How I Wrote That

I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for about a year, but I never knew how to present it. Until now. I’m going to pull back the curtain that covers my mind and reveal to you how I write certain posts. Specifically, my poems.

I don’t know if this is going to be a new blogging series, or just a one off. We’ll see how it goes.

Poetry, for me, is a way to say things that I don’t really want to say, but need to. It gives me the chance to talk in metaphors and riddles and codes, so I know what I’m saying while my readers might not.

Each poem has more details in all of them than you could probably imagine. I don’t write a poem unless it means something to me. I have to feel it when I write it.

So for this post, I’m going to tell you how I wrote one of my recent poems, Show.

Essentially, I’m going to break down the meaning of it, line by line, and let you in on things that were going through my mind as I wrote it. I hope this is interesting.

Let’s start.

For starters, the title (Show) is a double meaning. Not only does it mean putting on a performance, but it’s also like, “Hey, I’ll show you what it’s like.” And that leads into the overall meaning of the poem which is: living in someone else’s shoes.

I didn’t think of the title of the poem until I was almost done writing it. That happens most of the time. The idea for the poem came when the following words randomly popped into my head, one day.

“They don’t know what it feels like, how could they possibly know?”

There have been many times in my life where I see someone go through something, or experience certain emotions, and I’m not able to relate to them. I can’t see things from their perspective.

And then, it could be years later, I find myself in their shoes – living through what they lived through. I’m finally able to see what they saw, and feel how they felt.

Alright, let’s break down each line. Each stanza has nine lines. I didn’t plan that ahead of time. I didn’t even know if I’d break the poem up into stanzas. Every stylistic decision I make is while I’m writing it.

Your shoes don’t fit quite like I thought they would
Now that I’m in your shoes, it’s not what I expected.
your backpack weighs me down more than I knew it could
The things you carry with you are heavier than I thought.
I gag at your clothes
Your style is not my own; I don’t want to be in your clothes, living your life, anymore.
I blow my nose
I just needed something that rhymed with “clothes”, to set up my next line.
the theatre fills up rows upon rows
This gives the idea that there are always people watching and judging us. Also, “rows” rhymes with “nose”.
and I wish I could take this off
I wish I could shed myself of this costume (someone else’s clothes), so I don’t have to feel how they feel.
burn it to shreds without hearing a scoff
This furthers my point with another rhyme.
they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know
And there are the two lines that sparked this poem. They appear in every stanza.

so take your clothes – here
I don’t want them anywhere near
This is the idea that I thought the grass was greener, but it wasn’t, and I don’t want it anymore. I want to return it.
and take your shoes
Not wanting to live in someone else’s shoes.
they did not answer my clues
“Clues” in the sense that my perception was wrong.
it was like walking on screws
It was harder than I thought.
one size fits all
This line relates back to “clothes” and the idea that we are all the same, but entirely different.
only works in the fall
I needed something that rhymed with “all”. Also, what do people wear in the fall? Sweaters/hoodies. That’s as close to “one size fits all” as you can get. I thought it was clever.
they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know
Reiterate the theme.

This next stanza is a change of perspective. It’s me looking inward.

is today the day it all catches up
This line came about because, at the time of this poem, I wasn’t getting many hours of sleep – my own fault. Exhaustion was building up and this line is me wondering if that was the day the exhaustion would take over.
the hours lost were hours gained
I lost hours during the day, but gained hours during the night. Make sense?
carry the one and nothing remained
This could be a metaphor for anything. But really, I just wanted to make a math joke and needed something that rhymed with “gained”.
wake up with muscles strained
I was waking up with my arms asleep and my back sore.
chess pieces were David Blaine’d
In this instance, “chess pieces” are people. David Blaine does magic. Put them together, and you have people disappearing. This goes back to the packed theatre in stanza one, but now I don’t want them there. I don’t want them to see.
because when you appear to disappear
David Blaine does illusions. If I appear to disappear, the audience has nothing to see.
only one side is overcome with fear
The audience would be overcome with fear.
but they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know
I added “but” to this because it worked with the flow of this stanza better.

I feel like people are still going to be confused at this point, even after I’ve explained three stanzas. Oh well. It makes perfect sense to me.

so tie your shoes tight if they don’t fit right
Goes back to the idea of putting myself in someone else’s shoes and being uncomfortable.
turn the world upside down
Change your perspective.
catch your smile become a frown
What if happiness all of a sudden turned to sadness?
would you look at the sad clown
Sad clowns still make jokes…
words lie and faces lie beneath
…but what they say may not be how they feel. “Faces lie beneath” is the person we are, beneath our facade – just like clowns are someone else beneath their mask.
the sun deserves to see teeth
We should smile more.
but they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know
Reiterate the theme, but don’t end the poem with it. Oh, and “they” refers to the “crowd” – people judging us.
the theatre reeks of popcorn
There will always be people who watch what you do. The fact that they brought popcorn, means they aren’t leaving any time soon. So get used to a crowd always watching. 
time for another show.
As I said before, this alludes to putting on a performance to convince others you’re something you’re not. And once you do that and someone lives life in your shoes, they will see it – you will “show” that part of you to them.

Did that make any sense?

This poem took about two hours to write, but when I was writing it, it felt like ten minutes. Every poem feels that way for me. I get so into it and as complicated as this poem might appear, the words came out quite effortlessly.

I always know that I’ve written a meaningful poem if I read it afterwards and feel like crying, or actually cry. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sometimes a tear or seventeen will flow as I’m writing it.

In a strange way that makes me feel better. It lets me know that these are words and thoughts I no longer need to carry with me.

Soooo much cheese in this post. Should’ve brought crackers.

Alright, that’s it. Did you guys like this? Should I do more “How I Wrote That” posts? (Doesn’t mean I will). Let me know. 

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

W Day

Here’s a rant.

