Next week, Toronto’s Luminato arts festival will present “Joni: a Portrait in Song,” various musicians performing and celebrating the work of Joni Mitchell. For months, speculation flew about whether or not Mitchell herself would attend, and if she did, whether she would perform. Finally, a few weeks ago, it was announced: Joni will appear at the Massey Hall event; she will recite a new poem with musical accompaniment.
In the lead-up to this rare public appearance, Mitchell – who, of course, is Canadian, and who turns 70 this year – gave a few interviews to Canadian media. Mitchell (Read more…)
What a difference it makes when you enjoy going to work. What a difference when you don’t dread your job. Wow!
This is what I’ve done in my new position so far.
- I participated in the finale of Grade 4 Read To Succeed, in which the winning classes – the classes that read the most books in each branch library’s catchment area – attended an event at Mississauga City Hall. There were songs, games, prizes, and readings by two children’s authors. It was a bit weird for me, as I hadn’t been involved in the program, but great fun (Read more…)
Even though I’m following several important news stories – from the revelations about the massive NSA domestic spying campaign to the slow-motion implosion of the Conservative Party of Canada to the show-trial of Bradley Manning - I seem unable to blog about anything but my own life. I remember two other times when this happened: just before and just after we moved to Canada, and when I started grad school. Big Life Change has a way of swamping everything else.
Career changes are huge transitions, but librarianship is even more than a career change for me: it’s an entire change of (Read more…)
We interrupt this travelogue to bring you an important announcement. I got my first librarian job!!
This is a part-time, temporary position in the children’s department of the Central Library, where I was a page for 14 months. I am thrilled.
But wait, there’s more!
I also interviewed in a competition for eight part-time positions, not librarians, but great experience doing reference and programming. I was one of the top scorers and was offered my choice of four of these positions, including two that are permanent.
So what does this mean? It means I can be a part-time librarian until (Read more…)
I always have a number of long-term projects in my head. Reaching out via different mediums is one of them, and practice speaking and editing is always important for me.
To accomplish this I’ve started an intermittent video blog/podcast supplement to this blog. Only two episodes are up so far – the first on Fusion: Hot and Cold and the second on GMO Labelling – and it’s only available through YouTube for now (I may look into the technical aspects of how to iTunes it next week). You can subscribe to the RSS feed here or follow the YouTube playlist (Read more…)
The degree will not be official until May, but I’ve just completed my very last school assignment. This means… I. AM. DONE. Done!!!!! My apologies to everyone who already saw this at Facebook, but such momentous news must be posted on wmtc!
I am honestly unable to express my joy and relief at finishing school. I sometimes wonder if I’m making a big fuss over something quite common, something people do every day. Then again, if people do return to school after nearly 30 years and pilot through a complete career change in their early 50s, every day, then good
. . . → Read More: wmtc: i am a master of information
Page no more! I’m not a librarian yet, but I’ve managed to get out of the page level. I’ve landed a part-time position as a circulation clerk, doing circ and customer service at the front desk in a branch about 20 minutes from home.
I’m thrilled. My hourly pay rate just doubled, and it will be a huge relief to my middle-aged back and knees.
Another reason this is very important is it guarantees I will not be a page again. If I get a librarian position that is temporary, such as covering a maternity leave (a not-uncommon way to
. . . → Read More: wmtc: in which my library career moves forward
An historic moment in “what i’m watching” history: I’ve just seen my first-ever episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I finished watching Star Trek TOS, the whole series, in order. I was sad when it ended! I miss Mr. Spock! I want more!
And after Star Trek-less week, it seemed only right to begin anew.
I remember when Star Trek TNG first came out. I read reviews and was very interested in the show. But it was 1987. I was busy running around New York, hearing live music, getting involved in activism, adopting our first dog. TV was unimportant.
. . . → Read More: wmtc: another frontier: in which my star trek experience enters the 1980s
This is such a good tip, I am almost reluctant to share it. Then again, most people probably won’t use it.
I like to remember people’s birthdays. Long before Facebook kept track of birthdays for us – and I do mean long before, as in, most of my life – I have been in the habit of writing people’s birthdays on my calendar, and buying, and sending birthday cards. This is something I learned from my mother, although I did not retain her habit of being responsible for other people’s cards, too. It was my mother’s job to remember my
. . . → Read More: wmtc: beautiful ad-free e-cards at jacquie lawson dot com
In anticipation of an upcoming trip to Spain, I’m re-reading For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway’s novel based on his experiences in the Spanish Civil War. I haven’t read Hemingway since the 1980s, and I’m enjoying it much more than I expected to.
I had mis-remembered Hemingway as a harsher, more macho voice. Maybe it was his love of bullfighting and hunting, or his personal image as a tough guy, but I was expecting bellicosity and possibly sexism. I didn’t find it. The voice is warm and generous, and he writes with great sensitivity and respect, and keen
. . . → Read More: wmtc: what i’m reading (and why): for whom the bell tolls
Though dismissed by some as a cynical marketing ploy, Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign not only succeeded in raising $4.8 million for mental health initiatives, but also provided a forum for canadians to share their stories, reach out for help, and address the stigma associated with mental illness. That conversation, seeing people I know and respect … Continue reading →
There are words that people use at a time like this: “unexpected passing,” “beloved mother, sister, daughter, friend,” “after a short illness.” These words can be said electronically, but the virtual world must bow here to 3D. The reality of breath halted must be faced, its gravity given due honour. The body is interred. The mourners sit shiva. Friends and family come. Food is brought. Prayers are conducted in the old way.
My next door neighbour is suddenly gone. I won’t see her coming up the stairs. We won’t stand and talk on the porch anymore.
