This film hits me in the feels with a toaster. It influenced me to not want to climb a corporate ladder as you will miss out and push aside people who care about you and people you care about. It is on the verge of not holding up because of being set in a television studio, but I love it so.

My absolute favorite film is “A Christmas Story”. Back in the early 90’s a tv station called TBS played this film nonstop for 24 hours from Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. I had a tv in my bedroom and remembered for a few years in a row that I would let it play and lull me to sleep. I love the story telling in this film and it remains unrivaled to this day. It is relatable to all generations at all times. I still watch this film on Christmas Eve as a way to end the night before Christmas Morning.

What are some of your favorite Christmas movies? Let me know if you like the ones I enjoy.

Decorating The Tree 2022

Last night we went to work decorating our main Christmas tree. In doing so, we kept our regular traditions alive of how we decorate.

First, we put on The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling. This video has been played every year for nearly two decades. It’s a favorite of our teenage kids and it wouldn’t be Christmas without singing along!

Second was having eggnog. My wife had a spiked FIRENOG this year. Which we have been making for years. One of the best combinations for a festive drink that i can imagine. So easy: Fireball and eggnog. Warm and tasty going down.

This year we finished decorating the tree in just under an hour. Later this week our oldest will be coming out to put up their sentimental and special ornaments. They were supposed to come over and join in the fun, but got taken down by Covid earlier this week and hadn’t quite gotten their energy back yet. Maybe we can show The Wiggles again while they decorate their portion!

About two weeks remaining until Christmas and I’d say that our home is festive and welcoming for Jolly Old St. Nicholas to swing by. As well as friends and family- we’d love to share our space with you.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Decorating The Tree 2022

Last night we went to work decorating our main Christmas tree. In doing so, we kept our regular traditions alive of how we decorate.

First, we put on The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling. This video has been played every year for nearly two decades. It’s a favorite of our teenage kids and it wouldn’t be Christmas without singing along!

Second was having eggnog. My wife had a spiked FIRENOG this year. Which we have been making for years. One of the best combinations for a festive drink that i can imagine. So easy: Fireball and eggnog. Warm and tasty going down.

This year we finished decorating the tree in just under an hour. Later this week our oldest will be coming out to put up their sentimental and special ornaments. They were supposed to come over and join in the fun, but got taken down by Covid earlier this week and hadn’t quite gotten their energy back yet. Maybe we can show The Wiggles again while they decorate their portion!

About two weeks remaining until Christmas and I’d say that our home is festive and welcoming for Jolly Old St. Nicholas to swing by. As well as friends and family- we’d love to share our space with you.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Festive Themed Horror Humor

Just like the month of October, I am enjoying some outlandish horror films based around the Christmas season. I’m not quite able to make myself watch one every day, but I have been watching them on my days off.

As can be expected- the films I’m watching are pretty budget. The Nutcracker Massacre was set in one house and the Villain (A life size Nutcracker) had two facial expressions. Neither had the mouth wide open like a real nutcracker, so that was disappointing.

Elves was another set in basically one house and a bar. The acting was that of a bunch of college friends trying to make a film. But no one read the script or took acting classes. The best part was the silly Snap Chat special effects on their faces. And even better was that one of them mentions it almost exactly like that in the film.

I have a few more bad movies in my queue to watch. Like really bad. Weredeer comes to mind right away.

I think it’s fun to watch these schlock films. I figure if people put forth the effort to make them, others should make the effort to watch the films.

Even if they are really bad.

NBX Shrine

We love NBX. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s the film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by Tim Burton. I have loved that film since it originally came out in theaters back in 1993. I saw it back then when I was 17 and have loved it ever since. I own a VHS copy of the film as well as a couple versions on DVD. We watch it a couple of times each year in some fashion.

We own a lot of fan art of the film as well. Our oldest painted the swirl hilltop one, I 3d printed Jack’s head, but my favorite is the couple going to the park. I love how this film can bring out the artistic side of people.

As a family, we have enjoyed trips to Disneyland at Halloween. Meeting Jack and Sally, riding the Haunted Mansion ride when they changed it to NBX. Even dressing up as a family in costumes to be the characters at Halloween. Plus my wife’s favorite car decal ever- “My Family is a Nightmare” has adorned a couple of our cars now.

We bought some fancy statues by Jim Shore in Disneyland a few years ago. And again, our oldest made miniature paintings for each character. These stay on display all year round in our living room. Kind of like a small symbol of our family.

This Christmas, my wife has created a shrine to display more of our Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. It’s in her office on the fireplace mantle. A fun and friendly reminder of such a great film and all of the memories we have created as a family together from it.

So if you are ever in doubt of a gift idea for any of us- something from NBX aka The Nightmare Before Christmas would always be welcomed!

What’s A Unico?

Hello Kitty

Our middle child has been a huge Hello Kitty fan ever since a pair of shoes was put on their feet at around age two. Darwin went to a Hello Kitty Super Cute Friendship Festival a few years back. We even went to a Hello Kitty Cafe in Tokyo in 2018. We still buy Hello Kitty gifts and that will probably never stop.

