Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Look Me Up

So, Dan Kanter came in on Monday.

For those of you who don’t know, Dan is Justin Bieber’s musical director, the man who makes Justin’s music happen; helps make it pop brilliance! He is also guitarist for The Beebs, and my wife, son and I have watched several films and television specials where Dan and Justin have performed acoustically, in front of wildly devoted Beliebers.

Late Sunday afternoon, Dan sent out a tweet saying he was headed to Montreal to chat with me on Global Montreal.

The instant he tweeted, the chime on my phone kept sounding, over and over and over and over again, non-stop for a freaky forty minutes straight! Dan’s tweet kept being “retweeted” and “favorited” by Bieber fans! I had the fire extinguisher poised over my dumbfounded smart phone in case it spontaneously combusted. Many of the tweets pleaded to meet with Dan, or simply gushed their love for, and adoration of, Justin!

I've had a few fun moments since joining Twitter! One was my choice of “handle”, or Twitter name. Nathan, a family friend, just happened to be in the Global Montreal newsroom with my son one night as I was being urged by my boss to join Twitter, in order to follow police tweets detailing the whereabouts of “red square” demonstrators.

Nate suggested the twitter handle, ”Dagenator”, which I thought was awesome then, and still think is friggin’ awesome!

The next fun moment on Twitter was hitting 500 followers. Of course, Dan has 1.3 million, but you gotta start somewhere!

My next fun moment on Twitter and the biggest by far, was having my Twitter account verified, a development which my son still hasn’t been able to cognitively process. He apparently believes it lends me far too much credibility on social media. He may have a point; after all, others in the Twitterverse with verified accounts include Chris Hadfield and Justin Bieber.


Sunday was my next fun moment on Twitter, as I got a tiny taste of intense, irrational superstardom. Obviously, I wasn't the target of tweeted adulation, only an incidental observer!

Dan Kanter visits Global Montreal Monday
When I met Dan Monday for an interview on our morning show about his new role as a judge on Season 7 of YTV’s “The Next Star”, I told him the phone story. He patiently nodded, as if to say he understood what I was excitedly blithering about. 

It’s Tuesday afternoon and his tweet is still being “re-tweeted” and “favorited” on Twitter!
Let’s see, as of this moment, 142 re-tweets and 280 favourites. Kinda frightening; kinda fascinating.

Twitter’s fun! It’s a great way to promote our show and to get quick messages and comments out to people who care; my twitter peeps, "tweeps"!

It even provides me with incentive to workout at the gym. If I work out, I can tweet a truth; namely, that I worked out.

If you haven’t tried Twitter, give it whirl. When you do, look me up!

I’m right behind you, Dan!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pass The Bag Please

I’ve lamented about this before and now I lament about it again, as usual, on behalf of all wonderfully sensitive men. These are men who can and must relate to the bittersweet, tender, poignant, desperate and noble with their hearts on their sleeves, for all to see.

These men, at least publicly, are few and far between. I know of only one other who works in the Global Montreal office and his identity is safe with me! 

I salute you anonymous sir, soiled tissue in hand.

It’s a curse we carry. Some appreciate us for it. Some, like my wife and son, appreciate us purely for our entertainment value.

I wrote about this in my blog of January 4, 2012, titled "Blubber-Free Zone".

On Friday, movie columnist Eric Cohen reviewed three movies, one of which was “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.

I had rented it the Friday before but, in the end, did not have time to watch it. After Eric’s positive review, I decided to rent it again and, today, made time to watch it. Also there for the viewing, my lovely wife, Susan.

The last time she cried in a movie, a horse stubbed its hoof.

As I watched the movie today, there were a couple of times when she shot me a glance to see whether I was crying. Why a man can’t cry in peace in his own home without fear of ridicule from his significant others, boggles me!

As she shot me those probing glances, I’d glance back at her with as emotionless an expression as I could possibly muster, fighting not to betray the emotion inevitably welling up inside me as a result of a scene in the movie.

My fight was going pretty well, but the end of the movie proved too much. I didn’t sob the way I allegedly may or may not have during and after “The Bridges of Madison County”, but tears did fill my eyes. They never rolled out, just filled my eyes to the brim.

Listen to me, struggling to defend myself.

As the last scenes of “Walter Mitty” unfolded, Susan exclaimed, merrily, “You’re crying!”

The battle was lost. My secret was out.

The movie continued a few seconds more and, next thing I know, my son instantly appeared in front of me, as though beamed directly from the Starship Enterprise! He was grinning delightedly, as I sat there on the couch.

My wife had sent him a text message that I was crying and he came running from his room to gawk!

What’s a man to do? What’s a sensitive, thoughtful man to do?

All I can do is keep my head up and, as we discuss movie choices, push for the action movies, although even some action movies have included overly stirring and touching scenes.

