Friday, June 29, 2007

O (yeah) Canada!

Today I embark on a four-day weekend, probably my favourite mini-holiday of the year: Canada Day weekend. Most Canadians will spend this weekend in backyards, parks and campgrounds - grilling food, drinking beer, and shooting off fireworks in a limb-maiming homemade pyrotech showdown with their neighbours.

Last year I went camping with 75 friends while dressed up as Xena: Warrior Princess. I figure that's gonna be a pretty hard act to follow, so I've decided to stay in the city this year. Today I'm going on a glamour safari with Canadian couture designer Mark Belford. I'm attending a wedding next weekend, so mama needs to look spiffy, and Mark is the finest shopping sherpa a girl could ask for. Our expedition shall conclude with adult refreshments from his fabulous terrace overlooking the stunning urban spawl of Mississauga.

Saturday starts with F1 qualifying at 8am - my favourite way to start the day. This weekend's race is le Grand Prix de France at Magny-Cours, a tough track with brutal hairpins, so cars will probably crash and I will be giddy. Then it's a few pints on a rooftop patio later in the afternoon with an old friend.

Sunday promises to be spectacular - starting with the French Grand Prix race at 7am, some champagne & OJ, and a full-on Canadian breakfast (eggs, maple cured back bacon, hash browns and toast). Then maybe a nap and it's off to my friends' Canada Day BBQ. The hosts are professional foodies, and the authors of Cooking With Booze, so I anticipate very good food with very good friends.

If I'm still standing on Monday, it's Caesarfest with Dave FM, my nomadic mixologist friend, back in town after years of scuba diving his way through Southeast Asia and Japan. For those who are not familiar with the Bloody Caesar, Canada's official cocktail, click here for the history and a recipe. Dave and I used to bartend together at a college pub, and came to perfect our own personal versions of the drink, and you can bet that there as many variations on the recipe as there are taverns. We try to meet every summer for a tour of Toronto's patios and a sampling of various recipes. It's not terribly scientific - after about 5 of them, the canker sores kick in and the subtleties of flavour get lost. I tend to get lost, as well, which is why Dave and I shall be equipped with GPS units this year.

But amid all the fun and frolic, I'd like to take a moment to pay tribute to our Peacekeepers in Afghanistan, who still don't know when they can come home to their families. Thank you Cpl. John Phillips - you saved my life once, and I'll always love you. My thoughts are also with the Poland family, who lost their son (my friend since childhood) Cpl Brent Poland, on April 8th in a roadside bombing near Khandahar. I miss him dearly.

I wish you all a Happy Canada Day, and an early Happy 4th of July to my American friends, since I may not recover in time to send my regards next Wednesday. I shall toast you all this afternoon while I give thanks for the privelege of living in a fairly reasonable country that doesn't piss off too many people in this world.



pistols at dawn said...

If you all are anything like me, upon reading this, you thought: "Didn't we outlaw Canada in the mid-80s?"

Then, you thought, "Man, I need to get some friends who do stuff, so that if I ever post a 'things I'm doing this weekend' thing, it doesn't read so poorly.'"

Really, were I to post such an entry, it would read embarrassingly like this:

"Saturday, I'll be at the local dive bar pounding Beast Ice with Smitty, who once ate two Family Size bags of Doritos, and J-Bone, who still owns a lot of cassingles. Sunday, I'm gonna wake up at noon, try (and fail) to complete the Mini Page's Jumble For Kids, draw a hot sink bath and stare longingly at a razor for three hours. Oh, and I'll probably call J-Bone to see what he thinks about Local Athlete getting arrested again."

So enjoy your holiday, you gladhanding woman who probably knows what 'gladhanding' means, what with your fancy education and books in your house and all, and remember that as you sip your fancy alcoholic beverages, some of us are sitting in the grocery store with 5 bucks to our names trying to convince ourselves that Steel Reserve ain't so bad if we can't afford plastic bottle vodka.

katrocket said...

Well, at least you're not bitter about it.

katrocket said...

Oh, and screw you for the "gladhanding" remark, since it deems me hypocritical and shallow, which is only an apt decription of me in discussions about men, and this is clearly not one of those conversations.

I am not well-to-do. I do not own a car or a house, though I will admit to owning three or four books. I have this lifestyle because I chose a career and weekend alcoholism over raising children and paying a mortgage.

Your pay-off will come in 40 years time, when your son cares for your senior needs, while I sit trembling in a urine-soaked stoop, panhandling with a sign that says "I used to rock."

THAT is when you'll find me gladhanding.

T said...

Have a nice weekend (and beyond) Kat, -you deserve it.

pistols at dawn said...

I have no idea what "gladhanding" means, as I encountered the term for the first time roughly six hours ago. Hence, my "you probably know what 'gladhanding' means" comment.

Accusing people I know of fatcattery happens to be a favorite pastime of mine, simultaneously feigning a poverty level like, say, Nelson in the Simpsons ("Would you like some milk, Nelson?" "Coooow milk?") That is to say that I usually have $7 or possibly even $8 in my pocket on the weekends, and purchase the Popov after all.

And I think a career and weekend alcoholism are the ways to go, though I've never been much good at the former, and never been able to limit boozing strictly to the weekends even with the liberal application of every international time zone to fit my needs.

My dear, I am simply accusing you of being an Uptown Girl, and perhaps if I were able to couch my accusations in catchy piano-based songs, we'd get married and you'd appear in the video as well as a rather amusing Chevy Chase film.

Yes, those used to exist. I swear.

In an ironic twist of fate, however, "I used to rock" is the best t-shirt slogan I have heard this year, and will assuredly bring you those untold riches - possibly even enough to go to glass bottle vodka, but the cheaper stuff, like Finlandia or Svedka.

So please accept my apologies, even though I've now learned that you're very entertaining when angry, and will probably provoke you because I interact best in argument form.

Leonesse said...

Let's all use sticks to poke Kat. It makes Pistols happy. Methinks he could use the entertainment.

Please send all donations for Pistols' Vodka in a Glass Bottle Weekend directly to me and I will order directly from China posthastedly. The FDA says it is fine in the small doses. You can trust them.

Bert Bananas said...

My gawd, woman! Your life of the body far exceeds my life of the mind!

Not only could I not even imagine this kind of fun, I am not capable of carrying out this kind of fun, what with being pretty much a wet blanket, a smelly wet horse blanket.

I'm going to start living my life through you and give that future has-been, David Hasselhoff, the boot.

Thanks for existing and being somewhat internet accessible.

The Guv'ner said...

You know, my mum and her friend were about to come and wreak seven shades of havoc um...I mean vacation on your fine shores today, but you can now go ahead with your plans as they're not coming due to some fuckwit and a burning SUV and an airport ramming. Thanks terrorists. Instead of basking in the glory of Canada and talking to moose, they are now sulking in the Scottish rain wondering what to do with all those Canadian dollars and goodwill they don't have a need for anymore.

The Guv'ner is a little pissed.

pistols at dawn said...

I don't know much about diseases, but I believe all liquor is always safe, except for some of that white lightnin' shine my daddy drunk and got the blindness from.

Also, Guv'ner, why don't you annex Canada again? That should make you feel better, when the sun's never setting on your empire again.