Canadian Expatriates: The Expat Blog: November 2005


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An Invitation from Foreign Affairs Canada [-]

Canadian Expatriates, its contributors, and readers have been invited by Foreign Affairs Canada to participate in a series of eDiscussions. The current topic is “Showcasing Canadian Culture and Know-How Abroad”.

We are asked to consider the following questions:

  • What role does Canadian culture and know-how play in our foreign policy?

  • How might the government best promote Canadian talent and expertise in the world?

    The eDiscussion runs from April 4 to May 6, 2005. At its conclusion, a summary of the discussion will be sent to senior policy planners.

    The Expat admin team encourages its readers to join in the eDiscussion at the Canadian International Policy website.



    Posted by Admin



  • Call for Contributors [-]

    The administration team is currently searching for Canadian expatriates who would be interested in contributing to the Expat Blog. The subject matter is wide open, but must remain family friendly.

    If you are interested in joining our blogging team, please send an email our way!

    Thank you!




    Posted by Admin


    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    PSA: How to Vote from Abroad
    by Expat

    So you have moved away from the beloved Motherland but you still wear the free toque that you got from your last two-four of Molson Canadian with pride, eh? You can still recite "The Rant" from memory and do it gladly anytime that somebody asks you if you know Suzie from Canada. In fact, you still catch "The National" every night from the comfort of your computer room, have friends and family send you Canadian food stuffs from home, and frequently peruse eBay for new Tim Hortons memorabilia to decorate your rumpus room.1

    Just because you live abroad, it does not mean that you have severed your ties or your love for Canada, right? No doubt, many an expatriate is wondering how to cast their vote in the upcoming election.

    Here is the low down.

    Canadians who live abroad and intend to return to living in Canada at some point retain the right to vote by special ballot under the following conditions:

    1. You must have set foot on Canadian soil at some point with in the last five years.

    2. If you have not been in Canada during the past five years, you can still vote if you or someone that you live with is a member of the Armed Forces and working overseas, works for a federal or provincial government department or agency overseas, or works for an international organization of which Canada is a member.

    If you fall into one of the above categories, you can have your name placed on a list with Elections Canada which will grant you the ability to vote by mail. Just be sure that you send the Application for Registration and Special Ballot (PDF) to them quickly as your ballot will need to be sent to you and then arrive back in Canada in time for election day. The riding that you will be voting in will be the riding in which you last resided.

    The full instructions on voting by mail can be found here, Elections Canada: Home or Away, Canadians Have a Say!


    1 I am not even talking about myself here.2
    2 Seriously, I am not. ;)








    A Classic Fairy Tale
    by Expat

    One upon a time, in a far away land, a beautiful Princess was asleep.

    "Zzzzzzzzzz..."

    "Hey, wake up!"

    "Zzzzzz... Huh?"

    "Do you recognize that voice?"

    "Yeah. It is you waking me up from a dead sleep."

    "No. On TV. Do you know that voice?"

    "It sounds like the soothing journalistic stylings of Peter Mansbridge."

    "Check this out. There are Canadian flags EVERYwhere."

    And so the Prince and Princess spent the wee hours of the morning watching CBC's coverage of the demise of Canada's 38th parliament on a magical American news network that actually carried Canadian events.


    For Fun:
    Rock the Voters: Pop Culture Advice for Our Party Leaders
    Matching Game: Moments in Politics
    Quiz: Canadian Election Quiz 1
    Jigsaw Puzzle: Paul Martin




    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Dine & Dash
    by Expat

    The Dude-To-Which-I-Am-Married requested that I blog the following story as he thinks that he is quite the comedian. :P

    Saturday morning, the in-laws decided that they wanted to party it up in another town and left my husband and I to our own devices. We decided to go and get breakfast at a Mom and Pop type restaurant in town.

    After we ate breakfast, I briefly retired to the ladies room in preparation for the morning of shopping that we had planned. When I came back to our table, my husband stood up, grabbed my arm, and rushed me out of the restaurant.

    "Shhhh," he said. "Just keep moving. Quickly."

    "What the heck is going on?"

    "C'mon. Move faster."

    "What?"

    "Just hurry before we get caught!"

    By this time we had exited the building.

    "Oh my gosh! Don't tell me that we didn't pay."

    I tried to turn around, but he had me by the arm.

    "Shhhh! Less talk; more running."

