Bitching Brew

Friday, December 22, 2006

Off for the holidays.

Just a quick update - I won't have internet access from Saturday until Thursday, and I'm not sure whether I'll get a chance to write another post before then. I'm going back with one of my housemates to her family home. She hails from a small village near Owen Sound, on the shore of Lake Superior. Spending Christmas with a real rural Canadian family, hundreds of miles from the city, promises to be another adventure (and bundle of anecdotes). It lies directly on a major snow squall belt, so despite the ridiculously mild weather, I hold out hope of seeing at least a few flurries, if not a real white Christmas.

I'll need to bring a book or two along. Decisions, decisions...

  • Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
  • Edward Said & Christopher Hitchens - Blaming the Victims
  • Richard Parker - John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics
  • John English - Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Vol. 1)
  • Albert Camus - The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays
  • Thomas Pakenham - The Scramble for Africa
  • Virginia Woolf - Selected Works
I think I'll take one of the biographies (either of the two Canadians: Trudeau or Galbraith) and maybe my dog-eared copy of P.J. O'Rourke's Holidays in Hell. Always good for a light read.

In case I don't get around to writing in the immediate future, I wish you all a merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Festival, New Year's, and so forth. :)

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  • Have a great Christmas Martin!

    I'm glad that you get to spend Christmas with your roomate and her family. Must be hard to be far from your loved ones and family at this time of year. I hope that you have a fantastic time. I'm sure that when you'll come back, you're going to finish all your sentences with "hey!" LOL!

    I wish us all a white Christmas. Although I think that I might as well forget about snow here. But you might have more chance than me, since you're going to be in the country.

    Merry Christmas, hey!


    By Blogger Sonia, at Fri Dec 22, 09:47:00 p.m.  

  • Oh! I almost forgot! Us Canadians are not alcoolics... We just drink a lot. But since you previously lived in Ireland, our drink consumption should look normal to you.


    By Blogger Sonia, at Fri Dec 22, 09:50:00 p.m.  

  • Thanks Sonia!

    Actually, I feel like an alcoholic relative to the average Canadian. This link might explain why...

    The "eh" virus hasn't caught me yet. :) However, I've been making a lot of calls home this week, and everyone is commenting on the appearance of an audible Canadian accent. I don't hear it... well, just a little. It still sounds very Irish to me, and to most people here.

    Really hoping I'm not going to be cheated out of a white Christmas. Go snowbelt!

    By Blogger Martin, at Sun Dec 24, 05:56:00 a.m.  

  • yWell, my first language is French, so I don't know all of the particularities of Canadian English. But I do know that Canadian Anglophones end many of their sentences with "hey", and that they say "about" in a funny way. I notice it, because I learned my English mostly from American TV shows, and they don't say "about" that way in the US.

    Hey! I'm surprised that Canada is behind the US on that beer consumption list. It must be because we also drink a lot of wine and hard liquor. I'm sure that if that list included all types of alcohol, Canadians drink more than Americans... But then again, I base my opinion on Quebecer's consumption, which is probably higher than for the rest of Canadians. LOL!

    By Blogger Sonia, at Sun Dec 24, 11:39:00 p.m.  

  • Quebeckers/Quebecois speak much better English than the rest of Canada does French. That's unfortunate. But hey, at least you all have a cool and funky accent in English. It's quite distinct from the Ontarian accent, and especially from the accent further west, which gets very American. I can normally distinguish a Canadian accent from an American one, but not with Albertans. Seriously. They might as well be living in South Dakota.

    About alcohol - it's hard to tell. Torontonians don't drink nearly as much as, say, San Franciscans. But rural Canadians (from my limited experience) drink more than rural Americans. Blame the cold! So I guess it levels out. You might be right about wine - it's much more popular here than in the States. I love it. My rule is: wine for home and house parties, everything else for bars.

    By Blogger Martin, at Thu Jan 04, 12:46:00 a.m.  

  • Oh, and you're much better for not saying "eh"! (Yeah, it's pronounced more like "hey", with an almost-silent h.) The same with "aboat". :D

    I like the inflections and rhythm of the eastern Canadian accents. They're more elegant than their southern counterparts. Even though I have so many American friends, it still has to be said. :)

    By Blogger Martin, at Thu Jan 04, 12:50:00 a.m.  

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