Dream of the Dolphin
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore
Reason #243 Why I Love My Job At BakkaToday former Bakka employee, fellow Asimov winner, and all around neat guy Cory Doctorow dropped by the store, ostensibly to sign books, but also to hang around and chat (something that's very easy to do at Bakka, and the thing that's most likely responsible for netting me my job there). And not only did he buy a copy of Odyssey, he also asked me to sign it!
Now, to explain this totally geeked-out moment, this is the first time I've signed a book for someone that wasn't something like "Dear Mom, thanks for buying my book." This was someone I hadn't actually met before. I felt all authorial and stuff. It was fun.
I've known about Cory for a while now -- back when I won the Asimov Award, and Eric Choi contributed that fabulous reference letter that helped me convince the University to finance my trip to Florida (I still can't believe that -- they wouldn't pay for my tuition, but they'd send me to Florida to pick up an award), he suggested I contact Cory as well and ask if he'd be willing to contribute a letter. I didn't, because at the time I was lucky if I found time to eat, let alone write letters to people I didn't know asking them to help me talk the university into parting with their money, but I kinda wish I had.
I'm always struck by just how great the Toronto SF community is. Everybody is all supportive of everybody else, and everyone I've met has been so darned nice.
I'm pretty lucky. I think the only reason that the increasingly tenuous thread on my sanity hasn't snapped under the stress of not having a day off is because I have such a great job (well, the museum is pretty great, too). Seriously, today was big-time work at Bakka, with much shelving and ordering and such, and I pretty much skipped my break, yet the whole time I had this little voice running through my head singing "tra-la-la-la-la", because I was just getting such a kick out of the fact that I'm working at Bakka. Yup, the buzz still hasn't worn off. And this isn't one of those jobs that seems like it'd be great until you actually get there. It's actually exceeded my expectations. I really, really love my job.
Which is a really, really nice change.
( 10:33 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
It's the New Jan Brady!So I reached a decision this week. I decided that if I was going to present myself as a professional, I should probably look the part. It was partly a psychological thing (the 7-day-work-weeks are taking their toll, but I keep telling myself it means I'm a step away from quitting the job I hate and replacing it with writing, and I needed to do something to acknowledge that), but the jeans and sweaters and hiking boots, while comfy, don't exactly scream "up-and-coming career girl".
So for the very first time in my life, I went shopping for a wardrobe. Not picking things because I liked them and could disappear in them, but picking things that made me look... well, more grown up. Including shoes. The feeling was difficult to put into words. And it was surprisingly scary. But fun. And complete with movie soundtrack courtesy of the store PAs.
The end result... is interesting. And will debut this weekend. :o)
( 10:48 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Saturday, March 27, 2004
UK Readers...Okay, I've been waiting YEARS for The Last Unicorn to come out on DVD, only to find out that the version released in North America is a direct-from-vhs fullscreen transfer with rotten sound and picture distortion. I know that Germany got a lovely widescreen transfer, but can't find any info on the UK release. Do any of my UK readers own it, or know someone who does?
( 8:27 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
DammitSick again. Going to bed early. So have only one thing to say.
( 7:08 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, March 22, 2004
For LitaBecause she asked. :o)
( 10:18 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
On the RadioI love Mix DJ Kelly Cutrara. She tells great domestic goddess stories. When she told her story about using a wine bottle as a rolling pin for her Christmas cookies, I e-mailed her about it and got a nod on air to "all my fellow domestic goddesses".
Today she talked about forgetting the sugar in her banana bread and ending up with a banana-flavored adobe brick. So I e-mailed her. She actually talked on-air about "the hilarious e-mail from Sarah Jane," and told the story!
Okay, it's not that big a deal. But I thought it was pretty cool. Here's the e-mail.
Ooh, done that. In 8th grade home ec, our final exam was to make muffins. I was doing pretty well -- got high marks for a clean prep area, marked down slightly for "tunneling" in the muffins (which, apparently, happens when there are air bubbles in the batter. How the heck do you make batter without air bubbles??? Anyway). Then my teacher took a bite.
We hadn't forgotten the sugar. We'd just switched the sugar and the salt.
Which actually wasn't as bad as the great cookie fiasco. A couple years ago, my roommate Stephen decided to make chocolate chip cookies. A few minutes after putting them in the oven, the five of us were summoned by a yelp of dismay from the kitchen. The cookies had begun to melt into this gelatinous goo and were spreading over the cookie sheet into a uniform, bubbling mass. We spent the next few minutes checking the recipe and trying to figure out what he'd done.
"How much butter did you put in?"
"Half a cup, just like it says!"
"You put the sugar in, right?"
"Yup. And 2 cups of flour."
