excellent links and a job interview

  • Vintage Design: Hidden posters of Notting Hill Gate Tube station, 2010
  • Green Upcycling: High Line Park transformed a derelict elevated railway on NY’s Lower West Side into a mile-and-a-half-long “park in the sky”.

    I had an interview this afternoon for a job I’m sincerely hoping to land, an ace position with a respectable creative sector company, that requires such a perfect fit for my skills that it’s almost a little silly. Plus, bonus, it comes with room for independant thought. (The number of executive assistant jobs that have replied to me lately that should have advertised for a receptionist instead has really been getting me down. Note to potential employers: Personal assistants and executive assistants are two different things.) My only concern, as I know I’m well qualified and have no worries there, is that it’s been so long since I’ve done an interview that I might have come across as either incredibly dull or even a bit repetitive. I found myself agreeing with so much the interviewer had to say, after all, that I must have spent an entire ten minutes nodding my head and replying, “Right.” How.. pedestrian. How incredibly, incredibly bland. On the other hand, I did walk in with an asymetrical purple fedora decked out in six kinds of feathers, so there’s hope.

    I kid. Well, not about the hat, that really is my hat. But about my concerns. In my heart of hearts, my anxieties don’t stem from such superficial worries, but the very real chance that one of the other applicants will get the gig. This terrifies me. Not because being underemployed well and truly sucks, but because the position I interviewed for today is the first job to come along in a long time that I truly want. Not only would I be good at it, I would enjoy being good at it, I would thrive, and that’s precious in a day job. I hate having to constantly choose between doing something I appreciate for flaky employers who “forget” to pay me or steady yet tedious work that painfully reminds me that every minute on the job is a minute I will never get back. It grinds me down. If I’m fierce about anything, it’s that I want to add to the joy of the world, not the grime, and this looks like a chance to do that and get paid for it! Be still my beating heart! And yet, I am flawed and I doubt. What if I don’t get it? What if another person is better? Thankfully, they’ll be making a decision by Tuesday at the latest, so I don’t have long to wait.

  • things are dire when turned down by a telemarketing job

    What it comes down to is that I stopped writing.

    And then I think about birthdays and sitting in the back of streetcars and listening to people talk about someone I know and getting it all wrong but staying silent anyway, because those people are their own social machine, and I am a stranger and content to stay that way. Interaction would change the dynamic, would have to give me a voice and a face and an opinion and above all, I would just be breaking in to say that someone else is bloody wrong, is wrong and smug and possibly an asshole, smearing his own dirty politics all over someone I even loved sometimes, when I remembered not to feel terrified or betrayed. In the back of the bus, I am an apparition, a ghost, and I think, then, where will I be one day when I remember this? Not knowing now, not knowing what city I would be in, what comfortable livingroom, in whose borrowed pyjamas, how that day would destroy so much that was beautiful, when now I can look in a mirror and count the scars scratched in lines across my forehead. Does he realize? Does he listen?

    Curled up here in this city I’d like to move to, shedding the skin of my current worn out life, I am annoyed at the job I worked at that’s delaying my EI application, the job I worked for a year and a half that dropped me like a one night stand, that barely noticed when I was there or just never bothered to care, except when my desk was convenient, right next to the new fridge where the Friday beer was kept. The only nice thing was being paid to be ignored, but there’s only so much of that a person can do before their soul starts to atrophy. What happened to being useful, to making the world better somehow, being a force for change? I used to look out the window at the bright shiny office blocks, the extra tall buildings that house EA and Vancouver’s poor excuse for newspaper publishing and think about shattering the glass just to feel some wind on a sunny day.

    he’s coming your way!

    A small thin child with a mullet just trespassed into our office to sell us sketchy boxes of chocolate. “Hello, I am part of a program to keep kids like me off the street. I am selling delicious boxes of scrumptious chocolates in an effort to raise money. Even buying one box of these delightful treats will help.” His spiel was so practiced he sounded like a well oiled automaton. How many times a day must he say that? Why is he in our office? Who on earth told him to use the word scrumptious??

    I did not buy a box, but the sales guy did, and now I have eaten one of the dubious choco-almonds. If I die frothing at the mouth, know that I loved you all.

    how casually I enjoy nepotism (hello cirque make-up, hello feathers in my hair)

    Work is freaking out today, hysterical in the face of our involvement with the Juno’s this weekend. (Seriously, they’re going ballistic). Passes are being handed out, rescinded, then handed out again. Same with business cards. “No, wait, take these ones instead.” Rounded corners, snazzy, to make it easier to slip into my bra? What? I had no idea my quiet little workplace could get so frantic, or so oddly surreal, as when I was instructed to make sure to “be nice to Nickelback”.

