Thursday, October 06, 2005


Wup - looks like Darko tagged me. Right, then:

10 Years Ago - We'd been married for a year, and on the verge of introducing urchin no. 1 to the planet. My father-in-law experienced his first round of health alarms (it took nearly a year to determine he had a chronic form of hepatitis, because early in the analysis stage the lab dropped a blood sample, and didn't report it). I was still a bookstore guy, but I think my hair was cut to a respectable length, finally. Oh, and this was my first visit to Germany and environs, including a week in Vienna. Gustav Klimt is known for his ladies (who are lovely in their comic book fashion) but I was taken with his field of poppies.

Five Years Ago - Urchin no. 2 was now a year old, with urchin no. 1 adjusting beautifully (after a few bumps). We took them to the prairies that summer, to attend a cousin's wedding, and stopped at West Hawk Lake, where my family used to spend the summers when I was a whelp. The little general store was still intact, but I was gobsmacked at just how small it was. The way I remembered it, the room stretched on until the curtains drew back to reveal an enormous wall festooned from corner to corner with every imaginable comic book (those corruptors of innocence - again!). In fact, it was no larger than our current walk-in closet.

One Year Ago - Last summer was so beautiful. Cool, for the most part, with only a two-week stretch of oppressive heat. My wife had friends from Hong Kong who were renting a cottage on Lake Huron. Our little visit was my highlight of the year, I think. I didn't really know these people, but the conversation started when we stepped out of the car and introduced our kids to theirs, and it didn't stop until we were back in the car again, heading for home. Magic.

Yesterday - Laundry, and a little discussion with my youngest about the inappropriateness of "penis talk".

Five Songs I Know All The Words To - I hardly know where to go with this one. Five songs that play constantly in my head? These days the girls are listening to Demon Lloyd Webber's Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 24/7 - I could sing the whole damn score from start to finish, if you kept my whistle wet with Bowmore Darkest. Five favorite songs? Five songs I can play on guitar and mumble to a living room audience? As my grandfather was fond of saying, "Now we're cooking with gas!":
Passin' Through - Dick Blakeslee (as adjusted by Leonard Cohen)
I Still Miss Someone - Johnny Cash
Time - Tom Waits
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
And Can It Be That I Should Gain? - Charles Wesley, Thomas Campbell

Five Things I'd Do With 100 Million Dollars - Oog. I'm not going to do the math on this one, so let's just assume 100 Mil = no money worries. Even so, I don't like the number because given our families and our life expectations, the number is too outrageous and would introduce all manner of grief. Assuming we could bypass the emotional turbulence, here's what I'd enjoy doing:
1. Dumping a bunch of cash on my wife's organization, because they do good things with it; also dumping a bunch of cash on the Mennonite Central Committee, because they also do good things - and, having worked for them, I know how absolutely crazy it would make them if they were suddenly beset with an enormous windfall!
2. It'd be nice to free up my wife. She loves what she does, but she gets a tad overwhelmed from time to time. Might the freedom to free-lance be an improvement?
3. I could envision a network of furnished apartments in various cities, along with the means to get there.
4. It seems to me this is actually a nightmare scenario, because no-one should just be given that much money. My thinking, naive as it may be, is if you work up to this level of wealth, you eventually gain some perspective of where you fit in the grand scheme of things, and you get some inkling of what good your wealth can do for your immediate community, and beyond. I say this because my dream job is (ahem) selling books. Yes, I now realize I enjoy selling books more than I do writing them. So I'd use some of this money to set up a bookstore and give a few people jobs. Which shows just what a lousy head for business I have, because bookstores don't make money, meaning mine would be little more than an act of charity, and a quixotic one at that. I do not deserve this money, so number four is where I stop.

Five Places I'd Run Away To (in no particular order):
Prague, Montreal, Tokyo, Santa Cruz, Tel Aviv, NYC, San Francisco, Rekjavik, ... right: five.

Five Things I'd Never Wear
Never say never...

Five Fave TV Shows
Star Trek (TOS)
Get Smart
The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour
The Prisoner
Six Feet Under

Five Biggest Joys
1) My wife, which leads quite naturally to
2) "An empty head and a messed up bed" (thank you, Bruce Cockburn), which lead naturally to
3) the girls, who also enjoy
4) music and,
5) the printed word

Five Fave Toys
1) music-producing technology
2) Lego
3) pencil and paper
4) bicycle
5) my hunting bow

Tag - You're It!
Scott, you already owe me one. Besides, your blog is overdue for a little refreshment. Take your pick and start typing, dude!


DarkoV said...

All were quite interesting ("music-producing technology"?? That's a nice way to include all of the instruments ever concocted in the Age of Man and have it count as One Joy. Nice move), but my favorite was your $100M What If?

Charity and others first.
Then lodging.
Then the rich man Eye of the Needle thing, before you dumped all your magically bestowed lucre outside the Gates of ????.

The bookstore idea sounded awfully appealling even though, as you said, it would be a work of charity not that of moneymaking. A long, long time ago my ever-loving wife and I toyed with opening a bookstore. After going through the number-crunching and the philosophy of the store, we concluded it would be a disaster. As my wife pointed out, our bookstore would be the only one on the East Coast that would require each customer to be interviewed by a bookstore owner (that would be me, with the Kleig lights and the thumb-and-forfinger held cigarette) before they were allowed to buy a book. Since I already have the threatening unibrow look, the idea of customers being interrogated to prove themselves to me would most certainly result in minimal store traffic.

Trent Reimer said...

I didn't want to sound too accusatory but I can't hold it in - what kind of sick mind rates family before hockey? Not to mention clubbing baby seals as they look helplessly up at you, tears of fear welling in their large innocent eyes... these are the gentle pleasures of a true Canadian!

Whisky Prajer said...

DV - ha! I myself was mightily proud of my "music producing technologies" dodge. It could include not just the dulcimer, but the iPod as well. I just wish I could have been subjected to your bookstore inquisition.

TR - seek help NOW! (Or perhaps you're just miffed I didn't tag you?)

Trent Reimer said...

"(Or perhaps you're just miffed I didn't tag you?)"

No, I don't have any forum for posting such. I just try to live vicariously through your writings.