Holy crap.

Note to self: Red Bull is the devil. I was feeling groggy today and decided I didn't feel like coffee, and bought a can of Red Bull.

Crazy crazy crazy stuff that is.

The only other time I've had it was when I was driving back to Arras from Amsterdam after a very stressful day.

On a positive note, while I feel like my eyes are unnaturally large, I also have the unquestionable desire to get work done.

So I will.

Dear blog:

I am sorry for being neglectful as of late.

I have noticed a pattern of diminishing inspiration as the week goes on.

Full of witty repartee Monday and Tuesday... which tapers off Wednesday... and a plateau forms leading up to the weekend.

But then sometimes a nice cup o' java gets me all creative at about 11am on Saturday.

I will be tout seule as of tomorrow. The roomie is going on a month-long vacation. Only to return to Rankin for a couple days before leaving forever.

It will be weird for me to live on my own again. It has been really nice having someone besides Sully and I in the apartment. Nice to have someone to share a chai latte. Nice to have someone to make up really obscure drink names (Screwhound anyone?). But I always knew it was temporary, we both did, and I'm really really really happy for roomie... and that she got this job. I know it is exactly what she wanted: career-wise and life-wise.

So kudos babe. And come back some day so we can share a bloodhound kay?


Blog swap...

Here it is!
The first blog swap entry for my blog.


I want a ring. There, I said it! I want a giant diamond to wear on my left ring finger, a ring with which I can casually blind others as the light glints off its perfect, dazzling surface. Oh, and it gets worse. I also want the proposal. I want my boyfriend to come up with a romantic idea, to buy a ring he thinks I will love, and to pull it all off in a spectacularly surprising way. But I want him to want to do it. I want him to want to marry me, to proclaim his love so grand that he couldn't think of anyone else he'd rather spend his days with. Not that I don't think that's already true. Not that I think some shiny rock is going to make our love any more real. Still: I want it. Bad.

When I hear stories about others getting engaged I am engulfed in a bonfire of jealousy. Does it diminish my happiness for other couples engagements that I am still ringless after twenty-nine years? Yes! It does! I want to hear my friend's engagement stories but only so that I can compare how sad my ring finger is compared to theirs. One of my close friends went off to Italy last week for vacation with her boyfriend and I was completely convinced she was going to come back with a beautiful ring and I actually felt physically relieved when I discovered that she did not. Partly because I do not want to be in another wedding, but mostly because I am a huge jerk. I kept thinking, why should SHE be engaged before me? Even though I know in my mind how unfair that statement is.

The worst was when I found out that my former best friend was engaged. That would be the former best friend who made my life a living hell when my boyfriend moved three hundred miles from his home to be with me because she was no longer the center of attention at all moments. I kept telling myself, good for her, she finally found someone who likes her insane clinginess, but it was no use. I am actually angry that she is going to be married before me. The girl that never had a boyfriend in her life, who made me feel like a jerk when MY boyfriend moved here, who told me it was a bad idea for my boyfriend and I to live together after only a year of dating, THAT girl is engaged. To a man who lives six hundred miles away. To a man she met 8 months ago. To a man she has never lived with, never had any kind of interaction with other than a few long weekends here and there.

More to the point, he asked her. He liked her enough to ask her to be his wife, despite her patronizing manner, the fact that she's a know-it-all, and the fact that she willingly abandoned a ten-year friendship because she couldn't have her way. He gave her a ring. (An ugly ring, but still.) And I know neither of them is any big prize. They're both pretentious enough to be very well-suited to each other. I just keep thinking how has someone asked HER, but no one has asked me?

No, seriously: why hasn't he asked me yet?



These are the most decadent "granola bars" of all time. I scarfed one down today (the Moccacino one)... and instantly regretted it. I should have savoured it. It deserved a latte or a cup of espresso.

So divine.

Mad world

I have to give my head a shake some days. I don't always realize who I've become, and what I do. And how I've dreamed of this (but always thought it just beyond my fingertips) for quite some time.

In less than ten minutes I do another Newsworld "hit" (aka 2-3 minute interview with the host, Heather Hiscox). I didn't think something like this would come up again after the blizzard. But then no one in this town... or beyond... thought this power thing was going to happen either. 