Today is W Day. Not because it’s Wednesday – I’m far more clever than that. But because yesterday was V Day. I’m just following the alphabet. Which means tomorrow is X Day, so get your tissues ready. Friday will be Y Day, which is also self-explanatory. And Saturday is Z Day because we’re all going to sleep. Zzz….

God, I am so clever.

I know you’re all tired of hearing and reading about Valentine’s Day, so I’m just going to pile on and make us all visibly ill. You love me. You’re welcome.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about Valentine’s Day this year; I had some thoughts of letting it pass like a fart in the wind but as yesterday went on, I became more agitated than when I ask for white bread and am offered whole wheat instead.

Do I look like I want to eat smelly socks (whole wheat bread)?

Plus, one of my non-blogger friends (shoutout!) asked me to write about this. Blame them.

You know what bothers me? When people say that Valentine’s Day is just a made-up holiday. I find that so disrespectful to the chubby babies in diapers with wings, who spend their day shooting arrows at people.

Just kidding. It bothers me because everyone says it every single year. We get it. You’re a recording. Enough already. We all know it’s a made-up holiday. There had to be a bridge between New Year’s and Easter. Deal with it. It’s a thing.

No one ever complains about Halloween being a made-up holiday. (If it’s not, don’t correct me). Maybe because Halloween is an all-inclusive event. You can all dress up, or dress very little. Your choice. Whereas Valentine’s day is specifically for couples and children in elementary school who exchange Valentine’s Day cards with their classmates.

Remember that? I do. Let’s cancel previously scheduled learning, so we can exchange cards that our parents wrote out and eat desserts that everyone brought in. Who didn’t like that? Man, sign me up twice.

The people who hate Valentine’s Day are those who are single. If you’re in a relationship and also hate Valentine’s Day, I don’t want to hear from you.

Single people make Valentine’s Day almost as unbearable as those in a relationship.

For every photo I saw of two people kissing or posing with a box of chocolates that no one is going to eat, I saw a post about how it’s Single’s Awareness Day, or how they can’t wait to have someone to be with, or how they despise the whole day and think it’s fake.

See, single people like to brush off Valentine’s Day as just another day and pretend it doesn’t affect them. It does.

You know who I appreciate on Valentine’s Day? The one’s who dislike the concept of the day but say nothing publicly. You are my people. Let’s get pizza and scratch each other’s back with breadsticks.

Okay, maybe not the second part. #Unsanitary

And then there are those who have the audacity to be in love with someone and tell us all about it. How dare you!?

If you’re in a relationship and don’t advertise your love on Valentine’s Day, you’ve got a lot of guts.

I get it. You’re posting a picture because it’s Valentine’s Day and if you don’t, there is some underlying psychological message there that no one cares about; Except for your significant other who will dissect it, which is why X Day is just around the corner.

Some will disguise the photos of affection by saying “Today and every day”. Okay, but where is your photo in mid-August of the two of you with flowers, stuffed animals, and melted chocolates? Huh? Where’s that? Show me that.

Beach photos don’t count. I want to see the full-blown Valentine’s Day treatment in the middle of August. That’s how you get me to like your photo. That’s how you convince me that Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time you act like mashed potatoes.

People love occasions. We’re always looking for a reason to do something. No one sets a New Year’s resolution in October, but as soon as January 1st hits, uh oh, time to change my horrible ways.

I know some people who will celebrate their birthday for two weeks, or even a month.

No! You’re not allowed. You get one day. That’s how birthdays work. You don’t get a birthtwoweeks. You get a day. Don’t waste 8 hours of it sleeping if you want to stretch it out. One day. You. Get. One. Day.

That’ll be on the test tomorrow. Make note.  

In Canada, we have Family Day coming up and there will be a bunch of posts and pictures on social media of people with their siblings and parents and grandparents and dogs and cats and iguanas. And it’ll be on that day where we all get to hear how much that kid from 10th grade math, who you haven’t spoken to in a decade, loves their family.

Aren’t we blessed?

Let me circle back to Valentine’s Day.

If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, that’s your choice. Just know, no one actually cares. Until you get married, the likes on your couple-looking photos are always at least 1% reluctant.

I think everyone wants love at some point in their life, and by you shoving it down everyone else’s throat, you’re talked down upon. Sorry. Such is life. Just how God drew it up.

Because when single people see two people in love, they start questioning themselves. They won’t tell you that publicly, they’ll say they hate Valentine’s Day instead.

If you don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you should just be quiet about it. We know you’re lying when you say, “I don’t need someone else” and then Retweet a bunch of sad tweets about how lonely you are.

Don’t embarrass yourself. Just hide out in a room with food.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel like puking every time you see a couple post a picture of themselves on Valentine’s Day, but at the same time you can mildly appreciate how much they appear to appreciate each other.

See, I’m not totally heartless.

What was the point of this?

1. Don’t publicly bash Valentine’s Day because one day you’re going to be on the other side of it and post questionable photos on Instagram proclaiming, “Oh ma Gawd, chocolates I won’t eat.”

2. Don’t be the person that posts questionable photos on Instagram proclaiming, “Oh ma Gawd, chocolates I won’t eat.”

3. Say nothing. Love more. Write rants the day after.

Well, that about covers it.

