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

Free Story!

Friday, June 30, 2006
 

And It Was Called Yellow

I got a rejection from Realms of Fantasy the other day.

It's yellow.

With a handwritten note on it.

I'm moving up in the world!

( 3:36 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Who Will Buy?

It's a good day. I just found out I get Monday off (three day weekend, yay! Well, Monday is the beginning of my long weekend and then end of pretty much everybody else's, but still). And I just discovered Starbucks' pomegranate frappuccino.

See, I've long had a love for Starbucks Tiazzi. For those that don't remember it, it was essentially fruit puree, tea, and ice chucked in a blender, but it was really, really good. They had wildberry and mango. Then they discontinued it, and I was sad.

Then the Second Cup introduced Tiamo, which was pretty much the same thing, and I was happy. Then they changed the name of it to "fruit smoothie" and started making it with Italian Soda, which was absolutely disgusting, and I was sad.

Now Starbucks has this "frappuccino juice blend", which is the newest name for fruit, tea, and ice in a blender, and it is good. Not as good as Tiazzi was, and still hideously overpriced as are all things Starbucks, but pretty damned tasty. You'd think I'd just make the damn thing myself at home, but I'm afraid of what the ice cubes will do to our blender.

( 10:30 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, June 26, 2006
 

Happy, Take 2

Some time back, I posted a link about random things that make me happy, which included the bouncy-balls-down-the-streets-of-San-Francisco commercial, and the "Dancin'" video by Matt Harding, in which he attempts to dance on every continent.

I love this video. Quite a lot.

I recently learned that a corporate sponsor contacted him and sent him around the world again. There is a new video of his travels. It makes me just as happy.

( 11:37 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Saturday, June 24, 2006
 

A Long Night's Walk Across the Viaduct

I don't know what it is, or where it came from, but out of nowhere comes the voice that tells me not to get on the subway as I stand in front of Wellesley Station. So I bid farewell to my sibling and his friends (one of whom, a student I tutored when he was just a boy, now a grown man making a life for himself) and make the long walk home across the viaduct.

My path takes me up Church, through a sea of smiling faces, and as I wade through the rainbow of people, men in leather, women in the same, men in underwear, women in the same, men bedecked in gowns that range from the outragelously camp to the sublimely stunning, as I walk through the sea of people who radiate a current of sheer joy, I can't help but think how proud I am of the city.

I reach Bloor and turn toward home, the sun hanging low in the sky, and find myself walking past a forest I've never seen before. And I know I should be watching the sidewalk, but my head remains fixed to the side, wondering what's down there. And as if in answer to my thoughts, the forest opens to reveal a small wooden path stretching away into the shadows of the trees, and for a moment I'm tempted to leave everything behind, and leave the beaten path, just to find out what's down there.

But that's an adventure for another day.

I pass over Rosedale Valley Road, for a moment mistaking it for the Viaduct, and I see a tunnel stretching across the road, emerging from the forest on one side to disappear into the other, and for a moment I feel as though I've wandered into Myst, until I realize that this must be how the subway reaches the viaduct. I've only ever seen it from below.

It's funny how a change in perspective can alter an entire world.

And finally, I reach the Viaduct itself, the sunlight shinging on the net they built to catch the jumpers.

I've never walked across it before.

So I start across, and look down as I reach the Don River, once the heart of the city, nearly destroyed and now being brought back from the dead, and the trees follow the liquid artery as it winds through the massive valley it has cut through this land over the course of centuries. An island of life in the middle of the sea of concrete.

And I meet the eyes of the people I pass, and we smile at each other, as a heron flies past below us.

I hear the rumble of the subway, shaking the ground beneath my feet, the growl of a discontented troll, and the cables beside me sing out in response. In welcome or in warning, I can't tell. I don't speak the language.

Trip-trap.

And I think back on the day, and on the number of people I talked to who left my gallery smiling. On the happy discovery that they're raising my salary next month. On the accidental creation of something beautiful on my lunch hour. On dinner with my sibling as he arrived to join the party and celebrate the beautiful person within himself.

