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{ personal log }

greetings from sunny canada

I couldn't help but giggle when I stepped off the little 737 and on to the Ottawa Airport tarmac ("YOW" is the official airport acronym) into a pile of sludge. I looked up into the night to see little streaks of white in the black sky, whipping through the lights. "My God," I said. "Is it ... snowing?"

You're not in California anymore, Dorothy.


I've been here for three days now, visiting with Heather's sister Claire, her sister's husband Owen, and their year and a half old bundle of smiles, Eamon. The world has never known a happier kid. It's amazing.

This is my first time in Canada, and I've learned a few things, presented here in no particular order.

  • Canadians hate Americans. It's hard to tell, because they're so nice, but they do. If you're an American and you meet a Canadian and they smile and are nice to you, just know that they're merely nice by default, and inside they really want to string you up with your own stupidity.
  • Canada is like Texas – really big and spread out – only with a lot of snow and more references to royalty.
  • Childern exist for the sheer pleasure of putting things (paper, snow, your jewelry) into other things (tupperware, more snow, their mouth).
  • Snow is fun fun fun, but only if you're from California.
  • I have a huge capacity to love small dogs that I never knew I posessed.
  • Places where it's cold too much make people do strange things (often involving sugar).

But most of all I am just really happy to be here. It's a much-needed reprieve from the stress of the last couple weeks, the sun actually came out today, and the company can't be beat.

{ 11:27am }



» Welcome to Canada. We don't hate specific Americans, just the general group. Some of my best friends are Americans;)

But then, I live in Toronto, and Canadians hate Torontonians almost as much as Americans.

– nic  { 4.2.01 @ 12:01pm }

» Ok.. enough with the banter...

We want to see some pictures of "The Great White North."

Do they have indoor plumbing up there?

:) .... I think I have a elbow from HC with my name written all over it.

kjb  { 4.2.01 @ 12:48pm }

» Derek,

Just try going in the depths of winter - then we'll see if you like snow!

If they keep ribbing you, teach them how to pronounce anything with the letters "out".


Tom Cosgrave  { 4.2.01 @ 1:05pm }

» See! I *knew* it! And people wonder why I distrust the Canadians. We send Derek, an admitted Canadiophile, there to visit among them, and he only confirms that Americans are hated.

And the whole monarchy thing... sheesh.

Anil  { 4.2.01 @ 3:53pm }

» So all that seething disdain I was sensing toward me from James in Austin wasn't my imagination? What's that aboot?

TheBrad  { 4.2.01 @ 5:00pm }

» That wasn't seething disdain, Brad. That was straight up disdain.

Derek, hope you have a great time. If you and Heather are coming through Toronto and have an hour or two, let me know. The Maple syrup's on me (uh, wait. And Brad, get that picture out of your head, NOW!).

james  { 4.2.01 @ 6:05pm }

» what's a matter derek? a little snow ain't gonna hurt ya. or have you gone soft on us being in cali so long?

Davezilla  { 4.2.01 @ 8:04pm }

» Snow in Upstate/Western New York . .

October: "Magic" Snow!

November: "Pretty" Snow!

December: "Holiday" snow

January: "Snow"

February: "Depressed" Snow

March: "Please Go Away" snow!

April: "Isn't it spring?" snow!

May: "GO AWAY!" snow.

Enjoy the fluffy white stuff, knowing you're headed back! (-:

Alan  { 4.2.01 @ 9:08pm }

» Derek,
Some of us used to think that the whole world is freezing cold and stays frozen from Nov to April. Just be thankful that your dad decided not to stay in Buffalo.

– dad  { 4.3.01 @ 3:47pm }

» That's exactly what I thought when I moved from sunny days to snowy ones :) I'm a native Southern Californian so snow was very much a new and wondrous thing when I came to live in Minnesota, but... you start missing the sun. I love the fall & I love the snow, but there comes a time when puffy white snowflakes just aren't enough...

– amy  { 4.3.01 @ 8:55pm }

» like the dogs! I was worried...shades of Gizmo and Clero. Enjoy the snow; I really miss seeing it, but not shoveling it! Have fun...

– Momma  { 4.3.01 @ 11:39pm }

» Happy adventuring, Derek!

Just remember, anyone who hates Americans still probably loves San Franciscans. :)

– Dinah  { 4.4.01 @ 2:31am }

» Ahhh Canada! That place where they talk funny! ;-)

Sarah  { 4.4.01 @ 3:09pm }

» hope you tried a beaver tail in ottawa.

jeremy  { 4.4.01 @ 4:22pm }

» Alan has it so right. Snow is nice at first, but gets old quickly.

I had to get away from the snow, so I came out to sunny california. If I want to see snow, I'll take a weekend trip to Tahoe. It's nice to have the luxury of choice :)

Dave  { 4.4.01 @ 6:38pm }

» " Ahhh Canada! That place where they talk funny! ;-)"..there are diferent accents all over Canada, in Ottawa there is a distinct valley twang, and no one can understand the east coasters.

riley stevens  { 4.4.01 @ 10:24pm }

» just dug out from another snowstorm. All wielders of shovels welcome. Tell Heather that she'll want to wait until July if she's thinking of swimming in PEI this summer - the sea is still frozen!

– hannah  { 4.5.01 @ 6:51am }

» Enjoy my hometown Derek. The market is a place and a half to hang out. I dunno if it's still there, but a must stop for someone of your calibre is Cafe Wim off Sussex just about a block and a half down from Rideau street.

And just so's ya know, the dislike of Americans comes from things like, I dunno, Americans assuming that ALL of Canada is under snow in the winter... :-)

Posted from a sunny, 12C Vancouver (where it snowed only twice this year and stuck around maybe 5 days total).

– Mark  { 4.6.01 @ 11:51pm }

» Mark, unfortunately Cafe Wim has closed! The space is now occupied by a new resto that's a little more upscale and is, reportedly, the place to be in the market. For better and worse, I'm sure (though mostly worse just in terms of history).

Glad to hear things are going well in my hometown Derek. Too bad (I'm assuming) you can't make it to Montreal to visit as well.

Michael  { 4.7.01 @ 11:49am }

» Arg! Cafe Wim is closed!!! Oh man.

I heard the old guy died, but I thought it was just a rumour. That was the first place I ever had espresso. Ever had cappuccino. First place I had a Chimay beer! I loved that cafe.

So what's cool these days in Ottawa then, cafe style? There was a cafe, Cafe 505 I think the name was, on Bank, near the Queensway overpass.

And for pure dives, there was my fave: Taffy's Diner, on Bronson near the Queensway.

If I'd known Derek was going to Ottawa, I would have touched base with some of my ancient "homies" and found out where the cool spots to go were...

– Mark  { 4.8.01 @ 6:13pm }

» Ahh Ottawa, where I'll be spending my summer yet again...

What's the occasion, Mr. P? To what do we owe your majestic presence?

Succa  { 4.10.01 @ 9:09pm }

» Comedian/actor Kevin Pollak is from San Francisco. In his stand-up act when he performs in San Francisco, he says, "We San Franciscans obsess over hating Los Angeles. We assume they obsess over us. Well, when I moved down there for movie work, I found out THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WE EXIST!" That about sums up the whole Canadian/American thing. Canadians obsess over America. We barely know you exist. Canadians are wasting a lot of energy with their hatred. It isn't felt down here.

– tonny  { 10.4.01 @ 1:03pm }


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