Book Hippo

Monday, September 22, 2014

Shopping Adventure

I love 'mini-adventures' as much as I love 'mini-vacations'. When I was young, I used to read all about trekking and canoeing and such and plan to go 'someday'. I never went on a big adventure although I did go up to Algonquin Park for a couple of months in the eighties.

I enjoyed these times but because of my knee, I won't be able to go again.

So I do like going about Ottawa to different places and seeing what I can see.

Today I thought I would go up to Parliament Hill but then decided to go in the opposite direction. I rarely go that way and thought I would like to go to the health food store and see if I could find Garden Burgers, which are supposed to be healthy and  low calorie.

I found all kinds of amazing foods. Pancake mixes that were quite inexpensive, and muffin mixes that were low calorie. But the best thing I found was their meat section. They had bison steaks and bison burgers. Yum. Yum. I love bison meat. And it's not any more expensive than at the meat market.

I'm definitely going back to buy some bison meat when I get my next cheque and maybe some pancake mix, too. Now if I could only get low-calorie syrup.

I can't wait for my next adventure.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Inaptitude Test

When I was in my last year of high school, the powers that be decided all the students should take and aptitude test. To see what profession we would find success in and I'm guessing, be happy in.

Imagine my surprise when my aptitude came back for music. I never played an instrument except for a recorder in elementary school. But the results were clear. I should become a musician.

Now, sometimes I'm not too quick on the uptake, so I didn't realize that aptitude tests are largely unreliable. I set out to buy and learn how to play guitar. How exciting. Surely I would be discovered in two weeks and become a millionaire in about a month.


What I found was... I'm not the least interested in music. I couldn't stop yawning as my teacher explained sevenths. I'm still not sure what they are. And practice? Why on earth would I do that?

In fact, I learned really quick that it's very hard to play well and if you do want to be good at it, you have to dedicate your life and time to it. There's no such thing as a part-time guitar player.

You have to train your ears so you know what note is being played when you hear a song. Sounds obvious, right? Well, I had thought so little of anything to do with music that I hadn't even considered how much time it takes to be at a professional level.

But it took me years to decide I shouldn't play at all. I sold my guitar here in Ottawa and I hope the person who got it enjoyed it. It's been through a lot.

Advice: don't listen to aptitude tests.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Birthday Trick

A lot of people will tell you that playing tricks on children by adults is cruel. But I also know a  lot of mothers, rather than argue, will tell a lie to their children to make things go smoother.

Once, my brother caught a frog. I wanted to keep it in my room and my mother agreed. I was ecstatic. We got a big metal box and put plastic over it with a rubber band to keep it tight. When I woke up, the frog was gone. For years I wondered how it got away until I figured out that my mother knew I was a heavy sleeper and let me have it in my room so she could come it and take it out and let it go.

When I was a girl in the sixties, my birthday was coming up one year. In a store at the bottom of the hill was a doll. About eighteen inches tall. She was dressed as a cowgirl with a fringed skirt and plastic cowboy boots.

I fell in love with this doll at first sight. I asked my mom to buy it for me. No, she said it cost too much. For my birthday? No, too expensive.

One day I walked by the store and it wasn't in the window anymore. I was heartbroken. I had planned to save the money for her. I told my mom. Someone must have bought it. she said.

On my birthday I was handed a box about eighteen inches long. In it was the doll. My mother had bought it for  me after all. I was ecstatic, thank you, thank you. We never said I love you in my family but thank you was okay.

Now some people I tell have said my mother was cruel to play that kind of trick. I don't know, I remember that birthday above all others.