    At that point, he couldn't keep up with the charade anymore and started laughing. He then showed me the receipt for breakfast.

    Unbelievable.






    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Canuck Snacks
    by Expat

    It has been said many times that we, as human beings, do not really appreciate what we have until it is gone. Since moving to the United States, I have found this sentiment to be quite true, especially in the snacking department.

    While in Canada, I did not really appreciate the abundant variety of potato chips that graced the grocery store shelves. Certainly some popular flavours, such as Salt & Vinegar, Sour Cream & Onion, and Ripple can be found in the US, but there are many notable exceptions. Dill pickle, for example, is only made by Lays and is quite different from the Old Dutch variety that is popular in the western provinces. Ketchup, All Dressed, Bacon, Chili, Buffalo Wings, and Fries & Gravy are impossible to find south of the border.

    It has become a game for my husband and I to cruise down the chip aisle of the grocery store on the lookout for the familiar flavours of Canada. Most of our excursions are met with bitter disappointment, but every once in awhile Lady Luck finds us. Last night was one such occasion.

    Making a late night run to Walmart to buy some additional Christmas lights for the tree (we want that baby to be able to light up the whole neighbourhood by golly!), we decided to meander down the chip aisle just for kicks. At that moment, the clouds parted, a choir of angels appeared, and a beam of sunlight illuminated the Ruffles section. There, we saw two varieties of chips that were previously not there - Loaded Baked Potato and Sour Cream & Cheddar. Next to the Ruffles, we even found Taco flavoured Doritos.

    Watching a TiVoed version of the Grey Cup just got a whole lot sweeter.






    Grey Cup 2005: Expat Style
    by Expat

    One of the more difficult aspects of living abroad is that it becomes challenging to keep up with the distinctly Canadian aspects of home such as news, politics, the arts, and sports.

    Yesterday, as friends and family across Canada got together for Grey Cup parties, there were Canucks the world over who missed out on the festivities, the game, and the remarkable overtime ending. Fortunately, CBC Sports has provided coverage of the event online, including a log of the game.

    Thank heavens for the marvel of the internet making life abroad feel a little closer to home and congratulations to the Edmonton Eskimos on their Grey Cup win!






    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Variations on a Theme
    by Expat

    With accents from Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Saskatchewan, it is a wonder that anyone understood anything this Thanksgiving.

    At times, it was difficult to tell that we were all speaking English.






    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    by Expat

    Faced with the much dreaded blue screen of death last night and plagued by "Hurry up and create a backup before this thing blows!" messages today, I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that my laptop's hard drive is mere seconds away from self-destruction.

    Our office has been converted into a guestroom for the next week, so I no longer have access to that computer either. As such, until we replace the hard drive on the laptop or reclaim the office, this will likely be the last post for a few days.

    In the meantime, I would like to wish my fellow Stateside expats and our American friends, both in Canada and in the United States, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    Enjoy the long weekend and good luck with your Black Friday shopping!






    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Canadian Conversion
    by Expat

    Last week, we were faced with some unseasonably warm weather, a day of tornadoes, and then bitter cold. I was surprised when my husband came home wearing a toque on the first cold day of the season. Prior to that day, I had never seen my Southern raised husband wearing such a hat. Since then, he has been wearing it everywhere - even in the house.

    Last night, he turned to me and said, "I finally understand the rules when it comes to the word 'toque'."

    "Oh?"

    "Anyone north of I-80 can say 'toque'."

    I tried not to laugh.

    "I was listening to the radio the other day, and Roe Conn was saying toque. I think that I can say it now too."

    I breathed a sigh of relief that he was finally able to come to terms with the word. It was only three years ago that he asked me if I wore a "toboggan" on my head in the winter.






    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    An Upside Down Christmas
    by Expat

    A few weeks ago, the husband got a bee in his bonnet about getting an upside down Christmas tree. I had never heard of such a thing, but sure enough, they have become quite the craze here in Illinois and are quickly spreading across the country.

    US Tree Craze Stands Christmas on its Head

    According to the husband guy, an upside down tree would allow for more presents to be tucked beneath it and would put a kink in our Border Collie's habit of herding the lower decorations.

    I, however, am not sold on it.






