Confessions No. 13 – Hockey

Oh… I am going to admit something so very, very taboo.

I hate hockey.

There, I said it. Yes, I, a Canadian, who does a lot of Canadian stuff like camping, hiking and apologizes a lot even if I’m not in the wrong, does NOT like hockey. Which, as a Canadian stereotype, is very un-Canadian-like and is something I would never admit at any sports bar or pub for fear of being chased out, hunted down and stripped of my Canadian citizenship.

This is not something new. Growing up, I actually thought I was just weird. That maybe I’ll grow out of it. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn to love it. Years passed by and I still can’t stand the sport.

I think this realization really was brought out when I was down in Phoenix for my first business trip with the new parent company. They took us to a really high-end bowling ally. Until then, I didn’t think “high-end” and “bowling ally” could be used in conjunction with each other. But this place was NICE! Too bad I can’t bowl.

Anyway, they made sure the TVs were on the hockey game. It was the play-offs. Toronto Maple Leafs were not in it – Montreal Canadians were, though. And as most of us were from Toronto, they said, “Hey, you guys must all be happy to see a Canadian team in the playoffs!”

Now, the Americans from my company, are not big into hockey, either. Even though the NHL is pretty huge, from what I gather, in the states. But they have more options in sports than we do – especially when they are much more supportive of their college sports. I wish we were more into our college sports teams. Seriously – they put our school spirit to shame!

Anyway, I did know one thing I was really proud of… what is worse as a Canadian to admit not liking hockey, is no where near as bad if I were to support my rival team. I know that being a Torontorian, if I’m going to cheer for a team, it had better be The Leafs. And NOT the Canadians. Unless I want to be chased, hunted down, stripped of my Canadian citizenship AND skinned alive.

I then admitted to them, the Americans, that I am not really into hockey. I felt, at least, it was safe to say this to them. They really didn’t care, right?

They looked at me dumbfounded. They said, “Well, you’re an anomaly!”

Am I? Am I really an anomaly JUST because I do not like hockey? Honestly, it wasn’t until the Americans pointed this out, that I really felt like I was out of place. I mean all my friends like hockey. ALL of them. My husband’s family, too. Not so much my family but they are excused since they immigrated over to Canada.

There must be other Canadian-born people out there who do not like hockey. Seriously!

Maybe I should form some type of support group or something.

[On the side note, while on a whole I’m not a very big sports fan overall – I mean, I’d rather go to the museum or art gallery than watch most sports – I am an Olympics fan and will watch both men and women’s hockey during the winter games. I also have a list of other sports I would much rather watch over hockey and they are, in the following order: baseball (I’m actually quite dedicated to The Jays), curling (yes, I like curling, okay? and that can be argued as being very Canadian), soccer and basketball. I’ll even watch lacrosse and rugby before hockey. Oh – and this sport called Hurling. Yes, I’ll even watch hurling over hockey!)]

Spoken from a Past Abusive Relationship Escapee

I mentioned in a previous rant – the one where I just loathed not just Monday mornings, but the anticipation of Monday mornings being somewhat far worse – the numerous co-workers I have to deal with. And the stories I can tell. And yes, I realize that the title of the linked post is about zombies because that’s where the post was heading, but there was, still, a point there somewhere of the ‘werk jerks’ I sometimes I have to deal with.

This subject, however, is one close to my heart. Because in my late adolescent years lasting to my early 20’s, I was in an abusive relationship. I’ve brought this up before when describing the psychological win an abuser has over their victims. I won’t go into it further in this post except just to emphasize it’s not about the victim being weak in staying in a relationship. The victim has been weakened over time through extremely strong mind-control which is a skill an abuser has.

So at work, I have heard more than once, sadly, more than many, many times, of which each time I say something and each time I get a dirty look, where people question WHY the victim stays in their abusive relationship. Accusations and questions come flying out: Don’t they love their children to leave their husband? Why doesn’t she just run away? It’s not like we’re in a third-world country that has no support/shelters… what is her excuse for staying?

