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These next two weeks are going to be insane, which is typically just the way I like 'em.

  • After much fuming and sadfacing, I finally got the iPhone 4 working. It took me a trip to Rogers and a trip back to the Apple store fifteen minutes before it closed, but finally there was triumph. It came a little too late in the evening for me to really enjoy it, though: by the time I got home it was almost 11 PM and I had to be up at 7 the next morning, so I methodically went through every app I had and re-logged on, adjusted the settings, and did everything I needed to do to make the phone usable for the next day, then promptly passed out on the sofa. At some point around 4 AM I think I woke up and stumbled to my actual bed.

    It's so much faster than the 3G I had, and the screen resolution seems impossibly sharp, almost unreal. It's a dream to use, though I do have to be careful to make sure I force quit certain apps -- like Skype -- when I'm done with them, otherwise they run in the background and drain the battery something fierce. The camera is a significant improvement over the 3G camera, and the flash works decently enough for what it is. Haven't taken much video yet (I'm not really a video person) so I can't comment much on that, but I did try out Facetime with SS last night and it was kinda neat. Still not sure how often I'd use it, but since learning that Facetime doesn't use up phone minutes (because it works over WiFi only), I may opt to use it in certain daytime situations. I'm seriously considering getting an iPhone dock for my desk at home, especially if the angle is right. I know enough people with iPhone 4s that it may actually be useful, especially if I need to talk to those people when they're out of town but still have wireless access. Way cheaper than calling long distance.

  • Went to a wedding on Saturday which was lovely and nerdtastic. There were also a number of really awesome speeches, including a couple from really excellent public speakers who clearly have a talent for timing and speech structure. The speech section was longer than usual for a wedding, but they were so engaging, funny and interesting that I didn't really notice until after everything was done and I checked the time. My Toastmasters group would have loved it.

  • I did a favour for some friends and checked in twice a day on their cat while they were in Calgary for the past long weekend, mostly because the cat has a heart condition and has to take heart medication every morning. Getting a cat to take a pill is no fun. The first day we did okay, the second day was tricky, and then the third day he was just a miserable twat about the whole thing. I think he figured out I wasn't as good at it as his proper people so he tried harder to squirm away. :/ Very frustrating business, getting pills into cat mouths that do not want any part in the process.

  • FRINGE FLAIL. So much to do, so little time. This weekend was handbill/poster/media kit chaos for the media launch that happened this morning, which was a lot of print design work and I hates print design. All the files are so damn big and everything takes 10 times longer than it does when you're working on web design. Something that should take 1 hour takes 3 because every file takes 2 minutes to open/save/close/etc. Also, my desktop computer strains under the combined stress of running multiple Illustrator and Photoshop files at the same time, which just makes the slow problem even worse. All I have left is the business card handbill which shouldn't be quite so bad because it's much smaller, and then program which is mostly words.

    Also have to build the show slides sometime before our Saturday afternoon tech, and hopefully create the sound effects, though the more complex ones can wait until after tech if they need to. We may have decided to use a different screen and projector which will save me a ton of time because then I won't have to construct anything, which would be awesome. All the more time I can spend building awesome projections! :D

  • I attended Edmonton's Heritage Days Festival for the first time ever yesterday, and I can't believe I've never been before. It's an awesome and huge event: I had no idea how massive it was, covering the entire of Hawrelak Park. And the food! *omnomnoms* I tried camel! And octopus, which I'd never had before. I will definitely be attending this festival again next summer.

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Back to posting regularly again...
  • If you're flailing because you heard death by methane bubble is the way the world is gonna end, rest easy: from io9, the methane doomsday story has been debunked good and proper. Also, Deborah Blum over at Speakeasy Science calls out the irresponible reporting that started all this.


  • Also, because this enraged me today, apparently if you're carrying more than two condoms around with you in D.C., you can be charged with prostitution. Proof positive that we never waste a moment to A) discourage safer sex, and B) assume that all women who carry condems -- you know, maybe because they enjoy sex -- are whores. *headdesk*


  • Swing dancing on Saturday night was lots of fun! It was meltingly hot, so you could only do a couple of dances at a time before you had to retreat to bottled water and the (slightly) cooler temperatures outside, but aside from that it was a good time. I'll definitely go back again. They did some kind of crazy swing/line dance at the end of the night that I want to learn thought I'm not sure my feet move that fast.


