What Day Is It?

 

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I bet that none of you are going to be able to guess what today’s blog post is going to be about…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!…pretty original right? In fact it is so original I actually just copied and pasted this introduction paragraph from last year because it happened to apply to this year yet again.

It also is kind of a special blog for me as this will be post number 150!  YAY for crossing yet another milestone.

Yesterday, as I scrolled through my friend’s Facebook pages I noticed a very common theme. I came across comment after comment from people saying how 2015 wasn’t such a great year, but it wasn’t bad either. It made me stop to reflect on my year and I began wondering what my overall feelings of the past year. There were a lot of changes in my world, and since I have the memory of a gold fish, I decided to go through my massive collection of photos to recall all the crazy things that happened.

January:

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As with every January, I started off with my resolution of blogging more, but as we saw that didn’t last very long. I did however pick up a new hobby of knitting.

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Mike and I also struggled with our mouse invasion and started setting up traps to try and evict our unwanted house guests.

February:

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Winter here gets so incredibly cold that the Red River freezes over completely. My family started off the celebration of my aunts birthday with brunch at the pop-up restaurant in the middle of the river.

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I also moved from knitting to crocheting as my crafting hobby grew and learned how to make slippers. I also finished off the month by getting hurt at work and ended up stuck in the house for the next six weeks.

March:

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Since I was unable to walk due to my injuries and had a lot of free time on my hands being off work, my crafting hobby moved up to a whole new level and I tackled my first baby blanket with matching baby hat which I gifted to Sarah and Jeff for their new little one.

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About half way through the month, I decided to move back out to the farm with my parents. It was awesome to spend some time with them and be able to cuddle Oskar, my puppy, every night.

April:

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I was finally able to return to work again progressing through reduced hours all the way up to full shifts as my body healed. As much as I complain about my job somedays, I sure am grateful for it cause overall I love what I do. Crafting became a much more slow process as I had much less free time, but I started on a full size afghan for my bed.

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April also brought with it springtime and the opening of the BDI (Bridge Drive-In) which meant the start of ice cream season.

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The snow had melted early and it was awesome to be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities.

May:

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I moved in with one of my best friends as being an adult living with my parents so far away from the city started to become tiresome. Shannon’s daughter had moved out and it was an awesome opportunity to move into the newly vacated space.

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Being single and having made a series of poor life choices, I finally hit my financial breaking point and had to make major changes. I said goodbye to my car and turned it over to the bank and have been carless since.

June:

 

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June started off with my birthday which this year was planned to be incredibly low key. Shannon, her brother, and Mama Mike kidnapped me to took me to the Half Moon out in Lockport, Manitoba.

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We had an amazing lunch together before we headed over for cake and a bonfire at Cori and Richard’s place. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends in my life that organized such a wonderful surprise day for me. June also marked the 100th subscriber to my blog (which really isn’t that big of a number when you look at most blogs, but it is still a huge blessing to know that 100 people have decided that my writing is worth actually following).

 

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June also is the month which we celebrate Pride. Shannon and I made Rainbow Jello Shooter Cake, but our annual before the parade brunch didn’t happen this year because I wasn’t hosting it (remind me that I am hosting brunch again next year). Shannon and I headed down to the parade anyway and had an awesome day together.

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I also started playing with my camera more and spent more time making videos for YouTube. I finished off June catching poison ivy. That was probably the worst part of my year because it was so incredibly itchy and took so long to heal.

July:

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I celebrated Canada Day (July 1) with Shannon and her family. We went over to her mom’s place to watch the fireworks from the top floor of their high-rise apartment.

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I also enjoyed the Bridge Party at The Forks with Jason, Jesse, Crystal, and some other friends which was a lot of fun spending the day hanging out on the bridge listening to awesome music.

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Then I broke my head open by running into a concrete beam. I ended up with a pretty bad concussion and spent most of my summer feeling way less smart after injuring my brain. That resulted in more time off work which meant the perfect opportunity to make another baby blanket as I found out my friend Mandy was expecting a new family member.

