Babysitters

Steve was given two tickets to tonight's Canucks game.  In the fancy schmancy section where the seats are comfy and have drink holders built in and waitresses bring you your drinks and you can decent cocktails and not just warm draft beer in a sippy cup.  The tickets also come with a parking pass within Rogers Arena - so no stinky public transit required to get to the rink.  La-tee-dah...

If the tickets were for a Saturday night, I would be super excited about it and I would pack up my kids and drive the hour to take them to Grandma's house where they would stay the night and I would pick them up in the morning. 

However, because today is Monday - Steve will be going to the game with his brother (which is nice for them, it is).  And I'll be staying home and single handedly wrangling my children in and out of the bath, into their pyjamas and into their beds, after I feed them both their dinners - which my husband hob-nobs with the elite of Rogers Arena.  As a consolation prize, he is buying me sushi for dinner - which is very sweet and I do appreciate the gesture.
Yeah it sucks that I can't go but that is the way it is these days and mostly that's ok with me.  It's my job to care for my kids and most of the time I don't feel too sorry for myself when I miss out on stuff.  It's just life. 

But what I don't like is that my one and only babysitter lives an hour away.  There are some times when I really, REALLY would like to have someone local who could come over and watch my kids.  I'd happily pay!  My problem is that I don't know a single person who could do this.  And I don't know how to go about finding someone.  I don't feel comfortable placing an ad for some stranger to come into my home. I don't feel comfortable answering an ad either.  The thought of leaving my kids with a stranger scares the living shit out of me.  We don't have any teenage relatives or friends - do teenagers even still do babysitting these days??

I have been lucky that I have been able to use family up until this point, but it's truly not all that convenient or wise, as far as I'm concerned, to not have someone more local whom I could rely on in a pinch or, say on a Monday night when rare, fancy hockey tickets are bestowed upon us.

How does a person go about finding a reliable, local babysitter?  I'm curious to know what other people do.