Bulletin Archives

July, 1999 - Dec., 1999

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Dec. 31, 1999

The news I had hoped to report prior to the end of the century did not manifest, so forget about it. However, I still felt it appropriate to make one last posting before the end of the worl... I mean, before the end of the year. Hence this entry.

In a few hours, Chatham Island (New Zealand) will be the first inhabited place on Earth to see the 3rd millennium A.D., and we must each decide how best to mark this historic moment. I understand, of course, that it is an arbitrary temporal border imposed upon us by the tyranny of a base-10 mathematical system. I understand, also, that it doesn't truly begin until 2001. But, as Fox Mulder once said, "Nobody like's a math geek, Scully."  Regardless of the event's seeming arbitrariness, it's something we will no doubt think about decades hence.

What riles me is that, due to a supposed "illness", fellow Podium owner Ed Wong gets to keep our virtual squash championship belt into the next century. Grrrr. Let us not dwell upon such petty shenanigans, but rather consider the undoubtedly historic moment that beckons mere hours away.

Right now, I'm trying to decide whether to spend that moment at a friend's cottage playing board games, attending a variety of parties in downtown Toronto, or passing it quietly and boringly with my family. I will probably choose the latter, lazy sloth that I am.

The Associated Press reports that Y2K has already affected some ATM machines in England (for transactions that look ahead a few days). So this is certainly a tangibly unique New Year's, not just a manufactured event. At any given moment in North America, there are 600 planes in the air; at 12:01 AM Jan. 1st, there will only be a handful... such is the relevance of this "artificial" moment.

This truly is a unique moment in human history, for a variety of reasons I need not detail in this venue. I will be curious to hear how others have chosen to mark the moment.

So, while North Americans drink heavily, Britons sing Auld Lang Syne, Muslims observe Ramadan, Brazilians offer champagne to the spirit of the sea, and COBOL programmers scramble for new jobs, let's all reflect on humankind's climb from the Bronze Age 2000 years ago to the present Information Age, and let us question the dire proclamations of Malthus.

See you all in the science-fiction era when we begin writing the date with a "20".

Dec. 26, 1999

Happy Xmas and all that. In the quest to further appease my expanding egoism, I sought to purchase copies of Sweet Like Saltwater, only to discover that it has sold out in all the major outlets in downtown Toronto (i.e., Chapters and Pages). Friends inform me that it has also sold out in bookstores in Ottawa and smaller Ontario jurisdictions.

However, as I am wont to repeat to others in my role as "logic nazi", the plural of anecdote is not data, so this may not be an indicator of the book's popularity as much as it's an indicator that too few were stocked.

As I write this, Toronto is experiencing its first snowfall of the season. I'm ready, having purchased a geeky polar-quality parka. And, in unrelated news, Ed Wong continues his atypical squash domination; however, it is my intent to claim and retain our virtual championship belt into the next millennium.

I'll be sure to post one more bulletin before the end of the century. I suspect there may be one or two significant news bits to report. Stay tuned!

Dec. 20, 1999

Saw a marvelous thing last week: on the subway, a blind man (with a seeing-eye dog) walking along the platform. On his arm was another blind man who was being guided by the first. So what did I see? Say it with me now: the blind leading the blind.

How many times does one see that?

No real news to report. There are new photos up; clearly I've gone scanner crazy. Oh yeah, I just bought a new parka in Ottawa, so I'm ready for the horrific Canadian winter. Like Scarlett at Tara, I will never be cold again!.

There's a new poll at The Podium. I think this one is pretty thought-provoking.

A last warning. There are rumours of many nasty computer viruses scheduled to cause trouble as we approach Y2K. So get some updated virus scanning software if you don't have any. It might also be advisable just to not use your desktops for the last few days of the year.

Dec. 9, 1999

Quick note to let you know that photos from my book launch(es) can now be seen at my photos site.

Also, certain individuals may be interested to learn that I've begun to keep public record of my squash scores.

Dec 14, 1999

Ahh, procrastination. It manifests in subtle forms: watching TV, sleep, exercise... or updating one's web page. The lazy days are upon us, my friends.

Apparently, my short story "The Reef" (part of the anthology called North of Infinity) is eligible for the 1999 Aurora Prize for science fiction. Cool.

And a bit of web browsing reveals that Sweet Like Saltwater is now listed in the catalogues of The National Library of Canada (as is every damned pamphlet published in this country). Also, it seems that my piddling little book was mentioned, very very briefly, by respected Toronto journalist Michelle Landsberg in her column.  Not quite an endorsement, but what're you gonna do?

One last bit of ego-stroking: one of my columns is now available at an on-line magazine (not The Podium) called The Innovation Journal.

That's all the narcissism for today. Visit again soon, send me email, watch lots of TV and buy my book!

Dec. 8, 1999

My computer was infected with the nasty Pretty Park worm virus a few days ago. It took me all day to get rid of the damn thing since it re-writes the Windows registry. If you've received email from me within the past 48 hours, there is a small chance the virus was passed to you. Read about how to disinfect your machine here. You can also download free antivirus software from a variety of sources, including Symantec. The virus only affects PC's, not Macs or UNIX machines.

Andrew has moved his photos of my book launch to his archives. Enter his email address (me@andrewcurrie.on.ca) to access his album. Another friend, Kevin Hilditch, has posted photos of my reading at the Leftwords Festival on his website. I'll be posting my own photos here as soon as I get off my lazy ass.

