Saw some bands, roamed around the town with Rodney.
Home is where I am
Saw some bands, roamed around the town with Rodney.
When I got home, the Australians were ready to eat. We decided on tapas. But when we got in, we found it was full. My next idea was to have one of the giant eggrolls from Mark's chinese food. They were in. Mark's is a bunker type Chinese place, built underneath the Scotiabank centre. I was excited to have the eggroll again, but it didn't taste as good as last time, unfortunately.
From there, we went home and then it was time for the par-tee.
Today was a mishmash of phone calls, I am averaging about 1.5 articles a day. I'm supposed to be up to the 2 article per day mark by the end of the week. So far, it doesn't look like it's happening. But hey, you never know.
It was -30 when I went to work and then it went up to -20 by lunchtime.
My direct supervisor, Chris is pretty cool and helpful and I think we work well together so far.
I got some new roommates today from Australia, a couple with the guy's dad.
They are smart people, so it's good to talk to them. They didn't want to venture too far for dinner, so we went over to Bruno's deli and pizza, about 100m away. It's open until midnight and there's a sign on the cash that says you have to pay for your pizza BEFORE they cook it. It's probably because they are open till midnight...
We think it was snowing, but it was so windy we couldn't tell.
While I was at work, they went mushing and ice fishing in the day. They hated the ice fishing. And while I was taking a bath, they hopped on a bus and went out into the wilderness to see the aurora borealis.
Mission for tomorrow: Groceries, Shafic's surprise party.
One of my first articles: http://nnsl.com/northern-news-services/stories/papers/feb24_11den-nwt.html
I guess I didn't catch on fast enough, so my move to Inuvik has been delayed for another week.
The amount of new things I have to learn is insanity.
Today though, I drove on the ice road for the first time. Across a giant lake from Yellowknife to Dettah.
There was a meeting about the latest "devolution" processes in NWT.
The territories are slowly being turned into pseudo-provinces, and usually the aboriginals are opposed.
A bunch of them were calling for the aboriginal MLAs in the cabinet to resign today.
So, my brain exploded over that one.
Then, I wrote it when I got back and didn't have time to do the other 10,000 things I'm supposed to do today. But really, I think they just assign too many things so that you do more than you were planning on doing in the first place. Most people work late and hand their stories in after deadline, I am finding. Not as late as I have been handing in mine... but whatever.
Tonight, I am going once again to the Black Knight, but this time, I don't have to watch Keith scarf down yet another hamburger and beer, because I am actually hungry this time.
It's wing night and I'm getting the Yukon Gold and pineapple curry flavours with a Guinness!
Rodney and his roommate Laurence met me at the restaurant and we had our wings. The waitress was a dummy.
I forgot my long johns, so the walk home was ridiculously cold. The one thing that is awesome about the cold is that there is no slush. Dry boots = warm, happy feet.
The snow crunches under your boots with every step. That also makes for happy ears.
We had a party, I have nothing more to say. Haha.
I made curry chickpea soup. It was delicious. So glad I bought my giant box of spices up here.
We danced in the kitchen until midnight and still I wake up really early. Must be still living on Ontario time.
OK, so I got up way early because I guess I haven't adjusted to the time difference. Then, I was almost late for work, because I thought I had TONS of time to kill and I was looking for my battery charger for my camera. I never found my battery charger, but it didn't matter because I can't use my camera without a flash anyways...blasphemous!
All the pictures in the Yellowknifer are taken with a flash. Imagine...
Now I'm working on three stories. Collisions at a high traffic intersection Energy drink ban Army training on Jackfish Lake
After all my years of writing exactly what comes out of my brain, I have learned one thing. It works the best once you have had at least a week to think about it. I have had two weeks to think about Yellowknife, and this is what I think.
So here I am again.
I jumped off the plane in Yellowknife to a balmy -8C late winter afternoon. I squinted into the reflected sunlight and finally made my descent onto the ground. Like a sub-zero Jackie Os and JFKs, but minus papparrazzi, sunshine and palm trees, we all had to walk down the pull-out stairs across the blustery runway to get to the terminal. When we got there, most of us knew who we were meeting. I saw a guy who had obviously been here and back more than a few times. He wore a salt and pepper beard, with a grizzled, skinny and frantic look, carrying nothing but a beat up schoolbag, yelling into his indestructible satellite phone. "Hey Jack, I'm back! Should i just start walking or what?" and he belted out to his co-worker on the other end. I looked around, dazed, tired, rudely awoken from a peaceful nap, not recognizing anyone. Out of the small crowd of family and friends, acquaintances and taxi drivers, I noticed someone who I hoped was not waiting for me. He had Stephen Harper hair, he was thin and pale, wearing a giant black Canada Goose jacket, he was wandering slowly around the terminal, obviously looking for someone. Please, don't be waiting for for me. I wandered to the back of the terminal, hoping I would find someone else who looked like the "journalist" type. In the back of my mind, I had an uneasy feeling it was him. There I was, in baggy jeans, a short black, wrinkled skirt thrown on top of them (a last minute addition because I knew I'd want them once temperatures rose to spring-time levels), a grey puffy vest and my disheveled hair and falling-apart roller-blader backback. "Louise?" "Yeah, it's me," I said, disappointedly, trying to look happy I was here, starting a new job in the middle of nowhere. I was the only one who had five checked bags. I was the only one who had fixed them together with duct tape. People looked at me and smiled widely, clearly thinking, "She doesn't know what she's getting into." And clearly I didn't.
