Posts tagged “toronto

Insomnia, blogging, Arctic Char, Bell monkies and a traitorous unicorn


2:39am.

That’s when the sky starts to lighten up now. That’s about an hour earlier then at the beginning of the week. I’m a little concerned that my demeanor is slowly devolving into something that is a cross between Bugs Bunny and a zombie. My level of cynicism and sarcasm has risen to an all time high, my brain is constantly firing but it’s spouting out gibberish 90% of the time fused with inaudible groans, I stumble about more than usual without being drunk and I may as well hook myself up to the coffee IV at this point in time – which sucks because unlike normal humans coffee isn’t a stimulant for me. I drink it to relax myself and fall asleep sometimes.

Sleep.

I’m finding it incredibly hard to sleep up here. Correction, I’m finding it incredibly hard to sleep normally up here. My wife will contend that I sleep just fine but that’s not what my mind or body is telling me. It’s not that I can’t sleep with the sun out. Hell I can sleep standing up in a fully lit (and moving) subway car so that’s not an issue. It’s what this nuisance known as the sun is doing to me mentally. I find myself forcing myself to sleep rather than having it happen naturally. When we first came up here many moons ago I was absolutely in my element. I am a child of the night. Sorta like a sexy vampire but with no bloodsucking and looser pants. I’m alive at night. I work best at night. I write my best at night. When days consisted of 19hrs of darkness and 5 hours of light I was in my zone blogging, working and being just an Energizer Bunny full of life. I’m kinda glad I was at the peak of my blogging because had I started now I’d probably would have never blogged at all. It’s brutal. I couldn’t have anticipated how much a few extra hours of daylight would have such a profound impact on my daily living.

Who am I kidding? I’ve never liked the sun.

Regardless, as the days get longer and longer my Bizarro Superman darkness-fueled powers fade more and more. And we’re not even into Summer yet. That’s where the real fun begins. From what I’m constantly told we don’t get full on 24hrs of daylight because we’re just outside the infamous arctic circle but let’s just say it never really gets dark either. Woo hoo. Mix that with my wife into a new kick of playing music to go to sleep at night and I’m in store for a wonderous next couple of months. Mind you, she just bought a white noise machine not too long ago to help her sleep. You know those rainforesty, crashing waves crickets fucking type of things but apparently she’s abandoned that for block rockin’ beats.

I sleep with earplugs. Not by choice. It started back when there were habitual partying neighbors above us in our old apartment. I’m the kind of person that can fall asleep anywhere at anytime if I’m tired but if there’s even a hint of unwelcomed noise, I can’t sleep. I later donned the plugs once again when a child with name of the Norse God of Gods, Odin, walked the Earth above me. He certainly lived up to his tremendous namesake. I thought in fleeing to the arctic north I would relieve myself from the noises (and voices) that plague me nightly but then Jemaine and Brit  decided they learned enough English and elected to test it out every morning at 5am by singing Lionel Richie’s “Hello”. Mind you they only know the hello part and while to some it may seem cute and amusing, I wholeheartedly believe I can make a cat fly before the end of the summer if it keeps up.

I apologize for a great many things…

I apologize for posting a Lionel Richie video. Although I think he should be apologizing for the video itself. The girl is blind and he says “is it me you’re looking for”. That’s just some cold-blooded non politically correct shit there Horse Man.

I apologize for the run on sentences and tangents that stray from the main point during the course of this post. But then again if I don’t have a point to begin with is it really straying from it?

I apologize for not being a daily poster. No… I don’t want to be a giant paper on a wall. I’m just sorry I can’t produce as much content as others in the blogiverse can. I have weeks worth of events, sights and experiences locked in my brain but the creature at the helm of my brain only allows me to blurt it out as he sees fit. I write articles, albeit weird and disjointed ones at times. I can’t just write to hear myself talk. Some people appear to thrive off of that but that’s just not me. While I do ramble, rant and babble I do it for the people 4700+ people who have and still do come to this blog who area interested (for some reason) in what I have to say.  Thank you loyal and demented followers (and those passing through). It’s always comforting being able to spread my infectious dribble across the world.

