Sunday, April 29, 2007

Meghan pointed me in the direction of this series of "shitty zoo" comics, courtesy of Natalie Dee: 1 2 3 4 5 6

She also has a video detailing how to prepare an Appalachian delicacy known as weiner wings. I'm thinking that if you cooked up some of these with a nice batch of prison wine, you would have the perfect meal.

Things you can buy for $1, installment 1,046

I treat Meghan really nicely, and she buys me all these icees.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

a funny thing happened on the way to the work-um

1. Yesterday, on the way to work, I walked by one of the residence entrances. There were clear signs that someone had just broken up with World of Warcraft. In a sad, wet pile outside the door were the game box, the game manual, the installation CDs, the activation code, everything. The CDs were broken and the manual pages had been torn out, as if in a rage. I tried to take on the persona of the girlfriend who had thrown the game either down the stairs or out the window, and thought, I swear to God, Curtis, it's that game or me. (Curtis is the name of my dwarf hunter's flesh-eating bird, so it also seemed like a good name for my imaginary warcraft-addicted boyfriend.)

2. Today, I brought my camera to work in hopes of photographing the warcraft break-up fuselage, but it was gone. I did, however, almost trip over a tiny baby bunny:

I was thinking that rabbits need to use better survival behaviours. I mean, just because you live on a university campus, does not mean you can become completely complacent about preserving your species. Someone might step on your young if you just leave them lying around. Anyway, I followed the cheezy nature rule about taking nothing but photos and leaving nothing but footprints. Oh, and I left some garbage strewn around to give the bunny something to hide under. And technically I also used about 40 trees' worth of paper, printing conference programmes.

I think baby bunnies have the same attitude toward potential predators that baby humans have toward adult humans: if I can't see you, you don't exist. I mean, this bunny was about two feet away from me and it was obstinately staring in the other direction, as if to say, lalalalalala! I'm not listening! It was lucky I am such a great humanitarian. Err, rabbitarian.


Welcome to - There is no fantasy. This company sells bookshelves that are really doors, and my favourite, fireplaces with a swivelling back to facilitate access to your secret room(s). Which, based on my extensive TV- and movie-watching, will contain one or more of the following:

a. a safe room where you will hide out when Dwight Yokam breaks in to your home.
b. a theme room based around your favourite sexual perversion.
c. a room where you store all your valuables, especially priceless artifacts, rare books, and objects with magical powers.
d. your underground lair.
e. the pantry.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I totally copied Matt and took the daemon quiz from the Golden Compass movie website. This little questionnaire below is supposed to confirm the results of this quiz. This represents a surprising commitment to accountability, considering that these tests usually ask you four questions before offering a seemingly deep analysis of your personality. Anyway, here's your chance to tell the truth about me.... but if you make me lose my monkey, I am holding you personally responsible.

It's probably hard to say whether I am really modest. That is the one I had the most problems with. I mean, I'm kind of conceited, but only superficially.

love like a sunburn

These men's magazine lists, written by female celebrities, infuriate me. You know what I'm talking about: "This month in Maxim: A supermodel writes a list! Because she is not smart enough to write a whole article!" I am sorry, but just because you have starred in a sitcom, EVEN IF IT RAN FOR 10 YEARS LONGER THAN IT SHOULD HAVE, that does not qualify you to speak on behalf of all women. Especially when your attempts to clarify gender differences are based on the same tired cliches that these types of lists have been based on since, oh, 1952. I'm sorry, but "men don't listen" and "women like to shop" don't cut it anymore. Get with the program, MSN!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

dangerous developments, and blog performance anxiety

1. So, I think Facebook is leading directly to the fragmentation of my grasp of my own sense of self-worth. For non-Facebook users, on Facebook you have a little one-sentence status thing you can use "to keep your friends updated on your status." Examples would be, "Joey Facebook is at the library," or, "Stephanie SocialNetworking is networking, because she knows that is what you have to do to get a job." These sentences have to start with "your name is," which can lead to some strange grammatical constructions. (Some people just ignore the "is," but I think that's cheating.) As if writing long blog entries about my sense of well-being wasn't bad enough, I now feel this constant compulsion to describe my situations (emotional and otherwise) in pithy, one-sentence third-person phrases. Recent selections (only some of them actually posted to Facebook) include:

  • Jocelyn is tired of the theme song from Medium.
  • Jocelyn is drunk and annotating.
  • Jocelyn is anxious
  • [quickly followed by...] Jocelyn is relieved
  • Jocelyn is awash in nostalgia and uneasiness
  • Jocelyn is having trouble thinking of things to blog about
  • Jocelyn is not making constructive emotional choices
  • Jocelyn is not making constructive nutritional choices
  • Jocelyn is mourning ends of things
  • Jocelyn is spending too much time doing nothing and not enough time doing something
  • Jocelyn is taking some small comfort in daily acts of meaning and negotiation
  • Jocelyn is looking for crested merchandidse
  • Jocelyn is smoke and rice paper
  • Jocelyn is running out of money
  • Jocelyn is updating her ziplist
  • Jocelyn is being OCD about music (Snow Patrol- Set the fire to the third bar; Hawksley Workman- Love will tear us apart; The Decemberists- We both go down together. Over and over again. For days.)
  • [and my personal favourite] Jocelyn is lost.

