November 28, 2007
~ I got called-in for a third interview with the company from last week which I thought wasn’t interested in me. I’m going to go just in case things don’t pan out with my other two prospects. Plus I get paid, supposedly. They’re taking their time choosing someone. I wouldn’t surprised if everyone they’re interviewing doesn’t get offered jobs at other companies before they get off the pot. They’d be better off just hiring freelancers.
~ I have decided on three locations for PLOG to be available at in Toronto. Pages Books & Magazines on Queens, Another Story Books on Roncesvalles and Good Catch General Store, also on Queens but at the other end. They’ll also be carrying Pandanoids merch once it’s manufactured.
~ I got caught in a sudden blizzard yesterday. People went nuts. They started screaming and running in all directions. It was kind of like War of The Worlds only with freezing rain instead of aliens.
November 27, 2007
~ I may have gotten hired as a creative director yesterday. I’m not sure though. I’ve noticed in Toronto phrases like “We’ll definitely call you” sometimes mean they stop taking your calls and responding to your emails. Looking for work here is somewhat like playing the bar scene. So even though I’ve gotten what seems like a committed suitor, I’m going to be a bit of a slut and go for an interview at the Ministry of Environment tomorrow. I think the government job would suit my lifestyle better, but it’s a 3-to-4 month contract (with possibility of a permanent placement) as opposed to a supposedly permanent upwardly mobile position with an upstart company.
~ The other day Nicole explained to me, with a stark lack of irony, the initial necessity for Mariah Carey was that there was “not enough Whitney Houston.” And all this time I thought there was more than enough.
November 22, 2007
~ It’s snowing today. I don’t have boots yet. Or a parka. I’m going to die. Also the landlord was supposed to supply us with a shovel but never did.
~ Yesterday I saw this guy reading Spook Country on the subway. I really wanted to ask him if it was any good. I didn’t. I can;t bring myself to talk to strangers on public transit. I really wanted to ask though. He didn’t look like to sort of guy whose opinion I’d respect anyway. I’ve been reading a really terrible sci-fi noir book from the library that’s been making me want to read some William Gibson again.
~ I’ve been reading a book of conversations with Charles M. Schultz. He was an odd guy. A real mixture of contradictions. Humble/arrogant, broad/closed-minded, giving/selfish. Like anyone, I suppose.
~ Head-hunters have been tracking me down via my Monster and Workopolis resume postings lately. They’re an odd breed. Never have I had the insincere politeness layed-on me so thick. But since I haven’t heard back from the place I interviewed with on Monday, I’m not saying “no” to anything and, as the woman said yesterday, “I tell you what. Why don’t we set up a face-to-face? What have we got to lose anyway?”
November 20, 2007
~ I survived my reality-show style job interview competition. That’s not to say they offered me a job. Or gave much of an indication one way or the other. The big bossman gave me kudos for being one of four “hand-picked” out of over a hundred applicants and I “should be proud of that.” Which I took to possibly be his way of letting me down easy or not getting my hopes up. If I get this job, I get work in beautiful downtown Etobicoke… though actually in kind of a neat art complex the company is building.
~ There’s a small chinese grocery across the street we go to called Alfredo’s. In the back is a Croatian-run deli. Today an extremely young blond boy wrapped up my chicken breast. He was the first person there to actually wrap meat properly, immaculately, in two different types of wax-paper no less.
~ Today I bought that Beth Gibbons & Rusting Man CD I didn’t care for when it came out assuming I was mistaken and foolish back then. Turns out I was indeed both foolish and mistaken as it’s phenomenal (and mysteriously $2.50 cheaper than the sticker price). It’s my new favourite album of all time. For this week anyway. I’ll probably be back to listening exclusively to In Rainbows and Oblivion With Bells again next week.
~ PLOG #2 is finished early so I’ll be able to distro it in time for the first of the month. It’s christmas themed.
November 16, 2007
~ It snowed a little this morning. A few flakes. When I felt the need for an americano, I wore shorts to the Java Joes which almost caused a man to crash his car when he did a double-take in the intersection.
~ I’ve been going through a strange interview process with a company here. The first interview was with two other applicants and was more like an information session about the company — more like we were potential investors (or, frankly, potential dupes in a pyramid scheme). We pretty much had to insist he look at our portfolios. Then they had us do a take home “exam/assignment.” Then they emailed me asking what my pay expectations were before saying if they’d confirm me for the second interview, pointing out over a hundred people applied which seemed to suggest I should bid low. I did not bid low so I suspect they won’t call me in for the second “practical” interview which is essentially a reality-show style competition against five other applicants to fill two or three spots.
