Monday, November 03, 2008

following the asphault path will not lead you back home

I am so tired that I have lost my blink reflex. But damn, it was a good weekend.

I still cannot believe that my sister, brother, and brother-in-law drove 12 hours from Manitoba to surprise me at our party. And then turned around and drove back home again 36 hours later. They are poster children for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Hopefully I made it up to them in some small way by taking them to IKEA yesterday, IKEA being the Swedish word for "store in which every Canadian ever born spends Sunday afternoon shuffling through in search of semi-disposable furniture".

It was a really fun party. I wish you could have been there too. We still have so much wine that we haven't even drank yet. Of course, one of the drawbacks to this turning 50 business is
that you no longer have the capacity to drink wine till 3:00am, not gracefully anyway and not without suffering for days afterward. But I shall definitely throw another big party like this when I turn 100 and we celebrate our 70th anniversary. We may need to smuggle our wine in sippy cups and we will doubtless be congratulating ourselves for staying up till 9:00pm, but other than that, I expect an exact repeat of this Saturday.

And aside from the insane over-the-top surprise visits from family, the Spousal Unit also arranged for a little surprise for me. He found a picture of me, age 17, quaffing a massive stein of beer at Oktoberfest during my European travels. He arranged with our neighbour, who works for a brewery, to have a batch of beer bottles labelled with my picture and stuck the batch in the fridge.

Can you imagine the shock of opening the fridge door to be confronted by a dozen pictures of
your teenage self grinning her fool head off at a 3 litre glass of beer? It was surpassed only by the shock of opening the door to admit more party guests and instead finding your sibs grinning at you while your brother-in-law snaps a picture of your jaw dropping open to your knees.

I will post pictures once I find the camera.

This morning I had to drop the urban assault vehicle at the dealership to have it serviced. I knew that I would not work up the energy to have a real workout today, so decided to walk home through Fish Creek Park - an hour trip, I figured.

The last time I tried this, I learned that floods will change the course of creeks, destroy
pathways, and create blind alleys down which you will be attacked by red-winged black birds. Best stick to the asphault path this time, I thought. Except that you can't get there from here. By the time I noticed that I was in completely unfamiliar territory and the sun was in the wrong place in the sky, I had long overshot my destination.

And I really had to pee.

So I headed back to where I had seen a shale path that looked to be heading in the right direction but had avoided because I had seen "path closed" barricades in the distance, and tried my luck.

As luck would have it, I spotted a runner heading down the pathway in the direction I thought I should be heading so I followed him. Naturally he was long gone by the time I reached the place where the pathway was washed out. There was a skinny little board which spanned the rather too wide and too deep cliff where the creek had forged itself a new path, which the tall, skinny runner had obviously bounded gleefully over, but I am not a tall, skinny runner and besides, I really needed to pee.

So I backtracked. Again. And stumbled, more by blind luck than by any real sense of survival, upon the path that eventually led me out of the park. Climbing that final hill,
straight upward for 150 steps, out of the park was considerably less onerous than I would have expected with a full-to-bursting bladder. I think possibly your bladder sensors are over-ruled when your ass muscle sensors are firing.


Remi said...

Now that's one heck of a shindig. I've got to remember the whole personalized bottle thing. What a cool idea.

Anonymous said...

being a guy...I woulda just peed in the woods

Karen's Mouth said...

And so continues the long-running theme of you and I being the same person in essence. I JUST went to Oktober fest and I bet our stein-gobbling pics are pretty darn similar. 'Cept I ain't 17. Further, being lost with a full bladder is state normal for me. Hilarious story. Maybe invest in a she-wee?
ps sounds a great party, well done various family members

Gifted Typist said...

par-tay sounded fun - we may not have been there but you evoked well enough for us to imagine. Hope is was worth all that life-threatening cleaning

mister anchovy said...

Sounds like a great party!

Ikea: we have a strategy...plan what you need...go as soon as the store opens (and before thousands of families with their kids in strollers descend on the place),and start at the cash rather than the front.

Remi said...

I find I always start my tour of ikea with high hopes. By the time I reach the end, though, I have been so beaten down by some mad swedish scientist's version of common sense that I swear off the place.

Though never completely. . .

BeckEye said...

Do you Canadians seriously put a "u" in "asphalt" or is that a joke???

The superfluous u is getting way out of control now.

Allison said...

Sounds like quite the bash! I'm glad to here that everything went swimmingly, and the picture on the beer is brilliant. I hope you share a picture of that! :)

Oh IKEA. There furntiture causes motion sickness but we all keep going back. Personally, I go just to replace the 10,000 tea lights.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It was quite the nice touch, Remi. I would strongly advise that you get a beer rep in your neighbourhood.

I woulda done the same, had I the requisite equipment, Kelly.

Adult diapers are another option, Kees, but you would think I would learn not to go on these long rambles until all the morning coffee has been adequately processed.
I don't imagine Oktoberfest has changed all that much in the 100 years since I was there. Beer and long tables, that's about it, as far as I can tell.

I made sure that everybody who came into the kitchen (and that's where everybody comes eventually, isn't it?) looked good and hard at my death-defying ceiling, Gifted. I was quite obnoxious about it, actually.

Start at the cash and work backwards! What a stellar plan, Mister Anchovy. SO long as you don't then run into a wave of stroller against which you must swim.

And of course when visitors come to town, they all come armed with an IKEA shopping list, don't they, Remi. The Swedish names keep me going for a while though.

It's not superfluous, it's proper, Beckeye. Although "asphalt" is more common here, you will see both spellings.

A serial killer's best friend - that should be IKEA's slogan, Al, the way they pimp those tea lights.
I shall indeed post the beer label photos, as soon as I catch up on things.

Anonymous said...

u superfluous?? no way it just adds some je ne sais quio to words like, labour flavour colour humour. but asphault...i never knew

Anonymous said...

That so great you were surprised by your family!

Also, I completly agree with the ass muscles and bladder thing.

John Mutford said...

What an awesome, devoted family.

Re: IKEA. Not this Canadian. Never set foot in one of their stores. I think I meay have had a catalogue once but that's about it.

BeckEye said...

Don't you mean "proupoueur?"

Bridget Jones said...

Happy birthday!!!!!!!! Glad you had a great time.

Anonymous said...

A fine partay. A successful Sunday afternoon at Ikea. One surprised sister... priceless!!!

Real Live Lesbian said...

What a great idea for a gift! I love that.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

When in doubt, always add the U, Kelly, that's my philosophy. Besides it annoys the hell out of Beckeye.

It's like your body can only concentrate on one problem at a time, Justrun. So next time I have a gut ache, I am going to bang my head against the wall, I think.

Next time you are in Calgary, John, I will drag you to IKEA, kicking and screaming. You owe it to yourself.

I do, Beckeye, thank you for the correction.

It was a blast, Bridget, and it should last me for another few years I figure.

You winner for surpriser of the year, Berni! Best gift ever! Thank you!

Hi Real Live Lesbian, welcome! That is a gift that takes total committment, isn't it?


As I'm reading these posts out of order, how cool is it that he got that old pic of you! But hey why were you drinking at 17? LOL

I'm glad you didn't pee in the woods. I walk the ridge everyday and I would hate to be blinded by the sun hitting your ass. ;)