Wrapped Up In Books


‘It is so funny where words, love, and experience can end up in time.’ [Postcards & time travel]
July 12, 2009, 8:18 pm
Filed under: A, Paying homage, Travelogue | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My friend, J, is something of a world-traveler. Most recently she was in Poland, and sent me a postcard. It came in an envelope, which was a bit unorthodox. Once I opened it, I realised why:

DSC07304DSC07305

While in Łódź, she came across this postcard in an antiques shop. It’s from Niagara Falls (the Canadian side, which is the prettier one) and dates from 1969. To quote her note accompanying it, ‘It is so funny where words, love, and experience can end up in time.’ It was so incredibly thoughtful of her to have sent it.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



One thing I know about the rest of my life [For R]

We’ll live together again yet.

xoxo, a.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



The true north, strong and free [O Canada]
July 1, 2009, 1:09 am
Filed under: A, Paying homage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Canada Day, fellow Canadians!

flag
I really can’t say how proud I am to be Canadian. Polite, kind, and loved at home and abroad.

When I was in grade 3 we used to have to sing this song and I found it so annoying at the time (it was between this and Camelot). Looking back, and I’m probably over-emotional due to stress, I could cry because Canada really is as great as these lyrics proclaim.

Canada Is, by Roger Whittaker

Canada is the Rocky Mountains
Canada is Prince Edward Island
Canada is a country made for love
Canada is La Belle Provence
Canada is the Yukon Mine
Canada is a country full of love.

We have love for our neighbour
Of whatever creed or colour
We have love for our cities
And our valleys and our plains
We have a voice that is calling
Telling all the world we’re willing
To welcome them to this great land
For that’s what Canada is.

Canada is the Rocky Mountains
Canada is Prince Edward Island
Canada is a country made for love
Canada is La Belle Provence
Canada is the Yukon Mine
Canada is a country full of faith.

We have faith in our future
We’re ready for tomorrow
We have faith in our children
For our future’s in their hands
We have a voice that is calling
Telling us to keep on hoping
For time will make this wild land great
And that’s what Canada is.

Canada is the Rocky Mountains
Canada is Prince Edward Island
Canada is a country made for love
Canada is La Belle Provence
Canada is the Yukon Mine
Canada is a country loving peace.

We have peace in our valleys
We’re happy and contented
We have peace in our cities
And our boundaries have no chains
We have a voice that is calling
Telling all free men we’re willing
To show them how to live in peace
For that’s what Canada is.

Canada is the Rocky Mountains
Canada is Prince Edward Island
Canada is a country made for love
Canada is La Belle Provence
Canada is the Yukon Mine
Canada is a country full of love.

Canada is the Rocky Mountains
Canada is Prince Edward Island
Canada is a country made for love
Canada is La Belle Provence
Canada is the Yukon Mine
Canada is a country full of love.

Peaceful and peacekeeping. Our songs (national anthem included) are so humbly patriotic – no bombs bursting in air (USA), no bloodied banners being raised (France), no being asked to be shown the way of the Lord (Italy), no cannons roaring or rifles pealing (Ireland).

(Blah, ended up crying after all.)

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

Photo credit to Flickr.



‘The Canadian character’ [Quotables]

The ‘Quote of the day’ on my U of T email is sometimes less than inspiring, but today’s was so good I thought it was worth sharing. Certainly living in Scotland for nearly two thirds of a year now, with three more ahead of me, I can completely relate to this sentiment.

‘To tell you the truth, in California I missed the wildness of the Canadian winter.  There is something stirring about a blizzard, something elemental about pitting oneself against driving, stinging snow in below zero temperatures. I often think it accounts for the general peacefulness of the Canadian character, all the aggressive energy has been used up in battling and surviving nature.’

Blanche Howard, Canadian author

Blizzard, 16 December 2007

Blizzard in Toronto, 16 December 2007

Photo credit to Flickr.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



Becoming an RCMP [Canadiana epitomized]
May 4, 2009, 10:44 am
Filed under: A, Paying homage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I got an update this morning from a friend, T, who is in his first week of training to become an RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officer. He had quite the process in getting there; it took a year to process his application, and there are something like six different screenings to pass. His case is seriously special because the recruiting person quit, misfiled his application, then he had to retest for his physical fitness and a bunch of other stuff. However, he’s in Regina now and just thrilled to be there.

