Women’s Day 2020

Previously I’ve mentioned how amazing some of the women in my life are. Including last year’s International Women’s Day. Every year, I become more and more proud of my wife and daughters.

My wife is a shining example of a great woman. She is loving and caring towards all of us. Many times she is sacrificing her time in order to benefit the family. Without her, I could not imagine a life as wonderful as I have now.

Our oldest daughter is working hard towards finishing high school. Twice a week she is a junior coach for our speed skating club. She also works for 1 Fish 2 Fish– a fish market in Langley. She works with a bunch of other women, all of whom are fantastic customer service representatives and extremely knowledgeable about seafood. They are led by another great lady who has run the business for two decades now.

Our middle child also does junior coaching at Langley Blades Speed Skating. Last month she went to Fort St. John BC Winter Games as a Young Official. She was an amazing asset to the team and loved volunteering her time there. She also pushes her abilities at school with great success.

These are the three women who matter most to me. I’m proud of their individual success stories. It’s also good to see that they are strong, assertive leaders. Our daughters will continue to grow and prosper over the years.

What women are you proud of in your life?

More Than Expected

When I started this daily blog Four Years Ago, my goal was to share about my life and experiences. I use my blog as a way to capture memories and hopefully influence positivity. I was happy and content with friends and family reading up about our lives. But something much more expansive occurred.

Gaining and earning “Followers” is a great feeling. Strangers have become friends- offering “Likes” and “Comments”. All of which have been positive and endearing. When I receive a new “Follower” I check to see what they blog about. Many times I end up following them as well. Everything from DIY to travel blogs.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Thank You for reading! I appreciate it. I hope that you find some solace in reading about my journey on this planet. And of course, always feel free to share my stories with others as you see fit.

Bingo!

19 years ago I needed some extra cash in order to pay for our upcoming wedding. Working part time at Colossus wasn’t making me enough money to start my new life. Since my wife and I didn’t want to do anything extravagant- starting that new life would cost us under $5000. But we still needed a bit of money.

So I got a job as a Bingo Caller. I worked Friday and Saturday nights for three months making some damn good money. And I was really good at the job. Spinning plastic balls every three seconds and calling out the numbers with my modulated tone made me a fan favorite. A favorite to the gamblers that were there every weekend.

I don’t gamble. It wasn’t because of being a bingo caller that I don’t gamble. I just never felt the rush. I’ve bought lotto tickets, tried casinos, and even did bingo on occasion. I’ve had some small winnings. ($50 in slots and $250 in luggage one time.) I don’t look down on anyone who enjoys gambling. It’s just not my thing.

But Bingo Players… they are a strange breed. The “Regulars” has numerous dabbers and rows of good luck troll dolls. 30-50 cards at a time. Their ability to scan these cards as quick as I called numbers- every 3 seconds. A game hardly lasted five minutes before someone yelled “Bingo”.

My job had me sitting on stage. The audience was silent as I spun the balls around to show the camera. After a brief moment, I called out the number shown. At which point, the gentle dabbing on the players’ cards went on. Like working in a library until someone yells “FIRE” “BINGO!” Then the crowds moans and groans. My name gets cursed.

Trust me, at the end of the night- people would literally come up to me and tell me how much they hated me for not calling their numbers. Some would come up and tell me how they loved coming in the nights I worked because of my pleasant demeanor. The place was so bipolar.

I hated that job, but after my wedding I didn’t need the money anymore. So one Friday night, two weeks after my wedding, I quit on the spot before my shift was to start. It was the most satisfying career move I ever did.

Throwing in the towel is sometimes gratifying. Quitting a toxic feeling job made me happy. Money isn’t always the answer. Job satisfaction is more important to me. I also emotionally grew from that job and learned my limitations.

Where Are The Words?

There’s nothing worse than trying to get your thoughts out and you stumble upon your words. You just sit there, struggling to say what you need to say. Feeling like your stupidity is exposed.

Then people try and come to your rescue. They try and complete your sentences or thoughts. Sometimes they’re right, most of the time they’re not. But your words just won’t come out, so you accept theirs as the ones you wanted to say.

Afterwards you wonder- what’s wrong with your mind? And is this a regular occurrence? Am I getting stupid as I get older? Are other people really that much smarter than me?

