Tuesday, February 23, 2010

O Canada

“O Canada” is a beautiful national anthem. It isn’t that I dislike “The Star-Spangled Banner”—I just don’t have the opera diva’s voice to sing it.

I have some connection to Canada, but not genetically. I grew up on the south shore of Lake Ontario in New York State, roughly across from Toronto. Whenever the Arctic winds were blowing (wailing) south, I got Canada on me and in my lungs if my mouth and nose weren't covered properly. I think I swallowed a Canadian chewing gum wrapper one time and nearly choked to death.

Have you ever noticed that the border on most maps between Canada and the U.S. is a white dotted line? It used to be that Mexicans had to swim across the Rio Grande River to enter the U.S. illegally; all Canadians have ever had to do is step over the white line. It must have been a bitch painting all those lines, especially across the Great Lakes.

Shit. Three paragraphs already and I haven’t gotten to the point of this post. I must be in an especially digressive mood today. I guess I can scratch Twittering, as usual.

Okay, drum roll please, and plenty of applause from the studio audience. I am thrilled to introduce my latest Canadian blog friend, Ponita in Real Life. She lives in Winnipeg (Manitoba, for the geographically challenged), is an overworked nurse (is there any other kind?), walks her beautiful dog Zoë when it’s -20C (-4F), and is a very good writer (the link to her site is one of her creative pieces).

And wait until you get a load of her mastHEAD.

This is the perfect time to re-introduce my other Canucklian friends. Or Canuckleheads, as Ponita mentioned in a comment. Listed in chronological blog time is

Stinkypaw, Montreal, Quebec

Wandering Coyote, Rossland, British Columbia

Barbara Bruederlin, a/k/a Zombie, Calgary, Alberta

Tui, a/k/a Tiffin, North Cowpat, Ontario (Tui doesn't blog, but she's a super-intelligent commenter.)

I could say that I’m humbled to have you ladies as friends, but that would be a lie because I’m not at all humble. All of you, however, have made my life richer, and that is a priceless gift to me.

[HAH! All you people thought this was a post about the Olympics, didn't you.]


mapstew said...

Oh them ladies from Canadia sure do grow on ya! :¬) (Hi Pon!)

savannah said...

yes. xoxoxo

flying eagle woman said...

ohhhh I love your page...stumbled across via "The Hatter's Clean Cup" and as it happens I have an award for you on my page:-)

TechnoBabe said...

I checked out each of the blogs you recommend. Thanks.

Stinkypaw said...

I sure did think it was going to be about the Big O! Thank you for this Charlie and I'm happy to count you as a real good blend! Thank you! xox

Ponita in Real Life said...

Oh My! Why, Charlie... I am speechless to be the centre of attention on your post.

I honestly did think it would be something about the Olympics, not me! I am most humbly appreciative of your praise, although I'm not so sure I rate such accolades.

But what the hell... I'll take 'em! Thanks!!! I'm very pleased to have made your acquaintance and thoroughly enjoy coming here to read your blog!

By the way, we were at -36 this morning. :-(

(Hi Map! And Savannah!)

Wandering Coyote said...

Well, thank you for the great shout out, Charlie, and you know the love is returned!

I will definitely go check out Ponita's blog and say hello.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Is it true that 90% of all Canadians live within 100 miles of the the US border? How come they want to be soooo close to us, eh?

Ponita in Real Life said...

@Robert the Skeptic: Yes it is true... have you been farther up north? Do you realize how freakin' cold it gets? It is -21C in Winnipeg right now and this morning when I got up it felt like -36C!

How'd ya like -60C or so????

If we went any farther south, we'd be squatters...

Besides, we like to go shopping across the border. ;-)

Tiffin said...

Robert, we're caught between swamps, bogs, blackflies, rocks, mosquitoes, cold colder than Ponita's -36, 7 months of winter, and you guys. So we huddle as far south as we can get while still being Canadians.

