Monday, December 13, 2010


Right, so, yes, I am still totally working on that Korean television post, but I am also currently waiting for the second half of my Fringe episode to load, and I figured I should mention it to you.

Because Fringe is definitely my favourite thing on North American TV right now. It is a modern day X-files that so far has managed to stay good. So good. Even manages to balance two worlds in alternating episodes good.

And I think Olivia Dunham is one of my favourite characters of all time. I read a lot of feminist blogs, and there are a lot of things about current media that make me wince, but Dunham deals with so much with so much grace and without losing her humanity or her ability to cope. Right, I should probably stop now before I end up with another half finished post in which I go far deeper into my mad character love than the show necessarily needs. But guys, SO GOOD. so v. v. good.

Which of course worries me that the show is going to vanish some time in the next few months (Fucking Fox). It has been a long time since I waited for a show to air with such anticipation.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eee Sherlock!

I am halfway through a brilliant and long post about the glories of Korean television, but I am interrupting that moderately scheduled blogpost to bring you a brief session of hand waving and gleeful grinning about another of my favourite shows.

Sherlock does the absolutely BEST rendition of an updated Holmes story, and it is one of the few cinematic endeavours I've yet to encounter which manages to use text messaging and laptops effectively. (the fact that so many movies still seem to use technology attitudes from the late 1990s drives me mad)

So yes, if you haven't seen the new BBC Sherlock series (only 3 episodes right now. I can hardly wait for more) I highly recommend them! And not just because everyone keeps assuming they are dating and Watson is endearingly grumpy about this since he is trying to get a date with an attractive lady, thank you very much. The second episode has some wonky eastern exoticism going on, but episode 1 and episode 3 are just So Much Fun.

The BBC has even done some work so that you can visit Dr. John Watson's blog online (his therapist recommended he start one). I don't think they've quite managed to devote the time that pulling off an integrated internet branch of this series, but I like the effort.

Which brings me to the actual reason I am posting about this now instead of six months ago when I dug through the internet for the British episode releases: this show has inspired some fantastically brilliant vids! The first one is genuinely pretty, and impressively edited. The second one just really entertains me.


Guys, the Sherlock vidders are just hitting it out of the park! They've even done some work to The Dandy Warhol song "I am a Scientist", to which I am quite partial.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Provided for your enjoyment (and so I can find them at a later date), two tumblrs.

Hipster Puppies


Hungover Owls

Now I admit, I don't quite get the tumblr thing yet (I am working on it! Took me forever to work out RSS feeds too. So odd to find myself behind these trends now), but I do know that hungover owls are the best thing ever.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting my Macbook to talk nice with my TV

So that my new couch wouldn't feel lonely, I finally bit the bullet and bought a TV. At 32", it seems ENORMOUS, but I simply did not want to put up with tiny screens for movie watching any longer (although I still have no intention of getting cable).

So right, I have a tv, I have a couch, and now I need a way to politely introduce my computer (still thinking about trying Canadian Netflix, although all my American friends have already partially ruined me for the experience with all their added available content) to my television so that they can be friends and I can watch Project Runway with my friend (a person friend. Not my tv, although he is very nice) without squinting. Squinting at chiffon is not actually awesome.

This was more daunting than I expected. The key is that you need some type of cable that will link your computer to your tv. Chances are you do not already have this cable, and will start wandering around the internet trying to find it. If you have a Mac, chances are even better that you will go to the apple online store and be COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED and then ask a techie friend. Who is in another country. And then you won't tell him the right information for what ports your computer has and so he will suggest the wrong cable and it will be AN UNENDING CIRCLE OF LAME.

But! By the end of it, you might actually have a decent idea of what you need, and it all seems super simple. This is my attempt to save someone from the lame cycle. (anyone. It was extremely frustrating)

First off, this guy has the best step by step, This Is How you Hook up your Mac to a TV youtube video that I have found. He is full of all sorts of useful information like "plug the computer in first or it won't work" (seriously? How was I supposed to magically know that otherwise?) and also shows you how easy it should be.

However, for it to actually BE that easy, you should do the following steps.

1. Figure out what port your laptop/computer/magic typing box actually has. 

I THOUGHT I had the mini Display Port, but this was in fact a lie based on googling on the internet and having no clue what those extra ports along the side of my computer were for. Most of the newer Macbooks and Macbook pros now have the mini display ports, so I figured that was what I had too. It wasn't until I bought the part, waited for it to arrive, and then spent twenty minutes trying to work out why it wasn't working and worrying I'd broken my new friend the TV (and cursing it for being finicky) that I worked out that I had an older version port called the Mini- DVI. This confusion was compounded by the fact that the cord I had bought sort of almost fit a different port and frankly I'm just grateful that I didn't electrocute myself and destroy my darling laptop (which has its own issues what with demanding bizarre charging rituals). I had to look up what my port was actually called on the original box, but I'm sure there is some type of google image search things that could also work.

