Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Compensating for under-posting by over-posting? You decide.

As of today, the library where I work subscribes to the database Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute Standards and Guidelines. We can all rest easy--FINALLY I have access to the resources I need to do my job properly.

It's for your own good.

Anna Quindlen writes in Newsweek: How much jail time for women who have abortions? Quindlen raises an interesting point, that even the most adamant pro-lifers (or abortion-should-be-illegalers) have trouble advocating jail time for women who've had abortions (if abortion were illegal).

"Is the message that women are not to be held responsible for their actions? Or is it merely that those writing the laws understand that if women were going to jail, the vast majority of Americans would violently object? Watch the demonstrators in Libertyville try to worm their way out of the hypocrisy: It's murder, but she'll get her punishment from God. It's murder, but it depends on her state of mind. It's murder, but the penalty should be ... counseling?"

An interesting article about human brains and computing, from Wired: For Certain Tasks, the Cortex Still Beats the CPU. It's about Luis von Ahn, the guy who invented the captcha, among other things. One of the developments mentioned in the article is this esp game, which (aside from being fun) uses human intelligence to label images on the web. I played it for awhile, but I kept getting frustrated with the people I was playing with, as in, are they stupid? Are they some kind of tagging moron? Now that I am almost graduated from library school, I have trouble giving other people the emotional support and space needed to assign quality metadata.

Tuesday is basically Mini-Monday.

And not in a good way.

The shark-games people play

This Shark-runners game (From Discovery Channel, in honour of Shark Week) is kind of fun. You get to captain a research vessel conducting shark research. It takes place in real-time and the movements of the sharks are based on the movements of real sharks--tagged with tracking equipment. I do enjoy captaining things.

Facebook is updating their servers, or something, and I can't access the site. It's weird how these things become such a habit that not being able to check them is really disorienting--even though I KNOW there is nothing important happening on Facebook. Especially since no one else can log in either.

The final paycheque of the month is a depressing prospect--I pay my bills and have $90 left over to last me until the next one. No Etsy for me. This is contributing to today's sense of weltschmertz. My class isn't helping either--I dread Mondays and Wednesdays, and sort-of dread Tuesdays, as they have too much in common with Mondays and Wednesdays.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Necessitating emergency lunchtime bandage purchases

Pretty shoes lie. They look at you, all cute and pretty, with their little flower-shaped cutouts and their clunky soles, and they bat their metaphorical shoe-eyelashes. Then you buy them and wear them to work and in the time it takes to walk two blocks to the LRT station, they've worn several layers of skin off in an area the size of a quarter. Why are the prettiest shoes always the cruelest?

Also, since this post is already labeled "mysteries," a little taste of my work-life: How, how, HOW do you convert MARC records into Dublin Core so they can be imported into DSPace? HOW? (If you want to know what all that means, just ask Wikipedia, 'cause I got no patience for your ignorance, internets.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A crush.

I am not usually the type of girl who falls in love with shoes, but these, well...


Friday, July 27, 2007

I'd rather swallow glass--it's not just a clever expression

I had lunch at the SugarBowl yesterday, and I am troubled by the quantity of crunchy, broken ceramic/glass fragments in my food. I'm not kidding. Any amount of such fragments in food is troubling, really, so there's no scale. I managed to not eat most of the pieces, but I think I did swallow a few, and now I'm concerned about my internal organs. I feel fine, except for this general feeling of queasiness and discomfort that will result from asking oneself, every few seconds, "Does my stomach lining feel like it's torn, or has tiny shards of broken plate in it? How about my intestines?"

Actually, if you stop to focus on it, your body is a constant producer of tiny, insignificant pain/discomfort/danger signals. Sit still for a minute, concentrating on the question Is something wrong with me? and you'll see what I mean. I'm taking comfort in the knowledge that if there was something amiss with my organs, I would know. Like, I wouldn't be sitting here drinking coffee and pondering the relationship of the self to the body.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My favourite lolcat

It's just so cute, internets! Normally I try to avoid posting pictures of kittens... especially kittens that aren't mine. (Which is all the kittens, because I don't have any kittens, because kittens are cute but they grow into cats and I don't like cats.) But have to make an exception for this. Plus, the idea of embarking on some kind of epic quest with that kitten (CLEARLY a sissy) is ludicrous! I'm sorry, but it's true.

So, my day is progressing as usual. I have made two trips to Tim Hortons already, but I think I'm done for the day. Also, the elevator is broken, so every time I go downstairs I have to come back up... six flights. For an expedition like that, you need some kind of heroic kitten. I shall go to my class tonight, and it shall be no more or less boring than usual, I expect. I keep expecting some kind of theoretical framework for records management to emerge... and it just doesn't happen. More insignificant detail builds on the original, insignificant-detail foundation. Stupid last class of my degree.

