Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Also: Books.

I'm reading V. C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic and it's hiLARious. I don't even particularly want to keep reading it and yet I find it strangely compelling. I highly recommend it, although-- I feel I should clarify this--not in the sense that it is good, or has any redeeming qualities.

I just finished Nick Hornby's Shakespeare Wrote for Money which is great but also a make-work reading project. (Note: apologies for inability to link to specific posts, the past is dumb) It's his last collection of columns for The Believer. Based on this I found six more books to add to my to-read list. Based on these three books of columns, I kind of want to be friends with Nick Hornby, although I don't like soccer/"football" so I don't know what we would talk about.

Two weeks or so ago I watched the TV miniseries version of The Mists of Avalon and it just made me want to read the book again, so I am doing so. Although it is verrrrry long and I am going to need both renewals I am entitled to to finish it, I think--especially since my recent reading has been very schizophrenic and I can't concentrate on anything.

In Vegas I read John Green's Paper Towns which was excellent, and oddly suitable for Las Vegas, although the book is set in Florida. Early in the book I was getting frustrated that the female main character is kind of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and I was getting really uptight about it, but then--without giving too much away--I came to realize that that is kind of what the book is about. Being annoyed by something and then realizing the book/movie is actually about how the thing that annoyed you is annoying, is awesome. And if you want to wait for that sentence to come around again before you get on, feel free. I'll wait.

Sub-Topic: the two types of girls that annoy Jocelyn the most in books and movies.
1. Manic Pixie Dream Girls (MPDGs). Term coined by The Onion A V Club. The worst offenders are the Kirsten Dunst character in Elizabethtown and the Rachel Bilson character in that dumb Zach Braff movie. Grrrr. I could be that effing adorable too, if I took a bunch of speed.
2. Movies in which the male protagonist has to choose between two women, and one represents responsibility and maturity and boringness, and the other is a MPGD (usually). And Girl Option A talks too much. Implication: you are always better off with the girl who doesn't talk. Well, as a girl who talks a lot, and also refuses to be Girl Option A: Go screw yourself, Hollywood. I have things to say. Sorry if that gets in the way of your boring male angst.

Of the things on this list, 2/4 are tagged "incest" on all consuming. Co-incidence?

on Parking Lot Tundra; and the philosophy of presents

In order to get to work from T-Ho's this morning I had to trek across the barren parking lot tundra. It was intense. My shoes got full of snow. I ran into a guy who was rounding up Safeway carts and he waved at me, the way you have to be friendly to people in the wilderness. Because, when the weather gets like this, we all might die at any moment.

I am resisting the urge to play Desktop Tower Defence at work... like, just barely resisting. This game is like Flash-animated crack. I was clear of it for months and months... then, just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in. I've beat it on Hard mode twice now, but every time I do, I just barely squeeze out a victory. I need to get to the point where I can beat it consistently, and then I won't need to play anymore. Or so I tell myself.

I got so much done at work yesterday, I feel I may be done everything for 2009 already. I returned one phone call this morning, but other than that I think today is a wash. I only have to work until noon, anyway. Sometimes I just move piles of paper around on my desk.

Re: Christmas. I like Christmas presents, partly because of the obvious, getting-new-stuff factor, but what I like more is how the presents people pick for me represent this distillation of who I am as a person. I realize that's very conceited, but then I already have a blog updated with meaningless information about my life, so I'm guessing the fact that I'm conceited is not a revelation to anyone reading this. The presents I got represent this Jocelyn-Version who likes books and jewelry and seashell chocolates and rocket-stickers and iTunes. I guess presents are nice because they mean someone spent at least 5 minutes thinking about you.

This is also why weird, non-suitable presents seem so off-putting. Because it means the person who got the present doesn't know you, or doesn't CARE. Or they're just really bad at buying presents, I guess.

Le sigh.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

epistle from the high seas

Is it possible i have only updated my blog 6 times in December? OR, as is more likely, perhaps I got up in the middle of the night, wrote something brilliant, and then blogger erased it while I was asleep. Perhaps this happened ten times. You decide.

