Sunday, November 10, 2013


My favorite NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE scout, BRAD HORNUNG, suggested that my blog entry for this week be called … EXCEPT ME.  He suggested this because I am such a perfect critic of things and events (a glamorized self-description), and in most of my rants I am an eddy swirling in solitaire.

I shall begin with some everyday lunch discussion at my workplace.

It seems everyone (in a very general sense) where I work loves the television series, Game of Thrones, and also the series, The Walking Dead.  

Game of Thrones, set in continents quite like those in Medieval Europe, is a story of high fantasy with a few characters that I quite like:  Sean Bean as King’s Hand Ned Stark; Emilia Clarke as dragon-lass Daenerys Targaryen; Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister; Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth.

Ned Stark had his handsome head chopped off early in the series.  Emilia Clarke, the dragon mistress, has become Queen of the Dragons.  Peter Dinklage, the dwarf prince is low in stature and high in intellect. Gwendoline Christie, the 6’3” female warrior, is indeed, my high fantasy, the phrase with which I opened this oneversation.

Game of Thrones, being fanciful, comprises the mythical creatures of dragons and White Walkers.

Normally I love the medieval setting for certain movies. Two of my favorites, The Name of the Rose and Rob Roy, had just such a setting.  However, I do not like fantasy, and this is probably the simplest reason I do not like Game of Thrones.

Everyday around my lunch table these Thrones Drones chat and dissect the latest episodes of these corny kindergarten kingdoms.   Everyone … except me.

The Walking Dead is an American horror drama about a remnant of characters living in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.  The weekly dilemmas these characters face while surviving in a hostile world are centered mainly on killing the zombie hordes and, secondarily, on killing other predatory human survivors.

I’ve tried watching The Walking Dead more than a couple times.  To me it’s same ol’ same ol’.  I should mention that I do enjoy zombie movies (Fido, The Crazies, Zombie Land, Resident Evil, and Shawn of the Dead), but not The Walking Dead.

Everyone around my lunch table is a Walker Gawker.  Everyone … except me.

My Everyone … except me is prevalent, too, in other areas of my day-to-day regimens:  my costume, my wheels, my home, my team, my retirement, my dreams for my children, and my busking aspirations.

My costume:
Practically every day I wear a pair of blue jeans with either a black shirt or a white shirt.  This is not the regular sports jacket and tie habiliment of most teachers.  I buy all my black shirts at Madame Yes, and buy all my white shirts at Colin O’Brien’s Man Shoppe, both establishments being in downtown Regina, and both establishments being a five minute walk from my residence.

One of the reasons (I think, perhaps, the principal reason) I choose only shirts that are black or white is because I am color blind.  And then it doesn’t matter.  I never have to fret over color match or mismatch.  This costume quite simplifies my life and (I could be suffering the Imaginary Audience here) has become my noted signature attire.

Everyone likes lots of color in garments.  Everyone … except me. 

My wheels:
Most of my acquaintances own their vehicles.  Most times I lease my vehicle.  Most of my acquaintances believe that leasing is just a waste of money because when you actually borrow money to buy a car, usually a loan of four years; you actually have something of value.  At the end of leasing for four years, you’ve nothing

Here are my reasons for leasing:  First, I love new cars (I always lease an Acura), and I like to drive in comfort and always under a warranty.  The difference between driving an expensive Acura TL or ILX compared to a flivver cannot be described, aptly, in a qualitative fashion in this type of a blog.

And second, people who purchase vehicles say that once their vehicle has been paid for, they own something of value.  To this I agree, but the value of a four or five year old disposable vehicle is worth only whatever you can get for it.

When it comes to vehicles, most everyone prefers ownership over leasing.  Everyone … except me.   
My home:
Most everyone loves to have a backyard, a personal rectangular or pie-shaped kingdom in which to play and admire.  Not me.

When my kids were little we lived in lots of different houses, some old, some we built brand new.  When kids are little, it is really nice to have back yard for throwing barbeques and baseballs.  Yards, to me, are for kids.

Since our kids have grown and moved away, I quite love not having a back yard, nor a front yard.  I do not miss trimming the trees and cutting the grass, staining the deck, and shoveling the snow off the walk and driveway.

I live in a condo on the sixth floor of a high-rise building in downtown Regina.  We have 1340 square feet of sun-lit rooms with tall windows and ten foot ceilings.  Our building is solid steel and concrete, and completely sound-proof. 

I love where I’m living but … I could easily rent a broom closet downtown and be just as happy.
Most everyone wants to be a home owner.  Everyone … except me.

My team:
Every Thursday afternoon the puck drops at 4 o’clock for our weekly floor hockey game.  I love floor hockey because of the team spirit and exercise.  When I say team spirit I’m including all the deserved (nick) names we have for one another (March Taller, Cryin’, Zamboni, Stack ‘em, Cherry Lightnin’, Marilyn Monro, Flip Wilson, Hollywood, Fostears, Brittle Bill, Pagan, and Cave-in, to name a few).

