Category Archives: Thoughts on stuff

When Bloggers Don’t Blog

Most of my blogger friends have stopped writing.

will blog 4 foodWhen I started blogging, it seemed like everybody and their dog was starting up a new blog and writing. I immediately started following a community of bloggers, left comments, and tried to get all of them to read MY blog. If you go back to some of my earlier posts, you’ll see a lot more comments than you do now.

And that’s fine, though…because I no longer write for them. I no longer write for you (sorry). I write for me, whether it’s good or bad. So if nobody reads the blog, I’m actually alright with that. I’m still going to throw my two cents out there and hope that the people who DO read my blog are entertained.

I think therefore I blogSo yeah…other bloggers.

I can give you a list of about a dozen bloggers who used to be in my whole “writer’s circle” who don’t write anymore. Some of them have even deleted their blogs entirely.

It’s funny…the majority of the blogs that I saw were written by single parents or newly-single parents. I mean, that’s one of the main reasons I started blogging, too. I wanted to vent and bitch and make it known to the world that I wasn’t a terrible father or a terrible person. I had something to say and I wanted people who didn’t know me to like me for me…not what people thought I was.

Thankfully, I’ve made some friends through blogging. Some real, good, actual friends. Heck…one of them came all the way from Texas to attend my wedding to Sunshine! Another who flew us down to their home in Chicago as a wedding gift! These connections are real and they’re very important to me. 

To blog or not to blogIt’s a shame that these folks don’t blog anymore, but for the most part it’s because they’re no longer single. Or if they’re single, they’re no longer in an unhappy place. I’ve seen a number of situations where people got happy and simply stopped blogging…or they tried to create a new blog or a new persona and it just didn’t fly. It’s hard to continue your “single” online persona when you’re happily remarried and in love.

I did that for a little while, actually. I’ve been happy for a very long time and once I moved to be with Sunshine, I simply couldn’t find the time to write as much anymore. Of course, I didn’t have much to say other than, “I’m happy”. Maybe I hit a writer’s block (that I still find myself in occasionally). 

So here I sit…writing away and reminiscing about bloggers past. Whether you’re new to the blog or have been around since the beginning, I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read it. I may not ever make a living as a writer, but hopefully what I write is interesting enough to make you want to come back and read some more.

And for those other bloggers who have stopped…you’re missed. I hope you’ve found true happiness in whatever you’re doing now. 


#PrayForMoncton

I used to live in Moncton. In fact, I lived there for 10 years prior to moving to Halifax to be with Sunshine. I lived in the area that was considered on “lockdown” as of 6:30am this morning. This whole scary situation is surreal to me because just yesterday I was telling co-workers just how peaceful and quiet the city was.

Then this happened.

My heart is heavy and my thoughts go with all of the friends and family of the slain police officers. The Codiac RCMP are in a horrible situation right now…knowing that they are being targeted by some insane gun-fanatic who is intent on killing them, while also trying to hunt the man down through residential and wooded areas.

It’s weird. You always see these types of things happening in small towns in the U.S. but Canada is always the “quiet, peaceful country”, which is something the L.A. Times mentioned in an article last night:

“Killings are rare in Canada. In 2012, 543 homicides were reported in the nation of about 35 million residents. Just six of those took place in New Brunswick. In contrast, Los Angeles County, with about 10 million residents, had 660 homicides that year.”

And the mentality in Canada towards gun control is different than the United States. We’re PRO-gun control. Polls across the country will show that we don’t have issues with our gun laws. We don’t believe it’s a “right”…it’s a “privilege” that you have to earn by submitting to whatever it is you need to do (I have no idea what’s involved because I’ve only even held a gun once in my lifetime).

So to have something like this happen is even more mind-boggling simply because we’re not that kind of society.  This isn’t who we are. These types of things don’t happen here.

I guess now they do.

#PrayForMoncton


An Open Letter To My 100 Year Old Self

Dear CBG.

First off…holy sh*t, dude…how did you manage to make it to 100??

I mean, don’t get me wrong…I’m stoked to know that I’m still alive in another 58 years and all, but we didn’t exactly live the first 30+ years of our lives in the most healthy way. You smoked…you ate anything that wasn’t good for you…you didn’t exercise regularly until you were in your 40’s. How the hell did you do it?

I’m going to assume that at your age, the memory is pretty much shot. I think I’ll do what I can to help re-start those brain cells of yours.

