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Posted by Admin
Friday, September 30, 2005
Candian Obsessions by Expat
Yep. I know. Misspelled "Canadian". Been in America entirely too long! :P
When my husband first came to Canada, he wanted to explore all that was Canadian. High on his list of things to do, was a stop at Tim Hortons and shopping at the Great Canadian Superstore.
(I know, I laughed too.)
He was quite taken by Tim Hortons and soon became addicted to Double Doubles and Dutchies like a good Canadian convert. Superstore, however, left him cold. He just could not get his mind around having to put a quarter in a cart or having to pay 3¢ for a grocery bag. It was the first time that he had ever encounter either of those supermarket phenomenons.
It has been a few years since then, and now the grocery store where we shop has implemented the same measures. It is a quarter to rent a cart and 5¢ for a paper bag - 10¢ for plastic. My husband was not amused with either.
We were taken off guard the first time that we went to the store and realized that we needed a quarter for the cart. Like most people in these modern times, we rely heavily on plastic. Since the creation of the debit card, we have not had a great deal of change clinking together in our pockets, and did not have any change on us this particular day. Not wanting to have to go all the way to the bank and then to a gas station to get change, we searched the car - my car - the Nukmobile.
I keep a stash of Canadian coins in my car. They have been there since the day that I crossed the border. They are my constant reminder of Canada. I know it is silly, but they make me happy just by being there in the console of the Nukmobile. My husband spotted the cache and went rifling through it to see if there was a quarter.
"Those are Canadian coins, you know." I said, hoping that he would move on to look elsewhere.
"Yeah, I know. But the cart doesn't," he said. "It is not like it will do a currency conversion and realize we shorted it."
I snickered, but the worry remained. I did not want to lose my last Canadian quarter.
"Maybe we should just go to the bank and pick up a couple of Diet Cokes? We will get some change if we do that," I feebly proposed.
"Nah, this will work." He sounded determined.
There I was left to either speak up about my silly coin obsession, or see my one remaining Canadian quarter - the vestige of my heritage - lost to the cart.
"What the heck," I thought to myself. "I can get the coin back when we return the cart."
Little did I know that my coin would be forever lost when the cashier switched carts on us as she rang up our groceries. She had an empty cart set up at the end of her line and filled that up with our bags rather than fill our own cart.
When we left with the foreign cart, the cashier took our cart and filled it up with the groceries of the people who had been behind us in line. As such, my Canadian quarter ended up in the hands of the people behind us. I wonder if they did the currency conversion and realized that they had been shorted?
[The] United States is "a great country in spite of its government structure, rather than because of it."
"The United States of America is a wonderful creation -- the Constitution is a spectacular thing," Mr. McKenna said.
"But it was anticipated that it would be established as a country in which there would be a check and balance on the exercise of power. And I can tell you categorically that what has been institutionalized instead is total gridlock. The government of the United States is, in large measure, dysfunctional."
He said one senator there has 75 staff members, which shows that U.S. policymaking is "so complex that even people who work within government need help to navigate through it."
Reading the article, I could not help but think that McKenna's words were very much a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Continuing on with the article, however, I learned that I had some misconceptions about Canada. Perhaps this was due to watching the American media, or perhaps it was due to being out of the country for a number of years, but for some reason, I had the impression that Canada was fiscally struggling. Not so, as I found out.
In comparing Canada to the United States, McKenna notes:
Canada is in its eighth consecutive year of surplus, with a dropping ratio of debt to gross domestic product.
"Our pension plan, instead of being in deficit, is actuarially balanced for the next 75 years."
He also praised Canada's health care system and the country's abundance of natural resources.
"And with respect to energy, in an energy-starved world, where our neighbour to the south of us, the United States of America, relies [on] export markets for 60% of its oil, Canada is self-sufficient in every category."
It certainly is nice to read something positive about Canada, especially when it seems like our fine country is constantly under attack by the American media and even some members of the Canadian blogosphere.
Paying for an item in cash always sends me into a bit of a panic. There I stand with a fistful of green, trying to decipher the numbers on the bills to ensure that I am handing over the correct amount. I can feel the eyes of those behind me in line burrowing into the back of my skull. I know that I stand out as a foreigner in this land of stars, stripes, and green money.
As incredible as it may seem, it has now been a few years south of the 49th and I am still not accustomed to American money. Perhaps it is due to my overreliance on using debit cards, or perhaps it is due to my short attention span. Whatever it's cause, it is embarrassing.
I remember the first time that my husband came to Canada. He was astounded by our colourful bills. To him, they were very much a novelty. He kept referring to Canadian money as "Monopoly money" because of its array of colours.
Now he is getting his own version of "Monopoly money" as the US government begins printing bills with colour in an attempt to thwart counterfeiters. I am happy for this change as it means that I will no longer stand out as I pay for my pack of gum and tank of gas at the service station.
I hate to admit this. In fact, I am certain that it will open me up to all sorts of taunts.
Promise not to change your opinion of me based upon what I am about to say.
Cross your heart and hope to die? Stick a needle in your eye?
So I was watching a re-run of Full House (I know! Remember though, you promised.) and they mentioned Saskatchewan. Of course, Bob Saget did not pronounce it properly at all, but it was still cool that he said it!
