It started with an innocent conversation between me and my wife (The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe).
Me: Hey honey, want to go to Canada in February?
TMWGITU: *thinks* Who’s playing?
(She knows me so well! And we’ve had this conversation before. A lot.)
Me: John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett. Acoustic! On stage at the same time!
TMWGITU: *sighing* Ok.
So my wife (who rarely thinks just a concert is reason enough for crossing an international border) planned a long weekend for us in Canada – two days in Montreal, two in Ottawa. Fortunately, when it was time for the trip, NYC was on the verge of a heat wave – 40 Fahrenheit! – so, in fine stupid fashion, off we went to Canada!
Montreal in winter was stunning! After checking into our room, we walked over to Old Montreal to get our very first (so we thought) Poutine.
Poutine is a local delicacy of french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curd. One of the options at the place we went was to get it with smoked meat.
The French on the soda bottle is how you know I’m in Montreal.
We were in time for their Fête des Neiges, an annual celebration of snow, held on a small island in the Saint Lawrence river. We took the subway to get there, and I added yet another rail pass to the collection (which sadly consists of only New York, London and Montreal).
The festival was a massive party – Ferris wheel, zip line from the museum, live child foozball.
Yes, you read that right.
At last! A use for kids I approve of!
After that (and a great night’s sleep), we headed out the next morning to the top of Montreal to get bagels.
Back near the beginning of the twentieth century, Old World Jews migrated to Canada. Among the traditions, rituals and foods they brought with them were bagels.
I’m from NYC, born and bred. So after my wife told me how famous Montreal bagels were, and people around the hotel raved about them, I had to check them out. The big difference between Montreal bagels and real bagels (yeah, I said it) is that Montreal bagels are boiled in water with honey added. If I hadn’t known it was honey, I wouldn’t quite have been able to identify what was wrong with them. Lucky me.
It kinda looks like a bagel. But the resemblance ends there.
To be fair, we did go to the two oldest, most famous bakeries to try the bagels.
I’ll stick with an NYC. Preferably with a schmear.
Part two will cover Ottawa, because otherwise, this post would be very long.
So until then, enjoy this view of a ferris wheel rising from the snow.
And some random guys playing hockey on a rink in the projects. Because Canada.
One day. That’s how long it lasted. We got home from Portland on Sunday morning. By the end of Monday (a day of work, chores and responsibilities), I was exhausted and drained again.
I need another vacation. Fortunately, mini-breaks were provided in the form of blog posts! Kayjai gave a great guide on how to tell if you’re too old for a hangover. Stacie put up her first political post about her buddy Paul Ryan, filled with great points!
For all of us working on our novel, Red put up a great opportunity. Bumba cut my liquor bill in half by explaining the meaning of life.
And No Blog Intended gave me a Sunshine Award! Probably because I’m a seething cauldron of nuclear explosiveness.
Well, maybe not. But if you aren’t reading her stuff, dude, you’re missing out.
Thanks to them and all the rest of you. It’s good to know that whenever I need a break from the real world crazies, I can always turn to you guys.
And after that, we can turn to what you said in last weeks poll. We asked how your autobiography should start.. Y’all have some interesting stories to tell! And apparently, several of you are Guapos too!
So here are your opening lines. As always, my comments are literary in italics.
