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!)]

Being Chased by Evolved Zombies

Most Mondays are pretty torturous for me. Monday mornings being the worst part of the day.

As most will agree, it starts Sunday afternoon. By 4pm, I’m starting to do that mental countdown to the inevitable. You see, 4pm marks that time for me… That time where I know there are only a couple of hours before Sunday dinner and having to clean up and prepare everything for the start of our weekly grind… That time where I know the weekend is pretty much coming to an end.

The saving grace for Sunday nights is me looking forward to my AMC shows which includes The Walking Dead, Into the Badlands (currently overlapping with the end of the season for The Walking Dead), and Fear the Walking Dead (which will take place of both first two shows in the summer). I thank AMC for continuing my TV show addictions. Because there’s also Better Call Saul (starting soon) and Preacher (sometimes this summer). All year long violence at its best! High Five!

walkingdead_rickgrimes_zombies

Rick Grimes and a bunch of zombie from The Walking Dead

Of course, these shows also give me weird dreams. Last night I dreamt I was running around with Rick Grimes – we were swinging through the forest top trying to escape these evolved zombies whom were pissed off at us for killing a zombie friend of theirs named, Joe. They were grunting, “Joe! Jooooeeeee!!! AAUUUUGGRRHH!” as they gained speed to catch up to us.

I then wake up in the morning, partially relieved it was just a dream, but also partially upset to NOT be in the dream anymore because: a) my life is nowhere near that exciting and adventurous and I’m worried I am running out of time to be adventurous; and b) I was with RICK GRIMES FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD! I love him. In that alternate reality, I would like to have his baby. Though maybe not in a zombie-apocalypse because babies cry and make a lot of noise. Noise attracts zombies like fire to a moth. Scratch that off my want-list.

The real painful part, though, is getting to work. As I walk into the office, I am dreading the ‘good mornings’. I am dreading the same faces I see every single day here. And I dread having any conversation I have to have with most of the people I work with.

Why? They are weird. I mean, I’m weird, too. But these people are both weird and not afraid to share it. And frankly, I don’t want to have them share their weirdness with me. I really don’t! You don’t see me sharing my weirdness with them, after all. That’s why I keep a blog. So I can anonymously share my weirdness to the unfortunate souls whom stumble upon my little space on the internet and are brave enough to venture through my posts. At least they can choose to participate with my weirdness at their own convenience.

I have examples. I have so many examples of why these people are weird. But it’s Monday morning and I’m too tired for examples. Maybe another time…

A Mundane Post

I say this is a mundane post because that’s what my life has been like these past few weeks – mundane.

Free time has been spent cleaning, sorting and chucking. Work time has been spent… well, working. And some free time has also been spent working. So much to the point where I found myself emailing back and forth with a co-worker from Miami at 10pm on a Thursday night. It’s okay – albeit it was regarding a project we’re working on together, he’s a cool guy. So I like helping him. I like helping the ones who deserve the help. Even those who do not deserve help, I do end up helping them for the good of the company.

Why the fuck do I care so much about this God-damn company???

Anyway… The good news is that in between all this has been filled with moments of other mundane yet pleasurably mundane things like hikes, drinking prosecco or cava or really good red wine, reading for pleasure (The Lovely Bones) and chewing on a really good thick piece of medium rare steak.

The cleaning, sorting and chucking has been quite an ordeal. We’re making progress but every time I devote some time to this, I realize how much we have to do. How much more we have to go before I am satisfied with our living space. And while my husband has so much more time between his shifts, it’s become evidently and painfully true in that he can not do this alone. He will look at something, study it, think about it, and rather that put it in either the garbage bag, recycle box or donation box, he will redistribute it back to another area of storage. It might be a better place of storage, and it’s now been clean of dust, but the point is, will we ever need it?

That’s his problem. He is unable to let things go and while I love this man with all my heart, I have had moments of panic were I question what I have married myself into. For, I am the complete opposite of my husband. I will take a look at something and make what I call an executive decision where I ask myself two questions:

  1. When did I last use this?
  2. Do I see myself using this?

If both answers are “not for a very long time” I make a fast decision to get rid of it. And I answer myself very honestly.

