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Friday, March 30, 2001
It is ordained. I must steal Duane's shoes. We met at the local Starbilks today, and I could not take my eyes off his superb smoke-grey suede slip-ons. And he could not keep his hands off them, stroking them suggestively just to further inflame me. Not for nothing is he the Bad Man.
Grant, HBB, and thanks for the fix, and for teaching me the difference between a linch and a cotter pin. You may be disembodied, but you're still omniscient. I want to hear all about *your* exit interview when it happens.
Wednesday, March 28, 2001
Hi Jane. This is a quick note from your disembodied, blog-fixing friend. I nullified the problem with that quoteless tag of yours. While I'm here, I'd just like to say thank you for the kind words and point out that I don't think of myself as so much a linchpin, as perhaps a cotter pin. A linchpin holds things together so they don't cause an explosion. A cotter pin holds things together so the wheels don't fall off. It's a subtle difference.
So Bryce is leaving the old place of employ, too. I hope his new job brings him everything he wants. I know, if it lets him work from home, it'll be everything Theo the hound wants.
Theo is Not My Dog, but I've said many times that if he were a guy, I'd marry him. When I'm around him, I always think of the old Tony Award-winning show "The Most Happy Fella." Such a sunny character. So loveable.
Note to Stretch Armstrong fans: I'm sorry. I meant no disrespect. Stretch Armstrong offers ample opportunity for creative expression.
Rachel, your blog kills me. Thanks for the laughs.
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Grant, I know you're busy with the transition, but I think I need your help. I can't edit my previous blog, and I'm not sure why it posted a truncated version of itself. Is Blogger trying to tell me that there's "too much copy"? (Et tu, Blogge?)
Actually, I just looked again, and I forgot the closing quotes on the last HREF tag. Heh.
However, if I can't edit the last entry, I can at least finish it. I was sermonizing about a certain modern poetry collection I'm reviewing, saying that I failed to see the lyric potential in a Stretch Armstrong doll.
Okay, that's it. I just wrote a great blog, attempted to resize my Netscape page, and kablam! all my text disappeared. I hereby invent the word "bloggerdammerung" to define such events. The twilight of the blogs. Or perhaps "blogplotz" would be more succinct.
In other news...I've been accepted as a reviewer for the Canadian Book Review Annual, which is, as you may have guessed, a yearly publication listing capsule reviews of all books published in Canada. Somehow I feel, as a new kid, that I've been handed the books that the cool kids didn't want. Anyway, I've started off with a fairly conservative number, six books, to review before mid-June. That's two novels, one autobiography, and three books of poetry. Actually, make that two poetry books. As I said to my friends Nikki and Jon, the third is more a collection of lyric prose with annoying line breaks. But such is the mutable nature of creativity. I could just be jealous that this poet was published, and thus will be unlikely to be snubbed by (reverent pause) the Union, as I have been snubbed. Still, I must confess that I fail to see the lyric potential in Stretch Armstrong dolls.
Monday, March 26, 2001
I feel with der Splorpmann's announcement that the linchpin may have been pulled. He was certainly one of my linchpins when I was there. Note to purists: Yes, I know that "linchpin" is not commonly referred to in the plural. Shut up.
My copy for a landmark hotel in the capital was accepted! Phew.
I spent Friday in the mountains (what, pray, were the peasants up to at the same time?), talking with another very prestigious hotel client on Friday. Turns out I have to spend a couple of days there, both in the suites and the premier rooms, as well as writing blurbs about each of the restaurants and wine bars in the establishment. Tsch. The sacrifices we make for our employers.
Thank you, Mikey, for posting the beautiful pork picture. You are a pal.
I refuse to comment on the Oscars. Actually, that's a lie. I loved only Steve. Steve Martin and Steve Soderbergh. One was hilarious, the other dignified. Oh, and I guess I didn't mind Bob Dylan, since he decided to grace us with a few audible consonants during his song. Enunciate, Bobby, enunciate.
Wednesday, March 21, 2001
True 'nuff stuff from the agency: For the last two hours I've been writing copy for 30-second radio spots. This has involved me holding a stopwatch and reading my words aloud with the intonation and inflections of a energetic, slightly ditzy mom. A woman who's unreasonably excited about supporting the local arts. And winning a handmade doll.
Yesterday I walked smack into the floor-to-ceiling window beside my office door, which caused much merriment among the evil designers in the vicinity. My life in vaudeville continues.
When will I learn? I am famous for being the worst Scrabble player in the world, despite having a fairly broad vocabulary. I think my appalling performance has more to do with lack of spatial aptitude. Anyway, given my frank appraisal of my skills, it made no sense to play with the Grand Master of Scrabble himself, if I hoped to do well. But I played nonetheless, and was duly killed, 360-something to 243. The Evil Genius of English scored 81 on one turn with the word "Tarsiers," which I, using the infallible reasoning of "If I haven't heard of it, it isn't a word," foolishly challenged. Still, it was agreat evening's humiliation, and I'm keen on a rematch.