But even after sixteen years of enjoying everything Hello Kitty and Sanrio- Darwin discovered a character that they knew nothing about in the Sanrio universe. No, not Dar-Chanrio…

This evening I put on an anime film from 1981. I remember watching it with my little sister when I was a child. As the film credits began- the old Sanrio logo appeared. Darwin was shocked to have not know of this movie (or it’s sequel). Immediately an internet search was underway.

After a dive into the official Sanrio and Hello Kitty sites, no mention of Unico is made. But a search of Wikipedia and a Hello Kitty fan page showed this cute unicorn is indeed a piece of Sanrio’s past.

The discovery of this character was a bit mind blowing. It was almost turning into a “Mandela Effect” moment as there was no record of Unico on the official websites. In all honesty, the first film was nothing special. We will probably watch the second one in the future. I don’t think anything Unico will enter Darwin’s collection.

But I could be wrong.

Weathering Halloween

Looks like there is a possibility that rain will be here for Halloween night. It’s not the first time it has rained on October 31st. I do recall a few times having to take an umbrella out to keep the kids dry. But the excitement of free candy kept them going.

As a kid, I lived in Alberta and had to suffer a few snow filled Halloween evenings. Winter jacket and snow pants covered the costume, or you got a baggie costume and draped it over your outfit. It didn’t matter because you knew what you were pretending to be. And you still got candy!

I couldn’t imagine being an adult in my 20’s attending a Halloween party in Alberta like that. Especially since most people showed up at our parties in their “sexy” outfits. I imagine it would look like these.

Again, using your imagination and a Sexy Ghostbuster is pretty amazing. I’ve seen one.

Terror On Tubi

This entire month, I have been enjoying some of the most ridiculously cringy horror films ever made. Besides one or two films, most of the movies I have been streaming from Tubi.

What I find amusing is that I had no idea Tubi existed or that they even promoted “Terror on Tubi” this time of year. I recently discovered the app/website when we bought a new Amazon Fire TV and was browsing for streaming apps.

This is the first year I have watched a horror movie a day for the month of October. I may make this a regular tradition every year. I have been amused and throughly entertained this month. I have even had family members join me periodically to watch these ridiculous films.

Anyways, on to the next movie!

With only 8 days remaining until Halloween, todays film is about spiders. I was originally looking for the movie, “Arachnophobia” but have been unable to find it. I also thought about putting on “Eight Legged Freaks”- both films I had seen in the movie theater years ago. Instead, I went with a film from 1975- “The Giant Spider Invasion”.

Do you enjoy bad movies? How about horror films? What are your Halloween traditions?

Hang In There

The past few days have been rather difficult. Mentally and emotionally very challenging for me. Some of it is from work. Some from family. But the majority of my hardship is coming from within.

At the beginning of October I decided I needed an escape that wasn’t harmful to my well being. So I began to watch bad “B” Horror films. So far I am ten days and ten films in. Each day I am astonished at the ridiculousness of the plots and the idea that somehow these films were financially backed.

These films have brought me a few giggles. I am also able to really let myself be taken in by the ideals of movie magic and special effects. My wife is astonished that I discovered Tubi and how many films of this caliber is out there. She chose tonight’s film- “Attack of the Killer Donuts”. Spectacular in all aspects and well worth shutting off your brain.

Each of the films I have watched are shorter than most major motion pictures nowadays. Long enough to make it longer than a tv series, but short enough to keep me alert. With all of these bombs, it is taking me away from my life. A well deserved mental break from the challenges I face.

I just have to keep telling myself: Hang in there. It gets worse…. And so do the movies.

October Movie Schlockfest

Every day in October I am planning on watching a cheesy movie. Preferably sci-fi and/or horror- the more “cringy” the better. So far I have watched three films that really fit the bill.

First film I watched was “Invaders From Mars” made back in 1986. I remember this film coming out on cable tv in the 80’s and I was so excited to see it. It is not good. Lots of excess screaming and ridiculous looking aliens. None of which is scary by any means.

Last night I watched “Cube Zero” which I was honestly hoping would be as good as “Cube”. Alas, it fell short. In fact it almost ruins the idea of what the original film “Cube” was about. But cheesy acting and ridiculous practical effects helped to make it more campy than “mind fuck” like it’s original.

Tonight I went back to the 80’s for an absolute disaster of a film. “Munchies” knew it was campy and ridiculous from the start with hints at “Gremlins” and numerous other movies prior to it. It is not a good film by any means. I lost interest in it by the end and was nodding off on the couch by 9pm.

The idea of watching cheesy and campy films came about on September 30th. That was the day my middle child and I decided to watch “Hocus Pocus 2”. Cheesy, corny, nostalgic and not very good. Perfect to get my tastebuds wet with the month of October.

Do you have any extra cheesy films for the spooky season that you would recommend? I have a few saved on our streaming device.

