Parent Blog: Don’t You Forget About Me…

“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did WAS wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is … a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal…Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

This quote from one of the greatest movies of the 20th Century which then cues up one of the most recognized songs of the 80s, titled “Don’t You (Forget About Me). The scene, where the song is introduced, is punctuated by one character (seen above) pumping his fist in the air in a classic freeze frame shot (man wouldn’t that be awesome to do, eh?!). Truly unforgetable.

This scene, along with the song has been on my mind as of late because of my daughter. While she can’t write legibly yet, she left me a letter of sorts the other day. I was preparing to go to work after playing with her in the AM when she ran to me and give me two pieces of her puzzle and said “Daddy, don’t forget about me, okay? This is so you don’t forget!”

A purple star and green circle.

She’s 3.

As I drove to my Siri-led destination, my brain moved overtime:

  • Am I too distracted with her when I am with her to give off the impression that I’m not really with her?
  • Am I not home enough?
  • Why would she say that? Who does she think she is?

You see, with adults and ESPECIALLY with spouses, we graduate from talking directly to passive agressive conversations when we’re upset. Example:

Person 1: Hey, I’m leaving now…

Spouse: Okay…well have fun. I’ll be here. (subtext: You get to be out and I’m with the kids all day…with no car.)*

Person 1: I could stay a bit later. Do you want me to stay? (Subtext: I’m sure I did SOMETHING…can’t figure it…)

Spouse: No. It’s fine. (subtext: I shouldn’t TELL you to stay. You should just stay, dummy!)

But kids, just come out and say it: “I want you to stay with me and play and laugh and make a mess and have snacks and (big breath……) tickle me and play hide and seek and giggle and watch the Lorax right now, okay?”

And so, as a father aiming to be a better one, I HAVE TO reevaluate how I do my time spending. I have to let her words sink into my soul and reform my way of being, because if she said it, she feels it. And if she feels it, I have to work on fixing it. Here’s what I think so far:

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Epic Fail Blog Entry: Meet the Parent, Chase (Guest blogger Becca Chase)

This is a first for cchase101.

My wife, Becca Chase (@rebajune on twitter) suggested that she add an entry to my blog, specifically an Epic fail one.

Now if you’re a regular reader, then you know what these are. They are stories where I overreach and make a fool of myself in some way, shape or form. They aren’t my crowning achievements, let’s put it that way.

Well this specific story (yah, that’s what I’ll call it) as interpreted by her takes place on out dating stomping ground at Bible College and the day I unceremoniously met my future dad-in-law, Don Brown. I’ll let her take it from here…and I will make some “comments” at the end ( look for the “*“!)

It was the fall semester of our second year of Bible College. Chris and I had just made that *AWKWARD transition from friends to ‘couple’. All semester I had been having regular phone chats with both my mom and sister who were being kept up-to-the-minute on the Chris-and-Becca details.  But one very important person was left in the dark- my dad.  I couldn’t talk to my dad about boys.  So when my dad came to the school to pick me up and take me home for Reading Break, the first impression he had of Chris Chase was not the greatest.

 I went to my room to finish packing.  Dad waited in the lounge.  Chris thought he’d use this time to work his charm.  Now, in his defense, he was under the impression that I had told my dad all about him.  I had not.  *I may not have even mentioned him at all…. :\

 So this *very loud, very outgoing young black man walks up to my dad and starts chatting away.  My dad, being polite, asked him where he was from. An ongoing joke in our bible college was that Chris was a honourary Newfie*.  So Chris jokingly tells my dad he was from Cornerbrook, NFLD. Then he threw up the ‘W’ symbol with his hand and followed it up by saying ‘Wesssst Siiiide’. Very smooth*.

 On the car ride home, my dad, again very politely, asked ‘Who was that boy? He was very…. friendly.’ I did eventually fill him in…. although I think it was a good six months later when I realized that he really did think Chris was from Newfoundland.

I take only a small portion of responsibility for this epic fail. 