I am an American thinking of emigrating to Canada. I am liberal, anti-war, gay, and Jewish, so you can imagine how I no longer feel I belong here.I found your blog and I am very interested in learning why some Canadians have chosen to leave Canada. I look forward to any comments you care to post.
First off, a warm welcome to this anonymous poster. Secondly, the question posed is a very good one and definitely deserves to be promoted to an actual post. As such, this post is an opportunity for expats to respond with their own stories about why they chose to move away from Canada. Judging from the responses in this rudimentary poll, most of us followed our hearts and moved away for love.
There are two blogs that I would recommend to this anonymous poster, We Move To Canada and Life Without Borders. Laura from WMTC just moved from New York to Canada. Like you, her move was politically based. She has a wonderful how-to section on her blog which would be a great resource to bookmark. Mason and Nicholas from LWB are in the process of immigrating to Canada from the United States. Their blog provides a chronicle of that process and would also be a great resource to you.
As for my response on why I chose to emigrate from Canada, I will post it in the comments section. If any other expats are willing to share what lead them to move away from Canada, they are welcome to post as well. :)
If you have been away from the Motherland for so long that you are now doubting that you are Canadian, take the following quiz.
1. You like to drink beer when: a) Watching hockey. b) Challenged to drinking games by friends. c) When the boss is not looking. d) Only on days that end in Y.
2. You enjoy hockey: a) Enough to sleep outide in an Edmonton winter for Stanley Cup tickets. b) ALMOST enough to give up beer. Almost. c) As much as to carry a hockey stick in you vehicle, just in case a game of shinney breaks out. d) So much as to hit anyone who says Wayne Gretzky is not Canadian.
3. You will back out of going to your own wedding if: a) You find out at the last minute your husband / wife hates hockey. b) You find out at the last minute your husband / wife hates beer. c) Your wedding is scheduled for game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs between 2 Canadian teams.
If you felt the need to circle more than one answer for any or all of the questions, you are, in fact, Canadian.
Entering information into our SSH client, my husband asked me to read some of the commands. This was new to both of us and we were not entirely sure what we were doing. Both of us were being extremely cautious so as not to make a mistake.
"Pwd," I read.
"Next", he said.
"Cd," I read off of the list and then took a sip of my Coke Zero.
"Uh huh," he grunted.
"Next is ls -1."
"Yep," came the response.
The Yank stared blankly at the computer screen. His brain could not compute what I just said.
Finally he spoke, "What the heck does that mean?"
He then got up from where he was sitting to look over my shoulder to verify the code.
"For the love of gawd, say "zee". You are confusing me with that 'zed' crap."
The following satirical piece has circulated throughout the internet for quite some time and is generally attributed to Monty Python's John Cleese, although a quick check with Snopes suggests otherwise.
I thought it was quite funny, particularly the parts regarding spelling, vocabulary, and the letter "zed". The resident American did not find it quite so humourous (although he did have to agree with point number nine).
Notice of Revocation of American Independence
To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation.
Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up vocabulary. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up interspersed. There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.
2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.
3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney,upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as Taggart will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is Devon. If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become shires e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.
4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as Men Behaving Badly or Red Dwarf will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.
5. You should relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.
6. You should stop playing American football. There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American football is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders,your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called rounders, which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.
7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called Indecisive Day.
9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time,you will go metric with immediate effect and conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.
11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.
12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer,and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. The substances formerly known as American Beer will henceforth be referred to as Near-Frozen Knat's Urine,with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen,Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.
13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or Gasoline, as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon- get used to it).
14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.
15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.
16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).
Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.
Yesterday the Canadian Unity Council's Young Leaders' luncheon was held at the University of Western Ontario. Being discussed were the differences between Canada and the US. After many myths were dismissed, the general consensus of the conference was that "Canadians like to think we're different from Americans -- but we're really not that different at all".
In attendance was U.S. Consul General Jessica LeCroy, who said of the similarities, "I look at Canada not as a foreign country, but as a different country. I see everything in nuanced terms."
Two elderly men who died after being brutally beaten in a Surrey park followed their children to Canada and expected to spend the rest of their lives in a safer society, living with family and helping to care for their grandchildren.
Family members of the two senior citizens say the men found that better life here until last July.
And this is absolutely unbelievable:
On Thursday, a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy charged with the assault and robbery of the two seniors made their first appearance in a courtroom in Surrey.
Assault? According to the article:
Then, on July 18, Mewa Singh Bains was attacked in the washroom at Bear Creek Park. He died Sept. 3 at the age of 82.
A day later, on July 19, Shingara Singh Thandi was attacked in the same park, allegedly by the same two boys suspected in the beating of Bains. He died Aug. 6, at age 74.
Two men are dead. Is that not murder? What was the motivation in these beatings? Surely not just robbery as the charges suggest. I do not understand why these murders have not been investigated as hate crimes. In the course of two days, two elderly men, both from Punjab, were beaten so brutally that it resulted in death. Surely that was not over a couple of dollars.
Canada's justice system lacks teeth at the best of times, but when it comes to dealing with young offenders, it also lacks the ability to serve justice.
