The Christmas Tag

Thank you to Becky at Strikeouts + Sprinkles for nominating me for this festive tag!

Rules:
1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link their blog to your post.

2. List the rules in the post.

3. Answer all the questions asked by the blogger.

4. Nominate some other bloggers and provide them with 12 new questions!

Becky’s Questions:

1. Thoughts on Christmas lights staying up all year round?

You know what, I’m fine with it. If you remove the word “Christmas”, they’re just lights. Why does an illuminated front yard need to be a seasonal thing?

2. When do you start listening to Christmas music?

The snarky answer is: Whenever my ears come in range of it.

But really, I don’t seek out Christmas music to listen to…

3. When is too early to start listening to/playing Christmas music?

November 1st is definitely too early. That’s 55 days before Christmas and it’s not like there’s a huge selection. I’m all for listening to the same songs on repeat for long periods of time, but 55 days in advance is a bit much.

November 26th is a good day to start. You’re less than a month out and won’t peak too soon.

4. How do you do your Christmas shopping—in the stores/online/combination?

In stores. It’s the worst. I go in with a game plan so I’m out within two hours/need lunch by the end of it as a reward. Every year, I’m nearly hit by a wild stroller pusher.

5. What’s your favourite family tradition around this time of year?

Opening presents on Christmas morning. We all have our own “spot”. My spot is next to the tree and I hand out gifts/slide them across the carpet. Makes me feel like a curler.

6. Real or fake tree?

Fake tree.

What if a squirrel peed on the tree you picked out and now it’s in your house?

7. Favourite Christmas song?

“Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”. Not actually, though. I’ve just been looking for an opportunity to make that joke for the last two weeks.

I have a soft spot for “The Christmas Shoes” even though it makes everyone cry. I also like “Carol of the Bells” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

I think my favourite is, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” by The Drifters, for many reasons. The first one being, it was in Home Alone, so the nostalgia metre just skyrockets.

The second reason is, my dad and I sing it year-round and create new lyrics for it every time.

For example, one of us will get going in the background with “Ba duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh duh…” and the other will make up lyrics like, “I’m dreaming of a large pizza, just like the one I ate last week…”

And then when the person singing background gets to the “Weeeeeeee” part, the song is over and we laugh about it.

The third reason I like the song is because of this video:

8. Favourite Christmas movie?

Home Alone. There is no other answer to this question. I recite lines from that movie at least once a week. I’m a pleasure to be around.

Honourable mention: All I Want For Christmas. I don’t know where it ranks for me, but I remember seeing it on TV all the time as a kid and liked it.

It’s about a brother and sister who try really hard to pull off an elaborate scheme that will reunite their divorced parents for Christmas. It worked.

It was filmed in 1991 which plays to my love of 90s shows/movies, but also, one of the parents in the movie owned a diner and I remember the burgers and fries looking delicious. That’s a big reason why I like this movie.

Anyone else seen it/can vouch that the food looked good?

9. What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?

Socks.

What am I going to do with socks? Wear them?

10. Who is the toughest person you have to buy for this Christmas?

There isn’t really anyone who is tough to buy for. It’s more like, there are no original gifts left to buy so it just becomes the same things every year.

11. Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph?

Gotta go with my boy Rudy. He’s a resilient leader, who benefits from being at the front of the formation, so he never has to catch any foul wind coming his way.

Frosty the Snowman will turn to water by March.

12. Do you have to attend any Christmas/holiday parties this season?

Yes.

Nominations:

My om nom nominations are: Ely, Sarah, Laura, and Catherine, and whoever else wants to do it, whether it’s in a post or the comments below!

Your Questions Are:

1. What do you eat on Christmas?

2. Do you like wrapping presents?

3. Do the other reindeer feel slighted that they haven’t been asked to lead Santa’s sleigh yet?

4. What’s your favourite tree ornament?

5. What makes a good mall Santa?

6. Favourite Christmas movie?

7. Have you ever snooped around the house for your presents?

8. Is an inflatable snowman on the front lawn really necessary?

9. Do you like when your gifts come in bags?

10. If it doesn’t snow on Christmas, is it still Christmas?

11. Have you ever returned a present?

12. Alvin and the Chipmunks have made a lot of money off of their Christmas album. If you were to make a Christmas Album, what would your hit single be called?

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Posted in Awards | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Please Like My Words

Who’s up for a field trip? Alright, everyone grab a buddy. If you don’t have a buddy, you’ll be paired with one of our parent volunteers. Single file now. No pushing, no shoving, no reaching into the person’s backpack in front of you for some goldfish crackers.

Today, we’re heading over to A Crack in the Pavement. The crack staff over there is headed by a man named, Bryan. A few weeks ago, he asked me to guest post on his blog and yesterday it was posted!

Yes, kids, we’re going on a field trip to read something I wrote! Eat your heart out, science centre!

While we’re there, I expect you to be on your best behaviour and encourage you to look around and give Bryan a follow. I hope I’m not ruining his reputation when I say he’s one of the nicest bloggers out there, who also happens to be a great writer.

It should be a fun, educational trip.

But before we go, does anyone need to use the washroom?

A Crack in the Pavement

Not too long ago I mentioned that Canada reminds me of that really cool cousin that you seek out whenever a family get together comes into play. Paul reminds me of that cool cousin and since he’s from Canada I can see now how it all makes perfect sense.

Paul is an observer. It is a rare talent that only a tiny handful can achieve. George Carlin was an observer and so is Jerry Seinfeld. Paul is in that mix where he is able to look beneath the surface of life and see the world in a special and honest way.

I’d like to take this moment to thank my good friend for being my host today. He is one cool dude.

Take it away, Paul.

“Please Like My Words”

Before I get started, I should mention that Bryan promised me I would become, “Rock star famous” as a…

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Survive and Advance

Let’s go back to this past Sunday. I rolled into the kitchen sometime around noon and made myself a corned beef sandwich on flaxseed bread for the fourth time in seven days. Actually, it could’ve been the fifth time.

I’ll check my stomach stats and get back to you.

I was preparing myself for an exhausting afternoon of watching football and freaking out over my fantasy football playoff matchup, which I told you about last week.

There would be pain, there would be suffering, there would be pain and suffering. If you get them together, it’s cheaper. #Discounts

Did that joke land safely, or did the parachute malfunction?

While I was gearing up for an afternoon of yelling things into the void of my brain, my fantasy football opponent, Cass, was doing (insert Cass-like tendencies).

This is the part of the sports documentary where we cut from me getting mustard on my chin, to a shot of Cass preparing for our matchup and talking about what it will take to win, and probably something about the Cowboys which we can cut in post-production.

Yes, this is a sports documentary. Well, not yet. Technically. But it might as well be. Have an imagination. Just go with it.

The 1PM games start and I am hot glue gunned to the couch, watching the Kansas City Chiefs against the Baltimore Edgar Allan Poe’s. That’s a thing, look it up.

