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posterity [Aug. 30th, 2009|10:19 pm]
Taylor
i made a new blog. that i will actually write in

http://tgilestower.tumblr.com/


this one will stay for posterity
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crawling back [Aug. 21st, 2009|10:23 am]
Taylor
I almost deleted this thing because I thought it wasn't doing me any good anymore. It seemed more like an invitation to whine and dwell on the negative than document my daily adventures. Now that more and more crazy things are happening to me, I realize I would like a safe place to go back and revisit it someday. This occurred to me after I had to think for fifteen minutes to remember what I did for my birthday last year - I was here in Montreal!

happenings

It's been a pretty easy transition back to life here. I took classes online for the first time (and went to school during summer term for the first time) and made it through (two As and a B, officially wrecking my 3-term 4.0 streak, but we all know technical writing is a bitch). I met a wonderful family - the mom is a writer from South Africa - and learned some interesting things. I'm living with a very easy, patient, positive guy who encourages me, respects me and treats me well.

Yesterday I emailed Suzanne at the Segal Centre (where I will be doing my internship beginning Oct 5) to let her know I had put her name down on the work permit application. About a minute later, she got a call from Immigration Quebec, who left a message saying they needed her to get back to them as soon as possible regarding my case. We met for coffee to strategize and she said I should talk to an immigration attorney. That's $300 an hour. I emailed the Segal Centre's attorney and he graciously offered to speak with me over the phone to see if we could resolve the issues without meeting in person. I left him a message about a half hour ago. I don't know attorney etiquette, so I don't know if he's going to call some kid back who's not paying him anything but I'll try back after lunch as well. Hoping he'll tell me what I want to hear. So far it seems like I have been walking a precarious line between things working out and things imploding. I was lucky that Suzanne didn't get that call from immigration any earlier, or had answered it, since she didn't even know she was the one who would be dealing with them. Woops! well you live and learn....this is all new to me. I'm hoping it will be resolved by Monday in some form.

I've had guests, finals and more guests. I desperately need to clean the apartment, thoroughly, like vacuuming the ridiculous amount of cat hair that blankets everything, dust, mop, do laundry, dishes, go grocery shopping. BORING. Then in four days? More guests.

Now that school is done until the fall, I've been indulging in some amazing reading. I made a huge google document of all the books I want to read and this is my first batch. I figure I'll get a lot done while I'm on the metro going to and from the Segal Centre everyday.

What I've Been Reading

I gotta say, I can't get enough of Peanuts. I'm on 1957-58 now and it just keeps getting more amazing. It never fails to cheer me up and I have such positive associations with it since I started reading them here in Montreal last summer and whizzed through the first three or so. The Art of Fact is a fascinating one, too, and I'm learning a lot about writing nonfiction.

MOST EXCITING news is that I pitched a story via email to This American Life. I joined this site called mediabistro a few months ago which is a networking site for media professionals. I heard about it through my magazine writing class last winter and wanted to join for the "how to pitch" section, which is an insider's guide on pitching to thousands of magazines, radio shows, etc. I used the information there to work out a pitch I've had swimming in my head for a while now. Here's what I sent:

When my mom bought our family's first computer in 1996, I spent the next three years turning into other people. I was an eleven-year-old girl who had just started middle school. I had waist-length hair in a tight pony-tail, Sally Jesse Raphael glasses that dwarfed my face and a penchant for embroidered overalls. I wasn’t popular.
Then I discovered AOL chat rooms.

I scoured them, finally landing on one called “parenting.” This is where I developed my most involved alter-ego: a sensitive, manic depressive 35-year-old Australian man with an estranged wife and two twin boys. I forged relationships with mothers in their late 30s and early 40s who would share secrets their husbands didn't even know about. I would spend hours researching Brisbane, Australia, my alter-ego's hometown (17 hours ahead of my real home in Portland, Oregon.) When I diagnosed my character with manic depression, I studied up on anti-depressants and settled on WellButrin, memorizing the side effects and deftly incorporating them into my conversations.

I had created another world, a world where I wasn’t a helpless kid who got teased, where what I had to say mattered to people, where people depended on me. It had been easy. Too easy. And when I finally got outed, I was fourteen, still unpopular and very confused as to who the hell I was. Although some of my close friends knew I lied to people online, I never shared the extent of my double-life until I told a group of friends at a bar two years ago.

I feel like this story could be developed further to explore how and why we lie to ourselves and the good and bad it does to us. I'm currently a senior at Portland State University living in Montreal, Canada.

Thank you for your consideration,

Taylor Tower


They say there's usually a response within a week or two and that it's ok to email back after two weeks to make sure your pitch got through. I still can't believe I did it. Whatever the outcome, this is a big deal for me because I'm taking the initiative - I'm accepting that I'm good enough, that this is what I want to do and that it is worth shooting for. I also sent a poem to the Sun magazine a few weeks ago. They have a longer response rate of 3-6 months.

