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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Famdamily

Wow, so many posts and I haven’t really mentioned my family. The blog is about Bigwes, Vassa, and Wesley after all. So I guess my family fits into that category somewhere. Here we go. I have one brother and one sister. We all grew up in P.E.I. I left when I was 18 years old, and my siblings are still there. The End………

Just kiddin. Like I could stop at only those few lines. You guys know me better that by now. “I’m gonna ramble on, sing my song …” If you haven’t noticed by now, I love to quote musical lyrics in my blogs. That one is from a little band that you may, or may not, have heard of called Led Zeppelin.

Any who… movin’ right along. My Mom grew up on a farm just outside Wheatley River, and my Dad was from South Rustico, but hung out in North Rustico where all the bad asses were from. (He must have been a bad ass. A smart ass, for sure. That’s were I get it from) South Rustico and Wheatley River are about a 10-minute drive in a car, so it would have taken a long time back in the olden days of horse and buggy or horse and sleigh. Wait just a tick, it was the 60s/70s. P.E.I. is not that far behind, although Karen thinks they are. Not behind, just more old fashioned and innocent. Anyway, I don’t know much else about the early days. Details are sketchy at best. I guess I never asked how my folks met, and don’t think I’ve ever been told … huh. I got the usual stories, like everyone else, “Back in our day, a bag of chips and a pop cost only a nickel.” We also got to hear about them going to school, walking on snowbanks as high as the telephone lines, “No snow like that nowadays,” they’d tell us. “We were barefooted, and it was uphill both ways.” Uh huh, real believable. What I do know is that my folks were married in the winter of 1973. My Mom in a long white dress and my Dad sporting a dark grey blazer and a pink shirt (pimpin). (I know this ‘cause I have the picture as proof) They look so young, Dad 18 and Mom 20, definitely early by today’s standards.

I was the first to be dropped off by the stork in 1976, then my brother in ’81 and my sister in ‘84.

My brother … He was a brat. Let me tell you, a real nuisance to his older brother, me. Always following me around like a lost puppy, except way less cute. Wanna play? Wanna play shadow? (That’s the annoying game where the person repeats everything you say.)(That’s the annoying game where the person repeats everything you say.) Whatcha doin’? Where ya goin’? Can I come? I wanna come. Let me come. Daaaaaad, Wesley won’t let me go with him. More often than not, he would tag along. It’s hard to be cool when your little brother is always tagging along. He was too young to hang out with my friend and too old to hang with our sister’s friends … a middle child. One time he tagged along when we went tobogganing. He tried to impress my friends by hitting a ramp at twice the speed that we were hitting it. He went way up the hill, then down he came, hit the jump and … crack went his leg as he landed (broken in 2 places). I had to tow him up the hill on the sled. Crazy. You think he would have learned, but he didn’t. When it healed, he was back to following me around.
As we got a bit older, he would rat me out for stuff. He was always trying to get me in shit. I remember him running into my room, where I was hanging with my girlfriend, who he also didn’t get along with at the time. (I think he was just jealous of her stealing me away from him.) Anyway, he burst through the door and said in his annoying bratty little brother voice, “It smells like liquor in here. Is someone smoking? I’m telling mom.” What a goofball. I find out years later that it was him doing the smoking outside. He just wanted to get me in trouble. See what I’m saying.

He eventually grew up, and all it took was me moving away. We are friends now … very good friends. We always hang out now when I visit home. He gets along great with Karen, so that’s a plus. When there’s nothing to do, the 3 of us can usually find some trouble to get into. It’s a shame I don’t get to see him more, usually it’s only once a year. I’m glad we grew so close over the years and he can confide stuff in me, and if not in me he can tell the wife. We have a great relationship now. I’m convinced that the brotherly beatings worked. Ha, ha, ha. He stopped emulating me and grew into his own man. Now I’m the one that always tags along asking “So, you want to do something, or go somewhere? Whacha wanna do?”

