Oct 03

Well, that’s gonna take a while

If you haven’t, you should read Part 1 before reading this.

 

I guess it’s a bit more work than I thought switching the blog over, so Mrs. Birdman told me I should finish yesterday’s story. Seeing as she wears the pants in the family, I guess I had better do what I’m told and not dilly-dally.

So I’ve made a bit of an error on yesterday’s post. I didn’t have the homemade chicken balls before drinking the caesers, they were the next day. I guess it was just chips that I was eating with the booze. I went over to Aaron’s place for supper the next night, and we made the chicken balls then. I was still not feeling totally myself from the night before, but we decided after supper we’d take my new canoe for a trip down the river a ways. It was a pretty skookum canoe, and I was quite proud of it. I had taken it out only once by myself earlier in the week, and left it at Darcy’s, (the guy whose cabin we were drinking at) because he was right on the river and a handy place for a new canoer to take off from.

That was the canoe I had. Well, not this exact one, but that model. Old Town Tripper 172

We dropped Aaron’s truck off at the landing and there were a few people there having a fire and fishing. We then took the canoe in my truck, to Alwin Holland Park and launched from there. There were quite a few things that we forgot to do at that time. The most important was to find out where the rapids were, second would be to put on a life jacket. I had a welding tube to keep our keys, wallet and cell phones dry, and we threw that and the life jackets into the canoe and started our float downstream. I call it a float, because that was all it was supposed to be. From what we understood, the big shelf was up from Alwin Holland, and it was just a nice little paddle to the landing. As we were floating along, we started to hear a bit of rushing water, and asked each other what the fuck that noise was coming from around the bend? It sounded like a waterfall, but it couldn’t be, we dropped in after the big rapids. As we rounded the bend, we realized that there was in fact some pretty decent rapids there. Apparently, the amount of water the dam lets out, governs the depth of the river, which in turn governs the severity of the rapids. I guess the dam hadn’t let much out, because they were pretty rabid right about then.

This is up by the bridge. The shelf is downstream further.

Now I’m not an expert when it comes to canoeing, and Aaron hadn’t been in one since he was young, so we didn’t know that the little guy should be in the bow, and the big guy should be in the stern. That explains why it was so hard to keep us from turning around. He has at least a hundred pounds and almost a foot of height, not to mention he’s about two axe handles across the shoulders and a little top heavy. We were probably at least fourty yards from shore when we hit the shelf and went a bit sideways. Water started coming in behind Aaron, and then we hit the second one and flipped the canoe. I came up, grabbed onto the canoe and threw Aaron his life jacket. He had come up with half a cigar hanging out of his mouth, and spit it out, yelling for me to head to shore. I had always been told to stay with the canoe when you capsize, so I was trying to drag it with me. I had just bought it used for $750, and I sure didn’t want to lose a gem like that. The thing was, when I learned canoeing it was on the lakes and rivers of southern Ontario, not a river whose waters come from a hydro reservoir and are around 4C when they blast through those turbines.

I should have followed my friend’s advice, because the time I had wasted trying to save the canoe kept me in those frigid waters, bouncing off rocks and stiffening up my joints for a lot longer than I should have been in there. When I figured out that it was less than tropical and I was finding it hard to move, I let go of my precious watercraft and started kicking for higher ground. I looked back and saw Aaron make land, and was fighting to get to the shore before I went around the point. My body was giving up on me, and I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to get the chance to see my mom again, and tell her how much I had fucked up this time. I was too tired to even kick, and as I watched the point approaching fast I felt a hard rock smash my legs and my feet started touching ground.

With a renewed hope, I began to kick my way to shore, and made it, about twenty five feet before it would have been to late. I couldn’t make it up the bank because it was too steep and sandy, so I crawled on my hands and knees back upstream until I could get out of the freezing cold water. It wasn’t that I could feel anything but sleepy at that moment. My body was numb, and I could barely move. Everything I did was in slow motion, and I was just trying to find a spot I could rest. I had inhaled quite a bit of water and I started puking up my chicken balls and river water every time I tried to breathe.

I am going to leave off there, only because it’s time for bed, and I’m beat. I’m just going to let you know that you don’t have to worry. I live, and so does Aaron. Well, up until I wrote this we were alive. I can’t guarantee we’ll still be here tomorrow. Now kiss me goodnight and pass the sleepytime medicine.

Your dog just shit in my yard,

Birdman

P.S. You can find Part 3 right here

Oct 02

Contrary to what I’ve said, sometimes drinking is not cool

I thought that being a day of rest, I’d just tell a story about when I lived in Hudson’s Hope, BC (I suggest you Google that shit, if you don’t already know about it). I ended up there after I had become newly single, and really wanted nothing to do with women ever again. It’s a gorgeous little mountain town at the start of the Peace River, and home of the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon Dams. My friend Aaron lives in HH, and he and his wife are raising a beautiful family there. I had originally agreed to house and dog sit for them one spring when they went on vacation, because I couldn’t have dogs in the apartment and I was done work for the winter, so what the hell.