Today is my 26th birthday. My family is having ongoing bad luck with airports--with transport of all kinds actually--so my parents aren't here yet, being stranded in the same storm (or set of storms) that kept James and I in Vegas. My annual breakfast at the fancy hotel near my house was a little subdued. I wouldn't say I'm sad, just melancholy. It doesn't help that it has been hovering around -30 degrees here (-40 with windchill) since we got back, and so my errand-running is severely hampered by my lack of a car. I'm pretty sure I got frostbite yesterday. That sounds like one of those hypochondriac claims I am constantly making, so I don't blame you if you don't believe me. But it's true.

I am having a party for myself tonight (in what I imagine is the style of Zsa Zsa Gabor, or similar) and I have therefore spent most of my birthday cleaning. I don't mind, though. A clean apartment is my birthday present to myself. I may even clean my bedroom, just for emphasis, even though I don't think anyone will be in there--it's not that kind of party.

If anyone reading this had any remaining vestiges of respect for me, I will dispel them: I also cleaned out my fridge to make room for beer and a giant box of mandarin oranges. And there was a pretty good showing of stuff in there that expired in November, but the crowning moment, as far as I'm concerned, was hummus from AUGUST. (Although actually it looked fine, so...)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Work mysteries

1. Why is there a plastic magazine file labelled "Municipal World" full of paperwork on my desk?

2. Why haven't I received any email since last Friday?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dear Internet,

Remind me that sometime I should tell you the story of how there was a freak snowstorm in Las Vegas, and the airport was closed, and all the highways were closed, and James and I were driving around the surreal, snowy Southwest for 16 hours in a rented SUV. And when I asked the gas station attendant if she thought Highway 93 was open, and she asked where I wanted to go, and I said Vegas, she LAUGHED AT ME. It's a good'er. And don't forget to ask me about the time I was blogging from the Las Vegas airport when I should have been home yesterday. The whole thing is a really funny story... or it will be, someday.

At the moment it's just a very crabby story.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The desert is not what Douglas Coupland had me expecting

As I type this, James has gone to Starbucks, and is going to bring me back a coffee. He's the greatest. That said, I HAVE done my initial experimentation with coffee-making on this trip, and I've done OK. Amy pointed out that I've really grown as a person in Las Vegas, what with the making of my own coffee and such. I even used the COFFEE MACHINE. And then I left it on for about 14 hours.

The house we've rented is covered with a thin film of nerd-detrius: pizza boxes, wet towels (from the hot tub), giant two-foot-tall margarita glasses, the plastic wrap from DVD packages, laptop charging cables, phone charging cables, and Nerf guns. I love that my friends are some of the only people in the world who go to Target on their first day in a foreign city and purchase a small Nerf arsenal.

I'm having a great trip. Las Vegas itself has almost nothing to do with it, though. We could be anywhere with every imaginable fast-food restaurant (as a Canadian, I have serious fast food envy, especially when it comes to In-N-Out Burger) and outlet malls (I bought something from Banana Republic, and I'm having the accompanying identity crisis) and cable and Target (for DVDs) and a shark exhibit. And actual waving palm trees. And fake pirate ships.

Actually the more I think about the more I realize that Las Vegas is a larger, more high-budget version of West Edmonton Mall. I feel kind of at home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wish you were here

Hi Teh Internets!
I'm in Las Vegas, or as I like to call it, the Wonderful Land of Discontinued Products. Do you know they still have Vanilla Coke here?!? It's like heaven! The other things we like so far: the debit/credit card machines at Target can be swiped with your card facing either way, Target in general, the surreal-ness of these adobe mansions plunked down amidst dusty empty lots. The house where we are staying has a pool, and a barbeque, and weird furniture that reminds me of the 80s. Tonight we will either go wander around the Strip, or, more likely, watch the newest Batman movie. We're nerds, regardless of what state we find ourselves in.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Few things offend me more than diamond ads, and they get worse around Christmas-time every year. You expect me to believe that this stupid guy is going to get lucky just because he bought that girl a diamond? We should just skip the innuendo and get right to the point with a slogan like this one:

Because women are all basically prostitutes.

Buy diamonds.

Never mind the social and financial price we pay as a planet for a commodity that has no inherent value.

Normally I don't get this vitriolic until after lunch, but I've been practicing this particular rant for years.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coded messages suck

I have made SO MANY AWESOME THINGS, but I can't post photos of them, or even discuss them (except in code) because they are for people who read my blog.

It is a conundrum.

On the plus side, I just realized I know how to spell "conundrum."

I will attempt to discuss the things I have made in code:
Operation sparkleberry has begun. Five by five. Foxtrot lilac niner. Over.