Ow, Ow! My arm!

Remember? I'm mysterious!


So I didn't talk about this widely for a couple reasons.

  1. I didn't want to get MY hopes up, nor my friends and/or familys'.
  2. I didn't tell my current employer, because it was kind of random, so I didn't want to write about it here, and have that be the way people found out.
  3. I was really conflicted about the outcome, I didn't know what I wanted.
  4. Maybe I WAS being a bit superstitious and didn't want to talk about it too much "or it wouldn't happen"
So here's the deal. A couple months ago... I was having a bad day or bad week or whatever, and was surfing the CBC Jobs board. I do this pretty regularly. Just to see what kind of options are out there, and where. I saw a posting for the type of job I was doing in Quebec City. In Halifax.

The kind of job I want to get back into doing. In the city I've often said I'd like to settle down in.

If there's anything I've learned over the past year and a bit is that I'm not a natural reporter. Sure, I can do it. Hell, I can do an okay job of it, but it's not where my heart lies. And I'm not cut out to spend the rest of my life in the North. That's just life. And I've accepted it.

So I filled out a couple forms, and pressed "Send."

Last week I heard from them. They wanted to interview me.

Not being one that's able to say NO...
(especially to a potentially great opportunity), I had my interview on Wednesday. It went okay, but I didn't really feel qualified for the job. There was a significant technical aspect, and I am not a trained technician. Yet.

They interviewed four people, they were going to let me know today.

As the days wore on, I became more and more anxious and conflicted about the whole thing. Sure I have my moments, but I wasn't really ready to leave. I just bought a snowmobile. My sealift just arrived. Not to mention the fact that I have little interest in starting up another long-term LDR*.

So when the producer called this morning, I actually found myself repeating "say 'unfortunately,' SAY 'unfortunately'" in that little noggin of mine.

I got my wish...I think.

I didn't get the job**, and I'm actually un-naturally okay with it. I didn't really expect to get an interview, and now I have a little more experience in selection boards...

And like I said, I don't think I'm ready to leave. I've got a bunch of things coming up that I want to see through.

Spark has asked me to do another story for them, which should air mid-December.

I'm gearing up for my first Northern Christmas (MY TREE ARRIVED YESTERDAY HORRAY!).

And I'm planning my next vacation (which is ... 6? months away? Haha).

So yes, Clare, some day you will most likely say "I knew her back when..." but that day's not today. Nor is it tomorrow.

I'm still here, if you guys are. So don't give up on me yet :D

*Long-distance relationship
** They ended up hiring this guy who is a journalist with 18 YEARS of teching experience. No way I can compete with that lol.

Like waiting for ketchup to come out of the bottle

There's not much you can do but wait.

If you didn't catch that obscure reference, it was that Heinz ketchup commercial from the '70s (which I believe they brought back in my lifetime, because how else would I know THAT pop culture nugget) where a person is looking dumb-ly at an upside-down bottle of ketchup, waiting for the red condiment to grace their fries... while Carly Simon's "Anticipation" plays in the background.

So what am I waiting for? Some big news that I'm completely torn over. One half of me really really really wants one outcome... and the other half dreads it.

So today should be one drag of a day. My stomach twisted itself in knots as soon as I woke up this morning, and has been angrily cinching tighter over the past 48 minutes.

Here's hoping I survive the an-tic-a-paaation.


Too Nice

So apparently I need to step up my bitchiness factor.

I never in my life thought that would be necessary, because trust me, I have my snarky moments...

But I received an unintentional piece of advice this morning, and it struck a chord with me.

I had an issue with one of my clips last night...following hours of stuggling with my work computer, which IMHO is a rotting piece of monkey feces.

ANYWAYS, I sent the clip, crossing my fingers it would reach Iqaluit safe and sound.

Well it didn't, and I didn't know this until I got in this morning. So first thing this morning (in a much better mindset than the previous evening) I set out to figure out what the heck made my interview come out as stereo instead of mono. I figured it out, sent it again. All was not lost, they could use it on the newscasts this afternoon and evening. No biggie.

But I got a phone call from one of the tech guys, and he says to me "You've been BAAAD".

Naturally, I'm extremely confused. I don't THINK I've been bad, but I screw up all the time so while confused, I'm certainly not surprised.

I tell him the sob story of my dumb computer and my even dumber messed-up-settings... and he interrupts me and says "Why didn't you tell me about your computer before?"

Now I've been not-so-subtly whining about my work computer to my co-workers for weeks. But I just thought you make due until the stupid thing breaks down OR we get new Dalet (our audio-editing software that rumour has it will require brand new computers for all!) OR I leave the North. Personally, I think the stupid machine has it in for me, and will die the MOMENT I get on a plane southwards.

And to be honest, said tech can be a little brash at times, but we seem to have worked out a system where I summon all my patience, and so does he, and some how we get troubleshooting done.

My response was that I didn't want to bug him about my stupid computer. Which is true. I don't bug him unless I really am screwed. Also, I am stubborn and don't like to ask for help.

What does he say?

"If you are ever going to get anywhere you are going to have to step up the Bitch-factor"

And you know what, he's right. Sometimes, I just let people walk all over me.

I can't say "No" and I'm constantly reassuring the other people in my life, trying to take strain off them... and I just end up carrying everyone else's loads. And it sucks.

I think the worst part is that (some) people just don't CARE. They expect everything and give nothing.

So, here. Instead of whining, I will take a page from my new Bitchiness Day Calendar... and send a message to a friend.


Dear friend: If you intend to come to my house and stay the night, please don't just send me an instant message telling me when you'll be in. You actually didn't even ask if you could stay, just assumed since it was okay to ask me to pick you up, drop you off, house you and be ignored while you spend time with your family on the way OVER here... you can do the same on the way back. Maybe I have things I want to do. Maybe I don't want to have to clean my house again. Maybe I just want to be alone tonite, or with the boy alone tonite. Maybe I don't want to entertain. But because you need me to, I will. But hey, could you at least call? Or at least stay online long enough to chat, so it doesn't seem like you are just using me for transportation and lodging?



Night and Day

It's actually kind of funny. In my first year in the North I somehow managed to be down south on vacation during both the winter and summer solstice. So I missed the longest and shortest days of the year.

In all my years in "Southern Canada" I never really acknowledged these landmarks.

Sure, the days got shorter in December, I'd get home from school and shortly thereafter it would be dark. At 4 pm! Imagine! And crawling out of bed at 6:00 to get movin' on the paper route was more difficult in the winter months, than the summer (though that could have equally been because of the cold, not the light).

But really? It was no big deal. But up here, everyone's SO SERIOUS about the daylight change. People warn one another to purchase sun lamps, they openly talk about getting depressed from the lack of sun...

Stuff we'd never really consider back home. Hell I'd never heard of Seasonal Affectedness Disorder before I moved up North.

So this year, I'm here for Christmas. And I think I'll be here in June. So while I may have missed those seasonal landmarks last year... I'll be damned if I miss them a second time.


Monkey Ass

That is how I feel today.

Monkey ass with a cut finger because when trying to cure my monkey-assed-ness I reached into my sealift pop, and sliced my fingee on a broken can of "Diet Choose-Up"

Next time, I will NOT "choose-up" I choose an intact finger instead.

So I feel gross. I'm not at work today. And our first curling meeting is tonite, and the boy just got home yesterday.

C'monnnn immune system!


Turning tides

I've been waiting for InsideTheCBC to do something about a recent email we MotherCorpians received at the end of last week. I didn't want to write about this until I made sure the letter was public record, and not solely for the eyes of CBC staff.

In a plainspoken message to employees yesterday, CBC President Hubert Lacroix, announced that there would be no layoffs at the CBC if there’s “any way to avoid it.”

“Where others are contemplating and predicting layoffs, we are looking to put in place and push forward with solutions that won’t involve cutting jobs,” Lacroix said yesterday in a email to employees.

Lacroix said CBC employees are the foundation of the corporation “and we don’t want to chip away at that foundation.” This comes in the wake of layoffs announced at Canwest this week, with CTV predicting similar measures.

Nevertheless cost-cutting measures are being put in place immediately:

  • All new-hires will have to be reviewed at the vice-presidential level;
  • Significant reductions in travel, hospitality and entertainment expenses;
  • Additional reductions in overtime.

Lacroix also appealed directly to employees to help. “You know the details of your particular operations best. Look around; think hard about what it is you do. If you have an idea as to how your unit or department could cut costs over the coming year, pass that idea on to your director."


A couple things of note.

First: The email came amid THIS. Which Lacroix also defended earlier last week.

Second: The Canadian Media Guild collective agreement with CBC expires this March.

Third: The CMG and CBC start yet another full week of collective agreement planning/discussions today. According to a recent CMG newsletter...

... we will be tackling the issues of Workload, Performance management and staff development, Training and Job security.

Both parties continue to seriously pursue the goal of achieving an early renewal of our Collective agreement and are encouraged in this pursuit by our improved relationship and our new problem-solving process.

All this is a little un-nerving. Actually I've been feeling uneasy about this whole economic shakedown for the past couple weeks now. I can't seem to decide which is more foolish: living in Canada's most expensive province/territory during a recession OR trying to find a new job during a recession.


PS, I've just decided that Life is a High way is a song I simply don't hear enough of. It reminds me of summers on PEI at my cousins' house, rockin' out to our parents' casette tapes. That and Rhythm of My Heart.

Excuse me while I go have a moment to myself.


Fun with search engines

Normally my search queries are pretty boring. A lot of "Jackie S.* Rankin Inlet" ... normally a couple snowcone references, and for some reason a lot of traffic from an aerobics graphic I used back last year...

But when I checked my search queries today on my statcounter, I came up with a couple interesting ones.


Num Perc. Search Term
12 48.00% jackie "s*" rankin inlet
2 8.00% twitter blogger
2 8.00% rankin inlet
1 4.00% corgi sheltie mix
1 4.00% 450-627-7999
1 4.00% rankin inlet blog
1 4.00% midnight sun midi
1 4.00% newfoundland dog fur hat**
1 4.00% the transient life in canada
1 4.00% its not a toomah***
1 4.00% nunavut mines
1 4.00% no wood in my penis****
25 100.00%

* Changed to protect the iron-clad secret identity of the blogger
** Ew. Poor puppies.
*** Robyn? Andrea? Are you searing for toomahs on my blog?
**** I can only imagine how disappointed this person was in my "Wood" post. *Shudder. Oh, and I just clicked on the "more information" on this person: poor sucker's from India. I don't think he found what he was looking for.


Reflections on a Sealift order

So while I sit here and gulp down bottle two of FORTY of Cranberry COCKTAIL (Horray! Got the right one!)... I thought it might be fitting to evaluate the stack of no-name cream soda boxes that have set up camp in my kitchen.

I did my sealift through Sealift Express. That's the sealift set up by the Northern. I did this for three reasons:
- You could order online (and they had little pictures of the items - I'm a visual person)
- You didn't have to pay upfront.
- I (naievely thought) it seemed simpler

And the boy and I did ours together, which we THOUGHT would be easier, but in reality just turned out to be more difficult, and probably wasn't worth the measly $100 bucks we saved in crating fees.

The first problem was that while our order had to be in for the beginning of August, we only received it yesterday. That seemed like an AWFUL long time... but maybe that's typical.

The second problem is that MONTHS after making our order - and 3 days before the final sailing date for the ENTIRE YEAR leaving Churchill - they sent an email saying that we weren't going to get all of our Diet pop (aka, all MY pop) nor the kitty litter we ordered. I was NOT impressed. I did sealift for two reasons: Dog food and pop. Now I wasn't getting any pop. And it was too late to try and get any on any other sealifts. We were screwed.

So I had accepted that, and moved on... the sealift arrived at the end of October... * and they just got around to delivering mine this week - guess they had a lot of orders.

We waffle a bit on a delivery day, and finally pick Monday night. When the grocery guy calls he asks which batch they can deliver first: mine or Jeff's. I think how amazingly organized they must be to know which items from our combined order go to his place, and which goes to mine. Keep in mine the boy's still on vacation until next week.

Waaaait a minute. That's not possible. There is no way they know that HE ordered cream soda, and I ordered kleenex. That the bleach is his, but the toilet paper's mine.

Turns out when Jeff was figuring out what items he wanted, he created a "basket" on the site. Then, the Northern approved and shipped his shopping basket, even though he never fully "checked out".

So we have doubles of some things: like air freshener and grape juice... and they gave HIM diet pop - - MORE than I had ordered, but they couldn't send me because they "ran out."

But I have to say, the Northern took care of it, and told us we could have whatever we wanted from the accidental order, and that they'd absorb whatever we didn't want. So I'm going to buy the diet pop back, and I think Jeff's going to keep some garbage bags or something... and then they will keep the rest.

And another really great thing about the Nothern's sealift is they take it right into your house for you. Four poor sweaty teenage boys lugged all my cranberry juice (and MUCH MORE) into my place after work on Monday. I put most of it away, but a bunch still sits in my kitchen, blocking my way to the sink. That's okay thought, its not like I like doing dishes anyways.

So, would I do it again? I'm honestly not sure yet. What COULD have been a really big hassle turned out to be no big deal, so that was nice. But I'm not convinced that we're really saving all that much money. Shipping after all was .55 cents/lb . But we'll have to see. I definitely don't regret buying all that cranberry juice, and it's nice to have paper towel again... and the dog food is really nice to have too...

But I think I'll just have to reserve judgement until I find out how long these supplies will last me.

*PS, Thanks alot Megan, I've now become hyper aware of every time I do that little "tap tap tap" with my right ring finger.


Lactose sucks

Stuuuupid Jackie.

The first thing I checked for lactose was my favourite snack food in the world...


Salt and Vinegar.



Other things in my fridge/freezer that contain dairy/lactose:

  • The GIANT brick of old cheddar I bought this week
  • The quesidillas in my freezer
  • The bag of cheezy-broccoli in my freezer
The list goes on, but I'm too sad to list them all. Basically everything I own and love to eat involves some kind of dairy. You could put grated cheese on a rock and I'd eat it. I'm starting to think I may have to take back my "it won't be so bad" statement.

At least the 40 1.89L bottles of Cranberry Juice I ordered are lactose-free. Can a person live on cranberry juice alone?

One week

That's how long I have to go without dairy.

Not because I really want to, or because it's some sort of bizarre challenge... but my stomach has been bothering me for the past month or so, and the nurses at the Health Centre have decided that based on my family history, this was the best place to start.

Oh wait. I don't HAVE any family history of lactose intolerance.

But apparently that doesn't matter.

So I'm on a dairy-free diet right now. And it kind of sucks. Granted, I only started it at about 2pm... so it's been 5 hours, and I've not eaten anything since then... but just the IDEA of no milk, no ice cream, NO CHEESE (?!?!) is causing some deep dispair.

But honestly, with the exception of the cheese part... (and if it were long term, the ice cream part too - - I do love me some Scotsburn Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch) I don't think it will be TOO hard. But then I've never really had to exclude a food group before.

And if it saves me the pain, anguish and sick days... then bring it on.


I just can't BEAR it anymore!*

So for quite some time... actually since bloody Kate Nova was in Rankin Inlet back at the end of this summer... I've been on bear-duty.

Actually, I take that back. I was on GRIZZLY bear duty months before that when they were hanging around outside Rankin, breaking into cabins etc...

But ever since she came up, and we attended the NWMB board meeting... I probably do about one bear story per week.

But then the polar bears invaded Arviat. Because of the way the town's situated, the bears have to come quite close to town to get to the sea ice on their migratory path. But this year, well they have made themselves comfy in town. Lots of seal and caribou meat, don't you know.

And now.... shit it's only Tuesday and I've already written 3 polar bear stories.

The one that creeps people out the most (myself included)? Yesterday, this 18-year old girl and her 15-year old sister were walking to their grandmother's place, when a polar bear appeared in
front of them, and began to chase them until they got to the closest house. Not long after, the bear was shot.

I don't know, man. All I can say is I'm glad I live here... and bears are much less likely to come near... let alone into town.

I'm not sure how effective a bear-hunting dog Sully would be.

*Okay, well that's kind of a gross exaggeration, but I thought it was punny and couldn't think of a better blog post title. Bet you are jealous and want to steal my wittiness, eh TB?




Everyone else is doing it, so why not me too?

So the Canadian Blogging Awards nomination period is closing fast...the last day to nominate your favourite blogs is a week from today. For more information on the awards (and to check out what blogs have already been nominated) go to http://cdnba.wordpress.com/ ... I've seen a couple northern bloggers have already been nominated.

Could be an exciting "race" !

An unusual post...

So while I write about a lot of things on my blog, one thing I never really get into is relationships. I'm not a big fan of publicly dissecting what's going on in my romantic (or un-romantic) life, as the case may be. It's just ... that's what I consider the "private" part of my "private life."

And while this is hardly a start of me talking about my love life... this post is kind falls under that label.

Anyways, I was having a discussion with some friends about the following two points, and I was curious what you people - in all your various commitments and relationships - think?

  1. Do you think when people get married they are actually as gloriously happy as they seem in books and movies and in your dreams? Or are doubts and glitches and all that stuff that is a part of "other" relationships is actually a part of "every" one?
  2. Do you think there ever becomes a point where there is just too much history between two people, that the relationship has no choice but to die?
And yes, everything is just fine... just lots of thinking time, combined with a weekend at the cabin, and 4-6 very chatty people, leads to deep thinkin', YO!



Okay, so I've been a bit quiet this weekend, but such is often the case as of late.

I do a lot of writing professionally and for this blog during the week... and tend to spend my weekend time with friends or out on the land (for you newbies, one of our big 'hobbies' up here is going out of town for drives on our ATVs and Snowmobiles - - I never thought I'd be that kind of person, but when the opportunity's there... why not?).

So this weekend, we went out to Sarah and Paul's cabin (aka, VERY rustic cottage). It's a good 45-minute drive via snowmobile... and the longest I've ever driven The Beast (official name for the Skidoo. Not very original, but oh well)... and in the coldest weather too. It was about -25 today (luckily, very little wind) and the faster you go, the colder it feels on the machine.

But for the most part... I can honestly say... I was warm! I was trying out this new combo I dreamed up when I was searching for a good "out on the land" jacket/parka. I have a BEAUTIFUL Canada Goose jacket... that I absolutely LOVE, but I just can't bundle up as much as I would like to, it's just not big enough. (Don't even get me started how tragic that whole story is).

So I thought I'd experiment. I bought a 650-fill down jacket from Cabela's (it was a freakin' steal - only cost me 50 bucks or something) and a wind-proof top layer. I did the research, and tried to figure out, given the measurements how BIG that top layer would have to be, to fit over the down jacket... and sweaters... and my bib-snowpants .... etc. Anyways, it was ACTUALLY warmer than my Canada Goose (for some reason, I always found my shoulders/arms got cold). So I'm stoked. Now all I need is a nice fur for the hood, and I'll be set. So for a fraction of the price of my original jacket, I've found an even better solution. I'm just SO smart haha.

Anyone besides me notice how much frickin' time we spend up here in search of the ULTIMATE WARMEST WINTER GEAR? Shit, back home, its like "Columbia? Okay, no prob, ring it through." Here, there's so many factors. I must own over a thousand dollars worth of winter gear ... and I'm still on the search for the ULTIMATE BALACLAVA and the ULTIMATE MITTS.

Finally, yes. As I'm sure you figured, my skidoo is up and running again. It sat at work overnight Friday, still wouldn't run come Saturday. Then Good Friend Paul suggested we try new spark plugs. AND IT WORKED. Man, when that machine turned over, I just WHOOPED, and was jumping up and down hugging him. I think he was a little surprised. But honestly, there was a point there when I SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED selling the thing. It just was THAT depressing.

Bottom line? "Eights rock" (Nope, don't really know what that means, but I know my new spark plugs are 'eights' and whatever was in there before was NOT eights. Therefore, "eights" rock.)


Temper Tantrum on the Tundra

See? Alliterations are fun!

So yah, I threw a classic "temper tantrum on the tundra" this afternoon at lunch. At 11:45 my coworker kindly suggested that I go start up my skidoo so that it's nice and warm when I go to drive it home. I tiptoed out (I was wearing sandals inside the station. The only way to walk in the snow while wearing sandals is to tip toe) and started the beast. No biggie.

Then at 12 when I sauntered out to drive myself home to puppy and a nice lunch, it had stalled. And was NOT toasty warm


I checked the 'on' switch.
I check the choke.

I kicked it.

I pretended it was a computer and turned it off, then turned it on again.

Then I screamed "you frikin' piece of SHIT!"
It didn't respond.

Then I burst into tears, and ran into the station to try and find some kind of solution online.

Well, not NOTHING, but I don't necessairily understand anything ABOUT snowmobiles, so reading about what could be wrong is like someone who has a rash looking it up in WebMD. NOT A GOOD IDEA.

So I reached for the only form of sustinence at my desk: the candy cane my coworker gave me yesterday. I had left just the "U" part ... to savour at a later date. Today was that date.

So I slowly unwrapped it.....


And now I can't wear it like a retainer.

Man, life is hard.

Also? I think I may have deleted the interview I need BADLY today. Frick.

Four things

First - I provide the following without comment, and for your consideration. Oh. Except for this comment: Sounds a lot like recent happenings with First Air.

Second - HOLY CROW I THINK MY STATCOUNTER IS BROKEN. As I write this, 585 people have read by blog ... TODAY. And it's only 10 am!!!!!! It will be interesting to see how this whole Spark thing influences my daily readership after things settle down. But for now, check this out:

Now the one thing I DID notice is that I have VERY FEW returning visitors. Which makes me a little le sad. Hopefully people will come by again - if nothing else than to admire my totally swank new header. Because it's a work of art. Literally.

Third - I hate puppies. Okay, no. That's a lie. I love puppies, therefore I must hate puppies. Because if I don't hate puppies, I will beg/borrow/steal my way into having a second one. And that's probably the least sensible thing ever.

Fourth - I GOT MY TRAVEL INSURANCE CHEQUE YESTERDAY! This is a big moment. The boy and I have been filling out paperwork and harassing Manulife for MONTHS now, following the Greecian Holiday Baggage Fiasco. Now I'm going to have to go back into my files and double check, because I'm pretty sure they short-changed me. But I'm not even sure if it's worth fighting. I'm just SO TIRED of trying to get money from people, be they insurance co's or dentists. What I really need is one of those dealies where THEY pay for it up front. NO more of this "I'll pay for it first and then maybe you'll give me my money back"



Electronic diarrhea

Okay, first of all... Yah, Okay. EW.

But I was looking for a way of saying "verbal diarrhea" but for my blog. So there you go. A disgusting mental image. Man, you new readers are NEVER going to come back now!

But there are a couple housekeeping items I wanted to blurt out, none of which really deserve their own post. So here goes.

  1. Kate Nova and I had a bonding moment a couple days ago over TB's Shark post. You see, neither of us really get the whole I Haz Cheezburger thing... personally, I have always been embarrassed of this fact. I still don't really get it - but I HAVE found that I find them much more amusing if they are ONLY about corgis. Also, for those who are LOLspeak-challenged (like me - and apparently Kate too) check out THIS.
  2. Is it just me, or did this whole Melissa Fung thing come out of the blue? I don't seem to remember hearing that a CBC journalist had been abducted in Afghanistan. I remember the day it made front page of the cbc.ca/news website, saying that she had been released...  but nothing before then. And I tried to google cbc.ca for past stories on her, and I've not come up with anything.
    Did I just happen to miss all the stories on her abduction? Or were there none? Am I losing my mind?
  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE candy canes. My coworker just brought me one as a "thank you" for helping her something. You see, I have this very methodical way of eating full-sized candy canes. I start at the non-hook end, unwrap about 2 inches of candy, suck it into a point that could poke your eye out, snap it off, crunch, enjoy and repeat. Oh, of course, then when it comes to the hook part, I shove the whole thing in my mouth and wear it like a retainer. Natch. Yes I was one of those kids who actually WANTED braces. Yes, I was a freak. Yes, you should know this by now.
  4. As I briefly mentioned on Towniebastard's blog... I'm TOTALLY gearing up for Christmas already. I just bought my tree (on eBay, of course). It's one of those pre-lit ones... but it's only about 3 feet tall. I was on this mission to get the EXACT SAME tree as Andrea, Robyn and I had back in the old university days... and I think I've succeeded. The mini-mesmerizing Christmas Tree is back. I can't wait to space out while staring at it's twinkly branches again! Also I totally started present shopping at the end of October. Two gifts have arrived already... and many more on the way. This will be my first (and maybe last? Who knows...) Christmas in the North... and I'm going to make sure it rocks (but yes, I will miss my family like mad, but at least the boy is staying with me :))
  5. I am making a pact with myself that I will try to keep my house clean for the ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER. This is going to be a big deal folks. I'm hardly Suzie Q. Homemaker over here... and the more space I have, the more places for me to put my junk (usually on any visable surface/floor). But I'm sure to have people over SOMETIME during the holidays... (and it kind of sucks to request 24-hours notice for a pop-in visit) AND I'm going to be dog sitting (cutest little shih-tzu EVER - and Sully's new best friend)... so all in all... I hope to have a clean house next month. Haha.
Okay, that's enough ELECTRONIC DIARRHEA for one day. Anyone besides me find that word incredibly hard to spell? I always have to copy and paste the correct spelling from Google. Sad eh?

Broccoli and Cauliflower heaven

Ever since I moved up here, I've had this craving.

Not an all-consuming-if-I-don't-get-some-right-now kind of craving. But a man-I-miss-such-and-such-it-is-so-tasty kind of craving.

A craving for the broccoli/cauliflower/cheese concoction that I used to get every now and then from The Commensal in Quebec City.

Back in the days when I worked at the CBC in QC (hey! that rhymes if you say it in your head! The letters, not the whole sentence, I mean.) I rarely went home for lunch. For a couple reasons.

First: very few people there actually TOOK a lunch break, so I felt like a slacker. (I've now learned the error of my ways).

Second: I lived at the top of a VERY STEEP HILL and was too lazy to go up it more than once a day (I had to get home SOMETIME)

Third: Within 30 seconds walking distance from work was a: Subway, Intermarche (grocery store), The Commensal, and many other tasty places to buy lunch.

I was introduced to The Commensal by a co-worker who is a reformed vegetarian. I wouldn't go there all the time... it was too expensive. While they made some amazing desserts, and rice dishes, and amazing salads... they charged by the weight of the meal. And that can get pricey.

AAAAAANYWAYS. My point is that probably my favourite dish at The Commensal was this broccoli/cauliflower/cheese concoction. I've been meaning to make it for quite some time now, but of all the things I can easily get in the north... cauliflower is not one of them.

But Cantor's has cauliflower on sale this week. Sounds like it's time to make a food mail order....


Welcome, new readers!

I've been spending more time than usual on Statcounter the past day or so.
Probably because it's fun watching all you new visitors stop by, peruse my site, then flitter off again (hopefully, a few of you might come back!).

Most of you have probably come via the CBC Spark website - - and I'm glad to have you.

But first, a couple pieces of advice.

  • If you are curious who you are reading about, and where she lives, and what it's like there, I'd recommend clicking on the About tab on the top right hand corner (underneath "search").
  • If you are 'researching' for Spark's 'How much did THAT cost at the Northern' contest, check out a previous contest I held here a month or so ago. The results can be found here.
  • You can see my most recent posts on the yellow stickie note over there to the right, and posts from of past months can be read through the Archive tab, beside the About tabby I mentioned earlier.
And as always, thanks for stopping by. Hope you come back again sometime soon... and comments are always welcome!!

Happy reading....


It's SPARK! Starring..... Sully?!?

That's right! Everyone's favourite Corgi/Sheltie mix has made it to the big-time!

Check out how adorable he is, and enter Spark's "How much did THAT cost at the Northern?"....


Tune in....

To hear yours truly AND madam Jen of Nunavut this Wednesday at 11:30am on SPARK!

Ever wonder what your favourite bloggers sound like? Well hear two of them WEDNESDAY at 11:30 on CBC Radio 1.

I'm roundin' the bend folks. There's just the little details left on this project now. The doc is done, the script is set, I have my taped chat with Nora tomorrow bright and early tomorrow morning...

I am feeling good.

And it's about time. While I've had my share of stress over this project, I don't regret it even for a second... and I'd do it again - many times over - if I could.

It just comes down to keeping up skills. It's funny I've only been a "news journalist" for a year now. And all through j-school I never thought I had the right personality or whatever that 'IT FACTOR" is that makes news journalists what they are. And while I don't really consider myself a NATURAL newsie, I am good at pretending.

But in the process, I somehow developed this idea of NATIONAL RADIO that is very different from reality. NATIONAL RADIO is not the same thing as NATIONAL RADIO NEWS. Life - and radio - doesn't have to be all serious. Sure, police stories are serious, health stories are serious, and sometimes political stories are serious (though often, just funny without knowing it haha).

But those are just three categories. Why do we take EVERYTHING so freaking seriously? Sometimes you just need to lighten up a bit.

So with the help of my lovely producer Elizabeth, I lightened up a bit. Had some fun with the story. Like I used to, back in the days of CBC Quebec.

And I tell you, it felt gooood.

So yah.

Tune in, Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. (12:00 NT) and Saturday at 4:00 p.m. (4:30 NT) on CBC Radio One - - wherever you may be.

Dear sir: We have no wood.

I received the following fax today at work. It says on the first line that I'm allowed to publish it, free of charge.

So I will.

Because it made me laugh.*

The Wood Heat Policy Institute

To the Editor: This article is written by John Gulland, Director of the Wood Heat Policy Institute.It is available for publication, free of charge. The Wood Heat Policy Institute supports the public interest in wood heating and advocates for the responsible use of this important renewable energy resource... (it got boring after that)

Heating With Wood Makes Families And Communities Richer

Chainsaws buzz and log splitters chg as people prepare next winter's firewood. Neighbours get together, sharing truckloads of logs adn the cutting and splitting into firewood. Its hard work but it is fun too and there are smiles all around. The neighbours might een sit down with a beverage when the work is done and agree about how much money they save.

Okay, well it goes on for a couple more hundred words. But you get the idea. 

No one can blame these guys for not going after the hard-converts. Keep it up Gulland (and HOW did you get our fax number?!?!)

*Not because it was poorly written, but because it found us SOMEHOW in the most non-wood-heating place in the WORLD. Haha.


All worked out

So I dropped off the face of the earth this weekend, in case anyone was curious, or wondering, or concerned or any other kind of wonderful, caring emotion.

Not for any really good particular reason... except that I was stressing out again, and figured the best way to deal with it was to not be home at all. Poor puppy.

But my Friday was just so stressful (I didn't stop from the moment I got in at nine to find one of my interviewees waiting for me...until I left in a panic at five because I was late for helping out with curling registration. I went straight from registration to Nat's for Bingo (when finally, I could relax a little) and good times were had.

Went for the inaugaural snowmobile drive on Saturday afternoon.
Things that rocked:

  • heated handlebars and throttle
  • going 80km/h over the lake ice
  • not dying when the skidoo hit a really slippery piece of ice, and nearly tipped over (don't worry mom, I am alive, and was wearing a helmet)
  • watching the sun set behind the snowy tundra on my right hand side (purple skies... so beautiful) and on my left, seeing the moon high in the navy blue sky.
  • "smart wool" socks that I borrowed from Nat.
  • being toasty warm for the first 3/4 of the trip (but kind of chilly for the last quarter... and then it took me a good hour to defrost - but I'm a slow thaw-er)
  • NOT GETTING STUCK EVEN ONE TIME - this is an accomplishment for me, more on this later in the week
I basically wasted the whole weekend away, because I knew I had to have a no-nonsense day of Spark-ing on Sunday.

Today I started work at 10 and finished up at 7. No breaks, except to go over to Sarah's to interview her. It was intense. I was uber productive. But it was pretty steady going. At one point I thought I was going to have a panic attack, because I couldn't figure out how I was going to start the bloody thing, or the direction I was going....

So I headed to the office. Amazing how much easier it is to tell a story when you have more than one, really bad, interview in the bag.

I actually spent the better part of the afternoon talking/listening to Jen of Nunavut. She was one of the many of you to have volunteered to be part of the story. She did a great job, and totally saved my ass.

I meant to write this earlier, but I wanted to thank all you guys again for volunteering to be interviewed. Since I wrote that plea, we narrowed down the scope a bit, to JUST Nunavut - which is totally fair. I don't know anything ABOUT any of the other territories. Also, the interviews were basically just about online banking and online shopping.

So thanks again everyone for offering up your stories! I won't say anything just yet, but there is a chance I'll be doing an encore on Spark, so maybe we'll talk then!

So between the stressful Friday, and the busy Sunday, I'm certainly looking forward to the day off on Tuesday. Granted, it's not REALLY a day off... I'll be heading down to the legion, hopefully, for the Rememberance Day ceremony... but I'll be able to catch up on those zzz's and relax in the afternoon.

I would really like to do some reading.


Dunder Mifflin, Winnipeg

Yes, seriously.

I heard it on Q this morning, and thought I had a stroke and mis-heard the announcement.

But nope, CBC has confirmed. Michael Scott will be visiting Winterpeg.

Why Winnipeg?

Writers for the show — about the fictional paper firm Dunder Mifflin set in Scranton, Penn. — said they chose Winnipeg because it struck the right balance "between exotic and obscure."

Now, unfortunately, the crew never left LA to shoot the episode, they just shipped in Canadian junk and played pretend... but I won't hold that against them (too much).

And now, a quick synopsis:

Oscar Nunez, Andy Bernard, Micheal Scott go on a business trip to Winnipeg. Michael has an affair with a hotel concierge. Andy and Oscar become friends.

And a great quote from show writer, Brent Forrester:

"Michael Scott is trying to turn Winnipeg into a city of international intrigue in his mind so much that he wants this business trip to be all it's cracked up to be. We sort of imagined that Winnipeg in November was not Paris in summer, so it's a little colder and a little lonelier than he hopes," Forrester said.

The episode airs next Thursday, the 13th.
Maybe I'll have cable by then.
I doubt it. Too bad.


The new template

Hey all,
So I've found a template I'm pretty sure I love. It's very "me" - - the colour, the note pad style, etc. etc.
But I'm having a little bit of trouble "customizing" it, because it was a free template, there's not much support in the way of getting help... so I was hoping there might be someone out there in Blog World who knows how to read XML/HTML.
The two "big" problems are...

  1. The links at the top (home, about, archives) all link back to the main page, ("home") rather than what they are supposed to link to. I have a feeling this is a really easy edit, I just don't know how to do it.
  2. The "widgets" (features) at the side are too long (and I'd actually prefer NOT to have the "labels" be there) - again an easy fix, I think, if only I knew how to read code.
So yah, if anyone out there can read XML/HTML or knows someone who can... please... let me know - I'll make sure to give you credit! I really like the way this looks, I just need to tweak it a bit to make it functional.

Thanks so much

Jackie S. Quire and the case of the saggy bottoms

I have no ass.

This - for those who know me - is not just a fact of life, but a reoccurring theme that pervades just about everything I do.

From the moment I wake up in the morning (and pull up my PJ pants, because they've migrated down towards the bottom of the bed) to the time I lay down at night (with one final pants-tug before getting horizontal) my lack of dairy-air (I'm so witty) nags at me non-stop.

I get up from my desk to get a cup of coffee... doing the squat-and-tug just two feet from my chair.
I go to the post office to check my mail: I yank once I get to the top of the 7-steps at the entrance, and then once again after I bend down to open the box on the very bottom row.

You see, having no ass doesn't just mean I don't get to participate in booty-shakes... or sing along enthusiastically to Sir Mix Alot... it means my pants JUST DON'T STAY UP.

The only way to get my pants to stay up would be if they were bib-style like my snowpants. Or a really strong pair of suspenders might help... but would totally cramp my style (all the style I have in the Great White North). Many have suggested one of those leather strap-things...that go around your middle... oh yah, Belt. That's what's it's called. Belt.

Well Belt doesn't work. It just adds more weight to the pants... and being as we live on a gravity-abundant planet, that means they scooch their way down my body even FASTER than without.

So for all of you out there, who think a little bit of butt crack is DISGUSTING (which, it is...) maybe you'll now take pause. Because maybe that poor soul WANTS to keep his/her pants up AND CAN'T, and is equally frustrated with their public display of crackage.

That is all.


At the request of many... and several months late

So I started writing this up the week I did my oh-so-depressing "I hate" list. I didn't want to be such a Negative Nancy ... but never got around to finishing it. So better late than never, here's my "I love" list:

I love nectarines that are as tasty on the inside as they look on the outside.
I love jalepano soup - one of the boy's many specialties

I love the smell and sound of a heavy downpour.
I love the crisp smell that means winter is coming (though not necessarily winter itself!)
I love early morning beach walks...
And fresh bakery goods.

I love my puppy - and his strange "running my entire body along the carpet to wipe something off my face" habits

I love mail - especially when it's not bills.
I love online shopping (but it's an expensive habit *ug)

I love going ultra fast on Honda trails.
I love that it only costs 15 bucks to fill up the tank of an ATV.
I love catching fish.
(And I suspect) I love my new skidoo (even though it's still stuck in its crate)

I love Birkenstock sandals. Pretty sure there is no need for any other kind of shoe.

I love the colour green.
I love the smell of grass (and I miss it)

I love farmer's markets.
I love stores with lots of different cheeses.
And breads.

I love red wine. And Pinot Grigio. Mmm.

I love dark chocolate desserts, especially if they come with raspberry coulis on the side.

I love sliding into 2nd/3rd/home and being SAFE - even if it means cutting up my shins!

I love laughing so hard I can't breathe... and miss the days when this was on a weekly basis (miss you, Robyn, Andrea)

I love swimming, I love waterslides, I love the ocean, I love the way salt water sticks on my hair, and makes it all wavy when it dries.

I love my (former) fire-engine-red hair and cute little bob cut (wish I could maintain it up here!)

I love my North Face winter boots, I love my new wind pants (that go all the way up to my chest, yummie warmth!)
I love those little jean-coloured patch things that you iron on to mend a hole in your fave pants.

I love my PLTA (paid leave travel assistance) for padding my bank account balance.
I love HAVING a bank account balance (even though it's not much to speak of)
I love Canada Savings Bonds (because they hide my money from me)

I love cocooning in the blanket I stole off the spare room's bed - yes that ugly cream/yellow/butterscotch-coloured thing. It's so old that the cotton has become downy-soft, and the plastic threads are coming loose.

I love patchwork quilts.

I love school supplies (but since I don't go to school any more, I just love new pens, paper, hilighters, agendas, notebooks etc.)

