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.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Life, as it were

One week behind in blogging - not good. I must stop doing exciting things! Let's see how far I can catch up on this post...

Victoria Day, Monday - We planned to play ultimate frisbee at Rosenort School at 3:30. It was a holiday, and on holidays people should play frisbee. Unfortunately, the wind was gusting to, LIKE, 82 KM/HR! So frisbee was cancelled. Jason called us all but could not contact Tracy as a certain sister (who is getting a hard time on this blog) was using the internet. So 4:00PM Tracy shows up at my house wondering why nobody is playing ultimate at the school. In lieu of frisbee we play a round of head to head croquet in a sweet course that I set up earlier in the morning. It spanned the length of the green between our house and our grandparents, running past the tetherball pole around the lone tree to where the grass is mossy, past the false well that we dug when the water-witcher came (I'll tell you the story sometime if you don't know), to the log pile where I set up some stumps as obstacles and even built a little statue that could be shot through. And then we got some ice cream and cones out and went to eat them on the portable tower used for laser leveling. A good place to eat ice cream on a windy day in the sun!
When the sun fell, more people came over. It was the "24" season finale. Unfortunately, it started at 7:00, which is not the usual time, and the satellite guide was messed up, and I thought Jason had called the people to come to play croquet around 7:00 anyway, so some of the guests missed the first part of the show to which I endlessly apologize. After the show, we played a bigger game of croquet, and then a game of Bocce. But the sun had now truly fallen, so I got out a pile of flashlights (get a new one every birthday from some relative) and we tried to find the palino under the light of our torches.

Tuesday - Super hot and humid day - Went to watch Jimi play baseball at the park in the late afternoon. It is hilarious to watch these little guys play. Lowe Farm team had 14 players on the field at one time, yet none of them could pick up the ball. Jimi got two doubles and an inside the park grand slam. Yup, yup! Thanks to the tutouring of his older brothers. The I drove to the city.

Wednesday - See digression postings below and Chelsea's blog for an American Idol moment that I happened to catch.

Thursday, Part One - Oh, this was a good day. After doing some job searching work and preparations for house church I went on a long walk. I took the river paths by our apartment to see how far they would lead. Down and down and down and down and down he goes. I saw a big old muskrat on top of a mound of earth. He didn't mind me none. Then I walked along a very nice path with trees all above and train tracks a little up to the side. I anticipated a horse drawn carriage to meet me. Then I reached a bridge. I turned right and crossed it. It is that nice bridge with fake smokestacks and fake fire. Connecting south St. Boniface to not St. Boniface.
I turned around.
I walked across the road, this led to the forks. The grass was very green. I read some of the historical signs and enjoyed the architecture. I walked across the Esplanade Riel. And then past the burnt Cathedral on the other side.
I turned right and walked across the bridge with fake smokestacks and fake fire again. By now I wanted to be home.
I walked along the river paths. Down and down and down and down and down and down he goes. I chose to take a path closer to the river instead of the nice horse drawn carriage path with the train tracks a little up to the side. The river's side is like a beautiful jungle. There are bushes bright with flowers that smell nice. A giant large leafed plants. I enjoyed this time.
Then I saw a man by the river, preparing a sleeping bag on a log. And I hoped he didn't notice me, for maybe he would have a bloody knife, and I walked through the undergrowth. Now I noticed discarded matresses and old jackets and beer bottles and swamped chairs.
Life, as it were, but dead.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Coat of Many Colors

Sunday: I felt like going to Sunday School this morning, and it was good discussion with Kevin Friesen, Clinton Brandt, and Trevor Friesen. Then I was doing sound for church. I made a funny mistake - So Pastor George prays for the offering, and I look and see nobody sitting at the piano. If people play for offeratory, they ALWAYS sit at the piano beforehand to get their music ready. So I notice this, and doing prayer I frantically get a CD popped into the player so that something can be playing other than silence as the bags get passed around. I wait for three seconds after the prayer before pressing play. The beautiful viola strains of a hymn come playing over the speakers before I look to the stage - there is Arlin Scharfenberg with a horrified look on his face. I shut down the music and realize that they were just going to sing another song over the offering. I sheepishly hide in the booth.

