ANOTHER CHAPTER IN MY JOB SEARCH.Most of this week, I was working hard on my drawing of Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery (and I may have it ready by Monday, though no promises). But on Wednesday afternoon, my mother and I travelled around three different areas in south and western Ottawa to drop off CV's.
Our first stop was the South Keys Shopping Centre, which is a strip mall of many huge big box stores. We were both there mainly to apply at the Chapters, but, since there was a Future Shop there, I decided to try submitting my CV (after browsing the anime DVD selection, which was adequate but didn't have the 3rd Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Oh-ki OVA series, and the Game Boy Advance games). They took it, but said the proper way was to apply to Future Shop online.
I then walked over to Chapters, which is a Chapters I've been to before, but not since 2002, when my mother and I drove to Ottawa for the day to visit my sister to celebrate our coincidental shared birthday at a Red Lobster. I don't honestly remember what the selection of manga was like in 2002, but, dayamn, it's improved. It's the best selection of English language manga I've seen in a Chapters bookstore since, well, ever, occupying almost two whole sides of a chest-level double-bookshelf display (one of the four individual bookshelves also has some American graphic novels, but not many), comparable almost to the selection of manga you'd get at a well-stocked English comic book shop, like the Comic Book Shoppe, for example. More impressively, and this is something I've never really seen done at any kind of bookstore before, they made a valiant attempt to separate the shounen manga (boy's comics) from the shoujo manga (girl's comics), only putting a few titles in the wrong place, like they put Chobits with the shoujo titles, which is easily understandable since, although the comic was aimed at an high school-aged boy audience in Japan, it's from the four woman artistic team, Clamp, who mainly specialize in shoujo manga. They didn't have the manga I'm looking for, Planetes by Makoto Yukimura, but that one is a seinen manga (comics for a more mature male audience), the kind of manga that mainstream bookstores don't seem to carry as much as most of the new manga readers seem to be on the young side, and I've never seen it in English at any non-comic book bookstore. The French manga selection at the South Keys Chapters is non-existent, as far as I could tell, but I didn't really see any French books, period.
Anyway, I submitted my CV, and they made me fill out a form, saying things like which hours I'd be available, so I indicated pretty much any time, any day except Saturday, since I would like to continue going to the anime club.
On the way out of South Keys, I also put in a CV at the South Keys Cineplex Odeon cinema, a nice-sized theatre with fairly large screens, by Cineplex standards, which I saw George A. Romero's Land of the Dead at several weeks ago (which was pretty good for a zombie flick, though nowhere on the level of Romero's Dawn of the Dead, one of my all-time top eight greatest live-action films, and not even quite on the level of the Dawn of the Dead remake). One thing I like about that particular cinema is that, besides the normal concession stand, there's this self-serve area where you can buy Coca-Cola branded soft drinks from a fridge similar to the kind you find in dépanneurs... erm, I mean, "convenience stores" (gotta remember that I'm not in Quebec anymore), so, although I have yet to encounter a fast food place or cinema where you can order Vanilla Coke straight from the fountain (how popular does Vanilla Coke have to get before they'll add it to the "fountains"?), they do have the bottles of Vanilla Coke in the fridges, so now I can finally have the perfect moviegoing experience drinking Vanilla Coke
R.I.P. James Doohan
It wasn't the first place I'd heard about it, but, when I was in the car, CFRA radio was discussing the death of James Doohan, Star Trek's chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, from pneunomia complicated by Alzheimer's disease. It's sad to see him go, but I can't honestly say it's a surprise. While I don't think his Alzheimer's got to be quite as bad as Ronald Reagan's, since the guy was able to appear at the unveiling of his Hollywood Walk of Fame "Star" last year and still seemed relatively lucid, all I can think of is his completely pointless, out-of-the-blue cameo in the cheesy Knight Rider 2000 TV movie from 1991 (which is included as a bonus in the first season box set of Knight Rider, the only reason I own a copy of this TV-movie-pilot-for-a-follow-up-series-which-never-materialized on DVD). Even 14 years ago, he seemed a bit "confused", and you could tell that, while he still had almost all of the marbles he was born with, the first few were beginning to slip off the top of the pile.
