Stupor Bowl

Of course I watched the game, along with 8 zillion other people on the planet. Twas exciting with lots of offence and a couple controversial calls and snacks, among them the classic spinach bowl, which is not a football game.

The part that I dislike the most, however, are the days following the game when the sportscasters in all their pretentious glory go on and on and on analyzing the game, replaying the big moments and postulating about the future of the main players, most of whom make several millions a year pursuing the pigskin. Tim and Sid a couple on local TV really raise my ire, sitting their with their laptops exchanging witticisms and making their prognostications, so full of themselves they might very well explode all over the set one day. Can’t stand to look at them when they’re on the TV at the gym. And then there’s that guy with the sunglasses, whatever the hell his name is, just oozing self importance, as if he were Dr. Phil or the Dalai Lama. I’m really starting to prefer the female commentators who, at least, display a little humility, being new to the biz  and don’t assume the role of the central character as do Tim and Sid and Shades.

I prefer the curling. The Scotties tournament, the Canadian Women’s championship, was on all last week and I enjoyed it immensely. Its commentators are former curlers, knowledgable, insightful, always qualifying their statements and never hesitating to retract an observation that may have been incorrect. One can learn a lot about the game listening to Russ and Cheryl (hubba, hubba) and Vic and not feel at all as if they are being condescended to (sorry).

The Big Show starts on Friday, the Olympic Games, with or without the Russians who are still haggling over their role following the doping scandal last time around. It is my hope that T and S and Shades won’t be there because I plan on putting in a lot of hours watching the action in S, Korea, and praying no one offends that nutbar from N. Korea who could end the whole show quite quickly with the press on a  button. Our curlers will win medals, guaranteed. And some will use the word ‘medal’ as a verb, guaranteed. All this assuming the athletes aren’t all afflicted by that nasty virus going around the site.

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Hey blogophiles, been a while since I posted anything. I’ve been cataloguing ways to kill myself if we don’t get any extended sunny periods by Spring. I’ve been in my pajamas since yesterday, full SAD mode, watching sports on TV, drinking beer, eating sandwiches and only getting up to go to the bathroom. My blood glucose levels are a tad elevated, so I my just lapse into a coma before the sun shines. Morbid what?!

And now the fucking wind is blowing like crazy and my biggest fear – and I shouldn’t even mention it – is that the power goes out and I miss the Patriots game on TV, the playoffs, really the only time I watch the NFL. The curling is also on, the semis and finals of a grand slam event in Alberta and I don’t want to miss that either, so ease up on the fucking wind!

Last post I wrote I believe I was in the throes of a cold/minor flu, missing my gym workouts, there was snow all over the place and it was the festive season, a great time to put a gun on your mouth and end it all, which I could never do what with my obligations to the family, the Angel Andrew in particular who tolerates all my bullshit and brings me beer and plays catch with me in the pool. Better now, praise the Lord, back at the gym, man needs his routines especially if he’s a little OCD.

Have to go, the girl is up, loving’ the wind and making me breakfast.

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2018: what’s the big deal?

The new year was ushered in by Canada’s comic genius, Rick Mercer with scenes from throughout the country and entertainment from every region, all of this over the silent sweep of the second hand past midnight into 2018, which, up to this point, looks much like 2017, minus the drunks and the fireworks and indiscriminate kissing. People like to use the beginning of another year to  make resolutions to stop, smoking, lose weight, get in shape etc when usually their resolve is gone by February. I see it every year at the gym, excited fitness neophytes in their new togs, hogging the equipment, ignorant of the rules and etiquette of the gym, packing it in by Valentine’s Day many of them, not  realizing what a long process this was going to be.

I don’t go out and get drunk on New Year’s Eve anymore, I go to bed early and listen to the yahoos down the hill bang on their garbage can lids and set off fireworks and whoop and holler as if their team had just won the cup.

The snot and the snow have both backed off and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the phlegm tunnel, to the point that I might make it to the gym come Wednesday, that I might rediscover my love for food and beer that doesn’t turn into diarrhea.





