Monday, February 19, 2007

One good thing about living in Alberta ...

... is that we get a holiday in February, which nobody else gets. It's called Family Day and it was today and the concept was for people to spend time with their families, which I happily did.
Another thing I like about living in Alberta is ... nah, that's pretty much it, actually.
Now I'll probably start receiving scads of hate mail telling me to get the fuck out of the province if I don't like it, and those folks would have a valid point, but first let me clarify things somewhat by pointing out that the geography of this place is all wrong for me. I love lakes and trees and don't like mountains. I like a temperate climate that is slightly humid, where the vegetation is abundant and the sunlight is dappled and filtered through frequent clouds. That is pretty much the polar opposite of Alberta, at least the southern portion, where I live.
And don't even get me started on the political landscape, or the province's dependance upon the fossil fuel industry.

But even if I am not a huge fan of Alberta, there are some things which start with A which I do like. This idea for this list was shamelessly lifted from Bubs.

Six things which start with A which I like:

1. Argyle - socks, sweaters, sweater vests, it matters not what form it comes in, argyle is cool. And always chic. Or geeky chic, whatever your preference.

2. Avacados - in salads, dips, pastas, or eaten with a spoon out of the peel, these are tasty all year round. They may be high in oils, but it's a really healthful oil.

3. Ass-wipe - seriously, where would we be without this? And it's so versatile. Besides the obvious, you can use it to blow your nose, clean your glasses, probably even staunch a bad cut.

4. Anastamosis - I was originally referring to this in the physiological sense, specificially arterial-venous anastamosis, which is the branching between the aterial and the venous networks, but apparently there is an evolutionary definition as well. Anastamosis does it all.

5. Alsations - is there a prettier dog? Well, maybe a golden retriever, but look at those ears.

6. All-ages venues - I don't need to drink at a concert, but if people want to, what about using a wristband system or having a bar area? I love a band who makes their music accessible to everyone, not just people who have reached a certain birthday.

Oh Alberta [mp3] - Elliott Brood


vwbuglover said...

The Province of Saskatchewan, starting this year, also has a holiday called,... you guess right,... "Family Day". Couldn't even come up with a new or different name.
The "have not" Province of Manitoba is also considering a February holiday, but our political parties are still fighting over what the name should be. How about "Have not Day".
Geez, Manitoba is just to temperate climate that you are looking for. We have over 100,000 lakes teaming the all types fish, slighty humid when it rains and all sorts of different vegetations types and ecozones. "The grass is definitely greener on the other side of the fence". Plus in Manitoba we have fantastic fly fishing opportunities.
On your list of six things that starting with A, your #3 is my favourite. When was toilet paper invented? Does anyone know? What did people use before the "pillow soft two ply sheets" were sold?
Hey your blog is again unblocked. Must be softening in your upcoming mature age.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh you are a shameless Manitoba pimp, Bruno! But I cannot argue the fact that Manitoba has 100,000 lakes compared to Alberta's, what, 4? lakes.

I'm not sure when tp was invented, but didn't we use to use Eaton's catalogues?

I stopped swearing so much on my site just so government employees could fuck around reading my blog at work.

Bubs said...

I wish there were more all-ages venues. Our girls have been cheated out of plenty of good music, and we've been cheated out of their company at shows, because of the over-21 rule.

In the ass-wipe category, do you include those personal moist towelettes? Those things are GREAT for camping.

John Mutford said...

I've never heard anyone say they didn't like mountains before, but then I hadn't considered their effect on the weather. Still, they are beautiful.

Now that makes four mp3 I have with "Alberta" in the title. The previous 3 being, "Alberta" by Eric Clapton, "Alberta Bound" by Gordon Lightfoot, "Alberta Rose" by Stompin Tom. That's more than any other province or territory. Hmmm.

John Mutford said...

Under A, you forgot alcohol: the answer to and cause of all of life's problems.

Allison said...

I got a text message today from my friend saying 'happy Alberta family day' I was very confused, as neither of us live in the province, but I'm glad you got a holiday, Monday holidays are the best.

Your list is ace too. Argyle is sublime of various levels. Ahh. I need to get myself some argyle socks.

And yes, all ages shows. They seem to be more common now, but not everywhere yet. I missed out on so many a show when I was a teen. Stupid elite bands.

Toccata said...

All-ages venues are the best. You snag kids in when they're young and they will keep on going as adults. It also makes for a great family outing that way as well. One of the clubs here has an early all-ages show and then a later adults only show. I don't know what the bands think of having to perform twice in one night though.

