Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Joys of GOTrain Commuting

Last night my Ryerson class ended at 9:32 pm instead of the scheduled 9:30. As usually, my goal was to catch the 9:43 train so I could get home in time for bed. With sleep as my motivation, I raced out of there like Jay Garrick on riddlin. I got to the Dundas subway station in record time (like 2 minutes) and leapt onto the southbound train. I got off at union. So far so good, right?

Looking up at the screen I saw my train disappear at the top, meaning it was about to leave. Gah! I punched my ticket and raced up the steps. There was the 9:43 train, I saw it, touched it. The doors were closed. I then proceeded with all my emergency door-opening tactics: banging on the door, pressing the "door release" button, making pouty faces in the direction of employees. Nothing worked, and the passengers gave me a look that said "glad I'm not her" and "I've been there" and "what an idiot" all at the same time.

With sadness in my heart, I wandered back down to the concourse. I decided to take the lemon of missing the train and make it into the lemonade of eating a cinnabon. Yum! I got a cinnabon and a large chocolate milk (which everyone knows is the only beverage to get if you really want to enjoy you cinnabon). I sat down amongst the Dairy Queen cups and McDonald's garbage savoured my delicious treat. That took all of 5 minutes. I used the rest of the hour to amuse myself with everything that union station has to offer: wandering aimlessly, looking at magazines, people watching, going pee in the less-than-clean facilities, and more wandering aimlessly. An oddly cheerful homeless man told me I had a nice smile.

At almost 10:43 a voice came through the speakers "mumble mumble West bound passengers mumble car on track mumble mumble ten minutes time." While I didn't entirely understand the train announcement dialect, I was pretty sure this was bad news. I went over to the ticket kiosk, more to waste time than anything else, and asked the lady what was going on with the Westbound train. "It's been delayed," she said. "They'll update us in 10 minutes."

Ten minutes later the station was filled with people wearing Bon Jovi memorabilia. Normally the bright side of missing the train is that you pretty much get an entire car all to yourself. One chair for me, one chair for my stuff, one chair for my feet (I know, don't you hate people like me?). The delay meant that I would have to be on a crowded train with a bunch of noisy Bon Jovi fans who would otherwise have taken the 11:43. Not that I held anything against them. In fact, I cheerfully explained to them the previous announcement, as I understood it, like 800 times.

Another announcement came on and this time I heard, "mumble west bound passengers mumble delay mumble somebody decided to drive a car onto the tracks mumble vehicle has been removed amd mumble mumble mumble." Now, if somebody wanted to drive onto the tracks, why wait for the 10:43? Why not delay the 9:43 train instead? That way I could have caught the train and been asleep by 11, instead of hanging around union forever. I wish these people would check with me before trying idiotic stunts.

Anyway. The Eastbound train came and went. Twice. Every five minutes or so the announcer would give us this messages: "Westbound passengers please remain in the concourse area until your platform number is displayed. This will not be a long delay." The message wording was the same each time but the announcers voice became slightly more agitated. I can only assume he was having a tough time chasing Bon Jovi fanatics off the platforms.

At 11:30 our platform number was displayed and we stampeded up the stairs to my old stomping grounds, track 3B. Five or ten minutes later the train arrived. There must be someone who ends up near the door when the train stops. Why is that person never me? I ended up in that seat by the door for people with bicycles.

I was so tired by this time that I decided to sleep on the train. I envy people who can do this. Like the middle-aged woman who sat beside me, and the young woman with her head on her husband's shoulder, or the red-haired guy in the primo seats. My efforts barely lasted until Exhibition. After that I stared into space until I got home. And my darling husband was at the station and we went home and slept.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I need to get me one of them invisibility cloaks

Okay so me darling husband send me this link:


About this camouflage gear they're developing at the university of Tokyo, so people can see right through you and your rain coat. This will be highly useful for things like sneaking into movie theatres, hide and seek, and, um, halloween. Anyway it's pretty neat.

In other news I'm probably hanging out with Amy and her sister Steph tonight, which means movies and maybe some kind of card game or board game. They're good peeps.