  • Caught the last act of the SOSFest on Whyte Ave last night, and while I'm not Shout Out Out Out Out's biggest fan, the street-party vibe on Whyte was infectious and responsible. For all the people having a good time, there was no destruction or chaos. I do wonder how much the event being held on a Sunday night impacted that point, and whether the party would have been quite so relaxed if it'd been a Friday or Saturday.


  • I think the plan is to work remotely from St. Albert tomorrow and do laundry while I'm there, which will free up my evening for some Shakespeare in the Park for the evening. Also, it sounds like it might work out well for user testing in St. Albert tomorrow afternoon, so clearly it's fate.


  • Still haven't been down to the Street Performer's Festival yet: hoping to go Wednesday after work if the weather cooperates.


  • My road trip to Vancouver with Sister to visit Brother and Sister-in-Law is fast approaching, and I'm so very ready to leave town for a week. I haven't had a real vacation in two years, and I'm itching to get away. I'm trying not to think about it too much because it's hard to focus on work, life and such when I do, but... *bouncebouncebounce*


  • I may be starting another blog project. Because obviously I don't blog enough yet. :P I'm pitching an idea later this week and depending on the reception, I'll go ahead or not. I don't really need a lot of help, but I do want a second opinion from someone who's been in the skeptic community longer than I have as to the value. Also, I've been itching to mess around with some CSS3 and have been hoarding links on delicious, and this may be the perfect excuse.


  • Also going to take my first attempt at building an iPhone stylesheet, probably during the first week in August when I get back from the Road Trip of Sisterly Win. Should be a challenging and interesting project, which is just my cup of tea.


  • Speaking of tea, almost out of tea! :O This will never do. Time to stock up again.

    I've become such a massive tea snob it isn't even funny. Every time I have bag tea now I'm disappointed, and at restaurants when all they have is Red Rose tea I sneer. Currently my plan is to bring a tea stash with me on the Road Trip of Sisterly Win because I simply cannot bear to be without it for an entire week. This means I also need to bring a french press or other such method of properly infusing said tea. So much for packing light.


  • Speaking of Road Trip of Sisterly Win, I have to clean out my car before I can take it anywhere. It also needs an oil change. And possibly a tune-up. I should probably get on that. *eep*

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Oh hey there Livejournal. Did you miss me? It's been almost two weeks since last we spent some quality time together.

  • Wedding came and went, and aside from some (frankly ridiculous) interpersonal hiccups from within the groom's side of the bridal party and a minor music glitch at the ceremony, things went swimmingly. It was very strange to be sitting at the head table, though, elevated above the rest of the tables. It felt very VIP.

    There was a Scrabble theme at the reception, complete with awesome Scrabble cake and a plethora of loose tiles spread around each of the tables. Probably unsurprisingly, it was not long before some gutter-minded individuals started up a dirty word/sex Scrabble challenge that ultimately used up every tile in the place. At one point half around half the guests were crowded around the table (and not just the young ones, either) brainstorming naughty things to add.

    Also! I got to drive an awesome car for the weekend. The bride and groom rented two Mustang convertibles, and I was in charge of one of them. :D :D :D And, since the ceremony was 45 minutes out of the city, I got to drive it on the highway! VROOOOOOOOOOM!! It was sad to return it on Sunday morning.

  • It was really awesome to see my friend L again, who came up for the wedding. I hadn't seen her in five years, and the last time she was up it was while I was still in theatre school and smack dab in the middle of the biggest show Grant MacEwan had ever put on, so I only saw her for about an hour after a disastrous dress rehearsal and when I'd been awake for something like 36 hours straight. Not exactly a quality visit, so this time around it was great to take a few days off and actually get to talk and hang out, even though there was a lot of wedding crazy going on. Excited that she's going to school in Vancouver this year, which is significantly closer-to than New Brunswick, so I'm certain I'll see her again within the year.

  • As anticipated, the iPhone 4 is likely going to be released in Canada while I'm on vacation in Vancouver. This means I'll probably have to wait an extra week to get my gimmie hands on it. :c This is especially annoying considering the iOS update, while awesome in many ways, is tediously slow on the 3G.