The scoring in our fantasy matchup started slowly, as we both only had a few players playing. The rest were cheering them on from our virtual sidelines, holding up signs like, “You can do it!” and “The guy behind me can’t see”.

And then Saquon Barkley throws the first punch, on Cass’ behalf. It was only the second quarter of his game and he had 16 fantasy points, while my entire team only had 8.

Cut to a shot of me yelling “Nevermore!” as a rallying cry for the defences facing Cass’ players.

Again, that joke was hit or miss. 

As I’m messaging Cass my displeasure about Saquon, Rob Gronkowski decides to get off the party boat he’s been living on all season and scores a touchdown!

Gronk is not on my team! He had the best game of his season on Sunday. Of all weeks!

NEVERMORE!!

It’s 2:30PM and I need an oxygen tank, but instead, I find a bag of popcorn in my hands. How did it get there? I don’t know. Did I pull a Polkaroo and pull it out of thin air? Sure. Let’s go with that for the sake of the unmade documentary.

If you don’t know who Polkaroo is, feel free to Google it, though the results may scare you half to death. 

It was a bag of popcorn from Kernels.

Kernels – We make your mouth POP!

That’s definitely not their slogan, but it should be.

I ate half a bag. Salt and butter is very comforting. Babies get pacifiers, adults get popcorn. It’s science.

So I’m watching the Chiefs game closely because 1) they’re my new favourite team, and 2) I have three fantasy players on their team: Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Harrison Butker, the kicker.

I also have Spencer Ware, but he was on my bench.

What happens in the first half of the game? Ware and Hill get hurt. Ware is down on the sidelines, holding on to his shoulder. Meanwhile, Hill can’t put weight on one foot and is hobbling around.

I texted a friend, “This is the hill I die on.” Even in times of agony, I will find a way to make a joke.

Fortunately, they both returned in the second half, but for a while there this felt like the scene in Space Jam where 80% of the Looney Tunes roster is on the bench in agony and unable to compete.

And then there’s Harrison Butker. It’s Week 14. He’s missed one field goal all season. Well, how many field goals did he miss on Sunday?

TWO. TWO FIELD GOALS.

In the final cut of this documentary, we’ll say he missed three field goals and say, “Good things come in threes” but it’ll be ironic because it won’t be “good” at all. 

The second field goal he missed would’ve won the Chiefs the game. Instead, it went to overtime, which was a blessing in disguise because Mahomes threw the ball to Hill at least three times and padded my fantasy stats.

The 1PM games were over and I was a nervous wreck, even though I was winning by a few points.

The “Thanks But No Thanks” award goes out to Chris Godwin, who was targeted about eleventy hundred times in his game against New Orleans, but ended with only one catch for 13 yards.

I TRUSTED YOU.

(Insert shot of me yelling at the clouds)

Throughout the day, Cass and I messaged each other about how we were both losing our minds. There were 30 hours left until the end of our matchup and neither of us thought we were going to make it.

Fantasy football is not fun. It’s a juice spill that we walk through every week, which some of us slip in, while the rest walk away with sticky shoes.

Win or lose, no one gets of out fantasy football unscathed.

Is this too dramatic? Don’t care. All I ask for is a little support as I try and turn this into a sports documentary, okay?

Fast forward to Monday Night Football – Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks.

Cass had four players left to play, while I had two. I also had about a 35-point lead, which I didn’t feel safe with at all.

No lead is safe!

Anything can happen; anyone can win. Pro-Line.

That was actually their slogan. It’s a good slogan.

The football game started and I immediately conked out like a new born baby on a car-ride around the neighbourhood.

Good night, nurse.

I woke up just before halftime and the score was 3-0, Seattle. That’s it? Our fantasy scores had barely been affected.

Normally, games put people to sleep. Not this time. I put the game to sleep.

The second half didn’t do much to close the margin in our matchup. It was a very anti-climactic end to a tumultuous roller coaster ride. A part of me felt bad. I was hoping for a closer score – one that would be decided on the last play of the game, or something.

But maybe that’s the wannabe sports documentary director in me wanting a dramatic end.

The Battle of Bachelor Buddies (working title) came to an end with my team coming out on top. My reward is I get to do this all over again next Sunday against the first place team.

God help me.

Is it silly to get all worked up over fantasy sports? 100% yes. But competitive people can’t just turn that switch off and not care.

There is fun in the madness, you just have to look for it really, really, hard.

Anyway, when they make the documentary for this first round fantasy football matchup, be sure to watch it on TV and then buy the DVD, so we can make more money off it. I promise there will be extended features on the DVD, so if that’s not tempting, I don’t know what is.

I’ve gone on long enough.

Thank you all for going along with this.

Posted in Humour, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Under Where?

Listen, whenever someone starts a sentence with the word “listen”, that should set off alarm bells in your head that what is to follow will be something you don’t really care to listen to.

So if you haven’t turned back now, you either trust me, or are curious to see which rabbit hole I’m going to run down this time.

You’ve been warned.

Here in Canada, it gets cold at the drop of a hat. Literally, you take your hat off and you’re toast. If you live in Quebec, you’re french toast.

Should’ve turned back when you had the chance.

As fall slips into winter, my bedroom gets really cold at night. The furnace does nothing in my room. It’s like the Little Engine That Could’s alter ego – the Little Engine That Couldn’t Be Bothered.

So I’m forced to sleep under three blankets and hire an elf, who will pour hot water on my face every half hour throughout the night. Half that sentence is true. You decide which part.

Meanwhile, during the summer, my bedroom is an oven at night. There is no happy medium, and if there is, it lasts for about a week in September.

There were times this summer where I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I was in a microwave. I had to get up and fan cool air into my room with the door. Elfs don’t work summers, sadly.

I think I’d rather be cold and have to put on layers, than be warm and have no more layers to remove. That sentence was not meant to sound weird, but I think you get what I’m saying.

About a month ago, the three blankets weren’t doing anything and I was freezing. Not sure how it came to me, but I decided I needed to invest in undershirts because they would solve my problem, surely.

I’ve never worn undershirts – the tank top kind, at least. I’m a naturally warm person to begin with.

At school I’d wear an “undershirt” during presentations, which was a tight-fitting t-shirt, so sweat stains wouldn’t appear on my dress shirt as I stood in front of a lecture hall of 80 people. Everyone in the class employed that strategy. I guess we all had the same fear.

So a few weeks ago I bought some tank top style undershirts. At the “professional” opinion of my dad, I got size medium.

I put that thing on and felt like I was trying to squeeze my body through a straw. It was so tight, I was about four seconds away from a panic attack. Then I had to get it off, which was a Top 10 struggle of my life.

If scissors were near by, I would’ve cut myself out of it.

