Looking ahead while glancing back

I don't really ... DO New Year's resolutions.

Not officially, anyhow. I think I tell myself in my head, what I would like to accomplish in the following year.

Clearly I've either accomplished everything without much difficulty... or promptly forgot what I had resolved to do...

Because either way, I have no idea what my resolutions have been in the past. I guess... and maybe this is vain of me... I don't really have any big vices.

But this has been a year of firsts, and huge changes... so why not add to the list of changes. I guess.

So here goes, on my list of New Years Resolutions 2008...

  1. Spend half an hour before I go to bed tidying up the apartment. This means wiping off the stove, putting those last dishes in the dishwasher and starting the load, taking out the garbage... just the little niggly things that I normally "leave for the morning" but then never do. And instead end up with a mountain of crap in my apartment.
  2. Being physically in my bed by 11. I do not get enough sleep. This can be very obviously seen by my neighbours when I run out the front door.... limping because one of my boots is only half-on.
  3. Waking up at 7. It would be good if I had a paper to read in the mornings.... because then I could have a coffee, a bagel.... and read the paper before leaving for work (like a normal adult....) but maybe I'll just have to be satisfied with reading the back of the cereal box like I have for the past 21 years.
  4. Making sure I actually eat breakfast. I do enjoy it, but it's hard to eat a bowl of cereal when limping out the door....
  5. Eating at the dinner table, not on my lap in the living room. I have a DVD-R. Jeopardy can wait.
  6. Minimize the online shoppings. This is a biggie. Packages in the mail is just sooooo much of a pick-me-up.... and who DOESN'T like new toys... but I have to stop just buying things because I can. It makes them less valuable, I think. What's the point of pining for something if you just get it right away? That's what I'm going to tell myself anyways...
  7. Be more proactive. This goes for a number of things,
In looking at my resolutions... none of them seem like they are going to make my life better by leaps and bounds.... but I guess they are things I know I "should do".... but don't... and maybe that's the point.

*insert thoughtful noise.

Question period

Over the holidays, I have come to the realization that maybe I've not really done a very good job of telling my "southern" readers where and how I live.

So here goes. I'm going to do a general hit on the particulars of my community life... and (I may regret this later... but oh well) open the comments section up to any questions folks might have.

Here goes, Mr. can o' worms!

  1. I live in a town/hamlet of about 2300 people. Doesn't sound like much, but its actually the second-largest community in the territory.
  2. It's not big population-wise, and its not big geographically either. According to wikipedia, it is about 24 km-squared.
  3. Location-wise... we sit right on the Hudson Bay. On my 20-minute walk to work I pass by the bay. There's also a big lake that sits in the middle of the town. I'll make sure to post a nice map of this soonish. I just have to scan it when I get back
  4. We have an airport, a pretty big one... which is needed because it is (like basically all communities in Nunavut) a fly-in community. We have several flights a day that come in... from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Iqaluit and other surrounding northern communities.
  5. These flights also bring up food and supplies. So its not like we eat canned veggies and freeze-dried meats all the time, but the "fresh" fruits and veggies we do get... are a little worse for wear. The tomatoes are more likely to be hothouse, and lack that deep juicy red colour (and flavour). The pears, often bruised. Not a nectarine in sight. But I guess that's the price you pay.
  6. And speaking of, yes, things are significantly more expensive. Rumour has it things aren't as bad in Rankin as other communities. A co-worker once told me when people from Arviat (neighbouring community) come to Rankin it's like us going to the Walmart in Yellowknife. Shopping spree. On average, things are around 2 to 2.5 times the price of what they would be "down south". There are some exceptions: lettuce, for one... asparagus, for another. But a pineapple runs between $12-20... and a 10lb bag of potatoes goes for $20 (yep, killer for an island girl). A 2L bottle of pepsi costs $9. Which drives me crazy when I see them going 3 for 5 bucks here hahah.
  7. As a result... once a year there is a "sea lift" service. People order a year's worth of dry goods, dog food, pop ... as well as have things like cars, 4-wheelers... ski-doos etc. shipped up via barge. Several barges arrive between August and mid-September to deliver these supplies. It's like Christmas!
  8. There are three restaurants in town. They all basically sell the same food, just vary in price. None of it is that great, nothing to write home about. But its kind of something you might eat if you were tired of cooking, not something you crave.
  9. We don't have a McDonalds. Or Wendy's we kind of have a KFC/Pizza Hut, but .... it is limited in selection, and not really very good either. And quite pricey. Nine bucks for a chicken sandwich... and that doesn't include the fries ... and nothing comes with a pop. Nothing.
  10. There are no bars. You can drink at the hotel (but only if you are a guest, so you have to be really desperate ... and spend $200 bucks for a room so that you can have a drink. And if that's what it's come to... well then you have other problems. There is also the legion... which is probably about the size of my apartment, and you can only drink there if you are a member. Membership is something like $70 for the year.
  11. There are no liquor stores. All alcohol comes via special order. Generally, the way it works is you are "granted" (or ... you purchase, is probably the better way of saying it) a temporary liquor license. Then you pick from a list of available products (there are easily hundreds of beer, wine, spirits, mixed drinks etc.). You pay for the license, and the alcohol... and a couple days later it arrives via plane. Then you have to pay the shipping. It costs at least 30 bucks to have cargo shipped up from anywhere (that's the flat base rate) so you order a goodly bunch at a time to make it worth your while.
  12. There are two main stores. The Co-op and the Northern. The Co-op is much like any co-op... but with slightly more household items (like fabrics, televisions etc.) and the northern is a bit more like a Walmart, with an expanded grocery section. There aren't really any clothing stores. You can buy clothes at the Northern, or through their catalogue. Or order online .... or wait till you go down south... like a lot of us do.
  13. Mail comes twice a day. It's fantastic. You get mail at 10 and 3. It is easily the best part about living up north. Oh, and the lack of slush. I hate slush.
  14. At this point, there are no cell phones. But that may be changing in the near-ish future.
  15. In the dead of winter we get down to about 4 hours of direct sunlight ... from 10 to 2. The sun starts to rise at about 9, and is mostly gone by 3 or so. But that's going to get better, as we're over the solstice-hump.
  16. Yes, it really is quite cold. It's been pretty steadily at -30 for a month or so... and the windchill makes it at least -40. I have the longest walk of anyone I know... 20 minutes to and from work... so I wear my Canada Goose parka, North Face boots (warm to -40... but I've never had them leave me anything but toasty) and wind pants (actually, combination wind and waterproof. I don't have down-filled ones like some people I know, but mine work just fine, and they were like fairly cheap from Mark's). The only thing that I bought down south that wasn't really suitable for nothern living was my mitts... I always just wore knit mitts... "grandma knits" is what we called them... so that was one of the first things I got when I arrived north, a suitable pair of mitts. All in all... I wear about a grand's worth of winter gear when I leave the house for any period of time. Crazy eh?
Okay, I think that is all for now... but I will add to this list as things occur to me. Hope this helps answer some questions!


Northern Blog contest!

I'm re-posting this from Kara's blog, because I think it is a really cool idea, and not to mention kind of fun-sounding!

In celebration of Blogging in Nunavut I'm introducing the Nunies in conjunction with Nunavut Blogs!. The Nunies are a simple recognition of the best that blogging in Nunavut has to offer. Here is how it works...

From now until January 21st, 2008 there will be the opportunity to nominate blogs in two categories:
1) Best Nunavut Blog
2) Best New Nunavut Blog (the blog must have started in 2007)

and a third category for...
3) Best post of 2007

To nominate blogs for the first two categories send an email to the Nunavut Blogs! email address nunavutblogs AT yahoo DOT ca. You can nominate up to five blogs but you can only make one submission. Oh yeah, The House and other Arctic musings, is ineligible to be nominated... my award, my rules.

To nominate the best post of 2007 send a link to the post to the same email address. To be eligible for the two blog categories the blog must be primarily about Nunavut, written by someone living in Nunavut, or written by an expatriot Nunavumiut now living elsewhere. The post can have the additional criteria of being a post about Nunavut, not necessarily by a blog falling into one of those other categories.

After January 21st the top five nominees will be posted and voting will open for a week, with the Winners being announced in the beginning of February. What do the winners get??? Not much really, a nifty badge to post on their blog (that I've yet to design), a little promotion of their blog, and dinner for two at the House, should they ever make it up this way. If anyone else wants to donate a prize you can let me know.

Please spread the word, so as many people as possible take part in the nominations/voting.

I've not yet decided who I'm going to vote for... like Kara, I too am more or less dangerously addicted to my northern blogs. I have them all booked marked in a folder in Firefox, and I open them all in tabs. But it is hard to pick a favourite.

Good luck to all!


never satisfied!

