Monday, August 07, 2006

If you come back, bring a new name for everything

What is today anyway? Jen says it's called BC Day, but what it is called in the rest of the country? For you unfortunate non-Canadians, we have a long weekend Monday today, but in typical Canadian fashion, nobody knows exactly why. All I know is, I don't have to go to work today.
I looked on the calendar and it says Civic Holiday, but I think it has a different name in each province. I can't remember what it's called in Alberta. Is it Heritage Day? Or is that the one we get in February which nobody else gets? (hehe) What is today called where you live?
Today's not a religious holiday, is it?
Just in case it is, here's some more Jesus stuff, because I wouldn't want to piss off any deities:
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The lovely and talented Weakerthans have a very fitting song for today - A New Name for Everything. I am always astounded by how full of literary devices their lyrics are. You can certainly tell that John K Samson has a publishing background and loves words.
Check out these lyrics:
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"A New Name For Everything"
When the bus shelter windows and napkin dispensers suprise,
with distorted reflections, it's never the someone you're hoping to recognize.
When the rent is too high living here between reasons to live,
and you can't sleep alone and your memories groan, and the borders of night start to give.
When you can't save cash or conviction;
you're broke and you're breaking - a tired shoelace or a wave.
So long past, past-due.
A new name for everything.
When the one-ways collude with the map that you folded wrong,
and the route you abandoned is always the path that you probably should be upon.
When the bottle-cap ashtrays and intimate's ears are all full,
with results of your breath and the threads of your fear are unfurled with the tiniest pull.
One more time, try.
Stand with your hands in your pockets and stare at the smudge on a newspaper sky,
and ask it to rain a new name for everything.
Fire every phrase.
They don't want to work for us anymore.
Dot and Dash our days.
Make your face the flag of a semaphore.
All you won't show.
The boxes you brought here and never unpacked are still patiently waiting to go.
So put on those clothes you never grew into,
and smile like you mean it for once.
If you come back, bring a new name for everything
A new name for everything - the Weakerthans (Reconstruction Site)



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23 comments:

Barbara said...

It's not a holiday in Quebec. I know this because we got mail today.
We do a holiday in June instead.We call that holiday by a few names I won't get into.
But I have today off because I am between jobs eh. :-) so I celebrated by going out to lunch with an old co-worker who missed the pool hall party on Sat.
OMG next year I won't have that holiday in June... I'll be an Ontarian, and have it in August instead.

Ruhee said...

Those lyrics are beautiful.

It's Alberta Heritage Day officially, I think. The February Let's-Have-An-Albertan-Gloating-Day is actually Family Day isn't it? I think. Oh dear. I am fairly sure that's how it works, but I wouldn't bet the farm.

I hear even though it is SUPPOSED to be a national holiday it kind of is not. I have some friends in Halifax (well ... Lower Sackville) who weare forced, grumbling, to go to work today anyway. I think it still might be a stat because I don't think the mail service was running, but ... who knows?! This is probably the most confusing day. National Provincial Day.

Ugh, I bet I could have said all that in not NEARLY as many words, hahaha! I am loquacious by nature.

hilary m. said...

I really like "A New Name..". Speaking of Reconstruction Site, our family has a nice new tradition of playing "One Great City" every time we pass Winnipeg, usually repeating it and noting the traffic jams and dollar stores.

It was something like "Saskatchewan Day" in Saskatchewan. Which obviously meant none of the breakfast places were open in Moose Jaw. The only negative thing about holidays..

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I didn't know Quebec didn't get today off, Barbara W. (always have to be a little different...)
How handy that you had it off anyway!

Oh yeah, Ruhee, Family Day is the one is February that noboy else gets - you're right! Heritage Day it is in Alberta then - mystery solved. I'm glad somebody is paying attention.
It is indeed the single most confusing holiday in the year - we don't even know what we are celebrating!

And the pissed off bus drivers, Hilary! That's a great tradition. I'm sure the Weakerthans would be very happy to hear about that.
What's this about Moose Jaw? Don't they eat breakfast on stat holidays in Saskatchewan? Now I am really confused!

hilary m. said...

