It’s Canada Day, eh? Part II

We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows.  According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.”  We’re not offended by these portrayals.  In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way.  Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies.  One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is  comedians.  And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift. But today our gigantic nation–second in size only to Russia–with the teeny tiny population of roughly 34 million people is celebrating its 146th birthday.  Yes, we are a young nation devoid of ancient man-made wonders, but filled with many wonders created with God’s hands.  The Rockies, Niagara Falls, the Cabot Trail, the icy Arctic, and the golden prairies.

Canada's equivalent to "huh."

Canada’s equivalent to “huh.”

We love "u"'s.  We add them to everything.

We love “u”‘s. We add them to everything.

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Timmy's.  Every town has at least one.

Timmy’s. Every town has at least one.

Mm.  Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Mm. Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Beaver Tails.  Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Beaver Tails. Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Yes, we Canadians are known for some pretty strange things.  But, then again, our nickels bear the likeness of a rodent–the beloved Canadian beaver.  Our flag boasts a big red leaf.  And we have adopted a bilingual version of our national anthem, which means that most of us haven’t got a clue what we are singing anymore.  Like I said, we don’t take many things seriously.  Except our hockey.

 
And we, Canadians, can be found everywhere–in your movies, on your TV sets, and in your iPods.  ryan-gosling-300James cameronchristopher plummersandra ohmichael bubleleslien.jpgmary pickfordPhil hartmandave thomasfay wraylorne michaelsjason priestleyeric maccormacknia vardalosrachelle lafevrebrendan-fraser-20070503-249440_largealex trebekellen pagetommy chong
Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Monty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Ryan Gosling, James Cameron, Christopher Plummer, Sandra Oh, Michael Buble, Leslie Nielsen, Mary Pickford, Phil Hartman, Dave Thomas, Fay Wray, Lorne Michaels, Jason Priestley, Eric McCormack, Nia Vardalos, Rachelle Lefevre, Brendan Fraser, Alex Trebek, Ellen Page, Tommy Chong, Catherine O’Hara.
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians!  Raise a cold brew and wish the best country in the world a Happy 146th! 

Photo Credits:  eh (https://twitter.com/filmeh), “U (http://www.takepart.com/photos/everything-you-need-know-you-learned-sesame-street), Bob & Doug (http://www.cbc.ca/75/2011/08/image-of-the-day-canadian-content-eh.html), Tim Hortons (http://screamingbeltloop.com/?tag=tim-hortons), Poutine (http://calgarypoutinecrawl2013.eventbrite.com/), beaver tails (http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/eat/fast-food/beavertails-niagara-falls-canada/).

Hm. Pretty. Pink snow, rubber glove faces, and tongues of fur.

Holy crappy crapperson!  In a period of twenty-four freakin’ hours we went from fields of green–okay, it’s spring, so they weren’t quite green.  More like fields of mud and straw, but I digress–to being buried in snow.  I know.  I live in Canada.  I should be used to snow.  After all, I live in a bloody igloo, right?  I’ve got a dozen huskies and a sleigh parked in the driveway.  NOT.  No matter what misconceptions you may possess about the land that we Canucks call home–snow in April is weird.  And wrong.

As I look out my kitchen window donning my darkest shades–snow is blindingly bright–I can’t help but wonder, “What would the world look like if snow wasn’t white?”  Imagine everything covered in a blanket of yellow.  Ew.  Nix that idea.  I keep hearing my uncle’s warning, “Never eat yellow snow.”  His wisdom is a thing to be treasured.

Who in the hell has been pissing in my yard?

Who in the hell has been pissing in my yard?

I thought perhaps red–being green’s complimentary colour–might liven up the landscape.  But then how would anyone know if a mass murder has taken place in their back yard?

Maybe we’d best go with a hue that is close to red, but different enough to allow massive bloodstains to remain visible.  Fuchsia.  Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers would benefit from this.  How can anyone be depressed in a hot pink world?  Tourists from “snowless” territories would flock to the North en masse.  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to build a fuchsia snowperson?

If snow was always red, this wouldn't be funny.

If snow was always red, this wouldn’t be funny.

Then again, look at what happened to the poor pink Teletubby.  Would small children be “warned” against the evils of building hot pink snowmen.  Apparently, “real men”–and Teletubbies–don’t wear pink.

