CBC News: reporting the important stuff.
Okay, yeah, those Calgary bathrooms are awesome. Those are the rave ones I blogged about a few weeks ago.
You think Hillary vs. Trump is an important decision? It’s got nothing on Montreal vs. Whitecourt vs. Calgary vs. Calgary vs. Winnepeg!
To be honest, though, any one of those toilets in those bathrooms could run the US better than Trump could.
So my knowledge about where various cities are in Alberta is horrible.
Example: I’m looking on Indeed for stats-related jobs and I see an ad for an instructor at Grande Prairie Regional College. Oh, sweet, I think. I wonder where that is. It sounds like it wouldn’t be all that far up north—
Granted, I’m no Captain Geography when it comes to any other province/state/country/continent, but I’ve never really had a reason to study Alberta and the distribution of its population. Plus, it’s a big chunk of earth, so there’s a lot of it to know.
DON’T JUDGE ME!
Yay, it’s election day here! Elections at the federal level are a bit different than they are in the States (for one, elections can be called at any time, not just every x years like we do down there; for another, they don’t spend 50 years campaigning before the votes), but there are still a few similarities. Right now Canada has a Conservative Prime Minister, Harper, but as of my writing this it’s projected that the Liberals will win.
Edit: Yup, Liberals won! Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Trudeau (a former Prime Minister), is going to take the position.
Have a picture of the voting results (Canada uses blue for Conservative and red for Liberal, which is kind of opposite the US party colors…though Canada has more parties (at least more visible/impactful/electable parties) than the US does). And “NDP” stands for “National Democratic Party.”
Holy crap, it’s a Canadian Mall post! I haven’t done one of those in like 40 years. Today I’ll blog about Core Center (or I guess Core Centre, since it’s Canadian), though this isn’t the first time I’ve been here. Technically Nate and I went here on our second date. So yeah, sometime last December was the first time I was here, haha.
Mileage from home to mall:
- It’s got a little inside garden (okay, a big inside garden) that’s very peaceful and cool to look at, especially with the water features. There’s usually someone in there playing piano, too, so it’s nice.
- It’s downtown and thus is a nice intermediate point for our longer walks that take us through downtown but to a destination a ways away.
- Part of the mall is structured so that if you’re on one of the higher floors and are looking across the way to the other side of the mall, it looks like you’re looking at the outside of another building. It’s a weird little illusion, but it’s pretty cool.
- It’s tucked away rather unassumingly in a building downtown, which makes it impossible to find for people like me. It’s a good thing Nate knows where it is. I also never would have found this on my own, just because it doesn’t look like a mall from the outside.
- They close the bathrooms in the food court on the weekends. What.
Monday is a holiday up here in Alberta, so yesterday Nate and I drove down to his parents’ place in Crowsnest Pass and today went with them to Waterton Lakes National Park for some hiking! It was hot, but fun. 11-ish miles. Have some pics!
Things to do in Calgary:
- See the Calgary Tower
- Watch a Flames game
- Go to Cross Iron Mills Mall
- Seek shelter from tornadoes
Apparently parts of the city were under tornado warnings this afternoon. Check out some of these pictures.
Menacing, huh? Aaaaaaaaaaaand then it was gone.
We’re back in the land of Celsius and kilometers now! We’re also both super tan because of our time in the southwest. At least Nate has an even tan; all my shirts were of different necklines/sleeve lengths so I look like a giant gradient of light-to-tanned light skin colors. Super attractive.
Also, it was another easy border crossing to get back to Canada.
Welcome to April in Alberta!
To be fair, this was just south of Calgary; the city itself was cloudy but snow-free. We were down in Crowsnest Pass for the weekend and there was quite a bit of snow going on today in that area. Still better than that September storm, though, haha.
I’m at Safeway and in the checkout lane next to a checker who’s just turned her light off to go home. A guy drives his cart up to her conveyor and starts unloading stuff.
Checker: I’m sorry, sir, I’m closed.
Checker: I just closed, sorry.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry!
Checker: It’s alright, sir!
Guy: I’m sorry, let me take this stuff off the belt.
Checker: I’m sorry; here, let me help.
This goes on for like a minute while they clear off his stuff and he runs off, apologizing, to the next open checker.
I miss Americans.
Is that a weird thing to say?
Like, Canadians are super cool and so are all my grad school friends from across the globe, but I miss my fellow USA peoples. At UBC, the incoming psych grad students were pretty much split 50/50 between Canadians and Americans, but I’m literally the only American grad student in the stats department here. It’s weird.
Today, Nate and I took a little road trip to Drumheller to check out the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a museum dedicated solely to paleontology. It’s tucked away a little ways outside of Drumheller proper, but it’s super cool and worth visiting if you have any interest at all in paleontology and/or dinosaurs in general. I should have brought my good camera, but since all I had was my iPod, these are the only pics y’all get.
