We were day trippers
8:53 AM | 3 comments

“Do you want to go to Toronto? They’re turning Wonderland into a haunted house where people jump out at you!”
No, that sounds really far away and I hate people jumping out in a scary way. No.
“But it’s going to be a road trip!”
So the second day after flying home from Whitehorse, a two-day ordeal of cross-Canada flight delays and airport food, I found myself looking forward to sitting shotgun for endless hours in a one-day adventure from O-Town to Peterborough, where we picked up our BFF and then onwards to Ajax to pick up another and finally to Wonderland.
“Ew, did someone fart or is that smell just this awful town?”
“Did you know the Cat Came Back song is actually about the cat hacking people to pieces?” Oddly enough, the driver had the song on her iPod, so we listened as we drove through the orange and red tree-lined highway number seven. Stranger still was she was right. Listen to it, it’s quite perturbing.
“So I don’t want to lose weight, I just want to tighten,” [insert hand gestures from Knocked Up]
And thus is a sampling of the conversation that carried us from Ottawa to Peterborough. We actually hardly paid attention to the background music and if we did it was only to sing along off-key and with the passion every girl shares after pronouncing “Oh, I LOVE this SONG!”
Peterborough is a beautiful town and after living in Whitehorse, it seems much bigger and busier than I had previously given it credit for. We ate at K and A’s favourite, before finding our new spots in the car and driving onward ho to Ajax. We picked up another, bought our tickets and were an hour away from the land of wonder.
Under the stars we rode roller coasters, bought $23 pizza and screamed until we were hoarse. My lower back was sore from the clenched muscles K and I sustained while going through haunted houses, arms around each other, hunched over, nervously laughing and nervously twitching backwards when things indeed did jump out at us.
It actually wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be. Then again, I hadn’t opted to go in the clown-themed haunted house where midway through, the lights turned up and a voice announced there was a fire and everyone was to evacuate. Unfortunately, the haunted house was structured as a maze and poor claustrophobic A and S found themselves in survival mode trying to get out of the smoke-filled, creepy clown-filled tent.
We decided to drive back that night, promising that whoever sat up front had to stay awake with the driver.
At exactly midnight I opened my birthday present from A and our car celebrated the beginning of my birthday. It was beautiful to start this year off with these girls around me! And I got A to sing us the song she is to perform as I walk down the aisle in less than a month, and she totally made me cry.
We got home about 5 in the a.m. I sleepily said goodbye, I thanked them for b-day wishes and shuffled up to my mum’s front door to sleep another few hors before it was birthday mode and, where I find myself now, in an extreme wedding-planning zone.

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Strange Days
11:42 AM | 2 comments

Since my last post a number of strange things have happened here. I have gone from wearing flip flops and cute skirts to Gore-Tex winter boots and my mittens. It seems I have been waking up earlier and earlier when, in fact, the days have just started later and later. This morning it was still pitch black outside at 7:30! I also have to be ready to leave earlier because I have to scrape and defog the truck’s windows, and allow for the bit of traffic backup as everyone has decided that cold weather means no more bicycling to work. Winter is here and I am not ready. Because it is not near Christmas, and that s when the snow is supposed to come. At least in Ottawa.
With fiancé finding himself with two days off over the weekend, in correspondence with my own weekend, we decided to take advantage and plan a road trip, my first outside of Whitehorse. We were to visit Pelly’s Crossing, about three hours northwest on the Klondike Highway.
An hour into the trip, we were white-knuckled with gritted teeth as we swerved all over that friggin, uncleared, snow-covered highway. There were three tire track lanes, meaning if another car came, one of us had to risk sliding over to the curb as the three driving tracks meant there was only room for one of us, albeit on our side of the road. The road trip could have happened, it just would have taken five hours of going 60 km/h, so we turned around at Fox Lake and came home. I have never felt like such a city girl.
“It’s October, the highways are snowed out, and ohmigod what are we going to DO?” I stood there, wearing my MEC gear (meaning wasn’t I PREPARED?) and looking to fiancé for comfort in this beautiful, barren land. Is this really the situation for the next seven months of winter? (That’s how long the season is here)
It matters not for the time being, as I am lucky enough to have a ticket home to Ottawa this week, home to plan the wedding, which will be a month away as of Wednesday. To Ottawa, where it is about 15 degrees warmer and (hopefully) where my winter gear will not yet be necessary.
I am not prepared to think ahead to the 24 hours of darkness days and the 40-below temperatures that await my return after the honeymoon.

