Thursday, November 27, 2008

ah ha! the path to success!

There it is! Now to just calmly walk down this quaint path and I'll be well on my way to becoming a fully responsible adult! *slips on ice* whoaaaa whoaaaa ahhhhhhh! *twists maniacally from side to side in futile attempt to save self* UGH! *eventually falls and knocks self out on ice*

...ta da!

So that's basically what my life as of late has been. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as I don't want you getting the impression that this will be another negative Ned (Alex) ranting post. I swear I'm generally a pretty positive guy! But it is more fun to rant than it is to gloat.

right right, so, moving onto the meat:

More so than I think I have ever been in my life, I'm attempting to be involved and active, not only from a fitness standpoint but also in the community. As I have mentioned previously, I've been coaching the high school boys basketball team, which is going great, minus the fact that I now make it seem like a good thing when we have 6 guys show up (6 is better than 3!). In addition to the 2 practices a week, a bunch of us also scrimmage another 2 times a week. I still hit the weight room 3 or 4 times a week, and then I've been trying a couple of new things the last couple of weeks. I went to volleyball on Monday, which, despite my loathing of all things volleyball in high school, was actually pretty fun. Last week a judo club also started in Simpson, so I tried that out Saturday morning. That was also kinda fun.

"Yo fool, what about your dog? Where does she fit in all this?"

I'm getting there! geez....

There has been a bit of a snowshoevolution in the last couple of weeks in Fort Simps-*record needle scratch*

hooooooooooooold up! Snowshoevolution?? You gotta be kidding me man. That's the last straw, I was only reading this blog of yours to be nice, and to be really honest with you, I really only ever enjoyed the times when you talked about your dog...but seriously, that was straight up lame, I'm outta here!

hmm....point taken. Sorry everyone, I'll try and keep the Alexisms to a minimum from here on in...
okay okay, so as of late there has been a bit of a renaissance of snowshoeing (suck on that diction!) on the island, and a group of us have been going snowshoeing at least a few times a week right after work or on the weekends. I love it! At the risk of sounding slightly geeky (and incriminating the people who I snowshoe with) most of us have purchased headlamps to make it possible to trek around despite the lack of daylight.

So anyway, we usually take our dogs with us too, so as you might have guessed, Sadie is one tired canine. When I get up in the mornings for work she doesn't even budge! Sometimes I'll get a head lift out of her but then she always just goes back to sleep without a care for me whatsoever. (disloyal mutt....)

Work has been interesting lately since this past week was National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) and I had the opportunity to organize a few different events to take place during that time. Has definitely allowed me to meet lots of people from other organizations/businesses in Simpson that I otherwise would not be aware of.

So when does the other boot drop?

Well even though I am (well, was) feeling amazing physically and socially, other areas of my life have been suffering. My laundry has been piling up to a level where all of my attire choices for the day are based upon the process of elimination rather than choice. I have been without a window blind for well over a week because even though I just got a new one in from Sears, I tore down the old one, but then kinda lost the motivation/energy to put up the new one halfway through. So now I just wake up each morning with the sun in my eyes and I just look in spite towards my uninstalled blinds.
annnnnnd now, well, as of this morning anyway, I'm sick. Me! Sick! This is not good! Do you realize how much whining I am capable of when I get sick? You've been warned. summary: I love being active, I hate being sick. And uhh..happy American Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I ain't built for this shit!

Coming from the safe, warm womb of my Nova Scotia upbringing, I tend to have a difficult time adapting to the cold, dry climate that western/northwestern Canadians seem to be better suited for. When I first moved to the NWT I kinda figured I'd find the dry air a bit different, but figured my (supposedly) adaptive body would, well, adapt. But ohhhhhhh no, 2 years in and my body is still a mess of "gimme more hand cream!" proportions.

I really love the cold, at least my mind does, but god dammit my body just ain't listening!

My face always has a somewhat comical shade of red-rosiness to it, my skin has asked that I know refer to it as "scales", and my eyes constantly feel like I have vacuum cleaner hoses attached to them. uhh I did say my eyes feel like there's a vacuum attached to them. You sickos!
On top of all that, most of my finger tips are rather grotesque looking (split open as a result of dryness and playing basketball), I wake up every morning feeling as though someone pulled the ol' "dump kitty litter in his mouth while he sleeps" trick on me, and my vision suffers from temporary sun-spots if I catch a glimpse of myself when stepping out of the shower in the morning.

Having an ill-designed lifemobile (I feel as though I've used the word "body" too many times in this post already) does have some benefits though. We stick together with other unfortunate people. At least I do. I know that when I'm walking down the street and I see someone else with a rosy, dry face I kinda give a nod. THEY KNOW what I'm talkin about. It's our signal. Oh sure, they don't return the signal, but that's the code. I nod, they narrow their eyes and stare at me suspiciously.

Regardless, I friggin love this place!
In more non-ranty's the sky outside of my office this morning:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Freeze-up is in effect!

Just to get this out there: The main reason I'm feeling the need for an update is that if I die in a horrific ice-falling off my roof and killing me so that the end result is a comedic ball of arms and legs sticking out of a giant snow bank, I don't want the final post of my blog being me jumping on hotel beds with my shirt off in Yellowknife. I think that's a pretty reasonable desire. My fears are very real given my experiences in the past...
and now that I think about it...the snow and ice on the roof outside my door has been looking more hostile...

So anyway, as the post title suggests, the ferry has been out at the Liard River for a bit over a week, so freeze up is on! For those not in the know, you should be ashamed. But don't beat yourself up, Alex is here to help pull you out of your miserable days of ignorance! Freezeup is basically (well, essentially, well, completely) the time each Fall in the north when it gets colder and enough ice starts forming on the rivers that the ferries can't continue, but the ice isn't thick enough to allow for an ice road/crossing. What does it all mean? Empty shelves, high prices, and social gatherings to the extreme! In my almost 2 years in the north, I'd have to say that freeze-up and break-up are some of my favourite times. From what I've seen, Fort Simpson doesn't seem quite as isolated during freeze-up as McPhoo did. I guess that could be attributed to daily flights (sans Sundays of course. I assume the hands of God that give planes the privilege of flight is also resting on Sundays) in Simpson.
Back to the point: I've been coping well enough with the disadvantages so far, although I am still just a taaaaaad peeved at having to resort to shitastic Wonder Bread as the Northern has been out of my beloved Country Harvest Whole Grain Bread for the past week or so. As for the higher prices, I'm sure I've mentioned this before on here, or at least to other people new to the north...DON'T LOOK AT THE PRICES! You'll go nuts if you try to pinch pennies. It sounds careless, but seriously, as long as you don't go trying to buy the ridiculous items (aka the $25 watermelons) you should be alright. On a side note, I am royally pissed that the Nahanni Restaurant (one of the 2 places to eat out in Simpson) has raised the prices on a can of pop AGAIN, this time to $2.60. Are you fucking kidding me!? (Nahanni: "Why yes you little shit, I am quite serious. Bend over and pay up! Also, have you tried my $11 grilled cheese sandwich?")

Annnnnnd on to the positives. The social atmosphere has been amazing for the past couple of weeks as everyone hunkers down and parties until the ice road is in. Last weekend, Halloween, was the scene of a couple of great parties and a big night at the bar where just about everyone in attendance was in full costume. There may even be a few pictures floating around out there of me decked out in a spandex suit with modified 2L pop bottled harnessed to my back. I was supposed to be Steve Zissou, but everyone retitled me as "Scuba Steve" so I stuck with that.
Yesterday was the Inaugural Birthday Hockey Tournament for a guy in town, which was insanely awesome. He lives right in the middle of town and the street was completely blocked off with boards for an all day street hockey tournament. See here you:

He also opened up his house and had tons of beer, coffee, hot dogs, cake, and even a P.A. system setup! Good times indeed.

We also had a solid week of straight snow here, which has covered the island nicely. Sadie has hardly been able to contain herself!

Believe it or not, I have taken notice of the beauty all around me during the past couple of weeks as well. No no, you're right, I am still the epitome of masculinity and brute strength, but I do have a sentimental side. I apologize for the frozen tears that may or may not be on any of the pictures. Anyway, before I get completely weepy, I'll just post the pictures:

Otherwise life has been fun: work is busy (North-busy mind you. For those who know, it's completely different from actually being busy), and I've been eying up the calendar a bit for my trip home at xmas. It'll be my first time home in almost a year! I can't wait to show my parents how much I've grown! ooh ooh and then I want to jump off the really really high diving board and make sure they're watching!
This is all in addition to the regular duties of coaching the bball team and taking Sadie snowshoeing whenever possible.

What's everyone else up to? Shucks, here I've been spending the last few hundred words just talking about myself.