All I ever wanted, in my unique oddball sort of crazy way, was to fit in. Lizzie (Second line: And then I found wordpress!) They call me Glumpy Shaver. Linda V (Ah, but do they call you that to your face?) [Dueling Banjos, at least the first 27 measures] – liveclay (I hope that’s the only part of the biography that resembles Deliverance!) Regrets, i have none, we did what we needed to do. John Phillips (Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Jason Statham, Jean Claude Van-Damme, and Danny Devito as “Hoss”) Last night I pooped my pants in public… again. Quirky (Please tell me there won’t be a scratch and sniff edition.) Just because they wouldn’t let me fly the last space shuttle, it didn’t mean …(Kanerva, I guess…) (WE HAVE A WINNER!!!) Kanerva submitted the space shuttle comment! (What an odd way to start a biography…) You know you are in trouble when…Red (It would be a much shorter book if it were “I was not in trouble when…”) I’m almost ready to change my domain name to: http://email@example.com (I hope a dyslexic dog doesn’t beat you to it!) You must be bored if you’re reading this.-lily (Your book can replace SkyMall magazine!) As soon as they pulled the donkey off of me, the midgets started doing crack. Hotspur (A televangelist autobiography!) I got your autobiography right here. Brain Tomahawk (Don’t the edges of the bookcovers hurt stuffed in there?) Bipolarmuse is the 1st of my personalities, allow me 2 introduce u 2 the others. (Darryl and your other personality Darryl? (anyone??)) long long ago in a galaxy far far away…(SnB) (Your story takes place in New Jersey in the ’80s?) I’m really not as crazy as they say (Elyse 54.5) (If you have to defend it…) Oh God. *Sigh* What was I thinking? (My autobiography has a distinct lack of thinking.) It was the best of Guapos, it was the worst of Guapos – calahan (, it was the Guapo of wisdom, it was the Guapo of (wait for it…) FOOLISHNESS!!! Dickens has nothing on us!) ab·nor·mal/abˈnôrməl/ Adjective: Deviating from what is normal or usual, typical (Stay Abnormal, I’m guessing…) (Is this Funks autobiography? Or Wagnalls?) I wse a loleny byo? butimbeautiful (Sounds like a great story, but fire your proofreader!) I was born a poor black child. (Subtitled: Steve Martin’s lesser known but cooler twin) It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was Kayjai time! KJ (Pre-order now, and get free Hammer pants!) There once was a man named Guapo (Frank) (I get the feeling there’s going to be guano in this story too…)
Congratulations to Kanerva for winning this week’s poll! And from the offered choices, the most popular was It was a dark and stormy night. Because I guess a lot of readers live in the Pacific Northwest. Or London. So congratulations to everyone!
Which brings us around to this week. Blogger extraordinaire, President of Canadia, and all-around cool person, KJ is traveling to the land of sun and margaritas. That’s right, Florida will be hosting her and her entourage for a visit! So besides asking you all to be on your best behavior and carefully inventorying your drinking supplies, we want to ask you, what will be the big news from her visit? Jet skiing on along the beach? Annexing Disney World? Going for a delightful run with the alligators? You tell us.
Pick a headline, or report your own. But report soon, because this one closes at 2359 EST on Thursday, 23 August.
(As always, if you leave an “Other” answer with a way to ID you, I’ll link back to you next week.)
I hope you and yours have a great time, Kayjai!
And for all the rest of us – until she gets back – I leave you with these.
Last week’s “They Call Mr Tibbs” choice got me thinking about classic movies. Here’s the last scene of Casablanca, which I think stands up well against all the other classic scenes in that film.
And second, an excellent clip from Inherit The Wind, based on the Scopes Monkey Trial.
Have a great weekend, y’all. Next week, I’ll be putting up the bungee jump post, possibly with video, definitely with pictures.
And man, does my hair look magnificent!
It’s time for the latest installment in the “DEAR GOD WHY IS HE DOING THIS TO US????” limerick interpretation of Harry Potter.
At this point in our story, Harry is whiny, Ron is sullen, and Hermione is…well, Hermione.
Ah, but Cedric is dead and Voldemort is alive.
What can possibly happen next?!?
So join as we…rework…this beloved classic. Into Limerick form!
And if you want to see the rest (because you’re a masochist), just click Limerick above the banner.
The Order Of The Phoenix
The fighting was close and intense
Splinters and dust clouds so dense Sirius turned quite pale
As he went through the veil.
Wait a minute – Love is Harry’s defense?!?
No, these probably won’t get any better as they go on. But on the bright side, only three limericks left!
And here we are on Friday again. I took Monday off for travel time for last weekends sailing. Which means I was overworked to make up for the day off. Sigh.
But in the midst of the rushing, I was able to pop into the blogosphere and read some great posts. Free Penny Press turned me on to Little Free Libraries. No Blog Intended had a rough week, but sometime today, she will be done with high school, so CONGRATULATIONS!!!
And Roly told us about the challenges of living with a difficult stomach You guys (and all of you out there) were my small island of calm in a week moving way too fast. Sincere thanks for that!
Some of the busyness also came from keeping track of the delightfully twisted responses to last weeks poll. We asked What Should The Zombie Battlecry Be?. You guys didn’t hold back.
