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Monday, June 30, 2008
Hay, Mr. Ossifer. Those garbage bags in my car? They're full of hay. Yeah. No, I didn't offer to transport these bags for somebody else--well, actually, yes I did, but really! It's hay!
What else would I bring for a foal-welcoming party? I ask you.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The tings ve find... or: Why Jane loves the Internet. Yesterday, browsing hither and thither, all a-google, I discovered an article written by my maternal grandfather in 1950 for the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This grandfather I never met: he drowned with one of his sons in 1954, nine years before I was born. Anyway, I sent the article to his eponymous grandson, my big brother, who is also a doctor. I was sure my brother would've seen it already, but no! We both thought it was cool, even though I misspelled "exomphalos." Tsk.
Lawn Bowling: the Controversy Continues. Last week we had a rare occurrence at the lawn bowling club, i.e., an extremely badly behaved team. They kept walking across lanes while games were in play, despite being asked to walk around, then got up to more knavery at the end of the evening. No surprise, alcohol was involved. Anyhow, I helped draft a poster of our modified game rules and simple sporting etiquette. In our league, that means police your own cigarette butts, don't take all night picking a shot, and stay the hell out of other people's lanes when a game is on. The unwritten rule: drink decently or don't drink at all. Hey, I stopped drinking because I couldn't handle it anymore. It's not impossible.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Beecause... This afternoon I headed up to the rooftop with Rudy the Bee Guy and his son, Nik the Bee Boy, to check up on the hives. The bees have outdone themselves in building random hives, which we have to remove, sadly, in order to put in the honeycomb slats. So I've made a display of the random honeycomb that has overtones of the Sydney Opera House. I didn't have a collared shirt on, so I was pretty sure a bee would figure out how to get inside my veiled hat, and once there, sting me, but nothing happened. Last year I didn't get stung until we started moving honeycomb slats around, which we'll be doing next week. So stings are on their way, woohoo! Note: When you use the smoke gun before opening the hives, the smoke is going to stay with you. I've been asked twice since coming back to my desk if "something's burning." Do I smell burning straw? Why yes, I do.
Violating the Prime Directive last night, I covered my hand in a plastic bag, slowly walked over to the fledgling magpie, gently lifted it and placed it on the sturdy tree branch above me. All the while its parents were shrilling threats overhead. I had seen the fledgling in the morning, hopping through tall grass, again with its parents freaking out. By 8:30 p.m. the small bird was utterly exhausted, desperately trying to hop up on grass stems that merely bent under it. So I acted, despite knowing that I might kill it by inducing shock.
This morning I heard the parents yakking away, so went out and was delighted to see Junior flying from one branch to another. As I walked past with the dogs, one of the parents swooped us, grackling away. That's the thanks. We get.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I don't care if this sounds like tea towel sentiment, really I don't. This morning on TV I heard Mike Myers repeating a quote he attributed to NASA: "There is no such thing as failure, only early attempts at success." It's been on my mind today, since I'm still dithering about what background I should choose to change my colour to, next. Sentence construction, awkward, my, certainly is.
But that's what is so good about being 45. I've stopped fretting about certain imperfections. I am STILL not model-thin and Olympic-athlete-fit. My fingernails are still not slender and tapering. Well, fuck it. I'm not so bad. As I told Vin this morning, my new mantra is "I'm 45. Fuck it." I still can't whistle using my fingers. Fuck it! I still don't understand handicapping in golf. Fuck it. I'll probably never be much good with a golf club in my hands. Fuck it, I'm still going to play.
You can see the pattern forming, I'd bet. But if you can't? Fuck it! It's my pattern.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Astounded, humbled, I bee. Vin and the Myrmidons gave me a stupendous birthday gift: the donation of a beehive to a family in Africa, courtesy of World Vision Canada. I am floored. I'd give a tug of the forelock to yez all, except that I had it clipped off last week. Thank you, thank you, and again thank you.
More birthday goodness! From me! I'm buying a used but fully working all-in-one cappuccino machine from my colleague Lance. 'Cause, you know, I need the extra CALCIUM from the lattes. Yeah.
Two brief occupational updates: The staff appreciation day's activity has again changed, this time from a canoe relay on the scenic reservoir to a scavenger hunt in a busy downtown park. Hmm. Maybe used sharps and crack vials will be on the "To Find" list. Nah, not enough of a challenge.
Oh yeah. The yearly performance review. It came, it went, I'm still here for the time being. There has to be some reward in life for being a grammar maven, yes?
The Coincidental Schnitz. Last Tuesday dearest Lester the cousin made an appointment to get her new dog groomed. We duly dropped tiny Lily off at the dog salon, where the groomer gave Les a choice of many clipper sizes. "Oh, you know...shortish," was the answer. Lightbulb goes off in my head: clippers! Next stop: Great Clips franchise, where I watched the stylist lay out a range of clippers for me. "Just cut all this coloured crap off my head," I politely requested. The next scene was something out of a Marine recruitment video. As a result, I have about a head sporting about 1/2 inch of hair, a head which I no longer intend to subject to hair dye. Lily came back reeking of dog cologne (a coconutty/cotton candyish nightmare of a scent) and wearing a pink bow over each ear. Her haircut was $45. Mine was $13. I RULE.
So, too, rule the Myrmidons: In my absence, the Myrmidons took to the green last week to start the season with a double victory. Well done, lads. We're rained out tonight (I actually am relieved, since I'm all over hacking and greenish), but next week! Kill!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Phlegm Phactory, Revisited: My week away was capped by the usual joyous reunion with the nutty mutts, oh, and a bit more pneumonia. Could have been worse, could have happened while I was in California, awakening dark memories of Christmas 2006. I blame this latest scourge on community volunteering, which I did this past Saturday and Sunday among a socially variegated pack of Calgarians. Currently Calgary is bleak and rain-soaked enough to cause the Brontes to spontaneously orgasm, so it is a fitting backdrop for the gobby wheezing.
My visit in California had moments of sheer hilarity, and some quiet moments of peace. John's not going to go meekly into oblivion, but neither is he hellbent on alternative and unproved nostrums. Leslie is keeping herself and the kids quite busy, what with the end of school and the beginning of summer's overflowing calendar of activities. Yet the kids snuggle up with John every night before bedtime, part of their normal routine and I hope a lasting good memory for them. Les said John was having a good week when I was there, and I must say, I really enjoyed watching the Stanley Cup final and a few French Open matches with him.
A trip to sunny California not being enough of a birthday gift, I decided to order a copy of the Tom Hollander-performed "A Clockwork Orange," which that damn Jean got me hooked on before my trip. Hollander is incredibly good at creating distinctive character voices and utterly chilling moments. As always, when I've read or watched or listened to Clockwork, I get the phrasing and words stuck in my gulliver, o my brothers.
Note to self: "How We Die," the monograph by Sherwin Nuland, is brilliant. With its stark black and white cover and large titling font, reading it in an airport gate is not.