2016: Day 12
If I was to choose just one person to toast this year, it would undoubtedly be Linda.
7 years. A lot can happen over a seven year period. 7 years ago there were a bunch of punk-ass high school students hanging out at the 7-11. Over the past 7 years, we have turned them into brain surgeons, nuclear physicists a heap of other really impressive professionals. Over 7 years, the Canucks went from being a pretty crappy hockey team to a team that fell one game short of a Stanley Cup championship and then back to being a crappy hockey team again. That crappy team 7 years ago featured a fourth line winger named Jeff Cowan. He became known as “Cowan the Brabarian”. Every time he scored, which wasn’t often, the ice was littered with bras. (What else are you going to do to stay amused at a crappy hockey game?) Today’s version of Jeff Cowan has traded in his skates for running shoes, and instead, competes in ultra-marathons (and what an awesome race season he’s had). If you ever attend an ultra-marathon and see the course adorned with bras, it’s a safe bet Jeff is running.
It’s also possible for not much to happen over 7 years. Take me for example. 7 years ago I thought it would be a really great idea to build my own kitchen. We had just gone through a kitchen renovation from hell, resulting in us firing the contractor and scrapping all the cabinets (literally selling them for about 5 cents on the dollar). We just couldn’t stand living with quality comparable to a bad grade 9 woodworking class. After scrapping the cabinets, we realized we still needed a kitchen. I didn’t want to go through another nightmare renovation nor could we afford cabinetry we really liked so I decided it would be no problem to do it myself. I have a small workshop in the back so it just made sense for me to do it. I would buy a bunch of plywood, tonnes of kiln dried cherry – it would be done by Christmas. I don’t recall Linda being as enthusiastic as me but after much convincing she came around. Done by Christmas – this is a no brainer. I remember enthusiastically buying all the wood and getting started on a project that should be done in a few months. In the meantime, we could convert part of our garage to a makeshift kitchen. We had a camping stove,barbecue, and large propane burner so it would be like glam-camping for a short while. Man, this was going to be fun! I was so stoked about dovetailing the drawers and adding some other complexities that were’t necessary but something I really wanted to do.
It’s funny how enthusiasm can be short lived. Have you ever looked closely at the DNA of a kitchen? It’s essentially comprised of a bazillion rectangles. Cabinets are obviously rectangular as are the doors. And cabinets are made of 5 rectangles, or in our case 9 since each of the four facing cabinet pieces is lined with a rectangular piece of cherry. The doors are comprised of rectangles as are the shelves. Building a kitchen is essentially an exercise in making a schwack of rectangles. You start with small rectangles and glue them together to make bigger rectangles. And those are screwed into other rectangles or further glued into other rectangles … you get the idea. And do you want to know the interesting thing about rectangles (this is a trick question)? There is absolutely NOTHING interesting about rectangles. They are the most boring, un-sexy shape ever created. Think about it – who ever says “check out his/her great rectangular body”? Nobody. Ever. After I had produced about 10 rectangles, I knew I was in for a world of pain. All told, there are 1,059 rectangles in our kitchen (give or take a few). I remember being teased thinking I may actually get a build a square but a square is nothing more than an indecisive rectangle not knowing if the length or width should be longer. So, this ‘few month project’ ended up taking seven years. That’s an average of only 151 rectangles per year. We spent nearly a year calling the garage our kitchen. Yeah, the shine wore off that glam camping pretty darn quickly. I also found creative ways to take my mind off rectangles like learning how to swim (which happened in year 3 of the reno) and finishing a couple Ironman races.
Through all this, Linda was incredible. I don’t think she complained even once. The worst she would do was take a few shots at me when anyone asked ‘how the kitchen was going’. (By the way, if I ever hear that question again …) She didn’t complain when that little Ironman thing took over my life for months at a time. Even though I do the cooking, she really wants a nice home that she can feel proud of when we have guests. To say she demonstrated patience is an understatement. She wasn’t only tolerant of distractions, but very, very supportive.
I’m relieved to say that last month the last of the rectangles was lacquered and installed. All that remains is a couple panels for the fridge. If you’re wondering how the kitchen is coming along, it’s @#&*(! freaking mother freaking done.
Today’s drink is purple! If you know Linda, you know there are just 2 colours: dark purple and light purple. Everything else may as well be a shade of beige. When we were in Vegas we picked up a really unique iridescent spirit called Viniq. Viniq is a combination of vodka, moscato wine and purple. The silver shimmer is magic. Tonight’s drink is pretty simple but there are 2 rules. The glass must be purple and there can’t be any rectangles. Viniq is served in a purple martini glass with a spherical ice cube. Done and done.
Cheers to you Sweetie!