Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Did you know that from the time the first Poltergeist movie was released until the third one (six years), four cast members died? Apparently, lots of weird things happened while the movies were being filmed as well. This constitutes the Poltergeist Curse.

I guess today is Hallowe'en. I'm not dressing up, nor do I have anything to dress up for. Hawllowe'en does not interest me. I do kind of wish I had some of those tiny chocolate bars, though... and some skim milk.

Dear Crazy Upstairs Screaming Guy,

You don't know me, but I feel like I know you all too well. Your voice is often the first thing I hear when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I hear before I fall asleep--although not in a romantic way. What's your problem, Screaming Guy? It's not that I don't understand the impulse. I think we all feel like screaming, sometimes. The world can be an intense, frustrating, bleak place. I guess the difference between you and the rest of us, though, is that we went through that all-important childhood phase when you realize that your actions have an impact on other people, and that if you concentrate real hard, you can actually IMAGINE HOW THEY MUST FEEL. This is called empathy, Screaming Guy. And if I could give it to you in a bottle, or for that matter in a huge hypodermic needle--or in the spikes on a large, iron mace!--I would.

I used to think you were a real psycho. In fact, the first time I heard your screaming, I was so afraid you were going to kill someone that I called the police. But since then, I've begun to suspect that (a) you are not actually screaming AT anyone, and thus, are not an immediate danger; and that (b) given the frequency of your screaming, it is probably brought on by things the rest of us take in stride. As such, I don't even respect your angst any more. Run out of milk, Screaming Guy? Go to Mac's! Miss your favourite TV show? It'll be on next week! Forget to go to the bank before it closes? Don't worry, there's an ATM! See what I'm doing here, Screaming Guy? I'm taking things that can be frustrating, that can induce the feeling you want to scream, and dealing with them in a constructive way, by suggesting SOLUTIONS AND WORK-AROUNDS to problems. This is a skill you could afford to develop, Screaming Guy. Maybe then your neighbours wouldn't all think you are a sociopath, and report you to the condo building manager/police, or contemplate putting up passive-aggressive signs in your hallway. (Mine would say: "Dear Screaming Guy: Do you realize that EVERYONE ON ALL SIDES CAN HEAR YOU? Shut up, seriously.")

It's not too late, Screaming Guy. Just think, if you stopped screaming, what you could accomplish! You could make friends, or get a job, or sleep through the night! Hell, I could sleep through the night, too! Wouldn't that be nice? Plus, I bet anyone who spends at least an hour a week screaming, "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!" at the tops of his lungs can't be that happy. So it might have a positive effect on you too.

You should think on it, or scream on it, or whatever.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Talking about the Tom Petty DVD

"And you can buy it at Best Buy... or whatever the Canadian equivalent of Best Buy is. [Hesitates] Which is probably Best Buy. You can probably buy it here, at this mall... because you can buy everything at this mall."
-Bright Eyes, at the Edmonton Event Centre show (West Edmonton Mall)

Safety first.

Matthew Baldwin, over at Defective Yeti, has come up with an ingenious concept: clone code. The idea, here, is that you have a secret tidbit of information that only you and your close friends and family know. Thus, if James suspects he is not dealing with a real Jocelyn, but rather a clone, he would ask me for my "clone code," and only the real Jocelyn would know. So if it WAS a clone, he could dispatch her apace (and if I know James, this would be accompanied by light sabre noises, but those are optional). In the TV shows I watch, body-switching is actually more of a problem than clones. Fortunately, this little trick makes you switched-body-impersonator proof as well as clone-proof.

Version: CCv1.0

Identity: Jocelyn

Challenge: "What is the magic number that determines whether something is cheap or expensive?"

Response: "5"

-----END CLONE CODE-----

Hands off the drummer, though

My boyfriend's band, Potemkin Village (my second-favourite band!) is on iTunes now. FAMOUS. If you act now, I think you can be the first customer to write a review. I can't write a review, though, because it would represent a conflict of interest. I have my blogalistic integrity, after all!

[OK, I went to the iTunes website to see if I could link to their songs, and I was bombarded with pictures of those new iPods. I have only had my sexy green iPod, Josephine, for a year, but I want a new one every time I see them. It's like Homer Simpson picturing Ned Flanders in his little ski outfit: STUPID SEXY FLANDERS! Only it's STUPID SEXY IPODS! And, no, you can't link to things in the iTunes store online, as far as I can tell, so NEVER MIND.]

