Eating cash

So sometime yesterday I got lost in the maze of Macleans.ca. I think it started with a funny "how to keep your job" article... and somehow I ended up on this bit about how to cook "good" meals for about 50 dollars a week.

Heh. 50 dollars a week. I remember when I used to live on that. Granted I was living with three other people in Ottawa and we all probably contributed that much a week. We ate like kings. It was great.

Now I live alone, in Nunavut, and probably spend three times what I did back then. I'm cooking for one most of the time, which means more waste and fewer options. And it gets complicated when disaster strikes (like it did this week) and food mail is delayed by 2 or 3 days because the planes have gone mechanical. You end up with dregs in the fridge and no staples (I've been without margarine for days, but I have it coming on food mail... and I know the moment I buy margarine the flight will land in Rankin and I'll have doubles of all the things I spent way too much on at the Northern. Frustrating.

Then I came across this blog. Premise: three friends (Tracey, Jeff, Jennifer) started a challenge called "The Working Poor Diet." If you've heard of this idea before, I'm not surprised. I understand it's been done for fund raising purposes in other places. Basically, each of them had 80 dollars for the entire month of February for groceries/food.

The rules: No free food (that means office snacks and free samples are out). No skipping meals. You must start from scratch - - no cupboard stocks. And the meals should match daily recommendations by Canada's Food Guide.

Holy crow. Not easy.

Honestly, if I lived down south, I really think I could get by on 50 dollars a week no problem. I never really ate out much when I was a kid... and to date prefer to cook my own meals. If it were just me, I'd probably eat out maybe three times a month. And that includes fast food meals.

But 80 bucks for a month... without pantry buffer? I don't know if I could do it! Well, that's a lie, I could do it, but I probably never would because I would prefer to have more variety and I like to dazzle my tastebuds from time to time.

Anyways, while I don't think I'll be giving that one a try in the near future... especially when I live in the north (though it would be interesting to see how long 80 bucks would last up here. I'm thinking a week and half), but it would be interesting to try a food budget. We say that the costs are basically twice what you pay in the south... but that really varies according to item. Some things, like milk and bread (I know, I know, how many times am I going to whine about the price of milk?) are about three times the price of what you'd pay in the rest of Canada. And I tell you, I certainly don't get paid twice what I did in Quebec.

But maybe it's time to figure out exactly how much it costs me to eat up here. I'm thinking it's a pretty gross amount.


Why people need blogs

Not too long ago, I was lurking around Megan's blog and came across what might be the ABSOLUTE LONGEST COMMENT SECTION OF ALL TIME.

Okay, vast exaggeration, but at the end of it all (I think, I hope we've reached the end) there were FIFTY TWO comments. And not to discredit Megan's post, but I don't think she thought that's where her little photo and 40 words of text would spark such... debate. Yes. Debate.

Now I wasn't really all that interested in the topic. I didn't really want to debate the merits/ethics of various fanatic religious groups. I'm not sure if you noticed, but that's not really my thing. I'll leave that for others who have more experience and more passion to discuss.

But I DID make a snarky comment about one of the OTHER commenters, something along the lines of:

I know you love your readers, but "C" can really suck the life out of a could-be-funny comments section.

Get the man his own blog.

Now maybe it was a lame thing to do, especially the first bit. That was probably kind of petty. But I meant the second part. The commenter had left like 10? 15? posts? He obviously had something to say on the subject.

So, like I said. Get the man his own blog. It sounds like he needs it*.

This is not the first time I've had the "dude, that person NEEDS a blog" thought. It hit me during that whole "25 random things" phase on Facebook (is that STILL going? I keep getting tagged!). I had no desire to write 25 random things about me because I write 25 million random things about me on my blog EVERY DAY.

So I now have this theory that people need blogs. In reality, that theory should probably be altered to say that "people need outlets" and blog is equalifnotgreaterthan an outlet. Because it seems like the more time we spend on our computers or in front of the tv or just squashed in our little homes, the more we DESPERATELY TRY TO FIND WAYS TO EXPRESS OURSELVES.

Harper's new haircut? I HAVE AN OPINION ON THAT!
CBC handouts? OO! OO! LEMME TRY!
The future of the world as we know it? I'M AN EXPERT!

I'm not saying people should stop commenting on mine or anyone else's blog. Especially Megan's. That would be rude, wouldn't it? But I find having my own webspace helps me deliniate between what is "mine" and what is "yours."

I could have written this entry in the comments section of Megan's blog. The she'd have 55 responses to her 40-word post. But the way I see it, if my comments are getting rambly I probably have enough material for a post. And there's no need to outstay one's e-welcome.

But that's just IMHO.

* And I'd argue he needs it more than many... he works in the media industry and I think that people who spend their days writing what other people tell them to write about... or who write what HAS to be/NEEDS to be written (instead of having the liberty to yammer on about whatever topic they like) are inherently creative individuals who can use an outlet. This goes for newspaper people, tv people, radio people, speech writers, communications people... and whoever else out there falls into the "creative but maybe not getting all the release they need" category.

Sun transits

It's funny sometimes, the things we get used to in the north.

