Canada: The Land Of Fluffy Towels And Clean Ashtrays

The Zoo, Niagara Falls, and The Arrogant Worms
October 27-29, 1999

October 27, 1999: Having successfully completed our "Weird Al" portion of the trip, Amanda and I went to the zoo and walked around there. The zoo was really nice and the weather was a bit cold, but bearable. The zoo was empty of people, but had some pretty cool animals, including a few I hadn't seen before. It's a nice zoo, and I'd like to go back to it someday.

In the evening, we went to see a show put on by a comedy trio called The Arrogant Worms. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I figured they must be small band but I was surprised at how small -- 3 guys, one guitar and one bass guitar which they really didn't use for all the songs. And 3 microphones. That's it!

They played at this tiny little place that held about 150 seats I guess. After seeing the multimedia extravaganza that "Weird Al" puts on for each show, it really makes you appreciate how good he is to his fans that come out to see him in concert. Regardless, The Arrogant Worms were really pretty funny. If they come close, I'd see them again. I particularly liked how they included the audience in the show from the beginning. I was also pleasantly surprised that they did my two favorite songs back to back.

After the show Amanda and I literally crossed the street and went shopping at this record store downtown, called Sam's Record Club. This place was pretty cool. There was an autograph of Al on the wall from when he had stopped in years ago.

My intention was to find some Canadian releases there and it worked well. I bought a lot of stuff there. I cleaned out their Al section. We stopped in a whole bunch of stores while we were there. In total I came back with 1 DVD, 5 VHS, 15 CDs and 18 cassettes. Amanda was laughing at me but she was having fun looking for stuff for me because she knew I would have to buy it if I didn't have it. But I didn't mind. Amanda helped me find some pretty cool stuff for my collection. The people at the record store didn't know WHAT to think about all that.

October 28, 1999: Amanda and I went back for the last Arrogant Worms show. It was basically pretty similar although they did play around with the setlist a little bit. Amanda videotaped the show (with their permission), so now I've got a great souvenir. The band also signed autographs for me and we chatted a little bit about upcoming shows. They were really nice people.

October 29, 1999: Our last day in Canada, we drove downtown to get some souvenirs and check out a few more record stores. Amanda needed to be back at the airport in Buffalo by 6:00 to get her flight. On the way, we stopped at Niagara Falls, which, despite the really nice weather was pretty vacant. Seems like we missed the end of tourist season by one week.

I wasn't happy about the week having to end, but I'm so glad that I had such a good time. I did a whole lot driving, got to stay in a hotel room with a hot tub, got to see 3 Al shows in a foreign country, lots of sight-seeing and hang out with Amanda and Beth and the band and other really cool people. My whole trip was 1680.6 miles and my car held up. I got in about quarter to one in the morning and Suzy, my cat, was all over me. So I just rubbed her and petted her for a little and then we went to bed. She hasn't left me alone yet. She's on my lap as I type. I came home to 250 new e-mail messages that I need to tackle. Wonderful!

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