I apologize for having an Arctic char in the freezer. Yeah. I got a whole frozen fish in my freezer and have never scaled or gutted a fish in my life. It had to be purchased though. I recall salmon steaks and fillets running at least $9 – $12 in the south for the skimpiest portions. This is a whole fucking char, freshly caught, for $25. How could I pass up a deal like that? Course my do now, think later mentality has put me in yet another bind. I don’t care. I’ll defrost and cut that bastard up somehow.

I apologize to Missy for stealing her unicorn and assassinating her with it. I didn’t mean to. Okay… that’s a lie. I did but only because you were slowly killing me the entire time I was fighting my way through the inner ring. C’mon. I was broke, had no fate and was dragging a dragon carcass around for most of the night. The gnome in my pocket didn’t help out much either. When I saw my opportunity to take you down I went for it and prevailed as the ruler of all. If you’re reading this and don’t believe a word of what I’m saying there were three other witnesses to monumental event so I’m not crazy. Course there was a lot of drinking involved too and I do recall Missy requesting that I draw it at some point so I guess that’ll be a future post, eh?

I apologize to Bell and Corus Entertainment for living on Baffin Island. When we left Kitchener we brought our  receiver with us. Bell still offered service up here so we figured it was easiest to just bring it and not have to worry about getting a new one. For months we’ve had the same Astral Media programming we had down south. You know like The Movie Network and east coast stations. That all changed 2 days ago when the brainiacs over at Bell decided to switch our service without notice. Apparently, according to them, the entire territory of Nunavut falls under their west coast services. Nevermind the fact Nunavut makes up about a third of the entire country (with roughly half of that in the east).  I’m no geographer but last I recall Iqaluit is still in the Eastern Time Zone. Heck, if you pull out a map or a globe you’ll see that we’re further east than Kitchener, Toronto and even New York so of course I want to see west coast programming. Does this make even remotely any sense to you? Maybe my sleep deprivation is making me see things in a skewed perspective but doesn’t it bear to reason that if I’m in an East Coast time zone, shouldn’t I get east coast programming? Bless Bell and the monkeys they have working there.

Lastly I apologize for being awesome. Over the last few weeks I’ve come under a lot of fire from critics and cynics for my proclamation of awesomeness. It’s understandable that there is a lot of animosity and jealousy when it comes to being in the presence of something truly awesome so in being the awesome guy that I am I’ll try my best to contain my aura. I’m not being egotistical or overly confident. I’m just being what I am. A tiger can’t help being a tiger. He’s born that way. I can’t help being awesome. I was born that way.


Logo Source: Courtesy World Wrestling Entertainment and the only person aside from myself allowed to refer to himself as awesome, WWE Champion Mike “The Miz” Mizanin
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The power of the force has stopped you, you hosers.


It’s funny hearing about all the myths and misinterpretations regarding Canadians. Being a former New Yorker I too am guilty of either cracking jokes or being misinformed about at least a couple of them. I have the unique perspective of having lived on both sides of the fence of ignorance and I feel compelled to clear up the fog of confusion regarding the World’s Most Friendly Country:

  • It’s always cold in Canada and everyone lives in igloos – The latter is more playful ribbing than anything but one of the most popular misconceptions is that it’s always cold in Canada. The majority of the country is  along the same latitude as the United Kingdom yet you never hear any cold jokes about the Brits. Some of the northern regions are of course in the Arctic circle and tend to have rather frigid conditions but for the most part Canadians experience the same weather one would receive in any northern state in the US. In fact I can recall quite a few days just this past summer where highs Toronto beat out those in New York and Boston. Winters may last a little longer but the temperatures are pretty consistent. Here’s the averages in January from various locales across Canada:
    (Source: The Weather Network)  

