Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 187: How to speak Canadian

These are words and phrases that I have heard in conversation with actual Canadians.

serviette = napkin
Timbits = doughnut holes at Tim Horton's, used generally for all doughnut holes
washroom = bathroom/restroom
hydro = electricity 
phone =  call, as in "Did you phone her?"
needle = shot/immunization
chocolate bar = any candy bar
knapsack = backpack
line-up = line, as in "Did you see how long the line-ups are?"
pencil crayon = colored pencil
marks = what you get on your report card
timetable = class schedule at school
Smarties = Canada's version of M&M's
toque (tuke) = winter hat. 
cheque =  check. "Did you get your paycheque?"
pop = Pepsi, Coke, Sprite etc.
"Pardon?" = "What? Excuse me, I didn't hear/understand you."
tickety-boo = going well/smoothly "Traffic on the QEW this morning is moving along tickety-boo."
zed = the letter Z
Kraft Dinner = macaroni and cheese
grade 6 = 6th grade

In the church library -
Me - "Can I have some chalk please?" 
Librarian - "Would you like a brush as well?"
Me - "What? I mean pardon? Oh! An eraser! Yes please."

Flavour, colour, neighbour, centre, fibre, metre, litre. (My spell check puts a squiggly red line under each of those words. Obviously my spell check isn't Canadian.)

Say project, process and progress with the emphasis on PRO. PROject.
BUT say produce, the stuff that is grown on a farm prah-duce.
Say adult with the emphasis on the A using the short 'a' sound, like in pass. A-dult
Say been like it's spelled - beeeen. Not bin. 
Also the word again. Just like it's spelled: a-gain

The words pasta, Mazda, drama and llama are pronounced with the short 'a' sound, like the word 'pass'
Say sorry and borrow like soar-y and boar-ow. When I say sorry, it sounds like "Saahhh-ry."

And in closing - I've said it before and I'll say it again. Canadians that I have talked to really do say "eh". They deny it though. I think they don't even realized they do it. It's funny every time :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 183: Six Months

Today we have been in Canada for six months. 
It has been a bit chilly the last couple of days when I ride my bike in the morning.
I am looking forward to Autumn and all those red maple leaves and then a lovely Canadian winter. I have enjoyed the summer weather more than I thought I would. I may just prefer the damp, dank heat and monsoon rains to the dry and thirsty Utah heat!

The kids are going back to school in a few weeks. It will be good to get back on a regular schedule.
Christa is very excited to be starting High School and Seminary. 
We are throwing her to the Tim Horton swilling, cigarette smoking wolves. I am sure she will handle it beautifully. 
Deven will be a senior (hopefully looking out for Christa) Emma will be in 7th grade (here it is still part of Elem. School) and Ethan will be in 5th. Makes me feel old :(

So what will I be doing? Hitting the gym a little bit harder, cleaning the house a little bit better, maybe researching the application process for a study permit or work permit?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 181: Bored...waiting on the repair guy

100 (or so) famous Canadians!
  1. Bryan Adams
  2. Pamela Anderson
  3. Paul Anka
  4. Dan Aykroyd
  5. Sebastian Bach
  6. Randy Bachman 
  7. Tal Bachman
  8. Conrad Bain
  9. The Barenaked Ladies
  10. Jay Baruchel
  11. Alexander Graham Bell
  12. Justin Bieber
  13. Michael Buble
  14. Raymond Burr
  15. James Cameron
  16. Neve Campbell
  17. John Candy
  18. Jim Carrey
  19. Kim Cattrall
  20. Michael Cera
  21. Emmanuelle Chriqui
  22. Hayden Christensen
  23. Tommy Chong
  24. Rae Dawn Chong
  25. Elisha Cuthbert
  26. Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily Munster) 
  27. Céline Dion
  28. Drake (rapper)
  29. Linda Evangelista
  30. Nelly Furtado
  31. Colin Ferguson
  32. Dave Foley
  33. Michael J. Fox  
  34. Brendan Fraser
  35. Frank Gehry (architect)
  36. Samuel Goldwyn (MGM founder)
  37. Ryan Gosling
  38. Robert Goulet
  39. Tom Green
  40. Lorne Greene
  41. Shenae Grimes
  42. Natasha Henstridge
  43. Corey Hart
  44. Corey Haim
  45. Monty Hall
  46. Phil Hartman 
  47. Jeff Healey
  48. Peter Jennings
  49. Jean-Louis (Jack) Kerouak (born in US of French-Canadian parents)
  50. Diana Krall
  51. Avril Lavigne
  52. k.d. lang
  53. Geddy Lee (RUSH)
  54. Gordon Lightfoot
  55. Rachelle Lefevre
  56. Eugene Levy
  57. Evangeline Lilly
  58. Rich Little
  59. Sarah McLachlan  
  60. Lorne Michaels
  61. Joni Mitchell
  62. Alanis Morissette
  63. Anne Murray
  64. Alannah Myles
  65. Rachel McAdams
  66. Dean McDermott
  67. Kevin McDonald
  68. Norm MacDonald
  69. Howie Mandel
  70. Rick Moranis
  71. Mike Myers
  72. Leslie Nielsen
  73. Catherine O'Hara
  74. Sandra Oh
  75. Ellen Page
  76. Anna Paquin
  77. Matthew Perry
  78. Oscar Peterson
  79. Christopher Plummer
  80. Jason Priestley
  81. Keanu Reeves
  82. Ryan Reynolds
  83. Caroline Rhea
  84. Seth Rogen
  85. Buffy Sainte Marie
  86. Paul Schaffer
  87. William Shatner
  88. Martin Short
  89. Donald Sutherland
  90. Kiefer Sutherland
  91. Tegan and Sara
  92. Alan Thicke
  93. Dave Thomas
  94. Meg Tilly
  95. Alex Trebek
  96. Shania Twain
  97. Rufus Wainwright 
  98. Deryck Whibley (Sum 41)
  99. Nikki Yanovsky (adorable young singer)
  100. Neil Young

