Monday, November 10, 2008

Would you take a used blog from this man? Looks like somebody in Richard Nixon land did.

Some lady named Modesta just put in a comment to an old blog of mine,titled
Donning Gay Apparel and Riding Bike in Fake Spring.
She says "People should read this."

Well, I'm in a funk today." Helpless, can't write" department.
I ping back to her blog and among other ads there, I see,

Horse Insurance
Free SEO firendly directory with direct links. Submit your site for free.

Ah well. Lady's out to drum up business.

But hell, as any number of women know, I'm vain as the guy in the Carly Simon song. I somehow feel that the insurance company is about me. Heh. From the sublime to the ridiculous. I mean, get real. An old girlfriend used to say, "You are so boring when you talk about yourself." Vain even then, I would say, "but I do bore you!"

There used to be something called Vanity Press. I would have come. A natural for tub-thumping.

But then the Quarks, fellow travellers along this blog, have spoiled me rotten.

Pam, from Australia, had named a horse after me. Hope that race horse is doing all right, he's been sold and I hope he's winning all the harness races. I think of him with fondness. I worry about his health. The above ad for horse insurance has caught my eye.
So I guess Modesta, from Califonia, the insurane lady, gets a free plug. But the horse named after me is from Australia! California is right across the ocean. Ah well. Think global, they used to say untill all the money in America went to Iraq and now everybody on the globe is suddenly broke.

Ah well. It's been sunny and warm here in Newmarket ON for the past few days. Indeed, it might as well be spring.
So I'll reproduce the essay I had written on another day like this, which goes,

It might as well be spring.

The trees are bright and silver, the way they are in spring.

The Christmas just past may has well have been Oklahoma. Flowers were faked out, there among the hemlocks, the pines along the Holland River where I bike a lot.

Today, I am biking with a group led by a man called Fish. He is seventy and can pass for fifty, younger even.
Though his face is parchment, his fine legs are ageless, almost gay in his tight shorts as he easily rounds the corner of the bikepath and turns his helpeted head to urge the rest of us on.

Wle are an eclectic crew. Frigginbunchaneurotics.

The effort of biking has freed us from pedalling against another load, a pushcart fulll of pain that many of us had been pedalling against, often backpedalling against the awful weight of it all. Everybody in the group is ushing or carrying something.

Baggage from another marriage, the great sprawling novel that hardly any publisher wanted to take, the smoky air of distant barrooms, the white line on the asphalt bikepath reminding you of other lines you had done, and somehow recovered from.

There is the real hop of a steamer on the horizon--that we shall be rescued from this Raft of the Medusa by a jovial, somehow Germanic sea captain. Santa Claus from the season just gone by?

One must be chary of such a notion.

Recovery is miraculous and dramatic. It may come this spring, or it may not. The local Indians will tell you that it is all on the whim of the Creator.

In the meantime, the Indians will tell you to stay away from waterfalls, great confluences of water. And large lakes, like Simcoe, for there is an agepogee in each one, each with its own monster.

We ride side-by-side, some of us. Then uncouple to ride along somebody else. We talk of family, hopes achievements, cycling achievments, dreams.

What has brought us to this bikepath, along a river, along these aspens, along these larches known in Canada as tamaracks. Tamaracks seem to the greenhorn like so many reddened, discarded Christmas trees, but they are not, for these conifers will regain their needles and will again be bright and bushy.
Hopefully like us.
I am talking to a lady lready in capri pants and white sneakers.

Like me on this almost-springtime January, she is a little whimsical, vulerable and kind of shy. But she is in there pedalling for all she's worth, like an out-of-wedlock teenager pushing a baby carriage. Maybe she does push a baby carriage.
God and good people. The people are still good, but this is a dark age and the liberal sentiment proclaims one thing and then practises its opposite. Randy ministers and gay Conservatives.
They have stolen the welfare money. First sign of the Mob getting into government.
They have probably taken my riding partner's welfare money. Lazy woman? No.. Decided to work at McDonald's and they have taken away all her benefits. She barely gets eight dollars an hour now and daycare is hard to get.
She gulps air and keeps her beautifully eyebrowed visage straight ahead.

I move to another party.

