Friday, July 25, 2008

Target Women

From now on, when I see a yogurt, botox or wedding show commercial, I will no longer have the urge to hurl the offending television violently into the street. Not because any of the ads have miraculously improved, but because of my recent discovery of Sarah Haskins.

She oh-so-cleverly skewers these and other insipid/offensive ads and products targetted to women in a segment on infomania. And she's hilarious. So now all I have to do is run her commentary in my head over the ads, and voila! Comedy gold!

You should watch her.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It's fairly safe to assume that your day might be out of the ordinary when the first thing you hear upon arriving at work is, "Want to go check out some crop circles?"

"ha ha... What?"

The two bonafide local women I work with assured me that, no doubt it was some damage inflicted by the previous night's impressive storm. Not one to miss a chance to leave the office (unless it's to chase the firetrucks), I said I'd check it out to be sure.

I found the spot fairly easily as a family pulled over just ahead of me and the damage was quite close to the road. I followed the family of neighbours out into the wheat field.
I found myself standing in a very large, very perfect circle. Ahead of me, the others were quietly wandering through four other very perfect circles that decsended in size and were connected by evenly spaced pathways.

It was weird.

I phoned in to the office to see if there was some way we could get an arial shot of the formations but was told that one of our sister papers had heard about the circles too and would be sending one of their reporters up in an airplane. I was kind of disappointed, but figured I'd do the best to get some good shots of my own, including flagging down a guy in a Bell Mobility truck and asking if I could go up in the truck's bucket extender thingy (he said no, but did take my camera up himself and let me clamber on top of the truck to take some shots of my own).

After I chatted with various neighbours and friends, and the family who own the farm and heard a variety of theories as to how the circles could have materialized between 2:30 and 7:30 that morning, I headed back to the office.
It turned out that while I was gone, the others had been busy making some calls just in case there was anyone willing to take me up in an airplane to get some shots in exchange for the chance to sit next to, at this point, a very giddy, hungry and slightly sun burnt reporter. Lo and behold, there was. I was out the door so fast that my editor was sitting there choking on dust and wheat particles before he could tell me I didn't need to meet the guy for another half hour.

By 3:30, my camera and I were packed into a tiny little plane with my new best friend, a.k.a. local man with a plane. After he'd indulged me in flying over the crop circles umpteen times so I could get a good shot, he said "OK, what else would you like to see?"

I really hadn't thought past the wheat field myself. So off we flew towards the lake and along the coastline. It was so strange to look down at places I drive by all the time and have a completely different perspective. I didn't realize the water was SO blue or that the fields were such precise squares. Just as I started to relax and enjoy the view sans camera and the fact that, to my surprise, I didn't feel nearly as claustrophobic or just plain terrified as I would have assumed, the pilot leaned over and explained how the steering and foot pedals worked. Then said "Ok, now you can fly her."

"ha ha... what?"

So I did.

That evening I covered a local rummage sale. Although weird and hilarious in its own way, it was kind of anticlimactic.