Friday, June 29, 2007

From the impulsive buy: Froot Loops Cereal Straws. I can't believe someone invented that. I can believe that someone bought it though--because that seems like something I would do. In fact, that sounds EXACTLY like something I would do. This blogger also reviews such food products as Libby's zesty barbeque Vienna sausage and Jalapeno Spam. Yeah, I know. AWESOME!

May I also suggest you check out this LEGO aircraft carrier. I wish I had a job building giant things out of LEGO. Although it does seem like the people who do this, do it in their spare time. Much like I watch TV in my spare time.

This weekend I am going to watch more Lost, drive to St. Albert, and possibly make homemade chicken stock with a grocery store rotisserie chicken. I am also having people over to watch the exciting Noah Wyle Librarian movies (both of them!) So I have those things to look forward to. In the meantime, though, I'm at work, and I feel sick to my stomach, and I really, really, REALLY want to go home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

adventures in public romance (not the sexy kind--this site is always SFW!)

I just dextrously avoided being asked out by someone at the library help desk--I say dextrously because I employed the classic, "Well, this is a helpdesk, so... if you have an actual question, i will answer it" line (implication: but I do not want to be part of any "confidential conversations," thanks). I don't mind being flirted with, if it's classy flirting--especially since I am feeling rather pretty today--but this wasn't flirting, it was something else far more open and depressing... scouting. Frank evaluation. Predation.

The weird people who try to date me--and there aren't that many, but enough to establish a pattern--are always asking me my name, and I experience this momentary hesitation. Why don't I want them to know my name? If normal crazy people want to know my name, I usually don't mind (it's not like it's a secret), but for some reason if I can tell they're angling to try to ask me out (or whatever we would do, in their crazy version of what relationships are like--make out in the bathroom?) it makes me uncomfortable. It seems like I'm giving them a power they don't deserve. Fairy tales know this: names are powerful. Yet I always stumble over the truth instead of providing a spontaneous, ill-constructed lie. Why can't I be Monique or Sasha or Jamie, just for today? Maybe I should practice.

Another weird guy asked me out earlier in the week, as I was walking from the LRT station to my building, and this guy was OLD. Sometimes I describe people as "old," and I really mean, "over 30," but this guy was 65 if he was a day. I transcribe our conversation for posterity:

OLD guy, with no preamble: Are you single?
Jocelyn, quizzical and amused expression on her face: No.
Old guy: Because you are [indistinct; a combination of an appreciative groan and what may have actually been a real english word, although maybe not].
I walked away, laughing, and when I had gone another ten feet:
Woman sitting on a bench with a bemused look on her face: You're not single either, huh?
Jocelyn: No, not today.

Am I a weird guy magnet? Or is it just logical--only weird guys would try to pick up random women on the street, and therefore, the only men who will try to pick you up on the street are weird by definition? I hope it's the second. Anyway, I wanted to ask this weird guy what, in his weird old guy version of reality, gave him the impression that he had a chance--however remote--of picking me up. I wanted to say, "do I look homeless or mentally ill to you? Do I look like I am in your age or income or attractiveness bracket?" [not that i'm a supermodel, but keep in mind, this guy was getting the senior's discount AND the weird guy discount, and probably a shoplifting-from-value-village discount as well. At least I wear clean clothes and my hair smells like satsuma.] "Do you know that I have a real boyfriend, who is gainfully employed and cute and smart and funny and who accompanies me to foreign films and never describes me using grunting noises? Do you know that I have 15/16ths of a Masters degree, a laundry card, a savings account, multiple pairs of shoes, 471 books, tiny frozen casseroles, handmade jewelry, a sense of dignity, and a myriad of other things that put me way out of your league?"

But I said none of those things. At least I didn't tell him my name.

Well, good morning, internets. I trust you slept well.

The computer helpdesk where I work in the afternoons is so over-air-conditioned that I must bring my armwarmers to work. Or at least, that's my excuse. They are somber, black work-appropriate armwarmers though, so fear not. I would never commit the faux pas of wearing garish armwarmers to work.

Meghan and I wanted Babel yesterday and I liked it, although I didn't love it. Jon didn't really like it though, and I was at a loss to defend it. Sometimes it scares me that I might like movies simply because I'm pretentious, and they fit into my pretentious identity. Although, as Meg pointed out, "You also like lots of things that are dumb!" And that is very true.