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Contemplating Christmas

Finished my shopping today way ahead of Christmas. It was quick and relatively painless, 3 gifts that all speak to their recipients. My duty done and now I can dive into the rum and mixed nuts and watch Scrooge in his many incarnations. Love Actually has come and gone as it does every Christmas with surprising success, a story for all ages. It only remains for us to gather around the tree on Christmas morning, open our gifts and watch TV until the vegan nut loaf, the cashew gravy and the Brussel sprouts make their appearance, washed down with generous quantities of la vin blanc, followed by some sort of pie. Then we wait for 2018 to rear its head and roll out our lives for another 365 days, lives of love and longing, disagreements and disasters, turmoil and trepidation and Trump who, I am surprised, has made it this far and provided us all with a lot of laughs and ludicrous actions. A boon to comedians and media alike that makes us glad to be Canadians, if we weren’t already. Au revoir 2017, my 70th year on this planet and still, no great novel, not even a great short story. They’ll have to glue my ass to this chair for that to happen, take away my books and my gym membership and my Sleeman’s Honey Brown; and we know that ain’t going to happen. Right?

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Holiday Train Assholes

Went with the family to see the Holiday train. For those of you not familiar it is a specially equipped CP Rail train that travels from Montreal west making several stops at which a band or a solo entertainer sings for an hours or so. The train itself is decorated in a Christmas theme with lots of lights and one of the cars opens up to reveal a stage. This year it was Alan Doyle, formerly of Great Big Sea with his new group the Beautiful Band. Firefighters are in attendance, collecting money for the food bank; several thousand bucks has been raised to this point.

There were quite a lot of people there and we had to park about a mile away. No surprise: Maple Ridge now has 80,000 people and any outdoor event is usually packed to the point where one might consider staying home and watching “A Wonderful Life” for the fiftieth time. Nevertheless we found a spot to stand in the drizzle and that’s where the problem arose: several assholes in the front row were, unselfconsciously, holding umbrellas over their heads and obscuring our view; almost as annoying as the parents who put children on their shoulders to the same effect. You want to open your umbrella or put little Jimmy on your shoulders, stand near the back, Assholes, and let the rest of us see.


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It’s beginning to look a lot like panic.

Ten days to the big day and the parking spots at the mall are few and far between. One has to drive round and round till he sees the reverse lights and then he has to compete with the guy coming the other way, see who can signal first. Fights break out, middle fingers fly, invectives are hurled through the air in a most un-Christmas like fashion. Many of the spots are taken by people bringing their brats in for a photo with the fat man. Let us end this ridiculous charade. It ain’t about Jesus anymore, it’s about a rugby scrum trying to get your hands on the latest toy or appliance, spending  the kids’ college money, taking out a second mortgage or line of credit to buy your spouse that special something and try to save the marriage when mere days after the excitement dies down and the tree is gone, everything returns to normal and the new toy ends up in the back of the closet. Better off giving the gift money to charity.

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where the hell is the fat man?

Went uptown to what we call the Memorial Peace Park here in Maple Ridge: you know, cenotaph, bandshell, a gathering place. It was to be the terminus of the Santa Claus parade and with the Angel Andrew in tow, I thought I might infuse some Christmas spirit into this jaded old soul. We had apple cider, cookies, listened to some carollers and sat outside on a damp bench waiting for the start of the parade which was, according to several people, destined to start at either 4:30PM, 5:00, 5:30 or 6:00 o’clock (!?). We waited for a while, listening to some local talent on the bandstand but, when the drizzle started to pick up, the boy and I said screw it and headed  home, spirit dampened and dissipated.  Sometimes I miss the snow, skating outdoors, road hockey, large flakes floating to earth through the streetlights to which were attached speakers emitting carols, as this young lad ventured uptown with a few dollars to buy his gifts.

I don’t think the boy believes to tell you the truth. The only overweight man with facial hair he believes in is me and for that I am blessed.

I used to enjoy the season, writing cards, receiving same, drinking room and coke, watching the old favourites on TV (George C. Scott as Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart ad nauseum, Love Actually, a new favourite, and Bad Santa for the truly jaded). I don’t write cards anymore, not many do, relying on social media and the telephone to do the job, though I still drink rum and coke and watch the movies. We buy a tree from a local guy who supplies the saw and takes your $30. The grocer in town features trees from America (NAFTA alive and well) which begs the question: “isn’t there anyone in BC who grows trees for the local market?” Not that simple, I trust.

In any event, we have reached December, the start of the party season when suicides and sexual assaults grow in number and some blow the kids’ college money on expensive gifts to make up for a year’s worth of bad behaviour. The lucky ones go to Mexico and come back for New Year’s eve. Felice navidad, with apologies to Jose Feliciano.


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