Life as a Fan Is TOUGH!

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Life as a fan is a bittersweet thing.

For one, you’re not the one on the field/ice/court taking the hit/shot/pass at the last second. Nope. You’re on your couch in your living room watching (and possibly imagining being in that situation yourself…OBVIOUSLY doing a better job…) and hoping for a win, while anticipating a loss.

Secondly, if you’re a big fan and people know it, when your team loses…your enemies will let you know it every time. For example: imagine cheering for a team like the Montreal Canadians in a city like Toronto…not fun when a loss takes place.

Lastly, if you’re a real fan, when your team (notice how we called them OUR team as if we’re partial owners?) loses can ruin your day (or night) and shake you up more than the actual players. Like, imagine being a fan of the Red Sox of Boston before they FINALLY won the world series. The people in Beantown would react to playoff loses like there was a death in the family. I remember when my favourite basketball team lost a championship game (worth the watch). I sat at the edge of my bed and sulked like a small child without a toy. I don’t have any ownership, any stake in them but MAN, I was rocked.

Now I know that we shouldn’t get caught up in things as these, as those who don’t have any cares for sports would say, but man I do. Each year. Hoping for wins, expecting some loses and looking forward to the next season.

Why talk about this? March Madness? Nope. Here’s why?

I am a fan of people! I work with students who I believe in whole heartedly and I can’t say that there haven’t been a few nights where I have sat on the edge of my bed heartbroken at a decision that a few have made. And while I have been heartbroken, I have been hopeful for “next season“, the next opportunity where they could do it right. And as a husband, there have been moments where I have led someone to sit on the edge of the bed, disappointed in me, hoping for the “next season.” Whether we know it or not, we’re all fans of someone…hopeful misfits, believing in a last second shot that’ll change the tide of someone’s existence.

Also: A real fan doesn’t jump off the bandwagon when their team loses year after year (or decision after decision). Instead, they keep on believing, risking their hearts, investing their time (and coin) and energy to hope, to dream and to one day celebrate in one of those championship parades.

And with everyone I have in my life, I hope to be able to do the same thing.

I am your BIGGEST fan!

P.S. Go Lakers, Canadians, Blue Jays (and since I no longer have the Expos…I guess the Nationals), 49ers (and sadly the Cowboys), Wolverines and Man City.

Question: Who are you believing in? Who is believing in you? How does this affect how we should live?

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A Love-filled Fool (An Ode to ResonateAPC)

Plaid Night @ #InsideOut13 with Resonate (Agincourt Pent. Church's Post-High Group

I have just returned from a great time away with 30+ of the funnest, funniest, truest people I have the privilege of knowing. While tired in my body and weak in my mind, I have stopped many times to think over the blessing each of them are to me and to each other.

You see, this group is a family. Not in the way of how people say “I love coming to __________ because we’re like a family.” They are a family in that they don’t have to say it but people know it. They are all unique persons but they’re united in the main things (for starters, a deep rooted faith in God, through Jesus Christ, revealed by the Holy Spirit and grown in healthy community…sorry…HAD to preach there!!), which keeps them (and me to them/them to me) constantly connected. We laugh, cry, grow, learn, agree, disagree and serve together. And we’re all better for it.

And we’re a family that takes risks together.

For example…one night during our retreat, while taking a group picture, an idea was sprung up by one of younger brothers that then RESONATED through everyone. I, being the eldest, wasn’t the most excited for said idea. But I truly love these ones, and so I added my two cents to our creative potluck. The results are now being slowly viewed by friends of friends through various social media outlets, but what was captured in the room, can’t be defined by a 30 second clip.

In that room, a few hours prior, was laughter due to games, stories and pictures. Later on, tears, support, songs and prayers. And then following THAT?  A fun dance party. None were exclusive from each other but rather like a real family, they bled one into the next, a beautiful mosaic of stories, lives and excitement. And while I didn’t shed tears, I was moved. And here on my couch, retelling the stories to Wifey, looking a vast array of pictures, I still am.

And so, like the song Endless Love says, not only would I “…be a fool…” for them for dumb things (and for smart meaningful things too), I can’t think of a better group of people I’d be a love-filled fool for. I do love them a lot.

And as we move towards the #nextadventure we take together, like Max from “Where The Wild Things Are” proclaimed:

Let the wild rumpus start!

#plaidtobepentecostal

#beardwatch at one week

So the quest for the greatest beard ever started a week ago. It’s been 7 days and so far so good. I’ve gotten a lot of comments about it already which have been fun along with a challenger who believes his beard, in a year, will be better than mine. Well Drew Oliphant, consider yourself the silver medalist in this two person beard dance. Love you, dude but you’re gonna lose. Don’t believe? Check out the site bro!

