S.A.Q. = Sometimes Asked Questions
I’ve been asked a number of questions since I started the blog so I’m putting them here as a reference guide. I tried to group like questions together under subheadings. If there’s anything I haven’t answered that you want to know, have at it in the comments.
Likes & Dislikes
What household chore do hate to do the most?
Scrubbing the bathtub in the washroom. I know it’s natural, but I hate seeing the dead skin cells because they make me feel dirty.
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
My favourite things to do on a weekend are sleep in, have a luxurious breakfast and go for a walk with my husband. I just like taking it easy and relaxing when I have time off.
What do you do to relax?
I read and watch DVDs. Last year I read 80 books and probably watched about double the number of DVDs. In fact, last year, I planned part of my vacation around doing both of these things. There’s nothing quite so relaxing to me than a pile of new books or movies to plough through.
What’s the nicest thing someone’s ever done for you?
Growing up, I used to spend a lot of time at my grandmother’s neighbour’s house. They were very much part of our little Montreal family and the wife Marilyn looked after me a lot when my grandmother was sick. One of our favourite things to do was to play Kerplunk (the game with the sticks and marbles) which I absolutely loved because I didn’t have it at home. A few years ago, Marilyn died. I was very sad and had a cry on Boy’s shoulder about it. The next day when I came home, I found a brand new Kerplunk set set up on my living room table – Boy had remembered the story (I told him earlier in our dating) and gone out to buy it for me to cheer me up.
The Marilyn Barrett memorial Kerplunk set still lives happily in our apartment.
Who inspires you the most?
I can’t think of anyone in particular, so I am just going to say people who stick with things and power through, even when it’s hard.
When I was in physical therapy after my amputation surgery, I saw people with some pretty serious injuries and I was in awe of how hard they worked and how determined they were to improve. Made me want to do the same.
What are 3 things that you feel you should love (loved by your friends or otherwise aimed directly at your demographic) that you actually kind of hate?
1) Shoes – So many women are shoe obsessed but I seriously hate shoes and shoe shopping. I’m not saying I don’t think the occasional pair is cute, but since my feet are gigantic, the ones I like never fit me and the experience of trying them on makes me miserable. HATE IT!
2) Love stories in action movies – I hate that men seem to think that women can’t watch an action movie unless there is a completely irrelevant love story jammed into it. Totally ruined the new Star Wars movies for me! Well okay, they were already kind of ruined by suckiness, but Hayden Christiansen and Natalie Portman made it worse. “I die a little bit each day since you came into my life.”? Blech!
3) Twilight – Sucky characters and sucky writing. Can’t understand/believe it is as popular as it is. Boo!
What did you eat for breakfast today?
Tea and a sugary carrot muffin from the coffee shop downstairs.
Do you prefer to eat the muffin cap first, or split the muffin in halves?
I eat the rim of the cap first, then the rest of the top, then the bottom last. I am a very methodical eater.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Eel. I really did not enjoy the texture.
What’s the best place near you to get some ice cream?
We have a Baskin Robbins near our house, but I would have to say The Film Buff because I think they have some of the best ice cream ever. They have this really rich chocolate kind that has chunks of peanut butter in it that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
If you had to give up one favorite food, what would the most difficult?
Possibly olives? My husband teases me that I would put olives in anything. I love them so much that my parents bought me one of those gigantic olive jars from Costco for Christmas and it’s mostly gone. LOL.
If you were required to swim through a pool of jellyfish or stand in a room full of lizards, which would you choose?
Lizards, no question. My mom got stung by a jellyfish when we went to South Carolina and considering how much she fussed about it, I don’t think that’s an experience I’d want to have. Plus, I can’t think of jellyfish stings without thinking of that Friends episode. “That’s right, I stepped up! She’s my friend and she needed help! If I had too, I’d pee on any one of you!”
Would you rather be stung by a jellyfish or have to listen to your mom fuss about being stung by one while on vacation?
I feel bad saying it, but I think I’d rather listen to my mom. I’ve been through a lot of pain in my life (arm sliced open, knee grated on the ground, fingers crushed and severed) so I would prefer to look after someone else for a change.
Would you rather be a zombie or a mummy?
Being a mummy strikes me as less messy because you’re all bound up, but being a zombie has more street-cred . . .
I think I might go with zombie, just because it would be more action-packed.
What did you dream about last night?
I had a dream that I was on some weird reality show with the dudes from Flight of the Conchords, and for some reason, we ended up in a hot tub discussing quantum physics. You know, as you do.