I am frightened by how quickly time seems to go by, now that I am working. Every time I have a weekend (which I get very excited about), the weekend seems to be over immediately, and then I have to work again--but only for five days. And then it's the weekend! And then, even in this relatively constrained example, two weeks have already gone by-- out of the 4500 or so I have on this planet, total. I should be accomplishing more, or at least doing what I am doing but in less time, or something. Although not playing Warcraft is a good start.

I need: more money, more coffee, more sleep, more email, more regular mail, and a shower. I could also use some pizza, and a trip to the fabric store. But I believe these are all achievable goals. I have bright hope for the future, internets.

Depictions of grad students on The Simpsons

The source material might be a little sparse for an actual thesis, but I haven't given up hope...

Seriously, though, I made way more than $600 last year. $900, at least.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Le sigh"

A common catch phrase used in the popular classic cartoon "Pepe Le Pew" of Looney Tunes. The cartoon would feature a skunk inevitably falling for a cat who always seemed to get a strip of white pants on her otherwise completely black said feline the appearance of a female skunk... Many little blogging junkies have taken this saying and put it to their own usage to describe the feeling of dejection, apathy, dreaminess, etc. Sadly, most do not know the origin of the phrase. Even so, it is still a quite useful and popular term.
-The Urban Dictionary
That pretty much sums it up.

and we are all very, very old. Yes, even you. Especially you.

the baby from the Nirvana album Nevermind is now 17.

Monday, June 25, 2007

burninating all the peoples

Oh, rock. From thinkgeek: The Im in UR blank, blanking UR blank tshirt. With erasable marker so you can change it to fit any occasion! [I also love how the example thinkgeek has on their site is "I'm in UR medieval village, burninating ur peasants." Nerdy to the core.] I'm in UR internets, maxing out ur credit card.

Earlier post: I'm in ur...

May I suggest you buy this? #3

Ramen Noodle change pouch
$7.50 from MoJo

I broke up with World of Warcraft yesterday

I can't believe that I wrote a blog entry about the bottle-throwing and I forgot the single most important development of my life over the weekend: I canceled my Warcraft account. I finally grew some stones and broke up with that game. We did an instance run yesterday that took almost 5 hours, and at the end of that five hours we had accomplished nothing, and I was actually sobbing from frustration. The other people in my party didn't want me to leave because, even though we were all dying every ten minutes, without a healer we would have all been dying every three minutes. And my home computer has recently, suddenly, inexplicably, begun to suck--refusing to load things quickly, or sometimes, at all. Damned compy! And so the animation in the game was so choppy I was getting all headachy and nauseated, at four frames per second (if that means anything to you). And I had this revelation: it was Sunday evening, and I had done nothing all day, and I felt sick and sad and tired, and I felt like that because of something that I supposedly enjoy and, for that matter, actually pay money to do. And that, internets friends, does not make sense.

It's not like I'll never, ever play again. Sometimes relationships end, and a few months go by, and then you realize you've found enough peace that going back to spending one night a week together won't ruin your life... and might even be kind of satisfying. (Heh.) And if that happens, great. But otherwise, I am now awaiting my next weird, dorky obsession, so if anyone has any suggestions...

Oh, so, as an end to the story, after I broke up with Warcraft (and canceled my account), and in the few Sunday evening hours remaining to me, I did all my dishes, two loads of laundry, made some food, went for a walk with James to the Legislature and stuck my feet in the fountain, and read a book. I was EXTREMELY productive. We full-time-job having people have to be judicious with our spare time.


Here is a picture I took on our walk. I like how super-real (or, as we say in the photography business, "vivid") it looks. I said to James, "it's so beautiful... it looks almost American. Like we were a society that really cared about democracy." (Which is patently ridiculous. How could a society care about democracy, if they don't constantly use it as rhetoric to support every political action they make? Exactly. They can't. And don't.)

At work, working,

Earlier entry, on the subject of breaking up with things that are not people: Dear Edmonton...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How the bottles get broken

A nostalgaic version of Oregon Trail that uses a firefox plug-in to play in your browser. Pretty hot. YOUR WHOLE PARTY HAS DIED OF DYSENTRY, dumbass!
The Great Canadian Wishlist is a CBC initiative (on Facebook! Weird), asking Canadians to vote for their most important wishes for the country. The pro-life and pro-choice wishes are neck and neck, since that's apparently the only political issue we can get out of our desk chairs for.

