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Movie Mentions Oh Mother...! Projects Real Life The Father Chronicles

The Next New Thing…

Summer Daydream
“Summer Daydream”
Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Ky’s finally sleeping again, and is back to school for her morning classes, which is good. I’m assured by the school that she’ll manage to get those credits without a problem – music class, which is hardly surprising (the principal tells me she’d have passed that one based on her talent, never mind that she doesn’t bother with any assignments – I don’t know whether to be proud or pissed off), and geography. Now, that surprises me.

Two credits is better than no credits, though, I guess, isn’t it? I’ll try to be proud.

My own sleeping is not happening again, now. I’m a little concerned about my job. I’m getting there, but it’s difficult. Luckily, I don’t have to drive to get there, so no lives are in danger – unless I blow the place up, but there are safeguards in place against idiots, so maybe that’s not such a big worry…

I need to finish the latest novel. That’s that “hard” one I mentioned a while back. It’s still got a lot of the same elements that the sitcom had in it, but the entire pilot plot has pretty much disappeared, along with a character or two. I’ve kept the bare bones of what would have been the first season. I tried to change the main characters’ names, but they just will not be renamed. All I’ve managed to do is steal away their last names completely.

I had a lot of false starts trying to pick this project back up again. There was a time that I ate, slept and breathed it. That turned into boozing and smoking it, and I think I just wanted it to go away. Working on it kept bringing up nasty, bad thoughts that I didn’t want to think.

I lamented about this to Ky one day, and she surprised me by telling me I should be getting it done and over with. When I told her I didn’t want to listen/watch/write my main characters anymore, she rolled her eyes.

I told her I’d noticed she wore the one and only promotional t-shirt made for the project all the time, even though she’d once told me she was glad it was dead in the water so what’s up with that, huh?! And then, she made me laugh by paraphrasing Holden McNeil: “They’re fictional characters, Mom. Fictional characters. Am I getting through to you at all…?”

So I’m working on it. And it gets a little easier (and a little closer to done) every time I sit down to it.

My blog is turning back into a place to air my grievances, and although that’s part of what it’s for, I really want to get back to telling the Ruby stories (there’s a ton of them), and The Father Chronicles (there’s a ton of those left, too).

And I talked to my Mom today, and she’s feeling a little lost and lonely without my Dad. She said it’s gotten worse, lately, and she’s been rereading his letters from World War II. At first, they made things worse, but now she finds them a comfort and is glad she saved them…

Wait a minute…. “You have letters from Dad during the War…?”

“Yep.”

All his letters…?”

“Yep.”

Wow. I didn’t know this….

“Can I read them…?”

“Sure!”

“Really?!”

“Yep.”

“Ummmm…… can I blog them…?”

“Yep.”

So as soon as I can get myself down to Teeny-Tiny Town, I will have a new category here: Dear Maude…

Another worry is my imminent move. Far, far away.

I’m not certain how imminent it is, now, considering new and ugly turns of events of legal and financial persuasions that may (shudder) bankrupt me (not if I can possibly avoid it), but I will be moving to Vancouver and will be there for at least a year, once I manage it.

I’m going to be going back to school (yes, again), in an accelerated screenwriting program at the Vancouver Film School. I chose this program, because a Canadian school somehow seems more “doable” than trying to get into one in the States – although I’d rather be in the States. I have more friends there. ­čÖé

It’s going to cost me a mint, though. I don’t know where the money’s going to come from, yet, but then again, I bought the Prissy-Van with money I didn’t have yet, and so far, so good, she’s still mine. I’ll manage this. Somehow. Gulp…*

I didn’t think I’d be able to convince Kyla to go with me, so was working out an alternative arrangement for her, but when I told her about it (actually, I let it slip in a moment of upset over all this stress), she surprised hell out of me by telling me she would love a change of scenery.

It’s amazing how fast things change.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Black Coffee” – Ella Fitzgerald

Categories
Real Life The Landlady

Leap to it, Ladies!

Drained
“Drained”
Taken November 17, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

That’s about the only word I can use to describe how I feel right now. It’s not a bad “blah”, so much as a really, really tired one. It’s also not really a bad “tired” – just… ah. No words for it.

It’s been a busy last little while. We have made The Hummingbird’s sojourn here a little more “official”, which has required a few meetings and several thousand forms to fill out. I have not yet got all the forms filled out, in fact. Once I have it all done, I think I might own the kid. If that turns out to be true, I’m going to sell her on eBay, just to pay for all the miles I’ve walked and all the “signaturing” I’ve had to do.

Tonight is the first chance I’ve had to work on a post – The Turkey made supper… cuz she’s a good kid, and I’m a bad mom. Actually, I probably would have remembered to make it myself, if I hadn’t spent three hours dancing around the living room with her, so it’s all her fault anyway.

But, I’m full of rice (She made rice. Just. Rice.), and so I’m now powered up enough to tell you all what Ruby has to say about Leap years…

Is this year really a Leap year?!

Me: Yup.

Well, now – here’s your chance!

Me: My chance for what…?