But yet again, here I am, sitting on the phone, listening to Newsworld. Listening to Ralph Goodale pre-analyze the budget... call Mr. Harper the largest-spending prime minister of all time. I'm officially "in the board" haha. Which I think, just means I'm in the wings, ready to go on. "On deck" to use an all-too-familiar softball analogy.

Last time, I was sweaty palms, I was deep breathing, I was NERVOUS. This morning... I'm okay. I have been told, by several people "over there" that Ms. Hiscox loves me, that I am good at doing these reports. So that helps in the confidence sector.

AND this just in... I'm following BOOMER GALLANT today. Not Ms. Jones. It's going to be an all-Island all the time news run for the next segment.


Haha, before I went on this morning, I had two little "hellos" said to me during the commercial break:

"(me: COUGH COUGH) Oh Jackie that sounds awful. Just wanted to check in, say hi, thanks for coming on again and we love having you on the show"
- Heather Hiscox

"jaaackie sharkey, how are yah? Aaaaaaand what part of the island are you from?"
- Boomer Gallant

Pretty cool, no?


Rankin ramblings

I'm torn.

I can't decide which is better/worse:

To be sick and stay at home and get no work done all day (leaving others to pick up your slack... at least in my profession)

Or to be sick and come to work, functioning maybe at half-capacity (if that) but also possibly infecting fellow co-workers.

There's a not-so-fun cold bug going around Rankin these days. Coworker 1 was out most of last week... Coworker 2 had it this weekend... and Coworker 3 (who never ever takes time off due to illness) just left to go home for the rest of the day.

I have no desire to come down with this thing. Granted I'm always a fan of a little extra sleep... but not if it comes with a razor-blade throat and achy body.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it actually feels like it is getting a bit warmer. I don't think we had a -50 (or lower) day at all last week... which is a VAST improvement. And I've been doing more walking than usual (for me) the past week as well.

Our poor decrepit work vehicle (which, mind you, is just 2 years old) is still DOA. He's been frozen stiff for over a week now. It makes things a lot harder from a reporting point of view. It's times like these I wish we had a backup snowmobile or something. At least then it would be easier to get around and talk to people.

I just got a kind of funny phone call, from this gourmet shop in the states. I was watching Martha Stewart (lol, I know, shocker) on Friday and there was this fellow from Sardinia sharing recipes etc. Anyways, they mentioned you could get a couple of the ingredients on their website (www.gourmetsardinia.com) ... things that would otherwise be impossible (for me anyways) to get my hands on. So I sauntered over to the site, and picked a couple things to buy (Bottarga and Fregula) but it didn't work, so I didn't give it a second thought. Just shrugged and thought "no biggie." My life wasn't going to be worthless without Fregula.

Anyways, they just called me, apologizing for it not going through, and they were swamped with orders... and it just struck me as quaint, sweet and funny all at the same time. Some dude's who appeared on Martha Stewart... his store called me to apologize for not being able to immediately process my order.

FINALLY: (I've been working on this blog post intermittently all day) I just got asked by Newsworld to do a story tomorrow morning. 6:25 EST with Madam Hiscox re: the power outages. I should have done this at the end of last week... but with the lack of power and general insanity, it just wasn't going to happen.

Anyways, as someone's said to me in the past... I've officially become CBC's "bad shit is happening in the north" correspondent. But really (*knock on wood*) what ELSE can happen?


My life is insane



Fatal flaws

Ok. So you have all been very kind by not calling me out on my latest blunder.

Except for Jaime.

She totally ridiculed me. :P

Apparently, I'm not actually knowledgeable about sandwiches. I'm "a french 'commons' in Picardie" about sandwiches.

Which is kind of interesting... seeing as Picardie is actually quite close to where I lived in France. Well maybe not CLOSE, but it's not across the country.

I am obviously not a perfect person. I don't even pretend to be. I have my flaws, am generally accepting of them. But sometimes... I just know they will be the death of me.

Like I can see, some day, I'll be in some sadistic spelling bee.

And I'll be told "spell diphtheria or die."

