Is this Instagram or Reality?

I love Instagram. I really do. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve likely seen just how much useless nonsense I share on the platform. My stories make zero sense. Anyways, quarantine has given me a lot of extra time to browse. There’s so much of a fake reality on the platform that I just breeze past typically, not giving it a second glance. But hey, now that I’m under quarantine, I’ve got lots of time to look.

Disclaimer: I have no ill will towards any of the people who posted any of these photos. I am merely sharing for the purpose of 1) Good Fun and 2) To remind everyone that a little brightening or lightening can make a photo pop, but please don’t take it too far. A curated life isn’t really a life… just bits and bobs of photoshopped memories that won’t mean as much as the over the years.

I really hope each of these people kept their originals. I bet their originals were so much better.


Firstly, Paris is offended. One of the most beautiful cities on earth, where virtually EVERYTHING seems to be ‘Instagrammable’ so to speak, and you feel the need to do this?

Secondly, who do you think you’re fooling? Is there anyone on earth who would believe this realistic? Are there people in this world who believe that pilots fly this close to freestanding towers and internationally renowned tourist destinations?


“Don’t mind me. Felt cute just going on bare-foot frolic next to the Colosseum. How perfect is my life?”

ROME? ROME? You don’t think people are going to be able to tell when you’ve photoshopped yourself into Rome? I see what you did there, being on your toes and all. That’s a clever trick to make it easier to plant yourself on any surface. Next, lets take this exact same photo to… the Vowing Hands of Vietnam.


The caption said this was at the Chicago Skydeck. This photoshop is bad. Just baaaaaaad. The stitching around each of their frames is so evident, the sky has been far too saturated to look real, and somehow, they managed to catch a windy enough day… inside, for their gowns to blow.

Just ignore the bottom left and right corners where the city is the same colour as they sky. They did not photoshop the sky and accidentally photoshop small bits of the city too and hope no one would notice.


As someone who lives in Northern Canada and sees the Northern lights several times a year, I can assure you, this sky is not real. Can you see stars at the same time as you see the Northern Lights? Yes. Do the stars shine through the Northern lights like you can see in this photo? No. Because her stars are fake. Also, is that a UFO in the top left, or did she bring a spotlight with her, or is there absolutely zero light pollution from the moon?

There’s a big beautiful world out there filled with wonder and amazement. If you are one of the lucky ones who gets to see it, or at the very least pieces of it, and you feel like sharing it on Instagram, please don’t take the editing too far.

Word to the wise.

Do not answer your phone whilst you are doing the dishes. You will, in fact, drop your phone in the sink. I don’t care how careful you think you are. Lightning does strike and phones do drown. Don’t make the same mistakes I make.

Today is off to a great start.

It’s currently sitting in a bowl of rice. Rice is good for so much. I mean… cross your fingers for me.

KEEP ON SMILING. Don’t let them know your inner penguin.

‘Give em hell, kid.’

My Uncle was an extremely kind, socially awkward genius who cared about two things in life – his family and sports. He never married, never had children. He treated us like we were his kids. Actually, to that point, at one time in our lives, he took my siblings and I in for an extended period of time so that we didn’t have to be placed in foster care. Family was everything to him.

His profession was accounting and his passion was sports. His superpower was analysis. Numbers always came easy to him. I think that’s why he liked accounting so much, everything had balance if he worked at it long enough. Where the majority of the population looked at a page of numbers and saw a headache, he looked and saw potential. Whether through accounting or through sports, numbers were always his answer.

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, Horse Racing, Golf… you name it, he loved it. He loved studying sports. He analyzed statistics and he used them to create a pretty lucrative career for himself just from sports betting alone. I remember the day he told us he made his first million from betting, we presumed he was going to phone it in and sail off into the sunset. Nope. He easily made triple his accounting salary from sports betting every year and it never changed him. He got up every day at 6:00 am and went to his accounting job for 42 years.

He treated my siblings and I as though we were his own kids. Gave us lectures when we made stupid choices, purchased us things (wants and needs) just because he could, never forgot a birthday, Christmas or anniversary EVER. When we had all graduated from highschool and went on to University, he made it a point to visit each one of us every single year at least one time. He’d pull the regular parent move of just casually happening to find a toaster on sale, after only 12 hours earlier noticing I didn’t own a toaster. And well, ‘it’s here kid, so you might as well take it’, he’d say.

When he retired in 2017, he told us that it was his dream to watch an MLB game from every MLB Stadium and an NHL Game from every arena. And that’s what he set out to do. He’d spent the majority of the past two and a half years travelling across the continent, watching any and all sporting events he could get himself tickets to. He was, in the truest definition of the phrase, living his best life.

Yesterday my dad got some of the things from his home. Memorabilia he’d collected over the years, a watch collection (he loved his watches), things he’d held onto that he never told us about, and lots of pictures. Lots and lots of pictures of us kids. Pictures I don’t even remember taking. Pictures I didn’t even know existed. Graduation programs of each of us that he’d gone through and highlighted each of our names in.

