Dream of the Dolphin
a.k.a.
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore

Free Story!

Thursday, November 30, 2006
 

A Wicked Proposal

Okay, so here's the deal:

Erin and I want to try to win cheap Wicked seats tonight, but we need help.

If you're willing to come down to the Victoria Street entrance of the Canon theatre tonight after 6:00, enter your name in the draw for 2 tickets, and wait around until they draw the names at 6:30, there's a bag of Godiva chocolates in it for you if you win and give us the tickets (yes, I will give you the money to pay for them). If I win, the chocolates get shared around with everyone who helped out.

( 1:38 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, November 27, 2006
 

Lord Miles

So as I hinted, we have a new addition to the family. After the Mortimer disaster, we were feeling somewhat bereft and ready for a third cat, and it just so happened that 's brother's roommate had a cat in need of adoption.

So everyone, meet Lord Miles Teacup, Marquis of Carabas (Originally of Teacup Manor)(we call him Miles).

Miles

Miles again

Quick, what's missing?

Bath time

As you may have noticed, Miles only has three legs. Either by accident or because of a mauling, he lost his hind leg, and the vet who took him in needed to find him a foster home. They found us.

He's actually incredibly mobile for a three-legged cat. He stumps around kind of like a rabbit when he's going slow, and whacks his butt on the ground a lot, but when he's motoring, he kind of uses his back leg like a skate and propels himself with his front feet.

He's really shy at the moment, and we're told he's timid with people he doesn't know until he warms up to you, but he was lovely last night and on the ride home, and we're undergoing the long process of acclimatizing the cats properly, because we're hoping he'll be a long-term addition to the household.

Though Erin has pointed out the irony of the fact that, of our three cats, Pyewacket has the most dignified name.

( 6:31 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Fa-la-la-la-laaargh

Let's see -- where has the time gone?

Working seven days a week again, in addition to special projects which include but are not limited to: the Bakka Christmas window (almost done, but I REALLY want the frost-pattern appliques I keep seeing around my neighbourhood), my teacher's college applications (can I just say -- with the amount of headaches these things cause, I'm amazed they get as many as they do), seeing WICKED (more on that later -- perhaps after I read the book again so I can compare), and prepping the house for a new arrival (photos later tonight).

In the queue for this week and next: Choir practice, the one-of-a-kind show, getting my applications done and Xpresspost-ed by Thursday, work on jewellery for Christmas orders (and the Mermaid and Pirate stuff), finishing up the Bakka window, shopping for curtain material, bonding with the new arrival, and possibly trying to see WICKED again, Christmas cards, Christmas shortbread, assembling and stocking the new pantry cupboard, organizing the garage.

Who needs sleep?

But with the arrival of December at the end of the week, I'll be able to start playing the Eclectic Christmas Mix again, which brings me no end of joy. Christmas songs are forbidden in our household (well, my parents household, and by extension, my half of our household) until December. But after that, anything goes. If anyone is interested, I'll post the tracklist of the Eclectic Christmas Mix, which is a collection of my favourite (often non-traditional) Christmas songs that never fails to put me in a good mood.

What's on your Christmas playlist?

( 4:45 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, November 24, 2006
 

Wish List

It's that time of year again -- this is the list my parents request every year. Is yours online anywhere?

