Movember, Fantasy Football, & Snowblowers

As the month is coming to an end, I couldn’t be happier to be getting rid of this moustache. 

Seriously…with the exception of one $20 donation from a friend on Saturday, I’ve had only grief from Movember.  Sure, it’s been fun…but I look ridiculous. Even more than that, Sunshine thinks it’s horrendous.

I can’t tell you just how emasculating it is to be in the throes of passion and have your significant other burst out laughing in your face because she can only picture you wearing a sombrero.

NOT good.

So needless to say, I’ll be back to my “normal” CBG look sooner rather than later.

*****

With one more weekend left before the playoffs start, I really needed a victory this past weekend in order to stay up front in my division.

Thankfully, that victory came and I’m back to being 6-6 and first in my (admittedly weak) division:

Tom Brady came through (thankfully) and I got another outstanding performance from Dallas receiver Laurent Robinson, who has been a fantastic pick-up in the absence of Miles Austin.

With the standings the way they are, I need next weekend to be a victory to not only solidify my playoff spot, but to also get a first round bye in the playoffs.

I’ve got some really favourable match-ups, too:

  • Both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski face the hapless Colts (who should really just lay down in this game…if for no other reason than to give me a ton of points).
  • Dallas faces an anemic Arizona secondary, so I think Robinson will have another solid outing.
  • Willis McGahee will be running against Minnesota, who have given up the 11th most points to running backs this season.

My only question marks are with the possibility of injured players returning:

  • Peyton Hillis appears to be back after this past weekend but faces a really tough Baltimore run defense.
  • Jeremy Maclin might be ready against the Seahawks, but it’s not looking good.
  • Miles Austin might be ready for the Cards, but that’s not looking too good, either.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw might be ready for the Packers, but even if he is the Pack have a strong front line so it may not be a great play.

So with Jabar Gaffney playing against a solid Jets secondary, I need to either find another receiver or hope that the rest of my team comes out to play. 

TOO MANY VARIABLES!!

*****

A good friend of mine (he actually was the MC at my wedding reception) recently put a snowblower on Kijiji, which is kind of the Canadian equivalent to Craigslist only without the creepy adult ads.

Anyway, so my friend is a very creative guy. He likes to write as a hobby and has a sense of humour that I’ve always enjoyed, but not everybody “gets”.

Last week he wanted to sell his snowblower on Kijiji, so he wrote a pretty creative ad hoping to stick out from the rest of the ads and grab somebody’s attention.

At last viewing, he was up to over 400,000 views.  Yes…almost half a million views (the record for any one Kijiji ad is 500,000 so he’s definitely got that within reach).

As of yesterday, he had:

  • multiple radio interviews
  • multiple newspaper and web interviews/stories
  • a few television interviews (!!)
  • over 50,000 re-links to the ad on Facebook

In addition, he had over 1,400 emails (!!) that included:

  • job offers
  • requests for dates
  • requests to teach people to write ads
  • marriage proposals (!!!)
  • some speculation as to whether he was running some kind of scam
  • and buried deep, deep down, even a few actual offers to buy the snowblower

So as yesterday came to a close, he had finally sold the snowblower. After discussions with Kijiji, they have allowed the ad to remain up due to the heavy traffic. It’s been an unbelievable one-week viral whirlwind.

This is the type of story that you couldn’t hope to create if you really tried. That’s what makes viral so fun most of the time; normal people doing abnormal things that make the rest of the world interested.

Believe me…I would LOVE to be able to write something like that and get that type of response. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been highlighted three times as Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com, and that has been great for readership.  But 400,000 views and 1,400 responses??? I can only imagine the web-traffic that could generate going forward.

Want to read what the hype is all about?  Please…click on the picture below to enlarge it, sit back and relax, then soak in the fun ramblings of a creative writer who simply wanted to sell his snowblower.

I feel like I’m part of a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon situation, only I’m only one degree away from a Canadian internet celebrity!!