As you were.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

I Don’t

Day by day, I see it get washed away
I am the only one who can do something
but here I am, unable to do anything
there is a guilty look that never makes eye contact
followed by a guilty kneel
topped with sleepless nights and nightmares that last too long
I don’t know what I want
but I don’t want this
the blue words are supposed to help
all they do is hurt
day by day it is another dagger
it is an argument against
it is a wonder why
why oh why
I am tired of explaining from the start
and I am tired in general
find me a reset button please
I would press it so fast
oh, so fast
I am doing this wrong
you don’t have to tell me twice
my eyes have their desires
off in the distance there is a light
my legs cannot move
they grow taller so I can see over
when you watch from above, you see everything
when you watch from below, well, I’ve been there too
not much difference
do I miss out
I convince myself I don’t
the sidelines are safe and the videos play on loop
the time lapse sweeps me up
a mere cloud that existed once
I don’t know what I want
but I don’t want this
there is a picture I constantly see
it is etched in my memory
I reach for it, as if it were a mirror
I am disappointed to learn it is not
rip it up, just rip it up
it is too hard
it is too scary
I do not know how
I never knew how
maybe I thought time would be on my side
a jolt of energy with unbridled confidence
thought it was here to stay
thought many things were
I was wrong again
the temporary nature of things pulls the rug
in the face of adversity
my face looked for an empty place to hide
I thought I had lifted the thumb
call me surprised when I found out I hadn’t
and these words are all I can do
my only heartbeat in this world
everything else stopped beating
one by one
shut down and replaced by a mummy
the middle of the night does not welcome light
the stairs creak the same way every time
I don’t know what I want
but I don’t want this
the patterns keep repeating themselves
and I am sorry
I am so sorry
it pains me so much to hurt you
I just want us to laugh
that is all I ever wanted
that is what I said on that day
that day, oh man, that day
I cannot put it to sleep
are you sending me a message
my mind has never been able to compute
what I want
what I desire
what I am scared of
what I am expected to do
it all blurs together
there is no answer
there is no answer
there is no answer
there is no answer
there is no answer
there is no answer
there is no answer
trust me, I want there to be an answer
I want it badly
please God
you cannot imagine
no, you cannot even begin to imagine
how badly I want it
day by day
you think I chose this
you think it is on purpose
believe me when I say it isn’t
and every time I try to change
I cannot do it
there is a question here
a question there
and another question in five minutes
just stop it
stop it
stop it
stop it
stop it
I cannot handle it
I cannot keep up with the constant tip toeing
they make it look so easy
when will I
there is no escape today
God tell me about tomorrow
because I don’t know what I want
but I promise you, I don’t want this.

Written while listening to: Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Show

Your shoes don’t fit quite like I thought they would
your backpack weighs me down more than I knew it could
I gag at your clothes
I blow my nose
the theatre fills up rows upon rows
and I wish I could take this off
burn it to shreds without hearing a scoff
they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know

so take your clothes – here
I don’t want them anywhere near
and take your shoes
they did not answer my clues
it was like walking on screws
one size fits all
only works in the fall
they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know

is today the day it all catches up
the hours lost were hours gained
carry the one and nothing remained
wake up with muscles strained
chess pieces were David Blaine’d
because when you appear to disappear
only one side is overcome with fear
but they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know

so tie your shoes tight if they don’t fit right
turn the world upside down
catch your smile become a frown
would you look at the sad clown
words lie and faces lie beneath
the sun deserves to see teeth
but they don’t know what it feels like
how could they possibly know
the theatre reeks of popcorn
time for another show.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Duck, Duck, Goose

Hey, the moon called asking for you
I took a message; that’s what you would do.
It saw you begging for one day
as your tears streamed into the next.
Two, three, four
you don’t start counting at one, anymore.

Don’t
Realize
Everything
And
Miss
Something.

You change at the drop of a hat
they should give you a medal for that.
Maybe you snored
maybe you’re bored
maybe they won’t believe
the things you’ve endured.

Silence is a sound always welcome,
you’re welcome.
When all you want to do is disappear
they won’t let you,
it becomes hard to say no
you don’t know how, so you go.

Thirty-one
twenty-seven
thirteen
and fifteen
are the greatest numbers
you’ve ever seen.

Maybe you don’t know how it feels
to sleep
because you’ve never been awake.
You see the words they said
filling your mind
a magnetic pull to the unkind.

It must be hard
being a ladder
all the time
helping others rise up
without ever seeing the top
for yourself.

There is nothing left to prove
you are the best, but
there is always a but
followed by someone better
is this good enough for you
or do you just say it is.

You sit there with your scarf
wrapped around your neck
it is made of worry
and it chokes you
and it suffocates you
and it is disguised as comfort.

We can sit and play games
with unwritten rules
be those people who
play in swimming pools
because Simon says
tag, you’re it.

Where this ends, is where it began
look at those words
they run down a hill
far away from the top
it is lonely up there
yet they circle back when the streetlights come on.

Who makes the sun shine; what makes the birds sing?
Let’s wait for the moon to ring.
You may sit in the circle of life, but beware
there are shadows on the loose
most of us are still playing
duck, duck, goose.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Super Bowl Sadness

I can’t remember the last time I watched an entire NFL game, from start to finish. I don’t know if I ever have. And I say that as someone who’s been a fan, of varying degrees, over the last fifteen years.

I became a fan of the NFL in 2002, when I witnessed Tom Brady lead the Patriots down the field – with no timeouts left and 90 seconds on the clock – to win the Super Bowl by a field goal. I had never seen anything like it. It was a furious race against the clock.

I guess you can call me a Brady Boomer. That moment made me a fan of his and the Patriots.

Though as the years went on, I was a bit confused. I didn’t know who to cheer for. There is no Canadian team in the NFL. I always thought team allegiances had to do with your geographical location.

Trying to figure out which team I was supposed to cheer for in Formula 1 was hard enough.

My Dad always wanted to know how the Buffalo Bills were doing. To this day, he will ask me: “How are the Buffalonians doing?” I hate that question so much. He knows it, too.

So for a while, I thought I was a Bills fan. I’m a hop, skip, and a one hour wait at the border away from Buffalo. But whenever I tried to watch their games, I was never interested. They were awful and still are. So I drifted away.

Between 2002 – 2009, I knew just about everything there was to know about the NFL. I read the magazines. I watched the two hour pre-game show on Sunday. I played the Madden video games.

Green Bay vs Minnesota in the snow, in the playoffs, is a memory I still have. It was cool to watch on TV.

The best football video game was Madden 2005 for the PC. Anyone who disagrees with me can fight me in a mud wrestling match. 