Here I am, surfin' the internet at lightening-speed.... and I'm still annoyed that my program download is going to take 9 minutes...

Because, you know, up north.... it'd probably take an hour, and then Qiniq would promptly email me, congratulating me on being such an active member....

but then bump me down to dialup.

Jackie the recluse

So as I think I eluded to in my past post...
I am spending much of this Christmas break somewhat under the weather... I wasn't feeling too hot on the plane ride from Winnipeg to Toronto (and that's before we had to make several attempts to land... ug)...
And normally I fly so naturally, it's like I was born with wings! But I had to do some serious mind-over nausea meditation to make sure everything stayed where it was supposed to.
So unfortunately, it was not just the flying that made me less-than-my-cheery self... I ended up home, but nice and sick for Christmas Eve eve, Christmas Eve, some of Christmas... and Boxing day.
Not completely "can't function" sick... but "not fun to be around, not really all there" sick.
So maybe as a result of that... maybe thanks to my newfound "quieter" lifestyle, I felt somewhat at odds with the boisterous "father's side of the family" reunion.
But that's okay. And I think the aunts/uncles/cousins (all 25 or so...) sensed that... and I only had to explain things in great detail once or twice, which was great. Not that I mind explaining things, but I'm 100% not good at it when I'm at only 50 per cent brain capacity (like I have been the past couple days).
Anyways, all in all... a satisfying Christmas/Boxing day. Lots of good food (probably too much... especially for my poor, recovering stomach)...


Merry Christmas!

Well I've been outrageously terrible at the blogging thing of late, but I think you'll agree I have good reason.
I'm actually home, in PEI right now...
Nope, not in Winnipeg, as I had previously announced...
But home, sleeping in my old bed, eating food that I didn't have to cook...all around a good time. Or not eating, as I've been sick to my stomach since Sunday...
Okay I'll back up. I decided to surprise my family by coming home for Christmas this year. They had no idea, and I had to be ultra-sleuth about it... not even mentioning it on my blog... because my parents and sister and many others from the island read it.
And ... as you can imagine word travels fast.
I will make sure to update all the intricacies of my grand adventure in due time... but it's Christmas morning, my grandparents are here (LOVING Sully... haha) and there is still some wrapping to do.
And with that, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year...
And those who have the chance to visit with friends and family, consider yourself very lucky. I know I do.


A little splash

A couple weeks ago, there was a woman from Nova Scotia (Kerry Lawson) who gave an "introduction to yoga" session here in Rankin Inlet. Jaime and I went ... in hopes, really, that it would be someone gaging interest for yoga in the community, and would be starting up a class in the new year.

This wasn't the case, but in the process... somewhere between the deep breathing and the chai tea, I knew I had to do a story about this woman. Well, not just her, but what she does, and why she does it, and the experiences she's had up here.

I had a little trouble "selling" it to co-workers, but I just... I had a vision of what this story could be.

She came into the studio, and told me about her grandmother dying of Alzheimer's... of the children she's taught yoga to... of the reactions she's had from the elders.

Now, I'm not really a yoga buff. Sure I have a pair or two of yoga pants... but they are more for lounging than asanas... but this whole thing just called to me.

To make a long story short, I ended up sending it to syndication (for those who aren't really on the up and up re: CBC's inner-workings, that just means that the story gets offered up to all the morning or afternoon shows in the country).

Now here's where the actually cool part of the blog entry comes in. I got an email from her yesterday, well a couple ... really. Telling me:

Just got an email from an important person in gov who said they heard the show this am on the Yoga. She said it was very good, and well done. That means alot, cause this person is pretty critical and sensitive to Inuit issues and it was the gov people I always worry about hearing any interviews....


also....so much has happened as a result of this last trip and the meeting with the Elders....its all very amazing and positive.


Wow, more emails...seems your story has started something. Seems its the part about the Elders saying they used to do "games" that resembled the Yoga that has caught attention. Its funny that the similarity wasn't ever noticed before...even the Arctic Winter games remind me of Yoga-the concentration, some of what they do looks very much like Yoga poses...

anyway, its very interesting. CBC has done 4 stories so far in the last 3 years on the Yoga I do in the North with the youth but this one is the first that has had responses.....

I just thought that was the coolest thing of all time. That government folks are hearing my stories, and its making them think in different ways.

I guess that is... really... what makes this job worth doing.

*happy smile, dumb grin


All is calm...

Except at the Northern this morning when easily half the town stormed the store between 8 and 9 am.

I don't get paid till tomorrow so I was not one of them. But I did get my taste of crazy Christmas after-hours madness the other day, when Jaime and I went to "ladies night" to stock up on Smartfood popcorn and board games.

Did I mention she's my soulmate?? lol.

But things do seem to be quieter of late. Maybe its the dwindling daylight... (it's 9:21 right now, and I don't even see a strip of sunrise yet...) maybe its people gradually heading "home" for Christmas...

I, on the other hand, feel BUSIER these days. Work has been busy... mostly just the regular news things... but then also preparing for the week I will be gone... and news is pretty slow over the holidays, so everyone's trying to pitch in on that. My problem is I'm too deadline-oriented now, and have trouble getting myself keyed up to finish something that isn't 'NEEDED' in the immediate future.

Speaking of keyed up.... I'm leaving for Winnipeg SO SOON. And I'm really excited. It's not the same as going to my real home for Christmas, but I'm going to be staying with relatives, so that's almost as good. I am taking Sully with me... which should be an adventure in itself. I've got so much to do before then... trying to pack differently than I normally do... my mom has sent a tupperware container full of presents via bus from PEI... I want to pick up some stuff in Winnipeg too... and I have to make sure I have the puppy's things too. Not to mention clean. Which I feel may or may not really happen. And its looking like I'm going to do the typical Jackie all-nighter the night before hand because of my deadline issues. Haha.

And then I realized how boring a post this must be for everyone. Sorry!



Where do I start.

Bingo.... is a very ingrained "cultural" experience up here. Emphasis on the "cult" part. I have been asked numerous times today and yesterday if I was going to play bingo tonight.

The answer: no.

I have a bit of a conflicted attitude about the bingo up here. Or bingo in general, I guess. But mostly just up here... because ... as like most things in the north, is prone to extremes.

The jackpot for Bingo tonite is $12,000.

That is a lot of money, that may very well go to someone in this community, or be held over a little longer.

But, UNLIKE any bingo I've ever been to (shut up, I find it amusing, and like to see how many cards I can actually dab before the next number is called) the buy-in is $20. And tonight, it's $30. That's just too rich for my blood. Nah-ah, no way.

And its not like people just buy one card, they buy two, three... maybe four. That's a hundred bucks. Personally, it seems like a lot of money to blow on just a game. I never really considered bingo to be gambling ... until I moved here. It was just a game. Not something you spend a hundred bucks on.

Like... playing poker for nickels... not dollars.

I remember being told, back when I was looking for a puppy, to make an ad on local radio* before Bingo... and I'd get whatever I want. That people sell anything they've got prior to bingo night, so they can play. I've even heard (though maybe this was an exaggeration) of people "selling" their kids. Maybe this means loaning them out... I'm not sure.

But then, on the other hand, the bingo is "not-for-profit" .... so supposedly this money ... what's left after the winners are paid... go to support local programs. But I have to wonder... is it worth the cost?

*Local radio here, is sort of like the classifieds section of your local paper. Except all day, every day, interspersed with music. There's only a weekly paper for the region (not even the town itself) so newspaper ads for the average person... is a bit tricky. It is our main "competitor" (though we don't really compete... we do completely different things) in the town.

And I complained about MY bills....

Poor sap.

Here's the thing though. At what point would it kill Bell to give the guy a courtesy call and say "by the way, our records say you've used $200/200/20,000 of bandwidth... are you aware of this?"

If credit card companies bother to call to check on "unusual usage" then Bell should too.


Puppy pondering

Sully is alive and well.

Sometimes TOO alive... but that's just cuz the poor guy is cooped up during the day... and boy does he ever run loose when I get home.

It's actually kind of funny to watch him run into things... very much like that toilet paper commercial.

But unlike Sully, some of his former pen-mates at Snookums pets... weren't so lucky.

I don't know what to think about this. Honestly, my first emotion was sympathy. The guy who owns/runs the shop (Bud Wheatley) is probably the most involved pet store owner I think I have ever... or will ever... meet. He got Sully up to me safe and sound, and insisted that I call him when I got my puppy... even though that was going to be after midnight, PEI time.

He refused to ship a puppy up to the north ... that he didn' t think could make it... that means it had to be over a certain weight... and he quickly discouraged me from considering getting a Yorkie ... because it would just be too small, and lacks an undercoat.

He consulted with a vet in town to make sure a corgi would be "comfortable" in the north... and made all the flight arrangements for me.