    • Vancouver, BC: 32 / 43°Fahrenheit (0 / 6°Celsius)
    • Edmonton, AB: -2 / 18°F, (-19 / -8°C)
    • Yellowknife, NWT: -24 / -9°F, (-31 / -23°C)
    • Inukjuak, NU: -17 / -4°F, (-27 / -20°C)
    • Winnipeg, MB: -9 / 10°F, (-23 / -12°C)
    • Ottawa, ON: 5 / 23°F, (-15 / -5°C)
    • Toronto, ON: 14 / 28°F, (-10 / -2°C)
    • Montréal, QC: 7 / 23°F, (-14 / -5°C)
    • Halifax, NS: 16 / 30°F, (-9 / -1°C)
    • St. John’s, NF: 19 / 32°F, (-7 / 0°C)
  • Canada has better beer than the States – I’m not going to touch this one for fear of being hung from the gallows by overly-patriotic Americans. Everyone is proud of their nation’s beer. Germany is probably the world’s undisputed King of the Brew but as far as who follows after is dependent on each individual’s personal taste. I for one am not a huge beer drinker (heresy I know) so it doesn’t really matter to me. All I do know is that two of the American big guns, Budweiser and Coors, taste like someone spilled their crappy beer in some club soda. Labatte Blue (known locally as just a Blue) and Molson Canadian are far stronger beers and are way easier to down – that’s just a personal opinion though. While Canada may or may not rank in the top 5 worldwide I seriously doubt they fall below the US in that category. I invite anyone from abroad to come sample the ale before making rash judgments. You’d be quite surprised with the results.
  • Canada only has poutine and maple syrup as their only contributions to fine cuisine – Canada has a very diverse range of dishes that spans from coast to coast. Canada, like most large nations, is a melting pot of cultures so you can see a lot of Eastern European, South American, African and Asian influences in the cooking. Some examples of regional foods are:
    • From the East Coast – Irish Stew, Fish Chowders, Bangbellies (a pork/rice bun), Toutons (Pork Bread), and Duffs (like a dumpling), Molasses Tarts and Partridge Berry Coffee Cake, chocolate bread pudding, oat bread, Cape Breton scones, Creamed Potato Balls, Baked Stuffed Lobster
    • Native – Posole Stew (uses hominy), corn casserole, Frypan Fork Bread, Cornmeal pudding, Maple Fudge, Wojape (a berry pudding)
    • Quebec – Crème Caramel, French Onion Soup, Split Yellow Pea Soup, Garlic Pork Pot Roast, Cipate (Chicken, meat and vegetable casserole with biscuit topping), 3 crust blueberry pie, poutine
    • Ontario – Pine Nut Stuffed Quail, pickled yellow beans, apple butter, headcheese, smoked ham, creamed potatoes, vanilla pie, ice wine, BBQ’s, hot sauces, doughnuts, perogies
    • Prairies (I’m not too familiar with foods from this region of Canada) – Crusted Pork Tenderloin, Wild Mushroom Barley Ragout & Summer Vegetables, Grilled Asparagus, Saskatoon Pie
    • B.C. – Goats Cheese Terrine, Raisin scones with clotted cream, sablefish, Nanaimo Bars, Poached Salmon, Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts, Oysters, Flatbreads, Vegan cuisine and anything disgustingly healthy (i.e. tofu, miso soup, etc.)
  • Canadians always say “eh” and “aboot” – I can honestly say that I have never heard a Canadian utter the words “aboot” in the 10+ years I’ve been here. Course I’ve only been in the Ontario region for the most part so who knows what goes on in the rest of the country. I don’t know where it came from originally but I found it funny as hell when South Park would make fun of it (even if it was confounded). “Eh” on the other hand is something you hear quite frequently though. I’ve even mastered the dialect well enough to use it like a true Canadian as well. Oddly enough it’s not used any more frequently than New Yorkers use “yo” or “aye”. Basically all I had to do to fit in was replace my yo’s with eh’s and say cah-fee instead of cawfee when referring to coffee and all is well.
  • Canada has no military – I’ve always made fun of the Canadian Armed Forces having to fight with sporks but the Canadian military is no joke indeed. This one institution consists of three main branches: Maritime Command (MARCOM), Land Force Command (LFC), and Air Command (AIRCOM), which are together overseen by the Armed Forces Council, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff. Their annual funding comes to approximately $21.8 billion (ranked 13th), and are presently ranked 74th in size compared to the world’s other armed forces by number of total personnel, and 58th in terms of active personnel, standing at a strength of roughly 67,000, plus 26,000 reservists, 33 warships spread out amongst 2 fleets, 391 aircraft (which is the third largest in the Americas) and over 3600 currently deployed in the Middle East. The statistics are truly humbling and I tip my hat to all those men and women across the world who are serving for their respective countries. It’s a thankless task but your efforts are truly appreciated by many.
