Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Friday, May 27, 2005

holy shit; we're in London.

It's pretty neat. Got in relatively late last night, had a hell of a time finding the hostel from Paddington station, but got to wander around in a pretty cool little neighbourhood along the way. Uh... the houses are all really close together here, so that's kinda cool. Walked by someone's front lawn today where a guy in black socks and sandals has weeding his garden with his dog. Struck me as kind of British, I guess. Slept in crazy late (almost 11am, which is guess is 4am back in Edmonton--but holy god were we tired. At least we seem to have had no problem adjusting to the time change).

Anyhow, the place is pretty nice; they aren't kidding when they say hotel rooms are small in Europe; there isn't even enough room to lay your suitcase on the floor, what with the bed and all. But yeah! I'm just waiting for Kristine to finish doing her hair, and then we're off to stop number one, Westminster Abbey, after which we're planning to walk up to Piccadilly Circus and see what all the commotion is about. We'll fill y'all in later, losers.

And to answer your question, Collin, yes, they do have switchblades in London--but here, they call them "pub food." Also, I just realized the double-quote key is shift-2. WHAT THE HELL?


Thursday, May 26, 2005

rockin' the something-dot!

Ugh. Toronto. 6am. Just about to catch a cab to Pearson after a nice evening of catching up with everyone: Heather, Kris, Christie--good to see you all again. Ken's apartment balcony looks over the entire Don Valley; TO has a lot more trees than I think people give it credit for. Went to the Victory Pub last night (they serve Grasshopper) just off Bloor in what's oddly called the Annex district; walked by local landmark Honest Ed's which has the craziest slogans on ginat signs I've ever seen, mostly deriding Ed's quality as a human being while playing up the cheapness of his prices. Example: "Honest Ed's fulla baloney, but his prices are teeny-weeny!" or "Honest Ed's a creep: his low prices will creep in your heart, your soul and your brain" (yeah, actually). Really, the place is just a big Army and Navy. And their prices have never crept into my brain.

Anyhow, gotta catch a cab in five minutes; by tonight, we'll be in London, wondering why everyone talks so funny for no reason. Stay tuned. And thanks to Ken and Sunita for rollin' out the old hideabed. It was as rad as beds get. Which is pretty rad.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

some hostels are shittier than others

Hey. So we ended up not seeing the Queen yesterday on account of the fact that it was totally cold, windy and pissing rain, but whatever. I'm sure she did just fine without Kristine and I giving her the thumbs-up and an encouraging smile every time she glanced nervously in our direction for a little courage before making an announcement. But man, what a horrible country she must think Canada is; did she get even one day of good weather? I guess she is from England though.

On an related note, we're going to be in Toronto by tomorrow around 2pm, and after a few fitful hours of sleep on Kenny's hideabed, I guess we're off to London, where the weather has, according to theweathernetwork.com, gone from rainy and 14 to cloudless and 30 overnight. Whoo! Kind of! I still don't really have any shorts! That's going to suck more so in Rome!

And speaking of Paris, we had a bit of a freakout last night about our accomodation whilst there at a hostel called the Peace and Love, courtesy of a few less than favourable reviews on tripadvisor.com with such affirming subject lines as "the most disgusting place i have ever seen" and "No Sleep...Filthy place (figuratively and literally)." Yes, there were a few good reviews as well, but they all seem to have been posted by jackasses. Anyhow, this, coupled with the fact that hostelworld.com's listing for Peace and Love has a huge, all-capped warning (apparently, the hostel considers it a selling point) that you shouldn't stay there if you enjoy sleeping BECAUSE THIS IS A PARTY HOSTEL AND WE LIKE TO PARTY SO NO UPTIGHT PEOPLE WHOOOOO!!! did not bolster our confidence in our initial decision

I mean, hey: I like to party as much as the next guy, but uh, isn't that what the rest of Paris outside the room you're staying in is for? When I get back to my bed, that means it's goddamned bedtime. So, thoroughly worried, and further sketched out by descriptions of the Gare du Nord neighbourhood as isolated and slummy, we amazingly found a new place online in the Bastille district for $70 bucks more each. Bastille's apparently pretty cool--lots of bars, restaurants, big nightlife hotspot--and it's way closer to the heart of the city, meaning we won't have to spend half our day riding the metro, which is hot. So yeah. I'm surprised we found a new place so easily. Let's just hope this place doesn't suck, too.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Uh ... yeah.