Monday, October 29, 2007

"On a clear day I can read your mind..." -Rilo Kiley

Hey, Internet.

I've been a naughty blogger lately, with my, well, lack of blogging. But real life has been happening all around me, and them's the breaks.

I had a fun job last week, being a temporary-type children's librarian. I helped to prepare for what I can only describe as the puppet show event of the year--a version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, done with blacklight and neon paints. I cut my thumb on the die-cutter machine, and because I was working in a (very) unionized environment, I had to fill out a two-page injury incident report. They didn't seem to understand that these incidental injuries happen to me on a literally daily basis; one of my co-workers exclaimed, "You could get blood poisoning!" Since, as mentioned, I injure myself constantly, this actually freaked me out quite a bit. If I can get blood poisoning once from a die-cutter, imagine what could happen from dropping a ceramic plate on my foot, stabbing the roof of my mouth with a knitting needle (don't ask), or walking into the corners of EVERYTHING. Yeah, I know. I feel in danger.

Anyway, the children's library was like a vacation you get paid for--not because I didn't work, but just because signing up 7-month old babies for their first library card, finding books about being sad, and helping elderly ladies find books from their childhood barely qualifies as work in my schema. I even did a little quality stamping, feeling like I was channeling the librarian rage of my fore-mothers.

And then today I had another interview, for a job that I start on Monday a week from today, working in the communications unit of a government department. I'm doing the 3 R's of Jocelyn Working: Riting, Research, and Rediting. (OK, whatever, I tried.) It sounds great, I'm making a lot of money, and I think I get a cubicle--my first! (I've had jobs with pseudo-cubicles before, but I think this one will be a real cubicle, made of those sound baffling walls--in a kind of fancy mosaic pattern.) This job is located a scant five blocks from my house, and in that five blocks are TWO Starbuckses. And now that I have a proper job, you KNOW I'm going to start drinking that yuppie coffee.

Currently listening to: Rilo Kiley - Give a Little Love
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 26, 2007

BBC NEWS | Health | Why heroines die in classic fiction

BBC NEWS | Health | Why heroines die in classic fiction.

In the first half of the book, it is an episode of general swooning and not eating but in the second half, it is a life threatening fever - and you may guess what caused it. Yes, tripping through wet grass. Austen tells us only that the illness was an infection of "putrid tendency".

Dr Jane Leese, infectious disease specialist at the Department of Health, thinks that this might suggest typhus, which was also known as putrid fever.

And Marianne had just returned in a coach from London where it was rife.

However Dr Leese plumps instead for a streptococcal sore throat, followed by septicaemia.

On the other hand, Dr Neil Vickers, reader in literature and medicine at King's College London, thinks Marianne's illness is simply a plot device. He claims Austen needs a life threatening illness in order to return the previously overexcitable Marianne to the "sense" of the book's title.

Meanwhile, Wellcome History of Medicine director, Professor Michael Warbuoys counsels caution in back-diagnosing.

Heh. As much as I love 29th century novels--and I do love them, Internet, especially Wuthering Heights--I do sometimes want to slap these ladies and tell them to snap out of it. But remember, they didn't have antibacterial hand soap back then, so it's not entirely their fault.

i can has meta-memes?

I can't remember if I already linked to either of these things so [both stolen from boing boing]:
LOLcode (a functional programming language based on the bizarre grammatical features of lolcats)
LOLcats: the musical (photo stills from the musical CATS with amusing lolcats-style captions)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

*In Miss Piggie voice* SHOPPING! Also, heroin.

Ok, so, today

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

! (did you like how my punctuation matched that graphic? Pretty good, eh?) It is, sadly, getting to be the time of year when we start thinking about Christmas. Or at least, I do, because I'm a little obsessed with making stuff for people. But anyway, I always try to do all my Christmas shopping/crafting without going to the mall, and this year I decided to go the extra mile by taking the handmade pledge. I won't go on and on about how meaningful handmade stuff is. We've all read Albert Borgmann, right? We know the drill. So, on to the links!

Etsy is a wonderful, wonderful place to shop. Everything there is handmade, much of it is awesome, and some of it has sequins. Here are a few of my favourite etsy stores to get you started. Also, there's this blog called Etsy's most wonderful things, I can't really understand what it's all about, but.... oh never mind. Indiefixx is another blog that blogs indie design.