Don't hate me because I'm pink.  Hate me because I'm ugly.

Don’t hate me because I’m pink. Hate me because I’m ugly.

One problem.  Pink snow would probably stain clothing.  Anyone who’s ever spilled a bottle of Pepto Bismol on white carpeting will know that pink is a bitch to get out.

Imagine French Kissing this thing?

Imagine French Kissing this thing?

1)  I haven’t eaten breakfast yet–and, after looking at this monstrosity, I don’t think I will.  Ack.  But speaking of strange-coloured things and Pepto Bismol made me think of the fact that an ingredient for the tummy-taming goop can actually turn your tongue black.  The culprit, Bismuth, can temporarily–thank God–transform a perfectly normal pink tongue into this.  Bismuth is designed to be consumed with water, so if you chew a tablet and don’t rinse right away, this could happen to you.  And, let’s face it, tongues are creepy at the best of times–all bumpy and covered in spit–but add some black fur and you’ve got yourself the star of a low-budget horror flick.

Apparently, black tongue isn’t harmful–unless you’ve got a hot date that night–and can be removed with some serious brushing.  Lucky toothbrush.

He's gonna go for the tongue, I just know it.

He’s gonna go for the tongue, I just know it.

There is nothing uglier than a tanned face.  Other than the contraption designed to prevent a tanned face.

There is nothing uglier than a tanned face. Other than the contraption designed to prevent a tanned face.

2) It would appear that in China, a tanned face is as undesirable as a black tongue.  And they will go to great lengths to maintain a porcelain complexion–lengths that include strapping on a face-shaped rubber glove.  Hm, nothing like the intoxicating aroma of latex and sweat on a warm summer day. Meet the Facekini–a sun protection device that resembles a Halloween mask gone awry.

Speaking of horror flicks, can you image a beach filled with these seemingly hairless, rubber-faced, crayon-coloured creatures?  They don’t even have eyebrows.  And the Facekini doesn’t even hide black tongues.

Has no one in China ever heard of SPF 60?

Apparently, being cute doesn't make you popular.

Apparently, being cute doesn’t make you popular.

3)  I still haven’t had breakfast and I have no idea what to have.  My conundrum made me wonder what America’s best-selling cereal is.  It turns out that the preferred cereal is not a flake, nor a crispy, and neither is it a cluster.  It is simply an “o”–a cheery one at that.

Yes, Cheerios may not boast an adorable mascot–unless you’re into the Honey Nut variety–but it can lay claim to more devoted fans than any other cold breakfast cereal.

Interestingly, Canadians also favour this vowel produced by General Mills.

Sorry, Sam.  You’re Froot Loops are pretty, but we prefer our circles bland.  And our boxes boring and yellow.

Crap, it’s lunchtime.  Gotta go.

Photo Credits:  Fur tongue (orabrush.com), worried toothbrush (drawception.com), Facekini (feeldesain.com), Teletubby (tvguide.com), yellow snow (furturemoons.com), wounded snowpeople (ibeatyou.com), Cornelius (retroplanet.com).

Seeing Double–Mr. Clean has been cloned

I always knew that Canada‘s most famous handyman, Mike Holmes looked familiar–but I could never quite put a finger on where I had seen him before.  His trademark muscles, admittedly, have often distracted me from his other features.  But, alas, during a bout of kitchen cleaning, it came to me.  Mike Holmes looks like Mr. Clean–without the lemon scent.

MR.-CLEAN

Mike Holmes

With a penchant for white t-shirts, a smooth noggin, furry white eyebrows, and a pierced left ear (trust me, Mikey sports a sizable stud–is it just me or does that sound dirty?), it is difficult to tell these two beefcakes apart.  And one will clean your house while the other one fixes it.  Seriously, if you could somehow mash these two guys together, you would have the perfect man.  If only we could find a triplet who cooks.

Which one of these dudes would you rather meet in the flesh–and put to work immediately?