Then came my sister (she was a baby when we got her), she was actually a relative, my 2nd cousin or something. But, in P.E.I. everyone is a cousin or related somehow … the tree is not so big, less than 6 degrees of separation for everyone. We had her for a bit. Not sure how long, a few months maybe, and then the ‘rents adopted her. She was the cutest. She was great for me. She didn’t annoy me one bit. She did howerver annoy my brother, and that was great. Payback’s a bitch. She was Always following him around. Ha, now he got to know what it was like. My sister was 12 (I think) when I left, and she got my old room. (and fast, I might add … within weeks of me leaving she moved to the basement and took my room over) The ‘rents turned her room into a sitting/TV room. Parents are cruel. My bed wasn’t even cold yet. One day her and my Dad decided to hang all my record collection on the clothes line in the basement and use them for target practice with the pellet gun.(Did they hate me or something? What gives?) We had a huge basement and I guess they were bored. But come on, who does that? I had some great vinyl. (KISS, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath, etc.) Now it’s all gone, except for KISS. Apparently, my sister wouldn’t let them shoot that one. Such a smart girl.

Later that year, my sister was hit by a car while running across the highway, and is now confined to a wheelchair. Her mentality is still that of a 12-year-old little girl or maybe even less. She still loves Barbies and dolls and colouring. (I mean who doesn’t) I still see that same little girl. Her likes and dislikes are the same it’s kind of funny and sad at the same time. Sometimes she does stuff more grown up and it throws me for a loop. It’s hilarious when she orders a kids meal at a restaurant and in true Doucette form, she asks for a Tea-Maria or an orange Bacardy Breezer. She is always the centre of attention wherever they go. She is generally happy, so that’s a good. I just wish there were more programs for her. But hell, it’s P.E.I. what can you do?

Some of my great memories of growing up as part of this family unit are trips to the beach, the break water in North Rustico, (a.k.a. the Crick) the real beach, not the tourist beaches Cavendish or Brackley. Too busy, most Islanders or smart ones only go to the tourist beaches after 6 p.m. I still prefer the break water to this day.

We used to camp a lot with friends or family. We’d have live music, marshmallows, hot dogs and laughter, around a campfire, those were good times. We also had many family game nights. At least twice a month, I would get to kick ass at some kind of game…Hey, it’s my memory and I remember winning all the time

I remember dinner in our household. We always waited for everyone to be home from work before we started. Pops even moved the TV out of the kitchen so we would eat and talk. It didn’t always work, sometimes more of a yelling match. I hated that back then. No TV (we were missing the Simpsons) and talking about our day. Yuck. But, as I look back I do it with fond memories. As you get older your life changes (there’s that word again change…Oy vey ) and what you didn’t like, you realize that you actually didn’t mind at all. It made me the man I am today. I always wait to eat dinner with Karen (I usually cook it, too but that’s besides the point).and when I have kids there will be no TV at dinner time. I guess that got instilled in me, and it’s important to me now.

The moral of the story is… Actually there are three morals. First: You can’t choose your family, although, sometimes it would be nice to. Second: They sure as heck didn’t choose you. Thirdly: If you can’t be with the one you want, then I guess you better love the one you’re stuck with.

The Doucettes

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Posted by on August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Thoughts on weddings

It’s wedding seasons is it not? I’m on somewhat of a wedding kick for the last two weeks. You just never know what I’m gonna blog about. So enjoy… And who knows, you may actually learn something.

Weddings … I always have a good time even if I think that I won’t. All the good eats and drink and elaborate centerpieces and flowers (I love flowers), and all the people, how could you go wrong? Each one is always so different and exciting. Jesus, I sound a bit gay. Pretty flowers, and sugar and spice and everything else that is nice. Wait a minute, Am I? … ummmmmmmmm, no. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

When I got married, I wasn’t aware of the custom of “covering your plate.” I’m like, what the hell are you talking about? That sounds absurd. Who ever heard of that? Can’t you just give a gravy boat or a quilt that you made or 50 bucks in a nice card? Those are the things I’m used to. I’ve now learned that the going rate for an all-inclusive wedding (open bar and served meal, usually at a banquet hall) is $100 per person. This gets really expensive if you have a significant other to pay for. It turns into $250 at a minimum (“the rule” is to cover your plate and add a little bit extra for a gift), So it could be $300 if you are good friends with the couple (the sky’s the limit). That’s a lot of coin for one night. Plus, I don’t go to many, or they are spaced far apart, so every time I go I need to buy a suit or alter the hell out of the one I have. It’s nuts. Money, money, money… It’s a rich mans world.