Saturday my cousin (well my cousin's son. So first cousin once removed?) is having his first birthday party. What do you buy a one year old? I can't believe he's one already. It seems like only a year ago he didn't even exist.

I'm thinking about like sending queries to different magazines and stuff. If anyone knows of a publication that would suit my style of writing, comment here. I will totally add your blog to my prestigious favourites list if you do. Not that I think anything will come of it. There's enough people out there pretending to be writers, that I have to actually, like, try or something to really break into this field. Whatever!

Speaking of invisible, does anybody else notice that my capital letters have disappeared? BLOGGER!!!!! Curse you and your stylish new age fonts!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Meme thingie do.

Okay so like zydeco fish, tagged me in this blog meme tag thingie. So naturally I have to do it. If I end up taggin you PAY ATTENTION. Here's what you have to do:

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1. sara
2. kirk
3. shelly
4. zydeco fish
5. Superhappyjen

Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to so they can do this meme, like so:

1. Becca
2. Merther
3. Crazytigerrabbitman
4. Demnos (the things I've learned)
5. Carol

Unfortunately, I simply do not know very many people and happen to know that many of the above listed people will likely not bother. Oh well. Anyhoo. The next step is to answer these questions, which is the point of this whole exercise: information exchange (I guess).

What were you doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago? I was in high school. Probably taking math, french, french media, and art. Depending on what grade that was, maybe a little german. Guten Tag. Wie geht's? Zehr gut, und du?

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Well let's check the ol' blog. I went out for ice cream in a snowstorm with my brother, my husband (then fiancé) and nephew. I also just got the chuck you farley letter from the Ontario Arts Council. I don't want to work for them anyway so there!

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Chocolate
2. Pickles (particularly fried pickles)
3. Celery
5. Strawberry Fruit Bottom Yogurt

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. Material Girl
2. Roxanne
3. Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter
4. The Fool on the Hill
5. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Buy a house with lots of shelf space for action figures
2. Buy a car. A red one.
3. Tour the world
4. Get my eyes lasered
5. Go on that $100,000 15 minute trip to outerspace.

Five bad habits:
1. I'm lazy
2. I procrastinate
3. I rarely do the dishes unless I run out of plates, or they start to smell.
4. I rarely do laundry unless the pile reaches the ceiling and I've worn the same bra at least 4 times.
5. I can't think of anymore, I guess I'm perfect otherwise.

Five things you like doing:
1. Writing
2. Playing Nintendo
3. Giving/receiving hugs
4. Taking courses in stuff
5. Singing Karaoke

Five things you would never wear again:
1. My favourite red jeans that have "shrunk" and sprouted holes in the nether regions
2. Size 8
3. My wedding dress
4. A thong
5. A C-cup

Five favourite toys:
1. Wonder Woman action figures
2. GameCube
3. Star Trek action figures
4. Star Trek DVDs
5. My husband

Hugs to all my blogging friends!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Phase II a success!

I took the early train into Toronto to make gosh darn sure that I wasn't late for my interview to intern at Today's Parent. I wore my fab new interview outfit, black power shoes, black pinstriped pants, white button-down shirt, black professionalish jacket, and genuine immitation leather black bag. I got to TO like an hour and a half early so I found myself a nice salad café and wrote out answers to all the sample interview questions I got from Career Explorations. Then I stopped at a gas station and got tictacs to counteract the rather potent salad dressing.

By this time I was only like 20 minutes early, so I figured it was safe to go to the big shiny Rogers building which houses Today's Parent and just about every other magazine. (Especially since it usually takes that long to get past security). When I got there I found out that Andrea, the interviewing editor person, was sick with the flu and had been trying to cancel. Since I took the early train she would've had to call before 10:30 am to get me. I acted all sympathetic about her illness and she interviewed me anyway because I was there. I was eloquent and had very few bouts of verbal diarrea. I used the answers I had written down and improvised a few on the spot. At the end of it she offered me a 3 month internship, 2 days a week, starting Febuary 8th. She seemed all keen on giving me valuable experience and not "grunt work". This is the perfect job. Except for, you know, the whole unpaid thing.