Johnny Yen said...

One of my favorite "Alberta" shout-outs in a song is in Ian and Sylvia's "Four Strong Winds"--

"Think I'll go out to Alberta
Weather's good there in the fall
I got some friends that I could go to working for.
Still I wish you'd change your mind
If I ask you one more time
But we've been through this a hundred times or more."

I first heard Neil Young's cover of it when I was a young guy.

Will said...

Family day ... now that sounds like a nice holiday. We don't really seem to think about such things in America. We just have the day off to honor presidents and shit.

John Mutford said...

Johnny Yen, Johnny Cash covered Four Strong Winds as well.

JustRun said...

Family day. Cool. We just get President's Day. Pointless but without the feeling of obligation to spend it with those you love. Heh.

Barbara said...

Interesting 'A' choices... Can't wait for your B list...
Bowser and Blue wrote a song about Alberta... look that one up sometime when you get a chance... it's kinda catchy.

I worked hard on the latest blogpost on the stromboulopouli if you have time to read it and comment I would love that. The CBCers send their love...

BeckEye said...

And now I have that "Alberta" song in my head...some blues number that Eric Clapton covered.

Ass-wipe is wonderful. You can pretty much follow ass with anything and it's a wonderful insult. Hole, face, munch, bite, etc etc.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I know, Bubs, I tend not to go to the shows that aren't all-ages because my daughter is my main concert-going buddy. Although at least here, it's only +18.
I think the moist towlettes may be too fancy for the A list, although I am not disputing their handiness in the woods.

More than Nova Scotia, John? Man, I thought it was a provincial past-time lamenting about that place (and now I will get hate mail from the good people of Nova Scotia, as well).
For me it's not just the impact that mountains have upon the weather. I like them okay from a distance but feel too hemmed in if I get too close. Spoken like a true prairie girl.

Does your friend routinely celebrate obscure provincial holidays, Allison? How odd.
I really need some more argyle socks as well, as my argyle level is dipping into the dangerously low level. And if you have enough argyle on, you don't have to worry about the rest of your wardrobe.

Exactly, Toccata, if the cigarette companies can do it, why not the music promoters. I'll bet most bands don't mind playing two shows in one night. Most of them love performing.

Four Strong Winds is an absolute classic, Johnny Yen. I think of it as Alberta's unofficial anthem.

I'm not sure how much we are actually honouring the family on that day, Will, as all the stores are still open, so all those retail people still have to work. Better than bowing and scraping to presidents though, I guess.

You mean you don't all flock down to Pennsylvania Avenue to bring gifts to your honoured leader, Justrun? Shame on you!

I'm pretty sure there won't be a B list, Barbara W. That's pretty much Bub's territory.
Are Bowser and Blue still together btw?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Who knew that Alberta would be such an impetus to creativity, Beckeye?
Ass is certainly a handy word, and you can follow it with a plethora of words, as you said, or even have it follow a whole bunch of words - kick, dumb, big, fancy... the fun never ends.

Leazwell said...

You do have a broader definition of ass-wipe, right? ;)

berni said...

Yes, we definitely used Eatons catalogues. but we crumpled them first to make them "pillow soft". Love your A list- I'm with you on avocado. Also you can grow the seed into a tropical plant and slather leftover (as if) on your dry skin.

Love your A list

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Initially I was thinking of it in strictly the paper sense, Leazwell, but you are right, it does have a so much broader definition, although then it might not be something of which I am fond.

The Eaton's catalgues were pillowy soft, Berni, especially if you used the linens section. But the kitchen appliance pages, they were brutal.
I never thought to use avacado as a hand cream, but then again I've never had leftover avacado.

Dale said...

I may move just for the holiday!! I'll just say Fucking A because that goes with your list right?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You SHOULD move just for the holiday, Dale. That and the fact that this place is trying hard to become the new centre of the universe.

Deb said...

there's nothing worse than Lindsay's wails when a show isn't an "all ages"...I remember a MG show a few years ago that she (which means WE) couldn't go to.

I almost missed this post??...a classic. Love ass wipe too, that one cracked me up.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I kills me too, Deb, because, like you, I like to go to concerts with my kids. So far Matty hasn't done that to us, but I was really disappointed to learn that the Constantines (who profess to keep their music accessible, which is why their ticket prices are so low) will be playing at a club in town. So sad.