Random Bits of Awesome – February 2010

Dear readers, it’s time for a roundup of topics that just aren’t big enough for their own posts. I’m just going to jumble them all together. Enjoy!

It’s Olympics time. Woo! I don’t understand people who profess not to love the games. You may not like every event — bobsled, ice dancing, whatever — but how can anyone not love the whole Olympic ideal? Me, I particularly enjoy the nordic events, especially biathlon.

DiabetesMine interviewed skier Kris Freeman, the first type-1 Olympian in an endurance sport before the 30km cross-country race and afterward — I think he’s my new role model. They’re both great reads for any athlete with diabetes.

Freeman was “pissed” about going hypo during the 30km race, but he was “really, really pissed” about a bad ski choice during the 15km. I’m sure he will rock the 50km on Sunday!

Thinking of Canada, Lisa and I went to Montréal early in January. It was sooo cold (-14ºC for a high). How do people live that way? We went to see a J. W. Waterhouse exhibit at the Musée des Beaux Arts. While there, we ate some great food — check out Paris Crêpes on the corner of Ste. Catherine and Crescent — and I enjoyed the city’s polyglot lifestyle.

(And as for art: Last week the MFA installed its first painting in the new Americas wing. I can hardly wait!)

While we were in Montréal, I procured a bit of Francophone music. 90% of Canada’s population may live within 100 miles of the border that sees the most commerce between any two nations; but it’s almost as if there’s a Mounty-patrolled iron curtain separating the US from bootleggers French music. You can find a little bit on iTunes, but it’s hit or miss. Here are some names to look for: A.D.N., Amadou & Mariam, Marie-Luce Béland, Daniel Bélanger, Carla Bruni, Cali, Camille, Caracol, Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer, Cœur de Pirate, Les Cowboys Fringant, Étienne Drapeau, Dumas, Mylène Farmer, Grimskunk, Indochine, Kaïn, Karkwa, MC Solaar, Prototypes, Mara Tremblay, etc., etc., etc. The CBC nominated the top 50 Canadian francophone bands from this decade if you need more choices.

We also saw “Up in the Air” a month or two ago. Definitely recommended. It stars George Clooney, opens with a fabulous sequence of arial footage, uses a version of “This Land Was Made for You and Me” by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and has a really strong story line. From time to time, I feel a bit like intern George‘s character — at least I share his attitude toward flying, but certainly not his brand loyalty (though I do have my preferences). But I’m not very savvy when it comes to getting the most of my air travel dollar, which is why I’ve been reading the Cranky Flier‘s web log.

Are you going on a trip anytime soon? Need reviews of places to eat, stay, visit? The Times gives a rundown of where to go online and in-print to figure where to go in real life. They mention TripAdvisor.com, IgoUgo.com, Oyster.com, and printed guidebooks. I’m starting to use TripAdvisor for hotel reviews, but books and magazines are still my destination for where to go and how to get there. Give me glossy pictures, a travelogue, and a map or two and I’ll be ready to pack my bags.

But my travel dance card is kinda full for a little while. I actually can’t believe how much I know about where I’m going in the coming years. Australia in just over three months. Bicycling in Provence, France sometime next year. England (and maybe Paris) in 2012. It’s not what I usually do . . . but I’ll take it.

More substance to come soon, I promise.

This entry was posted in Australia, Crusty Old Paint, Cycling, Diabetes, General, Travel, Worthy Feeds. Bookmark the permalink.

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