My neighbourhood is full of broken glass, and I always wonder where it comes from (as I cautiously cut a wide swath around it in my flipflops). Last night I solved the mystery. At around three in the morning, aimless youth have bottle fights in front of the convenience store, and throw bottles at each other. They insult each other in inordinately loud voices, and wake me up. The bottles shatter, and little bits of glass enter their skulls, impeding their brain activity and thus making it even more likely that in the future they will throw bottles at each other.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

notes from under the rabbit-ears

I am currently watching the first season of Lost, and a few episodes in, I would say I am voting Sawyer off the island.

from here to birmingham...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Currently reading...

Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things... That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out

I am really enjoying this book. Like most short story collections, it’s a bit hit and miss, but the introduction by Lemony Snicket is very funny, and the stories by Neil Gaiman and Clement Freud are real stand-outs. Like most McSweeney’s books it is also physically very beautiful, nicely bound, with great illustrations. I haven't finished it yet (two stories to go) but I will today, because tonight I am going to pick up my amazon package from the post office, and then my all-consuming book will become Miranda July's No One Belongs Here More Than You. Summer is for short stories, everyone knows that.

Amazon has Noisy Outlaws... classified as a children’s book (as does McSweeney's), and it had literally never occurred to me that it was-—but now that I think about it, I guess that makes sense. (I bought it from the Space Store in Seattle, so I didn't know what kind of book it was. Or, more accurately, my dad bought it for me.) It says a lot about the book that I didn’t identify it as a children’s book until now. But it doesn't have any swearing, and the dominant tone is kind of silly, so it must be. Highly recommended.

Noisy Outlaws... is currently on sale for $5 at the McSweeney's store. While you're over there, sign me up for their $95 book-a-month-for-a-year club. It sounds heavenly AND economical. I'll pay you back.

I don't know why anyone would care, but in case you do (or if, based on my blog, you are in love with me and want to know everything I do and read and think about), what i have read, am reading, and want to read is always on my list over at listsofbests.

Like intrigue, only boring

Jocelyn: Hi, I have a package waiting there for me to pick up... can you tell me who it's from?
Woman at the post office: I'm sorry, we actually can't give that information out over the phone.
Jocelyn: OK, well, can you just tell me whether it is from Amazon?
WATPO: Just a moment... [comes back] your suspicions are correct.

waiting for a sign

I seriously have no idea how the language of my archives (to the right) became none of the languages I speak or even recognize, but I think it's awesome. deletia: diversity!TM

Edited to add: Damn, it switched back. I swear it was really, temporarily, not English. Now this is going to make me seem crazy. But I am not deleting this post, because if I can't seem crazy on my own blog, then where can I? WHERE CAN I?

Edited again at 3:48 to add: It happened again, and I have proof.

in a foreign country

Yesterday I totally felt like a Ben Lee song, but today, I feel like a Tom Waits song. And not in a good way.

There is new corporate art on the lawn between the train station and the library... and it's TERRIBLE. I don't know how the university is ever going to be world-class if all our corporate art is made out of rusty repurposed steel. It doesn't even look like art, it looks like a plane crashed and they haven't finished cleaning it up. Couldn't we have something made of marble, or concrete, or even new steel instead of rusty steel?

It makes me depressed, but then, it helps that I was already depressed to start with.

In the garden the snake was a charmer
And Eve said let's give it a try
Now lead us not into temptation
But no matter how hard I try...
-Bell XI

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today I learned about the tiny island nation of Mauritius, which is East of Madagascar. (For those of us who enjoy comparing the sizes of other things to the sizes of US states, it's "about the size of Rhode Island.") Apparently, Mauritius has the second-largest GDP in Africa, but more importantly, the whole island is a wireless broadband internets hotspot--or at least, that was the plan in 2005. I can't find any news about whether this ambitious goal has been met. I love that the Department of State entry linked above contains this sentence: "In recent years, information and communication technology (ICT) and seafood have emerged as important sectors of the economy, growing by an average of 40% last year." Information and communication technology and seafood are the future.

You don't see Rhode Island installing no universal wireless.

I am enjoying using bad grammar today--I'm not sure why. It will pass, though. It always does. Saying "internets" instead of "internet" is probably here to stay, though.

I'm in ur library, answering ur chat reference questions.

Notes from the Underground

i. What is up with the scowly people? There are so many people around who scowl at complete strangers (ie., me) for no apparent reason. A lot of them are old, but that's no excuse. I am often tempted to sit down and have a talk with these people. As in, "WHAT? What did I ever do to you? Do I look like the ninja that killed your family?" And they would have no legitimate response. Because you KNOW I don't look like no ninja.