The store called me several times in the first week I had Sully... and when I was scared about some of his "droppings" they calmed my fears.

But the thing I WAS TOLD, many times over, and what makes me wonder about some of these puppy deaths... was to NOT FEED HIM ANYTHING EXCEPT THE FOOD HE CAME WITH. No rawhide bones, no treats. And to give him half a pill (some sort of medicine they developed with the vet....) every day till they were done. Come to think about it, I now think the pills were for parvovirus... which they explained to me even before I paid for Sully, and they sent him on his way.

And I got him right around the same time these people did.

Now, I don't know anything about dogs. I don't know anything about the people who lost their pets, and I'm sorry they did. But I can't help but sit here and wonder... if my puppy survived shipping up to the north, being cooped up in a travel crate for a horribly long time ... and unexpected plane delays... maybe it wasn't the puppy.

I'm just putting it out there.

Latte Wednesday(s?)

Today, my friends, is a latte day.
I've been thinking about this moment for a couple days now. Putting it off because regular coffee "would do"... but today.
No, today is a latte day.

I have been teasing myself with it... for the past five minutes... very a la Ally McBeal...
Gradually sipping at the foam, but not touching the beverage itself.

I'm sure I'll give in sooner or later... hopefully before it reaches the inevitable "lukewarm" temperature. But this one stupid little ritual has made me oddly nostalgic for Quebec City.

Not far from the station there... maybe a five minute walk or so... there was this coffee shop.

Not a Starbucks, not a Second Cup, not a Van Houtte...

It was "la Brulerie de Quebec." Best and cheapest coffee in town.

A dollar per espresso shot. Add milk and you've got a latte. Or don't and just enjoy the tarty goodness of the espresso. Never add sugar. Sugar's for wussies.

So yah, I miss that, and other little things Quebec had to offer, but I also... LOVE the much more "relaxe" atmosphere here. Everyone goes home for lunch... or at the very least DOESN'T WORK.

I think that's just the greatest thing, because... as I'm sure is the same with other jobs... it is all too easy to work though the lunch. Eating at your desk, waiting by the phone for people to call you back.

Haha, I guess I'll just have to break down and buy myself that espresso machine for Christmas. That way, at least, I can have lattes more than once a month, and they won't cost me a whopping 5.75


Cold is...

  • writing a blog entry, after walking over 15 mintues in teh cold without wind pants, or scarf.
  • not being able to close your mouth, after trekking through said cold
  • looking at children and wondering to yourself why they dont' wipe theri noses... but then catch a glance of yourself and realize you look just like them.....
  • looking at yourself in the mirror and wondering why every single follicle on your face has a bit o' ice on it... incuding your cheeks wehre you thought you didn't have hair
  • typing like this because though you have really warm mitts, yoru heart cant' pump enough blood to your fingers to justify real spelling.


A big week for law and order

Connie, Pickton, and Lutha ... oh my!

I can remember, sitting in the Midweek newsroom thinking how SICK I was of hearing about the Pickton trial.

And then at CBC QC, being EXHAUSTED from the goings-on of the Black trial.

But as those two... fairly monumental... court proceedings enter their final chapter, O'Brien's (aka Lex Luthor aka Mr. Clean) has just begun.

Okay, so fair enough "innocent until proven guilty" ... but somehow... I just shake my head. I still can't believe he won that election. And I guess the fools who voted for him will just have to deal with the consequences of their actions... now that his ability to run the city ... in good faith... has been seriously questioned.

If I were in Ottawa right now, I'd just be fuming.

But in local news, the municipal/hamlet elections are being held tonight. Its kind of interesting how they do it here, you don't vote for all the councilors/mayors at once... instead you vote for half of them, every year. So everyone has a 2-year term (haha quite reflective of the fast turnover in people up here), but there are annual elections.

Much less "political" it seems.


Talking to Americans

As seen on TLC's Miami Ink today...

Buddy comes into the shop, "all the way from New-FOUND-land Canada"... he wants a coy/dragon tattoo.


I couldn't help but laugh.


Sun Dogs

For those who were concerned that the world ended after I took those pictures of the "split suns" (as I called them...) no worries, I'm still alive and well, and the sun has returned to one single unit.

Sun dogs are formed by the refraction of the sun's rays through a very specific type of ice crystal in the air. These crystals, called plates, are hexagonal (they have six sides), are quite flat, and slowly settle to the ground in a similar manner to maple leaves, wobbling back and forth somewhat, with the flat sides horizontal. These crystals grow in temperatures between -9° and -20° C. (15-25° F.). Temperature inversions, though, often allow sun dogs to be visible when it's much colder than that at ground level.
- ExploreNorth
And for those interested in a little longer explanation, I suggest looking here (it's even illustrated!)

From what I can tell, I really lucked out catching these guys the way I did on my little Canon point-and-shoot.

I saw them when I was driving from my home to work one afternoon, and looked towards one direction, and marveled at how bright the sun was. I then turned a corner, and thought to myself... its like the sun is getting even brighter! Then I realized I was looking at TWO different suns (hence me calling it "split suns") and it wasn't until I got back to the building that I could see all three in their glory.

I had no idea what it was, and asked co-worker 1 if he'd ever seen anything like this before, and his reply was it was no big deal and that by January there'd be like 8 or 9 of them in the sky.

I then pointed them out to serious co-worker 2 (hoping I might get a better answer) and he nonchalantly said "Yah, well we have like several suns up here in the north, and sometimes they all come out"

Gullible Jackie goes: "Ohhhhh, okay." Then shakes her head and goes "You LIE! That's not possible!!!"

Finally coworker 3 tells me they are sun dogs. Right like that means anything to little ol' me.

Turns out you actually can see them in the south, when the conditions are right... but are more common and clear up here.

So there you go. Sun dogs and Northern Lights. Two of the rare and beautiful things I have seen so far in the north. I'm sure there are many more to come.


Picture time!

My first album of photos from Rankin Inlet... are HERE

(OR, HERE: http://carletoncanada.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2116272&l=d1f76&id=90409745)

Jackie's home remedy for limited sunlight

I have developed an almost fool-proof method for getting up in the AM... even though the sun doesn't really start to rise until 9:30 or so now (I know because while it can be a pain in the butt sometimes... the stretch of windows along the wall of our office has a startling view of the morning sun ... which occasionally blinds me, so I have to close the shutters.)

First, I set my alarm clock half an hour before I really want to get up, and I place it ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE ROOM. That way, I have no choice but to get OUT of bed to press the snooze button. This is essential.

Also, I try to keep my room as messy as possible. So that it's not just that I have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm, but I also have to maneuver over, around and through a very complex obstacle course.

Finally, after the SECOND time my alarm clock goes off... I turn on my light before getting back into bed. That way, its like the sun has very suddenly and abruptly risen. And it is clearly time to get my butt out of bed.

Try it. Totally flawless


Blizzarding alone.

**I wrote this last night, but was unable to post**

So my excitement over the blizzard has dimmed a bit. And as have the lights (couldn’t resist that bit o’ pretentious writing). The thrill of the blizzard, for me, was the chance to do some work from home, and enjoy some afternoon television. Which is what I did, until the cable went off… so I watched a movie (well… half of one… as I remembered only when it cut out that I had only recorded the first half of Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and all was well…

Even got to see the finale of Beauty and the Geek finale (guilty pleasure fix!)… but only just. At exactly 8 o’clock… the power went out.

And of course, I was in the washroom at the time. Last time the power went out, I was in the bath. See a pattern anyone?

So the power goes out… the phone rings… I gingerly make my way out of the washroom (because there are puppy training pads EVERYWHERE these days…) Jaime on the phone freaking because her power cut JUST as they went….

And the winner of this season’s beauty and the geek is…..

Gotta love killer timing.

So here I am, writing by candlelight, bored already. It’s only been half an hour. But the puppy is already passed out in my lap (must have found candlelight and clacking of keyboard keys soothing) and I have nothing to do…

Though it is funny to think that my grandparents are sitting across the (many) ponds… likely sitting in the dark as well. A nice big storm hit the island yesterday and today, and they’ve been without power for awhile… but they have a wood stove, so it’s okay.

But I have to wonder what they are doing right now. Maybe they have more candles than I do, and are reading. Or maybe they called it an early night. Or maybe they are just talking. What to people DO when they no power.

Make that, what to people do when they have no power, and live alone.

I feel like my biggest challenge up here, as a single gal in the north, is to just A.) ask for help, and B.) don’t shy away from accepting it.

I just am constantly paranoid that I’m imposing on people, and they just humour me… but it gets old.. even to me… and I’m the one that’s doing it!

It comes down to a conversation I had with co-worker a couple weeks back. She very bluntly told me (but with the best of intentions) that I would be miserable if I was intent on playing “independent woman” … and she’s probably right.

It just goes against … no only my nature… but also…

It takes a very independent, self-reliant… “strong” person to leave their family, friends, climate, culture, language, comfort zone… for the world up here. And so to encourage such a person to drop those “key qualities” once arriving… is very counter-intuitive.

It also just crossed my mind... what the hell would I do if the power went off for more than a couple hours here? Back home its "normal" for people to be without power for a day or more if there was a lot of backup, or the storm was really bad. Tonite I dined on crackers, cheese and some funny processed meat. But I don't keep non-cooking-intensive foods around the house. Mostly because I don't really like canned/dried/cold foods.

So, input time. What non-gross foods should I be purchasing so I don't die if the power goes out for more than 2 hours?????

**Insert Jeopardy theme**


Jackie, skilled meterologist

'nuff said.

Y'all doubted today would be a snow day... but NOT ME. I was RIGHT. And now I am VICTORIOUS!!!!


Blizzard? Fo' Shizzard!


I think it's official, my new hobby is/will be cooking.

Or maybe, to be more precise, baking.

I am of the opinion that baking is cheaper... as you don't have to pay for all that pricey meat and potatoes. Because every good meal is based around meat and potatoes :P

There is just something strangely satisfying about kneading dough. Ooo, and that punching it part is fun too when it has risen.

I even was like "hmm... maybe I'll buy one of those cool mixers like Martha Stewart has..." until I realized it was like 700.00 bucks hahaha.

I've decided she's my new favourite TV personality. And possibly my new idol. Except for the jail thing... and even that has provided for fantastic Martha moments in the past month.

My favourite things about Martha Stewart:

  1. When, two weeks ago, when Andy Samberg was on the show, and he was like "you should come on the show" and Martha's response was "I was invited once, but I had to go to jail to get the invite" I was like *jaw hit the floor... the prim Ms. Stewart not only acknowledged her jail-time but made a JOKE about it on-air!!!
  2. She's always got the exact right amount of the ingredients pre-measured and laid out on the counter in these little saucers. I tried to do this last night when I was making cinnamon rolls... but only go so far as doing it with the flour. Then I was like "this is stupid, I'm just going to have to wash all these extra dishes..."
  3. She's constantly excited for any kind of alcohol. Be it wine, sherry, brandy, ANYTHING. And she's like "clearly we need just a LITTLE BIT more of THIS..."
  4. She loves eating. Who can hate that? I'm oft tres jealous I can't partake, but that's just me being selfish.
Okay, that's enough of my blatant Martha-worship... but I'm totally going home and may or may not be putting one of her recipes to use. Wooot.

www.marthastewart.com, when opened in Firefox tabs... multiple Firefox tabs.... it looks like THIS:


I'm such a sap

Freakin' movies getting to me and pulling at those weakened heartstrings!!

I think I've mentioned this before, about how I constantly use terrible made-for-tv movies and soundtracks to relive the in-person experience of musicals I've seen.

Rent was on today.

I can still remember really clearly certain parts of that show. Its a really... hard show, emotionally. Its got amazing energy, but when I listen back to the 2-part CD, I rarely make it past the first 15 tracks. Because I KNOW who dies in the second half, and it just kills me every time. But I watched the whole movie today, in-between playing "fetch" with sully (which he has somewhat, though not completely, grasped).

There's something about musicals that make me think I am a much better singer than I really am. But my vocals reverberating off my apartment walls... significantly less flattering then in the car with the windows rolled up.

In any case, today, the movie killed me, not because of who dies (I don't want to spoil this for people who haven't seen it...) as is usually the case, or the scene at the near-end when person #2 is near-death... and there is the infamous "candle moments" ... when I nearly broke down and bawled when I saw it in Ottawa (but didn't, I held my own...)

But the last song of the movie, before the credits.

"there is no future
there is no past
thank god this moments not the last
theres only us
theres only this
forget regret
or life is yours to miss
no other road no other way
no day but today

will i lose my dignity
will someone care
will i wake tomorrow
from this nightmare
theres only now
theres only here
give in to love
or live in fear
no other path
no other way
no day but today(x6)

i cant control
my destiny
i trust my soul
my only goal
is just to be
without you the hand gropes
the ear hears
the pulse beats
life goes on
but im gone
cus i'd die without you
i'd die without you(x5)

no day but today"

whirlwind city

I realized this week that I have been living up north for a full two months now.

It certainly doesn't feel that long. I can't exactly say I've been having the time of my life, but time certainly has flown.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't describe myself as UNHAPPY but I think its fair to say I'm still in the adjustment stage.

Sometimes I just love how mellow things are... that I really am able to recharge on the weekends (and after the NTI-filled week of last.... I certainly needed it).

But sometimes I just miss the company. I've not yet really reached the point with the people I know here, where I don't feel like I'm imposing... and I live a bit out of the way, so it seems a bit hard to get people to come down, for something so "trivial" as a movie night or whatever. Or maybe I've just not really tried hard enough.

And I just feel really.... spread thin emotionally right now. There is some drama going on in my life right now, (not involving me directly, but I am feeling like the aftershocks of it) and I'm feeling very conflicted about it all. I have this incessant urge to "fix things" ... to make things better and have everything be okay. But at the same time I can't get too involved in things because its not really my problem to solve. It just leaves me kinda stressed out. And I thought I had left that part of me behind in the "south"

My attempt at purchasing a wii is a complete bust. I ended up having costco return my money, because they officially couldn't find it, and now it is out of stock. Which sucks. And now that it is so close to Christmas, it's kind of like I don't have a chance in hell now.

Its just annoying because I have all these games... I guess it's just a lesson in cart and horse placement.

I think I just have to start my own little weekend rituals, maybe. I am considering subscribing to at least the weekend edition of the Ottawa Citizen. I'm sitting here on my couch, drinking Chai Tea (which I didn't even think I liked....) thinking how nice it would be to be reading a paper right now. The local weeklies just don't satisfy that craving.

This has been a really abstract post. But I think I'm just very all over the place right now.


Radio recognition

Over the past day or so, I've had two separate people say thye have heard me on CBC.

The first time, Monday night, it was my co-worker's sister. We were at the hockey game, and she asked my name... and then was like "I recognize your voice!"

Yesterday, it was a fellow journalist, and Nunatsiaq News reporter, saying he oft hears me on the radio.
I guess its not really that big of a deal.

Of COURSE people hear me on the radio.
But I'm used to my family saying they've heard me, its a bit different when its total strangers/people I've never met.
It's kind of surreal, the idea of people recognizing me, my name, my voice.

But I guess its just part of the job :P

to buy or not to buy...

So I'm spending most of this week at the NTI annual general meeting (Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. for you "southern" folks) it appears to be much better organized than the KIA (Kivalliq Inuit Association) I was at a couple weeks ago...
But then that was regional, this is territorial.
I can imagine that makes a big difference.

Probably my favourite part of the conference/meeting is the unlimited amounts of fresh fruit available every morning, followed by veggies and dip in the afternoon... and the oft-visited "crafts table."

Local folks put their kamiks, parkas, original artwork, mitts, etc... on display for purchase for the delegates, and other folks attending the meeting (such as yours truly).

I bought a pair of mitts at the fall yard sale a couple weeks ago... but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. Originally I wanted some skin mitts... with maybe some fur on the cuffs. But there wasn't much for sale ... of the non-food variety... so I bought the only pair I could find that were for adults. They were bright orange (pleather!!) with beaver fur ruff. Not exactly what I was looking for, but I'm glad I bought them in the end because otherwise, my poor little hands would have frozen and fallen off ... as shortly thereafter, the temperature dropped to a steady -30.

So there's a pair of mitts here for sale, they are fur (really coarse, not soft... I have no idea what kind, I'll have to ask) for "just" 60 bucks (believe it or not, this is a steal... no one "down south" would dream of buying mitts for 60... seems like such a "waste" but then... I guess I wear my other mitts just about every day ... and they are much more difficult to lose (being BRIGHT ORANGE AND ALL) )

But the winter craft fair will be this Saturday, and so maybe I'll hold off, and finally buy the mitts I really want... but I have no idea if the craft fair will be ONLY CHRISTMAS stuff or not.

Meh, we shall see.



I don't know what it is, in particular, that makes office phones so freaking difficult for me to understand.
I literally had just mastered all the quirky little features of my old phone (and programmed the speed dial for my news editor / producer...), figured out what buttons didn't work...

And today I come into work with a new one glaring at me from my desk.

Yes it's prettier than the old one. But much more confusing. The buttons don't have WORDS on them, so I have to associate a SYMBOL with a meaning... which is all very well and good when it's a red octagon we're talking about, but how in the world was I supposed to know that the swirly "Nortel" symbol actually was the "feature" key?

