It’s been sunny in Vancouver for a few days now. Every morning, I wake up and I’m surprised by it. There’s so much light coming in.

You know me. I like the grey, but I have to admit, winter sun isn’t so bad. It’s sunny all day and then ridiculously foggy at night. The streets get all wet, even though it’s not raining.

Anyway, this morning, since the light was so nice, I took a bunch of pictures around my apartment. Here’s my living room:
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Photos are fun , but I’m using them to procrastinate. I haven’t written anything good in days and days. (More, probably.) I’ve been doing everything else instead. Cleaning, for example. Chatting on the evil and oft-malfunctioning MSN. Hanging around on facebook. Planning A’s baby shower (and making the corresponding website).

Last night I watched some horrible documentary on TLC about a man who died from sepsis after his bedsores got infected. He had bedsores because he weighed 760 lbs.

I immediately went for a run.

In other news, the plasma came back from the repair shop today. I swear the repair guys who worked on it are like a bizarre world Penn and Teller. You’ve got to admit that the fact that they had my TV for three weeks and couldn’t find a thing wrong with it is a pretty good trick. (Not!)

Speaking of things that are NOT good, I’m annoyed at Bell Mobility again. I mean, is wanting my phone to actually ring when people call me so much to ask? Instinctively, I say no. It seems rather reasonable, actually. But Bell disagrees. I’m not sure why.

I think it’s because they’re assholes.

Stupid Bell.

One more month till I’m back in Toronto. Believe it.

Jen
 
 
Yesterday afternoon, in a fit of boredom, I ordered The Da Vinci Code on VOD. So that’s nearly three hours of my life completely wasted. What can I say? It was deadly boring if you’ve already read the book, Paul Bettany did NOT look like an albino, and with Epic Movie out, all I could think throughout the whole thing was “So lame the hair of Tom.”

It is indeed SO lame.

You know, sometimes, when I read over the things I’ve written, I want to kill myself.

A seeming non sequitur, I know. I’m not talking about the blah-og. The blah-og isn’t so important. And I'm not talking about magazine articles (unless they contain a mistake I didn’t fix). And I’m not talking about newspaper stories (unless they contain a mistake a so-called editor inserted). It’s the other writing that bothers me. The real writing. The scary kind.

And when I say that reading over that sort of writing sometimes makes me want to kill myself, that’s not really what I mean. What I mean is that I want to kill everybody else, destroy my hard drive and start a big fire with balled up pages from my notebooks.

Apparently, I have issues.

But at least I care about my work, you know?

I get a lot of emails from kids who want to be writers. They always start out sounding super keen. They beg for a chance to write for ION. They say they’ll be happy to hang out in the office as unpaid interns. They kiss my ass, in other words.

And because I’m nice, and because you never know, I always say the same thing in response. I say, ‘Sure! Why not? Show me what you’ve got!’

I let them know that I can’t pay them, that they need to come up with their own ideas, that they shouldn’t expect to dive right into the world of comped tickets and free CDs, and most importantly, that I can’t wait to read their ideas.

9 times out of 10, I never hear from them again.

Why, I wonder, are people who supposedly want something so darn LAZY about it? What’s that all about? I mean, one day they’re offering to bring me coffee and rub my belly just for a chance to hang at my office (because it’s THAT important to them to fulfil their professional destiny) and the next minute, destiny turns on the radio and they’re … gone.

My favourite thing is when we get as far as setting a deadline and THEN they flake out. Over the summer, this one girl pitched a few ideas, we settled on one, she got her deadline and then, literally a day before her copy was due, she emailed me to say that Oops! She got too busy and wasn’t going to be able to do the story. Okay, fine. I did the story for her. We have deadlines, you know. Seeing as how I’d never laid eyes on this girl I suppose I shouldn’t have trusted her in the first place, but she’d already written for a few other publications and I wanted to give her a chance.

It’s gets better.

A few weeks later, little miss last-minute-oops actually emails me to ask if A) I have any assignments for her, and B) She can get a free pass to Little Miss Sunshine (because if so, she’d be happy to do me a favour and review it for us).

Um… can you say "Ewwww?"

I didn’t reply right away and when I did, I tried not to be too harsh. But really, what is WRONG with these people? They sell me on the fact that they want this. They sell me on that idea. Are they liars? Are they crazy? Lazy? What’s the deal?

More importantly, what is the point of this ranty post? There isn’t one, really. If you’re an observant type, you may have noticed that the navigation bar has changed a little. Enjoy the little thrill this gives you.

Always thrilling (in my mind),
Jen
 
 
I’ve been watching a lot of ’80s and ’90s TV these days. I started out with a little 90210 to ease into it, you know, but now I’m full on addicted. I’ve been doing Party of Five, Felicity … anything and everything in the one-hour-drama category that I can find running in accessible reruns.

It’s effing awesome!

Okay, so don’t get me wrong. I get that the cheese factor in these shows is often WAY high. But man. Watching them just couldn’t me more fun. Every episode is like a little window into what I was like (and why) in early high school (and in the case of Felicity, university). Fashion choices, melodramatic turns of phrase, beliefs about what dates and school dances would be like … all this I got from television.