I hope they do, although you never know.. Moose Jaw's pretty weird. None of the restaurants and shops were open though! We finally got breakfast at the hotel.

Allison said...

I had no idea that it was a different name in every province, in Ontario its always called 'the Civic Holiday' but everyone here is calling it BC day, glad you've cleared up the mystery. Heaven forbid we actually call the holiday by one name!

Maureen said...

It's a nothing day here in PEI - they wouldn't want to have to pay us lowly seasonal workers for an extra day in the summer, hahahaha. Really, I'm serious...gentle province my ass.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You should have gone to the moose statue, Hilary. I'll bet it's always open, but I don't know if they serve breakfast.

Yeah, the same name everywhere would be too unCanadian, Allison.
"Civic holiday", now there's a great imaginative name. Way to go Ontario!

Nothing in PEI, Maureen? Those sons of bitches. It's that evil Anne of Green Gables, she's behind this!

michelle said...

When the bus shelter windows and napkin dispensers suprise,
with distorted reflections, it's never the someone you're hoping to recognize.


Wow, that really hits home. Very poetic, it sort of rings a universal chord with me... like you know, we've all felt that at some time.

Happy odd holiday, Barbara! Strange how some of you folks get the day off & others don't - but it's like that down here in the states with MLK Jr. day. Semi-arbitrary holidays, gotta love 'em!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Doesn't everybody in the US get MLK Jr Day off, Michelle? Well that's just wrong.
Gotta love those Weakerthans though. JKS - he's my poet homeboy. And as you alluded, he has a way of touching onto those universal truths.

Alana said...

You know my stance on the Weakerthans. Me and my damn associations, but regardless, I've never denied they are a fantastic band, and that is a fantastic song. Like most all their songs, those lyrics are stunning.

It's "One Great City!" that gets me everytime though. Not even because I live in Winnipeg, more so because I'm such a total weenie. :P

Ben said...

Do you have a days holiday for when you got rid of us Barbara ?

Those lyrics are beautiful

Barbara said...

Yeah Ben it's called Canada day (July 1st)... The only thing is the Queen is still on our money, and she keeps showing up on our stamps.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Ahhh, Alana, I went totally Weakerthans free on this blog the whole time you were away - bad timing on my part.
Agreed on "One Great City" - the sentiment is so strong on that one, tearing a city down while professing to love it. Gold.

Amazingly enough, Ben, all Weakerthans lyrics are incredibly beautiful. John K Samson is a man who loves and respects words.

We never got rid of you, Ben - we like our association with you guys. You know when to put a "u" in a word.

Barbara W, since Canada Day used to be called Dominion Day, I don't think the intent was to celebrate any severing of ties with Britain. I've got nothing against the queen.

Barbara said...

Barbara B., I hear the complaints from the French Canadians when they have to buy stamps with the Queen on 'em. Some even complain when the stamps have the Canadian flag on 'em...
What do they want, Elvis?
But I don't work there anymore...

kees said...

Oooh, I'd much rather have Elvis than the Queen any day. I can probably still get hung for saying that...

mellowlee said...

More music to add to my growing collection :) Thanks Barbara xo

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well maybe not Elvis, Barbara W, but the least that Canada Post could do is to put a picture of... I dunno .. George S or Jian G or Bry Webb on the stamps. I might even take up philately.

I hear that dissing the queen is the number one hanging offense in the UK to this very day, Kees. Best move to Canada quick snap.

You're welcome, Mel. The Weakerthans are among my all time favourites.

Will said...

Oh my, the Canadians are celebrating my birthday ... that is way cool. And a real honor, as well.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Seriously, Will? Well Happy (belated) Birthday to you!!!!!

It's so good that Canadians finally have a unifying concept for August 7! It shall forever be known as Will Benham Day!!!!

Will said...

Well, if I have a day, then I seriously need to visit.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You seriously do need to visit, Will. I will arrange the parade.

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