Sweet Streets

I will be the first to admit that despite being super weird and Canadian, Victoria is a really charming city.  A little detail that I have noticed when I walk around town is that on every sidewalk’s corner, the street’s name is printed in old ceramic tiles. I really appreciate that.

These tiles were inserted in 1907. How presh! But over the years they have been beaten up pretty badly and some tiles have gone missing. The city used to have lots of replacement tiles, but now they’re running low. Supposedly they have tried to make new ceramic tiles, but they aren’t are durable as the original ones. So until they can find a good replacement, some signs are missing letters. And some signs are missing completely.How could anyone possible read this now!??!

Apparently someone was really into the tiles and decided to make a whole page about it. Its actually pretty interesting. I guess a company in Zanesville, Ohio produced the tiles–no wonder I like them so much, they’re Amurrrican.

I think little details like this are so cute and definitely give the city more character.  Snaps for Victoria.

living in canada, Surroundings

The Real Deal

The $1 coin. Isn't this everything you've ever wanted AND MORE?

So apparently the US is not the only country that makes those insane collector’s edition coins that no one actually uses–they just end up collecting dust and making you one step closer to being featured on Hoarders: Buried Alive. Canada has come out with their own, bizarre version that has been deemed important and I, for one, don’t understand why.

The Royal Canadian Mint (Really? The Canadian Mint is royal? Just because Canada is part of the commonwealth-which reminds me of welfare for some reason-doesn’t mean everything is royal. But whatevs.) is producing 5 special coins to celebrate the fact that they were the first country to have National Parks. Which is cute I guess.

The special $1 coin will be called Parks Canada Centennial Coin. SO CREATIVE. An article described the coin like so:

” intricate and detailed design features stylized land, air and aquatic fauna, varieties of flora, as well as a symbolic park building and the silhouette of a hiker framed by a snow-capped mountain range.”

A bit of a stretch. Is “aquatic fauna” even a real term?

The $2 (toonie…puke) is called the Boreal Forest Coin. What.

They are releasing 3 quarters named Wood Bison, Orca, Peregrine Falcon, respectively. I’m sure you can imagine what those will look like. Not good. And why did they only decide to make 3 quarters? Why not 4 so people could have a whole collector’s dollar? Nahhh makes too much sense/cents. Okay in all seriousness, puns are so gross.

I just did some coin research. Something that I never thought I would ever say. And I guess there is a Canadian Coin Club. Pshhahaha. They have coins that are worth up to $200. WHY would anyone ever need those. The only reason someone would use a sack of hundred-dollar coins is to give to the queen for permission to circumnavigate the globe. They would be handy if we had an apocalypse and had to use our resources to stay alive.  I guess $200 dollar coins are a pretty decent resource.


Canadian Apts…I mean, whats up with that?

This is seriously where I live guys. Step into my world. Try not to be too envious of my extravagant life style. Someone count how many times I said “pretty much” or “pretty cool” . Winner gets to live with me for a week.

Edit: When I refer to it as “my place” I mean that I haven’t played ANY part whatsoever in paying the bills. I am only referring to the fact that I live there. It is basically Paul’s place, and I am his pet.

Another edit: I guess I only say “pretty cool” like once. IT FELT LIKE A LOT.

Driving, Surroundings

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties)

So majestic and noble.

Since I’ve been in Victoria, I haven’t seen any mounties. Mounties are one of those things that epitomizes Canada. Much like fatties to the United States. In England people made it a point to tell me about obesity in the US.  If I made a complaint about something British, people would often say, “Well at least we aren’t overweight like everyone in the states”. I couldn’t really argue it either. WE LIKE FOOD, OKAY?

Maybe I haven’t seen any mounties because I don’t actually live in the mountains. Paul just assured me that mounties do not strictly patrol mountainous regions. Apparently (this might be boring…but educational!) they are in charge of rural areas instead of more populated city areas. I live quite close to the city center so I guess it makes sense that I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing any. So in Victoria, we have city police and in the towns further out, they have national, mounted police.

So my next question to Paul was–how do the mounties actually do any good when they are on horseback? Like, could you imagine them galloping to pull someone over? Waving a flashlight above their head to simulate a police car? Well I guess they aren’t mounted anymore. Which totally ruins everything. WHY are the even called mounties if they aren’t even mounted? Seeing a mountie in a car would just be weird :/

Lets be real. Mountie uniforms are super creepy, but they are original. I think they should go back to their roots, ditch the cars, find some horses, and patrol everywhere in Canada. I feel like people wouldn’t have to deal with as many tickets, AND you would get a free pony ride back to the station. Its a win/win situation if you ask me.

