Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear boyfriend, the Internet:

I feel so crappy! I wish you were real so you could send me some flowers, Internet. Along with a big, cold bottle of water and some tylenol. I caught a cold on my flight back from Seattle last Sunday and I've been in the throes of it since. It was one of those lightning viral attacks, where you know attempting to fend it off is useless, because you go from being 100% healthy to wanting to lie down and die on the floor in the space of 24 hours. Hmm! a tickle in my throat! you think on Sunday night. Ghhhhhhhhhhgh, I can't feel my feet, you think on Monday morning. So I missed a couple days of work but now I'm back at my desk because this is a long weekend coming up, and I wasn't relishing the idea of four more days' accumulated email and invoices and book orders and water-logged reference books greeting me next week. Plus a person can only run so many chain heroics, you know? Especially with a sinus headache. That just makes n00bs all the more intolerable.

Around 3 this morning (long story!) I finished John Irving's new book, Last Night in Twisted River. From the time I was in about grade 11 to, oh I don't know, about two years ago, John Irving was My Favourite, capital M capital F. A couple of his books (A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Cider House Rules) changed my life the way books only can when you're young; there are lines from those books that I will probably remember for the rest of my life. But his last one (Until I Find You? maybe? Something like that) left me pretty cold after a couple of chapters, and I didn't finish it; and Twisted River is compelling in that way John Irving books tend to be compelling, but still kind of empty, in the end. It reminds me of every other John Irving book I've read, sort of compiled together and with the addition of backwoods logging. Isn't that disappointing, when books you once thought you could count on loving become ambiguous in their appeal? It makes the world seem shaky. I was saving this one for my trip but instead reading it became kind of a chore, and I finished a couple other quickies (The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Endymion Spring and Alanna, the First Adventure-- Jenna Fox, especially, was excellent) while carrying it around guiltily.

Also, from the reliving the past category: I've had the Sarah McLachlan song Ice Cream running through my head for the past couple of days, so I downloaded it yesterday along with a couple other songs from that album. My tape (!) of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was probably the only thing that I listened to from approximately sixth to tenth grades. I'm surprised it's still listen-able, but it is. Well, I mean, the music is. The tape itself has disappeared into the void. (Actually, now that I think about it-- I can't believe I paid for it AGAIN! This more than makes up for all the MP3s I downloaded in my younger days. I'm half-kidding but if the CRIA is right about its ethics, then they owe me one album, those copyrighting jerks. Or they can just send me a cheque.)

I also baked some INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING COOKIES!

It has been a rough few days.

Blerg.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The rules of whackbat

Coach Skip: Basically, there's three grabbers, three taggers, five twig runners, and a player at Whackbat. Center tagger lights a pine cone and chucks it over the basket and the whack-batter tries to hit the cedar stick off the cross rock. Then the twig runners dash back and forth until the pine cone burns out and the umpire calls hotbox. Finally, you count up however many score-downs it adds up to and divide that by nine.
Kristofferson: Got it.
-Fantastic Mr. Fox

Monday, December 21, 2009

A travelin' lady

I make a lot of stops, all over the world...

I'm in Washington with my family, celebrating Christmas by shopping for fabric and watching movies.



Merry quilt-mas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Figure 1: A cartoon turkey.

Today I donated some money to the CBC Turkey Drive. They're collecting turkeys downtown but since I am lazy and it's cold, I just sent them some money via the website.

This is a good cause, but what would make it better is if they had a turkey who could drive. You know? A turkey drive?

I saw a number of Facebook posts yesterday and today related to the fact that at one point over the weekend, Edmonton was allegedly the second-coldest place in the world. I was like, that's ludicrous! What a ridiculous claim! But it turns out it's true--coldest place in North America, and I think only a weather station in Siberia recorded colder temperatures. [Also: if you read the news story linked above it soon veers off into a cute story about a kitten, so that's good.] -58 with the windchill. That is -72 Fahrenheit. How cold is that? Cold enough that I am wearing leggings under my pants. Also my dog has booties.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So, I know no one wants to know this, but I have no techy co-workers to talk to about it: I'm figuring out how to link to specific resources within our e-book collections and databases. I'm setting it up to work with our proxy authentication service. And EVERYTHING IS WORKING BEAUTIFULLY.

I'm such a genius sometimes. I just stuck my tongue out and made the devil-horns sign with my fingers just because I felt SOMEONE should acknowledge how great I am.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

you may be acquainted with the night, but i have seen the darkness in the day

and i am still not getting what i want
i want to touch the back of your right arm
i wish you could remind me who i was
because every day I’m a little further off

-amanda palmer

of course, everyone wearing vintage clothes looks awesome...

Fran and Dan - submitted by Erica

My Parents Were Awesome

books! [surprise]

Omnivoracious is doing a Personal Shopper feature where they make book recommendations for readers. It's kind of readers' advisory by proxy. I'm not sure why I like Omnivoracious so much. I guess because it seems to be corporate blogging done right, the writing is authentic and the bloggers clearly love books.

I have Warcraft on the brain lately as a new content patch drops today and I can't believe I'm at work writing this when I should be at home DOWNLOADING IT.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Until we tried to put a present bow on her head

Walking my dog through the 20 cm of snow we've gotten in the past 48 hours wins the "cutest thing ever" award. A little black dog, wearing a pink shearling vest, up to her elbows in snow, with a little snow-beard = one of the best things in my life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation

Or at least my day off.

Before: sorry the picture is so crappy. I never remember to take "before" pictures. I took this one with my iphone.

The saddest aspect of my card catalogue was the nasty-looking piece of unfinished wood that was screwed to the side:

008


This was screwed on with a gratuitous number of huge screws. When I took it off you could see its attachment had cracked the wood. At first I was very irritated, but then I remembered how obsessed my library is with safety. I'm sure someone pointed out how easy it would be for a small child to pull the tiers of drawers down on themself, and the solution that presented itself first was clumsy but effective. I can't fault the librarians of the past for their practicality and sensibleness. (Plus I'm sure it would have cost a lot more if it was in great shape.)

cardcat5


Emma watched this process with a sense of trepidation. Like any small animal, she dislikes disruptions to her habitat.

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So I gave this whole thing a good scrubbing, including the drawer-fronts (which was a very fussy job), using regular dish soap in hot water. Then I filled the many nail- and screw-holes with wood filler, sanded that down, and did a second coat. And then I polished it with lemon oil. Oh, and cut new little inserts for the drawer pulls to hide the yucky accumulated adhesive that is inside them. There are some larger-scale repairs I'd like to make, especially fixing the cracks in the side and in one of the legs. And how does one care for bronze drawer hardware?!? But I think this must all wait for warmer weather.

After:

cardcat4


My living room is so great, you would need a wide-awesome lens to capture it.

cardcat3


Oh, except all my art is inevitably crooked. And we still don't own a proper rug. This isn't design*sponge, people.

----------------
Now playing: Tom Waits - Falling Down (Paris - 07/25/08)
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

pain and suffering, literary.

Holy moley. I cut up some hot peppers yesterday to make the most delicious homemade pizza ever (no exaggeration, it was amazing) and now, even though I have washed my hands several times since then, I CANNOT TOUCH MY FACE. It burns! Stupid capsaicin.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Also

I forgot to say that we keep adding new names to Emma. She is officially Emma Mothbane Autobot Iphone Ackbar. However the vet's file just says "Emma" since I think having that many names for such a small dog might be construed as "ridiculous."

