Wednesday 27 July 2016

Me vs Country

 If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be moving to a small town with where cows regularly impeded my driving, and my new worst enemy are deer, I would have questioned your sanity.

And yet here we are.

Similarly, telling me that I would pay good money to go see the Dixie Chicks in concert would have resulted in derisive laughter and tasteless jokes about country music….

You can see where this is going.

By some perverse stroke of fate, earlier this month I ended up back in Vancouver and kind of drunk, attending my very first country music concert.  I was talked into this by a group of country-loving friends, and basically went along because I like them, and because it seemed like a reasonable excuse for a get-away. The concert was merely something I had to endure to participate in the rest of the weekend.
Some of the gang

The whole thing ran pretty smoothly. Convoy to the coast, find the hotel, shopping, food, not being able to park the gigantic (and delightfully roomy!) truck in ANY FUCKING PARKADE IN VANCOUVER…..I mean, seriously, this truck didn’t fit anywhere. And while I realize Vancouver likes its tiny luxury sports cars, they should appreciate that us county folk come down from the hills from time to time, and we need a place to put our vehicle too. We didn’t even bring the pigs and goats this time!

Anyway, I digress. Eventually we parked.

In any case, by the time we finally got to Vancouver, I felt that my ride down had rendered the concert completely unnecessary, as the radio had played almost nothing but country music the entire trip. I tried to explain that to me, most country music fell into only a few categories: my girlfriend left me, my dog ran away/died, I have syphilis because my girlfriend is a tramp, and/or my guitar string broke so I had to improvise with this broom and a set of spoons.

The girls I was with thought this was hysterical, and turned up the radio, and for some reason were continually surprised that I didn’t know any of the songs. Like Earl. Why didn’t I know Earl? I mean, who doesn’t know Earl

Me. I didn’t know Earl. Except now I do.

After going out for dinner and getting happily toasted, we made it to the venue, found our seats, and I started live tweeting the event. This alone was a novelty, as I’ve never done this before.
The Dixie Chicks probably
singing Goodbye Earl

The concert opened, and I recognized the expected zero songs for the first half hour. My friends would glance over in my direction with a happy expectancy at the start of each new song, confidently believing that I would at least know THIS one, because EVERYONE knows THIS one. 

Except me.

I think by the end of the 2 hour set, I’d recognized at least the chorus of something like 5 songs. I dutifully belted out the few words that I knew, and found myself having a good time. 

My favourite part of the night, however, came from watching our seat section guard/escort guy. He had a perpetual case of resting bitch face, and glared uncompromisingly at everyone who came past him. He was particularly unimpressed by the shit-faced girls that hobbled by him on the way up to their seats. At least one of them couldn’t walk on her own, and I could just feel the reality show coming.  

For the better part of 15 minutes, I watched his disagreeable face glare at them. Eventually he gathered more of his bitch-faced cronies and they all stared at the offending girls as a group. For the final act, they called in the police and, as a unit, they approached the girls and asked them to leave.

The girls were mind-blowingly drunk and high as shit, and the ensuing confrontation was like watching a live version of a Real Housewives slap fight. Pure entertainment gold.

During this time I tried to act as sober as possible.

All in all, and despite not being a “country music” fan, I will say that the Dixie Chicks are incredibly talented, and I enjoyed myself much more than I expected. It helped that I had some great and very enthusiastic company to help teach me their ways. I’ll even admit to liking a few of their songs.

And finally, I'm confident that going forward I will even be able to recognize Earl, should it come on.  At least I should hope so, after hearing it something like 77 times throughout the weekend. 

Goodbye Earl!

Saturday 16 July 2016

Me vs Rattlesnakes and Being Blind

Once or twice a year our daycare shuts down, leaving me scrambling for a place to store my kids while I go make money to pay for daycare.  For the last two years, this has meant a week-long vacation for the kids with their grandparents, and equally a week-long stay-cation for Husband and I at home without the kids. 

This small window of having no children in the house allows me the precious joy of getting myself ready for work without simultaneously questioning how long it can possibly take a 6 year old to find socks, or how a 3 year old is able to disassemble an entire pantry in under 4 minutes.

This week also gives Husband and I a rare opportunity to take an evening and go rock climbing.

Last year, we made it up twice despite the rain, thunder and lightening, and most of all, the rattlesnake.

It’s safe to say that I may have been just a little bit apprehensive about reliving that encounter. And so I did what I should never be allowed to do, and I looked up information about rattlesnake bites.

Do not do this. Never do this. 

Snake bites are terrible things. Looking at pictures of snake bites is a terrible idea. Reading about what can happen when a snake bites you is a terrible idea. Me doing both of these things before heading out into snakeland was the worst fucking idea.

