Saturday, September 29, 2007

I want to have 1,000,000 of Craftster's babies. Just so you know.

From Craftster: Where the Wild Things Are wall mural. I can't believe how great this is. "That night in Max's room a forest grew.... and grew... and grew..." It looks easy in the progress pictures, but I bet it isn't. [Photo originally uploaded by Red fork hippie chick, who did the mural.]

Another project, which is more do-able by virtue of requiring less space and talent, is this vinyl mail organizer from Pink of Perfection. Props. Next week I'm going a-searching for some vinyl I can melt.

Anti-inflammatory remarks

Every five minutes, someone else announces the death of books. It hasn't happened in the past thousand years, though, so I'm not that worried.

(Also, is Samuel Beckett's portrait at the top of this article meant to suggest something about what we cultural ingrates should be reading? Waiting for the renaissance of humourless, progressive modern drama is like waiting for... nah. Never mind. Too easy.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Love, and semantics

A word about words: I despise the term "significant other" and its flippant abbreviation, SO. It sounds so cold, and also not specific enough: I have lots of people who are significant to me, and what's "other"? Like "The Other"? It just sounds like meaningless lingo. I hate "Partner" almost as much. It sounds calculating, like you've considered your prospects, and your "partner" is the one you're investing in. I like its suggestion of equality, and also its gender-neutrality, but it's still too formal. I have generally referred to James as my "boyfriend," but as we get older I grow weary of that as well. It was fine when I was 18 and he was 22, but we're grown-ups now, and a boyfriend seems like something you have in high school. "Boyfriend" and "girlfriend" don't communicate the depth of our love for each other, not to mention our shared desire to get a puppy.

What I dislike about these phrases is their coldness, their wide use, how impersonal they are. Therefore, I am experimenting with some alternatives. My favourite, by far, is "man friend," because it sounds to me like something divorcees on cruises would have. Recently a friend suggested "Lover" (pronounced "Lovah"), which is good too, plus it tends to make people uncomfortable. "Gentleman caller," with its fake modesty and its Tennessee-Williams-ishness, is good in small doses. My trusty Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus (given to me by the variously described man in question) suggests, also, sweetheart (nice and retro), escort (fun sexual connotations), companion (overtures of Lord of the Rings!), (main) squeeze, steady, swain, and beau. And those are just the good ones. Perhaps I'll alternate between these for awhile, try them on for size.

Interesting: each of these words means something very specific to me, has a million connotations, precious to a native speaker of English. When I took Spanish, we learned one word for "boyfriend," novio. Is that closer to "swain" or closer to "lovah"? I have no way of knowing. In French, the high-school appropriate term was Petit ami (little friend), which I always found deeply weird. My main squeeze is actually larger than most of my other friends. This is the risk of second languages, that they may never mean as much, or vary in such specific ways.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita in English, and of the process, he writes (in one of my favourite passages of the afterword to that book):

My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses-- the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions-- which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way.
Nabokov is the only one who understands my boyfriend problem, or I should say, my "boyfriend" problem.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Small assertions of power

My toilet has been broken for weeks. Last month, it ran all day while I was at work, flooding my bathroom floor, and water leaked into my downstairs neighbour's apartment. For the past two weeks, its flushing function has been accomplished with the removal of a wire coat hanger apparatus in the tank. Well, I decided I had had enough. I may be a depressed, unemployed loser, but today I fixed my goddamn toilet. Not only that: I fixed it with an application of brute strength. I took it apart with my tools, I figured out how it worked, I BENT IT INTO THE SHAPE I WANTED IT TO BE, and then I put it back together.

I wish I could say I had accomplished all of this wearing stilettos, but the honest truth is, I was wearing sweatpants, and I actually pulled said sweatpants out of the dirty laundry to begin the task. Nonetheless, I feel pretty good about myself at this moment.

Let this be a lesson to the rest of my sub-standard appliances. You can't beat me, so freakin' fall in line.