Recently I've been collecting links to affordable art projects. Art makes a great gift, especially when you know your purchase means a lot to the artist. In addition to Etsy, where there are lots of arts to be had: Tiny Showcase and pretty:darn:swell both sell limited-edition prints, and part of the purchase price goes to support the charity of the artist's choice. 20x200, which has been getting a lot of press lately, is another art store that focuses on affordability. It's like the art equivalent of a gateway drug.

(OK, side note: what exactly is a gateway drug? I mean, I know what the definition is, but is there really such a thing? I know SO MANY people who have smoked pot but never done any other drugs, so I don't think pot is a gateway drug. You know what is a gateway drug? HEROIN. Think about it.)

Every year, I try to give at least a few charitable donations in the names of my loved ones as Christmas gifts. The World Vision Gift Catalogue is great for this, because you can choose gifts like olive trees or bunnies (yum!) I would also be honoured to receive a donation in my name to one of my favourite organizations, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation or even Wikipedia (Which is in the midst of a fundraising drive). Or Save a Film in the name of someone you love. I may be a weirdo, but I'd be touched. (OK, so the charity stuff is not exactly handmade, but I think we could fudge on it and it would be OK.)

Oh, and for stalking stuffers (ok, so I actually meant, "stocking stuffers," but I wrote that automatically and it is so much funnier) two words: noney.

Yours in avoiding the mall,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today, after literally years of anticipation, I did my first stamping in a librarian capacity. And it was everything I thought it would be.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

love of mine...

I disappeared for a little while there, Internet. Sorry. I've been wrapped up in a new job. Fortunately, said new job ends this week, so really, you have not lost me for long. My blog is not the only thing that has been neglected. Facebook, my daily blog reads, and my plants (unwatered) feel your pain.

I was excited about everything, yesterday. I got a book to review and a design magazine I didn't subscribe to in the mail. (Who bought me the subscription to Dwell? Contact me for cookies.) But tonight I feel tired, and I got student loan documents in the mail, and I don't have appropriate change for coffee tomorrow, and what then, Internet? WHAT THEN? (I made tea at work today, but I hate tea. I hate how it's too hot for 15 minutes and then lukewarm for 2 hours. I hate how it doesn't have caffeine [or at least mine doesn't], and how it doesn't taste like chocolate [like my coffee always does]. I always end up dumping half of it out. Actually, the only thing I like about tea is the smell, which is why I sometimes make mandarin green tea at home just to let the smell fill my apartment.)

Also, I watched An Inconvenient Truth tonight with James. I enjoyed it, I guess, but it's discouraging. As much as I want to like Al Gore, I can't trust him--so much of this movie is just spin (the personal stuff, mostly, not the science, lest I arouse the fury of my fellow bleeding-heart liberal environmentalist compatriots). I honestly believe that the human race will wipe itself out, and I honestly think, sometimes, it would be better for the planet if we did it sooner rather than later. I'm not kidding. These thoughts occur to me, and I don't even feel bad about them. In fact, given my affection for end-of-the-world scenarios, I would say this constitutes the danger that Walter Benjamin warned us about, when "humankind's 'self-alienation reaches such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order." That doesn't mean we should do nothing--I certainly am not advocating that--but it does make it depressing, sometimes, to do something, anything. So in addition to the coffee-change problem, and the student-loan problem, I have the carbon-footprint-problem.

Currently listening to: Regina Spektor - Fidelity
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"and all night you drove me wild with your equations..."

Over Thanksgiving weekend, a friend recommended the Josh Ritter song "The Temptation of Adam," and I've been listening to it since, in my usual obsessive way. It's a love song for the end of the world, and thus, right up my alley.

I never had to learn to love her like I learned to love the Bomb
She just came along and started to ignore me
But as we waited for the Big One I started singing her my songs
And I think she started feeling something for me...

Oh Marie there's something tells me things just won't work out above
That our love would live a half-life on the surface
So at night while you are sleeping I hold you closer just because
As our time grows short I get a little nervous

I think about the Big One, W.W.I.I.I.
Would we ever really care the world had ended
You could hold me here forever like you're holding me tonight
I look at that great big red button and I'm tempted

You can stream the song on his site. Josh Ritter is on tour right now, and I'm going to see him when he comes here in February. Call me a romantic, but that nuclear war imagery just gets to me.

Remind me to invent this again.