It’s not just open-bar weddings or sit-down dinners that I‘ve been to. I’ve been to my share of cash-bar weddings and I’m sure I will be to more before my life is over. If it’s cash bar, you can get away with giving less, and no dinner you can go even less. Anywhere from $50 – $75 each I would say (my opinion). These weddings are equally as fun, you just have to improvise. You set up a car in the parking lot with all the liquor and beer, and hope that you don’t get caught. Just wander outside whenever you need a drink. Oh yes, the bar car (I think it should be one word the “Barcar”). How fun is that? Everyone hanging out at the car doing shots or drinking beers. I love playing bar tender (“Barcar tender,” my new job), making up all different sorts of shots and mixing drinks. Good times had by all. The Barcar, where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came … Unfortunately, you do miss some the wedding, what can you do? As long as you’re not the groom or bride, it’s all good. People are cheap and they love to drink, plus some of the peeps are already outside anyway having a cigarette. (You are still permitted to smoke at the Barcar.)

Some of the weddings I’ve been to try to overcompensate. They put expensive vodka or whisky on the tables so it looks all impressive, but when you try to get mix it’s impossible. I mean I do have Russian blood in me, but I can’t drink straight liquor all night long. I would die (I mean, Vassa would die). I need variety and love mixing all drinks (hard on the head the next day, but it’s well worth it). I’ve recently been to a wedding where they had expensive single-malt scotch and I was all over that. I mean, who doesn’t love a nice belt of single-malt on the rocks?

I’m not sure where I stand on Kosher food or weddings on Sundays. This is a strange thing for me. I’m new to the Kosher food, also. It’s hit or miss. Kosher meats are from animals that chew the cud and have cloven hoofs, so no pork (mmmm … the other white meat), and you can’t have dairy with meat, so this means either a vegetarian dinner with a good desert, like ice cream (I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream) and coffee (with milk/cream), or you have meat and no ice cream. We’ve been to one where we did have meat followed by ice cream for dessert. Amazing, even when I found out that it was fake ice cream made without the cream (parve). Can it still be called ice cream? Not sure, but it tasted good. I couldn’t tell the difference, but I had had a few drinks by the time dessert came. (Fool me once … ya, I‘m a fool.)

Drinking and eating, laughing and being merry, that’s how weddings should be. Speeches and dances, my God people. Think about your guests. I’ve been to a few where they close the bar. Man, if you can’t go to the bar that is a real problem and usually tough to sneak to the Barcar. So you just sit and wait. It gets long and boring The speeches are mainly for the bride and groom and whoever is giving it. Most of the other people don’t give a rat’s ass. No offence. So let the folks go for a bevy. It helps pass the time. I’ve also been to some where they have 10 dances without letting people join in – Bride and Groom, Mother and Groom, Bride and Father, the parents, sister and cousins, former roommate’s garbage man, and then, finally, the wedding party, etc. People, I’ve had liquor, I want to dance. I’m ready to party, let me dance. (As you know it’s always all about me. ha, ha) This is the norm for a Cake wedding. (Cake refers to Canadians of Anglo origin) No one dances until the bride and groom have had their first dance. I experienced something different for the first time at our wedding. Everyone (all the Russians) got on the dance floor straight away … way before our first dance. During dinner and the whole night through, and after our first dance, the Canadian folk felt that they can now dance, and they joined in. Strange, eh? Or maybe not.

