Friday, May 25, 2007

My meat streak....

No, the above title to this blog entry has nothing to do with me running around pantsless. It does however, refer to me having won meat 5 weeks in a row at the Grand Forks Legion Meat Draw. Now normally, I wouldn't crow about spending my Saturdays at the Legion gambling with Pensioners on hunks of Meat but I've won meat 5 freaking weeks in a row!

And not just any old hunk o' beef, but top grade stuff like a whole turkey! Yes, Yes, I know that's poultry, but please let's not get technical here, I'm on a streak baby! So this Saturday I walk into Branch 59 with my head held high, and Joe DiMaggio like assurance that the streak will continue. Should I win, and continue to win weeks after, I will provide lovely photos of all my meat winnings! Aren't you guys excited??

Now if the Legion only had some single ladies under the age of 54....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On coaching drunks...

Thanks to my good friend Brian McGraw I've been roped into coaching T-Ball. T-Ball are 4-6 year olds playing Baseball off of a, you guessed it, tee. At first I was just an emergency fill in coach, but that was 4 practices ago! I am now a full time coach for T-Ball commissioner Brian McGraw who rules over Tuesdays and Thursdays with an Iron thumb of learning and fun!

And I must say I am amazed at how fun it is! First off forget anything about actually coaching. It is more like you are in charge of 11 drunken midgets all doing their own thing.

"Okay Bobby, you stand here. And Lisa you go over t..... No Bobby back here buddy! Great, don't move! Now Lisa were gonna move yo...No Bobby don't climb that fence you go over here where I showed you, okay big guy? Now Lisa, you c... Bobby! Over here Pal!"

And it goes on like that for about 15 minutes, and then once you have them all set up, Commissioner McGraw signals it's time for them to do something completely different.

It is very rewarding, as the kids are always smiling and they get better every time out. Could do with more single Moms though...

Hey I bet you're all wondering when the big ceremonial induction dinner is for Legion Branch #59 right? Well you all have to come and see me become 'official', I'll take no excuses...

Saturday June 2nd
Legion Branch #59 in Grand Forks
Drinks start at 5pm sharp!
It's pot luck so please bring a pot or some luck.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

One of the best....

I'm a lucky guy in the sense that I have a wonderful family who love and care for me. I'm even luckier that, in addition to a great family, I have not just one, but a handful of people I can call my 'best friend'. I may not have 3,417 friends on my or facebook page but in real life my small handful are some of the greatest people you will ever find, and no amount of 'friendship' on myspace would equal what I have with these 'best friends'.

Sadly, my current life situation has caused me to not be there for one of my best friends. I'm hoping I can say a few things about the man here, as I won't get the chance later this month when Mike Ciccone strolls down the aisle to marry his lovely bride, Rebecca Hall, on May 20th. Shortly after Mike popped the question to Rebecca he asked me to be his Best Man, and for a time I said I would, but for several personal reasons, I had to bow out. Mike was understanding and gracious and I know he thinks no less of me. But it doesn't change the fact I feel like I've let him down somewhat, and I should be there for him. So, I'd like to share a few things about Mike that I would have done at the big wedding, had I been able to attend.

Not many people know this but Mike will not help you move. If you don't want Mike to show up someplace, just tell him there is moving involved and he will not darken your doorway until the coast is clear. Mike will balk at my claim, but I can verify this from several sources, those several sources being my brother Jim. I'm not sure why Mike avoids helping people move. I think there is something in his genetic make up that causes a stammering, yet bewildering, auditory defense when asked to put boxes in trucks. I liken it to an Octopus who squirts his ink to confuse his attacker, and then quietly slips away unscathed.


“Hey Mike I need to move, can you help next Sunday?”

“Ahhh ....ummmm geeez,..... ahhh yeah I, uhhhh can't ummm make it, I.... ummm, have an appointment”

“You have an appointment on Sunday?”

“Yes. Gotta go!”

It's a phenomenon that must be investigated, but I fear much like the Sasquatch or the elusive Yeti, we will never truly understand it.

I can't actually remember the exact moment meeting Mike at BCIT in the fall of 1992. We were both taking Broadcast Communications (that's Radio for those not in the know) and I'm almost positive he was there from day one, but I can't say for sure because I didn't hear him speak until weeks after we'd been introduced. In fact, I know he barely spoke to anyone, until one day, when I was being my usual loudmouth self, no doubt trying to impress a girl in our class, and in my attempt I screwed up whatever it was I was trying to do. Mike spoke up with a quick and clever jab at my gaff that caused the whole class to laugh at my expense. I turned to him, sighed, and said.... “I liked it better when you didn't speak!”

