Thursday, June 30, 2005

As Canadian As...

In honour of Canada Day tomorrow, may I present the things about ME that I feel are quintessentially Canadian:

1. I LOVE Maple syrup.
I know this seems normal, I mean, really, it's good stuff. But I REALLY love it. I've been known to lick my plate clean if there is maple syrup on it. I've also been know to drink it directly from the bottle. Not a mouthful, 'cause that's just a waste, but I've taken more than a few sips in my lifetime. Also, I refuse to use Aunt Jemima or other "crap". Only the real deal will do. If someone gives me maple syrup as a gift, then that person will be forever in my good books. My cousin's husband (who is from the be all and end all of Canadian maple sugar producing provinces, Quebec) for example, achieved god-like status around here when he arrived with a bottle of raspberry-flavoured maple syrup. Yeah, baby.

2. I know how to paddle a canoe.
I'm no master at the J-stroke, but I did spend the majority of my summers paddling around the lake at our cottage. My dad and I even took part in a canoe race when I was 14. We came in 4th. Not bad, despite the fact that our dry-land training wasn't very intense (we decided to enter the race a couple days beforehand). Ok, ok... there were only 8 canoes in the race, but Dad and I did beat my friend, Leslie's dad. Woot woot.

3. I own my own snowshoes.
And I know how to walk in them without getting hip cramps. I love my snowshoes. I used them to walk all over downtown Dartmouth after the blizzard in '04. And by OVER, I really mean OVER - the snowbanks were so high that I walked ABOVE an SUV.

4. I own two different snow removal devices. I would like to own three.
I have a snow scoop - the wide shovel that has a C-shaped curve.
I have a big snow scooper-dooper thingy, that I don't know what to call - It's huge and you drive it into the base of that nasty snowbank the snowplow creates, then tilt it back and pull away a huge chunk of snow. I love this thing. It has saved my arse in soooooo many storms.
I would like to own a snow blower. You can park 4 cars end to end in my driveway and I shovel the whole g.d. thing in the winter. Another blizzard and I'm going to lose my mind.

5. I know what it feels like to go outside and have the snot freeze in my nose.
I don't think that needs further explanation.

6. I like my poutine with ketchup.
Fries, Gravy, cheese curds and ketchup. Yum.

7. I know how to speak French.
Mais, I prefer to bastardize la langue by speaking Franglais, comme mes amies in Moncton.

8. I can do a Newfie accent and a Cape Breton accent...
The only problem is, I usually do it while talking to someone from either of these places and they often end up asking if I'm from there. Whoopsie.

9. I apologize, a lot.

10. I love CBC radio one and CBC tv.
Peter Gzowski was and still is my hero, may he rest in peace. As are Shelagh Roberts and Bill Richardson and Arthur Black. But if I saw them in public, I would do my best to not make a scene. Well, I did tell Rick Mercer that I was, at one time, plotting to overthrow him so that I could do the rants on 22Minutes. It was after he left the show, though, so I don't think he was as worried as he should have been.

11. I cross-border shop and feel guilty about it.

12. I once organized my bookshelf so that I had all my Can-Lit together.

13. I cried when Carol Shields died.

14. My husband's music makes up part of the Can-con on CBC radio.

15. I have a love-hate relationship with Margaret Atwood's books.

16. I wish I could say something about beer here, but I can't drink carbonated beverages. Sorry. (Please see number 9)

17. I've owned more than one toboggan.

18. I took figure-skating lessons as a child and was priviledged to have a lesson with Don Jackson (See March 1962). He's a pretty cool guy.

19. I've played hockey on a frozen river and skated on many a frozen lake and pond.

20. I love the colour of maple leaves in the fall.

Norma "kindly" pointed out the flaw in my Canadianisms. They are based more on Geography than actual Canadian qualities. Oh, I could go on for days on how our national identity is weak and oft times based solely on the fact that we aren't American, but I won't. Instead I'll add these few points and ask you Canadians out there who may be reading this, to tell me what makes you Canadian, other than your birth certificate or your citizenship card.