When I say team spirit I refer to the flurry of email trash talking on game-day, usually started by Zamboni, and not ending until a dozen or so insults have been sent to reply all.

Of my floor-hockey mates, save for the goal keepers, everyone wants to shoot and score.  As for me, I like to play defense, be that mean and nasty guy who is not much fun to play against. 
Everyone wants to score some goals.  Everyone … except me.

My retirement:
Chatting with some colleagues just yesterday, I am reminded what most teachers are planning for their superannuation (eduspeak jargon for retirement).  Most teachers retire after 30 years in the classroom, after which they substitute teach three or so days a week to top up their pension.

As for my own wool-gathering notions of retirement, I have but one plan.  I am not going to retire.  I love what I do.  I do have that dream to operate my own hot dog stand, or to work part-time at a hardware store, or the worst case scenario, be a substitute- teacher.  I can see myself cutting back, eventually, to working half-time, which means two and a half hours a day for a total of 12 and a half hours a week.  This is my plan, should I maintain my verdure of health and vigor.

Most every raddled teacher I know thinks I’m crazy in this regard.  Everyone looks forward to retirement.  Everyone … except me.

My dreams for my children:
Everyone I know who has children wants to be always near them in a literally physical regard.  To be specific I am referring to those who want their children grow into adulthood, land that perfect job in the same city where they grew up and where their parents likely still reside, have a happy family of their own and gather weekly for the Sunday family supper with Mom and Dad.   

Oh wouldn’t that be nice. 

As for myself, I do want my children to live their adventures, explore the planet, and not feel guilty for not wanting to be living just down the block.  
Factoid: Most people marry their high school sweet heart, of which then 50% divorce and marry their workmate the second time around.  
Factoid: Of the billions of people residing on the planet, can you imagine lucky it is to discover your soul mate right there in your high school or right there at your workplace -- So much for the concept of true love.
Factoid: The world, itself, can be for a very select few, the force majeure of wonderment and adventure.

And the same is true for family imaginings.  I agree that everyone wants children who are thriving and to happy forever after. Parents want this for their children, and want this to happen nearby and just down the block.   In my yesteryear when my kids were little, these too, were my thoughts.  

Now in my aged experience, I believe such thinking to be somewhat adorkable.  I believe such thinking to be a rationalized taradiddle of parental subterfuge.   

Everyone has anxiety toward change.   Everyone … except me.

My busking aspirations:
Save for the minus 10 degrees, today would be the perfect day for busking.  Today is the first post-season game for the Saskatchewan Roughriders football club.  The British Columbia Lions are in town to do battle.  Whichever team wins, plays in the semi-final game next week.  And whichever team wins the week after, wins the GREY CUP.

Today, if the Roughriders win, there will be over 40,000 green-and-white fans of the Rider Nation  screaming with joy.  Today, I should be busking down at KINGSWARD entertaining 20,000 of those gleeful melon-heads as they exit the east gate and head for home.

I’ll not be there.  It is just too cold. Shivering cap-a-pie 'neath a burnt out street lamp whilst facing a twenty mile per hour winter wind in a minus ten degree temperature does not appeal to me.  I remind myself that GREY CUP is just a couple weeks away, and the GREY CUP final will be played right here in REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN.  The forecast for the next couple weeks is for unseasonably mild weather.  Over these next two weeks I shall have lots of opportunity to busk.

While I thrum and hum on the sidewalks with my twelve-string and harp, most people suggest that I could be rising to a more popular venue, and most buskers that I know are not-so-secretly hoping to do so.  

Everyone wants a bigger stage.  Everyone … except prosaic me.

Tomorrow is POPPY DAY.  Last year on REMEMBRANCE DAY I wrote about my grandfather, a cavalry soldier in the First World War,  and my father, a North Atlantic sailor, in the Second World war.  And  two years ago on November 11th I wrote about my grandfather, my father, and myself.

Tomorrow I'll be wearing a RED POPPY LEST WE FORGET.

And one more war picture:

 I began this blog with a baditude rant on a couple of popular television shows. I’d like to keep writing and ranting but if I do so I’ll miss the next episode of THE GOOD WIFE. 

Until next week ... stay tuned!

Marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE for this week I've just one character:
  • Myles was busking in front of MIKE'S INDEPENDENT on BROADWAY.  I placed a can of Red Stripe into in guitar case.  (Myles always give me money when I busk at the Farmer's Market.)
 I'm going to jail December 12th, he told me.  
 For how long? I asked.
I figure for about a year, he replied.
Myles will be headlining a bigger stage.

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