Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Weirdness: Thou Doth Define Me

For those of you who have not read The Bloggess (http://thebloggess.com/) I suggest you do so...RIGHT NOW. Go on..I'll wait. (Though not for folks who dislike swearing...I happen to like swearing, so it's definitely ok for me.) Seriously, I'm having some sort of epiphany reading her (Jenny Lawson's) new book (based on her humour and fame as a blogger) called: "Let's Pretend It Never Happened." I suggest you go out and buy it...RIGHT NOW. I'll just be here when you get back.

Why am I pimping this book? Because she does this ridiculously delightful job of being honest about her many, many...like, MANY issues (anxiety disorder, insanity, slightly impoverished upbringing, weird parents, social awkwardness, etc.) but all the while swearing like a sailor, being hilarious, and just being all around awesome. But the main thing is that she has all this social anxiety, weird ticks, and bizarrity, and yet remains FUNNY. I feel like this book (and her blog) gives me hope!

I mean, sometimes I know I'm just being a dork. Sometimes I'm weird on purpose to be funny and/or cute. I have all kinds of anxiety issues, but I keep them pretty much under control. I waffle between gloriously awkward and ever so slightly (at times) cool; I can be rather gregarious at times, and then I can be painfully, painfully shy. I get panic attacks pretty frequently, was once medicated for them, but now seem to know how to deal with them without any outside help. But I still feel weird...a lot of the time. So yeah, it's nice to read about someone else who feels weird...a lot of the time...and know that it can be just another kind of normal.

Case in point: I forgot deodorant the other day. I was rushing, worried about being late, and did everything in my weird OCD little morning routine. But in my new bathroom (only been here a couple weeks), and very tired getting up early (after not sleeping well as I ground my teeth to nubs and thought about all the crappy things that could happen TO me or BECAUSE of me at my new place of work...the freaking government of Nunavut!) I was not really on my A-game. So I rushed out, went to work, and then a couple hours later, sitting at my desk, gently perspiring, I had a rush of adrenalin pump through me (the WORST thing for a day without pit-stick!), and realized I was NOT ODOUR PROTECTED!

Now, it's not like I have that disease where you get super funky smelling, and stink the place up like last week's garbage...if last week's garbage included tuna, a baby's diaper and some of those trays that raw chicken comes on at the supermarket...plus some raw chicken...that had all been left in the sun for a day or two. I once saw an Oprah show in the 90s about a woman who had that, and she was crying and talking about how people hated to be around her, and Oprah (who was not quite the guru she is now) told the audience that they pumped in the woman's funk into a closed room, and people actually got angry and aggressive they were so grossed out and sickened by the smell! So, no. I was probably more than ok for a day, and I had showered, so I think it was just a weird panic situation.

Thankfully, my pal had given me two tiny bottles of travel Purell. When everyone went on their coffee break, I poured some out, and rubbed that shit all over my pits! Yes, it was cool, did not feel good (read: slightly burny), and I now stunk like a hospital ward, but it was better than B.O....right? RIGHT?!!

(See...I have these moments. Moments that I usually chalk up to me just being hilarious. I mean, I do think I am HI-larious! Or perhaps not me, but the comedy genius that sometimes uses me as a conduit.)

I like to do things on my own, especially as there is SO much less pressure. I don't have to be so aware of myself. Seriously, I have this theory that anxiety, low self-esteem, mental issues...really, these are bizarre forms of egotism. I'm always so highly aware of my body, the noises it makes (tummy gurgling, burping, nose whistling as one nostril is slightly stuffed up, wheezing up stairs), the fact that I might have to poop at any moment, the concern that I'll look sweaty, that my pants are too long, or that I'm too short. I'm not all that smart (shut up friends, it's kind of true and I highly suspect you all know it, but are too polite/embarrassed to say anything!), but I am clever, and so I am constantly trying to fit new information into ways I can understand, and in that same, odd egotism/low-esteem factor, I think this gets construed as "man, that chick is so into herself...always talking about herself or saying how my experience is just like one she had two years ago!" I honestly don't do this to continuously put the ball back in my court (good lord!...I don't WANT the ball in my court, because then I might have to awkwardly run for it!), but rather to take what YOU'VE said, and process it, and make it something I understand.

