Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ice Out.

The entire city is iced over.

We've had a massive rise in temperature lately, and when I say massive I mean: it went from -13 to +3 in 18 hours. Add permafrost to that and you are looking at a town under ice. Behind our building is a legitimate threat to your safety it's so badly iced over. It's on a slight tilt so even the cars stopping or parking are sliding diagonally going through. You could skate to where ever you needed to go, in fact, if I had-me some skates, I'da done it!

Steph keeps bribing me with hundreds of dollars to open her gifts early but I keep my firm stance on not opening up anything, not even a card before Christmas Eve at the earliest. For the family and friends reading this, feel free to comment and instruct her to quit this diligent shenanigans. I could use the help.

The "Home-sickness" has lessened a bit as friends from home have started calling us for the holidays. It's funny how better you feel hearing a familiar voice or hearing about stories of home. At the same time, some of our new friends from here have started their trek towards home for the holiday which makes us both jealous and sad. Jealous because they'll find High-Speed Internet and Tim Horton's this Christmas, and we . . . will not. It makes us sad because, we are finally finding the free time we wish we had these past months and want to spend it with them. Either way . . . safe travels to them.

Oh, before we go . . . we'd just like to take a minute and laugh (mockingly) at our former home province of Ontario. May we just illustrate that you have been smiling arrogantly at us ever since we landed and bragging about how much better and warmer the weather is there. Perhaps you should compare the weather between us over the coming Holiday and this past week . . .

... thought so!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

'Tis the Season.

Staff Party . . . ouch!

Weather . . . ouch!

Work Hours . . . ouch!

Bank Account . . . ouch!

We've never been so busy and so tired in all our lives . . . maybe. The Holiday season is ripe with events, moves, parties, plans, meetings, greetings, snow and cold. By the time Saturday arrived, we were out of gas. On a night where energy and ambition would've been useful, we were almost at wits end by the time I finished work and got home. We weren't able to join any of our online (and now offline!) friends in the plethora of endeavours they were up to on Saturday. We opted for one of the quietest dinners of our lives and the earliest bedtime seen by anybody in their twenties on a weekend in recent history.

Trips to the post office are becoming adventures. Thank you so much to all the members of both our families who have taken the time to send us gifts. I hate to brag but, I think we have more gifts under our tree than the tree has branches! WE LOVE IT. Oh, and while we're on the topic of family gifts, Julia . . . why are the cats trying to eat the gift you got them?! Sending gifts have been just as exciting as getting them . . . we hope that everyone likes their gifts this year. It's been really important for us to share our experiences up here the best we can so, Christmas was a great platform to keep that tradition bright.

This Holiday is going to be really different for the both of us. Homesickness keeps bouncing back and forth between us. Days where we both work are easier but, then we just end up missing each other so, really, we're living a life of constantly missing people these days.

When talking about our families and what we miss over the holidays, we've discovered that we both have very different family traditions when it comes to Christmas. It made us wonder what everyones qwirky or random family traditions are. So, why not open it up for everyone to talk about.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Townie Bastards New Base

Mr & Mrs Bastard,

We here at the old Northern Bloggin hub will miss you very much. Our adjustment both in Iqaluit and in this apartment would not have been possible without the both of you. You two are pillars in this community and have been nothing short of kind, compassionate and understanding towards us with every part of our stay here so far. Having you as neighbours will be something we both miss and well look forward to stealing all your DVD's and invading your dinner table from a greater distance now.

We are deeply sorry we missed the house warming but, we can assure you that we'll be by sooner than later to help break in the new turf. We hope the both of you as well as Boo have a great transition and find happiness in your new surroundings.

Your neighbours always,
Jordan and Steph.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Tara and Sarah Show

It's not that I'm against getting "blogged", my only observation was that it catches you off guard sometimes. It was one thing to set up a dinner with a few blog friends and meet them in person; it's been another to become really good friends with them. But, last week an encounter of a third kind presented itself and much to my amusement, it turned out to be a great one.

Pang-Bound Tara and Newbie-Sarah pop'd their heads round my place of work on Friday and after much apologising on my behalf (another story in itself), it seemed as though our offline meeting quickly became a good one. Tara and I sort of discovered who we were randomly while she enjoyed her (I will assume "much meeded") Keith's & Wings and Sarah quickly joined her after. The two of them as well as a few friends helped what looked to be a slow night for me behind the bar.

If there's one thing I've learned about The Northern Blogging world, it's that every single person you meet in person are just warm, fun, and great in person as they are on their blogs. Tara and Sarah are testaments to that. Tara, who didn't even know who I was at first, still came off as a really great stranger and costumer. 5 Keiths, 12 Wings and an introduction later, she was still the same person. Sarah and I got off on the wrong foot in a first few meetings but, it took no time at all for us to hit a stride of sorts. Just like the other bloggers we've met up here, these two are great fun and I was happy to be a small part in their great visit.

We're really sorry we didn't make it to the Legion and it looks like we missed a legendary night but, we'll eagerly wait for the detailed posts from both of you. Oh, and we were witness to the great "head pieces" worn proudly by our fellow bloggers during their nice dinner at the Frob! They wore them all night.

It was sincerely great to meet you Tara . . . and you again Sarah! (Sorry . . again)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear Guelph Reader,

Every so often I see someone from Guelph, Ontario pass by our site. Everytime I see that, it reminds me of how much I miss home and some people who live in Guelph. So, I'm wondering if our Guelph reader could make an appearance at McCabe's (Downtown Guelph) and tell every single person working that "Jordan Wishes Them a Merry Christmas and misses them" . .. ask for Alicia!

I played there every Thursday . . . some of my favourite musical experiences. . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Shopping

We've had the convenience of having malls both big and small at our leisure each and every holiday season until this one. It amazes me how long I've spent "Online Shopping" this week. Remember when you used to plan a group outing to the mall. You and a handful of friends, White Hot Chocolates, crossing off items on your list, and of course, complaining about all the people you want to buy for who probably won't buy for you . . . Those were the days. . .

You'll find that this isn't so much the time of season to be jolly, rather, tis' the season to keep a watchful eye on your AeroPlan miles!