It smells like rain. I look up at the cloudless sky, and only then realize that the street cleaner is passing by, and wonder how long I've recognized the scent of warm, wet concrete as the smell of rain.

And then the net runs out, and I'm at the end of the viaduct. It's the time of night that would have seen my hometown safely tucked in bed, but my Danforth, my neighbourhood, is still bright with life and laughter. And I know I haven't even been walking that long, because the subway has only stirred the troll once, though it seems an eternity. Perhaps because it's the kind of night that makes me think. And muse.

And freewrite.

And perhaps because I stepped on to the Viaduct in daylight, and it was night when I stepped off.

I pass over a grate, and smell the subway. And smell the grass around me. And realize how much I miss just walking.

So I turn on to the side streets, and wander may way through their warren until I come to my house from a side I've never seen before. And realize that the neighbours on the side I never pass by have really great bookshelves.

And as I let myself in the door, I realize that it's been a very good day.

( 10:40 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, June 23, 2006
 

Well, that was unexpected!

I can't remember when I last posted an accounting of the myriad part-time jobs I'm working, but for those who need the Cliff's notes version, here's the rundown:
  • Writer.

  • Stellar Magpie -- co-owner.

  • Hostel -- Administrative Assistant: 3 days/week

  • Bakka-Phoenix Books -- Store Associate: event and relief staff

  • ROM -- Gallery Facilitator, Hands-on Galleries: weekends and holidays

  • ROM -- ROM Kids Instructor: Seasonal, Saturday mornings/two-weeks in summer

  • ROM -- Digital Gallery Facilitator: I have no idea yet.
Of the ROM jobs, none are permanent -- all are contract positions, with the Hands-On position being renewed yearly. The Saturday Morning Club/Summer Club I do only during certain sessions, so it's on-and-off. The Digital Gallery is the newest one, and nobody seems to be able to tell me what my job is or how many hours I may potentially be working yet, even though I've already started instructing. The Digital stuff will be few and far between for the next little while, but I'm allegedly going to be giving tours and doing Monday morning stuff and lots more Digital in September.

So I got an e-mail from Sharilynn, out of the blue yesterday. They're making my Hands-On position permanent.

This, in the midst of the exciting-yet-terrifying, on-again-off-again, may-end-at-any-time, uncertainty that constitutes the rest of my employment tapestry, made me very, very happy.

( 12:40 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, June 22, 2006
 

Yes, That's It!

That's it exactly!

I've been trying to find a way to express why, even though I adored Christopher Eccleston during his run as the Doctor, I'm now much more interested in David Tennant's Doctor.

And the Chocolate Theory of Doctors sums it up exactly.

God, I love this show.

( 10:06 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, June 15, 2006
 

Best. Present. Ever.

Okay, if anybody is looking to get a six-month jump on my birthday present (hey, it could happen), I would really, really like to be Lady Sarah of Lochaber.

Just saying.

( 7:41 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Whatever happened...?

Whatever happened to customer service?

Transferring services for the move has been one problem after another. First, the cable guy shows up at my house, attempts to run a cable across the fireplace before I ask him nicely to run it up and over the mantle instead, tries to tell me I didn't order a PVR, then tells me he forgot it and he'll be back by 5, then tells me he won't be back by 5 but will be back tomorrow, then tells me he has no idea when he'll be back and I'm better off walking to a Rogers Video and getting the damn thing myself.

Then Bell doesn't disconnect my frelling phone, which I only discover when work tries to call me and finds that there's no "this number has been changed" ping, which I paid for.

