Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday, May 31: Where has the month gone?

It seems like I just got back from Banff yesterday.

The best part of my day today was realizing that since I got the fancy schmancy new camera, I had COMPLETELY forgotten I took a bunch of footage with my poor neglected Flip, so I'm currently saving those onto the computer so I can (I assume) lol and feel sad all at once.

Today, there was talk of an amazing Eastern Canada meet-up of the martimes + Quebec. This may all be a pipe dream, but it would be great if I could take the little red hatchback to Montreal, picking up my fellow participants along the way. What a happy thought. It would be incredible to see other national parks!

I honed my pitches. I read them all over and over, reworked one completely after talking to a Plover Monitor, painstakingly researched and worded everything as carefully as I could. I'm presenting them to Mike tomorrow for the green light, I hope he thinks they're OK. He knows the main ideas anyways, I am hoping he might have some insight on how to make them even better. All I have left to do on them is work out a timeline that will probably change anyways.

I've been having a lot of trouble with my dead kitten lately. it's hair gets in the way all the time and ruins my shots, and I can never see the hair until I upload the video and see it on the monitor. It's frustrating. After work, I headed to Sober's music to see if they had a cheap alternative, and they did. They had foam ones that fit over very well. Tomorrow I will test it in the wind.

A dead kitten is a wind sock for a mic, in case anyone thought I was just a psycho. Honestly, it looks like I chopped off my sister's cat's tail and used it over top of my mic, so it's accurately named.

Photo of the day: an alive kitten imitating a dead kitten, and an actual dead kitten.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday, May 30: exhausted!

I did a lot today. I wish I knew more words for awesome, because it's becoming grossly overused in my vocabulary.

Instead of going through everything I've done today, I'd rather tell you all of the things that I was reminded that I loved today.

I love how my grandfather assumes that I forgot my collection money for church and hands me a toonie as soon as I sit in the pew beside him. And yes, I did forget it.

I love waking up and watching 4 blue herons fishing.

I love how my grandmother picks threads out of her scarf and piles them on my leg in the middle of a sermon.

I love homemade hashbrowns and could probably subsist on them until I died of scurvy (or whatever illness I would get from eating only potatoes and ketchup).

I love how my aunt works life lessons into seaglassing without even meaning to, "You can't find seaglass because you think you deserve it or ask for it, it's a gift from the sea and you have to be thankful for what you get".

I love calling my stepmom and telling her I'm coming for a visit, and by the time I get there, she's putting homemade cookies in the oven.

I love eating homemade cookies for supper while talking about nothing with her around the kitchen table.

I love when detours make us drive down red dirt roads.

I love the contrast of blues, greens and reds that happen here. I love every rock and every leaf.

Photos of the day: home. Seaglass. Family. Love.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday, May 29: Visiting!

This morning, my fiance and I headed to Souris for the weekend. It was gloriously sunny outside, and we always feel like days like today are wasted when you have a North facing apartment with no lawn. We arrived in Souris and I promptly picked up where I left off last Sunday with my on again, off again relationship with the yellow lawn chair. The wind was cool, but it was still beautiful. I continued to read Anne of Green Gables and just relax.

Today's tide was going to be low enough for seaglassing at around 3, so I headed up to my Aunt Cathy's house in East Point. We'd made a date to go seaglassing in her favorite spot on the phone yesterday, but of course forgot to factor in that we had not seen each other in some time and would of course require approximately 1.5 hours of catch-up conversation. This left no time for seaglassing. I wasn't disappointed; there are few things I enjoy more in life than comfortable furniture and comfortable conversation, and yes, that includes seaglassing.

Plus, we rescheduled for tomorrow anyways.

On the way home I stopped in to see my grandparents. Those two never cease to amaze me. My grandfather turned 85 this year and loved the Talking Carl app on my iPhone. My grandmother wouldn't ever tell her age ("real ladies don't tell their age, Marsha"), but she's got more of a social life than I do. They're a couple that I look up to, and look forward to turning into with my fiance.

Then I went back to my fiance's parent's house and stuffed my face full of barbeque.