After switching over to a size large, I felt so much better. It was still a tight fit, but not the “Squeeze the blood out of my body” tight. A more natural form of tight.

I thought, “Undershirts are basically Spanx for men and they just haven’t told us yet.”

I haven’t gone a day without an undershirt in the last month. They are glorious.

Shoutout to Stanfield’s for making a great product.

I had to mention them in here, just in case they want to pay me thousands of dollars to be a spokesperson. I’m not angling for a modelling deal, I like pizza too much.

Plus there’s something about having my body on the packaging of under garments that weirds me out.

Posting photos on Instagram is enough judgement for me, I don’t need to be hanging in stores, or be the first thing people see when they open a delivery box.

This may be the weirdest post I’ve ever written. Let’s continue!

The undershirts solved my problems, until it got colder outside.

And then it hit me – I need long underwear. You can call them Long John’s, but I don’t know who John is. On Twitter the other day I called them thermal underwear, but I’ve since realized they’re not exactly that.

“I’m wearing my thermies!”

“They’re not thermal. They’re cotton.”

“Oh.”

This is way too much information.

I blame my grandfather for this idea of long underwear being in my head. Growing up, he’d always mention them and how warm he was. I’d always scoff at it and think they were something old people wore.

Well call me a senior citizen and prepare my 4PM dinner because I’m rocking the long underwear, courtesy of Stanfield’s. Forever angling for that elusive endorsement deal…

Note: I also blame him for getting me interested in wrestling. He’d always come over and explain everything that was happening, while I just stood there and nodded, having no real idea what he was talking about. I was still single digits in age.

At this rate, I’m going to be raving about pears in ten years. 

Back to the long underwear, though.

I swear, I feel like a new person. I’m not sure how I lasted this long without them.

My initial reaction was: these are leggings for men except it’s not appropriate for me to wear them outside without pants. Now I understand why girls always talk about how comfortable leggings are.

They are a total game changer. I’ve never been warmer, or more comfortable in my life. These last few nights have been some of the warmest in recorded history – for me, at least.

They are underwear, but with the comfort of pyjamas. And they say sliced bread was a brilliant invention. Ha!

If I’m honest, and oversharing, this undershirt and long underwear combination will come in handy in March and April when it’s not that cold and not that hot. Those sleeps are going to be glorious.

At this point, I’m afraid I’ve said way too much and delved into things you don’t really need to know about, but who cares?

I highly recommend long underwear for the cold legs in your life. You can thank me later.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to post this and go sit in a corner and try to forget what I’ve just shared with all of you.

Stay warm, kids.

Thanks for reading enduring.

How do you stay warm in the winter? 

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Fantasy Football Playoffs

If you were to put your ear up against the virtual door of my fantasy football team’s locker room, security would probably ask if you’re affiliated with the New England Patriots, and then escort you off the premise. But before they drag you away, you’d hear a room of players sitting in silence, cycling through a playlist, hoping to land on a song that would accurately define the mood.

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fall-
Hey now, you’re an all star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you’re an…Mmmbop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Jump up, jump up, and get down!
I’m a genie in a bottle
You gotta rub me the right w-

“Cut the music!” – Unidentified Player

Alright, so our locker room playlist is actually a jukebox from the 90s. What of it? This team is on a budget.

We use the jukebox as the lead blocker when we run the screen pass in practice. It’s only injured three players, if you’re wondering.

The fantasy football regular season is over. My team – Flea Flickers – started the season with a 6-1 record. Thank goodness, too, or I wouldn’t be in the playoffs right now.

I knew I wasn’t as good as my record said I was and had gotten incredibly lucky, several times, that almost all of my opponents had an off-week against me.

I wasn’t winning; they were losing to me. There’s a difference. But hey, a win is a win. After my 6-1 start, I went 1-5 the rest of the way to finish the regular season at 7-6, good enough for the 5th seed in the playoffs.

It’s safe to say my team thinks its February and they’re in Quebec City for Bonhomme Carnaval and are tobogganing down the ice slide. I don’t blame them, it’s fun and fast and a great view, even though it’s cold…FOCUS!

My team is slip sliding away, but all I need them to do is pull it together for three weeks, one week at a time.

Finishing the regular season in 5th, out of 10 teams, is the worst I’ve ever finished in any fantasy league. Granted, this is my first time playing fantasy football and this is the most competitive league I’ve ever been in.

There are many things I would do differently – the first one being a few of my draft picks.

I had the third overall pick, which I absolutely hate. I don’t want high picks because then I’m forced to go with the consensus picks.

Being new to fantasy football, I figured this wasn’t the year to “go off the board”.

Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, and David Johnson were projected as the top three picks. Every article I read said the same thing.

After taking a week to acclimate myself with the current crop of players in the NFL, I was skeptical of David Johnson being a top three pick. He didn’t play last year due to injury, the Cardinals’ quarterback situation wasn’t good, and their offensive line was apparently not impressive, either.

Though his stats from 2016 were incredible, I wasn’t sure he would get anywhere close to that this season.

But it’s a top three pick, this is my first year doing this, I can’t make a bold pick right out of the gate, let me go with the experts. Maybe they know something I don’t.

I convinced myself that all the Cardinals QB had to do was throw a 5-yard pass to Johnson and let him do the rest. That let me sleep better at night.

So I drafted Johnson and what happens? He runs right into his offensive line for a gain of three yards. The QB hardly throws him the ball. The Cardinals are down by three touchdowns before halftime and running the ball is an after-thought.

THANKS.

Going into the draft, I wished I had a later pick in the first round because I had my eye on other players who were never ranked in the top three, but I thought would be good this season.

The first one was Ezekiel Elliott. I figured he would run the ball 25 times a game, get a touchdown here or there, and maybe catch some passes. I almost drafted him third, but was scared away when I saw he only caught 26 passes last year.

Lo and behold, he has 53 receptions this year! There are still four weeks left in the season! Arrrrggggghhhhh.

The other player I was thinking about taking was Saquon Barkley. I saw one picture of his massive legs and thought, that’s a thoroughbred right there. They’ll feed him (the ball) and take care of him. Then I thought, do I really want to hitch my wagon (I’m all-in on this horse theme, apparently) to a rookie? That’s a risk, isn’t it?

I talked myself out of it because he was only a late first round pick in mock drafts and I didn’t want to “reach” with the 3rd pick, I wanted a “sure thing”.

The other player I really wanted on my team was Christian McCaffrey because he was initially ranked 18th and that’s when my second pick in the draft would be. I had no clue who he was, so I did research and talked myself into it.

As the pre-season went on, it became clear that the secret about him was out and that he’d go much higher in the draft. Picking him 3rd overall would be ludicrous, surely, so I didn’t.

Currently – Barkley, McCaffrey, and Elliott rank 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, respectively, for fantasy points by a running back.

