Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Small World - Kindred Spirits

On October 21st, Jim Keay Ford Lincoln, was hosting an autograph signing / food drive with 5 Ottawa Senators players.  The 5 players were Chris Phillips, Marc Methot, Matt Kassian, Kyle Turris and Craig Anderson.

As evidenced on many prior posts, I've met Chris Phillips multiple times.  I was going to the signing this day to get my heritage jersey signed by the other 4 guys.  Of course I had a couple of things for Chris to sign, but he wasn't the only reason I was going to one of these things.

I arrived fairly early and found myself 10-15th in line.  As I was waiting for a friend of mine to arrive so that we could keep each other company, a woman came in with her friend and son.  I told them where to put their food donation and at this point, she noticed my Chris Phillips jersey and told me that she was a HUGE fan of his herself.  Right then - I knew Lisa and I would be friends :)

She then realized where she'd seen me before.  She looked at me and told me "You had your birthday at Big Rig!!" Yep, through Facebook posts and various tweets and re-tweets, she somehow saw the pictures of me and my cake from two weeks ago.  I'm a celebrity now ;) LOL.

While waiting for the players to arrive, she and I with her son RJ and her friend Ginette just talked about many different things.  We realized that we had something else in common, we both worked for the CRA, although for different departments.  We talked a little about working there and then moved on to better conversation.  Hockey! ;)

We shared hockey/Phillips stories and talked about our mutual admiration for #4.  I showed the three of them my camera and the amazing pics I can get from my seats at the Sens game...and it's not even close to being a professional camera.

Me and the girls decided we wanted to take pictures with Chris and Marc since they were sitting next to one another.  I told them I'd take pics with my camera and share them on Facebook - so she added me as a friend immediately. It's not that I didn't want pictures with the other guys - I would have loved that, but I get very shy and embarrassed at these things and I'm more comfortable talking to Chris now so that was the only one I was going to get.  I'm slowly getting a little better with the whole "shy" thing, but you gotta give me a break here.

I believe her son RJ was probably just shaking his head that there was someone else as crazy as his mother.  Talking to them for 40 minutes while waiting for the signings to start was amazing.  I was so happy to make new friends and talking to strangers is not usually my forte as some of you have witnessed.

We finally went through and got our autographs....and despite my shyness, I was able to talk to all of them.  (Yay me)

I got the girls' pictures with Chris and Marc and when it was my turn, it was just a comedy of errors with the attempts.  I stood behind Chris and Marc forever while the girls were trying to figure out the camera.  We thought we had the pictures but when I looked at the camera - the pictures weren't there.  I was fine with it, but Lisa felt bad, even though it really wasn't a big deal. 

There was a small break in the line and we decided to give it another try.  Chris and Marc were really great and accommodating and I finally did get my picture.

Before Lisa left, I saw her phone and her case is purple.  I showed her my phone and the case is also purple.  Yes, another thing in common - our favourite colour is purple

I waited at Jim Keay for a bit while my other friend was going through with her children.  When they got to Chris I asked him for one of his player photos for me as I hadn't gotten one the first time through.  He said I was too busy earlier trying to figure out the camera.  Thanks Chris - but I know my camera.  :)

I'm really hoping to see Lisa again soon.  Hopefully Ginette and RJ can join us too.  Maybe we'll have to go to Big Rig for dinner and watch a game one night.

I'm so glad I went to Jim Keay last night - it was great meeting the players, but I made new friends and that's even better to me. 

Great night.

Til next time
Julie / @Flip_4

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Unpopular Opinion - Sens Fans

As a season ticket holder who goes to almost every game, there is one thing that bugs me about going to Sens games...actually, there's more than one - but the others don't happen unless the Leafs or Habs are in town. 

What does bother me, and this is a pretty unpopular opinion, is the Sens fans who complain about how bad the crowds are in Ottawa, how quiet etc...and then they go and start chanting "Leafs Suck" when the Leafs are NOT here.

You know what?  I understand the dislike - I really do cause I share in it.  What I don't understand is why??

I know some find it funny to yell out "Leaf sucks".  You know how it sounds though??  "We Suck".  I was actually asked by someone if that's what was being said - seeing as how the Sens weren't playing that well, maybe they thought the crowd had turned on the team.

First time I heard it - it was funny.  Maybe even the 2nd time, but when all chants with that beat started getting hijacked by "Leafs Suck" - it got pretty annoying and I really don't understand it.

It only serves to give people "proof" that Sens fans are obsessed with the Leafs.  I don't know about you, but I'm really not.  The only time I really care about how the Leafs play is when they play against the Sens...or when a Leaf fan friend bugs me ;)

Why don't you try this?  Instead of cheering against a team that isn't in the building, why not use the energy you have to cheer FOR the Sens and try to encourage them to play better.  How about chanting "Go Sens" instead.  I remember going to games before this all started and it was always chanting FOR our team.  When did that change?