Photo Credits:  Mr. Clean http://www.maxagency.com/blog/max-agency-talent-auditions-for-mr-clean-commercial/, Mike Holmes http://homes-extra.ca/home-garden/homes/mike-holmes-is-back-and-he-wants-to-make-it-right/

Ear Gunk-Eating Insects, Polite Criminals, and A Teeny Tiny Washing Machine

Over the years, I have acquired a rather sizable portfolio of strange stories to share.  While reading a blog from one of my favourite bloggers, http://motherhoodisanart.com/2013/01/14/there-was-something-in-my-soda-can/, I was reminded of my first several apartments.  And the many…umm…”colourful” experiences that I had there.

This looks exactly the same as it did in 1988--looks okay, right?  Wrong.

This looks exactly the same as it did in 1988–looks okay, right? Wrong.

In hindsight, I should have chosen nicer places to live in.  And I was a collection officer at the time, so I should have known which buildings were “deadbeat-riddled cesspools.”  But I was barely twenty and very naive.  I was so naive, in fact, that I thought my kitchen was full of “grease bugs.”  I later learned that these crunchy-looking, shadow-casting monsters that hated the light, were cockroaches.  My kitchen was literally crawling with them.

cockroach cartoon

The insects, however, were really the least of my problems.  Shortly after moving in, a tenant of the 25th floor came home and interrupted a robbery in progress.  A hostage-taking ensued, the SWAT team was called in, and, I can only assume, the situation was rectified.  This was soon followed by a resident of the adjacent high rise taking potshots at a passing bus with a rifle.  No one was shot.  It would appear he was a nutbar with particularly bad aim.

My thug was easier to get rid of than this guy.

My thug was easier to get rid of than this guy.

On one occasion, a deranged person tried to break down my door.  They were hollering someone’s name.  I couldn’t quite make it out, but it sounded nothing like mine.  I meekly informed the person through the door that they had the wrong apartment and they apologized and went away.  I know that this sounds like an unlikely resolution to the problem, but this exact thing had happened to me before.  I was boarding at another apartment building and was home alone, cheering loudly to the Grey Cup (Canada’s version of the Super Bowl), when a different (I am assuming) person began pounding on the door.  It would seem that someone owed this dude money.  Unsure what to do, I told him (again, through the closed door) that this was not blah-blah’s apartment.  He went away.  It would appear that deranged people can be reasoned with.

polite Canadians

And don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like I live in a city filled with insane door-busting people.  I just happened to live in places that attracted insane door-busting people.  On the upside–they were always polite and apologetic.  That’s a Canadian criminal for you.

A favourite Canadian pastimes.

A favourite Canadian pastime.

 

Holy crap.  You could make a candle with all that wax.

Holy crap. You could make a candle with all that wax.

1) One of the things that troubled me the most about having cockroaches was the fear of having one crawl in my ear while I slept.  A giant, crusty, long-legged earwig of sorts.  One that could survive a nuclear holocaust.  Suppose it developed a taste for ear wax.  Although, after looking at this picture, I may never eat ANYTHING again.  But cockroaches are much less squeamish.  And, maybe, my ear wax is a delicacy.  My farts smell like roses, so anything is possible.

Thankfully, one of my blogger friends, (http://wedelmom.wordpress.com/about/), introduced me to the Ear Vac.  Perhaps, this would not only keep my ears free of cockroach food, but it might also suck out any insects that wander in their in the first place.

Too bad I didn’t come across this twenty years ago.  Thankfully, I NOW reside in a bug free house.

But if you are in need of an ear fumigation, watch this:  

2.  And, in case you’ve never met someone who has actually had a large insect burrowing around in their ear canal, here is a man who temporarily provided shelter for a June Bug.  

Apparently, the most common ear invaders are gnats, beetles, moths and ROACHES.  I knew it!  According to wikihow.com, small winged insects get stuck and can’t fly out.  Large bugs get trapped and can’t crawl out backwards.  Great.  Our ears are giant bug traps.  And, unless you are a deaf person, you get the pleasure of hearing amplified bug sounds–like buzzing, flapping, and of course, everyone’s favourite–gnawing through the ear drum noises.