I WIN.

Look what I found?

This is the best compromise price/quality card catalogue I have seen. The cheapest of the nice ones, and the nicest of the cheap ones. I've seen nicely treated/restored ones for around $1000, but this one was much less. And where am I going to go for books about refinishing old wood? The library. Awww yeah, you know.

I do not know what will go in all those little drawers. Ideas: table linens (if I owned any), barbies (ditto), spice packets, fragrant sachets.

Also: James and I now go "antiquing" on weekends (apparently, or at least, we have done so once), own an Audi and a designer dog, and today we bought fresh parsley from the farmer's market. I think you can see where this is headed. YUPPIETOWN.

Friday, November 27, 2009

When James is not home


photo.jpg, originally uploaded by jocelynb.

Emma likes to sit/sleep in his chair. My theory is that she has executive ambitions. That, or some kind of weird masochistic love of leather.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Encounters with culture.

Two books recently begun and abandoned:

Jonathon Safran Foer's Eating Meat. I love Foer's novels and I was really looking forward to this. But two things turned me off it: the flurry of really negative, even sometimes downright mean-spirited, reviews; and the fact that every page of it I read was like a little pin in my stomach. I wanted to read it, but found the details of factory farming (and fishing in pretty much all its forms, sigh) so horrifying that I could barely turn the pages. I already know the things this book is trying to convince me of, so I decided to spare myself the agony. And for several weeks I have only been buying farmer's market meat and farm eggs from a co-worker. (Maybe this time it will stick. I really, really try to be a conscientious meat-consumer and, as this book calls it, "meat-reducer." The problem is that I JUST HATE VEGETABLES.) Oh, and no more shrimp, even though it hurts my heart to give up those gross, delicious little sea-bugs.

Eoin Colfer's new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book, And Another Thing. I put a hold on this at my library with reservations. (Haha, hold with reservations! Get it! Library humour!) I had a feeling I wouldn't like it but I needed to see for myself. The first 25 pages were not bad, just not good enough for me to keep reading-- a little too Adams-y, too glib, a book that is trying a bit too hard to be liked. That doesn't mean it won't be, or that it shouldn't be. I think people who are fans of the original five books should give it a try, and decide for themselves, because if you like it, then this represents a small victory. Also, I don't really like Artemis Fowl. Maybe I am just not the sort of person who likes Eoin Colfer, and that is ok, because there are other books for me and other readers for him.

Two books finished and enjoyed:

The anthology Geektastic: stories from the Nerd Herd. Edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. Like most short fiction anthologies, this one was a bit hit and miss, but more hit than miss, and there were a few real standouts by authors I had never heard of. It's so reassuring to learn that almost all writers are nerds, or can at least write persuasively about nerds, because it confirms my suspicion that they are my sort of people. This is the best possible combination of words that can be said about a book. Now I have out Kelly Link's tangential Pretty Monsters. (Her story was probably my favourite from the collection.) Also, I spent a lot of time gazing lovingly at the little pixelated, minifig-type people on the cover. So cute!

Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday. Every year I make a real well-intentioned gamble at reading all the YRCA nominees and I usually get to about, uh, 2 of them. I would say if you are going to go through this same guilt-inducing process, that you make this book one of the 2. It's very very fun and cheeky, and the fact that it is published by Disney seems a bit scary, except the book seems to be kind of making fun of Disney. It's confusing! Like all the product placement that took place in the movie Josie and the Pussycats. Anyway, good stuff. I was laughing out loud at various points, and I am generally someone who does not laugh out loud at books. (Also: if you are someone who doesn't usually read young adult or children's fiction but is interested in it, the YRCA list every year is a great place to start. There is usually an assortment of different sorts of books on the list, and they represent some of the most readable fiction for younger people--books smart enough to be enjoyed by adults and interested enough to be enjoyed by young people.)

A troubled relationship with one television show:

The Office. I'm watching Season 2. James is many seasons ahead of me but is also watching Season 2 with me. Here is the thing about The Office. I think it's one of the cleverest, best-written shows going. The likeable cast members are so likeable, and the others are such scene-stealing unlikeables that it almost makes them likeable. But it is so UNCOMFORTABLE. I can only watch 2 episodes at a time and then I have to take a break from the awkwardness and discomfort I feel watching it. I feel this way about Michael and to a lesser extent Dwight: they are not so much funny as horrible. And just when you think they are such horrible people that they deserve execution, they'll do something that makes you feel so sorry for them that you have to start at the beginning in terms of finding them horrible. I know this is exactly the effect the show is trying to have, but maybe I'm too sensitive to be amused by my own reaction, as some people surely are.

One movie anticipated almost beyond reason:

The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Going to see it tonight with hopes perhaps too high. The trailers have filled me with uncontained childlike glee. I love Wes Anderson's films as much as the next hipster 20-something, or actually more probably; but if there is one thing off-putting about them it is their pretentiousness, the Wes Andersoniness of them. And they have been getting more and more Andersony as time goes by. Based on the very small glimpse of Fantastic Mr. Fox I've gotten from the trailers it seems like this movie might dispense with that a bit, be a bit more accessible, make some jokes just because they are there to be made, substitute some exuberance for some angst. Maybe? If so, this may become my favourite movie. Plus, in an utterly conventional and disappointing admission, George Clooney is my movie star boyfriend. He is dreamy, and his movies are always good. I bet even as a fox this holds true. Perhaps The Fantastic Mr. Fox represents the beginning of a new golden age of Wes Anderson movies in which all his movies have George Clooney in them and also are based on children's books. A girl can dream.

Friday, November 20, 2009

3 recent interviews of interest.

1. George Meyer, Simpsons writer.

GM: Oh, yeah! That one had my personal favorite internal gag that nobody outside of the show will ever see. At one point, the hobo is spinning a yarn, and Lisa interrupts with a story of her own. The hobo snaps, "Hey, who’s the hobo here?" And in the script, his dialogue note is "[ALL BUSINESS]." [Laughs] I love the idea that a hobo would be "all business."
BLVR: "I’m not a stabbin’ hobo…"
GM: "… I’m a singin’ hobo."
BLVR & GM [singing in unison]: "Nothing beats the hobo life, stabbing folks with my hobo knife."
GM: Wow, you weren’t kidding about being obsessive.
BLVR: It’s a little sad, though, don’t you think?

2. Umberto Eco. I am excited to read The Vertigo of Lists. Umberto Eco is like Borges in that, when I understand what he's saying, I think he's wonderful; but I only understand what he's saying about 30% of the time.
I realized immediately that the exhibition would focus on lists. Why am I so interested in the subject? I can't really say. I like lists for the same reason other people like football or pedophilia. People have their preferences.

3. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and environmentalist.
"We look to those who killed the last dodos, the last great hawks and say, 'Why did you do that? What were you thinking?' That's not too distant in our past. Future generations will look at us and say 'How could possibly eat tuna? Didn't you realize how important they are? How there's so much we can learn from them, how they move through the water, how they communicate ... and you ate them?' They'll think that we are neanderthals."