While I was there I ended up getting a job, making some great friends and almost getting my ass killed. I liked it a lot and I stayed until the snow flew, not that that means much when you’re in the mountains. When I got there in April I stayed with Aaron and Lannie for a bit, rented a trailer with a guy from work, lived in an old camper that I had bought for a grand and eventually moved in with a great couple that I rented a room from.  I mostly ate at Freddy’s Deli, On The Rim or Julie’s cafe, but I don’t think she has it anymore. It’s too bad, because she had superb home cooked soups, sandwiches and a great selection of unique drinks. The town is full of very talented people that make some really cool things. Jim Todd crafted some of the nicest longbows I’ve ever seen or drawn. The farmer’s market was full of home baking, fruits and veggies, honey, soap and crafts, all of which are made by local people. Truly worth jogging off the beaten path if you are traveling up the Alaska or Hart Highways.

Now onto a completely pointless drinking story… I believe it was around the first part of May that Aaron and I had eaten a meal of makeshift, homemade Chinese food, that we didn’t have the proper ingredients for. We then headed over to a buddy’s cabin for a visit with a bottle of vodka, a jug of Clamato and all the trimmings. It was your average visit, five guys sitting around drinking, smacking golf balls into the river, throwing sticks to the dog, eventually building a fire, and by around midnight we were riding the dirt bike with no headlight up and down the road. Don’t worry, it was safe, the headlights of oncoming cars gave us enough illumination to get over on the shoulder and out of harm’s way. My belly was starting to feel that I shouldn’t drink anymore, but I’m not one for wasting, so I finished my last caeser and climbed into the truck. I should mention that at this point in my life, I was not a huge drinker. This was the first time I’d been drunk in probably seven or eight years.

The reason for my not drinking much was a night out with Aaron several years earlier, after a good stint in camp. I either overindulged in the whiskey and tequila that night or someone slipped me some sort of pill that turned me into a complete asshole. Apparently I decided it was up to me to defend the slutty waitress’ honour, seeing as it was her night off and I think she was letting us do shots out of her tits. Good reason to walk around trying to fight the old perverts (like I was any different) that were grabbing her ass, right?  I guess I then got in a cab and not only puked all over the roof, but the interior as well.  I’m assuming he took me home because when the phone rang the next morning, I found it next to me on the bed, you know, right next to the pile of puke near the pillow.

I answered the phone, and it was my friend from work that had booked me a chiropractor appointment for that day. He wondered why I didn’t show up to my eleven o’clock session and was letting me know that they would see me if I went there now. I found my glasses in the aforementioned pile, rinsed them off, assessed the damage from when I obviously tore my shelving unit down and called a cab. I had to catch a plane later to go home for Christmas, so I needed to get my back fixed up now. Of course it was the same cabbie that took me home the night before, and he was quite surprised that I was still alive. He wasn’t too pissed off because I had given him a hundred bucks to clean up the cab and drive me home.

By the time we hit the third chiropractor office, we had found the right one. I went in, paid the receptionist and went to the washroom because I was feeling a little green. When I woke up, she was banging on the door to see if I was ok, I had no shirt on and there was a trail of bile leading from my head to the toilet. I don’t remember stripping down, but the tile floor was so nice and cool that I wished I had taken my pants off as well. I didn’t want to get up, but I knew they were waiting for me so they could close the shop up for the holidays. When the bone cracker saw me he wasn’t going to work on me because I guess I looked as bad as I felt, but after some persuasion, he fixed me up. A couple more dry-heaves and I started to walk home.

Ok, what the hell was I talking about before? Oh right, I was drinking caesers and I got dropped off at the house. I stepped onto the sidewalk, walked three steps and barfed a spray of red chicken balls out into the night as Aaron drove away, neither of us suspecting that what would happen the next day would change our outlook on life.

I hope you mofos like cliffhangers,

Birdman

Find Part 2 here.

Sep 30

The Summer of our Content (or, Shit’s About To Get Personal)

I want to take a moment to thank all of you for reading this blog, especially the people who actually subscribed to it. It’s a pretty big rush when people start messaging me to say they like my writing. It’s also very humbling to learn to do something while random people are critiquing as you learn, which is why I started posting on my Facebook. I figured if my work was going to be graded, it should be graded by people I know and trust. I know my friends wouldn’t get on there and say my writing is pure shit, but I also know that they aren’t going to keep reading if it is.