So I thought in this post, I’d talk a little bit about my rules, my hair process and my upcoming difficulties because of my beard. Let’s go!!!

1- My Grooming Rules:

On Sunday, one of my buddies asked me if I had cut my beard at all since I started and I told him yes. His suggestion was that I should then start from scratch from the day I cut my beard. My good friend failed to understand what is known by us urban folks as “Goin’ for a touch up“. What is that you ask? Well I will tell you!

A touch up is simply cleaning up the lines on the face to keep the main parts looking neat without actually cutting the girth of the beard off. Kids used to do this when they wanted to grow their hair out for braids or huge fro but still look good and not bruck up (def: unkept). So with my beard, I will never cut the goatee portion or the hairs closest to it. However the sideburns area can be trimmed to keep with some neatness. The reality is, I have a job where at times I need to stand in front of people and so I should look somewhat decent…even with a HUGE face carpet!

2 – My hair:

The hardest thing about this beard will be that black hair will never grow as fast my caucasian friends. And my hair is curly and not straight. Knowing this, I spend a lot of time combing out my beard. I know how weird that sounds but I do it at LEAST 6 times a day. Now I can do this while typing this blog, watching TV, reading a book, throne-ning it…you name it, I can do it! I’m always picking this thing out. I remember way back when I grew out my hair to have braids and it went from tight curls to straight. That is what I am anticipating. It’s already happening in the chin region…now for the jaw!

I also have to shampoo it too, which is a weird feeling. Soon…conditioner. I’m three steps away from a curling iron.

3 – Upcoming Difficulties

I have a black tie wedding in December that normally I’d be clean-cut for…and I will be tempted to cut it. Also, I always get poutine cheese stuck in this thing. And I have a wife who will hate this more and more as this continues. Lastly, I will be venturing into hipster territory soon (the large frame glasses, color jeans and nonchalant rapport doesn’t help either). I’m not trying to be a hipster…which is again venturing to hipster territory. Also, I made fun of a friend named Mitch Pitt for having a thick beard. And when he sees me, he’s gonna throw it on me in a bad way. And lastly, Easter plays…

I’m sure more will come up but we’ll see.

____________

Well, that’s all for now! I’ll save more stuff for next week as the #beardwatch continues!!!! I’d love, if you’re a reader, for email questions that I can answer here on some posts. Email me at cchase101@apchurch.com and maybe your question might get picked!!!

#beardwatch – The Quest for the Awesome Beard

Hello reader!

Yesterday I made a big decision. One that will rock my home and bring unnecessary tension between wifey and I. One that will bring weird comments from friends who say more than they need too. One that will bring fear into the minds of people I don’t know. And one that will cause barbers all over the GTA to wonder aloud, “Dude, what are you doin‘?”

Here was my decision via twitter:

Yup. I want to grow my beard out something fierce. Why? No real reason other that why not. Now I’ve done this once before. After September/early October of last year, I didn’t cut my hair or beard until Liam was born. But I didn’t keep it kept, didn’t fresh my hair or anything. I looked, how do I say…rough?!

Anyhow, this time around, I have a template. A hero if you will: NBA star and recent USA Basketball Olympic Gold Medalist James Harden. Here’s a pic of him, along with Kevin Durant and Melo Anthony. James is in the middle.

Pretty awesome, eh? Now, he’s been growing this for a couple of years now (since 2009, to be accurate…4 years, boi!) so I’m not expecting to be at that level in 3 months. However, I am hoping that by then, Wifey will have given up on getting me to shave it and simply added this to the long list of her long sufferings as my wife. By then, i’ll be smooth growing; apart from the itchiness, the curly sideburn hair that won’t straighten without a black man’s brush, the grey hairs that are becoming more pronounced and the possible never getting hugs from anyone in my home (though I am sure Liam will have fun pulling it for sport).

I also plan to, for as long as I can, keep my faux hawk. I went to the barbershop recently and my barber and I both commented on how my hair isn’t growing fast,  a sign of old age, I guess. Since then, I’m doing what I did when I wanted braids: always picking my hair out. And it has worked so far. I am quite excited.

So along with trying to read more, get to the gym, be a better man in my home and save up to buy a life size robot, I will be on #beardwatch. Each week (or so) I will be posting a beard pic (some in different locations, some with the kids, some very repetitive…okay most will be…), to keep my progress on file. This will be fun.

I also hope to talk with James Harden via twitter or email in the next months or so to hear from him on how he did it for so long. That would ALMOST make me switch teams from LA to OK…nah, not happening!

Let the early mid-life crisis begin!!!

Chase
PS. Basketball talk pt 1: I am really nervous that the Dwight Howard Laker thing won’t work. Call me a pessimist but the only thing more spectacular than a ring in LA is combustion in LA: both get headlines, one gets TV movie’d.

