Yes, frightful's a good word for it, I think. When I was driving to work not so very long ago, it was -23 C with a windchill of -36 C. Not a bit of snow on the ground (at least not in Toronto), but cold enough to hurt. Siro was sluggish and displeased for a good few blocks, even after being given some time in the driveway to warm up, and the liquid crystal display on the stereo never did work.
Weather was about the same yesterday, too. I was supposed to go out and do all my Christmas shopping--I only have a few presents for a few people thus far--but when I heard what the temperature was, I abandoned any hope of leaving the apartment, grabbed a blanket, my copy of The Hero and the Crown and settled in for the day. Wish I could have done the same today!
At least it'll be twenty-odd degrees warmer tomorrow.
Received a rejection from Ellen Datlow on Friday as I was heading out to the Bakka Christmas party. Somehow without seeing the envelope, or going to the front of the house where the mail has been stacked of late to blow away in the wind, I knew that the response was there. So it was only when I was bundled up and heading out that I grabbed the envelope, and my hydro bill, and was only vaguely surprised that my premonition had turned out to be correct.
Though a Bakka gathering would have been a lovely place to share good news, I had no good news to share--at least not an acceptance. But it was another short personal note, signed and very much like the last one that I received from her--with one addition. At the end of the short apologetic sentences was the simple line, "I hope to see your next."
And I, walking down the icy street with my face buried in my scarf, could only think, "And I look forward to sending it to you."
Somehow, this sums up the last few days: still not positive, but looking up. Though I am tired enough right now that my eyes ache, I feel like I'm just waking. For now I will only say that the end of November and December thus far have sucked royally, have been craptacular to the utmost degree, and yet I'm beginning to feel like I can handle it. My base state is not nearly so low.
It's late enough in the year that I am ready to declare 2004 The Year of No Acceptances. This could suck, I suppose, but in comparison with everything else it just seems like a minor drag. After a pause, I can't help but wonder: does that sound like self-pity? Maybe a little melodramatic? Because it's meant to be neither. There is nothing like holding hurt and fearful friends and family members as they cry or try not to, people whose hearts are broken or breaking or faltering, to get a little perspective.
It is too bad that I didn't sell any stories this year; I wish I was able to cheerfully report successes. And yet to such a great degree, it's out of my hands. And so I've made myself a hot chocolate, and warmed up the Magic Bag to help soothe my aching neck, and I will curl up on the couch with my book and listen to the frozen wind shrieking outside the window and I'll say, "Maybe next year." And that's okay.
I am now blogging for work: ePortfolio @ York is a blog to basically document and reflect on the "planning, process and progress of ePortfolio development at York University and beyond." Or, in other words, "Karina writes about what she does all day."
I'm really happy that I have such enthusiastic support for this blogging project from by boss as well as from others in the Career Centre and the Faculties that we work with. Education and blogging is an interesting thing; there are such amazing applications for the technology in the educational sphere, and both excitement and extreme reluctance surrounding these applications. (One of the big events covered in many of the blogs that I read for work was when James Farmer was asked by his university to stop supporting blogging technology over their course management system, Or Else.) So I'm very pleased to have the backing to do this project--even if it does mean that I need to be more careful (and proofread a dozen more times) when posting.
Non-work-related posts coming soon. Speaking of which--back to work.
Got a phone call from my parents last night. They'd taken Tia to the vet, and it seems that the problems that she was having with her tonsils this past week was actually a very aggresive form of canine lymphoma. They told me about the options, which are few. She could have chemo, but the best we could hope for was a remission of about six months to maybe a year, then it'd be back. Because she is such a young dog--she's not even four yet--and because of how incredibly quickly it appeared, the chances of her responding at all positively to treatment are very slim. It's more likely to just make her very ill in the time that she has left.
So my puppy has about four to six weeks left to live. She's happy and lively right now, but will apparently start becoming noticeably ill quite soon. She'll probably die sometime when I'm home for Christmas.
I'm really tired of bad news. It seems that that's all I'm hearing these days from friends, all I'm hearing myself. Right now I just feel really tired, and really sad. And there's nothing that I can do about any of it.