I decided to drop by to see my aunt Donna, who was on her third rally at trying to get a wicker patio set together. I jumped in to help, and subsequently proved that sometimes, two brains aren't really any better than one. Let's just say that the patio set remains in pieces, and the term "some assembly required" can apparently be used very loosely.

Wedding stuff was decided! Wait, wrong blog, check out the other one if you're actually interested, link's to your left.

Photo of the day: Glorious sunlight and 2 redheads.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday, May 28: no time!

Today was so busy that I can't even recall most of it. You know, those blurred days.

Photo of the day: tonight! Blue steel!

The best rat impression:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday, May 27: Re-energized!

Today was a great day. Just one of those days that you look back on and smile.

My good day started with my computer arriving! Mike waited for me to set it up, and he was just as excited as I was.  It only came with one monitor, which killed our dream of the dual monitor set up, but who cares? The computer rocks. I was elated to get it up and running in my new temporary office area.

In the afternoon, the server went down for several hours. Of course, being the most prepared Parks Canada employee, I did NOT print off my word document of the agenda and questions I had written up for the meeting I was leading with students. However, the network Gods were smiling upon me today, and the server came back up with moments to spare.

I must say, the meeting with the students returned my lost energy. I left with so many new ideas and so much life. Even just being able to shoot the shit about what's going on in the park with people my own age was phenomenal! I can't wait to pitch my ideas. Thanks again, students of Dalvay/Cavendish/Greenwich/Ardgowan!

I drove home, listening to the radio, car dancing, and generally enjoying life. As if the day could get better, I got to skype with Heinz! It was amazing to be able to catch up (briefly... the skype Gods are not as kind as the network Gods) and to talk about the program again.  I miss everybody!

Now I'm going to take my happiness on the road and grab some food at the Olde Dub before trivia tonight.

Photo of the day: My new temporary office. Please notice the bright orange Parks Canada water bottle, my favorite colour. It was fate.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 26: Pant bras.

Horray for a round table discussion being finalized and happening tomorrow! Horray for peer support on what's interesting in the Prince Edward Island National Park and National Historic Sites! 

I drew up an agenda for the meeting tomorrow and worked out exactly what I wanted from the attendees. Of course, the highlight of my day was getting my PARKS CANADA UNIFORM. WOOOO. This uniform is amazing! 

The stiff cotton/polyester blend wards away stains - and boys! 
The high waisted pants virtually eliminates the need for a bra - just tuck the girls right into the waist band and away you go! 
The overall square design of the garments hide all of my curves - who wants that pressure! 

In all seriousness though, I was happy to get a uniform if only because, short of buying a whole new wardrobe, I didn't have any garments that could be worn both in office and in sand and forest. I was considering making the photo of the day my new uniform, but I'm not ready for that yet. 

After work, I headed to Future Shop where I bought a webcam. I've had my desktop computer for 5 months and haven't bought one, so I took the plunge today. It'll be much more convenient than always trying to take over my sister's laptop for skype purposes. 

I miss filming. I hope my camera gets fixed soon, I want to do early morning timelapses. 

Photo of the day: I caught my camera looking out the window in longing. He says that being hurt and stuck indoors doesn't effect him, but I know better. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday, May 25: Narwhals are real.

Warning: dramatic overuse of caps lock. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Since all I did today was research, which makes for (more) boring blogging, I thought I'd talk to you about the most interesting thing I stumbled upon today.
While getting slightly off-topic on the Parks Canada website, I found myself looking up parks in Nunavut. I was lazily browsing the info until I got to the list of animals that live in the areas. My eyes snapped open. My heart rate accelerated. Surely I was not seeing narwhals on this list, for they are not real.

Well, up until 10:20 this morning, I THOUGHT Narwhals were imaginary. IMAGINARY. Think about it. A WHALE. WITH A HORN. HA!

It's not a horn. It's an overgrown incisor tooth. I know this now.

Did ANYONE else think they were imaginary?

Photo of the day: Narwhal pictures taken off Google. Because I'M STILL NOT USED TO THIS NARWHAL BEING REAL THING YET.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, May 24: PLAY BALL!

It's that time of year again! BEER LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON!