Outside of me being a bit loud and Mike a bit quiet I quickly realised Mike and I were very much alike in many ways. Almost scary alike actually, to the point where I can't even recall ever seeing a movie with Mike, and disagreeing on what we thought of it (And we have gone to hundreds together). In fact to illustrate this point of like mindedness, there is a website called where you type in your all time top 20 favourite films, and then your list is compared with other people from all over the world giving you a top ten of whom you share the most movies in common with. Well, out of however many millions of people who had listed their favourite films on this site, I was amazed to see a Mike Ciccone from Abbotsford, BC clocking in at #3 on my top ten. What are the odds?

We became fast friends at BCIT sharing our love for movies, music, Baseball, David Letterman and many other forms of amusement far too nerdy to list here. Quickly we were teaming up writing gags, or 'bits' as we called them, for our radio shows, comedy routines, skits or whatever else popped into our heads. Later on in our lives we even made a movie together. The film had everything ... Mike wrestling a horrible Space Alien, Mike being electrocuted to death, Mike walking down the street with a tin foil space suit on, oh and there's also a scene where I have sex with a chair.... don't ask. Send me the right amount via paypal and I will post it on the internet....

I know in something like this you are supposed to have a few funny stories about your times together but to tell the truth there are sooo many things I can't even begin to pick just one thing. I mean we've done so much together where would I start? We've been to Las Vegas a few times, we've done day trips to Seattle, been all over small town BC, seen countless Vancouver Canadians games, Got locked in the Metrotown parking garage after hours and couldn't get out! We even shared season tickets to the Vancouver Grizzlies for all but one season of their short existence. In fact Mike and I met the nicest person ever at those games.

Our seats at GM Place were on the second level, dead center, two rows up, and we always sat next to the same lady (who it turned out was an African-American, motherly, ex-Californian police officer named Rena), we would share a nice smile at the beginning of the game with Rena, but pretty much ignore her when tip off rolled around. Well, a few weeks into the season listening to Mike and I talk Basketball, and deciding we actually knew what we were talking about, Rena turned to Mike and I and asked 'How the heck do two white boys from Canada know so much about Basketball?' We made sure our seats were next to Rena every season after.

Mike and I have so many running jokes and do them sooo often that we actually had to retire some because they were even making us sick. Somewhere in the ether of space hang banners of jokes worn out with over use. Lord knows how annoying they were to people around us. For instance Mike would call me up and ask what I'm doing, and I'd reply truthfully about the video game I happened to be playing ...

“I'm playing Ultima, it's where you have to get this magical sword to destroy an evil dragon that is killing everyone in the land”

Mike, without hesitation, would say “Wow that sounds like an awesome video game”

And on cue I'd reply... “Game?”.

Now you kind of understand why we 'retired' these things...

Despite the fact I now live far away I know Mike will still always be there for me. When I was diagnosed with a severe depression disorder some time ago, Mike would call and come over as much as he could, which wasn't easy, because by now he lived all the way out in Squamish. But, he'd still make the trek to my lovely downtown Surrey apartment to check in with me. He'd ask me where I needed to go, take me to the grocery store, then to the Comic Book shop (as he knew I liked my comics), buy us some pizza, watch a movie with me, and most important of all, listen to my problems. He didn't have to do this as he was seeing a pretty young thing named Rebecca at the time (Although I don't think I was yet allowed to tell anyone they were dating) and seeing me took away from his time with her. That's not easy to do when young love is blooming. I may not have seemed very appreciative at the time, as I was in a horrible state, but it meant a lot to me.

I can honestly say you'd be hard pressed to find a funnier, smarter, kinder or more loyal friend then Mike Ciccone. This is a man I look up to and respect, and I know Rebecca is well aware of how lucky she is so she doesn't need me to say it. I love him like my own brother. I know there isn't anything I wouldn't do for him as I know there is nothing he wouldn't do for me.... except help me move.

Good luck Mike and Rebecca, I wish I could be there to help celebrate your big day....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This one's for the ladies....

Getting many requests for pictures of me in my underwear from the female readers and I'm not one to disappoint the fairer sex. This Picture of me was taken last week... take it all in ladies!

Monday, May 07, 2007

This crazy thing called facebook the kids are all talking about...

So a week or so ago my good friend Mike Ciccone sends me an email and says "sign up to Facebook" nothing more, nothing less. I go to this Facebook website and since I tend to do most of what Mike says (Although a few times I've had to say 'NO that's just WRONG!') I start putting in my personal info and add that nice picture of handsome ol' me you see over there to your right.

When I'm all set up, it tells me to add a friend so I add Mike Ciccone, and Bada Bing, I see all of Mikes friends that, lo and behold, happen to be many of my friends also. Then I start typing in names from the past, and BOOM, here's an ex-girlfriend I haven't talked to in 16 years, BAM, here's my good friend Geoff who I lost contact with forever and a day ago and so on, and so on. And if that weren't cool enough, people who I hadn't yet looked up, start to find me first and ask ME to be added to their friends list.... people from High School, people from College, you get the picture.

