Monday, May 29, 2006

They like me! They really like me!

Exciting news: I submitted a story I wrote about canoeing with my dad to Canadian Geographic last night, and the editor emailed me back this morning (which is unheard of...usually it takes at least 2-3 weeks to get a response) to tell me he thought the story was "lovely"! Unfortunately the section I submitted for is booked for now, but he said he's going to think about it and let me know when he thinks he can fit it in!



Sunday, May 28, 2006

Update on the Pathways front...

Well, it's been a quiet-ish weekend (minus the party at Neel's yesterday, aka the "bootleg Drake", which was a hoot!), but I did speak to the president of COEO and they do still want me to take on the Pathways job. The question now is whether I simply take on the chairship (which is more of a production manager role) or if I can take on the managing editor role (which is what I would prefer to do, but there's currently someone in that role although it seems they pay her so little she may be willing to give it up for me...). Right now, the journal's all over the place. It isn't really certain whether it's a journal or a magazine, so there's a lot of potential for changes and improvements.

This would definitely be a tremendous opportunity for me in the right direction, but I am concerned about how much work could potentially be involved (I'm thinking for starters a readership survey, business plan and eventual redesign, although if I left things as is there isn't that much work involved with the status quo) for the amount of pay (which really is quite pitiable but I do appreciate this is a non-profit...).

Then there's the ever-present issue of the impostor syndrome: feeling scared to take this challenge on for fear of failure. But that's something that many of us (mainly women) face and have to overcome. What better way to overcome it than to face it head on?

We're supposed to talk again in a few days' time and iron things out, and then I'm going to transition into the role (whatever role it ends up being). So, more on this later.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Food for thought - Canada's Boreal forest

Just finished reading a thought-provoking and well-written article on Canada's boreal forest by Jeff Hull, "The Final Frontier", in the September/October 2005 issue of Audubon magazine (which just shows you how far behind in my reading I am...).

Did you know that there is more intact forest in Canada's boreal than there is in the Brazilian Amazon? The boreal is apparently named after the Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind, and the boreal forest is the largest intact terrestrial ecosystem in the world, with Canada's portion alone representing 25 per cent of the world's remaining frontier forests! I'm an environmentalist, and even I didn't know that! Holy moly!

Anyhoo, here's a really well-written passage (well the whole thing is really) that struck me:

"Nobody imagines taht another mailing of apparel catalogeues or a few family packs of paper towels will be the undoing of the great northern forest. But then, nobody thought that another hydroelectric dam could stifle the great salmon runs of America's Northwest, either, or that one more set of nets would empty the Grand Banks of cod, or that killing a few more buffalo could wipe out the endless herds that roamed the Great Plains. The real Tragedy of the Commons is that everybody knows it's true--only nobody believes it will happen to them."

Yep...See what I mean? When faced with a thought like that, where, oh where, do shoes fit into this???

Here are some things the article proposes to help presereve the boreal (and if you get a chance, check out the Fall 2005 issue of ON Nature: there's a story in there by Katharine Balpataky about tree-free paper, with sidebars and factoids that I researched about paper and tree consumption...):

  • cancel your catalogues subscriptions and shop online instead (I have to do this for at least two publications I get but never read);
  • buy recycled tissue and printing paper (did you know that if each household in Canada replaced just one roll of toilet paper made from new paper with a roll of toiled paper made from recycled paper, we would save more than 47,000 trees, 3,204 cubic metres of landfill space, and 65.5 litres of water and prevent the creation of 4,567 kilograms of air and water pollution resulting from manufacturing. Amazingly simple, yet so hard!).


A clean slate

Though there's nothing fun about a relationship ending, there's a lot of potential too, including a clean slate AND potentially gaining a friend...

