31 January, 2007

You're Going to Watch the What??

Before I even officially start this post, I'd like to preface it by telling you that when I originally wrote it - in my head, at about 2:30 am this morning, it was much funnier and it made a lot more grammatical sense than it's about to. So just pretend it's a better post, okay? Okay. Here we go.

So up until yesterday, I was under the dillusioned impression that we wouldn't be subjected to any SuperBowl hoopla since Fox is not among our three tv channels of fuzziness. Unfortunately, it finally dawned on me - after seeing I don't know how many ads for the game - that it will in fact be broadcast on CBS. And yes, there's a good chance, that like all good Brandonites, former or present, I will watch SOME of the game, in all its heathen, commercialism-driven, yet 'family-friendly' glory. Luckily this year's half-time show promises to be a glaring departure from...was it last year's debacle? In an attempt to regain some of its family-friendly wholesome appeal, the powers that be bypassed the likes of Christine Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and even The Wiggles, in favour of the class-act who is Prince. Yes, Prince.

I can only imagine the conversation in the decision-making boardroom went something like this.

After hours of banishment to his desk to contemplate his suggestion of a grand halftime performance of Circque du Soleil, Gary, the newest chimp on the block has come up with a real winner of a suggestion. He runs to the boardroom, where he finds the rest of his comrades planning the SuperBowl with intensity, amidst multipacks of Budweiser, cheese doodles, and Popeye reruns.

"I've got it!" cries Gary. "I've figured out a way to spend less on the Half Time show AND have money left over for more cheese doodles!"

His fellow chimps grunt but barely look up as Gary explains his plan to hire Prince to perform live. "He's older, washed-up, and he still has bad hair. But he's cheaper than The Wiggles and I'm sure the kids will love him! Parents too! Not to mention that one song will give everyone a chance to refill their beer and popcorn before the second half!"

"Aye! The lad is brilliant!" responds the group in chorus. "It's settled then. Prince it is!"

Okay, it might not have been exactly like that, but seriously, what were they thinking!?!? Prince?!?!

I have seriously digressed. The REAL reason I'll be watching - or attempting too, since the tv is so fuzzy, there's little chance of actually being able to see the ball let alone any of the players - is that one of Brandon's hometown heroes will be right there in the middle of all the action. Yes, it's true. All of Brandon will be tuning in to catch Chicago Bear, Izzy Idonije in action! So I'm using this blog post to fill you all in on MY (albeit remote) connection to Izzy.

It all started in elementary/jr. high school and on Izzy's part, is a bit of a rags-to-riches story. Israel (or "Izzy" to probably anybody other than his parents) comes from a relatively large family. From what I remember, his Mom is a super-sweet lady and his Dad has one of the best afros around - still! His Dad used to be the principal of a very small private Christian school called The Potter's Wheel and the pastor of a tiny church. Every year, the Christian schools in Brandon would get together for a track meet. Yes, an actual track meet, with starting pistols, stopwatches, broken bones - the whole bit. I don't even remember what events Izzy competed in, I really only remember some big athletic kid. I DO, however, remember his older sister, Praise. She had amazing hair (I think it might've been in cornrows at the time) and by gum! She was FAST! That girl could run! Plus, she was super nice and pretty to boot. So there you have it, my - I told you it was remote - connection with Izzy Idonije. (My best friend from Back Home was actually friends with him in high school so I'm sure she'd have some good funny stories to share, but since she doesn't have a blog, well, my grasping at straws will have to do). Izzy started off playing basketball in high school and then either because they needed another player or for some other reason, was recruited by his high school football team. Then he played uni football in Winnipeg for the Bisons and now he's in Chicago. Cool!

For a moment though, let me head off on a rabbit trail and lament this so-called track meet. It was awful. Some of the worst memories of my elementary education. Every year we'd have this horrible track meet. I'm not entirely certain, but I think it was supposed to make us feel better that we were only competing against maybe three other schools so our chances to win ribbons and trophies were better. The problem was though, that we HAD to compete. Everybody - athletically inclined or otherwise (a la your's truly) had to choose at least two events in which to embarass his/herself, er, compete. I always chose the ones I thought would require the least amount of running or effort. Oh, I think I tried the 100m a few times, but with minimal success and progressing asthma, it was only a matter of time before even my teachers realized I was doomed to fail in anything that required sprinting more than say, 50m. So I ended up in long jump (I never could get a handle on triple jump, and I still don't understand it) and shotput. Altogether, a waste of time.