3.  If you are looking for your first apartment, here are some you may want to consider (or not):

img_princess_tower_n

 This 100-floor monster is The Princess Towers in Dubai, the tallest apartment building in the world.  I don’t want to live anywhere that a Hook’n’Ladder truck can’t reach me.  Plus, I hate heights.  But, if none of these things are of concern to you, this may be just the place for you.  As long as the elevators are reliable.  

penthouse in TriBeCa

This is currently the most expensive rental property in New York City.  This 13,500 square foot, three floored, penthouse in TriBeCa currently rents for $100,000 per month.  A far car from the city average of $3400 a month, which, by the way, would land you a staggeringly beautiful spot up here in the Great White North.  Except maybe T.O.  Or Vancouver.  Their prices or NUTS.

Or you could just live with these guys.  At least they have a nice washing machine.  

photo credits:  ear wax (ack!) (sudanforum.net), Princess Towers (www.tameer.net),

 

My retinas burn, I’ve got a mattress on my face, and I seem to have lost my eyebrows

“Push Bob off the ladder. He’s messing with the clock again.”

Why on earth do we turn back the clocks in November?  Seriously.  I miss daylight.  And no matter how much Vitamin D I pump into my body, I still feel like I’m in a mental fog.  Apparently, I’m not the only one.  The other day, my husband asked me to pick him up at 12′ long sub from Subway.  I don’t think he realized what he had said until I asked him how I would get it home.  Strap it to the top of my car?  Which we both thought would be funny.  My car is really small.  And it is also the shiniest, most polish-laden car to ever grace the face of the earth.  Seriously, I think it can be seen from space.  So, he immediately had to say something about mustard stains on my roof.  See, this sunlight deprivation is affecting both of us.  And not in a good way.  I am so stupid that I even decided to write about this.

I’m still finding clocks that show the wrong frickin’ time.

And to think that it is only November.  And that the shortest day of the year is still over a month away.  I may be a drooling, incoherent, one-brain-celled idiot by the time April rolls around.  Seriously.  You haven’t met “Winter Me” yet.  And for anyone who ever doubted that God has a sense of humour, I present Exhibit A.  He placed me about as far away from the equator as possible–Canada.  Ugh.  Yes, I am angling for an invite to somewhere warm and shiny.  Really.

I, too, would hug the sun. But in a much kinder, gentler, fashion.

“My car smells funny and I don’t know why.”

1)  Like I said, this lack of daylight makes me stupid.  Not stupid enough to park between two dumpsters, mind you.  No amount of scented pine trees hanging from my mirror could combat that stink.  Not to mention the fact that I’m a tad bit of a neurotic germaphobe.  I’d probably have to throw out my car.  My very polished car.  Which would suck.  I have a fortune invested in it in car care products alone.  Anyway, back to the photo at hand.

Despite his lack of couth or his nasal impairment, this individual does show a remarkable talent for parallel parking–something that I avoid at all costs.  Seriously,  this dude could give lessons.  I don’t know how he even did that.

Maybe he didn’t.  Maybe his roommates are getting revenge on him for snoring or eating the last Eggo.  Strategically placing bins of trash around someone’s car does sound like fun–except I’d have to boil my hands afterwards.  Not fun.  I’ll stick with shaving off people’s eyebrows.  Not that I’ve ever done that.  Yet.

 2) If you are feeling tired (living a sunlight-free, vampire-ish existence will do that to you), I would not recommend viewing this video.  Way too many comfy, white mattresses.  On a cloudy day.  You don’t even get to enjoy the sunshine vicariously.

I love sleep.  My life gets in the way of it though.  But I think I’ve found the perfect hobby.  Mattress Dominoes.  And I’m not alone in my fascination for a sport that only requires a Sealy Posturepedic.  It turns out that competing for the Guinness World Record for the largest game of Mattress Dominoes is a favourite global pastime.  Who knew?  Well, apparently everybody but me.

This particular attempt to secure this record was made at NYC’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in 2010.  Participants had to be taller than 4’11”.  Yay!  Finally, something I am tall enough for.  While they managed to “topple” 380 standing sleepers, the record has been broken several times since.  The current record is 1001 mattresses and was set earlier this year in a Shanghai shopping mall.

This post is making me yawn.  You too?  Shut up.

3) I love to make fun of Justin Bieber, even though he is my fellow Canuck.  Well, it turns out that he has, perhaps, one of THE shiniest cars ever.  Blindingly so.  It looks like it’s made of Reynold’s Wrap.  Before you’ve crinkled it up to cover your turkey sandwich.

