zohmigod, like woah

The first interview went extraordinarily well. We talked in the owner’s office for over an hour, chatting about theater, arts culture, the people we have in common, and my job history. The second interview, a more serious thing with the office administrator, went fairly well. It was less casual, more the regular check list of the sort of formalized corporate queries I always find awkward, like “what is your five year plan?”, to which I gave near desperate answers like “to work steadily at something I like until I win the lottery and can move somewhere warm enough to open a sloth preservation foundation.” Despite this, they called the next morning and offered me the job. (While someone else at the office was apparently still on the phone with one of my references.)

So now I have a real job.



Just in case you didn’t get that.

As of first thing tomorrow morning, I will be the new office administrator/receptionist-in-training at Stage One Accounting, a firm specializing in entertainment industry clients, which no, is not a euphemism. I am thrilled, intimidated, and incredibly relieved. On one hand, accountants, my justifiable fear of math, working on Saturdays, and joining a tax office in January. On the other, everyone I’ve met there so far has been smart, funny, interesting, and competent, the sort of person I always feel lucky to make friends with, and reliable, solid pay-cheques from a company not running on crazy. Heaven!

Of course, because the universe is a quirky place, to add an extra dash of ridiculous to the whole situation, I have turned down three very promising job interviews since accepting the job just yesterday. Three! THREE! That’s as many as I usually have in a MONTH. I have saved their numbers, though, just in case, as I cannot get over the foolish notion that I will sleep in and blow the whole thing, just out of some sort of residual existential despair left over from two years of unreliable contract work. David has offered to make certain that I’m awake tomorrow at seven, but even so, I am sure that when I go to bed tonight, it will be in dread.

Oh! And I totally got to chat with William Gibson tonight! And though I was initially terrified of speaking, it turns out we like each other! He thinks I’m “funny and smart”! Hooray! Exclamation mark! Annnnd! AND! I fit into my kilt again, just in time for Robbie Burns! EEEEEEEEE! PERSONAL VICTORY DAY! HAVE AT THEE!

SCIENCE!! (the future is now)

Craig Venter and his team have built the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporated it into a cell to make what they call the world’s first synthetic life form

The single-celled organism has four “watermarks” written into its DNA to identify it as synthetic and help trace its descendants back to their creator, should they go astray.

“We were ecstatic when the cells booted up with all the watermarks in place,” Dr Venter told the Guardian. “It’s a living species now, part of our planet’s inventory of life.”

Dr Venter’s team developed a new code based on the four letters of the genetic code, G, T, C and A, that allowed them to draw on the whole alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks to write the watermarks. Anyone who cracks the code is invited to email an address written into the DNA.

Photosynthesis relies on quantum entanglement: Berkeley scientists shine new light on green plant secrets

“This is the first study to show that entanglement, perhaps the most distinctive property of quantum mechanical systems, is present across an entire light harvesting complex,” says Mohan Sarovar, a post-doctoral researcher under UC Berkeley chemistry professor Birgitta Whaley at the Berkeley Center for Quantum Information and Computation. “While there have been prior investigations of entanglement in toy systems that were motivated by biology, this is the first instance in which entanglement has been examined and quantified in a real biological system.”

The results of this study hold implications not only for the development of artificial photosynthesis systems as a renewable non-polluting source of electrical energy, but also for the future development of quantum-based technologies in areas such as computing – a quantum computer could perform certain operations thousands of times faster than any conventional computer.

Stem-Cell Dental Implants Grow New Teeth Right In Your Mouth

Dr. Jeremy Mao, the Edward V. Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, has unveiled a growth factor-infused, three-dimensional scaffold with the potential to regenerate an anatomically correct tooth in just nine weeks from implantation. By using a procedure developed in the university’s Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, Dr. Mao can direct the body’s own stem cells toward the scaffold, which is made of natural materials. Once the stem cells have colonized the scaffold, a tooth can grow in the socket and then merge with the surrounding tissue. Dr. Mao’s technique not only eliminates the need to grow teeth in a Petri dish, but it is the first to achieve regeneration of anatomically correct teeth by using the body’s own resources.

Who wants to watch Young Einstein?

One of my practically-heroes, filmmaker Yahoo Serious, (he had his name legally changed in 1980), has proposed a new flag design for Australia. I hope it takes off. I really appreciate how his brain works and entirely support not only his logic, but the design.

Letters from Johns.

