Second Person

You changed
Cliché, right?
As if no one else does
But this is not about no one
This is about you
And you changed
Didn’t you?
Maybe there was a day
You know
Like one of those squares on a calendar
Maybe
Maybe there was a moment
Yeah
Maybe there was a time
Maybe something happened
Maybe it was everything all at once
Tell me when I am getting warmer
Because all I feel is cold
A shiver you know well
As you should
Listen
You don’t walk the same
You don’t talk the same
You don’t even look the same
And maybe that’s a good thing
Because maybe I am proud
But it is so hard to show sometimes
All it takes
You know this to be true
All it takes is one reminder
One little reminder
A sound
A smell
A feeling
A taste
A touch
A memory
One little reminder
And you are gone
Back to who you were
Back to the person I knew
And I know you like it
Because I like it
But it got hard for you
Didn’t it?
It was too much and not enough
All at the same time
It was a performance
For no one in particular
And I know you
You count those squares
You put them around you
And you build a wall
A big freakin’ wall
Because you are scared
And you don’t even know of what
So you sulk
You hide
You disappear
You subtract yourself
From everything and everyone
Who ever loved you
And then you wonder how
How did you change?
I tell you how
But you still don’t know
You cannot hear me
You don’t want to
Your mind does not think
Like it used to think
You are like a second person
You used to be different
You still are
But the difference is
You stopped
You stopped caring
You stopped doing
You stopped talking
Because you don’t know
What to do anymore
How to do it
Or even why
What is your reason why?
What is your motivation?
You don’t have one
Someone took it from you
Right?
That’s the story
Someone else took your ball
And is running with it
Well boo hoo for you
You sit there and wait
Like you’re in a waiting room
A darn waiting room
Newsflash, you aren’t even on the list
They aren’t calling you in
You know this
That’s the sad part
You know this
And there you sit
Collecting squares for your wall
As if nothing will ever change
Because the change you want
Has already passed
The change you want
Does not want you
And the change you want
Will never be good enough
How’s that?
How’s that for accurate?
I knew you had changed
Cliché, right?
Well maybe I changed too
Maybe I changed you.

Neverending White Lights – Always

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

Hello hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland. Welcome to my unique preview of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I say “unique” because I know most of you are probably not hockey fans, nor are you from the United States or Newfoundland. So I have to make this entertaining.

Also, there are already a bunch of preview articles on the internet. I don’t need to copy them because, quite frankly, I can do it better.

So before you get crumbs in your playoff beard and refer to a stubbed toe as a “lower body injury”, let’s get started.

I’ll begin with the Western Conference matchups.

Chicago Blackhawks (1) vs. Nashville Predators (WC)

The Chicago Blackhawks not only have the best jersey in the NHL, but also the best goal song. That’s a deadly duo, if you ask me. They have won the Stanley Cup three times since 2010 and are due to win another.

They have too much experience, too many future hall of famers, and too much of a home ice advantage. Again, don’t discount how intimidating their goal song – Chelsea Dagger – is.

As for Nashville, their jerseys look like mustard and their goal song is unknown to me, which means it isn’t very good. They have never won the Stanley Cup and won’t win it this year. Sorry for being blunt.

They’ll put up a fight, but I can picture them sadly making their way off the ice at the end of the series. I can’t say the same for Chicago.

My Pick: Chicago Blackhawks

Minnesota Wild (2) vs. St. Louis Blues (3)

I’ve never quite understood why they are called the “Wild”. What do the members of their team say, “I’m a Wild”? If you’re on St. Louis, you say, “I’m a Blue” and no one blinks twice. “I’m a Wild” just sounds like an incomplete sentence. You’re a wild, what? Coyote?

No. That’s Arizona. The Arizona Coyotes.

Minnesota doesn’t really have a star player; they have a bunch of good players. Maybe they’re trying to be the 2011 Boston Bruins. That reference went over everyone’s head. I like their coach. I like their depth. I like their chances.

St. Louis seemingly gets their heart broken every year in the playoffs. Normally, it’s by the Chicago Blackhawks. I don’t trust their goaltending and I don’t think they have the right pieces to get through a tough Western Conference.

Some will win, some will lose, St. Louis was born to sing the blues. It writes itself.

My Pick: Minnesota Wild

Anaheim Ducks (1) vs. Calgary Flames (WC)

It still bothers me that Anaheim took the “Mighty” out of their name and changed their jerseys at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. I’m sure they don’t mind. They won the Cup that year. But I mind, okay. I MIND.

Anaheim is a big, bad, bully when they want to be. Lately, they’ve been playing the victim and have lost some key players to injury. Don’t fret, Duck fans! Calgary hasn’t won a game in Anaheim in 13 years. That’s not an exaggeration.

13 years! I didn’t even know how to shave 13 years ago.

Calgary is young and feisty and will be willing combatants in multiple frays, skirmishes, and fracases, alike. That sentence was full of testosterone.

Two years from now, I’ll pick Calgary to win this series. For now, it’s all about the Quack Pack.

My Pick: Anaheim Mighty Ducks

Edmonton Oilers (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (3)

Connor McDavid is so good at hockey…How good is he?…he already has a goal and an assist before Johnny Nosebleed can make a stop at the concession stands to pick up another bag of peanuts.

The San Jose Sharks are free, free fallin’. They made the finals last year, and have more facial hair than ZZ Top, but something doesn’t feel right. They’ve been relying on the same five guys to produce all of their offence for a few years now. I don’t know if it finally catches up to them, or if their experience will trump all.

The Oilers are fun to watch. Their coach, Todd McLellan, was fired by San Jose two years ago. He won’t say it, so I will. He wants to beat them soooo badly. Especially considering the fact that they finally got over the hump and went to the finals, the season after he was canned.

Edmonton is young and inexperienced, outside of a few players. Normally I would give the advantage to the more experienced team, but I don’t think inexperience matters to Connor McDavid. And I don’t think there is a strategy that can stop him.

My Pick: Edmonton Oilers

Hop on a plane, we’re headed to the Eastern Conference!

Montreal Canadiens (1) vs. New York Rangers (WC)

The Carey Prices Montreal Canadiens are a one man team. That might be the Leaf fan in me talking, or it might be the truth. Maybe both. If it weren’t for Carey Price in net, this team probably doesn’t even make the playoffs. Yeah, I said it.

Their trade deadline acquisitions made me think they forgot that you need to score goals in order to win. The players they traded for are better at throwing their fists at faces, than shooting pucks into nets. I still don’t know who is supposed to score on this team.

The Rangers don’t really have a prototypical star player, but they have depth. They have scorers. They have Henrik Lundqvist in net, who better turn into King Henrik again, or else they might be in trouble.

My Pick: New York Rangers

Ottawa Senators (2) vs. Boston Bruins (3)

The Ottawa Senators have been through a lot this year, yet here they are. I’m worried they might be a bit small up front and their forwards will be too overwhelmed to be consistent scorers. Their goaltending can steal them a few games, though.

