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May I Have The Envelope Please....

Excellence can be obtained if you:
...care more than others think is wise;
...risk more than others think is safe;
...dream more than others think is practical;
...expect more than others think is possible.
” - anon

"Good, better, best,
Never let it rest,
Until your good is better
And your better best.
" - anon

"My friend, beware of 'good enough'
It isn't made of sterling stuff,
It's something anyone can do,
It sorts the many from the few.
" - anon

(NOTE: All three of these quotes are from the back cover of scribblers that we used to be provided with by the school in Grades 7 and 8. We had to learn at least 500 lines of memory work throughout the year, and these poems were among the ones I remember...yup, we were brainwashed even back then!!)


Just before I get started today, two 'announcements':

A) in case you hadn't noticed, I wanted to let you know that I made two....count 'em...two posts yesterday!)
B) In light of the recent kafuffle, and taking the lead from one of our fearless own [that angry guy], I've started another blog called 'Politically Incorrect'. I'll use it to post political views, and keep them out of here from now on. That way, you only read them if you wanna! I'll make a link here whenever I've put up a post there.)


So I got to thinking the other day, what if we had Oscar Awards for our real lives instead of for someone else's fantasy world? So, without further ado, here are the first ever nominations for my Personal Lifetime Achievement and Preference Awards.

Best smell:
1) baking bread
2) cinammon
3) wet mittens hanging beside furnace to dry out
4) my Grandpa's pipe
5) campfire

Best near-death experience:
1) allergy to a germ that caused internal swelling and blocked my breathing. Dad woke up at 4AM sensing something was wrong, (I slept at the other end of the house) and rushed me to the hospital. I was unconscious, running a fever and completely soaked in sweat when he found me, and was completely ok by the time we got to the hospital.
2) Driving totally (and I mean TOTALLY) sloshed through the narrow streets of Old Montreal on the way from a restaurant to the downtown hotel where some Americans from New York who we had met at dinner were staying. They asked us back to share a bottle of fine champagne with them (just what I needed!)
3) Skydiving (three times!) without any instructions or training at all. (Actually it wasn't near-death, but it COULD have been!)
4) Playing Houdini in the bathroom when I was about 12 or 13, and, lying on my stomach, I had tied a rope around one ankle, brought it up around my neck, pulled both feet as close to my head as possible, slipped a loop in the other end over my other foot and let go. Apparently I was screaming a lot before I passed out. Fortunately the door wasn't locked.
5) A single-car rollover accident where the car rolled 2 and a half times and ended upside down in a small slough in the ditch with the motor still running. (Cracked ribs, sliced open elbow and one helluva headache for a couple days!). I had just bought the car a few months earlier.

Best "Best Friend":
1) Bruce M.
2) Sandra W.
3) Randi C.
4) Terry P.
5) Keith H.

Best 15 Minutes of Fame:
1) Leader of "Most active and Community-Minded" Scout troop in city for three years running.
2) Presentation at an international conference in Chicago of over 1000 delegates, on topics related to student success in colleges and universities. Voted the best and most relevant session of the conference. Standing room only!
3) Represented my city in provincial public speaking competition. Came in second because the judge said I "over-enunciated". WTF is public speaking all about?!!!
4) IBM Assembler "debugger of last resort" to approx. 120 students a year for about 10 years that we taught the language.
5) Gave CPR to a stranger in parking lot at work when he collapsed from a heart attack and stopped breathing. He recovered just as the ambulance was arriving. Actually, now I think about it, a couple years ago when I was in the hospital after a manic attack, I saw one of the other patients swallow an overdose of her medication that she had been saving up for awhile, then slipped me a note saying she had overdosed, and asked me not to tell. They got her stomach pumped in time, and later in the day when security was escorting her to the secure ward for 24-hour suicide watch, she broke away from them and came over and gave me a big hug. The patients weren't supposed to touch each other...bwaaaaahhh!!!

Best adrenaline moment or experience.:
1) Whitewater rafting including a level 4 rapids (5 is as high as it gets)
2) 4-wheel quadding along logging roads, cut lines and established trails in the Rockies.
3) Skiing almost out-of-control down an intermediate run at night to win a bet with some friends that I could beat a mutual friend who was also an instructor. I won, but in fairness, he had slowed a bit, turned around to see how far behind I was just as I went booting past him, and he couldn't get back enough speed in time to catch up.
4) When I was re-wiring an electrical outlet in my uncle's barn (full of hay) when I was 12 years old, and a spark from the live wires dropped into the hay in front of me. I put it out, and never told my uncle. Sorry, Uncle Bob!
5) The year I was flying home for Christmas, and the pilot circled 3 times and tried to land but we were being blown off the runway approach each time in a blinding, bumpy snowstorm. He told us he'd try one more time before we'd have to fly on to another city, and he put it down almost vertically. I still have the fingernail marks in my hand where the woman sitting beside me dug in!

