Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jonas and Jeff vs. Toronto

Today my boy and I took on the mighty city and kicked its butt, obliterated it, left it begging for mercy.

It was a marvelous day in his young life; it was a great day in the life of his dad.

Jonas and I hopped on the subway and paid a visit to the offices of Transcontinental Media, home of The Hockey News and the scene of some of the best times of my life. Jonas was unbelieveably well-behaved - he slept on the subway, woke up as we arrived at the office, and was his usual engaging self during our two-hour visit. He fell asleep on the subway ride home, and was in great spirits when we got back to his mommy. It was a fantastic day.

We are in Toronto until Thursday, staying at the Delta Chelsea. Monday night we had a great visit with our close friend Kainani, now a proud mother to eight-month-old Piper. What a bizarre experience it was for me, listening to Kainani dispense parenting advice, when about 18 months ago she was advising me on how to recover from a night of binge drinking. Oh, how times have changed.

Kainani with Jonas

On Friday we head back to Lindsay to spend Christmas with Christine’s family, then on Boxing Day we’re off to Penetanguishene to spend some time with my folks. We fly back to Fort Albany on New Year’s Day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Here’s Mispun!

Well, there has been no shortage of good news to report in the last week. On Sat. Dec. 9, Northern Voices contributor Jacob Ashamock and his partner Kerry Bitternose welcomed Mispun Riel Daris Ashamock into the world, born at Timmins District Hospital. Mispun, which I’m told translates into Snow in English, is their first daughter, following her big brother, Andre, into the world. Congratulations, and a quick warning that Jonas may soon be putting the moves on little Mispun.

Tis the Season to Party

James Bay General Hospital held its annual Christmas party Sunday, honouring its over-worked employees for another year of hard work and dedication to this community. Let me tell you, there were more than a few belts undone after the meal. Later, a few of us gathered at Chateau Mackie to watch the Christmas classic "Christmas Vacation", featuring Chevy Chase when he was funny. Here are just a few of the photos snapped by the guy who was lurking with the camera.

Nurses of Albany: Front row (from left): Jen K., Hae-Yun, Jen C., Angie. Back row: Jack, Andrea, Ladyne, Becky, Christine, Denis, Lucianne.

Our good friends, Todd and Jen C.

Jonas seems interested in what Jen C. and Hae-Yun have to say

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jonas Sleeps Through the Night

What a marvelous night it was for Jonas, and more importantly his sleep-deprived parents. The little guy actually sleep through the night for the first time. Yep, he went down at 2 a.m. and did not wake up until 9:30 a.m. Will this become the norm? Or was it just a passing moment of luxury?

We had a fun evening last night, as Todd and Jen C. came over and we watched "The Ref", starring Christine’s beloved Denis Leary. It was at least the third time we’ve seen this Christmas movie, and I have to admit it’s pretty funny. I also have to admit that I haven’t made it through the film without falling asleep. Last night was no exception. In my defence we didn’t start it until 10:30, and it was the end of a busy week. What am I talking about? My days of making it through a movie sans sleep are over, just like watching hockey on week nights, and me caring about my appearance - all are ancient friggin’ history.

Tonight, the other nurses threw a potluck/baby shower for us over at Andrea’s. Jonas received more clothes and toys; I can’t tell you how fortunate we are that we have such generous friends and family. I managed to stay awake tonight, although my dozing last night was exposed when Christine, Todd and Jen started reciting lines from "The Ref", only to have me ask "Where’s that from?" Duh.

Here are a few pictures from the party. I’ve also posted a few bath time pics in our photo album.

Hae-Yun and Jonas

Jonas and Wolfman Tom

Jonas showing off his new Pooh blanket with Jen K. and Ladyne

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dirk Soeterik wins big "Inside the Box"

Friends, every so often I have one of those days in which I feel like I’ve been hit with a jolt of electricity - in a good way. Tuesday was one of those days. We were (and still are) on Cloud 9 after learning that Martyn and Carrie are getting married next October. And just when I thought a day couldn’t get any better, I changed the channel on the television and soon found the face of my good buddy and former Hockey News colleague Dirk Soeterik staring back at me.

"Oh my God, it’s Dirk, it’s Dirk, it’s Dirk," I shouted to Christine, who was in the kitchen.

I couldn’t believe me eyes, Dirk was a contestant on "Inside The Box" a Canadian game show that tests the TV knowledge of contestants, a show so horribly low budget that it has become a daily guilty pleasure for Christine and me. Now, part of the appeal for us is playing along at home, and laughing at the idiocy of the contestants, some of whom may never have watched TV in their lives.

I knew Dirk could kick the butts of the other two competitors; this is the type of show he could thrive at, a show that rewards those who can recall inane details of old and new shows, characters and actors - and recall them in front of a studio audience with the lights shining down on them.

