I Am So Done With You Regina

That’s it. I’m taking my toys and going back to Saskatoon. Highlights of my week in Regina include:

-A home-cooked meal that made me miss the farm. Thanks Lois-Anna and Scott. We ate flowers from the back yard! (Updated with photo!)

-Seeing my old friends Mitch and April and pretending I didn’t want Mitch to pick up the entire tab.

-Getting ruined like a 17 year old with Stephen. He continues to be a shitty influence.

-Seeing a movie with a stoned stranger at the IMAX. If my mind was slightly blown, that guy is probably still recovering.

-Running into an old friend completely by accident at a Red Sox game and pretending I didn’t want him to buy me a beer. Thanks D’arcy.

-Sleeping in my pal’s bed (they let me use the master suite) rather than a hotel. So relaxing. T and T, you people are super swell.

-Hanging out in the prairie dog office and pretending to be useful. Hey Paul, I’m pretty annoying ain’t I. Greg just stopped coming in because of me. Tell Chris to drive slow and wear a helmet.

-Finally, a mysteriously agitated groin muscle. I have no explanation, so I will use Whitworth’s: “Regina makes my crotch hurt.”

I gotta move it. Saskatoon needs me.  See you soon Regina (in fact tomorrow for a football game). Cheers and thanks!

I Feel Nearly Normal

If a guy wearing a t-shirt with an image of Johnny Cash giving the finger tries to serve you beer he makes in his basement, take it. Thanks Niall, for the hospitality and the wasted day spent getting over it. I think I may be a bit immature. It was a magical evening though! Prairie Dog co-founders Dr. D and April were out and Whitworth got his tab paid for him TWICE!

It’s been a nice stay in Regina. Saw the Red Sox play on Tuesday night. Wow! Those boys can hit a ball. I lost track of how many frozen ropes went all the way to the wall. They look pretty good to repeat while my Saskatoon Yellow Jackets are going to need to snurgle out some wins in their last 5 games to get it. Go Jackets!

More amazing Regina people tonight. An invitation from Lois-Anna said something about deer sausage and cabbage rolls and rhubarb crisp. How awesome does that sound! And I get to meet a new person which is cool about 86% of the time.

Only one more sleep before I go home with my Dad’s 74th birthday present in tow. I hope it fits because I know how much he loves Johnny Cash.

Regina Has Awesome Stuff

It’s my annual week in Regina covering my pal’s desk. Basically I reply to e-mails and answer his phone, explaining he’s gone this week but he’d be happy to call you when he returns. It’s five days of doing whatever I can to avoid real work, all the while appearing to be very busy. I’m pretty good at it.

The best benefits of the gig include his fully stocked beer fridge (that he won’t notice the depletion of for months) and a chance to do Regina things. Regina things like the IMAX. That sucker is awesome. I saw the new Michael Caine flick last night and it was spectacular on that screen, with that sound! Michael Caine’s head was as big as my house. You must experience it. It looks like Caine’s massive head will show on your IMAX screen until July 30. The 10:15 show was a sell out last night so I recommend a call ahead for tickets before 8:30. What a sweet deal! $12. We should get one of these in Saskatoon. It should be slightly larger than yours.

Oh, and good morning to the stoned dude that sat beside me but left before the show ended. It was nice to meet you, guy who conversed without eye contact. He told me he had already seen it, but arrived late the first time and missed the start. I’ve never thought of spreading a movie over two half-viewings, but I’m pretty sure it makes sense when you’re high.

I’m guessing the rest of my stay here is going to suck, unless somebody has tips? I really don’t wanna do the touristy Regina stuff though so please only advise if you have something really good.

Salutations De Paris, Eh!

(Paris) This is the P-dog’s Paris bureau reporting. You might be a little confused. Last week, I was the Las Vegas bureau. No, the P-dog hasn’t found a “Sugar Daddy”. The closest we have is Niall O’Hanlon and most of what he pays in for ads comes back to him in bar tabs. I’ve just been doing a lot of travelling.

If there is one thing I’ve learned here it’s this: the French know how to protest. They know other things (moustaches, kissing and how to smoke cigarettes while riding a bike) but they really know how to protest. This morning I met up with about 50,000+ of my closest friends and marched down Champs de Elysses to the Arc de Triumph. It didn’t take starvation or poverty to get these people into the streets. They understand that democracy is a participatory process.

Right now, my feet are aching and I’m sitting on a deck. I’ve got a Moosehead and a steak. Billy Talent started on the speakers after Allanah Myles ended. A knockout one-two CanCon combination.People around me are complaining about the unseasonably cool weather. It’s like home except to my right is the Seine and behind me is Notre Dame. The picture is of my lovely server, and Ottawa native, Lindsay (last name withheld. I think she’s on the lamb.) I found her at a place called the Great Canadian Pub. They’ve taken a lesson in how we do pubs maybe we can take a lesson in how they do democracy.

Some Americans Aren’t Crazy

On the topic of gay civil rights, bullying and religious kooks, Dan Savage has an feature in this week’s The Stranger–the spectacular alt-weekly from Seattle, Washington–about the It Gets Better Project, a video outreach project Savage launched after a spate of suicides by gay and lesbian teens in the U.S., where gay marriage remains mostly illegal and where religious kooks are given ample platform to freely espouse vicious and insane beliefs in the American mainstream media.

It’s great. You should read it. Here’s an excerpt:

The culture used to offer this deal to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: You’re ours to torture until you’re 18. You will be bullied and tormented at school, at home, at church—until you’re 18. Then you can do what you want. You can come out, you can move away, and maybe, if the damage we’ve done isn’t too severe, you can recover and build a life for yourself. There’s just one thing you can’t do after you turn 18: You can’t talk to the kids we’re still torturing, the LGBT teenagers being assaulted emotionally, physically, and spiritually in the same cities, schools, and churches you escaped from. And if you do attempt to talk to the kids we’re still torturing, we’ll impugn your motives, we’ll accuse you of being a pedophile or pederast, we’ll claim you’re trying to recruit children into the “gay lifestyle.”