Yes to all.

But that’s okay. Being stupid means that the expectations can be lower. Time to embrace the dumb! You can call me “Slow Joe” from now on.

Feeling Cornered

The sun was shining extra bright this morning. It added a glow through the windows into our home. This glow brought me joy. So I took a couple of pictures. Pictures of corners.

I miss photography. There’s nothing “special” about this photo of our window looking into the backyard. But it is filled with artsy attributes. Leading lines, rule of thirds, and natural framing. Plus there’s sunshine adding to the natural lighting. A feeling of happiness was brought to me post-night shift.

Because I worked a night shift, it was time to go to bed. In our bedroom the blinds were closed and the bedside lamp was on. So I took another photo of the corner of this room. This corner is directly above the lower floor where I took the first picture. Again, I took a picture of leading lines and rule of thirds. Only this time before I went to sleep, I manipulated the photo with some Instagram filters.

The different effects are neat and really change what the camera sees. Of course, I’m only using my iPhone for these images. I still love photography and enjoy taking artsy style shots from time to time. I just can’t bring myself to purchasing an expensive camera in order to take amazing pictures. So I have to settle on what my eye sees, what my phone can capture, and what quick manipulation an app can make.

Do you enjoy photography with your smartphone? If you want to see more of my pictures, follow me on Instagram at BinaryDigit01.

If Life Seems Jolly Rotten…

There’s something you’ve forgotten.

And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.

I’ve always enjoyed Monty Python since I was a teenager. And ever since then I can remember quoting their songs, tv show bits and movies. What I find beautiful about that style of comedy is that they can make fun of the reality we live in and endure, but bring a smile and laugh to the audience.

Of course some of the songs seem pointless and ridiculous. While others try and cheer you up. Some of the humor pokes fun at the government and that in itself is timeless- “Help! I’m being repressed!

And yeah, lately life has been a bit tough. Lots of stresses being placed on me and the members of my family. From work to school to speed skating and beyond- it’s not always easy to get through each day. But I try. We try. Finding bits of joy and humor helps a lot. Monty Python wit is appreciated.

So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!

Oddly Satisfying Videos

There are times when I still get sucked into social media for hours on end. I don’t really know how or why. But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

I sometimes fall down a rabbit hole of “ODDLY SATISFYING VIDEOS”. Everything from wood turning to glass blowing to brick stacking. Seeing those menial tasks that people do on a regular basis bring me joy. especially when they’re good at what they do.

I also watch these videos muted. I prefer to read captions and not listen to the generic music used. I do find that if I listen to the videos I don’t watch as many. So maybe that’s a catch 22. I should turn the volume up and not watch as many.

Do you enjoy “ODDLY SATISFYING VIDEOS”?

Roaring Good Time

Last night was a Fundraiser for our oldest’s Dry Grad coming up in June. It was a dance with a 1920’s Prohibition Theme. The parents who attended went all out making the dance a memorable and fun event.

The ladies dressed in 1920’s era outfits. The men wore suits with suspenders and bow ties. My wife and I included.

My wife and I enjoyed the night out. We had a ton of fun taking pictures and being ridiculously 1920’s. It looked like the school was going to earn quite a bit of money for the the Grade 12 Dry Grad.

It’s great to have fun and let loose. Themed costume parties are also amazing when everyone participates. Last night was no exception.

An Extra Day?!!

Hooray for leap years! We get an extra day to enjoy every four years. Luckily for us this year it’s on a Saturday. That means… honestly it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just another day of the week.

February 29th is most important to those who were born on that day. I had an ex-girlfriend in high school who was born on February 29th. We joked that she was only turning 4. But as all leap year babies go, they usually celebrated on February 28th. And if people forgot about their birthday, March 1st was the back up.

What are you doing with the extra day this year? Does February 29th mean anything to you?

Parent Volunteering

This afternoon I was with some of the Grade 12 parents as we prepared for tomorrow night’s festivities. There is a Speakeasy going on in Fort Langley as a fund raiser for the Dry Grad.

There were tons of props made already. Parents of Fine Arts students are equally as artistic as the children who attend the school. I’m glad to be a part of it all.

I was assisting with some painting and cooking. There is tons of finger foods and hors d’oeuvres for tomorrow’s dance. I enjoyed cooking on a gas stove once more. As we made food and props, we also enjoyed some music and some beverages.