Judging, Music, Surroundings

Tuned In

One of my favorite pictures ever.

Paul and I love listening to music. That may seem like a stupid statement–who doesn’t like listening to music? Trust me, there are weird and creepy people out there who don’t. I just want to set the record straight and say that Paul and I are cool and have good taste in music. My taste is slightly better.  And by slightly, I mean only.

When Paul and I were in England and there was nothing to do (every other day) we would go on youtube and jam out to tunes and compare faves. Every so often I would choose a song and Paul would say, “Oh, they’re Canadian.” Which would then be followed by my death stare.

Truth is, this started happening way too much. Now I realize one of Canada’s true callings is making music. And its kind of cute too because sometimes they make really bad music (The Crash-Test Dummies and Nickelback). But most of the time they know what they’re doing (Metric, Arcade Fire, Rush, City & Colour, Sam Roberts) . Either way, this country really appreciates a good song. I even noticed on one of my last posts that one of the bands I mentioned was Canadian (hint: It’s not Adele).

However, I think Canada’s specialty is guilty pleasure music. Hello Avril, Alanis, The Guess Who, and Bryan Adams. And lets not forget Biebs.

Favorites, Surroundings

Fall Favo(u)rites

This is going to be a seasonal break from my posts aboot Canada to talk about some of my favorite things in fall. Lets get started, shall we?

1. “Someone Like You” by Adele. Such a good song. I listen to it at least once a day. I think my neighbors are starting to get creeped/going to kill me. The song’s lyrics are kind of weird, “Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you.” Like, you’re really awesome and I love you but you don’t love me, so I’ll settle for someone like you, but they won’t be as good as you. Hmm that’s a pretty bad sitch. I’m still not convinced that Adele isn’t singing about Nutella though.

2. Pizza. I got such a good deal on pizza at Costco (I know, I know. I shop there now). It was 4 pizzas for $12. I think they are meant for at least two people, but surprisingly, I am able to finish them off without any help.

3. My birthday. It was on October 5th and even though I am getting super old (24 blehh), it’s still really nice to have 100 notifications on facebook. I felt the love. And if you didn’t wish me happy birthday, you are officially dead to me.

Perfect. Purrfect.

4. Pictures of cats. Cats are so awesome. And pictures of cats dressed up or just being weird really make me happy. Cats always look like they hate the world and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

5. “Big Wheels” by Down With Webster. I really just like this song for the music video. It’s got a video game theme and I am kind of obsessed with gaming. There is a scene in the video where the band is go-kart racing and they filmed it like Mario Kart. I really appreciated it.

6. The Pacific Ocean. I can walk to the beach from my apartment in about 15 minutes. Granted, its cold outside and the water is freezing, but its kind of a great luxury to live by the ocean and stare out into it’s vastness. Yes, I’m gay.

7. Tweeting. I know, I know! A little slow on the uptake. The word “tweeting” kind of makes me want to re-think my life, but there is something so great about being able to write a message to some of my favorite celebs in hopes that they might read it. It seems kind of vain at times, but hey, if you like listening to yourself talk (or reading your own words) then it’s definitely for you.

8. Animal Crossing. Okay this is a video game for Wii where you start a life in this town and you make friends and eventually establish yourself as a capable townsperson. I was explaining to Paul how its really cool because you have to work for this guy in the town in order to pay off your house. And Paul was like, “Oh that’s weird. I have to do that in real life.” No one understands me. I was really stressed in this game trying to make a living. How belittling.

9. Tumblr. You can use tumblr for lots of different things. Many people use it to blog or to post pictures that they have taken. I post pictures of things that I wish I had. It’s like a virtual scrapbook of dreams. Yes. And on that note, I am finished.

Judging, Surroundings

Show Me the Money

Notice that they have hockey players on their 5.

When Paul and I first started dating, I had so many questions about Canada. Questions like, “why does Canada exist?” and “what would possess you to live there?” But I was also interested in the fact that Canada, like most countries, has their own currency.

The Canadian dollar is very similar to the US dollar. They are doing slightly better than the US right now actually (grrrr). They also have quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies–everything is pretty much the same. However, there are some minor differences that I cannot seem to get over.

Firstly, Canadian money is like a fricking rainbow. I know the US just recently decided to add color to our money but it is really nothing compared to the Canadian monopoly money colors. Its pretty intense.

