Tag Archives: family

Hotdog Sunday


My mother made hotdogs for lunch every Sunday.

Every Sunday!

Bulk wieners* boiling in the pot, homemade relish, steamed buns, and mustard and ketchup.

I guess it was the reward for going to church … or later on … not going to church, but not joining a cult or another church or wearing a Satan t-shirt.

Changing back into normal clothes after church was to the question, “How many?”        “3” was my usual reply.
Responding with “4” was met with “You can’t eat four!

How could I sensibly argue with that?

No matter what I eat on Sunday for lunch now … I consider it a hotdog.

Always have and always will.


*bulk wieners: 2 weiners wrapped in plastic … looking like linked sausages.

note: one of my brothers refers to hotdogs as “sliders” … cause they slide in and out of you. But he’s a bit rude and humorous. … He’s ruderous I suppose.

double note: I wish I had a pair of wiener tongs … maybe I could deliver a kid or something.


Today #243

Today went off without a hitch, but I didn’t have a trailer … so it was fine.

My Other Brother



Do you have brothers or sisters or both?

I’ve got a bunch: I love them all.

We are all cookies from the same batch: it’s just the way it is.

One of my brothers died about the same age as I am now. Two days before my next birthday in January 2010 I will be the same age as him when he died.

This bothers me for some reason. It taunts me. It’s in the back of my mind lately. It’s a regret. It’s there.

Was he my favourite brother?     No.

Were we close?    No.

Did we have anything in common?    Probably a bit of the same humor and most of the genetic material, but not too much else.

Did I really like him?    No.

… but I still loved him.  ………..  love him.

Looking at this photo I realize that he’s still somewhere in my life … if only represented by a stupid birthday card from 10 years ago on my kitchen wall.

The little boy in the picture  holding a banana is captioned with:

He had only one idea, and that was wrong.”        
Benjamin Disraeli

I wish he were still alive and finally happy, but some wishes are bygones … and I’ll let bygones be bygones.


I miss not really liking him.



note: I had a different post to put on tonight, but when I saw this picture, taken by Mr. Pettit  a few weeks ago, I knew the other one could wait.

double note: a “bunch” is 6 siblings as defined by me.

triple note: when I look in the mirror I see more of him than all the rest of the rest for some reason. I’m sure my other brothers and sisters think I look most like my mother or my father. I’m not sure … I’ll have to ask them about this.


notes to myself #80

The older you get the more you actually like your brothers and sisters: they are all cool. … I don’t know how that happens either!

My Oldest Brothers’ Birthday!


My oldest brother is turning 59!!!

Almost retirement age: how is that possible?

Notable things about my brother:

– he has been mistaken for my father on a few occasions.

he is a former hippie ( a real one from the 60’s and everything) I’ve seen him in moose boots!!

– he has crashed more volkswagen bugs than German crash test dummies, but still has the creepy-crawley to get underneath them.

he gets seriously intense and animated when telling stories. (possible family trait)

– he has 3 beautiful daughters that I have met at 20 year intervals.

he had something called an “asaphiditti bag” for holding marijuana, before my mother confiscated it.

– he is short and skinny. (not a family trait)

he still bums cigarettes off me when we meet.

– he is amazingly likable and personable. (family trait)

he takes visitors to the garbage dump to see the bears in his city.

– he got most our father’s names. (for which the rest of us are forever grateful)

he has me as a brother.

Happy Birthday Biggest Brother!


note: 2 brothers down and 1 more to go along with 3 sisters. I have blog material for a while yet!

double note: I don’t know how we all turned out so amazingly.

triple note: photo taken a few years ago at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

quadruple note: planetross has a very special visitor coming and will be back about September 16th. Please feel free to ‘stroll around the grounds until you feel at home’.



My Brother’s Birthday!

It’s one of my brothers’ birthdays today.

He’s about 12 years older than me and is very cool.

Top Ten reasons why I love my brother (in no specific order):

1. He took me to see the Harlem Globetrotters when I was a kid.

2. He used to play nerf ball soccer with me when he came over for Sunday dinners.

3. After our father died, he filled in at a Father/Son soccer game when I was a kid.

4. He gave me my best Christmas present when I was 12 years old: the book “Dune” with a $50 bill tucked inside of it.

5. He gave up drinking and other things a long time ago. I admire that.

6. He likes to have 2 desserts after dinner. I admire that too.

7. He can tell you what he learned in grade 2 and in what order he learned it.

8. He is very interested in everything; and knows just enough about enough stuff to be dangerous.

9. He has me as a brother.

10. He stores all my crap at his house.


Happy 55th Big Brother.

note: When I moved to Japan he sent me the Crapasaurus because he couldn’t find a Godzilla doll taking a shit.

Snake Wrangler

My older sister has always had a job. Always!