Sick. Disturbed. Hilarious. Here’s what you said (as always, I try to be witty in italics): None of the above. So last century. Kanerva (I think you're confused, Kanerva – it's vampires that live for centuries.) hhhhmmmmmpoooorrrrrkkkkkkrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnddddddsssss – John Phillips (Homer Simpson – zombie extraordinaire) Since my kids are flesh eaters,the battlecry isM MMMAAAAAMMMMMMAAAAAAAA! SnaapyG (I’d think with 4 flesh eaters to manage you’d be the zombie…) withhhh spriiinnkkkllllleessss… nooooo piiickkklleesssssss lizziec (That could work, but pregnant zombies are a pretty small niche…) EEEEEAAAAATTTTTT MEEEEEEEEEE! (Hotspur) (Perhaps you don’t understand how the zombie/person relationship works…) I WAAAAANT TOOOO EEEEEAT YOOOOOOUR FAAAAAAAACE! Lilly (That’s only the Miami contigent, Lilly) How are you doing? NBI (Battlecry, NBI, not pickup line!) “Hmm, seems my leg has fallen asleep. No wait, it’s just missing. My mistake.” (Wouldnt that be the post battle cry?) Pardon me. Have you any grey poupon? Stay Abnormal (Do zombies ride in limousines?) BBBAAAATTHHHH SSSSAAAAALLLTTTSSS! ~flame (WE HAVE A WINNER!!!) OLeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ free penny press (Only if it’s zombies versus werebulls) Nothing….bet that would make you think. (Dangnabit, there’s no thinking in these polls!!!) BBBEEEERRRRR!!!! KJ (Hey, I’ve sounded like that when calling for what would prove to be the last roun- Crap. I’m a zombie.) RAIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDd (Nah, they’d get sued for copyright infraction by the bug spray people.) How can it not be BRRRAAAAIIIIINNNSSSSS!!! (Frank) (You’re right Frank. Mostly because Zombies aren’t very creative.)
Congratulations to ~flame for her winning answer! And from the choices offered, BRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSS!!! (c’mon – it’s a classic!) was the most popular. Because there’s nothing wrong with tradition! But the living dead aren’t right around the corner. So we have time for some other summery pursuits. If you’re like me, (then your shrink is overcharging you, you have no problems most of a case of tequila can’t fix, and) rollercoasters just bore you. Strapped in to a piece of high technology that is inspected frequently and maintained to the highest standard.
Yawn. So this week, name your own. Pick a name that really conveys the essence of what your coaster is all about. Hey, if the lottery gods smile on us, we may even build it!
If you write in an answer leave a way to recognize you, and I’ll link back to you next week. Vote as often as you like, but do it before 2359 EST on Thursday, 14 June, because that’s when this one ends.
And until next week, I’ll leave you with these.
First, yes, this guy is crazier than me. Maybe. Possibly.
Ok, probably not…
And something a bit calmer, I got to see this float on the river in view of my office. It was something to see, with a flotilla accompanying it!
Well, I had a kill-yourself kind of week. I’m tempted to call out the laptop manufacturer whose product has been driving me batpoop crazy all week, but I don’t think the Lenovo people, or their buddies at IBM would appreciate it. The T520 team definitely wouldn’t, so I’ll just let it go. But the fact that it was such a long week made reading the other blogs that much more fun and appreciated as I struggled along.
Lisa shared some of her addictions, and I hope she never goes into rehab for them, because they’re too funny.
Asplenia earned herself a lifetime pass from cooking, and finished up the post with one of my favorite bits ever from a Monty Python flick.
And the Girl in the Cat Frame Glasses put up her Epic Four Part Bio, with a nod to mental health in part 3. It’s a great well told story.
(It’s still Mental Health Awareness Month.)
Thanks to them and everyone else for feeding my addiction to great stories!