As for the Bruins, this is a team with players who know their role and play them perfectly. Brad Marchand may be the smallest player on the ice, but he may also be the best. And he’ll act as if he’s seven feet tall, just like their captain – Zdeno Chara.

What a menacing name. Zdeno Chara.

My Pick: Boston Bruins

Washington Capitals (1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (WC)

My team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, are in the playoffs. Do you believe in miracles? The Leafs finished in last place last season and I had never hated hockey more in my life. It was dreadful. Now, the Leafs are here….annnnnd they might just get run out of the building.

BUT, my hometown bias is kicking in and I’m thinking the Leafs have a chance because anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Also, the Capitals have a reputation of choking in the playoffs.

The Leafs are so young…How young are they?…their bed time is the beginning of the third period. Ba dum shhh.

If I had a dime for the amount of times I’ve heard people ask, “Is this finally the Capitals’ year?” I’d have about $3.75. Maybe it is their year, or maybe it’s not. That’s why they play the games.

I think the Leafs could very well lose the first game by a score of 5-1 and then bounce back and make Game 2 “close”. Or they’ll shock the world and win Game 1. I can only hope.

For my pick, I’m going with my head instead of my heart. I hope I’m wrong.

My Pick: Washington Capitals.
*If the Leafs win the series, I’m editing this to say Toronto.

Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (3)

I like the Columbus Blue Jackets. I do. They are the little engine that could. I just don’t like little engines when they go up against penguins and Sidney Crosby. Sorry. Huff and puff your train out of the station, Columbus.

As long as Sidney Crosby is healthy and avoids food poisoning, the Penguins will always be a threat to win the Stanley Cup. They have more playoff experience and more talent than Columbus, though their defence looks like someone just spilled cranberry juice on a white tablecloth.

It ain’t pretty, or healthy. It’s a bloody mess. Do you get the cranberry juice on a white tablecloth reference, now?

It’ll be a close matchup because the Penguins have great jerseys and the Blue Jackets have a cannon inside their arena. So, get ready for a loud affair.

My Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

That is it for my Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview! I won’t give you my predictions for future rounds right now because for all I know, all of my picks are incorrect.

I hope you enjoyed this, whether you like hockey or not. Maybe I even convinced some of you to watch.

So with that, remember to keep your stick on the ice and get pucks in deep, eh.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Making A Fantasy Sports Player

I like to think of myself as a competitive person, especially as it pertains to sports. That being said, I’m not a sore loser. Sure, in the back of my head I may be fuming, I may hold a grudge, and I may never forget a loss, but on the surface I’ll look calm and ready, just like Eminem.

I’m not the most athletic person in the world, which is to say you won’t find me in any upcoming Nike commercials racing horses on a track, or pulling a sled of weights in a poorly lit gym.

However, I do consider myself athletic, just not the “most” athletic.

As a kid, I quickly developed a strong understanding of various sports. I could tell you the rules, the best strategy, techniques, anything.

I was the kid in elementary school who played intramural basketball and wanted everyone on the team to have a position and spread out, rather than five players chasing one ball and yelling, “I’m open”, when they’re standing two feet away from you.

That bothered me. In my nine-year-old brain, I couldn’t believe they didn’t know how to spread the floor like the Toronto Raptors. It boggled my mind.

I was the kid who asked his parents to borrow books from the library about how to throw different pitches because when I was eight-years-old, I thought I was going to grow up and be a pitcher in Major League Baseball. I practiced in my backyard every day, so why not?

Apparently practice doesn’t always make perfect and dreams are nothing more than six letters.

I was skilled at various sports, but I was never “the best” at any. Though I did have a pretty good run as a softball player and got a kick out of it when the opposing pitcher would tell the outfield to “back up” whenever I went up to hit.

My style of play quickly turned to trying to outsmart my opponent using my sports IQ, which I was more than confident in.

In Grade 6, I signed up to play indoor soccer at school. I don’t really like soccer. I can only pass and shoot. I still don’t know how to run fast with the ball for more than three seconds, while maintaining perfect control.

I see other people do it effortlessly; I swear it’s an illusion.

The teacher who was organizing the intramural league at school came into my class to select people to be captains. The league was made up of kids from Grade 4-6. He called out a bunch of names and asked them if they wanted to be captain.

They all accepted except for one kid – he didn’t want to be captain because he wanted to be picked (yes, we had a draft) by one of his friends. What a loser.

When he said no, the teacher looked at the list of people who signed up, as if to say, “There really isn’t anyone else I can pick to be a captain.”

I should note, captains were picked based on skill. They never told us, but it was obvious. And rightfully so. If I were a kid in Grade 4, I wouldn’t want to be on a team where the captain didn’t know what they were doing.

Finally, after staring at the sign-up sheet for what felt like three days, he called out my name and asked if I wanted to be a captain. I accepted, knowing I was literally the last choice.

At the player draft, I selected my team based on names I recognized – kids who I saw do athletic things at recess, or little brothers of people I knew. Not bad for being my own scouting department.

Finally, I had my team.

I remember going home with the list of names and creating substitution rotations we would follow every time we were told to “switch”. I made sure to always have enough older kids out there with the younger kids.

You know, balance and stuff.

In my head, and on paper, my team was unbeatable. I had a strategy. I had my rotations set. I knew we would face an uphill battle, but if we got one goal, all we had to do was prevent the other team from scoring. That was my strategy.

That strategy fell apart when I realized kids don’t follow substitution rotations. They just go with the flow and say, “I need a break” or “I’m playing” whenever they feel like it.

I also realized that the guy I drafted to be the “goal scorer”, wanted to be our goalie most of the time.

The highlight from that season was a save I made on a penalty shot. The ball seemed to be placed about eight feet away from me, when the opposing player took their shot. I felt it was too close.

It was.

BAM. Right in the face. I don’t even think he was aiming at the net. Oh well, I was fine.

Looking back, I find it funny how seriously I took that experience. But it’s absolutely something I would do. And it’s no surprise that when I got to university and started playing intramurals, that I was always looking for a competitive advantage by trying to outsmart the opponent.

Soccer baseball was my favourite. Before every time I kicked, I would tilt my head and direct my eyes in a certain direction, hoping to bait the opponent into thinking they knew where I was going to kick the ball.

“He’s kicking to the right!”

I loved when they screamed out what they thought I was going to do. Made me know I fooled them.

People are gullible.

Or when I was playing defence, I would intentionally stand in a certain spot while the kicker was surveying where they should kick. As soon as the pitcher started rolling the ball, their focus would be on that, and I would move into the spot they thought was open.

Again, people are gullible.

I don’t know if my teammates knew I was doing this, maybe a few caught on. I don’t know.

I also had a good memory of what someone did the last time they kicked. By the end of the game, I knew everyone’s tendencies and what it meant when they stood a certain way before they kicked.

I attribute that “good memory” to my softball pitching days – I had a scouting report of most of my opponents, stashed in my head.

I’m crazy.

This, finally, leads me to fantasy sports.

Fantasy sports are everything a non-professional athlete, like myself, craves. Competition while sitting. It’s perfect. And it’s entirely based on thinking. Well, and luck. And praying.