For a man!!!! (And she cackles long and loud, clapping her hands.)

Me: Ruby! I don’t want a man!

(laughter)

Me: I don’t!!! Besides, if I did want a man, why could I only get one on a Leap year?!

Because on a Leap year, the girl gets to do the askin’! Haven’t you ever heard of a Sadie Hawkins?!

Me: You mean, as in a “Sadie Hawkins dance?”

Yes, a dance! And the girl does the askin’! We only had them on February 29th… Leap years. A girl could ask a man to the dance, and she’d go pick him up and the whole nine yards. They were lots of fun! And they worked, too, you know… there’s more old maids married during Leap years than any other. Or there used to be, anyway. Times have sure changed. (sighs)

Me: I’ll say…! We used to have Sadie Hawkins dances in high school, but we had them every Hallowe’en, not just on Leap years…

Well, you cheated, then. They’re supposed to be on February 29th, not Hallowe’en.

Me: So, why not take your Leap-year-given right, Ruby, and go out and get yourself a man this year? You’ve still got a few weeks to pick one out.

Me?! What am I gonna do with a man?!

Actually, every now and again, I sometimes wish I did have a man. You know, to take me out to dinner and then out for a drive. Then he’d have to go home.

You know, after Roy died, I had a friend who kept trying to tell me how to get a man. She used to say I should go to the grocery store and look for some poor confused-looking fella and help him tap a melon or something. She’d say men are so grateful over stuff like that that they’ll up and ask you out next thing you know! (laughs) Or she’d say, “Ruby, go to the laundromat. Help some poor idjit fold his clothes. He’ll follow you right home, you’ll see!”

Me: So did you go to the laundromat, then?

Of course not! I’ve got my own washing machine! I should have maybe done just that back then, though, now I think it over.

Me: Well, it’s not too late, is it? And it’s a Leap year!

No… I should’ve gone twenty years ago. I wasn’t so buggered up then as I am now.

Random Song for the Day: “New Soul” – Yael Naim

Categories
J.O.B. School Wasted Time...

So, Is India the New World Power, Now?!

Taj Mahal
Lost in Translation?

Okay, I’m having trouble following… I’m unemployed. The last thing I want is to have to go back to retail. Well, no, actually, the last thing I want is to have to go back to a call center – but retail is pretty freaking close behind…

I just went back to school for certification in some business courses, along with web development. These were hardly my first choices, but there were reasons at the time to take those options. Now, it looks like I might have to fight to keep the “WTF did I take this crap for again?” thoughts from overwhelming me. Again.

I’m running out of J.O.B.’s in my new “field” to apply for. My next option is to apply for any and all general office positions I can find. I thought I’d give the administration offices in our local steel industry a shot. And then somebody reminds me that our local steel industry has been bought out.

By a foreign company.

In India.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t get a job there… except there’s been talk of all the administrative positions now being outsourced to another company.

A foreign company.

Yes. It’s in India.

I’m not sure if I’ll need an interpreter when I call to see if they’re hiring or not….

I’ve been thinking seriously, too, about that idea of a Ruby “blook”. Every time I look into self-publication, though, something turns me off the idea. Maybe it’s that I’d feel more like a “real” author if I actually had a “real” agent trying to make their 15% cut by trying to sell my stuff to a “real” publisher… I have dreams of becoming the next Lucy Maud Montgomery and having my best-sellers translated into a bzillion languages… I wonder how Ruby would “read” in Punjabi or Sanskrit….

I also wonder if I should go back into the production business again… bring back the shorts and put ’em up on LesTV… It’s not that I’m short of ideas, or even young slaves to do much of the work for me for free (ask me about “The Magnificent Binky” sometime) – it’s that I’m so short of TIME. I could starve before anything starts bringing in any cash…

But, assuming I go back to them, if the video shorts do start taking off, I’m going to start syndicating them in other languages within seconds. I know just where to go for that, too.

There’s this company I found…

It’s in India.

Random Song for the Day: “Back in the U.S.S.R” – The Beatles

Categories
Artsy Fartsy Flash Video School

Popping In and Right Back Out Again…

Flash Basics Final Assignment
Flash Basics Final Assignment

The Flash Basics course is finally finished with. I got really great marks throughout, but the time it ate up leaves me in serious trouble for the rest of my schedule – and there’s the advanced course to worry about yet, too. I have less than 8 weeks left… and 8 courses to get through. God help me, because I can’t do this on my own anymore.

I will be pulling another (or maybe I mean “continuing this one”) disappearing act while I finish dispersing of the last of the past five years – which I should have been doing in February, but it was so much easier to close the door and not think about it. Now, though, my “other” apartment has been rented, and I have until the 15th to clear it out, clean it up, patch, paint, and make shiny all the neglected walls, windows and doorknobs. I’m lucky in that I don’t have to do this all by my lonesome, but until it’s empty, nothing else can be done. Meanwhile, my kid has lost her “playroom”, and my “this” apartment is back to being stacked to the rafters with unmarked boxes that threaten to squash the already-retarded cat.

