Friday, August 30, 2002

I was on the public broadcaster today.

Okay, it's not as though I produced a documentary for them or anything (although I did once before, during a practicum); I called in to Wild Rose Country.
The topic was Big Things, as in big man-made attractions throughout Alberta and Canada.

Few topics could be closer to my heart.

The show's guest has a website, detailing his visits to, or general knowledge of, these great things of beauty and artifice.

I was the final caller of the show as it neared the top of the hour. The lovely producer kept coming on the line: "Tracy from Red Deer? You're still there? We'll be coming up right away. Thanks for hanging in there."

He was so attentive and polite. And no doubt erudite, too. It is the CBC, after all.

So I told them how I not only love big, garish statues, I planned my roadtrips around man-made attractions.

I told them my story:

I once drove up North of Edmonton, to Glendon (to see the Perogy on a Fork), to Vegreville (for the Pysanka), to Andrew (to pay tribute to the Mallard), and to Mundare (to ogle the sausage.) My last stop was Smoky Lake, to see the Great Pumpkin. It was nowhere to be found.

Usually these artforms mostly reveal themselves to the motorist. They are big, after all. But I had to ask around to find out where the town's pride and joy was. I had to go to a couple of places, and people seemed genuinely worried it wasn't where it should have been. Eventually I happened upon the local convenience store, which was no doubt info central, and the man there told me the pumpkin, sadly, was not currently on display.

It was in for maintenance.

The poor thing needed some polyfill and paint.

It was receiving its treatment and tune-up in the back lot of Ed's Auto Body.

I took a photo of it, languishing in captivity, behind a chainlink face.

I hope to God it's since made its escape.
5:06:00 PM

Thursday, August 29, 2002

A press release came across the fax yesterday. A crime in the city. I was jazzed.

I'm not going to apologize for being excited by the fact crime was happening; it was local. It's just a matter of course for the newscaster. A local, legitimate story reveals itself, and suddenly the newscast improves.

If I were a salesperson, I would say I were turning out a better product.

The release described how a senior citizen was in a park washroom, when a man entered and proceeded to beat and rob him. What piqued my interest was the weapon: a cane. This is how twisted we are in newsrooms: My first question was who owned the cane?

Why is this important? Well, it's all about how it reads. I was envisioning the unusual twist this way:

A 71 year old man was beaten up with his own cane in a local park last night.

You use just a little indignation in the inflection of his own cane.

Really, we're not all heartless. It's just we tend to get detached from the stories we read or report on, and it all becomes about word play.

That's the way it has to be.

***

You really do end up paying for a night out to the cheap theatres.

I went to the Sum of All Fears, and although it only cost me 75 cents (!), due to cheap Tuesday night and a 2-for-1 pass, it was hardly worth it.

We had to sit in the front row, because it was a little crowded and I have a thing about giving people their space.

Then, a group of teens tramped in, reeking of pot, and planted themselves in the row directly behind us.
It's as though they were oblivious to their surroundings, ie. a quiet public space, among people who were attempting to listen to what was happening on-screen. They talked through the entire move, kicked our seats...and this chick behind me had to be the World's Stupidest Girl.

When Ben Affleck ended up closing in on guys who were really responsible for the bomb, she was constantly all, "What's going on?"

Each new scene baffled her more than the next. And she was sure to ask just what was happening.

God forbid she watched some Fellini.


9:01:00 PM

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

I scrummed federal health minister Anne McLellan Sunday.

It's interesting to see afterwards how all of the media interpreted those Q & A's.
When asked if she'd throw her hat into the ring for a run at the Liberal leadership now that Prime Minister Jean Chretien is stepping down, she said she would "keep her options open," stressing the PM "has made it clear he doesn't want his cabinet ministers campaigning," and that yes, "it's extremely important to have a strong candidate from the west." (she represents a riding in Edmonton.) So because of these comments, and due to the fact news on leadership is still hot, I highlighted this, saying essentially Anne McLellan is hinting she could take a run at the leadership, but will focus on the job for now.
I also highlighted health, albeit in a secondary way.

