Friday, January 29, 2010

In other news...

It's time for the latest report from my favourite small-town animal control officer. I think this might be even better than last month's. As usual, he kept it short and sweet, with no unnecessary (or possibly necessary) details.

-2 dogs taken to the vets
-Had a meeting with the OPP about two situations
-Dog bit a woman and was put under quarantine
- I received a call from the OPP on Christmas day. I spoke with a woman about a milk snake that was in her kitchen. I told her there could be more in her home. (Milk snakes are not poisonous). I tried to contact her later, however, there was no answer.

I'm picturing a far side comic with the woman held captive, perhaps tied to her Christmas tree, by milk snake bandits while her phone rings in the background.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Necessity is the mother of adorable headbands

One of the downsides of this small town reporter gig is the distinct lack of ready made entertainment available.

After spending much of last year eating my boredom while working my way through all ten seasons of Friends on DVD about four times, I decided this year I should really develop some new hobbies.

So, this year one of the things that's kept me from going stark raving through the rural winter months is crocheting. That's right. Your grandmother and I could totally be BFF.

After giving myself a refresher course via the internet, I began churning out hats like nobody's business. So many hats in fact, that at one point Sparta accused me of having a secret hat sweatshop somewhere in the apartment. Clearly he missed the memo about it being nobody's business.

In any case, he gave up on the wild accusations after I gave him a hat of his own.

So, now that I have acquired an army of toques, beanies, berets etc. I've moved on to hair accessories.

I whipped this bad boy up after checking out the amazing creations from the talented young lady over at the aptly titled Creative Yarn

I didn't exactly follow her pattern but I love how it turned out. In fact, I am considering wearing it to tomorrow's Reading Rainbow adventure, if only to use as a distracting conversation piece should the children start booing after I read a sentence or two.

Brilliant, no?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just a girl who can't say no

I have done something stupid.

Last week, while at work I got a call from a teacher at one of the local elementary schools asking if we could come out and take some photos on family literacy day.

No problem.

Oh, and would the editor or reporter also be willing to read something to the kids?

Ever unable to say no to children, (even indirectly, apparently) I said, "Sure!"

How could I not support literacy day?


It's not like I've never read to a child before. During my babysitting heyday I knew all the words to Goodnight Moon, Mighty Machines and several other fascinating pieces of literature.

However, my audience was confined to between one and three tiny critics, whom I could ship off to bed if they weren't enthralled with my choice of reading material.

Recently, the only little ones I interact with are small enough that they are equally, if not more interested when I pretend to chomp their ears off than if I were to attempt to read them a story.

Monday morning, not only will I be reading to a group of Grade 1 and 2 students, because I was so damn cheerful about the whole thing on the phone, when that horror is through and they've finished throwing rocks at me or whatever, I'll also get to do the whole thing again with a group of Grade 3 and 4 kiddos, and of course, their teachers. In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess.


Anyway, what's done is done and it wouldn't be fair to back out now. The problem is, while I have gazillions of favourite books from when I was little, I can't for the life of me figure out at what age I loved them.

I was hoping to read something short and sweet, with lots of distracting pictures, like The Lucky Old Woman or The Lorax or something (except The Lorax makes me cry, so that might be a no go) but aren't Grade 1 and 2 kids already kind of beyond that?

So, my dears, this is where you come in.

Know any reading-inclined 7-year-olds? Remember being a 7-year-old who liked books?

Leave an awesome recommendation and help save me from the eternal shame nightmare of being booed by elementary school kids.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In other news...

Sadly, our little town lost some lovely buildings and vital services this week.

It was strange to stand there, out in front of the crowd, snapping away from my spot in the no-man's land between the firefighters, doing their best to keep the destruction from spreading and the people watching from the cordoned off sidewalk, some of them still in their PJs from a swift and unexpected evacuation.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What dreams may come

Image from
(apparently these babies are for sale)

In a bit of a take off of my fairly common stressful dreams about spitting broken teeth into my hands (after all that money spent on orthodontia, I suppose I should classify them as nightmares, really) two nights ago I had a dream that i was growing a second row of teeth in my upper gums just behind my regular teeth. You know, like a shark.

Last night I had a dream that I was losing my hair.

Today, I had an assignment where I photographed a bunch of senior high school students. After a couple of shots, one of them realized he was holding his water bottle the wrong way.

Naturally, my response was to exclaim "Fail!" and continue taking pictures.

This got a big laugh from the group, which made my day for all of three seconds before one of the smile line-free twerps chuckled,

"haha. That's awesome! I've never heard an adult use that expression."

My urge to protest, "We're practically the same age! I JUST graduated from high school myself!" or "Shut up! I'm eternally youthful, current and hip!" died before the words made it past my lips when I realized, that is no longer an entirely accurate statement, and that for all intents and purposes, it is not unreasonable for someone to refer to me as a grown-up.

Maybe this guy just put plainly what my dreams have been trying to remind me. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

Either way, I'm totally photoshopping that kid some extra acne come production day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sense and Sensibilities

A couple of days ago, Sparta was skimming facebook when he came across a rather cryptic status update from one of his contacts that read simply: "grief." She had also posted a photo of one of Sparta's friends from university as her profile picture.

After making several phone calls and urgently searching the internet for any clues as to what this could mean, Sparta discovered that his friend had indeed passed away.

Obviously there is no easy way to hear news like that and I know I've appreciated the convenience of having details of the time and place of a memorial service included on a separate page dedicated to the person.

However, I'll admit I can't help but cringe a little when news of someone's death or how a person feels about that death is delivered via the same 140 character box from whence 20 minutes later will be broadcast the details of said boadcaster's hangover, their love for kittens or OMG how they are totes bloated and gross from too many cheetos.

I know it's unfair for me to judge people for expressing their devastation when, where or however they see fit, and I guess it's funny that this kind of thing bothers me more than the photos of acquaintances in various states of undress, intoxication or borderline illegal activity which most of us are desensitized to at this point.

But even though I'm clearly having a hard time pinpointing exactly what bothers me about the subject, it undeniably makes my admittedly delicate sensibilities grumble.

I think what really got me about this particular case was the vague reference leaving other people confused and worried.

I have several contacts whose status updates I can't stand to read because so many of them often similarly leave some vague message or emotion which they are clearly hoping to be questioned about.

Feel free to tell me if I'm being old fashioned or ridiculous, and believe me, I do realize this viewpoint might be completely hypocritical coming from someone who writes down her feelings in a blog, no less, but I can't be the only one who feels a little, I don't know, squidgy? about this kind of thing, can I? Maybe I just need to be a little less judgmental.

What say you, blogfriends? Am I crazy, or does this leave anyone else with a bad taste?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope you are all cozy and happy and safe and have enjoyed a lovely holiday season.

As for myself, rest assured that I am currently occupied by eating leftover Christmas baking and playing in the snow, happy (and fat) as a backyard squirrel, and will be back to blogging in no time!

Seriously. The resemblance is striking.