My fiancee really did spend about half of the Tragically Hip show at the Troubadour last night reminding me that I'm not Canadian.
I grew up in Tonawanda, NY. The city is about midway between Buffalo and Niagara Falls and, therefore, a stone's throw away from Canada.
Canada had a formative role in who I've grown up to be.
Because of proximity, I grew up listening to Canadian music. I still hold a very special place in my heart for The [Lowest of the] Low and The [Tragically] Hip as well as the Barenaked Ladies.
The Edge (102.1) was always on my radio dial.
I watched Hockey Night in Canada and laughed at Don Cherry and his anti-American rants (but mostly at his suits). I also caught Kids in the Hall on the CBC, an essential part in my creative development.
I once drove with a friend to Toronto to get a cappuccino (this is before Starbucks were on every corner). We got trapped in an underground mall and set off an alarm trying to escape.
I saw the Buffalo Bills play at Skydome long before financial troubles had them setting up a yearly deal. Funny side story -- one of the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders said this (in response to me hitting on her) "I knew a guy like you in high school. He was arty too..."
When I land in Buffalo, the first stop is usually Tim Horton's (or Timmy Ho's as we affectionately refer to it).
The summer I turned 19, I typically converted about half of my paycheck to Canadian so that we could go up to Eagle's Landing and enjoy a mighty fine jukebox (James' Laid was 4111) as well as a cold Blue.
I'm reasonably certain that my first live nude girl was in Niagara Falls, Ontario at Sundowners.
And, of course, anyone who knows me knows my love of a little sport called hockey. That unrequited love.
I love America. I love being American. I'll also always have a special place in my heart for our neighbors to the north.