Saturday, September 15, 2007

touched by a monkey

I ran into everybody's favourite primate, Dr Monkey von Monkerstein, down by the waterhole the other day. I thought he was going try to rip off my bananas but it turns out he just wanted to pick a few nits out of my hair. I don't mind a good nitpicking session every now and then, and when he smiled at me like that, well how could I refuse?

Here are the lice that Dr M found in my scalp:

1. Are the winters really as bad as I've heard they are in Calgary?

Oh, you wanted me to elaborate, did you?

Okay, there's one word you have to know to understand Calgary's winters - chinooks. Without going all Environment Canada on your ass, chinooks are warm winds that come eastward over the Rockie Mountains. They can quite literally raise the temperature 20C in one hour. The snow all melts, water is running all over the place, everybody starts walking around in short sleeves in January and forgets that we ever get winter. The chinooks also cause migraines and dry the hell out everything, which is one reason this area is naturally a bald-ass prairie. The trees are only here because we baby the hell out of them.

Then, the chinook passes after a few days, it snows again and it takes 2 hours to get to work because of all the collisions, since everybody has forgotten how to drive in snow. Unlike the cities around the Great Lakes, we actually don't get a lot of snow (we are a semi-desert after all), and we don't really get all that cold either (unlike Winnipeg, which is a craphole of a deep-freeze all winter).

And that, I think, is a sufficiently Canadian answer about weather.

2. I know you love music and go to many many concerts so please tell us what was the
first concert, the best concert, and the worst concert you ever saw.

First: Gordon Lightfoot
Thankfully I saw him in concert a few times while in high school, or I might have been forced to tell you about the time April Wine played at our high school dance instead and that would ruin any indie cred I might have. Sure am glad I never told you about that.

Worst: Red Hot Chili Peppers

The fault lay more with the venue than the band, although I was not crazy about the album they were touring (Stadium Arcadium). With the extreme security checks we missed most of the Mars Volta's opener waiting in line, the sound was so terrible in the dome and we were in
such a scary nosebleed section that we were afraid for our lives. We left after half an hour. And that cemented my resolve to never again attend another dome show.

Did you really think I could pick one? Tell you what, I'll narrow it down to three.

1) the Constantines / Chad VanGaalen - May 2006
The Constantines are consistently the most hard-working live act you'll ever see. This was the second time I had seen them in concert so I was really pumped for the show. But it was the first time I had ever seen Chad VanGaalen and he completely stole my heart with his amazing music and his poop stories.
2) Wilco / Elliott Brood - June 2006
This was the first time I had seen Wilco and they blew the roof off the place and the top off my head, even though I almost got beaten up by those 8 foot guys. We had no idea that Elliott Brood was opening for them, so that was an awesome surprise. A few weeks later, Elliott Brood put on one of the best outdoor shows I have ever seen, whilst playing the folk festival.

3) Billy Bragg /Geoff Berner - September 2006
Billy Bragg could have gone the whole night without singing one song and we would have still be highly entertained. He has the best on-stage patter you'll ever hear and he is dead funny.
Geoff Berner was unknown to me at the time, but he pretty much blew me away with his highly irreverent drunk accordion player schtick. And the best part was, this all took place in a church.
4) Chad VanGaalen cd release party - November 2006 (obviously I can't count)
This was in a cozy old theatre downtown where there are no bad seats. The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir opened and stomped and howled their way through a crazy set of dirty gospel blues. Many of them are puppeteers by the way.

And Chad had made huge cardboard cutouts for the stage and projected some of his animation on the back wall, and he told amazing stories and had prize giveaways. It was a beautiful evening.
3. If the Reich wingers steal the next Presidential election here in the USA then I'm
moving to Canada. I've been to Windsor and to Niagara Falls, so tell me why I should move out to the prairie or to western Canada if and when I come.

On the one hand, there's no way the Reich will remain in power, but on the other hand, we would gain some much needed monkey power up here. And where do we need the monkey power the most? Right here in western Canada. Those central Canadian bastards have the automotive industry and Dale, we'll have oil and Dr M. It'll be a bun fight.
4. The thought of riding in a hot air balloon scares the crap out of me, I hate heights and flying devices that one can't steer, how do you feel about them?

I'll bet you're loads on fun on a plane! When I think hot air balloon, I get this romantic notion of wafting gently over the countryside on a crisp fall morning with a flask of mimosas and a lovingly packed picnic basket for noshing. But the reality would probably see me huddled petrified at the bottom of the basket, eyes and nose running in the cutting wind, praying for a quick death.
5. Tell me five things you can't live without.
1) Water - and not in the obvious nobody can survive without water sense. I mean I really love water. I drink gallons of it - tap water, not this mambly pambly bottled stuff which it turns out is actually only tap water.

