All you need is char!

I have char coming out my ears.

And I love it.

I have been eating it just about every meal and snack for the past couple days.

I finally defrosted what was left of the char I bought for 20 dollars back in the fall... and have been eating it for supper/lunch ever since. And I've been spending the week at the Nunavut Association of Municipalities AGM and they SOMEHOW GOT THEIR HANDS ON ENDLESS SUPPLIES OF SMOKED CHAR.

As I mentioned, I haven't been able to get my hands on any smoked char for over a month now. So I've been scarfing it down at every opportunity... and yesterday... I'm not proud of this... but I took a styrofoam cup and filled it up with char, and kidnapped it for a snack later in the evening.

Hi, my name is Jackie, and I am a char-aholic.


I heart Marche Daoust


So you can order wine from Marche Daoust?!?! What a genius idea. I'm SO on this.

Kudos Marche Daoust, kudos.

Blogging news

First item of blogging news:

I am a bad blogger. I have neglected my blog since Wednesday of last week. Why? I have no idea. Sometimes I guess I just get weary of being interesting. Sometimes I like to be boring.

Second item of blogging news:

My baby sister has joined the ranks of the blogging world!!!!
I'm sure she's going to kill me for calling her my baby sister. But oh well.

Danielle (the aforementioned sister) is en route to Vietnam as I type. Maybe somewhere over the Pacific. She's in Vietnam for 2 months, as part of her degree at UNB's Renaissance College. She's going to be living and working in a small community, in local orphanages.

Her blog is at sharkeyinvietnam.blogspot.com ... and it's such a great read.

I'm so disgustingly proud of her, she's only 20, and has such an unreal experience ahead of her.

Third item of blogging news (without actually being about me, a blogger, or any other fellow bloggers...):

My MOM is coming to RANKIN. She's arriving next Thursday. And will be around for my birthday (May 10th!) and is up for about 2 weeks.
I really hope we have some warmer weather for her visit. For some reason old man winter has decided to swoop back into the Kivalliq... giving us some pretty steady temperatures in the -20s. I had put away my Canada Goose parka a couple weeks ago, but had to unearth it again at the end of last week. Though the wind pants are gone gone gone... not that I've been doing any heavy-duty walking these days anyways.

Taima :)


A puppy after my own heart

I turned my head for 20 seconds while making dinner and THIS is what happened.

Definitely from the Island eh?


Coffee catastrophe

Little known fact about me:

I enjoy cooking.

Ok, that's not really "little known" ...

BUT (here's the lesser-known bit)

I get really nervous when I am cooking for others.

I don't know what it is. But it makes me all panicky and hyper-aware of every little comment people make when consuming what I've made.

The dumb thing is, it's not like I'm completely inept in the kitchen. Last night, for example... I made a pretty awesome alfredo sauce. I cook a mean chicken Florentine, my scallop potatoes are divine, and the recipes I swipe from my dad (penne, mac 'n' cheese, red rice, stuffed pork .... the list goes on) are always a success.

I don't think I've ever really made something I didn't like... something that was absolutely inedible. Sometimes I get in the mood to make bread or some random baked good... and I get tired of it really fast, or forget to cover it so it goes stale....

But all in all... I have a pretty good record*

Except I think I effed up the coffee this morning.

I should note that once upon a time, I had a rule, a mantra almost. That I refused to learn how to do two things in life, because there would always be someone around who would know how to do it. Point Finale.

Those two things were:

  • how to BBQ
  • how to make coffee
It got to the point where I started to say my life would probably come to an untimely end because some day I was going to get kidnapped... and the kidnappers would provide me with an ultimatum: make us coffee or die, and I would die, because I just wouldn't know how to do it.**

And I was fine with that.

Until I moved to Quebec. By myself. No roomies to make me coffee, no mother to start the pot in the morning. I was all alone.

So I surrendered to fate. I had to learn how to make coffee.

So I asked my mom. And I wrote down the formula: one scoopie per 2 cups of coffee... but make sure you buy the right kind of scoopie or more math will be required bla bla bla... I wrote it all down on a post-it note, and taped it into the coffee maker itself. When I unpacked all my belongings in Quebec, the post-it was promptly stuck to the fridge, where it stayed until I moved out.

