Monday, March 31, 2008

Yeah, no one in my office thought it was funny either

I just invented a new poetry form, the "PiKu," (or more accurately, ∏ku) in which every line has 3.14159 syllables.

What Claudia wore is a blog about the inimitable Claudia Kishi of The Babysitters Club and her sartorial, uh, genius. Keep in mind, this was the 1980s, when the idea of a "sweat shirt dress" still seemed like a good idea. We were so young and innocent then!

I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world

Yesterday James and I attended the Pop Culture Fair, or as I prefer to call it, the BiMonSciFiCon. There were comic books a-plenty, and World of Warcraft toys, and people dressed up as storm troopers, although they were totally ooc, just standing around and chatting to each other, not being evil at all. I really, really want to find a Batgirl comic with her in her librarian outfit, but I was too shy to ask any of the comic-book people for help finding one. I've had negative run-ins with those comic-book people in the past. They really think I'm a moron. And like many smart people, there is nothing in the world I hate more than being made to feel stupid. I will find one on my own, perhaps on ebay.

Half-life of the BiMonSciFiCon: all day I have been humming the Darth Vader music to myself as I walk down the hallway in my office. Do do do, do do do, do do do. "She's singing her own theme music!"

I was tired and dazed when I woke up today, and I couldn't seem to contemplate my outfit effectively. As a result I am wearing much prettier, girlier clothes than usual, including a white linen skirt and an embroidered, cleavage-y shirt. I am also wearing black tights (with giant black leather combat-esque boots, natch) and I had a brown blazer on, but I realized that even I could not pull that off. Everyone was really excited when i got to work, as in, "You look so pretty! Doesn't she look pretty?" What they don't realize is that it is inadvertent, akin to putting on one black sock and one brown one in the early-morning cognitive fog.

Yesterday James and I watched Once, which is an adorable, charming Irish movie about music. My parents recommended it to me. Thanks, parents! I downloaded the soundtrack as well, within 10 minutes of the movie ending, because it's awesome. That makes four movies in one weekend. Go me.

Although my glasses and my nerdiness are linked

Nerdiness not linked to glasses, study says! Thanks, Science!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

This is the main thing I accomplished today:

Yeah, I will smite you.

I also watched no less than 3 movies. I will smite you, and then lie on my couch. Violence is exhausting, but the antidote is cinematized violence in the form of The Outsiders. I don't want to spoil this movie for anyone, but it is THE MOST DRAMATIC MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN. Seriously. It would just like to remind you, the audience, of its dramaticness. And it has so many actors in it that can really only be referred to, in its 1983-ness, as "rising stars." Matt Dillon! Rob Lowe! Tom Cruise! Patrick Swayze! Emilio Estevez! It is the best-looking gang in gang history. Why are you still reading this? To the batmo-video store!

Friday, March 28, 2008

No one loves me today, at all, and I am not exaggerating.

Monday is my last day of work, and we're going out for lunch in my office, except I thought lunch was today, so I didn't bring a lunch. I emailed James to ask if he wanted to go to Quizno's with me. But James can't go for lunch with me today because it is his boss's birthday, and he has an obligatory boss-birthday lunch event to attend.

I emailed him back:

I am probably having the saddest day ever. Qiuzno's by myself? Maybe if I ask nicely and tell them about my skills, they'll let me work there, and then I can become really really fat and get free subs.
And it's true.

Saddest day ever. For the past 24 hours, I have been feeling really under-appreciated, specifically on two fronts: (a) jokes. I make funny jokes at work, and either no one thinks they're funny, which is terrible; or people do think they're funny, which is worse. (b) cynicism. I don't think it's too much to ask that my worldview be taken seriously by other people. I keep running into this, day after day. It's not that I want to convert anyone. I just want to get through a whole day without anyone condescendingly treating me like I'm a moron.

Two "weltschmerz" posts in a row? OH NOES! Abandon blog-ship!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ask me about my angst

I don't know why apartment therapy wants to make me cry by posting links to vintage library card catalogues on craigslist SAN FRANCISCO.

All you can ever find on craigslist Edmonton are data entry jobs and things from IKEA.

Also... they have a Day for that?

According to the TimesOnline, today is National No-Makeup Day (National in the UK, one assumes). Yep, we'll ignore the inanity of this article and pretend that's the reason I'm not wearing makeup. But what about yesterday, and EVERY OTHER DAY?