As far as Phase III is concerned (getting paid for this stuff), Andrea says she'll test me out by getting me to write a few articles as part of my "internship experience" and if those go well she'll pay me for some. They don't usually do that (pay) but since I have "previous writing experience" she feels it's only fair. Sweet!

To celebrate Phase II's success, I went shopping at the Eaton's centre. I bought a new pair of red cords for only 10$ (they will replace my favourite red jeans which I bought years ago, also for 10$, and have suddenly both shrunk and sprouted holes in the nether regions). Because the red cords were so cheap, I also bought a pair of black pants (which are casual but not jeans so they are über-practical) and a new game cube game that I saw on tv the other day. While in the changeroom trying on the jeans I noticed that my new shoes were giving me a bit of that new shoe experience and I had a blister bleeding all over my sock. Luckily Shopper's Drug was near by and I got myself some sweet multicoloured bandaids.

Red Cords ------------------- 10 dollars
Black Pants ------------------ 25 dollars
New GameCube Game -------15 dollars
Multicoloured Bandaids ------ 5 dollars
Internship at a real magazine and successful completion of Phase II - priceless

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Every Professional Somethingorother Needs a Website

So I finished that Career Explorations thing and now I'm all gung ho about pursuing my career goals. Which are basically a) To work at a magazine or other print publication in some capacity, and b) to become a somewhat more successful freelance writer.

Phase I of my dasterdly plan is to create a portfolio of my current publishings. I quickly put all my articles in plastic sleevies in a nice black binder. Presto! I'm a professional. Now what does every professional need? That's right, a website designed by my über talented graphic designer husband Adam.


I also bought a genuine immitation leather professional bag and black shoes in preparation for Phase II: Go to interviews until I get an internship at a magazine. I have one of those at Today's Parent on Monday (give me luck vibes). Hopefully they will be so impressed by the binder, website, and bag that I can move on to Phase III (convince someone to actually pay me).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Day 6 & 7: Tripe and Cheeseballs

Is it just me or is motivational speaking a bunch of tripe? The guy who came in on Monday called himself an inspriational speaker, but that's just a question of semantics. All motivational/inspirational speakers are, or worse want to be, Dr. Phil. I was saying in group, in what I hoped was a nicer way, that it was all a bunch of tripe and was immediately shot down. After some thought I'm able to articulate why: motiviational speakers get up on stage and passionately, with much gestures and annecdotes, tell you the things you know to be true. Cliché stuff like: change the things you can, accept the things you can't, and have the wisdom to know the difference. So everyone (particularly old ladies) all flock around them going ALL HAIL THE MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER. Come on now. Tripe I tell you.

After lunch we had to make up networking statements. These are the sorts of things you say at parties when someone asks "what do you do" so that you don't have to say "I'm unemployed" or "Give me a job, please, for the love of Spock!" My statement was something like "My education is in art and writing and I've financed that with a variety of retail jobs. Now I'm looking to combine my creative skills, my computer skills and my people skills, by working for a magazine in some capacity." It needs work, I know, but the idea is people will jump out of nowhere and say "my friend Joe is the editor of a fab magazine, you should talk to him, here's his number."

Today, we watched a video about labour market trends. It was talking about how today's workforce is all about contracting, entrepreneurship. They used cheeseball phrases like "careertrepreneurial" and "Me, Inc." Then it hit me, I'm probably no worse off being a freelance writer than anything else, because everyone has to sell themselves nowadays. Which is annoying, because I'm terrible at that.

After lunch we watched another, even cheesier, appropriately called "Who Moved My Cheese?", a heart-warming yet tragic story of two mice and two men who lived in a maze. The mice (Sniff and Scurry) were very good at finding cheese, but the men (Hem and Haw) were too caught up in how their old cheese was gone to go searching for new cheese. Haw eventually bit the bullet and went searching for more cheese, but Hem was too afraid of change. The moral being that one should stop hemming and hawing (tee hee, get it?), accept the changes in our life and seek out new opportunity. Once you grasp the moral, this sort of thing becomes a bit like motivational speaking (though slightly more fun because it has cartoon mice).