Okay…now let CLARIFY a couple of things here:

  • I was a lot less self-aware at 22-23 than I am now. And a lot less loud. Just saying…
  • *The transition WAS awkward indeed, but it worked, did it not? Boom, blew your mind! Your boy had moves back in the early 2000’s, man! Now, not so much…though every so often, I can pull a rabbit out of the hat. I’ll blog about the awkwardness one day.
  • * How you not gonna say, “and by the way, I gotta man, daddy.” Or at least TELL your boyfriend that your dad didn’t know. I was set up man. You know it’s true!
  • * I wasn’t THAT loud. On a scale of Becca to Jeff Hackett, I would have been a Kathy/Maria (all inside jokes here!)
  • * I AM an honorary Newfie. Got “screeched” in, kissed a fish, drank cod liver oil…the whole gambit. So take that!
  • * I do not remember the west side thing.Therefore, it never happened.

So there you have it. Thanks Becca for adding to my blog with another embarrassing story of my life. I love you very much.

#EODYC “Friday” – The Performance!!!!! (read and rt)

 

Here’s the proof!

 

Click on this link to see myself, Matt Robinson and Ian Walters perform Rebecca Black’s insult to ears and music called “Friday”. This link will take you to facebook so you’ll need to log onto it it to see it.

But it’s worth it. Trust me. I wouldn’t share it if it wasn’t!

Yup, wasn’t a dream. It did happen. You can fast forward through the preamble. It really did look like fun.

I’ll try to get a youtube version up here as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading, watching and dreaming!

If you were in school today, this is the BEST after school gift you could ever get!!!

PS – Any thoughts on a song for next year?

Anger-tweets, Annoyance, No Smiles & More…(Off-Days)

You know you’ve had one…

Something isn’t…right. Your timing is off, your rhythm is one beat behind, you’re slow on the uptake. Off.

If you’re normally thoughtful, you’re brash and too quick. If you’re funny, well…you’re just not. If you’re normally warm, you’re distant. Off.

My off-days consist of short answers, distant eyes (the kind that look over the shoulder while talking), not a lot of laughing and not a lot of patience. Becca gets it the worst because she gets it first (first person to see me in the AM, when I’m at my worst) so kudos to her for setting me straight when it’s really unbearable. I become very on-my-own with a book, a coffee and my phone and that’s about it. Just the other night, I said something to someone I know (or not enough, I suppose) and Becca, who was there with me, turned to me quietly and said, “That was mean”. And I knew she was right. Off.

So I’ve made a list of things I won’t do when I have an off-day because of lack of full judgement:

  • Twitter my frustrations: If someone has annoyed me, especially on this type of day, I’ve had the tendency to tweet a veiled remark toward the twitter-verse, aimed at them. Well that’s super immature and unprofessional. So I stay off twitter and blogs. Casual observations about random things, I’ll let slide (like being in traffic, people in a Starbucks, etc.). But if it’s personal, I leave it. And if I see something veiled towards me, I fight every human instinct and I leave it. But let me say this to all of us: If you’re annoyed/frustrated/mad with anyone, don’t blast them on twitter. It looks worse on you than on them. Do right. Call them. Make it right. Then offer sacrifices. Most things we get mad about are simple misunderstandings but putting it on twitter/Facebook/blogs makes it bigger and permanent. I think it was in The Social Network where it was said: The internet is written in ink. Along with that, even with emoticons, sarcasm doesn’t translate and 90% of convos are nonverbal. So, let’s think before we tweet:)
  • Make excuses: Some people use the line, “I was having an off-day so it’s okay” like it’s a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card. I know myself enough now to know when I’m off so if I am confronted on something I did/said/chose, I simply say sorry and give the person the right of way.
  • Take it out on my family: Becca and Ellie deserve the best. If it’s been a really hard day, I’ll excuse myself and ask to take a 15 min nap. Then I try to give it my 100% until bedtime. It doesn’t always work but I try.
  • Leave it: If it’s an off day and I know it, I try to work through it. I try to smile, to be kind, to let the Spirit work in me and let Him work out what needs dat working. Is it an act? Nope. At least not to me. I’m not trying to be something I’m NOT, I’m rather aiming to be someone I SHOULD be.
  • Not be accountable: I have a small, close network of friends with whom I can say, “I’m off, keep your eyes open for me.” And they do, with loving, brutal honesty. We all need this. This may sound rude but I simply won’t let just anyone say anything INTO me. That type of relationship is earned and tested through fire. If you don’t have that network, build one over time with prayer, relationship and open eyes.
  • Not Smile: If I’m not smiling, I naturally look like I’m really angry or annoyed (I didn’t believe it until my students would point it out. Shout outs to Shiyomi and Jenna among others for that, um…revelation, lol). So I try to smile a lot. Sometimes I just don’t. I think the cashiers at Chapters think I hate them. I don’t. I just hate being asked for a bag all the time:)
  • Choose Wrongly: I don’t have to stay in a funk. I can choose to be better.