Laughing and talking with other parents about our kids was great. We all have the same goal and want the best for our kids. Doing a Fund Raiser that also allows parents to have fun is a good way to break the ice and make memories for the parents (and later in the year- the teens).

Being a volunteer parent should be a mandatory job. I had nothing but fun with the mothers over the past few months and leading up to this afternoon. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night.

Renew The DL

It’s almost my birthday and that meant it was time to get my Driver’s License renewed. It’s been five years since the last time. I swear that besides changing my address over the years- since I was 17 none of my vitals have changed. Or at least the Licensing place never changes the height and weight information.

This afternoon I went to the ICBC Driver’s Licensing Center expecting a long wait to get my new photo id. Instead, I was in and out of there so quick that I didn’t have time to get one last picture of my old license. I walked right up to the counter and was quickly ushered to where my picture would be taken and boom I was out the door.

Perhaps getting my new five year picture after a night shift wasn’t the best idea. I saw the black and white photo for a second and it definitely looks like I’m a criminal. But I also realize that my I.D. is rarely pulled out, so who cares what I look like. In fact most people don’t look at the image, just the address.

This is also the first time that I’ve not had to pay extra for any speeding tickets. I’ve been good- I swear. I’ll behave for the next five years too. Really…

BCIT

Yesterday our oldest daughter received the news that she made it into BCIT School of Business for Television and Video Production . She has been striving to get into this course for ages. Last month she also worked on hitting the prerequisite ahead of time by taking an online course offered at BCIT. This was her first Post Secondary course (she’s still in Grade 12) and her first opportunity to learn how the workload would be. Our daughter was bouncing with joy when she learned that she’d be one of the limited students for September’s intake.

Needless to say, we are really happy for her. Over the past couple of years she has been focusing a lot of her attention to working behind the camera. My wife and I are really happy that she attends the Fine Arts School where she gets an opportunity to use high end video equipment and software. Mind you, our daughter hasn’t strayed from her original major- music, so it’s nice to see her artistic abilities come alive.

Our daughter is a lot like me and can dissect a show or movie to its bare bones. We often share thoughts and dialogue about cinematography and filming in general. This is my connection with her, and I love it. I wish nothing but continued success in her endeavors as she grows into a young adult.

The course at BCIT is a full time two year program with a diploma. Once she completes the course, she will be able to work throughout “Hollywood North” as Vancouver is always a booming industry. If she wants to continue or expand her studies, she has talked about going to Capilano University for relevant courses. My hope is that she gets work doing what she loves and continues to love the work she does.

The Window Seat

My wife was kind enough to allow me to take the window seat for BOTH flights in and out of Fort. St. John. To me it’s kind of a big deal. I’m 6’8” with long legs. Usually I sit in the aisle and stretch out a bit. I also take the aisle seat so I can walk around during a flight.

This last set of flights were short enough that I could cram myself into the edge of the seat against the wall. I took a bunch of photos. Many of which turned out blurry. But I managed to capture some beauty of our province.

I love night time photos. The city lights on the ground showing the hustle and bustle of life below. We also sat at the tail end of the wings both times, so some of my photos were obscured by parts of the plane. We all know what it’s like to look out those tiny port windows.

But I think that adds to the reality of the journeys. I still find the magic in the reality of flying. Here we are thousands of feet in the air in a floating metal box while life goes on below us. Most of us forget that planes zoom above us everyday, carrying thousands of people to their destinations.

Within a few days, I’ll be there as well. Completely forgetting that I was up in the air, enjoying the window seat for the first time since childhood.

Fort St. John Hospitality

We spent the weekend in Fort St. John at the BC Winter Games. We are really proud of our kids for reaching some Person Bests this weekend! As well, our son with his friends are bringing home a bronze medal: BC Winter Games Success. But the hospitality Fort St. John offered was amazing.

We stayed at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites. The hotel chain had their first location in Fort St. John back in 1941. There is now 8 locations in BC and Alberta. Their accommodations were clean and the breakfast was filling. It’s no wonder that the Pomeroy also supported the building of the Long Track Speed Skating arena. It helps boost tourism into the city.