I’ve been involved in fantasy sports since 2011. I’ve never played for money. I don’t need that to motivate me. And I only do a few sports. Hockey, basketball, and this year, baseball.

This past Sunday, I won my fantasy hockey league for the fourth time in six years. The other two years, I came in second and third, respectively.

We played with a head-to-head format, which means each week I faced a different opponent and had to win more statistical categories than them.

My record this year was 23-1. 23 wins. 1 loss. That one loss came in Week 3, back in October. I remember telling myself after that week that I didn’t want to lose another week for the rest of the season. I didn’t.

There were some nerve-wracking, nail-biting, bed-wetting weeks. And I know this sounds crazy to most of you, but I love sports and this is the closest I may ever come to being the General Manager of a team. So back off.

I spent hours strategizing and projecting in my head how the week would go and what days I would have to make free agent pickups. I would try and predict what my opponent would do and think of a plan to counteract it.

Just to reiterate, I’m crazy.

I’ve always thought that if you’re in a fantasy league, why wouldn’t you try to win? So many people just give up after a month and don’t set their lineups.

Two Sundays ago, I won my fantasy basketball league, defeating Chris in the finals. Chris had won the championship three years in a row. Last year, he beat me by the smallest percentage point imaginable. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t motivate me this year.

See, to some people, fantasy sports is just something you do because you’re friends are doing it and you want to be included. You may not even watch sports, but you participate anyway.

Then you don’t realize the commitment this new found hobby requires if you want to do well.

For people like me, it’s a game that lasts for about six months. I’ve always loved games. To me, it’s fun. It’s competition. It’s a brain-excerise, just like Sudoku, or navigating a shopping cart around a busy grocery store.

And it helps me learn about the different players in a specific league.

I’ll be honest, winning a fantasy sports championship always feels a bit hollow because you realize that no one actually cares about your victory. Half the league won’t even know you won because they stopped checking the league page months ago.

Oh well.

This year, I’m participating in a fantasy baseball league for the first time since 2012. I didn’t really enjoy it the first time around, mainly because I had no clue what I was doing. Baseball can be tricky.

The season is six months long, we’re one week in and I’m already living and dying by my team’s performance on a daily basis. This isn’t healthy, but it’s fun!

Sports, stats, smarts, competition, luck, and fun, all in one. I’m a big fan of all six of those words.

I don’t know if I’ll ever participate in fantasy football. I’ve been slowly losing interest in football over the last decade, so that would just seem like work and a hassle.

What started as drafting a real team of children for intramural soccer back in Grade 6, has turned into drafting a team of professional athletes to play for a fake team with a pun-inspired name.

Hockey: Two And A Half Benn
Basketball: First Cousins
Baseball: Pepé LeMahieu

This must be that “growing up” thing that people always talk about.

This must be how you make a fantasy sports player.

Or, maybe, this is just me.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Thank You, Don Rickles

Yesterday afternoon, I went on Twitter and the first tweet I saw broke my heart. It was a tweet by Jimmy Kimmel.

It read: “90 years with Don Rickles weren’t enough. One of the sweetest and most lovely people I had the pleasure of knowing. We miss you already.”

I knew what it meant and I didn’t want it to be true. I was hoping that it was a prank, a mistake, or some sort of sick joke. A few seconds later, after a quick search, I realized it was none of the above.

Don Rickles had passed away.

The first time I became aware of who Don Rickles was, was about eight years ago. Typing that sentence out, saddens me. I feel like I should’ve known who he was sooner than that.

I was in my first year of university and late nights doing work meant that late night talk shows were my background noise/distraction of choice.

One night, Don Rickles appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and I was blown away. Who was this elderly man and why was he the funniest person I had ever seen? I was hooked.

In uncovering who this comedic genius was, I realized that he was the voice of Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story. As a kid, Mr. Potato Head was my favourite of Andy’s toys. Followed by Rex and Hamm. Can you spot the common theme? They were all funny.

And now here he was, Mr. Potato Head, in the flesh.

Over the years, I’ve spent many hours on YouTube watching anything and everything that included Don Rickles. I couldn’t get enough. I still can’t. I wish there were more.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many days and nights those videos got me through, when all I needed was a laugh or a distraction. Don Rickles was there.

Without a doubt, Don Rickles is my favourite comedian. Tied in second place (because I don’t want to put anyone third) are Jerry Seinfeld and Jimmy Kimmel.

I like to think that my sense of humour is a combination of those three individuals. From the quick wit and dry humour, to the over-dramatization and focus on small, unimportant, every day occurrences.

I may pale in comparison, but all three have been inspirations to me.

The headlines will refer to Rickles as an insult comic. And he was. But he was never mean spirited. The common thread to the YouTube videos I’ve spent hours watching, and rewatching, is that after Rickles insults someone relentlessly, he will back off and deliver some of the kindest compliments you could ever hear.

His jokes did not come from a hateful place, they were born out of love. I admire that.

There are many comedians who need to speak about taboo subjects, or use profanity in every other sentence, in order to get a laugh out of the audience. Rickles wasn’t like that. I loved that about him.

His pace was extraordinary. You always knew a joke was coming, yet you were never quite prepared for it. And if you weren’t paying attention, you’d miss it. He’d let his audience know if they did.

He was quick. So very quick. You could tell he always had a joke on the edge of his lips, way before the person he was interacting with had even finished talking.

A staple of his recent talk show appearances were always stories involving Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Regis Philbin, Bob Newhart, and other people who were his friends. And he never mentioned them just to brag, as if to say “these are all the famous people I’ve ever known”. No. He talked about them because they were his friends and he loved them.

He would insult them ruthlessly, but always had something beautiful to say about them. I think we can all learn something from that. We can all learn from the way that Rickles treated others, especially his friends.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a few tears today while watching YouTube videos that I’ve seen many times before. Even as I write this post, my eyes have trouble staying dry.

I never knew Don Rickles, other than through a TV or computer screen, yet he’s had a great impact on my life. I know I’m not the only one.

If laughter is the best medicine, then Don Rickles was universal health care.

Jimmy Kimmel was right, 90 years weren’t enough.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

What’s Yummy In Your Tummy?

I tried Honeydew Melon the other day. It had been sitting on the kitchen counter for about two days. I kept looking at it. It looked like a head. It looked like a pale cantaloupe. It looked like disappointment, just waiting to be served.

Finally, it was cut open and I was told, “Hey Paul, come try this.”

I looked at it. I said, “No.” I left the kitchen. And then I went back!

Why did I go back? Because I thought it would make a good blog post. Seriously.

I took a small, little piece and brought it to my mouth. It touched my lips and top row of teeth, just long enough for me to get the flavour before I aborted the mission. Luckily, my hand with still holding onto the “small, little piece” and I didn’t have to spit anything out.

What did it taste like? It tasted like cantaloupe.

Here’s a fun story. I tried cantaloupe when I was a kid. It immediately made me feel like throwing up. Cantaloupe n’est past de cool. That’s French for, “Get out of my mouth.”

