Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How the middle half lives.

Saskatchewan is the kind of place where Rasputin has gone to die. Or more accurately, where Ra-ra-rasputin, lover of the Russian queen, has gone to live on. Loudly. In karoke bars. In karoke bars where people dance along to whoever is singing on stage because there is no other bar in town.

It's also the kind of place where as soon as you cross the border (in Lloydminster to be exact, Alberta's famous city that sits smack dab on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border) modern conveniences suddenly seem so much more complex.

When I was driving out to Humboldt (an hour east of Saskatoon, and a six hour drive from Cold Lake) this weekend, I couldn't help but think about Laura Ingall Wilder's description of the prairie horizon as an endless bowl surrounding her as she stared out the back of her family's covered wagon.

I also couldn't help but wonder what the thick black clouds of bugs on the highway between Saskatoon and Humboldt were. Fish flies? No, we were too far away from any lakes of substantial size. Inspection of my grill repulsed me--the thick black clouds were hoards of mosquitos.

I went there to visit Mike, who, due to a series of unfortunate events, currently resides there. Humboldt is about half the size of Cold Lake, but with all the class. (Except, I do have to say, when the Arrogant Worms came on, the Humboners, as I'm sure Mike likes to refer to them, definitely sang along with the Pirates of the Saskatchewan a lot louder than Albertans ever could.) Alex, one of Mike's friends, also flew in from Edmonton for the weekend.

My favourite parts of the night, though, was when:

a) Tiga's "You Gonna Want Me" was put on by the DJ, who announced, "And now. . .the LATEST from Tiga." Just for the record, this song was released in 2005.

b) One of the Humboldt girls approached Alex and asked, "Are you Mike's friends?" "Yah." "I just wanted to tell you that you all have really nice teeth," the girl gushed. It reminded me of this episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County when a girl from Ontario visits and one of the wives comments, "She has such nice teeth. Canadians don't have nice teeth, you know. It's because they don't have flouride in the water up there." (Yes, that's right. I just admitted to watching the Real Housewives of Orange County. Wanna fight about it?)

After having conquered Humboldt, it was time to head to Saskatoon for the night.

By the time we got to the hotel, a whole long hour later, Mike was exhausted.

Alex, however, was not exhausted at any given point during the weekend. It was kind of remarkable, really. She did some crab impersonations which were really right up there with my ability to perfectly mimic barnacles.

Saskatoon is a beautiful city. If it wasn't in the middle of Saskatchewan, I think I could live there.

It's very worldly there, too. Ghandi's down with Saskatoon.

Okay, I've run out of captions. Here's the rest:

(The resemblance is uncanny.)

(Which might explain this.)

Most interesting roadkill of the weekend: beaver.

Best sign sighted: a "livestock crossing" sign, with a picture of a cow. (Which would have been slightly funnier if it wasn't for the fact I've definitely had to stop for cows on the road before.)


  1. Anonymous7:58 PM

    You can mimic barnacles? That's cool.

  2. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Yes, Jess can mimic barnacles, she's very good at it too...she's got many hidden talents, its truly amazing!!!
    Glad to see you are keeping busy Jess!

    ...The return of Mike!!!! We've missed you!!!

  3. You HAVE to be Alex's Jess.

    And you are fabulous.

    I enjoy reading your adventures as much as I enjoy writing my own.

    For whatever it's worth, I hope I am not intruding... it is nice meeting you.

  4. It's only an intrusion of the most welcome variety.