Acquired taste

I'm spending my Sunday night watching one of my favourite TV shows: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

I love this show. I love the voyeuristic feel... exposing the guts of how a live network TV show "really works." Maybe its because while it's similar to my profession but still not so familiar that it's dull or that I start projecting myself into the show, and start thinking about work.

Anyways. I could watch this show for hours. There is only one season. And I own it. The first time I watched the series I savoured it. I didn't blow through the episodes in one week (like I've been known to do *ahem, Prison Break, Scrubs, Heroes*). I'm on my second lap now, and I keep being struck by how UNFAIR it is that it didn't get renewed.

All the shows I love get cancelled* way before their time. They are quality shows that get rave reviews....but networks make crappy decisions, bumping them from timeslot to timeslot in favour of Big Brother, season 213. It just drives me crazy.

Arrested Development. Studio 60. Carnivale. Dead Like Me. Wonderfalls.

It just seems so unfair, that American Idol can go 67 rounds, but decent shows with real fans get cancelled because try as they might, they can't figure out where their show's been bounced this week.

I don't know. Maybe I just have strange taste in TV shows. Maybe my obscure sense of humour just doesn't fly with "mainstream tv."

Oh well. Thank god for TV seasons on DVD.


*obviously, this is an exaggeration. I like Lost, Prison Break, The Office etc. all of which are still going strong.


Greece photos, Part 2

Aaaaand it's been a good day today.

Photos from the Athens part of our Greece trip are now up as well.

Horray for co-opeartive internet!

You can see them here.

Greece photos, Part 1

Part 1 of the Greece photos have finally made their way online.

This is an album of the mini-cruise we took, and you can see it here

mmmm mussels...

Well it's mussel-picking time in Rankin Inlet. What a glorious time of year.

A bunch of us went out at low tide yesterday to pick our haul of mussels (quite likely 20lbs worth...) and then ate them at the cabin shortly thereafter.


Of course, there were TONS to spare... and so the boy and I are going to try to re-create a dish we had in Greece.... which we dubbed "curry-saffron mussels."

Here's hoping it works out.......


Photos from Greece

Hey all...

No, I've not completely forgotten about posting photos from my recent Greek Island Adventure. But I've been having some SERIOUS issues trying to upload them. I've probably used up at least three quarters of my bandwidth trying to put them online, but every time I come close to the little green bar finishing it's jobby... the uploader crashes and says "upload failed."

So I'm still working on it... And I've not forgotten... But I have no idea when they will make their way online. For now, here's a little one taken from the boat we were on.


Always planning....

Well, in just a few short weeks I'm heading out and over again...

"Out" meaning out of Rankin...
"Over" meaning eastwards... to the UK.

My grandmother and younger sister have invited me to tag along on their trip to Scotland and England... something Nanny and I did (except for the Scotland part) four years ago... and I was MORE than happy to tag along.

The three of us have been talking about this trip for YEARS. Always delaying... postponing until a more convenient time. Funny how when I move to a remote community (rather than central Ottawa etc.) THAT'S when is the best time to go. But between spring breaks that didn't match up... and DD zooming off to Vietnam (yes, my grandmother at one point this summer had two very far-flung grandchildren)... August 2008 became the best time.

So I leave again on the 15th of August... as the boy pointed out this morning... just 20 short days from now.

And thus began a mini-panic mode to make last-minute arrangements for my OWN accommodations when I'm in Edinburgh/London. I am arriving and leaving a day before/after Nanny and DD ... so I'll be bunkin' it in some cheap hostels ... but I also have to make arrangements for my time in Winnipeg.

The cousins I often stay with... the mother/father pair are going to be on a vacation of their own, so I feel a bit guilty imposing on just the kids (though... by kids I mean 4 people my age). I guess I'll have to see if the one I'm closest with will be home then... and/or not on call (she's a med student). I'd love to see her, and it would make imposing worthwhile. If not, I'll have to look into booking at one of the airport hotels for simplicity's sake.