My Dad’s Loud Outdoor Holiday Music

My dad’s a big fan of the holidays (even though it’ll be tough this year without mom for the first time). One of the things he enjoys doing is adding music to his lights outside. The thing that makes me laugh (and hence, the reason for this post) is that he usually has music BLARING outside all day and in the evening until about 11pm.

As I mention in the video, he knows it’s loud enough when the neighbours complain.

Heh.

So forgive the mo (that thing’s getting shaved REAL soon), but enjoy the quick video I made last night of my dad’s REALLY loud outdoor holiday music.

10 Things Making Me Smile Today

I’ve been in need of a smile lately. Badly.

So I spent some time last night looking around for reasons to smile and laugh and try to get my swagger back.  Trust me…it didn’t take long to find ten things and I ended up smiling a lot.

Hopefully you will, too…

1. Apparently November 17th was “Facebook Unfriend Day”. I had no idea, but thanks to Jimmy Kimmel and Biz Markie…now I know (and so do you!):

2.Tebowing.  Y’know, I’m not the biggest fan of Tim Tebow in the world, but I think the dude is a winner and I can appreciate why the NFL goes all crazy when talking about it…whether it be negative or positive. And while I initially thought that “Tebowing” was a ridiculous concept along the lines of “planking“, the sheer global span of this silly NFL-based photo-meme has got me pretty impressed.

You don’t have to “get it”…but you can certainly sit back and smile at the nonsense of it all. Just check out some of the places world-wide that “Tebowing” has been documented:

The Coliseum in Rome
Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Stonehenge

3. I’ve never been a very active kind of guy (shocker, I know), so even the thought of “parkour” is way beyond what I’d ever be capable of. But just try to sit back and not be absolutely blown away by what this young man is able to do with his body. It’s simply incredible:

4. Ummm…this made me laugh out loud at work today. Crude but funny.

For the record, I LOVE Sunshine's cooking!!

5. You all know that I’m a slight fan of the camera.  I can only wish that I had the patience to take a picture of myself every single day not just for one year, but for over FOUR years.  This is simply awesome…

6. Trust me…the $39.50 price tag seems a bit steep and it’s not within my budget, but knowing there is a CARBONITE CARRYING CASE makes this Han Solo flash drive pretty effin’ awesome.

7. I may have mentioned once or twice before that I not only love the US version of the X-Factor, but I first started watching the UK version of the X-Factor (the original show that inspired American Idol) last year and have continued to watch it this season, as well. During last season, one of my favorite performers was a spark-plug named Cher Lloyd. She was young and original…singing and rapping and was completely different than anything else I’d ever seen or heard.

She didn’t win the competition but was the first to come out with a hit single (the winner’s single didn’t do quite as well). Because I’m not up to date on the UK pop charts as much as I should be (insert sarcastic smiley here), I didn’t know that the single was released back in July and only heard it last week for the first time. I gotta be honest…I may be 39 but I’m absolutely LOVING this song. To me, it’s like a younger, newer version of Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” without being that annoying.

8. Ummm…I don’t care who this is or why it’s there. At the end of the day, there is NO REASON why a Buzz Lightyear toy should be up somebody’s ass. At all.

9. Listen…I’m not the biggest Nickelback fan in the world, but I am, indeed, a fan. I know that everybody and their dog (seemingly) hates them because it’s the “cool” thing to do, but I really enjoy their music and to me that’s the bottom line.

They are scheduled to perform tomorrow night during the big Green Bay / Detroit Thanksgiving NFL game at halftime, and there has been a TON of backlash from NFL fans.  So Funny or Die decided to try to take advantage of the situation. 

And really…why not? You gotta check it this:  NICKELBACK RESPONDS!

10. And finally there’s me. Seriously…most of the day I forget I even have this bloody moustache on my face. Then I go to use the washroom and get startled when I look in the mirror. It’s fun, it’s silly, and it’s ridiculous.

So what about you? Anything out there helping YOU smile today?