But before I disappear again, I wanted to show off my final flash assignment (sound and everything!). My instructor gave me a glowing report – called me a “born animator”, and said I have “a great sense of timing and creativity”. No kidding, he did. Wonder if he’ll give me a job…? All I can see anymore, when I watch the animation, is the mistakes jumping out of the monitor at me. I’d fix ’em, but I’m having way too much fun with my new Business and Financial Management course. Barf.

Anyway – I got a 96% for a final grade on the last Flash assignment, and a 95% on the online exam. Then I went and crapped out on the in-class exam for a lousy 89. There goes my “honours” certificate.

…just keep swimming… …just keep swimming… …just keep swimming…

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Through the Long Night” – Billy Joel

Categories
Book Mentions It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy Little Bits of Stupid Movie Mentions

Another Bridge Crossed…

bridgetoterabithia Kyla came home from school yesterday with her book order: her very own copy of A Bridge to Terabithia. She’s read school copies several times already, and seen the movie in the theater three times now. She rushed in at 3:30, dropped the book in my hands, and rushed back out to her babysitting job.

I’d only seen the movie once, and never read the book at all. So, of course, I changed all my Friday night plans immediately (homework, video rendering, writing and new computers being set up are not really Friday night occupations anyway…), and drew a bath. And I did something I believe I haven’t done since 2002: I read an entire book in the bathtub in one sitting. Errr… soaking.

And, yes, the book was much better than the movie, as has always been my experience, although I really loved this movie (note to self: find a copy of the first movie version for comparison sometime). The book has only 128 pages, so it isn’t that long of a read. I was just contemplating refilling the tub with hotter water for a second run-through, when the phone rang.

It was Louie, my Dream Job bossish/partnerish-type person with assignments and schedules and bath-time advice: namely that one does not bathe in the late afternoon/early evening. Apparently, that is an early morning activity only. And should be done standing up, under a shower-head. Luckily, Louie is only a bossish person now, with no real power, so when I hung up the phone, I refilled the tub and read the book again, remembering the “Real” King of Terabithia with growing clarity…

“At first they avoided each other during school hours, but by October they grew careless about their friendship. Gary Fulcher, like Brenda, took great pleasure in teasing Jess about his ‘girl friend’.”

Back in the Olden Days (some time in the mid-70’s)…

One of the worst insults to a young man of a certain age is to refer to his best friend as his girlfriend. It’s an even worse insult if the girl is your cousin, which may give said young man a quick retort to fall back on (“She’s not my girlfriend!! She’s my cousin!!“), but not the sort of satisfaction he would get from, say, pounding the crap out of whomever lobbed the insult. On Main Street. At the top of his lungs. In front of the entire third grade.

Of course, the presence of the entire third grade preempts any attempt at crap-pounding, simply because there’s no way of knowing if someone is going to “back’em up”. Pounding the crap out of one guy is possible, but two to four? Better to be embarrassed than to be bloody and embarrassed.

Mike at nine years old, though, can’t just leave things be. If he can’t pound crap, he will do the absolute worst thing he can think of. He will give them The Sign.

The Sign has no religious or satanic connotations to us. Sinful connotations, certainly, but we’re not concerned so much with burning in hell as we are with being strapped and/or grounded if a teacher and/or parent should see The Sign being performed, even if the other kid does deserve it (which he does, the nasty little bastard). Worse, my mother is a teacher, which makes utilizing The Sign, even in extreme circumstances, that much more dangerous. On Main Street. In broad daylight.

Use of The Sign is, in fact, so heinous, that it makes the target absolutely boil over with rage, so Mike has learned to be careful – hurling other, less volatile epithets over his shoulder while gradually inching further up the sidewalk, further from the crowd, looking for all the world as if he’s creeping away shamefully, his pride in tatters. When he judges the distance from the crowd compared to the distance to safety (my house, smack at the end of Main Street) to be favourable, he suddenly whirls like a dervish, whipping his fingers into The Sign violently with both hands. My God, he is brave.

And my God, he can run.

Which is a lucky thing, because The Sign evokes a preternatural vehemence in 9 year old boys. Lucky for Mike, I can run as well, because it is my job to beat them both to the driveway and call the dog, who will bark ferociously, viciously whenever I say “Sic’em!”, but will simply raise her eyebrows whenever Mike says it. And once the thugs are driven back, Mike and I will retreat to our own version of Terabithia, which, in 20-odd years will be buried under 60 short tons of fill and covered with 3 to 5 houses worth of lawn (not to mention 3 to 5 houses).

Knowing it’s gone makes the memories more bitter than sweet. Life’s like that.

I imagine Mike must be terribly disappointed now, that in the 21st century, The Sign is bandied about openly by drug-addled metal heads and 9 year old boys alike, a token signal used as some sort of not-so-secret handshake, stripped of its terrible symbolism. Of course he’s disappointed. It was bigger than The F-Word, after all.

Incidentally, when searching for “devil’s horn hand signal” pics, I came across this whack-job interesting site…

Random Song for the Day: “Walk Like An Egyptian” – The Bangles