Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On with the holidays

So Halloween is here which can only mean one thing - it's time to start thinking about Christmas. One thing that always gets me in the Christmas spirit is all of the holiday music. I'll listen to anything from an N'Sync Christmas to the classic standards. Stereogum has a nice list of new Christmas releases.

One of my personal recommendations are the Maybe This Christmas compilations.

Any particular Christmas albums you'd recommend?

Monday, October 16, 2006


Check out one YouTuber's theory on what will happen once Google starts playing with YouTube.

Watch: GoogleTube

via. Table of Malcontents at Wired blogs

For all you Bloglines subscribers

It looks like when I changed my template, my site feed address changed as well so the old one isn't working in Bloglines. Use the "subscribe with Bloglines" button on the right to update your subscription.

The evolution of beauty

Dove has always been known for promoting real and natural beauty and they generally use normal, but still beautiful, women in their advertising. It's refreshing to see a large corporation acknowledge the fact that most women aren't 5'10" and 115 lbs. Their latest commercial, called Evolution, takes a nice looking girl and transforms her into a billboard model, all in a 60 second spot. You've probably seen snippets of this commercial on TV and now you can watch the whole thing.

Watch: Evolution

Sunday, October 15, 2006

And the planning begins

We at LTAIG had our first meeting yesterday to start planning our 2007 salary survey. I have volunteered to be the "project manager" which is going to be a fun task. Luckily our team is full of passionate and intelligent individuals and we all work really well together. It's going to be a bit of a learning curve, for me anyway, but I'm really looking forward to launching the completed product early next year.

Interested in seeing the results of our previous survey? Check out the 2005 LTAIG Survey of Canadian Library Support Staff.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Leaves changing in autumn blues

Do you ever get that feeling, as the seasons change, of an overwhelming sense of blah? Like nothing seems to be going your way and you're not sure it ever will? I've been feeling a little like that lately - work is blah, the condo is blah and I've been bored and antsy. One day I'll be excited that we are going to be getting a new custom made closet and the next day I'll be having an anxiety attack over the amount of money A. has shelled out and how much we still have to pay for.

Every time I go over to the condo I just get frustrated at the lack of work done and at how dirty everything is. Trying to deal with Meloche and get them to send us a cheque has been one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. I've worked at an insurance company before and know that sometimes things take awhile but when it's been a MONTH and there hasn't been any action I have to wonder what kind of people they have working over there. I realize that my $18 a month policy is but a tiny fraction of their book but I have sent a lot of business their way and have had policies with them for the past 8 years. You'd think customer loyalty would be rewarded but apparently not.

On top of it all, I really want to go away with A. but we can't afford to go anywhere. We can't afford to visit either of our families and for the first time ever, Christmas will be spent in Vancouver on our own.

I make it sound as if all of this is the end of the world when in reality I'm just having a pity party for one.

What are your coping strategies for the fall blues? Any suggestions for exciting things to do on the cheap?

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Fforde Affair

Books 19 to 22 were delights to read and I've been recommending them to everyone I know. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be able to live inside fiction or ever fantasized about trading places with a fictional character (I've always wanted to be Elizabeth Bennett) then the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde is perfect for you. I read the series out of order but my enjoyment of the books was not diminished and I was able to easily follow all of the plot lines.

I read Lost in a Good Book, which is the second book in the series, first, and by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. Fforde has an incredible imagination and has created a parallel universe in which there is a yearly mammoth migration, people keep reengineered dodo's as pets and travel long distances either by airship or in tubes that go through the center of the Earth. This is a world in which the Crimea War is still raging in the year 1985 and there is a policing agency called Special Operations that oversees everything too "weird" for the regular police. SpecOps has a vampire and werewolf disposal unit, a Chronoguard division whose operatives can stop time, and the Literary Detectives of which the main character, Thursday Next, is a member. Thursday usually spends her days investigating forgeries and dealing with crazed fans who insist the Shakespeare's plays were written by someone else (Francis Bacon being the popular favourite), until she has to find a way into fiction to stop a madman from destroying Jane Eyre. I wouldn't call these books science fiction or fantasy or even just regular fiction - they are a genre all to themselves.

The third book in the series, The Well of Lost Plots, is the one that I read second. In this one Thursday decides to take a vacation from the real world and joins Jurisfiction's (the policing agency of the Book World) Character Exchange Program. She takes up residency in an unpublished book currently residing in the Well of Lost Plots and tries to solve several mysteries that have occurred in the book world all while trying to regain her memory.

The Eyre Affair was third and gave me all of the background that I was missing from the other two books. This is the one that started the whole series and takes the reader on a wild ride as Thursday follows advice and clues that she doesn't totally understand.

Finally, I read the fourth installment in the series, Something Rotten. Thursday seems to take on more than she can handle as she tries to save the world by winning a seemingly unwinnable croquet match, foiling the Goliath Corporation yet again, finding an escaped Minotaur and trying to defeat a long-time enemy. This final book will keep you enthralled and the ending will reveal all.