Archive for the ‘Life on the road’ Category

The private radio experience

April 27, 2011

I drove to Seattle and back over Easter — great trip. Photos to come.

But when I was there, I did something I’ve not done in a very very very long time:

Listened to PRIVATE RADIO. *gasp!!

And it truly was an experience. I did a fair bit of driving when I was in Seattle itself, and didn’t change the station off of the one I first landed on when I got in the city. And they literally played the same 5 songs evey single hour. I couldn’t believe it. Now, granted it’s not like I’m up on what the cool kids listen to, so maybe it was a much needed pop-music crash course (and eye-opener — apparently Rihanna likes S&M??).

But this catchy little number has been in my head ever since. Don’t think I’ve heard it here in Canada — has anyone else caught it? Am I ahead of the trend now, or sadly behind?

Either way, you can’t beat masked monkeys and coordinated dance moves.


March 27, 2011

New favourite song: Wine Red – The Hush Sound

Stranded at the Tampa airport — well I guess I’m not stranded any more. I WAS stranded, now I’m just becoming way too familiar with their in-terminal concession stands and the duty-free.

Bought myself some espresso-flavoured vodka donchaknow. My doctor friend from Rankin Inlet had a bottle of it once. It tasted like happiness.

Speaking of coffee, but not of tastiness, the coffee at the “Quick Connection” might be the worst of all time. Not only does the coffee taste like toe jam but they don’t have real milk or cream so I had to use this pseudo-creamer that is just wretched.

So yes, I’m getting all-too familiar with the Tampa Bay airport. Missed my flight back to Canada this morning, but more or less through no fault of my own. Apparently a month ago they moved the flight from Tampa to Denver ahead 6 hours (from 13:15 to 08:30) and never notified me (or never notified the booking agency, who never notified me). And for some reason when I checked my flight status before leaving the condo this morning, it still said the plane was leaving in the afternoon. Anyways, I got to have a bit of a panic attack when I did the self-checkin and the computer said my flight had already departed. I’ve never missed a plane in my life (besides because of weather delays on earlier legs).

Anyways, so instead of getting home at midnight and having to go to work tomorrow, and then picking up the pup from the kennel (on the opposite side of the airport) after work, I get into Kelowna tomorrow mid-afternoon Mondaty, can then pick up the dog right away, and don’t have to go to work til Tuesday. Not ideal for the skeleton-crew staff that we’ll have at the bureau this week, but there’s not much I can do about it.

Also I decided to be a diva when I was in Florida and got my nails did. They are fancy, and I’ll admit, am having some difficulty typing with them. It’s mostly my right thumb which is normally King of the Space bar that’s irritating.

The romantic tree stump

February 5, 2011

I have this picture as the desktop background on my home computer these days, and I wanted to share it with y’all.

There’s something about the way the light is hitting that heart-shaped tree stump that is just magical. And I didn’t touch it in Photoshop, didn’t even crop it.

Kudos to my mom for pointing it out to me.What’s even more amazing is just a foot or so away, was another heart-shaped stump. But the photo didn’t turn out as well.

It was taken just before Christmas in PEI at the Christmas Tree farm where the fam has gone for the past number of years to pick out our tree. We bundle up in our wool coats and winter boots and stomp through the farm hunting for the perfect tree. There’s just something about doing it yourself, you know?

In Flanders Fields

November 11, 2010

In 2006 I somehow found myself living and working in Northern France, as a tour guide at Vimy Ridge and Beaumont Hamel. Most people know the story of Vimy Ridge, but Beaumont Hamel is lesser-known, and where I spent most of my time working.

It was then I started blogging. You can see that original blog here:

I did a lot of travelling when I was there. Including a trip up through the northern battlefields in France, up through Belgium, to Ypres and Flanders Fields. I don’t think I realized then how lucky I was to be doing what I was doing, and seeing what I was seeing.

And for those who haven’t or can’t… I want you to “see” too. So here’s some photos from my battlefield trip.


Flanders Fields — where John McRae wrote the poem.

Menin Gate, in  Ypres, Belgium.

Age Fourteen. Today we call that a child soldier.

We will remember.

Jackie, meet wagon. Wagon, Jackie

October 16, 2010

Right around Hell Week* and shortly after writing this post, I fell off the wagon. I was still totally 100% dedicated to the play (probably, this was the problem?) but suddenly had no time for running.

And being as I’m the most reluctant runner on the planet (seriously, I hate it, but I do it. Once I do it, I hate it a little bit less. That is until I reach the three-quarters point. Then I hate it again) I let it slide.

I let it slide for two weeks. Maybe three. Either way, I was annoyed at my lazy butt and sad that I had put in months of work, only to fall out of it all because I couldn’t find the time.

Saturday, my running buddy called me and insisted I go out with her and another woman Sunday morning. I don’t DO Sunday morning, and I had plans to be moping around the house all day because it was the day after the finale of the play and it was time for me to go in withdrawl.