Working Through It

Last night I hit a pretty low point. I felt exacerbated…lost…broken. I haven’t felt that way in a very long time.

The cause is mainly financial in nature. I feel as though my finances will never change while in my current situation. I feel as though I’m going to have to make the decision to leave the city I live in (and thus, leave my son) and move to be with Sunshine in order for both of our lives to truly get on track.

Money’s tight…and it only seems tougher when the holidays are around.

But I know I’m not alone. I know that there are others out there battling each and every day to make ends meet. I know that some people won’t be able to afford anything for Christmas for their children.

So while I’m in a tough spot financially, I’ve got a roof over my head and food on the table for myself and my son. I’ve got the love of a beautiful woman and her two awesome girls. I may not have much for Christmas in terms of gifts, but I’ll have love overflowing…and I need to realize that’s the greatest gift I can give or receive.

The thing that really got me last night, though, was this upcoming weekend. It’s my anniversary with Sunshine. Three years of long-distance love.

THREE YEARS.

My problem was that she really wanted to do something to celebrate…going out to dinner and dressing up and celebrating a fantastic achievement (i.e. making a long-distance relationship work).  However, since I’m not in a financial position to do that, the money issue would fall on her.  I’m trying to not be overly old-school here, but I feel tremendous guilt when she is the one picking up the tab. I feel even more guilt knowing that she’s not in the greatest financial shape, either.

So that guilt all came to a head last night.

Sunshine felt this. She hates seeing me like this. She hates knowing that I’m battling demons and issues and can’t seem to fight them because they always come back to fight me again. She also hates knowing that I bring most of this all on myself…my “need to self-destruct” seems to always be my number one battle and she can’t understand (nor can I) why I do it.

She actually offered to give up our weekend together. She said that the money I saved on gas for the trip could be better spent on Christmas gifts for my two kids. Out of anger or out of compassion, she was willing to make that sacrifice for me.

I slept on her offer.

I woke up this morning feeling like I had a bit more clarity. I felt like I was prepared to tackle whatever the world wanted to throw at me.  I also couldn’t imagine not spending our anniversary weekend together.

So I’ve made the choice to go to Halifax this weekend to be with the love of my life. I’ve made the choice to enjoy every single moment that we’re together, regardless of what it is that we do or who is picking up the check. I’ve made the choice that I will not let stress run my life…that I will make smart decisions over the coming weeks that will allow me the opportunity to enjoy the holidays, not fall into depression because of them.

I’ve got a lot of issues that I’m trying to work on. It’s been a rough year…between having to move to a house I really don’t enjoy to losing my mother because of cancer to putting on a brave face as my father became engaged to another woman only months afterwards. I realize that I haven’t been myself and I have made choices that gave me “instant gratification” or “comfort” instead of smart choices that would help me over the long haul.

I’m working through it, though. I really am. I’m trying, anyway…and I guess that’s all I can continue doing. I just can’t let it defeat me.

Movember: Second Update

Is this thing over yet?

Seriously…this moustache is really getting out of control.

When last I updated you on the status of my Movember mo, things were filling in nicely. I wasn’t a huge fan of growing it, but I figured it was only going to be for a month and then it’ll be gone.

Here is how things have progressed since…

By Movember 11th, the hair was growing to the point where I could see it without using a mirror.  Mind you, I needed some assistance to do it:

By the time Movember 12th came around, I was really thinking that this was going to be a good thing. I mean c’mon now…it’s looking like it’ll be a pretty bad-ass stache!

By the time I spent my first Movember weekend with Sunshine, she didn’t seem too impressed at all:

Still undeterred after the weekend, I was telling myself that this was going to be great!!

At this point, Sunshine had come up with a new nickname for me. She figured since I looked like an 80’s porn star, I should have an 80’s porn star name.  Thus, the introduction of BUCK COCKMAN!!!

By the time Movember 18th came around, hairs were flying all over the place and it was becoming a bit uncomfortable to wear.

