Aug 04

Hello from GLORIOUS BRITISH COLUMBIA!!!

*I STOLE THIS FROM MRS. BIRDMAN’S BLOG POST TODAY*

fromthedesk

Most of you know that our moving date for going out west has come and gone. I’m here to report that we made it, safe and sound. The only casualties were a long-suffering fan on a stand, and 3 out of 4 panes of glass inside our hutch. Not bad, eh?! We headed west exactly one month ago, in a converted school bus that carried the four of us, all of our stuff, our dog and our dreams for a new future. I have been thinking and preparing for the move for the past year, but I couldn’t have guessed how well our journey would go. When we told people we were moving out west in a school bus, we definitely got a lot of strange looks, but it was a fantastic journey. Our friend Dan helped us pick out the most mechanically sound bus we could find, and then we began the process of ripping out the seats and preparing it for our trip. When the seat removal was complete, we had a huge tin can on wheels, ready for our adventure. We began moving our things onto the bus in what can only be described as a real-life game of tetris. There was not much space that went unused, floor to ceiling. Eventually, the bus was packed to the roof, with a retaining wall that separated us from the stuff. We were 4 people and 1 dog on an EPIC CROSS COUNTRY ADVENTURE! The first hour was spent crying. All of us. It was a pretty miserable place for a bit, but after a good bawl, some hugs and some snacks, life seemed cheerier and we were on our way. As we drove, the scenery got more scenic, and we became settled in our spots on the bus. If you’ve ever driven from Ontario to Manitoba, you will nod knowingly when I say that Ontario is a big place. It took DAYS to get out. While we were making our way across our native province, we saw a familiar site in our side mirror.

D’OH!!!!

We drove over 4,000km in that bus, and this was the only time we got pulled over. I think we were both surprised, since we figured we’d be getting pulled over a lot. The officer was very nice, and even though I was very nervous about being stopped, we were found to be in compliance with all vehicular laws governing Cool Bus operation. Woo Hoo! Score one for the weary travelers. He gave us a souvenir of his visit. šŸ™‚

Officer Friendly leaves his autograph

While we traveled, we were on the hunt for any ‘Giant Stuff’ for my sister-in-law Katie, who loves all giant fruits, furniture and animals she encounters. We were not disappointed. Here’s a selection of just a few of the giant offerings. Not included are the giant snowman, groundhog, UFO, and other assorted things that didn’t make the cut.

There’s a LOT of weird, giant stuff out there…

There were a few provinces to get to after we finally made it out of Ontario. Manitoba was one of my faves, probably because I drove all day through it. I loved being the pilot on the Cool Bus. There was one small domestic that threatened to break out during my time at the wheel, but after I promised not to enter any more curves at breakneck speed (his opinion!) we were back on track. My basic impression of the provinces were that Ontario was huge, Manitoba was flat, and BC was a welcome sign to get to after 5 days.

Been there. šŸ™‚

At night we were treated to endless sunsets of blue, pink, purple and orange. The windows of the bus allowed a huge, technicolor display that kept us impressed, province by province. I spent most of my time in one of the two remaining seats on the bus, so I could take advantage of the scenery. If you get a chance to cross the country in a motor vehicle, I do hope it’s a cool bus, with the kind of spectacular views that I saw.

Just one of the beautiful nights on the Cool Bus

Just one of the beautiful nights on the Cool Bus

I snuck this one in here, but fellow Ingress players will appreciate the milestone I reached on our last day of travel… #vivelaresistance

Us at Kakabeka Falls, Thunder Bay Ontario <3

We made a lot of memories. The kids were amazing. They didn’t complain about the drive, or the vagabond lifestyle. We had a life-changing, family-bonding experience. I could never explain what happened to us as we moved across the provinces, but it was pretty great. Eventually we landed in beautiful HUDSON’S HOPE, BC!

It’s really, really beautiful here.

Our home is warm and cozy, and our yard is absolutely gorgeous. We have a large covered porch that runs along most of the side of the house. Our bus even fit in our driveway! After several weeks of cleaning, unpacking and sorting, we are finally home. Ā  I really like it here. It felt like home as soon as we arrived. I’m really, really happy. Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  If you want to keep in touch, you can find me on Instagram ( missclicks ). Or you can email. Or text. Or send an old fashioned letter. Or hop on a plane and visit. I’ll pick you up at the airport. Cheers from glorious BC! Gerri

Jun 21

2.5 Days

birdmandesk

It’s been a long time since I’ve woke up this happy.

Well, except for almost pissing the bed and then smacking my head on the door jamb as I stumbleran to the toilet.1)No more drinking two cans of club soda at 2 AM and “stumbleran” can be a word, you just need to use it enough.

Perhaps I should say that it’s been a long time since I was this happy, a few minutes after I’ve woke up. That’s a little more accurate.

On my way back to bed, I noticed the light blinking on my phone. I checked, and there were three text messages on there. One from each of my girls. The first one was exciting, because it contained this.

mufgI got one last night during a hardcore hacking session, and was very pleased to see that my sweet baby got one too. It won’t mean much to most of you, but any Ingress players should be a little envious of us right now.

