Friday, November 26, 2010

Advent 1

Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon

not your typical Christmas song but i'm purposefully putting this one up because i want to get you thinking about other matters than buying.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

back at the hospital

it has been on the schedule for a couple weeks now but Wendy was admitted to the hospital tonight. it wsa supposed to happen 9 days ago but the beds in the eating disorder program here in Winnipeg go first to others in the city who are in a more precarious mental health situation. it seems that the person making the arrangements was ill one day and that meant she delayed her going in for at least one of those days.

it has been a stressful time of preparation. i get in the way too much it seems and we haven't exactly seen eye to eye on some things. i've been trying to be flexible and i'm trying to hear her as she's expressing what she needs from me but the added stress in our life together has made every burr seem like a heart attack or something. i know i'm hard to live with ... but we all are.

i'm trying to pray about it and i know that i'm worried about it all. i just want some relief for her. i want her to have her life back so that we in turn can have our life back.

this past Sunday was the end of the church year. we begin anew with advent next Sunday morning. i've often thought during these transition types of days that my prayer continues to be to ask for a new season. i remember praying very fervently for a new season last New Year's and well, the season hasn't exactly been new at all. i'll still pray for answers, i'll still pray for her.

the phone call from the hospital came this afternoon but word didn't get to me until she came home from a doctor's appt. i had made it home after a long day at work and i was busy shovelling the 6 inches of snow that has been falling and blowing for nearly a week now. i've been sitting and stewing about it for a couple weeks now. it's what i do, when i get in a bad, stressful place i worry too much.

i dropped her off at the hospital. she has a nice room to herself. we spoke briefly about how she felt during the start of this ordeal. i won't be telling you about that although she did use the word "numb" to describe how she felt. pray for her. pray for me.

the penultimate supper of Doctor Who

i love me my Doctor Who. i "believe" this one doesnt take into account the most recent Doctor.
oh, and by the way my favourite Doctor was Tom Baker, that'd be him 3rd from the right.

via glocal christianity

Friday, November 19, 2010


it began last night and there was about 6 inches on the ground by the time i had to run to catch the bus this morning. this year has been a record for the more than a decade we've been in Winnipeg ... Nov 17th was the longest into the year that i was able to ride my bike to work.

i got up and realized that i'd need to dig out my winter boots and i still need to find the liner to my winter jacket. i was at the bus stop this morning when i realized it was recycling day so i ran back to the house to put it out. consequently i missed the bus by a couple seconds max. that's ok though, it'd mean that i could go shovel the back walkway. i still wouldn't have time to clear the car off for Wendy but at least she wouldn't have to trudge through the snow much on her way to clearing the car off.

it's been blustery all day. kinda like me lately. the more i think about it the more i realize that i'm not ready for this sort of thing and i'm not sure i'm talking about the weather anymore.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

sorry about my language

i was in a truly pissy mood yesterday. i was just angry about apparent rude behaviour of others and i was offended whenever i had to go through channels at work to accomplish what i could do on my own but was required to get approval for.

we had a staff meeting yesterday where i was one of 3 trainers trying to explain what and how to accomplish something that people will need to know how to do. we got to the "Any questions?" section at the end and there were a couple questions but all of a sudden the room exploded in all sorts of cross-talk amongst themselves. i just sat there thinking that i had already been through all of this training myself but i couldn't afford to chat with my neighbour while there were still questions to be addressed. i actually couldn't hear the questions that people had or the responses from my fellow trainers because there were 10 other conversations going on at the same time. it was thoroughly rude behaviour and i thought, "what is this, grade 9 homeroom that we need to discuss our lives instead of talking about how to get our job done properly? we're still at work right?" i actually had to yell in the room "QUIET PLEASE" so that we could hear the questions that were being asked. these are adults we're talking about, not 12 yr olds.

that just pushed me down a pissy road.

i'm angry about something else though. i'm stressed and angry at God because Wendy has to go back in the hospital. i've known about this for some significant time now but as we get to crunch time my anger comes to the foreground. i know that we're good people, that Wendy's good people, and yet we have all this shit to wade through. the air around us both is blue based on the fact there are occasions that one or both of us are swearing like truckers as we try to get a handle on the stress and other shit to deal with.

i'm not a swearer. really, i'm an exceptionally good lad. i've also sworn more in the last year than i remember swearing in the previous 43, i mean total. i'm just angry about it.

last night my wife took out some tuna and then started to cry after she opened it because Maddie (that would be our dog) used to love to eat the oil and water left behind. i just hugged Wendy tight because i'm also angry about losing Maddie still.

