Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh, Canada! And Some Other Stuff While I'm At It

I'm going to start with my biggest idea first and then it will likely go downhill from there. (How many other blogs are kind enough to provide such an endearing caveat, now answer me that, will you?)

This past weekend, Rick and I sneaked back up to Canada--Our Neighbour To The North--for a little trip. (This sparked a rather spirited and Seinfeldian discussion as to the proper terminology for said occurrence. What, really, should we have called it? We determined that "vacation" was a gross misnomer: vacations connote a longer stay than just our Friday-Saturday-home on Sunday-trip. A proper "vacation" must be at least one week, we decided. "Holiday" sounds too affected and British, and really implies something festive and event-oriented; we were not doing much of anything of the sort and are absolutely not British and while I am often affected, strove not to be while in Canada. This time. "Getaway" is certainly useful and very multipurpose, but tends to conjure up visions of spontaneous air travel and the leaving behind of distasteful and chaotic situations that one can no longer tolerate but must return to nonetheless. While this can often describe my career at The Rock, it is really not entirely truthful. We finally settled on "jaunt", which I am particularly happy about since it calls up images of car travel and energetic-ness and small go-look-ats within the short trip itself which is exactly what we did. But, as usual, I digress. Wow. A lot.)

Anyway. While we were sitting in a longish line at the Peace Bridge, waiting to cross into Canada, a Big Idea came to me. I was incredibly bored sitting there, as was everyone else, I am certain. What a missed opportunity, I thought. Here we all are, sitting in lines waiting to cross into an entirely different country, and all we are doing is waiting. (By the way, there were 15 lanes going into Canada. Only 8 were open. Why? I have noticed this phenomenon in banks, grocery stores, and other establishments. Why even build all those checkouts/lanes if they are never going to be utilized? If you are going to only have, say 11 lanes open, then just build 11. But I digress.)

So, back to us all waiting. I turn to Rick and say, "You know, this is a huge waste of time and resources. Why doesn't Canada take this amazing opportunity to entertain incoming tourists? Or educate us? There could be a huge slide show featuring famous Canadians! There could be wandering singers, or a figure dressed up like a moose and a Mountie. They could have a curling demonstration. There are tons and tons of Canada-intensive things that could be going on right at this moment, but instead, we are sitting here worrying about what they might ask us at the border and how long they will take. Remember at Sea World how they used to have a barbershop quartet that entertained the people in line who were waiting for the show? It made waiting less tedious. Canada should do that. But no mime. Never a mime." (There's never a reason for mimes. Never.)

And this could be going on for the U.S. side as well. I'm not just picking on Canadians. I would never do that. I am a fan of Canada. And Canadians. It's well-documented. But anyway, what do you think? I think the idea has merit, I really do.

Next up: my blog. I have put up a poll for all of you to vote on my latest attempt to alleviate my boredom by changing the color scheme on my blog. Thanks to the 7 of you who have exercised your democratic voices. (Seven, really? Can you not humor me just a little bit? Can you not...oh, good heavens. How pathetic am I, really?) Please feel welcome to offer any color scheme ideas in comments. Offer any topic ideas in comments. (Offer me menu planning in comments, but only if you're going to come here and shop for the groceries, too.) Seriously, I wish I weren't so persnickety about color and appearance; I'd just whomp up the basic template and be done with it. Why am I such a frickin' project? (Rick asks me this every day. He mutters it, though, and is astounded that I hear it.)

Related topic: The Tie Report. I do this mainly for me (and for Brian, but you know...it's almost as if he doesn't even read it!) and will continue to, but I wonder if any of you Fairly Newcomers even are aware that it exists. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please scroll down my sidebar to read my nightly report on the tie being worn by Brian Williams of the NBC Nightly News. If you're thinking, "What? Why on earth would I want to read something as dull as that?", then clearly you need to read it.

Oh, and can I just be a homer for a moment? HOW ABOUT THOSE INDIANS?!

Rick and I stayed at a small country inn while in Canada; our room was charming and lovely, but it had no television. We went down to "the lounge" (that's Canadian for "living room") and watched the baseball game with other guests from Connecticut, Detroit, and Canada, all of whom were Indians fans. We chatted and cheered and had smart, lovely conversation. I was in heaven. As a matter of fact, I was in heaven pretty much the entire weekend: excellent wine, good food, delightful innkeeper, intelligent and pleasant company in the inn's breakfast room, and no rain. And I've finally gotten smart: I'm not telling anyone where we stay. Too many people know and it's nigh unto impossible to get a room in the summertime. Don't ask me! I mean it, now!

Last item: While shopping in Canada, I passed several times a store selling not only the hideous Crocs, but the little doodads that stick on them. Every time I passed the place, I said energetically, to no one in particular, "Stop selling Crocs!" It was my personal protest. I feel good about that.

And all this other stuff, too.


  1. When I came back into the USA in a bus once, the entertainment came from watching the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer illegally harass people. And by "entertainment," I mean "embarrassment of being a U.S. citizen."

    In other news, I think my parents would consider that a "vacation." 'cause that's how they roll. Although it wouldn't be a "vacation" without a trip to the Indian casino to stock up on cigarettes (which are stored in the freezer to keep them Fresh).

  2. How is is that you can't have a "holiday" because it's too British yet you have "smart" conversations? I just always have equated "smart" phrases with the British.

    I have a confession to make...I do not read the tie report.