I knew her
. . . → Read More: A Novelist’s Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: In Memory of Esther Levin
As you’ll know if you follow my blog, I sent off the first draft of a fun new book to my agent. He is a dear as well as smart, but not the fastest responder. So while waiting, I had in mind to return to embark (again) on another the first draft of a historical novel I began researching 10 years ago. I was younger then; so were my children:
Lilian and H in China
Filed under: Literary, Personal Tagged: researching historical fiction
Today I begin my last term of grad school. There are thirteen weeks to a term, so as of today I am counting down weeks to the finish line.
My courses may be interesting this term: graphic novels and comic books in the library, which I’m excited about, and issues in children’s and youth services, which is at least relevant to my career.
The term itself will be difficult, because both classes are at night, plus I will be working at least one night a week, possibly two. Working at night is fine, and standard for the public library, but
. . . → Read More: wmtc: my magic number is 13
Many scoff at the conservative analogy that the American government should manage its finances like a household, but little do they realize the idea doesn’t strengthen conservativism, it weakens it.
After a fiscal cliff deal that only increased taxes, many right-leaning politicians are preparing for a fight in order to cut spending. To bring the budget debate of Washington to the kitchen table of American families, many fiscal conservatives are comparing government finances to those of a household, progressives should not just let them, but they should do the exact same thing.
Democrats shouldn’t fight this nation-as-a-household analogy, they should
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Your Country’s Finances Are Exactly Like Yours
I decided to try acupuncture again. In October, I saw my nephew and niece-in-law who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine and other holistic healing methods. They encouraged me to use our small insurance benefit on more treatment, even though I can’t afford to continue it past that.
I purposely started in December, so I could use the acupuncture allowance for 2012, then go straight into the benefit for the 2013 calendar year, for maximum bang for my insurance buck.
I definitely feel a change. I have more energy, my head is clearer (less fibro fog), and I am cooler. Like many
. . . → Read More: wmtc: updates: acupuncture, slow cooker, star trek
1. Create more, worry less. (h/t Diane Shoemperlen)
2. The market isn’t Stalin. Have fun writing.
3. The market is Stalin. Be subversive.
[A]n invisible force was crushing him. He could feel its weight, its hypnotic power; it was forcing him to think as it wanted, to write as it dictated. This force was inside him; it could dissolve his will and cause his heart to stop beating…
From Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman, quoted on page 73 of The Road: Stories, Journalism and Essays by Vasily Grossman, edited by Robert Chandler.
Vasily Grossman at the Eastern Front,
. . . → Read More: A Novelist’s Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Writer’s New Year Resolutions
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I saw the day come into the sky this morning and waited for my family to awake. There was peace and there was joy, like the songs, like the face of the cloth bag monk. You can see him on the table to the right with the flowers and oranges, which did not fit into stockings. He is the happy guy as we call him, an incarnation of Maitreya, who is a future Buddha who will come to the world in human form to lovingly bring enlightenment. All cultures have these stories. We all need them. They
. . . → Read More: A Novelist’s Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Buddha’s Flowers on Christmas
I’ve noticed a distinct reduction in my annual irritation and disgust at the holiday madness this year.* An unexpected convergence of events has brought on a pleasant state of near-apathy.
First, no TV. Watching shows on Netflix or by download is blissfully free of advertising. No salespeople dressed up as Santa Claus, no “gift ideas” for useless crap future landfill.
Next, I haven’t stepped foot in a mall. Not that I ever do much mall shopping, but my hair salon is in a mall, and sometimes some obligatory gift or errand forces me into the insanity. Not this year.
. . . → Read More: wmtc: i hate christmas is slightly hateful this year
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Do you see the blue lights? And the evanescent ball hanging out with the plant? Who can say whether they are optical effects or angels?
Filed under: Beautiful, Personal Tagged: Hanukah lights
I just bought a slow-cooker, the first one I’ve owned. Do you use one? If so, what are your favourite things to make with it? Any tips or suggestions? I know there a zillion slow-cooker recipes online, but I’d like to hear what friends and readers like. Thanks!
Finally, a video of Tala and Diego!
How silly am I? Now that we have video capability, I felt sad that we don’t have video of all our past dogs, the ones who are gone. And because of this, I didn’t want to take videos of these dogs!
Very silly. I finally decided to not let that stop me anymore. So we just taught ourselves the basics: shoot, edit, convert, upload. Ta-da. It’s not exactly professional quality, but it’s good enough for YouTube.
This video is actually a test. More fun to come.
Another semester is behind me! I’ve now completed seven of eight terms, 14 of 16 courses. The expression “can’t wait” doesn’t begin to describe how eager I am to finish my degree next spring.Quitting my oppressive law-firm job continues to pay dividend… . . . → Read More: wmtc: i’m back and i’m done
My blog is hosted by HostPapa, which up until now has been a fantastic host.
Unfortunately, a few days ago (and I didn’t notice until this evening) this host got hacked and many WordPress sites were replaced with the ingenious slogan “Hacked by Hacker.”
Luckily, I was able to quickly reset my admin password and discovered by blog database was intact (it was a host-wide rather than targeted attack) and replace the theme, fixing everything.
My other sites on this server: bushfield.ca and secularstudents.ca were also hit, but my home subdomain ian.bushfield.ca somehow avoided the (Read more…)
I need a new phone. My Blackberry Curve is dying. I had to replace my original Blackberry Curve when the cursor starting jumping around (a known issue), while it was still under warranty. However, the replacement phone doesn’t come with a new warranty!… . . . → Read More: wmtc: talk me out of buying a new blackberry (if you can)