(By consulting the archives, I can actually determine that a year ago, in September, 2006, my toilet was already causing me problems. So you see, this constitutes a major victory. Girl vs. the Evironment. Also consider my battle with my kitchen sink.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

May I suggest you buy this? #14

Layered bird plate with double scroll / $25 from porcelain and paper

Warcraft... but in a serious way. SRSLY.

This is my newest Warcraft character, Maddix. I made her because James had a level 20-ish rogue (or "rouge," as people in the WOW chat like to write, because they are dumb) who needed a playing companion. I like her badass expression, her nose-ring, and her somewhat matchy armor. (A first for me!) She's a warlock, so she's slightly evil, which goes against my in-game ideology but which I am getting more used to. She fights with staffs, and also with wands, like Harry Potter, which is fun. She has an 'X' in her name. So you see, there's lots to like about her.

What I don't like is her dumb minion, Disraith, standing in the background in her hideous trampy demon bustier and panties.

One of the reasons I started playing Warcraft in the first place is that the game has, as James initially convinced me, "Diverse roles for women!" Female characters will have the same stats as a male character of the same class and level. Female non-player characters (who are part of the game) are rulers of kingdoms, army commanders, merchants, etc.--they do everything men do. Female and male characters wear the same armor and use the same gear. All of this pleases me.

But in other ways, the game is so exploitative, and it actually bothers me a lot. This minion, who whips herself with the leather whip she is holding and giggles, is part of that. Before she attacks, she says things like, "Don't touch what you can't afford." When you dismiss her, she says, "I hope it was good for you." In other words, she's like my own little 15-year-old-boy's leather-clad fantasy girlfriend--her world revolves around sex and her own function as a sex object, and she enjoys pain (causing it and experiencing it). But since that's not really my perfect woman, personally, I haven't been using her--I've been sticking with my Voidwalker, who's big, navy-blue, non-gendered, and actually looks a lot like The Dark.

To me, this game isn't about sex. At all. It's about myth, and obligation, and good and evil. It's a fantasy version of our own lives, in which all but the most basic concerns have been removed, leaving us free to run around, owning only the contents of our Backpacks, seeking adventure and the chance to express our own heroism. There's money, but only because a game cannot function without some method of reward and score-keeping; there is no real financial obligation, no work, no family. That's what bothers me about my succubus, and about my female characters' inevitably sexy armor: it has no place in this world. It represents something that is meaningful to us, the players, but if we accept the confines of the game-world, it shoud be meaningless. Sex and love and relationships are not a part of my characters' lives, and it doesn't seem fair to make them dress up to please human game-players--the group who control every aspect of their in-game counterparts' lives, and yet have no place of their own in the in-game world. My paladin is too busy fighting evil to stop and think about why her (plate) armor leggings don't cover her bum (and why she can't wear pants under her armor). My warlock is too busy fighting evil (plus, being a little evil) to consider her succubus, and why Disraith insists on whipping herself and squealing. But I'm thinking about it, and I'm not amused.

Earlier on this very blog: the alliance vs. the horde and good vs. evil.

Some other crazy gender-'n'-gaming news: The Chinese MMO King of the World has banned male players playing female characters. Apparently, all that gender-bending is just too confusing for people. Even the title is funny: Shanda's Aurora Bans Transsexuals! Umm, ok.

James pointed my way to a short online TV show called The Guild, which stars Felicia Day, who was once on Buffy. It's a funny show, and her blog has some links to gaming-related articles and stuff. Apparently, she's kind of a nerd, and she's actress-pretty, which makes her the dream girl of every straight guy I know. Go to! (Actually, she's kind of my dream-girl too, because she writes with intelligence and punctuation, and her entries don't just consist of "hey guys!!!!!!!!!!," which many actresses seem to think will pass for blogging.)

3:10 to Yuma-- "It's alright. They don't have to be blue."

So, I saw the newer 3:10 to Yuma a couple weeks ago, and last night I watched the old one. I'm happy to be able to say that they're both awesome! It's not very often I like two things. It's hard to judge because I saw them in the wrong order, but I think I might like the new one more. Its ending is definitely better, and so's the casting I think. Glenn Ford and Ven Heflin can't really compare to the charisma of Batman and, uh, Cinderella Man! (You probably thought I was gonna go with Gladiator, huh? Nope!) Anyway, both are well worth watching, and you should go see the new one in the theatre if you can, because we have to support contemporary Westerns. Otherwise Hollywood will stop making them. And then I will have nothing to occasionally like, and usually make fun of.