And entire family, father in tights and shorts. Helmeted mother in ski pants and yellow top. Little ginger-haired daugher in shorts and sandals, doughtily holding up the rear.

We are all pedalling, moving, moving, past the trees, past the bird, pst the pair of discareded horses of green clay and other small bits of rubbish aling the Holland River. We seem, in all this dormant vegetation, to be already moving toward spring.

Ahead of us is the ringing of Fish's bell. He has seen something on the path. He rings again.
There is a huge snapping turtle on the path. Not impressed by us. Moving in that robot-like slowness. But just stick your toe out!
All turtles were once birds.
Like us.
It is going to take a very long time to fly.



the walking man said...

As Ivan is pulling the sulky around the track does the insurance cover the welts left over from a jockey overcompensating his own shortcomings with a heavy whip hand?

And why pedal? Draft off of your neighbors efforts, especially uphill. said...

Yeah. Drafting.

And a horse named Prokopchuk.

Oh whinney!


Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes shedding a little weight lets you pull the cart a bit faster. But in the end you're still a cart horse. We all are. said...

Yes, Charles,

Even if we consider ourselves noble Hohuynums, like the horses out of Gulliver's Travels.

I guess we might be hohynyms with some Yahoo tendencis. :)

Jo said...

Do you still ride your bike, Ivan? I have seen pictures of you with your sexy pink shorts, and your legs ain't so bad either. :-) said...


ea monroe said...

Dang. Josie, beat me to the hot pink shorts bit! ~Liz

ea monroe said...

Ivan, I enjoyed this post when you did it before -- in particular your comments about the tamaracks -- reminds me of OK's Black Jack Oaks.

A comment I've run across: Blackjack Oaks -- scraggly, struggling, looking like they are so battle worn from just trying to survive the elements. Their endurance harkens back to the endurance of the settlers of this part of the country: I suppose that, in some ways, they fought the plains just as our forebears did.

Washington Irving described OK's Black Jack Oak forests as "Cast Iron Forests."

Supposedly, one of the spots where Irving camped out during his 1932 tour through OK could possible be right in our back yard. (I have a copy of his Tour of the Plains.)

So, I enjoyed your comparisons of the tamarack and the folks on your bike tour. ~Liz said...


Hi Quarkette.

Thanks for the comment.

I am like Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle today on a full moon.

Seems like I have at least one thing in common with that great genius.

washes himself up nice, and with everything clean on him and around him . . . his ideas flow properly – but when he is dirty, the power of association dries up every literary pore . . .

Ah well. The renovators have finally finished my shower. said...


Up here in central Ontario we seem to have little columnar oaks, sort of English.
Land is hilly with drumlns and moraines. I guess these little oaks have to fight the elements too. Branches close to the trunk, sort of like Christmas trees, but deciduous.

They are quite small, but I don't quite loom over them when I'm outwalking in my shorts. :)

Sienna said...

...and even on your funk days, you still write the pants off the Scottish.

Always inspiring and helping other writers, if Prokopchuk the horse, turns in half the effort he will have great heart.

We were told how disappointed Prokopchuk's new owners are that we gelded him, he is so handsome, they want(ed) to breed from him..

We had no choice, to keep him here for the few years we did, he had to share his paddocks with the girls and not get up to any funny business.

Ivan, you could write about the alphabet and it would be good copy. It's that good. Did you write a lot as a little kid?

Pam said...

Hi Pam.

You've got a lovely blog up. Fantastic photos.

Prokopchuk gelded.
Well, it's been suggested here by some irate "alumni".

Sienna said...

...and I'll bet he wished his livelihood depended upon the pen and not his ability to run..
He will be fine, possibly run even quicker now his mind is on one thing.

Pam said...


That is somehow prescient.

I have been over to Lynn Scanlon's blog. Talks about jet lag. Whoosh!


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

I could wrong dear Ivan, but it doesn't seem as though you are in a writers block or anything. I rather liked this piece. I could see all the players in it and it moved forward and spread out from there. It was cute and nice actually. You shared something or at least it felt as ave read b you shared something more personal than what I read before.I like that.

How are you lovely man?

soft love,

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

forgive the babble.... said...

just been away for a bit. Babble on.
I seem in Babylon or somwhere on this full moon.

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