    In other iPhone related news, my mother just bought one, which means Apple owns the full Saunders set. Also, she's discovered (and is quite enthusiastic about) text messaging, and I am apparently one of her "fab five" or something. Uh oh.

  • Fringe meeting with my writer/actor last week! I'm excited for the show, and pumped to be doing some theatre again! The script is still in rewrites, but it seems like there will be some fun sound design and perhaps even some projection work. Hoping to do photos for the poster and marketing materials soon, maybe next weekend.

  • Wrote a post at afterthree.net about the research in Florida on engineering female babies in utero to be heterosexual and more stereotypically feminine that I haven't formatted for LJ yet. I also talk a little about the clitoral surgeries going on at Cornell.

    I'm likely going to start fake-cutting posts like this over to the other blog rather than duplicating them here in their entirety. There are two reasons for this: the first is that formatting longer editorial pieces like this takes long enough the first go-around, and having to do it twice is a massive pain the ass; the second is that, while duplicating content is more convenient for readers here, it's kind of an SEO no-no.

  • The YEGfeminist group I'm trying to get off the ground is having its first meet'n'greet social tomorrow, and there are actually people coming! :D Pumped to meet feminists in Edmonton in the flesh.

  • The whitewashed Avatar: The Last Airbender movie is getting abysmal reviews which has removed any and all temptation I had to go and see it, which I wasn't planning to do anyway. It sucking makes that easier, though. DarianeNabor has a long but worthwhile review of the movie on Darnivorous, and there's actually been a fair amount of press on the racebending issues in the film, which is good to see.

  • Edmonton Street Performers Festival starts this weekend and I am determined to go this year. I have never been, which is insanity.

  • Friend @Jillus drew another picture of me, and it was so awesome I had to make an LJ user icon out of it! :D
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Oh hey there Monday. When did you happen? I could have sworn there was a weekend between you and Thursday....
  • Taught my SEO class on Friday afternoon at Guru Digital Arts College and it was both awesome and fun. It sounds like they want me and my brain back again, so hurrah for me!

  • Final Keynote project almost complete, and then it will be nice to put Keynote away for at least a couple of days. Maybe even a couple of weeks. We'll see how things go. I think work is discovering I'm good at building these things, so it may expand.

  • Bachelorette party on Friday! :D We had way too much fun, and the bride actually got drunk which, for those of you who don't know her, is really weird. She doesn't drink at all really, so I was surprised, shocked and impressed when she did one shot, never mind the five that came after. o_O She wasn't sick (I forced her to drink much water) and spent the night with me, and it turns out she's an extremely giggly drunk. So much fun and giggling was had. Also drunken Facebook posting/chatting.

  • Saw Toy Story 3. It was fantastic in many ways. Ken is hilarious. My love affair with Pixar continues untainted. I'm not sure I loved it more than How to Train Your Dragon, though. If I had to decide on one for best animated movie this year, it would be tough.

  • Have I think successfully converted Twitter friend @Jillus into a RL friend, which is awesome because she is awesome. We connect on many a nerdy level, and everyone knows there is no such thing as too much nerdiness in my life. For serious, I am forever grateful to Twitter for bring so many completely awesome people into my life. Many of them I haven't met in person yet and many of them I have, but they are all wonderful. My social life and general happiness levels owe a huge debt to Twitter and the #yeg Twitter community. Social media is not just about online friends, it's about friends period.

  • Epic #brunchwar on Sunday was epic. Biggest turnout ever, and a faction of us stayed very late, then went and got Marble Slab ice cream and hung out chatting about increasingly geeky things in the shade in the park.

  • Apparently I was tired Sunday night. I fell asleep at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 7:30 this morning.

  • This week is Wedding Week. I expect there will be Busy. This is the first wedding I've been a bridesmaid for and I'm interested to see how it changed the Wedding Experience. Also, wedding means that L is in town on Wednesday and I haven't seen her in literally years so I'm super pumped! *dances*

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My week this week is crammed full of too much stuff to do. At work, in life, in preparation. Anyone have some spare hours they can lend me?
  • The theme of this week seems to be Keynote Presentations.

    For those that don't know, PowerPoint is not your friend. If you must create a presentation, savvy people will use Keynote. Because it's just better. It looks better, it works better, and the animation and transition features lap PowerPoint several times over. It is a Macintosh-only software, though, so all you silly PC users are just plain outta luck. Have fun in the pit of despair that is PowerPoint.

