Monday, January 17, 2005

Good Things About Storm Days

1. Calling manager at 7am and hearing her say, "Yeah, even the universities are closing so go back to sleep, the office is definitely closed today."
2. Listening to the cancellations on the radio and still getting that surge of happiness upon hearing that the schools are closed because of the storm.
3. Waking up at 9:50am and feeling only slightly guilty.
4. Cream of Wheat for breakfast.
5. Coming downstairs in my full Stanfields long johns in preparation for putting on my snowpants and hearing my husband say, "Nice bum flap. You look hot." I most definitely did not look hot.
6. Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in "Indiscreet" on CBC this afternoon.

So, mostly a good day. Did plenty of knitting - working on new scarf with red wool sent in swap with Kat from Pinku. Should be making hats for a baby shower next weekend. Yes, I said hats, that's hat, plural. A friend is expecting twin boys. The lady organizing the shower suggested a diaper only shower, as friend already has a boy and apparently piles of baby clothes. I can't just bring diapers or diaper-related gifts! That just seems, oh, I dunno, shitty? I've got some Debbie Bliss cotton to make a little umbilical-cord-type hat.

On the bad things about storm days front, I did have to go out and shovel most of the driveway. Andrew has a really, genuinely bad back and shovelling has proven in the past to be quite bad for it: a week off work, walking bent-over and pigeon-toed. Gawd, he's hot when he's vulnerable like that. hee hee. Today, however he did brave the big snow scoopie thing - Snow belt people would recognize this as the big double-handled scoop with which you scoop up snow, drag it to the snow dumping area and then tip contents out. I like to call it "My Best Friend". Andrew did the worst part of the shovelling - the end of the driveway. He's a prince among men.

Maritime Colloquialisms:
(I can't entitle this paragraph "Atlantic Canadian Colloquialisms", because that would mean going into the Newfoundland dialect, and while it would be informative and incredibly interesting, Lord Liftin' Love a Duck, I don't have the breadth of knowledge nor the bandwidth needed to cover that. Perhaps Becca could write an essay on Newfie dialect and its usage for me? Or, you could all just track down episodes of Cod Co.)

Over the years, I've had several discussions with people about the way Maritimers speak. My uncle has lamented living where he does in this great country because he misses the richness of the language of the East Coast.
Now, I'm sure that other regions have an equally rich linguistic history and I'm also sure that some of our sayings are used by other people. By now though, no one knows which direction these sayings travelled: from us to them or from them to us. That being said, without further ado, here are some of my favorites:

"Fart in a mitten"
Usage: "He or she is just like a fart in a mitten."
This is a person who, like a fart in a mitten, cannot be contained. They are always on the move, cannot sit still, are always busy. I'm quite certain that this saying does not take into account the fart retaining qualities of a thrummed mitten. Anyone care to test this?

"Fart in a bucket"
Usage: "Isn't that just a fart in a bucket?" Or, "Grrrrr... Fart in a bucket!!!"
As explained to me by the first person I heard use this phrase: When you go to the outhouse in the middle of the night thinking you've got urgent business to attend to and all you do, after sitting on the cold seat, is let out a big fart, then you've wasted a trip. Therefore, this expression is used to express disappointment. The word outhouse has been replaced with a bucket, because, well, we don't need to use the word outhouse any more than we already do.

"Ridge Runnin'"
Usage: "Me and the boys are goin' ridge runnin' in Jim's new four by four."
Ridge running doesn't necessarily include an actual Ridge. There are areas in New Brunswick that are called Ridges because they border a location of the same name, for example, there is Pennfield and then there is Pennfield Ridge. The Ridge usually has few inhabitants if any, and also has lots of muddy roads and fields where boys with a new four wheel drive truck can get stuck and cover the vehicle in mud from bumper to bumper.

Well, that's about all I can muster up for now. If you're interested in learning more about Maritime culture, I would direct you to the Carleton County Colloquialisms. This is an online dictionary which may come in handy if you meet a Maritimer and they say something to you that you need translated, like: "We were overtown in the MacDonald's dooryard talkin' about the shiveree we're plannin' for their son, (can you believe the little Christer's gettin' hitched?) when Bob arrived in his new TransAm and did a doughnut in the yard. We all laughed and told him to just give'er."

1 comment:

  1. mommy said you make her laugh...