Friday, 6 January 2017

Act 1: scene 1

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017. Welcome to my Blog...whatever form it might take.

One of my resolutions, this year, was to create a blog...a documentary of my life with Lil Dude, Dude and Mommy.

Lil Dude (aka Lil Bear. aka Lion Cub. aka Destructor). He's 4.
Big Dude. Our astronomer...our oceanographer...he's teaching us about space and underwater life. Seriously. (can you name the 5 dwarf planets?) Everyday he's a different sea creature. Or celestial body. He's 6.

Both boys are in French Immersion...meaning they know more of the language than I do. Meaning they'll be having conversations about me, in front of me, knowing I have no clue what they're talking about. It'll also be fun when Mommy, who's fluent in French, comprehends and then chimes in! Mental note: must learn more French.

We are a Star Wars family. Lil Dude is R2D2, Dude is C3P0. Mommy is Leia (or Chewbacca, depending on her mood) and, according to the boys, I'm Darth Vader...or Yoda. I prefer being Yoda but, apparently, I'm more often the Dark Lord. Go figure.

Mommy & Me: Married 11 years.

So, who am I?

I'm a teacher (presently, 30 nine and ten year olds fill my classroom...). For the past 16 years I've taught everything from grades 1 through 5. A parent best described my class as "controlled chaos" - they know the boundaries and can explore within them...just don't push it! I love inquiry based learning...where I can bend the curriculum to meet my lessons, letting my students creatively discover the world that surrounds them. My mission is to be the teacher that I'd like my boys to experience.

I'm a voice actor (you know, someone who makes those animation voices in those cartoons kids watch ad nauseum). While yes, I have an agent, and yes, I've been awarded gigs, my career has not flourished. Yet. Growing up with the Muppets and Sesame Street, and having parents who allowed me the creative space to create voices with my stuffed animals and puppets...well, to be a professional cartoon character WAS on my bucket list!

I'm a home cook (while I wish I could be the next Anthony Bourdain or Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey, I'd rather play chef in the confines of my own home where failure IS an option). Also, having read "Kitchen Confidential", there's no way in hell I'd survive a professional kitchen. That being said, my Christmas gifts included Wusthof knives, an 18" x 24" x 2" end grain cutting board, Bourdain's new cookbook "Appetites"...I really have the tendency to go 'whole-hog' into a passion. Thankfully, I'm married to an amazing woman who supports and encourages this passion (especially when she gets to reap the rewards!)

Music plays a major role in my life. It's ALWAYS on in the house. I'm not talking kids music, either (though we hear our fair share of Thomas the Train songs and Disney tracks). You'll likely see songs as titles of my blogs - it's usually indicative of my mood as I write. With over 11542 songs (currently) in my iTunes library, my tastes are wide ranging: from  rock to triphop, chillout to punk, Madchester to Rat Pack, classical to 90's pop, guilty pleasures (Air Supply, anyone?) to classic soul, broadway to hair metal...making playlists makes me happy. Country music is big with me, too. As my sister said to me, when I questioned her connection to country, "most music has grand music appreciates the little moments, the beer, the truck, the clothes, the sounds of the moment." Appreciating the moment seems necessary these days.

You'll also, likely, find recipes (or links to recipes) along the way. I cook. It centres me. It allows me to forget the tensions and stresses and challenges of the day. Immersing myself in a 'project' that has a beginning, middle and end, complete with a product at the end, is excitingly rewarding. The challenge of either creating my own recipe or re-creating something from the masters makes me happy. Seeing the look on Mommy's face when she walks in the door as the scent of my food wafts towards her gives me something beyond satisfaction. Involving Dude & Destructor in the process is, also, highly rewarding (albeit messy).

You'll also get (more than a) glimpse into our home life. You'll likely learn about PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)...or at least read the challenges of supporting a partner with it. This blog is, in some way, an outlet for me but, perhaps, it'll be the beginning of a conversation in your home if, perhaps, your house is affected by 'it'. There aren't many resources or support systems for men dealing with a partner with PMDD so I thought I'd create my own. There's a lot of info about how to deal with PMDD (what you can say or do for your partner) but hardly a drop about how YOU can survive being the lightning rod for her dysphoria...what you must do for YOU. (Sadly, there are so many people out there who, when presented with a partner with PMDD, say 'get out, leave, divorce, run away!' - that's not how I was raised nor is it the mentality I want my boys to develop.

On that note, let's get on with the show. Remember, the Force is with you. Always.

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