And when there is an incoming call, there is a triangle with a phone receiver hovering over it. When that call is picked up, the receiver moves to the left. AND THEN when its on hold, it moves to underneath the triangle.

Ok, in hindsight, the symbols actually make sense for this one. I just realized the triangle with the receiver over it is supposed to be an old-school telephone. And when it is on hold, its like the receiver is beside the phone (or in front of it) and when it is in use, its like the receiver is being held straight up-and-down... so like the phone is talking to the receiver.

Doesn't change the fact that I'm still struggling.


A post for Mom and Andrea

Check out my rockin' bathroom art:


Beautiful Stranger

I don't care what my mother told me. Sometimes, it is okay to talk to strangers.

Like when it is minus a bagillion outside, and you've waited 20 minutes for a cab, give up, and decide it's probably faster just to walk home and feed your very hungry puppy....

And someone spies your poor wind-bitten face and shivering form, pulls over, and asks if you want a ride, wherever you are going.

Its things like that, little random acts of kindness, that I would likely be wary of "down south" that give the north its charm.

Kudos "Jon" ... I'll make sure to pass on the favour.


Food for thought

What happens when Melbatoast gets stale?

Or for that fact, sour cream goes sour?

Blogging and journalism etiquette

I think I gave a fellow blogger a good scare this morning.

I was reading Lisa and Josée's blog yesterday afternoon, because I finished my story early and decided to catch up on some blogs I'd be neglecting ...

I have all my "favourites" bookmarked on my laptop, and I get home and open them all up in "tabs" when I get home from work...

But that means I don't do a whole lot of exploring for new blogs. And tend to forget to visit the new ones I find and they get lost in my various bookmark folders on my various computers.

ANYHOW, I found something she said to be really interesting, and I called her. We've never spoken before... I don't even know if I've posted on her blog yet... so I think I may have scared the crap out of her.

I guess sometimes we don't think about blogs being 100% public... and that people link off of other sites, other blogs, and read what you write. I didn't think of that initially when I started my blog, but once I "joined" the Northern blogging community, it became very apparent to me. Plus I get something like 90+ hits a day... and I doubt they are all friends of mine (it'd be great if I had that many friends though!)

Which brings me to something I've felt a bit conflicted with since starting my current job with CBC: balancing my "normal" life with my "work" life. Less in terms of workload and that sort of thing... but more like when I'm "on" and when I'm "off."

The thing with living up north... or any small community really... is that you have to look in different places for stories. Or rather, you rely more on yourself and what you hear people talking about... than swiping from other publications or press releases or whatever. If you did that... you'd never have anything to report. You have to keep your ear much closer to the ground.

And as a result, I feel like people become "wary" of what they say around me. And I hate that. So. For all those out there. These are the rules.

  1. If I call you, and identify myself as "Jackie S. from CBC" then I am calling about work. About my work, and there's something I want to talk to you about.
  2. If I see you, and I have a microphone in my hand, that means I am here about work. My work. And there's something I want to talk to you about.
  3. If we are just talking... that is off the record! Okay? I'm just a normal person. I'm not saying if you say something I find interesting I won't call you at some other point in time and ask you about it. But I never hide my microphone... that just doesn't work (bad sound quality!) and its not like I can "use" anything you say off the cuff in a conversation... I need the sound!

The end.


More bad luck

I do not understand. Maybe its just because I'm ordering more items online than I ever have before, but I'm having the WORST time of getting things delivered to Rankin.

I am in the world's biggest barroom brawl with UPS right now. Or at least the people contracted by UPS to get my stuff to me. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this already or not, but my wii is officially lost.

As in, I will not get it.

As in, it may or may not have dropped out of the back of a Calm Air flight into the Hudson Bay at some point in the "delivery" process.

And they will refund my credit card in.... oh... a couple of weeks. Not re-shipped. Nope, because they are SOLD OUT now. So now I have to maybe try and find one online somewhere else, which is going to get increasingly impossible as the holidays near.

I am just almost past the point of being annoyed, and ...

Wait, no, I'm not. I'm still definitely annoyed. But I just wish things were a little more reliable. I'm spending serious money, can't things arrive within 2 weeks? Shouldn't be that much to ask.

And now Sully's stuff may also be lost... well Pet Smart doesn't seem to know where it is... the tracking number they gave me doesn't seem to work, and I've been talking to them since Monday trying to figure stuff out.

I mean, I know, actually, it's not just me. Jaime and Towniebastard both had "issues" with tracking and delivery with UPS and their Macbooks... but at least they eventually got their stuff.



My own personal tiny little terror

I came home from work today to this:

And this:

This is what that looks says:
Well, you didn't really secure the gate, and I decided to go exploring...
And then I had a little accident on the floor...
So I went to get some toilet paper... (and a lone cotton ball) to clean it up...
but lacking opposable thumbs.... THIS is what happened.
I'm innocent!

Nothing makes me happy like good music

I love hearing music I know and love on the radio.

Key words: know and love.

As a rule, especially throughout my angsty high school years, I was known for widely proclaiming my hate for commercial radio. I despised the music on "Magic 93," and maintained the only good radio station out there was CBC (which was sort of funny, because while I vividly remember saying this, I don't have any memory of actually LISTENING to CBC...).

I was a discman girl, through and through. And the CD that spun most often was the soundtrack from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And second-most: Little Shop of Horrors. I was a strange kid, come to think of it. And I think I knew that I was passionate about sort of strange music, but defended it vehemently. I was the REAL THING. I had SEEN these musicals (well RHPS, anyways) and loved it, and listening to the soundtrack was like reliving the experience.

I still do this today. There's something about soundtracks that just jolt my mind's eye.

Of course, things have changed. I'm still anti-commercial radio. I am totally lost at clubs, because I don't know any of the songs or the words. I am not very good at "bringin' sexy back" and such things.

But I can, and do, and love, rockin' out to my one true love: Canadian indie music. I don't know what it is, but I am addicted. New Pornographers, Limblifter, Immaculate Machine, Joel Plaskett... all make my knees weak and heart flutter at that rare, and priceless moment ... when I hear "MY" music played on the radio. Its rare, its sweet, and for three and a half minutes I feel like an actual, normal person, humming along with the radio.

Totally worth waiting for.


Current obsessions

  1. Nintendo Wii: Tennis-I am less than 200 "skill points" from being a "pro" at wii tennis. I even aggravated my tennis/softball elbow. You might think that'd be a bad thing, but I love it... next simulated-sport obsession: boxing
  2. My DVD HDD recorder. It's like a VCR... only a million times better. I can record movies/ shows on the hard drive, edit out the commercials, if I feel like it, and then, if I choose, burn it to DVD. And its actually really easy to use (even though I was so hopeless setting it up... the Phillips tech support centre hates me)
  3. Etsy.com. Just go. And explore. I love it, its amazing. Mad props to Jaime for this one.
  4. Making wish-lists and "registering" on various websites for Christmas

Yep, that's right. I'm not going to make it home for Christmas this year. I was a little bit devastated but honestly, I any trying not to think about it. And its looking like maybe I'll be heading to Winnipeg for at least some of the holidays, do some shopping, pick up some puppy chow.... you know, normal Christmas stuff. Haha . And maybe visit some family as well.

We shall see!!

Ps-I should really go to bed but its that time of night when the really quirky infomercials are on... the guy is now cutting through a hammerhead ..... and now... is the knife still sharp? Slices through tomatoes like a warm knife through butter.

How much would you pay for this knife?

Not $90, $80,$70,$60.. .. but just three easy payments of $13.33

But wait... there's more!!!

No. There's not. I'm going to bed.

Even though you can get all 183 pieces for just 3 easy payments of $13.33


A dystopic utopia?

For the past couple days I have been spending my lunch hours at work, in the break room, eating lunch and watching Martha Stewart work her magic on the 11-inch TV we have. It was great, I could pretend my really bland rice was actually a succulent turkey, or roasted, whipped sweet potato etc. (haha, oh American Thanksgiving) It was highly satisfying and kept me from being really antsy come 2 o'clock, from sitting at my desk all day.

But then today, my beloved noon-hour passtime failed me, the channel wouldn't come in... and I couldn't figure it out. So I scoured the office for something to read that wasn't

A.) The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement or
B.) The pocket criminal code.

Note to self, bring book to work.Martha and the 10-in TV are not reliable.

And then I remembered I had two old Macleans magazines on top of my desk (next to my copy of the pocket criminal code) and settled down on the funny-smelling breakroom sofa and hoped for the best.

I'm not always a fan of Macleans. I don't really like the layout, and the first half of the magazine bores me. I like the longer articles, as long as they aren't profiles of former politicians... but I think I've hit the jackpot with the magazine's centennial publication.

