Underwear Heroes!

It’s almost time!! This will be the 4th year I’ll be running in the Underwear Affair, a 10k run benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation. It’s an amazing time with great people and an awesome route around the False Creek seawall on a sunny afternoon in my ginch, a way better route than the Sun Run (not to mention there are ZERO kids darting in front of you in every which direction and ZERO slow people to maneuver around. Sometimes, I just want to kick the feet out from them when they run in front of me so I can watch them fall flat on their faces. “Hey kid, if you’re gonna cut me off, expect to get bum rushed you little piece of *@#$&!” ok I’m just kidding…….maybe. but the thought does cross my mind! Justsayin..)

The last few years, I’ve always done the run by myself but this year I have a team behind me! – i mean, beside me! I’m sure they don’t wanna stare at my butt the whole 10k. Last year I ran in white shorts with black boxers and yeah, you guessed it, by the end of the run my shorts were translucent and I might as well had run in my boxers to begin with. It was probably the better idea since at the starting line, I was very over dressed compared to all the other naked runners! There was a guy in a chicken suit, guys in banana hammocks, girls wearing knee high socks and neon short shorts and not that I followed them for a few minutes (really for 6k) or anything but there was a group of 4 women in white lace bra and panties with angel wings. GAHHH…great cause, great route, great bonuses!

This year, my team the Underwear Heroes, are all suiting DOWN into our tighty colorful whiteys all emblazoned with superhero emblems. Much more aerodynamic than sweat soaked white cargo shorts. The run is the fun part, but the best part is knowing that we’ve done something good for the less fortunate. My very own little sister was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few years back and with the help of medicine, technology and an extremely positive and happy outlook, she hero’d through and kicked cancers ass. You never know how close it hits until it hits your own home.

Brandon, Will, Me, Robbie, Janet and Ray (missing Gracie)

I’m a big believer in ‘Give and Receive’ when it comes to everything in life. Nothing comes without a cost, small or large,  but the more you give out, the more you’ll receive in one way or another. So instead of simply asking for donations this year, we threw two events that has raised us over 5 grand so far making us the top 5 teams out of 80+ for the event.

Our first event was at Barcelona along with the Pure Image Entertainment guys (Thanks homies!) where we raised money from ticket and bar sales. Over 100 of our friends came down to party, drink and support the cause.

Our second event was a BBQ Sportsday at Gordon Park which was a giganticmungous success. We ran out of food halfway throughout the day and had to make a run to the grocery store. Close to 200 people came and went throughout the day and at one point we had both volleyball courts going, a game of touch football next to it and a game of ultimate Frisbee at the same time! Thanks to my buddys Vince and Jesse for DJ’ing at the BBQ. The music was extremely loud and incredibly awesome. (We had ONE complaint that the bass was too booming, but we turned her around and sold her a hotdog and she left happily supporting our cause!)

The run’s coming up in 2 weeks! Thanks everyone for supporting and you can still donate to our cause here: http://va12.uncoverthecure.org/site/TR?team_id=49950&fr_id=1233&pg=team

Wish us luck! After all the drinking and bbqing, our team is envisioning slogging through the run and crawling past the finish line. But WE WILL FINISH! HOO RAH!!

Thanks to everyone who supported us, donated to us and sponsored us. Without you, none of this would be possible! *Bow*

Vancouverites Suck

I was born and raised in Vancouver, a true Vancouverite by nature. I drink beer, I play hockey and love the outdoors. I run the seawall, hike the Grouse Grind and never miss a Canucks game if I can help it. I wear jeans and a hoody to my office job (My CEO wears shorts and sandals all year), live and play in Yaletown and you can always find me on a beach or park when it’s nice out.

I’m also cliquey, a little stuck up, too quick to judge and have been told I’m a little unapproachable. I will be guilty of not remembering your name or face until I’ve met you 3 times, not because my memory sucks (although it does) but because I don’t bother trying. Unfortunately, that is the entire culture of Vancouverites as we are seen looking from the outside in.

For those of us lucky enough to be immersed into this environment at an early age, we gain and build solid friendships with those like us. For those who have moved into Vancouver from other cities, even ones in the vicinity like Abbotsford or Victoria, it becomes an almost impossible task to build that foundation of friends, especially if you’re starting fresh with no introductions or ties into any groups. And that’s just with the same sex. It’s even harder with the opposite.

All together, yet seperated.