Imagine my joy at this, and then reading the texts from the girls wishing me a happy Father’s Day and telling me that they love me and miss me.

I’m still crying.

I really had no idea that being a stepfather could be so fulfilling, emotionally.

In a few days, I will be flying home for Liv’s graduation, and to pack my family up for what is to be the greatest adventure of our lives, thus far. It will be filled with every kind of feeling that you can imagine, and I look forward to most of them, but especially the ones like I’m having now.

Those are the ones where I feel truly loved. I really don’t think that there could ever be a more complete feeling of worth as when you are really loved. I’ve had it all of my life, from my mom, and I’m pretty sure from my sisters šŸ˜‰ , but I think that finding and marrying my one true love solidified it for me.

She didn’t have to love me.

Neither did her daughters.

12530_838564082821563_5212102655223067119_n

Courtesy of the fantastic Erin Campbell Photography (905) 372-7435

But they did, and I am forever grateful for that.

Happy Father’s Day to me, and to all of the other dads out there that get an immense feeling of pride and satisfaction when they think of their family. It’s probably the only reason that I’m not a crazy, eight dog owning hermit in central New Brunswick right now.2)Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. No more drinking two cans of club soda at 2 AM and “stumbleran” can be a word, you just need to use it enough.
2. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
May 12

Old Draft #1

I am going through the hundreds of drafts that were started many years ago, and posting them when I don’t have time to write. Some are incomplete, but if they are close, I will finish them up or something. Here’s the first one. I think it was about two or three years ago.

Four Days

That’s how long I have to wait for my sweet baby’s embrace. I’m practically vibrating, and that’s after doubling up on Robaxacet and Gravol, so I should be comatose.

Oh yeah, I sort of fucked up my shoulder at work, butĀ I’ll get it looked at when I get home. The last time I got hurt out here, Worker’s Compensation wouldn’t let me move home, because my employer was offering light duty work. The problem was that light duty is 40 hours a week at a reduced wage. It wasn’t enough to pay the bills and live at the same time, and there is no way they are telling me I’m not going home on Thursday.

Not happening.

I really miss those girls of mine, and the rest of my family and friends too, but this trip wasn’t a waste, even though we were shut down a lot. I spent the first week I was there, with John and Leona, and their family and it was great as always. John mentioned to me, as we were talking about homes and that feeling you get when you’re at home, that they never feel at home in their house. That seems odd to me, because when I’m there, it feels a lot like their home. Leona is always cooking up a good supper, Johnny is half snoring on the couch, and Cooper is knocking over a tray of chocolates or other goodies,

I got to spend a few days with Aaron, Lannie, and the boys over the holidays, and Lannie’s folks invited me over for one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. It really made it easier for me to be away from home, and as much as I would have liked the overtime, that money wouldn’t buy a night of darts and rum in the garage, or the look on Lannie’s face when I told her about the shit lunches we were fed at the old Lennox camp. I also would have missed the boys, who are growing up too fast, calling me by my first and last name. All the time.

“Chris Bird, do you know which Ninja Turtle this is?” or, “Hey Chris Bird, do you want to come for a Ski-Doo ride with us?”

I can’t help but smile every time. They are really good kids, and I miss them when I’m not there. As much as I like most of the work I do out here, it’s my friends that are the deciding factor for me. Yes, the money’s good, but it’s just money, and we can get by without me coming out here to work. It’s just that I miss it. I miss so many things about this area, and the weird thing is that even the worst of it holds a place in my heart. Maybe it’s because it is the first place that I just said “Fuck it. I’m going to Fort St. John to find some work.”, and that’s exactly what I did. I worked, made some great friends, and I learned a lot about myself here.

I learned how independent I can be, and also how far into depression I can sink. It’s pretty far, but I’m sure I would be a lot deeper if Aaron hadn’t of told me to move the fuck home. I’m pretty sure those were his words, but there might have been a “…you miserable fuck.” added on for good measure. He could see it, even though I couldn’t. I knew I was fucked up, with the anxiety attacks and shit, but I didn’t realize I was depressed too. Well maybe I did, but I sure wasn’t admitting it to myself. So I took his advice and packed my shit up and went home.

Then I re-met Mrs. Birdman. We went on some dates, and after a while, we fell in love. I fell a lot sooner than she did, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that she makes my heart bust open like a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and no matter how much I love spending time with my friends, I like spending time with her more. I really miss you baby, and I can’t wait for you to blow into my mouth asĀ I give you a big, tooth kiss.

Am I the only one who gets the ducklip memos?

Am I the only one who gets the ducklip memos?

Birdman

May 11

Conversations With Blue

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

This morning Blue came up to bed as everyone else was getting ready for their day. I was trying to avoid getting up before ten, so I turned his whining into a conversation to drag out my lounging. Hey, it’s not my fault that he didn’t feel like eating when I let him out at 6:30.

 

Blue: (high pitched hunger whine)

Me: What’s the matter, boy? Are you okay? Come up here in the bed for a minute.