That was the old order, and it fell apart when the It Gets Better Project went viral. Suddenly, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults all over the country—all over the world—were speaking to LGBT youth. We weren’t waiting for anyone’s permission anymore. We found our voices. And LGBT adults who made videos for the project weren’t just talking at LGBT youth. The kids who watched videos sent e-mails, via YouTube, to the adults posting them. Thousands of LGBT adults who thought they were just going to contribute a video found themselves talking with LGBT youth, offering them not just hope but advice, insight, and something too many LGBT youth lack—the ear of a supportive adult who understands what they’re going through.

Soon, straight people—politicians and celebrities—were talking to LGBT youth, too, delivering the same message: It gets better, there’s nothing wrong with you, and we’re working to make it better.

Here’s a link to the It Gets Better Project, which is worthy of your support.

Americans Are Crazy

Just got this press release from some PR firm in Florida:

Should Churches Minister to Gays?
Pastor Reveals How To Minister to
Gays Without Accepting Their Lifestyle

William Campbell says the average American supports the bullying of gays without even realizing it.

“I’ve been writing and talking about homosexuality to show the Christian Right and Left how they are hurting gays,” said Campbell, a Presbyterian minister who has been ministering to gays for 20 years. “Then I looked around and realized our whole country really needs to hear the same message.”

Campbell, author of Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality, said his denomination is about ready to come apart at the seams over the issue, and the rest of America isn’t far behind.

“Our country is heading in the same direction,” he added. “If all we do is listen to the extreme viewpoints on this topic, and if we refuse to think rationally, then issues like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and gay marriage will just build frustration, bitterness, anger, and even hatred.”

So what does Campbell suggest? Certainly not growing the fuck up and recognizing that being gay or lesbian is common, normal and nothing to fuss about. Oh no.

The left adds to the problem by being just as intolerant toward the ministry, Campbell added.

“There are thousands of people who have embraced their faith and renounced their homosexual lifestyle, but they are deeper in the closet than even many homosexuals, because they are afraid of the backlash from the left,” he said. “Christ preached tolerance and kindness, not prejudice and hatred. Both sides need to come together and accept each other. This conflict isn’t only tearing families and congregations apart, but our whole country. We can do better than this, and we must do better than this.”

Yeah. If you’re pro-gay you’re an extremist. The moderate middle ground is clearly a really condescending mix of condemnation and pity for gays and lesbians. They’re good people, those gays but you know, the sin is so icky.

It’s 2011. Anyone who’s hung up on homosexuality is mentally ill. America needs a psychiatrist.

Full press release after the jump.

Continue reading “Americans Are Crazy”

Saskatoon’s Irish About To LOSE IT!

Actually, mostly non-Irish will be losing it tonight. I s’pect most Irish view this as a day of reverence to varying degrees. It’s the rest of us (I’m Swiss) that grab on to any excuse to make an idiot of ourselves. So enjoy Regina friends.

On the off chance you’re here in Saskatoon … a couple places that will help you feel like you’re part of something tonight:

Winston’s in the old Senator Hotel. They’re a cool English pub that somehow flips their flag one night a year but they do it up right.

I also recommend O’Shea’s, which is actually an Irish pub on 2nd Avenue, complete with a separate entrance for leprechauns because drunk people like to crawl through it on their hands and knees to make their friends laugh.

I overheard a server at O’Shea’s telling a salesman “no thanks” about a month ago. The dude claimed to be the creator of the watermelon bra and he felt St. Patrick’s would be the perfect occasion for the servers to don his craft work. What a douche. The server politely said, “We’re not that kind of place,” and the goober left. Another reason to love O’Shea’s!

I like Regina’s “O” place too! Enjoy, and “Just say no” to beer with food colouring.

Greetings from Saskatchewan’s Greatest City!

AHA! I have hacked the Dog Blog. Lucky for Reginans because now you will be regularly exposed to the greener grass that is Saskatoon. Perhaps you’re an ex-pat who pines for the wonderful vibrant downtown and winning hockey team you left behind. Maybe all you want is to know what it’s like to be able to see the Pixies or Arcade Fire or the Black Keys without a 150-minute road trip, or have nine Liquor Board stores to choose from (compared to Regina’s measly seven). It really doesn’t matter WHY you wish you were in Saskatoon … it only matters that you DO. I hope I can deliver warmth and envy to you.

Two Canucks In America: Thanksgiving Differences

As some of you may know, the husband and I moved to the Northeastern U.S. about a month and a half ago.  Since then, we have been immersed in the culture and have been confronted with questions about what it means to be Canadian and what it means to live in America.  We have found ourselves wanting to try and bridge the apparent divide – I say apparent because, not surprisingly, we have realized that many Americans and much of American culture is not that different from Canadian culture.  That said, being away from home gives one the opportunity to identify and assess the little differences.

I would like to assert that Canadian’s don’t know a whole lot about America even though we’d like to think we do.  Sure we’ve all laughed at the ignorant statements made on “Talking to Americans” and like to feel superior because “most Americans” can’t name all of our Provinces.  But really, how many of us can name all 50 States?  Before moving here, neither could I (to be covered in a future post).  As part of our journey in A’murka I want to share a bit about our U.S. education with the hope that we can collectively better understand our neighbours to the south.

To start off my series, “Two Canucks In America”, we will look at Thanksgiving. Continue reading “Two Canucks In America: Thanksgiving Differences”