One reporter said Anne McLellan was ruling out a run for the leadership for now, another focused on the whole 18 month period Jean Chretien is taking to step down (but he did mention her leadership aspirations.)

It's always a little scary to see a different take on the same event. But these scrums tend to have their topics run all across the board. And the comments reported on tend to be the most topical or most, er, controversial or passionate. I would have said the most "inflammatory" but that will get me in trouble with the alternative press.

I suppose scarier to some is when the media all get the story exactly the same. I remember when Stockwell Day was in town, nearing the end of the Canadian Alliance leadership re-election campaign against Stephen Harper, and a woman in his brethren confronted the reporters, visibly miffed.

"I'm just wondering, " she says, "if you guys look at each others notebooks? Do you guys consult with each other to get your stories straight? How is it you all come out with the same story?"

She was convinced we were all in cahoots to bring down Stock. She couldn't understand how it was that the same clips would make it on myriad broadcasts, and how all the stories resembled one another. Usually, all of those stories were not terribly flattering.

What we couldn't say to her, and probably would have liked to, was that Stock was hammering the nails of his own coffin. Each appearance yielded comments and foibles that were textbook reportable.

No one needed to consult with one another to bring anyone down.
Stock didn't need any help with that. He was handling that pretty well all on his own.
5:31:00 PM

Monday, August 26, 2002

HERALD THE [secular] TRUMPETS!!

THIS IS MY VERY FIRST MONDAY MISSION, care of
THE PROMO GUY.
The list is coming in handy: after having spent the last five hours surfing blogs, particularly newsblogs, I'm starting to feel it unnecessary to weigh in on any issues of the day. It's all been said. And I couldn't do it half as well as the other guys.

So without further adieu (or original ideas today), may I present the Monday Mission questions:

1. What do you do to make things better when you feel sad and/or lonely?
I've realized I have to get them out. Yes, feelings. In their extreme form, they infrequently make an appearance. I was pretty depressed not too long ago, and I told my boyfriend what was bothering me. I recovered shortly after. But I don't do this until I've really wallowed in sorrow for awhile: I make myself cry, I think about suicide, I pen notes in my journal, I generally think how hopeless my life is. Then I snap out of it.
I also just get on the phone and talk to far-away friends.


2. Are you a "touchy-feely" person? That is, do you like to touch people you don't know that well? And on the flipside of that, do you like being touched by someone you aren't close with?
I'm not a generally "touchy-feely" person. But sometimes the ocassion calls for it, with those I know moderately well. I don't mind being on the receiving end, and thankfully, it's been justified to date. For example just the other night, we visited with one of my boyfriend's good friends from the past. It was the first time I met his wife, and just the second time I met him. They both hugged me at the end of the night. I thought it was lovely. So I guess I'm okay with touchy-feeliness when endorsed by association.

3. Do you like to have "me" time, time to yourself to be alone and relax? Or do you prefer to just do your own thing with someone else in the room? When was the last "me" time you got and what did you do?
I make sure I have a lot of "me" time. I'm the EPITOME of self-indulgence. You know that movement, promoted by the likes of Oprah and any self-help book, telling working moms with over-booked schedules to say "no" to others, and to "take time out for themselves"?
I could be a frigging model for that.


4. Generally speaking, how do you feel about the concept of marriage? Are you the marrying type? Do you think the act of getting married means something today or is it simply just "a piece of paper?"
I agree with marriage; it's a nice concept. You're telling your partner and the world that you're now a TEAM to be reckoned with. As for whether or not I'm the marrying type? Let's see: I'm single, 31, and daily trudge through the detritus that is my series of broken relationships. It would seem not.


2:14:00 PM

Friday, August 23, 2002

I bet you never would have guessed I don't have cable.

Since the day I moved out of my parents' home at the overripe age of 22, I have been subscription-free. The decision is a conscious one: I have a love-hate relationship with television.

Given free rein, I would watch television 24/7. And in fact, when I visit with anyone who is in possession of the hundred-channel universe, I endeavor to pack in as much viewing as possible. I love good tv, with its documentaries and artsy movies, but I also love bad television, with its inane sitcoms and complete drivel.

