Saturday, February 16, 2013

I Love Canada. And Fruit, too.

So, I never knew much about Canada growing up.  Sure, I'd been to Ontario, I'd been to Quebec, I'd even been to New Brunswick, but these were all short jaunts, not opportunities to explore or really learn.  I mean, after all, how much am I going to learn about Canada from that tawdry cheese-fest that is Niagara Falls (make no mistake, I love it, but it's utterly gaudy)?  These were all, of course, pre-Passport-at-the-border visits.  Canada's not as convenient these days.

Niagara does tacky so well!

I learned nothing about Canadian geography when I was in school.  Nothing.  No provinces, no capitals, nothing.  I learned more about Canada watching Mick Jagger cavort with Pierre Trudeau's wife than I ever did in a public school setting.  And I was okay with this--I mean, I made a few efforts to memorize the provinces and such, but my brain just didn't want to grasp and really retain the information.  I didn't really care until I had a child and decided I didn't want him to be as ignorant as his mother when it came to Canadian geography.

And then came the Toronto Song.

I don't remember how I came by the Toronto Song.  I think my sister may have tossed it my way. All I know is that my then six year old grabbed it and RAN.  And I thought, "Okay, the song's a bit rude, but it's funny, and more important, it's making this stuff STICK in a way it never has."  And it wasn't just sticking for ME, it was sticking for my boy, too.  At six years old, he knew more about Canada than I did at 39.

Now, that's not the visual version I prefer, but the video I like can't be embedded.  But here's the link:

The Toronto Song (my preferred video version)

Yes, it's rude, but understand, it was written by a Canadian comedy team and meant to lampoon the rivalries that pop up between provinces.  I KNOW Ontario doesn't suck, I KNOW Quebec isn't revolting.  But this is a fun song, and it really did lay those provinces down in a way that has stuck in our heads.  I mean, I always knew Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Quebec were "East-ish," along with Ontario, which was "a little less East-ish."  I always knew the Northwestern Territories and Yukon were way north and way cold.  I knew British Columbia was seriously west.  I knew that  Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta were somewhere in the middle, and that Calgary was in Alberta and has a big rodeo.  Probably better than many Americans, but not great.  But now?  Thanks to this marvelously snotty, silly song, I know where they ALL are!

I have shared this with Canadian friends.  Only one was openly hostile about it--in fact, she got downright ugly.  In a "provincial rivalry" kind of way.  It was adorable, and I never played the song for her again.  My other Canadian friends either liked it or were polite enough to pretend they did.  Those Canadians can be marvelously polite, can't they?  It's one of the many things I like about them.  Seriously.  I like the heck out of Canadians, I think sometimes I'd like to be one.  They're smart, funny, saner, and take better care of their own.

We bought a whole slew of really beautiful produce at Wegmans Thursday night (that's night before last).  Some amazing, giant, knobby-looking oranges that resemble nothing so much as Rocky Flats minneolas--you know, used to be a minneola, but has been radiated to something more muscular and scary?  LOL, these are called "Sumo" mandarins, and they are a wonder to behold!  They're huge (as tall as the star fruit, markedly bigger than the other oranges), and they're gorgeous and I can't wait to eat one!  We also got blood oranges (haven't had a blood orange in ten years, easy), our minneolas, plus Macoun, Jonagold, and Opal apples.  Never seen Opals before.  I wasn't the only one oohing and ahhing over them, either.  Here's a pic of part of the haul (left out the bananas and salad fixings).

I didn't pull out ALL of it, just representative pieces.  Those are D'anjou pears, a kiwi, and a star fruit, too.  Along with bell peppers, of course.

The gigantic Sumo, surrounded by (right to left) blood orange, minneola, and navel.

I came across a blog the other night, folks were talking about the strange dolls they'd found while on vacation.  They were piled next to light posts and road signs.  Not tons of them, just a few.  I was strongly reminded of the dolls my ex and I found in the cemeteries in Paris.  Some were very plain, very basic, but some were more colorful, like this:

Note the funky little bag she's carrying.  If you watch any "Supernatural," you'll probably think of that as a "hex bag."  Many of the little grave dolls had these.  Now, don't mistake me--there were many graves that had DOLL dolls--you know, baby dolls.  Especially children's graves.  This was something else.  Am I an atheist?  Of course I am.  Am I deeply skeptical and not given over to much superstition?  Absolutely.  And when my ex bent down to pick one up as a "souvenir?"  I leapt forward and said, rather sharply, "DON'T TOUCH THAT!"

Sure, it sucks that he was contemplating lifting something off a grave, and I'd have yelled at him over that, too.  But this was something more.  It was a deep, from my gut reaction.  I laugh about it now, and no, I don't believe the little dolls can curse you, and yet there's just enough of me that still raises hackles at such things that . . . well, better safe than sorry?  I feel ridiculous saying it, but it was a strong, "No, I don't believe in it, but why mess with it?" feeling.

No, I will not turn in my Atheist card.  Thing has cost me far too much in so many ways.  Or, rather, people's response to it has.  It's mine, I've earned it.  I'm proud of it.

Today is a dietary day off.  So's tomorrow.  I've lost nine pounds in two weeks.  If I gain back two, and then lose another four or so next week?  Hey, net loss.  And I'm not being AS crazy this weekend.  Plus, I'm finding it easier to get back on Monday mornings.  And that's good.

Oh, and bad paneling, too.

1 comment:

  1. We ate "local" as kids. I much prefer having a large selection of fresh produce from aroundthe world. CWe enjoy blood oranges with sliced fennel and a light oil and lemon dressing as a dinner salad.

    Pears are good now too. Higher in fiber than some other fruit.

    Keep up your goodwork on eating healthy.