I'm not the world's friendliest person, but at least I don't appear to wish the deaths of complete strangers just because I had a bad day. I've even been known to smile, from time to time.

ii. When the LRT pulls into the University station now, the cool, collected voice on the LRT radio says, "University station. University. Please exit to the right(/left) of the driver." I had this whole rant ready about the dumbing down of our society, and how if someone can't tell when a train pulls into a station which side the platform is on, then that announcement may solve that particular problem for them, but they'll still be a moron. And how signs and announcements and instructions in our society seem to be catering, more and more, to the dumb and litigious-- a tyranny of the moronity. (That phrase is now copyrighted, so don't even think about it.) But then it occurred to me that it is probably for blind people, and that I am a jerk. And THEN it occurred to me that I may not be able to copyright just that one phrase, even if I did invent it, because this whole page is published under a Creative Commons license.

Heh heh. The title of this post is the name of a book by Fyodor Dostoevsky, but it's also literal because the subway goes underground... sigh. Nothing is ever enough for you people, huh?

Work is making me very tired and depressed today. As much as I complain about school (and I DO complain about school) I much prefer it to waking up every morning and putting on stupid clothes and coming here and staring at my computer screen. Work brings up existential questions, which I dislike, such as "What am I really doing here?" (That's 'doing' in italics, not the normal kind of 'doing') and "Is the point of life just to make enough money to keep on buying food so you can keep going to work?" and so on. I don't like to be left in a windowless hallway with an empty desk and questions about the nature of my own existence. Even if I DO have my own stapler. I much prefer to be distracted.

Plus it seems like more things used to happen to me, before, which I could blog about. Now nothing happens to me, and it takes forever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Like the RIAA, only older and slightly less annoying

Via BoingBoing: No license is granted.... The restrictions placed on records released in the early 1900s. "This record is leased solely for the purpose of producing sound directly from the record and for no other purpose..." Selling records for less than $1 is killing the music industry!

looking for another girl

1. From Foreign Policy: a list of the world's worst currencies. Poor Somali shilling--no one takes it seriously.
2. Two funny sites:, which collects notes and signs that are passive-aggressive (or sometimes just aggressive-aggressive), many of them written by roommates. And the office sign, which collects funny signs from workplaces for the world's amusement.
3. reCAPTCHA is a cool project that harnesses the power of users (and their superior intelligence) to aid with digitization projects. These are the little anti-spambot captcha thingies (you know...), but instead of nonsense character strings, you are identifying a word that OCR software can't identify in digitized books. Plus, their website is pretty.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Visual aids

Who Participates and What People Are Doing Online [from Business Week]. An interesting visual representation of what age groups participate in what activities online. Apparently, 24-year-old grad students update their blogs while they are supposed to be working. Who knew?

Mmmmmmonday. Like Mmmmmmcookies.

It's Monday, so that means it's link time, although the pickins are a little slim today:

the comic book economy-- a set of scans of old comic book ads. Fascinating and compelling. Hosted on flickr.
pacman's skull, a paleontological miracle as envisioned by an artist. Whose name I don't know because je ne comprends pas le website en francais.
Two crafty sites: burdastyle, an open-source sewing site; and u-handblog, a blog all about sewing handbags. That might sound a little too specific, but believe me, to the obsessed (including me) it makes perfect sense.

My Tylenol/Coke cure totally worked, I feel 80% better today. I should totally be, like, a doctor or something. And I get paid tomorrow so I am totally going to be ordering some things from Etsy. Like cute cards, and an emo wallet. (I'm not posting the links because then someone will buy them right out from under me, you bastards! I know you would!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend projects


I got my Warcraft alt to level 40 and bought her a pretty grey sheep to ride around. This may seem insignificant, but... yeah, actually, I got nothing. It's insignificant. It did take quite awhile, though, and now I can keep up with my friends as we run around having crazy simulated adventures.


I finished my latest screenprinting project--a $17 (on sale!) jacket from Old Navy that I decorated with pretty pink pomegranate flowers. In this picture, I am sort of blurry with enthusiasm. Or tiredness.

I have gotten sick, suddenly, so today I am sticking to the time-tried formula: soup, Coke, vitamins, and cold Tylenol. I'm not a doctor, but I think it will work. Something about acetominophen, caffeine, and the power of positive thinking.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I tried to complete the personaldna test over at, but then I was confronted with this:
Aaah! WHAT?!? I don't like to answer personality quiz questions on the Internet if they look like conceptual models for information-seeking behaviour, or something. I go on the internet to ESCAPE conceptual models. Plus, I cannot work their slider technology.

