Friday, February 29, 2008

Spending artificial money

I've been wanting to order some wall decals from blik for quite awhile. Now they have customized decals of words for a quotation, a poem, or your favourite swear word. I asked for an estimate on my favourite quote from Jorge Luis Borges' The Library of Babel, just for funzies. I'm afraid to do anything like this in my condo, though, because I know I will then NEVER LEAVE. But they're so cooooooooool.

[They also sell decals based on threadless shirt designs. I could so easily spend hundreds of dollars on this site without even noticing.]

Also on the "home front," (heh) I want to custom order a bunch of these card catalogue cards in a variety of colours. I absolutely fetishize card catalogues, and since I'm not exactly in a position to buy one, four of these seems like the next best thing.

I read apartment therapy all day long at work and it makes me SO CRAZY.

the magic of lowered expectations

Earlier this afternoon, I filled up my water bottle (with tap water) and then left it on my desk on my way somewhere else. Just now I noticed it and this was the actual thought that went through my head: Oh, yeah! I have water! and I was really, inordinately, disproportionately happy.

Work has done this to me. Imagine how I would feel if I found something genuinely cool and unexpected, like some licorice.

I'm having this silly frakkin day. Better to just leave it, though. Just keep Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake comin', iPod. It's almost the weekend, Elune be praised.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

this chart from 1o9 compares the BMIs of Marvel superheroes (male and female) with real men and women. Unsurprising conclusion: "The average Marvel female is approaching underweight despite a presumably active lifestyle. This may corroborate sociological and literary observations that in the Marvel Universe, women must fulfil criteria for being attractive by Western standards before fulfilling the criteria of biological realism."

One of the things I love about my paladin is that, despite her oh-so-normative flippy hair and perky breasts, she also has pretty big, sturdy-looking thighs. She looks like she could actually KILL AN OGRE. And then she DOES. (Plus, her breasts don't look like they would actually impede her melee fighting, unlike some female MMO characters, superheroes, etc. Oh, and less back pain!)

I'm feeling a bit stabby today, but as long as I don't move my head, I won't throw up. Probably.

I have a case of the Mondays

I know I should be suspicious of google, especially since they now own pretty much all the information in the world, including the archives of this blog + my personal e-mail, but it's hard to be mean about a company that just announced free phone numbers and voicemail for homeless people in San Francisco.

Ya know? They're undermining my corporate rage.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Things my office smells like today, according to varying reports from co-workers

1. Pancakes
2. "Airplane"

Not a fan of bread and mayonnaise

I was greatly amused by this Letter of recommendation for Rick Stoeckel, Who Was Homeschooled, as well as Maslow's Hierarchy of Sandwiches, just as I am amused by almost anything the McSweeney's family of companies deigns to produce.

I am tired of waiting for someone to love me enough to buy me a subscription to the McSweeney's book club. When I get my tax refund, I am buying it myself. I'm independent women.

Fish, science, and the weird sense of familiarity that comes from seeing one's home on the big screen

In other crazy science news, the Telegraph reports that fish can count to four--but no higher. This doesn't really surprise me as I had always suspected fish were hiding secret intelligence. Tomorrow's headline will read, "fish can plot the deaths of humans--but only one at a time." I'm watching you, fish. Walk softly.

I have a question I need a scientist--or a blog reader!--to answer. Like a lot of other people, when I'm approaching a set of doors, I am more likely to go through one that was just opened. But if I'm leaving a building, a door that was just opened and is now in the process of closing is closing TOWARDS me. Wouldn't a door that has momentum closing be HARDER to open than a door that's just sitting there? Is the tendency to use the most recently opened door a FAILURE OF HUMAN RATIONALITY? Anyone?

This week has been absolutely beautiful, but I know it's Fake-Out Spring, the season that comes right before Break-Your-Heart-All-Over-Again-Winter. So I'm trying not to get too emotionally invested in it. I'm having one of those weeks where I don't really sleep, have no time for silly dishes, cooking, or laundry, and feel like I've been bitten by an ill-tempered bitey fish. I spend lots of money because I don't have time to cook. I'm wearing socks with terrier dogs on them with my dress shoes because I don't have any plain black socks. Anything that happens, happens at work, because I barely even remember what my apartment looks like. However, my hair looks HOT. By Tuesday next week, the day after the election, most of the craziness in my life will have evaporated and I will be free to pursue my normal warcraft-playing, zucchini-baking domestic lifestyle.