Sarah's Christmas List
  1. Doctor Who Season One.
  2. A new Palm. Or Palm-type gadget. Anything portable that tells me where I'm supposed to be.
  3. Lindstrom Rx-series Tools (in order of preference, available at Lacy Tools in Toronto, on Queen just east of Yonge, though you may have to call to see if they're in stock):
    • Rx8152 Flush Cutters
    • Rx7890 Chain nose
    • Rx7490 Flat nose
    • Rx7893 Short Chain nose
    • Any of the other cutters: Rx8150 Micro Bevel cutters, Rx8147 tapered flush cutters, Rx8141 Small flush cutters, Rx8140 small micro bevel cutters, Rx8160 large micro bevel cutters.
  4. Something to transport all my tools in (lots of pliers, a bead reamer, etc.)
  5. Jewellery supplies (particularly swarovski crystals, pearls, and really cool beads).
  6. Jamie's Dinners
  7. Farscape Starburst-edition DVD's (vol 2.2 and later).
  8. Throne of Jade, UK hardcover edition (also Black Powder War)
  9. Curly Hair Solutions products, especially Curl Keeper and the Treatment Shampoo.
  10. Ocean Girl
  11. Gift certificates for Reitmans. Or Smart Set.
  12. Billy Bookcase in white.
  13. An Inigo Montoya icon that says "I do not think that means what you think it means."
  14. Anything Chocolate and Raspberry from Godiva. Especially the truffle.
  15. Vanilla Spice shimmer lotion, or cranberry. Mmmm, yummy smells.
  16. Inuyasha manga. Don't have any yet.

( 11:00 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Saturday, November 18, 2006
 

How's the Bike?

Let me regale you with a story (which may be somewhat skewed from the original, given that I last heard it in its entirety when I was nine).

Some time ago, my uncle James agreed to repair a bike for a friend. But after letting the bike sit in his garage for a while, he ended up disassembling it and using it for spare parts. It is, and has been for the last fifteen years (minimum), an ex-bike.

Every so often, the friend would call up my uncle for a chat, and at some point ask "so how's the bike coming along?"

James's response was always "Good!", in a very high-pitched and squeaky voice, at which point he would change the subject.

This story amused my father immensely, and even now, a common salutation in our family is:

"How's the bike?"
[squeak] "Good!" [/squeak]

So every so often these days, someone will ask me "How's the writing?"

Guess what I end up answering.

It's not that I don't want to be writing, or that I'm all talk and no progress. I do get writing done, in fits and starts, and I haven't bought that many dinners for Alice. The novel is, very slowly, gathering speed.

The problem is, there are three things I do with my extremely limited (as I'm still working 7 days a week) spare time -- write, make jewellery, and work on my OISE/York applications.

It's getting to the point, though, at which I'm so tired and overwhelmed that when I have an hour, I look at the pile of stuff to do and end up just wandering off and reading.

So at least I'm getting through my TBR pile.

But I'm prioritizing now. Applications are priority one. They're due December first. Jewellery is priority two -- I have several Christmas orders due, and some mermaid stuff to experiment with.

Writing is priority three. I may be buying Alice a lot of food during the holiday season.

But I will be done by May.

( 12:42 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, November 17, 2006
 

...I Have No Words

Mostafa Tabatabainejad, an American-born student at UCLA, is asked for ID after hours at the library. Student refuses due to suspicions of racial profiling, and from accounts, is kind of a jerk about it. Campus police are called in to remove him. As he's leaving, he objects (I'm assuming in a loud and disruptive manner) to being touched by the police.

Student is repeatedly tasered for passive resistance after being handcuffed, and concerned students asking for officers' badge numbers are threatened with the same.

Incident is caught on cameraphone by another student and posted to YouTube.



Student planning excessive brutality lawsuit (bugmenot username: nothankyouidont@mailinator.com -- password: nothanks)

...I'm still trying to get my head around this.

(via cleolinda)

( 11:27 AM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

More YouTube Roundup

Okay, I need a change of pace. So without further ado:

Rusty started it:



And with Skeeter, Inside Edition chose to profile the sadness inherent in his condition. I, being a terrible person, feel sympathy while unable to stop myself from snickering.



This dacshund has absolutely no sense of self preservation (mind the volume on this one):



And apparently Germany was suffering from a displeasing lack of Piracy:



Sharilynn from the ROM, currently on maternity leave, has one of the most expressive babies I have ever seen. She has posted a video of Jordan giggling madly at his father that makes me smile every time I watch it.

( 11:26 AM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Mortimer

News from the Kitten Saga, and it's not good.