So, instead I shall explain briefly why I didn't like Christopher Priest's book The Prestige. What I loved about the movie was how intricate it was--complex, and yet all the elements fit together in this extremely concise, intentional way. Nothing was extraneous or misplaced. The book was completely lacking in that kind of concision: clumsy, sprawling, vague. Obviously the movie could not have happened without the ideas set forth in the book, but in terms of the kind of experience the viewer/reader has of the story, I liked the movie so much more. And I would like to think that it would be the same, even if I had read the book first (although I never would have even finished the book if it weren't for my admiration for the film).

Anyway, you don't care about any of this. Let's talk about Friday.

Earlier entry: as I may have mentioned already...

Kids & Money: clips from a documentary by Lauren Greenfield about kids, consumption and materialism in Los Angeles.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm a pretty big fan of McSweeney's and its various publications, especially The Believer (not to mention its dispatches from a public librarian, which are both funny and sad), although I am also occasionally pleasantly baffled by much of what they produce. I like to know that there are people who know more about these things than I do, and that those people have a means to publish their work, and I try to support them so they can continue to baffle me in the future. Now is a good time to give some of that support in money format, because they're having a huge sale precipitated by the bankruptcy of one of their distributors. Progressive fiction deeds (not to mention original artwork), done dirt cheap. If I hadn't already spent all my money at etsy, I would be so busy buying things I wouldn't even be here.

Earlier this week I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the substrate," which made me laugh the laugh of someone who passed Chemistry 20. And the word "precipitate" reminded me of this chemistry shirt, so for all you know, I have dozens more chemistry terms in my mind, just waiting for me to have a chance to use them. TITRATE!

When I have kids, I'm going to sing them the Neil Young song "Helpless," and teach them all the words. And then their friends will be like, "why do you know the words to that song?" and they won't know. Much as I know the words to a number of Canadian folk songs--it's the circle of life. There is a town in North Ontario...

I am all about doing four of my favourite things in one night:

  1. Watching X-Files
  2. Eating takeaway butter chicken
  3. Screenprinting
  4. Finishing a book [Christopher Priest's The Prestige--I don't like it! Is it possible to like a movie and not the book it was based on? Am I biased because I saw the movie first? In some heretofore undetermined future post, I address these issues and more!]
Any time I spend updating this site is time I am not spending doing the four things. See ya.

This quote made my whole day. And I mean that LITERALLY.

Homeless guy #1: Damn! I just got kicked out of the library! Damn!
Homeless guy #2: What did you do, man?
Homeless guy #1: I don't know. I don't know.
Homeless guy #2: Aren't you drunk?
Homeless guy #1: Well, yeah. Also, I might have been looking at dirty pictures on the computer.
Homeless guy #2: Aw, that's not so bad.
Homeless guy #1: And they said that I was being disrespectful to the librarians.
Homeless guy #2, freaking out: No way, man! You can never, never disrespect the librarians! Always respect librarians! What were you thinking? Are you an idiot?
Outside Boulder Public Library
Boulder, Colorado

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

19th-century weapon found in whale [Yahoo news].

"Embedded deep under its blubber was a 3 1/2-inch arrow-shaped projectile that has given researchers insight into the whale's age, estimated between 115 and 130 years old."

From The 13 most ridiculous TV shows ever to get green-lit. Featuring a surprising number of shows featuring space, aliens, alien impregnation, superpowers, and unlikely crime-fighting teams or duos. You couldn't come up with dumber premises, except maybe if you drank a bunch of Kahlua first.

May I suggest you buy this? #2

Polaroid T-Shirt

$10 by make something new

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Some links, plus one sentence on the subject of vocation

From the Wall Street Journal: How various presidents stack up in terms of approval ratings. Poor Gerald Ford--that guy had nothing BUT bad days.

An interesting article from Malcolm Gladwell about the development and marketing of SUVs and the impact on safety. From 2004--don't ask me why these things suddenly show up on digg. "According to Bradsher, internal industry market research concluded that S.U.V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills." SNAP!

A diverting yet pointless page demonstrating lakes and islands in various combinations. Did you know that the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake is in Mindemoya Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron? I sure didn't. Thank God. The very idea of knowing such things makes me exhausted.