As yet another hurricane bears down on the Gulf Coast, causing environmentalists to accusingly shake their fingers at SUV drivers and SUV drivers to drive hundreds of miles inland to safety, The Enduring Vision is offering some timely tips on how to avoid these deadly storms.*
Included among the tips are gems such as this:
Eat Raisin Bran to Summon Giant Sun As he comes down to tell you about two scoops of raisins, the inflated sun will get close enough to the Earth to evaporate the hurricane. If the hurricane somehow survives, it won't matter because the sun will have long since scorched the skin from your bones.
Be sure to study up and stay safe.
* Warning: If you are not into hurricane humour&trade, do not click the link.
Yesterday I received an anti-immigration email forward.
It is odd to live in a nation where, by all means, I blend in with the majority, yet I stand out in small ways - small ways that are large enough to ensure that I am not part of that same majority. In speaking with new acquaintances, I am asked about my accent, a certain phrase that I have used, or where I grew up. That leads to a discussion about my Canadian roots which frequently leads to an anti-immigration diatribe.
I listen and say nothing. It is not my place. I have learned that it is difficult to battle against ignorance. By the end of the conversation it is clear that my new acquaintance and I do not have much in common. A sheepish look generally crosses over their face and they try to backpedal with statements such as, "I was not talking about you" or "you are different". The fact of the matter is that an immigrant is an immigrant. You can not generalize and stereotype an entire group without painting me with that same broad brush stroke. I am well aware that when I am called "immigrant girl", it is not intended as an endearing nickname.
Growing up on the Canadian prairies, I will admit that I was heavily sheltered from such attitudes. I had friends of all races, creeds, and nationalities. I remember learning about discrimination in the fourth grade and I could not understand it. To me, an individual is an individual, each with their own merits. Now as an adult, I gaze out my sliding glass window and see the neighbour's Confederate flag flying high. It has been eighteen years since I first learned about racism and discrimination and I still do not understand it.
The Crown is awaiting Muckle's psychiatric reports from his previous criminal activities and incarceration, as well as information from his sealed young offender records and from his childhood. More than likely, the records will reveal a history of violent sexual behaviour, proving once again that a monster is a monster.
There is no cure for sexual predators. Efforts at rehabilitation are unsuccessful. Again and again, our nation's children have been preyed upon only to have these criminals return to jail, go through the same pointless rehabilitation programs, and then be released on probation to reoffend. The cycle only ends when the predator has been convicted of a crime so horrendous that he is declared a dangerous offender.
Update: A little sleuthing reveals that hungry expats can purchase a case of 24 boxes of Canadian Smarties, eh? for $20 through Canadian Favourites. However, shipping will set you back $14. All prices are in US dollars, which means that it could add up to being one pricey chocolate craving!
Winnipeg Sun columnist, Lydia Lovric, recently found herself on the receiving end of her readers' wrath. The letters and emails poured in after Lovric wrote a column regarding pet owners in New Orleans "insist[ing] that rescuers take their pet or pets, knowing that there were literally thousands of people still waiting to be saved."
Based on news reports from the disaster area and reports from the animal rescue agencies themselves, it would appear that, in most cases, people were evacuated without their pets or else chose to stay behind with their pets. In that case, Lovric's question "should the guy down the street really wait another day on his rooftop, without food or water, because Fluffy took his spot?" is neither here nor there because that simply was not the case. However, that is not the point of this post.
In Lovric's most recent article, she states, "Sadly, there seems to be a significant segment of the population that would willingly trade the life of a neighbour if it would spare the life of a pet." My response to that is, "Heck yeah!!!!!!". ¹
This woman has clearly not met my neighbours.
Would I choose to rescue my six pets over the free range children that run wildly throughout my neighbourhood, use my newly sodded front yard as a roller blading rink, and let their dog deuce on my grass?
You bet I would.
Would I choose my critters over the neighbours who think that the road in front of my house is free parking for their two vehicles while their double garage, driveway, and the road in front of their house sits empty.
You know I would!
Would I choose my pets over the neighbours whose broken mailbox falls on me everytime I mow the grass? Whose dog runs across the street and into my garage everytime the garage door opens? Whose kids run across the street and into my house everytime the front door opens?
If the rescue helicopter picked up my neighbours and then came over to my rooftop to rescue me, would I choose to tough it out at the homestead so as not to have to endure the same helicopter ride as them?
In a heartbeat.²
I guess it is all a matter of perspective, or maybe just a matter of who moved into the house next door.³ I don't need to be rescued with my neighbours, I need to be rescued from them.
¹ The multiple exclamation marks denote the sincerity of the statement. ² All of my neighbour problems are at the hands of one family. ³ I totally blame my neighbours for this post making me look like a callous ass.*
* Why does Blogger discriminate against Canuck spellings? 'Nuks are people too!
Youppi, the once proud Montreal Expos' mascot, has been resurrected!
Many may remember that Youppi made history in 1989 as the first mascot to be thrown out of a Major League Baseball game when he was ejected from the game during the 11th inning after Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda complained to the umpires about his dancing on top of the visitors' dugout.
