After tonight’s broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we’re going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week. Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.
Thank you, Canada:
For being such good hosts.
For your unfailing courtesy.
For your (mostly) beautiful weather.
For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.
For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.
For your unique TV commercials — for companies like Tim Hortons — which made us laugh and cry.
For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.
For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games — you’ve made wearing your name a cool thing to do.
For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.
For not honking your horns. I didn’t hear one car horn in 15 days — which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.
For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.
For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.
For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.
For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.
For always saying nice things about the United States…when you know we’re listening.
For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.
For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.
Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.
The great disadvantage of watching the Olympics as a historian is that, after a glass or two of wine, you’re all “Zubok and Pleshakov! Didn’t they dominate with the Pamchenko at the Albertville Games?”
- braying about how battlestar galactica is the best thing since sliced bread, democracy, jesus of nazareth. my very patient family put up with three hours of season one before all falling asleep with varying amounts of toasted head chardonnay still in their glasses.
- i took samantha to see “the princess and the frog.” when disney decides to do it right, they do it right. the animation and colors are spectacular. if i didn’t care about having K feel comfortable in my apartment i’d decorate the whole living room with prints from the “almost there" number.
- threw a terrific new years’ eve party with friends. a bunch of dudes who appeared to have confused it for a costume party came dressed as “hipsters circa 2005.” i traded shoes with one of them and we had a shoe-off dance-off in the living room.
- speaking of dance-offs, i found out today i’m joining the civil service. it seemed fitting to celebrate with Lunchtime Cubicle Miley Cyrus Dance Time. “party in the u.s.a.” should be the official anthem of all government FTEs.
- am trying very hard not to be intimidated by my new camera. though it’s capable of greatness, it also senses weaknesses. it’s spent the last week lurking in a corner of my living room following a ridiculous and adolescent experiment with moody self-portraiture involving the bathroom mirror and lots of cuss words.
- lemmonex and i saw new moon, and on the recommendation of some comment threat i can no longer recall, drank every time bella bit her lower lip or someone said the name “alice.” the entire theater was full of fellow twentysomething snobbish urban women practicing variations on the same theme. culturally speaking, it was a real high point for 2009.
- several people i know have been doing date lab. this means that come saturday mornings i rip open the washington post (um, eagerly click firefox? though accurate, this language doesn’t reflect the urgency with which the act is performed). it’s like having several little extra christmases.
- four close friends have gotten engaged in the last month. 2010 will be full of awesome drunk uncles and dancing to the pointer sisters in a big circle.
- sadie discovered my heating pad. cuddling with her, always a little funky (“aaaah HUMAN YOU ARE PLEASING TO PET ME mrrrrrowwwww NOW WE ARE DONE *swipe*”), has now become a war for mutually desirable territory, a veritable gaza strip of electric heat surrounded by nubby blue felt. we fully expect bill clinton to come negotiate open, direct talks regarding resolution of the conflict. or maybe i just won’t change her litter for a while. HA.
In Canada, hoser was previosly used as a jocular slang term meaning rube by members of the same (working) class in Western Canada and Ontario towards others within the same class. It was not a term used by urbanites, intellectuals, or non-Canadians as a pejorative, historically.
Today, the word hoser evokes—sometimes sympathetically, with gentle ribbing, and sometimes negatively—a stereotypical Canadian male, typically lower to middle class, white and English Canadian. He is especially concerned with drinking beer and watching hockey or curling. The hoser is understood as a product of a poor and white upbringing, but never from a more cosmopolitan lifestyle—he is more likely to come from a small town or a rural farm community than a big city, although hosers may also exist in the suburbs of major cities. He is generally assumed to be unemployed, although he may also be a farmer, a labourer working in primary industry (manufacturing, mining, forestry, etc.), a tradesman or a manual labourer. He is typically not university-educated: if he has any education past high school, it’s a college trade program. If he does go on to university, or moves to a city, he will still have preferences for “hoser” food, clothing, music, and sports, and will retain the language inflections of his upbringing.
He’s often imagined wearing heavy winter clothing, usually a flannellumberjack shirt, Kodiak boots and a tuque. He is generally a young adult to middle age, and may be somewhat aggressive given the beer and hockey, but may conversely be passive and amiable, given the beer. In musical culture, he is correlated with classic and mainstream rock music, particularly with Rush, April Wine, Trooper and the earlier, rowdier works of The Tragically Hip. If he goes out socially, it’s usually to a doughnut shop.
A hoser’s flannel shirt may also be referred to as a “Kenora dinner jacket”. (Some regional variations of this term also exist, usually substituting a hoser-stereotyped local community’s name in place of Kenora.)
A woman who dresses and acts similarly may also be referred to as a hoser, although this is much more rare.
“Reminder to self: You don’t need to sound smart, Mister Smarty Pants. You don’t need to have an MFA or a PhD. You don’t need to know the answers to the ten most difficult questions. You don’t need to know what those questions are. You don’t need to make sure that everything you write is all muscle, not an ounce of fat. You don’t need to send only your best and brightest sentences into battle. If you do send them, you don’t need to pretend they’ll win.”— via Throwing Hammers
“When I was on the editorial board, there was a guy I worked with named Steve Weisman, and he was married to a correspondent named Elisabeth Bumiller. They had two small children. Elisabeth got sent to Kosovo to cover the war. I ran into Steve one day, and he looked so terrible. So I said to him, ‘What is wrong with you?’ He said, ‘My wife is in Albania, and the hamster is missing.’ I thought that could be the title of a book about the new American family.”—Gail Collins
AC/DC Aerosmith Barney theme song (By Bob Singleton) The Bee Gees Britney Spears Bruce Springsteen Christina Aguilera David Gray Deicide Don McClean Dope Dr. Dre Drowning Pool Eminem Hed P.E. James Taylor Limp Bizkit Marilyn Manson Matchbox Twenty Meatloaf Meow mix jingle Metallica Neil Diamond Nine Inch Nails Pink Prince Queen Rage against the Machine Red Hot Chili Peppers Redman Saliva Sesame street theme music (By Christopher Cerf) Stanley Brothers The Star Spangled Banner Tupac Shakur