Food

Fun Foods

Lyke srsly.

I’m going to be honest, Canada has been pretty normal on the food front. Its refreshing to go to the grocery store here and not find “pork faggots” (I’m looking at you, England). But I have still managed to encounter some disturbing Canadian cuisine. There are plenty of times when people are telling me about a food here and I have to resort to my are-you-still-talking-to-me-about-poutine? face.

Let’s just get the worst over with first. Poutine. Pronounced: poo-teen. I wish I was kidding. Basically, poutine is french fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. I’m sure that sounds good to most of you, but anything cheese related (besides pizza) makes me want to end my life. I can deal with the fries and gravy on top, but not the cheese curd. Especially because its curd. I believe this specialty item originated in Montreal and now its become a staple all over Canada. Not really a staple, I guess. But it’s at the point where people still react when I tell them that I haven’t tried it. Ugh shut up about your poo fries.

I assume everyone has heard of churros. Everyone except Canadians. But they’ve heard of Beaver Tails which are kind of the same idea, but they look way more disgusting and have a repulsive name. Beaver Tails, like churros, are deep fried dough coated in sugar. Except one looks like this and one looks like that.

Beaver Tail

Churros

Does anyone remember at the beginning of Len’s Steal My Sunshine when the guys talk about butter tarts? No? Then go listen and come back. I remember listening to that song and not knowing what a butter tart was. Len is a Canadian band, guys. Canadians are apparently known for their butter tarts. The tart consists of butter, sugar, syrup, and egg filled into a flaky pastry and cooked until the filling is semi-crunchy. This sounds delicious, but of course its the one food that no one has offered me. THANKS CANADA.

Interesting tidbit: Canadians consume more macaroni and cheese than any other nation on earth. They probably think its gold or something.

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School

Ignoring the System

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Most of you are aware that in Canada they use the metric system. Actually, the only countries that don’t use the metric system are the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar. My next vacation is going to take place in Liberia or Myanmar, just so you know. I don’t want to be a complainer, but the metric system is so hard to get used to. The only thing  that I like is the band, Metric, and they aren’t even part of the system (but they are from Canada).

Gas always seems so cheap when I look at the prices– “$1.10 a gallon?!…oh wait LITERS.” I think it’s fine to measure soda in liters. And that’s pretty much the extent of it. Plus, the more you use liters, the more chances that some loser will spell it “litres” and I hate nothing more than the letter ‘r’ sneaking before the ‘e’. Get in line ‘r’!

The speed is always in kilometers. For awhile I thought Canada was really lenient and let everyone go super fast. NOPE. Luckily I have a kilometer gauge in my car, granted it’s below the mph gauge, but at least its there. Miles are clearly the best and most powerful and that’s why they’re on top (not because we got our car in the States or anything…).

I can usually look past those other defaults. The measurement I have the most trouble with is degrees Celsius. I refuse to acknowledge it’s existence. It makes no sense that on the hottest day of the year the temperature would be 45 degrees. Just no. It does make sense however, that in Celsius terms, freezing is at 0. That’s fine. I will give you that. But I will not allow people to say “Oh, it’s so nice out today. I love 20 degree weather!” No, no you don’t. No one loves 20 degree weather except for polar bears and Inuits.

Final note: I had to ask the guy who worked at the meat counter to convert my ground beef from kilograms to pounds. He secretly judged me. Actually, he was really nice and taught me how to convert it, but still. UGH.

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Judging

The Doctor Is In

I think its about time that everyone was introduced to Dr. Kenford Nedd.  Every so often my TV-watching schedule is blessed with a 1 minute session (commercial) from the doc. Dr. Ken Nedd has been practicing family medicine for 20 years, so he’s pretty much a genius in his field. And by genius, I mean…not-genius. He specializes in stress relief. Let me give you an example of what I see on a day to day basis:

Besides scaring the crap out of me, he has a point. Unfortunately, I have come across that point a little less than a hundred times in my life. Like, really? That’s your one minute? You have one minute on-air and that’s the lesson you choose? The only epiphany I have after these commercials is that I should’ve become a doctor of family medicine because it seems incredibly straight-forward. Also, it seems like I could be a Harvard professor as well since the study that he contrived is the most obvious thing known to man.

Maybe I have trouble taking him seriously because his name is Dr. Ken Nedd. Also because he’s being over-enthusiastic to the point of disbelief. No one is that excited about doing something unselfish. Except Jesus. And that’s why we celebrate his birthday unselfishly by giving gifts to other people (and secretly hoping that we get everything off of our lists that we unselfishly made for ourselves).

I appreciate having a minute with a doctor without leaving my couch, but I just think it should be a little more worthwhile. My minutes are precious, doctor.

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Animals

Kitty Catz

"I've been waiting for you, Lily"--scary cat

Sometimes I like to go for walks to the beach. It’s nice because the ocean is only about 10 blocks from my place. The thing is, between me and the ocean are about a hundred cats.

