WHAT HAPPENED AT THE TOYS R' US JOB INTERVIEW?
Eh, not all that much. It was kind of short.
The interview pretty much cut to the point, with very few of the touchy-feely Barbara Walters kind of self-descriptive questions and no hypothetical "what would you do if" questions, and I appreciate that.
The three main questions were basically,
- "Why do you want to work for Toys R' Us?" with the basic truth there being, "Because I need money.", but I happen to quite legitimately like Toys R' Us as a retailer, since they sell videogames and those big-ass 1/18th scale Hot Wheels cars, and have since the one in Pointe-Claire, Quebec opened in 1986.
- "The job is unloading a big truck three times a week, and hauling down and assembling big items for the customers. Can you handle that?" Yeah, I'm not in the best of shape, but I can lift a fair amount a fair distance, and I have plenty of experience assembling... well, more furniture than toys, but it's the same general deal. Also, they said that I'd be the last face of the store that the customer sees (no job at these stores ever seems to be purely "behind-the-scenes"), so I would have to still deal with customers, even if it's not the primary part of the job, but I'm fine with that.
- "We're talking to 20 to 25 other people for this one position. Why should we choose you?" I gave a straight and honest "Bob Maplethorpe from Bottle Rocket" kind of reply ("Dignan, look, I’m just not that good at this selling yourself stuff, okay, so I’m just going to tell you the truth. I really want to be a part of this team, and I’m the only one with a car.") I said that, essentially, I need a job and I live within easy walking distance to the store, so transportation is not a problem and I'll never be late because of traffic. (I live in the same "super block" as the Toys R' Us, meaning I don't even have to cross any major thoroughfares to get there, just side streets.)
The stickling point was references... I'm still fairly new to this city, and I don't know anyone here well enough to have them be my references, so I just don't have any references on my CV currently. And I don't really have any formal job experience, so I don't have any work references, period, either in Ottawa or in Montreal. But they demand references, so they had to give me a phone number to call when I could wrangle up some references, and my mother had to e-mail some church friends from back in good old Pincourt to ask permission to use them as references. And she hasn't told me if they replied yet, so, at best, I would be phoning in my references a little over three days after my interview (and I'm pretty sure that the manager would not be in on a Sunday). As such, I'm not terribly optimistic that I'm going to get this job (and I've always assumed that, when they mention they're speaking to 20 to 25 other people, it's polite code for "thanks, but no thanks").
One thing I did not mention was my theory about Toys R' Us being "the Nexus of the Universe", a thought that occurred to me this one time in the summer of 1997 when I visited a Toys R' Us in Northampton, England, and the store was downright identical in pretty much every way to the Toys R' Us in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada when that one opened in 1986, from the architecture of the store to the floor plan to the general arrangement of the toys. I mean, there were a few token local differences, like how the prices were in pounds and how they had action figures of popular soccer stars instead of popular ice hockey stars (and all the signage was in English instead of French, duh), but, otherwise, no matter which way I looked in the store, I could quite easily convince myself that I was actually in the Pointe-Claire store. (One minor difference was that the Northampton Toys R' Us still had the system for when you wanted to buy a videogame that you take a voucher for the game you want from the display case and pay at the cash and then take the voucher, along with your receipt, to a glassed-in counter behind the check-outs to the right of the exit to get the actual game you purchased. By that time, the Toys R' Us in Pointe-Claire had converted the videogame section to a store-within-the-store with its own cashier and alarm system, but, before that, it had the same system as the Northampton store.)
I did mention that my sister has her baby registry at Toys R' Us, probably at the Merivale location where my interview was. Hopefully that gave me some brownie points.
4KIDS LICENSES PRETTY CURE.
Anime News Network mentions
a major licensing announcement at the brand-spankin' new New York Comic Convention.