We had the season opener today, and it felt so good to get back on the field. I made a mental note to fit in a few practices this week though. I was extremely rusty, which is a problem since I'm generally one of the worst players on the team. But for some reason today, I was on fire.

I caught my first flyball. I almost even meant to! To be perfectly honest, it wasn't exactly that close to me and my history of catching flyballs is weak. I ran towards it and didn't get under it quite in time, stuck out my glove, did something that could only be described as an ungraceful ballet move, and managed to catch the ball. I wasn't even looking at it. I beamed with pride and that euphoria of knowing I did well stuck with me for the rest of the game. It was the bottom of the 9th, and we were WAY behind. I was up to bat. If I struck out, we lost (which inevitably, at 1-11, we were gonna do anyways, but human instinct tells you to delay delay delay). I caught the corner of it, and made it to first base where I dared not venture further. After a few other teammates batted, I finished my run and my baseball game of awesome.

Sure, it doesn't sound like much to you, but it made me feel proud and tall.

After baseball, I had a much needed shower and hit up Boston Pizza and Iron Man 2 for my friends' birthday. In the movie, someone compared 2 people kissing to two seals fighting over a grape. I didn't get it, still don't get it, and will continue to not get it until someone explains this concept to me. Oh, my naivety.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, May 23: Seaglass and Sunburns.

This has to be one of the most relaxing days I've had in awhile. I'll give you the cliffnotes:

Up mid-morning, went straight to the beach. Seaglass hunting for 2.5 hours. GLORIOUS.
Lunch with the in-laws, then lounging around the yard all afternoon, playing catch and soaking up the sun (and getting a nice little sunburn on one side of my legs and my arms. I have to learn to rotate).
Going for ice cream with one of my favorite people.
Heading back to town in time to go to a surprise birthday party for 2 of my friends, where we ate bbq, drank wine and beer, played Things in a Box and laughed until my abs hurt.
Now I'm going to bed full, sun burnt and happy.

I was going to go into detail about my day but to be frank (not my camera), it's pretty late and these pictures speak for themselves anyways.

Photo(s) of the day: This is my day, my home. Be envious.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday, May 22: homeward bound.

I forgot that I don't work weekends to be able to blog about canada's greatest summer job. Poor you, you must now read the trials and tribulations of my boring existence. Or not, I suppose. You could always catch up on the Huffington post.

Today, I bought a new-to-me camera from a friend of mine. I've named it Frank. Let's hope it doesn't suffer the same fate as my last 3 cameras. It's strange, the very first digital camera I ever bought lasted me 3 years. The next lasted 3 months before I left it in a taxi in Gatineau. After that, my aunt Linda bought me one just before I moved to Banff, which was phenomenal. That ol' girl lived almost 7 months before falling out of the pocket of my bridesmaid dress in my haste because, to be honest, I forgot about it when I went to the bathroom (and maybe again later while dancing it took on a mind of it's own and flung itself across the dance floor. I guess that's one way of BREAK dancing). The last camera I owned was bought for me at Christmas by my father and I was elated when it lasted 9 months. That was the fall of 2009, and, aside from a video camera that had no photo function, I haven't owned one since. Wow. That's a lot of explaining for something relatively uninteresting.

After I picked up the camera, my fiancé and I headed to souris, where I helped his mom in the garden and visited old friends. After a baby threw up in my purse, I met up with my fiancé at the beach and he walked while I went hunting for seaglass. There were a few pieces, but nothing to write home about. The tide should be out again by mid morning, so I'm planning an ambush before lunch tomorrow. You will be mine, perfectly baubled blue and red seaglass. Now i'm retiring to bed with one Anne Shirley. That sounded dirtier than intended, I'm just reading the book. Guess my tiredness is showing through.

Photo of the day: today I learned that hot salt water used to boil lobsters actually kills grass. Go figure.

Location:Souris, PEI

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday, May 21: Online!

I was delighted when tech support in Halifax called me and fixed my account. I had almost 70 emails waiting for me! Exclamation mark!

