Thursday, October 30, 2008

This makes me happy

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Bree took Nate to the pumpkin patch. He came home with very muddy clothes, muddy boots and a couple of pumpkins. I don't know why, but just looking at those muddy boots makes me happy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The address is the same, but it doesn't look like I live here anymore

The last few days have been incredibly hectic here at home. We've been getting our place ready for showing. Yes, we're putting our home up on the market and planning to pull up stakes and move East. East to Halifax, NS. I will spare everyone the details now, but let's just say that this has been a really stressful last month.

Anyways, a big thank you to all our friends who came over on short notice to help us pack and cart stuff out of here. And to friends who let us store our stuff at their homes.

So now our home looks amazing! Except it doesn't look like I live here anymore. That and I have no idea where anything is anymore.

So now we wait to see if all that work pays off in dollars. It's probably not the best time to be a seller in Vancouver, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The love of friends

These last few days have been a whirlwind of emails, long-distance phonecalls, excitement, stress and disappointment. Did I mention stress? Some of you may already know that we are planning to move to Halifax, NS in the next little while. We've put our place here in Vancouver up for sale, and we've been looking for a house in Halifax. Not the easiest thing to do from Vancouver.

Patty left for Halifax Thursday evening to check out a house and be on-site for the building inspection. As it turns out, this particular house will require far more work than we feel comfortable taking on at this point. A disappointing end to what had been till then, a mostly exciting, if somewhat stressful time.

I've been home with Nate and Snoopy. Of course I usually work Thursday through till Sunday. The first 2 days weren't too much of a problem since Nate was in daycare. But who was going to spend hours with him on Saturday and Sunday while I was at work? Some fabulous friends of ours of course.

Our friend Lauren offered to spend Saturday with Nate. She took him out for a sushi dinner, sang sea-shanties with him, and probably had to endure monster-truck TV. I'm sure she could have just come and hung out with Nate and done nothing else and he would have been just as happy, mostly because he just loves spending time with his Aunty Lolo.

On Sunday, my friend Bree took Nate to the pumpkin patch, and by all accounts he had a blast. How could he not? He got to hang out with his Aunty Bree, ride tractors, see farm animals, tromp through mud in his rubber boots and pick apples and pumpkins!

And in the days prior to me finding a sitter, one of Patty's co-workers Shona offered to hang out with Nate for a few hours on Sunday, and my co-worker Manuel offered to come and watch him during my Sunday shift.

All these people have busy lives, and yet they offered to help me out and spend their days off with Nate. It could just be the sappy father in me, but I think that's pretty special. So thank you all my friends, I feel so loved.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thanksgiving on Main Street

I have much to be thankful for, I always have.  Sometimes it's easy to forget this.  Other times I struggle with the random nature of my good fortune.  I wasn't born into a third world country, or a war ravaged country.  I got a head start right off the bat.  I didn't choose to be born where I was, it just happened.  But who gets to makes those decisions?

This thanksgiving, my workplace decided to donate all our tips from the Thanksgiving weekend to some charities in Vancouver.  The money collected from all the JJ Bean stores in Vancouver would also be matched by JJ.  If any of our patrons needed reminding that they had lots to be thankful for, they didn't have far to look.

I guess even those of us who get a head start fall behind sometimes.  And who am I to say that this person hasn't lots to be thankful for?  I once asked a homeless person how his day was going, and he told me it was great.  He woke up that morning, and he was still breathing.  

Happy thanksgiving Canada.  We have much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Thus read the scrawl on a strip of masking tape attached to a rather large piece of plywood. If that piece of plywood were not so easily recognizable as a piece of art, I would have questioned what the sign really meant. Was it art? Was it free? Who was this Art, and what did he need to be freed from?

In any case, it was just sitting there on the sidewalk on Main Street, just a block and a half away from home, and Nate was clearly taken by it. It was coming home with us. No question about it. See how happy he was?

Sometimes your kid will bring home rocks, feathers, leaves and other bits and pieces he finds out in the world. And sometimes he will bring home huge pieces of art.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Csar of the bar

These photos were taken on a Thursday evening at work. The hands belong to my colleague Robert Csar, and these are some examples of his work. I feel I must apologise to Robert for the title of this post. I am a weak man and have little self-control.

Ghosts of Afghanistan

Downers from the week past

  1. The new American Express ad running on TV features Jim Henson and his muppets and it makes me want to cry everytime I see it.
  2. The number of new people sleeping on the street in my neighbourhood. On one morning walk with Snoop, I counted three new people I haven't seen before. Since then I've seen a few more new faces.
  3. The death of Paul Newman. I grew up with his movies, and lately I've been watching Cars with Nate over and over again. It sounds silly, but sometimes I just take for granted that some people will be around forever. I think it's so I don't have to deal with the passing of time, and my own mortality.
  4. A person suffering from mental illness came into my workplace one evening and spent a few minutes walking around the store yelling to no one in particular, then walked out and continued down the street yelling. It made me sad then and it makes me sad just thinking about it now.
  5. The ghosts of Afghanistan. Someone had planted a small tree in the dog park we go to. From afar, it looks like a small Christmas tree decorated with white streamers. On closer inspection, the white streamers turned out to be paper tags bearing the inscription ghosts of Afghanistan. I took some time to explain to Nate what was happening in Afghanistan. I'm not sure he understood, and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I did myself. Sobering stuff. My brother will be leaving for Afghanistan next month. I haven't seen him in four and a half years, and part of me worries I might never see him again.