…and that’s not even mentioning the 3-for-$10 deal on Haagen-Dazs miniatures.

Apologies to the six-seven people who’re probably wondering if I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. Short answer: No. Longer answer: I’ve been working on the snark project described below, and as often happens, it touched off so many unforeseen wellsprings of aggravation that editing the rant is taking more time than actually writing it.

However. I did just want to pop in and provide a capsule update of recent hilights @ Shoe Central, because the more I thought about it, gosh they’ve been piling up:

I’m typing this on my new (PINK!) laptop… well, OK, sort of a subtle rose. Anyway, it is in my lap, on the couch, and it is FABULOUS.

This is not because I’m a spoiled brat — although I probably am — but because the Shoe household has finally decided the lines along which it wants to fracture itself. And one of the other pieces wants to buy my old desktop. More on that later… yes, I know I keep saying that. You know my stories, they’re complicated.

I just bought the entire BBC series of Little Dorrit on iTunes. And have an entire weekend to watch them in. Bliss.

Shoemom is currently out attending the bridal shower of our 83-year-old friend. Her fiance is 87. The wedding is coming up really shortly.

Jasmine is at the vets’ getting fixed. Apparently they’ve stuck her in a little funnel collar thingy because she tried to lick her stitches. Is it wrong that I find this mental image absolutely hilariously adorable?

pity this busy monster,manukind, not

So there really wasn’t a whole lot going on at work today, owing to the pre-Christmas lull setting in – that peculiar retail blank spot where all the spring orders are set and all the holiday marketing is in place, and the order entry staff (that’d include yours truly) is sitting around munching leftover Hallowe’en candy and occasionally twirling around in our chairs in an effort to look relevant.

As you can imagine, this all gets old pretty fast, especially the no-name butterscotch drops. Meaning I basically spent the day on the Internet, checking for election updates on cbc.ca (hey, it’s not irresponsible if it’s a respectable Canadian site, right?) Watching the ebb and flow of comments across the political spectrum started off a train of thought on, of all things, Little Dorrit, and the peculiar nature of Charles Dickens’ genius.

Little Dorrit is one of the most ferociously angry novels in the English language: Portrait of an Author, Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore. More

Picks self up, glances around cautiously…

…So I rustled up a few ‘How to Attract More Traffic to Your Blog’ articles, and interestingly enough, their advice is the same: Start by taking an active interest in others’ blogs, reaching out to those with similar interests, reading their posts and commenting.

Well. Whaddaya know about that.

[blushes slightly]


In other news, och, am I gonna be grateful when this American election mania dies down. It’s starting to affect even the funnest, most lightweight ‘other blogs’ I visit – of all places the Comics Curmudgeon came down with a bad case the other day, and it still hasn’t fully recovered. Snopes.com has been all ‘Here’re the latest outlandishly stupid rumours an hysterically paranoid populace are taking as gospel’ for weeks now. It gets dispiriting.

(If I could persuade myself that the one troll on the CC was putting on an elaborate, Dr. Strangelove-style show, it would make me feel quite a lot better. Alas, my faith is at al all-time low. These people really do hate each other, don’t they?)

Thank goodness for blogs emanating from Australia, is all I can say. Specifically, that of LJ-friend lizbee, dedicated Tudors-watcher. More


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. More

From the sublime to the…uh…

Public-service announcement: Having a Dickens novel direct-downloaded into your brain – via iTunes audiobook – every day, pretty much all day, for a week now, can do very odd things to your sensibilities. Even if that novel is only Little Dorrit, which recently edged out David Copperfield as my Most Favourite Dickens Novel Ever (yes, I’m that kind of killjoy. I also like Mansfield Park better than Emma.)

Seriously. Besides developing the most extraordinary lilting edge to your heretofore flat Canadian accents (“Oh, I say, really, eh?”)  your thought process starts to lilt dangerously as well. All Victorian fiction has that effect on me, actually. After a bit you’re going round your humdrum daily routine in a fever dream of a better and brighter world, spouting off the most amazingly eccentric speeches out of a sort of heroic allegiance to high colour.

As longtime readers especially can be in no doubt, this all has a very bad effect on my already flourishing (or more likely Flora-ing) prose style. With great anxiety I anticipate the day when these journal entries will be so ‘entirely convoluted’ as to seem ‘positively incomprehensible’. “Oh, I hardly think,” that’s another winner. A regular sprightly young Barnacle, that’s me.

Which brings us round – in a sort of spiral, like those kiddie slides – to the whole ‘reprinting the novel here this week’ thingy. I am still working on it behind-the-scenes, honest. In fact, I’m actually excited about it all over again – another Dickensian side-effect; the most inconsequential of obsessions suddenly take on charm and colour when filtered through his worldview.
The thing is, in between ‘doses’, I’ve also been following the budding literary career of my friend
[info]rj_anderson, a pastime I highly recommend if you haven’t taken it up already, and among other good things have noticed that she keeps her chapters safely tucked up behind a friends-only facade. This had not struck me previously, but after some thought is now recommending itself as a comfortable idea. Poor and flakey as my efforts may be, they’re mine, and I’d rather they stay that way.

So here’s my alternate concept: if the readership is interested, as demonstrated by comments to that effect, I’ll investigate a similar setup to Syn’s. Meanwhile, I’ll putter along putting that outline together…and picking up tips from the master. I think I already have a great new way to handle requests from random supervisors, if only in my imagination: “Look here! Upon my soul, you mustn’t come into the place saying you want to know, you know!”