My sister and James and I went to see The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford last night. It wasn't the best ever, but it also wasn't terrible. Albertans have an attachment to this movie (as do, I suppose, Manitobans) because it was filmed here, on the Canadian prairies, and in the historical village near my parents' old house. I felt a weird sense of familiarity, actually, watching it. The prairies, with broken wheat stalks sticking up among clumps of snow, were so visibly our prairies. There is a scene where Jesse James crouches on a frozen river, and snowy trees rise up behind him, and in the background are the Rockies. That shot was so Canadian it gave me shivers. This would actually make an interesting topic for a paper, if I were still in film studies: (mis)constructions of Canadian wilderness. It was a bit unnerving. I mean, how many Americans think Kansas looks like Manitoba? Or for that matter, think New York looks like Vancouver?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I said Science again!

From Wired: The Best Cure for Hiccups: Remind Your Brain You're Not a Fish. An explanation of why we get hiccups, which I always wanted to know, except I didn't realize I always wanted to know it until this moment.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Summer Glau interviewed over at the onion AV Club. She looks smokin' hot in the picture. And being a Terminator sounds awesome: "For the most part, it's about learning how to crash through things safely, and protecting each other when you're doing hand-to-hand fights, but there's no finesse. A Terminator doesn't need to do that, because they're always the strongest person in the room."

Flickr photo - the bed is inside the uroko house

Holy Moley, is this ever cool. I can has? (Check out the rest of the set for more photos, including ones where the bookshelves are full and the roof tiles are coloured. In a perfect world, this would probably have a little turret and a rooftop balcony, but otherwise, top marks. Fort + books + bed = awesome.)

2 boring updates

1. a Warcraft "Booyah":
I think all the biggest blocks are all Sundays.

2. I updated my links list. My daily blogroll grows ever longer in proportion to my busyness at work. I do take stuff off, too, though--things that aren't being updated anymore, or that I have grown weary of.

Actually it seems kind of pathetic that my whole Internet Experience can basically be summarized on one page, and that that one page has remained in its essential form since I was in high school. Shouldn't I be taking risks, or exploring the semantic web, or something?


It also fills me with a bizarre sense of pride. Do other people have their online reading all organized on a separate page, for optimally efficient time-wasting? They don't.

Mini-linky Monday

this wonderful xkcd comic explains why I hate almost all fruit.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daily thing: Feb. 23rd and 24th

armwarmers 005 armwarmers 004

Yesterday and today I made these handy Left and Right arm warmers for my friend Meghan. One pair is elbow-length and the other just covers hands and wrists. They're made out of navy and purple fleece. They were actually supposed to be Christmas presents, but I'm a bad friend. (And it took me SO MANY TRIES to get them to fit right, which is weird because they're so easy to sew. The long pair is actually attempt #4. The reason I had to use the navy fabric is, I ran out of the purple. Anyone with tiny, tiny wrists want a pair of armwarmers? Email me!)

I haven't been missing as many Thing-A-Day days as it might SEEM I've been missing--I think there have only been 2 I've missed completely. I just haven't been blogging everything. A lot of days, all I make is food.

Things that may be wrong with me today:
(a) hangover
(b) flu
(c) both (a) and (b)
I feel craptastic. But I've laid on the couch watching Buffy and drinking water for hours, and it hasn't helped. So.

Previous Things-A-Day
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

but you're not really there, it's just the radio

Now playing: Sonic Youth - Superstar

Friday, February 22, 2008

Update: living in the past

So, I DON'T have a radio as it happens. It's OK because the venerable CBC webcasts all their radio though. I LOVE the CBC. I wish I could marry it, and have 1,000 of its babies.

So I listened to the webcast of the provincial leadershipd ebate and baked a huge quantity of zucchini bread. At, like, 8:01 pm, James called me and we ranted for about 15 minutes. Hopefully the zucchini bread isn't Like Water for Chocolate Zucchini Bread, ie., tasting like political alienation, discontent, and chocolate chips.

And I DID get to 68 last night, although I can't update my chart because I'm at work. Ding! The nice thing about being the last in my guild to hit 70 (and I am, oh yes I am) is that I am the warcraft-equivalent of the youngest child. Everyone else is always sending me gear they think I could use, giving me advice about quests, and they don't care if I smoke up in my room. I may actually get to 70 this weekend, depending on how much time and effort I decide to commit to it. That is weeks ahead of my Easter long weekend goal! I am such a PROBLEM-SOLVER. I will probably mention this in future job interviews. It translates as something like, "Proven success planning and managing large projects in accordance with deadlines."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Maybe it's the lack of rhetorical flair

Question: do I have the attention span to both listen to the provincial leadership debate tonight on the radio AND get to level 68 in WOW? I think so! (I'm just happy it's ON the radio, because my TV doesn't even really get CBC with any dependability. Basically, I would be much happier if I could live in the 1920s.)

Wait, follow up question: Do I HAVE a radio?

