You were a real pain in the rear, you know that? With temperatures plunging into the negative 30s, the blogosphere in a quiet lull as the influencers hibernate, and motivation at a standstill as the deadly winter saps the life from everyone it touches, you’re only four weeks long, but easily one of the hardest months to endure.
January was so promising, too — I hit up the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with TELUS and learned much about my nation’s love for hockey; relaxed as I segued into a trip to Cuba that temporarily got my mind right enough to write Dat Varadero, Doe, written after some much-needed reflection and change of pace from my hectic life here in Toronto; and felt like a new me after shedding the skin of a 2014 Casey Palmer who very much felt like he’d sold a bit of his soul for a taste of success. If you sat down for a chat with January 31st Casey Palmer, you’d be talking to a guy full of hope, confident the year ahead would bring amazing things, and all he needed to do was put pen to paper and keep doing all the things he was doing.
That changed all too quickly when Toronto was hit by a storm bad enough to cripple the city for a day, setting the tone for a winter with no one all that enthusiastic to deal with it.
But not all was horrible — February was peppered with plenty to help keep the winter from getting to me, with plenty good times had amongst family, friends, and all those who intersect with my #BloggerLife.
And it all started with a trip to the Canadian International Auto Show.
Having a Heckuva Ride at the 2015 Canadian International Auto Show with GM and Ford!
The thick of the Canadian cold’s likely the last place you’d expect to find cars with their tops down going from 0 to 100 real quick, but shortly after the annual North American International Auto Show wraps up in Detroit, eyes turn to other cities to show off the best of what the automotive industry has to offer, including Toronto with its Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS)!
Despite getting into the car game rather late, several automotive brands have been generously showing me the lay of the land, teaching me why over 300,000 auto enthusiasts flock to CIAS every year. At the 2015 CIAS, I found myself fortunate to spend time with the Ford Motor Company of Canada and General Motors Canada as they schooled me on their plans for the upcoming year!
Montecito with GM Canada — Because My Face is Never Full of Enough Noms
Here’s how I see it — when you’re invited to dinner with the freshly-minted president for the Canadian branch of a company that pulls in $156 billion in revenue each year, you better clear your schedule to make it happen!
Hosted at Montecito in the Entertainment District, dinner with GM Canada’s President and Managing Director Steve Carlisle brought a number of bloggers and media figures together to hear a bit of what GM has planned in the year ahead, get to know Steve a little better, and of course stuff their faces with some of the delicious fare Montecito and its co-owner/chef Jonathan Waxman have to offer!
Of course, me being me, I couldn’t meet an automotive industry president and ask him questions about cars — no; I went and crowdsourced questions beforehand to keep things interesting! Some things I learned about Mr. Carlisle include:
- loyalty to General Motors not only because he believes in the company, but also because it’s a company offering many types of jobs without having to start a career from start each time
- excitement to finally spend some more time in Canada after being away for so long (see: Asia, the States)
It was good spending a night connecting faces to… well, faces that were far less animated, since Twitter avatars don’t do GIFs… but perhaps even better stuffing family-style dishes into my gullet, rounding off my night! If you ever go, try the strip steak — haters gonna hate, but I could not get enough!
I Don’t Always Pose in Front of Luxury Cars, but When I DO….
After a day of rest — and by “rest” I mean “returning to work because a brotha only has so much free vacation time” — I hit the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the site of CIAS, to have breakfast with Ford Canada to get some interactive experience with that which lay ahead for their brand!
In the course of a single morning, I got better perspective on what it’s like being pregnant and a better idea of what the world looks like when I’m drunk; got all fancy posing with cars like the 2015 GT Mustang Convertible Premium and the 2017 Ford GT; and watched what my child will undeniably be up to in a few years…
…little kids rollin’ in their whips. Good job, Ford Canada — good job.
Thank you to both GM Canada and Ford Canada for experiences I wouldn’t get otherwise!
The Rest of February
Yeah, February wasn’t all bad, finally giving me a chance to rock the Artvictus custom shirt I’d put together a couple of months prior, celebrate my brother’s engagement over dinner back home in Mississauga, and even catch up with friends I hadn’t seen all that much since reallocating sizeable chunks of my time to parenthood.
February also marked the first time I checked Guu out — a place I’d been jonesing to try for ages.
Though by the sheer nature of Guu, proper food photos were more or less out of the question, I can assure you that amidst the flurry of tapas-style Japanese dishes that plastered the table and the far-too-massive steins of Sapporo that kept us going well into the wee hours, it made for a great time!
You can hear my remorseful day after post here.
That’s right February; I wasn’t about to let you hold me back — even though it wasn’t immediately evident from my online output, I still worked my butt off, looking for answers to all the unasked questions that clutter my mind. I made some headway with The 2015 100, converting my old MacBook Pro’s hard drive into an external drive thanks to Inateck and a T6 Torx screwed I picked up from Canadian Tire (#4, #23); started cleaning our house and Ford Edge in style with a Dyson Animal DC 61 courtesy of the generous folks at Dyson Canada (#5); and getting our over-the-range microwave replaced with the help of my in-laws who are far handier than I (#17). I’ve learned that you never know when opportunities will arise to chase your goals, since I’ve been actively working at my church relationships, reaching out to people I’ve rarely spoken to in years before (#70); already got a tripod to coincide with the Cuba Trip (#38); started sifting through boxes in the garage to see what we actually need (#41); and earnestly worked at my site’s evolution, knowing I can make it much more than it currently is (#78). While many days are challenging and the desire to hide in the warmth under my covers during these winter months is strong, there’s far too much in my life counting on me being present to call it quits now.
Marching Onward, Because Winter Can Get Right Outta Here.
With February under wraps, I put that gloomy month behind me, ready for March to propel my momentum back where it’s meant to be. Despite ramping up at work with copious training sessions and enough deliverables to give a workaholic pause, the month’s off to a good start — I’ve spent the first week with the #BloggerLife in mind, making the moves necessary to keep growing while I tend to the more tangible parts of my life (this week’s a great one for you, my friends, as I’m devoting the rest of it to giveaways); and Torontonian news is abuzz with the promise we’ll see temperatures in the positive numbers for the first time in months.
And if you can’t celebrate that, what can you celebrate, right?
So fare thee well, my friends — I leave you with an inspirational speech from none other than Rocky Balboa in the eponymous 2006 film to remind you that even when the world is dead set to see you fail and the odds are stacked against you, you take those hits and keep on fighting — because life is too short to just give up and lose.
See you tomorrow with the first giveaway post!