Because you (sort of) asked for it: The Sixteen Random Factoids Meme

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough icons to support the current hot LJ meme, which is kind of a shame, because a) it’s really cute and fun and b) I have an entire folder of stolen… er… anyway, I have a lot of really nifty icons squirreled away (including a couple that actually involve squirrels) and by the time I get around to upgrading my account the meme will have drifted off.

Thus I gacked this alternate meme from LJ-friend [info]kalquessa. It’s not current or hot, but I figure it might be good practice for this whole ‘personalised’ thing, of which I’ve been told this journal specifically needs more. I’ve been concentrating so hard on removing the rambling I really haven’t had time to relate the stories of meaningfulness; then again, it was hard enough coming up with sixteen short notes of interest. So it works out all the way around, really:

1. The reason Shoedad doesn’t show up much (if at all) in these pages is because a) he died just about two years ago, and b) he had voluntarily absented himself from his family – wife, three daughters, three grandchildren, elderly parents – for about a decade before that. I mourn him now not so much as a beloved father but for the potential for same that was lost. *considers* Yeah, someday I may need to write an entire post about this.

2. There is dust all over my keyboard. I hate that. Actually, I hate dust in any form, because it is simoultaneously so revealing of what a sloppy housekeeper I am, and so easy to ignore. “It’s just dust,” I say to myself. “Am I really going to let a few airborne particles get in the way of genius? Or, for that matter, the new Nero Wolfe DVD?” And the next thing you know, I am the poster child for Save Us From This House. Frustrating.

3. I am the only person I know to have been kicked out of two Canadian Idol fandoms running (for Tyler Hamilton and Kalan Porter, if anybody cares). Basically, for hanging around long after it became clear I didn’t fit in, and being unbearably superior about it. Still…the Dr. Phil argument was cruel and unusual provocation. And I don’t think the vicious PMs were at all necessary, either. 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]

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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

Peering through the cyber-trees, trying to find the forest…

So about midway through the short sabbatical from writing to concentrate on dealing with some other stuff, I check back and realise the cliffhanger’s another oddly prophetic comic strip. I am sort of enjoying how the PBS posts have become markers for these little breaks in the process…it seems so appropriately random…but, uh, everything’s fine, folks. I just thought the strip was amusingly reminiscent of the way train whistles make me feel sometimes. Really.

Anyway, here I am back in the saddle again, ready to supply all your pointless rambling needs! The long-awaited Mythbusters post – look, I’ve been away, humour me for a sec, OK? – is in the pipeline, also another edition of the Occasional Christie. I just need to do a little cranial housekeeping first. Two weeks sans snark outlet has left it seriously cluttered up in here… More

Creative excuse-making 101: The internet ate my temp. Or something.

Cool random linkage of the week: From LJ-friend  briansiano comes this lovely clever little time-waster, riffing off famous fantasy first lines. (In the inevitable guess-the-source game, I made about 75%.)

Speaking of random postings…when I chortled at that PBS strip below, I had no idea it would prove prophetic. I probably should have, given I was about to deal with Bell Canada, but there you are – I’m ever the naiive trusting type when it comes to telecommunications giants who have my Net access in their hands. It’s my own personal kryptonite. “Oh, yes, please please please take wads of my money! You need a firstborn? Hey, fork over that list of approved adoption methods!”

The coherent version of this story begins when we recently tried to switch phone carriers while retaining our internet service with Bell. After all, we’d had no complaints…until now. I do not at all wish to denigrate the inhabitants of whatever fine Southeast Asian nation now handles their phone support, so let’s just say there is apparently no close translation for “Yes, we are switching phone carriers and would like you to set up a dedicated phone line for our DSL service”, let alone (a day or two after this was supposed to have happened) “No, we didn’t want to set up a new account, we wanted a new phone line for the old one!”

Anyway, after several phone-hours of runaround, we called the new carrier, all humble-like, and said “Um, can we please have an internet connexion?” and they said “Sure, take this setup CD and expect the guy at 11am tomorrow [Sunday].” And lo, without further fuss or pother, it was so. Thank you, Rogers Communications; you may be an equally uncaring, slipshod monopoly as a cable carrier, but as a Net provider, I have nothing but praise to heap at your feet. P.S. – Shoemom just lurves the new AOL-style customisable browser, too. After I spent an entire evening customising it for her, but still. The ‘Mountain’ template is “so relaxing!”