You’ve probably figured out from previous posts that I am an animal lover, but its getting to the point where I am trying to avoid these beasts. One time when I was on my way home, a huge orange cat trotted out into the middle of the sidewalk and stopped me in my path. I went to pet him and he instantly melted to the ground. I pet him for a good 3 minutes before I decided that people were starring so I started walking away. He followed. “Ugh okay one last pet. BYE.” He kept following. I decided to just look straight forward and pretend he wasn’t there. He followed me for 3 blocks and then got bored. I felt like the pied piper of cats. Except that I only had one cat following me and it was scary.

Another time I saw a cat walking around in a fenced in yard. I smiled at him. And then, he sat down and started pooping. HE STARTED POOPING. I had never seen a cat poop before. Most people haven’t. They’re usually such private creatures. In fact, if someone told me, “Oh, cats don’t poop” I would have believed them. Who knew they sit down to poop? I mean, it makes sense, but it was just so weird. I felt like crying. Such a rare occurrence and no one to share it with. I looked around with a is-anyone-else-seeing-this? look. As per usual no one cared.

Lastly I saw a cat sitting at the top of a porch. It kind of looked like he was on a throne. I looked and him and walked away. When I came back, he was on the sidewalk waiting for me. I gave him a nice rub, and right as I was pulling my hand away he reached up, batted my hand, and scratched it. He was basically was a spoiled royal cat who commanded attention and told you when it was okay to stop rubbing (never). I probably have rabies now.

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Artwork

Emily Carr

Semi-hottie?

Everyone is crazy about this chick. She is what you would call, Victoria’s celebrity or a Canadian icon. She was born in 1871 in Victoria and became an artist and writer. She has a university named after her, a library in her name, and a number of elementary schools as her namesake. Personally, she bugs me. Only because everyone is spending too much time focusing on her, when they could be focusing on me.

Here’s a little background on the Carr klan:

The Carr children were raised on English tradition. Richard Carr, born in England, believed it was sensible to live in Vancouver Island, a colony of Great Britain, where he could practice English customs and continue his British citizenship.

Okay, Dick, can I call you Dick? Why did you move when you could have practiced English customs and continue your British citizenship in oh, I don’t know, England? Seems like a weird decision. He was most likely running away from something. Possibly going to jail. How selfish. Emily was probably pissed. So she had to get her anger out by painting pictures of trees and totem poles. I’m assuming that’s how it was.

I guess she was inspired by the “indigenous peoples of the pacific northwest coast” which already annoys me because I hate Native art, as you well know. Her artwork is decent, but nothing that would be considered life-changing. Let’s compare these paintings shall we?

Emily Carr, I’m sure your dad was a psycho, but that’s not an excuse to paint really terribly. Your fame will forever baffle me.

Anna Kostenko's painting of a tree.

Emily Carr's picture of trees.

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Exercise, French, Judging

The Grey Cup

He's going to give me nightmares.

For the last couple of days I’ve heard talk about the Grey Cup. I figured it was some kind of hardcore Grey’s Anatomy marathon and chose to ignore it. I read one of Paul’s incoming texts (not because I’m intrusive, he asked me to because I’m so trustworthy…and he couldn’t reach his phone) and it mentioned the Grey Cup. I told Paul it was something about Grey’s Anatomy and he gave me the do-you-have-downsyndrome-and-didn’t-tell-me look.

The Grey Cup is the Canadian Football league’s final game of the season–kind of like the Super Bowl. But instead of a bowl, it is rightly referred to as a cup. This year the Grey Cup (or the Gay Cup as I like to call it) involves the BC Lions and the Winnipeg Bluebombers. That’s right, Bluebombers. Other team names that I love are the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Eskimos. Heh.

Montreal’s team is called the Alouettes. Seriously though wtf. I did some research–you know that song, Alouette, pronounced “Al-u-etta”? Well, I guess its about plucking feathers from a lark. So their team name refers to a person informing a lark that someone is going to pluck it’s head, nose, eyes, wings, and tail. UMMMMMMMMMMM And their mascot is a bird. So I’m not making this up. I just thought of a perfect team phrase: “We’re gonna pluck you up.” You can thank me later, Montreal. Actually no, thank me now.

So that’s Canadian football. I don’t even like football to be honest. It’s the longest game of all time. And there are so many stops and starts and so much going on. I get confused. So I’ve stopped pretending I’m interested.

Final note: the CFL’s (Canadian Football League) slogan is ” This is OUR league.” It sure is, Canada. It sure is.

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canada

Red Meat in Georgia Straight

The title of this post should make absolutely no sense to you. I will explain. When we were in Vancouver, Paul picked up a newspaper out of one of those newspaper boxes. Newspaper boxes freak me out. You know they have hobo pee all over them, don’t you? Well, they do.

The Georgia Straight is an offbeat weekly mag that is distributed in Vancouver for free. Let me just point out that I don’t trust anything that’s free. Unless we’re talking about the samples in Costo–too good to pass up.

