Not-So-Humblebrag, or The Prizes is Right

Someone complimented me the other day and it felt weird. It wasn’t the compliment so much, because I’m awesome, it was the fact that it was public and unexpected, plus the fact that I was singled out when other people around me had been nearly almost as awesome.

I like compliments. I mean, my thick, lustrous hair alone generates multiple compliments daily. The hair on my head is also quite something. But I want the compliments to be earned and justified and preferably accompanied by one of those giant cheques.

The same goes with — what shall we call it? — bragging, boasting, public elations? I don’t like to talk about how wonderful my life is, though true and obvious. It just seems… gauche. And just in case I’m coming off as far too full of myself right now, I’d like to point out that I haven’t bathed today and have been stripping paint off a door frame and am quite gamey. Too much? I’ve ruined this post now, haven’t I…

And we’re back! Here are a few recent events that I’m quite proud of and feel the need to share.

james rookie of the year champlain 2014

1. Son James was named Rookie of the Year for his Champlain College basketball team. Daughter Katie also plays basketball and finished her career at John Abbott College as co-captain and recipient of the Team Player Award. My eldest Emily hasn’t won any awards of late but she did inherit both my hair and awesome genes.


2. Speaking of awesome, Abby finished Grade 7 last week and at the closing ceremony won the school’s Thespian Shield for acting. It’s huge! She asked me that night what exactly she won, because she wasn’t really paying attention. Hey, it was a long ceremony, and “thespian” is a big word. Plus, a book on Greece for an acting award? No wonder she thought she’d won some kind of history prize.


3. I was named Best Columnist for 2013 at the Quebec Community Newspapers Association‘s recent awards gala. I used to sit on the QCNA board when I owned The Stanstead Journal, so I feel this is a recognition from my peers. This is the second time I’ve won this, and I’m truly touched and proud, and I don’t even feel weird saying so.

4. I won a barbecue from our local grocery store. This is the second grill-like item I’ve won from local grocery stores over the past 20 years here. The first time was an indoor T-Fal grill (like a George Foreman grill, except with less boxing) and this time it was a five-burner propane barbecue. In another 10 years, I expect to win a pig-roast pit. The thing is, my wife had just given me a barbecue for Father’s Day the week before. I have two barbecues now. I am the king of the barbecues. I am putting it on my resumé.

That’s all. That’s enough! Life is good.

Oh wait! One more thing: Here’s my final CBC “Breakaway” piece for the summer. It’s about leaving high school for good, and how great it would be to do that all over again. Widget below or you can listen over at CBC.

Insufferably yours,



About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Awards, Family - whadya gonna do?, It Really Did Happen!, Turn that radio on!, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Not-So-Humblebrag, or The Prizes is Right

  1. ksbeth says:

    congrats on all, and i would list them alphabetically, but there are simply too many of them to organize )

  2. Paul says:

    My Lord, all that good stuff AND lustrous hair! You know you have your hair and Ned has his manicure (visible on Skippy Post days) and I’m jealous. Well, my left ear is quite attractive or so I’ve been told, so I think I’ll make that my trademark physical characteristic. There, I feel better now.

    You and your family have had an amazing week for awards and recognition – and every bit deserved. Your young lad seems to be a tall fellow for his age. And I got the biggest kick out of Abby not paying attention enough to remember what her award was. Ha! Congratulations on your own award Ross – it is great to be recognized by your peers – and by increasing the magnification on my screen, I got to read one of your columns without paying for the paper – Hee Hee , don’t tell anyone. And BBQ;s – Whew! – you could go into business selling them – you have enough.

    And, hey, you get the summer off from Breakaway? What’s with that? A throw back to High School? Great program, by the way.even if you did end up with a broken heart and writing in your diary (oops, sorry, I mean the much more masculine sounding “Journal” – although we all know you scratched our “Diary” on the cover and wrote in “Journal”).Ha!

    Great post Ross. My congrats to you and your family for a week of distinction. There has to be some sort of Quebec government incentive available for families who excel together.

  3. List of X says:

    Congratulations to James, Katie, Abby, Emily (on hair), you (on hair), you (on Best Columnist) and you (on barbecue)! As for barbecues, since you now have two, you can probably hold some kind of a barbecue contest, and win it, too.

  4. jillscene says:

    All that awesomeness in one family – it must be catchy or hereditary, or something. Congratulations to all of you.

  5. Kudos and congratulations to all of you. And, oh, nice hair!

  6. Phil Taylor says:

    Congrats on everything, especially the successful kid stuff. That’s the most important in life.

  7. Many congrats are in order here. Rookie of the year! Can he contribute to the household income with that? Probably not. No matter. It’s a fine distinction. And an award-winning thespian, too?! How’d you get so lucky? Best columnist is best of all, don’t you think? I do. Well done, sir. A five-burner is nothing to scoff at. Roast that meat.

    I can’t take a compliment, either. I’m from Ohio and we are raised to believe there’s no such thing as a deserved compliment. Who are you to be complimented? Go wash your face.

    I’d only do high school all over again if I could know what I know now. Do I have to revert back to being clueless and stupid? Same result.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I’m pretty sure I would fare just as awkwardly in high school now, getting by on superficial relationships and smart-ass comments.
      I didn’t realize Ohio was so dreary. I would have thought, being Ohio, people would go out of their way to brighten each other’s day.

  8. Ross, you make me smile 🙂
    Congratulations to you and your kiddos on your well-deserved awards and great heads of hair. You’ve started my day with a smile.

  9. markbialczak says:

    If anybody ever gave me the best thespian award, I wouldn’t know how to act at the ceremony. You go, Abby. This book is on par to the highly decorated cake you recently got from your dad for your birthday.

    Congratulations on your two award-winning basketball players in the family, Ross. I’ve had a notion about your height from that lying-down-on-the-grass header photo you revolve through on us. James, dribble on! Katie, you get to use your leadership skills in the real world. Much fortune to both of you.

    Ross, accept the respect of your column-writing peers with grace and respect. If you still owned the paper, I may be yelling fixed! But now, I truly believe you deserve the accolades. Smile and be proud. This is way better than the five-burner grill that stands backup in your garage in case the far better one your wife gave you for Father’s Day should ever need a breather.

    A pig-roast pit? I think the next prize is a five-star restaurant!

  10. Trent Lewin says:

    Hey congratulations on the award, and moreso on your cool kids. Strangely, all I want to do is come over and steal your BBQ now… I have three. None of them work. Life sucks!

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Technically, I have three as well. One is the decrepit charcoal one my wife decided it was time to replace. But I love that little smoker. Can’t bear to part with it. Now get the hell off my lawn before I call the cops.

  11. Ned's Blog says:

    Until this point, I often marveled out our many parallels — gratuitous hair, stunningly good cooks, better than average looks, typing skills, both being from a foreign country — but I have never won a grill or had a thespian in the family. At least not that anyone has talked about. Still, it’s truly a pleasure to hear about so much well-earned recognition coming to the Murray family. And particularly the kudos from your peers for your column. Although, given your lustrous hair, it does seem a tad bit overkill…

  12. Ned's Blog says:

    Another eerie parallel; Now that I’ve started to get some grey hair, I’m known as a “frosted flake” in some circles.

  13. calahan says:

    Your family is adorable, Ross. 🙂

  14. nobsj says:

    Honestly people should just brag when things are awesome. It’s the humble that makes everyone hate them. Hashtag phonies.

  15. benzeknees says:

    Now you’re famous will you still associate with little people like me?

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