Random Can't-Believe-My-Library-Owns-This book of the day:

The Collector's Encyclopedia of Buttons. Sally Luscomb, 1967.

I may order a newer edition.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chickens? Chickens!

Today I ordered some eggs from a co-worker who keeps chickens. I'm inordinately excited about fresh eggs from happy chickens. (Which have not been de-beaked, or, I should think, tricked into thinking it is spring all the time.) AND! When I mentioned to some co-workers my enthusiasm at finding a source for local, fresh eggs:

Co-Worker 1: I keep chickens too. And I give the eggs away for free.
Co-Worker 2: So does Co-Worker 3, in our department.
Jocelyn: WHAT?!?

What is up with all these people with chickens? I had no idea it was such a phenomenon. I am beginning to think that I, as a non-chicken-keeper, might be in the minority.

[Note: this is because I work at a county library, and a number of my co-workers live on acreages or even farms. I expect this level of chicken-keeping is not seen in the general urban population. OR IS IT?]

When Animals Attack Magicians, part 34,286


Holy moley, this is amazing: Caught on camera: hippos kill crocodile in rare clash. I don't know what it is about African animals, but they're like Transformers: I love watching them fight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talking to Canadians!

Today I was contemplating ordering a new dictionary or two for my much-neglected reference collection, and in my research I stumbled upon the Wikipedia article on Canadian English. Fascinating! It was clearly written by one or more people with a serious interest in linguistics, as it does consider the "eh" phenomenon but goes into considerably more depth. My favourite part:

The ending "er" is often added to the end of words:

"Gooder" means a good thing, as in "that's a gooder". "Header" means to leave, as in "we gotta header". "Giver" means to exert allot of effort, as in "to push the truck out of the ditch you'll have to really giver".

Heh. Awesome. I can't say I really use many of these colloquialisms, although I guess I have probably said the phrase "We gotta header" on occasion-- although my inclination would be to write it as "We gotta head 'er." Also I thought about editing this article to note that the present participle form of "giver" is obviously "givering." Anyway.

I don't think I say "eh," but whenever I talk to Americans I suddenly become hyper-aware of the fact that I MAY HAVE said it.

Also: when I visit my parents in Washington state, everyone I talk to sounds like me, to me. I don't notice an accent. And yet people there know I am not from 'round those parts. Also, while I was at an antique store in Monterey a couple weeks ago a guy asked me if I was from England. So clearly accent-awareness varies from one person to the next.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Entrist? Entry-er?

I had to take a typing test online related to applying for some extra hours at my work. Results:



DON'T MESS WITH ME. Those are some serious typing skills! I should become a data entrist.
It only took me 4 seconds to type this blog entry :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day off project

photo.jpg

What is this? (Besides a blurry, crappy photo)

photo.jpg

Hmmm...

photo.jpg

Yeah. It's a little sleeping bag/pocket for my dog. Jorge Garcia's dog has one so it's only fair, since Emma loves burrowing under soft layers more than any other animal I have ever met. I made it today with fleece and quilt batting and some leftover fabric and VELCRO!

Next step: I am going to put those adhesive grippy things for the bottom of the shower on the bottom. Then she can ride in it in the car and she won't slide around on the leather seats.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blurg

Hey, blog-boyfriend.

I should probably be doing one of a thousand work things but instead I just drew a little picture of how to build a sort of FrankenIKEA shelf that I think will meet James' and my clothing storage needs. It involves more EXPEDIT. Our house is basically just an EXPEDIT warehouse that also happens to accommodate a couple of people and fifty computers and a dog.

I returned last Thursday from Monterey, California, where I was at a conference. It looked like this:

photo.jpg


And more importantly I saw this:

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Those are harbour seals, I think. They are basically living my dream by sleeping on a platform in the ocean in an "actual pile." HOW DID THE HIGH ONES GET UP THERE? I waited around for awhile hoping they would show me, but no dice.

At this moment I have a firefox window open with the Wikipedia article on codeine, which I needed for a reference question earlier today. I'm leaving it there in case someone is looking over my shoulder. I want to create an aura of mystery around myself. Although the sad thing about working in a library is that my co-workers will probably just assume that I needed it to answer a reference question.

Geez, I'm boring. Sorry. When I opened this Notepad window I really thought I had something to say.

Friday, October 30, 2009

i left my heart in san francisco

if by "my heart," you mean, "more money than I should have spent," and if by San Francisco, you specifically mean, "a surprisingly charming bookstore in the airport."

I'm home!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Internet Librarian resolutions

I'm at a conference in Monterey, CA. Yesterday I totally wrecked my feet walking about 4 miles in totally inappropriate ballet flats. (Note: how far is 4 miles? No one knows! Speak kilometres, people! I hope it's a lot.) A few resolutions:

1. Why don't I have a netbook? Why am I typing on my fiddly little iPhone screen and hunting around for good wifi? I am a bandwidth peasant.

2. Why don't I have a totally supercharged and impressive FireFox install on both my home and work computers? NEED MORE EXTENSIONS, clearly.

3. Why don't I have a pet otter? They are adorable and so good at diving. Actually I should probably get two, that way they can do that cute paddling-while-holding-fins thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I got some wedding pictures printed a few months ago (for some of my more old-timey relatives) and I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. I haven't had physical prints made in a long time. It turns out now you can upload them to something called "the Internet," and then the photo store near your work emails you to let you know when they are ready (less than 24 hours later) and then you can go pick them up on your break.

But this led me to a dangerous new compulsion: having fancy little prints made of EVERYTHING I THINK IS BEAUTIFUL. You can see how this is a dangerous road to head down. Because apparently you can print anything that's a digital image. And you know where you can find digital images? The aforementioned "Internet." And you can get these beautiful matte white-bordered prints made for $.39 or something! So in recent weeks I've gotten the following made into prints:

  • And a print of the image from this threadless tshirt: Now Panic and Freak Out [I didn't use the actual image from threadless but a slightly less-official, but also less t-shirty, one I found in google image search]
Plus some art from artists which I am too ashamed of myself to link to. Although to be fair to myself-- only artists who don't have an online store or an etsy shop. Why have your art portfolio online and nowhere to buy your art? Use your 2.0 brain!

Today I am thinking of printing some of the signs from the 826 Vallencia Pirate Store.

I decorate my whole house and desk area with them. I need some kind of tiny-art bulletin board for my desk at home because right now everything is just sitting around, waiting for me to be inspired with a good way to display them. People who are into scrapbooking, or renovating, or event-planning actually call these "inspiration boards." I prefer to think of them as "stuff I like," because I'm too cool to use the term "inspiration board." Although these things do inspire me. Especially Borges. Look at him! You can tell he knows everything, but he's not telling.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amazing interview with Maurice Sendak, Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers.

But you have all the Disney characters on your mantel behind you.

Sendak: I adored Mickey Mouse when I was a child. He was the emblem of happiness and funniness. You went to the movies then, you saw two movies and a short. When Mickey Mouse came on the screen and there was his big head, my sister said she had to hold onto me. I went berserk. I stood on the chair screaming, "My hero! My hero!" He had a lot of guts when he was young. We're both about the same age; we're about a month apart. He was the little brother I always wanted.

Jonze: What was he like when he was young?

Sendak: He had teeth.

Jonze: Literally?

Sendak: He had literally teeth. I have toys in the other room.

Jonze: Was he more dangerous?

Sendak: Yes. He was more dangerous. He did things to Minnie that were not nice. I think what happened, was that he became so popular—this is my own theory—they gave his cruelty and his toughness to Donald Duck. And they made Mickey a fat nothing. He's too important for products. They want him to be placid and nice and adorable. He turned into a schmaltzer. I despised him after a point.

-Where the Wild Things Are

Monday, October 19, 2009

Over the weekend I made some very wholesome food.

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs. I've used this recipe before. I follow it more or less exactly, except for the fact that James and I don't like to measure, so we just put in whatever amount of things we want; and we add most of an onion and a bottle of beer, mainly so we can refer to them as Beer Basted Boar Ribs. This is a great recipe and it's so easy to start, then you get the delicious slow-cookery smell in the house all day.

Yesterday I also made homemade chicken stock using this recipe from Get Rich Slowly. I don't buy those Safeway rotisserie chickens that often since the amount of oil they come soaked in suggests they're probably not great for you. But I did buy one on a whim a couple days before so after cutting off most of the meat I threw the bones into my largest pot with some veggies and herbs. Not only did I put several containers of stock in the freezer, but my house smelled even more delicious all day and into the evening, so it was a double-win. (I guess the closest WOW-analogue would be Steaming Chicken Soup?)

In addition to my housewifely achievements, I also:

Went to see Where the Wild Things Are. It was weird and quite wonderful! I liked those Wild Things a lot-- they were just the right mix of weird, scary and funny. I don't have that much to say about it, though. I need to watch it again.

Played a lot of WOW. Like, A LOT. I go through these phases where that is all I feel like doing. James and I decided to play through some of the old content (from the original game, a couple expansions ago) which we are now way overpowered for. We played through Scholomance and Stratholme (multiple times on each, because we needed the reputation [ps, go read that linked article, or at least the Socrates quote at the beginning of it]), both dungeons designed for 5 level-60 players. Either of us (at level 80) could probably have cleared them alone, but as a team it was even more fun-- we would run through a room grabbing all the monsters, then kill them all at once. We were taking on probably 30 or 40 or more guys at a time and still couldn't really cast spells because things were dying too fast. Very violent! This cancels out the wholesomeness of the chicken stock that was cooking while we were clearing trash mobs.

Anyway, the mini project we were working on-- getting to Exalted reputation with the Argent Dawn-- was accomplished and now we might go play through the rest of the old-world dungeons just for fun.

Sometimes I remind myself of everyone else in the world because I wish I could afford to not have a job so I could do these things-- playing Warcraft, cooking-- all day. Except I know I would get tired of that after 1 week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

ALSO, AWESOME

www.d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com

Letters of Note is an amazing new blog I (and everyone else with an RSS reader) just discovered. Many of them are just fascinating-- do start with the ones in the sidebar (Elvis's Federal Agent at Large and JFK's I Will Not Sign This Letter are great) but many of the letters by non-famous people are just as good.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Work angst

How is it possible that some of these things have been sitting on my desk since JULY? Why haven't they just disintegrated? Doesn't work BIODEGRADE?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

if we liked those out of print books, we should have put a ring on them.*

Normally I try to keep my uber-nerdy professional interests away from this blog (I don't want to compromise my really hip, trendy image, haha) but I had to link this one. A Library to Last Forever - one of the founders of Google defends the Google Books project. In particular this:

Others have questioned the impact of the agreement on competition, or asserted that it would limit consumer choice with respect to out-of-print books. In reality, nothing in this agreement precludes any other company or organization from pursuing their own similar effort. The agreement limits consumer choice in out-of-print books about as much as it limits consumer choice in unicorns. Today, if you want to access a typical out-of-print book, you have only one choice — fly to one of a handful of leading libraries in the country and hope to find it in the stacks.
1. True as far as it goes. 2. Doesn't mean we should willingly hand over these really priceless cultural resources to what is still, ultimately, a company. with shareholders! 3. haha, consumer choice in unicorns. That's clever!

*Will this song ever be gone from my head? Not likely!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I have started a project over at Books are Weapons in the War of Ideas - I doubt I'll be blogging much (what can you really say? "Oct. 13th. Looked on ebay."?) but I've put up a list of my collection (which my family wants for ease of gift-giving) and some information and links. I'll keep working on it. When I started researching this topic I found-- nothing. I don't want there to be nothing. I want there to be something.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

so you see, this story has a happy ending.

James and I were in Las Vegas last weekend with some friends to celebrate a year of 30th birthdays (not mine!). I was there once before, last December, and I enjoyed it in a surreal sort of way, but this time the city left me feeling really cold.

It's hard to put my finger on what gave me this skeezed-out feeling, but one night we were walking along the strip from one hotel to another, past a construction zone, so the pedestrian path was created with huge plastic barriers. There are all these people standing next to the barriers handing out shiny cards with pictures of prostitutes on them, and these cards are being dropped and carried in the wind and they are swept up against the plastic barriers like snow and getting ground underfoot. I know I have always probably seemed like the type of person who would enjoy having "GIRLS!" delivered to their room in 20 minutes, but I was shocked to find out that I am, in fact, not. The whole experience gave me this overwhelming sense of sadness. I get this feeling sometimes that I am experiencing my life in a meta-way, as if I were watching a film of my experiences and having the reaction an audience member would have. As Meta-Jocelyn watched Real-Jocelyn walk through the drifts of hooker cards, the song playing would be Just Like Honey by the Jesus and Mary Chain, or maybe something by Air. You know? Not a happy moment. My life is not something I really want to get away from, and if I did want to get away from it, Vegas is not the place I would choose. Everyone else's problems seem much closer there, this maudlin sense of loneliness--or perhaps this is just what the voiceover would say.

Plus the whole city seemed to smell like cigarette smoke and there were these pretentious bars everywhere and I think both James and I felt like it would be nice to be able to order a reasonably-priced drink in a normal bar not full of 97-pound silicone-pumped women in tiny cocktail dresses, teetering on 6-inch heels and being flirted with by guys in backwards baseball hats. (Before the silicone they presumably weighed 94 pounds, for the record.) The bar in our hotel, for example, featured this band that played an extraordinary medley of only the hooks from Top-40 pop songs, and as a result I walked around with the Beyonce song "Single Ladies" in my head for 5 days afterward, and the Long Island Iced Tea I ordered was $14. The whole experience was bizarre.

We went to see the famous fountains at the Bellagio and the song they were synchronized to, on this particular night, was Proud to Be An American. On any other occasion this might have seemed funny, but maybe the hooker cards had left a bad taste in my mouth--because the six of us stood there feeling, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say, profoundly uncomfortable. The reason why is a topic for another blog entry (and also something I can't say I understand completely myself), but suffice it to say that this added to the surreal sense of the whole day. Afterwards we were contemplating how much we would have appreciated, say, some Beethoven or Vivaldi, under the circumstances.

