Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Eye baggage.

0       0
U       U

A bus boarded at 0100hrs. Check. A seat shared from 0100hrs to 0400hrs with territorial and prissy lady. Check. Isle seat, AKA No-place-to-lean-except-on-prissy-lady-which-is-obviously-not-an-option seat. Check. Bus-passenger purge at booming metropolis of High Prairie. Check. Ahhhhhh, stretch. Check. Twelve subsequent hours of in-and-out dozing, with no concept of time or place or meaning of life. Check.

Oh, 301-3 Neville place, you never looked so good.
Welcome home. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Aurora Meets Flashlight

Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography

Also, sometimes you just need to scrawl. I decided to let my movement decide the meaning...a nimble interpretive dance routine with a flashlight resulted in what you see here... any interpretations?


Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography

Yes, it's true. Green skies do exist in Canada. Praise the Lord.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Standing O for TwentyTwelve

The end of the world is nigh. The earth's core will melt the earth's surface and cause the poles to relocate in a major surface shift...or so says a disheveled and psychopathic Woody Harrelson.

Just got home from seeing the best worst movie I've ever seen.  I loved it so much I hated it. I hated it so much I loved it. Poor John Cusack - having to work with that predictable drivel. At least he didn't have to hear the overkillickly dramatic soundtrack while filming - I would like to think, for his dignity's and reputation's sake, that that would have been the dealbreaker.

Why do people keep making these movies? Is it really what America really wants? Even though they have seen this movie time and time again...albeit with different names, different budgets, and different fame...do they really not cringe at every predictable plot line,  every one-liner, and ever ridiculously-and-totally-milked close-call death experience?

But the fact that I hated it so much, and that I couldn't keep myself from physical manifestations of the former, made me grateful, in some strange, alive kind of way. I left that theatre with a sense of ridiculousness, a sense of wasted time, but also a sense that there is some purpose in it all. I had so much emotion bottled up in me that I couldn't help but throw myself into a standing O position. Well, I couldn't help myself...but Meaghan could. She pinned me down as soon as she felt the strange energy emanating from the psycho beside her. I wanted to clap, but alas, my hands were tied up at the moment. Which was probably a good thing for the sake of my reputation in this teensy town  (not too teensy to have a teensy movie theatre, mind you).

2012, you make me crazy. Thank you.

And John Cusack, I will for your sake be open minded and forgiving. I'm sure you had your reasons.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shattering Cold

My lamp shade, made of fine asian plastic, shattered last night. Whoever thought it was a good idea to transport the poor thing when it's 49 below 0 should be kicked.    Ow.

Whodathunk. The most banal of activities becomes painstakingly difficult and time-consuming when it is nearly -50 degrees Celsius. Like getting a key in a lock. Like trying to jam the block heater's plug into the extension cord. Like just plain going outside.

It's all funny stuff in retrospect, but swear-worthy in the moment. Yesterday, I had a lot I wanted to get done. It was our Christmas party for the French association (my first real event), and I had plans to spend the day running errands, baking, and pulling stuff together to haul over to coffee shop where the event was to be held. I heard jokes being made on Rosie's alarm clock radio that morning about the cold. That should have been my first clue: when northerners start joking about the coldness of the cold, it must be pretty dang frosty. And when I looked outside, everything was covered in a haze of cold...not fog, not smoke, not frost... a haze of cold. Second foreboding clue. My third clue was much less a clue than a blatant affirmation of the statement: my car was toast. And when I say toast, I mean it in the exact opposite way the thermal qualities of toast implies: it was frozen solid.

I could try to blame its non-compliant state on the west-coast sissyism of a non-block-heater-equipped vehicle...but there was really no one to blame but me. I JUST had a block heater put in my car last week.  I was in denial. I refused to park in the parking space allotted to me, 301-3 Neville place, way at the back of our building... but furnished with electrical. Instead, I opted for a spot at the, I say this facetiously, much more convenient FRONT of the building, at which location which I had developed a naively autumnal habit of parking. ''One last time..'' I told myself thursday night as I parked. Famous last words.

So, she wouldn't go. My little Honda civic, that has driven across the country more than once, that has suffered weeks worth of Winnipeg winters, that has endured a good solid month of NWT winter, has decided that the -40's are the limit. No indication that -29 was even NEARING a problem. But give that girl a couple extra negative degrees and she is indignant. And any other day I could have done without her, but on this particular day, where a sound system needed to be picked up, where grocery runs for bags of flour and jugs of juice, where boxes of decorations needed to be hauled, I needed the ol' girl. As David Ives once said, it's all in the timing.

So I became a poor helpless southerner calling out for help from more seasoned northerners. I called my friend Jordan (who also, handily, happens to be somewhat of a caretaker for our building, since his parents own it) to come to my rescue. ''Jordan??'' I whined....''My car is frozen. What do I do now? I don't want to have to pay for a tow truck,...'' then sheepishly added ''...and I can't plug in because I didn't park near my plug last night.'' So the good lord Jordan and his friend Darcy came over and blessed me with 3 extension cords to run all the way from the back of the building to my car out front, where I made use of the precious block heater for the first time in my car's life. And 2 hours later, TA-DA! A started car.

The cold went from bad to worse yesterday. After I got my car started, Darcy and I were collecting the cables...the frozen 15-metre-pencils that stubbornly (and moments later, dangerously) refused to allow us to manipulate them in any way. As we were pulling one inside the building, it cracked in half and sent sparks flying everywhere. The bitter cold had frozen the plastic casing and the wires within, so that any attempt at folding or rolling up the cable would end up in a snap. Moral of the story: UNPLUG frozen cables before handling them.

So I went about my day, running my errands, everything requiring twice as much time as usual. Odd, because I myself did not feel all that cold. My body was handling the cold fine. But you know how when people make small talk about weather and say things like ''oh, but it's a dry cold'' or ''oh, that moisture chills right to the bone!''....I finally have experienced all of these classic colds, and can attest to their pertinence. It really is a dryer cold up here, so it doesn't feel nearly as bad in your nostrils or in your bones. That doesn't negate the fact that it still is REALLY cold, and everything else (besides your body) breaks down around you as a result. And holding your keys in an un-mittened hand for the 30 seconds it takes to open the outside door to your apartment can be a painful experience.

Also, did I mention that my car in now officially a clunker? As of yesterday, really, litterally, a clunker. It clunks. And shakes. The trunk refuses the latch, the doors refuse to close because the locks are jammed, and ice builds up like concrete in my wheel wells. It really, really, really does not like winter here.

As for me, I'm not clunking. I've still got a skip in my step. And I sure am a sight for sore eyes in my winter bundles.

Happy wintering folks.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Arctic Char

Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography

Arctic char available inside. Ask local mutt for details.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

snowshoes and moonlight

Oh, boy. Oh boy, oh boy oh boy.

We just got home from snowshoeing by moonlight. Really.  I put the word out yesterday that there was going to be a special meeting tonight at 9pm in the rec centre parking lot. Eleven friends came out, we piled into cars and drove to the shore of the Slave. We strapped on our snowshoes and away we went, our path lit only by the moon. I couldn't stop saying how incroyable it was. I've decided that you haven't lived if you haven't snowshoed by moonlight.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Midday Moon

Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography

Just to share a bit of my perspective with the world. 1pm on a saturday afternoon in Hay River.