Dream of the Dolphin
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore
Wheeeeee!No, I haven't been posting much. I'm still insanely busy (no, this is not a situation I expect to change much in the next couple of months) and on top of everything else, attempting to get my stuff together for the Art Show at Ad Astra.
This is a big step for Stellar Magpie, because it's the first show we're attending that will actually contain members of our target audience (the last show, unfortunately, did not. Which probably would not have been quite as bad had there been two of us, but I was working and Karina was alone there, which just made it worse). So we're really hoping our stuff does well. There will, at least, be a lot of it. Slightly more expensive (this is all the no-pieces-prefab, precious-materials stuff), but lots of variety to choose from.
I'm having superhero dreams now. Nobody in particular, just solving-dilemmas-and-hunting-things dreams that involve lots of pushing buttons to move staircases and open secret passages in a variety of combinations. And somehow a lot of swinging from poles and balconies and stair rails and things in a much more athletic fashion than I am currently able to perform while awake. Erin, on the other hand, dreamed of ripping paper in half. All night. I count myself very, very lucky.
( 9:38 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Hurray for GeekeryNaomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon is finally available.
Go. Buy this book. Chris and I have both put it firmly as "Best Book I've Read All Year". Read it. Read it now.
Also in my "yay happy reading" queue are Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble (read the ARC, hurray! Though adult book so contains Sex (capital S), which is very fun, just still unexpected as I'm used to reading her YA) and Party Princess (this one is YA, so suspecting will contain no sex, though Mia and Michael talked about it last book, so you never know) the Mythspring anthology, Neil Gaiman's 1602, and the ARC of the latest Sharin Shinn book.
Also and completely unrelated, long before Sandra (my hairdresser) talked to me about messing with my hair, I had a dream in which I washed it and the bits that began to dry faster than others dried blonde (resulting in an odd blonde-on-black look). Now, when I get out of the shower, that's exactly what it looks like.
Tons to do before Ad Astra, so this week is going to be craziness again. But I'm looking forward to it anyway.
Plus, I located my Teen Titans disks, and had forgotten how much I enjoyed that show, so I have new stuff-to-make-jewellery-to.
God, I love being a geek.
( 12:58 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The HELL?Okay, something is definitely up. I've known about it since the whole orange debacle*, and it's always been a problem, but it's getting worse.
Something is up with my head. I've always had trouble with things like telling left from right (when they say "your left hand is the one that makes the L", that never helped, because they both looked like Ls to me). The same with things like R (SARAH had a backwards R in it until I was 8) or the number 3. Eventually I got used to writing it the right way, though, like touch typing, I can't actually stop to think about it or I get it wrong.
Then during math tests, most of my errors happened because I would spontaneously switch numbers around. "5436" became "5463" halfway through a line, or "5335" became "5355".
I'd hear something like a fantasy name pronounced by the author for the first time, and realize I'd been using the wrong syllables/leaving a syllable out/swapping syllables within the name. Also unfamiliar words like "ammonite" (which I'd been pronouncing ammon-ee-ite).
Then you get the swapping words in sentences thing ("How much it is? I mean how much is it?"). Often. Then the orange thing. Now I've started saying things that have the same general meaning as what's in my head, but are not actually what I intend to say.
It doesn't happen when I write, only when I speak. Maybe it's just coming out more frequently and more severely because I'm still, for all intents and purposes, working five jobs and I haven't had a proper vacation since high school. It's not exactly dyslexia. But something is definitely up, because it's happening far too often to just be nothing.
I'm not actually worried about it. But I'd really like to know just what the hell is going on up there.
*In December, on day 31 of a 32-day-work-week, I attempted to instruct my SMC assistants that the garbage was next to the orange chair. I could not get the word "orange" to come out of my mouth. I managed to run through every other colour, but never did get myself to say "orange".
( 10:57 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
BetterFeeling much better after Funktacular Friday last week. Due in large part to my day off on Tuesday, in which I went to my hairdresser and got... well, a slightly bigger change than usual (soo fun to play with!), followed by a trip to see "She's the Man" with Karina and Chris.
For those who've only seen the theatre trailers, rest assured tha "She's the Man" is not the really stupid teen comedy the trailers make it out to be. It is, in fact, "Twelfth Night". As in Viola impersonates her brother Sebastian and falls in love with Duke, who loves Olivia, Olivia falls in love with Viola as Sebastian while she's trying to set Olivia up with Duke "Twelfth Night". Much in the same vein as "10 Things I Hate About You" (which I also loved).
Much, much funnier.
Yes, I liked this movie. There were about three minutes of eye-rolling cheese at the end, but the rest of the movie was great, and I felt so much better after watching it that I can't even put it into words.
Yup, I'd definitely go see it again.
