So, more craziness going on at Chez Liz! But luckily I had a couple of days to get away from it all, at a luxury cottage resort called Wolfe Spring in a town called Westport, located about three hours northwest of Toronto, halfway between Ottawa and Kingston.
Its greatest draw is the clean water where small fish and frogs hang out together on the shore! It was a beautiful and calm sunny day when we arrived, and we had the beach all to ourselves. I loved the quiet and stillness, broken only by the rhythmic sound of the row boat rocking gently against the wooden dock.
Thanks to everyone who left very touching comments in the last post. I know it was embarrassingly sentimental, but what’s a personal blog for when you can’t be honest about how you feel? I meant every word.
And I’ve been trying to stick by my resolution to be hopeful and active without being overly idealistic or frenetic, because job searching is kind of like running a marathon, which I was never any good at. (I’m a natural sprinter but never liked racing beyond 200 metres.) It’s going to take time, and I need to pace myself so that I’m not completely frustrated or burnt out when the right opportunity comes along.
I had nothing on the table when I finished up the internship, so my first priority was to find at least a tiny trickle of income while the search continues. As I applied to publishing jobs that I never heard back about, I also applied to a retail gig at the good old Big Chain Bookstore where I worked a couple of seasons in the past. They changed up their recruitment process since the last time, so instead of a humane one-on-one traditional interview, I had to wade through a two-hour long group “audition” at an ungodly hour one morning — and I fucking crushed it because the offer letter arrived that very same afternoon. I am so thankful that I don’t have to apply at clothing stores, but I feel badly for the other “auditioners” who were so excited just to have made the interview stage. Book people are insane.
My internship ended on Friday, and even though the team was willing to let me take Friday off and end it on Thursday (because long weekend + half day = most people away), I decided to stay until Friday and earn as many brownie points as possible to the very last second.
I’ve never tried so hard for anything, from beginning to end, in my entire life.
I knew going in that emerging with a job offer was unlikely, but something in me just had to give this a try. It was the closest that I had ever gotten to my dream industry, in a dream department, with a dream team. Even though I saw firsthand the results of a shrinking profit margin and partook in some of the back (or brain) breaking labour in producing new titles, I don’t feel disillusioned. In fact, I’m convinced more than ever that book people make magic. MAGIC.
Worry not, friends. I’m happy to report that during the few browsing/purchasing excursions I indulged in, impulses were well under control. I did experience sore temptation upon seeing pretty summer dresses at steep discounts, but I had to remind myself: (1) no money for excesses, (2) nowhere to wear them to, (3) summer is pretty much over, and (4) the world will never lack pretty summer dresses. There’s always next year.
Even after a heavy purge last year, I still had tons of material comforts left, and for the past six months of two back-to-back internships, I tried to wear certain things to test their durability or to experiment with office cultures that allow creativity in “business casual.” The result is that many things were never worn, due to being too stiff and formal and uncomfortable, inappropriate for anywhere, or misshapen or no longer fit well. Those things are not making the move with me in a month, and I feel lighter and better about my choices. And just because I’m making more room in my closet doesn’t mean I’m filling those spaces with new acquisitions. I will be making very careful and very spare purchases going forward, for things that I can get the most number of wear and pleasure out of.
Guys, I’m actually looking forward to autumn for the first time in my life, because I JUST CAN’T ANYMORE with this heat. I long to sip piping hot Earl Grey tea on a crisp morning, swathed in cozy knits and not having my face gleam with sweat and oil all the time.
I finally found a solution for my work-food issues, and it is to pack whole tomatoes and peaches and blocks of cheese and store them in the office fridge, slicing off bits whenever I feel hungry. I’ve appropriated an entire vegetable drawer for myself, because whatever. Every Thursday people take up the entire fridge with their farmer’s market goodies. And I’m not even being paid enough to buy lunch, so I’m just going to roll with this for the next three weeks.
Even as I look forward to the cooler weather and season, a part of me is clutching at the summer days that are speeding by. I’ve been trying to find time to immerse myself further into Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, but the internship has taken up my entire summer, and I keep having to put aside leisure reading for work-related books instead. The pile of makeup here are what I pack on top of the food as I head out each morning, since it’s too hot in the house to do anything but take cold showers and hastily put on some clothes. Using the same products every day for months just keeps hammering home that I don’t need to stockpile as much variety as I used to. I’m contemplating opening up the old blog again for an I SWEAR FOR THE LAST TIME FINAL FINAL BLOG SALE. I still have tons of nice things that aren’t getting any love, and you know how I feel about waste.
I’m still angry at bridezillas and Donald Trump (goddamn drama queens), but I don’t want to fill this blog with rants. So I present you with 5 recent discoveries that bring me at least a lukewarm sense of satisfaction or moderate amusement, if not wild delight.
Feeding myself properly is still an ongoing struggle, especially because there are mornings when the house feels like the inside of an oven and my body like a risen dough. So I was pretty happy to come across the Tasty channel where most clips are only a minute or two long, full of great ideas for quick, simple meals, and best of all: no whiny narration or voiceovers or captions riddled with errors.
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
This might be the best book I’ve read all year. Sometimes I’m intimidated to pick up the big award-winners, but Fifteen Dogs is more digestible and entertaining than I first thought. It’s one of those books that manage to be everything all at once seamlessly: creative, philosophical, poignant yet wildly funny, poetic, and not even a little bit annoying despite all the Toronto references. Everyone I know is getting a copy for Christmas!