And I’ve never had cantaloupe since. There are some foods that I know I won’t like, as soon as I see them. Cantaloupe was one of those foods. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and it betrayed me.

Don’t even try to call me a picky eater. What am I supposed to do? Eat things I don’t like? Come on. You only live once you only eat three or four times a day.

I gave Honeydew a try even though I knew, just by looking at it (because I have those kind of powers), that I wouldn’t like it.

Also, it reminded me of Honey Boo Boo, which I then turned into Honey Dew Dew, and I couldn’t stop laughing because I’m actually six-years-old.

So yeah, Honeydew Melon isn’t getting a positive Yelp review from me.

By the way, have you ever noticed that only really opinionated and attention-hungry (pun intended) people post Yelp reviews?

I feel like I just offended some people who are reading this.

Seriously though, the last thing I feel like doing after attending a restaurant is going on the internet to write a review and rate it out of five stars. Come on.

I’ll look up some of my favourite restaurants and read the reviews just for a laugh. If I look up a Chinese restaurant, I’m bound to find a bunch of “It’s not real Chinese food” comments. Same goes for Italian restaurants.

I don’t know what people want. Go somewhere you like, or stay home. That’s my motto. This whole, “trying new restaurants based on internet reviews” is just setting you up for disappointment.

Do I want to spend $30 to try “something new” or do I want to spend $30 on something I’m 100% sure will make my stomach smile. The answer is simple; don’t be a pimple.

Lately there has been a big debate regarding pineapple on pizza. At least where I live, there is.

The first time I had pineapple on pizza, I was about 12-years-old and was getting ready to play a softball game. The game before mine had just ended, and one of the teams had pizza as their post-game snack.

I knew the coach on the team from the previous year, so I made sure I “just so happened to walk by as the pizza was being distributed”. I’m no dummy.

I was offered a slice, gleefully accepted, and took it with me on the field as I went to play catch. I held the slice in my mouth when I had to throw the ball, and held it in my right hand when the ball was being thrown to me. It was a perfect system.

Anyway, that pizza slice had pineapple on it. I’d never had “Hawaiian Pizza” before. I liked it. It was refreshing. It was just what I needed. My tight fitting baseball pants argued otherwise.

The second time I ever had pineapple on a pizza was a few years later. I didn’t like it as much.

A few years ago, I tried it again, and didn’t like it at all. I was disappointed because the first time I ever had it was glorious.

So the debate around here lately is about whether or not pineapples belong on pizza. It’s gotten heated.

I don’t really want to pick a side because I’ve agreed with both sides at one point in my life. And honestly, I don’t really care. People have been putting pineapple on pizza for a long time. Why is it an issue now?

Trust me, I’m the first person to speak out on food faux pas. If I see someone spread ketchup on top of their fries, I cringe and then walk over to them and throw their fries out.

But this pineapple debate is just silly. Do what you want.

Speaking of doing what you want, I’m about to contradict myself, as that brings me to another thing that has been weighing on my stomach lately.

A few days ago, a thought popped into my head at random. It happens a lot, trust me. The thought was: dipping cookies into milk is disgusting. I thought nothing of this random thought in my head. I figured I’d throw it into a blog post at some point.

And then I’m watching a sports talk show today and the two hosts are arguing about dipping cookies into milk. Well, now I have to discuss it.

One host said that dipping cookies into milk was gross and his co-host reacted as if he was just told that water isn’t wet.

Listen, dunking cookies in milk was fun when I was four and liked to cause messes. But now, it’s just disgusting. You’re ruining the cookie. It’s as if you’re having someone else lick it until it’s moist, and then putting it in your mouth.

Not to mention the fact that the milk your dipping it in quickly turns into bath water. There is nothing more off-putting at the dinner table, than looking in your drink and seeing a bunch of crumbs floating around.

Disgusting. And then you drink the glass afterwards? Do you cut your toenails on the subway too? What is wrong with you?

I want a cookie in it’s purest form.

I also don’t want to sit there with an Oreo or Fudgee-O and pull it apart just to eat the middle first. I’ve done that. I’ve lived that phase of my life.

By the way, they’ve ruined Fudgee-Os. They are smaller. The chocolate inside is different. It’s just ruined. I haven’t had a Fudgee-O in at least 8 years because of this.

Speaking of foods that have been ruined, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you Hostess Cupcakes. You were amazing back when I was in Grade 5. Thank you. And then you changed the recipe and minimized the loops on top and it all went downhill. Yeah, I noticed. And yeah, I’m still bitter about it.

A good cookie is hard to find these days. I’m serious. Even my go-to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are hit or miss sometimes. It all depends how much time they spent in the oven. I can tell those sort of things.

We all have our own tastes and likes and dietary concerns. It’s what separates us from primates. Screw opposable thumbs. Ever see a monkey turn down a banana in the wilderness? Neither have I. They aren’t selective.

This was a lot to get off my stomach (gotta keep with the theme), but I had to do it.

I can’t wait for the debate that’s about to start in the comments section.

Just remember, your opinion about food is the only one that matters, unless it’s wrong.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays

I hate Spring Training. It is the worst part about baseball. It’s a month long tease that the media tries to make us care about, even though they hate it just as much as the fans.

What makes me laugh (not really), is when the season ends in November, some smarty pants will immediately start with the, “Only __ days until pitchers and catchers report (for Spring Training).”

Yay! Hooray! The season just ended but a new one is right around the corner. Woohoo, we’re getting excited for Spring Training, even though we hate it when it arrives!

Hypocrites. All of them.

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, I probably should’ve written this post before the baseball season started, but I’ve been looking for weight for the last two weeks and this post didn’t get written.

The Blue Jays have started the season 0-2. Okay.

I know for a fact that there are already fans panicking. And in the past, that really bothered me. I’d come on here and give a million about three reasons why it’s too early to panic. But I’m not going to do that. What’s the point?

You can’t rationalize with the irrational. You just can’t.

I’m a bit bitter about how the whole off-season played out. Edwin Encarnacion wasn’t brought back because his agent completely mis-read the market and the Blue Jays sought to find his replacements as fast as they could.

In hindsight, if both sides were honest with each other and Edwin’s agent wasn’t a fool, then he’d probably still be a Blue Jay and I wouldn’t be filling my bowl of Corn Flakes cereal with tears, instead of milk.

It’s okay, I got Edwin on my fantasy team, so it’s as if he never left.

I’m not sold on his replacements. Steve Pearce is alright, I guess. Kendrys Morales is also alright, I guess.

I don’t know. They don’t excite me. It’s like trying to replace a slice of pizza with a block of cheese and three pepperoni bits that you found at the back of the fridge. It’s just not the same.

If you’re looking for me to start talking about stats or analytics, you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t do that.

Whenever a team brings in new players, the first thing fans do is rush to the internet to look up their stats. You know how I know this? Because I’ve been doing it for the last 40 years. Therefore, everyone else must do it too.

And in doing that, we evaluate a player based on what they’ve done before. We take their stats from last year, or three years ago, and plug them in to our current team and are either satisfied with what we think will happen, or we aren’t.

