Well this was cool to do.
What the colors represent:
- Red: states/provinces where I’ve not spent much time or seen very much.
- Amber: states/provinces where I’ve at least slept and seen some sights.
- Blue: states/provinces I’ve spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
- Green: states/provinces I’ve spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.
I like how I’ve been all over the West Coast and the Great Lakes area, but very few other places (I went to Boston for that APS conference in May 2010; my grandparents used to live in St. Louis).
I also realized after making this that I’ve also been to Washington, D.C., but since that’s its own thing and not technically in a state, I decided to leave it as it is.
If you click here, you can make one of your own!
So I’m apparently into self-torture and mental masochism because I’m writing about Vancouver for my long essay.
Part of the reason is because I can’t write in the first place and so my original idea got scrapped.
Another part of the reason is that I’m dumb and can’t think of anything else to write about.
But I think the main reason is because even though I’ve written quite a bit about grad school here on my blog, I’ve yet to really write about my relationship with the city of Vancouver itself. I’ve yet to really write about how my walking routine probably saved my life up there. And I feel like I need to write about those things.
I doubt that a final essay in an intermediate non-fiction class is the place to do so, but hell, I don’t have anything else and this has been pressing against the forefront of my mind for quite some time now.
So that’s that.
In other news: this semester needs to die.
I am once again in shock regarding how difficult seemingly small/simple things can be when handling things across the US/Canadian border.
I’ve posted this video before, but I’m posting it again to support my point (and because it’s pretty cool):
We’re practically conjoined twins. As such, some of the things one might think as difficult to accomplish on an “international” level (like, I don’t know, moving all your possessions + animals across the border in an unmarked white van with suspicious tinted windows*) are surprisingly easy and hassle-free.
Simpler things, like terminating a Canadian cell phone contract (even after waiting until the contract is up), take OMGWTFBBQ-levels of work.
Taxes? They’re kind of in-between. There’s really no way to explain that yes, I lived in Canada last year, but I lived in two different provinces AND I didn’t actually live there on December 31st because I had to go back to the States in October. So I just wrote a nice little note and stuck it in with my return. Hopefully they’ll get the info they need and not send Dudley Do-Right down to Arizona to get me.
…Though that WOULD be entertaining.
Also: “Dr. Binmidnildedindindin.” God I’m glad Metalocalypse is back.
*Yes, this is how I moved all my stuff up for grad school. Big white just-the-right-size-for-bags-of-illegal-substances van, half-drugged cat on a towel, nervous pair of Idahoans in the front seats. Went inside, showed them my passport and study permit, and we were on our way to Vancouver. Same thing happened going to Ontario.
I had no idea about this until I watched a DVR’ed episode of The Colbert Report tonight, but Iceland is looking to adopt the Canadian dollar as their currency.
Apparently when Iceland’s economy bit it in 2008, their krona lost about 60% of its value. It has yet to recover, causing the country to fall in favor as far as foreign investors go.
To solve this, Iceland is looking outside its borders for solutions; namely, replacing the broken krona with a more stable foreign currency. The currency of choice? Canada’s!
First of all, there are way too many currency-related puns that can come out of this.
I mean, I’ll be Franc…is Iceland’s Yen for Canadian currency Loonie, or do they just have a Nakfa creating close relationships with other northern countries? Even if that’s the case, adopting another country’s currency could present a Rial problem. But assuming that Iceland goes into this with all their heart and Sol, perhaps there won’t be any major issues.
Second of all…another country with a Loonie? But Loonies are so…Canadian! What’s next, geyser-adjacent Tim Hortons? Shark-infused poutine? Rapid acquisition of excess “eh”’s in Icelandic speech?
Interesting stuff. We’ll have to stay updated to see if Canada allows its Loonie to migrate to Iceland.
(HA, get it?)
So it turns out Canada’s smarter than us and is going to start phasing out their penny. According to Time, the Canadian government released its 2012 budget without any money allotted for penny creation. Which is a smart thing to do, seeing as how a single Canadian penny costs 1.6 cents to produce (a US penny costs even more—2.4 cents).
Canada is slated to stop producing pennies this month, and while products will still be charged to the cent when debit or credit cards are used, the government is suggesting that retailers round their prices to the nearest nickel (which could have interesting consequences…imagine the guides that’ll pop up telling people what things are cheaper to buy using debit/credit and which are cheaper using cash).
