Archive for March, 2017

Man, I suck at blogging

Posted: March 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

I really gotta update this thing more.  I posted twice last fall after leaving it dormant for two and a half years, but then I once again left it alone and abandoned for over four months.

Damn, I’m really inconsistent with this whole blogging, online journal thing.  But I guess one of the reasons why this thing doesn’t get new entries that often is because my duties by day as a reporter/writer/photographer keep me busy, and I also started my own weekly column at the beginning of the year entitled, “The Ruttle Report”.  It’s my own little outlet for getting things off my chest and talking about things as I see them from my own view of the world; local issues, national ones, or even just those “slice of life” anecdotes.  The column has been really fun and I’ve received many compliments on it, which is always very kind and nice to hear.

Hell, one man even called me at home a couple of Fridays ago to tell me how much he enjoyed it, and I was blown away by the gesture.  Those kind of kudos aren’t necessary, but I’d be a damn liar if I said I didn’t enjoy them.  Everybody wants to be recognized at times for their hard work.

Which kinda leads me to one of the reasons why I’m not all that thrilled these days.  Every spring, there’s an awards competition and banquet that recognizes the best stories and photos from the past year in our weekly newspaper field.  All the papers in the province are asked to submit entries for what they feel are contenders, and I managed to come up with 17 submissions for consideration.  That in itself was baffling; I guess it always surprises me how much news comes out of such a small rural area.  I felt I did some fantastic work in 2016, especially on a vast and detailed story about a girl I know who works with horses and practices equine sports therapy.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and I didn’t receive a single nomination at this year’s awards.  That makes the second year in a row in which my best apparently wasn’t good enough.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that despite what you believe could be a sure-fire winner, there are a lot of different opinions out there, especially those on any judging panel.  There are over 80 newspapers across the province, so there’s also a lot of stiff competition when it comes to these awards.  Evidently, there are a lot of other reporters, writers and photographers doing some great work.  My own co-worker received two nominations for special pieces that she wrote, and that’s cool.  Still, it kinda sucks when you believe that much in yourself, only for reality to hit you like a punch to the gut.

Switching gears, I guess the other realization I’ve come to recently is that there are people in your life who only appear to be your friend.  I’m not saying I had some falling-out with anyone in particular, just that I question what kind of friendship I actually have with some people to begin with.  For example, there are people that I know because of the connection they had to my mother’s bar.  However, now that it’s been closed since December – Ma’s retired and already bored, by the way – I barely hear from anyone connected to it anymore.  No texts, no calls, nothing.

It makes me realize that some people aren’t exactly your ‘friend’, they’re more or less people that you simply know through one connection or another.  Friends text each other, call each other, hang out with each other, and all that jazz.  Yet with some people that are in my life – or I guess ‘were’ in my life – it’s been radio silence for months.  I find it disappointing, and I’d once again be lying if I said it didn’t hurt my feelings at least a little.

On my end, I don’t really have any desire to reach out to any of them.  They either have relationships they’re busy with, or they’re prepping for kids that are on the way, or they’re hanging out with other couples, or BLAH BLAH BLAH.  At this point, I just end up feeling like a big third or fifth wheel in most group situations.  I also suppose that the closure of my mom’s bar filtered out the only thing I may have had in common with some people.

I guess the lesson here is that you need to keep your circle small.  Loyalty is everything, drama means nothing, and surround yourself with people who you may not be related to, but you feel like you are.  My absolute best friends on this planet are Kyle, Chris and Alex; that hasn’t changed for many years, and hopefully it never does.  And honestly, if some other ‘friends’ were to contact me out of nowhere, maybe some radio silence treatment is just what the doctor ordered.  If I’m not “good enough” to hang out with for the last few months, why would I jump at the chance to do it now?

Lives move on, I suppose.  People have a horrible habit these days of forgetting others.  We’re so wrapped up in our tech-based lifestyles or our own mundane drama and daily bullshit that we end up cutting people – ACTUAL living people with feelings, not just names behind a screen – out of our lives.

If certain people wanna forget about me or cut me out of their lives, they can consider themselves cut out of mine.  I’m done being the nice guy who puts up with this kind of bullshit.  Nobody deserves to have to dissect what THEY may have done or said to warrant being forgotten about by some people that you USED to have fun with.  But that’s the kind of personality I have; I’ll typically think that I’M the one who did something wrong in a situation, so I just let it fester in my brain.

Well, I’m done doing that.  People know my number, they know where I live, and I’m not a hard guy to find.  Don’t wanna reach out?  That’s totally fine, but don’t expect me to, either.

‘Likes’ and comments on Facebook are neat, but they’re not friendship.  Hell, I could write a whole Ruttle Report on the ridiculousness of social media supposedly “bringing people together”; in fact, I think that’s exactly what I’ll do for next week’s issue.

Wow, that felt pretty good to get all that built-up bullshit off my chest.  Maybe move on to some happier stuff, shall we?

I had a lot of fun last August when we shut down for our annual two-week summer break.  I took a long, winding road trip out to my old stomping grounds of Victoria, BC.  My mom and I had been out there in 2012, but that was only on one-day intervals before either hopping on a boat to my cousin’s huge home on Sidney Island or hopping on a plane back to Calgary.  On this trip, I went solo and drove the entire way.