August:

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Apparently in August I developed a bit of a gambling addiction! Just kidding, I apparently had a whole stack of lotto tickets that I never checked. As it turns out, I actually won almost $100 on one ticket so that was a pretty awesome way to start the month.

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Then I went out to Calgary, Alberta to celebrate Jayme’s bachelorette party. It was awesome to see her and Tim and make some more new friends. We had a crazy weekend together and it brought back a lot of awesome old memories about living in Calgary the first time round.

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Shannon and I also couldn’t miss out on Folklorama which is the opportunity to celebrate all the different cultures in the world. Patrick, Tom, Adam and I also went to a few different pavilions later that week. August also ended with the beginning of the busiest time of year for volunteering for the board of Reel Pride as we started kicking everything into high gear for the annual film festival.

September:

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I can’t go a year without putting a 12 inch wiener in my blog at least once, and thanks to Mama Mike and a late night drive to Skinner’s out in Lockport, that mission was fulfilled.

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Reel Pride celebrated their 30th Anniversary of incorporation this year and thanks to Fame Night Club we had an amazing pearl themed birthday party to mark the occasion with the most amazing birthday cake from Chocolate Zen Bakery.

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Then I headed back to Calgary to visit Austin who has become a great friend and we had an amazing weekend doing things that I hadn’t done when I lived there like checking out Telus Spark and going to the Home Show at the BMO Centre.

October:

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Moving into October, I enjoyed two weeks of vacation from bus driving and spent two weeks volunteering to get all the last minute details organized for Reel Pride. The film festival was amazing and our programming committee selected some amazing films to feature once again this year. I am so excited to see what they come up with next year.

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I also had the opportunity to host David C. Jones and Paula Stromberg, two amazing short film makers who came from Vancouver to participate in the festival. It was awesome getting to be a tourist in my own city with them and enjoy eating at some of the fantastic restaurants we have here and touring the Manitoba Legislature, The Forks, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

November:

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Patrick and I started out November with a road trip to the Whiteshell Provincial Park. We enjoyed an awesome snow-free day taking pictures of the amazing scenery provided by the park. November also marked for me an entire month of daily vlogging which felt like an awesome achievement to have accomplished. I feel like we were also extremely lucky last year as it didn’t snow until late November, which combined with the early spring resulted in a pretty awesome summer.

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Since I spent so much time vlogging, there is a definite lack of pictures to share with you for this blog, but you can check out my YouTube Channel to keep up with my adventures there as well.

December:

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After taking a month off from Reel Pride, it was time to step-up and start getting ready for next year. One of the biggest changes next year is the fact that we are probably loosing the Gas Station Arts Centre due to renovations. I took on the project of starting to scout out new venues for the board so that newly elected board at the Annual General Meeting in January will have the opportunity to have a confirmed space booked for the festival.

 

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I also finished one of the best kept secrets I’ve managed to pull off which was a hand made afghan for Brent and Chris as their Christmas/Wedding gift that I haven’t given them for the past two years. Between having to make sure all the pieces were hidden when they would visit and resisting the urge to post pictures about it, I managed to surprise them and I hope that they really liked it. I also decided to go back to knitting as I was getting bored with crocheting after doing a few large blankets.

Probably the most exciting part of 2015 is fact that I have moved into my own apartment solo back in Downtown Winnipeg. It was a little unexpected, but the opportunity to rent Mike’s condo popped up and I jumped at the chance to have my own space.

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I worked Christmas and Boxing Day, but enjoyed the traditional Boxing Day family dinner out at the farm with my extended family which is one my favourite part of the holiday season. New Year’s Eve was shared with Tracy and Sarah for Prime Rib Dinner at Club 200 for “One Night in Bedrock.” Unfortunately, I didn’t last until midnight as I am suffering from a bit of a cold and decided to go to bed early.

All things considered, 2015 was a pretty amazing year. There were absolutely highs and lows, but I have come to appreciate all the amazing people in my life so much more over the past year and can’t wait to make more amazing memories with all of you. Until then, have an amazing New Year’s Day, Happy 2016, and don’t forget to be kind out there!

The Most Unusual Christmas

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What an interesting Christmas day I had!