My uncle will forever hold a special place in my heart. There was this one phrase that he always said to me, when I was 3, when I was 20, when I turned 30. Every time he saw me, he’d find some way to say ‘Give em hell, kid’, in the midst of our conversations. Actually, with respect to that, in 2015 I was working as a Communications Director for the World Championships. I had the ability to get tickets for someone, and, knowing that he’d be able to cross that off his bucketlist of tournaments to attend, I gave the tickets to him. I remember during the final, the place was packed to the highest capacity the Fire Marshall’s wold allow. I brought him up to the press box so that he could see the game with an unobstructed view. Canada ended up losing that game in over-time and morale sunk for 20,000+ people in about fifteen seconds. I told him that I had to head down to the scrum, gave him a hug and pointed out the staircase he’d need to use to exit. As I walked off to face an onslaught of journalists from around the world, not looking forward to what was coming, he laughed and said ‘You’ve got this. Give em hell, kid’.

That moment will forever stand out in my mind. I was about to get bullied by a group of journalists from around the world and he knew I could handle it with grace.

Now, as I see this extensive collection of photos of my siblings and I from over the years, a watch collection (that was literally the only valuable things he ever bought for himself) and some bits and bobs from his home, I’m reminded of how much of his life he spent doing things for others, rather than for himself. I remember how he bought the home he and his siblings grew up in and gifted it to his brother for a place to call home, again. I remember how he would drive four hours on a Saturday just to watch his great-nephew’s hockey game, to turn around and drive home.

In a world filled with selfish, hyper-consumer driven, unrelenting divisiveness, he was the glue that tied our family together. He was that shining halo to always see the brighter side, the softer side and that giving was far better than receiving.

Everyone grieves differently, I understand that. The majority of the family seems to fighting over who’s going to get his money. Not just his savings, but who’ll profit from the sale of his home, and the few possessions he owned. The rest of the family who isn’t fighting about money are all grossly disappointed and frustrated that we can’t have a Memorial Service for him due to the present health pandemic sweeping the globe. I honestly don’t care who takes his money. I just want to make sure that he’s remembered in the way that he deserves to be remembered.

He ALWAYS remembered each of us. And I think now more then ever, it’s important that we remember him in the way that he deserves. Since we can’t give him a proper Memorial right now, I’m not really sure what that looks like.

I think I’m going to see if I can get my hands on his list of stadiums and arenas he’s visited. I’m honestly not even sure if he made it to each of them or not. If he didn’t, though, I think it’d be a nice thing if we went for him.

Anyways, I guess we’ll continue to see how this unravels.

That’s all for now.

A fascinating sight for Hockey Night in Canada

Photo from CBC.CA (Note the blue pads, gloves and helmet that is all Marlies branded gear)

I can’t even begin to imagine the feelings that would come with experiencing both the scariest, and coolest, moment of your life at the exact same moment in time.

On February 22 (last night) the Carolina Hurricanes enlisted the use of an Emergency Backup Goaltender in their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

David Ayres, a 42 year old Zamboni Driver for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, stepped in as goaltender, MAKING HIS NHL DEBUT, for the Carolina Hurricanes. Ayres finished off the second and third periods for the Canes after the their goaltenders, Petr Mrazek and James Reimer, went down with injuries.

Stopping 8 out of 10 shots he faced in the period-and-a-half of play, Ayres was named the games’ first star and helped the Canes to a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In one night he made his NHL Debut and clocked his first NHL win.

Ayres’ game winning stick will go on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame and Ayres, a kidney transplant recipient, will be in Carolina this coming Tuesday to celebrate with the Canes and help raise money and awareness for the American Kidney Fund.

One day you’re driving a zamboni and the next day you’re the game-winning goaltender of your NHL Debut.

Anything can happen in this life, all you really have to do is believe.

Canadian Neighbours

It’s not a smart idea to go for a walk when the neighbours are out. Actually, when these neighbours are out, we tend to just let them be and avoid even driving past them. It’s a little ‘extra’, sure. But they don’t like it when humans bother them and we Canadians, we like to accommodate one another. They might look nice, docile and cute but I promise you, if they feel threatened you will wind up in a lot of pain.

Normally we don’t see the kids (just the grown ups), but they’re extra territorial when their babies are with them. People say Mama Bears are protective, I swear to goodness, the Moose are a lot more protective of their little ones.

And yes, the plural of moose is moose.

And yes, this is a Mama Moose and baby. Only male moose grow antlers.

The Story of Jack

This is Jack, the aforementioned rottweiler who I am babysitting for the weekend. Some of his favourite past times include barking at his own shadow, using his tail as a weapon and jumping into the highest snowbanks he can find.

My brother found Jack wandering a remote part of highway just about two years ago. He picked him up and put him in his truck because he didn’t want him to get hit by a car. He tried to take him to the local animal shelter and they wouldn’t take him because they didn’t have enough room. (Being that we’re in a small town, the shelter asked him if he could take the dog home/find the owner on his own, or the dog would likely be shipped to a shelter in Vancovuer) My brother told the police and bylaws enforcement that he found this dog in hopes that someone would claim him and then took him home thinking he’d be keeping him for a day or two until someone came to claim him.