The cover story is called "Lizzie's Century" and it's written by this guy who did a serious piece of writing as to what his daughter would see by the time she's 100 (aka in 2105... the issue is a couple years old).

Now, I should mention I've always had a bit of an obsession for "futuristic" predictions. When I was younger I was into some science-fiction... (never got into Star Trek though, so that kind of shows how moderate my interest was). I had this thing for "futuristic" houses... and was intrigued by the idea of artificial intelligence. So it was interesting to see what "experts" not fiction-writers have predicted for the future... or rather "our" future. Because we're not talking 500 years away now, we're talking in the next 10 years... and beyond.

I like to think of myself as a realistic optimist. I have my moments, like the rest of the world, where I think the world's going to end because my wii got lost by UPS... but generally, I like to believe the best is going to happen, but I'm not about to win the lottery tomorrow.

Its funny how different Maclean's predictions are from the hamlet of Rankin Inlet's. One of the first stories I did when I arrived here was about the hamlet's new 20-year plan. The biggest concern, of course, being where expansion would be, as there were only about 30 lots left in the current plan. Whereas according to this article... in 20 years, we'll have kettles that will alert 911 when grandma's not made a pot of tea all day.... and alarm clocks that will communicated with PDAs to select the proper wake-up-time and tone of alarm. Granted neither of those are actually LIFE ALTERING changes. But it just seems... too new-age for my sleepy little town.

But of course there's a bit of gloom and doom in "futuristic" predictions. I thing the biggest one, in the "near future" predictions was in the 2015 bracket, it read:

"AIDS will eat up more than 50 per cent of health budgets in the hardest-hit countries. In some African nations, average life spans will plummet by as much as 30 to 40 years, leaving more than 40 million orphans"

2020 is when they predict breakthroughs in "cures" for HIV/AIDS.

And, strangely enough, the thing that sort of jolted me the most, was a little one-sentence quip about the future of transportation. They say in 2080 (or so) VOTL aircraft ( or vertical takeoff and landing vehicles ... think Jetsons) will be as popular as RVs are today.

So what?

Well anyone who knows me has probably heard my great and wonderful plans for being a little old lady. I've always said I'm going to buy myself a giant RV  and drive myself and my husband around the continent. Gas prices be damned, I have always thought that would just be the best way to see the US/Canada etc. And I never ever gave a second thought to the fact that me saying that, is like saying my grandparents are spending their retirement drag racing in a Model-T. Ok, not quite, but you catch my drift.

I guess I just never even considered the fact that my "plans" for the future probably are no where near a reality...and not because I might change my mind or even just not do it, but more so because the world, when I hit 60, may very well be unrecognizable to my current self. I'm sure my grandparents... or even my parents for that fact had no scope of what the internet and wireless life would be when they were my age. The world changes so fast, its hard to keep up... or even look ahead to what "might be."

Man I'm deep

My remedy for S.A.D.

Get a puppy.
Because puppies don't care if its dark early.
At least mine doesn't.
An thus, one little furball can, in one fell swoop, singly-handedly, limit the amount of daytime napping that might take place.
Because the little bugger, whining or not, sure lays the guilt on thick for not playing with him.
Must just be that face

(ps, happy yet Jen? I'm blogging AND posting pics of Sully. Yeesh the things I do to please people I've not even met :P)


Pure poetry

Oh,squiggly line in my eye fluid,
I see you there, lurking on the periphery of my vision.

But when I try to look at you, you scurry away.

Are you shy, squiggly line?
Why only when I ignore you do you return to the center of my eye?
Oh, squiggly line, it's all right.
You are forgiven

WHO'S THAT POET? (hint: not me, though I have posted this because I've oft felt this way)
NOTE: You are not allowed to look it up online. That's cheating.

waaaaittt a second.

It's 10 degrees in Ottawa? WTF?

Is this actually the temperature in the rest of the country? I actually almost can't believe it.

Things I like

  1. Waking up after only 5 or 6 hours sleep and actually feeling refreshed
  2. Spraying and swirling in my "signature" perfume... which had been packed for the past two months.
  3. Tea from Wittards in Picadilly Circus. That is long past its "best before" date, but when you only get there once every two years, you make it last.
  4. How giant my hair is when I actually take the time to do it in the morning
  5. Sit-down showers
  6. When my dog doesn't eat his poo, and instead leaves it for me to clean up from the laundry-room floor (yes, cleanup is actually a good thing)
  7. Being in the zone, and producing decent stories for the next morning, even when its ten o'clock at night
  8. How the two "staple" items from my apartment in Quebec actually go with my new apartment. Multi-colour area rug + green pampasan chair + oxblood leather sofa = swanky
  9. How much more relieved I feel now that all my belongings have finally arrived, even though they are piled ceiling-high in my dining room.


One picture. One million tantalized tastebuds


Coughs and cravings

There's nothing like being sick to drive you to the brink of insanity.

Or to make you remember the definite perks of living at home.

When I get sick... which, in my own opinion, doesn't happen THAT often... I tend to get knocked out something awful and become more or less completely incapacitated for a couple of days.

This weekend was no exception, and as a result I have hereby vowed to become an even MORE anal-retentive hand-washer. I don't know if I can COMPLETELY blame this weekend's fun on my co-workers children (though it sure is nice not to take any blame)... but there had been a definite bug going around the kids... and so let's indulge paranoia and decide that's what happened.

If I was to be asked what I did this weekend, I wouldn't even have an answer. I know a lot of sleeping took place. A lot of waking up at 8 for no reason, staying up until noon, then sleeping till four. A lot of nose-blowing, and other gross mucus-intense bodily functions. It involved eventually realizing that the fluorescent light I requested from my landlord was not coming that weekend, and that bathing etc. in the dark simply was not kosher. And resulted in the brainstorm that I could just plug in a lamp in the bathroom, rather than lighting all those darn candles every time I had to go.

That's how smart I was this weekend folks. It took me until Sunday to put that one together.

But in the end, I've not had to take time off work. I'm feeling about 80% and ready to tackle tomorow, which  may or may not involve the delivery of the last crate from Quebec... maybe, possibly the discovery of where my wii is shacked up...a late night (and a late start as well) to cover/stretch my brain around some mining in the area... and hopefully the re-inflation of the tires of "my" truck (aka the CBC's truck.. that has been sitting plugged in next to my front step for the past 5 days... teasing and tempting me to take it to the Northern for an orange......)

Yes an orange. All I want right now... since Friday morning when co-worker had one cut up in slices at our story meeting... and I nearly died... hypnotized by its juicy sheen, and tangly smell....

Okay I have to stop. I will get one tomorrow. And it will be great.


No blogging for me

My cold has kicked my ass. And so the long weekend is being spent within 3 feet of my humidifier. My puppy is not pleased, but then neither am I.


Northern lessons

Things I need to learn to survive in the arctic:

  1. Patience. Just ask anyone who knows me. This is NOT my forte. Less because of a "everyone/thing should cater to me NOW" mentality... but more so because I get so incredibly excited about things... and then they take forever to happen. Case in point: the shipping of my belongings, my Wii (which may or may not be 100% lost), the possible purchase (notice how its becoming less and less of a definite?) of my ATV... the list continues. Honestly, I think I would just be much better off if I hadn't been told such things would transpire MUCH SOONER than they really have. Seriously, I only really get impatient when things take longer than I'm told they will.
  2. How to gauge when I need to wear my wind pants. Yesterday, it was not quite cold enough. So I was just like a human sleeping bag, walking to work. Today, it was DEFINITELY cold enough... but I only wore my jeans, snowboard socks that go up to my knees and that were like 50 bucks (but I got them on a veeeery good sale) because THAT'S how warm they are (haha) and my POLAR-THERM long underwear. Shrug, I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually.
  3. The magic word... or combination of words that will encourage my puppy to do ALL of his business outside... and within 5 minutes of us going out there... rather than just whining and looking at me pitifully... and then storing it all for the laundry room floor. As Jen has said... puppies make mistakes, but that's why they are made so cute. So we will forgive them anyways.


Ick, sick

I'm not good at being sick. In fact, I'm so bad at it that I'm refusing to acknowledge that I am sick.
It's just a sore throat.
And a cough.
I don't actually FEEL sick.
And I think maybe I had food poisoning last night.

But I'm fine. I've got Buckley's, I've got two flavours of Halls (lemon-honey because I hate it and won't eat it like candy, black cherry because I love it and is sugar-free so it won't leave my teeth all cruddy), and I've got a constant supply of cold water. I'm fiiiine.

Too bad I make a living TALKING. Sigh.

But enough about me.

