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Pickle Me This

February 25, 2008

No no no

Highlights of this weekend included brunch with Erin and Ivor, diets managing not to start even tomorrow and not cleaning our house. This afternoon I played Scrabble in support of Frontier College with Stuart and Rebecca, and learned how much is too much sushi. Yes, two thirds of us are writers and though Rebecca did beat me, our game was won by the graphic designer with a Bachelor of Science, but ah well. The event put was put on by the Toronto JETAA (and my friend Natalie Bay) and it was tremendous fun. Fun continued into tonight, as we attended an Oscar Party at our friends’ Katie and Alan’s. It was a grand evening, although having seen only one film last year which was Alvin and the Chipmunks, I wasn’t so interested in the show, and really just hijacked the whole event to (rather inappropriately) fulfill my lifelong desire to dress up like Amy Winehouse. Which was perfect because then I won the prize for most creative costume which was the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. But the very best part of this weekend was the sunshine, and the fact it felt like spring.

November 27, 2007

Board Games

It’s not bookish in the slightest, but I’ve certainly been doing a lot of reading since I started my job in May. Mostly proxy circulars from TSX composite which don’t tend be exciting, but today is exciting as the results of our research are published in the Globe & Mail‘s Board Games 2007. A must-link for all you who are passionate about corporate governance.

Which is, um, anyone?

Long live day jobs!

July 24, 2007


Kim, of the marvelous Kimbooktu Book Gadget Site, has set up a new page featuring home libraries. Mine’s there, and you can submit yours too. Voyeurism at its best. Due to my current line of work, I found this article on CEO libraries particularly fascinating (via Bookninja). I thought David Halberstam’s essay The History Boys in the latest VF was just extraordinary.

May 29, 2007

Of corporate governance, executive compensation and the muse

I’ve been back to work now for just about a month at this summer job of mine, and things are in full swing. I’m really enjoying it, and it’s nice to be back and know what’s going on, rather than enduring the steep learning curve I endured last year. So I’m working 9-5 and writing short stories in the evening, and though my productivity has not been at an all time high, I am pretty satisfied. And I am trying to blur the line between my writing life and my daytime life by including components of the latter in the former. I am currently writing a story about Thomas, who is a compensation consultant. I suspect this could be the first story about a compensation consultant ever written. I’ve certainly never read one. How exciting! I wonder what will happen?

May 25, 2007

My Office Haiku

(Now up at Bookninja. Go here for more)

clock hands ticking round
slow and stilted second hand—
outside it is spring

May 2, 2007


Where I Was From by Joan Didion is the best book by Joan Didion I have ever read. This is no small praise. Yes, The Year of Magical Thinking came with a sentimentality creeping in which humanized Didion and I appreciated that, but reading Where I Was From I realize that she is at her very best when cold and watching. It’s the connections she draws which make her work so powerful, and I love the way she leaves us to do with them what we will. Or at least the way she seems to let us do what we will, for her words are so calculated, her logic so exact, that even when I disagree with what she is saying, I cannot help but see her point of view.

I am now reading The Fifth Child on the advice of Heather Mallick. Intriguing, apparently not typical Lessing, and much akin to We Need To Talk About Kevin, which was my best book of 2005 (and which I’ll be rereading this summer).

Last night I cried upon realizing that my days have suddenly become much shorter, which is the power of an eight hour workday. This was devastating to contemplate, as there I was aiming to finish Where I Was From, write the end to a stubborn short story, post an entry on Divisadero, and bake cupcakes all before bedtime. How I will miss my grad student/housewife days, where all of that was possible, and hours and hours more were open wide, and I was still free to cavort with the postman every morning, and read and write all day long. But then I got to work this morning and remembered that I’ve got a pretty lovely gig for the next few months, my coworkers are wonderful, I can ride my bike to get there, the work is (sometimes) interesting. More good things were underlined as we went outside to play catch at lunch time.

And so all is well, and time enough there will be. I suppose also that eight hours a day of wages will make evenings and weekends a delight.

January 12, 2007

Excellent. My plan is working.

Instead of just getting depressed, I’m going to start pretending to be an evil mastermind with plans toward world domination. When I’m listening to the radio and hear, for example, that whole cities were destroyed by flash floods, I will rub my hands together and said, “Eg-cellent. My plan is working.” If drug crime has run rampant throughout my neighbourhood, I will cackle with glee and exclaim, “Just as I’d expected.” 22% of Canadians are unable to read? “Finally– the pieces are coming together.” IF a mugger knocks me down in the street and steals my ipod shuffle (ha ha): “Cackle cackle, Sir,” I will say to him. “You are fulfilling your mission well.” The American President is going to win his failing war by expansion into Syria and Iran? “Ah, Mr. Bush,” I will say. “You are playing right into my hands.”

I have no expectations that this coping mechanism will result in a better world, but evil trumps lugubrious any day, and I just don’t think petitions work.

January 9, 2007


The number one surprising development of my Christmas Holidays was that I became obsessed with Rocky Balboa. I certainly didn’t see it coming. (Though I’ve never seen one, I’ve always struggled with the Rocky films, for as a child I confused Rocky with Rambo and didn’t understand how one character could be so multi-dimensional.) But on the day before Christmas Eve, we caught Rocky on TV Ontario (commercial free! how novel) and though I was supposed to be reading a book while my husband watched it, I soon put the book down and was enthralled. I loved it. I don’t really know why. I’ve always had a thing for working class Italian men with big dreams, hearts of gold and problems expressing themselves, however. In accordance then, I think I am soon going to rent Saturday Night Fever.

October 24, 2006

Board Games

Diane Setterfield is in The Globe today. Also, The Report on Business’s Board Games is out, which is particularly exciting as some of the research from the project I worked on this summer went toward it. Remember my corporate governance warrior alter-ego?

Pre-Order my New Novel: Out October 27


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