The acquisition? The mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime Futari wa Pretty Cure
, a show about two schoolgirls, Nagisa Misumi and Honoka Yukishiro, who get magical card-operated cell phones1
and become the superheroines Cure Black and Cure White. I've never seen it myself, but, from the way I've seen it described, it comes off as a cross between Sailor Moon
and Dragonball Z
, which means it might just find more of an audience over here than the previous few attempts to sell mahou shoujo
anime cartoons to North Americans, like Mew Mew Power
(Tokyo Mew Mew
), Magical Doremi
), and Cardcaptors
), as Pretty Cure
is a bit more action oriented, and these girls actually fight with their fists and feet and don't just wave their wands around like the Sailor Senshi. Also, Pretty Cure
should get bonus brownie points with Canadian viewers, who embraced Sailor Moon
more than did American viewers, because Nagisa and Honoka are often shown playing Canada's true national sport, which is not ice hockey as is commonly believed, but, rather, lacrosse
The licensee? 4Kids Entertainment, a TV syndicator that is well-regarded among anime fans in North America for their respectful and reverential treatment of the anime properties they license. Okay, that's not exactly
the case (though I personally stay neutral on 4Kids' market-oriented editing), but the fact is that if Japanese licensors did not approve of 4Kids' heavy "localization", they wouldn't continue to license to 4Kids. The simple truth about Japanese licensors is that, if there's a small pile of money to be made from licensing a show to a company that caters to the purist niche or a large pile of money to be made from licensing a show to a merchandising-oriented kiddy TV syndicator, they'll go with the kiddy TV syndicator if there's any sort of mass-merchandising potential. Also, while the asking price for Pretty Cure
wasn't known, it was supposedly so high that it would have to be shown on some mainstream TV timeslots to be worth the price, and the only companies with deep enough pockets to buy it would be either 4Kids Entertainment or Funimation Productions, and, considering that Funi just "shot their wad"2
on acquiring Crayon Shin-Chan
, one of those "so many episodes that the asking price is astronomical" shows, and they're probably not going to acquire anything else big for another couple of financial quarters.
This news made my day. I enjoy watching anime, but I also enjoy watching hot-headed anime fanboys on the Internet who lack "perspective" kvetch and whinge over the lack of preservation of the artistic integrity of a show that was a toy commercial in Japan, and which will be a toy commercial here. And, since the English dub of Naruto
is reportedly as good as it can possibly be given the minimal editing necessary for Cartoon Network's Toonami block, they haven't been given enough to seethe about lately.
Nobody appears to have uploaded any full streaming episodes of Pretty Cure
, my favourite source of copyright-infringing video on the web, but you can watch the opening credits sequence
. Pretty catchy song "PURIKYUA! PURIKYUA! PURIKYUA!" I wonder whether 4Kids will do a straight English version of the song, or whether they'll just do another rap theme song?
Weirdly, English-dubbed Pretty Cure trailers
already exist, including `this one, where Nagisa and Honoka are fighting some dude who looks an awful lot like David Bowie in Labryinth
, but those were produced by Toei for when they were shopping Pretty Cure
around to potential syndicators and is not representative of what to expect in the final dub.
It should be on 4Kids TV (and probably Cartoon Network's Toonami) in the United States, and, here in Canada, while nothing has been announced up here, don't be at all surprised if YTV gives it the full Sailor Moon
treatment in the juciest afterschool timeslots. This looks exactly like the Sailor Moon
follow-up show YTV has been waiting for for years.
Oh yeah, it looks like John Oppliger's most recent "Ask John" column
, where he seemed skeptical that Pretty Cure
would ever be licensed, has already been proven wrong (though it wasn't technically about the licensing prospects for Pretty Cure
, just a question of whether the Pretty Cure: Max Heart
season with the younger girl character would ever catch on with American fans).
Since 4Kids bought the rights and you didn't, if you want to stop 4Kids from localizing Pretty Cure
, your choices are essentially "dick" and "squat", but, if you want to take my advice, don't bother with your stupid, futile "Stop 4Kids from butchering Pretty Cure
" Internet petitions, which never work, and instead try this: supposedly, just like with Cardcaptor Sakura before it
, this is one of those shows where people who like to read way too much into things see all kinds of lesbian innuendo
whenever any girl character shows any kind of affection towards another girl, as though all affection is lesbianism. So, if you want to really put a wrench in 4Kids plans, alert conservative "watchdog" groups like the Media Research Center
, Concerned Women for America
, or, of course, Focus on the Family
that this cartoon, aimed at young girls, is coming to North American television, and overplay the allegations of lesbian innuendo. Maybe you can get something going that way.1 Yes, I know they're really magical "familiar"-type mascot creatures who only assume the form of cell phones, so don't write to me bitching that I don't get my facts straight.
