Friday, August 11, 2006

Academia: Not enough poutine and too much Diet Coke

For those of you unaware, my visit to Montreal hasn't been all baked beans and poutine. In actuality, I have been subjected to the horrorshow known as an academic conference, otherwise known as Big Egos (and Small Social Skills) on Parade.

Every year I convince myself that it will be different--that it'll be a bunch of smart people sharing exciting ideas and intellectual inspiration with one another--but instead it's usually just a bunch of puffed egos wearing even puffier (usually khaki) pants puff, puff, puffing themselves into a frenzy of self-importance.

This year has been no different, unfortunately...but at least I have had this:

and this:

and this:

and most importantly, THIS:

to distract me.

That's right--the poutine has been eaten, and it was friggin' monumental. How to describe? Well, the fries are Belgian-style: fried to deep golden-brown perfection, but with a light and fluffy inner layer. The cheese curd was surprisingly firm and flavorful, and the gravy was sort of mild and mushroom-y tasting...but that might have been my vegetarian wishfulness hoping that I wasn't compromising my important values, but being too lazy to investigate whether said values were being compromised by asking what was in the gravy. Interestingly, the whole concoction never melded into a amorphous blob, as I expected. Instead the individual components remained surprisingly individual, even after my dining companion (a brave soul scooped up and carted away from the academic conference) and I had attacked it with frightening gusto.

Now that the Quest for Poutine has ended (and oh! what a glorious end!) I will have to find some other Canadian amusements to shield me from the evils of academia. Perhaps investigating the origins and veracity of this sentiment:

Anyone? Anyone?


Colleen said...

Queen Carlotta, would you care to visit the Cheegan Confessional? Poutine sounds yummy, though. Diet Coke does what now? I couldn't really read the sign...but I suspect it's lies.

Queencarlotta said...

"Diet Coke is the drink of the death squads!"

Maybe true...but the sad fact is we have to ask "which one"? So many death squads, so little Diet Coke to quench all of their thirsts, you know?