You can't invent something delicious every day. But I can, because I'm a genius. Therefore, I present the Saturday Afternoon, Hotel Chevalier-inspired, Grilled Cheese Pita Quesadilla:

I am eating is as I type this, and it's delicious. The only oversight in its development process, and it is a very slight oversight, is that I thought I had some sour cream and/or salsa in my fridge, and this turned out to be not the case. Not that it matters. Also, if I were making it again, I would start with a better class of pita. Still, it's good and appropriately comforting. I feel like I have the emotional strength to break up with Natalie Portman.

Friday, October 19, 2007

California, here we come...

i. I got another job, maybe. Out of nowhere! If anyone out there on the Internets is looking for a job, try writing a blog post about how you don't want a job. Step 2: ??? Step 3: PROFIT! I'll even post your I-don't-want-a-job blog post here for you, if you want.

ii. I am done season 5 of the X-Files, and season 6 is tantalizingly close (since I bought it last week for $20. $20!) But I have to watch the movie first, according to the rules of this arrangement, and it is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Not even at the used-movie stores that ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a copy every time I go. Wtf, Edmonton?

iii. I saw the Darjeeling Limited tonight, and it was kind of good, although I think it was my least favourite Wes Anderson movie. Still, it is worth seeing just for Adrian Brody. He has a look of exquisite pain on his face for pretty much the entire movie, AND, watching him fold himself in and out of whimsical trains and tiny Indian cars is hilarious. IMDB says he is only 5'10 3/4" (ie., almost exactly the same height as me), but I don't believe it. Or else every other actor in the WORLD is tiny. Which is a possibility I am not completely eliminating. Actors are tiny: you read it here first.
iiib. I feel this is also a good time to mention that Jason Schwartzman is the (former?) drummer of the band Phantom Planet. Did other people know this? He is in a band now, Coconut Records, in which he writes all the songs and plays all the instruments. Which means it is really not even a band, it's just him. I just learned this a couple days ago and it is information I am having some trouble becoming accustomed to knowing. I may forget it, just for the sake of convenience. In addition to being Max Fischer he gets to be a drummer in the band that wrote the theme song for The O.C.? Unfair.

iv. I actually had something in mind for #4, but I forgot it in the process of looking up how tall a bunch of random people were. Maybe I will think of it tomorrow, although I may then be obliged to re-start my numbering process.

v. My screaming guy is screaming again, so I think I'll go read in bed for awhile and try to pretend not to be tired. As in, screw you, screaming guy! I didn't want to sleep anyway! He was honestly barking like a dog earlier, and I do not understand.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is it time for the super-mega-happy ending?

I start my new job tomorrow. It's only temporary (and in an uncommitted way at that), which is why I hesitate to consider myself really and truly employed. But I will go there, and they will pay me money, which I think makes it a job. So maybe it is a job. And I shall be a librarian, although I shall never use my librarian powers for evil. And it's in a children's library, which is kind of fun. I do enjoy talking to children, much more so than adults.

To distract myself from the inevitable night-before-new-job nervousness, I went to see The Jane Austen Book Club, which makes two sort of lame-seeming movies that turned out to be OK, all in one week (the other being The Kingdom). And I have to say, the Emily Blunt character in this movie, Prudie, wears the BEST CLOTHES. EVER. She wears the clothes that the librarians of my dreams wear: empire-waist baby doll dresses, little lacy jackets, wool pencil skirts, and so on. She looks totally dainty and demure and a little gothic and sort of repressed and Victorian, but also sexy, like she might not be wearing underwear. It's awesome. Sometimes I so wish I was skinny, if only so I could make better fashion statements. I half-heartedly looked on the internets to show you a picture, but to no avail.

Currently listening to: Pedro the Lion - Bands With Managers
via FoxyTunes

I like boys who wear abercrombie & fitch

Since Abercrombie & Fitch seems to be so adamantly shirtless-male-friendly, 110 men from Improv Everywhere took off their shirts in the New York A&F flagship store and insisted they wanted to buy shirts. Not surprisingly, the store was not that friendly towards them. The photos are great. Very A&F-y.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jocelyn vs. Western Civilization

Remember in grade 9, or so, when you learned all the types of conflicts books could have? Like Man vs. man, man vs. the environment, man vs. nature, man vs. himself? Well, for one thing, you should forget about that, because I'm pretty sure it's bullshit, but if we were to classify my life narrative, it would be Man vs. the Environment. And by man, I mean me, which is counter-intuitive, since I am not a man. And by the environment, I mean the culture marinade I find myself in. My book club (yes, I'm in a book club, shut up, because seriously, almost all we do is drink) is reading Jose Saramago's Blindness this month, and I can't read it. I mean, I probably can [insert appropriately hilarious blindness joke here], but not easily. It has way too many commas and not enough quotation marks! You know what else would help? Some paragraph breaks! And shorter chapters! And I get that it's probably about post-modernity, or something, but I'm too bored to really know for sure.

On the one hand, I respect the rights of readers, including myself. I know that it is OK for me not to like things. But a part of me can't help but think: well, he won the Nobel Prize. I think we know which one of us doesn't know what we're talking about.

Jocelyn: Could you put some more quotation marks in your book?
Jose Saramago: Um, Jocelyn... win any Nobel Prizes for Literature lately? For your, whatchamacallit, blog? I thought so.
Jocelyn: I feel chastized.
[Note: Jose Saramago would be speaking Portuguese, but in this imagined dialogue, we understand each other perfectly. A little too well, I would say.]

Fortunately, in my book club, reading the actual book is considered ideal, but reading the relevant Wikipedia article(s) is a close second and by no means disqualifies you from contributing to the conversation/drinking.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jonathan Coulton singing "Re: Your Brains" (a song about Zombies)

The Debris Room Chronicles

passiveaggressive 002

Someone from my floor left this note on the Debris Room door. It says, "Please be respectful and take your garbage downstairs. If it doesn't fit down the garbage shoot. Thank you!" The word "shoot" was crossed off and replaced with "chute," possibly by me, but I admit nothing. The second sentence is also a sentence fragment, but I don't know how committed I am to correcting the grammar of passive aggressive signs left in my apartment building hallway. (Actually, now that I look more closely at this sign, that might be a comma, in which case I retract my snarky sentence fragment criticism.)

passiveaggressive 004
Even though I was amused by the sense of community values/jerkiness (or something?) that possessed someone to post the sign above, I 100% understand their inclination. WHO DOES THIS? Gross!

The designation of this room with the "Debris" sign may be what is confusing people. It is not a room where you put your debris. Such a room would really have limited usefulness. In fact, it is a room where you put your debris down the chute/shoot. Be respectful! Chico says sober up!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Why are there five kinds of yarn on the floor?" and other valid questions

Friday. I reach a conclusion about work, or the lack thereof, and declare my newfound inner peace on the internets. 4 hours later, I get a phone call about a possible job. It has yet to emerge from the ether yet, though, so I shall leave it be for now.

Last night I ended up with some unexpected people at my house, and some unexpected people sleeping on my couch, and it was like I was seeing my apartment with fresh eyes. Fresh, disgusted eyes. Since when do I live in such squalor? Unemployed, depressed, self-worth-questioning Jocelyn is no fun, at all. So I've just spent about two hours feverishly cleaning, and half (the Southern half, if you want to know) of my apartment is more or less clean. The other half will be clean later today, or tomorrow. I took out garbage and the recycling bags I've been tripping over in the dark for 48 hours. I put laundry in laundry baskets. I asked critical questions, like, "why is there black screenprinting ink dripped all over my dish rack?" "Why are there flowers someone gave me a month ago on my kitchen table?" "Why is there rice underfoot?" "Why are there five kinds of yarn on the floor?"

It's not so much that I mind if other people consider me to be dirty/messy. In fact, that sort of adds to my mystique, maybe. The problem is that I actually really dislike living like that, amidst pizza boxes and empty water bottles, and I need to remember that, how much happier and more functional I am when I live in a clean cage.

Most of Friday and yesterday were spent in some feverish, temporary, envelope-stuffing type work, but it was with friends and take-out and jokes about the stapling Olympics, so it was fun. Thus the dearth of updates. I try to be better and better every single day, but sometimes I just don't get there.

On another note, I am so jonesing for some X-Files right now (almost done Season 5!), but there is none to be had. So I shall have to content myself with some backup DVDs. I have season 6, freshly purchased, but I can't watch it until I'm done with S5 and the movie. What are we, heathens? That goes against the whole spirit of Chris Carter's and my arrangement. I shall not flag nor fail.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I already feel better

I'm not applying for any more jobs until I find one I actually want. I fear I've gotten desperate enough that today I almost applied for a cataloguing job, until I realized that I do not, under any circumstances, want to catalogue. Ever! I would rather be unemployed than catalogue! Plus I haven't even taken the class, so I don't have any of the knowledge they probably expect in a cataloguer, so if by some bizarre accident they gave me the job, I would probably fail spectacularly at it! Over the next few months it seems there are people who have some freelance type things for me to do, starting today, so I'm not desperate for money. But I feel a little guilty about this assertion. Do I have any right to play hard to get? And the companion question, who cares?

I never used to care this much about work. In fact, my lifelong dream used to be to live in a state of barely-employed-ness, making just enough money to keep myself in books and cocktails. What changed? I graduated from this professional program and suddenly found myself brainwashed. Well, no more. This is new, likes-not-working Jocelyn, and she's not going to freaking catalogue.

Currently listening to: Amy Winehouse - Rehab [I love this song. It sounds like it comes from the 1950s, but it's about rehab! How can you beat that? YOU CAN'T]
via FoxyTunes

The Soundcheck Guy Song (as sung to the tune of "Spider-Man")

Soundcheck guy, soundcheck guy
Wearing a dorky hipster hat
Can he sing? No he can't
Cause he's just a
Soundcheck guy
Look out, here comes the soundcheck guy

Inspired by the New Pornographers concert last night.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


From the LA Times: They love to do their homework. A Southern Baptist seminary is now offering a "homemaking" major. And of course, the classes are only open to women.

A model house, to be completed by next fall, will allow women to get credit toward bachelor's degrees by learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.
Time for me to take out more student loans, apparently. My dinnertime conversation SUCKS. Also, I may be stating the obvious, but you don't need to go to college to learn these things, you can just watch HGTV.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A little Buddha, covered in hair

Why do the Tim Horton's bagels with cream cheese taste so much better than the Jocelyn's Apartment bagels with cream cheese?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure I've cured the common cold. The secret? DayQuil, chocolate milk, and Kahlua. I'm high on life... and medication!

AND, I just got normal hearing back in both ears!

James and I watched The Departed last night. In honour of this, my Facebook status is currently set to "Jocelyn IS NOT A COP!" although it might be more accurate to say, "Jocelyn is sick, pathetic, depressed, and self-medicating." ANYWAY, The Departed was OK, but I have trouble believing it won the Best Picture Oscar. (ALTHOUGH, I also don't give the Oscars much credence at all, so I don't know why I care or am surprised. After all, Rocky won!) It had its high points, for sure, but it was WAYYYY too long, and I didn't really understand the point of it. Plus, now that 12 hours have elapsed, I don't remember what happened in it at all. (See self-medicating, above.) In this sense, The Departed was the gangster-movie equivalent of Blades of Glory. Think about it. (Side-note: two recent movies, this one and Eastern Promises, have both given me the impression that the mob lifestyle is SO NOT WORTH IT. You know? Like, what is the advantage of being a gangster, at all? Apparently there are lots of women of questionable morals involved, as well as possibly drugs and money, but really, if you become a gangster there is a 90% chance that you will get stabbed. Possibly, in the eye. Is it worth it? I don't think so. So I shall stick to my plan of becoming a librarian.)

According to this list on Lists of Bests, I've only seen 36% of the best picture oscar winners. I should try to see them all. Maybe when I'm done with The X-Files, as I can only handle one monumental movie-renting project at a time. I have a major crush on these days, as they have inexplicably been sending me extra movies, as if they KNOW I am sick and unemployed.

I bought some of those sore-throat lozenges with the anesthetic in them, though, so I would say things are looking up. I've always felt sort of excited that you can buy low-dose anesthetic over the counter in lozenge format. I also stocked up on NyQuil (my cold medication of choice), stove top stuffing (post-Thanksgiving sale!) and X-Files (season 6 for $20! Back on track!) I shall be located on my couch until further notice.

Currently listening to: Josh Ritter - The Temptation of Adam
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 8, 2007

I hope I never find out who broke your heart...

Not to go into too much self-pitying detail, but I had one of those weekends where you sleep on a camping mattress on the floor and lose (brutally) at Scattergories and wake up Monday morning with a cold.

The DVD-pickins are a little slim around here, but I'm thinking of watching The Departed tonight, maybe the rest of Fraggle Rock season 1, ordeirng pizza, and crying. It's a scooters kind of day, for sure.

Currently listening to: Tegan and Sara - Living Room
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 5, 2007

The holiest of all days, Turkey Day.