And so I got a big stick.

I figured that if I took a walking stick with me, I could sweep it around in front of me if there was tall grass, and bang it on rocks before stepping on them to scare away anything that may otherwise be inclined to lash out from it’s hiding place and impale me with it’s hate fangs.

My stick plan worked. I banged along as I walked and felt better as the day went on. No danger noodles dared show themselves while I had my stick. 

I even found having a solid walking stick was helpful in balancing as we navigated the small boulders that littered the pathways as we got closer to our climbs.

About 30 minutes into our trek we met someone clambering down the path towards us.  The man watched me approaching for a moment as I made my way slowly up the path. As he passed Husband, he nodded hi and asked him if I was blind.

Me and my stick
Blind? I’m climbing over waist high boulders, do I look fucking blind?  


Me and my anti-snake stick, along with banging every rock before I stepped on it, created what was evidently a very good imitation of someone who couldn’t see shit.

And while I know that I no longer have 20/20 vision, I can assure you if I was ever going to be blind, the last place in the fucking world I would be is somewhere that would require a snake stick in the first place.

Monday 11 July 2016

Me vs "Words"

Back in my university days, I took a number of archaeology and anthropology classes. The professors teaching them tended to have a lot of…um… character.

One prof I had was basically the Jane Goodall of orangutans. She’s worked with them for years, advocated for their protection, and was very good at making what should have been an otherwise interesting subject somewhat dry.  She also held all of her classes at 9 pm just to keep herself on Borneo time. I got very sleepy.

Another one had stories of fantastic South American dig sites. His adventures sounded exciting and beautiful. And then he ruined it with follow up stories about a Bot fly laying eggs in his skin and of snakes that fall out of trees and bite you for the sheer enjoyment of it. Snakes are assholes.
This thoroughly cemented my desire to pursue non-tropical archaeological subjects. 

I can also knap obsidian like a fucking boss.

And then there was the professor who liked maize.  All he talked about in class was maize. How it was grown, how it was harvested, how it was cooked, and how it wasn’t the same as corn….but for all intents and purposes, that shit looks pretty much like fucking corn.

And he used terrible words.

Over the course of a couple of lectures he used, in various contexts, words like classificatory and genetical.

Now from what I can see (thanks Google) classificatory is sort of a word depending on who you ask, but it’s more likely a terrible bastardization of the word classification.  Why the shit anyone would choose to use it is absolutely beyond me.  

But he did. In fact, it was even the answer to a test question.

My friend (and this still makes me laugh) wrote beside her answer that this wasn’t, in fact, a word. When she got her test back, he had marked her answer correct, but added to her comment that it was a word, and more specifically that it was an adverb.

No sir, it is not.

If you choose to use classificatory, and you should not, it would be an adjective, not an adverb. If you wanted to turn this shitty word into an adverb, you would need to say classificatorily. This is even worse. If you ever hear someone use it, you may want to reconsider knowing them.

Which brings me to genetical.  This is not a word. Even Google agrees that this is not a word. Using this in a sentence is a terrible idea, and you should feel bad for doing so.

But he did. Again and again. And it was painful. We could have made it into a drinking game.....And the genetical predisposition for brow ridges can be seen here....bottoms up!

More recently, I encountered the "word" dramatical. It was used in a place where I knew it shouldn’t be, but I had no power to change it, and so I didn't even have a chance to make proper fun of it. At least my friend was able to vent her frustration at the sloppy, half-baked classificatory, but in this case I couldn’t say anything.
To be fair, Urban Dictionary provides a definition for this word, making it technically an actual word, though if we accept this, we also need to accept bae as a word, which I'm not willing to do.
According to Urban Dictionary, dramatical means to be so dramatic that one even seems to be theatrical*
The example they give for this depressing bastardization of the English language is as follows: "Flavor Flav ousted the DRAMATICAL girls".

Oh sweet Lord. I think it’s reasonably safe to say that if your definition for a word contains any reference to Flavor Flav, you should seriously reconsider your life choices before using it in any grown-up setting. Or you should be buying stock in necklace clocks. Basically, friends don't let friends use dramatical.

And with that I'll remove my grammar nazi hat for the day. It's been fun. ;-)


Sunday 3 July 2016

Me vs More Ticks

Today we added Sally to the collection of ticks in the fridge. Our 6 year old bravely tolerated the removal of her very first female dog tick, and was granted the naming rights. This is the first tick that we've actually had attach to anyone. I let Husband handle the extradition.

Sally was added to the jar containing the desiccated remains of her male comrades, where she will live out the rest of her parasitic life. God speed Sally.

This is becoming a very dark tradition in our household.