Unbounded

Write five words you can spell

five
words
you
can
spell

What ended in 1896?

1895

(On a physics exam) What is the strongest force on earth?

Love

Expand (a+b)ª

(a+b)ª … (a + b)ª … (a + b)ª … (a + b)ª …

The man can ______. (rub, run, rug)
The man ______ the dog. (fit, hit)

The man can run.
The man pet the dog. (You should not hit dogs)

Write an example of a risk.

This

You are to assume the role of a Chinese immigrant in 1870 and write a letter home describing your experiences.

頁 – 設 – 是 – 煵 – 엌 – 嫠 – 쯦 – 案 – 煪 – ㍱ – 從 – つ – 浳 – 浤 – 搰 – ㍭ – 煤 – 洳 – 橱 – 橱 – 迎 – 事 – 網 – 計 – 簡 – 大 ㍵ – 畱 – 煵 – 田 – 煱 – 둻 – 睤 – ㌹

浳 – 浤 – 搰 – ㍭ – 煤 – 洳 – 橱 – 橱 – 迎 – 事 – 網 – 計 – 簡 – 大 ㍵ – 畱 – 煵 – 田 – 煱 – 둻 – 睤 – ㌹

煵 – 엌 – 嫠 – 쯦 – 案 – 煪 – ㍱ – 從 – つ – 浳 – 浤 – 搰 – ㍭ – 煤 – 洳 – 橱

Name the shapes: Δ Ο ◊ ∠ Ω

Δ (Bob) Ο (Terry) ◊ (Denise) ∠ (Murphy) Ω (Barb)

(Test on hard and soft water) Briefly explain what hard water is.

Ice

What do we call the science of classifying living things?

Racism

Solve: 1/n sin x =

funny-test-answers-smartass-kids-6

I earn money at home by _______.

I don’t. I am a freeloader.

Can a man still reproduce with one testicle?

No, girls don’t find that shit attractive.

The difference between 180 and 158is ______. Explain how you found your answer.

22. Math.

Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?

At the bottom.

What happens during puberty to a boy?

He says goodbye to his childhood and enters adultery.

Cause: Tony practices the piano 20 minutes every day.
Effect: __________

He is a big nerd.

To change centimeters to meters you __________.

Take out centi.

Tapeworms are hemaphrodites. What is meant by the term “hermaphrodite”?

Lady Gaga

Miranda can’t see anything when she looks down her microscope. Suggest one reason why not.

She is blind.

How many days are in a week? ______
How many months are in a year? ______
Is this number even or odd? 68 ______
How do you know? ______

How many days are in a week? … 7
How many months are in a year? … 12
Is this number even or odd? 68 … even
How do you know? … because I’m smart

***

Aren’t we all

Visibly Wrong

For the second evening in a row, I sat in the middle of the front row in Koerner Hall. Last night was a celebration of the life of Charles Aznavour, a French singer and composer or co-composer of 1000 songs.

The young man who played Charles was full of the spirit of life. It shone in his eyes, his voice and in his widespread arms. And I sat at his feet. He was surrounded by other brilliant musicians, playing keyboard, drums, stand up bass, and accordion. The songs were haunting, and almost all of them were in French. I can compose sentences on French but figuring out the fast speech of others is very difficult.

Koerner Hall seats about 1100 people and I was happy to be at the front of things. I don’t mind being seen. In fact, I love being seen … and heard.

At one point, the young Charles asked for requests. I heard voices behind me and knew I’d participate. Before the concert, a friend had waxed poetic about the song “Mamma”. I didn’t know it, but why not?

“Mamma!” I yelled.

Charles stared down at me, with a quizzical look.

The woman to my left nudged me. “He sang that one two songs ago.”

Oops. If I wasn’t just so darn loud. I imagined 1100 snickers behind me.

Happily, I didn’t let this minor interruption slow down my zest for the music. Why dampen myself? Why waste energy slumping my soul? Life continues to request that I live it.

Fast forward to the last song of the concert. I pretty much knew this was the last song because things were coming to a close … in French. The real Charles made an appearance on the big screen, accompanied by the words “You will always live in our hearts.” The instruments were swelling up to a grand finale. Yes, this was the end.