Best tie contest

I missed the leadership debate and from what I've heard I didn't miss much. I did however, catch enough clips to report, once again, on the candidates' ties. In alphabetical order by first names: Gilles had a black and white striped tie. He was so monocromatic that if not for the slight fleshy colour of his skin he might have stepped out of a black and white movie (like say, Dracula). Jack had a much nicer and flashier tie on this time. Orange and red striped. My husband made the comment that when he was talking to the camera (which was often) he looked commanding and forceful (to the point of farce) but when he was facing the other candidates he looked like a turtle. Paul's red with tiny white polka dots tie was much less fancy than last time. Maybe because Stephen is squeaking ahead in the polls. Steve's flashy blue tie was much nicer than his last one and once again he had a nice blue pocket kerchief thingie to match it. He was the most coordinated again. I'm thinking NDP might be the way to go, since Jack had the most improved tie this time around.

Monday, January 09, 2006

There was no more after lunch

So lately I've been deligently writing every day about my career explorations experience. Those of you who are following this (Mom, Dad) have likely noticed that I stopped blogging on Thursday at lunch and never came back. You're wondering if I was in some sort of accident or something. No, nothing happened. Proof:

Thursday after lunch: we researched jobs using a program only the career centre has, this is to trick us into spending the entire afternoon on their computers. After we were shown a much better program that we could get at home on the internet, we all went home. I looked up stuff on and seriously considered "video game developer" as a career.

Friday: We looked at our values. There were a list of 14 values (stuff like money, health, happiness, power, etc) that we had to rank from 1 to 14 (1 being the most important, 14 being who cares). This was supposed to make us realize, I guess, that not all these things come from work. My top four, for the curious, were affection, happiness, independence, and security. So most, if not all of these things come from your home life (if you have a good one, which I do). Cool. This was also supposed to be a reality check for those people who listed their top value as money, but wanted to be a poet. After lunch we "researched" some more.

Saturday: No, the career stuff doesn't happen on weekends but I'm taking this acting course. I was toying with the idea of taking acting to get over the shyness thing (Mommy and Daddy made this plan a lot easier by payingfor my acting class as a Christmas prezzie). My twilight zone moment came at break when I was chatting with some of the other students. The opening line in their dialogues: "what school do you go to?" I ran away to sit with the older kids. This was a big change from the career explorations where I am one of the youngest and people keep saying how young I am. This was proof that I am clearly old. I think I'll enjoy the class though. We're going to be working on monologues. I'm supposed to either "find" a monologue by next week or use the one that was handed to me on a silver platter. Duh. I looked up the monologue I was given (which actually sort of speaks to me btw) and it turns out the character is goth. Cool! Maybe I'll get to dress goth or something.

Later I'll tell you what happened Sunday and today, but lunch is sort of over.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

4: Ears and Video Games

You know that test that told me I should be an audiologist? Well we looked at that one today. First we had a "party" where we decided what kind of people we would want to talk to. The test told me I was an ARI (artistic, realistic, inquisitive). After about a second of consideration, I decided that realists were boring and I wanted to hang with artists and inquistivies (in that order). For some reason there were like a hundred people crowded in the realist corner (by a hundred I of course mean ten), so go figure.

You know how the test told me I should look into technical writing? Well I looked closer at the test and found that technical writer was the only writing career listed. Aha, me thinks, they just want me to be a writer.

Next we were sent to the computer room to futz with a program that had like 950 jobs on it. I looked up creative writer and got linked to a website that had a picture of my mom on it. The creative writer had "Interactive Media Writer" listed under "Similar Jobs" so I looked it up too. It wasn't there but they did have "Interactive Media Developer", which might be fun. I think I could design games or stuff. I also printed out info on, I forget the name, but it's the guy who actually makes and fits hearing aids. This is related to audiology but requires less school and seems to be more about the aspects of the job that intrigued me (ie: less dealing with crothchety old people).