I've even been known to sit through episodes of Full House for godsakes.

So it's really best for me physically, socially, professionally, even spiritually to go without. My alternative is peasant vision. Four channels of pure Canadiana. And I'm constantly repositioning rabbit ears to get the best reception. And I'm forever disappointed when I know there's some good tv on, right now, out there somewhere, and I'm stuck watching Blackfly on Global. I've come to terms with my addicition; I recognize my problem and I keep temptation out of arm's reach.

But the allure is real. The real draw will never go away. And while I don't watch much cable, save what I see at the folks', I still read about it. I am familiar with the Life Network's charming stories, TLC's runaway hit Trading Spaces, the latest FOX debacle.

While it's true I don't own a cable package so I'm arguably a non-participant of the true television landscape, I queerly keep on top of these things. Particulary with tv criticism. And I regret when I'm unable to fully share in the joke.

The latest piece I read was about Ashleigh Banfield and her new gig really talking to the American people in her own backyard, after taking care of 9/11 business elsewhere. I found myself gleefully agreeing with the pundit, smirking alongside his comments about her "windswept, inept" ways, and general self-involvement. And DITZINESS. He actually came right out and said that! And after all the features we read about Ashleigh and her new way of reporting, her innovation, her appeal, the strides she's taken for women, etc. I laughed at the author's boldness, nodding along to his snide insights. Practically rubbing my hands together in shameful glee. It was thrilling.

But I have never seen her report.

I was guilty of the same mean-spirited conspiracy with Scott Feschuk, who wrote this article on Connie Chung.

God, how I wish I had CNN.

But I don't exactly require it to know Connie Chung's a total dip.
2:24:00 PM

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Have you seen television's latest generation gap?

New Gap commercials end with a whisper, "for every generation." Perhaps if they're talking marketing alienation.

The Gap has once again missed its demo. I think they've missed them all.
The campaign features a twenty-something dancing, solo, in his/her denims to the music of some boomer-era artist. The problem with this is it appeals to no one. With the exception of admiring the production values (save the boredom. get ready for yet another plain white backdrop) and the natural good looks of the models, no one will feel as though the ad is speaking to them: The music's not of my generation (X), or the one younger (Y); the fashion's not "today" enough for kids in their teens; the guy in the ads looks kinda cool, but the fact he's putting too much effort into dancing some kinda funk-fusion-hippie thing makes him lose any credibility he had. Certainly advertisers should know it's all about being aloof, and maybe just a little goofy or sarcastic.
And the older folks will find both the music and the fashions too young.....Unless.....just unless the whole comfort idea appeals to seniors.

Hmm. Maybe that's what they were going for: Geriatric Gap.

NOW they're on to something.
9:48:00 PM

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

I feel a little funny about posting now. I gave out my url for the first time, to ma soeur. Now I feel cagey. I'm hedging my bets. I have nothing to reveal. But just in case my brother-in-law is lurking, he may want to take a look at a really cool photo site, because I know he likes the stuff.

No it's not porn.

***
My neck is stiff. Maybe I'm coming down with the West Nile virus. That's a pathogen that suddenly makes Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds suddenly take on a whole new slant.

Yeah. West Nile. I'm a part of the corporate media, so of course I am playing this story UP, BABY.

***
I can't wait to watch the news tonight. The breaking news today was Jean Chretien's announcement he would finally step down as Prime Minister by February 2004. It was the first time he's given any indication he wouldn't be seeking a fourth mandate. And apparently he and Aline had worked out these little future plans two years ago and he didn't bother to let the rest of the Canadian public in on it.
It was fun to see the news as it was coming down........reporters scurrying about in Quebec, at the site of the Liberal caucas meetings. Everyone on cells, and looking wildly into cameras as they flew by, careful not to trip on cable. All the while, freaking Mike Duffy talking at length, keeping the peace and calm like nobody's business. Of course, he was a little distracted, darting looks about the hallways to make sure he didn't miss the arrival of the PM or a valuable scrum. It appeared as though he was on the lookout for some cheeseburgers at the parliamentary bbq. And when you see his picture, you'll know why.