I saw a job ad yesterday for a 12 hour a week job at a library. I immediately whipped out the microsoft calculator to check if I could live on such a small amount of money. The answer: no, but almost. If I were to get some other, similarly slacker job a couple days a week, I would have enough money to live on (and make student loan payments, natch). How much of a loser would I be if I got a master's degree, then spent my whole working life working part-time jobs in order to spend the least possible amount of time at work? I mean, on the Official Loser Scale, where 1 is, I don't know, Shaft, and 10 is Comic Book Guy from Simpsons?

Yeah, that's what I thought. OK, fine, I'll keep looking.

May I suggest you buy this? #6

How To Wear a Sari "Instructionwear" T-Shirt

$22 from Interrobang
(They also have cute "Ask Me About Time Travel" and iPod clickwheel shirts!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Status update: Jocelyn is updating her blog.

I switched from google calendar to 30boxes, and boy is it fun! It lets me do everything I wanted my online calendar to do, ie., make different types of events different colours. And it syncs with facebook! It keeps trying to get me to add buddies, though, which puzzles me. Why would anyone else want to know that I have a digital archives/copyright meeting tomorrow at 2?

Last night was crazy. We have had extreme, 30 degree-plus heat here for the past week or so, and last night it broke in a spectacular storm. In the two blocks between the LRT station and my apartment building, I got soaked to the skin (literally), everything in my bag got wet, and there were hailstones the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil caught in my hair. It was pretty hilarious, actually. Confronted with weather like that, what can you do but just walk serenely through it? I came home and immediately hung up all my clothes in the shower.

Yesterday's Cat and Girl was hilarious.

Art of the business card photoset on flickr. As a crafty librarian, I think my business cards should look like card catalogue cards... something to ponder.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I submitted a slogan to threadless's type tees contest. That's right, you could one day wear a shirt with a slogan on it that I invented--one of several I invent each day! (Most of these shirt ideas are immediately discarded because they are extremely rude, esoteric, or only applicable to one situation [the one immediately at hand]. Others are discarded later because I forget about them. None are ever made into shirts.) Unfortunately, my slogan does now have its original impact, but I still think it's cool. Originally, I wanted "Nietzche was an asshole," but apparently you can't say "asshole" on television. So I settled for "Nietzche was a jerk." And he WAS, you know.

I love the Habitat building in Montreal, so I'm happy to see it getting dugg/delicioused, even under the inaccurate title "What did the architect smoke?" (In spite of the suggestion that Moshe Safdie must have been taking drugs to design it, I think these photos show how livable the building remains even after 40 years... all those patios and windows!)

I don't like Mondays

I have links a-plenty for you today, internets.

As I mentioned, I finished the last Harry Potter book, and in its honour, I have funny Asian Harry Potter franchise knock-offs including Harry Potter and the Leopard-Walk-Up-To-Dragon and Harry Potter and the Filler of Big.

Inmates of a Philippines prison perform the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance. I am so baffled by this. What happened to the classic "Jailhouse Rock"? There is also a LEGO version on youtube, but it's pretty boring--it doesn't have the same appeal.

From Bad Gods: Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks.

Another conceptual map of the web, this one modeled on the Tokyo subway system. (Earlier related links: A periodic table of the internet, map of online communities)

And finally: if you live with lazy roommates/spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends who also happen to be gamers, perhaps you can trick them into helping out more with chore wars, a website that uses RPG-style characters and XP for housework. I joined, but since I live alone, there is really no question: around Jocelyn Manor, I get ALL the XP, finish all the dish-washing quests, and do all the decorative-wall-decal-buying-contemplation.

I finished my capping exercise! All I have to do is pass this class I'm enrolled in, and I'm gonna gradumacate! I'm gonna make it after all!

Clever names for temp/headhunting agencies, with puns

  1. Hire Power
  2. Hire Ground
  3. A Hire Purpose

Clever names for HR departments within universities or other post-secondary institutions, with puns, or rather, the same pun again

  1. Hire Education

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Drowning or waving...

I've just finished the final Harry Potter book. I started crying on page 484, read until the mid-500s, went to volunteer at the Shakespeare festival, got home around 4, and cried until the end. Since I picked up my copy around 10 yesterday morning, not too shabby.

I was pleased with the way the series turned out. I'm not as big a fan of these books as many people are, but I do enjoy immersing myself in them, and I think my enjoyment always ultimately comes down to what a masterful, careful, and seamless storyteller J. K. Rowling is. These books are so phenomenally popular, and the magical world of them is so absorbing, that I think the sheer writing talent J. K. Rowling has is often overlooked--especially given the semi-mythological story about how she conceived of the central conceit of the series. The idea of thinking of something on a train belies the effort that must go into the writing of these books. Everything about them, every detail, has been placed there with such obvious care, and yet that care is invisible, unforced. I guess it stands to reason--you don't become one of the best-selling writers of all time with mediocrity. And I guess my appreciation for it is kind of bizarre, I mean, I like the stories--they're imaginative and touching and funny and classic without being trite--but my love for these books really comes down to craft.

