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A Good Way to Spend A Day Away From My Dissertation


Pointy John



February 11th, 2009

Joanna the Mad

Pointy John
OK, so my sister is now also obsessed with John Oliver, perhaps not quite to my level of delusion, but to an equally unhealthy degree and we've been writing to the Bugle under the pen name "Joanna the Mad" from an email address she created specifically for the project. We like to think of it as a creative writing project and weekly we write a ridiculous email to the Bugle signed by a different incarnation of Joanna the Mad. An example is below:

Dear Mr. John Oliver and you too Andy,

I was very unhappy when you did not read my previous email on last week's Bugle. As a loyal Bugle listener, and a dedicated Mr. John Oliver internet stalker, I feel that you must simply be racist. That's right I said it, despite President Obama making racism a thing of the past, you two did not read my email because I am Canadian, and possibly because I am insane. John, just because one Canadian decided to go kamikaze on his own career and take you down with him (along with Cobert, Timberlake and many others) doesn't mean you have to turn your back on our whole nation. (and seriously, about the Love Guru.. why?) Also, it seems that being insane hasn't been a problem for some of the other Bugle emailers. You've read emails where the bugler threatened to skin you and mount you in their living room. (I'd really prefer to mount you in the bedroom).


Joanna the "I'm not Mad, I'm just Disappointed"

ps. were they trying to make it a bad film? i watched the cut scenes and they took out some good material just to put in more infantile diarrhea humour. And Jessica Alba as Mike Myer's love interest? I just had to shake my head at the whole affair.

Our next email follows:

Dear Mr. Andy Zaltzman and I guess Mr. John Oliver,

I'm not sure exactly how I feel as a former colony of Britain (some might say still a colony since the Queen is still actually our Head of State), about John's interview with the Kenyan ambassador on this Tuesday's Daily Show.

They say you should give criticism by sandwiching it between two compliments so here goes:

Compliment 1: John you have lovely brown eyes. I always enjoy how they sparkle audibly during each Bugle podcast.

Criticism: Your interview with the Kenyan ambassador.. to far? It was a little cringe worthy. Colonialism jokes... maybe too soon? I had to stop doing an online puzzle of you:
and do Flight of the Concords and Demetri Martin puzzles just to restore my faith in comedians
I'm wondering if I should switch my internet stalking over to Mr. Zaltzman... How do you, Andy, my new true online love feel about that? Be prepared for some serious internet stalking. When I do something, I do it right. (Though, I'm wavering on this issue because you are married and I prefer my inaccessible celebrities to be slightly more accessible that that - hence my original interest in John's relationship status on his MySpace Page.)

Compliment 2: John your singing in the interview was enjoyable. (And in a way, I enjoyed the bit about the flags.)

Ok, so that wasn't so much criticism as a wavering of allegiance and a few websites that promote procrastination, (i do love that jigsaw planet) with two, some might say superficial, compliments. But I do feel strongly about what lovely eyes you have John! (even though I'm not too sure about the rest.)

Love Joanna the Fickle

January 28th, 2009

Self Publishing

Pointy John
As most of the people who read this journal (hi Lacey and Blandine) know I'm an events coordinator for a largish independent bookstore and I have to deal with a lot (an ever increasing number in fact) of self published authors whose books are sometimes good and sometimes really, really, really, really, really bad. So I read with interest an article in yesterday's New York Times about self publishing.

Motoko Rich's article "Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab" in the New York Times (link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/books/28selfpub.html?_r=1&ref=books&pagewanted=all) made me laugh out loud when I came to this quote: "Indeed, said Robert Young, chief executive of Lulu Enterprises, based in Raleigh, N.C., a majority of the company’s titles are of little interest to anybody other than the authors and their families. “We have easily published the largest collection of bad poetry in the history of mankind,” Mr. Young said."

At least the self-publishing companies aren't under any illusions that most of what they are publishing is terrible.