When I started the blog, I was looking for somewhere to write things down while I was waiting to get loaded or unloaded, and I was tired of Facebook. I got all excited when Google+ came out, and I could put up any stati (Our way of pluralizing status) that I needed to, but I had already started the blog and really liked writing actual stories. I now wish I had done some creative writing in school, but as most of you know, I wasn’t there much.

Anyhow, after my first post I noticed someone from the UK liked it, and I thought it was weird that people just happened upon it, so I started checking out the stats for the page. First day there were 4 views, and then usually over 30 until I posted it on Facebook the first time, 108 that day, and so far, it’s my biggest number. I realize that it was just everyone reading the previous posts, but I don’t care, because I’m an attention whore. That said, I realized that I couldn’t keep my real name up there, because some stories have a lot of truth to them, and while I don’t mind my friends knowing some things, I don’t need strangers being able to put a name or a face to the words.

I feel I’ve yammered on enough now, but I just wanted you all to know how good it makes me feel to know that people are liking this, and it gets me excited (not to the point of ejaculation, but very close) to see people sharing my stories on their pages, liking posts, and most of all, commenting. I thrive on the interaction, with everyone, and wish I had more time in the day to sit at the computer and write silly shit down, and properly respond to comments.

Now on with the story.

As I was feeling the chill today, I was reminded that summer is basically over. It’s been the best summer I can remember having because I am used to spending my summers working, or sitting by the phone, and waiting for work to call. That was one reason I left the patch, another would be that I was terribly homesick. I left here in 1999, and came back usually once or twice a year for a visit, but never got to spend more than a week or two, but last spring I had had enough. I began passing out when I would laugh, cough or sneeze too hard, so they started to do tests on me. I don’t know how many tests you’ve had done, but these were taking months to complete. Months of not working or having enough money to go drinking and other fun things that you do when you’re bored in the oilfield.

I then started getting depressed at having to sit in the apartment alone, no family around me, most of my friends 4000 kms away and I had an addiction to Evony. It is really a great game to kill time with, because you don’t have to pay to play it, there are a lot of cool people to chat with and it goes 24/7. I’ve made some great friends from that game, and I got to meet one in person this summer.

After I quit feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I was moving home. It was the worst feeling, going into the hospital constantly, not knowing if you had a tumour, an aneurysm or heart problems, and being totally alone. No one waiting for you to come out of the stress clinic with your chest all covered in wires and pads, and drive you home, because you don’t trust yourself not to start coughing on the road. Having to tell your family what was happening in a manner that wasn’t going to freak them out, even though you are completely scared inside because you wonder if you are going to not wake up the next time it happens.
It wasn’t as though I didn’t have any friends there, I did, but they had jobs and lives to live too, and not all of them lived in town. My one saving grace was my rekindled friendship with one of my oldest friends. Thanks to Facebook and MSN Messenger, I had a friend to talk to every day. It was that what kept me from a mental breakdown, and I don’t think I ever properly thanked her, so I’m doing it now. Thank you Ang. For being there when I needed a friend the most, and for giving me something to hang on to. I hope you know that I’ll always be here if you need me, and if you didn’t know it, you do know.

While I was clinging to my sanity, I was checking out Plenty of Fish, to see what the prospects were looking like back home. I came across a new profile of someone I had admired from afar for a few years, but had no idea she was single. I contacted her to see what was happening, and explained my situation. She was quite understanding about it, and I’m elated to say that we shall marry on the 9th of June next year. I have finally met my soulmate, and I am locking that shit down for good.

This brings me to my original story via the weirdest segue in the world… my amazing summer. Even though I was working an average of twelve hours a day, I feel like I packed more quality into this summer, than ever before. I had a reason to rush home after work now. There were people that were happy to see me, and I them. It seemed like we were doing something every weekend, and got to spend quite a bit of time at the cabin (one of my favourite places) as well. Then, in the middle of it all, we got to take a romantic, whirlwind tour of Canada’s east coast, which was the highlight for me. That was where I met my friend from Evony, (Shout out to Duke and his beautiful family) and I also got to meet a dear friend of my better half, and his better half.(Thanks you two, can’t wait til next summer). There were very few days where I could just lounge around, but it didn’t matter because I had a life again.

I played ball, picked fiddleheads, visited family and friends, and reconnected with the place I love most on earth… home. I’m finally home. Just the realization of that gets me all choked up. I don’t know why I was gone for so long, but I know it made me understand how important family and friends are, and it makes me truly appreciate what I have now. I know I haven’t got a lot of money or fancy things, but I wouldn’t trade my life for anybody else’s, and I know what’s out there.

I love you baby, and I love our life together. Every part of it. I also love puffballs and morels, but I didn’t get any this year, so I expect you to put your feelers out there for next year and find us the honey hole. Not that honey hole, you punch of perverts.