I think the safest option for me is a bag over my head.

Not a paper one, obviously; it would get too soggy too fast.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Against All Odds

Just a few minutes ago, I got back from walking the dog with my son.

As we headed out the door, I suggested, optimistically, vehicle traffic would be down since most residents were likely watching the Habs game.

We walked a few blocks to discover a couple of kids, undoubtedly eager Raptor fans, shooting a basketball into their roadside hoop in the darkness by the light of a streetlamp. Naturally, that’s the spot Spike decided to stop and drop!


Why not choose a spot that was spectator-free?
Whatever. Perhaps I’m projecting my own inhibitions.

He circled briefly and, ingloriously, proceeded to do the doo he had to do.

I pulled a bag out of my pocket as he finished, but before I could stoop to de-poop the road surface, we saw headlights coming over the hill toward us.


What are the odds Spike had to stop here? What are the odds a car had to approach at the exact moment Spike finished? What, pray tell, are the odds the car rolls directly over the dog’s mess? We were about to find out.

As soon as the car passed, I bent down to find the poop had been pressed flat into the pavement.


Through the inverted bag, I diligently tried to clutch and grab at something, but there was nothing! I wasn’t about to stand there and scratch matter free with my fingernails, so we simply walked away.

As we left the freshly-stained spot, my son remarked, “That’s probably either really good luck, or really bad luck”.

To the young basketball players and all who walk by that spot tomorrow shaking their heads, disgusted by some delinquent dog owner, I can only insist I am a responsible citizen who did all he could against all odds.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Let Me Count the Chickens

When Moose is prescribed medication, we need only wrap it in a piece of cheese and it is promptly inhaled. Done.

Somewhere along the line, our younger dog, Spike, has transformed himself into Sherlock Westie! He recognizes the sound of the pill packaging as it’s opened. If the temporal lapse between the sound of the packaging and the presentation of food is not sufficiently extended, he will snootily refuse to eat what’s placed in front of him.

If the pill is wrapped in food, he usually manages to somehow ingest the food, without the pill!

The vet suggested inserting the pill in a hot dog. No dice.
We have surrounded it in ground beef. Nothin’ doing.
It’s been wrapped in cheese. Not a chance.
We’ve tried a slice of turkey, a chunk of cold chicken and salami. Nice try.

Having exhausted all other options, my wife gently explains to Spike that the pill must be swallowed. As they continue their heartfelt nose-to-nose exchange (his part is mostly darting eyes and blinks), she ever-so-sweetly but emphatically expresses her exasperation and elaborates on all the different ways we’ve tried to disguise the pill. Once her patience is spent, she pries his mouth open and plants the pill in the back of his throat until he gags and then holds his muzzle shut, until he swallows. Love and devotion only go so far. Still, Susan’s conscience tends to flare with guilt.

Even the ruthless “rear throat plant” option has backfired! Certain the pill had gone down the hatch, Susan has even rewarded Spike for swallowing the pill only to have it tumble conspicuously from his mouth onto the floor after he happily crunches on a treat!

Don’t ask me; I don’t know where he hides it.

The one exception to this exercise in futility is a steaming, hot, pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store! These chickens are not entirely cheap, or, in this case, cheep. 

If Susan places his pill in a small chunk of piping hot chicken, he inhales it! Done. Flowers bloom, bees buzz; life is good. 

So, every now and then, instead of flowers, I bring home a piping hot chicken to profess my love to Susan.

How do I love thee? Let me count the chickens.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Beast Unleashed

Really, he's pretty unbelievable!

Last month, Mikael Kingsbury won his third World Cup moguls championship and the month before, under unimaginable pressure delivering the final run, he took home the Olympic silver medal in the moguls event! This morning, he was at our Global Montreal studio, back home after two months of intense international competition.

When he is back home, his Mom drives him to all his media stops, telling me, gratefully, it's her chance to finally spend some time with her son!

What it took Canadian moguls skier Jean-Luc Brassard 11 seasons to do, collect 20 World Cup wins, Mikael has done in only 4 seasons! On the World Cup circuit this season, at age 21, Mikael broke Brassard's record, collecting his 21st World Cup win and, of course, clinching the coveted Crystal Globe for a third time!

My hashtag for Mikael is #bumpbeast.

When we were done the interview, I asked if he'd be willing to snarl like a "bump beast" for an Instagram picture. Always up for fun, Mikael agreed. I'm not going to lie, the intensity of his roar freaked me out a little!

Of course, it didn't take long before we both started cracking up!

When he was a little boy, an already determined and ambitious Mikael put a poster of the Olympic rings above his bed with the words, "I will win". As our interview ended, I asked about the poster and he told me, until he wins Olympic gold, it's not coming down.

His dream and his goal remains Olympic gold.

People who know him, know that poster is as good as gone.