Friday, October 31, 2008

Bah Halloweenbug

Well, I've started a new job. This was just week one, finished. It was intense. Lots to remember, faces to remember, names to remember, a cheery disposition to keep up even though all I wanted to do was scream or run to the bathroom and have a good cry. Ok, it's not that bad. Just another change in life and a transition to get used to.

So in addition to the whole job thing, I got thinking a lot about image and how it's so important to project "professional" once you enter the working world. All this translates to employability. I thought that it would be more lax in the dot com world, but at the end of the day, it's still a business and business casual reigns supreme.

It's not an easy transition for me since I'm pretty low-key and into comfort. I may also be stuck in a halfway point where I still enjoy youthful clothes, but I can't necessarily pull them off in my day-to-day work world. There's this girlness that I can't seem to shake, and maybe it's more about a mentality that needs to be shaken.

I used to have a shoe mantra that if I couldn't run in them, then I couldn't wear them, which is why I rarely own heels. I have never even tried on a pair of stilettos, yet they are the shoe that comes to mind when you mention the word "style". I don't think it's possible to be considered a style icon if you're someone who wears flats. It's kinda sad really, how there's only one kind of "style" but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

In all my years, I've owned four pairs of heels. One of which I bought this year. I think I'm going through an image anxiety transition. Clearly the jeans and t-shirts aren't going to cut it anymore yet I'm at a loss as to what is "professional" and still a personal style. As hokey as this is going to sound, What Not to Wear is exactly the kind of show that would be beneficial to someone like me. Ugh. I can't believe I just said that. Shoot me now.

Oh yeah, and I hate Halloween. I usually get costume performance anxiety. There's way too much pressure to come up with a costume, and I never do. I almost considered wearing a #11.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What the...?

Well, I guess it's good to get the kids involved and informed about politics at a young age.
Lion Brand Yarn has some free patterns on their website for the U.S. electoral candidates. My question is: Why is McCain smiling and why does Obama seem to be scowling?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pictures and blogs, oh my!

Lately I've been obsessed with a few photo blogs. There's something nice about having a strong visual to mull over while doing temp work. :) In no particular order:

The Sartorialist Maybe it's because it's starting to get cold, and I'm pulling out all those sweaters and sweaters for some reason always remind me of runways and fall collections, but I love this blog. What I like about Sart's work is that he 1) takes beautiful photographs and 2) he doesn't do it with any kind of pretention. He simply appreciates good fashion and beauty for what it is, not because it's trendy or hip or cool. He also has some thoughtful insights he adds from time to time, which leads me to believe that fashion isn't always bitchy.

Sleeveface "one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion." Brilliant idea by Carl Morris and John Rostron. People hold up album covers to their faces and dress accordingly to the album to match up their hair/clothes/environment to the album. I do believe they've launched a book as well! I think I've found my Halloween costume this year.

Boing Boing had some excellent posts last week. One of my favourites was The Brokers with Hands on Their Faces Blog. It's quite a reflection of the times. If you're anything like me who doesn't know squat about economics or business or trading, it's kinda cool to see the "human" side of finances. It's not all just numbers and dollars and cents, I guess.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holy cats, Invisible Publishing is producing some most excellent work! The small press is focused on publishing emerging writers and has already published several collections of short stories and a few novels. They're based in Montreal and Halifax and feature writers such as Devon Code, Stephanie Domet, Anna Leventhal, Sue Carter Flinn and loads more. I read Homing by CBC broadcaster, Stephanie Domet as well as In Transit, which features a thwack of short stories about nomadism/travel. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Today, I just picked up Fear of Fighting by Stacey May Fowles and Marlena Zuber, and I love, love, LOVE it. It's kind of eerie how accurately it describes my life. In a nutshell, the main character, Marnie, is in her 20s and still trying to figure out her own identity while getting over a broken heart. It's spooky because at some parts, Marnie's words mirror my own paranoid/sad/depressed/self-actualizing thoughts. I'd definitely recommend this book and all of Invisible Publishing's delicious offerings to anyone who enjoys reading works from a cornucopia of talented, fresh and cheeky writers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Your throwup makes me throw up

Let me be the first to say, I will eat my own damn words. Toronto does dance. The proof was in the pudding. The pudding of last night's show at Lee's Palace. Edmontonian (represent!) Cadence Weapon rocked the house and ran, jumped, crawled and flailed on stage all the while egging on the audience with his hip hop beats---courtesy of the dj who's name I can't recall...Noah? Noel? His usual partner-in-crime, Dj Weez-l, wasn't with him this time around and the sound was a bit more mashed up and less scratch as it is with Weez-l.

The sound at Lee's was shit (as usual), so you could only partially hear what Cadence Weapon was rapping. And with an artist like Cadence Weapon, it's important to be able to hear his clever lyrics. I had a hard time catching his Edmonton references, and that was a crying shame. He did his shout outs to Juliann Wilding and Nik Kozub though, and at one point, perched himself on the shoulders of localster, Henri Faberge. Cadence Weapon was sporting the best outfit...white jeans, black runners and a white shirt with a gold image of Barack Obama and gold lettering that said, "Change. Yes, we can." Priceless.