    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Leggo My Lego
    by Expat

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada made a landmark decision: Montreal-based Mega Bloks does not infringe upon Lego's trademark.
    "The monopoly on the bricks is over and Mega Bloks and Lego bricks may be interchangeable in the bins of the playrooms of the nation, the Supreme Court said in its unanimous decision.

    Dragons, castles and knights may be designed with them (toy blocks) without any distinction.”

    The ruling, which only applies in Canada, means Mega Bloks can continue to produce and sell its products.
    Personally, I have always been more of a fan of Lego for the simple fact that their pieces were much smaller than Mega Bloks and, as such, posed much more of a choking hazard.

    Who doesn't have fond childhood memories of playing Truth or Dare to see who would stuff a small yellow Lego up their nose or to see who would swallow the pointy block? How we would laugh at the resulting emergency room visit for a Lego-ectomy.

    Thanks for the memories, Lego!




    Evening Update:

    I got a phone call from my mother.

    "I didn't know that you used to play that game with the Lego."

    "Mom, it is called poetic license."

    "I never allowed you to have Lego because it is a choking hazard."

    "I know Mom. I was very underprivileged in that regard."

    "I can't believe that you did that."

    "Mom, it was a story. Fiction. I made it up."

    "Oh. Well you shouldn't say things that aren't true."

    Thanks Mom.


    For Fun:
    The Brick Testament
    Spiderman: The Peril of Doc Ock
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego




    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    He's B-a-a-a-ck!
    by Expat

    Rick Mercer Report is back along with a website redesign, desktop wallpapers, and a contest for Canada's best shed.

    Be sure to check out the clip of Rick and Prime Minister Paul shopping at Canadian Tire!






    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Martha's Been Schooled
    by Expat

    Yesterday, Canadian sweetheart Shania Twain made a guest appearance on Martha Stewart's daytime television show. The music diva taught the domestic diva the intricacies of making fine Canadian cuisine: Shania Shows Martha the Art of Poutine.
    I have never made poutine, something called poutine, and actually I've never even eaten poutine," confessed Stewart.

    "Oh, it's heartbreaking," lamented Twain when Stewart insisted the Internet described the snack as a Canadian junk food.

    When asked if poutine means "mess" in French, Twain confessed she didn't know.

    "This actually smells good," added a surprised Stewart as the recipe came together, but neither celebrity sampled it on camera.
    I once made poutine for my mother-in-law. It was met with the same degree of enthusiasm that Martha displayed for the traditional Canadian dish. The husband, on the other hand, has become a good Canadian convert in this regard. ;)








    Random Remark:

    Any 'Nuks south of the 49th know where to catch the Grey Cup?






    Connections
    by Anna

    I know this is probably a fairly obvious connection. But I didn't make it until this week.

    Back home, a good chuck of the population amongst my peer group claims loudly and proudly to be of Scottish descent. They are Proud Scots, who will wear tartans or talk about their clan history, even if no one in their family for four generations has ever stepped foot on that 'far away isle'.

    I started a new job this week, and the standard "Where are you from?" "Oh, at least you're not American!" has started up. This time, it has a twist.

    It seems nearly everyone here is quite proud to tell me that they have relatives that left Scotland to move to Canada. "I think they're out in Winnipeg!" they tell me.

    At this point I'm quite convinced the entire population of Winter Winnipeg is Scottish....




    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    The Shirt
    by Expat

    "What are you watching?"

    "Garth Brooks on Good Morning America."

    *sound of screaming fans*

    "Hey, that dude has your stars and stripes shirt."

    *snirk*

    "That shirt is so awesome."

    That is when I searched for the sarcasm. It was not there.







    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Let It Snow
    by Expat

    You really don't miss the white stuff until you no longer have it.

    This morning's webcam image.

    Twenty-three storm warnings in effect, and I am feeling jealous.

    Please write my name in the snow make a snow angel for me.

    Enjoy it folks and be careful on the roads.






    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Girl Guides and Chesterfields
    by Expat

    As much as it pains me to admit this, my husband was correct.

    I don't speak English.

    I speak Canadian.






    Friday, November 11, 2005

    In Remembrance
    by Expat

    In Flanders Fields

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D. (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army



    Further Reading:
    CBC Indepth: Remembrance Day
    Virtual Museum of Canada: Canada and the Second World War
    The Memory Project





    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Curing the Winter Blues
    by Expat

    Faced with another harsh winter in Canada?

