Monday, May 28, 2007

Love-children, cigarillos and more interns than you can count.

The midway point between Cold Lake and Edmonton is a little town called Smoky Lake. It's the kind of place that prides itself upon being the pumpkin capital of Alberta. And in all technicalities, it's actually the two-third point (or one-third, depending on which direction you're driving) between Cold Lake and Edmonton. Nonetheless, it's nearly impossible to stop for gas in Smoky without running into a fellow Cold Laker.

On Friday, the Cold Laker I ran into was my old school chum Justin. I haven't seen him in literally years (although he's apparently seen me driving around Cold Lake in the last month) but that didn't stop me from immediatly launching into a rant.

"I need to tell you something," I said, unwrapping the ice cream cone in my hand. "Today's my birthday and for some reason I really wanted to smoke a birthday cigarillo. But I have no idea how to smoke and I was afraid that I was going to light myself on fire. So, instead, I had to settle for this birthday ice cream cone. It's kind of upsetting."

Justin looked in bemusement at me and he reached into his car. He pulled out two mini-cigars and a blue lighter. "Happy birthday," he said, putting them in my hand.

And then I had both a birthday ice cream AND a mini-cigar. I was pretty much the happiest birthday girl ever! (I didn't smoke it, though. The fear of lighting myself on fire was too intense. That, and I didn't like the idea of having a smoky car.)

But my day got even better. Alex Dodd made me stuffed red peppers and roasted aspargus for dinner, with chai-flavoured vegan muffins for dessert.

And then he let me play Scrabble with him. Which I won, of course. (Although he gets bonus points for spelling the best word of the game: AGAVE.)

And then he tried to smother me because I'm a poor winner. (And a poor loser, for that matter, which is the reason why I like to win.)

On Saturday, we found a patio and Alex got his olive fix for the day. (Like Alex's custom-made wallet? My co-worker and friend Jordy made it for him. She also made me a bag, which is pretty much my new favourite thing ever and matches everything I own. You can check out her designs here.)

That night, we went to Chloe's house for the Girl House* kegger. Amanda and Steve were still thoroughly enjoying the sweet wrist caressing move I had taught them three weeks earlier. They weren't even prepared for the latest form of affection I had discovered: caterpillar kissing.

Earlier in the day, curiousity about kissing prompted some solid research time on wikipedia. (Kissing has always seemed kind of absurd to me. I mean, who decided to stick their lips together in the first place? I had to find out!) I read all about butterfly kissing, French kissing and Eskimo kissing. But it was the caterpillar kissing that caught my attention.

Chloe let me demonstrate to the group exactly how caterpillar kissing works: you rub your eyebrow against your partner's eyebrow. (Check out the guy in the background leaning in to check out the intense caterpillar action!)

Chris was not impressed with the moves I put on his girlfriend. Chloe could hardly take her hands off me afterwards.

It's time to introduce you to someone. His name is Paul (pictured on the left). Paul was standing in the corner talking to Chris and I couldn't stop staring at him because he looked so familiar. And then it hit me.

"Alex," I said, leaning in quietly. "Doesn't that guy look kind of like Dan?"

Alex started laughing. "That's funny, because I was just thinking he looks a lot like David Berry. [pictured here on the right of Paul] But yah, he does look kind of like Dan."

[Just for reference, this is Dan in a photo that I quite unceremoniously stole from Facebook.]

"If David Berry and Dan Grey had a secret love child, I'm pretty sure he would look exactly like that guy. Let's call him 'Dan Berry.'"

And then, because I'm a creep, I told Paul that we had decided to name him Dan Berry and why. He quickly left the room.

There were a surplus of Ontariotonianons at the party. I had invited the interns from the Edmonton Journal, including Jen (second from the right), my editor at McClung's.

And then before we knew it, the Ontariontonians were teaching the Albertans a new drinking game: Flip Cup. Alex Dodd, resident Ontarion, is picture here demonstrating proper Flip Cup technique to Amanda's brother.

Perfect form. At first I was skeptical, because I don't believe in drinking games where no one has the possibility of getting hurt. But Flip Cup won my heart. (However, to all of your who keep calling the drinking card game "Kings"--the proper name of the game is Sociables. But then again, in Australia it's called "Ring of Fire" and there are variations on it. But it's just so much fun to yell out "SOCIABLES!" everytime the Sociables card gets pulled.)

, Basically, Flip Cup is like a relay race with two teams consisting of four people each. The first person has to chug beer and then flip their cup upside down on the table. Once they successfully do this, the next person in their team can go. Whichever team finishes first obviously wins.

The team on the left (featured here high-fiving with all their cups successfully upside down, while the opposing team's final cup balances precariously on its edge in the wrong direction) were unbeatable. But they had more Ontario folk on their side.

And now, it's time for some pictures of me with people:


James! (I met James when I went to the U of A and we used to have lunch together on Fridays. I haven't seen him since.)

Alex Dodd! (And some guy's eyeball!)


Josh! (Check out D-Dodd in the background eyeing me down for being a promiscuous caterpillar kisser.)

Redeeming myself.

Kim and her beau.

Girl House residents and keg-thrower extrodinaires: Kim, Costume-Change Chloe and Amanda.

Thanks for the awesome time ladies!

On Sunday, I got part one of my birthday gift from Alex: a pedicure for two. He may have sold me on Flip Cup, but Alex was definitely won over by the pedicure.

(Nobody bothered guessing what part two of my gift was, yet. So I'm not telling until next Monday.)


*Seriously, people: if you have two or more roomates, it's necessary to name your dwelling in the most appropriate fashion possible. It prevents people from saying, "I'm going to Amanda, Kim, Chloe, Natalie and Jenny's house." Because what if you are friends with more than one person in the house? Well, obviously you don't want to pick favourites. Solution: plantation-style names for homes, a la China, 518, Homewood, Brunswick and Girl House.


  1. Wish my house was Brunswick... its just Kappa Sigma or The Frat House... worst names for a house ever. However they are also quite appropriate.

  2. The best part of this post was my haircut.

    Good work team.

  3. Also, that picture of Paul and David is fantastic. They look like models/a boy band/ a hip hop group of some kind. The looks they give...

  4. Anonymous11:14 PM

    Happy Birthday!

    You should definitely smoke a big fat cigar. I recommend not inhaling.

  5. Anonymous12:55 AM

    ok several things:
    1) you don't know how excited i am that i made your blog hahaha
    2) however, where is the picture of me and you!??? that needs to happen.
    3) in my humble opinion, Paul looks more like David Berry than the other guy
    4) Alex Dodd sounds like quite a swell guy. (He was pretty swell in person too haha)

  6. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Happy belated blogger friend. Trust, I'm not getting a lot done here, you're by far having a better summer judging from your photos. I read a lot about your work but I still have no idea what your job actually is...a lion tamer or an emu farmer? It's the emus aint it?

  7. Jen-the picture of you and me must be on someone else's camera! I'm dissapointed that I don't have said picture!

    Karon- I can't say what my job is because of FOIP and because I've run into problems in the past by stating what I do online. (Problems=the editor of my local newspaper wrote an editorial about my blog. This was not cool since I have a prominent role in the community that involves working with youth.) But, Carla & I have essentially the same job, except I'm in a rural location, so I run my own office--two offices in two different towns, in fact. She'll fill you in if you're really curious.

  8. Anonymous12:33 PM

    The editor of the CLS? OMG. His editorials used to make me cringe.

  9. that olive wallet is really special, do you get anal about acrabble tile arrangement and making them all flush? no? happy belated you are pretty.

  10. Nope, I'm more likely to clumsily knock all the tiles off the board and then insist that I was going to win anyways.

    But now that you point it out, it really is within my personality type to ensure all the letters are aligned. I really wanted a Delux Scrabble board that has pre-alotted spots for the tiles. I kind of get a little wet thinking about it.

  11. i am glad cigarillos made it to your blog. I would tell you to smoke it but your life will probably spriral into the white trash mess that mine has become. also whatever jess those clues were terrible how can anybody guess