For example, we came upon a pair of large feathers. I am going to guess they are geese feathers (from the plethora of Canadian Geese we are surrounded by year after year). He takes them and moves it from one shelf to another. And I stop him and ask him why he is keeping a pair of feathers. His response? Some feathers need to be kept.

Why?

Why???

Why must some feathers need to be kept? For what purpose? While I do not remember exactly how we acquired this pair of feathers I can guarantee my parents had something to do with it while babysitting Chaeli. They found the feathers and thought Chaeli would like them. Which she probably did. When she was two.

*Sigh* So it’s been a tough battle… and I wonder if I should just do it all myself. And let my husband be the one to haul the bags to the bins or to the thrift store or donation centre of some sort. And to shred the personal documents we no longer need. Because this is why our office is unusable. Since he went onto shift work (as a firefighter), he’s so much more home then I am during the week. And he’s spent the last several year “organizing” the office. Each time I look at it, though, it’s just moving piles around and not at all close to being organized.

I am, therefore, the bad person. Because I want to stay home during our vacation to clean and sort while he wants to go skiing.

It’s been somewhat a tough battle. He’s been grumpier. And I am trying to lighten his mood. But you see, people like me, who suffers from anxiety like I do, really needs to live and work in an organized space. I am more productive when my living and working space is clean. I can not cram myself in a corner in the office, which looks like a hoarder’s paradise (I’m not kidding as it is the one room I turned a blind eye and let him do what he wanted to do with it – I regret that now).

Pray for us – that our marriage is strong enough to survive this!

Where I Question My Own Parenting Skills

A few weeks ago, my 13 year old daughter and I were doing something. I can’t even remember what – but we were working together to complete a task. I remember complaining about something not working out exactly the way I imagined it. I looked at her to see how she felt.

She waved her hand in the air and said, “Screw it. It will have to do.”

I paused then, looked at her and asked, “Did you just say… ‘Screw it?'”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. You don’t talk that way at school do you? In front of your teachers?”

“No. Of course not.”

“Okay – be careful who you say it in front of, alright?”

“Yes, mom.”

It’s moments like this when I wonder to myself, My God… am I a horrible parent?

The other day, I was ranting and raving to my husband after discovering Logan, the new Wolverine movie, is rated R. I mean, COME ON! They give us two Wolverine and several X-Men movies of which all have been rated PG. Now, all of the sudden they do THIS to us? Just two days before our plan to do a family outing to the cinemas to go and watch this movie, I learned this. Talk about a total let-down.

“Well, exactly what makes it rated R?” I asked Doug.

“Supposedly,” he explained, ‘it’s really, really violent.”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah – like decapitation and stuff.”

“Oh for crying out loud! She’s seen all that stuff before. What else?” I quickly open my IMDB app and check out what other parents are saying. “Look… only a very brief scene of nudity. Some woman flashing her boobs. Not great if it’s very brief, I can live with that. Other than that, there’s 48 uses of profanity… hell, she’s heard all that, too!”

“Well, it’s still restricted.”

“But as parents we’re okay with her going to see it – it’s our decision!”

“They still won’t sell her a ticket.”

“That’s just stupid!”

Of course, at this point, I realize perhaps I’m not the most conventional or conservative mom. In fact, I start to think about the movie Bad Moms and wonder if they want to base a character off of me in the sequel.

In all honesty, I keep myself in check in front of other kids. And when it comes to certain matters I’m actually quite strict. I have, however, noticed I’m far from the type of parents my friends are. There’s maybe only one other that comes close to me but as far as my circle is concerned, I’m SO the ‘bad mom’ of the group. And to be honest, I don’t really care. I came to the conclusion years ago, in order for me to be a happy mom, I had to be myself and do it my way. For the most part, it had to come naturally and not forced. So while I have some friends who didn’t let their 10 year old watch Vampire Diaries or read all of the Twilight series, I totally allowed my daughter to.

Which incidentally worked out for me because I love watching Vampire Diaries and The Originals (oh yeah, she watches that one too).

I wonder, though, where do I get this from? Certainly not from my mom. She tried to convince me, when I turned 19, that I couldn’t legally drink until I was 21.

