30 September 2006

I must be on vacation....

I slept in. ... until 8:05. That still doesn't seem like sleeping in to me, but it's two hours later than my alarm usually sounds.

I lazed around the house... had a bowl of cereal with kiddo... then hubby returned with groceries and fresh coffee (mmmmmMMmmm).

Around 11:00 we climbed in the van and headed North (as usual). We stopped for fast food in Duncan... then at the flea marked at the south end of Nanaimo (at the Moose Lodge)... on to Value Village (where we found some much-needed clothing for kiddo) ... on to Jysk (where we found a sofa we liked but not enough to buy it right away) ... then up to Woodgrove (where we bought Christmas presents) and back South again.

On the way home we stopped in at Russel Farms where we found "rainbow carrots" and ooodles of pumpkins.



Tonight, hubby and I watched Run Lola Run and now Office Space which should wrap up in time for the season opener of SNL. Woo!

tags: vacation, roadtrip

29 September 2006

White and Nerdy

First, if you haven't seen Weird Al's new video, go check out "White and Nerdy" at youtube.com. Then take the quiz... alas I am quite nerdy. And white.... but I was born that way.

You are 46% white and nerdy.
How White and Nerdy Are You?

tags: weird al, video, quiz, nerdy

tick ... tick ... tick...

Today I suspect the clock will tick very slooooowwwwly at work because after 4:00 I am on vacation until October 10th -- WHEEEE!!

I have been coming home so completely exhausted all week, I can barely keep my eyes open. Why? Learning seems to be frying my brain. I am finally learning the "tough" part of my job (eventually, it will just be time consuming more than anything, though, the tough part is learning the concepts) -- "post cataloguing authority maintenance" for subject headings to start. Those of you who work in libraries will recognize that there is a heap of rules I need to learn in addition to basic concepts. To non-library geeks, it boils down to making sure people can find what they are looking for. It means I will be standardizing the subject headings according to Library of Congress. It means sometimes I have to change things like "breast feeding" to "breastfeeding" in 65 records. or "cigarette habit" to "nicotine addiction" in 30 records. But those are easy ones, and not the cause of my melted brain.

At any rate, I feel like there is a neon sign on my forehead flashing FULL every evening, so I am really looking forward to that vacation.

tags: vacation, workrelated

27 September 2006

Cards and other fun stuff....

At the beginning of the month, on a whim, I ordered 250 cards from Vistaprint. The idea was to get all my craftystuff on one card -- Cuppajoe cozies, artwork, photography and writing. I ordered them on Sept 8th and they showed up today. All I had to pay for was the shipping, in exchange for their ad on the back of each card... I think they look pretty good:

Now I can start handing them out. Whee!

Oh, and as for the other fun stuff, I also got a "free" (shipping only) self-inking rubber stamp and a set of address labels with the same artwork as my craft cards.

tags: crafting, selling, cards, Vistaprint

25 September 2006

Hi, I can't read.

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen.
This idiot decided to park in one of Victoria's "Small Vehicle" spaces. The spaces are designed for motorcycles, scooters and Smart cars; they are easily identified by their green tops and are also labelled:


I checked; a Honda CRV is approximately 4.5 metres long a full 50% larger than allowed.

I can only presume the driver is (a) an ass and/or (b) illiterate.

tags: badparking, victoriabc

24 September 2006

Productive day... tangents included.

So, I did get on a tangent making bottlecap pincushions. They are just as cute in real life.

padded blue pincushion


Then I did some fixes for the Union website (we are doing an "official" launch at the general meeting on Wednesday)... and now I am back to puttering until curling up to watch Studio 60 at 10:00, curled up with hubby and a tub of popcorn.

tags: craft-fu

Teeeeny Tiny Pincushion....

Stick a pin in it - it's done!
Originally uploaded by verybigjen.
Attention craftsters! Go watch this:
verybigjen's Bottlecap pincushions HOW-TO slideshow on Flickr

Aren't they cute? I love that her slideshow, without any words or text still gives all the info you need -- right down to stitch styles -- on how to make these teeny tiny useful pincushions. I may have to give it a shot myself.

tags: crafts, tutorial, sewing

23 September 2006

Slow return to normal....

.. whatever normal is.

Kiddo went back to school on Thursday after 10 days of being sick. She's still coughing (she got a cold on top of tonsilitis) but mostly back to her non-stop-talking and creativty.

We went to the service for T. today.... her ashes were interred under a big Douglas Fir tree surrounded by friends and family. Later we attended a reception where the mood was lighter and we had the chance to catch up with people we haven't seen in years... perhaps this will spur us to work a little harder at keeping friendships up... we kinda slid into a black hole a few years ago (combo of parenthood and poverty) and now that we are out it seems it still took something tragic to relocate some of those lost connections.