For lunches, my wife discovered the most amazing donair place. A little hole in the wall with delicious food. Fort St. John has been hiding this secret place from the rest of us. We ate there three days in a row. FST Donair- remember that name if you ever find yourself in Fort St. John!

After the Saturday events, we went to a Social put on by the Northern Lights College. We enjoyed some beers, snacks and a hot chocolate bar. It was a nice way to mingle with some locals and other parents who came to watch their kids perform in the games.

Closing Ceremonies
(The Big Screen showing off our son to the crowd. Another proud moment.)

Finally, I want to acknowledge the city and people of Fort St. John. They were kind, friendly and very helpful all weekend long. Visiting Northern BC was never really on my must-travel-to locations in the past. But as we’ve been to Fort St. John a couple of times now within the year, I can see why people would live here or visit more often.

I expect to visit a few more times over the years as our son progresses with his Speed Skating goals. Perhaps we will discover some more hidden gems in their city that I can share.

BC Winter Games Success

Podium Goals

The second day of BC Winter Games ended yesterday. It was also the second day of skating for the kids. And you could see how tired they’ve been getting. The day before, our boys successfully made it into the relay finals. Yesterday, their last Short Track race of the day was to compete in these finals. The three boys from our zone were against two teams of four skaters and one other team of three. Four teams on the ice competing for medals.

Our boys were a cohesive team. They came up with a plan for doing the laps for the 3000m relay. The coaches agreed with the plan and they executed it flawlessly. A few times we could see the boys reaching their limits as exhaustion was kicking in. But they held their own keeping on the heels of the teams in the lead.

They successfully placed third! After a clean race, the joy they shared together became evident for all of us who cheered them on. After receiving their medals, they wanted to show off their wrists. It was where they wrote their plan for how to run the race.

Seeing the kids earn a medal for their hard work is awesome. As I’ve mentioned before, they skate with one another on a regular basis. Sometimes even competing against each other. But to reach a goal and successfully push each other to the end result showcases the camaraderie they share.

Long Track at BC Winter Games 2020

Fort St. John hasn’t hosted the BC Winter Games in 36 years. The town has been excited to share with the province its amazing hospitality. We are pleased to be a part of it.

For the first time ever, the BC Winter Games will have Long Track Speed Skating. This is exciting for our kids as they get to compete in both Short Track and Long Track this weekend. Fort St. John built the long track ice rink in 2010.

Friday was filled with Short Track racing. Zone 3 (the zone our kids are representing) have been holding their own. Our son had two personal best times already. Thus showing that sometimes these bigger competitions can push the limits of their skillsets.

We are here for two more days of events. And of course, we’d love our son to bring home some hardware (read as medals!) If you wish to watch the games on YouTube, Subscribe to the FSJ Speed Skating YouTube channel (and click the bell) in order to be notified when we start the live video just before skating starts. The channel can be found at: YouTube Our son is the one wearing the number 53 on a light blue helmet.

So scream at your screen to cheer him on for us! I’m already going hoarse from all of my cheers.

2020 BC Winter Games Opening Cermonies

Last night was the Opening Ceremonies to the BC Winter Games 2020. It has been a long time coming. The last couple days have been the longest ever.

The night before, our Zone flew in on a chartered flight Off On Their Own. Earlier today, my wife and I flew in to Fort St. John with a few other parents. When we arrived, we had a chance to watch the kids from our zone as they warmed up on the ice.

In the early evening, my wife and I wandered nearby where the Opening Ceremonies were being held. We saw some amazing ice sculptures. With the chill in the air, it is no wonder that the sculptures looked fantastic.

The ceremonies were filled with pomp and circumstance. Starting with some of the local cheer and dance groups performing. Then the organizers of the games were introduced, followed by the entrance of the athletes. 1500 athletes that arrived on 12 charter planes and 5 buses.

Denny Morrison

Before the ceremonies ended the key speaker- Denny Morrison- took the stage and delivered a fantastic speech. He is the Fort St. John local hero who has won Medals for Canada at the Olympics for Speed Skating (Our son was also coached by him last summer). The flame was brought into the arena and passed to Denny. He lit the cauldron and the games had officially begun!

Now it’s on to cheering for the kids as they compete in their respective sports. Best of luck to all the athletes this weekend. We are rooting for you!

