Archive for February, 2008



February 29, 2008

Many people have courage they never knew about because courage comes in many forms. Most don’t recognize it for what it is. Sticking your head in a lion’s mouth is not courage, its stupidity. Not sticking your head in a lion’s mouth is smart. Not sticking your head in a lion’s mouth when your friends goaded you to is courage. Any act that makes you stand up to yourself, others or not do something you instinctively want to do, is courage.
Sound silly? Not really. The other day I was coming down a really fun street here in town. I know it well and know how fast I can take the corners. I drive it at least three times a week for the last year. Now a bit of background for you. I used to race cars. Not Formula One or Indy, but cars. Take an old beater and put it on the track. Remove all unnecessary weight. Y’know, seats, spare tire, Radiator. I have always prided myself on being able to find the limits of the vehicle I was driving and staying within them. I could also exploit the strengths and use some of the cars’ more interesting characteristics. I had an old Jeep eagle that would wobble on all four wheels as it slid to the outside of a turn. Neither end would ever break free it would just wobble. So I once came into an S-bend and threw the car sideways and wobbled my way through it. It gave me the needed second and a half to be ahead at the end of the straight to enter the slow part of the course in front. And anyone who has raced with me knows I am all but impossible to pass on a series of corners.
I have been driving my current vehicle for over a year now. That’s longer than I have ever driven a vehicle. Its underpowered, ugly and a really awful blue. But I can drive the wheels off of it because it is predictable. If there is one quality I love in a vehicle it is predictability. I know what it is going to do no matter what I do. It’s a great relationship. Combine that with an inherit stability and it’s a lot of fun to drive. I have overtaken many a more muscled car with my puny vehicle. I love winning from a disadvantage.
So the other day I was coming to my fun road when a more muscled car pulled up alongside. He obviously wanted to race. I knew I could take him. His particular vehicle had a solid one piece rear axle. Meaning that the tightest corner at the end he would have to break his end free to negotiate it properly at a reasonable speed. That meant when he spun it I wanted to be ahead of him. It would be tricky. He has more power on would most likely take me in the straightaway. I could push and be ahead of him but he might push too. So we went into the first corner and he was pushing. I let up off the gas.
I consider that courage because it went against what I call my natural instinct. The instinct to race to prove to him what I already knew. I am a better driver and might beat him in an inferior car. But it might have killed us both. He called me a coward, so what. I called the ambulance when his back end came free and slammed into the light stand.
It’s a fine line between courage and foolishness. I win.


It Was The Rain

February 28, 2008

It was hitting the living room window
I sat and watched
thinking, thinking that the world is a scary place
and that I was not ready for it
No particular event brought those feelings on
So it must have been the rain.

It was there again
this time in torrents
I was scared, of failing
this scary world was beating me
beating the best I had to offer
Yet I survived and thrived.
The fear must have been from something
I think it was the rain.

It was raining again to night
As a fist of emotion gripped my guts
It was fear again
this time of loosing you
I am a fool, afraid and beaten
And you are going away
and I cannot stop you
I need to blame something
So I’ll blame it on the rain.


Wedding Speech

February 26, 2008

Just for fun I thought I’d post my wedding speech…..

Good evening, my name is Francis and I’ll be your groom for this evening.

To start I’d like to say a few words… “A few words”

Next I’d like to say a few more words… “A few more words”

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get on with my speech.

Today, I got married.
Never in a million years did I think that was going to happen. If you had told me, even five years ago, that I would be married, I would have accused you of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

So how did this happen?

A year ago I sat back and pondered this very question. What series of events transpired for Danielle and I to meet. The answer is long and convoluted and since I have the microphone, you’ll have to sit there and listen to it.

This is a storey about decisions; decisions that at the time seem unimportant and insignificant, but in the long run have a massive impact on our lives.
The first big decision was made when Mr. Laird (that is him sitting there) came up to me in Grade 13 and asked if I wanted to go and check out a few universities. At that point I hadn’t decided where I wanted to go…. And I wanted to skip a day of school, so I said sure! Where are we going? McMaster University… I loved the place as soon as I saw it; big, beautiful with class sizes so large the professor wouldn’t notice if you weren’t there. That was the first big decision.