As I walked past the front door, I glanced out of the window. There sat a white box with the standard US Postal Service "Priority Mail" sticker across the corner. This, however, was not just any box. This box was ensconced in maple leaf flag stickers.
I opened the door to bring the box inside. Both pups ran out ahead of me to investigate. Their tails wagged wildly as the sniffed every square inch of the cardboard. Having met with their approval, it was now safe to bring the box inside.
I could feel my heart beating excitedly as I opened the box. The return address was an American address, but I knew that the contents would be pure Canadian goodness. My assumption was correct. Inside the box was a myriad of Canadian treasures:
Coffee Crisp, Smarties, Big Turk, Mackintosh Toffee, Hickory Sticks, Ketchup Chips, and miscellaneous Canada souvenirs, including magnets, a teaspoon, a lanyard, and a kickin' bumper sticker for the Nukmobile!
It has been so long since I have last seen some of the items, many of which provide Canadians with their sustaining life force.
Thank-you so much T-Girl, a fellow Canuck in Yankland! :)
The following list should help to battle against any homesickness that you are experiencing while you are defending the 49th!
You Might Be a Redneck if...
1. More than one living relative is named after a southern civil war general. 2. Your front porch collapses and more than six dogs are killed. 3. You ever used lard in bed. 4. Your home has more miles on it than your car. 5. You think that potted meat on a saltine is an hors d'oeurve.
6. There is a stuffed possum anywhere in your house. 7. You consider a six-pack and a bug-zapper high-quality entertainment. 8. Fewer than half of your cars run. 9. Your mother doesn't remove the Marlboro from her lips before telling the State Trooper to kiss her ass. 10. The primary color of your car is "bondo."
11. You honestly think that women are turned on by animal noises and seductive tongue gestures. 12. You stand under the mistletoe at christmas and wait for Granny and cousin Sue-Ellen to walk by. 13. Your family tree doesn't fork. 14. Your hairdo has ever been ruined by a ceiling fan. 15. Your mother has been involved in a fistfight at a high school sports event.
16. You've ever barbecued Spam on the grill. 17. The best way to keep things cold is to leave'em in the shade. 18. The neighbors started a petition over your Christmas lights. 19. Your brother-in-law is your uncle. 20. You have refused to watch the Academy Awards since "Smokey and the Bandit" was snubbed for best picture.
21. Your only condiment on the dining room table is the economy size bottle of ketchup. 22. The rear tires on your car are at least twice as wide as the front ones. 23. You consider "Outdoor Life" deep reading. 24. You prominently display a gift you bought at Graceland. 25. You use the term 'over yonder' more than once a month.
26. The diploma hanging in your den contains the words "Trucking Institute." 27. Your mother keeps a spit cup on the ironing board. 28. You've ever worn a tube top to a wedding. 29. Your favorite Christmas present was a painting on black velvet. 30. You think that Dom Perignon is a mafia leader.
31. The most commonly heard phrase at your family reunion is "What the hell are you looking at, Shithead?" 32. You think that beef jerky and Moon Pies are two of the major food groups. 33. You think that Campho-Phenique is a miracle drug. 34. The first words out of your mouth every time you see friends are "Howdy!" "HEY!" or "How Y'all Doin?" (If they respond with the same... they're a redneck too!) 35. You have more than two brothers named Bubba or Junior.
36. Your father encourages you to quit school because Larry has an opening on the lube rack. 37. You think a Volvo is part of a woman's anatomy. 38. You think that the styrofoam cooler is the greatest invention of all time. 39. You've been too drunk to fish. 40. You had to remove a toothpick for wedding pictures.
41. You've ever used a weedeater indoors. 42. You have a rag for a gas cap (on a car that does run.) 43. You look upon a family reunion as a chance to meet 'Ms. Right.' 44. You have to go outside to get something out of the fridge. 45. Your richest relative invites you over to his new home to help him remove the wheels and skirt.
46. You've ever financed a tattoo. 47. Your idea of a 7 course meal is a bucket of KFC and a sixpack. 48. You go to a tupperware party for a haircut. 49. You have spray painted your girlfriend's name on an overpass. 50. Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.
51. Someone asks to see your ID and you show them your belt buckle. 52. Your Junior/Senior Prom had a daycare. 53. The directions to your house include "turn off the paved road." 54. Your dog and your wallet are both on chains. 55. Your kids are going hungry tonight because you just had to have those Yosemite Sam mudflaps.
56. You owe the taxidermist more than your annual income. 57. You have lost at least one tooth opening a beer bottle. 58. Jack Daniels makes your list of "most admired people". 59. You won't stop at a rest area if you have an empty beer can in the car. 60. Your dog can't watch you eat without gagging.
61. You have a Hefty bag on the passenger side window of your car. 62. You have a very special baseball cap just for formal occassions. 63. You have to scratch your sister's name out of the message "for a good time call..." because you feel guilty about putting it there. 64. Redman sends you a Christmas card. 65. You bought a VCR so you could tape wrestling while you are at work.
66. Your dad walks you to school because you are both in the same grade. 67. Your wife has a beer belly and you find it attractive. 68. Your house doesn't have curtains, but your truck does. 69. You have started a petition to change the National Anthem to "Georgia on My Mind." 70. You call your boss "Buddy" on a regular basis.