Previous Blogging Experience
Do you miss being a Weddingbee blogger? And will you ever finish your wedding recaps?
(Just a little back story for people who don’t know – From September 2007-October 2008, I blogged on the wedding website Weddingbee. I ended up leaving when the company was bought out by eHarmony because I felt that their politics did not align with my own.)
Do I miss being a Weddingbee blogger? Yes and no.
Yes, because I sometimes miss the camaraderie I shared with the women I blogged with and for. I am not a particularly girly girl and it was really the first time in my life that I belonged to a sisterhood of any kind. We were all at a major life changing point in our lives so it was nice to be able to talk about that and to share that experience together at the time. Sometimes, I have a sad moment where I feel a little of out the loop with some of the friends I made during that time, but I’ve tried my best to stay in touch with a lot of people through our current blogs/e-mail/Facebook.
No, because I really feel like the decision to move on was right for me. To be clear, I think Mrs. Bee and Mr. Bee are great people so my decision to leave had nothing to do with them. They were always nice and respectful of me and I wish them nothing but the best. I left because of the eHarmony buyout. My husband and I have close friends in the LGBT community. These same friends comprised about 10 per cent of the guests at our wedding and it meant a lot to us that they came and supported our relationship. Since the content I would be supplying the site would be generating income for a company that was not very gay friendly, staying on didn’t seem right.
(Plus, to be honest, eHarmony seems a little bit glad handy to me – like, “We’ll hug you with one arm because you’re making us money, but we’ll edit you/push you away with the other because we find you morally repugnant.” To me, in many ways, that’s even worse than just being an outright bigot because, even though I don’t like bigots, at least they’re clear on where they’re coming from.)
As for finishing the recaps, I have to admit, I fell off the wedding wagon there for a time. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, I finished my wedding album so you can tell how behind I’ve been. However, I did make it a goal that I would go back and finish the recaps, so since my schedule is a bit lighter these days, I am hoping to get back to it in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!
Who is your favorite of all the Bees? (haha, not telling you which one I am!)
I don’t really have a favourite. I am probably closest to Snowpea (Anita), Peony (Jenny) and Candy Corn (Shannon) because I met them outside of blogging and have kept in touch since. In terms of style, I really enjoyed Lovebug (Ellie), Cupcake (Brooke), Gingerbread (Nadine) and Creampuff (Sara) because they had weddings I could have seen myself having under different circumstances. But I have a soft spot for all the girls and am really happy to see how their lives are going outside of blogging.
Do you believe in angels?
I believe in spirits, because I don’t like to think that when we die, our lifeforce just ends and that’s it. Everything converts into something else. I don’t know about official Clarence-type angels though. I think it would suck if the afterlife were just another bureaucracy.
Do you believe in luck?
I do. For a while, when I was mulling getting tattooed more seriously, I thought about getting a four leaf clover on my ankle. I consider myself a pretty lucky person.
What is your favorite TV show and why? Narrow down by category if you can’t decide 😉
If I had to just say one, I might be inclined to say Freaks and Geeks, just because it captures that high school time of life so well. Things are kind of awkward and hard and you’re not really sure who you’re supposed to be yet.
But I also really love Rome, Mad Men, Futurama and 30 Rock.
If you could be on one TV show which one would it be?
I’m going to say Mad Men because I love the clothes so much. I have to admit, I probably dress a bit dumpily in real life so it would be cool to doll myself up more often.
What TV show makes you laugh the loudest?
I’d say either 30 Rock, Community or How I Met Your Mother. I laugh pretty loudly regularly but those shows crack me up.
If you could have invented one thing, what would it have been?
A time traveling DeLorean? Oh no, wait, that means I will be shot by Libyan terrorists, so scratch that.
Maybe Windows or the iPod or something technological that would make me tonnes of money so that I could live on a private island with monkey butlers. That would be pretty awesome.
If you could be the best at anything in the world, what would you choose?
If I could just suddenly have the skill, I would love to either be able to sew or play the violin.
If you could go back to one time in your life and relive it just the way it was what would it be? I guess another way of asking is when were you happiest? Alternatively, if you could go back to any time in your life and change it what would it be?
I’m going with the cliche answer and saying the day I got married for the first part of this question. I got to be with all my favourite people on one day and really, how often in life does that happen? I loved it all, even the mud.
I’ve had a couple of “what if?” moments in the past. It’s really hard to think of anything without thinking how it would change everything else. However, if I could pick one minor thing, I wouldn’t have wasted my 2003 New Year’s Eve kiss on who I did. He was so not worth it.
