Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crappy Day

I woke up to the news of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, and it broke my heart. As trivial as it sounds, as a teenager, I used to take mental notes of escape routes for imagined situations just like this. (I was mildly OCD and, of course, I have also been very fortunate.) But what happened in that midnight showing brought up fears I thought I had long gotten over. Movie theatres are intentionally engineered to sever you from the world. There are no windows and doors are discrete. Witnesses described the murderer shooting at people racing for the exits because there was no other way out. I can't even imagine the panic and confusion that struck these people. The gas canister produced a thick cloud that eliminated their vision and all around, their screams punctuated by the rat-a-tat-tat of bullets penetrating burning flesh.

Within that short span of time, the movie theatre - a bastian of escapism and community recreation - became a death trap and a living nightmare.

***

Paul shouted at me to watch out, but it was too late. I ran over a field mouse. He said he felt it under the wheels and observed it flying off to the side of the road. I went home and cried. To comfort me, he recalled an incident where he nearly hit a rabbit and felt compelled to return to the scene of the crime to clear his conscience. He said he saw a set of footprints on both sides of the street and held out hope that the cute bugger made it home alive.

Paul once stopped his car after seeing a mortally wounded baby raccoon. He stayed with it until it passed on and called Toronto Animal Services. The woman called him back once he got home and said they found the body. He broke down and asked her how she does it. She started crying, "I just take it one day at a time."

(My sister thinks we're one of those bizarrely close couples who could switch genders and still remain entirely unchanged. She might be onto something.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First date went well

I had a business meeting with a friend of a friend who introduced me to the senior editor at Canadian Living magazine for some potential freelance assignments. Shortly after our coffee chat, I received a call from Disney Parks Canada:

"Are you still interested in the PR position?" asked a sweet-sounding woman on the line.

"Yeah, absolutely," I replied.

She quickly scheduled a phone interview with the office manager and, apparently, I passed and am going through to the next round. The conversation went by in a blur. I don't remember ever having been this nervous for an interview before. The thoughts I wanted to express and the words actually slipping out of my mouth were so out of sync; I might as well have been experiencing an out-of-body moment. And since I couldn't articulate my thoughts as well as I could have, it made me even more flustered.

It didn't help matters that she prefaced one question with an apology and preemptively warned me about its breadth: "If we could go back in time for the launch of [a well-known animated blockbuster], how would you plan the event?" She wanted to know who I'd invite and why; what it would look like/what would it include, and how I'd wrap it up. The hardest part of that question was coming up with enough elaborate, yet purposeful, ideas to meet the standards of a global conglomerate with seemingly unlimited funds. On the fly.

I mean, the biggest party I'd ever attended was a friend's wedding reception two years ago. Girl had expensive taste (the undecorated space alone was $10K/night), but not even close to Mickey & Co.

I hope to make a good impression next week when the interviewer flies in to meet with the remaining candidates. There's a very high probability that I won't get the job because I don't have any real PR experience (I'd just crafted my previous experiences to match what the ad said), but the posting did say French language abilities and a journalism background would be considered an asset.

So we shall wait and see.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wedding photos + rambling thoughts


Here's a sneak peek of our friends' wedding. Paul uploaded some photos of their big day on his website. Take a look!

***

Paul and I were walking home last night and he told me about this great start-up idea. Immediately, I dragged him into a bookstore and asked someone to direct us to the e-commerce section. She led us there and we got a-talking. Apparently, she's also a small business owner who started her own publishing company so she could distribute her own children's books. It was late, so we had to leave, but not before I gave her our business card.

Since last night, I've been brainstorming and reaching out to people in my network who might be interested in contributing to this idea.  We already know it's going to be a high capital, IT-heavy venture, so I made sure to emphasize that without discouraging them.  There are similar business models in existence in the United States, but they have some glaring flaws when it comes to dealing with international customers. Paul thinks there's a void there and power abhors a vacuum.

We're going to do some research and start pounding out a business plan so we have a better sense of what we're getting into. It's not enough to know that we need a lot of money; we need to know where it's going. I'm excited about this project because it sure beats sending out resumes and getting zero interest.

I'm not as freaked out about being unemployed as I was the last time I lost my job. I think it's because I have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life in general. Or more specifically, I know exactly what I don't want out of life and that's working behind a desk all day, vying for promotions, and hoping the money they give me quells the voice in my head that tells me how disappointed I am for not having contributed one iota to society.

My last boss was an overweight paranoid cokehead in her mid-forties. Everyday, she schemed and pointed her fat finger at anyone who challenged her authority. The executives were a bunch of bean counters with little appreciation for the creative process and ordained her as their dowsing rod to find profitable projects (from what I hear, no success yet).

After that experience, I've determined it's better to get by on rice and beans than support egomaniacs.  Ah, true communist at heart. If only that utopian ideal had prospered rather than have collapsed under the weight of its ineptitude.

Correction: I believe in the free market, but having seen so many banking scandals (including the newly unveiled Libor affair) and the subsequent complacency of politicians (they only do something when citizens throw enough of a fit), I realize not even capitalists believe in free market capitalism. That would mean too much risk. Instead, to quote a commenter at the New York Times, "It's command-and-control socialism for the wealthy, cut-throat capitalism for everyone else." Amen.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

This is screwed up!

So, I am a little obsessed with Rocco Luka Magnotta right now, not only because my media friends in Montreal are in a total tizzy over his story since he's, like, batshit crazy and his alleged lover/victim was a student at my alma mater and it's been picked up by the Chinese community.

Okay, those are pretty good reasons because I love a good scandal (especially one to which I have a tentative link, however remote). 

But I discovered today, right before going to watch a matinee showing of Magic Mike*, that my friend - sitting a short distance from me, sharing spoonfuls of her Jamaican peas and rice, looking at me with her big Persian doe eyes - had gone to high school with this now-infamous killer.

As I described to one of my other friends: "She said they used to smoke up together, he came from a fucked up family with a dirty ass house, then he moved away and went gay for pay."

Somewhere, somehow, something went wrong 'cause you don't start killing kittens and dismembering guys you meet online unless someone convinced you to stop giving a fuck about LIFE.

Also, a month ago, I discovered my cousin's high school boyfriend was murdered and they found his decomposed remains 11 months later on the side of a road north of the city. 

I was like, "Holy shit! How'd that happen?!" 

Details were not forthcoming. Apparently, three of his friends went missing a week after his body was discovered. They weren't suspects, so they didn't have a motive to run, unless ... they knew too much.

Damn! They don't make 17-year-old Chinese kids like they used to.

*Magic Mike left me with an afterglow. I need to find me a male revue to visit.