i called someone in my church community last night to explain why i wouldn't be showing up for one of our meetings last night. i explained to her that i'm just in a pissy mood and i'm coming down with a cold. i also said that i suppose Wendy might be able to convince to go to the meeting but left to my own devices there was no way that i was showing up. when i said to Wendy that i wasn't going to the meeting she didn't even try to convince me otherwise. it's undoubtedly true that if i am tired she's just plain exhausted.

i ate, watched a little tv with Wendy, did the dishes and went to bed last night.

i've been thinking that i should return to the counselor i saw last year. i'm not an angry man, i'm not impatient, i'm not frustrated ... normally. today and lately that's exactly what i've been.

how long oh Lord? how long?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

15 song shuffle

i saw this done by Lisa and i knew that i could easily do something like that too. it's a little bit of fun and we'll just see what we end up with. i have a pretty eclectic mix on my work Media player.

so here's the first 15 songs that came up on shuffle from my Media Player music library. you can do this too, and i'd be interested.

1. Marie - Steve Bell
2. As long as the Sun - Steve Bell (interesting, 2 in a row)
3. Reservations - Wilco
4. Blowin' in the Wind - Neil Young
5. Love is So Blind - Mark Heard
6. Learning to Fly - Tom Petty
7. Waiting for Aidan - Steve Bell (ok, is this thing broken? i'd say that only 10% of my player has Steve Bell music on it. where's the Larry Norman?)
8. Stubble and Hay - Gord Johnson (another friend)
9. Eventide - Steve Bell (sigh. maybe its a sign)
10. Twelve Good Men - Larry Norman (WOO HOO!)
11. Things have changed - Bob Dylan (another very cool tune. it was on the soundtrack for Wonderboys)
12. The 59th Street Bridge Song - Steve Bell's kids as a bonus track to Sons and Daughters. it's pretty cool actually.
13. Day Tripper - The Beatles
14. Airline to Heaven - Billy Bragg and Wilco (i've actually learned to play a rendition of this song on my guitar and it sounds rather cool if i do say so myself)
15. Outta Mind (Outta Sight) - Wilco (my buddy Craig should be pleased to see how much Wilco comes up in this discussion too.

ok, i changed one of the tunes because tune #16 was one that i couldn't resist. technically i cheated but you wouldn't have even known had i not had a guilty conscience about it.
well, that's me. how about you? throw down a link or a comment if you do the same because i'll want to see it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

an interesting development

i married a Mennonite. i'm very much inclined toward peace and justice issues although i'm not sure if i'd call myself non-resistant. at the very least i suppose i'd choose the label of pacifist for myself. i believe in peace and i'll eagerly point out that i stand against war in this troubled world. if i were asked to serve in the Armed Forces or if i had ever been conscripted (conscription is not in place in Canada and hasn't been since the Second World War i believe) then i would refuse to serve. that'd mean that i'd end up in jail or some lumber camp had i been born in a different era.

recently we went through Remembrance Day in Canada and nestled on either side of Nov 11th were two football games where it would be required to wear a poppy as a sign of remembrance for the fallen. i've always thought that Remembrance Day is a respectful day and i haven't had the internal ethical problem with an outward notification of my respect by wearing a poppy, even though i'm overtly opposed to the concept of war. i have taken to wearing a Mennonite button around Remembrance Day that i think is "better" than wearing a poppy. the button says, "To remember is to work for peace" and it falls into line with my thoughts around the concepts of war and respect for the fallen.

it was being strongly suggested that the entire crew attending these football games wear a poppy and i decided that i didn't want to risk that anyone would be offended by wearing my button on the field if they thought that i was being disrespectful to the memory of the fallen. so i wore a poppy since the purpose of the poppy is "Lest we forget" and not something like "isn't war glorious?" or some such twaddle. i believe in remembering and respect for fallen soldiers so that jump was not a difficult one to manage for me.

Mennonites do NOT wear poppies. i am not a Mennonite however. i do ref football with a Mennonite who took a little grief over his insistence that he would not wear a poppy. i was in there trying to help protect his right to remember in his own way but i can't believe how political the situation became.

a poppy is not a magic button. to choose not to wear one does not mean that you're disrespecting every veteran who has ever served in a war. to choose to wear one does not make you more of a patriot. we all have rights and we all remember in our own ways. i respect my friend's right not to wear a poppy because i too do not believe in war but i also chose to wear a poppy because the point of the poppy is Lest we forget ... above all else. i still will fight against any insistence that i must fight (yeah, i realize the paradox there) but i also won't disrespect anyone who thinks i "may" be insulting someone who died to help preserve the freedom i have to believe as i do.

it's an interesting development.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

some advice for 20-30 yr old unmarried women

if you're wondering if that guy is too old for you to be dating simply ask him this question:

"Hey, you know that tv show that had Uncle Jesse in it?"

