Monthly Archives: March 2007

What I Read This March

Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts
Jellybean by Tessa Duder (reread)
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers
Snow White Rose Red by Patricia C Wrede (reread)
Mia Tells It Like It Is by Meg Cabot
Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier
Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts
Firebirds ed. Sharyn November
Swan Sister ed. Terri Windling & Ellen Datlow
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
The Jane Austen Tarot by Diane Wilkes

Double Take

The new covers for the seventh and final Harry Potter book have been released.

Throughout the entire series, I have been glad that my country sells the UK-based designs, because I prefer them.

Until now.

I am stunned to see that I actually prefer the US cover to this book. I may buy the adult cover of the UK edition instead of the junior cover, despite my obsessive need to have matching sets on my shelves. None of the covers, US or UK, really interest me this time around. Not that the series cover art has ever been anything to hang on a wall, but this time it all seems particularly bland.

Music, Consultants, and Colds

The sun, the sun! I’ve been greedily soaking it up for the past couple of days.

We had our final regular rehearsal before the spring concert last night, actually in the church where we’ll be playing. (Due to scheduling issues our dress rehearsal will be elsewhere.) It took almost half the rehearsal to accustom ourselves to the very different sound of the room. It’s hard to hear the other sections when everyone is playing, and the sound is somewhat muffled and oddly amplified. Not in a bad way; there were times where we sounded like we were an ensemble twice as big as we truly are, for example. As usual, it took me a whole movement to sort through the different sound to actually hear what I was playing. It’s going to be a lovely concert. (Concert! This Saturday night at 7:30! Cedar Park United Church in Pointe-Claire! Here are all the details!)

Yesterday I had my first face-to-face interview in over ten years. (Most of my jobs have been as a result of networking and being familiar with the employers beforehand, and my freelance work is based in telecommuting.) It went well; so well, in fact, that I am now an official consultant working on-site at one of the local megacorps. (For those familiar with HRH, it is, ironically enough, one of the places at which he’s been trying to land a job for a couple of years now. Taste that irony!) An inside referral secured me the interview, and the two-week contract (with possibility of renewal) seems tailor-made for me and my abilities and qualifications. The heads on the project are people who care deeply about the work, and for whom I developed quick respect during our interview. So naturally, now that I have the contract I am wibbling deep inside and worrying that I will let them down, as well as making the individual who referred me look bad. It would be really, really nice to not have to field my own inner critic every time I get a job. It sounds like I would have to actively work at not making the situation better, however, and I am nowhere near as wibbly as I was last night. This morning, I am Professional Editor Girl again.

The project sounds engaging and moderately challenging for me as well as interesting on a I’m-doing-a-good-thing level. Nothing like promoting reading comprehension while sorting words and — ahem — editing a dictionary. Seriously — how cool is that? I get to edit a dictionary. It’s like a dream come true, if I’d ever presumed to have this particular daydream. (Granted, the work will also be frustrating due to its nature, but still! Editing a dictionary!)

One of the curiosities of this contract is that I will be travelling elsewhere to work, instead of working in my home office with cats and tea and other comforts. I haven’t done this in five years. Public transport is now my friend again. It’s an hour of travel, broken into three twenty-minute chunks so I can actually settle down and read without worrying that I’ll miss my stop. I’m told they will provide everything I need, but really, I will have to burn a few data CDs’ worth of music, bring tea and a mug, a dictionary (because I have learned never to assume that any office has a reliable dictionary, if a dictionary at all, and sure I could use an online dictionary but I always suspect them of being Not Quite Real), my good headphones, notebooks, and so forth.

Eep. I will have keycards and such. And, I’m told, an office in which to work, which probably means a small unused conference room with a computer brought in. My lower back already hurts at the thought of office chairs.

Also, another small freelance contract landed in my in-box last night. It will have to be done in the evenings, now that I am an official nine-to-fiver for the next two weeks.

Liam and I have both developed colds. I thought it was the general spring allergy thing, but it is not.

That is all.

Eighty Years of Genius

Happy birthday, Rostropovich!

(Irony: I spelled the name this way, then noticed that the CBC headline had a ‘t’ in the last name. I double-checked to make sure, and yes, I’ve spelled it correctly, and they got it wrong. The URL has the correct spelling embedded in it, as does the body of the article. Gah. Does no one proof these things?)

Also: Who is this Slava guy, anyway?

Blissful Ignorance

I just discovered the Autosum button in Microsoft Excel.

I have used this program for over ten years, and only just found this function.

I am speechless.

(Well, all right, so I’ve been using it for databases of words and sentences all that time, not numbers. But still. You think it’s something I would have tripped across before today, when I needed to add a column of figures and didn’t want to pull out my calculator.)

Monday Morning, With All It Implies

It’s gloomy and overcast today. See how I am not drawing a parallel between the weather and the fact that it is election day here in Quebec.

I voted. I have never been so disinterested in an election before.

I have no idea what I’m working on today. I may open random in-progress files until I find one that looks interesting.

On the bright side, despite the two massive snowstorms in March, the snow has almost completely vanished, with a curious lack of commonly associated runoff.

Satisfied, And Yet Not

I’ve just finished plugging all my 2006 expenses and income into a spreadsheet, so I’m all set to have my taxes done. I may even get money back. Of course, since Revenue Quebec sent me yet another revision last week (this one for 2003) there’s no guarantee that if I end up with an amount due to me, they won’t tell me to give it back to them at a future date.

I would feel a lot better about it all if I hadn’t just opened the latest Hydro bill and seen that they’re asking me to pay over seven hundred dollars for our November/December consumption. And January/February will be worse, of course. (We are no longer on the equalised payment plan thanks to me missing a payment last fall, and being late on the next one. Thank you so very much for being understanding, Hydro.)

That’s all right: I have been told there will be ice cream on the way to pick Liam up this afternoon. The first soft-serve of the season makes everything better.