2. Figure out what port in your TV you are going to plug into 

The internet seems to conveniently agree that you should plug into the HDMI input. So that's what I did. There are other ports, but seriously, I just decided to go with that one.

3. Accept that for some reason your laptop and television will use this cable for video, but not audio

For some reason, the macbook to tv cable/port things only carry the video. There is some muttering that new updates are fixing this, but it is OKAY, because you can just plug some old speakers (or, you know, nice and fancy ones) into the headphone jack (At least I know what that one looks like, and it is conveniently labelled) and TADA, sound!

4. Go buy that Adaptor!

I picked mine up at, because they are nice and cheap and clearly labelled (and were suggested in various forums). Good delivery, got across the border just fine, and I have now tested them twice: once for the wrong cable, and once for the one that actually works.

5. Remember to buy the actual HDMI cord too!  

Turns out if you just buy the adaptor, you are not going to have an easy time hooking it up to your tv. Thank goodness for the "customers also bought this" list, or I would have been even more frustrated during this endeavour. I suggest more than 3 feet for your cable too, as sometimes you want a bit more flexibility on where you can put your computer in relation to your tv. Oh well, I did say I wanted my electronics to be friends.

6. Plug them in!

Match up your tv to the HDMI setting and away you go! Also, don't force the connectors! If they aren't fitting, RETURN TO STEP ONE.

I am still ironing out the details on getting the screens on my laptop to match up to the tv (I can drag a screen from the laptop to the tv, and I think the F6 key [where I need to use the fn function key I've been ignoring for two years] has something to do with exterior monitors) but man, I am just pleased as punch to have finally introduced these two to each other.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Petticoat Perfection

So I promised to tell you what else I bought while in Toronto last month (did I promise? Well, I promised myself I'd tell you, which is even better!).

Yes, I bought the Best. Petticoat. Ever.

I found it hanging outside a small shop in Kensington Market, and here it is chilling on my awesome couch.

Check out how fluffy it is! This thing is huge.

I've been challenged on calling it a petticoat a number of times, because it is so gloriously poofy (crinolin? Not scratchy enough, I think. And there is certainly no hoop). Here is the easy definition found from google: "A woman's slip or underskirt that is often full and trimmed with ruffles or lace." So yes, that's true. Although I suspect there are much more detailed and specific definitions lurking.

So what was my petticoat's first outing you ask? Or, for those of you who have looked at your calendar, suspect? Why yes. Halloween. I really really love Halloween.

I actually don't have a photo for you of the Friday outing, but here is the look I used for the party O'Halloween:

The completed look has a clown nose and everything! SO PLEASED. Although none of the photos accurately convey the sheer volume of this thing (heh, sheer). There was fear regarding doorframes (no worries, it compacted well) and I definitely spent Sunday cleaning chocolate out of it after spinning near the cupcake platter.

But can we just take a moment to think about how much fun this is going to be for a steampunk outfit?

Upcoming Event: Yoga because I am too tired for rockclimbing.

And as a bonus photo, it worked really well with my coat!
(Yes, I used the Hipstamatic app on my iphone. Yes, I love it. Everyone will just have to deal)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Leaves in my hair (or at least on my desk)

It has been quite the month for trips to Toronto, and my dear friend (who is terribly awesome) was so kind as to pick me up some tea at The Tea Emporium.

So, my workspace is now the happy holder of

Madame Butterfly, for when I need something a bit fruity. I do love the hint of peach in the afternoon.


Fujian White Rose, as I am hopelessly in love with the delicate blends of white tea. So subtle, so lovely.

Of course, nothing can compete with my Iron Empress Oolong (or is it Empress Iron Goddess? I know where to find it on the shelf, which is what counts). Which reminds me, I need a trip to The Tea Store. My work supply has run out, and I do not know what will become of me if a craving hits before I replenish  my supply.

