Further evidence that I’m not really in a target demographic for normal businesses

Name shack

Last night at a screening of short films, I was being introduced to a new guy who kept claiming bad hearing and getting everyone’s name wrong.

(1) This would be a good gimmick for business men who obsess about remembering everyone’s name. You’d have an excuse to repeat the names a lot, plus you could “jokingly” get them wrong and everyone would find you charming. (2) This guy’s misheard names were way better than our normal names (Sarah = Sierra. Jessica = Destiny. Galen = Hayden. We are instantly teen idols or brands of vodka!).

I think he should go into business in some way. Maybe you could call him up and tell him your ideas for naming your pets or the characters in your new novel, and he could just repeat them back to you through his auditory filter of awesomeness. Maybe he could deliver some sort of televised oral history newscast.

Surprise! Hope you’re more vain than paranoid!

Two nights ago, I was talking about web design rates with my friend Michael, who is making a site for a private detective. His ladyfriend Erin suggested he just trade services, and then we were all sort of hoping to be the subject of Michael’s bartered private investigation, just so we could get some weird surveillance photos of ourselves. And now I think that should be a business of its own: just the surveillance photos.

Real detectives probably don’t take big, black and white glossies anymore (nope), but my non-investigative, non-incriminating surveillance photography service sure would. And we’d make a special effort to get shots of the subject holding up her collar against the wind while stepping into a taxi, laughing in a restaurant with an unseen dinner companion, or generally looking over his shoulder all the time. If surveillance is going to be biased and weird, it might as well be biased towards glamour and intrigue.

I can’t stop thinking about what a great (weird, confusing) birthday present that would be for an unsuspecting friend. “It’s… is this a threat?”

Internet wish: find likely pornographic typos

Any page offering advice on choosing a domain name will insist you consider common typos and misunderstandings. No need to end up the latest sexchange URL (lawyersexchange.com, editorsexchange.com…). And nobody wants to end up a typo away from hardcore porn. Especially if your website features Christian hymns.

So why can’t I find a tool to check these things?

I just got an email from a web design client (who really does make Christian hymns) saying that one of their customers had accidentally found porn while trying to type in their website address. “They probably just made a typo.”

But darned if I can figure out where this typo porn actually is. None of my misspelled attempts are registered domains, and I can’t find a tool that suggests similarly spelled URLs that exist.

There are lots of tools to find websites with similar content, but none to find websites with similar addresses. This second tool is what I wish for.

Namin’ names

  • Someday, maybe I will start a sysadmin dance band called Deee-link.
  • I hope someone starts selling eels or eggs online, before it becomes completely gauche to add ‘e’ to the front of a word, to denote online commerce. eeggs.com would be pretty awesome, probably.

A project I’d like to make*

I’d like to collect stories and descriptions of people’s epiphanies. How they snapped out of depression, or figured out their life’s work, or fixed their relationships, understood parenthood or life or sex or death or generally how to deal with reality. People’s answers to “What’s the secret?”

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, occasionally stoked by articles like this one, but I had assumed it would be hard to find enough stories to make a worthwhile collection. Talking to Andrea at our small-business breakfast yesterday, we both had potential contributions to this topic. More than realizing I could find enough contributions, I remembered how totally compelled I am by people solving problems and figuring things out, and dealing with basic tragedies like the fact we’re all going to die. I want to go hunting.

*I can’t believe I don’t post daydream projects more often. It’s my most common conversational topic and constant preoccupation.

Elephant memory

Panty salad

A really long time ago, Justin Hall told a story on links.net about watching his girlfriend Amy collect underwear to pack for a trip. “I have enough underwear here to make a salad,” she said.

Panty salad. Lodged in my brain forever, alongside all the names Rebecca and I have come up with for our fictional lingerie store over the years. Pantymonium, All Tomorrow’s Panties, the usual. I get more excited about the scope of our inventory than the name. We would fit everybody! We would cover a huge footprint on the matrix of fashion and comfort! We would host events. Etc etc.

But on laundry days I make panty salad, not pantymonium, out of all my “lay flat to dry” items.

Panty platter

Jellyfish couture

Jellyfish Many months ago, I borrowed a video about jellyfish from the library. Lucky me, it was one of those upper echelon nature documentaries produced by a specialized research centre with a high budget and a celebrity narrator, in this case Leonard Nemoy.