I wonder how many retinas he’s fried with that thing?

Damn it! Now he’s killed the other eye.

These are just a few other shiny cars I found.

Barry Weiss’s (yes, I am still harbouring that crush) Decoliner. Very shiny.

Flo Rida’s ultra shiny, chrome Bugatti. That’ll suck your eyes out on a sunny day.

I haven’t got a clue who William Gallas, the soccer player is, but he does have a pupil-pinchingly shiny Mercedes McLaren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if you’d like to see more of Barry Weiss’s car collection, check out my social media experiment :Searching For Barry Weiss

Photo credits     Messing with Clock (Wikipedia), Mound of Clocks (www.triggerandfreewheel.com),  Smothering the Sun (www.morethings.com), dumpster parking  (curiousphotos.blogspot.ca), eye pain (dreamstime.com),  Barry Weiss decoliner (celebritycarsblog.com) Flo Rida Bugatti (www.celebritynetworth.com), Gallas McLaren (www.ugo.com).

Use your stubby arms to throw the dog a pizza ball. And put the butter back in the fridge.

Do you ever have one of those days where you can’t seem to string together a coherent group of words to save your soul?  I’m having one of those.  So, of course–I have decided to write a blog.  You, after all, are used to my lack of lucidity.  My rambling, moronic, rants.

A few things have occurred to me lately.

Why is the English language so strange?  I can’t imagine trying to learn it for the first time.  Who decided to name evergreens “fir” trees?  Especially in Canada.  We suffer the “living in igloos” stereotype enough without newcomers falsely believing that it’s so cold here our trees need fur.

And who invented the doughnut?  And why?  If something tastes good, why would you want to have less of it by cutting out a hole?

And why can an owl turn his neck right around?  It’s not like he needs to back his car out of a long driveway.  Or keep an eye on misbehaving students, while he writes on the blackboard.

And why are my arms too  short to scratch the middle of my back?

And why does aspartame taste like crap?

If you know the answer to any of these conundrums, I would love it if you could enlighten me.  In the mean time, I will share a few gleanings that I have discovered of my own.

1)  Most of you know that I am short.  Only five feet tall to be exact.  My lack of height is exacerbated by the fact that everyone seems to be getting taller these days.  Seriously, I feel like an ewok.  With slightly less fur.   And better enunciation.

It turns out that things could be worse.  Yes, I am on the very short end of the height spectrum–for humans.  But I could be a short dog.

“Why would that be worse?” you ask.  Good question.  It turns out that if human heights varied as much as our canine counterparts, the shortest person would be around two feet tall–that would be me–and the tallest would stand at 31 feet.  Suddenly, I don’t feel so short.  I could be two feet tall.  Or 31.  It would be hard to find pants either way.  Or agree on a the height for my kitchen counters.  Where would you put a doorknob? I guess you’d have to have more than one.  And imagine if the tall guy sat in front of you at the theatre.

2)  Okay.  So, you are now going to think I am an idiot.  I think I am, so you might as well too.  For some reason, I always thought that doughnuts were made without holes in them and that the dough balls were later punched out.  It’s Tim Horton’s fault, really.  If the holes weren’t going to be punched out and discarded, why did they develop the Timbit (for those of you outside of Canada, these are doughnut holes that we buy by the dozens).

It turns out that doughnuts are formed in their tire-like shape–hole and all.  I feel very let down by this discovery.

Does anyone remember the little dough balls they used to put with pizzas in the pizza box?  I always wondered what they were for.  But, for some reason, they were always my favourite part of the pizza.  Until we got a dog.  Then the dough ball became “his” part of the pizza.  Stupid dog.

Speaking of Tim Horton’s–they recently caused massive confusion with the introduction of new cup sizes.  If you want to experience this ordering mayhem for yourself, watch this:

3)  After years of “heart smart” Becel, I miss the taste of real butter.  So much so that when I go to a restaurant, I always take a few of the little single servings home. I just found two in my purse.  They had melted.  Note to self:  put plastic baggy in purse for butter-thieving occasions.

And, apparently, butter isn’t just for eating anymore.  It has become a great medium for art.  Honest.  I just realized that my last blog had a bit about sculpting with cow poop.  Today’s is about butter.  I seem to be developing a cow fetish.  Hm.