I'm enjoying the edmonton journal election blog. This election has been such a non-starter, it's nice to know that SOMEONE is paying attention to it, even if that someone is a reporter paid to do so.

the retro version of the future was soooo much better - Disney Revives 'House of the Future'. Disney is creating a new House of the Future display featuring these amazing features: "Lights and thermostats will automatically adjust when people walk into a room. Closets will help pick out the right dress for a party. Countertops will be able to identify groceries set on them and make menu suggestions."

The 5,000-square-foot home, scheduled to open in May, will look like a suburban tract home outside. But inside it will feature hardware, software and touch-screen systems that could simplify everyday living.
"A suburban tract home"? Man, the future sucks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Daily Thing: Feb. 20th

I took a critical look at today, and realized there was no possible way I could finish all the things I needed to finish. And other stuff took priority, so I took the afternoon off from work. (I was also legitimately not feeling well, and in fact my monitor was swimming in front of me at work, and I felt like an invalid Victorian. I felt faint.) One of the things I accomplished during this extra four hours was this "conceptual headboard":

headboard 001

It looks uneven, which is weird because I measured! And hammered my finger! Actually, now that I think about it, maybe (a) my whole bedroom is crooked or (b) I, myself, am crooked and am therefore not holding the camera straight.

headboard 002

The second, weirdly focused picture shows closer-up. I strung up my recycled industrial felt hearts from etcetera media on a piece of thread strung between two nails. This was a quick and dirty project, I'm happy with how it looks, and if I get tired of it I can so easily take it down.

I kind of wish I had more of the hearts though, because I can think of about 50 more things to do with them. Or even better, stars. I love stars because they're so emo, as am I.

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Daily Thing for yesterday


Yesterday I made a large number of Mithril Shield Spikes. Then I sold them in the auction house for GOLD! Warcraft brings out all my capitalist ambition.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Important announcement

My favourite thing today is v-neck sweaters with button-up shirts underneath.
That is all.

The beneficiaries of this year's Dewey Donation System are The Rockhouse Foundation, a small library in Jamaica, and The Children's Institute, a Los Angeles organization that helps children and families who have been affected by violence. I know that we librarians are supposed to concentrate on lobbying governments to make sure that libraries are funded adequately so they don't have to depend on donations, but at the same time, the thorough Tuesday-morning heart-warming I get from buying picture books for kids trumps that. So far this year, 170 books and almost $1000 have been donated to these two organizations! And that's not even including mine!

Revised: mine just got added to the total! You should go donate some money and/or books just to watch the tallying magic. Or if not for that reason, then because books are the safest, best, most interesting thing. In the world.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thing a day for Feb. 18

crockpot 006 resumetiny

I made potatoes and stuffing in my crockpot. I also wrote a cover letter and revised my resume to apply for a job. Neither of these things is particularly awesome, but c'est la vie. I can't paint the ceiling with beautiful angels every day. Or at all.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

spend more money than i guess i have

This weekend has been top-drawer. i love long weekends where monday is the holiday. Four-day week coming up! It's psychological manipulation, the good kind.

On Saturday James and I went to the farmer's market. I have been there before, many times, but never in actual food-buying mode. It's fabulous! I bought tons of local, organic, non-feedlot meat, and some fresh pasta. Next time I'll take more money because you can also get locally made perogies, green onion cakes, hummous, honey, and cheese! It was very exciting. We'll start to get local vegetables soon too. I can't wait. I already put zucchini in everything, but this summer it's going to be all local zucchini.

Yesterday I watched one of my favourite movies from my childhood: Swiss Family Robinson. Have you seen this movie, Internet? It's actually pretty good! I totes have a crush on the oldest brother (Franz)--he's hot. Actually, I think 25-year-old Jocelyn loves that treehouse as much as 8-year-old Jocelyn did. I'm so impressed by how industrious these people are, too. If I was stranded on a strange, ecologically confused island, it would take me at least a few days to adjust. Not so the family Robison! They get right to work building their little 19th-century paradise, where reward is based on competence and man is free to achieve his full potential. (And it is Man. Woman is mostly free to scream at lizards and marvel at the men's accomplishments, although the mom in this movie is pretty tough, everything considered.)


*ding* 67. The key to weekend productivity is to intersperse other activities with the warcrafting. I went for a swim today, had a shower, made lunch, applied for a job, did some dishes, and made potatoes in my slow-cooker. In addition to hitting 67. And it's not even 6 yet!

Thing-A-Day for Feb. 17th

quilt 003 quilt 001

For yesterday and today: I made a quilted throw! This is actually a belated valentines gift for my man friend. (Although also kind of for me, because I am always cold at his house) The top picture shows the whole thing, with the applique. The bottom shows the mitred corners, the neatest I have ever made. (It has to count for yesterday too, because I did all the edging or binding or whatever you want to call it yesterday, and it took a LOT of ironing. The fabric is Belinda cotton from IKEA, and I love using it to edge things because it is so easy to tell if you're making straight edges. It also reminds me of atoms. SCIENCE!)

I'm happy with how this turned out. The fabric I used was already quilted--green on one side, pink on the other. This means that this is really a cheaty-quilt. A friend had it in her fabric stash, and gave it to me because she didn't think she would ever use it. She, in turn, had gotten it from her mom, who didn't think SHE would ever use it. I'd like to think that this fabric is happy to have finally found its destiny. And I had some left, so I think I will make a quilted bag of some kind.

With some imaginative work, this project also happens to fit the weekly themes of “reversal” (it’s reversible, one side is pink the other green) and “something for home.” However I can’t take credit for this, as I just saw the themes AFTER I posted the project. Serendipitous theme compliance!

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thing-A-Day feb. 16 (and 14)

yarnandbelinda 016

A couple nights ago I made this ball of yarn from a skein. Tonight I made a bunch of binding from IKEA Belinda fabric. Boring--craft houekeeping.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Really Serendipitous Hobo-Drawing (RSHD)

Internet serendipity, including several of my favourite things: John Hodgman wrote the charming and wholly inaccurate book Areas of My Expertise. And when he recorded the audiobook version of that book's list of 700 hobo names (with musical accompaniment by the ever-fabulous Jonathan Coulton!), BoingBoing suggested that 700 artists should draw those hoboes. The result is The 700 Hoboes Project. Almost 1700 hoboes drawn to date!

Whew, typing all those a hrefs made me tired. Everybody take a five-minute break.

While I was researching this post*, a woman I don't know came to offer me some black licorice, claiming that it is "black licorice Friday." Sometimes it's weird, working here.

*Read: "Thinking about that Simpsons episode where Grandpa Simpson and Bart find the house with 'hobo graves in basement'"

sometimes (read: every day) the news just makes me depressed

Holy Moley: There have been four school shootings in the States in the past week.

In another news link pilfered from jezebel, a female Kansas basketball ref was not allowed to referee a boys' game. Because she's a woman. "That would be putting a woman in a position of authority over boys, [her officiating partner] was told — a scenario that was contrary to beliefs at St. Mary’s Academy." Uh huh.

You know what's contrary to my beliefs? Stupid-ass policies like that.

This cheered me up by 5% though: Business coalition opposes harsh copyright reform. They're just doing it because they're cpaitalists, but I'll take what I can get.

What's up with today, today? I feel like I haven't slept in a week. Bottles of water can only do so much, you know? I need it to be the weekend, so I can go to IKEA and the farmer's market. Plus, I can only sleep on Fridays and Saturdays, so I look forward to that all week.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

VD Roundup!

Lovely, hi-res version of Ralph Wiggum's "I Choo-choo-choose you" Valentine.
Pamie does her usual yearly VD poems [I like the OCD ones]
Funny ecards from DieselSweeties

It is only 1:12, and already 3 kinds of chocolates and a rose have been deposited on my desk! This is the best VD ever! (The rose is propped up very attractively in my Nalgene water bottle. It looks SO ELEGANT.) I will, on principle, eat any chocolate left on my desk. That's my guarantee. Let it never be said that I lack principles.

Tonight I am going for dinner at a romantic Italian restaurant with the man I love... and my dad, and my sister. Who I also love. So really, what could be better than that? TRUE LOVE AND GARLIC TOAST!

My dumb dead plant, TBA, has been confiscated from me and given to one of the receptionists for resuscitation/palliative care. Apparently she has a way with plants. I have a way with nothing.

Also I printed a "NO JUNK MAIL PLEASE" decal from the red dot campaign which I am going to affix to the inside of my mailbox. Unaddressed advertising mail is for CHUMPS and TREE-KILLERS. I didn't know this, but you can opt out of receiving it and Canada Post will honour your request! Hot!

I am done all my work, and I face the challenge of filling the next 3 hours with something semi-meaningful, so that I don't get really depressed, without spending any money online. I don't think it can be done.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thing-A-Day for Feb. 13th - Disguises


The glasses and moustache were printed with potato stamps and block printing ink. I carved them with a regular kitchen knife. It was very dangerous, at least for me.

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this was a triumph--I'm marking it down here, "huge success."

I'm having a crappy day, so I went home on my lunch break to have some alone time and better food. (After my office-mates invited me out for lunch with them, then left without me. Hrmph.) Running the microwave AND the toaster oven at the same time blew the fuse, or the breaker or whatever (I don't know, I'm not an electricity-ologist) and when I went out into the hall to fix it, I cut my finger on the fuse-box, and the band-aid on my cut finger is saturated with blood. It's pretty gross, and depressing.

On the plus side, I bet this is the first time a blogger entry has been tagged "weltschmerz, pathos, paranoia."

