Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Dayna: Ken, you better not hire a retard for a news reporter.
Ken: Well I hired Nick didnt I?
Dayna: Well Nick hasn't done anything to me to prove he's a retard.
Ken: Well he hates the Oilers.
Dayna: I said he wasn't a retard, I never said he wasnt stupid.

Monday, September 29, 2003

"There are a lot of natives here, but if a black person or somebody else comes to town its like, big news. This is about the whitest town in Canada." - Ken, my editor.

"First rule here - don't listen to anything anybody says." - Ken

Today was my first day of qausi-work. Really all it consisted of was frightening the community news reporter Kristy, getting a quick tour of the office, going for a beer with the editor and one of the receptionist who is actually the editor's fiancee. Then I quickly met the junior 'B' hockey coach before getting a whirlwind tour of Peace River. Tomorrow, Sunday, is another quick day of work - midget hockey game at 12:30 then write about it, and possibly a column - nothing major. Then Monday is a layout day - and the real reporting starts on Tuesday I suppose. Kristy, the community reporter, is leaving at the end of the week, leaving the community news to be covered by Ken and I, which I guess is okay, although I can't even remember the last time I wrote a hard news story - I guess I'll have to take the shrinkwrap off all those textbooks from Shawn Thompson's classes. Or maybe I'll just wing it.

Ken is a very cool guy - he's about 26 or 27, and likes Matthew Good, The Goonies, and Film Festival-type movies. And then there is Jessica, his fiancee, who is from the Lower Mainland, dislikes the cold as much as I do, and loves the Canucks. We'll get along just fine.

**edit: Day 2**

Today was monday, production day. And as such, there wasn't much for me to do. I finished up my first column - it was basically an intro-type column saying "Hello town, this is who I am." Not very exciting. Then I wrote a story (that my editor called "Wicked") about the midget AAA hockey game I went to on Sunday afternoon. At first, when I heard "midget game" i assumed it was just another crappy minor hockey game - but I was wrong. Midget AAA hockey in Alberta is big business - teams have fancy, glossy schedules, their own permanent dressing room in the rink, greyhound buses for roadtrips. Crazy stuff.

Everyone in the office is pretty nice, although they all gave me flak about the Canucks flag I pinned to my wall beside my desk.

"Canucks? What the hell is this? Welcome to Alberta!" - Deb, the publisher.

So that was basically my day. And in a few minutes I'm off to some tiny town called Weberville to take a quick grip-and-grin photo of some firefighters. Bo-ring.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

originally written on friday afternoon...

:: I, the suburbanite ::

I'm currently driving down highway 49, just inside Alberta, and not too far past Dawson Creek. I've got the laptop sitting on my lap. It won't be long now before we get to Peace River. I'm not sure what I think of the whole thing. Up until a few hours ago this little trip felt just like a vacation - but it's obviously not. I'm the only one not coming back. This part of the country seems nice enough - but it will take some getting used to. No mountains, no ocean, no big cities. It's just fields and yellow-leaved trees.

There are some people who classify themselves as country-folk. I count my grandpa among them - he's driving ahead of us right now and really seems to love this area - he wants to come back with his trailer and canoe. There are other people who are more big city folk - bright lights, big buildings, traffic. I don't count myself as one of these people. I love Vancouver but still could never see myself living right downtown. No, I decided somewhere along this trip, I am neither country nor city. I'm a surburbanite. And I love it. There are a lot of people I know, most actually, who's goal it is to get far away from whatever city or town it is that they currently are in. I never fully understood why that is, although I suppose the allure of a big exciting place like L.A, New York or London would draw more than a fair share of people to it. But as much as I'd one day like to visit far off places, I really have no desire to live there. Call me a simple guy if you want, call me afraid of change too if you feel like it, but I know what I like. And I'll probably spend the next few months or years trying to get back there.

But for now, it's off to the North on some great adventure of my own. It may not have the allure of an L.A, New York or London, but it'll have to do for now. Until I can get back to whatever city or town it is that I formerly was in.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

:: A Birthday, A Wedding and a Dicey Drive Home ::

"I'm the president of the Nick Fan club right now." - Spigs

I can't believe I survived the weekend. As with most weekends, this one started on Friday. And in true j-school fashion, it started early. We started drinking at around 4 o'clock and then headed to Montana's for dinner around 5 - there was nine of us - me, Melissa, Meghan, Mark, Silv, John, Nathan, Al and Tara.

Dinner was pretty good - and Melissa got to fulfill what must've been a lifelong dream of wearing a moose antler hat. She didn't look that impressed, but it was a damn classy look, I won't lie to ya.

After dinner we went back to Meghan and Melissa's and drank for awhile before hitting the bars - well, it turned out to be one bar because the damn River's lineup was incredibly huge and slow. And by slow I mean completely stopped.

Also, around the time of the bar hopping Mike showed up, fresh off a bus from Vancouver with nothing but the clothes on his back and a bottle of gin and O.J. Mike, I applaud your determination to come and drink - very impressive.

Over the course of the night, and the ensuing drive home I learned the following things:

1. Regardless of whether Mike is in town or far away, he still manages to be a pain in the ass.
2. Meghan is an excellent cake decorator
3. I am the greatest, quickest driver of highway #5 that ever lived (2hrs 29mins from Kamloops to Langley)
4. Thanks to Hunter's course planning, Melissa now has a 2 hour block everyday of "Fisting herself Home" whatever that means.