I also emailed the Montreal Girl's Roller Derby League to set up possibly doing a piece on a new recruit. They emailed back and said they'd spread the word along. I think it could turn into something pretty interesting.

I'm trying to do a lot of reading and writing before the internship because I know I'll be inundated with new things to learn and do once I'm there and won't have time for much writing. I've never had a real job where people depend on me to churn out the big results quickly so this is a little stressful and scary. I also have to learn photoshop and basic web design (also uploading video/audio) before October since that is something I'll be spending a lot of time doing. I'm nervous and after the faux-pas I pulled yesterday with Suzanne, I came to the sad and frustrating realization that the only way to learn new things and grow is to make mistakes. I HATE MAKING MISTAKES. I hate feeling embarrassed and I hate letting people down. But that's all part of it I guess.

I left a message with the immigration attorney - now it's the waiting game. Send me some positive vibes if you please.
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Figures [Dec. 22nd, 2008|12:19 pm]
Taylor
The moment I get back from Portland, after two years of Montreal Winters, we get the most snow we've had since 1968. I'm stranded in Vancouver, but there's no one I'd rather be stranded with than Anna. I'm having a joyous holiday vacation at the Webber family house. We played Guesstures last night, and Anna and I wore our new Christmas-themed outfits from Value Village (green and red velvet). I bought some stuff on Commercial Drive (the DRIVE, as they say here) and today we're going walking in the woods and down to the ocean. Yes, it is nice. Someday, hopefully before Christmas, I'll be home. I'm hoping JS' plane will be able to land on the 26th.

So much for a mild Northwest winter.
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Today [Dec. 6th, 2008|04:41 pm]
Taylor
then:
mick

now:
sky

Got to get writing.
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time: how it flies [Nov. 28th, 2008|09:15 pm]
Taylor
It's still weird to stop and think about what's gone on in the last couple months. I've been so distracted with things, not just present but future; planning and organizing. This weekend I'll finish the first and last research proposal of my college career, then it's time to get seriously started on my Dubliner application. I haven't had time to skim through scholarships. I'm excited to read for pleasure, to see Anna in Vancouver, to have JS over. There's so much to talk about that it's paralyzing. I haven't had the desire to write here much. Everything's been on overdrive. Here's a video I found on my camera. Snow storm in Montreal. Makes me miss my second home.



I've been fantasizing about a master's degree in Quebec but it's tricky finding one I want. UdM has a "specialized master's" - maybe that'll work. anyhoo, life is still my oyster.
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(no subject) [Oct. 13th, 2008|09:44 pm]
Taylor
Just got home from NYC. Feelings of guilt because I am very much behind in my school work and might have to skip class to catch up (which will actually put me farther behind, but you win some/you lose some). It was a blast and a half. No regrets, though now it's time to buckle down. Now though, I need to sleep. Tomorrow: eating more vegetables and fruit, doing lots of homework, going to one class, getting notes from dudes who went to my first two classes, trying not to be a ragamuffin and getting the ol' nose to the grindstone.


It shall be a busy week. I'm rollin' up my sleeves.

Pictures to come!
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I did it! [Oct. 5th, 2008|09:56 pm]
Taylor
[Current Mood |accomplished]

All my homies in Montreal will be proud to know that I, Taylor, made a beet soup tonight that was very scrumptious indeed. I got the recipe from SOScuisine and executed it with the greatest of ease. Watching a marathon of House helped me out (and made me cry.) I gotta admit, I'm pretty proud considering that usually, whenever I try to cook something, I have a voice screaming in my head, "DON'T SCREW UP, TAYLOR!" and I often do and then throw away a bunch of food and consequently, money.

BUT not this time! I'm still a beginner when it comes to photographing food as well, but you get the idea.

Before
before

afterCollapse )
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(no subject) [Aug. 31st, 2008|09:55 am]
Taylor
I call all the kids I babysit goobers, and now I found a new word I can use with them: gubernatorial. It has nothing to do with goobers, or children, but it sounds hilarious.
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à plus [Aug. 23rd, 2008|11:13 pm]
Taylor
goodbye montréal. thanks for being so good to me. i love you.

goodbye montreal
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i hate children [Aug. 7th, 2008|08:16 pm]
Taylor
also, while at the park today with the 1.5 year old i babysit, there was a group of older (7-10) kids from a summer camp. i took nica over to the bench to fix her shoes and two girls were sitting there together. as i approached, one girl looked at me and said, loudly, "ew, scary."

this is why i babysit children under five. i kinda wanted to beat her face in so she'd look more like me and show some fucking respect.
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