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Achtung baby…

May 27, 2010

I could feel a wallop of rude and ornery coming up my throat and fighting to get out of my mouth…

But I had promised Mama seven times when we drove to school that I would be polite…

“Yes, ma’am,” I finally said through my teeth,

because they were keeping the rudeness in my mouth…

Then I made a schedule for the rest of the day with the only piece of information I knew for sure:

what the clock would look like when it was time to go home…

— in Ida B by Katherine Hannigan

The last time I spoke with my mother in a big boundary setting conversation,

one of the bargaining chips she put on the table was this,

Your daughters need contact with the maternal side of their family…

I said,

They already have it…

Through me…

Some time after that I was on the phone,

long distance,

with my aunt,

and she said,

What are you doing to keep your children connected to their German heritage???

I found this interesting given that her only child had long since moved,

across the Atlantic to South Carolina,

speaks with a drawl,

and is about as German as Hawaiian Punch…

My cousin often said to me as we were growing up,

she in a small German town,

and me in Canadian suburb,

You’re more German than I’ll ever be…


and few other things,

makes me wonder about cultural transmission,

and what it means to be German…

My mother’s side has a doctoral degree in entitlement,


and guilt…

That isn’t the kind of special sauce I want my children marinating in…

The last time I went to Germany was in a rush,

because my Oma was dying…

She bounced back to life,

and complained in typical fashion about how the cooks at her altersheim,

didn’t make spaetzle,

with real butter…

So I took matters into my own hands,

rode my bike over,

through fields of sunflowers,

from my aunt’s apartment,

and whipped some up for her…

I hadn’t made it before,

it was better than my mother’s,

and I wasn’t following a recipe…

How was it that I could get her drooling,

when those born and raised on German soil were foiling her taste buds???

And where exactly is knowledge???

Today I was throwing pots on the wheel when a couple walked into the studio,

and asked it they could film me,

while I was doing something that I love…

We talked a little bit of English,

and a little bit of German,

to bridge a difference in communication…

On Saturday they return to Frankfurt after a das ist wunderbar time in Wancouver…

While I was packing up some of my stoneware,

in newsprint,

I read something in the Vancouver Sun which made my blood boil…

Words about the Canucks owing their fans bigtime,

because 96% of the seats in GM Place are sold out,

each season…

How about this for a new marketing strategy???

If you don’t love the Canucks,

stay home,

and give up your seasons tickets to someone who does…

Getting seasons tickets for the Canucks should be made as difficult,

as buying a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy,

from a reputable breeder…

Fans should be made to prove their love,

with references,

home visits,

and a statement of philosophy…

In my new NHL,

throwing beer at athletes on the ice,

or any other tantrum-like behaviour,

would warrant an immediate suspension,

in season ticket holding,

as agreed to in the contract to be a loving fan…

If Flyer’s fans have the guts to bleed orange and black,

then Vancouver hockey fans should have the heart to bleed,

true blue…

New technologies could be dispatched for detecting conditional love,

at the gates…

If you’re caught packing,

you don’t make it in through door number one,


or three…

And the ticket goes to the happy lady,

with kaleidescope eyes…

A few years ago,

when I was well underway into my positive disintegration process,

my mother screamed into the phone,

Do you have any idea how much you alienate people???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn’t have a snappy comeback,

and I didn’t need to be right,

so I gave her the last word…

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