I know I'm cruel. I've made my peace with that. What I can't entirely accept, is the fact that if that were a woman reporter, even with Duff's experience, she would NEVER be on television.
No explanation needed.
8:57:00 PM

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

I hope these archives work. This is a sacrificial post. All in the name of posterity, baby.
9:38:00 PM

I'm supressing the need to drink coffee from a tin cup. And I'm popping marshmallows, cold. They're really not the same when not toasted a golden brown.

I miss camping.

***

I'm sitting at my window as per usual, and I'm checking out the night sky: There are occasional flashes of lightning in the distance, which goes with the weather theme lately. I've experienced heavy rain, thunder, lightning, snow and nothern lights. And I tried to make a trip outside the lights of the city to see the Perseid Meteor Shower August 12th. But we were too lazy, and watched Amelie, again, instead. I guess science will always take a back seat to art......

***
As I said, I'm sitting at my window as I type, and it's quiet outside, even thunder-free. A few days ago I was not so fortunate. I had to sit through an unsettling conversation as a group of girls hung out in the trees of the ravine just adjacent to my building. I think they were drunk. And they were certainly confrontational. They couldn't have been more than 16 or 17, but they sounded as though they had been living hard lives for decades. I'd like to tell you their young voices floated up to my open window with giggles and whisperings of the crushes they had on particular boys. Instead, it was an onslaught of shouts and slaps, and language that shocked less than it made me feel really terrible for them. Their session was all about derision, challenge, one-upmanship, intimidation. "You FUCKED three guys? You fucked him? That kid is dirty! God you're such a slut." and:"I'm going to fucking kill that chick. She doesn't think I can? I've beat up on loads of chicks." I found it all terribly sad. Not to say I was an angel when I was a teenager, but I don't remember ever feeling compelled to get in a fight. Nor did I ever treat sex as an act to share with everyone I knew, to be yelled about, at the top of my lungs in a dirty ravine with a crowd ready to lunge at my young uncertainties.
9:16:00 PM

Sunday, August 18, 2002

We usurped the gods. And we paid for it.

I've just returned from a 10-day holiday to the Folk Fest, followed by camping. But the camping part of it was, more accurately, camping and hotelling.
We started out with a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park. It took us a little longer than planned to get out of Calgary that day so we settled on a nearby campground that came recommended. It was very cool, all badlands and sagebrush. We set up the tent, had a little hike where I took some photos, and settled into bed. We couldn't make a fire, as I just got to the concession as it closed for the night. Something tells me cowpokes from the good ol' days, out on the range, with just a bedroll between the night sky and the prairie critters weren't prevented from blazing up a fire because they didn't make the concession on time. Anyhow, no firewood, once again. And as much as we'd like to, we're not going to go around felling trees. We settled in and, CUE THE RAIN. And oh, it continued. Through the blasted night. We woke up soaked and miserable. We packed it in and drove to Medicine Hat. We had a harrowing day, testing our relationship through sleep-deprivation and damp, and checked into a hotel.

A new day, another shot at camping. And this time, no Mr. Nice Guys.

The weather looked promising, and we promised to be PREPARED. We stocked up on tarps, a hatchet to build a proper fire, food for 3 days, sunblock, firewood, the kitchen sink. We drove to Cypress Hills at the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and found ourselves a quiet campsite at Spruce Coulee. We were determined. We were stocked to the gills. We discussed the best way for placing the tarp in order to keep out potential torrents; after some argument, it was placed expertly. I lit my campstove with aplomb. The Outdoorsy One wielded his new hatchet with ease. A campfire blazed, hot dogs sizzled, marshmallows toasted golden, wolves howled at a safe distance.

With the new cover now protecting our tent from any leaks, The Arrogant One held his fist in the air and challenged the gods, "Now try to rain on us!"

And just as the Greeks had warned us, hubris was followed by nemesis.

The skies opened up, and they threw everything they had at us. Pounding rain. Lightning. Thunder. More rain, constant, throughout the night and into the morning.

We woke up to snow.

We didn't need much convincing to seek out yet another Super-8.