So for a good five months there, I was making my own coffee. I was such a grownup. It was impressive.

Then I moved north... and shortly thereafter bought an espresso maker. And never looked back. Lattes became a way of life for this girl. It was glorious.

Until today.

When I looked at the coffeepot in the breakroom here at CBC and decided I needed a caffeine jolt. I followed the directions on the Maxwell House tin. And drooled as the dark liquid trickled into the pot. The aroma wafted through the office, it was heaven.

I poured myself a cup, and it tasted like ass. It was strong, but not even good strong. Somehow this freak creation of mine managed to be both strong AND watery at the same time. Creepy.

I have no idea what went wrong. I did what I was supposed to. Did Maxwell House lie to me? Was the scoopie the wrong size? Forget it. I'm retiring from coffee-making.

I'm back on the latte.

Now, I just have to go try and dispose of the evidence before the coworkers try it and discover my hideous coffee-making skills.

*recent basil fiasco excepted... and for those involved... for the record, I ate some of that leftover "basil bread" for breakfast this morning, so there :P

**this story was also used to "defend" my spelling skills ... or lack thereof.


Schmoopville, population: me

It is Saturday night, at 8pm. And I'm feeling like a giant schmoop.

I just finished looking at my little sister's Facebook, looking at pictures of her and a friend going out for Wendy's (because McDonald's was closed).

I want McDonalds. I want a Big Mac... and those little shoestring fries and McChicken sauce for dipping.

I want to go anywhere for supper, but I can't because it's ALL CLOSED.

I want to get my freaking hair cut. I hate it right now, I'm even nearing the point of getting the scissors out and doing it myself.

I won't, but I hate looking homeless, and have been watching too much TLC.

I want to wear shorts (even though I hate shorts).

I haven't been paying attention to the weather anywhere else in the country (I only occasionally compare Rankin to Iqaluit) .. but I guess I'm finally realizing how nice the weather likely is in the rest of Canada... and I'm a bit jealous - - it's -32 today with the wind chill.

Granted, it was nice for a couple weeks there, floating between -15 and -5... the sun is making things better every day....it rises at about 4:30 (I saw it peek through the blinds this morning) and sets at about 9:30.

Maybe I'll go out and take some pictures of town tomorrow... provided it's not too cold. I'm still at reduced mobility these days, but I have the CBC truck, and can hobble a bit when needed.

Ooo, even better. I think tomorrow I'm going to put a kaibash on internet/tv. I will have a lo-tech day (use of vehicle for picture-taking excursion excluded) and just read, I spent too much of today sitting on my ass watching Bones.

That's probably why I feel schmoopy.

Tomorrow will be better :)


Is anything sacred?

I have to say that events like this, make me really happy that I've (more or less) secured a spot with the CBC.

All through journalism school, the Toronto Star was pointed at as the supreme example of where we should all want to work as print journalists.

Now, for the record, I was never all that interested in working at a daily...

But the elimination of so many jobs was still a bit of a smack in the face. 160 jobs isn't anything to sneeze at. Torstar says they were eliminating redundancies... everyone's favorite downsizing mantra... but I have to honestly wonder if there were 160 journalists etc. sitting on their asses twiddling their thumbs. I doubt it.

There's a fine line between keeping people busy and over working them. The one reason I wasn't too keen on doing the daily newspaper thing... is that I wanted to have a life. I saw that kind of journalist as a non-stop go-go-go always on, never rest kind of person. While I can muster up that kind of energy when needed... I can also see it getting to me, leaving me a very weary 22-year-old.

I work in a small office, in a remote community. My medium of choice is one that was "dead" before I even signed up for it. Torstar cites a weak newspaper industry for the cuts. An increased reliance on web news (though, at the same time, cutting their web department... so that's sort of hypocritical).

So I have to wonder, when the dust settles after all these media wars, and the battle for advertising dollars and resources is over....

Will all that survives be a publicly-funded broadcaster? Or are we as endangered as the rest?


Ok veteran Northerners.... this one's for you

(Specifically those who live in Nunavut... no offense to the rest of you folkies)

Let's talk sea lift.

This is about what I know: big boats come to Rankin. I should be making arrangements to put stuff on said boats.

Three companies run the boats (NEAS, NSSI, NTCL). Various companies put yummie things like pop on the boats for me. I pay them for it. I enjoy said goodies.