Seriously, let me reiterate, if you want me to sit there and watch all the designated dances and listen to all the speeches, at least let me get a drink. Hey, I’m just putting it out there for all of you to consider. Am I alone here? I think not. Some people may like this kind of thing, me I like the party part, not the waiting around, getting thirsty and not being able to dance yet part. Plus it’s a proven fact that everything is more fun with drinks. I’m not strange or rude, I just have a short attention span and need to be entertained a lot. Just ask my wife.

We have a few weddings coming up and am looking forward to them. Can’t wait to see what’s different about them, see what kind of trouble I can get into, and see how long they can keep my attention for. I’m the best man in one, so that will be something new for me. I just may have to stay totally sober for that one …Yah, doubtful…As the Wes saga continues, Karen will need to fill in the blanks.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

The Nuptials ♥

Our wedding took place on August 11, 2007. Holy shit, how time passes.(Happy Anniversary Babe) OK, Now that we got that out of the way, let’s go back for just a minute to the planning of said wedding. You know, all the fun stuff.

When we were telling people of our engagement, they would often ask if we picked a date or when was the date. Holy moly! I don’t get this phenomenon of asking that right away. Of course we don’t have a date yet, I just friggin’ proposed. What the “H” is it with people? We are slow, it took 10 years to get to the first step, do ya really think we would have the second step all planned out in detail? Now do ya? Do ya really? Think before you speak, come on people, your killin’ me… OK, I’m better now.
So as the days went on, we started planning for our wonderful day. It was slow at first, eventhough Karen was pretty organized. A few months later, we went to the wedding shows downtown. Then we were cookin’ with oil, things started moving right along. Booked the DJ at the first show, even before we had a venue (he was awesome by the way), then found flowers, invites and photography at the next. The wedding shows made everything so easy. We finished planning the wedding in January!

Now I could see things coming together. We went venue hunting, went to some nice places, and some not so nice where we didn’t even get out of the car, but we both fell in love with one in particular. Karen liked it because it was new, well so did I. She also liked that we didn’t need chair slips/covers, and all the linens/napkins, etc. All included. I liked the huge marble bar and the dance floor. It was final, we found a venue and set the date. We stayed mostly in budget. Now there’s a word I don’t like. You only set a budget so you can go over it. Anyway, we had some kind of number in our head, I blew it a bit on the flowers. I think I doubled it to be precise. I didn’t want roses, nor did Karen, so we opted for the more expensive flowers – orchids and lilies. White and purple orchids and long white calla lilies. I’m a wee bit of a groomzila. I wanted everything to be perfect. Some guys don’t care about that stuff. I guess Karen is lucky to have had a fiancé that liked getting involved. I’m lucky that I had such a thrifty (cheap) wife to be, always watching the almighty buck. Well, ya know, she is Jewish. Ha, ha. Actually, it’s cha, cha (Hard sounding ch – hrrrah. Hard to explain in English.) She kept me somewhat under control with the spending. I helped design the centre pieces. Big vase, stones, callas and water. I wanted fish to swim in between the lilies, but the cost was way too much. Plus, the only fish that could survive like that would have been a beta fighting fish. Who knows the mayhem we would have had if our friends knew they were fighting fish. Most likely would have put them together to fight. Ya, it’s a good thing we skipped the fish part, although it would have been pretty friggin’ sweet.

Everyone that came had a great time, I know I did. My Dad would bring it up for months, “What a good time. Never seen anything like that. Wow! I had fun.” As one of my Uncles say “You can only attend one of those type of weddings a year, otherwise it’s too hard on the liver.” He is a wise man. We (“we” meaning my immediate family, Karen was used to this) had never been to weddings like that – open bar, lots of food served to you by waiters, dancing late into the night. We only knew or went to weddings in churches with receptions at the legion or in a hall, sometimes with a cash bar and maybe a band. This is the norm where I come from and there’s nothing wrong with that. (I’m not sure that in P.E.I. there are many or even any wedding venues like the one that I got married in.) Speeches were said, we danced our first dance as man and wife(The Rumba to a KISS song), we did the hora (a type of circle dance – the national dance of Israel), we had our cake and ate it too, and then we partied long into the night. Together with their parents, Karen and Wesley, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda ,yadda. August 11, 2007, at West River Event Centre, ceremony in the garden, reception in the Parkview Room. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day for an outside wedding and pictures, and a nice August night for a party. Great food (there was tons of it), great music and great people equals great times.
Mazal Tov