How we forgot to mention this, I'm not sure but, if you're planning on coming up here and are reading this as an early survival guide, stop what you are doing and sign up for a CIBC AEROPLAN VISA. AeroPlan points are like blood diamonds around here. Any who travels or shops up here uses their card religiously. When a stores Credit/Debit machine goes down, there is usually a herd of angry humans waving pitchforks and torches in disgust. Seriously though, take advantage of the rewards. Most Aeroplan cards give you a dollar-point ratio of 1:1 on everything you buy while some can offer you even more. I don't work for CIBC or anything, but, seeing as how I must swipe 100 of them a week from people all over, it's just the right thing to do. But if CIBC is reading this and wants to give me an AEROPLAN card with no limits that I never have to pay on the comment link and we'll get the ball rollin'!

In keeping with the topic of shopping, so far we haven't hit any major delays with shipping. Steph's gifts arrived in under 2 weeks and today I finally ordered everything so, we'll keep you posted. For the most part, everything takes a week or 2. I'd love to be more articulate but I just can't. I've seen things take days and I've seen things take weeks; it's all a matter of how fast the product goes out and where it leaves from, just like anywhere else.

We've decided to label November 30th "D-Day" for ordering anything in hopes to have it for before Christmas. We're playing it safe. We also had our Tree up on the 8th of November so, maybe we're in a little bit of a rush!

Carvings, Carvings, Carvings . . . it seems that everyone I talk to from "down south" wants a carving. It's a great idea but, economically, it may not be. Big carvings are heavy . . . heavy weight=heavy freight . . . heavy freight= $$$. The local art is amazing and makes for beautiful gifts but just be careful and be mindful of shipping costs.

Is it just me or does being up north make you feel like this will be the best Christmas ever? Between the glorious white snow that surrounds us and the crisp smell of winter that's filled my lungs since October, it feels like Christmas is more alive this year. Oh wait, maybe it's because we're closer to the North Pole.

Mom, send my Santa Suit!

December tomorrow . . .Let the Countdown Begin!

The Grey Cup

I'm not going to write about the game or remind you how great it was.

Last night was a turning point for me in this journey so far. That warm feeling that everything has come full-circle set in after those Field Goals and last night Iqaluit finally,really felt like home.

Work hosted a special Grey Cup event which we diligently sold tickets for and eventually sold-out. A lot of our regulars and some friends of staff ate up all the tickets and excitedly showed up last night wearing Alouettes Blue and Saskatchewan Green. The cooks spent all of yesterday and the day previous cooking a "TailGate Meal" which ended up being above and beyond what any of us expected. We did a Pool, we sold drinks, we ate, we cheered . . . and all 63 people including the staff were all a part of something special. We were a community; a large group of people from all over Canada. Newfoundland, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick . . .everywhere.

In the dying seconds of the game, the whole bar stood on its feet. The cooks were out of the kitchen, the bar-staff stood behind them. The customers gripped their hats, bit their nails and some even covered their eyes. When Montreal stole the game from the Roughriders in a second attempt at a Field Goal, the walls shook with cheers and sighs alike. And just like the crowd at the game, we all couldn't help but collectively clap our hands and smile because we had been a part of something so uniting and so communal that you didn't care if your team won or not, you just cared that you were there.

It made me miss my good friends from home. I wondered what they were doing or where they were when the game ended. But as I looked around at all the faces in the bar, they suddenly changed from "new" to "familiar" as if a sun had risen on them. Finally, as we were cleaning and stocking, the last group packed up and headed out, they exited by telling us this: "Thanks you guys, I'll remember tonight as one of the greats...see you tomorrow"

What a game . . .what a night . . . what a trip this has already been.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Your Favourite Song


Since get a decent flow of traffic that flows through our blog and since I'm actually obsessed with music, I tought it would be an interesting idea to flag you all down and ask you to leave a comment telling me your favourite song RIGHT now. I know my friends and family read it this too so, don't be shy. Join in

It can be a guilty pleasure, something you can't get out of your head, or a classic the pub band closed their set with last night . . doesn't matter. Hell, i'll even allow versions of Christmas Carols.... I only have 3 rules:

1) no "I've Got A Feeling"
2) I need Song-Title and Band
3) ONE SONG ONLY . . . there can be only one!

I'm going to throw any and every contribution on my iTunes and happily listen to them all, I love new music. Good music is good music, I don't care what style it is . . .

Fire at will!

Friday, November 27, 2009


...that's how cold it was today.

On the day where I shouted from a platform that I would no longer be using the $6 a day convenience of Taxi's, Mother Nature threw me a curveball. So, another $12 gone!

It was honestly so cold today that you couldn't stand outside with skin exposed for more than 10 minutes. Now, we've heard of horror stories that involve 30-second frost bite and winds that blow so cold and so fast that the gloss on your eyes freezes them open but, rest assured, we're not at that stage yet.

I take comfort in the fact that some of the local people, who have come to be my friends, laugh at my amazement with all we discover. To them it's just another day in the place they've called home for years. To me, it's all a revelation. They brushed off today's weather with a mere "...just you wait until January...". Troopers.

It's making me wonder if we'll really be able to handle this cold. I know we're equipped but, are we prepared?

It's a dryer cold than we've grown up with. At home (home being Ontario), -20 will actually make you feel like Hell is freezing over. Up here, it's cold . . really really cold . . . but how it feels cold is different. I can never explain things properly and I'm not scientist so, all I can tell you is that my bones don't ever feel cold. Does that make sense? My face gets dry, red, and cold but, my core isn't shivering underneath my hoodies and jackets. Follow?

I'm going to get way ahead of myself and say that for anyone in Southern Ontario, or out West, your -10's and 20's feel a lot colder, even though they aren't. Damp = colder. So, although it's really alarming to see numbers up here like -23 and -36, it's not like we're frozen-in and are huddled around a Garbage Can Fire praying for sunlight. It's livable and functional. So, to anyone worried about the weather up here . . . so far, so good.

I think it's appropriate to once again press the issue of intelligent preparation. We read every possible blog post and every possible piece of safety information possible in preparing for our trip. It may have cost A LOT more than I first thought but, every penny has been worth it. Some people will tell you that you don't need a "Canada Goose" or "Baffin" style of Arctic-wear. There is no right or wrong answer. Put it this way: Just get it. It's pricey, it's big, it's overkill but, your asses are covered.

The old saying "it's better to be safe that sorry" applies perfectly here. YES, you can find cheaper jackets that will get you through winter; same with boots. But these products are built to be "All or Nothing" kinds of gear. In -36 windy weather, I can throw on just my jacket over a Golf-T-Shirt and be perfectly warm, and I could probably wear my boots without socks. They're just that good.

Now, on the flip-side. . . I haven't worn my boots yet. I haven't needed to. The snow isn't high and the winds haven't been all that crazy just yet. With my new ambition to quit cabs however, I'm sure a daily regiment of boot wearing will begin in the days to come.

Oh, and Operation: Celebrity is still a "Go"!

Stay Warm Everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Project: Celebrity

Steph will tell you that (at times) I'm the world's most naive person. Steph's also an avid People.Com and reader. So, the lives of celebrities alike are something we often talk about. Naturally, the duty of a bartender is to engage in somewhat interesting conversation with your patrons. It got brought up today at work that celebrities are completely unapproachable and think they're above the rest of the world. I'll admit that everyone is entitled to their opinion but, I hate generalizations sometimes, especially when they aren't justified. Steph will also tell you that I sometimes go out of my way to prove points and also have the reputation of using dramatics as well!

Let the record show that this all started when the topic of Oprah was greeted by a patron with a response of "Good, it's about time."

To keep things fair, I'm going to leave the patron's name out of these accounts. Not their quotes though...Here are a few of my favourites.

"...they don't even know how the rest of the world sees them. They just get told their cool..."

"Probably never graduated high school."

"Pay people to like them"

"wouldn't lend somebody the time" . . I think he or she meant "give"

So then there was a back-and-forth debate on individual celebrities and stories that prove both opinions. Then I brought up "Ellen" . . .who in my opinion is the greatest thing on television. She's genuine and fun, giving and generous. She's just great. And what was said by my opponent was "She only gives to people when other people are watching. Just like Oprah . . . just like any other celebrity, big or small, it's all for ratings or for their own benefit."

I've decided to test that theory. I'm going to find mailing information to any and every celebrity I can think of. I'm going to make a list, check it twice, and we'll see who's agencies or which celebrity is naughty or nice.

Geez, I should start a new blog just about this . . . I'm not going to though.

I'm going to ask for an autographed picture and nothing more. The postage will be fair trade and when I request this photo, I'll simply state that I'm a huge fan and am in an area that prohibits me from ever getting the opportunity to get an autograph myself. When or if I receive anything, I'll promptly bring it into the pub and show my fellow regular! In a perfect world, I'll get a picture from everyone and rub his or her face in all my findings. I just find unnecessary criticism annoying and one of my biggest pet-peeves are people who label, judge, and preach without rhyme or reason. Everyone is an individual and deserves to be without prejudice . . . celebrities included.

I'm calling it: "Project: Celebrity"

Hell . . .maybe I'll start with Ellen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dear Toronto Townie!

THIS is such a fun read.

It's amazing to read such an amazing account of our city!

It seems like forever since we've been there and to hear someone like TB talk about the transit and the chaos that Toronto can be, only reminded us of how badly we need a Toronto fix. If we weren't so busy the past week, we would've taken the time to list off some great places to visit for our Blog-Hero. However, since he is a diligent writer and reader of all things Northern Blogging . . .and since we now have the Internationally Recognized, soon to be rewarded, crown-achieving, HUB of Blogging . . . We've thought of a little last minute list for Townie and Co. to try and fit in to their visit. Feel free to add via comment . . .

- GRAZIE. The greatest Toronto restaurant in our opinion. Head to YONGE AND EGLINTON . . head north, green sign!

- SILVER SNAIL - T.B. . . .I know you love comics and all things comic related. THIS is your one stop shop! 367 Queen St. W.

- THE IRISH EMBASSY. Maybe the greatest T.O. pub . . . Amazing food . . . amazing Guiness.

- SOMA - Chocolatemaker. For a cup of the best Hot Chocolate known to man.

Grab some fresh Tim Hortons . . . Use High Speed Internet . . . get a "PINT" of Beer!

And just a note to the transit. If you get on, there are maps everywhere. Sure, it's flooded with people but, give it time . . . it'll come easy. Cab drivers are RIDICULOUS . . . don't even bother.

Toronto . . . we miss you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Sun Sets Around 3:00pm

. . .it's a fact.

I've decided to make this blog more of a regiment. I doubt I'll be able to write everyday but, I think one or two posts every 2 weeks is pretty lazy. I've written before about the lack of inspiration at times but, I think that phase has passed. Tonight I was blinded by snow and I felt inspired by it.

How do I paint a picture of what it's like here in November?

It is always cold. I was early on the "Canada Goose Jacket" sporting but I'm chalking it up as a Pre-Season activity. We wear our jackets everywhere we go. You have too. There have been days where any bare skin exposed hurt within seconds. Maybe we're both still suffering from being Southerners but, the cold up here is very dry and it hits your skin first. In Ontario, you felt the cold in your bones first then you dealt with your skin. The night that was coldest so far, was the 9th. The night of the Olympic Torch relay. Which (by the way) I was an alternate for! I also arranged for the torch to be brought into the pub and most of the evening staff as well as some of our regulars got their picture taken with it. I'll post it when I scan it!

Check this slogan out for my next paragraph:

"The snow is so white, they might as well call it Dana!"

The snow is a majestic and beautiful white. When it falls it's graceful and when it sits it is peaceful. There isn't any slush or grimey snow. Since you don't have a lot of pavement and Zero curbs, you don't have that sludge build up everywhere you look. The perma-frost makes for a very slippery ground but, the walk around town is visually stunning. You look into the distance and see the hills and small mountains all covered in snow. It truly is a blanket of snow.

We've been keeping warm and staying in a lot these days. Home-cooked meals are becoming more and more frequent and hoodies are a household favourite. The cats have become really really animated. Penny seems to like to be in the kitchen with us and we've developped somewhat of a theme song for her. We've taken the "I've Got a Feeling" line from that song a few people have heard the odd time on the radio, and replaced it with "Cookin' with Penny". Much to our amusement, the "Ewwww-Ewwww" that follows in the song, Penny sings . . .with a Meow. Follow by a somersault . . (if you know Penny, you'd understand better)

All is well and all is warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Remembrance Day Everyone

To those who get paid for their day off . . .

To those who have to work and get paid double . . .

To those who have relatives who fought bravely so that we have this great country to live in. . .

To any and all Canadians, Happy Remembrance Day

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting "Blogged"

We were warned.

So, when you have a blog, especially one with you mug plastered in the left-hand column, you may get recognized in the "real world". When you're a part of a community like the Northern Bloggers, you automatically become a part of the incredibly resourceful group of people who have shared with the rest of the world their struggles, findings, journeys and insights into a world not many see. So, needless to say, if you blog, you're gonna get "blogged".

How does one get "blogged"? It's Easy.

When someone stops you and says "Hey, are you Jordan from the Blog?" . . . you've been blogged.

If someone asks your name and you say "Jordan" and they say "Jordan? The Jordan from the blog?" . . . you've been blogged.

If you're in the middle of the busiest lunch rush of your life and you're walking through the bar doors with 4 hot plates (if you're a server, or have ever been, you know how hard that is!) and someone passes by you and says "I love your blog" . . . you've been blogged.

I've been blogged 4 times. Yes, the above 3 and once last night. Last night however, it was an altogether new experience. Without a lenghthy story, let's just say that a wonderfully charming couple from Steph's home town stopped me and thanked the both of us for helping them through their journey to get up here. They told me that some posts helped them decide to make the trip and others were just the information they were looking for. As red-faced and blushing as I was, I really felt something fullfilling. This whole adventure came full circle with a bullet.

We're so glad to have assisted anyone with even the slightest bit of information. We don't write as much as we'd like but, we do make a big effort to provide a somewhat un-bias side to being here and/or getting here.

We wish C.&S., the Whitby Northern Newbies all the best of luck, and to anyone out there who may be on the fence. Get off it and get up here . . . don't hesitate, just diligently prepare. It's an experience like no other and one that you'll regret not trying.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Astro Theatre

Does anyone else remember their first movie theatre experience?

I do. Milton had this tiny little 3 screen theatre right beside Highway 25 and the 401. I saw Twister and was afraid of rain for a month, I had my first boy-girl date there, and I remember hating the rebellious teenager who yelled out the surprise ending to Scream 2 as he exited the 7pm show (when I was standing in line for the 9:15)just to peeve everyone off. It had Character. I didn't realise how AMC/SILVERCITY I was until we started frequenting The Astro Theatre here in Iqaluit. It's so small, so unique, so privately run and owned that we can't help but love it. Even my favourite theatre from Toronto, The Varsity, is a bit "corporate". The Astro is 100% independent. As we left the theatre last week, we even saw the actual reel's in their hard cases just shipped up and sitting by the door. We thought "how unique?". It went from Universal Studios (as read the shipping address) right to Iqaluit. Amazing. The cases looked old and rusted but, it had the same character beauty as the theatre did.

Oddly enough, it's actually cheaper to go to the Astro than any movie theatre we've been to in the past 4 years. So, if you're reading this and your fever is breaking due to all our writings about prices, here's your breath of fresh air. MOVIES!

The Astro changes their line-up every week. Movies that don't do well, don't stay. Movies that do, do. "The Informant" lasted 2 days . . . "Jennifers Body": 4 days (much due to Townie Bastard's crushing review!) but G.I. Joe and District 9 had good two or three week runs. The shelf life is completely dependant on how well each movie does.

Lastly, every visit, as you're leaving the theatre, someone who I can only assume is the owner always asks everyone . . .individually, how they liked the movie and follows that up with a "Have a good night". Try finding that at any theatre down south.

Oh yeah . . . and after you've spent more than 60 days in the North, you are legally allowed to refer to anywhere below Nunavut as "Down South"!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So . . . we Curl now!

Bad Blogger, Jordan, Bad Blogging. First post in two weeks!

In the land of all things "Shelter", we have somewhat hit a stride in our life up here. We're out and about, socializing, making friends, making acquaintances, and now, we're Curling. Not only are we Curling, we LOVE it.

At "Mass Registration" Steph signed us up and since then, we've been pretty excited to start but, never did we ever imagine just how much fun Curling would be. The atmosphere is so welcoming and the instrustors are so insightful and fun. It's something everyone should try once . . . put it up there with Skydiving because believe us, when not careful, you could probably plummet to your death on the Curling Rink!

We can remember reading a lot of Nunavut Newbies blogs on how important it was to be involved in the community. This is so incredibly true. You really DO have a choice. You either waste away your days staying in and complaining that there's nothing to do or, you go out and find the activities, pressing your finger to the pulse, and truly enjoying your time up here. In 2 months we've experienced more than we would in 2 years in Ontario and it's all due to the fact that we read ads, ask questions, and try everything this great city has to offer . . . and it IS a city.

And what would you know, our Townie Bastard is a pro Curler . . .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How I Met Your Mother

We love . . . This show.

In fact, if there is anyone reading this that doesn't watch this show, it has been decided that you are not living life to its fullest. We've spread the phenomenon to our friends, now it is time to inject the Northern Blogging community with the glory of all that it How I Met Your Mother.

It's a quicker, wittier, more modern "Friends-like" sit-com. It's an easy watch, very light, and comes with a lot of feeling. Neil Patrick Harris plays a womanizing character named Barney Stinson who completely steals the show, every show. He's followed by a great and familiar cast consisting of Alyson Hannigan (Band Camp Girl from American Pie), Jason Segel (Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man), Cobie Smulders and Josh Radnor. Not to mention, Bob Saget Narrates!

How I Met Your Mother is a comedy about Ted (Josh Radnor) and how he fell in love. It all starts when Ted's best friend, Marshall (Jason Segel), drops the bombshell that he's going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Lily (Alyson Hannigan), a kindergarten teacher. At that moment, Ted realizes that he had better get a move on if he too hopes to find true love. Helping him in his quest is Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), a friend with endless, sometimes outrageous opinions, a penchant for suits and a foolproof way to meet women. When Ted meets Robin (Cobie Smulders), he's sure it's love at first sight, but destiny may have something else in store. The series is narrated through flashbacks from the future.

We're going to put our "Northern Couple Stamp" on this recommendation. The Seasons are available very next to nothing on BestBuy and/or Future Shop. It's a great show to stay warm to! There's also a TON of Canadian References!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pang Jealousy

I've just discovered why it is so expensive to fly to Pangnirtung . . . it's just that gorgeous.

Daily, Steph and I read about our blog-friends in Pang' and our minds blown with just how great it is visually. Tara and Sarah have continually posted some unbelievable pictures, especially of the Northern Lights. Since traffic is traffic when it comes to blogs, I suggest that anyone reading this, read theirs.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Gig!

Well, it appears I'm due for some shameless self promotion!

For those of you who I don't know very well, I'm a little bit of a musician. A recent cancellation at work has led to my first Northern Gig. It'll be at The Waters Edge Lounge/Kickin' Caribou Pub, Wednesday October 21st at 8pm. I'll be hosting the Open Mic/Jam Night there . . . They told me to spread the word!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Arctic Ventures vs. North Mart

Dare we?

First thing: We shop equally at both. We don't buy into the "I like this one better" rants we hear. So, put your gloves away for now . . .no judgements here!

These are the two Grocery/Department Stores of Iqaluit. They have your everyday grocery needs like Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Breads, etc etc. Both are generally in the same area and are equally essential in your survival!
The last thing you need to do is try to price shop or pretend one is cheaper. This isn't the south . . . there aren't price wars. There are clearances and sales just like anywhere else, but everything is relative to your individual needs. If you eat a lot of cereal and it's a few dollars cheaper at North Mart, well, obviously you'd find North Mart more appealing. Both have electronic stores, have kitchen and housewares, and both have distinct differences that make for them to be equally important.

We've found that there are pros and cons to each.

North Mart:

Definitely the bigger of the two. It's also seems to be a little bit newer. We've found that all produce and meats are much, much more fresh and the expiry dates are a little more trustworthy. It's an easier place to shop and the aisles are more organized in a standard grocery store format so, it's easier to maneuver around. We do our big shops here and find that it's a great one-stop-shop. They have a lot of stock for a lot of items and their frozen meat and fresh produce sections are far superior to that of Arctic Ventures.

They have a clothing section, kids toy section, electronic section, fishing section . . . it's basically the closest thing you'll find to a Wal-Mart in Iqaluit.

They don't have music playing out front . . . we'll get back to that in a moment.

Arctic Ventures:

This is where you will find all things P.C. (Presidents Choice) and a lot of things you won't find at North Mart. This is why there are so many strong opinions on which store is better. Ventures has been here longer and has a lot of local items as well. We found their selection of Kitchen/House wares to be a better quality and a better selection. Ventures has a Source (By Circuit City) . . .North Mart has a tiny electronics section with staff that aren't specialised in the electronics field. The Source has a great manager with a great staff. All the cables, games, phones, batteries and essentials you need and they'll order just about anything in for you. Also . . .they have GUITARS AND GUITAR STRINGS. This is huge for musicians.(Like I said, they have great management)

They have a Video Rental area as well as a gift shop/shoe store/book store on the upper floors. We sent home some very interesting souvenirs for family members and even picked up some much needed new shoes.

Another huge perk is their bakery. They do fresh bread, pies, and other baked goods fresh daily. We've enjoyed these delicacies on a few occasions, in fact, I'm eating a piece of fresh apple pie as I type.

The Ventures Music:
Ventures plays this horrendous, annoying, brutal, torturous, deafening, flat-out makes you want to kill yourself-music in the inner doors of their entrance. It's a preventative measure for loitering but, it is the loudest and most awful sound you've heard in a while. It's hard to explain . . . you just have to hear it for yourself. You don't hear it unless you're near it and YES, they shut it off after they close but, it's amazing how many people walk in with their fingers in their ears, let's just put it that way.

So there you have it . . . every one's got an opinion and each opinion has a preferred store. Like we said, we shop regularly at both and enjoy both equally. They offer a lot of items that are the same and a lot of brands that are the same but, they have different niches. We suggest using them both to their fullest. If you ever have any specific questions for us, don't be afraid to ask.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Dribble.

Blogs, Blogs, Northern-Northern Blogs!

Hearing: (Songs)
Train - Hey, Soul Sister
Ryan Adams - Desire
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Pheonix (Entire Album; Song on Repeat: Lisztomania)
David Gray - Fugitive
Robbie Williams - Bodies
Muse - The Resistance (Entire Album)
Saosin - On My Own
Thrice - Beggars (Entire Album)
Pearl Jam - Just Breathe

Veronica Mars: Season One (Judge all you want, it's just plain good)
Dexter: Season 4
Californication: Season 3
District 9 (Wow!)
** which reminds me to make a note on just how good Neil Patrick Harris was hosting the Emmy's

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thankful for Thanksgiving

We would like to full-out say a public wide thank you to our two gracious hosts Sunday; Mr. Townie Bastard and Mrs. Townie Bastard. We drank, we ate, we plotted, we laughed, and most of all we spent hours in great company.

Since we've arrived the two of you have been nothing short of supportive, encouraging, compassionate, friendly, welcoming, and just great people. We've learned more from you these few months than anything or anyone else and we'll forever be in debt to your wonderful hospitality. You both have made this transition to Iqaluit very easy for the both of us and we'll always appreciate it.

Whether it's DVD lending or great meals, we both look forward to a great online and offline friendship with the both of you.

Thank you both again so much.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Rookie" Blogging!

I will take full responsibility for the lack of posts. I just work a lot.

I tend to struggle with the way we'd like this to be presented. I love reading the dailys from all the amazing northern bloggers and I envy their discipline, I just don't get as inspired as often. Obviously there was a lot to write about leading up to our arrival here, and now, we're forced into the inevitable crossroad that I imagine most (if not every) first time bloggers. What to write about now?

I always imagined it would be an account of our findings, adventures, discoveries, and time here so, I want to try and do my best to keep up with that. I do apologise for the lack of updates and posts. It's such a great feeling when you hit the ground running and that's what we've both done here. We love our life here in Iqaluit. So, from this moment on, I've decided to give a full out, rant free, detailed blog regarding life here lately in Iqaluit. I still hope our niavety and inexperience will result in some amazing posts . . .so here goes.

There are people who are far better writers than us, and people who are far more experienced when it comes to blogging so, we'll leave the experts to deal with matters of expertise. We'll stick to writing about our rookie moves, mishaps, mistakes, misfortunes, mayhems, memorable moments, methodical plannings, and mostly how much fun things are up here!

So here's to words starting with "M" and to the few of you who read. More to come . . I promise.

Rookies, Out!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Stephanie.

Today's your birthday and it's probably the first time you've had a snowy one. . . Since the logistics are so unreliable when it comes to shipping items, I found it hard to get you exactly what I wanted this year so, just so you're completely aware of my good intentions on this momentous occasion, I've decided to list (in picture form) all the things I wasn't able to get you on your birthday this year because of our current address.

But you did get this . . .so . .

. . . since you're not one for materialistic objects I'll just leave you with this:

I love you Stephanie Nadine Laird.

Happy Birthday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dear Ontario . . .

. . . comment . . .nicely. YES, it's still September and back home our old hometowns are getting ready for their "Fall Fair" weekends while we were getting ready for the "Snowfall Warning" (as stated in the bold red headline there). YES, that says "feels like -6" and we did get a foot/ a foot and a half of snow last night.

No, we're not jealous.

The snowfall was magic. You could compare it to being stuck inside a winter globe. It was windy, sure, but it wasn't bone-chilling. The snow just fell lightly and stuck around. Ontario doesn't get snowfalls like this. At home (when the snow falls) you just get ready for the headache of snow shovelling, starting your car early and the traffic that follows. The snow excited everyone around me and that by itself is a major reason why people love it up here so much. Some how we still sweat the small stuff but aren't all that affected by the usual major inconveniences. It's hard to explain really . . . I know that I used to dread the first snowfall but, it felt like an early Christmas last night and the walk home felt more like a treat than a hardship. We love being here.

UPDATE: Here are some pictures of the aftermath.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Move.

Thanks so much to everyone who has given us such great feedback on the videos. We'll keep'em coming the best we can.

Here's one that has taken me an unbelievably long time to finish. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The White Stripes Under the Great Northern Lights

Before we moved up here we'd read a fantastic blog about the White Stripes playing here in Iqaluit. Since arriving, we've researched the event and talked to people that went. A few weeks ago I had the privledge of seeing "Hey Rosetta!" here and it really is a rare and special event when acts make the effort to play here.

The White Stripes documented and filmed their events here in the North and even shot a video for their single "You Don't Know What Love is ...". Jack White has since taken that footage and compiled it into a release do out this fall/winter. At the Toronto International Film Festival he screened the film and held a press conference talking about his experiences in Nunavut. I thought I'd share the video since so many people enjoyed the concert itself.

Here's a link to the Video:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We were told it came early.

This was our morning view:

It's + 19 in Milton and my whole family is in Hawaii. Still, there are very few things more beautiful than the first snow fall........ Even Kanye West couldn't take this moment away from me! ba ha ha

(That's right Steph. Current and Funny joke, "Whaddup?")

Monday, September 14, 2009

You can take the girl out of the South . . .

Yay for my first blog post! Normally it is Jordan's responsibility to update our blog, but lately I've been feeling like I should make an effort to chime in every so often, especially when I want to share a little gem that's so much easier to explain from the first person. Not to mention, I was fortunate enough to be put on call last night - the last shift of my set - and managed to get all the tedious housekeeping and laundry done that normally sucks up my first day off. With Jordan at work while I'm home alone, why not curl up on the couch with my Mac and a cup of tea? Here goes . . .

In keeping with our continued happiness here in Iqaluit and our quest to be involved in our new community, Jordan and I were excited to participate in our first ever Mass Registration this past Saturday. We had already discussed joining the Curling Club to learn the sport, which apparently has quite the following in town, as well as to see what other fun clubs/events we could participate in. Sadly, Jordan was scheduled to work Saturday so I headed over to the Cadet Hall with our new friend and fellow northern blogger Jaime. After a quick pit stop at Jaime's place where I turned green with envy over the size and luxury of her apartment vs. ours, we were ready to wait out the cold as we stood in the long line to get inside.

As a shift worker, my schedule makes it very hard to commit to things because I never have the same days off work. You wouldn't have known it on Saturday. I made short work of the booths, not only signing up for the Curling Club, but also the Badminton Club, Greenhouse Society and registering for a group trying to initiate the Green Bin program here in Iqaluit. For those that aren't familiar, Green Bins are a mandatory composting program in many regions in Ontario and other parts of Canada and aims to reduce the amount of bio-degradable waste headed to the landfills. It takes very little additional effort and has a positive environmental impact. Apparently I am such an obvious supporter of the program, that as I stood at the booth explain it's merits, I was asked to consider joining the Board! So all in all, it was a super fun morning and I'm excited to get involved in my new activities. My apologies to anyone that may have wanted to hang out with me on my days off - I now have none.

On with my story . . .

Following registration, I was high on community spirit and felt like a true Iqalumiuq (disclaimer: I truly have no idea of the proper use of that word and may very well have just made a fool of myself). Jaime and I were headed home in her sweet ride and stumbled upon the Arctic Ventures sealift sale so we popped in to take a look around.

Oh. My. Lord.

The only thought that entered my mind was this: I am a complete phony and have obviously not lived away from Ontario long enough. There is no way I was going to be fooled: $100 for a case of toilet paper is not a sale. Neither was the $89 for 14 boxes of Multi-Grain Cheerios that Jaime and I split on.

If I needed any another proof that I am still obviously a Southern belle, the icing on the cake was when I decided to splurge on the alleged sale price for Diet Coke at $10.99 for a 12 pack. A large sign reading "Case of Pop - $10.99" was placed on the wall, directly adjacent to the pop. So up to the cashier we go, where we were promptly informed that the pop was $12.99. I politely informed the cashier this could not be so, and would another employee please verify the price. I stood there, holding up the line, as the cashier and I waited for the employee to return. A few minutes later, after being called over by the cashier, the employee nonchalantly stated that the pop was in fact $12.99 and it was just an old sign. My suggestion to remove the "old sign" was met with a shoulder shrug. At this point, I was very close to throwing an Ontario tantrum. The only thing stopping me was the fact that I haven't known Jaime that long, and couldn't risk scaring off my new friend when I don't have many others here in town yet. Through clenched teeth, I told the cashier that in fact, I didn't want any pop. And that was that.

There is no way that any store in southern Canada could get away with advertising a price, mistakenly or otherwise, and then refuse to honour it. But here in Iqaluit, that's just how they roll. "It's an old sign" is a perfectly reasonable excuse, and if you want the item, you'll pay whatever they ask at the checkout. I may have refused out of spite, but the only one who suffers is me. Well Jordan too, because he's still stuck with water, milk and the powdered PC Iced Tea mix we hid in our luggage.

I'll give it a few more months before I start throwing out terms like Iqalumiuq and Nunavummiut again. I still need to look them up anyways.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My 9/11

I'm writing this myself.

I don't deal with death very well. It triggers my anxiety immediately or it sneaks up on me when I least expect it. But I didn't have those anxiety issues until 9/11. I was 17 and it was the first time my mind was opened to the possibility of sudden tragic death. At the time I knew there were murders 20 minutes away in Toronto and Etobicoke, and I read about accidental deaths in local papers involving drunk drivers or truck tires. So, to say I was naive wouldn't be accurate; it was around me all the time. But the events of that September 11th and the images I saw blew open the hatchet in my mind.

I was in my entrepreneurial studies class when my teacher walked in and simply said "I don't know if any of you know this but, the World Trade Centre was struck by a plane this morning". I think a lot of people in the class that morning either didn't know what the WTC was or just weren't awake enough for the information to register because the rest of the class (some 20-odd) seemed unphased. She then said "I'm sure it's nothing to worry too much about. If any of you have family in the area and are deeply concerned, I'm allowing you to leave class at this time". For the next half hour that classroom felt like a prison; no information coming in, no information going out. All of a sudden a herd of people were marching down the hall outside the door and then a knock came. Our principal announced that "New York is on Alert Status Red and I'm suggesting that classes congregate in the Locker Bay. We've received a lot of calls from parents asking for teir kids to be removed from class. So, classes will now be optional with repect to what is going on". Panic control I figured. Some people stayed in the classes, unaffected, continuing on with studying or extra work. I went straight to the locker bay where the T.V. was already dialed in to CNN.

I watched that second plane hit and can picture it like it happened yesterday. I saw every piece of footage on rerun for the next hour and finally chose to go home. Whether you were at work or in class, Milton seemed to leave early from wherever they were that day. I'll never forget the rows of cars in traffic jams on roads that had never seen traffic jams before. People walking everywhere, some even running, all trying to get home. The safety of your own house was the warm blanket everyone needed that morning. To this day, no matter what the occasion or holiday, I've never seen my hometown so flooded.

You'll read a lot about 9/11 today. I chose to write about what I remember because I think it's important to. I don't do it for ratings or because I feel obligated or because it's the trendy thing to do today. I remember because it was something that profoundly changed me. I remember because it was a piece of history I'm sad to have been alive through. I remember because in 40 years, I hope the world doesn't reach lows like that. I've seen the documentaries, I've read the conspiracies, I have my doubts and I have my beliefs. It doesn't matter. What matters is that it happened. It happened and I hope nothing like that ever happens again. Innocent people died unnecessarily and that's the only way I look at it.

My reminiscence is through watching and listening to the footage and remembering how I felt almost a decade ago. has an extensive and amazing collection of appropriate videos on and about 9/11 ranging from Oliver Stone's WORLD TRADE CENTRE to the ever so detailed LOOSE CHANGE.

I personally recommend:

9/11:Phone Calls from the Towers

Also the most accurate portrayal of the events. The Filmmakers Commemerative Edition: 9/11. This is the one that was the accidental documentary of Ladder 1. It's unbelievable. It's in 3 parts but, if you want something that is opinion free and insightful, look no further.

And what I still consider the greatest possible homage to the events that happened that day: THE DAILY SHOW on the September 20th 2001. It's Google-able . . . it's what really confirmed how I felt. 8 years later when I watch it, it still brings me to tears and still comforts me.

In any way you deem fit, remember.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Comment if you wish but, this is more of a personal score I need to settle.


Twitter Page

Monday, September 7, 2009

Worldwide Bloggers Day?

I have so much to talk about.

It's snowing.

For us, the Labour Day weekend is the last cottage weekend of the year. A little chilly but, all in all just the last breath of summer. Tonight I watched a breezy snow fall. Our friend Tara up in Pangnirtung has had her fair share already; I think we got her left-overs. Speaking of left-overs, if anyone has any lasagna making tips for Tara, she's all for them! And speaking of Tara, if any of our Ontario friends want to see exactly what the north has to offer, I suggest you look at the pictures Tara has on her blog recently. Plus, her blog in general is just fantastic.

We've mentioned Townie Bastard before. It appears (like Tara) we have our own little blogging community here in our building. In months to come, I believe you will see an abundance of fun blogging going on. Not to mention an intense Wii competition. . .!

With all the warm blogging community happenings, it got me thinking that maybe it would be great for all of us to meet. I know that the mutual respect is already there and that the random encounters are awkwardly fun but, wouldn't it be great if we could all get together one day and meet eachother. Not like a convention but, just a gathering of great writers over a hot beverage and a lunch. I'd love that.

In an age where we have days to celebrate the brilliant and bold, alike with Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and even Secretary's Day, why can't we have a BLOG DAY! or BLOGGERS DAY. I wonder if we can all make this movement happen and organize a day where we can celebrate our favourite new fetish and outlet. It started here folks!

I think it should be a Sunday too . . .

Now a quick Public Service Announcement:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our North.

Iqaluit thus far, through our eyes.

You Won't Need 15 Coffee Cups

I feel like we may have overloaded on the “housewares”. Mainly because our apartment is a single bedroom but, shelf space is basic. You’ll have just enough space for the basic two-person items. We actually have 15 coffee cups for 5 living creatures and trust me, the last thing any of the cats need is caffeine (see list of broken materials and objects dating back to 2007 in all apartments lived in by said pets)

When moving here, don’t worry about your favourite dishes and focus mainly on getting your favourite foods up here. Even when you think you’ve brought enough food, just bring more. We hit Costco a few times and looking back on all we have stocked now, I would’ve traded Half my wardrobe and/or 9 mugs to have brought more food. If you think one bag of flour is enough, bring 4. I’m deadly serious. Your cart may look full at the store, but believe me, when you settle in and you’ve seen how much things really are up here, you’ll see. It’s not that we’re on short supply or anything. We just found that during the process of un-loading all our things we were questioning why we brought some things.

The real problem is: You don’t know how big or small your apartment will be until you get here. We’re very happy and comfortable in our quaint comfy space. (which apparently is somewhat of an Iqaluit institution, especially for bloggers!) Looking back, I think we would’ve tweaked our selected items for the 1500lbs we were allowed to ship. . . just a touch!

In the beginning the moving company we were assigned didn’t seem all that reliable. We began to feel really worried about our stuff, especially the fragile boxes which we marked very boldly. Don’t judge a book people. I think everyone is worried when they ship such a massive load such a massive distance. Out of the 35 boxes/items/miscellaneous objects we only had two broken items. One plate and one mug (define: irony). It was no fault of the movers . . . it was the decorative stones we packed inside of the box with all the dishes!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life In Iqaluit

What is life like here?

I think a few people at home, as well as a few here in the North have been waiting for this post.
I'm no Nunavut expert and I've only been here a little over a week but, here are some of the things we've noticed and some of the great discoveries we've made being here so far. Some things are funny in comparison, others are a real taste of life, either way life up here is different in the best of ways.

I'd like to begin with the most important discovery yet. Steph makes unbelievably good pancakes. Seriously. Since we only brought a few essential and easy to make items with us on our flight, our diets have consisted of Pancakes, Tea, "Presidents Choice White Chedder Macaroni & Cheese", and Honey-nut Cheerios! But Steph is the Gordon Ramsey of pancake making. For 3 years now, I've known her to be a master of 2 dishes: Spaghetti and White Sauce (a Secret Family Recipe), and the aforementioned PC White Cheddar so, you can imagine my surprise when she woke me up asking "Would you like some Apple Cinnamon Pancakes?". At first, I thought she'd picked up some of those ready-to-make Eggo Pancakes. You should've seen my face when I saw her using real ground cinnamon and pieces of diced apple. So there you go, Steph = Pancake Goddess.

Since the first hour we stepped on Nunavut ground, the people here have been incredibly friendly. I think that's one of the most important things everyone needs to know about life up here. People wave at you, they say hello, they stop their cars to let you cross the road even if you aren't at a walkway. I've been working at the pub for a week and I have regulars. People who remember my name, asked to be served by me, bring things in to show me; you name it. I pick up Steph at work when I can and last week I saw her joking with one of her patients on her way out. It made me feel warm and happy. People here are less self-involved and more out-going. It's not a population of hippies of anything, there are still people who keep to themselves. It's just that people here are more trusting at first and seem warmer and more eager to be-friend you and welcome you in.

Talking to people back home has left me with the impression that some people are picturing life up here as a community of Igloo's in a winter Ewok Village, without food or clean water, Eskimos everywhere. It's just not true. It's like any other town anywhere else in Ontario/Canada, just without a Tim Hortons. The differences are what you make them. We came here for the adventure and the change of pace. So far, we've got a great dose of both. When you really do the math, life up here is . . . dare I say it . . . better than life at times in Ontario. Monotany up here is a choice, not a lifestyle. There is plenty to do, you just have to reach for it. And how convenient is it that everything you need here in town is within arms reach.

Steph and I walk around town warm and smiling. Sure, we haven't experienced the cold of the winter here yet but, we love this place without the snow already. Add a little shimmering white, it can only make it that much more beautiful. Bring the snow. We read countless amounts of blog's and received a libraries worth of advice so we're prepared to survive the cold.

We love how small and easy-going it is. Life here is simple. We take it as it comes and we make the best of what we take. It's not a tropical paradise or anything extravagant, but that's what we love about it. For us it's the culture, the lifestyle, the beautiful scenery, the crisp clean air, the healthier living. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's not for everyone but, it's definitely for us.

Last night we both caught our first glimpse of the Northern Lights. Even if there isn't much to do, there's no Beer Store, the food is more expensive, there aren't any trees and they don't have any beers on tap, seeing those lights is enough to make anyone alive live or be here.

With all of that said, let's lighten things up a bit. Here are some other observations:

- I've heard Jennifer Paige's "Crush" everyday since I've been here. Yes . . THAT song.
- Still no sign of PolarMan!
- Nobody Honks their car horn
- They don't play any Oasis on Raven Rock (the local radio station)
- Capital One will not let me change my address to anything in Nunavut.
- Tips here are amazing
- Uphill walking is slightly difficult when you're in the shape we're in!
- Northern Blogs are more than a community, it's a lifestyle.
- Townie Bastard might live above us
- We miss Draft Beer!
- Pizza Hut is healthier for you here!
- I've spoke more french in the past two weeks than the last 17 years
- Cats love Beer-Can Boxes
- Smoking was the stupidest habit I ever had.
- How beautiful the Northern Lights are

- How happy we both are here and how happy we are that we made this decision.