Proudly American-Canadian

Reese, One Proud American
I’m not the only one with dual citizenship around here: Reese was born in Crystal Lake, Illinois. We were living in Chicago at the time and he found us through a kennel in the area – as I mentioned in an earlier post we realize now that it was a puppy mill despite its AKA membership. And he’s an American boy through and through – in fact for a mid-west guy he’s got one hell of a California attitude. You know: I don’t really have to do anything ’cause I’m gorgeous!

He and I want to wish all of our American friends and family (Sophie & Andrew, Yvette, Stephane & Sparkles 2) a great Glorious 4th! We’ll be watching the fireworks on PBS.

Tenacity

Bluebells in concrete

Main Entry: te·na·cious
Pronunciation: t&-‘nA-sh&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin tenac-, tenax tending to hold fast, from tenEre to hold
1a: not easily pulled apart: COHESIVE
b: tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance
2a: persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired
b: RETENTIVE
Synonym see STRONG
Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

Proudly Canadian – a Day Late*

As a Canadian I am often self-deprecating when it comes to my home and native land – there you go, a tongue-in-check, typically Canadian phrase if there every was one. I take much for granted and while grumbling about what’s wrong with Canada I often forget what is right.

Last week’s cruise on the Ottawa River was a gentle reminder of the beautiful area I live in – one of many beautiful areas in a vast country. Yesterday’s Canada Day celebrations were a reminder that we have so much to be proud of.

And as a gay man I was reminded twice this past week that I have many reasons to be thankful I am a Canadian.

I went to Ottawa City Hall on Friday and applied for a license for our upcoming (July 21) marriage. I mentioned to the lady processing our application that Laurent and I had been together for almost 29 years. As she gave me the license she said: Congratulations, I hope the next 29 years are as happy as the last 29.

Member of the Order of CanadaTwice a year – New Year’s Day and Canada Day – the Governor General announces a list of Canadians who have been awarded The Order of Canada – the highest civilian award my country can bestow. Amongst the names on this year’s Canada Day list is Rev. Brent Hawkes, the senior pastor of MCC Toronto. Brent has been granted the title of Member of the Order for his work as a clergyman and a gay rights activist.

I didn’t wear a T-Shirt proclaiming it yesterday, nor did I fly a flag from the second floor veranda but I am proud to be a Canadian.

*And if that ain’t typically Canadian, what is? Eh?

Positive Spins Are Always Possible

An amateur genealogical researcher discovered that his great-great uncle, Remus Starr, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription:

“Remus Starr; horse thief; sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887; robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives.
Convicted and hanged 1889.”

In a Family History subsequently written by the researcher, Remus’s picture is cropped so that all that’s seen is a head shot. The accompanying biographical sketch is as follows:

“Remus Starr was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1885, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

I believe the researcher is now working for a major world government administration rewriting recent and current events.

Summer Storms

I know I only have 13 more working days left but I honestly feel like I’m being pushed out of the office. Some of the signals:

  1. Friday I was almost bulldozed out of my cell – sorry cubicle, the one with the view of the Mall and Parliament Hill – and moved to a temporary position. To make way for one of the summer students!!!!
  2. Tuesday I found out that I had no voice-mail access and it took the entire morning to set up my computer system.
  3. Today I couldn’t log onto one of the Confidential drives.
  4. A staff meeting is scheduled for next week and I’ve been told attendance is optional.

Well at least no one is hanging around asking what’s happening with my chair and stapler. Though come to think of it I can’t find my stapler!

Stormy skyline
One advantage to my new – temporary – cell is that I have a view of the Ottawa River. When the temperature starts climbing into the high 30s you can pretty much guarantee that a thunderstorm will be brewing in the Valley. This one today was pretty spectacular – lots of lightening strikes, high winds and that rather strange – and worrisome – funnel like cloud formation. We didn’t get a drop of rain downtown but the Québec side had a pretty wild time of it.

Tomorrow we’re doing a River cruise – the weatherman promises no thunderstorms, no clouds and a break in the heat. It’s a “team” building exercise, I’m invited so I guess I’m still part of the “team.”