Friday, June 28, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Instalment #19

I hate Tupperware.  Tupperware in my opinion is good for two things:

1.  Keeping the food you didn't eat contained long enough for you to throw it out at a more convenient time.

2.  Tupperware bombing your spouse.

I get Tupperware bombed all the time.  I even do it to myself.  Looking in that awful cupboard where you store it, you see no other alternative than to place that last piece in ever so precariously, then pray the weight of the door you've just slammed on it holds it in place.  Then, the next person to open the door doesn't just get one piece dropped out onto  See, Tupperware has a unique physical property typically reserved only for unstable radioactive isotopes where if it's compressed, no matter how stable the structure is, there's a point where everything just goes to hell.  You open a Tupperware cupboard and it's like you've asked an emotional menopausal woman with abandonment issues how her day went.  You then look up to the sky, and shaking your fist a la James T Kirk, you scream the name of he/she who set you up.

Then, naturally plotting your revenge, you cram it all back in, close the door and wait.  Tupperware is a vicious cycle - stop the madness.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Instalment #18

I used to wake people up at night...a lot.  Well, I didn't, but their dogs did.  I was merely a catalyst.  See, when I was living in Japan, I was a young guy with lots of free time on his hands.  I went out a fair amount.  I often ended up coming home late, catching one of the last trains home if I was fortunate enough to make it in time.  Japanese houses are not the hermetically sealed giant Thermos boxes we live in here in North America.  No, while they are beautiful and ornate, walls are about as thick as wishful thinking and doors seem to amplify ambient sounds rather than muffle them.

So, did I shout?  Drag my feet aggressively?  Sing?  Kick things?  No...

I barked...quietly.

See - every house on the 3 minute walk from the train station to my apartment building seemed to have at least one dog.  And not giant slumbering laid back mutts either.  No, these were a series of small, yappy dogs, each more hi-strung than the next; a loaded gun with a hair trigger.  As I rounded one specific corner, all I had to do was let out one small quiet "ruff".  Barely audible, every time without fail it would set off a chain reaction that would see lights coming on all down the street that sounded like a kennel on bacon day.  I'd giggle uncontrollably the rest of the walk home and sleep peacefully to the sounds of whatever I had in my discman that day (remember those?) - oblivious to the escalating chaos I'd triggered all around me.

Fittingly, anyone who's been to my house in recent years knows that I'm continually reaping the payback I'd earned over those years.  I have the noisiest dogs of them all.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Instalment #17

I wanted to be the lead guitarist for New Kids On The Block.  Yeah...I could just stop right there - who needs to elaborate on that anyway?

I do.

Firstly, my whole life I've been a terrible judge of longevity and sustainability.  I thought these guys were going to be around forever....for EVER.  I wasn't a closet NKOTB rocker...I actually listened to some pretty cool music (I don't know anyone else my age who bought Licensed to Ill when it first came out).  However, I did have the tapes and knew them pretty well.  When I started playing, I didn't have much to go on since I was fond of the rapping, so I turned to the only music I had on hand then that had guitars.  After I mastered Angel Eyes by Jeff Healey, I set my sights on what little guitar there was on the New Kids album.  Cover Girl was the big one...had a one fingered solo that I quickly mastered and would play on repeat to really nail it.  I could be that guy I said...I'd figured it out...which one of them plays guitar?  I could totally replace him!

No one did...dreams shattered, heart broken, tape went into storage.  Sadness ensues.

Sad and bored, I started flipping through my guitar magazines and asking around for tapes that were mentioned in the magazines.  My world exploded.  Like a flurry of spandex clad super heroes coming to my rescue, real life spandex clad guitar gods showed me the path to ultimate enlightenment.  Climbing my way through hair spray and leather tassels, I heard what incredible really sounded like.  So thank you New Kids...thank you.