I'm also having a serious moral dilemma re: what to bring/pack. Given my recent experience... AND Towniebastard's fiasco... I'm very much tempted to forgo doing the checked baggage thing. Yet again I'm in the situation where I have to fly 4 different segments (Rankin-Winnipeg, Wpeg-Minneapolis, Minneapolis-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Edinburgh) and the probability of having baggage lost somewhere in that mess is pretty high.

I have a small-ish backpacking bag. And I have a wheeled carry-on suitcase. But there USED to be some wonky rules re: carry-ons and the UK ... and I can't seem to figure out if that's still the case. It's been about 2 years since I've flown into there.

And then there's the laptop issue. Initially, I was set dead against taking my laptop. Chance of it getting lost...stolen... especially when I'm in those hostels... but I keep mulling the idea over in my head... there's just something to be said for the unlimited convenience of having access to a computer whenever/wherever.

But then ... if I'm trying to travel light, having a laptop doesn't really facilitate that. And it's not like London doesn't have its share of internet cafes. But I just have this niggling feeling that I'm going to regret not having it.

I mean, if we hadn't brought my little laptop on our Greece trip... the whole delayed flight fiasco had the potential to be a LOT worse (upon finding out that it was delayed 9 hrs, and we were going to miss our boat... we promptly plugged in and got online to find the cheapest, most convenient, alternative).

Aaaanyways. Suffice to say I have some decisions to make.

And now I've sufficiently bored you all to death.

La fin.


Wish I got a kickback for this...

Okay, so as Northerners... we all are pretty savvy, I'd say, about the best way to buy/borrow/pillage/steal Aeroplan points.

Because lord knows... getting to Winnipeg/Ottawa/Edmonton etc... can be a pricey feat... and by far the best bang for your buck is to do it Aeroplan style.

Most of us know about the CIBC Aerogold... sign up and get 15,000... and collect 1.5/dollar after that...

But I just thought I'd put a little bug in your ear about a promo my mom told me about... when you open an account at CIBC. The account is 12.95/month (about 6 bucks more than I pay normally...) and if you set your payroll to go direct deposit into the account... OR set up 3 scheduled payments... then you get 15,000 Aeroplan points.

Seems like a sweet deal to me. And I opened my account today. I figure between the two promotions... I'll have all my trips south paid for, for the next year.

Talk about swank!



Sounds fishy... (wa waaaa)

Fish pedicures: Carp rid human feet of scaly skin

The Associated Press

Ready for the latest in spa pampering? Prepare to dunk your tootsies in a tank of water and let tiny carp nibble away.

Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the Washington, D.C., area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far.

To read more....

But as my dear friend Robyn pointed out... (And she is a CERTIFIED carp expert... well kinda. She poked at them repeatedly for a whole summer)

"Check it out, it seriously looks like someone took Angelina Joli's lips and stuck them on a fish body. It's gross."

Seriously. No thanks. I reaaaallly don't want one of these beasts (or its underdeveloped brothers...) sucking on my pinkie toe.



You're it!

So, it's a slow morning* and apparently I have been tagged in what I BELIEVE is a meme. I get confused with these newfangled terms floating around the blogosphere (:P). Here's the long and short of it. Tales from the Arctic has said I need to tell people three random things about me. I think. I'm not really sure.

To be honest, I've read the chain of events re: how this whole tagging thing happened, and I think this is quite different from the original concept, where you are supposed to have your hubby say nice things about you (?) and then you write them on your blog.

I do not have a hubby (that I know of), and I am much more a fan of just saying random facts about myself. I mean come on, you've READ my blog, right?

1. I get physically violent (well, not really, but almost) when people leave the top off the toothpaste. Because then this layer of paste-crust forms. And then inevitably, someone squeezes ultra hard to break through the paste-crust, the paste-crust explodes from the tube, and settles on the spout of the toothpaste. THEN, experience tells me, people put the COVER BACK ON IT with the exploded paste crust dripping down the sides... forming a toothpaste glue, rendering the tube useless, and me very red in the face.

