Saturday, January 31, 2009

Heh heh, as if I'm a slow typer

I'm planning on doing Thing-a-Day again in 2009. This is the project where, for one month, a bunch of crafty and/or arty people pick up their glue gun, soldering gun, or crochet hook and make something every day--like NaNoWriMo for slow typers. I promise to make at least a few non-wedding related projects, especially if someone will drive me to IKEA, where the cheap fleece blankets come from. But I should warn you, I am also going to make invitations. And I am going to print them with acrylic ink. And I am going to put grommets in them. And I might count them for more than one day.

I recently bought a corner punch (which, for the uninitiated, makes square corners into pretty rounded corners--just like every CSS tutorial ever made, except for paper and much easier). In February 2009, we will answer the question: what can't you corner-punch? And I suspect the answer will be: NOTHING.


Friday, January 30, 2009

and Nazi zombies are the worst kind too


Electronic Traffic Signs Hacked with Hilarious Results

I hope my heart goes first

Hey, Internet. I know you've been thinking to yourself, boy, I sure wish Jocelyn would discuss all the wedding-related books she's been reading. I miss her insights. Well, you're in luck! Having done a survey of books available to the cheap, cynical, public-library-using bride, I feel ready to recommend some things.

But first: you should know that lots of things are off-limit for me. Especially: 1. Wedding magazines. Anything with a headline that says "Item x in every price range!" (WITH an exclamation mark) where "every price range" means "for more money than you inevitably want to spend" is out. 2. Conventional, actual wedding books, which seem to have titles like The Crafty Bride: Spray-Paint it Silver! or So You Finally Tricked Him Into Proposing: At Last Your Life Can Begin!. Neither of these is helpful to me. Here is what IS helpful to me:

Two books about weddings

One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding
by Rebecca Mead

Even if you have no interest in weddings, you should read this. In fact, if you have no interest in weddings you should especially read this, because it's all about how contemporary North American weddings have been emptied of their social and religious significance and marketers have tried to step in to fill that void with sparkly heart-shaped crap. It will give you ammunition. Of the wedding books I have read this is by far my favourite, and each section made me more convinced that I want to divest myself of as many wedding "traditions" as possible. (Except walking down the aisle to The Cure, obviously. That's staying.)

Funny story: there's this poem usually called the Apache Wedding Prayer, sometimes called the Navajo Wedding Prayer, that seems to pop up on wedding websites and in actual weddings so much that I was good-naturedly complaining about it to James the other day. And then this book taught me the true history of that little bit of nonsense, and it's so deliciously ironic that I can't even bring myself to re-type it here. I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with ullshit.

I Do But I Don't: Walking Down the Aisle Without Losing Your Mind
by Kamy Wicoff

This book is more of a memoir (as compared to Mead's more journalistic book), about the conflicts that a contemporary, self-identifying feminist goes through as she is proposed to and plans a wedding. I lost count of how many times I found myself nodding emphatically as I read, and being like, Yeah! That's crazy!. Bride-to-be solidarity. It's funny and smart and honest and kind of bittersweet.

The only beef I had with this book is that its subtitle is a little misleading, because the book actually has nothing to do with instructing other people on how to walk down the aisle without losing their minds. This might seem petty, but I'm like a professional bookologist, so these things bother me. If you need to have something after the colon, it should at least make sense.

Two books about planning weddings:

Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides
by Ariel Meadow Stallings

This is my favourite of the wedding-planning books (more how-to than actually about weddings). So much so that its companion website, offbeat, has made it onto my bookmarks toolbar--which can only happen after a fierce competition, a sort of favicon Thunderdome. There are people on this website having Star Wars weddings and steampunk weddings and flip-flop weddings and all kinds of other-things-that-nerds-like weddings, and that's comforting.

I also like it when the author of a book about weddings isn't afraid to start a sentence with "If you're having..." as in, "If you're having flowers/a bridal party/a DJ/a garter toss" because I'm not having any of those things so I get to skip sentences. Yesssss. It's also nice when the author of a book about weddings doesn't seem to operate on the assumption that all her readers are planning to spend $25,000 on their weddings. $50 FTW!