I don't know if I really believe in progress, in a general sense. But I do believe in it, and I have seen its effects, in one particular arena: child acting. Am I right? Why were child actors so universally bad in the 1930s-1950s? Anyway, the newer 3:10 has the same number of child/adolescent stars, but 3 times the acting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I hope my fists can fight for two

[Via style files]: "Fractured Fairy Tales" wall display.

This is actually one unit, the individual boxes are attached to each other and to the wall. I just love this, and it seems like it would actually be pretty easy to build, with some basic carpentry skills. (Note to self: develop basic carpentry skills.) The guy who writes this blog, Thomas Wold, is a designer for ReadyMade, and I love love love his projects.

I know it's just a weird form of inverted lethargy, but I feel like taking on some apartnment-y projects: I've been considering making curtains, painting a wall or two, or making a new quilt. This is basically because I am bored, but whatever.

I had a swim, but no shower because there is no hot water in my building today. Denied! As a result, I feel very salty, like in a Kris Kristofferson song [Or, apparently, a Willie Nelson song. My illusions are shattered.]

OMG, internets, the song of the week on iTunes this week is the worst EVER. It's not often that I can listen to 15 seconds of a song and then decide to delete it from my computer FOREVER, but this is one of those times.

I wish I had something to tell you. I wish I had a cool wall installation made of boxes and cabinets. I wish I was a character in Lord of the Rings. (Preferably the movie, not the book, since J. R. R. Tolkien was kind of a mysogynist and would probably make me a giant spider.) I wish for lots of things.

One may think we're doing fine
but if I had to lay it on the line
we're losing ground with every passing day
we're not OK.
-The Perishers


Simpsons scenes and their reference movies-- an amazing collection of shot-by-shot Simpsons references to films.

Shakespearean lolcats


I also really like invisible everything.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend Report

This weekend feels like it has already gone on for a year. I don't know why I'm so exhausted, but there you have it, Internet. Unemployment is tiring! (Actually, hanging out with people for hours and hours is tiring, but the other version is pithier.) I woke up feeling like death warmed over, and I went for restaurant breakfast, a swim and a shower, and I feel 15% better. But 15% better than death warmed over is still not too great, actually. (Over the past week I've been swimming in the pool in my building, which is something I've always promised myself I would do. There are all kinds of things wrong with this pool: it's tiny, it's saltwater [which means it's way too warm for lap swimming], it's so shallow that I stub my toes on the bottom. But, more importantly than all of those things, it's in my building. I need to stop being so disgustingly lazy, and swimming is an easy way for me to exercise, because it allows me an immersion in my own thoughts that is hypnotic. James and I are also discussing taking a yoga class together, which is another step on the Becoming a Couple Everyone Else Hates Because They're So Co-Dependent and Adorable road.)

I applied for a job at the CBC today, and one as the music librarian at a local radio station on Friday. Being a film or music archivist/librarian would be so freakin' cool, I can't even tell you. Hipster cred through the roof. And if I thought I had the remotest chance of actually getting such a job, I'd be happy, but that is not the case. I'm trying not to get discouraged, but it is rapidly getting to the point where I am going to have to get another, random job, just to have money, and then I will completely lose my motivation to search for another, proper job because I will be too tired, and then I will work at a bookstore/coffee place/whatever forever, muttering to myself about my masters degree and how no one respects me. All I'm saying is that this incredibly depressing future is inevitable.

Currently listening to: Damien Rice - 9 Crimes
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Favourite thing of the day

Jenny Owen Youngs' indie acoustic cover of Nelly's "Hot in Herre." The video is an igloo party. It's a dumb AOL video, so if it doesn't embed properly, just go there. The polar bear costumes are hottt, or whatever. And this video really speaks to me as a Canadian.