As you may recall, we had kittens. Well-meaning but ignorant neighbours took the kittens, and much kerfuffling ensued. The Humane Society told us the best thing to do was bring them the remaining cats in the family so they could reunite them, so we did. Then we started keeping track of the family. We discovered shortly afterward that despite what they'd told us, they split the family up, and Mortimer, with whom we had worked so hard to socialize, to the point at which he became playful and affectionate, was alone, terrified, and catatonic.

We formulated a plan to get him back, and Erin's friend Jennifer agreed to adopt him. We went down there to discover that he'd contracted an infection, probably FVR, while in the shelter, and was being held in isolation. Jennifer adopted him anyway, and was told that he could be released to her in seven-to-ten days. We were so happy -- the more we thought about it, the more excited we got. Mortimer belonged with us, and we couldn't wait to get him back.

That was a month ago.

Phone calls to the humane society proved fruitless -- nobody at the shelter knew anything, and Jennifer kept getting transferred to feline services, who are never in and never answer their messages. She left repeated messages, getting increasingly frustrated, until she sent this e-mail on Friday, after calling and being told once again that he was still in quarantine and no, they didn't know when she could get him:

I'm writing about a kitty I tried to adopt almost a month ago.

On October 15th I came to the Toronto Humane society and saw a shy cat named Labatt/Mortimer (A104583). On October 17th I made the decision to adopt him, if he were still available. I came down to the humane society that evening and was dismayed to find that he was no longer in the adoption room. After inquiring about him at the front desk I learned that he was still available but that he had contracted an upper respiritory infection. On the advice of the staff working at the time I filled out an adoption form, met with an adoption counsellor and was told that the cat would stay at the humane society until he had recovered in approximately 10 - 14 days and that I would be contacted by someone from feline services to let me know if we could bring him home before the 10 - 14 day recovery period and if not, when we could bring him home. A week later I had not heard from feline services so I left a message asking them to let me know his status. I have left 2 other similar messages and those have not been returned either. I understand that the Toronto Humane Society is very busy but it has now been 3 days shy of a month since I tried to adopt Labatt and I'm quite concerned about whether he is okay. My numerous attempts to contact someone have been ignored. I would really appreciate if someone could be in touch and let me know if I can take him home. I do have another cat (who is getting lonely!) but am happy to bring him home and keep them separated until Labatt/Mortimer can fully recover.

Please let me know how he is doing and if there is anything I can do to speed up the adoption process!

thanks

Jennifer

And received this back today:

Hello Jennifer,

I am not sure who made said arrangements with you, but neither myself nor my colleague, Katelyn, were informed of the arrangements. Neither of us received any phone messages from you, either (did you call ext. 2122 or 2460?). I double-checked, as I keep a written log of all of my messages, and I found nothing in reference to you or Mortimer. Perhaps you were given the wrong extension? It is not common practice that an adoption agent make arrangements such as these without consulting with my department first. I apologize for the actions of the adoption agent, which have resulted in the cat being adopted out to another applicant. Do you recall the name of the person with whom you dealt? If so, I will make sure this agent is informed of proper procedure so that this sort of situation does not occur again.

Once again, I apologize for the circumstances.

Regards,

Liz Anderson
Feline Services Coordinator
The Toronto Humane Society
11 River Street
Toronto, ON M5A 4C2
416.392.2273 ext. 2460

At first, we just thought of this as further proof that THS doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground. But the more we think about it, the more it doesn't add up. He was catatonic at the back of his cage, which makes it unlikely anybody else would have noticed him. He wasn't adopted when he went off the floor. As of Friday, he wasn't back on the floor. It's unlikely being sick for a month would have improved his catatonic status any.

Added to what Erin heard, that the Humane Society lets the cats die of illness to bring down their euthanasia statistics, we strongly suspect that "adopted to someone else" is a euphamism for "let him die".

We're hoping this isn't the case. We're fervently telling ourselves that he was in fact discovered and adopted this weekend, and is somewhere alive and well and happy to his little Jewish kitty core. With his brothers and sisters, who appear to have been adopted as well when we weren't looking.

