Just the Basics

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I have a cold. I feel like garbage. It’s hard to focus, I can barely type.

While most working people can stay home, away from work when sick, as a self-employed person, I don’t have the luxury.

Rats.

I’m super lucky to do what I do, and I believe that I’ve discussed the pros and cons of self-employment previously, but being sick is definitely a con.

There’s no one else who’ll do something for me. I’m paid monthly with agreed upon terms, so the show must go on.

What I do is certainly not life or death, but I do have a deep need to fulfil my obligations. I think in the 7 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve maybe only missed a handful of days here and there… and it wasn’t from illness, rather I’ve simply forgotten or there was a snafu in the software I use.

Today, I’ve just completed the basics – no preparation for the week ahead, no writing, no research… nothing. The thing is, a day like today really messes me up for the whole week… and what if I feel worse tomorrow? Or the day after? Ugh… I don’t want to think about it.

Well, now I’ve pretty much convinced myself to push ahead and do a little more. Great.

Then a nap.

 

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Happiness – Weekend Edition

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A good winter weekend to me includes the following elements:

Being somewhat productive

If I don’t “do something”, I feel guilty and undeserving of relaxation time. This weekend’s “do something” included:

  • A little bit of online work (not much, maybe 3 hours).
  • De-Christmassing the house (thank gawd that stuff is down – nice when it goes up, then it feels like the house is ‘junked-up’).
  • A quick clean of the house.
  • A little bit of closet organization (maybe more today, maybe not).
  • Need to do some laundry today.

Doing something fun

  • Yesterday we went bowling… yes, I think bowling is great fun! I’ve actually ordered a ball and a bag. Very exciting stuff.
  • Made home-made pizza – okay, William made the pizza, but I cooked the bacon and shredded the cheese. It was super yum.
  • Played pinball and had a few drinky-drinks. Fun!
  • Watched the Canadian Juniors win IIHC Gold (although I went to bed early and missed the second half of the third period, I caught the highlights, and it was still awesome)!
  • Watched wild-card NFL action – pretty happy that the Titans won, although I don’t think they’ll go any further.

Relaxing

  • Relaxing is often related to doing something fun, but today I hope to get cosy and finish reading “Origin” by Dan Brown.
  • We’re probably going to have golf on (It’s the first event of the season, and they’re playing Kapalua – way more fun to watch as we’ve actually played there!), and then football.

If I’m super ambitious, I might go to the mall, I have a gift card and I really need shoes.

Just trying to appreciate the moments as they happen.

Life is good.

The Parade

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Cleveland fans be like…

Today is the parade in honour (or in disgust) of the Cleveland Browns.

Sometimes I think us being fans is a huge cosmic joke on us. I liked football for years before finally settling on Cleveland – and it didn’t have so much to do with the team itself (although I like the history of the Browns leaving, then returning to Cleveland – I’m a big fan of the underdog) – it had more to do with the spirit of the city.

By spirit, I don’t mean the party-type atmosphere of downtown (although, dang, that can be fun too) – but rather the general vibe of the city, its people, and the effort of both to grow and do better. Essentially, it’s a fun place to be and the people are great.

However, being a Browns fan is tough… it’s tough for the life-long fans, new fans (are there any of those?) and it’s tough for the few like my husband and myself who travel to the city for most if not all home games. It’s a big expense and it’s big heartache.

If it comes up in conversation with Cleveland locals that we travel from Canada (it sounds impressive, but really we’re only 3 hours door to door if the border is good) to watch the Browns, we almost always stay 2 nights, AND we have season tickets. They marvel,

“Why?”

“How?”

Being a Browns fan pretty much dominates our early fall through to the early winter (it’d be mid-winter if they ever saw a playoff game…). It’s what we do. “Wanna do X this weekend?” – “Nope, sorry, thanks for asking, but the Browns are playing at home.”

But at least there’s booze!