Here's what I don't get.

How in the WORLD do I find what companies supply to the north? How do I contact them? Is there some sort of database? Website? How do I know what I can order? Is there a catalogue? (I know sealiftexpress.com exists, but other than that I'm lost in the dark).

Pleeeease help. The more input the better. I want to get on this, and I know the shipping schedules are coming out very soon....



Well, even I'll admit that title is a little misleading, because I didn't actually EAT muskox today, but I certainly saw one, skinned and chopped up into much-larger-than-bitesized pieces.

Pictures (maybe) pending. If there's anything left by the time I get home after work, grab my camera, and drive back over. We shall see.

I think I would have been a little more upset with what I saw if I had of been around for more of the "butchering" process. But it just sat there, with different cuts of meat on display... I didn't see any organs ... and not really any bones either.

I guess it goes back to what Jen was saying in her polar bear post.

Living in the south... unless you live on a farm... you don't really see meat for what it is. You see it cut up, packaged, ground and frozen. You don't think about the animals behind them. Well few of us do. It's a coping mechanism. Distance yourself (geographically and emotionally) from the process, and just deal with the end product. I think what upsets people about what's done up here, is it's much more open.

There's no processing plants, there's a plywood box, a little axe, a couple good knifes and a lot of meat. People drive by to admire your "catch" stop by with a Northern grocery bag, and pick up a slab to take home for supper... or the next day's meal (I've been told muskox takes a good 5-6 hours to cook!).

That's just the way it is.

The epic mozza battle

I don't know what it is lately, but I think I've reverted to my five-year-old self.

You know, where you want one food, and only one food, and it doesn't matter what you have in the rest of your fridge/cupboad... all you want is to take a mustard sandwich to school, point finale. (For the record, I never ate mustard sandwiches, but a kid in my sister's class did, and has become famous for it).

Now there's a bit of a flaw in that paragraph... my parents say I wasn't a picky eater... and that's lasted into adulthood...

But here I am, with the eating habits of someone else's five-year-old self.

Last week it was toast. Toast and raspberry jam.

The week before it was potatoes. With all the toppings.

I think before then it was fish-burgers... and long before that was pepperoni pizza (thank god that one's over, it was getting expensive!)

Now it's mozza sticks.

It all started a week or so ago, when I went out to dinner with two friends of mine, and one ordered the mozza sticks as an appetizer. I nearly died. They were the most delicious mozza sticks of my very short life. I somehow managed to only devour two. They weren't mine after all. Then I had a brainstorm.

Frozen mozza sticks. From the Northern. Yummie, right?

NO. NOT YUMMIE. They were squishy, bland, and the colour was all wrong*. The "batter" was yellow, not crispy golden brown. It was beyond disappointing.

So Friday, after working a bit later than usual ... I decided to treat myself. Go to the Wolf and get take-out mozza sticks. You know, return to my roots, yo.

Cost for 6 mozza sticks? 17 bucks. That's right. 17 bucks.

I sincerely hope there was some kind of mixup. That I was charged for the ENTREE of mozza sticks rather than the APPETIZER... but I didn't say anything. I had tunnel vision. Inside that little rhombus Styrofoam temple was my dream-mozza sticks. And a piddly thing like cash wasn't going to stop me from chowing down.

Since then, I've come to my senses. There is no way I'm going to let some fried cheese put me in the poor house. So I've decided instead to make my own. I will be the "mozza-stick woman" in Rankin Inlet. I'll give them out as Halloween candy. They will make their way into Christmas stockings. Into plastic Easter eggs.

It will be divine.

To be continued (quite possibly later tonite after the first batch is made...)

*PS, to Tina, these sad, wilty mozza sticks were actually made by those same eegits who make the jalapeƱo poppers. Why did I even bother?



So while I admit I went a little stir crazy after a week of ankle-imposed house arrest... I now see exactly why I had to do it.

I'm actually in a bit of pain today.

I blame it on walking more than I did this past week (I've taken to only using one crutch and treating it like a cane) ... and walking outside on uneven ground (hey, usually there's fun mail at the end of that rainbow).

Either way I am looking forward to this weekend. Looking forward to a more horizontal position... and maybe even a bucket full of ice... or a bag of peas and carrots.