Well, Dirk crushed his opponents and advanced to the final round where he was able to parlay the clues he was given and come up with the right answer: actor Gerald McCraney. Dirkie walked away with a cool $2,500 out of a possible $10,000. Well done, my friend.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Martyn Bailey has been Tamed!!!

Martyn Bailey and Carrie Clynick are enagaged to be married on October 6, 2007, Northern Voices has learned.

A source close to the couple (possibly one of them) revealed that they are indeed engaged after a courtship of about a year.

OK, OK, I just wanted to know how it felt to write the lead to a hard news story again.

This is huge news!!! An absolutely enormous, massive, gigantic turn of events. Martyn Bailey, whom I’ve known for some 17 years, who stood up for me at my wedding, is settling down. Ladies, you had your chance and every one of you blew it.

Except, of course, for Carrie Clynick, definitely one of the nicest girls I have ever met in my life. Martyn saw an opportunity here and he seized it, setting himself up for the rest of his life with a fellow vegetarian, a lawyer, and possibly most importantly, a girl with vast knowledge of pop culture. My friends, this is something you can’t put a price on. Any woman who can carry on a conversation about the cultural relevancy of the hit show "Flavour of Love" is OK in my books. As Martyn will find out, the possibilities for conversation will be endless. He is a lucky guy, let me tell you.

Well, I look forward to being a groomsman at the wedding; the only wedding I have ever been in was my own. It is a real honour to be thought of in this way.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Jeff’s November Playlist

I am a couple of days late with this, but here are the new (or relatively new) singles I was listening to in November, ranked in order, of course.

1. Open Your Eyes, Snow Patrol
My second favourite song from their CD Eyes Open. It was used in the opening scene of the season premiere of E.R., of which I am a fan.

2. When The Sun Goes Down , Charlie Mars
This song is a couple of years old now, but Charlie Mars hasn’t put out a new album since, and XM has played it a bit, therefore I’m qualifying it for my list.

3. Roger and Out, Neil Young
This is one of Neil’s best songs in several years. It is written from the pespective of a Vietnam Vet who came home from the war, but his friend didn’t. It is, suffice to say, topical.

4. Trust Me, The Fray
The latest CD by The Fray is pretty good, and this is one of the strongest songs.

5. It Was Love, The Elected
When I listen to The Elected, I am reminded of The Jayhawks. This is one of my favourite songs from their most recent CD.

6. When the Angels Make Contact, Matt Mays
Matt Mays is one of my favourite artists, and he doesn’t disappoint me with the first single from his new CD. It is unlike anything he has done to date, which makes me appeciate him even more.

7. The Man, Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn is a also a favourite of mine. I was excited about this song the first few times I heard it, but it has since become a bit bland for me. Still, I like it quite a bit.

8. Surrender, Ox
This is such a fantastic cover of the Cheap Trick song; a stipped down accoustic. This Canadian band is apparently a country act, but to me they sound more alt-country. Am I just being redundant here?

9. Move Along , The All-American Rejects
I heard this song countless times and never really liked it, until one night I heard it while at the Ambulance base and something just clicked for me. I’ve liked it ever since.

10. The Kill, 30 Seconds To Mars
This is one song I like to turn up loud.

11. Let Love in, Goo Goo Dolls
A catchy, upbeat song, but I’ve given up on the idea that GG will ever break new ground.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Merry CREE-smas Fort Albany!

Jonas with his very best friend, Neepeesee, born Aug. 26

Jonas with Santa Claus

Jonas is all set for his first Christmas

Today was an exciting and profitable day for Northern College in the FA. Myself, along with students Barb Loone and Ginette Stephen sold Indian Tacos at the Christmas Bazaar at Peetabeck Academy. For those of you who have never had Indian Tacos, they are simply made of taco meet and Indian fry bread - essentially fried bread. We made the tacos yesterday, with the help of a few of the other students.

Also making an appearance was The Chump. The Chump knows everything about NHL trivia, and today everyone had a chance to stump The Chump. For $2, you had the chance to ask to ask The Chump a hockey trivia question. If he got it right, he kept your money; if he got it wrong, you got your money back, plus $2 out of the Chump’s own pocket. It proved profitable for the College; The Chump was one a roll against nurse Becky Campbell, as well as teachers Dave Davey and Albert Solomon. However, he had his butt handed to him by Ginette’s daughter Kristen, who walked away a winner against The Chump.

Christine and Jonas came out to enjoy the fun. Jonas was passed around from person to person. At times Christine was concerned that her son was in the arms of strangers. I, however, assured her that I knew these individuals and that little Jonas was in no danger. Still, a mother has a right to worry.