Now, being so close to Detroit, there are a lot of Lions’ fans about. Yes, there are others, but most people around here are Lions’ fans. Despite the Lions being the only team prior to this season, to go 0 and 16, (and here’s something you might not know) Browns’ fans are really the only team that Lions’ fans can pick on, for what I believe to be three reasons:

  • The Browns have not seen post-season action since ’02 (and that was a wild-card game, it’s not like they won their division). Now that the Bills have made the playoffs, they have the longest non-post-season drought in NFL history. In general, we’re way bigger losers than them.
  • Cleveland has continual quarterback issues, and despite Detroit’s struggles, they have Matt Stafford, a veritable God in Lions’ fans’ eyes.
  • Cleveland as a city is viewed as more industrial, poorer, the “Mistake on the Lake” compared to the people who hail from or live near Detroit (if they only knew… and I have some experience with both).

Further about Lions’ fans… they *think* they can relate to being a Browns’ fan. “Oh, you’re a Browns’ fan? Sorry! I’m a Lions’ fan so I can relate.” 

No, no you cannot.

Oh, you’re a Lions’ fan? How often do you go to games? Real responses include:

  • Ppphhhhht! I’m not going to a game unless they are in playoff contention this season.
  • Going to games is a pretty big hassle, we just watch from home.
  • My buddy has season tickets, we usually go with him a few times a year. (Of all the people I know – honestly, not a lot, I only know 1 person who still has their Lions season tickets.)
  • We always go to the Thanksgiving Day game – we, like, have to take the day off work!

Now people can be however hard-core or casual of a fan they want. It doesn’t matter nor affect me whatsoever. You can be a fan of a team for 10, 20 or 60 years, again, that doesn’t matter much to me. You can root for whatever team you want, for whatever reason. (We went to New Orleans, had a great time… just so happened they won the Super Bowl that year… oh, how nice for you!) I really don’t judge, except for band-wagoners gives me pause… Now, let’s talk about being a Browns’ fan in response to those Lions’ fans who can “relate” to me.

  • I have been to nearly every Browns home game in 4 years, and because we missed the Christmas Eve game in 2016, that means I haven’t seen my team win live, in person in years. Like literally years (uh, regular season, not that pre-season splendour we witnessed this year). Like I can’t remember the last time I saw them win in person.
  • Playoffs? Playoffs? The Lions have been to the post-season like 6 times since the Browns’ last appearance!
  • Oh, and a home-opening win? Been to about 9 of those… never seen them win.
  • You can take the tunnel bus for $5 to see a Lion’s game… it takes us 3 hours each way, and a full tank of gas to watch the Browns… and because we want to get the full experience, we stay two nights – the night before and the night after a game.
  • We’ve seen up to four quarterbacks play each season for the Browns… for years!

I can agree, if your team hasn’t won the Super Bowl, in say 4 fours (except those lucky New England fans, and don’t even get me started on Bill Belichick!), than being a fan of any NFL team can be tough. But save your commiseration for someone else… like another Lions’ fan… they’re everywhere here.

So, now, back to the parade…

There are a lot of strong feelings on both sides of the parade happening today. As a fan, (maybe more so as a Canadian fan?) I say, whatever floats your boat. Would we have gone if logistically able today? Maybe. Are the best, most loyal fans going to be there, or just those upset about the Browns continual embarrassment to the city of Cleveland? I’m not sure.

Honestly, I hope the parade goes off without violence. I hope it’s in good spirit, “The Cleveland Browns suck, but we still love you and will continue to support you guys!”

That’s it for now… (that was actually more than I intended!) Life is good.

It’s Cold

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Really the only thing on my mind this morning is the weather. How Canadian of me… and how sad that it’s really the only thing I can think about to write…

It’s cold… like record-breaking, bone-chilling, air-hurts kind of cold.

I believe it’s -2* F with an expected high of a balmy 9*F.

Kinda makes a person want to stay in. Kinda makes a person not want to venture out for any reason.

But… The greedy birds outside my office window are demanding seed. I need to go into the bank (certain things with our US account I can’t do online). I need to pick up Mr. Shank this afternoon as he’s at MomG’s.

Boo. Brr.

Life is good.

Change – 2018 Edition

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I don’t know how anyone could start a new year without at least “thinking” about change.

I certainly do.

However, after a few years on this planet, living in this body and with this brain, I understand that change doesn’t just happen.

For change to be successful, (for me) it has to be incremental and purpose driven.

So again, I’m going to try to change.

  • In some way, be better than I was yesterday, and acknowledge the improvement.
  • Do something each day that makes me happy, and acknowledge those moments.