Also, my mother was surprised that the hosts on the radio were astonished to find out that James Doohan was Canadian, born in Vancouver in 1920. I don't think it's that surprising that a lot of people, even fellow Canadians, might not have been aware of that. If they'd never heard him out-of-character as Scotty, they might have assumed that he had been born in Scotland. More importantly, the cast member of the original Star Trek who gets most of the "Born in Canada" limelight is, of course, the Montreal-born William Shatner, and Doohan rarely got mentioned as even an afterthought.
Also, one of the radio guys made the stupid mistake of saying that Doohan was known for saying the line, "Beam me up, Scotty", which is a rather odd thing to say considering that, since Doohan is Scotty, he would be talking to himself. (James T. Kirk said variations of "Beam me up, Scotty", most of the time, though I am aware that the words "Beam" "Me" "Up" and "Scotty" never were said on any episode in that exact order.)
Our second stop was Pinecrest Shopping Centre, another collection of big box stores in western Nepean which includes an IKEA. I had actually come to this shopping centre the previous week to go to Michaels, the Arts and Crafts Store, to buy a couple of Prismacolor coloured pencils and a set of Sanford artistic erasers for my aforementioned Trafalgar Square drawing. (Yes, I also went in the IKEA, which is like the IKEA Museum of Modern Functional Modular Furniture, especially how you're not supposed to deviate from the path.) My mother had pointed out that IKEA was hiring, but I remembered that they had requested in the Jobbank.gc.ca ad that applicants apply by e-mail or fax, so I didn't go inside.
We were both there mainly to apply to the Chapters, and I went to the back of the store and buggered around for a few minutes while my mother submitted her CV so we wouldn't look like a mother-and-son "package deal". This Chapters, which I had browsed the previous week, doesn't have quite the same selection of manga, but one really neat set of books I found on sale there are Shoujo Manga Techniques: Drawing Basics by Hirono Tusbasa (not Hirono Tsubasa?) and Nene Kotobuki and Shoujo Manga Techniques: Writing Stories by Mako Itsuki. Most books on how to draw manga, especially those from non-Japanese people, are near total crap, essentially teaching kids just how to copy the drawings in the book, but these two books, presented in manga format themselves, are a fairly complete crash course, covering an incredible amount of ground, giving a lot of useful information, especially on the writing side of things (because, you know, nearly any idiot can draw a simple cartoon character with big eyes and a mini-skirt; putting her in a story that other people besides your LiveJournal friends would actually want to read is another matter entirely). Definitely, if anyone I know is reading this and wants an early hint as to what I might want for my birthday, click on those two Amazon links. I'd consider buying at least one of them myself, but my GST Rebate cheque still hasn't arrived. Anyway, I submitted my CV to Chapters, but this Chapters didn't make me fill out a form, they just wanted me to write which hours I'm available on the CV itself.
Our final stop was the Kanata Centrum, a collection of big box stores slightly different than the previous collections of big box stores we had visited. (Well, it is a bit different. It has the strip of big box stores, but it also has this smaller "village" of mainly eateries.) Before we went to apply at the places at which we wanted to apply, I had to have something to drink, since it was a very hot day and I was famished and my throat was dry. So, we went to the McDonald's in Wal-Mart. I was originally planning on just having a Coke and fries as I generally don't care to have a full fast food meal for lunch. But my mother asked me if that's all I wanted, and, since she was paying for it anyway, I thought that I'd make an exception this one time and I had a full Big Mac meal. Ah, eating a Big Mac and drinking Coca-Cola in a Wal-Mart; if only some of the America-haters from Concordia University could have seen me then. (Well, for them, at least there's this picture of me eating a French fry at McDonald's on Canada Day. Unfortunately, it's not in a Wal-Mart.)