21. I know that "sweatering" someone has nothing to do with knitting and everything to do with hockey.

22. I believe in socialized health care and will defend it 'til the day I die and after having bled the system dry!

23. I will complain vociferously about my government, even if I did vote for the lying, cheating, bastards, but I will also be very proud of them when they pass the bills that I support.

24. I "tut tut" appropriately when a social 'cause is discussed, but I don't get my ass off the couch to do anything about it. (Maybe that's just me.)

25. I "get" the "Out of the Blue" beer ads.

26. Cannabis Day (an alternative to Canada Day) is celebrated in the park near my house and I've never worried that all the stoned kids are going to harm me or be the ultimate cause of moral decay of my country (it's more likely that the fat cats are going to cause this, and I'm not talking about actual cats here).

Oh, here's a quiz for those who are interested. It's from the Globe and Mail.

I'm sure there are more things, but I have to pack. I'm heading home again tomorrow, to visit both sets of grandparents this time. Long story short - neither grandfather is a spring chicken anymore.

I'm also going home for a family reunion. I'll explain when I get back. It's not my family, but it is in a way.

Oh, here's what was hanging in a beautiful gift bag on my back door when I got home today:

Can you see what the card says?

"Steph - Thanks for teaching me how to knit. You're a wonderful and patient teacher. Hope you enjoy! Love Jen."

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww! She's the best! I'm thinking I should teach more people to knit if this is an example of the reward I get. Although, having converted Jen, and knowing that she is a fibre addict too, well, that's enough of a reward, really.

Jen, aka, JAK just finished her VERY FIRST SWEATER! She made the sweater with the hot looking guy in it from Weekend Knitting. I don't need to show a photo, do I? Everyone knows which sweater I mean when I reference the hot-looking guy, right? She used Lamb's Pride Bulky for which she had to adjust the gauge. For her first sweater! She's amazing! She made it for her husband. Who, I'm sure, will look hot in his own special way in it. And if not, Jen will look very cute in it!

BTW: It was Jen that I was drinking daiquiris and knitting with the other night. She's riding the wave of excitement over having finished sweater #1 and she's already cast on for the skully sweater from SnB.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!


  1. C'mon now, I'm all those things (ESPECIALLY the poutine with ketchup) and I'm not Canadian. Well, I'm as close to Canadian as you can get without actually BEING Canadian, but....I'm just pointing out that your scientific analysis is flawed. Just to be a pain in know....arse. Happy Canada Day!

  2. Happy Canada day. I'm obviously Canadian-impaired so I'll just cheer from the sidelines.

  3. I am moved to post, instead of just lurking...
    As a Canadian married to an American living in the USA, (albeit the most Canadian-like city, Portland Oregon) I'm much mre aware of my Canuck-ness than I used to be.
    Off the cuff things I love about Canada:
    Saskatoon berries
    Curling - especially on TV
    The CBC - I stream it at work all day
    The way all my friends and family pronounce "car" and "bar"
    Cribbage - which isn't Canadian but seems like it is.
    Coffee Crisp and Smarties - we don't have them here.
    Can-con music - I love Canadian music! Destroyer, Arcade Fire, Young and Sexy, p:ano, etc etc. (Obvious West Coast bias there)
    Almost all of my choices start with C - hmmm....

  4. I love your list, Steph. Happy Canada Day!! :)

  5. Ilove your list...
    I love-love Margaret Attwood
    I know who Elwy Yost is, but can't spell his name,
    Slit my wrists and I will bleed Tim's. (Ice Caps in the summer)
    I don't love Sheligh Rodgers, but we BOTH love vinal cafe stories -'spesh when Sam learnt to knit.
    I cried when the Friendly Giant, and Mr. Dressup died and
    I went to the dedication ceremony at Trent for Pete Gzowski (even though I didn't go to the school anymore).
    But do you know THE most Canadian thing you could do???? Head out to Hubbards with me on Tuesday and bake in the heat for a video Much'll only play on Going Coastal. True Patriot Love! (If you're back from your trip that is :)