If all else fails, you can count on me

Well, it’s been a year and a day (or three weeks if you will) since I last wrote anything in this electronic diary of mine (I actually like to think of it as a modern day papyrus scroll), and instead of lamenting the ever-quickening pace of time and space as I do at the beginning of all of my ramblings, I will instead just get to THE FACTS.

1.) Gold medal games.

Marc and I woke up at 4am last Sunday to watch the Canadian men take on the Swedish team in the Olympic gold medal hockey match.

I’m not going to lie, I nearly gave up on the entire venture the minute the alarm went off. Four o’clock in the morning is just TOO. DARN. EARLY.

After I managed to temporarily muzzle the buzzing, Marc leaned over to me and whispered, “Is this actually happening?”

To which I replied, “Fifty-fifty.”

But in the end, it only took me a couple of minutes to rustle myself out of bed and get ready to face the still-darkened sky (not to mention the influx of snow that had begun to fall sometime earlier that night.)

The previous day I had bought pain au chocolate for Marc and I, as well as the friends who had so generously offered to host the game, and I grabbed the bag of pastries before heading out into the blackness.

(Marc elected to catch another thirty minutes of shut-eye, explaining that he would meet up with us at the start of the second period.)

My eyeballs nearly fell out of my sockets when I arrived at Greg and Daniela’s place and saw them both in regular clothing. You couldn’t have gotten me to change out of my pajamas for all the cocoa-filled croissants in the world.

But they’re pretty relaxed folks, and know my habits well, so neither were deterred by my lack of formal dress (or really, any dress at all.)

Over the next three hours we drank buckets of coffee, nibbled on baked goods, and cheered as Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, and Chris Kunitz secured our second straight Olympic hockey gold.

And then I went back to bed.

Which after drinking my body weight in coffee was not the easiest of feats, let me assure you.

After I work up, I couldn’t stop thinking about Par Marts, the Swedish coach, and just how much he doesn’t fit the mold of what I imagine a hockey coach to be.

So I made this:

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Am I the worst?

Perhaps.

But either way, I am totally okay with it.

2.) Lip-synch offs.

So, I’m not a big fan of most American talk shows. As a dedicated, long-standing fan of The Graham Norton Show, I feel that most product offered on this side of the pond is, to put it delicately, sub-par at best.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due, and tip my hat to Jimmy Fallon for all the hilarious things he does with his guests. (Not to mention the fact that he somehow got The Roots to be his back-up band – a feat so nuts I’m like to believe that Beelzebub will be getting a huge influx of souls sometime in the next fifty years or so.)

For instance, this lip-synch off:

Oh. My. Goodness.

Despite the epicness of Paul Rudd’s Freddie Mercury, I am not afraid to admit that I like his Tina Turner better.

Those handshakes?

Brilliant.

3.) MY CAT.

She’s up to something.

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Though I’ve yet to figure out what.

4.) This darn crazy world.

As I race about daily in my own little self-contained ecosystem, I have such a hard time processing everything that is happening outside of the petri dish that is my life.

Every time I read anything news related my heart just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.

To combat this journalistic-propelled malaise, I have been running like a running-thing and spending all of the time with my brilliant, inspiring, and totally bonkers husband.

All we can do is focus on doing as much good as we can (starting with the petri dish!) and hope that our efforts will create spill over, and inspire others to affect change.

5.) This guy

And if all else fails?

I’m just going to follow this dude’s lead:

That’s right.

SUPERGEIL.

Double, double, toil and trouble.

Good grief is Canada ever a large country.

Because we have heaps, and HEAPS of space, until we get that teleportation science down, it’s going to keep taking dogs years to travel across.

This morning I was up at the ungodly hour of 4:45 am, getting ready to head back to real life here in BC.

I crawled out of bed, jumped into the shower, and slowly steamed my eyelids open.

I allotted myself as much time as possible to wake up, before heading out to the Halifax airport for my 6:20 departure. My sister Jessi and her boyfriend Adam were kind enough to drive me – he being tempted by the promise of a Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwich, and she driven by her enduring and ever-deepening love for me.

HAH!

But seriously though – Timmy Ho’s.

I tell ya. That stuff will take over your life.

It’s interesting – despite the proliferation of Starbucks the world over, Tim Hortons still reigns supreme here in Canada (minus of course several urban centers, of which Vancouver is one.)

I mean, “Double-Double” (the shorthand term for two creams, two sugars in a Tim Hortons coffee) is an entry in the Oxford Canadian English Dictionary!

