Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I Heart Canada

These days I'm not as likely to know pop stars as, well, to know their mothers.

But an up and coming Canadian artist whose music I love is Stewart Reynolds of Brittlestar.

His song The Long Weekend has been flirting with #1 for the Amazon.com pop/rock downloads for a few weeks now. Click here to download it yourself and help push it to the top.

(I think Gasoline is actually my favorite song on the album... and you can download that from the Amazon site too.)

I met Stewart because he's a fellow Lilac Time fan.

Another Canadian I like is the very funny Doug Gordon, a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio. He works for one of my favorite radio shows, To the Best of our Knowledge.

He created the three-part New Audio Showroom, my favorite part of which is This Canadian Existance.

As you might suspect, it's similar to one of my other favorite radio shows, This American Life, except... it's about Canada.

I met Doug because he's a fellow John Wesley Harding fan.

My other favorite Canadians are a trio of bloggers.

Maktaaq writes some of my favorite blog entries ever, even when she's feeling low. There's no use trying to write the best blog entry ever... Maktaaq has already written it. I have to keep checking back in, I never know what Crenguţă the hamster might be up to next. (Maktaaq is possibly not technically a Canadian - I'm not sure - but she lives there now and that's good enough for me.)

The irrepressibly funny Happy and Blue 2 almost gave up on blogging because of the many recent Blogger troubles, but was persuaded to continue by the pleading comments of his many fans.

The impossibly tall, handsome young FORMS, well known in Starbucks throughout the land, has been busy, traveling to Russia, going undercover at the Canada's Next Top Face auditions, and playing water polo.

I met the bloggers because of their blogs, or because of this one. I don't even know any of their real names. It doesn't matter.

Geez I love the internet.

I don't really know any of these people, except in an online sort of way, an "exchanged a few emails or blog comments" kind of way.

As for experiences in "real life" with Canadians - my husband and I went on an extended driving vacation north of the border a few years ago. We loved it. We ate a lot of lobster and poutine.

Oddly, we felt at home there, in a way that we hadn't at our other stops in Washington D.C. and Maine.

Are Canadians more like people from the southern US than the northern US? Or do Canadians just make everyone feel at home?

We also happened to catch the entire run of Twitch City while in Nova Scotia. Since that time I have loved Don McKellar in particular and all other Canadians in general.


Hick said...

I don't know too much about Canadian musicians but I love Happy & Blue.

What's poutine?

Your pictures are breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

Poutine is a mix of French Fries, Poutine sauce (a derivative of BBQ chicken sauce or Hot Chicken sauce, i.e. a salted gravy) and cheese curds. Absolutely delicious, although it might be an acquired taste...
By the way, it has about as many calories as a pound of butter (for a BIG one though!).

Maktaaq said...

Thank you very much for making my day! :) This came just in the nick of time!

I am Canadian & Romanian (dual nationality) but I probably have more in common with Canadians than Romanians (except in shouting matches).

Thank you again!

Maktaaq said...

Which reminds me - how did you ever stumble upon my blog?

happyandblue2 said...

All Canadians are friendly to tourists. It's because we are so desperate to see anyone new, anytime.
No one else will listen to our boring stories..

Rurality said...

Hick, the anonymous poster did a good job of describing poutine. I have a feeling that it varies a bit from place to place in Canada. It is just like a good southern food - fried stuff with more fattening stuff on top.

Maktaaq, I can't remember how I found you, but I think it was through one of my oddball Technorati searches. I tend to type various phrases or things I like there, and see where it leads.

If I'm thinking about poetry I might type "Auden" - I think that's how I found Jenni (although I think she was saying that Auden wasn't her favorite poet). I believe I found swamp4me by typing in "trillium", one of my favorite wildflowers. I'll have to think and see if I can remember what I typed in to find you.

Technorati is full of spam lately and the # of links part doesn't seem to work anymore, but it can still find some things. Like blogs that are talking about something you are interested in.

Oh Happy&Blue, your stories are never boring!

Rurality said...