Feel free to watch live streams “Subscribe to the FSJ Speed Skating YouTube channel (and click the bell) in order to be notified when we start the live video just before skating starts tomorrow.” The channel can be found at: YouTube

Off On Their Own

Last night we sent our children off on a chartered flight to the BC Games. This is exciting for many reasons. First, it’s the Ten Year Anniversary since the 2010 Winter Olympics in BC. Secondly, many of us sent our kids off on their own for the first time ever. A great chance for these young athletes to to aspire to bigger and greater opportunities.

These young adults were excited and eager to show off their skills on a provincial level. Going to the BC Winter Games is more than a road trip with mom and dad to a small event. This is big in their young lives. A chance to show off their skills to the rest of the province.

I’m proud of the Speed Skating team that our Zone has. These boys and girls are talented and becoming masterful at skating. They have a couple of great coaches, three young officials, and our adult chaperone all going to support them. This weekend, they will have a chance to prove their skills.

I’m proud of our son for getting this far. He will be skating his heart out. I hope the he understands that he is skating for more than just himself. He is skating for his family, his club and his zone. There are many people cheering him on that he doesn’t even know about. But he is the one out there showcasing his skill set.

If you wish to follow along this weekend for any of the BC Winter Games- there will be streaming of the games here: FSJ YouTube And of course, I will be writing about our son (and daughter) all weekend long.

The Last Of It…

We have three teenagers in our home. They are witty, intelligent and caring of others. They are also moody, self absorbed and lazy. Not knowing which attribute we will see around the house is a fun game. A game I am not always prepared to play.

The worst part of this game is as a parent, I’ll ask a question of them. A question that I’m not expecting an answer to. More a rhetorical question that I want them to think about. As I grow older I realize that this is a typical “Dad Thing” to do. And my kids do the typical “Teenage Thing” as a response.

Here we see an example of what our kids love to do. They don’t quite use up everything. Just enough that they leave it for someone else to find/replace/change/throw out… a roll of toilet paper with one square… A carton of juice with five drops left… Sour cream with half a spoonful remaining… When I ask, “Who finished…?” I get the usual, “Not Me.” And sometimes, “It’s not empty…”

If I didn’t have to supply nourishment to them, there are some days I’d leave the fridge barren to prove a point. which I am tempted to do this weekend. Leave some lemon juice, a yogurt, pickled pepperoncinis, salad dressings and condiments- see how well they’d survive before asking for real food.

The joys of being a parent to three teenagers brings out my immaturity.

You’re The Cream In My Coffee

I heard a song today and it made me smile.

I’m not a poet,
How well I know it,
I’ve never been a raver,
But when I speak of you,
I rave a bit, its true.
I’m wild about you,
I’m lost without you,

You give my life its flavor,
What sugar does for tea,
That’s what you do for me.
You’re the cream in my coffee,
You’re the salt in my stew
You will always be my necessity,
I’d be lost without you
.

I listened to this song a couple more times as I drove home from work. There was something about the crack and hiss of the old recording that made it magical. It was as if the old song was speaking directly to me. Like the voice inside my head was reminding me of how much I love my wife.

Sure, it sounds cheesy. And it is. But it’s also true. I came home and at the dinner table I said the line to my wife, “You’re the cream in my coffee.” I thought I was being sweet.

My wife promptly reminded me that I don’t take cream in my coffee.

Family Day

Today is BC Family Day. A day designed to celebrate the family environment. That’s something I can always get behind.

I’m a huge proponent of positive family interactions. Many of my blogs are focused on our children and the activities they do and what we do together. I’m always trying to share the highlights and joy that comes from what we do together.

Today, I hope that many of you in British Columbia with kids and loved ones, take the time to relish what you have. Family isn’t always easy. Neither is being a Mother or a Father. With everything that goes on in the world- it’s nice to just have a day to relax and reflect on family values.

Happy BC Family Day everyone!

Come On Out to a Speakeasy!

At the end of the month, there is a dance in Fort Langley Community Hall that I am excited to attend. It is an opportunity for the community to support the Langley Fine Arts Dry Grad event happening later this year. There will be drinks available for purchase as well as a couple of Blackjack Tables and auction items up for grabs.

