Monday, May 28, 2007

Stress Excess

I have not been this stressed in years.
Double Ugh.

I know this is supposed to be a blog about my writing (writing? what's that???) but right now, at this time, my job is my life. And I need to use the blog to vent.
Which, is not a bad thing - I still like my job, believe it or not - it's just that too many deadlines make for a stressed out Perry.

I was stressed this morning, knowing that I had two final reports to finish this week (one is 98% done, the other about 35% done), and get a big, big start on the APC application due June 15. Now, that doesn't seem bad, lots of time till June 15, right??
Well, I'm suppossed to be going to PrairieCon this weekend (Friday till Monday), then I'm back on Tuesday, Wednesday, and then gone to Toronto from Thursday till the following Thursday.

Boiled down, I have 5 working days left till the 15th of June.
Triple Ugh.

Oh, and then today, just today, I found out that another grant application, which has been due for the end of June for years, just THIS year, they have changed it to the end of May.
Ha-ha. May. That's THIS week.
Quadruple Ugh.
I have a headache.

I'm seriously thinking of backing out of PrairieCon (which is bad, because I'm not just a guest there but a member who is supposed to be running three games, and I have prize support to bring out, and registration fees from a Winnipeg games store). And most of my friends in Brandon I only see once a year, at this convention.
But, backing out will give me four full work days. It might not be a choice.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yay!! I'm a Writer! A Real Writer! They say so!

By "they" I of course mean the Winnipeg Arts Council!

Got my letter in the mail today, and it was good! I was awarded the $2000 Individual Artist Grant to work on the third draft of my kids book The Ghostcatcher Club! Yay me!

Now, I just have to get through these next few weeks of grant report/application hell, enjoy myself at PrairieCon, and then off to Toronto for BookExpo!!

And THEN, come mid June, I can start in on this third draft, and slowly work on it for the next 6 to 8 months. Yay!!! AND I can start soliciting Anita (the talented!) to see if she'll have time to read through the manuscript in a few months time (not right away- I need to work on it a bit first).

Whew! Exciting!

Looking forward to PrairieCon, Brandon's annual weekend long Gaming convention! (June 1, 2,3 this year) I go every year, and I even help run and organize it (although this year I didn't do any organizing, just complaining that I was too busy in my new job to help organize or sell any advertising for the booklet). I'm running three games this year, and for the first time I will take part in the Dungeons&Dragons tournament. Cool.

I'm such a Geek! Yay!!

And Toronto in just a few weeks! Off to BookExpo and then a couple of extra days after the convention to relax and visit friends, the ROM, the CN Tower, and to enjoy Evil Dead: The Musical!! (got our tickets a few weeks back. Should be fun!).

Last night I played my first Softball game of the season. Not too bad. Caught a pop fly and got a couple outs. Hit a couple of nice balls. Also missed a bunch of easy catches. Heh! That's the great thing about my team - no one cares! You're all there to have fun! I'm a little sore today, but it's a good sore. I guess...

I'm taking tonight off from work (yuck) to relax my brain and read Martha Brooks' new book Mistik Lake. I'm reading it for PrairieBooks NOW and get to interview her for an article. Cool.

And tomorrow: season finale of LOST! Cool.
Not that I watch a lot of TV, but Heroes was cool yesterday. As was Smallville on Sunday (Bizarro! Kick ass!).

Man. I AM a Geek.
Yay me!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm alive!!

Well, the week of triple stress threat is over.
Welcome to your new life!

The Ondaatje event was beautiful, and the Prairie Fire benefit on Saturday was delicious. Neil Besner (as host for the evening) was gracious and funny, and Lori Cayer read wonderful poetry (about drugs...not so wonderful, but she made it sound nice...) and David Bergen shared with us the first part of his new, not even yet finished, book!! Very cool.

Did I mention I got to take home the left over sweats and treats again? Yummy.

Any day now I should know if I received a writing grant from WAC. Exciting! Well, if I don't get it (Depressing!) I'll be fine. Really. Mildly hurt. Somewhat incensed. A bit miffed. But I'll live.

But if I DO get it, it will be great incentive to get my third/fourth draft done of the Ghostcatcher Club! And hopefully, mercifully, sometime in the next three months, the very talented Anita Daher will be able to take a quick read of the updated draft (for money of course - I budgeted for it in my grant app), which will REALLY make working on it worthwhile!

Here's hoping! Keep your fingers, toes and eyes crossed!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ondaatje Success

It's over. And it was very, very good.

A near sell out crowd at the MTYP centre for Michael Ondaatje. Everything went relatively smoothly, the conversation between Charlene and Ondaatje was great, relaxed and interesting, and we had more than enough wine for everyone. And many, many people remarked at how great the evening was.

And heck, we even made a little money.

Today was tear-down, waiting around for pickups (PartyStuff glasses and the EQ3 furniture used on stage), having our open house for our beautiful new renovated office space, eating tons of left over grapes and stinky cheese, and then wrapping silent auction (sorry, RAINBOW auction) prizes for the PrairieFire benefit on Saturday.

And somewhere inbetween I'm trying to find bits of time to finish up a nomination entry for my friend Ariel for the WAC Rising Artist award for the Mayor's Luncheon on June 15.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Michael Ondaatje TODAY!

Ugh. Stress. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it hurts.