OR, I do it a lot in a weird form of empathy: ...there, there, you shot up on heroin, passed out in a pool of someone else's vomit and then murdered your neighbour? I remember when I accidentally took too much cold medication, vomited on the rug, and then almost squished the neighbour's cat in the door! No, I'm not trying to one-up you. I mean, does cold medication and heroin even match?? But I'm trying to empathize with you! Often, I can hear myself doing this, realize the person is wondering what the heck I'm doing or talking about, and then start laughing like a loon. More a wheeze-giggle, often born out of intense nervousness.

Or lord help you all if I get my "lecturing" voice on! This is even WORSE than "talking about myself."  The quintessential nerd who takes a cocktail party question too far in an attempt to make "real" conversation. "So, what do you do?" might get asked at a function, or my new job. "Well," I gear up to answer, voice lowering into authoritarian teacher-mode, "I'm a folklorist. This is both what you might think it is, and also what you would never expect!" Ooooh, aaaaah! And then I launch into about 150 years of folklore history, and the poor sucker across from me starts surreptitiously looking at their watch, making eyes with a friend, or just blatantly answering a text or email. "Yes, that's...wow...you're right. I would never have guessed folklore was all that. AND quilts and fiddle music, too, you say. My..."


I've come a long way though. I mean, I meet new people all the time, and I'm kind of happy to say that a goodly portion of them seem to think I'm ok, or my shockingly inappropriate comments are just plain humorous (yes, I told a new gal I met at work that my one boob was coming out of my bra because it was a lot bigger than the other, and then sort of stammered--all this while making a cup of tea--that I don't know why I told her that, but perhaps it was so that if I passed out and my shirt rode up and one boob was out she would know that it was not intentional, but accidental, because of boob ratio...I'm happy to say that the next day this gal tried to tell me a joke about what did the perky boobs say to the saggy boobs and muddled it up and made me instantly want to be her best friend!).

I once asked a guy friend of mine what that scar was I saw on his tummy when he stretched and his shirt rode up (I did not see any bra/boobs-escaping-from-bra's, so he was ok on that front). He sort of mumbled something about surgery, and I badgered and badgered him until he got mad and left the room. His brother then told me that it had been from a hernia, and he was really embarrassed about it. I have no idea what this hernia/boy/embarrassment issue is all about, but still, when he was telling me to mind my own, you think I would understand that it is actually a highly socially-cued code for "mind your own." However, not only did I not get THAT, but when he came back into the room, I sort of blurted out: "Jeez, man, I'm so sorry about bugging you about that scar. I didn't realize it was from some super secret and embarrassing hernia operation, and I don't get why you should be so embarrassed about it, but still, if you are embarrassed by that hernia thing you had, then I'm sorry to bug you about it! I would totally not want to be bothered about some weird ovary surgery scar or something, as I guess your hernia must be kind of like my ovaries, and just...well...embarrassing, hey?"

He left the apartment completely, and did not return. My then-husband sort of smacked his hand on his forehead, and hernia-boy's brother just said, "Really? Like..............really?"

I sort of keep stuff like that to myself now. Mostly. At least I have moments where I almost say something, then sometimes pretend that I forgot what I was going to say (though sometimes I actually DID forget what I was going to say....or rather what YOU just said, so I can't really comment and was maybe going to just say my own thing, and then realized that is rude, so I "forget" my "comment for you" which was really just a "story about myself" and just ask you a question about your life to make sure I am being both appropriate AND not selfish) to ensure I don't say something that will make everyone feel odd. (I'll bet you just had that moment where my bracketed aside was so long you had to read the two parts of the non-bracketed sentence together just to remind yourself of what I was saying...)

Did you know there was a time I couldn't leave my apartment--for almost 4 years--without someone "safe" with me? I had become so socially awkward, so egotistically low-self-esteemy, so anxiety-ridden, that I developed severe agoraphobia. Yep, good times. Whatever weirdness came out of my past marriage, I will say this for the ol' ex...he was pretty patient during that time. I mean, he got annoyed and could sometimes be mean about it, but only after some really aggravating situations. Like, asking me to pick something up from a store that sat less than a block away from our apartment building, and then me calling him at work a couple HOURS later sobbing and telling him that I tried, I really did, but my legs completely seized two houses down, and I was unable to walk, and I thought I wouldn't be able to even walk back to the apartment, but I did, and so that's why he would either have to pick up said-thing himself, or go with me later.

When he would get home, we would walk up--no worries--to wherever we needed to go, and I think he would be left wondering if I was just THAT lazy that I would make up a crazy story and perform an entire act to get out of doing whatever task it was I told him I "couldn't" do. It was awful. Almost 4 years. Trapped. Not many people knew, and I was extremely embarrassed talking about it (as embarrassed as having a hernia scar!), and still feel rather shy about it, though again, thanks to good ol' Jenny Lawless, why not just be honest and ridiculous at the same time, and woot! Everyone's happy! I mean, look at me now! The start of this blog (if anyone cares to read back to 2003) I had never been on a plane. Now I've been to 5 provinces, 1 Territory, 4 countries, 2 continents. I get up and speak in front of people all the time, I keep most of the truly awkward stuff to a minimum, a lot of my weirdness seems to make people (and myself!!!) laugh, I seem to have some good empathy (What's that? You killed a man, just to watch him die? Well...I never killed a man, but I once trapped a mouse under a bowl and it died, so I can imagine how terrible you must feel!), and again, I'm not smart, but I'm clever enough to sort of bluff my way through things smart people do, like degrees and stuff.

So yeah. I can honestly say I don't recommend rubbing Purell under your arms in place of deodorant (field tested, people!), but then again, it's better than slapping two slabs of butter under there and calling myself a turkey, right!! In other words, I'm kind of weird, but I'm not batshit crazy, so that's a plus! And if I've learned anything in life, it's take the good stuff and run with it! Unless the "good stuff" is a super fancy pair of scissors. Then just walk slowly with it, and hold the pointy end in your hand, because if you fall a few stitches in your hand is much better than trying to find a replacement for grandma's eye. Or a guys hernia. (I still might not know what that is...)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day, and Happy Two Weeks to Me, From the Top of the World!

Well, I’ve survived two weeks in the North!

Leaving St. John’s was an incredibly mixed-emotion salad. I was desperately glad to be finished with the awfulness of packing, shipping things, cleaning, hauling suitcases around, going up and down three flights of stairs a MILLION times! I’m super grateful to those who helped me in any way they could during that time, as it was just painful. Plus, trying to pack and organize stuff to ship to the North to LIVE in the North, while also remembering that I will be going straight from the North to the extreme South (read: hot!), is confusing. Thankfully, I remembered to pack the rubber boots in my suitcases and the sandals in the boxes I shipped to myself, so all is well.

The final couple days in Merry old Sinjan’s was pretty nice. I had a sleep over with the very first friends I had made in town, and after cleaning all day, it was damned sweet to have bbq, silly horror movie and sleep on squishy and comfy futon. Thank you Ginny and Blair. The final night was back downtown, just two doors up from my old place, at Emily and Andrew’s. After my final walk through (which went fine, though it was weird to see the place I had been in for almost 7 years looking all empty and such), and a panic about my heavy suitcases so a dash to the mall to get a third, me and Emily and our pal Cynthia had a nice dinner (thank you for paying ladies!), and then me and Em went to see a final and ridiculous rom-com and had to sit in the 2nd row with our necks craning as frozen yogurt had become our main priority! Good times.

I almost had a mini-breakdown in the airport as the suitcases made it onto the belt to be loaded, and me and Emily were saying goodbye, but I sucked it up before I ended up looking like a mascara-running crazy woman who would no doubt get a “special” welcome by airport security!

 A hop to Halifax and a jump to Ottawa later found me at the lovely airport hotel, overlooking a lovely dirt field! I don’t know about you, but you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen a dirt field in our nation’s capital!

                     Visions of Ottawa                    
                                                     ~some sort of official looking flags~ 

                                                                       ~cause this is just hilarious~

                        ~tiny Ottwa...where I deeply mourned my forgetfulness and realized I did not have my gnome~

                                                          ~Fancy hotel...does NOT have view of dirt field~

                                                                        ~Ottawa Canals~

 I hemmed and hawed about being tired and broke, but then finally got a grip on myself and headed down to meet gal pal Cristina in town for dinner. I splurged on the way there and took a cab (which wasn’t very expensive actually), and then had the BEST chat with the cab driver. I always do, but this was hilarious as we started talking and I told buddy that I had been living in St. John’s, was going to the North, had been to England, Paris (for a weekend), Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, New Orleans, and to think, I hadn’t even been on a plane before my trip to St. John’s at 33!!! He got all excited and said that he was thinking of making a big move out of Ottawa, and he was 33, and that I totally inspired him! Viva la moi! We joked around and had a great chat, and then talked for a few more minutes on the curb downtown, and both agreed that it was a great cab ride! Poor Cristina thought that perhaps I didn’t have enough money to pay the driver, and was trying to talk my way out of the fare! Then she remembered it is me, and I would talk the hind leg off a donkey, so all was well…

Had a great dinner at a pub (can’t remember the name...damn it!) (and also, thanks for the dinner, Cristina!!), and then walked around looking at stuff and taking pictures. Ottawa is very pretty, but very official looking, in a hipster kind of way. I enjoyed the hang out, and being ridiculous and weird in a new city, and then took the bus back to the airport, and the shuttle back to the hotel, and had a hot bath, and went to bed.

Next day I was on First Air to the North. There was some confusion at the airport when a First Air employee came up and asked me what my priority was for my three checked bags. I asked her what she meant, and she said, “Which one do you want to arrive with you on the plane. The rest, depending on room, may arrive on a cargo flight later on.” Still somewhat confused and not meaning to be saucy, I said, “But they all have priority. There’s underwear in all of them. They’re like my children; I want them all to land with me.” She gave me a strange look, sighed, and tiredly said, “There is sometimes not enough room in the cargo hold of the airplane, in which case we will make sure one priority bag definitely gets loaded. The rest will come later in the afternoon, but you need to tell me now which one gets priority.” “Oh…well, the big one I guess.” My figuring went that the big one would have the most stuff in it, as well as be the most pain-in-the-ass to get to my new domicile, so might as well get that one out of the way first.

As luck would have it, everyone’s stuff made it on. We sat on the tarmac in Ottawa for a half hour extra to make sure it did. I was fine with that.

Wedged into my seat (though I did bravely get up and pee when the dude in the middle seat did as well, though I hate asking people to move….’spose it’s better than asking their forgiveness for peeing on them), I thankfully fell asleep-ish for a bit. I am one of those nervous flyers who never put their seat back, as I don’t like to infringe on other people’s space, and so don’t sleep well on planes. There’s a lot of weird head jerking and snorting and I once heard myself sort of moan-sigh as I started to fall asleep, and then jerked myself awake with embarrassment! Thank god for loud engines…when they invent silent airplane cabins, I’m gonna be in trouble.

I woke up and rubbed some grit out of my eyes, drank a bit of water, and the guy in the middle seat sort of nudged me and then pointed out the window. Frozen. Tundra. Baby. Very weird to look out and just see the frozen, white North, and bits of rock and the pale blue of a winding river or waterway. I looked at the dude in the middle seat, a very cute French West African who had let me watch his soccer game on his iPad earlier, and we both sort of smiled, and also shook our heads in a very “What the fuck are we doing here?” kind of way.


The landing was a tad rocky, but fine, and I was super happy to see the smiling and gorgeous face of my pal, Lynn! After wrangling my suitcases on the one little conveyor belt (kind of runs along a wall) and laughing at the sheer number of them (and I also noticed how battered they were. They went to England, to the States, back and forth across all of Canada several times, and yet one trip to the North totally monkeyed them…viva la North!), and stuffed them into the jeep, and then bumped our way into town!

The roads here are BUMPY! I mean, if you DON’T have kidney cancer when you get here, the sheer bumping will most likely cause some. Or some sort of ass-bone crackling. I ensure that I have taken a good long pee before I get into any vehicle here, or lord help me, there’s going to be another “elevator” style story here! (read last post…and if you haven’t yet, shame on you. It’s hilarious)

We made it to my new digs at the end of the Road-to-Nowhere. No. Seriously. That’s where I live now. In the second-to-last building on the Road-to-Nowhere. It’s awesome. And I’ll take this moment to also express gratitude to Lynn and Kevin (HELL-O 6’6” of manly hilariousness! Phwoar! You heard me Lynn.) for the use of Kevin’s old bachelor pad. I LOVE having my own space, and it was lovely to unpack and poop in peace.

                                                      ~view of kitchen from living room~

                                                                ~view of front door~

                                                       ~view from front door--to the front...~

                                    ~...to the right (and towards Lynn and Kevin's place and the goat path...~

                                                        ~...to the left and the end of the Road-to-Nowhere~

Went to Lynn and Kev’s (only two doors down!) for supper, but when I first arrived my “goat path” between buildings was still covered in snow and ice, and my poor tiny fat legs just would have flung me to the road below a 4’ drop off some rocks. So we headed to the road and up we went. After supper we headed to the Northmart for supplies, and I suffered my first (though I’m sure not my last, and ever present) case of “sticker shock.” How much for toilet paper?? 50$ for 24 rolls of the good stuff?? 15$ for a small jar of instant coffee? *cue scenes of people fainting and/or dying of starvation/unwiped butts here*

Yep. The North is expensive. Especially when you haven’t made the infamous Northern Money yet. Well, thanks to a few people helping out, I had money for very expensive groceries, and we headed home. Next day I just got organized, and cleaned and sorted cupboards, and finished unpacking, sent out a MILLION resumes and looked outside in wonderment. The day after, I took a cab (all cabs are 6$ per person, regardless of where you’re going, and sometimes already have folks in them, but you just jump in and everyone eventually gets dropped off!) to the Nakasuk Elementary school and dropped off my resume for supply (substitute) teaching opportunities. That evening I had wing night at the Legion. You heard me. By Friday I had a supply teaching gig for that afternoon, and a job offer for the gov of Nunavut (GN) in the Health and Social Services division (sub-division: Population Health) to start on Monday. Can I just say, in hindsight, that after that teaching experience, I am desperately thankful for the GN job!!

Friday afternoon I nervously headed back to the Nakasuk Elementary school to take over a Grade 5 class. There was a lot of confusion as I was told to meet them at the “Green Door” after lunch, and all the teachers meet their students and walk them to the classrooms, and I kept finding the “Red Door” and then taking this little hallway which led to the library and back around, and then finally found the “Green Door” and saw the children coming in and all was well. Well…almost…. When the class came in and someone said that I was replacing their teacher, they had me marked. Like, deer in a headlights, so let’s just calmly get out the shotgun from the back seat and take this doe down, marked.

~Nakasuk Elementary School...yes, there are some odd buildings here.
This "stacked marshmallow" being just one of them~

They ran up the stairs without me, with only one little gal shouting after them, “We have to go with the teacher!!! Come on, I’ll take you up.” (thank the lord for those few “nerdy but good” kids in class who help you out and remind you of tests and where the classroom is…heh heh) I finally wrangled them and took roll (I’m still fearful I missed a couple) and then we looked at a beaker of water and noted how much had evaporated since last week, and then we marched to the library to meet an author. Two other grade 5 classes met with us, and it was kind of hilarious to watch them try and sit still, and as the author (a very nice seeming chap) read from his latest kids novel and talked about writing, and some boys were rolling around on the floor or throwing each other’s shoes into the centre of the circle and then trying to surreptitiously “snake” their way to get it, all with other teachers attempting to quietly wrangle them.

Plus, I think I am WAY too immature to teach children. At one point, the author mentioned that a character was hiding in a bush…two young boys started mouthing the word “Bush” to each other and erupting into full body-convulsing giggles. But, dear reader, though I did it much more sneakily, SO WAS I!!! Later, the author was teaching us how to create characters, and told everyone to give him something to be, and then ask him questions AS that character. Finally, someone said, “You’re a dog” and he went with it. When one young gal asked him what colour he was, he said, “brown on my top, but black on my underside.” This caused MASSIVE giggling from EVERY child in the circle. Another (and very kind) teacher named Meghan looked over at me and mouthed, “What’s so funny.” DUH!!!! They thought he meant the dog’s BUTT!!! I mean, c’mon! Keep up here people! This is high comedy happening!

After losing several children in the hallway on the way back up to the classroom, I managed to get them all in and they met with a language teacher. This was somewhat confusing for me, as apparently learning Inuktitut meant watching an English and VERY 1970s video on caribou in the North. Weird. After the language teacher left we were supposed to have physical education, but thankfully (I figured dying of a heart attack in front of a bunch of impressionable 11 year olds would not really be cool) it was gross out, so we had it indoors. However, this apparently meant “free for all” and “this chick has no authority” and the boys started a rowdy game of handball in the side room, and the girls started writing out and illustrating Adele lyrics on the board. My little helper gal told me this was fine as long as the boys didn’t get too violent and we erased the board after. So…let them have their handball and Adele lyrics, was what I said.

After forcing a girl to get out of a small cupboard, stopping the boys from whipping tennis balls at each other’s groins, and telling one girl that the wealth of school supplies and books she was “just going to take home for the weekend” should stay behind until she asked her teacher, it was a few minutes until class change and I felt I had to gather up the troops before more senior officers arrived to see my shameful class management. Meghan was going to come and teach my guys something mathy, and I was going to her class to teach reading comprehension. Since they were all pretty worn out from all the playing, cupboard un-wedging and attempted-theft, I got them in their seats and asked them for advice on what I needed to know about Iqaluit and the North.