We want great atmosphere in the building.  We want the fans to make noise like when the Sens make the playoffs...each person has to do their part for that.  I actually do cheer "Go Sens" when the other chant breaks out - I wish more people would do that.

Anyway - that's my opinion.  It might not be popular, but it's how I feel.

Use your energy at a hockey game to cheer for your team, encourage them, be that extra man they need on the ice.  Become fans that other teams will be jealous of. :)

Anyway - you might not agree with me - but what's important is that we're Sens fans :)

Til next game :)

Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, October 14, 2013

Birthday Wishes Results - Candlelighters

Not sure anyone was really waiting for the results from my Birthday Wishes for Charity 2013 campaign...but here they are. :)

This year, I chose Candlelighters as the charity I would be donating to.  I'm proud to be able to support such a great program in Ottawa.

I received 39 birthday wishes on Twitter and 73 on Facebook.  For those who aren't good in math, that's a total of 112 :).

On top of that, I also was able to raise 215 during my birthday party at Big Rig.  Still on a high from that night I must say :)  If you haven't read about it yet - find it here. :) \

So that's 112 from social media and 215 during my party for a total of $327.

I've decided that since there was an appearance by Chris Phillips at my party, I'll be rounding up the amount to $400.  :)  His number is 4 after all and I turned 40 so it kinda fits. 

I have to say, and this might sound corny, but giving on my birthday has truly become something I look forward to every year.  There is NOTHING better to make you forget about getting older.  Knowing you'll be helping out is very gratifying.

Thank you to everyone who participated in my two birthday celebrations over the weekend and everybody who wished me a Happy Birthday on social media.  Also, thank you to the morning hosts at Majic 100 for giving me such a fantastic shoutout.

I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many great friends and family members.  I love you all.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Birthday weekend - Sunday - Did that REALLY happen??? - Chris Phillips

Let me start this post by saying - OMG!!!  That was such a FANTASTIC night!!!!  SQUEEEEE!!!!

Ok, now that that's out of my system, let me describe the night - this might be a long post so beware ;)

Let's start from the beginning. (For part one of birthday weekend - go here)

I started thinking about having a party for my 40th about 6 months before my birthday.  I went in and spoke with Catherine at the Big Rig Brewery and we had started to discuss my 'event'.  I wanted to have a charity tie-in with my birthday.  I didn't expect anyone to bring me any gifts, but I was hoping they would want to give to a charity I would choose.

A few months went by and I almost cancelled my whole idea but I decided to downscale it instead.  I invited some friends and family, and made my reservations at Big Rig.  About 25 to 30 people were coming.  I decided on Candlelighters as the charity I would try to raise money for.  Candlelighters is one of the charities that my favorite Sens player, Chris Phillips and his wife Erin support.

The day of the event, I was pretty tired and for some reason, was apprehensive.  I was afraid the party would be a bust and no one would come...or something would happen that would make it a disaster.  I could not have been more wrong.

My friend, sister and I walked in to Big Rig 30 minutes before the party and got things set up.  There was going to be a draw for a GC and Beer.  I got everything ready with the staff at Big Rig and sat down and waited for the guests to arrive.

Everyone started to trickle in.  My friends Spencer and Lisa brought a cake that Lisa made for me.  They wouldn't let me see it before it was time.  I knew it would be a nice cake because I'd seen some of the ones Lisa had made in the past.  I couldn't wait to see it - but I had to.

Now, in the last post I said that I was a suspicious person by nature so it's hard to surprise me.  Someone managed to do that on Sunday.  Mr. Stuntman Stu - radio host and PA announcer extraordinaire.  He told me the week before that he couldn't make it - even going so far as to pretend he had never even seen the invite...and I fell for it.  Connie, never even replied to my invite.  They both showed up and brought along their children...and a gift that I couldn't open yet.  *sigh*

In these kinds of situations, I never know where to be.  I want to give everyone attention, but it's so hard to do.  You're going from table to table talking to everyone and feeling like you're talking to no one.  I did have a blast though.  My friend Dave took pictures for me.   Everyone seemed to enjoy the appetizers I ordered - with extra fried pickles of course and their meal.

They brought out a table and I was told to SIT and STAY. that I think of it, should I have been insulted?? ;)

Out came the cake and OMG!!!  It was the most amazing cake in the world.  Lisa did such a fantastic job.  It was a red Chris Phillips jersey with the Sens logo.  The most fantastic cake I've EVER had.  I can't do it justice with words so just enjoy the picture :)  THANK YOU Lisa!!!!!

Staff and people sitting at other tables came by to see the cake and take pictures.  Before I was allowed to cut it - I was given the gift that Stu brought with him.

We need a little background here.  For the past few years I've been bugging a few people, namely my best friend Charlie and Stu about getting me a red Chris Phillips jersey.  I was actually driving Charlie crazy with it.  Stu just told me that he'd give me the jersey when the Sens won the cup.