At this stage in your life, you were totally head-over-heels in love with your wife…known affectionately on this blog as Sunshine. You’ve pretty much chronicled your entire relationship with her on this website, from the first date to the proposal to the wedding day. She is the single greatest thing to ever happen to you and I hope you didn’t do anything to mess that up.

If you did…I don’t think we can be friends. Seriously.

But I’m pretty sure you didn’t. Knowing how you feel right now, I just can’t see you doing something to mess up this relationship. I’m hopeful that you two enjoyed an incredible life together, helping to raise two awesome teenage girls, two pre-teen girls, and a little boy. My hope is that they all turned out to be well-adjusted adults who didn’t murder anyone.

If they did…it wasn’t your fault. That really sucks if they did, though. But I’m sure they didn’t. Let’s move on…

My sincere hope is that once the kids were grown and gone, you and Sunshine were able to live the dream you two had of traveling the world together. I also hope the two of you NEVER CHANGED, because believe me when I say that you two are pretty awesome people right now. I wouldn’t want to know that I grew older and then grew crankier or “more mature”. Life is too short to not have fun.

Although in your case, life is really kind of dragging on…isn’t it?

So what have you been doing over the past 50+ years? Were you able to retire at a decent age? Have you kept yourself busy? Did they take your driver’s license away from you?

Dude…how much do you weigh??

I guess I just wanted to apologize for brutalizing your body for the first half of your life. I also want to say “you’re welcome” for starting to live healthier for the second half of your life. I’m pretty sure that change had something to do with you living this long.

You’re not eating out of a tube, are you? Do they even HAVE solid foods in the year 2072??

Okay…I guess I’m done. I mean, what else can I tell you that you don’t already know? You’ve got a helluva good wife, some really awesome kids, and you’ve FINALLY made steps to improve your life…both physically and financially.

I just hope you didn’t mess things up.

Keep kickin’!

 

CBG

Old Man CBG


The Do-Over

genie-lampYou’re going through an antique store. You come across a pretty cool looking lamp…like one of those lamps you’d see in a movie where a genie pops out of it. You decide to buy it because heck…it’s a really cool freakin’ lamp!

You take it home and decide to give it a rub. I mean…what the heck, right?

THEN THE GENIE POPS OUT!!

He/She isn’t going to give you the normal “3 wishes” routine, though. They are going to give you ONE CHANCE to go back into your own life and have a do-over. ONE THING that you can change.

So…what is it? What is that one thing that you would go back into your life and change? Is there one regret that has always eaten away at you? Is there one moment in time that you wish you could have back somehow?

I’ve thought about this because, on the surface, there are a TON of things I wish I could go back and do over again…

-          I’d change my hair while in high school. I looked ridiculous…even for the 80’s.

1980's CBG

-          I’d actually study hard and ensure that I didn’t get kicked out of not just one university, but TWO!!

-          I’d work my ass off to get better jobs once I finished university because, quite frankly, being a DJ or a suit salesman or a waiter was fun but it really didn’t do anything for my long-term career aspirations.

-          I wouldn’t have walked away from my first child…having to wait 15 years before getting the chance to meet her in person and start a new relationship.

Pebbles

-          I wouldn’t have let my second child move away with her mom. I would have fought to keep her closer to me.

Rugrat - August 2011

-          I wouldn’t have made financial decisions that would adversely affect my credit on more than one occasion.

-          I would have made sure that I was at my mother’s side in the moments leading up to her passing away. My dad, my brother, and I had left the hospital to grab some lunch when we got the call. We didn’t make it back in time to say a final goodbye to her.

mom 8

Sigh…so many things, from the trivial to the serious. I don’t know if I could choose just one thing.

Of course, I don’t know if I should even choose anything at all. If there is one thing I’ve learned from watching Back To The Future and The Butterfly Effect is that any little detail altered in the past…any little change made in history…can affect the future in a massive way.

I’m in a really good point in my life right now. I’ve built pretty decent relationships with my two oldest daughters. I’ve got a good relationship with my son. My step-daughters are MY daughters. I’ve got an incredible wife and I’ve finally got a good job. Everything’s coming up CBG at the moment.

wedding 2

For as many mistakes that I’ve made (and I’ve made a TON), I feel as though I’m finally beginning to live the life that I’ve always wanted to live. No, not everything is perfect…but it’s pretty damn awesome. I couldn’t imagine, for one second, doing anything that would prevent my current life from taking place.