If you could change one thing that happened last year what would it be?
You know, I have been thinking about this question for the last day or so, and I keep coming back to a quote I came across recently:
“Your life is a book being slowly written, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that you can’t tear pages out of it. You can only treasure them, learn to incorporate them as part of a book that you love.”
So, short answer, nothing. Some of the things that happened were hard, but part of life is getting through the hard stuff and trying to live your life in a better/stronger way as you move forward.
If your house was on fire and you could only grab three things, what would they be?
My laptop, the jewelry my grandmother left me and my cat. My husband always teases me about grabbing the cat since he insists that is what almost did Ripley in in Alien but I love her too much to leave her behind. I think when you own a pet, you should treat them like part of your family and if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t have a pet.
Are you Asian? For some reason I always assumed that you were.
My cousins are Asian and I think John Cho is wicked hot, but no, I am a tall white girl. Sorry if this is a bit of a let down for you.
What do you think is your most attractive feature?
Appearance-wise, I am most happy with either my eyes because they change colour depending on what I wear or my legs because they are like three and a half feet long.
Personality-wise, my whipsmart wit. *Wooopa!* 😛
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
With people I know well, I am pretty extroverted, but generally, I am shy as hell. I was totally that kid who brought home report cards with comments like “Does well on tests but have no idea what her voice sounds like because she hasn’t spoken all semester.”
Have you broken any bones? If so, how?
Not really in the traditional “I have a cast” way, but my bones have been through a lot.
When I had my accident, part of my hand was crushed so I had a period of time when one of my fingers was trying to knit itself back together since the bone was shattered. Not superfun.
I also once sprained a toe when I slipped running up some stairs and had to have it splinted.
What’s the oldest piece of clothing you still own and wear?
A grey hooded sweater I got when I was 15. The zipper is broken, but it is so soft and snuggable that I can’t bring myself to throw it away. It’s my comfort sweater!
I love your Leela twitter Avatar. Favorite Futurama quote, please!
Oh, there are so many, it’s hard! We quote it all the time at my house. My top five quotes/exchanges:
Planet Express Ship: You’re just jealous! Nobody loves you because you’re tiny and made of meat!
Bender: I was God once.
God: Yes, I saw. You were doing well until everyone died.
Lrr: It’s pronounced guacamole! And stop eating our young!
Zapp Brannigan: Kif, have the boy lay out my formal shorts.
Kif Kroker: The boy, sir?
Zapp Brannigan: You, Kif. You lay out my formal shorts.
Mayor: You guys aren’t Santa! You’re not even robots. How dare you lie in front of Jesus?
And pretty much everything Morbo says is gold. “Windmills don’t work that way!”
Love your Say Anything quote! Besides ‘Say Anything’ what is your favorite John Cusack movie?
Definitely High Fidelity. When I worked in retail, me and my coworkers quoted it all the time and when I got married, one of them made me a Rob Gordon mix tape. Awesomeness.
(However, I do have to say that Grosse Point Blank is a close second.)
What games are you and the boy playing these days? I tore through Wii Mario, and Dragonage, and am now stuck. Any suggestions?
Ah video games . . .
Most recently, we’ve been nerding it up with Bioshock 2. We just finished it on Friday and were pretty satisfied with how it turned out as a sequel. We’ve also been slowly inching our way through The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks on the DS. We tend to only play it when we’re on the train going out to visit family and since we’re not doing that quite so much these days, we haven’t made it through a lot.
Boy is also playing Alien Vs. Predator and Mass Effect 2. I don’t really like watching him play AVP because I find some of the gore really creepy, but I’ve seen some of ME2 and it seems decent. If you’re into the whole plot based game thing like Dragonage (he played through that and liked it), that might work for you.
Do you have any good suggestions for graphic novels? I swear I’ve been through all the major series and I haven’t been keeping up with anything new. I need to read something fun, maybe with zombies still waiting for the next Walking Dead)
I know, eh? I was keeping an eye on the release date for the next hardcover and it keeps getting delayed. First The Walking Dead Book 5 was supposed to come out in February and now it’s delayed until the end of April! Blarg!
Some series that I read that you might like, along with brief descriptions:
1. Y The Last Man – Bryan K. Vaughn: This was the series that got me into graphic novels. A series about a guy who is the last man on Earth after a weird plague kills all the rest of the men.
2. Ex- Machina – Bryan K. Vaughn: A series about the world’s first superhero who gets elected mayor of New York City after his heroic acts change the events of 9/11.