In a way, it’s unfair. But I recently figured out that Bingo is a game of luck and not skill, so what in this world is really fair anymore?

I’ve been following sports long enough to know that stats don’t always tell the truth. For me, there has to be a certain feel around a team. A certain aura. A certain odour emanating from the locker room, if you will.

I can’t really explain it.

When I look at the Blue Jays current roster, my first impression is that the team is stale. Is there talent on the team? Absolutely. I just find the roster to be stale.

Alright, the bullpen is completely different. We have a new backup catcher. And two new guys to replace one guy. Fine. There are new players. But it doesn’t feel new. It feels old. It feels…(all together now)…stale.

It feels like my pan is getting buttered, but I’m not going in the oven.

I don’t know what that last sentence means.

It just feels off.

And I know I have no proof, or evidence, or anything to back up what I’m saying. It’s merely a feeling. A feeling that I hope is extremely wrong.

I don’t think this team is prepared if injuries cause them trouble this year. I realize that no team is necessarily “prepared” for injuries, but I feel we are only a couple of injuries away from the season being lost.

Who is this team’s sixth starting pitcher if we need one? Me?

For the most part, the team was fairly healthy last season. If I were the front office, I’d be praying the rosary every day and twice on Sundays, asking God to keep this team healthy.

I think they are relying too much on what players have done in the past and are assuming they are going to produce the same statistics this year. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that done. Where every player returns to a team the following year and is as good, or better, than they were the previous year.

That’s a lot of luck, if you ask me.

I’m just not sold on the idea that I’m staring at a World Series contender. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s why there needs to be a 162-game regular season.

Speaking of which, I also hate how the schedule is broken down.

76 of the 162 games Toronto plays this year, and every year, are against Boston, New York, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore.

I’m no math wizard, but that’s like 80% of the games.

Why? Because they are in our division. Ugh. I am so tired of watching those teams play us.

Out of the first 12 games on the schedule this year, 6 of them are against Baltimore. WHY? Space it the hell out.

I want a balanced schedule. I don’t want divisions. I want us to have a series against every team in the league – there are thirty of them. I want the National League to get with the program and have a Designated Hitter, instead of throwing a pitcher up to “hit”.

Just make me the commissioner of Major League Baseball, is what I’m saying.

I don’t know why this post is extremely bitter. I genuinely like baseball and hope the Blue Jays win the World Series (which shouldn’t be called the “World” Series, but hey, it’s called ‘Murica’s pastime’, so blame them) every year.

I’m just worried. And I think the media is trying to massage the fan base into thinking everything is okay because the television network that broadcasts the games, also owns the team.

So yeah, they’re going to be Positive Patty’s, while I’m going to be a Presumpcautionarytale Paul.

I did not make that word up.

Oh, I failed to mention the Blue Jays lack of depth in the outfield and how terrifying I find that. Legitimately terrifying. Like, look-over-your-shoulder-every-three-seconds-because-someone-with-a-shovel-is-following-you, level of terrifying.

But hey, it’s only April 6th. I’m probably over-reacting.

Note: I’m not just saying this now, so I can come back in September and say, “I told you so.” I’ll come back much sooner than.

Also note: The sarcasm.

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

Butter

Butter cry
Butter fly
Is it margarine?
Would I lie?

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

WrestleMania 33

WrestleMania 33 will be held this evening in Orlando. So I’m about to do what I truly enjoy – alienate 98% of my audience and talk about things and terms you don’t understand. I mean it, I actually love confusing all of you. Have you read my poetry?

I don’t really know how else to go about writing this post, other than listing each match and giving my thoughts on them.

I’ll try to explain some things for the non-wrestling fans who are brave enough to read this.

Your free education starts now.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal 

Thirty men enter the ring with the purpose of throwing everyone else over the top rope. The last one standing wins a trophy. The twenty-nine losers do not receive a participation trophy.

If Braun Strowman doesn’t win this, it’ll be because he’s stuck in an elevator and didn’t get there in time. Heck, even if that were the case, he’d probably find a way to win it from inside an elevator. He’s just that good. And big. It’s good to be big in this match.

Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries – Cruiserweight Championship

No. No, no, no. Neville has nothing to do with Mr. Longbottom or the Harry Potter franchise. NO. The cruiserweight division is comprised of men who weigh 205 lbs. or less. For instance, I would be a cruiserweight. So would Daffy Duck.

Neville is the best thing to happen to the cruiserweight division; some would say he’s the only thing to happen to it.

Austin Aries has facial hair that looks like it’s maintained by your local baseball team’s grounds crew – complete with trimming, watering, and “do not walk here” signs. Google it.

I think Neville should hold the championship for at least a year and it hasn’t been a year yet. So I think he’ll retain. That being said, if he were to lose to anyone, it’ll probably be Aries.

That being said (yes, I said it twice), this match is on the pre-show. I don’t think the belt will change hands when the stadium is half empty.

SmackDown Women’s Championship

Alexa Bliss is the champion. I like her. I like Alexa Bliss. She’s defending her belt against “every available woman on the SmackDown roster” which means a lot of hoopla is going to take place.

I don’t see Natalya winning it. I don’t see Becky Lynch winning it. I don’t see Mickie James winning it. I don’t see Carmella winning it – not yet. I could see Naomi winning it since it’s in her hometown and she just returned on Tuesday from an injury that forced her to vacate the championship, but if she were winning it, they should’ve had her make a surprise return at the event itself.

As for the “every available woman” thing – this opens the match up to a lot of unpredictability and surprise returns. If Eva Marie returns from her hiatus, she’s winning the championship. And she’ll do it in a sneaky way where everyone else does the work and she comes in for the cover at the last second.

No one likes her. There might be a riot. That’s why she must win. Otherwise, keep it with Alexa Bliss. I like her.

Triple Threat Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championships

In one corner, we have Enzo Amore and Big Cass. The fan favourites who got stale and turned into terrible human beings along the way, yet still remained “good guys”.

In another corner we have Cesaro and Sheamus. Switzerland and Ireland, nuzzle up next to each other. You’re a team. They’re good together. Like butter and bread. Sometimes the butter stays on the bread, sometimes it doesn’t.

In the third corner, we have Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson – the champions. Yup.

None of the six men in this match are “ladder match material”. Four of them are too big to be jumping off a step stool without a crash pad, let alone a ladder. And two of them can soar like fruit flies, I guess. But fruit flies get smacked.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Methinks the Hardy Boyz are returning, which is why this stipulation was added last Monday. Poor Sheamus, though, he got a ladder to the forehead on Monday and needed fifteen stitches (I think) to close it up. Looked like he had a third eye.

I think Enzo and Cass win it, but I hope not. I want Cass to turn on Enzo and squash him with his boot. It’s coming. And I don’t want to wait six more months for it.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin – Intercontinental Championship

Honestly, I find both guys boring. Ambrose needs to turn heel and drop his goofy gimmick. Everyone is high on Corbin – I’m not sold yet. That being said, Corbin should probably win this.