( 9:41 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Baaaa!I haven't done any meme sheepage in a while. Some of this doesn't make much sense, some does. It was fun, regardless. :o)
Put your iTunes/Winamp/WMP on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.
1. How does the world see you? Absolutely (Story of a Girl) - Nine Days
2. Will I have a happy life? Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
3.What do my friends think of me? You & Me - Kim Stockwood
4. Do people secretly lust after me? Greatest Song in the World Tribute - Tenacious D
5. How can I make myself happy? Salve Me - Farscape
6. What should I do with my life? Adam's Rib - Melanie Doane
7. Will I ever have children? Grace - Jinroh
8. What is some good advice for me? Scarborough Fair - Sarah Brightman
9. How will I be remembered? Fable - Robert Miles
10. What's my signature dancingsong? Across the Universe - Rufus Wainright
11. What's my current theme song? My Strongest Suit - Aida
12. What do others think is my current theme song? Sadness - Enigma
13. What shall they play at my funeral? Kiseki No Umi - Record of Lodoss War (a.k.a. Kichani 2 theme song)
14. What type of wo/men do I like? Saltwater - Julian Lennon
15. How's my love life? Time's Scar - Chrono Cross (a.k.a. Kichani theme song)
( 11:25 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Friday, March 17, 2006
Oh GodDAMMIT Universe!!!Seeing as they tucked the label neatly in the corner where you almost need a magnifying glass to read it, I did not actually realize that I accidentally bought the Fullscreen version of Pride and Prejudice until I opened it (thereby ensuring that Blockbuster will not take it back, even if I still had the receipt, which I don't) and attempted to watch the movie.
I can't afford to buy another one.
( 11:38 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Devastation and Reconstruction"Devastated" is a pretty good word to describe my emotional state earlier today. A bunch of bad news waiting in the pipeline decided to choose today (in a three-hour window) to fall upon me. Starting with my failure to get the job at the museum and going from there (all, I might add, at the time of the month at which I'm least able to control my hormonal reaction). The internal ultrasound didn't help matters any either.
I had a good cry this afternoon. Sometimes you just need to.
Then I went about pulling myself back up and getting on with my life. And the Universe, perhaps sensing it had pushed me too far, threw me a bone or two. As I was in the back room at Bakka, comiserating with Chris (I needed a hug), one of the reps swanned in, tossed us Meg Cabot's newest ARC, and swanned back out again. The sibling sent me a link to an article detailing how much the Atkins Diet sucks (ha!). The person who did get the job is someone I like and respect, and really my only problem with her appointment is the fact that she's not me, which doesn't really count. My boss sent me a very positive e-mail about where to go from here. I bolstered my waning perkiness with caffiene (I talked a lot faster than usual, but was able to get through my shift at the ROM tonight at somwhere near my usual energy levels) and felt much better when Nicole, one of our regulars, came up to me and said "I really, really missed you!" They sent me home with pizza. And I'm about to curl up with Pride and Prejudice and some expensive chocolate, have a final good cry, and move on.
Because sometimes, it's what you have to do.
( 11:23 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, March 13, 2006
Tomato/tomatoElizabeth got me turned on to a post that really and truly fascinates me. Down near the bottom, there are a couple of links.
Basically, what happened was this: Chris Bliss did a juggling finale (click the "live in concert" link) to his comedy routine. People liked it and sent it to their e-mail list. Their friends liked it and sent it out to their e-mail list. It spread, to great acclaim.
Juggler Jason Garfield got pissed that this amateur was getting such acclaim doing "something I could get ANYONE with basic motor skills, not even great ones, to do in under an hour," and made his own much harder routine to the same song.
Go watch both movies. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Done? Yeah. Garfield's is, without a doubt, a vastly superior routine when you just look at what he's doing. But what most people find, is that Bliss's is the one you enjoy much, much more. Watching Garfield astounds me, but watching Bliss just makes me happy. Elizabeth compares it to classical violin vs. rock and roll, or Ben Jonson vs. Shakespeare. One is unquestionably better, but the other knows how to play to a crowd.
I find the choice of music somewhat ironic. I've often commented (to the disgust of people like my Dad) that Paul McCartney's voice, on a purely technical level, is pretty good, but nothing incredibly spectacular. What he does with it, however, is what makes him Paul Frelling McCartney. He's a musician who happens to sing, not a singer who happens to write music, and it shows. He uses that voice to connect with an audience and do things like try to change the world for the better.
The inevitable comparison between literary fiction and commercial fiction reared its ugly head, as it always does. And I think what this duelling of videos shows is that we clearly need both kinds of people. I like Haydn and Handel, and I also like the Beatles and Enter the Haggis. I dance more to the latter.
