Friday, 30 May 2008

Save the Kokanee Ranger!!

Before I went to England I pretty much had not been able to drink one beer; I had never liked the taste and am a light weight anyway. However, if Canada has any sort of nationalism, it's expressed through beer. Molson may not be Canadian owned anymore, and can't boast "I am Canadian!!" but Labatt could still have new renditions of hockey games infront of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and I would get sucked in.

Again, I never liked beer, but it represents a form of patriotism. When I lived in Ontario, it was too far east and nobody drank Kokanee. I loved coming home and seeing it and being able to buy my one bottle at the bar. And I loved the commercials with the Kokanee Ranger -"it's the beer, out here."
I love living out west, and Kokanee ads always gave me a homey feeling.

The first night I was back, I see a new ad with the ranger, and then at the end it says to vote whether to keep him! My dad saw it too and it was like ahhh!!! because for years he has quoted a line used in an old ad where the ranger is teaching his protege about keeping the sasquatch away from the beer and he says "digilence, it's allll about digilence." Meantime sasquatch is just walking out of the cabin with the beer while they sit there talking.

And now, the moment of truth has come!

Doesn't that make you want to go out and buy a case of Kokanee?

It is amazing that they could keep the cast of the Kokanee Ranger station together for so long! And now we must choose! Rise up and be heard!!

Summer lovin'

Word of the week:

Zitella: a young girl or maiden.

Very flattering, if I may say so myself. Definitely a word of a poet spinning a summer romance.

Today I went for a walk. Everybody passed me on my left, and said hello as they did so. This being quite unlike some other place, just can't put my finger on it...

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Good ol' Alberta...

I have made some observations in the last day.

I was waiting to cross the street and was standing there and realized the cars in all directions had slowed down to allow me to cross.

When I arrived my eyes were tearing and I could hardly keep them open due to how bright and yellow the light is here.

There is so much space its ridiculous.

People actually know what's going on in the Stanley Cup and are looking forward to the start of the Canadian Football League training camp this week.

Football is once again soccer; thank goodness.

I got acquainted with UK music that didn't make it over the pond this past semester, but as I sat behind the wheel of my 99 Taurus station wagon today and flipped the dial to my favourite music station, Sonic, I felt right back at home. Real cars (that's right, I may be an environmentalist, but there's something to be said for the homey feeling I got when I stepped off the plane and saw all the pickup trucks everywhere), wide roads surrounded by lots of grass, and real hard music -none of this flouncy stuff from the island.

The people may not be dressed formally like in England, but I like it. At first when I arrived in Leeds I was overwhelmed by how nicely everyone dress, including the men, but now that I'm back, I realize I missed the laid back mentality.

Oh and yeah, plaid shirts, jeans, and the occasional cowboy hat -I'm home!!!


Final results for last poll:

United won the Cup because...

They got lucky: 1
Chelsea blew it: 4
Karma: 50 years since Munich: 3
I don't care: 1


Who will win the cup?? Will the Penguins bounce back? Will Crosby miraculously get over his injury? Or is the cup returning to motor city??? Let your voice be heard, and register your vote in the right hand column!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Update to this hockey situation

So it's not two British guys. It's an Englander and a North American. The Englander just serves the purpose of being there to ask the NA-er questions. "Is Pittsburgh a hockey city, we know Detroit is -will we see lunatic fans?" And then NA guy goes "for those of you new to hockey, you can change on the fly..." OMG

OK Anyway, talk to you once I'm back in a country where we play real sports...

Last night

I'm sitting at Noam's in London. My flight is at 830am so I need to leave for Heathrow at 445... so not sleeping. Watching TV. Saw "Stanley Cup" on Sky and flipped to it -you know, why not, get back into Canada mode... but then its these British guys sitting at a pathetic desk with pennets of each team tacked on the front... And THEN he's reading out messages from viewers and its like "Chelsea losing football left me gutted so need some good news" and another one: "this guy isn't agile for his size..." don't remember the whole thing but clearly not a way that ANY Canadian or American would talk! Ack and the guy just said "Pittsburgh shirt" JER-SEY, JER-SEY!!!! I got snapped at for four months of messing things up, now its MY TURN! This is my country's sport and you will get it right!!

Thank goodness, the actual play-by-play announcers just came on and they're the real deal.



I hope I'm making the right decision by not coming back...

Monday, 26 May 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Well, it's actually highly unlikely I'll be on a jet plane -probably of the Bowing 700-something variety.

But anyway. I've slept two hours-ish since my nap Saturday night. I'm feeling hyped. I don't want to sleep. I want to think. I don't want to waste my last moments here.