So that’s me and how I deal with MY off days. It’s still and I’m still a work in progress so there’s some days where I live these things out to a T. And then there are other days where I simply don’t. But thankfully, until I get called home, today is another day to allow God to work on me, to make me more like His Son. So an Off-Day is a chance to be turned ON on the next one.

Pardon the pun.

How do you deal with your off days? Let’s chat!

Epic Fail Blog (The ‘You Ruined Christmas’ Story)

This is a RE-POST of a blog written 2 years ago. Over the weekends, I will normally re-post something in preparation for my weekly posts. This is one of my favorite stories of all times because almost every couple has experienced something like this. If you’ve read it, get reacquainted with the story and if this is time number 1, enjoy!

Chase

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I am an impulsive shopper. I think about something I want, save my money for it, then buy it. Where’d I get my shoppin’ habits from? Well…I got it from my mama (Thanks Will.I.Am). So, apparently there’s a rule where you shouldn’t by anything during Christmas because someone may by it for you. I didn’t know that until a few years ago. You see…it was when everyone was getting DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). You could tape shows, pause live TV…have control! And I really wanted one because a friend of mine would brag about his all the time. So I waited. Checked prices. Held off. All the stuff wise shoppers are supposed to do.th me, babe.

That Christmas season, Becca and I went to visit her Dad (Don) and Stepmom (Carol) in a town close to Sarnia. It was just before Christmas…maybe a week or two before. And it was during that visit, I decided “I want to by that DVR. Right now.” So I went online and began to scan Future Shop for the best prices. My in-laws have two computers sitting beside each other side by side, so while I was on one looking at prices, Becca was on the other, quietly playing solitaire (I think…).

Finally, I found one I wanted. Don and I got in the car and drove to Future Shop where I decided I wanted one from Best Buy instead. I went back on the computer to look and found the one on the Best Buy site I wanted. It was perfect! Then the UN-THINK-ABLE happened. Becca screamed, cried and ran for the bathroom. And then I realized: SHE. ALREADY. BOUGHT IT. FOR ME. I ran to the washroom door (sooo 80s movie-ish) and said, ‘You got it….? AWE-SOME! It’s still a surprise! I love it” And Becca’s response was classically delivered through tears and rage:

“YOU (sob) RUINED (whimper, sniff, sob) CHRISTMAS (WAIL!!)!!”

She said some other stuff too…and…well…some things should remain between husband and wife, ya? EXACTLY…:)

Best “worst” Christmas memory ever! Husbands, don’t buy nothing for yourself before Christmas. Unless it’s furniture or stuff for your kids, it’s not worth it. Trust me!

Merry Christmas everyone! 

P.S. I remember telling this story a year later to our high school students during a service and mid way through the story, Becca (from the BACK of the chapel, if you know APC) threw her shoe at me. Some wounds take a long time to heal…

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New addition: A few years later, I’ve greatly improved in what I buy and when I shop, especially at Christmas. Now we buy one gift for the both of us. Last year it was a waffle maker. The days of “I need” aren’t over but they have subsided tremondously. I think.