The thing is, this micro-focus does not help me at all. I think it may actually make things worse.

2. Things you can buy for $1, part infinity:

See "poor nutritional choices," above.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Monday link list--now sometimes on Wednesdays!

Besides the end of the world, I have some healthier obsessions, and one is correspondence. Thus, open letters, a website I just discovered. Particularly good are the letters by a woman who identifies herself as x, who writes to the absent father of her son about his adolescence. The author has since been revealed to be Winnipeg author Miriam Toews.

History of the Fisher Price airplane. "In 1951, Stalin had reiterated his call for "one of the toughest engineering problems facing our nation" -- a plane that could carry a dad, a mom, their family, and the dog to a playground in Irkutsk." Tee hee.

howtopedia is a new DIY resource site with projects and tips like "how to make chocolate," "what to do with tin cans," and "how to build a small wind turbine." Just yesterday, I had the urge to build a small wind turbine, but I didn't have the information I needed to do so. Plus, I immediately decided I would rather watch Medium.

hometown baghdad is an interesting documentary series on life in Iraq.

how meta.

AttenTV turns Web surfing into eerie spectator sport [cnet news]. A new web service lets you watch as other people surf the web. And this is construed as entertainment. Uh-huh.

I am picturing someone watching me use the Internet. "uh-huh... she's consulting 19th-century literary biographies... wait, she's visiting Facebook again? Screw this. I'm going to watch TV."

"everything around her is a silver pool of light" -KT Tunstall

I collect websites about abandoned urban spaces. This is related to my obsession with the end of the world, or with apocalyptic events which pretty much put an end to humanity in general--an obsession which is strong enough to mean I even enjoyed watching The Day After Tomorrow. (As well as some better end-of-the-world obsessed things, like Douglas Coupland's Life After God.) Thus: urban curators, the vanishing point and abandoned places.

"The SCREAM meme suggests that we're so ironic that we can't even take our own apocalypse-- our lurking sense, on the eve of the future, of social disintegration and simmering discontent-- seriously. This is the moment Walter Benjamin warned us of, when humankind's 'self-alienation' reaches 'such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order.'" -Fighting the Forces

"The dead rose! We should've at least had an assembly!" -Xander, Buffy

[from the archives]

Monday, April 23, 2007

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will | The A.V. Club

In the days since Kurt Vonnegut's death, I have seen a lot of articles about, and memorials to, him online. This is the best one I've seen so far, at least in that I think it captures both the depth and the irreverent humour I remember about his books. 15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will | The A.V. Club.

My favourite is from Cat's Cradle: "She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing."

my love of thinking about myself over-rules my hatred of facebook/myspace/blog memes.

A- AVAILABLE: romantically? no. at this moment, in terms of not doing anything? yes. obviously. Since I am filling out this crazy acrostic quiz.

B - BIRTHDAY: Dec. 23

C - CRUSHING: I have minor crushes on people that usually only last a few seconds or minutes. I have had a crush on James for six years. That may be cheesy, but I don't care. You can suck it up, Internet.

D - DRINK YOU LAST HAD: As I type this I am drinking sugar-free Fresca. It is one of the things I inexplicably buy at the grocery store, like Peek Freans cookies. If we are talking alcoholic drinks, then it would probably be a white russian. I drink them while I do dishes, and pretend to be a glamorous 1950s housewife. It passes the time.

E - EASIEST PERSON TO TALK TO: This is a hard one. I have a pretty easy time talking to almost everyone. The best three are Meghan, Courtney, and James. All three of them know me so well I barely even have to talk.

F - FAVOURITE BAND: It changes all the time. I saw Snow Patrol a couple weeks ago, and they were amazing, so that is as good an answer as anything.

G - GUMMY BEARS OR GUMMY WORMS: Worms. More surface area.

H - HOMETOWN: Edmonton. I was born in Vancouver and grew up in Toronto and Regina, but this is home for me now.

I - INSTRUMENT: I used to play the piano when I was small. I hated lessons with a fiery vengeance. My mom always told me I would appreciate being able to play, and if I gave it up I would regret it later. But eventually she tired of fighting with me about it and I was allowed to quit. Now I (predictably) regret it.

J - JUGGLE: I juggle ideologies.

K - KILLED SOMEONE: Nope, although I have killed more pet fish than I can count. I have also killed houseplants, although many of them came from IKEA and thus were probably doomed. How can healthy plants come from IKEA? There is no full-spectrum light! I'm just saying.

L - LONGEST CAR RIDE: This is difficult. I really have no sense of distance. I have driven from Toronto to Price Edward Island, and from Regina to Toronto.

M - MILKSHAKE FLAVOUR: Chocolate. I'm a purist.

N - NUMBER OF SIBLINGS: 1 (a little sister)

O - ONE WISH: I would probably wish for some property on which to build a house, which is weird, I guess, but isn't that what these lists are designed to do--make us feel unique?