Oh yeah, funniest thing. Corbin tried to kill Ambrose with a forklift a few weeks ago. Hilarious.

Next.

Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles

Shane McMahon is the perfect wrestling-related name to type into YouTube because you’re never going to see a traditional match with him. That’s his thing. He jumps off ridiculously tall things and breaks stuff.

He is a crash test dummy.

AJ Styles is one of the best wrestlers in the world. On paper, he should win this match with his eyes closed and his shoelaces untied.

This is a traditional match, which is a ball of baloney if you ask me. Shane needs more than ten seconds outside of the ring in order to do his stunts. With the way the match is currently scheduled, he’ll get disqualified if he leaves the ring longer than ten seconds.

So something fishy better happen. Maybe the referee gets knocks out for ten minutes. Yes, that happens. They are weak people.

I don’t really care for this match. Styles doesn’t need this match. I think he deserves better. And I don’t think I need to see Shane “wrestle” again. He’s had his fun. I hope this doesn’t become a yearly thing with him at WrestleMania.

Oh, I should’ve mentioned earlier – Shane isn’t really a wrestler. It’s complicated.

John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

If you love The Bachelor, you’ll love the story behind this match. I’ll make it quick.

The Miz and Maryse are married in real life.

John Cena and Nikki Bella are dating in real life. However, Cena was married before and got divorced. Since then, he has vowed to never get married again. He’s told Nikki this, yet she still holds out hope for a family with him.

Anyway, The Miz and Maryse don’t like Cena and Nikki for many reasons and kept making fun of the fact that Cena will never propose to her.

The Internet and I think that no matter who wins the match, which should be The Miz and Maryse because they are just so good at being heels (bad guys), Cena will propose to Nikki in the ring.

Oh. My heart.

Next. Now.

Seth Rollins vs. Triple H – Non-Sanctioned Match

They’re playing this as “No Doctor in the world will clear Rollins for this match, so if HHH beats him to a pulp, he can’t sue the company.” Which is stupid, I think. But whatever, it’s wrestling.

I don’t really like how Mr. H (no one calls him that) gets a WrestleMania match every year. For those that don’t know, he’s a behind the scenes business man now. He’ll wrestle a couple of times a year, but he’s by no means a full time guy anymore.

I don’t need to see more Triple H matches. I think this is a waste of Rollins, even though this is a necessary story ever since Mr. H (again, no one calls him that) screwed Rollins out of the championship way back in September.

Let this generation shine at WrestleMania with other wrestlers from their generation. I don’t need Mr. H and Shane-O-Mac (people actually call him that) hogging two matches on the card every year.

Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens – United States Championship

They are both Canadian.

This really should’ve been for the WWE Championship, but it’s not. Oh well. Their festival of friendship was probably the highlight of the past year. The WWE has been lacking those really great non-wrestling segments lately. That was a good one.

This will be a great match and Kevin Owens will probably win. Yay.

Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match for the RAW Women’s Championship

In the first corner, we have the champion, Bayley. Everyone loves her. If you’re not her best friend, you want to be her best friend. I don’t know why. It’s just a magnetic attraction. She introduces herself as a hugger. So, yeah.

In the second corner, we have Charlotte Flair. She’s really good and everyone can’t stand her. That’s why she’s really good. She’ll do a moonsault (back flip) in this match and the other three women will catch her.

In the third corner, we have Nia Jax. She’s not like most girls, as her entrance music says. I still think she’s a bit too “new” to win the championship in this spot. Her work on the mic needs to improve. I don’t believe what she’s selling, yet. That being said, she’s a legitimate monster.

In the fourth corner, we have Bayley’s best friend Sasha Banks. They’ve been hinting that Sasha will turn on Bayley and it could happen here. I’m just not sure how.

Sasha can’t turn on Bayley if they are the final two remaining, unless she cheats to win. But that might not be a big enough impact.

Perhaps Charlotte or Nia – probably Nia – will get eliminated first. And then Sasha and Bayley will look at each other and team up against their common enemy – Charlotte. But Charlotte has been planting seeds that Sasha will eventually turn on her unsuspecting friend, Bayley.

If Sasha turns, she should do it when there are three people left and catch Bayley with a three count out of the blue, but in a vicious sort of way. Sasha turns heel, beats Charlotte, and is the new champion.

Sasha vs. Bayley feud for the next 56 months because that will be great, thanks.

The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns

The fans love Undertaker. The fans hate Roman. Both of them are babyfaces (good guys) right now. Something has to give, I hope.

This could be The Undertaker’s last match and there’s been “talk” aka “internet chatter” of a passing of the torch to Roman, since they see him as the future face of the company.

The problem is, the fans don’t want that. I would have to agree. He doesn’t captivate anyone when he talks on the microphone. The fans desperately want him to turn heel so they can boo him and have it mean something.

Roman needs to win this match and he needs to cheat to do it. Or, he needs to beat up the Undertaker so brutally after the match that there is no doubt that he is now a heel.

If Roman wins this match and remains a babyface, then a riot may break out. I’m serious.

Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship

Randy Orton pretended to be apart of the Wyatt family for months, just to get close to Bray and turn on him when he least expected it.

Let me tell you something, internet, I knew the second Orton joined forces with Wyatt that he was doing it facetiously. And you should’ve know it too.

Anyway, Orton committed arson a few weeks ago when he burnt down Bray’s cabin in the woods where the remains of his dead sister, Abigail, lay. Yes, really.

This is where I mention that this is a PG show and Randy Orton is the “good guy” in this story.

Yay, wrestling!

I’ll be furious if Orton wins this match and I don’t get mad about much. Bray Wyatt needs a long, healthy title run. I’ve been waiting years for it. Let him have it.

I wouldn’t mind a double turn, either. (Wyatt would turn into a good guy and Orton would become a bad guy, at the same time).

Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar – WWE Universal Championship

The WWE has had a problem for many years in creating new stars. This is proof. Two old guys who already had a WrestleMania match way thirteen years ago. It didn’t go well back then because both guys were leaving the company after the match and the fans knew it.

Goldberg returned at the end of last year and has spent about five minutes in the ring. That’s not an exaggeration.

I’m genuinely worried for his health and safety. Just walking out to the ring puts him in a full sweat. All of his matches since returning have been faster than a washroom break. Surely, the main event of WrestleMania can’t be two minutes, right? RIGHT!?

I hope not.

Brock Lesnar will win this match because this is probably Goldberg’s final match on his contract. But what do I know?

I think this match is a slap in the face to the wrestlers who are with the company all year, travelling all over the world. These two part-timers are just making it harder for the WWE to establish that next star.

Then again, if they bring in a lot of money, they bring in a lot of money. And the wealth is shared. Again, what do I know?

Well, that’s it. You survived. All one of you.

Oh, I should mention that The New Day are hosting WrestleMania. I still can’t figure out why this show needs a host, let alone three.

The New Day are stale; please break up.

Alright, now I’m done. That was a false finish. If you don’t get the reference, I’m not explaining it.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Do You Want A Cupcake?