    No January getaway to Tahiti in your future?

    Ladies (and men who are so inclined), fear not!

    A Japanese company is working towards making the frigid Canadian winters a little more tolerable with their new innovation in feminine underthings - the microwavable bra.

    Mmmmmm toasty.






    Word Choice
    by Anna

    Bonfire!See the pink stuff I'm holding in this picture?

    Growing up, I called it Cotton Candy. When I bought it here in Scotland, the person selling it was calling out "Candy Floss! Get your Candy Floss!" When I asked Phil, who grew up in Australia, he called it "Fairy Floss".

    So, just like there are vast conversations about whether or not a can of coke is called pop, soda, coke, or juice (or something else), I pose the question:

    What do you call the pink stuff made of spun sugar where you're from, or where you're living, or both?

    As a note, my friends call it "Oh god, not again." Then, they try to avoid me until the sugar runs out.

    No idea why....




    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Neighbourly Nightmare
    by Expat

    We may hate our neighbours.

    We may hate the pile of trash in their yard.

    We may hate that they constantly park in front of the fire hydrant.

    We may hate that their dog uses our manicured front yard as a toilet.

    But...

    Thank heavens that we live next to them and not next to these rascals.






    Hip to Be Canadian
    by Expat

    For years, Toronto-based Roots kept Canadian athletes looking snazzy as they represented their country at the Olympic games. It became tradition to see the red and white varsity jackets and red berets on the Canadian team members. In the winter of 1998, there may have been a flap over snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's use of marijuana, but all that most Canadian girls remember is how cute he looked in his red and white "O Cannabis" inspired gear. Americans also thought that the Canucks were looking hip and contracted Roots to design their Olympic team clothing for the summer Olympics of 2004.

    A few months ago, Canadian Olympic officials awarded the contract for 2006's Olympic wear to Canada's oldest retailer, the Hudson's Bay Company. Yesterday, the new "Olympic leisure wear line" was unveiled. You can catch a sneak peak of the winter gear here, HBC Unveils Olympic Fashions.

    What do you think?

    Will the Canadian athletes be starting another Olympic trend?

    Will Americans soon be clamouring for earflap toques?






    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Unsettling
    by Expat

    Saturday night, we returned from a Canadian chocolate shopping extravaganza to find that we were under a tornado watch. As the sun set, the wind kicked up, the rain and hail began, and the thunder rolled. The tornado watch soon turned into a warning and the sirens sounded. We quickly grabbed the birds, some candles, the radio, and the pups, and sought refuge in the safety of the basement. It was the first time that we faced the threat of a tornado in the black of night.

    Although there were a few dicey moments, there was not much damage. The 60 mph winds tore the roof off of a nearby school and mangled the school's fence and baseball diamond, but overall damage was slight. Students from the school are being bussed into other communities for some of their classes while the roof and water damage are being repaired.

    As the storm left central Illinois and headed for southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, we emerged from the basement. We moved the birds back to their room, put the candles back where they belonged, and returned the radio to its place in the kitchen. Before we turned in for the night, we took one last look at the weather radar. A line of storm cells would be passing us later in the night, but it looked to be much weaker than the line that had just passed us. We decided to take our chances and go to bed.

    Later that night, tornados spawning from that first line of storm cells tore through Indiana and Kentucky, killing at least 22 people as they slept in their beds.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their homes and their loved ones.




    Monday, November 07, 2005

    A Matter of Perspective
    by Anna

    If you read my main blog, you may have read that I'm going to Glastonbury this weekend. In an excited daze of bliss and happiness, I've been telling everyone about this, giggling and jumping up and down. I'm going to Glastonbury! I'm going to see a Tor! I'm gonna find the grail and be the next Queen of England, only to be betrayed by my lover and my best friend. Yay!

    Others, however, are not as impressed with this as I am.

    When I mentioned it to a girl at work, she blinked at me rather confusedly. "Why, is there another rock concert there?"

    "Rock concert? No, I'm going for the Tor and stuff!"

    "Tor? What's that?"

    This woman is from England. I figured she was pulling my leg. All English and Scottish and Welsh and Irish people must grow up hearing the Arthurian legends. Aren't they all waiting with baited breath for their Once and Future King? Don't they all make pilgrimages to Stonehenge?

    Apparently not.