Needless to say, I am going into next year’s fantasy draft and I am taking everything they said I couldn’t have! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But I’m going to pick the players I want, regardless of where they rank.

I’ve yet to have a week where all of my starters put up a productive number. There are always some stragglers, who I should’ve left on my bench.

I’m the eternal optimist and the eternal pessimist wrapped into one, when it comes to fantasy. I hope my players will have a big game, but there’s always a voice yelling from the back of my head, “BENCH HIM! HE’S GONNA STINK THIS WEEK.”

And sometimes I think that voice is a sixth sense and will make a last second roster move, only to be burned by it an hour later.

No matter who you start in fantasy football, it’s always the wrong decision.

One thing I’ve struggled with this season is the fact that the NFL only plays on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. That’s too much time for me to look at my roster and make changes.

I get fidgety and want to tinker. At times, I started players just because they played in the Thursday or Monday nighter and I wanted a reason to watch the game.

This week, none of my players play on Thursday, so I’m forced to wait until Sunday. I’m already going crazy and over-thinking my decisions on who to start.

You could say I’m taking this too seriously, but this is just who I’ve always been.

When I was in Grade 6, I was the captain of an intramural soccer team and got to draft my own team. It consisted of kids from Grades 4-6.

After the draft, I went home and wrote out line combinations.

LINE COMBINATIONS.

These kids were between the ages of 9 and 11, and most of them were merely a name on a paper – I didn’t know a lot of them. I’m pretty sure I looked them up in yearbooks to gauge their athletic ability and inform my decisions on who to slot in to which positions.

That’s me. The word “Captain” isn’t in this blog’s title by accident.

So yes, I may spend more time on fantasy sports than the average bear, but it’s fun to me. Also, stressful.

To make matters worse, I’m facing Cass this week. I did not want this matchup. I don’t know what matchup I wanted, but it wasn’t this one.

Her team has scared me from the start, even when it was 0-3, because I saw she was running into teams that had their best weeks against her, whereas I was running into teams that had their worst weeks against me.

My good start was a lie, as was her bad start.

I’m 98.4% sure, that many weeks ago I commented on her blog, or mine, saying I wouldn’t want to face her team in the playoffs.

AND. HERE. WE. ARE.

If my team loses, they’ll lose with class, and shake hands afterwards.

Then they’ll return to the locker room and crank the sad tunes on the jukebox, but it’ll accidentally land on “Good Vibrations” and then they’ll kick the machine, trying to get it to stop, but it won’t, so they’ll unplug it and sit in silence until I walk in and hand out orange slices.

It’s only Thursday. This is the state my mind is in. Help.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Synchronize

They put a timer on us at the start
a lovely piece of hardware
next to the magnet of our heart
we may feel a push, but never feel a pull
forever spinning with the wind
careful not to spill a glass half full

They never said how long we had to wait
every day is one less
until the big hand lands on fate
we may always be late, but have sand to borrow
with the wind spinning forever
set your watch again for this time tomorrow.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Formula 1 Season Is Over

Another Formula 1 season is in the record books and Wikipedia pages. I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know where the time has gone. Only Rolex knows.

That was a timekeeper joke, for those of you playing along at home. Gonna be a long post if you don’t laugh.

It feels like just yesterday they were in Melbourne, Australia doing laps around Albert Park and Haas had their two drivers in P4 and P5, and everyone was like, “Crikey, those lads are gonna be competitive this year!” and Haas was like, “Blimey gosh darn fiddlesticks, we done did it now!” and in the span of two laps, both cars had to retire from the race because they were released from the pits with loose wheels.

Oh Haas, you comic relief, you.

I recently learned the proper way to pronounce “Melbourne” is “Mel-bin”. Impress your friends.

It was a fun season, but a bit underwhelming. There were hardly any races where rain was a factor. I was disappointed by that because I love rain races. Inject those into my veins.

I’m not talking about light pitter patters of spit falling from the sky. I’m talking about torrential downpours. Break out the old school monsoon tires!

This season brought in a few changes. For starters, the cars had a halo on them. The halo was a safety precaution put in place so the driver’s head would be protected.

I don’t think there’s anyone who thinks the cars look better with them, but I’m not going to sit here and say, “Let the drivers get hit in the head by flying objects, and let them scrape pavement if the car rolls over.”

My fear with the halo was always – how does the driver get out if the car is upside down? And we saw that transpire in the final race of the season yesterday in Abu Dhabi.

Nico Hulkenberg’s car did a barrel roll before coming to a stop upside down, against a barricade. He was fine and told his team over the radio that he was hanging there like a cow.

Do cows hang upside down? I’ve been thinking about it all day. I remember in the movie “Barnyard” some annoying kids would go “Cow tipping” and the cows would end up on their backs. I’m just going to assume that Hulkenberg got his simile from that movie. 

His car flipped over on the first lap and I let out an audible, “Woah!” Later on, my Dad joined me to watch the race and since I always record it, he asks me to rewind to the first lap or any incidents in the race.

So I go back to the start, telling him something happened. We get to the barrel roll and he goes, “Woah!”

We have an expansive vocabulary while watching sports.

Anyway, Hulkenberg was stuck. He couldn’t just crawl out of the car – the halo is too much of a detriment. He had to wait until a baker’s-dozen-worth of race marshals came over, put out the fire at the rear of his car, and flipped him over.

This was relatively easy, but I can’t help but feel like it’s a message from the Formula 1 Gods that something like this will happen again and it won’t be so simple.

Get it? Formula 1 Gods…Halo….the jokes are subtle today.

What if Hulkenberg had been injured? What if he were unresponsive? What if the fire had spread to the cockpit before anyone could reach him?

That’s a pretty terrifying possibility. He might as well be handcuffed under water.

The halo will save lives, but if a driver can’t urgently escape from their car in case of emergency, that’s a problem. I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m sure someone is working on it.

So that’s the halo.

Before moving on, I just want to say the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is one of my favourites. I love the track – it was always a joy to race in the video game.

I also like that it takes place at night. The cars looks better at night. Sports, in general, look better at night.

I just wish this race could be in the middle of the season because so much overtaking happens and we don’t always get that on other tracks. The championship is normally determined before the last race (except two years ago) and it’s a shame this race turns into a mere exhibition.

Yes, I realize the race schedule is predominantly determined by weather conditions and sending the drivers to Abu Dhabi in July would be like putting a slice of pizza in the microwave for 18 minutes.

Another change this year was the width of the tires.

It was one of the reasons why overtaking was so difficult. The other being the whole aerodynamic thing – the whole aerodynamic thing; brilliant verbiage – where the closer a car is to the one in front, the harder it is to pass due to “dirty air”.

These are things far beyond my basic level of expertise, but apparently the problems are being fixed for next year so the cars can do what they’re supposed to do on a race track – pass each other. We’ll see.

Even if there are more overtakes next year, there is such a gap between the top three teams and everyone else.

Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull are at the top of the pecking order. You’ve got Force India, Renault, Haas, McLaren, and Sauber somewhere in the middle. And then Toro Rosso and Williams at the back.

For such historic teams, McLaren and Williams should be better.

Toro Rosso is essentially a developmental team for Red Bull, so there’s that.

Mercedes has won the Constructors’ Championship (awarded to the team with the most points) in each of the last five season.

Before that, Red Bull won it four years in a row.

This isn’t a sport that is big on parity. That’s always bothered me a little bit because I’m left to wonder if a driver is actually that good, or if it’s just the car they’re driving.

If you took a Williams driver and put them in a Mercedes, would they be competing for a spot on the podium on a consistent basis? Probably.

Yeah, it takes an abundance of skill and athleticism (believe it or not) to drive these cars, but the best driver in the world can’t make a tricycle go faster than a horse. Weird analogy, but go with it.

So that aspect grinds my gears a bit. I’d love if every car were somehow made equal and all 20 drivers could battle it out. That would be the most dramatic season in Formula 1 history…as I channel my inner Chris Harrison.

To close, I’d like to take a page out of Ted Kravitz’s notebook, so to speak. Ted Kravitz is the pit lane reporter for Sky Sports F1 and after every race he walks through the pit lane with his little notebook and says a few things about each driver. I think it’s brilliant, so I’m going to steal the idea.

Here are my thoughts on each team and driver. In brackets I’ll list where each team and driver finished in the standings.

MERCEDES (1) – Constructors’ Championship
They win too much. That being said, I do enjoy the interviews with Niki Lauda (Legend of F1) and hope he can return next season.

Lewis Hamilton (1) – Drivers’ Championship
He wins too much, but I also think he’s mentally stronger than everyone else on the grid.

Valtteri Bottas (5)
I always feel bad for the drivers who are second fiddle on their team. His race is normally compromised in order to ensure Hamilton can finish higher and maximize points.

FERRARI (2)
They started the season strong and then lost their pace. For the last two years, Mercedes has come out of the summer break guns blazing and Ferrari looks shell shocked.

Sebastian Vettel (2)
Vettel and Hamilton have won 8 of the last 9 Drivers’ Championships. Vettel’s flaw may be that he cares too much and when he feels Hamilton running away with the championship, he drives with extra urgency. And that additional urgency leads to things like breaking the weighbridge in Brazil (long story, don’t ask).

Kimi Raikkonen (3)
Kimi has been in an F1 car for over half my life. Either I’m old, or he has longevity. He mumbles a lot and often looks like he doesn’t care to be there, but yet there he is. He’s moving over to Sauber next season.

RED BULL (3)
I’ve never even taken a sip of Red Bull, but this team is probably my favourite along with Ferrari. They’re the alternative to what’s cool and popular and that vibes with me. Good Lord, I just used the word “vibes” in a blog post.

Max Verstappen (4)
He has a big future and I hope he can realize it without going to Ferrari or Mercedes. I like his gusto.

Daniel Ricciardo (6)
Can someone get this man a car that will finish a race? He’s too good to have been parked on the side of the road so often this year. He’s off to Renault, so I guess that means no more shoeys on the podium?

A “shoey” is when he takes off his shoe, pours champagne in it, and drinks it because how else would you celebrate a top 3 finish?

RENAULT (4)
They finished fourth, but arrived two weeks later – that’s my analogy on how big the gap is from third.

Nico Hulkenberg (7)
The best of the rest.

Carlos Sainz (10)
Like Hulkenberg, he’s held back because of the car he drives.

HAAS (5)
They’re a team that gets Ferrari’s hand-me-down’s. Next year they’ll probably have this year’s Ferrari.

Kevin Magnussen (9)
Again, if it weren’t for the car he drives, he’d be higher on the grid.

Romain Grosjean (14)
Not to be confused with the salad, you can find Grosjean anywhere between 7-15 on any given Sunday.

MCLAREN (6)
I was a Ferrari fan growing up and always saw McLaren as a respectable villain with a lineup of Hakkinen and Coulthard.

Fernando Alonso (11)
He drove his final F1 race yesterday, for now at least. He is the thread that connected the Schumacher era with the current one. When he won the championship with Renault in 2005 and 2006, it was the first time I found myself cheering for someone other than Ferrari. He always got the most out of his car, no matter how poor it was.

Stoffel Vandoorne (16)
When Alonso is your teammate, you’re going to be overshadowed. He’s moving to Formula E next year.

FORCE INDIA (7)
I thought they could make an attempt at challenging Red Bull this year, but they had their own set of issues and it never happened. Surprisingly, I am a fan of the pink cars. Sadly they’ll be gone next season, as they’re getting a new name and colours.

Sergio Perez (8)
Stop me if you’ve heard this before – if it weren’t for his car, he’d be higher on the grid. With a reliable car, he’s capable of a top 10 finish every time.

Esteban Ocon (12)
He doesn’t get along well with Max Verstappen. He doesn’t have a seat next season. Really tall.

SAUBER (8)
They receive their engines from Ferrari and starting next season, they’ll receive a driver as well – Kimi Raikkonen – in exchange for Charles Leclerc. No draft picks are involved in the deal.

Charles Leclerc (13)
I am all in on this kid’s potential. I can’t wait to see him with Ferrari next year. Leclerc versus Verstappen is the next era of Formula 1.

Marcus Ericsson (17)
I just realized we have the same birthday, except he’s older by a year. He’s off to IndyCar next year.

TORO ROSSO (9)
For the longest time, I didn’t realize “Toro Rosso” is Italian for “Red Bull” which makes sense because they act as the developmental system for the senior team – Red Bull. Silly Paul.

Pierre Gasly (15)
I’m nervous about his move up to Red Bull. Gasly (23) and Verstappen (21) will be a combined 44-years-old when the season starts next year.

Brandon Hartley (19)
How in the world is he 29-years-old?

WILLIAMS (10)
Oy, they deserve better than this, but somebody has to come in last.

Lance Stroll (18)
He’s the only Canadian on the grid and the first one since Jacques Villeneuve. Let’s just say I was a bigger fan of Villeneuve. Stroll is moving over to Force India next season because his Dad bought the team.

Sergey Sirotkin (20)
He recored 1 championship point in his rookie season. He won’t get another shot, as Williams is bringing in Robert Kubica and George Russell next year. Russell is 20-years-old.

And that’s it! Next year promises a lot of changes – I’m already excited.

Netflix filmed behind-the-scenes footage of this entire season and I can’t wait for that to come out. I think it’ll help introduce Formula 1 to a brand new audience while giving fans something they’ve never seen before.

Thank you for reading!

Until next season, I bid you a vroom vroom!