  • Canadians are always nice – True to an extent. Every country has their fare share of assholes, douches and idiots. You tend to find them once you’ve lived there for a while. Canada just does a good job of not letting them be the face of the country.
  • Canada has no contributions to science – Blasphemy. In fact Canada has burned a trail in many fields and is a world leader in regards to contributions to scientific advancement. From Canola Oil to the Blackberry Canada has had it’s hands in the development of many of the technologies and medical breakthroughs we take for granted. I could probably ramble on for days about all of the innovations but if you’re really interested have a peek here and see for yourself.
  • Canada has no film industry – It’s hard to find a movie or TV show that isn’t shot in Vancouver or Toronto nowadays. Chances are if it’s shot in Canada, it has some Canadian actors in it as well. They’ve assimilated into Hollywood so well that many of you don’t even realize some of the best stars are in fact Canadian. From Playboy’s Pam Anderson to Star Trek’s William Shatner Canadians have infiltrated all facets of media. Okay so Keanu isn’t the greatest star ever, but you all ate the Matrix up with a fork and spoon so he did his job.The actual Canadian film industry is a budding one. It makes me laugh whenever I hear Canadians say “Yup, that’s definitely a Canadian film” having only seen a few minutes of whatever is on. It’s not from lack of effort. Despite many film and television projects being funded by the government, it nowhere near the same league as Hollywood in regards to financial backing. The Toronto International Film Festival, founded in 1976, l is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world now. In 1998, Variety magazine acknowledged that “the Festival is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” If you think Canadians haven’t got their fingers on the pulse of the movie industry, you’re sorely mistaken.
  • Everyone speaks French in Canada – While that may be true to a degree in Quebec, the majority of the country does in fact speak English – well. In fact most Canadians are bi-lingual.
  • Canada’s national sport is hockey – True. In 1994, the Federal Government introduced Bill C-212 that officially made hockey Canada’s National Winter sport and Lacrosse Canada’s National Summer sport. Canadians are definitely passionate about their hockey but don’t believe for an instant that is the only sport accepted up here. Baseball, Football (American and Soccer), Golf, Curling, Boxing and MMA as well as pretty much any winter sport you can imagine from skiing to snowboarding.
  • Canadians have no guns or crime – Oh there’s crime here, believe me. And guns. Domestic violence and Robbery/burglary crimes seem to be the most prevalent. There are probably more guns in Canada than in the States based on the fact that this is a hunting nation with the vast majority of the country being wilderness. The big difference is that Canadians aren’t shooting one another. Their preferred methods tend to be fists and knives. It still strikes me as odd to read about small businesses being robbed at knife-point. You don’t hear about that much in New York.
  • All Canadian cops are mounties – That’s probably as ignorant as it gets. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. The RCMP provides federal policing service to all of Canada and policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces (the RCMP does not serve as provincial or municipal police in Ontario and Quebec), more than 190 municipalities, 184 Aboriginal communities and three international airports. They’re like the Feds in the States. Every province has their own police service such as the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) which are the equivalent of state government agencies such as the NYPD or LAPD. The RCMP have jurisdiction over them all. Cool, eh?
  • Toronto is the nation’s capitol – With over 2.5 million residents, it is the fifth most populous municipality in North America. I think the popular misconception is that Toronto is in fact the capitol of Ontario. Ottawa, the second largest city in Ontario, is the nation’s capitol.

My name is Ian and I am proud to call myself an AmeriCan. 😀