The last note hung in the air and I burst from my chair in a raucous standing O. I clapped and clapped. My excellent peripheral vision showed that no one else nearby was erect. And once more young Charles was looking down at me with … curiosity.

Anothe nudge from the left. “They have a few more songs to do.”

Ahh … to be bilingual. But no matter. I held my head high and enjoyed the rest of the concert, taking my cue from other folks about when to stand again.

Sticking out like a sore thumb. I smile at the thought of it.

The Play’s the Thing

How many times in life have I told myself something and then proceeded to do the opposite? Many! I’m so right about something and then in the next day’s breath my vision shifts. There’s a bending here, a flowing rather than a solidity. And I like that.

To supply you with an example, I received an e-mail from the Port Stanley Festival Theatre a month ago, one which waxed poetic about their summer season. “No thanks” was my response. “I have three airplane trips planned and when I’m home I want to kick back rather than stretch out for more.” Now that sounds logical and wise, right? I sure thought so.

Then was then and now is now. I’ve been sitting in the Marienbad Restaurant in downtown London, enjoying a non-alcoholic Heineken beer and yummy portobello penne pasta. Mid-yum, I glanced at my phone … and there was another Port Theatre e-mail. “Last chance!” Without a shred of thought, I started in on picking a package of six plays and what nights would work. Strangely, I was confident that concert dates between plane trips would magically appear, and they did (except for Ed’s Garage, which is on in early August).

I was on a mission and didn’t have a clue what was happening. “They’re all comedies. I hate comedies!” Here’s one about the Donnellys in Lucan, Ontario, and their murdering ways. Or a father and son smilefest. And how about a story of the pastel beauty and ridiculous situations in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia?

Here I am, the proud owner of a ticket for each of six plays, taking me to late August. If one of you wants to go to Ed’s Garage, comment after this post and I’ll send you the ticket.

Oh Bruce, I hardly know ye!

Kids’ Play

There’s nothing like the annual Christmas play in elementary school.  Today I got to watch a practice.  How marvelous to see children be children.  I tried to imagine adults doing all the cool stuff I witnessed.  Sometimes the imagining was a stretch.

One young lady has perfected “Bah humbug!”  It wasn’t just her face, which was a contorted mask of fury.  Her whole body got into the act, crouching down in a spasm of scowl.  I just had to applaud.  Sure wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley.

Three elves, two girls and a boy, were doing their conversational thing.  The fellow kept extending his ball of greenery towards the nearest girl.  Mistletoe!  She cringed and backed away from him, fending off the offending amour with her arms.  Then he did it again … and so did she!  Ahh, the battle of the sexes.

And soon there were grandma and grandpa, expecting holiday mail.  At the end of the scene, the darling couple exited the stage with their twin canes, slow and bent over as I hope I never am.  (Good luck on that, Bruce)  How strange to see 10-year-olds hobbling along in pain.  My brain just couldn’t make sense of it.  Good acting.

Next was the mailman, striding onto a long white box which doubled as a slippery sidewalk.  Down she went in a heap, slip-sliding away.  Letters and presents tumbled every whichway.  Pure slapstick fun.

Also, what would a Christmas play be without reindeer?  Eight of them lined up on the box, with antler heads proudly displayed.  Arms were flying in the air and mouths bellowed the good and bad.  What a motley crew … and immensely lovable too.  You should have seen them all hopping off at the end.

My favourite moment was when a young girl was pleading with someone  – I think the mailman.  Hands in prayer position … imploring, begging.  So good.  Soon to be followed by another girl, crying her eyes out, in the best tradition of drama.  Angst always gets me.

I smiled a lot
I clapped
And I wished that more than a few of those kids were mine
Maybe next lifetime

Thumbs Up

I walked into the Belmont Pharmacy today, supposedly for no useful purpose.  Actually I figure saying hi is quite useful.

Suzanne greeted me and we blabbed a bit.  About what I can’t remember.  But I got really excited about something.  In a fit of verticality, I threw my arms into the air.  Unbenounced to me  (Wow.  I don’t know how to spell that word.  Excuse me for a minute while I take a SpellCheck break.)  … …  Now, where was I?  Oh yeah …  Ouch.  Apparently the word doesn’t exist.  All I got back was “undenounced”.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the same.  Okay, let’s try Google  … …  Ah hah!  Unbenownst  →  “without the knowledge of”.

