top scoff, fries dressing & gravy edition: episode 1 – Ches’s

If you’re eating like a Newfoundlander, one of your most delicious (slash sodium soaked) options is the combination of fries, dressing and gravy. That’s not dressing as in stuff you put on lettuce to make it edible – why would you ever sully the wonderfulness that is gravy like that? I’m talking stuffing. Fresh, savoury, straight out of the turkey’s arse stuffing. (I am also not talking about Stove Top. That stuff is gross.)

That being said, I have decided to make it my mission to find the best fries, dressing and gravy on the Avalon (and hopefully eventually the province).  (more…)

Bonavista, I love you.

When I want to be a tourist at home, the first place I go is Bonavista. About a three and a half hour drive outside of St. John’s, Bonavista really feels to me like a home away from home. A small community that still carries the identity of a fishing village, it’s quaint, explorable, and just freakin’ adorable.

The three times that Liam and I have gone there, we’ve stayed at a little place called Robbin’s By The Sea. On the outside, it looks one Pepsi sign away from a small town convenience store, but once you walk through the door the unit is just delightful. There’s a full kitchen along with a little table, a couch and a good sized bed. There’s a deck on the back with another table, a bbq, and a gorgeous view.

Bonavista view (more…)

in which my idol declares our friendship

Every Wednesday night, my family and I meet in front ofour tv. The one thing that brings us all together, that we can never miss, is Criminal Minds. For me, the highlight of the show is the ray of colourful sunshine and wit that is Kirsten Vangsness, aka Penelope Garcia.

She’s witty, she’s stylish, she’s a knitter. My hero. (Source)

The coolest thing about her (character or actress, pick one) is that the personalities seem tobe one in the same. They are funny, sweet, compassionate women with super awesome eyeglasses. Kirsten is a woman worth looking up to in every sense. (more…)

pressing question of the day: what’s your preferred party lunch?

Many evenings, Liam and I finish our days by settling into a cozy bed, and watching something. Whether it’s tv (we’re almost done The Office right now) or movies (usually Jurassic Park), we’re always watching something to unwind.

Sometimes when we do this, we get the overwhelming need to indulge ourselves a little. We’ll take a little walk to the gas station before settling in for the night. Why the gas station?

Because we need us a party lunch. (more…)

we had an adventure, and now I need a puppy to love

As I mentioned in the last post, Liam and I recently went on an adventure. I’m a bit later than I wanted to be in writing about it, but I’ve been stricken with one of my cursed tension headaches, so please find it in your hearts to forgive my lateness and find the strength to read on.

In my city, August 1st is Regatta Day. As long as the weather is good, the entire city pretty much shuts down and the population makes their way to Quidi Vidi lake to spend the afternoon playing carnival games and watching rowers.

That is not what Liam and I did. (more…)

Big Tom Forever

I’ve learned that the saddest thing for a girl to ever experience is watching her dad; the man who is her rock, holding her through heartache and happiness; hurting and heartbroken.

Yesterday he lost a very good friend of his – a fellow radio dj – and his heart is breaking along with so many others. And it feels like you just can’t offer enough to make things okay, like he would be able to do for you when you needed that shoulder to cry on and hand to hold. I’ve offered to bring him food and coffee as he and his brave coworkers not only power through their work, but as radio djs they’re bearing their hearts to everyone.

I need to procrastinate, so here’s a summer to-do list

Yesterday, I finished the last of four consecutive exams, came home and promptly threw my guts up. Was it school, or the questionable guacamole that I ate yesterday? I think the answer is obviously school.

The worst part is, I still have another exam looming in the near future! C’mon university, be cool man. I’m tired of having books and papers scattered around my kitchen, pretending as if they’re being used at all.

Does this mean I’m famous now?

So a while back, I wrote a blog entry about some bad attempts at getting a date from me. Apparently someone read that and thought fuck that shit, I’mma top them all.

A few nights ago I was checking my facebook messages.  My “other” section had a new message. Usually, this is filled with crap from tv show, band and concert promoters harassing people. But I’m neurotic and can’t have unchecked things on my facebook. It haunts me. Whatever.

I check this new message, and it’s from a complete stranger. Weird. In one, horrendous run-on sentence that lacked capital letters and proper usage of the space bar, he explained that he had read my blog, wants to know more about me, and looks forward to my reply. To cap it off, he added “oh yea i love your smile though.”


By The Seat Of Our Pants

What I expected to be a quiet Thanksgiving weekend, quickly turned into an impulsive and generally silly adventure. On Thursday, Liam had a bad day. He came home from school and declared that he wanted to jump in the car and get away. So the next day, we both skipped class, loaded the car with CDs and little things we thought we’d need, and headed out.