When I was a kid, someone told me that thunder is caused by angels bowling in heaven. I thought that explained a lot. I also thought it was a bit rude, but who am I to suggest a tame game of checkers, over bowling, to angels?

So if the rumblings we hear are caused by angels, then there must be a whole bunch of them hiding out in my stomach right now because it hasn’t stopped making noise for the last two hours.

That was a good transition, wasn’t it?

This past weekend wasn’t too kind to me. Actually, Saturday was fine. Sunday was horrendous. I guess this story starts where Sunday started – midnight.

I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, and trying to decide what to do next. Did I want to go read, blog, sleep, or peruse YouTube until I got to the weird parts?

Or, did I want to stay right where I was for another hour and wait for the first race of the Formula 1 racing season to come on?

My decision was made for me.

Out of nowhere, my stomach started hurting. I had this “full” feeling in my stomach. As if I just ate at a restaurant and a few buttons needed to be undone.

Except I hadn’t been at a restaurant, and I hadn’t put food in my mouth for at least five hours. Why was this happening now? At midnight?

I decided I would stay up and watch the race until 2:30am because that would give my stomach enough time to get its marching orders and calm down. It didn’t calm down.

I went to bed and tried to fall asleep. When you want to avoid anything, you sleep, right? Try as I did, sleep wasn’t coming. Probably because I was forcing myself to sleep on my side, which I never do.

Finally, I dozed off. I only know this because at 5am I woke up breathing heavily, sweating, and knowing that I needed to find a washroom.

I’m smart, so I brought the garbage can next to my bed with me.

That made the, “Which end do I direct at the toilet, when it feels like both need it” decision, easier for me. Don’t even laugh, you’ve all been there before. It’s the washroom version of Russian roulette.

Oh yeah, this blog post is going to get a bit messy. Warning.

I got to the toilet and immediately felt like I was going to pass out. It felt like I was about to do a somersault off the toilet – gymnasts would have been proud.

My stomach was in so much pain, I didn’t know what was happening.

Somehow, I got the pipes working, without passing out.

If any of you find that last line gross, you’re lucky I’m telling the clean version of this story.

I returned to “normal” (not really, I just wanted my bed), and returned to my bed.

7am rolled around and I woke up in another panic. Uh oh. Here we go again. Again, I bring the garbage can with me.

This time, I almost passed out again. Maybe I subconsciously want to be a gymnast and practising somersaults, while unconscious, is my version of “dipping my toes” into a new sport? Nahhh.

I find that I am most determined, two seconds before I know I am going to throw up. Because in my head, I try to avoid vomiting at all costs, but as soon as I know it’s inevitable, I give myself a mini pep talk. It goes like this.

“Get it all out now, you are not doing this again for at least another 18 months. You hear me? You are not coming back in here in two hou…blahhhhhh.”

I find that I throw up every 18 months, or so. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how it had been a long time since “the last time.” I guess I knew.

I hate vomiting. I hate the smell. I hate the feeling in my throat. I hate opening my eyes to see the colour of it and relating it back to something I ate, just so I could blame something.

Orange. Carrots. Aha! So much for being healthy. 

It was finally over. I was a new, empty man. Only problem was, my legs were asleep. I limped over to the sink and splashed water on my face because that’s what people do in movies.

Then I went to bed and didn’t wake up until 4pm, Sunday afternoon. A personal record. Well deserved, I think. I had been through a lot and had almost no sleep. Plus, there weren’t any sports on TV, so what was I really missing?

I woke up and had plain spaghetti noodles. They were awful. They reminded me of an eating contest at camp, when I had to eat a bowl of coloured spaghetti because I was Italian.

This is where you can make the “vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti” jokes. 

They were so dry; I could still taste the water on them.

I had a few fork-fulls and sent it away.

Then I had an apple. It was the most delicious apple I’ve ever had.

That was all the food I ate on Sunday. I didn’t want anything else because I didn’t want to throw up again and break up that whole “18 month” thing.

I knew what was coming, though.

I got a headache that night. I went to sleep at 10:30pm, after putting in a solid 6.5 hour day.

I didn’t really sleep. I woke up every hour, on the hour, and my head was throbbing. Do you know what throbbing is? It was as if there was a person in my head and they were punching it from the inside.

If I rolled over into a different position, or sat up, this person with a fist the size of China, would find a different part of my head to abuse.

Finally, around 6am, I got smart and took a Tylenol.

And then it was all hush little baby, don’t say a word, mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird. I was asleep.

THIS IS THE PART THAT RELATES TO THE TITLE. 

The next morning, I asked my mom if she came in to talk to me around midnight. She said she couldn’t remember. I said I remembered her coming in, but don’t know what she said.

THEN, she came back to me with a post-it note she found in her room. She wrote down what I said to her when she came to check on me at midnight.

I said to her, “Do you want a cupcake?”

She told me she couldn’t stop laughing.

So if any of you were wondering…yes, I will still be the funniest person in the room and make you laugh, even when I’m half asleep and have no idea what I’m saying, or to who.

On Monday, I ate a mashed banana, because mashed bananas are my preferred way of eating bananas, and a bowl of soup. That held me over until dinner, when I had my first “real meal” since “the event that shall not be named.”

I’ve turned vomiting into Voldemort. Deal with it.

Vomitmort?

I spent the rest of the night with a heavy stomach and went to sleep negotiating with it.

“We had a promise. 18 months, remember?”

“Shut up. No mas.”

My stomach is Spanish. It also isn’t nice. But I survived the night.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I ate a bowl of soup and another “real meal” for dinner.

And now I’m sitting listening to fireworks in my stomach. It sounds like a pinball machine in there. It’s like my stomach is a computer that has been rebooting for the last few hours.

It’s an orchestra, really. Okay, not really.

I could go on with the analogies forever.

Have I mentioned that I’ve lost weight from all this? Three pounds. Gone. Just like that. Actually, they were gone by the time I woke up Sunday afternoon.

I can notice a difference in my face, and to a lesser degree, my stomach.

My stomach is still like a juice box. It will contort itself on command.

My face, though…well, I now have the perfect jawline for a shampoo commercial. So to the fine, and dandruff-free, folks at Head & Shoulders, holla atcha boi (or whatever kids who want endorsements deals for no reason say).

So that is my current predicament.

This whole ordeal just confirms my suspicions – I would not last more than a day on Survivor. If I don’t eat, I will eventually get a headache. It’s life science.

Throw in the trials of being in the sun all day (without a hat), while fetching food and trying to vote out smelly people who sleep next to me in the shelter, and you’ll find me doing more than somersaults off of a makeshift toilet in the jungle.

I wouldn’t be able to do it. A comfortable home, with a furnace, managed to send me into a frenzy. Survivor would kill me.

As I currently sit here, I’m still not comfortable eating food. I’m not excited to eat tomorrow. I’m probably going to avoid the “real meals” and eat mashed bananas and apples until the giraffes come home.

I’m going to try and sleep now.

Keep me in your prayers. Little Pauly had a big tummy ache (I’m stretching my arms to show you how big) and is still recovering.

Bye.

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Are Bloggers Misunderstood?