Dinner at the grandparents is good. We have a choice of three leftover cakes from Grandma's birthday. Then we play some tabletop hockey - the poor blue centre always pops up so he fans on the puck.

In the evening I go over to Tracy's where I was dooped into drinking some of Maryanne's Mushroom Tea (beware all who visit the Siemen's household) - but it was actually pretty good. As an added bonus, all my wounds were instantly healed (this is not true). Then I was showed the jar where in the orange liquid this huge flat mushroom was floating much like one of those experimental pig foetuses.
Then we played a game of payday which lasted for a year and I made so much money my bank account was full, whereas Tracy hit a card that cut her savings in half. Oh - I almost forgot the funniest part of the evening. So we went downstairs and thought we'd maybe watch a movie. But of course it is mainly Trish who has bought the DVD's, and compiled a rather large collection - entirely of CHICK FLICKS! (No offense Trish). So we are forced to pick the worst of them all in the hopes of ridiculing it. "From Justin to Kelly" is put in and we skip scenes until we see one guy rapping over Justin's vocal beats. We watch this twice and then have had enough. But before we can shut it off Trish comes downstairs and starts making fun of OUR MOVIE CHOICE! Can you believe it?! The one who is ultimately responsible...
So we turned the TV to this infomercial of a greasy moustached man selling bowel cleanser. It was so disgusting - he graphically described a "healthy bowel movement the circumference of a human wrist". We were laughing so hard we did not hear how long this particular piece of stool was. And the woman beside him wore a black shirt with glittering stripes of many colors.

A Gift from Saturn

Saturday: our Youthgroup had our annual Cleanathon. I got my rubber boots (forgot my gloves) and brought a carload of grade 6's to the Rosenort Co-op.
Go West, Young Men!
We walked the ditches - so windy and cold when the sun hid under its bonnet of clouds. A happy dog had to be returned. No mice. A fair bit of garbage. We reached the Meridian road and took a break jumping into mud underneath the bridge by the Holdeman church. There were the parts of a rusted car. And when you threw a stone it sounded like clapping hands. After Amos found us and gave us doughnuts, we kept working, and finished the road by noon. Had a hotdog meal and went home after that.
In the evening played music for Jason's mother-in-law's 50th birthday party at the Cafe 75. Whipped out the CCR classic "Down on the Corner", the Beatles' "I wanna hold your hand" and Abba's "Mama Mia". The finding of a drummer was remarkable in itself. We had tried for weeks to get somebody, but drummers are elusive. Friday night before the show Jason calls me to tell me he has secured Ross Klassen to drum. Though a bassist by trade, we were willing to give Ross a go. And he was incredibly polished, marvellous all things considered. We had a great time including playing pool with broken cues, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Pizza Party" board game, which was a little sucky. Although it did lead into an in depth discussion on Shredder with Destiny's neice Tria. Then there were fireworks outside. These were sparkly and high. The kids, sitting on top of the skateboard ramps, tried to predict what color the next roman candle ball would be. Meanwhile, Jason and I hopped on the kids scooters and scootered around as the fireworks went off. This is a great feeling, because you feel as if you are part of a show. Hooray for scooters!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Digression 2: an Intermission

I have been outside reading for the last half hour. I have been outside reading by the lovely tree, and the *shrubbery* filled with inch worms. There was a pleasant smell, perfume found on a windowsill. But real. I have been outside reading James Joyce's "The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man". This is all well and fine. Two men were talking across the street in Italian. This may be trouble. But here's the highlight:

A man jogs by me on the sidewalk.

He is bobbing his head to the music as if he can't contain himself. The music is coming from a pair of headphones - they are as big as hamburgers and bright yellow!



Something really cool just happened: I had left MSN messenger running when I put my computer on stand by mode. When I logged back in, I heard both the Windows welcome song and the Messenger sign in song - AND THEY WERE IN HARMONY! Sweet!

(to the sound of the triangle)

It has been a long time,
It has been a long time,
a very long time since...

Weekend very busy,
Weekend very busy,
Leads to blog silence.


