Life Jam

Feeling a bit weird about giving a PowerPoint presentation to my friends last night, because I was mostly sincere about it. I made a PowerPoint presentation?? About entrepreneurship??

While I was hunting for pictures to use, I ran across a rich vein of future desktops. So there’s that. There’s this, I mean:

My new optical capabilities

On the way home from Idaho this summer, Galen and I stopped in Vancouver and got ramen at Kintaro, at Denman and Robson. I remember taking a photo of the business sign across the street, but the Lomo ate that picture and I had forgotten what was so great about the sign.

We had ramen at Kintaro again this weekend, and holy shit that sign across the street was something. Laund’rays laundry and tanning, for your pleasure:

Laund'rays sign in Vancouver.

At first I only twigged to the awesome name, so the note about tanning is kind of behind a tree. Still good.

This was the first time I’ve taken my new Christmas camera out of the house. I like the way I bonded with it right away, developed that sensory possessiveness where something feels wrong if it isn’t in my pocket. I’m not usually a gadget person (I actually don’t have any other portable electronics). Usually I’m bonded to some giant hunk of paper or textile when I’m out and about, but adding this camera to my body was eeeeasy. So tiny, and quick. Thanks, Mum and Dad.

power jam

costumes. costumes are a productivity tool.

this morning, on my way between breakfast and the bank, i saw a business man running full tilt down the street. a business man like from a children’s book: in a conservative, navy blue suit and tie, with dress shoes, holding an open umbrella upright above his head. running fast, with long steps making his trousers flap. his tie might have been over his shoulder, but that seems like an embellishment that i would add.

i used to want to organize some kind of annual soccer game where everyone would wear power suits. navy vs. brown (i.e., bankers vs. car salesmen), or white shirts vs. blue shirts. (i also like camping in skirts and mary janes, or just generally taking control of my office wear.)

but the connection that made me realize what an excellent, if obtuse, productivity tool was available to me in costumes was remembering, when i saw the business man running, how much better i like doing housework if i’m wearing a tiara and carrying a wine glass. the glass could be full of water or hot tea for all i care, but carrying it around makes dusting or scrubbing a fun time. an event.

i’m sure you understand right away, what it is like to do housework in a tiara and carrying a wine glass (or a martini glass), because i tried explaining all of this at the sara marreiros show tonight and everybody caught on right away. “you should get some of those slippers with the fluff on the front.” and the thing is, i had some and i ran them into the ground doing housework. we are all on the same page here.

i’ve been thinking about running stairs lately anyway, because it seems like a weird and efficient urban exercise option, and i think if i got a washable power suit i could really get into running. you can wear running shoes with a skirt suit, i think. that’s a classic commuter move. nylons would be best but i have to draw the line somewhere (and they look really weird with my furry legs).

a lot of self-employees and telecommuters make a point of getting properly dressed to work at home, because it gets them into productivity mode. i do that too (my key items are a bra and real pants). i’d like to figure out a home office costume that goes one level further, not just into productivity mode but into like, titan of industry mode. what is the word for one of those pillars of society who wield massive business powers yet are admired for their philanthropy and preferably also some type of artistic skill? genius? character? sarah’s imaginary friend? i want to get into like, gomez addams mode. mon sauvage!

contenders for my new work outfit.

  • a clerical cloak of some type
  • a green bookkeeping visor and crisp shirt
  • power suit
  • my old default: the tiara and the wine glass
  • sassy underwear (possibly combined with the clerical cloak?)
  • dresses with hosiery and jewellery. and footwear.
  • cleanroom spacesuit.
  • specialized garment, like a lab coat or a utility belt
  • monochrome outfit of any kind

i think part of what is holding me back from my ultimate productivity-sauvage costume is that all the glamorous titans of yore were dudes, and the lady workers did not have cool 3-piece suits that suggest timeless power. this is an unforeseen feminist battleground.

One down

Today I bought six low-energy lightbulbs and put them in the fixtures we use the most. Kitchen mostly.

I feel virtuous and green, and also homey. Our place is a real castle lately: tidy and well-stocked, with enough places to sit. Now with environmentally sound lighting.

Soon I’ll go to rock club and see if my secret pal likes what I picked for her. Rock club is making me like my friends more. It barely comes together most times, and runs like a case study of social groups, but I like that about it. It helps me accept my friends for being human, even when they flake out or pry for attention or forget to leave room for me. We seem to be gradually adjusting the rock club setup to get the best side of most of us.

My new bookmark

I’ve tried to do this several times. Hopefully this time it will take.

If you use an index card as a bookmark, you can note down any mystery words to look up later. Most words are not mysterious enough to warrant a dictionary interruption (for me at least), but by now I really should know for certain what lugubrious means.

I bet if I make a chart, I’ll remember to use it. I’ll just trust my friends not to tease me when I leave that lying around.

Goodbye, 2005. It’s been swell.

All that goal-setting required some stock-taking. I keep such close tabs on my business development and my personal growth that all I really want to tally up is my reading list for 2005. I barely read at all this past spring, but really got down to business in the fall. I wish I’d actually kept a list, so that I could name the quantity of books I’d like to read in 2006. Why is a numerical goal so appealing? Je ne comprends pas.

Read in 2005

These go approximately reverse-chronological, from memory only. Emphasis shows stuff I especially enjoyed.

  1. The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
  2. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  3. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. Loop-d-loop, by Teva Durham
  6. Knitting without tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  7. Freakonomics, by Stephen Levitt
  8. The Confusion, by Neal Stephenson
  9. Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson
  10. Post Captain, by Patrick O’Brien
  11. Master and Commander, by Patrick O’Brien
  12. The Search, by John Battelle
  13. Designing with Web Standards, by Jeffrey Zeldman
  14. The Zen of CSS Design, by Dave Shea and Molly Holzscholg
  15. I Will Fear No Evil, by Robert Heinlein
  16. A New View of a Woman’s Body, by The Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centres
  17. Petals, by Nick Karras
  18. Bazaar Bizarre, by Greg Der Ananian
  19. Not Wanted on the Voyage, by Timothy Findley

So that’s 19 books, plus a lot of comics. Considering how familiar I got with the library this year, I’m sure I’m missing several no-name typography books and the like. But maybe 30 is a reasonable goal for 2006. 30 then, to be reassessed in June!

To read in 2006, in case I forget…

  • Infinite Jest
  • Confederacy of Dunces
  • Sound and the Fury
  • The System of the World
  • What the Body Remembers
  • Guide to Getting it On (for myvag)
  • The Erotic Mind (ditto)
  • Godel, Escher, Bach (finally kill it!)
  • The Nature of Order #2
  • Laws of Media
  • Emergence (finish skimming it… I’ve read a lot of the books in its bibliography, but it would be good to put it to bed)