Here goes.

This Past Week

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I thought I’d write a little bit about this past week before settling in for the fun job of preparing my taxes…

So last Friday we had a few people over to celebrate William’s 50th birthday, with a ‘not so’ surprise visit from his cousin and girlfriend from Port Stanley. It was a great time and it was nice to see William celebrating with friends.

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His new thing is gin. Gin and Squirt to be specific… Interesting to note that Gin and Wink (the kinda Canadian equivalent) was a favourite alcoholic beverage of teenagers, back in the day and at least in this area… Most of our friends who’ve tried it the Squirt version had stories of being wasted as teens on Gin and Wink, so that always makes for good stories (personally, I ended up in a huge ditch across the road from a huge party… long story…) Anyways, as mentioned, Squirt is not available in Canada. and is better than Wink (hard to find Wink too, now that I think of it…) so before our cruise, we loaded up at Meijers on somethings you just can’t buy in Canada (we often do this on our trips to Cleveland…).

So anyways, with his friends knowing about his new (or re-) found love of gin, we now have A LOT of gin… this is just a sampling…

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With his cousin’s visit not being such a surprise (thanks Aunt Vera, lol!), he was surprised when we told him that the next day we were heading to Cleveland for the night for some pinball and a great dinner.

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Weeks before I contacted our business rep at the Hyatt in Cleveland to reserve a night on the down low, and because we’re ‘Platinum’ Hyatt members they went above and beyond for William. When we checked in, he was given a pretty awesome hand made card, signed by a bunch of staff members and in the room was a mickey of gin and a few cans of Squirt! There was also a huge Cleveland Browns cutting board loaded with specialty cheeses and deli meats. How incredibly nice!

At our favourite bar, our friend and best bartender ever (she’s also the bartender at the stadium) she made sure they had Squirt for him too (not normally a soft drink they have on hand). At the steakhouse, after a fantastic dinner, they had a special dessert for us to share.

All in all, it was a great week-end and I think Billy felt pretty darned special… as he should!

The rest of the week:

  • Monday was his actual birthday and we had dinner at his mom’s.
  • Tuesday night I had my indoor golf league.
  • Wednesday I worked about 11 hours and William had his indoor golf league.
  • Thursday, trying to avoid some of the craziness of St. Paddy’s Day, I met my ‘boss’ for a round of indoor golf and dinner.
  • Friday I cleaned the house and felt like crap. We lounged on the couch and watched TV.

It was a pretty busy week, and the last few week-ends we’ve been out of town, before that was SuperBowl, football playoffs, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, football season… etc. etc. etc… the point being this might be the first week-end since about October that we a) William’s not on call, b) we’re not going anywhere and c) no one is coming over. So tonight’s plans are for date night in… dinner, pinball, hot tub and relaxation. It’s gonna be a great day.

That’s all for now… tax time!

Life is good.

Mission Accomplished

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We’re a few days back from vacation – and it was quite the success! Mission accomplished (well, nearly) all around. Let’s review…

Read books – I read 3.5 books – two of which were pretty hefty for fiction (Tom Clancy is not an easy beach type read!). William read two – a John Grisham and a Lee Childs Jack Reacher novel…

Relaxed – that’s most of what we did. We relaxed by the pool, on our balcony, in the room and on two beaches. We had long leisurely, delicious dinners. We napped, played cribbage, had drinks and watched a couple of movies. It was the most ‘relaxing’ we’ve ever done on vacation.

Snorkeled – Well this was a bit of a fail, as the snorkeling was not good at the port we choose, but the beach was fabulous in Roatan.

Bought a snorkel shirt – Yay! Now I can snorkel on future vacations for more than 20 minutes without either freezing or getting sunburned.

Slept – again, another slight fail… The vibrations of the ship created a ticking noise that was very much like Chinese water torture.

Disconnect – I was even less connected than I expected as free wifi in the ports was not easily found – while I had my business ‘covered’, it would have been advantageous to know the weather in advance.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. Very relaxing. Great memories and I look forward to our next cruise!

Note to self: Book an excursion (weather permitting!) in Belize. The port area is not very nice or safe feeling. Luckily it was a beautiful day, so we spent much of it on a nearly deserted ship hanging by the pool.

Life is good. 🙂