So Melissa's birthday was a good one, but I must admit, I didn't get as drunk there as I did at my cousin Tracy's wedding. Must have something to do with the open bar concept. Or maybe not, it's just a thought. The wedding was very nice, as weddings go. And the reception was great. Me,Chris and my cousin Jen's boyfriend Dave, and this other guy Daniel were enlisted to help my mom set up some decorations at the reception, which was no problem because it only took about 15 minutes. Then we spent the next hour and a half before the party started drinking beer on the balcony watching everyone get their pictures taken down below us.

Because of that, we were a few rounds ahead of the rest of the party-goers, and we continued that trend right until 1 o'clock, despite Dave's claims that he only had "Two drinks, thats it."

So now the bride and groom are off to California for two weeks, and I'm off now to watch football, as hungover as I am.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Further preparing for my move to Peace River, I bought a new computer today - a Compaq laptop. It's awesome. I got a huge discount on it because a friend of mine, Neil, is the assistant manager at Staples, where I bought it. It's even got this built in wireless internet connection thing in it so if I'm within 300 feet or so of any wireless internet connection, I'll connect to the 'net sans cords, wires or actually paying to connect. It's kinda cool.

Anyways, on a far less nerdish topic, this weekend is going to be one big party, with a short interval to go to church on saturday afternoon. And no, I won't be going to church on Saturday to repent for anything I may or may not do on Friday ;), although depending on how drunk I get, that may not be a bad idea. No, in fact, the church visit is for my cousin Tracy's wedding. Everyone in my family is pretty excited about it and happy for her, as they should be.

But before this whole wedding business there is birthday business. More specifically, Melissa's birthday. I'm going to Kamloops tomorrow, and I expect that Friday will be a shit show filled with drinking, partying and all forms of debauchery.

It's gonna be great.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Jeremy, determined to see what boobs look like in 51'' high defination...

Jeremy: Know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go home, turn on the giant 51" T.V and see if I can find any naked boobs. They'll look huge!
Me: Dude, it's Sunday night, you aren't going to find any porn.
Jeremy: Hey, I might find some. There's a good chance.
Me: What, you think there might be some leftover porn from Saturday night T.V that they just couldn't fit into the schedule so they just try and sneak it in on Sunday?
Jeremy: Yeah, it'll be on those TLC learning type channels and they'll try and disguise it as some kind of educational show.
Nick: Oh yeah, like "Trading Spaces.....and sex!!"
Jeremy: (laughing uncontrollably) Yeah, exactly!

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Well now that I have a job I decided to spend a bunch of my money. In the last few days I've bought Melissa's birthday present, a bunch of warmer clothes for up north, some beer, and a new video game for my PS2 - ESPN Hockey. It is absolutely sweet, once I got the hang of it. The best part of the game? There are classic teams, including...the 1994 Vancouver Canucks!!! It's one of the main reasons I bought the game, because in my opinion the '94 Canucks are the greatest team ever. Or at least the greatest Canucks' team ever.

So if anyone's looking for me I'll probably be parked in front of my playstation, scoring goals with Greg Adams, Geoff Courtnall and Murray Craven.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

:: Peace Out ::

"Well, welcome to Bowes, anything goes here.....you'll see." - Dustin, after I told him about the job.

After two days of thinking, I've decided to take the sports reporter job in Peace River, because, as my former j-school classmate and Omega editor Neal Pobran told me yesterday, "Just take the fucker. You aren't that talented so it's the best you're gonna get." Such heartfelt advice Neal, thanks.

News travels fast in the j-school program, which I suppose makes sense, and I've had many friends offer their advice, which I appreciated. There were people who told me to think hard about it and do what I feel is best for me (Melissa, Meghan), there were those who made fun of how far north, and in turn how cold, Peace River will be (Jeremy), there were those people who just told me to take the damn job (Silv, Shaun) and then there were certain people who threatened me with "merciless beatings and excessive gnomings" (Mike).

And judging by his silence on the matter, I can sort of tell there are those people who don't particularly want to see me go anywhere (Chris). And to be honest, I don't want to move either, but I'm not really in a position right now to be turning away jobs.

Also, as I was in the decision process I was reading this book called Moneyball. It's a book about professional baseball, but there was one paragraph I read last night that I applied to me:

"No matter how successful you are, change is always good. There can never be a status quo. When you have no money you can't afford long term solutions, only short term ones. You have to always be upgrading. Otherwise you're fucked."

I don't know that change is always good, but I have no money and no experience so I suppose I can classify this as a short-term solution. It sure as hell will not be a long term one. After all, I can't afford to be fucked.

But still, I can't shake the feeling that I shouldn't be going. I don't know why that is because I need a job. But when I had to make the call this morning, it took me like 20 minutes to pick up the phone. I guess time will tell. I start on Sept. 29.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

"If I curled my entire body into a ball it still wouldn't be as big as that guy's ass." - Doug.

It's been an eventful last couple of days and I don't really even know where to start. Saturday was Kyle's stag party, which was great - golfing, BBQ, then drinking. I had a killer headache and left by midnight, but it was fun nonetheless. Then I spent the rest of the weekend, plus today, at Doug's place watching football, playing video games and playing with his new dog, Jade.

So I've been busy this weekend. However, it hasn't all been good news. There were certain conflicts between people that I heard about which made me feel bad because I never like seeing people sad, angry, hurt or all three at once. It's just not cool. But I'm not there and it's really none of my business so I'll say no more on the subject except to say I hope eventually everything works itself out. But anyways....

This morning I got a job offer - In Peace River writing sports for the Record-Gazette. As happy as I am to finally have a job opportunity, it means moving away, so I'm still on the fence about it. I'll decide by thursday. It would be nice to finally have some money again, although in Peace River I can't imagine what I'd spend it on.

So that has been the last few days. Filled with ups, downs and indecision for a lot of people, not just myself. Here's hoping everyone makes the right choices.