Holy Hell! Please Tell Me Today is NOT Monday!


I woke up this morning at 6am with a feeling of dread that today might actually be Monday…

I turned to my wife who was already awake and I asked her, “Is it Monday?”

“Yup”, she responded with a sigh.

It’s not that we hate our jobs, or that we had something to do today which we were dreading, but today came way too soon.

For those of you with multiple children – especially those of you with children in activities – know that this is one hectic time of year.

Programs are ending, programs and starting, and that means 8am-10pm programming and with 3 children and 2 parents, it means a whole lot of juggling and lots of mileage on the car!

Take Sunday for example.  My oldest boy umpires baseball, and as his baseball season came to an end yesterday, he found umpiring work at the Toronto Girls Baseball League, an upstart league created by Dana Bookman, which has taken the city by storm.  Very well run, extremely well-organized, and extremely well supported it’s been a huge success and is growing by leaps and bounds.  Our daughter has played in the league and would play more if it didn’t conflict with her dance classes.

As the oldest, and considering the park was close enough to home, he was the lucky one who had to make his own way to and from the games.  He gathered his umpire gear, made sure he found his bike lock, and set out his water bottle, snack and sun screen the night before.

His younger brother had Sunday school in the morning, followed by his Select hockey practice, followed right after by his baseball playoff game.  He made muffins in the morning which made him happy, and he loved his select practice and his baseball team won (even though he wanted to pitch and his coach wouldn’t let him pitch – which made him grumpy).

As an aside, he’s an outstanding kid – all about fairness and equality for everyone – he knows that he has pitched the least out of all the kids and out of frustration he declared that he’s not playing baseball next year.  Never ever again.  All of this because he’s had the same coach 2 years in a row and he feels that he’s going to get the same coach next season and that coach will not let him pitch.  It’s NOT fair.

Our daughter, fresh off a Saturday afternoon dancing at half-time of the Toronto Argonauts football game, had her day filled with another dancing gig at the Girl Expo Canada, which coincidentally was created and run by Dana Bookman along with Alison Cepler.

After that event, she headed downtown to synchronized swimming practice where 2 hours in the pool tuckered her out.

Back at home, the oldest had a play date with a former school mate, and by the time we all settled in together, it was 8pm and I left my equally exhausted wife with 3 hungry, tired children while I raced out to a 8:30pm business meeting.

I finally returned just before 11pm to find my wife laying in bed – too tired to sleep – but so tired she needed to sleep.  We planned Monday’s responsibilities and I headed down to the kitchen to clean up from dinner, and take care of the load of laundry she ran.

Midnight came very quickly.

She was still awake.

I was wide awake.

“You know, we’re going to close our eyes and it will feel like seconds before it’s Monday morning.”

With that thought, we closed our eyes…

 

(For those of you who are thinking about commenting that it’s our fault for having 3 kids, and for programming 3 kids and that we’re just being whiny for complaining… Yup.  Saved you from having to enter that comment.)

Just thinking about myself as a kid – my parents put me in the one program that they thought I should have been in – and that was the way it was done.  I want my kids to experience plenty of things – we’re smart enough to plan the schedules accordingly, but when programs overlap… So not cool.

 

 

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Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Riz, I Wonder Where the Birdies Is?!?


Ahh, spring.

Ahhh Spring…

Ah-chooooooooo… Damn.  It’s spring.

 

Spring time is finally appearing here in Southern Ontario and aside from the increasing temperatures, here are the 13 most obvious ways to tell that Spring has Sprung.

  1. Sports cars in need of muffler repair and convertible cars are zooming around, blasting their horrid music and looking for attention

  2. A.L.L.E.R.G.I.E.S

  3. People are wearing colours again!  Yay.  Winter is dreary enough and everyone in black makes it that much more bland and blah.

  4. People begin to stink.  Not from sweat, at least not yet, but now is the time of year when they think a little bit of cologne or perfume might be a good idea but it’s not.  It’s horrid if I can smell it over a super-stuffy nose. (See 12)

9.  TAXES!!!  It’s tax time!!  Don’t forget to file, even if you think you don’t owe.  File, file, file!  If you need help anywhere in Canada, search up and hit up inTAXicating.

8.  Flips flops and PJ’s make their returns to coffee shops.  In the winter it’s just too darn cold to roll out of bed and drive or walk to the local coffee shop, but not in the spring!

7.  Exposed skin everywhere on everyone, male, female, young, old… If it’s in combination with leggings or yoga pants, it’s a bonus!

6.  I see neighbours!  Seriously, I cannot believe how little we get out in the winter – especially with kids programs keeping us out and around – I found out this morning that our neighbour had a baby and we didn’t even know she was pregnant.  So hard to tell covered in a giant Canada Goose jacket.

5.  Bikes everywhere!  And I’ve mellowed over the years, so I want bikes and bike lanes everywhere.  I also want safe and clean public transit and I want better roads and more parking for cars.  I want everyone to commute and be happy and healthy and safe.  Hey, City of Toronto… If you want business owners to thrive and survive, back off the parking tickets for people who park in actual spots.  If they park illegally, or block traffic, tag and tow them, but let businesses earn money!

