Things Aboot Me: Froot Loops, A Winter Storm And The Littlest Hobo


Blue Rodeo: Canadian

“Hasn’t Hit Me Yet”; ‘Five Days In July’ (1993)


Things Aboot Me:
Froot Loops, A Winter Storm And The Littlest Hobo

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Before (last week) & During (this morning)

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This isn’t even close to being the worst storm we’ve had in the past few years. But it is the worst one since I’ve had a digital camera and a blog. According to the TV People it’s -16C with the windchill. Which isn’t so bad. It’s the little icy pellets of stinging hate that stream into my exposed eyeballs that I have a hard time with. I also live in an old building, it’s one of the first ones built in my little village. So when the wind blows really hard things in my apartment move.

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Like the blinds next to the computer. They’re usually flush to the window. I’ve put one of those plastic sheets up, the ones you kind of melt tight with a hair dryer. I’ve also stuck putty all the way around the sill and around where the glass meets the frame. I think the breeze has a lot to do with there being no insulation between the interior and exterior walls. Just a guess. Actually there is insulation, I can see it when I’m in the parking lot looking up at the softball-sized hole under my kitchen window. It’s yellow with large burnt-black spots. I’ve never seen insulation that colour that wasn’t being pulled out of a burning house.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my apartment. It’s massive and compared to what I was paying in Toronto and what some friends are paying in Ottawa the rent is nonexistent… this is my place when I moved in three years ago. Or at least the living room part. It’s actually not as crooked as this photo makes it look. When I moved to Toronto from Ottawa in 1998 I sold/gave away everything I owned and brought one gym-bag of clothes and my camera bag… it was for a new job at a magazine and basically I had two weeks to pack and find a place in Toronto before I started. When I moved back to my little village from Guelph in 2003 I brought back my decrepit computer, my camera, a bunch of books, a couple of CDs and my briefcase. And that cool lamp. So it wasn’t a total waste of time. My rent here is $375 plus gas and electricity, so aboot $450 per month (that’d be aboot 200lbs or US$400). The main part of the apartment is 30’x18′, the bedroom’s roughly 12’x14′, and there’s a large-enough bathtub and a mirror over the sink. For something similar in Toronto, within a 30 minute subway ride of Yonge and Bloor, I’d be paying at least one organ per month. But Toronto has enough bars, clubs, restaurants and events to justify turning out your little brother to pay the rent. Ottawa is actually more expensive to live than Toronto, at least in terms of rent. Ottawa, or Stubby Town, has some very nice museums but nothing else. There are a couple of venues worth seeing a band in, and a handful of restaurants in the Byward Market worth exploring, but… holy fuck is Ottawa boring otherwise. I lived in Ottawa between 1989 and 1998 and I actually had a lot of fun. Mostly because I moved to Ottawa from my little village where the weekend options were: drink, play Risk and get stoned OR drink, play guitar and get stoned. A really good weekend was doing all six at once. Architecturally there has been nothing or significance built in Ottawa since they had to rebuild the Parliament buildings 100 years ago. If you’ve got plans to visit Canada, stop off in Ottawa for a day or two to see the Museum of War and the Parliament buildings. And the Chateau Laurier. But only as a stop over between Montreal and Toronto. Halifax and Newfoundland are worth seeing for a little while as well. Edmonton sucks.

And now, some photos of my fridge and The Littlest Hobo (below). And some Froot Loops. The Littlest Hobo is classic Canadian Television… it’s aboot a dog who travels the country, which may or may not be Canada, helping out strangers. It was kind of like Lassie meets MacGyver without the socks. Most Canadian television programs created during the 80’s never took place in Canada. “Night Heat”, a fairly decent Cop Drama for a little while, was based in “Metro”, or “Metro City” or something equally stupid. It was because the producers always held out some vague hope of getting their program on American Network TV. I think Night Heat made it to an early, early morning CBS time slot. So Canadian taxpayers subsidized the creation of Canadian programs, which were filmed in Canadian cities but took place in Never-Neverland Cities with no names, and for ten years or more the word “Canada” was never spoken on Canadian TV. Except for “Street Legal”… but that sucked horse bag after the second season.

On my coffee table (bottom left) you maybe able to make out the DVD of “Bubba Ho-Tep” which is Elvis vs. The Mummy. If you can find it, buy it. If you promise to return it I may loan you mine. Elvis vs. The Mummy. Think aboot that for a minute. There’s also Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which is as vital to my existence as Froot Loops, Extra Strength Tylenol and Johnny Cash. Yes, there’s a shiny unicorn on my TV. Where do you keep yours? The fridge (bottom right) is where I keep things I want cold. I haven’t been able to write anything serious lately because I’ve been sick all week. But, thanks to the miracles of antibiotics, mushy food and The Trailer Park Boys, I’m starting to get better.

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If you find a broken link, or the YouTube stuff isn’t loading
properly, let me know and I’ll find an alternative…
I’m Canadian, it’s what we do. Off the ice.


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in fifty-two places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canada, Canadian News, Climate Change, Humor, Humour, Pot, Punk. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Things Aboot Me: Froot Loops, A Winter Storm And The Littlest Hobo

  1. puddlejumper says:

    Hope you all better now.

    I LOVED the littlest Hobo.

    “there’s a voice that keeps on calling me…
    down the road that’s where I’ll always be”

    Absolutely fantastic!

    Chicken soup.

    And failing that homemade curry as hot as you can take.

    I’d send you some but…

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