3. Runaways – Bryan K. Vaughn: A series about some kids who discover that their parents are actually super villains. This series continued Vaughn left (I think Joss Whedon took over) but I wasn’t as interested.
4. Gotham Central – Ed Brubaker: A series about the police force of Gotham City and how they deal with Batman. There is some fantastical superhero stuff, but the people stuff is pretty good.
5. Preacher – Garth Ennis: A series about a preacher who becomes possessed by a supernatural force. This one is definitely an acquired taste – it’s kind of like if Kevin Smith wrote a Dogma esqe comic.
6. Girls – The Luna Brothers: Crazy alien ladies take over a small farming town. I haven’t read too much of this one but the art is pretty good.
7. Scott Pilgrim – Bryan Lee O’Malley: A comic about a hipster dude who has to defeat his love interest’s seven evil ex-boyfriends so he can be with her. It takes place in Toronto which is also awesome.
8. The Plain Janes – Cecil Castellucci: A mini-series about a girl who moves from the city after surviving a terrorist attack and stages “art attacks” in her town to raise people’s spirits. There are only two volumes in this series (The P.L.A.I.N. Janes and Janes in Love) because DC cancelled their girls comic line (Boo!) but it’s pretty good.
9. Chew – John Layman: A series about a police detective who is a cibopath who gets psychic impressions from the things he eats. Vaguely gross but kind of funny.
10. The Unwritten – Mike Carey: A series about a guy who discovers he is actually the main character in a Harry Potter series come to live.
Series I haven’t read but have heard interesting things about
1. Detroit Metal City – Kiminori Wakasugi: A series about a guy in a metal band who dreams of playing bubblegum pop music.
2. Love and Capes – Thom Zahler: A series about a relationship in which one of the people is a superhero.
3. Proof – Alex Grecian: A series about the truth behind urban legends.
4. Sweet Tooth – Jeff Lemire: A series that tells the story of Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children, has been raised in isolation following an inexplicable pandemic that struck a decade earlier.
5. American Jesus – A series about a twelve-year-old boy who suddenly discovers he’s returned as Jesus Christ.
6. Afrodisiac – Brian Maruca: A crazy blackspoitation style comic.
7. Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer – Dustin Higgings: Enough said.
Also, if you’re feeling nostalgic, The Babysitters Club got turned into a series of graphic novels which is cool.
Anyway, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head – I hope one or more of those work for you!
What’s your favorite type of flower?
Usually I like irises or tulips best. However, I did really love the flowers in my wedding bouquet – Purple alstromerias and freesia. They smelled beautiful.
What was your favorite toy to play with as a child?
My dollhouse and my Victorian Playmobile sets. I loved setting them up and having adventures. When my mom was giving away all my childhood toys, I told her she could pretty get rid of everything but that stuff, so it is currently sitting in containers my parent’s basement, waiting for our kids someday.
What was your favorite movie as a child?
Without a doubt, Return to Oz. It was really scary to me and I used to watch parts of it through my fingers but I loved it so much that I made my mom rent it from our local video place all the time. I actually have a copy of it on VHS.
Who’s the sexiest woman alive?
I think Christina Hendricks is gorgeous. She’s got great hair and I like that she’s not a size 2. If I could work it like Joan, I’d be plenty happy. I also think Rachel Weisz is awesome and I am also jealous of her hair.
What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
Someone once told me “You can’t control other people’s actions, only your reaction” and I think that’s helped me be less frustrated in my life.
Who’s the coolest person you know?
I think my husband is definitely the most awesome person I know. He’s always working at creating something either at work or at home. He sculpts, he paints, he sketches, he writes and it inspires me to do the same. He even got me to attend a drawing class which I probably never would have done without him since I don’t consider myself a particularly arty person. Plus, he’s very smart and funny which floats my boat.
However, I have to say, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a bunch of smart and creative people on a regular basis. My Brother-in-Law Nick is a very funny writer. My friend Alex is always plotting new movie or photography ideas. My friend Kim is always arting it up making prints and pins. My friend Shannon does cool pet illustrations. I’ve got a bunch of cool people in my life.
What are you most excited about right now?
I can’t really narrow it down. There are a lot of good things right now. Here are the top 5:
1) My niece being born!
2) The Toronto Island Concert I have a ticket to in June featuring Pavement, Broken Social Scene and Band of Horses.
3)TCAF. I am hopefully volunteering this year which means I could get to meet a bunch of cool comic people.
4) Getting my vacation time re-upped as of May 1st. I have 14 days coming my way so I am excited about being able to take some time off.