P- PERSON WHO CALLED YOU LAST: My parents. At least it wasn't a telemarketer or something

Q- QUICKIE? Um, is that a question? Like, would I like a quickie? I am busy filling out this form. Also, I have a headache. No, for real.

R - REASON TO SMILE: I just ordered two posters on the Internet that are making me smile: one for the band The Decemberists, and one is a reproduction of a WWII poster that says "Keep Calm and Carry On."

S - SONG YOU LAST HEARD: A Northern Chorus- Remembrance Day

T - TIME YOU WOKE UP: I woke up at 8:30, which is about perfect for me. If I can wake up between 8 and 8:30, I am content. The later, or earlier, the grumpier.

U - UNDERWEAR: Generally, I am in favour of underwear. I like brightly coloured underwear, trashy underwear, and boys' underwear (when it is being worn by boys) (not that I am opposed to girls wearing boys' underwear, if they want).

V - VEGETABLE YOU HATE: I don't really hate any vegetable. I don't really like turnips, or asparagus. But I would hardly say I hate them. I'm just not that kind of girl--that's not how I roll!

W - WORST HABIT: Um.... allowing myself to be paralyzed by fear of failure and/or apathy. Is that too honest? If this were a job interview, I would probably say, "I'm just such a perfectionist! Nothing is ever good enough for me!" But to be honest, I think my inability to motivate myself to do things is my worst trait. If I don't care about something, then good luck. A good real-world example of this is the fact that the only 'A's I have gotten in library school have been in the four classes I liked the best.

X - X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD: I shudder to think how many X-rays I have had. Dozens. Dental x-rays, x-rays of my kidneys, x-rays when I broke my arm. Can we change this question to something else that starts with X? Like "X-Rated movies you've watched?" I don't like to think about the radiation.

Y - YOUR NUMBER OF FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK: I think I have 59 friends at present. I didn't even know I knew that many people, since I am not very friendly. And I know at least three people who are not even on facebook!

Z- ZODIAC SIGN: Capricorn. Here is what the Internet has to say about my astrological sign:

"Capricorns are among the responsible and traditional Signs. They are generally reserved, careful, and stable. Sometimes they may be overly critical, even bossy, but this is due to their strong desire to achieve their goals and not to a desire to be rude. In fact, Capricorns are generally polite because they understand that making enemies will not help them achieve in life." -some random astrology website

Ummm, bossy? I have no idea what these people are talking about. Seriously, though, I don't believe in astrology at all, but I am still pissed off by the description of Capricorns. Based on every profile I have ever read of them, I am among the most boring people in the world. Well, I reject it. I'm such a rebel. From now on, I declare my zodiac sign to be "Pirate."

projects for the lost

books 002, originally uploaded by jocelynb.

This is a little handmade book I created out of pages from the Family Circle Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia. It is probably not finished although it is hard to say for sure. The project on the cover is a handy-cabinet for wholesome yard storange. I got to use my glitter markers. That is all.

If anyone wants one I will make one for you. I'm not kidding.

PerpetuSpam: submit the name of someone you hate, and they will be spammed into perpetuity. This is using the power of the Internet to its full potential.

Yesterday James and I were driving down Whyte Ave. and by Alternative Video there was this really sad-looking homeless guy sleeping on a bench. He looked cold and he had all kinds of crap stuffed inside his sweater. We both looked at him very pityingly, which rapidly turned to anger when we got to the end of the block and his shopping cart was parked IN THE ROAD, and a whole lane of traffic was having to compromise with an oncoming lane to avoid it. Way to lose your goodwill, homeless guy!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

the inaugural strawberries of summer

Eco-friendly coffins

LifeArt makes coffins that are personalized, and made of cardboard so they biodegrade. Unfortunately, a lot of them have designs that resemble those inspirational workplace posters that say things like "PERSEVERENCE." (Although that would not apply to either dead people or biodegradable coffins, to state the obvious.)

EcoCoffins also makes cardboard coffins. I like the orange ones, of course. They're still kind of expensive though-- beginning at 2800 pounds, which is what, $6000 Canadian? I can't afford to die, obviously.

Earlier post: Because I could not stop for death,/He kindly stopped for me...

Good news for unbaptized babies everywhere!

Catholic Church abolishes limbo [From Radio New Zealand news]

One Sentence - True stories, told in one sentence. Some of them are quite silly but others are downright poignant.

I have attempted to write one, which relates to my earlier post. What it lacks in poeticism, it makes up for in directness, in my opinion.

The solution was pizza.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It doesn't have quite the ring of "Sharkumentary," but... BelugaCam!

I find this very relaxing: The belugas at the Vancouver aquarium

between apathy and compassion

A lot of people over the years, including my dad and my grade 4 teacher, have thought I was smart. But there is new evidence to the contrary: about four or five times today I have opened my freezer and peered inside, in hopes that some new food would have mysteriously appeared in there, so I could eat it. Isn't there some proverb about that being the definition of crazy--performing the same action over and over again but expecting different results? Oh well. It's not like grade four teachers have never been wrong before.