I am going to focus on some knitting and crafting... there is a larger craft fair held in the University Centre every year where the registration fee goes to the United Way; I usually just throw my stuff on a table for the Libraries craft fair -- but never make any sales, so I think I need to cast a wider net. I need to clear out my stock of crafty goodness, that's for sure. Plus, I ordered a bunch of business cards for all my craft stuff through VistaPrint and they should be here soon... it would be nice to have "official" cards to give away. I'll let you know if I actually get my crap together in time. If I do, I may try for a couple of other craft fairs in town, too.

tags: reflection, kiddo, crafts.

20 September 2006

Fall Shows So Far

I can't remember the last season of television where there were multiple shows I was anticipating. And so far, the results are good.

Monday night* was the premiere of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) -- Aaron Sorkin's return to television and if the rest of the season is as good as the first episode, it'll be hard to pry me away from the television. (*Note: in Canada, Studio 60 also runs on Sunday nights on CTV) Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford have great buddy chemistry going and both can easily handle Sorkin's rapidfire writing style.

I also checked out The Class on Monday, the new lead to CBS's sitcom block (The Class, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, The New Adventures of Old Christine); it was watchable, but there were no laugh-out-loud moments. I fully expect a mid-season replacement in that timeslot.

Last night, we watched House on autopilot (it started stinking last season and shows no sign of improving this season) which is followed on Fox by Standoff which so far is shaping up to be pretty enjoyable: good cast, fun technology, and 'capital D' Dramatic tension. At 10:00 we ended up watching Smith (CBS; CTV Mondays), which really hadn't flown into our radar, but wow! I was surprised at the cast (all film actors, led by Ray Liotta) and the show played out like Ocean's Eleven -- I have a weakness for heist films, so if the whole season is planning and executing heists, I'll be watching.

Tonight is the premiere of Jericho (CBS/Space), the only other new show I've been waiting to see. Then we have to wait until next month for returning seasons of Dr. Who (October 9) and Battlestar Galactica (October 7) and new comedy 30 Rock (October 11) with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.

tags: television, fall season, reviews.

19 September 2006


Today, I'll be busy swabbin' the decks a'fore I get to me rum.


Meantime, should ye not know why I be talkin' this way, ye should be walkin the plank, or 'tleast clickin yer mouse here.

tags: pirates, talk like a pirate day

17 September 2006

You never know.

Got some strange, sad news this morning. One of our circle of friends died suddenly Saturday night. She was 36. I met her in university; we were roommates for a while. I hadn't seen much of her in the past few years -- since she moved away -- and of course I feel guilty for that, too.

It's still surreal 12 hours later... it's hard to wrap my head around mortality in my peer group. I have been lucky in that this is the first of my circle to die and I know that mid-thirties isn't unheard-of for death by natural causes.... but it's still jarring.

Now all I've been thinking is where my not-yet-witnessed will has been filed and how much it will cost for a notary.

tags: mortality, loss, mourning.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Well, thanks to my writeup on Shatner at the CAEAA awards, hubby and I were approached by Anthony Pascale of TrekMovieReport to do a full article. We collaborated to write it using writely.com and sent it off with video and photos to back it up. We spoke by phone this morning (ah, gotta love VOIP) to clarify some of the discrepancies -- it seems Shatner has been flip-flopping on his involvement in the upcoming Star Trek XI and we caught him mid-flop.

The full article is up now, "Shatner Tired of Talking Trek."

I have to admit, this was fun to do; reminds me I need to do more writing.

tags: William Shatner, freelance writing

16 September 2006

Glam for a Night....

So... what did we look like last night? Pretty good, I think.


Hubby rented a tux; I spruced up my "vintage" dress with a nice necklace (my Grandmother's), earrings (my own) and a shawl (on loan from my Mother in Law) -- and I put on full makeup (something very rare in these parts). Even more rare was my putting on pantyhose which immediately laddered, then tore outright. At least it was a full length gown, so really, who cared? We got quick photos in the hotel room before heading out, thinking we would get more photos later...

mike_full2 full_me_blurry

...but somehow in the time we were dressed, neither of us thought to ask anyone to take our photo together. Doh.

tags: hubby, playing dressup

15 September 2006

Award Show Aftermath...

OK... so... the CAEAA (Canadian Awards for Electronic Arts and Animation) were held for the first time las night; hubby and I attended as media, along with several other Gameboyz reviewers. The big attraction for the "Gala Evening" was the host, William Shatner.


