The Tedster and I are back from a weekend away in Timbuktu (aka Timmins, Ontario). It never ceases to amaze me what a dreary, crumbling, s**thole it is. (Sorry N@, and anyone else who's from there.) In defense of the dreary, crumbling, s**thole... I must add that I only lived there for a little over 2 years, so maybe my assessment is a little more harsh than someone who enjoys living in a dreary, crumbling s**thole... and there are many who enjoy Timmins. Hey... if people actually live there... there must be redeeming qualities, right? I'm not an outdoorsy type person, so that's probably an automatic 3 strikes against me right there.
So why do we make the trip up there twice a year?? To visit 2 of Ted's sisters and their families. There's no other reason "to" go really. It's not like you just hop in the car for 8 hours of twisty, wilderness highways for the Goldmine Tour, or the Shania Twain Museum, and certainly not for the weather.
Anyhow... the visit was pleasant, although Ali was away camping for the better part of the weekend, and Crissy had to work both days that we weren't travelling. (A four-day weekend in Timmins really boils down to 2 days, since 2 of those days are spent driving and recovering from the driving.) So, for me; it's kind of been a "salvage the positive aspects" kind of weekend because most of the time I was bored. I pride myself in enjoying boredom in almost any other scenario, but "Timmins Bored", is beyond the usual "cherish-nothing-to-do" bored. There is truly nothing to do. But I did get a lot of fresh air, and the dogs love it up there, so yeah... that's a lot of what was salvaged.
Ted and I also made a lone journey out to his mother's grave in Whitney Cemetery. (Porcupine, Ontario folks.... yes... that's the name of a town.) That's always sad but somehow edifying. It's such a beautiful place for a cemetery beside a lake with absolutely nothing around. Ted's mom has been gone since December 25th, 1995 and it seems like a lifetime ago even though it's only been 12 years. I couldn't help but wonder how our lives would have been different had she lived. The thought of having parents in our lives is pretty foreign, and his mom was a wonderful, "family" woman. She most certainly would've had an active role and a positive influence. I only knew her for 4 months and she made me feel so welcome in their home. She knew that I was Ted's boyfriend, and she thought a lot of me and made no secret of it. I've had the good fortune of a couple of boyfriends with wonderful, accepting mothers. It's a good feeling and I remember them fondly.
At any rate, our visit wasn't ALL somber and uneventful. We also did a fair bit of drinking, which is something I haven't done in YEARS. I can't say I miss it, but we did have fun. It might seem a sad declaration to recall a family board game as the highlight of one's holiday weekend, but the family board games get quite vicious and therefore hysterical. We spent HOURS playing "Super Tock" with no one winning because it's more fun to just hunt down and foil your loved ones than it is to win. With a full compliment of players it's very fast-paced, and evil.
Sadly we forgot to bring the camera, so we missed-out on countless photo-ops with Ted's nephews who are 3 (Nathan) and 4 (Zach). We went out to their camp site for a couple of hours, but it was so bloody cold there (they had snow on Saturday) we opted not to stay. We saw a lot of Rachel (Ted's oldest niece) and her boyfriend Aaron (such a cutie), but Sarah (Ted's youngest niece, she's 14) was pretty much AWOL for the weekend ...with friends. And as far as I know, Porthos is still sleeping off the experience after spending so much time with other dogs. (Both sisters have one each.)
Before drawing to a close here, I'd like to once-again thank the Apple dude that created the iPod. Road trips are so much better because of you. Yes. Yes they are.
Oh, and as an add-on to that. The Camry Hybrid was an absolute pleasure to drive. We're getting close to 900 kms on one tank of gas. Considering gas was $1.19 per litre in Timmins, this is a good thing. It was also comfortable and surprisingly ballsy on the highway. And it stands up really well in the face of Basset barf. (thank god we had a blanket down.)
Song in my head... is "Way I Are" by Timbaland. I won't bother with the lyrics, 'cause it's not like they're life-affirming in any way. But I have to recommend Timbaland Presents: Shock Value for anybody who enjoys some (but isn't limited to) slick hip-hop (and doesn't mind some dirrrrty lyrics). It's one of the best full-albums I've listened to in a long time. There's maybe only one or two tracks on the entire thing that I don't like. And Timbaland being more a reputable producer than performer, really mixes it up with guest artists and varying styles of music. And it works really well together. I especially like the songs he does with "Fall Out Boy" and "Elton John". It's really creative, and above all else: always rhythmic. Timbaland is a master of what sounds good. Plus there are some very socially relevant tracks on the album too, (it's not entirely without lyrical substance) like "Kill Yourself", which (by title alone) sounds bad, but it's an observation of hip hop culture and the social spiral it's in.
Very enjoyable CD. One of my new faves.