That in itself was an adventure of its own.  First, I stayed in Calgary for a couple of days, visiting with my brother and his family, who also let me crash there, and then I started making my way further out west.  I gotta tell ya, I know that I’ve made the trip before when I was younger, but being much older now and able to realize the scope of what I was seeing, BC is fucking beautiful!  The trees, the forests, the blue and green bodies of water, the mountains; I kinda hate that I had to be the one driving through all of it because I could’ve stared at that kind of scenery for hours.

But I couldn’t do that because I’d be a dead man.  Driving in BC is gorgeous, but it’s also demanding and time-consuming.  You can’t really guesstimate how long it’ll take you to go from Point A to Point B because you have winding roads, tunnels, slow-moving corners in the mountains and hundreds of other vehicles out on the road with you.  It demands your total attention at all times.  Here in Saskatchewan, you can just get out on any highway, punch it to 100 km/hr and throw it in cruise control, but you can’t do that out in BC; way too much traffic and far too few straight roads.

After much driving, I was finally on the ferry over to Victoria, and before long I was checked in and lounging on the balcony of my sweet suite, lol.  I stayed at the Regent Waterfront Hotel, which is right by the harbour.  My view was spectacular; every night the sun would go down over some tall city buildings across the water.

I spent a few days in Victoria reconnecting with the city in which I used to live when I was a film school student between 2005-2006.  I did the touristy things such as checking out the aquarium in Sidney and touring the Royal BC Museum, and I also spent time at Fisherman’s Wharf and took some great snapshots out at the Ogden Breakwater Point.  I was also able to sneak in a quick lunch the day after my arrival with two fellow VMPS graduates, Shawn and Jesse; I actually lived in the basement suite of Jesse’s family’s home during our time there as students.  It was great catching up with them, even for just an all-too-quick lunch hour, and I made sure to get a pic with the three of us to commemorate it.

Before I knew it, the end of the week had arrived and I was on my way back to the mainland, homeward bound and wishing my trip hadn’t ended so quickly.

And since it DID seem to end so fast, I’ve decided to go back this coming August!  I’m calling it “Derek Does Victoria 2: Electric Boogaloo”.  I realize that sounds like a porno, which is exactly why I phrased it as such.

I decided to go back to Victoria because while my first trip out there was really cool, there are still some things I didn’t get to do while I was out there; I didn’t take a “beach day” and go swimming in the ocean somewhere, I didn’t do as much nature exploring as I wanted to, and there are some people who I didn’t get to see on my first go-around.  Hopefully, this “sequel” will tie up those loose ends.  I’m also staying at the same hotel!  Just can’t beat that view or location.

The other really cool thing that recently happened was seeing the WWE live over the February long weekend.  It was the Smackdown crew that came to the SaskTel Centre (it’ll always be Sask Place to me…), and the show was awesome.  I especially liked the main event; a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Title between Dean Ambrose (champ), AJ Styles and The Miz.  Ambrose took the win in about 20 minutes after a Dirty Deeds DDT on Miz.

Even cooler was after the show, as my friend Angelica and brother Brendon and I cruised over to the Saskatoon airport, where all the wrestlers were set to board a flight for California.  I’m such a stalker, I know, but it turned out to be the best idea ever.  We got there and figured that it’d be a bit of a wait for any wrestlers to arrive, but it turned out that many of them were already checking in!  We waited back and simply asked for autographs and photos as they came down the hallway.  I think I have photos on Facebook of over a dozen wrestlers, haha.  This kinda thing is something they’re used to all the time, but all the same, it was very cool of them to be so accommodating.  Some of them were visibly tired, and all the travel and wear and tear in the ring will do that to you, but it was awesome of them to take the time out for their fans.  We met AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, American Alpha, Baron Corbin, Natalya, D-Von Dudley, the Ascension, Aiden English, Heath Slater, and I even took pics with Miz’s wife Maryse and the legendary IRS!

It was definitely the coolest WWE experience I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot from someone who’s been a fan for over 25 years.

Were we the typical celeb stalkers?  I dunno about that; certainly there are much bigger, scarier “fan horror stories” out there than just a handful of fans at a small city airport.  And I do mean small; aside from us three, there were about five other people who thought of doing the whole “Catch them at the airport” routine.  Considering there was almost 8,000 people at the show that night, I’m surprised there wasn’t a large crowd, yet also glad for obvious selfish reasons.  But I do think that in any celebrity sighting situation, whether it’s wrestlers, actors, musicians, whoever it may be, fans just need to be polite and know when to keep their distance.  Say “please” and “thank you”, and I’m sure anyone would be happy to sign something or take a quick selfie.  I guess it helps to be Canadian and have those kind of manners built into your DNA.

Can’t wait until the next WWE show to do it all over again!

Moving forward, I’m also looking forward to some other things this summer, such as getting back up to Candle Lake.  I missed out on that last summer, which sucked because it’s one of my favorite places on Earth.  There’s a certain tranquility and peace of mind that comes with that place that can’t be described.  I’ve also decided that I’m gonna take this summer to really explore my province; even in AAAAALLLLL my travels as a roaming reporter, there are towns, villages and areas that I’ve never been to.  Should be a good spring and summer; one for making plenty of memories.

Anyway, I’ve ranted and raved enough for today.  See you in another four or five months, maybe?  (I’m joking, but considering my track record, maybe I’m not)