Friday, January 11, 2008

A horse with my name

"Aaah Prokopchuk! Overlooking the farm, he has (as had the others) a bad respiratory infection, he is spelling at the minute to let his airways recover fully and not be under any pressure....he is knee high in beautiful oats and pasture (from the good rain we have had last month)...He is King of the farm..and enjoying his leisure time and recuperation."
This was written some time ago by Sienna (Pam), from Australia.
The horse named after me has since been sold...No further news.
I hope my namesake did well in any upcoming harness races.
(Actually, I was quite thrilled to have a horse named after me.
All my friends in Toronto, some of whom had streets named after them, were visibly envious).
I wrote into my pen pal, Antonia Zerbisias at the Toronto Star.
She wrote back saying it was a great honour. And it was.
But it seems that like my four-footed namesake--how can the announcer ever pronounce the name right?--I am prone to respiratory infections, likely self-caused by a life style and diet that would shrivel a self-respecting starfish. Heh. Crown of Thorns starfish.
When I am ill, I abandon all positive thinking.
Positive thinking will kill you dead.
Gotta work on the stuff itself, as old Francis Bacon said.
So I am applying negative thinking, having cured myself of positive thinking, which is a salesman's self-con anyway.
I shall soon be dead.
This knowledge will make me fight all the harder. :)


Middle Ditch said...

Fight on my man.

Actually, my father has a street named after him.

He was honoured with that as a retirement present.

ivan said...

Thanks, Monique.

I do like your header on your blog, viz,

About Me
My name is Monique. I am the creator and main writer of Middle Ditch. The series is recorded at regular intervals. I will put a new episode online about the beginning of each month. The cast consists of David Caddy, Jeremy Drake, Helen Hardy, Paul Hart, Gordon Haskell, Brian Hinton MBE, Dawn Napleton, Diana O'Rourke, Keith Walton and myself.

Darn ambitious project and congrats on having it aired on a French radio station.
..I presume it is still in English.

Oh we Canadians and our squables.
But if we didn't have family feuds with the French, then we would become Americans, which would be a good or a bad thing. Lol.

TomCat said...

Hang in there, Ivan. feel better.

On the horse, I'm glad they named the whole thing after you and not just the south end. (or is it the north end down under?) :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember Steven King saying that if you imagine the most negative things that can happen to you, then they won't happen.

ivan said...

Well, I'll be a horse's ass!

This is a not an entirely new concept.
People in the past have described me somewhat anatomically. :)

ivan said...

That's kind a a sharp observation.

I have visions of Norman Vincent Peal or Dale Carnegie getting so miffed at me that they might want to punch me in the mouth.

I did at one point think of writing a self-help book:
"How to cure yourself of positive thinking." LOL.

There is another writer who shares
Stephen King's insight. Ron Persig out of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Persig says, "imagine the very worst that can happen in this situation...Now don't spare humiliation or pain of this posssible outcome.
"See, poof, the dragon is gone."

Anonymous said...

Content preview:
Ivan, I live. I know we have much to discuss - but I do live,
and have managed to stay in Mi (that may be bad). Are your actually still
alive in Canada? Be informed. Know your options. [...]

ivan said...

A Proto-Quark.

An earlier contributor to this blog who seemed to go AWOL in Michigan a year ago.
I hope all is well with you.

What do you mean, Jelly Bean? :)

Josie said...

Ivan, you still have quite a few more races left in you. You have been feeling poorly lately, but wait until spring, you will be kicking up your heels again, just wait.

Sienna said...

You know we gelded him?

Very gently, while he was asleep...:)

How are you sleeping lately mate?

We have his 2 x brothers and they are doing brilliantly too, the *Prokopchuk legacy perpetuated*...

Ivan you are simply immortal now in equine land.


ivan@! said...

The doctor's ampjicillin seemed to work just fine.
Very mild out tonight; snow gone.
I took a six-mile walk this evening.

Probably overdid it, but Tabernac, do I feel good!

ivan said...