And now, with apologies to Witold Rybczynski, Dave Eggers, and Alberto Manguel, I shall return to my normal reading activities. And also, possibly, watch Veronica Mars. And eat some dinner--a strange new spicy dish I just invented, made with red wine, shrimp, and chili sauce. Laundry has fallen by the weekend-scheduling wayside, though. So it goes. It's the books' world--I just live in it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

This makes me laugh: The Hipster PDA. It actually looks a lot like my PDA.

Well, internets, it's Friday. As a small act of rebellion, I wore jeans to work, since I anticipate being along in the office for most of the day. I was eating some dinosaur fruit snacks, and now I'm updating the old(e) blog(e)... good times. In 6 1/4 hours, I'm going home, and until then, I don't anticipate accomplishing much.

Since last weekend, I've been sick off and on, and I haven't been sleeping, and my mental health feels like it's unraveling. So last night I did the most comforting things I can think of: I made mini-pizzas in my toaster oven. I turned on the air conditioning. I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And then I took two ibuprofen and a sleeping pill, and went to bed. I dreamt of Desktop Tower Defence and Harry Potter.

Thoughts thought at 6:12 in the morning

[Jocelyn is awakened by a loud crash] "What's that noise? Oh, it's just someone stealing a car..." [Jocelyn goes back to sleep]

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Also, Kevin bit me

This is kind of interesting: The Periodic Table of the Internet.

I feel sick and want to go home, but my supervisor and my supervisor's supervisor are both on holidays--so who can give me leave to do so? No one. And so I remain. The title of this post refers to other reasons why I might be allowed to go home, especially if I were in elementary school.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Apparently, in spite of all the time and energy committed to security, the text of the last Harry Potter book was leaked online. It's available as a torrent--as a series of photographs of every page. I have to say, this obsession with getting the book 72 hours before everyone else baffles me. Just wait for it to come out! Don't you have other stuff to do? CUT YOUR HAIR! [Via BoingBoing, where I steal all my links, but I'm cool with it]

Also from BoingBoing: The math comic xkcd issued a challenge to readers based on this comic: to create real-life versions of the photo. The results are astounding. I love the attention to detail--the hands on chins!

I just had a momentary near-heart-attack when a co-worker told me he is looking for a way to scan paper documents to PDFs... several, hundred-page-documents. Fortunately, the conversation ended with... "But the question remains, who's going to do it? And it ain't going to be you. Or me." AWESOME.

I love Wednesdays because they are one-liner days at Overheard in New York--so many posts! Well, I shouldn't say I love them. I hate them less than I otherwise might.

I feel pretty today, internets. It's so hot outside, I'm all disheveled, and my hair is messy. I feel wanton.

May I suggest you buy this? #5

Storm Trooper Cufflinks $18 from luxedeluxe

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Keep it light enough to travel

I'm happier than usual tonight--my CSS blessings multiply. I got a ride to the grocery store to buy my usual weird assortment of food: ground chicken, sugar-free Peek Freans (James: "You are 80 years old."), dinosaur fruit snacks, and skim milk. My new Harry Potter book is reserved and pre-paid for, from my local independent bookseller. I get to go on a mini-road-trip to Red Deer this weekend so James can get his passport application signed by the only judge we know. (Long story.) I got to dig out the ole MLA handbook tonight for the first time in months. There are lots of things to feel happy about--just set the bar low.

Sometimes it's like Alberto Manguel is reading my mind:

Every library suffers from this urge to increase in order to pacify our literary ghosts, 'the ancient dead who rise from books to speak to us' (as Seneca described them in the first century A.D.), to branch out and bloat until, on some inconceivable last day, it will include every volume ever written on every subject imaginable. (The Library At Night, 86)

I am having one of those days where I am frustrated by being unable to read everything, simultaneously, but I shall have to settle for The Library At Night, Dave Eggers' How We Are Hungry, and beginning on the weekend, the penultimate Harry Potter. And I mean 'penultimate' in the incorrect sense that it usually gets used, in case you were confused by that.

Who's your daddy?

I totally just figured out how to properly indent a bibliography using CSS. Oh yeah-- I'm feeling like a pretty big deal at this moment.

That is all.

Monday, July 16, 2007


That thing totally happened, you know that thing where you get so wrapped up your work that you lose track of what time it is, and then suddenly it's 3:25 and you get to go home in one hour?

That thing.