As some of my blogging counterparts/northern readers know... right now is "sun transit" time. That means for the next week or so our internet will be spotty in the early afternoon.

For those not in the know... telesat.ca explains what I'm talking about.

Sun transits occur when the sun crosses the earth's equatorial plane during the spring and fall equinoxes (late February or early March; September or October). At these times, the sun aligns directly behind the satellites for a few minutes each day. When the sun moves directly behind the satellite to your receive antenna, the satellite signal can be overwhelmed by the enormous amount of thermally generated radio frequency (RF) noise radiated by the sun. This can cause reception interference for a few minutes everyday during this occurrence.

The first time this happened (every time it happens... I never learn) I went into trouble-shooting mode. I used different browsers (Firefox is my default, but sometimes sites... especially CBC's internal sites... don't like my alterna-chick-ness), I check the LAN connection I ask co-workers if they are having the same problem...until one of us goes "OH YAH.... it's that time of year again!"

It's never offline for very long, I just started typing up this entry when it started (about 7 minutes ago) and we're back online now... I just repeatedly type "google.ca" into my address bar to see when we're back...

But because we rely on satellites to transmit everything from our television to phone to internet (and lordknows what else... I'm sure if we could transmit food by satellite too if we could... isn't that part of Willy Wonka's factory or something???) we're lucky/happy it's not more of a disruption.

And now that it's over, I simply must head back to work. Tata!

Save the date Jackie-style!

So I was going to wait until I had plane tickets and/or a hotel room booked, but I let the cat outta the bag when I was talking with TB Thursday morning (no, we don't just call one another to gossip - though there was a LITTLE bit of gossip shared - it was primarily about WORK!) so what's the point of keeping it quiet now?

Anyways so....

I'm coming to Iqaluit!!! Not for long, just for a weekend, from the 13-15th of March (probably coming back on the 16th... I'm not sure, as I said, the flights aren't booked).

So some kind of social gathering is most likely in order. I haven't been to the I-dot in ... oh wow... like a year and a half. I'm not entirely sure how much time I'll have. I'm going for Nunavut Curling Association meetings, so I'm sure there'll be lots of dry days, and hopefully not-so-dry evenings :)

So Iqaluimmivut (sure, why not?) if you wanna have a little bloggy convention or drinks or eats or ... snowman building... or whatever you crazy kids do in the territory's capital... let me know. I'm game!


Brr, my veins

Nothing chills my blood like the words "consolidating local stations"

According to Mr. Lacroix, if CBC fails to meet their multi-million dollar shortfall... the options to deal with that include:

  • Introducing more American programming into television schedules (currently 100 per cent Canadian from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
  • Downgrading or selling parts or the whole of TV or radio services.
  • Increasing advertising on the air.
  • Shrinking geographic coverage of the country by consolidating local stations, which would reverse the current investment CBC is making in building regional coverage.
Ugragh. I don't like that ONE BIT. I don't like it on buttered toast, I do not like it with a roast (detect a theme today, folks?)

I wonder if severence packages include moving down south costs? I hear KIA is looking for a communications person, and all they need is a high school diploma. I'd be a shoo-in....

In other, much more humorous news, I am now Scott Feschuk's new biggest fan. He does witty commentary and whatnot for Macleans which at times could possibly go down as the world's DRY-est magazine (I used to subscribe, but stopped reading because I was perpetually bored).

Here's his "Seven habits of highly not fired yet people". If you like kinda snarky, very witty, somewhat pop-culture-y writing WHY ARE YOU LEAVING THIS BLOG! YOU GET ALL THAT HERE! No, I lie :P Check out HIS blog here, and that article above. I definitely got a chuckle or two.

Complain-y bits

  • Thanks to Amy's shoutout on her blog... I was so excited to try out last.fm... but like EVERY FREAKING OTHER THING UP HERE IT DOESN'T WORK. Seriously. All I wanted to do was listen to some tunes while I wait for phone calls, or type up scripts. That's all. Not a big deal. But the only thing worse than a skipping CD is a track that won't buffer correctly, stalling every 5 seconds. Graaaah!
  • I wish I knew if it was my crappy work computer (9.5 gig hard drive 260kb RAM running Windows 2000 and resource-heavy applications necessary for producing news) or our crappy internet that's preventing me from listening to last.fm. I think it's probably both, being as I can't even listen to a CD without skipping-delays from using too much of the thing's resources. Ug.
  • I'm a little teensy bit concerned about the trouble I've caused about this curling drama. I know I have to hold firm, that I didn't do anything wrong, that we were being pushed around... but I don't actually LIKE to be confrontational. I don't WANT the rec coordinator to get in trouble, I just want our league to be able to play, and maybe just have a bit of respect too
  • Good ole Hubie is making a speech to the Empire Club this afternoon. Every other media organization in the country has made cuts. I've done a good job of completely ignoring everything that's been going on with the "southern economy" to date... but I'll admit I do get a little nervous when I think about restructuring and whatnot. While I can't go into what he'll be speaking about (he's sent a internal copy of his speaking notes to employees) I do find the comparison about how much Canadians spend annually for the CBC through public funding vs. how much Canadians spend annually for commercial television pretty interesting. If the speech/elements get reproduced on Insidethecbc I will post them, but not before. They are my guide re: publishable internal stuff.
  • I am wheat-free for the next two weeks. And I'm not exactly looking forward to it... mostly because it leaves little or nothing for me to eat for breakfast. Except... maybe eggs. But eggs taste like eggs. You can't really change them that much. So endless eggs doesn't really sound all that appealing to me. But we'll see. At least I don't have to eliminate potatoes. That is a VERY good thing. :)
  • None of my stories ideas have been panning out this week. It's very frustrating not just for me, but for my Iqaluit colleagues. Sometimes I just have too much to do, and not enough time (last week, for example... and the week before in Coral Harbour)... and others it's like I am soooo painfully without sources that it's just not funny. Maybe I'll try calling the mayor of Chester for the 78th time this week. At what point does playing persistent journalist just become "eff off and stop calling me"?