(Actually, I put on lipstick the day our department's new Minister came by. But that was several weeks ago, and it has all but disappeared from memory. And also I only did it because my co-worker bullied me.)

From Salon: The Mecca of the Mouse. A travelogue from Celebration, Florida, the town Disney built. (Note: the author doesn't get to Celebration until page 4.) Along with that crazy underground bomb-shelter version of the Pentagon, Celebration FL is one of my top-five ironic vacation destinations. I CAN HAS?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I am having one of those irritating days where I'm busy, except I can't get anything done because I'm waiting on feedback from everyone around me. I feel stabby. Even my super-professional cardigan isn't making me feel better.

ALTHOUGH, I love cardigans quite a lot. I have only started wearing them recently. I like how they can be for men or women. I also like how they are part of the incredibly puzzling "twin set". I think when I was a kid I read books with twin sets in them and just never had any idea what they were. The fact that you can still buy them seems ludicrous, like being able to buy giant cars with fins. I still don't really get it. Why would you want to wear a shirt with a sweater that is EXACTLY THE SAME COLOUR over top? That defeats the whole point of layers, in my opinion.

ALTHOUGH, ALSO, we did have leftover event-coffee and soggy catering garlic bread at work. Yum. I feel kind of sick now.

I need a juice box.

It's pretty much guaranteed that on an at-least daily basis, Jezebel will link to something that will make me so angry I'll be telling people about it for weeks afterward. Today it's this article in the Telegraph which asserts that modern men feel emasculated. Some of the symptoms of their malaise: They are expected to be "waxed and coiffed metrosexuals", their wives are working (and probably can't therefore pay as much attention to them as they would like), their wives and girlfriends are bossy, political correctness gets in the way of them expressing themselves, and, uh, they can't be as much like Winston Churchill as they might like. So, to sum up (and as the Jezebel commenters very wisely pointed out): They are dealing with exactly the same crap women have dealt with FOREVER. (Well, except for the Churchill thing. I have no idea what that's all about.) And they are finding it FRUSTRATING. Boo-freaking-hoo.

Last week, by the way, the article that had me fuming was this one, from GQ, a list of the top 25 "whipped" celebrity men. The offensive list includes Marc Anthony (he opened for J. Lo! Doesn't he know the main performer should always be the HUSBAND??), Tim Burton (he puts his partner in all his movies)! and BILL GATES (his wife apparently made him into a humanitarian and philanthropist, instead of the [sarcastically] awesome Mr. Burns-style capitalist man's man he used to be!)

Grrrr. Now I'm mad about it AGAIN.

Because I kind of live in an episode of The Office.

[I wrote this yesterday afternoon]: A bunch of my co-workers are standing outside another co-worker's office door in a line, pretending they need to talk to him. Like, just to mess with him. Office humour.

I had a surprisingly busy day yesterday, doing all the tasks I realized over the course of the long weekend I had neglected. I hate how work manages to creep into the rest of life.

Today is chaos. Things are happening. I am helping out, in my usual helpful way. And trying to convince people to call me "the photocopier whisperer." So far, limited success in this venture.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Do not forget the all-important ferberizing process.

In this awesome and educational video, Miranda July explains how buttons are made. From

bus discovery

Yesterday I went on a bus-spedition and I found out that you CAN get to home depot on the bus. The mighty 111 goes there.

Seacrest out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

it's been so long since i've seen the ocean

I finished The World Without Us, and it ended on an oddly optimistic note, considering the annihilation of humanity and all. Then I got up and made a Denny's-style "scrambler" with eggs and sausage and peppers I found in my fridge. And that pretty much brings us up to now.

I am a lackluster blogger these days, for sure. So many things have ceased to interest me, lately, though. Maybe it would help if I went outside.

I listened to some This American Life this weekend while I tried to clean up my disgusting apartment. If The World Without Us had me believing that there is nothing worthwhile about humanity, the episode Human Resources changed my mind a little. If we've done nothing else, humans have built retirement homes for chimpanzees (after we performed tests on them, natch). You know? What kind of a species makes everything out of plastic, but builds retirement homes for chimpanzees? It's crazy. I am having a minor existential crisis.

The next book I read needs to be something upbeat, dudes. I'm thinking Inkheart.

