So let's get one thing straight, I love Canada. I'm not ashamed to admit it, ask anyone.
I. Love. Canada.
So I'm here in Toronto on business.
How can one be somewhere "on business" if they're unemployed?
Well, I used to do a little acting on the side, though these days it's more about the music.
Anyway, someone whose name I won't mention here - we'll call her "my agent" - thought it was a good idea for me to go do this live gig at a convention for... I don't know what, actually. I do know I'm supposed to have a british accent and act like "Q" from James Bond and talk about this new product with the CEO of this company that makes said products and "show" him how it's used and then go away. 20 minutes of work for a veritable sh*t-ton of money. Though, by my current standards, a sh*t-ton is anything over $200. But it's a work/pay ratio that leans pretty nicely in my favor.
Anyway, back to Canada. I love Canada, did I mention that? The people are friendly and polite in that real way. You know, the way that is devoid of insecurity or pompousness or sensationalism? Okay, maybe you don't know. It's a hard thing to pin down, the Canadian personality, especially if you're American. But I love it.
I love how clean things are in the city. Clean but well-used. Like a working kitchen: Nothing's brand new and shiny anymore, but you can tell someone gives a sh*t-ton about cooking.
The taxis are clean too. I believe this is because they use actual town cars instead of old police cruiser hand-me-downs like we do in the States. Brakes that don't squeal and a car that doesn't smell like criminal. What a concept!
Granted, every time I've been to Canada, it's been summer. With the exception of a trip to visit my sister in Montreal in January which - and I can say this with confidence - was colder than anything I could have ever imagined. Ever.
My sister taught me how to curse the cold in Quebequois, but there's no way I won't murder the spelling here. I got a lot of practice saying it out loud, though. I like to think that residents of Montreal curse the cold to keep their tongues from freezing.
Canada has some history for me, too. My parents went to college here in Toronto where they met and fell in love. It's the same city where Queen Elizabeth allegedly waved to me (not to the throngs of people behind me, my mother insists) as I sat on my dad's shoulders and watched her parade by. I have cousins in BC, I did a summer Fringe theatre tour in the late 90's, driving through some of the most mind-bendingly beautiful Canadian wilderness. Some of my favorite music comes from Canada. There's the friends in Vancouver, the relatives in Calgary. I could go on.
So I'm here in Toronto, put up at the swankiest-of-swanky hotels AND it's the Toronto Film Fest this week as well. Just spotted most of the cast of "Best in Show" in the lobby as I checked in, in fact. I'm so giddy that I momentarily forgot that Ida and I were on this liver-cleanse detox diet together, though it was assumed that I'd be forced to drop it while I'm was traveling anyway.
Nevertheless, what did I do as soon as I dropped my bags in my room? Get to bed after a long day of travel? Watch TV like a normal tourist? No. I went downstairs, crossed the street and bought a hot dog from the sole vendor that was open at midnight on a Sunday. Yes, it was fun walking back through the lobby of Chez Swanktown gorging myself on a giant, delicious dog, however there's no doubt a very serious mistake has been made:
After 6 days of nothing but water, whole grains and raw, organic, gluten-free, non-animal foods... a hot dog? Probably not the most healthy idea I've ever come up with.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain has turned on the fasten-seatbelt sign due to some turbulence ahead. We ask that you take your seats and fasten your safety belts...
Oooooooooo... Canada...... I don't feel so goooooood...