Preparation for the track meet consisted of two weeks-worth of gym class 'practices,' wherein most of the time was cunningly devoted to the students the teachers though would actually do well. Steve had a gift for shotput. Dale was an ace at high jump. Anthony ran 100m with decent success. Doug, also the most academically gifted individual I've ever met, was always winning anything involving distance running. Then there were the girls. Christina was also good at shotput as I recall. One year, at least, Maria managed to be 'sick' on track meet day. A fate, even if it WAS true, envied bitterly by Olivia and me, who competed half-heartedly in our events, then felt it was our duty to either cheer on whoever we were crushing at the time (so, really every boy in our class) or sit and gossip about the 'nerds' from Bethel. It's not that Olivia and I were completely athletically inept, it's just that Olivia's talent for softball (she was GOOD!) and my childhood passion for soccer and skating really fast, didn't figure in as track and field events. So that was track and field at CHS. I think I might've gotten a ribbon once when I was quite young. Probably a leftover ribbon given as a consolation prize.

So, this post has really turned into a mishmash of 'stuff,' but when I think of the Idonijes, I think of track meets and then I'm forced into some childhood reminiscing. And if there was another point to anything I was saying, I can't remember it now anyway.

Today I'm going to finally roast that free Holiday Turkey. Yes, the pantry and fridge are looking a little bare so we're 'cracking open' the turkey early.

Plus, later this afternoon is our ultrasound when we hope to finally 'meet' this child. Keep your fingers crossed for a clear sighting of that certain part of the anatomy....I'll post the 'results' later tonight.

28 January, 2007

Our 'Lucky' Saturday...Morning

Luke had to have some blood drawn yesterday morning, so we slithered out of bed and left the house at around 9:30. We got the hospital and I got caught up with my favourite registration clerk, Dee (I'm sure I've been seeing her at least once a week as of late). Then on to give some samples.

We had previously planned to stop at Tim Horton's for a Breakfast Sandwich since Luke had been fasting and we had a bunch of other errands to do in town. When we got there it was quite busy and the sandwiches were going to be a bit of a wait because they were still cooking the eggs. So we got coffee and a donut to share in the meantime. It took FOREVER to get our sandwiches. The owner
guy was running around like a crazy man - I think he sucked all the craziness out of every one of the other six employees up front and was channeling it all into caring about these silly sandwiches.

Eventually, the eggs were finished, but he came out to inform us he was terribly sorry but they were out of sausage and the best he could do was either bacon or ham.
Well! Ham isn't even normally an option, but I'll take it! (We'd gotten one of each - sausage and bacon - so Luke could have double meat on his.)

ALL THIS TO SAY, since it took so long and since I had to have ham instead of sausage (no complaints here), we got a 'coupon' signed by the owner-guy for a FREE BREAKFAST SANDWICH!!! FREE!!!! I'd wait every time if it meant getting something free. Good thing for uptight owners who care about their customers. And they say Tim Horton's customer service in America is crap! Bahhh!

23 January, 2007

I'm a Cookie!

You Are a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Traditional and conservative, most people find you comforting.
You're friendly and easy to get to know. This makes you very popular - without even trying!
What Kind of Cookie Are You?

I need to make a revision to a recent tidbit of information. I mentioned in a previous post that we were supposed to find out this Wednesday who we should be expecting in June (boy or girl) and in fact, upon closer inspection (read: actually paying attention to) the date, I find it's actually Wednesday, the 31st. So we have nine more nail-biting days ahead of us. Argh!

I am sincerely hoping NOT to repeat the experience of a distant cousin of mine, who had a rather eventful ultrasound during her third pregnancy. She had been scheduled for an 'extra' ultrasound (before the 'main' one where the actual purpose is to check on the condition and development of the baby - if you're the doctor. If you're the parent, the only real reason to have said ultrasound seems to be to reassure you that #1) yes, there really is a baby in there and #2) it's a boy/girl!). So she goes in for the ultrasound, gets all comfy on the examining table and the ultrasound tech comes in.