The EP is also on iTunes. She sounds kind of like the Be Good Tanyas, but with more swearing, which is awesome.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Grey Gardens

So, I just finished watching Grey Gardens, which is this 1970s documentary about two cousins of Jackie Kennedy who live in a dilapidated East Hampton mansion, arguing, ignoring each other, and endlessly reminiscing about their youth. That sentence does not even begin to encompass this movie, though--it transcends each of the elements described above, in turn. It's the kind of movie people get obsessed with. The introduction from the Criterion Collection release is worth reading. Just rent it, though.

My favourite part of the movie is when Edith Bouvier Beale Jr. ("Little Edie") explains her outfit to the documentary filmmaker:

Because I don't like women in skirts, and the best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants under a short skirt, I think. Then you have the pants under the skirt and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants, underneath the skirt. And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape! So I think this is the best costume for today... I have to think these things up, you know?
(The house that gives the film its title has been purchased and restored. I found these photos that show its current condition.)

I'm totally getting my money's worth from my zip subscription this month. Unemployment! I've watched 13 movies in 3 weeks, and Grey Gardens is the one I'm most likely to watch obsessively, although I also really liked both The Science of Sleep and King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

I wrote this at 4 in the morning, which is why it doesn't make sense

Principles of the Fish Nightmare

  1. I do not want to kill the fish, or to be inadvertently responsible for the death of the fish.
  2. In fact, I am morally bound to look after the fish, even though I am terrified of it and, in fact, hate it. This is because, once a fish enters your life, you either actively care for it or kill it. There is no middle ground.
  3. The fish wants--what? To be between my body and the couch? What is the fish doing? Is it actively seeking death? Is it confused, evil, suicidal? I don't understand this principle.
  4. I should welcome my blankets. In the real world, which has had the dream-world bleed into it until the two are momentarily identical, the blankets should provide an extra layer of protection from wriggling, burrowing fish. And yet they also provide cover, and their exact contents are hard to control.
  5. The physical memory of the wriggling of the fish persists long after intellect and description should have banished it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

i'm in ur internets, combining ur memes

Meghan sent me a link to lolsecretz, which combines two of everyone's favourite internet memes: postsecret and lolcats. If this doesn't sound like a good idea, then prepare yourself to be surprised. Many of the submissions are both touching and funny.

Previous entries concerning my lolcats obsession:
My favourite lolcat
Lolcats and lolbrarians


James forwarded me this link from Wired: an article about so-called 'Gamer regret,'-- "a sudden, horrifying sense of emptiness when we muse on all the other things we could have done with our game time." Sadist that I am, I checked my time played for my three main Warcraft characters and added it all together with a little MATH! (I have a couple of other alternate characters, but I hardly ever play them, and they're low-level so I can't have committed much time to them.) The result: 30 days, 21 hours. That means that in the year (or so) I've been playing Warcraft, I've spent a month in-world. That's two hours a day. Yeah. Glad I could make you feel better about your own, pathetic life.

The thing is, I feel like I am finally at a point where I can play without losing myself in it--I have grown capable, finally, of stopping when I've had enough, of resisting when I have other things to do, of recognizing when the experience is making me less happy instead of more happy. These days I clock maybe 6 or 7 hours a week--more humane, certainly. (24 of those 30 days were getting my main character to 60, and I have barely played with her for 3 months or more since she got there and I completely lost interest in her.) But there was definitely a time when I didn't have that ability to be constructive. But this is the way I consume everything, obsessively, so I don't know why it continues to surprise me.

From The Onion: 14 American Apparel Models Freed In Daring Midnight Raid

14 American Apparel Models Freed In Daring Midnight Raid | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

"There were girls lying everywhere—draped over furniture, sprawled spread-eagled in the corner, and huddled close like animals," FBI Special Agent Curtis Froman, who oversaw the raid, said at a press conference. "Many of them had been given nothing more than a pair of tube socks or men's briefs to wear."

Write it in a martial hand

I'm home. It's late, so I shall make this brief.