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Religion & Customs

Wow, a very touchy subject. It always gets the blood pumpin. So many different ones. I’m so used to Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, etc. – you know, those based around the Christian belief. In the city, we have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and more, the list could take up this whole page and still keep going. I grew up in a Christian house. Mom was Protestant and Dad was Catholic. That is as bad as being French and English. (oil and water) Oh wait, our family history is French and English. Go figure. I think my folks had kind of given up on the whole religious thing until I got them sucked back in. At a young age I was interested in going to church, so they tagged along.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” – Michael Corleone (The Godfather)

We went to the Church of Christ. It leans more to the Protestant side, but to me it’s kind of in the middle of Catholic and Protestant, without all the Saint worshipping. J.C. is our main man. Hence, the name “Church of Christ.” I’m not so religious, more spiritual I would say. I believe in doing onto others as you want them to do onto you… and all the other Commandments.
Amen to that.
Although I grew up in a Christian household and community, I’ve always been drawn to the Jewish faith, not sure why. All my favourite movies are Jewish (Spider-men, Bat-men and Super-men). My favourite singers are Jews, also – Gene Simmons (a.k.a. Haim Witz), Bob Dylan (a.k.a. Robert Zimmerman), and the list goes on and on. I played spin the dreidel in grade two with my classmates. (For those who don’t know, this is not dirty. Get your mind out of the gutter.) You know, Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay, and when it’s dry and ready, with my dreidel I will play. Wow, it does sound sexual, or is it just me? Lookin’ back, I realize my teacher was Jewish. I knew she didn’t do X-mas, but it was years later, after I met Karen actually (and found out what a dreidel was – repressed memories I guess, ha, ha), that I put two and two together and came to the conclusion that she must be Jewish. Cool, huh? I have great detective skills.

Even when I moved out to college, one of my new best buddies, Dave or “Jewboy” as we all called him, was Jewish. (huh, that sounds prejudice) And, of course, you all know that I’m married to one. What is this magnetic power they have over me?
When I first moved to Toronto, I still went to church. One of my roommates was a Bible thumper, so I would keep him company. I actually went to a couple of different ones, but then gave it up. Sundays are for nursing your hangover. My day of rest.
In Toronto, the stores are open on Sundays. Something that’s unheard of in P.E.I. Even the liquor stores are open. And, just recently, they’ve allowed stores to be open on all holidays. This is nuts, but very convenient. So many different religions and everyone has their own holy days, so why not stay open all the time?

Of course, there is a bit of a down side to this. We try not to offend people’s cultures, so we allow knives into schools because it’s part of the religious garb. Knives, but no Christian prayers? We try to change our “Christian” traditions, so as not to cause controversy.(On a side note, most of the traditions have nothing to do with religion anymore anyway.)
It’s not a Christmas tree, it’s a holiday tree. It’s not Santa Claus, it’s the big man in the red suit. As a big guy, this offends me. (lol) To me a pine tree with decorations and lights is a Christmas tree. End of discussion. But seriously, this has gone too far. It’s crazy. We need to respect other religions and their customs, just as they need to respect ours. If you move here from elsewhere, you need to conform a wee bit, maybe learn our customs, learn to speak English, get out into the community and experience different things. We live in a country that is (or was when most of the customs were established) mostly Christian. I’m not saying give up your customs and beliefs or “Christianize” them (because who knows if that’s even right), I’m just saying tweak them to fit in your new society. Change a little, as we have changed so we can all grow together. Canada is a multicultural country and that’s what makes it so great, even though it pisses me off sometimes. This is mainly when I go to a gas stations or corner stores. Lol… And that my friends, is all I got. My rant for today. I should change it from Bigwes’ blogs to Bigwes’ weekly rants. Religion, culture, death and vacations. Yes folks, you get it all right here in one spot.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized