Adam's Beanstalk

A daily adventure-bag of insights and old bones from an unknown poet in Manitoba's south. Caveat: Not everything is to be taken literally. Things are often shaded with poetic crayons; be the owl. Also, not all these bones are collected from different fields. Find themes that run througout each post and the journal as a whole; the most insignificant event may be part of an ear.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

writing a blog
is easy
when nobody is reading-

just curl up
like a philosopher by/
a torn page in
the fire
yes, (making)
everything around
the me
charcoal dust
a glowing wormity

you are erasable!

i know you have drifted
like a beggar
bound for Beulah
-gotten lost in the flax
and for this moment
[let me savour]
.I be
there is milk
squeezed from the leaf
that flows
down the side
of the mountain.

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's time for a summer holiblogiday!

Hello all! I have an announcement to make: It's time for a summer holiblogiday! This may not be exciting to you (despite the exclamation mark). It means that I will be officially "not blogging" until the summer ends. This does not mean that I will cease to be sociable. Rather, if you want an update of my e-life, you can find me on Facebook, which I have been enjoying lately. It is there where I will post any summer pics and you can feel free to inquire about my day to day life.

Summer until now has been composed of...
a)grading Philosophy papers for a summer intro course
b)editing papers for any university students - I have done 2-3 a week
c)a Rose-Town fantasy baseball pool, where I currently sit in 2nd place (out of 15). I was in first for about three weeks after a remarkable surge from 12th.
d)practicing music for busking at the Forks. I got my license on May 28.
e)a bit of writing
f)reading Coutzee's "Waiting for the Barbarians"
g)playing Monopoly or poker or Killer Bunnies once a week
h)playing soccer with all the best players in town once a week. I have found my home as a goalie. It's quite enjoyable, and I feel I can contribute to the team.
i)playing two homemade games: battle ping-pong & a ball-on-the-roof game with Shane
j)playing home raquetball with Jimi
h)going to a ton of job interviews, and being frequently disappointed. Finally, last week I got some offers, and I start work at Nerman's Books and Antiques on Thursday. I'm really excited, as this should be a very enjoyable summer job. My prayers have been answered.

Cheers! Have a good summer.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rock Ridge Canyon and Surroundings

On April 26th I left in a little Mazda car, even older than my old maroon, for a jewel of the valley called Rock Ridge Canyon, near Princeton, BC. Why? For an annual Navigators conference called Somewhere Else West (SEW). My first SEW was also in BC, on Thetis Island, four years ago. So now I'm quite a veteran, which means they like to put me as a small group leader.
But this year was harder to leave than most. Jord and Ashleigh had just got back from Ireland and Tracy had just arrived from UBC. Luckily, I managed to spend some quality time with them before I left. This included: making a green gift basket with Trace to remind Jord and Ash of Ireland (we had lettuce and green gum and sunchips and twist ties and green bananas, etc.); playing "No bears out tonight" after a campfire (bragging alert: I never did get caught, even though I tried); having a LARGE bowl of Cheeseburger soup at the Tea House; and inventing Pong Zen with Trace (it will catch on, I can explain the rules if you'd like). So then I left them behind, feeling quite guilty because I was beating them to BC (and yes Trace, I already miss you, too).

And then I woke up at 5:30 in the morning to get into the green car. Riding with me was Mr. A(lbert). J(ehova). Sarassin and Mr. Nathan Small. We had a delightful ride down; I discovered that I had a similar musical taste to Nathan, and we shared our obscure musician favorites as we drove. We also had a good time with A.J.'s BBQ Spitz, and I got to reading a nice chunk of Gulliver's Travels (which is a great read), John Ruskin ("The Nature of Gothic"), and Henry David Thoreau's "Walden". We stayed at a church in Calgary and had a gourmet meal of pasta and spinach salad which we picked up at the Safeway.

This is taking too long. You are probably bored already, before I have started talking about the conference itself. Well, let me share some of my highlights. First of all, the place was AMAZING! It was only a few years old, and the architecture was incroyable! You should have seen how thick and tall the main pillars for the lodge were. Plus, this place had the longest zipline in Canada!!! You will notice the picture of me suited up in the harness. The ride was about 40 seconds long, dropping down a hillside, over a building, and over a marsh! [The marsh will soon be replaced by a lake, as water was filling in even as we were there.] I went down the zipline in cannonball style, for maximum speed, but I did manage to take a few blurry pictures on the way down. We had all of our afternoons off, so we went on hikes (climing a very steep hill, and frolicking with deer, oh yeah, and climing under an electric fence), organized a campus vs. campus street hockey tournament (where my spectacular begginer's luck in net earned me a comparison to the mighty Kipper), and designed a game with Jon L. loosely based on the game Clue. All the students participated; there were seven suspects, all members of a photography club (I was the Bible Braniac "Uzzi Ulla") which they had to impress with a photo-scavenger picture (for me, they had to represent the Trinity with the people in their group). After we were impressed by their photos, we would present a challenge to them (e.g. a Bible Trivia quiz, beating the pool shark in billiards, or beating the Crazy Jogger in a running and screaming competition). If they completed the challenge, we gave them a piece of a letter which they would have to join in a puzzle form, decipher the text, and find out who was the guilty person, what weapon they used, and where the murder-like crime was committed. In other fun news, some of us made a nest under the stars on the last night, and watched the moon rise over the mountains. It was pretty sweet. We also came up with a few terms that one can use when making a nest, for example, a person can be called an "untucker", and one can use the "communist double clutch" (i am serious).
As for the serious part of the weekend, we were fortunate to have some speakers from the Navigators in Africa. Mike and Manfred shared the stage, speaking from Ephesians and Thesselonians, as well as sharing their life stories. These life stories were incredible. They spoke of hardships, like Aparteid and the loss of a child, and how they overcame these painful experiences by drawing closer to God. They spoke on how much Christ has done in our lives; He has saved us from death, which we all had when we followed the desires of this world, and he has given us hope, purpose, and life. I was also reminded of the power of prayer through the amazing testimony of Jolly, who is from Uganda, but is taking her Ph.D at the UVic. I hope to stay committed to prayer this next year. By focussing on prayer out in Rock Ridge Canyon, God showed me some amazing things. I felt led to walk down an old construction road along the mountain at night. Along the way I realized that there was a lot of fear holding me back. I felt that this road might not be safe, that there might be feral creatures roaming the night, and that I might at any time slip off of the road into the lake. But here I realized I had to see as if looking through God's eyes and rely on his protection. I could not be fearful of the dangers largely imposed by my own thoughts. I reached a place around the bend where the wind blew very strong, and there rose from the water two giant wooden beams, seventy feet high, that joined together to form a triangle. I don't know what these were for. There in the rock of the mountain, I picked a leaf off of a lamb's ear plant, and knew I was safe in my journey back.
There were many stories of our brokenness and God's healing throughout the week. A special time always came when we met in our small groups. I have attached a picture of them, below. Amy, who is standing the third to the left of me, was a co-leader. It was incredible to see people who were strangers at the start of the week come to share their struggles and their joys with each other. Please pray for Brittany, who is standing two to my left, who just received Christ during the week. She is going back to her hometown during the summer where she will be surrounded by her childhood friends who are not believers.

We left Rock Ridge Canyon before lunch on Friday morning. Our rented vehicle needed to have a part on the wheel fixed, so we ate on some tractor wheels amongst the dandelions at a garage in Princeton. I was driving with Armin M. and Jen G. on the way back home. We had some good satellite radio, so we cranked the 80's music and drove through the mountains. I of course got the stretch from Golden to Banff where there are few road markers and it was snowing, covering the roads in slush. We survived. We slept at the same church in Calgary, but stayed up until 2:30 hearing Armin's hilarious, and oft accurate, views on relationships. The next day we drove and drove some more, making it back to Winnipeg at 8:30 in the evening to a light drizzle. Home. It is usually where the heart is. The heart can also be somewhere else.

Monday, April 23, 2007

'Git Along Little Doggy

So more on the puppy story...

Dad always said puppy was a Holdeman because of his little beard, but a phonecall we got late one night proved that this joke was indeed true...