And then 2009 came and I moved away to university, where my Sundays were occupied with sleeping, eating, intramurals (this blog wouldn’t have a name without them), readings (I’m still keeping up the charade that I actually did my readings), and assignments.

On top of that, I had very few channels and all I could watch were the Buffalo Bills. I wasn’t interested in the Bills. I liked the New York Jets at that point. We broke up after three years.

Going away to university killed my NFL obsession. I never participated in fantasy football, so I didn’t even have that to keep me in the loop.

The video games got boring. The players didn’t run smoothly in them anymore. They all had a stutter step and the whole game was built around bone breaking tackles. I wanted Madden 2005, but it was 2012.

In the back of my head, I never stopped being a Patriots fan. They were the reason I got into the NFL in the first place. But I felt like I needed another team to cheer for – an underdog.

Cheering for the Patriots is like betting that Santa Claus is on the last float of the Santa Claus Parade. He always is. There’s no point in betting.

So over the last eight years, the NFL and I have had a distant relationship. I’ll watch a few minutes of some games, here and there, but it can’t keep my attention.

I read an article a few years ago that a 60-minute NFL game is only about 12 minutes of action. The rest of it is the clock winding down between plays. That bothers me.

The entire game is built around the strategy of “eating the clock” and “establishing the run.”

Do you know how frustrating it is seeing two running plays in a row, for a gain of two yards, and then hearing the announcers say: “They’re trying to establish the run, early on here.” Shut up. Spare me.

For the uninformed, Canada has their own football league – the Canadian Football League. The field is longer (by ten yards) and wider. There are only three downs. The play clock is only 20 seconds. Guess what? Everyone breaks the huddle and runs the play on time.

And when you punt the ball, the kicking team has to give a 5-yard buffer to the returner, so we actually see returns. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH NFL?

So it bothers me that an NFL play clock is 40 seconds and the last two minutes of the game can come down to the use of three ridiculous time outs.

The whole game is about the clock. Oh, and it’s about the defense trying to take everyone’s head off/shorten player’s lives. But that’s a topic for another day.

What also bothers me is all the commercials. There will be a touchdown. Then a commercial. Then we watch the kickoff sail through the end zone. Another commercial.

I just can’t handle it. I hate commercials. I hate commercials more than I love pizza. Think about that.

I felt the overall entertainment of an NFL game started to dwindle many years ago. It kind of put a smile on my face to see that ratings were down so much this year; it made me feel like I wasn’t crazy for turning away from “the best sport in the world”.

The league has gotten quite boastful, too. I don’t trust a word the commissioner says, and I don’t think he does either. The way they handle players with criminal charges is absolutely disgusting.

I’m afraid the idea of the Super Bowl is more exciting than actually watching the game. I could be wrong. I’ll see how I feel this year.

Since I mentioned pizza, let me just say that I think pizza is slowly becoming my favourite part of the Super Bowl. I don’t really care for Super Bowl parties, or even watching sports with a big group of people, actually.

It just ruins the experience for me. Anything more than 4-5 people is too much (unless I’m there in person). I leave afterwards and can’t remember a thing about the game because we carried on a conversation the whole time.

Anyways, pizza. I once ordered 15 pizzas from Papa John’s on Super Bowl Sunday, circa 2011, and put it all on my school meal plan. 12 people wanted a large pizza for themselves, with their own toppings, and I ordered 3 extra pizzas for “everyone else”. It was glorious.

The year before, I watched the game with a group of people and sat there with my Astronomy notebook because I had a midterm the next day and knew absolutely nothing about Astronomy.

I still didn’t do well on the exam. What’s a solar system?

I understand that the Super Bowl is meant to appeal to all people, which is why the halftime act normally appeals to demographics of those not interested in football. I get it.

But enough with the social media updates of: “If there are 11 minutes left in the first quarter, how long until halftime? I’m only here for halftime.”

Don’t you remember from last year?

Even though I probably won’t watch every minute of the game, I’ll be cheering for the Patriots on Sunday. For two reasons.

1) I started watching the NFL because of them.

2) If Roger Goodell has to hand a trophy over to Tom Brady, it’ll be more awkward than when Obama handed the White House over to Trump. Book it.

Happy Super Bowl to those who celebrate!

Happy Superb Owl to those hoo don’t!

And happy Supper Bowl to those who are just here for the pizza.

Fun Fact: If you were wondering why some companies/pizza places refer to it as “The Big Game”, it’s because they don’t have the rights to call it the Super Bowl. There, I had to put that in here to prove I learned something in school.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Twelve

I was not ready and I never knew
that those would be the final words I ever spoke to you
maybe we are waiting for the stars to align
or we want the other to recite the first line
you know I can be dumb sometimes
and stubborn about the rest
but I never forgot
put your ear to my chest
so maybe it’s too late
or perhaps you forgot
I’m not even sure it’ll be what I thought
I’m probably wrong
I normally am
but there was never a chance
not even a second glance
so I guess this life time needs to get longer
and the silence in between
is supposed to make us stronger
because before we go
I need the day to come
the one where we return
to where we came from.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Finding A Favourite

In Grade 3, everyone in my class put an item into a time capsule, which our teacher kept until we were in Grade 8 and ready to move on to the “real world” that was high school.

Fast forward to Grade 8, my third grade teacher walked in the room, and immediately asked me: “Is your favourite food still pizza?”

So many things went through my head before answering. I was wondering how she knew. I was wondering if it was a fat joke. I was wondering why it was so urgent that she got an answer. I was wondering if I should correct her, and say my new favourite food was roast beef because that was more of an adult answer.

I didn’t correct her. I confirmed her suspicion.

“My favourite food is pizza” was one of the few things I wrote on the sheet of paper I put in the time capsule.

At that time, I foolishly thought that pizza was a kiddie food. I thought adults had their own world of food – boring things that smelled funny. I thought admitting that pizza was my favourite food was like admitting that I still watched Barney and picked up a cup with two hands.