2 Don't snicker; it's a proper term. Even Rush Limbaugh uses "shot their wad" from time to time, like when Democrats blow all the money that's supposed to go to election campaigns on their futile attempts to block Bush's Supreme Court nominees.
I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP...
...I'm a Toys R' Us kid.
Well, not really. But I might become a Toys R' Us employee. That's right, the Merivale Toys R' Us called me this afternoon for a job interview. Only, I was in the shower. So I had to call back a few minutes later. And arranged a job interview at 10 a.m., which isn't exactly my preferred time of day for that, considering that, as a chronic insomniac, I most certainly am not a morning person (and am usually still asleep or just getting up then), but it was either that or going right away to a job interview this afternoon
. That's the second time within the past half-year that showing up right away, at the spur of the moment, has been a job interview option. I don't know if I understand that. Maybe there are some people out there who feel comfortable just showing up for a job interview "on the fly", but, to quote Bob (Robert Musgrave) from Wes Anderson's Bottle Rocket
, "I’m just not that good at this 'selling yourself' stuff." I really need to psych myself up to go just so I'm not a complete nervous wreck.
Wish me luck, I guess.
Fortunately, I got a haircut on Monday evening over at Friendly Cuts, inside the Merivale Zellers. The last time I got a haircut was on Hallowe'en
(which was, coincidentally, the previous time I applied at Toys R' Us). It's been less than four months, but, as the only male in the family who doesn't have issues with hair loss, it grows back pretty quickly. This time, I got a more mature woman instead of the Korean girl, not that it matters, I only go there because I like my haircuts simple and cheap. And my mother thought this particular haircut was the best in a while.
On thing the barber woman commented on was that the hair on the back of my head is very thick. That could be why I could never wear my hair long, which I did try once, when I was about to turn 19. I wanted to have hair long-but-neat kind of like Wayne Campbell in Wayne's World
, but, in practice, when I actually stopped getting my hair cut in back, it grew unevenly, and it wasn't a nice "curtain" like Wayne had where most of the hair was from the top of the back of his head (yes, I know Mike Myers was just wearing a wig). I can't find the one photo I know of with me with long hair to scan and show you the horror, but I looked like a pot addict even though I never touched the stuff.
A LAZY SUBSTITUTE FOR ACTUAL "CONTENT"...
One night, the other week, I was trying to get a "natural" shot of my cat, Ember, rubbing against my leg (because she wants me to open a can of Fancy Feast "Trout Feast"). Of course, it's not really "natural" because, while I'm no "Hurley" (maybe more like a George Costanza), I still have to stick my leg out a bit just to get it to show up on camera. Unfortunately, the horizon of my abdomen still obscures her face a little.
A few seconds later, my younger dog, Sam, came along to see what Ember was up to, and Ember wasn't thrilled, but Ember knows well enough not to startle him my reacting too strongly, so they just sniffed each other's noses. (He's playful with her, not aggressive, but occasionally his playfulness is a little too rough, especially when he starts putting her head in his mouth.)
Anyway, I've been meaning to write more than I actually have. I've mostly been playing Gran Turismo 4
, where I spent way too much time on one minor series of races involving Opel Speedsters (goddamn it, the car I bought is called the "Opel Speedster Turbo
" and it cost a fair bit more than the standard non-turbo model, so why am I always getting beat by a regular Opel Speedster? But I beat it eventually, but it took dozens of tries for most races.). Also, I finally found a way to add more music to the playlist, and much of that music is classical, so I can now race with Erik Satie's Gymnopedie
playing in the background... woo-hoo!
I'm also still doing the job search thing; I applied for this one Job Bank job I found to enter data for a courier company in southern Nepean. If there's one marketable skill I have, it's data entry, from all the typing practive I've gotten from blogging and other writing. But I haven't heard back. Michaels the Arts and Crafts Superstore over at Pinecrest is also hiring again, so I'll drop off a CV for a second time.