Q: Oh, this is all well and fine, but tell me, O great blogster, what has kept you so busy as to not update your blog?

A: It started Friday evening. It was sunny, with a brisk wind. Travis and I walked down to the Park Theatre. There we rendezvoused (I checked the spelling) with Chelsea and Melissa, and got ready for the showing of "Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail"! (There were tables in the theatre!) The hewing of limbs looks so much better on a big screen. And seeing it beside people who have never seen it before makes it even more hilarious. This time I appreciated the true brilliance of the characters. Every fantasy element was played off of, from Tim the Sorcerer who was a firebolt happy to the bickering heads on the three headed giant.

The Upper Room: the upper room is a loft above the theatre with nice couches. There is a hole in the ceiling where the giant in the attic can stick his leg down. We are better than geniuses here, for we beat Mensa puzzles and Travis even insulted them. That makes us better. And then we solved Travis' seagull puzzle (see Chelsea's blog) and that makes the rest of us better than Travis. So we are in a league much higher than everybody else. That is why we sat in the loft.

The Bridge: or BDI is not too far from the Park Theatre. It turned out to be a warm evening, and no wind. I got a vanilla cone, chocolate dipped. We walked across the bridge. There was ice cream that had fallen. Collective tear. The lights were flickering on the bridge, as they must do at the end of eternity. We kept walking. We are better than eternity, for we walked right past it. Into the residential zone on the other side. The streets were warm, and houses looked like cottages, like ginger bread cottages. Deer stood silent on front lawns (groomed by a lawn care service) as we passed. We got to the end of the street. There was water on the far side, down below. This is what the end is like. Remember.

Moths: There were two big moths circling the light. One left.

Bada Bing Party Bus: Maybe he followed the music.

And I look back on this night and say "It was good". Correction, "It was very good". I feel it was an opening to the Summer. Yes, laughter. Yes, ice cream at night. Yes, indeed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Peach Cobbler

Considering the following story describes the interviews I had today, I decided to present it to you in interview fashion. The text is taken from a messenger conversation. In order to protect the identity of the other person, I have taken great care to scramble the letters in the username. Here is the conversation:

Sealech era says:
hey! did you have an interview today?!
Adam! says:
yes, 2 in fact
sealech era says:
how'd they go???
Adam! says:
first one, at the Sunglass Hut, was quick and pretty casual because they REALLY
want me for the job
Adam! says:
the second, however...
sealech era says:
not so good?
Adam! says:
was down at Duha Color close to the airport
sealech era says:
duha color? what kind of job is there?
sealech era says:
Adam! says:
That was the computer programming job
sealech era says:
there name isn't very explainitory...
Adam! says:
Well, they do make paints
Adam! says:
The job just happens to be behind the scenes
Adam! says: anyways, I haven't done much programming in like, three years
Adam! says:
and I get there, and sit in the board room
sealech era says:
intimidation still works, apparently
Adam! says:
and am brought this stack of papers, a test, if you will, on computer programming
sealech era says:
oh goodness!
Adam! says:
asking... how would you write the code for this
Adam! says:
and that
sealech era says:
i'd start crying
Adam! says:
I stared at the page for a while
Adam! says:
like this... [imagine a shocked-face emoticon]
sealech era says:
like a stork flying at your face... understanable
Adam! says:
yes... a big black stork that is the text on the page... and then I started to make things up
sealech era says:
yay! i love making things up!
Adam! says:
yes! so from what I faintly remembered of Visual Basic I created some commands, maybe out of thin air
Adam! says:
So I worked on this test for like half an hour
sealech era says:
ohhhh... that's ususally not very good
Adam! says:
and then a knock on the door
Adam! says:
Time for the in-person interview!
Adam! says:
Well, I butter them up real good, telling of all my computer accomplishments (now a long time ago) trying to prevent them from realizing I have forgotten everything
Adam! says:
but then at last the time came when they wanted to see what I had written down
sealech era says:
oh no!!!
Adam! says:
so I tell them... It has been a really long time, but I'm sure I could remember given a few days
Adam! says:
but they look at my work...
Adam! says:
hmmm, hmmm....
Adam! says:
and nod a little
Adam! says:
then say "yes, this is right"
sealech era says:
sealech era says:
lol, that's AMAZING!!!!!
Adam! says:
I was pretty stunned
sealech era says:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Welcome to Buzzland