So while some of you may have at least one thing in your past that you would want to do over again, I can’t say that I would.  I’m at peace with my past, I’m happy with my present, and I’m excited for my future.

I’d have to thank that genie for the opportunity before graciously declining his/her offer.

 

THEN I’d hope for that whole “3 wishes” thing!!


It’s Funny How Life Turns Out

Life is funnyAs many of you know, I started a new job back in December. Over a month into things and I honestly have never been as challenged or as happy in a job as I am right now. It’s funny how life turns out…I look back at all of my previous jobs and life directions on where I could have gone.

- Radio DJ. I’ve blogged about this one before, actually. At one time in my life, I was a club DJ and played the hits of the 90’s to a packed Saturday night dance floor. I absolutely loved what I did because I was good at it. The rush from mixing two songs together and having the dance floor stay full was one I likened to the rush from drugs…only it was a natural high that I can’t fully explain. I stopped doing it because, honestly, I was getting older and needed to find a “real” job. I could have easily moved into wedding DJ-ing, but playing songs like Old Time Rock & Roll and I Knew The Bride every bloody weekend would make me want to gouge my ears out.

- Bank manager. This is a job my dad held for years and, quite frankly, he always wanted me to follow him into that area. He was an RBC bank manager back in the 70’s and 80’s as I was growing up. We moved from town to town as he was transferred from one branch to another. To me, that calling would have been the “safe” one…a job that I could easily do; a job I could be hired for due to my educational background; a job that I could call a career. But quite frankly, I believe that I would be unfulfilled and my job satisfaction would wane…thus I decided to not pursue this avenue.

- Call center “person”. I have had the pleasure (and DISpleasure) of working in various call centers over the course of my life. I’ve worked in fun centers like AOL Canada and in business centers like ExxonMobil. I’ve worked for less reputable call centers and haven’t had nearly as much fun or job security. I know friends who have made their career out of going from call center to call center (there are a number of them in my neck of the woods). I, for one, couldn’t wait to get off the phone. I wanted an office and a computer and a reason to use my nerdy skills. That’s what I have now, so this career choice certainly wouldn’t have turned out positively for me.

- Lawyer. Isn’t that the dream of pretty much every parent out there? One day my child will grow up to be a lawyer! There were moments when I thought about becoming a student of law, but I never pursued it because I didn’t think I was smart enough even though I was thoroughly fascinated by law. One of my best friends is a lawyer based out of Chicago, and I envy their life regularly. They work hard, obviously, but they are rewarded for their hard work. I always look back and wonder what my life would have turned out like should I have pursued this great profession.

- Restaurant manager. I honestly thought that I was being raised for this position. My dad ran a pizza restaurant for 20 years and I was basically raised in. I started my work career folding pizza boxes for two cents a box when I was 12. I moved up into being a dishwasher before working the cash register at 15. My dad got permission from the local liquor inspector to let me become a waiter at 16 (i.e. I was allowed to sell liquor to customers) and I waited tables throughout my high school and university years. I ended up managing my dad’s restaurant back in 2000…but the conflict between him and I led to a falling out of sorts. It also turned me off of the role as a career choice. It’s a shame, because at one point I honestly thought this was my future.

- Realtor. My dad’s final career before retiring was as a realtor. He was good at it, too. The benefits he had were his “no fear” attitude and ability to talk to anybody straight-up with no bull…and in a small town where everybody knew who he was, that worked in his favour. I was always intrigued by real estate, but I quickly learned (especially over the last year or two) that unless I stayed in a small town that there were HUNDREDS of realtors in any given city, many of which were barely able to get by because of (a) the bad real estate market and (b) the intense competition. Only a select few get to thrive and succeed, but the rest constantly struggle. I was never one who could knock on a stranger’s door, so this job certainly wasn’t the career choice for me.

At the end of the day, it’s interesting to look back at all of my previous jobs and see where I have ended up. It’s also interesting to see the many paths my life could have taken.

As it stands, I’m right where I want to be. Quite frankly, I’m right where I should be. Everything happens for a reason.