I realize that was a lot of further ado, so let’s cut to the chase.  My right thumb smashed into a plastic sign hanging from the ceiling.   My soul yelped and my thumb gushed red.  Darn blood thinners.  They’ll get you every time.  Quick like a bunny, Suzanne passed me a paper towel.  I love it that Bounty is the quicker picker-upper but I guess I needed three-ply.

Suzanne didn’t have any Bandaids except for those nestled in boxes for sale.  I didn’t want her to break open a package so I headed to the Diner, grasping said digit.  Chrystal saw my scarlet plight and got me a couple of Elastoplasts (I’m an equal opportunity adhesive bandage guy).  Being a righthanded dude, I couldn’t get the paper off so I approached a table of local women and Sue did the deed.  Off to the washroom and soon I was well covered.  I decided not to go with the flow.

That’s enough dramatics, Bruce.  We’re not exactly talking heart surgery here.

Much of the rest of my day was humbling.  I was a whiz at peeing but how does a thumb deprived human get his pants done up again?  Then I was trying on winter boots at Mountain Equipment Co-Op.  I couldn’t shove my insoles down deep but Janique came to the rescue.  She just about had to do up my laces but I managed a loose approximation of the task.

You know, the thumb is an awfully valuable tool out there in the world, not that I was aware of the fact before today.  I was fumbling, again and again.

Somewhere along the way, in a quiet moment of digital repose, a thought crossed my frontal lobe:

What did you learn today, Bruce?
Do you avoid all exultations in the spirit of painfree thumb wholeness?
Or do you throw yourself into the air whenever a deeper spirit moves you?

I vote for the jump-up

Up In The Air

It’s quite possible that I’m a strange person.  For instance, I keep testing gravity.

I was lifting weights at Wellington Fitness yesterday.  My dear friend Karisa works there and today her boyfriend Nick was working out.  She’s so much in love with her man and today I got to meet him.  He seems like a fine fellow.  Later, I told Karisa that I hope their love continues to blossom and that they grow old together.

I was standing at the front desk, so very happy that she’s happy.  I was drinking my protein powder from a shaker cup.  Without apparent thought, I threw the cup way high into the air, close to the ceiling.  The toss wasn’t as straight up as I’d hoped, and I rushed forward to make the catch.  It was a glancing blow and then a smash on the floor.  Vanilla goo flowed freely.

For a bit I just stared.  Did I really do that?  Apparently so.  The puddle was immense and Karisa found me some paper towels.  I soaked and wiped and soaked some more.  And then Brandon showed up with a mop.  I was happy, not embarrassed or guilty.  Nothing in my cognitive system had planned it out.  I just … threw.

Many years ago, when I was teaching at St. Mary Choir School, I must have been similarly happy.  I was standing in the staff room talking with Marg, after consuming a precious liquid in my favourite mug.  Same story.  The mug soared.  The mug broke.  I stared.  And somehow it was all okay.

Then there was the time in Costco when I was also flying high.  I was slurping my chocolate waffle cone while talking to a couple of employees in the vision department.  Up went the cone, sadly nowhere near the store’s high ceiling.  It did a flip in the air.  I reached out my right hand.  Plop … ice cream end down.  It should have been on the Plays of the Week.  Oh, what a good boy was I.

Guess my eye-hand co-ordination has faded over the years.  But it’s okay.  I was volunteering yesterday afternoon at South Dorchester School and Tiffany asked me if I would like a water bottle.  She had one extra.  And it has a holey insert for shaking.  Nice.

Up in the Air

“Some days are diamonds.”  So sang John Denver.  And I had one of those days just before Christmas.  It all happened at Costco.