There will be plenty of “Old Timey” themes and music throughout the night. Personally, I love music from a century ago and feel inspired to be attending a Roaring 20’s dance. Because these are parents of Fine Arts students planning it-you know it’ll be well thought out and executed. Dressing the part from 100 years ago isn’t necessary, but it is encouraged!

For all my local friends who want to enjoy an evening out helping to support the Dry Grad- you can buy tickets here: Eventbrite. So get on your dancing shoes and flapper dresses! I’d love to see people attend and have a good time on February 29th!

Please share this throughout Langley and let’s make it a monumental event!

Four Years of Beers

Last year I went to Trading Post in Langley to celebrate Three Years of Beers. The year before I enjoyed Two Years of Beers. I was also there for the Grand Opening when they first started up. I have been a loyal customer and beer connoisseur of what the Trading Post has to offer. I have visited their three locations and will continue to do so.

The other day I received a message from a person whom I met up with last year at the anniversary. He was hoping to meet up again this year. Our friendship was formed over a mutual friend… and beers. I also met with a couple former coworkers from various past employments of mine.

As the afternoon went on, we had some good talks and loads of laughs. It was great to meet with everyone who makes life a bit more enjoyable. It’s all about networking, right? Or just enjoying life.

Now, I have a nice collection of specialty glasses each celebrating the various anniversaries from Trading Post. I also have a great collection of friendships that I have accumulated over the years. Taking the time to enjoy people’s company over a beer or two makes me happy.

Anniversaries are a great way to keep in contact with others. An anniversary of a brewery is even better.

Wisdom… Teeth

Our oldest daughter gets to enjoy her Valentine’s Day by getting her wisdom teeth removed.

Not the best date for Valentines, but it will help her mouth in the long run. Those teeth can have a detrimental effect to all those years of braces. Best to get them pulled now.

As I sit in the waiting room for her to be done, I searched out what I once wrote about My experience with having my wisdom teeth on a site called übersite. This is the excerpt from September 2005:

I have an impacted wisdom tooth. Not only is it impacted, but it has a cavity that is nearly half the tooth. I hope that I can bring you some pleasure from the pain it has caused me. It wasn’t that this suddenly occurred. The pain has been on and off for a couple years now. But, it has never been this unbearable. It almost feels like I chewed on some glass shards and they are imbedded in my gums.

This tooth is keeping me up at night. A small little whitish tooth is keeping a grown man awake at night thinking of ways to perform oral surgery on himself with needle nose pliers and 99 proof alcohol. (That was all I could find in my work shop at 2:40am that may not wake up the family.) I then thought of my shrieks of pain and the knowledge that my wife would find me unconscious on the floor of the garage. I’d probably be laying in the fetal position with a puddle of urine around me, a pair of pliers and a bottle of alcohol that I shouldn’t drink. Not to mention, that I’d be in my good pajamas; so I proceeded to not go through with it.

Instead, I came here to my computer to Google “wisdom tooth pain.” I didn’t have to go too far as the first site that came up was the one with the most info on pain and wisdom teeth. As I read on, my Tylenol began to work, and the pain and numbness began to subside. Until I realized that perhaps I should have had this tiny little irritation removed before the age of twenty. Now, at twenty-eight, I will have a much longer time to heal and a greater chance of infection. Good news for me! More pain and suffering than I should have gone through, if only my dentist didn’t tell me at age eight-teen that my jaw would be able to support the tooth. I still recall making fun of friends who had theirs removed. Now the tables have turned. Ok, I lie…

I’m not friends with any of those people anymore. Instead I have new friends. You know what I mean, the people who you just met over the past year or so. Perhaps you work with them or they’re from some group or club you belong to. These are the type of friends I have now. Many of my older friends are gone and grown up, doing good things with their lives. I generally hear about it through some sort of weird run in with a “mutual friend” at a mall or store.

Here’s a little known fact: I’m terrible with names. My wisdom tooth doesn’t make me any smarter in these situations. If I run into a familiar face, I usually end up saying, “Hey, what’s up?” Which is my own downfall, as it opens up an entire greeting, to which most people feel the need to stand there and talk for a good ten to fifteen minutes. I don’t care what they say generally. “In one ear out the other,” as the old phrase suggests. (My wife accuses me of this behavior on a regular basis. But she’s wrong. I do listen, but I don’t generally like to respond, because she doesn’t like my replies anyway.)

