I’m very sorry. I’m heading on vacation and got sidetracked. Back in a couple weeks with a new short story (almost complete), a holiday journal of sorts and pictures. Yay team! (Boo Germany for losing).
One of my top 10 Favorite Songs of all time!
I actually planned on getting up early Sunday and writing a piece while I was sipping tea, but sleep got in the way.
Oh, right, have I told you to go anywhere recently to read really important things? No? Okay, go here:
How about this. In lieu of a ranty bit ow writing, I will craft for you a short story. Okay, I will do that. A short story about, hrmm. A Blind Djay.. we’ll call it, “Tunes”
…Gimme 12 hours.
(a short excerpt from the book I am currently writing)
I have heard all of the “reasons” behind why a perfectly ambulatory human with less than four children can possibly make up to justify the ownership of a van (formerly known as a “mini-van” ) but I am telling you now, they do not hold water. For the record, if you do not own a business that requires you to haul large framed artwork, construction equipment, ferry multiple others around from place to place all day long or perhaps deliver groceries or meals to the elderly, you have no valid reason to own a van.
They do not look good no matter what you may claim.
They eat gas like chimpanzee eats lice (or pretty much anything else they can find that will fit in their filthy mouths).
They block the view of other vehicles drivers.
Most likely, even if your spouse claims such or someone at the Lamaze ™ class or your inlaws back in 1995 stated, when you had your first child you do not need one. Period. Again, period.
Now that I have established all of the above I am sure the vast majority of van owners reading this are sputtering and reformulating the usual excuses: “we have a lot of kids and we need to bring a lot of X with us when we take them to their.. blah blah”; “they are comfortable, we visit a lot and have to drive a lot to do so.. blah blah”; “I feel safer in a large.. blah blah”; “I coach and end up driving.. blah blah”.
Sorry, you are wrong. The reasons you give and have given for years and years have been proven wrong by the others around you with a sense of , well, a sense of common sense. People get by quite well without vans with the same number of children and responsibilities as you.
Note: You hardly ever hear a man say “oh, I wish I had a van” and then look longingly off into the sky pining for the day he can walk into a dealership and say “Hi. I would like one of those instead of this car thing. And while you are at it, please castrate me.”
When I was in grade five, oh fateful year when so many things happened (like when I chopped off the tip of my left index finger with a Rapala fishing knife) my parents replaced our Ford Pinto with a van. A huge, stark Stormtrooper white Ford Econoline 150 van. They built a bed in the back for camping with foam mattress and crocheted blankets! They added dark stained, REAL wood paneling to the walls! They installed blue shag carpeting on the floor AND ceiling along with long strands of plastic beads! They hung small framed decorative mirrors with such witty sayings as “Don’t Shoot the Piano Player”. They fitted a large, low to the ground floor mounted sideways bench seat from a pickup truck (intended I am sure to cause my sister and I to develop motion sickness EACH AND EVERY TIME WE RODE IN IT). Then to top it all off, my mother, the artiste, spent the better part of a day painting fine lined orange and red flames on the exterior leading from front to back.
We went everywhere in this van. We went to school (no they would not drop me off down the street), out for dinner, camping, to the beach to the mall. Granted, it was the time for such things. There were magazines devoted to van culture at the time (may still be for all I know) and we were often complimented on it when we ran into people with similar vehicles that looked like they had been pulled from said magazine’s pages. For a ten year old boy who was more interested in Star Wars than shag carpeting, it was embarrassing as hell to be ferried around in it and dropped off, as was often the case, with proud, loud finesse at the front door to wherever I went if not a series of sarcastic honks as dad drove away…
Dad was always wishing to upgrade the van. Adding a new 8-Track player, thinking about getting a CB Radio, getting newer, slicker seating, at one point, wishing to replace the horn with a recording of the “doo doo doo doooo doooooo” clip from Close Encounters.. Seriously… If he were alive today I am sure it would have those rotating wheel rims and a skull shaped trailer hitch because to him it was not about function, it was about embarrassing me.