Our aim was to get out of St. John’s and find an ideal spot for Liam to work on his photography assignment—landscapes, nothing man-made. We made a quick stop at the Goobies Irving (a road trip staple) for lunch.
My fries, dressing and gravy!
Liam had a double bacon cheeseburger platter. Because, you know, he’s crazy and all.
After our big feed, we decided that Terra Nova National Park was our best bet for gorgeous scenery. Too bad once we got there, we couldn’t figure it the hell out. There were signs everywhere warning us that permits were necessary to exist in the park, but it took us 25 minutes of driving before we found a place to get permits.

Naturally, it had been closed for a half hour.

At this point we were beyond caring, so we jumped out of the car and started on a trail. About a minute into it, we stopped to try and snap some pictures of chickadees. Running in line with the luck of the day, Liam’s batteries quickly died. The real tragedy was that neither of us captured a chickadee.

End of the road…
By the time we left Terra Nova, it was getting dark. We didn’t want to make the 3 hour trek home on a moose-ridden highway, so we decided to get a room in the nearest town, Clarenville. On the way there, we pulled off in a little place called Charlottetown for gas. It was the only town for miles around. Of course it would have a gas station, right? We discovered that the only things Charlottetown has are a motel where you will probably get Bates’d (or Wheaton’d if you’re a Criminal Minds fan, like myself), and a dead end. That’s right. We drove down Charlottetown’s main road, right until it flat out ended. 
We couldn’t do much except laugh, turn around, and pray that there was enough gas left to get out of there and to a gas station (there was. We weren’t Bates’d or Wheaton’d).

Once we got to Clarenville, we stopped at the grocery store for Caesar salads and a party lunch: salt & vinegar chips, lots of candy, and Pepsi. We then found the cheapest place to stay, the Restland Motel. Once checked in, the lady handed us our key and TV remote, and advised us that the roof was going to be shingled at 7 am. Of course it was. At least she was kind enough to give us a ground floor room. We settled in with our food (after Liam returned to Sobeys for the salad dressing we had forgotten) and enjoyed a Criminal Minds marathon until bedtime.
Our hotel room, in all it’s glory.

The next morning, I knew we were in for a luckier day when I managed to get a pumpkin spice muffin at Tim Hortons. 
This is what success looks like.
Liam then patiently let me wander through my favourite country-craft store, The Barn Loft. I’m a sucker for cutesy knick-knacks and holiday decorations. I get that from my mom.
Copyright Liam Peacock.

 Once I was done soaking in the adorable, Liam and I drove back to Terra Nova a second time, stopping frequently for Liam to take some gorgeous pictures. We finally made it to the Marine Interpretation Center to buy our permits, and the staff were very helpful in showing us ideal trails and letting Liam recharge his batteries. In the meantime, we visited the touch tank.
I touched nothing.

When we were finally ready to walk the trail, we went back to the car to get bundled up. That’s when I saw the bear poop right in front of our parking spot. Liam was unfazed, but I followed him in a state of constant paranoia. Luckily, Liam was right, and neither of us died or even got mangled.
Copyright Liam Peacock.

We then began the long drive home, stopping once again at the Goobies Irving for supper. 
Well, actually, I had breakfast. For supper. I was kind of making it up as I went along. Sort of like the whole trip.

Dancing With The Stars

Not too long ago, I danced next to Tim Baker.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with that name, Tim Baker is the naturally handsome front man of the Newfoundland based rock band Hey Rosetta. After years of indifference to all but a couple of their songs, this past February I bought the album Seeds on a whim. I was completely won over after my first listen, and the CD was on constant play in my car for months. Even still, it is a prominent player in my CD rotation.
Listening to this band has a significance to me because they prove that being a success is possible. In the small city of St. John’s, it’s easy to see a hundred bands roll on to the music scene, and quickly fade into the distance; or see the same bands play the same venues, never getting bigger or smaller, for years on end. It’s the curse of our location: being seen and getting places can be hard.
I’m one of the many people dealing with this curse. At least I will be eventually. I am in a band that is still relatively new. We’re still finding our sound, learning what works on an interpersonal level, and have even experience line-up changes in our few months of existence. When it was first started, it was just myself and one talented friend. We were excited and enthusiastic, and we had a sort of mantra: “Hey Rosetta did it! If they can do it, why can’t we?”
The longing to be like Hey Rosetta increased recently when I came to see the band in their off time. Romesh Thavanathan was at a show I played last week (though he left early into our set). I have seen him strolling down the road. And like I said when I began this article so long ago, I danced next to Tim Baker. I left a house party with three drunken friends; walked to the Ship to see the Pathological Lovers; and found that these famous, successful musicians were doing the same thing. Just loving St. John’s and living like all its twenty-somethings do.
And that is exactly what I aspire to be.
Who wouldn’t want to spend their summer touring Canada, playing festivals, and then coming home to a place you love; just jamming new songs and living an otherwise every day life. And maybe some day, a musician will be downtown, find themselves dancing next to me, and feel the same excitement and optimism.
Just like I felt on the night I danced next to Tim Baker.