Monday, January 31, 2011
I remember when I was a little girl, about four or five-years-old, when 13-year-old Candace Derksen went missing. Well, actually I don't really remember when she went missing, but I do remember when her body was found on January 17, 1985.
Since I was so small, I only remember foggy pieces of Derksen's case. However, one thing I remember vividly is the cold and shocking revelation that the missing girl had been found dead. I cannot put into words the fear her death instilled in me.
That was the first time in my life that I ever had to face death. Even though I was just a little kid, the thought of my own mortality was something that was very real to me.
To be honest, I think Derksen's case was terrifying to Winnipeggers of all ages because it meant that there really was a boogy man and nobody knew who he or she was.
Derksen's case went unsolved for 23 years, until 2007, when DNA evidence fingered Mark Edward Grant as a suspect in the case.
On January 17, 2011, exactly 26 years to the day that Derksen's frozen body was found in an abandoned shed, Grant went on trial.
It's a trial that many Winnipeggers who have carried a piece of Candace around with them for nearly 30-years are ready for. Finally the Derksen's may have their questions answered, or at least find some closure...
As a journalism student, it's kind of surreal to be breaking into the industry at a time where this case (in particular) is being put through the justice system.
Photo: CTV Winnipeg
Video: Ottawa Citizen/Global News
Thursday, January 27, 2011
So I just got back from a pretty intense pity party.
It’s no secret that I’ve been having a rough go of things lately; I live in a mountain of debt. Cable, phone and internet got cut off last month. I lost my BlackBerry yesterday. I banged up my car today by backing up into a pillar and taking out the passenger side mirror. (It’s literally hanging there, by a wire or something...) Not to mention I have to shift bid for work tomorrow...Another whole year of working weekends, 10.5 hour days at the grind, is enough to make anyone feel sorry for themselves.
To tell you the truth, my pity party was an all out gala. It was the grand ball of crybabies. It was the biggest pity party I’d ever been to, let alone hosted...
It was one for the record books.
It all started when I was leaving XS Cargo this afternoon. I had been all over the city, trying to buy a refurbished and unlocked BlackBerry replacement – to no avail, since Rogers told me that the warranty I foolishly paid $100 for doesn’t cover lost or stolen phones. (Ugh, I wouldn’t have shelled out the cash had I known that...) If I wanted a new BlackBerry, it was going to cost me $599.
Needless to say I was already upset about my life, when it happened, the straw that broke the camel’s back. The icing on the cake. The last hurrah. The big one...
I banged up my car.
Yep. As I was backing out of my parking spot, feeling super pissed off that I couldn’t get my hands of a refurbished BlackBerry, I banged my car up against and into a pillar.
Bang! Scrape. Brake. Fuck.
I got out to survey the damage. My boiling point was already reached and I just started to cry, really, really loud. In my little accident, I managed to take out the passenger side rear view mirror and scrape the door. Today just wasn’t my day.
I picked up broken pieces of the mirror from the ground, stomped back into my car, slammed the door and I kept on crying to my heart’s content. I even tried calling a friend, so that he could listen to me cry and share in my misery. He didn’t answer and it made me cry even more.
I felt defeated. And that, my friends, was the icing on the metaphorical shit cake that was my very bad week.
I’m not going lie; when I say that I cried, I mean I cried like a friggin maniac. I was hysterical as I drove all the way home with my mascara running down my cheeks. I was sobbing some kind of “I give up” chant or something and every so often looking at my swollen eyes in the rear view mirror. I was sitting in the epitome of self pity and my damn side mirror hung in limbo, as though any second it was going to give way to the slushy, messy, bumpy, Winnipeg streets.
Friends, I was frightful.
When I got home, I took my defeated ass up to my apartment and cried a little more until it just got too exhausting. It was then that a hot shower (to wash away my Alice Cooper eyes) was in order, followed by a scoop of mint chocolate ice cream in my bed while watching season four of Sex and the City on my laptop.
Ah, the lovely life of a 31-year-old single student.
As my pity party started to wind down, I started to realize something; if this was as bad as it was going to get, I’m not doing too bad. I mean yes, I literally have no form of communication since my TV, internet and home phone got cut off last month and now my BlackBerry is missing. And sure, I now have another expense that I can’t afford with my car. Oh, and another year of weekends; this sucks, but at least I have a decent job that pays well. That’s more than a lot of other people have, I need to remember not to forget that.
Life isn’t too bad afterall...
I knew that this path wouldn’t be an easy one going into it, but as I near the end of this CreComm chapter, the stress sometimes overwhelms me. It’s not so much the little individual setbacks, like losing my BlackBerry and having no money. It’s all of them combined that sometimes make it a little hard to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
But when I take a second to consider that I am letting all these small things affect me in such a big way, I need to just stop and count my many blessings. Life is short and small things will always happen.
I will get a new BlackBerry and my car will get fixed, and eventually (when I can work more, thus make more money, I can also restore my TV, internet and home phone.) I’ve hit rock bottom in a material way...So what.
I have a lovely life.
P.S. I am writing this from Starbucks. Thank goodness for laptops and WiFi.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Working there has been a pretty incredible experience, not only have I met some awesome people, I also got to be a “pretend journalist.” (There is nothing more vindicating and exciting than introducing yourself: “Shelley Cook, Winnipeg Sun” when you’re interviewing somebody...For the last three weeks I have had some pretty serious local media cred, and I have enjoyed it to its full advantage.)
When I started my placement, I figured I knew what I was getting myself into, especially since I spent last Christmas as an intern, writing for the Winnipeg Free Press. However, I quickly discovered that the two publications are extremely different. (This is the point where people say: “Oh, which one did you like better,” and to that I reply (in all honesty) “I can’t even compare the two because they are both just different. But, I learned a lot working for both of them.” – Yeah, I know that sounds like diplomatic rhetoric, but it’s true. I feel extremely lucky to have seen both sides of the Winnipeg daily newspaper scene.
During my internship, the editors at the Winnipeg Sun assigned a lot of different types of stories to me, which means I’ve collected quite a few more bylines for the ol’ portfolio. (This is also a good thing for my mom, who started a scrapbook of all my published work last year. Cute.)
I’m sad to leave the Sun and go back to real life, but I am thankful for the entire experience as a whole. Right now it feels kinda like one of those bittersweet breakups that you see in the movies: You’re still in love, but you need to break up because it's the time to do so. Sigh.
Photo by: C.Procaylo
Monday, January 17, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
So one of the New Year's resolutions that I made this year is that I am going to stop looking for a husband.