Oh, and then on Saturday I became very ill, with a viral cocktail of some or all of the following elements: exhaustion, sunstroke, flu. And I spent that night in a kind of panic because I had terrible pain in my left arm, like the normal kind of muscle pain you get from the flu only magnified and only in one part of my body and also in a hotel room, with only Tylenol obtained from the store in the lobby (and soup from room service) to make me feel better. It was scary the way mystery illnesses are always scary, but with an extra side-serving of scariness due to being in a foreign country and our flight home being scheduled for the next day and I was thinking thoughts like, how am I going to carry my luggage? and what if I have to go to the hospital? (Ironically, Canadians also fear American hospitals. I think it must be the absence of death panels, it makes us feel uncomfortable. Or perhaps we're afraid of having to pay for something, you suckers.) And we were on the 16th floor and the wind whistling by our room sounded like a wind tunnel. (It was very strange! At one point a security guard came to tell us to close our window, and it wasn't even open. Such was the noise. It felt like the end of the world--in fact, much like the last time we were in Vegas.) So anyway, it wasn't a pleasant night and I woke up feeling exhausted and ready to leave Las Vegas and never come back.

Whenever I come back to the Edmonton airport, the free luggage carts erase all misgivings I might have had about coming home. Edmonton is not a glamorous city. It's not sexy. Its appeals are substantial but not obvious. And of course the weather is a disaster. (Approximately half the Facebook and Twitter updates I've read today from Edmonton are observations about last night's snowfall.) As a beginning gardener, few things depress me more than Zone 3A. I think when most Edmontonians go away they probably feel some version of this panic on return, the sense that now I am going to be stuck here again. But in spite of all that, being able to take my luggage to the car without swiping a credit card inevitably warms my heart. I may not "know I'm free," but I know the effin luggage carts are free-- and I'll probably take option b, actually, thanks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Evil corporate bag


I bought this bag from WalMart for $20 several weeks ago and it has been waiting for embellishment from me. Last night I finally got around to it. I was sort of going for a retro-bowling-bag combined with evil-scifi-corporation vibe. Like, if you worked for the Blue Sun corporation this is the bag you would get when you were chosen as employee of the month (after successfully re-apprehending some very troublesome escaped prisoners). If your boss was crafty.

First I cut out the Blue Sun logo (using a stencil--which I now cannot find, but I have it saved on my computer so if someone wants it let me know) from vinyl. Then I attached it to the bag with some fabric adhesive I bought that claims to work on vinyl. Only time will tell whether the vinyl will stay stuck but for right now I think it looks pretty cunning. This was also a really quick project-- it took me less than 1 full screening of The Lost World: Jurassic Park [it's research] to cut out the vinyl and stick it on. Fun!

Monday, October 5, 2009

lisa!


lisa!, originally uploaded by jocelynb.

Will I pay $3 for a little Lisa Simpson toy from KFC? Oh yes, I will. She is one of my intellectual heroes. Now if only they had a Jorge Luis Borges toy I would be in luck. (It would come with the Surrealist Librarian Meal.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Books are weapons in the war of ideas, Pt II

Yep, I read that editorial in the Wall Street Journal about how we don't need Banned Books Week anymore, and yes, it made me depressed (and there is quite a good rebuttal on the Huffington Post). Also, here in the True North Strong and Free we celebrate Freedom to Read week in February, so I kind of consider discussing such matters in September/October to be very gauche. Around here, we like to save our talkin' energy for discussing how cold it is outside.

That said, if there's one thing I have read recently that really touched me, that made me value my own freedom to read and that of the patrons of my library, it's this librarian's letter to a patron responding to a book challenge. Yep, we do still need to remember--once a year, if not more often--that books do get challenged in libraries and schools, and that when books are actually removed from those places, it improverishes a whole community. But I guess the flip side of that equation is that it would be wonderful if we could all respond to challenges with as much sensitivity, thoughtfulness and passion as this librarian does.

(I first saw this in the twitterstream of @neilhimself, author Neil Gaiman.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books are weapons in the war of ideas

The Boston Public Library's Flickr photostream contains many an exciting item. I was especially excited to find the picture above, which features the slogan of the Council on Books in Wartime-- which published Armed Services Editions. It's a compulsion. I may write some kind of nerdy, Creative-commons-licensed nonfiction essay about them just for fun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh, coworkers. You are such jokers.

Backstory: Yesterday or the day before someone sent out an email to all the staff of my library saying that there was an old pole in the hallway, which someone could have if they wanted it. Apparently it was removed from the parking lot for some reason. Anyway, that is not important. When I walked by it today I saw this:


The top note is from someone indicating that they would like to have the pole. The second note, undoubtedly added by another co-worker, is a helpful suggested reference work:



But the most important question is: do we have it in our collection? No we do not. In fact a quick search turned up not a single result on the subject.

Dear Friday:

you can make me come to work, but you can't make me wear shoes.

http://itmademyday.com/




Unfortunately, by posting that I violated the terms of service of the site I linked to. Too bad the terms of service for my site say that I don't listen to the terms of service of other sites, and furthermore, that even having a terms of service for your website is straight out of 1998. It's gonna be the future soon! GET OVER IT!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the onebrain at work


james [4:27pm]
so within 4 minutes of each other we post on the dino-blog about the same effing topic?!?

srsly, get out of my head.

jocelyn [4:27pm]
lol really? i published mine faster!

jocelyn [4:28pm]
CRAP! YOU PUBLISHED YOURS FASTER!

james [4:28pm]
yours is better, but mine was FIRST

jocelyn [4:28pm]
i almost want to leave them both as proof of how made for each other we are.

james [4:28pm]
GET OUT OF MY HEAD JOCELYN

GET OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT

james [4:31pm]
i deleted mine :)

jocelyn [4:35pm]
i'm putting this whole thing on my blog
you may also see this conversation in the special features on the dvd of the blog how to build a better cloned dinosaur theme park

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I really enjoyed this essay from The Second Pass: Riotous Genius. It was just over a year ago that David Foster Wallace died.

Actually The Second Pass in general is a great blog ("website"? that sounds so 2002!). I always find something I want to read about something I want to read on there.

Thinking about David Foster Wallace makes me sad, in a way that this essay is better at articulating than I am myself.

You keep saying, the past is not dead/well, stop and smell the smoke

[Ben Folds Five]

2 years ago on this date:

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

Crushes #I: McSweeney's iPhone app

I have a crush on McSweeney's iPhone app, although really, I have a crush on McSweeney's x, where x is any freaking thing McSweeney's has ever done. The app is very elegant and I like the randomness of it--this is true of McSweeney's in general I guess--it's kind of whatever we felt like sending you. In this case, wirelessly.

So far the content on it is hit and miss--which is consistent with other McSweeney's stuff too actually. I don't love everything McSweeney's ever publishes. I just almost always find it worth investigating, and sometimes I read a page and then skip the rest, or sometimes I find myself completely immersed in a story by an author I've never heard of. The subscription costs $6 for the first 6 months, which is OK by me too since I will apparently pay as much for the iPhone version of The Game of LIFE and then never play it. (It turns out that the most fun aspect of that game, which was spinning the giant Wheel of Fortune style spinner, does not translate to touchscreen.)

One of the ostensible reasons I got an iPhone was to make my commuting time on the bus more effective, not in the sense of actually getting work done, but in the sense of getting off the bus not feeling like I've just wasted an hour of my life. So far I have learned how to put avi videos on my phone and watched a few episodes of Lost, found a few new podcasts I'm interested in, and downloaded the McSweeney's app. So Crush Ib can be my iPhone itself, in all its sleek, purple-cased glory.