Here are some mouth-watering examples of butter art:

Photo Credits:  Staypuft (ghostbusters.wikia.com), Homer (www.simpsonovi-dnes.estranky.cz), cow jumping over moon (edibleblog.com), Ben Franklin (endlesssimmer.com), farmer/cow/sheep (illusion.scene360.com), sow and piglets (dyscario.com), motorcycle cow (uk.search4eat.com), man with lion (thechive.com), cafeteria lady (thebaresquare.com), rose (edibleblog.com).  

The Versatile Blogger Award!!! YAY!!

This is an awesome day so far and it isn’t even 10 o’clock in the morning yet.  It’s my husband’s birthday, so we began the day with the gift opening.  And as he flips his way through the newspaper (occasionally using some choice words for the insane asylum that we call “Parliament”), I decided to check out what’s happening on my blog.

And it turns out that I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!  I’m so excited!!  Here’s a picture of my new award.  Isn’t it lovely?

Thank you to http://thebumblefiles.wordpress.com/ for this honour.  Her blog is a true slice of life–witty, inspiring, warm, and although I am a new follower, she has tugged at my heartstrings several times already.  You really must check it out!

Now, for the business end of things.  Excuse me for a moment while I don my Ernst & Young accountant-ish garb and explain the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
  3. List the rules
  4. Give the award to 15 or more bloggers.
  5. Add the award to your blog.

Now, I have slipped in to boxer shorts and a tank top–the requisite attire for sharing (and baring) seven facts about myself.  Plus, the tie was interfering with my keyboard.  How do men wear these things all day?  They are fun to tie though.  But why call them ties?  I mean I realize that they are “tied,” but women tie scarves.  Following the whole tie logic, a scarf should be eaten, a ring should make a noise, an earring should deafen it’s wearer, and a shoe should scare things away (you’re thinking about some of those aren’t you.  If the “scarf” thing has you puzzled, in my part of Canada, you “scarf” down a meal).

Okay, seven things about me.  No need to tell me to be “random.”

1.  I currently have two oddly-shaped peanuts beside my computer.  They look like aardvarks.  My husband has drawn eyes on them.  For some reason, they entertain and inspire me.  Like I said–random.

2.  I have recently taken a liking to Tropicana Peach Juice mixed with Club Soda.  Fizzy and fruity.

3.  I collect PEZ dispensers.  I have hundreds of them.  My favourites are the ant and the aardvark from the Pink Panther It would seem that aardvarks also play a large role in my life.

4.  I have moved 34 times.  No, I’m not fleeing my creditors or a loan shark named Vinnie.  And, no, I’m not in the Witness Protection Program.  My Dad had a job where he got transferred a lot.  Now moving is in my system.

5.  I have strange preferences when it comes to wild life–I like Daddy-Long-Legs, Crows, Snakes, Groundhogs, and it would appear, Aardvarks.  I guess I like the underdog.  Speaking of Underdog, I think he is the best Superhero ever.

6.  I hate hot dogs.  A cylindrical mould formed from a slurry of beaks and feet.

7.  Kaleidoscopes fascinate me.  Could play with one for hours.  Did I mention that I’m a simpleton?

And now for the fun part.  Excuse me while I change into something more formal and pretty–a ball gown, perhaps.  I now nominate 15 of the most awesome blogs ever for this auspicious award:

1.  http://palomasharma.wordpress.com/  I am a huge fan of this blog.  She is hilarious, heart-warming, and incredibly deep all at the same time.  This is gold.

2. http://dearflash.wordpress.com/  Who couldn’t love a look at the world through the eyes of an endearing little Corgi?  I’m hooked.

3.  http://kitchenslattern.com/  Don’t read this with a full mouth.  It’ll make you laugh and spew your food all over the wall.  Great fun!

4.  http://ilbelfarniente.wordpress.com/  This is inspirational, funny, and provides me with regular “a-ha” moments.

5.  http://laughinglovingeating.wordpress.com/about/  This is a brand new blog by a gifted young writer.  I look forward to her future posts.

6.  http://aninepoundhammer.com/  Beautiful photos abound. Today’s edition will truly move you.

7. http://jodiambroseblog.com/  She’s back and she’s funnier than ever.  This is a hoot!