Collecting pop and beer bottles, shining our Dad’s shoes, picking blackberries, …

The most unique was catching and selling snakes at 10 years old.

Someone advertised for snakes in the local newspaper: 10 cents for small ones, 15 cents for big ones.

My sister enlisted her friends and myself; we looked in fields, flipped over plywood sheets in empty lots, and scoured the bushes. We found a few and deposited them in our plastic bucket. My sister had the great idea of looking in people’s backyards: compost piles were here goal. She knocked on neighbour’s doors, told them of our mission, and was never turned away.

We collected about 90 garter snakes over a weekend.

The people buying the snakes wanted them for a university lab. We were their only suppliers.

They were surprised to be doing business with a 10 and 7 year old.

We got about $11 for the snakes; pretty good money back in 1972

My sister put her share in the bank; I blew mine on candy.



I have insurance: car health, home,… but I’ve never used them.

It’s nice to know I’m protected and I’m glad I’ve never had to make a claim, but I also feel like these insurance companies have screwed me somehow.

On flight insurance, I always make an ex-girlfriend the beneficiary. She always said she wished I were dead. The financial payout she’d receive if that happened, while I was flying, would just be an extra bonus for her.

I’m nice like that.

My 13 nieces and nephews are the beneficiaries in my Will.

They know this.

It’s a small insurance policy for me. I figure they’ll be nicer to me in my old age if they know there is money involved.

One nephew always asks me what his “share” is at the moment. He looks at me like I’m a “stock”: working hard – stock goes up ; travelling – stock goes down.

My nieces and nephews also know that if I die under mysterious circumstances, all my money goes to my ex-girlfriend.

That’s my true insurance policy.

I love my nieces and nephews, but I don’t trust them that much.


note: if my nieces and nephews make a deal with the ex-girlfriend, I’m in trouble.

Watching Trees


People love watching trees in Japan.

In April, it’s cherry blossom viewing. Everyone and their dog go and sit on blue tarps under cherry trees and drink heavily. I do it too, but I usually watch the women who are watching the trees.

In October, it’s Kouyo: the changing of the leaves. People always ask me what the word for Kouyo is in English. They usually seem disappointed when I say, ” the changing of the leaves”. I think they expect some great one word answer.

Tour buses haul people around the countryside in April and October. It’s a big business.

I like both these times of year, but I’m more of a root person. My sister is too.

When we have travelled together, we point out interesting roots to each other, take photos, and have little discussions over the merits of our discoveries. We know a good root when we see it.

Trees have their seasons, but roots are all year round fun.

Ding Ding


20 years ago I babysat my nephews for a weekend. They were 2 and 5 years old. On the first evening I was in the kitchen, with the 5 year old, making dinner.

“Ding Ding” called the 2 year old from somewhere else in the house.

My 5 year old nephew started to laugh.

“Ding Ding” called the 2 year old again.

“Why are you laughing?”, I asked the 5 year old.

“You gotta wipe his bum!”, he blurted out as he laughed.

I went to the bathroom and there was the 2 year old waiting for his wipe.

My sister forgot to mention that there would be ass wiping duties involved.


Over the years I’ve intentionally and repeatedly embarassed my nephew with the line, “I wiped your bum.”

Recently this has backfired on me.

Supposedly now, I am a loser for having wiped his bum.


I’m hoping when I am really really old, he will have to change my adult diapers, so the tables will turn again. And I can say, “What a loser, you wiped my bum!”

Ahh! The circle of life.

Chicken Bones



When I was a little kid, my older brother had a friend with a very prominent lump in his throat.
I was fascinated with that big bump.
I asked him what it was.
He told me he had swallowed a chicken bone and it was stuck there.
Everytime he visited our house, I asked him about the chicken bone.
“Still the same” he always replied.

To this day, I don’t know how he got a chicken bone stuck in his Adam’s Apple.

He should’ve been more careful when eating chicken.

First Memory

 July 20th, 1969: Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

It was my sister’s birthday, I was 4 years old.
I remember it because our family tradition was to eat the birthday cake and then open presents. We finished dinner, and then everyone rushed to the old black and white TV to watch the moon landing.
For my sister: no cake, no presents.
She cried like crazy.

My oldest brother (15 years older) was working in Peru at the time.
He remembers hearing it on the radio.
He was so excited he borrowed someone’s motorcycle and drove out into the country.
He saw a farmer out in a field working with a cow pulling a plow.
He yelled to the farmer in Spanish, “We’ve just landed on the moon!

The farmer looked at him and replied, “Leave me alone you crazy gringo!

note: actually I remember riding around on the vacuum cleaner while my Mom cleaned the day before the moon landing, but I still do that so it’s no big deal.
double note: only the cow was pulling the plow, not the farmer and the cow.