Monday, September 26, 2005

Living my life vacariously...for the time being

My friend, Chris O'Leary, has a great story in the newest "edition" of should check it out and nominate him for some kind of sports writing award.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Hate Alberta's Beefs

On Monday I got all dressed up like I actually had a job and headed off to do my radio interviews. The first one was with a political science professor who, in my opinion, typified whiny Albertans. He wants to separate because we aren't appreciated enough and "every once in a while I would like to get a Thank you card from the rest of Canada..." Jesus Christ. My tongue was practically bitten off by the time I left...I think I disagreed with pretty much everything he said. The bad part is that he's not really considered a nutjob in these parts...more of a vocal majority. I have a question for the rest of the province...


Alberta currently has a $7 billion + surplus and the lowest unemployment rate around. The countryside is beautiful and the businesses are innovative and booming. The housing market is good and people are flocking here from the rest of Canada to get jobs. We pay NO provincial sales tax and our premier regularly sends us GST rebates. So what is everyone so pissed off about? I've heard the same old answers to my question...

"We need to be treated as an equal."
Guess what, we're not equals. We have 3 million people in this province...not even close to what Ontario and Quebec deal with.

"We're ignored by the rest of Canada."
Boo mother f'n hoo. Alberta ignores the rest of Canada too.

"Ottawa is full of suits who don't know what they're doing...just look at the gun registry."
Okay, gun registry was practice if not in principal. All the parties are made up of "suits" and what the hell does that mean anyway?

I always get the impression that there is nothing that Ottawa could do that would make Alberta stop whining. We are the spoiled rich kid in the parking lot and we need a good kick in the ass.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Misunderstood Youth

I have some bad childhood memories of the Terry Fox run. I remember reading a ValueTale book about him when I was about eight or nine and it really inspired me. I decided that in order to really do the Terry Fox run right, you should try and do it like Terry Fox. Only then could you really understand how difficult it must have been to get up and run every day like he did. So I started practicing the "hop-hop-step". I practiced in the backyard and in my room until I had it perfected. Then I went to the school wide Terry Fox run. I had gone door to door and raised my money and I was so excited to show everyone how good I was. The day of the run was cold and wet and grey. I wore my little pink sweatpants and matching sweatshirt as we lined up on the soccer field. The whistle blew and I started (probably beaming)...hop hop step, hop hop step.

After my first lap I was pulled to the side by a teacher and warned to stop "mocking" Terry Fox. I didn't even know what mocking meant. I kept going, sure that Terry would have been proud. By the end of the second lap, the school principal was waiting for me at the last bend. She grabbed my arm and pulled me off the course. I remember how big she was and how angry she looked and I was thoroughly confused. "Terry Fox was a Canadian hero...not a joke. You are to go sit down on those bleachers and think about what you have done."

I sat on those bleachers in the rain and cried. I watched all the kids doing their normal kid runs around the field and felt completely alone. How could anyone be mad at me? I had tried to show my solidarity with Terry and worked so hard to raise money. I remember thinking that if only Terry were here, he would save me. He would have said all the things I couldn't to the principal and he would have seen what I was trying to do.

This year I am running in the Terry Fox run again. And I hope by some chance I see my old school I can kick her in the teeth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


The last few days have brought about some life changing events. First of all, I have signed up for a hip hop dance class. That's right folks. My friend, Gina, and I will be hipping and hopping ourselves all over Calgary. Here's how Gina's pitch went:

-"So, I've been wanting to take this class and I thought you might want to do it with me...?"
-"What is it?" (I ask, just hoping it doesn't involve too much exercise. Gina is very fit.)
-"Hip Hop dancing. They have this class on Sunday afternoons and it's cheap...I'll even drive you there if you want!"
-"Can I think about it? I mean, what would it be exactly?"
-"The brochure says they teach you to do specific moves and then you learn a whole choreographed routine."
-"And what would I wear to this class?"
-"I dunno...bling probably."
-"I don't know if I have any bling..."
-"And the best part is, after we learn the routine, we can go to the BAR!"

So, long story short, I'm taking a Hip Hop class with Gina and I'm super excited about it. I also signed up for ice-skating lessons. (Coming Soon: "P. Diddy Backup Dancers on Ice") And convinced Brian to sign up for "Couples Massage". Watch out world, I am going to be one limber, ice dancer.