I remember the big polar bear in the baggage claim. I remember the Yellowknife sign, that I took a photo of two years ago, with my former boyfriend. I remember laughing because when we set up the shot, we missed the Y.
"I'm Derek, I'll help you get your stuff." "Oh, thanks," and I forced a smile.
Like a devoted puppy, he helped me bring all my boxes to his car. Then, fulfilling his duties of official Northern News Services tour guide, he brought me around town in his giant Black Escape. Showing me the Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and outrageous residential architecture.
He drove me around town and showed me all the places to shop, along with old town and other things.
I got a tour of the new office. It's huge and they do the printing on-site. I found out that I will not have to do layout anymore! That blew me away. I will just be writing and taking photos, I suppose. Calling people, writing writing writing... calling more people from surrounding towns and begging them for photos.
I like layout a lot sometimes, but this will be a nice break.
We dragged my giant blue boxes down the stairs to my room, there were signs advising everything posted up all over the place "Please do not drag your bags across the walls when you carry them down the stairs," "Going out? Do your small part! Help save the planet! Turn off yor TV and lights! Tanks!" You can imagine the rest. There was a statue of an man, with his pants down in the washroom. My room was appropriately called the teddy bear room, the rest had equally saccharine names. I don't want to stay at Embleton any longer than I have to, so I am looking for a place to couchsurf tomorrow, if I'm allowed.
There are a four Japanese tourists here as well as me, but they don't really speak English so I leave them alone.
I have to use this public computer so I won't have much time for emails or chats this week.
After I wrote this, Rodney called me and asked if I wanted to go out for a beer/coffee.
First, I couldn't get out of this place. The door had frozen shut and when I rang the doorbell to their house, the owners couldn't be bothered to answer the door. I heard them moving around in there too!
Anyway, Rodney eventually came and bashed the door open and we went out on the town on a Sunday night.
I had flashbacks of Shawville when we went to the Black Knight and found that it was closed at 8 p.m.
We ended up at the coffee shop, where I got some almond milk and he talked.
Funny guy, he makes his own fun. I felt like I didn't have to be there and he would have had the same amount of fun without me.
Mission for tomorrow: Work and sushi with Rod .
I ran from my flight to the next flight, but it was delayed a bit, so I ended up being right on time.
Slept on the flight to Yellowknife, that's about it.
I remember last time I went to Yellowknife, as the plane was landing, I looked down and saw zillions of lakes and trees.
This time it was all ice and snow.
Snowmobile tracks are everywhere, I can see how it might be fun now.
I just missed the boarding call because I was "randomly" chosen for a secondary search... again...
Mom kept crying and making me cry, while dad was busy returning luggage carts for quarters. Ha. I guess he just couldn't resist.
I watched two movies, both about reporters, both very different. Capote and Morning Glory. I'd recommend them both, for sure.
We got up early in the morning, packed the last of the crap into the car and then drove all the way to Niagara.
We went the cottage country way through Bancroft and stopped in just in time to see their street hockey event and eat some pancakes/sausages at the seniors home.
Some old guy was trying to get us to go to the dog sled race, but obviously we didn't have time for that.
It was also SUPER cold and windy.
On the way to Niagara, I finally looked at the odometer on my car. I am 10,000 km over the limit for the next oil change.... OOPS... long story that.
Mom had already told me about my "surprise" party. She invited a bunch of friends that I knew from back in the day to come over, have roast beef and wine and baklava. It was nice and fun and best of all, it ended early.
I had to be up at 5 a.m. the next day to catch my flight.
After everyone left, I packed up my stuff into FIVE bags and boxes and then dad lugged them into the car.
While I was trying to fall asleep, I remembered a bunch of things I forgot... Like the posters behind my door in my old apartment. I will have to get Andrea to send them.
So, a few years ago, it was my goal to visit every province and territory in Canada.
In 2009, I traveled to Iqaluit and completed my mission.
Out of all the places in Canada that I have been, I have always loved the Yukon the best.
In 1999 I went to a Girl Guide camp there. If anyone's ever been to the Yukon, everywhere you go, people constantly tell you that when you leave, for the rest of your life, you'll want to go back.
This was the case for me.
Since about 2005, I have been searching and searching for a job in my field up in the north.
Never did I get an interview, until a couple of weeks ago for the job of a reporter at the Inuvik Drum.
After a chat with Bruce Valpy, he invited me to come for a year to the tip of the Yukon, technically the Northwest Territories, but it's close enough for me.
It's a town of 3,400. They have a running club, curling rink, ginormous hockey rink, indoor pool/whirlpool/sauna/waterslide and eight couchsurfers for me to have adventures with.
So, I'm collecting all of my warmest clothes, stuffing it into three pieces of checked and approved luggage and as of Feb. 20 I am off!
I'll be spending a week or so in Yellowknife for training and then I will venture to the Great White North.
You can follow along on my blog, I'll try to send out updates every now and then.
So my mom and dad drove up to Shawville and helped me pack all of my stuff into a big van and we drove it down to Niagara, where it will stay for a year. I had to throw out my mattresses and I left my bed frame, bedside table and couch in the apartment for Heather. She said I could.
We had a goodbye dinner with Scott, Ann, Andrea and Yen at Cafe 349 and then packed everything up.