    I’ve managed to claim two of the laminated on a lanyard passes to the Quintessential VIP Juno Awards Party tomorrow. (One for me and one for my roommate David as a birthday present.) A description I am amused by, if only because it says so on the pass, right above the cartoon red carpet covered in silver hollywood pavement stars. It should be fun. Work says I have to be pretty for maximum impact, but I know better. Some of the most beautiful women in the city will be there, so as far as I’m concerned, the pressure’s off. Let the diamonds sparkle. I’m not six two and I wasn’t designed in a wind tunnel, so I can show up in whatever I want! Screw you, heels. Screw you in the ear. I’m not going to make a fool of myself trying to pretty. I’m going to be interesting.

    at least someone gave me a rose today, so that’s okay

    In the hopes of impressing my office enough to finally garner full employee status and get new health plan discounted glasses, I spent a significant amount of my holiday signed in to work remotely, meticulously going through everything I could think of, so all our files would be perfectly updated for the coming year, with no more clients slipping through the cracks or being misplaced due to spelling mistakes. (The number of people who sign up with commas for periods in their e-mail addresses is simply ridiculous). I signed in when I got up and again after dinner almost every day of the holiday, without fail. “Notice what a shiny, industrious little go getter you’ve got on your hands,” I hoped. “See how I’ve gone through the worst of our dreary lists with a fine tooth comb, straightening everything up!” Even through the weekend, it turns out, because who pays attention to what day it is when on holiday, when what I really wanted to be doing was deleriously playing out in the snow.

    Guess what backfired.

    I filed my hours today and got a letter back, “Can you account for these hours?” Bafflement turned to shock turned to hurt when the term “honor system” was mentioned. I immediately saw what the problem was: Holidays are for Days You Do Not Have To Pay Your Employees. Apparently we were only ever meant to check in, not actively seek out what else we could manage to do, so now not only did it turn out that I worked those weekends for free, my employers might be questioning my work ethic! I don’t know if there’s any office accusation as depressing. Bah. Argh. Hate. I’m not one of those flaky “my word is my bond” types, but damn do I hate being even slightly accused of being a liar. I still occasionally feel terrible about how I misremembered who was in a story about spilling coffee on William Gibson from when I was fifteen. That’s how much it galls me. Going back on Monday is not going to be fun.

    I’m still glad about what I accomplished, but now, instead of being pleased to be back, I’m simply morose.

    struggling for recognition

    I forgot how touch can feel like a shimmering, slow, soft electrocution. Waking up next to someone has been bringing me back to myself, grounding me in the rhythm of living again.

    As surely as it’s a battle, I’ve been going through the acid steps required to rebuild my legal identity enough in order to exist enough to venture across the border. MJ wants me down there Memorial weekend for Sasquatch, a three day music festival of favourite bands. Because there’s an order to these things which isn’t immediately clear, I’ve been getting caught unprepared as different departments give me different requirements, all of which involve busing back and forth between staid, solid buildings lacking in friendly edges. Thankfully, however, my new birth certificate was couriered to me in a matter of days, (arriving, of course, while David and I were in the shower, leaving me to answer the door as a rain-soaked towel kitten), so today I can apply for a new SIN card, which will mean I can legally work again. The next item is a Change of Name Certificate, which lets me get a BCID, the non-driver’s answer to a photo ID*. And with that, I’m gold, I’m good to go.

    I hope that I can unravel the most problematic snags today, find the right hoops to jump, and leap through with balletic if annoyed grace. Ah well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And I still need a day job.

    *Yes, I’m working on the driver’s license thing, it is just slow here in BC-land. Three years slow, in fact. I need to move, this is known.

    sort of set the tone for the whole trip

    365 day fifty-eight: it's a true story

    The Knights Inn hotel in Kamloops was a very special kind of disaster. The staff were perpetually off the premises, the phone didn’t work, the alarm clock was broken, and half of the light-bulbs were burnt out.

    As a bonus, the main hall was one of the spookiest rooms I’ve ever been in, which is saying something, as I used to spend nights over in an abandoned hospital. It smelt of burnt talc and rotting dust.

    Neat, hey?

    dear mercy get me outside during daylight

    It’s official, the ticket’s been bought. My new job as the photographer for Bloodlines Magazine is sending me to Kamloops. I fly out on Wednesday, shoot some portraits, stay the night in a hotel, make sure to get a shot of myself jumping on the bed, then fly back Thursday. Beyond the portraits, my time is my own. Does anyone have any suggestions for what there is to do there? The Tourism Kamloops website is a bit discouraging, as it mostly presents curling and Oldtimers Hockey as the thrilling pastimes. (One of the “Fantastic restaurants” it offers is McDonald’s.)

    Classic SF movies rendered as Russian folk-art woodcuts.

    I’ve just come back from going to FUSE with Ray. A bit of an unfulfilling night, as I’d already seen what the Vancouver Art Gallery has up this month, but I’m glad I went, got our of the apartment, all the same. I’ve been slowly becoming trapped in the mire, knowing that all it takes it to put on some shoes, throw on a coat, and walk outside, but being unable to gather the energy. My year and a half of only work for Heart of the World seems to have sapped my social life almost dry. I barely see anyone anymore, I rarely go out. I’m aware it’s unhealthy, though, so who wants to do something this week? My work claims me sporadically, so I don’t have a very set schedule, but I’m sure if we try, we can work something out.