Upcoming Event: Fancy Dinner at Play. And shenanigans.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Civicness Abounds

Crossposted from my livejournal, which I can post to from my iphone. (old school meets new school, I know)

I voted for a mayor today! I feel incredibly civic, especially since I voted in the basement of a church, with a fabulously eclectic bunch of volunteers and with a little sharpie voting marker.
After coming to political age as a Canadian in one of the redest states in the union and under the Bush years, I am super pleased to have broken through this barrier in my political apathy. Plus I have a whole little philosophy about voting, involving the fact that if things don't work, I can try for someone else next year! I am flush with democratic freedom and power! And also am going right away to look up whether elected officials make up a democracy or a republic. ( I hope to win the argument with my friend that we in fact live in a republic, not a democracy. Also, yes yes, commonwealth, constitutional monarchy, hush, this is my democracy argument) Also also, that is a lie. I will look it up later when I am not posting from my phone, on a bus, on my way to my grandmother's wake. Decent chance my dad and I are going to end up singing old folk songs.
Update: My friends then looked it up for me! Because I live an awesome and beloved life. The conversation went as follows:
Friend A
You're going to win your argument. In a democracy (A "direct democracy") all laws would be voted on by all people - not really practical for more than a few 100 people. Thus, representational democracy was born, wherein everyone elects someone to speak for their needs. Individual states and provinces are representational democracies. Once you federate those together, though, you end up with a republic.

Friend B.
Yeah, but that's not how it works in Canada.

We have a representative democracy - we vote for a person to represent us in provincial elections, and again in federal elections - they are completely separate electoral systems.
The federal house is made up of individuals who were elected directly by their constituents to represent their interests. The party in power is the one with the largest number of dedicated representatives in the house, and the Prime Minister is the leader of that party, elected by card-carrying party members prior to the federal election (provided he was elected by his small number of geographically-based constituents).

Sorry, Rabbit. I'm with your opponent on this one.

Also, congrats on voting. It worked!
Also, sad to hear about your grandmother. You and your dad ok?

I wrote that early this morning, and I wasn't entirely clear. The key difference is that a republic is a federation of semi-independent states. The laws of one state still apply to citizens of the other states, even though they never voted for the legislators who passed them. For example, when you go to sunny Alberta, the laws of the Albertans still apply to you even if you are a Ontarian (Ontarionian? Ontarianist? Ontarionaut?).

In a democracy, this wouldn't be true. To be completely accurate, one should say that Canada is a republic of representational democracies. But of course, it's a constitutional monarchy with characteristics of a republic of representational democracies. You might as well just elect a pope and finish off your collection.

Upcoming Event: Rockclimbing at Vertical Reality.

P.S. Yes, I post upcoming events. No, you are not allowed to use this to stalk me, it is purely so that you know about awesome stuff in ottawa. Glad that we cleared that up. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Ottawa Small Press Book Fair

Walked the all of two blocks to the Ottawa Small Press Book fair on Saturday, and it was... well, small. 

But I found neat stuff! The Grunge Papers a papermaker who has four presses in his apartment and let me muck about in the moveable type. (I am linking you to the etsy page, but there is a real website too. I love my little handmade paper calling card). 

I picked up a nicely printed copy of A Modest Proposal (which will always have a satire-rich spot in my heart), a small chapbook by Helen Hajnicksky called A History of Button Collecting after seeing her talk at the pre-fair reading.

I also signed up for, a emagazine about canadian politics and goingsons.

Altogether, a fairly successful morning, and then I made pinwheels, which turned out fantastic! Huzzah for arbitrarily adding allspice!

Upcoming Events: Mayfair Theater SILENT HORROR FILM FESTIVAL

"The ultimate act of expressionist filmmaking, Caligari tells its tale – of a hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to commit murder – on the underside of a tightrope stretched between dreams and reality. Featuring a suitably dreamy live score by HILOTRONS."

YES, do you know who I love? HILOTRONS! whooo! And drinks and food at Irene's Pub beforehand!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Long Weekends

Since becoming single again I have found long weekends to be particularly challenging. Suddenly there is time that weighs heavily in my hands, and no matter how many games nights (yahtzee!), outings (Vintage Urban Cabaret - a belly dancing show with steampunk leanings) or breakfasts at Elgin Street Diner I plan, I always end up with just a little bit too much time in my apartment. This is of course compounded by the fact that on the holiday, things aren't exactly open, which makes running errands slightly less likely to happen.

But, this long weekend involved a couple of exciting developments. One: I discovered I can make raspberry pie as good as my dad's (this is unfortunately also coupled with the discovery that I am fully capable of eating most of a pie all on my own) and Two: I have missed crochet.