Coincidentally, my high school band, The Boss Hogs, played a rendition of "Hanging Tough" at the school assembly in December of '93 if I'm not mistaken.  For a span of about 15 minutes, we were revered as rock and roll legends.  Ironically enough though, for my brief stint as rock and roll infamy, I was not the lead guitarist...I played bass.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Instalment #16

I manscape. Regularly. See, as part of my lineage, I have a hearty dose of Scotland coursing through my veins. As such, I have eyebrows that grow faster than your average grass. Unchecked, I'd look like something out of Dune, but with a uni-brow; and that's not good for anyone. I'm sure eyebrows of such magnitude have a evolutionary advantage of some form or another. It likely involves warding off beautiful women ninja assassins or something; but it's clearly mistaken as I've managed to land myself a beautiful woman and she hasn't made any attempts on my life (that I know of). I'm not a heavy forehead that can't be it either. I squint a bit, and rumour has it I look angry whilst doing so - that could have something to do with it....

Yes - that must be it. I'm the exact opposite of Vin Diesel as "Riddick". I naturally possess the ability to operate in environments that are extremely well lit where most normal people would have to shield their eyes with their hands, leaving them relatively defenceless. I on the other hand have natural UV blockers allowing me to keep both hands free to dispatch assailants. Where he has the fancy wrap around goggles to operate in normally lit environments, I could simply have a sporty headband to keep my beasts at bay.

Brilliant - I must begin shopping the rights to the motion picture immediately.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #15

I think the creepy-raver-hippie teller at the grocery store is awesome.  Sure, he smells a bit.  And yes, he stares at and flirts with my wife...and every other woman in the store for that manner.  But the guy is happy.  I'm not talking about content, I mean this guy is happy harking back to the original and for some reason long forgotten about meaning of the word "gay".  He's always smiling.  He's always got something nice to say (even if it's mildly inappropriate).  And he makes you feel good about being you.  I walked by him the other day and he looked at me and said "Awesome shirt man" and gave me a hi-five (an appropriate one).  Small gesture, instant impact.  He does what he does, and he's happy doing it.  He is accepting and appreciative of the world presented to him as-is, constantly.

Granted, he is a bit creepy to the ladies; but what if we all, for even one day, looked at and appreciated the world and all those in it with half of the eagerness and optimism this guy does.  I'll start now:

You all look awesome today, and I really liked that thing you did that time - you totally nailed it.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #14

I am absolutely terrified of dentists. Which is odd, as I've only ever been to two dentists in my lifetime and they've both been absolute teddy bears. My oldest daughter goes to one now, and she actually counts how many sleeps are left. For me, it's always zero sleeps...if there's a dentist appointment looming I can't sleep, so they can't be counted. My little girl hops up in the chair, puts on the cool kid sunglasses (that's a thing now), and lets the dentist go to town. She's even had to have freezing and a filling due to an ill-timed bicycle maneuver which acquainted her of the less than forgiving properties of asphalt. Doesn't phase her. Now, I keep it all inside because I have to be tough and hold it together for my girls (by the time they read this I'm sure the cat will be out of the bag).

Most recently I ended up doing some light breathing exercises prior to the freezing, and burned a considerable amount of calories staying clenched and taught for the duration of the visit.

I'm sure in a few years, when I have to start having a certain regular yearly procedure done during my physical, the top spot in my most feared medical type personnel may change. For now though, dentists win.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #13

I'm incredibly start. I get out of the gates really slowly, but once I get fired up boy do I get cocky. I used to be afraid to go up to people's houses. I would stand outside my buddy Chad Miller's place for 30 minutes at a time softly yelling "Chad!" hoping someone would hear me. I managed to get over that fear eventually, but still if you put me in a room full of new people, I'm bound to be a bit quiet. I've continuously tried to put myself in situations that push me to my limits in my career to try to get beyond it, and I've gotten really good at faking it; but I'm still ridiculously shy. I should have been an actor I suppose.