71. You consider your license plate personalized because your dad made it in prison. 72. You have been fired from a construction job because of your appearance. 73. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos. 74. You need an estimate from your barber before you get a haircut. 75. After making love you ask your date to roll down the window.
76. The biggest fashion risk you take is which plaid you'll wear to the 4-H Fair. 77. You have flowers planted in a bathroom appliance in your front yard. 78. Someone in your family says "Cum'n heer an' lookit this afore I flush it." 79. Your wife weighs more then your refrigerator. 80. You mow your lawn and find a car.
81. If going to the bathroom in the middle of the night involves putting on shoes (if you have them) a jacket and grabbing a flashlight. 82. You go christmas shopping for your mom, sister, and girlfriend, and you only need to buy one gift. 83. You are still holding on to Confederate money because you think the South will rise again. 84. You consider pork and beans to be a gourmet food. 85. You have to go down to the creek to take a bath.
86. You participate in the "who can spit tobacco the farthest contest." 87. You roll you hair with soup cans and wash it once a year. 88. You consider a three piece suit to be a pair of overalls, a plaid flannel shirt and thermal underwear. 89. There is a sheet hanging in your closet and a gun rack hanging in your truck. 90. You think the Mountain Men in deliverance were just "misunderstood."
91. You've ever made change in the offering plate. 92. If the fifth grade is referred to as "your senior year." 93. You consider a good tan to be the back of of your neck and the left arm below the shirt sleeve. 94. You own at least 20 baseball hats. 95. You know of at least six different ways to bend the bill of a baseball hat.
96. You can change the oil in your truck without ducking your head. 97. When you run out of gas you put gin in the gas tank. 98. Your biggest ambition in live is to "git thet big'ole coon. The one what hangs 'round over yonder, back'ah bubba's barn..." 99. Three quarters of the clothes you own have LOGOS on them. 100. When you leave your house you are followed by federal agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobbaco and Firearms, and the only thing you worry about is if you can loose them or not.
101. You have 5 cars that are immobile and house that is. 102. You gene pool doesn't have a "deep end." 103. "Honey? Are the lights out? Is the door locked? Is the parking brake set?" is what you hear right before you and your wife/girl make love. 104. Your 'huntin dawg' cost more than the truck you drive him around in. 105. You'd rather catch bass than get some (if you can't guess...)
106. You have a Hefty bag for a Car/Truck convertable top. 107. Your belt buckle weighs more than three pounds. 108. You think that safe sex is a padded headboard on the waterbed. 109. You have an Elvis Jello mold. 110. You own more cowboy boots than sneakers.
111. You've been to a funeral and there were more pick-ups than cars. 112. You have a picture of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, or Elvis over your fireplace. 113. You just bought an 8-track player to put in your car. 114. There are four or more cars up on blocks in the front yard. 115. The theme song at your high school prom was 'Friends in Low Places.'
116. It's easier to spray weed killer on your lawn than mow it. 117. You think that John Deere Green, Ford Blue, and Primer Gray are the three of the primary colors. 118. You've ever climbed a water tower with a bucket of paint to defend your sister's honor. 119. You idea of talking during sex is "Ain't no cars coming, baby!" 120. Your vehicle has a two-tone paint job--primer red and primer gray.
121. The tobacco chewers in your family aren't just men. 122. Yer mom calls ya over t'help 'cause she has a flat tire...on her house! 123. The ASPCA raids yer kitchen. 124. Ya have to check in the bottom yer shoe for change so ya can get grandma a new plug of tobacco. 125. Foreplay consists of slipping off her saddle.
126. Ya can't get married to yer sweetheart cause there is a law against it. 127. Ya celebrate groundhog day (cause ya believe in it!) 128. You've been on TV more than 5 times describing the sound of a tornado. 129. You fish in your above-ground pool, especially if you catch something! 130. When a sign that says "Say No To Crack!" reminds you to pull up your jeans.
131. Helping your cousin, Billy-Bob, move into his new place consists of the wheels off his doublewide. 132. Your beer can collection is considered a tourist attraction in your home town. 133. You know you're a redneck if you wake up with both a black eye and a hickey. 134. Getting a package from your post office requires a full tank of gas in the truck. 135. "Buck Naked Line Dancing" isn't a videotape, it's "Ladies Night" at the local bar.
136. Your wife wants to stop at the gas station to see if they've got the new Darrell Waltrip Budweiser wall clock. 137. You dated your daddy's current wife in high school. 138. You're moved to tears everytime you hear Dolly Parton singing "I Will Always Love You." 139. Dolly Parton reminds you of the 'Grand Tetons'. (of course this is a very sophisticated sophisticated redneck joke... if you laughed... you must be a redneck, only they will get this one.) 140. You grow Vidalia onions rather than considering them a gourmet item.
141. Your Momma would rather go the racetrack than the Kennedy Center. 142. The most serious loss from the earthquake was your Conway Twitty record collection (you insurance man is one too if he pays you for it.) 143. You actually made a pyramid of cans in the pale moonlight with Alan Jackson. 144. You have spent more on your pickup truck than on your education. 145. You've ever hit a deer with your car... on purpose!
