Dusting off the cobwebs

I’d like to apologize on behalf of the both of us treating this blog like an old VCR. That was certainly not our intention and it’s absolutely unfair to the family and friends who have been waiting to hear about things going on up here. We have uploaded lots of pictures in our absence so check them out if you haven’t already. There’s an unwritten blogging etiquette that is shown when you share a blog – at least with us. While Suzanne and I are super competitive with one another it also serves as a motivational tool for the other to write. Unfortunately we both hit the brick wall at the same time and have been stuck in writing limbo for this blog for some time now. I had agreed to let her write the wrap up for Toonik Tyme and Easter but it’s been on her drawing board for weeks now. I’m not trying to use her as an excuse or anything (yes I am…hehe) but I didn’t want to jump in front of her and start posting about stuff she’s drafting and force her to do even more rewriting.

Am I not the poster child of courtesy? ;p

So that’s what brings me to this dancing-around-the-past-month-faux-update-apology-post. Unlike our personal blogs where we have the propensity to rant, ramble and babble on a whim neither of us can bring ourselves to just do “random thought” posts here. It’s not our style. Who wants to hear Seinfeld-ish stories about daily activities? I know some could tolerate it but I know how I feel when I come across other people’s mindless daily dribble and I get turned off immediately. Who knows. I’m probably screaming hypocrisy right now by rambling on… but at least it has a point.

Sort of.

2 weeks from now will mark our 6th month up here (give or take a day or two). Time really has flashed by. I really hadn’t even contemplated it until Suzanne brought it up the other day. Doesn’t seem like that long but then again I’ve been away from family and friends most of my adult life so it’s an easy transition for me. I imagine it must be a totally different story for Suzanne. I know this is by far the longest she’s been without physical contact with her immediate family – ever. I can’t speak for her but she’s appears to be handling it well for the most part. Thank goodness for Skype.

We’ve found ourselves far more – what’s the term … oh yeah  socially active – up here than we ever were down south. Not that we were recluses or anything (well me maybe but not Suzanne) but we simply didn’t interact with people that much back in Kitchener. Sure we made the rounds, hung out when invited but I’ll be damned if I could remember the last time we hosted a get-together. If I recall correctly we invited our former landlord’s real estate agent over for a barbecue mean like 2 or 3 years ago. How pathetic is that? Not that he was bad company or anything. In fact he’s a great guy but it just went to show you that being socially active down there wasn’t high on the priority ladder.

Different story up here.

I’m totally out of my element. We’ve hosted more parties and pop-overs the past 6 months than we have collectively as a couple – and that’s spanning 13 some odd years. It’s weird for me with the whole “not liking people in general” chip I have on my shoulder but it’s very, very, very difficult to be anti-social in Iqaluit. It’s not as tiny as some of the other cities and communities up here but small enough where you can’t not know people. It happens. People will literally just start talking to you out of the blue as if you’ve been buddies for ages. It’s kinda cool actually. Yeah, I know, that’s a bombshell coming from I-hate-everyone Ian but it’s true. It takes the edge off knowing people are very forthcoming around here. I’m not trying to paint a picture of a happy elfy paradise where everyone gets along and we all dance around the boulder made of sweet sweet candy. No. There are douches and ***holes up here just like anywhere else. The difference is they tend to keep to themselves and don’t infect the rest of the community with their bad vibes.

We’re into some community organizations now. As mentioned before we’re both doing work with the Iqaluit Humane Society. I’ve even got a few shifts under my belt at the shelter now in addition to being in the final stages of building the website. I even managed to drag Suzanne down there and introduce her to some of the pups currently there. Needless to say she fell in love with a few (if not all) of them. We’re also hooked up with the Iqaluit Greenhouse Society. She’s even a member of the board with them. Yup. That’s how things work up here. Doesn’t matter if you’re here for 6 months or 6 years. If you are proactive there’s always a need and always opportunity. I won’t steal too much of her thunder there though. I’m sure she’ll want to delve a bit more into her new position in a later post.