I walked in feeling light and left the same way.  It’s such a mystery why this happens.  Mostly my life has been heavy lately, crying and crying for my wife Jody.  But then …

I walked over to the photo department, hoping to bug my friend Tara.  But she wasn’t working that day.  Instead I said hi to Melissa, a woman I hadn’t met before.  I was carrying my trusty chocolate waffle cone, and licking copious amounts of the good stuff.  Suddenly, with no thought involved, I threw the cone into the air,  I watched it peak at maybe twelve feet and come plummeting down … into my right hand.  Nice catch.  Part of the cone shattered and the ice cream flowed down my hand.  Another employee got a paper towel and offered me the use of their sink.  I just stood there, though, marvelling at what had happened.  I’m not interested in knowing why I did it.  I’m just happy that I did.  As for Melissa, she seemed fascinated with the moment.

Earlier I had been sitting at the snack bar, enjoying a hot dog and Diet Coke.  A woman sat at the next table, with her three young granddaughters.  After a few minutes of conversation,  I asked the older girls if they’d heard of the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  They said yes.  “Would you like me to recite it to you?”  Yes again.  I told them that I had learned to recite it really fast.  “Fast or slow?”  “Fast.”  And so I launched into Santa’s story.  My record is one minute and twenty-eight seconds.  The girls’ faces were full of antonishment, but nowhere near as much as grandma’s.  After a rip-roarin’ “And to all a good night”, it was smiles all around.  I’ve said the poem to thousands of kids and they always loved Speedy Twas.

Sooner rather than later, it was time to leave my blessed Costco.  There was a woman sitting at the front, collecting money for the Salvation Army, I think.  I made a contribution and got talking to her.  From out of the blue, a question poured from my mouth:  “Would you like to sing ‘O Canada’?”   She said yes.  So we serenaded the incoming and outgoing shoppers with our national anthem.  As I remember, no one smiled … except us!

And then it was off into the twilight, humming along.  An hour of ease and fun.  Would that all my days be so.

 

Donna and Pete

During the summer of 2012, Jody and I spent two weeks visiting her brother Lance, our sister-in-law Nona, and their three boys – Jaxon, Jagger and Jace. They live in the village of Longview, Alberta, in the foothills of the Rockies southwest of Calgary.

We had a great time, camping in the Kananaskis, hiking in the mountains, sitting around watching TV, and talking at exquisite length to people we love.  I wanted to spend some time on my own as well, and so dipsydoodled around Longview to see what’s what and who’s where.

I wandered into a gift shop on Main St., and was thoroughly welcomed by the woman behind the counter.  She was Donna.  We just fell into conversation as if we’d been bosom buddies since the beginning of time.  We talked Alberta and we talked art, since she was selling originals and prints done by a local artist, Bernie Brown.  I ended up buying a drawing that showed a medicine man in mid-dance, but that wasn’t the important thing.  Donna was important.  She glowed.  It didn’t matter the topic – she breathed life into every word, and the wrinkles by her eyes got a workout.  Other folks came into the store and she lighted up with them as well, drawing out their humanity and humour with ease.  Then she’d chat with me some more. Ahhh.  I went back to visit her two more times.  Such a pleasure.

One day, Jody and I were walking along a residential street when along comes a gentleman dressed up cowboy, complete with a ten-gallon hat.  He was smiling at us from way back.  And then we to him.  He was Pete.  As we got near each other, I noticed that he had a large pink price tag on the toe of one boot.  After a few minutes of good-natured Easterner razzing on Pete’s part (and a similar repartee from Jody and me), I decided to broach the footwear topic.  “Oh, that.  Still haven’t decided if I want to keep these boots so I left the sticker right where it was, for an easy return if need be.”  We laughed. He laughed.  Pete became an instant friend.

Later in the week, I was sitting on the front deck of a bar on Main St., having an orange juice (or some reasonable facsimile), when I spied Pete strolling along on the sidewalk across the street.  He spotted me too, and started waving madly.  I naturally waved back, and yelled “Hi, Pete”.  Neither he nor I was remotely troubled by the looks we received from the other sunning patrons.  Truly, who cares?

The following week, having found out where Pete lived, I knocked on his front door.  How did he respond to the unscheduled visitor?  “Come on in.” (Big smile)  He was preparing supper and listening to the day’s rodeo on the radio.  Sure, he wanted to hear the results of the bull riding and the bronco busting, but he kept me and our conversation front and centre in his brain. So very much like himself.

So .. friends around every corner?  I think so.  Just gotta say “Hi”.