Mass emails as a solution to the economic "crisis"

I got the following email from an unknown-to-me CBC employee today.


HI All:
scroll down ride side-will find question: click on  yes -

should the CBC get more money from Ottawa


 pass it on to friends and family


Something about this doesn't sound right to me. I really don't like it very much at all.

I do not like it in a box, I do not like it with lox. 

Mothercorp, I heart you. I really really do. But frankly, this is pretty darn low.

"Help! Please please save us! Please let's all go to the G&M's website and mass-vote on a totally unofficial poll that people will forget the day after tomorrow! We won't look desperate for handouts then! Surely not!"

I don't know dudes. Maybe I'm just way more sheltered from this whole situation than I thought. Up here, things just don't really look so bad. Yet.


I must be on curling-crazy pills!

So it turns out Townie's not the only one who has to watch his temper with curling*. Though granted, my problem tends to be OFF the ice, not ON it :P

I may or may not have just "bitched out" our local rec. coordinator.

Because of curling drama.


Actually, that's probably the way he'll tell the story. If I were to tell the story, I'd probably say that I stood up for myself, something I'm not really good at in my professional/social life. And something I've said in the past I really need to improve. So really, it's a personal accomplishment. Kinda, haha.

You see, we've been having endless problems with setting up the curling club. Granted it's not been operational for a couple years... so it's like any bit of machinery that's not been running for an extended period of time: rusty.

As you might remember, first it was the rocks. Somehow they grew legs and walked off. Not all of them, but enough that we can't have both sheets of ice going at the same time. Rocks are expensive. They run anywhere from 500-1500 dollars a pop. Not per set. PER ROCK. And that doesn't include shipping. So we think we'll have rocks next week. We think. But we've been pestering our rec coordinator for MONTHS to have the second sheet up and running. It's been half-done since before Christmas.

And frankly, I'm sooo sick of hearing club members question why it's not finished. I have been relaying the information, but nothing is being done on the other end.

And then last weekend, there was the Avaataq Cup. The Avaataq brings in young strapping hockey men from all over the territory for 5 gruesome days of hockey. We were told we couldn't curl Thursday night because they needed the curling club as a change room. We didn't say much, and thought oh well, it's just one week. No biggie.

That is until last night. When we arrived for our 8 o'clock game and saw the ice effed up beyond repair.

They didn't just use our club for a change room. They stored their smelly hockey bags in the rink...


Yah. Seriously. Skated on the ice. I couldn't believe it. Sure Rankin's a hockey town. But this is insane.

It was SO DAMAGED our strongest player threw a rock as hard as he could, and it didn't even clear the house on the other end.

Now of course, the rec coordinator isn't listed in the phone book, and I called his sister's place to get it, and she wasn't home... so I had to wait until today to raise the issue.

And well... the brat hung up on me! Of course, that was after he said that curling was a thorn in his side and we had no right to complain because we don't even pay rink fees.

UGRAGH! Seriously? SERIOUSLY? We will PAY you rink fees, if that's what you want. But don't even BEGIN to say that WE are a hassle to YOU, YOU are the ones that didn't make our ice on time. YOU are the ones that somehow managed to lose curling rocks when the league wasn't running. YOU are the ones that said you would clean up the ice on Tuesdays and Thursdays before games (and rarely do). YOU are the ones that "borrowed" our club for a change room and YOU are the ones that SKATED ON OUR ICE.

WE are the ones that have done all the work to get this off the ground. WE are the ones who organized everything. WE are the ones that have tracked down rocks. WE are the ones that are going to PAY for those rocks. WE have offered to clean the ice. WE have said we will do anything to make YOUR job easier.

YOU are the one that didn't have any answers for what we could do.

Next time, I think I'll just take the rocks out to the hockey rink and play there. Maybe that would get our point across...

*Really, this isn't the link I was looking for, turns out TB is more of a gentleman than he lets on. Go figure.


Conversations with a health worker

This is health centre. You have doctor's appointment tomorrow at 10:15. Bye.

*riiiing, riiiing*
HW1:Health Centre

JSQ: Hi, yes I got a message on my answering maching last night saying I have a Dr's appoinment tommorrow. But I have one on Thursday already. I don't really need two.

