Tag Archives: writing

Me: now blogging with a baby

Okay, so it has been six weeks and two days since I last attempted to write here. I know this because the day I wrote part of the draft I’m including below, I went into labour and then at 11:30 am the next day, right on my due date, little Owen decided to join us at long last. I admire those legions of “mommy bloggers” who can write and parent a newborn at the same time. I am not one of them, evidently. I did manage to get an article written (and submitted on its due date!), but beyond that I have been in a bit (hahahaha… HA) of a fog. This despite having my husband at home on paternity leave, my mother here for the first week, my mother-in-law here for nearly a week, and most recently a friend from Toronto here for a few days. Single mothers and those whose partners work out of town: you have my admiration forever. Parents who must return to work right away: you as well. I suppose I have the right to complain about being tired, post partum healing, suffering from postpartum PUPPP for the first few weeks (it felt like forever), and being unable to connect half-thoughts to the correct words (the other day I said “bacon” instead of “cheese.” I mean, what?). But other than that awful awful awful PUPPP rash (i.e. head-to-toe insatiable pregnancy-related hives-like rash), something I proclaim an unrepentant right to complain about, I have it so easy compared to so many others, and I am legitimately grateful for that. I have also been blessed with an easy-going (most of the time) infant who has a strange obsession with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II we have hanging in the nursery. Delightful! A baby monarchist! Anyway, having a baby changes things, blah blah blah. I’m sure I will go into this at some point, but I must at least try to pay lip service to my previous project, id est presenting what I like about Ottawa. Here is the beginning of the post I’d been working on:

Previously, I ended up in a bit of a downward rant of negativity about Ottawa, something easy to do about anywhere one lives. It is time, though, for something positive, because there are things I like about this city. It doesn’t always feel worth venturing out, but that has more to do with me than with what’s out there. Lo! Some nice things about Ottawa, in no particular order:

  • It is cheaper than Toronto or Vancouver (though admittedly not as much as you might assume)
  • It has some pretty delicious food
  • There are some pretty great parks and trails within walking distance of pretty much anywhere downtown
  • When the weather is nice, it is very nice
  • According to Statistics Canada, It is the second most cycling-heavy city in the country, after Victoria
  • Aside from some stodginess, online evidence suggests that people are supportive of new ideas, events, and businesses
  • This is Ontario’s second largest city, and Canada’s fourth, yet if you tweet the mayor (@JimWatsonOttawa) chances are he will tweet you back.
  • This might not be a plus for you, but I don’t feel like a frumpy monster if I head out without makeup on
  • I admit that this is a negative for me, but for many it would be a positive: people like to jog. A lot.
  • We may not have the Met, but I have been impressed with some of the museums here, oh most definitely.

At which point I went into specific examples of where I like to eat, planning on covering items in the above list in detailed, dedicated posts. I didn’t get the chance to finish my food write-ups, however, so I will let it rest for now, especially as I’m currently typing one-handed. My little family will be in Winnipeg for my cousin’s wedding soon, so we shall see how travelling with a seven-week-old goes! Wish us luck. I don’t think we’ll need it, though. I mean, look at this little thing:


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You should watch the Othello webseries, it’s good for you

Do you like Shakespeare?

There’s a lovely project going on right now that is based out of that whimsical neighbourhood, Park Slope of NYC, in which I stayed this weekend (my sister is all legit and lives in a loft with artistic theatre types). So if you like Shakespeare (and Othello especially) then watch…:

I’ve never been all “oooh Shakespeare…! <3” as I’m more of a Chaucer type, BUT this is

  1. Very well executed. I hate over-acted Shakespeare. I also hate over-acted poetry readings–you know the type. And as Shakespeare is poetry, people tend to over-act it. So I appreciate any Shakespeare that allows the meter to manifest naturally.
  2. A clever use of current technology. All it needs is a twitter account to round it out.
  3. THE great choice for a contemporary take on Shakespeare is undoubtedly Othello.
  4. Also, I know the director, but don’t let that sway you because as my theatrey friends and family all know, I am a curmudgeon and notoriously (exasperatingly) difficult to please when it comes to all that.

Anyway I look forward to the rest of it, and you should too. Indeed, why do more people not use YouTube to showcase work that is in the public domain?! Why do we have people’s cat videos and bad pop covers but not more Shakespeare? Or hiLARious readings of Chaucer? Or adaptations of classic novels? Or somesuch? Is it because people are more interested in consuming content than creating it? Surely not, or we wouldn’t have the bad covers and random pet videos. I guess people just don’t want to undertake larger projects? I’m really not sure, but I do wish that more people would use public domain materials in fun and interesting ways. We are so lucky now with our YouTubes and our Project Gutenbergs and our gif generators… and have you seen the website for the Frick Collection? You can zoom into all the paintings! Hours of fun! We are very lucky but oh! There are so many cat videos.  But I’m no better, readers, because I once downloaded a delightful novel from Project Gutenberg and made illustrations for it and a nice layout, with the intention of getting it printed and giving it as a gift, but I never finished that project. Oh, but you totally should. There are some wonderful finds on PG–books that are hard to find or are out of print, and now I (and you!) can read them on a kindle or other such device. It’s really amazing and we should all be taking advantage of the democratization of literature and art. Et cetera. So yes, please do go watch the webseries, and please do go browse the Frick Collection, and please do go explore materials in the public domain.

On a slightly different note, I’m modestly pleased to announce that a short fictionalized non-fiction piece I wrote is slated to be published, possibly (it’s a smaller publication so if the book (!) does get made, physically, my piece will be in it–oh, you know what I mean!). Truth be told, I’d actually forgotten that I’d submitted something to it, and so the email I received was a delightful surprise. So this is what life is, then: I decide to say “screw you!” to any sort of proper work in editing or writing, and two things fall on my doorstep: editing work and getting published. It’s a little aggravating, actually, because it just confirms to me that there is no point in bewailing anything in life (there goes my hobby) because a) something funny will happen to you anyway and b) you’ll look like an idiot soon after. So I don’t know what this means for my glorious career as a Latin teacher. Bah. I don’t want to get all excited, though, looking for signs and omens about this whole thing, and maybe that’s the point: after all, things take time, and I wouldn’t have heard back from anyone if I hadn’t submitted anything. So I guess I ought to keep submitting to places and eventually end up with paid work for my writing and in the mean time continue with the volunteer tutoring.

Oh, but do you know what is hair-pullingly “hilarious”? I still haven’t heard back from any of those retail jobs I applied to. Not a one. Not even a certain well-known coffee chain will take me back (I did say in the application that I would want to start at the position I left at and only work weekdays before 5, so that’s likely a factor, haha). So, you know, life really is weird. I can’t complain too much: I’m now gaining a lot of non-retail work experience, both paid and unpaid, in fields that I enjoy: editing, writing, education, non-profit… Other than a paycheque, what more could I ask for?

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Filed under Books and music, Uncategorized, Writing