In more exciting news, I'm getting paid to do radio. I answered an ad on Craiglist for some contract radio work and low and behold if it isn't a great opportunity. The guy called me and it turns out he and his wife have been working for CBC for years and that most recently they were in Jerusalem. Before that, Moscow. As the producer for "The National" in Moscow. Not a bad guy to know. On Monday I have some interviews set up and then I'm to send the tapes etc. to Toronto. Freelance work. Radio freelance work. For a very nice man with connections at CBC. I don't feel so hopeless any more.

Dance your cares away, troubles for another day, let the music play...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Wind Becomes Windsurfers Windfall

Koizumi! Bless you...

I really like this guy and although I don't always agree with his views (particularly on war-time aggression) I do like his policies...besides, forcing an election the way he did took major kahunas.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wrestling with the MediOgre

Let's hope my recent melancholic musings are fueled by estrogen, because if they're not, I'm screwed. I feel like a failure...a loser even. I'm back in Canada with no journalistic proof of my journey abroad and no great job perspectives. I am looking for a job in communications because it pays better and more importantly because I'm too lazy and unmotivated to be a decent freelancer. I don't even have a job title. I'm not a neuroscientist, I'm not a journalist. If I get work, what will I be? A "communicator"? Big deal, even my cat can communicate.

I always had big dreams and for the past few weeks I have been telling myself that I need to face reality and that my dreams of being a novelist/doctor/feminist politician/rock climber/orphanage opener/ were just that...dreams. Silly dreams. Until I realized in an early morning clear headed moment that really, I had just failed to apply myself. Ever. To anything.

It seems that the only commitment I have ever made and kept was to mediocrity.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bright Ideas

Check out OurMedia for some amazing videos of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. They have lots of cool media stuff including a recent interview with Heather B. Armstrong of dooce. com (rated the number 10 best blog in the world) while she was attending BlogHer, a recent conference hosted by women bloggers. While you're at it, check out Post Secret if you haven't already - it's incredible.

Some Home Grown Pics...

I had forgotten how beautiful Alberta is...

There are constant rumours that postcard companies digitally add Alberta skies to their pictures...sounds like an urban legend to me, but looking at these skies it's not entirely impossible.

Brian and his brother, Dave, hiking in the mountains.

Monday, September 05, 2005

First Days

Today is Brian's first day of school. We got up really early and I ironed his clothes (how post-modern of me) while he shaved. I was as nervous and excited as he was. I drove him to the train station so he could start his first commute into the city. I know Brian is my husband and a grown and fully capable adult, but a part of me wanted to take a picture of him standing in front of the house, backpack in hand. I got an inkling of how mothers of first-graders must feel...very proud and a little left behind.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Love Hurts

I want to rip my own face off. This is not some acid-trip-induced psychotic thing, it's a cat thing. I am very allergic to my cat, Shabba. And Shabba (because life is like that) loves to cuddle. He wants to wrap his furry body around my neck and rub his whiskers on my face. He's cute...very cute. So sometimes I give in because he's just so warm and purring like a little engine. Then the itching starts. First the eyes and then the nose. After that comes the sneezing spasms. Normally I love to sneeze but 15 times in a row is a lot for anybody...I feel like I need a post-coital cigarette after sneezing that many times. Now I'm locked away in the bedroom and he's meowing at the door. I love him so much, and I tell him so between wheezes and sniffles. I just don't know how much longer I can take this...anyone want a cat?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I Want My Mother...Corp

For the past year I have been dying to get back to CBC Radio. I listened to it in Korea via the internet (the time change meant I could listen to CBC Overnight regularly - a life's dream fulfilled) but it was never quite the same. Now, here I am back in Canada and the CBC is locked out. Nooooooo!

I can't believe Mary Lou Findlay, no Shelagh Rogers or Anna Maria Tremonti (and no Samira Hussain). Just as the hockey dispute gets settled we are facing a season without Don and Ron. Peter Mansbridge is no where to be found. Where am I going to get my news?! If you think I'm going to turn to CTV and watch that plastic mannequin man, you've got another thing coming.

I understand the position that the union is taking. Regularly having CBC employees on contracts is wrong. Some contracts are good, but when nationally recognized and awarded journalists are living contract to contract, something has to change. The CBC needs some help...mostly financially but also from Canadians. Canadians have a tendency to take things for granted. The CBC is our national treasure. It unites us and entertains us. It keeps us informed without all the animations, scare tactics and explosive diatribes of the news shows beamed from down south. And Peter Mansbridge is hot.

Even Margaret Wente agrees with me.

Write to Paul and get him to give the CBC more money...maybe that way I can get a job there...or at the very least, a contract.