I went to Seattle! And Tacoma! And Portland! I went to Powell's Books, which was, as advertised, big. (In fact, it uses its own internal numeric book organization system. I got very excited when I thought I had found a bookstore organized according to the Dewey Decimal System, and was then appropriately broken-hearted when I realized it wasn't Dewey, but an arbitrary system. Sad face.) I also went to Elliott Bay Books in Seattle. At these bookstores, I bought 5 books, 1 of which (Neil Gaiman's M is for Magic) I have already completed.

I went to the Seattle Repertory Theatre's version of Twelfth Night, which was excellent. I went to a very dramatic documentary about competitive arcade gaming, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which was also excellent. I stayed at my parents' new house in Tacoma, which (as James pointed out) is oddly cabin-like, so we are going to make an effort from now on to refer to it as "the cabin."

I went to Fred Meyer, where I bought some little ceramic dishes with plastic snap-on lids, of the type I have been searching for for many moons.

I was disappointed in my inability to use my debit card in the US. Like, get with the program, FreedomLand!

I was happy to come home, and update my blog, and stop being such a lazy-bones. That's right, I said lazy-bones.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

ready for a big trip?

I leave for Washington tomorrow. I am making a new mix for my iPod, which is called "Washington" because I had an uncharacteristic bout of non-creativity. The emphasis is on Washington bands, because I'm just nerdy like that: Pedro the Lion, the Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, Sleater-Kinney.

I am also buying some new books to read on the plane. I have been trying to buy fewer books recently, and get things from the library instead, but when I travel I need something new. Something YA (for the plane): Sarah Ryan's The Empress of the World, which is supposed to be a sensitive treatment of teenage lesbian experimentation; and something serious, Jose Saramago's Blindness, which I am morally bound to read because my book club is tackling it for October. When traveling, I think you need a less-serious book and a more-serious book. That way, if you're not in the mood for one, you have the other. This represents, actually, a pretty reduced version of traveling-book philosophies I've held in the past, which may have required bringing three or more books on any one trip.

With new books, and new playlists, I can go anywhere.

All of this is assuming I can get my pending passport in time. If I do, then I'm going to the Seattle Aquarium, baby.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Seth Green, on The Onion AV Club, talks about being on Sesame Street.

Sesame Street (2004)—"Vinny"

SG: I called them up to see if I could get on the show. I was like, "Am I famous enough that I can call and ask to be on Sesame Street yet?" And I guess I was. So they were like "What do you want to do?" And I'm like, "Anything, just put me on with some Muppets, please!" And I actually flew to do Sesame Street immediately after filming Without A Paddle. I flew back from New Zealand, I was in Los Angeles for less than four hours, then I flew to New York and got in at midnight for a 7 a.m. call. That's why I look so haggard on it. But it was a really incredible experience. They pulled a bunch of the old Muppets out of storage and let me play with them, so I got to meet Grover and Oscar, and Big Bird and Cookie Monster, and the Count and Bert and Ernie. It was the greatest.

AVC: What exactly was your Sesame Street role? What did you do?

SG: I played a mailman that delivered letters—letters of the alphabet. It was great.

AVC: Was it actually with those old Muppets, or did they just bring them out to show you?

SG: No, they just brought them out to show me. My scene was with Big Bird and Telly Monster.

AVC: Why were you keen to be on Sesame Street?

SG: I grew up loving Sesame Street. It was really inspirational for me. As a kid, they taught me all my best lessons and my ABCs, and what it was to do a commercial. It was just such a deeply embedded childhood fantasy to be on that show, and I really wanted to be a part of it. I was thrilled to be able to.
Random Roles: Seth Green

May I suggest you buy this? #13

Hard Drive Desk Clock / $30 from GeekGear

Tasty, tasty murder

James and I watched Fast Food Nation last night, and now I don't eat red meat anymore. I'm not kidding. It's not a great movie--a little too earnest, plus in it Avril Lavigne's character claims to have read a book--but the final sequence, of cows being slaughtered, was unwatchable for me. I may eventually give up pork as well, although at the moment there are pork chops in my fridge, so that day is not today.

(I read the book this movie was based on, as well, several years ago, and it had much the same effect on me--except it was fast food I gave up, and that resolution lasted for six months. I may also give up exploiting the illegal Mexican workers, which, fortunately, would have absolutely no effect on my life whatsoever.)