Small wonder I had bad sleeps following a preview of the Belgian art movie "Flanders", last year at TIFF, where a soldier had his balls cut off in revenge for a rape.
Like really. Nighmares.

Must have been an empathic reaction to my namesake's gelding., you wouldn't want to neuter a tom cat, would you? :)

Glad hear the "Prokopchuk" line is going strong.

ivan said...

P.s. to Sienna (Pam):

I was out having a look at the comet Hale Bop some years ago following a news story on cults I was doing for the Town Crier Newspaper in Newmarket.

Hey, those males in the Hale Bop cult had some really spiffy track suits and really neat running shoes! :)

Lana Gramlich said...

I used to hold a very negative view in general, as well. The way I saw it, if something bad happened, it was to be expected. If something good happened, it was gravy. That outlook kept me sane during the worst points of my life. I think living in Toronto might have been one of those, too...

ivan said...

Some days I consider the sport of white water rafting, and finally, say, no.

I mean, if I wanted the sh*t scared out of me, I'd live right next to the enterainment disctrict , King Street West, Toronto.

Donnetta Lee said...

If I expect the worse and get the best, then I am pleasantly surprised. If I expect the worse and get the worst, well, it's what I expected after all. No big surprise.

Never had nuttin' named after me. But I was named after 2 grandmothers. Does that count for anything??


ea monroe said...

Hey, I have two grandmas and some greats with my name, too! After growing up with me though, I seriously doubt my brothers and sister would name any of their kids after me!

Strap on the harness, Ivan, and get out there! ~Liz

PS -- my motto -- always expect the unexpected. Shoot, it gets me every time!!

the walking man said...

Fuck it Ivan someday everyone is going to go. why spend time thinking about it as it will happen either by bus or booze or cigarettes or by some asshole telling you to fuck it why worry or even think about it. too bad you got your balls cut off you old nag you.



ivan said...

Hi Donnetta,

On positive/negative thinking:

I think all business people, especially entreprenours,have to apply positive thinking. Business is certainly no place for negativists or fatalists...That's more sort of Russian. Heh.
If you're not a positive thinker in business, which is really war, then you will lose.
But in actual life,in existential life, it seems that some sort of quantum principle seems to operate. Your rent/mortgage always gets paid somehow, no matter how black it seems on about the 29th.
There also seems to be alwas enough to eat, no matter how extended the crocery budget.
Synchronicity, I suppose.

...But then I've been out of cigarettes for a long time...Lol.

ivan said...


Truly a noble name, variously translated as Beth, Liza, Lizzy, Elspeth, and even Buffy.

Me, I'm going to get into harness.
Be a super journalist. Join the CBC, that is to say, Canadian Broadcasting Castration...Whoops, I mean Corporation. Lol.

ivan said...


I think I lost one ball to the Toronto Telegram (a newspaper which sank like a cueball in about l972) and another to the Toronto Star.

Jeez. I think I am growing another set!

Shesawriter said...

A horse, Ivan? Wow.

Oh, and you are not allowed to be negative. Chin up! Comprende?

ivan said...

Going for Dressage Champion, Tanya.
Gonna get my ribbons.

Heh Heh.
Coming out of the paddock. :)

eric1313 said...

That horse has many a leg left to run.

Four, most likely.

You will pull through, and many more novels will see the light. Keep the faith, negative or otherwise. If being an evil sob will keep that ticker doing it's job, then by good, do that.

Take it easy, OK? And write. The end can't come in mid novel.

slash said...

Ivan ,

Historically , and traditionally ,

Cossacks have always been ,

expendable .

On the bright side ,

We lead a charmed life .

ivan said...


I am astounded by your almost cabalistic insight here.
"If being an evil sob will keep that ticker doing it's job, then by good, do that."

I do believe that in a particular tradition, you can be either an angel or an S.O.B; Two ways to go, as for a Christian, there is only one.
I am starting to believe that I have lived this long because I am not good. :)

ivan said...


Familiar word order here. You, Professor, would say "syntax".

Did I meet you during my foray into Ukrainian publications,or was it through Antonia Zerbisias' Star-Scuttled blog?