This is a good and funny story. So as I am looking for a job, I come across this one company that hires tutors. "I can be a tutor", says myself to myself, and so I send them a resume, just one out of the many I have sent. However, the next day I receive an email stating that I have passed the first phase of the interviewing process, and now it is time for part two. Many of those who need tutoring are seniors who want to learn to use computers, and so part II tests whether we have these skillz ourselves. This is the test: place a $2.00 bid on any item at Ebay.
Now, though this is not difficult, it is something I have not done before. So I go to Ebay, open up an account, and look for an interesting item on which to bid without winning, and therefore paying for, that item. So I go to the art section, knowing that I could not possibly win a painting for $2.00. Unfortunately, all the starting bids are over $2.00. Hmm... maybe some small antique item will start for lower, I tell myself. So I browse through the antique section. Hmm... not this. No, not that. Finally I come to an 1897 children's book entitled "Victor in Buzzland" which has a current bid of $1.50. There are 2 days left, so I am guaranteed my bid will be passed. So I place a bid of $2.00, and email the tutoring company to say I have completed the task.
All is well.
I get a message in my inbox stating:
"You have won your first Ebay item!"
There is no turning back once something has been won.
Soon a little package will arrive by mail.
And I will pay $2.00 for a book I do not want
and a hefty shipping fee.
This is a good and funny story.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What Have I Been Up to All these Years?

Tagged by Leah:

The Rules (which I break by #1)
1. You can only say YES or NO.
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone comments and asks!

