A Staggering Rat of Heartbreaking Something or Other in Toronto is doing 42 things including…

embrace my inner Canadian

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A Staggering Rat of Heartbreaking Something or Other has written 33 entries about this goal

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0fdYhgJIeE



"Embracing my inner live-and-let-die."

This morning’s rummage sale turned up a little treasure: Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. I bought it for a quarter along with a Top Chef cookbook for the sous.
A bloke in the book throng announced that people who had surely never heard of Alice Munro before were now seeking her works only because she’d won a Nobel Prize. People who were ignorant of the entire body of Canadian literature would now join the great unwashed and line up to celebrate its new status, he said, eyeing my little paperback.
“Well,” I said. “Good.” (Sometimes succinct is best.)

He offered his perception of the superior (to Alice Munro) writings of Margaret Atwood and Al Purdy. He lauded Gordon Sinclair’s novels as the best there is. He was very proud, particularly proud, he said, of his assessment of Gordon Sinclair’s work.

I did not tell him that Gordon Sinclair was a Canadian journalist and broadcaster. I did not tell him he was wrong, and that he was confusing “Gordie” (as he described him) with Sinclair Ross, author of As For Me and My House.

Sometimes people get proud of themselves for no good reason. But I’m learning that I’m not the one to police ‘em, even if there’s hubris afoot.

I will accept a cupcake as a reward today for this gentle act of STFU… and the others I have known lately.



"Embracing my inner Torontonian"

The Maple Leafs are leading 4-1, 9 minutes into the 3rd. The impossible that changed to the improbable has changed to the holy toledo!



The statue

of Timothy Eaton sits on the main floor of the Royal Ontario Museum – not in the exploding crystal part, which is an abomination, but don’t get me started – outside the theatre. His left foot is shiny and inviting. (One is supposed to rub the toe for good luck and many, many people have indulged.) He is Canadian history and lore all rolled into one.

I go get ‘im every time I’m there.



Lowest voter turnout ever

in the Ontario election last week. “Despite fine weather,’ noted the Globe and Mail with amazement.

The province is not ready to vote NDP. PC is the faltering bastion outside of the GTA. There is grudging acceptance among those who bothered to vote that returning Dalton McGuinty, but to a Liberal minority, is the lesser of however many evils.

A 48% turnout suggests the Apathy Party was a howling success.



Everything in TO

this week is coloured orange in honour of Jack Layton. Even the lights on the CN Tower are orange. And I have never seen so many bicycles on city streets.
I did not expect such an outpouring of condolences for a politician. I think Mr. Layton’s message of hope and love allowed him to transcend his place in Canadians’ hearts beyond that of “another political leader”.

Before he died, he left a letter to followers, his party, the youth of Canada and to Canadians at large. Here is an excerpt:

“And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change…
My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton”



Playlist for a Canuck summer weekend

1. Echo Beach / Martha and the Muffins
2. Ahead By A Century / the Tragically Hip
3. I Beg Your Pardon / Kon Kan
4. Help I’m Alive / Metric
5. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald / Gordon Lightfoot
6. Neighbourhood #2 (Laika) / the Arcade Fire
7. I’m An Adult Now / the Pursuit of Happiness
8. I Love Myself Today / Bif Naked
9. The Lines You Amend / Sloan
10. No Time / the Guess Who



"Fiddleheads!"

I said, on a long long walk down Yonge from Patachou. We stopped at a greengrocer selling fresh produce along the sidewalk and bought a bagful of them and of wild leeks (ramps)... soon there will be tiny fraises de bois in season. I look forward!

And so they were steamed, sprinkled with sea salt and given a pat of melty sweet butter.



I also told him

these were our national animal. (We pick a different colour every year, I said. It’s great to be Canadian!)



Woot and aboot, eh

Since there was a spare half hour or so before ballet, I thought it a fine thing to make a mess of butter tarts. I told my beloved It is a Canadian tradition to break them apart, gently, in one’s hand so the beautiful runniness trickles through one’s fingertips and traces a sweet line down one’s hand.

He said Um….......yeah.



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