Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Road Trip to Alberta

First of all, I’m going to start this post by apologizing to my friend, Lojo.  We were in Calgary this past weekend for my cousin’s wedding and did not call you.  It was a lightning trip, as we drove out Friday and came back Sunday, and the weekend was full of family events.  And it’s worth noting that I feel extra bad about it, after realizing that it is your birthday this week.  :(  However, we did think of you every time we passed a sign for Red Deer or saw a rig worker.  We do plan to return, as despite all the family events, we didn’t actually get to spend very much time with any one family member.  We are going to try for before the winter, as we want to get out to Canmore and see some mountains.

Anyway, Alberta is a confusing place.  Because Calgary is such a large city, I often (mistakenly) assume it to have a certain amount of class and culture, like cities are supposed to.  Not so.  We found this beautiful machine parked in a lot which contained about 80% pick-up trucks:

p_00231Fuck their life.

I hadn’t been to Calgary since about 2007, and that was for a wedding as well, so I didn’t do much.  I’ve *never* driven myself around Calgary before, only ever on family trips where I sat in the back and gawked at the mountains the entire time they were visible.  I really don’t understand the allure of this city.  Many people in Saskatoon “aspire” to live in Calgary, or have some jealousy for those that have already “moved on up” to the city.  Sure, it’s bigger than Saskatoon, but what is the real attraction?  The only thing I can really see as being better than Saskatoon is its proximity to the mountains.  In terms of the city itself, I see very few qualities that would convince me to move there.  Although, their downtown skyline is much more impressive than Saskatoon, but the city still seems to opting to grow out, rather than up.  But even compared to Saskatoon, Calgary is very poorly planned and sprawling.  Everywhere we tried to go was at least a 30 minute drive and involved several different freeways.  There is a lot of open/unused space and their signs are all screwed up.  I still cannot figure out what is with all the directions on the street signs.  The sign for Stoney Trail had two branches, South and North, but the road itself was running east and west?  Then, add the fact that we were navigating with GPS on Matt’s phone, which was telling us what DIRECTION to head on Stoney Trail, it was all very frustrating.  An instruction like “Head Southwest on Stoney Trail North” was written “Stoney Tr N SW” at the top of the screen.  Wow, good thing I am an excellent navigator.  We managed to get lost only once, and that was when the phone battery died and I was winging it.  Not too bad.

That being said, before leaving Calgary, we did manage to get to the science center to see the Body Worlds exhibit.  It was fascinating and surprisingly artistic and beautiful.  I am considering filling out the donation paperwork, as I think it’s a wonderful and respectful celebration of the human form.  Although, there was one method of the plastination that I was most excited by.  There was a chicken, a lamb and a few body parts where the only part that remained were the arteries, blood vessels and capillaries.  It’s amazing to see all these little blood rivers stand alone. 
















There’s some controversy about where the bodies come from.  I think it’s mostly because members of religious groups have a hard time understanding that there are plenty of people who would gladly donate their bodies to science and education, and don’t view the human form with the same shame and disgust that the church would.

I quite enjoyed the exhibit, and if ever I have the chance to view any of the other versions (This one was Body Worlds 2 & The Brain – Our Three Pound Gem), I would gladly see them.  And I would highly recommend it to everyone.  There were even a lot of people with small children there, and I think that’s great.  It’s important to expose your children to things at a young age.  Respect to those people.  Respect.


Lojo said...


I don't even bat an eye at stuff like that anymore because it has become a regular part of my scenery. My favorite of all time was a truck with a decal that said "Balls Deep!". The hardest thing has been accepting the fact that I am now dating a man who likes quadding and lifted trucks. Oddly, he perceives himself as superior to Alberta rednecks, so comparing his redneck taste to their redneck lifestyle sends me straight to the doghouse. But I love him. And unfortunately, love involves compromise. I accept his Tim the Toolman Taylor grunting, and he accepts the fact that I talk in a kitty-munchkin voice 90% of the time.

I totally understand the busy nature of short trips, so no bad feelings, homie. Hopefully we can meet up sometime this winter.

Yep. Calgary. I don't get it either. I mean, I don't haterate Calgary. Not like I hate Methmonton, but it is totally overrated. It has it's perks. Good shopping. A pretty skyline. Great mountain view in the South West. That's about it. Something I always found odd about Calgary is the small town, redneck vibe it has despite the fact that its population is rockin' over a million. If I am going to endure the rat race of a big city, it sure as shit better feel like a big city, and not some conservative, small town rodeo. I don't mind the infrastructure of Calgary, overall, but when you have such a huge population-- yeah, no matter what, it's going to become retardedly inefficient. I don't see the allure of huge cities, period, and living in Calgary for that summer in '06 solidified that for me. I don't want to spend half of my life driving through city traffic. Or, for that matter, having creeps rub their weinus against my leg on the c-train. I really don't understand what attracts so many people to that lifestyle. As far as I can see, it's mostly hype. Of course, if you score a wicked job in Calgary, well, okay, maybe the bullshit could be overlooked, but still. Meh. I find navigating around Calgary relatively easy as long as you map out your route before you go and have trust in the street signs. Signs that say N and S but are running E and W, will eventually lead you to the appropriate turn offs. Edmonton, on the other hand, is literally missing street signs. I've printed out maps of Methmonton, written down the directions, and Google Earthed routes before leaving and have STILL missed turn offs. I really have no desire to live in huge cities anymore. I will visit. But that's about it.

Fuck, I didn't know that the Body Works Exhibit was on. I want to hit that shit up!

twitch said...

Awww, lifted trucks, really?? Maybe he'll grow out of it.
And GO see Body Worlds, it will blow your mind, woman. Maybe we can both donate our bodies with the stipulation that they are plastinated together for eternity in perma-chest-bump form. Ooo, or else maybe plastinated with our kitties.

Dylan Laine said...

I saw the Body World Exhibit in Vegas and it was the coolest!!! I loved the Blood Vessel stuff too! That was just out of this fucking world!!!

Lojo said...

MWUAHAHAHAHA. DAMN RIGHTS WE'D BE PLASTINATED TOGETHER. Plastinated together with our kitties would be most desirable though.

I think I might try to hit up this Body World thing. Sounds radicalicious.

And no, boyfriend grew up in the bush in New Brunswick and he think lifted trucks are a life necessity. I am fucked.