7:07:00 PM

Friday, August 09, 2002

I'm at mid-day. It's the cocktail hour.

I've come back to the folks' and had my vodka-and-lemonade. Now, I'm just waiting for the folkie one to get up here so's we can go back to the Edmonton Folk Fest. Nick Lowe is tonight! It's terribly exciting. He's doing a workshop or session with Lynn Miles, Greg Brown and Warren Zevon, then he's on the mainstage tonight. We got to the top of the hill about 8:30-9 pm last night, and caught Mali singer Rokia Traore and the legendary Janis Ian. The night was cool but we slipped under my sleeping bag, the light waned but the candles lit up the natural ampitheatre and the skyline was lovely. The audience, as per usual, was laid-back and cool. With the exception of the gang of teens directly behind us. Cellphones rang. Voices were heard just as Janis Ian was getting to the punchline of her charming story. "So he goes..., and then I go...., and then he's all...., and I'm, like, bfff, jyaaaah." I just wanted to let them know how important it was for most of us to enjoy an evening among music-lovers WITHOUT being subjected to the inane babblings of girls who have not yet lived. But I remained silent.

I also found it strange, and rather confrontational that freaking Air One was in the sky. That's the police chopper that's caused some controversy in the city: It's really expensive to operate, and many think it's unnecessary and intrusive. I would have to agree: It circled the venue last night as we all left a great night of music. It is not whisper soft, and the searchlight was a bit much. After all, the folk fest is full of pacifists and hippies. Or at least law-abiding yuppies in cargo pants and tilley hats. The beam of felon-light focused on me and my man for a split second as we cut across a park.

I wanted my boyfriend to go into the bushes and pee. Just to spite them.

I should have started screaming bloody murder.
3:25:00 PM

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I had a really busy day yesterday: yoga, interviewed a potential employee, checked references, worked the on-air afternoon desk, culled important stories from the work archives, wrote up a report for the GM about story highlights (focusing on development and the economy), and picked up my boyfriend at work because his car, and this happens to him alot apparently, was impounded. (so to speak.)

I prefer being busy; it makes me happy. But it could be the yoga.

I'm writing this in the morning before I start work, so I don't really feel as reflective. I just wanted to mention that today is the last day before ten days of holidays. woop! woop! and woop.

The Scruffy One and I are driving to Edmonton where we will attend all four days of the Folk Festival. Freaking Nick Lowe is there! and Ron Sexsmith and Sarah Harmer, and Corb Lund, and Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys and the list is endless. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is one of the best out there and it may be close to a decade since I was there last. I intend to take a lot of pictures, as my B&W roll is loaded and ready to go.

I also plan to take lots o'photos of a ceremony and parade tomorrow morning. It's in honour of the Canadian Troops who fought for us in Afghanistan. It's not necessarily hip, and certainly not left of me to support what they did. But I do, and I'm proud of them. Okay, I also know it'll provide for some great shots. I fully anticipate I'll be moved to tears. Those sorts of things do that to me. It's just a momentary feeling that people are connecting. That people are innnately good, and care for one another....

Okay maybe that yoga really is doing a job on me.
8:59:00 AM

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I have a corn on my toe, but I'd ask you to not to classify it a wart.

There's a huge difference, you know. A wart means you're dirty, a corn means you're old.

I think of my nan, who had a foot full of corns. The inside of her toes were jam-packed with corns, and all those little flesh-colored pads to cushion them. She also had loose skin on her hands, just as much as an old person would have, and when we were little, we used to press the skin at the top of her hand together in a line, creating "snakes" that would stay in place for a moment. Then the skin would sink down again. But I'm making her sound hideous. In her day, she was Miss Holyrood! And she would laugh at my endeavors, with the skin snakes, and my love of sugary tea and bread-in-the-oven with her. The bread would bake, then cool. Once it had set up, she would cut it, and let us put a slice in the oven with butter on it, just long enough so it turned slightly golden and crusty. And I would go up to her bedroom and look through her powder and rouge. Once, I remember I took her good lipstick and started to apply it. But I went outside the lines, so I just kept going, and made a clown face. While I thought she would find that funny, she was actually a little peeved. But that was rare. Normally she'd bake squares, and make macaroni with "catsup", and hang the clothes on the line, and send us up to Jerry's, and laugh under her breath but really listen to us when we'd put on old ladies' clothes and read from prayer books.