Maktaaq, I've got it, I remember - I typed "Lewis Carroll" into Technorati. Your entry just happened to be near the top that day. And kapow, another addiction was born.

swamp4me said...

We made our first-ever trip to Canada last summer. We had lunch in a little restaurant near the covered bridge in Hartland, NB. I was the only one brave enough to order my fries with gravy -- very exotic stuff for our out of country experience!

Also, for your blogging pleasure, might I recommend Raindrops at
He is another of those Canadians you might enjoy.

Forms said...

Thanks RUrality for the blog shoutout. Canadians really love nature too - so your blog is like coming home.

I have decided to post some canada trivia that I used at a recent international case conference when I was Spirit Cup Leader (job: make sure everyone has fun). I will post it for your enjoyment:

What is the national animal?
a) Canada Goose
b) Beaver
c) Pig
d) Cow

What is the capital of Canada?
a. Montreal
b. Vancouver
c. Ottawa
d. Toronto

What word do Canadians use to solicit agreement?
a. Eh?
b. Huh?
c. Yeah man
d. Beaver Dam

What doyou call a case of beer in Canada?
a) Beaver Pouch
b) Box o beer
c) 2-4
d) Big bowl of right

What is our national game?
a) Lacrosse
b) Curling
c) Hockey
d) Hot tubbing
e) Lawn Bowling

What is Canada’s tallest building?
a) Hockey Hall of Fame
b) CN Tower
c) Scotia Tower
d) Royal Bank Building

Who is Canada’s largest trading partner?
a) Russia
b) China
c) US
d) Mexico

Which of the following is song of Avril Lavigne’s
a) Complicated
b) What is fantasy?
c) Let it slide.
d) Theme Song to Alf

Name that song by Celine Dion
a) My Heart Will Go On
b) I want to French you up
c) Superhorse 5000 and 6
d) Allons-Y

80% of Canadians Live:
a) in igloos
b) in Ontario
c) with a caribou
d) close to the US border

Prime Minister of Canada:
a) Paul martin
b) Tim Horton
c) Jean Chretien
d) John Kerry

What is the name of the national Anthem?
a) Maple Leaf Forever
b) O, Canada!
c) Voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soir?
d) The Ballad of the Beaver

What is Canada’s largest city?
a) Toronto
b) Montreal
c) Vancouver
d) Ottawa

Which of the following comedians is NOT Canadian?
a) Jim Carrey
b) Mike Myers
c) Pamela Anderson
d) Jerry Seinfeld

What is Canadian Bacon?
a) Delicious
b) Peameal Bacon
c) A Movie
d) All of the above

What is poutine?
a) Fries with cheese and gravy
b) a type of maple syrup that you can only get in the springtime
c) A French swearword
d) A shrub that only grows in quebec

What is Cirque du Soleil?
a) A popular circus
b) A Kids television show that has been mysteriously banned in 20 countries
c) A shopping centre in the heart of Vancouver
d) Bags that form under your eyes if you look at the sun too long

What does the 49th parallel refer to?
a) US Border
b) Toronto’s Lattitude
c) A trendy clothing store

What is the CanadArm?
a) Canadian Military
b) Robotic device useful in space exploration
c) A tasty snack that you have before dinner but after lunch

Which of the following was not invented by a Canadian:
a) telephone
b) basketball
c) Zipper
d) Jelly Bean
e) Canada Dry Gingerale

Rurality said...

FORMS - Well I actually know most of those, except for the beer one, the canadarm one, and the inventions one. Oh and I would have said Canada goose instead of beaver. (But give me credit for not saying Canadian goose!)

But I used to watch a lot of SCTV, so that probably helps. :)

Swamp4me, thanks, I will check it out!

Wayne said...

I'm way behind the times, like you said, Karen, knowing the mothers of the band members.

I was introduced to Blue Rodeo many years ago and they've remained among my favorites. Northern Pikes also rate way up there with their "Snow in June".

Rurality said...

Wayne I love Blue Rodeo too. "Casino" is my favorite album of theirs. Haven't heard Northern Pikes... will have to check them out.