5) The Scott Pilgrim Movie/Book 6. Because how awesome does that look?
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
I’d say it was either the iPod I bought for for my dad or the pocket watch with a handpainted face I bought for my husband.
What one thing are you exceptionally good at?
Identifying random actors in movies or on TV shows. My brother-in-law jokes that I am a walking IMDB.
What one thing are you exceptionally bad at?
Playing any sort of instrument. My dad went to school for musical engineering/composition and played a rockin’ guitar so you’d think I’d have an easier time of it. Unfortunately, none of that rubbed off on me at all in spite of his efforts or the efforts of my old music teacher Mrs. Hoekstra. Poor Mrs. Hoekstra. She was convinced I was going to become a recorder virtuoso. I really let her down on that one.
(However, I do have to say at this point that I was at least in choir for seven years and am nowhere near as tone deaf as my mother. I love my mom but when she sings, I just . . . no.)
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Hmmm . . . I don’t really know what people consider “cool” things to have done. Some things I’ve done that might be considered interesting (or at least unexpected for me):
1. I’ve gone swimming with dolphins.
2. I’ve travelled along both the Canadian and American East Coasts.
3. I’ve been to a loft party with minor Canadian celebrities.
4. I’ve been fitted for a prosthetic.
5. I’ve worked at an alternative newspaper.
6. I went to a minor audition for a movie and got called back (but I couldn’t go because of my dayjob.)
7. I’ve done some minor modeling.
8. I’ve written for an international website.
9. I’ve edited a magazine.
10. I’ve seen a couple of cool rock shows. Aside from The New Pornographers which I mentioned in another answer, I’ve moshed at a Foo Fighters concert and sung along to Metric from my friend’s loft’s rooftop patio.
Can you juggle?
My schedule? Most of the time.
Balls/flaming sticks/chainsaws? Only if I’m on a unicycle. 😉
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
In terms of my hardest mental challenge, I would probably say putting together the final year magazine when I was in the journalism program at college. At the time, I think I was the youngest Editor-in-Chief the magazine had ever had and because of a screw up with timelines, my editorial team had to move on to the new semester of classes and I had to stay and finish the magazine by myself. It was hard, but I did it and we ended up winning a major award for it at the Columbia Journalism conference in New York which was awesome.
For my hardest mental/physical challenge, I would definitely have to go with recovering from my accident/amputation surgery.
First of all, the whole experience was incredibly painful and the meds the put me on made me so sick, I was throwing up almost every hour. I lost like 20 pounds in about two weeks which was insane because I was already scrawny. Being the genius I was, I decided to stop taking my pills three days after my surgery. I stopped throwing up, but the pain was horrible and my hand ended up swelling so much, I had to go back to emergency because I had popped a couple of my stitches. Such a dumb thing for me to do.
In addition to the pain, some people kind of freaked out and ditched me. One of my close friends at the time was supposed to come hang out, but blew me off because she didn’t want to deal with it. Then, the dude that I was seeing at the time broke up with me because it was too difficult for him.
However, probably hardest thing was having to adapt to what had happened emotionally and physically. Getting used to seeing myself in a new way was hard. I remember the first day I had to change my own bandages, I cried for like two hours straight because I was so horrified by what had happened and I couldn’t stop thinking about what a freak I was. I felt so disgusting that I ended up spending a lot of my time alone. It was a major wallowing period of my life.
But over time, things got better. I got on new meds. I realized that people who were going to treat me like crap weren’t worth my time. I went to physiotherapy and started to feel stronger. I learned how to adapt/compensate for my new physical situation. Basically, I stopped beating myself up about what had happened and pushed forward with my life. Because, in a situation like that, that’s really all you can do. Sometimes shitty things happen in life, but it is how you deal with them that counts.
(Funnily enough, now that I think about it, my two hardest things are connected. I had my accident in June 2002 and when I came back to school in September, I applied for the editorship and got it. Never a dull moment that year.:P)
Were you a Michael Jackson fan?
Not particularly. I like his earlier stuff (Jackson 5/early 80s solo stuff) and I appreciate that he contributed a lot to pop culture at large, but it seemed like after a while, it became less about the music and more about the spectacle which I am not interested in.
What was the best concert you went to?
Probably The New Pornographers at The Phoenix back in 2002. They had a lot of energy and during their encore, they did a medley of Heart songs which was both ridiculous and amazing.
However, I have tickets to a show coming up in June that I hope is going to be pretty awesome, so we’ll see if that displaces it. 🙂
What was the worst concert you went to?