Thankfully, the van eventually had a number of serious mechanical issues that cropped up one after another and was finally replaced by a series of other less tacky and oddly less clean vehicles. When my parents split, even though dad offered it to me, I declined to take the van let alone get a drivers license as this meant I would never have to be seen in it ever, ever again.
The van culture of today is not much different in that people who ascribe to its lure are fixated on perceived benefits to owning such a huge ugly transportation device. They may not carpet them with shag but they add ridiculous Disney seat covers, book and miscellanea holders on the seat backs and worst of all, driver distracting DVD players because children of these people would never PUT books in the book holder let alone read them. They move from place to place, soccer game to ballet practice, vehicle laden with groceries, people and entertainment, doors opening and sticky faced screaming unwashed children streaming forth. They do so and I happily avoid them, curse them, sneer as they pass, sharing those secret discussions we have always had we non-van folk. That we know behind the smiles and colourful clothing that they are not to be trusted and that they steal babies and they alone are the epitome of environment destroying consumerism. Vans are evil. Vans kill baby seals.
FYI. If anyone is going to be in Ottawa next week I need someone to help me bring back some boxes from Ikea. msg me. kay? 🙂
Again with the late post. Sorry about that. What with the sunny weather, gardening to do, trees to chop etc. I have been busy. Oh, and the Euro 2012. Um, go Germany. I’m only like 12.5% German but Ireland and England will disappoint me as always se best to go with a team I have a modicum of connection to and no absolute hatred of.
I am going on a cruise. With my whole family. I had vowed to never ever go on a cruise but what the hell, it looks like fun. It’s not the Weezer Cruise I wanted to go on, but it is a decent enough one with all the bits and pieces people usually brag about. We will have my oldest and my daughter in law and my mother with us so we wont have to be towing around the little ones all the time so it wont be all chasey chasey yell yell grumble drink yell.
I have always had a connection to ships…
I lived two blocks from a harbour as a child and spend many a day, year round either fishing, sailing with others, boating, skating when the ice came in, watching people net smelts in the spring. All good. All my best times as a child were near water and all the best places I lived were as well. I plan on some deep sea fishing, visiting movie sites from old James Bond flicks, snorkeling/free diving around some shallow water wrecks and possibly wrestling that old nurse shark that lives under the dock that gave me the eye 30 years ago… yaar.
All in all, I am mentally sidetracked so I promise to post a proper post tonight. Please excuse me while I ponder the ocean.
p.s. As an ironic aside, I do not like being IN deep water. Just on it. I don’t mind being IN water, just not floating with my head sticking out of it.. is that a form of agorophobia? hrmm..
be nice to each other
“Waaah Waaaah! Waah Waah! WAAH WAAH WAAH WAAH WAAH”, etcetera. George, my youngest son’s zebra finch screams to the world, saying “I am here! I have food! I have a nest! Look at my vivid plumage! I have fathered many eggs!” in hopes of attracting a mate. Not a chance buddy. You are hanging in a cage on our deck outside in the midst of an early summer rain because frankly I cant take your yapping any longer today and it is only nine am.
Maybe it’s because I am the one who feeds and waters the little bastard. Maybe it’s because when I am not yet annoyed by his “dee doodily dee doo dee dee doodily doodily dee!” and playfully mimic him till he goes crazy and we have one of those two sided bird squawk fight that he always wins. Maybe he is just “in the mood for love”. Either way the moment he hears my voice in the morning it’s all yappity yap till I go to work or hang his cage outside this being a relatively new solution to his whimsical repartee that I am pleased my wife came up with a week or two ago. We live in a fairly quiet household when someone isn’t bickering at someone which we discover over and over again when we spend time in other human’s homes. George has yet to learn this.
We are cat people.
Why the hell do we have a bird…
The bird was purchased along with cage, food, water and food cup things, a nest, boxed nesting materials and a mate named Poppy (my youngest named them) who George eventually murdered in King Henry-the-8th-esqe fashion after she produced innumerable eggs that did not hatch. We found her a few weeks back (prior to his occasional exile) neck broken and head somehow shoved between the floor bars of the cage, this following another of their fights when he chased her around the cage screaming.
