shoebox_dw: (ratatouille remy pensive)

There is a great disturbance in the pop-culture Force.

Michael Jackson is dead. He who has been in my vision for as long as I have been aware of the wider media universe, who has acted first as the ultimate definition of cool, then of wretched excess, then plain ol'what-planet-is-this-guy-from weirdness...isn't there any more.

I did not expect to be nearly as moved by this as I am.

Well, perhaps moved is the wrong word. Something more along the lines of what happens when you try and go home again. Your worldview has been so comfily arranged for so long that when a piece is removed the whole thing feels unsettled for a little while. Farrah Fawcett, who also died today, was undoubtedly a beautiful, talented and courageous lady, and my heart goes out to those who knew and loved her, but she had no such niche in my memory.


The Jackson family apparently took a few stabs at being Jehovah's Witnesses over the years; our belief system revolves around a final resurrection to a Paradise earth. The great tragedy of Jackson's life is that something - a whole lot of somethings, all of which will be lovingly analysed in exhausting detail over the next weeks, so I don't have to - drove him to try and recreate that Paradise here and now, in this system of things. By the time he was done he'd pretty much canonised himself Lord Protector of All That is Pure & Innocent Amen.

As many of your major works of literature have observed, an imperfect human playing God is never a smart idea. Playing God with American celebrity culture for a that's just prime cosmic comedy.

So we laughed - and then cringed, as you do when the joke just goes on way too long, reveals way too much. Then...finally left, shaking our heads.

A lot of us did, anyway. Unfortunately (speaking of great tragedies) a sense of humour is not universal among the human race; never mind perspective. So a lot of other people bought wholeheartedly into Saint Michael. The misunderstood emissary, mocked and bullied by a world too jealous and shortsighted to appreciate his Vision.
This is what I'm really afraid of now. That natural guilt re: slandering the dead will translate into a huge backlash of mindless sentiment. A warm collective glow will arise from the media - which after all has been ready with fists poised melodramatically over breasts ever since the Britney circus - and suddenly the World Will Understand. Perhaps he really was a saint, after all!

Um, no. He was a humongously talented kid that warped into a sad, strange monster, finally unable to cope with reality to such an extent that - guilty of an actual crime or not - he honestly didn't see anything wrong with his taking little boys to bed. I'm not even sure if a proper understanding of what led to all this would be worthwhile, so little of it applies to real life. It'd be like holding Howard Hughes up as a warning example of overwork among businessmen.

He lived, he tortured himself, he died. In at least the awareness, if not the belief, that he has paid the price  and now awaits God's own understanding.

Which is infinite.

Thank goodness.

shoebox_dw: (hello my name is inigo montoya)
I've been frolicking happily over on LJ layout site [community profile] thefulcrum for the last day or so, and have finally settled on this one because I feel like it's my perfect balance between functional and decorative. Also I adore the colours and hug them and squeeze them and call them George.

Seriously, if you're in the mood for a fun, sophisticated premade layout,
[personal profile] grrliz is your designer. She's also got a comm going in Dreamwidth, which is even cooler.

shoebox_dw: (ratatouille remy herbs)
The Grand Day Out, But Not watch with Shoemom & -sisses continues: we've gone from a day of pampering beginning with a champagne breakfast and ending with a fancy dinner to...getting their hair done, followed by a semi-fancy dinner. In less than 48 hours. I'm looking forward to their showing up this aft with a bag of ketchup chips and a home pedicure kit.

Meanwhile. Having already spent a weekend wallowing recklessly in the baroque hedonism that is downtown Montreal - going to art museums and everything - I am strictly persona non grata today. Which is not a bad deal, as it means I now have a long, uninterrupted Saturday afternoon to Get Things Done. Such as:

--Finally knuckle under to mass media conformity, ie. sign up for Facebook. Yes, I discovered there's a Bob & Ray group. Shut up.

--Decide whether I also want to sign up for Twitter. It's kind of pointless really, since my evenings do not - shall we say - remotely resemble those spent in Casablanca circa 1942 ("8:42 pm: Cleaning up the cat's hairball." "8:43: Oh shoot, the cat wasn't finished.")  But it might be fun to live vicariously through the really exciting people. Still pondering.