Anyway, I thought this was pretty interesting news. It makes me think about Canada’s switch from paper $1 and $2 to coin versions. Are the coins cheaper to produce than the bills? Also, were the bills called loonies and toonies, or is that just the coins? I don’t remember if the bills had loons on them. SO MANY QUESTIONS, CANADA, JEEZ.
When I was a kid and still going over to my dad’s place on the weekends, we’d often watch his old VHS tapes of the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. One component of the show that (for whatever reason) was brought to the forefront of my memory today was the old Dudley Do-Right segments.
The humor of these must have just gone completely over my head as a kid, but as I’m typing this now I’ve got this one playing in the background and I’m laughing like crazy.
Here are two others:
“We’ve destroyed more bridges than a near-sighted dentist!” Hahahaha.
Things that are surprisingly easy to do:
- Withdraw from a Canadian university for medical reasons.
- Hire a company to pack all your apartment’s crap and haul it across the country for you.
- Love Coldplay’s new song Paradise. OH MY GOODNESS SO MUCH LOVE FIVE STARS FIVE STARS FIVE STARS.
Things that are surprisingly difficult to do:
- Cancel your Canadian credit card.
- Transfer Canadian funds to a US account.
- Terminate a Canadian cell phone contract.
- Send medical info from the US to Canada.
- Figure out how much money you’re getting for being a TA for part of a month.
- Doing all of the above in the exact appropriate order so that it all works out in the end.
Hooray stress! Perhaps today’s meme entry will alleviate anxiety.
30-Day Meme – Day 22: Your deepest fear.
Haha, nope, no stress relief. I’m afraid of failure. Failure defined on my own terms. I’d go into more detail but I’m getting really
distracted by the slot machines behind me (I’m stuck in the Las Vegas International Airport for four more hours) and I’m super tired of traveling, so I’m just going to leave things off here.
Confession: I actually didn’t go to Kingsgate this afternoon. Spent the morning running and then went to Costco and The Real Canadian Superstore…but I passed by Kingsgate twice!
I go to this mall to buy groceries, really. Therefore it’s not really worth a special weekend visit (plus it’s not that far of a walk anyway). But I’m kinda running out of malls and figure I better get as many of the smaller ones in these installments as possible.
– Giant Buy Low Foods. A cheap grocery store that’s right on #8’s route which practically goes right by my house.
– Liquor store. I can’t drink, but this particular liquor store has a giant Guinness poster in its main window, which makes me nostalgic for that one time two summers ago when I actually had alcohol.
– Not crowded ever.
– Pretty small. You go there for shoes, alcohol, or groceries. Not much else.
– Closes (surprise!) at 6 on most nights, and due to the layout if you still want to utilize the Buy Low that is open much later, you have to climb up this weird hill to get to it. Not a big deal usually, but a huge pain when it’s raining/ it’s windy/ it’s dark/the hill decided to go into mudslide mode.
Yeah. Dinky mall is dinky.
Grocery/miscellaneous shopping was very lucrative tonight. Proof:
Over the weekend I plan on redesigning my header for this blog, ‘cause I’m sick of the current one. BE PREPARED FOR CHANGE, WOO!
Google Earth really doesn’t like it when I try to get walking directions to Richmond. No, all-mighty Google, I cannot walk across water, nor can I climb up and utilize the SkyTrain rail as a bridge.
This morning I went running, which is both surprising and hilarious, considering I don’t see myself as a runner AT ALL, but found it easier and more relaxing than walking. Weird.
After running I was all jazzed up and decided to go find a mall. 12 miles later (damn you, Google Earth!) I ended up in Richmond at the Lansdowne Centre.
– Sits in a cluster of malls (and a Real Canadian Superstore, which I WILL review at some point ‘cause it qualifies as a mall in and of itself), so if you get bored of it you can just walk to another one.
– There was a Best Buy! I’d never been to a Best Buy before. Had to resist buying a giant home stereo system.
– Very clean layout. I was impressed.
– Semi-clean Zeller’s. I was phenomenally impressed.
– Like the Richmond Centre, it’s right by the SkyTrain. Handy.
– Malls need to stay open later than 6 PM around here.
– Pretty “meh” selection of stores overall, apart from the Best Buy and this Bed, Bath, & Beyond-esque store thingy that I never got around to walking through (see above con for reason).
So yeah. Not so disappointing, a refreshing change from the last few malls. I’d recommend it.