[7:00 PM, April xx, Three days after the dog ran away from our place]
"Hello" I say.
"Hello," says phone back, "My name is Kendall Goossen".
"That's an interesting name for a phone" I say.
"I'm not a phone, I'm a person" it says.
"Oh," says me.
"Hey, did you guys see a white dog at your place?"
"Yes," I say, "We grew quite attached to it".
"Well, it was our dog! One day he and our cat ran away together. I guess it was spring and they were going after the same thing. It was raining out, and they were gone for two weeks. I thought they were dead. But then two days ago, the dog gets back here, and there is this phone number written on the collar" says Kendall.
"A phone number?" I ask.
"Yes, your number" he says.
"This is a good story," I say, "I am going to put it on my blog. May I ask what the dog is named?".
"The dog is named Socks" he says.
I laugh, because this is a particularly bad name.
"And the cat is named Strawberry" he says.
This name is even worse. The cat, if you recall, is light beige.
"Is he still at your place?" asks Kendall.
"Yes," I say, "and in a couple of months there will be twenty more Strawberries".
"Well," says he, "I better pick up Strawberry #1. The kids miss him".
"Come whenever you want" I say.

And so he comes, and Strawberry is gone. The kids laugh in the truck. Now both the animals are returned to their rightful owner.

Next morning, a white streak dashes across the lawn.
It's Socks.

Over the next week, Socks is picked up twice. He has always returned.
Why? He is not a Holdeman. He likes to sleep in the shed listening to Clear FM. He likes to lie on the couch and watch Animal Planet on TV. He has been a very bad little puppy. If only Kendall knew.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A few things that are both a)recent and b)interesting:

Corrections: The dog no longer likes meatloaf. The dog changes his food choice every day. He won't eat anything other than his select meal. He sometimes stands on his hind legs to eat food, like Chinstrap used to do (Although he doesn't jump and do backflips). The dog also likes to run away. Often he leaves for a day, or even two, and then mom gets really sad because she thinks the dog is gone forever, and then the dog comes back. This has happened more than once. And the dog always returns with pine needles.
The cat stays behind. They seem to have had a falling out. This might be because we make dog come in the house, when he often doesn't want to, and we make cat stay outside, though he would LOVE to come in. Nevertheless, Shane still refers to the pair as "Team Guido".

On March 31st, Jason K., T.J. Siemens, and I played a show for an annual banquet of Tractor loving people. Yes! These are the same people that bring us the annual Riverside Tractor Show, which has been featured in many poems of Mr. Chase Yellowquill, who also happens to be a perennial favorite to win the lawnmower race. So, we put together a good set which included "I Walk the Line", and "Man of Constant Sorrow" to please both young and old (the audience was largely composed of the latter). The band's favorite song was "John Saw that Number" by Neko Case, which I urge you to download illegally. After we went to Harold and Margaret's to watch footage of the show. It was there that I also saw my first hot-crossed bun, which I forgot to take home to eat.

So we through a shower for cousin Kody and his fiancee Amy last Friday. It was the first time I had met her; she being from England and meeting Kody in Palestine. So at this party Shane and Mom and I came up with a little game based on "The Newlywed Game", called "The Couples Connection". 6 of our family couples competed for the title to become the Ultimate Couple. Some questions asked were:
Which amusement park ride would you say your relationship with your partner most closely resembles?
a)The bumper cars, b)Roller Coaster, c)Teacups, d)The Drop of Doom.
And yes, the Drop of Doom was chosen.
More fun occurred when Uncle G said his wife most closely resembled a bear (above all other zoo animals), and Grandma claimed she was "A Tiger".
Also, when asked "which article of clothing does your significant other wear too often?", there were more than a few undergarments mentioned in addition to the standard responses.
All chaos broke loose during the bonus round, when the question "Name Your Partner's most attractive physical feature" was asked. Needless to say, the answers were a little unexpected for a family gathering. Even more shocking was the fact that several partners matched their wife's response.

Was significant and memorable. Beautiful weather, and a few of us left the family gathering to go to the treehouse. At the bottom, the refrozen river was feet away from the base of the tree. Rings of ice from previous melting clung to the trees like a frilly dress. At the top, one could see for miles through the unbudded trees. Children played by the road that leads to the submerged bridge in the distance. There was laughing, the joy of Easter Sunday. But they also threw sticks onto the ice.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

P is for Puppy

Let me start this post by saying that I saw Dancing Gabe running along the sidewalk again.

