Tuesday, January 29, 2008

...life in Canada...

Is decidedly boring...

... thus my absence from regular blogging. There really isn't anything exciting going on...not compared to the lives I've lived elsewhere, that is. I suppose I should really change gears and start filling this blog with amusing anecdotes (like for instance, once, when I was younger and less astute, I was filling out a comment/feedback card evaluating the morning service and the leadership at my church in Toronto, and I said that sermons should include more personal 'antidotes.' I'm not really sure what I meant there...was I hoping that the minister would find a remedy for putting me to sleep in the mornings? Some sort of biblical booster I could just shoot in the arm?) At any rate...I suppose I should start filling this blog with amusing anecdotes (rather than antidotes, which are something completely different) but I find myself at a loss.

Sometimes, there is the occasional amusing story from work - I now work with adults with developmental disabilities, who live together in community houses with 6 or so individuals in each home. My house is fairly high-needs, most of our residents are non-verbal. One woman has a somewhat limited vocabulary which includes such gems as 'poop,' 'bum,' 'pee,' and 'tea.' (honestly, does the world really need words beyond those? Plus, the last two rhyme. Bonus.) Another individual doesn't speak at all, but rather growls or drools intermittently at you. I have nicknamed him "Grumpelstiltskin," a reference to the fairytale story of "Rumpelstiltskin," a grouchy elf of sorts with a penchant for stomping his foot, once so hard it went through the floorboards. The man I work with is like this. If he's frustrated, he stamps. If he's angry, he stamps. If he's bored, he stamps. If he's excited, he stamps. Well...you get the picture. Sometimes, when he's not stamping, he kicks. The other day I received a good shot to the knee-cap that could have toppled me (if not for my cat-like balance).

Or, I could tell you about the fact that today I came across a word I didn't know in a book I was reading ("Travels in the White Man's Grave: Stories from West and Central Africa," a book given to me for Christmas by my friend, Jen). The word was "liana," and I could have guessed at its meaning based on context (gaining meaning from context - a skill I taught my students in middle school English lit class last year), but I wanted to be sure of what it meant. Apparently, it's a
"woody climber that starts at ground level, and uses trees to climb up to the canopy where it spreads from tree to tree to get as much light as possible. Lianas are especially characteristic of tropical moist deciduous forests and rainforests."

See. Like I said, things here in Canada just aren't as fascinating. Show me a woody climber, will you?

And no, I don't mean the kind found in the gravely playgrounds of primary schools. Besides, those have all been torn down years ago for not fulfilling the more stringent safety codes. Also, you could set them on fire.