Oh, also: I picked up a DVD of Good Night, and Good Luck at the video store in Stony Plain for $6, and watched it the same night. I'd forgotten how much I love this movie. It's so concise and articulate, it's poignant without being manipulative, and it's so talky. I love how the experience of watching it is more like having a movie happen around you, rather than actually watching. The actors talk over each other, and there are background noises that never become important. Its appearance manages to be both extremely stylish and also extremely realistic. On Friday night I watched Casablanca with friends (some of whom had never seen it), and I grew sad as I considered that a movie with as much dialogue as Casablanca would never become a mainstream hit these days. It's too subtle, requires too much attention. I was trying to think of a contemporary movie like it, and Good Night and Good Luck was the best I could come up with. They are both movies that believe the audience should pay attention, that we should not just allow the pertinent facts to be presented to us.

Now playing: Counting Crows/Ben Folds Five - A Long December (Live)
via FoxyTunes

This song seems oddly prescient for today.
"Drove up to hillside manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And its been a long december and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass..."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

waiting for the end of the world, part infinity

I am not feeling good today, dudes. Not at all. I am in a multi-dimensional funk. First, I am not feeling well. Second, I am in the midst of trying to establish my future as a contractor with my current work, as they want to keep me but can't afford my keep. I have always been bad at handling situations where I have to pretend to be a professional. I am actually seriously considering some crafty business cards--does it seem like that would help? like my future as a Librarian-At-Large could seem more plausible if I had little business cards that said "Librarian-at-Large" on them? (actually, i want to get someone on etsy to custom screen-print me some business cards that look like the cards from an old card catalogue. But that is a story for another day.) Third, I am still reading The World Without Us. It's great but so, so depressing. I just finished the section on nuclear waste and it almost made me start to cry in the little lounge where I sometimes eat lunch. I'm not exaggerating. The number of totally contaminated, radioactive nuclear waste sites that have been turned into forest preserves is a depressing statement about humanity.

Sometimes I'm pretty upbeat about humanity in general*, but other times I genuinely believe the planet would be better off without us. We're the stupidest species EVER. We take contaminated sites of former nuclear processing plants and use them to house species that are on the endangered list because of us. We make thousands of items that are only designed to be used once out of a product that never disintegrates, plastic. You know? What the eff, humanity?

*the main time I am upbeat about humanity in general is when complete strangers, especially stern-looking older women, smile at babies and children in public. The sight of a grouchy-looking stranger's face lighting up when a kid smiles at them is one of the best arguments I can think of that human beings don't totally suck.

Could everyone update their blog now plz? I'm so bored. Kthxbai.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm just full of linky goodness today, teh internets. Because i am SO BORED.

This go fug yourself is funny. Like, really, really funny. So funny that I was loling irl at work, and i had to kind of turn it into a coughy/wheezy thing to disguise it.

Really funny.

Um, did I miss something?

Did you guys know that there are apparently 8 planets + 3 "dwarf planets" now? (I say "now" as if this were a new development.) Sadly, these dwarf planets do not actually appear to house dwarfs. Also, the planets do not appear to be in a neat row anymore. Upsetting!

They have to stop changing this crap around, it's too confusing. When I have kids, we're making our shoebox dioramas old school. We're also doing projects on the brontosaurus, using library books published in the 1970s. I don't care if they fail science.

I have only one thing to say, really.

[From deadlicious]

This incredible chart demonstrates how hundreds of TV universes are connected and, ultimately, imaginary because of their relationship to St. Elsewhere. My mind was just blown, reassembled and put back in my skull, and then blown again.

deletia loves made-up holidays

Today to April 5th: discardia. I like the sound of this holiday: "Discardia is the time to get rid of things that no longer add value to your life, shed bad habits, let go of emotional baggage and generally lighten your load." I also like how it moves around every year according to the dates of the moons and equinoxes. Whimsical!

[I genuinely will be doing a big sort and cleaning this weekend, getting rid of stuff. I had a weird moment this morning when I realized I have lived in my apartment for a year and a half now, and I felt this crippling fear at the idea of moving and having to pack up all my crap. When you're thinking about that at 7am, that's a call to recycle and throw away and donate to Goodwill. Particularly since a good deal of my crap came from Goodwill in the first place. Flamingo lamp, I am looking at you.]

Tomorrow, wear a sweater in honour of Mr. Rogers. ("Sweater day"?) It would have been his 80th birthday. I never watched Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood, but I like both wearing sweaters and participating in random holidays, so I'll be celebrating this one as well.

