June 17 – bender helpers

328/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  With a lot of these gratitude posts, I’ve been pretty raw and at times self-deprecating.  No one can accuse me of not being honest within these gratitude posts.  In writing this post, I have to once again be honest with myself and not put myself in a great light.  Every couple of years, because of some special event and being with friends, I will imbibe much more than my fair share.  In the moment, I am enjoying life and then Freudian psychology comes into play – my Id dominates my Superego and bullies my Ego and I give in to the indulgences of whatever might be the drink du jour.  I’m glad though that this happens only rarely (perhaps once every two to four years) or else Freud would be having a field day analyzing me 😉  I am also glad that my Id (hidden but true nature) when it comes out is a loving, happy-go-lucky guy rather than what some are – mean, angry drunks.   But what is more important is all the people who have had my back when I’ve had way too much.  Any number of them could just turn their backs as I am an adult male but time and time again, I have made it home safely because of the caring people that I surround myself with who go out of their ways to get me on my way.  Yes, I sometimes cringe when I recall some of those nights but it’s important to do so.  As I said, fortunately, I don’t have to regret any of my actions towards others on those occasions as I am a good guy at heart but some of my antics, however, humorous are embarrassing when they are relayed to me but hey, if I can provide a little entertainment at my own expense, I guess I can’t complain because that’s the least I can do for all of those that care enough to get me back home in one piece and make sure I am okay.  Yes, you have to unwind (maybe not to that extent) but it’s so nice to know that all my life I’ve had people looking out for me when I have.  Thank you all (you know who you are) for being my bender helpers and getting this guy home in one piece and safely – so very much appreciated.

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June 3 – bottoms up

314/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. If you know me personally, contrary to what you may think, I did not start drinking alcohol until my early to mid 20s – yes, surprise, surprise! It just never interested me. My dad rarely drank and my mom never did. Yes, I had uncles who did but their love of Crown Royal and Johnny Walker did not filter on down to me. Thus during family parties, I never drank as I was not fond of the drinks of choice and I absolutely hated the taste of beer. When I did imbibe, it was usually sweet drinks such as coolers but those weren’t even on the radar of my relatives. Fast forward to my mid 30s and friends introduced me to the fact that you could make amazing drinks called cocktails and martinis and alcohol didn’t have to taste bitter! I still didn’t like getting drunk for the sake of getting drunk – yes, it would happen on the odd occasion but that was and has never been my intention.   Jump into my early 40s and because of my wife’s work parties, and the fact that I had a few female teacher friends, I was introduced to the world of wine.   At first, I just drank Merlots. Then I took a course on wine-tasting and then another and the gentleman running it introduced me on how to properly enjoy wine. I now know what I do like and what I don’t all under $20!! Finally, in my late 40s, I discovered craft beer. It wasn’t very much to my liking initially but I soldiered on. Three years later and I am a connoisseur – I know my IBUS, I know the different from a sessional and a saison, I know what a small batch is – I feel cultured 😉 All thanks to some really cool male friends. As I enter into my 50s, who knows who will influence my choice of beverages but if I was a betting man, I think I will be introduced to the world of Scotches and Bourbons. Thank you to all the people who have refined my palate to be a sophisticated drinker rather than one who drinks just for the sake of it! Cheers to you!

December 12 – friends in high places

141/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I am very fortunate that I have some good friends. I’m not the type of guy that hangs with the same group of friends all the time though. I guess because of my eclecticity (I just made up a word 😉 ), I have several different friends. I have my gym friends, I have my after Friday beer boys, I have my school teacher friends, I have my family friends, in addition to singletons and others that I hang out with. I am very thankful that I have such a wide social circle and really appreciate the good times I have with each and every one. One group, that in itself is very eclectic, is made up of myself and three others. We all met during our teaching careers at Burnett and socialized here and there but in the last 5 years, we have made a concerted effort to get together at least three times a year minimum. We are a diverse crew: former Chemistry teacher, former English teacher, current Art teacher and myself, current Psychology and Marketing teacher. One of these group members has been a very kind and supportive friend to me nearing 15 years. I first met Kirsten as this ultra cool, hip, blonde new art teacher. We fast became friends even though we didn’t really hang outside of the school environment. I loved walking into her class to look at what her students were doing, what Kirsten herself was working on or just to hang and chat – and she had no problem whenever I popped by as anytime was a good time. Surprisingly, we became much better and closer friends when I left the school in 2009 to go work at the University of British Columbia. That’s when all four of us started to make an effort to get together as we were no longer bound by the same institutional walls. Kirsten is always a positive person, has a kind demeanour, and a supportive word plus a wicked sense of humour – I can just sit back and listen to her tell her stories and be enthralled. Thank you buddy for being such an amazing friend thus far and I look forward to many more decades of friendship. In your honour, I toast you with a $15 martini!! 🙂