I went to Edgefest back in 2002 because I really loved the band Cake at the time. Me and my friend Edita got down to the stage area for their set and we were both stoked . . . but then 10 minutes in, the lead singer got pissed off and walked off the stage so we only heard about three songs. Boo!
(On the upside, the headliner that year was Nickleback so we left before they came on and went to get milkshakes instead. My friends who stayed said that it took them like three hours to get out of the parking lot, so at least I didn’t have to sit through that AND douche rock. LOL.)
What is your current “theme song”?
I have different ones for different moods. In terms of what I’ve been listening to lately . . .
If I want to feel a little sassy and strutty, I listen to “I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe” by OKGO or “Sunshine” by Har Mar Superstar.
If I want to feel happy and peppy, I listen to “Holiday” by Vampire Weekend or “Lisztomania” by Phoenix.
If I want to feel kickass, I listen to “Treat Me Like Your Mother” by The Dead Weather or “Kiss, Kiss” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
I’m sure these’ll change in a few weeks but right now, it’s all about getting psyched up to get through the rest of the winter.
What type of music are you into? Who is your fav group nowadays?
Man, those are hard questions to answer! I’m a bit of a music nerd and am always debating with my friends or making up top five lists a la High Fidelity, so I had to really think about this. LOL.
I love all kinds of music but I guess I primarily listen to rock, with a side of retro soul.
My top 10 musical boyfriends* are
1. Al Green
2. Marvin Gaye
3. Elvis Costello
4. David Bowie
5. Elton John
6. Mick Jagger
7. Van Morrison
8. Hawksley Workman
9. Pete Yorn
because while they straddle different eras and types of music, they all have written strong soulful songs with words that remain lodged in your head long after you hear them (and none of them use auto-tune!).
Lately, my top played iPod albums are probably by Phoenix, OKGO, and Vampire Weekend. I don’t really think that any of them will stand out as all time best albums, but I find listening to catchy happy pop music in the winter helps the season feel less horrible.
* Honourable mention goes to Sam Roberts, George Harrison and Sam Cooke for Waking The Dead, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Bring It On Home To Me, because those songs get me every time.
Job Type Stuff
What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
I have had a parade of sucky jobs so this is actually hard. LOL.
Top five most horrible jobs:
1) A salesperson in a women’s clothing store. They said it was not commission based, but we had sales quotas to meet and I am not good at pressuring people into doing things. Plus, some of the older staff snaked my customers out from under me. I quit after about a month.
2) Cashier at Bulk Food Store. To be fair, the job was fine and I was actually good at remembering the codes. My boss was a crazy person though. She booked me like 35 hours a week (I was in high school at the time) and would get mad at me if I was ever in the mall I worked at while not on shift. I quit 9 months later when I hit my breaking point (and discovered they were doing gross things to the food – yuck!).
3) Customer Service Person at a large paint store. I have no major qualms about this job but it was where I got into the accident where I lost part of my left hand so that kind of puts a damper on my four years there.
4) Receptionist at a graphics firm. Again, no major problems with the job itself, but the firm was family-owned and they decided they wanted to give my job to one of their relatives so they unceremoniously laid me off after six months. It sucked.
5) Receptionist at an architecture firm. No redeeming qualities here – this job was horrible. No one really trained me to do much which was frustrating and the people I worked for could not have been more verbally abusive. I remember one day, one of the architects had had his assistant order sandwiches for a meeting he was holding and when they didn’t arrive on time, he cussed me out for like 5 minutes straight. At first, I thought I was being too sensitive about it, but then I talked to one of the other assistants and she said about 50 people had had the job over the last 5 years because they couldn’t deal with the screaming. I quit the next day.
What’s your dream job?
Ultimately, I would love, love, love to work in children’s/young adult publishing in some capacity! Growing up, I was a major book nerd (in fact the first time I ever printed my name was on my public library card!) so I would be so happy and proud to be part of bringing books into the lives of the next generation. (To that end, I have actually written a children’s book but I haven’t submitted it anywhere so don’t know how good it is. LOL.)
Anyway, in terms of a real job in the field, I’ve been trying to make inroads on this front for the last couple of years, but nothing has broken yet. Perhaps 2010 will be my year? 🙂
Which company would you like to be the spokesperson for?
I would either like to be a spokesperson for a Young Adult publishing line or a spokesperson for a clothing store I like so I could get cheaper/free duds. I spend most of my money on these two things (books and clothes) so it’d be nice not to have to factor that into my budget.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Canadian?
From a personal standpoint: Universal health care! As someone who has been in some pretty serious accidents, I am so thankful that in those horrible moments of pain and panic, I didn’t have to make any decisions about my care based on finances. I got great care and didn’t have to deal with the worry. (Plus through our WSIB, I got my physio and prosthetic covered in full as well!)
From an “I’m just so dang proud of my home country” standpoint: legal gay marriage! As I was saying before, many of our gay friends attended our wedding and I am happy I live in a country where I can attend theirs. Go Canada!
What’s your favorite city?
I have to say, I do really love Toronto. It was the city I was born in, it’s the city I live in, it’s got pretty much everything I need so aside from some little things (transit/housing costs are high), I can’t really complain.
Other cities I like include Montreal (my family is from there), Vancouver, New York and San Francisco. I don’t think I could live in the States, but those two places were really fun to visit.
You said you don’t think you could live in the States – why not?
My husband actually works for an American company so at one point, we had the discussion about whether or not we would ever consider moving State-side should the opportunity present itself and we both said no.
It’s really hard to answer this question without sounding like a belligerent snot, so to be clear, I am not bashing Americans. I don’t think you have to tear down one thing because you prefer another. In fact, there are many ways in which I think the States has a lot going for it. Off the top of my head, I think if Canadians could be as patriotic as Americans, it would be a vast improvement! 🙂
However, Canada has some important pluses for me.
1) My family and my husband’s family live here. We have a niece on the way, and some time in the future, we could have kids as well and I would very much like them to know and be close to their grandparents/aunt and uncle/cousins.
2) The whole universal healthcare thing. The idea of having to suddenly pay for things like that terrifies me.
3) The economy. The economy here didn’t seem to take the hit quite the way the States did. The fields that my husband and I are in (publishing/electronic media) seem to at least be holding steady, if not growing, here so moving to a country where more downsizing is taking place feels risky.
4) Marriage equality. This isn’t exactly a dealbreaker, but I feel pretty strongly about this issue and on a personal level, it makes me proud to live in a country where this is possible.
Overall, Canada just feels like a better fit and so staying put makes more sense for us.
As an American who has occasionally entertained thoughts of moving to Canada, I’m now wondering what aspects of Canada you might not be so crazy about? What do you think would be the hardest adjustments an American would have to make moving there?
Some good questions today! Making me think a lot about cultural identity.
Two things that annoy me about Canada which I will fully admit:
1. On the whole, we’re kind of quiet flag-wavers when it comes to being patriotic. We as a community (myself included) worry about offending others so much we end up being either too modest or we let ourselves get stream-rolled by others. Canada is a nice place to live and we should be louder and prouder about it!
2. Our political parties are astoundingly similar and a bit limp-wristed when it comes to policy. Last time I voted, there were like 7 parties on the ballot and aside from the more out there parties (like Marxist-Leninist etc.), a lot of the time, our main parties tend to be only fractionally different from each other. Not only is this annoying but it makes voting feel kind of unsatisfying. Times like that, I envy the American system because it’s a heckuva lot clearer who to vote for.
I honestly don’t think it would be as massive a culture shock moving to Canada from the States as it would be the other way around. But I guess if I were to give you kind of a silly crash course on being Canadian, it would go something like this:
1. Some of us speak French here, so it’s good to know a smattering of it, especially if you’re headed out to Quebec or New Brunswick (Quebec is a French province and New Brunswick is Canada’s only bilingual province.)
2. We’ve got colourful or coin money so make sure you’ve got a decent sized wallet/change purse/pockets. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the extra weight/jangling in no time.
3. We have a government sponsored television station (CBC) and government regulated television and radio so you’re going to be absorbing our culture whether you like it or not. Sometimes this is a good thing, but sometimes this means that you’ll have to hear Nickleback a lot.
4. At some point in your life up here, you will be required to know at least one Tragically Hip song.
5. We don’t shoot our presidents here, but we do pie them in the face.
6. In terms of cool leaders, you had Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, we had Prime Ministers Pearson and Trudeau (who I am actually related to!)
7. In spite of what you might have heard, we don’t live in Igloos. Often our summers are quite warm with temperatures reaching up to 30 some odd degrees, or well up into the 80s for the Americans out there. Speaking of which . . .
8. We use the Metric System up here.
9. In terms of truly Canadian food we’ve got poutine (cheese curds and gravy on fries), tourtiere (meat pie), butter tarts, ketchup flavoured chips and our Smarties are made of chocolate. Also, Tim Hortons is like a religion up here, so if you want to blend in, when it comes to coffee & donuts, learn to worship at the church of Timmys.
10. We actually have a pretty good sense of humour about ourselves. Nine times out of 10, you tell a Canadian joke, a Canadian will be the first one laughing.
However, aside from those things, I think it’s all pretty similar.
(Except if you want to shop at Target. Then you’re screwed.)
If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
In a completely unrealistic way, I would love to live in the French countryside. I don’t know how I would make money, but I have this completely picturesque vision in my head of lounging around reading, drinking wine and eating unpasteurized cheese.
In a slightly more realistic way, there is a street not too far from where we live now with some of the most gorgeous houses you have ever seen. Not only that, but they back onto the park which is absolutely beautiful. If we had the cash, I would definitely live there.
How did Boy propose?
Okay, so the story of how Boy proposed kind of has two parts.
The first part happened around Easter weekend when we eschewed family plans back in the suburbs to hang out with friends. However, for whatever reason, everyone ended up bailing on us. We were both frustrated by everyone so Boy went off to play video games and I went for a soak in the tub. While we were in our respective places, we both thought about being bailed on and then thought of each other and how we were the constant in each other’s lives. He knew I would always be there for him and I knew he would be there for me. So, weirdly enough, in our separate places, we came to the same conclusion. When I got out of the tub, he came to the door of the bathroom and told me he wanted to go ring shopping with me because “everyone sucks but you.” Super romantic, I know. LOL.
The actual proposal came a little over a month later on May 4th. Boy was drawing an online comic strip at the time and he proposed to me in its panels. I left my yes in the comments section.
You seem cool. If you ever divorce your husband will you marry me? xxx
I think this is the first time I have ever gotten a marriage proposal online* so kudos to you, random internet stranger!
I hope my husband and I never get divorced, but even if that were to happened, I promised my mother I wouldn’t marry unknown people from the internet.
*That wasn’t from a Nigerian Prince looking for money**.
**Are you a Nigerian Prince?
If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
I would ideally like to write fiction. I have a story that’s been floating around in my head for a couple of years now that I would like to turn into a novel, but it hasn’t happened so far. Unfortunately, my writing process is 90 per cent being distracted by shiny things, 9 per cent banging my head on the wall and 1 per cent writing. 😛
I was going to ask whether you’d like to write books, but now I see the answer about your children’s book. How about … tell us more about your writing?
I’ve been writing for a long time. The first big thing I can think of was a mystery story called “Pure Poison” I wrote for my 7th grade language arts class. My teacher at the time, Mr. Dadson, was so impressed that he gave me an A+++. Up until that point, I never really considered myself to be all that smart (my best friend was the smart one) so it really pushed me to think about writing as a possibility.
In high school, I continued to write and pounded out a few mini novels/stories. I fully admit a couple of these may have been because of a boy that I liked. His name was Chris and he was like my Jordan Catalano, except instead of hooking up in the boiler room, he would read my stories and tell me that he liked them. Plus, he once told me I was pretty which felt like a small miracle at the time.
Anyway, Chris moved away our senior year of high school and I never saw him again, but by that point, enough people had encouraged me about my writing that I felt like I should make a go of it and I applied to several journalism programs. I ended up getting into the one I wanted so I headed off to college at 17 to write my little heart out. While I was there, I majored in both creative and print journalism. I ended up winning a couple of awards for both my short fiction and magazine pieces which was really cool. Then I interned at a local alternative paper for a bit and wrote there too.
Unfortunately, after school, things didn’t go quite so well. I couldn’t get a job because people kept telling me all my college experience of editing and writing (I was quite the keener and volunteered/applied for everything) left me overqualified for entry level stuff. So, I had a bit of a quarter-life crisis where I began to question whether or not I actually liked writing or I was just doing it because everyone told me that I should. I took a bunch of menial jobs and decided to forget all about it, until I ended up landing a gig in academic publishing. Reading other people’s work made me start wondering why I wasn’t producing my own.
I still don’t write professionally, but I have at least started to get back into it with blogging and such. I have a half baked novel idea, which is pretty standard for anyone who writes, but I also have a kid’s book up my sleeve. I wrote the children’s story on a whim, but I am pretty proud of it because it’s awesomely Canadian and the whole thing rhymes! I am hoping to get my friend Kim in on the action to do a couple of illustrations and then I think I might send it out to publishers. I don’t harbour delusions of grandeur or anything like that, but I want to at least say that I tried. If I’m going to fail, I want it to be a solid down in flames kind of fail this time! 😛
So yeah, we’ll see what happens . . .