--Organise my new bedroom. Because the cold is finally better - have I mentioned the cold? No? OK, consider yourself lucky and let's move on - anyway, I no longer have an excuse to still be living in a random pile of stuff. Except that, damn, do I have a lot of books. And all from different genres, which just complicates things no end.

I mean, thus far the mood is Quiet, Traditional Elegance (or as close a facsimile of same that can be acquired from IKEA) and displaying the Star Trek collection would not help any. Nor would Dave Barry, His Collected Works. On the other hand, the kids' classics and mysteries are be a trifle too cozy. What I really need is a carefully-chosen library of quirky-yet-sophisticated works of historical and/or sociological significance...I think I may have grown up just a tad too late, here.

--Organise the approximately fifty billion photos currently clogging my hard drive - isn't it funny, how the desire to take photos on vacation is in direct proportion to how pointless they seem afterwards? I mean, apropos of the art museum, I couldn't get the stills to work without flash so here I am with about twenty short films detailing things like 'That Cool Display of Moderne Chairs'. It's odd.
Albeit I am glad I got the Gainsborough in. Also the 19th-century Japanese pottery. Exquisite does not do this stuff justice. (The day camp in the background, though, could've done without that reminder. "Look, kids, what's this motif?" "It's a fishy!" "Yes! And how do we know it's a fish?" "'Cause it's a fishy!")

--Likewise, there is no longer any room at the inn for the thirty-odd Mythbusters eps recorded off the TV card, so onto DVDs they go. Also, I have to seriously review my need to keep
Big & Small in my life. It may be the funniest, cutest, smartest and charmingest TV series I've come across in awhile (even without the UK-only accents), but it does star fuzzy cloth puppets. You watch the eps on the iTouch in public, people look at you funny.

Or...I could just sit around and contemplate all the fun stuff I have on tap for the next while. Life really is pretty good, chez Shoe.

shoebox_dw: (hummingbird puzzled)
I recently discovered I have remote access to my work email. Meaning I can check it here at home, anytime.

Let me repeat that: I can check it here at home. This is bad. This is very bad, because I am a compulsive Checker of Things. The instant I make what I suspect is a particularly chuffy post I spend the next hour on Statcounter, refreshing madly to see if anyone's noticed it yet. I slip checks of my TVTropes watchlist between sales report results.
And now I have insta-checkable work email. While I admit the novelty of poring over vendor issues at my own pace and place, where NONE OF THEM CAN GET AT ME HA HA HA, isn't liable to fade soon...I dread the day I start feeling the guilt. As in 'Y'know, you really should review those ex-factory dates, you never got a chance to do it today,' or 'It never hurts to check and see if you've missed any urgent marketing deadlines!' If I ever announce that I've decided to renounce the Internet and go do good works amongst the poor or something,you will know the reason why.

Apropos of all this, I am hoping that I have convinced spilleta42's stalker - who gifted me with a visit from the 36-Point Red Font Fairy the other night - that my mighty Check-Fu means I am a lousy spamming prospect. Trust me, kiddo: I can find & delete 'em just as fast as you can post 'em. Besides which I have younger sisters, which means I can recognise immature cattiness at forty paces, minimum.

About the only thing you've accomplished is to deepen my sympathy for your target. Being the victim of this kind of smear campaign is bad enough; that it's driven by this kind of obsessive malice must be hellish.

shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
Another Bob & Ray transcript, mostly because I'm desperate for amusement today. Also it may entertain the UK readership - I wouldn’t have thought the birth of Prince Charles would’ve inspired so much excitement among the republicans, especially not ones broadcasting so close to Bunker Hill monument, but there you go.

After exhausting the baby’s sex, weight and ‘last name’ as discussion topics (“…but Philip’s not a Windsor, is he?”) the November 15th, 1948 Matinee episode segues into a mock program lineup for the BBC, complete with painstaking Professor Higgins-style diction. Which I can't duplicate on the printed page, unfortunately, but as an artifact of inter-allied relations, it’s still…well, it’s something.

Ray: Oh, I say, this is the overseas service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Cheerio!

Bob: We’ll have talk at twenty-one hundred hours.

Ray: Talk on the new prince, bless his 'eart.

Bob: Gramophone recordings from twenty-two hundred hours.

Ray: There’ll be a nature talk by Sir Cyril Bludd at thirteen-thirty hours.

Bob: Then we’ll have a program called ‘English for the Morons’ at one hundred – er – oh-one…hundred…[trails off, grumbling]

Ray: Sir Chauncey Dimwit will play the oboe for a half-hour.

Bob: Right. Basil Brain and the BBC Trio will give out with sparkling rhythms from the cinemas at oh-four hundred hours.

[Break for Fatima cigarettes commercial - a real one - starring Basil Rathbone.]

Bob: And now to continue with our program roundup for the North African Service…

Ray: Oh, I say, are we still rounding up, and all that sort of thing?

Bob: Yes, yes, still rounding…[trails off, grumbling] We’ll have gramophone recordings at oh-two-hundred hours.

Ray: Oh, I say, that’s jolly.

Bob: Yes, a jolly program.

Ray: Followed by a five-minute roundup of the weather.

Bob: And then we'll have the highly interesting ‘Fun With Algebra’ program.

Ray: Followed by a five-minute review of the weather.

Bob: Then we’ll have talk.

Ray: And gramophone recordings.

Bob: Followed by more talk.

Ray: A rock-garden talk.
shoebox_dw: (hp snape get off me)
OK! So now that we've established that I vanish from people's thoughts the instant they take their eyes off the page...

Seriously, I'm not particularly bothered. The first and only question was probably going to be 'why do you keep asking for feedback when you manifestly aren't doing anything lately to deserve it?' and then I'd have to pull out the  'awww, pity poor me, I got a cold on my vacation and am sitting here sniffling as we type' card, and nahhh..

So, moving on now.

I did just get back from a weekend in Montreal. Sniffling all the way, but it was still so totally worth it. It was originally supposed to be a four-girls-together deal with Shoemom and the -sisses, but - as usual with our plans - things started crumbling with all the uncanny precision of a mathematical formula. Do we all want to go? Well, if we can't decide on that, maybe we should all stay around here and do something exciting - get tickets to a show, and dinner afterward? Whoops, we've been dithering about seat prices too long, show's out. How about we make appointments for a manicure? Oh, maybe that should happen a bit closer to the assembly...

The rewards of experience: very early on in this process I grabbed my stake and held on to it, through accusations of selfishness, unreasonableness and being anti-family, and the net result was that I spent a fab weekend roaming around drinking mochas in open-air cafes, visiting art museums and eating filet-mignon panini sandwiches, while everybody else...visited the local zoo with the nephews. I'm still debating whether to tell the one sister what a find the cheap little hotel she discovered turned out to be.

Not that I realised this while hiking up to it with my pack on my back, reading the billboard on the club down the way: Hommage a Metallica Aux Alcoholica. Rough translation: Oh, man, what the Hell have I got myself into?

It got better, though. A lot better. If Toronto is the civic equivalent of a marriage - quiet, conscientious, dignified - then Montreal is the random fling; life lived right out to the hilt, scruffy and exuberant and quite incredibly sophisticated. To the Quebecois mind there are just so many more interesting things ahead of caring about details like...oh...wearing a bra, for instance. Beautiful black woman coming down the street towards me at one point, tall, angular, dressed impeccably in a blue business suit with the jacket open to show her tight something out of Matisse by way of Gauguin.

You cannot be shocked - or rather you can, but there's no point, because caring about your shock is even further down on the list. So your best bet is to just go with it, to learn to appreciate the myriad ways that joie de vivre is worked into everyday living. I don't know if I could handle it on a continual basis, what with being a deep-dyed Anglo-Saxon and all, but as a weekend fantasia it was splendid. How is it possible that we should ever want to lose a place in which, having purchased a box of chocolates, the salesgirl casually mentions that the boxes are all hand-painted by 'the artist we're currently showing'  - gesturing at the walls, whose abstract prints do indeed match the one on your box?

Thus the weekend, and also some really great chocolate. Thing is, here I am now at home, the last day of the hols, meant to be a space in which I regroup and gear up for the eleventy-billion emails I'm facing tomorrow (at least ten billion of which will be 'Why didn't you handle this incredibly important thing before you left?!?)...and I'm feeling more like I could use another week. I just can't get untracked, somehow. I'm still sniffling, it's gray and drizzly outside, and the apartment's still a bare disorganised mess, and...and...grumblemopegrrrmuffleschmff.

I think I need some more chocolate.

shoebox_dw: (gf enlightened)
Gacked from [personal profile] lizbee , because I'm kind of blocked re: posting ideas just now:

The problem with LiveJournal is that we think we're close, but really, we know nothing about each other.

So I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me, something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about, or something you've always been curious about but have never asked, or something completely silly that you'd like me to answer for kicks. No limits on the range of questions, either: ask me anything you want to know about, whether it's a fannish opinion or a question about a fic of mine or trivia about my real life or my thoughts on events in the offline world.

shoebox_dw: (kitty sock puppet)
I am moved.

Not so much in the emotional sense, although the sight of the Ikea dresser still to be put together on my new bedroom floor certainly isn't helping. And the huge blowout fight with Shoesis on the actual day...erm, yeah, we've got past that and everything. She's too busy planning out our new 'French country' living room, anyway.

Then there are the cats. Who remain deeply unsure about this strange new joint which contains all the old familiar smells, but...not. I can sympathise with their distress, but that doesn't mean I enjoy being waked up by a fishy little tongue to the nose at 2am to be 'told' about it.

Speaking of being told about it, our new next-door neighbor is an, um, sprightly little elderly lady whose first line of conversation was our respective star signs. Told politely but firmly that we don't believe in that sort of thing, she replied, "Oh, you sure will if you spend much time with me!" Oy.

It's an odd building altogether. Small - only three floors - tucked lengthwise between a massive highrise and elegant row houses. Located on one of the more exclusive streets in the area (one down and around the corner from our ex-address) but seemingly only slowly becoming aware of it, renovating unit-by-unit as the people who've lived here for decades move out - often in coffins - and new faces move in. That is, people who aren't ninety-seven or so, and thus have no walkers to shove under a wobbly bathroom sink (true story from our friend's reno).

There are a decent handful of us modern young things, by now, enough that I can get an open wi-fi signal on the iTouch, but we are by no means in the majority. Especially since the geriatric contingent has all the dogs. Heavens t'Betsey, do they have dogs. Dogs and fussy balconies, those are the hallmarks. The astrology lady has a black poodle with a red scarf round its neck. She exercises it in the parking lot below us.

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shoebox_dw: (butterfly resting)

So I'm sitting here, and I wanna do a Bob & Ray post to cheer myself up, but I don't really have anything. (Other than some mild curiosity about what a 'magic lantern' might involve, in 1940's usage. In the new ep I listened to today, the organist asks Ray if it's true that Mary McGoon is selling them, and suddenly they're both giggling, and Ray-as-Mary goes off on a 'giddy' falsetto ramble that has nothing to do with anything and is clearly totally baffling Bob. It's all about as vaguely disturbing as these two ever got.)

I'm sitting here a week until moving day, in a bare-ish small room made ever smaller with a scatter of cardboard boxes. For the past month we have been living in this manner, oddly reminiscent of the
Collyer brothers only with less agoraphobia. Some of the boxes are full - mostly of my favourite things - but more are empty, and all are skewed oddly in and around traffic areas. I have tripped over more cardboard in the past six weeks than...well, than most people do in six weeks, anyway. Probably in their entire lives.

Which is about as long as I'd rather go without staring at cardboard. Hideously depressing stuff, all sort of blank and...beige. Except the ones from the liquor store. Even though this is only the third move I've made in the last dozen years, boxes with wine labels on the side still raise the hackles of the thirty-odd Shoe family shuffles prior to that. Endless cast-off boxes hauling the flimsier family possessions to...houses that were still under renovation by other people when we stayed in them...OK, actually just one of those. Still, random guy tromping across our kitchen for a couple months drinking beer and muttering, that was memorable.