Towel day is also coming up in May.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

State of the language

I move that we eliminate the phrase "balance the checkbook." I have never balanced a checkbook (I have online banking and an Open Office spreadsheet, yo). I don't know anyone who does. I don't really know anyone who pays for stuff with cheques, other than The Dude. Let's find a 21st-century word that means "take care of one's finances." OK? Go!

Monday, March 17, 2008

me wantee.*

The problem with etsy is that I never gain any ground: for every wonderful thing I buy from there, I find three more I want. Like, it seems to be literally three, that is not a figure of speech. A search for library-related items yielded these lovelies:

library stool cushion $25 from femputer | Balbriggan Carnegie Library - Original reduction lino print $20 from inugie [it's in Ireland!] | novel idea cuff $24 from JamieKeiles

Etsy is the shopping version of a make-work project.


In other news, women also breathe oxygen, and small children like candy! reports that women play video games! Thanks,!

And since I tanked Shadow Labs yesterday, I can confirm that this is true. Although this "Wedding Dash" game of which the article speaks does not sound that appealing to me, for some reason.

signs of a bad week to come, part infinity

i. headache and nausea on Monday morning. Like a hangover without the booze beforehand. also, i am finding it very cold in my cubicle.
ii. requests to use needlessly complicated internal document management system in absence of supervisor fill me with dread.
iii. someone just offered me coffee and i didn't want any. actually the thought of anything except water entering my digestive system fills me with a feeling of dread--see point i, above.
iv. will be technically unemployed in two weeks.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

i locked myself in with the band, but the music's never loud enough

Another scarf made from Wal-Mart fabric remnants. $2 worth of fabric -- $1,000,000 worth of sparkle. (Seriously. You can't really tell from this picture, but this baby GLITTERS!) Fabric remnants are one of my favourite things--I love the weird constraint that is created by having only a small, limited amount of fabric. It's the opposite of starting with an idea, and buying the things you need to make it.

I could kill whoever in my apartment building is cooking TURKEY. That is incredibly selfish.

Friday, March 14, 2008

47 minutes from the weekend.

I'm far too tired to write anything cogent today, so you'll have to settle for a few miscellaneous thoughts. I just got back from a luncheon event, and I'm really weirdly tired, and I have strange pain in my left wrist. It's all very puzzling. The two co-workers I went with both won door prizes at our luncheon. I didn't win anything but we were joking that I could probably smuggle out the leftover rolls in a white linen napkin.

Water. I know this makes me a dork, but I never used to drink enough water and I was perpetually dehydrated. I drink at least a litre of actual water a day now (not including milk, juice, etc.) and I have also almost completely eliminated pop from my diet (although I have substituted coffee, so that's not really a victory). Anyway, I never thought I would get to this point, but a new bottle of tap water at work cheers me up. I feel refreshed thinking about water. And if you think that's pathetic, well, I can't help you. (I also get far fewer headaches than I used to.)

Tonight I am going on the bus to SEARS! This makes me a dork, again, but I ordered the most fabulous, librarian-y sweater vest from the Sears website. I love sweater vests, and this one is ARGYLL, and the fact that it comes from Sears just makes it BETTER. For me, the line between "dressing up" (for work or an event) and "dressing up" (in a costume) is thin. I love wearing clothes that I find really nerdy or conservative. Basically, these clothes don't really represent me at all, and that's what I find so funny about it. It's like dressing up as a monster or a dragon or a flapper. The people I work with probably just think this is how I dress. There is no way anyone would know. But it matters to ME. (I have a job interview in early April, and I need to see if this sweater vest matches my brown plaid pants for the ultimate in nerdy outfits. In that outfit, I will be formidably unfashionable.)

We got a new department head in a recent government shuffle and he was "on the floor" today, so we all had to be on our best behaviour. I emailed Meghan, "We all have to wear lipstick and WORK." She emailed back, "Lipstick? Are you wearing lipstick?"

I have only recently come to understand that song, "eveyone is working for the weekend." I always thought it meant that everyone is working ON the weekend, and I always found that so puzzling, because it's such an upbeat song. But now I realize it means everyone is working towards the goal of the weekend. It's weird how we construct these sets of meanings for ourselves that are completely wrong, and yet fulfil their roles admirably enough that we don't see fit to replace them.

Someone just semi-jokingly threatened to assign a research project to me that has to do with swearing in a dictionary. I said, "but I don't know any bad words!" My boss replied, menacingly, "Oh, yes you do! You're a librarian!" "I would have to find the appropriate reference book. Perhaps I could consult The Encyclopedia of Obscene Language."