WHAT.

It can be weird trying to explain this institution to someone who hasn’t lived here.

It’s just SO Canadian.

(Despite its brief American ownership and merger with Wendys Corporation. This is referred to as the “Dark Time”, of which we never speak.)

Just kidding.

Kind of.

It also has the guts to put out the most heart-wrenching commercials (aka ridiculous Canadiana propaganda.)

Let me implore you to check out this ad:

DAH.

THE EMOTIONS!

(I never said that this ploy didn’t work, now did I?)

ONE THING though – if you’re going to bring your family over in the middle of the winter, feeding them terrible coffee isn’t going to make the transition any easier! JUST SAYING.

The one thing that actually does bother me about Tim Hortons is that I have a hard time believing that people actually like it as much as they purport to LOVE it.

It’s like this business has woven itself into our national framework (mythology?) to such an extent, that we no longer know what we actually want in terms of coffee and baked goods.

Or, perhaps that it’s that we’ve convinced ourselves that easy access, trumps quality.

For instance, Tim Hortons jingle used to be: “Always Fresh, Always, Tim Horntons.” And now it’s just “Always Tim Hortons.”

(Or it might be “Time for Tim’s – I’m not sure. Since throwing away cable for Netflix, my ability to keep up with this inane crap has been severely compromised.)

Anywho, if it is indeed “Always Tim Hortons”, that is apt as all get out, because they are indeed EVERYWHERE.

And it’s not like there is anything all that great about the foodstuffs available for purchase at any of these restaurants.

Its hot chocolate is okay, its coffee – as previously stated – is just awful.

Their baked goods run the gamut of delicious (honey cruellers and sour cream glazed) to absolutely dismal (anything claiming to be “old fashioned” tastes of dish soap and will completely destroy your will to live.)

I’ve never been a fan of the Iced Capp, but those that do would give away their first born when a craving hits.

Their bagels are okay, but are always smothered in so much cream cheese you start to wonder what it’s actually made out of that they give it away in such liberal amounts.

What can I say?

I’ve never, ever in my life woken up and thought: I want nothing more than ***** from Tim Horton’s.

But the other night, whilst out with friends and family, what did we IMMEDIATELY do once we left the bar?

Oh you betcha:

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What can I say?

At my inner most core, I am Canadian.

(But only when soaked in white wine!)

OH MY GOODNESS I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST WROTE AN 800 WORD POST ON TIM HORTONS.

Yeesh.

Please dear readers. I blame it on post-travel nackeredness. Eight hours on a plane will do that to you!

I really must be off for (another) shower and sleep.

I’ll be back to our regular scheduled program in but the (40) winks of an eye.

In the meantime, tell me your Tim Hortons stories.

We’ll see if we can get them made into a commercial.

Always.

(Tim Hortons.)

I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away in the morning

Well folks, another day, another early morning hangout at Toronto Pearson Airport.

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Early morning hot chocolate. Also, my nails really are the worst.

I am seriously starting to think that I know this place better than I do some of my friends.

I am seriously staring to think that I like this place better than I do some of my friends.

JUST KIDDING!

Although said friends don’t have a sweet twenty-four hours David’s Tea, nor do they have sexy fluorescent lighting that give myself, and all of my fellow travellers that all-too sought after “it may be consumption” pallor.

We should all be so lucky!

But back to what I was saying – AIRPORTS.

While I’m not the biggest fan of air flight (particularly takeoffs and landings – talk about hair-raising central!) I do have a perverse like for these giant atriums of travel.

They are the perfect mish-mash of random: Tim Horton’s restaurants (restaurants, hah!), nail salons, the obligatory Hudson Bay Store (we’re talking domestic Canadian airports here, otherwise, please substitute in Duty-Free and some fancy, chain, over-priced wine bar), sit-up massage chairs, totally random shoe shine stations, and store, after store chock-a-block of Tom Clancy and Mary Higgins Clark, magazines, expensive candy, and those head-rest pillows everyone (and yet no one?) seems to buy.

I am currently heading down to Halifax for a family visit, culminating in my cousin Andrew’s wedding taking place this Saturday.

I am the queen of carry-on, and managed to cram three dresses, two pairs of pants, two skirts, six shirts, three sweaters, two pairs of shoes, two winter running outfits, my pajamas, my computer, and all other manner of lady detritus in this here bag:

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One day I’m going to get an award for this stuff!