Halloween Costume Choice

Halloween is approaching. I am behind in my usual costume planning. So it’s time to figure out an easy one that I think I can do. Here are two of my choices so far. Please help with some advice.

1st: More Cowbell.

I think I can pull off a Christopher Walken impression for one night. Especially if I just quote the classic SNL skit. Maybe I can find a friend to do Will Farrell’s part and really nail the joke.

2nd: Fear And Loathing

This has been my look for most of the summer. Tinted glasses, bucket hat, Hawaiian print shirt. I just need to work on slurring my speech and awkward walking. (although I did that throughout the summer as well).

Which of these two is my best option? I’d love to hear your vote. Or, is there any other possible characters I could pull off this Halloween? I have enjoyed some of my past iterations of Rick Sanchez, Vincent Price, Obi-Wan, Ash vs Army of Darkness, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sportacus, Pee-Wee Herman, Hudsucker Proxy, and many more.

I Turn My Camera On

Today would have marked my father’s 80th Birthday. One of the few things I have kept of my father’s is his camera. It’s nothing special to anyone but me. Valued at $40 used on eBay. The Praktica is nothing more than a 35mm chunky camera.

The reason it’s special to me is that my father realized that when I was born- he did not own a camera. He went out and bought it within a couple of days of my birth. Partly because there was some uncertainty in my living beyond a short while. I had respiratory issues from birth. But that’s another story. This camera was purchased in 1976- the original receipts and warranty card are still in the carrying case.

I ended up using this camera in high school back in the mid-nineties for my photojournalism class. I took numerous black and white photos with it as well as colour pictures. Some of those ended up in the year book. Including my favorite which was a collage overlay of four photos together making up the front of the school. Not too easy to do when there was no preview screen and had to wait to get the images developed.

Now as our son enters grade 11- he has taken up photography as his art major. With it came a curiosity of my father’s old camera. In the first week of photo classes, he went through four rolls of film just taking black and white photos with it. Soon he will develop the pictures and see what he has created.

The one picture that my son wants to take with the camera is one I am impressed he thought of. It’s nothing outrageous, but rather one that brings the camera’s journey full circle. He plans to take some photos of my father’s tombstone- using the same camera that my father had bought to take pictures of me at birth. It’s quite convenient that the graveyard is merely steps away from the school grounds.

I’m not going to lie, at first I had a tough time allowing my son to use the camera. But he has been respectful and understanding of the sentimentality to me. He keeps it in the case and is very careful when handling it. As I said, there’s no monetary value to this item. But it means a lot to me as I wish my father could have seen the lovely grandkids that were produced. I would hope he would’ve been proud of me. But I didn’t become a good father to impress him. I became a good father to spite him.

Happy 80th Grampa. You missed an entire world, yet somehow you are still a big part of mine.

Down Time Before Bed

My day was filled with being busy at work, some basic chores and then time with family. I nearly forgot to write today’s blog. So I checked out of my life for a bit before writing this.

For the first time in ages I threw on some YouTube in bed. I watched Season Six Episode One of Rick and Morty. I was going to write my blog as the show was playing, but ended up getting too enthralled in the episode.

Nobody exists on purpose.

I love this show. My son and I even did a cosplay together over six years ago: Father Son Time. We share a bond of shows like this along with a vulgar humor.

Ironically, my son now fits those pants I wore for the costume and loves to wear them. I also found my flask from the cosplay the other day (still had booze in it…) In a couple of days my son and I will watch the few episodes that have been released. I plan to share a few good laughs and speculation on what’s to come or inter-dimensional paradoxes (or some other type nerdy sci-go shit).

To quote the great Rick Sanchez, and send you off for the night:

Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!

(which means I am in great pain)

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Love And Thunder

This morning we took our two youngest to a morning matinee at the theater. It was a last minute purchase, but the kids convinced me that this was important.

I will say it was a nice experience hanging with the family in a half filled theater. We made ourselves comfortable as the film rolled. Of course we snuck in some snacks- as most do when watching movies.

I’m glad to have had some quality time with the family. We enjoyed the movie together and I know there aren’t too many more of these events left. I’ll take it!

More ID4

“Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

~President Whitmore

This has to be one of my favorite monologues from a movie in modern cinema. I have another favorite from the movie “Four Rooms” but that’s for another day. The quote from President Whitmore is from the film Independence Day.

ID-4 is one of my favorite films that I must watch EVERY SINGLE YEAR! I’m not American, but the cheesy and campiness of the film is fantastically put together with action and comedy throughout. We watch it as Our Canadian Tradion on July 4th. After I finish work tonight, we shall be engaged in the watching of said film once more. I can recite so many of the lines from the film that I could practically do it in my sleep. I’m pretty sure my kids can do the same.

Hopefully they will pass on the tradition of watching the film as the years go on.

Do you watch this film regularly like we do? Let me know your favorite scene in the comments!

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.

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.

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.

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?