Anyway - if you're hanging out and you hear someone softly yelling your name...have a look outside your front door - I could just be out there, quietly trying not to impose.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #12

I've hurt people. Over the course of my life, I've said things to people, I've done things, and I've let people down. I've not made a habit of it, and I'm not a perpetually evil person bent on the destruction of feelings everywhere, but I do have many moments throughout my history which at times I wish I could go back and "re-touch" a little. I say "at times" because I realize that everything that's happened has lead me here and I'm very grateful for everything that I have; but there is guilt, and that's why I'm typing this today.

I've held grudges, said things I didn't mean, taken friendships for granted, not been there, and not kept up my end of the bargain. I'm not going to go into specifics, I'm just giving a general apology to everyone I've ever hurt.

The truth is, I love you all. Everyone I've come across has enriched my life (save the "Oishii Man"....I hate that guy - more on that later). I hope somehow I have, or will have the chance to enrich yours.

To all the dad's out there, and mine especially, Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #11

I started the inappropriate hi-five.  It was my thing.  I designed and deployed it as a real world version of the much sought-after "dislike" button everyone wants in Facebook.  Properly executed, it's a raised hand prefaced with the phrase, "inappropriate hi-five".  Adjust intonation of phrase to suit the severity of the situation.

Buddy lost his job?  Throw him an inappropriate hi-five.  Buddy too drunk to drive home?  Take his keys and throw him an inappropriate hi-five to cool his temper.  Lousy performance in the bedroom?  Spice it up with an inappropriate hi-five (results may vary).

If you've ever been offended by an inappropriate hi-five, whoops - my bad.  If you find yourself in a situation where it's applicable, try it on for is a thing, after all.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #10

I am fantastic when it comes to making up excuses; it's a borderline superpower.  I once convinced myself not to run, because 2 days later I had yoga, which was far too important to miss given how it's helping my shoulder injury; which if missed would lead to an even more extended duration off the ice playing hockey.

Hockey - that's a confession all on it's own to everyone I've known prior to 2005.

I mulled it over and yup, it made sense...once I'm back on the ice I'll be able to exercise far more; I owe it to myself to kick back tonight.  I've ordered a drink I shouldn't have because I thought the business was slow at the bar that night and I needed to do my part.  I've bought video games to connect with friends online (by shooting them).  I bought a new car because there was a tick in the engine at idle - could be dangerous.  I bought the new car after that one because my housemate was buying a new car and I couldn't live in a house where my car wasn't the fastest.  I bought a new tube amp because my solid state amp had a slight buzz coming from it...with a stratocaster plugged into it (anyone who plays guitar will get why this is ridiculous...long story short strats buzz).

Everyone's good at something, right?  Right???  Well, acknowledgement is the first step in solving a problem...I'll have to make a point of looking up the next step at some point soon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #9

I love Lululemon.  I said it - it's out there now.  And I don't just mean in the way that my wife looks like a godess in it (which she does by the way, but really I can't credit Lulu for that, it's just the icing on the cake).  No, I mean guys stuff.  It all happened innocently enough; for Valentine's Day (more on that another day) Tina got me a pair of shorts and a t shirt to work out in (more on THAT another day), and I protested.  Being the good husband I was though, I tried them on for a quick stint.  I stopped protesting; it was like being wrapped in bedtime stories and beer buzz...just fantastic.  After that I found myself casually browsing their website for anything interesting; there's a backpack that caught my eye, but between it and the shorts and t shirts, that is thus far all that's caught my eye.  But really, that's enough.

Tina got me another pair of shorts and a shirt for my birthday yesterday - sadly the addiction grows.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #8

I ran into a wall once.  Full speed, on purpose.  A gentleman named Alan had given chase - I don't know why, but I definitely remember that I had been worthy of pursuit for some manner of pushing things just a bit too far.

I do's kind of my thing.

Back to the chase...I was running down the hallway on the third floor of my high school when my survival instincts of "running in straight lines gets you killed" kicked in (this is true, reference any car vs person chase and/or 12 year old kid playing Modern Warfare online and they will attest).  I turned left, then saw another hallway, separate (but oddly parallel) from the one I'd just come down.  It looked as good of place as any, so I bolted in that direction.