Sorry for the length of this whore,

Birdman

Sep 29

Copperfield’s

A friend wanted some Copperfield’s stories, so I shall regale you with the story of my nineteenth birthday, but first I’ll let the uninformed know about the phenomenon that was Copperfield’s.

Every small town has a version of Copperfield’s. You know the place…good food, ten-cent-wing night and lots of booze.  It transformed from a family restaurant into a dance club from Thursday to Saturday. There was hot, charismatic waitresses and bartenders, big, huggable bouncers (well, I’m sure someone hugged them) and a great DJ that put the cock in cocky (and anything else with two tits and a heartbeat). It was a very comfortable place to drink for an entire generation, and my second home for a few years.

Let’s do a little history now. When I was sixteen or seventeen, I worked as a busboy and bar porter there, and it facilitated my foray into manhood. I partied with the rest of the staff every night after work, and I felt like part of a greater thing. I thought that putting on that Copperfields uniform meant that I was part of the elite team. People didn’t mess with you if you had that shirt on, because everyone had each others back. Nobody messed with the waitresses, without getting their head bounced off the center post of the front door as they were being “escorted” out, or getting surreptitiously punched by a busboy as the doorman was carrying them across the floor. You just felt safe there (or at least I did), but alas, everyone has to move on sometime.

Fast forward a couple years to my nineteenth birthday. I had a double shot of Jack Daniels and a couple of beer for lunch, followed by half a dozen rye and gingers for dessert. I then headed for Copperfield’s for supper and some libations. Because it was my birthday, and the fact that I knew the staff, I was treated to several happy birthday shooters, but I didn’t puke until Ferg gave me the “Formula One”(Thanks pal, but I still say it was Scope).

So there I was, happily shit faced, and sitting with a friend, when I decided I might need to see a man about a horse. As I swerved my way to the washroom, a small guy, about my size, said: “How’s it going there, Goggles?”

I was taken aback.  Being one who was never into taking shit from anybody, I replied: “That’s really cool to make fun of drunk people that have obvious physical impairments. I guess when you don’t have the mental capacity to be a decent human being, these things make you feel good”.

While he was trying to comprehend the insult I had directed his way, I turned around and set my glasses on the table and remarked: “The goggles are off now, asshole.”  That was when his rather large-necked, tough-looking friend stepped in and explained how I was going to have to fight him first to get to his much smaller friend.  Right about then, one of my bouncer buddies came and picked me up, reminding me that I was five and a half feet tall, and as much as I claimed invincibility, that I was in fact mortal.  That didn’t stop me from telling Big Neck, that he was lucky the bouncer had me, which seemed like the proper thing to say at the time.

Actually, it was the exact opposite of the right thing to say at the time.  Big Neck ran up and started smashing me about the head and neck with his club-like fists. Luckily for me, my friend could walk fast and Big Neck seemed unable to walk and punch at the same time, so the blows weren’t as hard as I thought it would be. I cheered joyously when the other doormen threw him out, and came back to give me a stern talking to, while explaining that he was waiting outside, and I had best go sit down and wait for my ride.

The next morning I woke up in the back of my buddy’s pickup.  Seems I slept through the rest of my time at the bar, the after party and the ride home.  I’m still indebted to my friends for preventing my early demise, and most of all to Joey, for making sure I made it home safe, and not letting any hot chicks rape me while I was too drunk to remember it.

Make sure you practice your long division,

Birdman

Sep 16

Wing Night Is Not For The Weak Of Heart, Or Stomach

I think my body tried to explain something to me last night, as I was cramming the second pound of wings along with the second pint into my maw.

I, of course, paid it no heed. I mean what the hell does it know? I’m the brains of this here operation, and I’m not taking orders from some bloated, dough-like bag of guts that thinks one pound is enough. I’m a man, and no one is going to tell me what to do. Right? Who’s with me fellas?

Just to show it who’s wearing the pants, I figured I’d DQ something different, and tried to stuff a chocolate dipped cone in for dessert, which is probably what started the fight. Needless to say, I overdosed on Zantac and was apologizing profusely to my rotund, but extremely wise body in between meat dreams.

I’m sure this weekend will result in me getting some pictures on this here internet thingy. Any requests? I’m not too frightened of copyright infringement, so pick something good. Like really, what can they possibly do to me?1)famous last words

It’s also my stepdad day with the girls tomorrow. I’m giving them the choice of either the movies, the fall fair or Chapters. I hope they pick the fair, but I’m sure they will go for the fucking bookstore. Why did I have to fall in love with a girl that has smart kids that want to read and shit? I guess it’ll pay off in the end, but I’m really looking forward to some taffy and making fun of the dirty carnies. Oh how I hate the carnies, with their brown teeth, mullets and carefree, gypsy lifestyle.

Make sure you whip your hair,

Birdman

P.S. Did you notice I put a picture up?

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. famous last words