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.)


It has been a rough few days.


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:


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.)


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


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.



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


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.