I'm off to Calgary for the Turkey Day long weekend. My sister and I are riding the Red Arrow (the Greyhound's classier cousin), where, apparently, you get free bottled water and Peek Freans. In other words, it's heaven. I'll be back Monday. Blog updates unlikely in the meantime, but enjoy spending some quality time with your pilgrims, or you loved ones, or whatever.

Currently listening to: Hilary Duff - Stranger
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Paternoster elevators

From Wikipedia, an article on Paternoster elevators. These elevators are a series of cabins (not just one) that move perpetually on a circuit. They are still in use in some parts of Europe, but they're disappearing because they're apparently dangerous. Pfft.

This video [YouTube] shows these amusing inventions in use, to the tune of a catchy Ventures song. Here is another one. I basically want to go on a Paternoster tour. Or install one in my house. (There are actually tons of videos of these on YouTube. Why haven't I heard of them before? Stupid Canada.)

I think what appeals to me about these is that they don't follow the common modern pattern of trying to idiot-proof everything. You have to stay on your toes to ride one of these babies, and if you screw up, you could DIE. (Well, maybe not.) It also seems like, in addition to their other benefits, these elevators would be good for when you are being chased by bad guys, because they can't see which floor you get off on.

Unemployment tips

I think I am getting eerily, eerily good at filling up my endless, empty days. This is bad because it means I am becoming addicted to the unemployed bum lifestyle and may have trouble adjusting when I (eventually) return to normal productive society. With that in mind, here are some tips for feeling busy even though you are accomplishing nothing:

1. Leave your apartment every day. Going to the pool in the basement counts. If you don't have a car (as I don't), use this as an excuse to walk everywhere. This takes longer and it's free. You would be surprised at where you can walk to, with a little patience and appropriate shoes.
2. Buy groceries in small quantities, so you have to go back to the grocery store three days later. Don't worry about saving time while running errands. This week I went to the Superstore in Clareview just because it's cheaper than the Save on Foods in my neighbourhood. Remember, your time is worth nothing. Pretend your time is German money and it's the Great Depression. (Get it? Inflation?)
2a. Learn obscure Social Studies-type facts and insert them into normal conversation.
3. Bake and cook a lot. Invite people over! Take off your sweatpants when they buzz your apartment, and put on real clothes. Stop being so pathetic.
4. Sleep late, and then stay up late. It's easier to find people to do things with in the evening than during the day, and the day (as a unit of time) is far less depressing if it starts at 11 instead of at 8. Bonus: if you sleep late, there is seldom a need for breakfast.
5. Clean up, all the time. Conversely, don't feel bad about making a mess. You can always clean up tomorrow. Cleaning tasks that would normally happen every other week can be done weekly. Things normally done weekly can be done every other day. Also, you now have time to hand-wash things that should be hand-washed, to iron, and to wash delicates separately. Don't shirk--you have no excuse.
6. Facebook is your friend, as are Facebook apps like Scrabulous, that require monitoring multiple times a day. Have a blog? Excellent! Make some pointless lists!
7. Go stay with other people in other cities. This has a double benefit: it takes up time, PLUS they will probably feed you while you are there, thus saving money. This is how the landed gentry SURVIVED in the time of Jane Austen. Look it up.
8. Drink lots of water. It's good for you, it's free (well, OK, incalculably cheap), and you'll have to pee all the time (which takes up time).
9. Take baths instead of showers. Do things in the bathtub, like read or watch TV or eat M&Ms. In addition to taking up lots of time, this is dramatic and cool, because Margot Tenenbaum does it.
10. Take on a seemingly insurmountable project, such as reading the Bible or the Qur'an cover to cover, knitting a hammock, learning another language, or watching whole series of The X-Files. That way if people question your priorities, you can tell them about your project. (Implication: Sure, you may have a job, but have you watched THE WHOLE X-FILES from beginning to end? Do you speak Japanese? Exactly.)
11. Home improvement projects--you must have some. Is there a wall you could paint? Some cupboards that need new handles? Is your toilet broken? If you don't know how to do these things yourself, the Internet knows. You can't afford to hire someone else to fix it for you, so you better cowboy up.
12. Meet employed friends for lunch at their places of work. Traveling there, going for lunch, and traveling home takes up a lot of time. If possible, dress up a bit--it hides the sloth and patheticness inside and gives the illusion of control. I am doing this today, and I am wearing my new hoodie.
13. If you're crafty, like me, it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas presents.
14. Warcraft, Warcraft, Warcraft.

I should seriously write a book, except I'm kind of busy.