When you look at trying to meet Vancouver women, I find mostly that one of the first things that they’ll ponder is “who do you know.” It’s almost a social status contest, where if you don’t know anybody in this town, it’s like you’re nobody. And if you’re somebody, they’ll date you for just who you are known as, without really caring much or putting much weight on who you actually are. You’ll only meet them if you’re a friend of a friend. Vancouver girls are especially guilty of this in my experience. I have a lot of single girl friends, older (between the ages of 26 and 30) most successful, beautiful, driven and ambitious, knows what they want and aren’t afraid to go get it. But they’re all single. It’s not that they can’t meet guys, they have plenty of suitors knocking on their doors, but then after a little while, all the guys start running, scared. These girls are intimidating. They know their worth and they portray that persona, or even worse, they think they’re something that they’re not and try to portray a false persona. As one of them said to me one time, “I can do everything myself. I pay my own rent, I bought my own BMW, and I work my ass off for everything that I have. I don’t need a man, I just want one.” Now, guys, what do you do when you meet a girl like this? You run. It’s great that you’re independent, and it’s amazing that you are driven and a go-getter. Girl power all the way, woo. The one important piece that you’re forgetting is that Men NEED to be Men. (Ok SOME men do. There will always be the standard deviation.) We like to be needed sometimes, we like it that sometimes, you’re helpless and call us to save you. Let us be the Knight we’ve all grown up hearing about. We like to play that role that we were born to play, so when you start messing around with the dynamics, we get lost and we run. We do this because you will continually remind us that we are not needed, because we see that you will flaunt your independence and self-sustainability in front of our faces. I’m in no means saying to be wholly dependent either, but I know a few girls who completely over-do it. We know that you will continually judge us, talk about us to your girlfriends and complain how there’s no ‘good guys in town’. We know that if there’s a problem, your first reaction will be to fight back and argue to gain your ego as opposed to looking inwards to see what the problem really is. Chivalry isn’t dead, he just high tailed and left because you flaunt your disdain for him.

When a new guy approaches you, your first reaction will be “I not talking to him. He can’t pick me up. I’m not that easy. What a creep. I can’t believe he even had the audacity to say hi to me.” As opposed to “seems like a normal guy, let’s just chat with him to see what kind of person he is.” Most of the time, I talk to random strangers just to incite some sort of human interaction, whether it’s a girl or guy, old or young, I have no interest in dating you, I just want to pass my life on earth interacting with interesting people when I’m out. But Vancouverites seem to think that every interaction is a door to something that they want no part of, even before they know what’s behind that door. My friends just told me a story, that her and her girl friends go out all the time for drinks, dressed to the 9’s. New outfit, new shoes, hair did and all. Then she tells me they go to a lounge in yaletown and just bitch about how there’s no guys around. I asked her “was it all girls in the lounge?” she said “no, but all the guys there look weird so we didn’t bother.” That’s a common response, a common Vancouver answer. Girls if you want to find a decent guy, you’ll need to strike out a few times. Some WILL be weird. I apologize on behalf of the male sex that not many of us are normal, actually, none of us are. But none of you are either, so we’re fair on that one. Not everyone’s for you, but you’ll never know until you step up to bat.

I visited Toronto a few years back, and I was shocked at the difference in culture on the East coast. I was at a club with 3 of my girl friends and we were standing by the bar, bobbing our heads and enjoying the music. They were flanking me, on either side. In Vancouver, you can bet no one would come talk to me, especially other girls. I mean, which Vancouver girl would walk up to one guy with 3 girls? None. But in Toronto, I was approached by multiple people, guys and girls, who had no other ulterior motive than to chat with me, learn about where I was from (apparently I ‘stood and dressed like an out-of-towner’…it was probably my snobby Vancouver attitude.) and just to know another human being. It didn’t matter if I looked weird, and it didn’t matter if they were 5’s or 9’s. It was infinitely refreshing and I’ve tried to bring that attitude back home to Vancouver. The girls weren’t trying to hook up with me and none of the guys were staring me down. It was just a friendly, open and inviting conversation. One of the girls who came up to me eventually pulled her boyfriend over to meet me, and after a conversation around the Canucks and the Leafs, he bought us a round of shots. I was shocked! That’s what being a Canadian is all about, but in Vancouver, we’ve somehow forgotten that Northern hospitality that we’re so greatly known for around the world. I can say that I’ve had similar experiences in Chicago, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong and Hawaii and I’d love to see it here at home.