Man oh man my life is glorious haha.


Ummm...language expert?

I don't recognize the phrase "take fight against" ... is this just a phrase I've never come across in my 20-odd years of speaking the language or did two idioms get blended together to make something horribly wrong?

You gotta have faith...

So today was my first day back. And it's been a bit of a rough ride so far. I guess I have some people in town doubting I want to be here. To be a part of this community, this job, this life.

And that's really hard.

I wish I was strong enough to just brush that off and "not care what other people think" ... but that's not the way I am. It never has been my way.

And as I write that my stupid eyes well up with tears. God I'm a sensi. I can't help it.

Just because I like to be alone sometimes, just because I'd rather read a book at the airport than talk with people I barely know... doesn't mean I don't want to be here. It doesn't mean I don't know anyone, it doesn't mean I can't or don't fit in.

I don't like being doubted. I don't like being scrutinized because I'm "too young" or "too immature". I took this challenge, and accepted it whole-heartedly. I want people to believe in me. I want them to realize I'm worth having here.

I'm here. I'm not leaving next week, next month, or even next year. I've said I'd be here for at least 2 years, and I have every intent of doing just that.

I just wish people would see me as an asset. Whose naivety can work for her, because it makes her curious. Whose sitting quietly at the airport is actually silent observation. Whose slow and steady march to make contacts in this town, in this region, in this territory... will pay out in the end. Because the tortoise always wins. Right?




That is all. We now return to your regular scheduled programming.

Verdict's in

...and I'm detached.

Or rather, my ligament is.

I just had my "check-in" at the health centre this morning... and the fellow who saw me said I most likely had a detached ligament in my ankle. And there's not much they can do about it. And they can't say 100% for sure if that's it either, because we don't have MRIs or CT machines in Rankin. And it's not a big enough deal to send me out. Which I can believe. It's just an ankle.

So the prognosis: 4-6 weeks on crutches (ug) and I start physiotherapy (hopefully) in a week or so.

I almost wanted it to be a break, because breaks heal. Ligaments just flap around and cause me pain. And you don't get a bitchin' cast when you mess up your ligament. You just wear a tensor bandage. Maybe I can just get people to sign my foot. Haha.

One of these days though, seriously, I'm going to end up with a seriously messed up ankle. This isn't the first time I've done something like this... and I doubt it will be the last either. At what point do I lose complete use of my ankle? Do they do ankle-replacements, like knees and hips?

For now though, I think I'm going to check out well.ca and see if they have any cool canes. I'm going to adopt a very House-persona I think. Have a pimpin' cane with flames on it and pop lots of Vicodin. Except instead of Vicodin, it will be T3's. And seeing as I only have 2 left, I've got a feeling that it will be short lived. Oh well. At least I'll have the cane...right?


Mother dearest...

I think this whole "becoming your mother" thing has gone too far.

For months now ... I have been on the prowl for an opal ring. I've seen a lot I don't like, and a lot with really big stones, or ugly "fire" (I lean towards the white ones with light turquoise and pink flecks)... or only existed in yellow gold (I'm a silver/white gold kinda girl).

And today, while holed up in my little traction-coccoon I finally found one.

And it's exactly like the one my mother has.
I remember seeing her ring when I was a kid, and thinking how dainty it looked on her fingers (hers always long and thin, with neatly trimmed nails... mine to this day stubby and at varying legnths... with the occasional dirt wedged beneath them.) and how pretty the little opal sat, surrounded by a starburst.

I remember just a couple years ago, the opal coming dislodged and she being sad... it was a present she bought herself. I don't know when, I don't know how, I don't know why. And it had special meaning for her.

And now I've found my opal too. And maybe someday it will sit on my finger. Transforming my pudgy child-paws into elegant woman-hands. Maybe. But after all, it is just a ring.

And those pesky links that didn't work in the comments section:
The ring
And the other one I like from the same site.


Format stolen...

from Megan

Reader-submitted question:

I hope you didn't fall down and have to lie there waiting for someone to find you while you winced! That would have been terrible! But this is too. Hope the swelling goes down soon! If its a break, will you have to fly out?

I'm not sure if they will fly me out or not. A lot of people have been asking me that. I didn't think so because if they have an xray machine I'd be inclined to think they could plaster someone up... but I'm not sure.