    "You know," I said, "with the Arthurian legends, and the Isle of Avalon, and the Grail legends and stuff."

    She gave me a strange look. "I've never heard of any of that stuff. I suppose you're going out to Stonehenge, too." She shrugged. "Only Americans... and I guess Canadians... get all worked up about Arthurian legends. We don't really care here."

    Another myth, shattered.

    Oh well. As I said, I'm going to Glastonbury. If you'd like a postcard, drop me an email (anna@annaoverseas.com), and I will mail one to you.




    Canada's New PC Anthem
    by Expat

    Canada's offensive national anthem:

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    Our national anthem is very offensive to everyone. It must be changed!

    We have identified 13 separate offenses in the national anthem, as follows:

    1. "Our home and native land" - Some people are not originally from here; therefore, not native. Also some people, such as servicemen and Canadian foreign diplomats, do not have their home here either. They should be very offended.

    2. "Thy sons" - We know all about the ire these words raise with our "daughters"!

    3. "Glowing hearts" - This is offensive to the many Canadians with non-glowing organs.

    4. "We see thee rise" - This is obviously an attack on those who live closer to sea level. The phrase was originally included because of demand from the leaders of Upper Canada. Their distaste was directed to those in Lower Canada - Quebec. Therefore, the Quebecois should feel especially alienated by this phrase.

    5. "The true north" - This offends scientists and navigators who rely more heavily on "magnetic" north.

    6. "Strong" - Now, talk about a jibe directed toward the most helpless of society. This is a malicious attack on the sick, children, and other Canadians who otherwise don't get off the couch enough to become "strong".

    7. "Free" - This phrase is very offensive to Canadian prisoners.

    8. "And wide" - Persons of substantial girth should unite against the use of this word.

    9. "God keep our land" - This is offensive to atheists, spiritualists, and those who follow religions which are not monotheistic. I am certain they are not ready to give the land to "God" and certainly not to "keep"!

    10. "Glorious" - People from less glorious cities and regions might prefer "economically competitive" or "industrialized".

    11. "And free" - There it is again!

    12. "We stand" - Many Canadians are physically unable to stand. They should not be made to feel less Canadian because of this.

    13. "On guard for thee" - Those not working in the military or other security-oriented positions (such as mall cops) are made to feel second class citizens because they are not actively fulfilling their duty of protecting Canada. Just to add insult to injury, we sing this line twice.

    The proposed alternative:

    Given that the national anthem is so offensive to so many, we should formulate a national anthem without lyrics, perhaps replacing words with whistling or hand actions. Before this is done, hand-free Canadians who cannot whistle should be thoroughly consulted about their sensitivities (perhaps an alternative "eye-blinking" or "breathing" sequence could be introduced in place of hand actions).

    Alternately, we could translate the National Anthem into a language that nobody speaks (perhaps Latin or Esperanto). Is it possible to offend someone when they don't understand what they are saying? To satisfy the Latin scholars and those of the Bahai faith, an alternative might be developing a distinctly Canadian language. Some of the adjectives introduced by the Teletubbies children's television show could be just what we need to inspire the nation. What could Tinky-winky ever do to offend?

    Finally, a more cost-effective solution would be to sing the words "O Canada" over and over again to the same music. It might be a bit choppy though:

    O Canada!
    O Ca-na-na-na-da!
    O Ca-nada O Ca-na-na-na-da.
    O Canada O Canada,
    O Ca-na-na-na-da!
    O Canada,
    O Canada, O Ca-na-na-na-da.
    O Ca-nada, O Ca-nada!
    O Canada, O Ca-na-na-na-da.
    O Canada, O Ca-na-na-na-da.

    Collected from the internet.






    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Same Shoe; Different Foot
    by Expat

    United States Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, recently joked about the language barrier that he has discovered since he accepted his post in Ottawa.
    The former South Carolina House speaker may have shocked his former colleagues when he greeted them in French, but he later went on to explain the language barrier also applies to English-speaking people in Canada who may not understand some Southern ways of saying things.

    "There's no Canadian equivalent of 'y'all,'" Wilkins said. "So I have to explain to my Canadian friends that the plural of y'all is 'all y'all.'"

    Wilkins also said he once spent 15 minutes explaining about a campaign event called a "peanut boil."

    Things got a little clearer when the Canadian reporters he was talking to realized he wasn't saying "bowl."