~ Looking for work just keeps getting more surreal. I was also contacted yesterday by a placement agency I’m not affiliated with regarding web-design work. When I explained I don’t do web, the man was very confused and stopped himself just short of accusing me of lying. Obviously he had a sheet of paper in front of him that stated with certainty I was was a web designer. I was confused about who he was and how he came to be phoning me. He said, “I guess we misdiagnosed this one!”
November 13, 2007
~ I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. We suspect I’m going batty with the unemployment. Though I am keeping myselfbusy updating my too many internet habitats. For instance I created an online store for Arachnidiscs yesterday. I’m not sure why Arachnidiscs would need an online store but maybe it will in the future. I also updated the Arachnidiscs homepage. All between the hours of 11pm and 1am last night. I also got to check up on my Pandanoids orders. Some random person from California bought a “Love” shirt. That’s kind of awesome. My first anonymous sale.
~ There’s a truck doing something with the sewers, I think, out front right now. It’s making a head-splitting jet engine whining noise right now. I think that’s my cue to go for a walk.
November 11, 2007
~ One thing I really love about Toronto is watching the squirrels. They’re simply everywhere. In fact, there’s so many of them, it’s really impressive. It’s not uncommon to see several on any given lawn scampering up and down trees and dancing around like maniacs. To put it into perspective, you just have to imagine they’re rats instead of fluffy-tailed cuties. People would go ballistic and perhaps nuke the city and start all over again. It would be an unacceptable infestation. I wonder where all the cats are in all this. Cats go missing in Toronto a lot judging by the posters on telephone polls and at bus-stops. I think the squirrels are eating the cats.
~ Last night went to the opening of a community art-space called The Gift Shop. They didn’t seem to have any idea what they wanted to do with their space. They didn’t even attempt to explain it. They were playing Baraka on the wall. The walls didn’t have any art on them or anything. Except for some newsprint which we were encouraged to write “art-maps” of ourselves on, explaining what we’d like the space to become. I refrained from saying “exactly like the &Loan.” So we mostly talked to Jenn Scott. And ate some of the awesome food provided by one of the girls’ moms. A kind of bad country band played too. It made me feel like I was back in Nanaimo again. Generally in a good way. I’m not sure I’ve been to something that awkward since that Chrome Horse show I went to and had to leave because it was too awkward. I left behind some copies of Plog.
November 7, 2007
~ Today instead of working, or looking for work very hard, I created and opened an internet store for my neurotic panda creations. I call them PANDANOIDS. They’re cute. They’re creepy. They have crazy eyes. They’re plastered over all manner of t-shirt, bag and greeting card.
I wouldn’t have created so many different shirt options except since I’m opting for the free service, I can only put one design on each type of item. Oddly the golf shirt and the baseball cap are not supposed to be available, as I deleted them, but are still on the order page taunting me with their crappiness. Oh well. Another day of unemployment well spent/wasted.
November 6, 2007
~ Seems doing a zine in Toronto is a hard business. So far I’ve found only two places to carry Plog — Pages Books & Magazines and Rotate This, both on Queen Street West. That’s not a lot of coverage. The guys at Pandemonium (don’t carry zines but) suggested I try a near-by coffee shop which leads me to think I’ll have to try a few other coffee shops as outlets. “Good luck trying to find a zine in this city,” he says. I also left a few in empty racks at TTC stations. No wonder people put their zines online and started writing blogs.
~ Bell Canada just called and tried to get us to sign up for TV service. To preempt the sales pitch I told her we don’t own a TV. She said, “Wow. What do you do?” I said, “Read.” She said, “Well, that sounds like fun,” and then “You’re going to need a TV for the winter. It gets pretty boring in the winter.” I said, “We haven’t discussed it yet.” She said, “Ohhhh-kaaaay.” Then launched into the sales pitch just in case we buy a TV.
November 5, 2007
~ Today I worked my first shift as a freelance graphic designer for one of my placement agencies. One of the first things I got to experience, before I’d been given any orientation even, was the big boss-man Joe coming into the room and saying to me, “You busy? The thing I hate most is seeing Freelancers not doing anything. It just makes me hear the sound of money evaporating.” My first thought was, “Dude, not my problem.” I think I said, “Oh, totally understandable.” Then the production coordinator explained the work flow situation and Big Joe left in a huff. I think I heard spurs jingling angrily down the hall. Basically I sat at a desk and was handed files which I would open, change one line from something like “Coming Soon” to “Now Available” and then hit save, print, export to PDF and then documented the time I spent doing so. I got paid a ridiculous hourly wage for this. Which explains Big Joe’s mood in the morning. That and there really was no reason at all for me to be there.