Isn’t that sad? TV. I boil down to a lot of TV.

TV made me me.

I’d take some time out to be embarrassed, but I have shows to watch.

Love,
Jen
P.S. There have been a lot of interesting visitors to jenselk.com these days. People from Canaccord, people from CanWest, people who, in other words, can’t help but secretly check up on me on a regular basis. There’s just one thing I have to say about that. Jealous, much? And when you read that word, jealous, if you wouldn’t mind, try to imagine the voice of Jon Lovitz. The voice of Jon Lovitz makes everything more fun.
 
 
Okay, so I already posted something today, but I had to add this one after reading about the HUGE great white shark that was recently caught off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Yes. I said Great White. In fact, it's likely a Mako, but either way, I can’t believe it was even up here. The water is so cold!

Check the mother out. I found a pic.
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I’m nothing if not someone who tries to keep my promises.

With that in mind, here’s the dry-as-a-bone news of the week.

I finally (FINALLY) got around to putting up new content PDFs. They are from stories published in ION since October 2006. Read at your leisure.

Otherwise, there’s little to report. I’m home again, working on the next issue of ION, trying to focus on a few freelance stories, and blogging on BR. The weather here is crazy, but not as crazy as the Torontonians made it out to be. I mean, it’s coldish and snowy (for Vancouver) but not exactly insane. This morning I didn’t need to button my coat or anything.

Let’s see … what else? I’m reading a new book. My father and brother-in-law and sister recommended it. It’s called Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. (There’s more info about it on the booklog page.) So far, I’m not terribly impressed. I’m finding it sort of boring and a bit too sympathetic to the plight of young doctors and medical students. I mean, being a doctor is hard. I get it. I’m related to it. But author Vincent Lam is being a bit of a whiner in this book, if you ask me. Which you didn’t.

Something occurred to me today. I didn’t make any resolutions this year. Not a one. Didn’t even think about it. What do you suppose that means? I’m pretty sure it means I’m perfect, just as I am.

(It does, right?)
Jen
 
 
Believe it or not, this is my 100th blah-og post. It seems odd that it’s taken me so long to get here and odd to have already arrived.

A lot of things are like that, I guess.

My last week or so in Toronto has been interesting. In my last post, I complained about New Year’s Eve. (I was worried it was going to suck.) It didn’t. In fact, it was pretty fun and I’m glad I went out instead of sleeping through everything like I did the last three years.

This whole trip has gone that way, actually. Things I thought weren’t going to be fun ended up going well, I enjoyed seeing people I thought I didn’t want to see, and I just had a relatively good time overall ... mostly at events that I thought were going to make me want to poke my eyes out with pointy sticks soaked in gin.

Take last night, for example. (Forgive me, because as a general rule, I don’t like to post about my nights out. Enough blogs do that already, and frankly, I’m not cool and I don’t know how to pretend that I am, so posting honestly about what I do on the weekends usually feels like a bad idea, but I’m making an exception here.)

Basically, I was supposed to meet up with a guy I went on exchange with during my last year of undergrad in 2001. And I was anxious about it. Because, you know, a lot can happen in five years. And as much as I liked the people I knew then, I haven’t kept in touch with most of them, and trying to rekindle friendships like that can be so awkward. My anxiety was heightened a little when I found out that a bunch of other people from my exchange were also in Toronto and were going to be meeting up, and the guy I was meeting suggested we join the larger group.

I’m a dork I know, but I just wasn’t sure about it.

But I was being super dumb because it turned out fine. In fact, I was totally wrong. It was great. It was random, but it was great. More importantly, it was fun.

There are so many things we talk ourselves out of. I talk myself out of going out all the time because I hate hassles. I figure hassles find me enough already and I don’t want to do anything extra to invite them in. So, if I’m unsure about whether something will be fun, I often just won’t do it. And maybe that's silly of me, because as evidenced above, I’m probably wrong about a good majority of, if not all of the things I’m worried about.

This is something I need to remember.

Last night I felt like I was remembering something from a long time ago. Something about relaxing and having fun. Even though I didn’t feel like going out in the first place, I did, and the whole night – from playing Wii with Patty and Andrew to pints with the castle kids later on – was just casual, relaxed, fun and funny.

It seems like a good sign for 2007.

Sarah wrote something in her blog the other day about how all in all, 2006 was a fairly disappointing year. And that’s probably true. It’s certainly true for her, and maybe it was somewhat true for me too. A lot of good stuff happened, sure. AGENCY got off the ground, I had some success with the creative writing stuff, and work was good, though I didn’t make much money. But a lot of crappy stuff happened too. Stupid old-school boy stuff, and stupid distracting people-conflict stuff dominated the beginning of 2006. And even though work went well, it was a little tainted because I don’t think I realized how long it would really take me to recover from the whole Do… ... … actually, let’s not talk about that. That was last year.

This year, however. This year is going to be good.

ANYWAY. This post is so effing emo, isn’t it? Yuck. But at least I’m embracing the medium. I promise I’ll go back to the trite, superficial and professional tomorrow.

Peace.

Jen