    The first presentation I built this week was in a rushed two hours after work and before Toastmasters on Monday for my speech about blogging. I thought I was scheduled to do my speech next week, but last Thursday I received the roster and saw my name on it for Monday's line-up, so I had to throw something together fast. It was well-received and I'm pretty satisfied with it over all, though I'd hoped to include a little bit of custom animation razzle-dazzle. Ah well.

    Keynote presentation number two is work-related for our retreat next week and all about mobile Internet usage and development. Statistics heavy, which -- given Keynote's robust charting functions -- you'd think would be a quickie, but alas. I am too anal about the style and look of the thing and the charting function doesn't give me the infograph look I want, so I'm building all the charts and whatnot from scratch. Fortunately, the presentation is short.

    The third is for a class on search engine optimization I'm teaching on Friday afternoon at Guru Digital Arts College. It's going to be significantly longer, but fortunately I know and have all the content I need to build it already, so mostly it's just dividing the words up into slides, formatting it appeal to my inner designer (I can't bring myself to build "ugly" presentations, I just... can't) and adding screen shots where necessary. How much razzle dazzle I add in will depend on how much time I can devote to the thing between now and Friday morning. It helps that I've built three different "tutorials" on SEO in the last two months, so I have tonnes of pre-existing, comprehensive content to draw from.

  • Went to the Greater Edmonton Skeptic Society meeting yesterday and discovered the Elephant and Castle pub in City Centre makes a pretty decent Shepherd's Pie. I got suckered into taking minutes because the usual minute-taker was absent (okay, fine, I reluctantly volunteered when it became clear no one else was going to). At some point this week I have to tidy up those notes and fire them off to the board. Or maybe I'll do that on Sunday, when life is somewhat calmer.

  • Bridesmaid duties are increasing, as I expected. I was super organized yesterday and made a bunch of phone calls and organized a pile of things that needed to be organized. Bachelorette party is on Friday, and at some point I have to come up with/prepare fun games that are appropriate (or low-key enough if not) to get away with playing in a restaurant. Any ideas?

  • Also have to clean my apartment (and WHOA NELLY does it need it BAD) before Friday night. Um...? Kitchen and bathroom + general tidying planned for tonight, but I'm going to leave vacuuming for as long as possible owing to life with Velcro Cat.

  • Haven't had the chance to watch any Chuck at all since sometime last week. This makes me a little sad, but since I'm almost done the last available season, I'm also okay with drawing it out a little longer.

  • Client meeting tomorrow morning means I have to iron me some actual business clothes tonight. *adds that to the list*

This week is only half over and I'm already exhausted.

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Holy crap it's already June.
  • The past two weekends have both been cloudy, cold and rainy. BLAH, I say unto you Mother Nature. BLAH. I am obsessively checking and rechecking the weather forecast for this weekend in hopes of sunshine and warm. *crosses fingers*

  • Last thursday I attended my first Turkey Shoot, which for those who are familiar with Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is exactly that except in a real movie theatre with real people and everyone gets to play. For those who don't know MST3K, basically what we're talking about here is playing a really awful, badly-written B-movie and making fun of it while it's playing. The movie we watched was The Room which they've shown before but I had never seen, and WHOA was it so incredibly, delightfully and oftentimes completely randomly awful. There was bad acting, awful writing, montages, awful soft-core pornography, rose abuse, nonsense blocking, and -- my personal favourite -- tuxedo football! This is one of those movies that can't be explained: it must be watched (and watched with a room full of enthusiastic sarcastic commentary) to be fully appreciated. Great event, and I look forward to the next Turkey Shoot.

  • Someone keyed my car on Friday. I'm still pissed about it.

  • On a friend's advice, I have started watching Chuck. This show is AWESOME you guys. I'm already done season one and started season two. It's kinda like a modern day Get Smart. I strongly urge those looking for new TV to watch through the summer to try Chuck.

  • I have not posted a single recap about season five of Doctor who and feel a little bit guilty about that. So far I'm more or less meh about the whole season insofar as the plot goes. I'm quite fond of our three main characters as they stand (and somewhat more ingratiated to River Song), but I've found the plots and writing to be unsteady. There's very little so far that has brought out the impulse to meta, so I just... haven't.