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Heels and Faces

Professional wrestling is so frustrating at times, especially World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Each match is predicated on a good guy (Face/Babyface) in one corner and a bad guy (Heel) in the other. I can’t help but feel like that’s an antiquated system, especially if the fans are just going to cheer for the “bad guy”.

But wrestlers will say, “As long as the fans are reacting, that’s all that matters.” There’s merit to that, yes. John Cena built a career off of half the fan base hating him and the other half loving him.

I think the half that hated him was just tired of his good guy gimmick and wanted him to do something different. He couldn’t, of course, because in the modern day of professional wrestling, Cena is too much of a hero to ever turn against the kids he tells to “Never Give Up.”

Wrestling tries to avoid bad PR since the mere mention of “Wrestling” still connotes negative feelings.

Hence why the WWE refers to Pro Wrestling as “Sports Entertainment”. Two lovely words, aren’t they? Let’s all skip around a field of cupcakes and think happy thoughts.

Plus, with Cena, there’s the whole “Most Make-A-Wish Appearances Ever” thing, so turning him heel was never going to happen.

From a fan perspective, it’s frustrating. From a corporate perspective, it’s business.

Nowadays, I look at the WWE roster and the larger than life characters just aren’t there anymore. For the most part, it’s just a person with a superlative and either a smile, or disgruntled look on their face.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the writers micromanage every single syllable that comes out of their mouth, preventing them from talking like their character.

Take Sasha Banks for example. Her gimmick is, “The Legit Boss”. Eddie Guerrero is her inspiration. Wrestling is her dream. Her best friend is Bayley.

Beyond that, I don’t know what her character is. What is a “Legit Boss”? I’m not sure I know.

Currently, her character is a face and has been for a few years. When she was coming up through NXT (the developmental system), she was a heel and a mighty good one. Her character thrived as a heel. It made sense.

Now, she just comes out and smiles, like every other face on the roster and Michael Cole (the announcer) proclaims, “It’s Boss Time!”. But what does that even mean?

It’s just frustrating because we’ve seen the matches and promos she’s capable of, but being a face does not suit her character at all. She’s just there, merely waiting for the creative team to tell her she can turn on Bayley and feud with her again.

Bayley is a Hugger. That’s her gimmick. Beyond hugging children on her way to the ring, I don’t know what else she is. Again, it’s frustrating, because there is so much potential there that isn’t being discovered.

I think one of the reasons why Sasha and Bayley never seem to get any traction is because the women only have one championship to go after on their respective brand. If you’re not the champion and you’re not the challenger, you’re going to be put in tag team matches almost every week.

But the tag team matches are pointless because there are no tag team championships.

How many times do Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya, need to face the Riott Squad? They all deserve so much better.

It’s like, “Darn, we lost this week, but we won last week, so yay we’re equal.”

Side note: Why are the only dastardly things the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan) have done been push objects off tables backstage, and snap a pair of Natalya’s late father’s sunglasses?

They should be causing mayhem every week, especially since Sarah and Liv aren’t as polished in the ring as Ruby.

Again, maybe it’s the writing. The women never seem to get into complex storylines like the men do. I want to see that change.

Currently, there is an overall blandness when it comes to the roster.

There isn’t one face on the roster that I truly, 100% care about. Okay, except for Elias. But is he ever going to make a title run, or is he just going to play his guitar every week?

Seth Rollins is cool he cuts the exact same promo in the ring every week.

And sure, watching Braun Strowman treat people like rag dolls is intriguing, but his promos are the same thing every week, too.

The New Day seem to be one of the few acts that can do their own thing, but it’s a comedy act. I’m waiting for them to be a bit more serious and allow Big E to go after a singles championship.

A.J. Styles lost the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan a few weeks ago, when Bryan turned heel and hit Styles with a low blow. I loved everything about that because Bryan had gotten so stale.

He miraculously came back from retirement earlier this year, but his comeback story ran dry.

His heel turn has given him much needed life and purpose.

It worries me that the WWE seems to have no idea how to get their babyfaces over with the crowd, but the heels are no problem.

The heels are just more entertaining to watch because they actually do interesting things when they’re not wrestling.

Another thing that bothers me is how every superstar is so set in doing their entrance the exact same way every single time. Maybe that’s how production wants it? I don’t know.

But I’d rather not see Ronda Rousey come out for a championship match and stop to hand off souvenirs to children. You’re about to put your title on the line! You’re supposed to be focussed!

I’d rather not see The New Day come out with a tray of pancakes for every single match. Walk out with a purpose, just once.

Finn Balor’s entrance music matches up to certain lighting cues where he and everyone in the audience throw their hands in the air at the same time. It’s cool. but he does that every single time.

I get it – it’s entertainment. The fans in attendance want to be a part of things like that. But for important matches, can you come out with a little more seriousness? Can you just walk straight to the ring with some bounce in your step, instead of stopping to look around?

There are so many little things that are missing.

Rarely do superstars pace back and forth in the ring while cutting a promo. There is nothing being communicated with their body because they’re merely reciting lines and trying not to forget anything.

The Rock and Stone Cold would march all around the ring to get their point across.

Again, maybe it’s a modern day production thing. And if it is, let your words be extra emphatic.

I watched an Eddie Guerrero promo on YouTube the other night from 2005. It was incredible. Why? It felt real. I forgot I was watching a wrestling show.

It’s that suspension of disbelief that I’m missing nowadays.

Professional wrestling should be about feuds that build through actions and words and get so heated that the only way to settle things is in the ring.

Feuds don’t really boil to the surface anymore. Most of the feuds could be solved with a little mediation and meditation. Cue Jinder Mahal.

Braun Strowman can’t wait to get his hands on Baron Corbin, but I couldn’t care less about it. Corbin is an annoying heel, yes, but I’d rather he get off the screen than get beat up.

All I want is for each superstar to talk, act, wrestle, and be how their character should talk, act, wrestle, and be. No more one size fits all promo that can be recited by every single babyface on the roster.

I’d love it if the superstars could go out there and cut a promo with nothing but bullet points to work off of, like they did many years ago.

That’s how I did all my university presentations. You either know what you’re going to say, or you don’t. Word-for-word memorization makes you sound robotic. No, I am not comparing my school presentations to speaking in front of a television audience, except I kinda am, but I’m not. Kinda.

That would allow them to use their own verbiage and perhaps stumble into something magical.

The best things are unplanned, as they say.

This post has trailed off into so many different directions, I don’t know what it’s about anymore. I’m just frustrated. I keep tuning in to watch wrestling every week, hoping there’s a change in storytelling.

I look at NXT and guys like Velveteen Dream, Tommaso Ciampa, and the Undisputed Era, give me hope that we can eventually get back to superstars who eat, live, and breathe their character and aren’t just a person with a nickname.

Before I go, I need to talk about the greatest thing in wrestling today – Becky Lynch.

She “turned heel” at SummerSlam in August, when she attacked Charlotte Flair after losing the SmackDown women’s championship match.