Course, after having dinner last night with my parents, a definite light bulb appeared shining over my head like a beacon. I was ranting and raving about the whole Login thing to my dad.

“No kidding?” He said – being surprised just as I was. He then looked over at his granddaughter and assured her, “Don’t worry – when it’s available, I’ll buy the Blu-ray for you.”

My dad hadn’t even checked the parent guide online like I did before making such a decision.

Then, flashes of my youth came back to me: my dad catching me swear and calmly telling me not to say such words in public; of him letting me have some beer mixed with ginger ale way before I was a tween; of him letting me watch violent martial arts movie at the age of 8; of him standing outside my bathroom door the first time I had a hangover, asking me if I was okay, knowing I drank too much, but calmly letting me be when I told him I would be fine.

My dad was a strict parent in many ways. But when it came down to it, he also allowed me much freedom to experience life. He did not hold me back from growing up.

So I suppose, without realizing it, my spirit of parenting has stemmed from him. And I’m thankful of that.

Giacomo

I woke up this morning after dreaming of a time in my 20’s. I was on a cruise. Single, bored and hungry for an adventure.

Not long into the cruise I saw him. A head waiter (as it turns out, our head waiter) from Sicily. His name was Giacomo.

I was sitting at one of the buffet tables, finishing my lunch, plugged into my tunes and book in tow. I looked up as I was about to leave. He was standing there next to some of his fellow waiters and bus boys, chatting away. It sounds awfully cliché but I don’t know how to explain it any other way – our eyes locked. My confidence at the time was pretty high – I knew I had him right there and then. I made up my mind I was going to have my fun with him. I suppose at the time, I was preying on him. In the end, it was somewhat the other way around (not that I cared – it wasn’t a contest; we both won out in the end).

I got up and started to walk the opposite direction of him as I made my way to the pool. I glanced back over my shoulder not surprised to see him staring back at me. He smile and laughed. And I continued to walk away. I was not in a rush – the rest of the week would develop the way it should. Naturally, no pressure but paced out for the fun and excitement of the chase.

I will be honest here. While I spent most of my free time (or his free time since he had to work most days) with him, obviously, we knew nothing about each other. Why would we? What would have been the need? We were there for each other for the same reasons – to fill a gap in our lives on a very temporary basis. To create a small memory. To bide time.

We talked about ourselves, of course. But who knew if he was even telling me the truth? How old was he? I don’t know. He didn’t want to tell me – so I guessed he was younger than me and was afraid me knowing would make me retract from him. As if I cared. He was obviously in his 20’s or 30’s and not a minor.

He said he was single but I knew better than to believe that. No doubt he had a girlfriend back home. Maybe even a wife – with children? It was a possibility.

So I woke up thinking about him today since his face and the touch of his skin was so fresh in my memory. I was awake but half in that dream-state. What a glorious feeling to wake up that way. In that half-awake and half-dreaming phase.

I’m about to get personal here – nothing graphic of course. There’s a reason why I remember him. A friend of mind asked me, after I came back from the cruise and met this friend for drinks, what was it about Giacomo that had me so excited and full of life upon my return to reality.

I said, “He was in command of me.” That’s about it. Giacomo filled that fantasy of mine – of possibly most women – of being dominated. To a lesser and much softer extent, he was my Christian Grey. Minus all the heavy bondage.

It was the type of encounter which was intriguing, mysterious and perhaps a little dangerous (there were dark corners of the ship I had never been to – nor had I ever been in the Captain’s mess after hours). The risk of getting caught elevated the excitement.

Okay – I promise. That’s as personal I will get here.

It was also the type of vacation romance which was best suited for one week (okay – maybe two weeks max!) You may be wondering why I am writing about something so risque and personal after being happily married for over 13 years to my dear husband.

I suppose it’s just the side of me whom loves to wax nostalgic from time to time. There are no regrets with my experience with Giacomo. I barely can envision his face or even the sound of his voice. I have fleeting pictures of moments we’ve had in my head – but that’s about it. Fleeting.

I can’t, however, forget how alive I felt from the wilder side of my youth – perhaps, I’m also grateful for the chance to be free. Committing myself to a forever-and-ever would have not been successful if I hadn’t let Giacomo kiss me that first night.