Tuesday, July 29, 2008

only got two days in the city

tomorrow i fly to Timmons, then drive two hours to Chapleau. “work” for the next few days will consist of me hiking around the bush.

then, as soon as i get back, i leave for Shady Acres, for an awesome cottage party weekend with some awesome friends.

my feet are still burning from the last cottage weekend when the mosquitos attacked me. this time, i am determined to win.

therefore, no shampoo for the next whole week.

mmm. i'm going to taste delicious.

Monday, July 28, 2008

concert on the clyde photos!

because i was stupid and forgot my camera, these are my favourite photos from meg's camera.

that's meg in the middle, rudely cutting me out of the frame.

this is me and karen, holding up the sky and saving us all from the rain.

what i love about ottawa is the fact that we have a pretty sweet country roots music scene. young people are genuinely into country and bluegrass, the real stuff, not those silly indie kids that claim they like country because they like Johnny Cash, or claim they can play the banjo and then end up playing the banjo like a guitar because they've never even heard of the term "clawhammer" and couldn't tell you who Charlie Pride is. and the concert on the clyde is a pretty good reflection of the pretty awesome ottawa music scene.

and as is evidenced by the beer that is in my hand as i swim, i had pretty awesome time.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


weekends are too short. there's always something really different about visiting your hometown. you're reminded of how much you missed your friends, of memories you thought you'd forgotten, and of how a few hours' distance can seem like oceans apart sometimes. it was really hard for me to come back to toronto today, after six hours on the bus, feeling completely carsick and tired as my allergies flooded back as soon as we entered the smoggy city limits.

i was in ottawa for a really short period this weekend, just long enough to apologize to my dad that i'd be missing his fiftieth birthday, and to grab a (delicious) Bridgehead coffee. mmm, how much bridgehead makes me miss ottawa. most of the weekend was actually spend in lanark, at the Concert on the Clyde which is held yearly at the Diaks' cottage. this year we went down with meg and karen, my girlfriends from undergrad, plus adrian (from my high school), and rob's brother and sister. its a fun event that was started up by robs' friends from his Glebe high school days, so it's kind of a high school reunion that gets bigger every year. they have a lot of great bands from Ottawa's music scene playing all day, particularly country bands like Steve Stacey and the Brothers Chaffey. The Chaffeys were the highlight of the night this year; they had a big crowd dancing along to their tunes, including their father, who has a habit of using these chances to dance with young girls half his age. other years we've had bands like the Million Dollar Marxists, Tokyo Police Club, and Land of Talk playing. this year's headliner was Kate Maki, and it was the first time i was able to stay awake long enough for it. i suppose that says something about how depressingly old i am getting.

after the bands, there are always after-parties that go on in the barn as well as campfire singalong jam session in Tent City, but i'm always too sleepy to stick around for them. i am, however, that asshole that gets up early at 8AM the next morning, pulling out a banjo and wondering why nobody else is up. oh well, i suppose i am an old woman at heart.

we went for a swim in the Clyde River this morning which felt great on my mosquito bites (the bastards bit me all over my feet) and i found it hard to leave. even though the Concert has become a huge licensed event, it always has this friendly cozy cottage party feel to it, as though everyone is part of one big family. you start to recognize faces after each year, and watch people get older, bringing along their new spouses, babies, children. plus listening to the country music in a beautiful scenery like the Diaks' is an experience that is true blue Ottawa. there is nothing quite like it, and i feel a little sad that i wasn't able to stay in ottawa longer this summer.

but that's okay. i've got my new home in toronto , an empty downtown condo with cats that drive me crazy. i might not have my mom's home cooking, but i do have my roommate's bag of frozen peas that i am using to cool the mosquito bites on my feet, heh heh...