The day was spent almost 100% indoors. It started off terribly with debit card malfunctions (you never know how much you rely on 'em for gas to get to work until they don't work), then I hit a BIRD on my way to Dalvay. A BIRD. I was heartbroken. Here is the list of animals* I've hit in my 9 years of (legally) driving a motor vehicle:

August 2002 - Frog. It made a terrible thudding sound.
September 2003 - Seagull. I got out of my car to see if it was ok, chased it a block, then it flew off.
December 2009 - Squirrel. ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
May 2010 - Bird. RIP little black bird.

The worst part about hitting the bird was that I drove around with it as my hood ornament all day until Jacob noticed it after I got home. Worst. Human. Ever.

Ok, let's move on to something happier. Tonight is Friday, which means it's trivia night at Hunter's Alehouse. Let me just get this out in the open: I'm actually a 70 year old trapped in a 24 year old's body. I go to trivia twice a week with 2 trivia teams. On Fridays, we wear the ugliest ties we can find and call ourselves 100% Silk. OK, maybe the dorkiest 70 year old in a 24 year old's body ever. Anyways, my photo of the day is going to be my sweet new tie! (Don't tell my teammates that it's actually 100% polyester)

It's a tie with a picture of a bulldog wearing a tie on it. Don't act like you're not impressed.

* I realize bugs are animals but let's be serious here, I could  never even count every bug I've hit, let alone remember them. I only remember the ones that make the biggest splatters.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday, May 20: Anneurism. (How many Anne puns can I have in one summer?)

I learned more about everybody's second favorite Island redhead today. I started the day at the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery. I'm extremely naive and know shockingly little about both the author and the story, so today was a wake up call.


Today's primary focus for me was to do some background research on the author of Anne of Green Gables. I met Vivian at her birthplace, and she walked me through the site. They still have 4 of Maud's scrapbooks on display! Also, when Maud got married, shoes didn't have a left or a right. For some reason, this fact stuck with me.

After the birthplace, I travelled to the foundation of where Maud was brought up after her mother died when she was 21 months old. It's located very close to Green Gables, and it's not hard to close your eyes and understand exactly where her inspiration came from. All you hear is birds. All you see is trees and fields, even today. The caretakers of the land did a fantastic job bringing it back to life with quote panels and a walking trail. The caretakers are distant cousins of Maud, and really appreciate the history and ancestry behind her.

I then walked to Green Gables yet again to make use of their extensive Lucy Maud Montgomery library. This time, they let me borrow Maud's autobiography, the Alpine path. I drove back to my cubicle in Dalvay and started reading. I'm almost done.

I picked up my very own copy of Anne of Green Gables. After 24 years of avoiding the book, I think I've grown to respect Maud enough to read it. Who knows? Maybe I'll love it.

But I still hate that Anne has red hair.

Photo of the day: A few! Green Gables, the walking path around the foundation, the quote boards, and Maud's houses' cellar.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 19: Anne-ified.

What a day.

This morning my alarm went off, but half-assedly. The actual  ENH ENH ENH ENH (pardon my terrible interpretation of the worst sound in the world) was so quiet I could barely hear it. My internal clock woke me up at 6:43 am, and good thing.

I got to work this morning and received a temporary computer! Unfortunately, I wasn't set up on the network yet so I couldn't use it, but A TEMPORARY COMPUTER! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be away to the races!

I drove to Cavendish today to do a little bit of Anne/Maud research. The lovely people who work at the LMMNHS showed me upstairs in the office, where they had tons of information about Lucy Maud Montgomery and Anne Shirley. I can quite honestly say that yes, I was an Anne hater. I haven't read the books, but the whole "coming from PEI and having red hair" thing was enough for almost everyone to call me Carrots or Anne. I was done with her before I even knew her. In fact, that's an idea for a pitch I'll be making. Hopefully they let me do it.

After reading some of Maud's old scrapbooks, I started to really get into her own personal story. The girl was asked to marry 12 times! I feel lucky that I was asked once, LMM was HOT! I found out a lot of interesting bits of info about her that I had no idea, and got very carried away with reading. I had to return the company car for 2, so I returned to Dalvay.

