Metaphorically. It's still pretty grey here.

But for some reason the universe has been aligned into slices of happiness for the past few days. Yesterday on NPR in the morning all the news was good. Maybe if you to listen to NPR, or news, regularly this isn't so unusual. But I usually listen for about 15 minutes in a sleepy fog and it's usually a really depressing way to start the day. But yesterday it was Jill Carroll being alive and free, a local county coming in on-time and on-budget for a 9-year transportation project, and Governor Schwarzenegger and the California electorate having reached an uneasy peace. Today, it's finding a jacket at Macy's* that comes close to the Evil Willow jacket I have been coveting for years... in my size and 50% off. And I'm not coughing hardly at all any more.

Sometimes it's the little things.

* Ever since my Mum told me about the Department Store Food Chain in the U.S., I've been sort of sensitive to whether I'm going to the "right" store or instead if I'm shopping in a place where only old insane bag ladies would shop. This is pretty ridiculous, I know, so don't start, and I also know what it says about my fashion sense that I don't think I could tell this by looking at the actual clothes, but instead have to surreptitously peek at fellow shoppers and try to judge their Old Insane Bag Lady quotient. But this is getting way too deep into my private neuroses, so I'll stop.

... so the corpse sits up and says, "Do you have anything to stop this coffin?"

I don't remember the actual joke, exactly, though it's implied from the punchline. My sickness has morphed into a persistant-tearing-hacking-coal-mining-smoker thing that is getting seriously old. Buckley's doesn't touch it. A pack of Fisherman's Friends barely took the edge off. Two packs of Chloraseptic Relief Strips helped only as long as it took for the numbing gel to dissolve.* It might be time to test out this wierd HMO thing.

We watched "Thank you for Smoking," which I do not recommend to anyone who is an ex-smoker or trying to quit, because it will probably make you want to smoke.** But it is a good and very funny movie, more about truth and perception than smoking. And I thought my coughing just added to the cinematic ambience.

Amusing links:
Google Fight (this is probably old, but I just discovered it. Again, I remind you that sickness makes me regress)
The 80's Tarot
Inexplicable Objects
Useful German Phrases (this can't be real. Can it? Nah. Can't be.)
Useful Latin song translation

* So these things are menthol/benzocaine versions of those breath-minty slips of gelatin that you put on your tongue and God forbid you should get stuck on the roof of your mouth. That goes double in spades with the medicated ones; I had several misfires that resulted in numb areas of my hard palate and gums, which felt interesting but did damn-all to stop my cough.

** Or maybe not. Upon reflection, there are not many scenes of people actually smoking, which is very funny in the context of the movie. I still thought about lighting up, but then, SuperSize Me made me want fries. I'm just a patsy in the hands of the hidden persuaders.

I am sick. I am sick as a sick thing.

I suppose it's about time; I haven't suffered real illness for over a year (headaches and attacks of the collywobbles aside). So now I have a full-blown head cold that might just turn into a lingering sinus infection. It's bad enough that I broke open the specially smuggled imported Buckley's Mixture.

I blame the Buckley's for the following (WARNING: JUVENILE HUMOUR AHEAD). I read yesterday about a game that helps pass the commuting time; take the model name of each car you see, and prefix it with "Anal." So I played that on the way home. OK, maybe it was just funny to me.*

How are you all doing?

* "Anal Civic" being the first, of course (a very specific part of the Body Politic, I suppose) but "Anal Kompressor" nearly made me drive off the road. Sounds like a cabaret act in 1930's Berlin.

In a complete bizzaro-twist, we had a lovely weekend and now it's pissing down rain.