The results of the latest poll are now available at The Podium. The question this time had to do with the most memorable media moments of the 20th century. It certainly was a thought-provoking exercise, and I hope you take the time to read the results, and perhaps to email us some comments for publication.

That's all for today. I appreciate interactivity, so feel free to sign my guestbook or to send me an email. Or, better yet, think about something you care about, and write an opinion article for The Podium.

Nov. 30, 1999

Many thanks to Andrew Currie for having posted photos from my book launch on his website. Andrew (one of the Devils Advocates) updates his photo section frequently, so visit it soon and often! I'll post my own photos of the event here soon.

Speaking of photos, I've set up a site for viewing some of the drawings done by Sneh Aurora, presently of New Delhi, India. Sneh is a good friend and the illustrator of my second book, Folktales of Ancient India, which is presently seeking a publisher. You can see the drawings here. Please keep in mind that, like all of the material on my website(s), none of it may be reproduced without appropriate permission.

In other news, my thesis continues to be written. Some older dudes, with families and better excuses than mine for procrastinating, are threatening to surpass me in thesis progress, so my efforts have redoubled. Graduate work in science is a daunting prospect these days, as is described in my newest column at The Podium.

Please read the columns and reviews at The Podium, and think about contributing some thoughts and responses of your own! The newest poll is also up.... list your 3 most memorable media moments of the century and email them to the editors!

Nov. 24, 1999

Last night was the "official" launch of Sweet Like Saltwater at Bar Italia. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to everyone who attended (too many to list individually). Once again, because of my friends, the book sold out on site. I'm told copies are now avalable at Pages bookstore on Queen St. W. (across from CityTV), and others will soon be available at the big bookstores, like Chapters and Indigo. Photos from the launch will be posted here in a few days.

There are some new columns up at The Podium. And a new poll is up: name your top three media moments for the century. We'd really appreciate some fresh blood contributing articles and thoughts to The Podium, so please think about it.

Don't know when the next reading will be. In the mean time, I desperately need to get back to work on my thesis...

Nov. 19, 1999

Been searching like mad for a new server to host this site. Right now, we're at Cybercities, at the old home of The Podium (which is now back at RedRival.Com). Access might be slow for the next few days until I find a permanent home for these pages.

The real official book launch will be this coming Tuesday (Nov. 23rd) at Bar Italia in Toronto at 7:30 pm. Bar Italia is at 584 College St. near Clinton. The event is co-hosted by TSAR Publications and Nuage Editions, and will feature five writers in addition to moi. Hope you can make it!

One more thing... Check out the photos page for pix of my trips to Guatemala and England!

Nov. 7, 1999

The Leftwords Festival was, I think, a success. Many thanks to my very loyal friends who turned out in impressive numbers to make it look as if people actually read my book! Thanks to them, the entire on-site supply of Sweet Like Saltwater was sold out!

The next reading is scheduled for Nov. 3rd, 7:pm, at Bar Italia on College St.

Nov. 2, 1999

Since Angelfire has decided to start adding pop-up ads on their websites, I have moved this site to a new host: Dreamwater. I will also be moving The Podium in coming days.

This coming Sunday marks the official launch of Sweet Like Saltwater, to be held at the Leftwords Festival at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto. If you're in the neighbourhood, please drop by.

Also... new photos from my trips to the U.K. and Guatemala are now posted!

Oct. 18, 1999

Sweet Like Saltwater is now an official book, and I'm an official author! Cool. The cover design by Rossitza Skortcheva looks quite good. Copies are available at a variety of locations. The ISBN number is 0-920661-77-7, and I'm available for public readings and lectures. My next one is scheduled for the "Leftwords" Festival in Toronto, St. Lawrence Hall, Sunday Nov. 7th at 3:30.

On another note, I'm conducting a poll of whom people believe to be the most influential figures of the last 1000 years. Care to participate? Read about it at The Podium.

October 6, 1999

My publisher informs me that copies of Sweet Like Saltwater should be available any day now. It's been difficult to sustain excitement for the months it as taken, but I know I'll be overjoyed when the physical book is in my hand.

Last Friday, I was a guest artist at a high school in Mississauga. Two and a half hours of continuous presenting later, I'm unsure if the students got anything out of my talk; I tried to cover everything from Plato to professional wrestling.

In other news, the thesis continues to be written, but the demands on my time are manifold. My consulting activities have really accelerated of late, and it's difficult to say no. But rest assured, faithful reader, all will get done.

Expect an update of The Podium soon.

September 6, 1999

The Podium has now officially moved to podium.on.ca. Please visit it!

In other news, the galleys for Sweet Like Saltwater are being sent to me as we speak, so the book should be available for purchase in a few weeks.

As an interesting aside, my publisher, the incomparable Ms. Nurjehan Aziz of TSAR Books, feels that the introduction of the book is extraneous, that the stories stand on their own merit. After a bit of uncertainty, I opted to keep the introduction in the collection. What do you think? I'd appreciate your comments. Really.

August 1, 1999

Ed Wong and I have launched our on-line cultural criticism "magazine" called The Podium, which is temporarily housed at redrival.com/podium. It's a venue for lay-written Op-Ed pieces on a number of relevant topics. I hope people take the time to visit the site and to contribute some articles.

July, 1999

Nothing much to report here. Still slogging away at that d***ned doctoral thesis. Should be mostly done by this Fall, just in time to celebrate the launch of my first book, Sweet Like Saltwater. Hmm, guess I'd better start looking for a real job to pay off my loans!