And that will be the end. It really will.



I was perfectly happy being a sandwich-hater.

It worked just fine for me all through grade school, jr. high and high school.

I brought leftovers from the night before, and was the first kid I knew to eat Michelina's at lunch.
My sandwich ban was basically without no exception. I say basically... because there was one sandwich I would die for. One sandwich I held above the rest... even denying it belonged to the hated sandwich-family.

The Subway veggie sub.

I went ... from grade four... until after high school never letting another sub cross my lips. The veggie sub carried me through the hard times. When the parents would rush DD and I to play rehearsal right after church. The noon-time dash from Green Gables to the boardwalk... praying we'd beat the lunch rush.

We go way back.

I even went through a stage where I'd make my own at home. With a store-bought sub roll, cutting the bread with the trademark subway oblong scoop (I told the family I was in training for my Subway career)... and stuffing it to the brim with lettuce/tomatoes/green peppers/onions/cheese....

Basically, the Subway veggie sub escaped the three things I hated most about the generic sandwich:

  1. sliced bread
  2. deli meats
  3. tomato/mayo-induced sogginess... from it being made long in advance
And then. My mom came to visit me this summer in Quebec.

And we walked to a little deli on St. Jean.

And she bought sliced roast beef.

We ate it on a fresh baguette.

With cheddar cheese, mayo and mustard.

And it was glorious.

I hate to admit it. But it is true. I have fallen for the roast beef "sandwich". But I'm not a complete sellout.

I swear.

I still dislike soggy-ness. I will only eat a sandwich if I make it just before eating it.

And I don't eat it on sliced bread. I am currently in love with "squagels" (square bagels doncha know). OOoo. And its ultra yummie when toasty and warm.

As for my sliced meat kaibash... well. I like roast beef. I'll keep it at that.



I don't blog on weekends.

And based on what I see on Statcounter, you don't read on weekends. So there :P

I think my creative juices just up and die once Friday evening hits. But let's face it. I write for my job, and I write for "fun" (slash to keep you folkies all informed, and entertained)...

All I want to do is sit around in my pajamas... watch the TV shows I recorded during the week... and be an all around non-functional human being. I think I just function too much during the work week. Its all about keeping the balance people.

All about the balance.



Life before seedless grapes must have sucked.

That is all.


Being romantical and such

I am not going to deny it. I have my cynical moments.

For the longest time I declared myself an anti-Valentite. Not just while I was a single gal, but protested the event so vehemently the first year the ex and I were together, he decided the only thing to do was go over the top and woo me to death.

We lived half a country apart at that time, so going all out was a tricky affair. But it was pretty cool all the same. Roses, (balloons, I think) and a care package. The roses were a great surprise, but it was the little Expresspost bundle that really melted my cynical rock-hard heart. Inside ... just a bunch of doodads... but each with a special meaning. I laughed so hard as I pulled each one out of the envelope. Sometimes because they were so obscure. Sometimes because they brought back a familiar memory. And once, because it was Street Fighter III on DVD. How romatical!

My parents always did a little something for my sister and I. Most years DD and I would come to the dinner table on Valentine's day to find Dad had placed red and white carnations at our table settings. And mom scooping "pink potatoes" onto our plates.

(Many many years ago, when I was just a bite-sized Jackie, my parents discovered I was allergic to red food colouring. This revelation came via a very red Valentine's day cake, which as the story goes, I couldn't get enough of. So I never was "allowed" to indulge in the token v-day treats... and as a substitute, "pink potatoes" were born. Pink potatoes, for those not in the know, are regular mashed potatoes... with beets mashed in. The colour becomes BRIGHT FUCHSIA and they taste like heaven.)

They say Valentine's day is a day for couples. But if my parents ever made anything clear, it was more "just" a day to tell people you love them.

Either way, I'm not as anti-Vday as I used to be.


Inuit Statistical Profile

I was browsing ITK's website today (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami... aka the organization that represents Inuit across Canada)... and came across this "neat" staple foods comparison chart.

Keep in mind, this data is about 5 years old. And the prices in Clyde River may be different now... and I'm not sure EXACTLY how they compare to Rankin's. But that looks pretty close, if not a bit "cheap."