November 8th, 2008

John Oliver

Pointy John
OK, so last week sometime, (things are a bit fuzzy because I don't like to think of a time when I didn't know about The Bugle Podcast, available on itunes and at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/thebugle) I came across a bitingly satirical podcast called The Bugle. It is done by John Oliver (of the Daily Show) and Andy Zaltzman (of various British things). I am now, I want to say mildly obsessed with John Oliver, but it is not a mild obsession. I've spent most waking minutes listening to The Bugle. I do it at work while I set up and take down chairs, I listen to it in the car, I listened to it while I walked home from work the other night (long story about the car being unavailable and missing the bus, ok short story), I listen to it before bed, while I'm cooking and first thing in the morning. I've just finished listening to the last available podcast (issue 52, actual podcast 56, I think). Now that I've finished listening to what amounts to 24 straight hours of The Bugle (the podcasts are about 30 minutes each, although most are a couple of minutes longer), I've been obsessively searching the web for more John Oliver. Last night I watched all of the "Mock The Week" episodes he appeared in (thank you youtube) and I ordered a DVD copy of his Comedy Central special "Terrifying Times" (and am in the process of watching it on Google video). I've been reading various interviews and visiting his website (www.mrjohnoliver.com) daily to see if there are updates. I am a sick woman! I can't find independent confirmation that his birthday is April 23, 1977 although I know it's late in April 1977 (thanks to a Bugle podcast from late April). I am sick!!!!!

Because I am an obsessive list maker I've made a list of my symptoms:

1) As previously mentioned, obsessive Bugle listening
2) I actually submitted a Hottie from History Nomination for Laura Secord to The Bugle
3) I bought John Oliver's iTunes "Celebrity Playlist" and then completed some of the albums (Gavin Osborn is fantastic!)
4) I ordered the DVD of John Oliver's comedy special "Terrifying Times"
5) I watched all of John's appearances on "Mock the Week" despite knowing almost nothing about British politics (although I feel as if I know more now)
6) I joined 2, possibly 3 Live Journal communities devoted to John Oliver (I can't remember it was late at night, or early in the morning depending on how you look at it)
7) I've got new John Oliver icons (2 of them)
8) I kind of want to submit (read am drafting) a letter to the Bugle suggesting they get a Canadian correspondent, to wit me.
9) I've read a number of John Oliver related news articles (more than 10)
10) Am trying to get tickets to The Daily Show again (trying hard!) so that I can go and see him, not Jon Stewart, while I'm in New York this spring.
11)(this one is the most serious) I'm trying to figure out where John Oliver lives based on clues he's left in podcasts (close to Lou Reed and a pet store, on the same block where Catherine Zeta Jones filmed part of a Christmas scene for an up coming movie) so that I can hang out around there while I'm in New York this spring and casually bump into him.

I am a mentally deranged woman! Seriously, I need psychiatric help. And honey, if you're reading this, don't worry, I'm sure the relationship is all one sided and he isn't interested in me (but if he is, then you might have to worry a little bit).

September 12th, 2008

I want to move to France

Pointy John
OK, so I am very disheartened by our election. I feel like there's going to be no change and I can't stand the thought of another Conservative government, especially a Conservative majority. Fortunately, Stephen Harper's Conservatives can't help themselves, they're constantly showing how bigoted and nasty they play, but I worry that people don't care about that. I know there's not much chance my riding will go anything but Conservative. So, now I want to move to Europe and since I know people in France, that's where I'm headed. Americans are all coming to Canada to escape if McCain wins there, so I'm headed to Europe. Be ready Blandine.

September 1st, 2008

My Blandine List

Pointy John
So, Blandine moved back to France and I told her I would send her a list of things she had to do by the end of September. I started the list so that Blandine would not become a lonely shut in, reading fic and venturing out only for soup. So far my list consists of (in no particular order):

1) When you see your neighbours introduce yourself

2) Go to local museums, find out about volunteer opportunities and then volunteer a minimum of 2 days a week until you get a job, then cut down to 1

3) Find your local library branch, ask them about book clubs and if they've got a book club join it, repeat at local bookshop if the library does not have a book club.

4) Sign up for driving lessons

5) Visit your sister once a month (try to ignore the thoughtless things your brother in law says)

6) Use Facebook to look up friends from High School and University in France, friend them! If they're in Nantes see if they want to go out for coffee (the second half can occur in October, but at least Friend them on Facebook)

7) Walk around your new neighbourhood and find: your local butcher, bakery and bookshop, go into interesting shops and chat with the people working there

8) Look into places that help recent immigrants and offer to volunteer there (at least 1 day per week)

9) Read posters on the street and in shops and try to do at least 1 thing you see advertised each week.

10) Drop off resumes at your local library and bookshop as well as any other shop you find interesting

11) Find your local post office and buy stamps for Canada (then write us letters)

12) Find out if Nantes has a craft council or craft guild, if it does join it and go to meetings, offer to help with any committee or project being considered

13) Find out if your French University has an alumni association, if it does join it! Go to events held in Nantes.

14) When someone you have recently met asks you to go out to something, for coffee, to a movie, etc, do it!