I am having this bizarrely cheerful day, possibly because the end of the semester is finally feeling real, and because yesterday I put the books for my exhibition in their cases--I have that refreshing sense that even if I STOPPED WORKING RIGHT NOW, refused to bill another hour, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Everything additional I do is just gravy. So I did what everyone does when they feel unusually chipper, like a sudden weight has been lifted: I cleaned my whole apartment. It was like I was channelling some stranger. I even DUSTED. Normally I would rather move than dust. Or, as Carolyn Mark says, "why clean when you can dim the lights?"

Also, I finished reading this book, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart:

It's about intrepid, charming orphans, good-hearted narcoleptic adults, and mind control, three elements that appear in most (if not all) great children's fiction. And it was pretty good, if overly long. The main reason I wanted to buy it (or rather, convince my dad to buy it for me), though, was the cover illustration by Carson Ellis. And it turns out that she has done a bunch of poster art for a band I am rather enamoured of, The Decemberists. And then I found a four-foot-long Decemberists poster with art by Carson Ellis, on the internet (where else?) and I ordered it, and now I have some mail to look forward to. (I can't find the poster anymore... it seems I may have purchased the last one on the entire world-wide information superhighway. But buyolympia, where I ordered it from, has free Decemberists MP3s--the legal kind, I assume, since it's from their record label. woot.)

This constitutes crazy, karmic convergence of consumption (or carmic, if you value alliteration over correct spelling). Except not evil like that description makes it sound. For some reason, it makes me unduly happy when things I like are related to other things I like. For example, Sarah Vowell wrote this book of essays I love (Take The Cannoli) and she is on This American Life, which I like beyond what the word "like" can possibly convey. Or Joss Whedon, who has made three of my favourite TV shows in the history of TV shows, does a cameo in the second season of Veronica Mars (which is the fourth of my favourite TV shows in the history of TV shows) in which he says something like, "Renting cars is a basic human need, like eating or sleeping or trying on shoes." And actually, now that I think about it, I read this interview with Ira Glass in which he was talking about how great Buffy is/was. This poster thing might be almost on that Sarah Vowell, Joss Whedon scale, people.

My cheerfulness, then: it's the school thing, and the clean apartment thing, and the books-in-their-cases thing, and the ordering-four-foot-long-posters-in-the-internet thing. Now if only I could solve the food thing. Without going outside.

Reasons not to get married:

Trying to out-do Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thorton.

I'm not one to judge, but... that is so, so, so weird.

it's not sulking, it's ploughing

James: I still don't understand the point of sneaking into your building.
Jocelyn: Maybe it's some kind of hobo contest--like sneak in the front door, sneak out the back door, you get 10 points. And when you get 100 points you can redeem them for a new bundle for your stick.
James: Aww man... I could use a new bundle for my stick.
Jocelyn: I know you could, you saucy minx. [pause] I'm not sure what that means.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

i thought i was clear in my email

Whoever taught this adorable baby to say "I'm just buzzed" to Will Ferrel is going straight to hell. That doesn't make it any less funny though.

Thanks to James for the link

It's quantity, not quality!

From Make: blood puddle pillows. Morbid and crafty. (This site actually has projects and kits for all kinds of things... open-source MP3 players! tiny flashlights made out of tic tac containers! How did I not know about this site before?)

Dear Edmonton,

Remember when I moved here, Edmonton, when I was 13? We liked each other instantly. I loved your dramatic river valley, your festivals, your funky secret neighbourhoods. I liked the friendly people who lived here. You seemed perfect for me, the unpretentious prairies of my rosy childhood. My whole family was recovering from a horrible, underfunded foray East, and you seemed like the antidote.

As years went by my affection for you deepened. I liked the great university, improv at the Varscona, the Shakespeare festival, the Indian restaurants in Mill Woods. I even liked West Edmonton Mall, in a weird, masochistic way, and I still go there to buy things one can certainly buy other places than West Edmonton Mall. I loved taking my dog (remember Toby?) down to the river valley in the summer and sitting, baking, on the clay shores of the river, and being able to believe that I was in the wilderness--and yet a fifteen minute walk away from squishees. I liked the LRT system. When I got a bit older and moved to Old Strathcona, I loved the Chinese takeaway and the local library and the alternative video stores and the farmer's market. Even the drunken frat boys didn't bother me much--they seemed so good-natured, like they loved you, too. I loved voting for an NDP candidate in the provincial elections--and having him WIN. I liked riding my bike to school in the bike-only lanes. I liked your new radio station, for awhile.

I still love all those things, Edmonton, but recently I get the feeling you are trying to drive me away. Call me, OK? Don't let this be our last communication. We can talk this through. But you will have to change your behaviour. We can't have an adult relationship based on your misplaced desire to test me. Also, fix those stupid potholes. And maybe try to do something about all the stabbings.