Then the carpet cleaner comes in and gives us a price that's way too high, based on a 30-second look at our house. Then I measure the square footage and find he's overcharging us by about $35, and he gets really shirty when I try to tell him this. Then we discover that he's actually charging us the broadloom-with-furniture price, and the open-space price (this is before we moved anything in) is $.10 less per square foot. He got really mad and told us that we don't get to determine the price, finally gave it to us for the right price, then left in a huff. Feeling bad, we called the company, confirmed that it actually was the right price, and asked the company to thank him for giving it to us. They were really surprised, and said that people call to complain, but nobody ever calls to commend the servicemen.

Then I discover a significant amount of butter in the carpet, left there, God knows how or why and I really don't want to, by the previous tenants. I called the company back to ask them how to get it out, and was told that it should not still be there, that I paid $100 to have it cleaned and it's damn well going to be cleaned, and the company arranges to send the guy back.

He calls me the day he's supposed to come back and tells me he won't make it. So I hurry back from Newmarket the next day so I'll be there to meet him.

He looks at the stain and says "What's the problem? It's butter, that's grease, it won't come out. I saw that spot when I was here before and it wasn't that big. (I explain that no, the carpet's damp because I just dumped more spot cleaner on it) Well you did things without knowing what you were doing and now you made it worse! What do you want me to do?"

I explain, nicely, that I'd like him to get the butter out. That I don't care about stains, as long as there is no actual, physical, butter left in my carpet (I was scraping it out by the handful at one point). He does it, and when he finishes, snaps at me "I never should have done this job in the first place. It's been too many problems already."

Now seriously. You don't get to do that. Up until that point, I felt kind of sorry for him, but when your company says you didn't do the job right and sends you back to fix it, you do not get to insult the customer, who just wants the frelling pound of butter out of her carpet.

I think Erin even sent him a tip, too.

( 9:43 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, June 12, 2006
 

WOOT!

This just in from Julie:

Remember ForeWord Magazine had listed FC as a finalist for their Book of the Year Award? Results to be announced at Book Expo America?

Well, we took Silver in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category! Go us! There will, I'm told (less confusingly) now be a foil embossed seal to go on the books shipped. I'll see if I can get some for the authors for their copies.


Yay for us! I'm now in an award-winning book!

( 3:17 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Tips on Surviving Romanian Hospitality

During this insanely busy weekend, in amongst the final day of Saturday Morning Club (my reviews so far are coming back really good) and my sibling's birthday, plus various and sundry unpacking madness, was Alexandra's Toronto wedding. Which I missed, owing to the aforementioned final day of SMC, but I made it to the reception.

Alexandra and Paco are one of the most adorable couples I've ever seen, and I'm so happy for them. And Alexandra's lovely parents provided the food for the reception. In vast quantities. It was wonderful food, but as I almost forgot, having only rarely experienced Alexandra's parents' bountiful hospitality, you must take only a little of everything.

You think I'm kidding? This was the lineup:

First course: Assorted lovely cheeses, grapes, and empanada-like things.
Second course: 5 pounds of grilled scallops (there were about 14 of us).
Third course: 6 pounds of grilled shrimp
Fourth course: Homemade bread
Fifth course: Two massive platters of bread, two large platters of sliced and roasted potatoes, two salads, and another side dish which is slipping my mind at the moment.
Sixth course: Creme brulee
Seventh course: Apple cake, strudel, cookies, and a cakey thing involving chocolate, cream, and nuts.

Yeah, it was a lot of food. And you can't pass up any of it, or you'll have one or both of her parents commanding you to eat, or her father pouting because you won't. Which means you end up eating everything, because her parents are so nice that you feel really bad about abstaining. :o)

I'm so happy for Alexandra and Paco (and so proud of her wedding jewellery -- her mother told me the tiara held up admirably!).

( 10:05 AM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Tips on Surviving Romanian Hospitality

During this insanely busy weekend, in amongst the final day of Saturday Morning Club (my reviews so far are coming back really good) and my sibling's birthday, plus various and sundry unpacking madness, was Alexandra's Toronto wedding. Which I missed, owing to the aforementioned final day of SMC, but I made it to the reception.

