Can’t believe it’s travel hockey season already. Really glad we fell in with this great group of families & girls. Looking forward to see where they go in their first year at 16u.

    Loving the new wallpaper we put up yesterday in our small bathroom. Another step toward completing the project!

    21 years with this amazing lady!

    The Kids are Alright

    Yesterday I took two of our kids to Toronto to see the band Lovejoy at the Danforth Music Hall. Over the course of the morning, news was shared that folks were already lining up at 9am. We obviously couldn’t make it that early, but we were able to get to the neighborhood around 3:30p/4p.

    We started off by taking a walk through the neighborhood, admiring all of the cool shops and doing a bit of record browsing at Kops Records, before taking a pass of the line outside the venue. The doors were still at least 3 hours away, which also meant 3 hours of waiting in the sun. The kids still wanted to take part in the wait, so we did. I immediately ran across the street to Loblaws to buy snacks and drinks since it was hot. We then settled down to pass the time.

    The most obvious thing we noticed was that the line stretched from the venue entrance to the nearest corner, then south on Broadview Ave. The second thing was how dedicated and prepared these folk were – chairs, makeshift sun shades, and umbrellas of course… but also crafts and music and singing and merriment. Many folks shared the Lovejoy themed things they made, the food and drink they bought, and other supplies they brought to the experience.

    Beyond the great people watching, it was amazing to see the group self organize – there was a person doing regular welfare checks: updating the time remaining, reminding folks to hydrate and take shade breaks, and sharing other pieces of knowledge and sometimes supplies. There were folks passing out leftover food and drink, people collecting autographs of all the line-goers on their t-shirts and flags (and even bodies), cosplayers taking photos with anyone who asked, and various other forms of entertainment. There was no shortage of things to take in, even while sitting still on a side street in Toronto for three plus hours.

    I thought this was amazing and inspiring. Even beyond the instant community that popped up for this event, the vibe was joyful and open. You could tell these fans were having a good time sharing this experience with people. It gave me hope that the world isn’t just a hateful place where we are under the constant threat of active shooters (true story: there was a potential shooter threat in my neighborhood while we were in Toronto) or a place where fascist laws are being passed that seriously endanger my kid.

    I shared as much (albeit in fewer words) with the seemingly like-minded dad standing behind us, though his bewildered look caught me off guard and I didn’t expand on the thought. Yes, these kids weren’t the “standard future” you’d expect anyone to be excited for, but that’s exactly the fucking point. “Normal” looking people are doing a really great job at fucking this world up – whether it’s climate change, racism, fascism, capitalism, all of the LGBTQ targeting – the status quo isn’t working. And these kids know it.

    The more I thought about this, the more I thought these kids were just as punk or radical as I ever was (or am), and it has nothing to do with the genre of music. It’s the DIY attitude, the creativity, the sense of community, the looking out for one another – the acceptance of everyone and every thing. Those are the things I saw. Not the hair or clothes or any identity markers. That’s the surface stuff that can distract you, especially if you don’t care to look any deeper.

    It’s also no different than any other out-group of young people, whether it was the skaters/punks/hardcore kids when I was younger or these kids now. Which is why I was surprised that anyone who was a part of that growing up, couldn’t see the analogy to this group of young people now.

    For as much as the people caught up in our status quo love to talk about freedom, these kids have it right. For those on the right, freedom is literally a personalized, selfish freedom (the end-all, be-all of “I can do what I want”) vs. real freedom where people are free to be themselves without judgement.

    I really hope these young people don’t get caught up in the apathy and jaded feelings that trapped my generation (though as the parents of these kids I write about, we may have the last laugh!) They truly have the capacity to make the kind of changes we need to save this world.

    In the meantime, let’s listen to the kids a little more, please. They know a lot more than they are given credit for…

    I know I couldn’t me more proud of my three.

    Today, Chet and Watson. So cute. Didn’t last long though. 🤣

    Zoey’s high school team won their area championship yesterday and head to states on Friday. Also, Z got her cast off and is able to start playing again. Back at practice tonight!

