St. Patrick’s Day for the Sober

I gave up alcohol over six years ago after no longer being able to ignore how detrimental my consumption was on, well, pretty much everything. I never got into trouble but I can’t think of a single instance when it made my life ultimately better (except for being tasty). I wrote ALL about it here. For me, back in the days when I was all rock and not a dad, today was an especially significant one for a curated day of inebriation. The saying goes that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. I definitely felt that. Even prior to spending a month working in Dublin back in 2000 (arriving the day after St. Patrick’s Day), I felt some kind of kinship with the country and her people. I dunno, is there an Ashkenazi connection to the Irish? If not, I guess it stems from a love of early U2, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, The Pogues, The Waterboys. Stiff Little Fingers, wool, Guinness, cabbage, potatoes and lilting accents. I guess, for health, I should’ve poured as much effort into wool as I did Guinness.

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No One Wants To Read About Your Stupid Fitness Journey

On January 4th of this year, I made what felt like the impulsive decision to move all my spotlights, under the umbrella of living a long, healthy, active life, onto physical and mental health, focusing on fat loss, muscle building, nutrition, sleep quality and mindfulness. Many of my planned posts for this year will detail my (ugh) fitness journey. I know that sounds dreadful if you’re only reading what I write for amusement and eloquently positioned swear words. But I promise to try to make you laugh and think instead of just reading how much weight I’ve lost or gained. I do know that no one is interested in my subcutaneous vs. visceral fat percentages. And if it seems like either you or I start finding all this esoteric and dry, I’ll get back to the funnies. I’m not doing this just to feed my content creation or to find appropriate brand sponsors.

I started this process by downloading a popular food tracking and psychology app and committing to recording each meal and weighing in each day. In the past, I tried The Four Hour Body plan, eating lots of protein, cruciferous veggies and beans with each meal. I shattered my body with 2 hour, early morning workouts. I cut all sorts of foods and ingredients from my diet while adding other ones in. It was all somewhat extreme, which is how I tend to do things. From that first stretch of long workouts and painfully planned meals, I managed to get from all 222 lbs of baby weight I was carrying down to my almost-high-school weight of 180, a number still classified as obese for my height. The power and impact that that word imputes is all negative and often heard with a lilt of judgement and slur. Chubby and obese may mean the same thing but clinical as it is, the latter hurts to hear in just about every way. Luckily, after trying and no longer trying, I’ve never managed to get back up to that personal high again. But I’ve come close. It’s pretty easy, if you’re not paying attention. But seeing as a third of all adults in Canada are considered clinically obese, up from 1 in 4 adults less than a decade prior, it’s obvious that attention isn’t the lone deficit leading to this deadly statistic.
I don’t know the entire story. I’m still just learning my own.

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Today is Groundhog Day. Again.

Not the one where the rodent is forced to do a song and dance for gullible humans looking for a quick end to winter. It’s the same day as yesterday was. The same day I will open my eyes into tomorrow, when I rise later than I would’ve if a little jerk named COVID never woke out of a primordial slumber 380 or so days ago. Tomorrow, I’ll get out of bed, encouraging the same from my kids.

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Gen X – The True Greatest Generation

It’s a Millennial world.

Everything is millenial these days. They’ve hijacked the generational conversation. We’re all terrified what’s going to happen when the Millennials become the controlling generation. It’s as if only they have the power to collectively wind the creaking crank of civilization in reverse to somehow pull us back from the brink of annihilation.

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Clean Shave for The Pandemic

I was always ready to grow a beard. I started as soon as I could and lived the bearded life from that day forward. The last day of my recurring clean shaven life was the day I took my grad photo in high school. It was whispy and crappy for a long time, barely connecting mustache to beard until I was in my early twenties. And then I hit the point of no return, knowing that any attempts to go back to a smooth face would cause pain and razor burn and bleeding and bad skin. I think I shaved my face less times than fingers I possess on one hand. Well, today, is perhaps the thumb.

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Where has the Dad Rock Dad been?

You’ve probably noticed that this blog, for the most part, has gone dark figuratively and literally. If you know me personally or are up to date with my life through this blog, you could determine that the death of my father just over a year ago was pretty traumatic to my psyche. One of the casualties was this blog.

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Team Wins. City Heals.

I know that many in Canada are looking at Toronto and just sighing in exasperation. Oh, NOW they have a championship basketball team to act smug about as well. I understand why the national hatred of Toronto exists.
If you don’t live here, you probably think that everyone in the city thinks it’s the center of the world. You probably think that Torontonians consider anyone living outside of a 100 km radius centered by the city an uncultured, straw-chewing hick. That we only care about money, work, status, money, stress and espresso drinks. There IS that element. But let me tell you that most of us in Toronto sneer at that stereotype as well. Sure, Torontonians talk and think about work and money, but this city is EXPENSIVE to live in and it keeps getting more expensive. We need to hustle to make ends meet.

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Eulogy for my Father

My father, Morton Harris died on April 14, 2019. He was diagnosed with bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) back in 2008. Surgery removed a tumour but it had returned by the summer of 2018. He spent the last two weeks of his life in the hospital where he eventually died at the age of 88.

I want to thank the doctors and nurses at the Odette Cancer Center (specifically the Upper GI Cancer Care team) and C5 trauma ward at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Everyone in these units cared for my father and he couldn’t have paid for better care. I welcome donations to be made in my father’s name here.

The following is the eulogy I delivered at his funeral.
It’s the best tribute I could muster for my father, who was and is still a huge inspiration.

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