Category: Stuff I love

It’s not easy being the Other

In case you’ve never seen my bio, met me IRL, or read my Twitter feed… I’m a Toronto Raptors fan. I’m one of those long-standing, loud and proud fans that fell in love with this team long before they started winning. Before Vince Carter was a household name, and here I am long after Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach. Still a huge fan.

If you’re familiar at all with the NBA, you probably know that the Raptors have been a bit of a joke among the league. That they’re terrible. That they don’t ‘have it’.

Shut up, Pierce.

ESPN even had a poll on their website, once the Final Four was decide, asking who was going to win the championship.

The Warriors.
OKC.
The Cavs.
Or… Other.

Seems like everyone outside of Canada was counting the Raptors out.

But on Friday night, as I watched my team loose in game six of the Eastern Conference finals, I felt so proud of my team.

Well, okay, if I’m completely honest, if they’d gone on to the finals and won it all, yeah, I could probably muster up some more of those feelings.

But yeah. I’m pretty damn proud. This was a hard fought, amazing ride of a season. Many records were broken and everyone kept saying the Raptors couldn’t do it. They were going to be swept by Indiana. We were never going to beat the Heat. Even after a few years of some terrible post-season runs, the fans were getting nervous.

We went from worrying about having to face Chicago in the first round of the playoffs to being two wins away from the finals. Two wins away. From the Finals.

As a long time fan, it was awesome to see the fanbase grow as new people started to get onboard, started to discover this team. To see what a great franchise the Raptors are. To see what it’s like to have a group of likeable players. To see what it’s like to have a team that actually wins. (Sorry, Leafs fans. Couldn’t resist it).

And finally, after spending so much time having to defend and justify myself for being a Raptors fan, the rest of the world is finally starting to notice the Northern uprising. We’re no longer just the other team. We were one of the final four. We’re earning respect. I mean, even the self-appointed basketball King is taking notice:

We’ve built a good thing here.

And you can probably still hear us, the fans, still chanting, even two days after the end of one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history came to a close.

So don’t count us out. We the North. And we’re just warming up.

 

Falling for the public library

I’ve pretty much always been a reader. I would find an author or a series and read every book written, one after another. In the summers, my mother would take my brothers and I to our library to sign up for the summer reading challenges and I’d easily hit the book count within the first few weeks of the summer vacation. As an adult, I rarely visit libraries anymore and had been mostly buying books or borrowing them from my friends. Books take up a lot of real estate in our home, and it makes me a little crazy. I don’t like clutter or to feel closed in by a lot of stuff. So my book habit has dropped off, and with it, so has my reading.
I’ve been wanting to read more. Last year, I read maybe 3 books, tops. For the entire year. I didn’t really want to be buying books again. But I have a confession about borrowing books from a library… Library books gross me out. I have an irrational germophobia around certain things. Library books sometimes come with mysterious stains in them. There was a bedbug outbreak at our main library branch. And I can never seem to get this picture out of my head; the big stack of my friend’s dad’s library books on the toilet tank… So many germs. So my irrational germophobia says a huge nope to bringing those books into my house. Which in turn, has kind of curbed my reading habit of late.

Then, this past weekend happened. It basically rained from Friday night straight through until Monday morning. It was cold and gray and perfect spend the weekend with a stack of books weather. But I didn’t have a stack of books. I was complaining to M about my lack of reading material and he suggested I look into borrowing eBooks from the library. Freaking genius. Through a desktop and iPad app, I had access to my public library’s electronic library. I can finally enjoy reading again, despite my irrational library-book-related germophobia.

Dancing Ron

It also means I can borrow books from the library without having to interact with actual human people out in the world, but I’ll leave my hermit-tendencies for another day.

I love my public library again. And that’s a great thing.