Today made me think that maybe I made a bad choice in becoming a librarian, since I have so little patience for the stupidity of others.

Paranoia, from a computer gaming angle

I started my first ever Horde character on Warcraft last week, and it has given me an interesting perspective on the politics of good and evil. (The Horde are the "bad" guys in Warcraft--orcs, trolls, undead, and so on. Although my character is a tauren, by far the cutest of the horde races, because I know that in fantasy literature, and presumably video games, what's on the outside usually stands for what's on the inside. In computer games, as in life, my mantra is: "Always be as cute as possible.") More than once, playing the other side of this game has prompted me to wonder, a la George Bush: "Why do they hate us?" The solution for ethnic wars may actually be a computer game that forces people to play the opposite side! Wow, I totally just came up with a plan for world peace and it's not even lunch time yet!

From Terranova: The Horde is evil-- a fairly serious examination of the ideas of good and evil as they are expressed in the factions of World of Warcraft.
A study on Alliance vs. Horde demographics shows slight differences in what motivates players of either faction.

Paranoia, from various angles

Alarmed about password security and the state of the world, I have recently stopped using variations on the same password for all my accounts, and I have even added numbers to some of my passwords--and not the lazy man's password numbers, which are adding "1," "111," or "123" to the ends of passwords. ("That's like a code an idiot would have for his luggage!") Essentially, my online identity is now impregnable. Or possibly, you could impregnate it, but you would have to get it pretty drunk first. The problem with this new regime, however, is that I can no longer remember my passwords for anything, and they're impossible to guess--by hackers, but also, by me. I can never clear my brower's cookies, or I will be dead in the water.

My project for this summer--for we must have goals, without them we are nothing--is to watch the entire series of The X-Files, from beginning to end, including the movie and all the later seasons which I have never seen. Returning to this show and watching it again has really helped me to realize how I've matured. (I'm being serious; stay with me.) Teenage Jocelyn couldn't get enough of Mulder, with his suffering and his convictions and his puppy-dog eyes. And the show is kind of obsessed with him, constantly finding ways to linger on those things. But Teenage Jocelyn also liked Skinner, and I have to say, in retrospect, that he's the much more interesting character of the two, because unlike Mulder he doesn't have puppy dog eyes, he's bald, and his life is constrained by danger and responsibility. He's like a grown-up! And Grown-Up Jocelyn can't get enough of him, and his head-butting! (I sometimes like to say, out loud, what I know the characters are thinking, and for Skinner it's usually: "STOP. SMOKING. IN. MY. OFFICE.")

Two other observations on The X-Files: (1) One thing I find hilarious about this show in the early seasons is the extent to which we are clearly expected to find Mulder adorable. He's always got his shirt off for one reason or another. Usually he is running or swimming or something, and all sweaty. And yet Scully is constantly appearing in her giant, superhero-esque overcoat over a series of puffy-shouldered power suits. What happened to the male gaze? Has it been disregarded completely? (2) The other thing I have noticed about this show, at least in the early seasons, is that Scully is in more or less constant danger. She is always being threatened, kidnapped, assaulted, held hostage, or otherwise messed with. And Mulder is always rescuing her, although sometimes she does a pretty good job of rescuing herself. Is her vulnerability because she is a woman (a) meant to reflect the fact that the world is a dangerous place (sometimes) for women, which I think is true (b) trying to suggest that she is weak, which I don't think is true or (c) just giving Mulder lots of chances to save her, since the show tries really hard to valorize him? I'm not sure. I hope it's the first one, and I really hope it's not the second.

Anyway, none of this matters at all. It's just the usual attempt, on my part, to clear my head. I'm not a TV-ologist, but I do watch a lot of TV.

The Joceosaurus

Earlier entry: In defense (well, sort of...) of CSI
Even earlier entry: Notes from Season 4 of The X-Files

Monday, June 11, 2007

Seemingly superfluous business idea #1,279

Possibly the best thing about Alcohol Controls - Loss Prevention Products for the Bar Industry is their slogan: "Protecting your liquid assets."

The good news is, I can now name all 53 countries in Africa in under three minutes. It wasn't easy, but I memorized this list, and with some hard work and extreme work-induced boredom, you can too.

deletia loves Finland!

1. From MAKE: Tent camping for the city dweller.
2. If Fox News had existed throughout history-- "King George: 'They hate America'"
3. From Stay Free! Magazine: a crazy news story about Finland's sliding scale for traffic tickets, which resulted in one man getting a fine of $71,000.

