July 1, 2010


O Canada



I'm debating heading out to my swing at the foot of the yard. The sun is out, and I haven't sat on it yet this year, except the one day when I cut the backyard because the boys were out and I had to sit and take a break midway because I never cut the grass anymore. I'm sure it's covered in bird poop, so I'll take a cushion thing and pretend I don't know. It's Canada Day; most of my days run into each other (deadline changes now mean I work on Sundays as well as Mondays for writing), and I kinda end up working every day of the week. But today, maybe not. Or at least maybe not for long.

Flags hold a special place in my family's heart. Mostly because of Christopher. When he was little, he discovered flags and fell in love. By age two he was mesmerized. By three, he was collecting them. He'd get two new ones every week from the the flag store (yes, such places exist), until he had about 50 different countries. And he knew them all. But Canadian flags were always his favourite, and when we moved to this house the promise was that he could finally get his own flag pole. It's out front; we replace the flag not often enough, but we're still the house with the flag.

The Toronto Star had a bunch of their journalists write up a 'what Canada means to me' bit today. Most of them were lovely, and no doubt in line with what I would have written if they'd asked me. Note: they did not ask me. Anyway. All but Cathal Kelly's who cracked me up. Read his snarky take. I predict a flood of rotten letters to the ed for his impudence, but I loved it. It's true.

Canadians are a weird bunch. Truly. Even though we find it easy to define other Canadians, I think we usually get ourselves wrong. We're a Sunday morning version of ourselves, if Sunday morning still involved church and itchy pants and hard shoes.
We know we're doing the right thing even when we'd rather get changed and go play.

We're not up north, but we should be. But the traffic has become such a nightmare that I'll only try to get there on off days. That, and the laundry all got moused last year, so I volunteered to wash it all over the winter. I'm doing it as we speak. If my sisters go up, there are no towels or duvets. I hope they're not going up.

I'm sorry that Christopher Hitchens has cancer. I like the cantankerous bastard. I like his writing. I hope he gets well and keeps doing it.

I'm glad that Pee Wee Herman is developing a new movie. I think he got a totally bum rap all those years ago. Caught enjoying himself in a movie theatre (and the kind intended for that, not like a screening of 101 Dalmations or anything), I think back on all the crap that has happened since, all the sex tapes and confessions and cringe-inducing behaviour from people who should know better, and I think "Pee Wee gets busted for that and loses his career? Really?" So, welcome back. You were one of the only things my kids watched that didn't make me barf. I'm talking to you, Barney creators.

I'm conflicted about the stories emerging from the G20 stuff. Cops detaining people on their way to work is bullsh*t. But I'm not buying the 'I was just walking by' line at all. There were thousands of legitimate protesters, there for a purpose. But if you just were there for a looky-loo and got mixed up, kwitcherbitchin if you got swept up. You denigrate the case to be made for those with a purpose.

Larry King is bowing out of his show. I'm trying to think of something I care less about. Nope. Can't come up with anything.

I have other things to say, but I'm gonna go have some eggs.

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19 Comments:

Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

Kudos to the Star for putting Kelly's essay-thingie on page 1. Loved it. For Canada Day, I'm planning on how to deal with my insufferable neighbour, Felix who does not seem to appreciate the fact that there are more people on this street than him and his equally boorish, wife. To some, Felix might be considered the poster boy for a bon vivant; to us, he's a royal pain in the ass.

July 01, 2010 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this Canada Day I get the great pleasure of taking 911 calls from people who think that Fireworks going off in their neighbourhood on a national holiday are a life and death situation. People, fireworks generally occur 3 days a year. Live with it, Im sure when you were a teenager you did some of this stuff and its all relatively harmless.
Also, I swear that last night it was a full moon, the "not so with it" members of society were out in full force last night.
Happy Canada Day to all those that have to work tonight, Police, Ambulance and I would say fire but we all know that in reality they are snoozing in their beds admiring their "good looking 911 Dispatcher Calendar 2010"!

July 01, 2010 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanna know more about Felix.

Roz

July 01, 2010 2:41 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I think we should call 911 on Felix.

Or his wife. Who I bet is wearing a little something that is a crime against fashion. And the laws of physics.

July 01, 2010 2:45 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Cathal Kelly's article was pretty good and a bit unexpected from the Star. Usually they are so PC it is sickening.Flag collecting, what a neat hobby for a young kid! Mind you, he'll develop the travel bug early and that means he'd better havea great job when he graduates, or become a travel agent. Have a great weekend every one.

July 01, 2010 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved that article! I do love Canada, not that I've been much of anywhere else but any time I have ventured across the border into the US I get an uneasy feeling that doesn't go away until I've lied about how much I've bought and I'm back in Canada.

As for Felix, let me know how you decide to deal with that and then give me some suggestions on dealing with my neighbour who feels that 8am every Saturday morning is the perfect time to fire up the mower and cut his lawn.

July 02, 2010 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We spent Canada Day fixing our front porch (with our neighbour helping in a big way). Then we all got together after dinner & sat on the deck swatting mosquitos for numerous wobbly pops and a lot of laughs. Great neighbours are the best.

July 02, 2010 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, survived Canada Day at 911. So now we are celebrating today. Filling one of those so called "easy to install self inflating pools" or whatever they call them.
A. Its not as easy at it seems, apparently your garden has to be level, well I live in the Northumberland Hill, theres the first clue this isnt going to be great

B.. All the water kept finding the lowest point [I obviously failed Physics because I forgot about this point]

C. Had to empty it and try again, thank goodness the visiting family have the patience of a saint.

D. Now I have the kitchen timer set because last time I added water to my pond I forgot and went off to play baseball, found some of our fish floating on the lawn

Well thats how my Canada Day celebration is going, due to shift work we always seem to celebrate a day or so later than everyone else.
Glad we dont have neighbours like Felix....

July 02, 2010 11:03 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I have no idea who this is, but I'm laughing my ass off.

July 02, 2010 11:05 AM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

On the subject of fireworks, two doors the other side of us, the 'kids' had a pool party while the 'rents are away. It was a boisterous affair and actually quite amusing. One guy, Robert, seemed pretty popular. Robert later was soon seen next door, on Felix's lawn, looking for Ralph! Irony! Love it.

Amyway, fire dept. showed up around 9pm or so when there was 'an accident' involving fireworks and a power boat that was an innocent bystander in the party driveway.

Barrie's finest also showed up.

Officials soon left and the kids of the house have been left with the job of cleaning up before Mom and Dad return. Lumps of melted fireglass on their driveway and other fire scars... Anyone care to buy a pre-owned 18.5' Four Winns with some scorch mark/holes on the hull?

Care to know more about Felix? I actually Tweet and Facebook about him several times a week. He provides so much content it's often way too hard to keep up!

By way of an update, he's suspiciously quiet at the moment...

July 02, 2010 2:18 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

BTW, 8am on a Saturday for a lawn mower -- pah! Try 7.15am on a SUnday with a gas-powered power washer -- for close to 90 minutes!

July 02, 2010 5:19 PM  
Blogger Lucywestie said...

Ok, its the anonymous 911 poster here. I actually had posted here before but it posted my name which is also my email account. I really have no idea when it comes to technology and Im only 43. I dont even have a cell phone. So I created a user name, took me all of 1 minute to figure this out, maybe there is hope for me after all.
So the self inflating pool is actually up and running, slightly askew some may say but the grandchild loves it and thats all that counts. [Yes 43 and two grandchildren, please just dont ask, I may sob uncontrollably for a few seconds then lose whats left of my hair].
We were planning on having a fire pit going in the backyard tonight but I figured with my luck a stray ember would settle on the cheap rubber liner of the pool from hell and I and my family would last be seen surfing on a raging torrent of pool water through the streets of Port Hope.

July 02, 2010 8:24 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Lucy, welcome to Lorrainia, or whatever DJ calls it. You've already passed the admission requirement.

Now. Would you mind showing my sister Roz how to set up an account? She's been struggling with the concept for about 3 years. I didn't want to rush her...but since it only took you a minute, I figure you're the go-to person.

July 02, 2010 9:03 PM  
Blogger Lucywestie said...

Friday night and Im typing away on my laptop on this blog. Do I not have a home to go to? Actually Im baby sitting the grandchild, or who shall forever onwards be called DDD [Dramatic Diahrrea Diaper] In Arbys yesterday and lets just say Snuggy Tight Fit No Leak No nothing diaper do not live up to their name, thank god the seats are made of plastic.
Roz, to be honest, to sign up this account I was actually like the infinite monkeys on the infinite typewriters. I hit enough buttons and managed to get an account. Its more a miracle that in hitting the buttons I didnt shut down the hydro in my town [someone else seems to love to do that every other day]

July 02, 2010 9:13 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

Welcome aboard Lucie!

I'm sure you and My Darling Bride can share war stories. She's been doing your job for over 10 years. (and has the twitches to prove it!)

For the record, we were very Canadian...picnic in the park in Cambridge (my home made burgers), followed by an awesome 30 minute firework display in the little burg of Lynden of all places!

But why does a four day weekend come with a four day 'honey do' list? Back to work for me.

Remember, we're all in this together. I'm pullin' for ya.

DJW

July 03, 2010 10:11 AM  
Blogger DJW said...

Oh yeah, send Felix over to help me with the wood pile.

Maybe I can arrange a chainsaw accident and we can call Lucie or Alice.

Just tryin to help...

DJW

July 03, 2010 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to set up an account but for some reason the webgods in my corporate world won't let me get where I have to go. When I tried I got the ominous "This site is blocked and repeated attempts to access it will be logged"
Big Brother is always watching!!!!

July 04, 2010 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Alysha said...

Not entirely sure which is funnier, Lorraine's blog posts or the discussion on setting up an account... (I do have an account, but it isn't under my real name, which I'd rather use here.) Regardless, you are giving Lorraine a run for her money in the humour department.

July 05, 2010 3:14 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Well, Queen Lorraine will be having none of that.

I'll cancel all your accounts.

July 05, 2010 3:50 PM  

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