146. You can tell your age by the number of rings in the bathtub. 147. Your mom gives you tips on how to sneak booze into sporting events. 148. You've ever parked a Camaro in a tree. 149. Exxon and Conoco have offered you royalties for your hair. 150. Your dad is also your favorite uncle.
151. The blue book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas it has in it. 152. Your classes at school were cancelled because the path to the restroom was flooded. 153. On your job application under "SEX" you put "As often as possible." 154. During your senior year you and your mother had homeroom together. 155. You're a lite beer drinker because you start drinking as soon as it gets light.
156. On your first date you had to ask your Dad to borrow the keys to the tractor. 157. Your parakeet knows the phrase "Open up, Police!" 158. You saved lots of money on your honeymoon by going deerhunting. 159. In tough situations you ask yourself, "What would Curly do?" 160. Taking your wife on a cruise means circling the Dairy Queen.
161. You think the last words to the Star Spangled Banner are "Gentlemen, start your engines." or "Play Ball..." 162. Your child's first words are "Attention K-Mart shoppers!" 163. Your wife's best pair of shoes are steel-toed Red Wings. 164. You have a color coordinating rope that ties down your car hood. 165. You bring your dog to work with you.
You might be a redneck if you are currently patrolling the Canadian border vigilante-style.
Warning! If you can relate to ten or more of the above (or just that last one), you are a redneck and should seek civilised help immediately.
Sitting on the passenger side of his rusty white mini van, our letter carrier struggles to reach the gas pedal. I can only imagine the cramp he has in his arm by the end of his shift from reaching over to the steering wheel on the driver's side of the van. He has to drive from the passenger side in order to deliver the parcels and letters to the mailboxes, which are located on the odd numbered side of our street, on what would be considered the passenger side while driving.
Initially, I thought that having mailboxes line our street was quaint, but during my time in the US I have become annoyed by the need to tromp outside to collect my mail. I miss the door to door service of the homeland. The tagline, "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will stop the mail from getting through" hardly seems apt when the guy delivering my mail is in his dirty sweat pants, drinking a Super Big Gulp, and driving from the wrong side of his 1987 mini van.
Why is it that our letter carrier does not look like a letter carrier? These are employees of the federal government. The first few days here, I wondered what the heck this man, who was adorned in grey sweatpants and a NASCAR t-shirt (what I later discovered was his "uniform" as he wears it daily!), driving a white van (with more rust spots than Bea Arthur has liver spots!) was doing outside of my house everyday at 1pm. I am accustomed to the letter carrier actually looking like, say, a letter carrier. Someone in a fancy uniform with a bag of mail hanging over his (or her - must be PC!) shoulder; someone who actually looks like they are not a sexual predator. The pizza delivery man looks more like a professional than the letter carrier for goodness sake.
Is this normal? My only touchstones for what an US postal carrier should look like are Cliff Clavin from Cheers and Mr.McFeely from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (Yank spelling for a Yank show!). Both of those fine gentlemen had uniforms and bags of mail from what I remember. Don't get me wrong, I do receive my mail on a daily basis (minus Sundays and holidays, of course) and am quite happy with the service, I am just wondering what is up with appearances.
What Brian Mulroney wanted in 1993 was not a successor who could actually have a chance to govern, but a scapegoat who would bear the electoral burden of his unpopularity, and allow him to retire 'undefeated' into the historical pantheon of which he is convinced he is a member.
What does Mulroney think of the new tell-all book?
A spokesman said Monday that Mulroney was stunned to turn on his television and learn that his private and often R-rated reflections would be on store shelves this week in a book written by Peter C. Newman.
" 'I was reckless in talking with Peter C. Newman,' " Mulroney said, according to spokesman Luc Lavoie.
" 'This was my mistake and I'm going to have to live with it.' "
Last week we saw some of the first pictures of the damage at Grand Isle. As the bridge to the island is still out, we are relying upon satellite images for an initial survey of the damage.
This link and this one will take you directly to the island. Just click on the boxes to zoom in to see the satellite images.
Here is a picture of what is left of the beach house, boat house, and marina:
Click to enlarge and to read the notes.
There is damage there, but nothing compared to what we have been expecting and certainly nothing compared to the destruction of New Orleans with their double disaster. In fact, it almost looks like the beach house is still standing. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for some of the other properties on the island.
On a larger scale, this link will show you much of the damaged Gulf coast. Again, just click the boxes to zoom in closer.
No other word can compare to the term "eh" for versatility. This singular syllable can be used to ascertain comprehension, confirm the interest of the listener, and query the audience as to agreement. It can also miraculously transforms any declarative sentence into a question.
The following list will provide non-Canadians with a loose translation of the term "eh".
Eh: Are you listening? Eh: Please repeat that. Eh: Do you agree? Eh: Know what I mean? Eh: What do you mean? Eh: Are you for real? Eh: What is that? Eh: Who is that? Eh: Where is that? Eh: You are embarrassing me! Eh: An attempt to get someone's attention. Eh: Excited interjection Ehhhh: Super coolness Eh: A sentence ender, similar in function to the period.