2. I know all the words to "All Star" by Smashmouth. And prefer to repeat them, verbatim, in the company of my little sister... while picking raspberries in the dead heat of summer.

3. I wear my watch on the "wrong hand" : I am right-handed, and that's where I wear my watch. Apparently only left-handed people are supposed to wear watches on their right hands. According to my grandfather, at least, this is because if you are using a hammer you could break your watch if it is on your dominant hand. ** But I've ALWAYS worn it on my right hand... because when I was little I did an experiment (using my purple Darkwing Duck watch...) to figure out which took more effort: if I were to turn my wrist to look at my watch if it was on my left hand... or if it was on my right. The right hand won.

Okay. That's all. Now you all think I'm insane. So I think I'm supposed to "tag" someone. So ummm.. Megan... if you're not too busy getting oiled up by Steve this one is to you.

*the first in quite some time... Rankin Inlet somehow transformed into a hotbed of news over the weekend... and I've not had much time to sit and catch up on blogs... or write in my own.

** Pretty sure I got that wrong. All I know is there's some reason having to do with physical labour... and watches on dominant hands... which leads people to believe I'm left-handed because I wear my watch on my right wrist.


Bell strikes again

So I had made the decision to stop paying the CO-OP gross amounts of money, and opted for Bell Expressview satellite.

I wasn't alone in this mission, the boy was also looking at Bell, after the CO-OP cut off his cable upon him owing $3.00 (this is, of course, after having paid for cable 6 months in advance, and then going in the hole a full three bucks.)

So we set out to set up our respective cable. He makes an online inquiry. Finds out you have to call the service centre to get it ordered for up here.

I just got off the phone with Bell. They will not send me a receiver, because Bell has not contracted anyone to set it up. So they recommended I go to my nearest Future Shop, Best Buy or BellWorld store and buy it.


I tried to explain to the guy that I live in a fly-in community, and we don't have malls, let alone a Future Shop. He said "Well if people have them, you have to ask around. Someone is selling them."

Thanks Bell, and your stellar customer service.


Back to cursing Bell

My first cell phone was with Bell.

We were friends for a little while... and then once I started to get dinged every time I went back to PEI for the summer... I started to curse Bell Canada. I vowed I would switch to Rogers.

And I did.

Shortly thereafter I started to hate Rogers. I cursed their crappy cell phone packages. Every bill I got I dreaded ... the fees, the incidental charges... up up up...

Then I moved to the north. And escaped the corrupt world of cell phone plans.

Until 2 months ago. I found a plan that just couldn't be beat. 20 bucks a month... free phone... and all the fixins' the hitch? Re-sign with Bell.

I had forgotten how much I loooooathed Bell and it's pitiful cell phone service. Until today.

This is the dumbest. Thing. Ever. YOU CAN'T CONTROL WHO SENDS YOU TEXTS.

I'm so annoyed at this. Has anyone heard of some sort of petition/letter writing campaign I can join ?? Let me know.

This time, Bell...you've gone too far.



Note to self: pay close attention to the numbers FOLLOWING the 1-8......


1-866-489-3355 = (Robotic woman's voice) "Welcome to Dell. If you would like to dial an extension, press 1..."

1-800-489-3355 = (Sultry woman's voice) "Hey sexy guy. We've got pleanty of hot horny girls JUST FOR YOU!"

Sticker shock

One 6-pack of plain bagels
One small tub of herb and garlic philly cream cheese
One small bottle (450mL) of Cranberry juice





a new leaf... maybe

Ever since I got back to Rankin all I've wanted is "GOOD FOOD"

I'm not exactly sure what "good food" means... probably something that vaguely resembles what we were eating in Greece.