This is not exactly because I think killing animals, to eat, is wrong. I remain resolute in my belief that animals, if they came to dominate the planet, would eat us--especially fish. It's because all the various factors that co-operate to allow us to eat as much meat as we do in this country are not a sustainable way of setting up a lifestyle, or an economy. And I am all about sustainability.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Currently listening to: Joseph Arthur - Black Lexus
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Has anyone else noticed that Coca-Cola is now marketing Fanta a lot more aggressively in North America? It also seems to be available in stores here more than it used to be. I think of Fanta as Coke's third-world soft drink, because in places like Africa it's often cheaper to buy Fanta than bottled water. Coke airlifts shipping containers of the stuff onto roadsides in Kenya, where it's sold straight out of the container--putting other local roadside stores out of business. When I was there, one bottle would set you back about 30 cents (Canadian). As well, different flavours are available in different places worldwide. This Wikipedia page details the international availability of Fanta. I'm intrigued by Honeydew Melon Fanta (available in Taiwan) and Elderflower Fanta (Norway).

Fanta was actually invented by a Coke factory manager in Germany during WWII because shipping restrictions prevented Coke syrup from getting into Germany. Then it was marketed in Nazi Germany. The Scopes page linked above points out that it was not, as is often incorrectly said, invented BY the Nazis. However, I'm sure they found it delicious, especially since original German-recipe Fanta was made with whey and apple fiber. Yum.

What is maybe the most discouraging detail from Fanta's history is the fact that it is marketed using a made-up girl group called "The Fantanas". The Fantanas look kind of like Josey and the Pussycats, only more commercial, if you can imagine that. The Fanta website includes online games and, my favourite feature, you can send an email to your mom pestering her to buy you Fanta. I'm trying to picture what would happen if I sent such an email to my mom.

This little soft drink factoid has been brought to you by bored Jocelyn and the internet.

weak heart

You're so cute when you're slurring your speech
But they're closing the bar and they want us to leave...
-death cab for cutie, crooked teeth
Today I went and waited in line for a passport. It only took 2 1/2 hours, which is not that bad considering that there was a fire drill that involved evacuating all the staff from the building.
Passport office guy: "And what have you been doing since August 31st?"
Jocelyn: "I'm unemployed."
Passport office guy: "So write, 'Sept. 1 - present: unemployed.'"
Jocelyn [in head]: "But that's only 11 days! And three of them were a long weekend so really it's only 8 days! It's not like I am habitually unemployed, I just finished grad school and I'm looking for a job! I pay taxes, too! It's not like I'm going to try to sneak into the United States!"
Jocelyn [in real life]: "OK."
These government people are sneaky, internets. Why do they need to know what I've been doing since September 1st, anyway? I'll tell you: TO EMBARRASS ME.

Unemployment aside, I find Canadian beaurocracy comforting. As I walked to the government building this morning, coffee in hand, book in bag, ready for some line-waitin', I was thinking about how great it is to live in a country where you know no bribe money will have to change hands in order to get travel documents. Although the woman at the desk was very stern with me when I told her I wanted to leave the country on Friday (and she called me by my first name, like an elementary school teacher: "Why did you leave this so long, Jocelyn?"), I didn't have to worry that my passport was going to cost anything different than the price posted on Passport Canada's website. (Although it actually worked out to be less, for some reason.) This heightened awareness of the lack of corruption in the Canadian government may have been due to the fact that my line-waitin' book was Sebastian Junger's Fire, a series of journalistic essays he wrote, and the essay I'd just finished was about Kosovo, and the one I was immersed in was about Cyprus. I bet getting a passport in Cyprus is a serious undertaking, and they don't have Tim Horton's there, so what coffee would they drink in line? (Seriously, the last bench closest to the door of the passport office was absolutely littered with Tim Horton's cups, which people had jettisoned as they were called into the office. T-Ho's should consider working this into one of their patriotic marketing campaigns: "Tim Horton's coffee: Official drink of the Passport Canada line." Because it's true.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

And yet I don't have any money

I'm the 262,713,044 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

Fraggle Rock knows all.

"Wembley, first of all, you're not a little wimp. Secondly, what does a little wimp like you want with romance?" -Gobo Fraggle

5:01 AM

It's 5:01 AM, internets, and I've been awake since 3:30. Since I wasn't accomplishing anything lying in bed, being the wrong temperature, I decided to get up. I was actually thinking of playing Warcraft, but when I logged in I felt inexplicably and suddenly weary, and besides (shocker): There was no one online to play with. The only people on my wacraft server at 5AM are antisocial youth, Europeans, and me, dysfunctional but literate. Besides, not one but two instance runs yesterday left me with flu-like symptoms.

I have to go get my passport photos taken in, ooh, 5 hours. I'm thinking this is going to be my most attractive passport EVER. Every time I look at my picture, it can remind me of the fact that I am a high-functioning insomniac.

The reason for the passport photos is that I'm going to see my parents in Washington next weekend. Since I still don't have a job, or anything to do, or indeed any money, it seemed like as good a time as any. I'll go sleep in their guest bed and visit my dog and maybe get a little perspective, because from where I'm sitting right now, the only thing I seem capable of doing is turning up the crazy.

I wish I could sleep, or even be calm for long enough to think about sleeping. I also wish I had more friends in other time zones, so I could call people without disrupting them too much. It seems like days since anyone has phoned me. Also, for the first time ever Facebook says: "You don't have any friends online recently." Words can hurt, Facebook!

Friday, September 7, 2007

The perfect bibliography-compiling desktop set-up, or, whatever did i do before I had a 19" widescreen monitor?

Except, for some reason, the V. Mars I am watching with Windows Media Player won't screencap. Is this some kind of windows copyright protection--in spite of the fact that what I'm watching was itself torrented? Mysterious.

Unemployment: Day 4

My whole apartment is clean. All my sewing projects are done. I have watched half of Firefly, and I will probably watch the other half today. My father has sent me some work he needs done, because he feels sorry for me. And I will do it, because I feel sorry for myself. Also, I have a case of the sniffles that fails to ever progress to anything more serious. I never get any mail, and I NEVER WILL.

Currently listening to: Tori Amos - Northern Lad
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Unemployment day 2: Projects

It's important for me not to lose sight of my goals. As such, I have devised this list for today:

1. Get my dwarf to Artisan-level cooking. (This involves much collecting of Zesty Clam Meat, Giant Eggs, and Soothing Spices.)
2. Solve computer spyware problems
3. Clean out closet, Eminem-style:

sept 002 closet

left: Before. Right: After. The left-hand picture is completely unposed, that is genuinely what it looked like on a long-term basis. The sad thing is, that the right-hand picture is AFTER the removal of three garbage bags of clothes from my closet. And it actually looks like MORE. But that is because everything has been laundered and hung up. I didn't even know I knew how to fold sweaters.

It seems like such a waste to get rid of clothes, but I decided that since I am giving them to Goodwill, it's actually a waste NOT to get rid of them since I never wear them. And this way I can probably buy them again when I find them at the thrift store (where many of them came from in the first place), exclaiming, "Oooh! A mechanic's jacket that says 'Dave' on the pocket! And a 'Traction King' shirt with a picture of a tractor on it!" (Yep, I decided it was time to get rid of those two. I can't really see myself having occasion to wear either of them again, as awesome as they are.)

Tomorrow I shall give my kitchen the Closet Treatment, get passport photos taken, and get said dwarf to Artisan-level LEATHERWORKING. And then on Friday I will kill myself, having run out of projects to distract myself with, and being confronted with the reality of my own uselessness. But at least when whoever comes to clean out my apartment after I kill myself, it won't be that hard.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

the best time

This moment: Last night, around 8:40, I had been sewing in my apartment all day and I felt headachy and feverish, the way you start to feel when you get tired of being surrounded by your own dumb stuff. I took my iPod and my keys and put on my new jacket and walked down to the legislature. The sun had already set, but it wasn't quite as dark as night-time yet, and I expected the government grounds to be deserted, but they were anything but. Couples sat on benches, obscured by the trees. A girl in a bikini and a boy in swim trunks splashed in the fountain, in spite of the nip of fall in the air. Some young toughs sat on the steps, looking cool and apathetic about politics. The grounds are well-lit enough that some people my age were playing Frisbee. The fountains were still running (do they run all night?) and the Legislature building was lit up and I detected the smell of chlorine mixed with flowers.