(PS. Yes, I did just write "the unpretentious prairies of my rosy childhood." That, as James would say, just happened.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

spending all your money on me

So, as everyone knows, I am obsessed with words that end in "-trix," such as navigatrix. Witness this quote from a long time ago:

"The key to being the Navigatrix is to be assertive, as in, 'I am the Navigatrix! I know exactly where we are! We are not lost AT ALL!'" -me, explaining the tao of navigating secondary highways, on our road trip
-a long time ago [well, 2003]

It turns out that navigatrix, while still being a word I made up, is also a real word (to the extent that inclusion in the Urban Dictionary confers word-iness). And it means exactly what I thought it meant! (Normally I get angry when this happens, but the "navigatrix" thing was comforting.) Today I found out a new one: rixatrix. "A scolding or quarrelsome woman; a scold." I owe these linguistic revelations to my friend Dai, who is more tolerant of my whims than the average person, and also owns an impressive number of internet T-shirts.

What Is Stephen Harper Reading? This is a very winsome project in which Canadian writer Yann Martel sends a book to Stephen Harper every two weeks, along with an enthusiastic letter explaining why he should read said book. The first selection is Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych: "Ivan Ilych is an indubitable masterpiece. There is nothing showy here, no vulgarity, no pretence, no falseness, nothing that doesn’t work, not a moment of dullness, yet no cheap rush of plot either. It is the story, simple and utterly compelling, of one man and his ordinary end." This is being done to raise awareness of the need for Canadian federal funding for the arts. I don't expect it will have any impact, but it's still a pleasant notion. If a political action must be futile, it should at least be charming. Yann Martel, I salute you.

I handed in my last assignment of the semester today, but instead of feeling jubilant, as is my right, I feel sort of exhausted and hungry and lost. And displaced. A displaced, almost-done-my-degree, popcorn-shrimp-eating, thinking-of-going-to-sleep person.

from deletia, a blog of procrastiantion

from xkcd, "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language": search history.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Content cribbed from Readymade.

In the new issue of Readymade was a little article on vertical gardens, or as they may be known by their more pretentious French name, le mur végétal. Patrick Blanc's website has photos of some of these beautiful projects, although his site is a bastard--it will resize your window, and everything is all flash-y.

There are kits you can buy for sort of less elaborate home versions. Pretty cool.

I am contemplating building one of these on my balcony. As we all know, once you get rid of an invading force, you have to occupy the territory. Let 'em know you are exercising, as ever, CONSTANT VIGILANCE. Lessons learned in the Arctic, am I right, Canada?

"Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter."

I waffle between these 2 theories.

1. At this point in my life, I would be better off having taken cataloguing. Then I would know how to catalogue the items in my digital library, instead of it making me want to cry. It might also lead to a better mark on this assignment, since I'm pretty sure I can't just classify everything as "women in advertising."

2. I hate cataloguing so much, it's lucky I never took it because it probably would have ruined an entire semester instead of just the very end of this one. In fact, I should never do anything cataloguing-related again, unless it is ordering things from the Eddie Bauer catalogue.


Work, and school, are ruining my life. SERIOUSLY. I feel like a bundle of nerves, and by nerves, I mean bitchiness. I did that thing again where I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. So I have been working for 3 1/2 hours already today!

The chronicle of my digital library: Breakdancing vs. feminist principles.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Breakdancing vs. feminist principles... the age-old conflict.

I have spent the past 7 hours staring at my computer screen, compiling a digital library of artifacts related to advertising to women. But I have trouble retaining my righteous feminist rage when I see commercials like this one:

I mean, I know I'm being manipulated, but... it's so cute and weird! And there is breakdancing! Of course, plastic surgery does seem extra-ridiculous when it is being performed on Brazilian women who are all smokin' hot to start with. Damn you Nike! Damn you!

I am feeling extra web 2.0 today.

Online etch a sketch-- replicate the rude drawings from your childhood. See random sketches by other people, and partake in the nostalgia.

I just love this: A moment on earth. In one minute, cameras captured events happening in countries all over the world. For a documentary! How nerdy is that?

Apologies-- a community art project to collect apologies. Your apology (if it is the most poignant, the most apologetic) may end up in an exhibition.

M and M's combat. Just the sort of nonsense the Internet was built for.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

you may or may not consider personal

So, it's a little late for Easter-themed blog updates, but this is too good to pass up: marshmallow peeps in various humorous situations. And with a surprising amount of pathos--or is that just me?

My Facebook status says "Jocelyn is discontented," and I think that pretty much sums it up. Although I did just get a copyright permission in my inbox, so that is something.

I'm going to watch Friends with Money, a movie that helps me to articulate all my disorientation.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

unravel my greatest mistake

Cullings from my recent delicious bookmarks, aka, the lazy man's blog update. I will add exclamation marks to make them seem enticing.

Germany now has its own plagiarism museum!
A collaborative online graphic novel!
a funny kind of meta-chart!
A handy political euphemism-to-real life translating guide!
Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia!

I had this dream last night in which i went to an engagement party for a former co-worker (who as far as i know isn't getting engaged, but maybe it's a premonition!) and while i was there my permanent retainer fell out--the kind that is attached to your mouth with cement or whatever. And I don't even HAVE a retainer of any kind--yet. But maybe it's a premonition of dental work to come! My mouth feels weird now, though, in the way dreams can have a half-life in reality.