As most anecdotes begin, there I was photoshopping a Ski-Doo into a photo-chop picture of a polar bear who was clad in a plaid lumberjack jacket and wearing a beaver hat, while toting a taxidermy raccoon in his right mittened paw, and holding a bottle of Quebec maple syrup in his left.
Needless to say, there was nothing unusual about the situation.
At that point, the Yank walks past and reads the label on the snowmobile.
"Skee-du," sayeth the Yank.
"Skid-du," the Canuck correcteth him.
"Nuh-uh," respondeth the Yank. "It is pronounced 'Skee-du'".
If this survey receives a substantial amount of respondents, the data set will prove useful for two purposes: a free, globally available report on the state of Canadian Blogging, as well as a more technical paper that will examine the differences between those who read blogs and those who choose to write them.
"The aid pouring from all across Canada has been truly overwhelming," [US Ambassador to Canada David] Wilkins said in Vancouver. "Many countries are offering help, nobody more so than Canada ... You're at the top of the list and for that we will always be very grateful."
Just a quick introduction. My name is Ed, I'm originally from Yellowknife, NT, and Vancouver, BC. I mostly grew up in Yellowknife. I met a great woman online, and got marroed to her in 2003, and I currently live in Rhode Island, USA.
If you have any questions for me or anything, feel free to email, or IM me!
Statistics Canada says that as usual, beer was by far the most popular beverage in terms of dollar value, capturing 50.7 per cent of sales compared with 24.7 per cent for spirits and 24.6 per cent for wine.
In a report on sales for the fiscal year ending March 31 last year, the agency says beer and liquor stores and agencies sold more than $16.1 billion worth of the beverages, up 4.9 per cent from the year before.
Now that comes as a surprise doesn't?
Who would have thought that Canadians, the same people who garner their cultural identity from beer commercials, enjoy beer!
Nice to see those Canadian tax dollars working hard.
Can you name that tune? Recognize it as Canada' second national anthem? Perhaps the only national anthem to which Canucks as a whole know all of the words? ;)
Yep, you guessed it. That is the Hockey Night in Canada theme song. It was written in 1968 by Dolores Claman and is one of the longest running theme songs in broadcasting.
Ms. Claman, as you may have guessed, is herself a Canuck. She was born in Vancouver; attended graduate school at New York's Julliard School of Music; and later began Quartet Productions, a music production company. The company produced television and radio jingles, as well as background music for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Molson, Air Canada, Lever Brothers, Air France, Imperial Oil, Kentucky Fried Chicken, 7-UP, Canada Life, and CN.
Ironically, Ms. Claman did not follow hockey when she was approached by the Hockey Night in Canada producers and asked to create a new theme song for the Canadian institution. One of the few stipulations on the new theme was that there had to be a break in the music for the sponsor's announcement. Ms.Claman worked on the main riff, the cord progression, and eventually a very gladatorial sounding anthem emerged.
Ms.Claman was paid a lump sum for the first five years of the theme's use and is now paid a royalty every time the theme is used in a broadcast. Since 1989, her name has been included in the closing credits.
Well, maybe not thirty-two new flavours, but there are a few new features to the site.
First, we have a new message board! The new board features regional forums; a dynamic members map, enabling expats to find fellow Canucks in their particular region; as well as a killer arcade, which records the high scores and has been dutifully broken in by Mr.Expat. Unfortunately I was not able to transfer the membership files, so that means that previous members will have to sign up once again. Sorry folks. The new message board is available to Canadian expatriates, folks who have emigrated to Canada, and Canucks who still call the Motherland home.
Visitors to the site may also notice the addition of The Expat Roundup and Expatriate Resources. The Expat Roundup provides a one stop source for the ten most recent headlines of your fellow bloggers. It is intended to be a portal to raise awareness of (and traffic for) Canadian expat bloggers. To include your blog in the roundup, simply email us your feed url. Initially, the idea was to file the blogs alphabetically, but it may make more sense to file them according to location. The Expatriate Resources page allows for vendors and those who run their own expatriates communities to add their links to the site.
What were you doing 10 years ago? I was just beginning 12th grade and was enjoying the so called trials and tribulations of high school. It was such a perfect balance of enjoying the "right now" and looking forward to what the future held.
What were you doing 5 years ago? Five years ago, I had my first job as a curator. It made me realize just how history could be altered (or in this case created) to suit the needs of an institution. After much soul searching, my employer and I parted ways. It was a good lesson in staying true to myself and true to what I knew was right.
What were you doing one year ago? Enduring rounds of tests at the hospital. 'Nuff said.
What were you doing yesterday? Yesterday I mowed the grass and pruned the rose bushes. Gave the flowers a much needed drink and harvested some more tomatoes from the vegetable garden (we currently have 93 tomatoes in our fridge. Any takers?) Later in the day, we packed a picnic lunch and went hiking and geocaching near a neighbouring town. Last night, we grilled some steaks and watched a home movie of our trip through western Canada. It was a good way to spend Labour Day!
Five snacks you enjoy:
Old Dutch ketchup chips (Ha!)