I put “turned heel” in quotations because that act turned Becky into the biggest babyface in the company and it’s not even close. Even when she tried to get the fans to boo her in promos, it didn’t work.

There isn’t a babyface on the roster that gets the reaction she gets and it’s because they’re lame. Becky Lynch is bold and interesting and has steam coming out of her ears. That’s what we like! Of course the crowd cheered!

When Becky invaded RAW to attack Ronda Rousey and the rest of the women’s roster, she left the melee through the crowd with a broken face and blood everywhere. It was the coolest thing I’ve seen in a really long time.

It was her Stone Cold moment.

Becky Lynch posing in the crowd with a bloody face and a wry smile was a true, bonafide, capital M – Moment.

Her Twitter game since “turning heel” has been top notch and unstoppable. Again, did they think we would boo her? Especially in a time where quick, sharp, and insulting tweets are glorified?

I think WWE needs to go back to the chalkboard and rethink what a babyface is in 2018. Coming out to a catchy song, smiling, and losing because your opponent cheated, isn’t enough anymore.

You can’t be “Woe is me” and hope the crowd takes pity. The crowd wants bold characters who can have a temper from time to time because HELLO, YOU’RE FIGHTING SOMEONE IN A WRESTLING RING. YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE SHOULD BE RISING.

Anyway, back to Becky Lynch. They’ve eased her off of the crowd-hating promos and are just letting fans cheer her while she continues to act like a heel.

In turn, this will be terrible if/when they pit her against a babyface because that person will be booed, when they’re supposed to be cheered and it’s a whole convoluted mess that wouldn’t exist if heels and faces were no longer a thing, and each superstar could just act how their character would act and let the fans decide who they like.

DID THAT ALL MAKE SENSE?

Good. Publish.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Without Facebook

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for about a year. It was going to be called, “Six Months Without Facebook”. Six months turned into a year and I told myself, “A Year Without Facebook” would be a suitable title.

But that never happened and now we’re sixteen months along since I deactivated my Facebook account in July of 2017. So why isn’t this post called, “Sixteen Months Without Facebook”?

Simple answer, really.

I decided that “Sixteen Months” is a phrase reserved for parents with 16-month-olds and I didn’t want to intrude on their exclusive lexicon.

I am not With Child. I am Without Facebook. There’s a U2 joke in here someone, I can sense it.

Maybe I overthought this whole thing. Overthinking may or may not be a theme throughout this post.

That being said, welcome to: “Without Facebook”.

Have you ever noticed that we live in two worlds at the same time?

There’s the default world. It’s the one where we wake up in the morning, slowly open our eyes, and then slam them shut as soon as they’re exposed to bright lights.

Then there’s that other world. It’s the one that doesn’t exist unless we look at a screen. That one seems friendlier – you can adjust the brightness.

I didn’t join Facebook until after I graduated high school, which means I was probably a little naive to a lot of the stuff going on around me at the time.

My mild naiveté was confirmed many years later when my sister got me into teen dramas like The OC and One Tree Hill, where I got to see the other side of the high school experience.

My eight years on Facebook were fine. I’m not going to sit here and act like I didn’t enjoy it, or that I didn’t look forward to creating status updates that would generate “likes” or “comments”.

In fact, Facebook was probably a stepping stone to me starting this blog because that’s when I realized how much fun it is to play with words and there was an audience for my antics.

Now, you can call it being a contrarian, being unique, or a life motto, but I hate doing what other people are doing. At the same time, I think I have the ability to say what everyone else is thinking, without being offensive.

Within that credence, I found my personality and my voice, and I put it on display on Facebook.

I distinctly remember one day when BBM was down on BlackBerry – such simpler times – and there were at least five Facebook statuses complaining about BBM being down, as if it was the end of the world.

And I’m sitting there with my BlackBerry thinking, “They can still send regular text messages to every person on their BBM list, why is this a national crisis?”

So I put up a status about it, where I basically said, “Calm down, shut up, and (something about being thankful)” because this was just days after Thanksgiving.

Immediately, I got support and the almighty “Preach!” comment. And I’m thinking, if everyone agrees with me, why am I the first to say something?

Are we all just tip-toeing around statuses we don’t agree with and making comments in our head, that help us form an updated opinion of our “friend” every time they share something?

I guess so. But that’s Facebook. That’s social media.

Social media is a house built on communication, but our silence pays the rent.

Have you ever thought about that? As we scroll, our minds jump from one status, or photo, to the next in a split second and a new thought appears in our head, linking the content to a person.

It’s not like reading a book where every word builds on the last and an image is developed in our mind. Social media forces us to hop all over the place, like we’re on a trampoline at a 7-year-old’s birthday party.

That’s a lot of hopping. Anyone need a chuck bucket?

I always appreciated the people who would share something funny in their status because that’s what I tried to do most of the time. If you’re going to be the voice in someone’s head, you might as well be a funny voice, right?

We’re all throwing darts of information into someone else’s head, every time we post something. So why not throw a dart of positivity, or truth, or humour, or vulnerability, or something we’re passionate about?

Instead, we have people leaving inappropriate comments all over the place, or using the latest trendy responses like, “Weird flex but ok”. Those four words are so sad.

I guarantee we all come across at least one moron on social media every single day.

My friends, it isn’t that hard. The beauty of typing words is that you can delete them before sending. You can censor yourself. You can, dare I say, EDIT.

We don’t need an edit button on Twitter, we just need competent people who take four seconds to proofread. There, I said it.

Back to Facebook, before I get carried away.

Somewhere along the way, I realized I no longer cared about every single one of my 373 Facebook friends. I mean, I wish everyone well – health and happiness and all that.

But what’s the long-term plan here? Am I supposed to eavesdrop on your life forever? Am I supposed to be really careful not to hit the like button on your status because we haven’t talked in five years and seeing a notification from me would be weird?

What are we doing here?

It’s just a game of Duck, Duck, Goose where no one ever calls, “Goose”.

For so long, I felt guilty about unfriending anyone, so I wouldn’t. A couple of people would unfriend me and I’d always want to know why. What did I do? We sat near each other in our seminar class, once a week for 50 minutes for 12 weeks, did that mean nothing to you?

Sounds silly, right? It was supposed to.

I finally went on a mass unfriending spree a few months before deactivating my account. I cut my friend list down to about 150, which was still way too many but I started to feel guilty about the whole thing and didn’t want people to think they did something wrong should they realize I unfriended them.

There’s that overthinking again.

Multiple things contributed to my decision to deactivate Facebook. You probably expect me to list them, but I’m not going to.

As a whole, my reason for leaving can be summed up with a simple, “I was tired of it.”

My one regret is I didn’t save any of my photos, which means if I want them, I have to reactivate my account and save them one at a time before anyone realizes my account is back up. That’s probably a solo mission in the middle of the night.