But just in case... we're so sorry, Mortimer. We tried to do what was best.

Yisa ha-Shem panav elekha veyasem lekha shalom.


( 11:16 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, November 13, 2006
 

Childhood Memories

It was a very odd, very thoughtful Remembrance Day. The evening news ran a list of Canada's war dead from this year in Afghanistan, to which my mother remarked "we shouldn't have war dead -- we're not at war". Which made my brain do strange and contemplative things that I'm not really in a state to get into on this journal at this time.

Seeing Dad was a great relief. I hadn't really been able to sleep since I found out about him, because every time I tried, my brain would go places I didn't particularly want to be, and I would have to get up and read or watch movies or something. But seeing that Dad is okay and well, and you'd never know he'd had the procedure if not for the massive bruising on his wrist (from where they shoved the catheter up into his heart) and his tendency to hit a wall and have to stop what he was doing, ensured that last night I actually slept. He told me on more than one occasion "stop looking at me like that!" (Mum: "Like what?" Dad: "She's giving me that 'what did you DO?' look!"), so he's either not worried, or trying to make damn sure that I don't.

Simon and I are advocating that he get a dog now -- they're good for blood pressure and they force you to get regular exercise. He says no, but we're working on him.

So our big job this weekend was to clear out our rooms of all the old junk, packing the keepsakes (like my first jewellery box and my high school yearbooks) into storage boxes, and getting Simon's room ready to paint and mine to take it's place as a very girly guest room (much of my stuff is still in there, but it's much less cluttered).

The hardest part was undoubtedly thinning out my unicorn collection. I was absolutely head-over-heels obsessed with unicorns when I was little, and collected anything that even remotely resembled one. The collection got pretty large after a while. I suppose I could have kept most of them, but they were mostly pretty tacky. I did keep the few really nice ones, but all the big ceramic or cartoony things are going to goodwill.

Even worse was going through all my old pictures, most of which I hadn't seen since we moved when I was 11. Here's a sampling:

unicorn pictures

The metallic lithograph pictures were especially thrilling to me. So thrilling in fact that I never noticed that the unicorn rearing in the clouds and the unicorn rearing on the hilltop are the same unicorn. I also had a duplicate of the mother-and-bady picture on the bottom on a laminated block, not in frame. By far the nicest was the one in the top left corner, and even that one is much better off going to a nine year old girl than languishing in my closet.

unicorn embroidery

Also difficult was getting rid of this embroidered picture. It's dusty, old, and frankly kind of tacky. But I made it. I have a drawer in the closet full of completed cross-stitch I could never figure out what to do with, which is largely why I don't do cross-stitch anymore. I still love doing it, but it seems pretty pointless when it inevitably ends up in a drawer, because the finished product isn't anything I particularly want on my walls. Nor, I think, would anybody else.

But by far the crowning glory of the collection is The Clock.

I found the clock at an antique market in Aberfoyle when I was nine. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. I loved it so dearly, and though my parents tried their damndest to dissuade and distract me, I made them return at the end of the day and spent my meagre allowance on The Clock (my dad talked the seller down to $10). I was so happy I thought I would burst, and for years it hung on my wall. Every day I would come into my room and marvel that I owned something so breathtakingly wonderful.

The Clock, in all its glory:

unicorn clock

Observe, the inch-deep setting for the clock, so they could fit real silk flowers inside the coach. Observe the butterfly on the second hand, that flew around and around the clock. And I think the pastel shoelaces I wove around the spokes added a certain je-ne-sais-quoi, don't you?

In the end, after unearthing The Clock and reminiscing about how happy it made me, my parents couldn't throw it away. It has been promised a place of honour in the bathroom located in our half-finished basement. And I couldn't be happier.

The rest of the things I couldn't bear to part with (like my pink personalized umbrella my aunt got me when I was four) got packed up in a rubbermaid box. On it I placed three stickers:

"Sarah's Childhood"

"Somewhat Fragile"

"Handle With Care"

( 12:11 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, November 10, 2006
 

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

It's almost 2:30 a.m., and I'm wound up too tight to sleep, so I thought I'd dabble a bit online before cracking open (not literally) my shiny new TEMERAIRE and comfort reading for a bit.