HW1:What your name

JSQ:Jackie S. Quire

HW1: Quiiiire. Okay Quiiire. (off to coworker) I have Jackie Quiiiiire. (to me) I tranfer (clonk, shuffle, then....)

HW2: Hellow?

JSQ: Yes, I got a message on my answering maching last night saying I have a Dr's appoinment today at 10:15. But I have one on Thursday already.

HW2: No. I switched it.

JSQ: You switched my appointment from Thursday to today?

HW2: Yes.

JSQ: But I have another appointment today at 10:30.

HW2: You see doctor this morning.

JSQ: No, I booked another appointment this morning because I knew I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday.

HW2: But you see doctor TODAY.

JSQ: NO. Can I please have my original apointment back?

HW2: Um... what about tomorrow? Ten o'clock?

JSQ: Fine.




So I didn't sit down last night INTENDING to watch the Academy Awards. I actually was napping when they started. Then right around 8:30 my little beady eyes sprung open and I thought "Oooh! Self! The Amazing Race is on!"

So I peeled myself out of bed, and turned on the tube... only to see scads of beautiful be-gowned be-tuxedo'd people on every channel... and no disheveled perpetually-lost travellers. Boohoo.

But nothing else was on, and the Amazing Race was a good hour and a half away (of course, this all went to hell because the Oscars went long, of course, and then all the scheduling was messed up...) and I can't figure out how to hook up my DVR to my satellite (frickin' Bell codes givin' me the run-around)... so I settled in ... at least for a little while (I told myself) until I got bored. Like I inevitably do.

I don't actually know if I've ever seen the greater part of an Oscars ceremony. I remember the year that Crash won (maybe 2006?) I was all into it... because I LOVED that movie (still do). But I tend to follow the Oscars with waxing and waning interest. That's only gotten more on the wane-ier side since I've moved up north and access to movies has drastically decreased.

And now every time I go "down south" I make it a habit/tradition to see at least ONE movie IN THEATRES while I'm down*. There's just something to be said for the whole experience, and I heart it.

But back to Oscar night. So I didn't INTEND to watch it. But I did. And I have to say... I was pretty impressed with what I saw. Yes, there were a lot of commercials (and yes, I had to suffer throught the Canadian commercials.... I'm sure there would have been some half-decent ones playing on the US stations). But they were SHORT. Just little breaks. I could handle that. And before I knew it, the "big three" (Best Actor/ess, Director and Film) were up. I couldn't believe it.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they were over before 11pm (easily 1am back in PEI). Maybe I was just familiar with some of the movies. Maybe it was the anticipation of the international underdog vs. hollywood high-production for final honours. I don't know.

But I enjoyed the ceremony. I really, actually did. I had tears in my eyes as Heath Ledger got his supporting role award. I shivered as I watched Amanda Seyfried do her little sing-y danc-y thing with Hugh and the gang... I burst with pride when Kate Winslet won her Oscar (she had me at Eternal Sunshine)... and was amazed at how brave Sean Penn was to make the speech he did at the end of HIS award.

I will say one thing though, I like it better when they spread the awards around a bit more. You can look at the breakdown here... but after Slumdog Millionaire won best Director... I wasn't really rooting for it to win Best Picture too. Now, having said that, I didn't see the movie. And I also didn't really think B-squared** deserved best director/picture either*** So maybe I'm just full of it.

But bottom line... even though the Amazing Race was delayed...oh...um...FOUR HOURS... it wasn't exactly a wasted evening.

Oh. Anyone else but me feel like that woman is a victim of spousal abuse? Anyone? (I'm talking the chick and her husband just eliminated this week). I think she is. I hope I'm wrong though. That would be terrible.

*When I was en route to/from Mexico I stayed in Edmonton with my cousin and her boyfriend for a night. And we went to go see Benjamin Button. I had been interested in the movie since I first heard about it. Something just drew me to the film, maybe it was Cate Blanchett (let it be known I HEART Cate Blanchett... I'm not 100% why, but I do), maybe it was because it's based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald ... and the whole "de-aging" bit is a neat idea too... I don't know. Interestingly enough, it was that same weekend I first heard of Slumdog Millionaire. My cousin told me about it, and said it was amazing. She's very wise!

** Benjamin Button, of course!

*** I had two problems with the film.

1.) The premise is a deathbed confessional. An old woman tells of her memories of this man/reads from his journal. Really? A deathbed confessional? Haven't we done that already? Like a bazillion times? There must have been a more original way to set the scene.

2.) (and more importantly, I think) The deathbed confessional was set during Hurricane Katrina. Okay. Yes. Hurricane Katrina was bad. Very bad. Yes this story was set in New Orleans. But beyond that, there was NO CONNECTION between the two. It just seemed like an excuse to "think of all the dying people who had to die sooner because of Katrina." It didn't make sense. I wasn't a fan, and I think that BEST DIRECTOR and BEST FILM belong to movies that don't have that kind of plotline flaws. But that's just me.


Liveblogging a cold: the best use of web 2.0

Dear Air Canada/Calm Air

Please arrange it so that my mommy can come to Rankin to take care of me.

I feel le sick, and it would be helpful if she were here to wake me up every 4 hours to hand me my dose of meds. Wouldn't that be nice? I hate taking care of myself when I'm sick.