8.  http://craighill.net/  This is filled with fun facts, pop culture, and new knowledge galore.  Very “embiggening.”

9. http://todayinhh.com/  This remains one of my all-time favourites.  Very clever.

10.  http://wedelmom.wordpress.com/  Funny, wise, and so much fun!  I love this blog.

11.  http://theoctoberseer.wordpress.com/  This is well-written, hilarious, and spot-on.

12.  http://thisthatandtheotherthang.wordpress.com/   One of my all-time favs.  Especially her Friday editions.  This blogger is a hoot to “chat” with too.

13.  http://allthingsboys.wordpress.com/  You’ve got to feel for a woman surrounded by testosterone, but she handles it with humour and a very sharp wit.  Awesome.

14.   http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/  I love this “off-the-wall” and hilarious blog.  This is a blogger  I’d love to hang out with for the day.

15.  http://jefferly.com/  Quirky and funny.  I love this mix of hilarious photos and great stories.

I’m not sure how the above writing became so enormous.  Nor do I know how to fix it.  It looks like I’m yelling.

It’s Canada Day, eh?

Today is Canada Day and my “home and native land” is officially 145 years old–a youngster as far as nations go, eh?  I hope you will indulge me as I dedicate today’s blog to the land of beavers, maple trees, and hockey pucks.

We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows.  According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.”  We’re not offended by these portrayals.  In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way.  Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies.  One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is  comedians.  And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift.

Although it is very un-Canadian to brag, I must apologize and ask for you to humour (again with the “u”) me as I share a few Canadian facts:

-Canada is the second largest nation in the world.  But our population density is very low at 3.7 people per square kilometre.  Yes, we operate in metric.  This may explain why our American neighbours think we live in igloos and commute to work via sled dog.  When our weather forecasts say it is 32 degreesin July, this does not equate to your 32 degrees–the temperature at which water freezes.  It actually means we are enjoying a balmy 90 degrees.  Yes, it does get hot here.  We own barbecues, swimming pools, and bikinis–not just toques, parkas, and mukluks.
-We are home to the longest coastline in the world, the world’s highest tide, and the largest island in a freshwater lake.  In Canada, we do things big.  Just look at those fuzzy Mountie hats.   How much guarding can these guys do when they’ve got hat fur in their eyes?  This must have been our Queen’s idea (yes, we are part of the British Commonwealth and, on occasion, sing “God Save the Queen”)–have you seen her hats?

-We ranked 5th on the World Happiness Report–massive beer consumption and several pucks to the head will do that.

-And only 40% of us have a favourable opinion of Don Cherry. It’s gotta be the clothes.  I’d be crusty if I had a starchy collar that went up to my ears.

-We have two official languages, although the province of Quebec only recognizes one.

-54% of our nation is made up of forests and woodlands.  Yes, we have lots of lumber.  And moose.  And bears.  And maple syrup.  Yum.

This is what our flag looks like.  We have beavers on our nickels, but our Parliament has actually considered removing the giant rodent from this coin.  Apparently, it is not considered a “noble” creature.  I, personally, am fond of our buck-toothed little friend.

And Canadians can be found everywhere–on your movie screens, your TV sets, and your concert stages.  Here is a sampling of famous Canadians:

Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Marty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Catherine O’Hara.

Photos:  Mounties (Wayne Cuddington, The Ottawa Citizen), Don Cherry (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images),  

Foods That Fly, Run Marathons, and Make My Pee Stink

Summer is the perfect time for trying to eat healthier.  Lots of weird fruits to try.  Walmart had a mound of Dragon Fruits the other day–can’t wait to try mine.  Hope they’re an actual fruit and  not something that has been food growing next to a Japanese Nuclear Power Plant.  The price of produce this time of year is a lot easier on the wallet too.  I no longer have to re-mortgage my house to buy a beefsteak tomato, a bundle of asparagus, and some blueberries.  (I live in Canada.  The only thing we can grow in the winter is snow).