Finally: I am pretty tense (/"alert") about work right now, and I wake up in the middle of the night and worry about it, and the only way I can stop worrying is to get up and work. For this reason, I haven't slept more than 5 or 6 hours a night in many moons. I was out late last night, and I woke up at 6:30 with that missing-retainer feeling, and I was like, "well, i might as well get up and work," and then I realized that down that path lies CRAZINESS and EXHAUSTION. So I went back to sleep. I have to stop this cycle of work. It's productivity, but not the healthy kind of productivity.

To sum up this entry: It is morning, and I am very disoriented.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Disputed territory

constantvigilance 007, originally uploaded by jocelynb.

Here I sit, keeping an eye on my territory, after recently taking away the pigeons' protective cover (aka the tarp that was covering my bicycle). I am armed with my newly acquired firearms. Well, waterarms really. Containing weapons-grade water... which is exactly the same as... regular water. And my communist insurgent hat, to put me in the mood for violence.

I call this photo "constant vigilance." I like to think of it as a journey into the psychotic heart of violence. In a cute yellow hoodie.

But then, the pigeons didn't show up and I got bored and decided to watch a Werner Herzog movie.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pigeon update

There are two of the little bastards now, huddling under the tarp on my bike like dirty rats of the air. I don't trust those pigeons as far as I can throw them. And I live on the 9th floor, so that is pretty far.

Previous post: more fish fulfilment

A funny phone conversation I had two days ago

[my cellphone rings]
Jocelyn: Hello?
A guy: Hi! How are you?
Jocelyn: I'm good, how are you? [trying to figure out who it is]
A guy: Good!
Jocelyn: Who is this? I think you have the wrong number.
A guy: Oh! I was trying to phone Corey.
Jocelyn: Yeah, you have the wrong number. I was like, "wait, do I know this guy? I don't think I know this guy!"
A guy: Well, you are a lot happier than the person I was trying to call.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

More fish fulfilment

this video from Japan shows how a restaurant uses live goldfish to clean its deep-fryer. Uh-huh. That's all I got.

I am annotating like a mofo. And I have my laser printer set to 'stun.' Yep, it's that time of the semester, when I start begging people to come over to my house with pizza. In 48 hours all this madness will be over and then I will be back, a-swingin', ready to update 1,000,000 times a day. I have no job you know!

A joke I read on the internet today: "Hand over that calculator. Friends don't let friends derive drunk."

Oh, I am engaged in a bitter battle of wits with a pigeon that is trying to move into my balcony. There is only one now, but I know there will soon be more if I let him get away with any of his crazy pigeon bullshit. I have considered shooting the pigeon with a water gun (which would involve buying a water gun) and feeding it rice so it explodes. If these options sound cruel, consider that I have already begun throwing rocks at it, so it's not like cruelty is uncharacteristic. Can you eat pigeon? I am thinking if I succeeded in killing and eating this pigeon, the others would see that they are not welcome. The only way to beat a pigeon is to show it you are its master.

Ohhhhh, that pigeon never should have gotten up in my face. I am going to beat it down. Not only am I bigger and stronger; I have opposable thumbs, a dizzying intellect, and MOST IMPORTANTLY persistance. I didn't get to the top of the food chain to eat salad and listen to incessant cooing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stationery lust

Is it sad that when I saw these highlighters with built-in binder flags I felt the immediate compulsion to go to Staples, even though it was 11:30 at night, and I would probably get mugged on my way there, and also it's closed?

No, seriously. Don't eat it.

From Steve, Don't Eat It!: prison wine. Make your own contraband booze with the barest of ingredients. "I really don't understand what could have gone wrong! I used moldy bread and socks, EXACTLY LIKE THE RECIPE SAID!" I can't believe how gross this is. AWESOME!

Monday, April 9, 2007

She looks like Eva Marie Saint, in On the Waterfront

Meta spam-scam: Africa$h: Helping you make the best Nigerian investments. For the email recepient who is gullible, yet busy.

People who know me well know that I have fish issues. Fish and I have a love/hate relationship; I love them, they hate me. Plus sometimes I hate them. So here are three recent fishtanks I have seen online that fascinate and terrify me: this one lets the fish swim all around the room, Habitrail-style, and this one lets the fish swim into little holes so they can be touched or fed by hand. (Holes which they could, conceivably, jump out of. I'm just saying.) Finally, this one lets the fish watch you pee. (Which sort of makes sense; that way when they die, you don't have to worry about dripping gross fish-water on the floor en-route from tank to toilet.) Either way, I think we need to think a little harder about this. I mean, we're totally letting the fish infiltrate our homes even further. You have to watch fish. You never know what they're going to do--tricky little bastards. They could be planning anything.

Empty lots full of chairs, and other mysteries of life

What does it all mean?

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Oh, also: do not check out this desktop flash game. I say this as your friend. Hours can vanish, without a trace. But if you do somehow manage to beat 2200 points, you are justified in leaving a gloaty comment to that effect.

Finished reading: Alberto Manguel's With Borges.