My other major excuse for not posting as much as I should this month involves the office situation. No, not The Office situation, although I freely offer myself as a consultant next time they want to explore the depths of the complete and total chaos that results when a six-person admin pool is reduced through various comings, goings and crises to four, then three, then two, then…yesterday…one. Sorry, there is no short version of this one. If I had to suffer through it, you have to read it, capisce?

Couple of background bits needed to fully appreciate the following tale of workplace woe: a) we’re a busy women’s fashion buying office for a major department store, meaning we admins provide support for a gaggle of great buyers who nevertheless have no clear idea what our jobs involve, and b) ‘temps’, in this context, refers to whichever random summer student the agency decides to send. We’re really lucky if they have a basic knowledge of Excel, let alone the complex spreadsheets we work with. More

Sometimes, you just have to concede.

Interlude

Public-service announcement: I’ve decided the ‘paid-LJ’ option is about all the excitement I can take for the time being. I mean, seeing as how it took me like an entire weekend to convince my accountant – aka Shoemom in full-bore “Fine, then! Just go spend money, you – you money-spender, you!” mode – to let me have the c-card even to that extent.

(Seriously, she’s a sweet woman but at even the bare suggestion of parting from a penny does this Jekyll/Hyde thing that makes Scrooge look like a bumbling amateur. And since we as Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas…)

Otherwise, not much to report. Ooh, except that the Agony Booth finally got around to reviewing Battlefield Earth, which is pretty much made of win. Lovers of snark everywhere, this is one experience you should not miss. If you’ve got the stomach (and the few hours) for it, the best way to get the full effect is to follow this review of Travolta’s Folly up with Ken Begg’s at Jabootu, to catch some precious little stupidities the novices on this Team Booth missed. I don’t really blame them though; there are so many…

Also, I just wanna take a sec to mention that the new Hershey’s Kisses – well, new to me anyway – with ‘cheesecake-flavoured truffle filling’ are way yummier than their name deserves. Almost makes up for the fact that here it is just days before Easter and I can’t find those little mini-Mars bar or Dove caramel eggs anywhere. It’s just, like, Cadbury-o-rama, and frankly I’m not all that crazy about Cadbury chocolate, it’s way too rich and heavy.

Of course, I am resigned to all this, because a lifetime of experience has taught me that whatever commercial foodstuff I happen to take a special shine to is automatically added to some sort of cosmic Too Much Fun list and disappears from shelves pronto. Sometimes within weeks. Sorry about that, fellow Stouffer’s Roasted Red Pepper Rotini lovers. You may want to stock up on the Thai Ginger Beef now, and avoid the rush.

Anyway, speaking of Easter, or more accurately why I don’t speak of it…yeah, meme article coming soon, promise. Possibly tomorrow. For now, as you may have gathered, I need sleep.

i can haz ee cummings?

I wasn’t going to blog anymore this weekend, but a couple things came up:

–I need – I mean, physically, I need – to help [info]tree_and_leaf share what is possibly the most gloriously, insanely epic literary project ever in the history of the Internet. Look, I don’t have time to explain, I’m busy reading William Blake in haxx0r. Just go visit this link right now, ‘kay? (Unless of course you already have, which is a good chance since Dr Who probably factors in there someway, in which case you can just chuckle indulgently at my newbie enthusiasm.)

–I’m thinking about transferring this journal over to my own domain. Of which I will be master. Hah! (That gag is still funny, right? *makes mental note to watch at least one TV series made after 1995*)
Seriously, though. I know this comes off like I just woke up bored today and decided I’d like to have my own website, but…uh, well, so how is that not a valid reason, anyway? Besides, all those bizarre 3D icon ads are starting to wear on the only nerve not currently occupied keeping the cats out of the mini African violets I picked up at Canada Blooms last night.

So I messed about a bit with the LJ paid signup page, ran into some difficulty, and while waiting for an answer to my support email started idly browsing other options. Turns out there’s a bewildering variety of hosts out there, many of which do not have a monthly payment plan, which dampened my zeal a bit. Apparently it’s either buy the cute spring trench or convince myself this blog is worth that much in maintenance fees, and while writing is of course my true passion, spending another spring trying to look hip in an Old Navy hoody is my true nightmare.

Still…it would be kinda fun to be able to have my very own Net sandbox to play in, so I’m kicking it around a bit. Any suggestions/cautions/ideas welcome, of course.