Thoughts on five million books

On the surface, librarians are people who venerate books, who understand their value and their power. They wouldn't be librarians if they didn't care. Part of the reason I wanted to be a librarian is that I have always believed that books, and information, have the power to change people's lives--not only believed that but known it, instinctively. But at the same time, I wonder if librarians' daily exposure to books in such large quantities also breeds a kind of apathy about them. That is definitely becoming the case for me. The University of Alberta library, where I work, has one of the largest library collections in Canada: over 5 million books, one and a half million maps, almost 4 million items on microform, subscriptions to almost 50,000 journals and magazines. Every time I arrive at, or leave, my office, I walk through a maze of uncatalogued material--books, magazines, economic reports, maps, novels, many of them in languages I don't recognize--and a part of me wonders, Why are we bothering? Once a librarian pores over these things to catalogue them, what are the chances that another person will look at them, ever? Don't we already have something in the collection that would serve just as well? I could pick up an economic report on Tuvalu and take it with me, and no one would ever be the wiser. (Not that I would ever do such a thing--I am speaking philosophically.)

When I first started working, the way I found my way back to my own office was by watching for the big stack of boxes labelled "German Monos." (As in monographs, not mononucleosis.) It has since disappeared, presumably into the library at large, but some of the romance of spending one's life among such a great, unreadable mass remains. The German Monos represented what is best about libraries to me: information that is mysterious, maybe incomprehensible even, but comforting in its very existence, its accessibility. I will never lose interest in the library's contents: "the translation of every book in all languages, the interpolations of every book in all books," as Borges says. But that sense of romance has become tempered a bit, weakened by apathy, by the knowledge that an infinite library can contain one perfectly relevant book, but also infinity minus one irrelevant books. When you have 5 million books, what do you need any particular one for? Of course, that's not productive thinking. Once you head down that path, where do you stop? We have to keep believing that more is always better. Otherwise we're lost.

But not anymore.

Good morning, internets.

It was the weekend! I did everything without leaving my apartment. It was far too hot to go anywhere or do anything. It was still pretty good, though, as weekends go. And I got two parcels in the mail yesterday-- ON SUNDAY! It was completely inexplicable. Since when does Canada post deliver anything on Sunday? My "powerty" poster arrived ("woo! Powerty!").

I am well into Season 2 of LOST now. Michelle Rodriquez showed up, prompting this conversation:

Jocelyn: It's just like Battlestar Galactica.
James: And Admirable Boobs?
Jocelyn: She's a tough psycho, but you can sort of understand why she did what she did--her circumstances transformed her into a psycho.
(Admirable Boobs = Admiral Kane)
I still don't have a crush on Sawyer, gunshot wounds and sultry eyes be damned. I tried to have a crush on Boone, but then I found out he was a male model, and THEN he died, so I guess it was not to be. I am hesitant to develop a crush on any of the characters on this show--I'm afraid of them going crazy. I don't want to be responsible.

I'm enrolled in the last class of my degree right now, which means that I have to finish the final academic requirement of my program (besides the class), my "capping exercise." This is a re-working of an earlier paper, updated and internetified. I have zero desire to work on it. The paper I chose is on digital copyright in Canada, which happens to intersect with my (paid) summer research project, so I am doing two literature reviews for the price of one. How crafty! Anyway, I'll be sure to post a link to my capping exercise when it's done, since I know the whole internet is waiting with baited breath to read about libraries and digital copyright in Canada. I will post it and within hours it will catapault to the top of digg and delicious.

I'm actually developing a personal site with my CV, portfolio, etc., on it, and I'm debating whether I am actually self-obsessed enough to put it up. I am not suffering from any delusions that people are interested in me, but I DO want to get a job, and I think a personal website might make me seem more tech-competent. I don't know if my desire to appear cool and unpretentious will win out over my mercenary desire to appear savvy and employable. It's, like, a total battle of personal values.

I just discovered Barbara Ehrenreich's blog at the Huffington Post. I want to be Barbara Ehrenreich when I grow up.

Ted Stevens (the "internet is not a dump truck" guy) wants to switch from his land-line to wireless while riding his motorcycle. Wha?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday mornin' comin' down

I made these human eyeball pincushions last night, using this flickr tutorial. (There are also some for sale in the Etsy store of the woman who made the tutorial.) It was very easy, and I like how disgusting they look. I even learned a new embroidery stitch for this project, so I would say I've accomplished everything I need to for the weekend. (Plus, I found a way to recycle those plastic 2L pop bottle caps, which are a key structural element!) Everything I do today is just gravy. And I may make actual gravy.

I made a Facebook album of my various craft projects. I know, how self-aggrandizing of me.

(Whoa... in the USA, what size are the big bottles of pop ["soda"]? 2 litres is such an ideal size! I know we have more in common that what divides us [awwww....] but sometimes I am just so disoriented by the idea of living in a world where things are measured differently. Also, I have decided to start refering to the United States as the "USA," or better yet the "US of A," because I think it has a retro, old-timey feel. Anyway...)