I miss nanny Maloney.

***
I plan to watch The Mole tonight. It's the final episode. Since my fascination with the web has begun, and I'm still in the honeymoon phase, I've spent hours checking out the message boards for that program. I guess I'm looking for some insight, some glimmer of strategy that I've missed. Nope. Instead, it's a bunch of teens (or morons who couldn't spell to save their lives) who say things like "Bribs is so hot" and "I think Anderson is gay."

I really have no idea who the mole is, but I'll have to go out on a limb and say Bill. But it could also be Heather. And I hope Dorothy wins because she seems like a rock'n'roller with hipster glasses. Yeah, "Dorothy is soooooo cooooool."
6:22:00 PM

Monday, August 05, 2002

Few things bother me more than someone sitting in a car and letting it run.

I'm sitting here, unable to really write, because my computer is next to the window, the window is open, it faces onto the parking spaces at the back of my building, and someone is running their bloody car while blasting crap music with their windows rolled down. With my window up, and his window down, I just feel like he's entered my personal space. And personally, I think my personal space is a lot more tastefully decorated.

***
He's gone.
While it may seem like I'm blowing my top, let me assure you I've become a lot more peaceful these days. Well, either that or yoga manages to work a good placebo effect. I'm hardly a yogini yet, (although I love to say yogini) but I hope to be one day. I figure starting in one's early thirties is not so bad. In fact it's probably yet another example of my cohort loyalty. No doubt many women, upon turning 31, flock to an activity that de-stresses, re-energizes, tones, and serves as a surrogate religion.
Right now I'm doing Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies. It's nice and slow and explains 12 common poses very thoroughly. It doesn't assume you know what the hell the "sit bones" are. Of course I had some trouble buying into the whole "For Dummies" thing, but it seemed to be highly recommended, and I'm reading the book too. Both products are good and I've made my peace with them.
I hope to someday soon get thru Total Yoga. Then I want to get into the lotus position and fly my magic carpet across the night sky....

You may not know me all that well, so let me spell it out for you: Much of what I say is sarcastic. (i.e. any "magic carpet" comments are delivered in a mocking, new-agey tone.

***
I should go do some reading now. I've been reading one book for ages, Nuala O'Faolain's "My Dream of You." It's quite good, but it's taking me forever; I bought it for my mom, then started reading it myself but didn't get it finished in time for her birthday. So now that I've gotten it back, I had to start over, find my place, etc...Anyway I first saw the author referenced by a journalist, who just adored her, and saw her as a bit of a kindred spirit. And now I can't escape the same comparisons. So, it seems, whenever I read Nuala O'Faolain, I'm thinking Christie Blatchford.
9:07:00 PM

Sunday, August 04, 2002

I have spent HOURS on the net looking at pictures of Asia; some of Vietnam, but mostly of India. I plan to visit Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and India with the Sweet One this coming spring. Some really great photos and Quick Time movies can be found at Fuzzmonster.
They give you a good feel for the place. And some amazing photography that's technically and spiritually wonderful is found here at this site.

It wasn't until very recently that I had no desire to see India. It's much like when I was in grade ten: Someone suggested we go to a performance at Jazz City in Edmonton. I replied, "oh, I hate jazz," in that way I had about me, and friends would laugh. I ended up really rather liking jazz, and I eventually saw McCoy Tyner at the same festival a few years later...I think when I've always said India really had no draw for me, it, like jazz, had not revealed itself yet. I didn't know anything about it. And now, the more I see, the more I'm attracted to it.

***
He's just an hour and a half south, but he called tonight. It seems like I haven't seen him in ages, but it's only been a couple of days. I feel differently about him. I'm attracted to him, but I respect him. I'm comfortable with him, but he excites me. It just feels adult and balanced. Maybe that seems boring. I think it is rare.