Probably because I'm the WORST, MOST WHINY SICK PERSON EVER. Seriously, if you just took my complaining at face value, you'd think I'd come down with the hiv or something. But no, it's just the common cold.

Though it doesn't feel all that common... because I actually worked through the first three days of it, which I'm sure didn't help (but we have had some big news things happen - First Air, Leona Aglukkaq, Lorne's prelim, or lact thereof... and there are various deaths/pregnancies/broken legs still affecting the Iqaluit station).

So sick day today. And I was up before 9 so I could hit the Northern first thing, and stock up on NeoCitrin (I'm too lazy to spellcheck) and Cepicils (again, lazy) and hopefully I'll slip into a cold-meds induced coma for the next 20 hours or so.

Please please please can I be better tomorrow morning?

Thanks eversomuch....


Tonight on Northbeat...

Hear me pretend to act like a normal human being, while my brain makes me sound like an idiot because it's full of cotton.

It's a good thing Leona's announcement isn't a barn-burner. Cuz then I'd be screwed.




Blog Share

I hereby present post sent to me for this year's BlogShare.
For those who don't know....BlogShare is when a group of bloggers submit their names/blogs to write an anonymous entry that will appear as a guest-post on another blog. This was organized by the ever-incredible -R-... she's the only one who knows what blogger's written what... but I will post a list of the participating sites maybe tomorrow. There's about 30 or so.
Tina, Darcy and Megan are also participating, so make sure to check them out too.

I admit, I should have warned y'all about it sooner... but really, it's perfect timing, seeing as I'm still a giant snot-bucket.

So, enjoy:

Normally, I'm an incredibly social person- I have my close circle of long-time friends, and generally have a large number of casual "outer circle" friends that I can count on for a glass of wine or a quick bite to eat.  I enjoy social activities very much, I'm not shy, and I usually can be rallied, even when I'm tired, to get out of the house.  

But…yesterday I realized something that has been creeping up on me for maybe a year or so now:  Due to my weeding out certain people for various valid reasons, losing touch with others (sometimes my fault, sometimes theirs), and not wanting to do a lot of the things I used to, I find that I am actually quite lonely these days.  I recognized that it was happening at points, but I guess that I let other things distract me like family, work, and projects.  It was a slow and deliberate process, yet it completely took me by surprise when I had that "ah-ha!" moment yesterday.  A friend cancelled our plans at the last minute, and when I hung up the phone I realized that I had no one else to call.  No one.   

It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I started to cry.  I'm not a weepy sort, but I think yesterday I just reached a "point".   

My life lately has had a lot of drama in it that I don't want to go into here, and I guess that I had been so preoccupied with things that I forgot to keep cultivating my own life.  My former casual friends don't even think to call anymore, or maybe they assume I'm busy or uninterested (as I have been), yet I'm lucky enough that I get to see their Facebook updates showing me what I missed out on.  Yay.  Me.   

I've never been lonely before- not like this.  I'm not even sure what to do about it.  I don't have time to read lately, so a book club is out of the question.  I can't knit.  My husband and I have a few "couple friends", but other than an occasional dinner that's it for them.   I don't have a dog to walk to dog parks.  I don't have children.  My job isn't exactly a pool of people I'd hang out with. 

I just don't do any of the things or have some of the outlets that thirty-somethings seem to do/have to meet new people these days.   

I think that most of all I worry that it's too late- most of our best friendships are born in our teens and twenties.  I hear people say "I have all the friends I can handle/have time for" all the time.  What if it's too late for me to fit into anyone else's life?  What if now I am reduced to riding the city bus and striking up conversations with strangers?  What if I've done this to myself and…that's it?   

What if I am just going to be lonely? 

What if? 


I can haz Benylin Dai?

Ick, I hate feeling sick and being at work. It is NO GOOD.

I think I somehow managed to catch some kind of bug over the weekend.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling like someone had lined my throat with sandpaper. And filled my ears with Rice Krispies.

Also, just in case you doubted my genius... I was watching the Amazing Race last night (installment 14... can you believe we're at 14 already??!??) and was like "dude, that Mike dude looks WAY too familiar. I'm sure he's an actor. I know he's an actor. There's no way he's not an actor."

Well I was right. He's an actor. He was in Pushing Daisies for ONE EPISODE. That's right. ONE. And I still recognized him.

I'm amazing.


Dear facebook researchers: DUH!


Facebook use increases jealousy in relationships, two University of Guelph student researchers say.

Moreover, the more time one person spends online on the social networking site monitoring his or her partner, the more suspicious that person becomes, the two said in a news release Friday.

More on this later... 


I feel extra-safe in Coral

How many mayors do YOU know, southern Canada, who keep a locked gun-cabinet in their office?

:) Only in the north (and maybe then only in the north communities where polar bears are a common nuisance)

Grammar Nazi invades Never-Neverland

Dear dreaming-Jackie,

Thank you for your response to my first letter, and for not dreaming of bloggers you've never met before. That has made my life much less bizarre not to mention less awkward.