Otherwise, though, the weekend has been a bit of a bust so far as I felt bizarrely, unpleasantly ill yesterday due to what was likely one or more of the following illnesses:

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome [I regularly become convinced that I have this, in spite of its extreme rarity]
  • Sunstroke [Even though I was very sick before I ever went out in the sun]
  • Air conditioning malaise [because the air that is breathed into my apartment by the air conditioning system smells and tastes funny]
  • hunger [on weekends, I sometimes become so lazy about food that I basically don't eat any of it, and my body rapidly progresses past hunger to a headachey, nauseated, muscle-achey state. Since I do not diagnose this state as hunger, I conclude that eating won't help, and I get sicker. This happens a surprising amount, and yet I just don't learn. I am like a baby bird that cannot care for itself.]
  • the flu [when I have flu-like symptoms, generally I only consider a flu diagnosis as a last resort.]
So I spent most of the day indoors, watching Lost (and singing the theme song), and when I ran out of episodes, James drove me to not one but two movie stores to get more.

I am actually being serious here when I say that true love is driving someone around on a Saturday afternoon to rent them more DVDs, because they are feeling sick and sad. Not to mention driving them to Wal-Mart so they can buy felt and embroidery floss to make pincushions shaped like human eyeballs. I have the best boyfriend in the world, internets. Our six-year anniversary is coming up at the end of this month--I may have to write a commemorative poem or something. (I mean, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to date 18-year-old me, so I would say James really took one for the team there.) And despite the impression this website may give, I actually love other things about him besides the fact that he drives me around. I can list some of these other things in the poem, maybe.

I gotta bounce.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I am going to finish watching Season 1 of LOST this weekend. I like that this show doesn't have a theme song, that the opening credits just play over the opening scenes. It leaves more time for medical-emergency, mystery-solving, baby-having, hatch-finding, subtitled-fight-picking, Sawyer-sulking drama. But I do kind of miss having a song I can sing along with--it helps to give TV shows structure. (I never tire of the Buffy theme song, and the little finger-dance that goes along with it. I still rock out to the Dandy Warhols' Veronica Mars theme song [We Used to Be Friends] every time I hear it. I like the Alias theme song, and the maraca-like chick-a chick-a sound I always feel compelled to make at the end of it. The only theme song that I cannot abide is Gilmore Girls' Where You Lead. CAROLE KING, KISS MY ASS!) So to fill the void left by the absence of a LOST theme song, I have written my own. It is very short, composed of the word "LOST!" sung only once, but it has a dramatic operatic quality that I think will appeal to the show's audiences. If I can ever reach them with it. Ideally, this song should be sung twice every episode, once when the open title appears, and once at the end as the credits begin. It takes all my singing talent to sing it, and I sing it well.

[Actually, the LOST theme song I have written has a sort of interesting history. Joss Whedon's production company, Mutant Enemy, has a little segment that plays at the end of his shows. (If you want to watch the youtube video, and why not?, it's here.) But in the musical episode of Buffy, the little monster sings his "Grr argh," in a very cute and musical way. And the LOST theme song is actually the word "Lost," sung to the tune of the musical "grr argh," if you can picture that--and if you can, please make a recording of it and send it to me, because your version of it based on my convoluted description promises to be hilarious.]

Happy weekend, internets! I'm going to start making out with Friday in approximately 26 minutes, and I suggest you do the same.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The one-blog challenge.

There are lots of subjects that I care about, but I don't really have time to read a lot about them, so I need to find one good blog to tell me everything important on a daily or near-daily basis. I read one blog about money (get rich slowly), one about fashion/celebrities (go fug yourself), one about design and crafts (how about orange), one about efficiency and tech (lifehacker), one about books and reading (50 books), and so on. I'm looking for a really good environment/sustainable living blog. I'm thinking about lighter footstep, and may give it a one-week trial. (Or a one-week FREE TRIAL!) Any other suggestions?

CYOA; new words.

Flickr photoset: The Mission Stencil Story, a choose-your-own adventure story graffiti-ed on the streets of San Francisco. "The mission stencil story is an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure story that takes place on the sidewalks of the Mission district in San Francisco. It is told in a new medium of storytelling that uses spraypainted stencils connected to each other by arrows. The streetscape is used as sort of an illustration to accompany each piece of text."

New words for the 07 Mirriam-Webster include "ginormous," "smackdown," "speed dating," and (be still my librarian heart!) "gray literature."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The happiest of all days, or at least, all copyright-law-related days

Did you know that today is Fair Use Day? Fair Use is the part of copyright law that lets you use copyrighted works in certain ways without the copyright holder's permission--you can quote or use excerpts for the purposes of criticism, satire, or educational purposes. We at deletia hq LOVE fair use because without it, I would be stuck writing nothing but 100% original material, all day long. Bo-ring!