***
It's 11 o'clock at night, and the sky is orange. Like it's going to snow. And well, in fact, it did on Friday night. Two weeks ago I was complaining about the 30+ heat. Two days ago we broke the record low set in 1906--we hovered just above the freezing point, getting down to a low of point-six degrees.

9:58:00 PM

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Waking up anywhere in the neighbourhood of 5 am is a scary prospect. 5 am is a tough neighbourhood. The streets are deserted, strays wander unchecked, the light is low, and the bar-kids are coming down. For those who aren't waking up and heading to work, 5 am is really late. The liquor store's closed. The drugs are running out. And that guy you took home from the club isn't looking like such a good idea after all.


To say I don't like to roll out of bed at 5 am is putting it mildly. I am startled out of bed, with the fear of god gripping my heart, and the din of tinny country music blaring from the clock radio. Bed is far too sacred, and 5 am is ungodly.

***
After a night of fitful sleep invaded by the relentless shouting of the bar crowd, and the intermittent ROAR of street-racing oilpatch workers, I am out of commission by day's end. The whole waking-up-way-too-early thing, with little REM the night before, leaves me empty. I am totally useless, with the exception of being a fine newspaper-reader and couch-lounger, for the rest of the day.

***
Before I entered my late afternoon stupor, I visited with an old workplace mate. He came into town from BC and showed up at work the day before; we planned to have lunch the next day. He's in his 40s, with children, divorced, a salesman--I mention all of this only to illustrate we don't have a lot in common. But it was nice to sit down with someone, hear how they're doing while also getting a chance to re-state who you are as a person. I think it's only every so often you get some insight into how other people perceive you. I left today feeling like a grown-up, and someone who I rather quite liked.
10:27:00 PM

Friday, August 02, 2002

There is so very, very much I don't know.

I wish I could know even a handful of things, thoroughly. Instead, I'm left feeling that I operate in abject ignorance. I scan the web, looking for ideas on how to navigate the world of website and blog design, and with each new site I happen upon, I know there is so much I have to learn. It was not so long ago I did not know how to change the settings on my computer.

Com-puuu-ter. Say it slowly, girlie.

***If slowly is written above in italics, I know I learned something today.

***

There's something absolutely luxurious about having breakfast in a restaurant by yourself: Laying out the newspaper, drinking coffee, taking up a whole booth...It's as though I'm on a trip. There's also something comforting in knowing I can be alone in a restaurant without feeling self-conscious. I thought maybe because I'm 31 now it's a different experience; that I'm comfortable eating alone. But I think I've always been at ease with that. As long as I have something to read. And as long as there isn't some old man in a farmer's hat drinking coffee and staring at me incessantly. As long as that's not there. Please god, if I have nothing to do when I'm 80 but sit alone and watch everyone else, pay me a visit.

Then again, why is my position better? Because I'm on my own and reading the newspaper? That old Alberta farmer already had a 50-year head-start on me and those op-ed pages. He could have written the damn thing himself. I was, after all, reading the National Post.
8:48:00 PM

Thursday, August 01, 2002

I wonder if I'll have to defend myself to management.


I dropped off a news tip at work.(it was my day off.) Another media outlet in town has seen contract talks stall with their staff, and the union is filing a complaint with the labour relations board, charging the company is dealing in bad faith. It's obviously a fairly good story, particularly because a strike is imminent. Later, my colleague called me up questioning whether we should pursue it, as the company in question is an advertiser with us. OF COURSE we have to pursue it. Maybe I'm naive but I'd like to think we're an independent newsroom. No wonder the alternative press has concerns.

***
I spent a good part of my day assembling a piece of Ikea furniture while listening to the strokes.

It's not like I have to tell you I fit neatly into a certain demographic.

You can next catch me drinking a Smirnoff Ice, bathed in a blue-saturated and slightly metallic-color environment, wearing capris and jimmy choos while the camera works its frenetic ellipsis around me.

Just to keep the advertisers happy.

What's most unfortunate about being part of the demo is while I have an impressive collection of allen keys, I had to abandon this latest project as it called for an actual tool--a hammer--and I don't own one.

9:12:00 PM

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