Also: my library, along with every other library in the developed world, is currently trying to figure out how it is going to interface with the 21st century and ebooks are part of the discussion. And as the virtual services librarian, I'm expected to have an opinion. I don't use ebooks much except in their native PC, DRM-my form, so this is good exposure for me. I feel like someone visiting Japan: People read? On their CELLPHONES? What?

The way the content in the McSweeney's app is delivered is, I think, an example of how to do a good job formatting text for a tiny screen. It looks attractive and it's easy to read and the pieces themselves are short so you don't feel too overwhelmed. But at the same time, I take a kind of anti-Internet position when it comes to whole books. We already invented the ultimate format for books, and it's called books. The hardware and software never stop working and never need to be updated. There are no batteries. Once you buy the content, it can't be deleted. You can lend it to someone very easily. And two thousand years from now someone will be able to pick up the books we published in 2009 and read them. As long as they were printed on acid-free paper.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"You could get 10 years for that!"

S2 of Flight of the Conchords is BLOWING MY MIND. It is so consistently hilarious and awkward and musical. My favourite scene so far: Bret gets into a feud with some rappers and has to form a gang (the Tough Brets) to protect himself. Also Murray has to confront some mean Australians. Everything comes to a head, West Side Story-style.


I would marry the Flight of the Conchords, either independently or as a unit, and then divorce them, just so I could pay them alimony so they can continue to be amazing. I love them THAT MUCH.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me that @MargaretAtwood is on twitter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

expanding my web-empire

A couple weekends ago James and I watched Jurassic Park I and III and it inspired us to launch a new blog: how to build a better cloned-dinosaur theme park. What is sad about this blog is that we did not get the full URL we wanted. What is awesome about it is everything else.

Recently Emma, aka "that sneaky little dog," has completely lost interest in her food. She shows no other symptoms of being sick or anything--leaping onto my head with her usual unbridled enthusiasm--so I wasn't too concerned, but of course, it is better to have a dog that eats than a dog that doesn't eat. Yesterday I was grating up some zucchini to make cookies and I noted how keenly she was eyeing me, so I put a couple tablespoons of grated zucchini in with her dry food and mixed it up. Wonder of wonders! She attacked it. Maybe she was just bored. I know I would be.

Also, since I haven't posted any cute pictures of her for awhile:

yep, i set up a twitpic acct just so i could post this on Twitpic

Yep, she's wearing a little pink hoodie. I feel a little guilty about putting it on her, but all evidence suggests she LOVES wearing it. Her lavalife provide would say: I love zucchini, my pink tracksuit hoodie, and long walks on the beach. Or in the park. Or on the sidewalk. Or, barring that, across the living room floor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

spend your whole life locked inside a mall

Really cute gay marriage ad from Ireland (via @amandapalmer)

For handy reference: List of Scientologists. Today I was sad to learn that Beck is a Scientologist. That was one of several factors that dissuaded me from downloading his new album which is a cover of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Like, the whole album. (That was also one of the reasons.)

I've linked to it before but I love dispatches from the island, the blog of actor Jorge Garcia. He posts pictures of gross bugs he sees in Hawaii, and he is probably even more obsessed with his garden than I am with mine. It's charming.

Today: WOW dailies, a failed craft project, took Emma for a walk. To the bank and the grocery store later. This might sound boring but it's actually kind of nice. Ah, my life! It seems like months since I've talked to you.

Recent obsessions: finally getting my iPhone from UPS (after what almost amounted to an armed standoff), Armed Services Editions (I've been buying them on ebay!), cosmetics without carcinogens (is that too much to ask?)

Recent things that have made me annoyed and/or furious: Calgary bi-elections, Moleskine notebooks (as in, the notion that owning one somehow makes you automatically Jack Kerouac), carcinogens in cosmetics, above.

Monday, September 14, 2009

iPhone!

Can't talk. Procrastinating much more efficiently than usual.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I have a feeling I've discovered this before

but my terrible memory makes it feel brand new! The Warning Label Generator.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

saturday mornin' comin' down

My long weekend is off to a rocky start. I'm working today, which is a drag, and I missed the bus which made me very nearly late to work. I went home, roused my "husband" (husband! ha!), and forced him to put on pants and drive me to work. Then he went and got coffee and brought it to me. In exchange, I have to buy him something from Best Buy. This all seems very fair. Well, except for the part where I managed to marry the nicest man in the world while some other people have to ride the bus to work and do not have coffee.

I'm heading off to a conference at the end of October which has awakened in me a dormant desire for a laptop. All the other techie librarians have them, I whine to myself. The compromise position might just be a netbook-- I'm considering the Dell Inspiron Mini 10v, which has the advantage of coming in many pretty colours. I would get red, I think, since I'm kind of a tramp. The only reason I haven't already ordered one is that I JUST bought an iphone (IF it was actually ordered-- as per my ambiguous conversations with Rogers CSRs) and also ordered a bunch of new books from Amazon and a new wallet from Etsy and... Yeah. If anyone wonders why I am in debt, the answer *may* be contained in this blog post. Not to mention all the previous blog posts.

Finally: while on vacation I finished The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. It was just amazing, a sharply written, clever, and suspenseful book, but as I got to the last 20 pages or so things were not wrapping up. I had a bad feeling about the ending, that it was going to be a Scooby-Doo style super-mega-happy ending, and then instead the dreaded words appeared at the end of the last paragraph: END OF BOOK ONE. So I was bracing myself for a long, whiny wait for the sequel. BUT! Catching Fire came out on September 1st, only a few days later, and on September 2nd, I found out about it, and later on September 2nd I ran to Chapters on my lunch break and bought it because I could not accept being #7 in the holds list. I'm about halfway through it now and it's just as strong as the first one. I really can't recommend this series highly enough. Although this time I skipped ahead to the end and, yep, it says END OF BOOK TWO. Don't say I didn't warn you. I'm on to you, Suzanne Collins. Stop causing me suspense.

Finally: I've noticed a rash of horror/thriller movies being released on Sept. 11. Internet, please tell me this is a co-incidence and not a way of channeling legitimate horror over a tragedy into marketing horror related to a movie? OK? Can you promise me that? No, I know you can't. Don't lie.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ways in which James and I are incompatible, according to recent email data

1. We are both Greens
2. James is Aries; I'm Capricorn
3. He's a prot pally, I'm a ret pally

it's a wonder we've made it as far as we have.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

After two weeks of vacation, sorting through my work email took only 1 3/4 hours. Not nearly as bad as I expected!

My good old Razr seems to have really bitten the bullet. I can't tell if it's my charger or the battery that's messed up, but something is going desperately wrong in the phone-charging cycle. Every time I turn it on it buzzes promisingly, but then I get a black screen of death, sometimes combined with a very bleak UNABLE TO CHARGE! message.

So I decided this was a logical time to upgrade to an iPhone, since I've been hankering for one for months and my bus commute is not getting any shorter. HA! At the Rogers store they informed me that, having had my current phone for less than two years, I was not eligible for an upgrade and to call customer service. (Jocelyn: "My husband and I got our old phones at the same time and he upgraded to an iPhone several months ago with no problems." Store employee: "Yeah, they changed the rule two weeks ago.") On the phone they told me that I could get an upgrade, getting an iPhone for the low low price of only $199 (only $100 higher than the price they use to entice new customers to join! What a special offer for loyal existing customers!)-- but oh, it's out of stock and the woman wasn't sure if it could be backordered.