*shakes self* Right, enough of that. Think of new furniture, in a new room - my new room. With a door. Also, a walk-in closet, have I mentioned that? There are new shelves in there now. And new bathroom fixtures, and new appliances. I mean, the appliances aren't in the closet, of course. They're in the kitchen. Which makes it even nicer. Think too of the friends next door, with whom I am (finally) going to see Star Trek next Tuesday. And the hot potato salad Shoemom is making for the painting party Saturday.

So I'm really having angst for no particular reason at all - she tells herself, firmly. I am simply tired and cranky and blocked on that last game level on the iPod and just got back from Wal-Mart. Before that, there was an entire workday getting nothing at all done, because of a missing sample that the vendor claims is the only thing standing between fit approval and production, and why the hell are they entrusting us with their only sample in all of everywhere to begin with, don't ask, because I don't know. I am at a low ebb.

So I have been spending most of my time out in the newly summery twilights lately. Hovering somewhere in the gap between wishing fervently that something - anything - might happen, and realising that even then it might not bridge the whole. I am thinking that this may be one of the things purgatory means.

shoebox_dw: (fool on his throne)
I have never participated in an 'anon-meme' before, and I have no idea if this one is supposed to cover fanfic only. However...


...I think they make it so huge and obvious just to gauge how desperate you really are.

shoebox_dw: (icon)
Haven't updated in awhile, and as dedicated readers might guess, that's largely because not much of note has been going on. Had crazy week at work, got sick in the middle of it, so didn't see the new Star Trek movie after all, which put paid to my vague plan to wait until then to update.

So that's my big content note today: Shoe Does Still Intend To See New Star Trek Movie Soon, film at 11. If your marrowbones are somehow not thrilled through yet, I could go on to describe the excitement of discovering that Sobey's grocery now does hand-made potato chips (crisps, for the UK audience).
Seriously, they slice the potatoes fresh daily, douse 'em in sea salt, and hey, diet doom. These things trigger way down on the primal goodness level - somewhere just alongside Cadbury's Creme Eggs. On the whole it was probably a good thing that cramps kept me from even looking at food for a couple days. The spell had almost worn off...then on my first tentative totter out into the fresh air, I encountered: BBQ flavour. Curse you, heartless spud-slicers!

This sort of thing is especially tricky to negotiate just now, because I have reached an interesting stage of my diet where my appetite keeps insinuating - usually while standing in front of the Starbucks counter - that I've done so well, denied myself so much, don't I think I deserve a treat? Well, yes, OK, I concede, a very small treat. Oh, go on, says my appetite, a couple extra calories won't hurt now...And so on. I have been forced to take drastic measures: I tried on a truly gorgeous Mexx dress the other day in full, cold and deliberate knowledge that it was and will remain horribly unflattering until I lose that last ten pounds.

Cruel, yes...but effective. Perhaps a little too effective; my appetite is now arguing I need potato chips to console myself for the mental image of self in that dress. 
shoebox_dw: (Default)

Yes, they've given me two more. Which makes three, if you're paying attention, 'cause apparently everyone on my flist really is that well-connected.

At any rate, on the off chance you haven't got in with the cool kids yet, here's your big date with destiny. Leave a note in the comments below - which I just realised I can't screen from my iPod app, so don't include your email addy just yet - and we will make suitable arrangements.

Posted via

shoebox_dw: (peanuts hope)
I've been waiting until the flist reactions came in because I was so afraid, given how massive a reboot really was needed, of all the things they might try to 'modernise' TOS. A mad villain with a perpetual deformed grin bent on undermining the Federation was the least of it.

But according to the reviews thus far, it's OK. They did make one huge change, of course, but apparently only to create an alternate timeline. Somewhere, somehow, there still exists an entire planet of people wearing zoot suits led by Vic Tayback. The reason I will probably end up paying good money to see this thing in-theatre is that the creators, judging by their film, seem to believe that too.

That they comprise most of the writing team from Transformers: The Movie surely doesn't hurt. As per that flick, nobody is under the impression that they're recreating the Big Bang - and with Trek, boy the temptation must've been there. Imagine, being handed the keys to one of the great pop-culture franchises - entities -  of the 20th-century and being told have at it. Being known as the people who saved Star Trek. Even I'm sitting here a little awed by the idea, and I have seen the ep where they turned Quark into a woman.

And, y'know, I think they just might have saved it for reals. Because from all reports, as per Transformers, they don't reboot so much as pay loving homage to what worked (like, obviously, Spock) and fix some of the stuff that didn't (like, obviously, the stupid Captain's Dog) and just generally get things back on track. Which is so cool. Because so much of TOS did work, and so much was still to be explored when it ended, and NextGen basically threw it all out in favour of All Hail the Noble Federation Rah Rah Rah.
Now, I loved NextGen for what it was, which at its best was a damn good action-adventure series, and I loved Patrick Stewart especially for forcing past Roddenberry's perfection of the average and making Picard believably noble. Everybody else...well, they hung out on a starship reminiscent of a Comfort Inn lobby for seven years and nobody so much as suggested a repaint. Something always a little off to me about a Trek where the main cast works best as a backdrop/facilitators for the really interesting stuff.

DS9 fixed most of that, and brilliantly in spots, but they had a much different story to tell. Voyager just sputtered along on reputation and technobabble, and let it lie where it gently collapsed, I suppose.

I cringe a little, whenever I hear anybody going on about Trek's 'vision', and how sacred it is. Because really, very little about TOS was ever coherent in the way Babylon Five or Battlestar Galactica are. Gene Roddenberry had some decent ideas about where humankind was and where we needed to be going, but he also had a space cowboy riding the final frontier with a pretty girl at his side and his fists at the ready. The scripts were intelligent, erudite even, but the execution was sometimes unbearably campy. (Reading the James Blish novelisations - based off first-drafts - well before seeing the eps may give me a sensitivity to that particular phenomenon. Some of the most outre eps were once the most brilliant.)

But the incoherence is precisely why TOS not only worked but became iconic. It had no clear sense of what to be About, so it just went ahead and was about everything - like a certain race of two-legged mammals we all know far too well. Life, the Universe, whatever was on tap that week, Original Trek met it with cockeyed heroism and humour and willingness to throw itself into the philosophical breach. The sheer unbridled humanity of it all has probably never been matched in any dramatic series since.
It was, in short, a celebration of just how screwed up we actually are. The hope lay not in our perfectibility, but in our willingness to try. And at the centre of it all stood a tall, elegant, coolly unimpressed figure able to save us from ourselves whenever needed. Including when we needed to reassure ourselves that we really do matter, which is of course pretty much perpetually. Look! Can't even figure out emotions, the poor sod! Boy, good thing for the galaxy we're out here, huh? Yippy-kay-yay!

OK, yes, I'm one of those annoying Trekkers who can never quite shut up. Short version: There's this new movie. No dog. Lots of Spock. I grok.
shoebox_dw: (gromit assistance)

Today the diligent social scientists here @ Shoe Central present Helpful True-Life Survival Tips for the Absent-Minded, first in a (now that I think about it) hopefully occasional series: 