For the rest of my high-school career I always regarded that mural (which really wasn't all that greatly painted) of a hallway with great disdain.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #7

I walked home in a penguin suit once.  And I don't mean a tux, I mean a bona-fide penguin suit.  It was blue, had a cut-out for my face, and a little whirly-bird hat on the top.  It was made of a kind of cheap fleece.  The arms didn't have any cutouts for had authentic looking penguin flaps...which made the very long zipper in the back very difficult to maneuver.  Combine this with no pockets, and suddenly it's very difficult to pay for drinks, hold on to drinks...or even hold on to your dignity for that matter.  Anyway, I walked home approximately 9.1 kilometers in this suit, which required double the amount of steps 9.1 kilometers would normally require as the penguin suit crotch began at my knees.  I was quite a sight.  Unfortunately this was a rather warm Halloween in Japan, so under a fleece suit you would typically go boxers I had to do the whole stretch with the suit on - at 3am.

There are some mighty unruly types floating around the streets of Japan at 3am; but I can tell you this:  they all seem to
like penguins.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #6

I watched "The Notebook."  And I didn't even do it to impress a girl.  I watched it last year on Netflix.  I had an evening free, and I made a conscious choice - I didn't click on it by accident.  No - I did it on purpose.  I could have re-watched "Iron Man" - I didn't.  I could have done the dishes, or taken the dogs for a walk - I didn't - I watched "The Notebook."

I may or may not have cried; but there's only one confession a day folks - I'm not doubling up.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #5

I eat a lot of ice cream - to a fault actually.  Bobby Flay could put down a pulled pork sandwich made from unicorn meat and angel giggles and I'd still likely go for the bowl of chocolate ice cream with bits in it; were it in close enough proximity.  I've actually gone to the grocery store to buy an identical tub of ice cream because I'd finished the one off in the fridge and wanted to cover up my guilt.  On top of that, I've actually convinced myself that it's right, on more than one occasion, to open that next tub and eat just enough ice cream so it looks like I hadn't done anything - covering my tracks you know.  I'm not one of those guys who looks in the mirror every morning and is baffled by why I'm overweight.  I don't have that luxury...I know damned well why, but I love ice cream too much to blame it.

Curse you salad for not being delicious enough to make me want to eat you - it's all your fault.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #4

I didn't really bench 225.  I mean I did, but only sort of.  I believe Meathead Code dictates that 3 solid reps unassisted are what's required to officially call it successful.  Reps one and two went up fully unassisted...but by the time the third made it's way up, my buddy Jeff looked like he may have soiled himself in the effort to assist.  I think I blacked out and forgot who I was for the next 3 days.

But I never wore Zubaz - no need for a confession there.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #3

I never liked the Beastie Boys album "Check Your Head." I gave it a fair chance, I really did - tried hard to like it and listened to it a lot. Given the company I kept, sadly I must even admit that I pretended to like it. Really for me it all seemed like a rushed, half-assed thrown together album; far too light on the lyrics side, and far too heavy and hellbent on channeling their 3 piece instrumental days a la "Pollywog Stew." The album just didn't know what it was.

For me, it doesn't get any better than "Paul's Boutique." I wore out that cassette, and can recite the whole album word for word to this very day. But I hated "Check Your Head." I really did - and still do.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #2

I was likely the guy who changed your desktop background in the 90's.  If you went to university with me, and your visiting little brother booted up your PC to play a hacked copy of "x-wing versus tie fighter" and was irrevocably scarred for life by a visual impossible to scrub from memory...I'm likely to blame.  I'm sorry.  It was funny at the time...hope little Timmy is okay.  I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt.

I'm also sorry for the 6 to 8 times I likely did it again after that not knowing when to bad.

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Installment #1

I have never actually landed a backflip on a snowboard.  Not really for lack of trying -  I just never actually landed one.  There are multiple pictures throughout history which show myself, strapped to my "board du jour," upside down staring intently at a spot where I'd always hoped, but never managed to land.  Never...not once.  Ate a lot of snow though...