While I was in the Wal-Mart, I decided to check and see if they had some of the mythical low-priced anime I had previously searched for in the Kirkland Wal-Mart. Wonder of wonders, the legends were true! One whole side of their bargain DVD display was devoted to anime, and most of the anime DVDs were purist-grade bilingual DVDs, not just kiddy TV dubs, all for an incredible price of either $6.88 Canadian or $8.66 Canadian. They had several titles a certain magical girl-loving friend of mine likes, including Saint Tail and A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, though only volume 5. (At that price, I might have taken a chance on Sugar, which looks cute in a way similar to Adventures of the Mini-Goddess, but only if they had the first volume.) In terms of Tenchi Muyo, they had Tenchi in Tokyo, but I already bought all of that six years ago, as those of you who read my old Tenchi in Tokyo reviews at Anime On DVD might remember. (Hmm... they seem to have lost my review of Volume 7 somehow.) I was hoping that they'd also have Tenchi Universe, my favourite Tenchi Muyo series (mainly for the definitive version of Kiyone, but also because I find the story generally a lot more cohesive with none of that backstory crap about certain characters perhaps being goddesses), since I only have up to volume 3 on DVD (though I have the entire series on VHS or LaserDisc depending on the volume), but that was nowhere to be found.
Anyway, on the way out from Wal-Mart, I noticed that they were hiring, so I asked at the front desk about submitting my CV, so they sent me to the Layaway Payment desk, where they made me fill out a whole application form. The guy at the Layaway desk pointed out that, if I indicate that I want to work nights, I'd get at least a dollar extra an hour should they hire me for the night shift, which is great for me since I'm an insomniac anyway. I don't mind sleeping in the daytime. I did it often when I was working on projects at the animation college and still had the apartment. And, although I don't drive and I never want to fuck around with the very spotty night bus service to get from eastern Nepean to Kanata, I wouldn't actually have to worry about the night buses since I'd get to Wal-Mart before normal service ends for the evening and I'd leave after normal service starts in the morning. I also put that I'd work in the daytime (preferably afternoons and evenings), to keep my options open. I'd be a pretty good employee for Wal-Mart. They can be sure that I'd be someone who would always vote against joining a union, something I don't believe in. (I think people ought to be able to join unions if they want to, don't get me wrong, but "freedom of association" only works when you also have the choice not to associate to get the job you want.)
I then walked over to the AMC Kanata 24 theatre and applied there, and they also made me fill out an application form, though I didn't mind because I'd love to work in a cinema. (They asked for my birthdate... I'm not sure if they're allowed to do that.) I thought I recognized someone from the University of Ottawa anime club talking to one of the uniformed employees as though he was also an employee, but, if it was the guy I'm thinking of, either he didn't recognize me or didn't notice me. I'm not sure if it was him, so I didn't say anything.
I spent so long applying at Wal-Mart and the AMC that I decided that it wouldn't be fair on my mother if I had applied to Chapters as well, which I was planning on doing. When I got back to the car, my mother was having a little snooze, so I apologized for taking so long, but I think she was happy that I managed to fill out a couple of application forms while I was there. She said that the Kanata Chapters told her that they weren't hiring until the end of August anyway, so it's not like I was wasting my time applying elsewhere.
On the way back, we stopped off at the Loeb near the Best Buy on Merivale. I asked her to shop there so I could go over to Best Buy to drop off a CV, but mainly so I could see if Best Buy had the first DVD of the 3rd Tenchi Muyo OVA series I had checked for earlier at the South Keys Future Shop, but... not there, either. Damn, Funimation's distribution in Canada still leaves a lot to be desired. I also went to EB Games because I've been vaguely in the frame of mind lately that I might look into the possibility of perhaps purchasing a used RPG for the Game Boy Advance. But most of the used RPGs at EB Games were at least $20, which seemed a little steep for previously-played GBA games, if you ask me. I also checked, in vain, for a previously-played copy of Crazy Taxi or Crazy Taxi 2 (the New York one released shortly before September 11th and also not too long before Sega stopped supporting the Dreamcast), but... nope. 90% of the used Dreamcast games they have are old NFL games, and there were a couple of Olympic track-and-field sort of games too. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have also checked the used PlayStation (PS1) games, since my PlayStation still works just fine. I dunno, I find PS1 games too new to be appealing as "old school", and they generally don't compare to Dreamcast games. And I have most of the RPGs I want for the PS1 (especially Star Ocean).
Eh... that's about it. As a reward for those of you who stuck it out through the whole utterly boring and pointless travelogue... umm... a page that has the entire You Could Be Mine video from Guns N'Roses (missing from the Guns N'Roses DVD with their music videos because Geffen was too cheap to pay for the Terminator 2: Judgment Day clips). Also, if that's not your cup of tea, try the Flash game Chaos Theory and see if you can get a chain reaction score of over 120.