So whats the point to all of this... well nothing really, but it's been very cool to talk to several people I haven't seen in years. And since I have a bit o' time on my hands here in the Forks I have set up several coffee dates with Facebook friends as they march on through Grand Forks during the summer. Oh, there is a caveat to Facebook, and thats while I have been lucky to find many friends from my past, the majority of people on the site were born after I graduated High School, but hopefully it will grow and more people remember to look me up! So what are you waiting for go and sign up, but don't forget to add me!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

On what to do in a small town.....

Well I'm back here where I grew up, Grand Forks, BC. Now what do I do? Well, thats a question I have mulled over for the last two months... what exactly do you do in a small town? I'm not a young guy anymore so going off and hitting the bars every night is out. there's not a whole lot of single women here to chase. The movie theater isn't exactly up to THX standards, and there's only a handful of people I know that still live here (But it's a fantastic handful)... so what to do?

Well to start off I joined the Grand Forks Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch #59 if you are scoring at home). I think I may be the youngest member but you know, that's okay because it's actually kind of fun. I'm all official with an actual Legion membership card and everything (Okay, my name was spelled wrong but I'm used to that by now)! So far, the Saturday Meat Draw is the only event I take place in (Won BIG last Saturday!) but I have been told by the higher up's that they 'have plans' for me. What those plans are I have no idea. Every week I keep asking when all the hot single women will show up to the Legion lounge, but everyone just says "Ummm, that's next week Gregg' then they pat me on my head and send me on my way. I'll keep you posted on all my Legion goings on and also WATCH THIS SPACE for info on my induction ceremony and dinner. It's were I get sworn in and all that good stuff. All my friends and family are hereby ordered to attend.... Date and time will be coming soon!

One thing I miss about the big city are my weekly batch of new comics. Yes in this small town of GF our old comic book shop 'Landmark Comics & Gifts' dropped the comics part about 15 years ago and I have to rely on a random five or six issues on magazine racks once a month. When you are a nerd like me, this STINKS! When I was a kid the drug stores here had HUGE circular racks full of comic goodness...but alas no longer. In fact I only know of three or four places in GF that even carry comics anymore. Hey, if you live in the boundary country and know of a place that sells comics, email me and let me know where! Now, no doubt there are various mail order places on the internet, and when I get more settled I'll look into getting back into new comic goodness in that fashion. Until then however, I have to hunt and peck my way through drug store shelves for a gem here and there.

So other than comics and meat, I'm trying to keep busy by visiting the few people in town I still know, and I'm walking (almost) every morning with my Dad through this very pretty little city. I had forgotten how good the silence is. When you go for a walk and all you hear are birds, and maybe a slight breeze, you don't get that in Surrey.

So please, if you can, come visit or call me. I have a new phone number and email. Drop me a line HERE , say hello and I'll give you the digits. WORD!

Crap I almost forgot...... before I go I want to say a very late congratulations to my good friend Marlies Dick (See pic below) who at the age of, well let's just say, just over 40, has become a Constable in the RCMP. It's hard enough to do it when you are a young whipper snapper, but to do it when you are a little older (NO, Marlies I'm not calling you old), have 4 kids, and a demanding husband is simply unheard of. I am sooo proud of Marlies. The RCMP just got a good person and it looks a little prettier now too! Way to go!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I can't believe I used to eat this shit....

Chocolate Peanut Butter.... I used to eat Chocolate freaking Peanut Butter. And not just once in a while but a LOT! I loved Kraft's Koogle and I think for a short time I felt it was even better than actual Peanut Butter. I thought of this food today because I was just thinking how we change, and how things evolve, because I've certainly done some changing and evolving as of late. I have moved from beautiful downtown Surrey to my old hometown of Grand Forks, BC as of March. Why the change? Well faithful readers of this blog (And yes I do still get emails about this blog) were no doubt left in the lurch by my rather dramatic last post here in December.... so here goes.

I'm back in GF to 'find myself' as it were, and looking for a change, a change I should have done some time ago. Things were just stagnant, and I wasn't getting better in my, once fun filled, apartment in Surrey. I had to go to a place and be closer to people who I loved, and loved me, a place where I had no choice but to be sociable and interact. Soooo, I'm here now and surrounded by loving family and friends who have helped me feel better about life, and more importantly, feel better about myself. I won't name names, but if I've been hanging around you for more than an hour at a time since I've been back in GF you've been a big help to my self-confidence and well being. Thank you all.

So what does the future hold? I don't know, and for the first time in two years I'm not going to worry about it. Huh? What was that? What does Koogle have to do with ANY of this? Well I don't really know, but I would LOVE to taste the stuff again today just to see what kind of crap I used to love as a kid!

I'll post more... and I hope you come back and read more.

Oh, one last thing. I've got a new email and I urge all of you to email me today!