The weekend was so nice that I actually got a pretty bad sunburn from being outside all day Saturday without sunscreen (it's March! Who needs sunscreen in March?). Saturday was a terrain-bee hosted by a friend of ours from R:tAG's workplace. He wanted to make a jungle, so he invited a bunch of people over to work on his jungle and/or finish up projects of their own. It was really quite fun; got to show off our terrain and steal learn tips and techniques from other terrain builders. I finished six tree pieces of ours and a jungle piece for our host, who had set up two tables in his driveway for us to work on. Working outside was nice; no worries about paint or glue fumes, access to various powertools* and you could ruffle up static grass just by holding it up to the breeze. The downside was fending off the occasional passerby who thought we were holding some very odd and specialized garage sale.

Sunday we saw V for Vendetta, which I thought was very good. Apparently Alan Moore wrote it in response to where he saw the Thatcher government taking Britain, but the themes are certainly still appropriate today (I haven't read the comic, so I don't know if the anti-Muslim text was added to make it more topical). I also read that some theater showing it was offering prizes to women who showed up with shaved heads, which when you see the context of that in the film is really quite disturbing.

Oh, and thanks, all, for the interview question ideas; the position is for a UI designer so coding questions probably aren't appropriate but portfolio questions are.

Oh, and in another Bizzaro-land incident this morning, I was tailgated from about a block away from my house until Hwy 85 by a middle-aged man driving a BMW in an odd shade of green. As soon as the heavy traffic allowed**, he swerved into the commuter lane (a big no-no) and plunged back into traffic; driving like a jerk, basically. A few km up the road, I saw his distinctive car pulled over by a highway cop. Yay for Bizzaro-land, where my wishes come true!

* Belt sanders are fun!

** Yes, the traffic was that heavy right from my house. I live right by a major road which connects with Hwy 85.

I see it's St. Patrick's Day. Faith and begorrah and whatever. I am not in the least little bit Irish (though that's always a dangerous statement to make, seeing what randy little buggers the children of Erin can be) and I've aged past the attraction of being drunk in a large group of drunks. However, I do like Celtic music so I'm not a complete St. Patrick's-Grinch,* I suppose. I'm not wearing any green, though.

But I do have some cool links. It's a Friday afternoon in the office and the place is dead. Like, stick a doornail into vaudeville dead. And I'm tired and unfocused because I was here early (which meant getting up way early because of the traffic... usually I come to work late-ish (9:30) and leave late-ish (7:00) to avoid the worst of rush hour) because a guy was supposed to come in for a job interview but ended up cancelling.** So I present:

Pretty ceramics!
Interesting points about belief!
A funny comic!
My next purse!
My next decorating project!
A typical American opinion on Clamato! ***

I'm not sure why I'm using all these exclamation marks! Maybe I'm trying to stay awake!

* So what is a good name for that? Paddy-Grinch? Shamrock-hater?

** On the one hand of course I wish we could have interviewed him. On the other hand, I'm a bit relieved because I realized that I've never actually been an interviewer, only an interviewee. I wasn't the only one talking to the guy, of course, (I was one of three) but still I was surprisingly worried about what I would ask him. Anyone have any suggestions? This will probably come up again, because we're hiring and the company's too small and organizationally flat to have a dedicated HR person.

*** R:tAG has caused Disgust and Consternation by bringing his own lil' cans of Clam to parties.

I see that I am described as the "Mad Doily Woman" on someone's blog. My righteous outrage was muted somewhat by finishing this:

I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with it but it was fun to make.* Except for the part where I kept finding breaks in the thread, and then finally found a little carpet-beetle larva corpse nestled in the spool. I guess it died happy and with a stomach full of cotton, but the little bugger meant that I have about ten ends to deal with, which is a... challenge with lace.

But this isn't a knitting blog! Here's proof! The Word Cloud shows words with their size proportional to their use on a site. Some people don't like them, but I think they're interesting. So as you can see, knitting...

Well, obviously the recent Knitting Olympic posts skewed the results. Obviously.**

Our bikes remain pristine in the garage, but we can't really use the weather as an excuse. There have been some rainy days, but some nice ones. My excuse is that I haven't been getting home before dark. R:tAG's excuse (since biking to work is feasible for him) is that it's too cold (!). He has gone completely native.