However, inserting Ms. Holsapple and her husband into my dream so we can discuss the proper use of who's vs. whose... well that's basically the same level of strange.

Especially since you also felt the need to set the scene aboard Peter Pan's flying boat to Never-neverland, and include my elementary-school crush Allan MacKinnon... and the condiments, Robyn and Andrea.


Jackie S. Quire

(And in case you were wondering, my elementary-school crush totally had the hots for me. Seems all's right in dream-world...)


Escape to the land of coral

Haha, as I wrote the title for this blog post, I was thinking "hmmm... wonder if Mr. Meandering Michael thinks I'm swiping his Queensland idea" ... but I'm not. I'm talking about a veeeryyy different type of coral.

I'm speaking of Coral Harbour, of course!

For those who aren't really all that familiar with Coral Harbour, it's located on Southampton Island, which juts out into the middle of Hudson Bay. I think it's probably the farthest "into" Hudson's Bay I'll ever get... being as most of the other little islands are uninhabited... or Sanikiluaq.

And being as it took me about a year and a half to get to Coral... and very little news-worthy takes place in Sani.... I think it's safe to say that I'll never be further out again.

So yes, I'm here for work. We happen to have a crazy shortage of reporters in Iqaluit right now (training, babies popping out, deaths in the family... broken legs... um... other natural disasters) and so we are in desperate need of stories... and the best place to send this reporter for tons of stories with quick turn-arounds is a meeting. And lo and behold, the Kivalliq Mayor's meeting is being held this week in Coral Harbour.

Yah, I know. Everyone hates meetings. But I heart them. They may be a bit tedious... but arm me with a mug full o' coffee... and a backup can of sugarfree Redbull (yes, disgusting, but necessary when you are still writing stories after 12 hours of work...) and I'm good to go. It's one-stop-shopping at its finest.

So I've been boarding with this sweet older couple in town. He's a justice of the peace, and she's cute as a button. They make me breakkie in the morning (eggs, toast, bacon/sausage... you sure you don't want cereal too??) and dinner at night... which is why I've been eating so much caribou meat! But that's okay with me, I actually really like caribou (as long as it's cooked). And it's also how I ended up eating igunak.

So for those of you who don't know, igunak is "raw walrus meat which has been wrapped and buried and left to decompose for at least a year." Sounds tasty eh? Well, as the story goes I actually didn't KNOW it was igunak until AFTER I tried it, they told me it was just regular muktah.

(And I don't actually really care for muktah, but I have a rule where if I'm offered something, especially as a guest, I try it.)

But then when the daughter was asking her mom if she wanted some, she called it igunak. And the man who offered it to me said it was probably a little "strong" for me haha. And then asked if I knew how they made it strong and I was right by answering that they wrapped and "aged it" or something along those lines.

So while I never really had any interest in trying igunak... I did, unintentionally, last night... and I will probably not partake again. I tried it. Then covertly hid what was left in the pouch of my hoodie, and disposed of it in the washroom. I don't think I fooled anyone though, haha.

But I have to say, I quite like it here. I don't know if I'd really want to live here... maybe a tad small (less than a thousand people here)... but the people are just so sweet... driving me to the hamlet office (even though it's only a five minute walk away...) loaning me a router (my Qiniq one of course managed to die as soon as I left Rankin. And that was the ONLY way I was going to be able to file items for news....man was I panic-ing about that one). Just really nice people being kind to a newcomer in town.

Much better that the "Coral Horror" stories I'd heard before I left.

Oh, and Jason from Igloolik... if you'd like to send me your mailing address, I'll send your prize... how did you know I was in Coral!??


Clue #3

Igunak makes me want to hurl.

Also: small-town hospitality freakin' rocks.

Clue #2

I had caribou for supper last night.

And lunch this afternoon.


Oops, I forgot...

To mention that I am NOT at home right now.

I'm on a little voyage! Granted, it was spur of the moment, but I DID
know I was going at the end of last week... but somehow managed not to
write about it.

Especially since it's kinda exciting... at least I'm excited to be
here. I know many people who wouldn't be...

So thus begins part 1 of "Helloooooooooooo wheere aaaareeeee youuuuuu"
(otherwise known as "Where's Jackie, volume 1")

I will give you a hint at LEAST once a day, sometimes in photo form,
sometimes in clues. And who knows there might even be a prize! (Yah,
yah I still haven't gotten around to doing the draw for the "How much
did THAT cost at the Northern" contest, but this will encourage me to
do that too okay? Promise)

SO. Being as my camera spent the past couple hours in my bag... this
will be a written clue.

Clue #1.) I had no idea Calm Air had planes that big!

Happy guessing! (And for those who ALREADY KNOW WHERE I AM, NO


A-men little stick man, A-men.

See more at http://xkcd.com/


Fertile little thing, aincha?

Well, of COURSE I have to give my two-cents-worth about this story today. It's been on The Current, and every national newscast... front page on cbc.ca and weaseled its way into promos.

