“Starring Kermit The Frog, Mrs. Piggy, Gonzo, Eric Stoltz, Fozzy Bear…”
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
“Pulp Fiction”; (1994) written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary
How Cold Is It? It’s Canada In The Fall, Baby.
I’ve lived in some pretty fucking weird places in my life. Not weird like “hey… your house is floating”, but weird like “holy shit, would you look at that… people live there.”
The second place we lived after the 1979 divorce was the second floor of a massive eighty-year old house. The front to back hallway could have doubled as a runway for small planes. And we — mom, my brother and I — were poor. Really poor. Like “here’s the rent, could I borrow ten bucks” poor. So to save a few bucks mom turned the heat off at 8pm, then back on at 6am, but only until we left for school. We were allowed to turn it back on when we got home from school. So, on an average day, we had heat for about six hours. But by “heat” I mean “…well, I guess I mean there wasn’t much heat.”
Even before the divorce money was tight enough where heat in the winter was not always… known. But that was in Southern Ontario and Vancouver. Weather-wise neither are actually a part of Canada. Vancouver is actually part of a rainforest and, as an adult, I lived in the Toronto region for six years and used my winter jacket once. Ottawa, however, is the second coldest national capital on Earth.
This isn’t really a fair comparison, it being based on one day and all, but yesterday it was 29C in Toronto, and 6C in my Little Village which, in Fahrenheit equals out to JesusFuckThat’sReallyFuckingCold… but with an American accent.
Then there was the time I lived with my little brother in Stratford for five months, including January and February. It was a two-bedroom attic apartment that was mostly heated by default… the heat from the apartment below us rose up to our place.
I was there because otherwise I would have been on the street. He was working, and basically living, at a hotel. There was one night where he came home in a rush and left without closing the door properly. So I woke up many hours later and while wrapped in my Scottish Blanket, made some pasta for breakfast, and had been killing things on the PlayStation for about thirty minutes before I realized there was a snowdrift inside the door. I had walked past it six or more times. I actually had to shovel snow out of the apartment so I could close the door.
Thing is… I fucking love this weather. It’s actually something I’ve become used to… it’s 12C in my apartment right now, and that’s up a couple of degrees from this morning. Actually, I was so busy writing this morning that, until ten minutes ago, I had three windows open, two fans running and I was wearing a T-shirt. Before that I was out at 7am taking photos of the spectacular sunrise while wearing a light sweater… I could see my breath this morning. It was fantastic. I am glad, however, that I decided to take the time and put on socks. And pants…
Anyway… what the fuck does any of this have to do with Pulp Fiction? Well, my parents are leaving for Paris today… land of the Royale With Cheese. They land in Amsterdam, then fly to Paris where they hang out for four days. My step-father’s a total Frog and since I pretty much despise the relatives who gave me the Scottish heritage, so am I… so they’re also spending six days driving around the French countryside tracking down the towns where our families come from.
Sooooo… I’m sitting here freezing, eating baby carrots and staring at a month’s worth of dirty dishes, and the last time I saw a clean shirt was a week ago. Meanwhile, their incredible three storey, five bedroom, 100-year old red brick, totally slap-happy appliance-filled home is empty for ten days. So I’m boxing up the dishes, bagging the laundry and moving in…
And I’m probably going to turn the place into a Sweat Lodge.