So the update on Dad:

There is some quarrel between doctors as to whether or not he actually had a heart attack. What they do know is that the same vein and/or artery (Mum was sketchy on the details) that was blocked the last time he had a heart attack was 90% blocked in the same place the stent was. They went in through, I believe, the big vein in his wrist, forced out the blockage through the stent (which Mum said really hurt him), and put a new stent in.

Dad's out of commission for the next four weeks. No driving, no working, zip. So, needless to say, they're not coming to my choir concert tomorrow. In December, Mum and Dad are moving to my Aunt's house for a bit so Dad can be closer to work. He should be home again for December 15.

In third year university, I spent the Christmas Holidays rejoicing that one of my parents hadn't died and had come home for Christmas. This year looks to be a repeat.

I'm performing in the concert tomorrow night. Dad comes home either tomorrow or Saturday, so I'm going to find out if I've got a couple of personal days remaining at the ROM, and if I do, I'm taking them so I can hop on a bus and go be with my parents. They were planning on painting this weekend, and rather than putting it off, I'd like to do it for them so they don't have to worry about it. Maybe I can even wrangle the sibling into coming with me and helping.

So on the note of getting something really fab for the Holidays (in this case, Dad), I'm beginning Festive Winter Seasonal Holiday gift-card-recipient-list assemblage noises. If you think you should be getting a card from me (or want one anyway, or your address has changed, or whatever), drop me a line and let me know.

And for those of you waiting on my Christmas list (I know, Mum, I know), I'm almost done. I promise.

Also, WFC con report also coming. Soon.

[ETA: I should probably add that if you're sending cards to me, I did move in June and my mail is no longer forwarding]

( 2:40 AM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

It's almost 2:30 a.m., and I'm wound up too tight to sleep, so I thought I'd dabble a bit online before cracking open (not literally) my shiny new TEMERAIRE and comfort reading for a bit.

So the update on Dad:

There is some quarrel between doctors as to whether or not he actually had a heart attack. What they do know is that the same vein and/or artery (Mum was sketchy on the details) that was blocked the last time he had a heart attack was 90% blocked in the same place the stent was. They went in through, I believe, the big vein in his wrist, forced out the blockage through the stent (which Mum said really hurt him), and put a new stent in.

Dad's out of commission for the next four weeks. No driving, no working, zip. So, needless to say, they're not coming to my choir concert tomorrow. In December, Mum and Dad are moving to my Aunt's house for a bit so Dad can be closer to work. He should be home again for December 15.

In third year university, I spent the Christmas Holidays rejoicing that one of my parents hadn't died and had come home for Christmas. This year looks to be a repeat.

I'm performing in the concert tomorrow night. Dad comes home either tomorrow or Saturday, so I'm going to find out if I've got a couple of personal days remaining at the ROM, and if I do, I'm taking them so I can hop on a bus and go be with my parents. They were planning on painting this weekend, and rather than putting it off, I'd like to do it for them so they don't have to worry about it. Maybe I can even wrangle the sibling into coming with me and helping.

So on the note of getting something really fab for the Holidays, I'm beginning Festive Winter Seasonal Holiday gift-card-recipient-list assemblage noises. If you think you should be getting a card from me (or want one anyway, or your address has changed, or whatever), drop me a line and let me know.

And for those of you waiting on my Christmas list (I know, Mum, I know), I'm almost done. I promise.

Also, WFC con report also coming. Soon.

( 2:40 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Sarah Jane Elliott
The often frustrating progress of my life and writing...

(Once known as "The Mystic's Dream", now known as "Dream of the Dolphin", but inclined to change title depending on what's stuck in my head)

Okay, I liked "Confessions of a Post Graduate Pity Whore" a lot more than I thought I would. That line is still hilarious. But I've started writing again, so it's time to go back to before. :o)





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