Oh: At the end of April I get to go see Jonathan Coulton in Seattle! SO EXCITED!

Happy Pi day.

It's also Albert Einstein's birthday.

Quite a precise message.

Quite a precise message., originally uploaded by ian boyd.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

[in Scooby-Do voice] Ruh-roh!

I have been watching Big Love on DVD. Now, I don't know about this show. I kind of like it, and I also kind of think it's dumb. Right now I'd say the balance is about 73% like it, 27% dumb, but it varies from one day to the next. I will watch pretty much any HBO show, anyway, because even a mediocre HBO show is at least 140% as good as regular TV. Anyway, the point is, Chloe Sevigny is my least favourite of all Bill Paxton's wives, as I believe she is meant to be. But I also feel sorry for her, because she has an internet shopping addiction, and I know what that feels like.

I'm sort of kidding and sort of not. I mean, I have yet to rack up $60,000 in unpayable credit card debt. In fact, I am on the cusp of paying off all the credit card debt I accumulated in university. But I am familiar with the urge--nay, compulsion--that overcomes me and doesn't go away until I order something. Today I am loving these little zoo photos and notecards--cute and also a little creepy, a great combination. And I think I'm going to order some stuff from land's end. It's weird, I know, because their clothes are so BORING--but their overstock section is like internet-shopper cocaine. I am obsessed with cheap, yet professional-looking, clothes. It makes me feel like I'm diabolically tricking everyone. Haha! You think I look good, but I only spent $50 on this outfit, INCLUDING SHOES!

It's better to be obsessed with getting things cheaply than to be obsessed with getting things that are expensive, I guess. My weird psychology FTW, once again.

A whale and a dolphin could fall in love...

This is pretty much the most adorable thing I have ever read in my life: dolphin rescues stranded whales.

I needed some cute animal cheering up because I seem to be operating at 40% of my normal brain capacity. When I was walking to work this morning, I stopped at a red light, and when the little white man appeared, I thought: I can't move. I am actually too tired to start walking again. Then I did start walking again, but just barely. Then, when I got to work, I rode the elevator to the top of my building because I forgot to get off. Yep.

Also Lawrence Lessig apparently told off Andrew Keen (Internet critic and author of the book Cult of the Amateur) at a conference last weekend. I find Keen's online presence HILARIOUS and HYPOCRITICAL. I mean, for a guy who hates everything 2.0, the guy sure blogs enthusiastically. Anyway, I love Lawrence Lessig. His book The Future of Ideas changed my teh internets life. (Along with Siva Vaidhyanathan's Copyrights and Copywrongs.)

The funniest Go Fug Yourself I have read in quite awhile. JT [nonexistent emoticon that represents the "forever," a 4 where the middle bar of the 4 turns into an arrow]

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I heart nerds

Today I learned a bunch of new role-playing and MMO terms. My favourites:

  • godmoding - creating unbeatable characters; creating deus ex machina solutions to narrative problems; trying to control the actions of other people's characters. Doesn't this seem like something that would be applicable to real life as well though? As in, "You're not even chairing this meeting, stop godmoding"?
  • munchkin - a player who plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game in an aggressively competitive manner. I got excited about this one and emailed it to James. I think his recreational dodgeball team has been playing lots of munchkins lately.
  • twink - I've known about this one for awhile, but I didn't know its origin. Wikipedia says, "The term 'Twinkie' was used in Everquest in 1999, where players could acquire a bronze plate armor that could be equipped by lower level characters. The low level characters were completely clad in golden bronze armor with a high armor value but still only had a handful of hitpoints, hence the referral to a 'Hostess Twinkie' - bright golden outside, soft and squishy inside." delicious!
  • Also the main role-playing game terms article gives us metagaming - using out-of-character knowledge to solve in-character problems, or to explain in-character behaviour.
see wikipedia's full list.

I did a bunch of work earlier today, but then I disappeared into Wikipedia and have yet to emerge.

Blog update! Blog update!

In Microsoft Outlook, which I use because I work in a real office, and all offices everywhere use only Microsoft products, you can take an e-mail that you have received, and then click the little flag next to it, and it will be automatically added to your to-do list. I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing this, because I like checking things off my to-do list, but in order to check them off I have to put them on first. The only problem with this approach is that the item on the to-do list will be the subject line of the e-mail. So yesterday, I sent an email to a co-worker with the subject line "reports! reports!" and he responded asking me to make a change to one of the titular reports. As a result, on my to-do list now appears an item called "reports! reports!"

I like how whimsical this is, and I've spent some time thinking about what "reports! reports!" could mean on a to-do list. For example, a series of reports on random subjects! Or, better yet, a MUSICAL ABOUT KEY MESSAGES!

I am filing that under "great ideas."

I have already checked off about three to-do list things TODAY, and it is only 10:16 AM, internets.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Monday, but I am still alive

and believe me I am still alive
I'm doing science and I'm still alive
I feel fantastic and I'm still alive
while you're dying I'll be still alive
and when you're dead I will be still alive
still alive
still alive...

Daylight Savings Time is killing me, dudes. I woke up this morning and it was dark and I wanted to die. I had T-Ho's but it was like a tiny drop of water (the coffee) in a giant ocean of despair (my exhaustion). That was a metaphor with handy references!

There are no links today, no jokes, no the internet. Only darkness. And bottles of headache-combating water. Oh, and I started watching the first season of Big Love last night and it is pretty good. So I've got that. (Why are all HBO shows approximately 35-40% better than normal TV?)

Friday, March 7, 2008

A few of my favourite things. Well, one. One thing.

One of my favourite things is the jezebel feature COVER LIES, in which women's magazines' covers are re-written to more accurately reflect what's inside. "Update Your Whole Look: How to Get the Right Hair and Makeup Now" becomes "Are You OK With Your Makeup? No You Aren't! Make it Neon!"


It is going to be the weekend, for me, in approximately 2 hours and 7 minutes, teh internets. What am I going to do during that time? I don't know, but whatever it is, I will keep Microsoft Publisher open on my desktop whlie I'm doing it so it looks like I'm working!

Dispatches from the grocery store

Dear the lady behind me in line at Save-on-foods yesterday:
Yes, your husband sure sounds like a dick, although it sounds like the disintegration of your marriage started a long time ago and was probably not entirely his fault. You're right, you do need a haircut. Yes, you probably should use your save-on-more card to buy your single jar of honey. I don't know if you should get a dog. If you do decide to get one, I would definitely recommend a schnauzer over a daschund or a chihuahua. And yes, you will have to take it to the vet, and yes, it will be expensive. So maybe it's not a good idea. You don't sound like the most responsible person.

Dear the guy in front of me in line at Save-on-foods yesterday:
Thanks. I hope you have the greatest day of your life today, too.

Unforseen advantages; also, the environmental sustainability of drug users

An Alderman in Chicago is trying to convince the city council to ban tiny plastic bags used for selling drugs. The Health Committee chairman adds, ""We need to use every measure that we possibly can to stop [drug addiction] because it is destroying our kids." I admire the "thinking outside the box" that clearly went on here, but there remains one fundamental problem:

  1. This will not, in any way, prevent drug dealers from selling drugs.
HOWEVER, this could still be an advantage as it might encourage drug dealers to use more environmentally friendly means to distribute their products. After all, plastic never disintegrates, and I bet the majority of crack cocaine addicts aren't recycling theirs (and indeed, may not even know what day to put out their recycling for curbside pick-up). This could be an opportunity for some creative re-use, or at least use of more sustainable materials! Possible alternatives to tiny plastic bags: packets made of aluminum foil or paper; the little plastic cases that those tiny memory chips for digital cameras come in; small Tupperware containers (these could be re-used as they are dishwasher-safe); tiny sachets made from salvaged industrial fabric (once emptied of heroin, these could be filled with potpourri and used as drawer/closet fresheners!); film cannisters.

Think about it.
I am filing this one under: "Great ideas."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Finally I can sleep

WOW level 70

Salient points of this photo: small "70" in upper left-hand corner, boyfriend and sister supportively standing by, somehow the screenshot managed to miss both the additional attribute points and the golden halo of light... oh well.

"It sounds like the worst TV show ever. It probably cost $10/episode to make."

I am too young to remember it, but a bunch of my co-workers just started reminiscing about a kids' show called Tales of the RiverBank that aired on Canadian TV in the 1960s. Based on the Wikipedia article it sounds like the best thing ever.

The program had human voices in sync to the actions of the live animals thereby giving the impression that the creatures were going about on purposeful, intelligent activities.
In other words, they used LIVE ANIMALS. And then DUBBED IN VOICES. The character descriptions are also great: "Roderick the Water Rat: Hammy's best friend. He is cautious, resourceful and owns a small motorboat. In the Canadian version of the series he is named Matthew 'Matty' Mouse and acts as something of a mentor to Hammy."

I am cautious and resourceful. I wish I owned a small motorboat though.

Off to search for clips on YouTube... oh, and go to a meeting or something apparently.

A case of the Thursdays

I ordered some of these card catalogue cards from elfrida on etsy.

They're so pretty. She was nice enough to put together a custom order for me with the colours I wanted. They're only $3.25 each! You should go buy some.

I almost got to level 70 in Warcraft last night. I'm only about an hour of playing away, I figure. I could have finished last night but I decided to save it for tonight. Instead, I watched Flirting with Disaster. Every night this week I have gone home alone after work and done NOTHING, pretty much, and it's been GREAT.

(PS. In that movie, Patricia Arquette is supposed to be the kind of dowdy one, and Tea Leoni is the hot one. I have a girlie crush on Patricia Arquette, so I was confused by this conceit and I was unable to adjust to it. As a result the movie didn't really make any sense to me. Plus, with Ben Stiller, Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda, and Mary Tyler Moore, it should have been a lot funnier than it was.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

24 hours of HI-LARITY

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I got my shiny new giant monitor at work. The tech guy who came to do the "rollout" (heh) installed mine, then moved into the cubicle behind mine. Thinking he was hard at work, I began my usual routine of Go Fug Yourself reading. Then he says, in his booming tough tech-guy voice, looming over the cubicle wall, Is that Anna Wintour? Heh. I was so busted, but then, so was he.

I called my former internet provider this morning to cancel my service, as I switched to a slightly slower but significantly cheaper service from another company. The new Internet plan I have, from Telus, says you need a Telus home phone line, but this is not really the case--I know, because I don't have one, and yet my teh Interwebs is working. The CSR from my old company was REALLY trying to convince me that my new Internet was not going to work.

CSR: But it says here on the website that you need a home phone line from Telus!
Jocelyn: Yeah, but I already hooked it up, AND IT WORKS!
CSR: Are you sure Telus isn't going to charge you extra fees because you don't have a home Telus phone line? I would recommend that you call them back and confirm. Because once ten days have gone you're locked into their contract...
Jocelyn: Look, I understand that trying to retain customers is part of your job, but I've made up my mind and I'm certain I want to cancel my ***** account.
CSR: Well, we do want to retain customers, but [patronizingly] we also want to educate them.
Like, wait, WHAT???

The funny part is that while all this was going on, my cubicle neighbour was IMing me: "Really? Are you sure you want to cancel? ARE YOU SURE?" When the CSR and I got to the part about the phone line, he messaged me this thorough explanation of how the modem uses the phone line even though I don't have home phone service. It was pretty hilarious. I wished I could somehow get the CSR to talk to my co-worker: "Look, can I just put my co-worker on the line? He'll explain it to you. He has only heard my end of this conversation, yet he knows exactly what is going on. Kthanxbai."

Almost as if they are reading my mind, the LA Times has an article on the phenomenon of made-up memoirs.
One reason has to do with public taste. In the United States and, increasingly, in parts of Western Europe, the only unchallenged moral authority has become that of victims. This should not be read as an expression of sympathy toward the injured; instead, it's really an extension of the culture of narcissism's influence into the world of letters. It's a view that asserts that only those who have experienced pain or torment have a right speak of it, though others may participate vicariously through their eyes. Hence our insatiable desire for tell-all memoirs of every savage and degrading form of abuse -- as long as the account comes directly from those who suffered it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm reading an interesting article in The Globe and Mail about the modern paparazzi business. I'll give you a hint: it's madness. Poor Britney.

(You know, that sounded a bit glib, but I really do feel sorry for her. I mean, if I knew someone who acts the way she does, I would feel really sorry for them. Just because she's famous and rich, doesn't make her life any less screwed up.)

Also, what's with the rash of fake memoirs lately, and why are they so newsworthy? If these books were just marketed as novels instead of memoirs, no one would care whether they were true. Why does a book seem more valuable if we think it tells the truth about a real person?