CSR: So you could go to a Rogers store and get one there...
Jocelyn: I already tried that and they were not helpful at all, and I am not anxious to try to convince them I'm eligible for this upgrade. How about if you just order the phone and mail it to me?
CSR: Well, I'm not sure if the system will let me order one. We have too many orders for them already.
Jocelyn: But I want the 3G, not the 3GS. It's the old one! Just backorder it.
CSR: OK, phone back in about 4 days and they will give you your tracking number.
Really? Really, capitalism? I want to pay you money for goods and this is what you come up with? How about if you just sell me this effing phone that has been available for MONTHS, and I'll give you the amount of money it costs? Is that too much to ask? The two things I hate most about Canada: 1, the death panels. (I keep getting sentenced to death and it's such a drag.) 2, the fact that every technological innovation that happens elsewhere in the civilized world arrives here in some kind of stupidified form. Rogers is the only wireless provider here with the network for the iPhone, so you would think they would sort of anticipate demand for it and say STOCK SOME EXTRA ONES, but nope.

Did I mention that in the meantime I don't have a phone? So in the meantime, just continue to ignore me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My apologies to the Internet

Hey blog,

I was in Calgary! and, perhaps more excitingly, Maui! It was nice there (how's that for an adjective to describe Hawaii? "Nice"? They should integrate that into their tourism marketing. "Hawaii. It's nice.") but we were glad to come home, and now, I have suddenly been swept up in the rhythms of fall. Our garden was full of zucchini (and a handful of plump little tomatoes) which I am in the process of freezing as I write this. There is laundry to be done and sheets to be changed and, of all things, mending. That's right, I do mending. I'm basically a pioneer-woman.

Also: my warcraft server is down, so I've decided that if I do everything on my to-do list this morning, I can play WOW all afternoon. (That is, after all, what a pioneer woman would do.) So! Let's go!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

File under: surreal marital conversations

Jocelyn: I think something threw up by our garage.
James: Something? Or someone?
Jocelyn: Something. A cat. It looks like cat food.
James: Maybe it was someone.
Jocelyn: A person who ate some cat food, and then threw up because of the cat food.
James: I think it was you.
Jocelyn: So your theory is that, while you were asleep, I got up, ate a bunch of cat food, and then went and threw up outside by our garage?
James: Well, that makes sense.
Jocelyn: Where would I get cat food?
James: Sherwood Park Mall? You're the criminal mastermind here, not me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Or maybe just "I have a misogynistic shirt. Ask me how!"

Waiting for the bus this morning, along with me, was a scruffy dude smoking and wearing a hoodie that said--and I wish I was making this up--"Please tell your BOOBS to stop staring at my eyes." As we waited for the bus to appear I was considering slogans for companion shirts. My favourite: "Please tell your testicles to get out of the way of my knee." First runner-up: "Please tell your offensive shirt to stop providing such an enticing target for the knife on my keychain."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Crazy all the time!

http://lowercasel.blogspot.com/

I want to make a meta-blog where I find critical entries on other people's blogs and then find errors in them. This person is really annoyed by people who don't capitalize consistently, so much so that they've made a whole blog about it, but their fanatical attention does not seem to extend to it's vs. its. I guess we have to prioritize--if everything makes us crazy, then we're crazy all the time?

This seems to be a new trend in the blogipelago--blogs focused on making fun of other blogs, or facebook/craigslist entries, or flickr photos, or whatever. And yes, they're often very funny, but sometimes I wonder if anything we're doing is good for humanity.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

cobras! up in the trees!

sometimes when i'm asleep I elbow James in the face. Usually when I do this it wakes me up a little bit, so I'm cogent enough to think, I'm elbowing James in the face, but not cogent enough to stop myself from doing it. The last time this happened, a couple nights ago, we both woke up enough to have a little conversation about it. James explained that even though I'm trying to kill him, I will never succeed because he is a ninja. What follows is an actual, 3am list of puns I compiled in response:

Yeah, you practice...

  • Ju-sleep-su
  • Ka-rest-e
  • Night Kwon Do
Note: this list is not that funny. See explanation above.

And bonus points for "Unidentified blue fungi"

holy moley: Seattle man used Limewire for identity theft. What's sad about this article is that there is no hacking involved at all--this guy used limewire to copy files that people had IN THEIR SHARED FOLDERS. Keeping ur data safe on teh internets: ur doin it wrong.

I also enjoyed this one: Giant meat-eating plant found. Meat-eating plants are inherently cool, but this one is doubly cool because it is named for David Attenborough. In future versions of Planet Earth, he should get 40 seconds to show his plant eating, like, a ferret, and then lapse into OMG MY PLANT?!? freaking-out enthusiasm before he regains his normal air of erudite calm. David Attenborough: you have 40 seconds to be really, really excited. GO!

Monday, August 10, 2009

dispatches from the future

whenever i see one of those notes on the bottom of an email: "think green. please do not print this email unless it is absolutely necessary," or some variation thereof, my mind compiles this set of thoughts: 1. aww, that's nice, saving the environment. 2. people PRINT EMAILS?!?

hey internet. I'm pretty tired today, in spite of the nonfat white mocha that sits on the desk in front of me, so I'm going to pretend I'm a 15 year old kid on myspace and i'm not going to capitalize letters or use punctuation. i just don't feel like it. i was thinking of spelling some things wrong too but that will probably require more energy than spelling them right, such is the obsessive nature of my brain.

as much as i like my job i sometimes get depressed by the number of people around, especially online, who seem to know nothing about anything and furthermore have no ability to find out the things they don't know WHATSOEVER. how can we help these people? i mean, we can give them the specific information they want (sometimes) or refer them somewhere where they will be able to get it, or in most cases say, "sorry, no one knows that but you" ("should i ask out my cute friend? i'm not sure if he likes me") but at the end of the day, they will still be the type of person who types ludicrous and/or personal questions into a random internet form box in hopes that a stranger will tell them whether they are pregnant, or what type of car to buy, or how to house-break their puppy, or whatever. that is a problem no librarian can solve.

hypothesis: these people also go all the way around traffic circles in the outside lane, they smoke at bus stops, and they leave their dog in the front yard but not tied up, so it chases my dog when i take her for a walk.

but: then i let her poop in their yard and don't scoop, so who is winning?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

from something genuine and awesome to something co-opted and pathetic in record time

Why are we even having this conversation?

[This is related to something from before.]