I just got an e-mail from my prof about an internship at Weddingbells and some fashion magazine. I'm thinking I might actually try for it. I'll have to revamp my résumé and likely won't get paid (or get the gig at all for that matter) but I need some kind of experience to see if the whole magazine thing is a good idea. When I get home I'll do that. Totally.

Anyway lunchtime over. More after lunch.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Day 3: Um....stuff

We used a bunch of cue cards to figure out what our skills are. We put them in piles based on if we want to use those skills, want them as secondary skills, could care less, or don't want to use them. My "don't care" pile was this giant stack that reached the ceiling (okay, so not THAT high). Anyway I ended up with a bunch of writing, editing and art skills. Duh, says I, that's what I went to school for.

We broke into groups. On person told the group their skills and interests and the rest of us told them what sort of occupations the should go into. My group came up with some brainbusters like "writer" and "editor", but they also threw out some odd ones like "video game programmer".

After lunch was time to do more of the assessment that the centre is in love with. Me and the other girl who had done it already (Stella is her name, btw, and she is also the green who drove me home yesterday) got a jump on researching the career groups in our "very interested" column. We figured out that we have a lot in common (except she's not artistic and I'm not organized). We began day-dreaming about starting our own tv show, with her doing the research and organizing, and me on the creative and writing side. If I get nothing else out of this program, I at least have a new friend. Maybe she will become some bigwig and give me work or, better yet, large sums of money.

On to something completely off topic: I've been craving liver of late so I went out to the store and bought some fresh calves liver and bacon and garbage bags (the garbage bags because we needed them and I was there, not because it has anything to do with liver.) My husband doesn't like liver but once said he'd try it if I made i (in a sort of hypothetical sense). In fact, most of the people I know (and I'm sure a lot of people I don't know) think I'm insane for liking the stuff. But they have defective taste buds because liver is obviously the most delicious meat ever. Melts in your mouth (not in your hand). I've never actually made liver but I've seen it done. You weave a piece of bacon through it and then fry it up with a bunch of onions. We'll see how it turns out. I feel I'm being very courteous by making this on a day when we have leftover lasagna in the fridge for husbands with defective taste buds.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Day 2: I'm so Green

So today we did our "Personality Dimensions" assessment, which is basically a rip off of "True Colours" or "What Colour is Your Parachute?" The basic idea is to pigeon-hole your personality into four different types.

My results:

Green - all logical and intelligent- was number one with a score of 15.
Blue -all artsy and touchy feely- was next with 11.
Orange - all sporty and go-gettery - was a 10 (though I can't believe I got that high in it, must have been a fluke)
Gold - super organized - was painfully last with a score of 4 (which, incidentally, is the lowest score one can get in any particular category).

Then we broke up in groups (according to our colours) and wrote stuff on chart paper about our likes and dislikes and values and whatever. Our group had a tough time coming to a consensus on anything (one guy was tied in his score with orange, and another girl was WAY more gold than any of the rest of us). The one thing we all agreed on is that we are all very impatient and hate to be kept waiting. It's not that easy being green.

Career Lady says we should focus on our strengths, rather than our weaknesses. On that note:

Green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain,or tall like a tree.

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why?
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be.

~Kermit the frog

***********after lunch*************

We did a ridiculous skit in group to explain to the class all about being green (using green stuff that looked as if it were purchased at the dollar store). When all the ridiculous skits were done we had more brain-washing (um, I mean discussions) about the colours. Then we watched a silly video about it and I guess we had extra time because we toured the building. The last thing we did was a quiz to determine if we are intraverted or not. Apparently, intraverts need not be shy and extraverts need not be out-going. It has to do with how you get "energized". So if you're a human who gets energized by having a nap by yourself, you're an introvert. On the other hand if you're some kind of android or gynoid who uses people as fuel (interracting with people, not what you were thinking), then you're an extrovert. I ended up being near the middle, but definitely closer to being human than gynoid.

