Thursday, June 29, 2006

off a duck's back

I'm not all that surprised that my children look a lot like me. In fact, it's quite natural that they do, isn't it?

Today, for me only, was "take the boys to work" day. Joyce and the girls were in the next province over to the right celebrating Arianna's 12th birthday. I was left to manage with the boys. No problem. In fact it was fun to have some time all alone as the Hildebrand men.

The plan was for the babysitter to come over in the morning so that I could head off to my second last day of work before summer holidays. Two days of students. Simply cauterizing loose ends and enjoying a complementary catered lunch.

This morning, however, when it came time to leave for work, Sammy would not have anything to do with me leaving. He ran to me, with a look of panic in his eyes, and began to cry. I couldn't leave him, so I decided to take him with me. Nothing really pressing to do at work anyway, and it's always nice to show off the gene pool.

As I was entering the school, Sammy got a little ahead of me and got lost in the legs of a few others who where entering at the same time a few paces ahead of me. I knew there would be comments from the females about a cute little three year old boy. What I didn't expect to hear was, "He's just a cute version of Brian".

Thanks harm done.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Full Market Value

The price of pork is in a constant state of flux. If you watch the price at the grocers, you would never know, but if your income depends on a steady standing, you watch it intently.

I am a school teacher, and so for me, I couldn't give a rat's ass about the price of pork...or so I thought.

A few minutes ago I received a phone call from my brother-in-law who is the owner/operator of a large Southern Manitoba hog farm. Every seventeen weeks he receives, fattens, and ships off to market 5,000 hogs. Every now and again, during shipping time, there will be the odd hog with a limp or some sort of blemish which would make it unacceptable at the processing plant. One of the options is destroy the animal and send it off to the rendering plant. Another option is to call anyone you know and ask if they want 500 pounds of free pork, minus the cost of private butchering.

I spent the last few minutes with my hands waving in the air like a little schoolboy shouting out, "Pick me, pick me."

I just may have to buy another deep freeze to store all of this "other white meat" but at least I know what I'll be eating this summer. Anyone for a pork BBQ?

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Sacred Feminine

Life is all about curves. We are made of curves, curves turn us on, curves are thrown at us, curves make us change our course, we look for what is around the curve, and we are evaluated on how well we negotiate curves.

The curvature of the spine. Spring training. Plans for the weekend. There's the pitch...and it's a curve ball to the lower right side. Lower back pain. Suddenly I'm concerned with negotiating my way through this unwanted event. I find myself alone in a house all weekend, flat on my back with a pain in my back. What a pain in the ass. Training buddy calls and says, "Are you ready to go?" Through gritted teeth I calmly say, "No, not tonight, I've got a headache." and hope that he's not too disappointed.

The Cherry veneered Walmart bookshelves are crammed with new books waiting to be read. I knew I would get around to them eventually. I start and finish this one, and begin to look for hidden codes in the stippled there is not much else to do when laying flat all day.

Su Doku puzzles. The easy ones are easy and the hard ones are difficult...go figure.

National geographic on the TV captures me with the pretty pictures. Elephants. Big ones. The ladies are in charge. Matriarchs they're called. I think of the Davinci Code and the Sacred Feminine. Another channel talks of violence against women and I think of our Patriarchs and wonder at how wrong it is.

Too much TV and I've got another headache. Time for more medication and another nap. I wake up thinking that I should probably eat has been a day and a half without food. Too late. Too much anti-inflammatories and no food makes for a half a day wretching over the porcelain throne. More back spasms. I lay on the cold floor with tears in my eyes and wish that one of those Matriarchs would crush my head and take my life.

Sunday morning...race day. Happy Father's Day. The family is out of the country and my friends are running in Winnipeg without me. I feel envious and guilty. The church programs on TV offer no comfort. I long for something to hold, so I crawl to the bookshelf. I find what I'm looking for. I get a good start and wish that I could start again. There are many more things in life to hold sacred than "The Sacred".