Also bodies of water, which is why I live in an area bereft of lakes, I guess. Although we do have a beautiful man-made lake in our neighbourhood and even though I don't go there much anymore since I don't have a little kid to take to the beach, I am still comforted knowing I can go anytime to sit under a tree and listen to the lake noises.
2) Laptop - I know it's mundane and obvious but it feeds my two biggest addictions, blogging and music. And my pictures are on there too!
3) My ticketmaster account - I wish I had just married that ticketmaster guy already, the amount of money I spend on him. Maybe I should look into that possibility for my next marriage.
4) My library card - I'm too cheap to buy all my books and besides my library has a kickass cd lending section.
5) My kid - this is going to embarrass the hell out of her, but I really can't imagine life without her sassy remarks and her biting wit. She is my rock, but not my rock of crack (to quote ever so eloquent Pete Doherty).

Well that was fun! For me anyway; I'm sure that rest of you are not quite so thrilled that you caught me on a motormouth day. But that's what happens when you start picking at the nits. Sometimes you find an infestation.


mellowlee said...

I enjoyed that quite a lot! :O)

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Fair is fair my little Calgary cutie, so if you would liek to interview me send me some questions.

And your answers were every enlightening by the way. I like you even more now and I promise to never fling poo at you or your daughter. Your Prime Minister however is still on my poo flinging list.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I meant "like." Damn my sausage like fingers.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You have the patience of a saint, Mel!

I would like nothing better than to interview you, Dr M. I am so relieved to hear that no poo will be flung at my family and would ask that you kindly allot our portion of the poo to our aforementioned PM, aka Bush-lite. That would be great.
Questions will be winging their way to you via owl mail.

If anyone else wants to be interviewed, just holler.

Zed said...

That was great, Barbara. So much interesting stuff. I've been to Calgary on one of those Banff, Calgary, blah-blah combined Western Canada tours and I love all that I saw. I had no idea about the chinooks, so thanks for that knowledge.

I loved it all, but I'll comment only on your last response, the one about your daughter. Beautiful. I hope she knows that you wrote that.

Dale said...

No poo flinging at the Upper Canadians either please Doctor. Excellent questions for Barbara.

I'm glad you're there keeping western Canada safe and hip Barbara. April Wine, haha, that might have been my first concert now that I think about it. Great responses and weather lesson. I long for a good chinook round about January.

Toccata said...

That monkey scared the hell outa me but I loved the question and answers. Had to laugh when I saw you'd narrowed your list to your version of 3!

phlegmfatale said...

Gordon Lightfoot is actually a really great singer/songwriter, and hell - it was the 70s, right? That's not embarrassing, in my opinion. Embarrassing would be, oh, let me see? That "Midnite at the Oasis" chick or Terry Jacks.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Zed, I'm pretty sure the kid knows I wrote that, I'm forever writing potentially embarrassing stuff about here.
You've been to Calgary? So you have experienced our infamous disappearing roads then, lucky you.

I may curse the headaches and the tree killing, but have to admit that I am pretty happy to host a good chinook come January as well, Dale. Mind you your winters don't last till May either, so we all even out.
hahaha April Wine! They sure made the rounds didn't they?

I figured it was my list, I could use whatever counting system I wanted, Toccata. Monkeys are scary aren't they? Although this one is pretty sweet.

Or April Wine. I'm not at all embarrassed about Gordon Lightfoot, Phelgmmy. He's a legend in my books. And he saved me from having to name some really lame one hit wonder.

Deb said...

Motormouth, shmotor mouth...I loved this and your answers provided great entertainment and a much needed morning chuckle.

Your Eva answer was so sweet...I'm sure she'd understand that you had to answer or she'd be pulling feces out of her hair.

Deb said...

....oh and the title of this post was perfect/hilarious...I must say that I get equal enjoyment out of your post titles and they're consistently brilliant. You have a real knack for titles and I think we should be handing out awards to you for capturing our attention with such wit and genius.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Aww shucks, Deb, I'm all like scuffing my tow in the dirt now. Titles are fun and a lot quicker than writing a post. I should do an entire post of titles only.
Eva will no doubt be grateful not to have primate poo in her hair haha. Although maybe not.

JustRun said...

Wow, you just described our winters to a TEE. Scary- that more people have to suffer through it, that is.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Do you get chinooks there as well, Justrun? Well that makes sense, I guess. Damn mountains.

Beth said...

Damn, you are too cool for school, Barbara!

I once saw an independent film on IFC about twentysomethings working in Calgary who made a bet that they wouldn't leave the complex for thirty days. The skyways allowed them to move from place to place. Looked pretty cool.

My first was from Calgary.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Your first was from Calgary? WHy that practically makes us related, Beth! How intriguing.
waydowntown is the film you saw. That's a great film! And isn't it great to see your hometown in a film and not masquerading as someplace cooler.

BeckEye said...

That interview was bananas, yo!

That crouching monkey is adorable.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That crouching monkey photo was stolen from the good doctor himself, Beckeye. I believe it's a picture of himself in grade 3.