4.  Joggers abound!  I’ve always said that out-of-shape joggers (like myself) run at night when no one can see them shaking and bouncing around or hear them gasping for air.  The fit joggers run during the day where everyone can see them.  Whatever your motivation, just run!

3.  My lawn kicks ass!  My front lawn is very green and soft.  I put the snow on it in the winter before the City salts the street or sidewalk and in the spring, and it makes a difference.  It’s so nice, and I have a neighbour who doesn’t talk to anyone but I catch him walking across the street and touching my grass in awe.  Love it!

2.  Change!  Changes come in spring.  People clean their houses, change their jobs, their clothes, their demeanor, and even the homeless-looking guy who visits the Starbucks I frequent cut off his ridiculously long white beard.  Wouldn’t have recognized him – looks somewhat respectable now – except for the same army fatigue pants he wears every day and the shmatta (towel?) he covers his head with.

1.Spring means an end to winter programs for my kids, so say goodbye to hockey, but it also means saying hello to baseball (call me “coach”) and to being able to throw a ball around and walk to park and shoot hoops, or go for a bike ride, and work at losing the winter gut and getting back into a shape that doesn’t resemble a pear.

3 cheers to spring!

Hip hip, hooray

Hip hip hooray.

Hip… Hip… Achhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooo

 

Geez, I hate spring!

 

 

 

Early Spring or 6-More Weeks of Winter? Groundhog Day vs. Spring Training:


Staten Island Chuck

Balzac Billy

Wiarton Willy

Shubenacadie Sam

Punxsutawney Phil

 

So many Groundhogs… So many predictions…

In this day and age of social media, weather mapping, satellite weather patterning, so we really believe that a groundhog looks for his shadow to predict whether or not the region will experience six more weeks of winter or the coming of spring.

My kids wanted to go somewhere… Anywhere… to hang with the crowds who will have gathered to see if groundhogs throughout the area see their shadow to signal another six weeks of winter, or if they call for an early spring.

This year, Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, predicted 6 more weeks of winter, while Staten Island Chuck, Wiarton Willie called for an early spring.

The tradition of Groundhog Day can be traced to a German myth on Candlemas Day.

It was believed that if any animal came out from hibernation on February 2nd and saw their shadow, there would be six more weeks of winter.

The myth was turned into a reality in the early 1880s, when Pennsylvanian settlers searched for a groundhog to see the shadow and local newspapers reported about the hunt.

Since that day, the celebration spread throughout the country, and other areas have hopped on board with rodents of their own.

While many people in the US focus on Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, Canadians like to focus on Ontario’s Wiarton Willie, and Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam, while Western Canadians can turn their focus to Balzac Billy.

Being close to the US, we know that New Yorkers pay attention to Staten Island Chuck – real name Charles G. Hogg – with an 80% accuracy prognostication.

Chuck / Hogg, was the groundhog who bit former Mayor Bloomberg and was dropped by then Mayor de Blasio.

Even in Long Island, they have their own groundhogs, yes, 2 of them, Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal.

So with so many groundhogs and so many predictions, we can be sure of this… Spring is coming, eventually.  Spring training for baseball has always been my sign that spring is around the corner and with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than 3 weeks, I cna get ready to break out the shorts and sandals, right?

But for the kids… it’s all about the groundhogs! Consensus rules!

 

The World Series Starts Tonight! Which Jinx Ends?!?


So the World Series begins tonight in Chicago as the Chicago Cubs who last won the World Series in 1908, face the team from Cleveland (team name omitted on purpose) who last won the Fall Classic in 1948.

Contrary to the belief of my children, neither myself nor my pet dinosaur were alive when the Cubs were last named World Champions.

As a diehard Toronto Blue Jays fan, I could vote for Cleveland because they eliminated Toronto, or I could vote for the Cubbies and their poor, suffering fans.  The Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association also eliminated the Toronto Raptors from the NBA playoffs so I have reason to hate Cleveland, but then again the poor City finally got one World Champion so another in the same year would be wonderful for them, right?!?

Of note in this series, is which team will have the jinx removed from their franchise.  The Cubs were jinxed because of some goat, while the Cleveland team was really jinxed by a Native American group who disapproved of their use of team name, logo and mascot.

The Cubs curse is known as “The Curse of the Billy Goat” and was put in the team in 1945 by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. Apparently he used to bring his goat to the games at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the odor (not Roughned) of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans so he was asked to leave the park during game 4 of the 1945 World Series.

While leaving, the Tavern owner declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more”, and they didn’t, losing the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers and then never making it back until this season – 46 years after the death of the Tavern’s owner.

Now, the Cleveland curse is quite different.

Some may say the curse on the Cleveland came from trading star players after star player, however, the curse on the team stems from the teams name, “Indians”, which originated from a request by then club owner Charles Somers to baseball writers to choose a new name to replace the current team name, the “Cleveland Naps” following the departure of Nap Lajoie after the 1914 season.