There, now that we have got that out of the way, I want to tell you about a little puppy.

So, we are standing around the kitchen in Riverside, and Chase looks out the window and says, "Who's dog IS that?".

This is a strange thing to say out of nowhere, especially to people who are not looking out of the window.

But, look! There IS a dog outside the window. It is of a medium-little size and white with medium-long hair. Some say it is like a Shih tzu while a detailed report claims it is a Pomeranean. I remain agnostic.

It is raining outside, and this dog is VERY wet. In fact, if you would have tried to dry off by using the dog as a towel after a shower you would have been more wet than before!!! I swear! So Chase let's this sopping thing into the house and spends almost half an hour drying it off. Now it is happy. So it stands on its tip-toes and rests its head against Chase's leg, like a little baby bundled in a papoose. You should see it, all leany-headed like that!

Then we wish to feed it something. There is some of grandma's meatloaf left over from supper. So, we put it on the floor, and--sure enough--little pooch loves it! This was a cute moment. But...
Mom goes to buy a few cans and bags of dog food the next day at the Co-op (being careful to avoid Iams). But when she puts them in doggie's plate, he won't eat!!! It turns out the ONLY thing doggie eats is grandma's meatloaf!!! So I think she has to make a meatloaf every few days in order to keep the dog from starving.

It gets better!!! We don't know how long little puppy was wandering the wilds for, but it turns out that somewhere along the way he found a travelling companion--an orange cat! Whenever puppy walks from grandma's house to ours, little cat follows behind. What's more, puppy seems to have some sort of romantic interest in cat. This is problematic for several reasons:
1)Puppy is a Puppy
2)Cat is a Cat
3)Puppy is a Boy
4)Cat is a Boy

Oh boy!

PS. Does anybody have any name suggestions?
PPS. I rented a banjo. I can play it for you sometime.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Thomas Hardy and a Man Named Harold

So, maybe it's time for a little more substantial post...

Sorry for the long while, my friends. Yesterday, a small bottle of unmarked powder fell off of my shelf onto the floor during the night. This is how I feel for neglecting you.
(The shelf is far from my bed.
Things on the shelf fall off about once every three months.
Things on the shelf move on their own.
I found the unmarked bottle years ago, in a wooden box, in somebody else's barn.)

Honestly, you have not missed much about my life. At least nothing you couldn't piece together from other people's blogs. I saw a few concerts (JOC, the Hip, Blue Sky Addicts, etc.). I ate a few letters off a Toblerone bar, and will one day eat more. I have read many, many plays (my favorites: Titus Andronicus, The Country Wife, Tamburlaine, The Spanish Tragedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream (read it again!!!), The Way of the World). I memorized a poem. Let me share it with you:

A Night in November

I marked when the weather changed,
And the panes began to quake,
And the winds rose up and ranged,
That night, lying half-awake.

Dead leaves blew into my room,
And alighted upon my bed,
And a tree declared to the gloom
Its sorrow that they were shed.

One leaf of them touched my hand
And I thought that it was you
There stood as you used to stand,
And saying at last you knew!
                                                  - Thomas Hardy (1913?)

I don't think this is Hardy's best, but it does have a certain aura of mystery about it.

Recent Things:
It was a fun church service today. We played a galloping version of "Nothing but the blood of Jesus". Some of the youth ran on stage licking bowls of ice cream. A young man from the Lumber River Quartet had a low voice. It was all the talk. A man named Harold told a funny story about lawn mowers. Then we went downstairs for a fundraising dinner. Cody and I serenaded the audience and took personal requests. We played Feliz Navidad for the Lumber River Boys. Apparently, Canadians know Spanish better than Americans. I jest, I jest! Another highlight was Cody and Todd's duet from "High School Musical". Good stuff, boys. Todd has his arm in a sling. (Why I am I telling you this? Because it is a segway.) I had not played Monopoly with a man with only one functional arm until yesterday. 
TK was gracious enough to host a Monopoly party, where he properly trounced the rest of us. But's that's okay, because I beat him in at least one game of computer Jeopardy, and I think Alex Trebek is way cooler than Rich Uncle Pennybags.
Looking back, I realize that I posted about Monopoly two posts ago. I marvel at the incredible symmetry in my blog.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Is Judge Judy Perfect?