  • I leant Twitter friend @Jillus the first three Harry Potter movies so she could marathon them over the weekend, and she thanked me by drawing this completely awesome picture of me wearing Slytherin garb! XD The term "squee" does not come close to covering how this picture delights me, no matter how many exclamation points you put after it. :D :D

  • Speaking of Harry Potter, this shirt is possible the awesomest thing ever.

  • Had drinks with that ex of mine on Saturday night which was interesting. Not in an I-want-to-date-this-person-again way, just in a I-remember-we-used-to-have-interesting-conversations kind of way. It's kinda strange seeing someone you haven't seen in six years, especially when your last interaction was breaking up with them. Kind of surreal.

  • I ended up being a last-minute pinch-hit debator in my Toastmasters' Club debate contest last night and then won second place! I like to debate and argue but have never participated in a formal debate before, and I really enjoyed it. When there's another one I'll definitely sign up again: it's very good practice, especially being on a time limit. It forces me to be concise and stick to one or two points.

  • My new prescription sunglasses should be in sometime this week! I'm excited to not squint when I'm outside anymore that is if the sun ever shines on a weekend.

  • I've been watching the news about the BP oil spill pretty closely, but if you haven't here's a good list of links to all the important things you should know about it.
  • I want an iPad. So, so badly. *pouts*
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Missed updating last week, but I had a good reason (well, a reason anyway): work!
  • Work! A huge report that had to be written last week did, in fact, get written. Almost 40 pages of business writing on social media, and sprinted in two days. WOOO! My hands and fingers were all crampy after, and I admit the very last thing I wanted to do was type anything. The report seems to have been well-received, so it was all worth it, but wow was I tired of looking at Word after that.

  • Iron Man 2 was good as sequels go, though the first one was better (aren't they always?). The plot was a bit all over and it seemed like they were trying to do way too much in one movie. Sequels often turn out that way, probably because there's so much pressure to deliver something bigger-better-faster in the second go-round, but they usually end up unfocused and scattershot. Too many plots leads to an overall plot that is incohesive, and too many character moments lead to breadth without depth, and depth is where the really good stuff is hiding. Sequels should arguably be able to go deeper into character and relationships because they don't have to spend all that time introducing them to us, but often what we get is whatever they manage to skim off the top.

    Scarlett Johansson is all kinds of hella-hot in this flick as Black Widow, though. Best action sequence in the movie hands down.

  • Pink Tie gala was fun! There were tasty h'orderves, champagne, cocktails, a silent auction, a fashion show, and lots of pink everywhere. Afterward we hopped in a cab and met friends for karaoke, and I sang a little Journey (Don't Stop Believing) for the small crowd and made some new friends. Part of the reason I enjoy Edmonton Twitter events so much is that I always seem to meet someone new and awesome. How would I have ever met these people before Twitter?

  • Aside from work, last week was actually fairly quiet. My parents took me to Live and Let Die: A Syphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney and it was awesome; I've had Hey Jude stuck in my head for the past week and I don't mind in the slightest. The best thing about Paul McCartney and the Beatles is how they span age demographics: during the encore the entire audience was on its feed and dancing -- old and young, men and women. There is nothing quite so fabulous to watch as an 18 and 68 year old grooving enthusiastically to the same music.

  • The Edmonton City Market opened downtown this weekend, so I wandered over and met a friend for a little light shopping (mmm... mini cucumbers are delicious) and lunch. Also managed to score my first sunburn of the season. *facepalm* I have this problem where I forget every year that the sun can burn in months other than July and August. I'm hoping once the burn goes away that I'm not left with dark tan lines: I just got rid of last year's awkward lines. At least I was wearing a tank top instead of a high-neckted t-shirt or something.

  • Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In BC, parents quashed many of the IDAHO activities a local group of high school students had planned. Because apparently spending any class time talking about homophobia is inappropriate. *sigh*

  • I may be SMing a one-woman Fringe show this year! Theatre! And me being involved in it! WOOT!! :D :D

  • The May long weekend is coming up, but the weather forecast says rain. :c This quite literally puts a damper on potential plans of wearing hats and going to the horse races. *crosses fingers for sunshine*

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