I can't believe that there is demand for a post describing my job. Maybe later, when I can't think of anything else to talk about.

* Which reminds me of my favourite comment about crochet: "It's like taking a big dump... it feels good while you're doing it, but what do you do with the result?" And before all you fanatic crocheters respond, I present Exhibit A, Exhibit B , Exhibit C and Exhibit D. I do like some crochet, but it's mostly very fine-gauge stuff. Mostly.

** It is a measure of my geekiness, I suppose, that I started thinking of ways to improve the algorithm. For example, Virginia and Woolf show as fairly common, despite only appearing in the header. I wonder if the generator could ignore text inside title or header tags? I also find it surprising that "ant" doesn't appear, but I am happy that "yay" does. Yay!

So I've been getting comments here from People I Don't Know*, which is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I know I have to have strong feelings of some sort before I leave a comment on a blog (I am one of nature's lurkers) so thank you, those who bothered to comment. On the other hand, I feel that I should make sure there are no false pretenses here.

Despite the Knitting Olympic coverage, this isn't a knitting blog. This blog is me being lazy and not wanting to e-mail a huge cc list of non-geographically-proximate friends with periodic updates. Therefore this isn't really written with a wide audience in mind. That's not to say a wide audience is unwelcome, and if you find anything entertaining and/or informative here I'm glad. But there will be in-jokes, and consistancy of topics is not guaranteed.

(I will step aside to let the stampede of no-longer-readers leave :))

Anyway, now that I'm gainfully employed, we can start working our way down our list of shallow-consumer-pseudo-happiness-material-goods-to-acquire. So in an amazing feat of timing, R:tAG and I have finally bought bikes. The timing is poor because it is raining, and will keep raining for weeks according to the Weather Experts.** But we can now work on lowering the appalling national statistic of 90% of trips outside the home using a car. For us, this is probably even higher because we live in suburbia, there is very little within a half-hour walk and until now we were bikeless.***

Oh, and we saw Night Watch yesterday, and I loved it. Y'all should see it. Really. It's the first of a trilogy and I am really really looking forwards to the rest.

And Mirrormask is out on DVD now, so you have no excuse for not buying at least one copy and preferably more.

* I assume that the Anonymous comments are from lazy friends. Mind you, most of my friends know what "emancipated" means. So maybe not.

** Who also predicted snow in our area last week, which didn't happen at all.

***And someone is making me feel like a complete slug for not knowing every square inch of my neighbourhood by now.

I wasn't going to put the Knitting Olympic Gold Medal on my blog because I figured I'd done enough bragging. But then there was apparently a flap over its design. And because the flap-ers are types with whom I do not wish to associate myself* I feel compelled now to show it in anti-solidarity. So here:

* Flap 1: How dare you put a picture of a naked man on it! Flap 2: How dare you put a picture of a naked man on it!

Hah! Have that song in your head now?

It's raining here a lot, and whatever they make the roads here out of, it's really really shiny when it's wet. Since my formative driving years were spent in Saskatchewan, I'm having to work to suppress the "Crap! Ice!"* reflex upon seeing these shiny, shiny roads. They're so shiny that it's hard to see the reflective lane paint amidst the reflections of the car and street lights, even during the day.

I'd forgotten the wondrousness that is McSweeneys'. Love his writing. And his. And they're funny (reminds me a bit of a limitless Book of Ratings)

As you can tell, this week was a bit humdrum (the sound that the turbines of tedium make... humdrumhumdrumhumdrum...). But after the blog-marathon of the past weeks, I felt bad not posting something. This is probably not a good sign. I'll be describing nothing but meals and cute-things-I heard-a-kid-say next. Then you can just shoot me.

* "Crap" being used in the figurative, expletive sense rather than the literal, imperative one. Mostly. Doing rapid and unplanned doughnuts in the middle of Highway 11 due to a patch of black ice came close to being an exception.


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