The real world has arrived. Long awaited. Time to be an adult now I guess, eh?

AHHHHHH! Such a mixture of foreboding for what's to come; the unknown, excitement for the boundless future, and sadness to leave behind the amazing experience that was Leeds. Past tense, "was Leeds." *Tear*

Sunday, 25 May 2008

End is near

Fire at the Lag B'omer gathering... wish my camera hadn't died... really a lovely night and way of ending off the semester before leaving...
Have started to tell people of my plans not to return. It's difficult. I never understood why people would cry when summer camp would be over as a child as I never really got attached to places. Here has been very different and an amazing experience. I will miss it.
I don't need a masters in my field. I would just be postponing my advancement in my career by another year by staying. I already once had a job I wanted and quit last fall in order to go back to uni (had been working in tv and radio). As well, I'm not a good student. I get above decent marks by not trying but that won't cut it for a masters. I love so many things about living here, but the actual uni part I don't like and I would be unhappy 12 straight months of more school and essays. It would also cost 35 grand CA for the whole year, and unless I'm willing to put my mind to it, it's not worth such a huge investment -especially since I've had reservations about it due to the other reasons.
I am looking forward to going home to Edmonton and beginning work in Calgary on Sunday, but I am very sad to leave. It'll be a great experience in Calgary and a foot in the door. When I get vacation time I will definitely fly back overseas. Hopefully will get back to England... have made some wonderful friends here, but also want to get back to Italy and I have no idea when I'll get back to Israel... I can't leave that for long either -I got SO emotional a couple weeks ago for Israel 60th! And of course still have my Australia plans: I promised my Australian roommate Kirbee in 2nd year that I would visit her and I don't want to be old with a family, career, etc. and be stuck and never have gone to Australia like I said I would when I was 19... so that definitely has to happen soon.
So many things to do, places to see, and time is feeling limited. As a 40-year-old I will look back at my twenties and think "I was still so young," but, I definitely feel a time crunch at the moment.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Lag B'omer

For those who don't know, this evening was the Jewish celebration of Lag B'omer. It gets its name from being Lamed Gimmel, a number, counting the days of the Omer: the number of days from Passover until Shavuot -from the Jews leaving Egypt until they receive the Torah on Mount Sinai.
It is celebrated with stories from Jewish history about Rabbis, singing, and most characteristically: a bonfire.
Tonight at my place of residence, Hillel House, it was amazing.
I saw the sparks from this huge bonfire going into the night sky and it was beautiful. The company was great, and I became so sad that I will be leaving this community behind. It is very difficult to come to terms with.
It is now 2am and things have settled down. I will be leaving in just a few days and this experience in England will become just a part of the past; a story of what I did when I was young, and possibly a dialogue on how I should or shouldn't have carried on from here.
On another note: the Italy story will be coming out not this week but sometimes soon; no rush since it is a filler, travel piece and not pressing news. The Poland piece isn't happening since I won't be there myself, which is understandable.
Idan Raichel is playing in London Monday night and I really wish I had known! Would have been a great way to end off my stay here... Staying in London Monday night and then off to the airport bright and early Tuesday.

Thursday, 22 May 2008



I wore the shirt I got for my Bat Mitzvah in 1999... the last time they won. Amazing. And amazing that I should get that shirt for my BM; I would never have fathomed to 9 years later be wearing it in England or to have been to Old Trafford as I was last month with my father to watch the Villa game. Childhood dream realizations are irreplaceable.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Change of plans

I'm not going to Poland afterall. The flight leaves at 8:20am and returns at 11:30pm, both into Liverpool. I would have to spend two nights in the airport or pay for a taxi, both of which are not options for me. I am highly unimpressed with Aish for this organization. It is completely unreasonable to expect us to arrange our own transportation for such wonky hours. I had been nervous about going and 2.5 months ago wanted to cancel anyway in order to go home earlier since I finished my exams yesterday, but they wouldn't refund me even that far in advance when clearly since then they have had other people sign up who could have taken my spot. I've not had problems with Aish before. At least Johnny Kalmus was concerned at lunch today and tried to sort something out but really there are no options.

Hence, no article about my trip for the Jewish Independent. Perhaps they will allow me to write an article without having attended the trip since it's an opinion piece about the trips in general, but its still a shame I couldn't at least go from a journalistic point of view.
Aside from Poland, my Italy article comes out in print on Thursday and usually by the end of the day or Friday morning it will be online; I'll post the link as soon as it's up.