Friday, June 8, 2007

"We missed you on the charts last weekend, oh that's right-- you wasn't there."

At this moment, I am listening to the Timbaland/Justin Timberlake/Nelly Furtado song "Give It To Me," and I ask myself, "Is this song about the musicians' rivalries with anyone in particular?" Of course, Wikipedia knows the answer:

"In an interview with MTV, Timbaland revealed the target of his verse to be producer Scott Storch, with whom he co-wrote Timberlake's 2002 single "Cry Me a River." Though production on the song is credited solely to Timbaland, Storch has claimed that he helped produce it and did not receive due credit.[3]

Additionally, it is rumored Timberlake's verse is aimed at pop artist Prince. Prince reportedly started a feud during an Emmy after-party, claiming that "For whoever is claiming that they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!" which caused Timberlake's response.[4] When the song was released it was rumored that Justin's verse was aimed at pop sensation Janet Jackson but this rumor has later been put to rest."

It even has footnotes! Wikipedia is hilarious.

May I suggest you buy this? #1

In my Etsy travels, I am always coming across things that, while cool/purty/ironic/post-mo, just don't really suit my taste or that I have no use for. However, these items deserve to find homes, because they are cool/purty/ironic/post-mo. Therefore, I present "May I suggest you buy this?" a new, sporadic deletiaTM feature.

Nintendo controller Coin Purse

$9 / from LindseyPorter

Wow, my list of things I am happy about just got longer. Like, only 1 item longer, but still, it's a significant one item. Aside from that overheard in the office site, which I linked to yesterday, there are a bunch of others, including celebrity wit! Now, you may be saying, "Jocelyn, these people are interviewed all the time. They are under constant surveillance. Every time they say one stupid thing, the press has a field day. It's exploitative and immature and unfair." And to that, I reply:

"I make Jessica Simpson look like a rock scientist." -Tara Reid

"I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup." -Gwyneth Paltrow
Any questions?

Also: overheard at the beach, overheard in New York, overheard everywhere

things that make me happy today: burt's bees pomegranate lip balm, friday (and Meghan making out with friday), going out to the bar three weeknights in a row, getting things in the mail from etsy every day, the prospect of the farmer's market tomorrow

things that make my unhappy today: stores that have a pseudo-canadian version of their online store (with a .ca domain name) but when you go to check out, they want to charge you in American dollars and send your order from the United States--via some bizarre non-USPS priority mail that will mean paying a bundle in taxes and fees at the border. DON'T TRY TO TRICK ME! I've been down that road before.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I've started using Google Calendar to keep track of my life as previously noted. This is because basically all my commitments are work-related and I don't like having to carry my giant binder around to remind me of them. I just got back to my desk after a 2:00 meeting and there was a little pop-up window on my desktop telling me I have a 2:00 meeting. Creepy and not that useful! Since if I had waited for the pop-up window, I would have been late for my meeting!

Instead of using google, I should just use my noodle. Heh.

Some of the quotes on this website made me laugh so hard I almost cried: overhead in the office. Note: if you're at work, try to laugh silently. In a way, that just makes it funnier.

Lately: reviews of things I have read/seen, composed primarily of adjectives

  • Shrek 3: uninspired. EVERYONE was calling it in.
  • 21 Grams: Bleak, fractured, and powerful.
  • Pirates 3: Convoluted and confusing, but beautiful to watch and oddly satisfying.
  • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: As charming and timeless as I remember--but with an added edge of anxiety over runaway children that I don't remember from my childhood love of the book.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [the movie]: I saw this movie again, as part of my half-assed re-readings and re-watchings, preparing for Harry-Potter-A-Palooza 2007. I believe my admiration for these movies, such as it is, can be summed up as follows: Alan Rickman. Maggie Smith. Hermione. A pretty cool castle.
  • Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay: hottt, with plenty of heartbreak, morphine addiction, and family psychosis to go around.
  • Ann and Seamus: OK. In other words, Canadian.
  • Away From Her: Touching, sad, and beautifully shot. In other words, Canadian.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

more TV meta-references

Did you know that Veronica Mars rents a car from the same fictional rental company, Lariat, that Mulder and Scully rent cars from? TV is one big in-joke! You heard it here first!

earlier post: did you know...