Dr. Spock narrated in a mesmerizing hypno-voice throughout, and at the exact point in the film where the photography jumped from average jellyfish to mind-bending footage of rare aliens of the deep, our hypnotist narrator compared one especially ruffly, colour-changing, pulsating specimen to an elegant woman, trailing her veils and skirts across the room.

Since then I’ve been percolating on how, exactly, I am going to dress like an elegant jellyfish. Many-layered underskirts? Ruffly legwarmers? Tutus trailing ribbons? Could I knit something? Around Christmas I settled on a ball-shaped skirt, such as you’d see made out of feathers and sequins in the 1920s. Skirts that puff out, then cinch back in. Dresses made from piles of ruffles.

Imagine, then, my delight at finding these diverse, jelly-like creations in the recent catwalk photos at Style.com. (Imagine my delight at finding catwalk photo galleries in general: endless, silly desktop wallpaper.)


Jellyfish jacket by Balenciaga

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jellyfish dress by Jean Paul Gaultier


Jellyfish dress by Kenzo

Martin Grant

Jellyfish dress by Martin Grant

Alexander McQueen

Jellyfish dress by Alexander McQueen
Jellyfish dress by Alexander McQueen
Jellyfish dress by Alexander McQueen
Jellyfish dress by Alexander McQueen

Pearl of Civilization, private collection

I’ve just finished sewing my own jellyfish dress— out of materials from the Closet of Stash no less. The dress is my surprise contribution to Rock Club tonight (the theme is complicated this time, and involves bringing some kind of art to go with our song). Once it has been officially unveiled I’ll post photos here.

I am very excited. Jellyfish dress!


I started my weekend on Friday, and spent all of today goofing around with Rock Club, and Zoe is coming to visit tomorrow so I know that will be a write-off. I can’t separate my slacking from my fever-induced laziness. I want to be so productive, and not get stuck on predictable tasks, like whenever I have to do the part of design that involves making something pretty, or presentable. I rock the functional part, but the decorating is really hard. Yes I know they work together. I’m stuck on visual stuff on two different projects right now. Three, really. It’s painful. I’m so full of ideas, honest. I can work so hard. Honest. I don’t know how to make the pretty things come out of my head.

This has to be the year that I learn to draw. Studying colours and type and alignment helped, but if I’m aspiring to something other than boxes, I need to have less clumsy hands.

Party in my head

Robin wants to make a porn magazine for straight women. I could get on board with that, mostly because Robin is awesome and has interesting hobbies and ideas. She volunteers with an anti-violence project and a sexual assault centre, and a sexual health clinic. That is all the shit that I should be doing, since I’ve styled myself a purveyor of sex education info. I spend more time thinking about sex as a head trip, and arty possibilities and altered states brought on by orgasms. Porn show’n‘tell discussions with Robin would be reasonable and worthwhile, I imagine, and also fun and out-of-bounds a bit.

I’m really interested in private publishing right now, and I think it would be extra interesting to make this porn magazine for personal consumption only, instead of mass production. Fame and attention is the background of practically everything on the internet; purposely private media is something I haven’t explored a lot. I’m compelled by the idea of publishing and working and producing for my friends only. That’s a very human scale with different social consequences, completely different from international online communities. I’ve been finding Rock Club a lot more intense than other websites that I make, and also more casual. Just like everyday friends. I like it.

When I imagine this porn magazine, it would involve pals bringing some item that they were hot for this week (or this month), to put in the magazine, and then we could talk about the contents while we craft the magazine. That is a real snapshot of my daydreams; Galen would laugh. EVERYTHING IS ALLOWED: THE CRAFT PROJECT AND MEDIA THEORY EXPERIMENT.

Eventually maybe we’d get the magazine figured out enough that it would be fun to publish it for real. Right now I want to call it Perv Unit. Today and yesterday I am an unstoppable daydreamer, coming up with names for porn projects and planning the tiny urban estate of my future family. (I’d like to keep peacocks in the front yard, because they are regal and completely ridiculous, and know how to kill snakes.)

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.


I want someone to write one of those comprehensive, cross-disciplinary books about the pure joy of the word fuck. I’ve been getting a lot of satisfaction in the last few days. My favourites, overall: