shoebox_dw: (ratatouille remy pensive)
Sat up with a cranky computer Friday night and most of Saturday (barring an unpleasantly cold and dingy foray into preaching service). Pages won't load, downloads crawl along then corrupt. 'Course, I only discover that last bit after I uninstall current antivirus program, because I thought it had been disabled by a killer virus.

Got a sick nervous headache.

Dragged self - in a medicated stupor - to a friend's card party anyway, after friend made wistful noises about uneven tables when I called to cancel.

Resumed computer ministrations immediately on getting home, wound up awake at 2:30 AM trying for the literal fourteenth time to get fresh antivirus to download.

Finally fell asleep to docudrama about the Boston Strangler, had horrible nightmares.

Sunday morning, woke up early, antivirus suddenly downloads like a dream. Just happy enough that I don't have worse problems to avoid punching holes in monitor with shards of juice glass.

Promptly get into huge fight with Shoesis over the usual random failure to respect. In the middle of it all, Shoemom suddenly bursts into tears, on startled questioning confesses she's in a mood anyway because she's sick and tired of city life. We apply usual therapy - ie., take off for Niagara. One thing leads to another, and we're discussing moving as far out to the country as a transit commute will extend.

Arrive home all excited, hop on Net...discover that despite being literally just down the highway from each other, the area we want to move to and the area I work in aren't connected by transit.

Oh, well. At least Shoesis eventually apologised. Eventually.
shoebox_dw: (garfield monday)
OK. So my entire f-list is all being reviewed in the Financial Times (of London!) and musing on historic inaugurations and such, and here I sit, staring wide-eyed and blowing the equivalent of one of those little party tweeters: Whee! I have a new iPod!

Which is not to say that I don't lurve my new 'iTouch', which is quite simply the coolest thing ever in the history of electronic toys, not excluding the tabletop Pac-Man arcade game I got when I was twelve. Once I master the complex and bewildering world of Wi-Fi connexions, I will be set for many, many long months of blissful time-wasting. There is even a little app that will let me post to this journal on-the-go. Bliss.

Still...there is something lacking here, namely: a backdrop of time so productively and interestingly used that wasting it is an awe-full concept to begin with. I will not say I need to get a life, because I do after all have enough of a one that I now own an iPod Touch, but it could clearly stand some improvement...

...just the sort of thing that needs some intense musing over a Starbucks espresso truffle and a new playlist, methinks.
shoebox_dw: (pbs happiness fairy)
Because...um, well, basically because I'm an evil bitch who doesn't care about all the sweat and blood Shoemom expends to keep us in the financial black. But I'm sure she'll get over it eventually.

I did have a really good sob story this time, if I do say so myself. Just completed five years of service to the Hudson's Bay Company, and have the commemorative plaque and pin to prove it. (One of the niftier little side benefits of working for a 338-year-old enterprise: the commemorative pin shows its beautiful coat-of-arms. I had half expected it to have stripes.) Plus, one of my supervisors asked me to fill in for him when he goes on vacation in February.

So it seemed an opportune moment to self-reward, and I've needed a PDA for some while now, so the fit was a natural one. The iPhone is much too expensive when you add on the charges, and anyway I don't want a cell phone that does anything more than make phone calls. Did a bit of online research, and everyone - I do mean everyone - sang the praises of the Touch. Such solidarity is rare enough to be un-nerving; I was starting to think it maybe dispensed soma on the side.

So Shoesis gets the old Nano to take with her on her cleaning jobs, and I get to feel a comfortable glow of sisterly solidarity. Now all I have to worry about is finding wi-fi spots here in Toronto. From what I can tell, it seems a complex business. Perhaps the universe's way of ensuring Shoemom gets her own back, after all...?

shoebox_dw: (gf amazing talents)
...well, actually the best way involves cozy-fresh jammies, some crackers and ginger-ale and a new Jane Austen DVD. Once that gets old, however, there's always changing your LiveJournal theme.

Nice, no? It's part of my ongoing 'go bold or go home' plan. I wanted something a bit more sophisticated, as translated largely to: not pastel. Plus, with this particular theme ('Smooth Sailing' if you're interested), you can play around with stuff like fonts and colours. There's a nifty colour scheme over on my old message board that I'm thinking of importing eventually.

[yawn] Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to see if there are any crackers left...

shoebox_dw: (garfield monday)
I was over puttering about my WordPress mirror blog and this was the banner announcement:

LiveJournal Migration Made Easy

Never miss a trick, those guys.

In other news: I have the best parent on Earth. One who, on a dreary Sunday morning, is capable of announcing, "How about we have johnnycake (cornbread, for you non-Easterners) and bacon for supper tonight, after the meeting?"

Then - this is the really amazing part - she actually makes it. Yes. We had hot johnnycake, slathered with butter, and bacon for Sunday dinner.

I don't deserve her, I really don't.
shoebox_dw: (mythbusters problem)
Really, lemme work this for a bit, this is a very big moment for me. I am still quoting Barenaked Ladies lyrics, that is how behind-the-memes I traditionally am. We won't even get into how the only cute guys in my icon collection date back to the Eisenhower era, and frankly weren't all that cute even then (unless we're still counting Dork Cute...are we?)

No, for once I managed to align my stars correctly with the Net fairies' goodwill, or whatever it takes. While all about me is woe and anxious scrambling to avoid a looming LiveJournal meltdown, I find myself sitting prettily avast a WordPress mirror blog, started a couple months ago. What's more, in order to create the WP site, I had to find a quick and simple way to import my LJ posts, thus ljarchive already installed and ready to queue up at a moment's notice. For this brief, shining moment, I am a preparation goddess.

I wish I could say all this was the result of shrewd intuition. The truth is, as noted at the time, I just wanted to play around a bit with 'real blogging', with the focus on content rather than the comments. Mind, I do like the community aspect inasmuch as it allows you to more or less instantly access new and fresh worldviews, without losing control over your own individuality. While I don't have a lot of LJ-friends, they've all been carefully chosen, and I'd miss every one.

So in the event it all does go crash, I've been carefully gathering up contact notes, and provided my own above. On the off chance you like what you've been reading, please do c'mon over. I may even watch a couple Futurama eps for inspiration...uh, or is it Heroes, now?

shoebox_dw: (i need a hug)
I have put myself on strict notice: no writing anything past...well, yesterday, actually...unless it's a)to do with my formal PopMatters column proposal or b)the start/continuation of a novel.

(In the meantime, this has led to some interesting conversations with the family members who've been asked to help refine the column idea: "Why'd'you want to write a column? [Shoemom, inevitably chiming in: "Yeah, it's not like they'd be paying you!"] You should write a novel, like we've always wanted you to!" Me: "Right, any ideas in that direction, then?" "Sure...uh...lemme get back to you!")

So I went with procrastination plan B: Switching up the LJ colour scheme. There's only so long I can stare at unrelieved lavender, no matter how lovely the shade, without getting antsy. Was thinking about a really radical change - black with yellow accents, say - but chickened out at the last minute. Haven't done anything to justify that level of hey-looky-me just yet.

...[sigh]. So, back to staring rather helplessly at Word. Anybody have any tips for overcoming Fear of a Blank Page, they'd be much appreciated.

shoebox_dw: (gf amazing talents)
So  I was feeling vaguely depressed yesterday for several small reasons that need not concern us here...

...Well, OK, one of them had to do with the fact that my ouchy wisdom tooth now won't be coming out for three more weeks. Also, there was the rather unsettling discovery that a big chunk of those Statcounter hits I'd been cherishing were in fact mere random visits to friends pages. Yes, kids, I'm just that petty.

Anyhoo, I decided to frisk myself up a bit generally by setting up on WordPress. Pretty much the identical blog, mind; a mirror I suppose you'd call it. I plan on cross-posting for a good while yet, and maintaining my friendslinks for long past that.

It's only...well, I've been wanting to sort of step outside the LiveJournal mode for awhile now. I love a lot of the features here - the allowable visual creativity is amazing, for starters - but the overwhelming focus on community isn't really serving my goals, anymore. Basically I wanted to see what it felt like to be a Real Live Blogger. Eventually, I'd like to try hosting it on my own website, containing other writing as well.

That's the other part of the equation. I have given up on denying I like feedback. A lot. If I'm going to branch out wildly in all literary directions - well, I've got the ideas, I've almost got them organised, and the only excuse left is whether or not people in that wider world would be interested. I feel like the WordPress setup might be easier than LJ's to gauge that.

So...uh...yeah, as you were. Oh, if anybody knows of a good cross-poster or other WP widget, by all means share.
shoebox_dw: (gf amazing talents)
Act 1: (Enter the Author, wringing her hands against her lavender voile breast.)

Forsooth, I am sad, for I have lost my iPod Nano. My trusty little blue 2G that has been my companion for lo these many days of toil, lightening the burthen of feeding data into the most unkindest of machines. Without it, my mind is bleak as a desert sun, a plain arid and tempest-toss'd; in vain have I searched for an oasis. (Seriously. When you find yourself trying to remember the names of saltwater taffy flavours because you think 'that'd make a really cool LJ entry!" you know your dependence on modern entertainment media is terminal.)

Act 2:

But soft! What wandering, wavering light is this that shines through my Franz Ferdinand-less gloom? 'Tis Shoemom, waving the card provided by men of finance for just such curing of melancholy - foolish mortals are they, who allow men to satisfy their fondest longings on their account! Prithee, however, Shoemom has seen writ plain my torment, the exquisite pain of deprivation and want (also, the pain in her butt caused by my non-stop attempts to whine in Olde Englishe). I must hie me away to the shoppe where electronic delights flow into mine ears as the cinnamon syrup flows onto a Cinnabun!

Act 3:

...OK, getting bored now. Point of the exercise is that I'm now sitting here gazing fondly at a new silver Nano 3G. I didn't think I'd be this impressed with the new models, 'specially as I've got not much use for video capability. There's gotta be something to be  said for taking a device already perfectly designed for pointless distraction and shamelessly 'upgrading' to add even more pointless distraction. Ooh...pretty album covers! Number of songs on the Playlists menu! Cute pink leather case...

I always feel vaguely dweeby when interacting with Apple tech - like I'm stuck in a perpetual Mr. Dressup episode ("OK, kiddies, see the playlist? Now we're going to draw a picture of you changing the song...")  - but am too chicken to saddle myself with anything more complex. Pointless distraction should not come with a manual of more than ten pages, this is my new motto.

Headphones, on the other hand, are a problem. My ears are small and very narrow, not good candidates at all for the signature iPhones. I had finally found the perfect pair of seriously cool JVC marshmallow-foam earbuds, now vanished into the ether along with the 2G itself - unless my theory of the disappearance is correct, and the cat is now sneaking off into one of those corners only cats know, the better to groove to Rockin' Robin or something. (Geddit? Cats, robin...oh, fine then.)
Anyway, upon stuffing my ears with the new iPhones this evening, I noticed a definite unease in re: the sound quality. [Sigh] Onto the list the JVC buds go...along with the new backup hard drive, and the new fall slacks, and the new handbag, and that Mexx blouse I fell hopelessly in love with on the way home from work this afternoon, and...geez, I'm exhausting myself just imagining the whining required. Maybe I better go distract myself with that video capability after all. Or,
wait, Cinnabuns...mmmmm....
shoebox_dw: (garfield camera)
...teach me to try posting and packing at the same time. I accidentally left out one of the niftiest outlets of all.

It being the month of June, my adventures in flower photography have expanded to take in the local rose...well, the local rose whichever-random-homeowner-doesn't-mind-me-standing-in-their gardens, to be exact. Most have been pretty gracious, although I did get a couple odd looks on Broadview trying to get the perfect closeup. You'd think that young family never heard anyone muttering encouragement at a tearose before.

Anyhow, the gallery is expanding at such a rate - also, it must be said, LJ's image-insert capabilities have been giving me so much grief - I went rustling round the 'Net looking for photosharing opportunities, and settled on Photobucket (Flickr being a trifle too eager to drag me headlong into social networking opportunities. I'm afraid I'm becoming a bit of a Net misanthrope, lately.)

Thusly I present my gallery-in-progress. Still pretty raw as yet, I'm hoping to tidy everything away with labels and such as soon as I get a spare moment. In the meantime, enjoy. Feedback welcome as always...
shoebox_dw: (pbs surprise)
...think of this new colour scheme as my little 'Cuckoo!'

It's even Shoemom-approved (actually, it's the one she wanted me to go with originally).
shoebox_dw: (garfield rabid moth)
So this first weekend of summer has been, in the main, wholly satisfying.

Turns out that a family in our congregation has long-ago connexions to my brother-in-law. As it happens, they're the only family in our congregation, kind of a lonely situation regardless of prickly self-sufficiency. Faced with two sets of young parents and two sets of small boys about the same age and energy levels, Shoemom and I - for whom rushing in where angels fear to tread is a mere recreational diversion - decided to take a chance, mix well and dump into the zoo.

Did it work? Yea, verily, it reached Seventh Heaven levels of heartwarming. Especially when the yearling snow leopard wandered over to the viewing area and put these enormous foofy paws up on the glass in an apparent effort to come and play with these equally active young human critters. Suddenly I was experiencing fulfilment on a level with the Empire of Oprah...and it all made so much sense...Luckily right about then somebody hit somebody else with a can of Silly String, or who knows what you-all might've been confronted with this entry.

*******************************************
See, as you may have noticed, I've succumbed a step further into the LiveJournal ether and broken out the icons - a few I've made myself, and several others plucked from various fansites. Given that my current  Entry of Actual Importance has run into some...ah...technical difficulties, I figured distraction via random shiny things would be a most excellent route to take both for reader and author this week.

Besides, as I quickly discovered, icons are fun all on their own, as shortcuts. They're able to illuminate odd little corners of my psyche that otherwise would have to be awkwardly shoehorned into larger posts. Besides which...well, c'mon, Pig as the Happiness Fairy from Pearls Before Swine...!

I got so excited at the possibilities, in fact, that once I had the knack of searching I went on a bit of a spree, happily downloading dozens of little clevernesses from random sites...scattering promises to credit hither and, uh, yon. Of course, I didn't do anything sensible like save the site handles in the filenames for later reference, or anything. Thinking is for weekdays!

Thus, let me issue a blanket thank-you to the generous souls responsible for the Pearls, Get Fuzzy, Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes icons - many of whom congregate @ [profile] comicstripicons  ; you are artists all. The Garfield icons come from this amazing site; I love that this artist contrived to find bits from when the strip was in its prime (yes,it did have one!) and might be back.

Ratatouille and Toy Story will be appearing courtesy [profile] hobbitholes   (who does have the endearing habit of tagging his filenames) and [profile] ushitora_icons   .

Most of the rest are courtesy the comprehensive and well-organised Muses' Realm. The remainder - specifically the ones featuring Bob & Ray (from their TV show), my cat Lucy, Ed the slacker bunny and Holly the pink princess hare - are my own creations (that's Shoemom's hand costarring in those last two, incidentally). One of these days I'm going to master the art of adding dialogue to them, at which point more of my floral pics will also show up.

And a long-overdue shout-out to [personal profile] rj_anderson , who took time out of her insane schedule to create the loverly shoebox graphic that's served as the default around here until now. It's still going to pop up now and zen.

Finally...I understand requests are considered polite LJ-quette, so will just conclude with an appeal at large: if anyone has or knows of anywhere I can get more Pearls icons, please let me know. Meantime, I'll be off plundering the comics.com archives. I have a sneaking suspicion that that strip contains every nuance of feeling I may require, around here. 
shoebox_dw: (mythbusters problem)
In re: the call to cease and desist posting for this Friday to make a point to the LiveJournal TPTB...include me out.

As snopes.com never tires of pointing out when an appeal like this makes the rounds, a one-day-only boycott of anything is basically kind of stupid. (While I'm on, check out their clear and concise rebuttal of internet petitions, as well.)

Essentially, the problem is this: Boycotts work by demonstrating that the consumer is willing to go without the product to make a point, thus depriving the producer of income or similar need. Seeing as how nobody's planning on actually cancelling their LJ accounts (paid or otherwise), or even foregoing posting until their demands are met...well, whatever makes you feel good, I guess, 'cause it sure isn't going to have any demonstrable effect on TPTB.

Note that I'm not saying there isn't a cause to be fought here. If nothing else, the new ownership group has behaved in a fairly ominous fashion, as far as their desire to gain the trust and confidence of the masses is concerned. I'm just saying that I don't fancy a Noble Gesture of Defiance that ends with the tyrants simply sitting by, tapping their foot and glancing at their watch.

Interlude

Mar. 18th, 2008 11:33 pm
shoebox_dw: (lucy)
Public-service announcement: As you can see, 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...)

Anyhoo, apologies for the abrupt switches in mood and tone here since, but the butterfly layout only comes in so many colours, and the sheer foofiness of the previous one was really starting to bug. As a buyer commented re: a pair of similarly lavender slacks today: 'You might as well have flames running up the sides, because there is no way in hell anybody's gonna take those seriously."

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
shoebox_dw: (garfield well-informed)

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

--I need - I mean, physically, I need - to help [personal profile] 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.

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