if he answers, "You mean, Full House?" you're good to go;

if he says, "You mean, Dukes of Hazzard?" then he's too old for you and run away.

you'll thank me later. thank Wendy too, she gave me this gem.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

my football season ends for the year

no high school final for me this year, not like last year anyway. i will get to be a ball boy for a high school final so at least i'll get to see the game and be involved in some way but still it's a tiny letdown that i don't get to be on-field.

i was always a baseball guy. i started football because my buddy Tom asked me to and i wanted to be a little more busy during the course of the year.

i'm REALLY enjoying it for the most part. the guys are supremely cool (mostly) and they make allowances for the fact that everyone is different for how they do things. i only know of one other person who goes to games by bus and then begs for a ride after the game from anyone heading in the general direction of my side of town. those guys who are apparently annoyed don't get "prevailed upon" again and i'm finding that i'm picking up more friends as we chat during the ride in the direction of my place.

so ... i'll be a ball boy for 2 more games and then i'm done for the year. as far as the on-field stuff is concerned i'm done. every year we have a wind down party where we all get our paycheques for the season. i'll have worked over 30 games this season so i expect a decent payday. we also have a lottery on pay night where all the guys in our association throw $10 in a pot and we draw names. i won the lottery 2 years ago so that makes for some extra fun as we enjoy the camaraderie of the night and the football season.

i'm so tired today. it's been a long and fun haul. i have enjoyed the ride.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

does this sort of thing happen to everyone?

so i was the Back Umpire (that would mean i was the deep guy) at a High School Junior Varsity Semi-Final football game last night. i was anxious about the game all day long although normally i wouldn't. i was anxious because my last game had gone poorly after i didn't see 2 calls that i should've seen. so i was nervous and i got to the game with loads of time to spare before kickoff. i was dressed and fully equipped for the game; in order to do this job i would need my uniform, my bean bag for marking punts, my game card, pencil and my whistle on a lanyard around my neck and nestled in my front shirt pocket. there was no way that something stupid would happen to me this game.

or would it?

i lined up for the opening kickoff and my first job is to judge where the kick would come down and signal which referee would signal time in as well as watch the ball carrier or the blocks depending on my assignment. the ball is about to be kicked off and i reached for my whistle ... which wasn't there. wait a second, i distinctly REMEMBER getting my whistle out and putting it around my neck, i checked several times because i'm neurotic like that, but there i was with the ball in the air and no whistle with which to call this play that was about to happen in front of me. thankfully they kicked to the other deep guy so i actually didn't need a whistle on that play but still i was standing there without a whistle and there was a good chance i'd need that over the next 2 hours of football.

so i ran to my Line Judge who had the key to the official's room where all my gear was and i tore apart my own equipment bag looking for my whistle. i couldn't find it. i found my backup whistle so i threw that in my pocket and ran back to the field. thankfully there was an offside on the kicking team so i made it back on the field just in time for the rekick. it was at that moment that i realized where my whistle was.

the whistle is on a lanyard and it normally rests in my shirt pocket. it was still around my neck but somehow it was now sitting between my shoulder blades after it had gotten completely turned around. i had been wearing a couple layers of clothing so i hadn't noticed that it was backwards and of course none of my compatriots bothered to see or point out that i looked like an idiot with a whistle in the middle of my back.

i mentioned to Wendy that this sort of stuff doesn't seem to happen to other guys and she affectionately said "yeah it does, they just hide it and don't talk about it". maybe i should take some consolation that i'm a bit of an open book and just laugh at myself a little more. maybe stuff like this will teach me not to take things so seriously and have a little more fun with life. i'm still chuckling at my own ineptitude sometimes.

tell the truth, this stuff happens to everyone. it does so.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

how do you take your coffee?

i can be a bit quirky. some call it weird but to me it's just quirky. there's a difference y'know.

i don't like cream in my coffee; i put milk in it. yeah i know, what's the difference right? i was once told that if you wanted to lose 5 lbs you could just switch from cream to milk in your coffee. i did that when i was about 25 and i never went back. the funny thing is, i don't remember losing no 5 lbs, in fact my gut is decidedly larger than it was when i was 25.

i can't really tell you how much milk to put in my coffee either. well, kind of but not really the same as normal folks. sometimes i don't care, like maybe i'm at Tim Horton's for some joe and it's not worth the effort to explain just how much milk needs to go into my large leaded beverage. in that scenario most folks just ask for a single or a double or whatever it is that turns their crank and in that situation i just go with a single but that's not really what i want.

are you ready for this?

i want enough milk in my coffee that the milk goes down to the bottom and bounces back to the top. that's the right amount of milk for my cup of coffee.

now you know and you're the better person for knowing it.