Anyways, in completely different news, Canadian politics is totally nutters at the moment.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Toronto mayor Rob Ford finally admitted to smoking crack cocaine, and yet somehow still refuses to resign from his position.

The man plans on running again next year for re-election!

WHAT THE WHAT.

His exact words:

 “Exactly. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. I’ve made mistakes… all I can do is apologize and move on.”

“But, no, do I? Am I an addict? No.”

“Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.

How is this man even a real human being!?

I feel like we are living in bizarre world.

If I was a journalist in Toronto right now I’d go around telling everyone that I was “one heck of a crack reporter!”

(Too much, I apologize. But it had to be said.)

Meanwhile, our national political stage is riddled with just as much madness.

Our Prime Minister doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of what has been going on with his Conservative senators, and is likely fuming over the fact that no one gives two cares about his free trade agreement with the European Union, when all anyone wants to do is talk about Mike Duffy’s cheque requisition program.

I am just waiting for Nigel Wright to show up at Question Time and pull a full-fledged Banquo.

IS THIS A DAGGER I SEE BEFORE ME?

I am mixing my Shakespeare all over the place, but I CANNOT HELP IT.

These situations mix me up!

And here in BC (or I suppose I should say “back in BC”, what with this being written in Toronto, or “The Big Smoke” if you will….there is another crack joke there, I’m sure) our premier Christy Clark has reneged on her promise not to go forward with plans to construct an oil pipeline from Alberta, and has instead met with Alison Redford (Alberta’s premier) and put together a set of points on how to go forward.

This decision just kills me.

We are going to be swimming in environmental damage, just you wait.

What drives me crazy here is that Clark keeps talking about how when she was re-elected, the electorate backed her plans to expand BC’s natural resource sector, when 1.) No one wanted this expansion to include a pipeline, and 2.) This woman wasn’t even re-elected in our last election! She lost her riding! She had to re-run in a jurisdiction where she was guaranteed to win, after the MLA-elect gave up his seat!

(Meanwhile, it’s just been revealed that he has been giving a plush position as an economic ambassador to BC’s Asian trading markets. But of course he has!)

But seriously folks, how are we supposed to have any faith in the democratic process, when so many of those involved display the utmost contempt for the entire system?

It drives me batty.

Marc has a theory that politicians should be paid very little money, in an effort to keep out those who are not invested in making the country/province/city a better place, and attract those who don’t care about bilking their travel expense claims for all that their worth.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I do know that whatever we have going on right now, it really isn’t working.

Much like Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Pamela Wallin.

ZING!

(See what I did there?)

And now I’m off to find some overpriced food to eat with my four dollar water bottle.

I hope you all have an amazing morning.

Wherever in the world you happen to be.

Something worth running for

The rain is raining folks.

It’s almost as if I can hear each individual raindrop tap, tap, tapping on my window pane.

And on the roof.

And the balcony.

To paraphrase Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister of the UK – rain truly is, all around.

Last week we were blessed with one last amazing week of summer weather: temperatures in the mid to late twenties, amazing sunrises and phenomenal sunsets, and blue sky for days.

And now?

Yesterday morning we woke up to this:

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Holy exorcist batman.

The eerie weather ended up being an absolutely fabulous pairing to an early morning race.

Two great friends and I ran the Terry Fox Run, a ten kilometer (or five, or two – depending on your pick!) event that takes place every September, in cities all over the world, which raises funds for cancer research.

It also honours the memory of one of the greatest Canadians that has ever lived – Mr. Terry Fox.

From Wikipedia:

In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over $500 million has been raised in his name.

There are a few individuals that make me so proud to be Canadian that I’m just about driven to tears when I think about them, and all that they accomplished during their life.

Terry Fox is one of those people.

So around 8am, I met up with Greg, and Daniela, they grabbed some breakfast Tim Hortons (just in case we weren’t feeling Canadian enough already) and we set off for the starting line.

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Unfortunately the route was not well marked at all, so we all ended up running different distances, and courses, but in the end it didn’t matter at all.

It was fun.

Hands down.

I’ve been running a lot of late – at minimum thirty kilometers a week. It really is one of the only ways that I can properly unwind at the end of a workday, and I’m not exactly sure what I would do if I couldn’t strap on my runners and head out the door the moment I get home.

Running makes me feel alive.

It makes me feel whole.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to just take off and run clear across this massive expanse of a country.

If I could commit myself to something so much bigger than my little life.

I think I could do it.

I think I would do it.

But until that day, I’ll just put one foot in front of the other.

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