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If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at cchase101@gmail.com. We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

The LeBron Lessons (Learned Leadership, Spurned Sports fan)

I am not a LeBron James fan. Never have been. Thought he and Melo should have got co-Rookie of the Year awards (Bron had more assists but Melo had more boards AND took his team to the playoffs).

I think ‘Bron is an amazing athlete, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t drink the Kool-Aid like so many did and do. I’ve been a Laker fan since my dad showed me a basketball so naturally, I’m on Team KB24 (which probably plays into my disdain) but I notice when others are great (which is hard to think about someone like a Celtic getting my vote…but if you’re good, you’re good.) and that being said, LeBron IS great. I just don’t have to like that (unless I have him on my fantasy team, like a friend of mine does…).

ANYHOW…since June of this summer, Bron has been the subject of blogs, newspapers, NBA.com, Barbara Walters 10 most fascinating people and even a nominee for Time magazine’s person of the year (along with the miners from Chile, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. People who ACTUALLY did stuff this year. Let that sink in…). While I’m not ‘hating’, I have learned some things while casually hoping for his team to fall apart (not as a mean person but as a fan of basketball who wants to see the C’s vs. the Show one mo’ time in June ’11).

1 – Your Legacy is ALWAYS being formed: There’s no going around it. Each day you’re building the case on whether or not you moved good things forward or backwards. There’s no pause button.

2 – How you finish a job will dictate how people talk about you forever: If I’m in a church and KILL IT with a huge group, miracles and the like, but have a moral failure, people will only remember the failure. Bron had seven great years in Cleveland but no one remembers that now, except for TNT who needs footage to add to the drama of a game or numbers to show His significance to Ohio. Most of us, especially hearybroken Cavs fans and pure fans of the game, remember The Decision, South Beach, the chalk powder and where we are now. Cleveland won’t remember the good times…only that they got ‘Maury’d’ (new verb, y’all!) on national television. And hell hath no fury like a sports fan scorned (hence the unfortunate chants of A__ ____in front of kids). Run n’ tell that.

3 – If you’re a leader, you can’t shift blame: If you get the ball and miss the shot, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Ownership is scares today (that’s why I’m not a fan of politics) and when you say things like ‘I spoil people with my play’, it’s an indication that you can’t deal with your own failures, at least to me. I did this once early in 2010 and decided I’ll never do it again. If I mess up, then I mess up.

4 – If you have to move, do it the right way: Shout outs to Roy Halladay for a full-page thanking TO for the love. Don’t just leave your APT and not tell your renter that you moved. Don’t just dramatically quit your job. If you can’t volunteer, don’t just NOT show up. Give your two weeks. Let them prepare. Do it right. How you leave says more about your maturity than you think. To his credit, Bron did say in his Heat/Cavs beat down post-game interview My intentions were on point. Maybe the execution just was a little off.” Hey, it’s a start.

5 – Nothing in life comes easy: Anything in life you really want, you gotta work hard for it. All three ‘superstars’ guarantee is high expectation, tougher judging and a sweeter victory when it’s earned. Sometimes you gotta suffer for year and take in real heartbreak (see the ’86 Red Sox) before finally taking it all (’04 Sox). I guess that why people in Miami have to Fan Up.

6 – Don’t talk about yourself in the 3rd person: Chase can’t stand that when people be like that. Chase thinks it should stop. Chase be feelin’ like it’s boastful. Chase believes Chase made his point. All Chase all day, yo!