I didn't realize he actually came to the table with an appropriate resume -- he is a co-founder of C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures which has done animation and visual effects for dozens of movies and tv shows. (The guy on the right in the photo above is Victor Lucas from Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run -- two shows I love watching -- the woman talking to Shatner is Erin Cebula from ET Canada)

At the reception, he graciously answered endless inane questions about who should play the "young Kirk" and other Trek-related nonsense while he tried to steer the interviewers toward the topic of the evening: Canadian-made animation. Hubby and I followed in his wake, listening in and watching the media make its magic.

Eventually, Shatner was spirited away to the Green Room and the rest of us were directed to the theatre where we were seated at the back of the room. We got a buffet dinner -- the nominees got a full three course dinner -- and watched from directly behind one of the house cameras (that was transmitting the action to the big screens to the side of the stage)


As the evening wore on, the media began to thin; by the time the last winner was announced, many of the media had left; some stayed for the after party but most had already got their thirty second soundbite of Shatner and didn't want to stick around talking to the equivalent of a "technical Oscar®" winner.

I actually enjoyed seeing the student work, as opposed to the big game studio stuff (Ubisoft took home a suitcase of statues) -- but I would have preferred to see their films in their entirety, rather than screen caps or demo reels. I did find one of my faves available for download: Saturday Afternoon Fever by Jeremy Brown. I would also love to see all of "Tree for Two" for which Joel Furtado took home three statues.


We did check out the after party, but only stayed briefly before checking out the casino floor -- where hubby quickly turned $5 into $29 then after some more ups and downs still managed to come out $20 ahead. I finally had to hobble to the car when my feet started to go numb in my fancy shoes and we called it a night.

I'm not sure if I'd do it again, but I'm glad I did it this time around. Getting all dressed up is fun, but after five hours I was ready to climb back into my own skin.

tags: , , , ,

11 September 2006

Attack of the Swollen Tonsils!

Not mine, thankfully -- I had a tonsilectomy when I was very young -- but kiddo came home sick early today and clever hubby had a look in her mouth with a flashlight and saw what would be obvious to anyone who bothered to look -- big ugly swollen tonsils. Really yukky.

A quick trip to the clinic confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed some amoxicillin. Poor kid.

tags: kiddo, health.

10 September 2006

Leia, Leia everywhere....

First, I have to "thank" hubby for sending me The Leia Hat (from Bleu Arts). Um.... wow.

Second, I would really like to know what's going through this guy's head, surrounded by oh so many Slave Leia's at Dragon*Con 2006. And if you want to make a Slave Leia bikini of your own.... well there's instructions plus probably too much more over at Leia's Metal Bikini.

And, finally, if you want to assault your ears now that you are bleeding from the eyes.... you could always watch Carrie Fisher thinking about cashing her paycheque while singing, as Leia, in the Star Wars Holiday Special. Ouch.

Of course, my mantra now is that there are just two more days 'til the original versions of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are available on DVD. Finally. ('Bout time, too... our VHS copies are wearing thin....)

tags: Star Wars, Princess Leia.

07 September 2006

Logo a No-Go in Schools?

For its 35th anniversary, Starbucks is featuring its original logo on cups in Washington and Oregon this month -- the one where the mermaid's breasts are showing -- and apparently several schools are freaking out, telling students they have to cover the logos.

I have a suggestion for these schools: order a stack of CuppaJoe Cozies in your school colours. Keep them in the office along side those school t-shirts you offer to cover offensive t-shirts.

(Pssst! This also applies to students -- get your own personal CuppaJoe Cozy and cover any logo -- then you can flash it to your friends when the principal isn't looking.)

tags: coffee, censorship, nonsense, cuppajoecozy

06 September 2006

Grumble grumble.

One thing guaranteed to piss me off about a web site is lousy design.

I spent an hour on chooseyoursongs.com selecting songs as part of a 10 song bonus card from EBGames. When I got to 8 songs in my cart, I thought I should check to see what I had... I looked for a "check cart" button but didn't see one, so I clicked on the "8 items in cart" button. And it EMPTIED MY CART!!!


I actually stood up and yelled, "Fuck you, internet!!" and walked away from my computer for an hour. Now when I try to go back to the site I get a screen that says "server application error." Twats.

tags: rant, poor design.

A Period of Adjustment

So... kiddo's first day of daycare. When I asked the caregiver, "How'd she do today?" I was told, "We had a difficult day." She earned herself three timeouts. One for budging in line (something we have been trying to deal with for a while -- I think in preschool they turned a blind eye to this habit) and the other two for being rude and whiny. She pitched a fit at being asked to try cucumber (something she knowingly eats in tzaziki), she mouthed off at the teacher, and I suspect she put all her drama queen skills to work.


On the plus side, she didn't cry when she fell down the stairs; just got up and kept going.