I'll give you a hint: it ends in disappointment

I was awake for most of the night, but now that it's daytime--and work-time!--I'm exhausted. Not even coffee can help me now. I sometimes have these nightmares that I awaken from slowly, choking on sobs--and then fall back to sleep before I even stop crying. It hardly sets a good precedent for the day to come.

My dad is coming to visit me today, and hopefully bringing a suitcase full of stuff I ordered online and had shipped to my parents'. Lately, I've been compulsively shopping online when I get bored at work. All I can do is try to channel the acquisitive instinct into something constructive, by buying things I legitimately need (or at least, legitimately sort of need). So I bought a gift for a friend who's expecting a baby, and a new bathing suit (necessitated by the fact that I've actually been swimming regularly again, yay!), clothes I can wear to work, and yesterday, this print:

I absolutely love it. There are more available from

One of the things I've been ignoring about Thing-A-Day is the weekly themes, of which there are several. One of the themes for this week is "spying," so today I'm going to make something with this article I read today: Bush Presses House on Surveillance Bill. I shall channel my political hostility and alienation into craft!

A couple cool links from yesterday and today:
Notable registrants of the WWI Draft [including Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Sinclair Lewis] - from the National Archives of the US of A
1975 and the Changes to Come - a Flickr photoset of scans from a 1962 book by that title. The past's conception of the future is fascinating. In 1962, apparently, 1975 held promise of ultrasonic dishwashers, among other things!

1975: And the Changes To Come, originally uploaded by dbostrom.

The future is an exciting place, friends.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thing-A-Day: Feb. 12 - a mixCD.

Songs for the End of the World
Waiting for the End of the World - Elvis Costello
The Songs That We Sing - Charlotte Gainsbourg
Music is My Hot, Hot Sex - CSS
Impossible Germany - Wilco
The Temptation of Adam - Josh Ritter
Busting Up A Starbucks - Mike Doughty
In Our Bedroom After the War - Stars
The End of the World - The Cure
Novocaine for the Soul - The Eels
When The World Ends [Paul Oakenfeld remix] - Dave Matthews Band
Water - Ndidi Onukwulu
Until the End of the World - U2
I Get Around - Dragonette
It's The End of the World As We Know It [and I Feel Fine] - REM
Still Alive - Jonathan Coulton

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I self-identify as nothing

Jezebel asks, "Is there really a difference between a Natalie Portman type and a Scarlett Johansson type?" I'll give you a hint: the answer is no.

The first line of the W cover story on Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman is possibly more ridiculous than the Russian prostitute/small dog/ACK tuxedo collar?! styling: "It's not easy to find a man whose celebrity crush list includes both Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson." Um, really? Did you check this fact with, say, a man? Because I'm pretty sure there are a few billion dudes who would gladly screw either Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson, no preference, merely on the basis, in both cases, of "She's hot."
I'm not a man, but I have to say, that makes sense to me. Especially since the difference between Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson represents about 2% of the actual possible diversity in human beings.

The world is stupid today.

Unsolicited blog entry

Today, via how about orange, I discovered the bureau of communication. This website lets you generate fun unsolicited communications, like invitations, acknowledgements of holidays, or this "unsolicited feedback" form I filled out about my pants:

I really do love these pants. Because I'm pretty tall, I have trouble finding pants that are long enough. But the ones I am wearing today are very long, so they dust the toes of my (high-heeled) boots; they're plaid; and they make me feel hot, and powerful, like I might fire someone. If I had anyone that I was in charge of who I could fire, which I don't, except my stupid office plant, and I can't even fire good old TBA because he is mostly dead. (Seriously. My whole office keeps enquiring after my plant, and I have to keep re-stating the sad truth: this plant is NEVER. GOING. TO. RECOVER.)

So go ahead and send me some unsolicited feedback, if you want, but it better be about how hot I am. I don't deal well with criticism. This would also be a fun thing to use for VD--you could produce some unsolicited feedback for your honey. But there, again, tread carefully. People can get kind of sensitive about VD.

That series of jokes is getting funnier and funnier.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Camera fixed. Faulty memory card!

Feb. 9 - a map of our weekend

Feb. 10 - the last heart.

The last heart was done with screenprinting ink and fabric spray paint on fabric. I'm less than thrilled with how it turned out. I haven't decided whether to frame these or not. And tonight's Thing didn't get made. I did swim 40 lengths of my pool, though, and I made some pasta with zucchini. And I think I'm going to the craft store tomorrow, so there can be more craft in my future. I need some googley eyes. Oooh, and resin...

Actually, I guess you could count this:


It's me as a weird hybrid zoo animal. You can make your own here: build your wild self. Cop-out, you say? Pshaw!

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Putting the pieces together

Recently it feels like everything is breaking around me. Based on my previous record, you might think I'm referring to some kind of metaphorical sense of "breaking", but actually I mean literally. All my electronics. My Thing-A-Day updates have been hampered by my broken camera. This morning I got the digital camera equivalent of the BlueScreenofDeath. A couple weeks ago, I had a day set aside to copy my whole hard drive, wipe my computer, and re-install Windows, which I thought would fix my compy problems. I backed up my files onto an external hard drive, but then, when James and I tried to convince the computer to boot from the CD drive, the computer went into extreme unco-operative mode. Sometimes it would not boot at all, just kind of wheeze and sit there. Other times it would boot up a little bit, and then we would get a DOS screen that said "DRAM is too tightly." When we changed it back to booting from the hard drive, it was no longer willing to even try. My home computer is now James's old computer--fitting, since I also have his old stereo and his old TV. Yep. I live in a world of tech hand-me-downs.

My work computer has also been giving me sass lately. It won't use Flash even though I have re-installed the latest version several times. I can't exactly complain to the help desk either -- "Flash doesn't work on my computer, I can't play Scrabulous on Facebook!" Yeah. Exactly.

My only working gadgets are my phone and my ipod. If either of them kicks the bucket, I'm going to be pissed.

This is a bad morning after a rough night. But I walked to work in actual LIGHT this morning, and it's a balmy -12 outside, and I have my coffee. Things are looking up, I guess. Now if only I had whatever the camera equivalent of coffee is...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thing-A-Day for yesterday, Feb. 7


I won't be around much for the next few days. I took today off work to attend a library event. Tonight I'm going to Calgary for the weekend. Be back later.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

May I suggest you buy this - VD edition.

This year, my valentine's day involvement, such as it is, will consist primarily of referring to "Valentine's day" as "VD." I find this so amusing, I'm surprised I didn't think of it a long time ago. I don't really care about VD, but I do care about Etsy, and buying things on the Internets. Therefore, what amounts to a special "viscera" edition of MISYBT:

heartfelt felt heart : $18 from catherinette

i anatomical heart you cards [set of 4] : $6 from pish posh paperworks

my beating heart shirt : $20 from various & sundry

heart on your finger ring : $56 from ehme glass

and my personal favourite is this heart of hearts necklace : $32 from nanopod

I'm not sure where this obsession comes from. I think I like the romantic notion of valentine's hearts (like this super-cute set of vintage valentines on flickr) juxtaposed with the goriness of actual, blood-dripping hearts. How did we manage to separate the idea of "heart" into the twin concepts of the organ that circulates blood and the part of our selves that has the capacity to love? To solve that mystery is my VD wish.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thing-A-Day Feb. 6

Today's Thing(s) are a set of heart drawings. I am in a big anatomical heart phase right now, and etsy is chockablock with awesome anatomical heart projects, so I decided that rather than spend valuable money, I would use my valuable markers and make some of my own. I drew them freehand using a bit of anatomical heart clip art I found using the magic of google images. (They actually look quite a bit better in real life, but I don't have a scanner so a digital picture will have to do.) Each one is 6-7" square.

theheartwants1 theheartwants2

The one on the left is meant to look like riff on the heart tattoo--bright, bold and simple. The one on the right is a lot dirtier (the scribbling is fun) and was my first experiment sewing paper with my sewing machine. I am planning to do a third one as a print with black screenprinting ink on red fabric, but that is going to be a much more intensive project for another (Thing-A-)Day. Once all three are done I'll find frames for them I think.

It's not art though, it's just fancy craft. Heh. I mean, I have friends who are artists, but I can never identify myself as one, or think of anything I do as "art." I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I am always just going for some strictly aesthetic effect--there's no intention behind anything I do, other than to make it look a particular way. I mean, it doesn't MEAN anything. But then, how come artists get to paint a single coloured box and it's art because it means something? Maybe they just like coloured boxes the way I like hearts.

Some people hate identifying what they do as "craft." I hate "art." This is something I shall think more about. In the meantime, I'll be in ur cubicle, colorin wit ur markers. And shopping on Etsy. Yeah, I tried to fill the void myself, but it didn't work. No surprises there.

Previous Things-A-Day
An explanation [of sorts]
Thing-A-Day 2008 homepage

2 mysteries of the human condition

I. Ever since I began my grocery-buying career, I can't get over the fact that pretty much all kinds of juice cost the same. It doesn't matter how delicious the juice is: 2 litres of my favourite juice (cranberry-grape) costs the same as 2L of apple juice. It also doesn't matter how hard the juice was to make: I mean, you can buy these 1L containers of raspberry juice at superstore that are so sweet and thick, you have to mix them with sprite or vodka to make them drinkable. They are like the juiciest juice EVER. And raspberries are tiny--it must take so many of them to make one litre of juice! And yet they cost $1.79, the same as 1L of orange juice. It's crazy. This whole juice issue brings to my attention the fact that there is a whole world of food production beyond the ken of my experience, and that what goes on in that world can't be explained by conventional reasoning. When we go to the grocery store, we are really just seeing the shadows play on the walls of our cave.