I'm sure most of you have heard by now ("you" being my "southern" readers... not my northern counterparts), but we had a bit of a sad day yesterday/Monday night. A RCMP officer was shot and killed in a small community to the south of Iqaluit, on Baffin Island.

I refrained from blogging about this, because I think so many people have expressed their condolences in ways I can't quite do. So in case you thought I was too wrapped in my own personal drama (what exists of it... my moving crates, after all, are just oh-so-gossip-worthy) to have noticed there was a murder in my new home... sorry. I wish. My editor/the senior reporter in Iqaluit has been the go-to source on the story for a lot of the country. I think she's done an amazing job of handling the situation.

The RCMP station sits directly beside the CBC in Iqaluit. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in the office yesterday/Tuesday.

I think there's a lot of concern out there... perhaps from even my family... most likely my grandparents... that the North is a dangerous place for me to have moved. I don't know what to say to that. I've been incredibly lucky. People have been very kind to me, and the "scariest" thing to have ever happened to me was when I couldn't find all the kids hiding in my closets. But then again, I know people who have been the target of some serious racism here. So you have to be smart, I guess. But let's be honest, this place is no more dangerous than Ottawa. Where more than one woman was abducted, not far from where I lived, in the four years I was there.

I think that what makes this so different is that we (us "southerners") just aren't used to being in the minority. And being a minority... especially in places where there is a sticky history... leads to "othering" and misunderstanding. I think back now to when I was being interviewed for my job... and I really brushed off their questions about "have you thought about what it would be like to be in the minority." I think I said something about I'd been a linguistic/cultural minority more than once in my life, and that its something I would have to take in stride.

And I guess that's what I'm doing, but its hard to see things like this happen along the way.

Arctic musings

I walked to work today. That may not really be a big deal to most people, but I live in Area 6, and my work is a good 20 minute walk when I'm listening to my ipod and not wearing 18 layers of clothing. Its a tad longer when it's -20 and I need to dress accordingly.

I was thinking though, on my way to work, about how crazy it is that it's November already. It can't have been that long ago that I was in Iqaluit, in Quebec... in Ottawa for that fact. Seems weird to think that just a couple months ago I was passing my weekends by reading at la citadelle... going to concerts on the plaines... in school...

I guess its part of "growing up"... where your life seems to simultaneously go by in a blink of an eye... but then months feel like they were a lifetime ago. It makes me happy and sad all at once. It means that before I know it, I will have been up here a couple years. And I will reach that crossroads where I decide to move onwards and southwards... or that Nunavut is a place I want to spend a larger, more substantial part of my life.

When I think about the places in Canada I would like to live... and work... I'm very torn. I wouldn't mind living in Iqaluit. It's a decent size, and the folks at the CBC there are just fantastic.
But the north does have its disadvantages. As I think we've (Northern Bloggers, I mean) all discussed by now, the price of getting home is substantial... and food selection is limited. I also think I'd like to live/work in Vancouver. I don't exactly know why... but the city is sort of a hub for all my favourite music... not to mention being on the ocean. Again, not very close to home, so that's hard. Finally, there's Halifax. And I'd like to think some day I'd have the chance to work there.

Debbie Downer no longer

I am one happy girl today.

I walked to work in my MOON BOOTS... while wearing my SWIRLY TWIRLY GUMDROP HAT ... and sporting my German-Kmart turquoise scarf.

Yep, that's right, Jackie's got some new clothes. Well not really new... just "haven't seen in awhile and so they feel new."

So yes, my stuff arrived yesterday... at least some of it did. Two of my three crates anyways... and when they said "crates" I expected a lot more than actually arrived (and began to worry that I had overdone it a bit in terms of moving...). But I'm relieved actually. It was probably 10 boxes, and most of my furniture. But it appears there's no real method to the madness that is "crated" moving... because while I have a kitchen table and four chairs... I don't actually have the LEGS for my table. And while I have my desk, book case and file cabinet... I have the BOTTOM of my desk chair... but not the back. So it's more like a desk-stool than a desk-chair.

But all in all, a good shipment of belongings. But the items I was MOST excited to see were...(in no particular order)

  1. Moon boots
  2. Box o' wine
  3. My "art" - - aka two prints I picked up in Quebec City, one of a lily and the other of a poppy... both green-tinted (of course)
  4. My desk (my laptop was being a huge nomad of late)
  5. My wireless router
I am finally starting to feel at home. And it feels good.


It is 3:42 and the sun is beginning to set.

Oh daylight savings time. How you "SAVE" daylight is beyond me.

The saga continues....

I just received this email from my moving company.

This is, of course, after I was told that half of my stuff ACTUALLY arrived a week ago.

Hi Ms. S*

We have just e-mail J* per as the delivery of 2 crates tomorrow morning.
Please let me know when "Bing" (One of Jack's helpers) would be able to
unpack for you. Mat at First Air says that the 3rd crate might leave Sunday,
keep you finger cross. We will verify with B* at M & T Enterprises on
Monday November 12th if your last crate has arrived. Thank you for being so
patient. Have a great day.

Best regards,

M* L*

So clearly, my movers have no clue what's going on. Reassuring eh?

And while writing this... I just got a second email, with the subject heading:




Her number is 867-645-2***

M* L*

Please, let us all note how I have been ignoring this woman the whole time, and so it was 100% necessary to write the entire conversation in caps. Because I might ignore it otherwise. Because I don't actually want my stuff.

All I can do is shake my head and hope that next time I move, I will be working with less incompetent people.

*I am reverting to initials. Because even though I'm incredibly annoyed, I'm still a nice person.

Ex-cuse me?

So I just found out that HALF my stuff has been sitting at the Rankin
airport since OCTOBER 30TH! And do you THINK my movers told me? Do you
THINK I got a call? Do you THINK that half of my pop has probably

I wish I even had the adjectives to describe how annoyed I am right now.

I am just plain SICK of measuring out cups in tablespoons. I am tired
of wearing the same two pairs of pants. I want a glass of wine. Is
that too much to ask? Really.


Puppy Mania, part 2

As promised... photos of the puppy.
You can see the full album here

I managed to capture the first time he chased his tail on film.
I nearly died.
He also thinks there's something like a million puppies in my apartment, because each of my six-thousand closets is mirrored. So he's constantly running past them, "racing" himself!

Jackie and Sully. Taken veerrry early this morning.
Please ignore the sketchy trailer-trash hair.

Why I have not posted pictures :P

I want to preface this entry by saying getting my puppy is (at this point) probably one of the best things I've done since moving north. I know it's an investment, both money-wise and time-wise... but I am so happy. I get outside more (something I'm sure I'll regret come the REAL winter), I watch less TV, and the weekends... well the weekends used to be hard and dull and I'd look forward to it all week but then when Friday night at 5:30 rolled around... I'd find myself thinking "now what."

Don't get me wrong, I have great friends here, and it seems that every week I sprout a couple more (apparently I am working on a gardening metaphor...) but I feel bad relying on others to make my weekends go by.

Nonetheless, as I was well aware... puppies can be hard sometimes. But I'm lucky because my guy appears to either be really well behaved (naturally) or Snookum's started some paper-training and the like before I got him. Likely a mix of the two, but it makes things easier for sure.

But the past couple days hasn't been without its challenges. I've learned to pick my crap up off the floor (actually leading to a cleaner house... again, not a bad thing)... or incidents like THIS will happen: Yep, that's a USB cord... and why I hadn't posted any photos. Chewed right in two. Now in my own defense I thought I had put him in a safe spot, and cleared the area of any yummie cords... but my cordoning-off was clearly flawed, as when I came home, he was in my room, gnawing on my USB cord. Haha. But I've now learned my lesson. Good Girl. Gooood Girl.

More photos to come. I'll post a couple on the website, but do the link to Facebook as well.


The scariest thing I saw on Halloween....

besides the sheer lack of trick-or-treaters (I bought what I thought might BARELY get me through the night... and I have two un-opened bags of Jolly Rancher suckers left)....

At some time past midnight, there was a gaggle of teens outside my bedroom window (which, unfortunately faces the road, and so I always hear the ATVs, and such late into the night...) who were either on a sever sugar high... or quite drunk (really, a toss-up on Halloween). And two of them proceeded to get the the scrappiest catfight I've ever seen. And when friends tried to pry them apart, they were throwin' real punches... it was insane.

Note to self: the chicks here fight dirty. Don't get in a fight with one. You will lose.

In other news, just bought a char. Co-worker says it is the best char in the area. Twenty bucks for a cleaned fish, a good two feet long. Yummmm guess what I'm having for dinner?

Mom, Danielle, Laura: Look who's buyin' meat off the street/side of the road/in a random house out of someone's freezer?

Piggy-back rides anyone?

