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  • Have to think up stuff for self to do. Tempted to just give in to daytime TV and snacks.
  • Tendency to check Craigslist thousands of times per day – purely to check if anything legitimate has been posted in jobs area yet. Also to feel righteous indigination at the gigs area AKA “everybody wants something for nothing” pages. People: my portfolio is full and my wallet is empty, dig?
  • An office mate that spends half its time snoring and the other half licking my toes. He also tends to shed on my pants.
  • Refreshing e-mail mercilessly.
  • Taking breaks “just to think” but end up eating leftover gyozas and making tea.
  • Dog (AKA office mate) appears to be getting so used to having me around that he is developing separation anxiety.
  • When there is really nothing to do, I feel guilty about reading books in the middle of the day, even if they are professional ones such as On Writing Well.

I really should be writing.


They have a pretty active lifestyle or at least they don’t stay still for long up there. Here is a list of their activities as I infer them:

  • Laundry (they enjoy it so much it’s the first thing they do in the morning, and when they get home)
  • Dropping things
  • Closing doors with authority
  • Assembling furniture
  • Putting up pictures
  • Hosting bouncy-ball parties
  • Practicing technique with wheeled suitcases, in case they go somewhere
  • Vacuuming
  • Races from the living room to kitchen and back again and/or line dancing
  • Moving furniture
  • Breaking in shoes
  • Long jump
  • Opening and closing drawers

Watch a movie once a while, you crazy kids!

I know its getting to be spring when:

  • My inbox is crammed with invitations to book parties and launches and festivals.
  • The herbs on the porch get a visit and a “hello darlings” before my husband does.
  • I start getting snarked off by people saying “So what are you going to knit now that its warm?”
  • Restaurants boast about their patios.
  • The branches of cherry trees dip all the way down to the ground, they’re so heavy with flowers.
  • My feet stink and the air smells great.
  • The closets need cleaning and my links list needs a makeover.
  • Ugh! Fucking tourists! Learn to walk!
  • The teenage girls must not be so cold now, sporting their teeny hoochie jackets and jeans. Add sunglasses and voila! spring!
  • The days get longer and everyone is out walking the seawall in the evening.
  • Deadlines for everything but taxes seem more flexible.
  • From fiscal years to photosynthesis and pollen counts, everyone calls in sick and then begins again. Yep, we do it every year. Spring has no memory, or at least I never remember what it’s like until it comes around again.

Go play.

I was just wondering – when you think out loud or tell yourself you want to remember something, is it your habit to say:

a) Mental Note…

b) Note to Self…

or c) something else entirely?

I use “Mental Note” – what’s your style? just published a great article on something I had been aware of but didn’t know had a name: tagging. Maktaaq has posted links to things like 43things, but the article lists a bunch of other fun stuff to try as well:

I love all these new ways to organize and share information, and waste time too.

For a long time I have thought about answers to a simple question: Why are publicists so mean?

Exhibit A: I attend a folk concert to write a review for a local arts website. Its my first time to get free tickets in return for writing, so I don’t actually call the publicist to confirm that they will have (two) tickets waiting for me. At the box office (table in a high school hallway), the person barks “Who are you? What are you writing for?” Finally they give me the tickets with a huge sigh and a few chastising words about “following up”. I decide I’ve had enough humiliation and slink away in defeat.

Exhibit B: The intern-turned-publicist at the book publisher I worked for as an editorial assistant/receptionist is 5 or 6 years younger than me. In her emails to other people ie media contacts she refers to me as “my assistant” or “my intern”. She gets bitchy when I don’t write press releases fast enough for her liking, although she rarely deigns to tell me when the books are being released. She likes all her phone calls screened and announced. However, as time goes on, she becomes just a bit warmer. No telling if its just for show.

Exhibit C: I get invited by a friend who works in radio to a launch party for a cookbook. The author is chef and owner of a trendy tapas-and-cocktails joint. The door is manned by a guy with a list, and once inside I am chatted up by Publicist #1. She is young and friendly, and I mistake her for another partygoer until she casually reveals she does PR for restaurants. My friend hasn’t arrived yet, and when I emerge from the ladies, Publicist #2 comes up to me. She sizes me up, asking my name and business, without actually saying “Why Are You Here?” What she actually says is “I invited MOSTLY media so I’m just seeing where you fit in.” I stutter something lame about my friend and his prestigious media job, she gives me some wine and lets me loose. I see her later throwing arms around various other coiffed and well-dressed lifestyle journalists and restaurant people, posing for pictures.