But I did get my injury at about midnight on Wednesday, so I fell down, and was in so much pain that I considered not walking home. Just staying in the snow overnight. But as I lack any decent igloo skills, I quickly dismissed that idea.... and screamed all the way home. Sadly no one heard me, and I've probably done more damage to it as a result. But what other choice did I have?

Fierce Invalid

So, I'm feeling a lot less schmoopy about my newfound disability. I'm not going to lie, hobbling around my apartment is no easy task. And the puppy is really hard to take care of (we were doing SO WELL with the total house training - - he had been going on puppy pads up to this point because it was so cold out). A good routine was established... and now that's all gone to shit.

I don't really own any "convenience food" - so I have been making giant batches of potatoes and then microwaving them as the need arises.

But boy came over last night, and suddenly my life doesn't feel so shatty. Made me dinner (whoohoo fishburgers) and cleaned up my kitchen. I nearly died of happiness.

And I've finally found some adaptive ways of dealing with my gimpy foot... At one point I was using my desk chair as a wheelchair in my kitchen/bathroom/dining room area... aka the cushioned floor section (a good half ... if not more of my apartment) but then as I was scooting over the threshold between the kitchen and the dining room one of the wheels snapped off. So that is no longer an option...

But I've figured out how to bring a plate to the table from the kitchen (only use one crutch, and hold it in the other hand). And I always wear hoodies - - that little pouch can carry everything from bottles of water to snacks... to dirty dishes. And the hood is the perfect little place to put DVDs while I make the trek from the living room to my bed...

I hate crutches, but they are better than crawling around the apartment, but my left butt muscle is totally going to take over my body by the end of this. It's getting a major workout. And I'm going to have some killer armpit muscles too.

I am trying to make the best of this. I'm not really stir crazy yet, it's only been 2 days... but I think I may be going insane. Boy and I were watching TV last night and I found myself jealous of this guy stepping out of a car... and every woman wearing high heels. Haha, like YOU DON'T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT TV-LAND PEOPLE! I was even jealous of House because at least he could hobble better than I... but then his missing leg-muscle is slightly more chronic than my piddly ankle.

All in all... I'm watching a lot of episodes of Arrested Development, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Bones. When I take the T3's I was given I tend to drift in and out of consciousness haha... ah well. I'm making pizza from scratch today... with the world's best home-made pizza dough. So that's a bit of normalcy. But to be honest, I can't wait to have my foot back. Life will be so much easier.

Monday's the big day: that's when I go in again to have more x-rays and find out what the situation really is. The swelling was too bad on Thursday.


Jackie, the one-legged wonder

Just when you thought my random bad luck was over.....or maybe hoped it was over....(Kara)

I fall down a hill and have either fractured my ankle or torn ligaments inside. They can't really tell / do anything because of the gross amount of pain I'm in (and the swelling is taking over the world).

So I'm off work for a week or so... and in Jackie-traction ... with my laptop and an endless supply of DVDs within reach.

At least I have crutches... but it's really hard to make food and get it to the table when you are on crutches... and taking care of Sully is hard too.

I'm not in my usual self-depricating humour mode right now. I'm in pain, and wish my apartment was smaller (so it wouldn't be so hard to get around) and really hate living alone right now.

I miss my mommy :(


Paradoxi (yes, I made that up)

Things I don't like but forget I don't like until it is too late and I'm eating it or have already bought it.

  1. Jello (the inspiration for this post. I'm sitting at my desk, spoon in a little Jello snack pack thingie, and I'm having some serious troubles making the slithery, wiggly stuff go down my throat. It looks so much fun! Why don't I like it?)
  2. Gum (Robyn? Andrea?) The number of times I stand at the checkout and eye what PROMISES to be a really fun flavour of gum... only to pay for it, unwrap the little sucker, and realize that I don't like it. This applies to gum in general. Not just weird flavours. I just don't do gum.
  3. Pogos (not the bouncy toy, but the meat on a stick). As a rule, I'm not the world's biggest fan of hot dogs. But that just goes right out the window when I see them impaled on a stick with a golden batter outside... and (as it shows on the box) a snaky line of mustard or ketchup just for kicks.

Why do foods I don't really care for always look so fun?