13 year old Paul thought he was an adult. Ha, how precious.

Now that I’ve almost doubled my age (holy crap), I realize that anointing pizza as my favourite food has been a personality trait I cannot shake, nor do I want to. If you’ve read my blog for 50 seconds, you’ve probably come across two pizza references.

So it got me thinking, we all have a favourite “something”. Whether it’s a food, movie, TV show, number, colour, place, smell, band, or pair of underwear.

Don’t you dare deny that last one.

How do we decide what our favourite is? For me, I have my rehearsed answers whenever I’m asked.

Favourite movie? Home Alone 1 & 2, and Mrs. Doubtfire.

Favourite colour? Blue.

Favourite food? Pizza.

Favourite smell? It’s a five-way tie between freshly cut grass, BBQ, a new sport jersey, a winter night, and a bakery.

Favourite number? I’m not sure.

Before I address the favourite number dilemma, I want to say some other things, first.

Whenever I reveal what my favourite “something” is, someone will always question it. I’ll name my favourite movie and someone will say, “Really? Out of all the movies?” As if I’m supposed to feel bad for liking the movies I grew up watching.

Or if I say blue is my favourite colour, I’ll sometimes hear: “What shade?”

What do you mean what shade? Do I look like a box of crayons?

Even though I say my favourite colour is blue, there’s never been a moment in my life where I’ve actually sat down and thought, “What is my favourite colour?”

I just say blue because that’s the colour my bedroom was (and still is) as a kid, and that’s the colour my favourite sports teams wore.

There was never a “come to colour moment.” To be honest with you, I really like the colour red. But I’ll never say it as my favourite because I’ve programmed myself to say blue.

I also like chocolate brown and a “really bright, but still dark green.” Again, I’m not a box of crayons, or chocolates.

Though while I’m at it, I might as well say that I like a lot of colours. Why is it that we need to have a favourite colour?

People will ask me what my favourite sport is and my answer is always the same. It depends what time of year it is. Whichever ones are currently in season, those are my favourite.

To pick one is impossible for me. There is no “favourite”.

It’s like asking a parent who their favourite child is.

Growing up, I used to have favourite athletes in different sports. Now, I don’t. There are players I like and players I don’t really care for, but to pick a favourite is challenging for me.

It’s like telling someone you love them. You don’t tell a cashier you love them just because they’re always there when you buy food, even if you’ve built a report with them and really appreciate their two minutes of friendship.

The word “favourite” and “love” go hand in hand in that respect, I guess.

This is how you know I’ve been watching way too many episodes of The Bachelor. I’ll try and reel this in.

When it comes to picking a favourite number, I’ve always been a bit lost. There are multiple numbers I like but I’ve never been able to commit to just one.

I know some people who have one favourite number and that’s it. Everything else is awful. Their number, or no number.

At this point, I’m just going to list some numbers and tell you why I like them, or why I don’t like them.

Tell me if you can spot a theme, when it comes to the numbers I like.

1 – I’m not cocky enough, despite how my tone is on this blog, sometimes.

2 – I was born on the second. You’re supposed to like the number you were born on. Right?

3 – No.

4 – Never understood the hype.

5 – I like the number 5. Jalen Rose wore the #5 and it looked cool on his jersey. (Chris is gonna love this comment). But do I like the #5 because of him, or do I like it because I like it.

6 – I hate that Toronto is called “the 6ix.” I’m an old man.

7 – Again, never understood the hype.

8 – Meh. I’d make too many “ate eight ____” puns and would ruin it. I already do.

9 – People say that the #9 is just an upside down six, but I see it as a loop de loop. Good luck getting that out of your head.

10 – I wore this number for three years when I played softball as a kid. I only wore it because my favourite player at the time, Vernon Wells, wore #10.

12 – I wore this number for one year when I played softball because the #13 wasn’t available and it was “close enough”.

13 – I wore this number my first year of softball. Everyone wanted #13 because we all liked Mats Sundin, but I arrived to the field, first, the day the jerseys arrived and had first pick.

Also, we only got to pick between 1-15 and the higher numbers were the bigger sizes.

19 – I genuinely like this number (even if it combines two numbers I’m not fond of). But I like it because Steve Yzerman wore #19 and so did a few other hockey players I liked as a kid.

22 – There’s a hockey player named Jordin Tootoo, and he wore #22 for Team Canada at the World Juniors tournament back when I was a kid. I guess this was my first introduction to how puns worked. I loved it.

In high school, Tootoo’s photo appeared in one of my textbooks because he was the first Inuk person, and Nunavut native (it’s a territory in Canada), to make the NHL.

I told the guy sitting next to me that Tootoo was my favourite player and he said to me, “Why? Are you Aboriginal?”

I’m not.

See, there’s that whole “people questioning my favourite things” again. 

91 – I was born in ’91. Plus, it’s the reverse of 19. When I played intramurals in university and we decided to get t-shirts with our name and number on them, I struggled to pick a number.

I thought about the #2, #5, #19, #22, and #91. I thought, “I can’t be #19, that’s the number that my favourite hockey player was. I can be #91 and secretly pay homage and respect to him.”

My mind doesn’t work like the rest of your minds do, if you haven’t noticed.

I also thought that the #91 looked good with my last name and that having a high number was cool. So I ultimately decided on the #91.

If you read my About page, you’ll see that I signed it with my name and the #91. Why? To keep with the blog theme.

If you can’t tell, none of the numbers I like are ones that I really have a personal connection with. They’re all because of someone else, or because I think I’m supposed to like my date of birth.

Even when I wore the #10 for three years, I never felt like it defined me. It defined someone I looked up to. Maybe in a way that does define me, but it didn’t feel like it.

There’s never been a number that jumped out and said, “Hey Paul, let’s get married.”

I’ve always been stealing someone else’s number. Maybe that’s what everyone does. I don’t know.