1. Taken a picture naked? Yes. Do you want to see?:
2. Painted your room? No. Though there is some paint waiting to be used behind the bathtub.
3. Made out with a member of the same sex? No
4. Drove a car? Yes
5. Danced in front of your mirror? No
6. Had a crush? Yes
7. Been dumped? No
8. Stole money from friend? No
9. Gotten in a car with people you just met? Yes
10. Been in a fist fight? Yes. Good old Beaver Creek Camp. That wasn't a pillow.
11. Snuck out of your house? Yes
12. Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? Yes. Frequently?
13. Been arrested? No
14. Made out with a stranger? Only if you consider her a stranger. (Her? Who?)
15. Met up with a member of the opposite sex somewhere? Yes. (What does this mean?)
16. Left your house with out telling your parents? Yes
17. Had a crush on your neighbour? No (considering my grandparents live next door)
18. Ditched school to do something more fun? Yes
19. Slept in a bed with a member of the same sex? Yes (Hotels only, grief!)
20. Seen someone die? No
21. Been on a plane? No, believe it or not.
22. Kissed a picture? No
23. Slept in until 3PM? No
24. Love or miss someone right now? If I say yes, I'll get points for being mysterious.
25. Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by? Yes - if anybody says no to this, I cannot be friends.
26. Made a snow angel? Yes
27. Played dress up? Yes
28. Cheated while playing a game? Yes - hopefully not in a few years.
29. Been lonely? Yes (what a stupid question)
30. Fallen asleep at work/school? No - I deserve a gold star!
31. Been to a club? Yes
32. Felt an earthquake? No
33. Touched a snake? Yes
34. Ran a red light? No, and I even prevent Jason from running one once. Good me.
35. Been suspended from school? Yes. Rice cakes + heater = bad idea? But I had a great time playing Zelda at Jordan's the next day!
36. Had detention? Yes
37. Been in a car accident? Yes, remember the vertical files that came flying from the back seat when I drove into the field at high speeds on the way to Jeff's house for "public skating"?
38. Hated the way you look? Yes - puberty is a bad time.
39. Witnessed a crime? No. I may be missing out.
40. Pole danced? No
41. Been lost? No, but everybody else was. Mall of America. 1999. Good times.
42. Been to the opposite side of the country? North Pole?
43. Felt like dying? How does dying feel?
44. Cried yourself to sleep? No
45. Sang karaoke? Yes
46. Sucked your thumb? No. Wait. Yes, I just did. Felt like dying.
47. Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? I want to say no, but probably it is yes.
48. Laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose? Yes
49. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes! And then I tied it in a knot!
50. Kissed in the rain? No. I'll put this on my to do list.
51. Sing in the shower? Yes
52. Made love in a park? Remember the curvy slide in Riverside Park? Just kidding.
53. Had a dream that you married someone? No
54. Glued your hand to something? No
55. Got your tongue stuck to a flag pole? No - but the side of our bolar camper.
56. Ever gone to school partially naked? No
57. Been a cheerleader? No
58. Sat on a roof top? Yes - I like to read on the roof.
59. Didn’t take a shower for a week? No
60. Ever too scared to watch scary movies alone? No
61. Played chicken? No
62. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Yes - good old snow camp!
63. Been told you’re hot by a complete stranger? No
64. Broken a bone? No
65. Been easily amused? Yes - ooh, wallpaper!
66. Laugh so hard you cry? Yes
67. Mooned/flashed someone? No
68. Cheated on a test? Yes. Back of the Ruler. Grade 4 spelling.
69. Forgotten someone’s name? Yes (how can they get away with a question like this?)
70. Slept naked? Yes
71. Gone skinny dipping in a pool? No
72. Performed on stage? Yes - am I on right now? "Good Night Seattle! You Rock!"
73. Blacked out from drinking? No
74. Played a prank on someone? Yes. Dead Mouse. Gwen Friesen's desk drawer.
75. Gone to a late night movie? Yes. The Two Towers first viewing, started after midnight. Bad idea. Good movie.
76. Made love to anything not human? No, sick! Remember when we were performing "The Importance of Being Earnest" and Miss Gautema made us change all references to "making love" to "flirting"? Poor old Oscar Wilde!
77. Failed a class? No
78. Choked on something you’re not supposed to eat? No
79. Played an instrument for more than 10 hours? Yes. In one sitting, even.
80. Cheated on a girl/boyfriend? No
81. Did you celebrate the 4th of July? Yes, we usually are in the states on trips then.
82. Thrown strange objects? YES!!! Throwing stars in the back shed at Vidir! Poor Clint sprained his ankle trying to jump and grab one stuck in the wall.
83. Felt like killing someone? Not really.
84. Thought about running away? From the law? That would be fun!
85. Ran away? Let's just say it was the worst sleep I've ever had.
86. Did drugs? No - I don't need them, believe me. "Dancing in the wicked land, tainted honey, wicker man!"
87. Had detention and not attend it? No
88. Dumped anyone? No
89. Made a parent cry? Yes
90. Cried over someone? No
91. Owned more than 5 sharpies? No
92. Dated someone more than once? No
93. Have/had a dog? Yes - let's just say he got into a fight with a skunk.
94. Own an instrument? Yes
95. Been in a band? Yes - None Input, Septic, The Rustic Poets
96. Drank 25 sodas in a day? No
97. Broken a cd? Yes
98. Shot a gun? Yes
99. Dated a married person of the opposite sex? No
100. Written a love letter? Yes

Well, there they are. My deepest secrets. But this was fun. I'm gonna have to pass this on. You can yell at me if you don't like it.

I tag: Chelsea, Sherri

Thursday, May 11, 2006

And now... for dessert!

Right Jolly! So it is nearing twelve on the o'clock and I pull up to my good Riverside house in my car (maroon). I am not sure what to expect - I never told my parents when I would get back, not sure if I would stay in the apartment in Winnipeg for a few nights, and quite frankly unsure of when Somewhere Else West was supposed to end. So I walk, feeling very much like Jean Valjean, better yet, Hamburgler, into my childhood home trying first to be quiet so as to not wake anybody, then loud so as to not make them think I am truly a thief breaking in. But there is good news. Mother is merely resting on the living room couch, and sees me illuminated in the oven-light glow. She rubs her eyes, then gets up, startled, as if she has just seen an imp that has passed through a netherworldly gate. Yes, it is I, your oldest imp child! The three globe lights in the kitchen are thrown on, and I am welcomed back. There is more good news - it seems I may be one of the first back home. Shane is working the night shift at the Super 8, Chase has gone for a party after the last performance of "The Music Man", and Dad is working on the field. Sure enough, the door opens again and it is father, quite covered in grease. A pizza is produced warm from the oven, and I have a few slices of late supper and even a bowl of salad. Why, there is even some entertainment as dad finds he is the carrier of several black wood ticks! And then Chase shows up, still dressed from the play and dropped off by a friend. There are more things to talk about - dropped flowers and a music CD that skipped because of possible sabatoge by fingerprinting.

