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Monday, March 25, 2013

My Journey To The Raptors Game

I received two great gifts last week, among which a ticket to the Raptors game. In fact, I had an option to bring a friend. However, it was on a short notice that, the few friends I talked to were not able to make it. So, I went alone.

I know the Raptors are now out of the Playoffs picture, but an NBA game is still fun to watch live. They were playing Carmelo Antony's New York Knicks. This guy can score at will. He is really impressive.

Getting to the Air Canada Centre, I couldn't help but remember many years ago in Burundi watching the game on TV with friends late night (I mean, really late), and now I can see in person. It's mind blowing.

Every year in June, we knew it was the NBA Finals. In my network of friends only my friend Kennedy had access to NBA games. So, ten, sometimes fifteen of us would gather at his house (and this happened for years) at least three times a week to watch the games. Kennedy was so used to us coming that he had food ready, even a bed for those who wanted to sleep before the games came on TV. I am talking 1 am or 3 am depending on the game. Kennedy was (and still is) an awesome guy.

I remember going to Kennedy's with my friend Kijanya. He went to sleep a few hours before the game and asked us to wake him up when the game starts. So we did. But he was so deep in his sleep that he requested to wake him up later at half time. So we did. This time he just said: please wake me up when they are in overtime!!! How in the world did he know the game would go to overtime? Long story short, he never watched the game. He slept all the way.

Sometimes the game would end at 6 am, and we had to go to work at 7.30 in the morning. At that time my friend Ziaddy and I were high school teachers and it was during exams. Can you imagine us standing for hours while waiting for the students to finish their exams knowing that we did not sleep at all at night? It was challenging man! But we did it.

That is what happens when you have passion for something. Time doesn't matter. Sleep? What's that? Everything seems to stop when you know you're doing what you love to do. I would leave work at 1.30 pm, and I was on the Basketball court from 2.30 to 6 pm, them at 7 pm, I was at my other job at the radio station...I remember my manager coming to me to remind me that I had to take my vacations otherwise I would loose them. The word “vacation” was not in my vocabulary because I was doing stuff I loved to do that it did not seem I was working.

What's your passion? What it is that you would do, even for free, and still have fun (and sleepless nights). It is a good question to ask ourselves. Once we find an answer for that, life will never be the same.

Moral of the story? Do you want to find your passion? Go to an NBA game and you will spend sleepless nights.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Journey to Saint Patrick Weekend

The entire world has been celebrating me as a Saint this last weekend. Every year I try to keep low profile, but what can you do? I can't help it. The party must go on. (I wish)

A few years ago, I think it was in 2009, I was walking downtown Toronto with two great friends of mine. At that time I was looking for an apartment to move in. As we were walking down Dundas Street West, we came across Saint Patrick Street. I knew there was Saint Patrick Subway Station, but it was my first time to see Saint Patrick Street. Then, I said to my friends: wouldn't be nice for me to live on Saint Patrick Street? It would be great to live on a street named after me.

Guess what! Two weeks later I moved to 80 Saint Patrick Street. How crazy is that? I lived there for two years.

A few weeks after my move to Saint Patrick street, I received a flyer in my mail promoting a Sushi restaurant down the street. I am huge Sushi fan. I could eat Sushi three times a day I wouldn't mind. I opened the flyer just to see that there was a Sushi menu called Saint Patrick. What are the odds? So, I decided to give it a try. I called the number on the flyer.

Here is how the conversation went:

Lady on the phone: Restaurant so and so, my name is so and so, how can I help you?
Me: Hello, I would like to order the Saint Patrick please!
Lady on the phone: Ok, what's your address please?
Me: I am on 80 Saint Patrick Street
Lady on the phone: (slightly laughing). All right. What is your name sir?
Me: My name is Patrick
Lady on the phone: (loudly laughing): Ok Mr. Patrick, the Saint Patrick will be delivered at 80 Saint
Patrick Street in half an hour.

She thought I was making things up. I thought it was funny. The Saint Patrick Sushi was amazing (and I am not bias).

So, let come back to last week Saint Patrick's day. Six weeks prior to Saint Patrick's day, our daughter started sneezing a bit. Before you knew, she had high fever. I went to buy some Tylenol and she felt better a bit. Then, on Thursday, on my way home, I received a call from my wife saying that Skylar was very weak and the temperature was so high. We had to bring her to the hospital. So, from 9 pm to 7 am we were at the Emergency Room at the Sick Kids Hospital. Yes. We spent the night at the hospital.