"If facts were the only thing that counted, the telephone directory would be the book of books." -Werner Herzog in this very short interview with The Onion AV Club

twitter? more like fritter. ing. away time.

twitterku compiles haiku poems from the twitter public stream. I like: "spining on my chair/MIssing someone. Or am I?/still hating twitter" and also: "Picking up my kids.../drinking an orange fanta/I got my griffin"

I joined twitter but I don't really see the point of it. What do I care what other people are doing? It's all about me, me, me! Plus the last thing I need in my life is one more social networking site to check obsessively.

A fishtank rut.

I seem to be in this fishtank rut I can't get out of, so I'll just roll with it. Via design blogger Josh Spear, the three-room (three-bowl?) fish condo.

My friend Courtney was just on a fishing trip and she informed me that she has exacted partial revenge for me by catching a bunch of fish. That's a relief. There are still a lot left though, messing with us. (The fish in this picture is the same kind of fish that I used to have, Mr. Mixxx. He was evil, and to be honest, I never would have purchased him such a nice home.)

I'm at work and I can't say that I am getting all that much done, although I have started using google calendar to keep track of my various obligations. It's OK-fun. I do get to make my appointments orange, and that's important. But I would like to not have all 24 hours of the day visible for every day--it's disorienting. As in, "2 AM? Aren't I supposed to be sleeping at 2 AM?" Who has things scheduled at 2 AM, besides hookers? And sub-question, do hookers really have any use for google calendar?

I need a project. A quilt, a wall to paint, a book to write, or something.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday link brigade

Much as its name implies, weird converts things from a normal unit--say, a centimetre--to a weird unit. Or from a weird unit to a weird unit. Like for example an american cockroach, a Shaquille O'Neill, or a placenta. For example, there is .55 Tom Cruises (in weight) to 1 Jennifer Aniston. The height comparison would be more like 1.1:1, probably. Wait, did I get that backwards? Fractions have never been my strength, or my calling.

Knowledge Navigation: this video explains Apple's vision for the future. Nothing that exciting about that. But it's from the 80s, which makes it funny.

Useful household tips: this video shows how to fold over a chip bag to preserve freshness and avoid chip-spilling embarrassment. Without any kind of external technology! Impress your friends, and strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.

Three sites related to strange geography: strange maps, a blog that collects the titular items; blind atlas, which discusses the geography of invisible places; and VirtualAni, about the deserted Armenian city.

Bonus link: Brazilian artist Icaro Doria uses flags as graphs that show statistics about their countries.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Until further notice, I will be watching movies in my air-conditioned apartment, feeling guilty about running said air conditioning, and freaking out about people I went to junior high with who are on facebook and are (a) cute (b) the same or (c) far more real, and less mythical, than I could have predicted or been comfortable with.

Wacky news: Pole wakes up from 19-year coma [BBC News]. "A Polish man has woken up from a 19-year coma to find the Communist party no longer in power and food no longer rationed, Polish TV reports."

Just like that movie!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Did you know that Spike (from Buffy) and Cancer Man (from X-Files) smoke the same fictional brand of cigarettes? You can buy your own package of them.

Friday, June 1, 2007

From Thinkgeek, creators of the desktop carnivorous terrarium and the mini Stonehenge, comes: the RFID-blocking wallet. Paranoia about RFID is not just for, well, paranoids anymore. I'm pretty sure this product will live up to its slogan: "More comfortable than aluminum foil in your pants."

My friend Parker made this movie a long time ago. It is awesome, and now, it is on YouTube, along with the rest of the output of Western civilization.

It's not a secret holiday, is it? There is NO ONE ELSE in the office. It's suspicious. I'm pretty sure the world hasn't ended though (which is always my first assumption) because a workman just walked by my desk. So there must be something else going on... some kind of cool library breakfast I wasn't invited to? With pancakes and orange mocca frappucinos and collocation? Well, if no one else gets here by lunchtime I'm going home. Or I'll just spend the whole afternoon watching the otter cam.

List of secret holidays: Don't Tell Anyone Day (usually celebrated on the first Saturday after Christmas), Keep It Secret Week (Mar 1-7), 4/20 (April 20, obviously), Jocelyn Still Has To Go To Work Day (June 1st), Skull & Bones Day (which usually commemorates the day George Bush Sr. entered office), Shavuot (late May/early June), Taciturn Eve (it's not actually a secret, but it might as well be), Ssssssssh (Sometime in late August; no one knows for sure because it's not talked about).

Heh. It could actually be Shavuot. Insert tasteless joke about a Jewish library conspiracy here.