When I try to combat each of these accusations, I am met with an angry and frustrated, “Yes, I know. That’s why I started with saying ‘I know it’s easier said than done…'”

It’s easier said than done, BUT…

I’m not racist, BUT…

Not trying to sound sexist, BUT…

When will people learn that just because they use mere words to say they aren’t something doesn’t mean that what they are about to say is negated and excused… and clears them of all notions of being a fucking asshole.

I am probably not in the minority of working with dicks like this. I am aware of this being all-to common in the workplace. And everywhere else. It never makes me give up, though. I will always try to educate whomever will listen to reason (if possible). with a steady and patient voice, I always try to give them information (founded, scientific information, whenever possible) to just try and make them think.

Still, I admit, I get so tired of hearing these words. The worse are the women who say, “If I were in that position, I would grab my kids and walk away right away!”

I have heard this many times myself. So naive and immature – I wonder if these people realize they are basically saying, I am better and stronger than SHE is. Look at me! I show no empathy to the weak because they should be strong! Like me!

It is tiring. I need to try and distance myself from these conversations. Which is why I am such a loner at work. Thank God.

Easter Weekend 2017 was EPIC!

And I say it was epic because, as usual, we hosted Easter dinner for my family. This year, however, we outdid ourselves.

No. Seriously. I think we raised the bar. There’s no way we will top what we did this year unless we win the jackpot and fly my entire family to Hawaii, first class and hire high-end catering with only the most expensive vintage wine.

Oh yes… followed by a private Polynesian dance performance. And massages on the beach for all!

It’s nice to have her old enough to help now.

The menu consisted of:

Italian Spring Salad – tossed with Bocconcini, Heirloom Tomatoes and Prosciutto

French-cut Marinated and Grilled Lamp Chops

Smoked Rainbow Trout

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Grilled Asparagus

Tri-Colour Sweet Potato and Bacon Casserole

And everything turned out PERFECTLY! Plus, I paired dinner with an amazing Shiraz from Australia. It helped it was 15% alcohol level.

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I love finding boardwalks in the middle of a forest!

To back up, the weekend started off with a 1 hr and 20 min hike. It was semi-challenging due to all the constant up and down climbs. However, very much worth it because, well, as you can see, we needed to start working off our dinner even before we ate our Easter dinner the next night.

Overall, it was a wonderful long weekend!

But what made this year’s Easter shindig of ours was epic was the following conversation:

Dad: When marijuana becomes legal next year, can you get some?

Me: I suppose. Why?

Dad: I want to try it.

Most excellent!

Chai Coconut Latte and Diana Krall

Being extremely spoiled by my best friend Ada during my mid-20’s, I’ve never been able to have the store-bought, pre-made Chai tea bags. Nor the cafes that make the latte’s from boxed, sugary (too sugary), processed liquid mix which they add to black tea. Nope. Sorry – that’s just not real Chai tea.

Ada, see, would invite us over after we went out for dinner somewhere in walking distance from her 1-bedroom apartment on Queen St (downtown TO). She would, from scratch, create the most luxuriously, smooth and creamy Chai latte for us. The process would take at least 30 minutes but the wait was so worth it.

She often commented the tea was so rich and velvety that it was enough to pass as a dessert (even though it had a fraction of the calories from any typical dessert order one would make from a restaurant menu).

20 years later, I still have fond memories of her Chai tea latte she made for us. When I found the following Bobby Flay recipe for Chai Coconut Tea Latte, I knew I had to give it a try. I used all unsweetened coconut milk and passed on the brown sugar. The coconut milk does not froth as much as regular milk but not being one to drink dairy milk, this was my personal option.

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Homemade Coconut Chai Tea Latte

It was heavenly – crushing the spices fresh for this process is worth the time and really, very little effort! I have made this twice for my husband and I on the weekends. I add a touch of 10% cream and a little sweetener but my husband enjoys it as is.

We had this, in fact, for dessert last night. Sitting in our living room, we sipped our hot mugs of the Chai concoction with Diana Krall in the background.

It was the perfect way to end our day. And I really enjoy these introverted weekend days I have with my family. It’s a chance for me to slow down and recharge my batteries.