I gripe and complain about the cost of food... just as much as anyone. I am often "immune" to the sticker shock... but it is really hard to leave the Northern/Co-op without spending at least $30. It doesn't matter what I buy. It is always $30.

Today: bagles, sliced roast beef, small package of cheese, mayo, mustard: $30.

10lbs Potatoes, sour cream, butter: $30

Pepperoni pizza, 2 cans pepsi, 2L milk: $30

It doesn't matter the nutritional value, it doesn't matter the brand. It is ALWAYS thirty bucks.

Dear anonymous writer...

A question on Megan's blog got me thinking...

I don't know if I would have had the ability... or "soundness" of mind to answer that question a couple of months ago (yes, hard to believe I have been here almost 5 months)...

Actually, maybe I'm just in a good mood today.

Either way. I have my answer.

Why did I move to Nunavut?

Well this may be a cop-out answer... but "why not"?

I'm young, eager, and not really scared of the cold (not now that I have my Canada Goose parka). I have traveled parts of Europe, lived in France... 5 of our provinces and so... a window opened to the north and I crawled through.

It's cold.

It's remote...

But most days it's pretty darn cool too (yah yah, I'm punny)

I won't be here forever. But who knows what the next few years will bring. A year ago the north was a fleeting thought, and I remember thinking of it as a place where you "pay your dues" before moving on.

I don't really think that anymore. It's not about paying dues, it is about getting to do things I might not have the chance to do "down south." It's about having weekends off, and being a full-time reporter at 22. It's about holding onto this experience with both hands, squinting against the wild snow and wind.... and coming out the other end panting, out of breath, and totally exhilarated.


CBC daycare

There's a baby in the office this morning.

It very well may be the tiniest thing I have ever seen in my life.

It is THIRTY HOURS OLD. And they gave the thing to ME to hold. I didn't even think babies hung out in public when they were less than 2 days old, but they do up here, and they do so in my arms, at my desk, before story meeting.

I was told whose baby it was, but I don't remember. Someone's sister's niece ... I don't know. It's funny to think someone's newborn... someone I don't know and probably will never meet... was chillin' at my desk this morning.

Coworker brought him to the office in the most beautiful amautiq. For my "southern" readers... an amautiq  (you say it like ow-mah-tee) is the best way to carry a kid EVER. I swear before I head back down south I will have one made for me. Because after seeing  a woman riding a snowmobile with a baby on her back... you've got to wonder why in the world anyone would bother with a stroller.

Some amautiq pictures

Blog swap...

So I have a little confession to make.

I have a new blog I've been religiously stalking. It's Megan's ... I just ... can't stop reading it.

Coming soon to an "Intervention" episode near you...heh

I am not even entirely sure how I ended up reading her blog... or she mine. I feel it may have had something to do with the Nunies... or maybe through Townie's blog... either way... it's a pretty cool connection, she's a former CBC-ite who moved up north (even farther north than I did!) and has been up here for a little while.

All in all, pretty cool.

Anyways, the reason for my little confession is Megan is participating in a "blog swap." I've never heard of anything like this before, but it seems like a cool idea.

Basically you write an anonymous "guest entry" on someone else's blog.

I'm not going to go into all the details, if you want to read more about it, it is being organized by this blogger.

Sounds pretty cool to me.


right now: I hate the north

How unfair is life that I can be so pumped that Joel Plaskett kicked ass at the ECMAs...
only to find out the same day the two roomies are going to see him Friday.

My heart actually broke off a bit, and I had tears well up in my eyes. Hell, they are still there as I am writing this. Why do I care this much? It's just a stupid band.

But I can't help but remember how I kicked myself after not seeing Limblifter when they were in Ottawa back in 2005... and then they've not done a tour since, and are essentially no longer together.

It just bites. I want to be there. Half for the concert, and half of it is just plain stupid jealousy that they can see one another, and I can't. That I'm on the other side of the world. Where no roads go in or out. Where my stupid bands don't come to play. Where I'm feeling so "stuck" right now. And its all my fault.

Biggest small world ever.

So the woman who had my job before me got some mail the other day.

Not just any mail. IMPORTANT mail. T4 mail (I suspect... being as it IS that time of year, looked VERY official, and didn't have "you may have won 10,000,000 dollars" stamped on the front-- unlike all the "official"-looking mail I get.)

But wait! There's more! (oh no, I've lapsed into infomercial-speak again...)

Co-worker and I took the IMPORTANT MAIL to the post office today... to forward IT to her new address... which JUST HAPPENS TO BE......


Isn't that just beyond bizarre? My old address was within 12 numbers of her current one. We were 180 she's 192.

I'm neighbors, in the past, with my job-predecessor.

I think I just gave myself a stroke.


Favorite song of the year thus far:

Heroes of the Sidewalk by Two Hours Traffic.

What is it about a song that makes you just want to put it on repeat. Some random combination of melody, lyrics and personal connection?

My personal connection is on more than one level.

First: These guys are from the Maritimes. But they have that disgustingly addictive "indie rock" sound that I just love.

I remember the days when "east coast music" to me meant Anne Murray and Rita McNeil. Thank god those days are over.

And even cooler than being from the Maritimes? They are from Charlottetown. Hometown pride yo!!

My second personal connection: there's this section of lyrics that I just feel, when I hear them, are just TOO ME.

Fill our bags up with booty
They don't know what to think about us cutie
We'll be the heroes of the sidewalks in our town

You're my idea of lady
Hold on to my bootstraps baby
And drag me around by your ponytail

I know, in pasting these lyrics, most of you folks will be like "okay, whatever Jackie." But it is just classic classic amazing.

(Listen to the album here)

The final coolest thing about Two Hours Traffic? Their album was produced by Joel Plaskett. Another uber cool Maritime musician... who just HAPPENED to seriously clean up at the ECMAs this weekend in Fredericton. And my little sis was there for some of it.

DD, if you had the chance to see the Joel Plaskett Emergency and didn't, I am going to shun you for several years. Which will make our trip this summer very painful for you.

But I won't care.

Cuz I'll be bouncing around with my ipod, listening to Joel Plaskett/Two Hours Traffic. :P


I heart gmail

Wow, apparently that is really all I feel like blogging about today.

That I heart gmail.

Why, you ask?

Because thanks to gmail, I never have to remember anything ever again. The internet and access to it is so crazy pervasive... that I basically have constant access to my email... which is where I get everyone to send me phone numbers, to do lists, websites... wish lists....

And so I never write anything down anymore (unless its on my hand... because I'll inevitably lose the oh-so-important piece of paper). I just send myself an email. Or get someone else to.

I'm a disgusting example of the digital age.

Go ahead, pity me.


Being outed

So, it was going to happen eventually... and I had prepared myself for it...

But I've finally been "outed."

No, not in the way you are thinking... I mean blog-outed.

And I think I'm being a bit unfair, I more "outed" myself.... but I'll back up.

As many of you know, there's been some ... tension... here in the north about people blogging about certain things, and employers taking action. So needless to say, that's been in the back of my mind for awhile... and I more or less keep this a personal blog. Sometimes I write about how I feel drained, tired, exhilarated... and sometimes that involves references to my work...

Anyways. I was called for an interview the other day, by News North, about my Nunie award. So I had to give my producer a call in Iqaluit. I think a bunch of my coworkers over there already knew I had a blog... when I was first nominated... but I didn't really tell my boss. I wasn't hiding it, but I wasn't advertising it either.

Anyways, so my employer now knows. And I'm like 98% okay with that. I don't really write anything all that controversial... or even that interesting (yet... y'all still read it... why is beyond me....)

So yah, I'm "outed"

But not like it really makes that much of a difference. :D


Congrats Jackie...

You are your own 10,000th reader!

How lame is it that I happened to have my own 10,000th hit.

Still, pretty cool though. Most of this traffic came in January, thanks to the Nunies.

But all the same, thanks for reading!!!!


Total nostalgia

Sounds like Canada is doing an "all-Quebec City" episode today.

And nothing has made me this nostalgic for la belle province than the past 16 minutes.

Among other elements of the show... is a convo with a former colleague of mine, Catou MacKinnon.

