Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sure you can ballroom dance, but can you YMCA?

One of my very best girlfriends made the trek out to visit me this weekend. I was extremely determined to show her/myself a good time. This was partly due to the fact that, you know, I like her, but also due to the fact that she can travel back to our hometown and spread the word about how fabulous visiting me is to help me lure more friends here to entertain me.

Not that this little community is really lacking in things to entertain me, as we discovered when I convinced her it would be just the cat's pyjammas to attend a big band dance in one of the nearby villages.

We spent a giddy evening flouncing around my apartment, transforming into vintage, 1940s versions of ourselves and drinking frozen fruit cocktails in preparation for the big night. We then took a $23 cab ride to the tiny Town Hall, where we were greeted at the door by raised eyebrows and the hesitant question, "Oh, did you ladies want to come into the dance?"
It didn't take long to understand the man's surprise as it was echoed on every face as we walked into the room full of senior citizens. We might as well have actually been cats in pyjammas.

We quickly realized that we were seriously out of our league as far as dancing goes. I guess when you've been dancing with the same man for 60 years, you're bound to pick up some moves. So we decided the best course of action would be to bop along with the music from the safety of our table. It probably would have been bad form to knock over someone's grandpa with our flailing limbs.

However, the band aparently had other plans for us. The conductor announced that for their next number, they would need some help from "the two young ladies." That's right, no further description was needed. And so it was that we found ourselves accompanied by an 18-piece band, doing our very best impression of The Village People and leading a town hall full of seniors in doing the YMCA.

It was ridiculous. And hilarious. And just exactly the kind of thing I should know enough to expect by now.

In any case, we were the toast of the town hall. I think our willingness to look exceedingly foolish convinced the dancers that we came in peace. At their insistance, we spent the rest of the evening bumbling our way around the dance floor, laughing our heads off while trying to avoid steamrolling some of the frailer-looking dancers.

We also made friends with an adorable couple who were both about 5 feet tall. We had watched them tear up the dancefloor with some extremely smooth moves, laughing and smiling all over the place. So it was a bit of a shock to see the gentleman using a cane to walk back from the bar. "You saw him dancing away out there. He just pretends to need that thing so he doesn't have to carry my drink." His wife informed us. Once we stopped giggling, she admitted that "He actually has two false knees, but he just bandages them up, drinks his whisky, and away we go." If the grin he gave me -which didn't stop even when his false teeth fell out- once they were back on the floor was any indication, these might be words to live by.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bears, and bears and bears, Oh my!

When word reached the newsroom last week that one or more bears had been sighted in the area, my reaction was not "Hmm, I guess they've come to eat some garbage." as most other people seem to have calmly deduced. Instead, I thought "Rats! They've found me at last."

I have had a paranoid fear of bears ever since I saw the movie The Edge when I was about 10. Obviously my fear is not completely irrational. I'm pretty sure that in a bear vs. Sarah throwdown, I'M the one getting my head swiped off and eaten.
However, having grown up in a relatively urban area, where the scariest animals I was likely to come across were really big ducks, I probably would have been better off worrying about the *eighty-four thousand tourists driving the wrong way up my street, than an errant bear.

Instead, I've spent valuable time worrying about things like birds flying into my face while I'm on a roller coaster (if it happened to Fabio, it could happen to me), getting trapped under ice (I have rarely, if ever been forced to skate around on icebergs), or, thanks to a tv show that shall remain nameless, dying alone in my apartment and having my cat eat my face.

The thing is, most of the bad, scary, or life-threatening things that have happened to me, I could never have dreamed up to be afraid of in the first place.

So I guess I can take comfort in the idea that as long as I continue to be afraid of bears, they probably won't show up on my porch with a Sarah-sized cake pan.

Plus I don't actually have a cat.

*An approximation based on gross exaggeration

The glamourous, glamourous

This week I chatted with an emmy award-winning director/producer for the show 24, attended an exclusive shoe sale and a meeting with local politicians.

One might assume that I am perhaps a politically-inclined celebrity. One would be wrong. Well, sort of.

I am, in fact, your friendly neighbourhood small-town reporter, which actually does come with a strange version of celebrity, especially in a town with a population of about 3000.

Today I found myself being whisked around a nearby golf course by a friendly and enthusiastic member of the local Lion's Club, who were hosting a fundraiser for the local hospital. Not for the first time since I began this, my first real journalism-type job, I wanted to laugh out loud at the places and situations I wind up in in the quest for the ever-elusive -and usually soft,- "news."

From the day I tiptoed into the time capsule of a newspaper office and was greeted by the editor's exclamation of "God you're skinny. Somebody needs to feed you a sandwich," I knew this was going to be what they call an experience. And so far, every day has lived up to that expectation.

Though it is at times frustrating and exhausting, there are several things that keep me from jumping in the Hot Pursuit (my grandparents named my car) and driving way the heck outta here.

I get to write every day. Sure, maybe it's about the new regulations being introduced regarding landscape ponds, but still.
I'm not stuck behind a desk -at least not all the time.
I work with people I genuinely like.
I have a licence to be nosy!
I get to meet all kinds of people and listen to their stories. Yes, some of them are crazy or mean and angry that we didn't publish their alien abduction story, but most of them are really happy to see me.

Plus, a lot of them really DO feed me sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


1. Cerebration is the act of thinking
2. Sarahbration is the act of ME thinking
3. ...or partying?...with my brain?