    Take heart, Mr.Wilkins. This Canuck south of the 49th can relate.

    I have no idea what my husband is talking about two-thirds of the time.






    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Talking to Americans
    by Expat

    Did you know that Canada has a five dollar coin called the "woody" or that a Canadian minute is actually longer than an American minute?

    Rick Mercer found some notable Americans who knew these obscure Canadian facts (and more!) in his This Hour Has 22 Minutes segment, "Talking to Americans".

    For more of the comedic stylings of Rick Mercer, check out his most recent photoshop competition.






    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Things You Leave Behind
    by Anna

    A very good friend of mine is getting married this weekend. I am, of course, in Scotland, and she's getting married in Edmonton, so I won't be there in anything but spirit. I've sent them a Welsh Lovespoon for their wedding gift, because what's the point of travelling if you can't send friends nifty foreign gifts?

    But, I regret. I regret being here, when I could be there to share her big day. I can only imagine, or experience through pictures, what her wedding will be like. She sent me their vows for me to read through, to make sure they weren't 'too sappy', and I caught myself having to hold back tears. They're so perfect for this couple, and I can't believe I'm going to be here when I could be there, helping them celebrate this day they've been planning for months.

    It's an interesting story, though. Mel left the US to come to Canada a few years ago, and Cody came just a few months ago to join her. They met through the internet, and then in person a few times before he made the leap to join her in Edmonton, leaving behind a town he hated and a family he has little in common with. She did the same thing - I don't doubt Mel loves her family, but they're not invited to the wedding. I'm not even positive they know about it.

    So, here I am, a million miles away, thinking about what I gave up to be here, and there she is, pondering the complicated twists and turns that led her to finding the man of her dreams, a million miles from home for both of them.

    I've been contemplating giving up my Canadian citizenship while Mel's been writing her test to become one. She's found her home, to some extent, while I'm still searching for mine.




    Hot Diggity!
    by Expat

    What is more American than the hot dog?

    Sure, hot dogs were mentioned in Homer's Odyssey back in the 9th century BC. Sure, they are often attributed to having their origins in Germany. Sure, a skinny Japanese man holds the Coney Island hot dog eating title and the world record for hot dog consumption, but seriously, what is more American than the hot dog?

    Here in the Chicago area, we are quite fond of our dogs. In fact, there is an art to creating them. The first point of order is not to spoil the dog with ketchup. The folks of the Windy City are very vehement about this, so write that down. NO ketchup.

    Next, compile the following ingredients:

    All-beef hot dogs
    Yellow onions, diced
    Yellow mustard
    Sweet pickle relish
    Kosher dill pickle spear
    Tomatoes, diced
    Serrano sport peppers
    Celery salt
    Poppy seed buns

    Now we can get down to business.

    First you will need to heat the hot dog. You can do this by any method of your choosing - boil 'em, roast 'em, blow torch 'em, grill 'em. Just don't nuke 'em. That is gross. While you are cooking your dogs, you can fire up the coffee maker to brew yourself some beer. It will take five to seven days for the beer to ferment so don't expect to enjoy a cold one with your dogs. Then again, you are Canadian. What good Canadian doesn't have a cold two-four in the fridge? Go ahead and grab a beer. Grilling is thirsty work.

    While the dogs are finishing cooking, steam your poppy seed bun. The dog goes directly into the naked bun and the toppings all pile on top. (How risquée!) You will want to pile on the toppings in this exact order: mustard, relish, onions, pickle, tomatoes, peppers, and celery salt. Don't stray from this magical ordering and keep in mind that Chicago is synonymous with Gangsterville (well, in the twenties anyway). We don't want to tick anyone off by messing up these dogs.

    Finally, remember NO ketchup. I am not even kidding about that.

    Don't make me break a kneecap. :p






    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    A Sticky Riddle
    by Expat

    Q. What do you get when you cross a bottle of Elmers with a hiney?

    A. This morning's US news headlines.

    Man Sues After Using Glue Covered Toilet.

    A Scorned Lover, Glue, and a Naked Man.


    Tip o' the toque to NealeNews.






    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Almost, but not entirely, unlike home
    by Anna

    I was expecting to feel uncomfortable and out of place when I got to China.

    I mean, why wouldn't I? I'm a tall white girl. I don't speak Mandarin. I think Chinese characters are pretty. Of course I would be out of place.

