I know I ought to be updating more often lately, but honestly, even for the (inexplicably) dedicated readers this blog has, there’s not much percentage in it that I can see. Life is just sort of puttering along – rather like the weather – here @ Shoe Central. Partly interesting, with a 40% chance of amusing overnight.

I did get my Bob & Ray CDs, but would imagine by now that even the most dedicated readers – say, the top one or two – don’t want to sit through another ramble on that subject. Let us just say that I’m having a wonderful time, especially with the ep in which the guys take off on ‘modern radio sales techniques’ that sound rather alarmingly like, well, modern sales techniques.  (“Hello Dave! My, your hair looks so natural and un-patent-leathery!”).

Also, I really must praise the Old Time Radio Archives generally. Barring a mild contretemps with their PayPal page – near as I can figure out, it kept resetting cookies, until I was ready to sob with the sheer frustration of trying to give somebody money for a random set of CDs – their conduct was prompt, professional and polite throughout.
They even tossed in a free Milton Berle CD, which was nice of them. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, mind you (offer it as a premium to my last remaining reader?) but the thought was there. The problem is, my concept of Berle comes largely from one evening when Shoemom threw one of her periodic nostalgia fits and made us kids sit through some TV variety retrospective or another. Yeah, apparently Ed Sullivan’s ubiquitousness extended all the way out to rural Niagara Falls.So anyway, there I was, chuckling dutifully, when all of a sudden this…uh…look, it had a dress on, that was rumpled in all the wrong places – very, very wrong – and its eyes were bugged way out. That’s all I remember. That’s all my brain could process, before Shoemom explained it was ‘good ol’Unca Miltie! Never missed his show!’. And parents wonder how their children come to view their genetic material with deep suspicion. We won’t even get into the whole ‘Howdy-Doody fan and proud of it!’ speech.

Thus there comes a time in a geek’s life when she realises the unexplored bounds of her obsession are growing smaller and smaller, and frankly if she doesn’t find another outlet soon she may be driven to raiding the anime listings at TVTropes, and no offence to – whoops! there goes that last reader! – seriously, I have a lot of respect for anime as a concept. I do. I just have trouble with, say, Tokyo Mew Mew as a particular concept.

Call me a closed-minded philistine WASP; I yet reserve the right to think there’s something deeply unsettling about those weird no-mouths anime characters have. And the bug eyes, that just squicks me right out. Especially on the women – that whole Japanese take on femininity as perpetual-mewling-infant. Is there a manga somewhere wherein all those little lavender-haired ditzes have their consciousness raised and start insisting on sensible pantsuits? Because I think I’d enjoy those results just fine.

So, other outlets. David Copperfield on mp3, that was a lot of fun. Rereading Dombey and Son…not so much. It’s the closest approach I’ve made yet to Dickens’ ‘serious’ novels, and I’ve always felt vaguely chicken-ish about the lack, but it can’t be helped. There is something about his grasp of the fine points of emotional isolation that chills me in a way reminiscent of Orwell, only even more profoundly because more plausibly.

In Dickens, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the more innocent, gentle and good a character is, the more easily they can be discarded, physically and spiritually, on the merest whim. In the comedic novels, these innocents are surrounded by a protective wall of genially goofball friends and allies; I don’t even want to think about what happens when they’re gone.

Anyway, after a few rounds of Dombey vs. daughter, a bit of brain candy seemed to be very much in order. I’ve been working my way through the list of favourite Agatha Christies, and am about three-quarters of the way thru the Mythbusters DVDs, and am beginning to entertain pleasant ideas of new series posts based on each. It’s OK, I don’t have any readers left anyhow.

I was even giving some thought to maybe…possibly…checking out…Canadian Idol again this summer. The ads in the MetroNews just looked so cute and innocent – positively Howdy-Doody-esque, come to think of it – that for a brief moment, killing time whilst in my boss’ office awaiting instructions re: the week’s markdown credits, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia for a time when life was good and writing was productive. What would it hurt?

…That night I exited the subway at my usual uptown stop and was confronted by – well, if you’ve ever wondered what those teenage sk8erbois do when they’re not turning public plazas into road-pizza outlets, I now have the answer: they stand around subway entrances trying to convince people to vote for Idol candidates named ‘Mookie’. Really, flyers and everything.

I didn’t take one.

There are a few other promising developments – personal and professional – in view, but further elaboration will have to wait until I get back from this convention weekend in Kitchener. Say what you like about Jehovah’s Witnesses…hanging around for three days in a conference-centre full of ’em, serene in the knowledge that you’re all riding the same spiritual uplift, is an awfully good time.

Y’see, It’s been awhile since I had a real vacation, and in that time period is contained all the weirdness of this Not-Quite-Laid-Off-Limbo. I’ve been easing my ego into the job-hunting market step by cautious step, applying gentle-but-firm strokes – rather as one soothes down a spooked kitten – and am counting on this weekend to provide the final pillowy-soft cushion for my poor tumbled psyche. By Sunday I expect I’ll have forgotten buzzwords even exist, and thus be able to confront with perfect equanimity. Or something.


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