Yes, it actually exists: Seen in Safeway last night: a new variety of Healthy Choice-brand spaghetti sauce called "Chunky Lovers." Honestly, I can't make this up. I hooted aloud. It's almost as funny as the famous Saskatchewan Pork Marketing Board ad: "Pork. The One You Love."
Friday, March 16, 2001
Bad Man, I tried to blog last night, but nothing happened. Yes, my computer was on. Anyway, here goes, I'll try again:
Okay...14 days later.
I collected urine with abandon during the World Cup Speedskating Match at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on March 2, 3, and 4. In ascending order of niceness of those contacted for a sample (I was generally assigned the random tests, which meant that not only did my skater not win her raceĆ³all winners know they have to be tested as a matter of courseĆ³but they had to be followed around by a chubby Canadian until they peed), it would be Canadian, German, Japanese, and Dutch. I should clarify--I mean niceness of the person being tested, not niceness of the urine sample. Anyway, it was definitely something I've never done before in my life, follow a world-class athlete into a bathroom stall and hand her a specimen bottle.
And then on to my first day at Karo, which scared the pee out of me. WIthin two hours I was inundated with jobs. They'd been saving them up, you see, in the absence of the writer.
It's a wild place, Karo. Part of their business is interior design, and it shows. It's not really an office; more an all-encompassing creative space, with vintage advertisements, antique toys, different colours, different patterns, everywhere you look. Not to mention the unique artworks on the walls.
Also, I get my own office. It's about the shape (and size) of a Helvetica comma, but it's mine, mine, mine.
Of course EyeWire was more than classy, sending me flowers on my first day. Karo also gave me flowers, but I have to say the EyeWire flowers were bigger and better. "Who's the new writer?" "Can't miss her -- festooned with flowers, across from the Creative Studio."
I came from an environment of direct mail and catalog copywriting, with a little web copy thrown in for good measure. By the end of my first day I was writing magazine copy, billboards, and street level ads for four different companies. I'm on probation until June, and I have no idea what my new boss thinks of me (he plays his cards rather close to his chest), but even if they drop-kick me down the elevator shaft, it's been worth it to make the change.
I found out really fast how brilliant and innovative Charles and Ray Eames were. Also that Ray Eames was a woman. Great chairs and recliners, you two.
That's probably enough ramble for now. Many folks have left EyeWire since I left...I hope it's not a bad sign for that company. It's still an amazing place to work, even though a little overburdened with bureaucracy at present. I had been very lucky to work in the Creative Services department, but even then we weren't immune from the corporate fungus.
Once again I'm writing this at Bryce's house. I'm trying to borrow the keys to the dog at least once a week, and hiking up and down Nose Hill. Theo seems pretty pleased with the idea. She Who Has Biscuits is always welcome to him.
Thursday, March 01, 2001
First day off the job: So far it's been great. I've borrowed Bryce's house and am sitting at his zippy-fast Mac tapping out a lazy blog. Theo, recently neutered and confined to quarters during his convalescence, is patiently awaiting my next trip to the kitchen. You never of these times I might start to pour a cup of coffee, then lose my train of thought and end up filling his dog dish with kibble. It could happen.
By the way, the ominous exit interview was pretty standard. The person I talked to was fairly new to EyeWire. The questions were standard HR specimens. Since my interviewer wasn't around during The Troubles, it seemed pointless to bring them up, even though some of the questions were clear invitations to talk about what happened. Pretty shrewd (and pretty gutless) of the Teflon Blondes to fob me off on the newbie.
But leaving isn't about bitterness. So what if I accidentally found out I was the lowest paid person in the department? I made enough to live on. I wasn't unhappy in my job. I worked with fantastic people. I wrote some not bad stuff during my time. Leaving is about finding new opportunity and expanding my horizons. (Pause.) I just re-read that. No, I'm not on Prozac.
The people who mattered to me the most at EyeWire were absolutely wonderful to me yesterday. I was literally showered with gifts, including that Most Special Gift of all, a gift certificate to my favourite book store. And also a set of absolutely killer divine jewellery (necklace and matching earrings, with stones in my favourite colour of green). And I'll never forget the hula necklaces to honour the "Aloha Jane" theme. There was a potluck lunch at work, which in my opinion is much more fun than heading out to a local restaurant. I started in on vodka and orange juice at about 10:00 a.m. By the time I took my last drink (a toddlerish concoction called a Bellini) at 7:00 p.m., I should have been comatose. But nope. Not even a slurred word. And no residual liver damage this morning. It's got to be the Viking heritage.
So goodbye, and thank you, EyeWire. I hope I managed to partially repay the debt I felt I owed to the good people there. To the legacy of Brad Zumwalt, former president. To Jon, who got me the job (even if he denies it). This is starting to get soppy. Anyway, Duane, I've told you already what I owe you. Two venti Mochas with a shot of Irish Cream, yes?