I remember when I was a kid, and I was so anxious, or so excited about the next day.... I'd have troubles falling asleep.

Normally, this would fall on October 30th, or December 24th....or after a really scary dream (think head-shrinking sequence from the Super Mario Bros. movie...)

Then, my mom and dad told me to pick something that made me happy, and to picture myself doing that as I went to bed.

Well, I don't know if I ever actually pictured it, but that "thing" (or phrase, rather) became a piggy-back ride. More specifically the mantra "I'm going to go on a piggy-back ride." I would say it over and over and over again in my head, sometimes imagining my dad giving me a piggy-back... and that would ward off the "scary" thoughts...

And if it was that I was really excited about something, the mantra would change... and become "I'm going to go on a piggy-back ride... it's JUST a piggy-back ride"

Ok, now you are starting to understand why I am such a quirky adult.. I was definitely a warped kid.

Last night I had one of those "it's December 24th, and I'm JUST going on a piggy-back ride" moments. I had so much running through my head. Thinking about my puppy (ARRIVING TODAY!), what should I NAME the puppy (Buckley, Waldo, Sully) and analyzing my transportation possibilities (will I seriously consider buying a used SUV instead of my Honda?) and so on.

So I got minimal sleep, and am still revved up by the excitement of puppy arriving today, that it's going to be tricky to get through the day today. Nine hours till I pick him up!!!



I get the day off!

Time warp

Okay, so I thought today was Halloween.
And I was so sure of that fact, that I though there was a mistake in the Blogger time counter when I saw it was the 29th.

Snow Day!

My studio manager called me last night and warned me that she may tell me not to come in in the morning, because of some bad weather. I was like "pish posh" ... then went to look at the weather forecast... no biggie. Little did I know that I was looking at Iqaluit's forecast. Not Rankin's.

Can we discuss the -27 with windchill in the morning?
Does this mean Halloween is canceled?


Things that make me a non-notherner

1. I say "out the road" instead of "up the road"
(I fought for a good ten minutes with K. about this one. I told him what I did today, including going "out the road" and he corrected me, saying I went "up the road" that that was its real name... and then I wasn't impressed because he said that you wouldn't say "going to Up the Road"... which means the name of the road isn't Up the Road it's The road... and it gets murkier and murkier....

2. I want and will drive my ATV in the winter. Come hell or high water. Or snow, sleet, hail or wind. A "real" northern would have a snowmobile. But not me. I'm Jackie. I'm stubborn. Hear me roar and curse as I try in vain to start the thing in -30 weather.

This is the way I do the north.


Northern shopping

Shopping for shoes up north is a fantastic thing.
Well, shopping for sneakers, when you don't like having to deal with a million different options, is a fantastic thing.

I have been trying to buy sneakers for a couple months now. I go to a sporting goods store. I look at the millions of running shoes. I try on a pair that looks pretty, probably involves blue or green accents, and is relatively cheap. Then I am not really impressed, can't commit to the price/shoe, and leave.

Every time I rented a car in Quebec City (which was four or five times in the five months I lived there) I went on a sneaker search. And every time I came back empty-handed.

Today, I went to the Northern to check out their selection. Telling myself it would make the aerobics easier... and that I needed a pair anyways... as my North Face hikers (the closest thing I have to runners) just weren't going to cut it (and they are starting to smell. Ew.)

I made my way past the electronics section (my favourite! and where I spend most of my time gawking at all the shiny gadgets...) to the back wall where the footwear is found.

There were four pairs of running shoes. Three Nikes and a no-name. I don't normally buy Nikes (normally too wide for my dainty little feet) but I didn't really have much of a choice today. I quickly eliminated the no-names. The three remaining were:

  • "Cheap" Nikes (Black and Pink) - and by cheap I mean just under a hundred
  • "Mid-range" Nikes (blue and white) - $120
  • "Expensive" Nikes (Pink, white and grey - - ew) - $140
Midrange Nikes (the ones I really wanted, based on looks alone) were not very comfy. Expensive Nikes were by far the ugliest, but most comfortable. And Cheap Nikes were pretty comfy, but I was suspicious of their "cheap" nature. In the end I went with Expensive Nikes. They are ugly. And I don't care. Because there were only three options at the Northern in Iqaluit... and they were the best.

Northern living may have made my shopping experience pricier, but there's no doubt its made simpler too.

Ode to a coffee

Dearest latte,
Long have I yearned for thee.
Thine velvety texture
and bold taste.
Invigorating my tastebuds
and awakening my senses.
Frothy milk.
Fresh ground beans.
A warm hug on a cold day,
and a slap in the face on a sleepy afternoon.

I have just discovered the Sugar Rush latte.
I haven't had an espresso drink in weeks. Months, maybe. Okay, probably just weeks.
It cost an arm and a leg, but totally worth it. And a nice reward for an otherwise frustrating day of unanswered phone calls.


I think my dishwasher just insulted me

A comment on my saggy bottom-bearing pants mayhaps?

I'm a genius

But you already knew that, didn't you?

So after some much-needed prodding from dear K. I changed the template of my blog (again). And this time I'm going to try and keep it for a bit, because I actually put WORK into this time...

Not that you can tell...

But that's a sign of good HTML editing, doncha think?

Anyways, the long and short of it is... the white/light blue was to LONG and the header was too SHORT.

And so I waved my little fingers, dabbled in the HTML template a bit... and voila. After being thoroughly confused for a good 15 minutes (and ignoring K. at the same time on msn...retribution baby), and bumping all of my text on the right hand column down to the bottom for a fleeting moment...voila.

A very spiffy template. I'm tres proud of myself. My geekdom reins.

New northern fad

C'mon. Everybody's doin' it.

It's "juice inna wine glass!"

Tonight's special: grapefruit juice.

And now that I think about it, it might as well BE wine... as it cost as much as a mid-range Ontario wine would cost back home.

Mmmhm all you "southerners" out there. A bottle of Ocean Spray grapefruit juice costs 13 bucks here.

But I've made this sucka last over a week so far. And if I keep knockin' em back in bite-sized juice glasses and wine glasses I might just make it to two weeks. That's a dollar a day!

Just think, I could give up my juice habit up north... and save the lives of millions of starving kids in third world countries.

Don't I feel good now!


And five, and four, and three...

I appear to be growing calf and butt muscles.

At least if my aching legs and ass have anything to say for it. And I blame Jaime

Went to aerobics last night, and MAN if I ever thought I was uncoordinated... well I was so right. So incredibly, embarrassingly right. It doesn't help that as I got exhausted, my legs turned to lipton noodles... and became absolutely useless. At this point in the routine, of course, we started to do grapevine/kicky moves.

So imagine, if you can. Jackie. Tiny stumpy legs. Exhausted. Sweaty. Without water while exerting herself more than she has in several months. Mounting and dismounting an aerobics step. With noodle legs. Doing twisty grapevine steps. And kicking forwards, backwards, and up.

It was a disaster. I couldn't stop laughing. Though I was the only one, so that was a shame.

New moment of self-discovery. When I make a fool of myself I laugh. I have given up (mostly) on the getting embarrassed. Now I just laugh. And it suits me just fine.

Wednesday/tomorrow is the advanced class. I'm pretty sure I'm going to die. It will be hilarious.

More delays

So I'm in a fight with the corporate moving company.

I packed up all my worldly goods in Quebec City on the 14th of September. That's right, the 14th.

Then had a week in PEI, and then three weeks in Iqaluit.

The idea being that I would arrive in Rankin Inlet, and VERY shortly my stuff would arrive. We even booked my tickets OUT of Iqaluit based on when the moving company said the crates would be in. They told me it would be there the beginning of next week.

So the beginning became the end... and then I find out that my stuff hasn't even reached Winnipeg yet. And that it should hit Winnipeg by Friday of last week.

I'm sitting here like... uh... WHAT? It's been OVER a month, and it's STILL not in Winnipeg? I mean, if the delay had of been due to weather, so be it. I understand that nothing went in or out of Rankin ... basically after I arrived. Fair enough. But this is outrageous. Last time I checked Winnipeg and Quebec City were NOT that far apart. I'm sooo annoyed.

And so now, I have an email from them saying that my stuff should (EMPHASIS ON THE WORD SHOULD) arrive on Sunday (one "crate" that is) and the rest next Tuesday. I'm seriously in doubt of this though. What annoys me the most, I think, is just the fact that by the time my stuff arrives I will have been living out of a suitcase for almost two months. That's gross. And I only actually brought one suitcase of clothes. The other one was packed with my duvet and my Canada Goose jacket.

So I'm a bit annoyed. And tired of wearing the same skanky pairs of jeans (yes I washed them, but I'm getting bored of them). And wish I had brought more socks, because I appear to be gradually losing them between the couch cushions...