They’re starting to play the “get off the stage music” for me so I guess I should wrap this up. It’s May 11th and we’ve had only 2 days where the temperature has been above 1c (but not higher than 3c). That’s not a bad thing. It beats the bone chilling cold that we endured over the latter half of the winter. Like I’ve said so many times before, the temperature is vastly different up here. I don’t know if it’s because we’re becoming acclimatized or what but -1 here feels like 10c down south. I went to the post office the other day with my spring jacket wide open, no gloves and a ball cap and felt overly warm. It was weird because snow flakes were dancing down at the time as well just adding to the puzzlement.  Regardless as beautiful as Iqaluit is in the winter and what I’ve heard it’s like in the summer what the brochures (are there brochures?) don’t tell you is what a sloppy mud bowl it is in the spring.

Should have listened to Missy and got rain boots…

Bye for now!


The Day Happy Ian Went Away

Yes it’s 3pm Saturday November 20th and I’m still blogging. I’m sitting here in the corner of our empty living room munching on a ham & cheese sammich that AC made for me, chugging down what’s more than likely one of the last pops I’ll be having in a long while – least till I find my hook up in Iqaluit. Yes I’m a popaholic and like any true addict I’ll find my fix one way or another up there. I’m looking at the few Rubbermaid bins laying around with various wares in them and am kinda taken aback at how easy the packing and moving went yesterday.

Wilke Movers Ltd came knocking on our door promptly at 8am. The three man crew of fellas (whose names I can’t quite remember) flew through our apartment in a flurry of packing paper and cardboard cartons. They were so bloody quick that for most of the morning Suzanne and I were on our toes trying to keep them from packing some things we wanted to have on hand away. They seemed somewhat unchallenged by the packing job put before them and often asked us several times if we were sure there wasn’t anything else they could bag and tag. Their zealous approach allowed them to have most of our life boxed up in about 3 hours. They finished early and bid us good luck up north. It was 11:45am and they said the movers probably be around at 12:30pm. We thought we’d have a little bit of time to do some last minute sorting but lo and behold, as the clock tolled 12pm the movers arrived full of life and ready to do some heavy lifting.

Once again we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off as the movers scurried in and out of our apartment like little worker ants. There were pleasantly thorough with their inventory cataloging and care for our stuff.  Poor Suzanne couldn’t witness the controlled chaos of the movers firsthand because she had to make a last minute dentist’s office visit. Let’s just say that she took longer getting her teeth worked over than it took for them to load the truck. Our modular existence made our move insanely quick. They were handing me the papers by 2pm. She returned home at around 3:30pm all drugged up and achy and we took the foot off the gas a bit and worked at a snail’s pace sorting the little amount of belongings we had left. We had an engagement set up for 8pm with some friends, but the stress of the day of moving caught up to us big time. Although running on little sleep and even less food we weren’t about to let our adoring friends down.

I have to admit. It wasn’t quite how I expected my last Friday night in Ontario to be. I feel rotten for being the crap on the shoe near the tail end of the evening, but as the night progressed (or devolved from my point of view) I slipped further and further into a grimy and unpolished mood. I certainly wasn’t my normal chipper self. You know how you sometimes have to put on the smile even when you’re really not in the mood to, just to not disturb the flow of the evening? Well my ability to do so came to a crashing stop at roughly 11:30pm. Having started the festivities at a bar… no correct that… a good ole boy watering hole I should have know a tailspin was imminent. It was apparently “hip hop night” in the redneck bar which I found to be painfully ironic. Even though it was deemed “hip hop night” I think I heard maybe 3 or 4 actual hip hip songs in the short time we were there. I suppose that was a blessing in disguise considering I’m one of those blasphemous black people who doesn’t care for hip hop all too much. Being the only person of color in there though (and an inescapable New Yorker for life) let’s just say my radar was on uber-sensitive. After witnessing some of KW’s drunken finest on the dance floor and mowing through a pretty sad batch of nachos, I was pleased to see another brutha show up. Unfortunately he didn’t seem too thrilled to be there either. The conversations at our table centered around work, the people at work and the experiences at work. The problem was I didn’t work there. These were my wife’s work friends so I was kind of in smile-and-nod mode while I nursed my Blue. Don’t get me wrong. I dig my wife’s work friends and love them to death but when they get into chatty-office-talk mode, I end up tuning out and drifting off into Ian’s make believe world.

Anyway, no one was really having a great time at the roadhouse so the entourage decided to pick up camp and move the party to another location. Word of advice for people out there who have friends who like karaoke. Do not go with the flow if that’s not your bag. They won’t take offense and you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of pain and torture in the process. I should have taken my own advice. Maybe it was the fact that I was over-tired or maybe I was just so desperate to hang out with them that I went along with the crowd like a silly little lemming. We ended up at yet another local dive called The Corner Pub. Yes… it’s actually on the corner of Charles street and Ottawa. I’ll openly admit it wasn’t nearly as bad as the other place. In fact it was quite cozy, welcoming and friendly. I’ve never been one for the bar scene anyway so I went in with a chip on my shoulder. Add to the fact that it was karaoke night, that spelled the untimely death of Happy Ian. Karaoke is Japanese for tone deaf. Did you know that? Despite some rather surprising performances by Jimmy and Laura, my night was spent listening to the unmerciful massacring of good songs by the locals. Once again work-talk followed us all the way from the roadhouse and continued at the Corner Pub. Jimmy, my only source of non-work related conversation, was too busy making new friends and showing off his vocal talents so I just sat there watching muted hockey on the big screen.

Did I ever mention how much I LOVE hockey?

Anyway the night pretty much ended with me throwing in the towel and heading back to AC’s house for the night with Suzanne. I felt bad being the stick in the mud but I was totally out of my element. I recall sitting there most of the night wondering what the cats were doing back at home. It’s sad that I probably would have had a better time in the empty apartment with the cats than I did at those lovely bars. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing though. It was great seeing everyone one last time and I wouldn’t trade that in for anything. I’m just sorry I was such a downer for most of the evening.

Oh well… guess I better get back to sorting again. Just wasted yet another hour proofreading the dang thing. ;p

The Great Sort

Anyone who’s moved at least once in their lifetime knows how much crap you can accumulate over the years. Our sentimentality makes us cling to objects as though they are our lifeline despite them having been buried away in a basement, closet or shed for ages. Why can’t we ever just throw or give anything away? I’ve moved around for most of my adult life so I’ve grown accustomed to the whole moving process. This latest venture to Nunavut is one that’s going to pose probably the biggest packing challenge ever. How does one consolidate a decade worth of clutter into one move with limited space?

Phase 1 – The Great Sort – Thankfully we don’t live in an incredibly large place right now. If we did I’d dread having to sort through all the madness we could have amassed. My plan of attack is to use the basement as the Grand Sorting Station. Since the cats don’t hang out down there anymore I can use the space to start my three sections – The Taking Now Section, the Public Storage Section and the It’s Gotta Go Section. Course I can guarantee that as soon as I start moving forward with any of that the Terrible Twosome will want to inspect every little thing that’s going on. I think we’ll be leaving quite a few things for the apartment. We’ve got a nice array of lawn care supplies as well as bathroom and kitchen equipment that would come in handy.  Our landlord rocks so I’m sure we can work out some kind of deal. We’ll be leaving the place in far better shape than when we came here, that’s for sure.

I haven’t quite decided on when I’m going to take a stab at the first motions of sorting, but I imagine it to be sometime in the afternoon. I have to get a foothold in before Hurricane Suzanne comes rolling through. I’m not saying she’s a messy sorter or anything but she has what I deemed as Dyslexic Cleaning Tendencies or DCT. People who suffer from this condition don’t clean in a logical order, for example room by room or section by section, but more rather will be in all places at any given time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s sense to the madness but her madness and my madness don’t match up well when it comes to that facet of our relationship so I just end up standing back and watching as the hurricane blows through then i resume my work.

…but then again I do have the latest episode of Ultimate Fighter PVR’d so I could very well become easily distracted….

Gotta loooove procrastination. 😉