The nearest city of any size to this one is Sudbury, which is home to Vale Inco, Science North, and Laurentian University, among other things. I spent a fair amount of time in the city when Mat attended the university, and have come to a singular conclusion about it: I hate it. It is not a pleasant city to spend time in, and the beautiful rock faces of the Canadian shield are marred by a layer of black sludge from the mines. Unfortunately, it is where Mat's extended family lives, so there will be lots of Sudbury in my future.
The one thing that Sudbury does have, though, is much better shopping than North Bay, including an Old Navy. Unfortunately, today was not my day for shopping, as I found only a single thing that I wanted to buy, excepting a variety of food products at Costco. This is unfortunate as my summer wardrobe is looking pretty grim at the moment.
I will be heading to Toronto this weekend to visit the Downtown Knit Collective's Knitters' Frolic, which is one of the bigger fiber events in Canada. I believe there are six of us headed down from the local guild, and we've elected to make a weekend out of it, hitting a few stores along the way and staying in hotels overnight. I am pretty excited about this; not only because I'll likely come out of the weekend with some pretty yarn, but also because I am thrilled to be spending some time with other knitters and other women. For whatever reason, the vast majority of my friends in North Bay are male, and while I love these friends dearly, sometimes I just want to break out of the constraints of nerdy man-dom. I keep trying to find ways to avoid making sweeping generalizations about gender roles here, but haven't been able to do so; unfortunately my guys are pretty much exactly what you would expect: they play X-box, read graphic novels, discuss the merits of 2nd ed. DnD vs. 3.5, plot how to stay alive during the Zombpocalypse, and are usually complaining about the latest big screen adaptation of their video games, graphic novels, or RPGs.
Suffice it to say that drinking wine and talking about/fondling yarn will be a welcome diversion.