WRT the clean slate: everything's wide open...I'm not tied to TO, my career, etc (not that my relationship was tying me down to TO in the first place, but it made it more attractive to be here). So I was reading through my stack of magazines that I've accumulated over the past few months (a topic for a future post: what are your reading strategies? How to read everything you want to in a lifetime, when everything includes novels (new and old), academic literature and journals, magazines and poetry? How?), and I started reading my alum mags (Tabaret, which is actually quite a good magazine AND it's bilingual!). Then I thought hey...why not start seriously thinking about a PhD again (this thought occurs to me every 2-3 months. And I realize now that this post is fraught with parenthetical thoughts....Which reminds me of Andre Alexis' book Childhood, which is really an exercise in pomo intertextuality, which is so cool...all these footnotes inserted into the text and parenthetical references).

The problem is, I can never narrow down the 5ws and 1h (I have 6 very helpful friends, I go to them for advice...Their names are Who and Why and Where and What, and When and How).

Why do I want to do a PhD? Because I love to learn, because I love to do research and I love the academic world. Love conferences and just pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Then again, a friend of mine in a PhD said that PhDs are NOT about learning...Food for thought.

What do I want to study? At the core of it all is language, the written word, nature and feminism. Not sure if I want to study literature itself, or magazines, or something broader in communication. Topics of study might be Canadian women's writing (comparison of Quebec vs non-Quebec writers' relationship to home and nature, for instance, or fourth-wave women's writing and themes of nature). Or, Chick Lit...Why has it not flourished in Canada? Or, Canadian women nature writers in magazines. Or, the influence of home magazines on the feminine mystique in the late 20th century....Have we re-domesticated ourselves through magazines?

How? Not sure. Option A: continue working at York and do the PHD part-time and use the employee benefit. Option B: sell condo. Return to student lifestyle. Then options would be more open and I wouldn't be tied to York. Option C: marry rich heart surgeon :P

When? This year, maybe the next...Have to start reading journals again to really decide if this is for me.

Who? Obviously, me. But then the question of supervisors come into play. And finding someone whose research is interesting to me, but whose personality is a good fit too, is really important.

Where? Depends...Toronto or Ottawa. Not willing to go to the States although U of Oregon reportedly is the place to study ecocriticism.

We'll see. This week is the Congress at York. Perhaps to show you what a nerd I truly am, I've been so excited about this for months. It's the largest academic gathering in North America, with 8,000 delegates from the social science and humanities fields. Think about all of the knowledge that will be shared in the space of two weeks!

Anyoo...Enough for now. I'm sure this will come up again. It always does.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Books read this week: 1

Just finished Where She Has Gone by Ninno Ricci. It's a sequel to Lives of the Saints. Pretty good, I must say. Especially when the protagonist returns to Rocca Secca and you realize that you've been here before, as a reader, but now it's tweny years later. There's a really weird theme of incest between a half brother and sister, too...Strange... Another book I've read from Ricci is Testament, where he explores the life and death of Jesus Christ from a contemporary perspective, and includes a gospel according to Judas and Mary Magdalene...Interesting take on a familiar story.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Marilyn Monroe?

You are Maryiln Monroe

A classic tortured beauty, you're the dream girl of many men. Yet they never seem to treat you right.

Well, that's what the survey says anyway.
I'm flattered, but I don't agree at all (about the Marilyn part, I mean).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday's one day closer to Friday

I spoke with the editor of Pathways yesterday. As far as I can tell, the post is pretty much mine to have. The only thing is, he had no info about payment, and in terms of the position itself, it seems as though I could either wind up as the production manager or managing editor. I still have to talk to the president re: payment and the full details, but it could be a great opportunity. Just unfortunatley means that I can't quit my job to write and edit...yet...

In other news, mommy goose at the Faculty had her goslings the other day. I walked over to her nest in the planter, and there under her wing was a tiny little head poking out, as yellow as a highlighter. They are so fuzzy and look so soft, I wanted to take one with me! Too bad they end up growing up into annoying honking pooping geese that for some reason are associated with Canadians...I didn't know we were noisy and messy, but maybe that's how the rest of the world sees us!

Apart from that, I'm slowly getting addicted to blogging, which is cool. And I discovered Flickr! I may not have tons of cool photos, but I did find this group called Love Shoes! Some of the folks on that are DEFINITELY more addicted to shoes than I am (or at least have more disposable income to allow them to buy shoes!).

Royce may even end up starting his own blog, but he's thinking of doing it on MySpace instead of Blogger. Anyone have ten reasons why Blogger is better?

