Well, that was fun!
Today was my last day as anchor of the evening newscast. Colleagues kindly took a moment to toast my time at the desk with champagne and carrot cake. I'd been doing the job for just over a year, replacing the anchor who's been on maternity leave.
Sometimes walking through New York City I would imagine how cool it would be to have a great job in such an awesome city. That's what this last year has been for me. Almost every night, walking to the train after my day was done, I'd stop at the northeast tip of this corner and take stock.
I'd look up at PVM to my left, the huge beaux-arts style Sun Life building on my right and the La Gauchetiere building in front of me and think, "Yahoo, I'm getting to work at a great job in an awesome city!" What a rush to feel like you contribute to the vitality of a great city like Montreal!
My bosses, Karen and Alexandra, have been wonderful! There have been lots of noteworthy moments working for the tone-deaf daughter of a pool shark!
On the night of December 3rd, I forgot all about make-up! One show this month, as I was reading on-air, several studio lights suddenly went out.
On January 7th, I touched my nose as I ended the newscast. The guys I play hockey with every week had convinced me to touch my nose to say "hello" to them on the air. They were giddy with excitement! The week after, as I walked into the dressing room, hockey bag slung over my shoulder, there was a smattering of applause from guys who'd seen the one-time-only greeting!
As I mentioned in Sunday's blog, I got to anchor the newscast, live, from the flood zone in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. It was a great experience.
Over the course of the year, I got to meet Olympic gold medallist Jasey-Jay Anderson. He was late for the interview and wasn't sure he'd be able to find his way out of our underground garage quickly enough to get upstairs to our studio, so I met him on the sidewalk and he drove his brother's oversized pick-up to a parking space as the roof of its cab rubbed up against the suspended height restriction signs.
I met the founder of the Fauna Foundation chimp sanctuary and interviewed the gracious painter, Tex Dawson, for Remembrance Day. I'm fascinated by the LHC Supercollider and got to ask a McGill physicist doing research at the facility, Dr Brigite Vachon, questions about the mind-boggling project. I met wrestler Jacques Rougeau at the end of October and former "Little House on the Prairie" star, Melissa Anderson, who now lives in Montreal. I met one of Canada's most consistently great athletes, Jennifer Heil.
In our "green screen" studio, I recently interviewed the articulate John Rhys-Davies, one of the stars of the incredibly successful "Indiana Jones" movies. He was in town to help promote an archaeology exposition at the science centre.
Earlier this year, Jonas performed "Seize the Day", one of my favorite songs off his last album, live, in the studio and on the November 13th show, the students of McGill University's glee club, Effusion A Capella, also performed live.Our entire staff thought they were terrific!
During the disco era, I was a fan of the group, "Toulouse". My favorite song by the group was the sultry "quasi-instrumental" tune, titled "Toulouse". I interviewed Judi Richards, one of the three women who made up the group and when I told her which song I liked, she decided to give me a "high five"! As part of the April 10th show, I got to interview two members of Karkwa, fresh off their Juno win.
The toughest part of the job was, after being told larger knots were the trend, learning how to tie a double windsor, only to be told a couple of months later, after I’d obliterated my memory of how to tie a single knot, that smaller knots were suddenly back in fashion!
As documented in my January 13, 2011 blog titled "Bathroom Bombfest", there were some ugly moments and one night, I found myself running through the darkened streets of Montreal with my triathlete boss, as we tried to catch separate trains!
Overall, I've spent the year working with superb people; our staff here in Montreal and the crew in Edmonton who talk in my ear when we're on the air; it's been the best!
Seriously, Jamie, you can hardly call two kids a family!