The first benefit I'm helping to organize is tonight. Award winning author Michael Ondaatje. There is as much prep for this one evening event as there is for a week-long festival!!
I'll be glad when it's over (although I'll try to enjoy it).

Then, prep-time for the Prairie Fire benefit at Fort Gibraltar on Saturday. Man, this week can't be finished fast enough (which is kinda sad, since both of these events will be fun!)

I'll try to enjoy myself.

Then next week will be DOING THE DAMN GRANTS week. Ugh ugh.

Friday, May 04, 2007

What Good Luck, What Bad Luck

Ugh. What a day.

First, woke up in the morning, went to check the weather on the computer (I don't turn my computer off, just the monitor), turned on the monitor and was greeted by the Blue Screen Of Death. AAAAHHH!!! (as in, surprise and alarm).
Okay, no need to panic. Read through the dialogue on the screen, okay it says try a reboot, okay, no problem, this sometimes happened on my old computer, a little "hiccup" that's all, yeah, that's all.
So, I hit restart and wait. A bunch of computer mumbo jumbo comes up as normal when you first turn on your computer, then some other stuff.

Translation: You Have No Hardrive.

AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! (as in surprise and alarm).

Basically, the hardrive had a catastrophic meltdown. SHIT!! Well, I think most of my stuff was backed up. Hopefully.

The computer is three years old and has a five year warranty, so no problems there. But, ugh, all the rebooting, resetting, and reformating. Not looking forward to it. Not to mention I have to find time to do it. And did I mention Ondaatje event and Prairie Fire event both next week????


Now the Good News: I saw Spider-Man 3 tonight! Perfect seats (right smack in the middle). Great movie. Kinda hokey and corny in parts, but hey, it's a comic book movie. Lots of funny stuff. And the action, and special effects KICKED ASS! Venom was soooooo cool. And Sandman was great!! And the way they melded all the villains into the movie was great, especially at the end of the movie, was GREAT!! Overall: GREAT.

Will I see it again? HELL YEAH!

Okay. Time to sign off (thank God for the laptop from work).

So, a warning to everyone: BACKUP YOUR COMPUTER REGULARLY!

And DON'T use crappy OUTLOOK EXPRESS for your email!!! If I had, I would have lost ALL MY EMAILS! I use gmail and mts (as backup), so even when the computer goes kablooie, the email is aaaaall safe. And Gmail is great for backing up files (with 2.6 GIGS of email storage).

Okay, really signing off now. Later!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's my Birthday Blog!

Yay! One more sleep till Spider-Man 3!


I spent the day working, meeting Tanya for supper at the mall cuz she was working (Koya Japan - yum!), and then spent the evening, alone, playing video games. Ah well. It was relaxing in any case.

Wow. Most exciting Blog. Ever. Heh.

Oh, I guess I can mention what Tanya gave me for my birthday: a small, spider-man plushy doll (cute), Futurama season 4 on DVD (yay!), some spider-man playing cards (very cool art on them!), a couple of mini-spidermen figures (does my wife know me, or what?), and a nice white shirt. (I'm trying to find the receipt for the shirt so I can get a refund and get more spidey stuff! Kidding. It's a nice shirt).

I'm already planning out where to put a bit more shelving in the office to fit the new Spidey figs. Yup. I'm a geek! And proud of it!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

These are the people in your Neighbourhood, in your Neighbourhood...

So, I'm walking home from work in the Exchange, up Portage Ave, and I run into three interesting people.

Person #1: I'm walking, enjoying the weather, dodging pigeon shit on the sidewalk, the occaisional horked spitball. I look up, see this woman, and my brain goes "hey! you know her!" but the other part of my brain freezes up, the part that holds all the names (the rolodexy part of the brain), and it's apparently gone home for the day. The woman says "hi" and at the last minute before I have to save myself with a "hey YOU!" I remember - Victoria! Ian's girlfriend! We chat, her bus comes and I continue walking. A pleasant encounter.

Person #2: A short while later, just before Portage Place, the sidewalk clears for just a few minutes, and I'm alone. Well, almost alone. There's a homeless dude ambling up the sidewalk towards me. I try to sidestep left, right, left again, then make eye contact. Ugh. "Hey, buddy!" he says, and grabs my hand and shakes it, laughs, pats me on the shoulder. I laugh, waiting for the inevitable, "Can you help me out?" I take out a couple of quarters (all I got) and he seems happy. Not something I usually do. There are much better ways to help the unfortunate, really good programs and missions out there for food, outreach, shelter. I don't believe in giving money. Too easy to misuse. In any case, he seemed happy.

Person #3: A short while later, like a block away, I cross the street. Some dude is leaning against the corner of Portage Place mall. Jeans, jean jacket, shoulder length dirty blonde greasy hair. Not homeless greasy. Trendy greasy. I happen to look his way and he says, "Hey, wanna buy some drugs?" I give him my patented "I'm acknowledging you" hand wave, and the patented "No, sorry man," as in "sorry I have no change to give you."
I walk a few more feet and then what he asked me suddenly hits home.
Drugs? WTF?!?
Do I look like a druggie? A crack ho? A strung out University Student??? Did I forget to put my crack pipe away? Forget to wipe the powder off my nostrils?? Holy crap!
And the guy didn't even try to disguise it, which really made me laugh. No "code words" or anything. Just, drugs.
That hasn't happened in a long time.

In any case, it was a pleasant walk home. Drug free.