But there is a downside to consuming large quantities of fruits and vegetables.  For one thing, broccoli and cabbage stink when they’re boiled.  Forget grenades and machine guns.  Just wave a pot of cabbage water at the enemy and they will flee in terror for sure.  My house perpetually smells like a fart.  (Admittedly, not all of that can be blamed on the cabbage water).  Cruciferous veggies produce noxious gases, it seems, that must escape the body.  Noisily.  And with lethal consequences.  (Note to self: Adopt elderly dog to serve as scapegoat.  Or maybe an actual goat?  To scape?)  (Another note to self: google how term “scapegoat” came about.  Did it involve a goat?)

And, to make matters worse, this “healthy eating” is affecting my pee.  Holy crap!  Asparagus urine reeks.  The only thing worse than peeing out a river of asparagus juice at home is having to do it in a public washroom.  I swear the lady beside me must think I have something seriously wrong with my plumbing.  It’s all I can do  not to scream out, “It’s the asparagus’s fault.”  But, knowing me, I couldn’t just stop there.  I’d wind up in a through-the-stall rant about what this healthy eating is doing to my home and my innards–not to mention my social life–and that my husband has recently developed a hankering for beets and that, next, I’ll have to deal with beet-coloured pee staining the toilet bowl.

Rather than risk this, I simply let them think that my urinary tract is rotting.

1)  TV shows and movies often portray displeased audiences as violent, produce-hurling delinquents who, for some reason, always have a  tomato or two on hand for tossing.  I would never throw a tomato at someone–even if they were assaulting my ears with jazz fusion.  (Apologies to jazz fusion fans.  It is just not my cup-of-tea.  Nor is Country.  Great, now I have to apologize to the Country fans.  Note to self: shut up before you alienate your entire blog audience.)

If you are going to hit someone with something from  the produce section, at least a tomato is soft.  It is one of the edible orbs that most closely mimics the Nerf ball.  An orange does not.  An orange would hurt.  A lot.

So, naturally, humans have created a Carnival that revolves around exactly that–pelting other humans with non-Nerf-like balls.  ORANGES.

In the Northern Italian city of Ivrea, citizens and tourists alike come out to mark this festival with a very strange origin.  Apparently in the 12th or 13th century (the story varies from one source to another), a tyrant from a powerful family attempted to rape a young commoner on her wedding night.  He was unsuccessful as she decapitated him.  Not with an orange, by the way.

If you wish to participate in this tradition, seek help.  Sorry.  Those things just keep popping out of my head and down to my fingers.  Seriously, if you wish to play, you must join a team.  Tourists are warned to wear a red hat, which apparently serves as a “leave me out of it” symbol.  Heaven help anyone who isn’t made aware of this fact.  I, personally, would opt for a red goalie mask–but I’m Canadian.  Rumour has it that we never leave home without one.

2)  I love berries, but I hate the fact that they often come with their own wardrobes–fur coats.  Well, I may have stumbled upon a cure.

Using 1 part vinegar (white or cider work best) and 10 parts water, submerge berries and give them a good wash.  Apparently, vinegar is an enemy to mould spores and inhibits their growth.

Your little berries will remain “coatless” for much longer, giving you more time to scarf’em down.  YAY!

3)  It’s not every day you see a man with pasty white legs and black sport socks–and, oh ya–dressed up as a banana.  It’s even rarer that you see one running a marathon.  That’s exactly what Patrick Wightman of the United Kingdom did in March of 2011.

He managed a Guinness World Record-setting time of 2 hr 58 min 20 seconds at the Barcelona Marathon–the fastest time ever recorded for someone dressed up as a fruit.  There were others?  Wightman chose the banana shape because it was more stream-lined.  So, it wasn’t merely because he looked fab in yellow.

The “fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable” is held by a carrot.  No, really.

In Wightman’s defence, he did this for charity.

The following are random strangely-shaped produce.  I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to eat any of these.  Firstly, they’re freaky weird mutations.  And, secondly, some of them are just way too cute.  I don’t want to eat anything that’s cute.  That’s why I have a lot of turkey and crustaceans.  They have faces only their mothers could love.

Photo credits:  Orange fight (themagazine.ca), Berries (http://ottawaraw.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/beauty-in-the-raw/) Banana man (thisiskent.co.uk), Duck cucumber (FotosUp.com), Weird hand (nocutnews.co.kr), Tomato duck (xcitefun.net), Potato bear (FotosUp.com), Weird goose & pepper snake (xcitefun.net).