Much of the afternoon was spent trying to write a formal pitch for the Anne piece. Unfortunately, I was having an "I'll never pull any of this off, who were they kidding in hiring me" kind of day. I think that I really fed off the enthusiasm of my peers in Banff, and I've gotta keep reminding myself that I can do it on my own. I got what I call "cubicle head" (cabin fever, if you may) at around 3. One of the amazing aspects of having this job and working out in Dalvay is that I could leave the compound, walk 2 minutes and be at the beach. I took a little stroll, found a flat rock and tried to relax and let the ideas come to me. It did work, I calmed down and reminded myself that one afternoon of self doubt didn't mean anything.

Photo of the day: Me trying to fight my way through said self-doubt sitting in one of the more beautiful places on the whole island. If that doesn't inspire me, nothing will.

I finished work, grabbed a terrible meal at Pat and Willy's with Jacob, and came home. I am going to try out the waterproof camera case in the tub tonight to make sure it is actually waterproof. We don't need anything else going wrong with the camera.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday, May 18: Jimmy rigged.

I stand corrected.

It's not just a matter of a broken screw. The part where the screw screws into is bald (MAJORLY fighting off the "that's what she saids" right now), so I have 2 options: I can send it back to the manufacturer and wait for a new one to come in, or I can get one of the automotive guys in the compound at Dalvay to 'fix' it for me, which would void the warranty.

So, until then (and the photo of the day), JIMMY RIGGED TO THE MAX:

Other than that, the day was fantastic. Once I picked the supply cupboard clean of elastics and twine, Ben and I set out for Greenwich. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was 20 degrees. I had to pay 9 bucks for gas station kid's sun screen because I'm a redhead of the finest sort.

Today I learned the true value of the polarized lense. It was so bright in the sun with the reflection off the water and the white sand that the first 10 or so videos I took turned out over exposed to the max. I did the panic dance, calmed down, came to my senses, put the lense on and went "aaaahhhhhh". The shoot went great after that. We got back to Dalvay just in time for me to sit in on a conference call that I'm fairly sure was mainly meant for managers and supervisors.

They reiterated today that these videos should be fun and focussed towards our own age group, so I'm rethinking my pitches. I've been holding back, thinking too much like national geographic and not enough like myself. I've gotta realize that there's a reason why they hired me, and they probably want to see that part of me shine through.

That's it for today. I'm getting a temporary computer tomorrow. I'm hoping to finish a pitch in it's entirety. I hope they like it, it's a bit... ridiculous I think. And of course, I've worked cloning into the mix. Y'all just wait and see.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, May 17 - I broked it.

Yes, I broke my camera already. Well, technically, I broke the mic stand that connects the mic to my camera. Well, actually, it broke itself. Yes, it broke itself.

Don't look at me like that. Things can break themselves! It was a faulty screw!

Today, the morning was spent doing the panic dance over the broken mic stand. I met the student photographer, Ben, and we went for a drive this afternoon to Port La Joye, where I'll be doing a story on the archaeological dig of the Acadian site there in June! It was super windy and carrying my mic along with a camera and a tripod wasn't fairing out too well for pretty shots. Ben got some shots of me fake working though!

I found the same size screw for the mic stand at a hobby store, but they're too long. I'm going to have to see if I can jimmy rig it tomorrow so I can go to Greenwich! It's supposed to be a super fun awesometastic day tomorrow, and I don't want to waste a minute of it indoors if I don't have to.

I'm also going to take a picture every single day. Unfortunately, I thought of that TONIGHT and it's after 10, so here's a picture of a dog looking very pleased with his birthday cake.


Sunday, May 16, 2010


Will my iPhone work as my blogging tool in the field this summer? This test will determine.


So, this one time I lived in Banff. During my 4 or so months of awesome, I started a blog and blogged daily about my experiences, what I had for breakfast, the important stuff. This blog was awesome for the entire 6 days that I actually did it. Looking back and re-reading, it was an amazing time in my life, and I revisit those 6 entries over and over.

I thought to myself, why not start one for what is most definitely the coolest summer of my life? This is Canada's Greatest Summer Blog; Marsha Robertson's chapter.