Monday, April 26, 2010

View From the Fishbowl

Those of you who follow my blog are have probably noticed my whining about the crap weather we've had recently. Rain, fog, foggy rain, drizzly fog. One morning last week I looked out the kitchen window, past the back garden, to the building where my wife works. On a couple of the windows are taped bright yellow paper. When quizzed about this, V explained that a couple of the more humerous girls in the office were tired of the dim weather and taped large suns on the windows to cheer up the office. Now there is proactive thinking. I like that.

Today they can rip down the paper...the clouds are few and far between and the sun is high in the sky, bathing all in a hint of the warmth that will arrive with summer. Sadly, I am trapped in the home office, or fishbowl as I have come to call it recently, watching the people walking by, basking in the sun. Did I say that...actually I'm working diligently, nose to grindstone, contributing to urban blight.

I finished a draft yesterday of my story for Michael J. Solender's 'all-Canadian' week. I have decided, though, to set it aside and do something else. Why? Two reasons...
  1. It's way too long. At 1900 words it hardly qualifies as flash fiction and I doubt that I could slash 900 words from it and keep the story intact. It was really an experiment to try out some new characters and a story-line for a much longer project. A fun exercise.

  2. It's not Canadian enough. I went back to his blog and re-read the guidelines and decided that it didn't have the distinctive Canadian content he described. This morning I was furiously jotting down notes for an essay idea that came to me. You heard correctly. Essay. I haven't written anything like that since university (and probably for good reason). If all goes well I shall finish it and contribute it to the MJS spectacular. If it sucks is a failure I shall drop it in the shredder that sits six feet away from me and hang me head in shame.


Rebecca Nazar said...

"It's not Canadian enough." I like that. We all should be a bit more Canadian. Honestly, I've never heard a bad thing said about a Canadian, not even from comics. : )

You know what some say about Maine, don't you? 'We're almost Canada'. Mainer's are slow to warm, I'm afraid.

Kat said...

Not Canadian enough? It's like finding out there's no Easter Bunny! Lmao!

I've heard a lot of Canadian jokes, to be honest. But I admit that Canadians are fast becoming my favorite bloggers. Can't get enough of Moose Mania it seems, lol, or Cathy's amazing stories.

Best of luck Alan! Glad you got a bit of sunshine. :)

Michael Solender said...

hurry up matey!

Laurita said...

I'm finishing up my story as I type this - multi-tasking! Looking forward to reading yours.

It sure is good to see the sun, but do you notice that people tend to go a little sunshine crazy around here? I saw three people today wearing shorts and tank tops. Brrr.

Aaron Polson said...

I love our Northern neighbors, but that hardly qualifies me as anything close to Canadian. Best of luck with the new story.

katey said...

Like Aaron, I am Very Not Canadian, and would be no judge. But I do think Canada is awesome. I'm glad it's getting its share of sunshine, finally.

Cathy Olliffe said...

I hear ya, Alan. What's Canadian anyway? Without sounding corny or cliche? Other than maybe it's the way we write or the locales we choose to write about... I had a hard time with this "assignment" and finally cheated a bit, sending something I had already written. It mentioned hockey, so there ya go. Although I cannot be a true Canadian because, seriously, I dislike hockey. I like the idea of it, as a Canadian icon-thing, but I don't actually care to watch.
So what does that leave us? Moose? Stubbies? Bob & Doug? Tim Hortons? Back Bacon? Eh?
I hope you don't abandon your long piece.. maybe Michael doesn't mind something so long? I'm curious what you came up with.

Cathy Olliffe said...

Oh, and glad to see the sun is out for you again.

Jameson T. Caine said...

Fishbowl? Now quite suddenly I can't get Pink Floyd out of my head. Get out and enjoy that sun before it rains again. We're about to get drenched here after a few days of decent weather.

Anonymous said...

Can't rain all the time...

Natalie L. Sin said...

Will your essay be about Tim Horton's?

; )

Alan W. Davidson said...

Becca- I've always thought that the New England states were as close to Canadian as one could ever find.

Kat- I'm aware that we are the butt of jokes. Even here we joke about regional parts of Canada with their own unique quirks. I'll try not to talk about moose so much...

Michael- Aye, Captain! [he shouts to the whip-wielding tyrant...]

Laurita- I feel the pressure now to get this thing complete. It's odd here, how you can pass people jogging along with hardly any clothes on yet down the street some Mrs. is walking along with gloves and a parka on (with hood up!)

Aaron- I'm sure that if you moved up here you'd fit in perfectly. Well...except for the accent.

Katey- Folks here enjoy their 3 or 4 months of warmth.

Cathy- Timmies, stubbies, Bob & Doug...all too predictable and passe. Given time, I'll work the thing out.

Jameson- I'll try to enjoy the sun. Work on my tan a bit more. It rains in California?

Anton- Words to live by, my friend.

Nat- Ha! I could put in special sections on coffee and donut holes, just for you ;)

Cathy Olliffe said...

Kat, I want to hear the Canadian jokes... I don't think I've heard any.

Cathy Olliffe said...

So of course I googled Canadian jokes. Hey, they're pretty funny! Here's something from Jeff Foxworthy (sorry I'm stealing so much of your blog, Alan).
Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Canucks:

You may be living in Canada if:
Your local Dairy Queen (ice cream shop) is closed from September through May
Someone in a Home Depot offers you assistance... and they don't work there
You've worn shorts and a parka at the same time
You've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number
“Vacation” means going anywhere south of Muncie for the weekend
You measure distance in hours
You know several people who have hit a deer more than once
You have switched from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again
You can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching
You install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked
You carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them
You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit
The speed limit on the highway is 80 km and you're going 90 and everybody is passing you
Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow
You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction
You have more miles on your snow blower than your car
You find 2 degrees "a little" chilly
If you actually understand these Canadian jokes, you definitely live in Canada! :)

DEZMOND said...

yes, yes, blame it all on the weather :P

kathryn said...

I do believe something ate my comment. Or, do you have word verification in play and I backed out too soon? We shall see.

I'd suggested in my lost comment that you save that piece from the shredder (not that I think you'll need to shred it), as it could be the next great works of twenty-ten! Hey, you never know.

(Oh,'s the word verification. Now I'm wondering if ANY of my comments made it to you??)

Alan W. Davidson said...

Cathy- no problem about the blog hijacking. Perhaps I'll get you to do a weekly guest feature cracking wise.

Dez- We blame the weather for everything in Canada.

Kathryn- Sorry about the comment, perhaps cyberspace will return it one day. Damn those WV ghosts! I'll refine the piece and find a home...perhaps the bottom of the budgie cage...

Laura Eno said...

If it's written by a Canadian, does that not make it a Canadian entry? :)

I think your site might be possessed...everytime I looked down from that sun picture I swear it blinked. I don't remember drinking last night either.

Carrie Harris said...

I'd say you should write about that pesky Canadian weather, but we have pretty much the same crap in Michigan.

I tried.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Very true, Laura. It would make it a Canadian entry...but I don't think that it had the 'uniquely Canadain' content he was looking for. I asked the sun to wink at you...

Carrie- You folks in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania are so close to Canada you're honourary Canadians. Well, as least second cousins.