I call this magazine offbeat because it has a groovy feel. I guess they got in trouble because they published an article on how to grow pot. So not only are they an usual publication, they’re a stupid one as well.

While I was giving it a read through, I found myself looking at the comics. Okay, lets be honest, I went straight to the comics. I was taken aback when I saw that they had one of my favorite comics, Red Meat, in their paper.

click to make readable

When I was about 16 I found a book of Red Meat comics in my house. I was creeped, but not half as creeped as when I was read Edward Gorey stories as a child. Gashlycrumb Tinies will always be imprinted in my mind. Red Meat comics aren’t HILARIOUS. But they make me laugh more than Garfield or Dilbert or something equally as stupid. I was just excited to see it make an appearance in a newspaper since it’s not that popular. And glad to know that I’m not the only one who likes Milkman Dan.

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Animals

Possible Best Headline Ever?

When life was good.

A couple of weeks ago I was skimming through Victoria’s main news source, The Times Colonist. I always want to call it the Times Columnist, which makes a lot more sense to me. Like, why are they putting so much focus on being colonized? It’s kind of embarrassing. And I’m pretty sure a colonial man or woman would not be up to date on all of the latest, breaking news.  BUT OKAY.

I came across an article that was called “Victoria deer debate: ‘No one wants to kill Bambi’s mom’. Apparently the deer population here is around 50,000 and people are getting angry because the deer are doing deer-like things. Nothing gets people more mad than when a deer eats the tops of their flowers. Maybe the deer are trying to be artsy. It looks kind of cool with only the stems poking up from the soil.

Also, there are a lot of complaints of people hitting deer on “roads and highways”. Compared to hitting them on sidewalks? Or in the sky? It’s nice that people are able to complain after hitting a deer. The deer should be the one complaining, after all, he’s the one that’s dead. Does the person that accidentally hits a biker with his car complain, or does he say “ohmigosh what can I do to help?!?!” Why don’t we ever take the deer’s feelings into consideration?

I think the Times Colonist was smart to compare this troublesome issue to a deer that we all know and love. Bambi had a pretty good life, a loving mother, and a harsh father–they had to make it realistic. And we all know that the mean hunter shoots Bambi’s mom. Who would want to be that hunter?! Disney basically conditioned us as kids to never kill deer. So if you end up hitting one with your car, you will automatically be the opposite of all things magical–Satan’s accomplice.

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Favorites

To my loyal readers

I never get nominated for anything. No trophies, no ribbons (my life is a joke). Only a college degree in History. And if I can get a degree in History, basically your dog can get a degree in it as well.

I am SO excited that my blog has been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award! I am just trying to make my way in the world/interwebsphere. I feel so appreciated. I have to thank the lovely, Random Female Blog for nominating me and for being so random and female. Your short and sweet entries truly make me happy.

To follow the rules and to truly be awarded, I have to nominate other blogs that I think are great.

Mooselicker – A guy who lives in NJ, with a plethora of hilarious posts. I’m pretty sure he’s my spirit animal.

Michael Cargill – Sir, my blog is a better place because of you! A blog full of personas, horoscopes, and my personal favorite, Nurse Ratched.

Rage Laugh – A guy named Tony (I didn’t realize people still had that name) who rants and will make you laugh. And he also likes Louis C.K. Bonus points.

Sparklebumps – A relatable gal from Minnesota that makes me chuckle.

 

Thanks again for reading my ramblings!

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victoria b.c.

The Empress

I like the strategically placed carriage. Look how charming we are!

The Fairmont Empress is the oldest and prettiest hotel in Victoria. It has really beautiful ivy growing on it that makes the hotel look like some kind of castle. And in the fall the ivy turns bright red and it looks like the building is bleeding. It’s a pretty classy joint. I just wouldn’t recommend staying there.

When my mom and I visited Victoria for the first time, we were booked to stay at the Empress. It has a great location, right in front of the downtown harbor (and I am a sucker for harbors). After we checked in, we went down many a hallway to get to our room. When we finally got there, we got to our room and it smelled kind of like old people death. So we kind of sat there for a second and realized that the room was pretty warm too. We asked if the AC was working and the concierge told us that they didn’t have AC, but we could put a bucket of ice in front of a fan. “Hmm I’m sorry, we can do what with what?!” What kind of medieval suggestion is that? I would rather have someone fan me and feed me grapes than set up a fan with ice in front of it. But I digress.

There are a couple of really cool spots in the hotel. They’re really famous for their tea room which faces the harbor. Afternoon tea and scones are held there every day for a quick $60 a seat. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth have attended a luncheon (aka had lunch) in the tea room.

Also, the Empress has a luxurious spot called the Bengal Lounge. Apparently the lounge is supposed to have drawn “inspiration from Queen Victoria’s role as the Empress of India.” This is my favorite room in the whole place because it has that I-have-slaves-feel. Plus, they have a curry lunch and dinner buffet. Any place that offers a buffet is my new favorite place.

You would think they would have chosen a bengal tiger statue...but nope. Jaguar.

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