II. I was thinking last night about geometry sets. Remember in elementary school when the geometry set conflict inevitably arose during back-to-school shopping? Or was this only me? Basically, the conflict could be summed up thus: 1. The school/teacher expected me to come to school with the necessary geometry implements, usually just a compass and a protractor. 2. My parents wanted to spend as little money as possible, and reasonably assumed I could use the same compass and protractor as last year. III. I wanted a brand new geometry set, every single year, with the perfect components in their perfect case. The tiny pencil, the eraser, the ruler, the implement that looked like a compass only with two pokey ends instead of a pencil end and a pokey end. What was it even FOR??? Every year the parts I actually used got dingy, and the lid of the case got broken, and come late August, following the inevitable argument with my parents, not getting a new set could actually catapault me into despair. It was totally unreasonable, but I think it seemed like the new geometry set would represent everything new and exciting and promising about the new year. I wonder what the adult version of this feeling of longing would be.

Although it is a sport of violence and degredation

Co-worker #1: I need coffee.
Jocelyn: I need meaning for my life.
Co-worker #2: Dodgeball?
Jocelyn: I'll take it under consideration.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thing-A-Day for yesterday, Feb. 4

A very blurry, knitted hat. The star pin comes off and has grommets, since everything I make now has grommets. I don't really like this hat, but not everything I make can be awesome.

Previous Things-A-Day
An explanation [of sorts]
Thing-A-Day 2008 homepage

Thing-A-Day Feb. 5, 2008

A case for my double-pointed needles--with grommets! This project was more or less spontaneous. I came home from work, and I was tidying up because people were coming over, and the needles from the hat I made last night were sitting out. I thought, "I need a case for my double points," and then I made it, quick like a bunny. It has grommets to tie the cards that tell the sizes of the needles, since some needles don't have the sizes printed on them. Plus I try to put at least one grommet in everything I make now, sort of as a matter of principle.

Previous Things-A-Day
An explanation [of sorts]
Thing-A-Day 2008 homepage

four things I am excited about at this moment

i. These hearts made from scrap industrial felt, from etcetera media. i just ordered some and i keep thinking of exciting things i could do with them. they'll probably just end up nailed to a wall though, like EVERYTHING does in my apartment. Online shopping at work is one of my favourie things, even though it often results in negative money (-$).

ii. My So-Called Life. I'm watching it for the first time right now (well, not RIGHT NOW because i'm at work) and it's better TV than almost any other TV--sophisticated, smart, funny, touching, sentimental without being crass. I find myself getting really attached to the characters, especially Angela's mom. It's not very often you see a real woman on TV, let alone someone's mom. I love how she's so smart and independent, and yet she can also be bitchy and needy. Sometimes she's wickedly funny and sometimes she's painfully uptight. In other words, she's like a real person-- not just a combination of stereotypical traits. I also love me some Brian Krakow, Ricky, and even Jordan Catalano. I mean, he's such a dummy, but then every once in awhile he'll do something so sweet and smart. He's exactly the kind of boy every heterosexual 15-year-old girl thinks she can love and fix and understand. He's the boy who breaks every heterosexual 15-year-old girl's heart too. Every time I see him some little part of me is like "OMG JORDAN CATALANO!!!!" (I also love how they always refer to him by his whole name, just like Veronica Mars.) Anyway, Jocelyn ♥s My So-Called Life. That is all.

iii. a provincial election! Since I started this job and have to read all this news every day, I have become much more of a political dork. I was already basically every other kind of dork, so this is a natural fit. Anyway, the election was called yesterday (the writ was DROPPED, yo), so that means 28 days of talking about how much we love families, communities, democracy, freedom, the environment, prosperity, and every other good thing. Actually, it's confusing, because ALL THE PARTIES LOVE THOSE THINGS. This election will be an interesting one too. A new political party formed to the right of the provincial conservatives! The conservatives have their lowest approval ratings in years! Former leader Ralph Klein lost his riding to a Liberal in a bi-election! Ed Stelmach has been spending money like it's going out of style! I doubt we will ever get a liberal majority in this province, but if we were ever close to a minority government, this is it. I'll be casting my vote with a feeling of gravity, although I'll also be voting the same way I always do. (Side note: actually, becoming more of a political dork is interesting because it hasn't changed my beliefs at all. It just means that I have more ammunition for them. It's nice to learn more about something and realize you were right about it even when you didn't really understand it. Heh.)

iv. work chili cook-off. The Emerging Technologies team has been pitted against the Technology Standards and Solutions team to see who will become the chili masters. Jobs may be on the line. I have no role in this event, other than the eating. And the judging. For the entire day, i will be saying to myself in my best Homer Simpson voice: "but the chilliiiiiiiii!"