  1. When using the washroom for the main purpose, do not – repeat, NOT – stick your iPod in your lowered jeans pocket and hope for the best. Trust us. We will skip tactfully over the details; let us just say that that particular ‘kersplunk!’ is unequalled in the annals of hideous realization…except possibly by the ensuing visual. The old gag about the prospector bit in the butt by a rattlesnake comes to mind. 
  1. OK, if you hesitated and now are lost, despair not. For lo, upon entry into your nearest Apple store the clouds will part, sunshine will stream through, and all will be right with the world once more. There may even have been a heavenly choir involved, although our lawyers wish us to add a caution that we are not a theologian. 
  1. Because, upon hearing your sad story (modified to avoid the REALLY INCREDIBLY EMBARRASSING PARTS) they will: issue you a replacement for less than half-price. No cables or ‘phones, just the iPod, which is all you need (unless you’ve done something in the washroom which, frankly, is your own problem). Those of you wondering when the choruses come in probably do not live with the (Shoe)Mother of All Financial Advisors. 
  1. Confronted by your honesty – except in the matter of bodily fluids – the store associate will want to thank you. This is normal. They have skipped the step where they inform would-be freebie hunters that sorry, they can tell there’s water immersion damage, and then the FH violently tries to reduce their ability to breathe or procreate or both. Given the depth of gratitude on display to us, whatever happens, we are sure it is bad. 
  1. This is the really tricky part. Do NOT get so wrapped up in the gratified glow that you neglect to notice, as you leave, that a) the counter edges are very sharp, and b) your kneecap is in close proximity to – OWIE! OW OW OW OH ^#%&#@! After that, all you can do is stagger out of the store, past all the bemused nerds, your face struggling grotesquely between beatitude and pain. Come to think of it, this may have been the source of some S&M spam we received later that evening. 
  1. Upon arrival home, limp over to computer, plug your New Little Treasure in, and discover that it restores from backup. Including those district assembly notes you forgot to email to yourself. Thus rescuing you from a starring role as Technophile Doomed by Her Own Hubris, and in fact making you look to awed observers like…well, like a daughter who didn’t throw district assembly notes into the toilet.

 Which is a good feeling. Trust us.

shoebox_dw: (oh the irony)
I mean, seriously; I just get (mostly) finished setting up with a friend's invitation and guess what lands into my inbox.

So I now have a spare, free to good home. Drop off your email addy via screened comment below and I'll turn over the code shortly thereafter, or as soon as I get home from work tomorrow evening, and you can join in the fun. Still a bit graphically primitive over there, but all the features work a treat so far - including the importing* and crossposting - and it really does seem like they've given the LJ concept  a few genuine upgrades.

*For text and images, at least. Users with Youtube-heavy posts might have to do some serious initial backtracking.

shoebox_dw: (hello my name is inigo montoya)
I hadn't initially thought of setting up over there, but clearly all the cool kids were doing it - including the very kind [info]tree_and_leaf , who gave me this invite - to the point where I was starting to seriously worry about my entire flist migrating over and leaving me babbling to myself. (More than usual, that is.)

So here I am, and it's a nice place. I need to tweak a few cosmetic details, and add some links, but that's easily enough handled. *sits back comfily and waits for the revolution to roll in*

shoebox_dw: (kitty wheee)
I hadn't initially thought of setting up over here, but clearly all the cool kids were doing it - including the very kind [personal profile] tree_and_leaf , who gave me this invite - to the point where I was starting to seriously worry about my entire flist migrating over and leaving me babbling to myself. (More than usual, that is.)

So here I am, and it's a nice place. I need to tweak a few cosmetic details, and add some links, but that's easily enough handled. *sits back comfily and waits for the revolution to roll in*

shoebox_dw: (girl w/pearl earring)
...well, mostly sunny anyway. And as I pointed out to[personal profile] shing at the time, walking by the River Avon in the rain isn't a bad thing aesthetically. Think she would've been more impressed had it not also been raining on us at the time, though. So would I, come to that - having perhaps just slightly overdone the socialite wardrobe. The chiffon petals on my sweater were getting really damp. At least the swans kept their distance...

Anyway. As noted, we were in town for the festivities surrounding[personal profile] rj_anderson 's North American book launch, which was a great success. Albeit as far as I can tell she really needs to work on her auteur 'tude, because she insisted on being characteristically down-to-earth and gracious and witty to everyone, which is probably going to backfire big-time when she starts dealing with the movie rights.

For the moment, thought, schwing. The report from the source is here, and has pictures, including the one of the yummy cake, which happened after the equally yummy pizza. My kind of party. One of the blue cake butterflies (they're actually rings) is sitting on my desk beside me as I type; my conscience is hastily laying plans to donate it to one of the little girls in our congregation...while other sections of my brain are looking sceptically at the My Little Pony Happy Meal toy sitting beside it.

On a more adult level, we also had the welcome chance to check out the UK edition - the one actually called Knife, with gorgeous cover design by Brian Froud. It haz shiny!