Charlie, you are *drawing sword* hereby dubbed an honourary Canadian. Use the u in colour and honour wisely. Say "eh" sparingly. Do not put any politician up on a pedestal ever. And don't say "oot" or you will sound like an Amurcan trying to sound like a Canadian.


Tiffin said...

*snap* Ponita! hahaha

Kim Ayres said...

I don't think I've ever heard an national anthem I was impressed with.

Well, apart from the Jimmy Hendrix version...

Pat said...

I've always had a soft spot for all things Canadian. We had a wonderful trip whilst we were still travelling and I always wished we could have done the trip up from Vancouber back passage thingy.
Oddly enough - having seen Ponita hither and yon I paid a visit only last week and wasn't disappointed. I'll be back:)

Anonymous said...

I want in the club!!!! My husband's mother is Canadian. From Vancouver, even. That means I bore a child with a touch of Canadian blood. So can I be an honourary Canadian too?? Huh, can I? PLeeeease. Oh...sorry. Too much enthusiasm, huh? I'll bet I'm DQ'd now. Rats.

Buzzard said...

The Canadian Anthem is very beautiful, and like our own anthem, it honors freedom!

The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am still waiting to hear you warble out the Canadian national anthem, Charlie. Don't make me step over that dotted white line and force you into a singalong.

Thanks for the shout, dear. I am honoured to be named in the same breath as these other fine Canadians who huddle close to the border, and will certainly be dropping in to say hi to the ones I have not yet met.

You rock, Charlie!

Jimmy Bastard said...

For the love of god, be careful with the lovely lady Pony-doll. Her eyes are enchanting, and her butt is to die for.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Jimmy! You're not supposed to say that in public! *blushes*

Charlie, I can sing the American anthem quite nicely, but don't have a diva opera voice either. Just have to start on the right note... ;-)

Charlie said...

MAP: You're a lucky guy, Map. All I have growing on me is moss on my north side.

SAVANNAH: If you're a gambling woman, I'll see your yes and raise you five yeses.

SHAWNA: I've already been to your blog to thank you, but I'll thank you again.

TECHNO: I hope you liked them!

STINKY: For those of you who don't know, "blend" stands for BLog friEND.

And may we be blends for a long time.

Charlie said...

PONITA: Those weren't accolades, they were facts about you. I have to be very careful what I say about you: there are a certain two Celts who, after a few glasses, may very well come over here and break my knees. Or, at the very least, give them a dirty look.

WC: You're welcome. You mean a WHOLE LOT to me.

ROBERT: I bow to Ponita's next comment.

PONITA: I can understand crossing the border to shop, but to take a squat?

Charlie said...

TUI: Thank you for bestowing me with honourary Canuckleship. It means a lot to me. Now, will you be kind enough to help me up off my bad knee?

"oot", especially the word "aboot", is a dead giveaway that the speaker is Canadian. Otherwise, I don't notice much of an accent "up there."

KIM: Jimmy Hendrix did do a fine job on the national anthem. So which one are you talking about: Canadian, American, or Brittania?

PAT: I've only been to Quebec and Ontario--lots of Ontario. It would be nice to see the rest of the country, but 2 weeks of summer isn't enough time.

You've probably run into Ponita at Jimmy B.'s place--she goes there a lot.

Charlie said...

LINDA How nice to see your typing again!

You need to talk to Tui aboot the honourary thing--I think this is the last week she has the sword before she has to pass it on to someone else.

And quitcher whining.

BUZZARD: Thanks for the lyrics. Are you aware that the words have changed over the years?
(I looked it up on Wikipedia.)

BARB: I do not warble! Birds warble, and I sing with my mouth closed.

I have sung O Canada many times at hockey and baseball games, FYI. It's just in the house that I'm not allowed to sing.

JIMMY: Uh, no comment.

PONITA: It's a blast to hear people in a stadium trying to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." When the high notes come, you suddenly have thousands of people hacking, coughing, straining, and giving themselves hernias.