The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way
by Kelly Bare

I didn't mind this book, except I think it didn't really serve its purpose because I always knew that my wedding would be mostly DIY-ed. The tone of this book is sort of comforting and encouraging-- you CAN do stuff yourself! You can live without vendors!-- which is sweet and everything, but in my case, utterly unnecessary. I'm the choir, and I was being preached to. I was hoping for more practical ideas, like about making the paper for my invitations in my kitchen sink out of recycled grocery flyers, or sewing weird hats for all my guests, or interpretive-dancing my vows, and this book does not provide those things. Apparently, I need to write the book that provides those things. It could be called The Interpretive-Danced-Vow Bride: Spray Paint Your Unitard Silver! And Your Face!

And then I will finally have achieved my dream of using the expression "your face" in a book title. And that truly is something I've been dreaming of since I was a little girl.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sometimes I wish I had some people to follow me around and laugh at my jokes

This morning waiting for the bus I saw a bus go by, and the sign was flashing, "EXPRESS," and then, "Sorry, out of service." And I thought, Wow, that bus is going nowhere fast.

Monday, January 26, 2009

That's the way we get by

In Safeway this morning, where I stopped to pick up my delicious petroleum-based coffee creamer, I paid for my stuff and the kind lady working at the till asked something like, "You going to get by there, hon?" and I looked at her blankly before I realized it was a colourful way of offering Safeway carryout service. It seemed like a general question about my wellbeing, as if she might as well have said, "I know your work hours are increasing, and you're trying to plan your wedding, and you haven't done dishes for a week, not to mention the windchill-- are you going to get by?" and the answer that first came to my mind was, no, but that was just the early-morning, pre-coffee funk talking. I think I am going to get by. BET ON IT, SAFEWAY LADY.

I watched Gangs of New York on Saturday. Have you seen this movie, Internet? It's looooong. And bloody. And I didn't like it at all; in fact, I think it's safe to say I disliked it. However, it did provide an excellent opportunity to exclaim "Acting!" and "Filmmaking!" at regular intervals, as it had plenty of both. The Gangs of New York philosophy of filmmaking appears to be: you cannot over-flashback. Audiences have short attention spans. Also: can we make the blood kind of explode outward more?

Also, I swam 1km yesterday.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I was answering an online reference question and stumbled across this Wikipedia article on the interrobang. Isn't that a great name for a punctuation mark?! It's my new favourite thing! I declare January 19th Interrobang Day, in addition to Martin Luther King Jr. Day (I think!?) and National Popcorn Day (allegedly). Oh, and my dad's birthday.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tonight I threw a citronella tealight at one of the pigeons. I hit it and it didn't even fly away.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

more google ads hilarity

Last night, after a few hours of solo questing, I made this and sent it to James:

And here < are the ads google provided for our email thread. Apparently, after making such a lame, warcraft related lolcat type joke, I am going to need advice on how to get my ex back. Really, google? Was it that bad? I thought it was funny.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Wordpress is Blogger's hip, older cousin that's in a band." -Me

Monday, January 12, 2009

file under: things i almost invented

things i almost invented: the scoodie
it is a scarf with a hood attached. It wraps around many times. It is made out of fleece and a sweatshirty cotton, so it's actually very warm. I say "almost invented" because i think i saw it on a craft site somewhere, but a really long time ago, and then when I remembered it, it was as if I were actually inventing it. (Although you can get them from urban outfitters so really how original can it be right?)

zipper pocket for ipod
it has a zippered pocket for my ipod because i need to be able to ffwd songs without removing my mittens.

does not follow directions
bonus picture: depiction of my inability to follow directions of any kind

monday-morning email hilarity

jocelyn - 9:45 am:

today is gross.... everything smells like mr. noodles. i don't know why. i think it might be my hair.

james - 9:55 am:
let's run this through a problem-solving matrix:

did you wash your hair with mr. noodles?

if yes, it's probably your hair

if no, did you wash your face with mr. noodles?

if yes, it's probably your face

if no, did you put mr. noodles powder up your nose?

if yes, you're just smelling the mr. noodles powder that you put up your nose

if no, the smell is probably coming from the refineries.