 

Change has to start somewhere. This is a cultural issue that every Vancouverite is aware of, but yet nobody does anything about. Start the change today. Make a point to talk to a random stranger, young or old, man or woman, if even something as short as saying hello on the skytrain, and maybe in time, we can make a shift in how we interact with each other in this cold, rainy, dark city. We’re alone and locked inside for the majority of the year but wouldn’t it be nice if when we were all together in a social place, that we are actually social? At best, you’ll gain great new friends like I have with my buddys from Abbotsford and Victoria. At worst, you’ll get a weird look. Screw those people anyways. What have you got to lose. Let’s start not sucking.

Chapters of Life

There’s no chapters in Life. No time to put the book down to reflect what just happened. No clear start and finish other than birth and death, and even then sometimes the lines seem blurred. Life just goes on, from one chapter to the next with no indication that a chapter is over. Sure when you graduate, get hired, get married, etc those are clearer starts to something that you could possibly define as new, but usually we won’t know that a chapter in your life is over until way well into the next one, when things are so different already that you finally notice a change in the color of your mood ring.

A lot of people, myself included, often make the mistake of waiting for the next chapter to begin, or waiting til this one is over. One of my friends knew he was going to get laid off a while back, perhaps even a year ago, that his position was going to become obsolete. Now he’s 2 months away and he’s still waiting for the axe to drop. His response? “I’ll figure it out.” I’m sure he will, but in the meantime he’s letting external factors control his life. Stop waiting and go do something. Change will happen whether you do something or not, but if you’re proactive, you can at least control the cange instead of being a victim of change. Think about all the different chapters in your lives. When you were in school. When you were dating your first boyfriend/girlfriend. When you were playing in the backyard as a child. Even last year, when you were single and now you’re not. When did you first notice that things weren’t the way they were? This will continue throughout your life until you die. I’ve been saying WTF at every turn of realization…

WTF…I actually graduated?! What happened in the past 4 years?! WTF…I’m doing this as a career?! I thought it’d be something else. WTF…I’m in a relationship?! How’d that happen, we were just hanging out everyday. WTF…I’m 30, single and no kids?! I thought I’d be 2 wives in and 5 kids by now. WTF…I have 3 kids?! I remember getting a dog, how did I end up with a family?!? WTF…I’m retiring? Wow, never thought this day would come. WTF…life is over?! what happened? Where did time go?

All those things you’re waiting for to happen probably won’t ever turn out as you thought. Tolle says “This too, shall pass.” that this moment, no matter how perfect or imperfect it is, won’t last. Don’t wait for the next chapter to start or end, because it’ll come and you won’t even know it, because it’ll come in a fashion that is completely different than what you’d expected. And why should it happen the way you want, when you’ve done nothing to help it along that path? Write your next chapter yourself, MAKE the start you want to see, MAKE the end you want to happen and be the author of your own life.

Alcoholic or Workoholic? Can I be both?!

Wow it’s been a busy month! It’s been a while since I posted so my apologies to all the blog readers who come expecting to see something. It’s disappointing I bet. Like going to the theatres expecting to watch a movie that you were waiting all week to go see and then having it be sold out. Then you have to figure out what to do now because you expected to spend the next 2 hours nomming on popcorn and spacing out watching some medieval guy cut up goblins (or watching some middle aged ladies try to recapture their youth by spending lots of money, sleeping with every guy under 30 and complaining about why they’re single. I mean, come on. It’s kind of obvious why you’re single. But in that case, maybe missing the movie is a good thing…) Either way! Sorry it’s been a while since my last posting. (maybe you don’t even care. you’re like…”wth, who’s this dude think he is comparing his blog to one of the best chick flicks ever…”)

I wish I could tell you that I travelled to the Bahamas and sipped on coconut juice while lounging on a hammock by the crystal blue and green ocean this past month. But I can’t, cuz I didn’t. I’ve eaten out alot this past month…is that worth mentioning? I love trying new restaurants; the ambiance, the food and service of somewhere new almost makes it like a mini-vacation in your own city as you’re experiencing something new. Other than eat out alot I havn’t really done much summery stuff. Alas, what I have to report as my reason of non-posting blog neglectance is that…*drum roll*… I’ve been working alot.

YAY…

Sad really, summers almost over and I havn’t done half of the things I wanted to do. But work hard and play hard I guess! (I’m just kidding…I don’t work or play hard…)

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

July 29th, 1979 plus 31 years

Lets dance a style

Lets dance for a while

Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies

Hoping for the best but expecting the worst

Are you going to drop the bomb or not

Let us die young or let us live forever

We don’t have the power but we never say never

Sitting in a sand pit life is a short trip

The music is for the sad man

Forever young, I want to be Forever young

Do you really want to live forever? And Ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1nbvplgElw&feature=related

The poster in my gym

Cancer

It’ll never happen to me. I see it on the news all the time but they’re just strangers. I hear about it but never really paid much attention to it. Those were all things I’d said before about cancer. It was like watching a movie on war in Iraq, it seems so surreal and fictional because it’s a world away, it’s not our neighborhood that is being bombed. It’s not us that’s doing the shooting, the killing, the dying. Unfortunately the soldiers coming home in body bags is very real and so is cancer. It’s an ugly, messy, dirty disease. My little sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma last week after months of illness.  