One of my fellow greens drove me home (yippee) so I had lots of time to get all the laundry together to take to the laundromat. There was a mountain to rival Everest growing out of our hamper. I had to stuff at the end because I ran out of garbage bags. I also had to be a lot more creative about what I considered "white". Now there's an army of chubby green midgets in our living room. When Adam comes home we'll take the recruits to the laundromat and launder everything in like an hour. Laundromats rule.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dreaming Princess Explores her Career Options

For the next three weeks I'm in this program called "Career Explorations". This is to help me get direction and decide what career I want to get into. Today we did a bunch of get-to-know-you games and were handed a binder that we could use as a lethal weapon (you know, because it's so big). After that, the rest of the class did an assessment that the career centre is in love with, and me and this other girl (who had both already done it) chatted with the teacher about our results, how fab the test really is, and how important it is to take all kinds of assessments to "look at ourselves from different angles". I plan to examine myself acutely, rightly and obtusely. On that note, I used my lunch break to do another (extremely important) kind of assessment. What kind of princess am I?

The Dreaming Princess

Your head is in the clouds and you don't feel like
coming back down to earth any time soon. You
have a very active imagination and may find
sometimes that you enjoy fantasy more than
reality. You are sweet and girlish, a lovable,
kind dreamer given to flights of fancy.

Role Models: The Princess of "The Frog

You are most likely to: Be enchanted by fairies
after falling asleep in the forest.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

I'd have to say that's pretty accurate. But the Frog Prince Princess? Wasn't she a big spoiled snob or something? Anywoo, since I'm the dreaming princess perhaps I can dream up a fabulous new career for myself. Tallyho!

*****and after lunch******

We talked about attitude and self esteem. If this sounds hokey to you, you would be right. One of the things you can do is "positive affirmations". This is like when you stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself "I am fabulous" a hundred times. This has to be present tense affirmations. So you can't say "I will one day be an astronaut", you have to say "I am an astronaut." I imagine this makes it much easier to lie about your occupation while on a date, or at parties.

On the way home someone from my class gave me a lift, only she dropped me at Guelph and Prospect instead of Brant and Prospect. Closer than where I was, granted, but fairly far for the carless (me). My grandmother wasn't home so I used my long walk to practice my "positive affirmations". I decided to focus on my writing skills. I kept saying things like "I am a good writer", "I am a writer" and "I am in league with the best writers" until I got bored of that. I don't believe it any more or less than I did before (I don't think). Everyone knows that positive affirmations don't work for cynics.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 Year in Review

2005 was the year of the wedding. Our friends Becca and Drew tied the knot in May, Mel and Tim got hitched in August and (most importantly) me and my Adam got married on September 3rd, 2005. More than one person told me it was the best wedding they'd ever been to (I'm sure at least one of them was sincere). We now have some wedding pictures up in the hallway to remind me that, yes, it is possible for me to look pretty in that girlie way with the right dress, hairdo, and make-up. (BTW: I'm still madly in love with my husband).

Of course one can't forget that the wedding was followed by a fabulous week in Mexico. Where the Riu Palace staff made us feel like Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III.

2005 was also (unfortunately) the year of SITEL (blech) which nearly ruined my karaoke voice by forcing me to read sales-pitch scripts at Americans all day.

Also this year those stupidheads at Paramount cancelled Star Trek: Enterprise. Didn't they learn from their blunder in the 60s that cancelling Star Trek was a bad idea? Maybe it'll be back one day. An Enterprise movie would be nice.

Oh, and I got my Pigs.

And if you read through my blog you'll pick out other monumental stuff that I forgot about.


The end of this year was supa fun. Me and Adam and Eireann (a.k.a. laser-eye Eireann), and my brother Craig, went up to Kevin and Kerri's new place in Kitchener. Kevin and Kerri made us yummy delicious dinner (including, but not limited to, roast beef, homemade bread, and apple crisp. Then we played Nintendo (Mario Kart and Karaoke Revolution) until like half-hour to midnight and then walked over to city hall where some band was playing so we could shout out the countdown in a crowd instead of feeling like big nerds who play Nintendo at their New Years party. (Nerdity RULES). Then we stayed over night (because Kitchener is SO darn far away not because we were all loaded or anything) and Kevin kicked off 2006 by making us pancakes and eggs and bacon. (I love food).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...