My job at JACK FM in Calgary begins June 1; I fly home to Edmonton May 27th -I can't wait! I also meet with the director of 660News once I'm there so I'm looking forward to that. They're both Rogers stations and they own CityTV now too so I'm keeping my fingers crossed to get back involved in that capacity.

Really can't wait to get home. Despite my musings in an earlier post, I'm a prairie girl at heart.

Monday, 19 May 2008


How many times have you been pushed around?
Was anybody there?
Does anybody care?
How many times have your friends let you down?
Was anybody there?
Did anybody stare?
How many times have your friends let you down?
Just open up your heart
Just open up your mind
How many times has your faith slipped away?
Well, is anybody safe?
Does anybody pray?
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we're alive
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we'll survive
How many days have you just slept away?
Is everybody high?
Is everyone afraid?
How many times have you wished you were strong?
Have they ever seen your heart?
Have they ever seen your pain?
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we're alive
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we'll survive
She gets high
She gets lost
She gets drowned by the cost
Twice a day, every week, not a lie
She gets high
She gets lost
She gets drowned by the cost
Twice a day, every week, not a lie
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we're alive
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we'll survive
All messed up, but we'll survive
***Our Lady Peace***

Sunday, 18 May 2008


Well, my Napoleon exam is at 9am and I have not cracked the books once. Good strategy for success, I would say.

Friday, 16 May 2008

English Superiority?

Before I came to England I was warned by an Englander that it would be extremely difficult at the university here in comparison to Canada.

"Why do you think everyone in America have degrees? Because they're worthless since they're so easy to get."

Needless to say I had been quite concerned about what would be expected of me here. Worries are abated. I put in the same level of effort as at home: a couple of days last minute on an essay without much revision, and my exams I didn't even study for: I have gotten first and second class honours for all of my marks. They are called a 1:1 and a 2:1, and the 1:1 is apparently quite difficult to get. If this be the case, it makes me question everything that England seems to think it is superior in.

I think the country rides on its history more than its present day situation. People in North America look at England as a hub of education, helped along by the sexy accents that make men and women swoon.

The vocabulary is different here, yes, but that's all it is: different. North Americans hear the British and it all sounds so intelligent, but really, if people are brought up with a certain vocabulary those are just the words they use. Even the common folk, people with choppy accents, will use longer words that would make outsiders marvel. Tired = shattered. Tired = knackered. It's basic stuff. They mean the same thing. Just like My receiving an A- and a B+ is just as easy to obtain in Canada as a low 1:1 and a high 2:1.

Let's get off our high horse, shall we?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

A preview to next week's travel article


Touristy yet still a jewel

Post Italia

The last couple of days since I returned from Italy have caused me to ponder many things. Among these is the experience of living in England. People in England and the EU have no idea the benefits of living in a place that is surrounded by so many unique cultures.

I was able to hop on a plane for 10 pounds and fly to Italy. This in comparison to growing up in the prairies in Canada, hours away from any other civilization. Many people where I am from are completely ignorant to any other type of person than their own and their only familiarity with flying is if a plane happens to fly in the air space above their farm.

Many people who grow up this way are happy, no doubt, but the overall attitude of the place -conservative, reserved on what they share with people (yet helpful and jolly), I think speaks volumes. It's a cold, segregated place and therefore is so different from anything that people across the globe could fathom. I used the example of ignorant farmers as an extreme example, but even the urbanites: the entire city is suburbia, there is no culture, if you go for a walk you don't arrive anywhere...

There are of course positives to this. When I first went to a large city I was in complete culture shock. I was not used to the traffic, the rudeness of the masses going about their business, and the pollution -both the noise and the physical garbage and smells. To grow up in Canadian suburbia is a sheltered life.

Now that I have come across the pond, I don't know if I can return to it. The boredom was unbearable at times; the listleness hard to overcome.

People from outside my "culture" look in on it as a privelaged life, and no doubt it is. But is that necessarily a good thing? Film and media portrays the country bumpkin and the country Hicks but who can really know what that actually is from abroad? It is so hard to explain to people how different a place can be.

How does one decide where to end up in life when they have a choice?

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


As I finally enter the blogging era, I will open by posting my three most recent articles -thanks to all of you who have already given me verbal feedback on them from going to my facebook note about it!

Yoav is really the next big thing. Check out this article on the rising star:

Not sure what to think of the fashion keffiyeh? You are not alone:

Israel @ 60 celebrated with style -and education, on British campuses:

Stay tuned for upcoming articles about my recent trip to Italy and my upcoming visit to Poland!