When I was in Seattle a few weeks ago, I went on a dad-sponsored bookstore shopping trip at Elliott Bay Books, and so far all the books we got there have been great. With Borges is Argentinian writer Alberto Manguel's memoir of going to read to blind National Librarian Jorge Luis Borges when he was a teenager. As everyone knows, I am obsessed with JLB (to the extent that I refer to him, rather impetuously, by his initials) so it just made sense for me to read this. Also, it is less than 100 pages long, the perfect length of book for the end of term. Go! Buy it! I imagine there is even a closer bookstore to you than Seattle. Unless you live in Seattle. In which case, go to Elliott Bay Books, by all means. It's wonderful-- the kind of bookstore I want to live in when I grow up.

"For Borges, the core of reality lay in books; reading books, writing books, talking about books. In a visceral way, he was conscious of continuing a dialogue begun thousands of years before and which he believed would never end. Books restored the past. 'In time,' he said to me, 'Every poem becomes an elegy.'" (31)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Oh, Internet. You always find a way to cheer me up.

From The Best of Craigslist: Free: The Worst Cat. "If you have small pets such as rodents or fish, he will probably find a way to kill them." The whole best of craiglist list is actually really funny.

A short break from princesses.

Filmmaker Miranda July is releasing a book of stories entitled no one belongs here more than you. Her book website is a somewhat low-budget rendition of, drawn on the top of her kitchen appliances with dry-erase marker. It sounds maybe too high-concept, but it works, I think. Her movie Me and You and Everyone We Know was amazing, and it also inspired me to try (unsuccessfully) to copy her hair. Now that she has written a book, I might try to do that too.

So I am tired enough that I am debating whether I should have a nap. I feel like a nap, but I suspect, in my heart of hearts, that no real benefit lies in that direction. I sleep until 7:30 or 8 every day, leap out of bed, run around for 14 or 15 hours, and then go back to sleep. That is how it has always been. Napping leads to insomnia, which in turn can lead to the heartbreak of grouchiness. Best to just stay here, at my computer, and wait for the end.

I suggest you watch some of the videos by prangstgrup. The ones that involve singing are particularly funny. The whole premise seems like good, clean fun--like something that would go on at boarding school, in the Edwardian era. You know what I'm talking about.

Introducing the new English: funnier, more expressive, and more modern. English 2.

I'm exhausted, Internet. I wish I had plans for today. This lack of structure is damaging my inner cool. I updated my blog... "yet the void won't fill."

Friday, April 6, 2007

Yesterday I saw a truck on my street delivering some furniture from SOFALAIR. This is absolutely not a joke. Where do you go to buy a sofa? THE SOFALAIR! Where sofas that have escaped from other people's homes go to hide out, write manifestoes about sofa rights, and possibly be sat on by super-villains.

From RouterGod (don't ask): An interview with Jessica Simpson about open-source routers. "I really find I don’t have any time now for anything that’s not connected to open-source networking in general." This website has a whole series of interviews with celebrities about hardware and software. Amazing. From women we thought were vapid!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Oh, Internet! The cleverness!

From WikiTravel: Hell. "The good news is that going to Hell requires little planning, but it's not for everyone."

Three goofy videos:

  1. What old people do for fun.
  2. Classic Sesame Street: no cookies in the library. This video just goes to show that libraries need to do a better job of making society aware of their value. Poor beleaguered Muppet librarian! I feel for you.
  3. A tool-using dog (may fit into a sort of annoying "animal videos" sub-category--approach with cautious optimism)

fell in love with a drummer

I am not going to make an actual link there, because I can't endorse it (and I don't want them to find me in their search logs, if they HAVE search logs), but is hilarious. This website makes me proud to be Canadian. Fortunately, as long as we stay away from Albert we'll be safe.

Today I invented a library-themed death-metal band, Dublin Cöre. (Fine distinction between the band and the metadata schema of the same name, but try to stay with me.) Our first album is going to be called, "A New Standard for ROCK." I find myself very amusing.


I'm going to karaoke tonight. Laters.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Q: Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?
A: Facebook.

Nerdiness quiz

[Score 1 point for each yes answer]
Do you/Have you ever...

  1. Heard of M. C. Escher?
  2. Owned an M. C. Escher desk calendar, wall calendar, or poster? (Add 1 extra point if the poster was framed, or if you ordered it off the Internet)
  3. Downloaded the Teenage Fanclub song by the same name because you wondered what it had to do with the artist?
  4. Read a Stephen Hawking book for fun (well, educational fun)?
  5. Know the correct terminology for the little LEGO people?
  6. Built a replica of a famous landmark, a Star Wars ship, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, or a classical temple out of LEGO?
  7. Built a LEGO version of an M. C. Escher painting? [A "yes" to this question is worth 1,000 points and means you win the nerdiness contest, hands down]

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Alanis Morisette takes on "My Humps"

I don't really get it, but it's interesting. I mean, Alanis Morisette is either making a profound feminist critique of one of the dumbest songs of the century (that's right, I said century), or possibly, she drank too much Coke. I do like it when she head-butts people, though. The original song/video is so perverse and uncritical, I can almost believe it's meant ironically. Almost.

all this useless beauty

I have been thinking a lot about the past lately, and I hope this is not going to turn into some kind of giant emotional episode, but I am not making any promises. Winter is not giving up the ghost, and I am listening to Elvis Costello, and I just finished this book, which was the best book I have read in months but also, simulaneously, the emotional equivalent to being kicked in the kidneys. I mean it. I have literally spent the past hour crying. So I am not in a position to make promises.