Actually, we don't have fair use in Canada, we have something even vaguer called "Fair dealing." But I sometimes observe other countries' copyright holidays; that's just how I roll.

May I suggest you buy this? #4

Any of a large number of prints (the originals are portraits printed on novel pages--how novel!) by johnclark.

Originals $50 / Prints $10

My aspirations, such as they are.

I arrived at the university this morning, and from my position in the Tim Horton's line I could see the lush green of Quad, nearly empty, and dramatic charcoal-gray skies overhead, and I realized I wanted nothing more than to walk out into quad, lie on the grass in my dumb work outfit, and wait for it to rain on me. Then I would take off my shoes, walk home across the high-level bridge, shivering and wet, and curl up on my couch and watch the last three discs of Season 1 of Lost, all in a row. It's not like my dreams are unachievable--usually they're so small.

Instead I got my coffee and bagel and came to work and sat down in front of my computer. And in a moment I shall load Outlook Mail, and then the day will fall into place in front of me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

From the, town of Springfield, he's about to hit a chestnut tree

Vanity Fair has a Simpsons extravaganza in honour of the upcoming movie. Also featured is an interview with Conan O'Brien about his time as a staff writer for the show.

I think Mr. Burns was my favorite, because he had two qualities that are perfect if you're a comedy writer and want to have fun: he's infinitely old, and he has unlimited wealth. And he's evil. So, three. Those three qualities are great, because they allow you to create anything. A scene can open with him coming out of a hyperbaric chamber where he sleeps at night. He can have sinister robots. He can have a cavernous basement under his mansion. He can have a bat cave. There is literally nothing you can't do with Mr. Burns.

air miles, terrorists, emo bands, and voyeurism

From Wired: mileage runners find ways to fly cheap, long flights to accumulate air miles. "Of Solomin's five runs to date, one of the more impressive was a trip from San Francisco to Tampa via Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington, then back with connections in D.C., Seattle and Portland. Thanks to his Premier status, he earned double miles for the trip, more 16,000 of them, for just $232."

From Ironic Sans: Terrorist logos. Apparently, if you want people to take your terrorist organization seriously, you need to include guns and/or stars. Or better yet, two crossed guns. Same with emo bands.

One of the things I love about Flickr is that it gives you a chance to peek into other people's houses--albeit, the shots of their houses they think will most impress you. My new design porn is therefore Flickr's Fresh New Spaces pool. And also speaking of design, I am totally lusting after one of these huge 8x13 wall maps--doesn't it seem like something out of a Wes Anderson movie?

Finally, if I was ever home to install firefox add-ons, which I'm not, I would be installing this RSS ticker that updates RSS feeds to your status bar in firefox. Some of us just do not have time to wait for regular RSS feeds--we need a newer, faster instant gratification!

Still no titles for posts. Weird blogger.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Do you have any Grey Poupon?

i. At Cookies by George, i ask, "Do you have any little containers of skim milk?" and the woman working there says no, "but I could give you some in a cup." So I get a cookie and a cup of milk. Perhaps later I can order some chicken nuggets, or grilled cheese, or something else from the children's menu.

ii. there is a Coke machine in my building that actually sells cans of pop for $1, making it the last remaining machine IN THE WORLD to do so.

iii. I've never had a nickname, but in my last job, some of my co-workers took to calling me "JB," which i like. it's punchy. Someone at THIS job just called me that too. Perhaps as I grow older I become more nick-name-able. Or initials-able.

iv. i am engaged in three separate Scrabble games on Facebook, although at the moment i am only winning one of them. Fun! I think Scrabble plays throughout the day create thicker, bushier dendrites.

Also proponents of the Guns for Brains program.

The Zombie Food Pyramid.
From The Futility Closet: an optical illusion.

Another one of those weekends which seemed barely weekendy, at all. I woke up this morning feeling oddly disoriented and hungry from having tossed and turned all night. (Note: Why the cliche "tossed and turned"? It's not a particularly good description of bad sleeping, although it does have alliteration. I should say I rolled and woke up, intermittently.) I hate those nights were time seems interminable, incomprehensible, and you wake up feeling like you've lived an extra year during the night.

I did get to see the Transformers movie, so I guess not the whole weekend was lost. The movie was kind of good, by the way. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. There is something inherently hilarious about trucks and cars that turn into giant, fighting robots--especially since the robots seem to contain a huge amount of metal, more than would fit in the cars and trucks. It's a mystery of mass, and filmmaking. Perhaps this is only funny because Transformers were not a part of my childhood, so I am a latecomer to their innate meanings and metaphors. Also, why do the Decepticons get to transform into much tougher, more useful vehicles than the Autobots, like tanks and fighter planes? That hardly seems fair. [James and I had a discussion about the idea of "transforming," and whether the Transformers' natural state is actually robot or vehicle. We decided that since, on their home planet, they presumably remain in robot form, they must be said to transform into vehicles, even though this may seem counter-intuitive within our human paradigm.]

