Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yes, another list. Deal.

Signs you're back in your small hometown... all which have happened to me in the past week:

1. Every third interview you do with the TV station knows your mom. (I'll leave the reason why to your imagination...)

2. You go to cover a 6 car accident and find yourself chatting with one of the drivers-- you played softball with her daughter.

3. You hop into the bank ATM line-up and see your mom at the machine in front of you. When you say hi, you realize your sister's in line at the teller.

4. You go see the annual Shakespeare play in the park and recognize both Hamlet and Ophelia from your grad class.

5. While sitting on the patio at BP downtown, one of your old high school teachers walks by... with one of your classmates on his arm. And her belly is starting to show.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A few of my favourite things

In honour of tomorrow marking one month back in town, I offer my dear readers the following...

10 Best Things About Being Back in Kamloops
(in no particular order)

1. Time Warp

... the radio stations are pretty much exactly the same as when I was in high school. People who live here regularly find this frustrating. I, however, love the short-term opportunity to nostalgically rock out. Case in point: belting out Amanda Marshall's "Let It Rain" as I passed by Riverside Coliseum, where I saw my first "real" concert-- Amanda, playing, nonetheless-- back in grade 7.

2. Francie

There's already a post on her and how awesome she is, but it's worth repeating. Francie rocks my socks. Even when high school boys laugh at my car at the park. Or I walk into the lunchroom to hear my coworkers trying to deduce "WHO is driving that 90s hatchback?". Or she takes a good 30 seconds to hit 60 going up the hill. Heart.

Kamloops is a great city to drive in-- the weather is perfect for rolling down your windows, there's a beautiful view of the valley down from my place... and it's really big and hilly, and I'm pretty lazy, so it's far superior to... shudder... walking.

3. Canada Day

Ottawa notwithstanding, Kamloops has one of the best Canada Days I've been to- it's a huge community event with tons of live performances and art displays and kids' games and amazing food put on by tons of the local cultural associations. And the fireworks over the river are pretty fantastic. Plus I got to do a story on it for the news-- woo!

4. Perfect way to end the day

I won't pretend I'm up for many of the sunrises... but the sunsets in the valley are gorgeous.

5. Sun, sun, sun...

At least 4 days of brilliant dry heat and sun for any crappy rain day... the perks of being in a desert.

6. Riverside Park

I can't tell if Riverside has gotten nicer and less sketch since I lived here, or if my standards have substantially lowered after being in Toronto... but the park is lovely, even if the beach is a bit lacklustre.

7. The old haunts

Denny's, the piercing shop, Scoops (or better yet, when it was Summer Dreams), the tea house, Zak's...

... I just realized that all of my favourite places in town either feed me or poke holes in me. Hmm.

8. West is Best

This can be proven through equations:

Safeway > Hartman's; Save-On > Loeb; Superstore > Loblaw's

Okanagan Springs, Big Rock, Growers = amazingly delicious

And the fresh fruit from the Okanagan pretty much schools the ByWard any day of the week.

9. Deck privileges

What can I say? Like most folk, I enjoy being able to barbecue and nap and drink beers. All three are exponentially better when a deck is involved. The only downside is that nosy strata types are often watching deck goings-on... which means I've had to keep my pants on. Thus far.

10. The... pace...

Things are slower out in BC... and even more so in Kamloops. Outside of the newsroom, there's rarely a reason to rush. It's probably one of the things I've missed most.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Those summer ni-iiights...

There's nothing quite like a summer fling. The excitement, the romance, and, most importantly, the rumble between your legs on the way home from work.

Meet Francie, my 1990 Ford Festiva and sweet summer ride.

In a sprawling, hilly city with pretty lame public transit (and I think even the Mayor would agree to that one), having a car is almost a necessity. But one that is sadly out of reach for a girl working for free for the summer. Until Francie came along and saved me from a summer of showing off ankle at the truck stop in hopes of catching a ride home.

Maybe it's the epic 1990s blue wave detailing. Maybe it's the dent on her right side that could house an obese chihuahua. Maybe it's the sigh and lunge she makes as she heaves her tiny frame up the hills. But I'll admit it, I'm totally in love.

As with any new relationship, it's full of surprises-- like when I picked up a latte the other day and realized that Francie doesn't have cup holders. But then imagine the exhilaration of discovering that the space between the emergency break fits a coffee cup perfectly!

It was as I grabbed my precious coffee cup and headed into the station that I saw the pressure from wedging the cup left a dent... a dent the perfect size for my thumb to support my sweet sweet morning addiction in one hand as I contemplated the morning's story meeting.

Sometimes, things just... work. Clearly, Francie and I were meant to be.

And yes, Francie got her name from the inimitable 1950s movie classic Gidget. Her full name, however, is Fancy Francie, in honour of the most epic of Reba McEntire videos.

What does the summer have in store for us? Only time will tell...