    GO INDIANS!!!!! and just as a side thought...Sizemore is lovely to look at!!!

    I exercised my demoratic voice and I'm proud to be part of the 7!!!

    Are Obama and Cheney really distant cousins?

    K. I'm done now.

  3. A weekend jaunt sounds lovely. I wish I had time/money to weekend jaunt anywhere (except home...that's hardly a jaunt!) I keep thinking about it, even just hitting up a little po-dunk town here in Ohio. Anything to get away from feeling cooped up and burdened with school.

    And love the Canada idea. It should be passed on to the government (or are they already reading?)

  4. Well, on the Mexican border you have people trying to sell you crap, so that isn't much better.

    And, I have the link to the place where I got my template on my blog, you might want to take a look-see.

  5. Getaway suits your venture just fine! I do that quite often, in fact, I am planning one for next weekend ;-) Although is getting away really getting away when I'm just coming home? Okay, I'm rambling...

    I too have a confession to make...I was not around when the tie report was born, so I have no clue what it's even about! (LMAO @ Nina)

    I always get riduculed when I root the teams from my native land, so *whispering...GO INDIANS, and *YELLING...GET IT TOGETHER BROWNS!

  6. Um, I call my living room a living room. I call a lounge a place to go get drinks...
    Just sayin'.

  7. princess--long time, no comment. apparently, the Canadians in Ontario province use a different vocab. this inn called their living room "the lounge." i strive for accuracy in all posts, as you know, especially for my non-U.S. readers.

    tera--you are breaking my heart right now. i thought you devoted hours and hours to perusing all nooks and corners of my blog. certainly you will be enthused and relieved to note that you can catch up on all my Tie Reports by clicking on the link in my sidebar under "Necessaries." I await your critique.

    gina--i have both looked and seen, thank you. it is far too worky for me, after having read the alarmingly tragic and jargon-filled comments about being unable to install the templates and such things as "workarounds", etc. hideous.

    jenomena--rick thinks that homeland security is now reading, since i used the rather suspect verb choice "sneaked up to" in describing how we went to Canada. note to H.S.--i was "being creative." sigh.

    nina--contrary to British conventional wisdom, U.S. Americans are perfectly capable of being smart during normal verbal discourse, and I proved it in Canada. (i do like to think i prove it domestically, also. and often.) as far as you NOT reading the Tie Report, I am profoundly disappointed. I update it faithfully and consider it some of my finest brief writing. Please do sample it either in my sidebar or at the Brian Williams Tie Report Archives Blog itself, the link for which you will find in my sidebar under "Necessaries." And thank you for voting. Oddly, my poll hit ten and reset itself to six. I have no idea why.

    i.h.--i wish i was awarding Nance Points because I would automaticallly give you eleventy hundred for using the phrase "'cause that's how they roll" in relation to your parents.

  8. When did "I wish I was" become correct?

  9. Anonymous4:54 AM

    Perhaps an underwear report would be more popular? The perfect place for your brief writing.

    After three years in Europe, I'm all over the term "on holiday" and I love when Bridget Jones calls a long weekend a "mini-break." And may I add that I'm also fond of the term Bank Holiday to refer to non-holidays like Columbus Day. The Brits and Europeans are quite smart in their word choice.

    And Di, my darling friend from New Zealand, also has a lounge. Sprawling on her blue sofa, it seems the best name for the room.

    I'm glad you had a lovely time. I know you NEEDED it.

  10. i.h.--when the sentence is in the indicative. i'm clearly expressing something that is not wishful, but possible so to use the subjunctive form "were" is really not called for. here's the scoop from the Web's Grammar Girl herself: "if something is possible, then you use the indicative verb and not the subjunctive". (although why i should have to quote a secondary source to back up my authority, i don't know...! :-) )

    v-grrrl--I did need it, and I eventually came to terms with having to share it. LOL. I don't care for the term "mini-break" largely because I just think adding "mini" onto everything is a lazy way out.

  11. I hate English grammar. Luckily I have you to straighten me out. When should I be expecting the bill?

  12. Anonymous8:51 PM

    O, Canada. I long for a jaunt.

    I like the current colors.

    Have read the latest Tie Reports, but no time to comment till the weekend. I did see last night's offering live, however, so I shall be able to respond with verve. Or something. :-)


  13. Your original description of the weekend away brought to mind the term mini-break as well. I'm not fond of it either, because it sounds like a fancy way of someone trying to shorten your lunch.

    That wait to get into Canada is way too much of a drag anymore. We're going to have to find a domestic version of a Canadian feeling place. Sounds like a challenge.

  14. j.--it's not too terribly long, at least not when we went. and nothing can replace Canada, unless, that is, the dollar tanks even farther. THANKS, ANGEL OF DEATH.

    ortizzle--what's with your support of atlanta? are you a transplanted georgian? i learn something new about you every day.

    i.h.--how can you hate grammar? it's like the math of english. and no bill. that stuff is FUN for me.

  15. Anonymous5:04 PM

    Ooops. Wrong tribe. How do you expect me to remember? I used to be a Baltimore fan, when I lived in that neck of the woods, and now it appears the football team up and went somewhere else. I forget where, but there ain't no more Baltimore Colts. Kind of like when the Oilers left Houston. Who cares if it ain't in the same city? Yeah, I know, the Dodgers survived leaving Brooklyn, but... I think that was before I was born. (Probably a bit after, but for the sake of not looking quite so old, we'll say it was after.)


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