Friday, July 25, 2008

eurotrip recap in pictures and song: prague

this was one of my favourite musical moments while i was in europe. we've got a jazz banjo player, a clarinet, and not to mention a percussionist playing on a freakin' washboard. and singer resembling the Simpson`s Sea Captain, singing in a language i don't understand. go prague.

so now i'm on the road again. it was a long and exhausting bus ride to ottawa, since we got caught right in Toronto rush hour traffic jams. as the bus left the station, i took a long nap, only to wake up and find out that we were just approaching scarborough. but we finally made it to ottawa, where i get to visit my parents for less than twelve hours before heading off to the cottage in clydesville. and lo and behold, i've forgotten my camera. grrr.


ottawa tonight. and then tomorrow, we drive to Clydesville in Lanark County.

which is a good thing really, because i just caught myself dozing off in the office washroom.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

eurotrip recap in pictures and song: dublin

question: what is dublin?

answer: an irish band, dancing girls from a hen party, and a drunk old man trying to join them.

and i thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jack Kerouac would approve

i took a look at my appointment book and turned a little green when i realized how much time i am going to be spending on the road in the next month. Ottawa, Lanark, Chapleau, Peterborough, Pike Lake, all within a few weeks. some of it is for work, but most of it is for pleasure (in form of cottages and music). and THEN my band goes on tour in September – Peterborough, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, back to Toronto, over a full week on the road (and not in school, but shhhh don’t tell my profs). and, cross your fingers, hopefully a job interview in Vancouver (please! please! please!). so, it looks like i’m going to keep posting here about my little adventures through Canada throughout the summer. thankfully, i still have batteries in my camera and a stack of paperback philosophy books for all the time on the bus.

oh montreal

aleks and i took a mini-vacation from our law jobs (across the street from each other!) to take the train down to one of my favourite cities in Canada. her friend Erica came along for the ride.

Erica and Aleks had never been to montreal before, but i’ve had a mad love affair with the city ever since the first time i took the trip down with my friends at the tender age of eighteen. where else can you see swarms of French hippies, pink horse-drawn carriages, beautiful long strings of French swear words like poetry, danseuses-nues strip clubs standing proudly next to old historic stone churches, ninety-nine cents pizza, more neon shawarma-guy signs than you can shake a stick at, and the finest bottle of wine you can buy for eight dollars at a Mac’s convenience store (or pardon me, Couche-Tard)?

oh montreal. you are the beautifully strange antithesis to Toronto: a true sense of history, down-to-earthly romantic, classy yet coarse, and so so so French.

needless to say, we spent a lot of money there. there were many lessons learned.

things i love about the quebecois French:

St. Catherine Street. the gay Village, shopping heaven, strip club strip, and the church area, all rolled into one glorious street.

their insistence that non-words are words, like “resto”. everything is a resto-bar or a resto-grill or a resto-strip club. for that matter, apparently “danse teaseuse” is a word.

the strange way the nightlife doesn’t pick up until 1AM. this means that if you set your alarm for 9AM for an early start to your day, the streets will be empty. empty, of course, except for silly tourists like you.

Juste pour rire!

The fact that every street is called Saint something. Apparently Catholicism is big here.

the way they masterfully hide their traffic lights in the sidewalks so drivers feel like they have to play where’s waldo to figure out whether they have to stop at the intersections.

the cute dogs that belong to the homeless people.

the bar called “Les Foufounes Electriques” (the electric ass), and the funhouse of a club that is across the street from it, but i can’t tell you about that because my parents read this blog.

Educational cab drivers that teach you French swear words.

Rum with my crepes.

What the Quebecois conceive the “breakfast” in a “bed and breakfast” to be.


so it was a good time, overall, and many lessons learned. like make sure a restaurant is still running before you travel off the island to get there, only to find it’s been closed for reservation, and there’s only creepy guys following you to help you. and remember how in France i swore that my French gets better when i drink? yeah, actually, it doesn’t.

homeless lady: “Excusez-moi, parlez-vous francais?”
me: “…no, sorry.”
“well, do you speak English?”
“uh….no. Djendobry!”