I got some advice on bug spray in the spring/summer, warm jackets, to avoid boys who collect spiders and throw them at girls (can I just get an AMEN to not being in grade school anymore!), I finally got a nice, juicy contemporary legend. I had already been told that polar bears have not really been in the city limits for yonks, and that hunters usually had to go out a fair distance to find them. When we had been in the library for the reading, I noticed a polar bear (in bear-skin-rug form) on display (no one could stand on him, etc.). So, I was told by the grade 5’s that I had to really, really watch out for polar bears!

Me: But I heard from my friends that there haven’t been any polar bears in the city limits for a loooong time.

Them: Ooh no! You know the bear skin in the library? That was a bear that was harassing the kindergarten graduation last year, and they had to shoot it to save the kids!

Me: Really? The kindergarten graduation? 

Them: Oh yes, it was scary!

I honestly don’t think they were pulling my leg, but very much believed that this story was true. And I’m certain that the story has been “on the go” for a while, and will continue on in some fashion. Or that there are other stories about how that polar bear skin got in the library. I love it. Contemporary legend in action.

Thankfully the kids were mostly calm (and tired out) by the time Meghan got there, and so I went and introduced myself to a WHOLE new group of crazy grade 5’s, had no control of them or their reading comprehension exercise for an hour, and then finally got to go home.

I. Have. Never. Been. More. Tired. Or. Defeated.

Teaching kids = Not my bag.

Thankfully, I had my new government job to go to on Monday. I’m mostly just helping out where I can, and doing odd jobs and reports. I’m not going to say it’s the best job I ever had, as I do NOT think I’m cut out to be a full time government office worker, but I did survive my first week ok. It’s going to take a lot to get used to good, old 8:30 to 5 Mon-Fri again. As a grad student there were times I had three jobs, papers due, readings to be done, grading, etc, and felt as though I was working 24 hours a day! But sitting in an office for 8.5 hours in front of a computer makes me TIRED!! As stink! It’s also weird to examine government responsibility to community, particularly the indigenous folks here, from the inside. I’m sure there will be a lot of strange but interesting things to think about, which will help pass the time. The folks are nice, I’m on the same floor as Lynn, and I’m starting to get in the groove, which is all very reassuring. I feel strongly that the more work I have to do, the more the days will pass quickly, so I’m hoping for more work as the days go on. If I have to read more manuals on Population Health initiatives or the Health and Social Services business plan, I may scrape my eyeballs out and pin them on my cubicle wall and call it a day.

Though there is still sticker shock a plenty, I also discovered the Ventures! The other major grocery store, it’s a cool compact building with a Source store on an upper floor on one side, a general “stuff” store with tons of Northern books for sale and a video rental place on an upper floor on the other side, and then groceries and kitchen goods on the main floor below. They also pipe freaking crazy music out the front of the building and I am totally fascinated by this! It’s the 7/11 (or other corner store) version of classical music to keep the teens away. This keeps people from hanging out, begging, being crazy, being a teenager, etc. outside the store, and I’ve heard crazy fiddle music, Bollywood, classical, show tunes, and Kevin said he heard the Metric Song (youngsters or Americans, here’s a video of some children singing it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FaRXCZpHXk)

I am also obsessed with the frozen breakwater, and will post pictures as soon as I get them. The ocean is frozen along the shoreline, and as the pack ice forms (with the tides and waves packing it in along the shore) it rises up chunks and rocks and weirdness, and it’s the coolest thing ever. It looks like some weird land formations from a fantasy novel, and the fact that it gets so cold the salty ocean is frozen just amazes me. I am going to try and take a series of pics as it melts.
               ~I am an internet picture theif...but this is a great shot of Iqaluit with the frozen ocean pack ice. I love it!~

So, yes, so far so good. I’m sometimes a little lonely—not for company, per say, as I kind of like my space, as my poor friends know and deal with constantly—but perhaps for cheap food, more springy spring and familiarity. But that’s only a tiny part of me, and I’m mostly feeling rather chuffed at being here, and looking forward to explore more of the tiny town, and also (and I know this sounds like crazy talk) to get working hard on thesis stuff. I’m hoping I’ll get lots of work to help pass the time at the GN. I am not looking forward to the forthcoming bugs, but I am to the forthcoming arctic hare sightings (despite being told they would attack me…thank you Kevin!) (PS: telling me that did cement that we will be great friends though….), and going to the little movie theatre, and hanging out with good pals.

Viva la North!
Now, to go eat an 80$ yogurt.