The next involves my Dad. That is him sitting over there hoping I don’t embarrass him….. more than I have already.

We were looking at the “rooms for rent” board at Mac, when a lady came up to us and said she had a room for rent, would we like to look at it. We said sure. She got into her friends car and we followed them to her house. I decided to take the room and would have stayed there for my second year as well, had they not decided to move (see another small decision). So I was left without a place to stay. But remember that friend’s car? Well that friend was Rick Salciccioli. I see a few heads nodding in the crowd. Many guests here tonight are some of Rick’s former tenants. Rick had a room for rent and I rented it. The house I moved into already had a tenant, and his name was Brett Legree. That is him over there hoping I don’t tell the storey of the Trent Air Show.

Now we can skip ahead a few years. Brett got married to Cathy (wave Cathy!) in May of 1998. I was a guest at that wedding, as was Danielle. And that is where we met for the first time. Of course Danielle doesn’t remember meeting me but we won’t dwell on that. However I do have a very interesting picture that I’ll pass around that shows me standing behind Danielle at that wedding.

So you see it is the small decisions that make all the difference in the world, they may not seem that big at the time but the impact can last a lifetime.

The funny part of this storey is that when Brett was standing in the spot I now occupy he said in his speech that: “I met Cathy because I went to a wedding and had a great time. People took some pictures of me at the wedding and Cathy saw them and said “Who is that guy, he’s pretty hot, can I meet him!” Or something like that. So Brett said to all the single guys, have fun, talk to people, you never know, you may meet your future wife tonight. How is that for prophetic? Now, five years later, that very thing has happened. And with Brett’s permission, I would like to pass on the tradition. All you single guys out there. Go and have fun and meet people, because you never know, you may meet your future wife tonight.

And In another connection to that day, I caught Cathy’s garter that night, in a rather artful and spectacular fashion, I might add. Danielle is wearing that very same garter tonight. It’s a lucky garter, so whoever catches it tonight will be a lucky guy.

And speaking of lucky guys, it is now my duty and honour to toast my new bride.

It’s a long toast so you can put your glasses down for the time being.

For most of my life I have been an angry, tightly compressed young man. While I do have some redeeming qualities, notably my rapier like wit, I am, in all honesty, not the easiest person in the world to get along with. This is why I assumed I would never meet anyone who could put up with me for any length of time. In fact, I was fond of saying, I’m not looking for someone to love me; I’m looking for someone to tolerate me.

But despite all that I have always wished and prayed for the undying love of a beautiful woman. And God has sent his angel Danielle to answer my prayers.

I have always said you can tell a good person if animals love them. When Danielle and I go for walks, cats and dogs from miles around come to her for some love…. And the treats in her pocket. And of course there is the best judge of character there is, my dog Bandit. From the first second Danielle walked in the door Bandit was smitten. I even think he loves her more than me. But I’m not jealous… well maybe a little….

But Danielle is a special person, and you only need to look around the room at the many friends and loved ones gathered here to see that. All of you know what I am talking about. You will always get a smile and a kind word from her. A hug when you need one and even one when you don’t. Are these not the qualities of an angel?

Right now, I want all of you to think of your fondest memory of Danielle. The one that makes you smile. Do you have one? Are you smiling?
I get to smile like that for the rest of my life.

Never in my life have I met a more kind, or caring or gentle person. Someone who makes me smile just because she is in the room or in my thoughts. Someone who sees past the rough edges on people and looks instead to their hearts. A person who demands hugs instead of handshakes, kisses instead of words and shows kindness in the face of anger. Are these not the qualities of an angel?

Since I’ve met Danielle I have never been so calm, so at peace with myself and the world. The anger is gone and the fear has dissipated.

To ask for a better lifelong companion is not possible. I have someone to loves me, cares for me, and looks past my rough edges and only sees my love for her. And I do love her, with all my heart and soul. With everything I am and everything I will be. God has sent me an angel and I could not be more blessed.

I would now like to ask all of you to join me in a toast to my love, my life, my wife and my angel. To Danielle.