We also met the author's family, who are...well, the kind of family you'd expect to have produced the author of a modern-day faery story. Right down to the cat Snickers, whose pics do not do justice to her beauty, and who gives the distinct impression of being a walking LOLCat waiting to happen. Just lovely people, all of them - not least because amazingly tolerant of overdressed strangers with impaired social skills scoffing kiddie cake decorations. Then again, at regular intervals one of the actual kids would come racing through the room playing superhero and/or demanding more cake, so I was feeling right at home. In all respects, a great time.

We also had a decent time in Stratford itself - dashes in out of the rain and all - [ profile] shing  being the really splendid type of travel companion who responds to 'Hey, let's check out this Inuit art gallery!' with 'OK.' 
They've done a nice job of keeping the place antique but not overly twee, ie. no umpteen pubs called 'The Queen's Legs' or like that. Quite a pleasantly diverse set of shops, really, including one called 'The Chocolate Barr' (which must be mentioned because yes, I can in fact be bought off with smoothie samples), and a couple really decent bookstores [glances over at sale copy of Antonia Fraser's Mary, Queen of Scots now sitting on desk, sighs contentedly].

And above all, I now have a minty-fresh copy of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter sitting on my desk, with the author's signature in front and my name in the acknowledgements in the back. This was not something that ever would have occurred to me, five years or so ago, hanging around a mall with Rebecca waiting for Kalan Porter to appear; although her having brought choc-chip cookies did give me an inkling that here was someone out of the common...

...yeah, pretty much.
shoebox_dw: (butterfly gold)
[ahem]. Consider this latest layout switch a sort of tone poem on the theme of I Have Had It Up To Here With Trying To Find One That Has All The Stuff I Want. The last time I thought I'd finally nailed it, but *sigh* no, got restless after a few weeks as usual. So until the day I become a CSS master, it's minimalism or bust here @ Shoe Central.

Meanwhile. Am heading out tomorrow with friend [ profile] shing to attend other friend [personal profile] rj_anderson 's book launch party in Stratford. (The book is called Knife in the UK and Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter in North America, and if it isn't sitting on your preteen daughter/sister/friend/random acquaintance's shelf yet, what are you waiting for? Another glass unicorn? Please.)
I love this. Besides being all excited for RJ I mean. I have been going around all week announcing to friends and co-workers that 'Oh, yes, I have a friend's launch party to attend this weekend...' and secretly feeling all smug. Except around the co-worker who's a published poet, that didn't work so well. I do have the promise of an invite to her next party, though, so it's all good. My career as a socialite is well and truly launched.

Besides, I also love road trips, and at two hours or so from the big city, Stratford qualifies. It was named quite deliberately after Shakespeare, complete with a River Avon, and swans. This is all I remember from my last trip aged nine, the swans. Because as it turns out, mute swans - you know, the ones with the cute orange beaks, right next to the unicorns on the shelf - happen to be just about as tall as a nine-year-old. And they really aren't mute at all, except that instead of honking, or any other normal waterfowl sound, they make this incredibly creepy hissing noise. Really really softly, so you don't actually hear it until they're bearing down on you wings outstretched and it distracts you just enough that WHOMP! right into the ornamental hedge. The next time I ran across a sonnet, I had great difficulty in restraining a bitter chuckle.

So that's about it, as far as a status update...what? Fiction? What fiction? *eyedart*
shoebox_dw: (pbs pig yessss)
...the PopMatters one on the film Holiday, that is.

Yeah, I know, it's been awhile. Here I was patiently waiting to be notified the article was up, like last time, and turns out it's been on the go all along. Maybe that's a service only provided to novice authors, or ones who bug their editors to distraction (if there's a difference!), I don't know.

Anyway, there it is, and I'm pleased as a very pleased person over it. Looking at it in a pro-type setting, it has...well , a professional-type air. It sounds article-y. It resolves any last lingering doubts in my mind; I can write. The Bob & Ray thing was neither fluke nor (total) mania. From a non-fiction standpoint at least, I have it under control.

Aw, man, that's a nice feeling.


shoebox_dw: (Default)

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