We need people with immense technical artistry to show us what is possible, to show us the idealized version of any art form. But we also need people who can use the basics of the form as a springboard to connect with an audience and draw them in. Technical artistry may awe and inspire, but those more concerned with finding joy in what they're doing than in how well they can do it are often better at showing an unconnected audience just how much joy there actually is to be found in the first place.
( 4:15 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Bring Me To LifeI get strange looks at the ROM often when I'm with Dottie the Dodo. Largely from the staff, when Dottie starts interacting with me and I get annoyed (like when she won't stop playing with my ID badge), or when I talk about Dottie's "feelings". Most people don't really understand that the puppet takes on a life of its own.
Witness then, if you will, Kevin Clash and Elmo on Oprah. This is the first time you've ever seen Kevin Clash together with the puppet (and I almost died when Elmo says to Oprah "You don't have a big black man following you like Elmo does"). But what you can really see from this interview is that, even when you can see the operator doing his thing, the puppet has a life of his own (and often steals the show).
It's one of the things I love most about puppetry. And about writing. A good character, like a good puppet, is one that takes on a life of its own. And I think one would find that most authors who write those characters you really, truly care about feel the same way.
( 1:01 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
HelpI owe the government $1,500. Don't ask how, since I got payroll to take more off at both jobs, but apparently working more at the ROM has bumped me up another tax bracket.
Does anyone know of an accountant in Toronto who knows the loopholes available to a part-timer/writer/artist and would be willing to help me for a fee that's not going to have me living off cans of tuna for a month?
Because there's no way in hell I can afford that kind of money.
(also, I have a job interview on Thursday morning. Cross your fingers for me)
( 3:09 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, March 06, 2006
OscarJon Stewart is my hero. It was an Oscar show I actually enjoyed watching (and not just because of the company and the mulled wine with Chris and Jana and Karina).
I've seen a lot of criticism around the internet. About how he was "okay" but failed to knock it out of the park, about how he played it too safe, about how he didn't play it safe enough. But I think he did a great job. He was genuinely funny most of the time (as opposed to the "Uma…Oprah…" thing of the last east coast personality to host the show), but without being mean. Which is important. As Chris's Dad (via Chris) pointed out, "this is their prom night." Poking gentle fun is a necessity, but you can't be mean about it.
I missed the Actress political attack ads, but I caught the sound mixing (or was it editing?) one, which nearly killed me. Does anyone know where I can find those ads (or the Tom Hanks "acceptance speech" video) online? I love that he mocked the interpretive dance. I think he just conducted himself with grace and class, and made the whole production much more enjoyable for me than I usually find it (there's a reason I haven't really cared in the last few years).
Though I will admit, I probably would have enjoyed it more if I'd actually seen most of the movies nominated. I still have very little desire to see many of them. And I usually really like at least one of the songs nominated, which wasn't the case this year either. As for the song that actually won (and Jon Stewart's "for those keeping score at home…" nearly killed me again), I enjoyed the Dolly Parton song a lot more, and while I do think there might have been a bit of a "look, we're hip and with it" thing going with the voters, someone on Cleolinda's journal who had seen the movie pointed out that the movie hinged on that song, while the other two nominated songs were more incidental to their respective films, which I think is probably right on the money. I noticed the same thing the year "Into the West" won for best song. I think, when the songs are taken on their own, "Triplets of Belleville" was actually the better song. But in context of the movie, "Into the West" completely dominates (to the point at which even the sound of it still makes me cry). Something that can't really be conveyed while presenting the songs at the awards show.
But on the whole, I think it was really well done. If they ask Jon back again, I'll definitely keep tuning in.
( 10:19 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Closet CaseI have discovered that putting on episodes of Knight Rider and letting them run in the background is not only good for making jewellery, it also works rather well when cleaning out one's closet.
It's long overdue. Part of the problem is that half the stuff is now too big for me, and the other half is that I never throw anything away. And I have half a closet (it was divided in two using a sheet of plyboard by the last tenants, as in the original aparment the closet was actually a walk-through that connected my bedroom and Erin's). So I've been dividing things into bags: 1) garbage, 2) charity, 3) out on the deck to freeze the moths.
It's been interesting rediscovering clothes I had completely forgotten about. And rediscovering clothes I can't understand ever liking. And rediscovering clothes I've been carting around for almost ten years now (!!) that are just in need of retiring.
It can be hard, though, especially when faced with "this is the butt-ugly shirt I never wear, but means a lot to me because Dad brought it back from Brazil that time". I've had to get a little ruthless. Though some things, I still can't give up (fair enough, I need one or two painting shirts, especially if we're moving this summer). It's strange, though, how much our closets can become a time capsule of our lives. It's enough to make one thoughtfully melancholy...
...but I just found the cutest skirt!
( 9:51 AM ) Sarah Jane ~