Monday, February 4, 2008

I'm listening to the Throne Speech RIGHT NOW, live. What did people do in the days before live audio-casting of political events?


Plus I have a case of the Mondays.

The success of the Thing-A-Day photo initiative is being seriously, negatively impacted by the failure of my digital camera technology implementation. I am experiencing vendor-related delays that are also mitigating outcomes! That's work speak for I can't get the damned thing to work. FAIL!

Please stand by.

Fortunately, I did hit 66 last night though. (I'm pretending that anyone, ANYONE reading this has any possible interest in my World of Warcraft undertakings. I know this is likely not the case, but it's taking up a bit chunk of my time right now, so I think you're just going to have to accept it--like how new parents can't talk about anything but their newborns. Only, obviously, more shallow and faaaaar less responsible.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The first three Thing-A-Day days (including today), all I've done is cook. This might seem pathetic, except this cooking counts for two reasons: first, cooking always counts, because I love to cook, and the time I spend cooking is as rewarding as the time I spend doing any other creative enterprise; second, this cooking counts in particular because I have made STRICTLY THINGS I HAVE NEVER MADE BEFORE! Oh yes! I have done this partly in honour of Thing-A-Day, and partly because I am still in the half-life of Animal Vegetable Miracle, in which I fantasize about making my own cheese. So.

Friday I made stuffed potatoes. James helped, in a pepper-buying, potato-mashing and vegetable-chopping capacity. I baked them in my scalloped-edge orange stoneware bowl and I felt like I was at a semi-fancy 1950s potluck. They were delicious! It did feel weird to be eating them because we did so while watching TV and it felt like we should have been doing something a lot more fancy.

Saturday I made rice krispie squares. I made several different kinds. They were various levels of disastrous. Some of them were inedible (the coffee-flavoured ones--sad face!), and others were delicious but mutated. The delicious but mutated ones even contain tiny M&Ms, because if you're going to bake retro desserts, thou shalt not do it half-assed. Because they taste OK, they are chopped into more-or-less squares (read: "hunks") and wrapped in plastic wrap, in anticipation of lunches next week. It's hilarious that of all the things I tried to make this weekend, the disastrous ones were the easiest. You may not know this, but when you melt marshmallows in a pan, they become EXTREMELY MESSY AND STICKY. No, no kitchen implement you own will help. You will probably just have to move. How do other people do it?

Today I made zucchini fritters and cinnamon buns (from scratch!). The zucchini fritters were delicious. The recipe came from Amy Sedaris's book I Like You, as did Friday's potatoes. Not surprisingly, when you mix shredded zucchini with cheese and onions and fry it in olive oil, something delicious is the result. The cinnamon bun recipe came from a cookbook I got from the library. They aren't baked yet (still in their second rise) but when they come out, I'll take a picture. They already look beautiful, and impossibly neat, like they were prepared by someone else.

The outcome of all this cooking is that I have lots of little bags and containers of things in my freezer. That is one of the most satisfying feelings I can think of. For tomorrow I will make something with paper, or cloth.

Sunday evening to do list: (1) bake cinnamon buns (2) get to L66 in Warcraft (3) watch My So-Called Life. In other words, nothing. And everything.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Jordan: See, I have this philosophy.
Angela: You have a philosophy?
Jordan: Well, if I go somewhere and someone I know is there, then cool, there's something -- natural about it. But once you start making plans, then you have like, like obligations -- and that basically blows. So my feeling is, whatever happens, happens.
Angela: I have to say, I really respect that.
-My So-Called Life

Friday, February 1, 2008

Updates on 3 things

It's almost Freedom to Read week again! I just got the results of the Canadian Library Association's 2007 challenges survey in my e-mail inbox. Based on the list of books that were challenged in school and public libraries in 2007, I'm adding a few titles to my to-read list, as usual.

I love making sure that, by challenging a book, a library patron basically ensures that at least a few extra people will read it. I always want to be one of those people. Violence? Nudity? Sexual content? Drug use? Inappropriate language? Sign me up! Those are some of the components of the greatest books.

Also, Thing-A-Day starts today. I'm excited. And yet busy. What Thing will I create? Who knows!

Oh, and:

My paladin hit 65 last night. I wasn't kidding when I said I was done fooling around. I might actually PASS some of the other people in my guild who are leveling their 60-ish characters. Which has never happened for me in the history of Warcraft. OR MANKIND.

That is all. There are PowerPoint issues that require my attention.