“Indians” was chosen because writers used to call the Cleveland Spiders baseball club, the “Indians” in reference to a Native American player named Louis Sockalexis.

The team is also referred to as the “Tribe” and their “mascot” Chief Wahoo (who is actually a Brave because Chief’s have a many feathers).

The team itself, began playing organized ball in 1894 in Michigan, as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. The team moved to Cleveland in 1900, changing their name to the Lake Shores.

It has been said that until Cleveland change their team name and use of Chief Wahoo, the team will be forever jinxed.

Either way, one of these jinx’s will end at the conclusion of the World Series.

My 11-year-old son was wondering what it was like watching baseball back in 1908.  There was no TV, no way to broadcast the games, certainly no way for someone in another country to learn of the game or the results from so far away.

He was thinking about what it would have been like to have been a young boy in Poland, where his now 100-year-old grandfather grew up and eventually had to flee for his life from the Nazis before making his way to North America, then to Canada.

Baseball, eh?

Hard to think about baseball when Nazi’s chase you from your home, kill everyone in your family, then give your home and your belongings to others.

Life goes on.

A curse will end.

Interesting perspective from an 11-year-old.

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings and More


Monday Musings and More

Exercise:

So my wife found a 21-day exercise program for us to do.  My first question to her was, “will there be fat people in the video?”, because I am not doing any exercise program where every person is 20-years-old, has 1% body fat and muscles where I didn’t know muscles could be.  It is those workouts where I feel my age and more afterwards.

After one workout, I have to say that I can still move, and yes, there was a “less-fit” person in the video.

If you have never seen me, I have to explain that I am a fairly big guy, bone-wise, and I hide my weight well considering how much I actually weigh, probably because I’m active – play ball-hockey in a league at least once a week – and I try to get active a couple more times per week.

In fact, I hide my weight so well that I always win in a guess-your-weight contest, the last couple of times the “expert” was off by 70lbs. I even gave him a second and third chance but he just got more and more upset, then was embarrassed once I stepped on the scale… Oops.

 

Sports:

Does NYY DH A-Rod deserve to be an all-star? No, but I have to say that I was sure I would NEVER be able to forgive this cheater for being such an arrogant asshole while cheater the entire time, but with all the crap the Yankees heaped on him, I actually feel that if he is clean, he has worked very hard to earn his playing time and I’m actually kind of rooting for him.

TNA / Impact Wrestling:
Because of the dumbass decision to have their program on The Fight Network, one of few stations we do not get in our massive cable package, I have to resort to watching it on YouTube.  The YouTube broadcasts are worse than awful, the program is still very confusing and with rumours of wrestlers leaving en mass, I’m watching less and less.

Even worse is Josh Matthews pretending to be at the event when we all know the show is taped and the commentary is being recorded after, but why does it look like he’s in a bee hive and does it sound like he has his hand over his mouth when he is speaking.

Again, I’m thrilled that Mike Tenay is not on these shows, but the quality of these broadcasts make Impact look more like Ring of Honor.

Why can’t TNA just finally drop the TNA, merge with a legit brand or bring back a real name and get back to basics. Fewer wrestlers, more stories, and get fans excited about the brand again rather than having us rush to be watch the death of the show.

Before it’s too late…

 

Coffee:
The Second Cup’s Butter Pecan coffee might just be one of the best coffee’s available. It’s fantastic, and requires less sugar than other coffees.

It was nice to see my new favourite coffee company, Javaworks, is the official coffee supplier for one of our favourite breakfast joints, Steve’s on Bathurst Street, just north of Wilson Avenue, in Toronto. The coffee there is always delicious, and now I know why!

 

The Urban Daddy:
If you’re looking to be more involved in The Urban Daddy, now might just be your chance! I’m looking to get back blogging on a more frequent timetable and to have some time to address the pitches and requests which come my way daily.

I cannot get to them all, and as of right now, I’m giving preference to the local (Toronto and surrounding area) ones.
If you are interested in writing a post her and there, or attending an event on behalf of The Urban Daddy, and then writing up a post, with some pictures, please let me know by email to: realurbandaddy@gmail.com

I’m not just looking for one person, to be honest, the more the merrier.

 

Children:
With 2 of my 3 kids away at sleepover camp, I have found that the 3rd and youngest really seems to be growing up fast!

I also cannot believe how much she talks! It seems like it’s been non-stop and while I felt this way last year, I find this year is even more tiring.

Anyone else have similar experiences?

 

Tax:
As many long-time readers will be aware, I’ve been operating a tax consulting business for a few years now, and I thought it might be interesting to point out in a parenting / family blog, that the most common question asked of me this past week had to do with divorce.

More specifically, what happens when a husband and wife are in the process of divorcing and the husband either has not filed, nor disclosed his accurate income to the courts. Is there any recourse on the wife’s side, or should the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) be made aware of this?

Furthermore, if the husband has a debt owing to the CRA, can the CRA take actions against the soon-to-be ex-wife and / or seize and sell the house.

The answer is… Maybe.

It depends on the details and I’m more than happy to listen to a situation and provide my thoughts.

My email is info@intaxicating.ca