I have worked in a job that requires shift work for at least the last 10 years.  As a result, I usually end up choosing to work on Christmas Day so that someone who values spending December 25th with their family can have the day off.

My family has always done our big family dinner on Boxing Day (December 26), which I wasn’t able to get off this year (but yet I could have had Christmas Day off if I wanted).  I’m a little disappointed that I have to head into work here shortly, but I am sure that it will be a much better day than yesterday.

The people that I encountered yesterday for the most part were super nice, but there was at least one person every hour that was a definite grinch.  It made for a pretty long day, but at the end of it I survived and came home to my nice warm bed safe and sound.

Today is going to be a completely different challenge though as we move from all the stores being closed yesterday to everyone crashing down the doors for the sales today.  Personally, I haven’t yet seen any sales advertised that I am willing to go and endure the lineups in the stores.

If you are planning on going out shopping today, here are my survival tips:

  1. Make A Plan:  Look on-line to see what stores are selling the items you actually need to purchase and see where has the best price.  That way you can figure out the best route and avoid back tracking in the congested traffic.
  2. Check the Original Price:  A lot of sales happening today are only a $150 off, if not less.  It could be worth the convenience of paying the regular price tomorrow to avoid the headache of Boxing Day Shopping today.
  3. Order Online:  If you can be patient for a few days, you can certainly save some money today by taking advantage of the online boxing week sales.  It will of course mean you’re likely going to be waiting until after the New Year before you get to start enjoying your exciting new purchase.
  4. Make Sure You Can Afford It:  Christmas just happened and for most people that means burning a hole in your wallet.  Don’t make any purchases for a great price that are going to mean going without food for the next three months while you try to pay it off.
  5. Have Fun and Be Polite:  This one should come without saying, but I am sure that we will hear of all sorts of huge battles going down in the stores over the last sale items on the news tonight.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas (or whatever holiday your family chooses to celebrate) with your friends and families.  I’m looking forward to seeing my family later this evening.

Until then, have an amazing day and go be kind out there!  Don’t forget to checkout my YouTube Video for more fun adventures:

I have made my decision

  Hey Friends,

It has been a few days again, but you haven’t missed too much. I have been busy trying to catch up on my responsibilities and haven’t had the energy to sit down and write for a few days. However, after an amazingly productive and rewarding day off, I have decided to sit down and share some writing with you.

I will begin today by confirming with you that I have decided to renew my blog! You’re welcome to cheer or applaud or do a happy dance or all of the above. I have been getting subtle and not so subtle hints from the universe that I am supposed to renew my blog.

We are also coming up to one of my favourite times of the year which is CHRISTMAS! I am slowly starting to get everything ready to go and hopefully will be planning an amazing Christmas party once again this year, but I don’t make any promises yet.

However, before we get too excited about Christmas we still have one more important date to cross which is Remembrance Day on November 11. This is an extremely important date for us to respect as we remember all the soldiers and veterans who fought to protect our rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

Today has been a wonderful day off in which I have enjoyed relaxing and enjoyed some retail therapy. It feels like it has been ages since I splurged on some new clothes so I decided to make my way over to the Mall to get myself a little something new. I think it is really funny how some stores run perpetual sales which in my opinion doesn’t really make it a sale. That being said, the marketing worked as I decided that I needed a new sweater since it is getting way too cold for just T-shirts.

I’m now going to curl up and watch a movie and take a nap just because I can. Have an amazing day.

Love Always,

SuperMattyMatt

Who turned the lights out?

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Wait, your Christmas lights are still on! I am usually the Christmas queen over here and would have the inside and outside of my home decorated beyond recognition, but this year I wasn’t feeling this Christmas spirit and we barely even had a tree.

This year it feels like there were so few houses that even put up a single strand of Christmas lights on their house. I don’t think I can be blamed for not getting into the spirit either.

However, we have now passed mid-January and it is time for Christmas to be put away. My family has always waited until after orthodox New Years to use as the benchmark for when it is time for the decorations to make their way back into storage. This year that was January 14, so I think it is safe to say that it is time to let Christmas go to a better place.