Happy 5-Year Bloggiversary

i am 5I got a notification yesterday that I was celebrating five years of blogging on WordPress. I thought that was a pretty great accomplishment, considering all of the blogs that I’ve followed over the past 5+ years that have fallen to the wayside over time. Some bloggers have gotten married and had to change their “single” persona, some bloggers found happiness in their life and didn’t know how to translate that to words (most bloggers start writing out of unhappiness or loneliness), some bloggers simply didn’t have anything else to say, and some bloggers, unfortunately, passed away.

While the amount of my writing has decreased over the past year or so, that’s more to do with living with Sunshine and simply not having the time to write more than anything else. I still write here on this blog on a semi-regular basis. I also have a travel blog that serves as an outlet for my creative side (plus I just love documenting where I’ve been…for no other reason than to have a distinct and detailed account for when I get older and can’t remember anything). I still have the “guilty pleasure” blog, but I seem to have run out of a lot of guilty pleasures so that hasn’t been updated in awhile.

I appreciate the friends I’ve met through this blog (and even more-so the ones I’ve ended up meeting in person!) and I really appreciate those who have continued to read this over the years.

I thought it would be fun to share the original post that kicked things off here back on January 21, 2009…

**********

I guess the point of this thing isn’t really to be cute or funny or unique or original, but to just BE. That’s what I plan on doing.

I’ve been writing a blog now for almost a year over on another host.  It started off as something I wanted friends to read, but as I continued on day after day…week after week…month after month…the blog became more of a burden because I was debating whether or not I could be myself.  If I revealed something personal or said something “off-color”, what would my friends say?

So I’ve decided to start over…start fresh…begin anew…

You can expect random ramblings from a thirty-something divorced father of two.  Although, technically, I’ve just been separated for almost two years…not quite divorced yet.  That’s a story for another day.

I might transfer some stories over from my old blog from time to time, too…primarily to fill space (heh) but also to establish who I am and where I’m coming from.

And me?  You can just call me CBG…the Canadian bald guy who used to have hair before this world drove me to lose it (pun intended…heh).

Nice to meet ya!


New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 – married edition

Last week I gave a few resolutions that I made for 2014. Sunshine came to me with the idea that we should have resolutions for us as a married couple, as we’d like to make our first full year as a married couple the best it can possibly be. Therefore…

Sunshine & CBG1. Go on a “Date Night” at least once a month. One of the things that we’ve both realized since I moved-in with her has been our lack of romantic moments. Where we share 50% custody of her girls with their dad and I’m off to see my son every other weekend, the downtime that we actually have is usually spend either (a) running around doing errands or (b) doing absolutely nothing so we can enjoy some “down time” together. The problem, obviously, is that we don’t take the time to actually spend quality time together. Relationships don’t just happen…they take work. So we have both resolved to go out on a date at least once a month in 2014. We owe it to ourselves and to each other.

Hey lookie behind us...it's a road!

2. Go on a road trip somewhere. While some people hate spending too much time in cramped vehicles with others, we actually LOVE it…at least when we’re with each other. We’ve taken some fun road trips together in previous years, but didn’t go anywhere last year. Because of that, we’re definitely looking forward to doing something and going somewhere in 2014. It doesn’t even matter where we go…we talk and laugh so much that a 10-hour drive to Maine seems like 10 minutes. THAT is a sign of a healthy relationship, and we can’t wait to enjoy some “car time” together later this year.

Sept billy ocean d3. Attend at least one concert together. We’ve seen a couple of concerts together…KISS, Billy Ocean, and Bryan Adams come to mind immediately…but we’ve also missed out on some great opportunities in recent years, primarily due to financial issues (Prince, Cyndi Lauper, and Platinum Blonde are three that we wish we saw). Because finances are steadily improving (thanks, new job!), concerts won’t be such a big deal to see in 2014. We don’t know who’s coming to Halifax this year, but we’re pretty confident that we won’t let a concert pass us by if we have the opportunity to see it.

Our money4. Combine finances. I mean, let’s face it…we’re married now, right? Don’t most married couples combine finances in some way, shape, or form? I mean, it could be simply a matter of adding to our joint savings account or maybe getting a credit card together…something like a TDAeroplan card. I mean, we’ve both got Air Miles cards and credit cards so why not try to actually do something with our finances so that we benefit from the other end? Whatever we decide to do, it’s got to be as a TEAM…no secrets. I’ve made some mistakes financially in the past and now that I’ve gotten the job I’ve always wanted to have, planning our future finances just makes sense.


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