Local electro duo darlings, Woodhands opened, and more than sufficiently got peeps moving and shaking.

Top off Cadence Weapon's set with some kind of weird impromptu shirtless mosh pit consisting of three dudes dancing like it's disco and a cover of the Stooges' I Need Somebody and call it a night. Gear!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So you think you can dance, Canada

Apparently not in Toronto. I went to see Stereolab at the Phoenix last night, and despite their most excellent pop-y sounds, only pockets of people were shaking their moneymakers. Toronto's notorious for having hard-to-please crowds, hipsters standing around like stern parents with arms crossed and slouching posture while bands jump, beg, and plead with music to implore us to move. Not happening.

The show was so, so, so good. Stereolab was really solid, and singer Laetitia Sadier was shimmying on stage, so there's really no reason why the crowd wasn't dancing either. At one point, Laetitia did this cool thing where she managed to maneuver her hair into a twist, and it stayed up for most of the song without any clips or elastic bands to hold it up. That girl oozes coolness with her sexy French accent and euro-awesomeness.

The set was solid, as they showcased more of their pop-iness. Each song was consistently good and mind-blowing. It's no wonder they've been around since 1991.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Adventures in Tempdom

I've been doing this temp thing for a while now. My first stint was over a year ago, and I ended up getting a three-month assignment at a medical organization. It was fine and dandy and really good to get a semi-steady paycheque, but I thought now that I'm done school and moved back to T-Dot, I should be able to find something in my field. Of course, with things like rent, food and student loans, I've resorted to temp work once again. This time around, I've taken on smaller assignments--gotta keep searching for that dream job, right? So far, it's been up and down.

For one thing, some places treat you like shit. Employees know you're not around for long, thus it translates to either a) you are invisible, and your existance calls for no recognition or b) you are expected to know who every single employee in the frickin' company is and memorize the thousands of permutations and combinations of extension numbers. Of course the other temp experience I've seen is c) people are so incredibly nice to you and realize you don't know anything that they tell you you're doing a great job even when you've transferred their calls to the wrong person. C's are few and far between the jungle of A's and B's.

Don't get me wrong, temp work can be great if you're in between gigs or have something else that is your main passion on the go. There are certainly good opportunities to network and keep busy. In my case though, I'm networking in the wrong fields, and despite the money, it's sucking my soul and regurgitating back a cynical, negative puke experience. Barf.

The pic is from Marty Gordon, and his blog is

Monday, October 6, 2008

YouTube: I love you

Oh my freakin' god. I may be appreciating this waaaaay too late considering this video was made a while ago, but damn!

Kid Koala got his distant cousin, Monkmus to do this video, and I am floored by the end product. The song's called "Fender Bender" and it's from Kid Koala's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome album. The music is tight, the illustration is tight with just the right amount of humour and emotion. Hurray for Monkmus! I just learned about him from the latest copy of Giant Robot, where there's an interview with Monkmus. It's great art like this that makes me think all is well with the world.

Here's another amazing animation I found. A friend posted this up on his Facebook page ages ago, and I fell in love with Yuri Norshtein's work. Even the voice of the mole is comforting. Now I know the world will be okay.

And finally this little gem my roomie and I found on Bravo the other day. Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow and Richard Pryor as The Wiz. Need I say more?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Moshi moshi

Is Shampoo Your Mullet not the most hilarious blog name? Can't say I care much for the blog, but the name is gear!

Sooo, I'm trying to get a landline for my house, and everyone I tell this too wonders why the hell I would want to do that. I just don't want a cellphone anymore. I'm on a pay-as-you-go cellie right now, and it drains my money like nobody's business. I also refuse to be locked into a contract for two to five years. I like the affordability of a landline and the fact that I can't always be reachable. Hell, I even want a rotary phone if possible. Call me a Luddite, but I like the idea of a home phone. It's not like people have to constantly be able to get a hold of me, and I can chat for as long as I want and not be dependent on the time of day. Plus I'm home a lot, so it's not a huge problem to just call me there. Owning a landline is not like owning a cellphone. To me having a landline is like owning furniture or having a car. There's a permanence that goes along with it. The phone is set up in my home, my abode where some of my most prized possessions live. People lose cellphones all the time, but how often do you lose a landline?

Apparently getting a landline has proven to be quite a challenge. I've hit a few roadblocks on this bumpy communication highway. First off, I can't find a phonejack anywhere in my place despite the Bell guy telling me there's at least two. Yes, I've got glasses but my eyesight can't possibly be that bad so as to not notice a jack in the wall. I don't understand how this can be. My landlady lives downstairs but chatting with her is delphic since she doesn't speak much English so I don't know if they just had jacks and did renovations and removed them or whether these jacks are hiding in secret holes.