I keep telling my dear wife that he needs a new mate and she keeps replying “what, so he can murder another one?”. I try to explain that he is a bird with a brain the size of a dried pea but she retorts “that’s no excuse to murder your wife, he can wait.” My pleas continue to this day, I explain that he will not learn anything, that he was probably upset that her eggs didn’t hatch and that just takes the conversation down the road into the world of humans and male spousal abuse that I don’t want to go so I end it. I just want the damn bird to stop squawking.
We got the bird because the youngest, the more sensitive animal loving one wanted a pet and it was a fine Xmas present this past year. Turtles and fish were a resounding no as we both dislike the smell of an un-cleaned tank and I know who would end up cleaning it (moi.) Another cat was also a no-no as the current cat (mine, Xena, a boy, don’t ask) would kill a kitten and we don’t want an adult cat. Xena has for the record has killed innumerable forest denizens including an adult rabbit. A kitten? Pshaw, Snap, crying children, Xena in exile in a cage outside on teh deck with George. We settled on a pair of finches as “they make such a sweet little noise”. Sure they do, when they aren’t fighting to the death about still-borne eggs.
“Waaah waah waaah!” he is still at it. Just so you know. “WAWAWAWAWAWA!”
We aren’t other “needy” pet people. We are cat people. I have a hypothesis that people that love dogs are insecure and need that slobbery smelly friend to make them go outside. Cat people just want a cat.
We do not like the smell of dogs or the fur or the work associated with them i.e. walking them, putting up with their excessive cheerful obedient need for play and petting. We do not like the licking. We tolerate dogs when we meet them or visit others who have them, well, sort of tolerate them, but do not want one.
Cats are like us.
We may hiss at each other on occasion and don’t like socializing all that much but when we do we come off as pleasant, but we’d scratch your damn eyes out if it served our purposes. Okay maybe not, but we are more cat like than dog like. Other pets are out of the question.
We do not like having furry caged animals as we don’t want the smell in the house nor do we want to clean cages and yes, given the nature of our children, we will end up doing it as they are easily distracted and lose interest in things. Like cats. I guess that is it, we have in fact raised cats. They want toys but when they are done playing they will walk away and stare at a spot of light on the wall or sleep or beat the crap out of each other then make up seconds later and go hunting for something else to play with, ignoring the carnage in their wake that we parents pick up behind them.
So here I sit, end of kitchen table, able to finish this, my tea and my breakfast all the while George squawks outside toward our forest “I am here, mate needed, I promise not to snap your neck if you make me babies”. Don’t believe him girls. He’s a bastard.
So I shall clean his cage, sing-fight with him today and maybe soon he can have another mate and another year will go by that we deny the request for other pets using him as a fine example of why we should stick to one real pet, the cat. At least when he kills something its a stranger from the woods and when I rebuff his offering he usually eats it. And he doesn’t yell at me all day and night.
We are cat people.
And just as I started I promptly failed. Story of my life really when it comes to interests, hobbies or things that don’t really relate to my actual survival in the world. I had fully planned on producing a weekly “blog” (ugh I hate that word) “ish” post and then last Friday rolled around and by two in the afternoon I felt crappy. My youngest was also ill and by the next morning we were both full fledged sickies.
So as much as one may think that this would afford me ample time to sit on my ass and write something I did not. Instead, I went out and did yard work, shopped, went to gym, all in the hopes of flushing the virus out of my system through sheer avoidance of the issue and willpower. Oddly, my well crafted but rather dorky plan worked (though I smartly I didn’t take it too far and I skipped playing in a soccer tournament I was scheduled for which would have likely killed me.)
Sunday I was better and drove the family to an odd little Chinese buffet in a nowhere town along a canal for my Uncles sixtieth birthday.
Monday was my birthday and the youngest got more ill so I left him in the care of my wife and went to work, griping as I usually do and being a spoiled princess of a complainer inside my head.
I do not like having birthdays.
I like gifts.
That is all.
To keep me happy buy me things.
So here you go, not exactly a real true post but a filler post of sorts to keep you going till I construct a real one this weekend.
I promise to never get sick again unless it is something most excellent like shistosomiasis (sp) or ebola or at least not miss a weekly post unless prevented to do so by powers beyond my control. Or I forget…
As you were.