Negotiating the curve. Self-Evaluation. I think this curve was part of a divine plan. Spring training. Today is race day.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Let me in

Some days as I sit at my desk and try to find some activities for my German students to do to kill time until the end of the year, my mind wanders to the times I've spent in German speaking countries.

One of my favourite places in the whole world, besides home, is Austria. A number of years ago, when Joyce and I were about two months into our dating relationship, I packed up my touring bike and panniers and flew to Zurich, Switzerland. My destination was Salzburg, Austria, but I wanted a drop off point where I could do a fair amount of cycling on my way to where I would end up. I very quickly realized that I had not planned nearly well enough. In fact, I hadn't planned at all for cycling in Europe. I had no idea of the system of autobahns and roads suitable for cycling. It did not take me very long to realize that I was in over my head, so I cycled to the nearest hauptbahnhof (train station) and booked a ticket for me and my bike to Salzburg.

I knew Salzburg quite well as I had spent quite a bit of time there three years earlier. The city and surrounding areas are filled with visual and cultural treasures way beyond imagination. I took the Sound of Music tour once again with Panorama Tours, felt the mystery of the city's hilltop castle, and made my way to the nearby town of St. Gilgen.

When I checked into the youth hostel, I was asked if I would like a key to get into the front door after hours. They said that I might need it if I wanted to stay out late at some of the local clubs. As I had never been to a club in my life, I immediately said "nein danke", and felt confident with my decision.

After sorting my belongings and claiming one of the eight bunks in the room, I headed off to the main walking area of town where I very quickly found a quaint restaurant with a patio. I sat down and ordered "eine beer, bitte". Not more than five minutes later, along came two lovely ladies from somewhere across the English Channel. It was nice to hear their conversation as a familiar tongue takes far less concentration to follow. We looked over at each other about twenty or thirty times when one of the two finally came over and invited me to join them. "Where are you from?" and all that nonsense took no time to pass on the way to their invitation to join them at a local disco. I eagerly accepted and couldn't wait to see a real club...a European club at that.

It didn't take too long for the lovely pair to figure out that I wasn't a willing participant in making pelvic sandwiches or playing tongue touché, as I was quite enamored with my fresh love back home. That didn't stop me from making an utter fool of myself when it came to doing some funky solo dancing to Van Halen's Jump. After that song, which noone but me seemed to know, I decided that it was time to go. I bid my lady friends adieu, I'm sure they were relieved, and headed back to the hostel.

About halfway there, I began to think that it may have been a good idea to have accepted that key to the front door. I spent the next two hours banging on doors and windows, and calling out, "Konnten Sie die Tür bitte öffnen?" ( Could someone please open the door?). I sat quite despondent for some time before someone finally came out from the inside. They were on their way out to a club. I thanked them, and, feeling quite relieved, went to my room.

As the the chap from China in the bunk next to mine snored away, I thought about clubs, and that I haven't really missed out at all.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Good Morning

We all have them don't we...a person in our lives that just seems to rub us the wrong way. Some of these people, when doing their best rubbing, seem to find the most annoying times to do their rituals, making the pain all the more, well, painful.

Mornings are often difficult enough for some people without having to deal with a Proverbs 27:14 greeting. There's something insanely irritating about a loud, uninvited, and insinsere "Good Morning." On the other hand, there's the man from the Viagra adverts who, you know for damn sure, is, understandably, loud and, on the verge of explosion, sincere. It's hard to hate a man for being so genuinely happy.

I recently received this forward:

"In Pharmacology, all drugs have two names, a trade name and generic name. For example, the trade name of Tylenol also has a generic name of Acetaminophen. Aleve is also called Naproxen. Amoxil is also call Amoxicillin and Advil is also called Ibuprofen.
The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin. Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin.
Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of "cocktails", "highballs" and just a good old-fashioned "stiff drink". Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT & DO.

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly
population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them. "
Normally, forwards are like those unwelcomed loud morning greetings, and I immediatley delete them. But not from this source...she always has a sincere, and thoroughly thoughtful greeting for me.