So whenever I’m in the horrible situation where I have to introduce myself and give “interesting facts”, I resort to listing off my “favourites” like everyone else does – the canned, rehearsed answers.

Pizza. Home Alone. Mrs. Doubtfire. Blue. Did I mention pizza? How many more interesting facts do you need?

And then comes the inevitable, “That’s your favourite?” and I realize this whole ranking system is stupid and unnecessary.

Yet our favourite things define us.

It’s a catch 22, unless your favourite number is something else.

I’m really curious to know if anyone else faces this problem. Where they are forced to pick a “favourite”, but really can’t choose because they like too many, or nothing jumps out.

Comment below. Tell me your struggles in finding a favourite. 

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Viewing Notes: The Bachelor Ep. 5

My BFF Meghan is joining me this week to provide some commentary on this week’s episode. You guys are getting two for the price of fun. That was a pun.

Meghan’s notes are in bold. Mine aren’t.

  • “I hate girl chat.” – Rachel. Andddd we’re off.
  • So Corinne (aka spoiled brat) has already called the therapist a dumb b***^. We are only two minutes in.
  • Why is it that when girls argue with each other, one of them always has to say one of the following words: genuine, classy, adult?
  • Is this The Bachelor or The Corinne Show?? I’m confused.
  • I already have a headache. Why didn’t I prepare better for this and get wine?!
  • Taylor and Corinne are fighting about how fake the other is. They would make a good tag team.
  • “Not here for the right reasons.” Drink!
  • Ooohhh they were sitting by a fire. Should’ve had an Inferno Match while they had the chance.
  • I wonder if Corinne is afraid of ghosts. Probably.
  • Corinne is tattling on Taylor, to Nick.
  • Nick doesn’t know what to do, so he kisses her and tells Corinne to continue to be mature.
  • And Corinne is drunk…again.
  • B word count: 3 in 10 mins.
  •  Nick tells Chris he had so much fun this week. Oh, good. I was worried he was in a coma.
  • “These are mature women.” – Nick
  • AHAHAHAHAHA
  • The girl with a nanny is calling other girls “entitled”.
  • Toes Ceremony time.
  • “Real connections are forming for me. I know you all so well. I’m mumbling the rest of this because I have a sandwich in my mouth.” – Nick
  • Nick you better save my favorite aka Danielle, who is a nurse.
  • Danielle is saved.
  • The crazy cat lady looks shocked she got a rose. Is the crazy dolphin lady still here? This show confuses me.
  • They are having this ceremony outside and everyone is so cold. It’s also a bit frigid outside. Ba dum shhhh.
  • Can Corinne and Taylor stop fighting? You’re both annoying.
  • Corinne got the second last rose. Taylor got the last rose. Someone needs to build a wall between them. Anyone know a guy?
  • Noooo Sarah didn’t get a rose? I liked her. I don’t remember her speaking much, but I liked her.
  • “Thank you again for putting your hearts out there.” – Nick, making them sound like recycling bins.
  • Drink every time Corinne swears or is drunk. JK you’ll be drunk in 10 mins.
  • I was already about to turn this off, but according to the episode preview they are being forced to stay in a haunted house. You have regained my interest.
  • Nick couldn’t think of a more perfect place to fall in love than New Orleans?
  • I feel like everyone is suddenly trying to have a southern accent since they are in New Orleans.
  • I, too, feel like everyone is suddenly trying to have a southern accent since they are in N’awlins.
  • The girls who are from N’awlins think they have an advantage now because they think Nick proposes to a place and not a person. They have their nouns mixed up.
  • Rachel is still talking about getting the first impression rose because she hasn’t had a one on one date yet and we’re halfway there….ohhhhhh…livin’ on a prayer. Sing it, Meghan!
  • Meghan?
  • It’s Chris Harrison! And he’s wearing a jacket so his sleeves aren’t rolled up. That ends his four episode streak.
  • There will be a two on one date tonight. You, me, Dupree, and Meghan, know it’s gonna be Taylor and Corinne.
  • “Aww you like him” – yes isn’t that why you’re all on the show?? NO.
  • “Drawwwmuhhhhh”. Drink everything in your fridge.
  • Rachel gets the first date and Nick greets her by eating her face.
  • “I’m going to treat you right and buy you a bunch of things.” – Nick
    Wait, where do I sign up for this part of the show? Don’t do it Meghan!
  • “I wanna eat you.” – Nick. YOU JUST WERE.
  • They exit the French Market and enter a cafe to eat more. They also put food in their mouths.
  • Now they are eating binguets. They are yummy.
  • Nick eats like a two year old. Heeeere comes the airplane!
  • They are now dancing down the street with a band while holding umbrellas ellas ellas, eh?
  • Apparently Nick has swag. Why is swag still a word?
  • All the other girls are creepishly watching the one on one date from the hotel…..oh.
  • The recurring theme of this show every season is: “I never have enough time with the bachelor/bachelorette.” No kidding. 25 people. 24 hours in a day. Math.
  • I wonder if they screen all the people on this show for mono before. So much making out.
  • Rachel says this is the best date of her life. Darn, I was hoping she’d say it was the 4th best.
  • “Thanks for having me.” – Rachel, acting as if she was invited over to his house for a Christmas party.
  • Alternate meaning: “Thanks for having me.” – Rachel. Because Nick ate her face.
  • Rachel’s dad is a Federal Judge and Nick wets himself.
  • “I don’t believe in fairytales.” …but you do believe in falling in love with a guy you haven’t even known for a month. Sigh.
  • Back at the hotel, the girls await the next date card because it’s not obvious to them that the two on one is going to be Taylor and Corinne. #Clueless
  • YESSS IT’S THE HAUNTED HOUSE TIME.
  • Group date is at a place called Houma’s House. Any chance Moaning Myrtle lives here?
  • Who’s Houma?
  • This date is a real who’s hou. Eh? EHH?