As far as getting into shape goes, they seem to seriously endorse physical activity. The only thing that T mentioned having covered thus far is the PARE (physical ability requirement evaluation) test, which puts your endurance, agility, and all-around fitness to the grindstone. You can read more about it here.

Also, he mentioned that apparently the ‘red serge’, which is the red coats the RCMP officers wear, are the most recognised symbol in the world, second only to Coca-Cola – interesting (Go Canada)!

After a year’s wait, you can imagine the sheer euphoria of being told you’re going to finally become an RCMP officer. To say I’m proud really doesn’t begin to cover how glad I am for him; everyone who knows him loves him. The only hindrance I think he’ll have to work past is not letting the nice guy shine through. To teach him to be mean will probably be the hardest lesson he’ll have this year. But I know he can do it.

rcmp

Photo credit to flickr.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



How the past chews on your shoes, and these memories lick my ear

The Weakerthans show last Thursday, as with the first time I saw them, was incredible. By chance a friend (and blog reader! Hello, J!) picked up an extra ticket and fortunately I snatched it up. We drank a few tall boys before going to the Phoenix, then drank a lot more once we were there (and hit a gay bar then sang karaoke afterward). I add this to explain the serious shakiness of the videos, though the sound quality is still excellent. At one point, I was in the bathroom, heard the first chords of Left and Leaving – and as I ran out to film it I managed to drop my camera (while in its case) into the fucking toilet. No damage done though, thank God.

Night Windows

Aside

The Reasons

Left and Leaving

One Great City! (I Hate Winnipeg)

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



A blog whilst waiting for my flight to Heathrow

My visit home was a whirlwind. Two and a bit weeks flew by so much faster than I anticipated or wanted it to.

My sweetheart of a mother took two weeks vacation to hang out with me, and I spent the majority of my time with her (and not on my thesis).

Major highlights were meeting my new dog, Ella, getting to see R and my grandma a lot, seeing S after we both took our respective exoduses from Toronto, playing our baby grand again, and seeing The Weakerthans. Of course, I was so glad to see the people (Torontonians and Ancastrians alike) whose schedules converged with mine, too.

Ancaster is a bit of a soulsuck to live in. The diversity is minimal and I fear that the people who haven’t yet moved away may be prone to live their entire lives in that monotony (n.b.: it’s what I perceive as monotony; I’m sure it’s just fine for other people and I don’t mean to come across as being offensive). People pontificate about ‘losers on welfare’ at the main gym (Phoenix Fitness – there really isn’t anything more Ancaster than that) and offend apparently nobody. There is just one pub that doesn’t bore me to tears (The Coach and Lantern) and another that I avoid at all costs (The Brassie) because it’s a perpetual high school reunion there, and it’s too much of a mixed bag for me. It still has its upsides; the beautiful Bruce Trail has terrific hiking, and the absence of homelessness and prolificness of in-ground pools should earn the town a moniker of ‘a Shangri-La for Surburbia’.

Going back to Toronto opened the floodgates of emotion for me. It felt as if I’d never left. Sushi for dinner, brunch at Grapefruit Moon, strolling through Kensington for my weird vegan ingredients (nutritional yeast flakes), drinking on a back patio in near-freezing temperatures, going to a random art gallery opening and meeting a childhood acquaintance who I last saw at our mutual friend’s bat mitzvah nearly 12 years ago. This is just an average weekend though it stretched to extraordinary lengths when so many of my friends from undergrad were able to reunite for (a veg(etari)an) dinner at Fresh and we dined by candlelight for Earth Hour.

I can’t wait to move back.

Ella and Sam, aka, Salmonella

Ella and Sam, aka, Salmonella

Of course, a visit to nearly-springtime southern Ontario wouldn’t be complete without one last snowfall, as seen from my front door.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.