Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Five: The Canadian Edition

When I was a kid, I used to always love finding Canadian coins mixed in with the American ones. They were so similar to American coins, yet I couldn't spend them. It really blew my five-year-old mind. But Canada is much more than just useless (at least to me) coins and vast tundra. So in this edition of the Friday Five, I give to you five things that blow my mind about Canada.

1. Slings and Arrows--I've been thinking a lot about how comedy and drama go hand in hand. Even Aristotle recognized their relationship. And somehow, this Canadian TV series manages to balance comedy with drama as well as the real with the fantastical. Plus, the first season featured a pre-Notebook Rachel McAdams. How wild is that?

2. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton--People often forget that Canada has produced vocal artists outside of Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette. There's also Leslie Feist and my personal favorite Emily Haines. The first time I heard "Doctor Blind," I had to replay it three times just so I could listen to Haines' deeply soulful voice. I mean, wow, just wow.

3. Constitutional Monarchy--Whatever that means. It's a sovereign state (technically a parliamentary democracy), but it is still somehow rules with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state just like Australia. But it's not a part of United Kingdom. Maybe I've been indoctrinated by the American prospective, but I don't get how that works. Then there's also the fact that it has two official languages even though only about 5% of the population speaks French.

4. Hockey and Curling--Again, it's probably my Americanization, but I don't understand half the rules of either of these ports. Despite becoming and "curling expert" for my college newspaper to cover the sport during the 2006 Winter Olympics, I still don't get it. And then moving to DC just in time for the Capitols to be in the running for the Stanley Cup, yeah, I don't get that sport either.

5. Eh--Or is that Ay? I always thought this was just a stereotypical Canadian joke. And then I got a Canadian roommate. Rachel was from Cardston, Alberta, and she said "Eh?" all the time pretty much every other word. I was amazed. Fiction became fact that semester, and my life has never been the same.

(Apparently Lady GaGa is also from Canada.)

So thank you, Canada, for being our peaceful neighbors to the north. Except when you're playing hockey. And curling.

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