Now, a disclaimer. I don't have kids. I don't have nieces or nephews. None of my real-life friends have kids. I have no idea what kind of work goes into raising a child. So this is a perspective from a woman who really doesn't know what she's talking about. But you like random opinions, right? Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog. So there. Gotcha. :P

So brief synopsis: 60-year-old woman from Calgary gives birth to twins via in vitro fertilization. The story says she tried for decades to conceive naturally, had multiple miscarriages and even was robbed by an out-of-country doctor who promised to perform in vitro fertilization.

So this brings up a number of ethical questions I won't get into. But the main one is probably *should* we be pushing the boundaries of medical science "just for fun"?

Aaaand my thoughts.

It doesn't sound... like in this situation... the boundaries were pushed just "to see if they could do it." This woman has tried for decades to have a child... but a physiological problem kept her from doing so. Even getting it "fixed" didn't work.

Now I understand that the cut off age for in-vitro fertilization is 45/50 years old. And I understand if that cut off is put in place to ensure the safety of the mother and her children/fet-i (fun with plurals!).

But MY problem is when people say the problem is "the social implications of raising children when the parents may not live long enough to see them grow up."


So ... first of all... parents die at all ages. And it's tragic. Yes, the odds of dying before your kids are 30 are much better when you give birth at 60. But life span isn't guaranteed. No matter how old you are.

And second... probably the part that annoys me the most... is that never ever ever has there been anything that stopped MEN from being fathers at a older age. You didn't hear this argument come up when Viagra hit the market (I don't think...). So what's the deal now?

I'm not saying  I would relish raising a child at 60. I most people wouldn't.

But if that's all you've dreamed of all your life, and been denied it... back off, people. This is a dream come true for them. Let them enjoy it.


Sulky Sully

I swear.

Ever since I got back from Mexico, the pup has been SO MUCH MORE NEEDY than ever before. Its like he had a serious, chronic, case of separation anxiety when I was gone, and now he needs to be near me at EVERY GIVEN MOMENT just to make sure I don't sneak off again.


I sit on my bed. He follows.

I sit on the couch to watch TV... he rests his noggin on my knee.

I use my laptop, and he nudges my hands off the keyboard, and sticks his nose on the handrest.

I make a move towards my parka, and he starts barking like the calvary are coming or some nonsense.

Granted, it's kind of adorable. Normally he'd just bounce around my apartment until I had been driven sufficently crazy, and sent him to "his room." I like that he is spending quality bouncing time with me. It makes me happy.

But dude. When I jingle my keys cuz I'm going to get some pop from the store room... the barking REALLY isn't necessary.


Your owner and food-supplier,

Jackie S. Quire.

Note to self:

Dear self:

Stop dreaming of fellow bloggers you have never met.

It's creepy.


Jackie S. Quire


Office space-outs

Things you would never hear in an office down south:

Co-worker: "Excuse me. *small burp* Excuse me. *small burp* (looks at me) I'm hicking-up. I'm hicking-up!"
JS: "You mean hick-upping?"
CW: "Yes, I'm hicking-up" (In broken English). Oh, hick-up! I'm hick-up-ing!

*phone rings*

JS: Good afternoon, CBC.
Woman Caller: Is (coworker) there?
JS: No, sorry, she's busy right now. Would you like her voice mail?
WC: Can you leave her a message?
JS: (ultra-cheery voice!) Of course (most of the time people just hang up on me)
WC: Can you tell her to get her son to stop bothering me? (His name). Her son. He's bugging me. Can you ask her to tell him to stop?
JS: (somewhat speechless) You sure you don't want to leave a message on her answering machine. (Fearing this was something personal I shouldn't really know...)
WC: I have four kids. And they are little. He's half-drunk. Can you ask her to get him to stop bugging me? He's bugging me.Just tell her. Bye.
JS: (Stares at receiver. Writes awkward message on sticky note for co-worker. Wonders about this place sometimes.)

Dreams are a wish your heart makes?

I don't know, Cinderella.
Something's either wrong with YOU or wrong with ME.

I've been having some reallly trippy dreams as of late.

Saturday night, I dreamt I was back in Mexico. And for some reason decided I was going to go directly from Mexico to Athens. By myself. Mostly for the food. And I wasn't going to tell my coworkers/boss.

Okay. So, the food we had in Greece was fantastic. But I think we hit every single hot-spot in Athens when we were there. So why the hell was I going to Athens by myself? And I remember thinking that in the dream. I was like "Dream-self, why are you doing this? Why are you just running away to Greece for no apparent reason? You are just giving yourself a panic attack thinking about this, self. Don't do it." But dream-self didn't listen. And boarded a plane for Greece. And freaked out about not having told work she wasn't coming back on Monday. And real-self woke up all panic-y.

Then Sunday night, I had a continuation of the Greece dream. Dream-self was still going to Greece, but this time was freaking out NOT over the work thing... but some kind of electronic-security-blanket thing. Dream-self was all panic-y because when speed-packing for Greece, she didn't have her shiny, new GPS. And both real-and-dream-self have serious getting-lost issues. So we freaked out. And then we didn't have our new, shiny camera either. So we couldn't document anything.

And what's a dream-girl to do when she can't find her way OR take pictures of being lost?

She wakes up, and feels like an elephant is sitting on her chest.

Stupid reckless dream-self, messin' up my life.



A secret rawhide mountain

It's that time again... time for a puppy story!