  • Raven’s southern accent is getting thicker and thicker as this episode goes on.
  • Every group date feels like an elementary school field trip.
  • “Y’all grab a buddy, get on the bus, and tell the big trucks to honk when they drive by! Ya hear?”
  • Meghan, take over. Please.
  • I feel like the ghosts should be more scared of these women. They are way scarier than the undead.
  • The caretaker of the haunted house is named Boo. This is so staged.
  • These girls are falling for the phony ghost stories. My box of Cheez-Its have a higher IQ.
  • OHHH HECK NOOOO. THERE ARE DOLLS. BYEEE.
  • Tag in.
  • Boo the caretaker guy is related to the photographer in the man romper from a few episodes ago, isn’t he?
  • Moaning Myrtle does not live here. A ghost named Mae (Gaslight Anthem) does.
  • Nick makes a toast at dinner: “To Mae. May we not find her.” Ahaha good one, Nick. Good one.
  • Oh, he wasn’t done. “…and if we do, hopefully she doesn’t murder us.” NICK! You morbid human.
  • Vanessa (Canada 1!) is the only smart one. Don’t touch the evil spirit board.
  • Nick wants to play with the oujia board because the producer told him to earlier.
  • And the power goes out….of course.
  • A chandelier falls after Jasmine touches a statue because it was a booby trap. The girls think it’s real. Come on! Have they never seen Home Alone?
  • “Is intelligency a word?” – No.
  • “Emotional intelligence.” Drink.
  • The girls each get their alone time on the group date and all they keep talking about is the ghost. How are they supposed to get proposed to in three weeks?
  • Nick is always awkwardly stroking people. Does that bother anyone else? 
  • “I loved our Backstreet Boys date about two weeks ago. I can see myself falling in love with you.” – Danielle L. Oh.
  • Jasmine thought the producers were just setting them up with this haunted house, but now she believes in ghosts and that this wasn’t a set-up. Oh.
  • Danielle M. and Vanessa think that their flickering candle is a sign from the “ghost” …..you two were my favorite…….. wow.
  • Okay, Nick and Danielle are super awkward. My favorite is so gone.
  • Nick doesn’t even talk to her. He just dances his fingers on her forearm and then…never mind.
  • Because of this, Danielle thinks their relationship has gotten deeper. Oh.
  • Raven dropped the L bomb…..ohhhhhh damn!
  • Raven just told Nick she loves him, by accident.
  • “Whatever. I said it. I own it.” – Raven.
  • Meghan has had enough. Thanks, Meghan!
  • The group date rose goes to Danielle M. and now Raven thinks Nick doesn’t love her back.
  • The last half hour is Taylor vs. Corinne in a “Nick on the pole” match. That’s a legit thing. Trust me.
  • The three of them are on a boat in the Bayou.
  • Stop saying “Emotional intelligence.” Stop it. Drink.
  • “The Bayou is a very interesting place.” – Nick. Don’t ever change. #Words
  • There is a lady explaining to them what voodoo dolls are. Man, I wish Meghan were still making notes on this part!
  • Field Trip! Where is Ms. Frizzle when you need her?
  • “Corinne is lacking what Nick needs in a relationship.” – Taylor (Swift?)
  • This voodoo lady is the 4th wheel on this date aka the relationship counsellor.
  • “It feels very tense.”
  • S-T-A-G-E-D, find out what it means to me?
  • “She’s a big, mean swamp monster.” – Corinne.
  • Corinne and Nick are sitting on a log, as if they are on Survivor. Hurry up and build the shelter before the sun goes down!
  • Corinne tells Nick that Taylor emotionally attacked her and “basically” called her stupid.
  • Nick replies with, “How does that make you feel?”
  • Well knock me over and leave me there.
  • I am on the floor. I can’t stop laughing. Just hit my foot on the fireplace. Don’t care. How. Does. That. Make. You. Feel. Ha. Ha. Ha. Haha. Ha. Ha. Oh, Nick. You active listener, you.
  • Taylor tags in for her time with Nick and immediately asks him: “How are you doing?” Give them a talk show. Now.
  • Nick tells Taylor that Corinne called her a bully.
  • “Emotional intelligence”. Dri…ahh what’s the point?
  • Prediction: Nick is going to keep Corinne. They’ll take off. And we’ll see a shot of Taylor left deserted in the middle of nowhere. Book it.
  • T & C sit down for some girl time. Oh wait. Nope. Not girl time. Opposite of that.
  • They are so jealous of each other. You can tell by the way they turn their heads while they talk.
  • If Nick had any guts, he would declare this match a double disqualification and send both of them home.
  • They “literally” did nothing on this date except sit in a forest and tell Nick how bad the other one is.
  • And the rose goes to………Corinne. Of course, because she’s the lead of this show. Nick is a secondary character at this point.
  • OH LOOK, Nick and Corinne leave on a boat while Taylor stays behind by herself.
  • “I’m feeling very confused.” – Taylor
  • “I literally just don’t get it.” – Taylor has never seen this show before.
  • “I am certainly not the villain in this experience.” – Taylor, the villain.
  • To future contestants: The more you talk, the more ammo the editors have against you. Just be quiet.
  • I have a headache now.
  • Oh no! Taylor is back from the dead (BECAUSE THERE WERE GHOSTS IN THIS EPISODE) and crashes Corinne & Nick’s dinner because the producers probably asked her if she wanted to.
  • This episode drained my emotional intelligence.

Thanks again to Meghan for providing some great commentary tonight!

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Stop It

I feel a rant coming on, so get’cha popcorn ready and add butter because this one is gonna be a real finger licker.

I don’t know what that means. Get yourself a napkin if you must. I don’t want you to have a mess on your hands. Oh man, I’m hilarious when I’m furious.

Speaking of mess! What is wrong with the world? Don’t answer that. You’ll hurt yourself. I’m tired of seeing how divided we are and the snarky social media comments.

You have people making jokes about “the left” and people making jokes about “the right”, but beneath each joke is a bunch of anger, hatred, and more raised eyebrows than can fit on the average forehead.

