Sunday, June 16, 2013

Commuter's Weekend: Bloomsday Edition

Welp, this is my life these days. My me time. The time for reading books and writing theses. More the former than the latter, but I guess if books are what I do... it's all research really.

But at home, it's Father's Day and Bloomsday. Very recently I lost my grandfather, my mother's father, which I meant to post about first and completely forgot, but I suppose this is more timely. Anyhoops, MomBlom and I decided to spend the day together, in honour of both our fathers. We tried to think of something that they would both enjoy, but apparently all they really did together was work on a pig farm, with my Grandfather's quiet stoicism and my father's ensuing feelings of inadequacy (a city boy, you see). Consequently, we just decided to go out for lunch (and a Guinness), watch some Sherlock, and finish the evening off with some Irish Whiskey.

In other news, remember how I only had three peonies last year? No? Well I don't really feel like linking to that entry, so all you have to know is that there were only three flowers on the shrub, but I learned that if you cut the blooms off on the first year, you'll have a lot more the next. Well turns out that's true! These are just the six biggest as of today:

in the same vase in the same place! But I won't leave them out in the sun like last year because a) they wilted in an hour and b) there isn't any sun.

Oh my god, what is going ON back there? Well that's MomBlom's fantastic new garden in the works. Here she is plotting exactly where the vegetables and herbs are going to go. Immediately after a little gust of wind!

Oh yeah hey, remember that whole thing about Peonies and ants? True:

Apparently they like the sweet coating on the unopened buds, and may help to weaken the structure such that it's easier for the flowers to open quickly, but there's nothing to say that the flowers can't open without the ants, or that the ants pollenate the plant, so it's not really symbiosis. It's just something cool that happens. Also, a brief dunk in the pond rids any cut blossoms of their ants and does no harm to the blooms either!

Other things about the back yard: I'm in charge of the pond this year! Which of course means no goldfish, and the lilies are totally taking over again. But there's a pretty flower about to come out so I don't have the heart to choke them out with, say, water hyacinths.

Lots in the works for the garden, and while I'm sad to miss it during the week, it's really nice to see such progress on the weekends. Next up: these plants have to go somewhere...

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I've been trying to get on top of things, but things keep happening. I'm currently typing through the bleary fog of exhaustion that's been clouding my judgment for the last two weeks. Why? Oh I haven't even TOLD you yet!

I think we'd left off at the fact that I didn't have an internship anymore, and I didn't want to talk about it. Well, it was a no-hard-feelings kind of situation, and I wasn't in a huge rush to muddle about at a government-run company that had never had an intern, and especially not in a city that is notoriously short on publishing companies. Plus, still being enrolled in the Ryerson certificate program for publishing meant that I was being sent a huge number of employment and internship opportunities nearly every day. So I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to find a replacement position; my biggest concern was preserving the six-week holiday I'd set up for myself. Fortunately, I was called in for an interview with HarperCollins Canada nearly immediately.

It was my first opportunity to use my newly designed resume and a nicely fattened portfolio, which I put together with the most ancient binding machine imaginable:

I guess it payed off though; I was offered the position pretty quickly too. One of the small projects I was to work on was binding special sales catalogues. When being shown the ropes for it, an identical binding machine was pointed out, and I was asked if I had ever used one of these before. I just laughed. I'm in the right place.

So yeah, thanks to new carpets and a paint job in the offices, my start date wasn't set until May 27th, meaning I got my six weeks vacation. I spent most of it making paper flowers, some of it at Erin's wedding, much more watching Kids in the Hall until my brains turned to mush.

So where was I? Oh yeah! The fog of exhaustion. Well, I'm still living here in Waterloo. I'm hoping to get a permanent position in the industry come September, but it may not happen, and I've been moving so much that I don't want to move AGAIN for potentially only three months. Once I get at least a year-long contract, then I'll move.

But the commute? Oh man. I get up at 5:00 am, am on the train at 5:45, arrive in Toronto at 7:53, am at my desk by 8:20, leave at 5:00 pm, catch the train at 5:45, arrive at 7:42 (but it's always late), and get home by 8:20. It's... it's do-able. But this exhaustion-fog is quite... pervasive. In fact, if anything distracts me from lying down and taking a nap right now, I think I'll just cry.

Speaking of, I think that's all I have energy for. Those six weeks gave me material for a whole summer's worth of blog posts though, so worry not. I'll be back.