2.21.2010 | 0 Comments

Last night I went downtown with a couple of friends to bask in the craziness that is Olympic Fever. Being the patriotic Canadian that I am, I decided that I needed to ‘show my colours’, and so ventured into that most patriotic of establishments, Canadian Tire, and went about searching for a flag to wave. However, being the lazy patriotic Canadian that I am, I found that carrying a flag and waving it occasionally may prove to be just too darn taxing.

Wait! What’s this I see? Some GENIUS has created the ultimate answer to my dilemma! SCORE!

And so, I walked out of Canadian Tire with a BIG Canadian flag WITH SLEEVES. Dude! How awesome! You just put your arms through, and voila! you have Flying Squirrel-esque Flag technology right on your back. Oh, Canada. Is there anything you can’t do?

So as we walked (and walked, and walked…) around the city, weaving among the hordes, inquiring as to line wait-times, we noticed something peculiar: we walked in people-crowded streets for hours on end, and I only had my foot stepped on once. Anytime someone bumped into me, there was “excuse me” and “I’m sorry” exchanged. Lots of smiles, lots of politeness… I think Canadianism is catching! We’re infecting the world! *sniff*… it makes me so proud.

We went to Saskatchewan House for dinner (those perogies are AWESOME. Seriously.), and there was a live band playing. When the singer asked the audience if they had any requests, a number of people shouted out “Oh Canada!!”. And so, as I watched two RCMP officers in their serge uniforms get mobbed by camera-happy tourists, and saw cheek-tattooed Canadians assist the hard working waitresses in picking up garbage, there was a guitar wailing out the National Anthem, accompanied by a raucous chorus of happy (Molsonified) Canucks.

And so after we finished our beers, we donned hockey gloves, had our photo taken with a plastic fish, and made our way up to Robson Street. Along the way I decided that I needed to remember some of the overheard snippets of conversation to put in today’s blog entry. Unfortunately I only remember two (that French guy walking into a tree was so distracting that I kind of lost my train of thought)… but they’re pretty good:


“…she’s over there, getting her picture taken with the yeti”

Ahhhhh, Canada.

However, for me, the best part of the night was when I saw a young man wearing a reflective vest, picking up garbage on the street. (I guess he works for Vanoc or something, I don’t know). Anyway, as he went along Robson St, I watched as people stopped him and thanked him for “helping out”, for “keeping our city beautiful”, and for his “hard work”. I have never seen a person smile so much while picking up garbage.

I love this city. I love this country. I’m a proud Canadian and a dedicated “Syrup-Sucking Icehole”.



Dog Heaven’s Eagles.

2.20.2010 | 0 Comments

This morning I was hoping to walk the dogs at the Delta Watershed, but unfortunately my hip had other plans. “Level ground, please!” it said. I listened.

I went instead to the Super Secret Special Awesome park, known as the aptly named “Dog Heaven” to the astute of us. I won’t tell you where it is, so don’t even ask! Well… I’ll tell you if you make a donation, how about that?

And what did Dog Heaven reward me with this time? Well, by the time I got out of the car and let the dogs out of their crates (safety first, people!) I had counted nine bald eagles. After walking into the park, I counted ten more. It was incredible. Not only were they sitting in the trees scoping out the buffet fields below, they were flying in the crisp air, chasing each other through the tangles of branches, dipping down and soaring up in a game that I can only ever dream of playing.

They flew so close overhead that I could see their eyes scanning us, disappointed perhaps that Jenn and Lu’ were not shivering teacup poodles but heavy, lithe Border Collies.

At one point I saw an eagle bring a piece of… something gross… to a branch high in a tree, and before he could even start breakfast, two more eagles landed on the same branch and made wholehearted attempts to steal the treasure. There was a loud *crack*, as the weight of the three incredibly beautiful birds of prey snapped the branch from the tree, sending all three spiraling off for a millisecond before catching themselves and soaring gracefully to another tree.

And after my walk through the sunshine of the cold morning, as I headed back to the car, in the distance I could make out another tree across the street from Dog Heaven that was all but laden down with the black forms of nearly two dozen eagles, like some surreal Christmas Tree, decorated by Edgar Allen Poe.

And so, with the dogs safely tucked in their crates, I drove us home to continue the day that started so uniquely. We live in a beautiful place, and mornings like this serve to remind me not to take it for granted. Home is where my heart is, that’s for sure.