Secondly, their money does not picture their Prime Ministers framed in the middle of their money. Nope. Their money has enlarged pictures of their Prime Ministers (or at least I assume they are Prime Ministers. Either that or fur trappers) that take up probably half of one side of the money. I mean, these are pretty big heads. I feel like I am carrying portraits of these people. One of their bills has the queen on it…they managed to capture every wrinkle.

Lastly, they have a $1 coin and a $2 coin. Now, this is very similar to the British pound system. But there is a horrifying difference. On the Canadian $1 dollar coin there is a picture of a loon. Instead of referring to this coin as a ‘one’ or ‘one dollar’ they simply call it a “loonie”. When I found out this information I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. To make matters MUCH worse, they refer to their $2 coin as a “toonie”. And to disgust everyone even more, I have actually started calling them that. What has become of me?

The scariest part of this whole thing is that I saw a dollar store in town and it was called The Loonie Bin. Gag fest.

I'm still surprised when cashiers accept these as a form of payment.

Judging, Surroundings

Canadian comedy vs. Canadian comedy

I was watching Comedy Central the other day and they were having featured comedians doing their stand-up routines. Usually I will change the channel when I hear the comedian’s name because I have given most of them a chance and I am pretty hard to please when it comes to stand-up (some of my personal faves are Louis C.K. and Amy Schumer).

There has been a minor stereotype that Canadian’s have a corny sense of humor. I mean, it’s not the first thing most people think about Canadians–typically people think of Mounties, lumberjacks, and umm I don’t know moose? Whatever.

The comedian that they were featuring was Ian Bagg–I had never heard of him so I decided to keep watching. It was literally no more than 30 seconds before I had to change the channel. I lost so much respect for Comedy Central that day.

Ian Bagg (who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page by the way) is so cheesy and has the creepiest Canadian accent. In my opinion, he is one of the worst stand-up comedians that I have ever watched (for 30 seconds). So obviously I made a judgment call that Canadians have the worst sense of humor. A fair assessment I think.

However, Paul led me to another comedian, Russel Peters, who is pretty funny….for a Canadian. I will retract my statement about Canadians having the worst sense of humor, because that’s not true. I mean Jim Carey (who might be insane?), Seth Rogan, Michael Cera, Ryan Reynolds and Will Arnet are all Canadians and they are really funny (note that Eugene Levy did not make my list)! So as of right now Canada has a running total of 6 funny people in their country.

One thing that Ian Bagg does have going for him though is that he was in the movie MVP: Most Vertical Primate. Ya know, the one about the snowboarding monkey? Yeah me either.

Judging, Surroundings

Judgements Ahoy!

Everybody does it. Secretly, or in my case, not so secretly. We shouldn’t judge people, but we do. And that’s enough justification for me.  Obviously this isn’t a topic that is distinct to only Canadian citizens. I judge people wherever I go. But there are some real gems here that I just couldn’t keep for my own sole enjoyment. Here we go.

The guy in the lower right corner knows what's up.

Outside my window was a group of people standing in a circle–I was immediately intrigued. After a moment of creepily watching them from my window, they started doing some slow-motion Tai-Chi moves. It was too good. Actually, when I saw them I think I said out loud, “Oh, this is too good.” Sitting at the head of the group is a woman who gives them directions in a very relaxed and gentle voice. Some of them include: “flow with the wind” and “feel the sun’s rays as you sway”. She doesn’t do it with them because she has crutches–Paul and I have come to the conclusion that she Tai-Chied herself too hard. The group has come back a couple of times and I think a few of them have seen me watching (I have no shame). But they always stand strong and are never thrown off of their game. Which is pretty impressive.

I don’t have a really long story about this next one, but I saw a guy walking his cat the other day. It was actually really refreshing because I live in an area where people walk dogs like its going out of style. Or because they have to. Still, the cat thing was weird, and yes I still thoroughly judged (and by judged, I mean that I couldn’t look away), but it was very new and exciting at the same time. Will this become a trend?

Lastly, I guess First Nations (or as we like to call them in the states, Indians, or preferably, Injins) leaders are trying to persuade native families to “return to their roots” by eating traditional food instead of burgers and fries. This seems like an okay idea except for the fact that the traditional foods that they are talking about are gooseneck barnacles (srsly wtf) and eelgrass (SRSLY WTF). What are these things and why would you eat them? I am willing to risk heart disease, diabetes, and obesity just as long as I don’t have to think about those things, never mind eat them. Consider every tribe judged.