If she gets 10 out of 14 done I'll write a new fic for her by the middle of October and I'll have more lists (one each month, although they may be shorter).

I miss you Blandine!

May 18th, 2008

So far, I've done fantastic things in NYC, but my 5 favorites are:

5. Lounging in Central Park Reading and watching everybody in New York walk by
4. Behind the Scenes tour of the Metropolitan Opera House ($15)
3. Watching a live Opera (even if I had to practically hang over the railing to see what was going on until I moved to some free seats after the intermission)
2. Cross Park Promenade Tour of Central Park (Free)
1. Seeing "Curtains" with David Hyde Pierce. (Best $60 I ever spent, my seats were centre of the 15th row and I don't think there was a better seat in the house).

Tomorrow I'm going to a couple of museums (free on Sunday Mornings) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (it has a suggested donation) and if I have any money left I'm going to another Broadway show on Monday (Curtains was so good, I just have to see another one, I'm thinking Avenue Q, or In the Heights, or MacBeth the Patrick Stewart or really is there a bad Broadway show, they've even turned The Little Mermaid into a Broadway show, and Mary Poppins or I could see The Lion King). I love New York. If I could live in New York, I'd move to the States, well maybe not, but I'd definitely suggest everybody come here at least once.

I also went to McNally Robinson NYC or as it's know by it's signage McR. It's a pretty nice little store, well big for an independent bookstore. I bought I few things and didn't bother to ask about an out of town staff discount:) But my favorite New York Bookstore is Bluestockings, they're sort of a new and used bookstore with a socially progressive/feminist slant, and perhaps the best T-shirts and buttons I've ever seen.

My guest house is great too, cheap, clean, safe, only a couple of blocks away from the subway, this is perhaps the best kept secret of New York City. I've got access to a fridge and microwave so I can bring back some simple groceries (yeah milk and cheese and microwave dinners) so that I'm not spending all my money on restaurant (or sidewalk) food. I haven't even run into the 3 other people I'm sharing the bathroom with, it's like they don't even exist. Lydia, who owns and runs the place is great, she's so happy to see you everyday. Seriously, honey, we have to come to New York together! Really!

May 13th, 2008


Pointy John
Well, I made it to NYC, yeah. My flights were fine and I took an airport shuttle to my guest house (Efuru guest house http://www.efuru-nyc.com/) and I had dinner at a really nice restaurant called Native (the soup was fantastic) They don't have a website, but here's what other people are saying about them: http://newyork.citysearch.com/review/35932745

I really liked it, the service was good even though I was in pretty peak hours (about 7:30 p.m.) and the food was excellent and not too expensive. Tomorrow I'm going to spend some time at the New York Public Library, Grand Central station, and probably hit some interesting bookstores.

There's a subway station not far away and so far so good. Things are excellent. I Heart NY

May 4th, 2008

6 months

Pointy John
So it's been about 6 months since my last post (well not quite, but whatever) and I have somethings to show for it. I'm now working on chapter 4 (and will have a draft, god willing by the beginning of June). I have the possibility of two full time jobs (real jobs, not extra jobs needed) and I haven't written any fic, well that's not quite true, I'm working on Lacey's Merry Sue (for last year), but Smallville being what it is does not provide any help with that. It's a crossover (the theme was Merry Crossmis, Sue) and while my other fandoms provide some help (yeah SGA and Supernatural and Heroes) I still haven't been able to write Clark into my fic because I'm still so mad at him. It's all his fault that Lex is the way he is (well Lionel might have something to do with it). Damn you Smallville, damn you.

December 17th, 2007

Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!! So, I've been slaving away on Chapter 3 for what seems like an eternity and it's almost 3 weeks late (on my new schedule, if you listened to some people, the ones in my head, it's 2 years late, but I digress) I was supposed to get it to my new fabulous supervisor at the beginning of the month and I didn't and I did have legitimate reasons (I was on strike for a month, not from my dissertation, but from my job at the library, which meant the library was on reduced service which meant I couldn't get the resources I needed, but again digression) and now I sit down to it and I type a sentence or if I'm really good, two sentences and then I can't continue...aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!

now back to Chapter 3

December 4th, 2007

I work back inside again

Pointy John
So, the strike ended this weekend, yeah. I get to work inside again, but the whole strike thing put my dissertation a couple of weeks behind. First the strike cut me off from stuff I needed and then I wasn't ready for it to end and it made my schedule for this week crazy. Oh, well at least the term is over.
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