Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction comes in many forms. For me, I'm happy if I can save the organization I work for from the public humiliation of a misplaced apostrophe ("NGO's" is a popular one) or the embarrassment of not knowing that "comprised of" is wrong and "comprises" is right. If only there were such straightforward rules to follow for how to write poems.

Who hid the cinema?

Perhaps it's easier to blog (is that really a verb?) when away from home. I'm in Edmonton for work and and am having some quality time with my laptop in a cosy hotel room. Yes, cosy. Having one corner knocked off the usual prefab rectangle seems to make all the difference.

Edmonton has a scruffiness that I realize I like because it makes the city feel older and more worn, like a book that's become dog-eared because it's been read so much. That was my impression through the bus window on the way downtown from the airport. The downtown area isn't scruffy though; it's shiny and tall, and litter-free at least at night.

Actually, downtown Edmonton is really just one vast parkade. When I went for a walk earlier this evening, I felt as if I'd been turned inside out. Everyone here parks their cars indoors and all the shops are inside too. It took me ages to find the cinema, not least because the friendly Starbucks staff were a bit vague with their directions and perhaps assume that everyone, not just Canadians, has an innate ability to spot entrances to shopping malls, even at night when everything is closed. I didn't know people were allowed inside closed shopping malls. Evidently plenty of others know this, mostly small men on their own wearing baseball caps and carrying plastic bags, circling the empty food courts and riding the empty escalators.

By the time I managed to find the cinema, the box office staff had closed up shop and handed over their bundles of tickets to the candy and pop staff. The next screenings were too far past my start-watching-a-film time so I've decided that was a reconnaissance mission for the real thing tomorrow night.

Really? A vegetarian restaurant in Whitehorse?

I once tried to start a blog about being vegetarian in the Yukon, the Mecca of hunting. But it's an emotive topic for me and it tends to take a long time for me to be able to write about what matters to me most, at least overtly. The news is that Whitehorse has a new vegetarian restaurant, Ruby's. It would be vegan but for a few egg whites in some of the recipes, particularly the desserts. I don't know how many chickens are needed to keep Ruby supplied in egg-whites or what happens to the yolks or, indeed, where they get their eggs from but I would hope they'd be free range. The menu relies a little too much on soy for me but it's bliss to be able to enter a building and know no blood is being spilt inside. Whitehorse now has two vegetarian eateries: Ruby's and the egg-free Alpine Bakery and cafe. Thank heavens.


The Banff workshop only lasted one week but the benefits are life-long, I can tell. Over a month later, I am managing to keep the momentum going. It's been rather like freewheeling downhill on a bicycle so far but I will need to start pedalling for myself any day now. In the meantime, the house is grubby and I'm not keeping up with my emails to friends. But I am writing down at least one new writing thought every day. Mostly a great deal more than this but sometimes not even a sentence. It all counts. I'm hoping my friends will forgive my slower communication pace. At least I email my friends more often than I blog. If I were a tweeter, I'd probably manage one squawk a year.