Check it out if you’re ever in southern Alberta!
I had a dream last night about a French-Canadian version of Beck.
His name was Quebeck.
My mom shipped two packages from the US, since all my swag (read: boots and M&Ms) would not fit in my suitcase.
Now one of the packages is lost in the vast Canadian wilderness.
Or it’s in the back of a UPS truck somewhere. Same thing.
Also, I ordered a new backpack from L.L. Bean, but that apparently got lost in Ottawa somewhere, so who knows when that’s getting here.
And now for something completely unrelated: this pasta looks super tasty.
Hokay. Back in Canada. Everything went smoothly and the remainder of the weekend was grand.
Totally unrelated: I’ve been super motivated to work on Arborhood now that I’ve actually gone back and done a quick re-read of things. I don’t write things in chronological order, especially with NaNoWriMo—whatever I feel like writing on a particular day, I write just below what I’d written the day before—so my first task is to actually organize everything into a somewhat chronological flow. Then I can start writing/rewriting.
But I do like the story. I like my tree characters. I like that it’s vastly better than my two previous NaNos, The President’s Barber and Whistler’s Father. Those were god awful.
Anyway. SCHOOL TOMORROW! *cue flailing*
Edit: And this. This is great.
Nate and I are going to CrossIron Mills this afternoon. From what he’s told me, it’s this huge, elaborate mall just outside of the main city.
My tiny little dilemma, though, is this: should I count it as one of my “Canadian Mall” installments? I mean, technically I’m not walking to it, which is the whole reason for my “Canadian Mall” series in the first place, but I looked at its location on Google Maps and I’m pretty sure there’s no way I could ever actually get there on foot. It’s a ways outside of the city, and given Calgary’s mercurial attitude toward sidewalks, there’s probably not a walkable path (also, I think the only way to legitimately get there is on the highway).
BUT ANYWAY. Fun weekend ahead! I’m excited.
It’s Canadian Mall tiiiiime! LET’S DO THIS.
Mileage from home to mall (one way):
- While it’s a moderately long walk here, it’s not a bad walk. No weird “hey, we’re going to not put a sidewalk here just to screw with you” blocks
- Buckets o’ stores. Seriously. It’s a huge mall.
- The layout’s not terrible.
- People EVERYWHERE.
- There were so many people that I actually had no desire to go into any of the stores; I just went in, did my mandatory walk-through, and went back out.
- While the layout’s not terrible, I still got lost in it ‘cause I’m me.
- Some lady almost mowed me over in the crosswalk outside. Like seriously, did she really need to gun it out of the parking lot that quickly? I had the right-of-way (the “walk” sign was clearly still white and not flashing red) but she certainly didn’t give a crap. Good thing I was paying attention.
So I went east again today for my walk and this time actually went INSIDE Sunridge Mall instead of walking around the outside of it and visiting the neighboring business. So here we go!
- It’s a pretty big mall but wasn’t too crowded.
- Lots of different clothing stores (including H&M!).
- There was a massage place (can’t remember the name) that offered “water massages.” These apparently entail getting naked and sitting in a tanning booth-type thing in order to get pummeled by water jets. Sounds interesting.
- Lots of different shoe stores, too. I’m not much of a shoe person, but I might end up going here to get boots at some point. THE SNOW IS COMING.
- Got kids (or like toys)? Giant Toys ‘R’ Us.
- It is REALLY not easy to get here via walking, at least from my location in the city. It’s not a direct shot and you have to go through a bunch of industrial stuff to get there.
- All the women’s bathrooms, except for one, were out of order.
- There was a surplus of very young children there. I don’t know if they all mass-escaped from the Toys ‘R’ Us or what, but OH MY GOD. If your child can’t walk on his or her own yet, it’s probably not a good idea to let them loose in a mall.
So I didn’t hear about what was going on in Ottawa today until a fellow student came in my office and said that there was a gunman in Parliament and they didn’t know who was alive and who was dead, including the Prime Minister.
So I go to cnn.com and sure enough…
I don’t know how much of this reached those of you in the States, but the gunman was killed inside Parliament and no government officials were harmed. A soldier standing on guard at the war memorial was shot (multiple times?) and has died of his injuries. Now the government/police officials are telling soldiers across the country to not wear their uniforms for the time being, as it is unknown if the gunman acted alone and it is suspected that all soldiers are targets for similar attacks. I’ve heard a few people say that they even shut down all the airports for a bit (not sure if that’s true, though).
Pretty scary, man. You don’t expect this type of thing in Canada. When Zack came to my office to tell me about this, I actually had to clarify if he was talking about the Canadian capital or Washington, D.C. (he didn’t say “Parliament”, just “the Capital”). It sounds like the whole country is really shocked.
Edit: read about Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the soldier who was killed at the war memorial.