PPS. Basketball talk pt 2: I hate to admit this…LeBron is great. I want to vomit now…all over my computer and children. Yuck.

Little Miss Independent (Letter to Ellie)

Last Friday I took Ellie to the park for our Daddy Daughter date. It was something in the works for some time and it was worth the walk there and back. I wish there was a way to capture on paper the joyous sound she made as the stroller rolled closer and closer to our destination. It was infectious. I laughed with delight as she ran up and down the jungle gym but paused with horror as she approached the slide. It was a BIG KID slide, with a twist and everything! instinctively, I ran up the gym to join her for what could only be seen as an adorable gesture of love and protection to all around. Not so to Ellie.

She, with command in her voice like a linebacker calling a blitz, said aloud, “No DADDY, I do it, kay?!”

And with that she went down the slide, leaving me the go down after her turn was over, looking more this time like a creep than adorable father.

Now Ellie has been using that line a lot lately for just about everything but at that moment, I realized in a small way that I was losing my little girl. Over-dramatic you might say…crazy even! I say, I don’t care! I remember when she was completely dependent on Becca and I (mostly Becca for obvious gender reasons) for everything. I mean, she couldn’t burp without someone to tap her back. I remember how fun it was to teach her how to walk and how through Pickering Town Center, she’d hold my hand for balance, while I’d hold her hand for comfort. I remember how she’d cuddle with us on the couch and give kisses and hugs.

Now it’s like living with a teenager! She won’t be caught dead holding me hand in the house, let alone in public. Cuddling has been replaced with a calls for Elmo & Dora. Kisses are given at her pace, not our own. And now she can do things on her own, like pick her clothes, walk down the stairs, use a grown up fork, climb up chairs and into her car seat…the list may not be big to you (or you may have a kid who is more advanced…prolly not but still…lol) but to me it’s huge. Here’s why…

…soon she’ll be able to read on her own, potty on her own, ride on two wheels, go to school on the bus, go to sleepovers, go to the movies, apply for college, go on a date (…oh God help me…and then HIM…), make decisions…everything. Of course she’ll still need me but my role will change from teacher to chauffeur to bank, to the “No-You-Can’t-Guy“, to the scapegoat, to the last resort advice to whatever she needs.

There are some days when I love the fact that makes progress, like today when we got her day care report card and we saw that she is doing great in every area. I love that she can talk so much (thanks to her sisters Jenna, Leah and Allie), dance, sing, pray and more. I love that now she knows how to play hide and seek, can count and become her own self. But at the same time, I miss being able to pick her up and simply carry her. I miss having to guess what she wanted and stuff. And this will be the rest of my life: being proud of the woman she’s becoming while missing the kid she was.

Dear Ellie,

One day you’ll look at this letter and not believe me when I say that you used to cuddle with me all the time. You’ll think the pics were created on Photoshop or whatever we have at this point. But nope. At one point in your life, you were my little girl. You’d reach up to be picked up not out of laziness but simply out of need and I was happy to give it to you. You’d sit in the back of the car and listen to music with me and not roll your eyes at my dance move but instead, you’d dance like me. You’d hold my hand and tell me you loved me in front of your friends. We’d have sleepovers when you were sick and freezes on the steps together. You’d sing Elmo’s World, Justin Bieber (remember the guy who was working at the Gap that one time? Yup, he used to be HUGE!) and Dora all day. You weren’t always so independent…but you’ve grown up to be strong, capable, smart, beautiful (I mean you DO look like your mom, kiddo), talented and accomplished. 

I watched everything and was proud all the time as I am now. I watched as those innocent green eyes took in the world and became mature and wise. I watched as you dealt with heartbreak, questions of faith and issues of morality and came out on the other side with everything intact. I am so proud of you, Eliana. And I’m thankful that from time to time, you still needed my help. And as it was when you were learning to walk, I’ll hold your hand through anything until you tell me as you did at two years old…

…No daddy. I do it, kay?

Love you, kiddo.

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.

Dealing With Boys (Letter to Ellie)

Boys Suck!!

Something that will bug me forever, Eliana, is that you will one day like boys. Even worse: boys will like you. A lot. You’re funny, pretty, smart, creative, confident (just today when mom asked you if you’re silly, you said, “No, I’m beautiful!”)…the list goes on. And while I will already hate the boy who marries you (kinda), I feel that it is my responsibility to give you the inside track on the majority of guys (there are some exceptions, but in many areas, we’re all the same) and what you need to watch out for.

Now I don’t worry about you ever having to stand up for yourself (the other day at day care, I saw you push a boy over when he tried to give you a hug. The fact that it was during bible story time, is besides the point.). But as you get older, a boy will take your attention and possibly break your heart. And it’ll suck. So before that happens, here are some things about boys you need to know.

