Monday, May 29, 2006
"She's standing there at the checkstand
Just as she always does,
Taking people's money and bagging their goods
Always listening and watching
In one form or another
Fostering the disconnect of service vs. civility

A man comes up
Holding a limp USB cord for his printer
They always forget to tell them that
Ensuring a second trip to the store
Possibly more purchases of compulsion
Because a high-gloss finish
Super fast printing,
copying, scanning combination
is never enough

She rings him through
A simpler than most transaction
And he seems held aback,
Less talkative than most customers
She attributes it to the inconvenience of the second trip
But notices he watches her carefully.

In the careful sweep of the cord to the bag from the scanner
She feels fingers lightly brush her neck
As the purchase falls softly and plasticly into the thin polymer bag
The click of her prosthetic ear unclipping
Unanchored secrets and an assumption of obliviousness
To the part of others
As the silicon pink shell-thing falls onto the counter

The din of the PA and the busy store halts for a moment
Both service and customer stop and stare.

"Does that come with software?"
Thursday, May 25, 2006
  G.I. Jane
So, I was wandering downtown today, and I decided to join the military. It was a hard drive for them at first, but eventually I succumbed, because really, the military needs more women. And the Canadian military has a pretty low participation number to begin with. The benefits are also good, and I will be able to see all sorts of new places, and meet lots of people.

I'm not sure how my parents will react, but I imagine my dad will be quite happy about it, even though I've dashed my hopes of ever getting to go to China.

Anyways...I joined, and they asked me where I wanted to go...which took a lot of deliberation, because I'm not sure- there are apparently so many cool areas I could be in. I debated officers training, but eventually settled on Transport. Those guys have the coolest jobs, and I'd get to drive sweet trucks.

So, yeah...That's what I did this morning- what did YOU do?

I'm totally just fucking with you. I would never join the military.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I would love to say that life is boatloads exciting right now, but it sure isn't. I'm working on a broadsheet project in Typo though that is a tonne of fun right now. It is in fact so rad, that I think I may get two, so that I may frame one, and give one away to a mysterious party.

I've realized lately that I feel like I'm losing touch with myself. I can't think straight about anything serious, and pull off a great conversation that well, which was pitifully evident yesterday when hanging out with J-dawg. Nothing has been that inspiring to me though lately, albeit, I haven't exactly had time to stop and smell the roses on any occasion. But the typo course, it is fun. I've also been incredibly tired. I'm feeling really antisocial, and I can't seem to get away from people. Let's face it, they're everywhere. I can't even walk down Jasper anymore without running into someone I know.
This is an extension of yesterday's issue with men--I need some space, and I'm getting the total antithesis of it.

The man who wrote me a love poem came into the store today, and thankfully S was still there, so he wimped out and didn't say or ask me anything past "hi," because I was so tired, and I still don't really know what to say that's tactful and polite. Being tired pretty much throws diplomacy skills out the window for me.

The boy, is also a large contribution in being tired, unfortunately. I always feel bad though, because we do lots of writing together, and I keep crapping out on him because a) I'm tired, b) I have to be up at 7-ish the next morning, so I never have that much time to spend with him. But on the other side of things, he doesn't seem to understand the repercussions of the time difference (he's two hours behind). And, worse off...I don't know. It's such a faux pas to whine about this on here.

I've been thinking about enriching the font collection on my computer, but I think the fact that its a Windows platform is killing it for me. The more I use the Macs, the more I want one. Additionally, in the font collection department, those things cost mega bucks. If I wanted FF Blur for instance...it would cost a mere $119 dollars. It is a package deal on that site, but even for just FF Blur regular, that's about $65 at FontFont. Depressing. It is possible to get a shitload of fonts online for free, but usually they are a) cheap knockoffs, or b)really schizo to install (rarely run correctly...or have a tendency to bugger up).

I'm thinking before I leave school though, that I may visit the "intersession" folder one more time and burn that whole thing to disc, so in the event that I do get a Mac this summer (and the prayer is officially out there, no matter how irrational!), I'll have all sorts of lovely fonts to install that didn't cost a thing. Although, feasibly, it would be some happy return for the amount of money I've shelled out to just sit in front of a computer all day hurting my eyes as I attend to meticulous details.