(Whoa, that was, like, a Carrie Bradshaw-esque moment right there, seeing the cursor flashing on my screen as I typed myself a rhetorical question. Except I would have to write, "I wondered, why does a book seem more valuable if we think it tells the truth about a real person?" And then I would have to wear wildly improbable clothes and alienate a succession of boyfriends with my neuroses.)

like Cap'n Crunch.*

I am so enamoured of my new widescreen monitor at work that I may stay here forever. I'll sleep under my desk, and store various dry cereals in my filing cabinet. It does make me a LITTLE sad, though, because I know I'm going to get used to this one, and then my paltry 19" widescreen at home will seem pathetic in comparison. I'll try to play Warcraft and all I will be able to think is, this would be so much better on my work computer.

I had the most ridiculous night last night. The first half--dinner, taxes--was awesome. I'm getting a giant tax refund AND another year of GST credits (the way the government subsidizes the poor and pseudo-poor, like me, by refunding some of the GST we pay). I got to carry forward lots of deductions! The shepherd's pie sauce I invented--which included worschestershire sauce or however you spell that, chicken broth, dijon mustard, red wine, and lots of other weird things--was really frakkin' good! Then the second half made me lie down on my futon and stare at the wall in abject despair. I spent more time than I care to calculate on hold with Telus customer service after their installation CD epic fail-ed. I watched the election results come in for around an hour and a half, but the repeated utterance of phrases like "conservative tsunami" forced me to turn it off. Eventually I just had to go to bed, just to make the evening end.

I'm at work, researching how to make vegan pizza and planning my weekend. Could everyone update their blog now please? I'm bored. James keeps sending me links to warcraft armor he thinks I should buy (he creeps on my character profile page, which is both cute and a little creepy) but the rest of you aren't really doing your part to entertain me. Kthxbai.

*There should be an off-brand version of Cap'n Crunch that is just called "Captain Crunch." Or "Capt. Crunch." Or Corporal Crunch!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Better at making things than blogging

I feel like such a good citizen today. I went and voted, and then I filed my taxes! And it's not even 7:30 yet! I made delicious Conservative Hegemony Shepherd's Pie for dinner, including a mysterious sauce of my own invention. And zucchini, natch. I'm going to install my new modem, too, but first I'll update this blog in case I break the Internet. Then I'll see if I can get any reception with my TV to watch the results roll in as the polls close.

I guess Thing-A-Day ended with a whimper. I actually did make something almost every day. There were maybe 4 days I missed out of 29. I was better about making things than blogging, apparently. The artificial constraint of having to do things daily did help me to focus my energy, and try things even if I knew I didn't have time to do them as thoroughly/complicatedly as I might like.

It was also Freedom to Read week last week. I feel bad that I didn't get around to any thinking about it this year, yet alone doing anything. However, a book club that I am a pseudo-member of is meeting in a few weeks, and our book (chosen by my lovely friend and fellow librarian Becky) is The Outsiders. Yeah. It's awesome. I was totally the kind of kid who read all these books everyone told her were Important, and The Outsiders was on that list along with The Outsider (heh), Catcher In the Rye, and so on. I wish I had kept a reading journal in those days, because I read so many books, and I remember my reactions to so few of them.

I'm glad The Ousiders is at least interesting, because I've been on a Bad Books and Movies Roll lately. In the past week, To Paint or Make Love, Serendipity, The Other Boleyn Girl and Beyond the Deepwoods have all disappointed me. (I'd seen Serendipity before, but I watched it because my mom and sister rented it. And they were in my apartment. So.) It's time for some things to be GOOD.

The Glorious Return of Linky Mondays

I took this great warcraft screenshot yesterday. I don't know where the Furious Mr. Pinchy came from (his name is displayed in the bottom right corner), but it's awesome. I kind of want to make him a nice risotto. [Edited to add: James sent me this link to Mr. Pinchy on wowwiki]

I'm enjoying this A-Z list of obsolete skills, which I saw linked from boingboing. (I recently removed my typing speed from my resume, with the suspicion that only people who are preparing their first resume ever, in high school, include this detail. It's sad because my typing speed is pretty impressive--80 words a minute or more, when I get going. I imagine many of the skills on this list have similar status, and should be removed from resumes, no matter how proud we may be of them.)

I want to make one of these doily racerback tanks. Awesome! People who come up with great craft projects and post tutorials give me hope for all of humankind.

It's the election today. I'm going to go home, make Conservative Victory Shepherd's Pie, and see if I can get my TV to pick up any hot hot CBC.