Or is she hiding something underneath those robes?

A gun?
An Illegitimate Child? 

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Turkey and Other Countries

What has been going on?

1)Played a cutthroat game of Star Wars Monopoly over the weekend with Paul G., Shane, and Krystle. I managed to come out on top with a railroad/Podracer empire. Krystle alone must have paid me over $2000 on the one location with the help from some generous community chest cards. We still don't know what Paul was trying to accomplish with his mad mortgaging.

2)I won the E.D. Hirsch memorial scholarship for best creative writing piece at U of M, which has paid above and beyond the costs of my next semester. The winning piece is a work called "One Shovel Full, or Where the Gravel ends and Turns to Dirt". You may download and read it by clicking here: STORY. Note that though it is framed as a memoir, some situations have been distorted, so you can't get all "what's up with that?!!?" after reading it (though I know you are not that kind of people anyway).

3)We watched "The Notebook" at College and Career. I say no more.

4)I got a car! It is a 2002 Cavalier (a 12 year upgrade), and it drives without going "Rrrrr.....RRrrrr....rrrrr....stall". It even goes into reverse when I want it too. And there's no large dent in the driver's side door (remember when you have a hitch if you back up, people). Now if only the battery wasn't dead...

5)I bought a sweet edition of William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience" which I have been delighted to read through.

6)There is snow on the ground that I think will stay. It was sunny today and the wind was making the snow swirl and things looked beautiful. Too bad it was so cold that my eyes were freezing.

7)Travis and I put up the Christmas tree, while listening to an Osmond's Christmas special on TV. We don't have any decorations for it yet, so donations are welcome.

8)We had our Kroeker Thanksgiving gathering over the weekend, and it was sweet to get together with all of our Iowaian cousins, some of which had been gone for a long time. Kody had been in Palestine, and we got to see some of his fantastic pictures he took from that part of the world. We also had some exceptional turkey.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My coming to grips with Priest's identities

Priest says, "The identity of an object is not determined by its properties at any one world" (90). This is all well and fine, but then what is identity for Priest? These were my humble thoughts. Perhaps they reflected a concern similar to the "What the Hell?" objection, where Priest has to hold that identities are sui generis entities, unlike other things we have seen.

My worry with Priest's theory of identies reached its apex on page 121, where he writes, "Suppose that you and I decide to write a story about Holmes(Doyle's character). But our stories, whilst presupposing all that Doyle said, are incompatible. In my story, Holmes has a maiden aunt; in yours, not. Then in the worlds that realize the way that I have represented Holmes, he has a maiden aunt. In the worlds that realize the way that you have represented him, he does not. Different worlds, but still the same Holmes."
This, I thought, led into dangerous territory. Suppose that we said contradictory things about Holmes himself, not something superficial like the fictional existence of an aunt, or even the location of a wound, but something that is essential to Holmes.
-if your story denied an essential part of Holmes, and mine accepted it, SURELY we could not be talking about the same Holmes.

This, I thought, was a huge mistake on Priest's behalf (unless identities, like the mythical direction of a toilet flush, somehow functioned differenlty in the Southern Hemisphere).

But then I asked myself - "what is essential to Holmes?" His detectivehood, perhaps? But this cannot be, for surely there are possible worlds where Holmes has a successful career as a chimneysweep, and would still be Holmes.

In my search for another example, I turned to the chimera mentioned in Chapter 3. Let us suppose that a chimera is only such that it has the essence of a lion, the essence of a goat, and the essence of a serpent (this is the second way a chimera can be taken, see p.71). Now there is no doubt as to what is essential in a chimera as a whole. So if a class is given an assignment to write about a particular chimera (call it Nadirub), I, in my fictional story, describe Nadirub as above. My classmate does not; she tries to describe Nadirub as lacking the essence of a goat. However, she cannot do this - There is no way she could imagine a chimera without it having the essence of a goat.

In the same way we will find that if we, in a story, denied that Holmes possessed something essential to him we would, we could, NOT be talking about Holmes.

So I came to see that Priest, and the noneist account may be right; identity is far removed indeed from its properties at any given world.