Last week, instead of doing the smart thing and asking how these polls should be asked, we went the other way, and asked how they should be answered. Several people were confused and had no idea what I was talking about. Welcome to my world ladies and gentlemen…
So here they are, your answers to last weeks poll, The correct answer for these polls is… (As always, my comments are in italics)
lurking somewhere just beyond the horizon Laura (liveclay) (Not sure if that’s Joe Walsh – In the City, or Rod Serling…) there’s an app for that. (You know, Angry Birds can’t solve everything.) Filling in bubbles is so inside the box. No boxes. Red. (Perhaps an oval, with a Möbius strip wall?) take two aspirin and call me in the morning. Barking in the Dark. (If you hold the pills between your knees, you won’t have good stories to tell in the morning.) all of the above and then some. (Wait, going above and sideways? I like it!) With a shotgun_Barb (Step awaaay from the coffee, Barb.) Huh? Elyse, 54.5 (I believe you have grasped the essence of these polls, Elyse!) Roast beef (No, that was the pickle poll a few weeks ago…) Always mine. Quirky (I am so tempted to write “WRONG” here. Fortunately, I am (barely) not that immature!) Call me a dumb blond on this one cuz I’m just not gettin’ it. Michelle Motley News (It was a test, Michelle. And you’ve passed brilliantly!) Yours for only $19.99….that’s a $60 value! Stay Abnormal (I’ll take seventeen hundred!!! Will you throw in an oven mitt?) Umm, whatever he said (jerking thumb to the left) Kanerva (GAH!!! Watch those thumbs lady! That was my eye!!!) whatever I answer I decide to grace you with. G-Snaap (Who is Grace, and why are you waving her at us?) The correct answer is ‘me’…’cause I’m always right! KJ (By official order of the President of Canadia!) C and some that I typically can’t provide – a quick, witty answer. (Frank) (At least you have the wisdom not to fake wit, Frank. Unlike a certain Friday Foolishness poll writer I could name.) if I KNEW.. I would win one WOULDNT I? lizzie (Wait for it…) I am confused (Hey, you can join Michelle and Elyse at the support group! I’ll be there too. Sigh.) Dude, you have too much free time on your hands. WG (god, how i wish that were true…) I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman! lizzie.. (yes…I think…can it be… WE. HAVE. A. WINNER!!!!
and despite what that Linda Vernon character thinks, I was not intimidated into picking you this week.)
(I’m not scared of her.
Congratulations to LizzieCracked for this weeks winning answer! And for those that are wondering, the most popular poll choice was F. What the hell are you asking me for?.
Congratulations to you all. For making it through another one of these. Sigh.
There’s been a bit of hullabaloo in NYC. They flew in a space shuttle, and are going to put it in the incredible Intrepid Air & Space Museum. Until then, it’s sitting in an airport. Under a shed. Next to the highway.
Hmm… Why are the best ideas also the worst? I’m going to take a short drive this weekend just to see it. I swear, officer who might be reading, I’m just going to look. But for those of you who’ve been here a while, this week’s poll asks. Where you wanna go?
Vote often, and if you write in an answer, leave a way to recognize you and I’ll link back to you next week. Just do it by 2359 EST on 24 May. Because that’s when the poll closes.
And to keep you entertained until I call for bail, enjoy these:
The first man on the moon
If you check your calendar, you’ll see that it’s Friday once again. And that means WEEKEND!!! Oh yeah, and the Foolishness.
But before we get into that, here are some of the posts where I spent my time this week…
Joe Hoover took me to Spain. Asplenia let me eavesdrop on a hilarious conversation.
And Lorre posted a great topless pic.
Also, for those of you trying to avoid inundating your readers with comments thanks to WP changes, Amy at Sharp Little Pencil put up a great guide for how to fix that.
And finally, Quirky took an issue and put it in perspective, the NFL player pay demands vs. the pay of U.S. soldiers, done in a funny, none preachy way. Something to think about…
Thanks guys and gals. You and everyone else made it a lot easier to bear a bunch of extra long days this week.
