Prattle on
Thursday, August 03, 2006
So, as some of you may or may not know I work in publishing – specifically magazine publishing. Those of you that have been paying more attention than others know that I have spent my short career in the independent press. What an education it has been!* I work in the independent press because here, more than in a large company, I have the chance to learn a lot. Also, I have a certain amount of power over the final product that I wouldn’t have at the large companies. Finally, any large company turns into a large burocracy. Working in one of those at my tender young age is not a good idea for me as it would be terrifically boring and at the end of the day all I will have to show for it is this blog.** For this I make certain trade off. The main one being a salary that is equal to the volume of work I do. Whatever, I have made my choice. One day, it will pay off. And, I wouldn’t change that choice now.

While working in a small magazine wouldn’t have too many perks, one of them is the free books, About six weeks ago I got Toby Young’s new book “The Sound of No hands Clapping.” I also have on my list to read Stephen Lewis’ “Race Against Time” and I just found Peter Behrens’ “The Law of Dreams” which is supposed to be good, but it may be about the Irish sweepstakes of misery and, frankly I saw Angela’s Ashes.

My other perk is that I get this laptop, to which I download Coronation Street and my new favourite televised obsession “Celebrity Love Island.”


*Now, just to be clear, I don’t work in the independent press for any political or social statement. I don’t think large media companies are evil (except for Fox “news”) But, I do sometimes cringe at the embarrassing or transparent or decidedly simply editorial published in some large newspapers and magazines (and I say “decidedly simple” because it seems to me that some writers who rant for attention have made the choice to stop thinking beyond a certain point, or at least, they write like they have stopped thinking).

**Indeed before I discovered the blog world, before I started in publishing I worked for the Ontario Public Service. Swallowing two and a half years of my young adulthood, the OPS took years of my life I will never get back. At the OPS I discovered that a large office full of bored administrative staff is not the place for a young ambitious person. Every idea was passed on, every initiative was thwarted . I was once told to stop working because they could not have that project finished, as they had not budgeted for it. In fact, my job – which consisted of absolutely nothing – existed to inflate the budget the department was getting in the first place. To add the scandalous frustration was the multitude of barriers to career advancement. I wanted to get into communications, yet union rules and the amount of employees doing nothing peppered through any office (they were often ‘working’ the job for a year before it was posted) made movement almost impossible. While the stereotype of the lazy government employee reflects unfairly on a lot of people, some do work very hard and put in long hours at the ministries that administer our public lives, at the level of office administration there exists an untouchable yet bored, secure yet unmotivated workforce. Some are not so unmotivated. To make this log aside even longer, I once worked in an office where a man was actually running a small business – a dance studio – from his desk in the OPS. You know what happened to him? He was given a warning and moved to another area. Also, the employee paper runs a story – every issue – about an administrative employee who has just published a research heavy book. In fact, I recently heard a story that some writers who work for the OPS brag about the response they get for their book once it is reported in the employee paper.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
So, last night I finally made it o the YMCA in my neighbourhood to have my free trial work out. I have been back and forth about rekindelling my relationship with the YMCA since our break-up in Toronto was so ugly. It just refused to see the simple fact of it and continued to force itself on me for months after I moved to Montreal. They even tried to make things hard for my sister. The end finally came when I screamed at them over the phone, “I’ve sent you faxes, I have told you in person, I have even stopped payment at the back, what more do I have to do for you to get the message that it is OVER!”

When I moved to Montreal, I started seeing another gym U.N.I. Training. It spoiled me for other gyms. It is amazing there. The staff is fantastic, and the work out environment is second to none. It has hardwood floors, cool music and the requisite eye candy that keeps you coming back for more. However, since I moved neighbourhoods it is too far away to get to.

But, just as I spoiled myself with the gym, over the past three months I have spoiled myself with the premium ice cream and total body laziness that is as satifying as it is destructive.

With this in mind, I went to the YMCA for my free work out. It was good and I even checked out their Kung Fu class. That’s right, they have Kung Fu. Now, some people may know that I have a bit of a liking for martial arts. I have a red belt in Taekwon-Do and I had a brief relationship with the Brazilian art of Capoeira (it was cut short by an argument with an instructor and a pair of tight white see-through pants). The kung Fu looks really cool, but there is no yelling it, which really is the best part of martial arts. You don’t get to yell when you hit someone. So, I would kind of feel cheated.

Anyway, it is time for me to get myself back to fighting shape.

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