As of today, the stache is still there and I’m still not really thrilled with it. It’s big…it’s bushy…and to be 100% honest, I can’t wait for the month to be over.

I’ll do one more update on where my Mo stands before the month is over, but in the meantime if you feel like donating to a worthy cause, please feel free to check out my Movember website:

http://mobro.co/toddiscanadian

I never thought I’d want December to get here so quickly….

Molding A Musical Mind

Music is one of my passions in life…whether it’s classic rock or hip hop or even a club tune, I’m just a massive fan of music in general as it means so much to me.

As I see Ankle Biter listening to various music on the radio and in my car (of different genres), I thought I’d take a quick look back at my own childhood thru to adulthood to see what music has truly molded my musical mind.

1. Double Platinum – KISS

I may have mentioned once or twice before that I am a long-time KISS fan. In fact, I went into great detail at one point explaining just how and why I became a fan. Needless to say, this album was the first one I ever owned and it completely changed my life. And it’s never been about the make-up, either…because at the time I didn’t even know they wore make-up. I was just a six-year-old kid fascinated by this incredible music that I was hearing.

From Strutter to Firehouse to Cold Gin to Deuce…this record is absolutely my all-time favorite and didn’t only make me a KISS fan, but it made me a music fan.

2. Hysteria – Def Leppard

Yes…I got caught up in the hysteria of this album when it released back in ’87. I thought there was a blueprint to how a hard rock record should sound. This, however, broke all stereotypes. Never had the “pop-rock-metal” fusion sounded so good. And it wasn’t just one a few songs, but the entire frickin’ album was great.

This album is one of those “never be able to top again” types but I’ll tell ya…it doesn’t get much better than the title track, Armageddon It, or the incredibly catchy Pour Some Sugar On Me. Just some great music all around.

3. Gordon – Barenaked Ladies

Okay…you may be asking yourself, “What? Really?” But for me, no other album spoke to me as a university student like this record.

Some people claim that they were a fan of a band from the very beginning. Well, in storage I’ve still got the independently released cassette that they sold before they got a record deal. So yeah…I’ve been a fan of this band since the very beginning.

This album spoke to me because it was catchy…it was fun…and the songs were written from the perspective of somebody my own age. Hello CityWhat a Good BoyBrian WilsonIf I Had $1,000,000…each of these songs meant something to me.

Useless trivia fact: I first grew a goatee because I wanted to look more like Steven Page after watching this video.

4. Dookie – Green Day

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve listened to this record. Again, this was a band whose record spoke to me…and again, it was primarily because we were the same age and the songs grabbed my attention like a slap in the face.

I had heard a few songs from their previous record, Kerplunk, while in university and was immediately intrigued. It wasn’t until I heard the first few power chords of Basket Case, however, that I really felt that I needed to pay attention to this band.

I went to a shrink
To analyze my dreams
She says it’s lack of sex
That’s bringing me down
I went to a whore
He said my life’s a bore
So quit my whining cause
It’s bringing her down

Maybe I didn’t know how depressed I actually was at the time, but at a time when bands like Nirvana was making depression “hip”, Green Day made things real in a very fun, cool-sounding way (isn’t that what punk music is supposed to be about?). Songs like Basket Case, When I Come Around, She (my personal favorite), and Longview all made me believe in rock music again.

5. Reckless – Bryan Adams

Okay…to some of you this might be a bigger surprise than the Barenaked Ladies choice. But to me, Bryan Adams epitomizes everything that is great about rock’n’roll.

One man…a t-shirt…jeans…a guitar…melody…a catchy hook…a chorus you can sing to…a beat.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Bryan Adams has yet to release a bad record. And much like Waking Up The Neighbours (a very close second pick to Reckless), this record was awesome from the first song to the last.

Run To You, Heaven, Summer of ’69, Kids Wanna Rock, Somebody…I can’t just pick out one fantastic song as my favorite.

I don’t care what anybody says…this album rocked my teenage years.

~~~~~~~~~~

What about you? What albums shaped your life growing up?