Best Peaceful moment.:
1) While leading a group of 15-17 year olds on a bicycle trip through the Rockies from Edmonton to Vancouver. On a stinking hot day, we had just climbed Roger's Pass (4534 foot elevation), and completely wiped, we collapsed by the side of the road overlooking a valley, watching the mountain sheep, each of us totally spaced in our own world. Then, softly, John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" started playing. Against my instructions, one of the kids had brought a tape player. How could I get mad? It was a perfect moment.
2) Canoeing in the wilderness of Algonquin Park in central Ontario a few times each year with friends from work. The world was completely ours.
3) Sitting with my dog and reading a book beside the waterfalls that were out at the back of the property we had when I was growing up.
4) First time I smoked MJ, sitting beside a remote lake in the Rockies with a friend. The world was completely ours.
5) This one was only after the fact, but saying goodbye to both my Mom and Dad when they passed away. Sad, of course, but a necessary part of me. Includes holding Dad's hand in the hospital as he took his last breath.

Best Location for the island that I'm banished to with my favorite record, movie, book, whatever....:
1) Easter Island
2) Fiji Islands
3) Bahamas
4) Mallorca
5) Outer Hebrides

Best gift I've ever received:
1) A carved wooden elephant from my parents for my 21st birthday
2) A commisioned painting as a thank you gift for a presentation I made for the combined colleges of British Columbia
3) A handshake and a thanks from a homeless fellow who I took for a meal in a fast food restaurant one day.
4) A sculpture done by a friend of mine as a Christmas gift.
5) Friendship.

Best concerts I've been to:
1) Simon & Garfunkel
2) John Denver
3) Harry Belafonte
4) James Brown
5) The Stones

Best party I've ever been to:
1) New Year's 1970. I'll forever be remembered for the balloon dance I did to make my "large-bosomed" date feel more comfortable with everyone (and the snake dance I did the next morning as I was helping to clean up, and slithered up the stairs because I couldn't quite keep my balance!)
2) My 21st birthday, when my friends came over to my apartment (I was the only one with my "own place" at the time, so it was the meeting place) and introduced me to the pleasures of alcohol. They mixed my drinks since it was my first time. They mixed vodka with rum with Galiano with.... I managed to get it all in the porcelin bowl without spilling a drop!
3) A wine and crackers party my roommate and I threw once on a tight budget, so we bought a bottle of Alcool (I forget, but I think it was 60 proof or something like that) and two gallon jugs of Baby Duck wine. We lined up old wine bottles on the kitchen counter and started filling from one end of the line to the other. The first bottle was mostly wine with a bit of alcool, the next one a little less wine, and so on. See, the plan was everyone would get drunk on the alcool so we didn't need as much. Problem was, everyone started drinking from the wrong end. I was stepping over bodies on the floor the next morning as I was getting breakfast ready. There was a lot of wine left over.
4) A year-ender at the college when the kids had a "bush party" in a field out of town, with a camping area, a live band on a stage they built, and something I wasn't familiar with called yukaflux. You soak pieces of cut-up fruit in straight vodka, and then you eat the fruit. It happened to fall on my birthday BTW, which was nice. We got there late and all the fruit was gone, and only the beer kegs were still flowing. I don't like beer, but there was still a lot of fruit juice left over from the yukaflux, so I proceeded to drain the bowl (I didn't know it was straight vodka!). Apparently, later on, I was asking one of the more attractive young lasses for a birthday kiss, and when she obliged with a peck on the cheek, I said, (I'm told!!) "What the hell is that?!! I want TONGUE!". Apparently also, my best friend kept coming over to where I was lying under a tree and kept shoving my head over to a new spot with his foot so I wouldn't be lying in my own upchuck.
5) A retirement party for my landlord, and there was a magician there as entertainment going around to the tables. I followed him around like a puppy, and that's when I got really interested in magic. I still have the book "Royal Road to Card Magic" that he gave me.

Well, there you have it!

Feel free to do your own, add more categories, tag anyone with it if you want, comment on any of my options.....whatever!!!!


This is a wonderful list! I loved that you told the pyt (pretty young thing) you wanted TONGUE! You never know unless you ask...lol.

You've led a very interesting life! (At least from my own boring, quiet-person point of view.) But I have to wonder -- HOW are you still alive?? Some of those near-death experiences sounded pretty scary! (Not to mention a couple of those parties! :))

I love this idea -- I might have to steal it for my own blog. :)

JJ: To this day, I'm not sure that really happened...I think they were playing with my mind a bit, except that the next time I saw her, her face turnd a bright crimson red instantly. Hmmm.....

Lisa: Those parties were days long gone(early 1970's mostly), when I was young, foolish, easily influenced and away from home for the first time! I can't remember the last time I've had a drink (except wine occasionally with a meal). Sounds defensive, doesn't it?!

This is a damn cool post! I love it and might just be stealing it soon! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for sharing a fun post - I'll be plagarizing it soon ;) Enjoyed reading the entries on your blog...Best wishes with all your future adventures.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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