So there we are, standing like fools in a crowded mall on a Saturday, being “mall blockers” (you know, oblivious to people around and taking up more room than necessary because of that weird three foot apart rule that people follow) just to have a conversation about people we used to know, but neither of us see anyway. Then comes the point where I usually look at my wrist watch and say, “Well I got to get going. Good to see you again.” Both sentences are complete lies. I’m usually in no hurry; I just don’t have anything to talk to that person about. And quite frankly, the reason is that they weren’t directly my friend because they bored and/or irritated me. You all feel the same way about these awkward situations, until that one person throws in that odd request: “We should get together for a drink sometime.” Screw that! You already took ten minutes out of my day talking about people that I don’t see anymore, why should I waste an entire hour or two doing that?

But then as always, I say sure. Maybe it’s just a gut reaction. I exchange numbers with the person. I don’t have a cellular phone, so I usually dig up some old receipt from my wallet and they write on the back. I couldn’t bother to waste a business card on these people. Here’s the brilliant part, they put their name on this piece of paper. Now I know who it is I was just ignoring. I am so smart sometimes, that it astonishes even me. A few moments later, when they are out of sight, I find the nearest trash can and throw out that paper. At least this encounter gives me a chance to empty my wallet. If I don’t, I end up with all this crap in my pockets. The only bad part is that sometimes they call…

Now out come the excuses. It’s hard to lie on the phone, especially if you are caught off guard. Here’s where children should come in handy. I don’t know why, but if I have an important call to make, like to the dentist, they’re usually very loud, and distracting. But when that one person calls that you don’t want to talk to, both are as quiet as can be. Lucky for me, I have a cordless phone, so I sometimes go searching for one of my daughters to give them a pinch or wake them up just so they start crying.

Kids are a life saver. I should take them out shopping more often, so that when I do run into people, I can pretend like my kid just crapped herself, and that I’m in a hurry to find a restroom. No one wants a whiney, shit-smelling kid wafted under their nose. Not even me.

Well, that’s about it for my rant, a sore tooth and a quick gripe about irritating moments with people that you don’t want to talk to. Remember, if you see me in the mall, just ignore me, I’m probably trying to do the same to you.


TL;DR

Wow did I sound grumpy. Pretty sure it was the impacted Wisdom Teeth causing my jerky attitude. But it also made me realize that I’m glad we are taking our children to have their extra teeth pulled at a much younger age.

I also completely forgot about Übersite. Time to dig thru and find some of my old musings. If you read this far, I hope you enjoyed my extended blurb. If not, I’m sorry that I didn’t share a love story today. Here’s a music video by the Petshop Boys: Always On My Mind.

Estranged Stranger

I am an adult. I do adult things. I work hard to be the best husband and father that I can be. I also have friends and coworkers who rely on me and whom I rely on equally. I think I’m doing a pretty good job out there.

Over the years, I have chosen to lose contact with certain friends. Sometimes we just drift apart. Other times it was a misunderstanding or disagreement. That’s totally fine. Recently I was contacted by an old friend out of the blue. We shared stories and thoughts as if we hadn’t skipped a beat in our friendship. When I’m usually the one reaching out, it was heartwarming to know that he reached out to me instead.

As an adult with a life I in which I am trying to have filled with joy and happiness, I’ve chosen to lose contact with my mother and sister. My mother and sister have their own lives. I was often putting forth the effort to stay in contact and don’t have the energy to do it any further. It’s been a few months now, and I’m okay with that. After a few decades, it’s time to move on. I have other people who mean more to me in my life.

On the other hand, it’s also hard to want to miss somebody who could’ve been a bigger part of my life. How do I miss someone I’ve never met, like my Unknown Half Sister? It’s weird to think that there could’ve been someone I could look up to and ask advice. But that never came to fruition. That was more my parents’ choice to hide her existence for most of my childhood. As an adult, I just don’t care to discover an estranged stranger on the other side of the planet.

I sometimes dwell on the past. But I also move forward from these thoughts rather quickly. As I write this I know that it is helping me move forward with my life. I’m excited about the possibilities that my future has in store with friends and immediate family. Perhaps one day I’ll miss someone I haven’t met yet.