Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thanks For The Memories...

Since making my decision to leave the glamorous life of TV, I've been reminiscing the memories I have from the past 14 years. I've compiled a list that is by no means complete, but some of my favourite moments from The New PL/A-Channel/A/CTV.
  • The Christmas Eve breakfast (with missing sausages)
  • Alan's scavenger hunts
  • Lisa & I inadvertently high-fiving in the back of a shot (I had just done the fastest graphic correction in time to go on air!)
  • Bob Smith calling out my dad about promising me a car if soybeans hit $12/bushel
  • "reporting" at Walkerton Watershed (I interviewed Great Big Sea, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Paul Brandt and The Watchmen!)
  • Wingham elections
  • working on the station's version of Survivor
  • the day the audio board caught on fire and we had to switch control rooms during the news
  • the many awesome stinger shots on the noon show
  • running to the art department (on the other side of the building) every morning to fix the clock on the morning show 
  • working with Trevor on the morning show. I swear he slept through most of it ;)
  • election subs (the smell of Subway always reminds me of elections)
  • Pancake Tuesday Potluck - frying up bacon right in the newsroom
  • learning to speak the language of Doug
  • sitting on a milk crate in engineering shooting the breeze with Scott and Mark
  • lunch at the picnic table with Bruce
  • countless episodes of That 70's Show, Friends, The Office and The Big Bang Theory with Scrappy
  • appearing in a Leavens Volkswagen commercial
  • witnessing historic events within the perspective of a newsroom - 911, The Bandidos Massacre, etc.
  • learning that Mr. Dressup died from an "urgent" on the wires
  • the day they cancelled the noon show :( so sad
  • Nick Paparella incessantly telling me I'm "living in the past" and calling me Queen of the Furrow (this relates to when I was the Dresden Fair Princess at age 11)
  • teaching my coworkers to play Dutch Blitz

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


During my years at CTV I have spent many hours with Mr. Doug Assis. He has been my graphics guru, a constant source of technical know-how and endless patience to share his knowledge.

I must admit it was a rough start to our relationship. Our approaches are much different. Doug has all the time in the world to research techniques and perfect the end result. I'm impatient and need results NOW. (Part of that could come from working in the newsroom where my deadlines come fast and furious) And for this very reason, we did not always get along!

However, we have come to understand each other. Even like each other. :)  Over the years Doug has been an invaluable resource and we have spent countless hours together working on several re-brands, elections and general graphic needs for the newsroom.

He has helped me with multiple personal art projects that I have had the vision for, but not necessarily the technical expertise to finish. He has given of his own time to help me improve my skills.

The tables were turned on Friday when I, the grasshopper, had a chance to share my knowledge with the teacher, prior to my pending departure. It was a fun day as I showed Doug my tricks and secrets of the news graphics world.

I will miss Doug and the confusion that usually ensues when we have a conversation. I've mastered the accent but still have not deciphered the riddles that he always speaks in. Thanks Doug. For everything.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bon Appetit

One of my favourite things about Paris was the food. Glorious food. I knew, going into the trip, that the food would be fabulous. But, I didn't anticipate it being such an integral part of the experience!

There were certain things on our check list, or as CA put it "it's our moral imperative to eat...". On that list were: pain du chocolat, crème brûlée, baguettes, crêpes, escargots, foie gras and plenty of fromage.

As I mentioned before, the trip was all about experiencing Paris and that equated to plenty of time spent at sidewalk cafés (even in the winter, they eat outside!) belangeries, patisseries and brasseries, eating our way through Paris. One day, while deciding on what to order, Carol Ann commented (and I loved it..) "go big or go home...or go home big." LOL

Perhaps the most decadent of all was the day we went to Angelina Tearoom. They are known the world over for their hot chocolate. We waited in line for about half an hour before we got a chance to experience it but it was well worth the wait. Thick and velvety, it was divine!

