Jane's Space

Jane's news and thoughts.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Sheri Segal was a member of wild Bofa 1992. Sheri was also a writer in my Writer's Craft class, and I delighted in her quick wit and acerbic, self-deprecating humour. She graduated from Ryerson in Journalism, and now, with a law degree, she practises in the Parliament of Canada. You need a sense of humour there, I have no doubt.
Occasionally Sheri and I get together, maybe go to a movie, and her stories still make me laugh. She still loves to write. I asked her to contribute to www.bofa.ca. Sheri is generous, and she agreed. Soon her column will be on that page.

So, here is a special treat for you:


So Jane asked me to write a little blog for her page. This is flattering, given that I have done no writing (excluding personal e-mails, legal opinions and legislation) over the course of the past few years. And while I will admit that I have a lot to say via e-mail, should much of what I have to say be published in this ever-so public of forums, I will likely be disowned, dumped or fired (though if I had to choose one…Wait. Never mind. See? This is why I am always in trouble).But I have come up with a solution of sorts. I will lie. I mean, write fiction. Sometimes. You won’t know. This way I will still be able to see my nieces and collect a pay cheque. I will always say nice things about my boyfriend though, because he will be reading this little blog thing and also, because he is perfect. Even though the rest of the contents will be fiction. Maybe.

Another obstacle I am facing has to do with the fact that I am not even sure that I remember how to write like a normal person. Most legislative drafters I know generally end up writing things that are
a) in the form of a list;
b) boring to the reader; and
c) mostly incomprehensible.

Because that’s what we do.

But I like my job. Sure, I am no Matthew or Stephanie or Martin, doing fun, interesting creative, meaningful things, but still, I work for Parliament and some people find that very interesting. Like my mom (not to brag, but my mom also happens to think that I am very smart and funny). People who are very passionate about a particular cause (or who are passionate about being passionate about a cause) also tend to find my job interesting. These people, generally friends of friends, take great pleasure in bringing up their plans for social reform at parties and on car trips. They too apparently have mothers who think that they are very smart and interesting.

Recently, I was approached by a very earnest individual who really wanted to talk to me about his plan to help the children (in situations like this, people seem to overlook the fact that I am not an elected member of Parliament). He told me about the little organization he was planning to start and in the same breath told me about the group’s first priority – to make it illegal to download child pornography. So devoted to his cause (helping the children) was he, that he was actually sad to find out that it is already illegal to download child porn. "Oh no!" he said when I told him the happy news that the children were already being helped "how awful. We really wanted to do something for the children.” I thought it inappropriate to suggest that the best thing he could do for the children (and the rest of us) was not to have any of his own. I might have suggested it in another circumstance though, for example had we been more than twenty minutes into our four-hour car ride. Speaking of helping children, it is very bad when people drink when they are pregnant. Sometimes their babies come out really stupid.

Coincidentally, I had the pleasure of sitting in front of a large group of middle aged, drunk women at the Jann Arden concert the other night (that’s right, Jann Arden). Listening to them talk through the whole event was really so much better than listening to the concert though, as they were talking about menopause, a subject everyone finds super-fascinating. Really? A heat flash you say? Honestly, we were in a hockey arena. Who wouldn’t want a heat flash?I analogize talking during a concert to snacking on freshly popped microwave popcorn in a nice restaurant -- even if you are so tacky that it won't affect the enjoyment of your own meal, everyone around you will be affected due to the smelliness of aforementioned popcorn. Now that I think about it, I guess talking through a concert is also analogous to talking through a movie. Or smoking on a bike path. Or eating pickles in the car. Okay, maybe not that last one, but passenger pickle pecking is particularly pernicious to my personal driving pleasure.

Jann was brilliant though. She is a painter and a storyteller. Her songs are meaningful and poetic (No, they don’t all rhyme), her voice is beautiful and pure, and she is hilarious (that’s right. HILARIOUS). If I could choose a sister, I would choose her (though I will take this opportunity to remind my real sister, should she stumble upon this blog, to kindly refer back to the FICTION rule, above). I also saw Final Fantasy in concert last week. (I feel a need to share this not only because of how incredible this guy is, but because I do not want to be classified as one of those easy-listening chicks. I happen to be very hip)(seriously. I am easily the third-hippest in my lunch and learn group)(and there are almost eleven of us). Final Fantasy is also brilliant and creative and modest and adorable. In fact, if I could choose a boyfriend, I would choose him (though I will take this opportunity to remind my real boyfriend to please refer back to what I just said to my sister. This is FICTION.)

So that’s it for now. Talk to you soon.



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