When I was small my grandmother lived in a high-rise, and her mail would be in this tiny metal cubby in a giant bank of tiny metal cubbies in the lobby. When I stayed over at her house, one of the greatest pleasures of my day was going downstairs to check the mail. I would perform this task an unnecessary number of times each day. In retrospect, I think it was a combination of factors that combined to make mail-checking so fun for me: 1. I have always liked cubbies of all sizes. 2. because the door was solid metal, you never knew if there was going to be mail inside until you opened it. 3. this task involved me being entrusted with keys, and riding the elevator alone, so it felt like an adventure--not on any kind of Indiana-Jones-scale, but still, I was 7.

At the time the thrill of checking the mail could hardly be matched. What happened to me--I became an adult and nothing fun is fun anymore? I lost track of that, not the mail-checking specifically, but the capacity to be incredibly pleased by the mundane. My standards were gloriously low in those days. I now live in a high-rise myself, and my mail arrives in this tiny metal cubby. I should be down there checking it RIGHT NOW. You never know when there is going to be mail.


So James and I saw Sharkwater last night, and it was not bad. I mean, I learned a fair bit and felt monumentally guilty about my ecological footprint at the end, so I guess it achieved its purpose. But I can't help thinking that environmentalists, especially environmentalists who make movies, would benefit from diluting their sincerity and earnestness with a little irony or humour or even cynicism. As a not-necessarily-representative member of Generation Y, or whatever we are called, I would like to see my ironic po-mo hipster lifestyle reflected back to me by the films I watch. By the end of this movie, I thought if I heard the words "I had to save the sharks" one more time, I would literally get out my iPod. You know what really livens up a documentary? Environmentalists telling dirty jokes, or updating their MySpace pages, or humming the theme from JAWS. Give me SOMETHING.

By far the most interesting part of this movie, to me, was when a ship from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society blasted an illegal Costa Rican fishing boat with water cannons and then rammed into them. Spanish swearing! Adventure at sea! And that, profound activist statement aside, is funny. Michael Moore already knows this secret.

We are all implicated:

Jocelyn: Do you know what bugs me even more than DRM-crippled music downloads?
James: What?
Jocelyn: In the time we've been talking about digital rights management, FIFTEEN MORE SHARKS HAVE BEEN KILLED FOR THEIR FINS.

Earlier post in the Nature Documentaries Saga: For best results, hum "The circle of life" from The Lion King as you watch.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Say it with me: LINK BRIGAAAAADE!

Is it just me, or is the interweb getting boringer and boringer? And what's with adding "2.0" to everything? I'm sorry, but I don't think you can make a logo itself "Web 2.0." Anyway, onnnn to the links:

I am going to see the movie Sharkwater tonight, and I really thought I had invented the term "sharkumentary." No such luck.

A blog of photos not taken: unphotographable. I see things all the time that I am too scared or negligent to take pictures of. But to document them... sublime.

will you wait up for me?

As an April Fool's Day joke, ThinkGeek posted a number of ludicrous new products. One of them, the 8-Bit Tie ("For the 8-bit office") proved so popular that now ThinkGeek will be selling them for real--thanks in part to an email harrassment campaign spearheaded by this guy. What a beautiful story! This just goes to show, pursue your dreams. And, uh, April Fool's is the best holiday of all.

song for a mixtape

Currently reading: Love is a Mixtape, by Rob Sheffield. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. It's the best kind of memoir: rich and interesting and funny and sad. Also, it is about mixtapes, which (for the kids in the audience) are a historically obscure phenomenon in which people made tapes for each other, usually as part of an elaborate courting ritual.

"We music fans love our classic albums, our seamless masterpieces, our Blonde on Blondes and our Talking Books. But we love to pluck songs off those albums and mix them up with other songs, plunging them back into the rest of the manic slipstream of rock and roll. I'd rather hear the Beatles' "Getting Better" on a mixtape than on Sgt. Pepper any day. ... When you stick a song on a tape, you set it free." (24)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

just like honey...

Ahem. New delicious tag: tinfoilhat. What is surprising about this whole enterprise is how relatively many websites already bear that tag. Although some people seem to use it to refer to general paranoia rather than specific instances of tinfoil hats (symbolictagging). That is all.

Why DO birds suddenly appear?

From Slate: Why is Will Ferrell Funny?

On the economics of comedy: "After frequently disrobing on Saturday Night Live, streaking in Old School, and taking a couple of tighty-whitey jaunts in Talladega Nights, Ferrell's naked body isn't as thrilling as it was just five years ago." Indeed. (James and I saw Blades of Glory on Friday and it was funny but utterly forgettable. The scene they show in the Slate article, of Ferrell singing the Black Eyed Peas' My Humps, is probably the funniest moment in the movie.)

It's only 1 oclock and I have already written the last 5 blurbs, showered, had lunch, made cupcakes, watched Buffy Vs. Dracula, and done all the dishes. I am on FIRE.