I feel like I am noticing all of this for the first time.

I take off my shoes and roll up my jeans. I walk up the slanted edge of one of the fountains, enjoying the distinctness of the rocks under my feet, the coldness of the water. I say hello to the security guard. I balance on one foot and stick the other into the gurgling water. At this moment, I am totally fine. Not ecstatic, not perfectly content, just fine. If I could feel like that forever, I would always be fine.

This morning: Someone in my building is cooking bacon, and its extreme breakfast-ish-ness puts my bagel to shame. Who are these people who cook real breakfasts on weekdays?

Today: I celebrate my first official day of unemployment by going to Wal-Mart. Seriously. (I'm making an orange swing coat, and I need buttons for it--pictures to come later in the day.) I did apply for a job already though, and it's only 9. I wonder whether, if I didn't have to worry about money, I could be unemployed forever, or if I would get bored. A question to ask the independently wealthy.

Monday, September 3, 2007

for the best

I finished my kimono hoodie today. I actually made it out of corduroy so it's more of a jacket and less of a hoodie. However, it HAS a hood, so I guess it is a kimono hoodie jacket. (In fact the hood is pretty stiff, because it's lined with burgundy broadcloth, and it makes me feel like one of those little bronze-coloured people from Spaceballs, who live in the desert. Which is an exciting feeling.) The first of these picture actually shows the finished jacket. The other three show me sulking and experimenting with the zoom on my camera. What these photos demonstrate is that I cannot resist the lure of the camera, and that my new hoodie jacket actually worsens this trait, because it is such a dramatic piece of clothing.

jacket 008 jacket 012 jacket 013 jacket 014

I used this tutorial on Craftster, although I made some pretty significant changes to it, the main one being using a belt I already owned (which I bought from Old Navy for $4 several years ago--w00t) instead of a strip of another kind of fabric. Including this belt, fabric, and thread, etc., it cost me less than $15. I'm pretty pleased with this project overall. I wish it were less bulky and square, but that's because it's lined. The cuffs are quilted, too. So it's actually warm enough to wear for fall.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

if i had to lay it on the line

Currently listening to: The Perishers - Pills (Featuring Sarah McLachlan)
via FoxyTunes

Um, yeah, and this is listen 26 according to iTunes--not including the iPod listens, or the times I've rewound to the beginning before the song ended. Let's just call it listen 50, shall we?

"Pimpin' got harder 'cause hos got smarter..." -Wyclef Jean

The key to my ongoing happiness is to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. I have this tendency to FREAK OUT. It's something my dog, Toby, and I have in common, and I'd like to think it endears us to those who love us, but it can be kind of intense.

I have all these movies--I should WATCH THEM! I have all this fabric, and a sewing machine, and a collection of vintage buttons--I should make something! I have some mushrooms in my fridge--I should make beef Meghanoff! I have a Warcraft account again--I should get to level 61! I have a pool in my building--I should go for a swim! You know? Like, what's my problem? (Although, not so much that last one. My dress shoes tore up my feet again, and exposing these blisters to saltwater does not seem advisable.)

I always dreamed of doing nothing, and now my dreams are coming true. I must remember the two quotes that define my professional aspirations:

"It's not just about me and my dream of doing nothing. It's about all of us. I don't know what happened to me at that hypnotherapist and, I don't know, maybe it was just shock and it's wearing off now, but when I saw that fat man keel over and die - Michael, we don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements." -Peter, Office Space

"I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed. You know, as a career. I don’t want to do that." –Lloyd, Say Anything
But swimming, cooking, sewing, reading, and watching movies are all fine, see what I mean?
People of earth, LATER.

Currently listening to: Tricot Machine - Pas fait en chocolat
via FoxyTunes