Saturday, August 1, 2009

list of house malfunctions in the past 24 hours

  • hot water heater release valve leaking
  • blown circuit in kitchen due to running toaster and toaster oven at same time
  • washing machine leaking slowly from bottom as well as
  • overflowing the pipe into which it drains
and this is in addition to the car accident on tuesday, from which James's car will not recover. bad week!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gertrude just hasn't seen my zucchini

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables. -Gertrude Stein

Monday, July 27, 2009

you do care about all the minutiae of my life, right? internet?

firsti zucchini
i grew these zucchini. with my own HANDS AND BLOOD. i love these squash so much i could squash them!

oh boy

as of today i have three new twitter followers, all of whom have hot and/or SXY pictures posted, according to their remarkably-similarly-worded "about me"s! hi ladies! i love making new friends on the interweb. that's why i decided to do a blog about it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

just taking a short break from work to bring this to your attention

I was just thinking to myself how there is never anything good on edmonton's craigslist, just a bunch of people trying to sell products they themselves bought from ikea for $20 less than they paid (note to those people: i think it's worth the extra $20 to get a new one) and then i found these two barstools. I mean, one has a gimped leg, but can be easily fixed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

9AM You Know the Economy's Bad When History Professors Work at Rite Aid

Woman in line: I want to go somewhere foreign this summer. How about Guam?
Cashier: Actually, Guam is part of the United States.
Woman in line: Ugh, these things change so often. We must have gotten it, like, a year ago, right?
Cashier: Actually, we've owned Guam since the 1800s. It sends a non-voting member to Congress, but they have no elector, so they don't matter for presidential elections.
Woman in line: Oh, thank god.

Rite Aid
Doylestown, Pennsylvania


via Overheard in the Office, Jul 20, 2009

Ghah, Internet! i cannot concentrate on ANYTHING today and i keep trying to do this incredibly mundane, repetitive task that I really need to finish for work and instead my brain is like IKEA! garden! SIMS! IKEA! chocolate-covered peanuts! Etsy! Emma! garden! nice weather outside! Harry Potter! like that, on and on and on and on. hey, jocelyn! forget about that spreadsheet! let's go ride bikes! says my brain, and i am powerless. so perhaps a blog will help me to get it out of my system. (side-lol: i love how old people call individual entries blogs, as in, I wrote a blog about that. or what have you. it's so adorably almost-correct.)

The great thing about working in a library is that all my co-workers are bright, passionate, interesting people who love books and ideas and tea and talking about books. never have i felt so consistently at ease among one group of people, as since i entered the library world. (That, and I get to order whatever strikes my fancy on interlibrary loan.) The bad thing about working in a library is that it is so quiet in here today, internet, that earlier i was spinning my chair in 360 degree circles just to feel the slight vibrations of noise in the air. i think we could all afford to listen to our radios at a reasonable volume, you know what i'm saying?

The other day i told james i was bored of being married, and he said, really? i think you're just bored of The Sims 3 and i had to admit that this type of incisive thinking is, indeed, why i am not bored of being married, at least not to him.

So far being married is almost exactly like being not-married, which is fine because i liked being not-married and got very good at in in 8 years. i do call James my "husband" now which i am trying to get more used to, although "man friend" has slipped out once or twice and I don't think anyone is judging me. And he gets an obscene amount of pleasure out of referring to me as his "wifey."

However, I am suddenly aware of the idea of a marriage, like a third entity that we've created and are responsible for. I never felt this way about relationship, not really, but marriage is much harsher. It stresses me out, a bit, having to care for something that seems so doomed to have words like "dysfunctional," "failed" or "unhappy" prefacing it. Somehow we obtained this marriage and now we have to keep it up. This has nothing to do with James, or I, as what exists between us feels as inalienable and comfortable and almost obnoxiously easy to care for as ever in application; it's this hypothetical marriage that seems so doomed, so fraught with pressure. We should just call it something else.

We could name it after a piece of IKEA furniture for example. We don't have a marriage, we have an ektorp. I feel more at ease already.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Because I don't care if you find me obnoxious

Here are all the things I made for my wedding.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

this will require all my librarian skills

On The Muppet Show, Kermit had a mug that had his name on it in a kind of gothic-looking script (similar to Old English, if memory serves). Since I started watching The Muppet Show on DVD I've always wanted one like it, but so far they prove impossible to find. An internet search for Kermit mug just brings up lots of mugs with pictures of Kermit on them--which is ridiculous since why would a frog have a mug with his own picture on it? Where would he get it? In the Muppet world, the Muppets are not famous enough to have their own merchandise I don't think. Plus Kermit is a pretty humble guy, I doubt he would own his own mug even if it was available.

ANYWAY.

The closest I've found is that the action figure comes with a tiny replica. Even that's a bit iffy since (a) you can't really see it and (b) who knows how accurate it is? I'm going to have to rent the DVDs again and watch more closely, then maybe make one on CafePress. Booh. Normally, whatever I require, the Internet will supply. I dislike this having to take initiative!

good stuff recently added to delicious. there are a bunch of these. i shall not categorize.

The Meeting Ticker - This is one of my obsessions. I do this all the time at meetings, calculate how much money is being wasted.

Texts from Last Night - Their slogan sums it up. Remember that text you shouldn't have sent last night? We do.

From the National post - 101 Muppets of Sesame Street. Amazing!

Green Edmonton - I am just happy that a blog like this exists. As the summer progresses I grow more and more obsessed with gardening and canning and other activities that 10-years-ago Jocelyn would have found repellent. I was recently thinking about keeping bees. And/or chickens.

The Internet Mapping Project

In the Wacky News category: Real People Fill In For Trafalgar Square Statue

From the New York Review of Books: Michael Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs: The Wilderness of Childhood. I believe this is excerpted from his new book.

And finally: The Invisible Library, a list of books that don't exist.

wedding recap, pt I of IVXIVXZSJK

HI INTERNET!
It has been soooo long. Sorry.

I got married on Saturday! It was kind of fun. We had the ceremony on a beach volleyball court and I held a bouquet made of buttons. Our friend Colin nailed the "Mawwage!" speech from The Princess Bride. Our friends took photos with foam swords and mustaches. So far being married is a lot like being not-married, except for the following:

1. in the mornings James and I greet each other like CBC announcers. The first person has to say "Good morning, X!" and the other person says, "Good morning Y!" as if we have been apart for weeks and are thrilled to see each other.

2. Also our house is full of wedding presents and dirty dishes. I didn't anticipate how guilty I would feel about the presents issue. I tried to make the present obligation related to this wedding as minimal as possible, but people still gave us piles of cash and gift cards and thoughtful gifts. Since, as I mentioned above, being married is a lot like being not-married, and also since James and I both make a pretty good living and have no drug dependencies, it doesn't seem fair that our friends and families are spending all this money on us. Although I guess there WAS an open bar.

3. Our dog is not illegitimate and the other dogs don't make fun of her anymore.

4. Our fridges* are both full of leftover cake, the the point where we will not really want to eat any more of it is rapidly approaching.

*We have two fridges. They are not his-and-hers fridges or anything, there are just two of them. I'm aware of the energy wastefulness this represents and I feel guilty about it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Things my dog reminds me of
By Jocelyn

A mobster
Zuul from Ghostbusters
A gargoyle (like this one for example)
Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars (and also a little bit Yoda)
an iPhone (in fact I recently changed her name to "Emma iPhone Ackbar")

Edited July 15 to add: Kim Jong Il. I forgot about this one. Check it out: 1 2 I think it's the big, domey head.

The dog from Men in Black (note: this dog is just a pug, and my dog is part pug, so really this is not that exciting a comparison)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

saddest novelty news story of the day: the same-sex penguin couple at the San Francisco Zoo broke up, reportedly over a girl penguin.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Getting married on Saturday

And it's making me grumpy. Albeit sort of comically grumpy. And with hair like a superhero.