I love being a radio journalist. I love mixing sound. I love talking into a microphone. I love people hearing my first name and then KNOWING what my last name is because they've heard it on the radio and it stuck in their head.

I love my name.

I love my blog readers, I love my blog.

I love my parents.
I love my friends.
And I love the boy (awwwww *puke)

The end.


A million little pieces

For the first time in quite awhile, I feel...


Suuure, I've felt sad, happy, anxious, paranoid, homesick, lonely,
excited... bloated... (haha) the list goes on.

But it's been probably a year or more since I've just felt out-and-out

I associate Jackie-the-stress-fetus with university. The days when I
didn't think I was capable of making that phone call that was essential
to my week's journalism assignment. When the prospect of 15-page papers
made me shake... and then I'd get so cracked out on tea that the shaking
was no longer from the nerves, but from the caffeine high. When I'd
watch hour after hour of Scrubs to numb my brain, to make me forget how
MUCH work I had to do.

But at least then I had my room mates who were dealing with exactly the
same thing. And, you know, misery loves company.

Right now, I'm just ... I just... feel soooo not capable of handling
all this. It just seems like too much to do, too little time, with too
little resources. I know I want to do it. I know it's a great
opportunity, but I don't know if I'm CAPABLE.

It's just at this point where it's not even "there's not enough hours
in the day"... but more "I just want to go home, lay in bed, beneath the
covers... give into the fetus-me, and let my brain become mush and just
not deal with everything I have to do." It's not that I don't have the
TIME to do everything, it's that I'm so preoccupied with freaking out
about it all, that I can't focus and get anything done.

It's just... it's just a matter of too many projects. I really think
I'm just working on too many little things at once. And my sanity is
seriously going to be the one that loses out.

I just don't know where to start anymore. I'm working on so many
different stories, all of which are missing pieces. And all of them have
the potential to be really good... but I just can't finish them. So they
loom over me, and I end up looking like a crap-tastic journalist who
can't crack a story. And maybe I am. I don't know.

And it's not just work. My house is a mess. And just the thought of
making a dent in that pigsty makes me want to hide in the corner,
forming a cross with my loyal bottle of Mr.Clean and Febreeze. *baaaack
vile creature! baaaaack!*

Then there's this curling thing, and the Spark story, Christmas
shopping, work truck drama, the skidoo-stuck-in-the-box, and the fact
that for some reason I seem to be much less articulate than usual ...
leaving me sounding like a bumbling idiot to the ears of my producers,
editors, interviewees, coworkers, RCMP, and blog readers.

I really think I need an epiphany shower*.


A happy post!

So, there's a reason why my "About Me" section says the following:

I'm very mysterious. Mysterious like an open book. A suspense novel. In extra large print. That you can read across the room.
When things are good, you know it. When things are bad... YOU KNOW IT. So I had a grumpy/sad couple of days, but I'm happy now! And YOU KNOW IT! Haha.

So what makes this blogger so happy?
  1. MY SKI-DOO ARRIVED! - now I have to qualify this a bit. Apparently my ski-doo arrived "awhile" ago (says NSSI) but they never called or did anything to let me know that it was in. They just dropped it on the beach, and expected my spidey-sense to pick up on the fact that it was waiting there for me. So yesterday M&T dropped it at my house, crate and all... and now I have to figure out how to get it out of the box. Anyone have a spare crowbar?
  2. I have fantastic friends - I have only just begun to realize how much time I spend with "the boy" ... and I've grown addicted to the company. But when he's gone I have to get used to venturing outside my apartment... last night I went to Nat's and she fed me chicken fettuccine alfredo. Then we watched hours of Intervention (I like that show MUCH better when they have happy endings. The sad endings make me want to shrivel up and die). And played a couple rounds of Xbox golf. All in all, a pretty sweet evening.
  3. My coworkers make me a good journalist - I've been getting a lot of help from my Inuktitut-speaking coworkers lately. We make a good team. They dig up the person affected, I dig up the "official" voice, and we do bilingual stories.
  4. Did I mention I have fantastic friends? One of my friends here is currently in Whale Cove on work travel. I had this DUMB idea to include Whale Cove's banking woes in my story for Spark (don't remember what I'm talking about? Check it out here). Now that's a story that we've not been able to do for the regular programming for CBC North, because we've not been able to find someone to talk. So why I thought it would be a good idea to try and "crack" it for my Spark piece, well that's beyond me. But I did. And now I'm committed to it. But then Good Friend Sarah came to the rescue. She thinks she might be able to help me. She knows some nurses and people in Whale... and is going to see if they'd be interested in participating. I sure hope it works out, or else I'll have to go back to that paper bag to keep the hyperventilating in check...


Dear world:

Please note.

I am a nice person.

I am rarely rude, inconsiderate or mean.
I give you the time of day, even when maybe you don't deserve it.
I am patient, I am supportive, I am friendly and I listen.

Please treat me with the same consideration I treat you.



There are days...

When you wake up, and feel like the world is just so lonely...
When you talk to people and they brush you off...
When you wish you could be back in that three-bedroom apartment, studying for exams and stressing over fake deadlines
When you miss your family.
When you miss your friends.
When you miss your boy.

When the only remedy is an hour-long phone call with a friend more than 3000 kms away...
Some out-of-tune song-writing (...and the phoooone is clooooggeddd up with teeeaaaars)...
A MASSIVE plate of home-made mac-n-cheese...
A big glass of milk...
And The Terminal on DVD.

I don't know why I love this movie so much, but I do. Probably because I've spent so many hours in airport terminals over the past couple years... and get a HUGE kick out of Tom Hanks' lost in translation.

"Keep the change"