Nick, another roommate, was sitting next to the table, watching. It was his house, the rest of us were just living there while his parents and siblings were on sabbatical in California. He looked at the tub of white powder sitting next to him.
"Uh, Steve, was this the flour you used?"
Stephen nodded. "Yeah."
"Oh. Cause this is icing sugar."
So we ended up with a tray of chocolaty sugar-candy. Which was interesting. I think we got through half of it before we decided it had to be thrown away.
( 1:59 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Sunday, March 21, 2004
Whale MusicLast night I dreamed that I befriended a humpback whale. I met him out in the ocean, though he would occasionally appear in the massive swimming pool attached to my house (?!?). He would let only me near him, yet whenever I was in the water, there he was to support me. When I was upset, I would go to him and listen to the beauty of his song as it washed my sorrows away.
So, naturally, when it turned out that the whale was a brusque, terse, indifferent shapeshifting robot capable of no emotion except irritation (or possibly annoyance), you can understand that I was rather disappointed.
( 8:56 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Stories UntoldThere are stories sometimes left untold that can stay with me long after a story is over.
The first time I saw Spirited Away was at the Toronto Film Festival with my sibling. Hayao Miyazaki was there, and was gracious enough to answer questions after the screening. During the Q&A session, I couldn't stop thinking about one scene in particular. When Chihiro and her friends are on the train heading toward Zeneba, the train pulls away from one of the stations. Standing alone on the platform is a little spirit girl.
Looking back, I wish I had asked a question about her. No matter how many times I see this movie, I'm always left wondering about her. It's like she's waiting for someone who never came home. There's something almost sorrowful about this moment that lingers long after the train ride is over.
I would dearly love to know her story.
( 11:46 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Sounds of March Break at the ROM"Guys, could you walk please? Stop running. Yes, you. What did I just say?"
"Guys, could you keep the line moving through the fox's den please? It's not a club house, you can't have fifteen people sitting in here. Guys. Move. Yes, you. Get out!"
"Guys, could you not colour on the walls, please?"
"Guys, you can't have any food in here. No, I'm serious. See how there's no animals left in the mixed forest or rainforest because bugs that were attracted to visitors' food moved in and ate the specimens? Put the rasins away."
"Guys, please don't climb into the displays to touch the extremely toxic moose."
"Guys, please don't use the stools to pull the specimens off the high display shelves."
"Guys, please don't bang the bear skull against the table."
"Guys, please don't climb into the displays to move around the extremely toxic coyote."
"Guys, please don't shove crayons up the walrus skull's nose."
"Guys, please don't fight in the costumes."
"Guys, please don't rip the jaw off the human skeleton and shove it into its crotch."
"Guys, please don't pound on the frog tank, you'll hurt their ears. No, you can't bang on the beehive, either."
"Guys, please don't jump on the fibreglass log."
"Guys, please don't write obscenities in the comments book."
"Guys, please don't smash the lens on the Wentzscope."
"Guys, please don't try to kick in the glass in the fox's den."
"Guys, the sign says 'please touch gently', not 'please try your darndest to rip the raccooon off the table it's nailed to'."
Four days down. One to go. Owwww....
( 8:11 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, March 15, 2004
Sharing the HaggisI've always maintained that you can't truly experience the joy that is Enter the Haggis until you've seen them play live. Well, now there's the next best thing. They've put up live video of the new singles Gasoline and Congress on the multimedia page of their website. Download the videos. Watch them. Share the joy. You won't regret it.
( 11:02 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Chance Meetings on a SubwayFor those who've noticed I haven't been blogging much, you're right. Life is just so crazy right now that usually, the first opportunity I have to breathe is about 11 p.m., at which point I'm getting ready for bed. Between the three jobs and all the writing stuff that's going on right now, everything else, including e-mail and blogging, is falling by the wayside. Temporarily.
This weekend I had my only two consecutive days off this month (of four days off total). I used them to go to my parents' to do my taxes. The good news -- I don't owe the government $500 this year. I only owe them $90. Which I still think is unfair, as I'm poor and they won't count my loan payments, but what are you gonna do. Anyway.
There was this guy on the subway as I made my way to Finch. He was very smartly dressed in a long tweed coat and a nice scarf. He had great hair -- the kind that's long and straight, cut just past chin length. He had his head bent, reading, so his hair obscured most of his face. But I could see he was wearing glasses. Everything about him said he was connected to the arts in some way, even if the thread was thin and tenuous.
He was reading a very battered copy of Dune. And he was wearing a messenger bag made entirely of duct tape.
All I could think was Ah. Something tells me you are a person I'd really like to know.
It was weird. I really wanted to talk to him. There was just something about him -- the same kind of something that pulled me to Tami the first time we met. But I couldn't get up the nerve. He got off the subway at Rosedale, never having noticed the girl in the corner listening to Carmina Burana and watching him.
