Monthly Archives: June 2003

Been There

How to Screen Dates With Books by Jessa Crispin.

Featuring the following all-too-recognisable warning:

Also, reading comic books in public is a good way to attract boys. However, you may also have to put up with sexist geek boys saying things like, “You’re a girl! And you’re reading a comic!” Luckily their heads will probably explode after a minute or so, leaving the area clear for a real catch.

If only that were true. Alas.

Have I mentioned recently that I worked four years in this city’s only F/SF book and comic shop?

Flurry Of Creative Movement

On Saturday night, a little bird spoke to me for a moment about a proposed collaboration first suggested to me last September. In true creative fashion, I have since been overwhelmed by a slew of ideas and visions regarding this proposed collaboration, but I have nothing to hang them on, not even a definite go-ahead on the project. I’ve just been scribbling them down in note form so far. Most will likely end up unused, but they can always find an alternate life in a story somewhere I suppose, said by other characters in other situations.

I use the phrase “in true creative fashion” because in my experience, when an idea is proposed or is conceived, I find the first few days staggeringly obsessive. I dream about the topic; I find myself looking at the world as if I were one or several of the characters; I research on-line and in books and wrap my head around as much information as I can, whether I knew something originally or not. Many of the artists I know operate in a similar fashion. We become enraptured with a new idea and explore it as deeply and as broadly as we can, sometimes to the exclusion of other projects. No, it’s not healthy; we know that. It’s just so hard to fight that first-love burst of energy that fills us and keeps us going, partial nourishment and a partial drug, too.

On a completely different note, I found black sandals to go with my new black concert dress.

July Countdown

At last — cooler temperatures. Hurrah! I slept the night through and I’m extremely pleased.

We had a three-hour orchestra dress rehearsal yesterday afternoon, and wow, what a workout. By the end I was making clumsy mistakes in passages that I know I’ve flawlessly played through before. I also know there are a couple of spots that I really ought to practice today until my fingers bleed. Well, maybe not that far, but at least until muscle memory ensures that I can play them without tripping up tomorrow night.

And on the birthday front, I not only have chocolate liqueur (mmm) and a new cyclamen plant, but thanks to a united effort from MLG, Annika and Tara, I am now the proud owner of a Tara Bisset original! It’s a mirror with a wide frame, which features painted owls something like those at the Dance on the Sidewalk! web site, but with colours chosen especially for me. Owlies! Yay! They now hang by my front door, reminding me to smile and dance every time I leave to go out into world, and when I come home, too.

End Of The Tour

This morning will be the last class to the current session of the eighteen-week intro course to alternative religions that I teach. (For those of you who are neo-Pagan and have a Thing About Payment For Anything Religion-Related, this is a survey course of info on various world religions, and does not teach craft itself. You have no idea how tired I am of explaining this.) This set of students is particularly special, and I’ll miss them. We won’t losing touch, of course; I’ll just miss hearing their opinions and thoughts, and watching them make connections between various mythologies and modes of thought from different cultures at different points in history.

I think that’s one of the most special parts of teaching: seeing the dots being connected, the illumination spreading across an individual’s face as s/he fits a bit of information into his/her world view.

It’s not for everyone, of course. There are hard parts too. Students come to you with problems, seeking guidance or the input of someone more experienced, and there are times where I freeze up and wonder how I got to this particular point, when I was assigned the position of mentor. What if the support I give is inadequate? What if I mistakenly point someone in the wrong direction? I know, I know; everyone has free will, and is responsible for their own choices. When someone places you in a position of trust, however, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes with it. (I have a feeling that very statement indicates an unlikelihood of misleading anyone; I take this too seriously. And somewhere out there, I know that MLG is saying, “You see? And you claim that you’re not a leader!”) Teaching is rewarding as well. I learn things from my students too – new information, new ways of connecting A and C (who says you have to go via B?), new points of view and opinions that in turn connect into my own web of thought and belief.

So, today’s the last class. I’m not quite sure how we got here so quickly, but there you are. I’m a little down about it.

Now I have to figure out how I’m to pick up groceries for tonight’s dinner, a parcel at the post office, and a birthday present, and still carry all my teaching textbooks, since my husband has taken the car to work today. And of course, my tea has gone cold.

Memory Goes First

I completely, completely forgot that I have birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. I only remembered yesterday when, frustrated with not being able to find black sandals with a sane heel, I decided to buy the new Holly Cole CD and had it in my hands when I realised that I’d mentioned I wanted it in public, on my web log, and with a birthday approaching, I couldn’t safely purchase it.

I knew I had a birthday coming up. I mean, we’ve been discussing the absence of people whom I’d like to count among those to celebrate with, and my birthday is exactly two weeks after my oldest friend’s birthday (mmm, Thai food), and my students have planned a birthday outing for me as well… but it basically slipped my everyday conscious mind.

I’m certain I would have remembered in a rush when I flipped the calendar to July. Perhaps it’s my current obsession with the July 1 concert that’s taking up room that would otherwise be gleefully chanting, “It’s going to be my birth-day, it’s going to be my birth-day…”

To all intents and purposes, I forgot my own birthday. Cake, presents, loved ones.

This is a sign of old age, isn’t it.

Canada Day Concert Plug!


Okay, give me a break; I’m not exactly working at full power, here. Sure, Montrealers are used to 35 degree Celsius temperatures that feel like 45 degrees thanks to the humidex factor (for those of you who still work on the Farenheit system, that’s something like 95 degrees and 113 degrees), but we usually work up to it slowly over a month. This week it was bang, suddenly hot and humid, with temperatures ten degrees over the average seasonal. Looks like things will cool off nicely over the next few days, though, with a beautiful clear Canada Day of about 25 degrees.

Speaking of Canada Day, yes, it’s concert-plugging time! Please note that the concert actually begins at 8 PM, and yes, it’s free. It’s being held at St Joachim Church in Pointe-Claire Village, below the Lakeshore, right on the waterfront; you can take the 211 bus from Lionel-Groulx metro. Free classical music! Culture! And as a bonus, the fireworks are scheduled for ten PM, right after we finish, and the church steps are a glorious spot from which to watch them.

I found a lovely black linen sleeveless dress for summer concerts on sale yesterday. I might have confused the salesgirl by scouting around for a small stool while I had it on. What’s the point of buying a concert dress if you’re not certain it will allow you to hold the cello between your legs? The one I really liked, with a woven linen design along the v-neck and the hem, I had to put back because I couldn’t set my feet far enough apart. The one I ended up with runs a close second, though, and is elegant and understated. Now, of course, since I have a new black linen dress, I need dressy black sandals to go with it. I sense a trip to Angrignon Mall tomorrow…


Woo! Just got mail!

I absolutely adore getting mail – real mail, tangible mail, the stuff you have to open your real live mailbox to take out in your actual hands.

Unfortunately, I also love books.

Yes, these two passions mean that BookFinder is one of my guilty indulgences. I’ve been terribly, terribly good for the past half-year, being on a very tight budget, but recently I remembered that I was supposed to prepare a Religion, Science & Magic lecture for mid-December, and the book someone had lent me, well, belonged to someone else, which meant that I couldn’t mark it up as I wanted to. So, off to BookFinder I went, and ordered an ancient second-hand library-discard copy. It just arrived! Hurrah! However, in the meantime, various reschedulings mean that I will no longer in fact be teaching that class. Ah, the irony.

I still have a new book, though.