I am taking a summer term class that starts tonight, the last of my degree. I am still working full-time, although "working" is not always the most accurate description of what I do while at work. I think the next six weeks are going to be exhausting, Internet. This morning, writ large. I may later wax philosophical about the last class of my graduate degree, but I already wrote a paragraph about Transformers that contained the phrase "counter-intuitive within our human paradigm," so I think I'm all pretentioused up for today.

Sometimes I get the feeling Facebook is surreptitiously using me for market research.

I tried to make a title for this post, but Blogger won't let me. So I shall informally name it, Untitled No. 2: A Sonata in B-.

Friday, July 6, 2007

lead us not into temptation

The current tagline for this site is a joke from Arrested Development, which I have just finished watching in its entirety. The Bob Loblaw Law Blog clip is on YouTube. (You may have to say it aloud to get the full impact.) It turns out there is a real guy named Robert Loblaw, and he used to run a law blog, but for some reason I don't find that as funny as I feel I should.

Why, why, why, Dehlilah?

Ok, well, you can take the girl out of the Warcraft but you can't take the Warcraft out of the girl. Or the other way around, possibly. Regardless, on one particularly ill-fated Gnomeregan run, the theme song for the Fighting Mongooses was written. I'm pretty excited that the complete lyrics are now available, to be sung to the tune of Stan Rogers' "Barrett's Privateers".

I was told we’d roam the caves for Gnomeregan gold
We’d fire no guns, shed no tears
Now I’m a broken elf on a Menethil Pier
The last of Danglar’s Privateers...
(Danglars is James's warlock.) Goddamn them all, I wish I was in Stormwind now, a little.

On another note, this is the 300th post since I moved this site over to blogger. I shall celebrate with a cocktail and a cold shower.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

died from being boring

Did you leave a brown 70s-style polyester jacket at my house? I was cleaning out my closet (like Eminem... It's a metaphor, but that actually happened) and I found it. I swear I've never seen it before, except it seems like something I would buy from the thrift store. Anyone? Anyone?

Little red book? How about a little red blog.

From how about orange: Maopost.com, a website devoted to posters from Maoist China. Most exciting, you can submit a photo of yourself and have a custom painting made, in which you are rendered as a "socialist hero." That's so hot. If only I had 169 American dollars... There are also regular, non-personalized posters (actual posters, not copies) for sale, many of them featuring wholesome-looking Chinese peasants going about their wholesome lives, looking utterly untroubled by the acts of bloodshed perpetuated by their regime.* Right on!

After searching for a few minutes, the best relatively cheap similar posters (reprints, not originals) I've found are from China Books. I didn't know it when I woke up this morning, but my unexpected GST rebate cheque may be destined to buy posters. I am all about times of great political strife being reinvented as pop art.

I am so hungry, internet. I am like a hungry, angry baby. But I did quite a bit of real work today, including sending out some VERY professional-sounding emails, so I will be able to go home in 25 minutes with a song in my heart. Plus... and I know you've been waiting for news with baited breath... they fixed the air conditioning, or something! I'm not an air conditioningologist, but it's much much cooler in my office today. Now if only there was a cracker and cheese plate... and maybe some juice boxes... I would be the happiest digital-library-something-or-other in the world.

*I do not mean to suggest that the wholesome peasants are responsible for the regime of Chairman Mao. I realize that it was not their fault, and also, it was probably not their Best Political System Ever. After all, they probably got tired of teaching useless city-slickers how to do various wholesome peasanty things.

Inside-out teddy bears, and other mysteries of the Interweb

Via BoingBoing: Kent Rogowski's Bears. This artist makes art out of inside-out teddy bears. You can also read an interview with him. "The bears resonate with people because the act of how a bear looks when you’ve turned it inside-out directly challenges all of the layers of meaning and nostalgia that we place on teddy bears. I imagine most things would look strange or ugly if they could be turned inside out."

The blog Swapatorium has the slogan "A journey through junkland," which is something I can 100% get behind. The most recent post is about a beautiful picture made of pills covered in mod podge. The kitsch! Boy, people from the past were crazy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Razr and iPod: A Love Story

To answer the unspoken question: yes, I do find myself endlessly amusing. Please notice the soft lighting.