Tech: I'm not sure why the doctor wants this ultrasound. The heartbeats sounded fine last week.

Cousin: Excuse me, did you say "heartbeatS," plural?

Tech: Yes, you're having twins. Didn't you know?

I'm not entirely sure if Cousin was only shocked or slightly horrified as well. What I do hope though, is that this isn't a 'fun' surprise that runs in the family.

More importantly though, what kind of cookie ARE YOU?

And more importantly still, the response to my dream interpretation contest has been underwhelming at best. What is wrong with you people!? This is a chance to exercise some creativity here! Use whatever bits of imagination haven't either dried up or given way to college-educated cynicism yet! What good is a contest without any entrants? Ahem. Ahem.

15 January, 2007

Dream Interpretation 101

The medication I take for my allergies/asthma brings with it the potential for a number of (medically speaking) relatively minor side effects. I've only ever really noticed one of them and it's one I think is great! "May cause vivid dreams." I've always thought my dreams were rather vivid. This medication kicks it up a notch though!

I've been told by many flattering friends that my memory seems to be above average and where dreams are concerned, this is no less true. It's an ability that provides Luke and I with much amusement from time to time as
I can often remember them for days and sometimes weeks afterward.

So I've come up with a new feature for my blog. I think I'll try to make it a monthly 'contest.' I'll tell you about a dream I've recently had, and YOU get to be the Joseph to my Pharoah (strictly for fun, of course. I'm not about to actually make any life-altering changes because of any of these interpretations. I'm just curious what other people think is going on in my brain since I can rarely figure it out myself!). And yes, there will be prizes. For example, this month's prize is a rather unique one and it almost makes it necessary for the 'contest' to be won by a Manitoba resident. If you can come up with the best interpretation, you'll win a surprise visit from your's truly when I come Home at the end of February! As a bonus, if you live in the Toronto area and you win, we can try to make plans during one of my multi-hour layovers on the way to and fro. (If you don't live in Toronto or Manitoba, we'll have to figure out something else.) So without further adieu:

This Month's Assignment:
Once upon a time, in a city darkened by night (think Brandon skyline but with London fog and chill) there lived an Irish king. He was a good king who ruled vast lands. As with any king, however, he had a problem. One evening, he discovered his son, the prince and the prince's royal guard, was missing. He called in the best sleuth in the land, The Dreamer, to solve his mystery.

The king carefully explained his problem to the Dreamer and volunteered a score of his own men to aid the sleuth. The sleuth and the king's men made another thorough search of the castle and all the kings lands, but nothing could be found of the prince and his royal guard.

One evening, while the Dreamer and the king sat alone at the supper table, a plate appeared before them containing a strange assortment of gummi candies - a pile of green and white worms, one green, white, and orange worm, and three quite odd little gummies. One was black and bulbous, like a beetle or a strange ball, with a red gummi cape and a pointed stick. Another was indistinguishable except for the colour, it was green. The third gummi, that remained always between the black and green gummies, was yellow and can only be described as a ladder with eyes. There was a note attached to the plate that read: "Here is your prince."

Of course, the Dreamer understood straightaway! 'Aha,' she thought, 'Here is the prince, the green, white, and orange gummi set apart. Here is his guard, the pile of green and white gummies. And these three, these are the villains with their evil eyes and evil intent!'

She explained herself to the king who looked shocked and gravely ill. By this time, a crowd had gathered to see the gummi prince on the plate. Nobody could figure out what had happened to turn them all into gummies! The king dismissed the crowd and pulled the Dreamer into a darkened corner to speak quietly about what could be done.

Only a few moments later, they returned to the table and a scene of utter destruction! All the green and white gummies had been cut in half! And the green, white, and orange gummi had been cut in four! The Dreamer and the king looked up just in time to see the black beetle with the red cape and stick, the green blob, and the ladder laugh their evil laugh and fly off into the night over the 18th Street Bridge. The king and the Dreamer tried desperately to stick the gummies back together again, but it was an effort wasted. It could not be done.
And then I woke up. As a background, I should mention that I'm presently reading a book about the legend who was Brian Boru, an 11th century Irish King who united much of southern Ireland with statecraft and war tactics never seen in Ireland before his time. Also, I like gummi worms, but if you set a plate of them in front of my, you'd notice that the only ones to disappear would be the green/white or green/orange ones. I'm not a fan of red gummi anything! (And yes, I DO dream in colour.)