Remember when the news came out that not only was there a re-make of The Day The Earth Stood Still going to be filmed, it was going to star Keanu can’t-act Reeves as Klaatu? Well, it turns out they’re filming it here in Vancouver. I just got the call, I’m going to be in it too. That they’re filming here AND during the writer’s strike seems to confirm my suspicions regarding what quality the film will be when it’s finished, because even though rationally I understand that the script was likely finished months and months ago, the haughty little film reviewer that lives in my heart just knows it’s going to be YouTube-comment-bad. Klaatu barada nikto, indeed.

But opinion aside, work is work and a paycheque is not only a paycheque but rent, food, and bus-fare, and I’m glad for it. Not only will I have fun doing what I’m doing, every day on set is a day I get paid to meet new people and another day farther from dubious Craigslist ads. (Not that I have anything against unique Craiglist postings, like this fellow who wants to play accordion with a metal band. More power to him, I think he’s great.) I’m sure that when it comes out, Ray will be one of the first in line to see it and Nicole and I will be standing staunchly by his side, ready to play real-life Mystery Science Theater 3000 from somewhere far too close to the screen.

Letters from Working Girls.

with no life saver

A compelling alternate history of chinese science-fiction.

Writing as the domestic occult, dead by tired hands, a packet of matches at my feet acting as a story seed. Once when I was young, I took a pack and lit them one by one and dropped them off the side of a bridge into a dark creek below. Somewhere in Canada. Somewhere I can’t remember next to a trailer park. The flame from the matches was suffocating, bright stars that glittered, reflections swallowed. There was a rope under the bridge that boys in long shorts would swing off in the day, splashing and hollering. Blonde then, it must have been a very long time ago. I could only just look over the rails if I stood on the bare tips of my toes. Summer. Maybe it never happened. I can believe it never happened. A cardboard story from a cardboard muse.

Paprika mp3’s.

I bought a father’s gift today for the first time in my life, for Michael‘s dad Stephen. We found him two dreadful silk ties, a sweet green one that looked as if it had been knit and a scarlet one, terribly classic, almost too hard on the eyes, and colour-matching happy-face atom bomb boxer shorts. We were going hard on tradition, biting back irony with just enough class for it to be flattering. Michael is going to write in the card something like, “To our beloved dictator-for-life, may you rule in good health forever. We love you. Signed, your dutiful citizens, M & J.” My adoption is escalating.

An untrained farmer in China has been making home-made robots.

In the mornings, with the dread of a long day ahead, your voice soothed me and gave me strength

For those who are new here, and there do seem to be a lot of you, here is a published book you should buy a downloadable copy of and my story in it.

I would like to say this is going to be my last six:thirty a.m. awake for awhile now that I finally have a job, but I know that would be a greedy lie. My face down unhappiness has been heaping lots of them upon me lately and I don’t like that my bed no longer smells like me. The air of the apartment has been filling with Kier, our house-guest who hasn’t paid his rent yet. It’s unsettling, it makes me want to double-wash all my sheets and blankets. I have no desire to climb naked into a bed that someone else has been rewriting while I’ve been away.

Flickr just reached a quarter of a billion photos.

Sam’s lent me a novel, Futureland by Walter Mosely, that I’m halfway through and still can’t decide what to do with. I get the feeling off this book that it’s not trying to be anything but a sci-fi novel. It was not written to be enduring, inspiring or to be especially moving. This isn’t rocking me, not even like a baby. It was written to be put in a bookstore and bought off the wire-rack shelf, to be consumed and then lost to some second-hand table fair. It’s a little.. baffling. I remember skimming past books like this in gift shops when I was younger, (and still commonly bought books), scanning the covers and dismissing them, the metallic newspaper quotes on the back covers.

“5,000 of the most important photographs of the last 150 years.”

I decided then I was only going to read books I would like to write, or literature that pushed my envelope, built of a nature so different that I can barely grasp them, insisting in my head that the better quality I read, the better I will write. Input matching output, I decided I want my shelf to be full of books that are endlessly interesting, not quite classics, but of the sort that can light up repeatedly and at different times of my life. This leaves me a rabbit in the headlights, uncertain what Futureland is for. This book is entirely alien to my nature. I suspect it’s meant to be entertaining, but it doesn’t survive my criteria, I don’t feel challenged. Is this what people commonly read?

Fujitsu develops “invisible” barcode for photographs.