Exhibit D: Not a publicist, but a vigourous self-promoter. During the brief time I worked in her shop I endured listening to her tell customers about all her famous movie star friends and assorted “Important People I Know”. Although I wouldn’t call her a bitch, I certainly felt most insignificant and underachieving in her lair. Sometimes I would see how long I could go without talking before someone there would actually talk to me. It still irks me to see how much media coverage she gets locally. See above comments about lifestyle journalists.

See, I’ve been watching the new show The Club lately, and isn’t that Allison (Exhibit E) chick the biggest huggy-kissy bitch you ever saw? It just seems strange that the people who are supposedly people-persons and party-lovers can be so breathtakingly mean and thoughtless. I can only guess it comes from that other part of the publicist persona that is always focused on Who and What is Important. As in who is rich, fashionable, trendy and influential.

I wish it was easier to find people who wallow in anonymity. I wish, after all the hard work of creating is done, there weren’t petty little status seekers who just swoop in and ask if you’re on the list. Publicists, don’t be bitches!

Although I didn’t bother watching any of the presidential debates, I have been following the coverage of the “bulge” in Bush’s back with some interest. Tried to upload some pictures in case you haven’t seen them, but Hello! does not seem to want to be friends with Blogger yet. As would be expected, the various theories of what the heck could cause a rectangular bump under W’s jacket have not been covered in the mainstream news; were it not for my twin obsessions of Daily Show viewings (Jon Stewart – poster boy for yummy smartypants men) and I would have no idea it was even there.

Salon has done a few very good articles covering the question of what the bulge could be caused by, including one where they talk to experts in the fields of in-ear prompters, self-protective gear as well as the bloggers who believe Bush was wired in the debates. If its true that he was getting help with his homework, it would explain why he never seems to be able to just spit out a whole goshdanged sentence all at once.

So, here’s a brief list of stuff that makes me feel smarter:

the weekend edition of the Globe and Mail

CBC TV documentaries, especially The Passionate Eye

the Tyee

Geist magazine

CBC Radio

On the other hand, I don’t really understand this whole Slate thing I keep hearing about. All their links seem to lead to MSN stuff.

Gotta go. Must knit.

My new knitting hobby is an excellent excuse to watch a lot of bad tv and fun movies. Since I’m often looking down at my work while laying about on the couch, I like things that don’t require much visual attention. Here then, are some viewing suggestions:


I won’t try to pretend this is all obscure and cool stuff, because knitting is the excuse I use to watch all the trashy crap I can.

Elimidate (you don’t want to look at the skankfest anyway)

The Surreal Life (the second season currently playing on Much More Music is much more fighty and conflict-driven than the first, thus fun to listen to)

Saved By the Bell

Iron Chef (The original Japanese version, not the sucky Iron Chef America. Allez cuisine!)

Airline (For those who can relate to the hell of customer service)

Pretty much any celebrity-gossip type show, especially the non-stop parade of them on Much More Music.


These are not bad movies per se, but uncomplicated enough that you don’t need to pay very close attention to the plot, and good enough to watch until you know it by heart. This is mostly girly stuff too.

Grease (yeah, you know the words)

Sixteen Candles

She’s All That

Clockwatchers (its about temping, so its got that mindless repetition thing happening)

Dirty Dancing

The Craft

The Wedding Singer

Viva Las Vegas (or whatever your favourite Elvis movie happens to be)

Jerry Maguire (as with all of Cameron Crowe movies, its got killer dialogue and soundtrack)

If nothing in my collection appeals, I usually flip on TBS and they’ve always got something Hollywood like What Women Want or Rush Hour on. Sometimes they’ll even play a movie twice in a row.

If you are more of a social knitter and in the Vancouver area, come knit with me and others at fine pubs twice a month.

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