One of the tips that we read online before heading to France was to order the café gourmande. It is on most menus and includes an espresso and an assortment of desserts. That way you can sample rather than commit to just one thing. In one day of wandering Paris, we sampled THREE café gourmandes! We had to compare from different places, obviously. (#1 turned out to be the best)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

That's a Wrap

Fourteen years ago, I was a Mohawk College student looking for an internship. I landed at The New PL in London in the Creative Services department. Several months later I got a job in the newsroom and the rest, as they say, is history.

It's hard to believe it's been that long! When I look back at my time in TV, things have changed considerably. (I know I sound ancient saying such a thing, but it's true!) There have been cutbacks, downsizing and the working atmosphere has changed.

I have always loved my coworkers and we have become like family. I have certainly spent more time with them than my own family in the past 14 years. The camaraderie has been great in the newsroom and it will be really hard for me to leave that. Yes, I said leave.

For the past few years, I have been working on a transition plan. I returned to Fanshawe College and took the Corporate Communication & Public Relations course. When I graduated, I worked part time at The Achievement Centre and tbk Creative to gain some experience. It's been a wild 3 years of having zero downtime, but it is finally paying off.

In December The Achievement Centre approached me about coming back on a full time basis as the Visual Communications Coordinator. After a few days of consideration, I took the plunge and accepted. As much as I've been working towards leaving TV behind, it was a difficult decision when it came down to it. I'm sure my last day will be an emotional one but I'm really excited about this new opportunity.

Perhaps the best part of this whole process is that my hours will now be 8:30-4:30 compared to 3:15 - 11:45pm. Yes, that's a complete shift in my world. I'll be able to actually do stuff with people. Like a normal person. Woot woot.

Welcome back, social life. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Paris ReCap #1

Time seems to have slipped through my fingers and I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since returning from Paris.

What an amazing time we had! Seriously, trip of a lifetime. I have never been away at Christmas before and was a little apprehensive about that. But once I arrived and was experiencing the magic of Paris, I didn't mind not being home. We had to pinch ourselves several times to remind us we were really in PARIS!

Our hotel was in a great location. We felt like we were in a little neighbourhood with locals around us, but were really close to Place du Concorde and Champs-Élysées. We walked there on our first night and marveled at all the lights. It was stunning.

We took the metro a few times but mostly we walked. In fact, we blended into Parisian life so well, that one day an American walking in front of us turned around and asked us if we lived there. Hilarious but true.

CA and I had similar expectations for our trip and that was to experience Paris. We saw some of "must see" things in Paris but for the most part we soaked up the atmosphere, moving from café to brasserie to pâtisserie - sampling all the amazing food Paris had to offer!

Stay tuned for more on that amazing cuisine as well as other adventures we had!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Songs and Stories

Excuse my catch-up blogging...

This morning while listening to the Vinyl Cafe podcast, I was reminded of a post I didn't have a chance to make before Christmas.

Each year, my friend Laurie & I anticipate the Vinyl Cafe Christmas show. It has become a tradition of sorts and we both really enjoy the festive feel of the night.

If you are not familiar with Vinyl Cafe, wait...what? You don't listen to CBC radio? Vinyl Cafe is a CBC radio show featuring Canadian music and stories of a fictional family. It really should be experienced, but for CBC aficionados like Laurie and myself, we are well-versed in the Dave & Morley stories. We had been looking forward to the Vinyl Cafe Christmas for a couple of months.

As the icing on the cake, this year's musical artist was Reid Jamieson. You may remember me mentioning him here before. I discovered Reid while listening to Vinyl Cafe and instantly was drawn into his rich vocals and gorgeous take on some of my favourite songs. What a bonus that I'd get to see him in person!

This year did not disappoint. Laurie and I found our seats and settled in for an evening of Christmas classics. The lights dimmed and Stuart walked out on stage. For the next few hours we were lost in holiday stories and songs. A delightful evening with a dear friend.

After the show we met Reid and had the opportunity to bestow proper praise on him for his fine work. He has made it into my top 5 artists currently. I'm absolutely loving his Songs For A Winter Night album (which he had pre-signed and ready for me in his pocket!). Have a listen'll love it too!