Let's hope she does better today; tomorrow she gets her first hour of kindergarten.

EDIT: Today, she got one timeout. So far, only she and one other girl have been given timeouts. Hmm. Oh well, at least she was in a better mood today.

tags: kiddo, school.

05 September 2006

Readjusted borders

I saw this at the Map Room (great blog if you are interested in Maps and/or geography, btw); the Armed Forces Journal has a pair of maps accompanying the article Blood borders (June 2006) that reflect both the official political borders of the Middle East, the ones you'd see on any published map, and proposed borders to right some of the wrongs as imposed by "self-interested Europeans."

The article is an interesting read, too, and suggests that a radical reorganization of the borders might help to bring more stability to the region.

tags: stuff to think about, academic

04 September 2006

Lazy Labour Day....

We did a "test walk" today to kiddo's new school. It took 16 minutes, door to door at her speed, without traffic. So we figure, round it up to 20 minutes and that should be ample. Yay!

I spent a chunk of the day shaving the end off kiddo's pencil crayons to write her name on each one... and writing her name on everything else. At least for kindergarten, the supply list is minimal.

Earlier, kiddo and I puttered in the garden. We planted her lettuce (from the Saanich fair) and I removed the remaining aphid-infested broccoli then dug up the potatoes (about 2 lbs, I'd guess). I also dug up the yams... but too early so all the tubers were undeveloped. Bah.

Tonight, I got sucked into the Unofficial Story of Differen't Strokes. Damn, these things are bad (Unofficial Three's Company, Charlies Angels, etc... if it aired from 76-86, it's fair game), but like everything that's bad for me, I just can't stop consuming!! It's like tabloids that move.

tags: day off, kiddo, gardening, television

02 September 2006

Homer (Simpson -- not the Greek guy) said it best

"I don't want to look like a weirdo. I'll just go with a muumuu."

So yeah, I've been searching for a formal dress* this weekend. I am not outrageously obese... but I will admit to being in the "plus size" range. Unfortunately, there was very little choice out there for formal wear in my budget and size.

I started with Value Village. Not a lot of selection... one sort of fit but I decided to skip it. Sally Ann came up empty, too. Later I tried The Bay (at Mayfair) -- nuthin; not a single item of formalwear over size 12/13. Other stores in Mayfair were the same story (or worse). Finally we tried Penningtons. I found two outfits -- one was horribly clingy polyester and more suitable for a summer wedding than a black tie event; the other was .... well.... not good; it puckered in the wrong places and looked like something the mother of the bride might wear.

After seriously beating myself up last night, I set out again this morning. First stop was Full Effect Fashions, a plus size consignment store (where I sold my wedding dress). Four attempts there: one looked like a 1978 nightie, or "lounger"; one clung in a way that showed off lumps I didn't know were there; one was a skirt suit which was looking good until I put on the jacket and looked like a bargain basement real-estate agent; the last dress was perfect, but for my cup size, which overfloweth the design. Sigh.

Next up, Hillside Mall to check Addition-Elle where I found in the back corner of the store four formal dresses, all two sizes too big. When I asked, I was told that the company had stopped making formal wear and that was the end of the stock. She suggested Serena's (in the mall) or Something More (downtown). Well, I tried Serena's but the one dress I could find labelled "XXL" looked like a size 12 when I held it up.

Since we were in the mall, I tried Sears. They had a few "plus size" dresses, but only in the lower end of the plus. I asked and sure enough, that was the largest they had. By now, I was pretty much convinced that everyone in Victoria who was over size 16 shopped in another city, or just stayed indoors.

I threatened to buy a sweatsuit and a Bedazzler.

At hubby's urging, we went to Something More. More, in case you were curious, refers to the pricetag. The one dress I liked and generally fit had a price tag of $256; my second choice was $402. Oh My God. I figured I was doomed to the sweatsuit.

Oh, and I almost forgot the kicker. I had told the sales clerk that I had a black tie awards event to attend. When hubby and kiddo came in, I was in the changeroom. The clerk basically insulted hubby. WTF? He didn't tell me until later, because I would have stormed out. As it is, I made her run back to the stock room about half a dozen times and left without anything; I was feeling bad until hubby told me about their exchange.

Before going home, we went back to Value Village. Where I found three dresses that were suitable, two of which I bought -- a black velvet number that needs some minor alterations for $9.99 and a lilac gown which needs a good drycleaning for $14.99.

Value Village, why did I doubt you?

*In case I failed to mention it; hubby and I will be Press for Gameboyz at the Elans; the Canadian Awards for the Electronic Arts and Animation. The ceremony is in two weeks and will be hosted by William Shatner. Woo!

tags: clothing, plus size, Elans, awards, shopping