 It’s weird how much you notice something when it’s right there in front of your face. It’s not just in front of me now though. It’s screaming at me aggressively, dangerously close. I try to flinch and move away but I can’t, I’m stuck in this spot, this position and I can’t move. It’s like my feet are encased in solid cement and there is a heavy fog around me. I can feel it lurking just beyond my reach, snarling and growling, but I can’t see it and I’m helpless against it. I was scared and angry, emotionally drained. I can’t even begin to imagine how she must feel.

 

She’s the strongest person I know. She’s travelled around the world by herself and with friends and family and been to places I could only wish to visit one day in the far future. She talks about countries and experiences that are so foreign to me as if they were the neighborhood grocery store, with such familiarity and enthusiasm (yes she talks about food with the same excitement). Her career as a teacher drains her on a daily basis. She uses her talents and unending patience to teach special needs children and comes home with stories of her work days that would make my very worst days at the office seem like a tropical vacation on the isles of Hawaii, sipping on MaiTais and watching hula girls in grass skirts. She has 3 degrees and is almost finished her Masters program at UBC and aspires to become a student councilor, selflessly devoting her career to helping kids find their way in life. Even now, in the face of one of the most deadliest diseases in the world, she still smiles and jokes around, her soul full of spirit and the very example of a brave soldier. I admire her so much.

 

She’ll get better, she will. Her first treatment of chemotherapy was yesterday and she’ll have to undergo 5 more over the next several months. She’ll be weak and her immune system will be Hiroshima’d, but she’ll be strong again, well again. She’s too strong of a person to let a little thing like cancer bring her down. It’ll never happen to me, I once thought. I never expected it to happen to my sister, my family, someone so close to me. I’d donated to cancer funds before, ran in the Underwear Affair to help raise money for cancer research, but always was just doing those things for faceless strangers. As much as I don’t want it, I now have a face to run for, a name to put on my “I’m doing this for…” tag. My sister and I were reading a book on cancer last week and it stated 1 in 576000 will be struck by lightning, 1 in 67 people will die from a car accident and 1 in 3 will have cancer. Well, now I guess she doesn’t have to worry about being struck by lightning or dying in a car accident. She’s already paid her dues to the odds and she’ll beat it, all the while with a smile on her face and friends and family by her side.

Love Letter

Hi Baby,

…I just wanted to write and tell you that I miss you. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you or heard from you but I’m sure you think of me sometimes, as much as I think of you. It’s funny, how time seems to fly by these days. Sometimes it’s fun, others it’s not. I am always busy and keep myself that way and most of the time I try not to think about you, but you always seem to creep back into my mind at the oddest times. There’s so much I want to tell you about, so much I want to share with you. I want to tell you every single story of mine and make you laugh at me, with me. I want to hear all of your memories and watch you get excited at the happy ones and sad at the sad ones. But no matter how happy or sad you get, I want to be here with you. As independent as I am, you know I’ve never really been very good at taking care of myself. I’d much rather take care of someone else, and I seem to neglect myself in that process. You were always good at filling that part of me and taking care of me. We make a great team, don’t you think? Sometimes when I sleep, I picture you lying beside me, what you would look like as I stroke your hair, calming you to sleep. All these dreams are in my sleep and I wonder if you dream the same dreams.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. Been a while since I’ve embraced you and felt your arms around my shoulders tightly, never willing to let me go, always asking me to stay just 5 more minutes. The way you look at me when I have to go always makes me want to just drop everything and stay with you. But it’s hard to stay with you when I don’t even know you.

I have never met you.

I have never heard your voice.

We haven’t met yet. You’re just the girl in my dreams that makes me never want to wake up and when I do, I laugh at myself at how silly I’m being for thinking that maybe, just maybe if I dream hard enough you’ll appear one day. Maybe I’ll find you at Chapters, browsing through the fictions. Maybe I’ll accidently knock your coffee over at Starbucks, because you know how clumsy I am. Maybe randomly, our friends will introduce us. But until then, stay happy and keep dreaming. Until then, I’ll just meet you in our dreams and when you see me, you’ll recognize me.

Me