Tim Hortons Coffee (and a whole wheat and honey bagel with garlic & herb cream cheese)
Amid the desperation in New Orleans that can only be described as "hell on earth" and "apocalyptic"; amid the fires and the flooding, amid the report of rapes, robberies, beatings, and murders; amid the stench of rotting human flesh in a toxic soup; the sweet notes of Bach's Sonata No. 1 in G minor rose up and filled the malodourous air, providing comfort for those who no longer had hope.
Samuel Thompson, 34, is trying to make it as a professional violinist. He had grabbed his instrument, made in 1996 by a Boston woman, as he fled the youth hostel Sunday where he had been staying in New Orleans for the last two months.
"It's the most important thing I own," he said.
He had guarded it carefully and hadn't taken it out until Wednesday afternoon, when he was able to move from the Superdome into the New Orleans Arena, far safer accommodations. He rested the black case on a table next to a man with no legs in a wheelchair and a pile of trash and boxes, and gingerly popped open the two locks. He lifted the violin out of the red velvet encasement and held it to his neck.
Thompson closed his eyes and leaned into each stretch of the bow as he played mournfully. A woman eating crackers and sitting where a vendor typically sold pizza watched him intently. A National Guard soldier applauded quietly when the song ended, and Thompson nodded his head and began another piece, the Andante from Bach's Sonata in A minor.
Thompson's family in Charleston, S.C., has no idea where he is and whether he is alive. Thompson figures he is safe for now and will get in touch when he can. In the meantime he will play, and once in a while someone at the sports complex will manage a smile.
"These people have nothing," he said. "I have a violin. And I should play for them. They should have something."
A man, a violin, and a little civilisation admist the chaos.
Sunday afternoon was beautiful. The sun was shining. There was no wind. As I focused the camera on the Stars and Stripes, which hung limply from the flag pole, a gust of breeze erupted stretching out Old Glory in perfect display for the camera.
Hours later, tragedy struck this nation.
Those wishing to help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina can find a reputable charity at The Network for Good, or FEMA. Instapundit is also providing a list of links to charitable organisations.
As a fledgling Canadian, you will have to be extra vigilant. There are a lot of impostors out there. If you suspect that someone is falsely trying to pass themselves off as a Canadian, make the following statement - and then carefully note their reaction:
"Last night, I cashed my pogey and went to buy a mickey of C.C. at the beer parlour, but my skidoo got stuck in the muskeg on my way back to the duplex. I was trying to deke out a deer, you see. Damn chinook, melted everything. And then a Mountie snuck up behind me in a ghost car and gave me an impaired. I was S.O.L., sitting there dressed only in my Stanfields and a toque at the time. And the Mountie, he's all chippy and everything, calling me a "shit disturber" and what not. What could I say, except, "Chimo!"
If the person you are talking to nods sympathetically, they're one of us. If, however, they stare at you with a blank incomprehension, they are not a real Canadian. Have them reported to the authorities at once.
The passage cited above contains no fewer than 19 different Canadianisms. In order:
Pogey: EI (Employment insurance). Money provided by the government for not working.
Mickey: A small bottle of booze (13 oz) (A Texas mickey, on the other hand, is a ridiculously big bottle of booze, which, despite the name, is still a Canadianism through and through.)
C.C.: Canadian Club, a brand of rye. Not to be confused with "hockey stick," another kind of Canadian Club.
Beer Parlour: Like an ice cream parlour, but for Canadians.
Skidoo: Self-propelled decapitation unit for teenagers.
Muskeg: Boggy swampland.
Duplex: A single building divided in half with two sets of inhabitants, each trying to pretend the other doesn't exist while at the same time managing to drive each other crazy; metaphor for Canada's french and english.
Deke: Used as a verb, it means "to fool an opponent through skillful misdirection." As a noun, it is used most often in exclamatory constructions, such as: "Whadda deke!" Meaning, "My, what an impressive display of physical dexterity employing misdirection and guile."
Chinook: An unseasonably warm wind that comes over the Rockies and onto the plains, melting snow banks in Calgary but just missing Edmonton, much to the pleasure of Calgarians.
Mountie: Canadian icon, strong of jaw, red of coat, pure of heart. Always get their man! (See also Pepper spray, uses of.)
Snuck: To have sneaked; to move, past tense, in a sneaky manner; non-restrictive extended semi-gerundial form of "did sneak." (We think.)
Ghost Car: An unmarked police car, easily identifiable by its inconspicuousness.
Impaired: A charge of drunk driving. Used both as a noun and as an adjective (the alternative adjectival from of "impaired" being "pissed to the gills").
S.O.L.: Shit outta luck; in an unfortunate predicament.
Stanfields: Men's underwear, especially Grandpa-style, white cotton ones with a big elastic waistband and a large superfluous flap in the front. And back!
Toque: Canada's official National Head Apparel, with about the same suave sex appeal as a pair of Stanfields.
Chippy: Behaviour that is inappropriately aggressive; constantly looking for a reason to find offense; from "chip on one's shoulder." (See Western Canada)
Shit Disturber: (See Quebec) a troublemaker or provocateur. According to Katherine Barber, editor in Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, "shit disturber" is a distinctly Canadian term. (Just remember that Western Canada is chippy and Quebec is a shit disturber, and you will do fine.)
Chimo!: The last sound heard before a Canadian falls over. Passes out!