And something in me is sad because of that.
( 10:57 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
1-2-3-4-5-6-SwitchSo yeah, I'm losing my mind, which has resulted in my being particularly snarky for the last week or so. I have a grand total of four days off in March. I'm tired, stressed, and I need a vacation. So what do I do?
Wonderful stuff, escapism.
It used to get me into trouble. I'd be walking home writing stuff, which always works better when I do it out loud, and the result is, in essence, a conversation with myself. Complete with facial expressions and expressive gestures. One morning, I arrived at school to be approached by my then-friends.
"Umm, Sarah," they said. "We were driving home last night when we passed you and... um... it looked like you were talking to yourself."
I turned several shades of red and muttered something about rehearsing for a play.
But yes, quite often, when I'm working out new ideas, I just start talking to myself, trying experiments with cadence and flow until I get something that sounds right (part of the reason why I adore Jim Henson's Storyteller and want to cry with envy envery time I hear it).
This is what I came up with last night. I have no idea what it is, or who is talking, but I thought it was kinda neat.
"You humans, always thinking in three dimensions. You have no idea of what you speak. You have forgotten the gift She gave you."
"She's given nothing to me."
"Oh, but she has. Ages past, in the shadows of memory, you were not what you have become. She looked up from her union with the Earth and saw that there was Darkness. She saw mankind, her beloved children, reduced to no more than prey for the Dark powers who fed upon them. And She wept to see it, but the human body was fragile, and that She could not change. So she gave the gift of strength."
"But you just said that humans were weak."
"The body is weak, yes. But the soul, the spirit, is not. There is no force in creation as strong as the human spirit, and no power on this earth can destroy it. Not unless it is freely given. Why do you think the Dark ones value it so highly as a currency?"
( 11:41 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
I Love My JobI mean, really, how often do you get a boss who brings you a bag of Felix and Norton gourmet cookies for no reason other than the fact that you've had a really crappy week and are feeling depressed. :o)
( 11:18 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Sunday, March 07, 2004
Um... What?I found the following comment posted on a blog that I frequent. It's in response to the blogger's (a very articulate woman who enjoys Invader Zim and Inuyasha) post that, while she doesn't think that LOTR might have completely deserved best song, she's very glad it swept the oscars.
ok gurl 4 1 thing i absolutly love you!!!! holy crap i meen 4 reels!! first of all u like inuyasha lotr johnny Depp AND invader zim?!?!?!?! I DONT KNOW ANY1 ELSE OTHER THAN ME THAT LIKES ALL THAT!!!!! an ya i think that they did deserv best moosic cuz think about it he had to completly compose a completly new thing of moosic 4 that moovy as well as the other 2, he created new moosic each time!! not to mention that its totaly awsome moosic an ya sean penn is an idiot an i think that depp SOOOOO deserved that award for all that reason not to mention that he had to convince the peepl makin the movie to let him be like that.... but ya i totaly lub u! an dont think im totaly wierd or anything but dude! my skool is teeny (150 peepl combining jr high an high skool!!!) so i dont noe any1 who likes all 3 (lettalone zim) an no one at my church is cool enough (they can only like 1 of those things at a time) and i am sry if u think i post to much but like i said at the subject title so many comments, and i babble... so ya if i find out u like the labrenth (probably not how u spell it right?) and/or last unicorn and/or anything else im totaly into ya i dont noe if i can stand not noeing u!!! an i hope u dont mind me posting this... if u do u can tell me an ill stop posting comments but i just had ta tell ya! sry 1s again...
I'm gathering from the post (yes, I managed to wade through it) that this girl is somewhere between grades 7 and 12. Let's be generous and say 7. I know for a fact that neither I nor anyone in my grade was quite like... well, this, in grade 7. I can kind of, sort of understand dropping out a letter here and there, changing "know" to "noe" and "school" to "skool" when you're text messaging and have a very small character limit. But you're on a computer. It doesn't take much more effort to type "you" rather than "u", and it goes a very, VERY long way toward making you comprehensible and, well, not look like an idiot.
It used to drive me absolutely barking mad when my father and grandfather ripped into me every time I said something along the lines of "so I was like, 'put that down right now.'" Now I'm starting to feel somewhat grateful.
( 11:20 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Saturday, March 06, 2004
New Story Up!Sorry for the delay -- I have very little that actually resembles a life right now. Anyway, the new Kesh story is up on the freebies page. And I'd type more, but someone spilled water on the keyboard at the ROM this morning, so every time I hit the "t" key, a new Explorer ALT window pops up, which is really very annoying.
( 1:28 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, March 01, 2004
Two WordsClean. Sweep.
And hurrah for the F-word!
( 12:31 AM ) Sarah Jane ~