I intended to write about the other things that happened in the early part of the week: feeling rested enough to go to church, a good Sunday lunch at Grandma's, a baseball game where I reunited with friend Tracy (called off in the 6th inning due to lightning), a quiet evening reading Spoon River Anthology, a day raking and burning the flood-mess, having a big group of highschool friends over in the evening to watch 24 and play Wide World - and it is... it is a wide world and we have moved about it in so many ways. It would take a string of words from here to the rolling Cypress Hills to fully describe every step. And that is why, though indeed I tried to tell you more, I could not, and you must be forever content with the contents of that hour, that single hour, that took place after I got home from Somewhere Else West, figuring that everybody else was asleep.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Somewhere Over the Rain and the Homemade Bow

Of course you know how I got to the West. You do not yet know of the tension that befell our party the following day just outside the Navigator house in Calgary. It lay hung as a canvas backdrop to the play that was the week to come. Here is this week, in pictures.

Our captain, Jonathan Serhal, who bravely guided us out from Winnipeg to Calgary by himself. But beware! He barely escaped a mutiny!

The leader's weekend was an excellent time where we got to connect with other group "facilitators" and grow in our own spiritual walk. We even got to spend an entire afternoon, five hours, in prayer. This picture was taken during that afternoon, as I hiked up the hillside past a lone patch of snow. It is a box, resting on a prairie field. This box is me. This box is you. All around is blue.

Making the best of a windy day, Chelsea and I decided to build a kite that set off an arts and crafts revolution at the camp. It was a little wobbly, but I swear it would fly if it wasn't for that broken string. Or the lack of wind. Or the scent of horses.

In some form of wicked anti-chinook, the campground was covered in a marvellous snow storm the day the others arrived. Though this cleared up, the area was hit with about a foot of snow on Tuesday.

On Wednesday night we were treated to a BARN DANCE. Many good times. Us Mennonites showed them all how to two-step. Here is one of us, Tyson, with the sweet cowgirl Launny.

In this candid shot, fierce barbarian Will Manty (single male), takes to his steed. We got a chance to go horse riding at the camp (it was my first time!). I was on a horse named Sonny and he was sometimes slow/sometimes fast. Many nagging comments came from those behind. So I made Sonny trot to catch up, and everything was fine (until Will Manty's horse got spooked by a car). Sorry, I passed him in line. I am bad. I deserve to be kicked.

The boys in my cabin (and by boys I mean men, almost all older than I, their leader) in a rare moment when they were not holding guns or saying "Simon" in a british accent. My fist of punishment often fell. And then there was the Tyson that turned up our thermostat to 30 the first night. He shall pay twice over.

Some of the group without a name hanging around a pole without a purpose in front of the main lodge. In the picture is John L., Chelsea, myself, and Charlynne.

A bigger group of us on the last full day hiked up to Prayer Mountain. It was a beautiful hike where too many snowballs were thrown and then we saw a hydra and John tried to slay it barehanded, but we don't know if he lived, and then we went on a quest, over swampy bog and biker bandit attack, to find the sacred sword that grew from a tree stump.

Just when you think you are all alone, and that God has answered a prayer for safety, up springs a giant bear inside the main lodge. Those that laughed at it because it's back legs were wooden were the first to be eaten. Most of these sitting at the table survived by using it as a shelter. I think James lost an ear, though.

To close, to close, I gave our kite to the beloved kids who had helped to make the week more interesting by shooting us with water guns and drawing neon horses. They smiled, and this is what I took. I took it with me all the way back to the green confines of southern Manitoba.