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 178: à votre santé

Yay socialized medicine! Our health cards came in the mail today.
(important personal details edited out, naturellement)

 Don't you love the mugshot-quality photo?

Back home, we paid 50 bucks every time we walked into the doctors office. Per person. So if we had strep throat going around, it would be 100+ bucks depending on how many of us got sick - not including prescriptionsWith Christa's strep-harboring tonsils, we usually have several bouts per winter so it gets pretty pricey. Hopefully we can get a Canadian doctor to agree that she needs her tonsils taken out. We could never talk our pediatrician into it...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 171: Mantracker and Black History

So there's this TV show that we love called Mantracker. It's a Canadian reality show where two ordinary folks have to out-wit and out-run the Mantracker. They rarely do. Usually they panic and run blindly into the woods and twist an ankle. It's awesome.

From the website:

"Two people take off into the bush with a map, a compass and a head start. The tracker is on horseback, armed with a local guide and an arsenal of forensic skills. The prey have 36 hours to reach a finish line some 40 kilometers away without getting caught. How they escape is up to them."

The last episode featured two black guys from Toronto as the prey. They described themselves as city boys who never spent much time outdoors.  As they made their way through the wilderness, they talked about how this experience was similar to their ancestors running from white slave owners on horseback, traveling toward Canada and freedom on the Underground Railroad.

That got me thinking. Were there many slaves that escaped into Canada? Apparently the answer is yes - 
between 1840 and 1860, approximately 30,000 American slaves did just that. You don't hear much about Black History outside of the United States. I certainly hadn't. I had heard of the Underground Railroad, of course, but didn't realize it went all the way to Canada.

Isn't that the mindset of a lot of Americans? We're just not aware of much of anything that happens (past or present) in Canada. Or anywhere outside our own country...or state, or town, come to think of it. Unless it benefits us, of course ;)

Turns out, there's a lot of Black History in Canada.
A few days after the Mantracker episode, there was a very interesting lecture on public TV about Canada's connection with the Underground Railroad. That got me Google-ing and reading about Black Canadians (sometimes referred to as African-Canadians, though Wikipedia told me 'Black Canadian' is generally preferred)

Much good stuff here or here check it out. It's quite interesting :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 165: Current Events - Zero Tolerance

This is a very good thing, but seems like sort of a no-brainer. Legal drinking age in Canada varies by province, but is generally 18 or 19 years old.

"As of Sunday, (according to new legislation in Canada) drivers aged 16 to 21 will have to have a zero blood-alcohol level when they drive.
"We are trying to obviously put a safety net around our youth," said Gregg Thomson, a volunteer and director-at-large with MADD.
The current permissible blood alcohol level for drivers with full G-class licenses is 0.05 per cent. Anyone within the 0.05 to 0.08 range is considered impaired or in the "warn" range.
Thomson said the new law is broad, covering 16- to 21-year-olds, regardless of whether they held restricted or full licences."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most States in the US have similar laws for people under 21?
I'm too lazy to do the research :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 164: Civic Holiday

From Wikipedia -

Civic Holiday is the most widely used name for a public holiday celebrated in parts of Canada on the first Monday in August.

Unlike most holidays, there is not much of a reason for this holiday to exist, other than its timing. Between Canada Day and Labour Day, there are no recognizable holidays, one of the longest stretches of time on the Canadian calendar without a holiday. (In terms of legal holidays, the winter stretch between Family Day and Easter is occasionally longer, but unofficial holidays such as Saint Patrick's Day and Valentines Day are observed during that time.) 
Thus, the contrived holiday was placed roughly halfway between Canada Day and Labour Day.

So there you have it. An excuse for a day off of work, or a nice long weekend.
We didn't go to the beach, but we did have a nice friends and family picnic at the church.

 Ethan got all painted up

 Matchy matchy Missionaries 

Men vs. Ladies 

 Guys won :(

 Missionaries vs. Primary

The Elders put up a good fight, but the kids finally beat them!