The font I'm using the most on my broadsheet, just so you know, is Arial rounded MT. It's one of my favorites. Actually, I should go check and see if MS Word has it...though I doubt it.

Geek Palace has been improving for me, in that I'm a master of the returns and customer servicing, but becoming terrible as the monotony sets in from already an incredible lack of challenge. I keep wishing I could have been a computer associate instead. They have all the fun. I have noticed though that the amount of bitchy customers at Geek Palace as compared to the deli, is an astronomical 20:1 ratio.

Update on MS Word: No! Fuckers. There's like 20 fonts there, if that. And they're terrible. Why must we have three versions of Wingdings? Who the fuck uses them?


Monday, May 22, 2006
  Testosterone overload
Yesterday, boys were flirting with me. Staring at me. I got a love letter from one of my customers, and visually raped by creepy stalker boy. THEN...vis a vie the "organization" I am part of a la internets, I got hounded for three hours more by boys who are not only horny males, but the biggest drama queens you will ever meet in your life.

It was unprecedented, and extremely EXTREMELY exasperating.

The guy who gave me the love letter (poem), was, unfortunately, the same guy that I had gone to the movies with under the misnomer that it was a benign friend's-hangin'-oot thing, and now I find that it is not. It was a sweet gesture, but if you read between the lines, it's thinly disguised and making me feel awful. I'm going to have to be in a position that I was completely not expecting. I hate drama!

Not all men are like this, though I'm warned repeatedly that they are.

I've really lucked out with most of my friends, and John though, because they are males, but this type of pig-stuff has never arisen with them. Go higher good, GO!

I'm having dinner with Jordana tonight. Maybe we'll talk about our periods or something equally feminine and exclusive.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
  Give homeless people scrubs. Problem solved.
The update on the strange mix cd I found at work is that it contains the Everely Brothers, the Smiths (cool!), the Beta Band, Clinic, Depeche Mode, French Kicks, John Coltrane, the Magnetic Fields, and Overseer. Overall...so far, it is good. I've always sort of liked the Everely Brothers and the Smiths, so it has been nice. Free music. I will return the cd to the place I filched it from tomorrow.

Other things? Work. School. Work. School. I spend time at home to eat occasionally, and sleep. And now, to fight with my scanner.

As some may have read, we caroused out to Whyte on Sunday. Think about those two words, "sunday" and "whyte". Granted, there was an Oiler's win to be celebrated, but it was less interesting than I thought it would be. Wednesday maybe. Then again, I was grossed out by all the high-fives, so maybe I'll just stay home.

Also just found out that Alkaline Trio is playing at the Starlight on the 27th. ORgaSmic! If anyone wants to come with, let me know. You'll be responsible for getting your own ticket though...because I have no time to do that.

Fuck. My life is so boring. I was walking home (all 75 steps) from work tonight though, and one of the chefs at Pazzo Pazzo (translates to "crazy crazy" by the way, which is hilariously fitting) invited me onto the patio for a free beer and a shot of his own invention- the banana split. They're good. Score.

Things are going well in Type, but I had a critique today that didn't go so well. I mean, it was ok because she doesn't expect much of the 300's, but that's the problem. We could write "Fuck You Darling" in Garamond bold on a piece of tablet, and she'd be like, "oh....looking good! I see you're figuring out the program!"

An interesting fact I found out about Macintosh vs. Microsoft today. Macintosh actually paid the respective designers of typography money to use their fonts (hence the better selection and downloads usually being more macintosh friendly), whereas Microsoft just stole them all. Also: Neville Brody is one cool mofo.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
  bang bang
Today was my first day at Geek Palace. It was pretty good, but I can foresee this as being a very boring job. And easy. Sinfully easy. One for the shaming was that I was trained by a kid in grade 10. But, I was impressed, and I learned lots, and I shocked my manager by how quickly I "picked it up." It was still a bit baffling for me though, because I haven't been used to being that laid back at work in a long time. There's always something I can do at the deli, because I am my own boss, and I make my own work, to say nothing of there always being too much stuff to do at the City (though my co-workers never seemed to see it that way). But yeah, I'm fairly certain that chimpanzees with red teeshirts, black pants and black socks, could do my job. If they needed to communicate with a customer, they could carry around the "Easy Button" and fire at will. In conclusion, it doesn't look like anything that I'm doing this summer is going to be particularly "tiring" past the frequency that I have to do it in, and the amount of monotony I will have to contend with. Although honestly, things are never too monotonous at the deli. I wish.

Just last week, a girl came running into the store, one that I recognised as a total psycho who NOW had a restraining order against her from a tenant (her ex) who lived in the building, because she stabbed him. She looked scared, and pleaded with me to open the back door into the building for her, and me, knowing this little detail of "you stabby nut girl," didn't, but one of the patrons inadvertently let her in eventually. Turns out that yeah, she was running from a guy, but it was the poor taxi driver outside who she'd ducked the fair of, who had, by the time I came out, phoned the cops. WHO, deemed it an inserious matter that this man's livelihood had taken a blow through illegal means, and turned down his request for the prevention of a crime over the phone.

The law enforcement in Edmonton has really been disturbing me lately. I am really interested in the changes that Mike Boyd is suggesting, but as of late, I've been seeing a lot of instances where the police are not really there to police "everybody," but rather, they police for the middle-upper class, and try and keep the lower class from killing each other, or they just pick up the body when one arises. Or they're just total assholes who neglect to care.

In anycase, I'm considering writing a letter to Mike Boyd detailing some observations of this, in much more neutral terms, because I'm realizing that part of the reason that none of this changes is because there isn't enough of a voice in law enforcement from the perspective of everyone.

The other thing that's been on my mind, is the capture/court appearance of Thomas George Svekla. I find it interesting/eery how embracing he is of the public eye, because it rings back to so many other examples of the cat and mouse games that past serial killers have had with police (Bundy), and also the manipulation of the media to suite the ego of the person in question. And he's just such a superstar already, after two days. Gacy, much like many have already said about Svekla, was also a very personable person, although Svekla's got a rap sheet for previous assaults already-- but still, people like(d) them, and had no reason to be suspicious of them. However, Svekla has a pretty high-risk lifestyle himself. Interestingly enough, there was another article in the Sun yesterday that was a poorly writ opinion article (ha ha, suprise...) about how it was actually Svekla that found Rachel Quinney's body. Now, I'm all for dissing the Sun as a shitty tabloid, so I'm not saying I necessarily believe everything in it, but at the same time, it's a pretty heavy issue to lie about. That said, why the hell do you tell a journalist that? That you were doing crack with another hooker who got scared of you and ran away, and as you were chasing her, you tripped over another hooker? Sure dude, happens to me ALL the time...

Art is going well. It turns out that the research quarry I have to make a broad board poster of, is a total design superstar: Neville Brody. Heavily affiliated with Apple computers and everything involving digital font. So, that should be fun. Only problem is, we had to give a brief presentation of what we'd gotten materialwise to start out with, and the guy next to me, who went before me, had the same guy, visited the same ONE site (I was strapped for time).

"Um. I have nothing to say- that guy just said it all. Do you want me to make something up?"

The only two people in class who chose the same dude, and we had to sit next to each other.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
  Ergonomically uncomfortable yet?
Ergonomically uncomfortable yet?

So, yesterday and the day before....? I apologise. I have my head on straight now. But man, the thing that would consequently turn those days around for me, would be someone making me laugh. Like really laugh, and if that was you, thanks, I needed it.

The affection I hold for this class is sneaking up on me and catching me by surprise. The attention to detail needed is what is getting to me, but not in an anal retentive "design" fashion--more along the lines of you have to pay attention to details to be creative. I'm getting the hang of the software also, which is a huge help, as it now becomes secondary to the actual creative process.

Today...I found out an unexpected glorious thing about campus. I mean, it was one of those places I always knew was there, but never felt inclined to go see. But now....now things are different, and I thoroughly enjoyed the cool dungeon of the James Peel book collection. Most noteably, the William Morris books. SUPER most notably, the Alice in Wonderland book that he printed (he being the printer AND woodcut carver in question). I was completely agog with the woodcuts he made for the illustrations of the story. It was one of these things where you forget that it was "Alice in Wonderland" that you are reading, and pay $4000 to own a copy of it, for the exquisiteness of the printing, the binding, the typesetting, the fucking ILLUSTRIOUS illustrations...it was truly a thing of beauty, and I learned more about why I like the books I like. I suspect however, that this may be the harkening of a burgeoning addiction to book collecting. Also...when they were describing the printmaking process, I started hypothesizing on ways to do it on my own with different mediums, having always been too intimidated to try using wood blocks. The ideal thing would be a heavy sort of plastic that was soft, but dense enough that it wouldn't print sloppily, and could allow for extremely detailed cuts to be made.

AND...for some reason, I was looking at a typeset today (a collection of numbers or letters to be collated on a printing press, etc), and I had this weird feeling of deja vu that growing up we'd had a set, and I'd never realized it obviously, until it was too late. I will have to ask my mother.

Lastly....I feel like I'm still a little ways away from forming a chap book, but I saw an interesting binding/book fashion today that would be totally awesome to use for a chapbook. I'm not going to let it out of the bag until I try it though. It would also (I think) be a great art project for school. Even just the making and binding of a book would be, but it would be important to make sure they weren't just making a book, but that some of the emphasis would lie on the content of the book also, in whatever I might come up with. Ideally, I could see it accompanying a novel study even, but I'm at a loss at the moment as to what book that might be.

But who knows what we'll even be allowed to teach by the time I start teaching. Anything thought provoking seems to be out of style. . . The sad part is, that I'm only half joking. Kids need to be taught pragmatism yes, but they certainly don't benefit from being stifled to death by it either. I think this could be why I am always sort of seeing extremes now in how kids behave in schools...give a kid the ability to be an abstract thinker, but teach them responsibility--responsibility in that every action they do, will have a consequence (good or bad), and that they ultimately are the ones that have to be able to address that. As a teacher, you are a facilitator, not a dictator! Rant rant rant!

update: My orientation went swimmingly yesterday. I daresay that working at "Planet of the Geeks" might even be fun. I'm digging the staff humour so far, although there is a distinct aura of nauseating ass-kissery afoot it seems. Apparently "Planet of the Geeks" is THE hoppin' place to start a career?

There is a guy who glommed onto me during orientation though, who is interesting. When I say "glommed" I mean it. By the time I walked away from him after work, he had convinced himself (not me) that I would probably love to write the storyboard for a comic idea he has. One of "those" guys. After telling me that he thoroughly enjoyed emotional infidelity of course, and that him and his longterm girlfriend basically hated each other's guts "wink, wink-nudge, nudge." Ahh....I sense a red haired stormy black cloud of WRATH building up on the horizon...hmm. In anycase, he is a smoker too. More incentive to quit.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
  Music that will save us all. Fat girls dress better than me.
I just found a mix cd in the FAB lab...I think I'm going to take it home for a perusal, seeing as my soul needs some saving. Oh wait, don't you need actual time to be morally depraved? I'd forgotten.

Surprising joys to me lately, have been several things, all focussed in and around the store. John has been phoning me at work lately, when he knows things are dead. Which, during the week, is often. And Sundays until about seven.

Yesterday was fairly miserable (and later I found, unneccessarily so), because I had a) problems with the Macs at school (it's all fine to have to learn how to use them because you want to, but when there's considerable stress involved in mastering the computer and a design program in a matter of a day or less, it makes me want to rip my hair out. Couple that with chronic server problems, and I was not in good shape yesterday when it came time to print out an assignment after surpassing all that crap somehow, and then being halted for not "setting up a printing account", which is to say, giving the prof two dollars as a printing fee.)

b)YES, this blog may turn into a venting page for a while. Deal with it.

c) I fucking hate shopping. HATE. I've adopted a new policy of just telling the salespeople to go fuck themselves (much more politely than that, most of the time), because I hate seeing that look in their faces when they come up to you that starts out as "Oh, I'm dying to be helpful" that fades into, "wow, you are not going to look good in anything in our store. Can I suggest an accessory?"