But I felt guilty. So I went. I went thinking that I probably couldn’t do what they were doing** I stopped running at about 8 and 1, and the girls were keep on ‘keeping up’ with their 10 and 1s. There was no way I was going to be able to do that. You’d have to dangle a fry dipped in mayo in front of me the whole way for that to happen.

But as we got going — I couldn’t believe it, my body remembered endurance. I was able to do the 10 and 1s with little problem. It was like riding a bike (but easier — because I recently started riding my bike to work and it took more time for me to remember how that worked).

So there’s a lesson to be learned in all this, at least for me.

The hardest part of getting back on the wagon is deciding you want to get back on. It’s very very very easy to convince yourself that you can’t, or that you’ll get a splinter or something equally ridiculous (the wagon in my mind of course looks more like a wheel barrow than anything else). But once you start, it’s a helluva lot easier to do it than you think.

Mind over matter, right?

Listening to: Sarah Harmer – All of Our Names.

*Hell week is what us drama folks generally call the week leading up to the premiere of a show. It generally involves rehearsals every day of the week for hours on end. It’s when you either really bond with the people you are working with, or start to hate them. Luckily for me, it was the former.

** For those who care, the way the Running Room training programs go, is you start off small: 2 minutes walking, 1 minute running for 5 rotations. Then 1 and 1 for 10 rotations, 1 min walking, 2 min running and so on.

Moving, Touristing, Rafting

August 25, 2010
  • I’m moving! Yes, some of you know this, through my Twitter hints over the past couple of weeks. Most people hate moving, and I guess maybe I don’t actually love the physical moving process, but I do love the searching for a new apartment, falling in love with a new place and then spending the next number of days drawing up blueprints for the various room layouts and scanning for furniture ideas. I’m going from a 2-bedroom, 2 bath, sub-800 square foot apartment where the dog isn’t allowed to walk on the grass (or I’ll be fined) to a 1100 square foot, 1-bedroom basement apartment with a fenced yard and a landlord who loves Sully. Also? It’s a 30 minute walk to downtown and work. I’m so excited, and can start moving in on the 15th of September. I love the view here, it’s gorgeous living on a golf course overlooking the lake and the mountains, but this is what the pup and I NEED. And it’s cheaper 🙂
  • Did I mention the parental units are in town? I’ve had the past week off work (even though all hell seems to have broke loose since I left — I’m so irreplacable :P) and we’ve been doodling around, seeing the sights. I’ve not really done a whole lot of the tourist thing since I got here, I’ve been saving it up for when I’ve had company. Later today, we’re going to take part in Kelowna’s national passtime: floating. Aka, sitting in an inner tube as the water in the Penticton canal pushes you along.
  • The hardest decision I’ve had to make all week has been where Dad and I will go water rafting. Way back in the day, when the family made our first trip to BC when I was 16 or 17, we went rafting on the Nalahatch and had a killer time. I still wear the t-shirt that lists all the rapids we went through. I was looking at going with REO again this year, but I think it’s maybe a bit too far away. Most of the rafting is on the Thompson or Fraser rivers, easily a 3-4 hour drive from Kelowna. Apparently Lake Okanagan doesn’t have rapids, go figure. I think I’ve decided on one out of Lytton (Hyak, for those who care) but we’ll see.
  • In the middle of all this, I’m somehow trying to squeeze in (and failing) rehersals for an upcoming cabaret/musical show in Kelowna. I’m “just” working backstage — Assistant Stage Manager/Props, thankyouverymuch. It opens September 23rd, and we have shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday x2 (matinee and evening) and Sunday for three weeks. I think I’m going to need a vacation after all that, especially since I’m supposed to be moving in the middle of it. Yikes. Should have planned that one better…

Nasty-ass bruise

August 3, 2010

Tubing is fun.

Tubing down a little river in Oliver is LOTS of fun.

But when you are tubing in a little $7-wuss-tube from the dollar store, sometimes your bottom sticks out a bit more than it should.

And sometimes, you run into rocks.


I actually couldn’t sleep on my back that night because it was THAT painful.

Also? I’m a wuss.

But seriously. Rock+tailbone = sad Jackie.

Also of note in the above photo:
– I’m a lady, and did not moon the internets
– I had to go put pants on to take this photo. The original was just me in my skivvies and it looked like grandma-butt.
– You can see my race number from the one and only 5k I’ve ever participated in (note: I definitely walked half of it)

Also of note, not about the above photo:
– I have been way to serious on the blog lately. More random, less depressoid moping.

Dangerous jobs

August 2, 2010

I spent the second half of last week running around Kamloops.
I was called out at 530 Wednesday morning to cover this fire that broke out the night before near some houses in the north end of town…
Of course by the time I got there, things had gotten a lot less dramatic.
But it was only a matter of hours before another big one started — an hour northwards in Barriere. So off we (we being the pup and I, of course) to that one.
Sometimes I feel like a storm chaser with a microphone.

Eventually I was able to catch my breath, and got this really cool interview with the commander of the provincial air tanker’s fleet. He basically conducts all these heavy machinery zooming back and forth across the sky, frantically trying to dump water and flame retardant on any of the hundreds of new fires that started across the province this week.

The command centre they have set up there is just incredible. It looks like the NASA headquarters in Apollo 13. And they are so well organized, it’s frightening.

So I was heartbroken when I woke up this morning to read this story: Fire season in British Columbia is a difficult time.

And so dangerous, when you have a man, a veteran pilot like Tim Whiting crash… you know it’s got to be a rough ride.

What a blow.

Playing tourist

June 29, 2010

So my younger sister, Danielle is in town this week for a visit. I have the whole time off, thanks to some mega-overtime during the Oliver mudslides.

So I’m having my very first stay-cation. Originally, I thought we’d do more travelling through BC, but turns out she’s perfectly happy to see some of the sights in and around Kelowna.

So far, that’s been the beach… (she lives in Montreal, and doesn’t have much access to a good ole fashioned swimmin’ hole) I somehow managed to come down with a horrendous cold the first day she arrived, and was zero fun whatsoever. But we’ve been making up for lost time. Today we checked out Mission Hill winery, which has some spectacular views.

The bell tower at Mission Hill. I can see this from my balcony and hear it chime from inside my house on Sundays.

And Danielle’s quite taken with dear Sully — though, who are we kidding. He’s a charmer. She even wrote a song for him. It’s quite romantic. If you listen closely, you can hear my beautiful voice chiming in, in perfect harmony. The bathroom setting really enhanced our acoustics. Remember folks, this one is 100% copyrighted, and paid for in part by Avon.

And finally, a stroll around Shannon Lake with the pup produced this gem. I’ve never seen that mutt so happy. Also? We sure are purdy!

Digital and real-life connections

May 8, 2010

In January of last year, I went to Mexico for the very first time. It was a weird point in my life, I had spent Christmas away from home for the very first time and was going through some relationship things.

Bottom line is that I desperately needed to be away from Rankin. My darling mom recognized this and donated some Air Miles to my cause and I hastily booked a trip to Rincon de Guayabitos. No, I couldn’t say the name of the town when I booked it. I still can’t figure out if I’m saying “rincon” right.

I picked the resort in that little town* because I wanted something quiet. I needed reflection time, I needed me-time. I needed to live in my own brain for a bit.

So I got to my little resort on the ocean, and was probably the only “single” there. Yes, I was there by myself. I wanted to be. This wasn’t a big deal for me, I’m fairly independent… but was apparently a novel idea to everyone I met. They couldn’t believe I had come to Mexico by myself.

The flipside to that was everyone at the resort took me under their wing. I had the group of ladies I played Yahtzee and card games with in the Sports Bar. I had the two older, married men I walked with late at night and made wild and crazy scuba diving plans with (and never carried out). But most of all, I had this mother-daughter pair, Lorraine and Shannon who invited me to eat with them one night… and then every single night thereafter.

Each evening, we’d sit at the one a-la-carte restaurant, and put way too much thought into what we were going to have to eat. The servers would bring Lorraine and I glasses of mediocre wine. Shannon would joke that she was the only person on the resort NOT drinking — she was my age, but a couple months pregnant. Over the pick of the day we’d chat about the adventures we’d been up to. Me: rapelling down waterfalls. They: swimming with dolphins. Me: Whale watching on the Pacific. They: a culture tour through rural Mexico.

I spent a lot of time by myself on that trip, but at the same time I had this little network of people who checked in on me.  Shannon and Lorraine were at the centre of it.

We parted ways. I went back up to Rankin much more tanned, at peace and relaxed. They went north too… to Prince George. We did the Facebook-add thing, but (as most of us do) didn’t communicate in any way shape or form.

Then I moved to Kelowna and we’ve been back in contact. Not in any large way. A comment here, a “heard you on the radio there.” Shannon’s since had a baby girl. It’s still just me and the pup.

I’ve toyed with the idea of going to Prince George a couple times, we have a CBC bureau and I’m friends with some of the folks that work there. I’ve always wondered if it would be weird to contact Shannon for coffee (or whatever it is people with babies do… ). Facebook is strange that way. I have 300 “friends” who I broadcast my daily stream of consciousness to, but I know most of them only superficially.

Then yesterday, she mentioned Kelowna in an update, and I asked her if she was coming through town.This morning, not only did she say she was in town, but invited me to go on a wine tour with her and the family.

Yet again, this girl is looking out for me, taking me under her wing. Apprehensive-Jackie would waffle on this a bit, not wanting to intrude on a family thing and probably convince herself not to go. But I’m trying to get rid of that girl (or at least give her a punch in the face when she’s being annoying).

This online world is so strange sometimes. This afternoon I’m going to hang out with a girl I met a year and a half ago in Mexico, and her respective family. While I’ve had friends who I really genuinely KNOW who are full-aware that I live in Kelowna. They’ve visited Kelowna, and not made no effort to even contact me.

*and by “the” I MEAN “the” — it was the only one, and I now realize it was tiny! And by “little” town I MEAN “little” — about 5 thousand people — and it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page I can link you to.