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All better
8:12 PM | 1 comments

Last post was about an awful feeling, so this will be about an awesome one.
It’s awesome to hear that a story I wrote made someone cry because they were so touched by my words. It’s exciting to see my name in print every day under the headlines of my stories. It’s refreshing to be respected and paid attention to after four years of screaming for sources and callbacks in the capital city where journalism students and novice reporters are no one.
It makes me feel so good when the stories I write really make people think, and when they tell me this. Or when the mayor calls me to tell me what a good job I am doing. And when my stories get picked up by the Globe and Mail for people across Canada to read, that is nice too.
These are things I thought to myself on my way to work, late, after fighting with my roommate’s car door, trying to force it open against the will of the ice keeping it frozen shut. Frozen because it dipped below freezing last night in this north of 60 place in October, and why would the car door open for me if it had been freezing out, really.
These are nice things I will tuck away when the editor asks why I missed something that CBC got, for when I find myself lacking passion writing about more mundane things like subdivision approvals and rezoning amendments.

12:41 PM | 2 comments

Do you ever NOT feel stupid when you get hungover? What about when you’re supposed to be beyond your crazy college day benders? When you work a 9 to 5 and then get messy drunk on Saturday night, keeping you bedridden and puking all night and Sunday?
Saturday night was not nice to me. I went out with my new coworkers to get to know them outside of the press room. This involved convening at one person’s house and drinking games. I didn’t THINK I drank more than “usual” although the standard for usual was last set when I was out at Ottawa bars near every weekend getting silly.
In retrospect, I pinpoint the beginning of the downfall with our drinking snacks. The guy’s whose house we were a is some kind of Iron Chef or something and he made up these appetizers that were ground beef and corn atop baguettes, with a fried quail egg on top. This is probably something really sophisticated, but all pretense was lost on us as we chased our quail egg delights with rye and beer and wine.
You know what, I should have realized then how the night would end.
We went to one of Whitehorse’s only decent bars (decent standards as set by another twentysomething) called Coaster’s, where shots were slammed, drinks were sloppily cheered and the music, I’ll admit, wasn’t half bad. I didn’t really know the people I was with, but if frosh week taught me anything, it is that you can make fast friends by sharing a night of boozing. I was nervous, granted, so maybe that sped up the pace at which I imbibed.
2:00 rolls around, as did my vision, with the “whirlies” kicking in. I got home and clump-clumped my way through the dark into our room. Memory fades to black.
Wake up the next morning feeling OK at first, surprised actually, although confused by the pasta pot lined with a plastic bag beside my head.
I got up, made myself a Gatorade cocktail to ease the dehydration, and resigned myself clad in bathrobe to watching 90210 reruns on TV. It hits me.
I am puking up Gatorade and what water I ingest all Sunday long. I felt worse than I have ever felt post-drinking. Was it the quail? The purple shots?
Fiancé filled in the blanks and informed me that between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. I had been wrapped around the toilet, puking my guts out, ignoring his pleas for me to drink more water, eat some bread. He was so nice to take care of me those 2 hours before he had to get up and work 12 hours.
I am now back to normal, although my skin is a whole new kind of dry and pasty, and the headache lingers as my body restores its water contents. (Ode to the red Nalgene on my desk)
It turns out, upon reconvening in the office Monday morning, that near everyone got disgustingly sick with quail and booze toxicity, so I don’t feel quite so stupid. Misery loves company, and I guess so does shame, haha.

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