Blue jumps up on the bed and mashes my face and balls with his jaggedy pins and does another whine.

“What is it? Oh, you’re sad because I’m leaving tomorrow, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I hate it when you go away. Every time you go, it’s for years.”

“No, it’s never been more than a few months. I think that you’re exaggerating.”

“No, I am not exaggerating. I can tell by all of the new gray hairs that you have when you come home. Why do you have to keep leaving? I love our mornings laying in bed. Rub my belly. With both hands. You know you have two.”

“Okay, I’ll rub it for a minute, but then I’m going back to sleep. The reason I have to go back out, is to get things ready for when we move. You know that we are moving, right?”

“I heard you guys talking about it. Are we all going? Usually it’s just me that moves. I’ve had a bunch of different families. I like it here with you guys though. I even like the lady now. She is really nice to me. The kids always hug me too. I hope I get to move with you.”

“Oh buddy, that makes me sad. I love you so much. Yeah we are all going. You and I will be on theĀ bus, and your mom and sisters will be flying out. It’s going to be a long trip, but I don’t think that you would like to be stuck in an airplane hold for hours at a time.”

“No, I would rather stay on the ground, because flying seems unnatural. I will protect you on the bus, so you can sleep. I won’t let any crazy guys cut your head off and eat it.1)That insaneĀ prickĀ got out the other day, so be on the lookout.

“Thanks, boy, but we are driving our own bus out. Your nana might come too. You’ll like it where we are going. You can go to visit Woody and chase deer off of his yard. He would like to have a hunting buddy. There are all kinds of mountains and forests out there, so you will have all kinds of places to run.”

“Oh Daddy, that sounds so fun. I’m your good, running boy. I like to run fast. Can we take the squirrel with the white tail with us? He’s my friend and I like to chase him up the tree. Can you please scratch where my nuts used to be?”

“You bet I can. How’s that? I know you like to chase him, but we can’t take him. There are no walnut trees out there for him to get his food. You can probably fight a bear or a cougar though. Do you think you’d like that?”

“Oh, that’s really good. I know it’s been three years, but the scar still itches. I don’t know what bears and cougarsĀ are, but I probably would like to fight one.”

“Here, I’ll show you some photos.”

Grizzly Bear Standing And Roaring Rocky Mountains

Grizzly Bear Standing And Roaring Rocky Mountains

And here’s a cougar.

Mrrrawr

Mrrrawr

“Daddy, I would fight the bear if was hurting you, but I think we should stay away from them if we can. As for the cougar, I’d hump her leg, if I still had my man juice.”

“Haha, I know you would, buddy. Me too. This is what a real cougar looks like.”

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/mj04/indepth/

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/mj04/indepth/

“Jesus, no. You know I get scared of the cat at ourĀ pet store. I never want to fight a cougar.”

“Yeah, me neither. I guess we had better get you fed. It will probablyĀ be the last time I get to before I come back. I’m really going to miss you, my good boy. You are the best dog I’ve ever had.”

“Can we please notĀ talk about it? Just keep rubbing.”

Never stop rubbing

Never stop rubbing

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. That insaneĀ prickĀ got out the other day, so be on the lookout.
May 04

Reprieve

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

I postponed my trip west for anotherĀ a week. It may seem slight, but it feels pretty good to have another week to finalise Family Game Night festivities. TT and I smoked through aĀ game of Cranium to win the right to choose Family Date Night.

The restaurant andĀ the movie.

Yeah. It’s a pretty huge win.

We were supposed to do best out of five in a run of different games, but the losers seemed to not want to play against us any more, so I guess it’s now best out of one, unless by some miracle we get challenged.

That should work out in my favour, but to tell you the truth I was really looking forward to spending a bunch of nights as a family and doing family things. I think it’s because I missed so many of them over the winter, while they were all still being a family. I was just the guy who called every night and asked how everything was going.

Before you tell me that they’re just kids, I will just say it… I know. I get it. I was oneĀ once too. I probably hurt my family’s feeling by wanting to go out drinking1)We didn’t have texting and game consoles. with my friends, instead of hanging out with my parents.

It doesn’t change the fact that they are growing up and I have been missing it. It hurts to come home one day and see a thirteen year old girl that’s as tall as you are, when the last time you saw her she was a good inch or so shorter. Especially when you always think of them like this.

From the wedding

TheĀ happiest day of my life

Remember that day?

I do. That will be three years ago in about a month. How did they get so old all of a sudden, and where the hell have I been?

I just keep repeating “June” in my head. It keeps me grounded. We’ll all be out there in a couple of months. Together, on a new adventure as a family.

In a school bus.

Thanks for the inspiration, Chin.

Chin gets to be Reuben Kincaid. He already called it.

Anyhow, I hope that some better movies come out this week, but if they don’t, I’m fully prepared to drag everyone to see Do You Believe?, by the makers of God’s Not Dead. I want to see if it’s horrible as well.

I will have my Family Date Night. No matter what.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. We didn’t have texting and game consoles.