Alexandra and Paco are one of the most adorable couples I've ever seen, and I'm so happy for them. And Alexandra's lovely parents provided the food for the reception. In vast quantities. It was wonderful food, but as I almost forgot, having only rarely experienced Alexandra's parents' bountiful hospitality, you must take only a little of everything.

You think I'm kidding? This was the lineup:

First course: Assorted lovely cheeses, grapes, and empanada-like things.
Second course: 5 pounds of grilled scallops (there were about 14 of us).
Third course: 6 pounds of grilled shrimp
Fourth course: Homemade bread
Fifth course: Two massive platters of barbecued chicken and pork, two large platters of sliced and roasted potatoes, two salads, and another side dish which is slipping my mind at the moment.
Sixth course: Creme brulee
Seventh course: Apple cake, strudel, cookies, and a cakey thing involving chocolate, cream, and nuts.

Yeah, it was a lot of food. And you can't pass up any of it, or you'll have one or both of her parents commanding you to eat, or her father pouting because you won't. Which means you end up eating everything, because her parents are so nice that you feel really bad about abstaining. :o)

I'm so happy for Alexandra and Paco (and so proud of her wedding jewellery -- her mother told me the tiara held up admirably!).

( 10:05 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, June 05, 2006
 

Touchdown!

We have moved.

It was arduous. But not nearly as much as it could have been. And the old house looks like a bomb went off. But the new house, though full of boxes and things, is glorious.

I have the best friends in the whole wide world. Thanks again to Chris, Karina, and Alice, without whom I never could have made it, both for their heroic help in schlepping things, and for being there when the force of my family's combined personalities got a bit overwhelming and I needed a hug.

Thanks to Erin's parents for the couch and dining room table and chairs. Thanks to my parents for the air conditioner and the memory foam mattress (which is still inflating on my dining room floor), to my Aunt Jen and Uncle Richard for the lamps, to my sibling and his friends for bringing the muscle, and to everyone for providing transportation.

Erin and I woke up early on Sunday morning, still wired up from the move. We lay there for a while, occasionally making noises at the cats, and each of us could tell the other was awake. Finally, from Erin's room, I hear "Isn't it nice to be waking up to birdsong instead of the streetcar and people yelling?"

Which is it exactly.

We love the new house. When we went to sleep, it was so quiet. The Danforth is only one street away, but we couldn't hear the traffic. We had dinner at our new dining room table and couldn't stop giggling.

Yesterday, we made a trip to Ikea, and discovered the adventure of trying to get two large shelves home when you just can't get a seat on the dinky Ikea shuttle and decided to walk back to the subway station. Up a hill and through a forest. And then end up at the automated turnstyle subway entrance and have to feed the shelves through the exit gates. And we came home, and it felt like home. And once we get everything unpacked, we know it will stay home (and clean!).

Oh, there are a few unexpected surprises. The last people to have my room managed to spill butter on the carpet, which I noticed yesterday (after the carpet cleaner had been through), as there is still a LARGE amount of butter in the carpet. I'm calling the cleaners back to see if there's anything they can do. And someone keeps parking in our garage.

But aside from these few setbacks, we love the house. And we're going to be so happy there.

( 10:00 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, June 01, 2006
 

Packing in My Underpants

What's worse than moving? Moving in 32 degree heat, when your attic bedroom is approaching something closer to 40. Yes, this whole week past I have actually been wearing as little as possible while packing (yes, the blinds were closed), because it was just that damn hot. As evidenced by the heatstroke I got while attempting to paint my dresser. Thank goodness the heat seems to be breaking for the actual moving day.

Steve is gone, and we're leaving this weekend. I'm trying desperately to pack up everything, and getting ruthless with what I am and am not keeping. I'm also madly trying to wash all the clothes I own and packing them up with mothballs. We don't want to transfer ANY of our current infestation to the new house.

Speaking of, I've updated the virtual tour. Now with Erin's crazy closet and our kickass dining room table.

( 9:27 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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