But first, some eye candy:

Turns out my pup is a bit of a picky eater. Granted, he'll eat anything I drop on the floor... and only this morning he climbed up on the arm of the couch, reached over and STOLE a fried egg off my plate that was resting on the windowsill (I had hoped) out of reach. But when it comes to treats, he's notoriously picky. Milkbones? Not a chance. I have had the same little box of Milk Bones since he was a puppy over a year ago. These faux-chocolate treats Laura got him last year at Christmas... well he's still not finished them all.

But if there's anything he loves, it's rawhide bones.

Yep, these suckers:

He mows through them... but as I've learned in the past week or so... he only eats part of the bones... and then hides the rest of it for a rainy day. I don't think I've given him a rawhide bone since I got back, but every now and then he'll duck out of sight, and come back munching a linty, half-chewed, often folded-over foul-looking scrap of a rawhide bone.

I don't know, or WANT to know where the hell he's keeping them. I have a sneaking suspicion there's a stash under my (and the spare room) bed.

But at least he's not wasteful... I guess.

Strange animal.

Blogger confusion

Can someone tell me what this means?
In my piddly little mind, it means that you guys wrote something *related* to my post. But that doesn't seem to be the case. So what DOES it mean?

Your hopelessly clue-less blogger,
Jackie S. Quire.


UFC: Un-Freakingbeliveably Crude

Sometimes I wonder how much of myself comes across through my writing. How do YOU guys see me ... versus how I see myself. Though granted you only know the things I want you to know, I only tell you what I want you to hear, but still. Tone and manner of writing can at times say way more than words themselves, so I wonder. Anyways, if nothing else, this post will tell you a little bit more about ME. I guess.

Last night I went to a friend's place for drinks and such. Just a couple of us hanging out, watching TV etc. But the event du soir was some pay-per-view UFC championship thingie. Or else just a regularly-scheduled pay-per-view. I don't know how these things work. Whichever.

Now for those not familiar with UFC (a population I was part of until a couple months ago when another acquaintence turned it on one evening), Wikipedia explains it as...

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, currently recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world.[2] The UFC is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The UFC began as a single-event tournament to find the world's best fighters irrespective of their style, and was based upon Brazilian vale tudo fighting. Although there were a limited number of rules, promoters marketed fighting in the UFC as no holds barred, and contests were often violent and brutal. Early UFC fights were less sport than spectacle, which led to accusations of brutality and "human cock fighting" by Senator John McCain and others.[3] Political pressures eventually led the UFC into the underground, as pay-per-view providers nixed UFC programming, nearly extinguishing the UFC's public visibility.

As political pressure mounted, the UFC reformed itself, slowly embracing stricter rules, becoming sanctioned by state athletic commissions, and marketing itself as a legitimate sporting event. Dropping the no holds barred label and carrying the banner of mixed martial arts, the UFC has emerged from its political isolation to become more socially acceptable, regaining its position in pay-per-view television.

With a cable television deal and expansion into Canada, Europe and new markets within the United States, the UFC as of 2009[update] has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on Spike in the United States and Canada, as well as in 34 other countries worldwide.

Basically, two men have 15 minutes to beat the crap out of one another in what's essentiall a bare-knuckles-no-rules fight.

I hate it.

I really really really hate it. Not just in a "I hate it I love it I hate it" kinda way.... in a real, honestly genuine, hate it kinda way.

I spent half the night, especially the "title fight" with my hand over my eyes, shield my delicate mind from the sheer brutality of it all. I almost started crying.

The pre-game fights really, okay. That wasn't too bad. Lots of hugging, mounting from behind, funny commentary. But the main fight of the night was just horrible. The walter-weight champion was having a rematch against some other dude. The champion was from Montreal. Woohoo-Canada. Not.

But the Canadian dude was SO MUCH BIGGER than the challenger. He was a big ole hulk of a man with granite abs and biceps of steel.

And he beat the little guy to a pulp.

Not just in the first round.

But the second.

The third

And the fourth.

Shit he probably would have kept going if the match wasn't called off by medical personnel. But for twenty full minutes (the "main fights" get 25 minutes of "pure fighting action" as my friend put it) this guy was slaughtered. I swear, the weight behind his punches was terrifying. And I seriously, honestly seriously, thought that the challenger was going to die. Going to die in front of my eyes, on live television.

It really could have happened. And the very thought just is so frightening.

What the hell kind of society are we to champion this kind of brutality? Why do we watch this? Why do two 20-something girls on a Saturday night SEEK OUT this kind of "entertainment" and then honestly watch it with interest and lack of disgust?

Don't they REALIZE that it's real? That hundreds of blows to the head in a matter of minutes can most certainly kill a man? Why would anyone watch that? Am I that much of a wussy pacifist that I stand isolated from the grander flesh-hungry portion of the population? Am I really alone?

I don't know. I just can't ever handle that again. If I ever get invited over for UFC again, I'll "just say no." It's too hard on my brain and my heart otherwise.

**Sidenote, Georges St-Pierre, the Canadian fighter, was actually named the 2008 Canadian Athlete of the Year by Sportsnet. Twisted.