Overthinking for $600, Alex.

Will I ever go back to Facebook? Maybe, someday. I don’t really miss it, though. I deleted it off my phone and don’t think about it.

When you have Facebook, it’s almost an instinct to check it every time you pick up your phone. But if it’s not on your phone, you can’t check it and that instinct fades away.

I don’t like having too many apps – I’m at a whopping three: Instagram, WordPress, and Twitter. What are you supposed to do with more than that?

Instagram is where I post the same type of photos every year and hope no one notices. The bloggers who I have let into that world probably just rushed over to see what I’m talking about.

WordPress is where I make every blog post way too long, but don’t care.

Twitter is my favourite.

Here’s the thing with Twitter. I had a personal account for six years until I started one for this blog last year. Since I did that, I haven’t tweeted anything on my personal one because it’s way more fun interacting with people I’ve never met than it is being followed by people I no longer talk to.

My old Twitter account felt too much like Facebook – a group of people I don’t really know anymore, but are there to read my every thought. That feels awkward to me.

At the start of this year, I told myself I’d only tweet and retweet things that made me happy. That’s a pretty broad banner because sometimes I just tweet out random dreams I have, or complaints about the NHL’s ridiculous playoff format.

Somebody hold me back.

It’s so easy to share negative thoughts – my goal was to do the opposite and hopefully give people a break from some of the sewage they scroll through.

So with Instagram, WordPress, and Twitter filling my needs, Facebook felt redundant.

I was also getting uncomfortable with how a private account felt so public. Why does my reply to someone’s post on my wall need to be publicized on all of my friends’ news feed?

I digress.

If you’ve ever thought about deactivating your Facebook account, I say give it a try. If you miss it too much, all you have to do is sign in and your account is back. They make it really easy for you to return.

They also try and make it hard for you to leave.

No joke, in a last ditch attempt to persuade you to stay, Facebook lists the names of a few of your friends and says they will miss you if you decide to deactivate.

Hysterical.

I’ve gone on long enough. I’ll end with this:

Social media is a referendum on your decency as a human being. Don’t be an idiot, people will know.

“You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.”

Have you ever thought about leaving Facebook? What annoys you about social media? Which social media platform is your favourite and why?

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Call of the Wild Café

It was opening night at the Call of the Wild Café. It was more of a traditional sit-down restaurant, than a café, but the owners hoped no one would really notice.

The staff had worked tirelessly to prepare the inside for the public. Everything was cleaned – twice. “Clean it ’til you can lick it” was their motto.

The tables were set. The banner out front read, “We know you’re hungry”. All that was left to do was take down the caution tape around the front carpet – no one had been allowed to step on it. The customers would be the first.

And even though the staff had their doubts about a restaurant completely devoted to serving animals, they were willing to give it a shot.

That’s right, all the diners would be animals. What could go wrong?

A band of horses were the first to arrive, of course. All four of them. They were cover band named, The Four Horseman. They wiped their shoes on the front carpet, removed their fedoras, and requested a booth by the window.

How would four horses fit in a booth? No one knew. But, somehow, they managed and all sixteen legs found their place.

A couple of hawks were next to arrive. They requested a table on the balcony, so they could eavesdrop on passersby and take photos for their Instagram feed. It was one of those that was classified as “Just For Fun” but the hawks took it seriously. They don’t laugh.

Meanwhile, at the front desk, the phone was ringing off the hook. The staff member responsible for answering the phone was in the bathroom.

Petey The Parrot – the Café’s mascot – would call out “Nature’s Calling! Nature’s Calling! Nature’s Calling!” every time the phone rang.

The repetitive nature (pun intended) of Petey’s call would cause the staff member to run to the bathroom more frequently than usual.

Petey sometimes answered the phone and greeted customers with a friendly, “PTP, yeah you know me.” He was a real hoot.

Next to arrive for dinner would be a contingent of fish. Their entrance was through the toilet in the bathroom. They feared they’d be waiting twenty minutes before someone would come raise the seat and take them to their seat.

On this occasion, a staff member entered the stall and proceeded to use the toilet for it’s number one purpose. Such an act was a spit in the face to the fish contingent. Before they could be showered with more insults, they swam away and threatened to give a poor review on Yelp.

And give a poor review they did! It went something like this:

“I was out for a night on the town with nine of my closest friends. We were really looking forward to a nice dinner at a new restaurant we had heard a lot about. I even created a Facebook event for this outing and three people said they were going, five were a maybe, and one still hasn’t checked Facebook, but yet we’re all here. When we arrived in the front foyer, we were met with clean walls and waited on someone to raise the roof. Surely, seeing as how it was opening night, we wouldn’t have to wait long to be scooped up and whisked away to our “Table a la Tank”. Well, we waited forever. But you know what, it was fine. Like I said, I had made a Facebook event and really put a lot of planning into this, and would give some leeway for slow service. A staff member finally arrived and put a lid on our evening, so to speak. You ruined our special evening. I am not a happy bass and I suggest you wipe some class all over your employee’s you know where!”

Can’t please them all, right? At least the horses in the booth were happy.

Next to arrive was a party of 40 dogs. They were there for Valentina’s quinceanera. She was a chihuahua, who left school early that day to get her hair and makeup done. All afternoon, she avoided puddles as to not ruin her look. The whole kit and ca-poodle commended her for staying dry.

The staff didn’t want to bark up the wrong tree with this group, so they seated all of them in an open area, away from trees.

Meanwhile, the hawks on the balcony were getting restless. They could smell dinner, but they couldn’t see it. That bothered them.

And then the restaurant went silent. The goat had walked in – the greatest of all time. There had been murmurs about a celebrity coming to opening night. The internet was a twitter about it all week, but no one thought it would happen.

It was none other than Big Bird, right there in the flesh feathers! Big Bird came alone because ducks fly together while birds just “grab an Uber”. The celebrity wing of the restaurant had its first occupant.

The balance of the evening was about as chaotic as you’d expect for a restaurant full of animals. It was full of thrills and spills, complete with karaoke, lead by Petey The Parrot who did an eye-watering rendition of “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton.

It turns out Petey has a lot of emotional baggage he’s been trying to unload, but being restricted to one catchphrase at a time limits his ability to open up.

As the animals walked by Petey on their way out, they asked him if he was going to be okay. He made sure to tell all of them, multiple times, that he was coming out of his cage and doing just fine.

He also reminded them to call ahead to book reservations since he would be taking over reception duties. The staff member who took off to the washroom, instead of answering the phone, had been fired. Something about a poor Yelp review.

Petey had already put a poster up on the front window that read: “The best ability is availability. Call ahead. Call ahead. Call ahead.”

Thus concluded night one at the Call of the Wild Café.

It was wild.

If you couldn’t tell, this was a piece of fiction. Let me know what you thought. Thanks.

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