Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cultural Differences

In preparation for the Olympics the Associated Press put together a list of words/phrases unique to Canada. Other than “eh” at the end of our sentences I never really thought much about the linguistic differences between Canada and our neighbours to the south. (Although I do insist upon Canadian spelling… is neighbour with a u not neighbor) If you are interested in the list, here is the link…

The article got me thinking about (not aboot) other differences between our two countries. The first thing I thought of was vinegar on our French fries. I learned early on in my travels to never, ever order your French fries with vinegar in the States. They put on this gawd awful cider vinegar stuff. Everyone knows French fries (not liberty fries) are best doused in white vinegar. You have to be careful ordering iced tea as well…..not that I drink the stuff. I remember traveling companions ordering Ice Tea in the States and getting a tea bag in hot water with ice cubes in it. Now what is that all about?After we eat our meal we wipe our mouths with a serviette.

Don’t get me started on American beer……I am sure everyone has heard the joke about how American beer is like making love in a canoe…….they’re both like f#@$%ing near water!!! (I know, I should be old enough to actually type that word…but what if my mother reads this one day?) After enough beer Canadians go to the washroom or sometimes the bathroom…but we don’t take a bath in there.

The Associated Press list mentioned we call electricity hydro. Doesn’t everyone call it hydro? Hmmmm. I am sitting in the dark as I type this because of my hydro bill but I will rant about hydro another day.

There are so many other cultural differences but I can’t seem to think of any more right now….I would love if there are any readers out there willing to add some of their own.

By the way......if City Wendy is reading this let me know if you have any questions about surviving your trip to Canada. I can't wait to hear all about your Olympic experiences....I am sooooo jealous you get to go, even if Drew is working crazy hours. At least you are both there AT THE OLYMPICS!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Advertising in the Age of Blogging

I am not really sure why I blog but I know I have no allusions of making money at it. Nevertheless some time ago I signed up to allow advertising on my site. After reading the fine print I finally figured out if I blog enough and get enough “hits” over a period of years, I will be able to buy a pack of gum.

I am amazed at the ads pasted to my blog.

When I first started blogging many of my posts had to do with cottage life since it was the time of year when all things in our household revolve around the cottage. The ads for most of my posts were sites for cottage related items as well as cottage rental sites. Because the ads so quickly appeared after hitting each new “send” button, I pictured someone in a dark suit and skinny tie like in “Mad Men” just waiting for me to be inspired to blog and to set me up with a suitable sponsor. Lately however, I have become worried my sponsors have not been as suitable as they once were. Here is a list of some of my recent blog themes and the attached ads:

The Holiday is Over (Terry cutting up our Christmas tree in a million pieces)
  • Toronto Junk Removal
  • Christmas Hair Styles

Happy New Year! (About finally becoming an empty nester….again)
  • Dating at
  • Sponsor a Family Member

Enjoying Christmas Vacation (a list of all the things I did over the holidays including watching the entire Season 4 of Dexter)
  • Explaining Death to Children

If there is anyone out there interested in removing junk from Toronto while sporting a cool Christmas hairstyle with your new date from all while welcoming your newly sponsored family member here to explain death to your children…….I will share my pack of gum with you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Holiday is Over

Today I gathered up of the decorations and put them in a box ready for storage for another year. All of the Christmas tree ornaments are put away and the lights and garland are carefully stored so they won’t be a massive tangle next year. Although we all know no matter how I tried, somehow light bulbs will be missing and there will be snarls requiring the patience of Job to untangle.

The only thing left to do is to get rid of the tree.

Previously in order to get rid of our tree all that was required was to put it at the curb and wait for the garbage men (now called waste management workers). Things are different now we are living in a condo. I googled “Christmas tree pick-up” and found out the waste management team will be picking up trees on January 9th ……only for single family residences! That means we have no way of getting rid of the tree except to load it into the car somehow and take it to the dump (landfill site). At the rate our tree is now dropping needles I really don’t think that is a viable option unless I want to be vacuuming everywhere for the next six months.

I came up with a plan!

When it gets dark, we will just toss our tree over the balcony and then sneak down to the courtyard and hide it in the bushes until January 9th. Then on the appointed day when no one is watching we drag it to the house across the street! Perfect!

No. Terry would not go along with the plan because he thought we would be bothering the neighbours. I think he is just afraid of getting caught….although what’s the worst that could happen? Terry decided his own idea was much better and there was no changing his mind.

Terry took out a pair of side cutters and spent an hour cutting up our tree and putting into several garbage bags. Then he took the bags down to our garbage room and put them in the dumpster ready to be picked up Monday morning.

Somehow as I watched him cut our tree into a million pieces and meticulously putting every twig and needle into black garbage bags, I had flashbacks of the many episodes of Dexter I watched over the holidays.

Do I need to worry?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life……yadda yadda……

Can I start out with any more clich├ęs? How about my New Year’s resolutions? Lose weight, exercise more, get healthy, budget better, peace on earth ……

This year I am not going to disappoint myself by listing a whole bunch of resolutions we all know by January 15th will be ditched. Instead this year is going to be my anti-resolution year. I am guaranteed not to fail.

Today is the day Greg gets his new place and we are officially empty nesters again. However, Jennifer is graduating from Queen’s this spring and is contemplating moving in with us in May until her future is more defined. I vowed I wouldn’t be those empty-nesters with kids who keep rebounding back in. However, I must admit Greg’s short stay here was rather painless. I am sure Jennifer’s will be the same…..if not ,we will make it painful for her so she wants to move back out. I feel like a terrible parent because I am not more invitational to my children. I believe my job as a parent is to create independent people. Why is it so many twenty-something kids out there have parents who don’t agree with me? No matter how strongly I believe in something, eventually I start to second guess myself when I am the only one who believes it.

As I natter on I realize I really do have a New Year’s Resolution, to become an empty nester on a permanent basis.

Wish me luck!