Currently listening to: Rilo Kiley - 15
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mixing metaphors

OK, so, since I started swimming two weeks ago, I've been slowly increasing the number of laps of the pool I swim. When I used to swim in an Olympic-sized pool, I would swim 1km. Last Thursday (or whenever, I forget) I got to 50 lengths of my pool (25 laps). Today, obsessed with upstaging myself, I swam 52. This sounds impressive, and on some level, considering how lazy I am, it truly is. But.

I also estimated, using my patented "walking and counting" method, the length of said pool last week. And I think it is 13m long, or less than 1/3 the size of an Olympic pool. This means that I have to swim 80 lengths to swim 1km. And that, friends, is discouraging, but not impossible. I don't think I can even count to 80, so I will have to devise some sort of counting device to keep at the end of my lane. Like an abacus, but with more levers.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I want this device to surround me with a halo of gold light every time I hit the end of the lane, like when your character levels in Warcraft. That would be an enticement.

Anyway, it's still better than nothing, which is what I do the rest of the time.

Books that I have successfully convinced the public library to buy, because I was not willing to buy them myself but I wanted to read them

Library Juice Concentrate, by Rory Litwin
Craftivity, by Tsia Carson
Neptune Noir, edited by Rob Thomas
The Secret Language of Sleep by Evany Thomas

I tell myself that they appreciate my feedback, as a committed and appreciative library user. But that may be a complete myth. But I've lost my borrowing privileges (or at least my renewing privileges) at the U of A, and things are getting rough.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pictorial update on recent craft madness. All of this was accomplished in 48 hours.

craftmadness 001
The recycled jean messenger bag I made for my sister's birthday, only 6 months late. Go me. It also has a matching MP3 player cozy (complete with patch), because I am a dork. It also has a zippered pocket in the strap for lip balm, because a girl should never be more than 2 feet from her lip balm. And another zippered pocket in the flap, for pirate booty; because a girl should no sooner be more than 3 feet from her booty.

craftmadness 002
My first experiment with bleach stenciling. I got impatient and applied too much bleach, and as a result the fabric kind of came apart in a couple of small places. I will have to patch it up a bit with my sewing machine. Still, a worthy effort. And the emo stars remind me of the 80s, in an awesome way. Now that I have figured out how to do this, nothing can stop me from bleaching EVERYTHING. Futon, slippers, fridge, concrete floor of my balcony: you've been warned.

craftmadness 003
A shirt (which I bought), screenprinted with some screens I already had. It's wrinkly because it got to go on a trip! (This plain white shirt came from Wal-Mart for $4. The hoodie in the picture above came from Superstore for $14. I'm all about the cheap, craftable shirts. You can't really go wrong with 100% cotton.) Actually, this shirt was not finished in the past 48 hours as I dishonestly claimed. It was finished on Friday.

craftmadness 004
A mysterious package. I am not saying what it is, but I want credit for finishing it, nonetheless.

craftmadness 005
Fun bonus picture: my living room as it looks at this moment. I like to sit on the floor, with my DVD remote, and have everything I need within arm's reach. My sewing machine and ironing board (necessary for all of these sewing, bleaching, and printing projects) are in the kitchen, set up on the table, which I never eat on because that would never happen. Heh. The Flickr version of this photo has explanations of what everything is, if you're the sort of person who's interested in that sort of thing.

If you want me to make you something, Internets, now's the time to ask. Scarf? iPod cozy? Perhaps a small, knitted beanie of some kind? A handbag? (I won't make any more messenger bags, they take too much work and are only for birthdays.) An 80s shirt? I feel so alone.

Currently listening to: Lily Allen - Friday Night
via FoxyTunes

got a friend with a pole in the basement

It's been awhile, although only a little while. I went to Calgary (or rather, Okotoks) for, like, 24 hours this weekend. James's band played there and it was gloomy. James took this picture:

okotoks 038

I still don't have a job and I do nothing all day. I am making lots of craft, and watching SO MUCH TV. I screenprinted a shirt, and I am going to bleach stencil another. I made a scarf and a bag and a little matching iPod cozy. I watched The Office (the UK version) season 1 and all 3 Lord of the Rings extended editions and season 1 of Sex in the City and I am halfway through season 5 of The X-Files. I could give reports on minute changes in my state of mind, but what would be the point? Six weeks ago I felt like a million bucks. These days I feel like $3.75--enough for coffee and a bagel, but not anywhere nice.