I do recognize your style, but I can't quite put a name on it.

But thanks for the comment anyway.

Yes, Cossacks are expendable, subject to manipulation by Russian Tsars and half-Polish Quislings.

But were over here now, and there is another reality, other songs than martial, though, I think, still rather martial.

Alice in Chains:

"Yeah, they come to snuff the Rooster
"But he ain't gonna die."

Too melodramatic?



EA "Wiba" Monroe said...

Ivan, every time I meet someone named Elizabeth, I always ask them what they were called when they were kids.

I met one "Elizabeth" who was called "Beefy." So, in goes "Beefy" into one of my wips.

You know, I've been called everything -- Lizard's Breath, Wiba, Issy and Bah! My mom gave us names so we wouldn't be given nicknames! Hah.


ivan said...

Hi Wiba,

I forgot "Betty" and "Ellie" and a whole bunch of others.
The "Queen Mum", our current queen's mother was called Buffy by her friends, and she had a fondness for hats, the same as Josie's grandma.

er, was it your little brother who called you Bah, or was it Wiba as well? I did read one version of your WIP, was charmed by it, but I forget who called you Bah.

TomCat said...

Ivan, if people describe you anatomically I hope that doesn't mean your email is full of "do you want a ..." ads. :-)

ivan said...

Old Mesopotamian cat told me to restrict myself to mild answers.

Shesawriter said...

Good luck with that, Ivan. LOL!

ea monroe said...

Hey hey, Ivan. It was Uncle Jerry who called me Bah and baby brother who dubbed me Wiba -- to my utter embarrassment! ~Liz

ivan said...

Was it Uncle Jerry you girls thought was uh, odd?

ivan said...


I was complaining to a girl I was dating about my last girlfriend, about what a bitch she was and the date said, "Have you thought about turning gay?"
Out of the blue! Lol.

Monique said...

Hi Ivan, Yes Middle Ditch is aired in English, on world radio Paris on their monthly programme Cozy Fun Paris.

I have begun to write one of my other scripts on this blog as nobody ever wanted it and after nearly ten years of trying I have almost given up.

How are you?

ivan said...


It's even worse when you try for ten years, put something up in blog and find somebody on CBC or somewhere has put up the same-self story and claimed it as his own.

...Or is this paranoia on my part?
I'll have more to say about this in my next blog.

slash said...

Ivan, we have never met.
Unless it was as brothers,
on the battlefield,
in another life.

The form, centers the mind.
The mind invokes the spirit.

(A paraphrased Klingon expression).

Na Zdorovlia ! And Ka'pla !

Who do you think the Klingons were (in part) inspired by, if not us Cossacks ?

(h/t, to the Samurai, native American Indians, and the Mongols.).

ivan said...


This leaves me Gogol-eyed.

Remember the movie scene out of Taras Bulba, where a cossack carried a horse around on his back?

slash said...

Ivan, you are more fun than a Baran
(Moose), in a swamp-full of floating perogies...

Don't waste a've earned it.

ivan said...

Trapped between Gogol and Google.

slash said...

If I pop a cork ,

it may ring a bell .

Champagne rain ,

Falls on Cossacks , from Hell .

ivan said...

Going through a Marshall McLuhan
"numb" moment.
It will come to me.

"Champagne rain" is certainly not out of "My Fair Lady".

More like Natalka Poltavka(famed steppe-dancer from that maker of hamburgers, Kolliarevsky) The hamburge-eating opera writer
of the plain.

er, are you trying to sell me some Ukrainian goof?

slash said...

No, I'm telling you the troof.

I posted comments under the name:
'Champagne Rain' around two months ago...

(You inquired about my style.).

Down and Dirty.

Poetry, is a skill ,

and like any other ,

it requires constant practise ,

in order to sustain .

A level of excellence .

Besides, I didn't call this blog/site 'Creative Writing',
you did...

Thank you, for everything, and keep your face in the wind .

Na Zdorovlia !

ivan said...

No wonder the "numb" moment.

"Champagne rain" was sticking in my craw there somewhere.

Have a good night.