No one came to claim him.

There were no missing dog signs. There were no missing dog notifications on Facebook. Worried someone was out there missing their dog, my brother continued to call the animal shelter, the police station and the local bylaws enforcement for three months after he found Jack. No one ever called in looking for a missing rottweiler.

And that’s how we found Jack.

He’s the most protective, most loyal, most loving dog. I’m not sure what happened to his previous owner, if they lost him or they just left him. I’d like to hope that people aren’t out there just abandoning dogs… but at the same time no one ever claimed him. No one ever even looked for him. So a piece of me feels like he might just well have been abandoned.

He falls asleep at the foot of your bed every night. If you get upset, he tries to curl up onto your lap because he’s unaware of his massive size. He’s never met a cat that he doesn’t absolutely love and, he’s just always happy. Always. To be honest, I could probably learn a lesson or two from him.

So, I’m sick. I know I say that a lot – the benefits to having a sucky immune system is that it’s true each time that I say it. Jack got here around noon yesterday and he has not left my side. I kid you not. He doesn’t even want to go outside. He just wants to lay at my feet, or sit on my lap. The sweet, kind, wonderful neighbour offered to take him for a walk last night because she knew I was sick and she wanted him to get out for a walk… and he didn’t even want to leave my side.

I often see memes, photos and videos around the internet that exclaim ‘we don’t deserve dogs’, dogs are too kind too us. Jack makes me think of those memes and photos and videos. Dogs are such a gift.

She’s pregnant.

A couple of months back I shared this post: Getting pregnant to ‘trap a man’ is THE WORST IDEA ever.

To sum up the entirety of the story quickly, my cousin is manipulative and decided that she was never going to get another boyfriend as attractive as her current boyfriend so, by her logic, she might as well find a reason that would make him have to stay. So, her plan was to get pregnant.

I did manage to get in touch with her boyfriend to try and let him know about her plan but, by the time I’d done so, she’d manipulated him into believing that I was a liar and that he shouldn’t listen to anything I had to say, the conversation was brief.

Well, she’s pregnant.

Her mom(my aunt) phoned my mom the other day to share the news of how excited she was to have her first grand child on the way. My aunt said that no one is allowed to know because she’s only five weeks along. So… my cousin told me her plan was to get pregnant in late November. It’s now February 4 and she’s five weeks along. If you do the math… it took her very little time to execute on ‘Operation Trap My Boyfriend’.

When my mom told me that my cousin was pregnant the discussion came up about what my cousin told me in November, how this was her plan. My mom’s response? ‘No, that’s definitely not true. She has PCOS, she was told it would be difficult to impossible to conceive naturally’.

Yeah, she doesn’t have PCOS.

‘Where did you hear that she has PCOS?’ I asked my mom.

‘[Your aunt],’ my mom said.

So, my cousin convinced her mom that she had PCOS and was going to have a hard time having kids if she ever wanted them. Her mom then then in turn convinced my mom that she had PCOS. Who wants to bet that she convinced her boyfriend that she had PCOS so they didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant?

*Note – It is worth noting, I am aware that PCOS makes it difficult to get pregnant, not impossible. I am also aware that there are women in this world who use PCOS as an excuse when they don’t have it. Nevertheless, I digress.

Apparently, the boyfriend is happy. Apparently he’s, and I quote from my mom, from her mom, from her, ‘he’s over the fricken moon’ with excitement.

Also, apparently, the boyfriend is from a religious family. And, religion being something that baffles me to my core, his family is completely okay with him living with his girlfriend out of wedlock, but, his family is not okay with them bringing a child into this world out of wedlock.

According to my aun they might get married to appease the family, and then have a ‘real wedding’ after the baby comes.

Of course all this is hearsay at this point because I have since been… ex-communicated from her life for trying to tell her boyfriend of the plan. So, the information I am being provided I am taking with a grain of salt.

Breaking this down for my own brain: Cousin plans to trap boyfriend by getting pregnant. Cousin tells me this plan in November. Aunt delivers news that cousin is pregnant in February. Cousin’s boyfriend comes from a family that believes you cannot bring a child into this world out of wedlock. So… cousin and boyfriend could potentially be getting married in a ‘quickie ceremony’ to appease religious family.

I wonder how cousin’s boyfriend(and his family) feel about divorce?

I also wonder how cousin’s boyfriend will feel when they inevitably have a fight that leads to him learning she intentionally got pregnant. Because this will come out. Things like this always have a way of coming out.

I stand by what I said in November… getting pregnant to trap a man is the worst idea ever. Even if they do get married, even if they do try to stay together for this child, this entire situation is going to put some serious strain on their relationship. And imagine how this poor child is going to feel when their fights happen. I feel like ‘plans like this’ always come up in fights over the years. I feel like this child is destined for a life of tug-of-war parenting.

Her boyfriend is a cop. I don’t know him well, but I reckon in being a cop (and now from learning he comes from a religious family background) the concepts of honesty and integrity are important to him.

I wonder how he’s going to feel when he learns how manipulative his girlfriend is.

Also, this poor child that’s going to be born into this.