    The Cazenovia girls representing their high school hockey teams before last night’s championship. Playoffs start this coming week! #rollkengi

    Zoey was unable to play, but we made the trek down to catch the championship game of her teams tournament. Cazenovia took the ‘ship with the game winner in OT with 10 seconds remaining. 🎉🏆🏒

    Zoey’s wrist injury (now in a cast for two weeks) is forcing her to miss the outdoor game of her hockey tournament today. Not too sad. 🥶

    Cazenovia ladies won their tournament this weekend in Pittsburgh. Zoey got two goals, the game winner, and MVP. 🏆🏒

    This team is ridiculous. 9-0 in league play, no goals allowed. 11-0 in total, with two goals allowed. Some great role models for Z to model her game after in the coming years.

    A drink (or two) with the Mrs at a fabulous new neighborhood bar, recently opened by an acquaintance. Can’t beat this within walking distance.

    Thankful to get out of the house after the blizzard and do some winter hiking and snowshoeing with the Mrs.

    Day after the blizzard. Local grocery store is open and queued up to buy groceries. Feel apocalyptic today.

    Mother Nature knows how to do it: we crushed the blizzard record in Buffalo (since at least 1950): 37 consecutive hours of blizzard conditions. ‘85 was 16 hours and ‘77 was 12 hours. Glad it’s over! Mid 50’s and thunderstorms forecasted for next weekend. 🤪

    Whelp this blizzard has been something. It’s been insanely windy since Thursday overnight (70 mph gusts), constant whiteouts since Friday AM, -10 windchill, and we’ve gotten about 2 ft of snow - with drifts over 5 feet. Thankfully we are home, safe and warm. Hoping it ends soon!

    Tired boy

    Thanksgiving observations

    Some observations from today:

    • I am so thankful my dad made the trip to share dinner with us. Our first holiday since my mom passed at the end of the summer. ❤️
    • Really thankful for the wife and kids. They are great all of the time, but they really made today an enjoyable day all around. 🥰
    • I am firmly on Team Sides. Wasn’t into turkey this year and enjoyed the taste test of the vegan “turkey” breast we got from Aldis. Maybe it’s time to go full vegetarian.
    • I think I am done watching any non-Buffalo Bills football. The refs are so bad - it is really hard to watch blatant holding and pass interference like every play. The game is a joke.

    The sweetest pitty. Watson wedges himself behind me every single workday.

    Mr. Robot and the compounding effect of tiny changes

    I just completed a re-watch of Mr. Robot and it stands up (and still very relevant) 7 years later… it’s probably one of my favorite TV series of all time. My favorite scene of the series is one of the last – Elliott’s realization that changing the world requires more than one-off, big interventions:

    What if changing the world was just about being here, by showing up no matter how many times we get told we don’t belong, by staying true even when we’re shamed into being false, by believing in ourselves even when we’re told we’re too different? And if we all held on to that, if we refuse to budge and fall in line, if we stood our ground for long enough, just maybe… the world can’t help but change around us.

    I can’t help but think of the impact of compounding – whether it’s financial or building habits or any social justice issue. Tiny improvements over a long period of time can equate to big changes on the macro scale. As much as the current state of the world makes me very worried, especially as a parent of two young ladies and a transgender son, I have to believe this is true – for their sake.

    For me, it’s a good reminder to double down on that approach in my every day life:

    • default to kindness, acceptance, and positivity
    • small daily efforts toward my projects and goals
    • small, better daily health choices

    A little better, each and every day.

    Beautiful fall day for a hike at Artpark

    My assistant is being a little oppressive today. 🥰

    Award season! High school high honors for these three. 🥰

    One season ends and another begins. Tryout week done and so thankful Zoey has finally landed in a good spot for hockey. Now for a couple week break and they are back at it!

    One thing I’ve been doing this year, that I absolutely love, is adding one song to a playlist every day. We’ve listened on a few road trips and it sparks so many good memories. It’s pretty amazing. Follow along if you are interested!

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