Which is kind of funny being as I more or less swore I would never look at another Greek salad again...after a week straight of 2x-greek salads a day....

But I did my first grocery shopping trip since I got back last night... and I don't think I've ever bought so many veggies since moving to Rankin.

I think largely, because they are fairly pricey... and go bad WAY too soon (combination of living alone and veggie-neglect... they always look much better in the store than after 3 days in the "crisper" - which to be honest, I think should be called a "wilter" but whatever...).

But I noticed something when I was in Greece: I didn't crave like ANYTHING. And anyone who knows me is probably dying from shock right now, because I'm somewhat known for my random INTENSE food cravings. I staple of my vocabulary is "I swear, all I want right now is X" or "My new goal in life is to eat/drink X"

I attributed it to the sheer MASS amounts of food we were eating... but the more I think about it.... the more I am convincing myself that it was more so WHAT we were eating. The meals were just heaps upon heaps of fresh vegetables. Quality meats. Olive-oil-fried-potato wedges. Fresh cheeses.

So I now have a new goal. More veggies. More milk. More cheese. Less "fast-food" (or, rather, "convenience" food I think is the better term). And maybe this will help curb my wild cravings for less-than-healthy foods.



RIP Nicotye

CBC Nunavut has been completely torn apart by grief this week.

UPDATE: A colleague of ours passed Monday night...

I only found out about her death yesterday morning, when I got back to work. I didn't really know Nicotye, just through email communication, really. When I was working in Iqaluit for that first month, she was on vacation.

I knew she had lost her daughter, but I didn't know the background behind it. In 2002, her 13-year-old daughter Jennifer was stabbed to death 30 times. One of the most brutal murders known to Nunavut. Nic was the one to find her, and it really traumatized her. She was known for saying that both her daughter's and her own lives were taken that night Jennifer was killed.

The man who plead guilty to her murder only did so a year ago... finally putting an end to the unanswered questions surrounding Jennifer's death. It came out in court that the RCMP was even using the guy undercover to try and get a confession out of Nic. Talk about traumatizing.

This is the first time, since I have moved up here, that I've been touched by suicide. Given the high incidence in the territory, I'm actually surprised it hadn't happened earlier. The stubborn part of me thinks that suicide is selfish. That while it relieves the pain of one, it just transfers it to so many others. (negative) Energy not being able to be created or destroyed... and all that

But Nicotye's story just ... is just one of such despair. And I have to wonder how ANYONE could have come out on the other side of that. And that's something I don't think we really think about much, the human effect of the justice system. We watch Law and Order and CSI... and families are always questioned, searched, investigated.... but never really think how hard that would be. To be in mourning for a loved one, dealing with intense emotional, psychological pain... and at the same time, to be a suspect in their death. It would be torture.

I guess the only thing to say is I hope Nic has found peace... and that those who loved her, and knew her, will be able to deal with their grief in a healthy way. Wounds hurt, and they bleed, and sometimes it seems like they will never heal. But they do. And the pain subsides. But the scar remains behind, a forever-reminder, so we will never forget.

RIP Nicotye.

secret guilty pleasure

Premium Plus saltine crackers (salted, of course, take THAT mom!)
Near-frozen butter or Imperial margerine (that you have to literally chisel out with a knife to get on the cracker)

For breakfast.


On the road again...

Today we leave Greece. And I'm hardly ready to go back.

I like it here... but I'll admit it is kind of time to move on. I'm just not sure I'm ready to go ALL the way back.

I've been feeling a bit nomadic of late. People ask me where I'm from... I say where I live (Rankin), and where I grew up (PEI)... but neither of those really feels like HOME.

It's kind of depressing. I know where my family home is... I know where all my personal effects are... but one is just memories and the other, material goods.

It would be nice to just settle down somewhere... in a place I feel "has it all"... so I'm not constantly wanting out, craving "more" or "else"... so I can just BE for awhile.

Now I just have to find that place.....