Ever since I've started my "reporter" career (which I DO distinguish from my "shows/current affairs" career... aka what I was doing in Quebec before I got this job up north) I've kind of kept her in my head as the kind of reporter I want to be.

She was friendly, but took her job seriously.

She worked long hours when she needed to ... but made sure to take that time off when she could be spared.

She was driven, dedicated, but level-headed.

And always up for gelato lol!

I think the coolest thing about Catou was that she always made sure to include me. She threw /organized my "welcome to Quebec" AND my "Bon Voyage" pub nites. I was only there 5 months, but she totally made me feel welcome.

But what really got me ... and something I try to think about whenever I have to do a little extra time, or go to a conference or a public meeting that maybe I'm not really keen on going to... is how she dealt with the first fatality from the Valcartier crew. I was working in QC when the first batch went to Afghanistan... and that was intense enough. But then we had those deaths... three I think...I remember hearing she dropped everything when she went out and just covered it. Middle of the night. No one had to tell her to go. She just knew it had to be done, and she did it. It would have been the longest day ever for her, but she didn't complain.

She had to talk to the wives, mothers, fathers... friends of these men. And she did it with flawless grace. Sympathetic without pity. Somehow kept her own composure.

I can only dream I'd be able to pull something like that off with the same dignity.

So kudos, Catou. Kudos.


Career highs:

Arriving at work to find a little navy blue box on my desk...
Containing none other than my first ever set of business cards.



A serious case of the schmoops

Today can't be Monday.

I understand that it is the day that followed Sunday (and the Superbowl)...

and precedes Tuesday...

But I just am not in the mood for it to be Monday.

I don't feel like interviewing people today... don't feel like writing up stories, don't really feel like sitting here at the office at all...

I am antsy, minutely frustrated, uncomfortable (my back feels like it needs a good stretch, but my desk chair doesn't permit) not to mention unfairly static-y.

I refuse to look in the mirror because I will just be horrified at what my hair has become since I left the house this morning (that's what happens when you combine extreme dryness with extreme cold... a swirly-twirly gumdrop hat ... and a fleece zip-up.) I feel like my entire head is one of those electricity-globes.

I will now entertain you with a photo that not only sums up my schmoopy-ness, but also demonstrates what a swirly-twirly gumdrop hat actually is.

(For all you sad, depraved folkies who do not know)


Hotel Jackie, population: 2

So the biggest news of this week... except for the Nunies hullabaloo.... is that I now have a roomie!

It kind of came all of a sudden... a friend needed a place to live for a bit, and I had an extra bedroom, and VOILA!

It's kind of funny, I lived with Robyn and Andrea for four years... and its disgusting the system we had worked out. I really couldn't have asked for better living companions. I really noticed how much easier they made my life when I moved out, by myself, to my Quebec apartment.

And I learned several things about myself:

  • I hate hate hate taking out the garbage. I'm more likely to walk past a garbage bag for WEEKS than I would take it downstairs or out to the curb. This was especially lame as in Quebec, garbage pickup was EVERY DAY at my apartment (because I lived behind a restaurant). So it wasn't like I'd miss the day then have to wait for a week. Nope, I'd just never take it down.
  • I also despise sweeping. And not like specifically the pushing the dirt around with the broom. Nope, its quirkier than that. I hate gathering it into the dustpan. In fact, the other day, when Jaime/Jeff were coming over to help me paint, I did a quick clean of my apartment, but when I finished sweeping, I was like GOD I DON'T WANT TO PUT THIS IN THE DUSTPAN... so I swept it into a recess in the bathroom, and put my laundry basket over it so no one could see. It is still there.
  • I have a fear of mold and really pungent food smells. So if I don't eat something that was in a tupperware container(be it in the fridge or under my bed when I was a kid)... and I forget to take the lid off and wash it... I will likely throw out the entire container. It's for my own safety, really. Certain meals have been completely ruined for me because I smelled its rotting cousin. And it takes awhile for me to recover.
So my poor new roomie will have a very quirky woman to deal with... though I do think she's at least willing to grin and bear it.

I hope.

Because I really need someone to take out the garbage.