I have just finished a hat, and started a new one. I tend to like very simple projects, often ones that I can work on while watching something with subtitles (Today's korean drama is Sunkyunkwan Scandal which is ACTUALLY a school drama set in historic times and involves a young lady disguised as her brother so she can go to the all boy academy and get stuck in a room with a honourable lord and a guy described as "a crazy horse" [oh god, I love it so much])

So honestly, the hat is totally not worth showing you. BUT, I recently finished a project with a friend for an other more different friend's baby. We made a baby blanket. And because this friend is part of The Who Council (I may have been out at a show, slightly intoxicated, and decided to inform my friends that we were all Wise Owls and as such were on The Who Council. I may also demand they fistbump me and say Who! The Who Council is totally awesome), and is in fact one of the founding members, we made him a baby blanket with crochet owls. Guys, these owls are ADORABLE. The blue one is the tiny owl once I'd worked him into a granny square.

 and this one is the one that lives on my office wall. I call him Puppy. (The Poppy is for Remembrance Day! Remember! It is coming up!)

You can find the pattern here. Umm.. the eyes aren't supposed to come out mismatched, but be warned, that happens a lot.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

From Toronto: A Bento Box

Work sent me to Toronto last week (no, wait, week before that? Why is keeping track of past time so very hard?), which was v. fancy etc, (despite not getting to train business class as I was promised. NEXT TIME! Very keen to try out the fancy travel), but I decided to stick around and see the sundry family and friends that I have kicking about that city.

Which of course meant I went shopping.

In the course of Saturday, I went to Chinatown, Kensington Market and bopped around Queen's and King Street. This was by far the best trip to Toronto  I have yet had, and I finally FINALLY understand why some people really love the city. Although riding the subway with baggage is still not my favourite thing.

So what did I buy while I was in Toronto, you ask?

Well, a number of things, one of which I am still keeping a secret (Can we say Halloween Costume?). But one of things is that I finally found a bento box!

Yes, it has Happy New Year written on it, but I have crafty plans for this little lunch pail, which will hopefully involve awesomeness and not disaster (there may be chalkboard paint. but only if it takes well to plastic).

Part of why I am so pleased is this partitioned lunch box is a size that is actually useful, unlike the previous lunch box I bought.

Yes. Here it is beside the much prettier bunny bento box I purchased from the internet. And which, when it arrived, I realized was of the appropriate size to house three celery sticks. Four if you were VERY determined.

So Happy New Year to you guys, and I am very excited about bringing my lunch to work. Of course, I am going to have to also bring a plate because I can't go putting metal into the microwave, but Whatever! I needed to stop microwaving plastic into my food anyway.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shopping Trip

This Sunday announced early that it was going to be grey and rainy and just a bit cold. I had initially had plans to go down to Raw Sugar, my favourite coffee shop down in Chinatown, and noodle about on my laptop, but when three rolled around and I was barely up and out of bed, (although I had completely finished The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner), I cancelled those plans and invited friends over for board games instead.

This had the double benefit of yay games and providing incentive to clean my kitchen/bathroom/tidy the gooddamn living room. My bedroom may still look like a tiny clothes explosion, but my living room has managed to get most of its floor space cleared (unpacking=hard).

Unfortunately, I promptly realized that although I was in possession of plenty of party games, I did not have any of the games ideal for three people and a bottle of wine. So I marched out my door to Fandom II, the nearby boardgame shop, and picked up Pandemic, the game I have been hopelessly addicted to for months. This game is beautifully balanced, which in my book means you actually end up losing a lot as you frantically work with your team mates to cure diseases and stop the spread of infection. (for those of you who know, yes of course Play Games was on in the background. Certain mix tape traditions should never die)

So my apartment is as clean as if has been since I've moved, I made chili for lunch tomorrow (it could, however, be spicier), and I have added to my board game collection. Today = success.

Tomorrow's Plan: get fed awesome Indian food.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And then I bought a couch

When I moved into my very own place last month (I know, super exciting!), I decided I no longer wanted to a couch which had been found on the side of the road. Or donated from a friend. Or was in some way or other not totally awesome.

This would be my first Big Furniture Purchase, and I was very excited about it.

And then I started looking for one.

A) my place is small. This means that most couches are too big, and those swank sectionals are right out and there is no way I am going to be able to fit a matching chair anywhere in the vicinity (the table for board games takes up a lot of room)


B) Furniture is always about a thousand dollars more expensive than I'm expecting.

Finally I narrowed my choice down to two couches found in the Market. One at the Bay (the top floor is actually awesomely filled with furniture, although smells strangely musty) and one at Van Leeuwen. Similar prices, similar size. I admit, I was very tempted to get the one from Van Leeuwen in part because  it was going to be from a real furniture store, and they let you choose your own fabric cover, and if I had just been offered a small glass of champagne while I shopped around, the whole experience would have been complete. But it turns out two hundred fabric samples with varying extra costs is a tad overwhelming.

So I wandered back to the Bay (this couch was smaller as well) and now my apartment is fantastic! There is a non-zero chance this is where I am sitting Right Now.