But before you check them out, you should know that there were lots of responses to last week’s poll. We asked What You Forget When Running Late. Boy, did you guys have something to say! (As always, my responses are in italics) to unplug my coffee pot; come home to smell of charred caffeine flakes. (I love the smell of charred caffeine flakes in the evening! Smells like…Nope, never mind…) whether or not I shut the garage door… it haunts me all day. (Better than closing the garage door and forgetting whether or not you turned off the engine…) That I don’t have anywhere to be late to anymore. Hmmmm (I’m green with envy!) . (Period) (StacyLyn) (I thought that came whether you remebered it or not.) Dimples’ swim bag, unfortunately… Even though we weren’t running late! ~WIM2S (I bet if you were running late, you’d have remembered everything! Oh, the irony…) I am never late, Lori should answer this John Phillips (Pretty sure Lori will tell us something else, John.) that the world will always wait for me, because I have the keys. (Can you make a second set for me?) I have the keys was from Elyse at 54.5. Sorry, I was running late (That’s okay, we waited. (After all, you have the keys!)) My virginity (Where, exactly, did you leave it?!?) my glasses, then I spend the whole rest of the day squinting (Even worse when you realize they were on top of your head! Oh, is that just me? Sigh…) My tubers. Linda V. (Way to get back to your roots, Linda! BWAHAHA!) What I’ve forgotten (I like to say that, when in truth, I never really knew…) What is late? Nothing begins until I arrive. Red. (WE HAVE A WINNER!) ok..let’s see here…umm what was the question? lizzie (It was..It…Rats. I forgot.) to hide the body properly. Damn! (I can get you a good deal on a woodchipper…only slightly used!) to unplug the flat iron then worry that I’ve burned down my house Quirky (At least it will look stylish while it burns!) That I hate my job – Hotspur (Hell, I don’t think I can forget that!) that the next day, I’m supposed to rise earlier to not have to hurry…. –NBI (I tell myself that every night!) my, oh look, shiny!! (If you keep getting distracted, you’re going to be even later.) my mind. No, wait… I lost that a long time ago. Michelle at Motley News (It’s always in the last place you look.) That I can just make a grand entrance so it looks planned. (Yeah, I pretend it was planned when I stumble. Hope it works better for you than me!) that I’m a male and so I don’t get periods. (Are you sure? I mean, if that’s something you can forget…) to breathe… but obviously, not for too long. (Don’t worry, blue is your color…) to properly hide the bodies (I prefer to leave them out in the open. On the lawns of my enemies. hehehe.) my wife isn’t happy at the moment. (Frank) (Pretty sure she wouldn’t let you forget that Frank!) that I forgot to remember the thing I forgot. KJ (It was the doohickey. You know, next to the thingamajig.) to take part in the Friday Foolishness Poll! (Kanerva) (Are you forgetting, or does your mind block it out to try and save you?;))
Congratulations to Red for this weeks winning answer! And from the offered choices, the most popular one was BRRRAAAIIIINNNSSS!!!. Yeah, kind of fits for this one!
This week, we go behind the curtain to see how the answers to these polls work. That’s right folks, the thing behind the stuff behind the jazz!
So I ask you, how the hell are these supposed to be answered? Well, you tell me!
Leave your name with your “Other” answer, and I’ll link back to you next week. And answer as often as you like, just do it before 17 May, at 2359 EST. Because that’s when it closes.
While you wait for the answers next week, I leave you with this to send you on the way to your weekend…
This is something it has not occurred to me to try. Until now. hehehe
Come along for the ride?
And until next week, hope all your roads are smooth!
I can get within 5 miles of my target on a 500 mile trip. It’s that last mile that kills me.
But I’ve gotten smarter. I have a GPS for the car. I have maps. And I have a compass.
Actually, I own several compasses. I have analog ones, digital ones. I have GPS, I have them bundled in other tools.
When making screened t-shirts was on my list of things to do, the front logo was a compass.
It came with the car!
I love my compi (plural). When I’m on a car trip, I take note of where I’m going, and never fail to laugh during the large east/west section of I-95 North/South. It makes me feel kind of smug that I, outdoor adventurer, have a better idea of my bearings than the guys that built a road from Florida to Maine, but couldn’t even get the orientation of the road correct.
But sometimes I’m on foot.
Fits in my pocket!
For that, I have this little gem. It came with a carabiner! It has a little Canadian flag as a souvenir of where I bought it!
It worked for two whole weeks!
But the key ring on the other end holds all my keys, so I keep it even though the compass doesn’t work anymore and is not worth the effort to recharge and recalibrate. Besides, I have an Android.
It's on my phone!
With a compass App! It’s pretty accurate. It also has other features, and with the phone’s GPS, I can keep a record of my path and (more importantly) find my way back out.
Which has been really helpful sometimes. When I remember to turn it on.
Though, there are times when electronics are just persnickety.
I could have been an arm model
So I can align my watch with the sun and adjust the bearing dial to find general direction. Doesn’t work as well at night though…
Of course, sometimes I’m not tramping about on roads or through the woods. Sometimes I’m doing it underwater.
I could have been a hand model
Sadly, I have no idea how to use this underwater. But it’s really cool. And is my second favorite compass I own, behind…
My wife (the most wonderful girl in the universe) gave me this, one of the first gifts I ever got from her. It means more to me than a lot of other things I own, because for me, it’s a perfect gift. It’s small, it is elegant and it works.
I love this little box compass.
So there’s really no reason for me to get lost in the world anymore.