7 – Choose your close friends wisely: Your friends may love you. They may even be really smart. But it doesn’t mean that every decision they make with you is the BEST one. They may actually be unintentionally hurtful in the long run (See Job and his three amigos in 42:7). They may say what you wanna hear. They may say what THEY wanna hear. Get people around you who will be honest with you when you mess it up but who do it in a way that reminds you that you’re loved.

and lastly, Redemption is STILL nigh: It’s been 6 months (June to Now), 20 games. The Heat may still win the chip this year (Oh GOD, that would kill me. But it’s still possible…anything is posssiiiibbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllllllleeeeaaaa!). And if not this year (there’s still the Champs, the C’s and the Spurs in the running), then NEXT year (pending the strike). But that’s not what I mean. LeBron can still fix his image, fix himself and be as great as we know he will be. No one is beyond making the right decisions, even after major failures…no one.  If Kobe could do it, entertainment-wise from ’05 to now…(5 years….), then anyone can. It’s work, time and earning trust from everyone. It’s realizing that people are booing you and deciding to either be the Pistons from the 80s who couldn’t care less OR anyone else.

The problem is, if you don’t think you’re ever wrong, then to you, you’re fine and this blog is a waste. And that’s the biggest Epic Fail of them all.

And that’s it. No more hating on LeBron. It’s actually really old now. Hate takes a LOT of work.

…Unless they win the chip…oh man, I already feel my heart dying.

P.S. Here’s a funny tidbit. On the Miami Heat, there is a dude named Joel Anthony. He’s their center. Signed a 3 year, 18 mil contract this summer. And we were on the same ball team together. In high school. A Private Christian School of 270 people. I was our leading scorer at 17. And he’s in the NBA today. Funny how life works (says Chase as he cries in the fetal position.). What up Joel, holla at your boy, way to rep MTL and make that gwap!

epic fail blog Vol. 5 (The John Abbott Bully Episode)

Hey everyone, here’s another fail I thought about this morning. Unlike the other ones, this one is more MEAN than FUNNY. Well, it may be funny to some of you and it WAS over 12 years ago…so I dunno.

The year was 1998 and I was in my first year in CEGEP, which for you non-Montreal readers is post secondary college before university (we finish High School in grade 11). It was the first week and I was making a lot of friends, mainly because my older cousin was there and she was (and still is) one of the coolest people around. The guys I hung out with were all older than me and really into wrestling shows, particularly WCW/NWO and Stone Cold and the Rock. I was a HUGE Rock fan. I would lift my one eyebrow, talk with his hard swagger and use his catchphrases wherever I could.

One particular day, I chose to use one of the catchphrases on an unsuspecting student. I saw a guy walking down the hall wearing a black t-shirt, a cap and glasses. He looked lost and so I asked him, in front of a whole cafeteria, “Hey man, what’s you’re name?” Before he could even respond with a “Gary”, “Bret”, “Chet” or “Barry” (all assumed names), I yelled at the top of my lungs:

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME ISSSSSSSSSS!

The guys who I hung with, and who knew it was coming, lost it. They laughed, cheered and hi-fived me and each other (I swear my life is like an 80s High School movie…prolly Lucas…). Yet, something inside me died. I knew better. I had been a leader in my youth group. I loved Jesus. I knew how to treat other people, yet for the sake of…I don’t even know any more…I thoroughly killed that guy. And that’s the fail.

I hurt someone…and I didn’t even get his name. I put myself over his feelings. And as for all that “popularity” from 1998…I don’t even talk to 96% percent of the dudes and girls I knew from then (though I’m sure we’re all fixtures on each others Facebook walls). What was hilarious in September of 1998 is a now a painful memory and a fear that it may happen to my own kid by someone who’s just as needy for attention as I was. I hope that guy is okay…I think of him often and whisper an apology all the time. I’m still not 100% with my mouth (i have another epic fail blog to prove it) but I’m a lot faster at recognizing my failings and doing right the next time. I hope you are to.

PS – In light of the rise of bullying happening in high schools in North America, especially online (away from the eyes of teachers, principles and parents), if you are a pastor or leader to youth, talk to your students about it. Remind them that everyone is equal. Remind them to stand up for the little guy…every little bit helps.