So a couple of weeks ago…

So a couple of weeks ago The Mountain Goats were in Winnipeg opening for another band that I don’t know that well.  I chose not to go.  My brother, a fan of both bands, was aghast.  I was too cheap to shell out the minimal charge for an opening act to a band I don’t know.

Here’s the thing: as much as I love live music, I don’t care for this kind of concert all that much: a crowd of people crammed into a bar or a small concert hall, standing, shouting, drinking, dancing like fools, blocking my view.  It’s not my scene.  I prefer the kind of concert where you sit and applaud.  It’s not because I’m so cultured.  It’s because I prefer to sit and applaud.

* * *

I’ve missed many concerts simply because I have no initiative to get out and do anything. Also, I’m cheap.

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I Played Single Father for a Week (And It Wasn’t that Bad)

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It seems I am at my worst between 6p.m. and approximately 8p.m.  Conveniently, this is also bed/bath time.  I am short tempered during these hours; irritation and yelling sometimes follow.  I don’t like it, but it’s the way it is.  Except for this: if I have a post-supper snooze.  I realized this tonight;  I felt myself getting edgy with the kids, who were playing by with each other (which they seem to do after supper), so I retreated to my bedroom for about 15 minutes and rested.  This made all the difference.

The after supper snooze.  Does this make me old?

* * *

So I discovered that after a month away from Hebrew, I had already forgotten a good chunk of my vocabulary. Dang.

* * *

My goal for the summer was to translate a verse a day in both Hebrew and Greek to keep up the language for the fall semester. In fact, I wanted to work ahead and translate the Biblical books of Ruth and Philippians, which is what we will be translating in the fall in intermediate Hebrew and Greek, respectively.  I had started, with the blessing of my Hebrew professor.

My Greek professor, perhaps mistaking my eagerness to learn for a desire only for good marks, tried to steer me away from working ahead. For some reason this took the wind out of my sails, as it were, and instead of forging ahead or taking his advice, I found myself attempting three different recommended tracks: translating Phillipians (for next semester), translating 1 John (as per the prof’s suggestion), and working through a graded grammar (suggested by my intro to Greek prof).

Too many choices.

Other goals for the summer: ride my bike 3 times a week. Eat less. Go to bed on time.  Read more (for fun).

Here’s what I’ve done about my goals: nothing.

Well, not nothing.  I got started on the translation, but haven’t touched it for some time.  And I’ve been reading.

* * *


Here’s what I’m most looking forward to about our trip to England in August:

Eating whatever, whereever and whenever we want.

* * *

Kurt Vonnegut is a syntactically fun author.  I haven’t read him for a couple of years.  Tonight I started reading Breakfast of Champions again, for the third or fourth time.  One of my life goals is to figure out what the big deal is about Breakfast of Champions. It’s everyone’s favourite.  I preferred Slaughterhouse-five and Cat’s Cradle.

* * *

Another life goal: acquire taste for Guinness.

Life goal achieved.

* * *

Related life goal: acquire a taste for scotch.

Life goal not yet achieved. My brother, whom I will set out on Friday to visit, has agreed to help me achieve this goal, saying, “The moment you walk in the door we will begin.”

5 thoughts on “So a couple of weeks ago…

  1. Toni

    Ummm. There’s a lot to comment on here, isn’t there?

    Since the last shall be first, I recommend avoiding the peatier Scotch whiskys to begin with and try the lighter, smoother, more floral versions. I won’t make recommendations because I don’t know what will be available, but you’ll probably find a very peaty whisky like Laphroaig tastes like carbolic soap. I have a whisky tasting book you’re welcome to take back with you, if you wish.

    Given the choice, I prefer Jamesons whiskey over most single malts and blends personally.

    I suspect with Breakfast of Champions, it may simply not work for you – you don’t need to like the same things as everyone else and it’s probably good if you don’t.

    Motivation is a difficult and complex thing, and very hard to self-generate.

    As long as I ever knew him (and a good deal longer than that) my grandfather always had a nap for 20-30min directly after lunch. I find I want to do the same a little, and Chris now DOES have afternoon naps to set her up for the evening. See it as a sign of being more mature. 😉

    As for bands and venues, I like all the emotion and feeling that goes with people dancing and jumping around, rather than observing an exercise in technical precision and performance. That’s reflected in other aspects of our characters too. I definitely MUCH prefer to play to a demonstrative crowd or congregation. Last year when I played off some backing tracks for the ‘talent show’ the audience just sat and watched silently – creepy!

    Let me tell you a secret – I’ve never been to a BIG concert/gig.

  2. Marc

    You’re right about Breakfast of Champions, Toni. It might not work for me. The reason I’m curious, though, is that in general I do like Vonnegut (I’ve read a number of his books). Seems like most people who enjoy him, enjoy Breakfast of Champions in particular. It’ll be a quick read, so nothing lost, really.

    Thanks for the scotch recommendations. Liquor stores in Canada have ratings of one kind or another for wines. I wonder if they would have the same for scotch. Or is it on the label?

    I should be careful what I say: for particular bands I will enjoy (or at least endure) that type of show. I went to quite a few Wide Mouth Mason (a local Saskatchewan band) in university, because their lead singer, aside from being my brother-in-law’s childhood friend, had a great voice and great guitar skills (bluesy; also did a great cover of Wonder’s “Superstitious”).

    I’ve had at least 3 opportunities to go to a U2 concert. For various reasons–some no fault of my own–I’ve never been to one. The biggest show I’ve been to is about 4,000 people (Petra!).

  3. Lisa

    Steve is the same way. For some reason his weakest time of day is btwn 6-8 pm. I thought it was just his way of avoiding the nightly kid rituals, but maybe there is something to it…?

    I’ve been to a few big stadium shows, and while you can get a rush from the many screaming fans singing the song lyrics, there’s something to be said for smaller, more personal venues. Spirit of the West is a GREAT small venue band!

    And I forget what kind of whiskey Steve drinks, but it was ranked one of the best in Canada. There was actually a little tag on the bottle with the top 5 best, but that could’ve just been a selling feature.

  4. Andrew

    I don’t have any Laphroaig in the house, though I very much like it. I’ll keep it simple Marc. A good 12 year old Macallan perhaps.

  5. Linea

    Next time you are here come over and try Leo’s selection of the day – I’m sure he won’t mind me offering to you to ask him for a wee dram. He’s about tried them all except the very most expensive kinds maybe.

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