I should also submit some rules which are very simply: 1) Don't take this too seriously. I won't. 2) Interpretations should be kept on the appropriate side of things and not include any "farm language" no matter how much you want to use it.

Okay, so there you go! Interpret! And no, Mom, you're not eligible here, because I know you'll just shake your head and say, 'Oh Daughter Dearest, you ARE crazy.' And I'd only reply, 'Yes, Mom. I know. It's been our little secret these 27 years!'

13 January, 2007

In the News this Week

I'm getting further and further between posts here so I thought since it's Saturday, I'd at least make an attempt.

Baby Report (Skip this paragraph if you're uninterested.)
We had another appointment yesterday with the midwife. Everything appears to be going rather smoothly (I'm having an EKG next week to get some answers about the heart thing). We finally got to really hear the baby's heartbeat. That was funny. It was kicking but it sounded to us like it just had quite the case of hiccups. The sum total of the midwife's instructions, give or take a few supplement adjustments: "EAT!" How I will ever cram as much food down my throat as she's suggesting is completely beyond me at this point, but we'll figure it out. On the 31st, we get to have the first 'real' ultrasound (with the first one you couldn't see anything but a white blob, so it hardly counts), when we'll find out the gender of this Kid, so we can finally stop referring to it as 'It.'

In other news, Luke got himself a new camera - some fancy digital thing that I have no hope of learning how to use. The cats have so far proven quite accommodating subjects. We can only hope to have a child who's not camera shy because it will be the most photographed being on earth when it gets here.

Honestly, things have been rather dull around here otherwise. According to the latest weather report, a Polar Ice Cap or some such thing is signaling our impending doom and the end of this mild winter we've been enjoying, so we ought to be preparing to experience the harshness that can be "A Maine Winter." It's a good thing we have lots of puzzles around and have made nary a dent in our Northern Maine Survival Kit (courtesy of DKB & Co.).

Happy Saturday to you all.

04 January, 2007

Ooh! Ooh! It's Back!!

I can't even remember how we stumbled upon this the other night, but now I have even more to anticipate when I head Home next month for a brief visit!

This is sweet, sweet news for all our Manitoba friends. Remember Pic-a-Pop of old? Well it's back! We found a discussion board based in Winnipeg that lists several stores where it's available. http://www.newwinnipeg.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=food;action=display;num=1126805660 Now available under The Pop Shoppe label and exorbitantly priced compared to 50 cents, they've changed the flavours just a little. You can now get pineapple and instead of plain old Lime, it's now called 'Lime Ricky,' and it also appears they've decided to add colour to the cream soda. Still, I can only drool over how worth it that wonderful lime taste will be.

Yes, Manitobans, rejoice with me!

02 January, 2007

One More Thing

I just entered a draw for a fancy-pants house. So if we win, I guess we're moving to Winter Park, Colorado, in which case, you are all invited over for some part of your winter vacation next year. Just don't book your tickets yet. I think our chances of winning are slim. If we'd have won last year, we'd presently be basking in the firelight in our giant 'cabin' in Lake Lure, North Carolina.

Oh, is it a New Year Already?

Funny how it just sort of sneaks up on us, isn't it? It's Christmas Eve one day and New Year's Eve the next. We had a very quiet NY Eve ourselves. We ate a few treats and watched a few of the CBC's offerings, then went to bed at 10:30. Yes, I know, how 'Old' of us, but we are both getting sick, so sleep prevailed.

Yesterday, Luke worked and I spent most of the day reading and coming up with some tasty dinner.

I think I had a whole lot more to say than just a review of our New Years 'celebrations,' but now it escapes me. I often lie awake at 5:30 in the morning writing blog posts in my head and then by the time I get to the computer, it's all lost. So rest assured, my ability to write anything interesting really is more brilliant than you are witness to by reading these lame-o posts. For example, Luke and I are presently working on a post devoted wholly to the topic of names, so look for it soon.

Otherwise, Happy New Year!