That's that for now...


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cross your fingers!

The coolest thing happened yesterday...almost as cool as getting a book with my name in it: the president of COEO (the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario) emailed me to first of all tell me he really enjoyed my article on outdoor education (recently published in Pathways). Secondly, he said that he and the current chair of the editorial board want to talk to me about the opportunities with the journal! A faculty member where I work had passed on my name to them and coincidentally he had been planning to email me about my article. Yay!

This is SO what I have been looking for! So now I'm nail biting until I hear back from them, because of COURSE I want to discuss the opportunity! And there is so much that I could do for that journal!

Here's hoping...


PS: Anyone have any idea what's going on with the button on my right bar, next to "Currently Reading"? Why is it slightly indented? There's nothing in the code!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Summer Reading Challenge!

So Heather found this great site - Amanda's Weekly Zen - with a summer reading challenge! I'm going to challenge myself to 1 book per week. Considering that I used to read two to three books in a weekend when I was a young book worm, one a week sounds pretty pathetic now! But perhaps I'll worm my way through more than one a week, who knows!


Friday, May 12, 2006

My name in lights!

Ok, it's really just in print. But something really cool happened yesterday that I forgot to blog about: my book came out and arrived to me yesterday in my mailbox in a bubble envelope. What satisfaction to tear open that yellow package, flip through the book, and see my name at the top of a chapter on parks & rec trails published in the 5th edition of the Toronto Colourguide.

It's kinda rewarding to see your name in print among other such well-known writers as Christopher Hume.

It's no secret that writing is a lot of work. But if you put your heart and soul into it, it pays off in the end (if that's the kind of fame you're looking for!).


A girl without shoes is like a river without stones...

So it's now officially almost four weeks since I haven't gone shopping. And there are all these amazing summer sandals that would look so cute! But I must persist...Line of credit must be paid off. The only way to avoid shopping is to avoid the mall entirely! Which actually is not that hard. And not shopping has forced me to discover articles of clothing I had totally forgotten about!

What is it about shoes that we girls are so addicted to? I always swore I wouldn't be a girl who bound her feet for fashion...But then I discovered the joys of the sexy heel and coordinated shoes. Now I'm hooked, and my closed is running out of space! Call me a fourth-wave feminist - I can conveniently be feminine AND critical at the same time...And wear sexy heels to boot! (Honestly, I don't know if there is such a thing as a fourth-wave feminist or if it's something I made up for convenience, but I see her as a cross between Carrie from SIC and the Shopaholic...)

Anyways, it's mother's day this weekend. Time for some R&R with parents, good food and playing with the cats...


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Girls' nite out

So mom and I had a girls' nite last nite - chinese food, and a show: Cirque Eloize. Reminded me a lot of Cirque du Soleil. Boy, are those artists strong! I couldn't even do a quarter of the things they can when I was on the gymnastics team. Makes you realize how little we take advantage of the true potential of our bodies.

Anyways, other than that, today we're going for brunch, then I'm headed downtown to see my guy for baking, a walk, and then a wonderful meal.

Now if only mom would wake up! She's slept in longer than me!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Coffee makes the world better

Woke up feeling really tired and crappy...Happily though, there is a Tim's across the path from my office. Was trying to wean myself off of coffee, but somehow coffee just makes the world better on those days when you'd rather be in bed curled up under the covers...

Looking forward to Heather's new book club blog - Our Coffee Rings!


Monday, May 01, 2006

I want to be on tv

Ok, anyone who wants to sign me up for What Not to Wear, I am totally up for the 30 minutes of embarrassment to get a free makeover and wardrobe, so sign me up! A great show that basically shows women they can work with what they have - they don't need surgery in order to be beautiful. BUT - only if they have about five grand to buy a new wardrobe...

Either that, or I'd like to be on the Apprentice. Can you believe that these folks are America's brightest? Get me on that show and I could kick some butt!

Speaking of which, I ran 8.5 km today...Took me about 60 mins though. I'm getting slow and lazy. Now that summer's here, it's time to get my butt in gear again!