Now, I’m not about to get into a big political discussion. Nor am I going to get into the surface area of the human forehead. I know my limitations. Politics are not my forte no matter how many articles, debates, or Twitter feeds I consume. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Oh, and the word “pluck” sends shivers up, down, and all around my spine before shooting down my legs to tickle my toes.

Political discourse sticks to me like small pieces of styrofoam, before I end up fighting myself just to get it away from me.

If that isn’t a great analogy, I don’t know what is.

So you can take your scathing articles and contradictory political tweets from 2013 and throw them under your porch, where a squirrel can find them and tear them to threads. Thanks.

This isn’t about who the leader of your country is. This is about you. A human freakin’ being. Someone who makes the choice every single day of how you are going to treat others.

I am tired of sexism. I am tired of bullying. I am tired of homophobia. I am tired of xenophobia. I am tired of racism. I am tired of body shaming. I am tired of listing things that should no longer need to be listed.

I am tired of people parsing words and editing clips to show a certain bias. I am tired of people making others feel less than they should. I am tired of the put downs, insults, and all-around human indecency that makes up this round or flat planet. Believe whatever you want.

Heck, I’m even tired of hearing that arachnophobia is a fear of spiders. WE KNOW. Enough already.

Don’t we all just want to live the same, free, happy life? Where you are accepted for who you are, no matter what your demographics say about you?

Who doesn’t want that?

Awful people. That’s who. I’d use a stronger word than “awful” but I’m in the heat of things right now and don’t want to stop to look up a synonym.

Whenever something bad or horrific happens in the world, you’ll hear someone say: “This is not who we are”.

Well, that’s fine and dandy but when I was in school and one person acted out in a class of thirty, the teacher would punish all of us. It’s that whole, “One bad apple spoils the bunch” bit.

While I’m bringing up school phrases, can we please retire the phrase: “Life’s not fair”? Teachers and parents, just end it. Come up with something else. “Even potato chips break sometimes.” There, use that. Anything. 

Maybe that’s when our divisions in society started – in school.

You had the “cool kids” and you had the “not cool kids”. Both sides thought they were superior to the other, though the “not cool kids” rarely, if ever, felt the need to impose their stance. Weird.

But even then, when it was picture day, everyone would come together and say “Cheese” on command, like the well-oiled robots we were.

And then recess came along and everyone ruined their “best clothes” and the hair their parents combed so far to one side that we were sure it was going to jump ship to someone else’s head. No wait, that’s lice.

MOVING ON.

I get it, we aren’t going to get along with everyone. But why do we have to go out of our way to let someone know that we don’t like them? Why can’t people just keep to themselves and the people they like?

Imagine that. What a concept! Spending more time with the people you want to be around and less time insulting the people you don’t like. Wow. I bet that’s what life is like on Mars.

Last night, six people were shot and killed at a mosque in Quebec City. This is Canada. We’re supposed to be better than that. We’re supposed to thrive on diversity. We’re supposed to be friendly, welcoming, and polite.

We’re supposed to be.

And you know what, maybe we are. But six people were killed last night while they were praying, so I don’t know if we can just gloss over this with a simple, “This is not who we are.”

How many people around the world need to be shot, victimized, or face prejudice before we realize that leaders of a country don’t control how we treat each other.

If you’re in a room with thirty people and are told by the leader of that room (we’re getting fictitious today, kids) that the only way you get to leave the room is if you hurl every insult you can think of at the other 29 people in the room, would you do it?

Maybe. Probably. You might have to go to the washroom, eventually.

But what if all thirty people sat there and complimented each other and said they weren’t going to treat others poorly just because the leader of the room wanted them to.

That might’ve been an awful example and I hope you don’t pick it apart because if you do, you will have missed the point.

You know what I did today? I went for a walk. On my way home I passed by a lady on the sidewalk who was walking her dog.

As we approached each other, we both smiled and said, “Hi”, and kept going without missing a step. It was so simple.

I was smiling down the sidewalk for the next ten seconds and didn’t even realize it.

Why can’t we do that more in life? It feels so good. Way better than throwing things through the window of a Starbucks because the person you voted for, lost.

I’m not saying you need to go out and become besties with people who have terrible intentions.

I’m just saying, not everyone is going to have the same thoughts, values, beliefs, skin colour, or orientation as you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t like them. It bothers me that I had to write that last sentence because I thought it was a prerequisite to graduate kindergarten.

Put your big boy or girl pants on – heck even wear a kilt – and be nice to someone.

If someone is on the opposite side of the political spectrum than you, why do you have to hate them so viciously?

Again, save your articles and old tweets that showcase hypocrisy and broken promises.

They think you’re crazy. You think they’re crazy. And you can’t even agree on that!

There are better ways to disagree with the people you think are destroying the world. I think.

If I think bread is good and Bob Tomronaldson III thinks bread is bad, then we’re never going to agree! You know what we will do, though? I’ll eat bread, and he’ll eat something else. And we’ll leave each other alone and not hurl insults at each other on social media.

Maybe the entire world needs to take a simultaneous nap. I feel great after naps. Perhaps we all just need a snooze to reset ourselves. Who’s up for a nap?

Did I hear someone say BLANKET FORT?

This rant has gone everywhere. I’m starting to simmer down, and I’m sure you’re running out of popcorn. So I’ll wrap it up.

If you want to protest, then protest!

If you want to march, then march!

If you want to make a sign, then make a sign!

If you want to get into a debate on Facebook that you’ll never win, then do it.

Actually, scratch that last one. I can’t condone it. Let me save you from yourself. In the 217 years that Facebook has been around, no one has ever won a Facebook debate. Look it up.

All I’m saying is, just try to be a decent human being. The world needs more of them.

Now don’t make me write a post like this again. So, stop it! You hear me? Good. Now go wash your hands before you get butter everywhere.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments