Left Coast By Design

Category: Self (page 5 of 5)

Wedding Planner Needed

Ever since our engagement, Marnie and I have been busy with life – her with work, while I have both work and what I hope to be a long playoff run for the Canucks. Not only that, but we have decided to look at getting into the market as first-time buyers and have begun our search for our dream home… err… condo/apartment. So life is pretty darn hectic.

This has all added up to make it tough for us to plan our wedding. Not that I have a clue about what we should be doing, looking for, or anything else for that matter.

In what little we have talked about, we were thinking of having our wedding next Spring – late April to early June. We’re still somewhat divided on whether to have it up on the Sunshine Coast or down here in the city, but seem to be leaning toward the city to ensure our guests can make it (I’m partial to the Minoru Chapel). But that’s about it. Crazy, huh?

Spring in Minoru Park, Canada

Minoru Chapel in the Spring – courtesy of Antony Pranata

We want to keep things reasonable (in other words, affordable), but also want to do things nice. My desire is that Marnie gets the wedding she wants, so I’m pretty easy going about that aspect – I simply want to provide input on the colours. But therein lies the problem. I don’t know where to start and don’t have millions and millions of dollars to spend (that Adsense revenue just ain’t at the JohnChow.com level I would like it to be).

Can anyone help me? Or provide suggestions? Please?

Rules of Engagement

When I last posted, it was the NHL Trade Deadline Eve and I was explaining the finer aspects of what is considered by some an unofficial holiday here in Canada. Much has happened since. The Canucks have been on a tear (albeit had a scary one this weekend against Phoenix), Vancouver has been awarded an MLS franchise for 2011 (put down my $100 deposit for two season ticket packages this morning), and Spring arrived.

Oh yeah – I also got engaged!


Marnie – she’s hawt like fyah


The Ring – it’s sparkly

Marnie and I have been together for close to nine years, and it’s my belief that anyone who could put up with me for that long deserves national holiday to be named after them. That being said, we had talked about marriage casually for some time and she had dropped numerous hints that a ring on her finger would be quite nice.

Anywho, when she told me that she wanted to go away a couple weekends ago to spend some time together, I put the wheels in motion to pop the question – seeing as it was to be a romantic trip for us to Saltspring Island. I first bought the ring and then I asked her parents for permission. To ensure she didn’t expect a proposal, I had commented that I wanted to get her a ring and propose but couldn’t afford it at this time (even though I already found what I felt was the perfect ring for her). So when we arrived at Arbutus Point B&B, I’m sure the chance of me popping the question was far from her mind.

In my own unique style, I placed the ring on this counter underneath a large vanity mirror and ensured that all the lights were on nearby to make sure it was as shiny as it could be. Now I’m sure you’re thinking that I should have gone on one knee or maybe had some speech ready to whisk her off her feet, but those that know me would likely understand why I let her find it instead – I’m always playful. Anywho, when she did find the ring, the look on her face of shock and sheer jubilation was priceless.

I can’t believe how nervous I was leading up to it though. Even though I knew the answer and also knew her parents would support us taking the next step in our relationship, it was still quite nerve wracking. That said, I’ve been on cloud nine since – and I don’t want this feeling to ever go away.

Thirty plus One

So today is my 31st birthday.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’d probably already know this as I like to call Valentine’s Day instead by it’s unofficial term “Chris’ Birthday Eve.” But enough about me.

There are plenty of other things that February 15th is known for (as stolen from Wikipedia):

  • 1637 – Ferdinand III becomes Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1898 – Spanish-American War: The USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing more than 260. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.
  • 1933 – In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago, Illinois Mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds on March 6, 1933.
  • 1952 – King George VI is buried in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
  • 1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner.
  • 1982 – The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sinks during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 rig workers.
  • 2005 – YouTube, the popular Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the United States.

And apparently I wasn’t the only person born the day:

  • 1564 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist
  • 1710 – King Louis XV of France
  • 1874 – Sir Ernest Shackleton, Irish Antartic explorer
  • 1954 – Matt Groening, American cartoonist
  • 1964 – Chris Farley, American actor and comedian

Then there are some of those that left us:

  • 1145 – Pope Lucius II
  • 1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and musician

So as you can see, it’s not all about me (even if I like to think so).

As for plans today, Marnie is taking me out to IHOP for some breakfast, I’m coaching my brother’s soccer team (the Richlads), I’ll probably get my haircut (I swear there is more grey this morning than last night), and I’m heading to the Boathouse with friends for dinner. So there you have it – Chris’ birthday in a nut shell.

Things Are Not Alright

Although it seems the problems I thought I had solved I really didn’t, there has been more than the site on my mind in recent times to worry about fixing them.

You see, my Nana passed away last week.

Nana Sheila (grandmother from my mother’s side) passed away suddenly, albeit not entirely unexpectedly, after a brief fight with brain cancer. It was tough to see a woman who was as sharp as a tack in the Spring fade so quickly over the Summer and be gone before the year is done. Thankfully the fact that she passed away in her sleep without much pain or agony is somewhat discomforting. She had always told her family that should she ever become dependent on us (or in her words, a weight to drag us down) that we should simply take her up north, put her on an iceberg, and float her out to sea. Obviously we didn’t necessarily carry the same opinion, but in some manner of speaking she did get her wish as she was not hospitalized long before she slipped away. It just hurts to know that I didn’t really get that last chance to see her as I had no idea the end was so near.

Although I’m sure the year hasn’t been as bad as I think it to be, I’ve lost both of my grandmothers this year. My Grandma Jessie (from my father’s side) passed away this summer after when she simply faded away over a number of years. When my Grandpa Cecil passed away nearly eight years ago, my Grandma was shocked (and I would be lying if I didn’t say we were as well) that she had outlived him. He had always been a fighter, having been shot down in combat during the Second World War but having the will to recover and lead a successful life. Even after his heart attacks (he had a big one and then another smaller one a few years after), he worked out twice a week, watched what he ate, and was in such good spirits the last time I saw, that it was shocking to think that his body simply decided it was time and began to shut down. So when she finally found peace by joining Grandpa, it was also hard to take at the time but we were able to accept she had gone to a better place.

As I type this, I no longer have any living Grandparents and it hurts. Whether it was the times my Grandpa Cecil and I would watch the planes at the airport, that my Papa Bill would give us grandkids a loonie or toonie just for visiting him no matter how often, that my Grandma Jessie would cook a fantastic dinner that had mouthwatering leftovers galore, or when Nana Sheila would provide that seasoned and caring advice that a Grandson would occasionally need, I am going to miss it all.

Writer’s Block

After receiving an email from a long lost acquaintance who thought I may have taken the Canucks fall from grace a little hard (yes, I did take the Canucks exit hard and also worry that we will suffer through another period of rebuilding as Keenan said much the same thing as Gillis and we all know what happened there), it made sense that I wipe the dust off this place a bit and let all two of my readers know that I am still very much alive. I’ve simply been fallen ill with a bad case of writer’s block.

So please don’t panic. Don’t call my friends to pass on the bad news, or send flowers and cards of condolences to my family. I’m alive and well and will be back come CFL season.


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