Going Up Norde, eh?

We drove to Montreal, Quebec (Canada), for the UFC 97 fight card.  We were excited about seeing UFC superstar Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell during his pivotal fight (win = come back, loss = retirement) and the wife’s favorite, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.  We soon found out, after crossing into Canada, that our high school French was beyond rusty.  It didn’t take long for us to figure out basic French like that ‘Norde‘ meant ‘North’ after driving back toward the U.S. border.

Shortly after getting back on track, we started passing cars left and right following the speed limit (Max. 100, Min. 60) before the light bulb went off.

“Ah, yes,” I realized.  “The metric system.”

I rarely speak in full sentences anymore since I am mostly only required to do such in 140 characters or less. The idea of a maximum and minimum speed limit was great, but I’d much rather it be mph rather than km due to time constraints.

Once we finally arrived at the hotel where parking was not included, our New Jersey tagged Honda pulled into a makeshift parking lot with only a French-speaking attendant.  After finally finding someone to translate, we paid $32 CAD in USD—overpayed.  We immediately found a currency exchange station.

We went to the Centre Bell for the UFC 97 Q&A with George St. Pierre and without a doubt I became a huge fan of GSP right then and there.  By the way ladies, he wears a size 11.5 shoe (just saying).

The Weigh-ins gave us a closer look (since we were in the 4th row) at the fighters and a sense of their personalities.  Not to mention, it was fascinating to see my wife–the most unaffected by celebrity person out there and the one person that just ‘doesn’t get’ celebrity gossip–starstruck by Dana White.  In some self-satisfying way, I wanted his autograph for myself to hang above my Life & Style collection in the bathroom (the same collection she rolls her eyes at my purchasing).

By the time we made it back to our glorified hotel room (pretty convinced it was really a hostel in disguise), we thought our experience couldn’t be topped until we watched The Simpson’s in French and could actually watch Music Videos 24/7 on Much Music.

Last but certainly not least (part II posted manana), in a true Twilight Zone moment we watched Ashton Kutcher and P Diddy on Larry King Live talking about Twitter. Ashton should win an Emmy for his acting as someone who has nothing to gain from the success of Twitter (I’m convinced he sat in too many Twitter board meetings and will see an investment on his return–his use of ‘content collaboration’ sounded all too familiar like I was in one of my MTV meetings).  I only have followers to gain–so follow me @alisaben05.

Merci Beaucoup, Canada!


From the Archives: Handshakes, Candy, and High Fives.

I remember when a simple handshake meant something, and with that integrity you could go a long way. Those were the days when you had no reason to not trust someone’s word, plus you had no point of reference to call anything other than a spade a ‘spade.’ Yeah, those days bring back the nostalgia. The mere thought of my mom telling me to ‘not take candy from strangers’ seems so much more poignant now that I have taken bowls full from them. So cute, she would revise it with my age; ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true.” I guess even with revisions, you still have to touch the fire to realize it burns. The analogies that we hear and repeat, revise and reintroduce, hold merely no meaning until it actually means a hell of a lot of something.

So we sit here and contemplate these meanings until our heads get so convoluted with what it all means. By now, we’re so utterly paranoid that we don’t know if it burns or not. Is it fire? Isn’t it fire? Wait, is it really fire? I can’t be sure. Repeat. After the ‘spade’ has become a ‘spade’ time after time we start to distinguish between a spade and a non-spade, until the spade takes on a different shape. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. So now that we’re dealing with ducks, we conveniently forget about the candy, fires, and spades. Now, we have to define ducks? Jesus, now everything means far too much and needs more clarification than simply not taking a piece of candy from someone you don’t know. Now, you actually have to trust yourself to decipher all these different literary devices of life into one system that holds your better interest. Sometimes, you don’t even have time to do the analysis that leads you to determine if it can walk or quack. Sometimes, you just have to know if it’s a duck.

Handshakes aren’t so simple anymore. In fact, handshakes mean contracts. Handshakes make people money and with money you need lawyers and partners to negotiate the touch of hand. Handshakes tell if you’re nervous, confident, or weak. Handshakes can lie and handshakes can cause paranoia. As I revert back to my duck-duck-goose days, I’m not going to just wait for goose; I’m going to just start giving high fives because no one gives high fives unless they’re genuinely excited about it.

Homer handshake

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