How hot it is on the 6th floor

  1. It is hot enough that I sit absolutely still (except for my typing fingers) and pretend I can feel the movement of individual air molecules.
  2. It is hot enough that I make excuses to wander down to the cool(er) (slightly) end of the office-- "I need to fill up my water bottle!" As a result, I drink several litres of water a day.
  3. It is hot enough that instead of having its usual calming effect, the otter cam just makes me angry. Ever since I first visited the otters, I have admired their lifestyle, but today I just feel embittered. Stupid otters--I hate them! You can bet it's nice and cool in their stupid otter pool!
  4. It is hot enough that when I walk down the stairs to the 5th floor, hitting the wall of properly air-conditioned and circulated air is like walking into a cave, or a basement.
  5. It is hot enough to make my job just a little bit unbearable.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Linky Mondays--On Tuesday?!?

Earlier I mentioned that 7-Elevens are being converted to Kwik-E-Marts as advertising for the Simpsons movie. This Flickr photoset shows one of the converted stores. I'm sad because it is more obviously Simpsons-y than I had hoped it would be, and less cinema verite. I wanted to walk into one of these 7-Elevens and think, "Whoa, this is like being in a real-life Kwik-E-Mart," not, "Wow, this is like being in a giant commercial for the upcoming Simpsons movie." Simpsons movie: I'm watching you. And I'm wearing my "Worst Episode Ever" shirt.

A sad article about the state of Romanian zoos. Romania's entry into the EU has meant tougher regulations for zoos. My favourite part is the allegation that "less valuable zoo animals had been killed as food for more expensive reptiles." Stupid expensive reptiles! God loves all the animals, even the smaller lemurs and muskrats!

Joss Whedon, aka Jocelyn's TV Hero, is auctioning off a number of items for charity, including a dinner with him in San Diego during ComciCon. Described as "Three hours of intimate conversation, hilarious anecdotes and dark, awkwardly personal secrets." Hot. (Although, I'm not convinced that dinner with Joss Whedon would be that great an experience. I have never had any desire to meet celebrities, even the ones I really admire. I don't want them to sign things, or pose for pictures with me, or anything. Mainly, I want to watch the films and television shows they make in the comfort of my air-conditioned living room. Maybe I'm just not that kind of fan.) (The auctions support Equality Now, which advocates for women's rights. Again, hot.)

Today is Tuesday, but it's like an honourary Monday, because it was a long weekend. I like Canada Day. It reminds me of Canada. I also like July, because it is a three-paycheque month. However, I do not like Tuesday. It makes me uncomfortably hot. Also, I am engrossed in the third season of Arrested Development and the first season of Lost. Did I mention how air-conditioned my apartment is? Le sigh.

The long weekend happened.

Apparently. A few days just vanished into the abyss. You know? I'm concerned about the abyss. It didn't really feel like that much time went by.

This morning so far: a recap.

6:50: Wake up. Lie in bed for one minute. Look at clock. Realize I can go back to sleep.
6:52-7:21: Try to get back to sleep. Become convinced the air conditioning in my apartment is suffocating me with its disgusting, stale smell. Open window; turn off air conditioning; still can't get back to sleep.
7:22: Get up. Yes, my alarm clock goes off at 7:22. If there is one thing I have learned from my father, it's that there's no reason to do things only at times that end in :00, :15, :30 or :45.
7:23-7:33: Defrost and toast bagel. Check email. Burn bagel. Decide not to eat burnt bagel.
7:34-7:50: Get dressed. Brush teeth.
7:50-8:20: Go to the bank. Go to work. Bank is necessary because I need Tim Horton's for breakfast, but the T-Ho's in CAB only takes cash, so the morning has suddenly become more complicated.
8:20-8:28: Get breakfast. Get to work relatively on-time. Too hot to drink coffee.

(That's right, I wake up at 7:22 to leave my house at 8 and get to work at 8:30. I do this because there is almost nothing that is more important to me in the morning than sleeping, so I have reduced my morning schedule to its fastest, most minimalistic possible format. 7:22 is the latest I can wake up and still get to work on time looking not-disgusting.)

Also, in order to get to my current position, in the past hour I have gone: down nine stories in an elevator, down one flight of stairs, down one escalator, up three escalators, down one flight of stairs, up two flights of stairs, down one flight of stairs, up six stories in an elevator, and then up one more flight of stairs. I'm so tired. Not because it's physically exhausting, it just seems endlessly complicated. I feel like I'm staring into the abyss.

I'm at work and it is WAY too hot to do anything.

Over the weekend I met a little girl at a party. She was 8, and the niece of a friend. We got to know each other in the way 8-year-olds customarily do: by making lists of our favourite and least favourite things in various categories.

Little girl: Who is your favourite boy singer?
Jocelyn: Oh, I don't know... maybe Elvis Costello.
Little girl: Mine is... I don't know if you've heard of him... Justin Timberlake?
I am now so old that children do not know how old I am. They just think I'm a grown-up. As far as that little girl knows, I could be 100. I could live in some other, grown-up world, without Justin Timberlake.