I’m not saying you have to climb up on the latter to remove all the holiday lights from your house, but for those of you with large nativity scenes and inflatable Santa Clauses, it is time to brave the cold and dismantle you’re elaborate displays. For the rest of you christmasy folks that just put up lights, it is time to unplug the timer and start saving your electricity.

As for me, I am putting dismantling the Christmas tree onto The “Honey do…” list for today because I had nothing to do with setting it up and I would probably break all the decorations throwing them into the box. It has been up long enough and I still haven’t found any Christmas spirit to go with it.

How long does your family take down their tree and lights display following the holidays?

Not a thing to do!

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I slept in! This is amazing. I managed to sleep until 06:18am this morning. I haven’t slept in past 05:30am in what feels like months! I feel like I am the only one that appreciates how big of an achievement this is.

Today is the first day of the winter schedules for Winnipeg Transit, which means that, as drivers, our shifts have also changed. I am officially no longer a spare operator and have my own regular work. I managed to sign nice late start times in the morning which will hopefully assist with the return of my social life past 7pm.

Yesterday was an awesome last day of being a spare driver though. I scored a straight shift (same bus for my whole shift) on the 15 Mountain- Sargent bus. It is one of the busiest routes, but that definitely helps to make the day go by faster. It was exceptionally busy yesterday with everyone out shopping. I can only say that there was no lack of stories that came out of those 8 hours, but it was a great shift that flew by.

Before going into work, I had time to meet up with my friend Clif for breakfast. I was running super tight on time. We went to 2 Kelly’s restaurant in Fort Garry Place. They were so accommodating and rushed my breakfast so that I could make it to work on time (I also ordered the fastest easiest breakfast they could make to accommodate rushing). Breakfast was amazing, and it was great to spend it with one of my best friends (who even spoiled me by paying for breakfast). However, running on a full stomach to go catch the bus I was supposed to take over was quite painful, but I made it on time with two minutes to spare.

I’m off today and have NOTHING on my calendar which is really exciting. I’m sure that will change when I get bored of watching old episodes of Gossip Girl in about two hours. Until then, I am going to enjoy my coffee and relax on the couch curled up in my warm blanket. Unfortunately, someone forgot to pick up milk yesterday like they said they were going to. I used all the milk in our house in my first cup of coffee, and now have to wait for the stores to open so I can have more caffeine.

Hope you have as great of a day as the day I have planned!

Four more epic shopping days left…

1507801_10152572889677817_1583107785695146969_n‘Twas the last four shopping days until Christmas and the rush is on to pick out the perfect gift for the last few people on your list.  However, if you are like me, it is four days until Christmas and the rush is on to start shopping for anyone.  Talk about leaving things until the last minute.

Unfortunately, I have to work today and won’t be able to take part in the mass chaos that is the very last Saturday before Christmas presented by all the shopping malls near you.  I am not even looking forward to being anywhere near a shopping mall today driving as people forget all sense of safely while operating their vehicles and are far too busy rushing from store to store grabbing the few remaining gifts off the shelves.

I have tried several times to start Christmas shopping, but I find it such a challenge to pick out the perfect gift for people who already have far more than what they actually need.  I am guilty of buying gifts all year round when I see something that a friend or family member wants/needs.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience to hold on to things until their birthday or Christmas to wait to see their excitement about the perfect present I have found.

So, thus far, all I have accomplished is wasting several hours walking around the malls getting increasingly frustrated with the people that have taken Christmas gift giving way too far.  I am also extremely disappointed with how few people have put up Christmas lights and yard ornaments which hasn’t helped fuel my Christmas joy.  Now I am also guilty for not having lights, but in my defence, there are no plugs on the outside of this old house.  I suppose that should be added to the “honey-do-list” for next summer.

Needless to say, I am going to spend this holiday faking some Christmas spirit and braving the malls on Monday trying to find some sort of gifts for the important people in my life.  This feels like a recipe for an epic holiday disaster.  Please, for the sake of my sanity, leave some stuff on the shelves this weekend for me to pick from on Monday.  Happy Gift Hunting!