    I didn't expect it in Scotland.

    Like a lot of Canadians, my family background is from the UK. My mother's travelled here to visit relatives, and I got birthday cards with my name misspelled for years from Wales and England. I look like a good Scottish lass, when you squint right.

    So, being completely confused over here? Not so much prepared for.

    It's little things, like the vast cornacopia of choices in supermarkets. It's big things, like the fact that there are so many different types of money (did you know that each bank here issues their own money? I didn't.). It's randomly having people from Glasgow start talking to me, in English, and I have no idea what they're saying.

    I feel far more lost than I ever did in China, where at least I looked like a lost little foriegner all the time. Here, no one knows until I open my mouth.

    I don't mind, of course. The whole point is to experience life in a different culture, to break away from those deep Canadian roots, to explore a city where the street I'm living on is older than Confederation.

    But lately it's gotten just a bit more strange than I expected. Halloween was no big deal here (although if you'd like, I can tell you about the turnip jack-o-lantern sitting next to my computer), but there have been fireworks all week. I didn't really think about why, until someone mentioned it to me:

    Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November...

    We all need our rituals, but Bonfire Night being so close to Halloween just struck me as being almost, but not entirely, like home.

    So close to finding that way of relating to people.

    Ah well. There's no snow here, not yet, so I guess we couldn't have bonded over stories of costumes over thick winter jackets anyway.




    Welcome Aboard!
    by Expat

    We, at Canadian Expatriates, wish to extend a warm welcome to Anna who will be contributing to The Expat Blog from the United Kingdom.

    Welcome to the team Anna! :)






    Shave the Yeti
    by Expat

    Make the yeti happy and he will reward you!

    Who knew that Yetis had beer bellies under all that fluff?

    (And drawers to boot!)






    Canadians in Hell
    by Expat

    Two guys from Toronto die and wake up in hell.

    The next day the devil stops in to check on them and sees them dressed in parkas, mittens, and toques, warming themselves around the fire. The devil asks them, "What are you doing? Isn't it hot enough for you?"

    The two guys reply, "Well, you know, we're from Canada, the land of snow and ice and cold. We're just happy for a chance to warm up a little bit, eh."

    The devil decides that these two aren't miserable enough and turns up the heat.

    The next morning he stops in again and there they are, still dressed in parkas, toques, and mittens. The devil asks them again, "It's awfully hot down here, can't you guys feel it?"

    Again the two guys reply, "Well, like we told ya yesterday, we're from Canada, the land of snow and ice and cold. We're just happy for a chance to warm up a little bit, eh."

    This gets the devil a little steamed up and he decides to fix these two guys. He cranks the heat up as high as it will go. The people are wailing and screaming everywhere. He stops by the room with the two guys from Canada and finds them in light jackets and bucket hats, grilling sausage and drinking beer.

    The devil is astonished, "Everyone down here is in abject misery, and you two seem to be enjoying yourselves."

    The two Canadians reply, "Well, ya know, we don't get too much warm weather up there in Toronto so we've just got to have a cook-out when the weather's THIS nice."

    The devil is absolutely furious, he can hardly see straight. Finally he comes up with the answer. The two guys love the heat because they have been cold all their lives. The devil decides to turn all the heat off in hell.

    The next morning, the temperature is below zero, icicles are hanging everywhere; people are shivering so bad that they are unable to do anything but wail, moan and gnash their teeth.

    The devil smiles and heads for the room with the two Canadians.

    He gets there and finds them back in their parkas, toques, and mittens. NOW they are jumping up and down, cheering, yelling, and screaming like mad men!!!

    The devil is dumbfounded, "I don't understand. When I turn up the heat you're happy. Now it's freezing cold and you're still happy. What is wrong with you two???"

    The Torontonians look at the devil in surprise, "Well, don't you know? If Hell freezes over, it must mean the Leafs have won the Stanley Cup."


    Collected from the internet.






    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    The Wolverine State
    by Expat

    "I think that we should move to Michigan!"

    "Why are you thinking that?"

    "Well, they have a bunch of Tim Hortons and it would just be a short drive to the Nukland to load up on chocolate bars and Spectro Jel."

    "Oh."

    "Plus, when Canada takes over, Michigan will be the first state to be annexed."

    "Hasn't that happened yet? It is already Toronto's dump."

    Touché.







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