I actually can't re-read it because it will make me snort coffee through my nose, and
I want the people around me to think I'm working.

Friday, January 9, 2009

puzzling text messages: a chronicle of self-aggrandizement, mistaken identity, and the human condition

4:27 pm: its me david the bball star
[i texted him back: "wrong number dude"]
6:24 pm: k

5:55 the next day: its david the allstar

3:07 today: sup
3:15 pm: yo man i aint mad man
[i texted him back: "wrong number"]
5:56 pm: who is this

This was linked on Jezebel this morning, and I have to link to it as well. The Recently Deflowered Girl. A helpful guide from 1965, with illustrations (and presumably text?) by Edward Gorey.

Sad face: as of Jan10/09, the link is dead. All that traffic (it got metafiltered and neatorama-ed in addition to being Jezebel-ed) must have killed livejournal.

Our pens have turned to ink-sicles*

When I woke up this morning and checked the weather, it claimed that it was -22 at the time, with a high for today of -3. Really, Internet? When is it going to reach this mythical temperature of -3? Because in the short walk from T-Ho's to the bus stop, my coffee went from hot to lukewarm, and my legs from leg-temperature to, uh, frozen-steak-temperature. Yeah. Gross.

It still claims that tomorrow will be 0. I think that the government is feeding Environment Canada these made-up forecasts to keep us from rioting, hoping we'll never notice that it NEVER GETS TO THE FORECASTED HIGH, and that in the meantime our ASSETS ARE FROZEN*.

*I stole these jokes from The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Monday, January 5, 2009

fat quarters in the mail

fat quarters in the mail, originally uploaded by jocelynb.

Designer fabric is one of my favourite things, but I really can't afford it--or find it in Edmonton for that matter. Solution: fat quarters! Relatively cheap and small, but still quality-of-life-enhancing. (Also: it is fun to say "fat quarters" because it sounds like a made-up thing but it is real. They are quarter-yards of fabric which are mainly used by quilters)

L to R: Aviary by Joel Dewberry, 2 by Valori Wells, Pop Daisy by Heather Bailey, 2 by Alexander Henry, and 2 by Tina Givens.

Things you can buy that will make you seem po-mo

In April, 2007 I ordered a "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON" poster from a small bookstore in London, which was selling reproductions of what was then an unusual, circa-WWII amusement. Now that effing poster is everywhere-- every hipster's apartment featured on design*sponge inevitably has one, not to mention every craft room in readymade. you can get shirts and pendants and tote bags and buttons... And I became a bit annoyed, because I felt like popular culture was once again depriving me of something unique and cool. Not to mention the fact that I guarantee you, not everyone who owns one of these posters has taken its message to heart the way I have. I AM enhancing my calm. I AM carrying on.
[The one shown at left is from lucaslepola on etsy]

So consider my mind blown by the inevitable next step, the meta-poster:

Thank you threadless.

What happens once everyone owns this one? A poster that says, "Stop putting instructions on posters"?

On confetti in the snow, and saving the world

I set my alarm for 6:50, except I actually set it for 6:50 PM. Miraculously, I still woke up in time to catch the bus, although not in time to shower. But even getting dressed and wandering out the door into the darkness, it somehow felt like 7:20 PM, and I had this weird feeling that I had slept through a whole day of work--even after I checked my phone and didn't have any messages.

I walk to the bus stop along the top of the river valley and this morning someone had distributed metallic confetti along the sidewalk. When I saw the first heart I thought someone had lost an earring, and then I noticed dozens of tiny stars and hearts glimmering in the snow.

It's a new year, and by some miracle I remembered to bring my re-usable coffee mug to Tim Horton's. 2009 is the year I save a tiny grove of trees that would otherwise be turned into paper products.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New theory of food efficiency

Cooking only one new dish each night, always enough to make leftovers--and always something that goes with the leftovers from the previous night. Result: FEWER DISHES, without the frustration that results from never-ending leftovers!


Night 1: Turkey from Christmas + new mashed potatoes
Night 2: leftover mashed potatoes + new pork chops
Night 3: Leftover pork chops + new rice
Tomorrow: Leftover rice and WHO KNOWS!