You know what makes me mad? Don’t guess, I’ll tell you. It’s when I see a new blogger enter the blogging community with a traditional first post and proceed to say things like, “Everyone has a blog these days, so I thought I’d start one too. I don’t really know what I’m going to say or what this will be, so let me know in the comments what you want me to write about. Kthnxbyeee.”

To me, that’s like someone walking into my house, taking the pizza slice out of my hand, dipping it in the toilet like an Oreo into milk, and then returning it to me.

Trust me, a blog is one of the most personal things a person can have. It’s like a pair of underwear. It’s new today, stale tomorrow; constantly changing.

So don’t waltz in here and disrespect the rest of us by saying you’re here because everyone else is and you want to fit in. If you say that, you’ve already lost my trust.

Also, who the hell are you asking for blog ideas? This isn’t Field of Dreams. There is no “If you write it, they will come” mantra.

It’s more like, “If you write it, you’ll get four views and two of them will be from a country you’ve never heard of.”

So, there. That’s what makes me mad. I also really hate gum under my shoe, but I suppose everyone does.

Note #1: Nothing wrong with asking bloggers for ideas. Just don’t do it in your first post.

Note #2: Bloggers are incredibly welcoming. Introduce yourself and put yourself behind the wheel of your blog. We’ll tag along for the ride. Don’t be a backseat-driver-blogger.

Before I started this blog in 2013, I didn’t know much about bloggers or blogging.

All I knew was the poster child (poster adult?) for blogging was a guy named Perez Hilton, who wrote about celebrities and tried to stir the pot without even standing in a kitchen.

From that, blogging just felt really “in your face” and gossipy. But I knew there had to be more. I just didn’t know what “more” entailed.

And then I began thinking about starting a sports blog. So I did. This one. Can you tell?

Ever since that moment, I’ve always wondered, “What do they (non-bloggers) think of us (bloggers)?

Because I’ll turn on the TV and watch people in the media discount bloggers by saying things like, “Oh, everyone has an opinion these days. All these bloggers in their basement who have nothing better to do.” And then they’ll lump Facebook and Twitter users into the same sentiment.

As if we are the scum of the earth and they are the good hockey sticks in the equipment room of an elementary school gymnasium.

I once told someone I had a blog and I could tell they didn’t really understand what that meant. They said something like, “So what, do you just post opinionated things on the internet and hope someone reacts?”

Is that what people think bloggers are? Fire starters? A bomb? Loud mouths? A drunk uncle at a wedding?

Sure, there may be some bloggers like that, but I promise you, we are not a bunch of bees at a picnic who strike the moment the potato salad is visible.

We are, mainly, a community of endearing fruit flies. And if fruit flies still annoy you, then we are cuddly rabbits that appear in your backyard every once in a while. Happy?

I remember the first time I ever shared my blog on Facebook. I was more terrified than if Pizza Hut were to discontinue their fantastic lunch buffet.

I didn’t know how people would react. I immediately thought that I would come across as cocky, egotistical, and full of myself.

Who does this guy think he is? Writing stuff on the internet and filling our precious news feed with it? How dare he?

In trying to figure out what the reception would be, I was creating a misconception of bloggers (myself).

Anyway, I posted it and made sure to include a caption that read something along the lines of, “I like sports. Some people thought I should start a blog, so I did. Read it, bookmark it, tell your friends, or don’t. I don’t care.”

I couldn’t have been more nonchalant. The first part of the caption was me giving reasons why this thing was now on their screen. And the second part was me trying to act like it wasn’t a big deal.

It was a huge deal, but there I was playing it off, as if I was too cool for school and it was the first day.

I find that it can be scary being honest on the internet. I find it even harder being honest, while using 1000+ words.

Every time I shared a post on Facebook, or told someone to read my blog, I always felt like a minor disturbance. As if I was a 23-minute YouTube video and was telling people to immediately watch me. No one does that.

And even though the feedback I got was always positive, I always felt like I was annoying someone.

To this day, if I tell someone via text, or in person, to read my blog, a lot of the time I’ll say, “When you have time” or “When you get a chance.” How courteous, right? How thoughtful of me.

A small part of me will always feel like I’m wasting someone’s time with the words I write, even if they tell me otherwise. Maybe it’s the world we live in these days, with short attention spans, that make me feel that way.

Or maybe it’s from reading that, “Blog posts should be brief, no more than 400-600 words”, in every “How-to” article there is about blogging.

I hate word restrictions. Add it to the list.

As a blogger who has “been in the game” long enough to know a thing or two about a thing or three, I can assure you that bloggers are unlike any other community on the internet.

We are not Twitter trolls who spend the day misspelling words and replying “YAAAS QUEEN SLAY” to everything a celebrity says.

We are not your annoying friend on Facebook who has a heated debate in a comment thread with strangers, about who the 4th best player in the NBA is.

And we are definitely not YouTube commenters. Notification squad, where you at? Shut up.

We are bloggers.

Does the average person/critic even know how many connections we make with other bloggers around the world? Do they know about the friendships they’re missing out on? Do they know what someone else’s words mean to us? Do they?

I log on to WordPress and it’s like entering an idealistic family gathering. Kids are playing board games in the corner. Adults are napping on hammocks in the backyard. The pets are failing at cooking dinner because they’re pets, so pizza is ordered.

You know, ideal.

Yes, we have opinions. Everyone does. If that scares you so much, start your own blog.

That being said, however, I don’t think a lot of us are here because we have an urge to share our opinion about everything.

We are here to share a piece of ourselves with the world.

We are creative individuals who have more ideas in our head than most people have snot in their nose during flu season.

We are a community of people, united by the beauty of words.

This is a community with people like Chris, Tosha, Gabrielle, Reagan, Talula, Michelle and her husband, who share their poetry so we can sit back, let out a deep breath, and be at ease knowing someone else understands us.

This is a community with people like Quinn and Kristen who appeared on the scene -seemingly, at the same time – and have been a breath of fresh air.

This is a community with people like Shaz, who has been by my blog’s side since about Day 73, which is Day 1 in my book.

This is a community with people like Barb, Jess, Meghan, and Myka, who send me more messages, emails, and GIFs about nothing in particular, than a friend probably deserves.

This is a community with people like Suchie, Issa, Angela, James, Miriam, and Rebbit7, who share their lives from the other side of the world.

This is a community with people like Aaron, who I can relate to more than he probably knows, especially when it comes to pizza and banana pudding.

This is a community with people like Liz, Beca, American Paul, and Rebekah, who I can always count on for a laugh.

This a community where I feel guilty for not mentioning every single blogger who has crossed my path and had an impact on me. I know there are more of you that I didn’t mention, and I’ll feel awful when I receive a notification from you and realize it. I appreciate you, nonetheless.

Say and think what you want about bloggers, but we know the truth.

We’re the best community on the internet. Some would call us a cult family.

Oh geeze, there’s the cheese.

A great, big, happy, dramatic, creative, poetic, funny, sad, and always hungry, cult family.

But that’s just my opinion.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 72 Comments