1 – Boys Suck

Just right off the bat, they do. All of them.

2 – Boys are smelly

They all sweat a lot, some smell a lot worse than others but the all smell. Really bad.

3 – Boys live in a land of passive aggressiveness

You think you know what they are thinking or how they are feeling. You ask them for their opinion and they hem and haw at you. They get mad but mumble under their breath. They ignore you because they don’t know how to express themselves but desperately want your attention. Is he mad at you? At life? Just quiet? Is he a vampire? Rarely will you know how they feel and when you do, you’re sorry you found out. They know what, or who they want…it just takes them a while to know how to ask for it. (See Edward from Twilight…or so I’m told…).

4 – A lot of boys have dad issues

Boys will try to be just like or completely unlike their dad. A lot of what they are trying to find on the path to manhood has to do with figuring out how their dad feels about them (because THEIR dad never knew how their OWN dad felt about them…you see, men only do as they’ve experienced…). (When you’re old enough, see Good Will Hunting).

5 – A lot of boys are scared

They will never say it because men are to be heroes, leaders, soldiers and athletes (when’s the last time you saw a guys accountant or psychologist action figure?), but underneath it all, they fear. They fear failing, commitment, getting over their issues, never making it, being broke, doing life wrong, living in regret, growing up, zombies…you name it. When you meet “him” ask him what he’s scared of. If he says nothing, he’s a liar. If he says, “I don’t fear because_________”, he’s a liar. Now if he says, I fear this, but I bring that to God everyday, you’ve met someone who hopefully has a good sense of self-awareness. They’ll know that they can’t get over their stuff on their own. I should say, however, that because I am a cynic and because you are my daughter, I MIGHT not fully believe him so he and I might have our own coffee date to hash that out:). (When old enough see the movie Antoine Fisher)

6 – Boys suck at giving and reading signals

He won’t know if you like him and he’ll think you want him. Use words, not eye and ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR FACE!!!!! (Example: Every man who has ever lived. Period.).

7 – Boys want to be better

Even the really rough ones, when they are away from their crew, don’t want to be bad. Many of them want a better life for themselves and for ones they may bring into the world. Some are rotten apples who have been dealt a bad hand (whether they were spoiled or left alone). And if you confront them (and wade through the passive aggressiveness) and ask them about it, they’ll tell you. However, once they are back with their crew, it’ll be like it never happened (see The Simpsons episode where Nelson dates Lisa for an example).

8 – Boys often don’t know how to be the “starter“.

You won’t be sure if something should be happening or IS happening and he won’t say anything (see nos. 3, 5 &6). And so you’ll become the man to ask him what’s going on. That should never, ever be. If you have to go to him for that, you’ll have to do that for the rest of your life. And it’ll annoy the heck out of you. Think on that one.

9 – Boys will break your heart (knowingly and unknowingly)

At least some will do it knowingly. I will hunt them for sport. The guys who do it unknowingly…they are the worst. They led you on, didn’t know how to get out of it and they broke it off in an ugly manner. Urgh…boys really suck (Example: Scott Pilgrim Versus The World).

10 – Boys are territorial

They may not want to be with you but at the same time, they won’t want anyone else to be with you either. It’s really weird…and when you’re taken, they won’t know what to with themselves…watch out for guys who are naturally selfish. If they are selfish with stuff, they’ll also be so with you.

Bonus: Beware of the guy best friend. You may end up marrying him OR running after him like in “My Best Friend’s Wedding…”

Bonus 2: Boys suck. It’s true, kid. They do.

Bonus 3: Even the Christian ones can be sucky. That’s a whole other letter, kiddo.

There are so many more things I could say. And I’m no psychologist here. I just know a lot of guys, kiddo. And I was a boy too (and still am sometimes.). My prayer is that as you do life the right way, you’ll meet the right kid of guy who will take care of you and love you sacrificially and unconditionally. And something I have to remind myself of is that you will (i don’t know if it’s consciously or unconsciously) look for a guy who is either a lot like or the complete opposite of me. And so if I do life right (love my life, love your mom, you and your soon-to-be brother or sister), your standards will be set and you’ll be okay. And if I don’t, I’ll meet him and say (to myself, of course…maybe to your mom…), “You’re MY fault.”

And it will be.

I love you kiddo. And when a boy breaks your heart, we’ll sit on the couch, eat ice cream and plot our revenge.

I already have their graves dug out 🙂

P.S. This is not ALL guys, I know. Dudes, I got love for you. I just gotta give my kid the 411 on the bad ones! If you have a daughter, you know EXACTLY what I mean. None of you want a dummy son-in-law right?