Funnily enough, I know I'm chubby, but I'm not hideously overweight either. No no...hideously overweight people can find clothes no problem now! I'm almost tempted to fill out another 100 pounds, because they make can-shaped clothing, and some of it is pretty cool. Anyways...chubby yes, so that all the clothes that are in my size, are made for people the same size who are ...not chubby, and not disproportionate. I was upset yesterday, because it took me three hours. THREE hours to find a pair of black workpants that may or may not fit even still, because I was so fed up that I just guessed and bought them. And I'm so fed up that this is how it is always going to go-- that 90% of the clothing I try on, does not fit correctly. I love clothes. I hate wearing hoodies all the time. But the fact is, a hoody is a total safe zone for me, because I don't have to worry about things sticking out as much. But holy fuck...some of those store clerks look at me like I have the worst taste in clothing in the world, and it slays me. I would dress better if I could. Maybe I should send this to Opera. Probably I will just go on a diet, because I don't have time to exercise.

On the upside...somebody likes me (HA): A person who I could not identify, phoned the store on Sunday afternoon and proceeded to wank off into the phone before I knew what was going on. What a special moment. I have my guesses as to who it might have been, but I suppose that's not just something you confront a customer with.

"Oh ____, by the way, thanks for Sunday's call. Was it special for you? Because I know it really touched my heart to hear your heavy breathing and moaning."
Monday, May 08, 2006
  I see the world
I'm honestly feeling a little bummed out right now [Insert Livejournal link here].

I'm bummed because I will actually miss my old curmudgeon of a roommate when he leaves. And I'm afraid that after he leaves, that this will be it. We will have had all this time together, where our friendship became tenuous, and then have no time at all after that to want to, or try, to repair it.

I'm bummed because I know I've dug myself into a hole of doing waaay too much for the next five weeks. But, I'm bummed that I'm bummed, because I know I have to do it, and the end result will be much better for me than not doing three jobs and two spring/summer sessions.

I'm bummed because I think I've been disillusioning myself as to how "thrilling and fun" this typography course will be...how relevent it "really" is, and that I'm shelling out $1037.00 to do it.

And then, I'm depressed about something, and I don't know what it is. I think it has to do with how I always seem to be waiting for something to happen. I do all this stuff (which never seems to be enough and makes me think I'm still lazy) to get me to that point of where I feel like "something's happening", and nothing does. I'm so impatient to get to the point of where I can just toss pragmatism aside and start doing what I want to do, and stop being a whiny bitch about never having the time to do that.

I just want to paint. And write. Those were my original goals of this summer--much simpler than last summer, but I had those goals, and now, I don't foresee them happening. I wonder how long this current painting sits on the easel until I get to do something with it at a time when it isn't enormously impractical to be working on it.

And yet after all this superficial complaining, there is still this completely intangible aspect of being depressed that I can't put my finger on that worries me. Because really, I know that all this stuff is just petty, and it will work out in the end, but something about life is saddening me, and it's not just a Johnny Cash cover of "Desperado."
Saturday, May 06, 2006
  random acts of computer sabotage
Apparently I'm missing "the point", but I think this is hilarious. It would make a good t-shirt, if anything. Marauding teenagers make me laugh.
Friday, May 05, 2006
  The next in line will be someone who loves you

So, life has been interesting. I have a masterful amount of things coming up it seems. Everything is just below the line of overwhelming it seems, already. I keep thinking though that it's the anticipation of the madness that's killing me more than the actual madness of holding down two (three, officially) jobs and doing a spring session that is a full year course compressed into five weeks.

I may die in the process, but at least I'll have been making the most of my time alive for once. I started a painting today. Interestingly enough, I unwittingly have some fractal-like things appearing in it, albeit accidental. In painting the canvas (when I pretentiously use the word "canvas" I really mean a big piece of particle board with primer on it) completely black. Originally, I was going to paint over the "fractal" experiment, but Adam's better half convinced me otherwise. I'm glad I listened, because the more I look at it, the more I like it. The lines are agreeable.

I don't know what else to say about things as of late, though I've arrived at an unusual peace with Dom. I've realized that he's so defeated and burnt up as a person, that rather than being one more person that hates his guts, that maybe I should be nice to him. He needs nice.

I find out about the research job tomorrow. Part of me is thinking it would be highly unfeasible (sp?) that I get it, but it would be really great to get it, despite the extra commute. It would be a challenge, though, I do question if one more challenge is what I need right now, in all honesty.

The iPod by the way, has been groovy fun. It's a blast. Only 60 megs to go...and I may succeed in filling it.
Death involves an injury?

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