When I opened the gift, yes, there was a red Chris Phillips jersey.  Stu tells me the jersey comes from the Sens as I'm such a great fan.  I'm sure he talked me up some, but if anyone knows how big a Phillips fan I am, Stu does.  I put it on immediately and it's perfect.  Stu - THANK YOU for again being instrumental in something great happening to me :)

Now it was time to cut the cake - you have NO idea how hard it was for me to cut it up.   it broke my heart!!!   It tasted great though. 

Now, for the icing on the cake so to speak.  I was told by the manager that night, Peter, that Chris was on his way to pick up some food.  Peter knows how big a fan I am.

A few minutes later, I turn around and Chris is coming towards us from the front of the restaurant.  He came to see me, gave me a hug and wished me a happy birthday (go here and here to read about me meeting him)  I was so happy.  Seriously, a little kid in the candy store. He admired the cake even though it had already been cut.  He also gave his seal of approval on the jersey and authenticated the signature on the back.  I got some pictures taken and offered him some of the cake.

He couldn't stay long because he had to bring food to his family - they have to eat too I suppose :)

Once he left and everyone had a piece of cake, people started leaving.  I had such a great time and I am so grateful to everyone who had a hand in making this a perfect birthday..

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.  I was so glad everyone was there to celebrate my birthday with me, plus I have witnesses to the events of the night. :)

The final total for Candlelighters is $215.  I still have to count all my facebook and twitter birthday wishes in order to figure out what my personal donation is. I will give an update in a future post.

I don't think anything could ever top this weekend for me.  I've never felt so loved and appreciated by everyone...I'm humbled by some of the things I was told!!!

Thank you to everyone and especially Chris Phillips for coming by and making my day even better!!!

Not sure I'll ever come down from this high I'm on :)

Special thanks go out to my sisters Annie and Lyne, brother in law Todd and best friend Charlie for being part of both nights.  Thank you again Lisa for the fantastic cake, Stu for the jersey,  Marc for the treat and Diane for the decadent cookies.  Thank you Dave for taking such great pictures.  To the rest, Danielle (Sam), Connie (Isabella and Matteo), Spencer (Emily), Corrie, Stuart, Manon C, Manon S, Glen, Kristine, Dave, Tony, Randy, Ann and Donna; Thank you so much for taking part in this fantastic birthday.

I had such a great time and I might just have to do this again :)

Birthday weekend - Friday and, Saturday

I just turned 40 yesterday (Sunday, October 6th).  This past weekend has probably been the best weekend EVER!!!! ;)

Who knew turning 40 would be so fantastic!!!

Instead of writing an extra long post about the entire weekend - I will be dividing it in to two parts. (see part deux)

It all started on Friday morning when I asked for a song to be played on Majic 100 for my birthday.  Well, not only did they play my song (Girls just wanna have fun), but Stuntman Stu, also gave me a pretty fantastic shoutout!!!

I'd have it on here - but I haven't yet asked permission ;)

I was actually blushing while sitting at my desk and listening to them.  It was really great.  They made me feel like I was a great friend of theirs.  Thank you Stu, Angie, Trish and Dean.

I really did enjoy my song and was almost late to a meeting because I refused to leave before I heard the whole thing :)

That day, I started to get suspicious of my family.  I figured out that instead of my birthday fondue, they were going to be throwing me a 40th birthday party with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

It wasn't anything they did wrong though, I'm just a very suspicious person by nature so I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together....maybe I should have been a detective ;)

Well, I played along cause I didn't want to ruin the surprise early, but I did mention it to my co-workers during the day.

On Saturday, I went shopping with my best friend before heading to my sister's place for the rest of the day. 

Yes - all their cars were parked around my sister's house so really, I would have figured it out before anyway ;).

As I walked through the door, the first thing I saw was a ton of shoes in the entrance and then I walked in and my family was there and they yelled surprise.  It was really great.

I'm so lucky that they would all take the time to come out for me.  I really did appreciate seeing all of them there.  It wasn't all of them - but most of them were able to make it.

Gift cards and cash were the gift of choice.  This is good since I'm going to Disney World in April and I need to pay for the trip somehow :)

My favorite card though is pictured above.  My cousin Chantal had it made for me.  Can you guess why I love it so much??   On the inside is a sticker of Chris Phillips.  My family knows me so well...and so do others as you will learn in my next post.

My mother made the cake with my grandmother's icing on it.  It will always be my favorite icing.  I just wish my grandmother would have still been with us.

To end the night, we watched the Sens / Leafs game.  Even though the outcome wasn't what I would have liked it to be, I still had a fantastic time.

Thank you to my family and my friend Charlie for making my 'surprise' birthday party so much fun.

Little did I know that the next day would be so eventful. be continued in next post.