Don't forget about the teaser on the front page of the supplement that said "The care and feeding of a Queen," Chris. This just further proves my point about everyone thinking the Queen is some kind of exotic animal. Actually, scratch that. I imagine this is more like how the British treated the natives of various parts of empire who they would kidnap and bring to London.

Anyway, we're. totally. going. to. Europe. in. two. days. oh. my. God.

In other news, I found out today that I have, indeed, been accepted into Laval for their month-long summer French immersion program. This is cool, since I've been waiting for almost two months to hear from them, but also makes me sad. As I was explaining to Chris earlier, my two biggest irrational fears are Ebola (which, it turns out, has turned up again in Congo) and going places where I don't know anyone. I know, I know—it's really, really retarded. I guess calling it a "fear" isn't exactly accurate, actually—I just tend to avoid it at all costs. Like how I was going to go to U of T for university, but decided it would be "cheaper" to stay in Edmonton. And how I was going to go to Cortona in second year, but decided I'd "rather" stay and work at the Gateway.

I'm still subconsciously trying to find excuses not to go, but at least this time I realize what I'm doing.

So if you talk to me in August and discover that I didn't go, please, punch me in the face.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

still more bigger cats

Another instance of our blog's title found on the interweb, proving yet again that people all over the world are captivated by the concept of some cats being bigger than others. From an Animal Planet message board conversation:

posted 03-15-05 11:09 AM

posted 03-15-05 02:35 PM
i know the tiger is the biggest "big cat" but im not sure about domestic cats. mabey "Maine coon". they are big. i think its just some cats are bigger than others not depending on the breed. i have a realy big cat and he is just a regular tabby

Oh my god, you guys, here comes the Queen!

First off, this is the first post I've made in almost a week--I apologize; while most of this can be attributed to laziness, I also had an absolutely terrible fucking week at work, during which most every thing that could have gone wrong did. I won't bore you with the details, however... especially not when there's the QUEEN to talk about!

Yes, even as we speak, the Queen is in Edmonton,and if you listen close enough, you can hear the low, quiet hum of thousands of people prancing in spot in their living rooms, shaking their hands at the wrists and murmuring "ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod...." It's a magical time. And to commemorate the magicity of this time, the Journal, our good city's paper of record, took it upon itself to publish a special Royal Visit 2005 supplement in Saturday's paper, to ensure that the incredulousness of this amazing social and cultural phenomenon that is the visit of a pleasant, but meaningless, powerless figurehead to our fair city.

I can't reprint this supplement in its entirety, of course, but believe me; you can almost taste the tears of the poor Journal staff writers who had to write this amazingly fluffy bullshit. Check out some of these gripping and yet totally depressing headlines:

"Mounties will never be far from Queen"
"Royal couple 'wonderful people to deal with'"
"Meal planning takes months"
"Public has plenty of chances to see Queen"
"Philip's special interests will be evident on tour"
"Few local landmarks bear name of Queen"
"Making the AgriCom look pretty"
"Protocol rules relaxed, but not gone"

HOLY FUCK! WHICH ONE SHOULD I READ FIRST, JOURNALSIRS? I FIND THEM ALL SO POTENTIALLY ENLIGHTENING. And I can hardly wait to see which of the Prince of Wales' special interests bubble to the surface as promised while on his tour--maybe after they take that helicopter ride over the oilsands in an attempt to sate Philip's unquenchable thirst for dumptrucks and scorched wastelands they'll make a quick pitstop off at the Alberta Museum of Watersports, or drive down to Stony Plain Road so Philip can run out of the limo at red lights and kick poor people in the face. That would be pretty telling, I think. But first, let's read all about what the royals usually eat while travelling and how we plan to make the AgriCom not look like the delapidated 40-year-old corrugated-steel barn that it is. Fascinating.

Anyhow, there'll be more Queen info arriving on this site shortly, as incredibly I find that I'll actually be attending the welcoming party for the Queen at Commonwealth Stadium tomorrow, where I'll be incredibly disappointed if things don't start out with the Queen bursting through a paper screen and then trotting around the track pumping her arms and getting the crowd to do the Wave. Anyhow, I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt from Darren Zenko's Vue column, Dispatch.

So, I was rockin’ out the other day, thinking about the Queen (as usual), and I laid down this wicked jam, just right off the top of my head. I’m thinking of putting out a commemorative CD. Check it out.

Put out your welcome mats
Put on your brand-new hats
Lock up your housecats
Here comes the Queen

The Queen! (x12)

Royalist rockin’
When she comes knockin’
Don’t stand there gawkin’
Scream for the Queen


(chorus x4)