They took good care of her. The fever went down and we were expecting her to fully recover maybe the next day. Not at all. Three days later she was still heavily coughing. We did not sleep for three days (including Saint Patrick's day).

Today, we were so exhausted. My wife and I looked like zombies. Nothing seemed to cheers us up. That was until we heard some good news (that I won't mention here lol). We jumped to the roof. Half an hour later, another good news! This time we were so high lol. Long story short, today, we heard four good news that made us forget that tough week we had last week.

So, if you are facing tough times, just know that it is for a season. Good news are on the way. Don't loose hope.

Moral of the story? Do you want to hear some good news? Just eat some Sushi and you will move to Saint Patrick Street

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Journey to An Amazing Connection

Have you read my last blog? I hope you did.

Kobe Bryant just confirmed what I said last week. Have you seen how he has been playing lately? (poor Raptors). His team has its back against the wall and he is performing at a high level. It's do or die basically for the Lakers. Wow! Really impressing.

Enough with Basketball. If you don't stop me, I can go on and on with this sport. It is really a school of life. You see, I can't stop!.

Last week, we were celebrating the International Women's day. If you ask my opinion, we should celebrate the woman everyday. Here is why:

This coming March 16, our daughter will be nine months old. Time really flies. It has been one of the best nine months of my life.It is really a joy. I spend so much time with her that, every time that I go out, I can't wait to be home (don't get me wrong, I feel the same way about my wife as well lol).

Skylar is an early morning person like myself. As soon as she wakes up, I go in the room to get her so that my wife can get some extra sleep. I play with her, I feed her, I change her, and I make sure to turn on her favourite TV channel (yes, like her mom, she is a huge TV fan). I can see that she is really having fun until....her mom wakes up.

I don't know how these things work. As soon as she sees her mom, I quickly become a second thought for her (I don't think she even remembers that I am her dad). Her face shines with a wide smile, she is so excited that she cannot hold her emotions. She jumps up and down and she cannot wait to be in her mom's arm. And I am like: what about me girl? I have been playing with you for the last hour or so, now I mean nothing to you? My wife cannot even go in the other room. Skylar cries right away while I am holding her in my arms. Can you believe that?!

There is such an amazing connection between these two ladies that no matter what I do, I don't think I will reach this level with Skylar. Maybe time will tell. It is really a good thing to see.

That is why women should be respected, celebrated, loved and venerated daily. God gave them the power to create another human being (with our little help) and establish a connection with him or her that is really deep. And this goes both ways. The way my wife loves Skylar is out of this world. I am now number two in her life. Skylar comes first. It is a place that I have learned to embrace lol (like my old days on the bench in Basketball lol).

This reminds me that I have to call my mom lol

Way to go girls. You rock. As one of my favourite songs says, this is a man's world, but it wouldn't be nothing without a woman or a girl (I agree with you James Brown).

Moral of the story?
Do you want to have an amazing connection with the ladies in your life. Just wake up early to be with them and you will be forgotten as soon as they see their moms.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Journey to a Weekend with Friends

We had been planning to meet for a while but, for some reasons stuff were happening to prevent this. These two guys are new to Canada but we grew up together in Burundi. They are like brothers to me. I was so excited when they called me for the first time to let me know that they were here in Toronto. I couldn't wait to see them. We met for the first time downtown and I promised them that I would invite them home so that they can meet my wife and daughter.

This last Sunday was the day. We were ready for them. We had so much fun. We had a lot to catch up on.

Back up a little bit. That was on Sunday. What happened before Sunday was another story

For an entire week before the visit, I had been planning to clean the house, but each time I was postponing for the next day (I am the king of the greatest nation in the world called Procrasti(nation) lol). There was not big mess in the house, but some cleaning wouldn't harm. I kept saying to my wife that I would do it but I did not keep my promise until...Sunday.

On the day of the visit, there was nothing stopping me from cleaning. I was so focused on the task at hand that I couldn't even pick up the phone. In a matter of two hours, I did a week worth of work. Do you know why? Simply because there was NO WAY my friends would find the house not clean. I know these are my brothers, and they wouldn't mind being in a house not a hundred percent clean, but under no circumstance would I allow this.

By the time they got here, the house was spotless. My wife and I worked as a team and we made it happen.

Why do I share all of this? Simply to let you know that pressure is a good thing. Having a deadline can make us do things that, under normal circumstances, we would postpone them for "some day".

So, whenever you feel pressure, whenever you feel you are outside your comfort zone, just embrace it. It's good for you. It can make you perform at a high level. At least that has been my experience.

Moral of the story? Do you want to perform better? Just invite some friends and you will clean your house.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman