Archive for the ‘Life @ work’ Category

How my blog got me a job

July 26, 2011

Well maybe.

The jury is still out on that one, but it most definitely ‘groomed’ me for my new job.

As of next month, I’m going to be a ‘digital reporter/editor’. Whatever that truly means is beyond me, but what it seems to mean, in part, is I will be managing our local CBC website.

And guess what, it uses a blogging platform.

So somehow, in the strange world of the web, blogging (albiet not very regularly at times) over the past 5 years has put me in the perfect position to take this on.

Our website has been ‘live’ for 1 day and it already looks better than the ones being done out of Vancouver. Maybe that’s cocky, but it’s the truth.



Pictures, people. Pictures make the difference.



The photo and the kiss seen ’round the world

June 16, 2011

What does this say about our culture right now?

Some argue this was egged on by social media. But then look at the story’s dissemination! The beast feeds itself. The whole event is surreal. Surreal enough to be one of those things that becomes historic.

Over a game.

What in the world do people think they have to be angry at? All this was so unnecessary. I’d have rathered if they just lost in Boston in Game 5. At least then maybe people wouldn’t have been so revved up. So prepared.

I have friends and colleagues who were attacked in the riots. One went out basically to “watch the back” of another, who was working solo in some very hostile crowds. They had a skateboard swung at them. Because they were media.

I read earlier today that a police officer was slugged in the head with a brick. Needed 14 stitches.

And then there’s this:

I find it terrifying people get to this point.

Today my job was fascinating

May 5, 2011

Link to story.

It’s sad this fellow died, but it was incredible to watch dive crews figure out where he and his car were located and how they retrieved it. Also — bigger issues at play here. This is a highly dangerous area. More to come tomorrow.

A flair for the dramatic

March 29, 2011

Here’s the problem with my job:

I’m paid to be enterprising and creative. And that can be very stressful.

There are days — like when I am just coming back from a week and a half vacation — when I really really wish I had a job where things were dropped on my desk, and my role was to complete the task.

The funny thing is, I don’t even mean I wish I had a clerical or secretarial gig. There are tons of reporters who have exactly that kind of job. Whose daily assignments are doled out to them and they “just” have to track down the story and write it up. But because I work in a “bureau” (a decentralized branch of the MotherCorp) it’s my responsibility to dig up the stories, represent the region to the province.

And that’s a huge order. One that made me wake up at 630 this morning (instead of — gasp — 6:55) in a panic that I would fail. That for some reason, I wouldn’t be able to come up with stories for the entire day, and of course, the entire week (because as one of my ex’s said recently: I’ve “always had a flair for the dramatic”).

The irony of course it that I’m generally pretty good at my job. My all-consuming fear of disappointing others (and failure) generally pushes me to excel.

But I can’t help but wish sometimes stories would just drop on my desk, and I could run out like the good like reporter-squirrel I am and gather my nut-sources and then put them all together in a relatively coherent manner.

At least then maybe I could sleep in that extra 20 minutes.

2010 was…

December 29, 2010
  • Heartbreaking. A dear friend of mine killed himself, and his memory still haunts me. There are days that go by that I don’t think of Paul. But rarely a full week. His death broke my friends. His death changed me. His death colours so much of the lens through which I look at the north. Nothing will ever be the same.
  • A rebirth. I finally started to take back my self. Unwrap the things I’d tucked away and put on hold. I rediscovered my passions.
  • Lonely. For months I sat alone in my apartment. Scared of taking the first step in a new place. The first step is always the hardest. Once you put one foot in front of the other, you have to propel forward. That momentum is key.
  • Breaking new ground. I became a runner. For two seasons, at least. I broke the mold I never thought I could change. I went from struggling to run two minutes at a time to running 7 miles – 11 KILOMETERS – in one morning.
  • Discouraging. While I’ve never defined myself by the people I date, 2010 was noticeably void of any sort of romance. I got used to the dull feeling of being void of feeling. I got a glimpse of it once, but it flickered out before I could get a good look.
  • A springboard. 2010 was a year when I had to set my own rules and decide who and what I want to be. I hope I’m heading down the right path.

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.

The fellow I interviewed today

June 23, 2010

Isn’t he cute?

His name is Pete.

You know, it wasn’t exactly a hard-hitting news story…. but it was kind of fun to do something that wasn’t all death and destruction.

What people don’t know about news ‘stars’

March 9, 2010

Because, you know, if you want to know you might as well KNOW from one of them — first hand.

I’m very famous and well respected you know.

Yes, yes. I’m hilarious.

So here’s the thing people don’t know about radio and tv “news stars” — and by that I mean the celebro-journalists. Get in close, cuz I’m going to whisper and only say it once.

They. Sit. With. The. Rest. Of. Us.

When people come into our office they are always shocked to find the person who greeted him at the door has a 50-50 per cent chance of being our morning show host. And there’s a 1 in 4 chance she’ll pick up the phone if you call.

And when I was in Vancouver at the end of last week, I walked by Ian Hanomansing’s desk several times a day en route to the CBC boardroom. (Sidenote: one of my various childhood/adolescent ‘claims to fame’ was that my mom went to school with him. Now I can technically call him a ‘colleague’ — weird world)

As I was driving today, it struck me how incredibly democratic that is. How nice it is they aren’t sequestered in fancy corner offices (no, that’s for managers).

Now you’re cookin’

February 24, 2010

I’m trying to be budget-conscious these days, trying to reduce the amount of food I throw out, and the number of times a week I go out to eat.

This isn’t normally a problem for me. While I’m far from a picky eater, given the choice between restaurant food and a home-cooked meal, most days I’ll pick the home cooked meal — even if I have to cook it myself.

What’s tricky THESE days is avoiding the “at work grab something for lunch” habit. It’s a hard habit to break. Less because I genuinely want to eat out, but moreso because oftentimes going to get food is the only break I get in a day. The only fresh air I get between 9-5. The only non-news part of my day.

It doesn’t help that there’s a lot of great little lunch places just a five minute walk from the office. Delicous Vietnamese vegetable rolls and soups. Amazing Thai curries (yellow AND green). Sushi. An artisan bread and sandwich shop. Mmm. Just typing it out makes me want to dash down and grab myself a bite.

So the only solution to this problem is to pack a lunch that simply can’t be beat. My latest favourite is Curried Carrot Soup. I actually used to HATE soups — I couldn’t understand why anyone would ever want to eat liquidized food (unless you’d recently gotten your wisdom teeth removed. And even THEN I insisted on mashed potatoes and carrots rather than any kind of soupy concoction). Turns out it’s not soup I don’t like. It’s canned/powdered soup I don’t care for.

Home made soup? Now that’s a whole ‘nother world o’ lunch material.

So without further ado, I give you Curried Carrot Soup. For those who are nervous of spice, I might reduce the amount of curry powder to 1 tsp and use a tad less fresh ground pepper. I didn’t find it spicy per se, but I could see how others might.


6 carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about half a 2lb bag)
1 lg potato peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1.5 tsp curry powder
1.5 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (freshly ground)

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, curry powder, salt, pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft (5 min)
Add broth, carrots, potato, and 1.5 cups water.
Boil and simmer until carrots are tender (20 min)
In a blender, puree all but 1/2 cup of veggies until smooth
Add veggies  and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and/or cilantrio if available.

Unwanted gift

February 17, 2010

Back in Rankin, I used to check the mail twice a day, most days. It was tradition, and precisely timed to coincide with the latest mail shipment (coming either north from Winnipeg or east from Yellowknife). Sometimes, I made arrangements with friends to get the mail at the same time. So we’d meet at the post office, and hopefully have to spend 15 minutes there, standing in line parcel-slip in hand.

And when I didn’t want to go in, I could just call down to Hannah (the charming postie with the only kiwi accent in town) and ask if anything arrived for me. She would know most times without even checking the system. She’d remember if she saw my name on a package.

That’s not the case anymore. My mailbox sits downstairs, but I maybe only get around to checking it every couple of days. Though I’ve been trying to get better at that.

Today, I got a letter from CBC. It was from the Pension centre. We get little notes about our balances etc. every couple of months. I normally don’t even look at the total, I just shred them when I see what it is.

It’s a good thing I didn’t this time.

This is NOT a good thing.

This is too much temptation. I’d LOVE to deposit this cheque. But I shouldn’t. I can’t! It was sent in error, they were supposed to hold on to the pension money for six months and then if I hadn’t been re-hired by then, they’d pay it out in the manner of my choice.

Now I have to go straighten this out. Because I know it’s in my best interest to have that money sitting in a pension somewhere. I know that every day when I walk down the street and see all these retired folks doing silly retiree things. I know it when I hear my coworkers talk about itching for early retirement.

But really? It’s hard to think that practically. I’m 24. I’d love to just keep it.